Monday, September 12, 2016, was the Feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary, the observance of which was instituted by Blessed Pope Innocent XI in 1683 shortly after the victory won by the King of Poland, Jan Sobieski, over the Mohammedans at the Battle of the Gates of Vienna, which had been fought to keep the infidels from overrunning the entirely of western Europe.
The Most Holy Name of Mary was invoked by Pope Innocent XI in 1683 as he prayed her Most Holy Rosary to retard the onslaught of the wanton killers who belong to the "religion of peace," as it has termed by former President George Walker Bush and Barack Hussein Obama/Barry Soetoro and honored by conciliar "pope" after conciliar "pope," including Jorge Mario Bergoglio in the past thirty months, Mohammedanism (see also Jorge's Plim Plim Religion and Not the First Time for "Uncle Teddy"). This is what Pope Saint Pius V had done as he prayed the Rosary on October 7, 1571, to support the combined Christian fleets as they battled the Turkish fleets in the Battle of Lepanto one hundred twelve years before.
Our Lady, who has crushed the head of the devil with her heel, is our sure refuge against all of the devil's minions (Freemasons, Mohammedans, adherents of the Talmud, secularists, political ideologues, heretics, apostates) in every age of history. Our Lady wants us to rely upon her to do battle with the devil and his minions in our own lives on a daily basis, enabling us to be ever ready to lift high the Cross of her Divine Son, at which she stood so valiantly on Good Friday (and at which she stands every time the Sacrifice of the Cross is re-presented in an unbloody manner in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass by a validly-ordained Catholic priest).
The Holy Cross of Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was lifted high throughout Europe during Christendom. The Crucifix was displayed prominently in every village and city and rural community. All eyes were thus fixed at every moment on the central fact of our Faith: that the Word Who was made Flesh in Our Lady's Virginal and Immaculate womb became Incarnate so that He could pay back in the Sacred Humanity He had received from His Most Blessed Mother by the power of the Holy Ghost the blood debt of sin that was owed to Him in His Infinity as God. Our Lord's total surrender of Himself to His Co-Eternal Father's will effected our redemption, making it thus possible for us to cooperate with the graces from He won for us by the shedding of every single drop of His Most Precious Blood on the Holy Cross as they are administered to us by Holy Mother Church in the sacraments. Salvation comes only from the One Who hung on the wood of the Cross as that Cross with His own Crucified Body affixed to It is held high by the Catholic Church.
Everyone on the face of this earth is meant to be converted to the Cross of Christ. Everyone on the face of the earth is meant to stand fast with Our Lady and all of the angels and saints at the offering of Holy Mass, particularly for Roman Rite Catholics at the Mass that Our Lord Himself taught the Apostles to offer before He Ascended to the Father's right hand in glory forty days after His Resurrection. The Cross of the Divine Redeemer is meant to permeate deep into every fabric of personal and social life. There is not one part of our own individual lives or of the larger life of our nation and that of the world that is not meant to be referenced absolutely and at all times to Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Crucified King of Love. Everything, without any exception whatsoever, must reference the Holy Cross, the instrument upon which our salvation was wrought.
We make the Sign of the Cross every time we start and close our prayers, invoking each of the three Persons of the Blessed Trinity. God the Father is appeased by the offering of His Son on the wood of the Holy Cross in Spirit and in Truth. God the Son is pleased to do the will of the Father in obedience and love to Him and out of love for the souls whose sins had made Him the blood sport of cruel men. The Third Person of the Most Blessed Trinity, God The Holy Ghost, Who hovered over the Cross on Good Friday, extends this one Sacrifice of the Cross in time through the sanctifying vivification He makes possible in the life of the Church and thus in the life of the souls who receive worthily the sacraments.
We make the Sign of the Cross every time we pass by a Catholic Church, signifying our recognition that Our Lord, although He sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty, is yet the Prisoner of Love in the tabernacle, just as He was the Prisoner of Love for us as He was knitted together in His Sacred Humanity for nine months in the tabernacle of Our Lady's Virginal and Immaculate womb.
We make the Sign of the Cross every time we bless ourselves or others (it should be a family practice for parents to bless their infant children with Holy Water in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost before they go to sleep, teaching them to do this for themselves as soon as they are able) with Holy Water, being reminded that our souls were reborn in the Baptismal font as the very inner life of the Blessed Trinity entered our souls by means of sanctifying (habitual) grace.
We should make the Sign of the Cross every time we get into our cars and pray one Hail Mary, invoking her as Our Lady of the Way, mindful that the Shadow of the Cross is meant to hover over us wherever we travel and it is Our Lord's victory on that same Cross that must impel us to journey in this mortal life as Catholics who give no quarter to secularism in any way, shape or form.
