What DON JUAN DONOSO CORTES said before the Spanish Parliament in 1849.

“The cause of your errors, Gentlemen, lies in your ignorance of the direction which civilization and the world are taking. You believe that civilization and the world are advancing, when civilization and the world are regressing. The world is taking great strides towards the constitution of the most gigantic despotism which men have ever known.”

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LONELY PLACES – A Poem by Joseph Payne Brennan

Brennan, Joseph P., Sixty Selected Poems, (New Establishment Press, Amherst, NY., 1985), p. 33:

If I could draw poetry out of lonely places,
I’d have a hundred books under my name,
or at least a trunkful of manuscript papers.
I think every wood and desolate field I ever saw
has somehow entered into me.
I’ve looked down dismal alleys late at night
and never forgotten them for forty years.
I see bleak places from train windows:
the shabby yard, the sour mildewed marsh,
the cracked road leading nowhere.
I remember buildings with blistered clapboards
warped, untended, tinder-dry.
I’ve seen so many sad forsaken streets
I could walk them in nightmare till the end of time.

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A hive of sacred honie-combes containing most sweet and heauenly counsel: taken out of the workes of the mellifluous doctor S. Bernard, Abbot of Clareval, tr. Anthony Batt, (Douay, 1633) :

“The perfection of humility consisteth in three things: to wit, that a man consider what he was before his birth, what he is from the day of his birth till the day of his death, what he shall be after this life. For how can a man grow proud, remembering that he hath been a vile seed, and blood curded in his mothers womb : after this in the wilderness of this world exposed to miseries and sin: and lastly shall be ashes, and worms-meat lying in his tomb? Whence doth a man grow proud, whose conception is sin, whose birth is pain, whose life is labor and misery, and death of necessity: not knowing when, or how, or where it shall be?”


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A PERIOD OF UNPARALLELED MEDIOCRITY – Tito Casini on the Vatican II Revolution

Tito Casini, The Last Mass of Paul VI : An Autumn Night’s Dream. (Britons Publishing Company, 1971) pp. 57-58:

“Those who now considered the changes of the Reform to be the work of Satan saw clearly in them, above all, his pride. It emerged, that most characteristically Satanic sin, in the presumption with which men of little or no preparation presented themselves to pass judgement and contemptuous criticism on all that holiness, doctrine, and genius, working for the glory of God and the elevation of souls, had created in harmonious collaboration and handed down through the centuries, until this our day. To Popes and saints, doctors and theologians, artists and poets, to men whose works were the joy and boast of the human race, these small, insignificant people had spoken thus: All of you have been completely and unutterably wrong: none of you ever understood a single thing. — They had addressed their mother and teacher, the Church, as follows: You have hitherto been plunged in ignorance; your teaching has been one big mistake; — and then, ripping out the page, flinging down the text-book, they had concluded: We are the men, the bright, the bold ones. Watch us now and see how it should have been done.”

John Lane of the Bellarmine Forums comments:

“Priceless! Isn’t his writing just… delightful?!

“His description could apply so aptly to so many of the key characters of the 1960s, a period of unparalleled mediocrity which praised itself constantly. Roncalli (his Diary informs us how holy he is, how pure in intention, humble, etc.), Suenens, Murray, and, par excellence, Malachi Martin!”


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Cioran, Emil M., Anathemas and Admirations, tr. Richard Howard (London: Quartet Books, 1992) p. 170:

Demosthenes copied out Thucydides eight times. That is how you learn a language. One ought to have the courage to transcribe all the books one loves.


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SAINT BERNARD’S VISION OF HELL : a 17th Century English Broadside Ballad

Saint Bernard’s Vision


A brief Discourse (Dialogue-wise) between the Soul and the Body of a damned man newly deceased, laying open the faults of each other: With a speech of the Devils in Hell. To the Tune of, Fortune my Foe.

Printed at London for J. Wright, dwelling in Gilt-spur street. 1640
Newly Transcribed by E.T.H. III for ease of the modern Reader. 2013

Soul in Hell 2

The Writer speaketh.
AS I lay slumbring in my Bed one Night,
A fearful Vision did me sore affright:
Me thought I saw a Soul departed late,
By it the Body, in a poor estate.

Wailing with sighs, the Soul aloud did cry
Upon the Body, in the Coffin by:
And thus the Soul to it did make her moan,
With grievous sobs, and many a bitter groan.

The Soul speaketh.
O sinful Flesh, which now so low doth lie,
Whom yesterday the World esteemd so high;
It was but yesterday the World was thine,
Thy Sun is set, which yesterday did shine.

Where is that Train that did attend on thee?
Where is thy Mirth? where is thy Jollity?
Where are thy sumptuous Buildings, and thy Treasure?
Thy pleasant Walks, in which thou tookst such pleasure?

Gone is thy Train, thy Mirth to mourning turn’d,
Thou in a Coffin in thy Shrine art Urn’d:
For thy rich Clothes, thou hast a Winding-sheet,
Thy high-built Roof now with thy Nose doth meet.

But I (poor Soul) was fram’d a noble creature,
In likeness to my God, of heavenly feature:
But by thy sin, whilst we on Earth abode,
I am made fouler than a loathsome Toad.

O wretched Flesh, with me that art forlorn,
That well mayst wish thou never hadst been borne;
Thou never wouldst to any good agree,
For which we evermore shall damned be.

I am and must forever be in pain,
No tongue can tell the torments I sustain;
Both thou and I, we must descend to Hell,
Where we in frying flames for aye must dwell.

It was thy Pride, Deceit, and Luxury,
Hath brought these torments both on me and thee;
Thy Wife, thy Children, Friends, which thou didst trust,
Doth loath thy Carcass, lying in the Dust.

The Book of God, which is both true and sure,
Witness at large what sinners shall endure:
Thou that within thy Bed of Earth art laid,
Arise, and answer to these things I said.

The Body answereth.
I know thee well, my Soul, which from me fled,
Which left my Body senseless, cold, and dead:
Cease then to say, the fault was all in me,
When I will prove the fault was most in thee.

Thou sayst, that I have led thee oft astray,
And from well-doing drawn thee quite away,
But if the Flesh the Spirits power can move,
The fault is thine, as I will plainly prove.

God you do know, created thee most fair,
And of Celestial knowledge gave you share:
I was your servant, form’d of Dirt and Clay;
You to command, and I for to obey.

Twas in your power for to restrain my will,
And not to let me do those things were ill.
The Bodies works be from the Soul derided,
And by the Soul the Body should be guided.

The Body of it self none ill hath known:
If I did what thou bidst, the guilts thine own:
For without thee, the Body resteth dead;
The Soul commands it rests upon thy head.

So to conclude, thy guilt exceedeth mine;
Oh, how the worms do tear me in my Shrine!
And therefore fare thou well, poor sinful Soul,
Whose trespasses pass mine, though they are foul.

The second part. To the same tune.

Soul in hell

The Soul answereth.
Most wretched Flesh, which in thy time of life
Wast foolish, idle, vain, and full of strife;
Though of my substance thou didst speak to me,
I do confess I should have bridled thee.

But thou through love of pleasure foul and ill,
Still me resisted and would have thy will:
When I would thee (O Body) have control’d,
Straight the worlds vanities did thee with-hold.

So thou of me didst get the upper hand,
Enthralling me in worldly pleasures band,
That thou and I eternal shall be drown’d
In Hell, when glorious Saints in Heaven are crown’d.

But flatt’ring fancies did thy mind so please,
Thou never thought to die, till death did seize:
This was thy fault, and cursed is our fate,
Which we repent, but now alas too late.

The Body speaketh.
Oh now I weep being scourg’d with mine own rod,
We both stand guilty ’fore the face of God:
Both are in fault, and yet not equally,
The greatest burthen (Soul) on thee doth lie.

No wit so mean, but this for truth it knows,
That where most gifts of virtue God bestows.
There most is due, and ought repaid be;
And unto this there’s none but will agree.

But foolishly thou yieldedst unto me,
And to my vain desires didst soon agree;
But (oh) I know that at the latter hour,
Both thou and I shall find a death most sour.

I greatly fear an everlasting fire,
Yet one thing more of thee I do desire:
Hast thou been yet amongst the fiends of Hell?
Is no hope left, that we with Christ may dwell?

The Soul answereth.
Fond flesh, remember Dives was denay’d,
When for one drop of water so he pray’d:
Thy question (senseless Body) wanteth reason,
Redemption now is hopeless, out of season.

Vile Body go, and rot in bed of Clay,
Until the great and general Judgement day:
Then shalt thou rise and be with me condemn’d,
To Hells hot lake, for ever without end.

So fare thou well, I must no longer stay,
Hark how the fiends of Hell call me away:
The loss of Heavenly joys tormenteth me
More than all tortures that in Hell can be.

The Devils speak.
Ho, are you come, whom we expected long?
Now we will make you sing another song:
Howling and yelling still shall be your note,
And molten lead be poured down your throat.

Such horror we do on our servants load,
Now thou art worse than is the crawling Toad:
Ten thousand thousand torments thou shalt bide,
When thou in flaming Sulphur shalt be fried.

Thou art a soldier of our camp enroll’d,
Never henceforth shalt thou the light behold:
The pains prepar’d for thee no tongue can tell,
Welcome, O welcome to the pit of Hell.

The Writer speaketh.
At this the groaning Soul did weep most sore,
And then the fiends with joy did laugh and roar:
These Devils seem’d more black than pitch or night,
Whose horrid shapes did sorely me affright.

Sharp steely forks each in his hand did bear,
Tusked their teeth, like crooked mattocks were,
Fire and Brimstone then they breathed out,
And from their nostrils Snakes crawl’d round about.

Foul filthy horns on their black brows they wore,
Their nails were like the tushes of a Boar:
Those fiends in chains fast bound this wretched Soul,
And drag’d him in, who grievously did howl.

Then straight me thought appeared to my sight
A beauteous young man, clothed all in white,
His face did shine, most glorious to behold,
Wings like the Rainbow, and his hair like Gold.

With a sweet voice, All hail, all hail (quoth he)
Arise and write what thou didst hear and see:
Most heavenly music seemed then to play,
And in a cloud he vanished quite away.

Awaking straight, I took my pen in hand,
To write these lines the young man did command,
And so into the world abroad it sent,
That each good Christian may in time repent.

Then let us fear the Lord both night and day,
Preserve our Souls and Bodies we thee pray,
Grant that we may so run this mortal race,
That we in Heaven may have a resting place.

Preserve the King, the Queen and Progeny,
The Clergy, Council, and Nobility,
Preserve our souls, O Lord, we do thee pray,
Amen, with me let all good Christians say.


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THE BELOVED CITY by Father Henry E.G. Rope

Transcribed from The City of the Grail & Other Verses by Henry E.G. Rope, M.A., London, 1923. Poet and Priest, friend and “chaplain” to Hilaire Belloc, Fr. Henry E.G. Rope has left behind him a rich little catalog of evocative stories, essays, and poems just waiting to be rediscovered. We have heard “he lived into his nineties, dying in about 1974 (???) rejecting the Novus Ordo theological and liturgical revolution. Sadly, his books are of the last rarity.” We are posting this particular poem of Father Rope’s in conjunction with our prayers at the start of this Lenten season in the hope that a True Catholic Pope will be acclaimed in the coming weeks.


SHOULD I forget thee, O Pontific Rome,
O chosen city of the King of Kings,
City of refuge, Peter’s royal home.

Should I forget thee, O Pontific Rome,
Fair city that the living flood enrings,
Fast rock whereon the billows spend their foam

For ever vainly, evermore frustrate ;
O city, whose high places stand engirt
With angel armies that untiring wait

Each sign from heaven, headlong from the gate
To drive thy foe or suffer him exert
His malice for an hour infatuate.

O City of our God, O Citadel
Of life, amid a death-devoted age
Encompass’d by the banner’d host of hell,

Whose rout God’s chosen hour shall soon dispel,
Should I forget thee, suffrage none assuage
The penal years my thankless soul must tell.

Right soon the moment which the King hath set
For judgment shall thy royalty renew;
That royalty the world would fain forget

From long eclipse shall issue brighter yet.
O Holy City, who to thee is true
Unto the end, him will not God forget.

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Coman of Cluain mac Treoin’s TESTIMONY as to the school of Sinchell the Young of Cell Аchid along with Mugron’s (a successor to Columcille) INVOCATION OF THE TRINITY.

Transcribed from
being a fragment of
an old-Irish Treatise on the Psalter
with Translation, Notes and Glossary
and an Appendix
Containing Extracts hitherto Unpublished from
Ms. Rawlinson, B. 51a
in the Bodleian Library
edited by Kuno Meyer

This is Coman of Cluain mac Treoin’s testimony as to the school of Sinchell the Young of Cell Аchid along with Mugron’s (a successor to Columcille) Invocation of the Trinity.

These are the rules and customs that were at young Sinchell’s school. Devotion without weariness. Humility without murmuring. Dressing without extravagance. Fasting without violation. Exile without return… against frivolities. Blessing the meal. Dining without leavings. Perseverance in learning. Оbservance of the canonical hours. Cultivation of Heaven. Strengthening every weak one. Not caring for the world. Desiring mass. Listening to elders. Adoration of chastity. Standing by the weak. Frequent confession. Contempt of the body. Respect for the soul. Humanity in need. Attending the sick. Cross-vigil in silence. Pity to sickness. Searching the Scripture. Relating the gospels. Honour to the old. Keeping festival days holy. Brevity in chanting. Keeping friendship (or perhaps gossipred). Greatly avoiding women. Dread of their stories. Great hatred of their talk. Not to go to their great conversation. Not to be alone with them, in one house. Without… the conversation of neighbours. Purity in these men, the better for their souls. Humility to their master. Their master their servant. The Lord their master.

Two things that are a greater evil than (any) one thing: lust and gluttony. Through gluttony Adam was expelled from Paradise. Through gluttony Esau destroyed his birthright and sold it to his brother Jacob for pottage.


Have mercy on us, O God father omnipotent! O God of hosts. O sublime God. O Lord of the world. O unspeakable God. O Creator of the elements. O invisible God. O incorporeal God. O unjudgeable God. O immeasurable God. O impatient God. O immaculate God. O immortal God. O immoveable God. O eternal God. O perfect God. O merciful God. O admirable God. O dread God. O golden good. O heavenly Father that art in Heavens, have mercy on us!

Have mercy on us, O omnipotent God, O Jesus Christ, O son of living God! O son that was born twice. O only-begotten of God the Father. O first child of Mary the Virgin. O son of David. O son of Abraham. O beginning of all. O end of the world. O word of God. O jewel of the heavenly kingdom. O life of all. О eternal truth. О image, О likeness, О figure of God the Father. О hand of God. О arm of God. О strength of God. О right hand of God. О true wisdom. О true light that lighteth every darkness. О…light. О sun of truth. О morning star. О radiance of the Godhead. О splendour of the eternal light. О intelligence of the mystic world. О intermediator of all men. О betrothed of the Church. О trusty shepherd of the flock. О expectation of the faithful. О angel of the great counsel. О true prophet. О true apostle. О true teacher. О high priest. О master. О Nazarene. О fair-haired one. О ever living satisfaction. О tree of life. О true vine. О sprout of the root of Jesse. О king of Israel. О Saviour. О door of the world. О chosen flower of the plain. О lily of the valleys. О rock of strength. О corner stone. О heavenly Zion. О foundation offaith. О innocent lamb. О diadem. О gentle sheep. О redeemer of mankind. О true God. О true man. О lion. О ox. О eagle. О crucified Christ. О judge of Doom, have mercy on us!

Have mercy on us, О omnipotent God, О Holy Spirit! О Spirit that is nobler than all spirits. О finger of God. О guard of the Christians. О comforter of the sorrowful. О gentle one. О merciful intercessor. О giver of true wisdom. О author of Holy Scripture. О ruler of speech. О septiform spirit. О spirit of wisdom. О spirit of understanding. О spirit of counsel. О spirit of strength. О spirit of knowledge. О spirit of gentleness. О spirit of awe. О spirit of charity. О spirit of grace. О spirit by whom all high things are ordained!

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“A scourge of small c(h)ords.”—JOHN ii. 15.

I AM an Evolutionist, and I believe in Law,
I worship mother Nature though she’s “red in tooth and claw;”
I don’t believe in anything I neither hear nor see,
But I believe in Reason (mine) and some Theosophy.

We Evolutionists can tell just how the world was made,
Without a Maker—Well! of course, “evolved “ I should have said;
And Law without a Law-giver may sound a little raw,
But I’m an Evolutionist and I believe in Law.

The universe originally, of course, did not exist,
But tiny atoms hung about like clouds of finest mist;
The mightiest microscope could not reveal them to the eye,
But billions were there we know by our philosophy.

Like darkened mist they floated in—in—nothing only space,
Until one day—Well! not a “day”—a striking change took place;
Of course, all this was ages since, a million years or more,
Before the sun could measure “years,” and Time itself before.

These atoms had been idling and wasting all their time
Before that day, or rather night—one gets mix’d up in rhyme—
When a power came sweeping over them to make them closer draw,
Fortuitously some combined by—Well! by—“Natural Law.”

They all commenced a-pulling one another ! stranger still,
They pull’d without a hook or hands by a kind of force of will!
The potency of matter into operation came,
For “Gravitation” started up ere Newton knew the name.

How cleverly Sir Isaac guessed—“discovered” I should state—
From an apple falling to the ground by its own proper weight,
That atoms, million miles apart, and stars down to a straw,
Can pull each other without ropes, by merely “Natural Law !”

Like swarming bees about a queen they rushed together all,
And clashing struck with so much force they forged a white-hot ball;
And as they’d “other worlds than ours” to make, they thought it right,
Unlike the bees, who love the dark, to first strike up a light.

Our blazing sun then swung around—I think “ours” was the first,
Though not quite sure about the date—it seems one of the worst ?
For every star’s a sun you know, and some are greater far
Than ours, which scientists affirm is but a little star!

Well! then, our sun by whirling round shot off great sparks of fire,
Like red-hot fire-balls shooting forth, some lower and some higher;
And one of these while plastic, soft, revolved into a globe,
And formed a “crust” of earth and seas, a sort of watery robe!

This “crust,” of course, was baked so hot the oceans must have boiled,
Evaporation wasted some till what was left was spoiled;
A salty sediment was formed, which is their common fault,
But only Evolutionists know why the sea is salt!

Of Nature’s many marvels p’rhaps most wonderful of all
Was boiling water, not in pans, but round a red-hot ball!
It fills the mind (the astronomer’s) with thoughts akin to awe,
To think how all these things were done by simply “Natural law!”

In course of time the globe cooled down, the seas would cease to scald,
Another sediment was formed, “Bathybius” Huxley called;
A deep-sea protoplasmic mud—don’t say “sulphate of lime!”—
The dawn of life upon “our globe,” a lot of living slime!

From rocks or stones in water, when the stones had been dissolved,
The various vegetables sprang, or were in time evolved;
Atomic souls, or monads, found expression in these forms,
And threw out blades and branches, or appeared as wriggling worms!

Some specks of this live jelly pushed out arms to catch the prey,
They could not see at first, you see ? so had to feel their way;
Some pushed out legs determinedly, and feet, or fins and claws,
Just as they needed them, you know ; and all by “Natural laws!”

They felt-it inconvenient though to be without some sight,
And so on sunny days they sat exposing to the light;
They blinked and blinked till spots were formed—who knows until he tries?—
And, strangely, two, sank-deep enough to form a pair of eyes!

They then evolved to fishes, and some crawled upon the sand,
While others jumped till they could fly, despising those on land;
But these made up by flights of thought, evolving latent mind,
The fish begat the beast and that—man-monkeys, then—mankind!

Just think how great was Darwin to discover all the past
Development of animals ; I hope that it will last!
But some are lagging far behind, and old forms still persist,
Like clouds of nebulosity in space, which must have mist!

What transmigrations we’ve gone through ! What cycles they would span,
To rise from mud and eels, through snakes, from matter up to man!
Some great ancestral Serpent must have had a subtle mind,
To teach us how to glide ahead and leave the rest behind!

No wonder Serpent worship as a cult so long survived;
Our “Knowing ones” could tell indeed from whom it was derived!
But they are silent lest, you see, our foes should find a flaw
And say that DEVOL—UTION is a much more natural law.

Of course in man material development has ceased,
His outward frame the highest is of any kind of beast;
But monkeys—they should still evolve to mankind, if they can,
While we by force of will aspire to evolve the inner man.

How great the mind of man (my own !) to trace this planet’s birth;
To know how all things formed themselves, all things in heaven and earth!
Has not Professor Drummond shown—though Paul some curses hurled
Against new gospels—“Natural law rules in the spirit world?”

So we shall climb much higher yet, evolving spirit, mind;
I hope it will not take as long as that we leave behind!
Our bodies, though developed with such labour, time, and care,
We’ll throw away—cremate them all!—and go and live—on air!

We want no resurrection of the body, we who look
For something better up to date than that old fashioned Book,
Which teaches that the Earth is fixed, a stable, out-stretched plane,
What Evolution can there be in that that’s worth the name?

Of course we Evolutionists have passed that sort of thing,
We want to be like angels, as the churches even sing;
Our spirits soar above the flesh in which we now ensconce,
And I shall be an angel soon, though p’rhaps not all at once!

We’ll raise another Babel Tower to join the heavenly host
Of immaterial deities, the demon gods and ghosts!
Some Master mind—who was it now? My recollection’s dim—
Once promised, “Ye shall be as gods !” and we all follow him.

So I’m an Evolutionist, I hold to “Natural Law,”
Both here and in the spirit world, as our dear Drummond saw;
The problem of the Universe these master minds have solved?
From out their inner consciousness the whole has been evolved!

Reprinted from “THE EARTH”,
A Monthly Magazine of Sense and Science, upon a
Scriptural Basis;
And of Universal Interest to all Nations and Peoples
under the sun.
Edited and Published by E.A.M.B, 11, Gloucester Road
Kingston Hill, Surrey, England.

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THE RUIN THAT BEFELL THE GREAT FAMILIES OF IRELAND (c. 1720) by Aodhágan Ó Rathaille / Translated by Michael Hartnett

for Luke Kelly

My pity, that Carthy’s heirs are weaklings,
this poor land’s people without a leader;
no man to free her, locked up and keyless,
and shieldless now in this land of chieftains.
Land with no prince of her ancient people,
land made helpless from foreigner’s beatings;
land stretched out beneath the feet of treason,
land chained down—it is the death of reason.
Land lonely, tortured , broken and beaten,
land sonless, manless, wifeless, and weeping;
land lifeless, soulless, and without hearing,
land where the poor are only ill-treated.
Land without churches, massless, and priestless,
land that the wolves have spitefully eaten;
land of misery and obedience
to tyrant robbers, greedy and thieving.
Land that produces nothing of sweetness,
land so sunless, so starless and so streamless;
land stripped naked, left leafless and treeless,
land stripped naked by the English bleaters.
Land in anguish—and drained of its heroes,
land for its children forever weeping;
a widow wounded, crying and keening,
humbled, degraded, and torn to pieces.
The white of her cheeks is never tearless,
and her hair falls down in rainshowers gleaming;
blood from her eyes in torrents comes streaming
and black as coal is her appearance.
Her limbs are shrunken, bound and bleeding;
around her waist is no satin weaving,
but iron from Hades blackly gleaming
forged by henchmen who are Vulcan’s demons.
Red pools are filled by her poor heart’s bleeding
and dogs from Bristol lap it up greedily—
her body is being pulled to pieces
by Saxon curs with their bloody teeth full.
Her branches rotten, her forests leafless,
the frosts of Heaven have killed her streams now;
the sunlight shines on her lands but weakly,
the fog of the forge is on her peaks now.
Her quarries, her mines, are exploited freely,
the rape of her trees is pointless, greedy;
her growing plants are all scattered seawards
to foreign countries to seek for freedom.
Griffin and Hedges, the upstart keepers
of the Earl’s holdings—it is painful speaking—
Blarney, where only bold wolves are sleeping,
Ráth Luirc is plundered, naked and fearful.
The Laune is taken, has lost its fierceness,
Shannon and Maine and Liffey are bleeding;
Kingly Tara lacks the seed of Niall Dubh,
No Raighleann hero is alive and breathing.
O’Doherty is gone—and his people,
and the Moores are gone, that once were heroes;
O’Flaherty is gone—and his people,
and O’Brien has joined the English cheaters.
Of the brave O’Rourke there is none speaking,
O’Donnell’s fame has none to repeat it,
and all the Geraldines, they lie speechless,
and Walsh of the slender ships is needy.

Hear, oh Trinity, my poor beseeching:
take this sorrow from my broken people,
from the seed of Conn and Ír and Eibhear—
restore their lands to my broken people.

They are my tormenting sorrow,
brave men broken by this rain,
and fat pirates in bed
in the place of older tribes of fame,
and the tribes that have fled
and who cared for poets’ lives, defame.
This great crime has me led
shoeless, bare,
through cold towns crying today.

O Rathaille by Michael Hartnett, Oldcastle: Gallery Press, 1999.

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THE VERY FIRST PAGE OF AN OLD RECUSANT CATECHISM (1633) : Three Sayings of S. Austin most worthy to be noted; taken out of his first book of Faith, ad Pet.

[…] I beseech thee for God’s and thy own sake, seriously to weigh, and frequently to consider in the silence of thy recollected mind, these words of the great Doctor of the Church, S. Austin, which are here adjoined.

Three Sayings of S. Austin most
worthy to be noted; taken out
of his first book of Faith,
ad Pet.

1. Hold for most certain, and in no wise doubt, that not only all Pagans, but also Jews, Heretics, and Schismatics, who die out of the Catholic Church, shall go to neverending fire, prepared for the Devil and his angels.

2. Hold for most certain, and in no wise doubt, that no Heretic or Schismatic, baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, if he be not united (by Faith and Charity) to the Catholic Church, though he give never so great alms, yea die for the name of Christ, can in any wise be saved. For neither Baptism, nor ever so great almsdeeds, nor death undergone for the name of Christ, can be profitable to Salvation, as long as one remaineth in the wickedness of Heresy or Schism, which leadeth to damnation.

3. Hold for most certain, and in no wise doubt, that not all, who are baptized according to the rites of the Catholic Church, shall receive everlasting life : but only those who after Baptism live righteously, that is, abstain from vices, and desires of the flesh. For as faithless Heretics shall not have the kingdom of Heaven, so naughty Catholics shall never inherit the same.

These are the words of S. Austin, that great light of God’s Church. I pray God they may be imprinted and even riveted in thy heart, and therein work that effect, which (together with thy prayers) I desire, Farewell.

Transcribed by E.T.H. III from AN INTRODUCTION TO THE CATHOLICK FAITH Containing A brief explication of the Christian Doctrine; Togeather with an easie Method to examine the Conscience for a general Confession. Whereunto is added a dailie exercise of devout prayers. By John Cousturier. M. DC. XXXIII.

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Hilaire Belloc’s PREFACE to Ernest Bramah’s KAI LUNG’S GOLDEN HOURS

Kai Lung's Golden Hours

Homo faber. Man is born to make. His business is to construct: to plan: to carry out the plan: to fit together, and to produce a finished thing.

That human art in which it is most difficult to achieve this end (and in which it is far easier to neglect it than in any other) is the art of writing. Yet this much is certain, that unconstructed writing is at once worthless and ephemeral: and nearly the whole of our modern English writing is unconstructed.

The matter of survival is perhaps not the most important, though it is a test of a kind, and it is a test which every serious writer feels most intimately. The essential is the matter of excellence: that a piece of work should achieve its end. But in either character, the character of survival or the character of intrinsic excellence, construction deliberate and successful is the fundamental condition.

It may be objected that the mass of writing must in any age neglect construction. We write to establish a record for a few days: or to send a thousand unimportant messages: or to express for others or for ourselves something very vague and perhaps very weak in the way of emotion, which does not demand construction and at any rate cannot command it. No writer can be judged by the entirety of his writings, for these would include every note he ever sent round the corner; every memorandum he ever made upon his shirt cuff. But when a man sets out to write as a serious business, proclaiming that by the nature of his publication and presentment that he is doing something he thinks worthy of the time and place in which he lives and of the people to whom he belongs, then if he does not construct he is negligible.

Yet, I say, the great mass of men to-day do not attempt it in the English tongue, and the proof is that you can discover in their slipshod pages nothing of a seal or stamp. You do not, opening a book at random, say at once: “This is the voice of such and such a one.” It is no one’s manner or voice. It is part of a common babel.

Therefore in such a time as that of our decline, to come across work which is planned, executed and achieved has something of the effect produced by the finding of a wrought human thing in the wild. It is like finding, as I once found, deep hidden in the tangled rank grass of autumn in Burgundy, on the edge of a wood not far from Dijon, a neglected statue of the eighteenth century. It is like coming round the corner of some wholly desolate upper valley in the mountains and seeing before one a well-cultivated close and a strong house in the midst.

It is now many years–I forget how many; it may be twenty or more, or it may be a little less–since The Wallet of Kai Lung was sent me by a friend. The effect produced upon my mind at the first opening of its pages was in the same category as the effect produced by the discovery of that hidden statue in Burgundy, or the coming upon an unexpected house in the turn of a high Pyrenean gorge. Here was something worth doing and done. It was not a plan attempted and only part achieved (though even that would be rare enough to-day, and a memorable exception); it was a thing intended, wrought out, completed and established. Therefore it was destined to endure and, what is more important, it was a success.

The time in which we live affords very few of such moments of relief: here and there a good piece of verse, in The New Age or in the now defunct Westminster: here and there a lapidary phrase such as a score or more of Blatchford’s which remain fixed in my memory. Here and there a letter written to the newspapers in a moment of indignation when the writer, not trained to the craft, strikes out the metal justly at white heat. But, I saw, the thing is extremely rare, and in the shape of a complete book rarest of all.

The Wallet of Kai Lung was a thing made deliberately, in hard material and completely successful. It was meant to produce a particular effect of humour by the use of a foreign convention, the Chinese convention, in the English tongue. It was meant to produce a certain effect of philosophy and at the same time it was meant to produce a certain completed interest of fiction, of relation, of a short epic. It did all these things.

It is one of the tests of excellent work that such work is economic, that is, that there is nothing redundant in order or in vocabulary, and at the same time nothing elliptic–in the full sense of that word: that is, no sentence in which so much is omitted that the reader is left puzzled. That is the quality you get in really good statuary–in Houdon, for instance, or in that triumph the archaic Archer in the Louvre. The Wallet of Kai Lung satisfied all these conditions.

I do not know how often I have read it since I first possessed it. I know how many copies there are in my house–just over a dozen. I know with what care I have bound it constantly for presentation to friends. I have been asked for an introduction to this its successor, Kai Lung’s Golden Hours. It is worthy of its forerunner. There is the same plan, exactitude, working-out and achievement; and therefore the same complete satisfaction in the reading, or to be more accurate, in the incorporation of the work with oneself.

All this is not extravagant praise, nor even praise at all in the conventional sense of that term. It is merely a judgment: a putting into as carefully exact words as I can find the appreciation I make of this style and its triumph.

The reviewer in his art must quote passages. It is hardly the part of a Preface writer to do that. But to show what I mean I can at least quote the following:

“Your insight is clear and unbiased,” said the gracious Sovereign. “But however entrancing it is to wander unchecked through a garden of bright images, are we not enticing your mind from another subject of almost equal importance?”

Or again:

“It has been said,” he began at length, withdrawing his eyes reluctantly from an usually large insect upon the ceiling and addressing himself to the maiden, “that there are few situations in life that cannot be honourably settled, and without any loss of time, either by suicide, a bag of gold, or by thrusting a despised antagonist over the edge of a precipice on a dark night.”

Or again:

“After secretly observing the unstudied grace of her movements, the most celebrated picture-marker of the province burned the implements of his craft, and began life anew as a trainer of performing elephants.”

You cannot read these sentences, I think, without agreeing with what has been said above. If you doubt it, take the old test and try to write that kind of thing yourself.

In connection with such achievements it is customary to-day to deplore the lack of public appreciation. Either to blame the hurried millions of chance readers because they have only bought a few thousands of a masterpiece; or, what is worse still, to pretend that good work is for the few and that the mass will never appreciate it–in reply to which it is sufficient to say that the critic himself is one of the mass and could not be distinguished from others of the mass by his very own self were he a looker-on.

In the best of times (the most stable, the least hurried) the date at which general appreciation comes is a matter of chance, and to-day the presentation of any achieved work is like the reading of Keats to a football crowd. It is of no significance whatsoever to English Letters whether one of its glories be appreciated at the moment it issues from the press or ten years later, or twenty, or fifty. Further, after a very small margin is passed, a margin of a few hundreds at the most, it matters little whether strong permanent work finds a thousand or fifty thousand or a million of readers. Rock stands and mud washes away.

What is indeed to be deplored is the lack of communication between those who desire to find good stuff and those who can produce it: it is in the attempt to build a bridge between the one and the other that men who have the privilege of hearing a good thing betimes write such words as I am writing here.

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The Earth NOT a Whirling Globe / The Earth a Stationary Plane by ZETETES

The Earth NOT a Whirling Globe

SHAPE.—Children at school, before they are able to judge for themselves, are taught to believe that “The earth is round like an orange.” This idea was drummed into our ears so long that we came to believe it in spite of its palpable absurdity. It will not bear critical examination. For instance :

A school geography says, “We know that the earth is round because ships have sailed round it.” What wretched logic! Ships can sail round the Isle of Man : Is that a globe ? Not more so than the earth. Ships go round the world as they sail round an island, or as we walk round a square, or a town, going round along a flat surface. A thing may be “round” and flat too, like a penny.

Pictures of ships, in false and distorted perspective, are given in school books, professing to show why the hull disappears before the masts. The line of sight, which should be a tangent to the sphere at the place of the observer, is raised miles high, descending to a very distant horizon at a considerable angle. But no man in this world, whatever his altitude, ever looked down to his horizon. It is always on a level with the eye. It is, therefore, a fraud to picture it otherwise. Besides, when the hull of a ship has disappeared to the naked eye it can often be rendered visible again by a good telescope, thus proving that it had not gone down beyond or over the horizon, nor behind a hill of water. Vapour or spray might obscure it.

MOTION.—Astronomers teach that we are rushing through “space” at the awful rate of about 63,000 miles an hour, or more than 1,000 miles a minute! Can you believe it? It would be fearful. The astronomers would be whirled off into “space,” with clouds, rivers, and seas all flying after them. The idea is absurd. No proof of such motion has ever been given. It is a mere supposition, incapable of proof.

It is absurd to suppose there are people at the so-called “Anti- podes” hanging heads downward in relation to us. What keeps them from falling off? Flies that walk the ceiling have suckers to their feet. Gravitation! A myth invented to support the whirling globe superstition. What is “gravitation?”—a solid, a liquid, or mere gas? Heavy bodies fall to the earth by their own weight; light substances float in the air in spite of the combined pull of all the particles in the world. Luminous bodies have no attraction, except for silly moths. Magnetic currents affect bodies according to their varying forces, but there is no such thing as universal attraction, or a general pulling and tugging of bodies to get together in the whole universe. Gravitation has never been proved. It is an absurd speculation of men spoiled with the pride of “science,” but, as Paul says, a “science falsely so called.” —1. Tim. vi. 26. Give it up for the Truth.

The Earth a Stationary Plane.

PLANE.—We know that the earth is flat by practical experiments. The surface of still water has been proved to be level. A medical gentleman—“Parallax”—of London, demonstrated that the surface of the canal known as the “Bedford Level,” near the Fen district, is absolutely level for six miles. He has given the evidence in a book entitled “The Earth not a Globe.” This book has never been answered. If the earth were globular, canals and railways would be convex, or arched; but no allowance is ever made in their construction for the supposed curvature, although the contrary is often, falsely asserted. Such allowance is practically forbidden in the Standing Orders of the House of Commons. Even mariners find they can best steer their vessels by Mercator’s charts, which represent the seas and oceans as flat. A long straight-edge adjusted on the beach will prove the sea horizon is level for twenty miles or more.

The surface of canals, rivers, and seas, being level, it follows that the earth or land is, speaking generally, a plane, or series of planes. Geographers admit that “The earth appears to us to be flat.” It appears so to those who are called Zetetics, or truth-seekers, and they believe in the evidence of their senses until convinced to the contrary.

MOTIONLESS.—Experiments, in various ways and places, have been made with cannon balls fired into the air, and the earth has never been discovered to have any motion. If we were dashed along at 1,000 miles per minute, while rotating 1,000 miles an hour, it would be something terrific! Fancy a man lashed by “gravitation,” or anything else, to a tremendous flywheel in motion! He would soon be whirled out of his senses. Yet we can neither see nor feel any motion in the earth. Clouds hang lazily about, or move in various directions, proving they float over a stable earth. The sun and moon, being comparatively small bodies, are only able to light up about half the earth at one time; but they can be seen to move in spiral circles above us, and at short distances, as may be proved by plane triangulation, the sun not being more than two or three thousand miles off.

Astronomers admit their theories are based upon “hypotheses” or suppositions. Let us give up such “vain imaginations” for the facts of Nature and the evidence of our senses. Deep principles underlie this question. The globular theory is the foundation of the infidel theories of Evolution, etc., which subvert the Bible account of Creation.

God made the world in six days, resting on the seventh, which is the true Lord’s Day, or Sabbath, and which YAHWEH sanctified for man. Hence the week of seven days from remote antiquity has been a periodical witness of God’s creative work. His works and His Word are harmonious and true. Modern astronomy is a subtle lie. Which will you believe, the Creator or the creature? Let Nature’s facts not infidel fancies, decide this important question.


Dorothy Road, off St, Saviour’s Road, Leicester.


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Ten-Year Anniversary Coin Minted to Commemorate the First Purported MASONIC MOON LANDING

I picked up this coin a number of years ago on Ebay as a gag to show certain people who believe everything is as they’ve always believed it to be.
Masonic Moon Landing Coin Front
Masonic Moon Landing Coin Back

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ASPIRATIONS AND GHOSTLY SIGHINGS out of an Old Recusant Manual of Devotion (1623)

O Good Jesu, O gracious Jesu, O sweet Jesu! O my hope, my refuge and my health, have mercy, have mercy, have mercy upon me! I am poor, needy, and weak; I am naught, I have naught, I know nothing, I can do nothing of my self, but sin : help me therefore, sweet Jesu. O Lord be merciful to me, most vile and abominable sinner, unworthy to live on the earth : Verily it is but right that every man should despise me, persecute me, afflict me, and over-tread me with their feet : thy most blessed and thankful will, be ever done upon me, and in me. Grant me O good Lord, full remission of all my sins, washing me in thy precious blood. Grant me perfect mortification and denying of my self. Destroy in me mine own will, and the seeking of my self. Grant me true humility, perfect patience and charity, of my tongue, and of all my senses, perfect temperance. Grant unto me purity, simplicity, and liberty of mind, and also an exact will in turning to thee, that I may be one according to thy hearts desire. Lo, my singular beloved Lord, lo, I salute and honour thy Rose-ruddy, sweet, and sacred wounds. All hail, all hail, most pleasant & health-some wounds of my Lord. All hail, most bountiful heart of my dear Lover, wounded for my sake; of all goodness, of all bliss, the most pleasant treasure house.

O my Lord Jesu Christ, I most humbly thank thee for thy venerable wounds.

O Lord, drown me in them, hide me in them, write and print them deeply in my heart, that I may burn altogether in thy love, and that I may take compassion upon thee from my heart.

Grant that all frail creatures may be vile, and of small estimation with me : & that thou only mayst please, & be sweet, and delectable unto me : make me like unto thy holy humanity.

O dearly beloved, dearly beloved, dearly beloved! O the most dearly beloved, of all dearly beloved! Oh my only beloved! O my fresh and flourishing Spouse! O my mellifluous, and honey-sweet Spouse! O the sweetness of my heart, and the life of my Soul! Set me on fire, burn me, make me anew, and transform me, that nothing besides thee; may live in me. O wound very deeply my heart, with the dart of thy love.

Transcribed by E.T.H. III from A manuall of godly prayers, and litanies, taken out of many famous authors, and distributed both for the morning and euening exercises, for all the dayes of the weeke. 1623 p. 501-503

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“A True Portrait of the Inner Modernist” : Mr. Craig Heimbichner’s ANALYSIS OF THE MASONIC AND DEMONIC SYMBOLISM in the 1977 “Portrait” of Giovanni Montini/Paul VI

Smithsonian Magazine, April, 1977, Page 60-61 :

“Those great patrons of the arts, the Renaissance popes, usually commissioned the artist in their employ – Raphael, Titian, Velazquez – to paint their portraits. The result was some of the greatest paintings ever produced.

“Since then the practice has fallen off (along with the art of portraiture). So it was with some surprise that the world learned last fall that a portrait had been painted of Pope Paul VI, even though he did not commission it or, for that matter, sit for it. Moreover, it was in a semiabstract style unlike that of any previous papal portrait.

“The artist was a 42-year-old German named Ernst Gunter Hansing. Pope Paul did not at first respond to having his picture painted with any enthusiasm, but he later relented. Hansing was given a small studio in the building that houses the Vatican gas station, and for the next two and a half years, during 13 separate visits to Rome, he observed his subject from the front row at papal audiences.

“The finished portrait has been accepted by the Pope. His Holiness described the painting as “a mirror of the situation in the Church today.” Earlier, on seeing a working sketch, he made what was probably his closest approach to art criticism. It was gracefully oblique: “One almost needs a new philosophy to grasp the meaning of this in its context.”

From the Nov. 8, 1971 issue of TIME magazine:

Behind a locked door in Vatican City waits a present for Pope Paul VI that may conceivably please its recipient but has already shocked many who have seen photographs of it. The gift is a large (about 71 ft. by 12 ft.) portrait of His Holiness, painted in a semi-abstract mode, in which the Pope’s emaciated, suffering face and folded hands are the focus of splintering shafts of light. German Painter Ernst Guenter Hansing, 42, sketched his subject during twelve protracted stays at the Vatican over a period of 21 years. Though he never had a private sitting, he was given a front-row seat at papal ceremonies in which to work. “I wanted more than just a picture of a person,” says Hansing, a Lutheran. “I wanted to show the tension-fraught situation of the church, caught in a multiplicity of issues, as reflected in the countenance of the Pope.”


Mr. Craig Heimbichner’s Analysis of the Masonic and Demonic Symbolism in the 1977 “Portrait” of Giovanni Montini/Paul VI

1. Three pillars

2. Two columns

3. Cresent moon

4. Various Pentagrams

5. Sphynx at the top of the pillar

6. The columns and angles combine to form a square and compass

7. The point within the circle at the top is an old Illuminati symbol

8. Above Paul VI’s head an abstract “eye in the triangle” I.E. the Eye of Horus or Set

9. A dagger is thrust in the papal tiara in the 30th Knight Kadosh Degree; here the pope clutches a dagger with a malevolent look.

10. Inverted crosses are Satanic, but so is Freemasonry


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THE EARTH AN IRREGULAR PLANE by William Thomas Wiseman



THE surface of all water, when not agitated by natural causes, such as wind, tides, earthquakes, &c., is perfectly level. The sense of sight proves this to every unprejudiced and reasonable mind. Can any so-called scientist, who teaches that the earth is a whirling globe, take a heap of liquid water, whirl it round, and so make rotundity? He cannot. Therefore it is utterly impossible to prove that an ocean is a whirling rotund section of a globular earth, rushing through “space” at the lying-given-rate of false philosophers.

¶ When a youth, I stood upon the Dover shore of the English Channel, and was told to watch a departing ship. “See! There she goes; down, down, down! The hull has disappeared! She is out of sight! Now, my boy, you have had an ocular demonstration that the world is round (meaning globular in shape), & SEEING IS BELIEVING.” I walked up to an “old salt” who had a telescope, and said: “Can you see that big ship through your glass that’s gone down the Channel, and is now out of sight.” “Yes, my son. Look!” The big ship immediately came into view again, as I peered through the sailor’s glass! “Why! my _________ told me the earth was round, because that ship I can now see had turned down over the horizon!” “Aha! aha! sonny, I know they all says it! Now, I have been all over the world, but I never believed it. But, then, I have no learning, only my senses to rely upon, & I says SEEING IS BELIEVING.”

¶ I now, after many years, endorse the old sailor’s experience, that the world is not a globe, and I have never found the man who could prove by any practical demonstration that he, or I, are living on a whirling ball of earth and water!


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S Francis X

O GOD, I love Thee, not to get
Thy Favour to be Saved ; nor yet
To Shun that sad Eternal Lot,
Design’d for those that love Thee not.
Thou, Thou, my JESU, to thy Loss,
Would’st needs Embrace me on the Cross :
Thou would’st endure both Nails and Lance,
Disgrace and Dolours; with a Trance
Of bloody Sweat, and boundless Seas
Of Anguishes and Bitterness;
Nay, even Death’s last Agony :
And this for me, a Foe to Thee.
Most loving JESUS, shall this move
No like Return of Love for Love?
Above all things I love thee best;
Yet not for Hope of Interest;
Nor for to gain Heaven’s Promised Land;
Nor for to stop thy threatening Hand :
But as Thou lovedst me, so do I
Love Thee, and ever shall, meerly
Because Thou art my King, my GOD,
Of love the Source, and Period. AMEN.

Transcribed by E.T.H. III from An abridgement of the life of S. Francis Xaverius of the Society of Iesus, new apostle of India and Japony. Printed at St. Omers. 1667

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AN IMPORTANT LETTER ON THE NOVUS ORDO from the Founder of the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

July 10, 1974

I would like to make clear what I hold about the Novus Ordo.

I say that the Mass in English may be valid, but I think that the Mass should be said in Latin and that those who are going over and saying the Novus Ordo are traitors to the Catholic Faith.

Father Leonard Feeney, M.I.C.M.

This letter is one of three taken from an article entitled: Three Important Letters From the Founder of the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which can be found in the now impossible to track down “From The Housetops,” #24, 1983. pg. 54. Saint Benedict Center.

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CHRISTMAS AND IRELAND : a Poem by Lionel Johnson (1896)

JMJ Ireland Stamp

THE golden stars give warmthless fire,
As weary Mary goes through night:
Her feet are torn by stone and briar;
She hath no rest, no strength, no light:
___O Mary, weary in the snow,
___Remember Ireland’s woe!

O Joseph, sad for Mary’s sake!
Look on our earthly Mother too :
Let not the heart of Ireland break
With agony, the ages through :
___For Mary’s love, love also thou
___Ireland, and save her now!

Harsh were the folk, and bitter stern,
At Bethlehem, that night of nights.
For you no cheering hearth shall burn :
We have no room here, you no rights.

___O Mary and Joseph! hath not she,
___Ireland, been even as ye?

The ancient David’s royal house
Was thine, Saint Joseph ! wherefore she,
Mary, thine Ever Virgin Spouse,
To thine own city went with thee.
___Behold! thy citizens disown
___The heir of David’s throne !

Nay, more! The Very King of kings
Was with you, coming to his own :
They thrust Him forth to lowliest things;
The poor meek beasts of toil alone
___Stood by, when came to piteous birth
___The God of all the earth.

And she, our Mother Ireland, knows
Insult, and infamies of wrong:
Her innocent children clad with woes,
Her weakness trampled by the strong:
___And still upon her Holy Land
___Her pitiless foemen stand.

From Manger unto Cross and Crown
Went Christ: and Mother Mary passed
Through Seven Sorrows, and sat down
Upon the Angel Throne at last.
___Thence, Mary! to thine own Child pray,
___For Ireland’s hope this day!

She wanders amid winter still,
The dew of tears is on her face :
Her wounded heart takes yet its fill
Of desolation and disgrace.
___God still is God! And through God she
___Foreknows her joy to be.

The snows shall perish at the spring,
The flowers pour fragrance round her feet:
Ah, Jesus! Mary! Joseph! bring
This mercy from the Mercy Seat!
___Send it, sweet King of Glory, born
___Humbly on Christmas Morn!

On Lionel Johnson (1867-1902), Louise Imogen Guiney, writing in the Catholic Encylopedia, states : “He was a small, frail, young-looking man, with a fine head and brow, quick of foot, gentle of voice, and with manners of grave courtesy. He greatly loved his friends in a markedly spiritual way, always praying for them, absent or present. His sound Catholic principles, his profound scholarship, his artistic sensitiveness, his play of wisdom and humor, his absolute literary honour, with its “passion for perfection” from the first, show nobly in his prose work. His lyrics are full of beauty and poignancy…

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“Here is another religious poem which is also to be still found in the County Mayo. I wrote down the first part of it from the mouth of Michael MacRury, or Rogers, from that county, and I afterwards got the last five verses of it, which he had not got, from Martin O’Callally, in Erris, in the same county.” – The Religious Songs of Connacht : A Collection of Poems, Stories, Prayers, Satires, Ranns, Charms, etc. (Translated from the Gaelic by) Douglas Hyde. 1906

Holy was good St. Joseph
___When marrying Mary Mother,
Surely his lot was happy,
___Happy beyond all other.

Refusing red gold laid down,
___And the crown by David worn,
With Mary to be abiding
___And guiding her steps forlorn.

One day when the twain were talking,
___And walking through gardens early,
Where cherries were redly growing,
___And blossoms were blowing rarely,

Mary the fruit desired,
___For faint and tired she panted,
At the scent on the breezes’ wing,
___Of the fruit that the King had planted.

Then spake to Joseph, the Virgin,
___All weary and faint and low,
“O pull me yon smiling cherries
___That fair on the tree do grow.

“For feeble I am, and weary,
___And my steps are but faint and slow,
And the works of the King of the graces
___I feel within me grow.”

Then out spake the good St. Joseph,
___And stoutly indeed spake he,
“I shall not pluck thee one cherry,
___Who art unfaithful to me.

“Let him come fetch you the cherries,
___Who is dearer than I to thee,”
Then Jesus hearing St. Joseph,
___Thus spake to the stately tree :

“Bend low in her gracious presence,
___Stoop down to herself, tree,
That my mother herself may pluck thee,
___And take thy burden from thee.”

Then the great tree lowered her branches
___At hearing the high command,
And she plucked the fruit that it offered,
___Herself with her gentle hand.

Loud shouted the good St. Joseph,
___He cast himself on the ground,
“Go home and forgive me, Mary,
___To Jerusalem I am bound ;
I must go to the holy city,
___And confess my sin profound.”

Then out spake the gentle Mary,
___She spake with a gentle voice,
“I shall not go home, O Joseph,
___But I bid thee at heart rejoice,
For the King of Heaven shall pardon
___The sin that was not of choice.”

* * * * *

Three months from that self-same morning,
___The blessed child was born,
Three kings did journey to worship
___That babe from the lands of the morn.

Three months from that very evening,
___He was born there in a manger,
With asses, and kine and bullocks,
___In the strange cold place of a stranger.

To her child said the Virgin softly,
___Softly she spake and wisely,
“Dear Son of the King of Heaven,
___Say what may in life betide Thee.”


“I shall be upon Thursday, Mother,
___Betrayed and sold to the foeman,
And pierced like a sieve on Friday,
___With nails by the Jew and Roman.

On the streets shall my heart’s blood flow,
___And my head on a spike be planted,
And a spear through my side shall go,
___Till death at the last be granted.

Then thunders shall roar with lightnings,
___And a storm over earth come sweeping,
The lights shall be quenched in the heavens
___And the sun and the moon be weeping.

While angels shall stand around me,
___With music and joy and gladness,
As I open the road into heaven,
___That was lost by the first man’s madness.”

* * * * *

Christ built that road into heaven,
___In spite of the Death and Devil,
Let us when we leave the world
___Be ready by it to travel.

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IDIOTIC MAN-CHILD STILL REBELLING AGAINST GOD & DADDY: James Carroll’s Constantine’s Sword (DVD) Reviewed by J. Michael (Now Born) 

A few years ago, ex-priest James Carroll wrote a fatuous and flatulent book called “Constantine’s Sword”, which purported to be a history of the Catholic Church’s crimes against the Jews, arguing that the Gospel’s natural fruits are anti-semitism and violence and that Christianity directly led to the Holocaust. Carroll’s book was praised by atheists, dissident Catholics and professional Semites, while being mocked as feeble-minded drivel by serious scholars. This self-indulgent and incoherent documentary is Carroll’s attempt to squeeze a little more notoriety and a few more bucks out of a very bad book.

