Boston Catholic Journal

“Salus animarum supemus lex esto” — ”the salvation of souls must be the supreme law in the Church.” Canon Law 1752

Suggested Reading:

The Problem
of Evil

The Problem of Evil: Exonerating God

Exonerating God


CCD: Crisis in Catholic Doctrine

Crisis in
Catholic Doctrine:

the Grave State of Religious Education in America

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Boston Catholic Journal

Today’s Martyrology


Welcome Home to the One, True, Holy, Catholic Church


Home ... the One, True, Holy, Catholic Church

 That understanding of its sacred dogmas must be perpetually retained, which Holy Mother Church once declared; and there must never be a recession from that meaning under the specious name of a deeper understanding
(Blessed Pope Pius IX, 1st Vatican Council, S.3, C.2 on Revelation, 1870 ex cathedra)


We no longer recognize the Catholic Church since Vatican II

“Whosoever therefore will be a friend of this world, becomes an enemy of God.” (Saint James 4.4)




Happy New Year? I think not.

The what scandal?


It is NOT a “Happy” new year. It is the inauguration of greater suffering, trial, testing, and confirming in Holy Mother Church.

She has been thrown to Her knees — and those who will scourge Her most cruelly are in Her very bosom; those who profane Her remorselessly will be those who have taken Holy Orders, Vows, and Promises that they will mock by what they say and what they do — and fail to do! It is likely a year of great, great apostasy …

Do not seek solace in anointing these days “The Purification of the Church” — for to be purified is to be submitted to fire — fire that cleanses all the putrefaction and purulence that infects, corrupts, and disfigures the Body of Christ — which is His Church.

She will be lacerated and afflicted — agony will be Her daily bread, and the most bitter draught the wine of Her affliction — but “by these stripes She will be healed”.

The suffering to come we cannot imagine any more than the beauty to be revealed beyond it.

Miserere, Domine. Miserere!


Boston Catholic Journal
January 1, 2019

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The Gate of Glory

May you be mocked, ridiculed, and vilified this Christmas


Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake.
Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in Heaven.
 (Saint Matthew 5:11)


Christ came down to earth that we might go up to Heaven.

This, then, is our wish for you this Christmas: that you be rewarded for your life in Christ by joining Mary, all the Angels and Saints, and the Company of Martyrs in Heaven for all eternity!

No less a figure than Saint Peter told us how this is possible: If you be reproached for the name of Christ, you shall be blessed: for that which is of the honor, glory, and power of God, and that which is his Spirit, resteth upon you. (1 St. Peter 4.14)


What is more, we read in the Acts of the Apostles that
The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. (Acts 5.41)

It was, however, Our Blessed Lord Himself Who promised it first: Blessed shall you be when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you and shall reproach you and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake ... Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in Heaven!(Saint Matthew 5:11, Saint Luke 6.22)

We have reason, then — and the means through which to rejoice —  in this holy Season of Christmas!

But will we avail ourselves of it?  Will we as Catholics open ourselves to disgrace and mockery, ridicule and reproach, by doing what Christ would have us do — and sufferfor His Name’s sake ... and account as nothing the mockery and contempt of the world?

We know what following Christ will entail for us here on earth — especially in these dark and evil times — sadly, both in the Church and in the world. We have just been told: we will be hated, ridiculed, disdained, mocked, separated from the society of the “socially correct” — we may lose our friends and, quite possibly, our jobs! Such prospects alone will separate the wheat from the chaff.

What  can we give God?

We can give nothing to God that He has not given us first — with one absolutely vital exception: our uncompromising love for Him.

God has endowed us with a free will — and with that will, which is totally our own, we — we can choose to love and serve God (as the Holy Angels did long before Creation, and so entered into beatitude) — or we can willfully exempt Him from our love, deny it to Him, withhold it from Him — and choose, instead, ourselves as the axis of the universe (as the Rebellious Angels did and so were cast into Hell). God gives us that freedom! He respects our will and will not revoke our choices — to love Him ... or the world — and the two are not simply incompatible, but mutually exclusive. “Nemo potest duobus dominis servire No man can serve two masters.” (Saint Matthew 6.24)  

And we are completely free to choose!

If we choose Him, it will be a TOTAL LOVE — a love above everyone and everything else that we love: a love so proximately absolute that we can only attain to it by expressing it in the total oblation, the unstinting offering of ourselves to Him in everything we do, everything we say, everything we think, everything we will, everything we desire, everything we are:

Love that will accept:

  • Ridicule for His Sake (yes, even by ones own family and friends)

  • Mockery for His Sake

  • Being hated for His Sake

  • Being marginalized — especially by other Catholics ... for His Sake

  • Being considered spiritually retrograde because of your total devotion to Him and your defiance of the world.

