Our Lady of Guadalupe: Miracles, Facts and Fancy

Monday, December 12, AD 2016

Today is the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, one of the most dramatic appearances of Mary in history, when Mary, in the guise of an Aztec princess, appeared to Saint Juan Diego (his pre-conversion name of Cuauhtlatoatzin translates as “Talking Eagle”), a Mexican convert, on December 9, 1531 as he strode to Mass and was passing by the base of Tepeyac hill.  She spoke to him in Nahuatl, his native tongue, and told him to go to Archbishop Juan de Zumarraga, the primate of Mexico, and tell him that she wished for a shrine to be built on Tepeyac hill.  She also gave him this message: 

“I will demonstrate, I will exhibit, I will give all my love, my compassion, my help and my protection to the people. I am your merciful mother, the merciful mother of all of you who live united in this land, and of all mankind, of all those who love me , of those who cry to me, of those who seek me, of those who have confidence in me. Here I will hear their weeping, their sorrow and will remedy and alleviate all their multiple sufferings, necessities and misfortunes.”  

The Archbishop told Diego he would not believe in his encounter with Mary unless he had a sign.  Our Lady told Diego to visit the Archbishop again, but Zumarraga repeated his request for a sign.   Returning to Tepeyac, Diego again encountered Our Lady who told him to present himself to  Archbishop Zumarraga and give to him roses he was instructed to pick.  Roses growing in Mexico in December were a miracle in and of themselves.  Diego did as he was bidden, and when he presented the roses to the Archbishop, the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was imprinted on his tilma, his peasant’s cloak, where the roses had been held by him.  News of the miracle spread throughout Mexico and before the decade was out some eight million Mexicans converted to the Faith.  A chapel was built on Tepeyac and Diego cared for it and the image as a religious hermit until his death in 1548 at 73. 

Doubts have been raised about whether Juan Diego existed due to the lack of contemporary accounts.  However, these doubts were quashed, at least any reasonable doubts, in 1995 with the coming to light of the Codex Escalada which has been dated to the sixteenth century.  It bears the date of 1548 and is an illustrated account of the apparition with text in Nahuatl describing the encounter between Juan Diego and Mary.  The document bears the signature of  Father Bernadino de Sahagun, a missionary priest and historian in Mexico, and a contemporary of Juan Diego.  The first mention of the image in Spanish is in 1556 in a sermon preached by Archbishop Alonso de Montufar, the successor to Archbishop Zumarraga, in which he recommended devotion to the image.  Devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe spread rapidly throughout the Catholic world, with Genoese Admiral Giovanni Andrea Doria having a copy of the image on his flagship during the decisive Christian victory at the battle of Lepanto in 1571.

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10 Responses to Our Lady of Guadalupe: Miracles, Facts and Fancy

  • 🙂
    Happy feast day everyone.

  • (from Don’s wife Cathy:) Fr. Bernardino de Sahagun later also wrote the “Psalmodia Christiana” (Mexico, 1583), which included a Nahuatl-language retelling of the story of the first Christmas in terms Aztec converts would have understood. That portion was translated to English in the 1990s and published in picture-book format as “Spirit Child: A Story of the Nativity” (available from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0688099262/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1). Don & I plan to read “Spirit Child” this week to our Gr. 5-6 CCD class, and have already told our students that it’s the way the story of the first Christmas might have been explained to St. Juan Diego as a new convert.

  • Great viewpoint, the Christmas story as told to a middle aged Indian, Juan Diego.
    I want to read too.

    I’m sure I’ve told my Juan Diego story before, if you would let me I’ll share a short version now.

    During prison ministry in Wisconsin, I was called to the jail by the prison nurse. She had a new inmate who could not be sedated and asked if I could drive in to minister to him.
    Juan Diego R. He was a mess. Could not focus and was mean. I got his full attention when I asked him how he got his name.

    Grandmother named him.

    That was the starting point to his conversion.

    Fast track to July 31st. 2002.
    No kidding….the date of his sentencing. The public defender asked me to give testimony on his behalf. I agreed. Unbeknownst to me, until I turned on Relevant Radio while on my way to court, the canonization Mass for Juan Diego was being broadcast from the Vatican.

    Tears did fall down my face as I walked in to help a fellow fallen Catholic. God is incredible.
    His timing is perfect.

    Jefferson county Jail in Jefferson Wisconsin.
    July 31st. 2002.

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  • An icon of Our Lady of Guadalupe is on a wall in my son John’s bedroom. It has been there since before he was born.
    The conversions to the Faith as a result of this miracle are astounding.
    I hope to go see the image one day.

  • So many amazing events about this apparition.
    ..
    One is the relationship of Dec. 12th, and the apparition of the Patroness of the Americas, to Dec.8th, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. The Franciscans, who staffed the Church of Santiago de Tlatelolco, in Mexico City, Juan Diego’s parish church, had long promoted the Immaculate Conception feast day—the Franciscans, as an order, since Duns Scotus (d. 1308)—even tho’ the dogma was not formally defined til 1851. The Franciscan pope Sixtus IV (d.1484) had extended the cult to the whole Church calendar about 50 years prior to Guadalupe in 1531.
    ..
    Some historians believe Juan Diego was keeping a devotion of attending daily early morning Mass and prayers—including the “Rose” prayers of the Virgin, the “Rosary”— for the 8-day Octave of the Feast of the I.C.—in fact, by journeying from his home in the far NW part of the Valley of Mexico to Santiago church, perhaps one of his special intentions being for the recovery of his gravely-ill uncle. It was an arduous distance of over 7 or more miles one-way—one reason he took a short-cut over the mountain of Tepeyac that fateful Dec. 9th morning. (Just from Tepeyac to Tlatelolco one way is 5 km. or over 3 mi…a healthy walk)
    ..
    A second great curiosity is that the Nahuatl Nican Mopohua account says that, after Juan Diego gathered the impossibly-blooming roses from the hill crest and brought them to the Virgin, she stopped and mysteriously re-arranged them—in some mystical pattern? It also says she seemed to “float” over the sharp lava-bed pedregal and cactus to “catch up” with him. Shades of the accounts of the three children at Fatima! Anyway, this mysterious “floral arrangement” was how he took the roses to Bp. Zumarraga that morning.
    ..
    Finally, there is the curiosity of the somewhat-maligned—by history,that is— Bp. Zumarraga. Also a Franciscan, his was an almost impossibly hard life. The secular authorities were constantly intriguing to weaken his protective powers over the Indians. The discipline problems over his own clergy would make a weaker man crack. But the most interesting curiosity regarding this man, who became the defender of Our Lady of Guadalupe, was his intervention in the problem of the Indians’ practice of polygamy, a common practice of the pre-Columbian tribes. As the Indians became converts, what to do with all these wives? Which one was the valid marriage? Many clergy recommended the man choose — a bad idea—or, consider the last wife taken as the valid wife—an equally bad idea. Zumarraga recommended the matter to the pope, who agreed with him, that the first wife taken was the valid marriage, even tho’ married in a pagan ritual.

    ..
    Amd maybe the present pontiff can read up on Zumarraga’s recommendations and Paul III’s decree, and their shared view of the indissolubility of marriage. That would be another miracle of Guadalupe.

  • Doubts have been raised about whether Juan Diego existed due to the lack of contemporary accounts.  However, these doubts were quashed, at least any reasonable doubts, in 1995 with the coming to light of the Codex Escalada which has been dated to the sixteenth century. 

    I love stuff like this– my cousin was looking up the “date of Christmas” entry on one of the online copies of the Catholic Encyclopedia, and noted it had a lot of statements about the “earliest” this or that which are outdated… it was written before people knew about plate tectonics. Just for some perspective. It’s hardly surprising that the historical information is outdated.

    My goodness, how much more history we’ve managed to find, and it’s getting even easier to collect it so that people know about it, and can check claims! I can visit, for fun, free websites that my grandfather would’ve contemplated homicide to access. Resources from the Vatican archives to the New York Library through dozens of museums are practically at my finger tips– and better yet, they’re available to folks like the guy at that first link who know enough to know what to look for, and put together. Ladies like SuburbanBanshee can translate stuff because they want it, and then put it up for other folks to buy for less than a pack of gum.

  • Speaking of America, I wish more were made of the Dec. 8th Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, patroness of the US. This is a Holy Day of Obligation and concerns a teaching of the Church in addition to being our patron saint. I know Guadalupe is important to Mexico, and perhaps to others as well, but it remains and always will be private revelation. I have read that she did appear on Dec. 9th to St. Juan Diego, which at the time was the day the Immaculate Conception was observed at the time.

  • You are absolutely right, Ms B, and my point (which I guess I failed to make, about Guadalupe) is that the occasion of Guadalupe was “all about” the devotion to the Immaculate Conception by Juan Diego, and the Franciscans: a cult that had not even yet been formally defined by the Church, but that Juan Diego was keeping reverently, either the 8-day Octave of “Rose”-prayers and special intentions, or a Novena, conveniently ending on Dec 17th, the day that starts the “‘O’ Antiphons” and the anticipation of the Incarnation.

    Guadalupe was occasioned by the Great Feast of the Immaculate Conception, kept in the Eastern Church (not necessarily the Orthodox) going back to at least the 9th C. (according to Dom Gaspar Lefevbre, OSB, d. 1966). In a way, Juan Diego, the Franciscans, the nehophyte Nahuatl converts, and Juan Zummaraga “brought down from heaven” the Blessed Virgin at a crucial and almost desperate time for the New World Catholic Church.

    “And the rest is history.”

  • As for the appearances, there traditionally were 4 (some say 5, inferring this from the Nican Mopohua):

    Dec 9th (Saturday, dedicated also to the Bl Virgin), when Juan Diego hurriedly “cut across” the top of Tepeyac hill to save time on his way to Morning Mass and “Rose-prayers”, and maybe later that evening when he returned and reported back his unsuccess to the Bl Virgin; Dec 10th, Sunday, when she met him again, and urged him to meet Zumarraga again, again unsuccessfully(this appearance is surmised, and sometime not counted); Dec. 11th, #2, he was detained by his then-dying uncle; and then Dec 12th, #3,when he had to travel the trail from his village in the NW valley back to the Franciscan Church of Santiago, and actually tried to “avoid” the Bl. Virgin, who it says “intercepted him” by floating down from the top of the hill and literally stopping him on the trail; at this point the Marian roses were “found” on top of Tepeyac hill, and he visited Zumarraga, at last successfully; and the 4th apparition was of the Virgin to his uncle on his sickbed, who confirmed Juan Diego’s accounts.

    That is why a traditional devotional image of the Virgin of Guadalupe shows the 4 apparitions at the 4 corners of the border of the image.

    If stability returns to Mexico, I hope everyone can visit Guadalupe, and can see the topography, the trails, the now-dry shores of Texcoco Lake, the Capilla, the Pozito, etc. and “walk the course” of Juan Diego. Everything then becomes quite clear, and that alone tells you it is a true story. No one could make up the part that he actually was trying to “avoid” her (for which she chided him! Ow!) on Dec. 12th, when this Lady would not be refused.

Our Lady of Guadalupe: Miracles, Facts and Fancy

Saturday, December 12, AD 2015

Today is the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, one of the most dramatic appearances of Mary in history, when Mary, in the guise of an Aztec princess, appeared to Saint Juan Diego (his pre-conversion name of Cuauhtlatoatzin translates as “Talking Eagle”), a Mexican convert, on December 9, 1531 as he strode to Mass and was passing by the base of Tepeyac hill.  She spoke to him in Nahuatl, his native tongue, and told him to go to Archbishop Juan de Zumarraga, the primate of Mexico, and tell him that she wished for a shrine to be built on Tepeyac hill.  She also gave him this message: 

“I will demonstrate, I will exhibit, I will give all my love, my compassion, my help and my protection to the people. I am your merciful mother, the merciful mother of all of you who live united in this land, and of all mankind, of all those who love me , of those who cry to me, of those who seek me, of those who have confidence in me. Here I will hear their weeping, their sorrow and will remedy and alleviate all their multiple sufferings, necessities and misfortunes.”  

The Archbishop told Diego he would not believe in his encounter with Mary unless he had a sign.  Our Lady told Diego to visit the Archbishop again, but Zumarraga repeated his request for a sign.   Returning to Tepeyac, Diego again encountered Our Lady who told him to present himself to  Archbishop Zumarraga and give to him roses he was instructed to pick.  Roses growing in Mexico in December were a miracle in and of themselves.  Diego did as he was bidden, and when he presented the roses to the Archbishop, the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was imprinted on his tilma, his peasant’s cloak, where the roses had been held by him.  News of the miracle spread throughout Mexico and before the decade was out some eight million Mexicans converted to the Faith.  A chapel was built on Tepeyac and Diego cared for it and the image as a religious hermit until his death in 1548 at 73. 

Doubts have been raised about whether Juan Diego existed due to the lack of contemporary accounts.  However, these doubts were quashed, at least any reasonable doubts, in 1995 with the coming to light of the Codex Escalada which has been dated to the sixteenth century.  It bears the date of 1548 and is an illustrated account of the apparition with text in Nahuatl describing the encounter between Juan Diego and Mary.  The document bears the signature of  Father Bernadino de Sahagun, a missionary priest and historian in Mexico, and a contemporary of Juan Diego.  The first mention of the image in Spanish is in 1556 in a sermon preached by Archbishop Alonso de Montufar, the successor to Archbishop Zumarraga, in which he recommended devotion to the image.  Devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe spread rapidly throughout the Catholic world, with Genoese Admiral Giovanni Andrea Doria having a copy of the image on his flagship during the decisive Christian victory at the battle of Lepanto in 1571.

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35 Responses to Our Lady of Guadalupe: Miracles, Facts and Fancy

  • 1517 or thereabouts, the beginning of the Reformation. The falling away from catholicism is in stride in Europe, but as Paul correctly stated in Romans 5:20; “Now the law entered in that sin might abound. And where sin abounded, grace did more abound.” -Douay Rheims version. So while the loss of true Faith was occurring, across the “pond,” the eight million or so indigenous peoples of Mexico gladly and freely enter into Holy Church.

    God is good and His Mercy is unfathomable.

    Thanks for the article Donald.
    My mom’s funeral Mass starts at 11am today.
    She is with our Mother on this extraordinary feast day. Thanks be to God.

  • “My mom’s funeral Mass starts at 11am today.”

    A high honor which is what my parish priest told me when my Mom died on Easter Sunday 1984.

  • There are some things about the Tilma that I consider credible and miraculous, and some things non-credible.
    .
    The preservation of the material over centuries is credible and miraculous.
    The arrangement of the stars on the material to reflect the constellations is credible but maybe not so miraculous since an astute observer of the night sky would have known this information.
    .
    The dilation of the eyes is non-credible. This requires confirmation via visual recording and analysis.
    The audible heart beat of 115 bpm on the abdomen is non-credible. This requires confirmation using vibration monitoring (piezo-electric crystals) and audio recording techniques.
    The fabric temperature of 98.6 F is non-credible. This requires confirmation using both infra-red thermography and thermocouple monitoring.
    .
    There are other things in the 2nd video that are questionable (e.g., the paint itself), but those are the major things that I recall right now.

  • I rather wish there’d been any kind of context provided for the story when I was a kid. The only exposure we got had more to do with using the image as a sort of cultural thing– and, sadly, a warning that you probably didn’t want to be in the area after dark, or alone.
    Having a solid appreciation of how nasty the Aztec gods were, the symbols employed to show greatness impressed ME!

  • Thank you Donald.

  • As I am, for the moment, joyous over the mild weather (which will soon end) and the new Penguins head coach, I consider the most miraculous aspect of the Virgin of Guadalupe is the number of conversions to the Catholic faith that were nearly immediate and the numerous subsequent conversions. The Aztecs and other Indians of the Americas did not have written languages and communicated through pictures (rendering the bland, old tired Protestant argument against Catholics worshiping idols and images to be completely irrelevant).

    Our Lady set foot on this North American continent 76 years before the Jamestown colonists did and 89 years before Plymouth. Mexico was converted. The Church soon stretched the length and breadth of the Hemisphere (except New England and the Mid Atlantic east of the Appalachians).
    Our Lady’s apparition led to the missionary work of Padre Kino and Fray Junipero Serra.

    Many North American cities have large processions on the eve of Our Lady of Guadalupe. For years, before our sons were born, we went to the annual Mass at the Cathedral held by the local Latino community.

    Our Lady said at Fatima that her Immaculate Heart would triumph. We should all remember this even in the dark days of the current times.

  • Penguins Fan.

    Her Immaculate Heart will Triumph!

    Ohhh Yes it will!
    Have a great feast evening.
    I like the mild weather also…. 🙂

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  • “I consider the most miraculous aspect of the Virgin of Guadalupe is the number of conversions ”
    YES– We know by the fruit–

  • So you believe the sources you site but not the one’s that say the temp is 98.6 deg…if you haven’t actually checked it yourself then don’t comment on it. God would have no trouble accomplishing that if He wanted to. I’ve seen interviews with ACTUAL witnesses that have attested to hearing a heartbeat in the image etc…

  • Not everyone who witnesses miracles experiences the same things so your sources that refute some of these things aren’t anymore reliable than sources that say they are true.

  • Deal in facts and evidence Rob, not mindless credulity. Placing fake miracles atop real ones does God no service.

  • Rob,
    .
    I want to see recorded test results from thermocouple and infrared thermographic instrumentation on digital dataloggers for fabric temperature with ambient variations from 40 F to 110F, all easily achievable in a lab. Yes, I am a doubting Thomas. The real miracle is the conversions from paganism. Imagining miniature images in the eyes and other such things are sensationalism.