We should make the Sign of the Cross every time we begin any work or activity. Indeed, although I no longer support major league baseball with my own money and attendance, I do read about the sport now and again. And every once in a while there are stories about players, some of whom make the Sign of the Cross every time they go to the plate to bat, who do so after some incident. Former New York Mets' pitcher Rick Reed did so in the late 1990s when he caught a line drive that almost hit his head. Former Mets' outfielder Cliff Floyd, now retired, made the Sign of the Cross as fellow outfielders Carlos Beltran and Mike Cameron were carried off the field on stretchers following a collision at Petco Park in San Diego, California, in August of 2005. We should make the Sign of the Cross many times during the day as this helps us keep in mind that we are called to lift high the Cross always and everywhere and with everyone.
Every true bishop and true priest who offers the Immemorial Mass of Tradition makes the Sign of the Cross thirty-three times, one for each year of Our Lord's life on earth, as he offers the Spotless Victim of Calvary in an unbloody manner to the Father in Spirit and in Truth.
The Sign of the Cross will be made upon our lifeless corpses after we have breathed our last, teaching us that it is only because the Son of Man was lifted high on the Cross that we have even the remotest possibility of knowing an ending Easter Sunday of glory in Heaven.
The shadow of the Cross hung over Bethlehem, where the Newborn Babe was placed in a feeding trough, a manger, made of wood, a foreshadowing of the fact that He would be fastened by our sins to the wood of the Holy Cross, which has become for us the true manger from which we are fed His very Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in Holy Communion.
The Sign of the Cross is made by an alter Christus as He administers to use the saving balm of the Divine Mercy in the Sacrament of Penance, established by Our Lord after His Resurrection to be the Sacred Tribunal in which the merits of the shedding of His Most Precious Blood can be applied to the souls of erring sinners unto the Last Day through Holy Mother Church.
Images of the Holy Cross of the Divine Redeemer have worked countless prodigies through the centuries. Its very form has been impressed upon saints, including Saint Francis of Assisi (the Feast of the Impression of the Stigmata on Saint Francis in the calendar of Roman Rite of the Catholic Church is in in three days, that is, on Saturday, September 17, 2016) and Padre Pio, among others. Images of the Holy Cross have produced countless conversions, that's right, conversions, to the Catholic Church.
Consider the account of Potitus from Father A. J. O'Reilly's The Martyrs of the Coliseum:
The Acts [of Saint Felicitas] do not mention what was the age of Potitus when dragged before the tribunals to glorify God in the profession of his faith. From the words used we infer that he must have been very young. In one place he is called an infant, in another a little boy, and more frequently a boy. But, from the custom of those times, a person might be called a boy up to his twentieth year, and an infant to ten or twelve. Thus we venture to say that Potitus was not more than twelve or thirteen when the scenes in his extraordinary career commenced. His father was a pagan, named Hylas. He was opposed to Christianity, and persecuted his son on account of religious principles. How the son came to the knowledge of the Christian faith is not mentioned; but the Acts, as we quote from the Bollandists, commence this interesting record with a touching scene between the pagan father and the Christian child.
Hylas used entreaties and threats to change the determination of the young Potitus to remain a Christian. He tried in vain. The boy's mind was illumined by a celestial light, and the knowledge and perception of sacred truth raised him far above the stupidities of paganism. The father, finding him inexorable, was angry, and locked him up in one of the rooms of his house, telling him he would not give him meat or drink until he consented to abandon Christianity.
"Let us see if your God will help you now," muttered the angry father, as he drew the key from the door. He left Potitus locked up all night; but in the morning his excited feelings had subsided, and the father's love, which survives every passion, brought him again to the room where his son was confined. He found Potitus cheerfully and merry; love, surprise and curiosity rushed through his mind and urged a thousand questions. Assuming a tone of conciliation and affection, he entered into the following conversation with his son.
"O my son! I beseech thee, sacrifice to the gods. The Emperor Antoninus has issued orders that every one that will not sacrifice is to be put to the torture and exposed to the wild beasts. How I regret that you are my only son, and you are so foolish!"
"But, father, what gods am I to sacrifice to? What are their names?"
"You do not know my child, of Jupiter, Arpha, and Minerva?"
"Well, indeed, I never heard that God was called Jupiter, or Arpha, or Minerva. How could He have all these names? O father, if you only knew how powerful is the God of the Christians, who delivered Himself for us and saved us, you too would believe in Him. Do you not know, father, that a great prophet said, 'All the gods of the Gentiles are demons!' It was the Lord who made the heavens, not Jupiter, nor Arpha, nor Minerva."
"Where did you learn these things," asked Hylas, quickly and interrupting him.
"Ah! father," replied Potitus, mildly, "He whom I serve speaks through me; for He has said in His holy gospel, 'Do not think how or what you will say, for it will be given to you in that hour what to say.'"
"But, my child, do you not fear the punishments that are threatened to be inflicted on Christians? If you are brought before Antoninus, what will become of you? Those strange doctrines of yours will cause your flesh to be torn to pieces by hooks, and you will be eaten up by the lions."