  • Being deemed “regressive” because your piety and devotions, your prayers and gestures, do not conform to “modernized” and “progressive” practices that fail to reflect a genuine understanding of Who God IS, Where God is, and How He comes to us in the Seven Sacraments — before “piety” and “devotion” became “incorrect” and an embarrassment in today’s “progressive” Catholic Church of Accompaniment and the God of Surprises.

You Will Pay Tribute

Do not be deceived or naïve: you will pay tribute. The world will crown us according to our love: for the world a Crown of Laurels ... for God a Crown of Thorns.


Can you give Him that gift? Every day? And in all company? in all places?

It means:

  • Praying Grace before every meal — and making the Sign of the Cross in public restaurants — not the shrinking, “as-fast-and-as-hidden-as-possible” Sign of the Cross that declares how ashamed you are of your holy Catholic Faith — after all, people may be astonished, scandalized (and perhaps some even converted …)

  • Bowing your head at the Sacred Name of Jesus (Philippians 2.10) — no matter how often it is uttered — and if it is uttered blasphemously, “finishing” the blasphemous utterance with a silent “have mercy on us” and so make a prayer of a sacrilege.

  • Confessing Christ openly when it is least beneficial to you: you cannot take refuge in silence about Him “Who will deny you before His Angels in Heaven if you deny Him before men.” (Saint Matthew 10.33)

  • Genuflecting when you pass by Him in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar how dare you pass Him by without anything less than a bent knee! Do you not know that He is really and truly present — Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity — in the Tabernacle and that He deigns to greet you ... who refuse to so much as acknowledge Him … because you fear being thought “pious” in the eyes of others — as though piety were a sin!

  • Believing — and so acting upon!everything Christ commanded us: taking the lowest seat, being the last, being despised … for His sake. In other words, all that deprives you of honor in this world and solicits the obsequious admiration of men.

Probably one out of a thousand — no, ten thousand — Catholics have the FAITH to do these things — all of which are obligatory to us! And because they are required of us, we must not dare applaud ourselves when we have done these things — and secretly esteem ourselves holy because we have done them. We have been admonished in no uncertain terms about this self-flattery beforehand:  “When you have done all that you were commanded, you should say, ‘We are worthless servants; we’ve only done our duty.’ ” (Saint Luke 17.10)

This, then, is your only possible gift to God: acknowledging Him openly by loving Him sincerely and obeying Him diligently in all that you do. This — and only this —  you can give Him Who gave all else to you first.

Your will is totally free:  free to acknowledge Him and love Him — or to ignore Him and reject Him!

Freedom is meaningless without responsibility and responsibility is meaningless without consequences.

Not idly did God speak:

“Behold I set forth in your sight this day a blessing and a curse: A blessing, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God,
which I command you this day:  A curse, if you obey not the commandments of the Lord your God, but revolt from the way which
now I show you, and walk after strange gods which you know not.
(Deuterononomy 11.26-28)


We wish you a most Blessed Christmas and Christmastide … and pray that you have the willingness to be mocked and marginalized for His sake … that you may know immortally the inexpressible joy awaiting those who pass through the crucible of faith to the Collector of Crosses Who knows His own through the Sign by which they are forever sealed — the Sign that brought them cruel contempt from the world — and transfiguration into glory in Heaven. 

May you be humiliated for His Name’s sake! For so were His Apostles. (Acts 5.41)

It is the gate of glory and the pledge of things everlasting to come.

Boston Catholic Journal
December 21, 2018


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Pope Francis and the smoke of satan in the sanctuary

The Odor of Sulfur ... not Sanctity


Who has not Smelled it?

Obedience to the pope presumes the pope’s obedience to Christ and to the nearly 2000 year old Sacred Deposit of Faith that Christ entrusted to His Bride the Church. In Holy Scripture, in Sacred Tradition, and in the Deposit of Faith we find the fullness of truth and the unerring certainty of the will of God in all things. Who defects from any of the three defects from all and who teaches otherwise teaches heresy. He is separated from the Church. 1

No one is exempt because no one is immune to grievous sin — sin so grave that excommunication is incurred latæ sententiæ (automatically: as soon as the sin is committed).  Canon Law 1463 states:
Certain particularly grave sins incur excommunication, the most severe ecclesiastical penalty, which impedes the reception of the sacraments and the exercise of certain ecclesiastical acts, and for which absolution consequently cannot be granted, according to canon law, except by the Pope, the bishop of the place or priests authorized by them.

But what if the pope himself is the excommunicate (latae sententiae)?

Who is not confused?

In the face of the near daily assaults — by the present papacy itself and an episcopacy in apparent complicity with him — on 2000 years of the consistent teaching of the Church, on the very Deposit of Faith, and on the validity of Sacred Scripture itself, what Catholic has not asked — in the fearfully deep and most secret recesses of his soul — the question “Whence?” From whom and from what comes this relentless scourging of faith — even at the vertex of the Church itself — this overwhelming defection from all that is holy to all that is vile?

