Wednesday, 11 January 2017

The Feast of the Epiphany, the manifesting of the Lord to the Gentiles.....also the Feast day of the Baptism of the Lord and of the Wedding Feast of Cana and the first miracle...

The Feast of the Three Kings or Magi
as it was called in the Holy Roman Empire and in German-speaking lands
the Theophany
or Manifestation of the Lord to the Gentiles

on the same day as later occurred

the Baptism of the Lord


the miracle of wine at the wedding feast in Cana of Galilee

Whom Kings adore...
"When Jesus therefore was born in Bethlehem of Juda, in the days of king Herod, behold, there came wise men from the East to Jerusalem, saying: where is he that is born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East, and are come to adore him. And king Herod hearing this, was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And assembling together all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, he inquired of them where Christ should be born. But they said to him: In Bethlehem of Juda. For so it is written by the prophet: and thou Bethlehem the land of Juda art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come forth the captain that shall rule my people Israel.

Then Herod, privately calling the wise men learned diligently of them the time of the star which appeared to them; and sending them into Bethlehem, said: go and diligently inquire after the child, and when you have found him, bring me word again, that I also may come and adore him. Who having heard the king, went their way; and behold the star which they had seen in the East, went before them, until it came and stood over where the child was. And seeing the star they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And entering into the house, they found the child with Mary his mother, and falling down they adored him: and opening their treasures, they offered him gifts; gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having received an answer in sleep that they should not return to Herod, they went back another way into their country."
[Matt 2:12 - Gospel for the Mass of the Epiphany]

The shrine of the Three Kings at Cologne Cathedral

The Shrine of the Three Kings in Cologne Cathedral contains their relics brought from Milan by ship to the City of Cologne on the order of the Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick Barbarossa, in 1164 as a gift to the Prince-Elector Archbishop, Rainald of Dassel.
This gave rise to the English Carol "I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing in".
The relics had first been taken from Constantinople to Milan in 344 by Bishop Eustorgius of Milan.
Around 1199, the Roman Emperor Otto IV gave three golden crowns made for the three wise men as a present to the church of Cologne, the city where, the previous year, he had been elected King of the Romans and Emperor-elect by the Prince-Electors of the Empire (he later gained the support of all the imperial princes at Frankfurt in 1208).

An inscription reads:

Otto rex coloniensis curiam celebrans tres coronas de auro capitibus trium magorum imposuit.
"Otto the King, the court of Cologne celebrating, gave three golden crowns for the heads of the three Magi."
Emperor Otto IV was the only member of the Welf dynasty to be elected Holy Roman Emperor and, being the son of Matilda Plantagenet of England (married to Henry the Lion, Duke of Bavaria and Holy Roman Emperor), he was allied to England in the Franco-English wars. He was also the personal preference of Pope Innocent III, who crowned him Roman Emperor at Rome in 1209, although they later fell out over the issue of the imperial rights in Italy.

Because of the importance of the shrine and the cathedral for the later development of the city, the Coat of Arms of Cologne still shows these three crowns symbolizing the Three Kings.

Construction of the present Cologne Cathedral was begun in 1248 to house these important relics. The cathedral took 632 years to complete and is now the largest Gothic church in northern Europe.

On 20 July 20 1864, the shrine was opened, and the remains of the three Kings and the coins of Philipp von Heinsberg, Archbishop of Cologne, were discovered.

An eyewitness report reads:

“In a special compartment of the shrine now there showed - along with remains of ancient old rotten or moulded bandages, most likely byssus, besides pieces of aromatic resins and similar substances - numerous bones of three persons, which under the guidance of several present experts could be assembled into nearly complete bodies: the one in his early youth, the second in his early manhood, the third was rather aged. Two coins, bracteates made of silver and only one side striken, were adjoined; one, provably from the days of Philipp von Heinsberg, displayed a church, the other showed a cross, accompanied by the sword of jurisdiction, and the crozier on either side.”

The bones were wrapped in white silk and returned to the shrine where they remain to this day to be venerated by all the Faithful.

