+St. Louise de Marillac+
We launch today the prayer apostolate long ago suggested by a friend that has taken all of eight years to come to fruition. During that time a small group has formed, willing to pray with us and to accomplish the universal consecration of the world to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary as our Lord requested over 100 years ago, prior to the beginning of World War I. With the world seemingly on the verge of World War III, this apostolate is urgently needed in order to appease the Divine wrath and comply with the wishes of our Lord and Savior so long ignored and neglected. Only by comforting Our Lady in her Sorrows and consecrating ourselves to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in her and through her — joining this consecration to requests that it include the entire world — will we have any hope of saving our own souls and converting sinners. Please join us if you truly wish to help those in the Ukraine and others throughout the world threatened by powers we have no way of fighting except through prayer and sacrifice.
The manual for the apostolate can be downloaded here. The booklet suggested in the manual, Devotion to the Sorrowful Mother, is available from TAN books.
Some Lenten reflections
In the past week, the first week of Lent, we have seen two mentions of the Prophet Elias in the Liturgy. The first is found in the Epistle for ember Wednesday and the other this past Sunday, in the Gospel on the Transfiguration, where both Moses and Elias were seen by Peter, James and John on either side of our Lord. In the ember Wednesday liturgy, mention is made that both Moses and Elias fasted for 40 days. Clearly there is some connection with fasting, false worship and these two prophets. For when Moses came to the people to bring them the two tablets on which the 10 Commandments were engraved, he found them worshiping false idols; and Father Elias fled to the desert after destroying the prophets of Baal. The Tuesday epistle for the first week in Lent was taken from Ezekiel Ch. 34, 11-16 and here God promises to visit his flock Himself, gathering and nourishing his scattered sheep. But we must understand here why God says this, and the reason can be found in the first verses of this same chapter of Ezekiel, which begins with dire warnings to the shepherds who have neglected their flocks.
God tells the prophet Ezekiel in Ch. 34: 2-5, 7-8, 10: “Woe to the shepherds of Israel that fed themselves [and] my flock you did not feed. The weak you have not strengthened and that which was sick you have not healed. That which was broken you have not bound up and that which was driven away you have not brought again, neither have you sought that which was lost but you ruled over them with full rigor and with a high hand. And my sheep were scattered because there was no shepherd and they became the prey of all the beasts of the field and were scattered… And there was none that sought them; there was none I say that sought them. My flocks have been made a spoil and my sheep are become a prey to all the beasts of the field because there was no shepherd; for my shepherds did not seek after my flock but the shepherds fed themselves and fed not my flocks. Therefore I myself shall come upon the shepherds. I will require my flock at their hand and I will cause them to cease from feeding the flock anymore… I myself… shall visit them.”
Rev. Leo Haydock says of the above verses: “Shepherds mean priests, magistrates, chief priests and scribes… Excellent instructions are here given for all in authority. Pastors often disguise the truth to flatter the rich or the more just souls are ruined by their negligence… Pastors will not be excused by ignorance if they know not the maladies and the remedies of their flock. This was blamed in the Pharisees and is contrary to the spirit of the Gospel. The people being neglected followed false prophets and idols. Their teachers were so far from striving to reclaim them that they perhaps showed them the example. Pastors who seek only their temporal advantage are no shepherds; they are hirelings, and if they teach false doctrines they are wolves. Both the leaders and the people were led into captivity. All this cannot be understood of the synagogue alone. God and those whom He sends will take care of the flock. The crimes of the pastors do not excuse the flock; in it there are people of different dispositions.”
All the above can be said of pastors who ruled their flocks long before the Vatican 2 era. The reign of the usurpers in Rome marked the culmination, not the beginning of the rot in the Church. Many priests were caught up in the social side of their ministry and allowed themselves to be flattered by the rich. Others ruled with a high hand, exercising the full rigor of their authority, and scandalizing the little ones, who could have been won over with kindness. Rather than cultivating the interior life and true spiritual growth, they engaged in the heresy of action, imbibed the liberal spirit, and ultimately released the flock into captivity after the death of Pope Pius XII. As the prophet Isaias says, as the shepherd so the flock. The example they gave caused millions to accept the Novus Ordo church simply because they followed these false shepherds. And those who refused to follow them were left without any shepherds at all.
Schism in Russia and war in the Ukraine
We watch with great sorrow the mounting loss of lives in the Ukraine, as Russia threatens to pull the entire world into war. Those who believe that it was primarily Communism that caused this conflict are only partially correct. Had schism not separated the Russians from the true Church of Christ in 1059, she would not have fallen prey to Communism as she did. But then spiritual causes of modern-day problems are never considered as important by those who are slaves to the masters of domination and their political machinations. A careful examination of Russia’s gradual degeneration into schism — and all the accompanying evils that it eventually spawned — reveals that every element related to Masonry’s subsequent triumph (and Communism is only a tool of Freemasonry) was present in Russian history centuries before atheistic Communism reached her shores.
