Catholic Truth Vs Kevin McKenna – Is He Just A Bigot… Or A Deliberate Liar?

Editor writes…

Those of you who have read our articles on Kevin McKenna (pictured, left)  in the current September newsletter – click here to refresh your memory (p.7 ff)  – and who think I was too hard on him, really need to read his latest evil rant. McKenna, without a doubt, is a man in dreadful conscience. He needs help – and prayers.  But he must also be challenged, big time, because he is writing about the Catholic Church based on the pretence that he is a Catholic;  by any definition, he is no such thing.  Being baptised into the Faith, doesn’t make anyone a Catholic, any more than  –  to paraphrase G.K. Chesterton – “standing in your garage makes you a car.”  Catholics do not have the luxury of picking and choosing what doctrine they believe, or which moral law they will accept.  As Pope Benedict XVI once said: “Truth is not determined by a majority vote.” So, I’m throwing out a challenge to Kevin McKenna to publicly debate his claim to be a Catholic – but first, some extracts from his  latest nasty and very ignorant article, published online in today’s ultra-left wing rag, The Guardian.  Before you read on, though, let me repeat a suggestion made to me by a reader who rang me to speak about McKenna’s latest  garbage;  our reader’s opinion is that McKenna has read the September Catholic Truth reports on him, and is spitting blood at my articles.   Therein, was laid bare the man’s utter confusion of mind and soul. With reverence, he praises a Minister of the Free Church of Scotland for upholding the very teachings on sexual morality for which he savages the Catholic Church…   The man’s unbelievable – or should that be, unbalanced….  Just a thought.  Anyway, read the extracts below from his article headlined: If there’s a cardinal sin to be made, count on the Catholic church, with some minimum comment from moi in bold…  sub-headlines added 

Contempt For Doctrine of the Communion of Saints / Catholic Devotional practices…

A grim little vaudeville act is currently touring some of Scotland’s Catholic parishes, featuring the remains of Thérèse of Lisieux, a long-dead French nun. Thérèse died of tuberculosis at the age of 24 in 1897 and was canonised in 1925, becoming Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face. By all accounts, this young woman developed an exemplary devotion to her faith and was the author of some beautiful (if slightly ripe) spiritual tracts. I’m not sure she deserved the fate of having some of her remains bumped in and out of cars and through the hills of South Lanarkshire and Paisley for the devoted titillation of the faithful. [Ed: he can’t even refer to the saint’s beautiful writings without raising a doubt – “slightly ripe”… Oh, and it’s just not possible for someone of his ilk to write – even about a saint – without using a sexually suggestive term. “Titillation” is NOT an appropriate description in this context.  He should sue, among others, his English teacher.]

The Truth about Relics…

These relics of Saint Thérèse are considered to be “first class”, this being the ultimate seal of Vatican authentication. To be accorded this distinction, they must be parts of the bodies of the saints, such as fragments of bone, skin, blood, hair or ash. Apparently, poor dead Thérèse (or parts thereof) has been getting ferried like this throughout the Catholic world since 1994. Is there no one to call a halt to this unedifying distortion of faith? Can we not let this blameless lassie rest in peace?  [Ed: why not do what even an average ability journalist would do and research a little before making a fool of yourself.  Here’s just one miracle (or rather a family of miracles!) attributed to the devout use of a relic..  A key problem for this man trying to write about Catholic devotional practices is that he totally lacks supernatural faith.  For the record, you can’t BE a Catholic without supernatural faith. ]

The Truth about The Crusades / Islamophobia

…The success of the Reformation lay in freeing people from the spiritual slavery of Rome, where the bones of saints and counterfeit fragments of the Holy Cross had become an industry. The profits from this paid for the ruinous and brutal Crusades (and the beginning of Islamophobia). [Ed: again, sheer ignorance of the facts – click here for corrective surgery…]

The Protestant Reformers Taught True Christianity – Not Catholic Church…

The reformers offered a purer and less unequal route to heaven and the mercy of God, unencumbered by profiteering, exploitation and superstition. It wasn’t just a theological revolution, but a temporal one, which seemed to say that you didn’t need to wait until you entered paradise to experience equality and fairness.

