Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

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O God, who by the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin prepared a worthy dwelling for your Son, grant, we pray, that, as you preserved her from every stain by virtue of the Death of your Son, which you foresaw, so, through her intercession, we, too, may be cleansed and admitted to your presence. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. — Concluding Prayer from Vespers on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

Saint Polycarp of Smyrna, Bishop and Martyr – February 23rd

Today is the feast day of Saint Polycarp of Smyrna, Bishop and Martyr.

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“Stand fast, therefore, in this conduct and follow the example of the Lord, ‘firm and unchangeable in faith, lovers of the brotherhood, loving each other, united in truth,’ helping each other with the mildness of the Lord, despising no man”

THE EPISTLE OF POLYCARP
Translated by J.B. Lightfoot.

Polycarp prologue:1
Polycarp and the presbyters that are with him unto the Church of God
which sojourneth at Philippi; mercy unto you and peace from God
Almighty and Jesus Christ our Savior be multiplied.

Polycarp 1:1
I rejoiced with you greatly in our Lord Jesus Christ, for that ye
received the followers of the true Love and escorted them on their
way, as befitted you–those men encircled in saintly bonds which are
the diadems of them that be truly chosen of God and our Lord;

Polycarp 1:2
and that the steadfast root of your faith which was famed from
primitive times abideth until now and beareth fruit unto our Lord
Jesus Christ, who endured to face even death for our sins, whom God
raised, having loosed the pangs of Hades; on whom,

Polycarp 1:3
though ye saw Him not, ye believe with joy unutterable and full of
glory
; unto which joy many desire to enter in; forasmuch as ye know
that it is by grace ye are saved, not of works, but by the will of
God through Jesus Christ.

Polycarp 2:1
Wherefore gird up your loins and serve God in fear and truth,
forsaking the vain and empty talking and the error of the many, for
that ye have believed on Him that raised our Lord Jesus Christ from
the dead and gave unto him glory
and a throne on His right hand;
unto whom all things were made subject that are in heaven and that
are on the earth; to whom every creature that hath breath doeth
service; who cometh as judge of quick and dead; whose blood God
will require of them that are disobedient unto Him.

Polycarp 2:2
Now He that raised Him from the dead will raise us also; if we
do His will and walk in His commandments and love the things which He
loved, abstaining from all unrighteousness, covetousness, love of
money, evil speaking, false witness; not rendering evil for evil or
railing for railing
or blow for blow or cursing for cursing;

Polycarp 2:3
but remembering the words which the Lord spake, as He taught; Judge
not that ye be not judged. Forgive, and it shall be forgiven to
you. Have mercy that ye may receive mercy. With what measure ye
mete, it shall be measured to you again;
and again Blessed are
the poor and they that are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for
theirs is the kingdom of God
.

Polycarp 3:1
These things, brethren, I write unto you concerning righteousness,
not because I laid this charge upon myself, but because ye invited
me.

Polycarp 3:2
For neither am I, nor is any other like unto me, able to follow the
wisdom of the blessed and glorious Paul, who when he came among you
taught face to face with the men of that day the word which
concerneth truth carefully and surely; who also, when he was absent,
wrote a letter unto you, into the which if ye look diligently, ye
shall be able to be builded up unto the faith given to you,

Polycarp 3:3
which is the mother of us all, while hope followeth after and love
goeth before–love toward God and Christ and toward our neighbor. For
if any man be occupied with these, he hath fulfilled the commandment
of righteousness; for he that hath love is far from all sin.

Polycarp 4:1
But the love of money is the beginning of all troubles. Knowing
therefore that we brought nothing into the world neither can we
carry anything out
, let us arm ourselves with the armor of
righteousness, and let us teach ourselves first to walk in the
commandment of the Lord;

Polycarp 4:2
and then our wives also, to walk in the faith that hath been given
unto them and in love and purity, cherishing their own husbands in
all truth and loving all men equally in all chastity, and to train
their children in the training of the fear of God.

Polycarp 4:3
Our widows must be sober-minded as touching the faith of the Lord,
making intercession without ceasing for all men, abstaining from all
calumny, evil speaking, false witness, love of money, and every evil
thing, knowing that they are God’s altar, and that all sacrifices are
carefully inspected, and nothing escapeth Him either of their
thoughts or intents or any of the secret things of the heart.

