Suggested Reading:


 

Liber Apocalypsis — the Book of the Apocalypse (Revelation) — read in Latin

the Book of the
Apocalypse

Read in Latin:


A Book for Our Times

 



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Pope Saint Pius V pray for Holy Mother Church, for Heresies abound

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for heresies abound



 

 

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 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)


 

CRITICAL CATHOLIC COMMENTARY

Looking for Catholic Prayers in Latin and English?

     The Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass

“Know you not that the friendship of this world is the enemy of God?
Whosoever therefore will be a friend of this world, becomes an enemy of God.”
(Saint James 4.4)

 

 

Mary, Conceived without Sin, Pray for us who have Recourse to Thee

Mary, Conceived without Sin,

pray for us who have recourse to Thee


 


Mao Zedong, Adolf Hitler, Stalin

 

ARE WE ALL CHILDREN OF GOD ... no matter what?

 

 

Jorge Bergoglio made the following statement in 2017  —  and I think it is now time to revisit it in light of his peremptory agendum of unbridled Ecumenism  —  a heretical concept altogether prior to Vatican II — and which Francis frenetically promotes at the cost of authentic Catholicism. He asks — as though the question itself is altogether rhetorical: 

“Is it possible God has some children He does not love? NO! We are ALL God’s beloved children.” (pope Francis) 1
 

What is more troubling still, is that this question is, in fact, received by most post-Conciliar Catholics as merely rhetorical, that is to say, as though the answer is already understood in the asking — and that answer, of course, is a resounding: “yes of course! After all, everyone goes to Heaven! The pope himself routinely tells us so!” — despite what Christ tells us about the hard and narrow way to Heaven:
 

“Enter ye in at the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there are who go in thereat. How narrow is the gate, and strait is the way that leadeth to life: and few there are that find it! Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” (Jesus Christ: Saint Matthew 9.11-15)

Oh, yes, concerning the  false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves”, may we suggest that you consider five:

  • John XXIII

  • Paul VI

  • John Paul I

  • John Paul II

  • and the APEX WOLF: Jorge Bergoglio (Francis).

That is to say, in short, every pontiff who instigated, promoted, or was complicit in the heresy we have come to know as Vatican II which decimated the Church and Religious Orders, contemned and vitiated Her teachings, effectively abrogated Her Sacred Tradition, laid siege to Her Sacred Deposit of Faith, outlawed her language (Latin), abolished the Mass of the Ages (Tridentine), defiled the Sanctuary with women “Ministers” of Communion (note that they are no longer designated as Extraordinary-ministers”), secularized the Liturgy, and homosexualized Her priests, bishops, and cardinals.

Consider the following: Catholic Mass attendance was 75+% in 1955 and plunged to 20-30% in 2017.  In 1970, 55 % of American Catholics went to Mass every Sunday, and in 2019 that figure dwindled to 20%.“The Center for Church Management at Villanova University projects an attendance rate in the neighborhood of 12 percent by next year or the year after. 2  “Altar girls” vastly outnumber “Altar-Boys” and both are “socially/correctly” neutered as “Altar Servers” — thereby abolishing any distinction in gender in deference  to the rise of “Woman Church” and the poison of Feminism.

All this — ALL OF IT — is the fruit of Vatican II ... every effeminate and recreant priest, bishop, and cardinal; the feminization and homosexualization of nearly every aspect of the once glorious edifice of the Holy Catholic Church — has left it in ruins, pallid and prostate before the World which it loves before God. There are good and faithful traditional priests — who are persecuted mercilessly by their bishops, cardinals ... and even the pope. Good men. Manly men. Priests of Almighty God! Men who do not lisp — and who would die before kissing the Muslim Quran! Not so Francis. Not so!

Does Vatican II really sound like a success story to you? Then look here.
 