It must be noted that when Our Lady told the children that Russia would spread her errors, she did not specify what these errors were. Those interpreting her meaning in naming Russia as the font of these errors concentrated only on one glaring reality — Communism minus its parent organization Freemasonry. While this was the predominant heresy that singled Russia out at that time, given the year in which Our Lady appeared, it did not correspond to the plural word “errors” which she communicated to the children. And over the decades it does not appear that this omission ever caught the eyes of any of those well-known for chronicling Fatima, although authors writing in other languages, whose works were never translated into English may well have touched on this subject. A careful study of Russia’s history would have quickly shown the Blessed Mother’s true intent, but this was not forthcoming either. And so the seriousness of the Orthodox schism was lost as well as the history of the orthodox liturgy in the vernacular, temporarily granted to Russia in the ninth century shortly before the schism occurred.
And we wonder why the vernacular was (formally) introduced into the liturgy in the 1960s, resulting in nothing less than schism and the heresies that inevitably accompany it? And why splinter schismatic groups calling themselves Catholic have mushroomed ever since? They want Russia to convert? You can’t provide the solution while insisting on being part of the problem. The schismatic trend began long ago, but at least Catholics then recognized it for what it truly was. This little-known message from Our Lady has been published here before but needs to be read again. No, it was never approved by the Church, but given the increasingly desperate situation we face today, it is a timely reminder of how we got here, why, and what we are required to do.
Romanians warned by Our Lady about schismatic priests
In 1949, Rev. Mircea Todericu, a priest in exile from Communist Romania reported that Our Lady had appeared to a saintly Romanian woman in a series of five apparitions. In the course of these apparitions, Our Lady repeated the messages of Fatima and La Salette with special emphasis on the conduct of the clergy in the face of persecution. At that time many priests were defecting to the nationalist Orthodox church set up by the Kremlin. In light of efforts to unite the Russian Orthodox Church with the Novus Ordo church in Russia, the Blessed Mother’s message is more urgent today than ever before.
“The grave hour in which the Church will suffer much has come…Struggle, struggle, with trust because I have received from the Father the power to destroy the head and the pride of Satan who wishes to destroy the Church and your souls…You who struggle and sacrifice yourselves with trust in my heart are few. But if only two souls will be found who will struggle with firm trust in these days full of sufferings, the Father will show them through my Heart the fruits of my sufferings…Pray the Rosary…Don’t think of life and food but of the protection and strength of my Son… Do not give in. Do not let other priests enter into the churches of my Son, priests who have apostatized from the true Faith and who have joined with those of the other faith… The suffering of my Heart is so great when I see the priests who have apostatized from the true faith and my Son…You priests who must confess the Faith, who must be the pillars of the Church of my Son, you to whom the souls of the faithful have been entrusted in order for you to open to them the Way of Truth and to bring them on the road of eternal life, behold how you have wounded my Heart by renouncing my Son and the Heavenly Father. You have stepped in the ways of falsehood and of death, and instead of edifying souls, you have sought and do seek to ruin the Church and to lose souls. You are those who strike continually the Mystical Body of my Son.
“Behold, my sorrow is indescribably great when I look toward you because you despise even the Vicar of my Son, the one who is the father of all the true faithful; you who will not even recognize my Son as your King and Lord of the world and who will not listen to Him and will not submit to Him. Behold, I have come to tell you clearly the word: I wish you to return, to become again the children of the true Church, pastors of the souls entrusted to your priesthood because my Son has placed you under my protection. I have come to communicate all these things so that you will know what to do and you will know what the Heavenly Father wishes from you. I communicate these things to the soul of my Heart who cries, prays, sacrifices itself who suffers day and night for your sins, the sins of you who strike so much the justice of the Heavenly Father.
“If you will not listen to my Heart; if you will not believe in my words addressed to you through this suffering soul; if you will not return, the anger of the Heavenly Father will fall upon you. I ask prayers, sacrifices; I ask that you repair the insults committed against the Heavenly Father through apostasy, pride and your unbelief in His goodness and power, which He has over you through my Immaculate Heart…” (The complete text of this message is contained in John Haffert’s Russia Will Be Converted.) And still, no one listens. And so, we pray.
