Saturday, March 30, 2013

The True Meaning of Easter

The Resurrection represents the eternal and definitive triumph of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the complete defeat of his adversaries, and the supreme argument of our faith. Saint Paul said that, if Christ had not resurrected, our faith would be vain. The whole edifice of our beliefs is founded on the supernatural fact of the Resurrection. Let us then meditate about this highly elevated subject.

* * *

Christ Our Lord was not resurrected: He resurrected. He was dead. Lazarus was resurrected. Someone other than him, in this case, Our Lord, called him back to life. As for the Divine Redeemer, no one resurrected Him. He resurrected Himself, needing no one to call Him back to life. He took his life back when He so willed.

Everything that is said about Our Lord can be analogically applied to the Holy Catholic Church. We often see, in the history of the Church, that precisely when She seemed irremediably lost and all the symptoms of catastrophe seemed to undermine Her, events took place that kept Her alive against all the expectations of Her adversaries. A rather curious fact is that sometimes it is the Church’s enemies that come to Her aid, rather than Her friends. For example, in a most sensitive time period for Catholicism like Napoleon’s era, an extremely unusual episode took place: a conclave was convened for the election of Pius VII under the protection of Russian troops, all of them schismatic and under the command of a schismatic sovereign. In Russia itself, the practice of the Catholic religion was curbed in a thousand ways. Yet, in Italy, Russian troops ensured the free election of a Sovereign Pontiff precisely at the moment when a vacancy in the See of Peter would have caused such grievous damages for Holy Church that, humanly speaking, she might never have been able to overcome them.

Such are the marvelous means that Divine Providence employs to demonstrate that God has the supreme government of all things. However, let us not think that the Church owed Her salvation to Constantine, Charlemagne, John of Austria, or Russian troops. Even when She seems to be entirely abandoned and when She lacks the most indispensable natural resources for survival, let us be certain that Holy Church will not die. Like Our Lord, She will rise with Her own, divine strength. And the more inexplicable the seeming resurrection of the Church may be from the human standpoint (we say seeming, because, unlike Our Lord, the Church will never die a real death), the more glorious Her victory will be.

In these murky and sad days, let us thus confide. However, in order to restore all things in the Kingdom of Christ, let us confide not in this or that power, man, or ideological current but in Divine Providence, which will once again force the sea to open wide, move mountains and cause the whole earth to tremble if necessary to fulfill the divine promise: “The gates of Hell shall not prevail against Her.”

More articles by Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira

Mexican pro-life leader denounces funding of pro-abortion groups by Catholic Relief Services

by Matthew Hoffman, Latin America Correspondent

March 28, 2013 ( - Jorge Serrano Limon, leader of Mexico's most influential pro-life organization, has denounced the decision of Catholic Relief Services, the U.S. bishops' international aid organization, to fund two organizations opposing pro-life laws and advocating the decriminalization and government provision of abortion.

Serrano Limon, who heads Mexico's National Pro-Life Committee, told that the two organizations, the Fray Bartolome de las Casas Human Rights Center (FRAYBA), and the Center for Reflection and Action on Labor Issues (CEREAL), are "obviously pro-abortion," and said he was sure that American bishops are not aware of the funding.

"The two groups are obviously pro-abortion, and they aren't Church groups or they're Church groups but are completely sidetracked," Serrano Limon told

"Abortion is an unspeakable crime, and it isn't possible that the bishops could be financing this kind of group," he said. "It's necessary to inform the bishops, because I think that if they are informed they're going to withdraw support from those groups."

He added that continuing to support such organizations could have a negative impact on the right to life in Mexico.

Click "like" if you want to end abortion!

"It's very dangerous," said Serrano Limon.

As this news agency reported in February, Catholic Relief Services listed FRAYBA and CEREAL as "partners" on its website.

In response to an inquiry by in December 2012, John Rivera of Catholic Relief Services stated that CRS' relationship with FRAYBA ended in 2011 – but he refused to explain why the organization continued to be listed as a "partner" on the website, or to answer questions about other groups in Mexico and Latin America funded by CRS.

Rivera admitted that CRS has known about the two groups' signatures on a declaration advocating the legalization of abortion since 2009, but continued to fund them at the time, because they claimed that "they neither advocate for nor condone abortion in any way."

However, Rivera did not say if the groups admitted promoting the legalization of abortion and its provision by the government, as well as opposing pro-life state constitutional amendments, all of which has documented.

Rivera also stated that he would be inquiring with the Jesuit Province of Mexico regarding CEREAL, which is under the order's supervision, a claim CRS repeated following's exposé in February. However, CRS has not given any further information about the matter since that time. It has, however, completely removed the web page listing its partners in Mexico, a copy of which can be found here.

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
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Why the Blessed Mother represented the Church on Holy Saturday

Our Lady, Guardian of the Faith
by Plinio Correa de Oliveira

While the heavy stones of the tomb conceal the body of Our Savior from the gaze of everyone, the Faith vacillates in the few who remained faithful to Our Lord. But there is a light that does not burn out, nor does it flicker, and it alone burns fully in this universal darkness. It is Our Lady, in whose soul the Faith shines as intensely as ever. She believes. She believes entirely, without reservations or restrictions. Although all seems to have failed, she knows that nothing has failed. In peace, she awaits the Resurrection. Our Lady represented and epitomized the Holy Church in these days of such extensive desertion.

Our Lady, guardian of the Faith. This is the theme of the present meditation: guardian of the Faith and of the spirit of faith, that is, of the Catholic sense. In the eyes of many today, the possibilities of a full restoration of everything according to the law and doctrine of Our Lord Jesus Christ seems as irremediably entombed as Our Lord seemed to the apostles.

Those who have devotion to Our Lady receive from her, however, the inestimable gift of Catholic sense.  Because of this, they know that everything is possible and that the apparent inviability of the most daring and extraordinary apostolic dreams will not impede a true resurrection if God has pity on the world and if the world corresponds to the grace of God.

Our Lady teaches us perseverance in the Faith, in the Catholic sense, and in the virtue of the dauntless apostolate — “Fides intrepida” — even when everything seems lost. The Resurrection will soon come. Happy are those who knew how to persevere like she and with her. Theirs will be the joys, the glories in a certain measure, of the day of the Resurrection.

Originally published in Legionário, No. 558, on April 18, 1943.

The article was on the Via Crucis and this is the meditation for the Fourteenth Station. It has been translated and adapted for publication without his revision. –Ed.

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Spanish Via Crucis
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University of Notre Dame Looks to Hire LGBTQ Director

by Tim Drake

The University of Notre Dame's Office of Student Affairs has posted a job description for a new staff member who will focus on providing services and support to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) students and their allies.

The position, officially titled the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) Student Initiatives Assistant Director, is listed under the Gender Relations Center (GRC).  Read more here:

Friday, March 29, 2013

VIDEO: Thousands March for REAL Marriage in WDC as Supreme Court Weighs Proposition 8 and DOMA

Thousands of pro-traditional marriage defenders marched up Capitol Hill on Tuesday, calling for the Supreme Court to uphold and protect marriage as the union of 1 man and 1 woman. The National Organization for Marriage together with 40 co-sponsoring groups pulled together in this undertaking at a time when natural marriage is under relentless attack.

See awesome video here:

As the Supreme Court deliberated on the same-sex “marriage” issue this March 26, two groups of protesters converged upon Washington to make their views known. Among the many present on the pro-family side was a large contingent from the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP), the youth of the Saint Louis de Montfort Academy and the TFP marching band. TFP Student Action volunteers shared a handout with the public: 10 Reasons Why Same-Sex "Marriage" Is Harmful and Must Be Opposed.

