Rorate Caeli

A new Mass -- and an amazing story

Rorate note: For those of you who know of Fr. Cekada, he is a prolific writer -- even though we disagree fundamentally with him in the very important matter of the Papacy. Thus this is is not a short post, and it contains many links to this brilliant young man's beautiful music. If you cannot read -- or watch -- all of this, we implore you to go towards the bottom and listen to the complete version of the Mass in a computer-generated digital sound format. It's incredibly moving. And anyone can download the full score for free. May God bless this great musician, and may God bless us with more of his music, for years to come: 

By Rev. Anthony Cekada

Andrew Richesson with Fr. Cekada

How a Young Organist Composed a Magnificent Mass
MOST OF Rorate’s faithful followers, whatever their opinion on a whole array of other disputed issues, would no doubt agree that the Church’s great patrimony of sacred music deserves to be preserved, augmented and handed down to succeeding generations.
It was with this in mind that I decided to offer Rorate readers an account of how this process of handing down the musical treasures of the past unfolded in one case in my own experience. It is a story that all those who love good liturgical music will find most encouraging.

Peter and his Office - Sermon preached on the 11th Sunday after Pentecost - Fr Cipolla

Fr. Richard G. Cipolla
St. Mary's Norwalk

You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:18)

Why Peter? Why does Christ make him the rock on which the Church is founded?  Why not John, the disciple whom Jesus loved in a special way and who was chosen from the Cross to take care of Jesus’ mother Mary?  Why Peter?  Peter, who tried to chatter on the mount of the Transfiguration and who did not understand that silence is the only response to the presence of God.  Peter, who faltered walking on water and had to be rescued by Jesus.  

Peter who refused to understand that Jesus had to go to Jerusalem to be mocked, spat upon, and to die on the Cross, Peter  the recipient of Jesus’ harsh words:  “Get thee behind me Satan!”

Hurricane Harvey flooding takes lives of two SSPX parishioners [UPDATED]

We ask readers to pray for the repose of the soul of "Peter," who drowned on his way to the traditional Latin Mass near Houston, Texas. He was driving to Queen of Angels church, run by the Society of Saint Pius X, on Sunday morning, where flooding in Dickinson, Texas, was much faster than anyone anticipated in that town.

The SSPX has posted video showing massive flooding around the parish here. The church itself has not flooded, at least yet, although other buildings on the parish grounds have some water in them.

[UPDATE, 29 Aug.: Hurricane Harvey has claimed the life of a second parishioner from Queen of Angels, and water has entered the church.]

An assisted living facility in Dickinson, one mile from the SSPX parish., where this flooding happened within ten minutes on Sunday morning after a shelter-in-place directive was given by local officials Saturday. All were rescued via boat.

Roman Forum Church History Program 2017-2018

Dr. John Rao will be delivering the 26th annual Roman Forum Lecture Series in New York this year. Over the years this series has been an important study of the Church's struggle with the forces of this world, from which much can be learned in the present crisis. This time Dr. Rao will be covering the period from 1794-1846.

Replaced side altar at Saint Patrick's cathedral

For the past few years, Rorate has updated readers with photos and reports of the beautiful restoration of Saint Patrick's cathedral in New York City. You may recall the biggest change was the removal of the 1980s table-altar that was located closer to the nave than the existing main altar. Another change removed the tourist novelty hologram at the Holy Face side altar.

The third major improvement was the deconstruction of the modernist statue of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, which occupied space formerly used as a side altar:

We are pleased to report work has been completed on the new Mother Seton side altar that now occupies that space:

Rome, September 1st, Islamic gathering at the Colosseum: “We want it as a place to pray”

Libero Quotidiano
August 25, 2017

Disturbing image of the October 2016 Muslim gathering

The appointment is for September 1st. On that day Muslims will invade the Colosseum  transforming it into an open-air mosque. “Il Tempo” reports that the Islamic community of Rome will gather under the Flavian Amphitheatre, as they did last October. For the Muslims the occasion is a prime feast: 'Eid Al Adha, the  Sacrifice of Abraham.  The  Bengalese Association Dhuumcatu  organizing it, has decided to transform Via San Gregorio, under the Arch of Constantine, into a mosque, “On this special occasion Muslims commemorate the Sacrifice of the Prophet Abraham”  [the Association] posted on their Facebook “ peace be upon him, and it will also be the occasion to express once again our indignation at the terrorist attacks in Barcelona some days ago, when 15 people lost their lives, including 3 Italians.” The Association continues: “these criminals have to know that those who are a danger to others, also with their words, can never consider themselves Muslims.” 

