Although I am writing my next article, it is not possible to complete it now without losing the rest that is necessary as I attempt to recover from the spinal injuries incurred thirty-two days ago now. However, most of this afternoon and evening will be spent finalizing its text for publication by tomorrow, the Feast of Saint Jane Frances de Chantal.
Yesterday, Saturday, August 19, 2017, was the one hundredth anniversary of Our Lady's fourth apparition to Jacinta and Francisco Marto and their cousin Lucia dos Santos. This particular apparition was delayed for six days because the children were being held by the Mayor of Ourem, Portugal, who tried to intimiate them into recanting their testimony about what they had seen and heard on the thirteenth of each of the preceding three months.
As is well known, Jacinta and Francisco Marto and their cousin Lucia dos Santos were spirited away by the atheistic Mayor of Ourem, Portugal Artur de Oliveira Santos, the founding president of the local Masonic lodge, on August 13, 1917, in order to intimidate them into denouncing the apparitions of the "beautiful Lady"in the Cova da Iria in Fatima. The three children were thrown into jail, where they prayed Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary at around noontime on August 13, the time that Our Lady was scheduled to appear to them in the Cova da Iria. The Mayor of Ourem then took the children to his own home, where he threatened to boil them alive in oil. His threats were to no avail. He had to give up when the children preferred to face death rather than to renounce their beautiful Lady, who had shown them a vision of Hell a month before and had asked them to promote devotion to Her Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart.
Artur de Oliveira Santos had the sense to give up when he knew that he could not get anywhere with Jacinta, Francisco and Lucia, whose own parents had their doubts about the Heavenly visions they claimed to have seen in the Cova da Iria. Although Artur Santos released the three children on the Feast of the Assumption, August 15, 1918, he refused to believe in Our Lady of Fatima even after the Miracle of the Sun, working to thwart a procession to the Cova da Iria on May 13, 1920, and involved in the plot that resulted in the roof of the chapel in the Cova being blown off on March 6, 1921 (the date of my own late mother's birth in Kansas City, Missouri), as two bombs near the holm oak tree atop which stood Our Lady during her visits failed to explode.(See The 1921 Bombing of the Shrine of Fatima by the Freemasons.) The Mayor of Ourem, a bitter atheist, hated the Mother of God and wanted to do everything in his power to stop belief in the Fatima Message.
It is no accident, therefore, that Our Lady chose to appear to the three shepherd children on August 19, 1917, after they had been freed as each of the date she appeared had a connection with the liturgical feast of the day. Specifically, August 19 was the feast of Blessed John Eudes, who would be canonized by Pope Pius XI on May 31, 1925, a date that Pope Pius XII would designate in 1954 for the Feast of the Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Our Lady's delayed apparition to Jacinta, Francisco and Lucia on the feast of Blessed John Eudes, therefore, has highly significant as he helped to propagate devotion to Our Lady's Most Pure Heart, which he taught was inseparable from the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Saint John Eudes, whose feast was celebrated yestreday, Saturday, August 19, 2017, helped to establish formal devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus some thirty years before the revelations that Our Lord gave to Sister Margaret Mary Alacoque. He also promoted devotion to the Holy Heart of Mary. His own priestly heart was such that he stressed the importance of priests to have the very Hearts of Jesus and Mary in the confessional, exhorting sinners to amend their lives, to be sure, but doing so with an understanding of the frailties of fallen human nature and the manner in which Our Lord wants His Mercy to be extended to the souls for whom He shed every single drop of His Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross. Saint John Eudes will help us to trust in the tender Mercies of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary during these times of apostasy and betrayal, especially as we pray the Holy Rosary to which he was so personally devoted.
The readings for Matins in yesterday's Divine Office taught us about the remarkable life of this great apostle of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Most Pure Heart of Mary:
John was born in the year 1601, of pious and respectable parents, at a village commonly known as Ri, in the diocese of Seez. While still a boy, when he was fed with the bread of Angels, he cheerfully made a vow of perpetual chastity. Having been received at the College of Caen, directed by the Fathers of the Society of Jesus, he was conspicuous for a remarkable piety; and, committing himself to the protection of the Virgin Mary, when still a youth he signed with his own blood, the special covenant he had entered into with her. Having completed his courses of letters and of philosophy with great distinction, and having spurned opportunities of marriage which had been arranged for him, he enrolled himself with the Congregation of the Oratory de Bérulle, and was ordained priest at Paris. He was on fire with a marvellous love towards his neighbour: for he took the most constant pains in caring for both the souls and bodies of those smitten with the Asiatic plague, in many different places. He was made Rector of the Oratorian house at Caen, but since he had been thinking for a long time of educating suitable young men for the ministry of the Church, earnestly asking for the divine assistance, with a brave spirit he most regretfully departed from the associates with whom he had lived for twenty years.
