Sunday 26 October 2014

On the Feast of Christ the King!

Ave Christus Rex!

The Feast of Christ the King

Munkácsy Mihály. Ecce Homo. 1896.

Ecce Homo!

"Then therefore, Pilate took Jesus, and scourged him. And the soldiers platting a crown of thorns, put it upon his head; and they put on him a purple garment. And they came to him, and said:

Hail, King of the Jews

and they gave him blows. Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith to them: Behold, I bring him forth unto you, that you may know that I find no cause in him. (Jesus therefore came forth, bearing the crown of thorns and the purple garment.) And he saith to them:

"Behold the Man!"

[John 19:1-5]

Diego Velazquez. The Crucifixion or Christ of San Placido. 1630.

Regnavit a ligno Deus

"God hath ruled us from a tree"

[Vexilla Regis, Venantius Fortunatus]

Christos Pantokratoros (Christ, King of all), ancient Byzantine ikon.

Rex regum et Dominus dominantium
"King of kings and Lord of lords"

[Revelation 19:16]

Dignus est Agnus qui occisus est, accipere virtutem, et divinitatem, et sapientem, et fortiudinem, et honorem. Ipsi gloria et imperium in saecula saeculorum. Amen.
"Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing...Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever."
[Revelation 5:12,13, Introit for the Mass of Christ the King]

Dixit itaque ei Pilatus: ergo Rex es tu? Respondit Jesus: tu dicis quia Rex sum ego. Ego in hoc natus sum, et ad hoc veni in mundum, ut testimonium perhibeam veritati: omnis qui est ex veritate, audit vocem meam.

"Pilate therefore said to Him: art Thou a king then? Jesus answered: thou sayest that I am a king. For this was I born, and for this came I into the world, that I should give testimony to the truth. Everyone that is of the truth heareth my voice".
[John 18, Gospel for the Mass of Christ the King]
 Jusepe de Ribera. Christ in the Crown of Thorns.

"And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth."

[Revelation 19:6]

"And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever."

[Revelation 11:15]

"And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, LORD OF LORDS."

[Revelation 19:16]

"For unto Us a Child is born, unto Us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace".
[Isaiah 9:6]

"Unto us a Son is given and the government shall be upon His shoulders...
The London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Sir Colin Davis, sings G F Handel's great tribute to the King of Kings in the Oratorio called after the Hebrew name for the Anointed Lord of Lords:

The Kingship of Christ is not like the kingship of pagans, heathens, unbelievers and gentiles. The Kingship of Christ is the kingship of a God-King-Priest Who suffers for the sake of Hs subjects whom He considers to be His very own children.

His crown is the Crown of Thorns, His sceptre is the Reed of humility, His royal cloak is the Purple Robe of suffering, for a royal girdle He is bound with the Bonds of servitude, His white Seamless Garment of purity and integrity is stripped from Him in public, His subjects mock Him, His servants desert Him, His people for whom He suffers and dies reject Him, His path is a Way of the Cross and His greatest work is Crucifixion as a common criminal.

Behold the King Who is a servant to the meanest of His people!

In so suffering, this great King gives us a model for all Christian leadership - paternal, royal, priestly, loving, unselfish, all-suffering, all-giving and all-sacrificing.

This is how all Christian kings and fathers must conduct themselves. For kings are fathers and fathers are kings, their subjects are children and their children are subjects - to be loved, not oppressed; to be formed, not neglected; to be nourished, not abused.

For these little ones, a king and a father sacrifices all he has and, above all, himself.

That is the meaning of Christian kingship, fatherhood and leadership.

"He saith to them: My chalice indeed you shall drink; but to sit on my right or left hand, is not mine to give to you, but to them for whom it is prepared by my Father. And the ten hearing it, were moved with indignation against the two brethren. But Jesus called them to him, and said: You know that the princes of the Gentiles lord it over them; and they that are the greater, exercise power upon them. It shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be the greater among you, let him be your minister:

And he that will be first among you, shall be your servant.

Even as the Son of man is not come to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life as a redemption for many."
[Matt 20:23-28]

But how few among us - even among us Christians - understands this meaning of Christian leadership? So few. They still think - like pagans - either that leadership and earthly power are useful means to enrich oneself and lord it over others or else, equally falsely, they think they are merely evil, which is to say the same thing.

