Friday, February 28, 2014

The Benefits of Doing The Five First Saturdays Devotion, Requested By Our Lady at Fatima

The Five First Saturdays devotion is one of the principal points of the Fatima message. It centers on the urgent need for mankind to offer reparation and expiate for the many injuries that the Immaculate Heart of Mary suffers from the hands of both impious and indifferent men.


During the third apparition on July 13, 1917, Our Lady revealed that she would come to ask for the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart and for the Communion of Reparation of the Five First Saturdays. Consequently, she asked for the devotion in 1925 and the consecration in 1929.

While staying at the House of the Dorothean Sister in Pontevedra, Portugal, Sister Lucia received a vision on December 10, 1925 where the Blessed Mother appeared alongside a Boy who stood over a luminous cloud. Our Lady rested one hand on the Boy’s shoulder while she held on the other hand a heart pierced with thorns around it.

Sister Lucia heard the Boy say, "Have pity on the Heart of your Most Holy Mother which is covered with thorns with which ingrate men pierce it at every moment with no one to make an act of reparation to pull them out."

Our Lady expressed her request in the following words,

"See, my daughter, My Heart surrounded with thorns with which ingrates pierce me at every moment with blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, make sure to console me and announce that all those who for five months, on the first Saturdays, go to confession, receive Communion, say five decades of the Rosary and keep me company for 15 minutes meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary, with the purpose of making reparation to Me, I promise to assist them at the hour of death with all the graces necessary for the salvation of their souls."

A few days afterward, Sister Lucia detailed this vision in a letter addressed to Monsignor Manuel Pereira Lopes, her confessor when she resided in the Asylum of Vilar in the city of Oporto, Portugal.

Why Five Saturdays?     FREE First Saturday Devotion Holy Card

Sister Lucia’s confessor questioned her about the reason for the five Saturdays asking why not seven or nine. She answered him in a letter dated June 12, 1930. In it she related about a vision she had of Our Lord while staying in the convent chapel part of the night of the twenty-ninth to the thirtieth of the month of May, 1930. The reasons Our Lord gave were as follows:

The five first Saturdays correspond to the five kinds of offenses and blasphemies committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary. They are:

a.    Blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception
b.    Blasphemies against her virginity
c.    Blasphemies against her divine maternity, at the same time the refusal to accept her as the Mother of all men
d.    Instilling , indifference, scorn and even hatred towards this Immaculate Mother in the hearts of children
e.    Direct insults against Her sacred images

Let us keep the above reasons firmly in our minds. Devotions have intentions attached to them and knowing them adds merit and weight to the practice.

Modifications to the Five First Saturdays Devotion to facilitate its observation.

The original request of Our Lady asks one to confess and receive Communion on five consecutive first Saturdayss; to say five decades of the Rosary; to meditate during 15 minutes on the mysteries of the Rosary for the purpose of making reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in reparation for the sins of men.

In subsequent private visions and apparitions however, Sister Lucia presented to Our Lord the difficulties that devotees encountered in fulfilling some conditions. With loving condescension and solicitude, Our Lord deigned to relax the rules to make this devotion easy to observe:

A.    Confession may be done on other days other than the First Saturdays so long as one receives Our Lord worthily and has the intention of making reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
B.    Even if one forgets to make the intention, it may be done on the next confession, taking advantage of the first occasion to go to confession.
C.    Sister Lucia also clarified that it is not necessary to meditate on ALL mysteries of the Rosary on each First Saturdays. One or several suffice.

With much latitude granted by Our Lord Himself, there is no reason for the faithful to hesitate or delay this pious practice in the spirit of reparation which the Immaculate Heart of Mary urgently asks.

This devotion is so necessary in our days

The culture of vice and sin remains unabated even as one reads this. Abortion, blasphemy, drug abuse, pornography, divorce and bad marriages, religious indifference, the advances of the homosexual agenda and others are just some of society’s many plagues that cut deeply into the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

We must console Our Lady amidst all these insults and injuries to her and her Divine Son. She asks for reparation, she pleads for our prayers, she hopes for our amendment of life. Let us listen to her maternal pleas and atone for the ingratitude of men.

The First Five Saturdays devotion stimulates the spirit of reparation; it instills a tender love for the Holy Sacraments of Confession and the Blessed Eucharist. It nurtures a holy affection for the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Rosary. Above all, it is an excellent means to maintain one in the state of grace while immersed in the daily spiritual battles and prosaic existence in the neo-pagan world that we live in.

Let us not delay in observing this devotion for it too gives us hope for eternal salvation.

FREE First Saturday Devotion Holy Card


Solimeo, Luiz Sergio, Fatima, A Message More Urgent than Ever, (Spring Grove, PA: The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property-TFP, 2008.)

Why Ash Wednesday? Why Ashes?

On Ash Wednesday Catholics proclaim their Faith in the public square as they go about marked with a black cross.

Still, as praiseworthy as it is for Catholics to uphold the feast of Ash Wednesday by making a point of receiving ashes, it can easily become merely a pious habit, "something we Catholics do."

Yet, like everything in our Catholic Faith, the liturgical feast of Ash Wednesday and the custom of ashes has a rich history, deep meaning and rich symbolism.
The custom initiated back in the early Middle Ages when repentant public sinners submitted to forty days of penance. The bishop blessed the hairshirts, and the ashes which, after biblical penitential custom, were poured over the sinners' heads. In time, all Christians whether public or private sinners, wished to benefit from the practice.

Ash Wednesday is the first day of the season of Lent symbolic of the forty days Our Lord fasted in the desert. Occuring forty six days before Easter, it is consequently moveable-as early as Februay 4 and as late as March 10.

The ashes applied to the forehead, made from the palms of the previous year’s Palm Sunday, are blessed, perfumed with incense, and hydrated with a little holy water or oil as a binding agent. Thus treated, the ashes are considered a Sacramental.

Ash as a Sacramental

Though sacramentals do not ipso facto operate Grace as the sacraments, they are helpers to the sacraments in that they are visible, touchable, hearable signs that help predispose our souls to Grace.

Thus for example, when we enter a church,dip our finger in the fount and bless ourselves, we are making use of a sacramental, holy water, to place ourselves in a prayerful mode. With the right disposition, and a short prayer of contrition, holy water can even remit venial sin.

The Catholic Church is replete with sacramentals, holy objects, words and rituals that we can see, touch and hear to help convey to our spirit an attitude of openess to Grace.

The ash used on Ash Wednesday, accompanied by the words "Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return," or, "Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel" places us in a disposition of penance and humility, which is the attitude needed for a fruitful, Grace-filled Lent.

Sacramentals are specially potent when well explained to children who are so visual and touch oriented. They are a powerful means to convey the unseen mysteries of our Faith to their young minds.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer bows to economic pressure in vetoing religious freedom act, say critics

by Ben Johnson

PHOENIX, AZ, February 27, 2014 ( – Facing an intense national campaign of media and economic pressure, Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed a bill that would have given Arizona business owners greater legal protections to exercise their faith in public.

Senate Bill 1062 would have made it more difficult to sue business owners who refuse to participate in commerce that violates their religious convictions, such as making a cake for a same-sex “wedding.”

“Senate Bill 1062 does not address a specific and present concern related to religious liberty in Arizona,” Brewer said. “I have not heard of one example in Arizona where a business owner’s religious liberty has been violated.” However, lawsuits have been filed against a Christian photographer in New Mexico, bakers in Colorado and Iowa, and an elderly florist in Washington state who refused to take part in same-sex ceremonies.

Brewer obliquely referred to the economic threats her state faced if she signed the bill. Corporate executives, their allied politicians in both parties, and the chamber of commerce threatened economic repercussions if the bill passed. The NFL also threatened to deny Arizona the chance to host Super Bowl XLIX next year.

“I know that the entire business community is galvanized, in a way that I’ve never seen, against this legislation,” Sen. John McCain, whose wife and daughter support redefining marriage, said before the veto.