Even the Orthodox refused to attend Communist church services
The history of those who have suffered for their faith and given their lives for it is carefully kept in the background to avoid meaningless “explanations,” and discourage adulation of those who have persevered to the end and won the coveted race. While the following covers the persecution and the hidden existence of both the Russian Orthodox as well as Catholics, it provides a fascinating look at how both groups went to unbelievable lengths to preserve the faith of their fathers in the face of the cruelest persecutions imaginable. Stalin alone murdered some eight million Catholics and Orthodox believers; some of the nuns were later discovered with their rosaries pounded into their foreheads. And yet seldom do we hear of this wholesale slaughter by the Communists; instead, we hear of the Catholic persecution of American natives and the Inquisition, or the Holocaust. The following is taken from accounts printed sometime in the 1950s in Orthodox and other publications. While it is not an endorsement of the schismatic Orthodox sect, it is a recognition that, believing themselves to be practicing the true faith, they defended it to the death.
“Petrograd at this time had become the very heart of the Church’s protest against Sergius, and there was scarcely an Orthodox soul in the former Capital that was not anguished over the question of whom to follow. Many refused for a time to receive Communion in any church, uncertain as to whose Sacraments were valid or where the Church of Christ was to be found. After signing the epistle of the Yaroslavl Archpastors, Metropolitan Joseph stepped boldly forward into battle for the Church and gave his blessing for the clergy and faithful of Petrograd to follow his example in separating from Sergius, offering his own spiritual guidance and care to this movement, and entrusting the governance of the Petrograd Diocese to his outspokenly anti-Sergianist Vicar, Bishop Dimitry of Gdov. Blessing the ‘good decision the zealots of Christ’s truth,’ he prayed ‘that the Lord present us all unanimity and holy firmness of spirit in the new trial which the Church is undergoing.
“According to information in my possession received from an unquestionably reliable source, the Underground or Catacomb Church in Soviet Russia underwent her hardest trials after February 4th 1945, i. e. after the enthronement of the Soviet Patriarch Alexis. Those who did not recognize him were sentenced to new terms of punishment and were sometimes shot. Those who did recognize him and gave their signature to that effect were often liberated before their terms expired and received appointments. We have information that a priest after such a registration, told his wife and two daughters who had come to visit him that they should stop going to the Soviet Patriarchal Church when they returned home. ‘It is better not to go to any church whatever or receive communion at all than to be implicated in a church of evil-doers,’ he said. The widow of the priest (he was shot after their visit), and her two daughters were persecuted by the Soviet priests who called them ‘schismatics’ and ‘sectarians.’ They were nourished in the Catacomb Church and kept the Sacrament in their house (1945).”
So even the Orthodox schismatics knew not to attend services at all than to participate in sacrilege. Nor were they strangers to keeping the faith at home.
Catholic Uniates in Ukraine
For years a section of the Uniates, in particular the urban intelligentsia, boycotted the ‘reunited’ churches and attended the few remaining Roman Catholic churches. In many parishes without priests, churches remained closed as the faithful refused to admit Orthodox clergymen,” (those who will not truck with Traditionalists). “In Ivano-Frankivsk diocese alone, there were at least 175 such ‘parishes’ between 1946 and 1956.
“But as the former Uniate clergy are dying out, some of the parishes are now being taken over by the new generation of clergy, already trained in the Orthodox seminaries, who may not necessarily identify themselves with the Uniate traditions and loyalties,” (shades of “Traditionalist” seminaries.) “With the shortage of new clergy, however, more and more churches are being left without a priest and are in danger of closing. One recent account from the Western Ukraine describes the plight of believers in such localities: ‘In my village there is no priest, but people come to church every Sunday and, together with the psalmsinger (diak) they sing Matins and the Mass . . . while a chalice and lighted candles are placed on the altar,’” (“The Catacomb Church: Ukrainian Greek Catholics in the USSR,” by Bohdan R. Bociurkiw).
(To read more on the decisions of the Church regarding having recourse to schismatics in the absence of Mass and the Sacraments, see https://www.betrayedcatholics.com/does-christ-himself-supply-jurisdiction-to-traditionalists/).
These people all were so very brave – braver I am afraid than many of us here in this country. What is not understood is that our Lord has been preparing us all for the time when we must stand up as they did. To do this He took away the visible means of our faith to help us realize that He alone holds the future of the Church in His hands; He alone is our source of grace and our salvation; He alone has given His Mother’s Sorrowful Heart the means of succoring us in these evil times and leading us straight to His Sacred Heart through the sorrows of her own. May all that is related here help strengthen those of us taking up this prayer apostolate that it may be pleasing to God, fruitful for ourselves and beneficial for so many others who desperately need these prayers. May of you all continue to enjoy a prayerful Lent.