Little catechism of the Second Vatican Council (Part Nine) – The Nine Decrees (decrees 6-9)

Little catechism of the Second Vatican Council (Part Nine) – The Nine Decrees (decrees 6-9)

by Fr. Pierre-Marie, O.P.

Dominican in Avrillé


From Le Sel de la terre 93, Summer 2015

(continued,number 10)


The Nine Decrees (continued)


3. The two Decrees on missionary activity and means of social communication


6.  Ad Gentes (AG):  the missionary activity of the Church.

7.  Inter mirifica (IM): the means of social communication.


What sort of charity does Ad Gentes (AG) promote?

Missionary activity is a consequence of the charity that works toward the salvation of souls.  But AG has a false conception of charity:  “Christian charity truly extends to all, without distinction of race, creed, or social condition” (§ 12).  Christian charity certainly extends to all men, but with distinctions.  There is an order in charity: one should first love those who are closest, and especially our brothers in the faith:  “let us work good to all men, but especially to those who are of the household of the faith.” (Gal. 6:10).

What does AG say about ecumenism and religious liberty?

Ecumenism obliges AG, too, should sacrifice to the template:

« The ecumenical spirit should be nurtured in the neophytes, who should take into account that the brethren who believe in Christ are Christ’s disciples, reborn in baptism, sharers with the People of God in very many good things. Insofar as religious conditions allow, ecumenical activity should be furthered in such a way that, excluding any appearance of indifference or confusion on the one hand, or of unhealthy rivalry on the other, Catholics should cooperate in a brotherly spirit with their separated brethren, among to the norms of the Decree on Ecumenism, making before the nations a common profession of faith, insofar as their beliefs are common, in God and in Jesus Christ, and cooperating in social and in technical projects as well as in cultural and religious ones. Let them cooperate especially for the sake of Christ, their common Lord: let His Name be the bond that unites them! This cooperation should be undertaken not only among private persons, but also, subject to approval by the local Ordinary, among churches or ecclesial communities and their works. [§ 15.] »

The content of this paragraph and the reference to the decree UR show that the ecumenism in question here is the false conciliar ecumenism that was condemned in advance by Pius XI in Mortalium animos (6 January 1928).

AG also says: “The Church strictly forbids forcing anyone to embrace the Faith, or alluring or enticing people by worrisome wiles. By the same token, she also strongly insists on this right, that no one be frightened away from the Faith by unjust vexations on the part of others.” (§ 13).

This phrase would be well-understood if it did not make a footnote to Dignitatis Humanæ, 2, 4, 10. Thus, one should understand by “worrisome wiles” a slight moral pressure exerted by the public powers who would recognize—as is its right—the Catholic religion as the State religion.

What does Inter Mirifica (IM) say about the “wonders of technology“?

In its first paragraph, IM lists the means of social communication (the press, cinema, radio, television, and other such technologies) as “Among the wonderful technological discoveries which men of talent, especially in the present era, have made with God’s help“. One would have liked a bit less praise for these technologies, rapidly becoming powerful means of moral deterioration.

What does IM say about the right to information?

IM demands a “right to information“, provided that there “be full respect for the laws of morality and for the legitimate rights and dignity of the individual.” Yet, DH lists false religious liberty among the rights of man, and GS—we have seen—teaches errors on the dignity of man and the rights of man. The “right to information” is thus not suitably limited: it does not conform to the doctrine of the Church on the liberty of the press1.

Is is not surprising that in 2015, fifty years after the Council, following the attack against the journal Charlie-Hebdo2, the bishops of France signed a text in favor of “freedom of expression“:

« We are unanimous in the defenses of the values of the Republic, liberty, equality, fraternity, and in particular, the defense of freedom of expression. We commit ourselves to continue this course of sharing, dialogue, and fraternity. »

4. The two Decrees Decrees on the eastern Churches and on ecumenism

8. Orientalium Ecclesiarum (OE): the eastern Catholic Churches.

9. Unitatis redintegratio (UR): ecumenism.


Which novelties does the text Orientalium Ecclesiarum (OE) contain regarding Eastern Catholic Churches?

This decree claims to enlist the Eastern Catholic Churches (also called “uniate” because they are not schismatic like the Orthodox, but united to Rome) in the false conciliar ecumenism.

Also, this is recommended to them: “The Eastern Churches in communion with the Apostolic See of Rome have a special duty of promoting the unity of all Christians, especially Eastern Christians, in accordance with the principles of the decree, ‘About Ecumenism,’ of this Sacred Council” (§ 24).

What is the teaching of this Decree regarding communicatio in sacris?

It is a pure contradiction endangering the principle of non-contradiction, and also the Catholic faith.

The Decree begins by recalling exactly the ban on communicatio in sacris: “Common participation in worship (communicatio in sacris) which harms the unity of the Church or involves formal acceptance of error or the danger of aberration in the faith, of scandal and indifferentism, is forbidden by divine law.” (§ 26).

But this just reminder is followed by a “but” where the contrary comes: “On the other hand, pastoral experience shows clearly that, as regards our Eastern brethren…

And without any doctrinal argument, it comes to contradict the posed principle, while specifying that the principles remains posed:

« Without prejudice to the principles noted earlier, Eastern Christians who are in fact separated in good faith from the Catholic Church, if they ask of their own accord and have the right dispositions, may be admitted to the sacraments of Penance, the Eucharist and the Anointing of the Sick. Further, Catholics may ask for these same sacraments from those non-Catholic ministers whose churches possess valid sacraments, as often as necessity or a genuine spiritual benefit recommends such a course and access to a Catholic priest is physically or morally impossible. Further, given the same principles, common participation [communicatio in sacris] by Catholics with their Eastern separated brethren in sacred functions, things and places is allowed for a just cause » [§ 27 and 28].

We are in contradiction with the doctrine and practice of the pre-conciliar Church. We refer the readers to Sel de la terre 40, pp. 79 to 81, where the traditional doctrine on communicatio in sacris will be found. Here are some extracts: “It is forbidden that the Sacraments of the Church be ministered to heretics and schismatics, even if they ask for them and are in good faith, unless beforehand, rejecting their errors, they are reconciled with the Church.” (1917 Code of Canon Law, can. 731, § 2). “One cannot ever ask for, except in the case of necessity, a sacrament from a heretical or schismatic minister; those who contravene this defense will fall under the penalty of excommunication brought against the credentes [those who adhere to the heresy]. In the case of extreme necessity, proximate danger of death, it is only permitted to ask for the necessary sacraments (baptism or absolution or, for lack of absolution, extreme unction). If there is risk of perversion, one must be content with an act of perfect contrition.” (Dictionary of Catholic Theology, article “heresy“, written by A. Michel.)

What is one to think of the Decree Unitatis redintegratio (UR) on ecumenism?

It is one of the worst texts of the Council. It alone would merit a detailed study3.  We will indicate here only the principal errors:

Is the purpose of the Incarnation “the unity of the human race“?

It is known that the most common solution to the question of the motive of the Incarnation is that God incarnated “for our salvation” (Credo of the Mass).

But, until then, no theologian had thought of the motive proposed by the Council, “the unity of the human race“: “What has revealed the love of God among us is that the Father has sent into the world His only-begotten Son, so that, being made man, He might by His redemption give new life to the entire human race and unify it.” (§ 2).

It is true that Our Lord wants to gather his sheep in His fold, but it is necessary, to be a sheep, to begin by believing in Him. Those who refuse to believe cannot participate in this unity.

The unity of the human race” is not purpose of the Incarnation, but the utopian project sought by Freemasonry.

To attain this goal, the Council will contrive new concepts: “imperfect communion“, “full incorporation“, and “elements of Church“.

Is the conception of “imperfect communion” traditional?

But in subsequent centuries much more serious dissensions made their appearance and quite large communities came to be separated from full communion with the Catholic Church […]. For men who believe in Christ and have been truly baptized are in communion with the Catholic Church even though this communion is imperfect.” (§ 3).

The concept of full or imperfect communion is an invention of Vatican II4.  Either one fulfills the three conditions for belonging to the Church—baptism, faith, submission to the legitimate hierarchy—and one is in communion with it, or a condition is lacking and one is not in communion: “Est est, non non” (Mt. 5:37).

But what is particularly grave is the suggestion that such an imperfect communion allows one to be saved without it being necessary give up heresy or schism.

What is the danger to the Church of a “full incorporation“?

To be “fully incorporated” in the Church, UR tells us, in addition to the three usual conditions, a 4th condition is necessary:  “possessing the Spirit of Christ” (LG § 14)5.  This means that sinners, as well as Protestants (UR 3), are not fully incorporated into the Church.

The danger is formulating a Church with two categories of members: the category of perfect Christians (the fully incorporated “pure“) and that of imperfect Christians not fully incorporated. And as the sacraments are given in certain cases to Protestants and schismatics, why not also give them to sinners?

How does the concept of “elements of Church” introduce a false idea?

Moreover, some and even very many of the significant elements and endowments which together go to build up and give life to the Church itself, can exist outside the visible boundaries of the Catholic Church: the written word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, and visible elements too. All of these, which come from Christ and lead back to Christ, belong by right to the one Church of Christ.” (§ 3).

Before Vatican II, one spoke of “remnants“, to designate what remains of the true Church in the communities that are separated from its bosom. This term makes one think of “ruins” and it was judged too negative. Thus it opted for the notion of “elements“, also used in LG, no. 8. But doing this introduced a false idea, suggesting that these elements suffice by themselves to lead one to Christ, without the need to desire belonging to the Church.

Note that this new theology can open the door to a certain recognition of illegitimate unions (concubinage, “trial marriage“, unnatural unions, etc.), as Cardinal Kasper remarked6 and as Le Sel de la terre indicated at the time7.

What is the principal error of this Decree?

The decree tends to destroy the dogma of the necessity of the Catholic Church for salvation. Besides what we said regarding “imperfect communion” and the “elements of the Church“, there is the assertion that heretical or schismatic sects also rank as “means of salvation” which the Spirit of Christ does not refrain from using (§ 3)8.

If one understands this assertion in the sense that the Holy Ghost can use these sects to save their members even when they do not have any desire to leave them, this proposition is heretical, because it is directly opposed to the dogma “outside the Church there is no salvation9.  To be saved, the at least implicit desire to belong to the Catholic Church is necessary, i.e., the desire to leave these sects.

If one understands this assertion in the sense that the Holy Ghost uses these sects to give their members the desire to belong to the Catholic Church, it is at the very least unrealistic.

But the worst phrase could be: “the separated Churches and Communities […] have been by no means deprived of significance and importance in the mystery of salvation“. This is to deny the unity of the divine intention to save by the Church that Jesus founded and not by another. To attribute a divine purpose (“mystery of salvation”) to the action of a sect seems to be a blasphemy again the wisdom of God and the unity of His plan.

What else do you note in this decree?

It inaugurates the era of repentance and suggests that the Catholic Church has pardonable faults for the “separated brethren“: “we humbly beg pardon of God and of our separated brethren” (§ 7).

It opens the door to communicatio in sacris: “two main principles governing the practice of such common worship [communicatio]: first, the bearing witness to the unity of the Church, and second, the sharing in the means of grace” (§ 8). In practice the second principle will serve to sacrifice the first.

It refuses to employ « polemics » in the relations with “the separated brethren“, suppressing in a stroke of the pen a good part of Tradition.

It introduces the idea that “in Catholic doctrine there exists a ‘hierarchy’ of truths” (§ 11), without recalling that the “last” truth of faith is as necessary as the first for salvation.

§ 12 hopes that “before the whole world let all Christians confess their faith in the trine God“, placing the divine faith (of Catholics) and human faith of heretics on the same level. This same paragraph hopes for the social collaboration of “Christians“, without taking into account the danger of this collaboration and the change on this point with the previous discipline of the Church.

§ 14 suggests that throughout the centuries the Roman See did not exercise primacy, which implies that the particular Eastern Churches are sisters of the Roman Church, and thus they they were not subject to its ordinary jurisdiction, and that today’s schismatic Eastern Churches are the same as those founded by the Apostles, as if the schism did not introduce any break.

§ 15 also claims that the Eastern schismatics unreservedly benefit  from “apostolic succession“, and it recommends “some worship in common (communicatio in sacris), given suitable circumstances and the approval of Church authority“.

§ 16 claims that certain aspects of revealed mystery have sometimes been better grasped and explained by the (schismatic) Orientals than by Catholics.

§ 19 reduces the difference between the Catholic faith and the Protestant heresy to differences “in the interpretation of revealed truth“.

§ 23 states that the “separated brethren“, thus heretics, have the “faith in Christ“, as if this were systematically the case; that “The daily Christian life of these brethren is nourished by their faith in Christ and strengthened by the grace of Baptism“, whereas this is only true for infants or for heretics in invincible ignorance; and that they have “a true charity“, whereas charity does not exist without supernatural faith.

What judgement do you pass on the entire doctrine of the decree?

The doctrine of UR impressively strays, in its whole as in its details, from Catholic theology on the relations between the Church and other Christian sects, such as it was expressed in the preparatory schemas of the First Vatican Council, in the “Ottaviani” schema of Vatican II, and in papal encyclicals, in particular in Satis Cognitum by Leo XIII (29 June 1896), Mortalium Animos by Pius XI (6 January 1928), and Mystici Corporis by Pius XII (29 June 1943).


Enthronement of the Sacred Heart

Enthronement of the Sacred Heart

according to Father Mateo Crawley-Bœvey

Imprimi Potest: William J. CONDON, SS.CC, Provincial

Nihil Obstat: Vincent DAVIS, SS.CC, Censor Deputatus

Imprimatur: + Patrick A. O’BOYLE, Archbishop of Washington November 30, 1955

Promises of Our Lord to families who honour His Sacred Heart

1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.

2. I will establish peace in their families.

3. I will bless every house in which the picture of My Heart shall be exposed and honoured.

4. I will console them in all their difficulties.

5. I will be their refuge during life and especially at the hour of death.

6. I will shed abundant blessings upon all their undertakings.

7. Sinners shall find in My Heart a fountain and boundless ocean of mercy.

8. Tepid souls shall become fervent.

9. Fervent souls shall rise speedily to great perfection.

10. I will give to priests the power of touching the hardest hearts.

11. Those who propagate this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart never to be blotted out.

12. I promise you, in the excessive mercy of My Heart, that My all-powerful love will grant to all who communicate on the First Friday of the month for nine consecutive months, the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in My displeasure nor without their Sacraments: My Divine Heart shall he their safe refuge in this last moment.

I WILL REIGN THROUGH MY HEART, DESPITE SATAN AND HIS AGENTS!

A letter of Pope Pius XII

To our Beloved Son Mateo Crawley-Boevey,

Priest of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

Beloved Son, Health and Apostolic Benediction.

Now that fifty years soon will have elapsed since that day on which, endowed with the sacerdotal dignity, you offered the Holy Sacrifice for the first time, We do not wish you to be deprived of the felicitations and good wishes of Our Paternal Heart.  All the more so, since We have learned that you are presently confined to a hospital, not so much by reason of declining years, but rather because of serious infirmities, and thus are unable to labour with that zealous ardor which was your wont, for the Consecration of Catholic families to the Most Tender Heart of Jesus.

Nevertheless, what you are unable to do by apostolic labours, by apostolic journeys and preachings, you can accomplish undoubtedly by ardent prayers addressed to God, and by sufferings and afflictions cheerfully accepted in a spirit of reparation.  That you are doing this with a humble and willing heart We do not doubt, and while We desire to console you in your present illness, yet We also express the wish in your behalf that your strength be restored as soon as possible and that once more you may be permitted to strive earnestly to obtain for this salutary enterprise an ever increasing success.

