Rorate Caeli

The Morning of the Resurrection
(St. Peter Chrysologus)

Fr. Esteban Salas y Castro
Deo gratias, alleluia, alleluia (1769)

For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven. Through the Resurrection of Christ and the defeat of death, men once more entered into relationship with Heaven. Moreover, woman, who had entered into a deadly plan with the Devil, now enjoyed a life-giving conversation with the Angel.

For an angel came down from heaven, and rolled back the stone. Scripture did not say rolled, but rolled back the stone. When rolled forward it was proof of His Death. When rolled back, it was proof of His Resurrection. Blessed is the stone which could both conceal Christ and reveal Him! Blessed is the stone which opens hearts no less than the sepulcher! Blessed is the stone which produces faith in the Resurrection, and a resurrection of faith; which is a proof that God’s Body is risen!

Here, the order of things is changed. Here, the sepulcher swallows death, not a dead man. The abode of death becomes a life-giving dwelling. A new kind of womb conceives One Who is dead and brings Him forth alive!

[From De Vita Contemplativa, Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate, Italy. Translation: Contributor Francesca Romana]


Osanna, Sanctus Deus Sabaoth,

superillustrans claritate tua
felices ignes horum malacoth!

L'anima d'ogne bruto e delle piante
di complession potenziata tira
lo raggio e il moto delle luci sante;

ma vostra vita sanza mezzo spira
la Somma Beninanza, e la innamora
di sé sì che poi sempre la disira.

E quinci puoi argomentare ancora
vostra resurrezion, se tu ripensi
come l'umana carne fessi allora

che li primi parenti intrambo fensi.

Commedia, Paradiso (c. VII)
Hosanna holy God of Sabaoth,/ abundantly illumining with thy brightness/ the blessed fires of these kingdoms ... 
The soul of every brute and of each plant,/ The ray and motion of the sacred lights,/ Draw from complexion with meet power endued.
But this our life the Supreme Good inspires/ Immediate, and enamours of itself;/ So that our wishes rest forever here. 
And hence thou mayst by inference conclude/ Our resurrection certain, if thy mind/ Consider how the human flesh was framed,/ When both our parents at the first were made. 
(Transl. H.F.Cary, adap.) - ...Our regular Paschal feature...

Pope - Five Homilies (St. Joseph's, Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Easter Vigil)

Let us pray for the Lord Pope Francis,
the first of that name
1. March 19, St. Joseph's:

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I thank the Lord that I can celebrate this Holy Mass for the inauguration of my Petrine ministry on the solemnity of Saint Joseph, the spouse of the Virgin Mary and the patron of the universal Church. It is a significant coincidence, and it is also the name-day of my venerable predecessor: we are close to him with our prayers, full of affection and gratitude.

Chrism Mass - Archdiocese of Vaduz

As mentioned by us last Saturday, the Chrism Mass was celebrated according to the 1961-1962 liturgical books of the Roman Rite in the Archdiocese of Vaduz (Liechtenstein). Pictures below, provided by the (CyR) Ceremonia y Rúbrica de la Iglesia Española forum (tip: New Liturgical Movement).

Naturally, another bishop also celebrated the Chrism Mass in the same way, as every year, Bp. Fernando Rifan, Apostolic Administrator of the A.A. Saint John Mary Vianney, in Campos, Brazil.

LIVE event: In 40 minutes, extraordinary ostension of the Holy Shroud

In 40 minutes, at 1710 (5:10 PM) CET (GMT +1), there will be an extraordinary ostension of the Holy Shroud of Turin, in a live television event. The ostension will be broadcast by Italian state main network RAI 1 (here), and, if the event is not made available online outside Italy, also at French Catholic network KTO (here).

Please, post other links in comments.

[Update: apologies, this was one of the most bizarre pseudo-paraliturgical experiments ever seen by us, and the Shroud itself was barely visible... The Annibale Bugnini touch really ruined everything.]

Silence on Holy Saturday
Amidst the solemnity, in praise of Low Mass

Sacrifice. Silence. Humility. Like the simple seven words on Golgotha. The essence, before our very eyes: the epitome of unplanned and truly organic development - Roman order and terseness displayed forever and everywhere.  

Strengthened with all might,
according to the power of his glory,
in all patience and longsuffering with joy,
giving thanks to God the Father,
who hath made us worthy to be partakers of the lot of the saints in light:
who hath delivered us from the power of darkness,
and hath translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love,
in whom we have redemption through his blood, the remission of sins;
who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
for in him were all things created in heaven and on earth,
visible and invisible,
whether thrones, or dominations, or principalities, or powers:
all things were created by him and in him.
And he is before all, and by him all things consist.
And he is the head of the body, the Church,
who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead;
that in all things he may hold the primacy:
because in him, it hath well pleased the Father,
that all fullness should dwell.
And through him to reconcile all things unto himself,
making peace through the blood of his cross,
both as to the things that are on earth,
and the things that are in heaven.
Colossians I


The Crucifixion of Our Lord Jesus Christ

The Passion meditated at the feet of the Blessed Sacrament

Fr. A.-Joseph Chauvin S.S.S.

Alejo de Vahía
Cristo Crucificado (c. 1500)
Church of Saint Francis, Palencia

They crucified Him…Jesus has reached Calvary. The cross is driven into the ground, the hammers, the nails are prepared; the ladders are straightened, the ropes stretched… The executioners are at the point of beginning the death sentence… The soldiers brutally seize Jesus, loosen the chains, tear off His garments and leave almost naked Him, “Who clothed the sky with stars and the earth with flowers.” They tie the Saviour to the ropes which are thrown over the two arms of the Cross and raise Him up. They then stretch the arms and tie them to the horizontal crossbar, then each of them taking a nail and a hammer, the barbarians nail His hands and feet to the wood of the Cross. The meek Lamb offers Himself to the executioners of this unjust sentence, without putting up any resistance!

