' Dabo eis Cor, ut sciant me, et erunt mihi in populum, et ego ero eis in Deum: quia revertentur ad me in toto corde suo.'

' I will give them a Heart to know Me, and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, because they shall return to Me with their whole heart' (Jer. xxiv. 7).


The present month of October will be a time of special rejoicing to the many devout souls who have been accustomed to honour with a peculiar love the great saint of Avila. The feast of St. Teresa this year will be the three hundredth anniversary of her holy death. Spain, the country of her birth and the scene of her glorious labours for the honour of our Lord and His blessed Mother, will naturally take the lead in the joyous celebration of this centenary, and it would be long to tell of the preparations that have been made both at Alba, where her body lies, and at Avila and elsewhere, to make the anniversary truly glorious. Although English and Irish Catholics cannot expect to rival their brethren abroad in the magnificence of their celebration of this happy time, we may hope that it will not be forgotten among us, and that the fervour with which it is celebrated may serve to add fresh power to the prayers of this holy mother of so many millions of souls, either led by her to the perfect practice of the rule of our Blessed Lady, or converted to the faith by her intercessions, and the continual self-immolation of her religious sons and daughters.

It is a matter of great joy that we have among us so many convents and monasteries of the order of Mount Carmel, but we cannot but hope and pray that the centenary, which is now about to rejoice so many hearts in the Church of God, may be the signal for an increase in the number of children of our own country who fight the good fight of faith under this special banner of St. Teresa. We hear on all sides that the frivolities of the present generation, and the many dissipations which have crept in to what is still called Christian and Catholic life, work very fatally in the way of diminishing the number of the souls, who either desire to give themselves to God in the holy Order, of which St. Teresa is in modern times the chief glory, or who, having conceived the desire, have strength and perseverance enough to carry it out. It would certainly be one of the greatest possible triumphs that could be imagined for the enemy of mankind, if he could succeed in depriving our Lord of the glory and the delight which He receives from the devoted lives of the cloistered children of St. Teresa, and the Church the powerful aid which she draws from their prayers. We do not think that such a triumph will ever be granted to the author of all evil in this country. There is much in the English character which fits the true children of our country for the solid, sober, and most enduring, though most happy life of the Teresian religious, and it would show that all true spiritual courage and manliness had died out among us, if there were wanting a constant supply of recruits for this holy warfare from among ourselves. We hope, indeed, for more than this—we hope for an increase in the number of inmates of these holy homes and of these holy homes themselves; for at present we do not, in all the new freedom and expansion of which we boast, and for which we owe God such deep gratitude, furnish to the Order of St. Teresa more subjects than were furnished to it in the dark days when the Church was persecuted, when it was impossible for Englishmen or women to live at peace in their own country under the habit and rule of Mount Carmel. There must be some lamentable influence at work, if we cannot supply, to so noble a vocation, more than we could supply when those who followed it had to cross the seas in order to be unmolested in their service to our Lord and His Blessed Mother.

The illustration to which these remarks are appended speaks for itself to all those who are acquainted with the life of the glorious Mother of the Reform of Mount Carmel. It relates to the famous incident in her childhood, when she set out with her little brother, four years older than herself, on a journey which the two children fondly hoped might lead them to the land of the Moors, when they might have the blessed privilege of laying down their lives as martyrs for the faith of our Lord. "The two children set out," says the latest English biographer of the Saint, "thinking, perhaps, that the land of the Moors, of whom they had heard so much as the deadly enemies of their faith and nation, could not be far off. They put up a little stock of food, and then went stealthily out of the Adaja Gate towards Salamanca, and crossed the bridge, but they were soon met by a brother of their father's, Francis Alvarez de Cepeda, who took them home to their mother. They had already been missed, and Dona Beatriz was in fear that they might have fallen into a well, as all her search for them had proved fruitless. There was a little scene when the two culprits were questioned by their young mother as to their escape, and the historian relates the tradition that Rodrigo, who was four years the elder of the two, laid the blame on the 'little one,' who, as he said, wished to see God, and to die as soon as possible in order that she might do so."

We fear that if young children of the age -of Teresa and her brother would probably, in our days, know their geography a little better than they did, they are not likely to be brought up in such a way as to conceive the desire of seeing God as soon as possible, and of setting out on a journey for the sake of gaining the crown of martyrdom. What a modern fine lady would say to her little girl, who attempted anything of the sort, it is not so easy to imagine. But many English Catholic mothers have not hesitated to send their "little ones"—somewhat older than Teresa, certainly—to the lands where alone they conld serve God after the example of this Saint.



At first sight it may seem, no doubt, to most altogether incongruous to attribute such a quality as ambition to the Sacred Heart—that Heart which our Lord Himself tells us is meek and humble; and this arises from a natural habit of regarding ambition only as a human vice. Most of us, alas, know only one ambition—that infatuated thirst for the things of the world, which makes its blind children debase themselves in all sorts of ways to obtain a little vain honour or esteem, to throw away the peace of their conscience to gain the applause of fools.

Those who love God, in their fear of this bad passion, oppose it too commonly by one virtue, by modesty, and consider that in humbling themselves they fulfil all justice, and while they penetrate their own hearts with the sense of their own unworthiness, they contentedly see all others lift themselves above their heads.

Let us, however, see that our Lord has taught us another lesson than this. Humility assuredly He loves and praises, nor can we love it too much, but He would have us no less recognize our supernatural dignity, and by virtue of it despise as worthless the poor greatness which perishes so soon.

And, moreover, even this generous disdain of human honour ought to be nothing but a first step, but a sweeping away of the foolish delusions which might blind our eyes to that true greatness which is ours, and which He has done so much, and now longs so much, to invest us with. A crown, a throne is promised "to him who shall overcome" (Apoc. iii. 21). It is the ambition of the Heart of Jesus that we should win it. Surely that ambition should fill our hearts also.

And what is the immensity of that Divine ambition for us, Who but Himself can know? The proofs of it are in the Blood He has shed so prodigally, in the close and intimate union He has deigned to contract with us, making us in veriest truth members of His body, and our glory inseparable from His own. "And the glory which Thou has given to Me, I have given to them" (St. John xvii. 22).

Our share in this glory will be great in proportion to the greatness and strength of our ambition, and we never shall ambition for ourselves as greatly as the Heart which loves us desires. If then we reflect that each and every act of our heart with the intention, whether actual or habitual, of giving God glory, corresponds with a degree of glory gained in Heaven for all eternity, it becomes easy to understand how greatly this Divine ambition once fired in our hearts, will make those acts grow both in number and intensity. Jesus Christ has strewn the path we tread with eternal riches, but, alas, too often we are so indifferent to them that we will not take the trouble to stoop and make them our own. Those who have thought how the Heart of Jesus desires their glory, will, both for His sake and their own, aspire to respond with a nobler answer to His love.


Sacred Heart of Jesus! through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer Thee the prayers, labours, and crosses of this day, in expiation of our offences, and for all Thy other intentions.

I offer them especially to obtain for Thy servants an ardent desire of eternal glory. Inspire us, O Jesus, with the determination not to lose the least of the infinite riches Thou hast purchased for us by Thy Precious Blood. Amen.

For the triumph of the Church and Holy See, and the Catholic regeneration of nations.

Apostolate of Prayer - October

Columbus and Queen Isabella


John A. Mooney.
IN the splendid tributes I have quoted from the works of the eminent Bishop of Chiapa, his admiration and affection for Columbus were eloquently set forth. A man of extraordinary virtue, of rare acquirements, of remarkable talent, chosen of God, and directing all his work, especially, to the honor of God; a man who performed the most wonderful achievements amid the most incredible trials,—such a man is the Columbus of Las Casas. With his warm heart and just soul, the Dominican could not help admiring the heroic Discoverer. The affection of Las Casas was no less deep than his admiration, as his own words frequently testify. One passage, more than all the others, in the Historia, evidences the sympathy of the Bishop with the Admiral.

Completing his narrative of the life of Columbus, Las Casas relates the sad story of the great man's death; one of the most affecting stories recorded in history. As, in his imagination, the ardent Dominican reconstructed the scene, and looked upon the worn body of the benefactor of two worlds, upon the few faithful friends, upon the mean pallet, and the penury of the hired lodging, he could not restrain his feelings. A moment he waited, until the high soul had flown up to the Infinite that alone could satisfy its sublime aspirations. Then Las Casas penned these words: "And thus passed from this life, in a condition of extreme misery and bitter affliction, and, as he said, without a roof under which he might rest his body, or protect it from the elements, the man who by his own industry had discovered a new and more felicitous world than the one of which we had a knowledge before. He died dispossessed and despoiled of the estate and honor that he had earned by such immense and incredible dangers, toilings, and travail, despoiled ignominiously, without the form of law, having been fettered, imprisoned without a hearing, without a conviction, without an accusation, without an opportunity to plead a defense, as if those who judged him were people devoid of reason, foolish, stupid, absurd, and worse than brutal barbarians."'

To all young women and young men who are culturing themselves, I commend these words of Las Casas. Remembering them no one shall ever feel the want of becoming epithets when passing a verdict on the criminals who are managing the: Case Against Columbus. The Spaniards dispossessed and despoiled a living man. Their American kinsmen of our day would rob the illustrious dead; rob him of the honor earned by such immense labors done in the face of incredible dangers; rob him lawlessly. And if those who despoiled Columbus living, deserved to be called mad, foolish, stupjid, absurd, shall we hesitate to qualify the men who would dishonor his grave, as: "worse than brutal barbarians!"

These " translated parts of Las Casas," are indicative of the frankness of his manner when dealing with injustice. Though a historian, he is no mere recorder of facts. Always a jurist and a theologian, he is, at the same time, a teacher of morality. The learned Dominican's conclusions on the subject of slavery, many non-Catholics and many unbelievers have accepted, but -not one of them dare accept his principles. His method, as I have already hinted, is thorough and exacting. Denouncing all acts that he considered illicit or immoral, he also condemned every person who participated, however remotely, in these acts. Nor did he stop there; as I shall illustrate by stating the scope of his judgment on Columbus. Reviewing his career, Las Casas insists that several of the Admiral's acts were illicit. The Admiral was in good faith, he had a " holy intention," he did not know the law; so Las Casas firmly believes. However, he questions whether the Admiral's ignorance was always invincible. If for these illicit acts he did not deserve punishment hereafter, Las Casas inclined to the opinion that Columbus deserved to be punished for them in this world. Indeed, Las Casas thought he saw the hand of God inflicting punishment on the Admiral. His imprisonment, poverty, loss of honors, loss of health, were, according to the learned Dominican, so many Providential chastisements. These views, no one is bound to accept; and there are many who do not accept them. An acquaintance with them is, nevertheless, desirable and indeed necessary to a right understanding of the works of Las Casas, and of his judgments on men and affairs.

1 Coleccion de documentos indditos para la historia de Espafia, vol. lxiv„ p. 195

The policy adopted by Ferdinand and Isabella in dealing with the Caribs, and with the other Indians who warred against the Spanish colonists, did not commend itself to Las Casas. On his first landing in the New World, Columbus formed a most favorable opinion of the Indians he fell in with. They were the mildest, the gentlest of people, he thought. Guacanagari, a most friendly cacique, told him, though, of some bad Indians, the Caribas, who attacked the good Indians, carried them off, abused them, and even ate them. Columbus heard of these savage people regretfully and indignantly, and promised that his mighty masters would punish them and subdue them. In the letter to Sanchez, and in the diary of the first voyage, the Admiral records what he has heard about these cannibals; and he also relates his experience with them at Samana. On the second voyage, he discovered the Caribee islands, Ayay, Turuqueira, and Ceyre, and convinced himself that the Caribs were barbarous cannibals, a combative and ferocious race. "Their arms were bows and arrows pointed with the bones of fishes, or shells of tortoises, and poisoned with the juice of a certain herb. They made descents upon the islands, ravaged the villages, carried off the youngest and handsomest of the women, whom they retained as servants or companions, and made prisoners of the men, to be killed and eaten."' With the Caribs, the Admiral had more than one encounter, and, having captured several of the savages, he carried them off to Navidad.

A couple of months after his arrival at Navidad, he sent home twelve caravels, under Antonio de Torres. (Feb. 2d, 1494.) The captive Caribs were shipped at the same time. To De Torres, the Admiral committed a Memorial, dated Jan. 30th, 1494, addressed to Ferdinand and Isabella. In this Memorial he stated in detail, the condition and the needs of the colony, and he made certain suggestions and requests. In two clauses of this important document, the Admiral submits a plan for the spiritual and social improvement of the Caribs. Every biographer of Columbus refers to these two clauses, though very few writers present a fair summary of his words. Without translating each word of the Admiral, I shall try to give both the sense and the spirit of his language. The Memorial is composed in the form of a letter of instruction to De Torres.

1 Irving, vol. i., p. 376.

In the first of the two clauses, the Admiral writes: 'You (De Torres) will say to their Highnesses that as there is no language here, by means of which the Indians can be instructed in our holy Faith, as their Highnesses desire, and as we also desire, we send, on these vessels, several cannibal men, women, boys and girls. Their Highnesses can put these cannibals out at service, under persons competent to teach them our language, and little by little place them under those who will be more careful with them than with other slaves. As the cannibals learn to speak and to understand Spanish very slowly, they will learn more quickly in Spain than here, and will be better interpreters between us and the native Indians. There is very little communication between these islands, and hence there are differences between the language of one and another island; and, because the cannibal islands are larger and more populous, the opinion here is that it could only be good to capture cannibal men and women, and to send them to Castille, for, in this way they would be cured at once of their inhuman custom of eating men, and besides, having learned our language in Castille, they could receive Baptism more speedily, thus advantaging their souls. Furthermore, as the peaceable Indians suffer loss through these cannibals, and indeed fear them so much that they are terrified at the sight of a single man-eater, our people would acquire great credit if we captured these cannibals and made them prisoners of war. The people of all the islands, seeing the kind treatment that the good receive, and the punishment inflicted on the bad, will quickly become so obedient that they may be ruled as the vassals of their Highnesses, and, in due time, wherever a man may be found, all will do, not only what we desire, but, of their own motion, they will do what they know would please us.'

As our readers know, the Memorial committed by the Admiralto De Torres, reached the Sovereigns, who considered it most carefully, clause by clause. They answered the Memorial, not by a special letter, but by inscribing, on the margin of the Memorial, their will and pleasure concerning each particular suggestion or request made by the Admiral. This document, as annotated by the Sovereigns, was remitted to Columbus. The text of the Memorial, and of the royal instructions, has been preserved, fortunately. Thus we know the answer of Ferdinand and Isabella to the suggestions offered in the clause above translated. I quote the words of their Highnesses: "Tell him what has been done in the matter of the cannibals that came here. This is very good, and thus he should do, except that he may manage there, as it may be possible, that they are converted to our holy Catholic Faith, and in like manner let him manage with the inhabitants of the islands where he is.”

This answer of Ferdinand and Isabella, as well as the proposal of Columbus, are generally slurred by the biographers, who hasten to the second clause, which affords them an opportunity of expressing regret or indignation, and of composing rhetorical sentences on the " rights of man " and on the inhuman bigotry of the Spaniards, and indeed of the Catholic Church; a bigotry very natural before the sweet spirit of Reformation breathed " peace and progress " over the surface of the whole world. To me, the first clause of the Memorial, and the Sovereigns' response, are as noteworthy as the second clause and the answer thereto. Before examining the text of the clause and of the answer already quoted, I shall give a free rendering of the second of the two clauses, with which we are concerned. Thus it reads:

'You (De Torres) will say to their Highnesses, that the notion of serving the souls of the cannibals, as well as of the peaceable Indians, has suggested the thought that the more of the cannibals sent to Spain, the better it would be for them, and also for their Highnesses. Considering the number of cattle, beasts of burden, and agricultural instruments, needed here for the sustenance of both Spaniards and Indians, a sufficient number of caravels could be licensed by their Highnesses to carry these things here, every year, and to sell them at regular prices. The cannibal slaves could be exchanged for them. These cannibals are bold. well proportioned and of fair understanding, and, if redeemed from their inhuman habits, would, we think, make better slaves than any other. As soon as they would be removed from here, they should lose their inhuman habits. A trust-worthy man should be placed on each caravel, and he should see that the vessel landed at Hispaniola, and nowhere else. Their Highnesses could collect their customs-duties on the slaves thus taken to Spain. You (De Torres) will bring, or send, an answer an to this matter, for here the necessary dispositions may be made with more confidence, if their Highnesses should think well of the affair.'

Opposite to this clause of the Memorial, the Sovereigns of Spain wrote: "In this matter let it be delayed for the present until another transport comes from there, and the Admiral writes what he thinks on the subject.'"

Slurring the first of these two clauses, the biographers avoid the answer of the Sovereigns to that clause; and, distorting the meaning of the royal answer to the second clause, the biographers, conferring no compliment on Ferdinand and Isabella, do an injustice to Columbus. While the import of the words of the Sovereigns was not fully apprehended by Mr. Helps, he is far from being as incorrect in his estimate of the Admiral's proposal, as Mr. Irving was. "Among the many sound and salutary suggestions in his letter," Mr. Irving says, "there is one of a most pernicious tendency, written in that mistaken view of natural rights prevalent at the day, but fruitful of much wrong and misery in the world."' Mr. Helps thinks that the arguments of Columbus are weighty. "It must be allowed," he says " that they have much force in them, and it may be questioned whether many of those persons who, in these days, are the strongest opponents of slavery, would then have had that perception of the impending danger of its introduction which Los Reyes appear to have entertained from their answer to this part of the document.”

1 Navarrete, Coleccion de los Viages, vol. i., pp. 231-233.
'The life and Voyages. Hudson Edition. Vol. i., p. 421.
* The Conquerors of the New World and their Bondsmen. London, 1848. Vol. i., p. 121.

And now let us examine the text of the Memorial and of the answer of the Sovereigns. Columbus, in the first clause, informs the King and Queen of his sending cannibals to them. Placing them under good masters, and treating them better than other slaves, these cannibals, he thinks, will learn the Spanish language, become civilized, and, returning to their own country, aid in converting the Indians, good and bad. As to the cannibals, they are an inhuman people, who terrify the peaceable Indians and violate the laws of nature. If the Spaniards captured them and made them prisoners of war, the new country would be benefited, pacified, and the good Indians would be grateful to those who punished the bad Indians according to their deserts.

Dismissing the details of the proposition contained in this first clause, let us consider the real question submitted to the Sovereigns through De Torres: Do your Highnesses favor the policy of capturing the cannibals here, and of making slaves of them, utilizing them first in Spain, and afterwards, in the New World? Such is the question the Sovereigns had to consider and to answer; and there is nothing indefinite about the answer. First: they retained the cannibals brought over by De Torres, and they employed these cannibals as slaves. Secondly: they approved the proposal to capture the cannibals and to treat them as prisoners of war. As to transporting them to Spain, the Sovereigns offered no objection. They affirmed their desire for the conversion of all the Indians, and left it to the Admiral to effect the conversion of the cannibals, and of the other Indians, according to circumstances. The answer to the first clause authorized Columbus to make slaves of the cannibals, and, if he preferred, to retain them as slaves in the New World. Thus cannibal slavery, at least, would have been introduced into the Indies; not at the suggestion of Columbus, but by the express direction of the Sovereigns.

In the second clause, Columbus added nothing to the proposal made in the first clause, except the outline of a plan by which the affair could be systematized, and effected in an orderly and profitable manner. Did the Sovereigns evidence an extraordinary "perception of an impending danger," as Mr. Helps imagined? No! Did the Sovereigns protest, condemn, resent, forbid? How could they! Answering the first clause, they had applauded the idea of capturing the cannibals, and of making slaves of them. They favored a plan to retain them in the New World as slaves. Responding to the second clause, where Columbus suggested the details of a scheme, under which the cannibals would be transported to Spain, methodically, the Sovereigns were non-committal. As to this detailed scheme, said Ferdinand and Isabella, we prefer to decide nothing until the Admiral writes his opinion of the matter in a second letter.

In his far-reaching argument against the Spanish policy in the New World, Las Casas attacked the crown, deliberately, as we have said. However, he was always most careful to excuse Isabella, on account of her goodness of heart, her piety and her conscientiousness. Following him, many biographers of Columbus, though repudiating the argument of Las Casas, condemn the Admiral and excuse the Queen. Isabella needs no apologist. The policy she adopted, in dealing with the cannibal slaves—a policy followed by Columbus,—was a conscientious policy, a lawful and just policy; a policy continued by her successors because they were advised of its legality and justice. Columbus did not directly ask the Crown to send him a juridical opinion as to whether he could lawfully make slaves of the cannibals. He assumed that their enslavement would be licit. Still it was this very question that the Sovereigns were compelled first to consider; and their decision was in the affirmative. Had they not put their decision in writing, their retention of the cannibals delivered to them by De Torres would have been a practical decision of the matter.

Mr. Irving was troubled about the "pernicious tendency" of the proposal of Columbus, and indulged in the hackneyed and laughable cant about " the mistaken view of natural rights prevalent in the fifteenth century." I would wager that Queen Isabella could have taught Mr. Irving more sound doctrine about natural rights than he acquired during his sojourn in the world of the nineteenth century.

Habitually, when criticising the policy inaugurated by the Spanish sovereigns, and applied to the cannibals, the biographers of Columbus write, " knowingly," of an opinion current in the days of Ferdinand and Isabella, to the effect that: Christians had a right to enslave all infidels. Among the uninstructed such an opinion may have been common, but the Spanish Crown did not base its policy on this mistaken view. The Crown acted in accordance with the Law of Nations. This law of nations is not a fixed and immutable law. According to times and circumstances it has varied, as it will vary. Thanks to Las Casas, we have acquired a knowledge of the provisions of this law, in regard to slavery, at the end of the fifteenth century, and during the sixteenth century. Through capture in a just war, a just title could be acquired to a slave. Still, among Christian nations, this title was no longer recognized, because, through the influence of the Catholic Church, the Christian powers had been induced to give up the custom of enslaving prisoners. The title acquired in a just war was, nevertheless, recognized, where a Christian power was warring against a nation that still persisted in making slaves of prisoners. During the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, the only nations that enslaved Christian captives were the infidel nations; and consequently the only slaves captured by the Christian nations were infidels. The Christians did not enslave infidels because they were infidels, but because the infidels enslaved Christian captives. The right of the Christian was based on the law of just retaliation. The Moors and Saracens enslaved the Christians whom they captured in war, and treated them most barbarously. Very justly, the Christians, in return, compensated themselves for the losses and injuries they suffered through the enslavement of their Christian countrymen, and through the barbarities practised upon them.

Mr. Irving, like some recent writers of more pretension, abused the term: "natural rights." This term is comprehensive, and includes rights appertaining, at least, to all men who respect natural rights. Christian men have rights no less natural than the rights of infidels. Civilized men have rights that are as natural, and therefore as imperative, as the rights of savages. When Ferdinand and Isabella took possession of the Indies, through Columbus, they assumed a sovereignty over the new world. All the inhabitants thereof became their vassals. Among these inhabitants, the Sovereigns found many who were peaceable; and some who were unruly. Of the unruly, the Caribs were the more notable. They warred, as they willed, on the peaceable Indians,ravished their wives and daughters, enslaved men and women, and inhumanly killed and ate those that pleased them. For the Spaniards, the Caribs had no more respect than they had for the good Indians. The "natural rights" of their peaceable vassals, the Sovereigns were bound to protect. They could have no hesitation about warring on the Caribs; and there was no reason, founded in nature, why Ferdinand and Isabella should have hesitated to enslave the savages who not only made slaves of those they captured, but who also killed their captives, and ate those who were tender enough to gratify a "self-cultured " Carib palate. From Mr. Irving, I have quoted a passage in which it is said that, among other inhuman practices, the Caribs were guilty of the inhumanity of fighting with poisoned arrows. By itself, this unnatural habit outlawed them. In the fifteenth century the use of poisoned weapons was forbidden to Christians, under pain of excommunication; and this penalty applied even in a just war against infidels. By the law of the Catholic Church, to-day, a Catholic soldier firing a poisoned bullet, is ipso facto excommunicated. Sympathy with the " natural right " of the inhuman Caribs, is sympathy wasted. In this year of grace, if a Christian nation found any of its subjects threatened by man-eaters, who fought with poisoned weapons, it is more than probable that, warring against these savages, the commanders of the Christian army would kill every captive. Indeed, a tender-hearted General, following the example of the English in India during the revolt of the Sepoys, might be tempted to blow the cannibal outlaws to pieces, at the cannon's mouth. The Sepoys were not cannibals. Our contemporary rhetoric may be more humane than that of the fifteenth century, but we have not forgotten, in practice, to temper humanitarianism with exemplary "justice."

Under the circumstances, the proposal of Columbus and the decision of the Spanish Sovereigns, were prudent and gentle. There is no word of exterminating the Caribs; no word of punishing them with severity. On the contrary, every word of the Admiral and of the kings, is charitable. As a civilizing measure, especially, is the slavery of the Indians considered; a measure through which they should be freed from their inhuman habits, civilized, accustomed to law, instructed in the language of Castille and, finally, converted to the holy Catholic Faith. Civilized and converted, the former cannibals would return to their own land to assist in civilizing and converting the native Indians. Neither the King, nor the Queen, nor Columbus, need an apology for their mild policy toward the Caribs.

Isabella was a true Queen. She permitted none of her subjects to entertain a doubt concerning her opinion and decision as to the policy to be followed in dealing with the inhuman cannibals. Three years after Columbus had been unjustly and ignominiously deposed from the governorship of the Indies, the Queen, with her own hand, instructed De Lares in words that admit of no misunderstanding. Under the date of October 30th, 1503, she wrote that: "Being advised that Indians called cannibals war on the Christians, continually, and have done them much injury, and are, as they have been, hardened in their evil purposes, she grants license and privilege to all persons whomsoever to oppose these cannibals. Every one may and should capture the cannibals and carry them away from their lands and islands, and may and should bring them into Her Kingdoms and Seignories, and into any other parts and places whatsoever, as the captors will or prefer, paying to the Crown the share that belongs to it; and the captors may sell the cannibals and employ them profitably, without thereby incurring any penalty whatsoever; because, if the Christians transport them from those parts, and make use of them, the cannibals can be more easily converted and attracted to the holy Catholic Faith."'

From this document, it is evident that, when Ferdinand and Isabella, answering the second clause of the Memorial sent by Columbus in the care of De Torres, delayed their decision until the Admiral should write more at length, neither the King nor the Queen was shocked at the suggestion of Columbus that the cannibals might be exchanged for cattle, or for agricultural implements. By the letter of 1503, anybody and everybody is licensed to sell the Caribs, and to make slaves of them. Nor was the delay of the Crown, in 1494, due to any hesitation on the part of the King, or of the Queen, to profit by laying cusloms-duties on the transported cannibals. The letter of October 30th, 1503, especially reserves to the Crown its legal share of the proceeds of all sales of cannibal slaves. The policy of the Spanish Sovereigns was based on the Law of Nations. Let those who will, compose phrases about "mistaken views of natural law!" The Caribs were outlaws, by the Law of Nations, and indeed by the natural law.'

1 Navarrete, Coleccion de los Viages, vol. ii., p. 416'

In his works, as we have already stated, Las Casas presented his views on slavery as it existed in the Indies and on slavery in general. That a slave could be held by a good title, he acknowledged. The titles recognized by Las Casas were those accepted by the Law of Nations, and by the Canon Law. The title by purchase from a lawful owner was good; and so was the title by birth. The child of a legal slave, became a slave. The title acquired in a just war, the Bishop of Chiapa recognized. And, among just wars, he counted one licitly undertaken in the interest of Christianity. Our Lord and Saviour commissioned His Apostles to teach all nations. Under this commission, the Apostles, and their duly appointed successors, acquired a right to teach the Faith to all nations. Where they will, among the infidels, those holding Christ's commission have a right to preach the Gospel. Arms, they cannot bring with them. Their work is, eminently, a work of peace. Still, no one may forcibly oppose the peaceable missionaries of Christ. The infidel may reject the Faith; but he may not oppress, or violently impede the appointed teachers of the Faith. Infidel oppressors of the missionaries of the Gospel, could be justly attacked by a Christian nation. The Saviour of the world had rights. His Church retains them.'

A war against infidels, who, with arms in their hands, refused to hear the voice of the ministers of Christ, was a just war. So Las Casas held; and held only because the law was on his side. Now, though Ferdinand and Isabella did not formally declare war against the Caribs on the sole ground that they persecuted the appointed teachers of the Gospel, the answer of the Sovereigns to Columbus, in 1494, and the letter of Isabella to De Lares, in 1503, show that the Spanish King and Queen were influenced by the savage resistance of the Caribs to the peaceable introduction of the Christian religion. A further proof of this fact is afforded by the instructions given by Cardinal Ximenes to the Jeronimites, in the year 1516.'

To the illustrious Dominican, Ximenes was most friendly. He was opposed to the enslavement of the peaceable Indians. Las Casas received from him the firmest support, as the writer of the Historia de Las lndias gratefully acknowledges. The Jeronimites were sent to the Indies, by Ximenes, in order to correct the abuses of which Las Casas complained. Instructing the Jeronimites as to the policy they should pursue, the Cardinal set forth the traditions of the policy of the Crown toward the inhuman Caribs. It is from Las Casas that we quote the following "Remedy," approved by the great Ximenes. "The colonists will be much benefited if his Highness gives them caravels, properly equipped, so that the colonists themselves may go and capture the Caribs, who eat men and are an intractable people; and they are slaves because they have been unwilling to receive the preachers, and because they molest the Christians and those who are converted to our holy faith, and kill them and eat them; and because, sharing among themselves those that they capture, they make slaves of them; but under cover of capturing the Caribs, the colonists may not go to the other islands nor to the terra firma, nor capture those who dwell there, under penalty of death and of loss of property."''