This undertaking corresponds to Our most cherished desires, as it did to those of Our Predecessors.  We long for the return to the private life of men and the public life of peoples of the love of Jesus Christ, which springs from this Divine Heart.  In this way alone will it be possible to console the many who are afflicted and in misery, to strengthen the many who are weak and wavering, to arouse effectively the many who are negligent and lukewarm, and finally to induce everyone to the fervent practice of that Christian virtue which gave to the primitive Church its greatest glory, that of sanctity and martyrdom.

Let the Divine Redeemer reign once more in civil society and in family life, by His Law and His Love, and then without any doubt will be rooted out entirely those vices which are the source of human unhappiness and human misery, then without any doubt discord will disappear; then justice – but true justice – will solidify the foundations of human society, and that true liberty “wherewith Christ has made us free” (Gal. IV,31), will enhance the dignity of citizens and will make them brothers.

However, there is one thing We desire in a special way – and which is moreover the principal goal in the Work which you have propagated so long and so diligently – namely, that Christian families consecrate themselves to the Sacred Heart “in such a way that His image being installed in the place of honour in the home, as on a throne, Christ the Lord is seen to reign truly within the Catholic family.” (Bened.XV Epis. Libenter tuas d.d. XXVII Apr. MCMXV; A.A.S.vol.II, p. 203).  This consecration is not a useless and empty ceremony, but requires of everyone that their lives be in harmony with Christian precepts, that they burn with an ardent love for the Holy Eucharist, and that they share in the Heavenly Banquet as often as possible; and that they strive by humble prayers addressed to God, and by works of holy penance to provide by all means in their power not only for their own salvation but also for the salvation of others.

These, dear Son, are Our wishes and desires which it please Us to express to you on the occasion of the Fiftieth Anniversary of your priesthood which you are soon to celebrate, and the fulfilment of which We entrust to the Divine Goodness and Mercy. But in the meantime, as a proof of Our paternal good will and as a pledge of heavenly graces, We impart to you affectionately in the Lord, the Apostolic Blessing.

Given at Rome, at St. Peter’s, the second day of the month of July, in the year nineteen hundred and forty eight, the tenth of Our Pontificate.

PIUS XII, Pope

Enthronement of the Sacred Heart in the home

There is one place where the special graces and blessings of the Sacred Heart are needed more than anywhere else.  That place is the home.

No one knows this better than the priests who are trying to make the families in their parishes more thoroughly Catholic, or parents struggling to prevent the complete breakdown of Christian family life in their homes, or children worrying about parents who do not practice their religion.

First of all, let us consider the sacred character of the home and its importance in the eyes of our blessed Saviour.

When the Son of God became Man and began His work of saving the world and redeeming it from its sins, He did not at first establish His Church but, instead, founded a home. Before He appointed Peter the fisherman to be the head of His Church, He appointed Joseph the carpenter to be the head of His home.

What a lesson on the importance and grandeur of the home!  Think of it – the Saviour of the world spent only 33 years on this earth, yet 30 of them were passed in the humble home at Nazareth.  Jesus, infinitely wise, was giving an example for ages to come of the tremendous value of the family in the eyes of God.

Even after our Lord had said farewell to His happy home at Nazareth, He continued to stress by word and example the sacred character of marriage and to show His great love for the home and family life.

He raised matrimony to the dignity of a sacrament.  He taught the indissolubility of the married state . He showed sympathy and affection for the members of the family by accepting invitations to visit them and dine with them.

His first public miracle took place in a home at Cana in Galilee on the occasion of the wedding feast of a young couple.  He often stayed with Peter in his home and on one occasion restored his mother-in-law to perfect health.  He Himself asked that He might stay with Zaccheus in his home.  Frequently He visited the home of Lazarus, Martha, and Mary at Bethany.  Often He accepted invitations to dine in the homes of the Pharisees despite their jealousy and hatred for Him.  On one of these occasions, in the home of Simon, He forgave Mary Magdalene and gave us one of the greatest proofs of His merciful love.

The Sacred Heart and the home

If the divine Redeemer showed such great love for the home during His mortal life, we should expect Him to manifest the same solicitude and affection for the family when He asked St. Margaret Mary for devotion to His Sacred Heart.  This, He said, was like a “new redemption,” meaning, of course, that the effects of the Redemption would be renewed through devotion to His Heart.

On several occasions the loving Saviour referred to the home and, in fact, made a specific request and several promises concerning the family.  If He did not speak about the family more often at Paray-le-Monial, probably the reason is He presupposed people would know that when He talked about being honoured, loved, consoled, trusted, etc., this was to be done especially in the place where they spent most of their time, in the family circle.

For instance, when He made the promise that “since He is the source of all blessings, He will shower them in abundance in every place where a picture of His divine Heart shall be set up and honoured,” He certainly had the home in mind, for there follows immediately another promise concerned with the home, which specifies the kind of blessings He had in mind: “I will reunite families and will protect and help those who are in necessity and those who approach Me with confidence.”

On another occasion He promised, according to St.Margaret Mary, “that He takes such pleasure in being known, loved, and honoured by His creatures that He promises peace in their families, solace in their labours.  He promised that He would reunite families that are divided. . . !”

Again He assured the saint that the most zealous promoters of this devotion “would be recompensed not only in their own persons but also in the persons of their parents and friends.”

It is true that countless families had obeyed our Lord’s request to venerate an image of the Sacred Heart . But this veneration was an incomplete fulfilment of His request that the image be “set up and honoured in public,” for, with some exceptions, the Sacred Heart was honoured in a private way, mostly in the bedroom and not in a public place in the home.  Keeping the image of the Sacred Heart out of sight from visitors to the home seemed to symbolize the spirit of the times: the exclusion of our Lord and His teachings from the public and social lives of men.

It was reserved for Father Mateo to organize a true crusade to have all our Lord’s requests carried out in the home.  Likewise it was to be his special mission to focus attention on the social significance of devotion to the Sacred Heart and to strive to re-establish the public rule of Christ over nations through the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart in the home.

Just what is the enthronement?

The Enthronement is the official and social recognition of the sovereignty of the Sacred Heart of Jesus over the Christian family, a recognition affirmed, outwardly expressed, and made permanent by the solemn installation of the image of that divine Heart in a conspicuous place in the home and by the Act of Consecration.”

From this definition it is at once evident that the Enthronement is not the mere blessing of a picture, nor a mere act of consecration, nor a mere outward and passing ceremony.  The Enthronement is all that and a great deal more.  By it the members of a family solemnly and officially proclaim and set up in their home the social kingship of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Some persons have wrongly supposed that the whole movement of the Enthronement is based on the particular promise of the Sacred Heart to bless the homes where His picture is exposed and honoured; they imagine the work to be out to propagate and diffuse the image of the Sacred Heart in all homes so as to draw down upon them the promised blessing.  Consequently these persons consider the Enthronement to be one of those numerous devotions of supererogation, which, no doubt, are all good in themselves, but which, by reason of their multiplicity and often encumbering practices, not rarely produce the contrary effect to that which was intended; they hamper and kill devotion instead of helping and increasing it.

The Enthronement cannot be ranked in the category of the devotions referred to; in fact, it cannot be called a devotion in the ordinary sense of the word.  It preaches a life; it holds forth the fundamental principles of our religion and applies them to everyday life.  It brings out the loving person of our Divine Lord and associates Him with every detail of home life.  It insists not so much on devotion to the Sacred Heart as on the spirit of that devotion.  Rather than burden our life with supplementary devotional practices, it transforms life itself, giving to everything we do the soul of divine love.  If the Enthronement points to certain practices, for instance, Holy Communion on the First Friday, it takes care to accentuate the motive of love and reparation for which they were asked.

The Enthronement seeks to establish the effective reign of the Sacred Heart in the family and, through the family, in society.  It has chosen for its watchword the words of our blessed Lord to St. Margaret Mary: “I will reign by My Sacred Heart.”  Its program is the realization of this request which sums up all the desires and demands of the Sacred Heart.

Perhaps the Enthronement can be further explained by a few questions and answers, in the form of a “Catechism on the Enthronement.”

Q. What does the word “enthronement’ mean?

A. The word enthronement means to install on a throne, in recognition of a person’s authority.

Q. What do you mean by “the official and social recognition of the loving Kingship of the Heart of Jesus in a Christian family”?

A. In the ceremony of the Enthronement, the family is considered as the basic unit of society, the social cell, and also as the “nation in miniature”. As such it proclaims Jesus as its King and, as far as it can, as the King of the entire nation. That is why the father, the head of the family, installs the image in the place of honour. It is a public act inasmuch as it is done in a prominent place in the home and not in a private place, such as a bedroom.

Q. Why the installation of the image in the place of honour?

A.

(1) To make reparation for the dethronement of Christ from the first place in everyday family life and in the public life of the nation;

(2) because as King and Friend of the family, Jesus has the right and the desire to be given the best place in the home;

(3) so that the family and visitors will be constantly reminded that Jesus is the King and Head of the home.

Q. Why enthrone the Sacred Heart in the home?

A. Because our Lord asked that His image be singularly honoured in the home. Moreover, it is the home, which is being undermined systematically by its enemies, by the exclusion of Christ from family life. Therefore He must be systematically brought back. Finally the family needs the extraordinary graces promised by the Sacred Heart to those who give Him the place of honour in the home.

Q. Is the Enthronement merely the carrying out of the one request of our Lord, namely, to honour the image of His Sacred Heart?

A. No. According to Father Mateo, the Enthronement “is simply the realization, not of one or the other of the requests made by our Saviour to St. Margaret Mary, but the complete and integral realization of all of them, calling forth the fulfilment of the splendid promises with which the King of Love has enriched them.”

Q. What are the principal requests made by the Sacred Heart?

A. To be acknowledged as a King who rules through love: “The adorable Heart of Jesus wishes:

(1) to establish His reign of love in all hearts” (St. Margaret Mary);

(2) to have the image of His Heart exposed and honoured in a special way in the home;

(3) to have everyone consecrate himself to His Heart;

(4) to make reparation;

(5) to live a life of love and confidence;

(6) to make His Heart better known and loved;

(7) to show greater devotion to the Eucharist;

(8) to celebrate the Feast of the Sacred Heart and the First Fridays.

Q. Does the Enthronement program include all of these requests?

A. Yes. Numbers 1, 2, 3, and 4 are carried out in the ceremony itself, at least in intention and symbolically; numbers 5, 6, 7, and 8 are emphasized in the suggestions for the living of the spirit of the Enthronement.

From this it is easy to see why the Enthronement crusade is much more than an organized attempt to get a Sacred Heart picture or statue in every home.  That is important, but Father Mateo insists there is much more to his work than this.

“Is the Enthronement nothing more than the image installed in the place of honour?  No, there is more to it than that!  Is it perhaps but a beautiful and simple consecration of the family to the Sacred Heart?  The consecration is included indeed, but there is much more than that!

The Enthronement is the collective answer of the family to the request and at the same time a reply to those who cry out, “We will not have this Man reign over us!”  When the family enthrones the Sacred Heart, they are saying in effect: “Lord, we want Thee to rule over our family, we adore Thee as our King of Love; we accept Thee as our loving Friend, always occupying the first place in our hearts and in our home.  Thy kingdom come! Thou must reign, and Thou shalt reign in our home.”

This response of the family to the divine request gives the Sacred Heart an “excuse”, an occasion, as it were, to fulfil His marvelous promises.  We might compare the Enthronement to a bi-lateral contract: the family promises and tries to carry out our Lord’s requests, and Jesus, in His turn, promises to keep His pledges; and the wonderful part of it is that He always does, even if He has to work a miracle of grace!  And why not?  Has He ever broken His word?

To restore all things in the Sacred Heart, then, no better means could have been found than this providential work of the Enthronement. You do well, dear son, while taking up the cause of human society, to arouse and propagate above all things a Christian spirit in the home by setting up in each family the reign of love of Jesus Christ.  And in doing this you are but obeying our divine Lord Himself, who promised to shower His blessings upon the homes wherein an image of His Heart should be exposed and honoured.” (Pope Benedict XV to Father Mateo.)

Nothing is lacking in this work, neither the solid foundation which makes it the best means to establish the reign of the Sacred Heart nor the indispensable external ritual, so important in making an impression on the senses of men, made up as they are of bodies and souls.

Rightly then, and without any exaggeration, St. Pius X could call this enterprise a “work of social salvation” (Acta Pontificia,May 25,1915, p.226 note); and Pope Benedict XV could write to Father Mateo, “Nothing is more suitable to the needs of the present day. . .”

How the King conquered

Before we go any further, it might be a good idea to give an example of a typical Enthronement ceremony and tell what it did in an American family that badly needed the help that the Divine Physician alone can give.  I know the family in question and I was able to follow the conquest of its members by the King of Love and Mercy, step by step.

The middle-aged father and mother came to see me one night in Washington, a few years ago.  As they began to speak, tears filled their eyes.  Here is their story.

“Father, we’ve made a mess out of our family.  We don’t know what to do or where to turn.  But we were present at an Enthronement in a friend’s home not long ago, and we heard the priest speak about the blessings that come to homes where the Sacred Heart is enthroned.  We thought, maybe, that’s what we need.  But everything seems so hopeless …”

“Nothing is hopeless when it’s a question of the Sacred Heart,” I reassured them.  “He can solve any problem; He is all-powerful.  But you have to trust Him blindly.  That’s the first condition He always demands before He works His miracles.  Now tell me about your family.”

Then began a tale of woe.  One of their four daughters had married a Catholic, but the second who had eloped with a non-Catholic had her two children baptized as Lutherans.  Her husband was a drunkard and she was at the point of separating from him.  The girl was embittered against the Church and was thinking of becoming a Lutheran herself.  She openly opposed Catholicism.

The third daughter had married a non-Catholic and was lax in the performance of her duties.  The fourth daughter had left home at the age of 16, encouraged by the second daughter.  She refused to contact her parents.

“And, Father, worst of all, that second daughter just had a third baby, born on Mother’s Day.  The child has a bad heart and is expected to live but a few days.  Her mother refuses to have the baby baptized.  She will have nothing to do with priests.  Father, it’s terrible!”

As I listened, I prayed to the Holy Ghost for the right answer.  I made an act of faith, trusting in the Sacred Heart’s promise to back up His priests when they encourage others to trust Him and honour the image of His Heart.  I remembered His promise to “reunite families that are divided … to bring peace to families … to change tepidity into fervour… to give graces of sanctification and salvation to homes that singularly honour the image of His Heart.”

“Listen carefully to what I have to tell you,” I said to them.  I’m going to give you the answer to this problem.  And the answer is not my answer but that of our Lord, who can neither deceive nor be deceived.  Whom does He love most?  Those who have never offended Him or sinners?  He Himself has given the answer:  ‘It is not the healthy who need a physician, but they who are sick … for I have come to call sinners, not the just.’   Therefore, there can be no doubt about it, He loves your daughters very much.  He wants to help them.  But you have to help Him.  You admit that you have kept Christ out of your family life by indifference and carelessness.  Now make up for that by bringing Him back in with great solemnity . Enthrone Him in your home, and He will come in as the Divine Physician to heal your daughters who are sick.