They want to tie His arms – He gives them; they want to pierce His hands, He opens them; they want to nail His feet, He presents them; they want to replace the crown of thorns upon Him , He offers His Head, already wounded so much… From the heights of the cross He is ready to bear everything for our well-being.

He has placed Himself in the hands of the evil ones, that they may do what they want… And not one complaint, nor a cry of indignation! If the mark of the Divinity is found in the Gospel, here it shines with greater splendor!

The prophecy announced for more than a thousand years has today been fulfilled: “They have pierced my hands and my feet and they have numbered all my bones.” Jesus had often announced this cruel death: some days before He had said to the Apostles very clearly that He was about to be placed in the hands of the Gentiles in order to be mocked, scourged and crucified.

It cannot be mistaken therefore: it is not an ordinary man that mounts the gibbet of the Cross; no; it is God, because only God can predict in the most minute details, the type and circumstances of His own Death.

The hour of the Sacrifice marked by the Father has arrived. The executioners have no need to use violence: the Victim presents His hands and feet spontaneously, that they may be nailed to the Cross. His face, though tormented by thorns, now allows a ray of almost infinite joy to shine through, which floods His Soul… With what satisfaction Jesus sees the earth drink the Blood which must purify and redeem it.

Who would not feel his heart full of gratitude in the face of so much love!

For me, for my well-being, the Son of God is suspended, in the midst of atrocious sufferings, to the gibbet of the Cross. To expiate the bad use that I have made of my hands and my feet, His hands and feet are nailed to the wood of ignominy. To expiate all the sins of touch, all the confusion of my actions, all my guilty steps, He allowed His hands and feet to be pierced… To spare my members from the eternal fire of Hell, He submitted His to intolerable sufferings… Love obliges Him to keep His arms open in order to embrace me, Love obliges Him to keep His feet nailed to await me.

Who will give me the power to read on this Divine Book - on the crucified Body of Jesus - in which as many letters as wounds which teach and command love are read?

“They crucified Him…” Those who asked Pilate to have Jesus crucified wanted to inflict upon Him a cruel death and at the same time an ignominious one. Crucifixion was the most painful torture invented by human barbarism. In fact those condemned to death had their hands and feet pierced, parts which, composed of nerves and veins, are extremely sensitive to pain. The weight of the hanging body, caused the pain to be continuous and increase until death; the loss of blood brought fire into the veins and caused an ardent thirst; the tortures that finished with the life of the victim, all made this death fearsome… We add, with the Angelic Doctor, Saint Thomas Aquinas, that the Body of Christ, being perfect and in full vigour, was much more sensitive to pain.

Crucifixion was also the most infamous torture which could be inflicted on criminals and it was habitually reserved for abject delinquents and especially for slaves. What a humiliation! To increase the opprobrium, Jesus is crucified along with two well-known brigands. He was placed in the middle: “In similar circumstances – writes the Seraphic Doctor St. Bonaventure – was not the place of honour the height of humiliation?”

And on the infamous gibbet He is exposed, almost naked, to the eyes of the multitude who jeer at Him and consider Him to be cursed!

Who are the executioners who have dared to inflict such cruelty on Jesus? The people He had loved and lavished with benefits during their lives. They crucified those hands which were raised to comfort and bless; those hands which, so recently, the day before, had left them the most Sacred pledge of His Love: the Holy Eucharist.

Ungrateful ones!

But why should I be so indignant against the cruelty of the people? Are not all sinners the executioners of Jesus? The Gospel mentions no name of the executioners who crucified Him, to make us understand that we, sinners more than the soldiers, who were simple instruments, have crucified the Saviour of the world…

Thus, Jesus has seen each one of us distinctly, strike the nails which pierced His hands and feet with the deicide hammer.

[Text selected, translated and adapted by Contributor Francesca Romana.]

Associated Press on supposed traditionalist concerns

The Official End of the Reform of the Reform - by example

During the evening Mass at Rome's Casal del Marmo prison for minors, Pope Francis washed the feet of 12 young people of different nationalities and faiths, including at least two Muslims and two women, who are housed at the juvenile detention facility.

1st: We are not invested in what goes on in a Novus Ordo setting. So, really, we are not disappointed by it -- though we are still surprised when it moves farther and farther away from traditional practices. We are just reporting it, as we did before any other venue in English.

2nd: Of course the optional mandatum is something that, while widely symbolic of the link between Christ and His Apostles, is ruled by pure Ecclesiastical Law, not Divine Law, and, regarding it, the Supreme Legislator can do (almost) as he pleases, even remove its presence from a liturgical environment. As long as there are specific standing rules about it (viri, men), however, even the Supreme Authority is bound to humbly obey them, unless he formally changes them beforehand. It really is not that hard to understand this basic matter of legal logic, is it?

3rd: Dear adversaries of this blog (yes, they do exist, and seem to be some of our most faithful readers!), please do not shoot the messenger.

His counsel was that this deed must be reported to thee, and not hidden. And this seemed best; and the lot doomed my hapless self to win this prize. So here I stand -- as unwelcome as unwilling, well I wot; for no man delights in the bearer of bad news. (Antigone)

For the record: "A girl among the 12 inmates whose feet will be washed by the Pope"

Duccio di Buoninsegna
The Washing of the Feet

From La Repubblica:

Pope Francis, who often prefers to call himself "bishop of Rome" for the little ones, those who suffer, and the poor, will celebrate today the rite of the washing of the feet in the juvenile penitentiary of Casal del Marmo. Among the twelve young inmates whose feet he will wash will also be a girl, perhaps two. "In Buenos Aires, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio also admitted girls to the rite. And we proposed today a female presence. In the Vatican, after some resistance, they accepted it," said Father Gaetano Greco, the chaplain of the facility, where the Pontiff will arrive this afternoon.