“There is smoke in the sanctuary” and instinctively we perceive it, recoil from it. It is proffered as incense but is pungent to our senses  — as the fume of smoldering sulfur.

We are confused between the Word of God become Man and the word of man become god.

What a fearful divide rends the Body of Christ anew!  See how the sheep are scattered! Need we tell you who is the father of confusion and lies ...?


No Longer Inconceivable ...

Imagine ... the pope himself as the principle cause of confusion — and defection — in the Catholic Church. It is nothing less than ... diabolically clever.

It is Francis indeed whom satan has sought to sift like wheat 2  — and sadly, it would appear, with much success and to great measure.


Manifest Complicity with Evil — and the "Father of Lies" himself

In our obligation to Charity (one of the three Theological Virtues: Faith and Hope being the other two), we should pray that Francis, together with the cardinals and bishops complicit with him, should renounce their complicity with satan, the father of lies and their collaboration with the manifest evil that they have embraced and propagated — and through which they would pull down the walls of the Church and make Christ a liar! Indeed, did not Jesus speak of this current Brood of Vipers when He said:

You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and he stood not in the truth; because truth is not in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father thereof.” (St. John 8.44)

Mass Defection

A frightening number of cardinals, bishops, and priests have lost their faith altogether and no longer believe what Christ Himself and Holy Mother the Church taught for 2000 years. Formally, this is called apostasy. They have defected from the Bride of Christ because She is pure and their desires are evil — She is not of this world — but they are! Her Body is chaste and their desires are perverse, corrupt, and defiled. It is precisely in the paradigm of the The Third Temptation of Christ that we find the provenance of this defection (apostasy. What Jesus Christ spurned (worldly “power and glory ), they have lusted for — and in exchange for it have given the required tribute to the “father of lies” —  satan — who openly boasts of the “power” and “the glory of this world”, that: “to me they are delivered, and I give them to whom I will (St. Luke 4.5-6).


The Tribute due to the father of lies

And what is that tribute? LIES. If the father is a liar, then his brood can only be liars, too. Christ has already told us: the desires of your father you will do ... for he is a liar, and the father thereof.” In exchange for power and perversion they have traded lies: lies about Christ’s teaching, about the authentic teaching of the Catholic Church, about the Sacred Deposit of Faith, about Catholic Doctrine and Dogma, about morals, about Heaven and Hell — about Sacred Scripture itself!  They have lusted for power — perhaps even more than they have shamefully and perversely lusted for other men — and to acquire this power they have traded truth for lies!

It is, we will find, through the Faithful, the Laity, that the Church will be delivered — just as it was in the days of the early heresies when miter and crozier, cardinal and bishop, were bent in submission to apostasy from the Faith — apostasies to which the laity, having learned the truth in holy simplicity, gave no heed. They could smell a wolf under the greatest abundance of wool.

Christ Himself is the Good Shepherd. The sheep follow Him, because they know His voice. But a stranger they follow not, but fly from him, because they know not the voice of strangers. (Saint John 10:4-5)

Hold fast to the Faith of our Fathers! Cleave to Christ and to what He has taught us, to what Holy Mother Church taught us prior to Vatican II — and fear nothing, and no one — no matter his power or how ruthlessly he demands submission. For there is no other name under Heaven given to men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4.12)

Did not Christ Himself promise:  I will not forsake you. (Saint John 14.18)?

Nor must we ever forsake Him through any inducement to sin — by whomsoever.


1 )

2   Saint Luke 22.31


Boston Catholic Journal

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Seal of State of Massachusetts  The State vs. Frankie  Seal of Pope Francis

(a.k.a. Francis)

Pope Francis's Face of Mercy

Capo di tutti capi


 “Pope Francis’ sexual abuse prevention summit planned for winter’s end [next year!] in Rome with the world’s bishops will apparently not address protections for the demographic found in recent months to be at significant risk from sexual predators in the Church: seminarians.”    Lifesite news


“Your Excellency! ... the House in on fire!”

“Forsooth! Convene a synod next year to look into the matter!”

“But, my lord, we did that 20 years ago when we smelled the smoke then and left it smoldering. It is now a conflagration that threatens the entire Castle!”

“Just do as you’re told, man! Put it on the calendar — for next year.




How is THAT for Urgency?

This is a vignette of the state of the Church today under Francis and the cardinals and bishops complicit with him.


In other words, while the house is on fire and crumbling around us, while predator homosexual priests continue to rape our youngsters and young men — Francis the Merciful will schedule yet another ...conference” — next February ... five months away... to “look into” the issue — rather than address the unmitigated and relentless disaster NOW!