If the national media are to be believed, the two demonstrations should have been a classic clash of cultures. On one side—supposedly on the side of history, one would expect to find a numerous throng composed of “oppressed” racial and other minorities, civil rights activists and youth. On the other, expect to find an entrenched minority, the rich and the upscale establishment intent upon holding on to power.

This clash did not take place. In fact, anyone who approached the pro-family March for Marriage might conclude that this was the wrong march. Something was seriously wrong with the media script. It seems all the people the media say should be supporting same-sex "marriage" are on the pro-family side.

Continue reading this article here...

Good Friday, The Holy Face, And Communism -- Meditation

“You Cannot Comprehend
The Malice Of This Sin.”

Were My Justice not restrained by My Mercy, it would
instantly crush the guilty. All creatures, even those that are inanimate, would avenge My outraged honor, but I have an
eternity in which to punish them.1

(Our Lord’s words about blasphemy.)

The Holy Face Of Jesus –Taken from the Shroud of Turin

-----“Eternal Father, I offer Thee the adorable Face of Thy Beloved Son Jesus for the honor and glory of Thy Name, for the conversion of sinners, and the salvation of the dying.”

-----“Oh, Jesus, through the merits of Thy Holy Face, have pity on us and on the whole world.”

As Our Lord made His way up to Calvary, there was a touching scene. A woman, powerless to stop the injustice, simply offered her veil as an act of compassion. Our Lord gratefully accepted the cloth to wipe His bruised and bloody face.

With the Savior’s face miraculously stamped on her veil, she would come to be known simply as Veronica, from the words “Vera Icon” or true image. Her compassionate gesture inspired a devotion to the Holy Face of our Redeemer that has continued throughout the Church’s history.
Venerable Leo Dupont

The greatest development of the devotion to the Holy Face was seen in the turbulent nineteenth century because of the efforts of a wealthy lawyer named Leo Dupont.

One day, Mr. Dupont was approached by Prioress Mother Mary of the Incarnation regarding an occurrence in her convent that would change his life. She was the prioress of the Carmel in Tours, France, and was puzzled by Our Lord’s revelations to Sister Marie Pierre, one of her young novices. …[full article]

I never knew some of the things in this article. Perhaps you too haven’t heard of them.

May Our Crucified and soon to be risen Redeemer bless you and His New Vicar, and His entire Mystical Body; asking for special attention for our country.

Read another important article about a current blasphemy.

1. Dorothy Scallan, The Holy Man of Tours (Rockford, Ill.: TAN Books and Publishers, Inc., 1990), p. 126.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Incredible new experiment​s on Shroud show it's not medieval (dates to 1st century)

Professor Giulio Fanti and journalist Saverio Gaeta have published a book with the results of some chemical and mechanical tests which confirm that the Shroud dates back to the 1st century.

 shroud turin

New scientific experiments carried out at the University of Padua have apparently confirmed that the Shroud Turin can be dated back to the 1st century AD. This makes its compatible with the tradition which claims that the cloth with the image of the crucified man imprinted on it is the very one Jesus’ body was wrapped in when he was taken off the cross.  Read more here:

Marian Meditation for Good Friday

There are many reflections one can make during Good Friday.

A very traditional reflection is to imagine ourselves at the time of Our Lord, seeing His agony in the garden, His total abandonment by His apostles, His trial, His scourging, crowning with thorns, way of the cross and His Crucifixion.

It is also good when making such a reflection to apply those events to our current circumstances.

We can reflect upon the apostles who personally witnessed the miracles of Our Lord: His healings, His raising from the dead, His control over the elements, the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. The apostles themselves received tangible powers from Our Lord, such as the expulsion of demons and healing as is mentioned in the gospels.

Yet after all of this, they betrayed Our Lord. We would like to think that we would not do the same.

Our Lord reminded the apostles when He went into the garden of olives, to pray that they might not enter into temptation. They did not listen, but instead on that most important night when vigilance was most essential, they fell asleep.

We have an advantage today, that the apostles did not yet appreciate at that time. We have devotion to Our Lady. When we are overwhelmed with weakness, we can turn to Her for strength. When we are assailed by the wicked influences that surround us, we can ask Our Lady to dispel the influence of that wickedness and grant us Her maternal protection.

Just as Our Lord was assailed by evil men, those who remain faithful to Our Lord and to His Church are also assailed by evil men.

Let us ask Our Lord and Our Lady to keep us faithful, so that during trials we will not flee like the apostles. Let us also ask Our Lady to give us the grace to never waiver in the defense of the Holy Catholic Church, even when she is besieged on all sides by legions of well armed enemies.

Humanly speaking, it does not seem possible for the Church to withstand such a storm, but Our Lady, when She intervenes, will again conquer the serpent and his followers.

As is prayed in the Little Office of Our Lady, "Who is She that cometh forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in battle array."

To those who seek to harm the Church and the faithful, Our Lady is indeed, "terrible as an army set in battle array."

Holy Week Blasphemy Protest to Console Our Blessed Mother

by Ben Broussard

Holy Week Blasphemy Protest to Console Our Blessed Mother
On the evening of Tuesday, March 26, friends and supporters of the American TFP and America Needs Fatima gathered in front of The Walter Kerr Theatre to protest the blasphemous play The Testament of Mary.

Over 80 were present to peacefully protest the insult to Our Lady, Our Lord, and the holy Catholic faith, and to make reparation for the great offense given to the Queen of Heaven. The play coincided with Holy Week of 2013, further showing the contempt of the promoters of the play for the Catholic Faith by going so far as to profane the most solemn time of the liturgical year.

Students from St. Louis de Montfort Academy were on hand to pass out flyers and engage passersby. TFP members in full ceremonial habit carried the statue of Our Lady of Fatima, while all gathered enthusiastically joined in the rosary, sang hymns, and prayed litanies, attempting to console the Blessed Mother, who was being so shamelessly mocked in the theater directly across the street. Those in attendance remarked afterward that it was clear many entering were given a problem of conscience.

Though the reaction from onlookers tended toward indifference and negativity, many paused to take photographs of the protest, surprised to see such a reaction from faithful Catholics. Despite attempts to disrupt the demonstration by some intending to see the play, the act of reparation continued without interruption, aided by candlelight as the daylight waned and a chilling night set in.
In these times when the most sacred persons of Our Lord and Our Lady are mocked with impunity, and treated with contempt and apathy by the vast majority of men, let us not be afraid to take a public stand to show our fidelity, in a spirit of reparation. Such sacrifice, though we be many or few, will no doubt be pleasing to Almighty God, Who will send cohorts of angels to assist in this spiritual combat of the 21st century.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

How To Understand Holy Thursday: Our Lord’s Internal Struggle and Ours

Our Lord’s Agony in the Garden
In Latin, the first sorrowful mystery is called the: Oratio in Horto, meaning the “prayer” in the garden, while in English it is named the Agony in the Garden. The word agony comes from the Greek word meaning “fight.” Thus, this mystery could be aptly termed the “fight” of Our Lord in the Garden of Olives.

The evening of Our Lord’s agony began with the Last Supper and institution of the Blessed Sacrament. Afterwards, Our Lord left the Cenacle, singing the Pascal Hymn with the Apostles and approached the garden.