UPDATE: The ceremony included 10 young men and 2 young women, as confirmed by the Vatican Radio broadcast, reported by several news agencies. (See here.)

Philippians, chapter 2: There is so much going on!

Yet, at times such as Holy Week, in particular this Holy Week, there is not much to be written that would be useful and good, and an occasion of spiritual growth, and not deleterious - for our readers, and also for our own souls. The words of the Apostle to the Philippians, also repeated on Palm Sunday, keep coming back: semetipsum exinanivit, "He emptied himself", "he made himself nothing". He was born for this, he took our mortal form to be obedient, "obedient unto death", "mortem autem crucis"...

Luis Salvador Carmona
Jesús recogiendo sus vestiduras (Jesús flagelado)
Church of the Holy Spirit (Clerecía), Salamanca

How beautiful to say that He emptied himself, for the empty is opposed to the full! For the divine nature is sufficiently full, because every perfection of goodness is there. But human nature and the soul are not full, but capable of fulness, because it was made as a slate not written upon. Therefore, human nature is empty. Hence he says, He emptied himself, because He assumed a human nature. (St. Thomas Aquinas, Commentary on Philippians

"If the Word emptied himself taking the form of a servant," it was that He might make His brothers according to the flesh partakers of the divine nature, through sanctifying grace in this earthly exile, in heaven through the joys of eternal bliss. For the reason why the only-begotten Son of the Eternal Father willed to be a son of man was that we might be made conformed to the image of the Son of God and be renewed according to the image of Him who created us. (Pius XII, Mystici Corporis Christi)

There is so much that is disturbing going on, including in ecclesiastical environments, but we must not get distracted. With the graces made available by the Lord through His Church, especially the Sacraments, it is each one of us - and not anyone else - who must "work out" our "own salvation", with "fear and trembling", without "grumbling and hesitation", "in the midst of" this "crooked and perverse generation": "he that shall persevere to the end shall be saved” (Mt. xxiv, 13).

Priests: You're Needed to Help the Poor Souls!

We all know, from the theologians and the Church, that nothing relieves the pain or the time in Purgatory of the Church Suffering, as much as the Mass being said for the Souls. We also know that the crisis in the Church isn't going to get better any time soon -- and that most Catholics do not pray for the Souls. So we must increase the Masses said for them.

That being said, we currently have 17 priests saying Traditional Latin Masses for the Souls enrolled in the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society, which has tens of thousands of Souls enrolled. But we need more priests!

Fathers, if you can afford to say a weekly, monthly or even quarterly TLM for the enrolled Souls, please email me at Nothing is required of you -- I just need to know you'd like help. And your name will be keep completely anonymous; even the other Rorate contributors do not know the names of the priests offering the Masses.

We all know, or should know, how busy priests are these days. However, we all face the possibility of suffering horrendously in Purgatory one day -- so let us do everything possible now to help the Church Suffering, who will one day be in a position to intercede for us. 

Below, please find the sixty-eighth posting of enrolled Souls of the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society. 

How to enroll souls: please email me at and submit as follows: "Name, State, Country." If you want to enroll entire families, simply write in the email: "The Jones family, Ohio, USA". Individual names are preferred. Be greedy -- send in as many as you wish and forward this posting to friends as well.

Holy Week: Jesus betrayed and sold

Jesus betrayed and sold
(from Saint Bonaventure's Lignum Vitae)

Antonio Castillo Lastrucci
El beso de Judas
Hermandad del Prendimiento, Málaga

For anyone who wishes to meditate upon the Passion of Jesus, the first thing that comes under his gaze is the perfidy of the traitor. He was so full of poisonous deceit as to betray his Master and Lord; so inflamed with the fires of concupiscence that he exchanged the greatness of God for silver and the most precious Blood of Christ for coins; he was so full of ingratitude that he persecuted unto death the One who had made him the domestic administrator (that is, the treasurer) and raised him to the exalted heights of an Apostle; he was so cruel that not even the familiarity of the supper, nor the humility of the washing (of feet), nor the sweetness of colloquy dissuaded him from his perfidious machinations!

O what excessive love of the Lord towards His hardened disciple and of the pious Master towards his most wicked servant! Clearly, it would have been better “if he had not been born!” (Mt. 26:24).

But even if the impiety of the traitor is not fully laid bare, we are infinitely more struck by the exceeding meekness of the Lamb of God. A meekness that has been given as a model to mortals. The weak human heart, betrayed by a friendship, could never be capable of saying. “For if my enemy had reviled me, I would verily have borne with it,” (Ps 54:13). 

Yet here we have a man of unique confidences, one who seemed to be of one heart with the Lord, His counselor and intimate friend, one who had partaken of Christ’s bread, one, who, at the holy supper, ate sweet delights with Him – this man planned a strike of iniquity against Him. And nonetheless…the meekest Lamb, did not hesitate to give Himself prey to his wicked lips, which in the hour of betrayal, would kiss Him. And He expressed this to Judas so as to deny him nothing, so as to give him every possibility to soften the pertinacity of his evil heart.

[From De Vita Contemplativa, The Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate,Italy. Translated and adapted by Contributor Francesca Romana]

Holy Week: Christus pro nobis mortuus est

Juan de Mesa y Velasco
Santísimo Cristo de la Buena Muerte (detail)
University Chapel, Seville

The Evangelists describe the most disturbing event in the history of the world in two or three words” and they crucified him” (St. Mark and St. Matthew). “there they crucified him” (St. Luke), “to crucify him” (St. John). The readers of the Gospel knew well what these words would mean. The torture of the cross, in fact, was considered to be so terrible as to be kept at a distance, according to Cicero, “not only from the eyes, but also from the ears of a Roman citizen.”