Now here is what I’m going to ask you to do:

“First, the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart.  Make it as beautiful as solemn as possible.  Invite relatives and friends – especially your daughters and their husbands; if they don’t want to come, put their photographs around the Sacred Heart.  Secondly, make reparation.  The Enthronement ceremony is in itself an act of reparation, but there’s no sacrifice in having it.  Make a personal sacrifice.  I suggest daily Mass and Communion, and Night Adoration together in your home, at least once a month – every week if possible.  And, finally, try to get other families to honour and love the Sacred Heart.  And do all this with childlike confidence that the Sacred Heart somehow in His own way and in His own good time will reunite your family.  At least take my word for it, if you find it hard to believe.”

The mother and father promised they would do all that had been suggested.  On Trinity Sunday, May 23, 1948, they had the Enthronement.  The daughters refused to come, but their pictures surrounded the Sacred Heart on His throne.  The couple started making Night Adoration before the shrine of the Sacred Heart.  They spoke to others about it.

Then things started to happen.  The baby with the bad heart didn’t die as expected by the doctors.  Several times she was rushed to the hospital.  Finally death seemed a short time off.  The night before, the grandmother pinned a Sacred Heart badge on the baby’s gown.  Unexpectedly the baby’s mother, who had been so bitter, called a priest and had her child baptized.  Within seconds the baby rallied, and she was brought home nine days later.  This was on July 31.  She died the following November 22.

The day after the baby’s baptism, there was note on the grandfather’s desk at work stating that the day before a Mass had been offered for those who had contributed to a certain cause in which he had been interested.  A post-mortem operation was performed on the baby.  The doctors insisted it was a miracle that the child had lived six months.  Three days was the limit, generally.  The grandfather concluded that the grace of this Mass moved the mother to have the baby baptized.

More things began to happen.  On Christmas, 1948, the second daughter received Communion for the first time in eight years.  Her Lutheran husband became a Catholic on July 15, 1950.  In thanksgiving, they enthroned the Sacred Heart in their home with a large gathering present.  The wife is now a daily communicant; her husband receives Communion frequently during the week.  He is a member of a laymen’s retreat movement.  The children are now in a parochial school, and the family Rosary and the renewal of the consecration to the Sacred Heart are a nightly occurrence.  On the front lawn for all the neighbours to see is a beautiful marble statue of the Sacred Heart which was dedicated before a large crowd.  Even the boys’ choir from the parish church added to the solemnity.

In the meantime, the other daughters had their marriages validated and have enthroned the Sacred Heart in their homes.  All of them are spending much of their spare time calling on neighbours and friends telling them of the blessings that have come to their home through the Sacred Heart and urging them to enthrone Him in their own families.

I was invited to be present at the solemn renewal of the Enthronement in the home of the second daughter.  As we drove up to the house, we saw the spotlighted Sacred Heart shrine on the lawn.  The living room was jammed with friends and relatives.  Happiness was in the air.  I spotted the mother and father sitting on the sofa, taking in the happy scene.  I couldn’t resist an impulse.  Leaning over, I whispered, “I told you so!”  Their only answer was to squeeze my hand as tears of joy welled in their eyes.  Every one of their girls and husbands were there before them, at peace with God.  Yes, Father was right, “The Sacred Heart has never broken His word!”

A typical enthronement ceremony

Have you ever witnessed the impressive ceremony of the Enthronement?  If not, let me invite you to the home of Mr. and Mrs. Typical American, who are having the ceremony for the first time.

Mr. T.A. might have heard about it in any one of several ways – at a Holy Name meeting, by reading a magazine article, from a friend passing on the good news, through his student-son’s bringing the word from school, from the priest who preached about it in church, or through his wife.  In any case, he is all for it, and tonight’s the big night.

Following the suggestions in the pamphlet, the T.A. family went to Mass and Holy Communion in the morning “for the reign of the Sacred Heart in their home” and as “an act of love and reparation to the Sacred Heart.”  They also had a Mass offered for the same intention.

Relatives and friends have been invited, and one of the parish priests has promised to preside.

In the living room, over the fireplace, a “throne” has been prepared, beautifully decorated with flowers and candles.  On the throne have been placed photographs of absent loved ones, living and dead.  In another part of the room, the image of the Sacred Heart has been placed on a small table with holy water and two lighted candles.  The room has already taken on the air of a “little church”.

When all the guests are present and the priest has donned his cassock and surplice and stole, one of the children is allowed to light the candles while another distributes copies of the “ceremonial” to each one present.

With the parents and children standing near, the priest begins the liturgical blessing of the image of the Sacred Heart.  Then he invites the head of the house, accompanied by his wife and children, to take the statue and “escort the Sacred Heart to the place of honour in the home.”  (Sometimes, while the little procession is taking place, those present sing “To Jesus’ Heart All Burning.”)  Arriving at the throne, the Sacred Heart is installed in the place of honour.  Then the Apostles’ Creed is recited by all as an act of faith in our Lord’s teachings and in reparation for those families who refuse to accept them or put them into practice.

At this point everyone is seated, while the priest addresses them on the significance of the Enthronement.  As you sit back and take in the scene, you cannot help but realize how the Enthronement brings out the sacred character of the home: the home altar with the image of the Sacred Heart surrounded by flowers and candles; the priest vested in surplice and stole; the assembled “congregation” – all make you understand more clearly the oft-repeated words of priests and writers that the home is indeed a “domestic church”.

When the priest has finished, he invites the group to kneel while he and the head of the house recite the official Act of Consecration of the Family to the Sacred Heart.  (A plenary indulgence and indulgence of seven years are attached to the recitation of this formula, composed by Father Ladislas, SS.CC, and adopted by the Church for general use.)

Then an Our Father and a Hail Mary are recited for the absent members of the family, living and dead, that all may share in the graces of this occasion.  After this, everyone recites the act of thanksgiving composed by Father Mateo.

The next step is a prayer in honour of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Wherever a king is enthroned, there the queen reigns, too.  Consequently, in the Enthronement ceremony the Queen of Love is not forgotten, and in honour of her Immaculate Heart the “Hail, Holy Queen” is recited by all.  If so desired, at this point an act of consecration of the family to the Immaculate Heart of Mary may be recited and her image installed near that of the Sacred Heart.  (As we will explain later, we do not enthrone the Immaculate Heart of Mary – this is an act of adoration reserved for the divine King alone.)

After the ceremony which is concluded with the recitation of ejaculatory prayers, the blessing of the priest, and the signing of the certificate of the Enthronement by all the members of the family and the presiding priest, follows a little family party.

As a further example of what we mean by “living” the Enthronement, let us quote the words of Pope Pius XII.  It has been the custom of Pope Pius XII to receive newly wedded couples in private audience and to give them priceless words of encouragement and advice.  On many occasions, the Sovereign Pontiff has urged them to enthrone the Sacred Heart in their homes and to live the Enthronement.  For example, on June 5, 1940, he said: “It is fitting then, dear Christian husbands and wives, brethren of Jesus, that the image of His Heart ‘which has so loved men’ be exposed and honoured in your homes, like that of the nearest and most loved relation who pours out the treasures of His blessings upon you, your children, and your undertakings. ‘Exposed and honoured,’ that is to say, this image should not only watch over your hours of rest in private chamber but it should be loyally honoured by being hung above the entrance, or in the dining room, or parlour, or in some other frequently used place. ‘Everyone therefore that shall confess Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven’ (Matt.10:32).

‘Honoured’ means that at least now and then an attentive hand will place before the precious little statue or modest image of the Sacred Heart a few flowers, or a lighted candle, or even keep a lamp burning there, and that the family will gather round it each evening for a united act of homage, a humble expression of contrition, and a request for a few blessings.

“In a word, the Sacred Heart is duly honoured in a home when He is acknowledged as the King of Love by each and every one … when the Sacred Heart reigns in a family, and surely He has the right to reign everywhere.  It is necessary that an atmosphere of faith and piety envelop everyone and everything in that blessed household … In the consecrated family, parents and children feel themselves under the eye of God and are friendly with Him; they are therefore observant of His Commandments and the precepts of His Church.  Before the image of the King of heaven, become their earthly Friend and constant Guest, they fearlessly and meritoriously meet all the labours of their daily duties.

“May it be so with you, my dear sons and daughters!  Living united with Jesus even in this life, you shall only leave this earth to contemplate eternally the bright and beatific reality of that divine Heart in heaven.”

(Address entitled: The Reign of the Sacred Heart in the Christian Family” – The Holy Father Speaks to Newlyweds, Washington, D.C., p.27-28.)

Living with Jesus

Countless families have grasped one of the basic ideas of the Enthronement: living with Jesus, the loving King, Friend, and Guest of the family, and sharing all family joys and sorrows with Him.  For instance, I know a family that never has a birthday party without first laying the presents at the feet of their King and renewing their act of consecration to His Divine Heart.  Then they have their party with Jesus as their Guest.

Other families renew their act of consecration on wedding anniversaries, baptismal days, First Communion, and special days.  Some have renewed their Enthronement on the occasion of the death of a member of the family.  One of these cases occurred in Milwaukee.  The father, a devout Catholic, had always insisted that as his children got married, the first thing they were to do in their new home was to enthrone the Sacred Heart.  Usually he gave them a Sacred Heart picture as a wedding present.  Frequently he told his wife that when he died, before his body left the home the family were to gather around the coffin and renew the Enthronement.  So it happened.  Despite the grief, the members of the bereaved family gathered around the mortal remains of their father and, as on the day of their Enthronement, before an image of the Sacred Heart surrounded with lighted candles they renewed their consecration to the King and Friend of their home.  How significant the words of the consecration sounded at that moment: “Lastly, when the hour of separation will sound and death will plunge our home into mourning, then shall we all and every one of us be resigned to Thy eternal decrees and seek, consolation in the thought that we shall all one day be reunited in heaven, where we shall sing the praises of Thy Sacred Heart for all eternity.”

This family was one of many that have experienced the verification of the promise of the Sacred Heart: “I will be their secure refuge during life and especially at the hour of their death.”

The enthronement, work of merciful love

From the foregoing examples and those contained in the following chapter, it is evident the Enthronement is a powerful means of obtaining the mercy of the Sacred Heart.  This is not to be wondered at.  The promise of the Sacred Heart that “sinners will find in My Heart a boundless ocean of mercy” is an echo of the gospel message, “I have come for sinners.”

The Enthronement brings into the home the Good Shepherd seeking the lost sheep, the Divine Physician eager to heal the sick, the loving Father embracing and forgiving the prodigal son.

Thus the Enthronement is not a reward for being good, limited to devout and pious Catholic families.  Rather it is an effective means of changing tepidity into fervour, indifference into love in families that have been strangers to these virtues.

In this respect, the Enthronement can be compared to the reception of Holy Communion.  You do not have to be a saint to receive Communion, but you receive Communion to become a saint.  A family enthrones the Sacred Heart in the home not because they are superior to others or outstanding in virtue, but in order to know and love and serve Him better than they have been doing in the past.

Naturally there are certain minimum conditions that must be fulfilled by families who want to have the Enthronement.  They must avoid scandal and likewise prevent abuses.  What then are the conditions for having the ceremony of the Enthronement?

Three conditions for the enthronement

1. That the marriage be a valid one.

A Catholic couple married outside the Church by a minister or a justice of the peace may not have the Enthronement until the marriage has been rectified by a priest.

2. That at least one of the parents be a practicing Catholic.

Thus if the father is a lapsed Catholic or a non-Catholic, the Enthronement may take place if the mother is a Catholic who practices her faith.

3. The family must have the general intention of doing God’s will.

This means they may be obliged to fulfil certain specific conditions such as giving up a sinful practice before they can have the Enthronement.  Of course, to avoid scandal the priest will be the judge as to the proper procedure in these cases.

In the eventuality the Enthronement may not be had, nothing prevents the family from honouring an image of the Sacred Heart in their home or praying to the Sacred Heart.  Often this will result in the reception of graces that will effect a change in the spiritual status of the family.

Fulfilling all Our Lord’s requests

It now remains to show how the Enthronement “is the complete realization of all the requests made by the Sacred Heart to St. Margaret Mary,” and therefore most apt to bring about the fulfilment of the marvellous promises of the Sacred Heart.

1.  He wishes to enkindle die flame of love in a world grown cold by the burning love of His Heart.  “What the work seeks to set up in every home is nothing but the pure, simple, and frank devotion to the Sacred Heart” (Cardinal Billot).

2.  Through this devotion, Jesus wants to bring about the reign of His Sacred Heart.  “I will reign through My Heart.”  “The Enthronement is the solemn, social recognition of this reign” (Father Mateo).

“He wishes to enter the homes of princes and kings with pomp and magnificence” (St. Margaret Mary).  The Enthronement has taken place in the palaces of kings and princes (Luxembourg, Spain, Austria); entire countries have enthroned the Sacred Heart (Spain, Colombia, and others) and this has resulted from the widespread practice of enthroning the Sacred Heart in the homes of these nations.

3.  He asks that the image of His Heart be exposed and singularly honoured.  This is one of the essential characteristics of the Enthronement.

4.  He wishes the consecration of individuals, families, and nations to His Heart.  This is why we add the consecration to the Enthronement.

5.  He asks for the Feast of the Sacred Heart as a day of Eucharistic reparation.  From the very beginning, Father Mateo has strongly urged the solemn celebration of this feast on Friday, not only in church but also in the family circle – and this on Friday, the day our Lord specified.

6.  He asks for special Eucharistic practices.  The Enthronement encourages and helps families to make the First Fridays, Communions of reparation, and Holy Hours.

7.  He asks that His friends become apostles of the Sacred Heart, to extend His reign.  As a result of the Enthronement crusade there is hardly a point on the globe where the Social Reign of the Sacred Heart is not being promoted and proclaimed.

Therefore, it is safe to conclude with Father Mateo that “the Enthronement is the realization of all the requests made by our Saviour to St. Margaret Mary, calling forth the fulfilment of the splendid promises with which the King of Love has enriched them” (Jesus the King of Love, p.3).

Ceremonials for the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the home

Before the Ceremony

Prepare for the Enthronement:

1.  Learn what it is and how important it is.

2.  Set a date for the Enthronement in agreement with the pastor.  It is desirable to have a priest preside at the ceremony, but it is not essential to gain the indulgences.  For serious reasons, the father or someone else may preside and lead the prayers. In any case, please consult your parish priest.

3.  If possible have the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass offered that morning for the reign of the Sacred Heart in your home and as an act of love and reparation to the Sacred Heart.  The entire family should try to receive Communion in this Mass or another Mass.

4.  Obtain as beautiful a picture or statue of the Sacred Heart as possible.  If you already have a picture or statue, use that one.

5.  Below the place of honour reserved for the statue or picture, prepare a “throne” or “altar”, that is, a table (or perhaps the mantelpiece), covered with a white cloth, beautifully decorated with flowers and candles. The picture or statue should be placed on a small table near this “throne” before the ceremony.

6.  Invite your relatives and friends to be present; thus you will already begin to be an “apostle of the Sacred Heart”.  Have a family party after the ceremony, with a special treat for children who – even the smallest – should, of course, be present at the ceremony.

7.  Make this day one of the outstanding events of the family life – one long to be remembered.  The greater the solemnity, the better.

Note: Even though your home has been consecrated to the Sacred Heart, you may still have the Enthronement, as the two are not the same.

The Ceremony

1.  All gather around the image of the Sacred Heart; father, mother, and children nearest to the priest.

2.  The priest, in surplice and white stole, blesses the image.  (If the priest is not present, have the image blessed beforehand.)