¶ Since Vatican II’s Nostra Aetate diluted the Catholic Church’s Gospel message in the 1960s, in his search for Christian “anti-Semitism” Carroll was forced to find his villain in the protean and rather ridiculous specter of American Evangelicalism. We travel to the U.S. Air Force Academy where we discover that there is an improper relationship between the administration and Colorado Springs’ myriad evangelical sects, and that some Jewish cadets are subject to proselytization by other cadets. Could a more innocuous threat possibly be imagined than slavishly philo-Semitic American evangelicalism? After all, what horrible ordeals did the Jewish students have to endure? Well, they once received an official advertisement for a campus showing of Mel Gibson’s “Passion of the Christ”, and some evangelical cadets frequently try to convert them. Wow. No, it wasn’t right for the administration to favor any one particular creed, (Editor: Well actually…) but there’s a big difference between being inappropriate and being anti-Semitic. No one even claims that their academic standing was effected one iota because of their religion. As for the conversion attempts, the Jewish students should familiarize themselves with life as adults in a marketplace of ideas. Yet Mr. Carroll seems to think that pogroms will soon be the order of the day at the Academy.

¶ Perhaps realizing that his entire premise is baseless, Carroll spends the rest of the video droning on about his pathetic personal history. I’m not sure if he is descended from the eminent Carrolls of Carrollton, but he came from a strong and pious Catholic family, the son of prominent Air Force General Joseph Carroll. Carroll fills us in with details of his childhood growing up a military brat in occupied Germany, and retrospectively ridicules his family’s Catholic devotional activities. He relates how he decided to become a priest during the Cuban Missile Crisis because, tellingly, he was drawn “not to the Jesus of miracles but the Prince of Peace who hates war”. Already we see Carroll veering away from seeing the Gospel as supernatural revelation and more towards valuing it for its potential to effect political change. Carroll’s seminary experience obviously changed him. In a revealing statement, he tells us that he was “shocked to learn” in his study of history that “priests sinned”. Now, if that ludicrous statement is actually true, and not just a calculated lie to portray pre-conciliar Catholicism as developmentally arrested, then Mr. Carroll was an idiot man-child who should have been fitted with a cap ‘n’ bells instead of a clerical collar. However, as earlier Communist infiltration of the seminaries was beginning to bear fruit in the 60s, the obviously vapid Carroll was a prime candidate for indoctrination and came out as an obedient agent of the Internationale. The degree of Carroll’s devotion to his left-wing gospel can be judged by his conduct at his first Mass. In front of his entire family and his father’s military colleagues, the arrogant Carroll preached that the bones in Ezekiel’s famous vision had been bleached by napalm, and denounced the Vietnam War from the pulpit, humiliating his father and family. All I could think of when I heard that was “What a little $h!t.”

¶ Carroll spent the next four years protesting the war and agitating for various leftist causes. He then left the priesthood, married (a woman, surprisingly), and has made a living mining Catholicism and his childhood for material to fill his boring and worthless books. He continues to tear down the Church, advocating for gay marriage, abortion, euthanasia, Scriptural expurgation and all the rest of the immoral planks on Satan’s party platform. This evil old hack is a good representative specimen of the 1960s university generation, who esteem themselves wise because of their vaunted “education”, which actually consists of nothing more than the ability to parrot the dogmas of leftist ideology. Critical thinking is deprecated by these intellectual myrmidons; having “orthodox” sentiments is the ultimate value. Liberal fools like Carroll don’t care about truth, but only want to be on the side of the “angels” when some histrionic old Jew starts tearing up over a 1000 year old atrocity. And when that happens, people like Carroll instinctively grovel in the dust and seek absolution through self-destruction—whether of Faith, race or nation. A truly objective scholar would examine history in context. Atrocities have been committed both by and against the Jews. We could just as easily turn our anthropological microscope upon the Chosen People and attempt to learn what it is in the Talmud that has driven its adherents to oppress and exploit Gentiles throughout the ages, such as in early medieval Europe (see Early Medieval Jewish Policy in Western Europe) or modern Palestine, or even commit genocide against the goyim such as is documented in Judeo-Soviet Russia. But that doesn’t exactly fit the “script” of modern historiography.

¶ I can’t even begin to enumerate everything else that was so infuriating and frustrating about Carroll; his stupidity, his inconsistency, his mendacious history, his bovine mien, his continued subversion of the Catholic Church, his posse of Judaizing priests who are exorcised over Mel Gibson’s “Passion”, et al. The most frustrating thing though is that the media allows him to continue presenting himself as a “devoted Catholic” who only wants to make his church a little more sensitive. He’s nothing of the sort. He’s a full fledged enemy of the Church who is devoted to nothing but its castration, neutralization and eventual destruction. He only refrains from avowing outright atheism because he sees a role for a new Catholic Church, stripped of most supernatural beliefs and tightly controlled by a leftist clergy of his ilk, in bringing on his Novus Ordo Seclorum. Carroll needs to be exposed, excommunicated, shunned and slapped down. Let him fly his true colors outside the body of Christ and be recognized not as the critical Christian he poses as, but for the enemy of God he is.

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Tu Fu’s WINTER SOLSTICE translated into a Shakespearean Sonnet by the Japanese Scholar of English Literature Hisayoshi Watanabe

How often must the day come round to mark
The year’s sap at its lowest and to bring
This melancholy with the general dark,
To kill the aged exile with its sting?
I walk the riverside, a cloud forlorn,
Wondering how it is I could so grow
Conformed to the alien ways of the outmost bourn,
And halt to view the valley after snow.
This stick to prop the withered bag of bones,
I fondly dream, might be a courtier’s staff,
And I at this day’s rites as morning dawns;—
This crazy thought I spurn at once as chaff,
And faced with bitter facts I lose my mind:
My homeward way I seek and never find.

Sonnets and Poems with Renditions from Tu Fu : Exercises by a teacher of English to learn some more of his trade by Hisayoshi Watanabe. July 1986.

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A PRAYER TO ST. PETER CANISIUS: Doctor of the Church, Hammer of Protestantism, Patron of Libraries and Librarians.

Peter Canisius

O God, origin and dispenser of all wisdom, Who hast made the production of books for the spiritual and general benefit of mankind part of Thy Divine Providence, and Who hast inspired Thy servant Peter Canisius with an ardent desire for the collection of good books in libraries and their dissemination among Thy people: vouchsafe we pray that through his intercession and example we devote ourselves wholeheartedly to the apostolate of books. Assist us in taking care of the publications large and small which are given into our charge, and grant that through our ministration they find their way into the hands of such as will be truly benefited, spiritually and otherwise, by their perusal. We also pray that under St. Peter’s guardianship our books may increase in number and general usefulness, and be ever secure against theft and fire, against hostile violence, against the furies of weather and any kind of disaster — for the greater glory of Thy name and the welfare of Thy people. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Taken from My Prayer Book by the Rev. F.X. Lasance. 1944.

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The “Extremely Wild and Striking” Legend of the Slaying of Julian the Apostate by GREAT-MARTYR SAINT PHILOPATER MERCURIUS.


Taken from Volume II of Jameson’s Sacred and Legendary Art. Containing the Patron Saints, the Martyrs, the Early Bishops, the Hermits, and the Warrior Saints of Christendom, as represented in the Fine Arts. Riverside Press, 1896.

… the legend of Mercurius is extremely wild and striking. Julian the Apostate, who figures in these sacred romances not merely as a tyrant and persecutor, but as a terrible and potent necromancer who had sold himself to the devil, had put his officer Mercurius to death, because of his adhesion to the Christian faith. The story then relates that when Julian led his army against the Persians, and on the eve of the battle in which he perished, St. Basil the Great was favoured by a miraculous vision. He beheld a woman of resplendent beauty seated on a throne, and around her a great multitude of angels ; and she commanded one of them, saying, “Go forthwith, and awaken Mercurius, who sleepeth in the sepulchre, that he may slay Julian the Apostate, that proud blasphemer against me and against my son!” And when Basil awoke, he went to the tomb in which Mercurius had been laid not long before, with his armour and weapons by his side, and, to his great astonishment, he found neither the body nor the weapons. But on returning to the place the next day, and again looking into the tomb, he found there the body of Mercurius lying as before; but the lance was stained with blood; “for on the day of battle, when the wicked emperor was at the head of his army, an unknown warrior, bareheaded, and of a pale and ghastly countenance, was seen mounted on a white charger, which he spurred forward, and brandishing his lance, he pierced Julian through the body, and then vanished as suddenly as he had appeared. * And Julian being carried to his tent, he took a handful of the blood which flowed from his wound, and flung it into the air, exclaiming with his last breath, ‘Thou hast conquered, Galilean! thou hast conquered!’ Then the demons received his parting spirit. But Mercurius, having performed the behest of the blessed Virgin, re-entered his tomb, and laid himself down to sleep till the Day of Judgment.”

I found this romantic and picturesque legend among the Greek miniatures already so often alluded to, ** where the resurrection of the martyr, his apparition on the field of battle, and the death of Julian, who is falling from his horse, are represented with great spirit.

* Julian was killed by a javelin flung by an unknown hand. — Gibbon.
** Ninth Century. Paris Bib., Gr. MSS. 510.

san mercurio

Great-Martyr Saint Philopater Mercurius confound the enemies of Holy Church and triumph over all their designs. Amen.

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O sleeping falls the maiden snow
Upon the cold branches of the city
And oh! my love is warm and safe in my arms

Nearer, nearer comes the hell-breath of these times
O God! what can I do to guard her then

O sleeping falls the maiden snow
Upon the bitter place of our shelterlessness
But oh! for this moment, she whom I love
Lies safely in my arms


White lions are roaring on the water
And cold are the winds along the shore ;
And I think of men and of their wonder
That now they’ve asked to square the whore.

Who’ve prinked and ; gacked and ; goggled in the slop
Of every ordered fraud and cheat,
Now’d have the bloody swindle stop—
And march against the drums they beat.

So I think of men and of this winter,
And of the spring that comes no more ; 
Death’s lions are raging on the water,
And black are the winds upon the shore.

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Zetetic Heading

WE are often advised by well-meaning Christians, who are ignorant of the bearings of our contention, to allow the subject of the plane earth to “drop,” and to join with them in proclaiming what they are pleased to call “the gospel.” As we are going to press we have receieved another gratuitous piece of advice of the same nature. Our friend writes : —

¶ “You believe the earth is flat and stands still. I may give it a passing notice. I am surprised to find a man of so much intelligence and learning should persist in such notions. Is it not a clear fact that we can determine the approximate size of the globe? And if you go in a straight line in any direction you will come to the place from which you started, and how do you account for the Seasons, and the difference in the length of days at different seasons; and tidal motions, &c. I think you would be better engaged in helping to swell the world-wide cry of the Gospel. Don’t you think so?

¶ In answer to the last question we say decidedly, No! not at the expense of leaving off teaching the plain truth. It is undeniable that the Holy Scriptures teach that the Earth is stationary ; that it rests on “foundations” and “pillars” ; and that it is “established so fast that it cannot be moved.” We therefore contend that if, as some of our christian friends would have us believe, the Bible is not true in its material teachings respecting the Universe, it is not reliable in its promises of spiritual blessings. But we maintain that the Bible is true ; true to fact and to every day observation ; and that the earth does not move. In future number we hope to give good proofs of the earths immobility for those who need them ; but in the meantime we have a right to ask for some one proof, and we only ask for one, of the earths supposed terrible motions? It appears stationary. It feels stationary. Then why should we give up the evidence of our God-given senses for the sake of a mere astronomical and unsupported assumption?

¶ There is much more behind this question of the shape of the earth than our good natured but illogical advisers are aware of. If we are credited, as we are by those who know us, with at least an average share of common sense, and little more than average amount of “intelligence and learning,” how is it that our advisers– who for the most part have never really studied the question– how is it they cannot credit us with understanding this subject, which we have studied, and with understanding its importance as supplying a good foundation for our confidence in the sure Word of God? We maintain that if the Bible is not true respecting the material Creation, it is not reliable in its promises of Salvation ; and that it is perfectly useless to preach the Gospel of Jesus the Christ to men who have lost their faith in the inspiration or truthfulness, of the Word of God. It is, moreover, a great pity when Christian friends unite with skeptical foes in support of godless science, falsely called “science,” which strikes at the very foundation of the truth of the Creator’s Word. They incur a grave responsibility in so doing. Let them take heed.

¶ In answer to our correspondents questions, we say. It is not “a clear fact that we can determine the approximate size of the globe.” It is not a clear fact that the earth is a globe at all. Let proof be offered. And again, it is not possible “to go in a straight line in any direction, and come back to the place of starting.” Any “straight line” is an impossibility on a spherical surface. But apart from this self-evident fact, no one has ever travelled or voyaged due North, or due South, and come back to the same place again. The great ice barriers would prevent this. Yet our correspondent thoughtlessly says “in any direction”! Men can go round the World in an easterly or a westerly direction ; but this is also possible on a plane. Hence it is no proof of the earth’s sphericity. But our opponents do not seem to be able to discriminate in these things. It is the fault, doubtless, of our system of “education,” which crams young minds with other men’s ideas, instead of teaching them to think for themselves, and to think cautiously and accurately.

¶ Let us hope that ———— will help, at least, to raise enquiry, and to teach men to think for themselves ; and not to leave all their thinking to professional and interested preachers of science. There is an evident need of such a paper as ours, even apart from its advocacy of the truth of the Bible, if only to awaken candid enquiry. Let us hope that all lovers of truth– or spiritual– and all lovers of original ideas, possessing true freedom of thought, will rally round us, and help us on towards a world-wide circulation of ———–.

First Printed in THE EARTH Not a Globe REVIEW, A Magazine of Cosmographical Science : The Organ of the Universal Zetetic Society. Edited by Zetetes. Jan. Long Ago A.D.

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Father Robert Persons S. J. on EXTRA ECCLESIAM NULLA SALUS

Transcribed by E.T.H. III from A Christian Directory, Guiding men to Eternal Salvation commonly called the Resolution. Consisting of two Parts ; whereof the former layeth down the Motives to Resolution, and the other other removeth the Impediments. Both of them having been reviewed, corrected, and augmented, by the Author himself, a little before his death, for the greater commodity, and utility of the Reader. Written by the R. Father Robert Persons Priest of the Society of JESUS. Permissu Superiorum MDCL.

And now my dear brother, wilt thou not rather joyn thy self with these holy Fathers Saint Cyprian, Saint Hilary, Saint Hierom, Saint Chrysostome, Saint Augustine, and others their equals : (for all are of one doctrine) then to adventure thy soul with the ignorance, and careless negligence of rechlesse people? Thou seest the infinite benefit here offered thee : Suppose it were offered to one that already is now in hell-fire ; how would he harken unto it? Thou seest how easie the matter is made unto thy hands ; For I see but two conditions onely here required by these Fathers for thee to enjoy the benefit, and to be set free from thy sinnes, and consequently also from the danger of all those punishments due unto sinne before mentioned. The one condition is, that thou be within the lap of the Catholick Church (for that Saint Augustine and Saint Cyprian expresly before required, if we remember.) The other, that the benefit be taken during this life, for that after, it is too late : and for that we have spoken sufficiently before of the second condition out of Saint Augustine also in this very Chapter ; I will now onely record unto you about the first condition, that not onely Saint Augustine ; but all other Fathers in like manner do every where so greatly inculcate this condition of being a member of the Catholick Church, as that without this, no remission of sinnes can ever be had or hoped for at all. For that except he be within the union and communion of this Church, he can receive no benefit at all, either by keyes, or other spiritual riches thereof, be they Sacraments, Sacrifice, Prayers, Merits, Almes-deeds, or whatsoever other benefit besides, which more at large we have also shewed and declared * els-where : yea albeit he should suffer death and martyrdome it self, for the name and profession of Christian Religion, yet can he not be saved. For that the common sentence of all the Fathers and Doctours of Christ his Catholick Church is, and hath always been firmely held by all, and every one : That out of the Church there is no salvation.

* In the examen of Fox his Calendar in prefat.

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ARCHITECTS OF CONFUSION : The Unmasking of the Plot against the Church’s Foundational Doctrine on Salvation

Here for your perusal, dear Christian Reader, is a little known but important pamphlet published by the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary of Still River, Massachusetts in 1975 following the supposed “lifting” of the supposed “excommunication” of Father Leonard Feeney. The pamphlet is little known partly due to its scarcity (only three copies found in WorldCat) but really because the regularized followers of Father Feeney do not make it available to the public in its entirety. It is important chiefly because it is one of the few controversial documents produced by the Saint Benedict Center after the Second Vatican Council and before the death of Father Feeney and the Center’s dramatic fracturing in the mid-to-late-70’s. After reading this short pamphlet, any unbiased reader should be able to proclaim along with the great Scottish Apostle of Christ the King, Hamish Fraser:

“For there is no doubt that had the initiative of the St. Benedict Center been allowed to proceed unchecked, decisive progress towards the conversion of the U.S. to the Catholic faith could have been made in the years prior to Vatican II… [Father Leonard Feeney was] one of the most outstanding prophets of our time. For not only did he most accurately diagnose the contemporary malaise, long before others became aware of it; he also put his finger on the very omission which was both symptom and cause of the plague of liberal indifferentism which eventually surfaced as post-Conciliar Neomodernism and oecumania.”

From the Preface

These are disturbing times indeed. In former times of uncertainty and unrest, when men knew they could expect no solutions from their secular leaders, they could always turn to the Church for comfort and guidance. But today, with the world in a state of greater turmoil than ever before, one discovers with dismay that there is no certain solace to be found even in that haven, as the Edifice which Christ founded upon the Rock seems now to drift on a sea of shifting sand.

The account which follows is the factual story of Saint Benedict Center: why it was founded; how it was discredited; where it stands today. It is the story of a thirty-year crusade to repropagate in the hearts of the faithful the sustaining doctrine of the Church—without which she cannot survive.

This story will help to clarify the perplexing state of the Church today. At the same time, it will correct the misunderstanding of many people, effected by the media, that Father Leonard Feeney and his Order have capitulated to the Modernists who have worked their way into positions of authority in the Church.

It is with great concern for the welfare of the One True Church that we invite the reader to continue with us as we relate those events.

Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

May 13, 1975

Feast of Our Lady of Fatima

Follow the Link below to download the entire Pamphlet.

Architects of Confusion Scanned by Hieronymopolis

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ON THE “SEDE VACANTE” THESIS by James Larrabee : “The best brief summary of the sedevacantist position ever penned.”

197611-vatican-pope-circusThe Circus comes to Saint Peter’s (Dec. 1, 2012) or another sign of the Sede Vacante?

This essay was posted in 2006 on the Bellarmine Forums by Mr. John Lane, a friend of Mr. Larrabee. The author presents the central arguments of the Sede Vacante thesis modestly, without pride or contempt for authority. Criticism of Sedevacantism predicated upon the few kooks, quacks, and cultists holding to the position is no longer tenable. Anyone seeking to attack the Thesis must now fling themselves upon a seemingly unassailable citadel of dogmatic theology and sharp logic, thanks to a few courageous and clear-sighted writers like Mr. Larrabee.


¶ Thanks a lot for your message. Here’s some comments on the thesis of St. Robert Bellarmine that you could pass on to Fr. Gruner.

¶ There are many particular objections which have been made against the so-called “sedevacantist” thesis, which is simply that of St. Robert Bellarmine, of the other Doctors of the Church, and of canon law itself. Generally speaking, these objections are not difficult to answer. It should be enough for any Catholic to know that they are contrary to the common teaching of the Church. But they can be refuted by arguments as well. The objections to St. Robert Bellarmine seem to arise from a failure to accept or understand the visible unity of the Church, as has always been held by the Church against the Protestants.

¶ The position of St. Robert arises by simple logic from his definition of the Church as a visible institution. As such, it must have a visible membership, distinguishable from other men by visible (perceivable) means. The Church is a visible unity of faith. One who departs from that unity by a perceivable rejection of her teachings (a heretic), by this very fact ceases to belong to that unity, by his own act.

¶ This position is taught clearly by the Popes. First of all, Bellarmine has been made a Doctor of the Church by them, and he is probably the leading theological authority on the Church and the papacy since the Reformation, whose errors he dedicated himself to refuting. Thus his teaching is recognized as solidly Catholic, on the highest authority. It is borne out both by the legal sources cited by St. Robert Bellarmine in the chapter on a heretical Pope (in the text “Si papa”), and by the Code of Canon Law (1917). Canon 188 clearly states, “Ob tacitam renuntiationem ab ipso iure admissam quaelibet officia vacant ipso facto et sine ulla declaratione, si clerus … (4) a fide catholica publice defecerit.” This canon is based in part on the constitution of Pope Paul IV, Cum ex Apostolatus, which clearly teaches that no office can be held by a manifest heretic, and that if a man is a manifest heretic before being elected Pope (as well as any other office), the election is void, even if (as he explicitly states) the whole Church should recognize him as Pope.

¶ In addition, Bellarmine’s doctrine on the membership of the Church is the basis for the presentation in Mystici Corporis. There, four requirements for membership are given: those who are baptized, who profess the Faith integrally, who submit to the lawful authority of the Pope and hierarchy in communion with him, and who have not been excluded from the Church by excommunication. Thus, heretics, schismatics, infidels, and excommunicates are excluded from the Church, even though they are baptized. Heretics and excommunicates are two different categories. In the case of the former (and schismatics as well), they are excluded by their own actions; in the case of excommunicates, they are excluded by the Church’s judgment, in punishment of crimes committed.

¶ Those who claim, by whatever reasoning, that John Paul II is truly Pope, implicitly accept that the Church has no visible unity in faith. They accept as members of the Church not only him, but all the bishops in his communion, and all those who openly reject both the teachings and the authority of the Church, none of whom, or virtually none, have been excommunicated. Thus they deny, in effect, the unity of the Church. The abbe de Nantes has no difficulty admitting that Paul VI and John Paul II are heretics, as well as schismatics, apostates, and scandals, and he proves this abundantly, but he still claims that they remain members of the Church. This is to deny the teaching of the Doctors, the Popes, and canon law itself. It is to reduce the Church to a mere political unity, like the Protestants, who have no unity of faith at all, even within a single sect.

¶ It is argued that we “cannot judge.” But a heretic is one who is self-judged, and who has left the Church by his own action. It is a visible fact that he is not a member. To observe and state this fact is not to “judge” in a legal sense, any more than to observe that someone is dead. In Scripture and the law of the Church, we are gravely obliged to avoid heretics. This would largely be impossible if it were restricted only to individuals formally condemned by name by the Holy See, and there is no basis in the tradition of the Church for this view.

¶ The Abbe de Nantes seems to argue that the teaching of Bellarmine no longer applies. (Why, he does not say.) If this argument is based on the reasoning that there isn’t a specific provision in the 1917 Code, nevertheless it comes under canon 188:4, as stated above. Furthermore, Bellarmine answers similar arguments by saying that the conclusion arises from the very nature of the Church and of heresy, as shown by the citations from the Fathers which he gives. It is not a matter of human positive law.

¶ De Nantes further argues that disorders would arise if every “Tom, Dick and Harry” were able to challenge the Pope for heresy. This seems a frivolous objection. First of all, only in the rarest of instances has a Pope ever been accused of heresy, and even more rarely has one given reasonable grounds for such an accusation. (For example, Liberius, Honorius, and John XXII.) And it seems unthinkable that a particularly large number of people could ever be brought to do so; far more likely that, as at present, a manifestly heretical Pope could draw the bishops and many of the people over to his heresy. This is an incomparably worse situation than any conceivable alternative, and it is exactly the reality now. If Montini had been openly challenged as a non-Pope back in 1964, when he issued “Ecclesiam Suam,” it hardly seems that the conciliar revolution (or new Reformation) could have taken place. It seems absurd to hold imaginary disorders up against the total chaos we see as a result of De Nantes’ error. Secondly, if the conclusion arises from the nature of the Church and jurisdiction, no consideration of consequences can be relevant. This objection seems to arise from Bouix and John of St. Thomas, who hold that a heretical Pope retains his office. Their opinion has been rejected by all other canonists since the time of Bellarmine, as well as most of them before, so this ought to be a moot opinion.

¶ It is also objected (by De Nantes and others) that some legal process is required, before the Pope actually loses office. This seems to imply the grave error of conciliarism. If a council, or any other authority in the Church below the papacy, can carry out a legal action resulting in the Pope’s deposition, no matter how explained, it is clear that they are superior to him. Cajetan, who argued this, tried in vain to reconcile it with the Pope’s supremacy (which he also firmly maintained). St. Robert Bellarmine refutes his arguments convincingly, and the arguments of John of St. Thomas, attempting to defend Cajetan, make little sense by comparison.

¶ Furthermore, this same argument, in general, confounds the process of excommunication (which also requires deposition from office) with the self-departure from the Church by a heretic, thus failing to comprehend the whole nature of the question as shown above. The categories of heretics and schismatics are implicitly eliminated, and only that of formal excommunicates is left, among baptized non-Catholics. This is simply to deny Mystici Corporis. John of St. Thomas is so far from understanding Bellarmine’s argument that he claims that the words of St. Paul “after one or two admonitions” refer to legal warnings, when St. Robert cites the Fathers to prove that this has nothing to do with formal legal warnings. This is an arbitrary argument. Excommunicates are to be shunned AFTER judgment by the Church; heretics are to be shunned when their contumacy is evident, that is, after one or two warnings. This is the point of Bellarmine’s whole argument, and that of the Fathers he cites.

¶ The same is apparent from the fact that the section of canon law cited (188:4) is not in the criminal law at all, where excommunications are considered, but in the section on resignations (renunciations) of all kinds. It is not considered in the light of criminal actions at all, though it is the result of a criminal action (as are some of the other actions listed in 188, such as attempting marriage). It is essentially no different from the loss of office by death.

¶ It is argued (apparently by John of St. Thomas, among others) that jurisdiction is maintained in heretics according to canon law. However, this again is to confuse legal provisions concerned with the effects of EXCOMMUNICATION, in the criminal law, with the natural effect of manifest heresy. It simply makes canon law contradict itself, in view of canon 188:4, which states that the office is lost ipso facto, by a resignation accepted by the law itself, and without any declaration at all. To lose or resign one’s office, of course, is the same thing as to lose or resign one’s jurisdiction, since they are one and the same thing. While jurisdiction can be supplied by the Church in a given case (as to absolve a Catholic in danger of death), heresy is incompatible with ordinary jurisdiction. The same is shown by the case of Nestorius, cited by St. Robert. The Pope of the time, when the case came to his attention well after the events at Constantinople, clearly stated that his jurisdiction ceased to exist from the time he began preaching his error, so that all his subsequent acts of deposition and excommunication directed against those orthodox Catholics who resisted him were simply void. This case seems to be ignored by all those who generally ignore or spurn Bellarmine’s teaching. In fact, the behavior counseled by the Abbe de Nantes and many others at present is directly opposed to that which was clearly approved by the Pope at that time.

¶ John of St. Thomas and some at present further argue that the Pope’s heresy is not manifest until it is declared so by a general council. This is an arbitrary argument, with no proof given. It contradicts, again, Bellarmine’s whole argument on the visible nature of the Church, as well as the authorities he cites. “Manifest” is not a legal category arising only from a legal procedure, but a matter of fact (though it must be defined in the law, like other terms). (If it were, this would render useless the distinction made in law between notoriety by law, and notoriety by fact; canon 2197:2-3; nor does “manifest” require the same degree of publicity as “notorious”.) Either it supposes that personal heresy is something different in a Pope than in anyone else, or it does not. If the former, it is refuted by saying that it is clear that the Pope, as a person, is no different from anyone else, and manifest heresy in his case is no different from the same thing in anyone else. Possessing office, even the highest office in existence, does not have any effect on the nature of the individual or on his personal actions. If the argument does not suppose a difference in regard to the Pope, then it must be based on the same supposition that an authority lower than the Pope is capable of taking a legal action resulting in the Pope’s loss of office, which has already been refuted.

¶ Some argue that we cannot know if the “Pope” is a formal or merely a material heretic, because only God can judge the interior, and heresy is a matter of interior rejection of Catholic doctrine, not merely exterior. It’s amazing to me that any Catholic could make this argument, but many do, among many supposedly traditional priests and laymen dedicated to defending conciliar “pontiffs.” It utterly destroys the visible nature of the Church. The question is entirely in the external forum, thus it relies solely on externally verifiable evidences, as in every other legal proceeding. If this argument were valid, no one could ever have been condemned as a heretic, or indeed could be condemned of any crime at all, either by the Church or by secular authorities, since the guilty intention essential to any crime could never be judged. The fundamental principle of reason is that people are responsible for their actions. If a criminal act is committed, it is assumed, until proven otherwise, that the person is liable for it. This is stated in canon law (2200:2): “Posita externa legis violatione, dolus in foro externo praesumitur, donec contrarium probetur.”

¶ It is further argued that, in the case of heresy, dolus consists in the pertinacious rejection of Catholic teaching, which cannot be assumed merely from a denial of a doctrine. This is true, but pertinacity can also, and must also, be inferred from the person’s actions. That is why one or two admonitions are mentioned by St. Paul. These admonitions do not need to be formal and explicit, to judge that pertinacity is present, at least they do not need to be made by every individual. If the public evidence is sufficient for a moral certitude of pertinacity, then the conclusion follows. In the case of men who are well versed in Catholic theology, and who were well aware of their opposition to the teachings of past Popes, who heard in person the rejection and refutation of many of their errors at Vatican II, as well as having studied the condemnations of Modernism by all the Popes since Pius IX and by the Vatican Council, it cannot reasonably be denied that they were well aware of their rejection of the past teaching of the Church. So in the case of many (not necessarily all) of their teachings, pertinacity is morally certain from any intelligent consideration of the history of the Vatican revolution. In addition, the inveterate complicity of those at Rome, Wojtyla and Ratzinger most evidently, with the far more open heresy of their fellows such as Kung, Kasper, Schillebeeckx, Rahner, De Lubac, and so on ad infinitum, along with their universal toleration of any and all errors by lesser men, would alone suffice to judge pertinacity. In addition is their use of all convenient means to suppress the orthodox and destroy tradition. None of these things is compatible, to any Catholic with the least common sense and knowledge of the Faith, with an intention to profess the Catholic Faith, and essentially the same has been stated by Popes and Councils. Pope Pius VI, in the bull Auctorem Fidei, depicts the use made of ambiguity by heretics, in the Synod of Pistoia; St. Pius X, citing the Council of Constantinople, in Pascendi, refers to heretics as those who would overturn even a single one not only of the Apostolic, but even of the ecclesiastical traditions. Those engaging in ecumenism were described by Pope Pius XI as departing even from divinely revealed religion. This is all in the external forum.

¶ It can further be argued that even if internal, “formal” heresy is lacking, in St. Robert Bellarmine’s argument, if one’s external actions leads to a reasonable conclusion that one is a heretic, then he loses both membership in the Church and his office. This is precisely what he says in regard to Liberius, and this is how he reconciles his opinion that no true Pope will ever fall into personal heresy, with the fact (as he holds) that Liberius was legitimately “deposed” by the Roman clergy for his actions which were seen as compromising with the Arian heretics. It is exactly parallel with the Church’s judgment, in early centuries, that those who sacrificed under threat of persecution were all (legally) apostates, regardless of whether internally they really renounced the Faith or did it out of fear. Clearly, in the external forum, no such distinction is possible. In fact, even those who “merely” bribed officials for the “libellus” certifying that they had sacrificed, without having done so, were treated as apostates.

¶ The familiar argument that a heretic can only be discerned if he denies a dogmatically defined teaching should not need refutation here. It is unworthy of any Catholic, and has been the watchword of the worst liberal heretics since Vatican II. Michael Davies, among others, has given credence to this wretched aberration by misquoting canon law (while openly admitting he is neither canonist nor theologian), as though canon 1323:3 (”Declarata seu definita dogmatice res nulla intelligitur, nisi id manifeste constiterit”) meant that all teachings are in doubt until they have been defined. The meaning of this section is simply that in case of doubt as to whether a doctrine has been defined, it is not to be assumed that it has been DEFINED, which still leaves available proofs from the Ordinary Magisterium, as is obvious from the context. Otherwise, canon 1323:1, based on Vatican I, would make no sense at all, when it refers to “sive ordinario et universali magisterio tanquam divinitus revelata credenda”. Of course, in Latin the word “seu” indicates a verbal equivalence, so that “declarata seu definita” both refer to ex cathedra definitions.

¶ In addition, Vatican II did openly deny defined dogma. Religious liberty was condemned in an ex cathedra definition by Pope Pius IX, as can be read in Quanta Cura, wherein a clear formula of definition is contained (We by Our Apostolic Authority, etc.). The teaching of Vatican II is almost verbatim the contrary of what was condemned.

¶ It seems pointless to refer to more simplistic arguments against “sedevacantism”. For example, that it is schismatic. Yet those who adhere to a FALSE Pope are the schismatics, not those who reject him.

¶ In conclusion, I might mention that “sedevacantism” is a term which is not very appropriate to the present situation. Arguing that one or more ostensible Popes were not validly Pope is not to argue that the See of Peter is or was vacant. Nor, of course, the opposite. Furthermore, we do not necessarily hold that any legitimate Pope has actually lost his office by heresy. Both St. Robert Bellarmine and St. Alphonsus, as well as many other theologians, hold as a pious belief (not as divinely revealed, at least in the case of these two Doctors) that God will never permit a Pope actually to fall into personal heresy. I am quite inclined to believe this as well, for the reasons they give. In the present situation, it is very easy to argue that Montini and Wojtyla were manifest heretics before their elections, so that they were never elected to the papacy validly to begin with (the heresy of “cardinal” electors is also relevant, since a heretic can no more vote in an election than be elected). There is also evidence, though perhaps not sufficient at present to prove anything with certainty so far as general public knowledge is concerned, that conclaves beginning in 1958 were tampered with, so that it is an open question whether even the election of John XXIII was valid apart from any question of heresy (a serious one his case, particularly in view of his subsequent actions), or whether Cardinal Siri and/or another was actually elected.

¶ It might be objected that the law of conclaves allows even excommunicated Cardinals to vote, or to be elected. But, again, this applies to excommunications, as such and only, not to one who has left the Church by heresy.

¶ Along the same lines, the papacy must be accepted by the elected candidate, even if validly elected. Yet it can be argued that the new “popes” from John Paul I onwards did NOT accept the Roman Pontificate, but a new, conciliarist, “updated” papacy, a consitutional monarchy or figurehead office of some sort, or as De Nantes would put it, the headship of MASDU. Thus, they in no way accepted the papacy, nor have they actually exercised it. This was clearly manifested in their mere “installation” rather than in the traditional coronation, and undoubtedly other ways. As for Paul VI, it could easily be said that, if his heresy was not already manifest, he clearly manifested his rejection of the papacy by very publicly and formally removing (permanently) his tiara in the presence, I believe, of the whole council. Given the importance attached to ceremony and external signs and symbols both by reason itself and by the Church in her whole external life, one could hardly imagine a more certain way of resigning the papacy AS TRADITIONALLY UNDERSTOOD than this act. Certainly from that time, the papal authority as instituted by Christ and exercised by 260 pontiffs has no longer been exercised by these “popes.” It is precisely this de facto (at least) vacation of papal authority which has laid the Church open to the revolution of the Modernists. (Thus it is clearly the outcome of the Freemasonic plan exposed over 150 years ago, by the Popes themselves.)

¶ A final objection is that if the “sedevacantist” position is true, the Roman Pontificate has failed, thus contradicting the indefectibility of the Church. This can be maintained from three points of view:

1) From the length of time involved since the last valid Pope. (Arguably, Pope Pius XII.) But the Great Western Schism lasted a comparable time, even longer depending on just what the final conclusion of it is considered to be. (42 years is a reasonable estimate.) During that time, there was no certainty in the external forum as to who the legitimate Pope was. Nevertheless, the Church did not founder. (To say that this does not matter, because ONE Pope must be legitimate, is useless. The unity of the Church cannot be maintained by an unknowable Pope. Hence “Papa dubius, papa nullus.”) It is true and de fide that the papacy cannot lie vacant permanently. The question is, how long is permanent? In human affairs, something more than a lifetime of a man, or perhaps around 50 years, may be permanent. I do not claim to put an exact measurement to it, but this seems reasonable to me. The Western Schism approached the half century mark. So long as the authority of the papacy is recognized, and need for the papacy to be filled is maintained, then within these time limits, I do not see how it can be claimed that we are denying the indefectibility of the Church.

¶ On the other hand, this same objection is turned against defenders of conciliar “pontiffs.” If these are legitimate Popes, if their “reform” is permanent and legally established (as in all the institutions and law arising from Vatican II), then indeed the Church has defected from its Apostolic foundations. If the Church could change, it would by that fact defect. This argument alone is sufficient to prove the invalidity of these Popes. Indefectibility means that the Church will always endure in the same form in which it was established.

2) From the Church’s teaching that the See of Peter can never be stained by heresy. Yet if it is seen that the Roman Church is no more represented by manifest heretics than it would be if Attila had invaded Rome and put on the tiara and proceeded to “define” doctrines, this argument has no weight. When the bishops and Cardinals accepted heresy at Vatican II, they simply no longer represented the Catholic Church, any more than the “Archbishop” of Canterbury or the “Patriarch” (Orthodox) of Constantinople.

¶ The very long history of antipopes in the Church should be sufficient to answer this argument. As one notable instance, Anacletus II was accepted by nearly all the cardinals and “ruled” at Rome until his death, a period of 8 years. His rule was gradually rejected by most of Europe, but in this context, it is the indefectibility of the Roman Church as such which must be considered, because only in its indefectibility does the indefectibility of the Catholic Church as such reside. If usurping “Popes” maintained and recognized by schismatic Cardinals and nearly the whole of the Roman clergy were, in itself, contrary to indefectibility, the Church would have defected long since.

3) The supposed impossibility of electing a new Pope, when all the Cardinals appointed by Pope Pius XII are dead. Theologians such as Cajetan have dealt with this (whose argument I would not entirely accept, though in principle it seems correct). By divine law, the Roman clergy has the power of electing the Pope. The reservation of this to the Cardinals (who are, of course, the senior Roman clergy) is by positive ecclesiastical law. If Cardinals are lacking, the election would devolve on the rest of the clergy. This does not seem to be a problem. Of course, if some or many of the clergy had defected from the Faith, they would have to purge themselves by publicly rejecting their errors and professing the Faith, before proceeding to an election. The only obstacle I see to this happening is the apparent continuing recognition of Wojtyla as Pope, so that the need to elect another is not recognized. As for heresy, even if there is only an orthodox remnant, this would suffice for an election if the others would not repent. It is also possible that Wojtyla or another could publicly repent, renounce his errors, and become Pope by acclamation by the Roman clergy following him in repentance (if necessary in the particular case).

¶ There is also the argument of “material” versus “formal” Popes, stemming from the late, esteemed Bishop Guerard Des Lauriers, O.P. As this argument maintains that the conciliar Popes are not really Popes (only a “formal” Pope is really a Pope), it may not need to be considered. But I consider this argument futile and self-contradictory, since it arises from the apparent need to provide for the continuity of the Roman Pontificate. Since the impossibility of even a very long interregnum is not evident, as discussed above, this argument is not necessary. And since it seeks to bridge the gap by a merely material succession, this argument does not achieve what it sets out to do. The concept of material succession is used precisely by theologians to prove that the material succession of bishops in, for example, the Orthodox or Anglican churches, is inadequate to maintain the apostolicity of those sects. Far less could it account for the legitimate Petrine succession at Rome. Only a formal succession is a Catholic succession. Much more could be said about this argument, but as its relevance is questionable to the present discussion, I will omit it.

¶ I hope these arguments will serve to make more clear the applicability of St. Robert Bellarmine’s thesis of a heretical Pope to the present.

Respectfully submitted,

James Larrabee


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Deep Scars of Thunder is the third book in R.A. Lafferty’s Tetralogy In A Green Tree. Only the first book and some chapters of the second have been published. The rest might not see print for decades. One reviewer of the first book in the series writes :

“My Heart Leaps Up” is a semi-autobiographical work by the great Catholic novelist R.A. Lafferty. Set between 1920 and 1928, it deals with a group of Catholic schoolchildren in Tulsa, Oklahoma—though, in true Lafferty fashion, these children also represent the eternality of the Church. Unlike most of Lafferty’s work (which fits uncomfortably within the science fiction and fantasy genres), this is a work of mainstream fiction. There are strong fantasy elements, but they fall more under the heading of “magic realism” or tall tale than under fantasy proper. As such, newcomers might find “My Heart Leaps Up” to be more accessible than more outlandish novels like “Fourth Mansions” or “Arrive at Easterwine.” (Though, truth be told, the book is only as “easy” as you make it; scratch the surface, and it is as complex, disturbing, and finely-tuned as anything in the man’s oeuvre.) In fact, I can imagine that with the proper distribution and promotion, this novel could have helped to establish Lafferty as a major American novelist. Frustratingly, “My Heart Leaps Up” is only the first installment of a much longer series. The other volumes—“Grasshoppers and Wild Honey,” “Deep Scars of Thunder,” and “Incidents of Travel in Flatland”—were written but have yet to be published. Hopefully we will see those books someday. But incomplete or not, “My Heart Leaps Up” is still an impressive work by one of America’s very greatest, though least known, writers. “My Heart Leaps Up” was originally published in the 1980’s as a series of five chapbooks, each containing two chapters apiece. The first two chapters of “Grasshoppers and Wild Honey” were also published in the early 1990’s. You should still be able to obtain these books at their original prices, so beware any used booksellers offering them for exorbitant amounts.

* * *

That great theologian, Perpetua Linneen O’Donovan, saw the new situation almost at once, and she cast it in a series of parables .

“There was once a large and happy family, each of whose members understood all the others perfectly,” one of her parables went. “There had never been such perfect understanding in the world since Pentecost Morning. In fact it was still Pentecost Morning going on in clarity and grace from one end of the world to the other. Chinese people and Tagalogs, Goanese and Nigerians, people from Belgium and Bolivia, from Austria and Australia, from Lithuania and Lebanon, from Greece and Germany, from France and Frisia, from Moravia and Mauritania, from Spain and Somiland, from Mexico and Madagascar, all understood each other perfectly, especially when they met for the wonderful morning supper that was the central act of the world.

“‘How can this be?’ the enemy asked. ‘The words are in a tongue called dead, and the running translation of them is hardly glanced at now and then. They are understanding each other outside of the bare language. Maybe there is a way to queer that understanding.’ The enemy thereupon launched a great campaign so that each should say the morning supper in his own tongue: and in the most effete and trivialized words possible. And the campaign was a success, and the people jabbered in their six hundred and sixty-six different tongues. They all understood the words they jabbered, inasmuch as words stripped down and then stripped down again can have much understanding left in them. But they didn’t understand the other six hundred and sixty-five jabbers, and they didn’t understand anything that went deeper than the jabberings. So they lost it all, by being overly concerned with the tongues that were not tongues-of-fire. They lost it completely. They wrote the end to Pentecost and to Pentecostal understanding.”

“It is a good parable, Perpetua,” Monica Sheen said. “’We understand it in all the intricate depth of it, and the words you use do not matter much.” Perpetua had been speaking about the new movement and attack on the Church, from outside and from on the fringes of the Church, to have the Mass said in the vernacular tongues. And she understood correctly the intent behind that movement.

“There is a further parable,” Perpetua said. “There was a man who enjoyed good health, exuberant health, wonderful health, spectacular health, he and all his household. But one day a Medical Hit Team came and nailed a quarantine sign on his door. The sign declared all that household sick unto death. ‘You must have the wrong address,’ the householder said. ‘This is our house and the address of it is Number One, Central Avenue. And there is nobody here suffering such sickness as to call for quarantine or other drastic measures.’ ‘We really don’t pay much attention,’ the leader of the Medical Hit Team said. ‘We figure that everybody is sick, and when we are on a ‘hit’ there is just no way we can miss. Ah, boys, lets just give him a couple of shots to cure that stubbornness in him. And let’s do the same to all his family. ‘I am not sick, I am not sick,’ the man still insisted. ‘OOOF! What poison did you shoot me with? Rather I should say that I was not sick. I am now.’ ‘Ah fine,’ said the hit chief. ‘Now let’s just lay him down and start taking things out of him. He’s got dogmaitis, and the false health that goes with it. Let’s start pitching those things out of him. The hit team worked that man over pretty thoroughly then. And in a very little while they had him down where he was on the balance between life and death. ‘How do you feel now?’ the hitsters asked the householder. ‘Not very good,’ the man said, ‘but if you’d just put back in me a few of those things you took out, maybe—’ ‘What we have taken out is taken out forever,’ the Captain of the Hit said.

“But it is to ourselves that the Hit Teams are coming, to take drastic liberties with our health, when our health itself is at its most exuberant and its most nearly perfect.”

“It is a good parable, Perpetua,” James Tyrone said. “Councils have always been called when the Church was very sick. The life of the Church has several times been saved by them, but always at great expense. Something vital is always given up to save the life, but in most cases it is the question whether the Council or the sickness was the worse. But now, when the Church is in such exuberant health, why should the dangerous expedient of a Council be visited upon her? There is a great misunderstanding somewhere. Or a great subversion. Who are these giggling creatures whetting axes and hatchets so noisily in the wings?”

They were all talking about the Council which the New Pope had said that he intended to call. They were all alarmed, because he had used all the code words and trick phrases of all the trick enemies of the Church in making the announcement.

“But the Church Herself cannot fail, nor can the Pope, nor can the Holy Ghost,” Beatrice Belle pointed out.

“But all three come very near to failure, again and again,” Perpetua insisted. “They put themselves to the test, and they put us to the test. Then let us respond in good faith to an attack that is in the form of riddles, all of them on the face of them in bad faith. This will come out all right finally, as it must. But we are obliged to take such steps as we can, to see that it does come out all right. We are among the effectors.”

Thereupon some of them formed the ‘Let-It-Alone-Dammit-Society’. They would try to prevent the dismantlers from dismantling the Church and the World.

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In a Manuscript in the Royal Irish Academy (23 G., 21), there is a peculiar reminiscence purportedly written by Egan O’Rahilly, the last of Gaelic Ireland’s dynastic poets and great bard of “heroic desolation and grandeur.” Written in Gaelic, the translation of the title of the stanzas is given as follows:—

“On finding some Protestant (or Englishman) hanging from a tree in the wood of Killarney.”

“The last word is misspelled, but no doubt it is Killarney that is meant. If we accept the description given of the place as accurate, it is probable that the tree in question is none other than the venerable yew tree which grows in the middle of the cloister of Muckross Abbey, or, as our poet elsewhere calls it, “Mainistir Locha Lein.” There is no doubt that the Mainistir has ever been regarded with peculiar veneration by the natives, so many generations of whom are buried beside it; and the yew tree that overshadows their graves is itself looked upon as almost sacred. There seems no doubt that the yew tree is as old as the abbey itself, and many are the legends concerning it that are widely circulated. It was long regarded as impious to touch a leaf or branch of this tree; and if we believe the legends, all such desecrations have been visited with signal vengeance. See one of these legends in “Ireland: its Scenery and Antiquities,” pp. 23 et seq. In view of this mass of popular tradition, the story here recorded is quite intelligible, but still there is a heartlessness about some of the details that makes one suspect that many of them have been invented. The story as given here is taken from O’Kearney’s MS. in the Royal Irish Academy. I have not seen any other version of it in this form. There is no well in the neighbourhood of this tree; but the well and other details are probably invented by the writer.” (Dineen)

Muckross Yew

¶ A beautiful, precious, green-boughed tree had been growing for ages beside a church which the wicked Cromwell had despoiled, above a well overflowing with cold bright water on a green-swarded plain, which a rapacious minister had torn from a nobleman of the Gaels, who was sent over the wild raging sea through treachery and not at the edge of the sword. This lubberly, stocking-stomached, wicked minister was desirous to cut down a green, limber limb of this tree to make house furniture of it. But none of the carpenters or other workmen would meddle with the beautiful bough, since it lent them a lovely shade to hide them while they mourned in heart-broken sorrow over their fair champions who lay beneath the sod. “I will cut it down,” exclaimed a gawky, bandy-legged, thinthighed son of this sleek minister’s, “and get a hatchet for me at once.”

¶ The thick-witted churl climbed up the tree, as a cat steals up when fleeing from a cry of hounds, and reached a point where two small branches crossed one another. He tried to separate them by the strength of his arms; but, in the twinkling of an eye, they slipped from his grasp, and closing on his neck held him suspended high between heaven and hell. Then was the confounded Sassenach dangling his feet in the dance of the bough, while he stood on “nothing,” and his black-bladed tongue protruded a stick’s length, as if in mockery of his father.

¶ The minister screamed and bawled like a pig in a bag or as a goose gripped beneath a gate (and no wonder) while the workmen were getting ladders to take him down. Egan O’Rahilly from Sliabh Luachra of the heroes was present, attending on the villain of the hemp, and he chanted this song :—

“Good is thy fruit, O tree,

May every branch bear such good fruit.

Alas! that the trees of Innisfail

Are not full of thy fruit each day.”

“What is the poor wild Irish devil saying?” said the minister.

“He is lamenting your darling son,” replied a wag who stood beside him.

“Here is two pence for you to buy tobacco,” said the sleek badger of a minister.

“Thank ‘ee, Minister of the Son of Malediction” (i.e. the devil), replied Egan; and he chanted this ode :—

“Huroo! O minister, who didst give me thy two pence 

For chanting a lament for thy child; 

May the fate of this child attend the rest of them 

Back to the tail and all round.”

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Father Feeney in ColorFather Leonard Feeney, Boston Common (1957) By: Gerry Siegel (Honolulu) Equipment: Realist 3D Realist 1041, Kodak Kodachrome 25

My Recollections of Boston Common 

by Bill Smith

The Catholic Observer of Cambridge,

December 1951

Published by St. Benedict Center

23 Arrow Street, Cambridge 38, Mass



Every Sunday afternoon at 3:45, rain or shine, summer or winter, Father Leonard Feeney and his students from St. Benedict Center hold an open air meeting on Boston Common. Several thousand listeners are usually in attendance, and, as might be expected, they represent every shade and variety of religion and non-religion, Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Freethinkers, Atheists, and Communists are there in attendance.

Father Feeney and the other speakers in these talks never temper their message for any group. They preach fearlessly the unequivocal Catholic truth to all. A large number of silent Catholics listen most gratefully. Father Feeney and his boys insist on the ancient teaching that membership in the Catholic Church, love of the Blessed Virgin, and personal submission to Our Holy father the Pope are necessities for salvation. This message, needless to say, has jarred the smugness and bad consciences of many of the Boston Common listeners.

At these open-air meetings, the faithlessness of the average American is made all too apparent, and the bitter dislike of the Blessed Virgin Mary the Mother of God, becomes as clear as crystal. Father Feeney has always contended that underlying hostility will never show its true colors until we present again the Catholic Faith as a divine doctrine allowing of no evasion. Men’s sincerities in business, politics, bridge, or golf may be impeccable, but it is only when they are confronted with the personal challenge of Jesus and Mary that the impious nature of their religious beliefs becomes evident.

Father Feeney further maintains that the lack of faith in the United States is due to two factors which are mutually accountable for the blasphemy of unbelief. The cowardice of Catholics in professing the Faith, and the bad will of non-Catholics in refusing it. As regards the Catholic’s part in this apostasy, Father Feeney blames both the clergy and the laity. American priests neither know their faith, nor care to study it, he says. The laity, on the other hand, neither know it, nor care to be taught it. It has been this pitiful situation which has brought Father Feeney and his followers out on the Common to the simple people of Boston. By doing this the Saint Benedict Center members hope to fulfill Our Lord’s injunction to go into the highways and byways, and teach all nations.

[Note: Bill Smith, aka Br. Bernard, was one of the three MICM brothers who spoke publicly with Father Feeney almost every Sunday on Boston Common for seven years. Several thousand listeners were usually in attendance. He recounts how the Center trained him to speak about the Jews each Sunday, and some of the riots in which the brothers were involved with them.]