“This legislation seeks to protect businesses, yet the business community overwhelmingly opposes the proposed law,” Brewer said in her veto message, adding that the bill “could result in unintended and negative consequences.”

Instead, she asked state legislators to turn away from First Amendment issues and “foster Arizona's business friendly environment.”

"I think she vetoed the bill because of pressure from the Arizona business community," political adviser Dick Morris told Newsmax, who said the Super Bowl threat was pivotal.

While celebrating the veto, homosexual activists underlined the role economic blackmail played in their success. “With today’s veto, Governor Brewer spared her state from institutional discrimination and economic catastrophe,” said Chad Griffin, president of the homosexual pressure lobby group Human Rights Campaign. “This country isn't turning backwards.”

Brewer's veto earned praise from such strange political bedfellows as Hillary Clinton, U.S. Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake, Democratic Congressman and amnesty enthusiast Raul Grijalva, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. “Veto = victory in AZ tonight,” Pelosi tweeted.

The veto was purchased by mischaracterizing the contents and effect of the bill, a group of nearly a dozen scholars noted. Homosexual activists said the bill was a Jim Crow law that would give business owners a blanket right to deny all services to homosexuals – and possibly allowed sexual or racial discrimination, as well.

“We have left the confines of reality,” Republican Rep. J.D. Mesnard of Chandler told local media.

Unlike homosexual actions, race and sex are known to be physically immutable traits that are covered by federal civil rights laws. No state law could revive segregation, much less this one.

S.B. 1062 was based on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act – a bill that passed the U.S. Senate by a 97-3 vote and that earned the support of Ted Kennedy. Some 18 states have adopted similar legislation since 1997. Under S.B. 1062, homosexuals could still sue, but would have to meet more stringent criteria to prevail in court.

Now, it will be easier for activists to sue individuals who refuse to violate their religious consciences. “And keep in mind that these private plaintiffs may not be suing a business; they may be suing a church, a minister, a religious charity, an individual, or anyone else clearly protected by the Arizona RFRA,” the scholars said in their letter.

“The legislation reaffirms the basic principle that the fundamental rights of free speech and the free exercise of religion do not stop at the exit door of your local church, and instead extend to every area of life,” U.S. Congressman Trent Franks of Arizona said, noting that American servicemen had died for that liberty. “They gave all they had because they knew that religious freedom was the cornerstone of all other freedoms. The aim of the sponsors and proponents of SB 1062 was to defend against increasing and ubiquitous efforts by the secular Left to do away with religious freedom in America as they have successfully done in many other parts of the world.”

Franks said “rather than join an honest debate about the actual text,” liberal progressives “resorted to their primary strategy of flooding the zone with gross distortion, political intimidation, and economic extortion.”

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said apparently the bill's opponents are “graduates of the Pelosi School of Policy, where they dispose of bills before they find out what's in them.”

“This bill like the federal RFRA, bars government discrimination against religious exercise,” he said, “so by vetoing this bill Governor Brewer is saying she supports government discrimination against people's religious freedoms.”

Hearing of the veto, LGBT pressure groups were ebullient.

“This was a major defeat for what has become a concerted Hail Mary campaign to carve out special rights for religious conservatives,” said Evan Hurst, Truth Wins Out’s associate director.

GLAAD CEO and President Sarah Kate Ellis said this proved that Republican support for pro-family Americans is waning. "Governor Brewer today demonstrated that basic respect for LGBT people extends across party lines,” she said.

Yet Brewer's stance did nothing to abate the Left's persistent criticism of her record as governor. “Governor Jan Brewer stood on the right of history today by vetoing SB 1062,” the homosexual activist group GetEQUAL said. “However, we cannot forget the suffering that some of her other decisions have caused. ... She signed SB 1070 into the law – one of the most anti-immigrant laws in the country – then signed an executive order denying driver's licenses for DREAM Act-eligible youth who received Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA). She has defunded Planned Parenthood clinics and signed a bill prohibiting abortion after 18 weeks after conception. She has also backed a marriage equality ban in Arizona.”

Still, Lambda Legal hoped her veto would be “a guiding signal for elected leaders across the country considering similar bills.”

Constitutionalists who believe in the unalienable right to practice religion and self-determination hope this will not be the end of the line for bills that would respect those privileges.

“Everyone should be free to live and love as they choose, but no one should demand that government coerce others into celebrating their relationship,” said Ryan Anderson, a marriage expert at the Heritage Foundation.

"Unfortunately, at a moment of testing, Governor Jan Brewer yielded to the cultural bullies and their frenzy-driven opposition instead of consulting the facts," Perkins concluded.

State pro-family leaders called the veto “a sad day for Arizonans who cherish and understand religious liberty.”

“Opponents were desperate to distort this bill rather than debate the merits,” Cathi Herrod, president of the Center for Arizona Policy said. “Essentially, they succeeded in getting a veto of a bill that does not even exist.”


Hon. Janice K. Brewer, Governor
Executive Tower
1700 West Washington Street
Phoenix, AZ 85007

St. Anne Line -- Are You Hiding a Priest?

English martyr, died 27 Feb., 1601.

St  Ann Line

She was the daughter of William Heigham of Dunmow, Essex, a gentleman of means and an ardent Calvinist, and when she and her brother announced their intention of becoming Catholics both were disowned and disinherited. Anne married Roger Line, a convert like herself, and shortly after their marriage he was apprehended for attending Mass. After a brief confinement he was released and permitted to go into exile in Flanders, where he died in 1594.

When Father John Gerard established a house of refuge for priests in London, Mrs. Line was placed in charge. After Father Gerard’s escape from the Tower in 1597, as the authorities were beginning to suspect her assistance, she removed to another house, which she made a rallying point for neighboring Catholics.

On Candlemas Day, 1601, Father Francis Page, S.J. was about to celebrate Mass in her apartments, when priest-catchers broke into the rooms. Father Page quickly unvested, and mingled with the others, but the altar prepared for the ceremony was all the evidence needed for the arrest of Mrs. Line. She was tried at the Old Bailey 26 Feb., 1601, and indicted under the Act of 27 Eliz. for harboring a priest, though this could not be proved. The next day she was led to the gallows, and bravely proclaiming her faith, achieved the martyrdom for which she had prayed. Her fate was shared by two priests, [Blessed] Mark Barkworth, O.S.B., and Roger Filcock, S.J., who were executed at the same time.

Bl. Roger Filcock

Bl. Roger Filcock

Roger Filcock had long been Mrs. Line’s friend and frequently her confessor. Entering the English College at Reims in 1588, he was sent with the others in 1590 to colonize the seminary of St. Albans at Valladolid, and, after completing his course there, was ordained and sent on the English mission. Father Garnett kept him on probation for two years to try his mettle before admitting him to the Society of Jesus, and finding him zealous and brave, finally allowed him to enter.

He was just about to cross to the Continent for his novitiate when he was arrested on suspicion of being a priest and executed after a travesty of a trial.

[Note: In 1970, Anne Line was canonized by Pope Paul VI among the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales, whose joint feast day is kept on 25 October.]

MORRIS, Life of Fr. John Gerard; CHALLONER, Memoirs, I, 396; FOLEY, Records S.J. I, 405; VII, 254; Douay Diaries, p. 219, 280; Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. Rutland Coll. Belvoir Castle, I, 370; GILLOW, Bibl. Dict. Eng. Cath.

STANLEY J. QUINN (Catholic Encyclopedia)

Prefer your own region? Or today’s global village?

'At the crossroads'  By Carl Böker

‘At the crossroads’ By Carl Böker

[I]nhabitants become sensitive to a place and develop natural preferences for the setting where they were born or raised: its panorama, land, climate, or foods. They come to prefer their own region even over other places with better resources.

Accordingly, they come to understand that their region is made for them and they for their region. For them, the region has a wide variety of supreme delights that no other place can offer. Regions come to have indefinite possibilities of development for those who make the effort to discover their hidden potential.