But that which characterized the Crucifixion of Our Lord was not only the intensity of the physical sufferings but also the passion – most sorrowful – of the soul. On several occasions the Gospels insist on the progressive abandonment of Jesus in the Passion: the abandonment of the crowd: “You will leave me alone” (John 16:32); then of the disciples: “Then all the disciples forsook him and fled” (Matthew 26:56; Mark 14:50); and finally of the Father Himself: “My God my God, why have you abandoned me?” (Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34).


In the letter to the Romans, St. Paul marked the occurrence of the Passion by two elements: a fact: “He suffered,” “died”; and the cause of the fact: “for us,” “for our sins.” He was put to death, says the Apostle, “for our sins” (Romans 4:25).
By means of that “for us” the Passion of Christ – which would not otherwise have been connected to us –enters into our life. And in order to understand well the terrible sufferings of the Saviour of the world, it is necessary to recognize that they are also our work. In other words, each of us can say in all truthfulness: “I am Judas who betrays, Peter who denies, the crowd that cries out: Barabbas not him!” The Saints have understood this truth well. Gemma Galgani – the angelic stigmatized Saint of Lucca – for example, turned to the Crucified One and said with sorrow: “I am a thousand times worse than the Jews, because I crucify You and I know who You are.”

But if Christ died “because of me and for my sins” means - turning the phrase simply to the active form - that I have killed Jesus of Nazareth, that my sins have crushed Him. It is precisely that which Peter proclaims to the three thousand listeners, on the day of Pentecost: “You have killed Jesus of Nazareth!” “You have denied the Holy and Righteous One!” (cf Acts 2:23; 3:14).

In truth, those three thousand people were not all present on Calvary to hammer in the nails, nor were they in front of Pilate to ask that He be crucified. Therefore, they would have been well able to reply to the affirmation of St. Peter and instead they accept the accusation and promptly say to the Apostles: “What are we to do, brothers?” (Acts 2:37). The Holy Ghost had enlightened them, making them understand, if the Messiah died for sins and we have sinned, then we have killed the Messiah.

It is written that from the moment of Christ’s Death “the veil of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom; and the earth shook, and the rocks were split; the tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised” (Matthew 27:51). These signs – apart from having a symbolical eschatological meaning – indicate that which must happen in the hearts of those who contemplate the Passion. St. Leo the Great writes: “May human nature tremble in the face of the tortures of the Redeemer, may the rocks of the unfaithful hearts break and may those who were enclosed in the tombs of their mortality come out, raising the stone which weighed down upon them.” It is the heart, therefore, which must break in contemplating the tortures of the Redeemer. It is written, in fact, that on that day: “the multitudes who assembled to see the sight, when they saw what had taken place, returned home, beating their breasts.” (Luke 23:48).


But if one understands what the Passion really was from motives of fear and sadness, there arises a reason for exultation and certainty. It is true that Christ suffered propter nos, because of us, it is likewise true that He suffered pro nobis, in our favour. The cross then becomes a motive for boasting and of glory. It is no longer “foolishness and scandal” but, on the contrary, “the power of God and the wisdom of God,” to such a point that St. Paul, once an enemy of the Lord, can exclaim with joy: “Far be it from to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ!” (Galatians 6:14).


But the contemplation of the Divine Crucified One cannot remain only on these objective considerations. In Him, in the Man of Golgotha, shines the figure of the “fairest of the sons of men” (Psalm 45:3). In his commentary on the First Letter of St. John, St. Augustine writes: “Two flutes are played in a different way, but it is one and the same Spirit, which blows within them. The first says: “He is the fairest of the sons of men” (Psalm 45:3); and the second, with Isaiah says: “He had no form or comeliness that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him” (Isaiah 53:2). The two flutes are played by the same spirit; they, therefore do not cause disharmony [… ]He had neither beauty nor decorum to give you beauty and decorum. What beauty? What decorum? The love of charity, so that you run loving and love running […] Look at Him from Whom you have been made beautiful.”

For St. Augustine, therefore, it is the love with which Christ has loved us that transforms and transfigures Him: “A man of sorrows and as one from whom men hide their faces” (Isaiah 53:3), into the “fairest of the sons of men” (Psalm 45:2).

Such beauty is reflected upon us in the measure that we participate in His crucified Love.

Luis Ortega Bru
Santísimo Cristo de la Misericordia
Hermandad del Baratillo, Seville

[From De vita Contemplativa, Franciscans Sister of the Immaculate, Italy. Translation: Contributor Francesca Romana.]

EVENT: Ephesus versus Vatican II

The families of Coetus Fidelium of Charlotte, joining together with Rev. Timothy Reid, Pastor of Saint Ann Catholic Church are pleased to welcome an Evening of Reflection offered by Very Rev. Fr. John Berg, Superior-General Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP).

Father Berg will give a reflection on the topic “Ephesus, Vatican II, and the Year of Faith.”  This talk will compare different aspects of two ecumenical councils [Council of Ephesus and the Second Vatican Council] in light of the Year of Faith.  Fr. Berg will also discuss various issues related to the Mass and Traditions of the Church, and will accept questions following the reflection.
For more information, see here.

Palm Sunday: Jesus Teaches Humility

And when Jesus was in Bethania, in the house of Simon the leper, There came to him a woman having an alabaster box of precious ointment, and poured it on his head as he was at table. And the disciples seeing it, had indignation, saying: To what purpose is this waste? For this might have been sold for much, and given to the poor. And Jesus knowing it, said to them: Why do you trouble this woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me. For the poor you have always with you: but me you have not always. For she in pouring this ointment upon my body, hath done it for my burial. Amen I say to you, wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, that also which she hath done, shall be told for a memory of her.