By long tradition, on the Feast of the Epiphany – called Dreikoenigsfest (the Feast of the Three Kings) in the lands of the old Holy Roman Empire – the Rector of the Parish (or in his absence, the father of each family) visits each house with a cross-bearer, 2 acolytes and 3 children dressed as the kings, one bearing a censer with lighted incense. At each house a little ceremony takes place, the house is blessed with Epiphany water, and over the door lintel of the house the following is inscribed with blessed chalk:
20 + C + M + B + 17

In my house we always perform this traditional ceremony.

This symbolises the present year and the blessing of the three Magi, Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar, upon each home.

The symbols remain all year or until the weather has washed them away.
Blessed Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar, wise men and kings from the East, pray for us!


The Journey of the Magi

by T S Eliot

A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a long journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.
And the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory,
Lying down in the melting snow.
There were times when we regretted
The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,
And the silken girls bringing sherbet.
Then the camel men cursing and grumbling
And running away, and wanting their liquor and women,
And the night-fires going out, and the lack of shelters,
And the cities dirty and the towns unfriendly
And the villages dirty and charging high prices:
A hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night,
Sleeping in snatches,
With the voices singing in our ears, saying
That this was all folly.

Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley,
Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation;
With a running stream and a water mill beating the darkness,
And three trees on the low sky,
And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.
Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,
Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,
And feet kicking the empty wineskins.
But there was no information, and so we continued
And arrived at evening, not a moment too soon
Finding the place; it was (you may say) satisfactory.

All this was a long time ago, I remember,
And I would do it again, but set down
This set down
This: were we led all that way for
Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly,
We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.

+ + +

"three trees on the low sky... I should be glad of another death."

Saturday, 17 December 2016

ADVENT: the Os of Advent...Christmas approaches...

O ORIENS, splendor lucis aeternae et sol iustitiae: vei, et illumina sedentes in tenebris et umbra.
O Dayspring! Brightness of eternal Light and Sun of Justice: come and enlighten them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.

~~~~~ " ~~~~~

This is the 5th of the 7 great "O" Antiphons of Advent that are sung at Vespers up until Christmas Eve.

These are beautiful prayers that tell of the coming of our God in the flesh using the words of the Old Testament that predict the coming of the Messias.

There are 7 of them. 7 is a sacred number - 7 days of the week, 7 Sacraments, 7 deadly sins and contrary virtues, 7 ages of man, 7 ranks of Holy Orders (Priest, Deacon, Subdeacon, Acolyte, Lector, Exorcist and Porter), 7 ranks of the Christian nobility, 7 diurnal hours of the Divine Office (Lauds, Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers and Compline - Matins being the Night Office) and so on. 7 is the Biblical number of perfection whereas 6 is the number of sin.

The 7 "O" Antiphons are a most wonderful and ancient way to usher the Christian people into the Holy Presence that comes to us in the depth of the night on Christmas Eve as a tiny babe.

Who but God could think of such a marvellous way to come down from on high to visit His people.

Anton Raphael Mengs. The Adoration of the Shepherds.


NOLITE timere: quinta enim die veniet ad vos Dominus noster!
FEAR not: on the fifth day our Lord shall come to you!
[Antiphon of 21 December, 5 days before Christmas]

~~~~~ " ~~~~~


to all readers

 O most Holy Night, all the earth being at peace...

Sebastiano Conca. Adoration of the Shepherds. 1720.

O Adonai,
et Dux domus Israel, qui Moysi in igne flammae rubi apparuisti,
et ei in Sina legem dedisti: veni ad redimendum nos in brachio extento.

O Prince and Commander of the House of Israel, who appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bush and gave him the law on Sinai: Come and redeem us with an outstretched arm.
[Great O Antiphon for 18 December, sung before the Magnificat at Vespers]

Non auferetur sceptrum de Iuda, et dux de femore eius, donec veniat qui mittendus est: et ipse erit expectatio gentium

The royal sceptre shall not be taken away from Juda, nor a ruling prince from his loins, until He come that is to be sent, and He shall be the expectation of the nations.
[Genesis 49:10, sung at Vespers of the Advent Office]