The Blessing of the Picture or Statue

V. Adjutorium nostrum in    V. Our help is in the name of nomine Domini. the Lord.

R. Qui fecit coelum et terram.    R. Who hath made heaven and earth.

V. Dominus vobiscum.    V. The Lord be with you.

R. Et cum spiritu tuo.   R. And with thy spirit.

Oremus. Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui Sanctorum tuorum imagines pingi non reprobas, ut quoties illas ocuiis corporis intuemur, toties eorum actus et sanctitatem ad imitandum memoriae ocuiis meditemur, hanc quaesumus, imaginem in honorem et memoriam Sacratissimi Cordis Unigeniti Filii tui Domini Nostri Jesu Christi adaptatam bene + dicere et sancti + ficare digneris; et praesta ut quicumque coram ilia, Cor Sacratissimum Unigeniti Filii tui suppliciter colere et honorare studuerit, illius meritis et obtentu a te gratiam in praesenti, et aeternam gloriam obtineat in futurum. Per Christum Dominum nostrum Amen.

(Let us pray. Almighty and everlasting God, who dost approve the painting and sculpturing of the images of Thy saints, so that as often as we gaze upon them we are reminded to imitate their deeds and sanctity, vouchsafe, we implore Thee, to bless and sanctify this image made in honour and in memory of the most Sacred Heart of Thy only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ; and grant, that whoso­ever, in its presence will suppliantly worship and honour the most Sacred Heart of Thy only-begotten Son, may obtain through His merits and intercession grace in this life and everlasting glory in the world to come.  Through Christ our Lord.  Amen.)

(The priest here sprinkles the image with holy water.)

3.  Then the father (or in his absence, the mother or some other member of the family) enthrones the image of the Sacred Heart in the place of honour.  This is the symbolic act of Enthronement.

4.  All stand while the Apostles’ Creed is recited as an act of faith on the part of the family.

5.  Everyone is seated while the priest addresses a few words to those present, reminding the members of the family of what the Sacred Heart expects from families which have acknowledged Him as King; recalling the magnificent promises of the Sacred Heart; urging the family to live its Enthronement and frequently to renew the act of consecration which they are about to make.

6.  All kneel while the priest and the father (or the father alone, or his representative) recite the official Act of Consecration to the Sacred Heart.

Act of Consecration to the Sacred Heart

(Recited by the priest and the father together, or the father alone – or his representative – if the priest is absent.  This formula is required for the indulgences and may not be changed.)

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, / who didst make known to St. Margaret Mary Thine ardent desire to reign over Christian families, / behold us assembled here today / to proclaim Thine absolute dominion over our home.

Henceforth we purpose to lead a life like unto Thine / so that amongst us may flourish the virtues / for which Thou didst promise peace on earth, / and for this end / we will banish from our midst / the spirit of the world which Thou dost abhor so much.

Thou wilt reign over our understanding / by the simplicity of our faith. Thou wilt reign over our hearts / by an ardent love for Thee; / and may the flame of this love / be ever kept burning in our hearts / by the frequent reception of the Holy Eucharist.

Deign, O Divine Heart, / to preside over our meetings, / to bless our undertakings both spiritual and temporal, / to banish all worry and care, / to sanctify our joys / and soothe our sorrows. / If any of us / should ever have the misfortune to grieve Thy Sacred Heart, / remind him of Thy goodness and mercy / toward the repentant sinner.

Lastly / when the hour of separation will sound / and death will plunge our home into mourning, / then shall we all and every one of us / be resigned to Thy eternal decrees, / and seek consolation in the thought / that we shall one day be reunited in heaven, / where we shall sing the praises and blessings of Thy Sacred Heart / for all eternity.

May the Immaculate Heart of Mary / and the glorious Patriarch St. Joseph / offer Thee this our consecration / and remind us of the same / all the days of our life.

Glory to the Divine Heart of Jesus, / our King and our Father!

7.  The priest here asks those present to say one Our Father and Hail Mary for all the absent members, both living and dead, so that all may share in the graces of the Enthronement.

8.  All recite with the priest (or head of the family) the following:

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Glory be to Thee, / O Sacred Heart of Jesus, / for the infinite mercy / Thou hast bestowed / upon the privileged members of this family. / Thou hast chosen it / from thousands of others, / as a recipient of Thy love / and a sanctuary of reparation / wherein Thy most loving Heart / shall find consolation / for the ingratitude of men. / How great, O Lord Jesus, / is the confusion / of this portion of Thy faithful flock / as we accept the unmerited honour / of seeing Thee preside over our family! / Silently we adore Thee, overjoyed to see Thee sharing / under the same roof / the toils, cares, and joys/of Thy innocent children! / It is true/we are not worthy / that Thou shouldst enter our humble abode, / but Thou hast already reassured us, / when Thou didst reveal Thy Sacred Heart to us, / teaching us to find in the wound of Thy Sacred Side / the source of grace and life everlasting. / In this loving and trusting spirit / we give ourselves to Thee, / Thou who art unchanging Life. / Remain with us, Most Sacred Heart, / for we feel an irresistible desire / to love Thee and make Thee loved.

May our home be for Thee / a haven as sweet as that of Bethany, / where Thou canst find rest / in the midst of loving friends, / who like Mary / have chosen the better part / in the loving intimacy of Thy Heart! / May this home be for Thee, / O beloved Saviour, / a humble but hospitable refuge / during the exile / imposed on Thee by Thine enemies.

Come then, Lord Jesus, come, / for here as at Nazareth, / we have a tender love / for the Virgin Mary / Thy sweet Mother / whom Thou hast given us to be our Mother. / Come, / to fill with Thy sweet presence the vacancies / which misfortune and death / have wrought in our midst.

O most faithful Friend, / hadst Thou been here / in the midst of sorrow, / our tears would have been less bitter; / the comforting balm of peace / would then have soothed these hidden wounds, / which are known to Thee alone. / Come, for even now perhaps, / there is drawing near for us / the twilight of tribulation, / and the decline of the passing days / of our youth and our illusions. / Stay with us, / for already it is late, / and a perverted world / seeks to envelop us / in the darkness of its denials / while we wish to adhere to Thee / who alone art the Way / the Truth / and the Life. / Repeat for us those words / Thou didst utter of old: / “This day I must abide in this home.”

Yes, dear Lord, / take up Thy abode with us, / so that we may live in Thy love / and in Thy presence, / we who proclaim Thee as our King / and wish no other! / May Thy triumphant Heart, O Jesus, / be forever loved, / blessed, / and glorified / in this home! / Thy Kingdom come! Amen.

9.  (All stand) To thank the Immaculate Heart of Mary for the grace of the Enthronement, and to proclaim this loving Mother as the Queen of the home, all recite the Hail, Holy Queen. If so desired, an Act of Consecration to the Heart of Mary may be added, and her image may be installed near the Sacred Heart.

10.  Most Sacred Heart of Jesus: Have mercy on us! (3 times)

Immaculate Heart of Mary: Pray for us.

St. Joseph: Pray for us.

St. Margaret Mary: Pray for us.

(All) Glory to the most Sacred Heart of Jesus forever and ever! Amen.

11. The priest gives his blessing: Benedictio Dei omnipotentis, Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti, descendat super vos et maneat semper. Amen. -  May the blessing of Almighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, descend upon you and remain forever. Amen.

12. Then the members of the family and the priest sign the certificate of the Enthronement, which should be framed and hung near the image of the Sacred Heart or kept in the family archives.

13. Then are announced the following indulgences to be gained by the members of the family (Raccolta 1943, page 536):

1.  A plenary indulgence under the usual conditions, on the day of die Enthronement.

2.  An indulgence of seven years for all the members of the family who, at least contrite of heart, assist at the ceremony of the Enthronement in their home.

3.  An indulgence of three years – once a year, on the day they renew their official act of consecration before the likeness of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

4.  A plenary indulgence on the same day under the usual conditions.

5.  Note: The CEREMONY of the Enthronement is only the beginning: The following practices of devotion will help you LIVE the Enthrone-ment.
This is the TRUE reign of the Sacred Heart in your family.

Suggested Practices of Devotion

1. Frequent and even daily attendance at Mass by at least one member of the family, and Communion of reparation. Recite the “Mass of St. John” during the day.

2. Observance of the First Friday of each month. (Holy Mass, Communion of reparation [at least spiritual communion if no traditional mass near your home], renewal of act of consecration before enthroned image.)

3. Daily family Rosary before the enthroned image of the Sacred Heart, with renewal of the short act of consecration.

4. Celebration of the Feast of the Sacred Heart by the entire family: attendance at Mass, Communion for the extension of the reign of the Sacred Heart through the Enthronement; family gathering and celebration at home, with renewal of Enthronement; special party for the children.

5. Observe the month of June, the month of the Sacred Heart; keep flowers before the “throne”. Mass and Communion as often as possible.

6. Assist at Holy Hour in church (if there is a true traditional church or chapel near your home. If not: the holy hour can be made at home).

7. Night Adoration in the home. Any hour between 9 and 6, by any one or all the members of the family at least once a month.

8. Celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary on the 22nd of August. Mass, Communion, consecration of family to the Immaculate Heart.

9. Make the five First Saturdays in reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and for the conversion of Russia; holy Mass and Communion of reparation (at least spiritual communion if no traditional mass near yur home); five decades of the Rosary plus a fifteen-minute meditation on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary. The Rosary and meditation may be carried out at any hour on the First Saturday, a sermon in church will satisfy the obligation of the meditation.

10. Practice devotion to the Holy Ghost. Recite “Chaplet of the Holy Ghost.”

Special occasions on which the family should renew the Act of Consecration

(Prayer of Thanksgiving may be added)

1. Feast of Sacred Heart; Christ the King.

2. Anniversary of the Enthronement

3. Anniversary of parents and children.

4. At births; after baptism in the church; consecrate the children to the Sacred Heart before the “throne” in the home.

5. At First Communion: Prepare the children before the image of the Sacred Heart in the home. When they return from church, let the children renew the act of consecration made for them by parents at birth.

6. Before a departure from home: To join the armed services, enter a convent or seminary, before marriage, etc.

7. On the return of an absent member of family.

8. On days of great family joys, in times of sorrow, sickness, and death.

Note: There is no more appropriate way for a young couple to begin their married life than to enthrone the Sacred Heart in their new home.

ACTS BY WHICH TO UNITE ONESELF TO THE HEART OF JESUS PRAYING IN THE GARDEN OF OLIVES

Heart of Jesus, praying for those who are at this hour sinning against Thee, I unite myself to Thee.

Heart of Jesus, praying for all tried and tempted souls, I unite myself to Thee.

Heart of Jesus, praying for all Thy holy pontiffs and priests until the end of time, that their “faith may not fail,” I unite myself to Thee.

Heart of Jesus, praying for every afflicted and sorrow-stricken soul, and enduring their sorrows in Thyself, I unite myself to Thee.

Heart of Jesus, uttering Thy loving fiat to every grief Thou shouldst bear for man’s salvation, I unite myself to Thee.

By the fear Thou didst will to endure for us, sanctify our fears of suffering, of death, and of judgment, O Sacred Heart.

By Thy sadness even unto death, – have pity on the souls who are now bowed down with sorrow, and give them grace to say in union with Thee: “My Father, if this chalice may not pass from Me, Thy will, not Mine, be done.”

By Thy thrice-repeated prayer, O Heart of Jesus, give us grace to persevere in prayer amidst our sorrows and temptations.

O Jesus, whose Heart was sick unto death at the vision of the sins which would be committed until the end of time, make known to us all the malice of sin and give us an ever-increasing horror of it for Thy sake.

O Jesus, sweating blood in Thy mortal anguish; may we resist even unto the shedding of our blood rather than ever willfully sin against Thee.

O sorrow of the Heart of Jesus in Gethsemane, I will never forget Thee.

O prayer of the Heart of Jesus in Gethsemane, I will never forget Thee.

O agony of the Heart of Jesus in Gethsemane, I will never forget Thee.

O sweat of blood of Jesus, in Gethsemane, I will never forget Thee. For Thy boundless sorrows, O Heart of Jesus, I desire to console Thee.

For the shame Thou didst feel at the sins of the world which were laid upon Thee, O Jesus, I desire to console Thee.

For the cruel betrayal of Judas which closed this hour of agony, O Heart of my Jesus, I desire to console Thee.

For all the outrages Thou didst receive during this night of Thy Passion, and for the renewal of them now by so many souls through-out the world, O my Jesus, I desire to console Thee.

TO JESUS’ HEART, ALL BURNING

To Jesus’Heart all burning

With fervent love for men,

My heart with fondest yearning

Shall raise the joyful strain.

Refrain

While ages course along

Blest be with loudest song,

The Sacred Heart of Jesus

By ev’ry heart and tongue,

The Sacred Heart of Jesus

By ev’ry heart and tongue.

O Heart for me on fire

With love no man can speak,

My yet untold desire,

God gives me for Thy sake. Refrain.

Too true I have forsaken

Thy flock by wilful sin,

Yet now let me be taken

Back to Thy fold again. Refrain.

IMMACULATE MARY

Immaculate Mary,

Thy praises we sing.

Who reignest in splendour

With Jesus our King.

Refrain

Ave, Ave, Ave Maria !

Ave, Ave, Ave Maria !

In Heaven the Blessed,

Thy glory proclaim,

On earth we, thy cildren

Invoke thy fair name. Refrain.

Thy name is our power,

Thy virtues our light,

Thy love is our comfort,

Thy pleading our might. Refrain.

We pray for our Mother

The Church upon earth ;

And bless dearest Lady,

The land of our birth. Refrain.

HAIL, HOLY QUEEN

Hail, Holy Queen enthroned above,

O Maria, Hail Mother of Mercy and of love, O Maria.

Refrain

Triumph all ye Cherubim,

Sing with us ye Seraphim,

Heav’n and earth

Resound the hymn :

Salve, Salve, Salve Regina.

Our life, our sweetness here below,

O Maria.

Our hope in sorrow and in woe, Ô Maria. (Refrain).

Litany for Catholic vacations (holidays)

Litany for Catholic vacations (holidays)

This litany for Catholic vacations has been composed for the use of parents. Meant for private recitation, it can be modified and adapted to the needs of each household.

It can equally encourage the making of concrete resolutions or lead, week after week, to a necessary examination of conscience.     (Note:  Click here to download the more printable and concise version).

Lord, have mercy on us

Christ, have mercy on us

Lord, have mercy on us

Christ, hear us

Christ, graciously hear us

God our Father in Heaven, have mercy on us

God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us

God the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us

Holy Mary, pray for us

Saint Joseph, pray for us

Holy Family of Nazareth, help us

To sanctify ourselves during the vacations, Lord make us understand the need

To sanctify ourselves during the vacations, Lord give us a firm desire

To sanctify ourselves during the vacations, Lord give us the grace

To prepare spiritually for the vacations, Lord give us the grace

To understand the difficulties of this, Lord…

To centre them on the holy sacrifice of the Mass, Lord….

To frequent more than ever the sacrament of penance, Lord…..

To foresee a wise use of time, Lord……

To impose regular times for going to bed and for getting up, Lord….

To say morning prayers, often the most forgotten, Lord….

To make of the daily rosary a loving meditation, Lord…

To have, each evening, true contrition for our faults, Lord…..

To mix gentleness and firmness in the exercise of authority, Lord…

To make our children study during the vacations, Lord….

To maintain in their souls the sense of service and sacrifice, Lord…

To demand their help regularly, even when it seems easier and quicker to do everything ourselves, Lord….

To take time for study and serious reading ourselves, and to give the taste for it to our children, Lord….

To talk seriously to our children, Lord…

To speak with each one individually, Lord….