More Contempt:  “The Ghostly Tour” (i.e. Tour of  St Thérèse’s Relics)

…While Saint Thérèse’s relics continue on their ghostly tour up and down the hills and glens, the visit to Scotland takes place of the American cardinal Raymond Burke, perhaps the most powerful Catholic churchman after Pope Francis. Burke, who has long viewed the current pope’s relaxed and compassionate views on human sexuality and the environment with deep suspicion, has become his greatest critic… Perhaps it’s merely a coincidence that Thérèse’s posthumous visit to Scotland is occurring at the same time as Burke’s live one, but I hae ma doots. [Ed: who cares?  Cardinal Burke is not the “traditionalist” McKenna believes but I really don’t have the time, space nor inclination to correct his every error. Life’s too short…]

Cardinal Burke (not Catechism of the Catholic Church) quoted on “gay” relationships…

…Among the cardinal’s wide range of reactionary views is that female altar servers are a wretched sign of the increased “feminisation” of the church. “The introduction of girl servers led many boys to abandon altar service,” he has said. “Young boys don’t want to do things with girls. It’s just natural.” This is rubbish, of course. [Ed: er, no, it’s not, as I found out from the loud protests coming from some of my students who doubled as male altar servers, at the time when the girl altar boys were first introduced.]  Where I grew up, if young female altar servers had been allowed there would have been a stampede among the boys to toil in the Lord’s vineyard alongside them. [Ed: note the blasphemous mocking tone – disgraceful.] Burke also views any form of gay relationships as “evil” and has encouraged Catholics not to expose their children to close relatives who are actively gay. He’s had less to say about why the God he purports to serve and who does not make mistakes created, in His wisdom, gay people. [And, well, maybe He’ll also explain why He created bank robbers and murderers.  That would be good.]

McKenna – a Catholic?  Really? 

The familiars and acolytes attending this false prophet will include a shadowy assortment of arcane organisations that seek to preserve unfettered clerical control and power by means of exclusion and unholy inquisition. Spare a thought for us Catholics at this time. [Er.. “us Catholics”?  This nutter is about as Catholic as my mobile phone, with sincere apologies to my mobile phone.] Not only are we seeking to deal with Brexit in the secular world but leave this shower of ecclesiastical Blimps in the spiritual one.   Source

Challenge!

The Editor of Catholic Truth challenges the False Prophet Kevin McKenna to a public debate – we suggest the motion Kevin McKenna is an imposter Catholic – or any other similar motion OR…. HE can choose the motion, for it is just not possible for Kevin McKenna to demonstrate that he has a Catholic thought in his head.  The fact is, he is either deliberately posing as a Catholic, i.e. he’s a liar, knowing perfectly well that he dissents from essential Catholic teachings and/or he is just a simple bigot, and, believe me, they don’t come more… bigoted 😀

For now, hopefully readers and bloggers who are on Twitter will take this man to task for his insulting and highly anti-Catholic articles, of which this is but one in a long series. I’m not on Twitter or I’d be after him like a five year old who’s spotted Santa Claus on Christmas Eve.   It would be great if you would report back with your tweets, but the main thing is that he is challenged. It would help us if you would include the link to this thread  in your tweets, but, whatever, please challenge him;  he is highly unlikely to  take up my challenge to a public debate (turkeys really don’t vote for Christmas) – and, to be fair, no other dissenter has ever taken up my challenge to a public debate.  However,  he needs to know about it, so thank you in advance, all your “twits” (!) for your help in calling this imposter Catholic to account.
Kevin McKenna (@kmckenna63) | Twitter
https://twitter.com/kmckenna63ps://twitter.com/kmckenna63   

 

 

USA: Dramatic Loss of Belief in Real Presence – What About UK Catholics? 

Transubstantiation – the idea that during Mass, the bread and wine used for Communion become the body and blood of Jesus Christ – is central to the Catholic faith. Indeed, the Catholic Church teaches that “the Eucharist is ‘the source and summit of the Christian life.’”

But a new Pew Research Center survey finds that most self-described Catholics don’t believe this core teaching. In fact, nearly seven-in-ten Catholics (69%) say they personally believe that during Catholic Mass, the bread and wine used in Communion “are symbols of the body and blood of Jesus Christ.” Just one-third of U.S. Catholics (31%) say they believe that “during Catholic Mass, the bread and wine actually become the body and blood of Jesus.”

