Category Archives: Saints

All Saints Day

Yesterday, October 31, was All Hallows’ Eve or Halloween, that is, the evening before the holy ones.

As explained in “Reclaim Halloween as the holy All Hallows’ Eve!,” the word “hallow” is “to make holy or sacred, to sanctify or consecrate, to venerate,” while the word “e’en” means “evening.”

The word “saint” means holy.

Halloween, therefore, means Holy Evening or the Evening of the Hallowed or Holy Ones, i.e., the Evening of the Saints.

In other words, Halloween is the evening before All Saints Day, which is today!

saints in Heaven1

Then I saw another angel come up from the East, holding the seal of the living God.  He cried out in a loud voice to the four angels who were given power to damage the land and the sea, “Do not damage the land or the sea or the trees until we put the seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.”  I heard the number of those who had been marked with the seal, one hundred and forty-four thousand marked from every tribe of the Israelites.” Rev. 7:2-4 

After this I had a vision of a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation, race, people, and tongue.  They stood before the throne and before the Lamb, wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.  They cried out in a loud voice:  “Salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the throne, and from the Lamb.”  All the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures.  They prostrated themselves before the throne, worshiped God, and exclaimed:

“Amen.  Blessing and glory, wisdom and thanksgiving, honor, power and might be to our God forever and ever.  Amen.”

Then one of the elders spoke up and said to me, “Who are these wearing white robes, and where did they come from?”  I said to him, “My Lord, you are the one who knows.”  He said to me, “These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”  Rev. 7:9-14.

“For this reason they stand before God’s throne and worship him day and night in his temple.  The one who sits on the throne will shelter them.  They will not hunger or thirst anymore, nor will the sun or any heat strike them.  For the Lamb who is in the center of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to springs of life-giving water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”  Rev. 7:15-17.

saints in Heaven

Through the “communion of saints,” a doctrine proclaimed in the Apostle’s Creed, the blessed in heaven assist those of us on earth; we pray with the saints so that they may intercede on our behalf before Our Lord.  Remember, these incredible, courageous and wonderful individuals see God face to face!  How cool is that?

Indeed, they are the ultimate role models, heroes and heroines-people who chose to do extraordinary things and behaved always with serving Our Lord as their first priority in their lives, no matter what the cost.  They were no different as human beings than we are, with faults, talents, proclivities towards temptation and bearing all qualities incident to human beings.  What made them different were their choices, to serve God first above anything and everything.  To put it more eloquently were the words of St. Thomas More on the day he was beheaded, wherein he stated, “I am the King’s good servant, but God’s first.”

saints in Heaven2

In the communion of saints, “a perennial link of charity exists between the faithful who have already reached their heavenly home and those of us who are still pilgrims on earth.”  (CCC 1475)

St. Thomas More said this about the saints.  “We venerate the saints as God’s servants, as we would on earth welcome the servants of a great man we esteemed.  If the goodness we bestow upon our poor brethren is considered by Christ as bestowed upon Himself, as He tells us (Mt 25:40), and if those, as He says, who welcome His apostles and disciples welcome Him (Mt. 10:40), assuredly those who honor the saints are likewise honoring Christ.  Our Lord Himself showed that He would have His saints partake in His glory when He promised the apostles that they would be seated at His side on the final Day of Judgment (Mt. 19:28).  Moreover, He promised that Martha’s sister Mary (whom More identified as Mary Magdalen) would be honored throughout the world for her deed of anointing Him with ointment (Mt. 26:13).”

As to honoring the saints, and our desire to request their advocacy and intercession on our behalf, as to whether or not the saints can either hear us or help us, St. Thomas More provided, “Yet how can we doubt whether they hear us?  Their souls are not dead, and therefore as living souls the love and charity toward their fellowman that characterized them to this world cannot have diminished in the next.  The closer one draws to heaven, the greater is his solicitude toward his brethren here on earth, as was the case with the martyr Saint Stephen, who after seeing heaven opened, prayed for his enemies who were stoning him (Acts 7:55-60).  In view of this, is it conceivable that Saint Stephen would not pray for those who honor him on earth, now that he is in heaven?”  And the question is further posed, how can the saints in heaven help us?  More reasoned that since “the saints were certainly able to assist others while on earth where their human nature was as weak as ours, surely they can do so in heaven.”

More further reasoned that even while Our Lord lived on this earth, He permitted people to come to His apostles rather than directly to Himself for help and allowed the Twelve to work miracles in His stead.  Indeed, on some occasions the apostles assumed the role of intercessors with Christ, presenting the petitions of others to their Master.  “If this was the case when the apostles were with Christ on earth, it must surely be so now that they dwell with Him in heaven.  God is pleased to have us honor and call upon His saints, His especial beloved friends, for it becometh us and well behoveth us to make friends of such as he hath in favour.”