Joy, Laced with Sadness
These events are commemorated in the Church during Holy Thursday Mass. The ceremony is festive, but imbued with a mounting sadness. After Mass, the Sacred Species are placed in a wooden tabernacle and adored only in this “Sepulcher” until Holy Saturday.

This represents the retreat of Our Lord’s soul. Though He left supper happy, having just established the Church and given Our Lady, her first communion, His happiness was darkened with sadness. Judas was shortly to betray Him, His Passion was approaching and His surroundings were melancholic compared to the evening’s earlier events.

Leaving the Cenacle, He greeted His Mother for the last time until they would meet on His way to Calvary, when she would stay at His side until His death. After this sorrowful separation, He went alone to accomplish His mission. The Apostles had only a vague notion of all this, as they fell asleep. Then, the prayer, agony and fight in the Garden began.

Our Lord already knew that Judas had sold Him; that the Jews and Romans were coming to arrest Him; and that His Passion was beginning. He knew the extent of his aborning physical and moral torments. He measured individually the ingratitude, wickedness, injuries, coldness and perversities that would occur on the long road to Calvary. He considered the pains His mother would endure because of all this. He had compassion on the holy women who would suffer at His sight. He suffered, seeing every sin of History and how ungrateful humanity would abuse everything he was about to do.

What Use Is There in My Blood?
Indeed, the following Psalm aptly summarizes His thoughts on that evening: “Quae utilitas sanguine meo?” (What use is there in my blood?) He considered all those who would burn in Hell for all eternity because they would refuse to love Him and His anguish multiplied.

He also saw the torments His Sacred Body would endure. He foresaw how It would be disfigured. He envisaged the evil that He would face, and accepted everything. He faced these torments, saying: “I have seen everything that I must endure, and I want it all! If this is the price of fallen humanity, I will pay it!”

However there were other considerations mounting within Our Redeemer. Since His humanity was perfect, His instincts were upright and strong. Thus, His instinct of self-preservation was unequalled. The thought of His aborning Passion and death overcame Him. His body was seized with panic and His human soul became afraid.

As the sinister vision of what was to come impressed itself upon Him, scripture tells us that He experienced a sort of heaviness and terror, while the tide of sadness rose within Him.

Though He was fully committed to do the Eternal Father’s will and never vacillated, His humanity recoiled at the prospect of what was to come. His sacred lips opened like a flower and He prayed with unfathomable sweetness, identifying as “Father,” He Who was asking Him to pay such a terrible ransom. He said: “My Father, if possible let this chalice pass from me, but let Thy Will, and not Mine, be done.”

What does He mean by saying: “if it be possible?” Being divine, Our Lord knew perfectly well this would be impossible. However, His humanity still clamored: “I do not see how I can confront this, but I will it if Thou doth will it.”

Then an angel appeared and offered Him a chalice with a liquid to console and strengthen Him. Fortified, He recomposed Himself and arose, ready for the sacrifice. However, His holocaust was so great that He, the God-man, started to sweat blood and the Redemption began.

"Judas' fetid lips worked their treason."

Our Lord Regains His Strength
Meanwhile, Our Savoir went to the place of His arrest quickly, proudly and on foot. His bearing was such, that, when asked if He were Jesus of Nazareth, He responded: “Ego sum,” (I am He) with such strength and grandeur, that His captors fell prostrate on the ground.

Still, His sufferings were augmented by the Apostle’s abandonment. Three times, He had looked to them for consolation and three times they preferred to sleep. He complained: “Could you not watch one hour with Me?” The tepid Apostles slept on through the event that all the saints of History, past and future, have contemplated and will contemplate with veneration, until the end of time.

It was not important to them, they preferred to dream rather than contemplate the mysteries that were unfolding before them. Much less did they want to participate in His sadness. They could not bear it. Consequently, Our Lord remained alone to fight against the just terror that rose within Him.

This terror was perfect, but His reaction to it was also perfect. Thus, He dominated His fear. He faced it like a victorious warrior.

The Romans and Jews came against Him and Judas’ fetid lips worked their treason. In all this, Our Lord remained standing. He was like a soldier Who had triumphed during that moment in the battle upon which the outcome hinges.

Our Lord’s Fight and Ours
While it is absurd to imagine that the God-man could have been defeated, for argument’s sake, let us imagine that fear had dominated Him. If He had said: “I have had enough. There will be no Passion or Redemption,” his whole life would have been a failure. Everything hinged upon His ability to conquer Himself. His triumph was a result of this victory.

We, too, must fight against ourselves at every moment of life, from birth to death. While Our Lord’s fight was a battle of perfections, within us, malice, imperfection and the effects of original sin rise up like a colony of ants that continually strives to swarm and overcome us.

Facing Struggles Head on
To succeed in this battle, we should never shield ourselves from coming sufferings. Doing so makes us incapable of facing them and concedes half the battle.

Rather, we must measure our trials in advance, difficult though they may be, and beseech Our Lady for help. Paraphrasing the words of Our Lord, we should pray: “My Holy Mother, Mother of God and my Mother, if this chalice is necessary, I want to drink it to the end. Above all, I want to do thy will. If this means suffering, I want to suffer.” With this spirit, we will conquer one victory after another.

For example: To effectively maintain chastity, we should consider all that this will cost us and accept everything. If we are afraid, we should remember that every soldier is frightened before the battle. We should imitate Our Lord, Who dealt with His fear in two ways.

First, He offered Himself to God. Then, He humbly asked that His sufferings be lessened in any way possible, always reaffirming His willingness to do the divine Will. Through this prayer, He gained the necessary strength to accomplish His mission and rose from the ground like a giant, like a sun.

Do I Imitate the Apostles?
Contrarily, we often lack the courage to face our sufferings head on and thus imitate the Apostles, who refused to watch with Our Lord. This is not merely figurative. On Holy Thursday night, all humanity passed individually before Our Lord’s eyes. He saw each of us, and our defects made Him suffer.

That is why we should often repeat the penitential Psalm: “Misere mei Dei, secundum magna misericordiam Tuam.” (Have compassion on me Lord, though Thy great mercy.) We should beseech Our Lord’s mercy, remembering that we caused Him to suffer, we made His sadness sadder; we made His agony harder. When we have the slightest load, we look for someone to lighten it, but all the while, we add to His immense burden. O Mother of Mercy, obtain pardon for us!

A Remedy for Our Weakness
However, we should not lose confidence or be surprised when we feel our insufficiency. When Our Lord felt weak, He prayed to the Eternal Father and obtained supernatural strength, which all men need to remain faithful amid the struggles of life. We must pray to Our Lady to obtain this strength. We must acknowledge our nothingness, but realize that through her intercession, we can do anything. Then, we must embolden ourselves, get up and push ahead. Sooner or later, Our Lady will grant us victory and we will arise like Our Lord and confront the danger. We will face it head on and say: “Ego sum!” (I am he!)

Someone could object, saying: “Even if I face my sufferings, they will not fall prostrate before me. When the martyrs proclaimed ‘Ego sum!’ the whole world laughed and spectators happily watched as beasts devoured them. ”

This is true.  Nevertheless, centuries later the victory came and the Roman emperor fell prostrate before the cross.

We may have very difficult battles, but if we face them head on and beseech Our Lady’s assistance, sooner or later, the enemy will fall prostrate.  When this happens, our blood, sweat and tears will have been crowned with victory.

by Plinio Correa de Oliveira

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North Dakota governor signs heartbeat bill: bans abortions as early as six weeks

by John Jalsevac

BISMARK, ND, March 26, 2013 ( – The governor of North Dakota today signed three pieces of pro-life legislation, including a bill that bans abortions in the state after the heartbeat of the unborn child can be detected – as early as six weeks gestation.