In addition to asking Catholics what they believe about the Eucharist, the new survey also included a question that tested whether Catholics know what the church teaches on the subject. Most Catholics who believe that the bread and wine are symbolic do not know that the church holds that transubstantiation occurs. Overall, 43% of Catholics believe that the bread and wine are symbolic and also that this reflects the position of the church. Still, one-in-five Catholics (22%) reject the idea of transubstantiation, even though they know about the church’s teaching.

The vast majority of those who believe that the bread and wine actually become the body and blood of Christ – 28% of all Catholics – do know that this is what the church teaches. A small share of Catholics (3%) profess to believe in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist despite not knowing the church’s teaching on transubstantiation.

About six-in-ten (63%) of the most observant Catholics — those who attend Mass at least once a week — accept the church’s teaching about transubstantiation. Still, even among this most observant group of Catholics, roughly one-third (37%) don’t believe that the Communion bread and wine actually become the body and blood of Christ (including 23% who don’t know the church’s teaching and 14% who know the church’s teaching but don’t believe it). And among Catholics who do not attend Mass weekly, large majorities say they believe the bread and wine are symbolic and do not actually become the body and blood of Jesus   Click here to read more...

Comment: 

This latest research (which confirms previous similar studies in the USA) reveals lots of things, notably the failure to teach the Faith in Catholic schools and pulpits.  This failure is every bit as true here in the UK as it is – manifestly so – in the USA. 

Catholics who reject the dogma of Transubstantiation show ignorance of Sacred Scripture because it was Christ Himself who said:  “For My flesh is real food and my blood is real drink….”  (John 6:56)  He did not even mention “symbols” of His Body, Blood, Soul & Divinity.  He gave us Himself as real food and real drink to sustain us on our spiritual journey and, from the very beginning, this was the belief of all Christians.  

How can this state of affairs be put right, then?  You can’t force someone to believe something but maybe somebody in authority should tell unbelieving Catholics that they are not free to reject any dogma of the Faith and still call themselves Catholics.  That might be a start?  

Since none of us is above temptation, we ought to frequently reflect on the glorious miracle that is Transubstantiation.  Feel free, then, not only to offer your comments on the Pew Center Research findings – especially as it relates to the UK – but post, as well, meditations on the Real Presence, quotes from the saints, favourite hymns and prayers, all with the aim of deepening our awareness and understanding of this wonderful gift from God, which, all too often, as we approach for Holy Communion, we may tend to take for granted.  Do we actually treat the Blessed Sacrament as a mere symbol?  Worth thinking about…  

Medjugorje: Intelligent Objectivity Required – It’s Not About “Faith”…

The article below, first published in the July 2019 edition of the Catholic Truth newsletter – available to read online, with footnotes, here –  is intended to cast light on the claims of the author of My Heart Will Triumph that Our Lady is appearing to her at Medjugorje. Catholics should only want to know the truth about alleged apparitions – to insist on believing in such claims without examining the evidence objectively, is unintelligent, if not sinful. Readers are asked, therefore, to keep an open mind and to read the commentary below in a truly Catholic spirit, revealing what we used to term a “Catholic mind” – that is, forming judgments rooted in the authentic teaching of the Church, and embracing the truth in a spirit of faith. It is true that here at Catholic Truth we do criticise the hierarchy for their errors and failure to teach the Faith, entire and true, but when they ARE doing their duty, as in the matter of pronouncing judgment on private apparitions, then we obey – without question – because that authority to judge, comes from God: this is why, even when priests and bishops have not accepted her messengers (e.g. in the initial days of the Lourdes apparitions), Our Lady, respecting the priesthood, never urges disobedience. We must, similarly respect the authority of the Church, in a spirit of faith, as expressed through the judgement of the local Bishop: If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself. (Saint Augustine)…

 

Patricia McKeever (Editor, Catholic Truth) writes…

I’ve made no secret of my disbelief in the alleged apparitions of Medjugorje. So, when asked by a friend to read the book My Heart Will Triumph written by one of the “seers”, I wasn’t too keen but agreed, really to please her; she is a very genuine, and a very kind person, who is a committed Medjugorje believer. In fact, however, contrary to what she obviously hoped, the book only served to confirm my scepticism about the alleged Medjugorje apparitions. In this piece, I’ll highlight a few of the writer’s many statements which make me doubt the veracity of her claims.