How Many Will it Take?

Every day that you deliberately delay redressing this monstrous calamity, the faith (to say nothing of the butchered virginity) of a child, a young man, is violently torn from him! How many will it take before you act, Francis? How many ruined lives, how much shattered trust must be lost before you look beyond the applause of the world” to the agony of these children, their parents, their siblings, their friends, their parishes ... the world ... the trust in you that you utterly and callously betrayed? How many will it take to motivate you to the most primal moral instinct to protect innocence?

Your carefully orchestrated campaign to monumentalize yourself — instead of Christ — as the meek embodiment of humility immortalized — has become increasingly tenuous, tainted by recurring episodes of rage, anger, vengefulness and autocratic duplicity  — but most of all  in your apparent indifference to the lurid and metastasizing malignancy of homosexuality in the priesthood — and the horrific scandal of perverse sexual predation that you have consistently deprecated in favor of more presssing issues such as Environmentalism, Plastic in the Sea, and Unemployment  ... In a word, Frankie, your pathological pursuit of humility as eponymous with Francis ... is utter imposture — a fraud that will only carry copy as long as it is rank with your sanctimony!

But it is your refusal to act in crisis, Francis, which is itself your most notable defect — and if not defect, your most detestable act! You play to the world with the lives of the Little Ones ... and seem careless of the depths of the sea that await those who bring scandal to Christ through the loss of the Little Ones! Each one is a Millstone and the sea beckons the betrayer.

This is nothing less than madness, insanity, criminal irresponsibility, deafness, blindness — commitment to a “progressive” Leftist agenda at all costs, in this life and the next. I reiterate, it is MADNESS! And if it is not madness, worse still it is cowardice and complicity: dont do the deed yourself, simply savor its being done! By your silence you shrewdly recognize that you can maintain plausible deniability before the world — indeed, your inactions speak volumes — but the God you do not know sees the heart, the mind, the will ... in all its corruption.

In the meanwhile, shall we pretend that it is not happening (as we have pretended for over 50 years) until — to our everlasting shame — the arm of the
State in the form of Grand Juries and subpoenas forces the Church’s hand to comply with Justice (a Cardinal Virtue, remember?) and turn over to competent authorities what documents they have not yet shredded — but in the ensuing 5 months will have plenty of time to.


Right in the Slammer!

If the Church obstinately refuses to punish her own children for crimes, then the State will address what are no less than felons unsparingly — as it should. No one should get a pass, no matter the color of his biretta or the trim of his robe — from priest to pope! Put them right in the slammer! — for God’s sake if only to protect the young and innocent. What a parody of the Church: the State must occupy the moral high ground and attempt to justly incarcerate those whom the Church has no manifest intention of defrocking or denouncing as reprobate — and expelling them from the Body of Christ! There are sins that incur automatic excommunication no matter what ecclesiastical office is occupied! That is the interior court of Justice —  the conscience — that tribunal before God Himself which cannot be escaped or eluded — and in which there is no plea-bargaining. One may cleverly elude the State ... but forever remains on the crucible of his guilt — which will exact its tribute. Now or later. With apodictic certainty!

Consider the following:

seal of the state of pennsylvania PENNSYLVANIA: over a thousand children and youths were raped by over 300 homosexual priests. Three hundred! Three hundred! The number is staggering!

seal of the state of massachusets   MASSACHUSETTS: At least 789 children and probably more than 1,000 have been sexually abused by 250 priests in Massachusetts.” (New York Times) If the Archdiocese ever comes clean, the numbers in Pennsylvania will very likely pall before the overwhelming predation of children, minors, youths, and young men that has occurred here is sacristies, rectories, and seminaries.

Over the years in my own parish (typical Novus Ordo) I knew, over the years, that certain priests were homosexual (the sashaying, lisping, the feminine hand gestures, the many movements we associate with women) and was once even propositioned in the Confessional in a Church the next town over.

One priest at my parish left the priesthood (presumably) to “marry” another priest. I would never have suspected him. Never. And that is scary. No feminine gestures. No clues — which means that you cannot tell — until the hand is on your thigh. At Saint John’s Seminary in Brighton in the late 70’s I attended some “Days of Recollection” for young men considering the priesthood. At once I could sense, see, the femininity of the young men — and more troubling still, the priests themselves who led the “Days of Recollection.” After attending several times I found myself set apart and alone …. marginalized — presumably because it must have been apparent that I was not one of the girls. The atmosphere was permeated by homosexuality … without the merest hint of the “odor of sanctity”.

St. John's Seminary Brighton - Boston MA  


Saint John’s Seminary in Brighton, Massachusetts, was (and most likely still is) in desperate need of fumigation. It reeked of homosexuality. I considered contacting the Chancery about this openly scandalous state of affairs but had learned that any letter to any bishop was answered politely but dismissively by one of his assistants (who himself may have been homosexual and not particularly sympathetic to any request for addressing the issue.)