"And Joseph also went up from Galilee out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his espoused wife, who was with child. And it came to pass, that when they were there, her days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room in the Inn. And there were in the same country shepherds watching and keeping the night watches over their flock. And behold an Angel of the Lord stood by them and the brightness of God shone round about them, and they feared with a great fear. And the Angel said to them 'Fear not; for behold I bring you tidings of great joy that shall be to all people. For this day is born to you a Saviour who is Christ the Lord, in the city of David. And this shall be a sign unto you: you shall find the Infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger'. And suddenly there was with the Angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying 'Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men of good will.' "
[Luke 2:4-14]
[The Gospel of the Nativity of Our Lord, the first Mass of Christmas at midnight]

The Eighth Day before the Calends of January, being


In the 5199th year of the creation of the world, from the time when God in the beginning created the heavens and the earth;

the 2957th year after the flood;
the 2015th year from the birth of Abraham;
the 1510th year from Moses, and the giving forth of the people of Israel from Egypt;
the 1032nd year from the anointing of King David;
in the 65th week according to the prophesy of Daniel;
in the 194th Olympiad;
the 752nd year from the foundation of the City of Rome;
the 42nd year of the rule of Octavian Augustus,

all the earth being at peace,


the eternal God,
and Son of the eternal Father,
desirous to sanctify the world by His most merciful coming,
being conceived by the Holy Spirit,
nine months after His conception
was born in Bethlehem of Judaea,


[Sung at Prime on Christmas Day from the Roman Martyrology]


ADVENT: Rorate Caeli desuper...Drop down dew ye heavens from above...

Rorate Caeli...

Drop down, dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the earth rain down the Just One! 

Let the earth be opened, and bud forth a saviour!

 Fra' Angelico. The Annunciation. 1450.

The season of Advent is the season before the coming to fruition of the promise of the Archangel Gabriel to our Lady on Lady Day, the Feast of the Annuncation, 25 March, when God our Father gave to us His only Son in the womb of the Blessed Virgin, coming to man as any other man, through the pregnancy of a mother, born from the flesh of the Virgin Mary, truly her Son and thus, as He was later to describe himself:

Ο Υιός του Ανθρώπου - the Son of Man 

Thus did God raise to the highest dignity the supreme calling of Motherhood whereby a woman, saying yes to her husband, to Life, and to God, brings forth humanity in the shape of a tiny child. For God Himself chose to come to us in this way: the great God of Earth and Heaven chose to come to us as a tiny, defenceless child.

This is the way of God: he stoops to conquer; he obeys to command, he becomes frail to demonstrate eternal strength.

~~ " ~~

Rorate caeli desuper et nubes pluant iustum. Aperiatur terra et germinet Salvatorem.

Drop down the dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain down the Just One: let the earth be opened, and bud forth a Saviour.
Isaias 45:8

This versicle appears throughout the Offices for Advent and is yet another example of how much more Scriptural the old Roman rite of the Catholic Church is compared with the new rite of Paul VI in which, sadly, it is almost never sung.

Most modern Catholics do not even know that this most beautiful Advent antiphon even exists. The full hymn is sung thus:  

Rorate caeli desuper et nubes pluant iustum.

Ne irascaris Domine, ne ultra memineris iniquitatis: ecce civitas Sancti facta est deserta, Sion deserta facta est: Ierusalem desolata est: domus sanctificationis tuac et gloriae tuae, ubi laudaverunt te patres nostri.

Rorate caeli desuper, et nubes pluant iustum.

Peccavimus, et facti sumus tamquam immundus nos, et cecidimus quasi folium universi; et iniquitates nostrae quasi ventus abstulerunt nos: abscondisti faciem tuam a nobis, et allisisti nos in manu iniquitatis nostrae.

Rorate caeli desuper, et nubes pluant iustum.

Vide, Domini, afflictionem populi tui, et mitte quem missurus es, emitte Agnum dominatorem terrae, de Petra deserti montem filiae Sion: ut auferat ipse iugum captivatis nostrae.

Rorate caeli desuper, et nubes pluant iustum.

Consolamini, consolamini, popule meus: cito veniet salus tua:. quare moerore consumeris, quia innovavit te dolor? Salvabo te, noli timere: ego enim sum Dominus Deus, tuus, Sanctus Israel, Redemptor tuus.

Rorate caeli desuper, et nubes pluant iustum.