Papal Nuncio in Brazil celebrates Pontifical Mass in Campos - 15th Anniversary of Apostolic Administration

On August 19, Bishop Fernando Rifan, Apostolic Administrator of the Personal Apostolic Administration of Saint John Mary Vianney, in Campos, Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil, welcomed the Apostolic Nuncio to the country, Abp. Giovanni d'Annielo.

Abp. d'Annielo celebrated a Pontifical Mass in the Principal Church of the Administration, in Campos (Church of the Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima) in commemoration of the 15th anniversary of the Apostolic Administration.

Congratulations to Bishop Rifan, and to the priests, seminarians, religious, and all lay faithful of the Administration! Long live the glorious memory of Bishops Antonio de Castro Mayer and Licínio Rangel!

(Pictures and additional information at

The Cranmer Table and its danger

Sadly, the ceiling of one of the oldest churches in Malta collapsed.

Happily, no one was injured.

Interestingly, a table-altar built in 1989 was destroyed.

Francis: "We can affirm with certainty and with magisterial authority that the liturgical reform is irreversible"

Pope Francis gave an address on the liturgical reform of Pope Paul VI today, speaking to participants of the 68th Italian National Liturgical Week. In it, Francis declares: "After this magisterium, after this long journey, we can affirm with certainty and with magisterial authority that the liturgical reform is irreversible."

Francis' remarks ironically read like a Quo Primum for the Novus Ordo. Pope St. Pius V's Quo Primum (1570), which has never been revoked or abolished by any pope, decreed that the Traditional Latin Mass, which the saintly pontiff promulgated in accord with the directives of the Council of Trent, would be "valid henceforth, now, and forever" and "cannot be revoked or modified, but remain always valid and retain its full force." Furthermore, St. Pius V warned that if anyone, including any future pope (by implication), would alter his missal, they would "incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul". 
The Reforms of Vatican II are IRREVERSIBLE!
Unlike Jesus' words on marriage and adultery, completely reversible. 

Pope Benedict XVI, in Summorum Pontificum, reiterated that the Traditional Latin Mass "was never juridically abrogated and, consequently, in principle, was always permitted." Benedict continued: "What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful."

For Francis, however, not the Traditional Latin Mass, but the reforms that deformed it are what are truly "irreversible."

Below are relevant translated excerpts of Pope Francis' address:

Does pure logic threaten to destroy the entire moral doctrine of the Catholic Church?

Josef Seifert
August 5, 2017

The question in the title of this paper is addressed to Pope Francis and to all Catholic cardinals, bishops, philosophers and theologians. It deals with a dubium about a purely logical consequence of an affirmation in Amoris Laetitia, and ends with a plea to Pope Francis to retract at least one affirmation of AL, if the title question of this little essay has to be answered in the affirmative, and if indeed from this one affirmation in AL alone pure logic, using evident premises, can deduce the destruction of the entire Catholic moral teaching. In a Socratic style, the paper leaves it up to Pope Francis and other readers to answer the title question and to act upon their own answer.

Full Text: Pope Francis' Ghostwriter of 'Amoris Laetitia' Defends Adultery

This week, one of Pope Francis' most trusted confidants, Archbishop Víctor Manuel “Tucho” Fernández, author of Heal Me With Your Mouth: The Art of Kissing, and an alleged ghostwriter of Amoris Laetitia, published a stunning defense of adultery in Medellín, the theology journal of the Latin-American Bishops’ Conference, in an essay entitled "Chapter VIII of Amoris Laetitia: What is left after the storm". Key to Fernandez's argument is the pope's approval of the Buenos Aires guidelines on AL, which the Vatican recently published on its official website.

In an article that provides key insights into the mind of Pope Francis, Fernandez compares adultery for the divorced and civilly remarried to self-defense, as allegedly exceptions to the general norm. Indeed, Pope Francis has spoken twice of alleged conflicts between the Fifth and the Sixth Commandments with respect to justifying the use of condoms. Moreover, Fernandez argues that the magisterial "flip-flops" at Vatican II on religious freedom and salvation outside the Church set precedent for Pope Francis to contradict his predecessors in Amoris Laetitia.