The heartbeat law is now the most restrictive abortion law in the country. Once enforced, it would prevent most or all surgical abortions in the state.

Gov. Jack Dalrymple

The governor signed two other bills, including a ban on abortions for genetic abnormalities such as Down syndrome and a bill that requires that abortionists have admitting privileges at a local hospital.

In signing the heartbeat bill, Gov. Jack Dalymple admitted that the legislation is almost certain to trigger a legal challenge. He urged the legislature to put aside funds for the pending fight.

“Although the likelihood of this measure surviving a court challenge remains in question, this bill is nevertheless a legitimate attempt by a state legislature to discover the boundaries of Roe v. Wade,” Gov. Dalrymple said in a statement. “Because the U.S. Supreme Court has allowed state restrictions on the performing of abortions and because the Supreme Court has never considered this precise restriction in HB 1456, the constitutionality of this measure is an open question.”

The measure is being viewed as a direct challenge to Roe, in which the Supreme Court had said that states cannot restrict abortion before viability. But pro-life advocates argue that the science of embryology has advanced since that court decision, proving beyond a doubt that the unborn child is human at all stages of development.

The Center for Reproductive Rights has already announced that it will challenge the law in court.

"North Dakota has set a new standard for extreme hostility toward the rights and health of women, the U.S. Constitution, and 40 years of Supreme Court precedent," Nancy Northup, the center's president and chief executive, said in a statement. "We will not allow this frontal assault on fundamental reproductive rights to go unchallenged."

North Dakota’s heartbeat bill includes exceptions if an abortion would prevent the death or irreversible impairment of a pregnant woman. However, it includes no exception for rape.

North Dakota has only one abortion facility, located in Fargo. Pro-life activists hope that the heartbeat bill will shut that business down, making the state the first abortion-free state in the union.

Last week, the legislature also became the first state legislature to pass a personhood amendment. That amendment now goes to the people of North Dakota for a vote.

Earlier this month, the Arkansas legislature approved a heartbeat bill, overturning the veto of Democratic Governor Mike Beebe to do so. That law bans abortion after 12 weeks.

The Wrong March for Marriage

by John Horvat II

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The Wrong March for Marriage

As the Supreme Court deliberated upon the same-sex “marriage” issue this March 26, two groups of protesters converged upon Washington to make their views known. Among the many present on the pro-family side was a large contingent from the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP), the youth of the Saint Louis de Montfort Academy and the TFP marching band.

If the national media are to be believed, the two demonstrations should have been a classic clash of cultures. On one side—supposedly on the side of history, one would expect to find a numerous throng composed of “oppressed” racial and other minorities, civil rights activists and youth. On the other, expect to find an entrenched minority, the rich and the upscale establishment intent upon holding on to power.

This clash did not take place. In fact, anyone who approached the pro-family March for Marriage might conclude that this was the wrong march. Something was seriously wrong with the media script. It seems all the people the media say should be supporting same-sex marriage are on the pro-family side.

To begin with, just look at the numbers. The pro-marriage throng of well over five thousand clearly outnumbered the 500 or so same-sex “marriage” advocates that lined the sidewalk near the Supreme Court. The pro-homosexual tide that supposedly has turned did not turn up.

The next striking impression of the pro-marriage crowd was its diversity. There were huge numbers of African Americans who

stood for marriage and felt insulted that some sought to equate marriage “equality” to civil rights. There were Hispanics and other ethnic “oppressed” minorities who came out in large numbers dispelling the idea that this bloc is a natural ally of the same-sex “marriage” crowd.

And the youth? Plenty of youths of all ages and races. Students, teenagers, boys, girls, infants all were well represented and gave a refreshing tone to the whole affair and indicating that traditional marriage has a future.

Mainstream America was also present as people from all over the country travelled incredible distances to be present. One could find families of all ages and people from all walks of life who felt the need to be present to defend


marriage. The throng at the March for Marriage was truly a cross section of the nation. The group reflected profoundly religious and vast sectors of the American public who see this development as a sin and affront to God. The atmosphere at the march was calm, prayerful and orderly.

On the other side, the contrary was true. The media can spin it any way they wish but the pro-same-sex “marriage” group could not claim the same diversity. This group was predominately white, upscale and twenty or thirty-something in age—hardly mainstream. There were few children or families present. The crowd included some university students, celebrities from the liberal establishment or those who have taken to the latest trend of showing how spineless they are by changing (or “evolving”) their principles on marriage because “everyone else is doing it.”

Most disturbing about this mob was their irreverent attitude toward what America holds sacred. They were aggressive, angry and in-your-face. Some jumped the police line separating the two groups mixed in the pro-family crowd and engaged in behavior which was provocative. Some of their signs made religious references that were clearly blasphemous and offensive to Christians.

When the National Anthem was played by the TFP marching band, the pro-same-sex “marriage” demonstrators did not stop to show respect for the flag flying before them but only screamed their slogans all the louder at the pro-family marchers. One demonstrator showed his “tolerance” by destroying a pro-marriage sign.

This was definitely a clash of cultures on the steps of the Supreme Court. But the media got the scripting and the casting all wrong. In this particular case, the same old liberal establishment came out for same-sex “marriage” as they always do. Likewise, mainstream America turned out for God and family—and, despite setbacks, are on the winning side of history.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

‘Marriage Equality’ spells ‘marriage extinction’

by Matt Barber

Matt Barber

March 25, 2013 ( - This week the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on two of the most critical cases of our time. On Tuesday, March 26, attorneys will make the pitch both for and against California’s Proposition 8. This, of course, is the Golden State’s pro-marriage amendment. It maintained the timeless definition of natural marriage as between man and wife.

Then, on Wednesday, March 27, the high court will consider the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), passed in 1996 with overwhelming bipartisan support and signed into law by then President Bill Clinton. It, likewise, secured the definition of legitimate marriage for purposes of federal law.

Although both cases certainly address a multitude of legal and political issues, they also involve a number of moral and cultural considerations that, if wrongly decided, will literally shake Western civilization to the core.

The stakes could not be higher. Of central concern is whether the Supreme Court will put its official stamp of approval on that cartoonish contradiction-in-terms labeled “same-sex marriage.” Ultimately, these nine justices will decide either to recklessly deconstruct, radically redefine and render functionally trivial the age-old institution of natural marriage – or leave it alone.

They’d better leave it alone.

Here’s the bottom line: Homosexual activists don’t want the white picket fence. They want to burn down the white picket fence. The endgame is not to achieve so-called “marriage equality,” but, rather, to render marriage reality meaningless.

In a recent column headlined, “The Revolt of Intelligence Against ‘Marriage Equality,” worldview expert Rick Pearcey addressed one prominent “gay” activist’s admission that the destruction of natural marriage signifies the left’s ultimate cultural coup de grâce.

“Masha Gessen, a lesbian and a journalist, spoke frankly about this at a conference in Sydney, Australia,” he wrote. “‘It’s a no-brainer that we should have the right to marry,’ she said. ‘But I also think equally that it’s a no-brainer that the institution of marriage should not exist. … ‘Marriage equality’ becomes ‘marriage elasticity,’ with the ultimate goal of ‘marriage extinction.’”

Still, if counterfeit “same-sex marriage” becomes the law of the land, then a whole lot more freaky deaky will follow before marriage extinction inevitably occurs.

