Thursday, March 31, 2016

Pray for Christian Europe

Very Rev. James Henry Flanagan, S.O.L.T. (R.I.P. 1924 - 2016)

For years yours truly watched this saint, in his Boston Red Socks ball cap, walking to and from papal events at the Vatican.

I first met him in front of the Angelicum.  He was very informal and unassuming.  He often walked alone.  Always had a warm smile.      

He walked everywhere and took the bus.  I can still see him with his hands in his pockets, praying as he walked.  He was a loyal son of the Church.  

Fr. Flanagan had been a Notre Dame football star and a WWII Navy "Frog Man."  He was ordained priest by Cardinal Cushing in 1952.  In 1958 he set out to start his own religious order.  I first met SOLT religious members when I did mission work in Siberia in 2001.  They had a presence in Irkutsk, near the Mongolian border. 

The Church rejoices in her saints.  In your charity pray for the repose of the soul of this saintly American priest. 

Thank you, Fr. Flanagan.  You taught us so much.  May your memory be eternal! 

Moral Theology Book of Blessed Miguel Pro, S.J.

In the Tridentine model of the Jesuits, all their textbooks were in Latin (primary sources). 

Wallet of Blessed Miguel Pro, S.J.

And cigarette holder. 

Breviary Holder

I wish they still made nice genuine leather breviary holders such as this.  

The big zipper ones sold in Rome are not the same.

What an Extreme Unction and Viaticum Set Looks Like

These items belonged to Blessed Miguel Pro, S.J. 

Tropical Cassock of Blessed Miguel Pro, S.J.

Modified sleeveless cassock worn by Jesuits in Latin America. 

Breviary and Biretta of Blessed Miguel Pro, S.J.

And discipline instruments for mortification. 

Amice of Blessed Miguel Pro, S.J.

Vestments of Blessed Miguel Pro, S.J.

Seen at his museum in Mexico City. 

What a Traveling Mass Kit in a Suitcase Looks Like

This kit belonged to Blessed Miguel Pro, S.J. 


If you are miserable, then get out and garden!  Enjoy some sunshine and get dirty.

Dads, be in the habit of gardening with your kids -- this is a terrific activity for dads with kids.

Teach your kids to plant, till, maintain and enjoy the harvest.

One sign of the meltdown of our civilization is how homeowners and renters no longer take pride in their lawns and gardens.  The messy outside is an indication of a messy inside.     

Hosting EF Mass at Your Parish

Very nice to see these initiatives.

Introducing NO rite parishioners to the EF of the Roman rite. 

The Agnus Dei

Agnus Dei

Although its origin is shrouded in the mist of antiquity, the sacramental Agnus Dei is first mentioned in historical Church accounts as early as the sixth century, and referred to frequently by the early to middle ninth century. Thus, for over ten centuries the Agnus Dei has been a popular and treasured sacramental to Catholics, especially to those living in Europe where it was most easily obtained. Yet, regrettably, few Catholics living today have ever even heard of the Agnus Dei.

The name "Agnus Dei" was given to special discs of wax impressed with the figure of a lamb, the "Lamb of God" which were blessed by the reigning Pope in a ceremony so solemn that the Pope was said to consecrate the sacramentals. Popes traditionally consecrated Agnus Deis only during the first year of their pontificate and again every seven years.

In earlier times, on Holy Saturday, the Pope, with the assistance of the Archdeacon of Rome, prepared the wax from the previous year's paschal candles, adding both chrism and balsam to the wax. The Agnus Deis were subsequently consecrated on the Wednesday of Easter week and distributed on Saturday of the same week. In more recent times, the wax was prepared by monks and then consecrated by the Pope and distributed. When visiting Cardinals would visit the Holy Father, an Agnus Dei wax disc (or several of the discs) would be placed into his miter. The Cardinals then distributed the Agnus Deis as they saw fit.

In order to provide a comprehensive look into the meaning and importance of the Agnus Dei, we cite the Catholic Encyclopedia (1913 Edition) as it describes the "Symbolism and Use" of the Agnus Dei.

As in the paschal candle, the wax typifies the virgin flesh of Christ, the cross associated with the lamb suggests the idea of a victim offered in sacrifice, and as the blood of the paschal lamb of old protected each household from the destroying angel, so the purpose of these consecrated medallions is to protect those who wear or possess them from all malign influences. In the prayers of blessing, special mention is made of the perils from storm and pestilence, from fire and flood, and also of the dangers to which women are exposed in childbirth. Miraculous effects have been believed to follow the use of these objects of piety. Fires are said to have been extinguished, and floods stayed (Vol. 1, p. 220).