Humility…

“Self-praise is no honour” the old adage goes, so reading Mirjana’s “earliest memories” in which she saw herself as “always a little different from other children” (p.17) had me searching in my memory, and dipping into Fatima books, to see if any similar self-praise, however nuanced, had fallen from the lips of visionaries from Church-approved apparitions. I could find nothing. Neither could I find anything in the Fatima accounts which had any of the three child-seers apparently placing themselves on an equal footing with Our Lady – Mirjana: “It may sound strange, but perhaps Mary could be described as a visionary herself – she saw an angel from Heaven and even communicated with him…” (p.203).

Ecumenical/Interfaith:
Denial of the dogma that the Church is essential for salvation

Very much a child of our times, we find Mirjana’s reflections on her childhood friendship with a Muslim leading her to adopt the ecumenical/inter-faith mentality. This friendship, she says: “…taught me not to focus on the differences among people.” Another Medjugorje “seer” – Vicka Ivankovic – follows this line to its logical conclusion:

Q to Vicka: “Is the Blessed Mother calling all people to be Catholic?”
A from Vicka: “No. The Blessed Mother says all religions are dear to her and her Son.”

Catechism & Bible:
Modernist Propaganda

Similarly, Mirjana’s memories of being taught the Faith in her schooldays, is classic Modernist propaganda: “My catechism classes taught me to fear God more than to love Him. I was left with the image of an angry ruler who watched from Heaven to judge and punish me for every mistake.” (P.18) And, revealing her attitude to reading the Bible after the apparitions began: “Personally, I preferred to read the New Testament over the Old Testament. I had trouble reconciling the image of God as angry and jealous – as He is sometimes portrayed in the earlier books – with the God of mercy I had come to know through the apparitions. (p.202). The many revelations in the Old Testament of the great love and mercy of God – The Book of Hosea springs to mind – are ignored. Whether she has not actually read the Old Testament and she has accepted the Modernist propaganda uncritically, or she has been unable to understand it, is a moot point. Either way, she is patently wrong about the attributes of the “God of the Old Testament” who – from all eternity – is possessed of exactly the same attributes as “the God of the New Testament.” There IS only one God – and He is unchangeable, immutable. If He revealed Himself as “jealous and angry” in the Old Testament, then so He remains. Mirjana’s knowledge and judgment about the things of God comes across as impaired, not just as a youngster, or even as a new “visionary”, but throughout her life, as evidenced in this book.

Supernatural Activity…

In Mirjana’s account of the very first alleged apparition we read (p.30) that Vicka asked Our Lady for a sign “so that people will believe me” and then – in Our Lady’s continuing presence – turned to Mirjana to ask the time. At the end of the alleged apparition, Mirjana recalls this request and that she had thus looked at her watch and found the hands had completely turned backwards: “the 2 o’clock mark was in the place of the 10 o’clock mark and so on and the hands were ticking backwards. It all seemed so strange.” Strange? It was more than “strange” – it was, arguably, diabolical. Another very telling incident has Our Lady speaking rather thoughtlessly, if not very uncharitably indeed, about an individual. Mirjana writes:

“Dr Glamuzina, the sceptical paediatrician who examined us that morning, came to observe the apparition – or, more precisely, to observe us during it. Witnesses said her look of scepticism changed to fascination when she saw our faces. She asked Vicka to present a few questions to Our Lady and Vicka agree to do so. After a series of questions, the doctor “then asked if she could try to touch what we were looking at, and we presented the question.” “She may”, said Our Lady. Given permission, “the doctor reached out, but Our Lady suddenly ascended and disappeared. Dr Glamuzina immediately turned to us with a look of distress on her face and said “She’s gone, hasn’t she?” “Yes”, said Vicka. “She’s gone.” “Did she say anything?” “She said, “There have always been doubting Judases.” And then she left. Dr Glamuzina’s face filled with sadness. (P.63)

That claim alone, should serve as a warning to any Catholic with a modicum of knowledge about and devotion to Our Lady, that whatever it is that these young people saw at Medjugorje, it was not, and is not, Our Lady, who is full of grace, and thus (quite apart from the fact that it was Thomas, not Judas who doubted!) could not be guilty of such a lack of charity as that found in her description of Dr Glamuzina.2 Nor does Our Lady play tricks. Why give permission for the doctor to touch her and then disappear when she reaches out to do so? Makes no sense; it is not from Heaven.We must never forget that, as Scripture warns: “Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.” (2 Cor 11:14).