In this short passage we have a complete explication of the reasons that determined the royal policy. The Caribs were cannibals; they attacked the Spaniards and the peaceful Indians; they made slaves of those they captured; and, in addition, they impeded the peaceful mission of the preachers. According to the Law of Nations, a war on the Caribs was a just war; and, by the same law, the captive Caribs were justly enslaved. The Crown had not merely the Law of Nations to support it, but also the Law of Nature.'

Las Casas, it is true, contested the truth of the fact, accepted by Ximenes, that the Caribs were unwilling to receive the preachers. The charitable Dominican claimed that, up to the year 1516, the Caribs did not know a preacher from any one else; and that 1 Coleccion, etc., para la Historia de Espana, vol. lxv.. p. 307. they had resisted, not the preachers, but wicked Spaniards, whom' they had always found to be cruel highwaymen.' His claim,: however, did not avail, though it was considered by Cardinal Ximenes and by the Council he selected to study the affairs of the Indies.

1 Coleccion, etc., para la Historia de Espana, vol. lxv.. p. 307.

Mr. Irving, and, following him, some less competent biographers, pretend to doubt the testimony adduced in proof of the cannibalism of the Caribs. The author of the " Life and Voyages" thought that " many of the pictures given us of this extraordinary race of people have been colored by the fears of the Indians and the prejudices of the Spaniards." Certain signs were misapprehended by the Admiral and his men. Imagination, and not reason, influenced them to form a baseless opinion that the Caribs were man-eaters. Mr. Irving's imagination led him astray. Columbus made no mistake. Mr. John Fiske states the truth, tersely. "The prevalence of cannibalism," he says, " not only in these islands, but throughout a very large part of aboriginal America, has been abundantly proved." * The argument by which Las Casas defined, limited, the title of the Spanish Sovereigns, in the New World, is logical, powerful. Neither Spain, however, nor any other nation, has accepted the premisses, or the conclusion of the great Dominican's argument. Discovery and occupation have been recognized, invariably, as founding a title of sovereignty. Under the title acquired, through the discovery and occupation by Columbus, the kings of Spain proceeded to exercise a sovereignty over the New World. The Indians were their vassals, having rights that the Crown was bound to protect, and duties that the Crown was bound to enforce. To life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, the new vassals had a right. And it was to protect and defend the lives, the liberties and the happiness of their loyal and peaceful vassals, that the kings of Spain pursued and punished the Caribs. These barbarians were punished in accordance with law; not Spanish law, but universal law. The Caribs were marauders; they fought with poisoned weapons; they made slaves of their captives and ate the flesh of those they murdered. In the interest of peace, of humanity, of civilization, the Caribs were, in turn, enslaved Thus I sum up the argument for the Crown; an argument that cannot be refuted by phrases intended to excite the false sympathies of the uneducated.

1 Coleccion, etc., para la Historia de Espana, vol. lxv., p. 310. 'The Discovery of America, vol. i., p. 465, note.

The insignificant part played by Columbus in this transaction, demonstrates the ignorance or the malice of those who charge him with criminality. In the Memorial of 1494, he made a suggestion to the Sovereigns. He had no authority to adopt or enforce any policy; nor did he attempt to usurp an authority vested in the Crown alone. Ferdinand and Isabella adopted a policy, in 1494. The Caribs were pursued and enslaved, under the authority of the King and the Queen, and of no one else. The policy, formed by the Crown, was deliberately continued. Three years after the despoliation of Columbus, the Queen affirms and extends the policy introduced in 1494; and ten years after the Admiral's death, this same policy is reaffirmed. Whether the policy were just or unjust, it was not a policy of Columbus, but it was a policy of the Spanish Sovereigns. Their treatment of the Admiral in this affair enforces more strongly the position I maintained in a previous article. The Admiral was the subject of the Crown. He was a quasi-governor, not a king. What the Sovereigns ordered or permitted, he could do. On the Sovereigns, he was wholly dependent. If, instead of being licit, the policy of enslaving the cannibals had been illicit, the Crown would deserve condemnation. The Crown, not Columbus, made law for the Indies. "I have now reached the point," said the Discoverer of the New World, in his letter to Dona Juana de la Torre, "where there is no man, however vile, but thinks it his right to insult me. Still the day will come when the world will reckon it a virtue in him who has not consented to their abuse.“ That day has come. To-day we attribute no great virtue to one who defends a good man against insult or misrepresentation. Fairness and manliness are not extraordinary virtues. Lying and cowardice are nevertheless, contemptible vices. Those guilty of them publicly, deserve public punishment. Dealing with the vile, one may appeal to the law of just retaliation. How much better are they, than " brutal barbarians”'

Columbus and the Cannibals

Discovery of Americas

John A. Mooney.
In the October number of "Self Culture," a " Magazine of Knowledge," published at Chicago, in the interest of the " Home University League," some unnamed person prints an article entitled: "Columbus - An Historical Estimate." Having read the article, I have no hesitation in saying that the writer is one of the most dangerous of the Western manipulators of " self-culture." Solemnly do I warn all the members of the " Home University League" against him; cautioning them, that, if they do not guard their magazine of knowledge, by day and by night, he will blow it sky-high. And let me suggest that all the Home guards be men liberally educated.

Though he is alarmingly self-cultured, I can see that the writer of the " Historical Estimate " studied English under a Master; and this master was either Justin Winsor, to whose unique talent I have tried to do justice;1 or else the master was an honor-man of the Winsorian school of Style.

From the first sentence to the last, we note the pleasing, euphonious, nonsensical, and illiterate language of the Master. We read of one: " supplying an effective correction " ; of " Columbian views of history "; of " the public at large in connection with the World's Fair "; of " the proper celebration of four-hundred years of America "; of " statements that were alarmingly off the mark of truth or even of actual recital." I know of but one school in the United States where a pupil may learn to write thus, barbarously; it is the "alarmingly off" school of Justin Winsor.

In order to do full justice to the modest pupil of the Master, I shall detach a gem or two from the bejewelled pages of "Self Culture." Here is a literary diamond of the first water:
"He (Columbus) contrived to cut a great figure, but he is found, when the facts are properly considered, to have been a great man in no real and true sense, and to have been a good man only after the fashion of professions which were no restraint upon a full measure of the worst passions of the human animal."

1. American Cath. Quarterly Review, Oct. 1802. ,

In this glowing parure, I discover only one flaw; and it is only a tiny little flaw. Remove the gem on which are inscribed the words: "a full measure"; insert another gem with the words: "a half peck," and you have a thing of beauty; one that will everlastingly " contrive to cut a great figure." You cannot make sense out of the stuff! My dear and misfortunate Sir, the Winsorites do not print sense; they polish diamonds of illiteracy, and jewel unintelligent thoughts that are " alarmingly off."

One other precious gemlet of the Self-Culturer invites inspection:

"It seems, therefore, not amiss to get carefully into shape for student-readers the evidence on which what may be called the Case Against Columbus rests, and will forever rest." The dear, dainty thing it is! "Not amiss to get carefully into shape "; how nice! "The evidence on which what." O Master Winsor! thy pupil hath almost excelled thee; and, like thee, he shall" contrive to cut a great figure" in the "Whichwhat " literature, of which thou art the student-founder!

From these few specimens of " Whichwhat" English, my readers can form an estimate of the culture and capacity of the writer of the article on " Columbus," in the Magazine of Knowledge. Nor would the article deserve closer examination, were it not for the intelligent interest we have in the " Home University League." Only a heartless student could be silent, seeing the risk the Leaguers run of becoming "Whichwhaters" in history, as well as in literature.

To aid the " League " in forming an estimate of the Discoverer of America, the artificer of the article on " Columbus," quotes a certain Dr. Charles Parkhurst, " who has achieved distinction by his unflinching pulpit work." This gentleman, it is said, used the following language about Columbus:

"I think him the most consummate liar that I have ever found in the history of the country. He made lying a fine art, and practised it all his life. I do not say this because he was a Roman Catholic, but because he professed to be so profoundly religious, when, as a matter of fact he was very far from a saint. You can study his whole life, and you will find that it was one of fabrication and greed for gold. He not only lied himself, (the Doctor is a whichwhater!) to Ferdinand and Isabella, but he compelled his crew to lie also. Lying was not his worst trait either, for he was the first to establish slavery in America, which cursed the new country for centuries. He was not a benefactor, for all that he did was for gold. He would not sail on his voyage until he was made an admiral by the king and received a promise of fabulous remuneration."

After the self-cultured Dr. Charles F. Parkhurst, the historian of "Self Culture," appeals to "Hon. Charles Francis Adams, whose views occasioned the Boston Transcript to say that Mr. Adams said:

"Columbus brought with him the Inquisition, persecution and that greed for gold that brought with it so many misfortunes. Columbus was a bigot. Columbus was visionary America would have been better to have delayed that discovery one hundred years."

As if the "Columbian views " of these two speechmakers were not all-sufficient, the Chicago word-artist informs us that:

"Dr. Poole, the eminent scholar-librarian of Chicago, in two or three important articles, made clear that learning cannot accord Columbus the praise of either remarkable greatness, or what would now be considered respectable goodness."

With a peculiar delicacy, the name of Mr. Justin Winsor is introduced at the end of the "Whichwhater's" list of historical authorities. The pupil's opinion of the Master may be gathered from the following quotations:

"Mr. Winsor's admirable " Life of Columbus" left but one thing to be desired - a more exact sentence upon the criminal on trial in his honest and learned pages The truth is that Mr. Winsor notably spares Columbus, and puts into the picture touches which concede to the popular conception somewhat more than the severest regard for truth permits... It is more than just to recognize Columbus as " the conspicuous developer of a great world movement," and " the embodiment of the ripened aspirations of his time." This honor belongs elsewhere. Columbus embodied only a corrupt and degraded form of the aspirations which were the glory of the age of discovery, and the world-movement was conspicuously marred, damaged and demoralized by the hand which he put upon it." "Columbus... was a curse to America rather than a benefactor, and a miserable fraud, a wretched failure as a discoverer." ..." Of genius for any high task, Columbus had none. The most sadly definable thing in him was the air not of authority, but of pretension, which savored more of the crank than the scientist, and for great parts of his conduct and utterances suggests a mind almost or quite off its balance. The movement in hand when he " paced his decks" would have ended far better if he had gone down with his "crazy little ships," and his crazy scheme of westward greed, which was a seed of sin and shame without a parallel, through more than three centuries of Spanish lust for gain from the new world."

I shall never tell any one, but deep down in my soul, I believe Justin Winsor is the confectioner of every word I have quoted, and indeed of every word of the article in "Self Culture." But if I am in error, Heaven help our dear mother-tongue! a second conspicuous "marrer," damager and demoralizer, has put his hand upon that tongue, and he will wring, twist, wrench and maul it, unfeelingly and interminably, unless the "world-movement" should, considerately, throw him " almost or quite off the world balance," - a consummation devoutly to be wished for!

Were I to omit the closing paragraph of the unknown, photographic " developer " of the Magazine of Knowledge, my grateful duty would not be fulfilled. Here it is:

"Columbus, in fact, took on a citizenship which was the worst in Europe, and accepted the most evil fates under the banner of Spain. He did this in a kinship of his own spirit to the Spanish spirit. Of fairly large natural intelligence and quick perception, he yet had emotion rather than intellect, imagination rather than judgment and knowledge, and enthusiasms, flaming and wandering, rather than convictions well based and principles firmly held. A confident and determined visionary, indefinitely incapable of self-deception and delusion, of pious fraud and pious falsehood, he found his place with Spain at her worst, and achieved a mission, perhaps the worst for failure in success and shame amid glory, in all human history."

The " student-reader's " humor has been satisfied by these quotations. Therefore we may now seriously consider the historical estimate of Columbus, presented to the Home University League by the leaders of the " Whichwhat " school.

To form a thorough, and an independent estimate of the Discover of America, one must read studiously all the letters of Columbus, the diaries of his voyages, the grants conceded him by Isabella and Ferdinand, the grants conceded by the Papacy, the letters of the Sovereigns to him and to their agents, and the testimony adduced at the several trials in which his heirs were involved. These documents are the first in importance. After them, as contemporary sources, one must become familiar with the works of Andres Bernaldez, Peter Martyr, Oviedo, Las Casas, and the Historic referred to Fernando the son of Columbus. No complete and authentic English translation of these documents or works has been published. They must be consulted in the original Spanish, Italian or Latin.

Basing their conclusions on these documents and books, many learned men have discussed the character, the acquirements and the deeds of Columbus; and no conscientious student would presume to write about The Discoverer, without first perusing the volumes of Herrera, Mufioz, Navarrete, Von Humboldt, Irving, Major, De Lorgues, and Harrisse. The labor such a course of reading compels, must preclude even Home University Leaguers from forming a grounded, independent judgment on Columbus; and consequently the majority of men must be dependent on some writer who has fairly and thoroughly controlled all the sources, and all the critical studies of the sources; or on some writer, or talker, who has unfairly, unintelligently, uncritically, ignorantly scribbled or gabbled, when silence was most becoming.

In a list of educated, critical, intelligent and fair-minded students of Columbus, no self-respecting writer would place the name of Parkhurst, Adams, or Winsor. Do we mean to imply that they are not educated, fair-minded, intelligent or critical? Would we place them among the ignorant scribblers and gabblers? To these not improper questions, we prefer that our readers should answer, when they have estimated the testimony we shall here present, and the standing of our witnesses.

Mr. Prescott, though not a Roman Catholic, has been recognized as a historian of merit, who was sometimes truthful, and seldom visionary. From Vol. III., p. 244, of the "History of Ferdinand and Isabella." I quote Mr. Prescott's "historical estimate" of Columbus:

"Whatever were the defects of his mental constitution, the finger of the historian will find it difficult to point to a single blemish in his moral character. His correspondence breathes the sentiment of devoted loyalty to his sovereigns. His conduct habitually displayed the utmost solicitude for the interests of his followers. He expended his last maravedi in restoring his unfortunate crew to their native land. His dealings were regulated by the nicest principles of honor and justice. His last communication to the sovereigns from the Indies remonstrates against the use of violent measures in order to extract gold from the natives, as a thing equally scandalous and impolitic. The grand object to which he dedicated himself seemed to expand his whole soul, and raised it above the petty shifts and artifices, by which great ends are sometimes sought to be compassed. There are some men, in whom rare virtues have been closely allied, if not to positive vice, to degrading weakness. Columbus's character presented no such humiliating incongruity. Whether we contemplate it in its public or private relations, in all its features it wears the same noble aspect. It was in perfect harmony with the grandeur of his plans, and their results more stupendous than those which. Heaven has permitted any other mortal to achieve."1

Alexander von Humboldt was one of the most cultured men of this century. He had genius rather than talent. A sceptic and an infidel, if not an atheist, he had no love for the Catholic religion. His pursuits, as a naturalist and a geologist, interested him in The Discoverer of the New World. Not only did Von Humboldt familiarize himself with the documentary history of Columbus, but he sailed over the great Italian's course, and also trod in his footsteps. Thrice he published the results of his studies on the life and achievements of the Discoverer: in the " Essai politique sur l'isle de Cuba1 (Paris, 1826), in the "Examen critique de l'histoire de la Geographie du Nouveau Continent" (Paris, 1836); and in "Cosmos" (London, 1S48).

"Columbus is distinguished for his deep and earnest sentiment of religion," says Von Humboldt.' He was " endowed with a high intelligence, and with an invincible courage in adversity." He was eloquent, poetical; and the extent of his reading is astonishing. "What characterizes Columbus is the penetration and the extreme delicacy with which he seizes the phenomena of the exterior world. He is just as remarkable an observer of nature, as he is remarkable as an intrepid 'mariner."3.... "Columbus does not confine himself to gathering isolated facts; he combines them, he seeks their mutual relations, sometimes he rises boldly to the discovery of the general rules that govern the physical world. This tendency to generalize facts and observations is all the more worthy of attention, because, before the end of the 15th century, I might almost say, before Father Acosta, we see no other attempt at it."' Navigators, astronomers, geologists, geographers, commerce,

1 History of the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella, Boston, 1838; Vol. III., pp. 244-245 * Cosmos, Vol. II., p. 420. * Examen critique, Vol. III., p. 9. * Examen critique, Vol. III., p. 20.

"all the physical sciences," and philology, are indebted to Columbus, Von Humboldt says and proves1 by references to the writings and the doings of the Discoverer of the New World. Columbus " dominates his century," the learned German scientist declares: "The majesty of the great memories seems to be concentrated on the name of Christopher Columbus. It is the originality of his vast conception, the breadth and fecundity of his genius, the courage opposed to long misfortunes which have raised the Admiral above all his contemporaries." 1

What Columbus did for human science, Von Humboldt knew, and told. "He discovered a magnetic line without variation, and this discovery marks a memorable epoch in nautical astronomy.' The actual equatorial current, the movement of waters between the tropics, was first described by Columbus.'.... But not only had the Admiral the merit of finding the line without variation in the Atlantic, he remarked thereon ingeniously that the magnetic variation could be used, within certain limits, to determine the longitude of the vessel.*.. ..He discovered also the influence of longitude on the distribution of heat, following the same parallel." .... Columbus served the human race by offering it at the one time so many objects for reflection; he enlarged the mass of ideas; through him human thought progressed.'"

Mr. Clements R. Markham, like Von Humboldt, an educated, studious, observing traveller, and a writer of merit, holds, as he deserves to hold, a high place among living scientific men; and to-day, Mr. Markham honors the honorable office of President of the " Royal Geographical Society." He has written a short " Life of Christopher Columbus," which is, without exception, the fairest and the most instructive " Life " of the Discoverer, published in the English language." What estimate has Mr. Markham formed of the character and the achievements of the man who is described, by the " Whichwhater " of the " Self-Culturist," as a " criminal"1

"Columbus," Mr. Markham writes, "had a very active and imaginative brain, the bright thoughts following each other in

1 Examen critique, p. 155. * Examen critique, Vol. V., p. 177. Cosmos, Vol. II., p. 657. * Cosmos, Vol. II., p. 662. * Examen critique. Vol. III., p. 38. "Examen critique, Vol. III., p. 99. 'Examen critique, Vol. III., p. 153. "London, George Philip & Son, 1892.

rapid succession, and his enthusiastic and impressionable nature produced visions and day-dreams which often impressed him with all the force of reality. Like Joan of Arc, and other gifted beings who have been the instruments to work out great events, Columbus heard voices, which had the practical effect of rousing him from despondency and bracing him to his work. He has recorded two occasions on which this happened, but probably " the voices" made themselves heard at other critical turning points of his life. Yet there was no danger of his becoming a mere visionary. His clear, penetrating intellect saved him from that; and it was this unrivalled power, combined with a brilliant imagination, which constituted his genius. He prepared himself for his great work by long study, by the acquisition of vast experience, and by a minute knowledge of every detail of his profession. But this would not have sufficed. He added to these qualifications a master mind endowed with reasoning powers of a high order; and an ingenious, almost subtle, way of seizing upon and utilizing every point which had a relation to the subject he was considering. His forecasts amount to prevision. Assuredly the discovery of the New World was no accident. "His genius and lofty enthusiasm, his ardent and justified previsions, mark the Admiral as one of the lights of the human race."'

"It was, however, as a navigator that the genius of Columbus found the most suitable field for its display. He was a consummate seaman, and without any equal in that age as a pilot and a navigator; while his sense of duty and responsibility gave rise to a watchfulness which was unceasing and untiring. His knowledge of cosmography, of all needful calculations, and of the manipulation of every known instrument was profound: but he showed even greater force in his forecasts of weather, in his reasoning on the effects of winds and currents, and in the marvellous accuracy of his landfalls, even when approaching an unknown coast... .His genius was a gift which is only produced once in an age. But his reasoning power, carefully trained and' cultivated, his diligence as a student, his habits of observation, and

1 Life of Columbus, by Clements R. Markham. C. B., pp. 296, 297. The sentence quoted by Mr. Markham. at the close, is a sentence lie takes from Col. Yule's admirable work on : " Marco Polo."

the regularity of his work, especially in writing up a journal and taking observations, are qualities which every seaman might usefully study and imitate. He has been accused of carelessness and inaccuracy in his statements: but every instance that has been put forward can be shown to be consistent with accuracy. The blunders were not those of the Admiral, but of his crities. Considering the circumstances under which many of his letters were written, his careful accuracy of statement is remarkable. It is another proof of a mind long trained to orderly and methodical habits He was amiable and of a most affectionate disposition, and made many and lasting friendships in all ranks of life.. .We reverence and admire his genius, we applaud his large-hearted magnanimity, we urge the study of his life on all seamen as a useful example, but his friendships and the warmth of his affections are the qualities which appeal most to our regard. Columbus was a man to reverence, but he was still more a man to love."

"The work of few men in the world's history has had such a lasting influence on the welfare of the human race as that of Columbus. It created a complete revolution in the thoughts and ideas of the age. It was a landmark and a beacon. It divided the old and the new order of things, and it threw a bright light over the future. In ten years he discovered the way across the Atlantic, he explored the Gulf stream and the regions of the trades, of the westerlies and the calms; he discovered the Bahamas and the West Indies; he inspired the work of Cabot and Cortereal; and he or his pupils discovered the coasts of the new continent from 8degrees South of the equator to the Gulf of Honduras. But the greatest achievement was the first voyage across the ocean. It broke the spell and opened a new era. All else he did, and all that was done after his death for the next fifty years, followed as a natural consequence. The originator and supreme leader of all, was Christopher Columbus."'

To these "estimates " collected from American, German and English authorities, I shall add a few sentences written by Prof. John Fiske in the second volume of his work on: The Discovery of America1 The Discovery of America may be regarded in one

Life of Columbus, C. R. Markham. pp. 2ox), 300, 301. i Page 553.

sense as a unique event, but it must likewise be regarded as a long and multifarious process. The unique event was the crossing of the sea of Darkness in 1492. It established a true and permanent contact between the eastern and western halves of our planet, and brought together the two streams of human life that had flowed in separate channels ever since the Glacial period. No ingenuity of argument can take from Columbus the glory of an achievement which has, and can have, no parallel in the whole career of mankind.1

Before again addressing the "Home University League," it may be well to state that I do not know what religion Mr. Markham professes, though I am certain he is not a Catholic. As for the good-humored Mr. Fiske, I fear that, for a second, but no longer, he would be angry with any one who charged him with having a " denominational " religion. He is a " Fiskian" philosopher. Any educated gentleman can be truthful, if he will; and there is no reason why the most predestinated and self-cultured Calvinist should not be a liar.

Comparing the standing of the competent scholars whom I have called as witnesses to the character, ability, and deeds of Columbus, with the want of standing of Messrs. Parkhurst, Adams, Winsor, and the anonymous composer of the vile and ignorant article in "Self Culture," I know that the intelligent and honest Home Leaguers will thank me for warning them to guard their magazine against the conscienceless " historical dynamiter " who has secreted himself in the League's " midst." The man or men, who, to-day, in the face of the scholarship of five centuries, would seek to mislead any portion of American youth, by representing Columbus as a life-long and practised liar, greedy for gold, a bigot, a visionary, a criminal, a curse to America, a miserable fraud, a crank, deficient in intellect, judgment, and knowledge, a pious fraud, the worst failure and the greatest shame in all human history,1such man or men, because of consummate ignorance, or phenomenal malice, deserve the reprobation of every lover of truth, of learning, of grand ideals and grand actions. More than wife-beaters, they are worthy of the whipping-post. They poison the springs of truth; they destroy honorable reputations; they sow the seed of falsehood, thus endangering the very life of society. Hated of God, the knowing falsifier should be pursued and punished by men. The ignorant falsifier, if less guilty, is no less dangerous, and should be promptly exposed.

The managers of " Self Culture " are evidently committed to the " Whichwhat " school of defamation; for, besides the article I have discussed, they print, in the Magazine of Knowledge, " Readings in American History," whose purport is further to mislead the members of the Home University League concerning Columbus, and at the same time to advertise the " Encyclopaedia Britannica;" a work in which, apparently, the publishers of " Self Culture " are not unselfishly interested. Woe! Woe! to the University whose corner-stone is an encyclopaedia, and whose dome is topped by the illuminated statue of Justin Winsor enlightening Chicago.

Certain false charges made in the Winsoresque estimate of Columbus, I shall repel in a second article. They refer to his relations with Dona Beatrix, and to his dealings with the Indians. Again and again and again these charges have been answered, and therefore I can say nothing new; but, lest the members of the H. U. L. may not find an answer in the E. B., I may serve them by repeating an old story. Loving truth and my mother-tongue as ardently as the "self-culturedest" self-culturer, I shall spare no effort to preserve the Magazine of Knowledge from the incendiary 1Whichwhaters."

Columbus Among Liars


John A. Mooney.

With a pen dripping honied vocables, an unknown artist has attributed to an unflinching pulpitworker the following graceful and gracious attempt to express an uncultured untruth: "Columbus was the first to establish slavery in America, which cursed the new country for centuries." And not to be surpassed by a mere pulpit-worker, the artist composed, for the delectation of students, a dulcet sentence, thus worded: "The record of the terms without which Columbus refused to sail is a monumental exposure of his greed, and that of the dealings by which he strove to effect his purpose reveals a lust of the flesh and of base desire at once brutal and shameless." Were the pupils in the schools of Chicago compelled, daily, to turn these two "brutal and shameless " sentences into English, there is no doubt in my mind that Young America would curse this country during all the ages; and that, even the old folk, repressing, for a time, all lusts of the flesh and base desires, would laugh "to kill" at the monumental exposure of the self-culture of the pulpit-worker and the magazine worker.

The end is not yet. "There is no reason whatever,"the artist tunefully intones," for imagining that we could see Columbus more favorably if we had more light. There is but too much light for those that have eyes to see, and in the not yet translated parts of Las Casas there is enough more to put a brand of eternal infamy on the Italian adventurer who enslaved and slaughtered the natives of the islands discovered by him as recklessly, and exterminated them in vast numbers as ruthlessly, as if they had been so many field vermin."

O awfully, cruelly funny "Whichwhater!" There shall be a light in our window for thee; just enough for a blind man to see. But what should one do with that Italian adventurer who discovered islands as recklessly as if they had been so many field vermin? Put a brand of eternal infamy on him with too much and enough more light! Nay; the penalty must fit the crime. Let him be interned with "the not yet translated parts of Las Casas," in the Winsorian Hospital for Enslaved and Slaughtered English Grammars! In a letter written in 1500 to Dona Juana de la Torre, the Discoverer of the New World used the following words: "I have reached a point where even the vilest seek to outrage me ".... "If I had stolen the Indies and given them to the Moors, it would be impossible to show more hatred to me, in Spain." With this quotation I dismiss the " Whichwhaters." Their hatred will avail no more than Spanish hatred availed. But their vile language, their outrages on our mother-tongue, are so shameful, that I feel bound once more to warn all self-culturing youths and maidens to keep a watchful eye on the Magazine of Knowledge. Eternal vigilance is the price of good English. The name of the great Dominican, Las Casas, has been freely used by scribblers who knew little about him. A mere mention of the titles of his works will expose the cheap pretension of the one who referred to " the not yet translated parts of Las Casas." Besides the: De unico modo vocationis, he published a Spanish translation of the Brief: Enntes docete omnes getites, issued by Pope Paul III., on May 29th, 1537; and this translation was followed by the: Brevissima relacion de la destruycion de las lndias, commonly known as: "The Destruction of the Indies." Pursuing a single aim, Las Casas multiplied treatises. Of these a number exist only in manuscript. Those printed during his lifetime, in the original Spanish or Latin, or published after his death, in traitorous French translations, are more than a few; as the following titles exhibit: "Entre los Remedies "; "Tratado comprobatorio del Imperio Soberano'; the "Thirty Propositions", otherwise presented as the " Twenty Reasons "; the " Quaeslio de imperatoria vel regia potestate "; the treatise on the " Liberty of the Indians "; the " Controversy with Dr. dc Sepulveda "; the "Letter to Don B. Carranza de Miranda"; and the " Consultation on the Affairs of Peru." The best known, though not the most learned work of Las Casas, is the: " Historia de las lndias' printed for the first time, in 1875. I have not heard of anv English translation of the Historia, though I have read that some of his works have been translated into English. There is an Italian as well as a French version of the Brevissima relacion. The Italian version is reliable. Several of the treatises have been paraphrased, most liberally, by Llorente,' who cooked texts always with a freedom allowable only to a Spanish chef when concocting an Olla Podrida.

Translating "parts" of Las Casas, we can compare his estimate of Columbus, with the estimate formed by Von Humboldt. Prescott, Markham and Fiske. "He was a man with a great valiant soul,"'thus Las Casas wrote,"" of high thought, and from what can be deduced from his life and deeds and from his writings and conversation, naturally inclined to attempt illustrious and noble actions and deeds; patient and long-suffering, a pardoner of injuries, and one who desired no other thing, as he himself said, than that those who injured him should acknowledge their errors, and that delinquents should confess their offenses; most constant and adorned with longanimity in the hardships and adversities that ever befell him, the which were incredible and infinite, maintaining always a great confidence in Divine Providence; and truly, from what I myself have heard, both from my own father who was with him when he returned to colonize the island of Hispaniola in 1493, and from other persons who accompanied him and served him, he had and always preserved affectionate fidelity and devotion to the Sovereigns."

From this single quotation, the ignorance or the malice of those who use the name of Las Casas in support of their falsehoods, will be apparent. The " Great Apostle of the Indies " ' never hesitated to use a strong word in the right place. To their face, he compared men high in power with one who is known to all Christians as the father of lies. And were Las Casas alive to-day, and writing here, I am not certain that, moved by a just indignation, he would have spared the calumniators of Columbus a comparison that I deem superfluous.

1 Euvres de Don Barthelemi de las Casas. par J. A. Llorente. Paris, 1822. 2 vols. 9 Historia de las Indias, in the: Coleccion de documentos ineditos para la Historia de Espana, Madrid, 1875, vol. I xii. p. 45. 3 Thus Sir Arthur Helps calls Las Casas.