Listen to these Spanish monks of Santo Domingo de Silos singing the Rorate in the monastic church of their conventual home, calling upon God to forgive their sins as they await with joy, once again, the great Feast of the Birth of our Most Holy Saviour:


Drop down the dew, ye heavens, from above and let the clouds rain down the Just One!

Be not angry, O Lord, and remember no longer our iniquity : behold the city of Thy sanctuary is become a desert, Sion is made a desert. Jerusalem is desolate, the house of Thy holiness and of Thy glory, where our fathers praised Thee.

Drop down the dew, ye heavens, from above and let the clouds rain down the Just One!
We have sinned, and we are become as one unclean, and we have all fallen as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away; Thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast crushed us by the hand of our iniquity.

Drop down the dew, ye heavens, from above and let the clouds rain down the Just One!
See, O Lord, the affliction of Thy people, and send Him whom Thou hast promised to send. Send forth the Lamb, the Ruler of the earth, from the rock of the desert to the mount of the daughter of Sion, that He Himself may take off the yoke of our captivity.

Drop down the dew, ye heavens, from above and let the clouds rain down the Just One!
Be comforted, be comforted, my people; thy salvation shall speedily come. Why wilt thou waste away in sadness? Why hath sorrow seized thee? I will save thee; fear not: for I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Redeemer.

Drop down the dew, ye heavens, from above and let the clouds rain down the Just One!

With this extraordinarily beautiful hymn the prayer of the Church during Advent is lifted up to the heavens in song.

Henry Tanner. The Annunciation. 1898

Saturday, 19 November 2016

The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II - a timely reminder of what the inauguration of a Head of State and Christian Monarch should look like and be

The Queen's Coronation, a timely reminder....

The coronation of Queen Elizabeth II took place on 2 June 1953 in a profoundly Christian ceremony which derives from the imperial coronation ritual of the Holy Roman Emperors dating back to the coronation of Blessed Emperor Charlemagne by Pope St Leo III on Christmas Day 800 AD, and, indeed, beyond.

The addition, mid-way through the ceremony, of a short Protestant promise to uphold the Church of England, its doctrine and discipline, does not detract from the fact that the remainder of the ceremony is profoundly Christian and entirely borrowed from the Roman Catholic Imperial and Royal Coronation ritual, albeit Anglicans still, for the most part, refuse to admit this.

It was no accident that the fourth nobleman to swear fealty and allegiance to her Majesty, after her husband, HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, her uncle, HRH the Duke of Gloucester, and her cousin, HRH the Duke of Kent, was his Grace, Bernard, the Duke of Norfolk, Earl Marshal of England and the principal Roman Catholic nobleman of the realm.

The Catholic Duke of Norfolk was (and still is), as Earl Marshal of England, the principal officer of state responsible for the ceremonies of every Coronation.

See if you can spot his oath of fealty being given in the recording at the bottom of this post.

The surrounding military ritual, ceremony and glamour, coming from all parts of the British Empire and Commonwealth, adds wonderfully, powerfully and movingly to this great Christian Coronation and reminds one of the fact that the coronations of Holy Roman Emperors similarly had a surrounding military ritual, ceremony and glamour, coming from all parts of the Christian Roman Empire and Commonwealth, from a wide range of races, creeds and cultures.

The ancient Roman Christian Empire and the British Empire have this in common and utterly defy and totally demolish the fatuous, and mendacious, claims that they were racist hegemonies based upon "white supremacism" or some such other fatuous nonsense. Both Roman Emperor and British monarch ruled for all their peoples of whatever race, colour or creed, BUT remained themselves Christian monarchs at the head of a Christian empire.

This is further proof, if it were needed, that the safest, best and second-to-none form of government for all races, creeds and cultures, is that of Christian monarchy - always was, always will be, forever.

With the US Presidential Inauguration in prospect for January 2017, it is timely to remind ourselves of what the inauguration of a true Head of State and Christian monarch and ruler looks like.

Because of the secularism of the US Founding Fathers, the USA is a forcedly secular state, albeit most Americans are Christians of one sort of another, and thus the Presidential inauguration has an unfortunately secular flavour to it.