Relevant: Archdiocese of Vaduz to celebrate Chrism Mass in the more ancient way

From the French-language website of the Confraternity of Saint Peter, the association of praying faithful attached to the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter:

Interesting and relevant news for the faithful attached to the Extraordinary Form: in a few days [Holy Thursday], Abp. Haas, Archbishop of Vaduz [Liechtenstein], will celebrate the Chrism Mass in the presence of his clergy in this same Extraordinary Form. [Editorial signed by Fr. Bizard]

It is a first for a Diocesan Ordinary since the Paul VI liturgical creations (except in the case of the Diocese of Campos, Brazil, during the tenure of Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer, and considering the special case of the Apostolic Administration of St. John Mary Vianney, in the same city, after its establishment by John Paul II).

Speaking of two Popes...
It seems John Paul II and Cardinal Ratzinger were right...

Pictures of the victims of the
Oct. 31, 2010, bombing of the
Our Lady of Salvation Syriac Catholic Cathedral
Baghdad (Dec. 24, 2010)
10 years ago.

And, in the ongoing collapse of the balance of the Middle East that has been unresolved since then, the weakest link - that is, the Christian minorities - have suffered and will continue to suffer the most.

[I] wish to renew an urgent appeal to intensify the commitment to prayer and penance, to invoke from Christ the gift of his peace. There is no peace without conversion of heart.

The next few days will be decisive for the outcome of the Iraqi crisis. Let us pray, then, that the Lord inspire in all sides of the dispute courage and farsightedness.

... [I]n the face of the tremendous consequences that an international military operation would have for the population of Iraq and for the balance of the Middle East region, already sorely tried, and for the extremisms that could stem from it, I say to all: There is still time to negotiate; there is still room for peace, it is never too late to come to an understanding and to continue discussions.

To reflect on one's duties, to engage in energetic negotiations does not mean to be humiliated, but to work with responsibility for peace.

Moreover, we Christians are convinced that real and lasting peace is not only the fruit of necessary political agreements and understandings between individuals and peoples, but is the gift of God to all those who submit themselves to him and accept with humility and gratitude the light of his love.
John Paul II
March 16, 2003

Cardinal Ratzinger in September 2002:

The "concept of a 'preventive war' does not appear in the Catechism of the Catholic Church," Cardinal Ratzinger noted.

"One cannot simply say that the catechism does not legitimize the war," he continued. "But it is true that the catechism has developed a doctrine that, on one hand, does not exclude the fact that there are values and peoples that must be defended in some circumstances; on the other hand, it offers a very precise doctrine on the limits of these possibilities."

The two popes

The Pope and the Pope Emeritus pray in Castel Gandolfo

The fiat of Gethsemane

Nuestro Padre Jesús
del Prendimiento
Jerez de la Frontera,
“There is nothing greater in the universe than Jesus Christ; and in Jesus Christ there is nothing greater than His Sacrifice,” said Bossuet. Might we not perhaps add that there is nothing greater in the Sacrifice of Jesus than the moment He accepted it.

We have arrived at the conclusion of sublime resolution; the principal event; the culminating point in the history of the world; the victory which the just souls have already awaited for thousands of years; the triumph, the consequences of which are eternal: the fiat of Gethsemane!

Let us raise ourselves to such sublimity. And as if from higher ground, let us contemplate all the beauty of that acceptance: before putting on the purple of Calvary, the Sun of Infinite love has gathered together all His splendours.

See Him in the garden of Gethsemane: holy, innocent, immaculate, sublime. See Him embrace with one glance alone, the earth and all its sins, hell and all its pains, Heaven and all the rights of God.

Christian souls, contemplate Jesus the Pontiff of our religion. Contemplate Him the moment He offers His Sacrifice, in the Sancta Sanctorum of Gethsemane.

His Sacrifice is entire – absolute, perfect, irrevocable, without regret.

St Bernard has Our Blessed Lord asking Judas: “What do you want Judas? Do you want to sell me to the Jews? I want that too. Do you want to hand me over to them? I want that too. Do you want me to be crucified? I want that too. That I should die? I want that too. What you must do, do quickly.”

Our Lord is no more Master of Himself. He gave Himself for the salvation of man. The executioners torture His body and God disposes of His Soul as it pleases Him. An earthworm trampled underfoot, still makes some effort to escape…but Jesus, Who awaits the blow, does not want to diminish the strength of it, even by the least movement of His Head.

He is but the Victim of Heaven and earth; and what put Him in this state? His fiat of Gethsemane. And for how long? His Sacrifice is eternal.

[From De Vita Contemplativa, Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate, Italy. Translation: Contributor Francesca Romana.]

Pope: "no true peace without truth"

As you know, there are various reasons why I chose the name of Francis of Assisi, a familiar figure far beyond the borders of Italy and Europe, even among those who do not profess the Catholic faith. One of the first reasons was Francis’ love for the poor. How many poor people there still are in the world! And what great suffering they have to endure! After the example of Francis of Assisi, the Church in every corner of the globe has always tried to care for and look after those who suffer from want, and I think that in many of your countries you can attest to the generous activity of Christians who dedicate themselves to helping the sick, orphans, the homeless and all the marginalized, thus striving to make society more humane and more just.

But there is another form of poverty!

The incredible pope who disappeared

From the editorial coordinator of Catholic news agency Zenit, Antonio Gaspari:

"With John Paul II, we had a pope who became a saint; with Francis, we have a saint who was elected pope."

And between them, apparently, an 8-year-long interregnum. 