What follows is the full text of Msgr. Fernandez' article in an English translation by Andrew Guernsey

Vatican investigator Archbishop Hoser purposely contradicts Francis on Medjugorje hoax

We here at Rorate rarely laud Francis. However, he has been consistent, and we have consistently lauded him, for his numerous dismissals, and outright mochary, of the Medjugorje hoax. 

But one man is openly, and purposely, contradicting Pope Bergoglio. 

Archbishop Henryk Hoser was appointed to simply investigate whether "pastoral practices" were being properly handled at Medjugorje. However, he has taken the opportunity, according to Poland's Catholic Information Agency, to himself declare the hoax is real and predict that it will be approved, and possibly as early as this year. 

This must infuriate Francis. Why? Because it was only back in May that Francis, for all intents and purposes, closed the door on the hoax that fools 2.5 million ignorant Catholics a year. And Archbishop Hoser knows this -- it was said on the Papal Plane and widely reported: 

Pope Francis: "... The apparitions, the presumed current apparitions: the report [Ruini] has its doubts. I personally am more nasty, I prefer the Madonna as Mother, our Mother, and not a woman who’s the head of a telegraphic office, who everyday sends a message at such hour. This is not the Mother of Jesus. And these presumed apparitions don’t have a lot of value. This I say as a personal opinion. But, it’s clear. Who thinks that the Madonna says, ‘come tomorrow at this time, and at such time I will say a message to that seer?’ No."

Now, if Francis doesn't shut down the Hoser Hoax, and actually does flip flop and "approve" the evil stemming from Medjugorje, what are serious Catholics to do? 

According to Benedict XVI: "It is possible to refuse to accept such revelations and to turn from them, as long as one does so with proper modesty, for good reasons, and without the intention of setting himself up as a superior."

Whether it's consecrated religious disobeying their superiors, fake seers getting rich off the fake apparitions, fake apparitions saying fake religions are equal to Catholicism, and so on and so on, serious Catholics can modestly, and with very good reason, agree with Francis, even if they're approved. 

They can rightly and confidently continue to say: "This is not the Mother of Jesus."

The Pope and Jus soli: He will have to answer to history and God

Chiesa e Post Concilio
August 21, 2017

The Pope and Jus soli: 
Political interference -- Francis will have to answer to history and God

A position that will inevitably trigger off much debate. In his message for The World Day of Immigrants and Refugees, to be celebrated  on January 14, Pope Francis has explicitly sided in favour of jus soli: “At the moment of birth, nationality and regular access to primary and secondary education  should be recognized and certified.” Bergoglio has also shown his support for jus culturae inasmuch as he has asked for the recognition of the right to complete an educational path in the host country. 

Psychiatrist, Dr. Alessandro Meluzzi,  who was interviewed by Intelligonews, has harshly criticized what the Pope said:

What do you think of the Pope’s appeal in favour of jus soli?

“I think the Pope should talk about jus soli in Vatican City. There he could distribute passports to all the people he wanted, seeing as it is a Sovereign State.  As regards citizenship in the Italian Republic, on the contrary,  I find  this an improper and very serious interference since the Law of Papal Guarantees (1877).”

Saints of the Old Testament: Samuel, prophet

Almost a year ago, this series on the Old Testament saints began with reflections on the commemorations of Sts. Josue (Joshua), Gedeon (Gideon), and Anna. Today, on the 11th Sunday After Pentecost and the feast of St. Bernard of Clairvaux according to the traditional calendar of the Roman Church, we now come to the conclusion of this yearly cycle with reflections upon a final Old Testament saint who is commemorated in the traditional Roman Martyrology:

This Day, the Twentieth Day of August

In the territory of Langres, the demise of St. Bernard, first abbot of Clairvaux, illustrious for virtues, learning, and miracles. He was declared Doctor of the universal Church by the Sovereign Pontiff, Pius VIII. 

In Judea, the holy prophet Samuel, whose sacred relics (as is related by St. Jerome), were taken to Constantinople by the emperor Arcadius, and deposited near Septimus.