However, we shall not confine ourselves to one quotation. Passing over a tribute to the " grand memory " and the " extraordinary faculty of judgment " with which God had endowed the Discoverer of the New World; and omitting the testimony of Las Casas to the fact that Columbus was "a man fearing God, and temperate," and that " his constancy and the generosity of his soul were no less remarkable than his knowledge," I beg my readers to reflect on the following passage:' "And so I (Bartholomew Las Casas) believe that Christopher Columbus was moved principally for God, and for spiritual and eternal treasures, and for the salvation of the predestined." Perhaps there are unflinching pulpit-workers, student-librarians, and uncultured speechmakers who had not read the " now translated parts " of Las Casas. Dare they say that Columbus was greedy for gold alone; or, that he was a criminal? If he were a mere adventurous criminal, what was Las Casas? Was he also a criminal? In the: Case Against Columbus, there is a criminal somewhere; and if the criminal be neither Columbus nor Las Casas, I think we shall catch him red-handed.

"All the days of his life "I am translating another passage from Las Casas" were full of perils, surprises, hardships, such as were never before heard of, bitter sorrows, persecutions, afflictions, and one continued martyrdom."* A martyr criminal! and the first recorded in history. The criminal,all the days of whose life were full of hardships, such as were never before heard of; the criminal who,suffering always the bitter sorrows, persecutions, and afflictions that only a great, valiant soul could have borne, was moved to seek a new world, principally for God, and for spiritual and eternal treasures, and for the salvation of souls,is a criminal unique in the experience of mankind.

1 Coleccion, vol. lxii., p. 248. * Coleccion, vol. lxii., p. 249. 'It is Llorente who thus qualifies Las Casas.

What estimate should we form of the life and the deeds of such a"criminal" The " martyr of charity "' shall answer: "To extol and manifest two things, I (Bartholomew Las Casas) have many times, when meditating on this matter, desired that I might have new grace and aid from God, and the pen of Tullius Cicero with his eloquence; the first of these things is the ineffable service that Christopher Columbus rendered to God, and the universal benefits he conferred oa the whole world, especially on Christendom, and, among others, more particularly on the Castilians, if we recognize the gifts of God, with which he was endowed, and his risks and hardships, and the industry, skill and valor, which he abundantly displayed in the discovery of this orb."' ... "It would seem that, before the ages, God conceded to this man the keys of that most fearful sea, and desired that no other should open its mysterious locks; that to him we owe all those harbors, within, that have followed since (he opened the locks), and whatever benefits of any sort shall follow from this day forward until the end of the world."'

Lengthily does Las Casas enumerate the manifold benefits conferred on mankind and on religion by Christopher Columbus; and, deeply affected, as all men of thought and feeling have been affected, by the remembrance of the immortal deeds of Columbus, the great Dominican thus concludes: "Of all these illustrious and incomparable benefits, and of other innumerable benefits that each day strike our eyes, .. . the second cause, under God, and the first with respect to all the men of this world, was that most worthy man, the first discoverer of that most extensive and most famous New World, of which he alone worthily deserved to be the first Admiral.'"

To these enthusiastic eulogies of Columbus, we could add others no less hearty, written by the same hand in the: Historia de las Indias ; but from those I have quoted, one having eyes can see that no child of the father of lies can be in communion with the first priest ordained in the New World,Bartholomew Las Casas. The " criminal " of Winsor et al. is the Christian hero of Las Casas, and of all other educated and truthful men. A brand of eternal infamy, the fiery Dominican would have burned into the forehead of any one malicious enough to represent as a criminal, the most worthy man, who, with respect to all men, was the first cause of all the incomparable benefits that have accrued to humanity through the discovery of the marvellous New World,Christopher Columbus.

Relating the story of the occupation and colonization of the Indies, Las Casas did pass a severe judgment on many acts for which he held the Admiral responsible; but by no word did the honest and learned Dominican question the purity of the Admiral's intentions. The wisdom or the legality of these acts, Las Casas questions or denies; but nowhere does he cast a suspicion, however slight, on the motives that determined Columbus in his policy as a governor.

The position maintained by Las Casas was peculiar. He did not absolutely deny the right to make or hold slaves. The Law of Nations recognized such a right, and, as a jurist, he was bound to recognize the validity of that law. What he did deny was: that anybody, not excepting the Rulers of Spain, had a right to make slaves, contrary to the law of nations, or to hold slaves illicitly acquired. To this sound major proposition, he added a minor having this intent: The Indians enslaved in the New World were illicitly enslaved. Conceding this minor, his conclusion was logically consequent: Therefore all the Indian slaves should be set free. To prove his minor, Las Casas maintained that a good title to a slave could be acquired only by capture in a just war { bona guerra ) or by purchase or gift, the seller or donor having a good title; and to this new major he appended a new minor: No title, acquired through a just war, existed in the New World; and few, if any Indians, had been purchased, or received as a gift, from individuals who had a legal right to sell or give. This new minor, he supported by a declaration that the sole title the Spaniards had in the New World was the title conceded them by the Bull of Pope Alexander VI.; and that the sole right acquired under this Bull, was the right to preach the Gospel to the inhabitants of the New World. The occupation by Columbus was in the eyes of Las Casas, a forcible, unjustifiable occupation; the attempt to establish a form of government other than that existing among the natives, he denounced as an act of injustice; nay, more, he protested that, in attacking the Spaniards, and in killing them, anywhere and everywhere, the Indians were justified. On their side was right; the Spaniard was an unjust aggressor. So that,in the opinion of Las Casas, all acts performed by Columbus, or by his successors, excepting only such acts as were directed to the peaceable spreading of Christianity, were unjust, radically. The argument of Las Casas, I have summarized here. In several of his memorials and treatises, as well as in the Brevissima relatcion and in the Historia he stated the argument clearly, though it is in the controversy with De Sepulveda that he develops his thesis the more fully and closely.

If the student-librarians and their co-working pulpiteers will apply the principles and the reasoning of Las Casas to the occupation of our coasts by Puritan or Cavalier, and to the " civilizing" methods adopted by these models of sweet Christian charity, they will find material for volumes of illicit English and of righteous indignation. There is light enough in the "not yet translated parts of Las Casas " and in the written and unwritten history of the American colonies and of the United States, to "put a brand of infamy" on the slaughterers and exterminators of the American Indians who were not fortunate enough to come under the mild rule of Christopher Columbus, but who were so unfortunate as to fall into the hands of Englishmen and Dutchmen, whose purposes reveal not only "a lust of the flesh and base desire at once brutal and shameless," but also a contempt for right and for justice that only a Las Casas could fittingly expose and condemn.

Clearly, the conclusion of the jurist and theologian reached and purposely reached beyond Columbus. He was but the servant of the crown, and the policy he adopted was passed upon or initiated, by the kings Spain. They were responsible for the injustices that were radical. And this responsibility Las Casas charged them with, again and again. Indeed, on account of his iteration of royal responsibility, he was accused of disloyalty; a charge against which he skilfully defended himself.

Reading the Historia, by bits and scraps, one may fall upon a passage, which, wrested from the context, and presented unintclligently or dishonestly, would mislead. Everything Las Casas wrote, was written under the influence of his grand argument. Coming to details, each act of Columbus was measured by Las Casas according to the Law of Nations, and the canons of Catholic theology set forth in his works; and not only for every act, illicit under the law and the canons, did he condemn the Admiral, but also for all the consequences of these acts. This sweeping condemnation, Las Casas qualified, however, by excusing Columbus for performing these condemnable actions, On account of his good faith, sincerity, gentleness (dulzura) and benignity; or on account of his ignorance of law; or on account of the royal approbation of his acts. On the crown it is that Las Casas really places the responsibility, as he should do. A Council composed of jurists and theologians, decided all questions relating to the treatment of the Indians. To this Council all the politic acts of Columbus were submitted; and, with the Council, the Sovereigns passed upon those acts; as, advised by the Council, the Sovereigns frequently instructed their Admiral how they desired him to act. For whatever policy he adopted, the Council was finally responsible; and on the Council, Las Casas imposes the final responsibility.

Making the Council bear the burden of the policy followed by Columbus, Las Casas aimed one shaft at King Ferdinand, and another at Fonseca, the king's favorite; both of whom, as Las Casas testifies, were ever unfriendly to the noble Discoverer; and both of whom influenced the Council to serve ends personal to the king and to Fonseca. No policy formed by Columbus could have been permanently established, against the advice of the Council and the will of the Sovereigns.

Here it may be well to recall some facts that are seldom considered. On his first voyage, Columbus constructed Fort Navidad, and left in the fort, a garrison of forty-four men. Returning to Spain, he reached Palos on March 15th, 1493. A month had hardly passed when the Sovereigns organized the department of Indian affairs, with Fonseca as its head. From that day forward Columbus was subject to the control of this department as well as of the Sovereigns. Making a second voyage to the New World, the Admiral reached Navidad, on November 27th, 1493. Until April 24th, 1494, he remained on land, planning the new city of Isabella, stamping out the conspiracy of Bernal Diaz and exploring the island. Discovering and observing, amid perils and hardships, lie spent the following five months at sea. "Prostrate, insensible, delirious," ' "deprived of memory, sight and all his faculties,"3 he was carried onshore, at Isabella, on September 29th, 1494. During the succeeding five months, he lay there, helplessly ill. Recovering, he spent the next eleven months in defending the colony against disorderly Spaniards and warring Indians. On March 10th, 1496, he sailed once more for Spain. Two years and five months later, on August 31st, 1498, he returned to the New World, and entered the new city of San Domingo for the first time. Pacifying the country, contending with rebels, and successfully founding the colony on a basis of prosperity, Columbus, with his brother Bartholomew, surmounted many and rare difficulties, and bore hardships innumerable. On the 22d of August, 1500, Bobadilla appeared in the harbor of San Domingo, and the authority of Columbus ended forever. Seven years had passed since the first discovery; and, during these seven years, the Admiral had exercised authority for no more than three years and four months.

Reference has been made to the rebellion of Diaz, which was only the first of several traitorous attempts to nullify the authority of the Admiral and of the kings of Spain. And it is noteworthy that the favorites of royalty were frequently implicated in the conspiracies against tne representative of the crown. When in April, 1494, Columbus went in search of new lands, he appointed a commission or Junta, of five, to manage affairs during his absence. At least one member of this Junta proved a disturber; and the rebellious Margarite, a favorite of the king, found a supporter in Boil, another favorite. Convalescing after his long illness, the Admiral learned of the rising of Caonabo, a savage no less unreliable than the royal favorites. Roldan, Riquelme, Guevara, Mejica, in turn, threatened the very existence of the colony, and made the two latter years of his nominal governorship a " martyrdom." We have already noted the control exercised by the Sovereigns over the affairs of the Indies, from the day that they first knew of the existence of the Indies. Sixty years ago.
Von Humboldt
1 Life of Christopher Columbus, by C. R. Markham, p. 169.
J The Life and Voyages, Irving, Hudson edition, vol. i., p. 524.

wrote: "Official documents, and especially the large number of royal orders addressed to Columbus prove that the court occupied itself with the smallest details of the administration of the colony."' These documents and orders exist, and a biographer of Columbus, desirous of claiming thoroughness and honesty, must read every one of them. Having read them, he cannot honestly represent the Admiral as an autocrat, ruling according to his own pleasure. A document, made public by the Sovereigns on April 10th, 1495," shows how lightly they esteemed his powers, and how absolutely they assumed to control the Indies, regardless of any privileges or grants they had accorded him, under their hand and seal. In this document, they gave " general permission to native-born subjects to settle in the island of Hispaniola, and to go on private voyages of discovery and traffic to the New World." By this act, they attacked the authority nominally placed by them in the Admiral's hands, and invited the disorders which, later, he repressed at so great cost to himself. Again to advertise their royal control, they sent Juan Aguado to Hispaniola, in August, 1495. The spirit of the Sovereigns and of the department of the Indies can be fairly judged by Aguado's bearing when he arrived at Isabella, in October of the same year. "He assumed," says Washington Irving, "a tone of authority, as though the reins of government had been transferred into his hands. He interfered in public affairs; ordered various persons to be arrested; called to account the officers employed by the Admiral, and paid no respect to Don Bartholomew Columbus, who remained in command during the absence of his brother."" To defend himself against the calculated ill-will, and against the calumnies of this agent of the Sovereigns,the Admiral was obliged to return to Spain, in March, 1496. Two years and five months he was detained there, by the machinations of Fonseca and the neglect of the crown. When he embraced his brother once more, in the new city of San Domingo, it was " with grief and disappointment that he learned of the mutiny of the
1 Examen critique, vol. iii., p. 262.
4 See Navarrete,Coleccion de los viagesy descubrimientos; vol.ii., pp. 165-168.
3 Irving, vol. ii., pp. 82, 83.

miscreant, Francisco Roldan, whom he had raised from the dust." Roldan, Riquelme, Guevara, Mejica might well have charged Ferdinand and Fonseca with having encouraged rebellion, by their own repeated attacks on the Admiral's authority. When he had compromised with Roldan, and had reduced the others to obedience, the Sovereigns practically approved all the treacheries and rebellions that Columbus had mastered. The chains of Bobadilla were the sole reward of the Admiral's affectionate loyalty, valor, high judgment, prudence and longanimity.

From these records, it is as clear as the day that, before Columbus exercised a single act of authority in the New World, and indeed before a community existed there, the Sovereigns assumed the direction of Indian affairs; and that, henceforward, they supervised the smallest details of his administration, acting, commonly, without consulting with him, and often ordering affairs of their own motion; and it is equally clear that from the destruction of Fort Navidad until the disgraceful day on which he was put into irons,beset continually with trials, caused more than all by Spanish miscreants who hated him because of his ability and virtue, the crown, instead of supporting him, offered an example which naturally encouraged ambitious and greedy men to despise the mean and insecure authority that Columbus was permitted to exercise.

Now, I may fairly ask, is there any sensible person, weighing the facts here presented, who will believe that Christopher Columbus could have introduced slavery into the New World? The answer is plain: He could not have introduced slavery, during the three years and four months of his administration, without the consent or connivance of the Sovereigns; and, had he introduced slavery, the crown would be responsible, and not Columbus, Does Las Casas charge Columbus with introducing slavery into the New World? He does not so charge him; nor could he, for the simple reason that, by no free act did Columbus introduce or endeavor to introduce slavery into the New World.

The economic systems adopted by the Admiral are succinctly stated by Las Casas in the " Eleventh Reason" of the "Remedies." I quote his words: "The first Admiral of the Indies, who discovered the New World, believing that he followed the will of the kings, when he was at the island of Hispaniola in the beginning, made tributaries of the Indians, imposing on each of those living in the neighborhood of the mines to fill a hawk's bell with gold; and on those who were far away from the mines he laid a tax of a certain quantity of cotton and of such other things as they could give. Afterwards some tyrants among the Spaniards, who were with him, separated from him and revolted against his authority, and were the cause of his suffering great hardships and afflictions; and they possessed themselves of the Indians in a province of the island (of Hispaniola) called Xaragua, a rich province, and very populous, and commenced to make use of the Indians very unjustly; and after having come to an agreement, he permitted the Spaniards to retain some settlements (of Indians), and to use their labor and so to till farms for themselves."'

The " Spanish tyrants " to whom Las Casas alludes were the turbulent followers of Francisco Roldan, who in the year 1497, led a revolt against Bartholomew Columbus, during the Admiral's absence in Spain. In the Historia delas Indias, Las Casas narrates all the evil doings of this " miscreant," who, persecuting the Indians on the one hand, and, on the other, exciting them to destroy the royal colony, maintained an independent government until the arrival of Columbus at San Domingo, on August 30th, 1498.'

The terrible dangers that threatened the colony at this time are forcibly narrated by Las Casas. Columbus saw but one way out of them: negotiation with Roldan, and an appeal to the Sovereigns. Step by step, Roldan, who knew his strength and the Admiral's weakness, forced concession after concession. Hoping to get Roldan and his horde out of the island, for at first they promised to return to.Spain, Columbus granted them a slave each, of those whom they had already enslaved. Having gained this concession, Roldan refused to return to Spain, and demanded a grant of lands for himself and followers, and the use of the services of the Indians to cultivate the lands. This demand was also granted. To these terms compelled by "the serpent," Roldan, Las Casas alluded in the passage quoted from the " Remedies." Let us hear

1 Remedios, edition of 1552.
'Washington Irving's account of this rebellion, based as the account is on that of Las Casas, is full, trustworthy, and instructive: vol. ii., pp. 109-265.

what he says on the subject in the " Historia de las Indias." "Certainly, the ambition and bad conduct of this miserable Roldan are manifest, and the extreme necessity in which the Admiral found himself, and how he signed the concession against his will."' Nay more, the Dominican Patron of the Indians relates, what we know to be a fact, that Columbus promptly, and more than once, advised the Sovereigns of each one of his concessions and of all the circumstances; and that he protested to them that: "what he had signed was against his will, and was done under the advice of the principal persons (in the colony) who desiderated the advantage of their Highnesses, because they saw the danger there was of tie island's being ruined for either Indians or Christians, if these (rebels) did not leave the country, or did not submit, and if that shameless fire which daily increased was not confounded with shame."'

Nor does Las Casas rest here. He maintains that not one of the concessions made by Columbus, was granted "proprio motu" and of his own will. "The extreme necessity in which he found himself constrained him to sign the concessions," Las Casas writes; "wherefore they were null and void." When Columbus advised the Sovereigns of Roldan's acts and of his own, he also specified the neglect of the crown in not having provided the colony with a jurist. One experienced in the law should have been sent from Spain, " because the people on the island were unruly, and knew the Admiral dare not restrain them, on account of the unjust accusations they had made against him in Castille; accusations that were believed." "The concession made to Roldan," the learned Dominican adds, "was nihil, because, according to Jurists, to give, transfer, or prorogate jurisdiction, pure and totally free consent is required; and Columbus, under the circumstances, was deprived of free consent." *

Prudence, respect for law, acknowledgment of the crown's authority, and a manly independence, were displayed by Columbus in his letters to the Sovereigns concerning Roldan. Not content with asking them to supply a notable defect, by appointing a jurist

1 Coleccion, vol. lxiii., p. 365. * Coleccion, vol. lxiii., p. 360.
* Coleccion, vol. lxiii., pp. 366-368.

to give force to law, he also requested that two "virtuous persons" should be named as official councillors of the colony. Nor did he hesitate to reproach the crown for having weakened his authority. Treating him openly as a governor, named by the crown, should not have been treated, the crown invited disorder. In answer to his protestand requests, did the Sovereigns repudiate the void agreement forced from the Admiral by Roldan? No! Fonseca supported the rebel. Did they create a department of justice and select virtuous councillors to assist their nominal governor? No. At the mercy of the rebels, he remained. The crown preferred to retain absolute power in its own hands. Bobadilla answered the protests and requests of the Discoverer of the New World.

By the forced compromise with Roldan, or by the methods thereafter adopted to give stability to the colony, did Columbus introduce a system of Indian slavery into the New World? He did not; nor has any intelligent and honest writer charged him with introducing such a system. Indeed, no one who can read, except a reader-liar, could make such a charge against him. Sir Arthur Helps evidenced an unselfish and intelligent interest in the welfare of slaves long before the " New England conscience" was generally awakened to the inhumanity of the "forefathers" whose "lust of the flesh " could be gratified only by the exchange of "rum" for "niggers." In the "Conquerors of the New World,"1 Mr. Helps truthfully relates the facts: "Columbus apportioned to any Spaniard, whom he thought fit, such and such lands, to be worked by such a Cacique and his people a very different procedure to giving men a feudal system as Munoz justly calls it, and not a system of slavery. Open Washington Irving's "Life and Voyages of Columbus," and read this passage:' "He made an arrangement, also, by which the Caciques in their vicinity instead of paying tribute, should furnish parties of their subjects, free Indians, to assist the colonists in the cultivation of their lands: a kind of feudal service, which was the origin of the repartimientos, or distributions of free Indians among the colonists, afterwards generally adopted and shamefully abused throughout the Spanish Colonies." Mr. John Fiske's " estimate " confirms the statements of Irving and Helps: "By 1499 the island had begun to be divided into repartimieitos, or shares. One or more villages would be ordered, under the direction of their native chiefs to till the soil for the benefit of some specified Spaniard or partnership of Spaniards; and such a village or villages constituted the repartimiento of the person or persons to whom it was assigned. This arrangement put the Indians into a state somewhat resembling that of feudal villenage; and this was as far as things had gone when the administration of Columbus came abruptly to an end."' To these quotations I might add indefinitely.

The authority of Las Casas would have sufficed to prove that Columbus did not introduce a system of slavery into the colony. The Dominican historian is careful to record the provisions made by the Admiral.! He states that no Spaniard was permitted to employ Indians in the mines, unless he held a written license, signed by the Admiral; and that this license was good, only "from such a month to such a month." Indeed, Las Casas expresses the opinion that the plan devised by Columbus for the use of Indian labor was intended by him to be merely temporary. And as to the whole policy, though Las Casas considered it unlawful, he declares it to be his conviction that Columbus was inspired by " a holy intention "; and, " I believe it to be certain" I quote the words of Las Casas " that he (Columbus) believed he was not in error."

Arguing that the original occupation of the New World was unjust, Las Casas looked upon the distribution of the land among the Spaniards as an injustice; and he looked upon the partitioning of the Indians to cultivate the farms and work the mines, as a

1 Vol. ii.. pp, 434-435
2 Consult: "The Life of Columbus," by Sir Arthur Helps, London, 1869, p. "196; and the same author's: "Conquerors of the New World and their Bondsmen," London, 1848, p. 167. "Columbus placed a Cacique and his followers on certain lands, and then named certain Spaniards who were to receive the benefit from the tillage of these lands. We find also that he allowed Indians to be taken to work in the mines; but then an especial license was necessary, and it was given from such a month to such a month."
1 Coleccion, vol. Ixiii., p. 379.

second injustice. Hence his assumption that, adopting the repartimiento, Columbus " erred." In fact, Columbus did not introduce the repartimiento. The Sovereigns introduced it, as we know from the Patent issued by them on July 22d, 1497.1 In tn's document they instructed the Admiral to distribute lands to each one of the Spaniards, according to his condition and quality. These lands, the grantees were to cultivate; and the real ownershipof the lands was formally vested in the grantees. The Patent is silent about a partitioning of the Indians; and yet, evidently, the Sovereigns had some such scheme in mind when issuing their order. The lands were not " self culturing." If the Indians did not cultivate them, who would? Unless the repartimiento was to be a vacant lot, and no more, Columbus had to provide a means of utilizing the land. It was his duty to make the colony self-sustaining. Without food, neither the Indians nor the Spaniards could be kept alive. Cultivating the land, not only was a sustenance assured to all, but the natives and the Spaniards were also assimilated, and the order and prosperity of the colony secured. Force, Columbus did not use in the experiment with the repartimiento. He entered into a peaceful transaction with the Caciques. Instead of the tribute of gold, or cotton, etc., previously paid, they voluntarily agreed to supply the farms and mines with laborers.

That the Admiral acted in accord with the intentions of the crown, there can be no doubt. Advised after, if not before, the establishment of the repartimiento of Indians, the Sovereigns made no change in the system. Nay more, they formally commended it; and, even after the abuses introduced by Bobadilla, and continued by De Lares, the crown confirmed the systems of compulsory labor for which, not the Admiral but his successors were responsible.

Nor need we wonder that the Sovereigns looked favorably on the repartimiento, as Columbus administered it. The feudal system he introduced was an institution flourishing not in Spain alone, but also throughout Europe. "Mis Vasallos, " " my vassals," are the words frequently applied by the Sovereigns to the Indians. As their vassals, the Sovereigns instructed Columbus

1 Navarrete, Coleccion de los viages, etc., vol. ii., pp. 215-216.

to treat the Indians; he, in return, advises the crown that, as the crown's vassals, he deals with the Indians. The full meaning of this expression, the Sovereigns themselves denned by their orders to De Lares; and the meaning they gave to the word "vassals," in these orders, was much more extended than the practical definition of Columbus, as exemplified in the repartimiento of his day. The abuses that followed, under Bobadilla and De Lares, were not inherent in the system, but were due to the fact that neither of these men was endowed with the prudence, judgment, or longanimity of the Admiral; and to a fact no less important, namely: that, into the New World, there entered a mass of miserable fellows who, as Columbus pithily said: "deserved water, neither from God nor from man." A writer whose reputation depends on the credit he enjoys among the malicious and the uncritical, Llorente, the author of the lying " critical history of the Inquisition,"was no more than just when he asserted that Columbus "treated the Indians with a mildness and kindness which his successors never imitated."' Mr. Markham's judgment on the Admiral's administration is justified by the facts. Thus the learned Geographer writes: "If the sovereigns of Spain had trusted Columbus and his brothers fully and completely, had established trading posts and imposed a moderate tribute, and had absolutely prohibited the overrunning of the country by penniless and worthless adventurers, they would have had a rich and prosperous colony." 3 Nor is the scholarly English biographer more than fair, when describing the results of the Admiral's tranquillizing policy; results largely due to the establishment of the repartimiento. "With the restoration of peace," Mr. Markham truly says, "trade revived and prosperity began to return. The receivers of grants of land found that they had a stake in the country, and sought to derive profit from their crops. Similar activity appeared at the mines, and the building at San Domingo progressed rapidly." 3 In the " Remedios," Las Casas certifies that before the coming of De Lares: " The Indians remained in their villages and houses

1 Euvres de Las Casas, vol. i., p. 137. Life of Columbus, p. 194.
Life of Columbus, p. 200.

working at their occupations, and in peace as they were accustomed to live."1 If the Indians were maltreated and enslaved after the removal of Columbus, no one who is familiar with the writings of the conscientious Dominican, can for a moment doubt upon whom he puts the blame. The guilty man came from Spain in the year 1502, charged with the government of the Indies by Their Most Serene Highnessess, Don Fernando and Dona Isabel; and by them he was instructed " to rule the Indians as freemen , and with much love, mildness, charity, and justice, rnot placing them in servitude; " but he, "before the devil, invented the plan of giving the Indians to the Spaniards," as " he invented the system of parcelling out the Indians generally, as if they were so many cattle." And what was the name of this man? Las Casas will answer: "De Lares, the comendador mayor of Alcantara."*

The charge that Columbus introduced a system of slavery among the Indians of the New World is untenable. Had we no other evidence than the testimony I have just adduced from Las Casas, the falsity of the charge would be apparent. Such a charge can be inspired only by ignorance, or by malice; for Las Casas repeatedly names De Lares as the author of a system which, though no worse than the system of negro slavery long cherished even in the United States, was, nevertheless, unjust. "Hate and envy," said Llorente, " have ever persecuted men whose talents or virtues elevated them above their contemporaries." Virtuous and talented, in a remarkable degree, Columbus will not escape the shafts of hate and of envy, during the ages. Still these shafts are harmless. Virtue, at least, is armored, at all points, in shining and impenetrable steel.

1 Remedios: Razon Onzena, edition of 1552. Remedios: loco citato.

Columbus Govenor

Our Lady of the Pillar.*

" Regina Apostolorum." " Queen of Apostles."

IN incontestable tradition, resting upon the testimony of St. Jerome, St. Isidore, the ancient liturgies of Spain, and supported by a host of authorities and monuments, which treat it as a matter of history, tells us that St. James the Greater carried the Gospel to Spain. According to the best authorities, he undertook this mission soon after the martyrdom of St. Stephen. Thus, in the year following the ascension of our Lord, Spain had the Gospel preached to her.

But a more extraordinary legend is attached to this apostolic visit, which attributes to St. James himself the foundation of the church of our Lady del Pilar, venerated from time immemorial at Saragossa. Let us examine the foundation of this legend.

So many contradictions had arisen concerning the miraculous origin of the church, that Spain addressed herself to the Holy See, the guide of faith, to settle the controversy. Innocent XIII. then sat in St. Peter's chair. After a minute, exact, and careful investigation, the twelve car- dinals, in whose hands the affair rested, adopted the following account, which was approved by the * Notre Dame del Pilar.

Sacred Congregation of Rites on the 7th of August, 1723, and since inserted in the lessons of the office of the feast of our Lady del Pilar, celebrated on the 12th of October.

" Of all places which Spain offers to the veneration of the devout, the most illustrious is doubtless the sanctuary consecrated to God under the invocation of the Blessed Virgin, under the title of our Lady del Pilar, at Saragossa. " According to ancient and pious tradition, St. James the Greater, led by Providence into Spain, spent some time at Saragossa.* He there received a signal favour from the Blessed Virgin. As he was praying with his disciples one night, upon the banks of the Ebro, as the same tradition informs us, the Mother of God, who still lived, appeared to him, and commanded him to erect an oratory in that place.

" The apostle delayed not to obey this injunction, and with the assistance of his disciples soon constructed a small chapel. In the course of time a larger church was built and dedicated, which, with the dedication of St. Saviour's, is kept as a festival in the city and diocese of Saragossa on the 4th of October

Before the publication of this statement, Pope Calixtus III., in a bull dated 1456, had encouraged pilgrimages to our Lady del Pilar, acknowledged the miracles performed at her shrine, and the prodigy of its foundation. The popular legends, however, are much fuller than the one we have just given. They add that St. James, having visited Oviedo and other places, stopped for some time at Saragossa, where he increased the number of his disciples to such an extent that he assembled * Then called Caesar-Augusta. them every evening in a quiet spot on the banks of the Ebro, where he instructed them in the faith, and told them of the mysteries of the kingdom of God. When one evening, near midnight, the faithful who surrounded the holy apostle heard choirs of angels chanting Ave Maria gratia plena ; and at the same time they beheld, in the midst of the heavenly troop, the figure of a lady, of exquisite beauty, seated on a marble pillar. St. James, recognising the Mother of God, fell on his knees before her.