By contrast, the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II was an unashamedly Christian celebration and a very sacred and solemn ceremony, moreover, reflecting some of the deepest symbols of the Christian Faith, even despite the addition of a Protestant promise to uphold the Church of England, its doctrine and discipline.

Here is the full recording of the Coronation and surrounding ceremony, ritual and splendour for all to enjoy:


"Zadok the Priest, and Nathan the Prophet, anointed Solomon King. And all the people rejoiced, and said: God save the King! Long live the King! May the King live for ever. Amen! Alleluia!"
1 Kings 1:38–40
Vivat Regina!
God save the Queen!

Donald Trump secures the highest electoral college votes in the US presidential election of 8 November 2016

Mr Donald Trump, the Republican Party presidential nominee, has received the highest number of electoral college votes in the US presidential election by a very substantial margin.

The internet media have simply failed to provide the final result even as I write this because, as all now so well know, the media are so biased toward the Left, and so hypocritically horrified by the result, that they do not like even to tell the whole story of this very remarkable and decisive victory by the winner, Mr Donald Trump.

I must admit that I have never been a terribly great fan of Mr Trump but then I was, and am, even less impressed with Mrs Clinton, the Democrat Party candidate and former US Secretary of State.

I found it surprising that these two were the primary choices presented to the American people in the US presidential election of 2016 by the two dominant political parties in the USA, Republican and Democrat.

However, whatever one may think of the result, even if one is dismayed by the result, the astonishingly biased reporting by so many media outlets is nothing short of an utter disgrace and a blatant, full frontal insult to democracy, to the US Constitution, to the proper and good government of the United States of America and, indeed, to constitutional government throughout the world, everywhere. Much of the US media seems to be dominated by extremist regressive Leftists, revolutionaries and anarchists of a singularly repulsive, foul-mouthed and destructive kind. Americans should be acutely ashamed of these disgraceful enemies of decency, truth and virtue. It is certainly time for legislation to allow citizens to challenge, legally, this massive, regressive, fundamentalist Leftist bias in the media.

The intervention of many figures from the world of entertainment has, in some cases, been disgraceful and even, in a few cases, bordering upon the bestial, vile and devilish and has reflected extremely ill upon those so unworthy as to make such utterances.

The interventions of numerous political figures has, in some cases, been little better, reflecting very badly upon the current state of public discourse in the United States where, so it now seems, any amount of vile, degrading and bestial filth can, and has, in some cases become the norm.

Above all of this swirling filth, however, has been the remarkable result itself which clearly represents a resounding rejection by the ordinary American people of the political and ruling caste that currently governs and dominates in politics, business, banking, the media and the world of commentary and academic discourse.

The people have signalled their rejection of this increasingly powerful and dominant caste of regressive Leftists – a caste that rules largely for itself, and not for the common good, the very mark of tyranny.

It remains to be seen how the new President will deal with the dominance of this caste. We can, however, be sure that the Leftist elite caste will fight for their dominance and will do all in their power to hamper, insult, mock, attack and block the new President. The repugnant hypocrisy of this caste will be revealed in their claim to be defenders of democracy, all the while that they refuse to accept democracy and the democratic vote by the people of America.

The honest denizens of the Left will accept the constitutional result as they ought as loyal citizens.

The ranting hypocrites of the Left, however, will not.

These hypocrites are truly disgusting and wicked people, enemies of the state, enemies of humanity, and enemies of the United States Constitution and of constitutional government across the entire world, precisely because they are so rich, powerful and influential and so hypocritical.

Meantime the newly elected candidate (soon to be President-elect, when the Electoral College delegates have met on 19 December 2016, and elected him, and then, after his inauguration, President) has begun to select his new cabinet.

Those chosen so far are listed below.


US Vice-President – Governor Michael Richard Pence

The Indiana governor, 57, is charged with leading the team deciding the key appointments in the new administration.

He is a favourite among social conservatives who boasts considerable experience in Washington.

Governor Pence was raised Roman Catholic along with his five siblings in Columbus, Indiana, and says he was inspired by liberal icons John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr.

He is known for his staunch opposition to abortion, signing a bill in March to ban abortion in Indiana on the basis of disability, gender or race of the foetus. He has said he would favour overturning a 1973 Supreme Court judgement, often referred to as the Roe v Wade case, which bars the US government from prohibiting abortions.