We might take the initial quoted citation from Holy Scripture (Saint Matthew 9.11-15) as a prologue merely to the many disagreements between Francis and Jesus Christ in this matter (and many, many others.) Consider the following:

 

Jesus Christ:

  • You do the works of your father. They said therefore to Him: We are not born of fornication: we have one Father, even God. Jesus therefore said to them: If God were your Father, you would indeed love Me. For from God I proceeded, and came; for I came not of Myself, but He sent Me: Why do you not know My speech? Because you cannot hear My word. 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.(Saint John 8.41-44)
     

  • He that committeth sin is of the devil: for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose, the Son of God appeared, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God, committeth not sin: for his seed abideth in him, and he can not sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil. Whosoever is not just, is not of God, nor he that loveth not his brother.”    (1 Saint John 3.8-10)
     

  • Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven: but he that doth the will of My Father who is in Heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven. Many will say to me in that day: Lord, Lord, have not we prophesied in Thy name, and cast out devils in Thy name, and done many miracles in Thy name? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, you that work iniquity.” (Saint Matthew 7.21-23)
     

  • If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” (Saint Matthew 17.17) — note the conditional “if”.
     

  • If you love me, keep my commandments.” (Saint John 14.15) — once again, note the conditional “if”.
     

  • “What fellowship hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath the faithful with the unbeliever? (2 Corinthians 14-15)

Citations from Holy Scripture in which Francis openly contradicts Christ are too many to enumerate. 3

 

Whom do we Believe?

The point is simply this: whom shall we believe? The Master or the servant? Truth Himself — Who stood before Pontius Pilate on the day He was crucified 4 while Pilate pedantically asked, “What is Truth?” ... even as Truth bled in his presence 5 — or His feckless vicar who either distorts or  contradicts the truth entrusted to him? In other words, are we to believe Truth Himself or His recreant proxy who speaks in open contradiction to the Truth?
 

Martin Luther Statue at Vatican  

 


Statue of Heretic Martin Luther  brought into Vatican by Francis
 

The influence of Francis’s hero, the arch-heretic Martin Luther  is unmistakable:

In 1521 Luther wrote to Philip Melanchthon (Luther’s closest collaborator in heresy)Love God and sin boldly ... No sin can separate us from Him, even if we were to kill or commit adultery thousands of times each day.6

 

The correspondence between Francis’s, “Is it possible God has some children He does not love? NO! We are ALL God’s beloved children.” and Luther’s, “Love God and sin boldly ... No sin can separate us from Him.” — is unmistakable. This is the most manifest and deadly fruit of the heresy called Ecumenism.

Let us be less textually literal and absolutely clear on the substance of these mutually corroborating statements:

  • Luther: “everyone goes to Heaven no matter what. There is no sin so grievous to preclude anyone from attaining salvation.”  
     

  • Francis: “We are all the beloved children of God”  —  no matter what we do, say, promote, believe, or not believe. No sin is so heinous, no act so horrendous, no belief so criminal, no unbelief so absolute, that it can disqualify us from going to Heaven with all the other ... “saints”  ... like Hitler, Joseph Mengele, Stalin, Hideki Tojo, Nero, Mao Zedong, Genghis Khan, Caligula, and Diocletian, to name a few. For Francis, these men  —  despite the magnitude of their malevolence and the enormity of their atrocities ... are nevertheless “God’s beloved children”.

Who can so much as conceptualize God uttering something like, “These are my beloved children: Adolf Hitler and his brothers Diocletian, Mao Zedong, Joseph Mengele, Stalin, Hideki Tojo, Nero, Genghis Khan, and Caligula.”?

Who, indeed, is their father?  Are they the “beloved children of God” whom Francis Bergoglio would have us believe  —  or are they those of whom Christ spoke: You are of your father the devil.” They cannot be both.

Either Christ is a deceiver — or Francis is.

However, being God with the Father and the Holy Ghost, Christ can neither deceive nor be deceived.6

Francis can, will, and does.

“Such a harsh, even cruel statement!”, you will reproach me.

Less harsh, I will respond, and far less frightening than the words of Christ at the Last Judgment: Depart from Me, you cursed, into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels ... And these shall go into everlasting punishment: but the just, into life everlasting.” (Saint Matthew 25.31-46)

The god of Francis, it turns out, is not the God of Sacred Scripture. He fabricates his god to assuage the guilt and fear of men — the better to accord with the World, the Flesh, and primeval things of darkness that have no place in the Light ...