The prophet St. Samuel anoints David, eighth son of Jesse, as King of Israel

Op-Ed: The Knights of Columbus want to silence and shame Catholic Converts

...actually, "in service to some" - just "cradle Catholics":
Converts need not apply, or buy insurance

The Knights of Columbus made a clear choice when the organization decided to sponsor the faltering "Crux" -- founded by the Boston Globe for liberal journalist John Allen Jr (when the Globe thought it could cash in on Francis' supposed "popularity") and then, when it came into trouble, propped up by the Knights.

The Knights' choice was to uphold the liberal and Modernist version of Catholicism in reporting news.

For a few weeks now, Knights-Crux has been on a crusade to crush the credibility of converts to Catholicism. This because the Modernist establishment currently in charge of much of the central government of the Church hates American Catholicism, hates conservative Catholics in the United States, hates the Traditional-friendly general trends of the strongest portions of English-speaking Catholicism, and hates, therefore, informed converts who are so influential in those circles.

- Tots a una veu: Visca la Mare de Déu!

Mary! She is the north of the tender youth
who, feeling in his heart the burning life,
rows forward with courage and delight.
And, in the growing glare of heaven's light,
 a voice rises from the peaceful earth:
the Virgin, shaded by a blooming rose.
Father Jacint Verdaguer

The mystery play of Elche is a sacred musical drama of the death, the passage into heaven (known as the Assumption) and the crowning of the Virgin Mary.

Review: A great new Traditional Roman Hymnal

While this blogger can't sing a lick, Mrs. Adfero has for a while wanted a great, traditional hymnal, and finally found one. But to simply call the second edition of The Traditional Roman Hymnal by our friends at Angelus Press a 'hymnal' doesn't do it justice. 

We noticed three things very quickly. First, as always with the products published by Angelus Press, you notice the quality -- and the durability, which is critical for our family, as this will be handled by the little ones while home schooling. Check out the rugged binding: 

A message of hope from Hiroshima

Chiesa e Post Concilio
August 7, 2017

The testimony of Professor Hikoka Vanamuri, survivor of Hiroshima, August 6, 1945

Hikoka Vanamuri, former Professor of Philosophy at the University of Tokyo, was interviewed while on pilgrimage in Fatima. This is what he had to say:“I’ll never return to Japan. After years of study, after years of meditation I have understood that life under the tainted atmosphere of Buddha is an embittered historical testimony of blatant paganism. I converted to Catholicism. I made this decision after the explosion of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. I was in Hiroshima for historical research. I was in the library when the bomb exploded. I was busy consulting a Portuguese book and my eye happened to catch an image of Our Lady of Fatima.  I had the impression that this image moved, as if to say something. All of a sudden there was a blinding light, hurting my eyes intensely. I was terrified. The cataclysm had come about. The sky had darkened and a cloud of brown dust had covered the city. The library was burning. Men were burning. Children were burning. The air itself was burning.  I didn’t even have  the slightest scratch on me.   The sign of the miracle was evident.  Yet I wasn’t able to explain what had happened.  

Self-Criticism: A Most Admirable Personality Trait


--75 years--
Ad orientem
Saint Benedicta: the Cross and the Sacrifice are in the East.

August 9, 1942, the eve of Saint Lawrence, the celebrated martyr of the Church of Rome, is generally considered the last day of Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross on this earth. 75 years ago, she and Rosa, her sister, who days earlier had boarded in the transit camp of Westerbork (Netherlands under German occupation) the train destined to the General Government area of occupied Poland, would be killed, along with an unknown number of other prisoners, and all trace of their physical existence would vanish.

The Cross had been her concern and her love even before she chose to enter the Church. Expiation, suffering, surrendering oneself completely, being ravaged by the world: death. Her cross expected her in the East. Hatred, brutality, and evil may have destroyed her body, but her soul was embraced by the Redeemer.

The keepers that go about the city found me: they struck me: and wounded me: the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me. I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if you find my beloved, that you tell him that I languish with love. What manner of one is thy beloved of the beloved, O thou most beautiful among women? what manner of one is thy beloved of the beloved, that thou hast so adjured us? ... such is my beloved, and he is my friend, O ye daughters of Jerusalem. (Cant. v)

Lord: Thy head is like Carmel: and the hairs of thy head as the purple of the king bound in the channels. (Cant. vii, 5)

Germany is a beautiful country. And though Germans, for some reason, tend these days to abandon their nation in droves in the warm weeks of August, it hardly looks more majestic than in the summer. A true festival of shades of green, dramatic valleys and forests, and hills that are brighter than ever, reflecting the bright sunlight of the season.