Then, after recounting an occasion when she was interviewed by “a foul mouthed policeman”, Mirjana speaks about the “excitement” that “every morning brought the promise of a new surprise or adventure” (p.81). She goes on to explain that sometimes “we experienced multiple apparitions on the same evening. The police chased us and tried to disrupt our plans, so to evade them we constantly changed the meeting place.” Seems Our Lady played along with these adventures, not at all in keeping with her more dignified apparitions at Lourdes and Fatima.

Perhaps one of the most disconcerting moments in the book is published on p.88, where, referring to a taped interrogation in 1981, Mirjana reports herself speaking rudely and crudely to the police interrogator as follows (with apologies for repeating the – albeit relatively mild – crudity):

Interrogator: I’ll ask you one more time. What did you see on that hill?
Mirjana: I saw Our Lady
Interrogator: You saw shit!
Mirjana: No, that’s what I’m looking at now.

Arguably, any Catholic girl raised in an average Catholic family, would neither speak so rudely to an adult, especially one in law enforcement, nor would she use crude language. For someone who is claiming to be in the daily presence of Our Lady – no way. Just doesn’t ring true. Paradoxically, Mirjana says she was surprised to see herself being so bold and that it would have been different had she been interrogated before she started seeing Our Lady but from 24 June, 1981 onwards [date of the first alleged apparition], “the timidity that had plagued me for most of my childhood had all but vanished.” Incredibly, then, thanks to Our Lady, Mirjana had become rude and crude – and, allegedly, this is what had convinced one of the policemen in the room that she was telling the truth about the visions.

On another occasion (p.118) she spoke disrespectfully to a government-appointed social worker, interviewing her about the apparitions; he responded to her comment that she may become a nun (which she didn’t – she’s married, with children) by asking what the nuns have ever done for Yugoslavia. Mirjana’s reply: “And what have you contributed? You sit in that chair picking at your nails. Is that a contribution?”

The Lady & The Moral Law – Abortion…

Most discordant of all among the unlikely statements attributed to Our Lady, is the following, quoted by Mirjana on p.108: “There were times when I wanted to confront the girls” [about the fact that they were going for an abortion in the morning, then turning up at afternoon classes and talked about it] “But through my daily apparitions and through prayer, Our Lady taught me that preaching to them and being judgemental would only drive them farther away. Instead, I learned to show them love, and I tried to live as an example of someone who knew God’s love.”

So, from that do we deduce that Our Lady does not approve of the pro-life activists who try to save the lives of the unborn outside abortion clinics? Must we keep silent in the face of the state sanctioned slaughter of unborn children? Is the wilful murder of the innocent child in the womb no longer a sin “crying to Heaven for vengeance”? Just showing “love” (whatever that means) will do the trick, will end the evil – is that it?

The Lady’s Changing Mind…

The well known saying that it is a woman’s prerogative or right to change her mind is, perhaps, epitomised in the Guinness Book of Female World Records which records The longest time spent dithering in a shop was 12 days between 21st August and 2nd September 1995 by Mrs. Sandra Wilks in the Birmingham branch of Dorothy Perkins.

Entering the shop on a Saturday morning, Mrs. Wilks could not choose between two near identical dresses which were both in the sale. After one hour, her husband, sitting on a chair by the changing room with his head in his hands, told her to buy both. Mrs. Wilks eventually bought one for 12.99, only to return the next day and exchange it for the other one. To date, she has yet to wear it.

Mrs. Wilks also holds the record for window shopping longevity, when, starting September 12th 1995, she stood motionless gazing at a pair of shoes in Clinkard’s window in Kidderminster for 3 weeks two days before eventually going home.

Mirjana has Our Lady in the same category as Mrs Wilks. “On December 23, 1982” she writes, (p.135-6). “Our Lady appeared to me as usual and, like always, it was a beautiful experience… but towards the end, she looked at me with tenderness and said: ‘On Christmas Day, I will appear to you for the last time.’ [Emphasis added].

Mirjana describes being “left stunned” and said she “spent most of the night begging God to give me more time with her.” Her ongoing desolation about the ending of the apparitions reveals her lack of resignation to the will of God in the matter, but anyway, no worries, the Lady changed her mind and voila! Mirjana’s visitations were to continue once a year, on her birthday, March 18, for the rest of her life (p.136/7). Then, on p.312 Mirjana reveals that, “recently turned 50”, she is “blessed to see [Our Lady] 13 times a year – on the second of every month and once on March 18”. So, Mrs Wilks, get ready to be replaced in the Guinness Book of Female World Records – or should that be the “Out of this World Female Records”, by the ever-changing mind of the Lady of Medjugorje.