 

Geoffrey K. Mondello
Editor
Boston Catholic Journal

   Printable PDF Version

 

Comments? Write us:  editor@boston-catholic-journal.com

_____________________________

1 https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/36233/we-dont-earn-gods-love-its-freely-given-pope-francis-says
2 https://www.thecatholicthing.org/2021/04/17/the-american-church-going-going/
3
Saint John 14.24 —  Saint Matthew 17.17-19 — Saint John 3.18 — Saint John 8.41-44 —
1 John 3.8-10 — etc., etc., etc.
4
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the Father, but by Me.” (Saint John 14.6)
5 Pilate saith to Him: What is truth? (Saint John 18.38)
6 https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/did-luther-really-tell-us-to-love-god-and-sin-boldly/ 



ADDENDUM:

AN EXTREMELY TROUBLING

and accurate — OBSERVATION
 

Pope Francis – unlike his predecessors – has not directly advocated the doctrine of Transubstantiation. Keeping to his South American theological roots, Pope Francis has called for Catholics to consider the Eucharist as an encounter with Christ – an occasion where Christ makes himself available to the community through an act of remembrance. [all protestants understand it  merely as an act of remembrance; nothing more. — ed.] Its an opportunity to be transformed to carry out the work of Christ. The focus here is not on dogma but the action that flows from it. This is very different from the hard-core theological dogma of the Roman Catholic Church.

This is very much in line with Pope Francis’s ecumenical and inter-religious initiatives over the past five years. He has consistently spoken about Holy Communion as a “sacrament” emphasising the communal element rather than the mystery.

The Eucharist is the summit of God’s saving action: the Lord Jesus, by becoming bread broken for us, pours upon us all of His mercy and His love, so as to renew our hearts, our lives, and our way of relating with Him and with the brethren. [it is perennial Church teaching that Christ did not become bread  — but rather, transformed bread into into His Sacred Body through Transubstantiation. — Ed.]

Through this teaching in the 2014 Encyclical, Pope Francis has departed from the traditional line of who can receive or participate in Eucharist and called for a more inclusive openness to our understanding and practice of Eucharist (including non-Catholics to be able to take communion), and not to make it into an exclusive practice. ... by signaling that he is willing to welcome anyone and share the Eucharist with others, Pope Francis may have charted a different path by opening up the Eucharist to non-Catholics and those who have been traditionally excluded. He is clearly moving away from the idea of the Eucharist as a directly “supernatural” experience and more towards a unifying sacrament.”
 

The Conversation

 


 

MORTAL SIN

 The Reality of Mortal Sin and the Need for Holy Confession

and HOLY CONFESSION
 

The Antidote of Death
 

First, Mortal Sin ...

Our excuses are numberless. In fact, they are as numberless as our sins, none of which are now deemed by us (and, for sorrow, by many priests) grievous enough to preclude our receiving the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ in Holy Communion. Most often they are reducible simply to this: I have not committed any mortal sin.

Indeed.

For Catholics who have never been taught the difference between Mortal and Venial sin — which is to say, the entire last generation of Catholics — we must be clear about the notion of sin — especially the distinction between two kinds of sin, before we can proceed to even understand the necessity, as well as the inestimable value of Holy Confession.

Only one analogy suffices to make this distinction clear in a way that is particularly accessible to Western society (I do not say
civilization, for that has ceased). Let us look at the matter somatically, that is to say, through our bodies, or more likely than not, the bodies of others upon which we are, in one way or another, sexually fixated. Perhaps this will provide a visual cue, some imaginative element, to an otherwise immaterial reality:

The distinction between a Mortal Sin and a Venial Sin is akin to the difference between a minor wound ... and death. Is that succinct enough? Are you still unclear about the difference?

In other words, you may accumulate many minor wounds and still live, although each is an impediment to your health and, while small, if left unattended, may yet contribute to something more serious, something more debilitating. It is a small laceration ... awaiting infection.

Mortal wounds, on the other hand, may be many, but any one of them alone will bring you to death. It is not the case that, inflicted with a mortal wound, you may die —the wound is called
mortal precisely because as a consequence of it, you in fact do die. We most often understand a mortal wound in a posthumous context, that is to say, in the past tense: the person is already dead, and that is why his injury was called mortal.