Wrocław (Breslau) in August
Germany was the homeland of Saint Benedicta. It was in the then very German city of Breslau (now in Poland) that Sr. Benedicta had been born, as Edith Stein, in October 1891. For the first time in many years, on August 6-7, 1942, she reentered Germany. Was she allowed to take the only volume of the beloved breviary she still had with her, her major consolation in those days? Was she able to see, in the trains that left the transit camp of Westerbork the green fields and intensely colorful skies and rivers of August? Was she able at least to stay in the same car as her sister Rosa? Were they able to strengthen each other through their last journey? 

From west to east, they crossed their Germany - because it was their Germany, too. They even crossed their Silesia, always going eastwards. Deported to the east: could they guess what their destination would be? Was Sr. Benedicta aware of exactly where she was being sent? Was she aware that the martyred Polish lands under German occupation would witness her own death?

From the "Testament" of Sr. Benedicta:

From this moment, I accept the death that God has prepared for me, fully and joyfully submitting myself to his most holy will. I pray the Lord that he will accept my life and my death, in his honor and glory, for all the intentions of the Most Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, and of the Holy Church; in particular, for the preservation, sanctification, and perfection of our holy Order, above all of the Carmels of Cologne and Echt, in expiation for the unbelief of the Jewish people, and so that the Lord may be welcomed by his own, and that his Kingdom will come in Glory, for the salvation of Germany and for peace in the world, and, at last, for my relatives, living and deceased, and for all those God has given to me: let not one of them be lost.

Friday in the Octave of Corpus Christi, June 9, 1939, seventh day of my spiritual exercises.

In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti.

Sr. Teresa Benedicta a Cruce O.C.D.

Of one thing we can be certain: she had already accepted the death that one day we will all face. She accepted it, because she knew Redemption was at hand: for Catholics, "hope springs eternal" (Pope) because hope comes from the Cross.

Written soon after the beginning of the war (usually published among her autobiographical writings):

The world is on fire; the struggle between Christ and the Antichrist is now fully in place. If you decide [to fight] for Christ, this may cost you your life; therefore, consider your promises very well. ...

The Savior hangs from the Cross, right before you, for his obedience unto death, and death on the Cross. He came to the world not to do his will, but the will of the Father. ...

Your Savior hangs before you with a wounded heart. He gave the Blood of his own heart in order to have your heart. If you wish to follow him in holy purity, then your heart has to be free from all earthly desire, and Jesus, the Crucified, must be the only object of your wishes, of your desires, and of your thoughts. ... The arms of the Crucified one are open to attract you towards his heart. He wants to take your life in order to offer you his life. Ave Crux, spes unica!

The world is on fire. The fire can also affect our own house; but high above us, above all flames, the Cross will stand upright. The flames cannot destroy it. It is the path from earth to heaven, and whoever embraces it, believing, loving, hoping, moves upward towards the very bosom of the Trinity.

[W]ith the strength of the Cross, you can be in all fronts, in all places where there is affliction. Your merciful love, the love of the divine heart, will take you to all places in which his precious blood flows, soothing, sanctifying, saving.

The eyes of the Crucified stare at you, pensive, questioning. Do you wish to once again establish your covenant with the Crucified one? What will you say to him? 'Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou only hast the words of eternal life.'

Ave Crux, spes unica!!

September 14, 1939

Saint Benedicta, Co-patroness of Europe, pray for us.

Gorgeous Traditional Catholic Images from Poland: Ars Celebrandi

From our partners at Ars Celebrandi, one of the largest Traditional Liturgical conferences in the world:

Ars Celebrandi 2017 liturgical workshop in Licheń, summary

Ars Celebrandi, the largest workshop for traditional Liturgy in Poland and Eastern Europe, took place — for the fourth time — at the Shrine of Our Lady in Licheń on 20th-27th of July. More than 40 Polish priests working in their homeland and many countries around the world (including South Korea, U.S.A., Latvia, Germany, Austria) learned to celebrate the Mass in the extraordinary form of the Roman rite, and 10 of them had their first Tridentine Masses. More than 100 laypeople have been taught to serve as altar servers or liturgical singers (Gregorian chant and renaissance polyphony).