Polycarp 5:1
Knowing then that God is not mocked, we ought to walk worthily of
His commandment and His glory.

Polycarp 5:2
In like manner deacons should be blameless in the presence of His
righteousness, as deacons of God and Christ and not of men; not
calumniators, not double-tongued, not lovers of money, temperate in
all things, compassionate, diligent, walking according to the truth
of the Lord who became a minister (deacon) of all. For if we be
well pleasing unto Him in this present world, we shall receive the
future world also, according as He promised us to raise us from the
dead, and that if we conduct ourselves worthily of Him we shall
also reign with Him,
if indeed we have faith.

Polycarp 5:3
In like manner also the younger men must be blameless in all things,
caring for purity before everything and curbing themselves from every
evil. For it is a good thing to refrain from lusts in the world, for
every lust warreth against the Spirit, and neither whoremongers
nor effeminate persons nor defilers of themselves with men shall
inherit the kingdom of God
, neither they that do untoward things.
Wherefore it is right to abstain from all these things, submitting
yourselves to the presbyters and deacons as to God and Christ. The
virgins must walk in a blameless and pure conscience.

Polycarp 6:1
And the presbyters also must be compassionate, merciful towards all
men, turning back the sheep that are gone astray, visiting all the
infirm, not neglecting a widow or an orphan or a poor man: but
providing always for that which is honorable in the sight of God
and of men
, abstaining from all anger, respect of persons,
unrighteous judgment, being far from all love of money, not quick to
believe anything against any man, not hasty in judgment, knowing that
we all are debtors of sin.

Polycarp 6:2
If then we entreat the Lord that He would forgive us, we also ought
to forgive: for we are before the eyes of our Lord and God, and we
must all stand at the judgment-seat of Christ, and each man must
give an account of himself
.

Polycarp 6:3
Let us therefore so serve Him with fear and all reverence, as He
himself gave commandment and the Apostles who preached the Gospel to
us and the prophets who proclaimed beforehand the coming of our Lord;
being zealous as touching that which is good, abstaining from
offenses and from the false brethren and from them that bear the name
of the Lord in hypocrisy, who lead foolish men astray.

Polycarp 7:1
For every one who shall not confess that Jesus Christ is come in
the flesh, is antichrist
: and whosoever shall not confess the
testimony of the Cross, is of the devil; and whosoever shall pervert
the oracles of the Lord to his own lusts and say that there is
neither resurrection nor judgment, that man is the firstborn of
Satan.

Polycarp 7:2
Wherefore let us forsake the vain doing of the many and their false
teachings, and turn unto the word which was delivered unto us from
the beginning, being sober unto prayer and constant in fastings,
entreating the all-seeing God with supplications that He bring us
not into temptation
, according as the Lord said, The Spirit is
indeed willing, but the flesh is weak
.

Polycarp 8:1
Let us therefore without ceasing hold fast by our hope and by the
earnest of our righteousness, which is Jesus Christ who took up our
sins in His own body upon the tree, who did no sin, neither was
guile found in His mouth
, but for our sakes He endured all things,
that we might live in Him.

Polycarp 8:2
Let us therefore become imitators of His endurance; and if we should
suffer for His name’s sake, let us glorify Him. For He gave this
example to us in His own person, and we believed this.

Polycarp 9:1
I exhort you all therefore to be obedient unto the word of
righteousness and to practice all endurance, which also ye saw with
your own eyes in the blessed Ignatius and Zosimus and Rufus, yea and
in others also who came from among yourselves, as well as in Paul
himself and the rest of the Apostles;

Polycarp 9:2
being persuaded that all these ran not in vain but in faith and
righteousness, and that they are in their due place in the presence
of the Lord, with whom also they suffered. For they loved not the
present world
, but Him that died for our sakes and was raised by
God for us.

Polycarp 10:1
Stand fast therefore in these things and follow the example of the
Lord, being firm in the faith and immovable, in love of the
brotherhood kindly affectioned one to another
, partners with the
truth, forestalling one another in the gentleness of the Lord,
despising no man.

Polycarp 10:2
When ye are able to do good, defer it not, for Pitifulness
delivereth from death. Be ye all subject one to another, having
your conversation
unblamable among the gentiles, that your good
works
both ye may receive praise and the Lord may not be
blasphemed in you.