Have not you ever asked someone, “Please pray for my mother, she is very ill,” or “Please pray for me; I am about to make a very important decision that will affect my life.”  Indeed and in fact, we have set forth these petitions to others on FOTM.  Ergo, we pray with the Saints, inhabitants of the Church Triumphant, for their intercession, for their guidance that they receive from Our Lord Himself.  If we ask those we know on earth for their advocacy and prayers, all the more reason to ask the Church Triumphant to enter our lives, to give us direction and to ask through them the Grace from God necessary to live our lives according to the Will of God, to the fullest extent, using all of our talents and gifts given to us by God.  The Saints are with us; we are foolish not to have camaraderie with them and to enjoy intimate and meaningful relationships.

We end this post by honoring the particular Saints in our respective lives who have inspired and helped us:

We love you, we admire you, and we thank you!

May Our Lord Always Be First Served!

Christ with angels

For the Saint posts we’ve published, go to FOTM‘s “Saints and Angels” page!

Sources:

  • Catechism of the Catholic Church.
  • James Monti, The King’s Good Servant but God’s First, The Life and Writings of Saint Thomas More (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1997).
  • Sister Mary Raphael is Gone, But Not Forgotten!  Daily Catholic 2000, January 18, 2000, volume 11, no. 12.

~Joan & Eowyn

Advertisements

U.S. bishops oppose federal enforcement of immigration laws

Matthew 22:15-21

The Pharisees went off
and plotted how they might entrap Jesus in speech.
They sent their disciples to him, with the Herodians, saying,
“…Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?”
Knowing their malice, Jesus said,
“Why are you testing me, you hypocrites?
Show me the coin that pays the census tax.”
Then they handed him the Roman coin.
He said to them, “Whose image is this and whose inscription?”
They replied, “Caesar’s.”
At that he said to them,
“Then give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar
and to God what belongs to God.”

“Sanctuary” is a name given to a city, county, or state that shelters illegal immigrants in violation and defiance of federal immigration laws.

While there is no universal legal definition of a sanctuary jurisdiction, those that describe themselves as sanctuary have some public policies of leniency regarding enforcement of federal immigration laws. Typically, a sanctuary city/county/state forbids its police or other government employees (such as schools and community health care centers) to inquire about an individual’s immigration status.

On January 25, 2017, five days after his inauguration, President Trump signed an executive order vowing to strip some federal funds from sanctuary jurisdictions that “willfully violate federal law in an attempt to shield aliens from removal from the United States,” because sanctuary cities “have caused immeasurable harm to the American people and to the very fabric of our republic.” (Source: whitehouse.gov)

The Trump administration and opponents of illegal immigration say that sanctuary cities make it easy for violent individuals and gang members, who are not supposed to be in the country to begin with, to evade detection by federal immigration authorities. The critics point to several highly publicized incidents where illegal aliens have committed horrific crimes of murder, rape, shootings, armed robberies and assaults, including the murder of Kate Steinle by illegal alien Jose Zarate in San Francisco, a sanctuary city since 2008.

Kate Steinle: Killed by an illegal alien.

President Trump followed his executive order with a Feb. 16 news conference in which he:

  • Vowed to launch a “crackdown on sanctuary cities,” announcing that a “nationwide effort to remove criminal aliens” had begun.
  • Ordered an end to the “catch-and-release policy” that allows apprehended illegal aliens to go free while awaiting a court hearing;
  • Announced the creation of “a new office in Homeland Security dedicated to the forgotten American victims of illegal immigrant violence, of which there are many.”

According to the Center for Immigration Studies, there are 4 sanctuary states (California, Colorado, Connecticut, New Mexico) and 165 sanctuary cities and counties across America, mainly clustered in the Northeast, the Midwest and the West Coast.

A considerable part of the sanctuary movement is occurring in California, which became a sanctuary state on October 5, 2017, despite being warned by the Trump Department of Justice that it could lose more than $18 million in federal funding. A snapshot of the scope of the California situation was provided in a brief released in late April by the Education Trust-West advocacy group:

  • 1 in 13 California residents is an illegal alien, comprising 20% of all undocumented persons in the U.S.
  • About 12% (or 750,000 students) of all students in California’s K-12 schools have an undocumented parent.

Brian Faga reports for National Catholic Register, May 11, 2017, that U.S. bishops have spoken out against President Trump’s plan to reduce sanctuary cities/states’ federal funding.

Even before President Trump’s executive order, the Catholic Church in the United States, as represented by the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), already had made clear their refusal to support the federal government’s enforcement of immigration laws. As an August 2013 document posted on the USCCB’s website puts it, “The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) opposes ‘enforcement only’ immigration policies and supports comprehensive immigration reform.”