You Suggest: Traditional Roman Mass Symposium at P.S.U.

A symposium for the traditional Roman Mass is being organized by Fr. Robert McElwee at Pittsburg University in southeastern Kansas September 15-17.

The two-and-half-day conference will be hosted at the St. Pius X Catholic Student Center and include a number of speakers:

Let’s march divided to strike united

Cordialiter Blog
July 29, 2017

Risultati immagini per images marching to the traditional mass

In recent years many blog sites have sprung up, run by members of the faithful tied to the Traditional Mass and which are making life difficult for all kinds of modernists, now in control of the various newsprints, wherein grave dogmatic and moral errors are diffused. Nobody can say that I’m exaggerating in my criticism of the modernist propaganda: the Eucharist is only a symbol of the Body of Christ; hell is not eternal; all religions are good;  divorce by law must not be hindered; pre-marital cohabitation has pre-sacramental value; there is nothing wrong if two homosexuals “get married”; also women should be ordained as priests… and many other pernicious errors of the same type.

The Old Rite is the sustaining pillar of the Traditional Movement, i.e. the spontaneous movement by the faithful of various nations, committed to defending the entire patrimony of Catholic Tradition from the attacks by the enemies of the Church.

Perhaps there are some who are asking if it wouldn’t be better for all the traditional blogs to unite so that energies are not dispersed. I don’t think that merging together all the blogs into one alone is a positive thing; it would be somewhat like wanting to re-group all the religious orders into a single order; it would a senseless thing as each order has its own characteristics to distinguish it from the others  What sense would there be in joining a contemplative order with a hospital one? Or joining a school teaching order to another dedicated to the hermetical life?

Knights of Columbus replace traditional regalia

The Knights of Columbus do a lot of good work in the United States, from pro-life and pro-family activities, to charitable endeavors, to providing honor guards for traditional Latin Masses. In fact, there are dozens of councils attached to the TLM. So, it is sad to see the organization's convention this week in Saint Louis, Missouri, turn into a fiasco due to a major change to be imposed on fourth degree Knights, who comprise the top fifth of membership.

The Supreme Knight, Carl A. Anderson, announced: "The Board of Directors has decided that the time is right for a modernization of the Fourth Degree Uniform." A photo of the change, taken from page 23 of the 2017 Annual Report of the Supreme Knight:

Rorate is puzzled as to who actually made this decision, and why. While "The Board of Directors" has officially taken credit (or the blame) for it, there is skepticism within the ranks. Many still remember the decision to spend $22.7 million to bail out the $54 million modernist failure of a John Paul II museum in Washington, D.C. six years ago this week. $20 million of that bailout went to the Archdiocese of Detroit, as Adam Cardinal Maida was the mastermind behind the disaster of a building.

De Mattei: The Second Vatican Council and the Message of Fatima

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
August 2, 2017

Rorate Caeli, Corrispondenza Romana and other Catholic news-outlets, carried a valuable intervention by Monsignor Athanasius Schneider on the “Interpretation of the Second Vatican Council and its relationship with the current crisis in the Church”. According to the auxiliary Bishop of Astana, Vatican II was a pastoral Council and its texts should be read and judged in the light of the perennial teaching of the Church. In fact “From an objective point of view, the statements of the Magisterium (Popes and councils) of definitive character, have more value and more weight compared with the statements of pastoral character, which have naturally a changeable and temporary quality depending on historical circumstances or responding to pastoral situations of a certain period of time, as it is the case with the major part of the statements of Vatican II.”

Monsignor Schneider’s article was followed on July 31st by a balanced comment from Don Angel Citati of the FSSPX (, according to which the German Bishop’s position recalls very closely what was repeated constantly by Monsignor Marcel Lefebvre: “To say that we evaluate the  Council’s documents “in the light of Tradition”, means, evidently, three indissoluble things: that we accept those that are in keeping with Tradition; that we interpret those that are ambiguous according to Tradition; that we reject those that are contrary to Tradition” ( (Mons. M. Lefebvre, Vi trasmetto quello che ho ricevuto. Tradizione perenne e futuro della Chiesa, [I transmit what I have received. Perennial Tradition and the future of the Church] by Alessandro Gnocchi and Mario Palmaro, Sugarco Edizioni, Milano 2010, p. 91). Having been published on the official site of the Italian District, Don Citati’s article helps us understand what might be the base of an agreement to regularize the canonical situation of the Fraternity of Pius X.