  • God does do miracles. But rarely. He usually does not override the Laws of Physics. Why? Because He established them for a reason. Therefore, when He does override them, there will be physically reproducible evidence that He has done so.
    .
    Did a person using a stethescope hear a heart beat of 115 bpm at the Virgin’s womb? If yes, then this is a physical phenomenon. Sound waves in air made the ear drum in the man listening respond, and that provided an electrcal signal to the brain of that man. Thus, if we have sounds waves, then that’s vibration of molecules in air which can be detected by audio microphones, ultra-sensitive piezo-electric crystals, etc., and the resulting electrical signals from these devices can be recorded and displayed on a computerized display screen or printout. Where’s the printout? Huh? Where’s the proof?
    .
    The same is true of temperature. Temperature is a measure of heat, the average kinetic energy of the molecules in the tilma. Monior it with a thermocouple and infrared thermography – two diverse means. Record the resulting signals. Provide a printout as ambient temperature changes. Thermocouple and infrared thermography readings should remain constant at 98.6 F. Scientific proof. Material proof. Objective. Irrefutable. And easily obtainable without destructive examination.
    .
    But people often prefer wild claims of sensationalism to the boring task of doing the actual experiments.

  • The quote from A.Einstein is worthy here; “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

    Perspective is key.
    From our perspective the horizon is limited yet scientifically it is proven to reveal truths that only can be reached by changing the perspective. The train tracks are not touching, yet they seem to be when viewed from our stationary perspective three miles away standing on the tracks in the middle of South Dakota. When we travel to the spot where the tracks seem to have come together and touch, they are as they appear when we first looked at the tracks, except now looking back at where we were, it seems as though at that spot they are touching.

    The eyes of the Virgin Mary reveal a Truth to the viewer who is accepting the truth from his vantage point on the track. They reflect a human face with beard, definitely a man. Another on the track denies this premise and chalks it up as imaginary foolishness. Who’s right? They both are. The one who see’s the reflection in the eyes may be inspired to devotion he didn’t have prior to the viewing, and that perspective has brought him closer to God through a new devotion to Mary.
    The other viewer may of already been devoted to God and Mary, and cannot see any reflection which is not needed for his faith to increase, and actually be a discomfort to his faith by believing these imaginary figures are clouding the Miracle, or disturbing it’s significance.

    For me, it’s a beautiful testimony of God’s love that hundreds of years after the self portrait, science views the Tilma with it’s lenses, and for some an image of possible players appears in her eye…like a snapshot.

    No one is wrong.

  • God “overrode the laws of physics” (mindless credulity??) big time at Fatima didn’t He? Some of you people remind me of those who say the real miracle of the loaves and fishes was that everyone shared…give me a break. God seem to “override the laws of physics” big time in that case as well. He parted the Red Sea as well…wow really did some overridding there. Nobody has one shred of evidence that these things claimed about the Tilma havent taken place…just “mindless” presumption. If somebody hears a heartbeat in the Tilma and you dont…doesn’t mean your experience rules out theirs.

  • Rob W on Saturday, December 12, A.D. 2015 at 10:25pm (Edit)
    Not everyone who witnesses miracles experiences the same things so your sources that refute some of these things aren’t anymore reliable than sources that say they are true.

    What’s your source on the notion that they don’t experience the same things?
    I’m familiar with they way that those observing miracles sometimes describe different things, but so is the most hard core cop. It’s not that six different and mutually exclusive things happened in a single big accident, it’s that humans can fail.
    That still-born boy who is alive and normal after his mom asked Archbishop Fulton Sheen to pray for her? Is very verifiably alive, about five years old. And developmentally normal, which can be tested and verified and is a major sign to aid in the belief. (Along with being very nice.)

    ……
    Another on the track denies this premise and chalks it up as imaginary foolishness. Who’s right? They both are. The one who see’s the reflection in the eyes may be inspired to devotion he didn’t have prior to the viewing, and that perspective has brought him closer to God through a new devotion to Mary.
    It’s not a premise. Either there is a picture on her pupil, or there is not. If there is not, claiming there is would be a lie, and building faith on sand.
    If there is something there, say some variations in color, then it would be true there’s an image and the “if it’s him or not” question starts up.
    But it’s either true or false that there’s some kind of picture.
    *****
    If there is no objective truth, then the Lady appearing means nothing– a lie would have done as well.
    Probably better, making things up lets you make stories work better. I know that as much as my “things going bad in the best way possible” stories make people laugh, it would be a much better story if the brakes didn’t go out in the car at all, rather than going out amazingly fast.
    If there is no truth, then the miracles mean nothing.

  • I’ve got an article on miracles that it seems I didn’t schedule at my place yet; I’ll double-check it and get it up after Mass.
    Anyone prone to praying for small graces might pray that the kids will be still enough we can actually hear what Father’s saying, even if it is another “Go Seahawks” mass.

  • Rob W wrote:
    .
    “Nobody has one shred of evidence that these things claimed about the Tilma havent taken place.”
    .
    The burden of proof is not on the person to whom an assertion is being made but on the person making the assertion. Now that said, I do NOT think that anyone at TAC is denying the inexplicable nature of certain facets of the Tilma of Our Lady of Guadalupe. That fact that the material of the tilma normally decays after a few decades but has lasted for centuries is incredible and undeniable. The position of the stars on the tilma to reflect the sky when the apparition was seen, and the theological significance behind the position of the stars are noteworthy.
    .
    But a constant temperature of 98.6 F, and a heart beat of 115 bpm, and miniature reflections of people in the eyes that appear to be more specks of paint than actual images? Really?
    .
    I have proposed ways to verify the first two with physical evidence using modern digital instrumentation that would provide for non-destructive examination. Any I&C technician can do these things (I know because I was a nuclear I&C technician in a previous job). It’s easy to do. So where are the digital I&C printouts, Rob W? Web link to reputable source, please. You make an assertion. The burden of proof is on you.
    .
    Now the real miracle is this: conversion of sinners to the saving grace of Jesus Christ, Mary’s Son. If we make unfounded, unproven assertions regarding the tilma, then we denigrate its sole usefulness in the conversion of the lost. Anyone who is lost in sin and who knows a modicum of science will ask the questions which I asked. They are reasonable questions. If individiuals like Rob W say, “You gotta believe because I told you so,” and have no material proof, then the tilma has no usefulness in converting the lost. The pagans will rightly think us mad and self-deluded.
    .
    There is a saying: Ad Iesum per Miriam. Fabricating stories about the fabric of the tilma (bad pun!) negates that phrase. Let’s convert with facts, logic, science and not wishful imagining.
    .
    PS, I personally think the tilma is quite miraculous, but only for legitimately miraculous reasons.

  • Other PS:
    .
    I concur with what Foxfier wrote.

  • “If somebody hears a heartbeat in the Tilma and you dont…doesn’t mean your experience rules out theirs.”

    Of course it does if they are claiming it actually occurred rather than a fantasy or mistake on their part. This contention would be easy to test if it had occurred in reality and was an ongoing miracle. Miracles do occur and fake miracles are made up all the time. The Church attempts to distinguish between the two based upon evidence.

  • Something Donald wrote got me to thinking:
    .
    “This contention [heartbeat] would be easy to test if it had occurred in reality and was an ongoing miracle.”
    .
    I think that certain individuals are asseting one-time only miracles, for instance, there was a heart beat before but now there is not a heart beat. This is non-verifiable and useless for demonstrating the authentic miraculous nature of the tilma to convert the lost to the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Other miracles like the loaves and fishes we accept on faith because of the authority of Sacred Scripture. But the account of these tilma miracles do not so rank with the authority of Sacred Scripture.

  • Foxfier.

    I can SEE the images in her eyes. The aforementioned doctors who are noted in the second clip, can see them as well. The testimony of the doctors relating to curvature of the retina is also astounding in my opinion.

    I agree with you that faith built upon sand will not endure, and in relationship to the figures in the eye, it’s rock solid. Is this a basis to build upon our entire Faith? No Way! Of course not.
    Is this a Christmas Gift? Oh yes. I would say so.

  • Father McCarthy gave a wonderful sermon at 7:30 AM Mass. He is a twenty-year Navy man who was led to his vocation. And, we are the beneficiaries.
    .
    Message for today: Rejoice! Believe! Rejoice! Hope! Rejoice! Love! Rejoice!
    .

    Love, the most important, is Action – corporal and spiritual/prayer. Constant prayer . . .
    .

    Paul wrote that epistle from prison. Rejoice in affliction.
    .

  • Foxfier.

    The Ophthalmologist’s; Dr. Javier Buenos MDS and Dr.Rafael T. Lavoignet.

    You mentioned that if the figures we’re colored it would make a difference? “If there is something there, say some variations in color, then it would be true there’s an image and the, ” if it’s him or not” questions start up.”

    I’m curious as to why it must be in color. I ask because I am not aware of this reasoning, not because I’m attacking you. Education lessons from many of the contributors of TAC has been a joy even if it humbles me.

  • Phillip-
    It doesn’t have to be color, but the claim is that there is an image. That’s a physical claim that can be verified; I can think of several different ways an image could be made besides basic color variations– texture, luster, elevation causing shadows that make an image, someone more creative than I could probably think of more since I’m pulling these from things-that-make-an-image that I’ve seen or heard of– but the claim there is an image requires that there be a thing.
    The claim “I can see ___” is a different statement, which could be checked by seeing if it’s a vision of an amazing thing or an amazing objective thing. They’re totally different miracles. (Assuming that they are indeed miracles.)
    And now I’m wondering if I should work in private revelation for the article. It needs some re-doing, anyways…..

  • I see your point… no pun intended.
    I have not researched this phenomena or claim in-depth. I could see the images they were claiming. The solid facts of the Tilma are enough and I do appreciate this point.
    Anything else could harm the neophyte Catholic or newly welcomed believer.

    Your posts are always educational and I look forward to your next offering.

    Have a great Advent.
    🙂

  • You have no idea how much it makes my day to hear that the posts are doing what I dearly hope– getting new (and hopefully cool) information to folks.
    Thank you very much.

  • Why is it so easy to criticize and so difficult to praise? Rhetorically asking of course.

    You are welcome.

    It’s fun to read these opinions and rebuttals over the course of these few years. Also it’s just plain comforting to know there are folks that feel similarly in matters of faith and current events. One of the gifts I treasure is the occasional post from Donald that deal with modern day (s)aints. Example; the recent post on the prisoner of war. He is not a canonized Saint, but his heroic act puts him up there close. These are the short stories that touch my heart and gives me hope. A great contrast from the tripe published in our locally owned and operated liberal rag.

    BTW. Your welcome.

  • Oops… Department of redundancy department. (your welcome x 2)

  • Look, folks, is Jesus “the Way, the Truth, and the Life”? Or is He “the path I like, the ideas and feelings I like, and the stuff I do that I like”?

    Pope Benedict XIV (that’s 14th, back in the 1700’s) didn’t set up miracle investigation rules because he was a mean-ol’-meanie skeptic. He set them up because he loved God and wished His glorious miracles to be made manifest (ie, obvious and hard to deny). It is a good thing to separate the real history of the tilma from the imagined one, and to separate physical features from personal impressions. (And there’s nothing wrong with “You had a tactile religious experience that made you feel a heartbeat.”)

    It is true that the basic image on the tilma is miraculous. It is also true that a known Spanish painter did most of the rest, including painting the stars on Mary’s cloak to go along with the constellations on December 12. Many miraculously painted paintings and sculptures have received add-ons from Spanish and Italian artists back during the medieval and Baroque times, just like folks out East tend to make a huge array of custom frames for miraculous icons, and a lot of people make clothes and outfits for the local Infant of Prague statue. We probably wouldn’t do it in the US in this time and place, but it’s a thing that people did in order to give honor to a miraculous object. Also, painting constellations on a church dome to go along with its dedication date, and similar acts in paintings, was very common during the Baroque period, as a way of uniting religion and science.

  • If you like modern saints, SuburbanBanshee here recently did an article on the Martyrs of San Bernardino. I’d actually been wondering about that the morning before I read it.
    Too much praise is a problem– I don’t trust the praise from most of my family because they’re too likely to try to be nice.

  • Hi Philip,
    My deepest sympathy on the loss of your mom.
    My mom was laid to rest on Wednesday Dec.9. She, to. had a strong relationship with our Mother Mary and said her rosary everyday. We celebrated her life.
    .
    Donald: I never told you but your son, Larry, dances around me sometime during the reception of Holy Communion. “First it is bread, Now, it is Jesus. First it is wine. Now it is Jesus” has become my prayer. Thanks be to God.
    .
    Our Lady of Guadalupe’s face says it all with profound sadness.

  • Foxfier.

    First. Thank you for Suburbanbanshee site.
    A fitting tribute and sad reminder of man’s inability to love. Holy martyrs pray for us.

    Secondly. I’m sorry that genuine appreciation for each other is questionable in the family dynamic. It can hurt when flippantly family members give false praise. Prayers for them…yes.

    @ Mary De Voe.
    My condolences Mary.
    Mother’s are so very special. This chapter in our families history is one of the most bitter sweet. Our mom was gifted and blessed in humility, forgiveness, love of neighbor and Trust in God. She has sailed home to be together agian with her first loves….Jesus, her folks and Frank her husband. For that I’m extremely happy. Masses have been said and are set up in the future for her…but I can’t help feeling that she is already home with her first loves.

    Peace to you Mary.
    May our mom’s enjoy a walk through Our Holy Mother’s garden while we fight the good fight in the valley.

  • There is no need to gild the lily in regard to the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe; so true- Don

    and she came in her image as a PREGNANT young maiden : my 2 cents Merry Christmas!!!

    Appearing on the 12th of December under the Julian calendar- with ALL the winter solstice constellations in her mantle – and it just so happens the 12th translated into the Gregorian calendar is the 21st-22nd ; can you hear Santa Lucia playing on this darkest of days and the young blond girls processing?? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-q7DG7DXbo

Our Lady of Guadalupe: Miracles, Facts and Fancy

Friday, December 12, AD 2014

 

 

Today is the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, one of the most dramatic appearances of Mary in history, when Mary, in the guise of an Aztec princess, appeared to Saint Juan Diego (his pre-conversion name of Cuauhtlatoatzin translates as “Talking Eagle”), a Mexican convert, on December 9, 1531 as he strode to Mass and was passing by the base of Tepeyac hill.  She spoke to him in Nahuatl, his native tongue, and told him to go to Archbishop Juan de Zumarraga, the primate of Mexico, and tell him that she wished for a shrine to be built on Tepeyac hill.  She also gave him this message: 

“I will demonstrate, I will exhibit, I will give all my love, my compassion, my help and my protection to the people. I am your merciful mother, the merciful mother of all of you who live united in this land, and of all mankind, of all those who love me , of those who cry to me, of those who seek me, of those who have confidence in me. Here I will hear their weeping, their sorrow and will remedy and alleviate all their multiple sufferings, necessities and misfortunes.”  

The Archbishop told Diego he would not believe in his encounter with Mary unless he had a sign.  Our Lady told Diego to visit the Archbishop again, but Zumarraga repeated his request for a sign.   Returning to Tepeyac, Diego again encountered Our Lady who told him to present himself to  Archbishop Zumarraga and give to him roses he was instructed to pick.  Roses growing in Mexico in December were a miracle in and of themselves.  Diego did as he was bidden, and when he presented the roses to the Archbishop, the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was imprinted on his tilma, his peasant’s cloak, where the roses had been held by him.  News of the miracle spread throughout Mexico and before the decade was out some eight million Mexicans converted to the Faith.  A chapel was built on Tepeyac and Diego cared for it and the image as a religious hermit until his death in 1548 at 73. 

Doubts have been raised about whether Juan Diego existed due to the lack of contemporary accounts.  However, these doubts were quashed, at least any reasonable doubts, in 1995 with the coming to light of the Codex Escalada which has been dated to the sixteenth century.  It bears the date of 1548 and is an illustrated account of the apparition with text in Nahuatl describing the encounter between Juan Diego and Mary.  The document bears the signature of  Father Bernadino de Sahagun, a missionary priest and historian in Mexico, and a contemporary of Juan Diego.  The first mention of the image in Spanish is in 1556 in a sermon preached by Archbishop Alonso de Montufar, the successor to Archbishop Zumarraga, in which he recommended devotion to the image.  Devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe spread rapidly throughout the Catholic world, with Genoese Admiral Giovanni Andrea Doria having a copy of the image on his flagship during the decisive Christian victory at the battle of Lepanto in 1571.

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25 Responses to Our Lady of Guadalupe: Miracles, Facts and Fancy

  • Our Lady of Guadalupe ended human sacrifice in Mexico. The Aztecs were wont to sacrifice thousands of other human beings by cutting their heart out with a stone knife. Human sacrifice was shown to be an heresy and Our Lady of Guadalupe’s motherly love for her children brought it to end. Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us in America to end the human sacrifice of abortion and preserve our nation unto yourself, and Jesus.

  • Mary DeVoe.

    Amen.

  • Apocalipto, Mel Gibson’s Mayan story from a few years ago was stirring.
    Blood sacrifice today and yesterday the same…just different alters. Abortion mills provide todays alters. Soooo many Gods…so many.

  • When Our Lady appeared to Saint Catherine Laboure and showed her an image of the Miraculous Medal, Saint Catherine asked if that was all. Our Lady caused the medal to spin around and asked that there be an oval frame on the medal which the medal bears today.
    .
    Please see the oval on the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The oval depicts her personal space, the space wherein Mary’s sovereignty begins and ends for Mary as a person, but never as Queen of heaven and earth.
    .
    Mary’s sovereignty as a person is framed for our benefit as the truth about the human person. The truth about the human being’s sovereignty, that is, discipline over himself and the privacy of his personal space. The frame also demarcates the length any other person has to an individual, unless, with informed consent the two frames become joined as in matrimony, enabling there to become a third sovereignty, another frame of a sovereign person.
    .
    How necessary is Our Lady of Guadalupe today when conscience, privacy, freedom and informed consent are being violated and trespassing against another person’s privacy, personal space and countenance (sovereignty) has become civil law.

  • Philip: “Apocalipto, Mel Gibson’s Mayan story from a few years ago was stirring.
    Blood sacrifice today and yesterday the same…just different alters. Abortion mills provide todays alters. Soooo many Gods…so many.”
    .
    I did see Mel Gibson’s Apocalipto. The film recounts, quite realistically, the flight of persons pursued to be captured and used as human sacrifices to have their hearts cut out of their breasts to appease the god of the drought. The script ends with the victim falling on his knees in the harbor where Cortez’ ships have put anchor. Cortez’ men, many of whom also had their hearts cut out when captured, subdued the Aztecs and ended the barbarity of human sacrifice. I do not know if Cortez came before our Lady or after.