To reply properly to their questions, and above all to know how to give rise to good questions, Lord…

To be like children with our children, Lord…

To enter into their games with simplicity but without silliness and to always lift their souls, Lord….

To give them healthy occupations, Lord…

To adapt ourselves to the abilities and interests of each child but without ever leaving them totally to themselves, Lord…..

To carry calmly and lovingly the cross of constant supervision, Lord…

To inspire noble projects in the souls of our adolescents, Lord….

To encourage discreetly but firmly their perseverance, Lord…..

To supervise their friendships and their reading, Lord….

To protect them from mind-destroying games, Lord…

To always keep in mind the fear for the salvation of their souls, Lord..

To accept vexations, as coming from the hand of God, Lord…

To make our children accept them in the same way, Lord….

To bear with dignity and joyfully the problem of bad weather, Lord…

To never affront Christian modesty, Lord…

To avoid places that are morally polluted, Lord….

To refuse courageously to watch television, Lord…

To protect effectively our home against the fashions, music, images and influences of the world, Lord…

To make chastity loved there, Lord….

To make true Christian joy reign there, Lord….

To perceive throughout creation your glory and your goodness, Lord…..

To appreciate the masterpieces of our Christian civilisation, Lord…

To know how to make beauty admired, Lord….

To often sing as a family, Lord…

To live in your presence both in the humblest occupations and in the most absorbing, Lord…

From the snares of the devil, Lord protect our family

From the spirit of the world, Lord protect our family

From the spirit of independence, Lord protect our family

From the spirit of sensual pleasure, Lord…..

From the spirit of mockery, Lord….

From the spirit of over-excitement, Lord…

From the seductions of radio and television, Lord…..

From weakness and laziness, Lord….

From stupidity and the pervading vulgarity, Lord…

From ugly and brutalising images, Lord…

From the loss of the meaning of effort, Lord…

From casualness in dress and behaviour, Lord..

From the sadness of a day without sacrifice, Lord…

From the abdication of responsibility, Lord…..

Lamb of God Who takest away the sins of the world, spare us O Lord

Lamb of God Who takest away the sins of the world, graciously hear us O Lord

Lamb of God Who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us

Litany composed by Le Sel de la terre

And inspired by similar Litany composed for young men and ladies by

Alain MUS (“Litanies pour les vacances”)

Little catechism of the Second Vatican Council (Part Eight) – The Nine Decrees (decrees 1-5)

Little catechism of the Second Vatican Council (Part Eight) – The Nine Decrees (decrees 1-5)

by Fr. Pierre-Marie, O.P.

Dominican in Avrillé

 

From Le Sel de la terre 93, Summer 2015

(continued,number 8)

 

The Nine Decrees

 

1. The three Decrees on bishops and priests

1. Christus Dominus (CD): the pastoral duty of bishops.

2. Presbyterorum ordinis (PO): the ministry and life of priests.

3. Optatam totius Ecclesiæ renovationem (OT): the formation of priests.

 

How does Christus Dominus (CD) describe the bishop?

[Note from editor:  reminder from a previous article that LG=”Lumen Gentium”]

CD, conforming to LG (especially its chapter 3), views the bishop above all as a pastor (exercising the power to govern) to the detriment of his two other aspects of doctor and pontiff (having the powers of teaching and sanctifying) (§ 1, 2, 9, 11, 16).

Did CD change the doctrine concerning the episcopacy?

The principal change concerns the power given by the consecration.  According to traditional doctrine, only the power of orders is given by the episcopal consecration, with an aptitude to receive jurisdiction10.  But CD, in its § 3, affirms that the bishops receive their “episcopal office” through the “episcopal consecration”, referring to LG § 21: “Episcopal consecration, together with the office of sanctifying, also confers the office of teaching and of governing“.

 

What remarks do you make on Presbyterorum ordinis (PO)?

§ 2 (in accordance with LG § 2, 4, and 17) speaks first of the priesthood of all the baptized (“all the faithful are made a holy and royal priesthood“) and then of the ministerial priesthood (“The same Lord, however, has established ministers among his faithful“), as if the latter emanates from the former, a Protestant idea.

§ 9 encourages priests to share the ecumenical attitude of the Council: “Mindful of the prescripts on ecumenism [a note refers to UR], let them not forget their brothers who do not enjoy full ecclesiastical communion with us.”

Finally, § 12 encourages the priests to be “consistently better instruments in the service of the whole People of God” “to fulfill its pastoral desires of an internal renewal of the Church [understood: the formation of a new Conciliar Church], of the spread of the Gospel in every land [the new evangelization], and of a dialogue with the world of today” [dialogue replacing missionary work]”.  As can be seen, PO expresses, between the lines, a new conception of the priest and his mission.

What remarks do you make on Optatam totius (OT)?

This decree’s aim is to add “new elements…which correspond to the constitutions and decrees of this sacred council and to the changed conditions of our times” (preamble) and “forming the future priests of Christ in the spirit of the renewal promoted by this sacred synod“.  It thus concerns forming priests having the spirit of Vatican II.

In particular, they must be formed for dialogue (§ 15 and 19), a term “completely unknown and unused in the Church’s teaching before the council11OT refers to the encyclical Ecclesiam suam of Paul VI (6 August 1964), which introduced the new conception of dialogue, to the detriment of the missionary spirit.  Before the Council, priests were formed to be missionaries.  Now they are formed for dialogue.

§ 15 is very insufficient regarding what concerns philosophical studies.  There is no mention of Saint Thomas Aquinas, but only of “relying on a philosophical patrimony which is perennially valid” (with a reference to Ecclesiam suam of Paul VI); “taking into account the philosophical investigations of later ages” is recommended.  Now, the current crisis in the Church essentially adheres to the introduction of a false subjective philosophy to the detriment of the realist philosophy of Saint Thomas Aquinas.  This is why Saint Pius X proposed as the primary remedy of modernism “the scholastic philosophy…which the Angelic Doctor has bequeathed to us” (Pascendi, § 45) and vigorously insisted in his last Motu proprio, Doctoris angelici (29 June 1914): “if they [‘teachers of philosophy and sacred theology’] deviated so much as a step, in metaphysics especially, from Thomas Aquinas, they exposed themselves to grave risk“.

§ 16 asks to draw one’s inspiration from LG and SC, whose differences we have seen12.

Did not Msgr. Lefebvre rely on OT for the formation of his priests?

OT was prepared by a commission presided over by Cardinal Giuseppe Pizzardo, who was Prefect of the Congregation for Seminaries since 1937 and who held offices in the Curia since 1908, under the reign of St. Pius X. It is not surprising to find there some good passages.  A paragraph of OT (§ 16), which concerned the place of Saint Thomas Aquinas in a course of theology, inspired Msgr. Lefebvre for his seminary; he also drew from this decree the idea of a year of spirituality (§ 12).

2.  The two Decrees on the religious and the laity13

1. Perfectæ caritatis (PC): the renovation and adaptation of religious life.

2. Apostolicam actuositatem (AA): the apostolate of the laity.

What adaptation did Perfectæ caritatis (PC) accomplish?

PC adapts the religious life… to the spirit of the world.

The Church has always honored religious life, which it considers as a state of perfection superior to the ordinary state of Christians, aiming at more easily acquiring sanctity, i.e., the heroic exercise of Christian virtues.

From the preamble, the religious life is presented not as a state of perfection but as “a splendid sign of the heavenly kingdom“.  PC does not speak of state of life, avoids the expression “state of perfection“, and mentions heroic virtues only incidentally to the search for perfection or sanctity14.

Another remarkable absence in this Decree: the virtue of religion (the word does not appear), which nevertheless characterizes religious life to the point of having given it its name.  It is by the assiduous practice of this virtue that the religious easily and rapidly achieve the perfection of Christian life.

In the name of the new “virtue” of equality, PC erases the hierarchy between the Christians of the world and the religious15, between the lay religious and choir religious16.

Thus, the Decree satisfied the objections of the Protestants who did not want to hear talk about a superiority of the religious life over the life in the world, nor of clerics over the laity.

Finally, while encouraging the religious to preserve “their withdrawal from the world” (§ 7), PCurges them to adjust their way of life to modern needs” (§ 10), “to the needs of our time” (§ 18), “to the requirements of time and…to modern conditions” (§ 20).  And in fact the adaptation “with the needs of our age” (§ 2) will be more applied than the “separation from the world” that characterized the religious life and spirit in the past.

It is no surprise that by revising the constitutions of the religious orders17 after the Council, the religious life in all the Church was destroyed in a few years.  The few religious who remain today –  apart from the resistors who try, against the winds and tides, to conserve the ancient conception of religious life – hardly distinguish themselves from the laity, and not only by the fact that they do not wear a habit!  (Moreover, as an aside, PC also allowed for the adaption of the religious habit18.)

What are the deficiencies of Apostolicam actuositatem (AA)?

This Decree tends to promote the laity unduly, the autonomy of the natural order ambiguously, Catholic action imprudently, false ecumenism, and is silent on the scourge of laicism.

How does AA promote the laity?

The promotion of the laity is done under the pretext of battling against what the progressives call “clericalism” and which, in reality, is only the divine will of a hierarchy between clerics and the laity19.

Without explicitly suppressing this hierarchy, this Decree opens doors that will largely serve, after the Council, to allow the laity into the government of the Church.

Some examples of ambiguous phrases exaggerate the role of the laity:

The Christian vocation by its very nature is also a vocation to the apostolate” (§ 2): one should recall that the apostolate of the laity is by nature different from the apostolate of the hierarchy, and that – except in particular cases – the laity first are sanctified by the good exercise of their duty of state: the primary mission of a family mother is to raise her children well, and not to go perform an apostolate outside her home!

But the laity likewise share in the priestly, prophetic, and royal office of Christ and therefore have their own share in the mission of the whole people of God in the Church and in the world.” (§ 2): exaggeration of the “priesthood” of the laity.  For the lay Christian, this “priesthood” consists in offering himself in sacrifice as a holy host (Rom. 12:1), not in exercising an apostolate “in the Church and in the world“.

Can one speak of an autonomy of the natural order?

The Council, in several of its texts, opens the way toward a form of naturalism in insisting on the autonomy of the natural order (§ 7 20).  AA also speaks of the “many areas of human life [that] have become increasingly autonomous” (§ 2), the “autonomy of the family” (§ 11), and the “autonomy of…various lay associations and enterprises” (§ 26).

It is true that there are laws (“law” is called “nomos” in Greek) proper to the natural order, to the family, and to the various human activities, but it is dangerous to speak of  autonomy in an age so distinguished by the spirit of independence and difficulty in submitting to a hierarchy.

It cannot be a coincidence that the “May 1968″ [riots in France] took place three years after the end of the Council, and that today all intervention of the Church in the temporal and lay domain is easily interpreted as clericalism.

What does AA say about Catholic action?

An entire paragraph (§ 20) of AA praises Catholic action understood according to Pius XI as a “collaboration of the laity in the apostolate of the hierarchy“.  “The most holy Council earnestly recommends these associations [of Catholic action] … which…produced excellent results for Christ’s kingdom.  These societies were deservedly recommended and promoted by the popes and many bishops“.

But it is known how Catholic action, initially conceived by St. Pius X as a movement of Catholics aiming to restore a Catholic society, later became a progressive movement, a so-called apostolate “for the environment“, in fact a center of agitation and protest in the Church.

How does AA sacrifice to ecumenism?

Vatican II having an ecumenical aim, it was necessary that it appear in the decree AA: “The quasi-common heritage of the Gospel and the common duty of Christian witness resulting from it recommend and frequently require the cooperation of Catholics with other Christians … common human values not infrequently call for cooperation between Christians pursuing apostolic aims and those who do not profess Christ’s name but acknowledge these values.  By this…cooperation…the laity bear witness to Christ, the Savior of the world, as well as to the unity of the human family.” (§ 27).

Unfortunately, as will be seen with the decree UR, the ecumenism promoted by the Council is a false ecumenism aiming not for the conversion of non-Catholics, but for the Masonic promotion of the unity of mankind: that thereafter led to the horrors of the various “Assisi” reunions and of post-conciliar interreligious dialogue.

(To be continued)


The Consecration of Families to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

The Consecration of Families to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

by Fr Gabriel-Marie Jacquier (1906-1942) of the Congregation of the brothers of Saint-Vincent de Paul

Preparation

We should choose a feast day of Our Lady’s, a Saturday or Sunday, or an important family anniversary.  You could make a novena together, before this solemnity, perhaps of the Rosary or Litanies.

During the preparation days, our hearts and spirits should be turned towards the Queen who is to come, and whose coming we should ardently desire.  Each one, separately, will consecrate himself or herself to the service of the Immaculate Heart according to the individual formula.

On the actual day of the consecration, it would be good to go to Holy Communion together, so that Jesus may give to our souls his filial spirit towards Mary.

In the main room where the family normally gathers together, we should have a statue or a picture of the Blessed Virgin, placed as if on a throne of glory with flowers and candles.

If at all possible, we should invite a priest to preside as a representative of Jesus and Mary.

The Ceremony of Consecration

1.  The recitation of three decades of the Rosary

  • The first, in honour of the mutual love of the eternal Father and His well-beloved daughter and to join ourselves spiritually in this love.
  • The second, in honour of the mutual love of the incarnate Word and his tender Mother, and to join ourselves spiritually in this love.
  • The third, in honour of the mutual love of the Holy Ghost and His virginal Spouse, and to join ourselves spiritually in that love.

2.  A Canticle in honour of the Blessed Virgin, if possible

3.  The formal blessing of the statue or picture by the priest , unless it has already been blessed

4.  A talk by the priest to explain the profound meaning of this consecration, the obligations that come with it, and the graces it promises.

(If there is no priest, then the head of the family can give this explanation.)

5.  The head of the family says the act of consecration, with everyone kneeling around him

Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of MaryIn the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.  Amen.

Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, and tender Mother of men / to fulfil the desires of the Sacred Heart, / we consecrate ourselves to thee, and to thy Immaculate Heart, / and recommend to thee / all the families of our nation and of all the world.

Please accept our consecration, dearest Mother, / and use us and all families as thou wishest, / to accomplish thy designs upon the world.

O Immaculate Heart of Mary, / Queen of Heaven and earth, and of our family, / rule over us, together with the Sacred Heart of Jesus-Christ, our King. / Save us from the spreading flood of modern paganism, / kindle in our hearts and homes the love of purity, / the practice of the Catholic life, / and an ardent zeal for souls and for the holiness of family life.

We come with confidence to thee, / O throne of grace and Mother of fair love; / inflame us with the same divine fire / which has inflamed thy own Immaculate Heart.

Make our hearts and homes thy shrine, / and through us make the Heart of Jesus / rule and triumph in every family in the world.  Amen

6. Prayer to Saint Joseph, father of every Catholic family

Prayer to Saint JosephO Glorious Saint Joseph, after having consecrated ourselves to thy Holy Spouse, we come to celebrate thy glory and to rejoice with thee over thy predestination of being the shadow of the Eternal Father for Jesus, and the chaste spouse of Mary.

Trusting in thy most powerful goodness, a living reflection of the goodness of God the Father, we humbly ask thee to extend to us the paternal providence with which thou surrounded Jesus and Mary.

Baptism plunges us into the Heart of thy Spouse, and makes us members of thy divine Son;  we therefore, like them, want to abandon ourselves totally to thy care.

Help us to live, by thy example, in intimacy with them, which will introduce us to the family life of the most Holy Trinity.