President Trump’s executive order drew sharp rebukes from Church leaders, including:

  • Bishop Joe Vásquez of Austin, Texas, the chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Migration, released a Jan. 26 statement where he said the President’s executive order risked injuring local relationships between migrant communities and law enforcement and would force local jurisdictions to accept a “one-size-fits-all” approach to immigration policy. “I have enormous respect for and value our federal law enforcement agents who risk their lives every day to enforce our immigration laws. I also recognize that there may well be situations where local governments feel they need to foster a relationship with their communities by working with the victims of or witnesses to crime without instilling a fear that, by coming forward, they or their family members will be handed over to immigration authorities.”
  • Bishop Joseph Kopacz of Jackson, Mississippi, issued a statement on Feb. 15 opposing a bill that would prohibit cities and universities from declaring themselves as sanctuaries for immigrants without legal documents. Kopacz calls the bill “flawed and not needed.”
  • The Texas Conference of Catholic Bishops condemned a new Texas law passed in late April that punishes local police officers if they do not cooperate with detainer requests issued by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), as well as enables local police to inquire into the legal status of anyone arrested or detained.
  • Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, who is also President of the USCCB, called the Texas law inhumane: “Immigration law should be enforced in a way that is targeted, proportional and humane. This bill does not meet the standard.”
  • Ned Dolejsi, executive director of the California Catholic Conference, said California bishops support S.B. 54, a state bill that would prohibit local and state law enforcement agencies from using their resources to help federal immigration enforcement. Dolejsi said, “From the Catholic Conference’s standpoint, we want the undocumented people [i.e, criminals] protected. We don’t want mass deportations to occur here. We’re trying to accompany people and provide legal services, support and encouragement to folks. At the same time, we recognize that it’s important to remove serious violent felons and the need for some type of relationship between local law enforcement and ICE. How we get there is going to be an interesting struggle.”
  • Lorena Melgarejo, an immigration advocate for the Archdiocese of San Francisco, said that “undocumented immigrants” are feeling more anxious than ever that they or their loved ones will soon be rounded up and deported, although she admitted to not having seen any actual signs of stepped-up immigration enforcement by the federal government. “The only thing we can do from a pastoral standpoint is to walk with people in this moment, provide information, connect them to resources and take that as an opportunity to engage and encounter people in dialogue, not just with immigrants, but also with other Catholics who are asking themselves: What is their role in a moment when our communities feel targeted?”
  • Christy Williams, an advocacy attorney with Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc., said, “If [illegal] immigrants know there is a standing policy that local leaders have taken time to implement, a policy to respect their civil rights, to promote practices that treat them in a humane manner and with dignity, I think they tend to feel welcome, and I think that’s the most important thing.

Marguerite Telford, a Catholic and a spokeswoman for the Center for Immigration Studies, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank that supports a stricter national immigration policy, told the National Catholic Register she does not agree with the approach of bishops and other Church officials who emphasize assisting illegals over border security, national sovereignty and public-safety concerns. She said:

“I care about the victims [of illegal alien criminals], and I’ve met a lot of the victims of these crimes, and I almost never hear my church talk about the victims of criminal aliens — almost never. I don’t understand why the bishops don’t have a heart for those impacted by the United States having open borders, with no vetting, and allowing people to be in this country whom we know nothing about.”

This is the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ explanation of Matthew 22:21:

“Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar: those who willingly use the coin that is Caesar’s should repay him in kind.”

St. Thomas Aquinas, a Doctor of the Church considered by the Catholic Church to be the greatest theologian and philosopher, respected a country’s laws governing immigration and would gravely disapprove of illegal “immigrants”, much less their brazen demands for special treatment in the U.S. today. So prudent and concerned was he for the well being of the host country that St. Thomas recommended that even legal immigrants be granted citizenship only after 2 or 3 generations. (See “St. Thomas Aquinas disapproved of illegal immigration and expected all immigrants to assimilate“)

In their opposition to the U.S. government’s enforcement of immigration laws approved by Congress, U.S. bishops precisely go against not only what St. Thomas had recommended, but also what Jesus Himself had instructed — that we who “willingly use the coin” that is the federal government’s should “repay in kind” by observing the government’s laws.

And since the bishops are picking and choosing which federal government law to oppose and ignore, does that mean we get to pick and choose which of God’s commandments or church law/doctrine to ignore as well?

See also:

~Eowyn

Sunday Devotional: How is your vineyard?

They were warned by the prophet Isaiah.