One of liberals’ favorite Alinskyite defense mechanisms is to ridicule the opposition if confronted with some irrefutable argument against some hallowed left-wing delusion. Such is the tactic employed whenever a thinking person walks into the room and points out this big ‘ol gay elephant: Once the government pretends that some vague combination of “love” and “consent” are all that a “marriage” requires, then other “arbitrary” and “discriminatory” parameters beyond a binary male-female prerequisite must also go poof.

That is to say, if the Court magically divines some constitutional right to “same-sex marriage,” then full “marriage equality” necessarily demands that polygamous, incestuous and any other equally aberrant nuptial cocktail be likewise permitted.

It’s a “no-brainer,” right?

To that end, I’m very concerned with the Supreme Court’s recent history of radically redefining that which cannot be redefined. Though examples abound, I’m thinking specifically, as concerns the topic at hand, of the Court’s 2003 holding in Lawrence v. Texas.

In Lawrence, the liberal majority, for the first time in history, radically redefined male-on-male sodomy – hitherto classified “a crime against nature” – as a “constitutional right.”

In his characteristically brilliant dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia voiced my concerns better than I can: “State laws against bigamy, same-sex marriage, adult incest, prostitution, masturbation, adultery, fornication, bestiality and obscenity are likewise sustainable only in light of Bowers’ validation of laws based on moral choices,” he wrote. “Every single one of these laws is called into question by today’s decision.”

So, if the high court removes one natural marriage parameter for one special-interest group, then “equal protection under the law” requires that it remove all natural marriage parameters for all special-interest groups.

Liberty Counsel made these very points in a friend-of-the-court brief filed with the Supreme Court: “Ultimately, there is no principled basis for recognizing a legality of same-sex marriage without simultaneously providing a basis for the legality of consensual polygamy or certain adult incestuous relationships,” noted the brief. “In fact, every argument for same-sex marriage is an argument for them as well.”

Another brief filed by 18 state attorneys general voiced similar concerns: “Once the natural limits that inhere in the relationship between a man and a woman can no longer sustain the definition of marriage, the conclusion that follows is that any grouping of adults would have an equal claim to marriage,” they wrote.

The brief further observed the self-evident “no-brainer” that legitimate marriage is “optimal for children and society at large.”

It’s all very simple. If anything is marriage, then everything is marriage. And if everything is marriage, then nothing is marriage at all. “‘Marriage equality’ becomes ‘marriage elasticity,’ with the ultimate goal of ‘marriage extinction.’”

I sincerely hope that the honorable and learned men and women who sit on the highest bench in the land recognize that all of these San Francisco-style social-engineering games are a deceptive means to a destructive end. And it’s not the emotionalist end they’ve dolled-up and dished out. The left’s fierce push for “gay marriage” has nothing to do with “marriage equality” and everything to do with “marriage extinction.”

Or, as Ms. Gessen candidly put it: “t’s a no-brainer that the institution of marriage should not exist.”

I just pray that at least five justices still think it should.

Matt Barber (@jmattbarber on Twitter) is an attorney concentrating in constitutional law. He serves as Vice President of Liberty Counsel Action. (This information is provided for identification purposes only.)

The Church teaches us to love both the nobility and the poor

The rays of the Sun of Divine predilection shone with touching splendor on this genuine poor man, who was born a slave. Endowed with a great soul, he showed a gentleman’s dedication and magnanimity to his masters even—and especially—when misfortune cast them into poverty. They rewarded his generosity, giving him his deserved freedom and loving him as a devoted son.

Pierre Toussaint was declared venerable in 1996.

Servant of God Pierre Toussaint (1766-1853): Born to slavery in Saint Domingue (present-day Haiti), Toussaint came to New York in 1789 with his master, Jean Bérard du Pithon, a French noble and prosperous planter who was fleeing the turmoil unleashed in Saint Domingue by the French Revolution. Two years later, his master died without having been able to recover the family fortune, thus leaving Madame Bérard in poverty. Distressed at the plight of his mistress, Toussaint did not allow her poverty to come to light. He provided for the table by applying his skills as a fashionable hairdresser for the ladies of New York’s high society, served dinners to his mistress and her guests elegantly dressed as butler, and entertained everyone after the meals with the music of his violin.

Given his freedom in 1808, he married in 1811. Because of his virtue, discretion, and admirable wisdom, many people of the upper class brought him their troubles, seeking his advice. His generosity and dedication seemed unlimited, and he became the unknown benefactor of many who had fallen on hard times. He died in 1853, having profoundly marked New York society. Throngs of grateful people, white and black, high and low-born, filled Old Saint Peter’s Church for his funeral. His remains lie today in the crypt of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, where they gloriously await the day of resurrection and, we hope, the day when he will be honored with the glorious title of “saint.”

Providence also displayed its preferential option on behalf of this authentic American lady, linked by marriage to the Scottish nobility and by blood to the genuine analogous elites of our country when it was splendidly beginning its great trajectory.

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton (1774-1821): Born an Episcopalian to one of New York’s most distinguished families, the Bayleys, she was the first native-born American to be elevated to the honors of the altar. She married William Seton, from whose family, of noble Scottish descent, Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots and brave Catholic martyr, had chosen a lady-in-waiting more than two hundred years earlier. He was also one of New York’s wealthiest importers. His health having deteriorated due to tuberculosis, in a last attempt to stave off death, he decided on a sea voyage to Leghorn, Italy, and there he died. In the aristocratic Filicchi family of Leghorn, Mrs. Seton found assistance in her woes. These truly Christian nobles did a marvelous apostolate with her and acquainted her for the first time with the truths of the Faith.

St Elizabeth Ann Seton, the 5th American Saint.

Not long after, returning to New York, she announced to her family and friends that she was thinking of becoming a Catholic and was met with shocked disbelief. There was a rush to prevent her from joining the Church of the “offscoured” Irish and German immigrants, and upon her final submission to the Catholic Church she became the object of suspicion and ridicule, and was disowned by most of her family.

After much prayer, she left for Baltimore with her five children, where she founded her first school. The hope of establishing a religious community was apparent from the beginning. With a donation from a wealthy convert, she established a community of sisters in Emmitsburg, Maryland, where she also founded the first parochial school in the United States. Although dying at the age of 47, she lived to see her work flourish.

Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, Nobility and Analogous Traditional Elites in the Allocutions of Pius XII: A Theme Illuminating American Social History (York, Penn.: The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property, 1993), Appendix I, pp. 136-138.

How upset do you think Our Lord is with this blasphemy against His Blessed Mother?

A narrow-minded, vulgar, egoistic and even idolatrous woman — this is how Irish author Colm Tóibín presents the Blessed Virgin Mary in his novel (now making its debut on the stage) titled ""The Testament of Mary"." [1]

His blasphemous play is being presented at the Walter Kerr Theatre, a Broadway theater, starting Tuesday, March 26, 2013, at 8:00pm. [ANF did an online protest against this book to publishers Simon and Schuster on 14-Jan., 2013. We sent 15,493 protest messages to them. Now, along with the American TFP and TFP Student Action, we are doing an on-site protest and reparation against this play at the Kerr Theater on 26-March. There is no possibility of doing an online protest against this play because Kerr Theater’s only contact is through a third-party provider’s “box office” phone number. We ask you to join us in prayer and reparation.]