But as the difficulties of the valley of tears could distract us from this unique love, we give thee all our worries and all our preoccupations.  Be therefore for us, as thou were for Jesus and Mary, the provider of bread, of clothing, of daily shelter and medicine for our poor bodies.  Shelter us from attacks of the devil, as thou once avoided the pursuits of Herod;  but above all, be as thou were in Nazareth, the veil which screens us from the curiosity of the world, so that we can peacefully grow in pure love.

O Saint Joseph, we glorify thy paternal goodness by peacefully trusting thee and by giving thee our filial love.  We are sure that thy attentive providence will never fail thy children, and that it will bring us into an ever closer intimacy with Jesus and Mary, and through them, with the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.   Amen!

7.  Magnificat for the graces given to Mary and to this family

8.  Blessing of the priest who represents Jesus and Mary

**

Short formula for renewing the consecration at the beginning of morning and evening prayers

Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of the world, we acknowledge thy supreme dominion over our family.

We abandon ourselves to thy maternal leadership, teach us to love the Heart of Jesus, and to reproduce in our lives thy Nazareth home.

We offer thee all the merits of this day for the triumph of your Immaculate Heart, and through thee the triumph of Christ the King.  Amen!

****

After the Consecration

From now on, may the Heart of Mary be considered the centre of this family:  may her image have a place of honour, next to that of Jesus, everywhere in the house.

Her feast days and Saturdays will be celebrated communally; devotions to her, especially the Rosary, will increase in the home.  The Heart of Mary will be included in all events both happy and unhappy.

It’s before her image that we will gather together to thank her for favours received or for acceptance of crosses.  We will greet her on coming in, and on going out, and often throughout the day.  We will add an invocation to Mary at the end of blessings and grace before and after meals.  We will celebrate with the Virgin of Nazareth the main family anniversaries, baptisms, confirmations, marriages, special favours, etc.  Every year we will solemnly renew the consecration , following, as much as possible, the already indicated preparation and ceremonial.

Every day, at the start of morning and evening prayers, a brief formula will remind everyone that the whole family belongs to Mary.  Every member of this privileged family will do their best to live in intimate and habitual union with Mary, Queen and Mother of the home, always going to her as a little child goes to its mother.

In order to be worthy of the Immaculate heart of Mary, the family will put into practices the holy laws of Christian marriage, safeguarding the union of spirits and hearts, in a peaceful hierarchy, and inspiring simplicity in all things, purity and devotion to the house of Nazareth.

— Family influence

Reunions of families could be organized periodically in order to pray together to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and to receive instruction that will help them reproduce the examples of the Holy Family.

A large part will be given to education.

You will set out to win over other homes to our Mother.  With this end in mind, you will pass on apostolic experiences and study the way one should act in various different circles.

Published in Le Sel de la terre 9

(Summer 1994)

A text on the consecration of families to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is going to be published soon.

Little catechism of the Second Vatican Council (Part Seven) – The Four Constitutions (continued): Gaudium et Spes – The Place of the Church in the Modern World

Little catechism of the Second Vatican Council (Part Seven) – Gaudium et Spes – The Place of the Church in the Modern World

by Fr. Pierre-Marie, O.P.

Dominican in Avrillé

 

From Le Sel de la terre 93, Summer 2015

(continued,number 7)

 

The Four Constitutions

IV

Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes –  on the place of the Church in the modern world

 

What is the importance of this text?

Because the Council intended to accomplish an updating (aggiornamento) to bring the Church closer to the modern world, this Constitution is the most representative of the Council.  Just as the Syllabus of Pius IX in a way constituted the charter of the position of the Church in the face of the modern world before Vatican II 1, so too is GS the charter of the Conciliar Church:

Gaudium et Spes is (along with the texts on religious liberty and the world religions) a revision of the Syllabus of Pius IX, a sort of counter-Syllabus. […] This text plays the role of a counter-Syllabus insofar as it represents an attempt at officially reconciling the Church with the world as it has become since 1789 2.

What is the fundamental error of this text?

The fundamental error of this text, which is that of Vatican II and in a general way that of the Conciliar Church, is having attempted this “official reconciliation of the Church with the world such as it has become since 1789,” whereas Pope Pius IX solemnly condemned in advance such an attitude in the last proposition of the Syllabus: “The Roman Pontiff can, and ought to, reconcile himself, and come to terms with progress, liberalism and modern civilization.” (condemned proposition).

Msgr. Gaume explains this well in his Petit catéchisme du Syllabus 3:

The Sovereign Pontiff neither can nor should reconcile himself with these three things 4 because they tend to ruin the tutelary authority of the Church, degrade man, and render him wretched5.

The proof is established by the facts; after Vatican II the ruin of the authority of the Church and the degradation and the miserable state of men have only accelerated.

Is there a Freemasonic influence in this text?

Masonic doctrine appears clearly in this text, as it does in the text on religious liberty.  Also, these two documents are the only ones that Archbishop Lefebvre refused to approve at the Council.

Where does the Masonic doctrine of gnosis appear?

In several places, in particular when the text affirms that “the Godlike seed…has been sown in” (§ 3, 2) man, and that “by His incarnation the Son of God has united Himself in some fashion with every man” (§ 22, 2).

GS affirms it of every man; it can only be understood in the perspective of the gnosis according to which there is in the depths of man a spark of divinity, and that man should regain consciousness of his dignity, without having need of the faith or baptism.

Let us note that in § 22, 2 we find the expression “in some fashion” which allows for stating a heresy without clearly affirming it.  But afterwards, “in some fashion” will be suppressed and the heresy of universal redemption will be clearly taught, notably by John-Paul II6.

Where does the Masonic doctrine of humanism appear?

Masonic humanism is a consequence of its gnosis; because man is “Godlike“, one should affirm his dignity and even make him the center of the universe.  GS insists much on the “dignity” of man7.

The entire chapter 1 of GS is related to the dignity of man, notably that of his conscience, independently of whether he follows the moral law or not: “Conscience frequently errs from invincible ignorance without losing its dignity.” (§ 16, 1).

The dignity of man is not lost, even if he adheres to error: “it is necessary to distinguish between error, which always merits repudiation, and the person in error, who never loses the dignity of being a person” (§ 28, 2).

This dignity was even increased, for all men, by the Incarnation: “Since human nature as He assumed it was not annulled, by that very fact it has been raised up to a divine dignity in our respect too.  For by His incarnation the Son of God has united Himself in some fashion with every man.” (§ 22, 2).

This dignity is equal in all men (§ 29, 3); private and public institutions are at its service (§ 29, 4); it establishes the relationship between the Church and the world (§ 40, 1); better than all others, the Church ensures its respect (§ 41); it is necessary to honor and promote it also in social and economic life; consciousness of this dignity has increased in our time (§ 26 and 72), etc.

But the most incredible passage of GS remains the affirmation:

According to the almost unanimous opinion of believers and unbelievers alike, all things on earth should be related to man as their center and crown.” (§ 12).

Msgr. Tissier de Mallerais judges that “this conciliar passage is the expression of an anthropocentrism that verges on blasphemy” 8.

Where does the Masonic doctrine of the rights of man appear?

The text frequently speaks about them (three times more frequently than the duties of man), saying that the Church, in virtue of the Gospel that was confided to it, proclaims them (§ 41, 3), that it asks that they be developed in all regimes that recognize them (§ 41, 3), that these rights are universal and inviolable (§ 26, 2), that it is necessary to respect them (§ 65, 66, 75), protect them (§ 26, 2), where it is affirmed that this is one of the advantages of “socialization“, (§ 29), promote them (including the rights “to express one’s own opinion and to profess one’s religion both publicly and privately“, § 73), and defend them (including, if needs be, by strikes—although in certain civilized countries striking is justly forbidden by the law, e.g. in certain Swiss cantons).

In summary:

« With respect to the fundamental rights of the person, every type of discrimination, whether social or cultural, whether based on sex, race, color, social condition, language or religion, is to be overcome and eradicated as contrary to God’s intent.  For in truth it must still be regretted that fundamental personal rights are still not being universally honored [§ 29, 2]. »

It is known that the doctrine of the Rights of Man, issuing from the masonic lodges, was proclaimed by the French Revolution (afterwards by the United States) and condemned by the Church as the expression of a new right that is not based on the natural law and on the Gospel, but on general will 9.

Subsequently, the more recent popes have sought to proclaim a correct doctrine of “fundamental rights” of the human person in the face of totalitarianism 10.  Whatever the success of such an enterprise is, the text of GS favors the Masonic interpretation of the doctrine of the Rights of Man, even if only because it does not mention any of the condemnations of the novel right 11.

Does GS speak of laicism?

No, not more than the other texts of the Council, whereas a pastoral council should have spoken of this, “the plague which now infects society12“, which consists in denying the rights of Our Lord Jesus Christ over society.  Certainly GS asks Catholics to conduct themselves thus within the framework of public life (§ 43, 1), but it specifies that it is “the function of their well-formed Christian conscience to see that the divine law is inscribed in the life of the earthly city” (§ 43, 2).  This detour to “conscience” suffices to annul the objective and obligatory character of the submission of society to Christ the King.  Laicism is very dear to Freemasons, and it is undoubtedly why the Council would not attack it.

Where does the realization of the goal of Freemasonry appear?

The aim of Freemasonry is the “reconstruction of the Temple“, i.e., the reunification of humanity dispersed after the episode of the Tower of Babel.  This Masonic “great work” is performed under the guidance of the Great Architect of the Universe, which is none other than Lucifer seeking to be adored in the place of God and who also prepares the coming of the Antichrist.  He will lead the world government when the aim is implemented13.

Now, we have seen, the Council set itself the goal of working for “the unity of the whole human race” (§ 42, 3), and it is above all in GS that this desire is expressed. In its preface, the text joins the idea of a “brotherhood of all men” (§ 3, 2) to the gnostic thesis of the “Godlike seed” sown in all men:

« Therefore, this sacred synod, proclaiming the noble destiny of man and championing the Godlike seed which has been sown in him, offers to mankind the honest assistance of the Church in fostering that brotherhood of all men which corresponds to this destiny of theirs [§ 3, 2]. »

And in its conclusion, GS returns to the matter, affirming that this is the aim of the constitution and that this “brotherhood of all men” includes all men, believers and unbelievers.

« Drawn from the treasures of Church teaching, the proposals of this sacred synod look to the assistance of every man of our time, whether he believes in God, or does not explicitly recognize Him.  If adopted, they will promote among men a sharper insight into their full destiny, and thereby lead them to fashion the world more to man’s surpassing dignity, to search for a brotherhood which is universal and more deeply rooted, and to meet the urgencies of our ages with a gallant and unified effort born of love [§ 91, 1]. »

Could you please identify some other errors taught or favored by GS?

  • The text suggests the inversion of the ends of marriage14 and the condemnation of the Catholic doctrine of just war (§ 82), favors conscientious objection (§ 78 and 79), promotes democracy to the detriment of other legitimate forms of government (notably § 31, 3 and 7515), etc.
  • One can even indicate the scandalous silence of GS, a pastoral constitution devoted to the problems of our time, on communism which savagely persecuted Christians then, despite a request from more than 450 bishops.  But this silence was the result of a secret Rome-Moscow pact.
(To be continued)

Letter from the Dominicans of Avrillé # 28: May 2018

Letter from the Dominicans of Avrillé

No. 28: May 2018

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Chrismal Mass at the Friary (Holy Thursday)

Christian Vacation: a Few Tips

• God is never on vacation, because He is Pure Act. “My Father worketh until now, and I work” (John 5:17).  Therefore, there should not be any “vacation” in our relations with Him.  When one truly loves God, vacation time is not an occasion to diminish our love for Him, nor for our neighbor.

• There’s no vacation when it comes to education, either.  Parents are still charged with the task of watching over their children, helping them, and supporting them.  They must take advantage of vacations to spend more time with their children, according to their possibilities, and reinforce family life.  That means taking the time to talk, live, and pray together.

It can be beneficial to send the children on a good summer camp (when possible), provided that the parents also fulfill their duty to spend time with their children.

• Determine a schedule for rising and going to bed.

morning: Set a time for rising relatively early (rising late softens the body and weakens the will); say morning prayers as a family.

evening: banish all screens, which impede relations between family members; say night prayers together, and set a time for going to bed.

• Make a schedule. For example:

morning: a time for reading (catechism, lives of the saints, history…)

afternoon: wholesome activities such as games outside with the participation of the parents as well as the children; excursions to learn about your region, its history, its traditions (that may require a bit of preparation); long nature walks to contemplate, admire and learn more about the plants and animals of the area, observe the stars…  Stay away from beaches that are a danger for morals.

It’s important that during all these activities, the parents and children be together as much as possible.  For a mother to stay in the house in order to “get things done,” while sending the children to play outside without taking an interest in what they’re doing, can be a double fault: not supervising the children, and not making them participate in household chores.  “There’s more joy in giving than in receiving.”

Adults: beware of letting children of all ages, boys and girls mixed together, play together unsupervised, so the adults can be at peace.  Alas! How many tragedies are discovered afterwards, when it’s too late!

• Don’t forget regular confession, and going to Mass more often, when it’s possible.

Community Chronicle

January 12th: Father Reginald is in Saint-Malo-du-Bois (Vendee region) with the Knights of Our Lady for a formation session.

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Candlemas procession in the cloister

February 5th: Fathers Innocent-Marie and Terence visit Schola Nova, a school in Belgium where spoken Latin is taught successfully, from the primary grades to high school.

At the Friary, the Student Brothers and seminarians undergo three days of exams.

February 24th: Bishop Zendejas celebrates a Pontifical High Mass for the Tonsure and First Minor Orders (Porter and Lector) for several seminarians and the Second Minor Orders (Exorcist and Acolyte) for our Brother Agostinho (Brazil).  The following Sunday, His Excellency gives a conference for the faithful on the situation of Tradition in the U.S.

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Tonsure and Minor Orders : Feb. 24th

March 2nd: On the eve of the first Saturday of the month, the pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima that visited our region in 2017 is permanently installed in Saint Dominic’s Oratory (the chapel connected to the vestibule of the Friary Church).  Her presence among us will be a constant reminder of the urgency of the message of Fatima, last remedy given by Heaven to save the world, especially from the danger of communism (global socialism).  Thanks to the generosity of the faithful, a second pilgrim statue was also acquired, so that Our Lady may continue to visit the families of the parish.

March 24th: Fathers Louis-Marie and Angelico are in Paris to represent the Friary at the annual “Reality Fair” [“Fête du Pays Réel”].  This gathering organized by the Catholic nationalist organization “Civitas,” brings people from all over France to meet writers, artists, activists, clergy, and religious communities who make up the “real world.”

March 29th-April 1st: Easter Triduum.  With the help of the seminarians, a few visiting priests (and two Bishops!), the Triduum ceremonies were celebrated with particular solemnity.  For the third year in a row, we were blessed to have a Chrismal Mass.

At the same time, Father Reginald was in Brazil helping Bishop Thomas Aquinas provide the Holy Week ceremonies to the faithful.

April 2nd-8th: Father Marie-Dominique is in Saint-Malo-du-Bois (Vendee region) preaching the annual retreat for the Sisters of Our Lady Co-Redemptrix.

April 8th-14th: Annual trip to Rome for the seniors of St. Thomas Boys’ School, accompanied by Father Hyacinthe-Marie.

April 12th-16th: Trip to the U.S. for Fathers Angelico and Marie-Laurent.  After a short stop in New York visiting with Bishop Zendejas, the Fathers preach a day of recollection for the faithful at St. Joseph’s Mission in Emmet, Kansas.  On Sunday: High Mass followed by a potluck and conference, with a get-together for the tertiaries in the afternoon.