Returning to the Castle after the hunt. Painting by Alexander von Bensa

Returning to the Castle after the hunt. Painting by Alexander von Bensa

The region is like a tower that provides inhabitants with a perspective to see the things of this world better and, by comparison, estimate their value. Such a vision does not exclude the appreciation, use, or esteem of things outside the region. Nevertheless, the natural preference for one’s own leads a person not to covet the excellent products of other regions even if they be greater.


John Horvat, 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 (York, Penn.: York Press, 2013), 274-5.

The crazy alternative lifestyle of marriage and children

by Elise Hilton

I have five kids. I thought I was sane, but apparently, I’m living a crazy alternative lifestyle.

Freestyle halfpipe skier David Wise won gold at Sochi. NBC, rather than being impressed with his world-class athleticism, focused on his “alternative lifestyle.” You see, Wise is married to Alexandra, and they have a young son. Wise is also considering becoming a pastor.

San Diego Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers has had his critics in terms of his play, but there are also critics of his “alternative lifestyle”: he and his wife, Tiffany, have six kids (they recently had a seventh child.) ESPN noted with this comment:

Read more:

What does the sanctuary lamp mean to you?

I am the light of the world: he that followeth me, walketh not in darkness, but shall have the light of life (John 8:12)

The wisdom and beauty of the Holy Catholic Church are marvelously expressed through a universe of symbols.

Consider the sanctuary lamp. In every church where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved, the eye meets that suave flickering flame, indicating the Real Presence.

What does the silent sanctuary lamp calmly say to the soul? What does it symbolize?

The warmth of its welcoming flame draws us closer to Our Lady and Our Lord. As if held aloft by Angels, the lamp is suspended, not attached to this earth, preparing souls to receive Divine grace. Its subtle light envelopes the faithful, creating a state of spirit in which all Catholic souls feel united.

At the same time, the wick burns serenely, spending itself to the point of destruction, offering itself to God, which symbolizes sacrifice.

The sanctuary lamp creates a pleasing and temperate atmosphere adequate to man. Its subtle light enhances the church and is not even slightly overpowering.

The flame's panoply of discrete shadows projects a respectful warmth and depth. It has nothing in common with the frenzied lights of a discotheque or the cold neon lighting prevalent today.

For the sake of contrast, imagine a neon light in place of the sanctuary lamp. The mere thought causes unrest. The harsh neon light destroys shadows.

What else does the sanctuary lamp say to the soul?

Imagine a dark church illuminated by a single sanctuary lamp. When a church is empty and Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament is alone, the lamp pays homage to its Creator. The flame keeps constant vigil, like a faithful soul who kneels before God in adoration while so many abandon Him or turn against Him.

If the light could speak, it might say this: "I remain faithful. I am Thine, O Lord. Although I am the least of men, I belong to Thee, I exist for Thee alone. In the worst uncertainty, in the worst isolation and darkness, I will follow Thee come what may. I am confident that my fidelity means something to Thee."

The dominant note of the lamp speaks of the relationship between Creator and creature, Redeemer and redeemed. It is a resting place for the Catholic soul. Like three bells in perfect harmony, it echoes Our Lord's words: "I am the way, the truth and the life" (John 14:6).

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Riot Police Get On Their Knees To Beg For Forgiveness For Taking Part In Ukraine Crackdown

By Michael Kelley -- These photos by Roman Baluk of Reuters show just how quickly the tables have turned in Ukraine.

During a rally in central Lviv on Feb.24, local riot police knelt as they apologized to residents for taking part in the crackdown on protesters in Kiev's Independence Square, aka Maidan (though they insisted that they did not beat protesters).

Lviv, a city of 760,000 near Ukraine's Western border with Poland, sent thousands of people to Kiev to fill and defend Maidan. On Feb. 19, the city declared independence from the government of President Viktor Yanukovych, who was ousted three days later by parliament.

Read more:

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Map of Lenin Monuments Toppled in Ukraine

See this map of all the Lenin monuments that have been toppled in Ukraine:

The Shroud of Turin is Real! -- Three New Dating Methods Point to the 1st Century

(Turin) The Shroud of Turin is a relic and therefore an object of worship for believers. 

According to Catholic tradition, it is the linen cloth in which  Jesus' body was wrapped after his death on the cross and in which he was placed in the grave by Joseph of Arimathea. The Gospel narrated that on the third day an angel was standing by the open grave, though it was guarded by soldiers. Christ was resurrected with his body. Only his shroud was found in the empty grave.

The Core is Rotten: Three Reasons Why Common Core Should Not Be Accepted

All across the nation, parents are reacting to a new educational program called Common Core. Under this program, national standards and testing are being set up for students which will eventually give rise to a core curriculum that will fundamentally change the way American children are educated.

Many states and dioceses have adopted the Common Core standards that have been proposed by the government without significant public commentary. It behooves everyone to take a look at what Common Cores is and why it should not be accepted.

There are many reasons that could be cited.

However, this article will present considerations based on the ideas of 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. The three reasons given here focus on how this unpopular program goes against the core concepts of what true education should be.

Please see more here:

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

BEST way to help TFP

Please consider joining our circle of top supporters, the Guardians of Truth

I regret to inform you:

That in a few short years, a small minority of anti-family activists have achieved what most people thought to be impossible...

...The legalization of homosexual “marriage” in many states.

How did they do it?

Well, because too many decent folks did nothing. And too many were hoodwinked to believe that it was inevitable. Too many were silent.

But you are different.

Because you DO NOT believe that the acceptance of homosexual sin is inevitable!

That’s why I'm inviting you to join the Guardians of Truth.

Become a Guardian of Truth

Because I’m going to tell you how you can take on the huge combined forces of the liberal media, academia, corrupt politicians, soft conservatives, leftist education system, and more.

Please believe me when I tell you that you are not alone in this fight.

Like you, young TFP volunteers also believe in the ultimate victory of God’s marriage over the homosexual revolution.

But God wants foot soldiers to do His work: Spiritual shock troops.

That's why we campaign for traditional marriage across America. Sometimes TFP Student Action is the only voice for truth on campus. We even reach out to students on the most liberal college campuses like Brown University and the University of California -- Berkeley.

You won’t believe what happened there.

The liberals were absolutely stunned:

"Are you sure you know where you are?" one student asked.

"Yes, of course," replied my TFP colleague.

But he insisted: "No. You don't understand... Do you really, really know where you are? This is Berkeley! You are at UC Berkeley!"

Many others repeated: "Do you really know where you are right now?"

So there we were on the middle of campus with our tall TFP banner fluttering majestically in the wind, very visible.

And just in case the banner was missed, students could hear the bagpipes echoing off the buildings loud and clear. Yes, we knew where we were.

And we had a mission: to promote the sanctity of true marriage.

I wish you could have been there with us -- shoulder to shoulder -- to feel the challenge.

And you can.

Since you probably can’t put your life “on hold” to join us on the campuses of America as a full-time volunteer, here’s the next best thing:

You can become a Guardian of Truth supporter -- a long distance crusader in this great effort to save the family.

For example:

-- Your gift of $26.00 will let us reach one campus a month.

-- A gift of $52.00 will give us the means to visit 2 campuses a month.

-- And a generous donation of $105.00 -- a full tank of 30 gallons of gas -- will allow 12 volunteers to visit 3 campuses per month.

Please click here to become a Guardian of Truth

Here’s what you’ll receive as a Guardian of Truth:

One: You participate in the prayers and merits of the TFP volunteers who are on the front lines for God’s marriage and the unborn, defending the right to life at rallies and vigils.

Two: In spirit, you share their joys, sufferings and hardships as they face hatred, verbal abuse and sometimes physical attacks.

Three: You have the comfort of knowing that your monthly gift allows us to go from campus to campus, city to city, state to state.

Four: You have the peace of spirit to know that by extension, your support gives courage to many students who feel overwhelmed by the sexual revolution.

Five: Your sacrifice will gladden the angels who watch over this land, as they see your generosity in action for the greater glory of God.

Six: You and your intentions are remembered in the daily prayers of TFP Student Action volunteers.