In a wonderful article by Charles Hugo Doyle, entitled "The Forgotten Sacramental," the author provides a summary of the special virtues of the Agnus Dei, as cited by Popes Urban V, Paul II, Julius III, Sixtus V and Benedict XIV, which include the following benefits:

They foster piety, banish tepidity, preserve from vice and dispose to virtue.

They cancel venial sins and purify from the stain left by grievous sin after it has been remitted in the Sacrament of Penance.

They banish evil spirits, deliver from temptation and preserve from eternal ruin.

They are a protection from a sudden and unprovided death.

They dispel fears occasioned by evil spirits.

They are a protection in combat, and have power to ensure victory.

They deliver from poison and from the snares of the wicked.

They are excellent preventatives against sickness and are also an efficacious remedy -- especially in cases of epilepsy.

They hinder the ravages of pestilence, of epidemics and infectious diseases.

They quiet the winds, dissipate hurricanes, calm whirlwinds, and keep away tempests.

They save from shipwreck and the danger of lightning and floods. An anecdote is recalled here of Pope St. Pius V, who had recourse to this expedient when the Tiber was in flood and seemed likely to submerge the city. We are told that when an Agnus Dei had been thrown into the river, the angry waters at once subsided.

Needless to say, due to the limited quantity of the Agnus Deis which were available, those which could be obtained were cherished by the faithful and gratefully passed down from generation to generation.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Mother Angelica RIP (1923-2016): In Paradisum!

The woman responsible for saving Catholicism in America.

A 1940s nun who passed away today, Easter Sunday 2016.  

So many countless souls have been touched by EWTN.  

As a boy I watched Mother Angelica Live weekly when mom got cable TV in the late 1980s.  That and the weekly Papal General Audience every Wednesday.   

Mother's influence was profound on my own formation.     

In 1992 mom even drove us to see her at her convent in Alabama -- an unforgettable experience.

My proudest moment was seeing Mother blast the shameful leftist establishment in the Church during World Youth Day 1993.  That day she spoke for all of us sick and tired of the madness within the Church.   

Dearest Mother, in 1944 you entered the convent.  You came from divorce and brokenness.  Thank you for having followed the Lord and for having remained faithful until the end.

May your memory be eternal! 

Easter Sunday in Chicago (AD 1941)

Rome Quotes

"It was EWTN that truly opened my eyes to the wealth and depth that Catholicism had to offer. Without it I likely would be an indifferent and ignorant Catholic today. I have long moved on from watching EWTN but I am forever grateful for the way it touched my life. Thank you Mother Angelica. May you rest in peace. I would like to think that by your dying on Easter Sunday we have been given an idea about your eternal reward."

-Carlos Palad

Mother Angelica Dies at 92

Victimae Paschali Laudes: Happy Easter!

Victimae Paschali (Easter Sunday, Sequence)

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Famous Capilla del Rosario in Puebla's Dominican Church of Santo Domingo

Local tour guides call it the "eighth wonder of the world." 

It is the closest thing to heaven.  A fascinating liturgical space.   

Rome Quotes (Gratiam tibi refero, optime atque Magne Gregori!)

"Latin is a precise, essential language. It will be abandoned, not because it is unsuitable for the new requirements of progress, but because the new men will not be suitable for it. When the age of demagogues and charlatans begins, a language like Latin will no longer be useful, and any oaf will be able to give a speech in public and talk in such a way that he will not be kicked off the stage. The secret to this will consist in the fact that, by making use of words that are general, elusive, and sound good, he will be able to speak for an hour without saying anything. With Latin, this is impossible."

-Giovanni Guareschi

American Gospel Hymn

Rome Quotes

On Sicut Cervus...

"My favourite motet. The Latin archdioceses should favour this music at worship, as intended by the composer, instead of it being relegated to concerts in Episcopalian churches."

-Fr. Athanasius 

Reproaches Sung During Good Friday Adoration of the Cross

Mexican Vestments of Blessed Miguel Pro, S.J.

Made by the good sisters.  With each stitch the nuns would make a spiritual aspiration from the Raccolta book of indulgences.   

Positio of Beatification of Blessed Miguel Pro, S.J.