US Attorney General – Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions

Senator Sessions has been one of Mr Trump's closest allies throughout the campaign.

Senator Sessions said that he "enthusiastically" embraced Mr Trump's vision for "one America and his commitment to equal justice under law".

He said: "I look forward to fulfilling my duties with an unwavering dedication to fairness and impartiality".

Senator Sessions sits on the US Senate Armed Services Committee, the Judiciary Committee and the Budget Committee.

The regressive fundamentalist Left media have been particularly hostile to this appointment which may mean that perhaps it will be a good one.

CIA Director – Congressman Michael Richard Pompeo

A Republican Party Congressman, Mr Pompeo has been nominated to become the United States' new spymaster

Mr Pompeo was born in Orange, California, and attended the US Military Academy where he majored in Mechanical Engineering, graduating first in his class in 1986 and subsequently serving in the Regular Army as a cavalry officer in the Armour Branch of the US Army from 1986 to 1991.

He received a JD from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. He then worked as a lawyer for law firm, Williams and Connolly.

He later founded Thayer Aerospace and in 2006 he sold his interest in Thayer (which was renamed Nex-Tech Aerospace). He became the President of Sentry International, an oilfield equipment company.

He is a known defender of the need to protect the USA and the world from radical Islamic terrorism. For this he has been widely vilified by the regressive fundamentalist Left who accuse him of racism.

National Security Adviser – Lieutenant General Michael Thomas Flynn

The retired US Army lieutenant-general was Mr Trump's main national security adviser during the presidential campaign and has accepted an offer to stay on in the same role under Mr Trump's administration.

The 57-year-old is credited with helping Mr Trump connect with US service veterans.

General Flynn was, from 2012-14, the director of the Defence Intelligence Agency, the US military spy agency, but says he was forced out of the role because of his views on radical Islam in which he is uncompromising in his belief that America needs protection from radical Islamic terrorism.

General Flynn has been a life-long member of the Democrat Party but became highly dissatisfied with the Democrat Party presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for her security failures when US Secretary of State, particularly in regard to her legally questionable use of email servers.

During the presidential campaign, General Flynn also questioned the Obama administration's approach to the threat posed by the Islamic State (IS) group, also known as Daesh.

General Flynn has said the US should work more closely with Russia in Syria to combat IS and has made appearances on RT, the Russian state television network.

White House Chief of Staff – Mr Reince Priebus

Mr Priebus, Mr Trump's White House “gatekeeper”, is 44 years old and hails from Wisconsin.

As chairman of the Republican National Committee he was a bridge between the Republican nominee and the Party.

Mr Priebus is close to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Paul Ryan, a fellow Wisconsinite, who could be instrumental in helping to steer the new administration's legislative agenda.


Senior Counsellor and Chief Strategist – Mr Stephen Kevin Bannon

Mr Bannon was born on 27 November 1953, in Norfolk, Virginia into a working-class, Irish Catholic, pro-Kennedy, pro-union family of Democrat Party supporters.

In 1983, he received an MBA degree with honours from Harvard Business School.

Mr Bannon was an officer in the United States Navy, serving on the destroyer USS Paul F. Foster as a Surface Warfare Officer in the Pacific Fleet and later as a special assistant to the Chief of Naval Operations at the Pentagon.

After his military service, Mr Bannon worked at bankers, Goldman Sachs, as an investment banker in the Mergers and Acquisitions Department.

In 1990, Mr Bannon and several colleagues from Goldman Sachs launched Bannon and Co, a boutique investment bank specializing in media.

He is the executive chairman of Breitbart News, a news, opinion and commentary website noted for its connection to the so-called “alt-right” or “alternative political Right Wing”.

He became chief executive officer of the 2016 presidential campaign of Donald Trump in August 2016.

Though not a cabinet appointment, Mr Bannon, 62, could wield immense influence behind the scenes as one of Mr Trump's key advisers.


Friday, 11 November 2016

Armistice Day - 11 November - Feast of St Martin of Tours - Lest we forget...

Lest we forget...
For The Fallen...
Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears....