  • The Spanish conquerors who took the Aztec capital in 1521 were the ones who abolished human sacrifice–immediately. The first Franciscan missionaries arrived in 1524 and had great difficulty making converts. Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared in 1531 but she did not trigger sudden mass conversion of the Indians. There was much hard evangelization work yet to be done. Different aspects of the Guadalupana have been stressed over the years, the early view was her motherly care for Spaniard and Indian alike. Although valid, the pro-life angle is an insight of the later 20th C.
    This uniquely beautiful image should not be sullied by silly fantasies!

  • “The Spanish conquerors who took the Aztec capital in 1521 were the ones who abolished human sacrifice–immediately.”

    Yep. In fact, that was what prompted the first skirmish in Mexico City between the Spaniards and Aztecs: the former stopping a planned human sacrifice by the latter.

    Hernan Cortes had his flaws, but in this he was one of the world’s great inadvertent humanitarians.

  • Cortez’ primary goals were glory and profit. He’ll never be canonized as a saint, but….he achieved much the same noteworthy accomplishment as Charles Martel.

    It is important to note that the Aztecs, emperors of Mexico and the architects and builders of a great city, were HATED by the other Indian tribes they ruled over. The Aztec practice of human sacrifice was not just backward but evil. Cortez made an alliance with the Tlaxcalan Indians, who were fierce warriors and fought on the side of the Spanish throughout the campaign. It was a relative of Montezuma who, in a dream, foretold of the coming of the Spanish conquistadores and of the end of the Aztec empire.

    Cortez and his men did on purpose smash the ugly stone images of the Aztec gods, some of them caked with dried human blood. He ordered the areas to be cleaned and in their place, put statues of the Virgin and the Christ Child. Once, he was mocked – “You expect ME to bow down to a woman and a baby!” and Cortez erupted in rage.

    For better or for worse, most of the leaders of the Aztecs ended up being put to death – this after some of Cortez’ men were sacrificed – La Noche Triste (The Sad Night).

    That is the extremely redacted Cliffs Notes version of the conquest of Mexico.

    Conversions to the Catholic faith came later. Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe helped to convert millions to the Catholic Church – far more than Luther, Calvin and Henry Tudor took out. It led to more than two thirds of the Western Hemisphere being Catholic – from Northern California to Tierra del Fuego, Florida, Texas and the American Southwest, Quebec, Western New York, Louisiana and the lower Mississippi Valley and everything south of the Rio Grande.

    There never has and never will be another be such a mass conversion to any Church. Islam swept through Arabia and North Africa and into Europe, but it was beaten back from Europe. The Church did not use war and the threat of death – not like Islam did and does – to evangelize the Americas.

    Given that without Catholic help (Spain and France) the American Republic would not have come to be – this Hemisphere should be consecrated in its entirety to Mary.

  • The onslaught against the veracity of the Guadalupe story, and especially contra Juan Diego, is typical of a nihilist/rationalist age: certain facts arenecessarily ignored or discarded, such as the contemporaneous record of Juan Diego’s (“Cuauhtlatoatzin”, his Nahuatl name) death record in the archives of the University of Mexico (now UNAM), of all places, his death being on May 30th, 1548. This fragment was separate from the discovery of the Codex Escalada and was well known in the 1980’s—by those who cared to study the matter of “original records”.

    In many ways, those who questioned the existence of Juan Diego have now fallen silent, just as those “rationalists” did who previously claimed with increasing force in the 1st part of the 20th century, that no Latin historical record of a “Pontius Pilate” existed, so the Gospels were an obvious fiction—-all with increasing vigor in their assertions, until the 1961 archaelogical discovery at Caesarea Maritima, subsequently incontrovertibly verified, of a facing stone naming Pontius Pilate as “prefect of Judaea” responsible for building the theatre called the “Tiberium”, a record on a dedicatory slab in that city, sometime during the period AD 26-36. How silent they become, while they switch tactics!

  • Mary De Voe: “Please see the oval on the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The oval depicts her personal space, the space wherein Mary’s sovereignty begins and ends for Mary as a person, but never as Queen of heaven and earth.”

    Thank you Mary, I unwittingly think I have read and know everything on matters Catholic (an awful thing to admit: I am disproven every day): I did not know this and that is a profound statement (Mary as human person: Mary as sovereign Queen of Heaven and Earth).

  • How very fascinating this post is.
    .
    Steve Dalton: Like Jesus, Mary willed to be in perfect conformity to the will of God. Mary told one of the seers, I believe at Fatima, that she comes from heaven at the will of God.

  • Boy, am I embarrassed: Steve Phoenix. May I join your club.
    extenuating circumstances are that the website can only be accessed correctly through my e-mail and then only when I make a comment. At that time the other comments become visible. Sorry.

  • I am thinking that if Mary had come before Cortes, the converts would have been slaughtered as well as the heathens, maybe even more.
    .
    “Hernan Cortes had his flaws, but in this he was one of the world’s great inadvertent humanitarians.”
    .
    I like use of the word “inadvertent humanitarian(s).”

  • Ah, Hernan Cortes, one of the most fascinating of the Great Captains of History! I have always thought these words from Lepanto were perfectly applicable to him:

    But a noise is in the mountains, in the mountains, and I know
    The voice that shook our palaces – four hundred years ago:
    It is he that saith not ‘Kismet’; it is he that knows not Fate;
    It is Richard, it is Raymond, it is Godfrey in the gate!

    Cortes was a Crusader. Always greedy for gold and lands and titles, he was no less greedy for the conversion of souls to Christ. He pleaded with the Spanish crown to send out priests who loved not wealth and ease, but who would meekly preach the Gospel and bring the souls of the Indians to Christ. As a ruler he stressed fair treatment of the Indians, and it was noted at the time that although he often came into conflict with Spanish settlers, the Indians usually liked and respected him, and looked to him for protection. Endlessly resourceful and endlessly optimistic he pulled off the equivalent of a military miracle and helped establish the foundation of a new civilization.

    Las Casas, who was ever the foe of Spanish mistreatment of the Indians, had nothing but good to say of Cortes:

    “And as to those who murmur against the Marqués del Valle [Cortés], God rest him, and who try to blacken and obscure his deeds, I believe that before God their deeds are not as acceptable as those of the Marqués. Although as a human he was a sinner, he had faith and works of a good Christian, and a great desire to employ his life and property in widening and augmenting the fair of Jesus Christ, and dying for the conversion of these gentiles… Who has loved and defended the Indians of this new world like Cortés?… Through this captain, God opened the door for us to preach his holy gospel and it was he who caused the Indians to revere the holy sacraments and respect the ministers of the church.”

  • Sandra Miesel: “Although valid, the pro-life angle is an insight of the later 20th C.
    This uniquely beautiful image should not be sullied by silly fantasies!”
    .
    While I very much appreciate the information about the timing of Guadalupana, thank you, Cortes was the immediate cause of the cessation of human sacrifice and sent by Divine Providence, Our Lady is the constant cause of the cessation of human sacrifice from the beginning of time until the end of time.
    .
    Until the 20th century, abortion was not a cultural issue. Abortion has been legalized and inculturated and the people are being forced against their will by taxation to support the killing of innocent human beings in the womb. Divine Providence, God, has sent the Guadalupana to stand against any violation of the human person.
    .
    As a child of Mary, you know that Jesus Christ is a Divine Person and a human Person, a sovereign person who is enfranchised and entitled to every civil right of freedom that the state must observe. The crucifixion must bring us to our knees.

  • I have no interest in pushing questionable science, but the article linked to above, doesn’t fully address all the scientific claims, some of which are recounted here. http://infallible-catholic.blogspot.com/2012/04/miraculous-image-of-our-lady-of.html

    The article is also a bit suspect because it states that St. Juan Diego was an Aztec, which he was not. He belonged to another native tribe that unlike the Aztecs, did not practice human sacrifice.

  • chris c.: “I have no interest in pushing questionable science, but the article linked to above, doesn’t fully address all the scientific claims, some of which are recounted here.
    .
    The article is also a bit suspect because it states that St. Juan Diego was an Aztec, which he was not. He belonged to another native tribe that unlike the Aztecs, did not practice human sacrifice.”
    .
    If St. Juan Diego was not an Aztec,(questionable history) then, he (St. Juan Diego) was lucky to have escaped being human sacrifice, as are every person alive today, whose heart beats at eighteen days, of having escaped being aborted and having their heart and soul ripped from the womb.

  • I’m not sure what point or points you are making Mary. Juan Diego was not an Aztec, but belonged to another native tribe, the Chichimeca. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/liturgy/saints/ns_lit_doc_20020731_juan-diego_en.html

    Although the post had nothing to do with abortion, thank you for reminding us that the unborn are at risk and need our prayers and aid always.

  • chris c.:
    “I’m not sure what point or points you are making Mary. Juan Diego was not an Aztec, but belonged to another native tribe, the Chichimeca.”
    .
    The link you offered is very good. I read it. My point is that abortion and infanticide is human sacrifice and abortionists and those committing infanticide are modern day Aztecs. Our Lady is as necessary now as She was in 1531.
    .
    The Virgin of Guadalupe came to call all men back to their initial virginity and innocence from their conception, through the Catholic Church and the Sacraments, the Aztec and the Chichimeca.

  • Did I hear or read that Our Lady is depicted on the tilma as pregnant? In a town in which you can see a million images of her, including tattoos and pickup window art, Planned Parenthood is in the process of building a new abortion busines$s outlet that will do late term [i.e., up to the last day before birth, thank you Roe v Wade] abortions. On many days, every baby killed in this new horror chamber will be Hispanic, furthering PP’s RETA policy -Racial Eugenic Targeted Abortion. But for this policy in Texas, every statewide office would be held by a Hispanic person – but those murdered Hispanic babies cannot vote. Please ask Our Lady to shut down construction of this child sacrifice temple. Guy McClung, San Antonio

  • Guy Mcclung: “Did I hear or read that Our Lady is depicted on the tilma as pregnant? In a town in which you can see a million images of her, including tattoos and pickup window art, Planned Parenthood is in the process of building a new abortion busines$s outlet that will do late term [i.e., up to the last day before birth, thank you Roe v Wade] abortions. On many days, every baby killed in this new horror chamber will be Hispanic, furthering PP’s RETA policy -Racial Eugenic Targeted Abortion. But for this policy in Texas, every statewide office would be held by a Hispanic person – but those murdered Hispanic babies cannot vote. Please ask Our Lady to shut down construction of this child sacrifice temple. Guy McClung, San Antonio”
    .
    “An individual substance of a rational nature” is St. Thomas Aquinas’ definition of a person. There is no proof that an Hispanic would make an otherwise less than perfect servant of the people. Every person must be afforded due process of law for freedom to exist. That an unborn child, who is a person, brought into existence through an invitation by the conjugal act is criminally causing the death of his mother must be proved in a court of law. Capital punishment, the death penalty, can only be applied for capital one homicide. Prove it. Assisted suicide, too, must have informed consent. The person achieves informed consent at emancipation.
    .
    The mad mob mentality of Planned Parenthood is maniacal. Hitler would be vindicated.

  • When Mary appeared to Juan Diego at Guadalupe, Mary appeared in both body and soul. If Mary had appeared in spirit only Mary’s hands could not have arranged the roses in Juan Diego’s tilma.
    .
    Saint Catherine Laboure placed her head in Our Lady’s lap. Catherine could not have placed her head in Mary’s lap if Mary was only a spirit.
    .
    Our Lady of Fatima held the children back from falling into hell with her hands.
    .
    Our lady of Mount Carmel handed St. Alan a scapular and rosary with her hands when Mary appeared.
    .
    The devil has no body. The devil cannot appear with a human body because the devil does not have a human body.

  • When Our Lady appears at Medugorje, Mary accepts bibles and rosaries and medals and all kinds of sacramentals and blesses them and hands these physical things back to the seers, blessed. Mary could not hand these sacramental back to the seers if Mary was only a spiritual appearance.
    .
    The devil has no hands.

  • Our Lady does not appear to the “seer$s” of Medugorje. Long ago I met a man from there and asked him what happened. He told me that some gypsy teenagers got caught smoking pot and lied that they had seen the Virgin-and the rest is history. Look at the real apparitions: poor children, poor innocents who never make a dime off apparitions. And look how they lived after the apparitions-they died poor or under vows of poverty. None of them lived on millionaire’s row in Medugorje. The seer$s have said Our Lady said things that are contrary to the magisterium; the young man whom Our Lady allegedly said was supposed to be ordained instead married a US beauty queen; and one seer$s number of daily apparitions increased when she needed more money for a house. The devil does not need his own hands when he has the hands of these s$eers-just follow the money flowing into their besotted filthy money-dirtied hands and the truth about this fraud is crystal clear. And then-apparently of little import to devotees-the magisterium on this point is that nothing supernatural happened or happens there. And then of course there is the history of the priests and nuns who fostered the entire fraud for their own benefit. Guy McClung, San Antonio.

  • Guy Mcclung : ”
    Our Lady does not appear to the “seer$s” of Medugorje. Long ago I met a man from there and asked him what happened. He told me that some gypsy teenagers got caught smoking pot and lied that they had seen the Virgin-and the rest is history.”
    .
    Saint Pio, Padre Pio, believed in Our Lady of Medugorje and I base my belief on his. The truth will out. Too many people have crossed the line between church and state and I believe that this may be the case with the seers.

Lepanto

Tuesday, October 7, AD 2014

Our-Lady-of-Victory

 

 

On October 7, 1571 the forces of the Holy League under Don Juan of Austria, illegitimate half brother of Philip II, in an ever-lasting tribute to Italian and Spanish courage and seamanship, smashed the Turkish fleet.  This was the turning point in the centuries-long struggle between the Christian West and the forces of the Ottoman Empire over the Mediterranean.  The Holy League had been the work of Pope Saint Pius V, who miraculously saw the victory in Rome on the day of the battle, and he proclaimed the feast day of Our Lady of Victory to whom he attributed the victory.

For a good overview of the battle of Lepanto read this review by Victor Davis Hanson here of  The Victory of the West: The Great Christian-Muslim Clash at the Battle of Lepanto by Niccolò Capponi.

Before the battle Don John of Austria went about the ships of his fleet and said this to his crews:  ‘My children, we are here to conquer or die. In death or in victory, you will win immortality.’  The chaplains of the fleet preached sermons on the theme:  “No Heaven For Cowards”.    Many of the men were clutching rosaries just before the battle.  Admiral Andrea Doria went into the fight with an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe aboard his ship.  Back in Europe countless Catholics were praying rosaries at the request of Saint Pope Pius V for the success of the Christian fleet.

At the hour of the battle, and this fact is very well attested, the Pope was talking to some cardinals in Rome.  He abruptly ceased the conversation, opened a window and looked heavenward.  He then turned to the cardinals and said:   “It is not now a time to talk any more upon business; but to give thanks to God for the victory he has granted to the arms of the Christians.”  So that Catholics would never forget Lepanto and the intercession of Mary, he instituted the feast of Our Lady of Victory.  To aid in this remembrance G. K. Chesterton in 1911 wrote his epic poem Lepanto:

White founts falling in the courts of the sun,
And the Soldan of Byzantium is smiling as they run;
There is laughter like the fountains in that face of all men feared,
It stirs the forest darkness, the darkness of his beard,
It curls the blood-red crescent, the crescent of his lips,
For the inmost sea of all the earth is shaken with his ships.
They have dared the white republics up the capes of Italy,
They have dashed the Adriatic round the Lion of the Sea,
And the Pope has cast his arms abroad for agony and loss,
And called the kings of Christendom for swords about the Cross,
The cold queen of England is looking in the glass;
The shadow of the Valois is yawning at the Mass;
From evening isles fantastical rings faint the Spanish gun,
And the Lord upon the Golden Horn is laughing in the sun.
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4 Responses to Lepanto

  • Queen of the Holy Rosary pray for us.
    Queen of the Holy Rosary strengthen us
    to face the odds in our day, the enemies of the True Faith.
    Queen of the Holy Rosary, may the gathering of devotee’s on Oct. 11th, over 12,243 cities worldwide, represent your Christian fleet of Lepanto of old. That by Gods Grace and their holy rosaries, the conversions of countless souls becomes reality.

    America Needs Fatima’s Rosary rally is Saturday at noon. Tens of thousands will be praying from over 12,000 cities.

    Will you be one of them?

  • Our Lady of Victory, pray for us!
    .

    Ave Mundi Spes Maria
    .

    Hail, Mary, hope of the world,
    Gentle, holy,
    Full of grace.
    Hail unique Virgin, symbolized
    By the bush that did not burn.
    .

    Hail Beautiful rose
    Hail, shoot of Jesse,
    Whose fruit loosened
    The chains of our grief.
    .

    Hail, Mary, whose womb,
    Contrary to death’s covenant,
    Produced a Son.
    Hail, there is no one like you;
    You have brought joy
    To the long grieving world.
    .

    Hail, candle of virgins,
    Through whom heavenly light shone
    On those held in darkness.
    Hail, Virgin; the King of Heaven
    Desired to be born of you
    And feed on your milk.
    .

    Hail, bud of the lights of Heaven,
    Hail, shrine of the Holy Spirit.

  • The six galleyasses were the often overlooked decisive factor in the victory.Ali Pasha had a 200 year tradition of victory over Christian forces.Pride or ignorance or a bit of both prompted him to confront the Holy League fleet.He could have avoided the battle.The floating cannon platforms were not maneuverable.

God’s Jester and Our Lady of Guadalupe

Wednesday, December 12, AD 2012

“If I meet any long-faced saints in Heaven I will cheer them up with a Mexican hat dance!”

Blessed Miguel Pro

I love Blessed Father Miguel Pro, SJ.  He was always ready with a joke and a quip and the sheer joy with which he radiated the faith of Christ throughout his life was a wonder to behold.  From early in his life he was dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe.  When a small child he had a bad case of food poisoning that spread infection to his brain.  For one year he could not talk and could barely recognize his parents.  Eventually he seemed near death.  His father took him in his arms and kneeling before an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe prayed, “Madre mia give me back my son.”  At that moment the boy came out of his coma, vomited blood and began his recovery.