She* told him to erect a church on the spot where she appeared; and the marble pillar was allowed to remain as a testimony of the truth of the apparition. The apostle obeyed. A chapel was erected, and an image of the Blessed Virgin placed on the miraculous pillar, which still attracts the notice of pious pilgrims. Such is the tradition. The Blessed Virgin is represented erect with her Divine Son in her arms, who holds a dove in his hand.

The piety of the Spaniards afterwards erected a handsome church on this spot ; the ancient chapel now forms a crypt under the chancel. It is 36 feet long by 25 feet broad. Many believe it to be the original chapel ; but this is scarcely probable. It is splendidly decorated ; and though the wars in the early part of this century have despoiled it of a great portion of its wealth, it still remains a splendid sanctuary.*

* St. James returned from Spain to Jerusalem, where he was the first of the apostles to suffer martyrdom. It is said that he took with him some disciples from Spain who returned with his body to their native country. St. been a famous resort of pilgrims ; and there is no one who has not heard of Compostelo. The name of this city itself James is reverenced as the apostle of Spain, and has on many occasions specially protected that great Catholic country. The place where his relics are kept has long is a corruption of St. James the apostle. It was first called in Spanish Giacomo Apostolo, then Como Postolo, and finally Compostelo.

Among the many miracles which have been obtained by the intercession of the Blessed Virgin in her chapel at Saragossa, the following is perhaps the most remarkable and the most astonishing. We also are guided in our selection by the many proofs and testimonies which are attached to it, and to its being given by the Bollandists, whose learning and critical acumen we suppose no one will deny.

" The miracle we are about to record happened in our own time. It occurred to a young man who recovered the use of a leg through the intercession of our Lady of the Pillar.

" His name was Michael Pellicer. His parents were poor people of Calanda, in Arragon ; but he worked with one of his uncles in Valencia. At the age of nineteen, he fell from a cart, heavily laden with corn ; and the wheel passed over his right leg, which was broken. This happened in the year 1638. " The uncle and nephew being both poor, the wounded man was taken to the hospital at Valencia. Several remedies were applied to the broken limb without success. As he grew worse, they yielded to his entreaties to be taken to the great hospital at Saragossa, where his devotion to our Lady of the Pillar led him to hope for succour.

" Before entering the ward, he begged to be laid in the subterranean chapel before our Lady's venerated image. Suffering as he was, he made his confession, heard mass, and received the holy communion. He then, with perfect resignation, was conveyed to the hospital, and placed under the care of Dr. John D'Estranga, a surgeon of great eminence at that time.

" This surgeon was alarmed at the sight of his patient's leg, and instantly declared there was no hope, save in amputation. The leg was accordingly cut off a little below the knee, and the dead limb buried.

"Michael Pellicer thought that it had not pleased our Lady to heal him, and that he merited his sufferings, which he endured with the greatest patience and submission to the will of God. During the painful operation, the only exclamations heard to escape his lips were fervent aspirations to his dear Patroness — our Blessed Lady, whom he most tenderly loved. When the amputation was over, and the part bound up, he went on crutches to our Lady's shrine, and returned thanks for the strength given him to undergo the operation. While engaged in prayer, feeling his wound sore, he thought of rubbing it with some of the oil of the lamp which hung before the image, but was told it would do him harm, unless a miracle changed its nature. He, however, still persisted in applying the oil to his leg. The wound healed, and he lived for two years in Saragossa, well known for his devotion to our Blessed Lady, at the entrance to whose chapel he received the alms of the people.

" In the beginning of the year 1640, a good canon, hearing that the poor cripple greatly desired to visit his parents, gave him a little mule. Michael Pellicer mounted it, and returned to Calanda. As he passed through the neighbouring villages, he received alms from the people, and visited the different churches.

" One evening after his return (it was the 29th of March), feeling very fatigued, he placed his crutches by the fireside, where his parents sat, and went to bed. At eleven o' clock, before re- tiring to her room, the mother went to see whether her son was asleep, or whether his fatigues had made him unwell. She rubbed her eyes with astonishment at the sight of two feet at the end of the bed, having left her son three hours ago with but one leg. She thought that it might be one of the soldiers, then quartered in the town, who had taken possession of her son's bed, and ran to call her husband.

" He uncovered the face, and instantly recognised his son in the sleeping man. The noise of their movements awoke Michael, who exclaimed :

" ' Oh, why did you awaken me from so sweet a dream, and so beautiful a sight ? I was in the holy chapel of our Lady of the Pillar, and there, in the presence of my dear Protectress, two angels restored to me my lost leg in recompense for my persevering confidence in the Mother of my Lord.’

" ' Give thanks to God and our Lady, my dear son,’ cried both parents; 'you have not had a vain dream, for your leg is indeed restored to you.’

"Michael Pellicer was yet ignorant of the miracle which had been wrought upon him ; but he sprang out of bed, and the neighbours, hearing the cries of joy, ran in, and joining the good parents in their wish to render thanks for the miracle, conducted the young man in triumph to the church. " A singular circumstance was attached to this miraculous cure, and which it would seem to baffle the reasoning of the incredulous — the restored leg was reversed. Was it to afford another trial of the young man's faith? Was it a sign that certain extraordinary favours are only completed in the sanctuary? Was it to make the miracle more manifest? However we may judge, so it was. As soon as Michael Pellicer had prostrated him- self at the foot of our Lady's altar, and poured forth, in company with the rector, a fervent prayer, and while the people sung the Salve Regina, the leg turned to its proper position; and he rose and stood firm on both legs, who the day before could not move six steps without the aid of his crutches.

" Many of his friends accompanied him to Saragossa, where he went to return thanks in the chapel of our Lady of the Pillar. The miracle was juridically examined, and all the facts connected with it were attested by many witnesses, and authenticated by notaries, professors, and surgeons. A bright red line appeared round the leg, and remained there during the life of Pellicer. The miracle was authentically published on the 27th of April, 1641, by the Archbishop of Saragossa."

Our Lady of the Pillar

September Aposolate of Prayer


THE illustration which accompanies these few lines is meant to represent an incident in the life of St. Edmund of Canterbury, which rests on the authority of. his own brother, Robert Rich. St. Edmund went to Oxford as a boy of the age of twelve years. His brother tells us that, one day "going out into the meadows in order to withdraw from the boisterous play of his companions, the Child Jesus appeared to him, and saluted him with the words, 'Hail, beloved one!' And he, wondering at the beauty of the Child, replied, 'Who are you, for to me you are certainly unknown?' Then said the Child, 'How comes it that I am unknown to thee, seeing that I sit by thy side in school, and wherever thou art, there do I accompany thee? Look in My face, and see what is there written.' Edmund looked, and saw the words, 'Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.' 'This is My name,' said the Child, 'write it on thy forehead every night, and it shall protect thee from sudden death.' Then He disappeared on Whom the angels desire to look, leaving the other with a sweetness in his heart passing that of honey." There are boys enough and young men enough in Oxford at the present time, and one of the modern developments of the place is that the softer sex, as it is called, throngs the lecture-rooms as well as the young men, and although the contemporaries of the Saint of Canterbury would probably stare at the games of cricket and lawn-tennis, and especially of the mixture of the two sexes in play, which makes the meadows and lawns about the old seat of holy learning ring with merriment, perhaps not always so boisterous as that of the schoolboys of St. Edmund's time, we fear that there are not many who think very much of the Holy Child Jesus as a possible companion. Education goes on as of old, or what passes for such, but it is not allied with devotion, but rather with that peculiarly disagreeable form of scepticism, the scepticism of the self-sufficient young, who think that they know everything. Let us hope that the English saints still watch over some at least of the students in the old haunts of religious monastic learning, and enable them to preserve that innocence which was the great characteristic of St. Edmund, and against which so many snares are set in the Oxford of modern days.

Unfortunately, it is not easy to maintain innocence in the midst of false teaching. There are, we are happy to believe, hundreds of innocent souls among the youth of our country, for the English home is still, thanks to God, a nursery of many high virtues and examples. There are still men, also, in the national Universities, who are doing their best to maintain the faith in God of the young men committed to their care. But the tide has turned, for many years back, in the direction of that laxity in opinion which it was the great object of Cardinal Newman, in the days in which he was a power in the University of Oxford, to repress and banish. But too many who took a part in the great movement which is connected by name with Oxford, turned away from the natural and lawful issue of their own principles, and refused to submit to the Church. From that day the tendency in Oxford has been towards infidelity, and there has been far too little power to stem the stream in the men who were so conspicuously inconsistent in their own maintenance of religious truth.


The Human Life of Jesus was marked throughout by the firm filial confidence with which He trusted Himself to the Eternal Father, and relied upon His love. To be then an imitator of Him, this boundless trust must become ours too, and must animate all we undertake.

In nothing perhaps do the lives of the Saints give us more attractive examples than in this quiet invincible trust in God's help. They took, it is true, more pains than we do to know the will of God, but when they were sure of that, they did not know what it was to hesitate. Difficulties only made them braver, apparent impossibilities never stopped them, a passing failure became in their eyes a pledge of coming success. Thus the great St. Teresa, whose third centenary is being celebrated now with such joy and devotion all over the Church, was preparing to found a new convent with only one Spanish "real," a single coin in her treasury; to those who represented the impossibility of such an undertaking, she replied, It is true that Teresa and one "real" are small things enough, but Teresa, one "real," and God, make a great deal! These are indeed words of a Saint, but the spirit which made her say them—a spirit of confidence founded on the conviction that God was with her—this spirit ought to animate us all.

The secret of this strong confidence is not hard to find. All that we do for the honour of Jesus Christ, all that we undertake in order to do His will, must have the sympathy, the help, and the love of His Father, must therefore in the long run succeed.

The point in which we fail, which makes us so soon fainthearted when things go wrong, is that we only see His honour by halves, and in the rest we seek our own. We can trust well enough when all is prosperous and we are happy, but that sort of trust has but small merit, gives Him but small glory; but when, as so often happens, we are kept a very long time waiting for success, and things even seem only to go from bad to worse, there are very few, and their intentions are very pure, who know how to go on trusting with a bright face an unshaken heart, but it is they who earn the secret praise which He gives to them alone: You are they who have persevered with Me in My temptations* Who will not wish and strive to be of them.

Sacred Heart of Jesus! through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer Thee the prayers, labours, and crosses of this day, in expiation of our offences, and for all Thy other intentions. I offer them especially to obtain for all our Associates a trust in Thee which no misfortunes may be able to shake. Free us, O Jesus, from all cowardice and discouragement, and from that unholy fear which makes us unworthy of Thy help.

* St. Luke xxii. 28.

For the triumph of the Church and Holy See, and the Catholic regeneration of nations.

November Intention


Ecclesiasticus 7:40, "in all thy works be mindful of thy last end and thou wilt never sin."


(Prayers for the dead.)

O vos fideles animae.

YE souls of the faithful who sleep in the Lord

But as yet are shut out from your final reward;

Oh, would I could lend you assistance to fly

From your prison below to your palace on high.

O Father of mercies, Thine anger withhold,

These works of Thy hands in Thy mercy behold:

Too oft from Thy path they have wandered aside,

But Thee, their Creator, they never denied.

O tender Redeemer, their misery see,

Deliver the souls that were ransom'd by Thee;

Behold how they love Thee despite of their pain,

Restore them, restore them to favour again.

O Spirit of Grace, O consoler divine,

See how for Thy Presence they longingly pine!

Ah, then, to enliven their sadness descend,

And fill them with peace and joy to the end.

O Mother of Mercy, dear soother of grief,

Send thou to their torments a balmy relief;

Attemper the rigour of Justice severe,

And soften their pains with a pitying tear.

Ye Patrons who watched o'er their safety below,

Oh think how they need your fidelity now;

And stir all the Angels and saints of the sky

To plead for the souls that upon you rely.

All ye too who honour the Saints and their Head,

Remember, remember to pray for the dead;

And they in return from their misery free'd,

To you will be friends in the hour of your need.

(Printed by permission of the Author.) F. CASWALL.




"It is therefore a holy and salutary thought to pray for the dead that they may be loosed from their sins."—2 Machabees, xii. 46.

THE month of November is by a holy and excellent custom of the faithful in an especial manner sacred to the pious exercise of prayers for the dead, and the custom, of course, reposes first on the general truth conveyed in the words of the sacred Scripture above quoted: "It is a holy and salutary thought to pray for the dead that they may be loosed from their sins;" and secondly, on the circumstance that on the second day of November, viz., on the day after the solemn celebration of the Feast of all Saints, the whole Church keeps a day of solemn commemoration of the Souls of all the Faithful departed, from whence the piety of the faithful has gradually built up the excellent practice of treating the whole month of November as in an especial manner sacred to the pious and holy exercise of prayer for the repose of the souls of the departed.

There is always a great and precious value in a good custom, and we can seldom do anything better than seek to introduce a good custom where it either does not exist or has fallen through, or endeavour to strengthen and invigorate by all means in our power what is already in existence. As returning November, then, brings round its annual memory of the departed, we cannot do better than seek to reinvigorate and refresh our minds with considering anew some of the principal reasons which render it a "holy and a salutary thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from their sins."

This thought we must consider is holy and salutary in two different respects; first, for the reason that it is by the mercy of God that it comes to be granted to these prayers greatly to benefit the dead, by their effect in loosing them from their sins ; and secondly, because the charity of offering such prayers is very greatly blessed to ourselves.

What the particular sufferings are which those of the departed suffer who are in the condition to be benefited by our prayers, it is not granted to us to know. It is sufficient for us to know that the suffering is real, and that it is caused by their sins, for the sacred text is particular in specifying the effect of the prayer that is to be piously and charitably hoped for on behalf of the departed, namely, that they may be loosed from their sins. What the precise happy effect to the departed of being loosed from their sins may be, is not a thing placed within our ken or knowledge. These things are the secrets of the unseen world, which we are not allowed to know; but taking the world which we do see and know as a mirror of the world which is veiled from our sight, we ought to be able, without difficulty, to come at least to such an understanding of the benefit that must accrue to the departed from being loosed from their sins, as should be quite sufficient to awaken and keep alive our charity in their behalf. The sins which are taken notice of and which are attended with penalties and suffering in our world, are not by any means either fully commensurate or precisely identical with the sins that carry with them penalties and sufferings in the world that is out of our sight. We must guard ourselves from falling into any such error as this; but notwithstanding in a general way the parallel is such that there is very much to be learned from it.

Sin in our world, then, is known to bring two kinds of penalties with it. Direct penal suffering such as is visited upon proved offences against human law, of which kind are imprisonments, hard labour, floggings, and the like; and secondly, disqualification from eligible social promotion, and exclusion from desirable society with others. To be loosed, then, from sin in our world, has the effect which we can quite understand, of opening the prison doors for restoration to personal liberty and freedom, and the removal of the social bars and disqualifications which cause the exclusion of the sufferer from much that is pleasant and eligible in this world. And in this manner we may very sufficiently understand what a great gain it cannot fail to be to the departed, if the being loosed from their sins has the analogous effect in the world where they now are, of putting an end to the positive suffering that they may be enduring, as also of removing the bar and disqualification under which they lie of being admitted to the heavenly society, the joy of which they so greatly long to share.

If, therefore, God in His great mercy has been pleased to grant to the prayers of those who are still on earth the gracious efficacy that they avail to loose the dead from their sins, it needs no further insisting to make it plain, at least as regards the departed, how holy and salutary a thought it is "to pray for-the dead that they may be loosed from their sins."

But the benefit of such prayers is by no means restricted to the departed. If they bring, as we are taught to believe, a great relief and advantage to the dead for whom they are offered, they bring also at least equal blessings and benefits of another kind to the living who have the faith and charity to offer them; and the thought to pray for the dead is not holy and salutary solely with respect to the dead, but also equally holy and salutary in its way for the living.

In the first place, prayer for the dead is pre-eminently an exercise of the virtue of faith. Many other good deeds, such as visiting the sick, and relieving the pressing necessities of the poor, bring with them a present reward of their own, in our being able to see with our eyes the happy results of our charitable efforts; and there is a certain reward also in the gratitude and thankfulness which we may frequently receive in return for our assistance. But in the case of prayer for the dead, we can receive nothing whatever of this kind that we can appreciate by sight, for all rests purely on faith. It is simply from faith in the assurances of the Church that we know that our prayers occasion any relief to the sufferers, and we can as little see the sufferings themselves which are relieved as we can either see the relief which our prayers have been the means of bringing, or receive any manifestations of gratitude from those to whose relief we have been instrumental. And yet such prayer is far from being without its reward in its own kind, namely, in the way of greatly strengthening the very faith which has prompted and sustained the prayer. "Lord strengthen our faith," was a prayer of our Lord's Apostles to Him. And nothing tends more solidly to strengthen and confirm faith than the pious practice of praying for the dead that they may be loosed from their sins.

Again, praying for the dead is holy and salutary for the living, because it puts them in mind of what is impending over themselves, in a way that cannot fail to make a salutary impression. "Remember thy latter end," says the sacred text, ''and thou wilt never sin." The charity of praying for the dead is rewarded by the fixing in our minds the salutary thought that we must die ourselves. And this thought is one that is fruitful in the best results. It is not only one of the best preservatives from sin, but it is also one of the most powerful stimulants to industry and the good employment of time. As the wise man says, "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might, for there is neither knowledge, nor wisdom, nor understanding, in the grave whither thou hastenest."

And again, the object for which we pray in behalf of the dead is "that they may be loosed from their sins," and in doing this we confess that that which occasions suffering and distress to them in the world where they are is their sin. It cannot, therefore, but strike every one's mind how very contradictory it must be to have the charity for the dead to pray on their behalf, that they may be loosed from their sins, and to be without charity to ourselves, to beware how we may be binding ourselves in our own world with the chains of sinful practices in which we wrongly indulge ourselves, not attending to the truth that the sinner is equally bound by his sin as well in our visible world as in the world which we cannot see. If, therefore, we were to pray for the dead that they may be loosed from their sins, at the same time that we are binding ourselves with sins of our own, we should be having charity which we confess to be for suffering brought upon others by their sins, and no concern for the sufferings which we could not but equally know that we are bringing on ourselves by our own sins. And this seems too palpable a contradiction to be possible, except through almost inconceivable blindness and perversity. It is, therefore, a most holy and salutary thought, as far as we are ourselves concerned, to pray for the dead that they may be loosed from their sins, for in so doing we procure for ourselves the best possible admonition to keep out of the way of sins ourselves, and the charity which we show to the dead, by prayers for them, comes back to ourselves in the form of the best possible charity for ourselves, which dictates the most scrupulous abstinence from the ways of sin, and the most watchful vigilance against contact with anything that may be an occasion of temptation to sin.

And these considerations must now suffice to commend and encourage, to the utmost of our power, the pious and holy custom of making the month of November especially sacred to the charitable practice of praying and causing masses to be offered for the dead that they may be loosed from their sins.

All Souls

Ictu Oculi (In the blink of an Eye)
The Brotherhood of Charity, the Caridad, as it is known, was one of Seville's major lay confraternities. It was founded in 1565 with the mission of providing a decent burial for paupers. From 1663 the charitable activities were expanded to provide care for the needy sick, and a hospital was built, simultaneously enlarging and renovating the already existing chapel.

The scheme for the decoration of the chapel is a tripartite exposition of Christian charity as the way of salvation. The first part comprises two memorable paintings by Valdés Leal, demonstrating the futility of earthly pursuits and honours. A life devoted to accumulating wealth, power, and even learning is shown to lead only to the grave. Charity, which constitutes the second part of the program, provides the way to salvation, as seen in the seven acts of mercy, six of which are depicted by Murillo; the seventh, burying the dead, the Caridad's foundation charity, is embodied in a sculptural group, the Entombment of Christ by Pedro Roldán, placed in the altarpiece. The third component consists of two paintings by Murillo for lateral altars, depicting St Elizabeth of Hungary and St John of God, both illustrating the efficacy of good works and the necessity of personal participation in charitable deeds.

Valdés Leal's relentlessly gruesome paintings are located just inside the entrance, so that visitors to the church must experience the agony of Valdés's Hell before entering the promised land of Murillo's acts of mercy. The first, entitled In Ictu Oculi (In the twinkling of an Eye), is a highly charged representation of the futility of worldly goals and pursuits. The path of glory lead but to the grave, which is unflinchingly rendered in the companion picture, Finis Gloriae Mundi (The End of Worldly Glory), where vile bugs feast on the rotting remnants of human flesh.

Of all the great painters of the school of Seville - alongside Zurbarán, Velázquez and Murillo - the distinctive style of Valdés Leal is the most difficult to place. Only these two major allegories on the transience of life and on death which he himself is said to have described as "hieroglyphs of our afterlife" have remained truly popular. His patron, Don Miguel de Mañara, was a Knight of the Order of Calatrava who became a benefactor of the brotherhood of the hospital and its church in penitence for his previous life of decadence. The epitaph on his grave succinctly describes the spirit that commissioned such a powerful vanitas still life: "Here lie the bones and ashes of the worst person who ever lived on earth". His last will and testament contains the most humble self accusation not only as a great sinner, but also as an adulterer, robber and servant of the devil.

The In Ictu Oculi (an allegory of death) presents the triumph of the grim reaper, who sweeps into the picture as an imposing figure. One skeletal foot stands on the globe, while the other stands on armaments, the trappings of office and insignia of power. Under his arm, he carries a coffin and in his hand a scythe. As his right hand snuffs out the life-light represented by the candle, he stares at the spectator from the very depths of his empty eye-sockets.


I BID you welcome, brothers in the Lord,
Who come to see an old man ere he pass
In pain of body, but in joy of soul,
To his long rest. I bid you welcome, friends.
And gladly to your question make reply.
You ask if I whose sun is well-nigh set,
Remember well that day on Calvary,
When we, — may God forgive us, — crucified
The holy Jesus, — aye, from early dawn
Till night it all comes back to memory.
Clear as a legend sculptured on the frieze
Of some Greek temple to Athena reared. —

You want the story of that day complete.
Told as I saw it, not the incidents, —
These are engraved with steel upon your minds
Through hearing oft the wondrous narrative, —
But as they seemed to me, a Gentile Wind
To Jewish faith and customs, which I thought
Vain superstitions fit for eastern slaves.
But not for Romans.
I will tell the tale
Although the memory of my part therein
Wounds lke a scorpion when with angry sting
It pierces to the flesh.
Early that morn
When I commanded Pilate's guard, the Jews
Brought Jesus up for judgment. All His face
Was marred so with blows that I supposed
He had been battered in some riotous brawl.
But as I watched, surprised, such royal grace
And majesty shone in His countenance,
Although defaced with buffets, that I thought,
Here is no common culprit : Pilate, too, —
Who might, perhaps, without much questioning
Have sentenced some base slave to please the Jews, —
Seeing the unwonted dignity of Christ,
Required the Sanhedrim to state His crime ;
Whereas the Jews in their presumption thought
To have Him sentenced at their mere behest.
No question being asked. But Roman rule.
Unless by some weak hand administered,
Brooks not such rank injustice. Then the Jews, —
Whose answer deserved chastisement, — replied,
" Were He not guilty He would not be here."
Oh ! Pilate vexed me greatly on that day, —
So weak and vacillating. — Well he knew
Jesus had done no wrong, and yet he feared
The wretched Jews, and dared not set Him free.
I longed to take my hundred soldiers mailed
Straight through the crowd with sword and spear in hand,
And make short work of Caiaphas and his gang :
But Pilate gave no sign. The soldiers, too,
Who saw the Praetor yielding to the Jews
Unwillingly, were vexed, and when the word
Was given to scourge Jesus, all their rage, —
He being a Jew, — was vented upon Him.
Heinous injustice ! And I, angry too.
Checked not their cruelty ; for this I weep
Daily, and daily mourn in penitence.
Human injustice ? Nay, 'twas bestial,
Canine, not human ; see a pack of hounds, —
If one attack a weak defenceless dog
What do the rest ? Assail the criminal ?
Defend the innocent ? Not so, they side
With him who did the wrong, the stronger beast.
And join in worrying the defenceless hound.
Thus did my soldiers, and I checked them not,
Angry with Pilate, Caiaphas, and the Jews.

Men take their scourging differently ; some
Howl from the first, but others laugh in scorn
Until the iron-tipped thongs have ploughed the flesh,
And every stroke is torture ; then they groan.
Knowing the scourge will fall relentlessly
With regular pulsations ; some will faint.
And after, when the tale of strokes is done.
Are found, it may be, dead. But unlike all
Was Jesus, Who in silence bared His back,
And with a countenance resolved and firm
Walked to the post, and held His hands aloft
Until the soldiers tied them to the ring.
And then the blows descended. Not a word
Or cry He uttered, but with upturned face
Gazed skyward, and His lips moved silently
As though He prayed to some invisible God.

You ask, — did He not suffer since no cry
Revealed His anguish ? Aye, the tortured flesh
Quivered in agony, and from His brow.
With pain distorted, poured a stream of sweat ;
But not a word He uttered. This enraged
The soldiers, who regard it as their due
To hear their victims groaning, so they wove

A crown of thorns and pressed it on His head
Until the spikes had passed into His brow,
And all His face was bloodstained. O'er Him then
They cast in scorn a tattered purple robe,
And giving Him as sceptre a bamboo.
They mocked Him as a false, pretended King.
I would have checked them, but they had the right
By custom to amuse themselves at will
With culprits sent to torture.

Pilate then.
Struck by His deep humiliation, hoped
His foes might be appeased. So deemed not I : —
Hate thrives on deeds of hatred, and each sin
Grows strong by sinning. This I knew too well
By dim self-knowledge. Oh, the dreadful cry
From many thousand raging Israelites, —
" Let Him be crucified." — It brought to mind
The yell of some huge pack of hungry wolves
Round a belated traveller at night
Lost in a German forest. Such a sound
Would in most hearts strike terror, not in His, —
The prisoner before Pilate, — silent still.
Even when Pilate asked Him " Whence art thou ? "
He did not tremble at the mob's fierce cry.
Nor kneeling ask protection, but quite calm.
As though the people's rage concerned Him not.
Spoke of the source of strength, and told the judge
His power was given by God. I thought it strange.
But now perceive He would the Praetor help
To fear not Caesar but the heavenly powers.
And so do justice, — not for Jesus' sake
But Pilate's.

All was vain, the Jewish mob
Prevailed, and Pilate's selfish, timid soul

Was stained with innocent blood. I thought it, then,
Unworthy of a Roman, and the attempt
By vain ablutions to evade the blame
His own heart uttered, childish. Now I see
Not only this, but in the fuller light
Vouchsafed me since, that all injustice meets
The wrath of God : 'Tis strange, for earth seems full
Of what we count injustice ; sickness falls.
And pain, upon the noblest of mankind.
So God ordains, and simple folk like me
Know not the reason ; but if man commit
Injustice on his fellows, God's rebuke
Will surely fall upon him, either now.
Or in the fields of Hades. Pilate then
Condemned the innocent Jesus, and his crime
The Furies saw and punished.

Many a man
Have I to crucifixion led, and aye
Their thoughts were fixed on coming agony.
Must it not be so ? Think of this, my friends ; —
Suppose you know that in a short half-hour
Your body will be racked with direst pain, —
Nerve-torture that will sometimes last three days,
Without a hope of respite, would your thoughts
Turn to aught else, or could you make them dwell
On troubles that might meet your countrymen
A generation hence ? Yet Jesus Christ,
Though staggering 'neath the burden of His cross,
Half turned to tell the women standing near
And weeping, not to vex themselves for Him
But for the sorrows coming on their babes.
I noted this as strange and wonderful,
Beyond my knowledge of the ways of men
About to die in torture.

Then I asked,
Questioning self without a spoken word,
Has this strange man no thought at all of self.
No fear of coming agony, no dread
Of those long-drawn-out hours upon the cross
Which soon must rack His frame ? Then as I looked
I saw that He was gazing on the crowd
Gathered around, with eyes so full of love
And pity that I knew He took no thought
For his own pain or sorrow.

After this
He fell to earth exhausted. He had lived
Throughout the scourging, which will often kill ;
But pain and loss of blood, and that long night
Of sleepless torment well might sap the force
Even of the strongest. And I sometimes think.
My brothers, since I learnt the mystery
Of Love Divine, that what oppressed His soul
That night on Olivet beneath the moon,
When thrice He prayed, was not the fear of death,
Nor yet of pain, nor even mental pangs.
But dread of dying 'neath the murderous scourge.
And losing thus the glory of the cross.
And that mysterious power to win men's souls
Which Jesus' love, revealed upon the cross,
Holds as the price of suffering : But I stray, —
A simple soldier, — from my proper path.

When Jesus fell through weakness, and the blows.
And harsh spear-prickings of my soldiers failed
To make Him raise His cross, I knew not whom
To lade with its slave's burden. Fain would I
Have caught some sleek and prosperous Pharisee,
And laid it on his shoulders, but the law
Forbade such treatment of the vanquished Jews ;

Nor would the soldiers bear it. Happily
By chance came Simon of Cyrene, him
We might compel, and so he bore the cross.
Or was it God's high purpose, and not chance
That brought Him there just then, that he might watch
The faultless patience of the Son of Man,
And seeing learn to love ? I think God works
Amongst us men in that way, — little things, —
Some chance decision of our wayward wills, —
Using to serve great ends. I thank the Lord
It was my turn for duty on that day
Of Jesus' crucifixion, else His Love
I might have never known, because the sight
Of His vast patience in the midst of pain
Showed me the dreadful ugliness of sin,
And turned me from the foul delights of sense.
Which Roman vice had taught me, to the joys
Found in the thought of God and His great Love.

But not at once the change ; it slowly came
As other action in the drama dire
Wrought on my soul. For when at last we reached
The skull-shaped hill with Jesus and His cross
He spoke the words which more aroused my thoughts
Than all else done or uttered on that day.