May 1st: At the end of a week-long retreat, our three postulants receive the habit of the order:  Brother Gabriel (Timothy, from Arizona), Brother Pie-Marie (Louis, from France) and Brother Marie-Thomas (Nicolas, from France, former student of St. Thomas Boys’ School).

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One of the postulants receiving his new name

News from our worksites

Thanks to the expert help of a parishioner, we were able to greatly reduce the construction costs for the new Parish Hall.  What’s more, the new blueprints are even better adapted to our needs than before.  However, that has involved a few delays…  Hopefully in the next newsletter we will finally be able to show some pictures of the progress of the worksite.  At the Priory (St. Thomas Boys’ School), the arched gate of the main entrance had to be renovated after severe damage due to age and weather.  The stones overhead had become dislodged from the mortar, and there was a risk of collapse.

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Renovation of arched entryway

Crisis in the Church:

Pope honors pro-abortion activist

The Pontifical Equestrian Order of St. Gregory the Great was created in 1831 by Pope Gregory XVI in order to honor certain people for their personal dedication and self-sacrifice to the cause of the Holy See and the Roman Catholic Church.

It’s “surprising,” therefore, to see that last January, membership of this prestigious order was granted to Mrs. Liliane Ploumen, former Dutch minister of Commerce, who is particularly active in the worldwide propagation of abortion and LGBT associations.  She specified to the press that her pro-abortion activism was not mentioned during the ceremony of decoration, but seeing that she had been congratulated for her role in developing “resources in society,” she sees that as a “confirmation of what [she’s] doing for young women, for abortion.”  (Medias-Catholique.Info n°18 – week of January 18th, 2018)

Masonic grip on the Vatican

In February, 2017, Pope Francis named Mr. Peter Sutherland president of the International Catholic Commission on Migrations, and counselor to the Administration of the Heritage of the Holy See.

Sutherland, an active member of the directing committee of the Bilderberg Group, and of the European section of the Trilateral Commission, was also president of Goldman Sachs International from 2005 to 2015:

Goldman Sachs International is an invisible empire worth 700 billion euros (six times the annual budget of France); a money empire “over which the Sun never sets,” constituting a power over and above governments.  It doesn’t matter whether the Pope is a conscious agent or just being manipulated.  The result of these tight links with the “One World Order” is a perfect alignment between Vatican policy and the freemasonic, humanistic, globalist universalism which is working toward the dissolution of nations and cultures, to welcome migrants from all over the world with the goal of constructing a new multi-cultural, multi-religious world without boundaries: the world of the Anti-Christ. (Medias-Catholique.Info n° 16, week of January 4th, 2018)

For timely articles and spiritual reading, please go to our website:

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The message of Fatima, the last remedy given to the world

The message of Fatima, the last remedy given to the world


Mary’s Immaculate Heart’s mediation

Fatima is the salvation of the world entrusted to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Indeed, the Angel had indicated the transition in the prayer of atonement that he taught the children in the Fall: they were to ask for the conversion of sinners through the infinite merit of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

On June 13, 1917, Our Lady told Lucy:

Jesus wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. To whoever embraces this devotion, I promise salvation and these souls shall be dear to God, as flowers placed by me to adorn His throne.

That promise alone would suffice to embrace such a devotion!  But what is the Immaculate Heart of Mary?

The Immaculate Heart of Mary

One must first understand the word “heart” in its biblical sense: it is not simply the physical organ, the “muscle”, or the place of all our feelings, but in a general sense it is the human soul with all its faculties.

Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness” God said in Genesis (1,26). Immaculate in her conception, in loving correspondence with even the smallest inspirations of the Holy Spirit, Our Lady’s soul is the masterpiece, the perfect image of the Holy Trinity, and therefore the perfect model of creature.

In the prayer of the Mass of August 22nd, the Church is asking for us the grace to live according to the heart of God by celebrating the solemnity of Mary’s Immaculate Heart: “Ut ejusdem Immaculati Cordis festivitatem devota mente recolentes, secundum Cor tuum vivere valeamus.” The Church makes us understand here that the way to live according to the Heart of God is by imitation of Our Lady’s virtues. 

To have a true devotion to the Heart of Mary is therefore, though her, with her, in her and for her1, to conform always more, with love, to the will of God at the present moment.

That is the devotion to Our Lady for all times. It is now important to understand which clarifications the Virgin Mary provides for today.

The Requests of Our Lady of Fatima

At Fatima, there were two sorts of requests: those addressed to all the faithful, and those meant for the Pope. Let us examine first the requests regarding all the faithful.

A. REQUESTS CONCERNING ALL THE FAITHFUL:

5 points, which can be reduced to 2:

1) Fulfillment of daily duty

Let us listen to Sister Lucy:

The most important thing is the fulfillment of daily duty, and offering these sacrifices to fulfilment of duty for poor sinners.

The secondary requests are the Rosary and the Scapular, and perhaps ever more specifically the things which those two devotions demand: prayerful meditation on the mysteries of the Rosary, and consecration to the Immaculate Heart 2.

Let us briefly explain these few points, and first what is the most important: fulfilment of daily duties.

Over and over again, during those precious hours I was in her company [says sister Lucy] Our Lady emphasized that it is the fulfillment of one’s daily duty, according to one’s state in life, and the sanctification of this effort in reparation for our sins and for the conversion of sinners, which is the primary condition for the turning back of the tide of evil which threatens today’s world 3.

The following words of Sister Lucy also show us that in today’s world, devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary – as well as devotion to the Sacred Heart- is meant for reparation:

In front of the palm of Our Lady’s right hand was a heart encircled by thorns which pierced it.  We understood that this was the Immaculate Heart of Mary, outraged by the sins of humanity, and seeking reparation. (apparition of June 13, 1917)

Today, times are bad.  Sins have become like a wave submerging the world and, since Our Lord, the number of souls being damned has never been so great: that is why Our Lady showed the children Hell on July 13.

The Blessed Virgin Mary invites us to save souls by offering the sacrifices necessary for the accomplishment of our daily duties to her Immaculate Heart, first for our own sins – let’s not forget this! – and for the conversion of sinners.  That is how we will bring back to God the modern man who doesn’t fulfill his duties towards God, towards himself, or towards his neighbor, because he only thinks about claiming his own rights.

Every day, when we get up, we could recite the prayer taught by Our Lady on July 13:

O Jesus, it is for the love of you, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

That morning consecration will affect all our actions of the day, becoming thus offerings in reparation for the Immaculate Heart of Mary, even if we don’t think about it at the time.  But it is also good, of course, to renew this offering during the day as an aspiration, especially whenever a sacrifice is to be offered.

2) Consecration to Our Lady

This offering of all our actions comes back to and leads to the consecration of our life to Our Lord through the Virgin Mary.  It’s the spiritual oblation, the interior sacrifice, shown by the exterior practice of virtues.  We have already spoken of this in connection with the apparitions of the angel – from the summer of 1916 – and which is now being fulfilled by the mediation of Our Lady.

3) The wearing of the scapular of Mount Carmel

In the spirit of Fatima, the scapular which the three children were shown by Our Lady on 13th October, while the crowd was seeing the miracle of the sun, this scapular is both the sign of our consecration to Mary, and a pledge of her very special protection.

4) Daily recitation of the Rosary

The main means given by Our Lady to accomplish this ideal is the Rosary.

Sister Lucy continues :

But (The Virgin Mary) also stressed that the Rosary is indeed important, because it is one of Our Lady’s principal aids given to us to facilitate the sanctification of our daily duty4.

Let us remember here that in his Encyclical Laetitiae Sanctae, Pope Leo XIII saw the Rosary as the best remedy to the present evils in society:

The distaste for a simple and laborious life can be remedied by meditating on the joyful mysteries. (…)

Repugnance to suffering of any kind is healed by meditating on the sorrowful mysteries which teach us patience. (…)

And finally, the forgetfulness of future rewards can be remedied by meditating on the glorious mysteries5.

The Rosary is therefore the most effective means of escaping the indoctrination and conditioning of our spirits organized by the globalists.

Moreover, the request to say the Rosary every day is so important to the Virgin Mary that she keeps coming back to it – like a refrain – in every one of her apparitions from May to October 1917, and on 13th October, when she had promised to tell us her name, she called herself ‘Our Lady of he Rosary’. 

In the recitation of the Rosary it is of course a matter of keeping oneself in the presence of Our Lady, and of meditating or contemplating the different mysteries one after the other. It might be helpful to use some of the numerous little Rosary meditation booklets which are available to us for this purpose.

5) Communion in reparation on the five first Saturdays

This life of reparation to which Our Lady calls all of us should culminate in Eucharistic communion – let’s remember the apparition of the Angel of Portugal in Autumn 1916, and let’s think of the magnificent Trinitarian vision at Tuy in 1929 (13 June), which sums up the whole spirituality of Fatima.

It’s the communion of reparation of the five first Saturdays of the month, announced on 13th July6, and which Our Lady also came to ask for at Pontevedra on 10th December 1925:

I promise to assist at the moment of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months shall receive the sacrament of Confession, receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary, and keep Me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to My Immaculate Heart7.

If the purpose of the preceding requests was the reparation of all sins in general, and to obtain in this way the conversion of sinners, the goal of the devotion of the five first Saturdays is to make reparation for the sins committed especially against the Immaculate Heart of Mary and to save those who committed these sins.

Let us quote here brother Francis of Mary of the Angels:

Ever since God decided to show his design of love, which is to give out his graces to men through the mediation of the Immaculate Virgin, it seems that their refusal to willingly submit to this wish has been the fault which especially wounds His heart, and for which he no longer finds in himself any inclination to forgive. That sin seems to be irremissible; ‘It is a sin that the Gospels call the sin against the Holy Ghost,’says sister Lucy8, ‘A sin that will not be remitted in this world or the next’ (Mt 12,31-32), for there is no crime more unpardonable for our Saviour than the scorning of His most holy Mother and outraging her Immaculate Heart which is the sanctuary of the Holy Ghost9.

And so the Virgin Mary, who is the Queen of Mercy, being unable to bear that souls should be damned because of sins committed against her, has obtained from her Son that this little practice may obtain the saving of many of these souls:

That is the reason why the Immaculate Heart of Mary has inspired Me to ask for this little reparation, says Our Lord; and in consideration of this, to evoke my Mercy to forgive those souls that have had the misfortune of offending her10.

Our Lord will bring to it several precisions, and in the first place, confession can be anticipated:

Confession within eight days is valid, and even beyond that, provided that souls are in a state of grace on the first Saturday when they receive me, and that, in this prior confession, they had the intention of thus making reparation to the Sacred heart of Mary.

Those who forget to formulate this intention, can do so at their next confession, taking advantage of their first opportunity to go to confession11.

The practice of this devotion will be equally acceptable on the Sunday following the first Saturday when priests, for just cause, allow it to souls12.

As to the reason for the number of five Saturdays, Our Lord explained to sister Lucy on 29th May 1930 in Tuy:

There are five kinds of offenses and blasphemies uttered against the Immaculate Heart of Mary:

1. Blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception,

2. Blasphemies against Her Virginity,

3. Blasphemies against Her divine Maternity,

4. The blasphemies of those who publicly seek to place in the hearts of children Indifference or scorn, or even hatred towards this Immaculate Mother,

5. The offenses of those who outrage Her directly in Her holy images13.

**

— Thus we now have the five key points of devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in the spirit of Fatima:

  1. The fulfillment of our daily duties, offered to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in reparation for our sins and for the conversion of sinners;
  2. Consecration to Our Lady;
  3. Wearing the scapular as a sign of this consecration;
  4. Daily recitation of the Rosary;
  5. The communion of reparation on “Five First Saturdays”

— These five components can be brought down to two:

  • Consecration of our whole life to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in reparation for sins in general, and to obtain the conversion of sinners;
  • Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays, which is an expression of love towards Our Lady, in reparation especially for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart, and to save this category of sinners whom the Queen of Mercy wishes (particularly) to snatch from the abyss.

B. REQUESTS OR OUR LADY OF FATIMA

ADDRESSED TO THE POPE

In May, 1930, when sister Lucy was in Tuy, she wrote to Fr. Goncalves:

The good Lord promises to end the persecution in Russia if the Holy Father deigns to make a solemn and public act of reparation, announces the consecration of Russia to the Most Holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary, and commands his bishops throughout the Catholic world to do likewise – with His Holiness promising, that in return for the end of this persecution, he will approve and recommend the practice of the devotion of reparation outlined above (the five First Saturdays)14.

The practice of the communion of reparation (the five First Saturdays) was not spread by the Popes, and the consecration of Russia has not been done yet.

The result has been not only the spreading of Russia’s errors throughout the entire world, with its millions of corpses, but the infiltration of the Church, which is certainly the greatest victory of communism: accomplished in two great waves of infiltration: under Pius XI and then under Pius XII with the Pax movement15; and then the seizing of power at the Second Vatican Council. The plan of the “Alta Vendita” denounced by Pius IX has thus been completed: a revolution in tiara and cope marching under the cross and [papal] banner16.

Our Lord had predicted:

given that they follow the example of the King of France17 in delaying the execution of My requests, they will likewise follow him into misfortune18.

Here lies, no doubt, the entire question of the Third Secret of Fatima : the present crisis in the Church must be seen within the framework of the apparitions of Fatima as the chastisement of the Church for not having responded to the requests of Our Lady.

And this must also guide our Marian piety today.  True devotion to the Blessed Virgin must make us love and imitate her as she is.  Archbishop Lefebvre stated:

The Virgin Mary is neither a liberal, nor a modernist, nor an ecumenist.  She is allergic to all errors, and even more so to apostasy19.

Can we do something?  YES!   Sister Lucy tells us:

Russia will be converted when a sufficient number are offering their sacrifices and fulfilling Our Lady’s requests20.

This amounts to saying that the conversion of Russia will take place when a sufficient number of souls, in the eyes of God, have consecrated their entire lives to the Virgin Mary.  It is this that will obtain the grace for the Pope to convert and to consecrate Russia, which will then unleash the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Our Lady, and so also that of the Sacred Heart.

— I asked Our Lord why He would not convert Russia without the Holy Father making that consecration, wrote sister Lucy.

— Because I want My whole Church to acknowledge that consecration as a triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary,” Our Lord replied, so that it may defend her cult later on, and place devotion to this Immaculate Heart beside the devotion to My Sacred Heart21.

Should we see an announcement of this triumph in these words of Our Lady at La Salette?

Jesus Christ will be served, adored and glorified; Charity will flourish everywhere. The new kings will be the right arm of Holy Church, which will be strong, humble, pious, poor, zealous and imitative of the virtues of Jesus Christ. The Gospel will be preached everywhere, and men will make great strides in the faith, because there will be unity among Jesus Christ’s workers and men will live in the fear of God. This peace among men will be short-lived22 : 25 years of abundant harvests will make them forget that the sins of men are the cause of all the woes which happen on earth23.

As for us personally, united in devotion to the Sacred Heart, the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary will allow us to reach salvation; and should difficult times come, we will come through and keep our souls, and even obtain the grace of martyrdom if necessary.

Personal Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

composed by sister Lucy

Oh, Virgin Mary, Mother of God and our Mother. I consecrate myself entirely to your Immaculate Heart with all that I am and all that I possess.

Take me under your motherly protection, defend me against dangers, help me overcome temptations, watch over the purity of my body and my soul.

May your Immaculate Heart be my refuge and the path that leads me to God.