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them....
Lawrence Binyon 1914


At A Calvary Near The Ancre
One ever hangs where shelled roads part.
In this war He too lost a limb,
But His disciples hide apart;
And now the Soldiers bear with Him.
Near Golgotha strolls many a priest,
And in their faces there is pride
That they were flesh-marked by the Beast
By whom the gentle Christ's denied.
The scribes on all the people shove
And bawl allegiance to the state,
But they who love the greater love
Lay down their life; they do not hate.
Wilfrid Owen 1916
De profundis clamavi ad te Domine: Domine exaudi vocem meam.
Fiant aures tuae intendentes in vocem deprecationis meae.
Si iniquitates observaveris Domine: Domine quis sustinebit.
Quia apud te propitiatio est: et propter legem tuam sustinui te Domine.
Sustinuit anima mea in verbo ejus: speravit anima mea in Domino.
A custodia matutina usque ad noctem, speret Israel in Domino.
Quia apud Dominum misericordia: et copiosa apud eum redemptio.
Et Ipse redimet Israel ex omnibus iniquitatibus ejus.
Psalm 129 (De Profundis)

St Martin, a military Tribune and high officer in the Roman imperial army,
cuts his imperial officer's mantle to provide covering for the beggar
who is later revealed to be our Lord Himself

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

The Feast of All Saints: Hallowe'en, All Hallows, Hallowmas and Hallowtide...

Hallowe'en, All Hallows, Hallowmas and Hallowtide...

All Saints’ Day, All Hallows, or Hallowmas begins at Vespers on the evening of 31 October – which, of course, is known as the Eve of All Hallows, Halloweven or Hallowe’en, and ends at sundown on 1 November. This is the feast commemorating the saints, all those who have attained the beatific vision in Heaven.

The following day, unless it is a Sunday, is called All Souls’ Day. The Feast of All Souls is a day of prayer for all the Faithful departed who have not yet been purified in the fires of Purgatory and reached Heaven, remembering that there is a union of prayer between those in Heaven (the "Church triumphant"),those in Purgatory (the "Church suffering") and the living (the "Church militant"). 

The Church Suffering are taken from Purgatory into Heaven to join the Church Triumphant

Some scholars believe that the Feast of All Saints may have been a christianisation of the ancient Roman observation of 13 May, the Feast of the Lemures, in which malevolent and restless spirits of the dead were propitiated. 

Churches in Britain were already celebrating All Saints on 1 November at the beginning of the 8th century to coincide or replace the Celtic festival of the Dead (Samhain). Others suggest that date was a Germanic idea, rather Celtic. Interestingly, according to Óengus of Tallaght (d. ca. 824), the 7th/8th century church in Ireland celebrated All Saints on 20 April. 

The Eastern Orthodox Church of the Byzantine Tradition commemorate all saints collectively on the first Sunday after Pentecost, All Saints’ Sunday (Greek: Αγίων Πάντων, Agiōn Pantōn). 

The feast of All Saints achieved great prominence in the ninteenth century, in the reign of the Byzantine Emperor, Emperor Leo VI "the Wise" (886–911). 

After the death of his devout wife, Empress Theophano in 893, her husband built and wanted to dedicate a church to her but, when not ecclesiastically permitted, he dedicated it to all the saints so that she would in effect be celebrated thereby.

The Emperor Leo IV the Wise and Empress Theophano

In the persecution of Diocletian the number of martyrs became so great that a separate day could not be assigned to each and the Church, feeling that every martyr should be venerated, appointed one day for all.  

On 13 May 609 or 610, Pope St Boniface IV consecrated the Pantheon at Rome to the Blessed Virgin and all the martyrs and the feast of the dedicatio Sanctae Mariae ad Martyres has been celebrated at Rome ever since.

Pope St Boniface IV

Pope St Gregory III (731–741) founded an oratory in St Peter’s Basilica for the relics of all the apostles and saints and moved the feast day from 13 May to 1 November. 

Pope St Gregory III

A November festival of all the saints was made a day of obligation throughout the Frankish empire in 835, by a decree of Emperor Louis the Pious, at the behest of Pope Gregory IV and all the bishops, with an octave added by Pope Sixtus IV (1471–1484).