Polycarp 10:3
But woe to him through whom the name of the Lord be blasphemed.
Therefore teach all men soberness, in which ye yourselves also walk.

Polycarp 11:1
I was exceedingly grieved for Valens, who aforetime was a presbyter
among you, because he is so ignorant of the office which was given
unto him. I warn you therefore that ye refrain from covetousness, and
that ye be pure and truthful. Refrain from all evil.

Polycarp 11:2
But he who cannot govern himself in these things, how doth he enjoin
this upon another? If a man refrain not from covetousness, he shall
be defiled by idolatry, and shall be judged as one of the Gentiles
who know not the judgment of the Lord, Nay, know we not, that the
saints shall judge the world
, as Paul teacheth?

Polycarp 11:3
But I have not found any such thing in you, neither have heard
thereof, among whom the blessed Paul labored, who were his
letters in the beginning. For he boasteth of you in all those
churches which alone at that time knew God; for we knew Him not as
yet.

Polycarp 11:4
Therefore I am exceedingly grieved for him and for his wife, unto
whom may the Lord grant true repentance. Be ye therefore yourselves
also sober herein, and hold not such as enemies but restore them
as frail and erring members, that ye may save the whole body of you.
For so doing, ye do edify one another.

Polycarp 12:1
For I am persuaded that ye are well trained in the sacred writings,
and nothing is hidden from you. But to myself this is not granted.
Only, as it is said in these scriptures, Be ye angry and sin not,
and Let not the sun set on your wrath. Blessed is he that
remembereth this; and I trust that this is in you.

Polycarp 12:2
Now may the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the eternal
High-priest Himself the [Son of God Jesus Christ, build you up in
faith and truth, and in all gentleness and in all avoidance of wrath
and in forbearance and long suffering and in patient endurance and in
purity; and may He grant unto you a lot and portion among His saints,
and to us with you, and to all that are under heaven, who shall
believe on our Lord and God Jesus Christ and on His Father that
raised him from the dead.

Polycarp 12:3
Pray for all the saints. Pray also for kings and powers and
princes and for them that persecute and hate you and for the
enemies of the cross
, that your fruit may be manifest among all
men
, that ye may be perfect in Him.

Polycarp 13:1
Ye wrote to me, both ye yourselves and Ignatius, asking that if any
one should go to Syria he might carry thither the letters from you.
And this I will do, if I get a fit opportunity, either I myself, or
he whom I shall send to be ambassador on your behalf also.

Polycarp 13:2
The letters of Ignatius which were sent to us by him, and others as
many as we had by us, we send unto you, according as ye gave charge;
the which are subjoined to this letter; from which ye will be able to
gain great advantage. For they comprise faith and endurance and every
kind of edification, which pertaineth unto our Lord. Moreover
concerning Ignatius himself and those that were with him, if ye have
any sure tidings, certify us.

Polycarp 14:1
I write these things to you by Crescens, whom I commended to you
recently and now commend unto you: for he hath walked blamelessly
with us; and I believe also with you in like manner. But ye shall
have his sister commended, when she shall come to you. Fare ye well
in the Lord Jesus Christ in grace, ye and all yours. Amen.

Our Lady of Lourdes

Bernadette and Our Lady of Lourdes

Bernadette and Our Lady of Lourdes

One of the most famous Marian apparitions is was witnessed by Bernadette Soubirous in 1858 in Lourdes, France. This 14-year-old and chronically ill girl saw the Blessed Virgin Mary standing in a small grotto.

Ballinasloe St. Michael's Church, South Aisle, window depicting Our Lady of Lourdes (left) by William Earley.

Ballinasloe St. Michael’s Church, South Aisle, window depicting Our Lady of Lourdes (left) by William Earley.

 

Ballinasloe St. Michael's Church, South Aisle, window (detail) depicting young Bernadette at the feet of Our Lady of Lourdes. This window is by William Earley.

Ballinasloe St. Michael’s Church, South Aisle, window (detail) depicting young Bernadette at the feet of Our Lady of Lourdes. This window is by William Earley.