Reset to 1978 - and a final point

"Reading the Papal Tea Leaves" - an interesting article by George Neumayr, whose conclusion is, "Francis’s papacy may not so much move the Church into the future as back to the recent past, circa 1970."

It is a good article, except for one point. He writes, "Reports on his compliance with Benedict’s authorization of wider use of the Traditional Latin Mass are conflicting, but it is safe to say that he was less than thrilled by it."

There are no conflicting reports on this, Mr. Neumayr. There are people who used one mainstream media article published in 2007 to spread misinformation or disinformation about the fact, as we explained in details here. Summing it up: in 2007, when Summorum Pontificum was issued, the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires complied with... Ecclesia Dei; however, it was a once-a-month hybrid mass, with a chaplain handpicked by the then-Archbishop, a chaplain who, among other things, imposed the readings of the 1970 lectionary (the ABC book) and other alterations - a mass that was naturally rejected by the faithful, and finally discontinued. Other isolated priests who tried to implement Summorum on their own were told to stop. And the current situation, unheard-of in most of the largest dioceses of South America, is of a diocese with not a single Traditional Latin Mass celebrated by a diocesan priest. The closest diocesan TLM in the city of Buenos Aires is available if one crosses the line out of the city proper into a neighboring diocese.


Y los libres del mundo responden...

One only has to search "Bergoglio" or "Argentina" in our archives to know how much and how often we have covered the Church in Argentina. As early as 2006, our first full year, we were discussing how the Argentine Episcopate, led by then-Cardinal Bergoglio, got into a mighty struggle against the Holy See on the subject of the appointment of new bishops - the Holy See favoring more "conservative" candidates, the Episcopal Conference the more "liberal" ones. One can gather our opinion of then-Cardinal Bergoglio from that post, it is a stable and well-researched opinion, something altogether different than a spur of the moment. 

Those who first heard the name "Bergoglio" from the mouth of Cardinal Protodeacon Tauran have no idea what they are talking about: we stand by all our posts on the matter, including the dozens of posts on the Argentine Church, led by then-Cardinal Bergoglio. Even John Allen Jr. is finding out things about the then-Cardinal (like his apparent support for same-sex "civil unions" as an alternative to same-sex "marriage") by reading The New York Times in March 2013!... And, of course, as we mentioned above, when prompted to respond regarding our most disputed assertion - that the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires had never been friendly to the Traditional Mass under the then-Cardinal, that only imitations of it were ever made available by the Archdiocese, and that it became a Summorum-free zone under his watch -, we proved it mightily.

The Bergoglian pontificate, and the considerable changes it will bring, will not catch us by surprise - nor our more attentive readers: we are glad to oblige, and to have "read the tea leaves" avant la lettre, even while reminding all that "past performance does not necessarily indicate future results"... We are praying for His Holiness, always.

[This post is also a warning to critics that we do not regret anything, and that they will not push us into silence. But there are things that are much more important than this ideological battle some have been fighting  but in which we refuse to engage: our own souls, our loved ones, the upcoming Holy Week... All these things take precedence... As our older readers know, this blog has always been as much about devotional material and support for Traditional communities and events as about current affairs: now that the papal succession is over, we can finally return to a more devotional side - there are, after all, 2012 years of prior Church life to report! We really do not need to speak all the time: events will speak for themselves. More about this in a future editorial note.]

The favorite books and spiritual readings of the Pope

From today's edition of Argentine daily La Nación:

Dolores Aleixandre
In his time as Archbishop, Jorge Bergoglio had a selection of books in his nightstand that may give a clue about the Pope's predilections. Of course, they do not comprise all the readings of pope Francis, more varied and numerous. But they are the texts that he uses to recommend to those people who place themselves under his spiritual guidance:

The book that perhaps excites the new pontiff the most is The Lord, by the famous theologian and historian Romano Guardini.

Another favorite author is Spaniard Dolores Aleixandre. She is a sister of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and a theologian at the University of Comillas. Her titles most mentioned by Bergoglio are Baptized with fire [Bautizados con fuego] and Telling Jesus [Contar a Jesús].

Cardinal François-Xavier Nguyen van Thuan, who spent 13 years in the prisons of the Vietnamese regime and is, as himself, a fervorous devotee of Saint Therese of Lisieux, is one of his other favorites. Above all due to Testimony of Hope, the spiritual exercises preached before John Paul II.

Famous Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, a Jesuit as he, and deceased in the past year, appears [on the list] with the biblical commentary of Words to live by [Parole per vivere] and Effata, dedicated to social communication.

Another favorite [author] of Francis is Dutchman Henri Nouwen, chaplain of the L'Arche community and author of Return of the Prodigal Son.

Paths of Hope [Wege zur Freiheit], a book close to self-help, is another one recommended by Bergoglio. His author is Benedictine Anselm Grün, a monk who is an expert in finance and business administration.

Spanish priest José Luis Martín Descalzo, who died in 1991, comes up with his book Testament of the Lonely Bird [Testamento del pájaro solitario].

Finally, Ethel Mannin, the author of Late have I loved thee, an English Anarchist pacifist who had a well-known relationship with Bertrand Russell, one of the masters of Atheism.

TLM for Pope Francis

On Wednesday, 20 March 2013, Woodlawn Council 2161 Traditional Latin Mass Guild sponsored a Mass for the intentions of our new Holy Father, Pope Francis.  

Fr. Gregory Plow, TOR, Franciscan University of Steubenville, offered the Mass for Wednesday of Passion Week at the side altar of St. Titus Church, Aliquippa, Pennsylvania.

For photos, see here.

October 2013: Traditional Pilgrimage to Rome - Pontifical Mass in the Vatican Basilica

The Cœtus Internationalis Summorum Pontificum (CISP) gladly announces that it will end the Year of Faith just as it had begun it: with a pilgrimage Ad Petri Sedem (to the See of Peter).