He was beatified a martyr, as was explained by Pope St. John Paul II during the homily of the Mass of Beatification.   

Mexican Passport of Blessed Miguel Pro, S.J.

New Museo Padre Pro Museum in Mexico City

An excellent and very well laid out museum.  Well worth your visit.  Open in the morning and tours are offered in Spanish.  Ideally, all pilgrims to the city should stop here and know of this modern saint, Blessed Miguel Pro, S.J. 

Miguel Pro Reliquary in Mexico City

These statues are available to pastors for purchase through the attached parish office at Holy Family (Sagrada Familia) in Mexico City. 

Torre Latinoamericana: LatinAmericanae Turris Conditor

Built in 1956, this old skyscraper looms over Mexico City.  

It is a real treat to visit the top and enjoy a drink while gazing out upon the city. 

Center of Mexico City: the Metropolitan Cathedral and Zocalo Square

Beautiful to pray here.  At night I lit up a Pueblan cigar and walked the central square, chatting with Evangelical Protestant missionaries who are destroying Christian unity in this beautiful Catholic country. 

Monday, March 21, 2016

A Worthy Cause for Divine Worship: Libenter!

Pontifical Mass is the highest form of liturgical expression on the local level.

A complete set of Pontifical vestments is extremely rare.   

Please support this worthy cause for a new set in red.  

These heritage vestments last for generations and can be used for a variety of liturgical celebrations for many years into the future.

Tomb of the Servant of God Queen Isabella the Catholic (Isabel la Católica)

One of the greatest monarchs in history.

She is buried in the Cathedral of Granada in the Royal Chapel.

Also, is a picture of her actual crown and scepter.

Thanks, Fr. Pablo!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Holy Mass at FSSP Church in Mexico City

Located just a half hour walk from the Metropolitan Cathedral at a very busy intersection.  A great location and a lovely church. 

Because the elevation is 7,000 feet above sea level, it is sometimes a struggle to catch your breath as your pray out loud the prayers at the foot of the altar, especially during the Confiteor - breathing at high altitudes is a bit of an adjustment!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Evils of Hormonal Birth Control

Life is a gift. 

"Exoptatissima in hunc mundum hodie pervenit Caecilia Thérèse Arrington, festo Divi Joseph Sponsi BVM rite celebrato."  -Jonathan

Canons Chapel in Mexico City

With Peruvian altarpiece. 

Metropolitan Cathedral of Mexico City

The largest cathedral in the Americas.  

A processional church - it has not one, but three high altars. 

Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine in Mexico City

You can see the green-colored roof of the new Basilica at the foot of the mountains, on the edge of the city.  

This is where Our Lady chose to appear, as an Indian, to an Indian.  

Empress of the Americas.

Mexican Baroque Incorporates Spanish and Aztec Elements of Ornamentation

True liturgical "inculturation."

The Churrigueresque Baroque style from Spain seen on the facade of the Basilica of Mexico City.

Elaborate sculptural ornament marked by florid decorative detailing, especially around the facade and main entrance. 

Beautiful Porfiriato Architecture of Mexico City

One of the things that I have always appreciated most about Mexico City is that it is a European capital.  In other words, it is distinctly European in its design. 

As you spend time in Mexico City you will come to appreciate President Porfirio Díaz, seven terms President of Mexico for thirty-five years from 1876 - 1911.  He did so much to beautify the city as a capital worthy of the name.

Then came the anti-Catholic Mexican Revolution and he was ousted and died in exile in Paris.

Today Mexico City is mostly a jumble of very ugly populist modernist architecture.  I would counsel a return to the classic footprint.       

Chapel of Oaths at Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine in Mexico City

A beautiful thing.  Sobriety.  

Making an oath to be sober before Our Lady and a priest. 

Sacrosancta Romana Lateranensis Ecclesia in Mexico City

Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City.  

Front and side entrances. 

Blessed Pedro de Gante in Mexico City

A Flemish missioner from Belgium to the New World and one of the first priests in the New World.

A fine patron for those engaged in mission work (all of us)!

Mexico City Pilgrims

Mexico City's Dominican Centre: Santo Domingo

Angel Statue in Mexico City

Avenue Isabel the Catholic in Mexico City

A great heroine and a fine name for your newborn daughters!

Dominicans of Mexico City

Spanish Biretta

Blessed Miguel Pro, S.J. 

Beautiful Tiles in Mexico City

Talavera pottery coming from Puebla makes for a fine souvenir.