Initially, few believed her account but her steadfast telling of the apparition won some over. Bernadette would see Our Lady of Lourdes eighteen times. Huge crowds gathered for some of the later apparitions as the story of Bernadette spread.

Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes in Brazil

Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes in Brazil

 

Bernadette was instructed by the beautiful lady to drink from a newly-discovered spring in the grotto; later, many miraculous healings occurred and were attributed to the water at Lourdes.

Our Lady of Lourdes, 2011, painting by Stephen B Whatley

Our Lady of Lourdes, 2011, painting by Stephen B Whatley

Today, Lourdes is a magnificent Marian shrine where millions visit each year.

Conrad Pickel’s  stained glass image Our Lady of Lourdes from Holy Family Parish, Our Lady of Lourdes site, Marinette, WI.

Conrad Pickel’s stained glass image Our Lady of Lourdes from Holy Family Parish, Our Lady of Lourdes site, Marinette, WI.

Conrad Pickel’s  stained glass image of Saint Bernadette from Holy Family Parish, Our Lady of Lourdes site, Marinette, WI.

Conrad Pickel’s stained glass image of Saint Bernadette from Holy Family Parish, Our Lady of Lourdes site, Marinette, WI.

February 11th is the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, the patron of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Raytown, Missouri.

Pope Benedict visits the Lourdes grotto.

Pope Benedict visits the Lourdes grotto.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Now this wise virgin has gone to Christ. Among the choirs of virgins, she is radiant as the sun in the heavens.

 — Gospel Antiphon of Lauds on the Memorial of St. Scholastica
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“Death of Saint Scholastica” (detail) by Johann Baptist Wenzel Bergl, 1765. This altar painting is found at the Basilica of Kleinmariazell in Austria.

Today is the Feast of Saint Scholastica (c. 480 – 10 February 542), the sister of the great St. Benedict. Her life is a witness to the reality God’s desire to enter into a personal relationship with each one of us and to be active in our lives through His Son, Jesus Christ.

As we celebrate anew
the Memorial of the Virgin Saint Scholastica,
we pray, O Lord, that, following her example,
we may serve you with pure love and happily receive
what comes from loving you.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

The Feast of the Presentation of the Lord

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“And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, ‘Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), and thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed'” (Luke 2:33-35)

Today is a good day to reflect on Mary and to pray for the grace to be obedient to God. Mary, though the mother of God Incarnate, was still the very model of humility and obedience to God.

Merciful God,
Through the intercession of
The Blessed Virgin Mary,
Give me the grace to follow
Mary’s example of faith and obedience
So that I may grow close to You
Through Our Lord Jesus Christ,
Who lives and reigns with You
And the Holy Spirit.

Amen.

Homily for November 9, 2014 — the Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica

Façade of the Lateran Basilica.

Façade of the Lateran Basilica.

Today is the Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica. What, one could fairly ask, is a Lateran Basilica and why do we celebrate it?

A basilica is a specific type of church building; the word itself comes from a Greek term that means “royal house.” There are 1580 minor basilicas in the world and 325 in the Americas. There are 69 basilicas in the United States. My academic preparation before ordination to the Permanent Diaconate was done at Conception Seminary College and Conception Abbey in the northern part of our diocese. Conception Abbey is home to the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, which is an incredibly beautiful building and is the heart of both the monastery and the college.

When a church is designated a basilica, it is because of its antiquity, dignity, historical value, architectural and artistic worth, or significance as a center of worship; it is also accorded special ecclesiastical privileges and enjoys a special bond of communion with the Holy Father.

A basilica will have within its space a silk canopy of red and yellow stripes — the traditional papal colors. It will also have a tintinnabulum, which is a bell mounted on a pole. Both of these are carried in procession on special occasions. Minor basilica also enjoy the right to display the crossed keys — the papal symbol — on its banners, furnishing, and seal.

There are four major basilicas in the world, all in Rome. The major basilicas are: St. John Lateran, St. Peter, St. Paul Outside the Walls, and St. Mary Major. These are papal basilicas.

St. John Lateran Basilica, the dedication of which we celebrate today, is the cathedral of Rome. It is the Pope’s cathedral and as such is the mother church of all Christendom and is the first among churches throughout the world. It was dedicated by Pope Sylvester on this day in the year 324. That means for one-thousand, six-hundred, and ninety years the Lateran Basilica has served Holy Mother Church.