Hagiography often relates the perfections of saints in their younger days.  No such accounts are possible with Father Pro.  He was a mischievous boy fond of practical jokes.  As a teenager his path to the priesthood began when he heard a priest preach a sermon on the Passion.  “All this, Jesus Christ did and suffered for us, and we, what are we doing for Him?” Miguel was overcome with the thought that thus far he had done nothing for Him.

Joining the Jesuit novitiate in 1911, he studied in Mexico until 1914 when a wave of anti-clericalism arising from the Mexican Revolution forced the Jesuits out of Mexico.  Miguel comtinued his studies in Spain and taught in Nicaragua from 1919-1922.  He completed his studies in Belgium and was ordained a priest on August 31, 1925.  His health was always precarious and after several surgeries from ulcers he returned to Mexico.  Because of the anti-clerical Calles laws, he became an underground priest, using many disguises as he went around saying Mass and providing the sacraments.  He went about his duties with a glad heart and seemed to get a kick out of the “cloak and dagger” aspects of his undercover priesthood.

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5 Responses to God’s Jester and Our Lady of Guadalupe

  • Thank you, Donald! Sharing on Facebook and @ my blog!

  • Semen est sanguis Christianorum.

  • Tua verba sunt veritas, T. Shaw. Martyrium est semper semen sanguisque Christianitatis.

  • The Catholic blog Whispers in the Loggia always has plenty of pictures and reports of the Nuestra Señora de Guadelupe celebrations throughout the US.

    When possible, I take my wife and family to the Mass at St. Paul Cathedral for the festivities. Managing a 1 year old and a 4 year old at a Mass that starts at 7PM is not easy. I have a few books about the Guadalupe apparition and the story of the tilma is something I find amazing.

    The Cathedral was filled. Being slightly cynical, I wonder how many were there for the free food afterwards.

    There exists a disconnect between Catholics in the USA who received their faith though being descendants of immigrants from Ireland, Italy, Germany, Poland and Slovakia and the Catholics with Latin American heritage. In my experience, many of the former are vaguely aware of Guadalupe or are uninterested in it, whereas the Latinos -most especially the Mexicans – make as much of Guadalupe as Christmas.

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Our Lady of Guadalupe: Miracles, Facts and Fancy

Monday, December 12, AD 2011

 

 

Today is the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, one of the most dramatic appearances of Mary in history, when Mary, in the guise of an Aztec princess, appeared to Saint Juan Diego (his pre-conversion name of Cuauhtlatoatzin translates as “Talking Eagle”), a Mexican convert, on December 9, 1531 as he strode to Mass and was passing by the base of Tepeyac hill.  She spoke to him in Nahuatl, his native tongue, and told him to go to Archbishop Juan de Zumarraga, the primate of Mexico, and tell him that she wished for a shrine to be built on Tepeyac hill.  She also gave him this message: “I will demonstrate, I will exhibit, I will give all my love, my compassion, my help and my protection to the people. I am your merciful mother, the merciful mother of all of you who live united in this land, and of all mankind, of all those who love me , of those who cry to me, of those who seek me, of those who have confidence in me. Here I will hear their weeping, their sorrow and will remedy and alleviate all their multiple sufferings, necessities and misfortunes.”  

The Archbishop told Diego he would not believe in his encounter with Mary unless he had a sign.  Our Lady told Diego to visit the Archbishop again, but Zumarraga repeated his request for a sign.   Returning to Tepeyac, Diego again encountered Our Lady who told him to present himself to  Archbishop Zumarraga and give to him roses he was instructed to pick.  Roses growing in Mexico in December were a miracle in and of themselves.  Diego did as he was bidden, and when he presented the roses to the Archbishop, the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was imprinted on his tilma, his peasant’s cloak, where the roses had been held by him.  News of the miracle spread throughout Mexico and before the decade was out some eight million Mexicans converted to the Faith.  A chapel was built on Tepeyac and Diego cared for it and the image as a religious hermit until his death in 1548 at 73.

Doubts have been raised about whether Juan Diego existed due to the lack of contemporary accounts.  However, these doubts were quashed, at least any reasonable doubts, in 1995 with the coming to light of the Codex Escalada which has been dated to the sixteenth century.  It bears the date of 1548 and is an illustrated account of the apparition with text in Nahuatl describing the encounter between Juan Diego and Mary.  The document bears the signature of  Father Bernadino de Sahagun, a missionary priest and historian in Mexico, and a contemporary of Juan Diego.  The first mention of the image in Spanish is in 1556 in a sermon preached by Archbishop Alonso de Montufar, the successor to Archbishop Zumarraga, in which he recommended devotion to the image.  Devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe spread rapidly throughout the Catholic world, with Genoese Admiral Andrea Doria having a copy of the image on his flagship during the decisive Christian victory at the battle of Lepanto in 1571.

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6 Responses to Our Lady of Guadalupe: Miracles, Facts and Fancy

Why Is Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral In Al Qaeda's Crosshairs?

Sunday, October 3, AD 2010

The target of the Notre Dame Cathedral seemed a bit out of place. Every other Al Qaeda target listed by the captured Ahmed Sadiqui was secular in origin, be the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Brandenburg Gate and Alexander Platz TV tower in Berlin, or the United Kingdom movements of the British Royal family. Why Notre Dame (which means Our Lady in French i.e. the Blessed Virgin Mary) and why not any other churches like St Paul’s in London or St Peter’s or St Michael’s in Munich make the list which has caused world governments to issue terror warnings and travel updates? To understand this question one has to understand the mindset of Al Qaeda. To the tried and true jihadist, Western Europe was almost under their control until two critical events occurred; the Battle of Lepanto in 1571 and the Siege of Vienna in 1683, when Our Lady intervened and stopped the Islamic armies in their tracks.

Now some would falsely point out that the Crusades of the 11th and 12th centuries were western victories and thus Islamic sore points, this is far from the truth. The Crusades actually were seen as a great victory in the Islamic World. Though we are now told by those in the mainstream media that the Crusades were a heinous act, they were in fact a small defensive action taken by the west to defend themselves against the Islamic armies who had been invading historical Christian lands for centuries. Long before they were Islamic lands, the Middle East and North Africa were filled with vibrant Christian centers and revelatory figures like Saint Augustine.  The very argument that Christianity was not appealing to the masses was left empty by the need of the Islamic armies to have a military conquest. Now my colleague Joe Hargrave has written a great piece on the Crusades which I highly encourage you to read. It is not my intention to go into any further detail about the Crusades for this article. I would again refer to the above link for Joe’s article or a similar article I wrote entitled; A Review of Al Qaeda’s Little Reported On War Against The Catholic Church.

Getting back to the 1571 Naval Battle of Lepanto and the land battle outside the Gates of Vienna in 1683; they were the turning point for Islamic military conquest and military failure. Islamic armies would never again threaten the heart of Europe. The hoped for world Caliphate did not come to fruition. To the militant jihadist it must have seemed as if defeat was snatched out of the jaws of victory. For the faithful Christian, especially the faithful Catholic the Islamic defeats were miraculous seen as the Hand of God working through His Son Jesus Christ and specifically His mother Mary.

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72 Responses to Why Is Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral In Al Qaeda's Crosshairs?

  • The news is saying Ramstein AB personnel are being advised to beware and not wear uniforms downtown.

    In addition to Our Blessed Mother’s aid in Lepanto and Vienna, the French intelligence service has been strong in counter-terror efforts.

    No US Catholic targets?

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  • “The defeat for the Turks at Vienna came about because of a last minute appearance on September 11 and 12, 1683, by the Polish cavalry under the leadership of Jan Sobiesksi. He had his men pray the Rosary before their lightning appearance.”

    The Polish winged-hussars were certainly an important part of the victory, but some credit has to be given to the Austrian infantry in the relief army, who fought their way into the Ottoman camp.

    “As for the battle, military tacticians still can’t figure out how the superior Ottoman Turkish Navy was defeated.”

    Prayer and superior firepower. The Holy League had more, and far more powerful, cannon than the Turks. The six sailing ships at the front of the Catholic formation that had been converted into firing platforms caused substantial damage to the Ottoman line.

    Niccolo Capponi has a great book on Lepanto, called Triumph of the West, that came out a couple of years ago.

  • Anyone interested should also read Yelena Chudinova’s novel “Mosque of Notre Dame 2048”. The English language version is not yet published but the Russian original is readily available.

  • Thank you for this post. I have a book on the battle of Lepanto that I have not yet read that I will now surely check out.

  • I re-read Chesterton’s fine poem LEPANTO every year at this time.

  • Last I heard the Cathedral of Notre Dame is owned by the French government, and that the politicos graciously let Catholics borrow state property under certain conditions alla revolucion.

  • This summer I traveled with Bob and Penny Lord as we traced the life of Saint Peter Julian Eymard and in Toulouse France on the hill over looking the river is a Shrine to our Lady where he visited often.
    Inside this shrine is the most magnificent mosaic of the Battle of Lepanto that exists. We plan to incorporate this mosaic in the program because of its importance to what happened then to keep it from recurring. Our Lady pray for us.

  • I would go back further to 732 and Charles Martellus “The Hammer”. Radical Islam simply can’t get past this one. If one believes the prophecies of hundreds of Catholic Saints (Catholic Prophecy by Yves DuPont), another French hammer is on the way. Deo Gratias

  • The Battle of Tours was on October 10th, 732 btw.

  • We need more people like you. Great post.

  • Every Catholic School in the world ought to have the pictures of Don Juan, King Jan Sobieski and Charles “The Hammer” Martel on the walls of every classroom (In a less prominent position than that of the Crucific, picture or Our Lady and the portrait of the Divine Mercy)

  • “Every Catholic School in the world ought to have the pictures of Don Juan, King Jan Sobieski…. on the walls of every classroom.”

    Check this out — I hope this link works for you:

    If this link doesn’t work, google “Rome of the West,” a blog by St. Louis resident Mark Scott Abeln, and click on his link to pictures of “Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Springfield, Illinois”.

    This is a stained glass window depicting Jan Sobieski kneeling on the battlefield to thank God for his victory over the Turks at Vienna. The windows here all show great moments in Catholic history both in Europe and in the United States, up to the 1920s when the cathedral was built.

  • Notre Dame is in the crosshairs as a chastisement because the French are the most wicked, promiscuous and blasphemous of the “Catholics”.

  • Aside from Mickey, great comments everyone. We certainly shouldn’t forget Charles Martel. Where would we be without him? I hope to get a chance to write about him, as well as the heroic martyrs of the Middle East, North Africa and southern Europe. Mickey, you might want to be a little more charitable with your posts for it sounds as if you are posting from some cave in Pakistan.

    Everyone let’s keep the comments coming and perhaps even throw out some names of famous Catholics who fought the good fight and perhaps were even martyred. Sadly, even among practicing Catholics, I am sure many of the saints and heroic figures mentioned in the article or in your comments, are not known.

  • good article but we forgot what happened at the battle of Covadunga Spain thats why the battle of Lampato happened. at Covadunga Spain angels were seen to fight on the side of Catholics on the verge of being annihilated.

  • in response to who owns Our Lady of Notre Dame guess who owns the tomb of St. Teresa of Avila and St John of the Cross the European union.guess who owns the Sistine chapel the japan government.

  • Interesting article on the Blessed Virgin, however one must also note that Catholics and Christians are not at present at war with Islam, in fact the Vatican and many Islamic centers want to keep the peace – therefore I wouldn’t use history as to re-ignite the wars of religion – as many christian sects would love to see – however for your perusal I have cataloged most Marian intercessions in times of war – Vienna and Lepanto are only 2 out of at least 90 intercessions during well known battles, for this please see the following – the major war today is in the hearts and minds of men and women, the soul is the battle ground –
    click here
    .

  • Our firm decision is to work from this focused center: One man died for everyone. That puts everyone in the same boat. He included everyone in his death so that everyone could also be included in his life, a resurrection life, a far better life than people ever lived on their own.

    Because of this decision we don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. We certainly don’t look at him that way anymore. Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you.

    How? you ask. In Christ. God put the wrong on him who never did anything wrong, so we could be put right with God (2 Corinthians 5:14-21)

  • Another blow to Turkish pride was their defeat in Malta in 1565. Sicily and the Italian peninsula would have succumbed. Though it must be added that the Knights of Rhodes recently settled in Malta had done their utmost to provoke the Turks.

  • “French are the most wicked, promiscuous and blasphemous of the “Catholics”.

    Mickey, why such a heinous and false comment about French people? I feel peculiarly offended.
    Do you want I list all the sins that deserves an equal chastisement to America and England?
    Yes France will be chastised and America and all the west countries will be chastised too, due to their current apostasy.
    France was the most catholic country for centuries and was at the tip of the fight against Islam and heretics. She provided the greatest saints in the Chuch’s history.
    Without the French priests, monks, nuns and laymen who went in America long ago before the Brits, how many would be the Catholics here?

  • Jacques, thank you for reminding us about the great French saints. In my next article, I may write about them as well as Charles Martel. As for Mickey, I doubt he is English, American or Christian. Maybe he is posting from some cave in Pakistan.

    Mario, thank you for reminding us about the faithful in Malta who have been a beacon of hope and courage to the Christian world for centuries.

  • I don’t remember seeing this in the article, but Oct 7 is also the anniversary of US and allied forces taking care of things in Afganistan. I took great comfort that day, knowing the feast day and its history.

  • The claim the Catholic fleet was superior in firepower and size is secular lies and totally untrue. In fact Protestant countries, including Britain, either actively or tacitly supported the Islamic attempt to wipe out Catholicism. For this sin Queen Elizabeth I will be punished in hellfire as only Catholicism is the true Faith.
    I have no doubt Our Lady would truly have been weeping when England, her ‘Dowry’, sided with the enemies of the true Faith and the true Faith is Catholicism.

  • Bravo Jacques for speaking out for the Holy Kingdom of France. I study the History of Catholic France (is there any other history in France?) and this history is simply amazing. France is truly the Land of the Blessed Virgin, the Eldest Daughter of the Church and if we are to believe hundreds of Catholic Saints (and why wouldn’t we?), France will someday soon rule the ENTIRE world.

    France was given such rich gifts by God starting with the Faith which her missionaries then took around the world. France was blessed with the most incredible gifts of culture, natural resources, and people. However, the evils of rationalism, socialism, communism, and freemasonry flourished first in France and then spread around the globe like an virus. France also killed their divinely appointed King. Thankfully, by the grace of God, Luis XVII was NOT killed and the monarchy will return.

    For these crimes will France pay dearly and her people will turn back to the faith after this chastisement. France is the eldest daughter of the Church and she is supposed to set the example. There are some dark days ahead for France but peace will be restored with the lily returns to the throne.
    An excellent dvd about the Catholic history of France is “The Heart of the Lily” and “Where the World Begins”. It runs on EWTN every so often.

  • Brian Gregory, I am glad you reiterated my point that the Ottoman Turks had far superior naval firepower at Lepanto. It was Divine Providence accompanied by the courage of the Catholic Fleet that led to the Ottoman Turks defeat. I don’t see how anyone can get around this fact.

  • Seeing the images of King Jan Sobieski during a Google search, I couldn’t help but notice a similarity in looks with Lech Walesa when he was younger and had darker hair. As we all know, Walesa had a lot to do with the toppling of communism, apparently like Sobieski did with the Muslim marauders.

  • When I was in grade school ( Immaculate Heart of Mary ) I was the first to crown the new statue of the Blessed Mother. This reading has brought me back to her. Thank you.

    John Claypool

  • I’m sorry Pax Christi of Bakersfield but Lech Walesa had nothing whatsoever to do with the collapse of Communism. The secular press often associate the collapse of Soviet Communism with the American president of that time (Ronald Reagan),the British primeminister of the time (Mr. Thatcher)and Mr. Gorbachev.However,Mr. Reagan, Mrs. Thatcher and Mr. Gorbachev all acknowledge the role of the Holy Father in the collapse of Soviet Communism – neither they nor the Holy Father say ‘SOLIDARITY’ brought down Communism. It is claimed in the secular media which is athiestic the Holy Father helped fund ‘SOLIDARITY’, however, ‘SOLIDARITY’s’ uprising was put down in 1981.Soviet Communism did not fall until the Holy Father consecrated the world and especially Russia to her Immaculate Heart on 25 March 1984 (‘The Feast of the Annunciation’ or ‘Lady Day’). Mr. Gorbachev did not come to power until after then unless I am mistaken but that is irrelevant. The Soviet coup took place in August 1991,during the octave of the Assumption,but ended peacefully on the vigil of the Queenship of Mary (August 22nd).Those who use the ‘Extraordinary Form’ of the Mass will know August 22nd in the traditional calendar is the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the vigil of which is on 21 August. Mr. Gorbachev about the USSR officially on 25 December 1991. Our Blessed Mother told the shepherd children at Fatima in 1917 the Bolshevik (Communist) uprising would take place one year before it did (in 1918). She also promised if Russia was consecrated to her Immaculate Heart there would be peace. Russia was and there has been peace between Russia and the west, however,to save many souls Our Blessed Mother asked for the Five First Saturdays’ Devotion.

    Referring to England – England was called ‘Mary’s Dowry’ or ‘Our Lady’s Dowry’ because there was a large shrine to Our Lady at Walsingham in Norfolk with a replica of the Holy House. This vision was seen by Lady Richeldes de Faverches in AD1061. The shrine was destroyed by Henry VIII,however, three shrines were built there in the early 1900s.
    An Anglican shrine http://www.walsinghamanglican.org.uk/,for history see http://www.walsinghamanglican.org.uk/the_shrine/the_story_so_far.htm;an Orthodox shrine which is contained in the Anglican shrine http://www.westernorthodox.com/walsingham and the Catholic shrine http://www.walsingham.org.uk/romancatholic/ see history http://www.walsingham.org.uk/romancatholic/history.html
    In fact many events and services are truly oecumenical with members of other Christian denominations taking part as well.

    There is also the Shrine of Our Lady of the Taper in Wales http://www.ourladyofthetaper.org.uk/

  • My other comment are taken from my blog on MYSPACE.