It is false.

Others foolishly think that it is degrading to be a servant and better to be rich, powerful, and influential, not so as to be a servant, but so as to serve oneself and oppress and humiliate others.

In fact, kingship or leadership is given by God to men to serve others and to sacrifice oneself for the good of others, as Christ the King did for us. The role of Christian leader is one of suffering and self-sacrifice - not selfishness and self-aggrandisement. It is a most noble and holy calling and we must re-learn to regard it as such.

Woe betide those who use power and rule for themselves and not for others!

The Face of JESUS CHRIST on the Shroud of Turin - the face of the King of love.

And so we must return to the Social Kingship of Jesus Christ...

"19. When once men recognize, both in private and in public life, that Christ is King, society will at last receive the great blessings of real liberty, well-ordered discipline, peace and harmony.

Our Lord's regal office invests the human authority of princes and rulers with a religious significance; it ennobles the citizen's duty of obedience. It is for this reason that St. Paul, while bidding wives revere Christ in their husbands, and servants respect Christ in their masters, warns them to give obedience to them not as men, but as the vicegerents of Christ; for it is not meet that men redeemed by Christ should serve their fellow-men.

'You are bought with a price; be not made the bond-slaves of men'.

If princes and magistrates duly elected are filled with the persuasion that they rule, not by their own right, but by the mandate and in the place of the Divine King, they will exercise their authority piously and wisely, and they will make laws and administer them, having in view the common good and also the human dignity of their subjects. The result will be a stable peace and tranquillity, for there will be no longer any cause of discontent.

Men will see in their king or in their rulers men like themselves, perhaps unworthy or open to criticism, but they will not on that account refuse obedience if they see reflected in them the authority of Christ, God and Man.

Peace and harmony, too, will result; for, with the spread and the universal extent of the Kingdom of Christ, men will become more and more conscious of the link that binds them together, and thus many conflicts will be either prevented entirely or at least their bitterness will be diminished.

28. We further ordain that the dedication of mankind to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which Our predecessor of saintly memory, Pope Pius X, commanded to be renewed yearly, be made annually on that day."

[Pope Pius IX, Quas Primas, 1925, Encyclical letter establishing the Feast of Christ the King]

Christos Pantokratoros

Hail Christ the King!


Saturday 25 October 2014

The Synod of Bishops on the Family - disaster narrowly averted...

The Synod of Bishops on the Family has ended.

And it has been a mess.

Does anyone really need to tell a Catholic bishop that giving Holy Communion to the divorced and re-married who refuse to live as brother and sister is to condone - officially and sacramentally - the sin of adultery?

But apparently Cardinal Walter Kaspar of Germany needs to be told this very elementary and basic truth!

Clearly the mid-Synod document was a stitch-up. It did not represent the views of the Fathers of the Synod but was obviously written in advance by agent-provocateurs. For a start, it came out in numerous languages on the very same day.

This, however, was the Synod when the Third World made itself strongly felt and demonstrated to the world that the Western, liberal bishops are now in small minority, however much they still have far more power than they should.

Here's what Damian Thompson had to say about this factor:

Damian Thompson on Cardinal Kaspar in the Spectator blog

It seems that Cardinal Kaspar thinks "you can’t speak about this with Africans and people of Muslim countries. It’s not possible" and then goes on to say that the African bishops "should not tell us too much what we have to do".

Sounds a bit racist to me, your Eminence...

Is it the Africans who don't understand, or just you, your Eminence?

I say thank God for the African and Asian bishops!

And thank God for the courageous Western bishops like Cardinals George Pell and Raymond Burke whose speeches to the Synod were exemplary.

Here is what Cardinal Pell had to say to the media:

Thank you, your Eminence, and God bless you!

Here is what Raymond, Cardinal Burke had to say on the hot topic at the Synod:

Thank you, your Eminence!