¶ Our Sunday afternoon visits to the Common began as a defense of the honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It was 1950 and Pope Pius XII had just defined the Assumption of Mary into Heaven, body and soul. We placed a large sign in front of our house declaring the defined doctrine. This house belonged to Professor Maluf who was to become Br. Francis. We called the house Sacred Heart Hall. It was on Putnam Avenue, a heavily traveled street running from Harvard Square to the Charles River Drive.

¶ Father was outraged that Rev. Ockenga, the minister at the Park Street Church, had taken out a full page ad in the Boston Globe attacking Our Lady’s Assumption. Father had conceived the idea of going to Boston Common to defend Our Lady. I remember being worried about how we would be received. Father saw it as an opportunity to rally Catholic support for our crusade. He always thought the Catholics were for us in their hearts. I never shared his optimism and always expected to be set upon at any moment for teaching “no salvation outside the Catholic Church.” I had just become a Slave of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in July. This was August 1950. I came into the Church in March 1947.

¶ We gathered on the Common around Father as he attacked Rev. Ockenga and extolled Our Lady. We were dressed as college students or as a family might dress on a Sunday afternoon. We had no habits or uniform dress. I recall saying prayers and singing a hymn to Mary.

¶ After that things moved rapidly. We began selling “The Loyolas and the Cabots,” the story of the Boston Heresy Case, door to door. In late autumn the men began wearing brown suits; all our other clothes were sold at the consignment stores. We began to organize the Common so that it became a religious procession. Our brown suits were comical. They were purchased at the South End second hand stores. My suit was a modified zoot suit of WWII vintage, pegged pants, pointed lapels and big shoulders. This did not help bookselling as we began selling our second book, entitled “Gate of Heaven.” Later on we wore black suits which were a great help to book selling and we all sighed a sigh of relief.

¶ Meanwhile, the Common became a well-organized ritual. By 1953 we had a used International pick-up truck which we used for going to Faneuil Hall market for produce. It replaced my 1929 “Model A” Ford with rumble seat (the Blue Bucket). We now could transport a large speaker’s box which Br. Joseph Maria made. The box had a large slot for the crucifix and another slot that held the picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

¶ It was my job to deliver the box and the little steps plus the crucifix and the picture to the Common in the truck. Brothers rode in the back of the truck and when I pulled up to the curb on Charles Street they unloaded everything. I usually parked the truck on Boylston Street and hurried to join my brothers and sisters who by this time had gathered on Arlington Street. We processed through the Public Gardens and over the Swan Bridge to the Common.

¶ The first Sunday was sparsely attended but soon we had regular listeners. We always had our faithful supporters present like Marian Hardy and others who came to the Center even after the interdict. But we also had our regular hecklers who rarely missed a Sunday. Many of these were given names by Father. There was Ike the Kike, Sam from Saugus, Wacky Oscar, Horseface, and others I can’t remember.

¶ Father soon had other members of the Center try their hands at public speaking. Father settled on three speakers who would also regularly speak at the meetings. Speaking on the Common was a difficult task. A speaker had to be loud and not get ruffled. Heckling was constant so it was necessary to make the audience want to listen to what you were saying. From the number of brothers and sisters who had taken turns speaking Father chose Br. Hugh (Hugh McIssac), Br. Dominic Maria (Temple Morgan) and Br. Bernard (Bill Smith). Father took me aside and told me what a wonderful speaker I was and that I was to speak every Sunday. By that time I had spoken more than once, and although each time I dreaded it, once I ascended the little steps I felt quite calm and almost like I was in charge of the crowd, kind of like directing an orchestra. I certainty did not relish the idea of speaking every Sunday on Boston Common. It was my assignment. By that time the meetings were becoming quite lively. Word of the gatherings on the Common reached people of every belief and unbelief and many came to see for themselves this new phenomenon. The Brotherhood of Christians and Jews was just getting started and liberal Catholics joined with the Jews and Protestants in attacking Father and the other speakers.

¶ Brother Hugh started the meeting with prayers and usually gave a talk that was concerned with Boston and the local scene. He demonstrated clearly how the Jews and Masons were trying to take the city of Boston and the State House out of the hands of the Irish and Italians. He was humorous and spoke with great authority, having been brought up, as he said, “in the suburb superb, Roslindale.” His talks were sometimes devotional. During these years I thought of Br. Hugh as a hero of WWII awarded the Purple Heart, a football star and absolutely fearless, and he was my friend. This all changed shortly before the 1958 move to Still River. At that time Father appointed Br. Gabriel to be the prior of all the men. I thought that Br. Hugh would be appointed prior of the men’s community since he was a natural leader and had been prior of the couples’ community. I like to remember Brother Hugh back in those early days when the married couples were all together with their children in Blessed Sacrament Community. After the change in priors, Br. Hugh was no longer the gregarious outgoing person he had been. He came alive only on bookselling trips on which he was always prior. Several years later, in Still River, Father and Sr. Catherine expressed concern over Br. Hugh’s influence on the children as physical education teacher. He was subsequently replaced with me.

¶ Br. Dominic Maria was appointed the second speaker up on the box to address the crowd. Br. Dominic Maria always spoke with his rosary in his hand. As I recall, his themes were almost always devotional, especially concerned with Our Lady and the doctrine of “no salvation.” People knew who he was and they came to see and hear him speak. He was Father’s great “catch” as a fisherman of men. He was a Morgan, a blue blood, who renounced Harvard and all its worldly prestige. In the early days before all the trouble Father would take Temple Morgan with him as a special convert to see different friends in the Boston Brahmin world. He had refused his degree at Harvard and had challenged all his old friends with the Catholic faith and continued to do so on the Common. He had been a B-29 pilot in WWII. He was an outstanding athlete, rowing as the stroke oarsman on the varsity crew, in boxing he held the middleweight championship, and he was so strong he could do a handstand from a sitting position on the seat of the same chair he was sitting in.

¶ I never thought of the three of us as a cross-section of America because two were certainly unusual men. I think Father put me on the box as a typical American Protestant kid who came into the church. I was just Bill Smith from Lansdowne, PA. But the interesting thing, as I look back, was Father’s genius in having Br. Hugh, lifelong Catholic from Boston, Br. Dominic Maria, convert from High Church and high finance Protestant blue-blood, and Br. Bernard from Middle America.

¶ Sr. Catherine actually had a lot to do with my subject matter on the Common. She began by giving me articles and books to read which were not available to other members of the community. Certain periodicals such as “Common Sense”, put out by Conde Mc Ginley, and “The Cross and the Flag,” by Gerald L.K. Smith, were mine to read regularly. These all dealt with the Jewish place in the Zionist and Communist conspiracies. The community as a whole was familiar with “Philip the Second,” by William Thomas Walsh, “The French Revolution,” by Nesta Webster, “The Rulers of Russia,” by Father Fahey, and Father Cahill on Freemasonry, as part of our history class. I have to pause here and say that I am deeply indebted to Sr. Catherine for the great view of history as the battle between the forces of Our Lady and those of Satan. “Waters Flowing Eastward,” by Madam Deshishmerev was another favorite of Sr. Catherine’s. Madam actually came to see us at the Center. So did Conde McGinley, the publisher of the anti-Zionist paper, ”Common Sense.”

¶ Every Sunday I gave forth on the Jews and what they were up to, and also the traditional Catholic position on the Jewish problem, from Scripture and from history. I also used many of the Jews’ own statements. The Talmudic teachings about Jesus and Mary I often recounted because of my first hand conversations with my Jewish friend Maxwell Lazarus. We were both students at Brookline High School, a 90% Jewish Public High School in Massachusetts from which I graduated. I liked to give lists of the Jewish Communists ruling the countries behind the Iron Curtain in the 1950s. I also kept the crowd up to date with the names of Jewish traitors and spies in our own country. I had memorized the dates on which every country in Europe had expelled the Jews to protect the Church and to return civil order.

¶ Another favorite subject was the final destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in the year 363 under Julian the Apostate. I told how fire came up out of the earth to make rebuilding impossible. I had many quotes from Jewish authors concerning the continuing struggle between Rome and Jerusalem. The Jews proclaimed, “Rome must be destroyed before Jerusalem can be the center of a world religion and courts of justice.”

¶ I drew from history to demonstrate the unceasing efforts of the Jews to destroy the Mystical Body of Christ, the Catholic Church.

¶ I said everything I could find to back up one central theme, from St. Paul’s Epistle, I Thessalonians 2:15-16, “The Jews who both killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and have persecuted us, and please not God, and are enemies to all men prohibiting us to speak to the Gentiles that they may be saved.”

¶ I also spoke of my life as a Protestant and the episode of the plaster birthday cake, which was presented to the Sunday school student whose birthday it was. He or she blew the candles out and the cake went into the closet for the next birthday. The perfect symbol of counterfeit Christianity.

¶ I always dreaded Sunday on the Common but once I got on the box I enjoyed it. I was glad when we moved to Still River and the talks on Boston Common ended.

¶ Sunday afternoon visits to the CommonFather spoke last and faced the most hateful and most blasphemous hecklers. He never lacked courage but sometimes he lost his composure. At times it was so wild he would stop and we would say the Memorare to drown out the jeers. The hecklers would upset Father and he would try to argue with them, loosing his train of thought as he got angry. Father’s priesthood was a special target.

¶ In spite of our message which went so much against the grain, for liberal Catholics, Protestants and Jews, some people would come up at the end and wish us well or say, “God bless you!” One man would give me newspaper clippings at the end of every Sunday’s talks. They would be about something the Jews were doing. One Sunday Father spotted Festuchas in the crowd. He had pretended to be our friend and had actually come to the Center to spy. When the talks were over Father got down from the box and went after him, literally trying to kick him in the shins, while Joe McIssac was running after Father trying to protect him from harm.

¶ Brandeis University had reached an agreement with Archbishop Cushing to have a Catholic chapel at the University where the Blessed Sacrament would be reserved. The wildest scenes happened after we had gone through down town with the placards, with crucifixes on top of them, proclaiming “Catholics of Boston stop the Jews from desecrating the Blessed Sacrament at Brandeis University.” We were also passing out a special edition of the “The Point” attacking the Jews for what they were doing in the Holy Land.

¶ The first time out with the placards we went along our pre-planned route and onto Tremont Street. Some Brothers carried the placards and others were assigned to guard the placard carriers. We were forbidden to fight. I remember how helpless I felt because both my hands were around my placard pole and the Jews were trying to get it away from me. One Jew was attacking one of the guard brothers. A truck driver stopped his truck right in the middle of the street, got out of his truck and socked the Jew right in the face. This was down near Boston Garden. The Jews had come from everywhere to beat us up. It seemed like an eternity. The Police stopped us in front of The Parker House and took us all away in a Paddy wagon.

¶ Father sent us out for a second time. This time we were again forced out of our planned route and onto Stuart Street into the heart of the Jewish garment district. Bottles were thrown at us out of the upper floor windows. The guard brothers just kept bumping our attackers away with their forearms. Brother Dominic Maria was carrying a placard right alongside of me. I remember this so well. He was saying over and over to me, “Don’t worry, Brother Bernard.” I said to myself, is he kidding? Brother Jude was protecting us, God bless him. He kept bumping the Jews back, over and over, first on one side then on the other side. I think we reached Tremont Street before they really got us. I lost my placard in a crowd and I remember Brother Joseph Maria hitting some attacker over the head with the placard pole. Instinctively we were trying to stay on our feet but we were in a circle of Jews. Br. Gabriel was also there this time. Someone jumped on my back and I crouched and he went over my head. I decided to get out of the circle. After fighting my way out I felt cowardly and looked back to see others still there being pummeled so I went back and told them to come. I was pleased with myself and we all got away. A Jewish newspaper seller hit Brother Mark Colopy on the back of the head with a lead weight. He was bleeding. I remember being so thankful each time I got into the police wagon and was safe.

¶ At the time, I thought these things that we were doing were courageous but absolutely foolish. I did them because of my vow of obedience as a Slave of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. We were putting on a show for Heaven but there was no thoughts of strategy behind Boston Common or that whole placard protest.

¶ We aroused the young Zionists with the placards. The Police had to start bringing the horses to keep order on Boston Common. The crowds were huge and a lot of Jews came. We passed out “The Point” at the end of the talks, mostly to Jews! Father was being escorted away and we, a few brothers, would stay to pass out anti-Semitic literature to Jews we had just told in no uncertain terms that they were cursed. And they still came to get “The Point!” I remember to this day, one young Jew coming up to me and threatening to do some terrible thing, and I, being surrounded by Jews, said, “Get out of here you little kike.” I must have been on an adrenalin high. He actually slunk off!

¶ What happened after that was a nightmare. They followed us to where our truck was parked. We couldn’t get in the truck, the police were nowhere in sight, and the bricks were flying but our Guardian Angels were protecting us. As soon as I got the truck door opened a brick bounced off the corner of the truck roof. I started the truck as Brother Gerard (Joe Roach) got in the back and the Jews were trying to get in the back, too. Joe was kicking them off as we drove away to pick up the other brothers who were waiting with the box.

¶ I don’t want to leave any unsung heroes out of my recollections. There was a little Italian lawyer named Jimmy Morelli who looked just like the legendary Mayor of New York, Fiorello Laguardia. Jimmy was called “the little flower” just like the mayor. Jimmy and his Mrs. were our friends. Jimmy’s clientele were an unsavory bunch; a lot of them were gangsters and one was the king of the Gypsies whom I met once in Jimmy’s office. Our friends were often like Jimmy, the salt of the earth. Real Publicans but they prayed and they loved Our Lady.

¶ When we were arrested for carrying placards against the Jews we ended up in court for disturbing the peace. Jimmy appeared for us right off the street or maybe in court for someone else, but he appeared before the judge, and his famous statement, never to be forgotten was, “Judge, your Honor, in times past these things were engraved on tablets of stone.” We got off. Another time on the Common there was a terrible heckler who shouted and carried on so no one could be heard. Jimmy turned to him and he shut right up. I found out later what Jimmy had done. Jimmy had a license to carry a small pistol. When he turned around to the man he was holding the gun in the palm of his hand so the man could see it.

¶ In spite of all of our efforts to arouse public indignation to the plan to have a Catholic chapel at Brandeis University where Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament would be reserved under the auspices of His enemies, the Jews, we failed.

¶ Brother Paschal (Bill Shea) was our resident legal expert. His brother had been a Federal Assistant Attorney General in Washington, DC and his family was prominent in Manchester, NH. Br. Paschal attended Harvard Law School and knew a lot of important people. He coached us on case law (mostly Jehovah Witness cases) and how to stay out of jail when book selling. He was always a good friend. He played with his cards so close to his vest that he would infuriate Father sometimes. Brother rarely gave a direct quotable answer to anything legal. I sometimes did not understand what he was talking about. He talked around the subject.

¶ But to get back to Boston. We really counted on our friends in the police department. During the week Br. Paschal, (Bill Shea) would take me as his companion to visit different policemen. There was one policeman, Sergeant Marshall, we would visit regularly. When he was on the Common, he would take very good care of us. The other officers there knew that and we were spared a lot of trouble. I saw him go up to a man in a car who was causing trouble by refusing to move on. He reached in and cuffed him and the man moved!

¶ Police Commissioner Fallon ran the show and he began to call Father, at least so we thought. This man on the phone would introduce himself as Commissioner Fallon and the Brother who answered the phone would hurry to get Father. The Commissioner would ask Father if he were satisfied with the protection he was getting and if he would like the horses the next Sunday? Father was never to call him; it would be too risky. One night Father sent us to the Commissioner’s home and he came to the door pretty drunk but sober enough to be astounded by the presence of three of Fr. Feeney’s brothers at 9 or 10 o’clock at night. His was not the voice on the phone and later there was much soul searching about what was said to the pseudo-Fallon that might hurt us. These calls had been a fishing expedition. We were never aware of any harm that resulted from the contact. We talked to him a few more times and after that we referred to him as the psuedo-Fallon.

¶ Going to the Common was never a routine thing. Sometimes cars would follow us home. We had thirty-nine small children to protect. We were a threat to a lot of sinister people. The Anti-Defamation League of Bnai’Brith was very interested in us. We had been featured in their publication. Br. Bernard had been named as the number one anti-Semite in the particular area they covered. Once three of us went to the offices of the lawyer for the A.D.L. and vociferously complained about their attacks. Years later we found out they were spying on us through Louis Romano. Mr. Romano was very smooth. He seemed very genuine when he called on us and offered to help financially with a $10,000.00 contribution. Each time he came or when we went to see him Father would say; “Did he bring the big bundle?” After awhile Br. Dominic Maria got on to him because he mentioned his war time intelligence experience in the Army and brother figured he was very likely still gathering information. Romano never gave Father the $10,000.

¶ Br. Hugh was great on those protest expeditions. He led us on our appeal to Archbishop Cicognani, the Apostolic delegate, the Notre Dame demonstration with “The Point”, the Cardinal Stritch appeal which ended in a Chicago court room scene where it seemed the judge was going to let us off when Br. Hugh started yelling at the top of his lungs. We all ended up in the Bridewell Prison refusing to pay the fine for disturbing the peace.

¶ This all started with a book selling trip to South Bend and a side excursion to Notre Dame to distribute “The Point”. Previous to this, in New England, we had started leaving “The Point” at different religious houses. One incident I remember in particular. We left “The Point” at each place setting in the refectory. When we did this at Notre Dame they picked us up and carried us bodily to our cars. They physically shoved us into our cars like trash in a bag. The next day the papers carried a story about “followers of the ex-priest Father Feeney.” Father told us to stay out there and get the story corrected. He was a priest forever according to the order of Melchesidech. We went to the paper but to no avail. It was decided that we see Cardinal Stritch as sons of our maligned father and since Cardinal Stritch was also our father he would listen to us. I remember driving around the huge grounds surrounded by a high wrought iron fence with points on it. We decided daytime was best and we would go up to the front door. We were in clerical garb. Who would suspect? Once the door was opened we ran in and up the stairs, a very grand and wide marble stairs. The six of us were chased up the stairs to the Cardinal’s office where Chancery employees started wrestling with us and throwing us on the floor. We identified ourselves and the nature of our business but the police soon arrived and we were arrested.

¶ I remember thinking how much violence I was doing to my own idea of how to go about getting results from people. The rest of the day was truly the “twilight zone.” We were delivered to the Bridewell Prison where we surrendered our clothes and possessions. We showered in a huge room with all the felons, mostly black, and we got canvas underwear and prison uniforms. It was hard to relate this to being persecuted for the Faith. We spent the first night in the prison hospital under observation because of our scuffle with the Chancery officials. It was still interesting and not frightening. The prison underground got newspapers telling about our escapade and we were minor celebrities.

¶ Morning came and we were shaved by the prison barber and interviewed about our skills so we could work in the prison. I was a farmer so I was assigned to the farm but when the other brothers said they had farm experience, the guard got nasty and they split us up. I ended up in a cellblock, the like of which I had only seen in movies. There were tiers of cells going up several flights with steel stairways. In the middle of the canyon made by the tiers of cells there was the eating area where there were long wooden tables and benches with tin plates on the tables. Suddenly I felt alone and helpless. Completely abandoned. I was given a job, which was something I couldn’t even comprehend. I was in shock. I was shown to my cell and my cellmate, a most depraved looking black youth, wanted to know what horrible thing I had done, naming off a few choice things that came into his mind. I started praying and thinking how I could escape spending the night with this thug. Suddenly I was called, just as lunch and my new job were starting. A lady had paid our fine and we were to be released.

¶ When we finally arrived home we were celebrities. A special edition of “The Point” was issued just on our adventure. Father had a mock-up made of the jail using broom handles for the bars so we could have our pictures taken “behind bars.”

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This essay by the important Canadian poet, Alden Nowlan, is from his 1978 collection of essays entitled Double Exposure. The Flat Earth Society of Canada, of which Nowlan and Ferrari were founding members, fizzled out in the mid-80‘s but not before Dr. Ferrari finished his manuscript called “The Earth Is Flat : An Exposé of the Globularist Hoax” which now resides in the archives of St. Thomas University in New Brunswick. Dr. Ferrari passed away on October 7, 2010.

leo20ferrari_s edit

THE first time that I saw Leo Ferrari he was pounding his head against a stack of bricks. So violently that I winced. Not only his throat and lungs but his entire body was laughing. The bloody fool is going to fracture his skull, I said to myself. A moment later he hurled himself from his chair and, still laughing thunderously, rolled over and over on the floor. People leapt out of the way to avoid being knocked off their feet. The place was an apartment where a group of university students were having a party, and the bricks were part of a homemade bookcase. Ferrari, who teaches philosophy at Saint Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswick, is one of those rare professors who are invited to student parties. As it turned out, he wasn’t demonstrating karate, and he was neither drunk nor stoned : he abhors drugs and seldom drinks anything stronger than beer, which he makes himself. He was merely amused and, as I’ve since learned, when Leo Ferrari is amused it’s as if he were possessed by the riotous Greek god Dionysus. His isn’t 20th-century laughter ; his body shakes as though in the grip of a mighty external force. If he finds the joke funny enough and if there’s room enough he may do a handspring or stand on his head. “My greatest fear,” he says, “is that some morning I’ll wake up stark, raving sane.”

¶ Let me explain at once that Leo Ferrari is not one of those boring amateur clowns whom cartoonists depict with lampshades on their heads. He’s a serious man, even a sad man, to whom laughter is both a personal and a social therapy. In his vocabulary, “sanity” denotes a dreary, sterile state of mind, a narrowly rationalistic outlook.

¶ He has expressed his philosophy of madness in one of the little epigrammatic poems that he jots down from time to time. It has been suggested (by me, as a matter of fact) that he has invented a new verse form, the ferrarigram. He’s published a collection of these ferrarigrams under the title, The Worms Revenge. Characteristically, he not only wrote but illustrated, designed, published, printed and distributed the book himself.

The ones that are born mad
They lock up.
The ones that go mad on the way
They pick up.
But the ones that go calculatingly mad –
They are the hard ones to catch.

¶ Ferrari’s calculated madness hasn’t prevented his establishing an international reputation among scholars as an authority on St. Augustine, the fifth-century bishop, a philosopher and doctor of the Church. “My favorite books are St. Augustine’s Confessions and A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh.” He has contributed articles to learned journals throughout the world and is at work on a book-length study of St. Augustine, The Grieving Tree. Nor has it prevented his raising three children and participating in community affairs. He has written three books on racial discrimination for the New Brunswick Human Rights Commission, served as chairman of a school board, been president of his local home and school association, and was a co-founder of the Save a Family Plan, devoted to helping poor families in India. He has been an active member of Lions International. But he’s determined not to become merely another suburbanite professor, middle-aged and middle-class. Leo Ferrari is nobody’s man, not even the 20th century’s. That’s proved by the fact that he is international president of the Flat Earth Society, which maintains the world is certainly flat and may possibly be square.

¶ The Flat Earth Society? You must be joking! They can’t be serious. They’re either a bunch of kooks or it’s just a spoof. Who does this guy Ferrari think he’s kidding? The world is round. Everybody knows that.

¶ “Of course, everybody knows that,” Ferrari says. “But how do they know it? They know it because they’ve been told that it’s so. The average man can’t advance a single reason for believing that the world is round. He accepts that theory on blind faith and rejects the evidence of his own senses. We of the Flat Earth Society have elected to dispute the one premise that our scientific Western civilization regards as indisputable. Nowadays if you say that God is dead, the general reaction is “so what?” but if you say that the earth is flat, then God help you. Even in the days of its greatest power, the Church was more tolerant than our modern scientific establishment. The Church at least allowed for one dissenting viewpoint : the devil’s.”

¶ The Flat Earth Society could be described as a serious organization whose members don’t take themselves seriously. It has about 100 members in Canada, the United States and Europe. “We could easily have 10 times as many, Ferrari says, “but we’re selective.” Applicants aren’t accepted until they’ve produced an essay giving their reasons for believing the earth to be flat. Members include writer Farley Mowat, television personality Paul Soles, poet-novelist Gwendolyn MacEwan, American detective story writer Lawrence Bloch, novelist Raymond Fraser, poet John Newlove, plus computer scientists, university administrators, lawyers, physicians, a professional geographer and a professional astronomer. A geographer and an astronomer? “Right,” says Ferrari, “and we’ve also got a couple of merchant seaman – these are people who realize that their particular profession doesn’t have all the answers.” Tracts are issued periodically with titles such as “The Age of Exploration : A Globularist Hoax,” “Newton’s Nonsense,” “The Death of Theology Through the Birth of the Globularist Heresy,” and “Globularism and Racialism, Twin Evils”. To Flat Earthers, those who maintain that the earth is a sphere are globularists; they call themselves planoterrestrialists or geoplanarians. “And the dupes of the globularists we call globsymps,” says Ferrari, with his Dionysian laugh.

¶ Just as St. Paul began by persecuting the Christians, so the international president of the Flat Earth Society began as a professional scientist. For seven years, Ferrari worked as an industrial chemist in Australia, where he was born 46 years ago. “Gradually, I came to realize that science is only one of the many windows through which we can look at the universe, and a very small, murky window at that.”

¶ He began to study medieval philosophy at night. “As a child I’d been fascinated by the stories of the saints. I even dreamed of growing up to be a martyr. It was natural for me to become interested in people like St. Thomas & St. Augustine when I became a man.” But he found he couldn’t get a degree in philosophy in Australia. His educational background was wrong, they told him : he was a Bachelor of Science when he ought to have been a Bachelor of Arts. “I wrote to universities all over the world and at last Laval University accepted me.” He came to Canada in 1955 and is now a Canadian citizen. “Growing up in Australia was the perfect training for a president of the Flat Earth Society : I know from personal experience that Australian people don’t spend their lives upside down, as they would do if the world were really globular.” During his three years in Quebec city at Laval University he not only obtained his degree in philosophy but learned French and Latin and at the same time held down a job as a chemist in a distillery. “That was a tough schedule; it almost drove me sane.”

¶ For the next four years he taught at a girls’ college in Halifax. “teachers’ salaries were meagre in those days, so I looked around for a second job.” He became butler to Cyrus Eaton, the Nova Scotia-born American multimillionaire who was then spending the summer at Pugwash. “I liked the work, the Eatons were charming people and it was pleasantly mad to go on picnics and boat rides in a white tie and tails, but the school felt that I’d disgraced it by moonlighting as a domestic servant.” In 1961 he joined the department of philosophy of St. Thomas University, then at Chatham, New Brunswick, and now in Fredericton.

¶ Ferrari has never been one to stand on his professional dignity. Several years ago when enrollment in one of his courses had fallen so low that the administration was threatening to cancel it, he had handbills printed and passed them out around the campus. Designed to resemble an advertisement for a drive-in movie, they described medieval philosophy as The Greatest Show On Earth, crammed with sex and violence, thrills and spills and with a cast of millions. Enrollment soared. The course stayed on the calendar. Undignified? Once more he laughs like the great god Pan. “I reckon it was, but I think most of those students learned something once I got them into the classroom.” Ferrari takes neither himself nor the academic system seriously, but he is deadly serious about the subject he teaches—a paradox that occasionally has come as an unpleasant surprise to students who have expected him to laugh with them at their inferior or unfinished work.

¶ The Flat Earth Society conducts most of its business through the mails, because its membership is so widely dispersed. Besides issuing tracks, the society publishes a mimeographed newsletter. “We couldn’t think of a suitable name for our official organ, so that’s what we called it, The Official Organ.” Ferrari and other planoterrestrialists regularly distribute Flat Earth literature at meetings of the staid and scholarly Learned Societies of Canada. He has given lectures on planoterrestrialism from St. John’s to Santa Cruz, California. His audiences have included conventions of airline stewardesses (he gave them advice as how to calm passengers when the plane flew near the edge of the earth) and professional surveyors: “They were a great audience because much of their work is based on the assumption that the earth is flat; several of them joined the society after hearing me speak.

¶ Ferrari insists that it’s “the globularists who defy common sense. They tell us that we’re clinging to a ball that’s spinning through space at hundreds of thousands of miles per hour. The burden of proof ought to rest with them, rather than with us.” But when arguments are demanded, Ferrari is not slow to provide them. “Take that old chestnut about the ship disappearing over the horizon. Has anyone ever watched a ship disappear below the horizon? I doubt it. Also, Einstein’s theory of the bending of light rays in a gravitational field would indicate that the light rays from the lower part of the ship would naturally sink into the sea first, simply because they were at a lower level to start with.”

¶ But isn’t he being inconsistent in quoting Einstein, the father of modern science? “Not at all; we don’t say that science is completely untrue—we merely say that it isn’t the whole truth and nothing but the truth. What’s true for the scientist may not be true for the man in the street. The scientists may be right when they say that matter is actually pulsating energy, but if you break an arms or a leg that consists of pulsating energy it will hurt just as much as if it were truly solid.

¶ But what about the pictures taken from outer space by the astronauts? “How do we know they were genuine? We saw it on television. Of course. But we also saw The Flying Nun on television. Star Trek looks infinitely more authentic than those shots of the alleged moon landing. Some of our members believe that the whole stunt was faked, possibly in Newfoundland. In the light of Watergate, that’s certainly not unthinkable. But assuming that the pictures are genuine, they didn’t show a globular earth, they showed a circular one, and there’s no reason why the earth couldn’t be both circular and flat. Furthermore, to refer to Einstein again, if his theory of the curvature of space is correct, a square object photographed from space would appear to be circular.”

¶ The Flat Earth Society claims that the globular theory fosters racism. “Even assuming for the sake of argument that the earth is shaped like a globe, there would be no ‘up’ and no ‘down’ in space, yet the globe always depicts Europe and North America as being on the top and Third World countries on the bottom. Surely that’s a form of discrimination. The Flat Earth Society would put everyone on the same level.”

¶ For years there existed a British Flat Earth Research Society, its sympathizers including George Bernard Shaw, who said that the average man can advance not a single reason for thinking that the earth is round, he merely swallows this theory because there is something about it that appeals to the twentieth century mentality. Another quotation popular among Flat Earthers is Gilbert Keith Chesterton’s “A man should always question the strongest convictions of his age, for those convictions are invariably too strong.”

¶ The official aims of the Society are threefold :

1. To restore man’s confidence in the validity of his own perceptions. For more than fifteen hundred years man has been blinded by metaphysics and coerced into denying the evidence of his sense. The Flat Earth Society stands for a renewed faith in the veracity of sense experience.

2. To combat the fallacious deification of the sphere which, ever since Galileo dramatized the heresies of Copernicus, has thwarted Western thought.

3. To spearhead man’s escape from his metaphysical and geometrical prison by asserting unequivocally that all science, like all philosophy and all religion, is essentially sacramental and, therefore, all reality, as man verbalizes it, is ultimately metaphorical.

¶ Ferrari is proud of his descent from a 19th-century Italian revolutionary, Giovanni Batista Ferrari. “He had the choice of the firing squad or Australia and he chose Austr-alia.” But he doesn’t think of himself as a rebel. “Politically, I’m an agnostic; I agree with old Dr. Johnson—‘how small of all that human hearts endure, that part which kings or laws can cause or cure.’ But I think it’s tragic that human beings have lost touch with the earth and the infinite mysteries.” On an impulse he once rode all day on a train to attend a service at a Russian Orthodox Church. “It was magnificent: I didn’t understand a word they were saying. I just stood there and absorbed the beauty and wonder of it, the chanting, the candles, the incense. Our civilization is obsessed with the desire to explain everything. Mankind was happier when it was prepared to makes its peace with the unknown.

¶ In 1966 Ferrari won a Canada Council fellowship which took him to Europe for further research in medieval philosophy. “I spent a lot of time in the British Museum, a marvelous place: all the readers are completely mad.” Three years later another fellowship allowed him to take a total immersion course in German at the Goethe Institute in Bavaria. “In almost every little Bavarian village there’s an inn containing a tavern right next to the church. I love the symbolism in that.” . . .


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AT THE SLEEPY SAILOR : A Tribute to R.A. Lafferty

At the Sleepy Sailor Final

At the Sleepy Sailor : A Tribute to R.A. Lafferty

RA Lafferty by Patti Perret cleaned up

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Dan Knight’s Introduction to the First Issue of his Short-lived, Extremely Scarce and Very Awesome Magazine in Tribute to R.A. Lafferty : THE BOOMER FLATS GAZETTE

“We few! We happy few!”
– Henry V

It was never intended that our Fellowship, the Fellowship of the Argo, of Epikt and Roadstrum, of Dana and Okla, should be an exclusive thing. The table was prepared and the bar was stocked for as big a bash as ever was seen. There was something for everyone. A magical feast. Take as much as you want. Stuff your pockets and fill your purse. It would make no difference. There would be just as much when you were done as when you started. This is fish and loaves stuff. (Are not all good stories fish and loaves stuff by their very definition?)

Well, the feast was readied and the invitations were sent out and a most peculiar thing came about. All of the folks to whom they were sent found excuses not to come. The Host was a gracious man. “Perhaps I have not worded the thing properly,” he said. So another round of invitations were prepared and dispatched. Years passed (feasts like this don’t just happen overnight, you know). The Gracious Host is still waiting. The beer is still cold and the pheasant warm. The steaks are thick, the hot sauce is the hottest around, and the bread is fresh, fresh, fresh! But the hall is still empty and perhaps it will always remain so.

Or at least almost so. They would be easy to miss in such a vast place. But here and there, sometimes alone and sometimes in small groups, figures move through the magic place. Tasting. Drinking. Stopping here and there to sample that most prodigious board. And when they meet, at the intersection of the Great Tables, there is much back slapping and laughing and joy at what they have found. Family of the Empty Hall. You can hear them if you listen close by the doors.

But why wait at the door?

Did I not say that the beer was cold? That the whiskey was the whiskeyist and the wine–ah, the wine, there’s been no cheap-jacking about the wine! So come. One day the Hall may indeed fill with guests. And they will require guides. The Invitation is yours. The Fellowship awaits.

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BEDE, THE BLIND PREACHER by J.S. Phillimore (1907)


Upon a lonely road at shut of day
Bede, the blind preacher, leaning on a lad
To stay his steps, barefoot (what clothes he had
Fluttering loose in the breeze) took his rough way.

More grisly grew the inhuman wild, and blank :
Nothing but here a pine-trunk, ages old,
There a gray boulder jutting from the mould,
Bearded with shaggy moss and lichens dank.

The lad was tired. Perhaps a bush in reach
Showed tempting berries ; or, for the mere jest,
To fool the blind–“I’ll go,” says he, “to rest,
And now’s your time if you’ve a mind to preach.

“Shepherds have seen us from the high hillside ;
Women are here expecting, children hem
The path, gray elders–speak of God to them,
And of His Son for our sins crucified.

A sudden glamour lit the age worn face.
As springs rock-bound upbursting crack their shell,
So from his wan lips broke the living well
Of inspiration, like a torrent race.

He spoke as faith can speak. The blind man seemed
To read the Apocalypse behind the skies :
Heavenward his frail hand beckoned prophet-wise ;
Tears in his disillumined sockets gleamed.
. . . . . . . . .
Look! now the pale moon drops behind the hill ;
The red gold in the East begins to kindle ;
Night vapours deep in valley bottoms dwindle….
But when the Saint in rapture, preaching still,

Felt his arm nudged, and heard the laughing boy’s
“Enough! There’s no one left–let’s on again,”
And ceased, bowing his head in silence,–then
All round with vast and congregated noise
The stones of the wilderness returned “Amen.”

«Transcribed from Things New and Old, MCMXVIII»

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SOME BEAUTIFUL BARDIC POETRY from the book Irish Scholars of the Penal Days written by the Rev. William P. Treacy (1889)


Enthroned among the dark-green pines
By no one seen, the linnet sings;
Enthroned among the lone, dark pines
The linnet’s voice now clearly rings;
He recks not who may hear his songs;
He recks not though they be not heard.
He sings of loves, and joys, and wrongs,
He sings for self, the happy bird.

The shepherd on the lonely hills,
At eventide pours forth his strains;
He pipes of meads, and flocks, and rills
And hamlets on the flowery plains;
He dreams not, that deep in the vale,
The toilers pause to hear his voice,
He dreams not that his sweet notes sail
Far off, to make sad hearts rejoice.

Oh, thus the bards in their charmed cells,
Think of their lyres and not of men;
Oh, thus the bards in their hidden cells
Forget the workers in life’s glen;
They sing their songs to please themselves.
And not to please the world’s dull ear;
They sing their songs to soothe their souls,
Not dreaming of the listeners near.


O! holy Faith; O! Sacred Light,
Forever beam on me;
O like a star, shine on my night,
And light me o’er life’s sea.

The deep I sail is fierce and dark,
A wide, unbounded way,
I cannot steer my wandering bark
Without thy saving ray.

The shore is far away, I know,
And rocks and shoals are nigh,
Among a thousand wrecks I go,
O! star, my starless sky.

I sail, and sail, but know not where—
Before me, death and night;
O! holy Faith, now hear my prayer,
And show thy blessed light.

Shine on the waves that ’round me roar,
Shine on the far-off strand,
Be thou my light-house by the shore,
My sunshine on the land.


‘Tis vain to seek for bliss below—
The ancient curse will ever burn;
Our earth is but the nurse of woe—
Who seeks true joys, to God must turn.

Our gardens bear each hateful weed,
While all around the briers bloom;
From Paradise no blissful seed
Was blown afar to Adam’s tomb.

There is no stone on earth to build
A house where drossless joys abide;
There is no gold with power to gild
A peaceful home for human pride.

The world is but a stagnant lake,
Reflecting lovely shores and skies;
Its dazzling stillness dare to break,
And lo! what foulness in it lies.


Come back to me, my Fallen child,
Thou art the fruit of Heavenly Love;
I grieve to see thee thus denied:
Come back, come back, my Fallen dove.

A mother’s heart in me thou’lt find,
I’ll think not of thy sinfnl days;
My Daughter, come, —speak not unkind
To her who weeps thy dark, sad ways.

The holy font is near at hand,
I’ve laved in tears a robe for thee;
Thou art a dear though fallen land:
Come back, come back, my child to me.


My soul is like yon glowing fire,
Burning with a fond desire.
To ascend on high.

My life is like yon taper bright.
Wasting fast its measured light,
Soon, oh, bliss, to die.

My steps are like the dew at morn,
Passing from the rose and thorn,
Passing from earth’s joys and woes.

My heart is like the tiny bark
That flies the waves, when they grow dark,
And seeks in port a sweet repose.


What a fount of joy, of rapture,
Was this wood-born child of song! 

Like a smile or ray of sunshine,
Through the air he passed along;

All the Summer he was making
Verses wild, yet sweet of flow; 

Ah! how sad to see his plumage
Flying with the flakes of snow.

Priest and bard would come to listen
To his thrilling matin lay,

And the bard would sit all dreamy,
And the priest kneel down to pray; 

Hear the winds above him sighing!
Do they whisper of his woe?

Like a bunch of bleeding roses
Now he lies upon the snow.

Ah! no more we’ll see him building
Happy homes of down and moss; 

Ah! no more we’ll hear him chanting
On the chapel’s golden cross;

In the earth rich seeds are hidden,
Flowers will come in Summer’s glow; 

But our garden will be lonely,
For its bard sleeps in the snow.


Sweet lyre, adieu, adieu forever!
I lay thee by the lone, green sea,
Its troubled heart shall never, never,
Grow weary of thy melody.

Its winds and waves shall touch thy strings,
And saddest harmonies awake,
Its storms shall sweep thy music-springs,
While ships go down, and brave hearts break.

Sweet lyre, adieu, adieu forever!
The World cares not for songs from me,
I’ll sing no more; but Earth shall never
Be left without sweet sounds from thee!

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AWESOME JAPANESE LAFFERTY COVER ART scanned from Dan Knight’s Boomer Flats Gazette.

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THE DOWNFALL OF THE GAEL by O’Gnive, Bard of Shane O’Neill, circa 1560, and translated by Sir Samuel Ferguson

This poem was written by the bard of Shane O’Neill; O’Gnive (now Agnew). He accompanied O’Neill to London in 1562. The poem is written in the difficult Deibhidh metre, the dignity of which is not reproduced in Ferguson’s translation.

MY heart is in woe,
___And my soul deep in trouble,—
For the mighty are low,
___And abased are the noble.

The Sons of the Gael
___Are in exile and mourning,
Worn, weary, and pale.
___As spent pilgrims returning ;

Or men who, in flight
___From the field of disaster.
Beseech the black night
___On their flight to fall faster ;

Or seamen aghast
___When their planks gape asunder.
And the waves fierce and fast
___Tumble through in hoarse thunder

Or men whom we see
___That have got their death-omen—
Such wretches are we
___In the chains of our foemen !

Our courage is fear,
___Our nobility vileness,
Our hope is despair,
___And our comeliness foulness.

There is mist on our heads,
___And a cloud chill and hoary
Of black sorrow sheds
___An eclipse on our glory.

From Boyne to the Linn
___Has the mandate been given,
That the children of Finn
___From their country be driven.

That the sons of the king—
___Oh, the treason and malice !—
Shall no more ride the ring
___In their own native valleys ;

No more shall repair
___Where the hill foxes tarry,
Nor forth to the air
___Fling the hawk at her quarry ;

For the plain shall be broke
___By the share of the stranger,
And the stone-mason’s stroke
___Tell the woods of their danger ;

The green hills and shore
___Be with white keeps disfigured,
And the Moat of Rathmore
___Be the Saxon churl’s haggard !

The land of the lakes
___Shall no more know the prospect
Of valleys and brakes—
___So transform’d is her aspect !

The Gael cannot tell,
___In the uprooted wild-wood
And red ridgy dell,
___The old nurse of his childhood ;

The nurse of his youth
___Is in doubt as she views him,
If the wan wretch, in truth,
___Be the child of her bosom.

We starve by the board.
___And we thirst amid wassail—
For the guest is the lord.
___And the host is the vassal

Through the woods let us roam.
___Through the wastes wild and barren ;
We are strangers at home !
___We are exiles in Erin !

And Erin’s a bark
___O’er the wide waters driven !
And the tempest howls dark,
___And her side planks are riven !

And in billows of might
___Swell the Saxon before her,—
Unite, oh, unite !
___Or the billows burst o’er her !

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EPIKTISTES ON TIME from Arrive at Easterwine : The Autobiography of a Ktistec Machine as conveyed to R.A. Lafferty (1971)

“There cannot be any such thing as past time, Gaetan, but this fact is hard to explain,” I issued. “Time is all one growing thing, and its deep roots are no more in the past than are its newest barks. I am concerned with growing bark as the enlivening dimension. We will discover, when the past is sufficiently thickened and understood, that we have already done the great things that seem to belong to the future, that we have already been to the stars and the deepest interior shores : we will understand that all the doings of the world are simultaneous, that all the doings of each single life are simultaneous. We will find that we are still in our in our bright childhood, that we are already in our deepest maturity, that the experience of death is contemporaneous with all our experiences, that we (like Adam) are of every age at the same time.

“We will understand that Aristotle and Augustine were later and riper in knowledge and experience than were Darwin and Freud and Marx and Einstein, those early childhood types. We will understand that Aquinas came after Descartes and Kant, that he shaped what they hewed.

“We will understand that the first man is still alive and well, and the last man has been born for a long time…”

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TEN POINTS AGAINST the New American Bible’s BOGUS EXEGESIS of the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew

Bogus |ˈbōgəs| Counterfeit or fake; fraudulent; not genuine; pretend; phony; spurious; undesirable or harmful; incorrect, useless, or broken. Origin : 1839, Amer.Eng., apparently from a slang word applied in Ohio in 1827 to a counterfeiter’s apparatus. Some trace this to tantrabobus, a late 18c. colloquial Vermont word for any odd-looking object, which may be connected to tantarabobs, recorded as a Devonshire name for the Devil. Others trace it to the same source as bogey as in Bogeyman. It goes further . . .

The “introductions, footnotes, and explanatory material…added to facilitate devotional reading…and for purposes of study” in the New American Bible’s New Testament of 1986 remain to this day the most sustained assault upon the plenary inspiration of the Sacred Scriptures ever delivered under “official church” auspices in the English-speaking world. The TEN POINTS we present here against the NAB’s Notes deal exclusively with it’s shocking treatment of the Gospel of Saint Matthew, nevertheless, they are but small inklings of a whole galaxy of disorders which infect every page of this truly “New” and “American” bible.

1. The word “Catholic” is not mentioned once. Only the “Matthean church, Matthew’s church, Matthew’s community.” 

2. Not one Church Father, Doctor, Saint, Pope or Council is named or quoted. (Excepting one inconsequential remark from Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History & Nostra Aetate)

3. A Preponderance of citations from Pseudepigrapha, Gnostic texts, the Essenes of Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls.

4. An unusual amount of notes concern :
Rabbinic traditions
Rabbinic prayers
Rabbinic literature
Jewish legends
Jewish writings
Jewish beliefs
Jewish notions
Jewish usage
Jewish sources
Jewish stories
Jewish practices
the schools of Hillel and Shammai
and the Mishnah of the Babylonian Talmud. 

5. An overweening emphasis on the hypothetical so-called Gospel of Q.

6. A fanatical obsession for pointing out the most minute Discrepancies.

7. The mysterious and oft’ mentioned but never cited “Some scholars… Many scholars… Most scholars… Majority of scholars.”

8. The seldom cited “Many important Textual witnesses.” 

9. St. Matthew the Evangelist is accused of :

“editing, deliberately introducing, modifying, linking, changing, portraying, adding, showing, composing, inserting, expanding, retrojecting, following, accommodating, arranging, assuming, taking, touching, omitting, intending, extending, heightening, setting, claiming, wishing, meaning to, inverting, substituting, attributing, introducing, combining, softening, supporting, retaining, picking up, leaving aside, reducing, weakening, silencing, specifying, summarizing, presenting, ascribing, eliminating, designating, shortening, concentrating, eliminating ambiguities, serving to justify, intending to justify, basing on, removing, recasting, reformulating, abbreviating, doubling, placing, making it so, interrupting, asserting, drawing from, drawing upon, drawing out, formulating, interpreting, turning, giving, depending, incorporating, pointing, deleting, establishing, distinguishing, repeating, associating, commanding, using, utilizing, avoiding, putting, emphasizing, inexactly alluding, curiously omitting, qualifying, altering, rewording.”

10. While these “Omniscient” Modernist Exegetes are so cocksure of all their impudent figments and phantasies, at the same time they pepper their language with doubt and uncertainty about the authenticity or actual meaning of the Scriptures.

a greater or lesser degree of probability
many answers
far from certain
may have been due
probably from
probably at least
a plausible suggestion
may have
seems likely
probably is meant
probably expresses
probably has to do
probably applies
probably reflects
probably closer
probably due to
probably not due only to
but it is probably
is much disputed
seems to have
there is the same confusion
a plausible view
meaning is obscure
the view held by many, others, however, hold…
is doubtful
is perhaps
some think
may be the reason
very uncertain
there are several possibilities
several meanings given
there is a problem in knowing
could have
it is difficult to know
a different view
it seems plausible to maintain
there is some evidence
understood by some
suggests that
may be because
possibly because
some propose
there is much confusion
although some accept
there are others who believe
this view is now supported
probably made because of
may indicate that
can mean that
for some this is
probably composed
although there is no clear evidence
is vague
reasons against considering this
it is uncertain whether
may reflect
possibly this refers
as many think
may refer to
a fact that may be explained
there is reason to think
has been understood as
while it is questionable that
the difficulty raised by this
perhaps it means
some see
some indicate
probably because
it is disputable
probably based
seems to be due
probably an inexact allusion


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HOLY NAMES OF DIVINITY, WHOLE VERSES AND CERTAIN PHRASES Found in the Rhemes New Testament of 1582 BUT NOT FOUND in the New American Bible’s New Testament of 1986

On Ash Wednesday in the year of our Lord Two-Thousand and Eleven the United States Conference of Catholic Bishop’s will release The New American Bible Revised Edition. While NABRE is essentially a revision of the Old Testament translation of 1970, the 1986 version of the New Testament will remain as it is. We here at Hieronymopolis would like to point out some signal differences between the Rhemes New Testament of 1582 and the New American Bible’s New Testament of 1986.