In fact, the Guardians of Truth are like long distance missionaries who share the work, suffering, victories, and sorrows of each TFP volunteer.

And please listen.

When we're on the road for moral values, we rely totally on God’s Providence and the generosity of the Guardians of Truth. Because our volunteers are not paid.

Please click here to become a Guardian of Truth

You see, the legalization of homosexual “marriage” in 12 states is a wake up call and a call to action for every American who cherishes the truth.

And the recent push to mainstream pedophilia is terribly alarming!

This breaks my heart to say it, but there was a conference in Baltimore, Maryland, to mainstream pedophilia. Professors from America’s most prestigious universities such as Harvard and Johns Hopkins even attended.


So, once again, we see that one moral aberration leads to another, and most of this is happening because the average decent person does nothing to stop it.

I hope you'll say “Yes” to this invitation to become a Guardian of Truth.

With God's help and your support, we can build a movement to fight and win.

Join the Guardians of Truth -- our special team of monthly supporters -- and give us the means to fight for moral values every month, all year round. Your monthly gift is the best and most efficient way to keep our young volunteers going.

Please consider becoming a Guardian of Truth today.

Thank you!

Financial disclaimer

Why a new Ukraine is the Kremlin's worst nightmare! The domino effect of democracy on Russia's border threatens the entire system Putin has built since 2000 - and he will not let it go lightly

The details still need to be decided, but the revolutionaries have won in Ukraine. Some elements of the old regime may survive, but that is precisely why the protesters on the “Maidan” (Kiev’s main square) don’t trust the mainstream politicians who claim to be negotiating on their behalf.

Read more:

Why Does Love Arouse Hatred?

Why Does Love Arouse Hatred
A friendly reader asked me to explain why the Church has been fought so fiercely throughout her history even though she is the preacher of the Truth. He also wants to know why true Catholics, who do not compromise with present-day errors and remain faithful to the immutable teaching of Our Lord Jesus Christ are so relentlessly attacked.

It seems to me that the reader could have broadened the scope of his question even further. Persecutions against the Church and today’s true Catholics are historic prolongations of those carried out against Our Lord Jesus Christ. How to explain that the Man-God, who is the Truth, the Way and the Life was persecuted to the point of being crucified between two vulgar thieves?

This question was given a luminous answer by one of the greatest Church Doctors of all time, Saint Augustine, Bishop of Hyppo. To facilitate the readers’ understanding, I reproduce here, slightly adapted, the teaching of the great Doctor of the fourth and fifth centuries.
Commenting on the famous phrase of Terentius, “truth engenders hatred,” Saint Augustine[1] asks himself how to explain such an illogical fact.

Indeed, he says, man naturally loves happiness. Now, happiness is the joy born of the truth.
Thus, it is an aberration for anyone to see the man who preaches truth in the name of God as an enemy.

Having thus enunciated the issue, the holy doctor goes on to explain it. Human nature has such a propensity to the truth that when man loves something contrary to the truth he still wants that something to be true. In so doing he falls into error by persuading himself of something which in reality is false.

Therefore, someone must open his eyes. Now then, since man does not allow anyone to show him that he was mistaken, for the same reason he tolerates no one to show him the error in which he finds himself.

And the Doctor of Hyppo notes: In so doing, some men hate the truth for the sake of that which they have taken as true! They love the light of truth but not being reprehended by it… They love it when it shows itself to them; they hate it when it makes them see who they are.

This is how such men are punished for their disloyalty: they do not want to be unveiled by it and nevertheless it blows their cover. And yet, it — the truth — remains hidden to their eyes. “This is precisely how the human heart is shaped. Blind and slothful, unworthy and dishonest, it hides while not allowing anything to be hidden from it. So it happens to be unable to flee from the eyes of the truth, but the truth flees from its eyes.” With these words, Saint Augustine concludes his masterly commentary.

Of Death

Death Is A Good Counselor, My Child;
Photo of Sacred Heart of Jesus Statue

Let death be most familiar to thee, My Child. If thou be faithful in asking its advice, and in following it, it will be thy solace in adversity, it will keep thee in due bounds in prosperity...

1.) The Voice of Jesus.

My Child, remember, thou must die: because it is appointed for all men once to die.

A good life is the best preparation for death. It is generally true, that he that lives well, dies well.

For a reason worthy of God’s Wisdom, the time of His coming remains hidden, that men may keep themselves in the state of grace ever ready.

5.) The Voice of the Disciple

O my soul, soon time shall be no more. Let others do as they list: let us, whilst yet there is time, devote ourselves to the work of our salvation.

full article.

(a 7 minute read…enjoy!)

May the Sacred Heart of Jesus be our hearts’ desire!

On the weeks that you don’t get “The Voice of Jesus…Voice of the Disciple”, you might like to get “Stories of Mary – Stories of the Rosary”…every alternating week. Read a sample.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Look how school CENSORED pro-life students -- Speak Up

Freedom of speech denied for pro-life students, but given to pro-homosexual group

Click here to tell the school to restore the pro-lifers' 1st Amendment Rights

Even though Bryce Asberg is only 15, he's brave.

He leads the Students for Life group at Wilson High School in Washington state.

But his freedom of speech was grossly violated. He was told by school officials that he can't organize a day of silence, hold a vigil or even put up pro-life posters for the unborn.

Guess why? Because it might "offend staff or students..."

This is what Bryce's pro-life posters that got censored look like:

Click here to tell the school to restore their 1st Amendment Rights.

Meanwhile, the "Gay Straight Alliance" at the same school put up posters that undermine the concept of natural marriage between 1 man and 1 woman. And they were also allowed to hold a "day of silence." School officials had not problem with that. They were not concerned that it might "offend staff or students..."

You see, that's how "equality" really works on the West Coast. It's fake.

And here's a photo of the pro-homosexual poster. Notice the message promoting moral anarchy: "love knows no limits." And that's OK? And not offensive?

That's why it is so important for you and me to speak up right now, because if we don't, this type of censorship against pro-life students will only tend to spread to more schools.

Click here to send your peaceful protest to the school right now

Thank God, the Thomas More Society law firm stepped forward to help Bryce Asberg and his pro-life group regain their free speech at school. The law firm sent a letter to the principal of Wilson High School, stating:

"We are prepared to pursue the matter in court."

In addition to praying -- Can you do me a favor?

Please invite your friends to join this peaceful protest. The easiest way to spread the word is to forward this email to all your friends and family.

Thank you for defending the truth.

To leave a message of support and encouragement for Bryce Asberg and his group, the Wilson Students for Life, just submit them at the bottom of this post:

Wilson High School CENSORS Pro-Life Student Group

Contact information (Please be polite yet firm)

Wilson High School
Call (253-571-6076)
E-mail vice-principal, Shane Sliva

St. Joseph And The Christian Family

We are organizing more Traditional Marriage Rallies than ever before. 1,000 are planned in 2014. As you know, each Rally includes a banner that reads: 

“God’s Marriage – 1 Man & 1 Woman.”

1,000 banners need to be printed by March 1, 2014. That’s the shipping deadline in order for our Traditional Marriage Rally defenders to receive their rally banner on time for their March 22nd rallies! (That’s the Saturday closest to March 19; Feast of St. Joseph.)

Once again, TFP/America Needs Fatima is stepping out in front. The threat to our great country and your children’s future in it is very real. Help us to boldly sponsor and promote God’s marriage in America.

To save money, we do all the printing ourselves, right here in Our Lady’s small workshop. One by one! 

But to do all 1,000 banners in time to meet the March 1, 2011, deadline, we need emergency funds. Would you kindly sponsor a traditional marriage banner? 

Sponsor a traditional marriage banner.

See, your gift of $20 will enable me to print 1 banner. 

$40 will print 2 banners. 

$60 will print 3 banners and so on. 

Each banner you sponsor will be a blessing! 

And with your banners you’ll be telling the world you will not tolerate an America threatened by the terrible sin of homosexual “marriage.” 

Send Your Special Gift to Our Lady now.

When you do, you’ll be drawn closer to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Incomparable Mother.