Potitus smiled. A beam of heavenly joy lit up his beautiful countenance; drawing nearer to his father, he laced his hand on the old man's shoulder, and, looking affectionately at him, said, with much fervour and feeling--
"Father, you can never frighten me with these things. You must know e can do all things in Him who strengthens us. Did you ever hear that David alone killed Goliath with a stone, and cutting off his head with his sword showed it to all the people of Israel? His armour and strength was the name of the Lord. Yes, father," he continued after a momentary pause, "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, I am prepared to suffer everything for Jesus Christ."
Potitus made the sign of the cross and folding his little hands together he became wrapt in prayer. the father watched him in breathless silence. He heard his son speak, with a feeling of awe he could not account for. The courage, the piety, and eloquence of the saintly boy had already won his heart, and the supernatural influence of grace which Potitus drew down from heaven completed the work of his conversion. The holy youth, raising his head, made one more appeal; his words were accompanied by the more powerful eloquence of tears, and with all the feeling of his loving heart, he said to his father--
"O father! believe in our Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved. Those gods you serve have no existence, they cannot save you. I will tell you what they are, father! They are spirits that burn in a dreadful fire which they cannot extinguish. How can you be so mad as to worship a piece of coloured wood, or a statue of marble that cannot stir? It is as lifeless as the clay we tread on, as silent as stones at the bottom of the stream; the venomous reptiles that creep on the face of the earth have more power than your idols, for they can take your life away. O father! how can these senseless things have power against the great God who created everything, who stretched out the heavens in all their glory, and dressed our earth in all its beauty, who alone is powerful, and puts His foot on the head of the dragon and the lion?"
Another moment and Potitus was locked in the arms of his converted father. Their tears flowed in one stream to the ground--the tears of innocence and repentance. (Father A. J. O'Reilly, The Martyrs of the Coliseum.)
Here is another story from the remarkable life of Potitus, who sought to convert souls to the Cross of Christ as it is held high solely by the Catholic Church.
Challenged by some unbelievers in the city of Valeria, which was at the time the principal city of Sardinia, to cure a prominent woman who was sick with leprosy, Potitus performed a miracle that brought about the conversion of half of the city. After telling the woman that she had to believe in Our Lord before she could be cured:
Potitus knelt. All were silent. A number of slaves and attendants had now gathered into the room, for the eunuch had run to tell them that his mistress was going to be cured. After a few moments' pause, Potitus stretched out his arms, and turning his eyes toward heaven, prayed aloud--
"O Lord Jesus Christ, King of angels and Redeemer of souls! Thou hast said to Thy disciples, 'Make clean the leper, and raise the dead.' Grant to me, Thy servant, that Thy grace may descend on this woman, that this people may see Thou art God, and there is no other God than Thee."
He had scarcely finished his prayer, when a light flashed on the body of Quiriaca--she was cured. All her deformities disappeared; she sprung forth from her couch, seized the mirror; her skin became fairer than the purest Carara marble, tinted with the blush of the rose. The attendants gathered round in wonder, and their exclamations of joy and surprise filled the chamber with a confusion of sounds. Quiriaca could not contain herself; messengers were dispatched through the city to seek her husband--to call friends--to announce the joyful news. A few moments and the house, the portico, and the street were filled with people, and the miracle was told and re-told by a thousand tongues. The Acts [of Saint Felicitas] of this miracle was the conversion of half the city (media civitatis).
Potitus remained some time to contemplate the great work God had commenced. But finding too much honour and praise were lavished on him, he stole away once more to his favourite retreat on the hills. Almighty God wished him to prepare for other and greater wonders. Before leaving the city, he sent some of the most trustworthy of his converts to Rome, to announce to the holy Pope, Anicetus, the blessings God had conferred on the city of Valeria. A bishop and some zealous priests were sent to tend the flock; through their exertions the whole country round embraced the faith; which they never lost. The city of Valeria, however, has long since passed away; the beautiful but ill-kept cit of Cagliari stands near its ruins. (Father A. J. O'Reilly, The Martyrs of the Coliseum.)
Following Potitus's martyrdom at the hands of Emperor Antoninus, Father O'Reilly's The Martyrs of the Coliseum, which is available from TAN Books and Publisher, states:
The Acts say that about two thousand persons were converted. All went to their homes from the amphitheatre struck with wonder at what they had seen, and filled with the greatest sympathy for the powerful but persecuted Christians. For days and weeks afterwards, those startling scenes in the Coliseum were the topic of conversation in the lounging rooms of the Baths and the benches of the Forum. The pagans endeavored to explain all their mysteries by omnipotent magic, whilst the Christians sang their hymns of thanksgiving to the true God for the manifestation of His glory. (Father A. J. O'Reilly, The Martyrs of the Coliseum.)