Two-Hundred & Nine Holy Names of Divinity Found in the Rhemes New Testament of 1582 but not found in the New American Bible’s New Testament of 1986.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Mt. 4:12 – Jesus
Mt. 4:18 – Jesus
Mt. 4:23 – Jesus
Mt. 8:3 – Jesus
Mt. 8:7 – Jesus
Mt. 8:29 – Jesus
Mt. 9:12 – Jesus
Mt. 12:25 – Jesus
Mt. 14:22 – Jesus
Mt. 16:15 – Jesus
Mt. 16:20 – Jesus
Mt. 17:20 – Jesus
Mt. 18:11 – Son of man
Mt. 18:20 – Jesus
Mt. 19:17 – God
Mt. 21:12 – God
Mt. 22:37 – Jesus
Mt. 26:18 – Jesus
Mt. 27:40 – God
Mt. 28:6 – Lord
Mark 1:43 – Jesus
Mark 2:16 – Master
Mark 5:13 – Jesus
Mark 6:34 – Jesus
Mark 8:17 – Jesus
Mark 9:15 – Jesus
Mark 9:24 – Lord
Mark 11:3 – Lord
Mark 11:26 – Father
Mark 12:29 – God
Mark 12:41 – Jesus
Mark 14:22 – Jesus
Mark 14:61 – God
Mark 16:1 – Jesus
Luke :178 – the Orient
Luke 2:29 – Lord
Luke 4:4 – God
Luke 4:38 – Jesus
Luke 7:19 – Jesus
Luke 7:31 – Lord
Luke 8:38 – Jesus
Luke 9:56 – Son of man
Luke 14:1 – Jesus
Luke 18:31 – Jesus
Luke 19:31 – Lord
Luke 19:34 – Lord
Luke 20:3 – Jesus
Luke 22:31 – Lord
Luke 23:42 – Lord
Luke 23:43 – Jesus
Luke 24:36 – Jesus
John 1:41 – Christ
John 2:8 – Jesus
John 3:8 – Spirit
John 3:34 – God
John 4:15 – Lord
John 4:19 – Lord
John 4:25 – Christ
John 4:49 – Lord
John 5:4 – Lord
John 6:14 – Jesus
John 6:47 – Me
John 6:39 – Father
John 6:68 – Lord
John 6:70 – Christ
John 6:70 – Son
John 8:9 – Jesus
John 8:11 – Lord
John 8:20 – Jesus
John 8:21 – Jesus
John 8:26 – The Beginning
John 8:27 – God
John 9:1 – Jesus
John 9:31 – God
John 9:35 – God
John 9:36 – Lord
John 11:12 – Lord
John 11:34 – Lord
John 13:6 – Lord
John 13:9 – Lord
John 13:13 – Lord
John 13:14 – Lord
John 13:25 – Lord
John 13:36 – Lord
John 14:5 – Lord
John 14:8 – Lord
John 14:22 – Lord
John 16:16 – Father
John 18:5 – Jesus
Acts 2:4 – Holy Ghost
Acts 3:13 – Son
Acts 3:26 – Son
Acts 4:26 – Christ
Acts 4:27 – Holy Child
Acts 4:30 – Son
Acts 4:33 – Christ
Acts 5:41 – Jesus
Acts 7:31 – God
Acts 7:31 – God
Acts 7:37 – Him
Acts 7:44 – God
Acts 7:46 – God
Acts 8:37 – Jesus
Acts 8:37 – Christ
Acts 8:37 – Son of God
Acts 9:5 – Lord
Acts 9:6 – Lord
Acts 9:6 – Lord
Acts 9:34 – Lord
Acts 10:14 – Lord
Acts 10:36 – God
Acts 10:48 – Lord
Acts 12:24 – Lord
Acts 13:44 – God
Acts 15:11 – Christ
Acts 15:18 – Lord
Acts 18:4 – Lord
Acts 18:4 – Jesus
Acts 18:26 – Lord
Acts 19:9 – Lord
Acts 20:21 – Christ
Acts 22:8 – Lord
Acts 22:10 – Lord
Acts 26:15 – Lord
Rom. 3:26 – Christ
Rom. 4:24 – Christ
Rom. 6:11 – Lord
Rom. 8:11 – Jesus
Rom. 14:10 – Christ
Rom. 14:14 – Christ
Rom. 15:8 – Jesus
Rom. 16:9 – Jesus
Rom. 16:20 – Christ
Rom. 16:24 – Lord
Rom. 16:24 – Jesus
Rom. 16:24 – Christ
I Cor. 5:4 – Christ
I Cor. 5:5 – Jesus
I Cor. 5:5 – Christ
I Cor. 16:22 – Jesus
I Cor. 16:22 – Christ
I Cor. 16:23 – Christ
II Cor. 1:14 – Christ
II Cor. 2:14 – Jesus
II Cor. 10:4 – God
II Cor. 11:31 – Christ
Gal. 6:15 – Christ
Gal 6:15 – Jesus
Gal. 6:17 – Lord
Eph. 1:6 – Son
Eph. 1:10 – Him
Eph. 3:14 – Lord
Eph. 3:14 – Jesus
Eph. 3:14 – Christ
Phi. 1:5 – Christ
Phi. 3:6 – God
Col. 1:2 – Jesus
Col. 1:3 – Lord
Col. 1:3 – Jesus
Col. 1:3 – Christ
Col. 1:7 – Jesus
Col. 1:12 – God
Col. 1:28 – Jesus
Col. 2:2 – Father
Col. 3:17 – Christ
Col. 3:22 – God
I Thess. 2:19 – Christ
I Thess. 3:11 – Christ
I Thess. 3:13 – Christ
I Thess. 4:17 – Christ
II Thess. 1:8 – Christ
II Thess. 1:12 – Christ
II Thess. 2:13 – God
II Thess. 3:1 – God
I Tim. 1:13 – God
II Tim. 2:8 – Lord
II Tim. 4:22 – Jesus
II Tim. 4:22 – Christ
Titus 3:15 – God
Philemon 6 – Jesus
Heb. 9:14 – Holy Ghost
Heb. 9:24 – Jesus
Heb. 10:9 – God
Heb. 10:19 – Christ
Heb. 13:20 – Christ
I Peter 2:13 – God
I Peter 5:14 – Jesus
I Peter 5:10 – Christ
I Peter 5:10 – Jesus
I John 1:7 – Christ
I John 3:16 – God
I John 5:7 – Father
I John 5:7 – Word
I John 5:7 – Holy Ghost
Jude 5 – Jesus
Jude 24 – Lord
Jude 24 – Jesus
Jude 24 – Christ
Apoc. 1:8 – The Beginning and the End
Apoc. 1:9 – Christ
Apoc 5:14 – Him
Apoc. 6:10 – Lord
Apoc. 8:3 – God
Apoc. 11:15 – Christ
Apoc. 12:17 – Christ
Apoc. 14:5 – God
Apoc. 16:5 – Lord
Apoc. 20:9 – God
Apoc. 21:4 – God

* * * * * * * * * * *

Jesus – 61
Lord – 50
Christ – 38
God – 30
Father – 5
Son – 5
Holy Ghost – 4
Son of man – 2
Son of God – 1
The Word – 1
Misc. – 12

Total – 209


Whole Verses & Certain Phrases Relegated to the Margin or Missing Altogether

* * * * * * * * * * *

Matthew 5:44 – Do good to them that hate you
Matthew 17:21 – But this kind is not cast out but by prayer and fasting.
Matthew 18:11 – For the Son of man is come to save that which was perished. 
Matthew 19:9 – and he that shall marry her that is dismissed, committeth adultery.
Matthew 20:16 – For many be called, but few elect.
Matthew 23:14 – Woe to you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites : because you devour widows houses, praying long prayers. For this you shall receive the greater judgement
Matthew 27:35 – That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Prophet, saying : They divided my garments among them, and upon my vesture they did cast lots.
Mark 7:8 – the washing of cruses and cups : & many other things you do like to these.
Mark 7:16 – If any man has ears to hear, let him hear.
Mark 9:44 – where their worm dieth not, and the fire quencheth not.
Mark 9:46 – where their worm dieth not, and the fire quencheth not.
Mark 10:24 – for them that trust in money.
Mark 11:26 – If so be that you will not forgive, neither will your Father that is in heaven, forgive you your sins.
Mark 15:28 – And the Scripture was fulfilled that saith, And with the wicked he was reputed.
Luke 1:28 – Blessed art thou among women.
Luke 4:4 – But in every word of God
Luke 4:18 – To heal the contrite of heart
Luke 9:56 – The Son of man came not to destroy souls, but to save.
Luke 17:36 – Two in the field : the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left.
Luke 23:17 – And he of necessity had to release unto them upon the feast day, one.
Luke 22:64 – and smote his face.
Luke 23:38 – in Greek and Latin and Hebrew letters
John 1:27 – That is made before me
John 3:13 – Which is in heaven
John 3:15 – Perish not
John 5:4 – And an Angel of our Lord descended at a certain time into the pond : and the water was stirred. And he that that had gone down first into the pond after the stirring of the water, was made whole of whatsoever infirmity he was holden.
John 16:16 – Because I go to the Father
Acts 8:37 – And he answering said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God.
Acts 9:5 – It is hard for thee to kick against the prick.
Acts 10:6 – He will tell thee what thou must do.
Acts 15:34 – But it seemed good unto Silas to remain there : and Judas departed alone.
Acts 20:25 – But I fear none of these things
Acts 24:7-8 – But Lysias the Tribune coming in, with great force took him away out of our hands, commanding his accusers to come to thee.
Acts 28:29 – And when he had said these things , the Jews went out from him, having much questioning among themselves.
Rom. 8:1 – that walk not according to the flesh
Rom. 13:9 – Thou shalt not bear false witness
Rom 16:24 – The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
I Cor. 7:39 – to the law
Gal. 3:1 – not to obey the truth
Eph. 5:30 – of his flesh and of his bones
Phi. 3:16 – that we be of the same mind
Heb. 2:7 – and constituted him over the works of thy hands.
I Peter 4:14 – because that which is of the honour…and virtue
I John 5:7 – For there be three which give testimony in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three be one.
Apoc. 5:14 – Him that liveth for ever and ever
Apoc. 9:11 – In Latin Exterminans
Apoc 14:5 – Before the throne of God

Total – 47

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THE REVEALING APPENDIX to our forthcoming study of the Rhemes-Douai Bible of 1582/1609-10.

In the Appendix to our forthcoming study of the Rhemes-Douai English Catholic Bible of 1582/1609-10 we have discovered a critical diminution in the original Latinate-English Lexicon of the Rhemes 1582 New Testament through one of its later so-called “Revisions”. We have confined the word-list to the Apostle’s Epistles for they are the especial wellspring from which the Church draws her doctrines, liturgy and language. We at Hunted City feel that the data contained within the Appendix should be made available now rather than later for we know not what city we will be in tomorrow but “If our Lord will: and, If we shall live, we will do this or that.” The list is by-no-means complete. Some words of repeated occurrence are left out. In a subsequent edition we will preserve the original spellings of the Rhemes edition in the word list rather than modernizing the orthography.

Vulgate – Rhemes – Challoner Appendix.pdf (1 mb)


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THE PROVERBS OF A KNIGHT AND MARTYR from the Margins of a Book of Hours belonging to Blessed Adrian Fortescue

Dear Hieronymopolis,

I am an Italian Researcher, I am interested in the figure of Blessed Adrian Fortescue because I am studying the martyrs of the The Order of Malta. I have read in your home page a maxime written by him. Where can I find the whole text “the book of Hours”? Have you got other maximes written by Adrian Fortescue?

Thank You

Loredana Pellegrino

Ms. Pellegrino is referring to an abridged quotation in the sidebar of this website which was taken from Eamon Duffey’s Marking the Hours: English people and their prayers 1240-1570. Realizing that the quote was incomplete we sought out the text in it’s entirety. We found it and more in the Lives of the English martyrs, declared, blessed by Pope Leo XIII in 1886 and 1895 written by the Fathers of the Oratory, of the Secular Clergy and of the Society of Jesus, Completed and Edited by Dom Bede Camm, O.S.B. of Erdington Abbey.

Besides the wonderful Religious proverbs found in the Saint’s Book of Hours appended to the end of this post, there is also another book : A very interesting relic now in the Bodleian library :

“The whole book is in Sir Adrian’s handwriting, as he himself notes in it twice over, with the date, 1532. This was the year of his second marriage, and his wife has written her name on it, together with the name of her second husband, “Parry,” showing that she retained possession of it after his execution. It passed into the hands of Sir Kenelm Digby, whose name is also written upon it. Sir Adrian has written these interesting words on the first page :

Jesus. Jesus.
Iste liber pertinet Adriano Fortescu militi, sua manu
propria scriptus anno Dni. 1532, et anno R[egni]
R [egis] Henr. VIII. xxiiij
Loyall Pensee.
Injuriarum remedium Oblivio.
Omnium rerum vicissitudo.
Garde les portes de ta bouche,
Pour fouyr peryl et reproche.

“The volume consists of the treatise On Absolute and Limited Monarchy, by his great-uncle, Chancellor Fortescue, preceded by a large part of the old poem of Piers Plowman, and at the end there is an ample collection of proverbs, from which we here make a selection.”

A king sekant [seeking] treason shall find it in his land.
When the fault is in the head, the member is oft sick.
Many [a] one glosses the law, oft against the poor.
He, that ruleth well his tongue, is held for wise.
Money gotten at the dice enricheth not the heir.
A woman, if she be fair, may hap to be good.
It is easy to cry Yule at another man’s cost.
He shall hunger in frost that in heat will not work.
Eat and drink by measure, and defy thy leech.
Men of muckle speech must sometimes lie.
A man may be of good kin, and himself little worth.
Thou must trow [trust] some man, or have an ill life.
He that toucheth pitch and tar cannot long be clean.
A wound when it is green is best to be healed.
Unkindness by-past would be forgot.
For little more or less make no debate.
He that covets all is able all to tyne [lose].
About thine and mine riseth muckle strife.
He hath a blessed life that holds him content.
He that wots [knows] when he is full, is no fool.
Put many to school, all will not be clerks.
There is not so little a flea but sometime he will nye [annoy].
At every dog that barks one ought not to be annoyed.
He that is well loved, he is not poor.
A good tale, ill told, is spoilt in the telling.
He that wots when to leap will sometimes look aback.
Wherefore serves the lock, and the thief in the house ?
It makes a wanton mouse, an unhardy cat.
A swine that is over fat is cause of his own death.
Obey well the good Kirk and thou shalt fare the better.
Think ay thou shalt die, thou shalt not gladly sin.
Be blythe at thy meat, devout at thy Mass.
He that dreads not God shall not fail to fall.

“In Husbands Bosworth Hall, the residence of Miss Fortescue-Turville, the last direct descendant of the blessed martyr, was found some years ago a very precious relic, being nothing less than the Book of Hours which he habitually used.”

“The manuscript has suffered a good deal from time and careless handling, but on the outer leaf can still be read another series of maxims, a kind of rule of life written and signed by the martyr’s own hand. We give a full transcript of this autograph. It will be seen how, while yet in the days of his prosperity, this truly Christian knight was preparing all unconsciously for the martyr’s crown and palm. The Book of Hours is now reverently preserved as a relic in the beautiful little Catholic church adjoining the old hall of Husbands Bosworth :”

Above all things love God with thy heart. Desire His honour more than the health of thine own soul. Take heed with all diligence to purge and cleanse thy mind with oft confession, and raise thy desire or lust from earthly things. Be you househeled (housel, i.e., Holy Communion) with entire devotion. Repute not thyself better than any other persons, be they never so great sinners, but rather judge and esteem yourself most simplest. Judge the best ; use much silence, but when thou hast necessary cause to speak. Delight not in familiarity of persons unknown to thee. Be solitary, as much as is convenient for thine estate. Banish from thee all grudging and detraction and especially from thy tongue. And pray often. Also enforce thee to set thy house at quietness. Resort to God every hour. Avaunce not thy words or deeds by any pride. Be not too much familiar with thy servants but [show] to them a sad [serious] and prudent countenance with gentleness. Show before all people good example of virtues. Use to rebuke charitably the light and wanton people. Comfort all persons in well doing. Love cleanliness in thy house and in especial to young persons. Show thyself a sore enemy to vice, and sharply reproving all vile and reprobrious words and deeds that be not honest. Be not partial for favour, lucre nor malice, but according to truth, equity, justice and reason. Be pitiful unto poor folk and help them to thy power, for there you shall greatly please God. Give fair language to all persons and especially to the poor and needy. Also be sesy (?) and diligent in giving of alms. In prosperity be meek of heart and in adversity patient. And pray continually to God that you may do that that is His pleasure. Also apply diligently the inspirations of the Holy Ghost, whatsoever thou have therein to do. Pray for perseverance. Continue in dread, and ever have God afore thine eye. Renew every day thy good purpose. What thou hast to do, do it diligently. Stab[lish] thyself alway in well doing. If by chance you fall into sin, despair not, and if you keep these precepts, the Holy Ghost will strength[en] thee in all other things necessary, and this doing you shall [be] with Christ in Heaven, to Whom be given laud, praise and honour everlasting.

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R.A. LAFFERTY on SECULAR LIBERALISM : “The Religion that is not called a Religion.”

Gene Wolfe has described Raphael Aloysius Lafferty as possibly “the most original writer in the history of literature.” That means when Laff speaks one should listen. The following is an extract from an interview by Darrell Schweitzer and found in his book Speaking of the Fantastic, Vol. II.

Q : You’re somewhat unusual in being one of the few science-fiction writers to use religious material. A few touch on it, and there are a lot of fake church stories like Gather, Darkness! but most writers seem to shy away from the actual substance. Why do you think that is?

Lafferty : Actually, religion is becoming more interesting, more important I believe. I think there’s a lag. Most of them just haven’t gone to that yet. There’s the idea that religion is a drag, and so forth, but that idea is probably several decades out of date.

Q : It seems to me that science fiction often covers all the ground of religion, but does so in a non-religious manner. Childhood’s End, for example.

Lafferty : Well, I think Childhood’s End was religious, but that’s more the case with fantasy than with science fiction. In fact almost all the high fantasy is really based on the Low Middle Ages of Europe, which is a very religious period. But all the religion is taken out of it, and the background of the Low Middle Ages, the Dark Ages, is used for sword and sorcery. They’ve taken the motive power out and used the furniture and costuming. I don’t know why they did that. They’re leaving out the main part.

Q : My experience is that often if a story even touches on such things, the editor will freeze up and think he’s being preached at. You can write about, say, Hindu gods with no problem, but if you touch on Christianity, even if all the characters are doubters, the editor freezes. Have you ever found this to be so?

Lafferty : Yes, that’s very much so. But you’ve got it backwards. The preachers are really those of a religion that is not called a religion, which is secular liberalism. That’s really the established religion of our country, and of our world. It doesn’t allow too much opposition. Now people who go down the secular liberal line don’t want anything that challenges it. Hinduism doesn’t challenge it because it is too distant. Christianity does, even Born-Again Christianity and the emotional ones. They have something that the secular liberal world is lacking.

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Giles of Viterbo on ROME as the continuation of ISRAEL and thus the converging point of ALL RELIGIOUS HISTORY.

Taken from Giles of Viterbo: A Reformer’s Thought on Renaissance Rome by John W. O’Malley, S.J. Source: Renaissance Quarterly, Vol. 20, No. 1 (Spring, 1967), pp. 1-11 Published by: The University of Chicago Press on behalf of the Renaissance Society of America.

For Giles the most significant artistic endeavor was the decision to glorify anew the basilica dedicated to the Prince of the Apostles, and he eloquently extols the idea of raising the new church ‘up to the very heavens,’ ad coelum usque. Giles wants to see the new basilica so constructed as to be ‘a most magnificent edifice, that God might more magnificently be adored,’ magnificentissimus esset locus,… tit Deus magnificentius adoretur.

The full impact of Giles’s enthusiasm for the new Saint Peter’s is not realized until it is seen in relationship to the Roman character of the Christian Church. Spiritual though Giles would have the Church be, he did not want to disembody it. As a matter of fact, there is in his thinking a rather paradoxical contrast between the Church conceived as with-drawn, eremitical and ‘spiritual,’ and the Church conceived as ‘Roman,’ i.e., as divinely committed to a particular city and as the providential continuation of the empire.

Giles exults in the Roman character of the Church. He feels that this aspect of the Church’s reality demonstrates it to be the continuation of Israel and thus the converging point of all religious history. He delights in contrasting Rome with Jerusalem and the hill of the Vatican with the hill of Sion, and he regards the Roman Church as the superb fulfillment of all that was promised in the ‘Synagogue.’ Rome is, in a word, the ‘the holy Latin Jerusalem,’ sancta latina Ierusalem, the holy city par excellence.

“… Legi Evangelia, gens Hebraeis, Europa Asiae, Roma Ierosolymae, et Sion monti praeponitur Vaticanus.”

Giles is clear, nevertheless, on what the single historical fact was which demonstrated Rome’s claim to be the center of the religious world. Rome was the site to which Peter and Paul came, and it was hallowed by their preaching and martyrdoms. Rome thus participated in Peter’s primacy and was the heir to his bequest of sanctity and sound doctrine.

Giles seems to have pictured a series of concentric circles of divine predilection radiating out from Saint Peter’s tomb: from the tomb to the Vatican, from the Vatican to the city of Rome, from Rome to Etruria, from Etruria to the rest of Italy, and from Italy to the whole world. Giles thus arrives at a practical identification of the Church with the empire, especially with the empire in its idealized form as embracing all mankind.

But perhaps more telling than the comparison of Church with empire is that of Saint Peter’s basilica with the Temple of Solomon: the former is even now rising to new magnificence on the hill of the Vatican and will endure forever, just as the empire and Church will endure forever, whereas Solomon’s Temple did not even last until the end of the Old Dispensation.

Rome was, in every sense of the word, the focal center for Giles’s thought on Church and reform. Around Rome, or more precisely, around the Vatican, or more precisely still, around Saint Peter’s basilica the whole rest of the world turned. Rome, corrupt and meretricious though it might be, was the spiritual center of the universe around which all mankind – Christian, Jew, pagan, and Turk – soon would be gathered in the great gathering of all peoples, the plenitudo gentium, which would be the hallmark for the apocalyptic consummation of history in the tenth age of the world, the fullness of time, the plenitudo temporis.

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A PRAYER OF THE BLESSED BISHOP AMBROSE TO THE GLORIOUS VIRGIN MARIE translated by the holy martyr Saint Philip Howard, Earl of Arundel, while he was in the Tower. (1610)

Transcribed by E.T.H. III from An epistle or exhortation of Iesus Christ to the soule, that is deuoutly affected towards him. VVherein, are contained certaine diuine inspirations, teachinng a man to know himself, & instructing him in the perfection of true piety. VVritten in latin by the deuout seruant of Christ, Ioannes Lanspergius a Charterhouse monke. And translated into English by the Lord Philip late Earle of Arundell. 1610.

O Mother and only virgin Marie of singular merit, without any match, whom our Lord kept unspotted both in mind and body, that thou mightest be a worthy vessel, out of whom the son of God might make a fit habitation for himself, and draw the price of our redemption. I beseech thee O most merciful virgin, by whom all the world was saved, be an intercessor for me, a most miserable sinner, and polluted with all iniquity, that even now our Lord may grant unto me unhappy soul, the love of purity, the affection of cleanness, and the perfection of charity. For I, O I a most unhappy creature, have lost the grace of all mine innocency, of all my holiness. I have sundry ways violated the holy temple of God. But what do I mean to rehearse my filthiness and uncleanness to thy pure ears. I quake for fear O sweet Lady, and mine own conscience accusing me, I stand as one deformed, and being naked in thy presence am ashamed of myself. But to whom else lying now at the point of death, should I show my wounds? Or from what other mean may I hope for the benefit of my safety, if that only sanctuary of eternal pity should be shut from me? Therefore hear O sweet Lady, hear O merciful virgin, hear and hearken attentively I humbly beseech thee, to the suit of a poor Citizen, utterly undone excluded now from all portion in thine inheritance, and returning in hope to receive some words of comfort from thy hands after the enduring of long banishment, after the suffering of grievous scorns, and after the sustaining of heavy punishment. I remember, O good Lady, and it delighteth me much to remember it, in what sort thou didest reveal thy memorable name to a servant of thine being ready to yield up the ghost, thereby to recommend thy singular and gracious protection to all persons in misery, for thou didst appear unto him when he was in these hard straights, and asked him whether he knew thee or no, when he answered, (O pure Lady) even trembling and quaking, that he did not, how graciously and familiarly didst thou then O glorious virgin, of thy benignity and goodness say unto him : I am the mother of mercy. Before whom therefore may we which are in misery, or before whom may we which are in desolation more rightly lament and bewail all the evils of our whole calamity and misery, then before thee, the true and undoubted mother of mercy, O holy mother, O unspotted mother, O most pure mother, O mother of mercy, piety and compassion, open the bosom of thy compassion, and receive into it a wretched creature even dead in sin. Behold O sweet Lady, the prodigal son with naked and worn feet, by reason of his continual travail, doth sigh, cry, and call unto thee, O blessed mother, out of the place of horror and fear : of the dark clouds of uncleanness, and filthiness, being not mindful how often thou hast relieved him, protected him, and excused him with God the father, but thou a sweet and loving mother. Acknowledge O blessed mother thy sons whom thy dearly beloved, and only begotten son was not ashamed to call his brothers. Although that a sword did pierce thy soul for that innocent and crucified son of thine only, yet how canst thou contain from taking compassion upon thy poor servants dead in sin, who shroud themselves only under thy protection, how canst thou refrain at any time (O gracious Lady) from showing thy motherly affection, and sorrow for us, with shedding of tears? We are violently plucked from thee, we are spoiled by force of all our consolation, we are brought under subjection, there is none to deliver us, there is none to redeem us, there is none to rise up early and to be bound for us, arise up thou therefore, O merciful Lady, arise up (O gracious virgin) out of that holy place of thine where thou standest to hear our prayers, and hold up thy immaculate hands before that golden Altar of man’s reconciliation, and we shall obtain that suit by thy mean, which we prefer by thy intercession, surely we shall be pardoned of that which we most fear, neither can he long withhold from showing us mercy at thy desire, whom thou didst often nourish, O sweet mother, when he was a sucking infant, and didst comfort when he fell a crying. Who therefore is more mighty in merits to pacify the wrath of so high a judge and Saviour? Doubt not O lady, to sue for us, for is made of our bones, and he is flesh of our flesh, he is our head, and knoweth our workmanship, and of what we are framed. O ornament of virgins, O Lady of nations, O Queen of angels, O fountain of all creatures, O the pure cleanser of sinners, O holy and perpetual Virgin marie, help me a poor miserable creature, relieve me which am utterly undone. And though I be one that dare not now (the more is my grief) hope for the incomparable robe of virgins which is angelical, yet let me I beseech thee (O blessed Virgin) receive by thy glorious merits some wedding garment how simple and base soever it be. To conclude, although I shall not deserve, to approach more nearly, and to be present amongst the beautiful, and odoriferous companies of your glory, yet let me standing a loose, and being placed afar off, attain to see and hear the order of your going, your music, and your harmony, and whatsoever else pertaineth to your glory and triumph, when you shall singing and dancing follow the Lamb wheresoever he goeth. O singular virgin, O most high and perpetual virgin, O only mother and blessed virgin marie, let me desire one thing at thy hands in the end of this my unworthy supplication, made without that reverence and devotion which I ought. Let me desire, and humbly beseech this one thing at thy hands in the name of thy dearly beloved son, that it would please thee to grant me a continual, and perpetual memory of thy most sweet name, let it be a most delightful meat unto me, to nourish me, let it be a most sweet food to refresh my soul, let it be a comfort unto me in all tribulations, let it be in the beginning of all my mirth and pleasure. For if I may obtain this by the gift of God and thy goodness, I can never fear then utterly to perish by any accident whatsoever, because thy grace shall be ever present with me, thy mercy and protection shall never be from me, and if I should chance to sink even into hell, yet there thou wouldest seek me, and thou wilt draw me from thence, and deliver me to thy son, which did redeem me, and wash away my sins with his blood, even Jesus Christ our Lord, which liveth and reigneth with the Father and the holy Ghost, one God world without end. Amen.

Christo Laudes, et Sanctae Matri Eius honor. Amen.

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FIVE POINTS against the Church of England and a PRAYER – Thomas William Allies (1850)

T.W. Allies (1813-1903), a member of the Oxford Movement and Knight Commander of St. Gregory “in whom the poetical vein was tenderly blended with the philosopher’s wisdom” (Cath. Ency.) was the author of The Formation of Christendom which Cardinal Vaughn called “one of the noblest historical works I have ever read.” Mr. Allies, who had sufficient experience to make a judgement about the legitimacy of the Church of England, once wrote in a note from Launton Rectory to then Archdeacon Henry Edward Manning :

“I find at least five different points, more or less involving each other and widely branching, but each capital, on which I am unable to acquit the Church of England. These are the questions :

(1) Of Unity; and, involved in it,
(2) Of Infallibility ;
(3) Of Heresy;
(4) Of Schism ;
(5) Of Jurisdiction (that is, the substitution of Royal for Papal supremacy—in the case of Parker, &c).

I consider that to be wrong in any one of these points cuts off a province of the Church from all the privileges of the one mystical body. What, then, and how great is the cumulative force of all five?”

On these five points, Mr. Allies would later compose a prayer which is “one to be incorporated in the living Literature of the Church—a passage to place beside the words of Basil and of Augustine and of Chrysostom— the golden-mouthed.” :

O Church of the living God, Pillar and Ground of the Truth, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army in battle array, O Mother of Saints and Doctors, Martyrs and Virgins, clothe thyself in the robe and aspect, as thou hast the strength, of Him Whose Body thou art, the Love for our sake incarnate : shine forth upon thy lost children, and draw them to the double fountain of thy bosom, the well-spring of Truth and Grace !

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The Introductory Poem & First Chapter of Father Serenus Cressy’s Magisterial CHURCH-HISTORY OF BRITTANY (1688)

Father Serenus Cressy (whose name is not unknown to lovers of Wisdom or any at all conversant with our solid old English ascetical writers) like a second Bede is at his best in his magisterial Church History of Brittany. The following has been transcribed by E.T.H. III from :

The Church-History of Brittany from the Beginning of Christianity to the Norman Conquest
Roman Governors,
British Kings,
The English-Saxon Heptarchy,
the English-Saxon (and Danish) Monarchy,
I. The Lives of all our Saints assigned to the proper ages wherein they lived.
II. The erections of Episcopal See’s, and Succession of Bishops.
III. The celebration of Synods, National, Provincial and Diocesan.
IV. The Foundations of Monasteries, Nunneries, and Churches.
V. And a sufficient account of the Successions of our Kings, and of the Civil affairs of this Kingdom.
From all which is evidently demonstrated :
That the present Roman-Catholic Religion hath from the Beginning, without interruption or change been professed in this our Island, &c.
by R.F.S. Cressy of the Holy Order of S. Benedict.
Thus saith the Lord : Stand upon the ways, and behold and enquire concerning the ancient paths, which as the good way, and walk in it, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said. We will not walk in it. Jerem. vi. 16.
Printed in the year. 1668.
Permissu Superiorum, & Approbatione Doctorum.


Still lovely in thy beauty’s ruins, look,
ENGLAND, thy face in this reflecting Book.
Start not at Scars, or wrinkles : this smooth glass
Shows but thy Primitive and youthful face.
Read with delight and joy : this breathing Story
Sets out to life thy death-surviving Glory.
But if thy curious glance must pry too far
Beyond these leaves, what now thy features are,
Blame not his Pen, who (not t’ endanger Truth)
Shadows thine Age, and only paints thy Youth.
Nor will we blame thy blush, nor yet thy Tear,
If thou wilt needs thy time with this compare.

And thou in this Serener Glass mayest see
If still thy looks dare own themselves and Thee.
Be thine own Judge : And who can better know,
Then thine own self, if Thou be’st Thou or no?
No bitter Satyrs here, no nettling Wit,
No Passion strutting in Zeal’s counterfeit.
No crooked Mood, no Cross-dilemma here :
Deny not but thyself, the cause is clear.
Ears are slow Judges, much by Rumour dull’d.
By tickling flattery too as often Gull’d.
What Plea, then this, can surer Proof dispense,
When thine own Eyes bring their own evidence?
In no false dress disguis’d see here thy face,
No patch’d Reform here soils thy Native Grace.
Here view thy Piety’s forgotten look
So lively drawn in this reviving Book,
Thy Unity, by Sects and Schisms rent,
Restor’d in this Eternal Monument.
Thy ruin’d Sepulchers and buried Shrines
Repaired and rais’d in these Immortal lines :
Thy banished Saints recall’d by Saint like men,
Thy Bede restor’d in CRESSIES life and Pen.

Ed. Thymelby Pr. Gaugerici Cameraci.

I. Part.
I. Chap.

1. Having an intention, through the Divine assistance, to compile a plain orderly Narration of Church-affairs touching the infancy and growth of Christian Religion in this our Island of Brittany ; it will be expedient in preparation thereto, to give the Reader a prospect of the State both of its ancient Civil Government and Religion also, or rather most horribly impious Superstitions and Ceremonies : by a due consideration of both which we may clearly see, and ought thankfully to acknowledge the wonderfully blessed effects of the Divine Providence and Grace towards this our native Country more plentifully than to any other.

2. For though the Civil State here was in those times injuriously invaded and usurped by the Romans : yet by Gods most wise, holy and merciful Direction, the injuries and oppression sustained by our Ancestors proved an occasion of their greatest happiness since by means of the correspondence and intercourse then interviewing between this Island, formerly unknown, and the rest of the Roman Empire, to which it became subject, a passage was opened for a free admittance of the Divine Light of saving Christian Verities, the victory of which over the Britain’s Souls did abundantly recompense the servitude induced by the Romans over their Bodies and Estates.

3. And moreover the Omnipotence of Divine Grace was illustriously commended by its triumphing over a far greater opposition raised against it by the Devil in this, more than almost any other Nation. For here especially was anciently erected the Shop and School of most impious and inhumane Superstitions. The abominable Art of Magical and Diabolical Divinations, the most barbarous Mysteries of Sacrificing to the Devil with human blood, and, in a word, whatsoever impieties Hell could suggest, were here invented and practiced : the Inhabitants of this Island by the miserable advantage of their solitude and separation from the rest of mankind being at more leisure to entertain, and withal better enabled by Nature with Study to promote and increase those execrable Rites : For (as Tacitus relates from Julius Agricola’s observation, who had sufficient experience to make a judgement) the Britains were naturally endowed with quicker and sharper wits than their Neighbours the Gauls, &c. And it was chiefly in the inventing of impious Superstitions that they gained a wretched reputation and authority among the adjacent Nations, who therefore sent their youth into Brittany to be instructed in the Arts and delusions of Satan, as Caesar testifies. Such advantageous enablements, and withal such persuasive invitations had they to be more wicked, and greater enemies of God and true Piety, than any of their Neighbours.

4. But within a few Ages we shall see Satan like lightening fall from heaven : We shall see this our Nation and Country become the School of Holiness and Virtue, the Nursery of Saints, the Refuge of persecuted Christians, and a fruitful Mother of Apostles to plant our Holy Faith in most of our confining Regions. This was a change of the right hand of the most High. But before we can be spectators of the manner how this wonderful Change was made, we are first to take a view of the ancient primitive State of this our Island, by whom it was peopled, and how governed both in affairs Civil, and such as pertained to Religion.

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Transcribed by E.T.H. III from A Breefe collection concerning the love of God tovvards mankinde, & hovv for diuers causes vve are iustlie bounde to loue & serue him. 1603.

A Blessing to be used before you go forth.

The Imperial Majesty of God bless me.
The Regal Divinity protect me.
The Everlasting Deity keep me.
The Glorious Unity comfort me.
The Incomprehensible Trinity defend me.
The Inestimable Goodness direct me.
The Power of the Father govern me.
The Wisdom of the Son quicken me.
The Virtue of the Holy Ghost, illuminate me
and be with me. Amen.
Alpha & Omega, God & Man : Let this Blessing be unto me all health & safety of body & soul, against all my enemies, visible & invisible : now & forever. Amen.

A Thanksgiving to the B. Trinity to be daily used.

All honor, thanks, and praise, be to thee O blessed Father of heaven which hast created and made me. Glory be to thee, O Blessed Son of God which with thy precious blood hast redeemed me. Glory be to thee, O holy Ghost, which hast Sanctified me. Glory be to thee, O holy, Blessed and Undivided Trinity, whose works are marvelous, and pass all understanding. I laud and praise thee with heart and mouth, and give loving thanks unto thee, for all thy Blessed Benefits Spiritual and Corporal, and sing unto thee, the Hymn of Glory, Sanctus. Sanctus. Sanctus. Thou only art God, and besides thee there is none at all, which workest great, marvelous and inscrutable things, whereof are no end. To thee belongeth all Laud and Jubilee. To thee all Angels the Heavens, and universal Powers, do sing Praises. To thee O glorious Trinity be given all honor of every creature both in Heaven and Earth now and forever more. Amen.
Soli Deo honor & gloria.

Laud & Praise for our Sanctification & Vocation, to the Unity of the Catholic Church.

Above all these thy mercies, hast thou O Lord, of thy especial grace and goodness, knit me to thee, by calling me to the knowledge of thy self, and making me a member of thy Church catholic : whereas many thousand Jews, Turks, & Infidels, that have been born since I was, have died in their iniquities, and many hundred thousand also, since the beginning of the world until this time, more worthy and noble than I : and if it pleased thee O Lord, thou mightest have made me one of them, and so to have lived and died as they did : But of thy especial mercy and tender love, hast thou chosen me, among so many thousands, to be one of thy darlings, born now in the time of grace, among Christian people, and under the Keys and suffrages of holy Church, for the which, all honour be to thee for evermore. Amen.


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Taken from an article written by E.M. Harting found in The Month : A Catholic Magazine. Vol. CXVIII. July-Dec. 1911

¶ It was towards the end of a day in autumn that I first saw the old farm house at Long Kirby, in that mountainous district still known as the Peak Forest. Grey stone wears a grave aspect on a grey day ; austere yet not melancholy. The yellowing tones given by growth of lichen turn to gold in a sudden line of light on the horizon.

¶ Long Kirby, the home of certain recusants in Elizabeth’s time, still wears a stern unyielding aspect. With the grey limestone hills spread all around, the house stands strangely isolated, though a broad high road now takes the place of what was once a track over the hills. It may be that the grey stone gives an impression of endurance ; so greatly is history engraven in the outward aspect of the house that one hardly needs to be told that it was here that people suffered and triumphed.

¶ I stood for some time in the stone-walled garden, bright with autumn flowers, before going indoors, where raftered ceilings, wainscotings and shutters of oak, mellowed to silver, shone in a sudden rift of light through the clouds. A tone of triumphant suffering shone out everywhere. Grey was turning to silver and yellow to gold. Over the high fireplace in the parlour I was arrested by a portrait. As I looked at the pictured face for the first time an impression was instantly conveyed that gave the key-note to the whole place. Here seemed to be the person in whom all this inarticulate suffering had centered. A woman, little more than a girl, with direct unfaltering eyes, with thin lips compressed and almost stern, yet quivering at the corners with a smile.

¶ On the dark background of the panel I read the words, “Mistress Margaret Ashton. 1583 aetate 25.”

¶ I have seen this picture many times, for I have gone often to Long Kirby. The house is furnished, but uninhabited ; only a caretaker keeps watch for the owner, who lives abroad. This old woman and I have become friends ; she told me, as we lifted down the framed portrait from over the mantelpiece, all that is known of the Ashtons—a family long since gone out of Derbyshire.

¶ “There be something written on the back,” she said.

¶ The low-ceilinged room was never well-lighted, and between us we carried the picture to the window. On the wooden panel, written in white chalk, we made out the words: “Only those who endure to the end shall be saved.” The solemn sentence stood out in uncompromising clearness, repeating and re-echoing again the whole spirit of the place.

¶ The further emphasis of this prevailing spirit culminated in a great discovery. I was at Long Kirby when the manuscript diary was found in which this long dead woman speaks. It was a few weeks after my first visit to the place. Autumn was deepening into winter, the wind sighed round the old house and sang sad music in the big chimneys ; the flowers in the garden were battered by the gales that raged over the moorlands, and the windows shook in their frames and the shutters creaked drearily.

¶ The old housekeeper found the hinges of one of the indoor shutters shaken to breaking-point, and it was necessary to have it repaired. I came that afternoon just as the village carpenter commenced his work.

¶ “This board here is loose,” I heard him say as I entered the room ; and the oak casement into which the shutter fitted vibrated to his vigorous rappings. He peered at the cracks that marked where the board was fitted, and silently brought a tool to work ; then the whole strip of wood leaned forward, and we who stood by caught sight of a roll of paper, yellow with age.

¶ For some seconds no one spoke. It was like the sudden disinterment of a corpse.

¶ The years that had passed since this paper had been hidden behind the shutter seemed a barrier to mere curiosity. When at length we took it up, we found that not only had time turned the written characters faint and dim, but the handwriting was that known as Elizabethan Court hand, and impossible for us to read.

¶ The date could be made out at the commencement as 1584, and from the frequent repetition of successive dates we judged the manuscript to be a diary. At the top of the first page the name of Margaret Ashton was clearly inscribed.

¶ Reverently we folded the paper, and I undertook to send it to an expert in the handwriting of the period, for a reliable transcription of the contents. After some weeks this was sent to me. I cannot well describe the feelings with which I turned the pages of Margaret Ashton’s diary, fearing to read what was not intended to be known, yet realizing that in the passing of time many changes are wrought, and here might be found a clue to matters of history that are glorious for all time.

¶I shall not transcribe the first entries in the diary ; they are but brief, and refer only to one person, Richard Ingham. In the frequent repetition of this name lies a whole world of romance.

Rd. Ingham came to-day. He stayed above an hour.

This day Richard came. I fear I seemed too glad to see him.

R. I. rode by at noon. He waited at the gate, and then I went out and spoke to him. He wore a new coat.

Richard has not been here but once this week. He does not know how much we miss him.

¶ The diary appears to have been originally kept as a calendar of these visits, and records not only the date but the exact hour of his arrival and departure. Sometimes the visit lasted over an hour, sometimes he only remained at the house for a few minutes on his way elsewhere ; but Margaret Ashton measured every moment that he was there. These visits were evidently of a most formal character ; once she confided to her diary that he had called her by her name. But her fears for his safety in those penal days were often expressed.

¶ As far as we can gather she was the daughter of a yeoman of good position in the Peak district. That the Ashtons were Catholics and determined recusants is evident, but from their position, both of family and homestead, they did not attract the malignant notice of the priest-hunters. Long Kirby was not in the tract of the fugitive priests who passed through England in secret, saying Mass and giving the Sacraments where possible. Until 1585 the system of persecution had included immense sums levied in fines, and in some cases the rack. Those Catholics who could afford to pay the fine enjoyed comparative liberty, but at any hour were subject to invasion and destruction of property. But the country about Long Kirby was, as Feme stated in his dispatch to Cecil, “difficult to search.” Nevertheless all Catholics who went from their homes “rode armed.”

¶ It was in the year 1584 that Margaret Ashton wrote :

It is Easter Day. My heart misgives me when I think how very long it is since any of us poor Catholics have seen a priest. We have had no Mass these many weary days, and have not received the Body of the Lord for nigh upon two years. We are starving.

Richard Ingham came this day. I fear me that he is no longer so brave a Catholic. He thinks no more of our great need for spiritual food. I do pray God not to try him over much.

What had been said that day in the parlour at Long Kirby we do not know. It may be only that her woman’s instinct told her that those lean years had done their work, and that Ingham was growing indifferent to his own needs.

¶ Then comes the following :

July 4, 1584. Richard Ingham rode over this fore noon. He seemed ill at ease, and then he told us that late last night a fugitive priest came, asking shelter, not telling his name. Would to God he had come to Long Kirby. I warrant me we could have housed him secretly and got him off. But Richard is half-hearted in this affair. I fear the worst.

July 5. Ingham came this morning; he asked to speak with me alone. His face was drawn and haggard. He asked for my help and counsel. I told him that most assuredly I would give all the help I could. Then he said,—and how it should have gladdened me to hear this:

“You know, Mistress Margaret, why I come, for at least you know I love you, though you cannot know how much. I am not a coward. I would die cheerfully in a fair quarrel, but to be caught like a rat and buried alive within the four walls of Derby prison! There is a heavy penalty for priest-harbouring—imprisonment for life—it would be easier to die.”

“Dear love,” I said, and caught his hands, “ it is easier to die than to betray God’s servant. It is easier to suffer torture and long imprisonment Be strong, hold up your head. The Queen’s men have not yet found us out. To-morrow we will have Mass. It will give us strength, and we shall have no more of these fears.”

July 6. We set out at sunrise for Ingham’s house. (Editor’s Note – It is significant that never once did she write the name of the house, nor give any hint of its direction.)

Walking by untrodden ways through the hills. Arrived we did knock thrice upon the side door and were admitted. None speaking any word. In the upper room right in the roof we found a table spread over with a linen cloth, and lights burning. Richard stood by the door to admit each one to confession, and there were many there. Later in the big room Mass was said. Richard Ingham served, and I did note with joy that he already looked a new man and held his head as one proud in the service of the Lord.

With beating hearts we saw the strange priest—his very name unknown to us standing before the altar of God. Time seemed a little thing beside these great mysteries which for hundreds of years have brought strength to faint hearts. We could have sung for joy.

The face of this priest will never pass from my remembrance if I live many years—though it may be that we shall all most happily suffer for this day’s work, and God grant it be so.

This priest was of most excellent countenance, strong, yet full of gentleness, and though some weeks unshorn of beard he bore himself with all the manner of a prince, and showed no sign of fear. We knew not his name nor whence he came, only from his papers that he was known to my Lord Bishop of Lincoln before he was committed to the Tower.

But for his voice and that of Master Ingham we did hear naught save the wind in the trees near the house, and once I did think a sound as of a horse galloping.

When we all drew near to receive the Bread of Life the very wind seemed hushed, but towards the end of Mass a clamour of voices broke out along the hill road, and a rattle of horses’ feet. Then we knew the Queen’s men had come, and all raised their heads to listen : all, that is, save the priest, who did not seem to hear.

Quietly he moved about the altar-table and read the final prayers with voice unshaken.

Richard too remained as one who heard nothing but the voice of the priest. Then loud blows fell upon the door below, and a voice called to us to open in the Queen’s name.

Mass being ended we all waited, and then Ingham went down and let the men come in, for they would have burst the door.

Then we heard them call the priest’s name. And it was Nicholas Garlick.

We had long known of this holy man, for he was sometime master of Bishop Pursglove’s school at Tideswell, many miles southward from this place, and he was known to be full of learning and virtue. This then was he who with head lifted and eyes aflame waited without a tremor for his arrest.

I cannot write of what followed nor of the rough usage he got, but he bore it all right manfully like the brave gentleman he is.

Richard too was taken, and then at last I felt my heart would burst, and I did beg and pray of the Queen’s officer that he would take me too. But he pushed me away when I went forward, and even when I knelt to him he would not hear me.

And now here at Long Kirby I wait for tidings, while those two have gone to the foul fever den at Derby, there to stand their trial with other recusants.

And I know how heavy is the trial which I must bear alone. And yet to know that Richard Ingham did not fail, and will not, God helping him, and that he loves me, is enough for any woman’s happiness.

¶ Other entries follow telling of tears and sorrow and agonizing dread that Ingham was suffering cruelly in Derby Gaol.

¶ Oh, God ! [she wrote], surely I suffer more though I go free.

¶ Then the news came of Ingham’s banishment with Nicholas Garlick and seventy-two other priests and several gentlemen and yeomen out of England.

¶ Two months later and Father Garlick was once more in his native county, and with him came Richard Ingham. They came to Long Kirby, and Margaret Ashton was married to Ingham in the parlour of the old house in the Peak by Father Garlick.

¶ Of their future history nothing is known, but of the glorious death of Nicholas Garlick we have full knowledge.

¶ It is impossible for a Catholic to visit Tideswell now without in some degree understanding how the “ Cathedral Church” was a means of grace to Nicholas Garlick during his seven years’ head-mastership of Tideswell Grammar School.

¶ This building faces the north transept, so that each moment of his working-hours he saw the high pinnacled tower, the long line of roof, and the beautiful windows that must have reflected back some of the brightness which makes Tideswell Church “ one gallery of light and beauty.”

¶ It was during these seven years that he saw his friends and neighbours gradually deprived of all means of practising their religion. His was the true missionary spirit and he longed to be able to carry spiritual help into the wild district to the north of Tideswell, familiar to him from boyhood; where he could pass almost unnoticed through the dales and over the hills by tracks difficult to follow. His father was Forester of the High Peak, and he knew every inch of the way.

His life hitherto had been one of peace,

But his heart so burn’d

For Heaven, he turn’d

A Pilgrim and man of Strife.

¶ Three of his pupils went with him to Rheims, but owing to his learning and the great need for him in Derbyshire, he was the sooner ordained, and in 1583 was sent back there to work.

¶ It was no small thing to have educated and trained the youths of Derbyshire for seven years, but in the remaining five years of his life he was the support and strength of the recusants of the Peak. When search was made for them, those who were best known to the Queen’s men hid in the caves. Robert Eyre, a Justice of the Peace, whose brother was a Catholic, gave warning at the approach of danger. They were relieved by shepherds, who brought food and hid it among the rocks.

¶ “It is difficult to search in that country,” John Feme, the priest-hunter, wrote to Cecil, ”for the recusants keep scouts day and night, and they ride armed.”

¶ The fiery zeal of Nicholas Garlick could not be extinguished by banishment from England, and in two months he was back in Derbyshire at ten times greater risk than before.

¶ This man of peace continued on his way of pilgrimage and strife until July 12, 1588, when he was once more seized by the sheriff’s officers at the house of the Fitzherbert’s at Padley, on the north-east border of the county, together with another priest, Robert Ludlam.

¶ An old record of the time states that: “On July 23, 1588, Mr. Garlick and his companion were arraigned at the assizes, and without the least sign of fear or dismay professed themselves to be priests—greatly rejoicing at their calling.”

¶ Two days later they were drawn on hurdles to the place of execution, and it was arranged that a fellow-sufferer and a priest named Richard Sympson should suffer first.

¶ But to encourage him Mr. Garlick hastened to the ladder and kissing it ascended. As the fire of the cauldron was not ready, he addressed the multitude on their salvation, until he was pulled off the ladder. He was left hanging until about half-dead, and was then cut down, but having recovered his senses was then drawn and quartered. Mr. Sympson and Mr. Ludlam followed him.

¶ An eye-witness of the scene wrote that day:

July 25, 1588. Derby.

When Garlick did the ladder kiss

And Sympson after hie,

Methought that there St. Andrew was

Desirous for to die.

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Henry Edward Cardinal Manning’s English Translation (1875) of Pope Boniface VIII’s Bull UNAM SANCTUM (1302)

Taken from The Vatican Decrees in their bearing on Civil Allegiance. By Henry Edward Archbishop of Westminster. New York : The Catholic Publication Society. 1875

We are bound to believe and to hold, by the obligation of faith, one Holy Church, Catholic and also Apostolic ; and this (Church) we firmly believe and in simplicity confess : out of which there is neither salvation nor remission of sins. As the Bridegroom declares in the Canticles, “One is my dove, my perfect one, she is the only one of her mother, the chosen of her that bore her :” who represents the one mystical Body, the Head of which is Christ ; and the Head of Christ is God. In which, (the one Church) there is one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism. For in the time of the Flood the ark of Noe was one, prefiguring the one Church, which was finished in one cubit, and had one governor and ruler, that is Noe ; outside of which we read that all things subsisting upon earth were destroyed. This also we venerate as one, as the Lord says in the Prophet, “Deliver, O God, my soul from the sword : my only one from the hand of the dog.”

For He prayed for the soul, that is, for Himself ; for the Head together with the Body : by which Body He designated the one only Church, because of the unity of the Bridegroom, of the Faith, of the Sacraments, and of the charity of the Church. This is that coat of the Lord without seam, which was not rent but went by lot. Therefore of that one and only Church there is one body and one Head, not two heads as of a monster : namely, Christ and Christ’s Vicar, Peter and Peter’s successor ; for the Lord Himself said to Peter, “Feed my sheep.” Mine, He says, generally ; and not, in particular, these or those : by which He is known to have committed all to him. If, therefore, Greeks or others say that they were not committed to Peter and his successors, they must necessarily confess that they are not of the sheep of Christ, for the Lord said (in the Gospel) by John, that there is “One fold, and one only shepherd.” By the words of the Gospel we are instructed that in this his (that is, Peter’s) power there are two swords, the spiritual and the temporal. For when the Apostles say, “Behold, here are two swords,” that is, in the Church, the Lord did not say, “It is too much,” but “it is enough.” Assuredly, he who denies that the temporal sword is in the power of Peter, gives ill heed to the word of the Lord, saying, “Put up again thy sword into its place.” Both, therefore, the spiritual sword and the material sword are in the power of the Church. But the latter (the material sword) is to be wielded on behalf of the Church ; the former (the spiritual) is to be wielded by the Church : the one by the hand of the priest ; the other by the hand of kings and soldiers, but at the suggestion and sufferance of the priest. The one sword ought to be subject to the other, and the temporal authority ought to be subject to the spiritual power. For whereas the Apostle says, “There is no power but from God ; and those that are, are ordained of God ;” they would not be ordained (or ordered) if one sword were not subject to the other, and as the inferior directed by the other to the highest end. For, according to the blessed Dionysius, it is the law of the Divine order that the lowest should be guided to the highest by those that are intermediate. Therefore, according to the order of the universe, all things are not in equal and immediate subordination ; but the lowest things are set in order by things intermediate, and things inferior by things superior. We ought, therefore, as clearly to confess that the spiritual power, both in dignity and excellence, exceeds any earthly power, in proportion as spiritual things are better than things temporal. This we see clearly from the giving, and blessing, and sanctifying of tithes, from the reception of the power itself, and from the government of the same things. For, as the truth bears witness, the spiritual power has to instruct, and judge the earthly power, if it be not good ; and thus the prophecy of Jeremias is verified of the Church and the ecclesiastical power : “Lo, I have set thee this day over the nations and over kingdoms,” &c. If, therefore, the earthly power deviates (from its end), it will be judged by the spiritual ; but if a lesser spiritual power trangresses, it will be judged by its superior : but if the supreme (deviates), it can be judged, not by man, but by God alone, according to the words of the Apostle : “The spiritual man judges all things ; he himself is judged by no one.” This authority, though given to man and exercised through man, is not human, but rather Divine—given by the Divine voice to Peter, and confirmed to him and his successors in Him whom Peter confessed, the Rock, for the Lord said to Peter : “Whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven : and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.”

Whosoever therefore resists this power that is so, ordered by God, resists the ordinance of God, unless, as Manichæus did, he feign to himself two principles, which we condemn as false and heretical ; for, as Moses witnesses, “God created heaven and earth not in the beginnings, but in the beginning.” Moreover, we declare, affirm, define, and pronounce it to be necessary to salvation for every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.

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Fr. Alonso de Madrid ON SIN (Printed Secretly in England, Circa 1603)

Transcribed by E.T.H. III from A breefe methode or way teachinge all sortes of Christian people, how to serue God in a moste perfect manner. Written first in Spanishe, by a Religious man, named Alphonso. And reduced owte of Latin into English in manner of a Dialogue for the easier understanding and capacities of the simpler sorte. By I.M.