    ‘NOTIFICATION: ‘CHRISTIAN CONCERN FOR THE BENEFIT OF CHURCH AND NATION’ has launched it’s campaign ‘NOT ASHAMED’ http://www.notashamed.org.uk/ calling on all Christians to wear the symbol of our Faith – the Cross or the ‘NOT ASHAMED’ emblem especially on national ‘NOT ASHAMED DAY’ which is on Wednesday 1st December 2010

    I hope all believers, throughout the world, irrespective of their denomination, rich or poor, famous or unknown will visit their website, offer their support and wear the Sign of our Faith and if possible the ‘NOT ASHAMED’ emblem on ‘NOT ASHAMED DAY’ – Wednesday 1st December 2010.’

    Please consider doing this and letting everyone know about this UK event which I hope will go global.

    My other ‘MYSPACE’ blog I would like to draw your attention to is:
    ‘MAKING OUR FAITH MORE VISIBLE: I hope all believers will consider making their faith more visible by making the Sign of the Cross, saying ‘”God bless you”‘ and if possible wearing a cross or crucifix. Please read the Archbishop of Westminster’s 24/09/2010 ‘PASTORAL LETTER’ http://www.rcdow.org.uk/diocese/default.asp?content_ref=3031

    Thank you

  • I cannot compare better the Lepanto victory but to that of Midway: The balance of strength was strongly in favour of the Japs and truly it was a MIRACLE that the Navy’s aircrafts could drop their bombs and their torpedoes onto the japanese carriers at the very moment when the japanese hunters couldn’t take off for momentary technical reasons (they were all being replaced their bombs for torpedoes) to protect their carriers.

  • Mario, the defeat of the Turks against Malta in 1565 was also a miracle since the Turkish troops were half a million vs 30000 Malta’s knights and soldiers.
    But they were much helped by a bubonic plague outburst that occured among the turks.
    This makes me remind of the capture of Malta by the french troops of Napoleon 2 centuries later in a couple of weeks. Then the knights of Malta were only the shadows of themselves.

  • “The claim the Catholic fleet was superior in firepower and size is secular lies and totally untrue.”

    I never said the Catholic fleet was larger. The Turks had more ships. But the Holy League had much greater firepower. Capponi does an extensive analysis of the armament on the different types of ships present. The Catholic fleet was more technologically advanced, which people probably find hard to believe because of the disinformation they have been fed on the Church and science.

    “Brian Gregory, I am glad you reiterated my point that the Ottoman Turks had far superior naval firepower at Lepanto. It was Divine Providence accompanied by the courage of the Catholic Fleet that led to the Ottoman Turks defeat. I don’t see how anyone can get around this fact.’

    Because it’s not a fact. The use of the six Galleasses at the front of the Catholic formation and the devastating firepower they produced had a tremendous impact on the course of the battle. That was part of the plan put together by the Catholic leaders. Give the men who plannned and fought the battle some credit.

  • “Give the men who planned and fought the battle some credit.”

    I haven’t really heavily studied Lepanto or any of the other great Christendom vs. Muslim battles, but even if the Catholic fleet at Lepanto was not quite as outnumbered or outgunned as we have been told — does that really make its victory any less an answer to prayer? The same way that a healing accomplished through ordinary medicine may not be a bona fide miracle but is still just as much an answer to prayer as if it were.

  • “but even if the Catholic fleet at Lepanto was not quite as outnumbered or outgunned as we have been told — does that really make its victory any less an answer to prayer?”

    Don’t get me wrong. The Turks had more galleys, had veteran crews, and were led by very experienced commanders. It was a hard fought battle and certainly could have resulted in a disasterous defeat for the Catholic fleet.

    There are plenty of instances where prayer could be regarded as the difference in the multitude of events that made up the battle.

    Beyond the battle itself, it is almost a miracle that Pius V had been able to weld together the bickering factions that made up the Holy League to create a fleet that was able to defeat the virtually invincible Ottoman fleet.

  • On the contrary Brian English it is a fact. I don’t care what Capponi says.
    Victor Davis Hanson tells us Capponi announces at the outset of his book: ‘I also admit to having something of a soft spot for the Turks as a fighter,my great-great-grandfather,a Crimean War veteran, describing them as the best soldiers in the world.’ http://www.victorhanson.com/articles/hanson071207.html

    Hanson,quoting Capponi,writes: ‘How did the Christians win the battle? They were probably outnumbered, both in ships and men. Lepanto was fought in Turkish-controlled waters near the Ottoman winter port at the mouth of the Gulf of Corinth opposite Patras, the present-day Naupaktos. The Venetians had lost Cyprus and were demoralized from increasingly bold attacks on the coast of Italy.’
    http://www.victorhanson.com/articles/hanson071207.html

    First of all there is no ‘probably’ about it – we were outnumbered. Just by using the word ‘probably’ shows Capponi is attempting to ‘revise’ history. Will he dare say next the Turks were outnumbered?

    Yes,Capponi does mention the use of the six galleasses,however,I reject his claim and that of pseudo-science the galleasses would have been as successful even if God,through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin,had not willed it to be so.If the galleasses,were successful,it was because Our divine Redeemer willed it that way in response to the prayers of Our Blessed Lady because of the Masses, Rosaries and prayers offered for our victory.

    At least Capponi admits we ‘were outnumbered,both in ships and men’ and that ‘Lepanto was fought in Turkish-controlled waters near the Ottoman winter port at the mouth of the Gulf of Corinth opposite Patras, the present-day Naupaktos.’He also tells us ‘the Venetians had lost Cyprus and were demoralized from increasingly bold attacks on the coast of Italy.’http://www.victorhanson.com/articles/hanson071207.html

    Hanson,again referring to Capponi’s book,tells us ‘The Christian League ….. was never really much more than the galley fleets of Spain, the Papal States, and Venice. England and France kept clear. Both had long ago cut their own deals with the Ottomans. Indeed, during the winter of 1542 the French had even allowed the Ottoman corsair Barbarossa the use of their harbor at Toulon to refit, as he conducted raids along the Italian coast.’http://www.victorhanson.com/articles /hanson071207.html

    Brian English and perhaps Niccolò Capponi seem to imply we could have won at the Battle of Lepanto without the aid of Our Lord and Our Lady – because of superior firepower. Interesting point. Why then were the Soviet Russians defeated by the Taliban in Afghanistan? Why on the three (or four occasions) in the past when Britain has been in Afghanistan have we been defeated? Why is it the west,in spite of it’s superior firepower and inspite of the secular media which claims to the contrary,did we lose in Iraq and are losing in Afghanistan?:
    (i) The Soviet Russians being athiest denied God.
    (ii)Britain had rejected the true Faith, the Catholic Faith,at the Protestant Rebellion (or Revolution).
    (iii)The western allies consisted of nations which had either become athiestic or rejected the true Faith (the Catholic Faith).
    The only way to win a war against terrorism is to ask the protection and help of Our Lord and Our Lady.

    9/11/2001 does have one thing in common with the Battle of Vienna – the date. The Battle of Vienna ran from 9/11/1683-9/12/1683.

  • “On the contrary Brian English it is a fact. I don’t care what Capponi says.”

    No, it’s not.

    “Brian English and perhaps Niccolò Capponi seem to imply we could have won at the Battle of Lepanto without the aid of Our Lord and Our Lady – because of superior firepower.”

    See my response to Elaine.

    “Why is it the west,in spite of it’s superior firepower and inspite of the secular media which claims to the contrary,did we lose in Iraq and are losing in Afghanistan?:”

    Wrong again.

    “(i) The Soviet Russians being athiest denied God.
    (ii)Britain had rejected the true Faith, the Catholic Faith,at the Protestant Rebellion (or Revolution).
    (iii)The western allies consisted of nations which had either become athiestic or rejected the true Faith (the Catholic Faith).”

    Last time I checked, the Taliban didn’t follow the True Faith either.

  • Brian Gregory you have a warped view of history and of reality.

    The Soviets and British were defeated by a race of people who lived and breathed war. As soon as there hands could support weight they were holding AK-47’s. That coupled with Afghanistans extremely inhospitible geography gives you a war that cannot be won. Alexander the Great and Geghis Khan, two of historys greatest conquerers were unable to defeat the Afghans, how do you expect us to?

    And to suggest that human beings werent capable of defeating the Turks at Lepanto as well as Vienna is frankly insulting to our species. To suggest that winning battles is “all in the hands of god” is bringing us back to a very medieval viewpoint which is honestly dangerous. You want to live in an age of faith? Go check out Naples in 1342 where they would burn you alive for questioning the Pope. Or if you want a modern example, check out Saudi Arabia and see how great religion is at running that country.

    By the way, your idea that Catholiscm is the “one true faith” only causes more conflict and is pretty much the reason why thousands of people died in the 1600’s. Accept peoples differences and move on or else your going to have serious problems in the future.

  • Steve what is the point of your post? Is it to advance ego, pride or the atheist cause? What is this nonsense about Naples and the pope in 1342? The Catholic faith was started by Jesus, who was both human and divine, quite unlike the beliefs systems started by the likes of Voltaire, Marx, Stalin or Mao. Whatever your likes or dislikes are concerning Christianity, during the first 300 years the Faith grew by love and compassion, all the while the faithful were being vicioulsy killed for the kindness they exhibited. There never was a peaceful era under the likes of Voltaire, Marx, Stalin or Mao.

    We have too many examples of the pride of man thinking he could do better than God. What a disaster; from the bloody French Revolution to the Soviet death camps, to Hitler’s death camps to Mao’s Culutal revolution to Pol Pot. They all thought they knew better than God and didn’t need God. Look at where it got them. There are over 100 million dead because of it. Keep that in mind, as the people who you mock on this site pray for you.

  • In 1342 (Rennaisance period) in Naples, which was aligned with the Papacy, you could be burned alive for heresy, which would be disagreeing with the Pope.

    Yes but the teachings of Jesus are just as unreasonable as those of Mao and Stalin. In fact if you look at Christianity’s fundamental teachings, there purely Communist! Lets make everyone equal and lets share everything. Draw your own conclusions.

    I love how Christians love to point out all the things “atheists” have done, but never what they have done. And I love how Christians always point out how great there matyrs were, dying at the hands of those evil romans. Then again, Christians have been killing atheists since they have been in control. In fact, once we see Christians begin to lose power we see them become more “moderate”. If they had any power they would be exactly like the Taliban or the Saudis.

  • In fact I’d like to point out I’m not an atheist, I believe in god just I feel what he and his chruch has to say is a bunch of crap

  • Steve: you bring up 1342 – the atheists in China and the USSR were murdering tens of millions in the 20th century, not 700 years ago! You blithely ignore that the Christian wars of religion ended hundreds of years ago, while the Communist atheists got “warmed up” during the French Revolution – killing many thousands in the Vendee – and really came into their own in the century just past, slaughtering 100 million. The Inquisition was child’s play compared to the gruesome evil committed by those who believe they will not have a God to answer to.

    Your equivalence of Saudi Muslims and Christians makes me believe you are woefully ignorant of the basic tenets of both religions. You are, in fact, a prime example of the suicidal tendencies that have infected the West. No other culture on earth tears down its founding religion and the building blocks of its culture the way Western atheists attack the foundation of their society. Atheistic society will not survive. In Europe, secularism is giving way to Islamic fundamentalism. If you are European, your children and grandchildren might very well find themselves longing for the good old days of “Christianists.” I promise you, Islam will not be as gentle with you as modern-day Christians are.

  • PS. A clarification to my post above: the murderous atheist ideologues of the French Revolution were not “Communists.” The French Revolution was, however, the birthplace of the modern Left and the Great Terror has been copied many times by those who wish to place “Man” at the center of the Universe, while not hestitating to slaughter all those humans who stand in the way of “Progress.”

    That includes Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, many of whom studied in Paris in the 1950’s and learned the lessons of the French Revolution well. Ah, yes, Steve, you atheists have really done well in the world. I’m sure that eventually you’ll get it right – maybe after your crew kills 100 more people or so.

    What does it matter to you anyway? After all, humans are only glorified animals in your book. It’s not like they have souls, or are endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights. Nope, according to an atheist, we’re no better than any other animals (just ask PETA). Why not kill the humans you deem troublesome? There can no higher morality in your book… no good reason NOT to murder people….

  • In fact I’d like to point out I’m not an atheist, I believe in god just I feel what he and his chruch has to say is a bunch of crap

    Goody for you, Steve-o! And you feel free to say it because you know darn well nobody is going to blow you up or issue a fatwa on you for insulting Catholics.

    My, my, what a brave fellow you are!

  • Donna V, excellent posts. It seems to me that Steve represents this sort of new (but very old) way of thinking that yes there is a God, but He’s not doing it my, so he’s wrong. Talk about hubris, pride and narcissism. Yet, isn’t this the same line of thinking we saw displayed in Lucifer when he said, “I will not serve!”

  • Ah but were they killing in the name of atheism? Did Stalin say “lets go kill all the christians because there christians?” No, he just killed people for his political goals, to turn Russia into a modern country and to unify it under the Soviet banner. In fact, Stalin promoted the Orthodox church as a source of Russian nationalism.

    You dont understand the context of the French Revolution, where the church literally had oppressed people for hundreds of years. Why wouldnt they slaughter all the priests then? If a priest had taxed your family to starvation, taken your house, then said you were going to hell, wouldnt you want to kill him too?

    The Saudi government is pretty much the way much of Europe was run until the 1700’s. The Church had all the power and didnt allow anyone to think or learn or anything. In fact once society starts to become secular (starting with the Rennaisance) the society begins to progress. Religion holds people back from realizing there full potiential.

    You dont understand that Christianity and communism are one in the same! Jesus taught communism and the early Christians practiced it. Our country wasnt founded on Christianity. The founding fathers detested it, I think Jefferson called it the “most digusting institution on earth”. Ben Franklin was in fact a Satanist. Look at our Constitution and then look at the Satanic bible and you’ll see some striking similaritys.

    I dont think people are glorified animals, in fact the opposite. I believe mankind is the greatest of things to ever come to this planet, it is Christian theology that makes people seem worthless and unimportant. We needed to be “rescued” and “saved” because we are scum and filthy and sinful. Everything we do is wrong. Humanity is fantastic, but Christianity by nature is pessimistic about it.

    Of course Catholics arent going to issue a fatwa (or Crusade in Christian terms) on me, but if they had any sort of real power they sure would. All religions are the same in the sense that there all intolerant once they are in charge.

    And what is your obsession with killing people? Just because I am non-religious doesnt mean I want to kill people. Perhaps you have some feelings toward ending anothers life, but are halted by the news they will go to hell after they die. Religion is a crutch for people who are fundamentally miserable and need something to make them feel good about themselves because they havent done anything of any importance.

  • The French Revolution Dave was planned and begun by the illuminized Masonic order in France and this is a fact.
    http://www.freemasonrywatch.org/frenchrevolution.html

  • A website that trafficks in conspiracy theories is not a fact site Brian

  • So ‘The New Encyclopedia Britannica’ does not deal in facts but you do and the Masons themselves are lying when they actually acknowledge they were behind it?:

    ”The New Encyclopedia Britannica’ tells us that in France there arose a political system and a philosophical outlook that no longer took Christianity for granted, that in fact explicitly opposed it… The brotherhood taught by such groups as the Freemasons, members of secret fraternal societies, and the Illuminati, a rationalist secret society, provided a rival to the Catholic sense of community.”‘

    The same website tells us: ‘Secret society researcher and author Nesta H. Webster was even more pointed, writing in 1924, “The Masonic book ‘A Ritual and Illustrations of Freemasonry’ contains the following passage, ‘The Masons… originated the Revolution with the infamous Duke of Orleans at their head.'”

    Still Steve you know best don’t you?

  • “Ah but were they killing in the name of atheism? Did Stalin say “lets go kill all the christians because there christians?” No, he just killed people for his political goals, to turn Russia into a modern country and to unify it under the Soviet banner. In fact, Stalin promoted the Orthodox church as a source of Russian nationalism.

    You dont understand the context of the French Revolution, where the church literally had oppressed people for hundreds of years. Why wouldnt they slaughter all the priests then? If a priest had taxed your family to starvation, taken your house, then said you were going to hell, wouldnt you want to kill him too?”

    In regard to Stalin, he waged a war of extermination against the Orthodox Church explicitly because they were Christian. The war entered a period of remission during World War II when Stalin needed the support of Christians for the war effort. Agressive and murderous atheism was always a hallmark of the Bolshevik movement.

    As for the Church under the Old Regime in France, it had almost no secular power, and was noted for its good works in helping the poor. The war waged on the Church by the French revolutionary regime was massively unpopular in France which was the main reason that Napoleon as First Consul engineered a concordat with Pope Pius VII in 1801.

  • The Church had all the power and didnt allow anyone to think or learn or anything.

    Statements like that indicate that ignorance is alive and well and that the Church cannot be held culpable for it.

  • Steve asks: “What is your obsession with killing people?”

    Now that’s rich. Steve pops in here, accuses the Church of murder and then, when it is pointed out that secular regimes have murdered far more people, turns around and accuses us of having an “obsession with killing people. It’s always funny to me that people who attack religion for its’ “irrationality” are seldom models of reason and logic themselves.

    Steve, who thinks the Church “didnt allow anyone to think or learn or anything” apparently never learned that the modern university system was founded by the Church, as were hospitals. Do you think the Sorbonne or Oxford and Cambridge started out as secular institutions? Have you ever wondered why the vast majority of hospitals in this country have (or once had) some sort of religious affiliation? I realize that’s not the sort of thing that occurs to someone who apparently has learned his history from Bill Maher and Jon Stewart, but you really should try broadening your reading a little (if you read). You might find that Church history is a bit more complex than the simplistic cartoon you have your head.

    Finally, ah ha, the old “religion is a crutch” accusation. Gee, we’ve never heard that one before! Clearly, you’re not miserable and you do many things of great importance – like seeking out Catholic blogs so you can berate believers. My, what a highly significant existence you lead, Steve – unlike, say, a devout Catholic physician friend of mine who spends time working in Haiti as a medical missionary every year. No, attempting to destroy the faith of other people by is doing so much more for humanity, Steve.