The glorious story of Potitus, one of countless such stories in The Martyrs of the Coliseum, is just one example of how Catholics in the first centuries of the Church feared not to lift high the Cross and to seek the conversion of all people at all times to the true Faith, doing so especially by bearing their share of hardship, as Saint Paul says, that the Gospel entails. That is, we must lift high the Cross after we embrace it in our lives, accepting all of the travails of daily living and all of the unforeseen tragedies that might befall us as occasions to unite ourselves with the Cross of Christ by offering them all through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary.
This great feast commemorates calls to mind the recovery of the True Cross by Emperor Heraclius I of Constantinople:
In the year 627, during the reign of the emperor Heraclius I of Constantinople, the Persians conquered the city of Jerusalem and removed from its venerable Sanctuary the major part of the true Cross of Our Lord, which Saint Helen, mother of the emperor Constantine, had left there after discovering it on Calvary. The emperor resolved to win back by combat this precious object, the new Ark of the Covenant for the new people of God. Before he left Constantinople with his army, Heraclius went to the church wearing black in the spirit of penance; he prostrated himself before the altar and begged God to sustain his courage. And on leaving he took with him a miraculous image of the Saviour, determined to combat with it even unto death.
Heaven visibly assisted the valiant emperor, for his army won victory after victory. One of the conditions of the peace treaty was the return of the Cross of Our Lord, in the same condition as when it was removed. Heraclius on his return was received in Constantinople by the acclamations of the people; with olive branches and torches, they went out to meet him. And the true Cross was honored, on this occasion, in a magnificent triumph.
The emperor wished to give thanks to God by going in person to Jerusalem to return this sacred wood, which had been in the power of the pagans for fourteen years. When he reached the Holy City, he placed the precious relic on his shoulders, but when he came to the gate leading out to Calvary, it became impossible for him to go forward. He was greatly astonished, and those in attendance were stupefied. “Take care, O Emperor!” said the Patriarch Zachary to him. “Certainly the imperial clothing you are wearing does not sufficiently resemble the poor and humiliated condition of Jesus carrying His cross.” Heraclius was touched on hearing this; he removed his shoes and his imperial robes, adorned with gold and jewels. Wearing a poor man’s tunic, he was able to go up to Calvary and depose there his glorious burden. To give greater brilliance to this triumphant march, God permitted several miracles to occur by the power of the Cross of Christ. A dead man returned to life, four paralytics were cured; ten lepers recovered their health and fifteen blind persons their sight; many possessed persons were delivered from the evil spirit, and a large number of sick persons were completely cured. (From The Lives of the Saints For Every Day of the Year, by Abbe Jaud, and The Lives of the Saints, by Monsignor Paul Guerin)
A similar account is found in the readings from Matins in today’s Divine Office:
Chosroes of Persia, having, in the last days of the reign of the Emperor Phocas, overrun Egypt and Africa, in 614, took Jerusalem, where he slaughtered thousands of Christians and carried off to Persia the Cross of the Lord, which Helen had put upon Mount Calvary. Heraclius, the successor of Phocas, moved by the thought of the hardships and horrid outrages of war, sought for peace, but Chosroes, drunken with conquest, would not allow of it even upon unfair terms. Heraclius therefore, being set in this uttermost strait, earnestly sought help from God by constant fasting and prayer, and through His good inspiration gathered an army, joined battle with the enemy, and prevailed against three of Chosroes his chief captains, and three armies.
Chosroes was broken by these defeats, and when in his flight, in 628, he was about crossing the Tigris, he proclaimed his son Medarses partner in his kingdom. Chosroes' eldest son Siroes took this slight to heart, and formed a plot to murder his father and brother, which plot he brought to effect soon after they had come home. Then he got the kingdom from Heraclius upon certain terms, whereof the first was that he should give back the Cross of the Lord Christ. The Cross therefore was received back after that it had been fourteen years in the power of the Persians, and (in 629) Heraclius came to Jerusalem and bore it with solemn pomp unto the Mount whereunto the Saviour had borne it.
This event was marked by a famous miracle. Heraclius, who was adorned with gold and jewels, stayed perforce at the gateway which leadeth unto Mount Calvary, and the harder he strove to go forward, the harder he seemed to be held back, whereat both himself and all they that stood by were sore amazed. Then spake Zacharias, Patriarch of Jerusalem, saying: See, O Emperor, that it be not that in carrying the Cross attired in the guise of a Conqueror thou showest too little of the poverty and lowliness of Jesus Christ. Then Heraclius cast away his princely raiment and took off his shoes from his feet, and in the garb of a countryman easily finished his journey, and set up the Cross once more in the same place upon Calvary whence the Persians had carried it away. That the Cross had been put by Heraclius in the same place wherein it had first been planted by the Saviour caused the yearly Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross to become the more famous thenceforward. (Matins, The Divine Office, Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.)