And here is what Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia had to say:

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia

"Well, first of all, I wasn’t there. That’s very significant, because to claim you know what really happened when you weren’t there is foolish. To get your information from the press is a mistake because they don’t know well enough how to understand it so they can tell people what happened. I don’t think the press deliberately distorts, they just don’t have any background to be able to evaluate things. In some cases they’re certainly the enemy and they want to distort the Church. Now, having said all that, I was very disturbed by what happened. I think confusion is of the devil, and I think the public image that came across was of confusion. Now, I don’t think that was the real thing there. I’m anxious to hear from Bishop Kurtz. Bishop Kurtz and the Byzantine bishop of Pittsburgh were the two Americans who were our delegates there. Cardinal Dolan was there and Cardinal Wuerl because they’re part of the organization body of the Synod. But every country’s president of the bishop’s conference attended, and then they have representatives from the Eastern Church. That’s why Bishop Skurla was there from Pittsburgh. I want to hear from them. Then you can ask me the question and I can give you a better answer. Now, I read about it in the same blogs you do. There’s no doubt that the Church has a clear position: on what marriage means and that you don’t receive communion unless you’re in communion with the teachings of Christ, that gay marriage is not a possibility in God’s plan and therefore can’t be a reality in our lives. There’s no doubt about any of that. I think when it’s all said we have to be charitable toward people who disagree with us and we certainly welcome into the Church sinners. I’m one, and they usually welcome me when I come to the parishes. I think we have to be better at reaching out to divorced Catholics so they don’t think that they’re immediately excluded from the Church because they’ve been divorced and remarried. Some people think that even when they get a divorce they’re not welcome in the Church. So I think we need to work on that. We have deep respect for people with same-sex attraction, but we can’t pretend that they’re welcome on their own terms. None of us are welcome on our own terms in the Church; we’re welcome on Jesus’ terms. That’s what it means to be a Christian—you submit yourself to Jesus and his teaching, you don’t recreate your own body of spirituality. I’m not fundamentally worried because I believe the Holy Spirit guides the Church. The last report at the end was certainly much better than the interim listing of the topics that were talked about."

Well said, your Grace!

Pseud's corner...please welcome another Nationalist bigot...

Well, folks, just as I said. Right on cue, we have yet another fine example of the campaign bigotry of the "Yes" campaign in the recent Scottish Referendum.

Step forward a self-deluder who disguises himself under the honourable title of Alasdair Mac Colla.

The real Alasdair Mac Colla - as opposed to the half-witted pseud who calls himself by that sobriquet on the internet - was a Scottish Gael who lived around 1610–1647 (Alasdair Mac Colla Chiotaich Mac Domhnuill meaning “son of the left-handed Coll MacDonald” and he was often wrongly nicknamed “Colkitto” – left-handed Coll - for short).

Alasdair MacColla "Colkitto" - Alasdair Mac Colla Chiotaich Mac Domhnuill - c.1610–1647

He was, like all his clan, Catholic and fought in the wars of the Three Kingdoms, siding – PLEASE NOTE – with the Royalists and Irish Monarchist Confederates. Got that, Mr Internet Pseud? No republican nationalist, he was, in fact, a CATHOLIC MONARCHIST.

He and his clan strongly opposed the Presbyterian Campbells, the turncoat highland Clan who fought for the imposition of the national Covenant and the fanatical Solemn League and Covenant and sought to oust King Charles I, the true Stewart King of the Three Kingdoms.

Eikon Basilike
a devout representation of the martyr-king, King Charles I,
receiving the Crown of Thorns in imitation of his Saviour, Christ the King

Mac Colla opposed the settlement of Ulster by Scottish Covenanter planters. He led an Irish force to cross over to Scotland to support James Graham, the 1st Marquess of Montrose, commander of the Royalist army in Scotland and the principal adherent of King Charles I. Montrose conferred Knighthood upon Mac Colla in the name of King Charles I.

So - he was NOT a republican or a nationalist.

"the Great Montrose"
James Graham, 5th Earl and 1st Marquess of Montrose, and Chief of Clan Graham,
famous throughout Scotland for his brilliant campaigns in the Highlands for King Charles I against the Covenanters, although a Presbyterian himself

Alasdair Mac Colla was a MONARCHIST who supported the Stewart King Charles I (a Protestant and Anglican) and fought for the survival of the Three Kingdoms – England, Scotland and Ireland – all under the rule of the Stewart dynasty.

It was Oliver Cromwell and his band of murderous heretics who were the republicans, basing themselves upon the Calvinist republic of Geneva. They not only murdered their lawful sovereign, King Charles I, but, in typical republican heretical fashion, also murdered Mac Colla after he had been taken prisoner at Knockanauss.