Sinful "Drag Show" at Jesuit Seattle University

By James Bascom

Join the protest here

Preparations for the "Seattle University Drag Show" are underway, according to the Catholic institution's web site.  The March 14 event will be the 8th "drag show" on this campus which has thus distanced itself from the ideals of St. Ignatius of Loyola yet still considers itself a Catholic university.

The event is promoted by the pro-homosexual Triangle Club.  Previous "drag shows" encouraged students to show up in "drag" for the event, and featured "professional drag queens" (men dressed as women) and "student performers."

Feb. 19 screen shot of SU's event page.

Immorality masquerading as "art"
The university's student newspaper, The Spectator, reported
"Once upon a time, they might have been called 'freaks.' Because, once upon a time, people might have been afraid or intimidated by a male in a glamorous dress with over-the-top hair and dramatic make up. These 'freaks' are drag queens. And drag queens are now celebrated artists," the newspaper article affirmed.

"As people become more and more accepting of the gay community, the term 'freak' is finally fading into the past, and drag has become a recognized and respected artform."
Drag shows are a notorious symbol of moral depravity, part of the sexual revolution apparatus.  In these times, one might expect to find such things on the infamous stages of Broadway or the godless sets of Hollywood. But at a Catholic university?

Training anti-Catholic activists
There are other reasons for concern.  Seattle University's Office of Multicultural Affairs promotes "LGBT Programs and Services" on its web site which offers "LGBT Training," described in these terms:
"... we encourage students, staff, and faculty to continue to receive trainings, read recommended readings on LGBTQ experiences, and include other signifiers (rainbow flags), integrate LGBTQ history, writers, artists in your curriculum, integrate LGBTQ-inclusive and non-gendered language in your teaching/ presenting, and constantly create the safest spaces you can for all.)"

The training program titles speak for themselves:

  • Introduction to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Issues
  • Understanding Gender Identity & Sexuality
  • Serving Queer and Trans Communities within a Social Justice Framework
  • Providing Transgender Inclusive Services
  • Creating a Body Positive Shame-Free Environment
  • Using a Harm Reduction Approach
  • How to Transform Health & Mental Health Services to be Inclusive of LGBT Clients
  • Sex and Sexuality Training for Social Workers
  • Creating a Welcoming Work Environment for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Employees

What about Catholic moral teaching?
The SU web site continues:  "... please consider contacting LGBTQ organizations and speakers bureaus who coordinate community members who enjoy teaching others."
Other featured resources with live internet hyper links include LGBTQ Scholarships, Gay, Lesbian and Straight Educational Network GLSEN, Queer Muslims, Human Rights Campaign, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and dozens more.
More recently, Matthew Archbold of The Cardinal Newman Society revealed how Seattle University will be hosting an on-campus event for "transgender activists" lead by Prof. Dean Spade, who has been dubbed "America's first openly transgender law professor."

What does Catholic signify to Seattle University?  An empty title devoid of moral principles rather than a way of life instituted by Our Lord Himself?  What other conclusion can one draw in the face of this Jesuit university’s latest transgression against its Catholic identity?
If Seattle University wishes to live up to both its Jesuit tradition, and its Catholic identity, this is the time for them to show it by publically condemning the drag show event, apologizing for having allowed the scandal multiple times, and banishing it forever.
Join the protest here
Contact information (please be firm and polite)
Fr. Stephen V. Sundborg, SJ
Seattle University, President
901 12th Ave.
Seattle, WA 98122-1090
Phone: 206-296-1891
Fax: 206-296-6200

Quote About the Virtue of Purity

                          Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira - Catholic leader, Man of Action

“Of the many types of courage a man needs,  one of the greatest, or THE greatest, is the courage to decide to be pure."

-Prof. Plinio Correa de Oliveira

These Children Were Given A Glimpse Of Hell

The Blessed Martos: Francisco and Jacinta

Bl. Jacinta Marto

They Answered The Call Of Grace In Their Souls

When the Queen of Heaven visits her select seers, they turn to a life of seclusion, seriousness, prayer, and penance. 

Today, Holy Mother Church celebrates two such examples of these qualities, even more remarkable for both their young ages and for having been integral parts of what has been called the most important event of the 20th century: the apparitions of warning and hope in Fatima, Portugal, by the Mother of God.

Please enjoy these brief articles:

1) Jacinta’s Transformation and The Secret of Mary

2) Blesseds Francisco and Jacinto Marto

May the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary transform us into the serious souls that Our Lord needs in order to return His Church to order and to rebuild Christian Civilization.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Harmful Chemicals Even in Clothes for Children

by Luis Dufaur

Hazardous chemicals have been detected in clothes for children made ​​in China and sold by big Western brands such as Disney, Burberry and Adidas.

This is the verdict rendered by the environmental organization Greenpeace after it submitted 82 items of 12 brands for analysis and found harmful chemicals in every one of them, the French newspaper Libération reported.

Among the poisonous clothing items were also products from brands like Nike, American Apparel, C & A and Gap.
“Parents looking to buy clothes for their children without hazardous chemicals are faced with a nightmare,” said Greenpeace’s Chih Lee An.

The organization has appealed to China, the world’s number one producer of textiles and largest consumer of chemicals to cease using harmful substances in its textile industry.
Greenpeace has also published several studies in recent years showing the presence of chemicals that can cause cancer and hormonal disorders in products sold by brands like Zara, Calvin Klein, Levi's and Li Ning.

In 2011, Greenpeace published the reports titled “Dirty Laundry” and “Dirty Laundry 2” showing how suppliers of large textile groups have poisoned the water of Chinese rivers with sewage full of chemicals that were later found in the fibers of commercialized items.

“I will see you in heaven…” -- A Timely Response to Our Lady’s Request

While visiting a home in Ohio, I heard an amazing story about the First Five Saturday devotion that Our Lady requested at Fatima.
She asked all Catholics to make reparation to her on the first Saturday of five consecutive months by going to confession, praying at least one rosary, making a fifteen minute meditation and receiving Communion. Our Lady promised that she would “…assist them at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation.”

The family, of good practicing Catholics, decided to take up the devotion. However, as it often happens when one sets out to do God’s will, all kinds of obstacles run into our path. On the Friday preceding the first Saturday they had a car accident. On the Saturday some were called to their jobs and some children fell ill. However, all still managed to fulfill Our Lady’s devotion requests, including the father.

Their resolution to do Our Lady’s request could not have been timelier. After completing the five month devotion, the father became extremely sick. Doctors found that he had cancer in an advanced stage and only had a few days to live.

The family asked their fellow parishioners for prayers and Masses in his intentions. Many family members began a round-the-clock vigil praying the rosary around his bed. For a whole week, those faithful prayer warriors continued to give him spiritual and psychological support with their generous vigil.

Through all the suffering, the completion of the 5 First Saturday devotion was a continuous source of consolation to the father and family. “I will see you in heaven,” he reassured his children. Shortly before his death a priest gave him last rites and he peaceably surrendered his soul to the Lord.

By G. Santos

Saturday, February 22, 2014

NY bishop: Catholics must teach their children that abortion is intrinsically evil

by Colin Kerr

BUFFALO, New York, February 21, 2014 ( – “Practicing Catholics who claim they are nurturing their children in the faith must teach their children that abortion is intrinsically evil, that human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception.”

These were Bishop Richard Malone’s words in light of a Catholic state senator’s defection from a pro-life position.

Bishop Richard Malone

In what is being hailed by pro-life leaders as an instance of strong clarity and directness, the bishop of Buffalo has publicly criticized Time Kennedy, the Democrat representative of New York’s 63rd District, for what the politician has referred to as his “evolving” position on abortion.

Kennedy had previously described himself as pro-life, but not “extremist,” however, he announced Sunday that he will vote for the “10th point” of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s Women’s Equality Act that would expand abortion in state.

In an official statement, Bishop Malone described Senator Kennedy’s “turnaround” as deeply disappointing.