Following the 2012 pilgrimage’s spiritual success, the people of Summorum Pontificum are once again meeting in Rome to bear witness to the traditional liturgy’s eternal youth at the Apostle’s Tomb. The CISP thus means to contribute to the harmony and building up of the universal Church, while remaining docile to the action of the Holy Ghost.

In order to respond to the encouragement to “seguir adelante” (keep forging ahead) on the part of Cardinal Cañizares Llovera, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, at the end of the November pilgrimage,
the CISP early in 2013 had asked St. Peter’s Basilica’s archpriest, Cardinal Angelo Comastri, for access to the Basilica. This March 14, Cardinal Comastri confirmed the Basilica’s availability on 26 October next at 11am for the solemn celebration, which will be the high point of the pilgrimage.

The Cœtus Internationalis Summorum Pontificum thanks Cardinal Comastri for his hospitality and invite all groups linked to the extraordinary form of the Roman rite already to start preparing themselves for this pilgrimage through prayer and to take an active part in organizing it.


The Cœtus Internationalis Summorum Pontificum, which was established last July, is the organizer of the People of Summorum Pontificum pilgrimage–diocesan priests and priests from ED communities, seminarians, religious, and the faithful attached to the traditional liturgy–in Rome.

This year the steering committee is made up of: Giuseppe Capoccia, managing director; Guillaume Ferluc, secretary-general; Father Claude Barthe, chaplain. Giuseppe Capoccia, Italian senior civil servant, succeeds as councilor to Riccardo Turrini who was named Judged at the Court of Appeals of the Vatican City State on December 31, 2012.

Contact : +39 366 70 46 023 / cisp[at]

Si autem mortui sumus cum Christo...

Antonio Castillo Lastrucci
Nuestro Padre Jesús en su Presentación al Pueblo

Parish Church of St. Benedict, Abbot, Seville
It was revealed to St. Gertrude that as many times as someone glances at the Crucified One with devotion, the same amount of times that person is looked upon by Jesus. St. Bonaventure of Bagnoregio wrote: “O amiable Passion that divinizes those who meditate upon You.” And speaking of the wounds of the Crucified One, they are called wounds which melt the hardest of hearts and inflame the coldest of souls with divine love: "...vulnera dura corda vulnerantia, et mentes congelatas inflammantia."

The Passion of Our Lord has always been the standard meditation and contemplation of the Saints. In fact, writes St. Alphonsus de Liguori, “From where have the Saints attained courage to bear their persecutions, torments and death itself, but in the sufferings of Jesus Crucified? Who, therefore, could not love Jesus, seeing Him die amidst so many sufferings and so much contempt, in order to obtain our love? […] If we meditate often upon the crucifixion of Jesus, we would be taught to fear sin and, we would be inflamed with love towards such a beloved God seeing in those wounds the malice of sin which has reduced Him to suffer such a bitter death. This to make satisfaction to Divine Justice and also that we might understand just how much the Savior loved us.”

St Augustine said that one tear alone shed when meditating upon the Passion of Jesus Christ, is worth more than a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and a year spent in fasting on bread and water.

The spectacle of the Cross has been the favored contemplation of the souls enamoured of Our Lord. Meditating with a loving glance upon the way of Calvary, St. Augustine comments: “Jesus set off towards the place where he would be crucified, carrying His Cross. What a spectacle! It is a great scandal in the eyes of the wicked, it is a terrible and humiliating spectacle, but he who knows how to look upon it with sentiments of devotion, discovers in it a great support for his faith. Those who assist at this spectacle with a wicked soul, can only laugh at the King Who, instead of a sceptre, carries the cross upon which He will be tortured; the pious, on the other hand, contemplate the King Who bears the cross upon which He will be nailed, but Who will then be placed before all kings. Upon it He will be despised by the wicked, while the hearts of the saints will glory in it.” St. Paul, in fact, says: “But far be it from me to glory except in the cross of Christ” (Gal 6:14). Christ exalted the cross by carrying it on His shoulders, and He bore it like a candelabrum - the light that must burn and which is not to be placed under a bushel ( Mt. 5:15). In the cross, therefore, one must glory: in fact, it is the instrument of our redemption and a pledge of the resurrection.

But there is one detail of the Passion of the Savior which it would be useful to highlight, since too often it is forgotten. Our Lord, on the cross, was not alone. St. Augustine, in the footsteps of St. Paul, teaches that Jesus Christ is both Head and Body. We – therefore – members of His Mystical Body – were with Him in each of the mysteries of His life; also – and above all, in the supreme mystery of the Redemption.

“No! – says St. Augustine – we are not to see in Jesus Christ (Who suffers upon the Cross) only the Head, that is, only the Mediator between God and man. We must consider Jesus Christ as the perfect man, Who in Himself re-unites the head and the body; because the whole Christ includes the head and the body. Therefore, on the cross, He Himself speaks in the name of His body, when He says: Deus meus, Deus meus, ut quid dereliquisti me? God the Father, in fact, had not abandoned Jesus Christ, nor had Jesus Christ abandoned God the Father. But man, since he had abandoned God, had in reality, been abandoned by God. Jesus Christ, having taken the flesh of Adam, speaks here, ex persona ipsius carnis, as if He were Adam, since ‘our old man’ was affixed to the cross with Him.”

Thus, Jesus was not alone on the Cross; we were in truth present with Him. So when our Head died, we also, as members inseparably united to Him, died together with Him. “The great Sacrifice of Jesus Christ – observes Bossuet – was the preparation for the Sacrifice of our death, and Jesus Christ is also the High Priest (just as He was on the Cross). Let us raise ourselves at this point above the natural way of seeing things: one of the great uses which Jesus will make of His sacrificial action will be to renew and to perpetuate, until the end of the world, His Sacrifice, and not only the mystery of the Divine Eucharist, but also in the death of all His true Faithful.”