Give me the grace to pray and sacrifice myself for love of Jesus, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against your Immaculate Heart.

In entrusting myself to you, and in union with the Heart of your divine Son, I want to live for the Very Holy Trinity in whom I believe, whom I adore, in whom I hope, and whom I love.  Amen!


Little catechism of the Second Vatican Council (Part Six) – The Four Constitutions (continued): Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium on the liturgy

Little catechism of the Second Vatican Council (Part Six) – The Four Constitutions (continued):  Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium on the liturgy

by Fr. Pierre-Marie, O.P.

Dominican in Avrillé

 

From Le Sel de la terre 93, Summer 2015

(continued,number 6)

 

The Four Constitutions

III

Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium on the liturgy

 

What are the principle errors contained this constitution?

SC does not clearly assert errors, but it opens doors that will be greatly opened after the Council.

For example :

— in §22, it is said that the Apostolic See alone—and, within certain limits, the bishop—can regulate the liturgy.  But in §23, innovations are permitted, if it is useful ;

— in §36, it is clearly affirmed that “the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites”.  In the following paragraph, one reads, surprisingly: “But since the use of the mother tongue […] frequently may be of great advantage to the people, the limits of its employment may be extended.”

Could you give an example of calculated ambiguity?

SC frequently speaks of the “active participation” of the faithful in the liturgy. This expression—which is found roughly twenty times—would be well understood if it favored spiritual participation, because « it is in the cooperation of the power of the sacrament and of human effort, of the seriously Christian life, and of the sincere tendency toward spiritual perfection that the secret of lively faith consists1. »

But, as what followed has shown, in the name of this active participation the liturgy became noisier and noisier, the laity came to take the place of clerics, etc., without any profit for the faithful2.

Are there other errors in SC?

One can collect a certain number of parallels with Protestant doctrine3:

  • the notion of Pascal mystery which stresses our Redemption in the Resurrection of Our Lord and erases the reality of an expiatory sacrifice in the liturgy (§§ 5 and 6);
  • the Presence of Christ in the Mass is practically placed on the same level as His presence in the minister of the liturgical action, in the power of the sacraments, in His word, and in two or three persons united in His name (§7);
  • §34 requests to do a reform of the rites so that they return to the splendor of a noble simplicity and be devoid of “useless repetitions” (this rationalist and anti-liturgical influence will lead to replacing the sacrificial offertory with a simple “presentation of gifts” in the new mass);
  • underlying §37 one finds inculturation and the so-called unity in liturgical plurality, opposed to the true unity of the Church and Roman spirit;
  • §47 uses, for designating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, neither the notion of “repræsentatio” of the Council of Trent, nor that of “renewal” of the later popes (until Pius XII inclusive), but speaks of “perpetuating” the sacrifice and of “memorial”;
  • §55 requests to give, on certain particular occasions, the Eucharist under two species in the manner of Protestants;
  • §81 requires the suppression of somber thoughts on death by using other liturgical colors than black.  This pleases the Protestants who know neither purgatory nor prayer for the deceased.

What judgment should one make of this Constitution?

The tree is judged by its fruits: the very disastrous liturgical reform is the fruit of SC.  In summary, one can say that the liturgy, which was theocentric until Vatican II, became anthropocentric after the Council.  The worship of man took the place of the worship of God.


The Agony of Our Lord in the Garden (By Fr Charles Hyacinth McKenna O.P.)

The Agony of Our Lord in the Garden

By Fr Charles Hyacinth McKenna O.P.

Then Jesus came with His disciples into a country place which is called Gethsemani; and said to them: Sit you here till I go yonder and pray; and taking with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, He began to grow sorrowful and to be sad.  Then He said to them: My soul is sorrowful even unto death; stay you here, and watch with Me.—Matt, xxvii. 36.

WE NOW COME TO THE SCHOOL OF JESUS CRUCIFIED.  We come now to study in the book of His sacred Passion.  It was in this blessed book that God’s greatest servants learned their most salutary lessons; for here they found the most saving truths, the most sublime wisdom. In this school, for nearly two thousand years, heroic souls have been trained to fight on the world’s great battlefield in the cause of the Master:

— Here, weak women and tender virgins have become strong and brave: and triumphing gloriously over their enemies, have won for themselves imperishable crowns.

— Here have been formed valiant soldiers, noble generals, leaders in the army of God.

— Here theologians have acquired their profoundest knowledge of Christian mysteries: and have drunk, as from an unfailing fountain, the greatest truths of mystical theology.  The Teacher is our Lord Jesus Christ, and He gives us His first lesson in the Garden of Gethsemani.

It is the First Sorrowful Mystery of the Rosary.

St. Alphonsus Liguori asks: “Who can deny that, of all devotions, the devotion to the Passion of Jesus Christ is the most useful, the most tender, and the most pleasing to God?  It affords the greatest consolation to sinners, and is the most powerful means of enkindling in the heart an ardent love for God.”

From the Passion and death of Our Lord, all graces and blessings have come to us.  Through its serious and prayerful consideration we are brought face to face with the manifestation of God’s infinite love for us.  We behold in His mangled body the indisputable proof of that love, as well as the evidence of the enormity of our sins, which required so great an atonement.  At the foot of the cross, the worst of sinners can find mercy.  There they can obtain the grace of true contrition, without which reconciliation with God were impossible.  There they are strengthened in their resolutions to suffer all things, even death itself, rather than again crucify the Son of God by returning to their sins.  The cross of their Redeemer is their shelter, their protection, their chief ground of confidence, their glory.  St. Paul, that ardent lover of Jesus Christ, cried out: “God forbid that I should glory save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom the world is crucified to me, and I to the world.”

In the institution of the Blessed Sacrament, on the night before His Passion, Our Lord gave us the final and most tender proof of His love.  Then it was that He raised His beloved disciples to the sublime dignity of the priesthood, and commanded them to offer the adorable sacrifice of the Mass.  Then it was that He fed them with the Bread of Heaven, to support them through the trial which awaited them.

After the conclusion of that solemn and touching ceremony, He went forth from the supper chamber with His disciples, and passing over the Valley of Josaphat, and the brook Cedron, ascended the mountainside leading to the Garden of Gethsemani.

Bidding the rest of the disciples to wait, He took with Him Peter, James, and John, and entered the depths of Gethsemani, there to prepare Himself for the sacrifice.  And presently, fear and sadness came upon Him, and He began to be exceedingly sorrowful.  Withdrawing even from the three whom He had chosen, He went a little farther into the shadow of the garden, and falling upon His face, prayed: “Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt” (Mt 26, 39).

There is a mystery in this abyss of agonizing grief so deep that God alone can fathom it.  From eternity Christ knew, as God, all that would happen in time; and as man He had seen clearly from the moment of His Incarnation the price He would pay for our Redemption; and yet, notwithstanding this clear prevision of His suffering, it was only in the Garden of Gethsemani that, by an act of His divine will, the floodgates of fear and sorrow opened and overwhelmed His soul.

As God, He was able to lay down His life and take it up again.

As man, He was prepared to take upon Himself the crimes of a sinful world, and, so laden, to offer Himself as an atoning Victim to the inexorable justice of His heavenly Father.  This is what was meant by the chalice which was prepared for Him, and which He was to drink to its very dregs.  And what a bitter, revolting chalice this was!  It contained the sins of the whole human race, from the beginning until the end of time—all the murders, all the impurities, the sacrileges, the blasphemies, all the idolatries and outrages that ever had been offered, all that ever would be offered to His eternal Father! And for all, He, the innocent Lamb of God, must make atonement!  He was to assume the sins of all humanity—to suffer as if He alone were guilty!  As St. Paul says: “He put on iniquity as a garment,” since He, who is Infinite Sanctity, saw Himself enveloped, defiled, as it were, with the corruption of the whole human race.  Thus covered with our crimes, He presented Himself in fear and trembling before the justice of His heavenly Father.  No wonder that His soul was sorrowful even unto death!  No wonder that He fell into an agony so frightful that the precious Blood oozed from every pore of His body, and ran in great drops to the ground!

Christ’s virginal human nature endured in anticipation all the shame and suffering of His Passion—the betrayal by Judas, the blows, the insults, the abandonment by His trusted disciples, the scourging, the crowning with thorns, the reviling and rejection by His ungrateful people, the painful journey to Calvary, the cruel crucifixion, with its prolonged and unspeakable torments-all were present to Him.

In those hours of agonizing prevision were condensed all the sufferings of His many martyrs and confessors, including the dolors of His Blessed Mother, all the heartfelt contrition ever felt by poor penitents for their sins.

Added to this was the torturing knowledge that countless souls would be lost, notwithstanding all the excruciating anguish that He was about to endure for their salvation.  His soul was torn with unspeakable grief: and a conflict raged between His higher and His lower nature, the one urging Him to accomplish the will of His Father, the other “rebelling” against the extremity of complete satisfaction demanded by the divine justice.  This conflict enables us to understand that agonizing, oft-repeated prayer: “Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from Me.”  But the bitter cup was not destined to pass; both Father and Son had willed that it should be drained to the dregs.  Perhaps the most grievous element in that draught, and the one which weighed most heavily upon the desolate heart of Our Lord, was the withdrawal of all the supporting consolations of the Godhead.  Apparently deserted by His Father, His afflicted humanity was left to struggle unaided with the besetting powers of darkness. […]

It was then, in Gethsemani’s hour of desolation and abandonment, that Jesus sought consolation from His disciples.  He, the Comforter of the afflicted, sought the help of His creatures! His lonely, overburdened heart yearned for their sympathy.

But He found them asleep, unmindful of all that He had done for them, and of what He was then enduring for the love of them.  Alas, how little can we rely upon human comfort in the hour of affliction!  Finding the chosen three asleep (“for their eyes were heavy” says the text), Our Lord returned again to His solitary prayer; thus teaching us that when our souls are plunged in an abyss of sorrow and suffering, we must look to God alone for relief and strength.

The Evangelist tells us that an angel now descended from Heaven to comfort our desolate Lord; and that, through that heavenly visitation, His sacred humanity was invigorated and His courage renewed to continue the dreadful conflict.  Ascetic writers still further inform us that:

— the angel represented to the Redeemer the infinite glory which would be given to the Father by His sufferings and death.  He placed before Him the countless multitudes who would glorify His mercy forever in heaven;

— he reminded Him that even the lost would be forced to glorify the divine justice throughout all eternity.

Let us in like manner, when we stand face to face with some supreme trial, remember the words of saint Paul: “The sufferings of this time are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come.”

It was through suffering that God’s most illustrious servants attained their highest perfection.  The Way of the Cross is the way of salvation, and the humble resignation of our souls into the hands of God in the time of affliction will not only obtain for us strength to drink the chalice even to its dregs, but increase our merits in the kingdom of Heaven.  Let us learn from Our Lord submissively to accept whatever our heavenly Father may send us, whether it be mental suffering, physical pain, loss of property, the betrayal of friends, the tarnishing of our good name through the breath of calumny,— whatever it be, let us cry, ” Lord, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from me”; but let us also add, after the example of Our Lord, in meek resignation, “Nevertheless, not my will, but Thine be done.”  God knows what is best for our purification and sanctification.  He will lead us to everlasting life, if we but follow Him in confidence and holy patience.

There is one lesson especially that Our Lord would teach us by His prayer in the Garden.  It is humble perseverance in the same petition.  Here we have divine warrant for repeating so often the “Hail Mary” and the “Holy Mary” in the Rosary.  The Evangelist tells us that Our Lord repeated the selfsame words, again and again: “Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from Me.”  Let us then persevere in our petitions, continually making known our needs, whether temporal or spiritual, to our heavenly Father.  It is His wish that we should continue to importune Him, not that He may know our wants, but that we may pay Him the homage of prayer which is His due, and acknowledge that all blessings must come to us through His adorable hands.

There are many instances of the reward of perseverance in prayer:

* The following was told the author by a priest who (for several years) had been his companion on the missions.  “My mother,” he said, “was a Catholic, but was unfortunately married out of the Church. My father was a bigoted Protestant, and soon after her marriage he forbade her the practice of her religion.  She consulted her confessor, and he enjoined on her as a penance to recite every day a third part of the Rosary for her husband’s conversion.  Further, he counseled her to bear patiently with her trials, and faithfully persevere in practicing her religion, no matter what she might have to suffer for it.”  Years passed on with this worthy woman, and as her children were born to her, she carried them by stealth to her saintly pastor and had them baptized.  As soon as they were able to lisp the “Hail Mary,” she had them unite with her in saying the Rosary for their father.  After five years, she doubled her penance; and after five years more, she offered up daily the fifteen mysteries for that husband’s conversion.  The change came unexpectedly in the end, as the priest had foretold.  The husband became a convert, and lived and died a fervent Catholic and an ardent lover of Our Lady of the Rosary.  The mother had the happiness of seeing her son a priest, and her daughter consecrated to the service of God among the Sisters of Loretto.

* We have another beautiful example of the power of prayer, accompanied by resignation to the will of God, in the life of the pious wife of King Louis XV of France, Maria Leckzinska of Poland.  The court of Louis was most corrupt; but the pious Queen did all in her power to save her children from its evil influences.  Her care was especially centered upon her son, the Dauphin, over whom she watched with unceasing vigilance.  On one occasion, she learned that certain vile young men had determined to destroy the innocence of the young Prince, and for that purpose had laid a snare to entrap him.  This news was as a dagger to the heart of the pious mother.  She hastened to her oratory, and closing the door, prostrated herself before the image of the Blessed Mother, imploring her to save her son from the danger that threatened him.  “It is to you, O Queen of Heaven,” she prayed, “that after God, I owe my son!  From his youth you have protected him.  I conjure you now to obtain from your divine Son his deliverance from his enemies; and, if it be necessary for me to weep for him, beg Our Lord that I may weep over his death, rather than over the loss of his innocence!”  Noble sacrifice of the Queen mother, worthy to be recorded with the sacrifice of Abraham!  In the midst of her ardent prayers and tears, an anonymous note was handed to her, containing these words: “Madame, be in peace.  Your petitions for the Dauphin are heard.”  She never discovered the writer of the note.  The young Prince almost miraculously escaped the snares so maliciously laid for him, and remained faithful to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  But that grace was purchased for him by his mother’s sacrifice.  Shortly afterwards the Prince became dangerously ill, and at the same time another anonymous letter was received by the Queen, which read as follows: “Remember, Madame, the request you made, and adore the mercy of God in behalf of your son.”  Recognizing in the sickness of the Prince the answer to her prayer, the mother accepted the decree with true Christian resignation and prepared for the worst.  When she saw her son expire, she had the inexpressible consolation of knowing that he had been received undefiled into the arms of his God.  Addressing her family, she said: “Oh, my children, seek no longer to know the cause of your brother’s death.  I prayed that he might die sooner than commit sin, and God has heard my prayer.”

What noble incentives to perseverance in prayer are thus given us in the life of our Saviour and His saints!  Should we, too, not pray without ceasing in all our difficulties and trials, and under the pressure of the cross humbly resign ourselves continually to God’s holy will?  Let us ever present our petitions through the hands of our immaculate Mother Mary.  O Virgin Mother of God! teach us to repeat again and again that sublime prayer, the “Hail Mary!”  Obtain for us the grace to persevere in prayer during our lives, that, at the hour of our death, we may be worthy to behold the blessed fruit of thy womb Jesus!

(From The Treasures of the Rosary, by Fr Charles Hyacinth McKenna O.P., written 1835; edited by P.J. Kenedy and Sons, New York, 1917.)