The bishop did not mince words: “For anyone to say that he or she is a faithful Catholic and to be pro-abortion/pro-choice rights is totally inconsistent with Catholic teaching.”

The senator also said, “I take my Catholic faith very seriously. I am a practicing Catholic.  I am nurturing my children in the Catholic faith,” according to Buffalo News.

Bishop Malone described this as totally inconsistent for a Catholic, as he referred the protection of pre-born human life as a “most critical issue.”

Malone has been bishop of Buffalo since 2012, but has been serving in the episcopacy since 2000, both as an auxiliary in Boston and later as Bishop of Portland, Maine.

Kathleen Gallagher, director of pro-life activities for the New York State Catholic Conference, who spoke on behalf of Malone because he is away, told LifeSiteNews, “The bishop and Senator Kennedy have had several private confidential conversations prior to this point. … Clearly Bishop Malone is now deeply disappointed with Senator Kennedy’s statement.”

When asked whether the bishop anticipated any negative fall-out as a consequence of his outspokenness, Gallagher said, “The bishop is simply educating … trying to educate the faithful and non-Catholics as well that this is what we teach, this is what the Church teaches. … We don’t anticipate any negative consequences from that.”

Gallagher indicated that Kennedy’s change of mind was first apparent in the summer of 2013 when an amendment hostile to the governor’s proposed legislation was introduced to the Senate and Sen. Kennedy failed to vote for it. “He really switched [his position] back in June,” she said.

She described his recent statement as “the final nail in the coffin. … Now he is saying that he would affirmatively vote for an expansion bill should it come before the senate this year. Last time he just failed to vote against a measure to keep it off the floor. … That clearly showed us where he stood. … So we knew we had lost him, even though in 2010 he ran as a pro-life Democrat.”

Gallagher describes Bishop Malone as “deeply committed to the pro-life position,” and, thus, that Bishop Malone was rightly gravely disappointed by this change.

Her Body Is Incorrupt; She Went from Being A Cavalier’s Mistress to a Great Penitent Saint -- St. Margaret of Cortona

St. Margaret of Cortona

A penitent of the Third Order of St. Francis, born at Laviano in Tuscany in 1247; died at Cortona, 22 February, 1297. At the age of seven years Margaret lost her mother and two years later her father married a second time. Between the daughter and her step-mother there seems to have been but little sympathy or affection, and Margaret was one of those natures who crave affection.

When about seventeen years of age she made the acquaintance of a young cavalier, who, some say, was a son of Gugliemo di Pecora, lord of Valiano, with whom she one night fled from her father’s house. Margaret in her confessions does not mention her lover’s name. For nine years she lived with him in his castle near Montepulciano, and a son was born to them. Frequently she besought her lover to marry her; he as often promised to do so, but never did. In her confessions she expressly says that she consented to her lover’s importunities unwillingly.

Wadding and others who have described her in these early years as an abandoned woman, either had not rightly read her legend, or had deepened the shadows of her early life to make her conversion seem the more wonderful. Even during this period Margaret was very compassionate towards the poor and relieved their wants; she was also accustomed to seek out quiet places where she would dream of a life given to virtue and the love of God. Once some of her neighbors bade her look to her soul before it was too late. She replied that they need have no fear of her, for that she would die a saint and that her critics would come as pilgrims to her shrine.


She was at last set free from her life of sin by the tragic death of her lover, who was murdered whilst on a journey. Margaret’s first intimation of his death was the return of his favourite hound without its master. The hound led her to his body. It was characteristic of her generosity that she blamed herself for his irregular life, and began to loathe her beauty which had fascinated him.

She returned to his relatives all the jewels and property he had given her and left his home; and with her little son set out for her father’s house. Her father would have received her, but his wife refused, and Margaret and her son were turned adrift. For a moment she felt tempted to trade upon her beauty; but she prayed earnestly and in her soul she seemed to hear a voice bidding her go to the Franciscan Friars at Cortona and put herself under their spiritual direction.

On her arrival at Cortona, two ladies, noticing her loneliness, offered her assistance and took her home with them. They afterwards introduced her to the Franciscan Friars at the church of San Francesco in the city. For three years Margaret had to struggle hard with temptations. Naturally of a gay spirit, she felt much drawn to the world. But temptation only convinced her the more of the necessity of self-discipline and an entire consecration of herself to religion. At times remorse for the past would have led her into intemperate self-mortifications, but for the wise advice of her confessors. As it was, she fasted rigorously, abstaining altogether from flesh-meat, and generally subsisting upon bread and herbs. Her great physical vitality made such penance a necessity to her.

Our Lord told St. Margaret of Cortona, "Thou are the third light granted to the order of my beloved Francis. He was the first, among the Friars Minor: Clare was the second, among the nuns: thou shalt be the third, in the Order of Penance."

Our Lord told St. Margaret of Cortona, “Thou are the third light granted to the order of my beloved Francis. He was the first, among the Friars Minor: Clare was the second, among the nuns: thou shalt be the third, in the Order of Penance.”

After three years of probation Margaret was admitted to the Third Order of St. Francis, and from this time she lived in strict poverty. Following the example of St. Francis, she went and begged her bread. But whilst thus living on alms, she gave her services freely to others; especially to the sick-poor whom she nursed. It was about the time that she became a Franciscan tertiary that the revelations began which form the chief feature in her story. It was in the year 1277, as she was praying in the church of the Franciscan Friars, that she seemed to hear these words: “What is thy wish, poverella?” and she replied: “I neither seek nor wish for aught but Thee, my Lord Jesus.” From this time forth she lived in intimate communing with Christ. At first He always addressed her as “poverella”, and only after a time of probation and purification did He call her “My child”. But Margaret, though coming to lead more and more the life of a recluse, was yet active in the service of others. She prevailed upon the city of Cortona to found a hospital for the sick-poor, and to supply nurses for the hospital, she instituted a congregation of Tertiary Sisters, known as le poverelle. She also established a confraternity of Our Lady of Mercy; the members of which bound themselves to support the hospital, and to help the needy wherever found, and particularly the respectable poor. Moreover on several occasions Margaret intervened in public affairs for the seek of putting an end to civic feuds. Twice in obedience to a Divine command, she upbraided Guglielmo Ubertini Pazzi, Bishop of Arezzo, in which diocese Cortona was situated, because he lived more like a secular prince and soldier, than like a pastor of souls. This prelate was killed in battle at Bibbiena in 1289. The year previous to this, Margaret for the sake of greater quiet had removed her lodging from the hospital she had founded to near the ruined church of St. Basil above the city. This church she now caused to be repaired. It was here that she spent her last years, and in this church she was buried. But after her death it was rebuilt in more magnificent style and dedicated in her own name. There her body remains enshrined to this day, incorrupt, in a silver shrine over the high-altar. Although honoured as a beata from the time of her death, Margaret was not canonized until 16 May, 1728.

The Incorrupt body of St. Margaret Cortona.

The Incorrupt body of St. Margaret Cortona.

The original “Legend of St. Margaret” wsa written by her director and friend, Fra Giunta Bevegnati. It is almost entirely taken up with her revelations, and was mainly dictated by Margaret herself, in obedience to her directors. It is published by the Bollandists in “Acta SS., mense Februarii, die 22″. The most notable edition of the “Legend” however is that published in 1793 by da Pelago, together with an Italian translation and twelve learned dissertations dealing with the life and times of the saint. In 1897 a new edition of da Pelago’s work, but without the dissertations, was published at Siena by Crivelli. An English version of the greater part of the “Legend”, with an introductory essay, has been published by Fr. Cuthbert, O.S.F.C. (London, 1906).

See also MARCHESE, Vita di S. Margherita (Rome, 1674); CHERANCE, Sainte Margueriite de Cortone, tr. O’CONNOR (London).

Father Cuthbert (Catholic Encyclopedia)

Friday, February 21, 2014

Arizona lawmakers pass bill to allow faith-based refusal of services

By David Schwartz

PHOENIX (Reuters) - Arizona lawmakers gave final approval on Thursday to a bill that would allow businesses to refuse service to customers when such work would violate their religious beliefs, in a move critics describe as a license to discriminate against gays and others.