"Sacrosancta Lateranensis ecclesia omnium urbis et orbis ecclesiarum mater et caput" ("Most Holy Lateran Church, of all the churches in the city and the world, the mother and head.") Inscription on the façade of the Basilica of St. John Lateran (Rome).

“Sacrosancta Lateranensis ecclesia omnium urbis et orbis ecclesiarum mater et caput” (“Most Holy Lateran Church, of all the churches in the city and the world, the mother and head.”) Inscription on the façade of the Basilica of St. John Lateran (Rome).

That’s what a basilica is in general and what the Lateran Basilica is specifically. That is the easy part of the question to answer. The second half of the question — why do we celebrate it? — is slightly harder to answer. To answer that, we have to consider not only what the nature of a church is, but what our own nature is.

In today’s Gospel reading, we encounter Christ making a whip to drive people from the Temple and flipping the tables of merchants who were making the Temple a house of commerce. “He made a whip out of cords and drove them all out of the temple area, with the sheep and oxen, and spilled the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables, and to those who sold doves he said, ‘Take these out of here, and stop making my Father’s house a marketplace.’”

Christ Driving the Money Changers from the Temple, by El Greco

Christ Driving the Money Changers from the Temple, by El Greco

This was enough to cause the disciples to remember the words of Scripture: Zeal for your house will consume me. Christ was passionate about the Temple.

In the first reading, we hear a beautiful description from Ezekiel about water flowing from the Temple. An angel tells the prophet, ““This water flows into the eastern district down upon the Arabah, and empties into the sea, the salt waters, which it makes fresh. Wherever the river flows, every sort of living creature that can multiply shall live, and there shall be abundant fish, for wherever this water comes the sea shall be made fresh. Along both banks of the river, fruit trees of every kind shall grow; their leaves shall not fade, nor their fruit fail. Every month they shall bear fresh fruit, for they shall be watered by the flow from the sanctuary. Their fruit shall serve for food, and their leaves for medicine.”

The Temple is where the Israelite encountered God. It was the house of God. In this respect, it is very much like our church today. This church is the House of God. Christ is present Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in the Tabernacle. We receive Him in the Holy Eucharist. This is where we come to encounter God.

Our diocesan cathedral is the mother of all churches in our diocese, and St. John Lateran — the cathedral of the Holy Father — is the mother of all churches in the world. That, in itself, is enough to celebrate it. But let’s take it one step farther.

The Papal cathedra is located in the apse of the Lateran Basilica . The decorations are in cosmatesque style.

The Papal cathedra is located in the apse of the Lateran Basilica . The decorations are in cosmatesque style.

In today’s second reading, Paul writes “Brothers and Sisters: You are God’s building.” You are God’s building. Full stop. Does this mean that God should be inside of me and that others should encounter God Almighty the Eternal Ruler of the Universe when they encounter me? Yes. If I am living the life I am called to live, then yes. Absolutely. This does not mean that I am God, but rather that God dwells within me and within you and within all of the faithful not because of our own merit, but because we have encountered Him in the Church and in the waters of baptism. Just as the prophet saw water flowing from the Temple and renewing the world, so, too, do the waters of baptism flow forth from the Church and renew us, making us the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit and preparing us to renew the world.

“Do you not know that you are the temple of God,” Paul writes, “and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for the temple of God, which you are, is holy.”

The world may call us consumers, or workers, or voters, but the world is not the final authority. God tells us that we are His Temple, and therefore are holy. The Lateran Basilica is a mirror and a reminder to us; this is true of all churches.

A church should be beautiful and richly decorated because it is the House of the Lord and God deserves the best; it should also be beautiful and richly decorated because it serves as the constant reminder that the life to which we are called is one of great beauty. The beauty of the physical church building reminds us of our Christian dignity and that we are called to the things of the Kingdom of Heaven.

Some would argue that the Church has no business possessing beautiful buildings with priceless murals, fine art, expensive statuary, and rich stained glass. They would argue that those things should be sold and the money used to buy provisions for the poor. Judas once made a very similar argument. The world would be far worse for it.

And so today we celebrate the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica and in a certain way we celebrate all churches throughout the world. These are the houses in which God dwells and in which we encounter our Lord and our God. These are the houses that transform us and are a reflection of us.