The odious John Calvin, founder of the grim creed of Calvinism, and inspiration of much modern, secular, fanatical, bigoted, racist, nationalist republicanism

Calvin and Cromwell are the true fathers of republican murderers everywhere, including the IRA.

So - the bigot calling himself Mac Colla has wrongly named himself. We shall therefore call him Mr Pseud.

Pseud rants and raves as follows:

"You speak as a nationalist not as a Catholic. Check the actual stats, a majority of Catholics voted yes. Which is quite correct since voting yes was the correct position for traditionalist Catholics (Nostra nacio) Do you have any proof if racist facists in the yes camp. Certainly, the no loyalist unionist anti catholics burned our most sacred and holy cross of st andrew on the night of the result in George square Glasgow. Its nit just Scotland, the flemish movement is more Catholic than secular Belgium. As is the Tyrolian movement. The Quebec independence movement is more Catholic. Same with the Bretons in France. You'd not understand that being an American?"

No, Pseud. I speak as a Catholic who opposes your narrow, bigoted, fanatical, swivel-eyed nationalism.

No, Pseud. I speak as a Catholic Scot, descended from a very long line of Scots, including - directly - Sir William Wallace and King Robert the Bruce - and I am not an American. Never been American. Don't want to be American. And in case you hadn't notice, Mr Pseud, America is a republic and I am a Monarchist (like the real Mac Colla).

Are you getting it, now, Pseud?

And, no, Pseud. There is no "Nostra nacio" (which is neither Italian nor Latin) and no document or concept exists in the Catholic Church under that heading. You are simply making it up, Pseud.

And no, Pseud. The Flemish nationalist movement in Belgium is not largely Catholic but largely secularist, republican, anti-Catholic and anti-Monarchist. I know this. I visit regularly.

And no, Pseud. The tiny remnant Tyrolean nationalist movement in South Tyrol is no longer chiefly Catholic but largely secularist. I know this. I visit regularly. True Tyroleans are Habsburg loyalists, not separatist, nationalist fanatics.

And no, Pseud. The FLQ movement of Quebec are a largely Marxist organisation now and are openly anti-Catholic. And before the 1960s, the Catholic Canadians were fervently pro-British Empire because they recognised the British Empire as having saved them in the war of 1812 from the  invading American revolutionaries and in the 1860s from the doomed Fenian invasion of Canada from America.

You really are deeply ignorant, Mr Pseud.

As for the legions of racists and Fascists in the "Yes" camp, I gave you some evidence of that in my last post. Did you forget your glasses, Pseud?

Another bigoted nationalist fanatic...

Pseud is also fibbing. There are no stats showing that a majority of Catholics voted "yes" in the Scottish referendum. How could there be since the ballot was secret?

According to sociologist Dr Michael Rosie, a member of the Scottish Government's anti-­sectarianism expert group, rather than the more recent Social Attitudes survey revealing a shift in the "Catholic vote", it showed its near disappearance.

In the 1999 Social Attitudes survey, 21% of Church of Scotland identifiers backed independence, compared to 34% of Catholics, and 31% of those of no religion. By 2012, 30% of Catholics supported independence, compared to 26% among those of no religion, and 17% among Church of Scotland ­identifiers.

Clearly all were less keen on independence and 30% of Catholics is nothing like a majority of Catholics, even assuming that the vote was the same or that we are not talking about believing, church-going Catholics rather than those who merely identify as such for cultural reasons.

Got that, Pseud?

Dr Rosie said attitudes towards independence were better explained "by experiences of secularisation rather than through hackneyed religious truisms".

Dr Rosie further said: "Claims that Catholics are 'more likely' than others to support independence are rather superficial. When we factor in things like gender, class and age, the religious difference pretty much disappears altogether. This does not represent a shift in 'the Catholic vote'. It shows its near disappearance. Scotland's Catholics are not reducible to just their Catholicism, or for many their Irish heritage. They have many potential identities and whatever their Catholicism meant politically in the past, it has far less relevance today".

Got that, Pseud?

Labour MSP Siobhan McMahon added: "I'm surprised that any academic looks at the Catholic population as a homogenous group. It's about individuals and I doubt very much anyone will be voting along religious lines."

Got that, Pseud?