Our Lady in Management Role…

Mirjana writes about the apparition of Christmas day, portraying her relationship with Our Lady as a partnership of equals – note, for example, the “we”. She delegates responsibility to Mirjana which she must, in turn, delegate to a priest of her choice. The simplicity of the portrayal of Our Lady in the Gospels, contrasts starkly with this very modern version of a business manager: “Our Lady and I talked about many things. We summarised our entire 18 months together – everything we had said to each other and everything she had revealed to me. She entrusted me with the tenth and final secret and she explained that I will need to choose a priest for a special role. Ten days before the date of the event foretold in the first secret, I am to tell him what will happen and when. He and I are then supposed to pray and fast for seven days and, three days before the event, the priest will reveal it to the world. All ten secrets will be revealed in this way…Our Lady also told me that she would appear to me once a year on March 18 for the rest of my life. March 18 is my birthday but Our Lady did not choose that date for that reason… Only when the things contained in the secrets start to happen will the world understand why she chose the 18 March. The significance of the date will be clear. She also said that I would experience some additional apparitions.

The Scroll

Mirjana continues (p.137): “She then held out something like a rolled-up scroll, explaining that all ten secrets were written on it, and that I should show it to the priest I choose when the times comes to reveal them. I took it from her hand without looking at it.

“Now you will have to turn to God in faith like any other person,” she said. “Mirjana, I have chosen you; I have confided in you everything that is essential. I have also shown you many terrible things. You must now bear it all with courage. Think of me and think of the tears I must shed for that. You must remain brave. You have quickly grasped the messages. You must also understand now that I have to go away. Be courageous.

Describing her heartbreak at Our Lady’s departure, Mirjana than turns her attention to the scroll: “Beige in colour, the scroll was made of a material akin to parchment – not quite paper and not quite fabric, but perhaps something in-between. I carefully unrolled it and found all ten secrets written in a simple and elegant cursive handwriting. There were no decorations or illustrations in the parchment; each secret was described in simple, clear words similar to how Our Lady originally explained them to me. The secrets were not numbered, but they appeared in order, one after another, with the first secret at the top and the tenth at the bottom, and included the dates of future events.” (p.138).

Mirjana goes on to describe the desolation she felt at this (she thought) final apparition, even admitting some time later that she “fell into deep states of depression anytime I thought about Our Lady’s absence for too long.” (p.139).

Visiting Purgatory…

After expressing her doubts about Hell – Mirjana asked the Lady about this as she saw “sentencing a soul to an eternity of suffering” as contrary to “the merciful and loving God I had come to know” – she was shown “a brief glimpse of Purgatory” which troubled her deeply (p.150), then, on p.151 we read that “Vicka and Jajov told me that on All Souls Day in November 1981, Our Lady appeared unexpectedly and said that she would take them to Heaven. Jakov panicked. He thought she meant forever. “Don’t take me!” He shrieked “Take Vicka. She has seven brothers and sisters and I’m my mother’s only child!” (p.151).

Now, just pause there for a second. Think about that. Does it sound like something Jakov, or anyone else, would say if they were really experiencing visits from Our Lady; an authentic reaction from someone genuinely convinced that they were being taken to Heaven, forever? Doesn’t look that way to me. Most of us would hand over a lottery win in exchange for a guaranteed place in Heaven. Mirjana’s account continues…

“Our Lady smiled, took them by the hand to ‘an expansive place filled with a beautiful light and indescribable joy. They also saw Purgatory and Hell… I’ve never seen Hell. I’ve never wanted to. But Our Lady showed me a glimpse of Heaven in the same way she showed me Purgatory… I cannot speak for God but I believe that if a person lives with peace, honesty and love, then he or she can go to Heaven. Faith and prayer help us to achieve that… But in the end I think it all comes down to love. Did we love God? Did we love our neighbour? Did we love ourselves? How did we express that love?” (p.152) Sounds like a cue for the John Lennon (Beatles) song: All you need is love… But then, he also wrote Imagine (a [much better] world with no religion)…

Fatima & Medjugorje “Connected”…

Mirjana refers to the Fatima apparitions on a number of occasions but says “I’m not personally called to interpret the secrets of Fatima but Our Lady affirmed in Medjugorje that both apparitions are connected to the triumph of her heart.” (p.155).