Isaiah 5:1-2, 4-7

My friend had a vineyard
on a fertile hillside;
he spaded it, cleared it of stones,
and planted the choicest vines;
within it he built a watchtower,
and hewed out a wine press.
Then he looked for the crop of grapes,
but what it yielded was wild grapes.
What more was there to do for my vineyard
that I had not done?
Why, when I looked for the crop of grapes,
did it bring forth wild grapes?
Now, I will let you know
what I mean to do with my vineyard:
take away its hedge, give it to grazing,
break through its wall, let it be trampled!
Yes, I will make it a ruin:
it shall not be pruned or hoed,
but overgrown with thorns and briers;
I will command the clouds
not to send rain upon it.
The vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel,
and the people of Judah are his cherished plant;
he looked for judgment, but see, bloodshed!
for justice, but hark, the outcry!

But they did not heed Isaiah’s warning.

Nor did they heed a last warning, from the Son of God Himself.

Matthew 21:33-43

Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people:
“Hear another parable.
There was a landowner who planted a vineyard,
put a hedge around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a tower.
Then he leased it to tenants and went on a journey.
When vintage time drew near,
he sent his servants to the tenants to obtain his produce.
But the tenants seized the servants and one they beat,
another they killed, and a third they stoned.
Again he sent other servants, more numerous than the first ones,
but they treated them in the same way.
Finally, he sent his son to them, thinking,
‘They will respect my son.’
But when the tenants saw the son, they said to one another,
‘This is the heir.
Come, let us kill him and acquire his inheritance.’
They seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him.
What will the owner of the vineyard do to those tenants when he comes?”
They answered him,
“He will put those wretched men to a wretched death
and lease his vineyard to other tenants
who will give him the produce at the proper times.”
Jesus said to them, “Did you never read in the Scriptures:
The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
by the Lord has this been done,
and it is wonderful in our eyes?

Therefore, I say to you,
the kingdom of God will be taken away from you
and given to a people that will produce its fruit.

And so, God’s covenant passed from the Jews to the Gentiles.

Luke 22:19-20

Then He took a loaf of bread,
and when He had given thanks,
He broke it and gave it to them, saying,
“This is my body, which is given for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.”
And He did the same with the cup after supper saying,
“This cup that is poured out for you
is the new covenant in my Blood,
which will be shed for you.

And, “In speaking of a new covenant, He makes the first one obsolete.” (Hebrews 8:13)

For “God shows no partiality. Rather, in every nation whoever fears him and acts uprightly is acceptable to him.” (Acts 10:35)

But we followers of Christ, with whom a new Covenant is made, are also forewarned. If we, singly or as a people, neglect and abuse the “vineyard” given to us by God, we also will be trampled on and abandoned.

A sobering thought . . . .

What to do?

St. Paul has the answer (Philippians 4:8, 7). We are to fix our eyes, minds and hearts on:

whatever is true, whatever is honorable,
whatever is just, whatever is pure . . . .
Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding
will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

May the peace of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you,

~Eowyn

Today is the Archangels’ feast day!

September 29 traditionally was set aside as the Feast Day of St. Michael the Archangel. Then the Church made it the feast day of all the Archangels.

Note: The word “saint” simply means “holy’ — as indeed are the Angels who choose to be true to God instead of, like Lucifer and the other fallen angels, pride in themselves.

my angels2

The word angel, in Greek, is angelos; in Hebrew, malach; in Arabic, mala’ika — which all mean “messenger.”

Angels are incorporeal (without body, material form or substance) spiritual beings who act as messengers and intermediaries between God and humanity. St. Augustine said that although Angels are defined by their function as messengers or message-bearers, their activities are not limited to just this function. Created by God to serve Him, Angels fulfill any and all tasks assigned to them.

In other words, being an Angel or messenger simply denotes one of their functions, not their nature. St. Thomas Aquinas maintained that each Angel is unique, a species unto itself — truly a mind-boggling idea.

Major philosophers — such as Thomas Aquinas, René Descartes, John Locke, and most recently, the American philosopher Mortimer Adler — had put forth compelling reasons for the existence of Angels. (For the conversion of Adler, a Jew, to the Catholic faith, see A Philosopher-Pagan Comes Home.)

Theologians maintain there is a hierarchy of Angels, due to the fact that in Genesis 3:24, Isaiah 6:1-7, Ezekiel 1, 10, Romans 8:38, Ephesians 1:21, 3:10, 6:12, Colossians 1:16, 2:10, 2:15, allusions are made to “seraphim,” “cherubim,” “thrones,” “dominions,” “mights,” “powers” and “principalities” in the “heavenly places.”

Dionysius the Areopagite and St. Thomas Aquinas delineated three hierarchies of Angels, with each hierarchy comprised of three orders:

  • 1st hierarchy: Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones.
  • 2nd hierarchy: Dominions, Virtues, Powers.
  • 3rd hierarchy: Principalities, Archangels, Angels.