There is a lesson here: we must be humble to carry whatever crosses God in His infinite wisdom and mercy chooses to send us for our sanctification and salvation, desiring us to offer these crosses back to Him through Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart as her consecrated slaves. We must pray for crosses. The cross is the path of our salvation. Perhaps most importantly, we must thank God from the bottom of our hearts for each cross we are asked to carry, no matter how seemingly heavy, as each cross is a sign that God is not yet through with our sanctification. We should worry when God does not send us crosses!
Dom Prosper Gueranger, O.S.B., summarized the history and the beauty of today's feast in his The Liturgical Year:
'Through thee the precious cross is honoured and worshipped throughout the world.' Thus did Saint Cyril of Alexandria apostrophize our Lady on the morrow of that great day, which saw her divine maternity vindicated at Ephesus. Eternal Wisdom has willed that the octave of Mary's birth should be honoured by the celebration of this feat of the triumph of the holy cross. The cross indeed is the standard of God's armies, whereof Mary is the Queen; it is by the cross that she crushes the serpent's head, and wins so many over error, and over the enemies of the Christian name.
'By this sign thou shalt conquer.' Satan had been suffered to try his strength against the Church by persecution and tortures; but his time was drawing to an end. By the edict of Sardice, which emancipated the Christians, Galerius, when about to die, acknowledged the powerlessness of hell. Now as the time for Christ to take the offensive, and for His cross to prevail. Towards the close of the year 311, a Roman army lay at the foot of the Alps, preparing to pass from Gaul into Italy. Constantine, its commander, thought only or revenging himself for an injury received from Maxentius, his political rival; but his soldiers, as unsuspecting as their chief, already belonged henceforward to the Lord of hosts. This Son of the Most High, having become, as Son of Mary, king of this world, was about to reveal Himself to His first lieutenant, and, at the same time, to discover His first army the standard that was go to before it. Above the legions, in a cloudless sky, the cross, proscribed for three long centuries, suddenly shone forth; all eyes beheld it, making the western sun, as it were, its footstool, and surrounded with these words of characters of fire: IN HOC VINCE: by this be thou conqueror! A few months later, October 27, 312, all the idols of Rome stood aghast to behold, approaching along the Flaminian Way, beyond the bridge Milvius, the Labarum with its sacred monogram, now become the standard of the of the imperial armies. On the morrow was fought the decisive battle, which opened the gates of the eternal city to Christ, the only God, the everlasting King.
'Hail, O cross, formidable to all enemies, bulwark of the Church, strength of princes; hail in thy triumph! the sacred Wood still lay hidden in the earth, yet it appeared in the heavens announcing victory; and an emperor, become Christian, raised up from the bowels of the earth.' Thus sang the Greek Church yesterday, in preparation for the joys of today; for the east, which has not our peculiar feast of May 3 [that is, the Finding of the Holy Cross by Saint Helena, mother of Constantine--TAD], celebrates on this day on the solemnity of both the overthrow of idolatry by the sign of salvation revealed to Constantine and his army, and the discovery of the holy cross a few years later in the cistern of Golgotha.
But another celebration, the memory of which is fixed by the Menology on September 13, was added in the year 335 to the happy recollections of this day; namely, the dedication of the basilicas raised by Constantine on Mount Calvary and over the holy sepulchre, after the precious discoveries made by his mother St. Helena. In the very same century that witnessed all these events, a pious pilgrim, thought to be St. Silvia, sister of Rufinas the minister of Theodosius and Arcadius, attested that the anniversary of this dedication was celebrated with the same solemnity as Easter and the Epiphany. There was an immense concourse of bishops, clerics, monks, and seculars of both sexes, from every province; and the reason, she says, is that the 'cross was found on this day'; which motive led to the choice of the same day for the primitive consecration, so that the two joys might be united into one. '
Though not being aware of the nearness of the dedication of Saint Anastasia, or church of the Resurrection, to the feast of the holy cross, many have misunderstood the discourse pronounced on this fest by Sophronius the holy patriarch of Jerusalem. ‘It is the feast of the cross; who would not exult? It is the triumph of the Resurrection; who would not be full of joy? Formerly, the cross led to the Resurrection; now it is the Resurrection that introduces us to the cross. Resurrection and cross: trophies of our salvation!’ And the pontiff then developed the introduction resulting from this connexion.
It appears to have been about the same time that the west also began to unite in a certain manner these two great mysteries; leaving to September 14 the other memories of the holy cross, the Latin Churches introduced into Paschal Time a special feast of the finding of the Wood of redemption. In compensation, the present solemnity acquired a new lustre to its character of triumph by the contemporaneous events, which, as we shall see, form the principal subject of the Roman liturgy.