For when the nails were driven through His flesh.
And all His body quivered with the pain,
In place of the accustomed bitter cry,
He spake the words, — well known now, then so strange, —
" Father, forgive them," and I standing by
Heard them and greatly wondered. Who was this ?
And who His Father ? and why in His pain,
When men are wont to curse their torturers.
Asked He that they be pardoned ? All day long
I pondered on this mystery as I watched
The cross and all the Jewish rabblement
That came to mock their King. And when there fell
That strange and awful darkness on the land,
And strong men trembled, and the mocking voice
Of all that abject multitude was hushed,
And men spoke low in whispers, or were dumb.
My wonder grew, and still the question came
Unanswered to my soul, — " What man is this ? "
And as I gazed upon His quivering form.
Scarred, flayed, and furrowed by the cruel scourge.
All suddenly there came into my mind
Hercules dying on Mount (OEta's crest,
Tortured by Nessus' poison, punished thus
For saving his wife's honour, — Hercules,
The son of Zeus the Thunderer. And then
The thought came of Prometheus and his woes.
The godlike Titan, who gave gifts to men,
And therefor suffered torture ; and I asked
Within myself, — Is it a trait Divine
Pain to endure for giving gifts to men ?
And I remembered then that one had told, —
Bringing me Jewish tattle, — that a man
Who seemed to be a prophet from the north.
Had brought the gift of health to sickly folk,
And even life to some who seemed as dead ;—
Was this the man now dying on the cross ?
The Jews had said He came from Galilee. —
So through the hours of darkness did my soul
Question and get no answer. Then there rang
Through the black horror the most awful cry
That ever smote my ear and stilled my heart, —
A cry that bitter anguish of the soul,
Not suffering of the body, might extort
From one in mental torment. At that cry

The firm earth trembled, and the crosses swayed ;
And then the sky grew brighter, and I saw
The face of Him I watched change suddenly
As though illumined by some wondrous joy ;
And from the parched mouth of that tortured frame.
When breath was scant, and friends beside the cross
Might scarcely hope to catch a whispered word,
There came a loud cry like the voice of one
Who shouts in victory ; and then I knew
That He who hung there dying on the cross
Could be none other than the Son of God.

Saint Longinus, the Centurion

A Sermon on the Apostleship of Prayer

THE Rev. Father Ramiere, S.J., preached a sermon at Farm Street on Sunday, the 17th of October, inviting attention to that great apostolic work with which the readers of the MESSENGER are so familiarly acquainted. He took his very apposite text from the last chapter of the Second Book of Machabees.

So Nicanor being puffed up with exceeding great pride, thought to set up a public monument of his victory over Judas. But Machabeus ever trusted with all hope that God would help them. And he exhorted his people not to fear the coming of the nations, but to remember the help they had before received from Heaven, and now to hope for victory from the Almighty. And speaking to them out of the law, and the prophets, and withal putting them in mind of the battles they had fought before, he made them more cheerful. Then after he had encouraged them, he showed withal the falsehood of the Gentiles and their breach of oaths. So he armed every one of them, not with defence of shield and spear, but with very good speeches and exhortations, and told them a dream worthy to be believed, whereby he rejoiced them all. Now the vision was in this manner: Onias who had been high priest, a good and virtuous man, modest in his looks, gentle in his manner, and graceful in his speech, and who from a child was exercised in virtues, holding up his hands, prayed for all the people of the Jews. After this there appeared also another man, admirable for age and glory, and environed with great beauty and majesty. Then Onias answering said: This is a lover of his brethren and of the people of Israel: this is he that prayeth much for the people, and for all the holy city, Jeremias the Prophet of God. Whereupon Jeremias stretched forth his right hand, and gave to Judas a sword of gold, saying: Take this holy sword a gift from God, wherewith thou shalt overthrow the adversaries of my people Israel. Thus being exhorted with the words of Judas, which were very good and proper to stir up the courage and strengthen the hearts of the young men, they resolved to fight, and to set upon them manfully, that valour might decide the matter, because the holy city and the temple were in danger.

There we find, my dear brethren, an instance of the general truth which St. Paul expressed when he said: Omnia in figura contingebant illis. (All these things happened to them.) The history of the ancient people is a symbol of the destinies of the true people of God, of the new Israel. Who does not see in the present situation of the Church of God the realization of that which we have been reading just now—of the abandonment to which the Synagogue was reduced in the time of the Machabees? All the earthly glories with which the Church of God was once surrounded have faded away: the holy city is in the hands of her fiercest enemies, her streets are profaned with all kinds of abominations, her treasures are dispersed, her most devoted ministers expelled, her children torn violently from her bosom and delivered up to the worst of all captivities, to the impious education which enslaves the minds and souls of men under the shameful yoke of error and of vice.

And who in this extremity comes to the help of the Church of God? We look to the north and to the south, to the east and to the west, and nowhere appears any human hope of salvation. All the earthly powers that once supported the Church have now turned against her, all, all! Those which are not openly hostile, at least deny her Divine rights. An immense league, embracing all the civilized nations of the world, was formed more than a century ago, to distress the Kingdom of God upon earth, and after having expelled Jesus Christ from public institutions by the so-called Liberal system, they are preparing to expel Him from families and even from the conscience of individual men by godless education.

What remains to the Church? A handful of pious Christians who in all nations form a small minority, and who compared with the numbers of their enemies, and the multitude much greater still of the indifferent and the cowardly, are less capable of fighting successfully than the Machabees were to resist the armies of Demetrius. Shall we then despair of the victory? No, my dear brethren, we shall not despair. And why not? Because Almighty God shows to us as a living and certain reality a spectacle much more consoling than that which was shown to Judas Machabeus in a dream. Do you not see those thousands of pious souls who like Onias hold up their hands and pray for the people of Israel? And above them, do you not see that other intercessor infinitely more powerful than Jeremias, the Very Son of the Almighty, Who, continually present in the midst of us at the same time that He is sitting at the right hand of His Father, is occupied in making intercession for us: Semper vivens ad interpellandum pro nobis? (He always lives to intercede for us )This is He that prayeth much for the people and for all the holy city, and by His prayer, to which He invites us to join our prayers, He renders us invincible and assures our triumph.

I have, therefore, a right to present to you the Apostleship of Prayer, exercised first by our Saviour and practised by Christians in union with the Heart of Jesus, as the last but all-powerful resource of the Church in the extreme danger with which she is threatened.

The Apostleship of Prayer thus understood is not a special association. We must distinguish two aspects of one and the same idea. The Apostleship of Prayer as a power and a duty is as old as Christianity itself, a power conferred and a duty imposed on all Christians to contribute by their prayers and good works to the edification of the Body of Christ. Under this point of view it is as old as the Church. What is new in it is a peculiarity of organization belonging to these later times by which the faithful are induced to unite together in order to exercise that power and to fulfil that duty. In order to organize this Holy League in England, and enable it to produce there the great fruits which it has produced in the other parts of the world, we need the assistance of your pious pastors.

It is not precisely under that respect that I wish to present the Apostleship of Prayer to your consideration to-day. I propose to set before you the idea of the work, to prove the immensity of the power which it puts into your hands and the stringent nature of the duty which it imposes upon you. To attain this end we must examine the Apostleship, first as it is in the Heart of Jesus, and secondly as it is in the heart of Christians.

I. Considered as it is in the Heart of Jesus, the Apostleship of Prayer appears to us as the proper apostolate of the Sacred Heart, the first apostolate which our Saviour exercised, the one which He exercised without interruption, the one which He kept for Himself when He was obliged to divest Himself of all other apostolates. Before briefly developing these three considerations, it is well to determine what is meant by the words Apostleship of Prayer. Preaching and administering the sacraments are not the only apostolate. If they were, you would not be able to give to our Blessed Lady in her own right the title of Queen of Apostles. Mary never preached : she remained silent in the assemblies of the primitive Church, although she could have spoken with more eloquence and efficacy than St. Paul or any other preacher of the Word. And nevertheless she was an apostle, nay, the Queen of Apostles, because by her prayers, her actions, her sufferings, united with those of her Divine Son, she contributed more efficaciously than all the Apostles together to the work of the apostleship, the conversion of souls, the propagation of the Kingdom of Christ. The apostleship includes every work which tends efficaciously to promote the salvation of souls, to convert the sinner, to sanctify the just, to assist the triumph of the Church. Preaching and the administration of sacraments contribute to these results, but the only indispensable means is the grace of God. Every work, therefore, which helps to impart grace to souls is included in the idea of an apostolate.

This explains the mystery of the Life of our Saviour Himself. He had come down from Heaven for one purpose—the salvation of mankind, to enlighten minds immersed in darkness, and bring back into the path of justice souls which had been led astray into the tortuous ways of sin. Having thirty-three years to spend among men, how is it that He waited till the age of thirty to show Himself and to speak? Were those long years of His Hidden Life lost? No, they were as usefully spent as the years of His Public Life. From the very beginning of His Life He had begun to suffer and to pray. He had not yet exercised the apostolate of His preaching, but He had already exercised the apostolate of His Heart, the apostolate of prayer. The first palpitation of His Heart, the first aspiration of His Soul, was the first act of that apostolate, and by that first act He had already done enough for our salvation. Why so? Because He had already obtained the grace necessary and sufficient to save the souls of all men.

I am, therefore, right in saying that the Apostolate of Prayer is the proper apostolate of the Heart of Jesus. For all other apostolates the Heart of Jesus needs cooperation. The apostolate of the word will require the movement of His sacred lips, the apostolate of charity will employ His sacred feet to run after the lost sheep, His sacred hands to bind their wounds; but before the Sacred Heart can have this cooperation of lips and feet and hands, It has already undertaken Its own proper apostolate of prayer. That apostolate was the first which our Saviour exercised. It is true that long before He began to teach men by word of mouth He had taught them by His example: coepit Jesus facere et docere.(Jesus began to do and to teach) At Bethlehem He had preached, by the mute eloquence of His poverty, the same lesson which was to be the first subject of His public exhortation; but even that apostolate of example which began with His visible Life had been forestalled by the invisible apostolate of prayer.

And that apostolate begun at the first moment will thenceforward be continued without interruption. The apostolate of the Word, even when it is undertaken after thirty years, is not exercised without intermission. However indefatigable Jesus may be in announcing the doctrine of salvation, He will only be able to speak according as men shall be disposed to listen to Him. However assiduous He may be in hunting after souls, the night will necessarily interrupt that work of mercy. But the night itself will not interrupt His prayer. When He can no longer proclaim to men the merciful designs of His Heavenly Father, He will continue to treat with that Heavenly Father about the eternal interests of men: Erat pernoctans in oratione Dei.(he spent the night in prayer )

There is only one other apostolate which shares with the Apostolate of Prayer the privilege of being uninterrupted. It is the apostolate of suffering. As the Heart of Jesus never ceased to pray for our salvation during His whole earthly Life, so He never ceased to suffer physically or morally for the expiation of our sins: Tota vita Christi crux fuit et martyrium.(The whole life of Christ was a cross and a martyrdom) But a moment will come when it will be necessary to interrupt that apostolate of suffering as well as the others. The work of Christ is consummated, His earthly Life comes to an end, His Father recalls Him to Heaven, in order to reward Him by unmixed joy for all His bitter trials. He must therefore divest Himself of His apostolic functions, and bequeath them to His ministers. He will henceforward preach by their lips, administer the sacraments, and perform works of mercy by their hands; He will fulfill in the sufferings of His devoted servants what is wanting to His own. But there is an apostolate which He will keep to Himself —the Apostolate of Prayer: semper vivens ad interpellandum pro nobis.(He always lives to intercede for us) In order to exert it more suitably He will create to Himself a second existence upon earth parallel to His existence in Heaven, as humble and obscure as His heavenly Life is glorious—a life of sacrifice and prayer. We see the Lamb Whom in Heaven the angels and the saints adore, "standing as it were slain," in a state of perpetual immolation, and perpetually praying for us.

And how long will that intercession last? As long as the duration of the world. As long as the Bride of Christ is exposed to the attack of her enemies and apparently suffering defeat at their hands, so long will her Divine Spouse help her by His prayers to bear those assaults and to change, as He Himself did before, apparent defeat into glorious victory. As long as one soul on the road to Heaven is exposed to the danger of falling into Hell, so long He Who gave His life for all men without exception will strive by His prayers to apply to that soul the merits of His death. The Apostolate of Prayer is therefore the last apostolate of our Redeemer as it was the first: it is the last mystery of His Life on earth, the one which crowns and makes perfect all the rest, the one by which are applied to our souls the fruits which come from all His actions and sufferings.

Is it not becoming then that there should be an association specially dedicated to the manifestation, the meditation, the glorification of that mystery? Is it not just that sanctuaries should be erected to honour that last and permanent proof of the love of our Saviour, as there are so many dedicated to the transient mysteries of His earthly Life? There is as yet only one sanctuary erected for that purpose, close to the Seminary of Vals, where the Association of the Apostleship of Prayer had its birth. There forty lamps, burning night and day, symbolize the union of our prayer with that perpetual intercession of the Heart of Jesus. But now that sanctuary is closed by those who have undertaken to destroy Christianity in France. They have put their seals upon it as the murderers of Christ once put their seals upon His sepulchre. Let us hope the heirs of the Pharisees will not succeed better than their less guilty forefathers. In the meantime we will only honour the more diligently that mystery of the love of our Saviour the more it is outraged by His enemies.

We do not meditate sufficiently upon His life of prayer. What comfort we should find in our sorrows, what light in our anxieties, what strength in our struggles, what confidence after our falls, if we did but realize that truth? There is now One Who prays for me, Who interests Himself in my difficulties, Who ardently desires my happiness, Who is ready to give me His help; and He is not only the holiest man that ever lived upon earth, He is not only more powerful in His intercession than Moses and Elias, but He is the Almighty Himself, the Son of God, Who has atoned already long ago for the sins which discourage me, and Who has no other desire than to apply to me the immense merits of His atonement.

And again, what confidence should we feel in the destinies of the Church, how easy would it be.to despise her enemies and to laugh at the dangers which surround her, if we kept ever present to our minds the thought of the protection which is given to her by the uninterrupted intercession of the Son of God? Should we not say with St. John: Fortior est qui in nobis est quam qui in mundo est (This stronger man is who is in us , than he that is in the world). Our enemies are strong. They have at their disposal the powers of hell and of earth. But there is in the midst of us One, of Whom it has been said that every knee shall bend at the very sound of His Name, on earth and in hell as well as in Heaven. He is here offering for us those prayers which cannot but be heard by His Father: Ego autem sciebam quia semper me audis (And I knew that thou hearest me always). He is here fulfilling the only condition put by His Father for gaining the triumph over all the world: Postula a me et dabo tibi gentes hereditatem tuam;(Ask of me, and I will give thee the nations for thy inheritance) and the utmost parts of the earth for thy possession.

Not only will the meditation of this great mystery produce in us fruits of consolation and confidence, but it must moreover lead us to unite our prayers to the perpetual intercession of the Sacred Heart of Jesus for the salvation of souls in the exercise of that power imparted to us, of which I shall now briefly demonstrate the reality.

II. Few words are needed to place in the clearest light the second aspect of the Apostleship of Prayer, and when I have convinced your understanding I may leave it to your piety to feed your hearts with the practical consequences which follow from the principles explained. I am not afraid of being accused of exaggeration when I say that by exercising the Apostleship of Prayer in union with the Sacred Heart of Jesus we acquire an unlimited power in cooperating with Him to the success of His great work of saving and sanctifying souls and leading His Church to a triumphant victory:—yes an unlimited power, and unlimited in every way.

That power is unlimited, first as regards the graces which we may obtain for souls. Whatever limit there may be to the results obtained is put by us and not by the promise or the action of Christ, for He says: Whatsoever you shall ask the Father in My Name, that will I do. The same expression is repeated with the same universality in several passages, and as we cannot accuse our Lord of exaggeration or inaccuracy, we must believe that He has really set no bounds to the efficacy of prayer. The promise, therefore, does not apply to those prayers alone which are inspired by the legitimate desire of our own advantage. That is a kind of spiritual selfishness which, although it is not wrong, is less conformable to the example set before us. The promise of Christ applies still more, I will venture to say, to the prayers which are prompted by fraternal charity, for the prayer which most resembles the prayer of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is necessarily most acceptable to His Father. The prayers offered for our neighbour's good are more than any others made in the Name of Jesus. An evident proof that the promise of infallible efficacy applies by preference to them, is that our Lord, wishing to give us the pattern to which we must conform all our prayers that they may deserve to be heard, teaches us a form of words, according to which we are to put the interests of God and of all mankind before our own: Thus shall you pray: Our Father Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done. We must first think of His Divine interests, and after that we are allowed to think also of our own interests, but even then no one can be permitted to think of himself alone. What we ask for ourselves we must ask for others also. It is true that we can never be absolutely certain to obtain the conversion of the sinners for whom we pray, because the cooperation of each soul is free; but what is certain is that we shall obtain a grace proportioned to the fervour and confidence of our prayer, and as it depends upon us to enlarge more and more that measure, it depends upon us also to increase indefinitely the chances of salvation of those for whom we pray.

That power is unlimited also as regards the persons to whom it is imparted. The other apostolates require a special vocation and faculties of some particular kind. Not all men have a vocation to the priesthood, and among those who have received the vocation not all are fitted in mental acquirements and physical strength for the active ministry. But the Apostolate of Prayer can be exercised by every Christian. We all in fact have exercised it from the day in which our mother taught us to bend our knees, and join our hands, and say our prayers under the unconscious impulse of the Holy Spirit. And who is he who can exercise that apostolate with most success? Is it the most learned, the most exalted in society, the most influential, the most esteemed? No, it is the most humble, the most pious, the most united with our Lord, the most generous in fulfilling His commandments, and accepting with love all the dispositions of His Providence. A poor beggar like Benedict Joseph Labre, who says his beads at. the door of the church, while an eloquent preacher enraptures from the pulpit a distinguished audience, may contribute more efficaciously than the preacher himself to the serious results of the preaching.

That power is unlimited as to the persons in whose behalf it may be exercised. To convert a sinner by preaching, you must be heard by him; to sanctify souls by your good example, you must be seen; to extend by the press the influence of your spoken word, you must be read; but to contribute by your prayers to the conversion of sinners and to the sanctification of souls it is not necessary to be heard or seen, to know the persons whom you lead into the way of salvation, or to be known by them. By a prayer made here in union with the Sacred Heart of Jesus for the conversion of heathens, you may cause a grace to fall upon a dying Chinese or American savage, and open the gates of Heaven to him.

That power is unlimited finally as to the time and manner in which it may be exercised. We must not imagine that it belongs only to formal prayers, to particular words recited at stated times, or to lonely meditations made in the church or in some domestic sanctuary. No, we may exercise it as Jesus, Mary, and Joseph did at Nazareth, by intentions which change all our works into prayers. It is in that sense that our Lord has ordered us to pray always, and not to faint. The intention is the soul of our works, and whatever be their body, their outward shape, provided they are conformable to the law of God, the intention which animates them gives them merit according to its purity. But of all intentions the purest, the most perfect, the most meritorious, is certainly the intention of Divine charity which animates the Heart of Jesus. If therefore at the beginning of each day, and, if possible, sometimes during the day, we unite our intentions with the intentions of the Heart of Jesus, if we offer our prayers, our actions, our sufferings for the conversion of sinners, for the sanctification of the clergy and of pious souls, for the defence and triumph of the Church, that is enough to render all those actions apostolic, and to give them, together with a much greater merit for ourselves, a much greater efficacy in assisting the work of God.

Such is in its nature and in its essential practice the Apostleship of Prayer. There still remains much to be said about its necessity, its advantages, and the method of its practice, but time does not permit. I will conclude with the words of Jeremias to Judas Machabeus which I quoted at the beginning of my discourse. It is our Divine Lord Who addresses these words to every one of you, while He offers you that all-powerful weapon of prayer by which He Himself has wrought our salvation. "Take this holy sword a gift from God, wherewith thou shalt overthrow the adversaries of my people, Israel."

Yes, my dear brethren, it is my firm persuasion that by divesting His Church of all earthly advantages and depriving her of all human help our Lord wishes to show that He alone is her Saviour. And what He requires from us is to unite in an immense effort of prayer to obtain from Heaven the assistance which earth refuses. We must not remain idle. Every one of us must fight as did the Machabees, even though there is no human hope. But while we do on our part all that is in our power to move our fellow-men, we must display our energy in procuring help from on high. More than ever we must cry from the bottom of our hearts, Adveniat regnum tuum—“ Thy Kingdom come!" That is the war-cry which we must oppose to the cry of rebellion of the anti-Christian sect which has sworn to destroy the Kingdom of Christ upon earth. That is in fact the device of the Association of the Apostleship of Prayer; and in order to encourage us to repeat that motto, and to make it the rule of all our desires and ambitions, the Holy Father has granted an indulgence of one hundred days to all the Associates of the Apostleship who, wearing an image of the Sacred Heart upon their breasts make that aspiration either orally or mentally. Let us therefore repeat it often by the movement of our lips, and oftener still and more continually by the wishes of our heart, that the reign of the Sacred Heart of Jesus may be fully established in our hearts and in the hearts of all men. Nothing more is wanted to change earth into a paradise and the vestibule of the Heavenly Paradise. Amen.

******** - Latin Translations added by webmaster

Sermon on the Apostleship of Prayer by Rev. Father Ramiere, S.J.

Book on the Apostleship of Prayer by Rev. Father Ramiere, S.J.


RAISE thy mind awhile above the thoughts of flesh and blood, and the obtrusive claims of bodily enjoyment: fix thine attention upon the goodness, sweetness, and condescension of thy God. See the attitude of that crucified Body. See if there is anything there, which does not plead for thee with the Divine Father; that Head penetrated by the multitude of thorns forced in, even to the sensitiveness of the brain, while the thorn is fastened.1 This people hath surrounded Me, says our Lord by His Prophet, with the thorns of their sins. And why? lest thy head should suffer harm: that is, lest thy intention should be corrupted. His Eyes were clouded in death, and those lights which illumine the world were for a time extinguished. While those eyes were closed, was there not darkness over the face of the earth? The two great lights , 2which God made when He created the world, were veiled while those Eyes were closed: and this was done that thine eyes might be turned away that they should not see vanity3 and that if they saw it, they should not love what they saw. Those Ears, which in Heaven are regaled by the eternal song: Sanctus,Sanctus, Sanctus, Dominus Deus Sabaoth?4 have on earth heard, Thou hast a devil5 and Crucify Him, crucify Him6

1 Psalm xxxi. 4. 2 Genesis i. 16. 3 Psalm cxviii. 37. 4 Isaias vi. 3. 5 St. John viii. 48. 6 St. Mark xv. 14.

Why? Lest thine ears should be deaf to the cry of the poor, should be open to bad conversation, should listen willingly and with pleasure to those who take their neighbours' characters away. That beautiful Face, beautiful beyond the children of men7 is defiled with spittle, bruised with blows, and made the object of unfeeling sport ; for it is written, They began to spit upon Him, and to strike His Face, and to mock Him, saying: Prophecy unto us, O Christ, Who it is that struck Thee. 8Why this? In order that thy countenance may be made to shine, and may preserve for ever its brightness: so that it may be said of thee, as it was of Anna : and her face -was overshadowed no more. 9 Those Lips, to which angels listen, and which taught men wisdom—the Voice which spoke arid they were made, and which there is no one that can resist10 " is silent for a while in death, that thy lips may speak truth and justice, and thy voice confess the Lord thy God. Those Hands which founded the heavens are stretched out upon the Cross, transfixed with rude nails, that thy hands may be stretched out to those in need; that thou mayest be able to say: My soul is ever in my hands11 for what we hold in our hands we do not readily forget: and so likewise those who put their soul into good works, do not deliver it up to negligence and forgetfulness. The Feet, whose footstool, the Psalmist tells us, we must adore12 because it is holy, are cruelly fixed to the wood, lest thy feet should hasten to do evil; but rather that they should run in the way of the commandments of God 13 And the Heart, in which are hidden all the treasures of the wisdom and the knowledge, all the riches of the goodness and mercy of God, is pierced by the soldier's lance, that thy heart may be made clean from all that is ignorant and bad: that when it is cleansed, it may be sanctified, and, when sanctified, that it may be preserved in holiness for ever. What more was left for Him to suffer for thee? They have dug His hands and feet, they have numbered all His bones14 ; for thee He has laid down Body and Soul, in order that, body and soul, He might win thee ; with the price of His whole self He bought thee, all thou art (SAINT PETER DAMIAN).

7 Psalm xliv. 3. 8 St. Matt. xxvi. 67. 9 1 Kings i. 18. 10 Jud. xvi. 17. 11 Ps. cxviii. 109. 12 Ps. xcviii. 5. 13 Ps. cxviii. 32 14 Psalm xxi. 17.


WHEN thy best endeavours fail,
When some hope thou findest frail,
Hush the beating of thy heart,
Let no murmur claim a part;
Heavenward lift thine eyes, and say:
All is bright in Heaven to-day!

When around thee swells the strife,
Some great trouble gnaws thy life;
When the lightning-cloud hath burst
O'er a blossom, fancy-nurst,
Clasp thy hands in prayer, and say:
All is calm in Heaven to-day !

When the care that others ask
Seems too burdensome a task,
Leaving scarce a moment's space,
E'en for prayer for aid and grace;
'Mid thy toils, look up and say:
All is rest in Heaven to-day!

Bravely check the rising tears;
Soon will pass the dreadest fears.
Trusting, raise thy heart on high,
Thrones are waiting in the sky;
Soon a loving voice will say:
Joy for thee in Heaven to-day!

Confraternity of Messenger of the Sacred Heart


WE bear our guilt in thy sight, O Lord, and we have ever before us the chastisement which we have received.
If we measure the evil that we have done, less is that which we suffer, and greater is that which we deserve.
Greater are the misdeeds that we have done, and lighter the punishment that we endure.
We feel the pains which our sins have brought on us, but we do not flee from our evil doings.
By the stripes which Thou inflictest our flesh is consumed, but our iniquity is not taken away.
Our spirit is sorely tried, but our stiff neck is not bent.
Our life pineth away for grief, but we do not mend our ways.
If thou, art patient and long suffering yet are we not corrected, and if thou strikest we fail.
When Thy hand lieth heavy on us we confess our evil doings, but when Thou takest it away we forget all that we have bewailed.
If Thou dost put forth Thy hand, we promise to amend; if Thou dost hold back Thy sword, we withold all that we have promised.
If Thou dost strike, we cry out to Thee to spare us; if Thou sparest us, we again provoke Thee to strike.
We confess our guilt in Thy sight, O Lord, and we acknowledge that except Thou dost mercifully forgive Thou mayest justly destroy us.
Almighty Father, grant to us that which we ask, not deserving to obtain it, who hast made out of nothing them who ask Thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
V. O Eternal Shepherd, leave not Thy flock comfortless.
R But through Thy blessed Apostles, protect us with an everlasting defence.
V.Guard Thy people, O Lord, who cry unto Thee, and who trust in the patronage of Thy Apostles.
R. Protect us with an everlasting defence.
V. Pray for us, ye holy Apostles of God.
R.That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us Pray. Suffer us not, we beseech Thee, Almighty and Everlasting God, to be overcome by any adversities whom Thou hast firmly settled on the rock of thine Apostles' Confession of Faith. Through our Lord, &c.
-R.. Amen.

Grant, O most merciful Lord, that the words of Thy holy servant, Chrysostom (who is buried in this church) may bring to us, who devoutly recite them, timely help in our need, in which he represented Thee, speaking thus with Thy holy Apostles, " Encompass and cast up a trench round about this new Sion, that is, guard, fortify, and protect it with prayers, that when my anger waxeth hot, and I shake the foundations of the earth, looking upon your burial-place that is never to be removed, and on the bruises that you rejoice to bear for my sake, I may overcome wrath with mercy, and thereby give ear to your intercessions. For when I see the priesthood and the kingdom humbling themselves to tears, straightway having compassion I incline to show mercy, and I remember my promise." I will protect this city for the sake of David, my servant, and Aaron, my holy one.—Be it thus, O Lord. Be it thus. Amen. Amen.*
The Rosary Magazine Vol I, 1872.


This essay by Fr. Roger Calmel, O.P. (1914-75) helps us in these difficult times to preserve our love of the Church. More than 30 years after its first publication, this article retains all its relevance, so much so that it even seems to have been written for our time, in which the crisis in the Church deepens at an unprecedented pace.

This essay will help the reader to think clearly, keep the Faith, and maintain serenity in the troubled times we are navigating.

Fr. Roger Calmel

“My country has hurt me,”wrote a young poet in 1944 during the purge1when the head of state [Charles De Gaulle] implacably pursued the sinister job that had been in the works for more than four years. My country hurt me: this is not a truth that one shouts from the rooftop. It is rather a secret one whispers to oneself, with great sorrow, while trying nonetheless to keep hope. When I was in Spain during the 1950’s, I remember the extreme reserve with which friends, regardless of their political allegiance, would let escape certain details about “our war.” Their country was still hurting them. But when it is no longer a question of one’s temporal motherland, when it is a question, not of the Church considered in herself, for from this perspective she is holy and indefectible, but of the visible head of the Church; when it is question of the current holder2of the Roman primacy, how shall we come to grips with it, and what is the right tone to adopt as we acknowledge to ourselves in a low voice: Ah! Rome has hurt me!

Undoubtedly, the publications of the “good” Catholic press will not fail to inform us that, in the last 2,000 years, the Lord’s Church has never known such a splendid pontificate! But who takes these pronouncements of the establishment’s hallelujah choir seriously? When we see what is being taught and practiced throughout the Church under today’s pontificate, or rather when we observe what has ceased to be taught and practiced, and how an apparent Church, which passes itself off as the real Church, no longer knows how to baptize children, bury the dead, worthily celebrate holy Mass, absolve sins in confession; when we apprehensively watch the spread of Protestantizing influences swelling like a contaminated tide without the holder of supreme power energetically giving the order to lock the sluice gate; in a word, when we face up to what is happening, we are obliged to say: Ah! Rome has hurt me.