But Pseud then goes on to demonstrate his total ignorance of the facts in his next asinine posts:

"Croats and Poles supported Scottish self determination. Again check the stats. No interest in the awful Stuarts. Never mentioned them. Fools, wasters, mercenaries. Shame on you for commiting such sins by telling such lies about the Scottish Independence movement. We look to Michael Collins in Ireland not The Stuarts. The Irish republicans were sincere and devout Catholics while you sir are an Anglican quisling."

No, Pseud. Croats and Poles took little or no interest in the referendum. You are just making it up again.

Historically the Poles (and probably the Croats) certainly DID support the Stewarts, and the Bonnie Prince in particular, which is unsurprising since his mother, Princess Maria-Clementina of the House of Sobieski, was a Pole herself.

Princess Maria-Clementina of the Polish Royal House of Sobieski, following her marriage to King James III and VIII, true and de jure Queen of the Three Kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland and mother of Prince Charles Edward Stewart, Bonnie Prince Charlie

Shame on you, Pseud. You clearly have no regard for truth.

But then - at last - out comes the real truth!

He looks to Michael Collins in Ireland, not the Stewarts! Well, of course he does! Because Mr Pseud is the true Quisling - a true nationalist Fascist.

As any fool knows, the Irish republicans were anti-Catholic revolutionaries, opposed by every single Catholic bishop in Ireland, excommunicated by the Irish Church and, in January 1875, by Blessed Pope Pius IX. They were a gang of terrorist thugs who thought nothing of murdering good Irish Catholics as they came out of mass or even when they were in the confessional.

A bigger parcel of cut-throats, murderers, terrorists and hell-bound devils could hardly be imagined than Michael Collins' murderous "Squad".

Michael Collins, ex-communicated republican and bigoted fanatic
who thought nothing of murdering his fellow countrymen in cold blood

Michael Collins was a marked and open enemy of the Catholic Church, a secularist, a revolutionary, a fornicator and a rebel who brutally and ruthlessly murdered his countrymen in cold blood for the sake of fanatical, racist and bigoted nationalism.

And Mr Pseud supports him! There you have it, folks! Need I say more?

I will bet anyone a penny to a pound that this twerp, Mr Pseud, is, himself, not of Scottish blood, originally, but is, I'll wager, of Irish extraction and has, from his childhood, imbibed the green poison of anti-Catholic Irish revolutionary, republican nationalism and now, like so many of his ilk, transfers his poisonous hatred to Scotland!

And THAT is almost certainly why he has no love for the Stewarts. He is probably not of Scottish ancestry, but, I'll wager, of emigrant Irish ancestry, although perhaps born and brought up in Scotland, as so many are in the "Yes" voting regions of Glasgow and Lanarkshire, the area of the UK with the lowest level of practice of the Catholic religion among those registered as Catholics.

And, by the way, Mr ignorant Pseud: Vidkun Quisling was a Norwegian Nazi and whatever you may say about Anglicans in Britain, the vast majority of them fought against Hitler, the Nazis and people like Quisling. So calling anyone an "Anglican Quisling" is a bit like calling them a square circle.

On the other hand, Sinn Fein, the IRA and the Irish republicans were enthusiastic supporters of Hitler and the Nazis.

The father of Gerry Adams even set lights on the surrounding hills to guide the Nazi bombers in to bomb his own city of Belfast. Yes, true fact!

And, as everyone knows, Eamonn de Valera made a point of going to the German Embassy to sign the condolence book upon learning of Hitler's suicide.

Gerry Adams, Sr., IRA gunman, republican nationalist fanatic, and father of Sinn Fein President, Gerry Adams, Jr., he himself helped guide in by light the Nazi bombers to bomb his own city of Belfast. Accused by his own family of being an abuser, his other son, Liam Adams was found guilty of 10 counts of rape and sexual abuse. Adams Sr. was a Belfast IRA gunman in the 1940s against Britain when Europe was at war with Hitler. He was captured during an IRA operation in 1942 when he shot an RUC police officer in the foot. He was sentenced to eight years in prison and served five. He was interned in 1971 along with his son, Gerry.

But - hey! - don't let anything like facts get in the way of your racist fantasy, will you, Mr Pseud.

And Pseud puts the final touches to his ranting tirade of ignorance in his last post:

"Presbyterianism was, is and always will be unionist. Check the voting stats and learn our history. You are supporting a Protestant state which treats Catholics badly."