Talking with other young men later — who were married and with children — their experience was the same. They chose the vocation to the priesthood but were not allowed to go beyond the pink doors — because they were straight, or worse still, straight and adherent to Church teaching. After much soul-searching they found their vocation elsewhere — just as I did. There were, I found, lots of vocations to the priesthood — but their fidelity and masculinity were an impediment that did not sit well with those who made the decisions. No scent of Lavender? Then the Pink Door slams in your face.

Religious Orders? Fumigate them, too

As I searched and searched for a Religious Order (surely Religious Orders were not infected …) as an External Postulant for the Capuchin Franciscans (who, at the time, had a monastery in Milton) my Vocation Director, a certain Father Matthias, asked me if I believed all that the Church taught. Unhesitatingly I truthfully answered “yes”. WRONG ANSWER! “No”, he replied at once. “We must question.” The Catholic Church?

As a philosophy student in graduate school I well knew the subtleties of inquiry together with the spurious and absurd “imperative” that a scholar — especially in philosophy — accept nothing as certain (the “doctrine” of nearly every university in America). “That is not good”, Father Matthias continued — as I processed in my mind everything from Saints Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Duns Scotus, Saint Anselm and a dozen others as we walked. I briefly wondered if I had wandered into a Jesuit retreat house. They, too, lost God after Vatican II. But Father Matthias wore a habit — that more than likely cloaked his disbelief. Jesuits do not and are generally contemptuously unapologetic about it. I thought of a Barren Fig Tree.

But Father Matthias was the one whose skewed and illogical “spirituality” I had to get around if I hoped to make it to the Order’s main monastery in Garrison, NY (now The Garrison Institute for Transformational and Contemplative Ecology — a non-sectarian pseudo-sanitarium dedicated to “The Science of Contemplative Practice and neuroplasticity” where people actually pay to be indoctrinated with “climate change and environmental advocacy, neuro-, behavioral and evolutionary economics, psychology, social networking, policy-making, and investing and social media to work together on ways to shift behavior on a large enough scale to realize substantial emissions reductions.” It’s true.

I never made it to Garrison because God had other plans for me that included a wife and four children — I never looked back.

But now, over my shoulder, and with inexpressible anguish in my heart — I see Rome burning. And Nero fiddling.

I find it ... queer ... that the vast majority of this homosexual insinuation into the priesthood — and the subsequent horrendous rape of our children and the perversion of Catholic morality — occurred in the years following the ecumenical decadence we have come to know as Vatican II and its abjuration of the One, True, Holy and Catholic Church — that preceded it for 2000 years ... and which ever survives those who lay siege to Her?

Aggiornamento! Ah, the reek of the world that rushed in when John XXIII — of unhappy memory — famously flung open the windows! How the incense of all that is holy poured out — while the effluence and fume of the world seeped in!


Geoffrey K. Mondello
for the Boston Catholic Journal
October 8, 2018

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Further Reading on the Papacy of Francis:


Martyrology for today:



Tuesday January 22nd in the Year of Grace 2019

Time after Epiphany

This Day, the Twenty-Second Day of January

At Valencia, in Spain, while the wicked Dacian was governor, St. Vincent, deacon and martyr, who, after suffering imprisonment, hunger, the torture, the disjointing of his limbs ; after being burned with plates of heated metal and on the gridiron, and tormented in other ways, took his flight to Heaven, there to receive the reward of martyrdom. His noble triumph over his sufferings has been elegantly set forth in verse by Prudentius, and highly eulogized by St. Augustine and Pope St. Leo.

At Rome, at Aquae Salviae, St. Anastasius, a Persian monk, who, after suffering much at Caesarea, in Palestine, from imprisonment, stripes and fetters, had to bear many afflictions from Chosroes, king of Persia, who caused him to be beheaded. He had sent before him to martyrdom seventy of his companions, who were precipitated into rivers. His head was brought to Rome, together with his venerable likeness, by the sight of which the demons are expelled, and diseases cured, as is attested by the Acts of the second council of Nicaea.

At Embrun, in France, the holy martyrs Vincent, Orontius, and Victor, who were crowned with martyrdom in the persecution of Diocletian.

At Novara, St. Gaudentius, bishop and confessor.

At Sora, the abbot St. Dominic, renowned for miracles.

And elsewhere in divers places, many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

Omnes sancti Mártyres, oráte pro nobis. ("All ye Holy Martyrs, pray for us", from the Litaniae Sanctorum, the Litany of the Saints)

Response: Thanks be to God.