  • Ha! Its obvious you Christians have misenterperted my statement. You continued to mention how it would be cool for me and my “crew” to kill people, as well as my apparent lack of morality which would lead me to kill people because they werent “worthy”. After all, all atheists are essentially bad people who would rape and murder if they had the chance.

    Yea thats great, but who were those unviersitys open to? Only the rich. Even earlier universities were used as priest training centers. They were by no means open to all, which you see only happening when secular authorities took over education. Religion is always exclusive.

    Haha more atheist cliches! Yea sure I dont have anything to be proud of, except I’m getting a Army commission in June and begin work in the Intelligence branch. I’m going to be making desicions that can potientially effect the foreign policy of our country. Yea sure I live an unfufilled life.

  • God help the Army if an ill educated bigot like you is actually receiving a commission. By the way, a second lieutenant doesn’t get within shouting distance of having any impact on this country’s foreign policy. Oh, and I hope you are covering your internet tracks well. Military Intelligence background checks tend to be very comprehensive.

    In regard to Universities in the Middle Ages, poor scholars regularly studied at them. Your knowledge of history is as rudimentary as your spelling.

    “After all, all atheists are essentially bad people who would rape and murder if they had the chance.”

    Not all atheists, but I wouldn’t lay any bets on you, considering your belief that it was fine that thousands of priest were murdered during the French Revolution.

    Piece of free advice: stop acting like a jackass and actually do some hard study of both history and theology.

  • Wow so I’m suddenly not qualified to lead soldiers because I dont agree with you? When have I ever said anything bigoted, I came here simply to inform Mr. Gregory that he was wrong on his warped history views.

    I think the real bigots in this community are YOU. Ever since I got here I’ve been talked to like a child, which I am not at all surprised because from exprience most Christians treat non-religious this way.

    And I never condoned the French priest killings, I merely stated I understood why the French would do that.
    Keep letting religion to rule your life, see how much you enjoy it with a god who wont even let you use your free will

  • Steve, why don’t you go back to HuffPo or Daily Kos or I Think Church Sux. com or some other site where nobody will argue with or challenge your goofy and semi-literate assertions. You’ve been talked to like a child here because you write and think like one – a nasty, bigoted one. You sound like a 14 year old who knows nothing and thinks he knows everything.

    As Donald noted, Army standards really are going down the tubes. I thought a basic knowledge of the English language was required of our military officers. You do know that many, many servicemen and women are believers, don’t you? I feel very bad for any enlisted Christian men and women who end up under the command of a such a narrow-minded bigot.

    “Keep letting religion to rule your life, see how much you enjoy it with a god who wont even let you use your free will”

    You have us confused with Calvinists. Do you know what Calvinism is? Do you know how it differs from Catholicism? No, you are ignorant of just how ignorant you are, which is why your attempts to “instruct” us are so risible.

    Good night to you.

  • “I think the real bigots in this community are YOU. Ever since I got here I’ve been talked to like a child,”

    You are a child Steve K. You are a high school student apparently at a Catholic high school. Unfortunately the money that your parents spent to send you to parochial school has been wasted, and you have developed a hatred for the Church. Oh well, you are young and have a lot of life ahead of you. Study hard, work hard and see a bit of the world after you enlist in the Army and check back here in a few years. I’ll be interested to see what you have learned. Good luck to you.

  • Donald, if Steve K. really is a high school kid, I have been a bit too harsh on him. I said similarly silly things when I was 18 (I cringe when I recall coming out of the movie theater after seeing “Reds” and saying “I think I’m a Communist.” That was, as I’m sure you can guess, before I actually knew something about Communists.)

    Your advice is sound. I hope Steve follows it.

  • I remember some of the things I said and did in High School and College Donna and I cringe even three decades later.

  • My last name starts with a C, what are you talking about? I did indeed go to Catholic school and that is indeed where I lost my faith but I have no idea where you got the idea that I’m still in high school.

    I think its disturbing that Mr. McClarey actually went looking for me online, but if you actually think my real name is Steve you are sadly mistaken.

    I am now leaving this discussion. Goodbye Christians, get off the train before it crashes into the mountains.

  • I do wish Dr Charles Krauthammer could take a look at “Steve’s” posts. If “Steve” had went to a liberal Catholic high school, he could have been turned off by their ideoloy and thought Catholicism as being silly. However, “Steve” seems quite certain of God’s existence, but questions God’s ways. I wonder if Steve went to a pretty orthodox minded Catholic school and either realizes a flaw in his own character and doesn’t want to change it, or was of another faith tradition (outside Christinaity) and refuses to acknowledge the truth of what he was taught.

    Whatever the case, I will pray for Steve and if you are reading this Steve know that we all have flaws. God points them out to us so we can become better human beings. Please keep this in mind and know that people are praying for you that haven’t the slightest clue of how you look, where you live and what you think of them. They pray for you because an interior calling brought up by their faith beckons them to pray for people they have never met, but whom they care about nonetheless. They do so because for centuries the saints and simple believers asked God to help those they never met as well following the teachings and practices of Jesus and His Apostles, along with those who initially persecuted the faith, but came into the light like St Paul.

  • Steve, you didn’t “lose” your Catholic faith at a Catholic School, you never had any faith, perhaps our Lord will give you some soon. But in the meantime please write nothing further. Your inane arguments about communism are quite dull. Just skimming your first two posts I can see you’re one of those who literally believe “religion has killed more people than all war in history.” This liberal balderdash you heard somewhere along the way during your liberal education and now you come here to talk about the truth as if you know. But the reality for all to see here is that you don’t know anything but the brainwashing bs taught in liberal schools.

    If you actually knew anything about the French revolution, for example, you’d understand that the average French person at the time of the revolution had a higher standard of living than any country in Europe and probably the world. But, like the good communist that you are (based on your writings), never let an opportunity pass to distort the facts and pedal lies.

  • “My last name starts with a C, what are you talking about? I did indeed go to Catholic school and that is indeed where I lost my faith but I have no idea where you got the idea that I’m still in high school”

    Steve, when you comment on this blog and we have your ip address and your e-mail address, it takes no great skill to learn quite a bit about people who contact us. I looked you up because of your statement about being commissioned in the army which I found hard to believe. If you are going to troll on blogs, truly a waste of time, you need to conceal your internet footprints with greater skill.

  • I suggest Steve you grow up. When the true and only Church God founded, the Catholic Church,was the Church in England before Henry VIII dared think he could make himself Pope by picking what he should and shouldn’t believe(just as you sound like you are doing)there were many chantry chapels set up in peoples’ wills to offer the Mass for their souls after death and the wealthier as part of their Mass bequests left an amount to help the poor and needy. Attached to these chantry chapels were schools to educate poor children. It was only after the 1600s, under Protestantism,that children were indoctrinated with anti-Catholic hate and teaching poor children was thrown out in favour of ‘the work house’. Perhaps you should read Charles Dickens’ novel ‘Oliver Twist’which shows how Protestant Churches really treated orphan children.
    In fact it was a Church of England clergyman in real life, the Revd. Thomas Malthus, who speaking of the poor and starving,who said ‘”the poor should die and decrease the surplus population.”‘However, this Anglican clergyman was Satan’s fool as there was not a surplus population and there never will be.
    In his short story ‘A Christmas Carol’ Dickens has Scrooge say this at the beginning – only later is it revealed to him by the Ghost of Christmas Present, quoting Scrooge back at him,that it was not for him to decide who should live or die (an arrogance of the wealthy).

    Thanks Dave,however,as I will show later while Communism is athiestic Karl Marx,it’s principal founder,as Marxism is just another word for Communism was not an athiest but a Satanist intent on bringing the world to ruin,not bettering it,who knowing he would not go to Heaven because he had chosen to side with Satan so would end up in the Abyss (Hell) which is where he wanted all mankind to go. This is in his own writings. I’ll put a link to some of them later to prove it as I never make statements unless I can back what I can say.

    As for you Steve,if you are at a school labelling itself ‘Catholic’,I wonder if your parents know the anti-Catholic,unhistorical,pro-Communist,pro-Protestant drivel you’re being taught because whoever is teaching it shouldn’t even be in a ‘public’ school (state school)teaching.

  • So,Steve, which is it? Are you at school or in the military? And if you are not a practising Catholic what are you? Lapsed Catholic,a convert to another Christian denomination or another religion!!!! Or are you an agnostic or athiest?

    I believe we have the right to know.

  • I have little doubt that Steve lost his faith at a Catholic high school. Our local Catholic high school works hard at doing this. That way, when they get to Catholic colleges, they are primed for becoming Communists.

  • I’m facebook friends with a few old high school classmates (a Jesuit school) that are defiantly atheist. Looking back on my high school education, this is not surprising.

  • A couple of points to consider: Who knows what if any truth came out of Steve’s keyboard. I have no idea if he is in high school (public or private) is in the military, or wants to be in the military. However since he says he believes God exists and still hates His ways, then we know one thing for surel Jesus said the evil one was the master of all lies.

    Another point as far as Catholic schools goes, I have worked in them and worked as an administrator in a diocesan office. There are some bad ones, but we shouldn’t discount the fact that there are some good ones. I can tell you in some of the schools I have been at recently, the religious instruction and religious curriculum is far superior than when I was a student in the 80s. Order run schools probably have the bigesst disparity. Sadly as Paul pointed out there are far too many Jesuit schools that are known for their high academic standards (which is all the parents care about) and goofy “Zen” oriented religious classes.

    A rather new phenomena to Catholic education are the students who are far more orthodox than their parents. They are serious about their faith and eagerly go to Sunday Mass (and sometimes Daily Mass at school) while their parents nurse a hangover. A recent study showed that those under 25 who go to Mass are more orthodox in their views (especially supporting the Church’s teachings on life) than their parents or grandparents.

    Yet, far too many Catholic youth don’t go to Mass because after having them baptized their parents never taught them thing one about Catholicism. I am increasingly meeting young people who say they were baptized Catholic but never went to Catholic school, CCD, and have only a vague memory of going to Mass for someone’s wedding or funeral. However, I think it should be pointed out that many of the new, more orthodox priests being ordained did go to Catholic school and want to correct the abuses that took place in the Church in the time of their parents generation.

  • I’m not in the military I’m training for the military, I get my commission in June.

    I’m a maltheist. I believe that god is a cruel and unjust and is therefor unworthy of my worship. He is a liar and a thief. I realize worshiping god only gives him more glory, glory which he does not deserve. It does not benefit me in any way to be with god or follow his base teachings.

    Thats my opinion

  • Steve this might be the most ridiculous post I have ever read. You aren’t smart enough to know the history of all the events you recite, and you are all of 18, 19, 20 21, maybe 22. In addition, you hide behind a false name and then you tell us that you are smarter than God and think that He’s doing it all wrong? Steve this is akin to a child who is barely able to mouth a few words telling a Nobel Prize Winner in Physics that he’s wrong. Please tell us that you are yanking our chain. You can’t be this ignorant.

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As The September 11 Anniversary Nears, A Review Of Al Qaeda's Little Reported-On War Against The Catholic Church

Tuesday, September 7, AD 2010

While most of the world mourns the nearly three thousand who were brutally murdered by Al Qaeda on September 11, 2001, many assume all of Al Qaeda attacks stem from a warped political motive. Most may not be aware that since the day of its inception many of Al Qaeda’s targets have involved the Catholic Church and her holy sites.

Less than one year before the September 11, 2001 attacks Al Qaeda was planning a spectacular Christmas attack at the large and historic Strasbourg Cathedral in France. While this attack was foiled, an attack on the Catholic cathedral in Jakarta, Indonesia was not thwarted, resulting in the deaths of several churchgoers and those on a nearby street.

Yet, five years before this brazen plan, an even more sinister plan was nearly carried out by the chief planner of the September 11, 2001 attacks, Khalid Sheik Muhammad, which he coordinated to coincide with the visit of Pope John Paul II to Manila for World Youth Day in January of 1995. The plan called for the pontiff to be killed along with countless of the faithful who was planning to see him in Manila that day. Incidentally, some speculate that the crowd that came to see the Polish pontiff that day was nearly the same size that came to see his funeral some ten years later. Some speculate it may have been the largest religious gathering at one place in our known history, some five to seven million strong.

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21 Responses to As The September 11 Anniversary Nears, A Review Of Al Qaeda's Little Reported-On War Against The Catholic Church

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  • Excellent article, Dave!!

    While I was aware of some of what you stated, your post gave me both further and great insight into Al Qaeda’s war against the Catholic Church. I will be passing this along. God Bless.

  • Good paper. Keep up your good work.
    We are, and have always been, in a “moral and
    religious” war. That war is between those that
    believe in (faith in) the God of the Bible that
    gave us individual UNalienable rights of life
    and liberty vrs. those that believe in arbitrary man made collective INalienable privilages.
    Read more on the link below. Begin with the
    article on the “paper” menu and then review the
    references.

    http://www.unalienableproject.com/

  • Thanks for putting this out for everyone to know.

  • I can’t thank you enough for this post. My husband and I will spend Saturday at a seminar on spiritual warfare by Fr. Corapi. You make the case for warfare very real. God Bless you in your work.

  • Thanks for this article. You are very brave to voice out facts that most Catholics could only whisper. God bless.

  • Sorry David, dig deeper in your research please..Al Quaeda was founded by, trained by, and still bankrolled by the CIA…The CIA is in cahoots with the Mossad and the English CIA…they are a tool of the conspirators that are out for total control of the world…at the highest levels they worship satan and are out for the total destruction of Christian Civilization..they may win but only for a short time…lets start telling the truth about world events…thanks…Rob Epperly/Author.Sons of Thunder.

  • Step one: turn off your TV
    Step two: meditate on the Gospel daily.
    Step three: stay out of debt…zero credit cards..
    Step four: simplify, live within your means..give away your possesions to the poor.
    Step five: (should be step one) reconciliation and holy communion.
    Step six: holy reading.
    STep seven: pray that all Christians unite against this juggernaut anti-christ we call illuminati. Unite all Christians against satan..

  • St. Michel the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil, may God rebuke him we humbly pray, and do thou o prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, throw into hell satan and all evil spirits that prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls, amen.

  • David, please submit this to Columbia magazine. I have shared it with my immediate fellow Knights of Columbus. Note: Operation Bojinka was hatched in Manila in 1996, the same year that the training camp at Salman Pak Iraq opened. reporter Jayna Davis recorded Terry Nichols wife saying how he had visited persons in Manila at that time.

  • “Sorry David, dig deeper in your research please..Al Quaeda was founded by, trained by, and still bankrolled by the CIA…The CIA is in cahoots with the Mossad and the English CIA…they are a tool of the conspirators that are out for total control of the world…at the highest levels they worship satan and are out for the total destruction of Christian Civilization..they may win but only for a short time…lets start telling the truth about world events…thanks…Rob Epperly/Author.Sons of Thunder.”

    Your tinfoil hat needs loosening Robert.

  • i might go with trained by and bankrolled by, but not founded by, the CIA isn’t 1600 years old….

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  • Thanks for the kind words everyone. As for those who spew nutty conspiracy theories; unless we suffer from mental illness, we will be held accountable for the crazy things we say.

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  • The Crusades were small defensive actions fought by amateurish Christian soldiers who truly felt they were answering the call of God. They were hardly in it for the gold and the girls that so many ridiculous movies and research articles have asserted.

    True. Eleventh-century Europeans making war “for the gold and the girls” accompanied William the Conquerer in 1066. He led his armies west, away from the Holy Land.

  • “Your tinfoil hat needs loosening Robert.”

    I’ll say. You know, I always wonder at these people who think the Mossad – an admittedly crack team working for a country the size of a potato chip – run the world. For one thing, the number of the Jews on the entire planet is something like 14 million. That doesn’t even amount to a Chinese statistical rounding error. The Mossad is a teensy tiny fraction of a teensy tiny fraction. When gentiles whisper about “the Jews” or “the Mossad” what they are actually saying is that a miniscule fraction of Jews are so incredibly smart they are able to control all the dumb gentiles in the world. It just shows how contemptuous characters like David are of the goys – he thinks we’re so stupid the brilliant Jews can easily dupe us.

    My boss is Jewish. She’s a nice lady but I wouldn’t call her an Einstein. Nor do I think all us goyim are as dense as David obviously thinks we are.

    David, if you think all Jews, or all Israelis, are so incredibly intelligent that they can run the world with the mass of gentiles remaining dumber than sticks of gum, all I can say is “Speak for yourself, dude.”

  • Also, it seems to me that if the Israelis control PR, someone is obviously sleeping on the job, judging from the barrage of criticism the Israelis are subjected to. These world-class geniuses somehow can’t keep a lid on the Guardian, BCC, CNN or MSNBC and yet we’re supposed to think they control governments – yeah, sure.

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At Marian Apparition Locations, Great Trials & Tribulations Often Occur Before & After

Monday, August 23, AD 2010

Marian apparitions have always been a sign of God’s love. It truly is one of His greatest graces, which physically shows us the Blessed Mother along with her love, words of encouragement and warnings about the world in which we live. Sometimes the Church Militant heeds her call, but sadly often it doesn’t. This article will only cover a handful of Church approved apparitions (this can be a little tricky, more on this later,) but what it will show is that often the Blessed Mother appears in lands that have experienced great suffering with often more suffering to follow. Her message to bring the world closer to her Son and live according to Jesus’ teachings is one of God’s greatest graces, something that is often met with violent, evil attacks. The miraculous events surrounding her appearances often take place in the presense of great vistas; a window of sorts into God’s loving handiwork. The said could be said about Jesus at The Transfiguration and the Sermon on the Mount.

Something to keep in mind before we begin; during the early days of the Church investigative bodies were the last thing the Church was worried about at a time when the Church was trying to literally stay alive during an array of persecutions. Following the Protestant Reformation, a more detailed structure emerged for investigating appartions. They often took a long time to investigate in order to prevent any hoaxes. Most reported modern day apparitions are not approved. In the 20th Century only 8 of the 300+ reported apparitions were approved. This link from the University of Dayton, a Marianist institution, which houses the largest collection of Marian Apparitions, might be a helpful.