Under the bill, a business owner would have a defense against a discrimination lawsuit, provided a decision to deny service was motivated by a "sincerely held" religious belief and that giving such service would have substantially burdened the exercise of their religious beliefs.  Read more:

Thursday, February 20, 2014

St. Peter Damian – The Saint Who Was Unafraid to Denounce the Homosexual Lobby

St. Peter Damian

Doctor of the Church, Cardinal-Bishop of Ostia, born at Ravenna “five years after the death of the Emperor Otto III,” 1007; died at Faenza, 21 Feb., 1072.

He was the youngest of a large family. His parents were noble, but poor. At his birth an elder brother protested against this new charge on the resources of the family with such effect that his mother refused to suckle him and the babe nearly died. A family retainer, however, fed the starving child and by example and reproaches recalled his mother to her duty.

Left an orphan in early years, he was at first adopted by an elder brother, who ill-treated and under-fed him while employing him as a swineherd. The child showed signs of great piety and of remarkable intellectual gifts, and after some years of this servitude another brother, who was archpriest at Ravenna, had pity on him and took him away to be educated. This brother was called Damian and it was generally accepted that St. Peter added this name to his own in grateful recognition of his brother’s kindness.

He made rapid progress in his studies, first at Ravenna, then at Faenza, finally at the University of Parma, and when about twenty-five years old was already a famous teacher at Parma and Ravenna. But, though even then much given to fasting and to other mortifications, he could not endure the scandals and distractions of university life and decided (about 1035) to retire from the world. While meditating on his resolution he encountered two hermits of Fonte-Avellana, was charmed with their spirituality and detachment, and desired to join them.

Encouraged by them Peter, after a forty days’ retreat in a small cell, left his friends secretly and made his way to the hermitage of Fonte-Avellana. Here he was received, and, to his surprise, clothed at once with the monastic habit.

Monastery di Fonte Avellana

Monastery di Fonte Avellana

Both as novice and as professed religious his fervour was remarkable and led him to such extremes of penance that, for a time, his health was affected. He occupied his convalescence with a thorough study of Holy Scripture and, on his recovery, was appointed to lecture to his fellow-monks. At the request of Guy of Pomposa and other heads of neighbouring monasteries, for two or three years he lectured to their subjects also, and (about 1042) wrote the life of St. Romuald for the monks of Pietrapertosa. Soon after his return to Fonte-Avellana he was appointed economus of the house by the prior, who also pointed him out as his successor.

This, in fact, he became in 1043, and he remained prior of Fonte-Avellana till his death. His priorate was characterized by a wise moderation of the rule, as well as by the foundation of subject-hermitages at San Severino, Gamugno, Acerata, Murciana, San Salvatore, Sitria, and Ocri. It was remarkable, too, for the introduction of the regular use of the discipline, a penitential exercise which he induced the great abbey of Monte Cassino to imitate. there was much opposition outside his own circle to this practice, but Peter’s persistent advocacy ensured its acceptance to such an extent that he was obliged later to moderate the imprudent zeal of some of his own hermits. another innovation was that of the daily siesta, to make up for the fatigue of the night office.

During his tenure of the priorate a cloister was built, silver chalices and a silver processional cross were purchased, and many books added to the library.

St. Peter Damian

Although living in the seclusion of the cloister, Peter Damian watched closely the fortunes of the Church, and like his friend Hildebrand, the future Gregory VII, he strove for her purification in those deplorable times. In 1045 when Benedict IX resigned the supreme pontificate into the hands of the archpriest John Gratian (Gregory VI), Peter hailed the change with joy and wrote to the pope, urging him to deal with the scandals of the church in Italy, especially with the evil bishops of Pesaro, of Citta di Castello, and of Fano.

He was present in Rome when Clement II crowned Henry III and his wife Agnes, and he also attended a synod held at the Lateran in the first days of 1047, in which decrees were passed against simony. After this he returned to his hermitage. Pope St. Leo IX was solemnly enthroned at Rome, 12 Feb., 1049, to succeed Damasus II, and about two years later Peter published his terrible treatise on the vices of the clergy, the “Liber Gomorrhianus”, dedicating it to the pope. It caused a great stir and aroused not a little enmity against its author. Even the pope, who had at first praised the work, was persuaded that it was exaggerated and his coldness drew from Damian a vigorous letter of protest.

Liber Gomorrhianus

Liber Gomorrhianus

Meanwhile the question arose as to the validity of the ordinations of simoniacal clerics. The prior of Fonte-Avellana was appealed to and wrote (about 1053) a treatise, the “Liber Gratissimus”, in favour of their validity, a work which, though much combatted at the time, was potent in deciding the question in their favour before the end of the twelfth century. In June, 1055, during the pontificate of Victor II, Damian attended a synod held at Florence, where simony and clerical incontinence were once more condemned. About two years later he fell ill at Fonte-Avellana and nearly died, but suddenly, after seven weeks of pain, recovered, as he believed, through a miracle.

During his illness the pope died, and Frederic, abbot of Monte Cassino, was elected as Stephen X. In the autumn of 1057, Stephen X determined to create Damian a cardinal. For a long time he resisted the offer, but was finally forced, under threat of excommunication, to accept, and was consecrated Cardinal-Bishop of Ostia on 30 Nov., 1057. In addition he was appointed administrator of the Diocese of Gubbio. The new cardinal was impressed with the great responsibilities of his office and wrote a stirring letter to his brother-cardinals, exhorting them to shine by their example before all. Four months later Pope Stephen died at Florence and the Church was once more distracted by schism. The Cardinal of Ostia was vigorous in his opposition to the antipope Benedict X, but force was on the side of the intruder and Damian retired to Fonte-Avallana.

Monastery Ossiach - Celling-painting: Virgin Mary is appearing to Cardinal Petrus Damiani - Painter: Josef Ferdinand Fromiller

Monastery Ossiach – Celling-painting: Virgin Mary is appearing to Cardinal Petrus Damiani – Painter: Josef Ferdinand Fromiller

About the end of the year 1059 Peter was sent as legate to Milan by Nicholas II. The Church at Milan had been, for some time, the prey of simony and incontinence. So bad was the state of things, that benefices were openly bought and sold and the clergy publicly “married” the women they lived with. But the faithful of Milan, led by St. Ariald the Deacon and St. Anselm, Bishop of Lucca, strove hard to remedy these evils. At length the contest between the two parties became so bitter that an appeal was made to the Holy See to decide the matter. Nicholas II sent Damian and the Bishop of Lucca as his legates.

But now the party of the irregular clerics took alarm and raised the cry that Rome had no authority over Milan. At once Peter took action. Boldly confronting the rioters in the cathedral, he proved to them the authority of the Holy See with such effect that all parties submitted to his decision. He exacted first a solemn oath from the archbishop and all his clergy that for the future no preferment should be paid for; then, imposing a penance on all who had been guilty, he re-instated in their benefices all who undertook to live continently. This prudent decision was attacked by some of the rigourists at Rome, but was not reversed. Unfortunately, on the death of Nicholas II, the same disputes broke out; nor were they finally settled till after the martyrdom of St. Ariald in 1066. Meanwhile Peter was in vain pleading to be released from the cares of his office. Neither Nicholas II nor Hildebrand would consent to spare him.

The body of St. Peter Damian at the Cathedral of Faenza.

The body of St. Peter Damian at the Cathedral of Faenza.

In July, 1061, the pope died and once more a schism ensued. Damian used all his powers to persuade the antipope Cadalous to withdraw, but to no purpose. Finally Hanno, the Regent of Germany, summoned a council at Augsburg at which a long argument by St. Peter Damian was read and greatly contributed to the decision in favour of Alexander II. In 1063 the pope held a synod at Rome, at which Damian was appointed legate to settle the dispute between the Abbey of Cluny and the Bishop of Mâcon.