Fr. Roger Calmel


And we all know that it involves something other than the iniquities, in a sense private, which the holders of the Roman primacy were too often wont to commit during the course of history. In those cases the victims, more or less maltreated, could recover from it relatively easily by being more vigilant over their personal sanctification. We must always watch over our sanctification. Only, and this is what was never seen in the past to such a degree, the iniquity allowed to happen by the one who today occupies the throne of Peter consists in his abandoning the very means of sanctification to the maneuvers of the innovators and the negators. He allows sound doctrine, the sacraments, the Mass, to be systematically undermined. This throws us into a great danger. If sanctification has not been rendered all together impossible, it is much more difficult. It is also much more urgent.

At such a perilous juncture, is it still possible for the simple faithful, the little sheep of the immense flock of Jesus Christ and His vicar not to lose heart, not to become the prey of an immense apparatus which progressively reduces them to changing their faith, worship, religious habit, and religious life-in a word, to changing their religion?

Ah! Rome has hurt me! It would be truly meet and just to repeat gently to oneself the words of truth, the simple words of supernatural doctrine learned in catechism, so as not to add to the harm, but rather to let oneself be profoundly persuaded by the teaching of Revelation, that one day Rome will be healed; that the impostor Church will soon be officially unmasked. Suddenly it will crumple into dust, because its principal strength comes from the fact that its intrinsic lie passes for truth, since it has never been effectively disavowed from above. In the midst of such great distress, one would like to speak in words that are not out of phase with the mysterious, wordless discourse that the Holy Ghost murmurs to the heart of the Church.

But where shall I begin? Doubtlessly, by recalling the first truth touching the dominion of Jesus Christ over His Church. He wanted a Church having at its head the Bishop of Rome, who is His visible vicar and at the same time the Bishop of the bishops and of the entire flock. He conferred upon him the prerogative of the rock so that the edifice might never collapse. He prayed that he at least, among all the bishops, not make shipwreck of the faith, so that, having converted after the failures from which he would not necessarily be preserved, he confirm his brethren in the faith; or, if it is not himself in person who confirms his brethren, that it be one of his closest successors.

Such is undoubtedly the first consoling thought that the Holy Ghost suggests to our hearts in these desolate days in which Rome has been at least partially invaded by darkness: there is no Church without the infallible vicar of Christ endowed with the primacy. Moreover, whatever the miseries, even in the religious domain, of this visible and temporary vicar of Jesus Christ, it is still Jesus Himself who governs His Church, and who governs His vicar in the government of the Church; who governs in such wise that His vicar cannot engage his supreme authority in the upheavals or betrayals that would change the religion. For, by virtue of His sovereignly efficacious Passion, the divine power of Christ’s regency in heaven reaches that far. He conducts His Church both from within and from without, and He has dominion over the antagonistic world.


Modernist Strategy

The strategy of modernism has been elaborated in two stages: firstly, to get heretical parallel authorities whose strings they pull to be mixed with the regular hierarchy; then, engage in a self-styled pastoral activity for universal renewal which either omits or systematically falsifies doctrinal truth, which refuses the sacraments, or which makes the rites doubtful. The great cunning of the modernists is to use this pastoral approach from Hell, both to transmute the holy doctrine confided by the Word of God to His hierarchical Church, and then to alter or even annul the sacred signs, givers of grace, of which the Church is the faithful dispenser.

Indeed, there is a head of the Church who is always infallible, always impeccable, always holy, with no interruption or halt in his work of sanctification. And that head is the one head, for all the others, even the highest, merely hold their authority by him and for him. Now, this head, holy and without stain, absolutely separated from sinners and elevated above the heavens, is not the Pope; it is he of whom the Epistle to the Hebrews speaks so magnificently; it is the Sovereign High Priest, Jesus Christ.


Papal Authority

Before ascending into heaven and becoming invisible to our eyes, Jesus, our Redeemer by the Cross, wanted to establish for His Church, above and beyond numerous particular ministers, a unique universal minister, a visible vicar, who alone holds supreme jurisdiction. He heaped him with prerogatives:

Thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (Mt. 16:18-19).

Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. He saith to him: Feed my lambs....Feed my sheep (Jn. 21:16-18).

But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and thou, being once converted, confirm thy brethren (Lk.22:32).

Now, if the Pope is the visible vicar of Jesus, who has ascended into the invisible heavens, he is nothing more than vicar: vices gerens, he holds the place but he remains another. The grace that gives life to the mystical Body does not derive from the Pope. Grace, for the Pope as for us, derives from the one Lord Jesus Christ. The same holds for the light of Revelation. He has a singular role as the guardian of the means of grace, of the seven sacraments as well as of revealed truth. He is specially assisted to be the guardian and faithful servant. Yet, for his authority to receive a privileged assistance in its exercise, it must not fail to be exerted. Besides, if he is preserved from error when he engages his authority in such a way that it is infallible, he can err in other cases. But should he do wrong in matters that do not engage papal infallibility, that does not prevent the unique head of the Church, the invisible High Priest, from continuing the governance of His Church; it changes neither the efficacy of His grace nor the truth of His law. It cannot make Him powerless to limit the failings of His visible vicar nor to procure, without too much delay, a new and worthy Pope, to repair what his predecessor allowed to be spoiled or destroyed, for the duration of the insufficiencies, weaknesses, and even partial betrayals of a Pope do not exceed the duration of his mortal existence.

Since He has returned to heaven, Jesus has chosen and procured 263 Popes. Some, just a small number, have been such faithful vicars that we invoke them as friends of God and holy intercessors. A still smaller number have fallen into very serious breaches. Yet the great number have been suitable. None of them, while still Pope, has betrayed nor could betray to the point of explicitly teaching heresy with the fullness of his authority. This being the situation of each Pope and of the succession of Popes in relation to the head of the Church who reigns in heaven, the weaknesses of one Pope must not make us forget in the least the solidity and the sanctity of our Savior’s dominion, nor prevent us from seeing the power of Jesus and His wisdom, who holds in His hand even the inadequate Popes, and who contains their inadequacy within strict bounds.

But to have this confidence in the sovereign, invisible head of the Church without straining to deny the serious failings from which, despite his prerogatives, the visible vicar, the Bishop of Rome, the key-bearer of the kingdom of heaven, is not necessarily exempt; in order to place in Jesus this realistic trust which does not evade the mystery of the successor of Peter with his heaven-guaranteed privileges and his human fallibility; so that this overwhelming distress caused by the occupant of the papacy might be subsumed in the theological virtue of hope we place in the Sovereign Priest, obviously our interior life must be centered on Jesus Christ, and not the Pope. It goes without saying that our interior life, while taking into account the Pope and the hierarchy, must be established, not in the hierarchy and in the Pope, but in the Divine Pontiff, in the priest which is the Word Incarnate, Redeemer, on whom the visible, supreme vicar depends even more than the other priests: More than the others, for he is in the hand of Jesus Christ in view of a function without equivalent among the others. More than any other, and in a more eminent and unique way, he cannot leave off confirming his brethren in the faith-he or his successor.

The Church is not the mystical body of the Pope; the Church with the Pope is the mystical Body of Christ. When the interior life of Christians is more and more focused on Jesus Christ, they do not despair, even when they suffer an agony over the failings of a Pope, be it an Honorius I or the rival Popes of the Middle Ages, or be it, at the extreme limit, a Pope who fails according to the new possibilities of failing offered by modernism. When Jesus Christ is the principle and soul of the interior life of Christians, they do not feel the need to lie to themselves about the failures of a Pope in order to remain assured of his prerogatives; they know that these failures will never reach such a degree that Jesus would cease to govern His Church because He would have been effectively prevented by His vicar. He would yet hold such an erring Pope in His hand, preventing him from ever engaging his authority for the perversion of the faith which he received from above.


True Obedience

An interior life centered as it should be on Jesus Christ and not on the Pope would not exclude the Pope, or else it would cease to be a Christian interior life. An interior life focused as it should be on the Lord Jesus thus includes the vicar of Jesus Christ and obedience to this vicar, but God served first; that is to say, that this obedience, far from being unconditional, is always practiced in the light of theological faith and the natural law.

We live by and for Jesus Christ, thanks to His Church, which is governed by the Pope, whom we obey in all that is of his purview. We do not live by and for the Pope as if he had acquired for us eternal redemption; that is why Christian obedience can not always nor in everything identify the Pope with Jesus Christ. What ordinarily happens is that the vicar of Christ governs sufficiently in conformity with the Apostolic tradition so as not to provoke major conflicts in the consciences of docile Catholics. But occasionally it can be otherwise. And exceptionally things can be such as to cause the faithful to legitimately wonder how they can hold fast to tradition if they follow the directives of this Pope?

The interior life of a son of the Church who would set aside the articles of Faith concerning the Pope, obedience to his legitimate orders, and prayer for him would have ceased to be Catholic. On the other hand, an interior life which includes yielding to the Pope unconditionally, that is to say, blindly in everything and always, is an interior life which is necessarily subject to human respect, which is not free with regard to creatures, which is exposed to many occasions of compromise. In his interior life, the true son of the Church having received with his whole heart the articles of the faith with regard to the vicar of Christ prays for him faithfully and obeys him willingly, but only in the light, that is to say, only while the Apostolic tradition and, of course, the natural law are preserved whole and entire.


Holy Church, Sinful Churchmen

Let us remember the great prayer at the beginning of the Roman Canon, in which the priest, having earnestly implored the most clement Father by His Son Jesus Christ, to sanctify the spotless sacrifice offered in first place for Ecclesia tua sancta catholica, continues thus: “...una cumfamulo tuo Papa nostro...et Antistite nostro....” The Church has never envisaged him saying: “una cum SANCTO famulo tu Papa nostro et SANCTO Antistite nostro,’“ while she does have him say, “for Thy HOLY Church.” The Pope, unlike the Church, is not necessarily holy. The Church is holy with sinful members, among whom are we ourselves; sinful members who, alas! do not pursue or no longer pursue holiness. It can even happen that the Pope himself figures in this category. God knows. In any case, the condition of the head of the holy Church being what it is, that is to say not necessarily that of a saint, we should not let ourselves be scandalized if trials, sometimes very cruel trials, befall the Church because of her visible head in person. We must not let ourselves be scandalized from the fact that, subjects of the Pope, we cannot, after all, follow him blindly, unconditionally, always and in all.


Layman's Right

The Lord, by the Pope and the hierarchy-by the hierarchy subject to the Pope-governs His Church in such a way that it is always secure in the possession and understanding of its tradition. On the truths of the catechism, on the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice and on the sacraments, on the fundamental structure of the hierarchy, on the states of life and the call to perfect love, let us say on all the major points of tradition, the Church is assisted in such way that any baptized Catholic having the faith clearly knows what he must hold. Thus the simple Christian who, consulting tradition on a major point known to all, would refuse to follow a priest, a bishop, an episcopal conference, or even a Pope who would ruin tradition on this point, would not, as some charge, be showing signs characteristic of private judgment or pride; for it is not pride or insubordination to discern what the tradition is on major points, or to refuse to betray them. Whatever may be the collegiality of bishops, for example, or the secretary of the Roman Congregation who uses subterfuge to arrange things so that Catholic priests end up celebrating the Mass without giving any mark of adoration, no exterior sign of faith in the sacred mysteries, every faithful Catholic knows that it is inadmissible to celebrate Mass making this display of non-faith. One who would refuse to go to such a Mass is not exercising private judgment; he is not a rebel. He is a faithful Catholic established in a tradition that comes from the Apostles and which no one in the Church can change. For no one in the Church, whatever his hierarchical rank, be it ever so high, no one has the power to change the Church or the Apostolic tradition.

On all the major points, the Apostolic tradition is quite clear. There is no need to scrutinize it through a magnifying glass, nor to be a cardinal or a prefect of some Roman dicastery to know what is against it. It is enough to have been instructed by the catechism and the liturgy prior to the modernist corruption.

Too often, when it is a question of not cutting oneself off from Rome, the faithful and priests have been formed in the sense of a partly worldly fear in such a way that they feel panic-stricken, that they are shaken in their consciences and they no longer examine anything once the first passer-by accuses them of not being with Rome. A truly Christian formation, on the contrary, teaches us to be careful to be in union with Rome not in fear or without discernment, but in light and peace according to a filial fear in the Faith.

For it must be said, first of all, that on the major points the tradition of the Church is established, certain, irreformable; then, that every Christian instructed in the rudiments of the Faith, knows them without hesitation; thirdly, that it is faith and not private interpretation which makes us discern them, just as it is obedience, piety and love, and not insubordination, which make us uphold this tradition; fourthly, that the attempts of the hierarchy or the weaknesses of the Pope which would tend to upset this tradition or let this tradition be upset will one day be overturned, while Tradition will triumph.


Tradition Will Triumph

We are at peace on this point. Whatever may be the hypocritical arms placed by modernism in the hands of the episcopal collegialities and even of the vicar of Christ, tradition will indeed triumph: solemn baptism, for example, which includes the anathemas against the accursed devil will not be excluded for long; the tradition of not absolving sins except after individual confession will not be excluded for long; the tradition of the traditional Catholic Mass, Latin and Gregorian, with the language, Canon, and gestures in conformity with the Roman Missal of St. Pius V, will soon be restored to honor; the tradition of the Catechism of Trent, or of a manual exactly in conformity with it, will be restored without delay.

On the major points of dogma, morals, the sacraments, the states of life, the perfection to which we are called, the tradition of the Church is known by the members of the Church whatever their rank. They hold fast to it without a bad conscience, even if the hierarchical guardians of this tradition try to intimidate them or throw them into confusion; even if they persecute them with the bitter refinements of modernist inquisitors. They are very assured that by keeping the tradition they do not cut themselves off from the visible vicar of Christ. For the visible vicar of Christ is governed by Christ in such wise that he cannot transmute the tradition of the Church, nor make it fall into oblivion. If by misfortune he should try to do it, either he or his immediate successors will be obliged to proclaim from on high what remains forever living in the Church’s memory: the Apostolic tradition. The Spouse of Christ stands no chance of losing her memory.


“Quod Ubique, Quod Semper...”

As for those who say that tradition is a synonym of sclerosis, or that progress occurs by opposing tradition, in short, those who conjure up the mirages of an absurd philosophy of becoming, I recommend the reading of St. Vincent of Lerins3 in his Commonitorium and the careful studying of Church history: dogma, sacraments, fundamental constitution, spiritual life, in order to descry the essential difference which exists between “going forward” and “going astray”; between having “advanced ideas” and “advancing according to right ideas”; in short, distinguishing between profectus (development) and permutatio (change).

Even more so than in times of peace, it has become useful and salutary to us to meditate on the Church’s trials by the light of faith. We might be tempted to reduce these trials to persecutions and attacks coming from the outside. But enemies from within are, after all, even more to be feared: they know better the weak points; they can wound or poison where or when it is least expected; the scandal they provoke is much more difficult to overcome. Thus, in a parish, an anti-religious institution will never succeed, whatever it does, in ruining the faithful as much as a high-living, modernist priest. Equally, the defrocking of a simple priest, though more sensational, has consequences far less baneful than the negligence or treason of the bishop.


Ultimate Scandal

Be that as it may, it is certain that if the bishop betrays the Catholic faith, even without abandoning it, he imposes on the Church a much heavier trial than the simple priest who takes a wife and ceases to offer holy Mass. What then can be said of the kind of trials that the Church of Jesus Christ would suffer were it to come by the Pope, by the vicar of Jesus Christ in person? Merely raising this question is enough to make some hide their faces in their hands and push them to the brink of crying blasphemy. The mere thought torments them. They refuse to face up to a trial of this gravity.

I understand their feeling. I am not unaware that a sort of vertigo can grip the soul when it is placed in the presence of some iniquities. “Sinite usque hue-Suffer ye thus far,”3 Jesus in agony said to the three Apostles when the rabble of the high priest came to arrest Him, drag Him before the tribunal and to death, Him who is the eternal High Priest. Sinite usque hue. It is as if the Lord were saying: “The scandal can indeed go that far, but let it go, and follow my recommendation: Watch and pray, for the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Sinite ad hue: “By my consent to drink the chalice, I have merited for you every grace while you were sleeping and left me all alone. I obtained for you in particular the grace of a supernatural strength that is up to every trial, even the trial that can come upon the Church by the Pope’s own doing. I have made you able to escape even that vertigo.”

On the subject of this extraordinary trial there is what Church history says and what Revelation about the Church does not say. For nowhere does Revelation about the Church say that the Popes will never sin by negligence, cowardice, or worldliness in the keeping and defense of the Apostolic tradition. We know that they will never sin by making the faithful believe in another religion: that is the sin from which they are preserved by the nature of their mandate. And when they engage their authority in such a way as to invoke their infallibility, it is Christ Himself who speaks to us and instructs us: that is the privilege with which they are robed as soon as they become successors of Peter. But if Revelation instructs us in the prerogatives of the papacy, nowhere does it say that when he exercises his authority below the threshold of infallibility, a Pope will never become Satan’s pawn and favor heresy up to a certain point. Likewise, it is not written in sacred Scripture that, though he cannot formally teach another religion, a Pope will never go so far as to sabotage the conditions indispensable to the defense of the true religion. The possibility of such a defection is even considerably favored by modernism.

Thus, Revelation about the Pope nowhere guarantees that the vicar of Christ will never inflict on the Church the trial of some major scandals; I speak of serious scandals, not just in the domain of private morals, but rather in the religious sphere properly so-called, and, so to speak, in the ecclesiastical domain of faith and morals. In fact, the Church’s history teaches us that this sort of trial inflicted by the Pope has not been spared the Church, although it has been rare and not prolonged to an acute stage. It is the contrary that would be astonishing, when we consider the small number of canonized Popes since the time of Gregory VII who are invoked and venerated as the friends and saints of God. And it is more astonishing still that the Popes who suffered very cruel torments, like Pius VI or Pius VII, were never prayed to as saints, neither by the Vox Ecclesiae, nor by the Vox populi. If these Pontiffs, who nonetheless had to suffer so much as Popes, did not bear their pain with such a degree of charity as to be canonized saints, how can we be astonished that other Popes, who looked upon their position from a worldly point of view, would commit serious breaches or inflict on the Church of Christ an especially fearful and harrowing trial. When they are reduced to the extremity of having such Popes, the faithful, priests and bishops who want to live the life of the Church take great care not only to pray for the Supreme Pontiff who is the subject of great affliction for the Church, but first and foremost they cleave to the Apostolic tradition, the tradition concerning dogma, the missal and the ritual, the tradition on the interior life and on the universal call to perfect charity in Christ.


St. Vincent Ferrer

In such a juncture, the mission of the Friar Preacher who, undoubtedly among all the saints worked the most directly for the papacy, that son of St. Dominic, Vincent Ferrer (1350?-1419), is particularly enlightening. Angel of Judgment, Legate a latere Christi (from the side of Christ), causing the deposition of a Pope after exercising towards him infinite patience, Vincent Ferrer is also, and from the same inspiration, the intrepid missionary full of benignity, abounding in prodigies and miracles, who announces the Gospel to the immense multitude of the Christian people. He carries in his heart of an apostle not only the Supreme Pontiff, so enigmatic, obstinate and hard, but also the whole flock of Christ, the multitude of the hapless, humble folk, the “turba magna ex omnibus tribubus et populis et linguis-ihe great multitude...of all...tribes, and peoples, and tongues” (Apoc. 7:9). Vincent understood that the major concern of the vicar of Christ was not, indeed was far from, faithfully serving the holy Church. The Pope was placing the satisfaction of his own obscure will to power ahead of everything. But if, at least among the faithful, the sense of the life of the Church could be reawakened, the concern to live in conformity with the dogmas and the sacraments received in the Apostolic tradition, if a pure and mighty wind of prayer and conversion were to unfurl upon this languishing and desolate Christendom, then doubtlessly there would come a vicar of Christ who would be truly humble, who would have a Christian conscience about his super-eminent charge, who would preoccupy himself with exercising it to the best of his ability in the spirit of the Sovereign High Priest. If the Christian people could rediscover a life in accord with the Apostolic tradition, then it would become impossible for the vicar of Jesus Christ, when it comes to upholding and defending this tradition, to fall into certain derelictions, to abandon himself to lying compromises. It would be necessary that, without delay, a good Pope, and even a holy Pope, succeed the bad or misguided one.


Worthy Flock, Worthy Shepherd

But too many of the laity, priests and bishops in these days of great evil, when trial overtakes the Church by the Pope, would like order to be restored with their having to do nothing, or almost nothing. At most will they agree to mutter a few prayers. They even balk at the daily Rosary: five decades offered daily to our Lady in honor of the hidden life, the Passion, and the glory of Jesus. In this vein, they have very little interest in deepening their understanding of that part of the Apostolic tradition that applies directly to them in a spirit of fidelity to that tradition: dogmas, missal and ritual, interior life (for progress in the interior life obviously is a part of the Apostolic tradition). Each in his station of life having consented to lukewarmness, they take scandal at the fact that neither is the Pope, in his place as Pope, very fervent when it comes to upholding for the entire Church the Apostolic tradition, that is to say, to faithfully fulfilling the unique mission confided to him. This view of things is unjust. The more we need a holy Pope, the more we ourselves must begin by putting our own lives, by the grace of God and holding fast to tradition, in the path of the saints. Then the Lord Jesus will finally give to His flock the visible shepherd of whom it will have striven to make itself worthy.

This was the lesson of St. Vincent Ferrer at an apocalyptic time of major failings by the Roman Pontiff. But with modernism we are in the midst of experiencing even greater trials, reasons all the more compelling for us to live even more purely, and on all points, the Apostolic tradition; on all points, including a real tending towards perfect charity. And yet, in the moral doctrine revealed by the Lord and handed down by the Apostles, it is said that we must tend to perfect love, since the law of growth in Christ is part and parcel of the grace and charity which unite us in Christ.


A Fundamental Mystery

There is indeed both transcendence and obscurity in the Church’s dogma relative to the Pope: a supreme pontiff who is the universal vicar of Jesus Christ, yet who nonetheless is not sheltered from failings, even serious ones, which can be quite dangerous for his subjects. But the dogma of the Roman Pontiff is but one of the aspects of the fundamental mystery of the Church. Two great propositions introduce us to this mystery: firstly, that the Church, whose members are recruited from among sinners, which we all are, is nonetheless the infallible dispenser of light and grace, dispenser by means of a hierarchical organization, dispenser governed from heaven above by its head and Savior, Jesus Christ, and assisted by the Spirit of Jesus. On the other hand, on earth, the Savior offers by His Church the perfect sacrifice and nourishes it by His own substance. Secondly, the Church, holy Spouse of the Lord Jesus, must have a share in the Cross, including the cross of betrayal by her own; but for all that she does not cease to be sufficiently assisted in her hierarchical structure, beginning with the Pope, and to be on fire enough with charity; in a word, she remains at all times holy and pure enough to be able to share in the trials of her Spouse, including betrayal by certain members of the hierarchy, while keeping intact her self-mastery and supernatural strength. Never will the Church be subject to vertigo.

If, in our spiritual life, the Christian truth concerning the Pope is rightly situated within the Christian truth about the Church, by that light shall we overcome the scandal of all the lies, not excluding those that can befall the Church by the vicar of Christ or by the successors of the Apostles.

When we think of the Pope now and of the prevailing modernism, of the Apostolic tradition and perseverance in this tradition, we are more and more reduced to considering these questions only in prayer, only in an unceasing petition for the entire Church and for him who, in our days, holds in his hands the keys of the kingdom of heaven. He holds them in his hands, but he does not use them, so to speak. He leaves the gate of the sheepfold open at the approach of thieves; he does not close these protective doors which his predecessors had invariably kept shut with unbreakable locks and bolts. Sometimes, as is the case with post-conciliar ecumenism, he even pretends to open what will forever be kept shut. We are reduced to the necessity of never thinking of the Church except to pray for her and for the Pope. It is a blessing. Nevertheless, thinking of our Mother, the Spouse of Christ, in this piteous condition does not diminish in the least our resolve to think clearly. At least, let this indispensable lucidity, lucidity without which all courage would flag, be penetrated with as much humility and gentleness as the vehemence with which we assail the Sovereign Priest, that He make haste to help us. Deus in adjutorium meum intende. Domine, ad adjuvandum mefestina. May it please Him to charge His most holy Mother, Mary Immaculate, with bringing us as soon as possible the effective remedy.


from the SSPX Asia site.

Parce Domine

Meditations on the Mysteries of the Rosary

from the From French of Father Monsabre, O.P.
translated by Very Reverend Stephen Byrne, O.P.



GOD is about to descend from heaven and to clothe Himself with our poor and fragile human nature in the womb of a virgin ; this is the mystery that the Archangel Gabriel announces to Mary (Luke i.) It is an incomprehensible and ineffable mystery, expected for four thousand years and prepared from all eternity. Let us contemplate this preparation even in the bosom of God Himself.

Before the birth of ages God saw all that was to be. The work conceived by Him unfolded itself before His eyes with all its wonders, with all its mighty revolutions. He saw sin enter into His work, and He decreed that sin should be punished. But the Word intervened and proposed to His Father to receive in His own adorable person the strokes of divine justice. Sin will be expiated by a Victim equal to the Majesty it offends ; it will be pardoned. To effect the reconciliation of mercy and justice, the Word, a member of the divine family, must become a member of the family of sinners and permeate with His infinite merits the guilty nature He would save. To this effect an unspotted and sanctified humanity, which God will wound and put to death on account of our iniquities, will be formed in the virginal womb of a daughter of Adam by the mysterious and chaste operation of the Holy Ghost. Such is the admirable and merciful design of the Holy Trinity. Let us adore it in the depths of our hearts.

The hour of its accomplishment has struck. Mary has pronounced the fiat (let it be done) of a new creation more glorious than that of the world; and "the Word was made flesh." The Word, the true Son of God, eternally begotten of Him, equal to His Father in all things, the resplendent mirror and living image of His original principle, the personal splendor of the divine substance — this is the Word made flesh. Flesh ! did I say ? Yes ; He has passed by the angels and has not noticed their pure and holy natures, and He has espoused our soul with its weak and corruptible companion. He takes the world at its worst, in order to associate all creatures to His divinity ; He descends to the lowest depths, for it is not the immortal and impassible flesh of innocence and justice He assumes, but the miserable flesh of sinners. If His sanctity shrinks from contracting the stain of sin, His merciful condescension assumes its entire responsibility. Thus, in the eyes of His Father, He becomes sin itself : " Him, who knew no sin, He hath made sin for us, that we might be made the justice of God in Him" (2 Cor. v. 21). How well it is expressed by the great Apostle of the Gentiles : "He has annihilated Himself" (Philip, ii.)

In this annihilation all is pure goodness ; we have done nothing to deserve it. The rare desires of holy souls were washed away in torrents of iniquity. After waiting long the world, in decay and in rottenness, appeared more deserving of destruction than at its beginning ; but the errors and crimes of man had not exhausted the indefatigable love of Him who annihilated Himself.

In presence of this great mystery the sentiments of our soul should be those of profound astonishment, of loving and grateful admiration. The principle of our greatness is to be found in this abasement of the Divinity. Having adored the Son of God annihilated, let us consider what we are by the Incarnation : Brothers of God ! Nothing is more certain than this great honor ; for the Word incarnate, which Mary calls Jesus, is clothed in our veritable human nature and carries in His sacred veins blood drawn from the same source whence ours has descended. Whilst we give to Him, by the flesh, our earthly father, He gives to us, by the hypostatic union, His heavenly Father. Children of wrath, we are made in Him children of benediction ; condemned to a double death, we receive from Him resurrection and life ; proscribed by the malediction pronounced in the beginning of the world, we are called by Him to the inheritance of glory and beatitude promised also at the moment of our creation. Our debased soul is raised to honor ; our flesh, humbled by suffering, aspires to immortality. With Jesus, and through Him, and in Him our thoughts, desires, and actions are purified, transformed, and raised to heaven. The aspiration of our nature, a prey, from the day of its origin, to the mysterious longing for the infinite, is at length satiated ; now we are indeed divine beings. Oh ! what honor, and, in consequence, what respect we owe ourselves ! "O man !" says St. Leo, "recognize your dignity; and having become a participant in the divine nature by the incarnate Word, never lower yourself by returning to the meanness of your former life."


THERE is commotion in an humble home at Nazareth. They who live in it seem agitated, hurried ; they are preparing for a journey. What is its purpose ? Is Mary, till then so humble and discreet, now hastening to publish the wonders performed under Her roof and in Her womb ? No ; filled with the Holy Spirit, she carefully guards the secret of the King of Kings. But an interior voice says to Her : Go. It is Jesus who wishes to justify His name of Saviour without delay, to begin His mission of redemption, to destroy in souls the empire of sin, and to show Himself beneficent and merciful. One day the Apostle St. Peter will say of Him: " He went about doing good " (Acts x. 38). Even before He was born He merited this testimony. Hidden from human view, silent and imprisoned, He goes to manifest Himself and to give expression to His omnipotent goodness in visiting His Precursor.

Why does He not call the Precursor to Him? Is it not the duty of the servant to go to his master, of the sick man to seek his physician, of the poor man to go to the rich whose alms he begs ? But love reverses all these rules; the King of Kings, the heavenly Physician, the Author of grace anticipates the advances of His creatures. Not yet in condition to move of Himself, He wishes to be carried. "Behold," says St. Ambrose, "the inferior has need of succor, and his superior goes to his aid — Mary goes to Elizabeth, Christ to John. The wonderful meeting of the mothers is the signal for divine benefits. Elizabeth hears the voice of Mary ; John is touched by the grace of his Redeemer." At the same instant the severe laws of nature, which confine the Infant in a mysterious repose, yield to the pressure of the Author of nature. " Before he was born John speaks by his motions of joy. Before entering into the world he announces his God; before seeing the light he points out the Eternal Sun. Still a prisoner in his mother's womb, he nevertheless performs the office of precursor, and says to all: “ Behold the Lamb of God, behold Him who taketh away the sins of the world" These are the words of St. John Chrysostom.