Odd, then, that Mirjana has accepted, lock, stock and barrel, the Vatican position on the Consecration of Russia and the Third Secret. One would have expected Our Lady – if she wanted to use Medjugorje to help bring about the triumph of her Immaculate Heart – to point out, as she explained at Fatima, that a period of world peace will only come once Russia has been consecrated in the prescribed manner. But no; we find Mirjana explaining that “military disasters” were suffered by the USSR because “the pope completed the consecration on March 25, 1984.” (p.154) Thus, Mirjana opines: “it seems that the second secret of Fatima came true (Ed: interestingly, without the conversion of Russia!) but what about the third secret?” She answers her own question: “…The Vatican finally released the third secret in the year 2000.” (p.154). So, that’s Fatima done and dusted, then…

Annual Peace March…

Despite apparently believing that the Fatima Message has been fulfilled – and thus we are now enjoying the promised period of world peace following from the Consecration of Russia – Mirjana reports that “Fr Slavko constantly urged people in the parish and around the world to pray and fast for peace. He held the second annual Peace March on June 24, 1993…” (p.260). This really does not chime with the belief that the Consecration has been completed in accordance with Our Lady’s request.

Pope John Paul II: Medjugorje Believer

Mirjana quotes from her alleged personal conversation with Pope John Paul II where he supposedly said “If I were not the pope, I would have gone to Medjugorje a long time ago.” (p.198)

Reflect: what kind of pope, if he genuinely believes that Our Lady is appearing on a daily basis, does not organise a visit there for himself? Then, later, Mirjana again highlights Pope John Paul II’s claimed belief in the visions: “Fr Jozo was now the guardian of the Franciscan monastery in Siroki Brijeg… In 1992 he went to the Vatican where he met Pope John Paul II. According to Fr Jozo, the pope passionately told him: “I am with you. Protect Medjugorje. Protect Our Lady’s messages!”

I simply do not believe any of the stuff in the book relating to Pope John Paul II. Not a single word. I have no idea whether there’s been confusion about what the Pope actually said, or a misunderstanding, or whether it’s all been fabricated. None of that do I know. I only know that I do not believe a single word of it. It just does not make sense. It’s as incredible as the idea that a top surgeon would hear about major surgical advances abroad, and yet refuse to go to investigate because he’s a top surgeon! Crackers. We don’t expect popes to visit every alleged apparition site, of course; but this isn’t just some wee wifie (tr. wife!) in an obscure village in the Scottish highlands claiming to see Our Lady from time to time. Medjugorje involves a half-dozen alleged seers receiving messages from the Virgin Mary every day, including messages which change the Church’s dogmatic teaching on salvation (see Ecumenical/Inter-Faith) and, in fact, add to divine revelation about Our Lady – showing us a Virgin Mother very different from that revealed in both the Gospels and at other approved apparition shrines (see Supernatural Activity). It seems very strange, to say the least, that a pope who really believed in such apparitions would fail to visit. It just doesn’t make sense. But don’t take my word for it: here’s a priest who is something of an expert in the field of private apparitions: “As for statements attributed to the Pope (e.g., “I heard that the Pope told Mrs Smith after Mass in his private chapel that he believes in Garabandal and Bayside;” “The Pope told Jack that he could go ahead and print that condemned book”) – no one is entitled to act on such gossip. The Church is governed by publicly promulgated statements – not by hearsay and personal communications.” (Father Peter Joseph, Apparitions True and False, Christian Order, October, 2004).

Mirjana Prayed with Our Lady…    

On p.245 we read: “Our Lady appeared suddenly around 1.50.pm. She and I prayed the ‘Our Father’ together three times – once for the sick, once for those who had not yet come to know God’s love, and once for everyone present…”  

Compare the above claim, with that of St Bernadette of Lourdes when she first saw Our Lady at the Grotto: “Without thinking of what I was doing I took my Rosary in my hands and went on my knees. The Lady made with Her head a sign of approval and Herself took into Her hands a Rosary which hung on Her right arm. When I attempted to begin the Rosary and tried to lift my hand to my forehead, my arm remained paralysed, and it was only after the Lady had signed Herself that I could do the same. The Lady left me to pray all alone: She passed the beads of Her Rosary between Her fingers but She said nothing; only at the end of each decade did She say the “Gloria” with me.  [Emphasis added].