You must know then, that sin is the most vile and detestable evil that can be devised, & bringeth to any reasonable creature that committeth it, unspeakable harms and mischiefs. For by sin, we lose God, who is an infinite goodness. By it we contemn, dishonour, and injure, our loving Lord, in the foulest manner that may be. By it, we frustrate in our selves, the effect and fruit, of Christ’s painful life, and most bitter passion, and conculcate or tread under foot, his precious blood. By it we defile and make most loathsome & abominable our own souls, washed and sanctified with the blood of our Saviour, and chosen to be the sacred temples of God’s Majesty. By it we pollute our hearts, the Altars & Tabernacles of the holy Ghost, where he delighteth to dwell. By it we lose Gods favour, and all his graces, the eternal joys of his kingdom, with all our right and title thereunto. By it only we are made the bondslaves of the devil, the fellows and companions of all wicked men both alive & dead, & of the damned spirits in hell. By it, we are made the reproachful enemies of God, the most abject, contemptible, and dishonorable of all his creatures. And finally by it we purchase assuredly to our selves, endless damnation, eternal woes, and the horrible torments of hell-fire.

All which evils and miseries, are justly due to him, that by sin committeth high treason against his supreme Lord, who vouchsafed to die for him.

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Transcribed by E.T.H. III from Fasciculus myrrhae. Or a briefe treatise of our Lord and Sauiours passion. Written by the R. Fa. I. F. of the Society of Iesus. 1633.

The Preface to our Saviour’s Passion.

The son of God (sayth a Holy Author) wonderfully graced us in his Incarnation, by taking therein, the servile form of our nature upon himself ; blessed us, in his human nativity afterward ; edified us by his exemplar life ; instructed us by his doctrine ; comforted us, by his loving promises ; confirmed us, by his miraculous actions ; enriched us, by his infinite merits ; and made himself by his painful, and innocent death, a fountain of Life, and measureless graces, gained thereby graciously for us.

So as, the sacred mystery of our Redeemer’s Cross, which I purpose briefly to treat of in these ensuing papers, was the chief end of his coming into this world ; the high, and hard works of Obedience, on him, by his Eternal Father, for us imposed ; the painful period of his mortal pilgrimage here amongst us ; the consummation of his charity toward us ; the Abyssal depth of his mercy ; the effusion of his bounty ; and highest reach of his infinite wisdom : wherein for his own glory, and our good, he devised to circumvent Satan in his own craft, weaken him in his power, and vanquish him in his malice : and that also in such a manner, as in this Combat between them, he opposed (sayth S. Leo) against him, not the majesty of his own nature, but the infirmity of ours, to make the victory thereby become more glorious to himself, and graceful to us also ; since man therein, formerly vanquished, became victorious, able as the son of God, personally assumed and dignified his nature, to satisfy the utmost rigor of divine Justice, pacify the wrath of his eternal Father against sinners, make their full peace, and meritoriously obtain abundant graces here, and glory afterwards eternally for them.

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“Thomas Pounde was one of the most glorious confessors of the faith in England, pregnant as his time was with noble champions of the Church. His biography illustrates the merciless and systematic ferocity with which the persecution was carried out by the professors of the reformed religion, whatever their social position, against those who held the Catholic faith of our forefathers, and the terrible afflictions of every kind, in person and property, which were borne by them with such marvellous patience and long-suffering.” For a more detailed account of the Life and Writings of Thomas Pounde please refer to Records of the English Province of the Society of Jesus by Henry Foley, Vol. 3, 1878 from which the following Six Reasons was transcribed by E.T.H. III.

Six reasons set down to show that it is no orderly way in controversies of faith to appeal to be tried only by Scripture (as the absurd opinion of all the Sectaries is), but to the sentence and definition of the Catholic Church by whom as by the Spouse of Christ, always inspired with the Holy Ghost, the Holy Scripture is to be judged.

First, consider well these words of our Saviour in sending us to the Scriptures, saying, “Search the Scriptures, for you think to have eternal life in them, and those are they that bear witness of Me.” Mark well these words, I pray, that the Scripture is but witness-bearer to the truth, and not the judge to discern of truth ; for judgment given belongeth not to the witness-bearer, although he be as a rule to lead, and direct the judge in true judgment. But what if this witness should be corrupted, as no man will deny but it may, yet this judge to whom the Holy Ghost is promised will find it and reform it; as shortly we will see by a true English Bible which is coming forth. Understand, therefore, my reasons why of necessity the Church must be judge of the Scripture, and take your pen, and confute them, I say to you, if you can. The first is because the written text is mute and dumb, uttering nothing to us from the book, but only the words, and not the sense, wherein the life, as it were, of the Scripture consisteth, and what definitive sentence can such a judge give to overrule the conceited mind of an opinionative man, which hath no evident means to pronounce any judgment against him, but only to show him a dumb sign in writing, which a wrangler may construe still to his own understanding against all the world.

The second is because the Holy Scripture, as St. Augustine saith, is very full of hard and deep mysteries, insomuch that when Honoratus said to him (as many unlearned men say nowadays), that he understood it well enough without help of any instruction. “Say you,” saith he, “you would not take upon you to understand such a poet as Terence is well without a master, and dare you rush into the Holy Scriptures, which are so full of divine mysteries, without a judge? All heresies, saith he, come of nothing else : Nisi dum Scripturæ bonæ intelliguntur non bene—‘But while the good Scriptures are not well understood.’ Hereto, also, St. Peter, in his Second Epistle, ch. iii, beareth witness, saying, that many misunderstood St. Paul in many hard places perversely, to their own perdition. But then you will say the hard places may easily be understood by conference of the other Scriptures : we’ll admit a childish reason for a word or two; that because that might so be among the humbleminded, therefore they must needs be so, though men be never so perverse ; yet give me leave to push you the one question farther to the quick : how is it possible to know by any conference of the Scriptures which is canonical Scripture and which is not? Certainly if any infidel would deny the Old Testament (as some heretics in time past have done), and I pray God there be not many Atheists at this day in England, which be farther gone than they; yea, if such an one should deny all the New Testament also, we have sure anchor-hold against him by the revelation of God, by His tradition to His Church, which is the pillar and sure stay of truth, which St. Augustine, well seeing, thought he might be bold to say, with due reverence to God and Holy Scripture both : ‘I should not believe the Gospel except the authority of the Church did move me thereto ; meaning that tradition of the universal Church, and the testimony of all the people of God, in whom the Holy Ghost dwelleth, must justly move us to credit that which their authority doth command us to give credit unto. Therefore, let any man beware of flying from the Church’s judgment [of] the Scripture only; least the Scripture itself should be utterly denied, as by some Atheists in England (as I hearsay) it is already; and then might such infidels laugh all heretics to scorn for robbing themselves of their defense. But now to return to my purpose. If conference of one Scripture with another might give light enough to all men, how happeneth it that all sects using that conference, yet they can never agree in their opinions, but divers men, and all, using such conference doe yet construe it diversely, the uttermost shift they have is this, such a weak one as it is, that the reader must give himself to prayer for the truth to be revealed unto him; wherein, mark (I pray you) the intolerable pride of arrogant hypocrites, that they will first mistrust God’s revelation of the truth to His universal Church, for the which Christ Himself hath prayed, and promised to teach them all truth, and then most presumptuously to come and tempt God to have that truth only revealed to themselves, which being revealed, many hundreth years agone, and defined in General Councils by all the holy Fathers, where the Holy Ghost is always present, or at least by the holy Doctors in their writings set down, yet they will not believe, nor harken unto it. Yet this is their course, and so, as they say, forsooth, they doe all pray very heartily, though few of them can wring out any tears in their prayers, but yet with such a faith in the Lord (as their own term is) that they doe all verily believe the truth is revealed unto them, and yet, forsooth, they must needs be all deceived, as long as they dwell in dissension, and are not in errors only, but one contrary to another; who now must be the judge to try the spirits whether they be of God or no, but only the Church, or else shall they not be tried at all, but continual permission for infinite legions of lying spirits to be still undetected, that they may seduce more and more.

The third reason is, because St. Peter saith plainly that no Scripture is to be taken after any private interpretation. For it was not uttered after the will and phantasy of man, but as holy men of God spake it, inspired by the Holy Ghost. Yet most contrary to this express rule, every private man shall have liberty to interpret it to his own perverse will, after a private interpretation, otherwise than at first it was inspired to the holy men, if every man may appeal from the ecclesiastical sense of the universal Church to the text itself, as he understandeth it.

The fourth reason is, because by appealing only to the Scriptures, you seem to give men liberty to deny all unwritten verities, which we have received of the Church, either by express definition in General Council, or else by tradition. And I believe at my first naming of unwritten verities, Mr. Crowley and his fellows will laugh straight way, as though such were but fables ; but to temper their folly, I will not say their pride, a little in that point, I ask them all this question : how they prove the Trinity of Persons, and Unity of Substance, by express Scripture, or the two distinct natures in Christ, and but one Person, or God the Father to be ingenitus; or the proceeding of the Holy Ghost, both from the Father, and the Son, as from one fountain ? Or the descending of Christ down into hell, plain word of Scripture being therefore of many nowadays flatly denied ? Or the custom of baptizing of infants, seeing the Scripture saith rather as though they should be taught first their faith before they were baptized ; saying, “Go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name,” &c. ? Or why we should keep the Sunday now at all, and not Saturday rather, which was the Jews’ Sabboth day, that the Scripture speaketh of to be sanctified, although you’re Puritans which go to plough upon the Church’s holidays, seem not yet to know the Sunday for any of their making ; or why we should not abstain now still like the Jews from strangled meats, as the Apostles once decreed in the Acts, and by no express Scripture again abrogated ; yea, then, why may not any heretic deny all three Creeds, both the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, as it is called, and the Creed of Athanasius, seeing never a one of those is written in Scripture expressly, but all left us by tradition only, upon credit of the Church. Mark you not how these Bedlam Scripture-men would shake all the foundations of our Christian faith, by binding us to believe nothing but Scripture. Do not these blind guides, think you, lead a trim dance towards infidelity? Thus much of the fourth reason.

The fifth is, because without a certain judge for interpretation of Scripture, this absurdity would follow, that God, which is the Author of all perfection, and disposeth everything in stride and decent order, had left His universal Church on earth in this confusion, that whensoever any doubtful question should arise upon construction of His holy will, there were no provision at all ordained by God, for deciding of all such strifes, and preservation of Concorde among His people. And then certainly the kingdom of God’s Church were not so well provided for in their government, as every civil kingdom is by policy of carnal men, amongst whom none almost are so barbarous, but that they have counsellors for guidance of their estate, and judges for expounding and executing of their laws ; as well as laws written, or else it were ridiculous. Would not he be counted a very wise man, think you, in one of our parliaments, which would step up like a great bragger, and persuade all his fellows that for as much as they had a noble and ancient law left written unto them, the realm should have no longer need from henceforth of any prince, nor any rulers, nor peers, nor judges, nor justices, nor civil magistrates, but every man upon his word, for the warrant, would be content to govern himself orderly by the law written, which as his wisdom thinks is plain enough? And truly ridiculous be they, but much more to be laughed at, which will have the Scripture the only judge for every man to appeal unto, and refuse all authority of the Church in expounding thereof. Now who knoweth not that the Arian heretics produce forty places of Scripture for their horrible heresy, more than the Catholics had against them, but all falsely understood, which, when it is so misunderstood and misapplied, then St. Augustine called it the heretics’ bow wherewith they shoot their own venomous arrows. And Vincentius Lyrins saith it is then the sheep’s clothing which the wolf doth shroud himself in, because that when a simple body feeleth the softness, as it were, of his fleece, he should not mistrust the tyranny of his teethe ; that is to say, of his false constructions of Scripture, wherein he would devour his soul ; so did the devil himself allege Scripture unto Christ, and as oft as any heretics allege Scripture to us against the Catholic faith, so oft, sayth Vincentius, we may be out of doubt the devils doth speak unto us by their mouthes, and saith unto us, even as he did unto Christ, Si filius Dei es mitte te deorsum; as much as to say—If thou wilt be the son of God, and professor of His holy Gospel, cast thyself down from the high authority, and traditions of this Catholic Church ; whom, if we ask again, why we should doe this, saith Vincentius, they come out with Scriptum est, etc., because it is written, search in the holy book, and from thence thou mayst learn a new lesson of Me how to be a right Christian ; to whom we must say, Vade Sathan non tentabis, and that with great fervour of faith; for more perilous is the temptation of such a flattering servant, saith St . Augustin, than the roaring of a angry lion, because the one we fly from with fear, but the other with enticing may come the nearer to sting us.

The sixth reason, most weighty of all, is this ; because if you will refuse the authority of the Church’s absolute judgement upon the Scripture’s true sense, you shall soon come plainly to deny the Holy Ghost to be the Spirit of Truth, which upon the Apostles, and all the faithful, was sent down with visible signs, and with His Church it is promised to remain unto the world’s end, by the words of our Saviour, “I will ask My Father, and He shall send you another comforter to tarry with you for ever, the Spirit of Truth ;” and a little after thus—“The Holy Ghost the comforter whom My Father will send in My name shall teach you all truth.” So the Church is the surest judge, and none surer but the Church for all men in doubts of Scripture, because it hath a promise that it shall never err in judgment, which is notably confirmed by the Prophet Esay, saying, “This is my covenant with them, saith the Lord, My Spirit which is in thee, and My word which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouths of thy seed, nor out of thy seed’s seed, now nor ever to the world’s end.” O most comfortable promise that the Spirit of Truth shall never depart out of ye Church’s mouth! O fit judge appointed to be judge of Scripture, for our prophets! Without presumption remember then, I say to you, what a sottish opinion that is which is held to the contrary, that every private man, whom belike you will imagine to be one of the Church, shall have good leave to be his own judge in understanding of Scripture, as your crafty men are, and yet that the authorities of the whole universal Church shall not presume to take any judgment upon them. Granting this, as you must needs, that the Church, which is our Mother, as the Scripture saith, must needs teach us all her children at first to believe in God, saying faith must come by hearing, and also to know the Scriptures ; and yet that the same Church being the pillar and sure stay of truth shall not be absolute judge, and imperial schoolmistress, to teach us all how to believe in God, and how to understand the Scriptures. For this blindness of your hearts I may say as justly to you as St. Paul said to the Galatians, O insensati, etc.—O you foolish fellows, who hath bewitched you not to obey unto the truth? which even of infants and suckling babes (as it were) is discerned as clear as the sun. So that you must not disdain Mr. Tripp, to be tripped in this matter for a silly seducer, to maintain as you do, all so gross an opinion, being the forest indeed for all such foxes to litter their whelps in. Therefore, to conclude this assertion, acquit yourselves as well as you can, why you may not all be justly subjected to deny the descending of the Holy Ghost unto the Church, for as much as you refuse the Church’s sentence in judgement, with whom the Holy Ghost is promised always to remain, and in truth to direct them.

Hac est fides mea quia est Catholica—“This is my faith because it is ye Catholic faith.”

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A SINFUL SOUL TO CHRIST – Blessed John Ingram’s Sonnet from the Tower (1594)

“In the early edition of Father Southwell’s poems, printed in Edinburgh, a sonnet signed I.I. is inserted in the middle of the volume, at the end of St. Peters Complaint…the initials (might) belong to Father John Ingram, a Scotch secular priest and martyr, who in 1594 was brought from the north and confined in the Tower. He is well known to have written verses during his imprisonment, and it does not seem extravagant to conjecture that a copy of Father Southwell’s poems having been passed to him, he may have composed this sonnet on a blank half page, whence it has passed into the Edinburgh edition. The poem seems to have been composed under stress of extreme mental if not physical suffering.” – The Month : A Catholic Magazine. 1896.

___A Sinful Soul to Christ
I lurk, I lour in dungeon deep of mind,
In mourning mood, I run a restless race.
With wounding pangs my soul is pined,
My grief it grows, and death draws on apace.
What life can last except there come release?
Fear threats despair, my sin’s infernal wage ;
I faint, I fall, most woeful is my case ;
Who can help me, who may this storm assuage?
O Lord of life, our peace, our only pledge,
O blessful light, who life of death hast wrought,
Of heavenly love the brightsome beam and badge,
Who by thy death, from death and hell us brought
___Revive my soul, my sins, my sores redress
___That live I may with thee in lasting bless.

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A 17th Century English Translation of THE CREED OF ATHANASIUS

Whosoever will be saved, it is needful before all things that he hold the Catholic faith.

The which unless each one shall keep whole, and inviolate ; he shall without doubt eternally perish.

And this is the Catholic faith, that we worship one God in Trinity ; and Trinity in unity.

Neither confounding the persons, nor yet separating the substance.

For there is one person of the father, another of the son, another of the holy Ghost.

But the God-head of the father, and of the son, and of the holy Ghost is one, equal glory, co-eternal Majesty.

Such as the father is, such is the son, such is the holy Ghost.

The Father increat, the Son increat, the holy Ghost increat.

The Father immeasurable, the Son immeasurable, the holy Ghost immeasurable.

The Father eternal, the Son eternal, the holy Ghost eternal.

And yet not three eternals, but one eternal.

Like as there are not three increat, nor three immeasurables ; but one increat, and one immeasurable.

Even so the Father almighty, the son almighty, the holy Ghost almighty.

And yet not three almighties, but one almighty.

So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the holy Ghost God.

And yet there there is not three Gods, but there is one God.

So the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the holy Ghost Lord.

And yet there are not three Lords, but there is one Lord.

For that even as we are compelled by Christian verity to acknowledge each persons severally to be God and Lord : even so we are forbidden by Catholic Religion to say there are three Gods or Lords.

The Father is made of none, neither created, nor begotten.

The Son is of the Father alone ; neither made, nor created, but begotten.

The holy Ghost of the Father, and the Son ; not made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.

There is therefore one Father, not three Fathers ; one son, not three sons ; one holy Ghost, not three holy Ghosts.

And yet in this Trinity nothing is before, nor after, nothing greater or lesser ; but the whole three persons are coeternal, and coequal.

So as throughout all, as is above said ; the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.

He therefore that will be saved, let him so think of the trinity.

But necessary it is unto eternal salvation that he faithfully believe the incarnation also of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The right faith therefore is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man.

God he is of the substance of the Father begotten before all worlds ; and man of the substance of his mother born in the world.

Perfect God, and perfect man ; of a reasonable soul, and human flesh subsisting.

Equal to the Father according to Godhead ; less than the Father according to manhood.

Who although he be God and man, yet not two, but he is one Christ.

One not by conversion of God-head into flesh, but by taking of manhood into God.

One altogether, not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person.

For like as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man ; so God and man is one Christ.

Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead.

He ascended into heaven, sitteth at the right hand of God the Father almighty, from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

At whose coming all men are to rise with their bodies, and are to render account of their own deeds.

And they which have done good shall go into life everlasting ; but they which have done evil, into everlasting fire.

This is the Catholic faith, which unless every one shall faithfully and firmly believe, he cannot be saved.

Transcribed by E.T.H. III from The Primer, or Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary. According to the Reformed Latin ; with like graces Priviledged. At Antwerpe, Printed by Balthasar Moret. 1658.

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Certaine Iaculatorie praiers written by the Rev. Fa. R.S. (1600) (ROBERT SOUTHWELL?)

Gracious Lord and sweet Saviour, give me a pure intention a clean heart, and a regard to thy glory in all my actions.

Jesu possess my mind with thy presence, and ravish it with thy love that my delight may be to be embraced in the arms of thy protection.

Jesu be thou light unto mine eyes, music to my ears, sweetness to my taste, and contentment to my heart.

Jesu I give thee my body, my soul, my substance, my fame, my friends, my liberty, and life, dispose of me & all that is mine as shall be most to thy glory.

Jesu I am not mine but thine, claim me as thy right, keep me as thy charge, love me as thy child.

Jesu fight for me when I am assaulted, heal me when I am wounded, revive me when I am spiritually killed, receive me when I fly, and let me never be confounded.

Jesu give me patience in trouble, humility in comfort, constancy in temptations, & victory against my ghostly enemies.

Jesu give me modesty in countenance, gravity in my behavior, deliberation in my speeches, purity in my thoughts, righteousness in my actions.

Jesu be my sun in the day, my food at the table, my repose in the night, my clothing in nakedness, my succour in all needs.

Jesu let thy blood run in my mind as water of life, to cleanse the filth of my sins, & to bring forth the fruit of life everlasting.

Jesu stay my inclinations from bearing down my soul : bridle mine appetites with thy grace, and quench in me the fire of all unlawful desires.

Jesu keep my eyes from vain sights, my ears from hearing evil speeches, my tongue from talking unlawful things, my senses from every kind of disorder.

Jesu make my will pliable to thy pleasure, & resigned wholly to thy providence, and grant me perfect contentment in that which thou allottest.

O Lord make me strong against occasions of sin, & steadfast in not yielding to evil, yea rather to die than to offend thee.

Jesu forsake me not lest I perish, leave me not to my own weakness, lest I fall without recovery.

Jesu grant me an earnest desire to amend my faults, to renew my good purposes, to perform my good intentions, and to begin afresh in thy service.

Jesu direct mine intention, correct my errors, erect my infirmities, protect my good endeavors.

Jesu make me humble to my Superiors, friendly to my equals, charitable to my inferiors, and careful to yield due respect to all sorts.

Jesu grant me sorrow for my sins, thankfulness for thy benefits, fear of thy judgements, love of thy mercies, and mindfulness of thy presence. Amen.

Laus Deo Opt. Max. Bea. Virg.
Maria omnibusq; Sanctis.

Transcribed by E.T.H. III from Breife meditations of the Most Holy Sacrament and of preparation, for receuing the same. And of some other thinges apertaining to the greatnes and deuotion of so worthy a misterie. Composed in Italian by the rev. father Luca Pinelli of the Societie of Iesus. , [London : V. Simmes, ca. 1600]

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SALUTATIONS TO ALL THE PARTS OF CHRIST, and recommendation of himself unto him. (1658)

All hail, O head of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, dreadful to all powers, crowned for us with thorns, and smitten with a reed. All hail, O most beautiful face of our Saviour Jesus Christ, spit at and buffeted for us. All hail, O most benign eyes of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, bedewed for us with tears. All hail, O honey-flowing mouth, and throat most sweet of our Lord Jesus Christ, made for us to drink gall and vinegar. All hail, O most noble ears of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, vexed with contumelies and upbraidings for us. All hail, O most humble neck of Jesus Christ buffeted for us, and most holy back whipped for us. All hail, O most venerable hands and arms of our Lord Jesus Christ, stretched upon the cross for us. All hail, O most meek breast of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, much troubled for us at thy passion. All hail, O most glorious side of our Lord Jesus Christ, pierced through with the spear of a soldier for us. All hail, O sacred knees of mercy of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, bowed for us in thy prayers. All hail, (O feet to be adored) of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, fastened with nails for us. All hail, O holy body of Jesus Christ, hanged on the cross, wounded, dead and buried for us. All hail, O most precious blood of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, poured out for us. All hail, O most holy soul of our Lord Jesus Christ, recommended upon the cross for us into the hands of the Father. In the same recommendation I recommend to thee this day, and daily, my soul, my life, my heart and body, all my senses and acts, all my friends and benefactors, my Sons and kinsfolks, the souls of my parents, brethren, sisters, and of all my friends and enemies ; that thou vouchsafe to protect, deliver and defend us from all the assaults of our enemies visible, and invisible, now and for ever.

Transcribed by E.T.H. III from The Primer, or Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary. According to the Reformed Latin ; with like graces Priviledged. At Antwerpe, Printed by Balthasar Moret. 1658.

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SAINT BERNARD, by way of dialogue, to the Gentle Reader.

Transcribed by E.T.H. III from the introduction to A Hive of Sacred Honey-Combs Containing Most Sweet and Heavenly Counsel Taken Out of the Works of the Mellifluous Doctor S. Bernard, Abbot of Clareval. Faithfully translated into English by the R. Fa. Antonie Batt Monk, of the holy Order of S. Bennet, of the Congregation of England. Printed at Doway by Peter Avroy, for John Heigham. Anno 1631.

The Author, by way of dialogue, to the gentle Reader.

I speak of wonders : worthy yet belief.
Bernard what’s this? Is it of joy or grief?
Dost thou yet live? I live. Therefore not dead?
Yes. What dost thou? I sleep within this bed.
Speak’st thou, or art thou silent? Both. Then why
Hold’st thou thy peace? Dull sleep hath clos’d mine eye.
Why dost thou speak? Because I am alive.
What are thy words? Those accents which derive
From sacred mysteries their language.
To whom? To such as read and mark my pen.
What not to all? No. Then once more to whom?
To those, who sweet things love, and love alone.
Hast thou a name? I have. Tell what it is.
Bernard. Not without cause, unless I miss.
Thou dost not. Why? What means it? prithee say.
Bernardus, Bona nardus, a sweet way.
Why nardus? From my smell. What odour? sweet,
Where sweet perfumes, and sweetest flowers meet.

To whom and where? To him which doth incline
To read, and to observe this book divine.

What surname hast thou? Clarivall. Dost here
Abide? I did, but do not. Then say where.
Upon the top of yonder glorious hill,
Where perfect joy doth true contentment fill.

What wert thou then, when here thou didst abide,
Within this valley? Humble, free from pride.
Art thou now great? Yes. Great by so much more,
As I was truly humble heretofore.

But doth this valley nought of thine contain?
Nought but my bones. How long shall they remain
Within their urn? Until this carcass be
Changed from earth, unto eternity.

When will this be? Even then, and not until
All flesh shall rise again, to good or ill.


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THOMAS POUNDE’S POEM FROM PRISON written upon the occasion of St. Edmund Campion’s Martyrdom.

“Thomas Pounde was evidently a man of great ability and of considerable poetical talent . The late Mr. Simpson in p. 325 of his Life of Father Campion ascribes to Pounde the following lines, written upon the occasion of the martyrdom of Father Edmund Campian and his companions, when among other prodigies mentioned by Father Persons in his Epistle of Comfort to the Priests, which he wrote early in 1582, he gives an account of “the wonderful stay and standing of the Thames the same day that Campian and his company were martyred, to the great marvel of the citizens and mariners, and the like stay of the river Trent about the same time. Which accidents, though some will impute to other causes, yet happening at such special times, when so open and unnatural injustice was done they cannot but be interpreted as tokens of God’s indignation.”

Taken from Records of the English province of the Society of Jesus : Historic Facts Illustrative of the Labours and Sufferings of its Members in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. Vol. III. by Henry Foley, S.J. London : Burns and Oates. 1878.

What iron heart that would not melt in grief?
what steel or stone could keep him dry from tears?
to see a Campion hailed like a Thief,
to end his life, with both his glorious peers.
in whose three deaths unto the standers by :
even all the world almost might seem to die.

England must lose a sovereign salve for sin
a sweet receipt for subtle Heresy :
India a Saint her silly souls to win,
Turkey a bane for her idolatry.
the Church a soldier against Babylon :
to batter hell and her confusion.

The scowling skies did storm and puff apace,
they could not bear the wrong that malice wrought,
the sun drew in his shining purple face,
the moistened clouds shed brinish tears for thought,
the river Thames awhile astonished stood
to count the drops of Campion’s sacred blood.

Nature with tears bewailed her heavy loss,
honesty feared herself should shortly die,
religion saw her champion on the cross,
angels and saints desired leave to cry,
even heresy the eldest child of hell,
began to blush, and thought she did not well.

And yet behold when Campion made his end,
his Humble heart was so bedewed with grace,
that no reproach could once his mind offend,
mildness possessed his sweet and cheerful face,
a patient spectacle was presented then,
in sight of God, of angels, saints, and men.

The heavens did clear, the sun like gold did shine,
the clouds were dry, the fearful river ran,
nature and virtue wept their watered eyen,
religion joyed to see so mild a man,
men, angels, saints, and all that saw him die,
forgot their grief, his joys appeared so nigh.

They saw his patience did expect a crown,
his scornful cart a glorious heavenly place.
his lowly mind a happy high reknown,
his humble cheer a shining angel’s face,
his fear, his grief, his death & agony,
a joy, a peace, a life in majesty.

From thence he prays and sings in melody
for our recure, and calleth us to him,
he stands before the throne with harmony,
and is a glorious suture for our sin.
with wings of love he jumped up so high,
to help the cause for which he sought to die.

Rejoice, be glad, triumph, sing hymns of joy,
Campion, Sherwin, Brian, live in bliss,
they sue, they seek the ease of our annoy,
they pray, they speak, and all effectual is,
not like to men on earth as heretofore,
but like to saints in heaven, and that is more.


Transcribed by E.T.H. III from A true reporte on the death & martyrdome of M. Campion, iesuite and preiste, & M. Sherwin, and M. Bryan preistes, at Tiborne the first of December 1581, observid and written by a Catholique preist, wich was present thereat.


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THE FOUR LAST THINGS AND FOUR THINGS MORE – Saint Hugh Green’s last words from the Scaffold (1642)

“THERE be four principal things which all men ought to remember : death, judgment, Heaven and Hell. Death is a horror to nature, but that which followeth is much more terrible, viz. judgment, if we die not as we ought ; and as we dispose ourselves to good or evil in this life, so shall the measure of our punishment or glory succeed. I am here condemned to die for my religion and for being a priest : we know there must be priests, for God, foretelling of the Church by the prophets, saith, ‘Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedech’ (Ps. cix.). ‘And from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof, there shall be a clean sacrifice offered in My Name’ (Mal. i.). Now four things are to be considered : a God, a sacrifice, a priest, a man : such am I, and therefore I must die. Wherefore do we receive holy unction and are made priests but to offer sacrifice to God ? But I am condemned for being ordained by the See of Rome. St. Paul saith, ‘the Romans have the Catholic faith’ and gives God thanks that their faith and his were one, of which Catholic faith I am.

“THERE be four things more : one God, one faith, one baptism, one Church. That there is one God we all acknowledge, in whom, from whom, and by whom all things remain and have their being. That there is one faith appears by Christ’s praying that St. Peter’s faith (He said not faiths) should never fail ; and He promised to be with it to the end of the world. That there is one baptism : we are all cleansed by the laver of water in the Word. That there is one Church, holy and sanctified : doth not St. Paul say that it is a glorious Church without spot or wrinkle or any such thing? Now the marks of this Church are sanctity, unity, antiquity, universality, which all of us in all points of faith believe. But some will say we are fallen off from this Church of Rome, but in what pope’s time, in what prince’s reign, or what are the errors, none can discover. No, this holy Church of Christ did never err. By the law I am now to die for being a priest. Judge you, can these new laws overthrow the authority of God’s Church? Nevertheless, I forgive you, and pray God for all.” (August 19, 1642)

Taken from Mementoes of the English Martyrs and Confessors : For Every Day In The Year by Henry Sebastian Bowden of the Oratory, Burns and Oates, London, 1910.

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A prayer after receiving the Blessed Sacrament, by S. Bonaventure.

Transcribed by E.T.H. III from The Primer, or Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary. According to the Reformed Latin ; with like graces Priviledged. At Antwerpe, Printed by Balthasar Moret. 1658.

A prayer after receiving the B. Sacrament, by S. Bonaventure.

Pierce through, O sweet Lord Jesus, the marrow and bowels of my soul with the most sweet and most wholesome wound of thy love, with thy true, clear, and Apostolic most holy charity, that my soul may languish and melt ever by the only love and desire of thee, let it covet thee, and have a longing desire after thy courts, let it desire to be dissolved, and to be with thee. Grant that my soul may hunger after thee, the bread of Angels, the food of holy souls, our daily supersubstantial bread, having all sweetness and savour, and all delight of well smelling : let my heart always hunger and eat thee, on whom the Angels desire to look, and let the bowels of my soul be replenished with the sweetness of thy taste ; let it always thirst after thee, the fountain of life, the fountain of wisdom and knowledge, the fountain of eternal light, the river of pleasure, the plentifulness of the house of God ; let it always earnestly covet thee, seek thee, and find thee ; let it tend to thee, come unto thee, think upon thee, speak of thee, and work all things unto the laud and glory of thy name, with humility and discretion, with love and delight, with facility and affection, with perseverance unto the end ; and thou alone be always my hope, my whole confidence, my riches, my delight, my pleasantness, my gladness, my rest and tranquility, my peace, my well-smelling, my odor, my sweetness, my meat, my food, my refuge, my help, my wisdom, my portion, my possession, my treasure, in the which my mind and heart is always fixed and firm, and immovably rooted. Amen.

Another prayer after receiving the blessed Sacrament.

O Lord Jesus Christ, I humbly beseech thy unspeakable mercy, that this Sacrament of thy body and blood, which I unworthy have received, may be to me a purging of offenses, a fortitude against frailties, a fortress against the perils of the world, an obtaining of pardon, an establishment of grace, a medicine of life, a memory of thy passion, a nourishment against weakness, costage of my pilgrimage. Let it guide me going, reduce me wandering, receive me returning again, uphold me stumbling, lift me up falling, and persevering bring me into glory. O highest God, let the most blessed presence of thy body and blood so alter the taste of my heart, that besides thee at any time it feel no sweetness, it love no fairness, it seek no unlawful love, it desire no consolation, it admit no delectation at any time, it care for no honour, it fear no cruelty, who livest and reignest God, with God the Father, in the unity of the holy Ghost, world without end, Amen.

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A VISION OF TYBURN by Gilberte Turner (1907)

Time: 6 o’clock of a June evening. London at its fullest and gayest; a section of its inhabitants setting homewards to emerge again gorgeously apparelled for fresh gaiety ; the great majority homeward bound for rest and refreshment after the day’s work.

Place: the top of an omnibus at the Marble Arch.

¶ An unlikely setting for reverie, for the seeing of visions or the dreaming of dreams ; and, besides, rain is falling, lightly, it is true, but persistently; and the dingy mackintosh aprons of the bus are shining and heavy with wet, and there is a pattering on my umbrella. But I have been searching musty chronicles all day, and my eyes are weary with crabbed character and indistinct print on discoloured parchment or paper; and my head is heavy with the close, book-laden atmosphere of a great library; and I am in the mood to see things, even the most familiar, in a fresh light. From my lofty perch I can just catch a glimpse of the French convent where the Blessed Sacrament is adored perpetually for the Conversion of England, and where there is an oratory dedicated to the English Martyrs, and where Reverend Mother loves to tell in French, how one priestly martyr at Tyburn predicted that in three hundred years’ time a convent should stand. His words must have sounded like the wildest sort of raving to the men around him, fresh from their work of demolishing all trace of the old religion. An era of light and learning, of emancipation from the thraldom of an out-worn creed, of a New Theology, was dawning. And they were asked to believe that three hundred years later Englishmen would have progressed no farther along the path of enlightenment than to erect a convent on this same spot—that the Old Theology would be living still! Doubtless there were some that cried then as they did later to another, “Away with thee and thy Catholick Roman faith!” The whole thing was old-fashioned, out-worn, exploded—the New Ideas had come to stay!

¶ Which things are an allegory, and a useful one, in an age that is also busy in casting off the yoke of faith and boasting of its progress and enlightenment. Who among us is untainted and untouched by fear, by sickening doubt at times, when the age talks loudly and triumphantly, and God sits very still and lets it talk ; and in a panic we besiege the Tabernacle for a sign that comes not ? Then it is heart-healing to look back on what history has to say.

¶ How many times man has risen and clamoured against high Heaven from the days of Babel down!—how many times the floods of doubt and of infidelity have arisen and threatened to sweep all faith in God from the face of the earth!—and when have the gates of Hell prevailed? There can hardly be a better spot in England on which to revive a drooping and a languid faith than this same battle-ground between the old ideas and the new.

¶ These and many thoughts like them vaguely present themselves as I sit in the rain, wearied with a long, hot day’s work, and the lumbering buses roll past, while we pause to set down and take up passengers, and all the street noises and bustle seem somehow softened and deadened by this gentle, refreshing downfall.

¶ I half close my eyes and the whole scene changes: the thickly clustering houses disappear, and give place to a broad, open space, beyond which all is country; there are trees on both sides of the road that leads all the way from the City to Oxford, and where Connaught Square now stands there is a square, indeed, and in the midst, a clumsy, black, sinister erection, and at a little distance a pile of wood that burns sullenly under a huge, black, steaming cauldron, that gives off a sickening odour of hot tar. And then with the eyes of my mind, but so vividly that I am sure I should see it with my bodily eyes if I could but rouse myself to sit up and look, I see a long, unending procession that files slowly out from the heart of the City, all the long, weary two miles and a half from Newgate. It is a stream of people, and I hear the low, sullen roar of a great crowd in motion—a crowd that is partly angry and brutal, partly excited and hostile, but all intent on its centre—on the long line of horses dragging hurdles, surrounded by other horses bearing men in authority—men whose faces show that they at least know no relenting, no hesitation in their chosen task. Momentary pity there may be, as they glance for an instant in the dust beside them, but a pity mingled with contempt and disgust, and more often they are merely indifferent. These fools have brought it on themselves; they have but to stand up like men and forswear their folly—they have but to conform to the latest fashion in theology, proclaiming Glorious Queen Bess or Wise King James Head of the Church, and their reward shall be great and instantaneous. It is so plainly all their own doing that they are there, strapped on hurdles at the horses’ heels, racked and tortured, their heads and faces bathed in sweat and occasionally in blood, that it is hardly worth any sane man’s while to do aught but assist in ridding the earth of such combined madness and treason. For this long line is part of the noble army of martyrs that for more than one hundred and fifty years took that road from Newgate or the Tower, to Tyburn gallows, there to pay the penalty of their belief in the Unity of the Faith and the Headship of Peter.

¶ That was the crux then as it is now, as it ever will be while the world lasts, although it may be put in different words and take on different phases. Non serviam was the battle-cry of Lucifer at the beginning, non serviam the world cried in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and non serviam the world cries now. There is no sound so sweet to the ears of the Lord of all Misrule, and he dresses up fresh arguments in every age to appeal to men’s fickle vanity in order to set them shouting it. They are specious arguments too—love of country, loyalty, love of knowledge, care for the poor and ignorant—anything will do that sets men thinking how wise, how good, and how kind they are while they kick against the goad. “Yea, hath God said?” he asked of Eve, and her sons reiterate the query : “By what authority?”

¶ Arrived at the scaffold the procession halts for a few brief minutes as one by one the hurdles reach it, the cruel cutting ropes are severed, and the dazed and tortured man set free to mount the rude ladder. Faint, exhausted, weak from pain and loss of blood, he is no sooner on the scaffold than he is beset by teasing questions and by arguments that, backed by the gallows and the cauldron, must surely prove conclusive. And yet not one in the long roll of those that attained thus far found them so. There are mitred abbots heading the procession, there are priests, seculars, Jesuits, Benedictines, lay-brothers, gentlemen, and there are gentlewomen also, and very near the end there is a venerable Archbishop; but not one to flinch, not one who is not eager and steadfast to the end.

¶ Hear John Nelson, priest—a man who, at the age of fortyfour, when most men are settled in their ways beyond the thought of change, gave up all to go to Douai and study for the priesthood. His course was short after that—two years of preparation, one of active work in England—and he is caught, imprisoned, and here he is on the scaffold, praying, exhorting, until the cry of “Away with thee and thy Catholick Roman faith” sets him praying again ; then, when the cart is drawn from under him, the cry of the crowd is exchanged for “Lord, receive his soul.”

¶ Hear Everard Hanse, priest, whose words in his worst agony are, “Oh, happy day!”

¶ Hear Edmund Campion, the great Jesuit, answering all questions as to his belief in the authority of the Pope with the simple words, “I am a Catholic,” and protesting with his last breath that he died “a perfect Catholic.”

¶ Hear Ralph Sherwine, priest, who had borne a year’s imprisonment with such continual and prolonged racking that his tormentors had more than once thought him dead, and once laid him in the snow to bring him round, and whom at the last the brutal hangman thought to terrify with the words, “Here, Sherwine, take thou thy wages!” seizing him with the hands still covered with Father Campion’s blood ; which hands, for their covering’s sake, the martyr, reverently kissed. He begins his prayer with fervent thanks to each Person of the Eternal Trinity, and pressed for a confession of treason he answers, “If to be a Catholic only, if to be a perfect Catholic, be to be a traitor, then am I a traitor.” And he dies with the words, “Jesu, Jesu, Jesu, be to me a Jesus,” on his lips.

¶ Hear Alexander Briant, priest, twenty-eight years old, racked even more than Sherwine and nearly starved to death in prison, the only vow he takes is, if he should escape with his life, to become a Jesuit, and, as such, a traitor of a deeper dye. At his trial in Westminster Hall he had managed somehow to make himself a rough cross of wood, and “made shift also to shave his crown,” because some ministers had taunted him with being ashamed of his religion and his Holy Orders. On the scaffold he protests that he dies “a true Catholic,” and tries to say the Psalm Miserere mei, Deus, when he is interrupted by “being delivered of the cart with more pain by reason of the negligence of the hangman than either of the others,” viz., Campion and Sherwine.

¶ See William Filbie, priest, twenty-seven years of age, of whom no word is recorded but only, that “one of the Sheriff’s men taking from him a little cross of wood he had concealed in his handkerchief and repeating several times, ‘Oh, what a villainous traitor is this that hath a cross,’ Mr. Filbie answered nothing, only smiling at them.”

¶ See Ann Line, an invalid widow lady, who has to be brought to the place of execution with a certain amount of care lest she should die before reaching it, and who, accused of the crime of harbouring a priest, stands boldly on the scaffold to defy her executioners, and declare to the crowd, “with a loud voice,” that her only regret was she could not have entertained a thousand.

¶ Then near the end of the line when the fires of persecution are dying down, and only fanned into fitful flame by wicked men for their own aims, in an occasional “Popish Plot,” see the venerable, white-haired Archbishop Oliver Plunkett, dragged from his see in Ireland, where he lived in simple dignity on the princely stipend of £80 a year, to suffer as a dangerous traitor to the State.

¶ There is not much sign of doubt or hesitation about any of them ; they, like St. Paul, “know whom they have believed,” and no arguments can convince them that one lightest Word of His—far less His own Constitution of His Church—can be a matter open to debate. “The noble army of martyrs” the Church celebrates, and these form but one small regiment therein ; but a regiment that fulfils the poet’s ideal—”their’s not to reason why, their’s but to do and die.”

¶ “Fares, please,” says the conductor’s voice in my ears ; and I sit up with a start to find the omnibus swinging along the Edgware Road, and leaving Tyburn with its memories behind.

Taken from The Month : A Catholic Magazine, Vol. CX, 1907.

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THE HYMNE from The Office of our Blessed Lady at Matins. (1658)

Transcribed by E.T.H. III from The Primer, or Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary. According to the Reformed Latin ; with like graces Priviledged. At Antwerpe, Printed by Balthasar Moret. 1658.

Whom earth, and sea, and eke the skies,
Adore, and worship, and declare,
As ruler of the triple frame,
The closure of Maria bare.
Whom both the Sun and all,
Do serve in their due time and space,
A maidens inward parts doth bear,
Bedewed with celestial grace.
Blest is the mother by this gift,
Whose womb as in a coffer held,
The maker that surmounteth all,
Who in his hand the world doth weld.
She blessed is by heavenly news,
And fruitful by the Holy Ghost,
From out whose womb was yielded forth,
Whom nations had desired most.
Glory be unto thee O Lord,
That born was of a Virgin pure,
With the Father and Holy Ghost,
All ages ever to endure. Amen.

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Taken from Pietas Mariana Britannica – A History of English Devotion to the Most Blessed Virgin Marye Mother of God, by Edmund Waterton, F.S.A. Knight of the Order of Christ, of Rome. London : St. Joseph’s Catholic Library. 1879.

The Irish have a very ancient Litany of our Blessed Ladye, which is preserved in the Leabhar-Mor now deposited in the Royal Irish Academy. Professor O’Curry says that it differs in many ways from the Litany of our Ladye in other languages, clearly showing that although it may be an imitation, it is not a translation. It is much to be regretted that the learned Professor did not add in what languages, and where were to be found the Litanies of our Ladye, of which the Irish Litany might be an imitation.

Professor O’Curry believes this Litany to be as old at least as the middle of the eighth century. No earlier Litany of our Ladye seems to be known ; therefore to the Island of Saints is due the glory of having composed the first Litany of their Immaculate Queen. “The Litany of our Ladye,” says Cardinal Wiseman, “is not a studied prayer, intended to have logical connection of parts, but is a hymn of admiration and love, composed of a succession of epithets expressive of those feelings, the recital of which is broken into, after every phrase, by the people or chorus, begging the prayer of her to whom they are so worthily applied.” “It is a hymn, a song, of affectionate admiration, and, at the same time, of earnest entreaty.” The Cardinal then refers to St. Cyril of Alexandria, and says : “Hear him apostrophize the Blessed Mother of God in the following terms : Hail, Marye, Mother of God, Venerable Treasure of the entire Church, Inextinguishable Lamp, Crown of Virginity, Sceptre of True Doctrine, Indissoluble Temple, Abode of Him Who is Infinite, Mother and Virgin. . . . Thou through whom the Holy Trinity is glorified ; thou through whom the precious Cross is honoured ; thou through whom Heaven exults ; thou through whom angels and archangels rejoice ; thou through whom evil spirits are put to flight. . . . Thou from whom is the oil of gladness ; thou through whom, over the whole world, churches were planted ; thou through whom Prophets spoke ; thou through whom Apostles preached ; thou through whom the dead arise ; thou through whom kings reign, through the Blessed Trinity.” Now here,” continues the Cardinal, “is a Litany not unlike that of Loreto, and we have only to say pray for us after each of the salutations to have a very excellent one. This intercalation would surely not spoil, nor render less natural, or less beautiful, that address of the holy patriarch.” Hence it appears that whilst these and other homilies suggest the formation of a Litany of our Ladye, the Irish were the first who did form a Litany ; that is, a prayer to our Ladye in the shape of what is now understood by a Litany. This old Irish Litany of our Blessed Ladye has an indulgence of one hundred days granted to all who recite it by Pius the Ninth ; it consists of fifty-eight invocations…

The Litany in its entirety is Transcribed from The Ave Maria : A Journal Devoted to the Honor of the Blessed Virgin. 1879

From the “Cork Examiner.”

Dear Sir :—Presuming that many of the lay and clerical readers of your widely-extended and invaluable Catholic journal never saw in print or heard of the traditional existence of an ancient Gaelic Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary, I herewith subjoin an English translation of it, which, I hope, will prove of more than ordinary interest to them. It is supposed to be as old as the middle of the eighth century, and its composition is ascribed to one of that galaxy of stars which shone so resplendently in the intellectual firmament of Ireland at that time, when the sainted “Green Isle” held aloft the irradiating torch of science, and monopolized the intellectual supremacy of the world, insomuch that she received from the other less enlightened nations of Europe the significant appellation of “Insula Sanctorum et Doctorum,” the Island of Saints and Doctors. The translator, by whom it was rescued from oblivion, was the lamented Irish scholar and paleographer, Professor Eugene O’Curry. Pope Pius IX, the late illustrious Vicegerent of Christ upon earth, at the solicitation of Mgr. Woodlock, Rector of the Catholic University, attached special indulgences to the recitation of the prayer, with the necessary disposition, by those actually or temporarily residing in Ireland. The peculiar beauty of the subjoined version is that it conforms to the surpassingly metaphorical constitution of the ancient vernacular of our native land—a tongue which, like ivy to a ruin, is yet clinging to the topography of Ireland; although to the shame of the Irish people, be it observed, it is most strangely neglected by them.
Yours truly, Michael Noonen.
Minane Bridge.

(Translated from the Irish of the Eighth Century.)

O Great Mary,
Most Great of women,
Queen of the Angels,
Woman full of, and replete with the grace of the Holy Spirit,

Blessed and Most Blessed, 

Mother of Eternal Glory, 

Mother of the Heavenly and Earthly Church,

Mother of Love and Indulgence, 

Mother of the Golden Light, 

Honor of the Sky, 

Sign of Tranquillity, 

Gate of Heaven, 

Golden Casket,

Temple of the Divinity, 

Beauty of Virgins, 

Mistress of the Tribes, 

Fountain of the Parterres, 

Mother of the Orphans,

Breast of the Infants,

Solace of the Wretched, 

Star of the Sea,

Handmaid of God, 

Mother of the Redeemer, 

Resplendent like the Sun, 

Destruction of Eve’s Disgrace,

Regeneration of Life, 

Chief of the Virgins,

Inclosed Garden, 

Closely-locked Fountain, 

Mother of God, 

Perpetual Virgin, 

Holy Virgin, 

Prudent Virgin, 

Serene Virgin,
Chaste Virgin, 

Temple of the Living God, 

Royal Throne of the Eternal King,
Sanctuary of the Holy Spirit,
Virgin of the Roof of Jesus,
Cedar of Mount Lebanon,
Cypress of Mount Sion,
Crimson Rose of the Land of Jacob,
Blooming like the Olive Tree,
Glorious Son-bearer,
Light of Nazareth,
Glory of Jerusalem,
Beauty of the World,
Noblest Boon of the Christian Flock,
Queen of Life,
Ladder of Heaven :

Hear the petition of the poor; spurn not the wounds and groans of the miserable. Let the devotion of our sighs be carried through thee to the presence of the Creator, for we are not ourselves worthy of being heard, because of our evil deserts. O powerful Mistress of Heaven and Earth, dissolve our trespasses and our sins; destroy our wickedness and corruptions; raise the fallen, the debilitated and the fettered; loosen the condemned; repair, through thyself, the transgressions of our immoralities and of our vices; appease for us the Judge, by thy voice and thy supplications; allow us not to be carried off from these among the spoils of our enemies; allow not our souls to be condemned, but take us to thyself, forever, under thy protection. We beseech thee and pray thee further, O Holy Mary, through thy great supplication, from thy only Son, that is Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, that God may defend us from all straits and temptations, and obtain for us, from the God of Creation, that we may all receive from Him the forgiveness and remission of all our sins and trespasses, and that we may obtain from Him further, through thy supplication, the perpetual occupation of the Heavenly Kingdom through the eternity of life; in the presence of the Saints and of the world, which may we deserve and may we occupy, in sæcula sæculorum—Amen.


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A Dittie from W. BLUNDELL, 1600.

THE time hath been we had one faith,
And strode aright one ancient path ;
The time is now that each man may
See new Religions coin’d each day.

___Sweet Jesu, with thy mother mild.
___Sweet Virgin mother, with thy child,
___Angels and Saints of each degree,
___Redress our country’s misery.

The time hath been priests did accord
In exposition of God’s word ;
The time is now, like shipman’s hose,
It’s turn’d by each fond preacher’s glose.

The time hath been that sheep obeyed
Their pastors, doing as they said ;
The time is now that sheep will preach,
And th’ ancient pastors seem to teach.

The time hath been the prelate’s door
Was seldom shut against the poor ;
The time is now, so wives go fine,
They take not thought the beggar kine.

The time hath been men did believe
God’s sacraments his grace did give ;
The time is now men say they are
Uncertain signs and tokens bare.

THE time hath been men would live chaste,
And so could maid that vows had past ;
The time is now that gift has gone,
New gospellers such gifts have none.

___Sweet Jesu, with thy mother mild,
___Sweet Virgin mother, with thy child ;
___Angels and Saints of each degree
___Redress our country’s misery.

The time hath been that Saints could see,
Could hear and help our misery ;
The time is now that fiends alone
Have leave to range saints must be gone.

The time hath been fear made us quake
To sin, lest God should us forsake ;
The time is now the vilest knave
Is sure (he’ll say) God will him save.

The time hath been to fast and pray,
And do alms deeds was thought the way ;
The time is now, men say indeed,
Such stuff with God hath little meed.

The time hath been, within this land,
One’s word as good as was his bond ;
The time is now, all men may see,
New faiths have killed old honesty.

Taken from Mementoes of the English Martyrs and Confessors : For Every Day In The Year by Henry Sebastian Bowden of the Oratory, Burns and Oates, London, 1910.