75 years: Echt, August 2, 1942 - Sr. Benedicta is arrested with her sister
Her last letter: "Send me the next volume of the Breviary"

75 years ago, the crackdown on Jewish-born Catholic converts reached deep inside the silent walls of the Carmel of Echt (Limburg, Netherlands under German occupation). The new wave of persecution had been the swift response of the occupying forces to the public reading of the Pastoral Letter of the Dutch Episcopate (see previous post). 

Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, O.C.D., (known simply as Sr. Benedicta in her Carmel) had been trying, in a brave and Christian way, to protect herself and her sister, who had joined her in Echt, from what seemed inevitable - she had already managed to secure them places in Carmelite houses in Switzerland. But the order of events overwhelmed her plans.

From the biography provided by the General House of the Discalced Carmelites:

The Cross was at the centre of Edith's whole spiritual life. But particularly as the persecution of the Jews grew daily in intensity, at the Carmel of Echt she placed herself unconditionally at the foot of the Cross. On Passion Sunday 1939 she sought permission to offer herself "to the Sacred Heart as a victim of expiation for true peace". On June 9 she wrote her Last Testament, ending with the words: "From now on I accept the death God has reserved for me, joyfully and with perfect submission to his most holy Will. I pray the Lord to accept my life and death to his honour and praise.... as expiation for the unbelief of the Jewish people". ...

What caused the sudden explosion of hate, and the plan to exterminate the Dutch Jews, was the Pastoral Letter of Archbishop Jong of Utrecht, read in all the churches of Holland on July 26, 1942. It voiced the Church's protest against the deportation of Jews. The reaction of the SS. was immediate. All baptised Jews, priests and religious sisters of Jewish origin, were arrested and sent to the concentration camp. Among them were Edith and Rosa. Two SS officials arrived at the monastery of Echt, giving Sister Benedicta only five minutes to get ready. ...

In the night of August 2-3, the sisters arrived at Amersfort dispersal camp. Then during the night of August 3-4 the Jewish prisoners with many others were moved to Westerbork camp, set in a district completely uninhabited in the north of Holland. From here Edith was able to send a note to the Prioress of Echt Carmel, through the mother of a religious sister who had arrived at the camp with luggage for her daughter. Dated August 6, the note was a brief request for woollen stocking and two blankets, and some woollen clothes for Rose. Particularly relevant was the final sentence, "Tomorrow a convoy is to leave for Silesia or Czechoslovakia??"

The last letters written by Sr. Benedicta show her concerns during the last weeks of her life, including in her days of confinement in deportation camps in the Netherlands.

Reminder: Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society

This is our monthly reminder to please enroll Souls of the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society. Over the last 30 days we've added three new wonderful priests dedicated to bringing relief to loved ones enrolled by our readers. We now stand at 83 priests saying weekly or monthly traditional Latin Masses for the Souls.

** Click here to download a "fillable" PDF Mass Card to give to the loved ones of the Souls you enroll. It's free for anyone to use. **

Priests: The Souls still need more of you saying Mass for them! Please email me to offer your services. There's nothing special involved -- all you need to do is offer a weekly or monthly TLM with the intention: "For the Souls enrolled in the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society." And we will always keep you completely anonymous unless you request otherwise. 

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.

Saints of the Old Testament: The Holy Maccabees, martyrs

Martyrdom of the Seven Maccabees
Antonio Ciseri, 1868

On this day, the Catholic Church calls on the intercession the Holy Maccabees -- seven Jewish brothers and their mother and a priest named Eleazar martyred in 167 B.C. by the monstrous prototype of the Antichrist known to history as Antiochus Epiphanes. As St. Paul wrote to the Hebrews, these nine "were racked, not accepting deliverance, that they might find a better resurrection" (Heb. 11:35, citing II Macc. 7:9-14). The traditional Roman Martyrology commemorates the Holy Maccabees in these words:

This Day, the First Day of August

At Rome, on Mount Esquiline, the dedication of the Church of St. Peter in Chains

At Antioch, the martyrdom of the seven holy brothers, the Machabees, and their mother, who suffered under king Antiochus Epiphanes. Their relics were transferred to Rome, and placed in the Church of St. Peter, just mentioned.