From the inexhaustible contemplation of the Cross of Our Lord, of which we are participants, without merit, let us draw the true wisdom which sees in the Scandal of the Cross, the mystery of the greatest love. “With interior eyes look at the wounds of the Crucified One – exhorts St. Augustine – the scars of the Risen One. Think of the value of all these things and place it on the balance scales of love.

May He, Who , for your sake was nailed to the Cross, be in every way impressed upon your heart.

[Editorial - De vita Contemplativa – The Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate, Italy. Translation: Contributor Francesca Romana]

Eli, eli...

Dear friends,

I received today devastating news about the future health prospects of my mother MJ. Naturally, my work here will be sparse, and I probably will not post much more in the upcoming weeks other than the spiritual posts sent by our dear Contributor Francesca Romana.

Thank you all for your prayers for her. Please, keep her in your prayers, if possible.


P.S. Apologizing for the more personal nature of this post. And reminding you to keep reading as our other contributors will continue to post.

Another Argentine feature coming to Europe...

UPDATE: Cyprus's parliament overwhelmingly rejected this despicable idea.

The Corralito. It did not end well in Argentina and, as it is imposed by the Euro Group on Cyprus - provoking massive bank runs in the island of St. Barnabas -, it will not end well in the Eurozone.

In fact, it is even worse than the Corralito, it is simply the confiscation, the seizure of savings:

No, what’s happening in Cyprus — assuming that the Cypriot parliament is just as gutless as the new Cypriot president, Nicos Anastasiades, in capitulating to eurozone demands — is nothing but the seizure of private assets for the benefit of the euro project (and for the benefit of Angela Merkel in the coming elections, which here in Brussels means the same thing). [The Spectator]

Another chapter in the post-Christian economic dictatorship that is ruining Southern Europe. If only the lessons of Pius XI were remembered:

Free competition has destroyed itself; economic dictatorship has supplanted the free market; unbridled ambition for power has likewise succeeded greed for gain; all economic life has become tragically hard, inexorable, and cruel. To these are to be added the grave evils that have resulted from an intermingling and shameful confusion of the functions and duties of public authority with those of the economic sphere - such as, one of the worst, the virtual degradation of the majesty of the State, which although it ought to sit on high like a queen and supreme arbitress, free from all partiality and intent upon the one common good and justice, is become a slave, surrendered and delivered to the passions and greed of men. And as to international relations, two different streams have issued from the one fountain-head: On the one hand, economic nationalism or even economic imperialism; on the other, a no less deadly and accursed internationalism of finance or international imperialism whose country is where profit is.

...[A]s to avoid the reefs of individualism and collectivism. the twofold character, that is individual and social, both of capital or ownership and of work or labor must be given due and rightful weight. Relations of one to the other must be made to conform to the laws of strictest justice - commutative justice, as it is called - with the support, however, of Christian charity. Free competition, kept within definite and due limits, and still more economic dictatorship, must be effectively brought under public authority in these matters which pertain to the latter's function. The public institutions themselves, of peoples, moreover, ought to make all human society conform to the needs of the common good; that is, to the norm of social justice. If this is done, that most important division of social life, namely, economic activity, cannot fail likewise to return to right and sound order.

The laws passed to promote corporate business, while dividing and limiting the risk of business, have given occasion to the most sordid license. For We observe that consciences are little affected by this reduced obligation of accountability; that furthermore, by hiding under the shelter of a joint name, the worst of injustices and frauds are penetrated; and that, too, directors of business companies, forgetful of their trust, betray the rights of those whose savings they have undertaken to administer. Lastly, We must not omit to mention those crafty men who, wholly unconcerned about any honest usefulness of their work, do not scruple to stimulate the baser human desires and, when they are aroused, use them for their own profit.

Strict and watchful moral restraint enforced vigorously by governmental authority could have banished these enormous evils and even forestalled them; this restraint, however, has too often been sadly lacking. For since the seeds of a new form of economy were bursting forth just when the principles of rationalism had been implanted and rooted in many minds, there quickly developed a body of economic teaching far removed from the true moral law, and, as a result, completely free rein was given to human passions.
No genuine cure can be furnished for this lamentable ruin of souls, which, so long as it continues, will frustrate all efforts to regenerate society, unless men return openly and sincerely to the teaching of the Gospel, to the precepts of Him Who alone has the words of everlasting life, words which will never pass away, even if Heaven and earth will pass away.

Pius XI
Quadragesimo Anno

Coat of Arms: Jesus, Mary, Joseph

-The Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo stylized Miter with three lines, the "Mitriara".

The elements of his episcopal coat of arms:
-The Christogram, SJ-style;
-Our Lady, Stella Maris;
-Stylized nard flower, one of the heraldic symbols of Saint Joseph.

The Holy Father received yesterday evening in Audience:

-the Rev. Fr. Adolfo Nicolás Pachón, Superior General of the Society of Jesus. [Bollettino]

Pope: first week of addresses and sermons (Wed.-Sun.)

Basilica of St. Joseph of Flores, Main Altar

On Tuesday, Feast of Saint Joseph, the Lord Pope Francis, the first of that name, will officially receive the insignia that mark the beginning of his Pontificate. This is quite appropriate as Saint Joseph is both the Patron of the Universal Church and patron of the neighborhood where Jorge Mario Bergoglio was born and raised, San José de Flores, in the Federal capital of the Argentine Republic, Buenos Aires. The Basilica of Saint Joseph of Flores was his neighborhood parish church.

The addresses and sermons pronounced by the new Pope in the first days of his pontificate are transcribed below.