Roman Martyrology by Month


Why the Martyrs Matter


Each day we bring you a calendar, a list really, of the holy Martyrs who had suffered and died for Christ, for His Bride the Church, and for our holy Catholic Faith; men and women for whom — and well they knew — their Profession of Faith would cost them their lives.

They could have repudiated all three (Christ, Church, and Catholic Faith) and kept their lives for a short time longer (even the lapsi only postponed their death — and at so great a cost!).1

What would motivate men, women, even children and entire families to willingly undergo the most evil and painfully devised tortures; to suffer death rather than denial?

Why did they not renounce their Catholic Faith when the first flame licked at their feet, after the first eye was plucked out, or after they were “baptized” in mockery by boiling water or molten lead poured over their heads? Why did they not flee to offer incense to the pagan gods since such a ritual concession would be merely perfunctory, having been done, after all, under duress, exacted by the compulsion of the state? What is a little burned incense and a few words uttered without conviction, compared to your own life and the lives of those you love? Surely God knows that you are merely placating the state with empty gestures …

Did they love their wives, husbands, children — their mothers, fathers and friends less than we do? Did they value their own lives less? Were they less sensitive to pain than we are? In a word, what did they possess that we do not?

Nothing. They possessed what we ourselves are given in the Sacrament of Confirmation — but cleaved to it in far greater measure than we do: Faith and faithfulness; fortitude and valor, uncompromising belief in the invincible reality of God, of life eternal in Him for the faithful, of damnation everlasting apart from Him for the unfaithful; of the ephemerality of this passing world and all within it, and lives lived in total accord with that adamant belief.

We are the Martyrs to come. What made them so will make us so. What they suffered we will suffer. What they died for, we will die for. If only we will! For most us, life will be a bloodless martyrdom, a suffering for Christ, for the sake of Christ, for the sake of the Church in a thousand ways outside the arena. The road to Heaven is lined on both sides with Crosses, and upon the Crosses people, people who suffered unknown to the world, but known to God. Catholics living in partibus infidelium, under the scourge of Islam. Loveless marriages. Injustices on all sides. Poverty. Illness. Old age. Dependency. They are the cruciform! Those whose lives became Crosses because they would not flee God, the Church, the call to, the demand for, holiness in the most ordinary things of life made extraordinary through the grace of God. The Martyrology we celebrate each day is just a vignette, a small, immeasurably small, sampling of the martyrdom that has been the lives of countless men and women whom Christ and the Angels know, but whom the world does not know.

“Exemplum enim dedi vobis”, Christ said to His Apostles: “I have given you an example.” And His Martyrs give one to us — and that is why the Martyrs matter.

Geoffrey K. Mondello
Contributing Editor
oston Catholic Journal

Note: We suggest that you explore our newly edited and revised “De SS. Martyrum Cruciatibus — The Torments and Tortures of the Christian Martyrs” for an in-depth historical account of the sufferings of the Martyrs.




By J. Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop Baltimore

THE ROMAN MARTYROLOGY is an official and accredited record, on the pages of which are set forth in simple and brief, but impressive words, the glorious deeds of the Soldiers of Christ in all ages of the Church; of the illustrious Heroes and Heroines of the Cross, whom her solemn verdict has beatified or canonized. In making up this long roll of honor, the Church has been actuated by that instinctive wisdom with which the Spirit of God, who abides in her and teaches her all truth, has endowed her, and which permeates through and guides all her actions. She is the Spouse of Christ, without spot or wrinkle or blemish, wholly glorious and undefiled, whom He loved, for whom He died, and to whom He promised the Spirit of Truth, to comfort her in her dreary pilgrimage through this valley of tears, and to abide with her forever. She is one with Him in Spirit and in love, she is subject to Him in all things; she loves what He loves, she teaches and practices what He commands.

If the world has its Legions of Honor, why should not also the Church of the Living God, the pillar and the ground of the truth? If men who have been stained with blood, and women who have been tainted with vice, have had their memory consecrated in prose and in verse, and monuments erected to their memory, because they exhibited extraordinary talents, achieved great success, or were, to a greater or less extent, benefactors of their race in the temporal order, which passeth away, why should not the true Heroes and Heroines of Jesus, who, imitating His example, have overcome themselves, risen superior to and trampled upon the world, have aspired, in all their thoughts, words, and actions, to a heavenly crown, and have moreover labored with disinterested zeal and self-forgetting love for the good of their fellow-men, have their memories likewise consecrated and embalmed in the minds and hearts of the people of God? If time have its heroes, why should not eternity; if man, why should not God? Thy friends, O Lord, are exceedingly honored; their principality is exceedingly exalted.Whom His Father so dearly loved, the world crucified; whom the world neglects, despises, and crucifies, God, through His Church, exceedingly honors and exalts. Their praises are sung forth, with jubilation of heart, in the Church of God for ages on ages.