"The Testament of Mary" is the latest in a wave of blasphemies that has been building for years. It is noteworthy that besides being written by an avowed homosexual, at the Walter Kerr Theatre "The Testament of Mary" is being performed and directed by open lesbians, namely, Irish actress Fiona Shaw and Deborah Warner.[2]

Distorting the Image of Mary

Although a former Catholic seminarian, the Irish writer gives free rein to his imagination when expressing his contempt for the Gospels, Christian tradition, and Mary Most Holy.

His truth-twisting goal seems to be well summarized on the book’s flap: “Tobin’s tour de force of imagination...our image of Mary will be forever transformed.”[3]

The play is a monologue in which the actress recites a so-called “testament of Mary,” and, while using “soft” language, voices the wildest aberrations against the Catholic Faith.

With an interior act of reparation, we present below some examples of these aberrations so that our readers can gauge how far impiety can go.

Contrary to what Christian tradition affirms, Tóibín suggests that Mary was not taken care of in a filial manner by Saint John the Evangelist in Ephesus, but instead was “kept” there by two extortionists who pressured her to provide false testimony they could use to compose the Gospels. Among other things, they urged her to affirm the divinity of Jesus Christ, but she refused, since “She does not agree that her son is the Son of God.”[4]

Mary is portrayed as a skeptic who did not follow her own Son: “I am not one of his followers.”[5] And, she deemed His disciples, “a group of misfits.” Not one of them “was normal.”[6]

For Tóibín, the Mother of God was secretly a pagan worshiper of the hunting goddess Artemis (the Greek equivalent of the Roman goddess Diana): “I bought from one of the silversmiths a small statue of the goddess who lifted my spirits.”[7]

The Redemption “Was not Worth It”

At the wedding of Cana, the Irish writer would have us believe that she did not ask her Son to perform a miracle, and that she did not believe in the marvelous transformation of water into wine. While everyone else rejoiced at the miracle, “I did not cheer.”[8]

Our Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, True God and True Man, showed His Divine and paternal love for us by suffering the Passion and dying on the Cross, thus redeeming mankind of Original Sin and re-opening the Gate of Heaven to us.

At the hour of Crucifixion — Tóibín continues — she fled: “It was my own safety I thought of, it was to protect myself.”[9] She did not cradle her Son in her arms when He was lowered from the Cross, nor did she ascertain how He was buried.[10]

When the disciples say that the Gospels will change the world, this counterfeit Mary disdainfully quips: “‘The world?’ I asked. ‘All of it?’”[11]

In face of the affirmation that her Son “was the Son of God” and that “he was sent by his father to redeem the world,” Tóibín’s Mary “rage[s] against them,” stating: “I will say that it was not worth it. It was not worth it.”[12]

Rejecting Christ, Worshipping a Goddess

The novel ends with the Blessed Virgin idolatrously invoking the pagan goddess Artemis: “I speak to her in whispers, the great goddess Artemis… I tell her how much I long now to sleep in the dry earth, to go to dust peacefully with my eyes shut in a place near here where there are trees.”[13]

The Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ, a pagan! Evidently, in its perversity, blasphemy respects no limits. No Catholic can remain indifferent to such offenses.

An Injustice Against Benefactors

One of the most shocking acts a person can do is to challenge, ridicule or slander his own father or mother. For the most elementary justice commands us to honor and manifest gratitude and respect for those who gave us life, supported and guided us when we were weak and defenseless.

To act in the opposite manner is to show a hardening of heart and a spirit of revolt that subverts the nature of feelings and the order of things. In short, it is a sin, a grievous sin.

Filial piety is inscribed in human nature by natural law and is a duty sanctioned by Divine Law in the Fourth Commandment.

This is why even those who are prone to excuse other people’s faults are indignant at moral or physical violence perpetrated against parents. From ancient times, parricides and matricides received especially harsh punishment.

Gravity of the Sin of Blasphemy

Now then, if to dishonor one’s natural parents is so serious and gravely unjust, what to say of those who turn against the Creator Himself, to whom they owe their existence even more than to their parents?

If every sin shows contempt for God’s law (a contempt that is more or less pronounced depending on the seriousness of the matter and the person’s intent), when it comes to blasphemy contempt is displayed not against the law, but against God Himself. It is displayed directly, when one vilifies His Holy Name or actions. It is displayed indirectly, when it targets His saints, religion, and sacred things.

Blasphemy is considered the gravest of sins because it directly counters man’s very end, which is to love God.[14]

Our Lady of Hope, Macarena

Our Lady of Hope, Macarena.

Gravity of Blaspheming Our Lady

Our Lady is called our Mother in the Litany of Loreto, for she is the Universal Mediatrix with her Divine Son. A second reason is because she is the Mother of the Redeemer, Who gave us the life of grace.

Therefore, the offense to our Mother in the supernatural order is especially grave and iniquitous, and the Most Holy Trinity is particularly offended when she is blasphemed.

Heretical Blasphemy

The gravity of the sin of blasphemy is greater when it expresses heresy, by denying the truths revealed by God and taught by the Magisterium of the Church.

In denying the divinity of Christ, His Resurrection, and the veracity of the Gospels, "The Testament of Mary" is not only blasphemous but heretical. It presents a caricature of the Blessed Virgin Mary and implicitly denies all of the dogmas the Church has defined in her regard.

In light of the above, "The Testament of Mary" deserves the most vehement and indignant repudiation from the faithful and The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property—TFP and its America Needs Fatima campaign enjoin their fellow Catholics and all God-fearing Americans to reject it — legally and peacefully — offering their prayers and heartfelt public reparation for the offense it gives to Almighty God, Mary Most Holy, and the Catholic Church.

Reparation Prayer for Blasphemy against the Blessed Virgin Mary

1. Colm Tóibín, "The Testament of Mary" (New York: Scribner, 2012). All of the quotes in this article are from this edition of the novel. [back to text]

2. Cf. Susanna Rustin, “A life in books: Colm Tóibín,” The Guardian, Oct. 25, 2010,, accessed Mar. 20, 2013; John Preston, “Costa Book Awards: Colm Toibin interview,” The Telegraph, Jan. 25, 2010,, accessed Mar. 20, 2013; Tim Teeman, “Fiona Shaw: ‘I Have Enormous Sadness in Me,’”The Times, Dec. 10, 2009, accessed Mar. 20, 2013; Liz Hoggard, “Power lesbians: The female celebs who are out and proud,” Evening Standard, Aug. 24, 2009,, accessed Mar. 20, 2013; “The IoS Pink List 2010,” The Independent, Aug. 1, 2010,, accessed Mar. 20, 2013; Fiona Shaw, “What’s harder than telling your parents that you’re gay? Telling your children.” The Independent, Apr. 24, 2012,, accessed Mar. 20, 2013. [back to text]

3. Tóibín, book flap. [back to text]

4. Ibid. [back to text]

5. Ibid., 44. [back to text]

6. Ibid., 6. [back to text]

7. Ibid., 10. [back to text]

8. Ibid., 38. [back to text]

9. Ibid., 65. [back to text]

10. Cf. Ibid., 79. [back to text]

11. Ibid., 77. [back to text]

12. Ibid., 80. [back to text]

13. Ibid., 80. [back to text]

14. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, II-II, qq. 13-14. [back to text]

Monday, March 25, 2013

Meteor over Manhattan shortly before blasphemous attack on Virgin Mary to begin there

A few days before the opening of the blasphemous play “The Testament of Mary” in Manhattan, a meteor was seen in the skies above Manhattan.

While I am not saying for sure that the two events are absolutely related, it is also hard to say that they are absolutely not related.