A century earlier, St. Benedict had appointed this day for the commemoration of the period of penance known as the monastic Lent, which continues till the opening of Lent proper, when the whole Christian army joins the ranks of the cloister in the campaign of fasting and abstinence. ‘The cross.’ says St. Sophronius, ‘is brought before our minds; who will not crucify himself? The true worshipper of the sacred Word is he who carries out his worship in his deeds.’ (Dom Prosper Gueranger, O.S.B., The Litugical Year, Time After Pentecost, Book V, pp. 196-199.)
Indeed, who will not crucify himself? We must do so as we seek to worship Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, He Who won the victory over the power of sin and eternal death on the wood of the Holy Cross, with our deeds, not only by means of our words.
Dom Prosper Gueranger, O.S.B., explained that the world of mid-Nineteenth Century of his day was experiencing renewed efforts to tear down the standard of the Holy Cross as the foundation of personal life and social order. Those efforts had the same proximate source one hundred fifty years ago that they continue to have today: the ancient enemies of the Cross of Christ the King Whose spiritual ancestors, motivated, of course, by our own sins having transcended time, affixed Him to the gibbet of the Holy Cross on which He was effecting their very own redemption despite of their mockery and castigation as they took delight in His sufferings and torments:
The victory thus chronicled in the sacred books of the Church, was not, O cross, thy last triumph; nor were the Persians thy latest enemies. At the very time of the defeat of these fire-worshippers, the prince of darkness was raising up a new standard, the crescent. By the permission of God, whose ensign thou art, and who, having come on earth to struggle like us, flees not before any foe, Islam also was about to try its strength against thee: a two-fold power, the sword, and the seduction of the passions. But here again, alike in the secret combats between the soul and satan, as in the great battles recorded in history, the final success was due to the weakness and folly of Calvary.
Thou, O Cross, wert the rallying-standard of all Europe in those sacred expeditions which borrowed from their beautiful title of crusades, and which exalted the Christian name in the east. While on the one hand thou wert thus warding off degradation and ruin, on the other thou wert preparing the conquest of new continents; so that it is by thee that our west remains at the head of nations. Through thee, the warriors in these glorious campaigns are inscribed on the first pages of the golden book of nobility. And now the new orders of chivalry, which claim to hold among their ranks the elite of the human race, look upon thee as the highest mark of merit and honour. It is the continuation of to-day's mystery, the exaltation, even in our times of decadence, of the holy cross, which in past ages was the standard of legions, and glittered on the diadems of emperors and kings.
If it is true, men have appeared in France, who have made it their aim to overthrow the sacred signs, wheresoever our father had honoured it. This invasion of the servants of Pilate into the country of the crusaders was inexplicable, until it was discovered that they were in Jewish pay. These, as St. Leo says of the Jews in to-day's Office, see in the instrument of salvation nothing but their own crime; and their guilty conscience makes them hire, to pull down the holy cross, the very men whom they formerly paid to set it up [on Calvary to Crucify Our Lord]. The coalition of such enemies is but one more homage to thee! O adorable cross, our glory and our love here on earth, save us on the day when thou shalt appear in the heavens, when the Son of Man, seated in His majesty, is to judge the world! (Dom Prosper Gueranger, O.S.B., The Liturgical Year, Time After Pentecost, Book V,pp. 201-203.)
As Dom Gueranger alluded, the enemies of the Cross of Christ, the Jews, the Mohammedans, the Freemasons, the Bolsheviks, and all manner of secular constitutionalists seek to bury the Cross of Christ as It is held high by the Catholic Church just as surely Emperor Hadrian had done with the True Cross in Jerusalem in the Second Century A.D. The devil knows that the Cross is the instrument of the conversion of the Jews, the Mohammedans, the Freemasons, the Protestants (most of whom hate Crucifixes), Bolsheviks and the ideologues who are wedded to a containing words that do not once mention the Divine Redeemer as the standard of national order.
We must never prove ourselves to be enemy of the Cross of the Divine Redeemer.
We must never permit ourselves to instruments of the Talmudic effort to bury the Holy Cross from the sight of men more and more by giving any credence, no less active and vocal support, to naturalists, whether of the “left” or of the right,” who, despite their relatively minor differences on matters of policy, are completely uniting in their false, heretical, and blasphemous belief that it is possible for nations to know true unity and authentic social order absent man’s visible homage to the standard of the Holy Cross which we must always lift high and never be ashamed to call our own.
That is why we must, as Pope Pius XI noted in Quas Primas, December 11, 1925, proclaim the Name of Our Lord fearlessly as we keep Him company with Our Lady at the foot of the Cross at Holy Mass every day. Pope Pius XI put it directly and without any equivocation:
While nations insult the beloved name of our Redeemer by suppressing all mention of it in their conferences and parliaments, we must all the more loudly proclaim his kingly dignity and power, all the more universally affirm his rights. (Pope Pius XI, Quas Primas, December 11, 1925.)
Let's face facts: this has not been done by the conciliar "popes," who believe that "dialogue" and "encounter" will effect justice within nations and peace among them.