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The following well-authenticated incident in connection with the martyrdom of Father John Ogilvie, S.J., at Glasgow, in the year 1615, may not be without interest to the reader. The authenticity of the Latin original document, from which I am going to quote in English, is beyond all question. It has the signature annexed to it of Father Boleslaus Balbinus, S. J. It was deposed to by him at Prague, February 10, 1671, “for the glory and honour,” as he writes, “of the Blessed Martyr, John Ogilvie”. Father Balbinus had been well acquainted, he tells us, with Baron Idus of Eckelsdorff, a man high in authority and in great favour with the Archduke Leopold (the brother of Caesar Ferdinand III.), and as they happened one day in familiar conversation to make mention of England, the Baron told the Jesuit Father, in the presence of many other persons, that he had been present at the death of Father John Ogilvie, who was put to death for the faith of Christ at Glasgow. His story shall be given in his own words ; “A young man, and a heretic at the time,” said he, “I was roaming about, as the custom of people of rank is, through foreign countries, and wandered on as far as to England and Scotland. Whilst I was in the latter country, Father John Ogilvie, the Jesuit, was brought out for execution at Glasgow. I am not able adequately to describe the sublime fortitude of soul with which he accepted death, though I daresay that the same has been described by some of our people” (here he showed that he hinted at Father Balbinus), “but I pass on to what regards myself. When Ogilvie, before his death, was bidding farewell to the Catholics from the scaffold, he threw amongst the people a rosary of the Blessed Virgin, as a memorial of himself. That rosary thrown, as it appeared, at random fell on me, and fell into my breast so conveniently that I could enclose it in the grasp of my hand ; but, lo and behold ! in a moment there was such a rush of the Catholics upon me, requesting that the rosary should be given up to them, that, not wanting to be assaulted violently, I was obliged to throw the rosary out of my breast. At that time there was nothing further from my thoughts than a change in my religion ; but thenceforward, just as though I had received along with the rosary some sort of wound in my soul, my conscience became uncomfortable, and I doubted about being in heresy. This thought was perpetually troubling me, that it was not for nothing that my breast had been singled out to receive the rosary thrown by such a hero. This thought I bore about me for many a year ; at last, overcome by the incessant reproach of my conscience’s expostulations, I gave in, and gave up Calvin for the Catholic faith ; and to nothing else do I ascribe this, my conversion, but to that rosary, and if I could now get possession of it, I would spare no cost, and I would keep it in gold when I got it.”

Taken from the Appendix to Our Lady’s Dowry : How England Gained That Title. By the Rev. T.E. Bridgett, C.SS.R. Permissu Superiorum. Third Edition. London : Burns & Oates, Ld. 1890.

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Father Thomas Law’s Introduction to THE CALENDAR OF ENGLISH MARTYRS 1535-1681.

“In the introduction Father Law gives…a vivid sketch of the persecution, which can hardly fail to kindle the love and admiration of Catholics towards those glorious martyrs, – martyrs, as he truly points out, at once of charity and faith. It contains a beautiful letter of Mr. John Duckett, written the night before his martyrdom (September 7th, 1644), which, we believe, has not hitherto been printed in full.” (Dublin Review, Vol. 79, 1876)

¶ It may be truly said that no country, with perhaps the single exception of Ireland, can boast of so glorious an army of martyrs since the days of the catacombs. The persecution in which they suffered is remarkable for its duration as well as its violence. It commenced with the twenty-seventh year of Henry VIII., and endured with little intermission for about a century and a half until, in 1681, the martyrdom of Oliver Plunket, Archbishop of Armagh, at Tyburn closed the long list which had begun by the execution of the three saintly Carthusian priors and their companions on April 29, 1535. Meanwhile it could reckon among its victims persons of every rank and condition in society bishops and noblemen, monks and friars, Jesuits and seminary priests, ladies and poor servants, merchants, lawyers, schoolmasters, tradesmen whose biographies supply us with rare examples of every virtue in every sphere of life, and who, for the most part crowned with the glory of martyrdom, lives already illustrious for eminent sanctity and heroic self-sacrifice.

¶ The particular causes, too, for which these martyrs suffered ought to serve to enhance their merit in our eyes, and render them the dearer to us. Many died in defence of the Catholic doctrine of the Supremacy of the Holy See. This was the cause for which Sir Thomas More, the saintly Bishop of Rochester, the Carthusians, the Bridgettines, the Franciscans and Benedictines, and others, both priests and laymen, gave their lives (eighty-two in all) during the last eight years of Henry’s reign. If their number, in comparison with those who fell away at that time, is lamentably small, all the greater honour to the few, who in the face of the national apostasy saw what others were too blind to see, and, like their Divine Master, trod the winepress alone.

¶ The conflict under Elizabeth and in the subsequent period was in some respects of a different nature. In the earlier years of that Queen’s reign her Government was content with persecuting measures short of death, hoping by a well-planned system of fines, confiscation, imprisonment, and the gradual extinction of the clergy, little by little to rob the people of England of their newly-recovered faith. And for a while it seemed as if the priesthood must die out, and the Catholic religion in England succumb to heresy without a struggle. It was at this critical moment that, by the forethought and zeal of William Allen, the first English seminary, the fruitful parent of many others and the nursery of future martyrs, was successfully established at Douay. In 1574 a small band of four newly-ordained priests made their way into England. Three years later Cuthbert Mayne, the protomartyr of the seminaries, was hanged, drawn, and quartered at Launceston. Three years more, and no less than a hundred missionaries had poured into the country from Douay, from Rheims, and from Rome, with marvellous success attending upon their labours. Dr. Allen had now happily persuaded the Society of Jesus to take part in the sacred conflict ; and Fathers Campion and Persons entered England in 1580, in which single year it is said that some 10,000 apostates were reconciled to the Church. Meanwhile a succession of sanguinary laws were enacted to meet the reasoning and influence of the new missionaries. It was already a capital crime to maintain the authority of the Pope, to print or publish books maintaining that doctrine, to absolve or reconcile any one to the Church, or to persuade any one to be so reconciled. But this was not enough; and in 1584 the famous Act of the 27th of Elizabeth was passed, by which it was declared high treason for any priest ordained abroad to come into the kingdom ; and any one receiving, relieving, or comforting such priest was to be considered a felon, and to suffer death. Truly, therefore, has it been said of the clergy of those times that they were martyrs of charity as well as of faith. English youths, who then voluntarily embraced the ecclesiastical state and the work of a missionary, did so at the risk of their lives for the pure love of souls and with the truest love of country. More than a hundred priests died simply for their sacerdotal character, with no other charge so much as alleged against them than that of offering the Holy Sacrifice ; while scores of the laity, with no less zeal and charity, suffered the same punishment for the sole crime of giving aid and shelter to their persecuted pastors. If among the many martyrs whose names are recorded in the Calendar some were accused of political treason against their sovereign, such accusations were rarely, if ever, believed either by the accusers or the judges who condemned them; and each one of the 260 who suffered death after the accession of Elizabeth might have saved his life by a single visit to the Protestant church.

¶ The following statistics may help to give some idea of how fiercely at times the persecution raged, and how great was the peril incurred by every missionary who ventured upon this glorious strife. The Douay registers regularly record each year the names of the newly-ordained priests. The list of 1581 gives the ordinations of 43 priests. Of these 15 are marked with the letter M., as subsequently martyred. In 1583 the martyrs are 10 out of 29. Next year they are 9 out of 30, and in 1585 10 out of 24. During the last six months of a single year, 1588, there were no less than 33 martyrs, 22 of whom were priests. Yet the stream of missionaries did not slacken. The report of each fresh martyrdom was celebrated at the college by a Mass of thanksgiving and a solemn Te Deum, and only served to stimulate the zeal and fervour of those who were longing to share the same labours and win the same crown. From calculations furnished in 1596 it is estimated that in that year there were already above 300 priests from the seminaries at work on the English mission, assisted by about 50 survivors of the old Marian clergy, and 16 priests of the Society of Jesus. (1) At this time the catalogue of martyrs already numbered 101 secular priests and 4 Jesuits, while more than 100 priests had been sent into banishment.

¶ During the last years of Elizabeth’s reign the Franciscans, following the example already set by the Jesuits, began one by one to enter upon the mission. They in turn were soon followed by the Benedictines, and both now largely helped to swell the list of martyrs. From towards the close of the reign of James I. to the accession of James II. there were occasional periods of comparative rest. The penal laws indeed increased in number and rigour, and the prisons were constantly full, but less blood was actually shed. The reluctance of Charles I. to put priests to death for their religion, it is well known, was one of the chief causes of the rupture between the crown and the parliament which resulted in the rebellion and, with it, a fresh outbreak of violence against Catholics. This continued for some years, and brought a score of priests, regular and secular, to the scaffold. Lastly, after another temporary lull, the excitement produced by the calumnies of Gates awoke the Elizabethan statutes into active operation; and in 1679 the horrors of 1588 were once more repeated, 8 priests of the Society of Jesus, 2 Franciscans, 5 secular priests, and 7 laymen being sacrificed to the popular hatred of the Church, not to speak of many others who died from the hardships of their prisons. (2)

¶ In estimating the heroism of our martyrs during this long and fiery trial, we must not forget what kind of torments were involved in the death which was constantly before the eyes of the young missioner from the first hour of his college life. He had before him the prospect of being tortured on the rack, suspended above the ground by the hands in iron gauntlets, bent double in the ‘little ease,’ or thrust into loathsome pits. He had to expect tortures of the mind as well as of the body, while his persecutors ply him with insidious questions to draw from him the names of friends and benefactors which in charity he was bound to conceal ; and lastly he had to face a death which was no less than a disgusting and obscene butchery, and of which the hanging upon the gallows was the least part either of its shame or of its pain. With few exceptions the martyrs were sentenced to the penalty of high treason to be hanged, drawn, and quartered. In some cases indeed the humanity of the sheriff or the sympathies of the spectators were so far exerted on behalf of the sufferer as to permit him to hang till he was dead ; but commonly the hanging was little more than a rude shock. It was the knife and not the rope which was the real instrument of execution. The body was cut down alive from the gallows, and then submitted to the barbarous and indescribable process by which it was ripped up, torn to pieces, and literally, bit by bit, thrown into the boiling caldron before the still open eyes of the dying martyr. One instance shall be given in the words of a valiant woman who tells what she saw and heard when, on the eighth of August 1642, Mr. Hugh Green suffered at Dorchester, in the fifty-seventh year of his age. ‘The unskilful executioner, by trade a barber,’ Mrs. Willoughby writes, ‘was so long in dismembering him that he came to his perfect senses and sat upright. The people pulled him down by the rope which was about his neck ; then did the butcher cut his belly on both sides and turned the flap upon his breast, which the holy man feeling put his left hand upon his bowels, and looking on his bloody hand laid it down by his side, and lifting up his right hand crossed himself, saying three times, “Jesu, Jesu, Jesu, mercy !” the which, though unworthy, I am witness of, for my hand was on his forehead, and many Protestants heard him and took great notice of it ; for all the Catholics were pressed away by the unruly multitude except myself, who never left him until his head was severed from his body. Whilst he was thus calling upon Jesus, the butcher did pull a piece of his liver out instead of his heart, and tumbling the entrails out every way to see if his heart was not amongst them ; then with his knife he raked in the body of the blessed martyr, who even then called on Jesus; and his forehead sweat, then it was cold, presently again burned ; his eyes, nose, and mouth ran with blood and water. His patience was admirable, and when his tongue could no longer pronounce that life-giving name, Jesu, his lips moved and his inward groans gave signs of those lamentable torments which for more than half an hour he suffered. Methought my heart was pulled out to see him in such cruel pains lifting up his eyes to heaven and not yet dead. Then I could no longer hold, but cried, “Out upon them that did so torment him” upon which a devout gentlewoman, understanding he did yet live, went to Cancola, the sheriff, who was her uncle’s steward, and on her knees besought him to put him out of his pain, who at her request commanded to cut off his head. Then with a knife they did cut his throat, and with a cleaver chopped off his head ; and so this thrice most blessed martyr died.’ (3)

¶ Yet it was in anticipation of such an end as this that young Edmund Genings would speak to his companions at college, not with fear of the combat, but with eager longing for his crown, saying, ‘Vivamus in spe’ (Let us live in hope) ! The manner in which our martyrs prepared for and welcomed their death is characteristic throughout. They met it not only with Christian patience and fortitude, but with alacrity and joy. When Sir Thomas More looked out from his prison-window upon Father Houghton and his brethren on the way to their execution, he exclaimed to his daughter, ‘See, Meg, these blessed fathers be now as cheerfully going to their death as bridegrooms to their marriage !’ The same might have been said of all. Father Campion used to lift his hat as he passed under Tyburn gallows, partly out of reverence for the martyrs who had already shed their blood there, and partly, as he said, because one day he made sure he would hang there himself. Father Bullaker, when he heard his sentence pronounced, could not contain his joy, but fell on his knees and sang his Te Deum in open court. At the gallows the most timid by nature seemed to gain strength at the sight before them. Those who came last would embrace the dead and mangled corpses of those who had gone before, or dip their own rope in the pools of blood, or kiss the stains of blood on the hangman’s hand. To many a prisoner awaiting his hour of execution, as with S. Ignatius of Antioch, there was but one cause of anxiety lest at any moment he should be robbed of his martyr’s crown. Perhaps no better example could be selected of the spirit which in general animated the whole body of martyrs and confessors than that expressed in the farewell letter of John Duckett to Dr. Richard Smith, Bishop of Chalcedon, written from his prison on the night before his martyrdom (Sept. 7, 1644). Its beautiful simplicity and sublime faith need no comment. It shall be given in full, for every word is matter for a meditation : (4)

‘Most reverend Father in God, I desire you to give me leave to bid you farewell, seeing it is the last opportunity I shall have in this life of presenting my humble duty to your Lordship. My time is spent and eternity approacheth, not of misery but of joy. I fear not death, nor I contemn not life. If life were my lot, I should endure it patiently ; but if death, I shall receive it joyfully, for that Christ is my life and death is my gain. Never since my receiving of holy orders did I so much fear death as I did life, and now, when it approacheth, can I faint ? O, no ! for the nearer it is at hand the more my soul rejoiceth, and will ever till my life be ended in this happy cause ; and then most of all, as I will hope in the mercy of Christ Jesus, for whose sake I suffer. Therefore I beg of your Lordship, and also of those two worthy houses [Douay and Rome], of which I am a most unworthy member, to give God thanks for this great benefit which He mercifully bestows on me, a miserable sinner. Let us all, I beseech you, rejoice and exult in this day which our Lord hath made, who be for ever praised of all for time and eternity. Your Lordship’s humble and undeserving servant,

¶ On the other hand, the part that the laity of England took in this sanguinary conflict for the faith is worthy to be held in everlasting remembrance. It is consoling and edifying to observe how constantly each band of priests brought to the gallows was accompanied by one or more such faithful companions in martyrdom their converts, or their hosts and protectors ; as if to give proof of how close and affectionate was the union between the pastor and his flock.

¶ Some few examples may be here picked out from among many, in illustration of the severity with which the laity of both sexes were treated, and of the various causes for which they gave their lives. Mr. Swallowell, a minister of the English Church, was hanged, drawn, and quartered, simply for becoming a Catholic. William Pikes in 1591 was, for the same capital offence, cut down from the gallows alive and pinned to the ground by the halberts of the sheriff’s men, while his heart was cut out with the butcher’s knife. Mr. Ashton, a gentleman of Lancashire, was executed for daring to procure from Rome a dispensation to marry his second cousin ; and Nicholas Horner, a poor tailor, was horribly racked and tortured, and finally hanged, for making a ‘jerkin’ for a priest. Carter, a printer, and Webley, a dyer, were hanged ; the one for printing, and the other for distributing, Catholic books. Mrs. Clithero, a lady in York, was pressed to death for refusing to plead on the charge of having harboured a priest in her house ; and Mrs. Line was flogged, tortured, and hanged for assisting another to escape from his prison. The year 1593, remarkable for being the only one during the last twenty-two years of Elizabeth’s reign in which no priest was put to a violent death, supplies us with a notable instance of the dangers to which a simple layman, zealous for his faith, might at any time be exposed. Four Catholic gentlemen were imprisoned for recusancy in York gaol. A Protestant minister, who happened to be confined in the same prison for some misdemeanour, persuaded them to give him instruction in the truths of the Catholic faith, and afterwards betrayed them for attempting his conversion. For this offence they were brought to trial, condemned, and executed. Two ladies, Mrs. Anne Tesse and Mrs. Bridget Maskew, wereat the same time sentenced to be burnt ; and though they were afterwards reprieved, they remained ten years in prison.

¶ Meanwhile the Catholics throughout Europe were admiring and envying this renewal in England of the glories of the first age of the Church. Princes and Bishops delighted to show honour to the English student or exile who passed by their way, as martyrs in desire if not in deed. S. Charles Borromeo seemed to bear a particular affection for our suffering countrymen. S. Philip Neri used to embrace the young priests who went from the Roman College to get the old man’s blessing before embarking on their perilous journey; and his well-known greeting to them, ‘Salvete flores martyrum !’ has ever gratefully been remembered by us, and made the name of the Saint specially dear to all English Catholics. The relics of those who shed their blood were eagerly sought for and treasured as relics of saints. Their pictures adorned the walls of churches, and their lives were written for the edification of the faithful. Catholic literature was full of their praises. The great commentator on Holy Scripture, Cornelius a Lapide, when he comes to speak of the Apostle’s words in Heb. x. 34, finds the most obvious illustration of this text in the incidents of the Elizabethan persecution then raging, and makes honourable mention of such men as Francis Tregian or of Philip Howard Earl of Arundel, ‘ whose deeds have equalled, if not surpassed, in heroism those, of the primitive heroes of the Church.’ Cardinal Baronius, in like manner, in his revision of the Roman Martyrology, cannot touch on S. Thomas of Canterbury without reference to ‘the glory of our own age, which has had the happiness of witnessing so many Thomases crowned,’ as he dares to say, ‘even with a more ample martyrdom.’

¶ These are the men whom God’s Providence has raised up amongst us for our example and our delight. They belong to us, and appeal to us, as no others can. Their blood has hallowed the soil on which we stand. Their precious relics are still in abundance preserved in our colleges and convents, and have by constant miracles borne witness to the efficacy of their prayers. One thing alone is wanting to complete their glory and our consolation that they should be raised upon the altars of the universal Church by a solemn decree of the Sovereign Pontiff. As far back as 1643 Pope Urban VIII. issued a commission to inquire into the cause and manner of their deaths. The seizure of the papers, the execution of Father Bell, O.S.F., one of the persons thus nominated, and the many difficulties of the times, put a stop to further progress in the matter. Two years ago, the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, under happier auspices, thought the fitting moment had arrived for once more bringing forward their cause. The ordinary process instituted by his Eminence was completed in due form at the London Oratory, and the acts forwarded to Rome in the summer of 1874, the Rev. F. Morris, S.J., acting as promoter. May we not pray that it may be reserved for our Holy Father, to whom England owes so much, to confer yet one more blessing on our country by the solemn beatification of these our martyrs?

(1) The names of these 16 Jesuits, with their chief places of abode, are given by Father Morris, S.J., in his Troubles of our Catholic Forefathers, 1st series, p. 191.

(2) After the death of Charles II. there was no more blood shed in England for the sole cause of religion, but the laws of Elizabeth against the priesthood remained in full force for nearly another century, and many of the clergy were tried for their lives for saying Mass. At the trial of James Webb, June 25, 1768, the ChiefJustice, Lord Mansfield, had to submit to the jury that it was ‘ high treason for any man who is proved to be a priest to breathe in this kingdom’ (see Barnard’s Life of Challoner, Dublin, 1793). The last priest tried for his life was the Hon. and Right Rev. James Talbot, brother of the Earl of Shrewsbury, at the Old Bailey in 1769, acquitted only for want of evidence.

(3) This is by no means a solitary instance of such prolonged torture. A very similar case is described in the ‘Life and Martyrdom of Mr. Richard White, schoolmaster,’ protomartyr of Wales, in the Rambler of 1860, vol. iii. p. 233 ; and a number of others may be found in Challoner’s Missionary Priests.

(4) The original letter is preserved in the archives of the Archdiocese of Westminster.

Taken from A Calendar of the English Martyrs of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries with an Introduction by Thomas Graves Law, Priest of the Oratory. London : Burns and Oates. 1876.

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John, Marquess of Bute’s Prose Paraphrase of the ALTUS OF SAINT COLUMBA

From the Celtic Magazine, Vol. VII, 1882 :

¶ Every Scottish Celt who takes an interest in the antiquities, history, & literature of his country knows that the Marquess of Bute is a profound and sympathetic student of all that pertains to the ancient life of the Highlands. Then the noble Marquess is anxious to do what he can to awaken in the mind of others the interest in the olden days with which his own is possessed. In proof of this we need only mention his Lordship’s munificence in bearing the cost of publishing, in a style unusually splendid, Dr Clerk’s Edition of Ossian. But the Marquess of Bute is not merely on indolent patron of literature, who merely spends money and woos applause in this easy fashion, he is himself a painstaking investigator in the field of Scottish history. We need not refer more particularly to the various proofs which the different publications of his lordship gives of his patient industry and literary power. We must limit our observations to the beautiful work before us—the Altus of Columba. The noble editor has done his part in a way which is deserving of all praise, for he really elucidates his author, so that the reader, if he is at all in earnest, can easily hold fellowship with him. At the same time, let us say that Columba, or his transcribers, have tied one or two poetic knots, which not even the skill of the noble editor has been able to untie.

¶ But some of our readers may be asking what is this Altus of Columba? We answer that it is a very striking and able religious poem, composed in Latin, by the famous Abbot of Iona—the Apostle and Spiritual father of the North Highlands. There is no mystery about the word Altus. It is the first word in the poem, and so, just as we say “Scots wha hae” as a title for the song in which it occurs, so Altus became the title for the whole poem of which it is the first word. The poem is peculiar in form. It consists of a series of short poems, arranged under each letter of the alphabet, each poem beginning with its own letter. Under A we have fourteen lines, under each of the other letters twelve lines. It may be mentioned that the old classic prosody is rejected for the easier remembered accent and rhyme.

¶ This remarkable poem is really a Confession of Faith. It might have been drawn up for the instruction of King Brude, the royal Invernessian won to Christ by the saintly poet and missionary, if we could suppose the Pictish King capable of understanding Latin. This poem shows us the true miracles by which Columba overcame Celtic heathenism—the true sign of the cross which rolled back on their hinges the closed gates of the Castle of King Brude. Here we see that Columba could think clearly, and express his thinking in words that drop like manna. Then the articles of his creed were very simple and concrete, far removed from reasoned propositions ever becoming more abstract as they are drawn further away from their concrete basis. Columba sang to his Celtic converts, first, of the ineffable glory of the Most High as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in precise but poetic terms. Then follows a description of His creative energy in relation to the Angelic world. The noble editor feels that the Angelology of Columba “was not of that fixed and precise character” which it afterwards became—was different, in short, from the portentous and fantastic fabric which it grew into under the plastic subtlety of the Schoolmen… The profoundest thought in his lines on this subject is that in which he ascribes a second fall to the “devil and his satellites,” as a further punishment for seducing man from his innocence. Next in order comes Columba’s conception of the material world in which we live. To him the world was a flat disc, with the ocean for its rim or boundary. The firmament was daily replenished by water spouts from this ocean to provide rain. The ascension of these jets of water explained to his mind the tides ! Let us give here a specimen of Columba’s poetry descriptive of rain :—

“Ligatas aquas nubibus
frequenter cribrat Dominus,
ut ne erumpant protinus
simul ruptis obicibus;
quarum uberioribus
venis, velut uberibus,
pedetentim natautibus
telli per tractus istius,
gelidis ac ferventibus
diversis in temporibus,
usquam influunt flumina
nunquam delicientia.”

¶ These terse and beautiful lines have full justice done to their merits in the translation which the noble editor gives to them, and which we subjoin as a fair sample of the translation of the Altus as a whole :—

“The waters which are bound up in the clouds the Lord doth oftentimes make to to fall, as through a sieve, lest they should suddenly break through their bounds and burst out together ; and from the richer streams thereof, as from breasts, slowly Mowing through the expanses of this earth, cold and warm with the changing seasons, the rivers ever run, never failing.”

¶ Whatever we may think of the science of these lines, we can have no doubt that they discover a mind keenly alive to the beauties and wonders of the world in which it was placed.

¶ The poet goes on to describe the “nether-world in the innermost parts of the earth,” where there is heard the terrible wail of Gehenna; and the place under the earth where dwell souls, who, though not in heaven, bend the knee to the Lord in prayer… Next in order comes an account of the world of the good—the Paradise which the Lord planted with the tree of life as its centre. The Paradise of Adam and Eve is part of heaven, and according to the poet still exists somewhere in this world. Clearly Columba wished to raise the earth as near heaven as possible, and to bring down heaven as far as may be to meet it, so that both should exist, not separate, but in happy fellowship. The poem concludes with a solemn account of what shall happen in the last days. Dugald Buchanan in his Day of Judgment has given fuller expression to the ideas that were in the mind of Columba. The Saint is here vivid and rapid as the lightning, and we need not be surprised that such power was followed by the spiritual transformation of a kingdom. The reader, however, is vexed and irritated by the intrusion of an obscure and mythological symbolism, which grates upon him like sand in bread; an explanation of which, notwithstanding the brave efforts of the noble editor, seems impossible. Was Columba for a moment led aside from his simplicity in deference to the maxim, still not without its malign influence among us Celts, Omne ignotum pro magnifico?

¶ We cordially sympathise with the desire of the Marquess to draw men’s attention to this poem for its own sake, and not for its historical interest merely. Though it will scarcely bear comparison with the Dies Irae, it is nevertheless a very marvellous and impressive poem. Columba … is the heritage of all who believe that Jesus came in the flesh. He is for mankind… We read of the Highland minister who lay all night on the grave of Rutherford that he might catch his fire. We have a nobler grave nearer home, the spirit of whose inhabitant would help us to transform misery into joy, ignorance to knowledge, to cause light to arise in the darkness—the true signs and wonders of the great in all ages. Then in the closing words of the Altus, we shall not only have fellowship with Columba and his fellows, but—

” . . . Sic cum Ipso erimus

in diversis ordinibus
dignitatum pro meritis
praemiorum perpetuis,
permansuri in gloria
a saeculis in gloria.”

¶ We would most earnestly draw the attention of our studious readers to this ancient poem. It is beautifully printed, and altogether worthy of the publishers, and its noble editor.

The Altus of Saint Columba

The Most High, the Father of all, the Ancient of days, and Unbegotten, without origin, without beginning, and without limit, was, is, and will be for ever and ever ; with Whom is co-eternal in everlasting glory of Godhead the Only-Begotten Son, Who also is the Christ, and the Holy Spirit. We set not forth three gods, but say that God is One, still holding ever the faith in Three most glorious Persons.

He created the Angels in original goodness ; the Orders, and Archangels of every Principality and Throne, Might and Power ; that the goodness and Majesty of the Trinity might not be inactive in any gift of bounty, but might have heavenly creatures wherein to show graces as great as any utterance can express.

From the highest place in the kingdom of heaven, from the glorious brightness of the Angelic state, from the loveliness of his form, fell by pride the morning-star whom God had made, and in the same woeful fall of the author of vain-glory and obstinate envy went to ruin the Apostate Angels, while the others abode still in their princely dignities.

The great unclean dragon, dread and old, who also was that slippery serpent which was more subtle than any wild beast or living thing of the earth, drew with him into the pit of infernal abodes and divers prisons the third part of the stars, who had forsaken the True Light and were cast down headlong from Paradise.

The Most High having foreseen the structure and harmony of every part of the world before any of it yet existed, created heaven and earth. He made the sea and the waters, the herb also yielding seed, and the tree forming thickets, the sun, the moon, and the stars, the fire and all things needful for us, the birds, the fishes and the cattle, beasts and all living things, and at the last He made the first man to rule over them all, according to His Own fore-ordinance.

As soon as were made the constellations, the lights of the firmament, the Angels, with praiseworthy song, due and unalterable, with one consent praised for His marvellous handywork, the Lord of the vast mass, the Framer of the heavenly worlds, and in love and free-will, under no compulsion of nature, gave thanks in exquisite harmony to the Lord.

When our two first parents had been assailed and beguiled, the devil and his crew fell a second time. These ate they who by the dreadfulness of their faces and the noise of their wings would scare frail fear-stricken men, unable to gaze with fleshly eyes upon such beings. These are they who are bound in bundles in the bonds of their prison-house.

The Lord took the evil one out of the midst and cast him down. The stormy flock of his rebel followers crowdeth the air, yet still unseen, lest men should be so polluted by their evil pattern and foul acts as to defile themselves before the eyes of all, unhidden by screen or wall.

From the three deeper fountains of ocean, the three quarters of the sea, the clouds driven by the winds as they come forth from their treasure-houses, bear up sea-mists through dark-blue water-spouts into the regions of the sky, to benefit anon the crops, the vineyards, and the budding herbage, and thus each fountain emptieth those shallows of the sea whereto it correspondeth.

When the fleeting and despotic present glory of kings, which endureth but a moment in the world, hath been abrogated by the will of God, behold, the giants are proved to groan in much suffering under the waters, to burn in fire and torments, choked by the angry whirlpools of Cocytus. Hollow rocks rest on them, and the waves dash them against the stones.

The waters which are bound up in the clouds the Lord doth oftentimes make to fall, as through a sieve, lest they should suddenly break through their bounds and bust out together ; and from the richer streams thereof, as from breasts, slowly flowing through the expanses of this earth, cold and warm with the changing seasons, the rivers ever run, never failing.

The Divine power of the Great God hangeth upon nothing the round earth and the appointed girth of the great deep, borne up by the strong hand of God Almighty upon pillars which uphold it like bars, headlands and cliffs immovably established upon stout foundations as it were upon bases.

No man seemeth to doubt but that there is a netherworld in the innermost parts of the earth. There, there are darkness, worms, and grievous beasts. There, there is fire of brimstone, glowing with devouring flames. There, there is roaring of men, weeping and gnashing of teeth. There, there is from of old the terrible wail of gehenna. There, there is the dreadful burning heat of thirst and hunger.

Under the earth, as we read, we know that there are dwellers, whose knee ofttimes bendeth prayerfully at [the name of] the Lord [Jesus], and among whom, albeit challenged, none was found able to unroll the book written [within and without,] sealed with seven seals, that book whereof the Same Lord alone loosed the seals, that book which He alone prevailed to open, and so fulfilled the decrees announced beforehand by the Prophets concerning His coming.

In the sublime opening of the [book of] Genesis we read that the Lord had planted a garden from the beginning, a garden from whose well-spring four rivers are flowing, a garden in whose flowery midst is set the tree of life, the leaves whereof fall not, and the leaves of that tree are for the healing of the nations, a garden whose pleasures are unspeakable and abounding.

Who hath gone up into Sinai, the appointed mountain of the Lord ? Who hath heard the thunders pealing beyond measure ? Who hath heard the voice of the trumpet sounding exceeding loud ? Who also hath seen the lightnings flash like a crown round the peak? Who hath seen the meteors and the thunder-bolts, and the rocks striking together ? Who save Moses, the judge of the people of Israel ?

The day of the King of kings most righteous, the day of the Lord is near, a day of wrath and vengeance, a day of darkness and clouds, and a day of wondrous mighty thunderings, a day also of distress, lamentation and sorrow, a day wherein shall fail the love and desire of women, and the striving of men, and the lust of this world.

We shall all stand trembling before the judgment-seat of the Lord, and shall give an account of all that we have done, beholding our iniquities set before our eyes, and the books of conscience laid open before our faces. And then shall we break forth into right bitter weeping and sobbing, having no longer the wherewith to work.

When the wondrous trumpet of the first Archangel shall sound, every sepulchre, be it never so sealed, and every grave-yard shall suddenly open, the chill cold [of death which had stiffened the bodies] of the men of this world shall thaw, from every quarter the bones shall come together to their sockets, and the etherial spirits shall come to meet these same bones and enter in again, each into his own dwelling.

Orion leaveth the Pleiades, the brightest of constellations, and wandereth away from the turning-point, the hinge of heaven, through the bounds of the Ocean of the unknown Eastern circuit, and, anon, wheeling by certain roundabout ways he returneth where he was before, and riseth after two years, as an evening star in place of Hesperus — spiritual meanings being taken for material images used metaphorically.

When the Most High Lord Christ shall come down from the heavens, the glorious sign and banner of the Cross shall shine before Him. Then shall the two great lights be covered and the stars shall fall unto the earth, even as a fig-tree casteth her untimely figs, and the surface of the world shall be as a fiery furnace. Then shall hosts hide themselves in the dens of the mountains.

By songs of praise ringing unceasingly, by thousands of Angels, shining in holy dances, and by the four living creatures all full of eyes, with the four-and-twenty happy elders who cast down their crowns under the feet of the Lamb of God, — the Trinity is praised in eternal repetitions of the hymn Thrice-Holy.

The raging fury of fire shall devour the adversaries, who will not to believe that Christ is come from God the Father : but we shall forthwith be caught up to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord, placed in everlasting ranks of exaltation and reward differing according to our deserts, and so to abide in glory, for ever and ever in glory.

Taken from THE ALTUS OF ST COLUMBA. Edited with a Prose Paraphrase and Notes by John, Marquess Of Bute, K.T. Blackwood & Sons: Edinburgh and London. 1882.

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CARDINAL NICHOLAS WISEMAN’S Interesting Preface to the 1847 English Translation of St. Ignatius of Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises

¶ THERE are many books from which the reader is taught to expect much ; but which, perused, yield him but little profit. Those are few and most precious, which, at first sight, and on slender acquaintance, seem to contain but little ; but the more they are studied, the more instruction, the more solid benefit, they bestow : which are like a soil that looks bare and unadorned, but which contains beneath its surface rich treasures that must be digged out and drawn from a great depth.

¶ To this second class I know no book that so justly belongs as the little work here presented to the public. The Word of God, in His Holy Scriptures, is beyond everything else that has been written in this, that without, it is all fair, and within all rich ; that it is perfect to the eye that looks for beauty, and to the understanding that seeks for hidden wisdom. In the Exercises of St. Ignatius, on the other hand, many will be no doubt disappointed, when for the first time they look into them. They have heard of the wonderful effects which they have produced, of the innumerable conversions which they have wrought, of the spiritual perfection to which they have led ; and they will see in the text of the work itself nothing but simplicity of form, plainness of sentiment and diction, hints often rather than explanations, germs of thought rather than developments, skeletons often more than perfect forms, sketches instead of pictures; no poetry, no emotions, no high-flown ideas, no enthusiastic aspirations ; but maxims of eternal import inculcated with the calmness of a philosopher; the sternest truths delivered as obvious and self-demonstrating propositions ; the sublimest moral lessons of the Gospel, self-denial, renunciation of the world, contempt of life, perpetual continency, and blind obedience, taught as simple virtues attainable to any Christian. And yet throughout there is a manifest conviction of the adequacy of the means to the end, in the writer s mind ; there is nothing experimental, nothing optional, nothing left to be discovered ; but every method is laid down as certain, every result reckoned on as sure. It is a plan framed by a master-mind (unless we admit a higher solution), capable of grappling with perhaps the most arduous and complicated task, and, without overlooking a difficulty, and apparently without proportionate means, confident of its success. A man is presumed to enter into the course of the Spiritual Exercises in the defilement of sin, under the bondage of every passion, wedded to every worldly and selfish affection, without a method or rule of life ; and to come out from them restored to virtue, full of generous and noble thoughts, self-conquering and self-ruling, but not self-trusting, on the arduous path of Christian life. Black and unwholesome as the muddy water that is poured into the filter, were his affections and his soul ; bright, sweet, and healthful as the stream that issues from it, they come forth. He was as dross when cast into this furnace, and is pure gold when drawn from it.

¶ Now the superficial reader of this excellent book will ask, how is this accomplished ? Where is the power, the skill, – nay, perhaps he will add, the machinery, – by which such results are obtained ? Whence springs the great confidence of its writer in its efficacy ?

¶ The answer to this question it is not easy to give in the short compass of a preface ; nor will I, therefore, attempt it : but perhaps a few pages of explanation of the Exercises will enable the reader to discover it for himself.

¶ It must be observed, then, that this is a practical, not a theoretical, work. It is not a treatise on sin or on virtue ; it is not a method of Christian perfection ; but it contains the entire practice of perfection, by making us at once conquer sin, and acquire the highest virtue. The person who goes through the Exercises is not instructed, but is made to act ; and this book will not be intelligible apart from this view.

¶ The reader will observe that it is divided into Four Weeks ; and each of these has a specific object, to advance the exercitant an additional step towards perfect virtue. If the work of each week be thoroughly done, this is actually accomplished.

¶ The first week has for its aim the cleansing of the conscience from past sin, and of the affections from their future dangers. For this purpose, the soul is made to convince itself deeply of the true end of its being, to serve God and be saved, and of the real worth of all else. This consideration has been justly called, by St. Ignatius, the principle or foundation of the entire system. No limits are put to the time that may be spent upon this subject : it ought not to be left till the mind is made up, that nothing is worth aiming at but God and salvation, and that to all other things we must be indifferent. They are but instruments or hindrances in the acquisition of these, and accordingly they must be treated. It is clear that the person, who has brought himself to this state of mind, has fully prepared himself, for submitting to whatever he may be required to do by God, for attaining his end.

¶ Upon this groundwork is raised the duty of the first week. Considerations of the punishment of sin, which lead us gradually to an abhorrence of it, in itself, make the sinner sift and thoroughly unburthen his conscience. “The fear of God,” which “is the beginning of wisdom,” is thus the first agent in the great work of change ; a change not prospective or mental, but real. Sin is abandoned, hated, loathed.

¶ At the conclusion of the painful task, the soul finds itself prostrate and full of anxieties. The past is remedied ; but what is to be done for the future? A rule to guide us, an example to encourage us, high motives to animate us, are now wanting ; and the three following weeks secure us these.

¶ In the second, the life of Christ is made our model : by a series of contemplations of it we become familiar with His virtues, enamoured of His perfections ; we learn, by copying Him, to be obedient to God and man, meek, humble, affectionate ; zealous, charitable, and forgiving ; men of only one wish and one thought, that of doing ever God’s holy will alone ; discreet, devout, observant of every law, scrupulous per formers of every duty. Every meditation on these subjects shows us how to do all this ; in fact, makes us really do it.

¶ Still up to this point we have been dealt with kindly, as the Apostles were treated by their good Master. He told them not of these things, that is, of His sufferings, at first, lest sorrow should fill their hearts (John xvi, 5, 6). The milk of consolation and encouragement must precede the strong food of patience and conformity. The third week brings us to this. Having desired and tried to be like Christ in action, we are brought to wish and endeavour to be like unto Him in suffering. For this purpose His sacred Passion becomes the en grossing subject of the Exercises. The soul which has been brought near him in admiration now clings to Him in loving sympathy, – nay, finds her admiration redoubled at His divine bearing in sorrow, ignominy, and pain. Having already made up her mind to be like Him in all things, she is not now to be scared from resemblance by the bitterness of suffering or disgrace. On the contrary, she wishes to suffer for Him and with Him, for the very love’s sake, which made Him so suffer. Every meditation on the Passion strengthens, deepens, matures this feeling, and renders it a new power and affection of the soul. She has become a martyr in resolution and desire ; she would go forth from this holy work of meditation to the realisation of her earnest desire to suffer with Jesus ; she is prepared for mortifications, for tribulations, for persecutions, for death, for anything whereby she may be likened to her Lord and God.

¶ But she must be convinced and feel, that if she suffers, she shall also be glorified with Him : and hence the fourth and concluding week raises the soul to the consideration of those glories, which crowned the humiliations and sufferings of our Lord. As throughout He is represented to us in His blessed Humanity as being our model, so here, are our thoughts directed to Him, triumphant over death, but still conversing among men, those now who love Him; that so our love may be likewise with Him, in holy conversation and familiar intercourse, and so He may draw up our hearts with Him, when He ascends to His Father ; and there they may ever abide where our Treasure is. Thus have we been gradually raised from fear to love, which henceforward is the “informing principle” (to borrow a phrase from the Schools) of our lives and being.

¶ It is clear that if these various principles and feelings have been really infused into us, if they have been worked into our hearts, so as to form a part of their real practical influences, we shall come from the Exercises, duly performed, completely changed, and fitted for our future course. Many indeed have experienced this. They have entered the place appointed for them, like a vessel shattered by the storms, bruised and crippled, and useless : they have come forth, with every breach repaired, every disfigurement removed ; and, what is of more importance, furnished with rudder and compass, sails and anchor, all that can direct and guide, impel and secure them. What wonder, if their songs of gratitude and joy resound along the main ?

¶ Two things will perhaps strike the reader as drawbacks to the attainment of this object : first, the scantiness of matter furnished in the book for filling up the time ; and secondly, the obvious want of a regulating and adapting power in its application. For it is clear, that the work of one week should be continued till its object is attained, and the exercitant is prepared for the impressions of the next. These apparent wants are supplied by one essential element of a spiritual Retreat (for so the Exercises reduced to action are popularly called), Direction. In the Catholic Church, no one is ever allowed to trust himself in spiritual matters. The Sovereign Pontiff is obliged to submit himself to the direction of another, in what ever concerns his own soul. The life of a good Retreat is a good Director of it. He it is that modifies (not arbitrarily but by fixed rules and principles*), the order of the Exercises, diminishes their number, and curtails their duration ; he shortens and lengthens each week, and watching the workings of grace on each one’s spirit, suppresses meditations, or introduces additional ones, to second them. It is he who prepares materials for the exercitant to meditation, divides the subject for him into its parts, suggests its applications, and leads him step by step through his various duties. He wards off or suppresses disturbing emotions, spiritual dryness, dejection, and scruples ; he represses over-eagerness, rashness, and enthusiasm; and, regulating the balance of contending affections, endeavours to keep all at a steady and peaceful level, so that the grace of God may gently, and, as it were by a breath, move and regulate every determination. Let no one think of under taking these holy Exercises, without the guidance of a prudent and experienced Director.

¶ It will be seen, that the Weeks of the Exercises do not mean necessarily a period of seven days. The original duration of their performance was certainly a month ; but even so, more or less time was allotted to each week s work, according to the discretion of the Director. Now, except in very particular circumstances, the entire period is abridged to ten days ; sometimes it is still further reduced. But even so, the form and distribution of the Exercises must be strictly kept, and no anticipations or inversions must be permitted. It is impossible to make the slightest change in this respect without injury. Gladly would I enter fully into this subject, and show the admirable and beautiful chain-work which connects all the Exercises or meditations from the first to the last, connects them as clearly and as intimately as any series of sound mathematical propositions can be connected. But it would take a long essay to do justice to this matter.

¶ It is, however, to this logical and argumentative arrangement that the Exercises, in great measure, owe their certainty of result. The mind may struggle against the first axiom, or rather demonstrable truth, in the series ; but once satisfied of this, resistance is useless, as unreasonable ; the next consequence is inevitable, conclusion follows conclusion, and the triumph is complete. The passions may en trench themselves at each step, behind new works, but each position carried is a point of successful attack upon the next, and grace at length wins their very citadel. Many is the fool who has entered into a Retreat to scoff, and has remained to pray.

¶ Besides the regular work of the Exercises, there are other matters connected with them, which this volume contains. One of the most important of these is the method of “election” or choice of a state of life, a duty usually performed in a spiritual retreat. This is perhaps the most delicate, difficult, and even dangerous point with which the Director and his disciple have to deal. No one can study the rules laid
down by St. Ignatius without admiring their prudence, their sagacity, and their certain power. But they require a wise and steady hand and eye for their application. It has been reported that these Exercises are to be soon published as a work “adapted for members of the Church of England”, in the same way as other Catholic books have appeared. If so, we cannot anticipate any result but misunderstanding and fatal error, from the attempt to employ them as spiritual instruments. If left to individual application they will only lead the soul into a maze of perplexities and bewilderment, and, deprived of their adjusting power, Direction, give rise to sadness and discouragement, or presumption and self-will. And of this there will be a much greater danger, by far, than a similar use would cause in a Catholic, from the want of safeguard, which a definite dogmatic teaching alone can give, as well as of that aid which familiarity with ascetic principles, and the ordinary use of the Sacraments confer. And if, on the other hand, it is intended to put the Exercises into practice under Direction, we are sure that much mischief will still ensue ; from the absence of all training and traditional rules, which guide the Catholic Director in his arduous duty. It will be the blind leading the blind, to the fatal detriment of both. Bits and particles of the Catholic system cannot be thus detached with impunity, and incorporated with another system. Not only is the effect a monstrous incongruity, but it is at once a piece of bad faith with one side, and of injustice to the other.

¶ Among the valuable matter contained in this work may be certainly classed the “Three Methods of Prayer”, which cannot be practised without great profit ; the golden “Rules for ever thinking with the Orthodox Church”; those for “almsgiving” and “for discovering scruples”; but, above all, the invaluable principles and maxims for the “discernment of spirits”, adapted, in two divisions, to the first and second weeks. These form the basis of treatises on this most difficult and important part of mystical theology. But they, more than any other, require application by an enlightened Director.

¶ What has been said will perhaps explain, though inadequately, the wonderful power and efficacy of the “Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius”, in thoroughly reforming the soul, and bringing it from sin to steady virtue. But the grand secret may be said to consist in two points.

¶ First, the entire work is performed by principles, not by emotions which pass away. Conviction of the truth and reality of all that is inculcated is aimed at and secured ; reason is enlisted on the side of conscience ; and what ever use is made of the feelings in the course of the Exercises, is but as scaffolding to assist in the erection of a solid structure of virtue, which will stand, and weather the storm, after it has been removed.

¶ Secondly, the mind is made to act throughout, and to work out its own resolutions. No thing is imposed on us by others, either through persuasion or by authority : we are made to think, to conclude, to determine, and to act, by a process essentially our own ; so that there is no escape, and no danger from the reaction of self-love. No influence has been used, further than to guide rightly the exercise of our own powers ; and even that direction has been given to us with our eyes open, and under the full conviction that we cannot shrink from a single step, without going against reason and conscience.

¶ It is now time to say a few words on this translation. The original of the Spiritual Exercises was written by St. Ignatius in Spanish. Of two translations made into Latin, in his own time, one was preferred for publication which was more elegant in its language. This is the standard version religiously adhered to in all subsequent editions. It therefore forms the text from which the present translation has been made. Fidelity has been aimed at in it, above every other quality. Its author has studied to make it as accurate as possible, at the cost of what might have been a more flowing style. It has also been carefully revised and compared with the original by the writer of this preface.

¶ The present General of the Society of Jesus, anxious to regain, if possible, the original of the Saint, has published a new version from the Spanish, side by side with the common edition. It contains many important varieties. Such as appeared to the translator worthy of particular notice, have been incorporated in the present translation.

¶ May this become an instrument in the hands of Divine Providence to bring many souls to grace and virtue ; and add to the many wonderful fruits which this little volume has already produced to the Church.

N. W.

St. Marys College,

Feast of the Sacred Heart, 1847.

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CORRUPTIO PESSIMI OPTIMA by John Swinnerton Phillimore

Despair not if the inward-seeking eye
______of penitent meditation thou canst trace
___Within thee nothing but the meeting-place
For all corruption ; if within thee lie
The slaughterhouse, the common-fosse, the sty ;
___And still, the more the suns and rains of grace
______Are busy about it, so much more the case
Grows helpless, letting filthier venoms fly.

For sweetest things in nature have their growth
___From putrefaction. Whence do roses brew
______Their delicate breath and coil their silken shape?
From rottenness. And the vine-root, nothing loth,
___Drinks of the shamble-stuff (though purest dew
______Christen the vine) and breeds the holier grape.

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A Brief exhortation to pray continually, taken out of S. Chrysostum

It is also very meet and profitable, that we occupy all the time of our life in prayer, that thereby our hearts may continually receive the sweet dew of God’s grace : of which all persons have no less need, than trees and herbs have of the moisture of waters. For they cannot bring forth fruit, except the roots be comforted with moisture : and in like manner it is impossible for us, to be replenished with beautiful fruits of piety, if our hearts be not refreshed by prayer. For which cause we ought to forsake our beds, and prevent the Sun rising in God’s service.

The like we ought to do, when we go to meat, and at night, when we must of necessity take our rest : yea, it behooveth at all hours to offer some one prayer to God, to the end both day and night together, might be spent in prayer : especially in time of winter it is convenient to imploy the most part of the night in prayer, and so to spend the time upon our knees in divine service.

Tell me, I pray thee, how canst thou behold the Sun, if thou doest not honour him first, that made thine eyes to see that most beautiful light? How canst thou go to the table to eat, if thou do not first honour him, who giveth and furnisheth us daily with such great benefits? How canst thou trust to pass the dark night, and to avoid such dreams & thoughts, as may come to thee, if thou defend not thyself by prayer? If thou be not counterguarded by prayers, thou shalt easily yield thyself to wicked spirits, which go continually about us, espying if they can perceive any one unarmed, that suddenly they may devour him. But if they see him furnished with prayer, they retire presently, even as wicked thieves, when they see the sword towards them.

Transcribed by E.T.H. III from A Manual of Godly Prayers, and Litanies…At S. Omers for John Heigham 1623.

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A deuout prayer vpon the Passion (1576)

O Good Lord, O gracious Lord, O most merciful Lord and sweet Saviour Jesus Christ, I wretch that am vile earth and ashes, do yield thee most humble & hearty thanks, for that it hath pleased thee of thy marvelous humility, patience, and love toward mankind, to descend from the high throne of heaven, to be incarnate by the holy Ghost, and born of the virgin Mary, & here to suffer all kind of pains & poverty for our sakes, to be betrayed of thine own disciple Judas, & delivered traitorously into the hands of thine enemies, Annas, Caiphas, Herod, & Pilate, and by them sent to and fro bound and chained, reviled, rebuked, taunted, scoffed, scorned, spited, hated, envied, slandered, blasphemed, and most maliciously, most cruelly, and most villainously entreated, blindfolded, buffeted, and spitten on the face, crowned with thorn, and stricken with a reed, wounded and clad with purple, with great nails fastened unto the cross, hoisted up being thereupon placed between two thieves, given to drink vinegar and gall, and stricken to the heart with a spear. O sweet Lord and Saviour, for these thy most painful pangs which I most unworthy and sinful wretch do here record, and through thy holy cross and death, deliver me from the everlasting pains of hell, and vouchsafe to lead me whither thou didst lead the thief crucified with thee : who with the Father and the holy Ghost, livest and reignest God, world without end. Amen.

Transcribed by E.T.H. III from A breefe directory, and playne way howe to say the rosary of our blessed Lady by I.M. 1576.

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In 1575 a Jubilee year was declared, and tens of thousands of pilgrims from all over Europe flooded into Rome to gaze upon the renewed city and to imbibe the spirit of post-Tridentine Catholicism. But what about the persecuted faithful of England who lived in a country best described by Shakespeare’s Hamlet : “Denmark’s a prison.” (see Clare Asquith’s Shadowplay : The Hidden Beliefs and Coded Politics of William Shakespeare) To help alleviate their sufferings, the Universal Pastor of Christ’s Catholic Church prescribed this remedy :

Gregorius Episcopus Servus servorum Dei, and as followeth.

Gregory, Pope, the Thirteenth of that name, to all Christian people that these present letters shall behold, greeting and Apostolical benediction.

Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Who hath vouchsafed to redeem us, by the shedding of His most precious Blood, out of the hands of our adversary, seeking whom he may devour, hath been willing to deliver unto us, although unworthy, His place and power of binding and loosing, that we might the more abundantly, for the preservation of our Lord’s flock, especially in this acceptable time of remission and year of Jubilee, show forth Apostolical cogitations and affections. Hereupon, forasmuch as we understand that English people, faithful and Catholic Christians, as well in England as out of England, dispersed in divers countries, cannot come to Rome to enjoy the fruits of this year of Jubilee ; some because they are not permitted to come out of the realm, and some in that they have lost their goods, and are banished persons for the Catholic faith, not able to bear the charge and travail of so long a journey, or otherwise having some just impediments : We therefore, as the duty and office of an Universal Pastor requireth, and of fatherly love towards all Christian people, desirous to provide for the health of their souls, do grant unto all the aforesaid Catholics of England, as well men as women, being truly penitent and confessed, who shall fifteen times religiously visit four churches, if there be so many, or if not, three, two, or one only church, where there are no more, and shall devoutly pray unto God, and perform all other things contained in our letter of indiction of this year of Jubilee; And to them also that be in England, wherein in no church, nor in any other place whatsoever, as we are informed, it is permitted that God after a Catholic manner be publicly honoured, being there detained by any lawful impediment, if they do and work after the prescribed order of a discreet confessor, regard being had to the state, condition, and calling of every person with the time and place, or if a ghostly Father cannot be gotten, then reciting devoutly fifteen times, with true contrition of heart, the Rosary or crown of our Blessed Lady, that they and every one of them have all, yea, plenary indulgence and remission of their sins, as fully as if they personally had visited this sacred city, and that they may also choose for this purpose confessors, Priests Secular or Regular of any Order, who, after the diligent hearing of their confession, may enjoin them wholesome penances, and absolve them from all sin, crime, or fault, how grievous or enormous soever, although reserved even to the See Apostolic, notwithstanding other contradiction whatsoever. And we will also that the same credit be had and given in all places to the copies of these letters printed, being subscribed by the hands of a public notary, and signed with the seal of some person placed in ecclesiastical dignity, which should be had or given unto these presents, if they were exhibited and showed forth.