Read about the blasphemous play here and decide for yourself:

1.4 million march against homosexual ‘marriage’ in France, police tear gas crowd – children included

by John-Henry Westen

Our American March for Marriage is tomorrow morning in Washington D.C. Please join us:

The one in Paris is reported on below:

PARIS, France, March 25, 2013 ( - On Sunday, an estimated 1.4 million people marched for traditional marriage and opposing homosexual adoption in France. A bill which has passed the National Assembly is set for a debate and vote in the Senate April 4-12. Despite massive public opposition it is likely to pass with the strong backing of Socialist President François Hollande.

Demonstrators are demanding the matter be put to a referendum.

In a last minute change, police said they would not permit marchers to march on the Champs-Elysées, the most famous street in the nation which runs by the Presidential palace. Moreover, when some of the demonstrators were around the famed Arch de Triomphe police began spraying tear gas and using their batons against the crowd. While details of the circumstances remain uncertain, elderly demonstrators, and children were among those harmed by the police.


Our American March for Marriage is tomorrow morning in Washington D.C.  Please join us:

The Bottom Line on Marriage

the_bottom_line_on_marriageThere are those who claim that the notion of traditional marriage should be “redefined.” In fact, the Supreme Court is now considering the future of marriage in this country. Those who advocate “redefining” marriage fail to understand that we do so at great risk.

There are plenty of moral arguments that deal with the need to defend traditional marriage. However, many refuse to recognize the existence of an objective morality. For these, perhaps the best way to explain the importance of this essential institution is in terms that people today understand best—economic terms. If one can reduce things to the bottom line, it seems people sit up and take notice.

And so the bottom line is this: a wedding is more than just a social celebration; it is also a major economic event. It signals the entry of a new entity—the family—into economy that naturally favors balanced production and consumption. By its very nature, the family expands the economy by celebrating the coming of life since children are seen as blessings, not burdens.

Economy was born around the warm hearth of the home. The etymology of the word means “household management.” Thus, the family is the ideal school of temperance that teaches its members duty and responsibility, self-sacrifice and joyful celebration. If we want to return to some kind of prosperity, the family based on traditional marriage is indispensable. There is no substitute.

However, a family is not just any grouping of people in the same house. It presupposes a complementary union of spouses that creates a climate of intense affinity, affection, and stability that allow the ideal psychological conditions for their children to develop. The family has that creative restraint that at once limits, yet challenges. It succors, yet makes demands. It provides both support for shortcomings and incentives to excel.


The traditional family, especially the large family, is rich in solutions since it unites past, present and future. The individual can draw upon family traditions. Past figures can serve as role models. The future can be built upon family wealth, honor and reputation. Such concepts make the family more than just a single set of relationships but rather a world of relationships spanning generations. It is an institution uniting personalities, property, names, rights, principles, and histories and therefore favoring stable growth. Because it furthers the well-being of all society and economy, it is in the interest of the State to favor this notion of the family, to defend it, and to bestow benefits upon it.

That is why we cannot “redefine” marriage. Relationships outside of traditional marriage define themselves by their lack of restraint, their defiance of morality. In the case of homosexual “marriage,” the very name highlights the idea of sexual gratification over any other considerations. Such unions turn the procreative function into a non-creative one. It turns natural fecundity into an unnatural sterility.

Indeed, traditional marriage is so fecund that those who would frustrate its end must do violence to nature to prevent the birth of children by using contraception. On the contrary, same-sex unions are so sterile that those who would circumvent nature must employ costly and artificial means or employ surrogates to bring about adoptive children. The natural state of marriage is to create a world of natural blood relationships to advance society. Other unions cannot do this and come to be reduced to mere conventions used to advance the individual’s pursuit of pleasure.

Without this family, we experience the lack of restraint and temperance so needed to keep economy in balance. In my book, Return to Order: From a Frenzied Economy to an Organic Christian Society—Where We’ve Been, How We Got Here, and Where We Need to Go, I speak about what I call frenetic intemperance in our economy where instant gratification is the order of the day.

We now have a credit-card economy where we must have everything instantly, regardless of the consequences. This has largely happened because the family, that ideal school of temperance, is no longer functioning as it should–and schools of intemperance are given free rein.

The bottom line is that the heart and soul of economy is found in the family based on


indissoluble marriage. Strong families lead to strong economies. Frenzied lifestyles cause frenzied markets with their restless spirit of frenetic intemperance. That is the long and short of it.

by John Horvat II

The Blessed Mother is the first and highest of God’s creatures

The queenship of Our Lady is supernatural in character because she is the first and highest of God’s creatures. She is not the first in the order of nature, for the Angels are more than she. An angel is a pure spirit and, therefore, more than a human creature.

But she is the first creature in the order of grace. That is, she received incomparably more graces than the Angels. The graces the Angels received are subordinate to the graces Our Lady received.

Church of Our Lady in Breda, Netherlands.

Our Lady is the first of creatures because she is the Mother of God. No one has had or can have a union with the Most Holy Trinity as close as hers. She is the Most Beloved Daughter of the Eternal Father, the Most Admirable Mother of the Eternal Word, and the Most Faithful Spouse of the Holy Ghost.

Statue of Our Lady in Tyrol

Further, she is Queen because God placed the government of all things in her hands. God does not do any supernatural thing on earth that does not pass through her. All the prayers that are raised from earth to Heaven pass through her; all the graces that come from God to earth are at her request. If all Heaven were to implore something without her intercession, it would not be attained; and if she alone among the citizens of Heaven would ask for something, she would obtain all she asked for. This makes her a Queen in the plenitude of the term.

Now then, these concepts that correspond to her Heavenly Queenship, which is her highest title, must correspond also to her earthly Queenship. What is this earthly Queenship of Our Lady? All of human society should be organized in such a way that everything is according to Her will, recognizing the fact that she is Queen. All those who govern should follow Her will.


Now, what is the will of Our Lady? Since she does not appear in mystical ways to communicate with us, how can we know her will?

Above all other things, the will of Our Lady lies in Catholic doctrine and in obedience to the Catholic Church as the Church always was. In essence, this is the will of Our Lady, because her will coincides with the will of God. Obedience to the Catholic Church is, therefore, the clearest and most indisputable component of the will of Our Lady.

(From an informal talk given by Prof. Plinio Correa de Oliveira.)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Annunciation and Incarnation -- at the moment of Mary's conception, divine grace flooded her magnificent soul

Out of love for us, the Eternal Word was made flesh in the chaste womb of Mary. His plan was marvelously arranged. From all eternity, He chose a man after His heart who would be the virginal spouse of His divine Mother, His adopted father on earth, and the guardian of His childhood.

While not granting Joseph the same privileges He had granted our Blessed Mother, the Lord adorned his soul with the rarest virtues and raised him to great holiness.

When Our Lady had completed her education in the Temple, she was wed to this humble artisan. Like her, Saint Joseph belonged to the royal race of David, then fallen from its ancient splendor. Also like her, he had consecrated his virginity to God and ardently desired to see with his own eyes the promised Messias, the salvation of Israel.

The Annunciation and Saint Gabriel

The Most High had prepared this excellent union by revealing His will to these humble and obedient souls. Mary accepted Joseph as the guarantor of Divine Providence, while Joseph received Mary as a precious treasure entrusted to him by Heaven. Neither one nor the other suspected what blessings the Lord would lavish on their modest dwelling. The young spouses had lived but a short time in the little house of Nazareth when the scene of the Annunciation took place in all of its divine simplicity.