None of the conciliar "popes" have ever uttered even one word of what Pope Pius XI wrote in Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio, December 23, 1922:
It is possible to sum up all We have said in one word, "the Kingdom of Christ." For Jesus Christ reigns over the minds of individuals by His teachings, in their hearts by His love, in each one's life by the living according to His law and the imitating of His example. Jesus reigns over the family when it, modeled after the holy ideals of the sacrament of matrimony instituted by Christ, maintains unspotted its true character of sanctuary. In such a sanctuary of love, parental authority is fashioned after the authority of God, the Father, from Whom, as a matter of fact, it originates and after which even it is named. (Ephesians iii, 15) The obedience of the children imitates that of the Divine Child of Nazareth, and the whole family life is inspired by the sacred ideals of the Holy Family. Finally, Jesus Christ reigns over society when men recognize and reverence the sovereignty of Christ, when they accept the divine origin and control over all social forces, a recognition which is the basis of the right to command for those in authority and of the duty to obey for those who are subjects, a duty which cannot but ennoble all who live up to its demands. Christ reigns where the position in society which He Himself has assigned to His Church is recognized, for He bestowed on the Church the status and the constitution of a society which, by reason of the perfect ends which it is called upon to attain, must be held to be supreme in its own sphere; He also made her the depository and interpreter of His divine teachings, and, by consequence, the teacher and guide of every other society whatsoever, not of course in the sense that she should abstract in the least from their authority, each in its own sphere supreme, but that she should really perfect their authority, just as divine grace perfects human nature, and should give to them the assistance necessary for men to attain their true final end, eternal happiness, and by that very fact make them the more deserving and certain promoters of their happiness here below.
It is, therefore, a fact which cannot be questioned that the true peace of Christ can only exist in the Kingdom of Christ -- "the peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ." It is no less unquestionable that, in doing all we can to bring about the re-establishment of Christ's kingdom, we will be working most effectively toward a lasting world peace. (Pope Pius XI, Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio, December 23, 1922.)
We must lift high the Cross of Christ, not reaffirm the Masonic principles of the United Nations as the foundation of world peace.
The Crusaders of yore held high the Cross of Christ. So must we.
Missionaries held high the Cross of Christ. So must we.
Martyrs, including the North American Martyrs, gave up their lives as they held high the standard of the Holy Cross as the only foundation of personal and social order. So must we, especially in the circumstances of our own daily lives, something that was emphasized by Father Edward Leen in Why the Cross?
Why God should have decreed that the obedience of His Son should be expressed through the awful sufferings of the Passion, when it might have been expressed in a ritual act involving no such pain, is a secret of His inscrutable designs. All we can now is that the sacrifice of Calvary was decreed out of a merciful regard for man.
St. Thomas, while not pretending to solve this great mystery of pain, shows how, practically, the dreadful sufferings of Christ on Calvary aid man to profit by the salvation that these sufferings have merited for him. He points out that, though from the very beginning of His conception Jesus merited the divine life of grace for men, yet their remained obstacles to their profiting to the grace so won for them. The Passion was directed toward the removal of those obstacles.
Calvary brings home to men in a vivid way the great gravity of sin and the terrible tribulation that awaits it. The Passion, bringing home to the imagination, as well as to the mind, the loathsomeness of sin and the chastisement that it merits, act as a powerful deterred from evil. Calvary, by its example, encourages that heroism which is often demanded of men if they are to prove faithful to God in times of great trial and temptation. Above all, it moves men to the love of God, Who, in surrendering Himself to death on their account, gives such a convincing proof of His love for them. Love is, in final account, the great force in life, for love alone can inspire that sacrifice which is the price of unwavering fidelity to the Lord.
Every Christian who proves himself faithful in his vocation will deduce form his own experience the wisdom of the divine decree. He will learn by practical experience that it is only through contemplating with faith the sufferings of the Man-God that he nerves himself to abide in obedience to the Lord in spite of the hardships that such obedience so frequently entails. In a world that is ever at with Christ and His ideals, there is a constant call for heroism if one is to persevere to the end in loyalty to God. The Cross, is for the Christian, the standard that rouses his courage to withstand bravely the assault of the consequences with Christ, risen from the dead, “to walk in newness of life.”
Christ has traced for the Christian the path he most follow if he is to achieve himself and conquer happiness.
The life of Christ on earth was a career of conquest, closing in on the magnificent triumph of entry into heaven on the day of the Ascension. The Christian who wishes to share in Christ’s victory must be prepared to take active part in Christ’s struggle. He must, in other words, display, in conflict with the adverse forces within and without himself, the moral and spiritual qualities of his Leader.
The great obstacles to final success in this welfare of the spirit are the concupiscence of the flesh, the concupiscence of the eyes, and the pride of life. If the Christian is to cleave his way to the peace that surpasseth all understanding, and the happiness which such peace gives, the concupsicences must be beaten down and reduced to a state of impotence. The poverty, chastity, and obedience of Christ are he weapons with which this result is achieved. These are the moral qualities of which Christ’s life was the sustained expression.
