I wonder if St Louis de Montfort has yet been appreciated at his true worth.  Of course, many people have made use of his ‘True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary’, but his reputation seems to be that of a simple devotional writer.  Yet his writing in fact is always admirably clear and precise, and theologically solid.

Many people would probably be surprised to hear his recommendation of ‘Marian consecration’ or ‘Marian slavery/service’ described as patristic.  It is however anticipated in both Greek and Latin Fathers.  Here is St Ildephonsus, who was born about 607 and became Archbishop of Toledo:

In order that I may be shown to serve God, I wish to have the dominion of His Mother over me in proof of it.  In order to be the devout slave of the Son, I wish to become the slave of the mother (‘servus fieri appeto genitricis’).  For when the handmaid is served, this is understood as done for the Lord; what is given to the mother redounds to the Son […] The honour passes to the king, which is paid in the service of the queen (‘On the perpetual virginity of St Mary’, PL 96:108A).

From the East, here is St John of Damascus, preaching on the Assumption:

We, too, approach thee today, O Queen; and again, I say, O queen, O virgin Mother of God, supporting our souls with our trust in thee, as with a strong anchor. Consecrating* to thee understanding, soul,  body and the whole of ourselves, rejoicing in psalms and hymns and spiritual canticles we reach through thee One who is beyond our reach on account of His Majesty (‘1st Homily on the Dormition’, PG 96:720 C-D).

 

* ‘anathemenoi’.  One translation renders this as ‘lifting up’. Lampe’s ‘Patristic Greek Lexicon’ gives as the meanings of the verb ‘refer, attribute, assign; set up [objects of worship]; set up as votive gift, dedicate; set apart, devote’

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The Crown of Luther

Sword-of-Stalingrad

The Sword of Rousseau 

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The Orb of Descartes

The Arian faction, after depriving the flock of their right excellent shepherd, set up another bishop in his place; but not an inhabitant of the city, were he herding in indigence or blazing in wealth, not a servant, not a handicraftsman, not a hind, not a gardener, nor man nor woman, whether young or old, came, as had been their wont, to gatherings in church. The new bishop lived all alone; not a soul looked at him, or exchanged a word with him. Yet the report is that he behaved with courteous moderation, of which the following instance is a proof. On one occasion he had expressed a wish to bathe, so his servants shut the doors of the bath, and kept out all who wished to come in. When he saw the crowd before the doors he ordered them to be thrown open, and directed that every one should freely use the bath. He exhibited the same conduct in the halls within; for on observing certain men standing by him while he bathed he begged them to share the hot water with him. They stood silent. Thinking their hesitation was due to a respect for him, he quickly arose and made his way out, but these persons had really been of opinion that even the water was affected with the pollution of his heresy, and so sent it all down the sinks, while they ordered a fresh supply to be provided for themselves. On being informed of this the intruder departed from the city, for he judged that it was insensate and absurd on his part to continue to reside in a city which detested him, and treated him as a common foe.

On the departure of Eunomius (for this was his name) from Samosata, Lucius, an unmistakable wolf, and enemy of the sheep, was appointed in his place. But the sheep, all shepherdless as they were, shepherded themselves, and persistently preserved the apostolic doctrine in all its purity. How the new intruder was detested the following relation will set forth. Some lads were playing ball in the market place and enjoying the game, when Lucius was passing by. It chanced that the ball was dropped and passed between the feet of the ass. The boys raised an outcry because they thought that their ball was polluted. On perceiving this Lucius told one of his suite to stop and learn what was going on. The boys lit a fire and tossed the ball through the flames with the idea that by so doing they purified it  (Theodoret, ‘Church History’, IV.13).

lion

Behold I send my angel before thy face, who shall prepare the way before thee. A voice of one crying in the desert: Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.

 

George


We offer unto Thee, O Lord, the wonted Sacrifice on the death of Thy Martyr St George, entreating of Thy Mercy that through these holy Mysteries we may in Thy victory overcome the temptations of the Old Enemy, and of Thy bounty obtain an everlasting recompense of reward; through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son, Who with Thee and the Holy Ghost liveth and reigneth one God, world without end. Amen.

 

I doubt not at all but that in conclusion, however base Christendom be brought, it shall spring up again, till the time be come very near to the day of judgment, some tokens of which methinketh are not come yet. But somewhat before that time shall Christendom be straitened sore, and brought into so narrow a compass that, according to Christ’s words, “When the Son of Man shall come again”—that is, to the day of general judgment—”thinkest thou that he shall find faith in the earth?” as who should say, “but a little.” For, as appeareth in the Apocalypse and other places of scripture, the faith shall be at that time so far faded that he shall, for the love of his elect, lest they should fall and perish too, abridge those days and accelerate his coming. But, as I say, methinketh I miss yet in my mind some of those tokens that shall, by the scripture, come a good while before that. And among others, the coming in of the Jews and the dilating of Christendom again before the world come to that strait. So I say that for mine own mind I have little doubt that this ungracious sect of Mahomet shall have a foul fall, and Christendom spring and spread, flower and increase again. 

 

From an interview in Spanish with Cardinal Antonio dos Santos Marto, Bishop of Leiria-Fatima

¿Cómo es posible que algunos clérigos (incluyendo algunos altos cardenales) continúen creyendo que el coronavirus es un “castigo de Dios”?

Afortunadamente no hemos escuchado esta expresión aquí entre nosotros, en Portugal, al menos públicamente. Esto no es cristiano. Sólo lo dice quien no tiene en su mente o en su corazón la verdadera imagen de Dios Amor y Misericordia revelada en Cristo, por ignorancia, fanatismo sectario o locura*.

{How is it possible that some clerics (including some high cardinals) continue to believe that the coronavirus is a ‘punishment from God’?

Fortunately we have not heard this expression here among us, in Portugal, at least publicly. This is not Christian. Only they say it who do not have in their minds or hearts the true image of the God of Love and Mercy revealed in Christ, through ignorance, sectarian fanaticism or insanity.}

Last time I was in Fatima I was struck by how the old and the new basilicas confront each other across the esplanade, as representatives of two different religions.  I went into the new one during Sunday Mass and there was a bishop preaching, who I presume was this man.  It is one of those churches where the seating slopes down toward the stage sanctuary.  Lacking the gift of tongues I was blessedly unaware of what the sermon was about.

It is clear that the Catholics of Leiria-Fatima should keep this modernist prelate out of the old basilica where the bodies of Francisco and Jacinta repose, since he has no part in the message of Fatima.  Normally it is the cathedral itself from which the faithful should exclude a clearly heretical bishop, but in this case it would probably receive more publicity if they made it the basilica.