The year was 1300. Though parts of Spain remained under Islamic control, a liberated area, near the Guadalupe River would reveal an amazing find. A cow herder named Gil Cordero would be told by the Blessed Mother to dig, and there he would find holy treasure. Though laughed at by his fellow villagers, his faithful dig yielded a secret burial vault that would house many relics including that of a lifelike carving of the Blessed Mother. It was said to be carved by St Luke and transported to Spain in the sixth century by Bishop Leander, a relative of Pope Gregory the Great.

The vault had been placed there as Islamic armies were making their way to Spain.  The lifelike carving, which still exists today, was said to have been processed through the streets of Rome around the year 590 AD, at the direction of Pope Gregory the Great. He had been given the famous carving while he was Papal Legate in Constantinople.

The famous pontiff had ordered this procession during a terrible plague and famine that had engulfed the city, some one hundred and fifty years after the Roman Empire had collapsed.  As the procession ended, the assembled crowd saw the Archangel St Michael sheathing his sword, signifying that the famine and plague were over. (One can still see the statue of the Archangel St Michael atop the Castel Sant Angelo which commemorates this momentous event.)  The carved statue of the Blessed Mother was then sent to Spain where it remains today, seemingly unscathed after spending years underground during the Muslim conquest.

Years later a young Italian navigator named Christopher Columbus would come to pray at this now famous shrine. He was at the end of his financial rope in seeking backing for a “new way to India.” Soon after his prayer, he was granted an audience with King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella and the rest is history. Few know about this religious side of Columbus. Even fewer know that when he first caught sight of what would be known as the Americas, he had minutes before ordered his crew to pray the Rosary. In gratitude, he named one of the islands he discovered for the site at which his prayers were answered back in Spain, the isle now known as Guadeloupe.

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41 Responses to At Marian Apparition Locations, Great Trials & Tribulations Often Occur Before & After

  • Thanks for that excellent post David.
    I had not heard of those earlier apparitions of Our Lady, so that’s very informative.

    God Bless your work.

  • Guadalupe, Mexico, near present day Mexico City. Though the modern day mainstream media may glorify the Mayans and especially their doomsday prediction of 2012, living under their thumb often resulted in death; ritual human sacrifice was very common in Mexico and the neighboring countries to her south.

    Are you perhaps confusing the Mayans and the Aztecs? Both practiced human sacrifice, but the Aztecs were more concentrated around Mexico City; the Mayans were more to the south and the Yucatan peninsula (as well as further south of Mexico itself).

  • No C Matt I am not confusing the two. Both civilizations power bases were essentially destroyed by the time the Blessed Mother appeared at Tepeyac Hill. True the Aztec power base was in the north, however, their influence was not greater than the Mayan people. In the south of Mexico even though the Mayan Culture’s power base was dead their descendants still numbered more than the Aztecs. At the peak of the Mayan Civilization, their numbers were over 20,000,000.

  • Nice article, but I’m surprised you didn’t mention Medjugorje, especially given how profoundly connected Kibeho is to Medjugorje. I assure you that Medjugorje is the real deal, and one of the most important Marian apparitions in history. The fruits of Medjugorje are worldwide, the conversions are in the millions, and if you take a look at the medical testing done on the visionaries by some of the world’s top doctors and scientists, you will be very surprised. Of course, the devil HATES Medjugorje and has done everything he can to plant the seeds of confusion among God’s children. But look around you and you will see that we’re in battle! God bless you.

  • Dave,

    This is the best article I have of yours yet!

    Wow.

    In the church in Zeitoun where Mary appeared, that church has a high concentration of saint’s relics. In addition the apocryphal story states that Jesus, Mary, & Joseph, stayed in or near Zeitoun during their time in Egypt.

    These two facts alone can help explain why the Blessed Virgin graced her presence there.

  • Sean, I would think that Medjugorje wasn’t mentioned because it is not an approved apparition.

  • Yes, Mary, nor is it unapproved. What the world needs now, more than ever, is the message of peace and reconciliation that is flowing from Medjugorje. I’ve been to Kibeho, and I’ve been to Medjugorje many times, and they are the same message. The Kibeho visionary Alphonsine actually went to Medjugorje in the nineties, and the priests at the Kibeho shrine believe the two apparitions are linked. I just would have liked to see Dave mention Medjugorje, even with a caveat of it still being under investigation, because it has, after all, become one of the most visited Marian shrines in history.

  • Sean, the author mentioned in the beginning of the article that he would only deal with approved apparitions. Medjugorje is not approved. Your reaction and defensive stance makes it seem more like a cult with cult-followers. There are many reasons as to why Medjugorje can be seen as unauthentic, which I won’t go into here. Perhaps its popularity is just a sign of the evil times that we live in and the weak-faithed.

  • I concur with Sean. But I think it is out of prudence that Medjugorje should be treated in a future article. Dave, I’ll be waiting on this one.

  • I concur with Katherine. There are many reasons as to why Medjugorje can be viewed with skepticism and may not be authentic. Peace and reconciliation not rooted in truth has no foundation. The last thing the world needs right now is any false concept of peace and reconciliation possibly rooted in and further promoting a worldwide ‘Dictatorship of Relativism.’

  • Medjugorje is not an approved apparition…

  • The apparitions at Cuapa, Nicaragua, May 8 to October 13th, 1980, fully demonstrate that when apparitions like those that took place then occur, trouble is ahead. The country had just gone through a bloody uprising against an entrenched dictator, and 50,000 casualties.
    When the apparitions took place, the so-called “Contra War” was getting underway, and before it was over a decade later, another 50,000 had died. The purported messages of the Most Holy Virgen were of much comfort to Nicaraguans throughout, and a continuing sign of the merciful presence of God. I was there then.

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  • kATHERINE:
    Though Medjugorje is as yet not been approved I, for one, can truly say, without a doubt, that I know Our Lady is appearing there. I was there in 1987. One only has to go there to understand that truth. I would stake my life on it. Her presence is so apparent that no one leaves that place without believing it. Of course, I know that we need to wait for total church approval. It was also said, concerning these apparitions, that when they totally end that decision will be made. Pope John Paul II, said, in many interviews, that if he were not Pope he would have already been in Medjugorje.That is not hearsay, it is documented.He met many times with some of the visionaries.Anything that you think could be used against these apparitions is most probably wrong information that you have heard.

  • I don’t know about the legitimacy of that medjugorje apparition. I do know about the negative comments and rebellion by its followers when a statement by the commission possibly restricting or rejecting begin to rumor. There were no presence of humility or obedience rather defiance and arrogance displayed. More than fruits will need to be considered for legitimacy. There is no spirit of poverty surrounding the visionaries like at Fatima…we must wait til the church makes a decision. I am concerned about one message that says don’t pray for others nut pray for yourself…that’s not like Mary our Mother who say forget your brother when you come before God in prayer! It is neither here nor there that you bet your life on medjugorje nor does your belief or disbelief assures its legitmaticy…only the church can do such…

  • Like Anita, I know what I have experience in Medjugorje is sincere and pure. Our Lady has given me to her son, Jesus through his presence in the Blessed Sacrament. I have come to know God’s love through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. I have seen, heard and know the fruits of Medjugorje. It is all about Jesus and being Roman Catholic who loves our Holy Father in Rome.
    For those who believe, no explanation is necessary. For those who do not believe, no explanation is possible. God bless everyone!

  • I have seen Marija and Ivan in person and I can say that they are as human as anybody else, but yet very humble and prayerful. My understanding is that the visionaries have been obedient to the Church. My family and I have been to Medjugorje and stayed there for 5 days, and though I have not seen any startling natural phenomena except for the water that constantly flows from the knee of the Resurrected Jesus (at the time, I thought it was moisture on the bronze statue forming every day), I always have believed in the apparition there, yes, even long before we visited the place, back in the late 80s when I first heard about it.

  • Excellent article. Only one comment: Christopher Columbus was from Spain

  • The saddest part about the Medjugorje episode is that so many Catholics, who should know better, are ignoring it. It reminds me of how many Jews, who should have known better, ignored both John the Baptist and Jesus.

    Medjugorje is the most important apparition of Blessed Mary in history, and I will say flat out so as to be unambigous, it is heralding the Second Coming of Jesus.

    For those who don’t listen to their Mother and turn back to God now, it will be too late, as Blessed Mary herself says. She said those waiting for the sign – for many it will be too late. She means that the sign is a ways off yet, and so before then many will die of natural deaths etc. w/o having converted or turned back to God because they were waiting for the sign. It is very possible that Jesus will return BEFORE the Church rules on Medjugorje and many will not be ready.

    But alas, I also believe when the warnings come, many will convert and the Church will urge them to do so too – the Church will finally approve the apparition, but it will be too late for those who have not converted between 1981 and then.

    Sad, really. God bless you.

  • “The saddest part about the Medjugorje episode is that so many Catholics, who should know better, are ignoring it. It reminds me of how many Jews, who should have known better, ignored both John the Baptist and Jesus…”

    Seriously? You’re going to compare the rejection of the Messiah (God incarnate, whose coming was essential for salvation) by His own chosen people to skepticism over an unapproved apparition, belief in which (regardless of whether the Church ever decides to speak to its authenticity or lack thereof) is NOT essential to the faith?

    It’s the over-the-top certitude of such statements with regard to Medjugorje in the face of the Church’s caution that (1) causes many to remain skeptical and (2) makes me glad that assent to private revelation is not essential for one to be a faithful Catholic.

  • Jay, maybe you don’t “need” Medjugorje because your faith is already so strong and you are on the right path. That’s awesome for you, and I commend your devotion. But, as I’m sure you know, you are the minority in this world. There are so many lost and faithless people out there (I, myself, was one of them) and Our Lady is trying to reach them through Medjugorje. I’m certain that if you ever go there, you would agree with me. Just as Jesus himself said that He came not for the righteous but for the sinners, Our Lady has come to lead the nonbelievers and the lukewarm to her Son. What happens in Medjugorje? It’s not some crazy place where fanatics are running around looking for miracles. On the contrary, it is a shrine filled with people praying, confessing and worshipping God through the Sacraments. It is a place of conversion. You can FEEL it when you’re there. I’ve traveled to approved apparition sites all over the world, but no where is there such a sense of peace and holiness as there is in Medjugorje. Again, it sounds like your faith is strong enough that you don’t need Medjugorje, but I urge you, and everyone who shares your viewpoint, to be patient and not persuade anyone from going there to see for themselves. It could be the difference between life and death for that person, eternally speaking of course.

    Have a look at this video of an apparition:

    http://www.medjugorjevideo.com/mirjanavisionary.html

    I challenge anyone to show me someone — an actress, perhaps — who can cry on command while staring up at thin air, without any wavering of the focal point of her pupils for five minutes straight, and who can turn her voicebox on and off inexplicably (scientifically impossible), and whose brain waves go to such a heightened sense of awareness in a split second (during the apparition) that doctors have never seen it before.

    Medjugorje is 100% real. I’m no fanatic and I don’t believe many things, but this I’m certain of, and one must only go there with an open mind to see God’s work in action. I am incredibly thankful to Our Lady for leading me and my entire family to the Catholic Church. My wife (also a convert after going to Medjugorje) and I are raising our little children in a strong Catholic setting, something that would have been inconceivable to us before Medjugorje ever came into our lives. Our story is no exception. There are millions of us out there. WE NEEDED MEDJUGORJE, and thank God no one told me not to go before I did that first time. God bless you all.

  • Sean, you forgot to mention about the Adoration of the Holy Eucharist from sunset till late evening. Aside from long lines of Confession and full-packed Masses, this devotion to the Blessed Sacrament is one undeniable proof that God is Present among His people in Medjugorje. Who else will know the sure way to lead us to Christ? Who, but the one who nursed Him and lulled Him to sleep while yet He was a baby, and who was there at the foot of the Cross during the last moments of His life?

    All these are tangible manifestations of God’s love for us, while yet we have time. Let’s help bring conversion of everyone to the LORD! Our Lady is here to help us. According to St Louis de Monfort, Mama Mary is the surest way to Jesus. She’s bidding everyone of us to come and go to Him!

  • It’s not about whether I “need” Medjugorje for my faith to be strong or not. I’m as much a weak and sinful person as any other Catholic. But the depth of no one’s faith should be made dependent on whether or not they assent to any private revelation.

    I make no judgments about the authenticity of Medjugorje, other than to note (1) that the Church has not yet spoken on it and (2) that statements like those Bob made comparing skepticism over Medjugorje to the rejection of Christ as the Messiah are WAY over the top.

    I have great respect for many who do believe in the authenticity of Medjugorje. In fact, one of the priests I most admire – the Dominican priest who brought me into the Church and who just so happens to be the Prior Provinical of the Dominican Province of St. Joseph – has been to Medjugorge on a number of occasions. That fact, alone, is enough for me to give some credence to its authenticity.

    But I’ll wait for the Church before giving full assent.

  • Sean,

    You said, “because it has, after all, become one of the most visited Marian shrines in history.” Sorry to disappoint you, but I can’t allow you to mislead anyone reading these comments. You are sadly misinformed or purposely being misleading. Medjugorje is NOT A MARIAN SHRINE, the Catholic Church has not currently raised the status of any Church in Medjugorje to ‘Shrine’.

    Anita,

    You said, ‘Pope John Paul II, said, in many interviews, that if he were not Pope he would have already been in Medjugorje.’ Did JPII say that, or did someone else say he said that? Please produce the article showing the direct quote. Let me also remind you it is a well known fact that Pope John Paul II, of blessed memory, was a stalwart supporter of Fr. Marcial Maciel, the disgraced, recently deceased founder of the Legionaries of Christ religious order and its lay arm, Regnum Christi.

    For anyone truly interested in discerning the ‘fruits’ of Medugujorje, I recommend the following links. In the meantime, LETS BE CAREFUL OUT THERE!!

    http://medjugorjedocuments.blogspot.com/2010/02/ecclesial-disciplinary-actions-against.html

    http://www.rickross.com/groups/caritas.html

    http://unitypublishing.com/Apparitions/MedjugorjeIndex.html

    http://www.cbismo.com/index.php?menuID=98

  • A few points before this thread winds down. I will be happy to write about Medjugorje once the Church takes an official stand on it. In the meantime, perhaps the prudent thing to do is for those who hope the Church rules favorably on the apparition is to politely say “for your discernment.” I believe this is the approach Michael Brown uses. The evil one loves drama and disunity in the Church. I think we can all agree that whatever we believe, we don’t need to give the evil one any new ammunition. We should trust the Holy Spirit.

    In addition, I believe someone corrected me by saying Christopher Columbus was a Spaniard, no he was an Italian born In Genoa. Finally, what the disgraced Father Maciel has to do with Pope John Paul’s view on Medjugorje is immaterial to this thread. Father Maciel was an evil deceiver who fooled many, so we can’t condemn all those who might have liked the Father Maciel they thought they knew.

  • Dave,

    Please understand, my reference to Father Maciel was not a condemnation of anyone. The purpose of the reference was to highlight how easily we can be deceived and the illogic of using an uncomfirmed JPII quote as evidence of authenticity, an idea I stole from Patrick Madrid:

    http://patrickmadrid.blogspot.com/2010/04/medjugorje-and-maciel-effect.html

  • No problem Dismas. God Bless, take care and have a nice weekend!

  • Dave,
    You’re right in saying that Medj supporters should include “for your discernment”. That would help diffuse things. It would also help diffuse the inflated rhetoric if Medj opposers would also not pull out the “Cult Card” every time the topic comes up. Can we agree?

  • Great article.
    You may want to research the first apparition of the Blessed Mother in the last millenium.Our Lady appeared the last saturday of April 1001.
    The structure of the present church was approved by St. Pio and Pope John Paul II visited there both before and after his election.
    The shrine is outside of Foggia in so. Italy and is the site of many pilgrimages.
    Your article is very eye-opening and very necessary in our “morality deprived” depraved society.

  • Joseph Forina, sounds like something I will have to research. GB, I certainly agree with your post!

  • Dismas, to me and to many other people, Medjugorje is a shrine. Please note that I didn’t capitalize the word shrine. You capitalized it, out of context, and then claimed I was being misleading (or misinformed). Please look up the definition of the word ‘shrine’ and I think you might reconsider your harsh words towards me.

    Please understand that Medjugorje changed my life incredibly, and I’ve seen it change the lives of so many others, so I am passionate about it. I wish everyone could go there to see for themselves.

    Those links you presented from Unity Pub. are not even journalism. They are tabloidism. They’ve been proven wrong many times. Would you like to be judged by the same measure as the people who penned those articles (ie, Unity Publishing)? The one about Caritas is about a group that claims to be related to Medjugorje, but please note that they have no official connection to the parish and should be judged on their own.

    As for documents about what John Paul II said about Medjugorje, please see the book “Medjugorje and the Church” by Denis Nolan, which contains photocopies of actual signed letters written by John Paul to some Polish friends, in which he expresses his belief in Medjugorje. Those letters are available for anyone to see. The book also contains letters from Mother Teresa which indicate her belief in Medjugorje, as well as quotes from numerous priests, bishops, cardinals and clergy — all stating their belief in Medjugorje. If nothing else, it’s an interesting read.

    I will end with this: don’t be so quick to condemn Medjugorje without knowing enough first-hand about it. Be a first-hand witness if you choose to talk about it. Only then will you know.

    God bless you all. Oh yes, this post is for your discernment.

  • Sean,

    I appreciate you considering the evidence I presented and bringing the conversation back into the realm of the rational. I ask for your prayers.

    I have no doubt that Medjugorje has changed your life incredibly and many others as well, that is not the issue of most importance here.

    The fact of the matter, regarding Medjugorje, is the Catholic Church by the local Bishop of Mostar has declared it Non constat de supernaturalitate. The Commission prepared a draft “Declaration” in which were listed the “unacceptable assertions” and “bizarre declarations”, attributed to the curious phenomenon. The Commission also stated that further investigations were not necessary nor the delaying of the official judgement of the Church. The bishop duly informed the Bishops’ Conference and the Holy See, and he then informed the public during his homily in Medjugorje in 1987.[19]

    For the sake of converstion lets throw out the Unity Publishing evidence as well as the Caritas Articles. Let’s soley focus on the Official Bishop of Mostar documents which I notice you conveniently avoid? http://www.cbismo.com/index.php?menuID=98

    Based on these findings and statements of a Bishop in good standing in the Catholic Church and faithful to the Magisterium, anyone in opposition to his statements and teaching is in grave spiritual danger. Anyone enticing or tempting anyone else to disobedience to the Bishop of Mostar’s statements not only puts themselves in grave spiritual danger but is now responsible for the demise of others as well.