The Christian will catch a reflection of Christ’s noble distinction if he emulates Christ’s grand independence of men and things. His contempt for purely fictitious glory, and His utter disregard for any honor except that which comes of God’s approval bestowed on a man’s life and actions. He will capture something of Christ’s moral grandeur if, reproducing something of Christ’s chastity, he attains to that majesty of spirit over matter which leaves the will free to expand in the purest love for God and man. He will clothe himself with a measure of Christ’s serene sovereignty if, acquiring Christ’s humility, he brings his nature to its highest in harmonizing it completely with the mind and will of its Creator and Sovereign Lord. In this lies the achievement of perfect truth: through this the Christian attains the excellence that comes of the flawless realization of the divine ideal of manhood. Undeniably, all this involves bitter suffering for man’s fallen nature, but the follower of Christ must be ready to sacrifice with Him if he wishes ‘to be glorified with Him.’ (Father Edward Leen, S.J., Why the Cross?, originally published by Sheed & Ward in 1938, and republished in 2001 by Scepter Publishers, Princeton, New Jersey, pp. 310-312.)
We must always beg Our Lady's help as she, who stood so valiantly at the foot of the Holy Cross of her Divine Son atop Golgotha on Good Frday, stands at the foot our own daily crosses, and she sends us all the graces that we need to lift high those crosses with joy, love, and gratitude as befits redeemed creatures who were recreated on the wood of that same Holy Cross.
Our Lady has appeared to us in the past five centuries to convert souls to the Catholic Church, not to any other. Over nine million souls were converted to the true Faith following her apparition to Juan Diego at Guadalupe in 1531.
Our Lady has appeared to us in the past five centuries to proclaim the Holy Name of her Divine Son, not to bury it in favor of some Masonic concept of universal brotherhood and "inter-religious" solidarity. She is the Mediatrix of All Graces, as she taught Saint Catherine Laboure.
Our Lady has appeared to us in the past five centuries to remind all people at all times they must stand with her at the foot of her Divine Son's Holy Cross, on which was won our redemption
Our Lady began her apparition to Saint Bernadette with the Sign of the Cross, reminding us that we must plant firmly the Cross of Christ in our own souls, in our own homes, and publicly in the soil of the lands in which we live.
Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary is adorned with a Crucifix, reminding us that she stood beneath her Divine Son's Holy Cross for three excruciating hours, suffering the Fifth Sword of Sorrow being pierced through her Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart as she suffered completely with her Divine Son as our Co-Redemptrix. We must stand with her at the foot of her Divine Son's Cross every day in the true offerings of the Immemorial Mass of Tradition.
Saint Joseph blessed the crowd at Fatima on October 13, 1917, making the Sign of the Cross three times with his foster-Child. It was shortly thereafter that Our Lord was seen carrying in His Cross by Lucia dos Santos as Our Lady or Sorrows appeared to her.
May Our Lady's Fatima Message be fulfilled in our lifetimes. May the Triumph of her Immaculate Heart be celebrated in every heart and on every tongue and in every land by lifting high the Cross of the Divine Redeemer and singing Its praises.
Hail, O Holy Cross, the instrument of our salvation, the instrument of providing human beings with the only liberty that matters: from sin and the power of eternal death effected by the offering of the God-Man, Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, to the Father in Spirit and in Truth on Good Friday.
Hail, O Holy Cross, the Sacrifice of which is extended in our midst every time an alter Christus offers Holy Mass and says Hoc est enin Corpus Meam, Hic est enim Calix Sanguinis, Novi et aeterni testamenti, mysterium fidei: qui pro vobis et pro multis, effundetur in remissionem peccatorum.
Hail, O Holy Cross, our only glorious and precious hope!
Hail, O Holy Cross, now and forever!
Hail, O Holy Cross, our only glorious and precious hope!
The reliquary of the True Cross, the Church of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, Rome, Italy, May 22, 2005.
The relic of the True Cross is in the vertical and horizontal beams of the Cross in the photograph. The beam of wood outside of the Cross is from the cross of Saint Dismas. The case on the upper left of the Cross contains the goldened finger of Saint Thomas the Apostled that probed Our Lords five wounds. The case on the upper right contains two of the thorns from the Crown of Thorns. The case on the lower left contains one of the nails that our sins had caused to be hammered into Our Lord's Holy Body. The case on the lower right contains the wooden inscription carved out in four languages at the behest of Pontius Pilate and placed over Our Lord's Head: Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.
Omnia instaurare in Christo.
Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us!
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our deaths. Amen.
All to you, Blessed Mother. All to your Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, we love you. Save souls!
Viva Cristo Rey! Vivat Christus Rex!
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.
Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.