He proceeded to France, summoned a council at Chalon-sur-Saône, proved the justice of the contentions of Cluny, settled other questions at issue in the Church of France, and returned in the autumn to Fonte-Avellana. While he was in France the antipope Cadalous had again become active in his attempts to gain Rome, and Damian brought upon himself a sharp reproof from Alexander and Hildebrand for twice imprudently appealing to the royal power to judge the case anew. In 1067 the cardinal was sent to Florence to settle the dispute between the bishop and the monks of Vallombrosa, who accused the former of simony.

His efforts, however, were not successful, largely because he misjudged the case and threw the weight of his authority on the side of the bishop. The matter was not settled till the following year by the pope in person. In 1069 Damian went as the pope’s legate to Germany to prevent King Henry from repudiating his wife Bertha. This task he accomplished at a council at Frankfort and returned to Fonte-Avellana, were he was left in peace for two years.

Early in 1072 he was sent to Ravenna to reconcile its inhabitants to the Holy See, they having been excommunicated for supporting their archbishop in his adhesion to the schism of Cadalous. On his return thence he was seized with fever near Faenza. He lay ill for a week at the monastery of Santa Maria degl’Angeli, now Santa Maria Vecchia. On the night preceding the feast of the Chair of St. Peter at Antioch, he ordered the office of the feast to be recited and at the end of the Lauds he died. He was at once buried in the monastery church, lest others should claim his relics. Six times has his body been translated, each time to a more splendid resting-place.

It now lies in a chapel dedicated to the saint in the cathedral of Faenza in 1898. No formal canonization ever took place, but his cultas has existed since his death at Faenza, at Fonte-Avellana, at Monte Cassino, and at Cluny. In 1823 Leo XII extended his feast (23 Feb.) to the whole Church and pronounced him a Doctor of the Church. The saint is represented in art as a cardinal bearing a discipline in his hand; also sometimes he is depicted as a pilgrim holding a papal Bull, to signify his many legations.


Acta SS. Boll., III, Feb. (Venice, 1736), 406-27; BIRON, St. Pierre Damien, 1007-72 (Paris, 1908); CAPECELATRO, Storia di San Pier Damiano (Rome, 1887); KLEINERMANNS, Der heilige Petrus Damiani (Steyl, 1882); LADERCHI, Vita S. Petri Damiani (3 vols., Rome, 1702); MABILLON, Acta SS. O.S.B., S=E6c. VI, P. ii (Venice, 1733), 253-273; MARTIN, Saint L=E9on IX 1002-54 (Paris, 1904); MIGNE, Dictionnaire de Patrologie, V (Paris, 1864), 959-1000; P.L.., CXLIV, CXLV (Paris, 1867); MITTAREELLI ET COSTADONI, Annales Camaldulenses, II (Venice, 1756), 40-359; NEUKIRCH, Das Leben des Petrus Damiani=85bis zur=851059 (Göttingen, 1875); PF=DCLF, Damiani=92s Zwist mit Hildebrand in Stimmen aus Maria-Laach, XLI (1891), 281-307, 400-416, 508-525; ROTH, Der heilige Petrus Damiani, O.S.B., in Studien O.S.B., VII (1886), i, 110-134; ii, 357-374; iii, 43-66; iv, 321-336; VIII (1887), i, 56-64; ii, 210-216.

LESLIE A. ST. L. TOKE (Catholic Encyclopedia)


S. Peter Damian's parents were noble but poor. There is a lesson here for us today submerged as we are in a world that worships at the altar of Mammon and despises those who cannot command great wealth.

The medieval world was governed by a different criteria. While money was important, it had its place, and it was not topmost. Honor, valor, loyalty were the paramount values in medieval society. These were the virtues that the nobility most sought after, and consequently, medieval society prized the noble condition much more than the bourgeois one, even if members of the bourgeoisie possessed abundant wealth.

Our Lady’s Advice to Saint John Bosco

Our Lady's Advice to Saint John Bosco

Saint John Bosco
recounts a vision in which
the Blessed Mother
emphasizes how important
youth education is, as well
as its inherent dangers

We must not worry about appearances when it comes to what people may think of us when doing our duty.

The great Saint John Bosco, founder of the Salesian Congregation, disclosed to a small group of friends an important supernatural vision he had.  A priest in attendance took note of his words, which we transcribe below:

One day in the year 1847 the Queen of Heaven appeared to me and led me to a lovely garden.  A gorgeous porch opened onto a beautiful avenue which prolonged, with a broad perspective, an alley worth seeing, flanked by and covered with marvelous roses in full bloom.  The ground was completely covered with roses.  The Blessed Virgin told me: “Take off your shoes.” After I had done it, she added: “Go ahead down that alley; that is the way you should go.”

I started walking but suddenly realized that these flowers concealed extremely sharp thorns, to the point that my feet began to bleed. After taking a few steps, I had to turn back. “At this point I need shoes,” I told my guide. “Of course,” she replied.

I put my shoes on and kept walking down that way with a number of friends who appeared at that very moment, asking to walk with me.

Meanwhile, all those friends – they were very many – watched me walk on the rose bushes and said: “Wow!  Look how Don Bosco walks always well over the roses!  And how tranquil he remains! For him, everything is easy.” They did not see the thorns tearing up my poor feet.

Many clerics, priests and laity, whom I had invited, were pleased to follow me, attracted by the beauty of those flowers.  But as soon as they realized they would be walking on thorns, they retreated and left me alone.  However, I took comfort in the arrival of a new group of excited followers who, having traveled with me all the way down the alley finally arrived at another extremely pleasant garden.

Then the Blessed Virgin Mary — my guide — asked me: “Do you know the meaning of what you have just seen?”  I answered. “I beg you to explain it to me.”  “You should know that the path you have walked among roses and thorns symbolizes the care you must take of the youth; you must walk in the shoes of mortification.

The thorns on the ground represent the sensitive human affections, sympathies and antipathies that divert a teacher from his true goal, hurt him, hinder his mission and prevent him from forming and reaping wreathes for eternal life.  Roses are the symbol of the ardent charity by which you and your associates must distinguish yourselves. The thorns symbolize the obstacles, sufferings and sorrows that await you.  But do not lose heart.  With charity and mortification you will overcome everything and will have roses without thorns!”

As soon as the Mother of God finished speaking, I came to and found myself in my room.(*)

For starters, it is interesting to note that it is Our Lady who points the way to the saint. She does not say: “Go wherever you want,” but shows him the right path, for God has chosen a path for each one of us; a path which, if we are faithful, we must tread all the way to the end.
Saint John Bosco prays to Our Lady Help of Christians

In the case of Don Bosco, his path was not without many crosses and suffering, symbolized by the thorns that afflicted the great saint. In our earthly life, God wants us to face and overcome obstacles in order to sanctify ourselves and gain merits for Heaven.

As one can see from the words of the saint, people can sometimes wrongly assess the situation of others, seeing only roses and no thorns. In any case, what matters is not the concept that others have of us but what we do before God, Who judges our right intention regardless of what others may think.

Thus, while giving alms to the needy is of itself a good deed, anyone can do it for ostentation instead.

The final comment of the Mother of God is symptomatic in this regard. She warns Saint John Bosco about the dangers inherent to his well-deserving activity of educating the young. Indeed, educators can have attachments, preferences, ulterior motives, dislikes, and so forth. However, when doing something for the love of God, the latter must be our sole motivation, without mixing emotions and movements of the soul that distract us from that love, depriving us of the merits we would gain for our actions.

It is worth noting that Our Lady promises happiness — the rose without thorns — but only at the end. In this earthly life we will face greater or lesser problems and sufferings. Perfect happiness is attained only in the eternal life, for which we must constantly prepare ourselves. Let us emulate Saint John Bosco by doing what God asks of us with courage and perseverance: we will not lack the means to do it. And finally, we will receive the prize that Our Lady has prepared for us: eternal bliss.

(*)  Juan B. Lemoyne, Vida de San Juan Bosco, Ed. Don Bosco, Buenos Aires, 1954, pp. 170-172.