It is of the nature of wounds that they are either the one or the other, although the non-mortal wound may be sufficiently grievous to cause lasting deformity or mutilation even if it does not culminate in death.


Physics, Bodies, and Bullets

Clearly, we wish to avoid both, but failing this we immediately tend the wound, see a physician, and apply the recommended remedy. The medicine may be bitter, or the therapy arduous, but we do not curse the doctor for that, still less the laws of physics brought to bear upon human anatomy, in the way, say, of projectiles and the like. Bullets do those things. We do not like it, and we would that bullets behaved otherwise, but the reality is that, however regrettable the result, we cannot, for that reason, alter the path of the bullet nor make it less fatal to the body. The consequences of this unfortunate concatenation of events are not within our will to change. I believe that we will all agree on this. We may argue that the bullet ought not have been shot, but having been shot we understand the inevitability of the result given laws inherent in physics, bodies and bullets.

That the trajectory of a projectile corresponds to a given amount of energy expended over a given distance — and intersected by the human tegument through which it subsequently passes causing death, is a terrible occurrence to be sure, but not one, in and of itself, that we are likely to imprecate. We do not rage against the laws of physics. Indeed, we would find such indignation ... odd, to say nothing of futile.

The laws inherent in physics and the constitution of the human body, are simply not amenable to our will, and we recognize this. We do not despair over it, but become terribly practical given this recognition: we avoid bullets. However great our outrage, we will not find a sane individual standing long in disputation against it ...

The reality we wish to avoid  — the reality avoided at all costs at the pulpit — is that Mortal Sin is deadly. You die as a result of it. Oh, not to yourself, and certainly not to the world. You will breathe and move and the world will applaud your posthumous existence. But you die to God — your life in God ceases. The fact as little pleases us as it pleases our preachers — sin has real, most often empirical and always inevitable consequences. The ability of sin to harm, and yes, even kill, is as real and as indifferent to our wishes as the laws of physics that impinge on our bodies.

In our post-enlightened, post-modern pretension to sophistication, we frankly find such a notion abhorrent to our effete sensitivities ... social sensitivities that we have so delicately honed upon the touchstone of correctitude.

On the one hand, we morally concede to the correlation between crime and punishment  —  and deem it “just” — but somehow never quite attain to any legitimate correspondence between sin and condemnation on the other. We attenuate our clemency in the courts of men, given the gravity of the crime, but do not attain to that same rigor in the tribunal of sin ... given the gravity of the sin. There are, apparently, no capital offenses in the City of God, even as they abound in the City of Man. A mortal life is held to be forfeit for a crime, but life immortal is not held forfeit for a sin.

It is an odd state of affairs that few of us believe that we can abolish crime, while most of us appear to believe that we have virtually abolished sin.

Crime, of course can in fact be abolished.

How?, you ask.

It is simplicity itself. Legitimize what is criminal. Account nothing a crime and you abolish the notion of crime itself — even as you leave the consequences intact.

But that is absurd!, you exclaim.

In very deed ...

A cursory review of civil legislation over the past 30 years reveals that, not only is it not absurd, but attains to policy:

  • Abortion

  • Sexual Deviance (homosexuality, lesbianism, transsexualism, transgenderism)

  • Homosexual “marriage”

  • Cohabitation

  • Pornography

  • Prostitution (England, Scotland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Philippines, offhand)

Few of us, I assume, would seek recourse to such a solution and for good reason. Legitimizing crime does not indemnify us against it — however much we hold ourselves to have abolished it. Yes?

We can say as much of sin.

In fact, we have said as much. Unlike the immediate consequences of crime, the consequences of sin — even temporally — are often deferred, less immediate ... and because we apprehend them as remote, as distant, as impending only, we dismiss them, for we fail to immediately see the terrible consequences they entail, consequences so terrible, so far-reaching, so much beyond our ken, that they have become effectively mythical, brooding like demons on some distant bourne that we obscurely perceive and never quite forget; an escarpment lost in light and shadow where life quite suddenly drops off that abrupt precipice to death. We know it ... because we know that we dance on the dead.