No, Pseud. Presbyterianism has frequently been anti-Unionist, not least at the time of Mac Colla, when many Presbyterians opposed both King Charles I and Cromwell and wanted a Presbyterian Scotland, without King Charles I and without Westminster rule by Cromwell and his republican fanatics.

Furthermore, there were many Presbyterians among the Jacobites who sought for the return of the ancient Constitution of the Three Kingdoms, just like the hero of whom you clearly know so little, Alasdair Mac Colla!

In Clan Cameron, for example, Donald Cameron of Lochiel ensured that he had 3 chaplains - one Presbyterian, one Episcopalian and one, his own brother, Fr Alexander Cameron SJ, a Catholic and a Jesuit who later died of neglect, a prisoner in the prison hulks on the Thames. The Jacobite clans were genuinely ecumenical, unlike the bigots and fanatics of nationalism.

"The Gentle Lochiel"
Donald Cameron of Locheil, 19th Chief of Clan Cameron, and one of the best-loved of the Jacobite clan leaders.
It is notable that one of his acts whilst in charge of Edinburgh was to order that there be no reprisals against the Whigs for their opposition to the Prince. He had previously given orders to care for the prisoners after the Battle of Prestonpans, and later he would ensure that Glasgow did not suffer any reprisals for its loyalty to George II. Such acts contributed to his reputation for humanity; he became known to both friend and foe, alike, as the "Gentle Lochiel".

But Pseud doesn't care about the Camerons because he doesn't care about the ancient Scottish race. He only cares about fanaticism and bigotry of the kind exhibited by his murdering Irish republican hero, Michael Collins.

Pseud claims to be a Catholic. Catholic he clearly ain't. The sad truth of it is that he is a nationalist fanatic and an anti-English, racist bigot, masquerading as a Scottish Catholic which is deeply ironic given that he is almost certainly not even a Scot by blood.

Let us pray for his conversion from racist bigotry and fanaticism to the true and gentle paths of orthodox Roman Catholicism.

At present he is a million miles away from it, God help him.


Friday 17 October 2014

Feast Day of Blessed Emperor Charles I of Austria

Holy Mass

will be sung

in the

Church of St Gregory and the Assumption of our Lady


Warwick Street, London W1B 5LZ

for the

Feast Day

of His Imperial and Royal Majesty

Blessed Emperor Charles I

of the House of Austria

last Emperor of Austria and Apostolic King of Hungary, King of Bohemia, Dalmatia, Croatia, Slavonia, Galicia, Lodomeria and Illyria, King of Jerusalem, etc., Bailiff Grand Cross of Honour and Devotion of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta,


Tuesday 21st October 2014

being the hundredth anniversary year of the commencement of the First World War



followed by veneration of the relic and prayers for the repose of the souls of deceased members of the imperial and royal family.

Chant choir of Corpus Christi                       With the kind permission of the
and of St Bede                                                Right Reverend Monsignor Keith Newton
                                                                        the Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate
[Nearest Tube: Piccadilly Circus]                  of our Lady of Walsingham 

“Emperor Karl has offered to make peace; here is the only decent man who has appeared in the course of this war — they didn’t listen to him…he sincerely wants peace, so everyone detests him…" – Anatole France, the French writer
"Karl was a great leader, a prince of peace, who wanted to save the world from a year of war; a statesman with ideas to save his people... a king who loved his people, a fearless man, a noble soul... a saint from whose grave blessings come." ­– Herbert Vivian, the English writer 

Charles will be the future Emperor of Austria and will lead his countries and peoples to great honour and many blessings--but this will not become obvious until after his death...He will be Heaven’s reward to Austria for faithfulness to Pope and Church" Pope St Pius X 1911
 “He sought for peace and found it in God” – Pope John Paul II (himself baptised “Charles” in honour of the Emperor) 2004

Saturday 11 October 2014

7 October - Our Lady of the Holy Rosary and the Battle of Lepanto

The battle of Lepanto, 7 October 1571

On 7 October 1571, Don John of Austria, son of the Emperor Charles V, commanding the navies of the Pope and the Emperor, together with the navies of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and of Spain and Venice, defeated a much larger Muslim Turkish navy off the coast of Greece at a place now called Naupactos.