The last days of March had brought the return of spring to the Galilean countryside. The fig trees had begun to unfold their ample leaves and the doves to build their nests in the hollows of the rocks. Flowers dotted the rejuvenated fields. Soon another flower, infinitely more precious, would blossom from the root of Jesse.

In Heaven, the Holy Ghost acclaimed the spotless conception of the Immaculate Virgin with admiration and seemed impatient for the hour when the work of His infinite charity would be fulfilled. No longer did the Divine Spouse wish to delay. He resolved to send an extraordinary messenger to her whom He called "My Spouse" —Soror mea, sponsa. 1

The Annunciation in Art: A Stunning Comparison

God chose the Archangel Gabriel from among the princes of the celestial court who remained constantly before the throne of the Almighty. He entrusted to him the most important and glorious assignment ever confided to a creature, the mission of announcing to the Virgin the awesome mystery of the Incarnation.

All Heaven now looked upon that simple house of Nazareth, where a profound peace reigned. Joseph probably rested from his hard labor. In the adjoining room, his virgin spouse was praying. The angel appeared and respectfully bowed before his Queen. His countenance resplendent with supernatural joy, he said to her, "Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women." 2 Saint Gabriel uttered but the strictest truth.

At the moment of Mary's conception, divine grace flooded her magnificent soul. Ever since then, this grace had grown ceaselessly in proportions far surpassing our feeble understanding. Now, at this moment, the adorable Trinity wanted this already extraordinary holiness to shine with even greater brilliance: Our Lady would shelter in her womb the very Author of grace.

Yet, the Archangel's salutation troubled the Immaculate Virgin. By divine enlightenment she had long understood the immensity of God and the nothingness of creatures. In her prodigious humility, she considered herself the lowliest of creatures and thus wondered at receiving such praise. She pondered what hidden meaning could be shrouded in such words.

Seeing this most incomparably perfect of all creatures with such a humble opinion of herself, the celestial ambassador exulted with admiration. "Mary," he said to the trembling Virgin, "fear not, for thou hast found grace with God."3

Then slowly, majestically, in the name of the Eternal God, he communicated his sublime message: "Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb and shalt bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name Jesus. He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of David His father, and He shall reign in the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there shall be no end."4

These words were far too clear to Our Lady for any hesitation in grasping them. She immediately understood the incomparable honor reserved for her. It seems that she experienced no hesitation on account of her virginity. Indeed, it would be a gratuitous insult to her intelligence to suspect her of such ignorance. She was aware of the prophecy of Isaias that the Emmanuel would be born of a virgin.

Rather, she simply sought to know how God, so rich in miracles, would accomplish such a marvel. "How shall this be done," she asked the angel, "for I know not man?"5 "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee. Therefore, the child which shall be born of thee shall be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, thy cousin Elizabeth, she also hath conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her who is called barren; for nothing shall be impossible with God."6 Profound silence filled that small room in Nazareth, one of those dramatic silences wherein the world's destiny hangs in the balance.

The angel had ceased speaking and Mary was quiet. How many thoughts crowded in upon her! In her mind's eye, she saw the resplendent crown divine motherhood would place on her head, yet she remained too profoundly humble for any complacency about this singular grandeur. She saw the indescribable joys that would surely fill her heart when holding her dear treasure against her bosom, her Jesus, both God and infant. Yet again, her self-mortification would not allow that she be guided by the allure of joy alone, even the most holy of joys.

She also saw the awful martyrdom that would rend her soul. Through Holy Scripture she knew that the Messias would be delivered to His death like a tender lamb to the slaughter. She foresaw and heard the mournful cry: "I am a worm, and no man; the reproach of men, and the outcast of the people."7 Yet, such was her fortitude that she would not allow future sorrow to dishearten her. Above everything, she saw the extremely lofty, fatherly, and holy will of God. She owed obedience to Him; she did not hesitate.

The Annunciation and Saint Gabriel

The Immaculate Virgin at last broke the solemn silence. The angel waited to receive her consent in the name of the Holy Ghost. In accepting, she pronounced one of those sublime expressions that only the genius of humility can find. It was the most simple and modest formula of a soul completely submissive to the will of God: "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done unto me according to thy word."8 At that, the grandest of all miracles took place. From the very flesh of the Immaculate Virgin, the Holy Ghost formed a small human body. To this body He joined a human soul; to this body and soul He united the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity, the Word of God.

Although it is necessary to explain these three facts separately to make clear what took place, the three took place completely simultaneously as a single act. Not even for a second were this small body and soul separated from the Word. From that first instant the Child formed in the womb of Our Lady was the Word Incarnate. Without losing her virginity, Mary became the Mother of God, and in becoming the Mother of Christ, our Head, she also became the Mother of men—our Mother.

In this chapter I have simply followed the Gospel narrative step by step. We will later study the nearly infinite dignity the Immaculate Virgin confers on divine motherhood. We shall see how this privilege should inspire our Christian hearts to great respect, deep gratitude, limitless confidence, and filial devotion. But let us first complete our meditation on this mystery.

Through God's infinite love for us, the Word utterly humbled Himself in the womb of the Virgin. At the same time, other events took place in her soul. When God entrusts a mission to one of His creatures, He also provides the grace to accomplish it fully. Thus, the Most High, having granted a double motherhood to the Blessed Virgin Mary (to be mother of God and of men), conferred upon her a love that was doubly maternal. Such was the splendor in this work of grace that we will never perfectly understand it. Never will we completely understand the ardor of Mary's love for Jesus or the merciful goodness by which the Virgin loves each one of us in particular. Indeed, were we to further reflect upon this mystery, we would pray to her with greater fervor, and serve her with greater zeal. She, in turn, would lavish torrents of grace on us.

The Annunciation in Art: A Stunning Comparison

The Incarnation had just been completed. Our Lady remained in ecstasy. Every theologian agrees that during this thrice-holy moment God raised her to the most sublime contemplation a pure creature can attain upon earth. Perhaps she was even granted a momentary glimpse of the beatific vision. The Archangel Gabriel had fulfilled his mission. Upon his arrival he had respectfully bowed before the Queen of heaven. Before departing, he prostrated himself, for Mary was no longer alone. In true justice, the Child she bore in her womb merited the adoration of the archangel, who adored the God-made-man and then returned to Heaven.

From this mystery, we must draw a stronger and deeper devotion to the Blessed Virgin. The Church, which encourages us to pay special honor to the Immaculate Mother, does not wish to place her on the same level as the Most High. While Mary reigns over all the angels and saints in Heaven, she is still but a simple creature and, accordingly, an infinite distance stands between her and her adorable Son. Nevertheless, God has united Jesus and Mary so intimately that we cannot separate Them. By consenting to the work of the eternal God, Our Lady has become ipso facto the moral cause of our salvation. She is morally necessary for us to go to Jesus.

Souls today are powerfully attracted to the Heart of Jesus. To penetrate this adorable Heart, the sanctuary of the Divinity, more fully, we must go through Mary. Let us ask Our Lady for the sovereign grace of placing us confidently in the arms of Jesus and there, upon His heart, let us rest both in time and in eternity.

Written by Father Thomas de Saint-Laurent


1. Canticle of Canticles 4:9. [back]
2. Luke 1:28. [back]
3. Luke 1:30. [back]
4. Luke 1:31-33. [back]
5. Luke 1:34. [back]
6. Luke 1:35-37. [back]
7. Psalm 21:7. [back]
8. Luke 1:38. [back]

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