Brothers and Sisters: we are God’s building. Because of this, we are called to live a life worthy of our Christian dignity. We are called to live a life of beauty and holiness such that we see our lives mirrored daily by the wonderful art and grand architecture of the finest churches.

The Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, Conception Abbey, Northwest Missouri.

The Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, Conception Abbey, Northwest Missouri.

The Feast of St. Luke — Oct. 18

Detail of St. Luke from the the San Lucas Polyptych (70'' × 91'' total, 1454), a panel painting by Northern Italian Renaissance painter Andrea Mantegna, seen today at The Pinacoteca di Brera (Brera Art Gallery), Milan. St. Luke’s Feast Day is October 18th.

Detail of St. Luke from the San Lucas Polyptych (70” × 91” total, 1454), a panel painting by Northern Italian Renaissance painter Andrea Mantegna, seen today at The Pinacoteca di Brera (Brera Art Gallery), Milan. St. Luke’s Feast Day is October 18th.

San Lucas Polyptych (70'' × 91'', 1454)

San Lucas Polyptych (70” × 91”, 1454)

 

Saints Cornelius, Pope and Martyr, and Cyprian, Bishop and Martyr

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Today is the Feast of Saints Cornelius, Pope and Martyr, and Cyprian, Bishop and Martyr. Saint Cornelius was elected Pope in 251 during the persecutions of the Emperor Decius. In 253 Cornelius was exiled by Gallus and died shortly after. He is venerated as a martyr.

Saint Cyprian of Carthage, one of the great fathers of the Church in Africa, was a close friend of Pope Cornelius and was his ardent supporter against the antipope Novatian and in support of Cornelius’ teaching concerning the re-admittance into the Church of those who had committed apostasy in the face of Roman persecution.

Cyprian is the author of “The Unity of the Catholic Church,” written in the mid-200s, in which he argues that Christian unity is grounded in the authority of the bishop and in the primacy of the See of Rome.

“You cannot have God for your Father if you do not have the Church for your mother…. God is one and Christ is one, and his Church is one; one is the faith, and one is the people cemented together by harmony into the strong unity of a body…. If we are the heirs of Christ, let us abide in the peace of Christ; if we are the sons of God, let us be lovers of peace.” — from “The Unity of the Catholic Church” by St. Cyprian.

Cyprian was exiled and then martyred on the fourteenth of September, 258, during the persecution of Emperor Valerian.

Pope Saint Pius X

“Holy Communion is the shortest and safest way to Heaven. There are others: innocence, but that is for little children; penance, but we are afraid of it; generous endurance of trials of life, but when they come we weep and ask to be. The surest, easiest, shortest way is the Eucharist.” — Pope Saint Pius X

pius x pont max

Today (August 21) is the feast day of Pope Saint Pius X and is the 100th anniversary of his death. “For if true love alone has the power to unite the wills of men, it is of the first necessity that we should have one will with Mary to serve Jesus our Lord.” — Pius X, Ad Diem Illum Laetissimum [On the Immaculate Conception], 1904.

Pope Saint Pius X Coat of Arms

Pope Saint Pius X Coat of Arms

“But since the Modernists (as they are commonly and rightly called) employ a very clever artifice, namely, to present their doctrines without order and systematic arrangement into one whole, scattered and disjointed one from another, so as to appear to be in doubt and uncertainty, while they are in reality firm and steadfast, it will be of advantage, Venerable Brethren, to bring their teachings together here into one group, and to point out the connexion between them, and thus to pass to an examination of the sources of the errors, and to prescribe remedies for averting the evil”. — Papal encyclical letter “Pascendi dominici gregis” (“Feeding the Lord’s Flock”) promulgated by Pope Pius X on 8 September 1907.

PPXTRAD

“Truly we are passing through disastrous times, when we may well make our own the lamentation of the Prophet: “There is no truth, and there is no mercy, and there is no knowledge of God in the land” (Hosea 4:1). Yet in the midst of this tide of evil, the Virgin Most Merciful rises before our eyes like a rainbow, as the arbiter of peace between God and man.” — Statement prior to World War I, quoted in Biographical profile at Living Water Community

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Instaurare omnia in Christo!