The wisdom of the Church of God in honoring her Saints is equaled only by the great utility of the practice thus consecrated. The Saints are not merely heroes; they are models. Christ lived in them, and Christ yet speaks through them. They were the living temples of the Holy Ghost, in whose mortal bodies dwelt all the riches of His wisdom and grace. They were in life consecrated human exemplars of divine excellence and perfection. Their example still appeals to our minds and to our hearts, more eloquently even than did their words to the men of their own generation, while they were in the tabernacle of the flesh. Though dead, they still speak. Their relics are instinct with sanctity, and through them they continue to breathe forth the sweet odor of Christ. The immortality into which they have entered still lingers in their bones, and seems to breathe in their mortal remains. As many an ardent, spirit has been induced to rush to the cannon's mouth by reading the exploits of earthly heroes, so many a generous Christian soul has been fired with heavenly ardor, and been impelled to rush to the crown of martyrdom, by reading the lives and heroic achievements of the Saints and Martyrs of Christ. Example, in its silent appeal, is more potent in its influence on the human heart and conduct than are words in their most eloquent utterances.

The Church knows and feels all this, in the Spirit of God with whom she is replenished ; and hence she sets forth, with holy joy and exultant hope, her bright and ever-increasing Calendar of Sanctity of just men and women made perfect and rendered glorious, under her unearthly and sublime teachings. In reading this roll of consecrated holiness, our instinctive conclusion is, precisely that which the great soul of St. Augustine reached at the very crisis of his life, the moment of his conversion If other men like me have attained to such sanctity, why not I? Shall the poor, the afflicted, the despised of the World, bear away the palm of victory, the crown of immortality, while I lie buried in my sloth and dead in my sins, and thus lose the brilliant and glorious mansion already prepared for me in heaven? Shall all the gifts, which God has lavished upon me, be ingloriously spent and foolishly wasted, in the petty contest for this world's evanescent honors and riches, while the poor and contemned lay up treasures in heaven, and secure the prize of immortal glory? Shall others be the friends of God, whom He delights to honor, while I alone remain His enemy, and an alien from His blessed Kingdom?

It is a consoling evidence of progress in the spiritual life in this country to find the Martyrology here published, for the first time, in English, and thereby made accessible, in its rich treasures of Sanctity, to all classes of our population. It will prove highly edifying and useful, not only to the members of our numerous religious Communities of both sexes, but also to the laity generally. Every day has here its record of Sanctity; and there is scarcely a Christian, no matter how lowly or how much occupied, who may not be able to daily peruse, with faith and with great profit, the brief page of each day's models of Holiness. These belong to all classes and callings of life; from the throne to the hovel, from the Pontiff to the lowest cleric, from the philosopher to the peasant, from the busy walks of life to the dreary wastes of the desert.

Let all, then, procure and read daily the appropriate portions of this Martyrology. Its daily and pious perusal will console us in affliction, will animate us in despondency, will make our souls glow with the love of God in coldness, and will lift up our minds and hearts from this dull and ever-changing earth to the bright and everlasting mansions prepared for us in Heaven!

Imprimatur,  J. Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop Baltimore, Maryland 1916

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(and what Forever really means)


Pope Pius V Catechism of Trent


From the very first, upon Our elevation to the chief Apostleship, We gladly turned our mind and energies and directed all out thoughts to those matters which concerned the preservation of a pure liturgy, and We strove with God's help, by every means in our power, to accomplish this purpose. For, besides other decrees of the sacred Council of Trent, there were stipulations for Us to revise and re-edit the sacred books: the Catechism, the Missal and the Breviary. With the Catechism published for the instruction of the faithful, by God's help, and the Breviary thoroughly revised for the worthy praise of God, in order that the Missal and Breviary may be in perfect harmony, as fitting and proper —  for it is most becoming that there be in the Church only one appropriate manner of reciting the Psalms and only one rite for the celebration of Mass — We deemed it necessary to give our immediate attention to what still remained to be done, viz, the re-editing of the Missal as soon as possible.

Hence, We decided to entrust this work to learned men of our selection. They very carefully collated all their work with the ancient codices in Our Vatican Library and with reliable, preserved or emended codices from elsewhere. Besides this, these men consulted the works of ancient and approved authors concerning the same sacred rites; and thus they have restored the Missal itself to the original form and rite of the holy Fathers. When this work has been gone over numerous times and further emended, after serious study and reflection, We commanded that the finished product be printed and published as soon as possible, so that all might enjoy the fruits of this labor; and thus, priests would know which prayers to use and which rites and ceremonies they were required to observe from now on in the celebration of Masses.