Of the nine angelic orders, five are sent by God for external ministry among bodily creatures, as indicated by their names of Virtues, Powers, Principalities, Archangels, and Angels—all of which refer to some kind of administrative or executive office. Of these five orders, only the last three minister to human beings:

  • Principalities are in charge of the whole of humanity.
  • Archangels minister to nations — their leaders and those persons whom God tasks with special work to do on Earth.
  • Angels, the last order, are God’s messengers to and guardians of individual human beings.

That leaves the orders of Virtues and Powers who, by logical inference, minister to other bodily but nonhuman creatures. The latter would include the non-human animals, such as our pets, whom St. Bonaventure called “creatures without sin” — which is a happy thought indeed!

Three Angels are named in the Bible:

  1. Michael: in Hebrew, the name means “Who is like God?”.
  2. Gabriel: “God is my might”.
  3. Raphael: “God has healed”.

Notice that all three names end with “El” — which means God, in Hebrew. Thus, each Archangel’s name ending in “el” means they are “of God.”

St. Gabriel, the Archangel

Archangel Gabriel appears to Mary. The Annunciation by Sandro Botticelli, 1485.

Gabriel’s name means “God is great.” The angel Gabriel appears to at least three people in the Bible:

  • To the prophet Daniel (Daniel 8:16).
  • To the priest Zechariah to foretell and announce the miraculous birth of John the Baptist (Luke 1:19).
  • To the Virgin Mary to tell her that she would conceive and bear a son (Luke 1:26–38). As the angel of the Annunciation, Gabriel is the one who revealed that the Savior was to be called “Jesus” (Luke 1:31).

St. Gabriel is recognized as the patron saint of messengers, telecommunication workers, and postal workers.

St. Raphael, the Archangel

st-raphael1The angel Raphael‘s name means “God heals.” This identity came about because of the biblical story that Raphael “healed” the earth when it was defiled by the sins of the fallen angels in the apocryphal Book of Enoch.

Raphael appears by name only in the Book of Tobit where, disguised as a human named “Azarias the son of the great Ananias,” he accompanies Tobiah, the son of Tobit, in travels. When Raphael returns from his journey with Tobiah, he declares to Tobit that he was sent by the Lord to heal his blindness and deliver Sarah, Tobiah’s future wife, from the demon Asmodeus. It is then that the Raphael makes himself known as “the angel Raphael, one of the seven, who stand before the Lord” (Tobit 12:15).

Although only the archangels Gabriel and Michael are mentioned by name in the New Testament, the Gospel of John 5:1-4 speaks of a healing pool at Bethesda where “An angel of the Lord descended at certain times into the pond; and the water was moved. And he that went down first into the pond after the motion of the water was made whole of whatsoever infirmity he lay under.” This passage is generally associated with St. Raphael, the Archangel.

St. Raphael is the patron saint of travelers, the blind, bodily ills, happy meetings, nurses, physicians and medical workers. He is often pictured holding a staff and either holding or standing on a fish.

St. Michael, the Archangel

StMichaelTheArchangel

The name “Lucifer” means “morning star,” “son of the dawn,” or “light carrier.” For that reason, theologians believe that Lucifer was a high-order Angel, most likely the highest order — a Seraphim. Aquinas thought him to be “probably the highest of all the angels.” But Lucifer admires and loves himself more than his Creator and thinks himself to be “as God.” And so, swollen with narcissism and grandiosity, Lucifer rebelled, taking a third of the angelic beings with him.

A lower-order Angel, full of courage and love of God, rallied together two-thirds of the angelic ranks against Lucifer and the other apostates, in the First War that began the enduring conflict between good and evil. As related in Revelation 12:7-9:

Then war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels battled against the dragon. The dragon and its angels fought back, but they did not prevail and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. The huge dragon, the ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, who deceived the whole world, was thrown down to earth, and its angels were thrown down with it.

That braveheart’s name is Micha-el, which means “Who is like God?” — Michael‘s battle cry.

St. Michael the Archangel is the prince of the heavenly armies and the most beloved of all the angels. He is mentioned in Daniel 10:13,31; 12:1 (where he is said to be the prince of the people of Israel); in Jude 9 (where he disputed with the devil about the body of Moses); and in Revelation 12:7 (where he led the heavenly armies against those of the “great dragon”).

Described in Revelation 10:1 as a “mighty angel…with a halo around his head; his face was like the sun and his feet were like pillars of fire,” St. Michael is generally portrayed by artists as wearing full armor and carrying a sword or lance, with his foot on the neck of a dragon. (Pictures of the martyred St. George are often similar, but only Michael has wings.)