    Pax et Bonum

  • Sean,

    I neglected to respond to your Shrine argument. A Shrine defined within the confines of the Catholic Church is:

    In the Roman Catholic Code of Canon law, canons 1230 and 1231 read: “The term shrine means a church or other sacred place which, with the approval of the local Ordinary, is by reason of special devotion frequented by the faithful as pilgrims. For a shrine to be described as national, the approval of the Episcopal Conference is necessary. For it to be described as international, the approval of the Holy See is required.”[11]

    I have to point out to you that neither the local Ordinary or an Episopal Conference has raised any church in Medjugorje to the status of Shrine.

    I apologize that you found my words harsh, however they are truth. Once again I have to point out the grave spiritual dangers of pride, ego and disobediance that allows anyone to put themselves outside or above the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, the safe Barque of Peter.

  • Again, you capitalize the word shrine, thus taking my comment out of context.

    Still, I’m confident that I’m on the right side of things here. This may be of interest to you:

    Cardinal Franjo Kuharic, Archbishop of Zagreb, a member of the Bishop’s conference that studied Medjugorje, said: “After three years of studies by the Commission, we, the bishops, have accepted Medjugorje as a Shrine, as a sanctuary. This means that we have nothing against the veneration of the Mother of God in accordance with the teaching of the Church and our faith… This is why we leave this question to further studies of the Church. The Church is not in haste.”

    So, if this cardinal, a member of the Bishop’s Conference, calls Medjugorje a Shrine, then why can’t I?

    Here’s more on that:

    http://www.medjugorje.org/tenyrzadar.htm

    You accuse me of pride and ego, and yet in the preceding sentence you classify your words as “truth.” Maybe you should write a letter to the cardinal who called Medjugorje a Shrine and give him the “truth.”

  • Thank you for bringing this article to my attention. I advise you give this article further discernment and reflection. In response to your question: ‘So, if this cardinal, a member of the Bishop’s Conference, calls Medjugorje a Shrine, then why can’t I?’ If not solely for the sake of prudence and caution, then because both local Bishops of Mostar; Bishop Zanic and his successor Bishop Peric are not in agreement with the Conference of Yugoslavia and have the support of the Holy See. Please see the excerpt from your article refuting the findings of the Conference of Yugoslavia:

    Nevertheless, Mgr Pavao Žanic, Bishop of Mostar, interprets the Declaration of Zadar as a negation of the supernaturality of the events of Medjugorje, and as a document forbidding pilgrimages. The Ordinary of Mostar continues to uphold this position: “The Ordinary has on several occasions warned that the supernatural character of the apparitions cannot be spoken about nor announced publicly in churches, as it was not possible to state that Our Lady is appearing. This is why official pilgrimages to Medjugorje are not allowed”, writes Mgr Ratko Peric, successor of Mgr Pavao Žanic. (See Prijestolje Mudrosti, Mostar 1995, p. 282) And he continues: “Neither the diocesan bishop, as head of the local diocese and Church of Mostar-Duvno, nor any other competent person, have until now declared the parish Church St James of Medjugorje as a Marian shrine, nor confirmed the “cult” of Our Lady based on the supposed apparitions. On the contrary, because of its contestability, he has on many occasions prohibited to speak on the altar or in the church about supernatural “apparitions and revelations”, and to organize official pilgrimages in the name of parishes, dioceses, and generally in the name of the Church. These and similar warnings were published also by our former Bishops´ Conference and by the Holy See itself. Anyone acting in an opposite manner, is acting expressly against the official position of the Church, which, after 14 years of supposed apparitions and developed commercial propaganda, are still valid in the Church”. (Ibid, p. 285-286)

  • I urge you, go see for yourself, and in the meantime, don’t squelch the fruits that continue to flow from Medjugorje.

    This will probably be my last post here because I’m off to La Salette and Medjugorje. All the best and God bless. Please pray that I have a safe journey, and I will in turn pray for everyone here. God bless.

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Res et Explicatio for AD 8-7-2009

Friday, August 7, AD 2009

Salvete AC readers!

Buckle Up! Because here are today’s Top Picks in the Catholic world:

1. Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York commended President Obama and the Democratic Party efforts inArchbishopDolan reforming Health Care.  He said this during the Knights of Columbus Convention in Phoenix, Arizona.  But his Grace gave this caveat that if reform…

“…leads to the destruction of life, then we say it’s no longer health care at all – it’s unhealthy care and we can’t be part of that.”

To accentuate this sentiment and as a warning to well meaning Catholics, Cardinal Levada explained that those that want to reform health care at any cost:

“[W]e do not build heaven on earth, we simply prepare the site to welcome the new Jerusalem which comes from God.”

2. Catholic convert Joe Eszterhas of Hollywood screenwriting fame, will be writing the screenplay for a movie aboutVirgen of Guadelupethe Virgin of Guadalupe.  Though no director nor a green light has been given on the go ahead of this movie project, the fact that Joe Eszterhas is writing the screenplay is newsworthy in itself because of the author himself is enough to get the ball rolling in the right direction.

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One Response to Res et Explicatio for AD 8-7-2009

Clinton and Our Lady

Saturday, March 28, AD 2009

 clinton 

Our Secretary of State, pictured above in her school days when she must have been busily not paying attention in at least some of her classes, visited the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe On Thursday March 27.  After observing the image of Our Lady, Clinton inquired who painted it?  She then told a group of Mexicans outside that they had a “marvelous virgin”.  I must say that I am proud to have such a sophisticated, intelligent  and well read person as Mrs. Clinton representing the U.S. abroad.  I trust that she will not forget the “Montezuma’s Revenge” reference on a future trip to Mexico.  Paying “homage” to Our Lady was squeezed in on her way to accepting the Margarent Sanger award Thursday night in Houston from Murder Inc., aka, Planned Parenthood.

Update I:  “Reproductive rights and the umbrella issue of women’s rights and empowerment will be a key to the foreign policy of this administration,” Clinton said in Houston, where she received the Margaret Sanger Award from the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “

Update II:  Ed Morrissey notes at Hot Air that Clinton said that she had been at the Basilica 30 years before.  Hopefully she was paying more attention this time.

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32 Responses to Clinton and Our Lady

  • With all due respect, the hatred here is palpable.

  • You are correct Mr. DeFrancisis. Clinton obviously does not think much of either Catholics or fetuses. In the case of Catholics I would say it is stupidity rather than hatred. In the case of fetuses it might be hatred.

  • Ironically enough, Our Lady of Guadeloupe’s grace led to the conversion of an entire culture that was built on destroying life. Let’s pray that even this PR encounter leads to more conversion.

  • Mr. McClarey,

    I just know that you can do better that this. These types of posts add a foul air to the general atmosphere of discussion.

  • Mr. DeFrancisis, your anger towards me is misdirected. I merely report the news and point out the follies therein. It is people such as Mrs. Clinton who engage in the follies and much worse. I tremble for our nation when, and it is when and not if, she has to wrap her tremendous knowledge base around a dangerous foreign crisis.

  • I am no fan of Hillary, but cut her a little slack here. Sheesh, there are CATHOLICS in this world who don’t know about Our Lady of Guadalupe; it doesn’t surprise me that a non-Catholic wouldn’t have heard about its miraculous significance. She’s probably seen it but assumed it was a painted icon like Poland’s Black Madonna, or Russia’s Our Lady of Vladimir.

    One could argue that because she is Secretary of State and is supposed to be an expert on foreign cultures, particularly those of strategically important nations, she should know better. However, GOP presidents and administrations aren’t immune to similar gaffes. Bush’s last press secretary, for example, admitted she didn’t understand an analogy to the Cuban Missile Crisis because she didn’t know what it was.

    I agree with Rick that given Our Lady’s success in turning around another culture of death, this might be a hopeful sign.

    I have heard that President Reagan (whose father and brother were Catholic although he was not) knew about Our Lady of Fatima and was intrigued by her promise of Russia’s conversion.

  • While I’m not a Hillary fan (to put it mildly), I would be more surprised if she was aware of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

  • Of course she is not a mere tourista. Secretaries of State are extensively briefed before foreign visits. I find the idea that she seems to be oblivious of Catholic beliefs regarding the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe to be risible in the extreme, especially as part of the brightest and most sophisticated administration in our nation’s history, or so what is left of the mainstream press keeps assuring us.

  • When I saw the outrage from Mark I assumed part of the story was fabricated. In particular, I assumed the bit about the Margaret Sanger award was added as a joke. However, after reading the linked article it turns out she went from paying homage to Mary to receiving an award from PP named after a racist advocate of abortion as a way to clean up the gene pool. Yet, the outrage is directed at the author of the post and not towards the Secretary of State who would accept such a heinous award, or the President who would name such a character as SECSTATE. Seems our outrage is misplaced. I don’t care that she had no knowledge of the history of the shrine in Guadalupe. I do care that she has lived her sorry life in such a way that disgusting people like PP feel obliged to honor her. As a society we should be ashamed that PP exists and yet no less a figure than our SECSTATE deems them worthy of her presence. Yet, we have people more concerned about internet posts adding a foul air??? Ridiculous.

  • Last year when she was trolling for Catholic votes Clinton wore a “madonna” bracelet with an image of our Lady of Guadalupe. I guess it was boob bait for Catholics stupid enough to think it meant anything to her other than as a piece of jewelry.

    http://www.splendoroftruth.com/cgi-bin/mt-search.cgi?search=madonna+bracelet&IncludeBlogs=1

  • I would think that if she was making a visit to the shrine, her staff should have provided her a one-sheet on Our Lady of Guadalupe. That’s the sort of cultural sensitivity and competence we were assured we could expect from this administration.

    Or perhaps, being an “ugly American” tourist is more bipartisan than is generally claimed.

    If she’d had the question sprung on her (in a Katie Couric interview?) on some unrelated occasion I’d consider it fair to allow her ignorance, but if you’re going to visit a national shrine you should know the five minute version of its story.

  • Frankly, I’m surprised by her gaffe. She has made a gross error.

    On Donald’s point, I agree, that bracelet was mere pandering to the Catholic vote, a meaningless gesture worn by the former first lady.

  • Donad,

    There is no anger or outrage on my part, but mere pity– that you have to bring the blog down to the level you sometimes do.

  • Your pity is misplaced Mr. DeFrancisis. I will attack absurdity and evil wherever I find them. If you do not regard Mrs Clinton’s ignorant perfomance at the Basilica as aburd, and her acceptance of the Margaret Sanger award as evil, then you and I clearly have different definitions of those terms.

  • I certainly do not agree with anything Margaret Sanger or Planned Parenthood stands for.

    However, I think pro-lifers would be well advised to stop citing statements Margaret Sanger made back in the 1920s as “proof” that the modern-day Planned Parenthood is explicitly racist and bent on genocide.

    That would be like insisting that Jews today shouldn’t buy Ford products because Henry Ford was anti-Semitic — even though Henry Ford’s personal views nearly 100 years ago have little if anything to do with how the company is run today. It’s an argument that makes pro-lifers, not PP, look like fools who resort to irrelevant ad hominem attacks to make a point.

    In the early 20th century a LOT of educated and otherwise well-intentioned people considered eugenics a legitimate science that held the promise of eliminating poverty, disease, etc. The Nazis didn’t invent eugenics. They did, however, exploit it for their own racist and nationalistic purposes, which hastened its demise.

    If I were looking for proof that the modern PP is racist, I would look for more recent evidence than that. Margaret Sanger died in 1966, I believe, and she gave interviews as recently as the late 1950s. She had to have been aware of the civil rights movement. Did she ever repudiate, take back or explain her earlier comments about “Negroes”? If she did repudiate those views later in life, then no matter how loathsome or offensive we may find her views on sexuality, I don’t think it would be fair to charge her or the modern Planned Parenthood with racism.

    There are plenty of solid arguments against Planned Parenthood’s approach to sexuality without resorting to a rather lame charge like this.

  • Then we have Alveda King, a niece of Martin Luther King, Jr., who is one of the leading critics of Planned Parenthood in the black community:

    http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=13943

  • A group of black pastors in Washington attacked Planned Parenthood last year.

    http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=13943

    Now admittedly charging a group that kills children in the womb with racism does seem rather behind the point. However it is interesting how many Planned Parenthood abortion clinics are located near black population centers:http://www.lifeissues.org/connector/display.asp?page=05oct.htm

  • Elaine,

    I think you’re missing the bigger picture with respect to the association of Margaret Sanger and PP. The larger issue is that the early 20th century progressive movement was in favor of eugenics because it was completely unmoored from any idea of natural right or law. The same is true of today’s progressives and many so-called conservatives as well. Both ideologies are suffering from a divorce from the reality of natural law; in the case of progressives, there is nothing eternal and transcendent, only the traditions that “hold us back” from the “progress” we should be making. In the case of many conservatives, it’s more of a Burkean “tradition for tradition’s sake” than anything else.

    And so you have two sides basically trying to shout louder than each other with almost nothing in the way of first principles. In this respect, I think it’s *extremely* pertinent to point out the historical heritage of today’s progressives with those of the Sanger era. It’s not surprising at all that today’s progressives seem to have nothing in common at all with the racist eugenicism of Sanger; that’s because there’s nothing fixed in the ideology — there’s only the desire to defeat human nature and replace it with the pragmatic concerns of the zeitgeist.

  • Christian seems to be onto something — the notion that “progressivism” basically denies original sin and the need for repentance and conversion, because man can achieve perfection in this life if only he tries “something” hard enough.

    Sanger’s belief in eugenics dates from an era when science and technology were thought to be the key to establishing “heaven” on earth. She comes from the same era as inventors like Ford and Thomas Edison, along with utopian fiction writers and thinkers like H.G. Wells, Bertrand Russell, etc.

    It took World War II and the invention of the atom bomb to disabuse most people of the notion that science could solve all problems. After that, came the notion that “tolerance” and “just getting along” with people of different races, religions, etc. would solve everything. More recently we have the notion that a good education, a good job, regular checkups and counseling whenever something bad happens will cure war, crime, hunger and all other bad things.

    So basically, the only thing Sanger’s progressivism has in common with today’s progressivism is its faith in something other than natural law and morality as the ultimate solution to social problems.

  • Mark DeFrancis! Can’t you man get a life? Why do you always feel the need to rush to the defence of people like Ms Clinton who are so militantly pro-aborts that they actually received awards from PP precisely because of that? I understand that, much like the Bush devil’s advocates of the previous administration, you are simply engaging in the usual Coalition For Fog…but there is a point where the whole thing becomes outright disgusting…

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  • Mark, in my threads I do not allow personal attacks on other commenters. Since you are new, I believe, I will not delete your comment but no further personal attacks will be allowed by me. We can all make our points without attacking each other in the comment boxes.

  • I also want to make it clear that my intention is NOT in any way to defend Sanger or Planned Parenthood but to insure that pro-life arguments against their worldview are as solid as possible and not tainted by unfairness or distortion of any kind. We are Christians, after all, and are supposed to “do unto others as we would have them do unto us.” That includes not making outdated accusations of racism against someone IF they or their organization changed their view later in life.

  • Well, I do apologise Donald Mc Clarey for having gone much too far…However I am really “bothered” by the almost knee-jerk reaction of some people who rush to the defense of people like Ms Clinton who has lead such a life as to be fit to receive the highest award of PP…what do such people think they are gaining by doing this? what thoughtul contribution are they bringing to the conversation? And yes, I often read Vox Nova; I know what they have done to fellow blogger Zippy and I apprciate the fact that you did not “send me into exile from civilization” (banning) too…
    However it should be noted that it is Mr Defrancisis which assumed the worst of you with his “hatred is palpable” comment. I will also not walk away from the Coalition for Fog part of my comment because it’s true though i guess that in the politics of USA 2009 it’s fair game…

  • Thank you Mark. I allow more discretion when comments are directed towards me if I find that I can use them to advance the discussion. If not, I delete them. My purpose in mandating civility is partially manners, but mostly because I have seen too many combox threads on too many blogs devolve into wearying back and forth between a few commenters exchanging insults. I find those threads boring to read and ultimately a waste of time. The comboxes on my threads are for exchanging insights, ideas and views and never insults. I hope I will see you frequently in my comboxes because I think you can make a valuable contribution to the ongoing debate.

  • “De rien” as the frenchman will say…

  • To wrap up my earlier tangent on Margaret Sanger’s alleged racism: a quick Google search on this topic turns up several interesting articles.

    Planned Parenthood of New Jersey has an article devoted to this topic. Of course it is meant to be sympathetic to Sanger, but it does point out that some of the most offensive quotes often attributed to her (such as “the most merciful thing a large family does to one of its children is to kill it”) appear to have been either wrongly attributed or taken grossly out of context. This does not surprise me as many historical figures and celebrities (from Lincoln to Einstein) are often misquoted or assumed to have said things they never really said.

    The Wikipedia entry on Sanger notes her controversial racial views as well as the fact that they were shared by a lot of people at the time. It also notes, however, that she did not approve of the state-enforced Nazi eugenics program. She did once address a KKK women’s group (in the 1920s the Klan was at the height of its popularity and was known just as much for its anti-Catholic and anti-immigrant views as its racial views) but found it to be a strange and rather disturbing experience.

    Interestingly, according to Wikipedia, she also made comments acknowledging that abortion was killing a baby and that she intended for contraception to reduce the incidence of abortion.

    Whether Sanger’s “Negro Project” was a consciously and deceptively racist effort to reduce the black population or simply an attempt to give black women the same “right” to control the size of their families as white women had, was and still is a matter of debate, particularly among African-Americans.

  • A good book in regard to Sanger and her role in the American eugenics movement is War Against the Weak.

    http://www.amazon.com/War-Against-Weak-Eugenics-Americas/dp/0914153064/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1238497600&sr=1-2

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