To the men of his day this place was called by its Roman name:


How did this extraordinary victory come about?

The answer is simple enough. it was obtained - yet again - by the most powerful weapon known to men: the holy Dominican Rosary chaplet of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Prior to this, one of the greatest naval battles of Roman Christendom, the Pope, St Pius V, himself a Dominican friar, ordered the praying of the Holy Rosary throughout the length and breadth of Christendom, just as was later to be done before the Battle of Vienna in 1683.

As a result the feast of our Lady of Victory (later our Lady of the Rosary) was instituted by the popes for an everlasting memory.

Let us hear what Abbot Prosper Gueranger OSB of Solesmes says of that great battle and feast in his great work, The Liturgical Year (the book read to St Therese of Lisieux when she was a child):

"Soliman II, the greatest of the Sultans, taking advantage of the confusion caused in the West by Luther, had filled the 16th century with terror by his exploits. He left to his son, Selim II, the prospect of being able at length to carry out the ambition of his race: to subjugate Rome and Vienna, the Pope and the Emperor, to the power of the crescent.

The Turkish fleet had already mastered the greater part of the Mediterannean, and was threatening Italy, when, on 7 October 1571, it came into action, in the Gulf of Lepanto, against the pontifical galleys supported by the fleets of Spain and Venice.

It was Sunday; throughout the world the confraternities of the Rosary were engaged in their work of intercession. Supernaturally enlightened, St Pius V watched from the Vatican the battle undertaken by the leader he had chosen, Don John of Austria, against the 300 vessels of Islam.

Don John of Austria

The illustrious Pontiff, whose life's work was now completed, did not survive to celebrate the anniversary of the triumph; but he perpetuated the memory of it by an annual commemoration of our Lady of Victory.

His successor, Gregory XIII, altered the title to our Lady of the Rosary, and appointed the first Sunday of October for the new feast [now celebrated on 7 October, the actual day of the battle - ed], authorising its celebration in those churches which possessed an altar under that invocation.

A century and a half later, this limited concession was made general. As [now Venerable]Innocent XI, in memory of the deliverance of Vienna by King Jan Sobieski, had extended the feast of the most Holy Name of Mary to the whole Church, so, in 1716, Clement XI inscribed the feast of the Rosary on the universal calendar, in gratitude for the victory gained by Prince Eugene of Savoy [commander-in-chief of the Imperial forces] at Peterwardein, on 5 August, under the auspices of our Lady of the snow. This victory was followed by the raising of the siege of Corfu, and completed a year later by the taking of Belgrade."

After Vienna, Peterwardein and Belgrade, the Muslim Turks were finally routed and never again troubled Roman Christendom.

Such was - and is - the extraordinary power of the Holy Rosary of St Dominic.

Beads of Paternosters and Aves have been said from very early times and were commonly said by the knights and sergeants of the Military religious Orders when in battle and on campaign, when they could not say their Office.

St Dominic formalised the current Dominican Rosary prior to the Battle of Muret in 1213 (that battle was again won on 12 September - the day after the mysterious 9/11) when he prayed for Count Simon de Montfort and his 700 knights as they sallied forth against a huge army of 50,000 Albigensians - rather like Theoden of Rohan against the massive army of Saruman and Isengard in The Lord of the Rings.

Like Theoden, de Montfort and his knights routed the Albigensians by charging straight into their midst. They gained the Albigensian headquarters and when their leader, the heretic King Peter of Aragon, was slain, the Albigensians fled.

Nevertheless, Count Simon wept over the corpse of King Peter whom he had known and admired as a soldier and whom he had hoped could be spared, powerful heretic and enemy though he was.

Thus the day was won and the tiny Catholic army triumphed over the huge heretic army. This, again, was another great victory obtained by the all-powerful Rosary of our Lady.

Small wonder, then, that our Lady has so often appeared and asked her children to pray the Holy Rosary for victory and peace, as she did to St Bernarde of Lourdes (St Bernadette) and later to the little shepherds at Fatima in 1917 during the Great War.

When we face fearful odds in the cause of right we must turn to our Lady and to her powerful weapon - the sword of the spirit - the chaplet of the Holy Rosary.


Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us!
St Dominic, pray for us!
St Pius V, pray for us!
Ven Innocent XI, pray for us!