Michael has four main titles or offices. He is:

  • Patron of the Chosen People in the Old Testament.
  • Patron saint and defender of the Church.
  • The Angel of death, who assists Jesus in the final judgment (thus, Michael is sometimes depicted with a scale).
  • Leading the good Angels against the fallen angels or demons. For that reason, Christians consider St. Michael the most powerful defender of God’s people against evil. As such, Michael is also the patron saint of soldiers and policemen. (For the Prayer to St. Michael, go here.)

All of which is why St. Michael, the Braveheart of Angels, is my most favorite saint, whom I admire and love with all my heart. He is my commander in chief. As you can see from this blog’s masthead, he is also the patron and protector of Fellowship of the Minds.

Happy Feast Day, St. Michael, St. Gabriel, St. Raphael!

Thank you for inspiring us with your humility, courage, goodness, and love for God.

Thank you, God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, for creating the marvelous Angels!

~Eowyn

For a fascinating account of one man’s experience with the Archangel Michael, click here. Check out FOTM‘s other angel posts here!

Sources:

  1. Mortimer J. Adler, The Angels and Us (New York: Macmillan, 1982).
  2. Matthew Bunson, Angels A to Z: A Who’s Who of the Heavenly Host (New York: Three Rivers Press, 1996), pp. 181-184.
  3. Michael H. Brown, Prayer of the Warrior (Goleta, CA: Queenship Publishing Co., 1993), p. 34.
  4. René Descartes, Meditations On First Philosophy, trans. by Donald A. Cress (Indianapolis & Cambridge: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., 1979).
  5. John Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, edited with an introduction by A. D. Woozley (Cleveland & New York: Meridian Books, 1968),
  6. Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas, Volume One (New York: Benziger Brothers, 1947).

Pope Francis’ Vatican: a cesspool of pedophiles and homosexuals

“The greatest charity one can do to another is to lead him to the truth.” ~St. Thomas Aquinas

In a sobering message at the funeral of Cardinal Joachim Meisner on July 15, 2017, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI described the Catholic Church as a “boat” that “has taken on so much water as to be on the verge of capsizing.”

Note: Cardinal Meisner was one of four Catholic clergymen who wrote a letter (dubia) to Pope Francis asking him to clarify his Amoris Laetitia apostolic exhortation that can be understood as giving permission to civilly-divorced-and-remarried Catholics (and therefore living in adultery, according to the Church) as well as unmarried cohabiting Catholics (i.e., living in fornication) to receive Holy Communion. Reportedly, Francis published the exhortation despite having received corrections from theologians. Months after Meisner et al. sent Francis their letter, the pope still has not responded.

If the Church is a “boat” that “has taken on so much water as to be on the verge of capsizing,” then Pope Francis’ Vatican is already submerged — in a cesspool of child porn, child rape, homosexual sex-and-drug orgy, and an in-your-face homoerotic church mural.

(1) Child Porn & Child Rape

Michael Stone reports for Patheos, Oct. 3, 2014, that police found more than 100,000 child porn videos and photos on the computer of former Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski in his office at the Holy See diplomatic compound in the Dominican Republic. Wesolowski was the Vatican’s papal nuncio or ambassador in Santo Domingo.

Under house arrest at the Vatican, Wesolowski is also accused of raping numerous children in the Dominican Republic and Poland, and is one of the highest-ranking church officials to be accused of sexually abusing children during the Catholic Church’s widespread and costly sexual abuse scandal. Wesolowski is also suspected of having sexually abused children while serving in other posts during his career — in South Africa, Costa Rica, Japan, Switzerland, India and Denmark.

After being publicly accused of procuring child prostitutes in 2013, Vatican officials secretly removed Wesolowski from his post as papal nuncio in Santo Domingo so as to avoid criminal prosecution. In September 2014, Weslowski was placed under house arrest at the Vatican in response to popular outrage after reports began to circulate that the accused child rapist was free to wander the streets of Rome. Authorities in both the Dominican Republic and Poland — Wesolowski’s country of origin where he has also been accused of sexually abusing children — want him extradicted to face criminal charges.

According to Vatican detectives, some of the horrors found on the former Archbishop’s computer included around 160 videos showing teenage boys forced to perform sexual acts on themselves and on adults, and more than 86,000 pornographic photos methodically archived in several category-based folders. At least another 45,000 pictures were deleted, while even more child pornography was found on a laptop Wesolowski used during his trips abroad.

Wesolowski was charged with sexually abusing minors and child porn possession; if convicted, he would face 12 years in jail. Scheduled for July 11, 2015, his trial was postponed because of an “unexpected illness”. On August 27, 2015, Wesołowski was found dead in his residence from a heart attack. (Wikipedia)

More recently, another high-ranking Vatican official was charged with sexual assault.