And now, Holy Confession ...
 

I am about to state something with which you are likely to disagree, and for good reason:

My parish Church is the holiest in all of Christendom; not just in the Archdiocese of Boston, but in all Massachusetts; very likely all New England — perhaps even the entire world.

You will disagree.

In fact, you know your own Catholic parish to be the holiest, perhaps the most sinless parish in the world, and we will both appeal to the same reasons for making this remarkable statement: during Holy Communion the pews are literally emptied.

There is not a sinner among us; at least no sinner guilty of Mortal Sin which prevents our going to Holy Communion, since — as all Catholics know — we add the tremendous sin of sacrilege to whatever mortal sin we carry if we receive Holy Communion while not in a state of grace — which is to say, free of mortal sin.

But as I ponder the empty pews, the stigma of being the sole sinner in the parish weighs heavily upon me as many look askance at my kneeling while all others scramble to make their way to communion — I at least wonder. Do Catholics, do all Catholics, do most Catholics, do at least some Catholics, even know what a mortal sin is any more? Do they know the difference between a mortal sin that sunders the soul from God, and a venial sin that merely impedes its union with God?

Since the entire congregation have had at least 8 years of Catechism, or Religious Education 8 to 10 years, mind you! — surely so simple, so basic, so fundamental a concept as the difference between serious sin and sins far less grievous in nature, is clearly apprehensible.

A very ready analogy may be to the point: in the civic world, all of us know (probably because the penalty is clearly comprehended, immediate and forthcoming) the difference between grievously unlawful, or capital offenses such as murder and grand larceny, and misdemeanors, like receiving a speeding ticket or maliciously destroying a neighbor’s property. It is a no-brainer. We do not think twice, or rather, we do think twice in a given situation about the sanctions and penalties involved. It is, we are told, the means by which we maintain a
civil, a mutually responsible, society.

We acknowledge the concept of justice and understand very clearly why it is maintained and what penalties are incurred if it is violated. We have no problem with that. After all, the law is not some gratuitous abstraction, and you are a fool if you think that you can trifle with it and walk away. If the breach is serious enough you are clapped in irons, removed from the community, and deprived of your liberty until justice has exacted its tribute, until you have paid your debt to society. By and large we are grateful for the severity of the law, even as its rigors make us uneasy. There, but for the grace of God, go I ...

We all recognize that our own behavior has not always been unimpeachable ... if not clearly actionable. We do not personally legislate parallel laws that contravene the laws of the state and hold, at any point of divergence, the private interpretation of the law to abrogate the public law. It is the opposite which is true. We may find the laws of the state repugnant to us, unamenable to our own inclinations, even contrary to our own convictions — in which case we are confronted with three clearly distinguishable alternatives: we can absent ourselves from the polity and choose to live elsewhere under a constitution that more closely corresponds with our desiderations and convictions, if such exists; we can continue to enjoy the collateral benefits in the present state that constrains us to abide by the laws through which it is defined and by which it is governed — or, we can seek to amend the law through the venues afforded us by the state.

What we cannot do is to enjoy the prerogatives of the state while either acting in defiance of it, or while subverting it. We understand this, and in fact underwrite it through maintaining our citizenship within it. We understand this broadly as a
pledge of allegiance.

In any event, we cannot construct a private and parallel universe of statutes and anticipate that the public universe of affairs will recognize, respect, and honor our privately legislated laws. If we choose to abide only by those laws of the state that we do not find disagreeable to us we have not attained to personal freedom, but to arbitrary license; not to civility, but to anarchy. We become both legislator and law. In such a solipsistic
society the legislature and the corpus of law are as numerous as the individuals legislating them.

Well and good.


But what of God' S Law?

Why, we must ask ourselves, is God’s Law somehow less important, less pertinent to our behavior? Why does it have less bearing upon our responsibilities and our choices — and, most especially — within Church? Is the Divine Law, are the laws of the Church, no more than pious and ultimately indolent sentiments — rather than clearly articulated precepts with very real corresponding sanctions and responsibilities — in other words, coherent laws?

Do we give tribute to Caesar but withhold it from God? Is the Fasces mightier than the Cross?