Given at Rome, at St. Peter’s, under the Fisher’s Ring, the 3rd of March, 1575, in the third year of our government.


Taken from The Troubles of Our Catholic Forefathers Related By Themselves. First Series. Edited by John Morris, Priest of the Society of Jesus. London : Burns and Oates. 1872.

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RAPHAEL ALOYSIUS LAFFERTY’S Burlesqued Black Mass in his book Past Master

In R.A. Lafferty’s Past Master, Thomas More is brought from 1535 to 2535 to save a “utopia” based upon his work. As Thomas finds out more about Astrobe, he begins to feel like a science fiction writer who lives in his own sour joke of a world. Judith Merril writes of Past Master:

“It is a minor miracle that a serious philosophical and speculative work should be written so colorfully and so lyrically. There is, happily, no way to categorize the book: it has elements of science fiction, of pure fantasy, of poetry, of historical fiction; it is sharply critical and marvelously gentle; very serious and irrepressibly funny; profoundly symbolic and gutsy-realistic by (unexpected) turns. A first-rank speculative work.”

The following extract is an hilarious episode lampooning, one might surmise, the liturgical changes happening in 1968 when the book was written. This scribe highly recommends delving into the Lafferty canon for his Catholic imagination is on par with Dante or Shakespeare.

___But one thing seemed to be lacking on Astrobe, and it puzzled Thomas.
___“Where do the people attend mass?” he asked as he stood in the middle of golden Cosmopolis.
___“They don’t, Thomas ; they havn’t for centuries,” Paul told him. “Oh, there are a very few who do sometimes. I do myself on occasions, but I am a freak and usually classed as a criminal. And in Cathead there has been a new appearance of the thing, along with other oddities. But not one person in ten thousand on Astrobe has ever attended.
___“Are there no churches at all, then?”
___“In Cathead and the Barrio and the feral strips there are a very few that might still be called by the name. Such buildings as remain in Cosmopolis and the other Cities are under the department of antiquities. Some of them have period statuary that is of interest to the specialist. While mass itself cannot be found in any of them here, the replica can be played on demand.”
___“Let us go to one of them.”
___After groping about in some rather obscure streets that Paul knew imperfectly, they found one. It was quite small and tucked away in a corner. They entered. There was the sense of total emptiness. There was no Presence.
___“I wonder what time is the next mass.” Thomas said. “Or the mass that is not quite a mass. I’m not sure that I understand you on it.”
___“Oh, put in a stoimenof d’or in the slot, and push the button. Then the mass will begin.”
___Thomas did. And it did.
___The priest came up out of the floor. He was not human, unless he was zombie human. He was probably not even a programmed person. He may have been a mechanical device. He wore a pearl-gray derby hat, swish-boy sideburns, and common green shorts or breechcloth. His depilated torso was hermaphroditic. He or it smoked a long weedjy-weed cigarette in a period holder. He began to jerk and to intone with dreadful dissonance.
___Then a number of other contrivances arrived from somewhere, intoning in mock chorus to the priest, and twanging instruments.
___“For the love of Saint Jack, what are those, Paul?” Thomas asked in bewilderment. “Are those not the instruments described by Dante as played in lowest Hell? Why the whole thing has turned into a dirty burlesque, Paul, played out with unclean puppets. Why, Paul why?”
___“Oh, it had really turned into such a thing before it died, Thomas. This is what the Church and the Mass had become when it was taken over by the government as a curiosity and an antique.”

___Well, the replica mass ran its short course to the jerking and bawling of the ancient ritual guitar. At sermon time was given a straight news-broadcast, so that one should not be out of contact with the world for the entire fifteen minutes.
___At the Consecration, a sign lit up : “Brought to you Courtesy of Grailo Grape-Ape, the Finest of the Bogus Wines.
___The bread was ancient-style hot-dog rolls. The puppets or mechanisms danced up orgasmically and used the old vein needle before taking the rolls.
___“How do you stop the dirty little thing?” Thomas asked.
___“Push the Stop button,” Paul said. “Here, I’ll do it.” And he stopped it.
___“Why, I wonder how it all came about,” Thomas said. “That snake on a stick, is it meant to be the Christ? Is that leering whore holding the deformed monkey meant to be the Virgin? A dirty little burlesque, a dreary bit of devil worship. But even dirty burlesques are not made out of nothing. Had the mass really fallen so low?”
___“So I have read, Thomas. It fell to just this low estate before it became ritually frozen.”

More Praise for Past Master :

“Marvelously inventive…. Profound wit and high adventure are urged on by the Lafferty madness that till now we have only seen in his short stories. The vision is peppered with nightmare: witches, lazarus-lions, hydras, porche’s-panthers, programmed killers that never fail, and a burlesqued black mass. One hears of black comedy? There are places in PAST MASTER where humor goes positively ultraviolet.” – Samuel R. Delany

“I read it in one sitting; I couldn’t put it down. Lafferty has the power which sets fires behind your eyeballs. There is warmth, illumination and a certain joy attendant upon the experience. He’s good.” – Roger Zelazny

“Lafferty’s first full-length work is an event. As with everything the man writes, the wind of imagination blows strongly, with the happy difference that in a novel he can reach full gale-force, Lafferty defies categorization; his work is unlike anyone else’s. This is a great galloping madman of a novel, drenched in sound and color.” – Harlan Ellison


Filed under Church Latin, Laffertyana


Transcribed by E.T.H. III from A Devout Exposition of the Holy Mass, with an Ample Declaration of all the Rites and Ceremonies Belonging to the Same. Composed by John Heigham, the more to move all Godly People to the Greater Veneration of So Sublime a Sacrament. The Second Edition, reviewed and augmented by the Author. 1622. Edited by Austin Joseph Rowley, Priest. London. 1876.

1. As the glory of a fair and sumptuous building is viewed and perceived by the forefront thereof, and as the honour of a well-ordered army is discovered in the comely disposition of the foreward of the battle, even so, gentle reader, mayst thou easily conjecture the excellency of this spiritual building, by the only beauty which thou beholdest in the forefront of the same.

2. And what else may be expected in this venerable representation of the Death and Passion of our Saviour Jesus, but that our Holy Mother, the Catholic Church, should first plant in the forefront of this excellent Sacrifice, the triumphant banner and most victorious standard of the Cross, the badge and livery of her Celestial Spouse, the ensign of heaven, the consolation of earth, the confusion of hell, and the royal arms and cognizance of our Redemption?

3. For this holy sign is the tree of life planted in the midst of Paradise. It is the wood of the ark which saved Noe and his family from drowning. It is the banner which Abraham bore, when he went to deliver his brother Lot from the captivity of his enemies. It is the wood which Isaac his son carried upon his shoulders to the place of sacrifice. It is the ladder whereon Jacob saw the Angels descend and ascend up to heaven. It is the key of Paradise, which openeth and no man shutteth, and shutteth and no man openeth. It is the brazen serpent which healeth those that are stricken with the venomous sting of the devil. It is the rod of Moses wherewith he caused the stony rock to yield forth streams of refreshing waters. It is the wood which, being cast by our true Eliseus into the waters that were bitter; made them most sweet and pleasant of taste. It is the stone wherewith David struck Goliath on the forehead and presently slew him. And it is the letter Thau marked on the foreheads of all the faithful, which keepeth them and preserveth them from all kind of danger.

4. In a word, no mortal tongue is able sufficiently to express the wonderful virtues of this sign; for it is the staff of the lame, the guide of the blind, the way of them that err, the philosophy of the unlearned, the physician of the sick, and the resurrection of the dead. It is the comfort of the poor, hope in despair, harbour in danger, the blessing of families, the father of orphans, the defence of widows, the judge of innocents, the keeper of little ones, the guard of virginity, the counsellor of the just, the liberty of servants, the bread of the hungry, and the drink of the thirsty. It is the song of the Prophets, the preaching of the Apostles, the glory of Martyrs, the consolation of Confessors, the joy of Priests, and the shield of Princes. It is the foundation of the Church, the benediction of Sacraments, the subversion of idolatry, the death of heresy, the destruction of the proud, the bridle of the rich, the punishment of the wicked, the torment of the damned, and the glory of the saved. No marvel, then, that the Catholic Church hath so highly honoured this heavenly sign, as to plant it and seat it in the forefront of this holy Sacrifice, and to adorn and beautify therewith this heavenly building, using, as I may call it, no other key but that which once opened unto us so high a mystery, to open unto us now again the highest mystery both of heaven and earth.

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O JESUS, Immortal King of Ages, Sovereign of Nations, Who envelopeth all mankind in the Love of Thy Divine Heart. Humbly prostrate before Thee, we present in our hearts, England, the land which Thou hast so much loved, and which we love, and we adore Thee as her Divine Redeemer. We remember all the graces Thou hast lavished upon this Island, Thy Mother’s Dowry, and we unite our thanksgivings to all those offered to Thee in past ages, and which will be eternally addressed to Thee in Heaven by the Blessed Martyrs and all the other Saints of this Country.

The cruel ravisher of souls has tried to draw from Thee this nation for ever! How many tabernacles are empty ! How many souls have strayed away! Thy Heart has been wounded ! We will labour to repair the offences done to Thee.

Thou hast ever so loved this land ! . . .

Thou ceasest not to call her with an infinite love. May she return at Thy merciful calling, may she come back to the source of life, may she be Thy beloved daughter, faithful and devoted ! Full of power, she will repair her errors by making known the love of Thy Divine Heart wherever her vast empire extends !

O Jesus, we desire to hasten that happy day by prayer, adoration, penance and zeal.

This Convent of Tyburn, devoted to the great ends of our religious family, has received as its own and most special mission that of representing England unceasingly before Thy Adorable Heart, and the Community has vowed itself to offer its adorations and prayers by night and day, in a special manner for England, and particularly for the return to the Holy Church of the children of this great nation, who are yet separated from the One True Fold. Lord Jesus, we renew to-day this Vow and this Offering, and we present them to Thy Sacred Heart through the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Holy Father St. Benedict, whose children brought the Faith to this Country and the glorious Martyrs who shed their blood at Tyburn.

O Jesus, may the day soon come when all England shall sing : “Praise be to the Divine Heart through which salvation has come to us ! To Him be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

Transcribed from The One Hundred and Five Martyrs of Tyburn by the Nuns of Tyburn Convent Printed in England by the Westminster Press, London (1917)

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A godly prayer for the preservation of Christ his Catholic Church – 1576 A.D.

O Most merciful God, who doest not remember the sins of them that return to thee, but doest mercifully give ear to their sighs and griefs : cast thy eyes on thy Church, which lies polluted by the hands of Infidels, and look thou also upon the affliction of thy beloved people : remember thy inheritance, purchased by the shedding of thy most precious blood of thy only begotten son : Come and take perfect view of thy vineyard which whereas thou hast made it with thy own hand, the cruel Boar seeketh utterly to destroy : give strength to such as have charge of this vineyard, and give them victory, from thy holy throne, against their rage that labour to subvert and overthrow the same : and grant thy heavenly kingdom to all such as are true and faithful labourers therein. Through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Transcribed by E.T.H. III from Certayne devout Meditations very necessary for Christian men devoutly to meditate upon Morninge and Eveninge, every day in the weeke : Concerning Christ his lyfe and Passion, and the fruites thereof. (Anon. 1576?)

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The imaginative power of the Celtic mind is by no means limited to colorful descriptions of natural themes. St. Brendan’s extraordinary vision of the topography of hell displays a highly developed descriptive style possessing a considerable number of co-ordinate and sub-ordinate clauses made up of alliterating nouns and adjectives grouped in a more or less rhythmical fashion.

…However the Devil revealed the gate of Hell to Brénainn then. And Brénainn beheld that rough murky prison, full of stench, full of flame, full of filth, full of encampments of venomous demons, full of the weeping and shrieking and injury and pitiful cries and great wailings and lamentations and beating together of hands, of the tribes of sinners ; and a dismal sorrowful life in kernels of torture, in prisons of fire, in streams of the series of everlasting fire, in a cup of eternal sorrow, in black dark sloughs, in chairs of mighty flame, in profusion of sorrow and death and torment and bonds and irresistible heavy combat, with the terrible yelling of the venomous demons ; in the eternally dark, eternally cold, eternally stinking, eternally foul, eternally gloomy, eternally rough, eternally long, eternally melancholy, deadly, baneful, severe, fiery-haired dwelling place of the most hideous depths of Hell, of the slopes of mountains of everlasting fire, without stay, without rest ; but troops of demons are dragging them in pitiful, grievous, rigid, fiery, dark, deep, hidden, empty, base, black, idle, filthy, antiquated, old and stinking, everlastingly quarrelsome, everlastingly pugnacious, everlastingly wearisome, everlastingly deadly, everlastingly tearful prisons ; sharp, fierce, windy, full of wailing, screaming, complaining, and bitter crying ; horrible.

There are curly, cruel, bold, big-headed maggots ; and yellow, white, great-jawed monsters ; fierce ravening lions ; red, black, brown, devilish dragons ; mighty treacherous tigers ; inky hairy scorpions ; red high-soaring hawks ; rough sharp-beaked griffins ; black hump-backed beetles ; sharp snouted flies ; bent bony-beaked wasps ; heavy iron mallets ; ancient old rough flails ; sharp swords ; red spears ; black demons ; stinking fires ; streams of poison ; cats scratching ; dogs rending ; hounds hunting ; demons calling ; fetid lakes ; great sloughs ; dark pits ; deep gullies ; high mountains ; hard crags ; a mustering of demons ; a filthy camp ; torture without cease ; a ravenous host ; frequent conflict ; endless fighting ; demons torturing ; torment in abundance ; a sorrowful life.

A place in which there are frosty, bitter, everlastingly fetid, eternal, wide-stretched, agitated, grievous, putrid, deliquescent, burning, bare, rapid, full-fiery streams ; hard, rocky, sharp-headed, long, cold, deep, swampy little straits of the sea ; bare burning plains ; peaked rugged hills ; hard verminous ravines ; rough thorny moors ; black fiery forests ; filthy monster-infested roads ; congealed stinking-billowed seas ; huge iron spikes ; black bitter waters ; many extraordinary places ; a dirty everlastingly-gloomy assembly ; bitter wintry winds ; frost everlastingly-falling snow ; red fiery blades ; base dark faces ; swift ravening demons ; vast unheard-of tortures.

Then his followers asked Brénainn, ‘Who are you talking to?’ said they. Brénainn told them that it was the Devil who was talking to him ; and told them a little of the tortures he had seen, as we have said, according as it has been found in the ancient writings of the Old Testament…

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THE GOLDEN EPISTLE OF S. BERNARD translated by Richard Whytford, the wretch of Sion. 1531 A.D.

This Scribe has long wished to transcribe the great Golden Epistle of S. Bernard which is found in numerous works of devotion throughout early modern England. It’s final and best form was to be the translation made by one Richard Whytford, the old wretch of Sion, Brigittine father and friend of St. Thomas More. A prolific devotional writer, Whytford is best known for his masterful translation of the Imitatio Christi. He was also the author of Certain devout and Godly petitions commonly called Jesus Psalter. As Wilfred Raynal O.S.B writes :

“The very titles of these books bespeak the troubles that had befallen him (Whytford), and also the truly apostolic vigour with which he patiently laboured at the sanctification of those who like himself needed the strength of grace to keep steadfast in the holy faith. His beautiful Jesus Psalter became widely spread amongst the Catholics of England during the persecution which they suffered for the Unity of the Catholic Church, and was to many a favourite daily devotion. Though many manuals of piety have been published within the last sixty years, still it is difficult to find in them devout aspirations so soul-stirring as those contained in Whytford’s Psalter. Had he done nothing more for English Catholics than compose this prayer, his name would still deserve to be held in benediction.”

Expect a transcription of the Jesus Psalter shortly. But here we pass over much to get to the heart of this post which is this Golden Epistle. Transcribed by Hieronymopolis from its final version which was published in A.D. 1585 with the assistance of the Syon Sisters in dispersion on the continent, and appended to the second edition of the author’s translation of the Imitatio Christi. At the head of it we find the title and under this stands a sixteenth century etching of our Blessed Lady and Child. On a label are the words :

Jesu Fili David, miserere mei.

O Mater Deo, memento mei.

Before commencing the text of the letter itself, Whytford gives “The exposition of the name of this lytle Booke.” The letter occupies twelve 12 mo pages, and at its conclusion the translator gives us a brief narrative of his labour and concludes by asking the prayers of his readers for his own soul.


and it is called a notable Lesson,

otherwise it is called the

golden Epistle.

The exposition of the name of this little Book.

¶ A right good and wholesome Lesson, profitable unto all Christians, ascribed unto S. Bernard, and put among his works, I think by some virtuous man, that would it should thereby have the more authority, and the rather be read, and better be born away : for doubtless, it is a good matter, and edificative unto all them that have zeal and care unto soul health, and desire of salvation. It is called in the Title (Notabile documentum) that is to say. A notable lesson : And some do call it the golden Epistle…

¶ If you intend to please God, and would obtain grace to fulfill the same, two things be unto you very necessary. The first, you must withdraw your mind from all worldly and transitory things, in such manner, as though you cared not whether any such things were in this world or no. The second is, that you give and apply yourself so wholly to God, and have yourself in such a way, that you never do, say, or think, that you know, suppose, or believe should offend or displease God, for by this mean you may soonest and most readily obtain and win his favor and grace. In all things esteem and account yourself most vile and most simple, and as very naught, in respect and regard of virtue : and think, suppose and believe, that all persons be good and better than you be, for so shall you much please our Lord. Whatsoever you see, or seem to perceive in any person, or yet hear of any christian, take you none occasion therein, but rather ascribe and apply you all unto the best, and think or suppose all is done or said for a good intent or purpose, though it seem contrary : for mans suspicion and light judgements be soon and lightly deceived or beguiled. Despise no person willingly, nor ever speak evil of any person, though it were never so true that you say. For it is not lawful to show in confession the vice or default of any person, except you might not otherwise show and declare your own offense. Speak little or nothing unto your proper & self laud or praise, though it were true, and unto your familiar fellow or faithful friend, but study to keep secret and privy your virtue, rather than your vice : yet were it a cruel deed for any persons to defame themself. Be more glad to give your ear and hearing unto the praise, rather than unto the dispraise of any person, and ever beware as well of hearing as speaking of detraction : and when you speak, take good deliberation, and have few words, and let those be true and good, sadly set and wisely ordered. If any words be spoken unto you of vice or vanity, as soon as ye may, break off, and leave that talk or communication. And ever return, and apply yourself unto some appointed good and godly occupation, bodily or ghostly. If any sudden chance fall or happen unto you, or unto any of yours, lean not too lightly thereunto, or care much therefore. If it be of prosperity, rejoice not much therein, or be over glad thereof : If it be adversity, be not overcast or overthrown therewith, or brought to sorrow or sadness, thank God of all, and set little thereby. Repute all things transitory as of little price or value. Give ever most thought and care unto those things, that may profit and promote the soul. Fly and avoid the persons and places of much speech, for better it is to keep silence, than to speak. Keep the times and places of silence precisely, so that you speak not without reasonable & unfeigned cause. The times of silence in religion be these. From collation unto Mass be ended after the hour of tierce : from the first grace in the fratour unto the end of the later grace. And from the beginning of evensong, unto grace be ended after supper, or else (Benedicite) after the common hour. The places of silence be the church and the claustre, the fratour and the dortour. If you be slandered, and do take occasion at the fault or offense of any person, then look well upon your self, whether you be in the same default sometime your self, and then have compassion upon your brother or sister. If there be none such default in you, think verily, and believe there may be, and then do as (in like case) you would be done unto. And thus, as in a glass ye may see and behold yourself. Grudge not, nay complain upon any person for any manner cause, except you see and perceive by large conjecture, that you may profit and edify thereby. Neither deny, nor affirm your mind or opinion stiffly or extremely, but that your affirmation, denigration, or doubt be ever powdered with salt, that is to say, wisdom discretion and patience. Use not in any wise to mock, check, or scorn, nay yet to laugh or smile but right seldom. And that alway to show reverence or loving manner, light countenance or loose behavior becometh not a sad person. Let your communication be short, and with few persons, alway of virtue, learning, or good and Christian edification, and ever with such wariness, that no persons in things doubtful may take any authority of your words or sentence. Let all your pastime be spent in bodily labours, good and profitable, or else godly in study, or that passeth all, in holy and devout prayer, so that the heart and mind be occupied with the same you speak. And when you pray for any certain persons, remember their degree, estate and condition. For a form and order of your prayer, this may be a good and ready way, to follow the order of the six grammatical cases : The nominative, the genitive, the dative, the accusative, the vocative, and the ablative. The nominative, that is, first to pray for your self, that you may have ghostly strength and constancy, that you fall not into any deadly offense by frailty, and that you may have right knowledge of God by faith, and of your self by due consideration of your estate and condition, and of the laws of God for your conduct and countenance : and thirdly, that you may have grace and good will, according to the same strength and knowledge, and that having unto God a reverent dread, you never offend in thought, word or deed, but that you may ever love him for himself, & all his creatures in due order for him, and in him. The second is the genitive case. Then must you pray for your genitors, your progenitors and parents, that is to say, your fathers and mothers spiritual and carnal, as your ghostly fathers or spiritual sovereigns, your godfathers, your godmothers, your natural father and mother, your grandfathers and grandmothers, your brothers and sisters, and all your kin. In the third place is the dative case. There must you pray for benefactors, good doers, of whom you have received any manner of gifts spiritual or temporal, unto the wealth of your soul or body. In the fourth place is the accusative case, where you should pray for your enemies, such persons as by any means have annoyed, hurt, or grieved you, either ghostly or bodily, that is to say, in your soul or manners by any suggestion, enticing, evil counsel, or evil example. In your fame or good name by detraction, backbiting, or slandering, or yet by familiar company. For a person commonly is reputed and supposed to be of such condition, as they be, with whom he hath conversation and company. And for them that hurt your body, either by strokes, or by any other occasion have hindered the state and health thereof. And likewise of your worldly goods or possessions. For all these manner of enemies must you pray, that our Lord God would forgive them as you do, and as you forgiven would be, and that they may come to right charity and peace. The fifth case is called vocative, that is to say, the calling case, where you conveniently may call, cry, and pray unto our Lord for all manner of persons that be out of the state of grace, either by infidelity, as Turks, Saracens, and such other : or else by error, as all manner of heretics : or else by any deadly sin or offense to God. Pray for all these manner of persons, that they may come unto the right way of their salvation. In the sixth and last place is the ablative case, where thou must pray for all them that be taken out of this life, and that died or passed the same life in charity, and that now have need of prayer. In the which you may keep a form of the same order that is before, that is to say : Instead of the nominative, where you prayed for yourself, you may now pray for all those that do bide in pain for any default or offense done by your example or occasion : and for the genitive in the second place, for your parents and all your kin departed this life. And in the third place for the dative, pray for your benefactors passed. And for the accusative in the fourth place, you may pray for them that live in pain, for any occasion or example that they gave unto you. And in the fifth place for tyhe vocative, pray for all them that have greatest pains in purgatory, and least help here by the suffrage of prayers. And for the ablative in the sixth and last place, pray for all souls in general. And that you may be the more apt to pray, call three things oft times to remembrance, that is to say, what you have been, what you be, and what you shall be. First, by reason of your body, you were conceived of the most filthy abominable matter of man, shameful to be spoken, far more vile than the sludge or slime of the earth, and after born in a sinful soul, & purged only by grace. And now (as unto thy body) you be a muckheap or dunghill of filth, more vile than any upon earth, if you remember what doth issue daily, and come forth out of the meats of your body. And your soul is daily in some sin, or (at the least) full like to be. What you shall be as unto your body, you may see in experience, worms meat, and earth again. And what shall become of your soul, no man in this world can assure you. To remember then the joys of heaven, and pains of hell, and that both be infinite, endless, and without rebate, but both ever increasing and never ceasing, never have ease nor rest, but ever continue & everlasting. To remember then, I say, these things may greatly move you to have your self in a good way, and to study how you may avoid the one, & obtain the other. Remember specially how great a loss it is to lose heaven, and how uncomfortable gains to win hell, and how soon and how lightly either of them may be gotten or lost. When any thing then of adversity, hurt, or displeasure happen unto you, think then or imagine, that if you were in hell, you should have the same displeasure and many worse. And so to avoid those, you shall here the better suffer, and for our Lord the more particularly bear all these that now be present, or any that may come hereafter. And in like manner, if any good prosperity or pleasure happen unto you, think then that if you were in heaven, you should have that pleasure and many more excellent joys. And so for the fervent desire of those joys, you shall set little by any worldly comfort or pleasure. A good contemplation therefore may it be unto you in feasts of holy Saints, to think and record how great pains they suffered here for the love of our Lord, and how short these were, and how soon passed : and then again how marvelous reward they had therefore in joy and bliss everlasting. So the trouble and torments of good persons be soon and shortly gone and ended, and the joys and pleasures of sinful persons do soon fade and fly forever. The good persons for their troubles suffered here upon earth, do get and win eternal and everlasting glory, which the evil persons do lose. And contrary, these evil and sinful persons for their joy and pleasures here, do receive by exchange eternal and everlasting shame & rebuke, with pain and woe unspeakable. Whensoever then you be disposed to sluggishness, or to be drowsy, remiss in prayers, or dull in devotion, then take this little work, or else some other good Treatise, and read therein, and ever note well the contents thereof, then shift unto some other work or occupation, so that ever you avoid idleness, and all vain pastimes, which indeed is loss of time. And then remember, that those that now bide in pain, either in hell, or yet in purgatory, for such times so passed or lost, had rather than all the world have such time to redeem their pains by, as you may have if you will. Time then unto all persons well occupied, is very precious and dear. Beware well therefore, how you spend it or pass it, for you can never revoke it nor call it back. If the time pass you by trouble & vexation, think they be happy and gracious, that be past this wretched life, and now in bliss, for they shall never have any such misery. And when you feel a comfort or consolation spiritual, thank God thereof, & think the damned souls shall never have any such pleasure. And thus let this be for your exercise in the dative. At night when you go to rest, first make account with yourself, and remember how you have spent or passed the day and time that was given you to be used in virtue, and how you have bestowed your thoughts, your words, & your works. And if you find no great thing amiss, give the whole laud and praise unto our Lord God. And if you perceive contrary, that you have misspent any part thereof, be sorry therefore, and beseech our Lord of mercy & forgiveness, and promise, and verily purpose to make amends the next day. And if you have opportunity thereupon, it shall be full convenient for you to be confessed on the next morrow, and specially, if the matter done, said or thought by deliberate consent, do grievously weigh & work with a grudge in your conscience, then would I advice you never to eat nor drink, till ye be discharged thereof, if you may conveniently get a ghostly father. Now for a conclusion of this work, put before you, as by case or imagination two large Cities, one full of trouble, turmoil and misery, & let that be hell. The other City full of joy, gladness, comfort and pleasure, and let that be heaven. Look well on them both, for in both be many dwellers and great company, Then cast and think within yourself, what thing here might so please you, that you should chose the worse city, or what thing should displease you on the other part, whereby you should withdraw yourself from that virtue that might convey and bring you unto the other city. And when you have studied well hereupon, and can nothing find, I dare well assure you, if you keep well the precepts and counsels of this little lesson, you shall find the right way, for the holy ghost will instruct & teach you, where you be not sufficient of yourselves, so you endeavour and give diligence to bear away and follow that here is taught. Read it every week once or twice, or oftener if you will. And where you profit, give the thanks, laud, and praise unto our Lord God, and most sweet Saviour Jesu Christ, who send you his mercy and grace, that alway liveth God world without end. Amen.

¶ This lesson was brought unto me in English of an old translation, rough and rude, with request to amend it. I thought less labor to write new the whole, which I have done according to the meaning of the author, though not word for word : and in divers places added some things following upon the same, to make the matter more sententious and full. I beseech you take all unto the best, and pray for the old wretched brother of Sion, Richard Whitforde.

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MONUMENT TO ST. HIERONYMUS from the Preface to the Vita Malachi of Reginald of Canterbury (1050-1109)

Interpresque sacer fuit hostis et hostibus acer
Dogmatis ac fidei nostrae pacis requiei
Illum vesanus pavet hostes Iovinianus
Arrius et Photinus, Origenes atque Rufinus
Non abiit immunis quem tu, Ieronime, punis.
Tu pestes rabidas verbi mucrone trucidas.
Omnes lascivi, nebulones atque nocivi
Te destestantur, metuunt et amara precantur.
Lubrica te tellus, iuvenes cunctusque popellus,
Teque proci matrum, te matres teque theatrum
Urbes et vici, portus tibi sunt inimici.

Te posuit lumen sapientia, dans tibi flumen
Quo flueres vivo felix septemplice rivo ;
Nempe tuo vivi septem de pectore rivi
Insimul emanant qui languida pectora sanant.
Et cibus est menti doctrina tui documenti
Palladis ad cenam cupienti scandere plenam.
Tu iam duxque viae, tu fons splendorque sophiae
Monstrans namque viam cupidus potare sophiam.

(A translator of holy writings was he and a terrible foe ;
To the foes of our faith, of our creed, of our peace and our rest, a merciless goad ;
The wild Jovinian feared him fully
As did Arius and Phontius, Origen and Rufinus.
He goes not unscathed, whom you, Jerome will punish.
For the sword of your tongue disembowels pestiferous beasts.
All the lascivious, the crass, the harmful detest you :
They fear and call down curses upon you.
The sinful world, youth, and the shadowy people,
The wooers of wives, bad mothers, theatrical fools,
The ports, the cities and towns all repulse you.

Wisdom holds you up as light, granting you eloquence
Wherewith, in sevenfold stream, you happily gleam :
From your heart seven living rivers flow,
Curing the hearts of the languid.
The knowledge of your wares is a food for the mind ; a banquet
For one desiring to approach the full table of knowledge.
You are a guide, and a leader on the way ;
You are a fount, and the splendor of wisdom
Lighting the path before those desirous of devouring wisdom.)

Taken from A Monument to Saint Jerome : Essays on Some Aspects of His Life, Works, and Influence edited by Francis X. Murphy, C.SS.R. New York, 1952.

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OF REWARDS IN THE LIFE TO COME written by the R. Father Robert Persons Priest of the Society of Jesus.

Transcribed by E.T.H. III from A Christian Directory, Guiding men to Eternal Salvation commonly called the Resolution. Consisting of two Parts ; whereof the former layeth down the Motives to Resolution, and the other other removeth the Impediments. Both of them having been reviewed, corrected, and augmented, by the Author himself, a little before his death, for the greater commodity, and utility of the Reader. Written by the R. Father Robert Persons Priest of the Society of JESUS. Permissu Superiorum MDCL.

¶ If a poor afflicted man that were out of his way, wandering alone in a deep, miry, and dirty lane, in the midst of a dark and tempestuous night, far from company, destitute of money, beaten with rain, terrified with thunder, stiff with cold, wearied out with labour, almost famished with hunger and thirst, and near brought to despair with multitude of miseries ; should upon the sudden, in the twinkling of an eye, be taken out of that affliction, and be placed in a goodly large and rich palace, furnished with all kind of clear lights, comfortable fire, sweet savours, dainty meats, soft beds, pleasant music, delicate apparel, and honourable company ; all prepared for him alone, and all attending his coming, to receive and embrace him, to serve and honour him, and to anoint and crown him a King forever : what would this poor man do trow you? how would he look? what could he say? Surely I think he would be able to say little, but rather, breaking forth into tears, would for joy remain mute and dumb, his heart being not able to contain the sudden and exceeding greatness of so inestimable comfort.

¶ Well then (dear Brother) so shall it be, and much more with these twice happy souls, that come to heaven from the troubles of this life. For never was there cool shadow so pleasant in a hot burning sunny day ; nor the well-spring to the poor traveller in his greatest thirst of the summer ; nor the repose of an easy bed to the wearied servant after his labour at night : as shall be this rest of heaven to an afflicted soul which cometh thither. O that we could conceive this! that we could imprint this in our hearts ; that we had a feeling of this that I say : would we follow vanities as we do? would we neglect this matter as we do? No doubt, but that our coldness in purchasing these joys, doth proceed of the small opinion we do conceive of them. For if we made such account and estimate of this jewel of heavenly bliss, as other merchants before us (more skillful and wiser than ourselves) have done ; we would bid for it as they did, or at leastwise would not let it pass so negligently, which they sought after so carefully. S. Paul saith of our Saviour : Proposito sibi gaudio sustinuit Crucem : He laying before his eyes the joys of heaven, sustained the Cross. A great estimation of the matter, which he would buy at so dear a rate. But what counsel giveth he to other men about the same? surely none other, But to go and sell all they have, to purchase this treasure. S. Paul of himself, what saith he? Verily, that he esteemed all the world as dung, in respect of the purchasing of this jewel. S. Pauls scholar Ignatius, what addeth he? hear his own words : Fire, gallows, beasts, breaking of my bones, quartering of my members, crushing of my body, all the torments of the devil together, let them come upon me, so I may enjoy this treasure of heaven. S. Augustine that learned Father, what offereth he? You have now heard that he would be content to suffer torments every day, yea, the very torments of hell itself, to gain this joy. Good Lord, how far did these holy Saints differ from us? how contrary were their judgements to ours in these affairs? who will now marvel of the wisdom of the world, judged folly by God, and of the wisdom of God judged folly by the world? Oh children of men (saith the Prophet) why do ye love vanity, and seek after a lie? Why do you embrace straw and contemn gold? Straw (I say) and most vile chaff, and such as finally will set your own houses on fire, and be your ruin and eternal perdition?

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A devowte invocatyon and prayer of all the blessed names of our Lorde Jesu Chryste as we find them written ✠ in holy scripture.

Omnipotens ✠ Dominus ✠ Christus ✠ Messias ✠ Sother ✠ Emmanuel ✠ Sabaoth ✠ Adonay ✠ Unigenitus ✠ Via ✠ Vita ✠ Manus ✠ Homo[✠]usion ✠ Salvator ✠ Alpha ✠ et Omega ✠ Fons ✠ Origo ✠ Spes ✠ Fides ✠ Charitas ✠ Oza ✠ Agnus ✠ Oius ✠ Vitulus ✠ Serpens ✠ Aries ✠ Leo ✠ Vermis ✠ Primus ✠ Novissimus ✠ Rex ✠ Pater ✠ Filius ✠ Spiritus sanctus ✠ Ego sum ✠ Qui sum ✠ Creator ✠ Eternus ✠ Redemptor ✠ Trinitas ✠ Unitas ✠ Clemens ✠ Caput ✠ Otheotecos ✠ Tetragrammaton ✠

Ista nomina me protegant et defendant ab omni adversitate plaga et infirmitate corporis et anime, plene liberent et assistant michi in auxilium.

Ista nomina regum, videlicet Jaspar, Melchior, Balthasar. Et duodecim apostoli Domini nostri Jesu Christi : quorum nomina sunt hec. Petrus, Paulus, Andreas, Jacobus, Philippus, Jacobus, Symon, Thadeus, Thomas, Bartholomeus. Et quattuor evangeliste, quorum nomina sunt hec. Marcus, Matheus, Lucas, Johannes : michi assistant in omnibus necessitatibus meis : ac me defendant et liberent ab omnibus periculis, tentationibus et angustijs corporis et anime : et ab uniuersis malis presentibus, preteritis et futuris, me custodiant nunc et in eternum. [Amen. Oremus.]

O Domine Jesu Christe in tuam protectionem me indignum famulum tuum N. (vel famulam tuam N.) hodie et omni tempore committo in protectionem angelorum et archangelorum : in protectione apostolorum et prophetarum, martyrum, confessorum et virginum et in protectionem omnium sanctorum tuorum tali commissione qua commisisti sanctam virginem Mariam, matrem tuam, sancto Johanni evangeliste in cruce, taliter me indignum famulum tuum N. (vel famulam tuam N.) hodie et omni tempore custodire, benedicere, protegere et salvare digneris : a subitanea et improvisa morte et ab omni fantasmate diabolico et ab omnibus hostibus malis visibilibus et inuisibilibus. Amen. [Pater noster. Ave.]

Transcribed by E.T.H. III from Horae Eboracenses : The Prymer or Hours of the Blessed Virgin Mary, according to the Use of the Illustrious Church of York with other Devotions as they were used by the Lay-folk in the Northern Province in the XVth and XVIth Centuries published for the Surtees Society. London. 1920.

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THE ARRIVAL AT THE EARTHLY PARADISE – (Irish ; author unknown ; fourteenth century?)

…A fair wind came on the warriors after that, and they raised their sail, and the boat shipped less water on them ; and a smoothness fell upon the ocean, and the sea went down, so that there was a bright fair calm ; and their came a warbling of unknown birds of many kinds around them in every direction. And then they saw before them the shape of a pleasing land with lovely shores, and they rejoiced and were glad at the sight of this land ; and they reached the land, and found a beautiful green-bosomed river-mouth there, with pure-welling pebbles shining all one silver, and spotted ever-handsome salmon with splendid colours of dark purple on them ; and lovely purple-crested woods round the pleasing streams of the land to which they had come. ‘Beautiful is this land, my warriors,’ said Tadhg, ‘and happy the man whose natural lot it might be to live in it…Lovely and fruitful is this land to which we have come,’ said Tadhg ; ‘and let us go on shore,’ said he, ‘and haul up your boat and dry it out’ They went forward then, twenty strong warriors of them, and left another twenty guarding their boat ; and though they had undergone great cold and roughness and storm and tempest, the champions had no wish for food or fire after reaching the land they had come to, for the smell of the scented bright-purple trees of that country was enough food and repletion for them. They went forward after that all through the wood nearest to them, and found an orchard with lovely purple-crested apple-trees and leafy oaks of beautiful colour and hazels with yellow-clustered nuts. ‘It is wonderful to me, my men’ said Tadhg, ‘what I have noticed – it is winter with us in our land now, and it is summer here in this land,’ said Tadhg.

The loveliness of the place to which they had come was unbounded. And they left it, and came upon a beautiful bright wood after that, and great was the virtue of its smell and its scent, with round purple berries on it, every berry as big as a man’s head. There was a beautiful brilliant flock of birds feeding on these grapes, and it was a strange flock of birds that was there, for they were white birds with purple heads and beaks of gold. They sang music and minstrelsy as they fed on the berries, and that music was plaintive and matchless, for even the sick and the wounded would have fallen asleep to it…

Transcribed from A Celtic Miscellany : Translations from the Celtic Literature by Kenneth Hurlstone Jackson. London. 1951.

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Certain circumstances touching the passion of our Saviour very profitable to be often thought upon to move contrition and amendment of life. – A.D. 1589.

Transcribed by E.T.H. III from Instructions for the use of the beads, containing many matters of meditation or mental prayer, with diverse good advices of ghostly counsel. Compiled by John Bucke for the benefit of unlearned. And dedicated to the honorable good Lady, Anne Lady Hungarforde, sister to the Duchess of Ferria. Imprinted at Lovain in the year of our Lord, 1589.

¶ A man may with great commodity meditate upon the passion of Jesus Christ our Redeemer, in admiring his wonderful great charity, humility, and patience, which appeareth by four circumstances. To wit, if a man consider who he was that suffered : what he suffered : by whom he suffered : and for whom he suffered. Understand then that he which suffered was the Creator of the world : Lord commander and governour of all creatures : Goodness itself : the son of God, and God himself : he suffered banishment, hunger, thirst, cold, tentations, scorns, contumelies, bonds, beatings, wounds, and villainous cruelty, with all despite that the devil by man could execute against him. Therefore in weighing of these two circumstances (who and what) you may easily conceive, that the person so persecuted was so great, and the indignities which he endured were so monstrous, as you may well say and think, that the Judge of the world was himself arraigned and judged : Justice itself was condemned : Innocency itself was accused, blasphemed and defamed : Glory itself was with all opprobrie spit at : God himself openly to his face blasphemed : light extinguished : and life was slain : The Senior, Lord, and master of heaven and earth was put to death : to the most cruel, most shameful and most reproachful death of the Cross : and so horribly abused, as the very elements repined against the fact : The sun lost his light, and the earth trembled with the horror thereof. Here behold the marvelous patience of the sufferer : which in a moment, with a thought, might have consumed all those wretches, and thrown them into the fire of hell. And at whose hands did he bear all these indignities? of whom did he suffer these contumelious cruelties? for sooth of his own creatures whom he had made of naught : of his own servants and vassals, who had their being of him, and every other good thing else : Whom he had chosen and picked out from the rest of the world for his own peculiar people : whom he had highly advanced in the sight of the world.

¶ But for whom did he suffer these afflictions? not for any fault that he himself committed : but even for them that thus traitorously abused him : for them he suffered which contemn him and all goodness. He suffered these pains to deliver his enemies from pain : to pay their ransom and to redeem them from the danger of sin, from damnation, death and hell, if they would repent in time and reconcile themselves to him. If you deeply think of these four circumstances, you shall find matter enough to wonder at the mercy, clemency, patience, longanimity and charity of our Redeemer : and just cause shall you see to accuse, blame, and condemn yourselves of ingratitude, to fall in to repentance, grief, and sorrow for your sins : to seek to reform yourselves, and to flee to him for succour : to study with all love and duty to requite him with love, which for your sakes endured all these miseries.

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THE LITTLE BOOK OF ETERNAL WISDOM was translated and published for the Catholics of England years ago, but has long been out of print. It would be difficult to speak too highly of this little book or of its author. In soundness of teaching, sublimity of thought, clearness of expression, and beauty of illustration, we do not know of a spiritual writer that surpasses Henry Suso. He clothes virtue in such lovely garments, the path to the sublime heights of perfection is so clearly marked out, that the willing soul is allured onward and assisted upward, till she stands with her blessed guide in the full light of the Eternal Wisdom. – C.H. McKenna, O.P.

O Thou living fruit, Thou sweet blossom, Thou delicious paradise apple of the blooming fatherly heart, Thou sweet vine of Cyprus in the vineyard of Engaddi, who will give me to receive Thee so worthily this day that Thou shalt desire to come to me, to dwell with me, and never to separate from me ! O unfathomable good, that fillest heaven and earth, incline Thyself graciously this day, and despise not Thy poor creature. Lord, if I am not worthy of Thee, yet do I stand in need of Thee. Ah, gentle Lord, art Thou not He who with one word created heaven and earth ? Lord, with one word canst Thou restore health to my sick soul. O Lord, do unto me according to Thy grace, according to Thy infinite mercy, and not according to my deserts. Yes, Thou art the innocent Paschal Lamb, which at this day is still offered up for the sins of all mankind. Ah, Thou sweet-tasting bread of heaven, which contains all sweet tastes according to the desire of everyone’s heart, make the hungry mouth of my soul to rejoice in Thee this day ; give me to eat and to drink ; strengthen, adorn, and unite me interiorly to Thee. Ah, Eternal Wisdom, come down so powerfully this day into my soul, that all my enemies may be driven out of her, all my crimes be melted away, and all my sins be forgiven. Enlighten my understanding with the light of true faith. Inflame my will with Thy sweet love. Cheer up my mind with Thy glad presence, and give virtue and perfection to all my powers. Watch over me at my death, that I may enjoy Thy beatific vision in eternal bliss. Amen.

Transcribed from A Little Book of Eternal Wisdom by Blessed Henry Suso. London. 1910.

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THE KINGS by Louise Imogen Guiney

A man said unto his Angel :
“My spirits are fallen low,
And I cannot carry this battle :
O brother! where might I go ?

“The terrible Kings are on me
With spears that are deadly bright;
Against me so from the cradle
Do fate and my fathers fight.”

Then said to the man his Angel :
“Thou wavering witless soul,
Back to the ranks! What matter
To win or to lose the whole,

“As judged by the little judges
Who hearken not well, nor see ?
Not thus, by the outer issue,
The Wise shall interpret thee.

“Thy will is the sovereign measure
And only event of things :
The puniest heart, defying,
Were stronger than all these Kings.

“Though out of the past they gather,
Mind’s Doubt, and Bodily Pain,
And pallid Thirst of the Spirit
That is kin to the other twain,

“And Grief, in a cloud of banners,
And ringletted Vain Desires,
And Vice, with the spoils upon him
Of thee and thy beaten sires, –

“While Kings of eternal evil
Yet darken the hills about,
Thy part is with broken sabre
To rise on the last redoubt ;

“To fear not sensible failure,
Nor covet the game at all,
But fighting, fighting, fighting,
Die, driven against the wall.”

Transcribed from Happy Endings : The Collected Lyrics of Louise Imogen Guiney, Boston, Ma. 1909.

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Transcribed by E.T.H. III from A Treatise of Prayer and of the Fruits and Manner of Prayer by the most Reverend Father in God John Fisher Bishop of Rochester, Priest and most eminent Cardinal of the most holy Catholic Church, of the title of S. Vitalis. Translated into English by R.A.B. Printed at Paris by Will Baudry. MDCXXXX.

Of Premeditation, before Prayer.

When you intend to offer the Sacrifice of prayer, & praises, to almighty God, and prepare you to prayer.

First, recall your Senses, and gather together your wits, & with an humble, attentive, and devout mind, lift up your heart to almighty God : Reverently standing upright, with your hands joined before your breast, and lifted up.

Pause then a little while yourself wherefore you come, whereabout you go, & what business you now take in hand.

Also, before whom you are present, the petitions you will ask, and the offering you mean to make.

Remember you are now, before a most mighty & divine Majesty ; The Creator and Redeemer of yourself, and all Mankind, whom infinite number of Angels, and all the Celestial multitude do continually adore and worship, with fear and trembling.

And yourself, a most wretched & unworthy creature, frail, unstable, falling from him : dull, and unapt to call upon him. And yet his mercy is so much, and his goodness so great, that he is ever, ready to hear, and graciously to grant your lawful requests, and to receive you when you come unto him : and also to forgive you all your offenses, when you are heartily sorry and ask mercy for them.

Likewise, he is one that hath, and doth most bountifully bestow upon you, all things necessary for body and soul : and hath and doth defend and keep, feed and nourish you, and all creature.

Then think, that it is before this divine Presence, before the which you presume to enter, and to present yourself : to intreat, beseech, and require mercy, and forgiveness of sins, for yourself and all others : and to offer the sacrifice of Praise, and Thanksgiving unto him.

Therefore with all humility and reverence prostrate yourself at the feet of his mercy : and endeavor with devotion, to accomplish that you come for. But before you begin your prayers, that you may the rather offer them with cleanness of heart, and give thanks to God, not only for his benefits, but chiefly for his goodness in himself, make it fully known to your heart, as true, that it is uncertain whether you shall live to the end of your Prayers or not : Endeavor therefore that they may be such, as if it should so happen before you had ended them, that so, through the mercy of God, they may be acceptable unto him, for the full forgiveness of your offenses, and the receiving you into his grace and favour.

And that you may the more perfectly begin, continue, and end, all your prayers, and other good actions, in the Name, and to the honour, and glory of God, the most holy and blessed Trinity : and have in mind his great goodness towards you, and give thanks for them : and also that the Passion of our Lord, may take the more effect, the benefit of it may be imparted, the fruit thereof enjoyed : and in all spiritual practices, remembered : You may, if it please you, begin your Prayers, in manner as followeth. Meekly falling on your knees, your heart and joined hands being elevated to God.

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“An other prayer in englysshe”

Transcribed by E.T.H. III from Horae Eboracenses : The Prymer or Hours of the Blessed Virgin Mary, according to the Use of the Illustrious Church of York with other Devotions as they were used by the Lay-folk in the Northern Province in the XVth and XVIth Centuries published for the Surtees Society. London. 1920.

O the most sweetest Spouse of my soul Christ Jesu, desiring heartily ever more to be with thee in mind and will, and to let none earthly thing to be so near my heart as thou Jesu. And that I dread not for to go to thee, Jesu, and that I may evermore say to thee with a glad cheer, my Saviour Christ Jesu. I beseech thee heartily to take me a sinner to thy great mercy and grace, for I love thee with all mine heart, with all my mind, and with all my might, and nothing so much in earth nor above earth as I do thee, my sweet lord Jesu Christ, and for that I have not loved thee and worshipped thee above all thing as my lord and saviour Christ Jesu. I beseech thee, with meekness and heart contrite, of mercy and forgiveness of my great unkindness, for the great love that thou showed for me and all mankind, what time thou offered up thy glorious body, God and man, unto the cross there to be crucified and wounded, and out of thy heart running plenteously blood and water for the redemption of me and all mankind, and thus having remembrance steadfastly in my heart of thee my saviour Christ Jesu. I doubt not but thou wilt be full near me and comfort me both bodily and ghostly with thy glorious presence, and at the last bring me to thine everlasting bliss, the which never shall have end. Amen.

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BRITAIN’S TITLE : “PRIMOGENITA ECCLESIÆ” by William Canon Fleming, Rector of St. Mary’s, Moorfields, London.

Transcribed from the Preface to A Complete History of the British Martyrs from the Roman Occupation to Elizabeth’s Reign by William Canon Fleming, Rector of St. Mary’s, Moorfields, London. Published by the Proprietors of the Catholic Repository, Little Britain, London. 1902.

¶ THE voices of the Apostles announcing the Gospel of Jesus Christ our Lord were heard in every land, and their words re-echoed from the utmost confines of the known world. Such is the claim which the church makes in behalf of the Galilean fishermen whom Our Saviour sent to teach all nations.

¶ Gildas, Britain’s most ancient historian, whilst lamenting the subjugation of his country by the Romans during the reign of Tiberius Caesar, finds consolation in the thought that during those dark days the light of the Gospel was spread throughout Britain. His words cannot be otherwise interpreted : they are as follows :—“In the meantime, whilst these things lasted, there appeared and imparted itself to this cold Island, removed farther from the visible sun than any other country, that true and invisible Sun, which, in the time of Tiberius Caesar, showed itself to the whole world I mean Christ vouchsafed to impart His precepts to the Britons.” (De excidio Brit., cap. 6.)

¶ The Roman Army under Claudius, which did not set out for Britain until some time after the Prince of the Apostles entered the gates of the Eternal City, and was being constantly recruited from Rome during the long and tedious war that followed, must have numbered multitudes of Catholics in its ranks. It may well be supposed, then, that Christianity marched into Britain with the Roman Army.

¶ Eusebius (A.D. 259), in his Ecclesiastical History, narrates that “some of the Apostles” passed over the ocean “to the British Isles.” The names of SS. Peter and Paul, Saints Simon Zelotes and Joseph of Arimathea are mentioned as having preached in Britain by one or other of the following historians : Gildas, Capgrave, Harpsfeld, Polydor Virgil, the Magdeburg Centuriators, Eysengranius in his “History ofthe First Century,” Simeon Metaphrastes, and Baronius in his famous Annals.