The New York Post reports that on June 22, 2017, Australian police charged Cardinal George Pell — Pope Francis’ chief financial adviser and Australia’s most senior Catholic — with multiple counts of “historical sexual assault offenses,” meaning offenses that generally occurred some time ago. Police gave no other details.

Pell, the highest-ranking Vatican official to ever be charged in the church’s long-running sexual abuse scandal, had also been accused of mishandling cases of clergy abuse when he was archbishop of Melbourne and, later, Sydney. He has denied all abuse allegations.

Meanwhile, the AP reports that, ignoring advice from the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, “Pope Francis has quietly reduced sanctions against a handful of pedophile priests, applying his vision of a merciful church even to its worst offenders in ways that survivors of abuse and the pope’s own advisers question.”

At least one case has come back to bite Francis:

“An Italian priest who received the pope’s clemency was later convicted by an Italian criminal court for his sex crimes against children as young as 12. The Rev. Mauro Inzoli is now facing a second church trial after new evidence emerged against him”.

(2) Homosexual Cocaine Orgy

In late June, 2017, Vatican police raided a cocaine-fueled gay-sex party at the apartment of Monsignor Luigi Capozzi, 49 — the secretary of one of Pope Francis’ key advisers and president of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio.

Ironically, the apartment is in a building right next to St. Peter’s Basilica, which belongs to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith — the arm charged with tackling clerical sex abuse. As such, the building enjoys the extraterritorial rights of the Vatican, unchecked by the Italian State.

After neighbors complained repeatedly about constant comings and goings of visitors to the building during all hours of the night, Vatican police raided the apartment and found multiple men engaged in rampant drug use and homosexual activity. Police arrested Capozzi, whom Italian media called an “ardent supporter of Pope Francis,” after taking him to a clinic to detox from the cocaine he’d ingested. Capozzi is now on a spiritual retreat in an undisclosed convent in Italy. Despite his arrest, he is still listed as an active staff member on the website of the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legal Texts.

Capozzi, who on his LinkedIn page calls himself an “expert in canon law and dogmatic theology,” managed to evade suspicion from Italian police by using a BMW luxury car with license plates of the Holy See, which made him practically immune to stops and searches. This privilege, usually reserved for high-ranking prelates, allowed the monsignor to transport cocaine for his frequent homosexual orgies without being stopped by the Italian police.

In response to the news of the police raid, Pope Francis decided to “accelerate” the retirement of Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio. At age 79, Coccopalmerio is way beyond the age of retirement of 75, but was kept on by Francis. Incredibly, Coccopalmerio had recommended Capozzi for a promotion to bishop, despite Capozzi’s previous alleged drug overdoses.

Coccopalmerio, as President of the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legal Texts, is the Vatican’s top canonical official and one of Pope Francis’ closest collaborators and ardent supporters. Earlier this year, the Vatican’s publishing house released with much fanfare a book by Coccopalmeiro that defended Francis’s Amoris Laetitia, even though it contradicted perennial Catholic teaching.

In a 2014 interview with Rossoporpora, Coccopalmerio said that while homosexual relationships are deemed “illicit” by the Church, Catholic leaders, such as himself, must “emphasize” the “positive realities” that he said are present in homosexual relationships:

“But if I see that the two persons truly love each other, do acts of charity to those in need, for example … then I can also say that, although the relationship remains illicit, positive elements also emerge in the two persons. Instead of closing our eyes to such positive realities, I emphasize them.”

Michael Hichborn, president of the U.S.-based Lepanto Institute, said he highly suspects Coccopalmerio knew of his secretary’s homosexual cocaine orgies:

“Given the monitoring and whispering that goes on in the Vatican, it is unlikely to the point of absurdity that Cardinal Coccopalmerio was unaware of Msgr. Capozzi’s disgusting activities. In fact, when we consider the 300-page document on the homosexual lobby that was handed to Pope Benedict XVI just before he resigned, the probability is that many who work in the Vatican were fully aware of what Capozzi was doing, and that such activities are taking place among other clergy as well.”

Hichborn said that the homosexual orgy happening right next to St. Peter’s is indicative that the Vatican is “ground zero for a mass apostasy that is happening right now within the Catholic Church.” Hichborn said that the Church’s enemies are now trying to destroy her from within:

“We know for a fact that Communists and homosexuals were specifically recruited as far back as the 1920’s to infiltrate seminaries. It was a concerted effort to destroy the Church from within. What we are seeing is the culmination of nearly 100 years worth of this effort playing itself out.”

Sources: New York Post; Il Fatto Quotidiano; LifeSiteNews; International Business Times.