Let us admire the full and sudden correspondence of the Precursor with the grace which purifies him from sin, illumines his soul, and calls him to the service of God. Let us consider the mystery of the Visitation as a type of the sweet anticipations of the divine bounty in our own regard, and of the line of conduct we should follow when we are visited by God's grace.

After the days, too quickly passed, which our Lord spent on earth, in which men could see and feel and touch Him, in which they could contemplate His charms, hear His words, ad- mire His works, condole with Him in His sufferings, and receive His promises, He is again hidden from human view in a manner even more profound than in His Mother's womb. Hidden indeed He is, but He has not withdrawn Himself to an inaccessible distance. "His delight is to be with the children of men." He is with us in our tabernacles, more imprisoned, more immovable than He was as an infant in the living sanctuary in which He first learned to live.

Thither He calls to Him His priests, and commands them to carry Him with reverential hands to visit our souls and fill them with His presence. What do I say ? He stands night -and day at the door of our hearts, knocking and demanding an entrance. " Behold I stand at the door and knock" (Apoc. iii.) Every grace that we receive, every advance He makes to us, every light, every good counsel, encouragement, or impulse towards good, is a visit of Jesus.

O dearly-beloved Saviour ! How do we respond to so much honor and to so many benefits ? Our souls, in order to become the abode of their Spouse in His sacramental visits, ought to deck themselves out in the most tender and perfect virtues. Like docile harps they ought to sing and thrill with joy at the touch of the Saviour's hand in the same manner as the unborn Precursor leaped for joy in His presence. But, alas! we meet Him more frequently with coldness, indifference, hesitation, and even a refusal to accept His heavenly visits. Oh, how shameful !

Thou seest us, 0 Lord! penetrated with confusion and remorse at the thought of Thy many visits we have lost. Grant that they may not be lost again! Strengthen our faith, that we may be able at all times to adore Thy holy presence under the veil by which Thou concealest Thyself from our eyes. Make our souls delicately sensitive to the touch of Thy grace. Let every good impression received be at once transformed into a virtue. Let the prompt and abundant growth of Thy gifts draw from those who will see our spiritual transformation the words of the Psalmist : " Thou hast visited the earth and hast plentifully watered it ; Thou hast many ways enriched it " (Psalm lxiv.)


THE heavens resound with a joyous and sublime canticle : “Glory to God in the highest heavens, and peace on earth to men of goodwill." Angels bear the glad tidings to the world: " This day is born to you a Saviour." O heavenly spirits ! tell us where shall we find this Saviour so ardently desired, so long expected ? In Bethlehem, the city of David. In Bethlehem ! A small city indeed for so great a King ! But surely some ancient, stately palace, the last relic of the fallen fortunes of those who once ruled in Juda, has been fitted up to receive the Son of God. Ah ! no. His poverty finds no place for Him even in the public inns of the old city. The owners of human habitations refuse to receive Him ; and His Mother, all desolate, sees Herself forced to share with animals a corner of their stable. " And this shall be a sign to you," continue the angels : " you shall find the Infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger."

What a change, great God, in Thy manifestations ! Formerly, when Thou didst appear to our fathers of the old law, it was always under striking, and even terrible, figures ; and often those who had been honored by Thy manifestation were heard to cry out : " We have seen the Lord ; let us die the death." Now Thou presentest Thyself to us in the form of an infant.

An infant attracts us by its charms and touches our hearts by its helplessness. Its weak cries, its sweet smile, its peaceful rest soften the heart. What is more amiable than an infant ? And behold, my Saviour is one ! He does not resemble the children of some royal house around whom servants and courtiers gather in crowds. A cradle gilt with gold, a sumptuous service, would repel the lowly and the poor ; and Jesus came that all should approach Him with confidence and love. This is why He shows Himself to us "wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger."

But at this crib how many precious lessons unfold themselves to me !

The infant Jesus teaches me to trample under foot the vain honors which human pride pursues with frantic eagerness.

The infant Jesus teaches me to despise the false and fleeting goods which my covetous heart rushes after.

The infant Jesus teaches me that privations and sufferings are intended to tame and reduce to obedience my rebellious flesh, the enemy of all virtue and of my perfection.

The infant Jesus calls me to a state of simplicity and candor, to an obscure, solitary, and hidden life.

With deepest reverence I receive these lessons in my heart, for it is love that gives them to me.

Love ! Behold what moves me most to-day. The imperial edict which tore the Holy Family from the sweets of the domestic fireside, the blindness of men who refused an asylum to the Son of God hidden in the womb of His Mother, the cold December night of His nativity, the stable of Bethlehem, the swaddling clothes, the crib — all this was prepared in His eternal councils by the love of my God.

The Splendor of eternal light, the infant Jesus clothes Himself with our poor flesh. It is for love of me. My impure eyes could never have borne the brightness of His glory ; and yet I had need of coming near my God, of seeing Him, of hearing Him, of touching and embracing Him. After the anxious waiting of humanity we had need of being delighted in the light of His sensible presence. Master of all the goods of the world, the infant Jesus condemns Himself to poverty. It is for love of me. My heart, so easily charmed with earthly things, had to learn that they are too small and too mean for my love, and that those who have the smallest portion of them ought to possess, like their Saviour, the fullest measure of spiritual goods.

Eternally and perfectly happy, the infant Jesus began to suffer at the moment of His birth into the world. It is for love of me. I will be less inclined to rebel against the hard necessity of suffering when I see my Saviour submit to it from the first moment of His mortal life.

Who will not return the love of Him who has loved so much ?

Would that I possessed the most pure heart of Thy Mother, O my Jesus, in which to love Thee as I ought !

"Would that I could unite my affections with those of Thy adopted Father, so full of humility and reverence !

Would that I had a place among the shepherds whom the angels notified of Thy birth, so as to take part in their simple and fervent adoration !

Would that I could enter into the company of the kings and lay down at Thy feet the gold of my charity, the incense of my adoration, the myrrh of my penance !

O beloved Child ! drive me not away. Allow me at least to envy the lot of the poor, dumb beasts that warmed Thee by their breath ; and, even if it is small indeed, deign to unite the humble love of my poor heart with Thy infinite love.


" " AND presently the Lord, whom you seek, and the angel of the testament, whom you desire, shall come to the temple. Behold He cometh, saith the Lord of hosts " (Malachy iii.) The holy souls did truly desire His coming. They anxiously waited for that event and seriously desired it. And they filled the ages with their plaintive invocations. In the mystery now under our consideration these true Israelites are represented by an old man, just and fearing God, who looked for the consolation of Israel, for the Holy Spirit had promised him in sleep that he would not die before he saw the " Christ of the Lord " ; also by a venerable and holy widow who, although old, was less burdened with years than with austerities. Simeon, taking in his arms the Child of heavenly promise, chanted his canticle of eternal farewell to the world in the beautiful words recited every day in the offices of the Church : "Now Thou dost dismiss Thy servant in peace, O Lord ! for my eyes have seen Thy salvation " (St. Luke ii.) Anna, the prophetess, in an ecstasy of joy on seeing Him, whom she had invoked in her prayers day and night, "hastened to publish His glory everywhere and to tell of His coming to those who looked for the redemption of Israel."

These just souls are holding high festival, yet nothing extraordinary is seen in the temple ; to other eyes it is only a poor Infant that is brought to be presented to God according to the law of Moses. But this Infant accomplishes an admirable substitution that can only be comprehended by true Israelites. To all appearance He is redeemed before the law ; but in reality He immolates Himself instead of the insufficient victims of the law. "Holocausts for sin were not pleasing in Thy sight ; then said I : Behold I come."

Let us carefully consider this mystery. The labors, the fatigues, the sweat, the humiliations, the opprobrium, the sufferings and wounds, the blood and death of Jesus Christ are all laid at the feet of God in this presentation. All is offered and accepted ; it is a sacrifice of propitiation and salvation. Mary takes part in this sacrifice. The sword of sorrow which will one day consummate Her anguish has a prototype in the sad prophecy addressed to Her to-day : " Thy own soul a sword shall pierce." But will not all humanity, or at least the chosen people of God, profit by this offering of Jesus ? Alas, no ! The divine Child will meet with a thousand contradictions, and along with those who shall rise to glory by virtue of His sacrifice we shall see many, who shall despise it, eternally lost. " Behold this Child is set for the ruin and resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign that shall be contradicted."

Let us aspire to be of those included in the resurrection ; and, as Christ offers Himself for us, let us also offer ourselves through Him to His Father. It is only infinite perfection that can fill the void of our unworthiness and of our insufficiency. The victims of the old law, permeated with our intentions and our faults through the imposition of human and guilty hands, represented our guilty lives. Therefore God rejected them. He will reject us also if we dare present ourselves to him alone ; but in company with His well-beloved Son He can refuse us nothing.

Receive, then, O my God ! from our unworthy hands this unspotted Host that gives Himself to us ; this living religious worship which unites heaven with the earth in the union of the divine and human natures.

Thrice blessed Majesty of God ! I cannot offer anything proportionate to the greatness of Thy being out of my nothingness. The benedictions of all humanity, the universal canticle of praise taken up by all creatures, would be far too little for Thy glory ; but we adore Thee with Jesus, and through Him, and in Him.

Unbounded goodness of God ! neither our acts of thanksgiving nor the joyful transports of a world filled with Thy gifts can perfectly respond to Thy infinite benefits; but with whatever spiritual or temporal good there is in us we thank Thee with Jesus, through Jesus, and in Jesus.

Terrible justice of God ! Thou wilt not be appeased by the sacrifice of our poor, sin-stained life. A hecatomb of all nature could not restore Thee the honor that sin has taken from Thee ; but we implore pardon with Jesus, and through Him, and in Him.

Author of all good ! Thou hast anticipated us in the effusion of Thy gifts. But how can we hope to secure a continuance of these, except with Jesus, and through Him, and in Him ?

O heavenly Father ! we present to Thee Thy only-begotten and well-beloved Son, the object of Thy eternal complacency. We hide ourselves in His heart ; we present ourselves with Him in the arms of Mary to be immolated to Thy glory, if it is Thy good pleasure. Take all that we have — our mind, our heart, our body, our thoughts, affections, and desires, our life itself — and declare to us that our sacrifice is agreeable to Thee, so that we may joyfully sing with the holy old man, Simeon :

" Nunc dimittis servum tuum Domine"


THE law was fulfilled by the presentation in the temple. Jesus offered Himself to His divine Father in the name and in favor of humanity ; and now He enters into the humble and obscure dwelling of Nazareth, where He increases in years and in strength, and is filled with wisdom, " for the grace of God is in Him."

Twelve years of silence and obscurity pass quickly by, after which we find Him, when it was supposed He was lost in the excitement of a great festival, among the doctors of the law, hearing them and asking them questions.

O marvel ! These men, who have grown gray in study and in learning, who almost know the number of letters contained in the Sacred Writings, who scrutinize the mysteries and reduce to a nicety the interpretation of the law — these wise men of Israel, whose grave and learned word had the greatest weight in the land, have found their Master. They have found Him in a child of twelve years ! Their humbled pride is astonished at the profundity of His teaching and at the wisdom of His answers. It was the first wound it received, and its sting will continue to rankle in their hearts until the time of His public preaching shall have come. The people simply give way to ecstasies of admiration : " And all that heard Him were astonished at His wisdom and His answers " (Luke ii. 47).

Dear and admirable Child ! I know who Thou art. Divine Word, infinite Wisdom, Thou art come from the " mouth of the most high God." In God Thou hadst subsisted before the birth of time, and in Him Thou wilt subsist when time shall be no more. Hear His inspired word in the eighth chapter of the book of Proverbs: "When He prepared the heavens I was present ; when with a certain law and compass He enclosed the depths ; when He established the sky above, and poised the fountains of waters ; when He compassed the sea with its bounds, and set a law to the waters that they should not pass their limits ; when He balanced the foundations of the earth, I was with Him, forming all things, and was delighted every day, playing before Him at all times : playing in the world , and my delights were to be with the children of men." Thou knowest, O Lord! all secrets, even the most profound secrets of the Divinity. What Thou hast revealed to men is no more than a drop from the ocean of Thy infinite knowledge. The Sacred Scriptures, full of Thee, have been written by Thy inspiration. Who, then, can so well explain them as Thyself ? Therefore I am not astonished that questions and answers should fall from Thy lips which confounded the learned doctors of the law. I wonder not, but rather cry out in my simple ignorance, with the prophet Isaias : "Behold I have given Him for a witness to the people, for a leader and a master to the gentiles" (chap. lv. 4).

Speak, O Master ! speak. It is Thy right and Thy function. Is it not right, and even necessary, that Thou shouldst be "engaged in the business of Thy Father," Who, by Thy teaching, hast deigned to instruct us in the mysteries of eternity? Speak, O Jesus ! to the great and powerful, too often surfeited with empty grandeur ; speak to the worldly-wise of our clay, whose proud reason too often vanishes in the delirium of folly ; speak to the worldly-prudent, who, in their presumption, pretend to have no other rule of life than common honesty. Show them that nothing is truly great which does not lead up to a participation in the divine Sonship ;, that human science must submit itself to the science of heaven ; that the wisdom of the world, from the moment it refuses to enter upon the heroic way of Christian virtue, is supremest folly.

Speak to the poor, the ignorant, the humble, to raise them from their abject state ; teach them the mysteries which no human reason can fathom ; and conduct them by humble and despised pathways to the dwelling-place of life eternal. Speak to me, O my Jesus ! I listen to Thee, and I wish to receive no other promises than Thine, no doctrine but Thine, no law but Thine. For me it is not necessary to behold Thee with the eyes of the flesh to submit to Thy teaching. It is enough for me to read Thy books in which Thy words are engraven : to hear the Church, the guardian of Thy truth and of Thy commandments ; to feel within me the mysterious attractions of Thy holy grace.

O adorable Jesus ! speak to me especially by Thy grace. Speak to my spirit and to my heart. Let my thoughts, desires, affections, discourses, and acts be regulated by Thy internal word. Speak to me, as Thou didst in the temple, with the sweetness and amiability of a child ; but if my obdurate heart refuses to be moved by Thy loving words, speak to me with authority and with the just severity of an offended Master. Press, insist, reproach, threaten, annoy, and torment me. I am prepared to submit to Thy rigors. Speak, Lord, for Thy servant heareth.

Joyful Mysteries by Bishop Monsabre, O.P.



LET us humbly ask our Blessed Saviour to admit us among the chosen disciples who followed Him to Gethsemani. There, casting off sleep, let us enter into the grotto in which Jesus is prostrate, and contemplate His agony. What a sad and sorrowful spectacle ! The human nature of our Saviour, till then calm and serene, is disturbed, saddened, and afraid at the approach of death; yet death is not for that nature a surprise. For a long time its cruel necessity, the hour in which it would take place, its many mournful circumstances were well known to Him. Then His humanity was not troubled; but now at the supreme moment the storm breaks more relentless and more dreadful than upon any other nature. Whence comes this awful change ? From a secret weakness long held under the mask of a hypocritical peace ? Blasphemy ! Every circumstance in the agony of our dear Master is a prodigy. The exercise of His omnipotence was necessary to open the door of His holy soul to grief at all ; and, again, His omnipotence was needed to prevent His death in His unspeakable anguish. It was because He willed it that passions hitherto submissive were agitated and troubled. It was His divine foreknowledge that placed clearly before Him the living and frightful images of death and sin. He brought before Him in one appalling vision all the evils He was about to endure — the treason of His disciples, the abandonment of those whom He loved, the sacrilegious hatred of the Jewish priests, the injustice of the great, the ingratitude of the people, the despair of His friends, the tortures of His beloved Mother; the insults, injuries, humiliations ; the spittle, the scourging, the crown of thorns ; the cross and, at last, His death as the most infamous of malefactors. And all these evils for sinners who had loaded past ages with their iniquities ! Sins of the mind, of the heart, of the senses; the abominations of idolatry, injustices, violences, debaucheries of pagan races; the prevarications and apostasies of His own people — Jesus saw it all. But the future weighed more heavily upon His dismayed soul than the past. His precious blood would be shed for millions to no purpose; they would ungratefully refuse His grace and would reject His merits.

" And He began to fear and to be sad" (Mark xiv.) Jesus is seized with a mysterious sadness. His sacrifice seems to be repugnant to Him, and He implores God to spare His life, threatened with so much ingratitude and profanation. We read it in the twenty-ninth Psalm, in which David had already spoken in His name : " What profit is there in My blood whilst I go down to corruption ? " Why shed it if, in a great measure, it is sure to be lost?

" Jesus begins to fear." His spirit and His flesh, so tenderly and so purely united, protest against the horrors of a cruel and unmerited separation.

"His soul is sorrowful, even unto death." He falls with His face to the ground ; a sweat of blood flows upon it ; He is in an agony. He would certainly have expired if He had not been sustained for the bitter death of the cross by divine power.

Oh, what a conflict ! Human nature, left for a moment to itself, repels the too bitter chalice which God presents to it. "O my Father ! if it be possible, let this chalice pass from me." But His human nature is promptly lifted up by the divine nature and abandons itself to the most holy will of its heavenly Father in the words : " Not My will but Thine be done."

O most sweet and blessed Jesus ! I am not scandalized in Thy agony and dereliction; rather do I see, under the doleful veil of this mystery, Thy sacred divinity, and I offer to it the homage of my faith and adoration. Prostrate in spirit before Thee in the grotto of Gethsemani, I tenderly pity Thee in Thy awful sorrows, and I beg the grace to take part in them. Have I not merited these by my innumerable faults ? Is it not to me that this disgust with a sinful life, this fear of the terrors of divine justice, this sadness unto death, properly belong ? Be just and severe, O my Jesus ! Give me strength to suffer with Thee ! How bitter soever Thy chalice may be, grant me grace to submit to it, and accept it as Thou didst accept the holy will of God.


IN the sixteenth chapter of the book of Job we find words which admirably prefigure the awful scourging of our Lord: " He hath gathered together his fury against me, and threatening he hath gnashed with his teeth upon me ; my enemy hath beheld me with terrible eyes. They have opened their mouths upon me ; and, reproaching, they have struck me on the cheek. They are filled with my pains."

Having fallen into the hands of His enemies, having been judged and condemned, Jesus is delivered up to a troop of malefactors, the vilest and most cruel of whom act the part of executioners in the pretorian court. They seize their victim violently and bind Him fast to a pillar at which He is to be scourged. They arm themselves with rods and thongs, and strike Him with all their strength without counting their blows. The sacred body of our Saviour shudders. In the midst of the hissing of the scourges His deep moans and sad, low cries are heard. The fierce butchers, already drunk with wine, are infuriated at the sight of His blood.

They yield to fatigue, but the awful work is not yet finished. Still more ! Still morel is the cry that is heard. Some bring knotty brambles bristling with thorns, others bring iron-mounted thongs. These frightful cruelties last nearly an hour, a part of the people gloating over their victim, a part of them buried in stupor. Not to have expired under this treatment required the strength of God. Jesus can no longer stand erect. His body is one red, gushing wound. His eyes, almost closed with tears and blood, see only His executioners ; yet so sweet and mild are they that they would soften a savage beast. But under control of the passion of hatred man is more savage than any beast. So much love on the part of our dear Sayiour only irritated His enemies all the more. At last, when He had received five thousand strokes, as it has been revealed to His Saints, Jesus is untied from the pillar and falls covered with blood.

What hast Thou done, O sweet Lamb ! to bring upon Thyself this fearful barbarity ? Thou hast selected these people from among the gentile nations ; Thou hast delivered them from the slavery of Egypt. Through a thousand dangers Thou hast brought them into the land of benediction. To them and to us all Thou hast promised the blessed liberty of the children of God. Is it for this Thy beneficent hands are torn and bruised ? Is it for this Thou art tied, like a rebellious slave or a vile malefactor, to a pillar ?

Thou hast consoled the just and holy men of Israel, "the men of desires/' who, inclining their hearts and souls to the future, looked for the coming of God's envoy. Thou didst go about doing good, and Thou hast stretched out Thy loving hand to solace all human infirmities. Thou hast cured the paralytic and the lame ; Thou hast given hearing to the deaf, sight to the blind, speech to the dumb, life to the dead. Is it for this Thy sacred body has been beaten until it became one bleeding wound ? Thou hast brought down manna from heaven like the dew of the morning, and from the hard rock Thou hast brought pure water to relieve Thy people about to die of thirst in the desert. Thou hast multiplied a few loaves in another desert to feed the famished multitude that fol- lowed Thee. Thou hast allowed a torrent of heavenly doctrine to flow from Thy lips. Thou hast opened for our souls fountains of living water, the divine virtue of which will make it leap to the abodes of eternal life. Is it for this Thy flesh was torn and Thy blood shed ?

O my dear Saviour ! Thou didst merit nothing but our tender respect and loving gratitude ; but I hear the prophet Isaias say (liii.) : " He was wounded for our iniquities ; He was bruised for our sins." And how truly has his word been realized in Thee !

Nothing could be more just than that our sinful flesh should be tied to a pillar and beaten to death ; but, even if our blood were drawn drop by drop until no more remained, of what value would it be as long as it was impure and sinful ? But there must needs be blood, for I hear the Apostle of the Gentiles say in his Epistle to the Hebrews: " Almost all things, according to the law, are cleansed with blood ; and without the shedding of blood there is no remission" (chap, ix.)

Adorable Jesus, Thou hast fulfilled this austere law, and the lashes of Thy executioners, more effectual and more salutary than the rod of Moses, have opened, even in our flesh, wounds through which our salvation enters.

Flow on, flow on, O adorable stream of my Saviours blood ! I cast myself into this sacred fountain. Penetrate me and wash me, not only from all impurity and weakness of the flesh, but from all weakness and languor of soul. Go to the root of my imperfections and spiritual miseries. Wash away and bear far from me sin and the principles of sin.


"GO forth, daughters of Zion, and see King Solomon in the diadem wherewith his mother crowned him in the day of his espousals, and in the day of the joy of his heart " (Cant, iii.)

This King Solomon means my Saviour. The Church, His spouse, invites us to go with her and contemplate the strange and unheard-of diadem with which the synagogue, His cruel and relentless step-mother, crowns our Holy Saviour.

Those who were employed to scourge Him are now glutted with blood ; the soldiers lying listlessly around wish to amuse themselves. " Then the soldiers of the governor, taking Jesus in the hall, gathered together unto Him the whole band " (Matt, xxvii. 27). A broken column and a shaky stool is found. It will answer for a throne. Our dear Saviour is stripped of His garments a second time. An old scarlet mantle is thrown upon His shoulders ; this is His royal purple. A reed is put into His right hand ; this is His sceptre. Now, O my Saviour, be seated ! Thou art about to be crowned !

The soldiers have obtained three thorny branches, which, with diabolical art, they twist together in the form of a crown, bristling on the inside with a hundred sharp points. These ruffians, assuming a solemn air and simulating a grave ceremony, place this newly-invented crown on the head of Jesus. It will not keep its place at first, but they force it to remain by the blows of a piece of wood. The thorns pierce His head on all sides, and His eyes are almost destroyed. All the veins of the head are pierced ; blood flows like water from this newly-opened source. Jesus now loses the power of sight ; He is a prey to burning fever ; He is devoured by extreme thirst, and He shudders with pain and anguish. Nothing can be conceived more frightful, but it is mere sport for His tormentors. One after another they come before Him, bending the knee in mockery, saluting Him with the words, " Hail, King of the Jews ! " Then they throw down the throne and its Occupant, and again put Him on it with brutal violence. All this lasts at least half an hour, and is applauded by the full cohort which surrounds the pretorian. Then our dear Saviour is brought to Pilate, who presents Him to the people with the words: "Behold the Man!"

Yes, behold the Man ! No longer the glorious being whom the Father presented to a world just fresh from His creating hand, saying to it : "Be ruled by Him, be His subject.” Behold now the Man such as sin has made Him! The ignominy of our Lord is a living and a horrible image of the ignominy of the sinner. How wretched indeed the sinner is ! He thinks that it will increase his power, or at least his independence, to throw off the yoke of the divine will and to follow no longer any but his own. Soon he becomes a marvel of shame and misery.

Behold the Man ! Jesus is despoiled of His clothing and covered with a ragged purple garment. The sinner is stripped of the white robe of innocence. Grace, the gifts of the Holy Ghost, the reflection of the glory of God in his soul, all disappear at the very instant in which he becomes a sinner. Only the tattered remnants of a dishonored nature are left to him.

Behold the Man ! Jesus is crowned with thorns, the sharp points of which pierce and torture His adorable head. The sinner is wild with joy in his transgression. His joy comes quickly and flies away again like the lightning. The enjoyment of past iniquity soon becomes nothing more than the sharp thorn of disgrace and remorse.

Behold the Man ! Jesus is forced to take into His hand a reed for a sceptre ; it is a mock sceptre, an insult to His omnipotence. The sinner holds over his passions only a power enfeebled by the consent he has given to sin. His reason, deprived of the supernatural vigor derived from grace, no longer knows how to rule the appetites. It is no longer the rigid sceptre to which obedience is given ; it is now but a reed that bends with the least resistance.

Behold the Man ! Jesus has His hands tied and is led without effort from Pilate to Herod, and from Herod back again to Pilate. The sin- ner has forfeited his liberty, for t; he that commits sin is become the slave of sin " (John yiii. 34).

Behold the Man ! Jesus is the sport of a troop of soldiers, who deride Him, buffet Him, treat Him as a fool, and mock Him in His miserable state. The sinner, when his eyes are opened, will see around him a troop of devils well pleased with their triumph, laughing at the misfortune of their victim and feasting on their victory with atrocious joy. For a long time they had looked for his fall, which they effected by their wiles. Their hour is come ; they hold fast this proud soul that wished to be its own master. It is become in their hands a mock-king, whilst it listens only to their flatteries and is invisibly saturated with their outrages.

What ignominy ! O my God ! Behold what sin has made of man !

O humbled yet blessed Saviour ! I bring to Thy feet this miserable soul, which at length confesses its disgrace. I bring it confused, repentant, wounded not merely by cruel remorse, but also by the salutary thorns of contrition. Have pity on it. Touch it with one drop of that precious blood which flowed from Thy adorable head. It comes to Thee to be transformed, to be invested with glory and honor ; a master again, and possessed of the blessed liberty of the children of God. Seeing it, restored the angels will cry out in joy : " Be- hold the Man."


"NOTHING- in the Passion of our Saviour can possibly resemble ordinary sufferings ; all His ignominies, all His dolors are outside of the common description of punishments or of executions. He was scourged as no one had ever before been scourged ; no one before Him had been insultingly and barbarously crowned with thorns ; and now He is brought to the place of His execution in a manner different from all others.

The custom of the age required slaves to carry the gibbet of a condemned person to the place prepared for it. But figures and prophecies had proclaimed in advance the additional and special tortures reserved for Him. Abraham had placed the wood of the sacrifice on the shoulders of his son Isaac ; Jesus, the new Isaac, is made to bear His cross to the hill of sacrifice. The prophet Isaias had seen Him in this state of humiliation and suffering when he cried out : " The government is on His shoulder" — Principatus super humerum ejus (ix. 6).

Wherefore Jesus, having heard His sentence, is brought to the middle of the forum. His cross is there. He prostrates Himself to take it upon Him ; He embraces it as if it were a long-wished-for spouse. The trumpet is heard ; the officers cry out : " Move on ! " Jesus rises. On the right and on the left the people stare at Him.

With naked and bloody feet our dear Saviour, stooping low, tottering on His limbs, torn with wounds, exhausted by a long fast and by the loss of blood, advances, or rather creeps, to Calvary. Officers in front of Him are dragging Him along; others are pushing Him forward. He cannot make one firm step. Loaded as He is, and not being able to advance as they desire, those who follow Him ever press Him on, and thus he falls several times with His face to the ground, and the cross falls with Him. The executioners raise Him with imprecations and kick Him as they would the meanest animal. It is the most frightful spectacle to be imagined. O Christian soul ! veil not your face ; look on. Move forward along with Him. Follow your Saviour piously on the sorrowful way to Calvary. Content not yourself with weeping, like the holy women who will not leave Him ; but gather up and carefully guard, in an humble and contrite heart, the deep lessons He gives you. The burden of the cross is, after all, less heavy to Him than the immense weight of our sins. It is really under this weight He falls to teach us what a heavy load to carry is a sinful life. If we do not take steps to throw it from our souls as soon as we feel its weight, it will drag us down and cast us into an abyss. Vain thoughts, frivolous desires, culpable levities appear to us as nothing; yet bow often are they the cause of shameful falls ! Jesus falls several times on His way to Calvary. Herein He gives, for our benefit, a sign of our sad weakness. This Man, weakened, bruised, pushed forward, thrown down by soldiers and spectators, is a symbol of ourselves. The infirmities of nature and the tribulations of life cast us down ; the passions make us feel in our souls their terrible sting; the demon tempts and torments us; the world multiplies its seductions around us ; yet we go on in our course without serious attention to the dangers that beset us, and without any safeguard, as if there was no danger to our virtue. Our Saviour says to us : " Take care, take care, for the strong- have fallen ! "

He fell in the dolorous way, but He quickly rose again, notwithstanding His bruises and wounds, to show us that we too, when thrown down by the enemy of our salvation, ought to rise quickly again. To make no effort to gain our feet, not to call any one to our assistance, to make known to no one our great misfortune, would be the part of sloth and pride. And then the evil one, whose hatred rejoices in our falls, endeavors to persuade us that it is better to wait. Of what use is it to rise ? We are still so very weak we will fall again. Later in life, when age shall have fortified our reason, when the passions, growing cold, no longer make such pressing demands, when we shall have been satiated to disgust with pleasures the attraction to which has hastened our fall, then it will be time to say, " Rise, go on ! "

Oh ! how foolish. Who has promised that death will not come and find us in our sin, or that the inveteracy of evil habits will leave us any power at all to repent ? No, no ! Away with cowardly sloth, away with presumptuous delays ! Then all the rest will follow.