¶ It will be interesting to dwell on the reasons suggested for believing that St. Peter himself was one of Britain’s Apostles. There are many reasons which lead to that conclusion. The presence of so many Christians in the Roman Army occupying Britain, the greater number of whom were possibly his own converts, may well have inspired the Prince of the Apostles with a great desire of visiting Britain. Other circumstances also contributed to excite his active interest in native Britons. In the year of our Lord 52 Claudius made a triumphal entry into Rome, leading captive Bran, Prince of the Silures, and his brave son Caractacus. Bran and Caractacus were detained as captives in Rome for seven years, during which time Bran was instructed and baptized a Christian, most probably by St. Peter himself. On their release from captivity in the year 59 St. Peter, at Bran’s request, sent Aristobalus, his own disciple, as bishop, with two priests named Hid and Cynvan, to preach the Gospel to the Cymry, who inhabited the province governed by Bran, now called Wales. It is stated in the “Triads” that “Bran, the son of Lear the Stammerer, was that Bran that first brought the Christian Faith to this Island from Rome, where he was detained a captive through the treachery of Cartismandrua, the daughter of Avarny, the son of Lud.”

¶ This statement is confirmed by the “Genealogy of the British Saints,” which relates that “Bran, the son of Lear the Stammerer, was the first of the nation of the Cymry that embraced the Christian faith.” The same “Genealogy” informs us that Bran brought with him three missionaries, Hid and Cynvan, Israelites, and Aristobalus, a native of Italy and a disciple of St. Peter. It is added that Aristobalus was the first Christian Bishop of this Island. These facts are at least sufficient to prove that St. Peter must have taken a deep interest in the welfare of the Early British Church, and prepare us to believe that he may himself have visited Britain. That he actually did visit Britain and preach the Gospel there is distinctly stated by authorities of repute.

¶ Eysengranius, in his “History of the First Century” affirms that the first churches in Britain were founded by St. Peter during Nero’s reign. Simeon Metaphrastes (Apud Surium, 23 Junii, p. 362) directly, and Gildas indirectly confirm this statement (De excidio Brit. Epistola Secunda). Gildas calls Britain “The see of Peter,” for when alluding to the fearful massacre of the British priests and to the desecration of the churches in Britain by the Saxons under Hengist, he charges them with “trampling on the see of Peter with shameless feet” : “quod sedem Petri Apostoli invericundis pedibus usurpassant.”

¶ Baronius (Annales ecclae A.D. 58) is of opinion that St. Peter visited Britain in the year 58, when the Emperor Claudius banished all the Jews from Rome. He fairly urges that St. Paul would not have written his Epistle to the Romans unless St. Peter were absent at the time, or, if he had written it whilst the Prince of the Apostles was still there, he would have sent his salutations to him as he did to St. Peter’s disciple Aristobalus. (Rom. xvi., 10.)

¶ Assuming the truth of Baronius’s conjecture, it is clear that St. Peter visited Britain whilst his disciple was still in Rome, the year before Bran with Aristobalus, Hid, and Cynvan, returned to spread the Gospel among the Cymry in Wales.

¶ This theory may seem at first sight inconsistent with the statement already quoted from the “Triads,” viz., “that Bran, the son of Lear the Stammerer, was that Bran that first brought the Christian faith to this Island.” It must be noticed, however, that this declaration is considerably modified by what is stated further on, in the same ancient book, viz., that “Bran was the first person who introduced the Christian religion among the Cymry from Rome.”

¶ The “Genealogy of the British Saints” leaves this disputed question perfectly open, as it confines its statement to Welsh Cymry: “Bran, the son of Lear the Stammerer, was the first of the nation of the Cymry that embraced the Christian Faith.” Any other of the British nation, the Brigantes for instance, might have the Gospel preached to them by St. Peter in the year 58 without infringing this statement. The exact date, however, of St. Peter’s visit to Britain, though interesting in itself, is a matter of secondary importance. The really, important point is that historians of credit declare that St. Peter preached the Gospel in this country.

¶ As all the Christians in Britain at the time were altogether exempt from persecution, even during Nero’s reign, the sacred writers would be no doubt prudently silent concerning the progress of Christianity in that country, and it is for this reason, perhaps, that no mention is made in the Sacred Scriptures of St. Peter’s missionary labours there.

¶ The whole controversy on this point is well summed up by Doctor Richard Smith, second Vicar-Apostolic of England and Scotland, in his “Prudential Ballance of Religion,” published in 1609. The first chapter of this book commences with the question : “What religion was in this land before the coming of St. Austin?”

¶ “The ancient inhabitants of this Island were the Britons, whom we now call Welsh men. The faith of Christ was planted amongst them by the glorious Apostles Saints Peter and Paul and Simon, by the Apostolic man St. Joseph of Arimathea (who buried our Saviour) and by St. Aristobalus, of whom St. Paul maketh mention in his Epistle to the Romans. All these, Protestants grant to have preached Christ’s faith in this Island, except St. Peter, to whom some of them will not have this land beholden, which question, because it is beside my purpose, I will not stand to discuss ; only I assure the indifferent reader that St. Peter’s preaching to the Ancient Britons is on the one side affirmed by Greeks and Latins, by ancient, by foreign and domestic, by Catholic writers such as Protestants themselves account most excellent, learned, and great historians ; by Protestant antiquaries such as Protestant Divines term most excellent antiquaries; and, on the other side, denied by no ancient writer, Greek or Latin, foreign or domestic, Catholic or otherwise. And what better proof shall we require to believe a thing done so long ago than the assertion of many learned men of such different ages, of such different countries, and of such different religions, who have not been gainsaid by one single ancient writer.

¶ “To argue against so various and grave testimonies without any writer’s testimony to the contrary, is rather to cavil than to reason, and to show a mind more opposed to St. Peter and his successors than desirous of truth and honour.

¶ “This faith, implanted amongst the Britons by the Apostles and Apostolic men, perished not after their departure but remained, as Gildas (De excidio Brit., c. 7) writes : ‘Apud quosdam integre,’ amongst some entire ; which, about the year of Christ 158 was marvellously increased and confirmed by Pope Eleutherius, who, sending hither at the request of King Lucius his two legates, St. Fugatius and St. Damienus, the King and the Queen and almost all the people were baptized, and this land was the first that publicly professed the faith of Christ and justly deserved the title of ‘Primogenita Ecclesiae’—‘the first begotten of the Church.’ ”

¶ St. Bede, in his British Chronicle, informs us that in the year 156 Lucius, King of the Britons, sent messengers to Pope Eleutherius begging him to send missionaries to Britain in order that he and those of his subjects who were still pagans might be baptized Christians. Acceding at once to the King’s request St. Eleutherius sent two good bishops named Fugatius and Damienus, who converted multitudes and abolished idolatry throughout the whole of Britain. Soon afterwards a regular ecclesiastical Hierarchy, consisting of three Archbishoprics, viz., London, York, and Caerleon, and twenty-five bishoprics, was established in Britain.

¶ Although this revival of Christianity in Britain is confirmed by the Roman Martyrology and Breviary, and mentioned by Platina, an enemy of the Church, in his “History of the Popes,” superficial modern critics reject the whole narrative as a fable on the ground that as Britain long before the period in question was reduced to the condition of a Roman province it is futile to suppose that a Lucius, King of Britain, could be alive and flourishing in the year of our Lord 156. Now as it would take about a thousand modern antiquarians to make an Usher or a Camden it will be very interesting to listen to what these two of the greatest antiquarians have to say in behalf of King Lucius of Britain.

¶ Quoting from an old Saxon Chronicle, Archbishop Usher proves that Lucius was King ofthe Britons of Wales,beloved by his people and friendly to the Romans. In the history of the British Saints his pedigree is as follows : “Lleirog, son of Coil, the son of Cyllin the saint, who was the son of Caractacus.” In the Triads he is named one of the “three Blessed Princes” on account of his building a church at Llandaff. Camden, commenting on the position of those who deny the story of King Lucius, makes the following instructive observations :—“I would have them remember that the Romans, by an old custom, had kings as their tools of servitude in the provinces ; that the Britons at the time denied submission to Commodus ; that all the rest of the Island beyond the wall belonged to them ; and that they had their kings. Moreover, that Antoninus Pius, some years afterwards, having ended the war, left the kingdom to be ruled by its own kings, and the provinces to be governed by their own counts, so that nothing hinders that King Lucius might be king of those parts of the Island which was never subject to the Roman. For certainly that passage of Tertullian who wrote about the time refers to the conversion of the Britons to the Christian religion, and that very aptly, if we consider the words and the time :—“Some countries of the Britons that proved impregnable to the Romans are yet subjected to Christ,” and a little after : “Britain lies surrounded by the ocean. The Mauri and the barbarous Gentulians are blocked up by the Romans for fear they should extend the limits of their countries. And what shall we say of the Romans themselves who secure their empire by the power of their armies ? Neither are they able with all their force to extend that empire beyond these nations, whereas the Kingdom of Christ and His Name reach much farther. He is everywhere believed in and worshipped by all the nations above mentioned.” (Tertullian, Contra Judeos, cap. 7.)

¶ Again quoting Usher, Camden continues :—“That there was such a King in Britain as Lucius is proved by so many authors that no dispute can be made about it, and a learned writer (Usher, Primod, p. 39) tells us that he has seen ‘two coins with a Christian image on them’—as he conjectures by the crosses, and the letters Luc (that could be clearly deciphered) which probably denote the same Lucius.” (Camden, Britannia, vol. L, pp. 45, 46.)

¶ The existence of Christianity in Britain before and up to the time when St. Augustine converted the great enemies of the Britons, the Anglo-Saxons, to the faith, is clearly testified by ancient writers. Origen (A.D. 200) suggests this in his Homily on Ezekiel :—“The miserable Jews acknowledge that this is spoken of the presence of Christ, but are stupidly ignorant of the person, though they see the words fulfilled, when, before the Advent of Christ did the land of Britain agree to the worship of one God ?’ Arnobius (A.D. 306) commenting on the 147th Psalm, contributes his testimony :—“Whereas for so many ages the true God was known among the inhabitants of Judea alone, he is now known to the Indians in the East and the Britons in the West.”

¶ The presence of three British Archbishops, representing London, York, and Caerleon, at the Council of Aries, A.D. 314, shows the vigorous vitality of the British Church at that early period. Theodoret (A.D. 423) makes mention of the Church in Britain in his triumphant observations about the spread of the Christian religion :—“These our fishermen and our tentmakers have propagated the Gospel amongst all nations; not only among the Romans and those who are subject to the Roman Empire, but the Scythians and the Sauromatae, the Indians, also the Ethiopians, the Persians, the Hyrcani, the Britons, the Cimmerii, and the Germans ; so also it may be said in one word that all the different nations of the earth have received the laws of the Crucified.”

¶ It is pleasant to reflect that Britain always received the Christian faith direct from Rome, its fountain head ; first, from St. Peter and his disciples; and secondly, from Pope Eleutherius through his messengers Damienus and Fugatius in the days of good King Lucius; whilst the Anglo-Saxon robbers, to whom the Britons absolutely refused to preach the Gospel, were converted into honest and robust Christians by St. Augustine whom St. Gregory sent to convert the fathers ofthe fair-haired Anglo-Saxon youths whom he saw sold as slaves in the Roman market place.

¶ Sufficient has been written to prove the unbroken Apostolicity of the Catholic Church in Britain. The light of Divine faith diffused throughout Britain at the early dawn of Christianity has never been extinguished, and it has outlived the Roman, Saxon, and Danish persecutions before the “Reformation,” and since that national act of apostasy three hundred years of cruel and diabolical persecution have utterly failed to suppress the chosen few, who still survived to pay homage to the successor of St. Peter, St. Eleutherius, and St. Gregory—the Roman Pontiffs to whom the English nation, representing as it does the Britons, the Anglo-Saxons, the Danes, and the Normans, are indebted for the priceless pearl of Divine faith still in their midst, handed down to them by their British, Saxon, and Norman forefathers.

¶ The history of what English Catholics have suffered, both before and since the “Reformation,” to preserve their Apostolic faith, is faithfully recorded in the lives of the glorious multitude of British martyrs. The sufferings of the martyrs before the sixteenth century are briefly alluded to in the British Martyrology, and more fully treated in the writings of the pre-Reformation historians, and by Cressy, whose “History of the Church of Brittany” merited the praises of Wood, the celebrated historian of Oxford.

¶ This book endeavours to give a Complete History of the English Martyrs from the Roman Occupation until the beginning of Queen Elizabeth’s reign, when Doctor Challoner’s Memoirs begin.

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The SAINTS of the END of the WORLD (Irish ; author unknown ; 11th Century)

More bitter to me than Death coming between my teeth are the folk that will come after me, who will be all of one kind.

Wicked is the time which will come then ; envy, murder, oppression of the weak, every harm coming swiftly, and neither layman righteous nor righteous priest.

No king who gives fair play or justice, no virgin bishop over the altar, no landowner who will pay tithes from his herds and his fine cattle.

The saints who did God’s will at the beginning of time were uneasy and naked, scurvy, muddy ; they were not stout and fat.

The men of keen learning, who served the King of the Sun, did not molest boys or women ; their natures were pure.

Scanty shirts, clumsy cloaks, hearts sad and piteous, short rough shocks of hair—and very rough monastic rules.

There will come after that the saints of the latter day world, with plunder, with cattle, with mitres, with rings, with chessboards,

With silk and sarsenet and satin, with soft quilts after drinking, with contempt for the wisdom of dear God—they shall be in the safe-keeping of the Devil.

I tell the seed of Adam, the hypocrites will come, they will assume the shapes of God—the slippery ones, the robbers.

They shall fade away with the same speed as grass and young corn in the green earth ; they shall pass away together like the flower of the fields.

The liars of the latter-day world shall go on one path, into the grasp of the Devil, by God’s will, into dark bitter torments.

Transcribed from A Celtic Miscellany : Translations from the Celtic Literature by Kenneth Hurlstone Jackson. London. 1951.

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Valery Larbaud on Saint Hierom’s Letter “OF PRIESTLY VESTMENTS”

¶ A Vision of ceremonies and of ecclesiastical ornamentations—the treatise “Of Priestly Vestments,” Letter LXIV, addressed to Fabiola. We enter the Temple of Jerusalem where the Pontiff and the Levites array themselves, these predecessors of our clergy, since we are Israel. Jerome describes one by one these sacred habits, their shapes, their colors, the detail of the embroidery and of the ornaments, and he tells us what these things mean. The four elements, the planets, the names of the tribes, the seventy-two little bells sewn down the sides of the tunic called Meil and which resound when the Pontiff goes into the Sanctum sanctorum. The figure thus covered with cosmic symbols seems raised above mankind, the intermediary between a fallen Adam and God. This is why he must not set foot outside the sanctuary, nor move far away from the sacred objects, nor have any commerce with the unholy. “How many monks have lost their souls for having yielded to compassion for their father and mother! We are not allowed to sully ourselves through affection for [super : because of] our parents ; and how much more carefully must we eschew feelings of attachment for our brothers, sisters, cousins, and servants. We are of royal and priestly line. Let us wholly devote ourselves to that Father who never dies, or dies for us…” No leaving the sanctuary. No hobnobbing with the local people, toward all earthly things, detachment ; for we are of royal and sacred lineage… How close this whole commentary on Leviticus seems to Plotinus’ teaching : “Be not satisfied with the here and now” and “Flee, thou who art alone, unto him who is alone” ; how close to the last chapter of the last Ennead! Elsewhere in Jerome’s works we find the Bishop and the King compared ; thus, he advises a future bishop to be more like a priest than a sovereign : “If it does not become a King to give way to pity and tears,” he writes, “how much more unfitting are these in a Bishop…” That is how cardinals (the other cardinals) will one day humbly request, and accept as a concession made to the temporal powers, the tratamiento, the prerogatives and the honors bestowed upon Royal Highnesses ; and thus did it come to pass that Peter harbored in the shadow of his throne and keep for the convenience of the peoples, a college of seventy Kings… The Pontiff and the Levites, under their raiments bearing the colors of the Universe, are Kings whose realm is nowhere to be seen except upon these raiments themselves ; and even more than Kings, because to uniqueness their hieratic quality adds the incommensurable. How far we are, all of a sudden from Athens : squarely in the midst of an oriental monarchy, in the world of secret lores and sealed books to whose threshold Herodotus had timidly led us. But of all the cults, the one whereof Jerome speaks was the most secret and the purest. He who is the subject of that cult defined Himself through the absolute notion of Being, and refused to be ranked alongside other gods. He was to offend Rome by His refusal to take a place in the pantheons. For he wanted Rome to be His alone for all eternity. He was the guest who stops on the doorsteps. And when finally he enters—Ulysses among the suitors—it is to announce that he is the sole legitimate master there. The wedding ; the conclusion of the long engagement between East and West ; the mediator, Greece ; and Rome, the wedded pairs abode.

¶ Naturally, there were those (among others, Lactantius, I believe) who said that Plato had plagiarized the Scriptures, and later—in our day—some people will say that St. Paul must be included among the neo-Platonists and that his orthodox interpreters were inspired by Plotinus. But if that is as true as the claim that Plotinus proceeds from Plato, we have come full circle, and everything returns to the Synagogue : “Et de sanctis non egredietur” (Lev. xxi:12).

¶ Was Jerome, who is so curious about Levitical tradition, so strongly attached to the “Hebraic Truth,” so suspicious of the Seventy, and always in secret contact with the Synagogue—in Rome, Jerome regularly borrowed books from the Jews : in the desert, his Jew, Baranina, was always by his side ;—was Jerome clearly aware of this transfer of Eastern thought into Western thought, and of the fusion, as it appears to us today, of these two traditions within Catholic orthodoxy? Perhaps. He so much wanted it. He so much contributed to it. But he speaks from above, beyond the years and the centuries ; and while we listen to him as he holds forth on “The Priestly Vestments,” we see, rising above the Synagogue where we were, the Cathedral where we were to be.

Transcribed from An Homage to Jerome : Patron Saint of Translators by Valery Larbaud. The Marlboro Press. Marlboro, Vermont. 1984. Originally published in French in 1946.

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Transcribed from The Dawn of Modern Geography, Vol. 1 : A History of Exploration and Geographical Science from the Conversion of the Roman Empire to A.D. 900, with an Account of the Achievements and Writings of the Christian, Arab, and Chinese Travelers and Students by C. Raymond Beazley, M.A., F.R.G.S., Fellow of Merton College, Oxford. London, 1897.

¶ …the cosmography of Æthicus of Istria ; which professes to be translated by a priest named Jerome from a Greek original ; which has aroused, like the “Catalogue Geography” of Julius Æthicus, a surprising degree of literary interest; and which, in its present form, seems to be of the seventh century. It will, perhaps, be useful to examine it a little more in detail.

¶ Shadowy as is the alleged existence of this “philosopher;” and doubtful as is the ascription to this Graeco-Scythian Mandeville of either of the works which pass under his proper name, and enjoyed so great a popularity in the Middle Ages—we have at any rate in the production of Jerome the Priest, an apparently original work of the early Christian period. As it stands, this Cosmography of Æthicus of Istria is one of the longest, one of the wildest, and certainly the most obscure and enigmatical among early Christian geographical monuments. The Presbyter who undertakes to abridge and elucidate, and who complains so frequently of the difficulties of his text, is himself the worst offender. Incessantly interrupting his original, real or pretended, by tirades and reflections of his own, he rarely fails to make confusion worse confounded; and many sections of the book in its present state are absolutely unintelligible.

¶ Obviously anxious to identify himself with St. Jerome, he bears in himself a sufficient refutation. He is really a copyist of Isidore and other encyclopredists. The narrative is occupied with the journeys of Æthicus by sea and land, with his observations on the products of the earth and the men of different nations, and with his trading ventures. Himself a Christian neophyte, the Istrian was moreover so illustrious a philosopher, that his native land had become the seat of the learning that had fled from Athens. Whether his reputation was well-founded, may be seen from the contents of the present treatise. Herein he discourses on the fabric of the world; on unformed matter, Paradise, the earth, sea, and sky; on the fall of Satan, and on the Angels; on the table of the sun, the moon, and the stars; on the portals of the heaven and the hinges of the world; and on all the various lands and seas of the inhabited and habitable earth. In his more detailed descriptions, he evidently prides himself especially upon his treatment of the races which the Old Testament leaves unmentioned, and of certain matters not treated in any other writings; and it is on these points where few had specialised, and where his authority was of all the more weight, that his credit was naturally most firmly established. Thus Roger Bacon, in the thirteenth century, quotes “Æthicus the Astronomer” on some of the more recondite details connected with Alexander, with the Amazons, and with the Gog-Magogs; and Walter Raleigh, in the sixteenth, repeats the testimony of “that ancient Æthicus” on the locality of Eden, backed as it was by the weighty affirmation of St. Jerome, who, as translator and editor, had made himself responsible for the statements of the “Scythian Philosopher.” The compiler assures us that many of the Istrian’s narrations had not been repeated by him lest their marvels should cause the pious to stumble. Only facts well ascertained could be allowed in this place ; and, among these, we have a record of the conquests of Romulus I in the Balkan and Danube lands, and of his victories over Lacedremon and over Francus and Vasus, ancestors of the Franks who “built Sicambria.”

¶ Again, the brave deeds of the giant Phyros among the Albanians of Central Asia ; of Alexander when he threw down Jason’s altars lest they should rival his own ; and of Pompey, whose exploits had been recorded by his faithful companion Theophanes, add many surprising details to the ordinary history. Thus, when the Macedonian hero shut up “Gog-Magog and twenty-two nations of evil men” behind his Caspian gates and Wall of iron, the prophecy of Micah was fulfilled—he “contended before the mountains” and “the hills heard his voice, even the enduring foundations of the earth,” for with a loud souud they were plucked out of the ground and piled one upon auother. But far better than this, Æthicus saw with his own eyes the Amazons to the north of the Caspian suckling the Centaurs and Minataurs of that region; and the bituminous lake, mouth of hell, whence came the cement of Alexander’s wall, when he stayed in the city of Choolisma, built by Magog, son of Japhet. In Armenia the philosopher searched in vain for Noah’s Ark; but he saw dragons, ostriches, gryphons, and ants large and voracious as dogs; and he could testify from personal experience that, when rain descended upon Mount Ararat, there was a rumbling that could be heard to the borders of the country. A different quest—for the Garden of Eden—though equally fruitless, brought the explorer to the Ganges; where he was entertained by a hospitable Indian king, fought with hippopotami, and rivalled or even surpassed the exploits of Apollonius ofTyana. From Ceylon or Taprobane, lEthicus sailed round to the North-West by the encircling Ocean, passing on his way Syrtinice (island of the Sirens) the navel of our hemisphere in the Indian Ocean; Ireland, “full of false doctors;” the Isle of Dogs or dog-headed men in the Northem Sea; Bridinno, the land of dwarfs; and the country of the Gryphons, both the goldguarding quadrupeds, and also a people distinguished for music, for war, and for navigation. A little nearer to matter of fact, is our compiler’s mention of the Turks—a people monstrous, abject, idolatrous, with yellow teeth, as befitted the offspring of Gog and Magog. This inviting race is apparently located by Æthicus in Modem Russia, touching the Northern Ocean on one side and the Black Sea on another. Among the pirates of the Northern Ocean Alexander the Great had once lived, to learn from them “the depth of ocean and of the abyss,” and his submarine navigation in those parts is faithfully chronicled by the Istrian traveller.

¶ But besides practical exploration, Æthicus gives us a system of the universe. His sun is a disc which enters by the gate of the East to enlighten the earth, and retires by that of the West in order to return during the night to its starting-point, hidden by thick mists or a great mountain which screens it from human sight, but allows it to impart a fraction of its radiance to the moon and stars. The poles, or hinges of the world, are connected by a mighty line from the extreme of icy cold in the North to the rich, salubrious, and vitalising centre in the South, whence blow the winds that propagate serenity. Æthicus will not allow of any rotation of the earth, which reposes upon the Abyss. Scarcely anyone is more prodigal of earth-navels, or centres, than our Istrian or his abbreviator—the isle of the Sirens, Nineveh, Jerusalem, and the southern extreme of earth, all serve for this in turn,—but we can hardly be surprised at any extravagance here. No ordinary limitations seem to bind the illustrious neophyte, or rather the forger who in all probability first invented this wild original, and then sheltered himself behind the name of the great Latin doctor. Yet the success of his manoeuvre gives more reasonable ground for surprise.

¶ We have been asked to see the hand of Saint Jerome in a work which separates Tullius and Cicero, which refers to the sixth-century poems of Bishop Alcimus Avitus of Vienne; which in its mention of the Turks and other inadvertences clearly belies its pretended fourth-century origin; which bears evidence on every page of a Greek struggling to write impossible Latin; and which—apart from all these inconsistencies—is a libel on the intelligence, the style, and the vocabulary of the author of the Vulgate. Even this was not enough for credulity. Not only was St. Jerome the translator, but Æthicus was a real traveller. His disputes with Aurilius and Arbocrates in Spain, his conversations with Fabius in Athens, his voyages in the Northern Sea were genuine. It was unfortunate he sometimes strayed into fable, but so did many excellent writers; and if he described Babylon in full splendour, Thebes as Pausanias saw it, and Greece in the sense of the Byzantine Empire after the Saracen conquests, these anachronisms were due to the vividness of his historical imagination. After this, it needed little or no assurance to add that Orosius, Solinus, and Isidore copied him—although the copyists rarely failed to give a clearer and simpler account than their supposed original. So have eminent scholars of the nineteenth century bowed before claims which appeared grotesque to Pico della Mirandola in the fifteenth, securing another victory for the time-honoured device of Ctesias and Mandeville, and once more accepting as sufficient evidence of itself the word of one whom we cannot but suspect both of plagiarism and imposture.

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LLYFR TALIESIN, Chief of the Bards of the West, Son of Saint Henwg of Caerlleon upon Usk

Transcribed from the Book of Taliesin which is found in William Skene’s anthology of dark-age Welsh Bardic poetry – The Four Ancient Books of Wales. “Often cited, but difficult to obtain, this book contains every remaining piece of Bardic poetry known. The poems are translated from four manuscripts – the Black Book of Caermarthen, the Red Book of Hergest (which is also the source of the Mabinogion), the Book of Taliessin and the Book of Aneurin, all of which date from the twelfth to the fifteenth centuries A.D. The poems themselves date from much earlier, probably from the sixth century by internal evidence. This corpus is one of the treasures of world literature. It is also the only true source material for the study of Bardic lore, which reputedly preserved the esoteric (and long-lost) beliefs of the Druids. Largely written to satisfy wealthy patrons, much of the subject matter is related to mead-inspired battles, particularly the renowned Gododin cycle. However, the poetry rises above the gory combat and toadying to achieve an artistic height that would not be reached for many centuries. Some of the later works, which use Christian themes as a jumping-off point, have an almost haiku-like quality. The poems are infused throughout with mystic clarity, strange flashes of wisdom, and insight into humanity and nature.”


The beautiful I sing of, I will sing.
The world one day more.
Much I reason,
And I meditate.
I will address the bards of the world,
Since it is not told me
What supports the world,
That it falls not into vacancy.
Or if the world should fall,
On what would it fall?
Who would uphold it?
The world, how it comes again,
When it falls in decay,
Again in the enclosing circle.
The world, how wonderful it is,
That it falls not at once.
The world, how peculiar it is,
So great was it trampled on.
Johannes, Mattheus,
Lucas, and Marcus,
They sustain the world
Through the grace of the Spirit.


I WILL adore the Ruler, chief of every place,
Him, that supports the heaven: Lord of everything.
Him, that made the water for every one good,
Him, that made every gift, and prospers it.
May Maelgwn of Mona be affected with mead, and affect us,
From the foaming mead-horns, with the choicest pure liquor,
Which the bees collect, and do not enjoy.
Mead distilled sparkling, its praise is everywhere.
The multitude of creatures which the earth nourishes,
God made for man to enrich him.
Some fierce, some mute, he enjoys them.
Some wild, some tame, the Lord makes them.
Their coverings become clothing.
For food, for drink, till doom they will continue.
I will implore the Ruler, sovereign of the country of peace,
To liberate Elphin from banishment.
The man who gave me wine and ale and mead.
And the great princely steeds, beautiful their appearance,
May he yet give me bounty to the end.
By the will of God, he will give in honour,
Five five-hundred festivals in the way of peace.
Elphinian knight of mead, late be thy time of rest.


On the face of the earth his equal was not born,
Three persons of God, one Son gentle, strong Trinity.
Son of the Godhead, Son of the Manhood, one son wonderful.
Son of God, a fortress, Son of the blessed Mary, a good son to see.
Great his destiny, great God supreme, a glorious portion.
Of the race of Adam, and Abraham he was born.
Of the race of the Lord, a portion of the eloquent host,
was he born.
He brought by a word the blind and deaf from every ailment.
A people gluttonous, vain, iniquitous, vile, perverse,
We have risen against the Trinity, after redemption.
The Cross of Christ clearly, a breastplate gleaming
against every ailment.
Against every hardship may it be certainly a city of protection.


MEDITATING were my thoughts
On the vain poetry of the bards of Brython.
Making the best of themselves in the chief convention.
Enough, the care of the smith’s sledge-hammer.
I am in want of a stick, straitened in song,
The fold of the bards, who knows it not?
Fifteen thousand over it
Adjusting it
I am a harmonious one; I am a clear singer.
I am steel; I am a druid.
I am an artificer; I am a scientific one.
I am a serpent; I am love; I will indulge in feasting.
I am not a confused bard drivelling,
When songsters sing a song by memory,
They will not make wonderful cries;
May I be receiving them.
Like receiving clothes without a hand,
Like sinking in a lake without swimming
The stream boldly rises tumultuously in degree.
High in the blood of sea-board towns.
The rock wave-surrounded, by great arrangement,
Will convey for us a defence, a protection from the enemy.
The rock of the chief proprietor, the head of tranquillity.
The intoxication of meads will cause us to speak.
I am a cell, I am a cleft, I am a restoration,
I am the depository of song; I am a literary man;
I love the high trees, that afford a protection above,
And a bard that composes, without earning anger;
I love not him that causes contention;
He that speaks ill of the skilful shall not possess mead.
It is a fit time to go to the drinking,
With the skilful men, about art,
And a hundred knots, the custom of the country,
The shepherd of the districts, support of gates,
Like going without a foot to battle.
He would not journey without a foot.
He would not breed nuts without trees,
Like seeking for ants in the heath.
Like an instrument of foolish spoil,
Like the retinue of an army without a head,
Like feeding the unsheltered on lichen.
Like ridging furrows from the country
Like reaching the sky with a hook,
Like deprecating with the blood of thistles,
Like making light for the blind,
Like sharing clothes to the naked,
Like spreading buttermilk on the sands,
Like feeding fish upon milk,
Like roofing a hail with leaves,
Like killing a tortoise with rods.
Like dissolving riches before a word.
I am a bard of the hail, I am a chick of the chair.
I will cause to loquacious bards a hindrance.
Before I am dragged to my harsh reward,
May we buy thee, that wilt protect us, thou son of Mary.

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OF THE VIRTUE OF THE HOLY NAME OF JESU by Richard Rolle of Hampole

Transcribed from A Book of the Love of Jesus: A Collection of Ancient English Devotions in Prose and Verse compiled and edited by Robert Hugh Benson M.A. Priest of the Diocese of Westminster. London. 1915. The short introduction to the Meditation is from Lambeth MS. No. 853. The Meditation itself, consisting of extracts from the original, is mainly from the MS. Thornton, published in the “Library of Early English Writers.” It is a translation from the Latin, attributed to R. Rolle.


If thou wilt to be with God, and to have grace to rule thy life, and to come to the joy of love ; this name Jesu—fasten it so fast in thine heart, that it come never out of thy thought. And when thou speakest to him, and sayest Jesu, through custom, it shall be in thine ear joy, and in thy mouth honey, and in thine heart melody. For thou shalt think joy to hear the name of Jesu named, sweetness to speak it, mirth and song to think on it. If thou think on Jesu continually and hold it stably, it purgeth thy sin, it kindleth thy heart, it clarifieth thy soul, it removeth anger, it doeth away slowness, it bringeth in love fulfilled of charity, it chaseth the devil, it putteth out dread, it openeth heaven, it maketh contemplative men. Have Jesu often in mind ; For all vices and phantoms it putteth from the lover of it. Also thereto hail Mary often, both day and night, and then much joy and love shalt thou feel. If thou do after this sort, thou needest not greatly covet many books. Hold love in heart and in work, and thou hast all that we may say or write ; for fulness of law is charity ; in that hangeth all.

The Meditation

Oleum effusum nomen tuum. That is in English, Ointment outpoured is thy name. This name is ointment outpoured, for Jesu, the Word of God, has taken man’s nature. Jesu, thou fulfillest in work what thou art called in name : (in truth he saves man, he whom we call Saviour,)—therefore Jesu is thy name.

Ah ! ah ! that wonderful name ! Ah ! that delightable name ! This is the name that is above all names, the highest name of all, without which no man hopes for health. This name is in mine ear heavenly sound, in my mouth honeyful sweetness.

Soothly, Jesu, desirable is thy name, lovable and comfortable. None so sweet joy may be conceived, none so sweet song may be heard, none so sweet and delightable solace may be had in mind.

Soothly, nothing so slackens fell flames ; destroys ill thoughts ; puts out venomous affections ; does away curious and vain occupations from us.

This name Jesu, leally holden in mind, draws out vices by the root ; plants virtues ; sows charity ; pours in savour of heavenly things ; wastes discord ; forms again peace ; gives lasting rest ; does away grievousness of fleshly desires ; turns all earthly things to nought ; fills the loving with ghostly joy.

Wherefore what can fail him that covets ever lastingly to love the name of Jesu ? Soothly he loves and he yearns for to love ; for we have known that the love of God stands in such manner that the more we love the more we long to love. Wherefore it is said, Qui edunt me adhuc esurient, et qui bibunt me adhuc sitiunt ; that is to say, They that eat me hunger yet, and they that drink me thirst yet.

Therefore itself delightable and covetable is the name of Jesu and the love of it. Therefore joy shall not fail him that covets busily for to love him whom angels yearn for to behold. Angels ever see and ever they yearn for to see ; and they are so filled that their filling does not away their desire, and so their desire does not away their filling.

Therefore, Jesu, all shall joy that love thy name. Soothly shall they joy now by the inpouring of grace, and in time to come by the sight of joy ; and therefore shall they joy, for that they love thy name. In sooth, were they not loved, they might not joy ; and they that love more shall joy more ; for why ?—joy comes of love.

Therefore he that loves not, he shall evermore be without joy.

Therefore many poor wretches of the world, trowing that they shall joy with Christ, shall sorrow without end ; and why ? For that they loved not the name of Jesu. Whatsoever ye do, if ye give all that ye have unto the needy, except ye love the name of Jesu ye travail in vain. They alone may joy in Jesu that love him in this life ; and they that fill them with vices and venomous delights, doubtless they shall be put out of joy.

Also know all that the name of Jesu is healthful, fruitful, and glorious. Therefore who shall have health that loves it not ? Or who shall bear the fruit before Christ, that has not the flower ? And joy shall he not see that in his joying loved not the name of Jesu. The wicked shall be done away, that he see not the joy of God.

Soothly the righteous seek the joy and the life, and they find it in Jesu whom they love.

I went about those covetous of riches, and I found not Jesu.

I ran by the fleshly wantons, and I found not Jesu.

I sat in companies of worldly mirth, and I found not Jesu.

In all these I sought Jesu, but I found him not ; for he let me wit by his grace that he is not found in the land of soft living.

Therefore I turned by another way, and I ran about by poverty ; and I found Jesu, pureborn in the world, laid in a crib and lapped in clothes.

I went by suffering of weariness, and I found Jesu weary in the way, tormented with hunger, thirsty and cold, filled with reproofs and blames.

I sat by myself, fleeing the vanities of the world, and I found Jesu fasting in the desert, praying alone in the mount.

I ran by the pain of penance, and I found Jesu bounden, scourged, given gall to drink, nailed to the cross, hanging on the cross, and dying on the cross.

Therefore Jesu is not found in riches, but in poverty : not in delights, but in penance : not in wanton joying, but in bitter weeping : not among many, but in loneliness.

Soothly an evil man finds not Jesu, for where he is he seeks him not. He endeavours to seek Jesu in the joy of the world, where never shall he be found.

Soothly therefore the name of Jesu is healthful, and need behoves that it be loved of all that covet salvation. He covets well his salvation that keeps busily in him the name of Jesu.

Soothly I have no wonder if the tempted fall, who put not in lasting mind the name of Jesu.

Safely may he (or such as he) choose to live alone, that has chosen the name of Jesu to his own possession ; for there may no wicked spirit do harm, where Jesu is much in mind or named in mouth.

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A very devout prayer of the five wounds of our Saviour. (Anonymous, 1576 A.D.)

Transcribed b by E.T.H. III from Certayne devout Meditations very necessary for Christian men devoutly to meditate upon Morninge and Eveninge, every day in the weeke : Concerning Christ his lyfe and Passion, and the fruites thereof. (Anon. 1576?)

ALL laud, honour, glory, and thanks, be given to thee (O Lord Jesu Christ) for the sacred wound of thy right hand. For this holy wound sake forgive all such offenses as I have committed by my five senses, and remit also all such things as I have displeased thee, in thought, word, and deed, in negligence when I served thee, in sinful delectations, whether the same was in sleep, or when I waked, wittingly or ignorantly. And for thy blessed passion sake, give me thy grace to remember as I should do thy holy death and blessed wounds, utterly to mortfiy my body and to give thee thanks. Amen.

Laud, honour, glory, & thanks, be to thee (most sweet Jesu) for the sacred wound of thy left hand, for the same holy wound sake, be merciful to me, and vouchsafe to change in me whatsoever is displeasant unto thee : give me victory, against all my spiteful enemies and let me by thy grace subdue them all for thy bitter passion sake, deliver me from all perils both in this life & in the life to come & make me worthy of thy grace in thy heavenly country. Amen.

Laud, honour, glory, & thanks be to thee (most gracious Jesu) for the sacred wound of thy right foot. For this holy wound sake, grant that I may do worthy penance, for my sins. And I most humbly beseech thee for thy holy death sake, that thou keep me thy servant both day & night in thy grace and favour : deliver me from all misery both of body & soul : take my soul to thy protection & tuition at the dreadful judgement day : & bring it to thy celestial joys. Amen.

Laud, honour, glory, & thanks be given to thee (good Jesu) for the sacred wound of thy left foot : for this holy wound sake give me pardon & full remission of my sins, that being protected by thee I may deserve to escape the rigour of thy judgement. And for thy holy death sake I beseech thee (most merciful Jesu) that before my soul part from my body, I may worthily recieve the sacrament of thy most holy body & blood, with unfeigned contrition of heart, sincere confession of my sins, perfect penance, with purity of mind and body : And being comforted with Avail, may come to everlasting salvation. Amen.

Laud, honour, glory & thanks, be to thee (most benign Jesu) for the sacred wound of thy blessed side : for this holy wound sake, and for thy infinite mercy sake, which thou showed us, when thy side was pierced with the spear I beseech thee (my saviour Jesu) that as thou hast cleansed me by Baptism from original sin : so likewise by thy precious blood, which was now at this time both offered and recieved, all the world over, thou wilt deliver me from all perils, both such as are past, and present, or to come : And for thy holy death sake, give me a right faith, a sure hope, and perfect charity, that I may love thee, with all my heart and all my strength.

Strengthen me in all good works, & give me grace strongly to continue thy servant to the end : that I may both here and in the life to come, please thee. Amen.

Imprint (Lord Jesus Christ) thy holy wounds in my heart : & moisten my soul with thy holy blood : that whether so ever I turn I may ever see thee crucified before me : and that whatsoever I cast my eye upon, it may seem to me besprinkled with thy holy blood : and that I may being thus wholly directed to thee, may behold nothing but only thee : who livest with thy father & the holy ghost forever. Amen.

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This Litany of the Martyrs of London was transcribed by E.T.H. III from a pamphlet called The Tyburn Way graciously sent us by the Sisters of Tyburn Convent the home of the famous shrine of the English Reformation Martyrs of Tyburn. For over 100 years the Guild of Our Lady of Ransom has organized an annual Walk from the Old Bailey, site of Newgate Prison, to Marble Arch, near the spot where the Tyburn Gallows stood. On May 6th, Feast of the English and Welsh Martyrs, the Walk, “a true Pilgrimage of faith and prayer” makes a Station at each of the three Catholic Churches along the Tyburn Way finishing at Tyburn Convent where the following Litany is sung :

Lord have mercy. Lord have mercy.
Christ have mercy. Christ have mercy.
Lord have mercy. Lord have mercy.
Christ hear us. Christ graciously hear us.

God the Father of heaven, Have mercy on us.
God the Son, redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost, Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity One God, Have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, Pray for us.
Holy Mother of God, Pray for us.
Our Lady of Ransom, Pray for us.
Our Lady of Walsingham, Pray for us.
Saint Peter, Pray for us.
Saint Paul, Pray for us.
Saint George, Pray for us.
Saint David, Pray for us.
Saint Germanus, Pray for us.
Saint Gregory the Great, Pray for us.
All ye holy Patrons and Protectors of England and Wales,
Pray for us.
Saint John Fisher, Pray for us.
Saint Oliver Plunket, Pray for us.
Saint Ralph Sherwin, Pray for us.
Saint Alexander Briant, Pray for us.
Saint Luke Kirby, Pray for us.
Saint Edmund Gennings, Pray for us.
Saint Eustace White, Pray for us.
Saint Polydore Plasden, Pray for us.
Saint John Almond, Pray for us.
Saint John Southworth, Pray for us.
All ye holy Martyrs of the Secular Clergy, Pray for us.
Saint John Roberts, Pray for us.
Saint Alban Roe, Pray for us.
Saint John Houghton, Pray for us.
Saint Augustine Weber, Pray for us.
Saint Robert Lawrence, Pray for us.
Saint Richard Reynolds, Pray for us.
Saint John Jones, Pray for us.
Saint Edmund Campion, Pray for us.
Saint Robert Southwell, Pray for us.
Saint Henry Walpole, Pray for us.
Saint Thomas Garnet, Pray for us.
Saint Henry Morse, Pray for us.
Saint Nicholas Owen, Pray for us.
All ye holy Martyrs of the Religious Orders, Pray for us.
Saint Thomas More, Pray for us.
Saint Philip Howard, Pray for us.
Saint Swithin Wells, Pray for us.
Saint Margaret Ward, Pray for us.
Saint Anne Line, Pray for us.
All ye holy Martyrs of the Laity, Pray for us.
Blessed John Haile, Pray for us.
Blessed Thomas Abel, Pray for us.
Blessed Edward Powell, Pray for us.
Blessed Richard Fetherston, Pray for us.
Blessed John Larke, Pray for us.
Blessed Thomas Woodhouse, Pray for us.
Blessed Everard Hanse, Pray for us.
Blessed George Haydock, Pray for us.
Blessed Nicholas Woodfen, Pray for us.
Blessed Richard Sergeant, Pray for us.
Blessed William Thompson, Pray for us.
Blessed John Lowe, Pray for us.
Blessed John Adams, Pray for us.
Blessed Robert Dibdale, Pray for us.
Blessed Mountford Scott, Pray for us.
Blessed George Beesley, Pray for us.
Blessed Thomas Pormort, Pray for us.
Blessed Robert Drury, Pray for us.
Blessed Thomas Maxfield, Pray for us.
Blessed William Ward, Pray for us.
All ye blessed Martyrs of the Secular Clergy, Pray for us.
Blessed Philip Powell, Pray for us.
Blessed Humphrey Middlemore, Pray for us.
Blessed John Forest, Pray for us.
Blessed Roger Filcock, Pray for us.
Blessed Ralph Corby, Pray for us.
Blessed Thomas Bullaker, Pray for us.
Blessed Henry Heath, Pray for us.
Blessed Arthur Bell, Pray for us.
All ye blessed Martyrs of the Religious Orders, Pray for us.
Blessed Adrian Fortescue, Pray for us.
Blessed John Felton, Pray for us.
Blessed John Storey, Pray for us.
Blessed William Carter, Pray for us.
Blessed Henry Webley, Pray for us.
Blessed Richard Flower, Pray for us.
Blessed John Roche, Pray for us.
Blessed Nicholas Horner, Pray for us.
Blessed Alexander Blake, Pray for us.
Blessed Brian Lacey, Pray for us.
Blessed James Duckett, Pray for us.
Blessed William Howard, Pray for us.
Blessed Margaret Pole, Pray for us.
All ye blessed Martyrs of the Laity, Pray for us.
All ye blessed Martyrs of Tyburn, Pray for us.
All ye blessed Saints and Martyrs of London, Pray for us.

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, convert England, Jesus, have mercy on this country.

Let us pray :

O God, who from the very birth of Thy Church in this land didst make us the Dowry of Mary and loyal subjects of the Prince of Thine Apostles ; grant by the merits and intercession of these our Saints and Martyrs that we may continue steadfast in the Catholic Faith, nor ever fail to cherish that most blessed Virgin as our Mother, and maintain our allegiance to the See of Peter.

O God, who didst raise up blessed Martyrs from every rank among us, to fight manfully for the true faith and the primacy of the Holy See ; grant us through their merits and prayers that our whole people may agree in the profession of the same faith, and ever enjoy that unity for which Thy Son prayed. Amen.

The Prayer for England :

O Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, and our most gentle Queen and Mother, look down in mercy upon England, thy Dowry, and upon us all who greatly hope and trust in thee. By thee it was that Jesus, our Saviour and our hope, was given unto the world ; and he has given thee to us that we might hope still more. Plead for us thy children, whom thou didst receive and accept at the foot of the cross, O sorrowful Mother! Intercede for our seperated brethren, that with us in the one true fold they may be united to the chief shepherd, the Vicar of thy Son. Pray for us all, dear Mother, that by faith fruitful in good works we may all deserve to see and praise God together with thee, in our heavenly home. Amen.


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RAIN, rain on Tyburn tree,
Red rain a-falling;
Dew, dew on Tyburn tree,
Red dew on Tyburn tree,
And the swart bird a-calling.
Thence it roots so fast and free,
Yet it is a gaunt tree,
Black as be
The swart birds alone that seek,
With red-bedabbled breast and beak,
Its lank black shadow falling.

___The shadow lies on England now
Of the deathly-fruited bough,
Cold and black with malison
Lies between the land and sun;
Putting out the sun, the bough
Shades England now!

___The troubled heavens do wan with care,
And burthened with the earth’s despair
Shiver a-cold ; the starved heaven
Has want with wanting man bereaven.
Blest fruit of the unblest bough!
Aid the land that smote you, now!
Which feels the sentence and the curse
Ye died if so ye might reverse.
When God was stolen from out man’s mouth,
Stolen was the bread; then hunger and drouth
Went to and fro ; began the wail,
Struck root the poor-house and the jail.
Ere cut the dykes, let through that flood,
Ye writ the protest with your blood ;
Against this night wherein our breath
Withers, the toiled heart perisheth,
Entered the caveat of your death.
Christ, in the form of His true Bride,
Again hung pierced and crucified,
And groaned, “I thirst!” Not still ye stood,—
Ye had your hearts, ye had your blood ;
And pouring out the eager cup,
“The wine is weak, yet, Lord Christ, sup !
“Ah, blest ! who bathed the parched Vine
With richer than His Cana-wine,
And heard, your most sharp supper past,
“Ye kept the best wine to the last !”

___Ah, happy who
That sequestered secret knew,
How sweeter than bee-haunted dells
The blosmy blood of martyrs smells!
Who did upon the scaffold’s bed,
The ceremonial steel between you, wed
With God’s grave proxy, high and reverend Death ;
Or felt about your neck, sweetly,
(While the dull horde
Saw but the unrelenting cord)
The Bridegroom’s arm, and that long kiss
That kissed away your breath, and claimed you His.
You did, with thrift of holy gain,
Unvenoming the sting of pain,
Hive its sharp heather-honey. Ye
Had sentience of the mystery
To make Abaddon’s hooked wings
Buoy you up to starry things ;
Pain of heart, and pain of sense,
Pain the scourge, ye taught to cleanse ;
Pain the loss became possessing ;
Pain the curse was pain the blessing.
Chains, rack, hunger, solitude these,
Which did your soul from earth release,
Left it free to rush upon
And merge in its compulsive sun.
Desolated, bruised, forsaken,
Nothing taking, all things taken,
Lacerated and tormented,
The stifled soul, in naught contented,
On all hands straitened, cribbed, denied,
Can but fetch breath o’ the Godward side.
Oh to me, give but to me
That flower of felicity,
Which on your topmost spirit ware
The difficult and snowy air
Of high refusal ! and the heat
Of central love which fed with, sweet
And holy fire i’ the frozen sod
Roots that had ta’en hold on God.

___Unwithering youth in you renewed
Those rosy waters of your blood,—
The true Fons Juventutis—ye
Pass with conquest that Red Sea,
And stretch out your victorious hand
Over the Fair and Holy Land;
Compasses about
With a ninefold-battled shout,
Trumpet, and wind and clang of wings,
And a thousand fiery things,
And Heaven’s triumphing spears: while far
Beneath go down the Egyptian war—
A loosed hillside—with brazen jar
Underneath your dreadful blood,
Into steep night. Celestial feud
Not long forbears the Tudor’s brood,
Rule, unsoldered from his line,
See unto the Scot decline ;
And the kin Scots’ weird shall be
Axe, exile and infamy ;
Till the German fill the room
Of him who gave the bloody doom.
Oh by the Church’s pondering art
Late set and named upon the chart
Of her divine astronomy,
Though your influence from on high
Long ye shed unnoted! Bright
New cluster in our Northern night!
Cleanse from its pain and undelight
An impotent and tarnished hymn,
Whose marish exhalations dim
Splendours they would transfuse! And thou
Kindle the words which blot thee now,
Over whose sacred corse unhearsed
Europe veiled her face, and cursed
The regal mantle grained in gore
Of Genius, Freedom, Faith and More!

___Ah, happy Fool of Christ ! unawed
By familiar sanctities,
You served your Lord at holy ease.
Dear Jester in the Courts of God !
In whose spirit, enchanting yet,
Wisdom and love, together met,
Laughed on each other for content !
That an inward merriment,
An inviolate soul of pleasure
To your motions taught a measure
All your days ; which tyrant king,
Nor bonds, nor any bitter thing
Could embitter or perturb ;
No daughter’s tears, nor more acerb,
A daughter’s frail declension from
Thy serene example, come
Between thee and thy much content.
Nor could the last sharp argument
Turn thee from thy sweetest folly ;
To the keen accolade and holy
Thou didst bend low a sprightly knee,
And jest Death out of gravity
As a too sad-visaged friend ;
So, jocund, passing to the end
Of thy laughing martyrdom,
And now from travel art gone home
Where, since gain of thee was given,
Surely there is more mirth in heaven !

___Thus, in Fisher and in thee,
Arose the purple dynasty,
The anointed Kings of Tyburn tree ;
High in act and word each one.
He that spake and to the sun
Pointed—”I shall shortly be
Above yon fellow.” He too, he
No less high of speech and brave,
Whose word was : “Though I shall have
Sharp dinner, yet I trust in Christ
To have a most sweet supper.” Priced
Much by men that utterance was
Of the doomed Leonidas,
Not more exalt than these, which note
Men who thought as Shakespeare wrote.

___But more lofty eloquence
Than is writ by poets’ pens
Lives in your great deaths : O these
Have more fire than poesies !
And more ardent than all ode
The pomps and raptures of your blood !
By that blood ye hold in fee
This earth of England ; Kings are ye,
And ye have armies Want, and Cold,
And heavy judgements manifold
Hung in the unhappy air, and Sins
That the sick gorge to heave begins,
Agonies, and Martyrdoms,
Love, Hope, Desire, and all that comes
From the unwatered soul of man
Gaping on God. These are the van
Of conquest, these obey you ; these,
And all the strengths of weaknesses,
That brazen walls disbed. Your hand,
Princes, put forth to the command,
And levy upon the guilty land
Your saving wars ; on it go down,
Black beneath God’s and heaven’s frown ;
Your prevalent approaches make
With unsustainable Grace, and take
Captive the land that captived you ;
To Christ enslave ye and subdue
Her so bragged freedom : for the crime
She wrought on you in antique time,
Parcel the land among you : reign,
Viceroys to your sweet Suzerain 1
Till she shall know
This lesson in her overthrow :
Hardest servitude has he
That’s gaoled in arrogant liberty ;
And freedom, spacious and unflawed,
Who is walled about with God.

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