Let all everywhere adopt and observe what has been handed down by the Holy Roman Church, the Mother and Teacher of the other churches, and let Masses not be sung or read according to any other formula than that of this Missal published by Us.
This ordinance applies henceforth, now, and forever, throughout all the provinces of the Christian world, to all patriarchs, cathedral churches, collegiate and parish churches, be they secular or religious, both of men and of women — even of military orders — and of churches or chapels without a specific congregation in which conventual Masses are sung aloud in choir or read privately in accord with the rites and customs of the Roman Church. This Missal is to be used by all churches, even by those which in their authorization are made exempt, whether by Apostolic indult, custom, or privilege, or even if by oath or official confirmation of the Holy See, or have their rights and faculties guaranteed to them by any other manner whatsoever.

This new rite alone is to be used unless approval of the practice of saying Mass differently was given at the very time of the institution and confirmation of the church by Apostolic See at least 200 years ago, or unless there has prevailed a custom of a similar kind which has been continuously followed for a period of not less than 200 years, in which most cases We in no wise rescind their above-mentioned prerogative or custom. However, if this Missal, which we have seen fit to publish, be more agreeable to these latter, We grant them permission to celebrate Mass according to its rite, provided they have the consent of their bishop or prelate or of their whole Chapter, everything else to the contrary notwithstanding.

All other of the churches referred to above, however, are hereby denied the use of other missals, which are to be discontinued entirely and absolutely; whereas, by
this present Constitution, which will be valid henceforth, now, and forever, We order and enjoin that nothing must be added to Our recently published Missal, nothing omitted from it, nor anything whatsoever be changed within it under the penalty of Our displeasure.

We specifically command each and every patriarch, administrator, and all other persons or whatever ecclesiastical dignity they may be, be they even cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, or possessed of any other rank or pre-eminence, and We order them in virtue of holy obedience to chant or to read the Mass according to the rite and manner and norm herewith laid down by Us and, hereafter, to discontinue and completely discard all other rubrics and rites of other missals, however ancient, which they have customarily followed; and they must not in celebrating Mass presume to introduce any ceremonies or recite any prayers other than those contained in this Missal.

Furthermore, by these presents [this law], in virtue of Our Apostolic authority, We grant and concede in perpetuity that, for the chanting or reading of the Mass in any church whatsoever, this Missal is hereafter to be followed absolutely, without any scruple of conscience or fear of incurring any penalty, judgment, or censure, and may freely and lawfully be used. Nor are superiors, administrators, canons, chaplains, and other secular priests, or religious, of whatever title designated, obliged to celebrate the Mass otherwise than as enjoined by Us. We likewise declare and ordain that no one whosoever is forced or coerced to alter this Missal, and that
this present document cannot be revoked or modified, but remains always valid and retain its full force notwithstanding the previous constitutions and decrees of the Holy See, as well as any general or special constitutions or edicts of provincial or synodal councils, and notwithstanding the practice and custom of the aforesaid churches, established by long and immemorial prescription — except, however, if more than two hundred years' standing.

It is Our will, therefore, and by the same authority, We decree that, after We publish this constitution and the edition of the Missal, the priests of the Roman Curia are, after thirty days, obliged to chant or read the Mass according to it; all others south of the Alps, after three months; and those beyond the Alps either within six months or whenever the Missal is available for sale. Wherefore, in order that the Missal be preserved incorrupt throughout the whole world and kept free of flaws and errors, the penalty for nonobservance for printers, whether mediately or immediately subject to Our dominion, and that of the Holy Roman Church, will be the forfeiting of their books and a fine of one hundred gold ducats, payable ipso facto to the Apostolic Treasury. Further, as for those located in other parts of the world, the penalty is excommunication latae sententiae, and such other penalties as may in Our judgment be imposed; and We decree by this law that they must not dare or presume either to print or to publish or to sell, or in any way to accept books of this nature without Our approval and consent, or without the express consent of the Apostolic Commissaries of those places, who will be appointed by Us. Said printer must receive a standard Missal and agree faithfully with it and in no wise vary from the Roman Missal of the large type (secundum magnum impressionem).

Accordingly, since it would be difficult for this present pronouncement to be sent to all parts of the Christian world and simultaneously come to light everywhere, We direct that it be, as usual, posted and published at the doors of the Basilica of the Prince of the Apostles, also at the Apostolic Chancery, and on the street at Campo Flora; furthermore, We direct that printed copies of this same edict signed by a notary public and made official by an ecclesiastical dignitary possess the same indubitable validity everywhere and in every nation, as if Our manuscript were shown there.
Therefore, no one whosoever is permitted to alter this notice of Our permission, statute, ordinance, command, precept, grant, indult, declaration, will, decree, and prohibition. Should anyone dare to contravene it, know that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.

Given at St. Peters in the year of the Lord's Incarnation, 1570, on the 14th of July of the Fifth year of Our Pontificate.


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