(3) Homoerotic Church Mural

In March 2017, reports surfaced that Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, in 2007 when he was a diocesan bishop, had commissioned a homosexual artist to paint a gigantic blasphemous homoerotic mural in his cathedral church of the Diocese of Terni-Narni-Amelia in Umbria, central Italy.

The mural that covers the opposite side of the facade of the church portrays Jesus carrying nets to heaven filled with writhing naked and semi-nude homosexuals, transsexuals, prostitutes, and drug dealers. The image of the archbishop himself is depicted among those in the nets.

Archbishop Paglia defended the mural deemed by Catholic critics to be  “blasphemous” and “disgusting,” as well as “demonic,” saying it was part of a commitment to evangelizing. Regarding his inclusion in the mass of nude bodies shown in the mural, he said, “I too am included in the mural as one who needs redemption no less than anyone else.”

Not coincidentally, Paglia also defended Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia on allowing adulterers and others living in mortal sin receive the Eucharist, which reinforces the suspicion of many that the real intent of Amoris Laetitia ultimately is to legitimate homosexuality.

Commenting on the cesspool in the Vatican, Riposte Catholique observes:

“One thinks one is dreaming: in the most deplorable of ways, the Rome of today seems to have fallen lower than the Rome of the Borgias.”

In a talk given in Washington D.C. last October, the orthodox Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan points out that where there is heresy, there is also sexual immorality because “heresy” always goes hand-in-hand with an “unchaste life”.

No wonder some Catholics call Jorge Bergoglio (Pope Francis is his job title) an anti-Pope.

No wonder U.S. Catholic congregations are aging and dying off. At least 60% of most congregations today are over 65 years of age. (Catholic Journal)

See also:

~Eowyn

Sunday Devotional: ‘a house of prayer for all peoples’

Isaiah 56: 1, 5-6

Thus says the Lord:
Observe what is right, do what is just;
for my salvation is about to come,
my justice, about to be revealed.

The foreigners who join themselves to the Lord,
ministering to him,
loving the name of the Lord,
and becoming his servants—
all who keep the sabbath free from profanation
and hold to my covenant,
them I will bring to my holy mountain
and make joyful in my house of prayer;
their burnt offerings and sacrifices
will be acceptable on my altar,
for my house shall be called
a house of prayer for all peoples.

Romans 11:13-15, 29-32

Brothers and sisters:
I am speaking to you Gentiles.
Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles,
I glory in my ministry in order to make my race jealous
and thus save some of them.
For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world,
what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?

For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable.
Just as you once disobeyed God
but have now received mercy because of their disobedience,
so they have now disobeyed in order that,
by virtue of the mercy shown to you,
they too may now receive mercy.
For God delivered all to disobedience,
that he might have mercy upon all.

Can today’s readings from both the Old and New Testaments be any clearer that God is not a tribal deity of just the self-described “chosen people”?

Recall that the first people to see Jesus were Gentiles — the magi — who were also the first Gentiles to receive His salvific grace. As recounted in Matthew 2:12:

“And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another way.”

Jesus came for all of us, Jew and Gentile, no matter our race, country, gender, language, or creed — all who are not so much chosen as choose. In Christ’s own words, they are “whoever believes in me,” “do the works that I do,” who love Him by keeping His commandments (John 14:12, 15), and who “deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23).

As St. Paul makes clear about Jesus’ mission: “He is mediator of a new covenant” (Hebrews 9:15) and “In speaking of a new covenant, He makes the first one obsolete” (Hebrews 8:13).

And for that, they publicly humiliated, tortured and crucified Him.

“Whoever hates me also hates my Father.” –John 15:23

The least we can do is to tell Him we love him with our whole heart, our whole soul, our whole mind, and with every ounce of our whole strength.

May the peace and love and strength of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you this glorious Sunday morning, despite our country’s descent into engineered chaos,

~Eowyn

Sunday Devotional: ‘Do not be afraid’

Matthew 14:22-33

After he had fed the people, Jesus made the disciples get into a boat
and precede him to the other side,
while he dismissed the crowds.
After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray.
When it was evening he was there alone.
Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore,
was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it.
During the fourth watch of the night,
he came toward them walking on the sea.
When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified.
“It is a ghost,” they said, and they cried out in fear.
At once Jesus spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”
Peter said to him in reply,
“Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”
He said, “Come.”
Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus.
But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened;
and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught Peter,
and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
After they got into the boat, the wind died down.
Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying,
“Truly, you are the Son of God.”

“He came toward them walking on the sea.”

Reading that, my eyes filled with tears. How I long to see our Lord . . . .

Do you feel overwhelmed by the evils of the world?

Are you buffeted and assailed by enemies who wish you ill and harm?

Just remember His words:

“Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”

And may the courage and peace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you, always,

~Eowyn