Bat can we repent now ? Are not our repeated falls an evidence of ingratitude which has exhausted the divine mercy ? Here is another temptation of the evil spirit against which the infinite goodness of our Saviour protests, as well as the "plentiful redemption" we will find in His blood. "With the Lord there is mercy, and with Him plentiful redemption" (Psalm cxxix.) He came to save sinners ; He will not break the reed bent down by the tempest. He wishes to receive us to His mercy, and to pardon all our sins each time we go to Him with an honest and sincere heart. Up, then, poor sinner, up ! It is Jesus invites you. It is possible you may fall again, notwithstanding all your good resolutions, But stay down not a moment ; always beg the grace of God to give you true penance until the supreme moment comes when God's last pardon shall be the answer to your last act, an act of contrition.


WEAKENED almost to death by wounds, exhausted by a most painful journey, crushed and bruised under the weight of His cross, Jesus reaches the summit of Calvary. Let us concentrate our thoughts upon this last and most awful scene of His Passion.

The executioners seize upon our dear Saviour and roughly drag off His garments, now adhering to the wounds made in His scourging. They stretch Him upon the cross and violently lay hold of His bruised and torn members, driving rough nails into His hands and feet. The breaking and disjointing of His bones is distinctly heard. Oh ! how horrible. Finally the cross is set upright and the Victim is exposed to the view of a degraded and immoral crowd, gathered from all parts to Jerusalem to feast on the spectacle of His agony and to insult Him in His expiring pains at a time when the suffering of the most infamous criminal would command pity and make of him an object sacred to respect and compassion.

But the sweet Lamb of God forgets all injuries and all cruelties. He pardons His murderers, promises paradise to the repentant thief, gives His Mother to us to be our Mother for evermore, thirsts for souls and invites them to Him. He submits to the divine will, and fulfils the prophetic oracles until all is consummated. He lovingly complains that He is abandoned by the Father, commends His soul to Him, utters a loud cry, and expires.

Jesus is dead ! But He has not yet poured out upon us all the treasures of His love. His Sacred Heart is pierced by a lance, which brings with it blood and water to give living virtue to the sacraments and to regenerate sinful souls.

Jesus is dead ! Let us contemplate His body, all livid and covered with blood. To our carnal eyes it is without beauty or glory ; but His Father joyfully turns to Him : He clasps the Victim of sin in a loving embrace, and gathers into His merciful bosom all the merits and sufferings of that divine Victim. He is the well-beloved of whom Solomon, sang ; He is the well-beloved, clothed in the white robe of innocence and in the purple of sacrifice : " My beloved is white and ruddy, chosen out of thousands " (Cant. v. 10).

Jesus is dead ! Let us unite ourselves with the invisible angels who surround the cross and adore in silence His lifeless flesh. The soul of which it was the unspotted tabernacle has left it to visit the sombre prison in which the just souls of the old law awaited His coming ; but His divinity is still there, preparing in those dead members the triumph of the resurrection.

Jesus is dead ! Let us weep with His Most Holy Mother, and beg of Her to obtain for us a portion, at least, of Her tender and profound compassion. All the dolors of Her Son are felt in Her maternal Heart. Her tears are a reproach to our guilty hearts, yet She desires nothing so anxiously as our pardon. O Queen of Martyrs! O Mother of God and of men ! we will cling for eyer to the memory of Thy great mercy. That we may continually bring it to mind, imprint deeply in our souls the wounds of Thy crucified Love :

Sancta Mater, istud agas,
Crucifixi fige plagas
Cordi meo valide.

Holy Mother, pierce me through,
In my heart each wound renew
Of my Saviour crucified.

Jesus is dead ! Let us lament with Magdalen, and with the centurion strike our breasts ; our sins indeed have crucified our Saviour. Come forward now, all ye impieties, blasphemies, ingratitudes, sacrileges, proud thoughts, tumultuous ambitions, egotism, injustices, lies, deceit, pleasures of sense, shameful indulgences — come to the mangled body of your Saviour and be confounded. " Of a truth you have murdered the Author of life.” O my Jesus ! I am ashamed to appear before Thee ; I fear the fate of Thy executioners ; I would fly far away from Calvary, the scene of my infamy, if I were not kept there by Thy merciful words and by Thy promises of pardon.

Jesus is dead ! Let us forget all else, and give our hearts without reserve to the contemplation of the holy Cross, as if we were alone in the world with it. It is for us, for each one of us, He was crucified. For us, in this sense : that He is our substitute on that frightful gibbet on which, but for Him, we would have received the strokes of God's justice. For us, in the sense that He has expiated our faults and accomplished the work of our salvation. To Jesus crucified be ever given the homage, too long withheld, of our heartfelt repentance ! To Jesus crucified be ever given the homage of our deepest gratitude for the greatest of all benefits — that of our redemption !



JESUS, having been taken from the cross, is placed in a new sepulchre in which His flesh, fearfully mangled by the ordeal through which it had passed, reposed for a little while. Its rest was not the deep sleep which weighs down human beings after they breathe their last sigh, and from which only the trumpet of the angel will awaken them ; it is a tranquil slumber from which the voice of God will soon arouse Him.

Two passions — hatred and fear — watch round His tomb. It is covered with a huge stone and secured by the seal of the synagogue. The soldiers are on guard to prevent any secret approach. It is confidently believed that these precautions will stifle for ever in the tomb the voice of Him who had said of His body : "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will build it up again (John ii. 19). How ridiculous and foolish men make themselves when they attempt to run counter to the designs of God or to give the lie to His promises ! On the morning of the third day there is an earthquake ; an angel descends and rolls away the stone ; and the flesh of Jesus, receiving Life again by the divine power, springs forth, glorious and immortal, from the arms of Death.

Let us adore our risen Saviour! No longer is He a prisoner whom the soldiers of the synagogue and the pretorium drag about from one tribunal to another ; no longer is He the man forsaken by His Father and His friends, and complaining most touchingly of the rigors of divine justice ; no more is He the condemned man whom all insult who dare address Him ; no longer is he the man covered with wounds and become like a leper whose aspect is fearful to look upon ; nor is He any more the dead body which His afflicted Mother enshrouded with reverent hands and saw laid in a sepulchre. Now He is free, joyous, triumphant, radiant, immortal. Let us, with the Psalmist, sing to the Lord : " Thou hast broken my bonds, and I will offer to Thee a sacrifice of praise." Thou hast not forgotten the Just One in His tomb, "nor hast Thou allowed Thy Holy One to see corruption." With St. Paul we will cry out : " O death ! where is thy victory ? O death ! where is thy sting?" (1 Cor. xv.) "Christ rising from the dead, dieth now no more, death shall have no more dominion over Him ; for in that He liveth, He liveth to God" (Rom. vi.) Let us sing these canticles of joy and then turn our thoughts upon ourselves.

This great mystery includes for us a lesson, a figure, and a promise.

The ineffable joy and glory of the Resurrection have been purchased at the price of most horrible sufferings. It was inevitable. It is our Saviour Himself who tells it to those who, like the disciples of Emmaus, might be scandalized or weakened on account of His Passion : " Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and so to have entered into His glory ? " (Luke xxiv.) Now, the road of soldiers must be the same as that travelled by their leader. Enlisted under the banner of Jesus Christ, we cannot hope to attain the incorruptible glory and unalloyed happiness, promised by Almighty God, through the broad pathway of pleasure and enjoyment, which is unhappily too much frequented. Jesus did not take that road. It was the rough way of sorrow and pain, in which we can easily trace His bloody foot- steps, that conducted Him to eternal honors. It was the cross He bore and on which He died that opened the gates of heaven, barred and bolted against the luxury of worldlings. The motto of every Christian ought to be : "Let me suffer, O Lord ! in this life, that I may live eternally in the next."

This is the lesson of the Resurrection.

There is in it also a symbol or figure. The mystery of the Resurrection is a lively figure of the spiritual transformation which ought to take place in each of us. Sin is death. It is the tomb in which the captive soul sleeps a fatal sleep. The enemy takes all manner of precautions to prevent its awakening. Yet he cannot prevent the voice of God from reaching even this sepulchre of the sinful soul. " Arise," says that voice, " thou who sleepest ; arise from the dead. Christ will enlighten thee " (Ephes. v.) At the first sound of that voice let us rise from sin. We may never hear it more. Death long continued will breed corruption.

But how will I rise ? How break the cords that tie me down ? How roll away the heavy stone that is laid over me ? How break the inveterate habits and the shameful laxity of the will, which is weakened so much by its many consents to sin ? Courage, Christian ! In the figure just given there is a promise. For us Christ died, and " for our justification He rose again." The divine virtue of His glorified humanity will one day bring together the scattered dust of our bodies, and will make our flesh, dissolved in death, live again eternally incorrupt ; but at present He addresses Himself to the soul especially to draw it from sin to justice, and to give it strength to " walk in the pathway of a blessed newness of life."

I count on Thee, O my adorable Master ! Have pity on me ! I am dead, or at least I feel myself dying day by day ; for it is not life that languishes in tepidity. In virtue of Thy blessed Resurrection enable me to rise from the tomb of my failings. Create, O Lord ! a new spirit within me, so that, penetrated with Thy light, disengaged from the influences of the flesh, active and alert in good works, and bent upon the perfection of my life, I may live henceforth only for Thee, as Thou livest only for God.


LET us go to Mount Olivet. Thither Jesus brings His disciples for the last time. He recalls to their minds their divine mission, confirms the powers conferred upon them, again promises the Holy Spirit, gives them His blessing, bids them adieu, and rises towards heaven. The hearts of the apostles, divided between grief and wonder, follow with their eyes their adorable Master, who is leaving them, and whom they will never see again on earth. A bright cloud intercepts their view of the triumphant humanity of their Saviour, but they continue to look towards the heavens whither He had ascended. Now they understand all ; and their hearts, so recently gross and carnal, break all earthly chains.

Let us with them raise our hearts to heaven. Sursum corda ! If Jesus leaves us He does not forget us, nor does He abandon us to our exile without hope. His going is not to put an immense distance between His glory and our misery ; it is to prepare a place for us : " I go to prepare a place for you " (John xiv. 2). This is His promise ; can we suppose He will not keep it?

O Jesus, our only love! we have need of hearing this good word fall from Thy adorable lips to console us in Thy absence. Thou goest to prepare a place for us; is this world, therefore, not our most suitable home? Ah ! no. It is too full of troubles to give that joy to the heart to which it aspires; it is too narrow to satiate the immensity of our desires ; it is too uncertain to give us any assurance of eternal possession, the idea of which is inseparable from all our dreams of happiness. The eternal life of God, His infinite perfections, the perfect love of God, the boundless space which His immensity fills — this is the "length and breadth and depth" of which St. Paul speaks; this is the place to which we should direct our course and in which we should anchor our bark of life, the place which Jesus went to prepare for us.

He is there indeed. It is our humanity that triumphs in his person and sits at the right hand of God. Even if we were not called to a participation in His glory and beatitude we ought to be anxious to know where it is and to register His victory in our human records. If he belongs to God He belongs to us also; if He is of the divine substance He is also of our flesh and blood, and we may well declare with a holy doctor: " Where a part of me reigns, I believe I reign also; where my flesh is glorified, I am glorified; where my blood is king, I too am king."

But listen, Christian! Jesus does not wish to reduce you to the sterile honor of knowing His triumph. By His ascension He enters into the bosom of God the Father, not as a delegate, but as a precursor of humanity. This is the expression of St. Paul in his sixth chapter to the Hebrews. The precursor prepares the way for those who follow Him, and the place in which they are to rest after the fatigue of the journey. The precursor puts all things in order; He waits for His friends and calls them in. But how much more certain and efficacious His office is when, instead of being a servant merely, He is master of those for whom He prepares a place, and master of the place as well!

Christ, our precursor, is all this. Let us consider carefully the words of the apostle. He teaches us that Christ asserted our rights by His very presence in the bosom of God. For we are His property, and He has a right to enter into heaven with what belongs to Him. " He is our head; we are the body and members of that head." But where the head is, there likewise ought to be the body and the members. But Jesus would be our precursor only half-way if, by His action, He did not put us in condition to realize our lights — that is to say, if He did not prepare God to receive us and did not prepare us to take possession of God.

He is our priest "for ever"; or, in other words, He presents eternally to God the most sacred gifts that humanity has to offer, and to humanity the most sacred gifts of God. Our acts of religion would never have penetrated this sanctuary, in which they ought to mark out a place for us, if they did not pass through the hands of Jesus Christ. And if we return to God after our transgression, our repentance is only acceptable because "we have an advocate with the Father — Jesus Christ, the Just." If the groans of our misery or the expressions of our love are heard in heaven it is because Jesus appropriates them; for "He lives only to intercede for us.' He shows to the Father the marks of His glorious wounds, and makes His blood plead more strongly than that of Abel.

O God! Thou canst not resist this strong cry. It must be that Thou permittest us to mark our places in the sacred tabernacles which Thou fillest with Thy blessedness. This is the will of my Lord Jesus; and in preparing Thee to receive us He prepares us to take possession of Thee. The incarnate Word, humbled and annihilated in the days of His life on earth, became on the day of His ascension the inexhaustible treasury of the gifts of God. "Christ, ascending on high, led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men" (Ephes. iv. 8). Thus it is that the remedies of our faults, the succor of our weakness, the light of our darkness, the solace of our pains, the impulses towards good, all descend into our souls to make them worthy of God, whom we ought to possess. He extends His benign influence even to our corruptible flesh, which He prepares for the resurrection.

O Christian! meditate upon this glorious and consoling mystery. Never more turn to creatures as the end of your life. This world is not your resting-place. Honors, riches, pleasures, human affections are unworthy of a great and generous soul. Look to your Leader and Precursor; have confidence in His divine ministry; abandon yourself to His holy grace; raise your heart to heaven. Sursum corda!


THE apostles were assembled together in one place, awaiting in recollection and prayer the effect of the promises of Jesus. For He had said: "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself ; that where I am you also may be. . . . And I will ask the Father, and He shall give you another Paraclete [comforter or advocate], that He may abide with you for ever ; the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not nor knoweth Him ; but you shall know Him, because He shall abide with you and be with you " (John xiv. 3, 16, 17). Ten days after the Ascension of our Lord a mighty event took place. It was the fulfillment of the promise, and is thus recorded in the Acts of the Apostles : And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a mighty wind coming, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them cloven tongues as it were of fire, and it sat upon each one of them ; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they began to speak with divers tongues, according as the Holy Ghost gave them to speak" (Acts ii.)

O wonderful prodigy ! But a moment ago these men were ignorant and could not clearly understand the doctrine of their Master; now they possess a full knowledge of the most sublime truths. At one moment they express themselves in a weak and stammering manner; the next they are filled with a marvelous eloquence. At one moment they are weak and timid even to the extent of cowardice — they hide themselves, so as not to be involved in the misfortunes of their Master ; the next they come forth boldly, and fearlessly proclaim their faith and love, and this, too, before a people who load them with injuries and drag them before, their tribunals. They seem at one moment ungrateful and almost without hope; the next they are devoted to the words of their Master, even unto death. Now they are sad and downcast ; all at once their hearts abound in hope and joy. What has happened ? The Holy Ghost, having descended from heaven, has brought to perfection in the souls of the disciples the spirit and form of the Christian life, which until now were only in a crude, inchoative state. This is His special mission. The holy Fathers have sometimes called Him the " perfective force."

Learn from this, O Christian soul ! that the effusion of the Holy Spirit is as necessary for thy salvation as is the application of the blood and merits of Jesus Christ. " The end of man, which is to see God and possess Him eternally, is beyond the powers of nature," says St. Thomas of Aquin ; " our reason cannot conduct us to it, if its natural movement does not bring to its aid the instinct and motion of the Spirit of God. 9 ' It is so necessary for us that without it we possess only the rudiments of the Christian and supernatural life.

Jesus, the divine Architect, makes of our souls His temples, having purified them with His precious blood. It is the Holy Ghost who consecrates us in marking us with His character, and conferring upon us the unction of His love and the illumination of His gifts. Pentecost is therefore, in the Church, a universal and perpetual festival. Our baptism is a pentecost; our confirmation is a pentecost. Besides this, as St. Thomas teaches, the divine Paraclete returns constantly in His secret visits, to illuminate, strengthen, and beautify with His gifts the souls of the just.

But let us hear attentively the word of God : " The Lord does not come in times of disturbance " (3 Kings xix.) We must have peace in our souls ; we must remove the agitation of vain thoughts and of vain desires, if we would receive the Spirit of God. Let us await His coming, like the apostles, in recollection and prayer.

It is not likely that God will surprise us by sudden visits of His light and grace ; in the ordinary workings of His providence He only sends His Holy Spirit to us when we say with earnest fervor : Come ! Veni Sancte Spiritus !

Let us invoke Him, then, in the dark night of temptation, in the agony of doubt. When, enveloped in the darkness of ignorance and drawn on by the glare of creatures, our uncertain spirit asks for the truth to guide it ; and when, desirous of the knowledge and light of faith, we desire to penetrate the divine mysteries, let us invoke the Holy Spirit, for he is indeed the " Spirit of wisdom, understanding, and knowledge."

When we are moved to determine and fix our vocation in life, when we are about to perform some work in which our consciences are deeply concerned, or if it is our duty to direct. souls in the ways of God, let us invoke the " Spirit of counsel."

When we feel the love of God languish in our hearts, or even when we are moved by a holy zeal and we wish to love God with good effect, let us invoke the Holy Spirit, for He is truly the " Spirit of piety ."

When the power of evil attacks us and the world persecutes us, when passion torments us, and when sorrow oppresses us, let us earnestly call Him to our assistance, for He is the " Spirit of fortitude."

When the abyss of sin is open before us and ready to engulf us, let us invoke Him with all our strength, for He is the "Spirit of the fear of the Lord,"

In all our sufferings let us invoke Him, for He is indeed the Paraclete — the Comforter.

Against the slavery of all evil habits that weigh down the will let us invoke Him, for " where the Spirit of God is, there is true liberty."

Has He come ? Then let us meet Him with attention, vigilance, and profound respect. Let us not "'grieve the Spirit of God by our faults and imperfections."


MARY languished waiting anxiously many years for the blessed day that would reunite Her with Her Son. It came at length. Her lamp of life was peacefully extinguished in the home of the beloved disciple, St. John, surrounded by other apostles, whose messages she bore to heaven. A virgin sepulchre received the mortal remains of the spotless Virgin. It was the mysterious cradle soon to be visited by the Author of life. Sleep on, dear Blessed Mother, sleep on, whilst the infant Church mourns around thy grave !

Soon one of the disciples desired to see again His Mother's face, and to kiss the blessed hand that had caressed the Saviour of the world. The tomb was opened, but the immaculate body was not there ; instead of it were found roses and lilies of the sweetest perfume — a fitting symbol of her perfections and virtues.

Thus a miracle is performed in the silent shade of the tomb. Jesus, from the highest heavens contemplating the spotless body which was the tabernacle of His humanity, repeated the words of the prophet : " Thou wilt not give Thy Holy One to see corruption." He applies it to His holy Mother ; He will not suffer Her to feel the corruption of the grave. Mary slumbers in death, as Her Son once did, but He awakes Her with these loving words of the Canticles : "Arise, make haste, my love, my dove, my beautiful one, and come. The winter is now past ; the rain is over and gone. The flowers have appeared in our land ; the time of pruning is come ; the voice of the turtle is heard. The fig-tree has put forth her green figs ; the vines in flower yield their sweet smell. Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come. . . . Come from Libanus, where the incorruptible cedars grow. Come and be crowned." *

* Antiphon of the Assumption.

Mary can neither rise nor ascend to heaven of Her own power, but the Author of life extends to Her His omnipotent force, places His angels at Her service, and they bear Her to Her home in heaven.

To us poor mortals the privilege of incorruption in the tomb does not belong. Wretched children of Adam, defiled, from the first moment of our existence, by original sin, unfaithful to the grace of our regeneration, frequently guilty of sin after having been pardoned, we have opened to death all the avenues of life. Death entered with sin and has written on our flesh this terrible word : Corruption ! Nothing escapes its cruel tooth. The skin, gradually eaten away, soon disappears entirely, leaving only a dry skeleton ; and this, too, silently crumbling into dust, is mingled with the surrounding earth by the grave-digger's spade when he is preparing a place for other dead bodies. This is the end of all.

Let us not be terrified, however, at our nothingness. Men may seek for us in vain ; but the all-seeing eye of God follows through the mazes of nature the wanderings of the particles which once composed our bodies. When the world shall have finished its course the Author of life will visit the empire of death, and with His sovereign voice will address the elements of which human bodies were once constituted, saying : " Unite, arise, come." Then the bones of each human being shall be recomposed, and the flesh shall recover the texture and color by which it was once before known. This is a certain truth.

And it is no less certain that our resurrection will be the same as our death. It will be glorious or ignominious, it will be for eternal joy or eternal sorrow, according as our death shall have been in justice or sin.

Let us meditate seriously on these truths ; and whilst we carry about with us our bodies as vessels made by the divine hand for honor, and destined to receive from the same hand a new existence which no inimical force can destroy, let us take good care not to make of them objects of almost idolatrous attention which cannot save them from the ravages of time or the corruption of the grave. If to-day we hear the forebodings of death, if we are saddened by our infirmities, if our thoughts are gloomy and dark, if the perfection of our souls is retarded or burdened with the weight of our bodies, let us not repine. Patience ! Patience ! One day this poor companion of the soul will rise immortal, incorruptible, brighter than the stars of heaven, obedient to the commands of the soul which will impart to it a wonderful agility. If the body presses us with gross demands, and even incites to sin, we must inexorably repress it. We must preserve ourselves from all defilement by wise precautions, strong resolutions, and salutary chastisements. The more we resemble in the flesh the unsullied flesh of our Holy Mother, the more resplendent will be the glory of our resurrection.


HEAVEN is opened. Our Most Holy Mother, invited by Her Son, triumphantly enters in. " Come and be crowned,’ our Saviour says to Her. Let us assist in spirit at this coronation. It is the eternal consecration of all the virtues, of all the dolors of Mary. It is the recompense which confers upon Her the greatest power ever before imparted to a creature. All the kings of Judah gather round their well-beloved daughter. " David dances for joy ; the angels and archangels unite with Israel's sweet singer to chant the praises of their Queen. The virtues proclaim Her glory ; the principalities, powers, and dominations exult with joy ; the thrones felicitate Her who was the living and immaculate throne of the Most High. The cherubim salute Her in a canticle of praise, and the seraphim declare Her glory," says St. John Damascene. Finally Jesus comes, and, amid the plaudits of the whole Court of Heaven, places a crown on the brow of His Most Blessed Mother.

Jesus forgets nothing. All is crowned in Mary : Her thoughts, Her desires, Her actions, Her virtues, Her merits — even Her privileges, of which She had rendered Herself most worth by Her constant correspondence with the admirable designs of God. The feast of the Coronation is a feast of justice.

Christian soul, this feast of justice ought to rejoice your heart ! It is your Mother is honored, it is your Mother's triumph ; and Her triumph teaches us that we have a just God in heaven, who, when the day of remuneration comes, will remember all. Therefore what signify the difficulties, sorrows, languors, and tribulations of our short lives ? "For the rest there is laid up for us a crown of justice which the Lord, the just judge, will bestow upon us in that day" (2 Tim. iv.) O senseless souls who run after earthly goods, can you say this of the world you seem to adore or of the rulers of the world ? They promise riches, pleasures, celebrity, love. Your whole soul is held in a state of tension by the toys of imagination, covetous desires, or other passions ; your senses themselves are disturbed, your health is injured, your life is filled with intrigues, troubles, and meannesses. Humble yourselves, throw away earthly cares, else you will never be able to say, with the noble and fervent confidence of the true Christian : " There is laid up for me a crown." Crowns of gold or of roses, of honor or affection, often slip from your grasp just when you think you hold them most securely. And if you were able to obtain at once all the crowns of the world, you must bring them at last before the "just Judge," who will, with pitiless hand, tear them from your brow and throw them down to rot where you received them. We cannot carry with us to heaven useless or hurtful ornaments. Our crown in heaven — our true crown — will remain eternally on our brow and will never fade. "And when the Prince of pastors shall appear you shall receive a never-fading crown of glory " (1 Peter v. 4).

Feed yourself, then, O my soul ! on these deep and consoling thoughts. The all-just Rewarder of all faithful souls sees you and knows you. Despise the vain objects of worldlings and cling to the road that brings you to a crown of glory. It is a rough and difficult road. You will have to overcome obstacles, to leap over more than one abyss, to avoid ambuscades(def. attack from an ambush.), to fight the enemy, to repair reverses and even defeats. Courage ! Courage ! All your marches, all your efforts, all your labors and combats are in God's keeping : " For the rest there is laid up for you a crown." You will say: " If I could only march alone on the hard road leading to glory ! But no ; I must carry along with me this miserable body. It is a furnace of sin, and of sorrow too. It obscures my sight so that I cannot see clearly what I ought to see ; from it come doubts, scruples, dryness, disquietude, chagrin, and anguish. From time and from nature it receives many blows and wounds. How many are the evils, both external and internal, of our sad lives ! " Courage ! Courage ! All these are counted ; all will be crowned. At once a champion, a pilgrim, and a martyr, you will be able to say with the great Apostle of the Gentiles : " I have fought the good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. For the rest, there is laid up for me a crown of justice, which the Lord, the just judge, will render to me at that day ; and not to me only, but to them also who love His coming " (2 Tim. iv. 7, 8).

Plot Against the Church by Maurice Pinay 1962 1 of 4

The four Audiobook-Parts contain:

(1 of 4) : Beginning -- Part 3, Chapter 8
(2 of 4) : Part 3, Chapter 9 -- Part 4, Chapter 15
(3 of 4) : Part 4, Chapter 16 -- Part 4, Chapter 27
(4 of 4) : Part 4, Chapter 28 -- End

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Date Liturgical Schedule
October 11: Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Blessed James of Ulm, Lay Brother, Confessor, OP Book
Dominican Martyrology
October 12: Our Lady of the Pillar (Nuestra Señora del Pilar)
Bl. Dominic Spadafora,C. OP Rite
Dominican Martyrology
October 13: Saint Edward The Confessor, King of England
Dominican Martyrology
October 14: Twentieth-first Sunday after Pentecost
Saint Callixtus I, Pope and Martyr
Blessed Magdalen Pannatieri OP Book
Dominican Martyrology
October 15: Saint Teresa of Avila, Virgin
Dominican Martyrology
October 16: Saint Hedwig, Widow
Dominican Martyrology
October 17: Saint Magaret Mary Alacoque
Dominican Martyrology
October 18: Saint Luke, Evangelist
Dominican Martyrology
October 19: Saint Peter of Alcantara, Confessor
Dominican Martyrology
October 20: Saint John Cantius, Confessor
Dominican Martyrology
October 21: Twentieth-Second Sunday after Pentecost
Saint Hilarion, Abbot
Commemoration of Saint Ursula and her Companions, Virgins and Martyrs
Dominican Martyrology
October 22: Blessed Peter of Tiferno, Confessor, OP Book
Dominican Martyrology
October 23: Saint Anthony Marie Claret
Blessed Bartholomew Breganza, Bishop and Confessor OP Book
Dominican Martyrology
October 24: Saint Raphael, Archangel
Dominican Martyrology
October 25: St. Isidore the Farmer, Patron of Madrid
Saints Chrysanthus And Daria, Martyrs
Dominican Martyrology
October 26: Saint Evaristis, Pope and Martyr
Blessed Damien of Finario,Confessor OP Book
Dominican Martyrology
October 27: Vigil of Saints Simon And Jude, Apostles
Dominican Martyrology
October 28: Feast of Christ the King
Saints Simon And Jude, Apostles
Dominican Martyrology
October 29: Blessed Benvenuta Bojani,Virgin OP Book
Dominican Martyrology
October 30: Mass of Preceding Sunday.
Dominican Martyrology
November 1: Feast of All Saints
Dominican Martyrology
November 2: Feast of All Souls
Votive Mass of the Sacred Heart (First Friday)
Dominican Martyrology
November 3: Blessed Simon Ballachi, Lay Brother,Confessor, OP Book
Third Day Within The Octave Of All Saints
Dominican Martyrology
November 4: Twenty-fourth Sunday after Pentecost (4th Sunday after Epiphany)
Saint Charles Borromeo, Bishop and Confessor
Dominican Martyrology
November 5: Saint Martin de Porres, Confessor, OP Book
Fifth Day Within The Octave Of All Saints
Dominican Martyrology
November 6: Sixth Day Within The Octave Of All Saints
Dominican Martyrology
November 7: Seventh Day Within The Octave Of All Saints
Blessed Peter of Ruffia, Martyr, OP Book
Dominican Martyrology
November 8: Octave Day of All Saints
Commemoration of the Four Crowned Martyrs
Dominican Martyrology
November 9: Dedication Of The Basilica Of Saint Saviour
Commemoration of Saint Theodore, Martyr
Dominican Martyrology
November 10: Saint Andrew Avellino, Confessor
Commemoration of Saints Tryphon, Eespicius, and Nympha, Martyrs
Dominican Martyrology
November 11: Twenty-fifth Sunday after Pentecost (5th Sunday after Epiphany)
Saint Martin, Bishop and Confessor
Commemoration of Saint Mennas, Martyr
Dominican Martyrology
November 12: Feast of All Saints of the Dominican Order, OP Book
Saint Martin I, Pope and Martyr
Dominican Martyrology
November 13: Saint Francis Xavier Cabrini
Saint Thomas Aquinas, Patron of Catholic Schools, OP Book
Saint Didacus, Confessor
Dominican Martyrology
November 14: Saint Josaphat, Bishop and Martyr
Dominican Martyrology
November 15: Saint Albert the Great
Saint Albert the Great, OP Book
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