Accordingly, associating five priests with himself, in the year 1643, on the feastday of the Annunciation of the blessed Virgin Mary, he founded a Congregation of Priests, to whom he gave the most holy names of Jesus and Mary, and opened the first seminary at Caen; and a great many others followed immediately in Normandy and Brittany, also founded by him. For the recalling of sinful women to a Christian life, he founded the Order of Our Lady of Charity; of which most noble tree, the Congregation of the Good Shepherd of Angers is a branch. Furthermore, he founded the Society of the Admirable Heart of the Mother of God, and other charitable institutions. He was the author of many excellent treatises, and laboured as an Apostolic Missionary to the very end of his life, preaching the Gospel in very many villages, towns, and cities, and even in the royal court.
His matchless zeal was very conspicuous in promoting the salutary devotion towards the most sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, whose liturgical worship he was the first of all to devise, although not without some divine inspiration. He is therefore held to be the father, the teacher, and the apostle of that worship. Courageously withstanding the doctrines of the Jansenists, he preserved unalterable obedience towards the Chair of Peter, and he constantly prayed to God, both for his enemies as well as for his brethren. Broken by so many labours, rather than by years, desiring to be freed and to be with Christ, on the 19th day of August, 1680, frequently repeating the sweet names of Jesus and Mary, he died in peace. As he became illustrious by many miracles, Pope Pius X added him to the list of the Blessed, and as he still shone forth with new signs and wonders, Pope Pius XI, in the holy year and on the day of Pentecost, placed him among the Saints, and extended his Office and Mass to the universal Church. (Matins, The Divine Office, Feast of Saint John Eudes.)
Perhaps we can, in honor of Saint John Eudes and his deep connection to Our Lady, recite this salutation of his to Our Lady, who is meant to reign as the Queen of all men and all nations here on earth:
Hail Mary! Daughter of God the Father.
Hail Mary! Mother of God the Son.
Hail Mary! Spouse of God the Holy Ghost.
Hail Mary! Temple of the Most Blessed Trinity.
Hail Mary! Pure Lily of the Effulgent Trinity. God.
Hail Mary!! Celestial Rose of the ineffable Love of God.
Hail Mary! Virgin pure and humble, of whom the King of Heaven willed to be born and with thy milk to be nourished.
Hail Mary! Virgin of Virgins.
Hail Mary! Queen of Martyrs, whose soul a sword transfixed.
Hail Mary! Lady most blessed: Unto whom all power in Heaven and earth is given.
Hail Mary! My Queen and my Mother! My Life, my sweetness and my Hope.
Hail Mary! Mother most Amiable.
Hail Mary! Mother most Admirable.
Hail Mary! Mother of Divine Love.
Hail Mary! IMMACULATE! Conceived without sin!
Hail Mary Full of Grace. The Lord is with Thee! Blessed art Thou amongst Women and Blessed is the Fruit of Thy Womb, Jesus!
Blessed be thy Spouse, St. Joseph.
Blessed be thy Father, St. Joachim.
Blessed be thy Mother, St. Anne.
Blessed be thy Guardian, St. John.
Blessed be thy Holy Angel, St. Gabriel.
Glory be to God the Father, who chose thee.
Glory be to God the Son, who loved thee.
Glory be to God the Holy Ghost, who espoused thee.
O Glorious Virgin Mary, may all men love and praise thee.
Holy Mary, Mother of God! Pray for us and bless us, now, and at death in the Name of Jesus, thy Divine Son
Today, Sunday, August 20, 2017, is the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost and the Commemoration of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, who helped to revive devotion to Our Lady in the Twelfth Century, five hundred years before the birth of Saint John Eudes.