We are indeed a generation which had been nurtured on defiance to authority — only seeing now, in our own children, the fruit of that unbridled defiance which we nurtured in them even as we pretended to
deplore it. Our children were ... "independent ... not defiant, and we were proud — until we began to detoxify them, to rehabilitate their behavior, to trade notes with our neighbors on good analysts. And our kids still get the keys to the car, no matter how grievous their transgression ... their money for the mall — just as we still get Holy Communion, no matter how grievous our offenses against God. We are as blind to our sins as we have made our children blind to their own. After all, a good parent spares the rod and does not descend to primitive behavior such as punishing the child, no? And if we are such good parents — how much better God? Surely, there is no sin, no offense so grievous, or so trite, as to offend Him ... nothing we can ever do or say such that we would ever forfeit our right, not to the keys of the car but to the Kingdom of God, through the Bread of Angels ... Holy Communion — that you as arrogantly insist is as much your right as the keys to the car ...

Still pondering the empty pews, it would seem so. Perhaps it is the case that all the parishioners are in fact guiltless of civil crime, however petty (for these, too, are the stuff of Holy Confession) — as well as sin.

The truly defining question appears to be this: to whom, we must genuinely ask ourselves, do we owe more — to God or man? To the City of God or to the City of Man?

On your blithe way to Holy Communion, ponder this — especially given the ultimate sanction placed before us by no less an authority than Saint Paul:

Whosoever shall eat this bread or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the Body and of the Blood of the Lord.  (I Cor. 11:27)

... are you prepared to add sacrilege to your your sins?

Or has the notion of sacrilege itself gone the way of mortal sin ... also?

Go to Confession. You must go. It is the only antidote of Mortal Sin, and thus the antidote of death.

 

Geoffrey K. Mondello
Editor
Boston Catholic Journal

   Printable PDF Version

 


Martyrology for Today

Semen est sanguis Christianorum (The blood of Christians is the seed of the Church) Tertullian, Apologeticum, 50

 

ROMAN MARTYROLOGY

Wednesday July 6th in the Year of Grace 2022

Time after Pentecost

 


This Day, the Sixth Day of July

The Octave of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul.

In Judea, the holy prophet Isaias. In the reign of king Manasses he was put to death by being sawed in two and was buried beneath the oak Rogel, near a running stream.

At Rome, the birthday of St. Tranquillinus, martyr, father of the Saints Mark and Marcellian, who were converted to Christ by the preaching of the martyr St. Sebastian. Baptized by the blessed priest Polycarp, he was ordained priest by Pope St. Caius. He was arrested while praying at the tomb of blessed Paul on the Octave of the Apostles, and stoned to death by the Pagans, and thus consummated his martyrdom.

At Fiesoli, in Tuscany, St. Romulus, bishop and martyr, disciple of the blessed Apostle Peter, who commissioned him to preach the Gospel. After announcing Christ in many parts of Italy, he returned to Fiesoli, and was crowned with martyrdom with other Christians in the reign of Domitian.

In Campania, St. Dominica, virgin and martyr, in the time of the emperor Diocletian. For having destroyed idols, she was condemned to the beasts, but being uninjured by them, she was beheaded and departed for Heaven. Her body is kept with great veneration at Tropea, in Calabria.

The same day, St. Lucia, martyr, a native of Campania. Being arrested and severely tortured by the lieutenant-governor Rictiovarus, she converted him to Christ. To them were added Antoninus, Severinus, Diodorus, Dion, and seventeen others, who shared their sufferings and their crowns.

In the vicinity of Treves, St. Goar, priest and confessor.

At London in England, on Tower Hill, St. Thomas More, chancellor of the entire realm, who was beheaded by order of King Henry VIII for the defense of the Catholic faith and the primacy of blessed Peter.

At Nettuno in Lazio, St. Maria Goretti, a most devout young girl, who was savagely murdered for the defense of her virginity, and whom Pope Pius XII solemnly added to the catalogue of holy martyrs.

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)

 

 ℟. Thanks be to God.


 


Semen est sanguis Christianorum” — Tertullian


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!)

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
Editor
editor@boston-catholic-journal.com
Boston 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.


 

 

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