Here is an account of the life of this wonderful client of Our Lady, Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, a defender of the Catholic Faith and a Doctor of Holy Mother Church, as found in the readings for Matins in today’s Divine Office:
Bernard was born (in the year of salvation 1091) at a decent place in Burgundy called Fontaines. On account of extraordinary good looks, he was as a boy very much sought after by women, but he could never be turned aside from his resolution to keep chaste. To fly from these temptations of the devil, he determined at two-and-twenty years of age to enter the Monastery of Citeaux, whence the Cistercian Order took its rise. When this resolution of Bernard's became known, his brothers did all their diligence to change his purpose, but he only became the more eloquent and happy about it. Them and others he so brought over to his mind, that thirty young men entered the same Order along with him. As a monk he was so given to fasting, that as often as he had to eat, so often he seemed to be in pain. He exercised himself wonderfully in watching and prayer, and was a great lover of Christian poverty. Thus he led on earth an heavenly life, purged of all care and desire for transitory things.
He was a burning and shining light of lowliness, mercifulness, and kindness. His concentration of thought was such, that he hardly used his senses except to do good works, in which latter he acted with admirable wisdom. Thus occupied, he refused the Bishoprics of Genoa, Milan, and others, which were offered to him, declaring that he was unworthy of so high a sphere of duty. Being made Abbat of Clairvaux in 1115, he built monasteries in many places, wherein the excellent rules and discipline of Bernard long flourished. When Pope Innocent II., in 1138, restored the monastery of St Vincent and St Anastasius at Rome, Bernard set over it the Abbat who was afterwards the Supreme Pontiff Eugene III., and who is also the same to whom he addressed his book upon Consideration.
He was the author of many writings, in which it is manifest that his teaching was rather given him of God, than gained by hard work. In consequence of his high reputation for excellence, he was called by the most exalted Princes to act as arbiter of their disputes, and for this end, and to settle affairs of the Church, he often went to Italy. He was an eminent helper to Pope Innocent II., in putting down the schism of Peter Leoni, and worked to this end, both at the Courts of the Emperor and of Henry King of England, and in the Council of Pisa. He fell asleep in the Lord, (at Clairvaux, on the 20th day of August,) in the year 1153, the sixty-third year of his age. He was famous for miracles, and Pope Alexander III. numbered him among the Saints. Pope Pius VIII., acting on the advice of the Congregation of Sacred Rites, declared and confirmed St Bernard a Doctor of the Universal Church. He also commanded that all should use the Mass and Office for him as for a Doctor, and granted perpetual yearly plenary indulgences to all who should visit Churches of the Cistercian Order upon the Feastday of this Saint. (The Divine Office, Matins, Saint Bernard of Clairvaux.)
His words below should give us great confidence in this time when we can see the convergence of the forces of Antichrist in the world and in the counterfeit church of concilairism:
Whoever you are, when you find yourself tossed by storms and tempests upon this world's raging waters, rather than walking upon firm dry land, never take your eyes from the brightness of this start lest you be overwhelmed by the storm. When the winds of temptation blow, when you run upon the rocks of disaster, look the star. Cry out to Mary! If you are cast away upon the waves of pride or ambition, of detraction or jealousy, look to the star. Cry out to Mary!! When anger, avarice, or the lusts of the flesh assail the ship of your mind, look up to Mary. When you are worried by the enormity of your sins, troubled by a confused conscience, or terrified by the horrors of the judgment to come, when you begin to drown in the bottomless pit of sorrow or sink in the abyss of despair, think of Mary.
In danger, in difficulties, think of Mary. Call upon Mary! Never let her name be absent from your lips or absent from your heart. If you would obtain the help of her prayers, do not neglect to follow the example of her conduct. If you follow her, you will not stray; if you pray to her, you need not despair. If you think of her, you will not err; sustained by her, you will never fall; protected by her, you need not fear; guided by her, you will walk without weariness. If she smiles upon you, you will succeed. You will experience in your own heart with what justice it is said And the Virgin's name was Mary.
With confidence in Our Lady and praying as many Rosaries each day as our state-in-life permits, therefore, we continue our defense of the Faith as we also seek to make reparation for our sins and those of the whole world as her consecrated slaves of her Divine Son, Christ the Kingm, through her own Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. We bear each of the crosses of the present moment with joy and gratitude, knowing that the only thing that matters is dying in a state of Sanctifying Grace as a member of the Catholic Church, outside of which there is no salvation and without which there can be no true social order.
Our Lady seeks the conversion, not the reaffirmation, of sinners. We must beg her for our own conversion on a daily basis so that we will be better able to offer her all that we have and do during the course of a day to be disposed of as she sees fit the honor and glory of God and for the conversion of other poor sinners.
Most Pure Heart of Mary, pray for us.
Saint John Eudes, pray for us.
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, pray for us.