And the two reasons why Our Lady only prayed the Gloria in the Rosary, is because she could not pray to herself, obviously, nor could she ask God to forgive her for her trespasses, since she is sinless, and so she prayed only to give glory to God. That is one of the major claims which cast doubt, to say the least, on the Medjugorje phenomenon. In any Church-authorised process of investigation into alleged apparitions, the investigator, normally the diocesan bishop – only needs to find one such error and that has always sufficed to dismiss a claim as false. People may genuinely believe that they are seeing Our Lady but may, in fact, be experiencing diabolical deceit.

Some Miscellaneous Considerations…

On p.299 Mirjana lists “many of [Our Lady’s] words from the apparitions [which] remain imprinted in my thoughts” including:“My children, do you not recognise the signs of the times? Do you not speak of them?” (April 2, 2006). But what does this mean? Nowhere in the book is this explained; indeed, far from Mirjana speaking of the signs of the times – the increasing state sanctioning of grave sin, through for example, abortion and LGBT+ “rights”, aided and abetted by none other than Pope Francis who, in the early days of his pontificate urged Catholics not to “obsess” about abortion, and, when asked about homosexual activity, scored an own goal for God’s moral law/Catholic sexual morality with his infamous “Who am I to judge?” Far from speaking of these shocking signs of the times, which are descending further and further into the nihilistic abyss, where people no longer know what is right and wrong; far from condemning the part which Pope Francis is playing is this turning away from God, Mirjana believes that “The Holy Spirit always gives us the Pope we need… now we need Pope Francis.” (p.305). Sorry, but the Church needs Pope Francis like Buddhists need a third world war.

Mirjana is certainly very much a Catholic of our times. She refers to “Saint” John Paul II (p.204), and notes (p.203) that when he introduced the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary in 2002, the Miracle of Cana was one of them As we’ve already noted, she accepts the Vatican version of the Third Secret and considers the Consecration of Russia to have been completed.
Given the thousands of messages given to Mirjana and her co-visionaries by, allegedly, Our Lady, it seems odd that Our Lady makes no reference to the Consecration of Russia and the full disclosure of the Third Secret because, according to Mirjana (p.145), Our Lady said: “What I started in Fatima, I will complete in Medjugorje. My heart will triumph.” (Message, January 2, 2016).

Yet, despite making many references to “peace”, this Lady never mentions the Consecration of Russia… “In these peaceless times, I am coming to you to show you the way to peace.” (August 2, 2006). What about the guarantee of peace given to Sr Lucia, Fatima, once the Pope has consecrated Russia in the prescribed manner?  Doesn’t add up. Not remotely.

Then there’s the story of the shoes which Mirjana keeps in a glass case in her home. Apparently, a man had placed them at the statue of Our Lady just before an apparition at the Cenacolo Community alongside the usual petitions, flowers, and rosaries left by pilgrims. Turns out the shoes were placed by a man who had been a close friend of Pope John Paul II “who had told him that he had always wanted to go to Medjugorje but as pope he was never able to… “
So, one day the man joked with the pope saying, “If you never make it to Medjugorje, then I’ll go and bring your shoes there. It will be as if you were able to set foot on that holy ground.” (p.306-7).

This whole business of a pope who wants to visit a particular place of alleged apparitions not being able to do so, just doesn’t ring true – especially at this time of chaos in the Church where popes are visiting mosques and synagogues and nobody bats an eyelid. Indeed, in a place which is drawing so many people, contrary to Catholic traditional practice where it is customary to wait for the permission and approval of the local Bishop before treating a place like a “shrine”, an argument could be made that the pope should go there to praise the good, well-meaning intentions of the tourists/would-be pilgrims, yes, but more importantly to make a public statement reminding everyone of the need to wait for formal Church approval. In this way, the pope would be minimising the possibility of diabolical influence. So, I just do not believe the claims made about Pope John Paul II, “the Medjugorje believer and unrequited pilgrim.” Doesn’t ring true.

The claim about “secrets” doesn’t ring true, either; indeed, Mirjana’s comment on p.313, serve to reinforce the suspicion that these “secrets” are nothing to worry about: “When Jakov and I get together we usually laugh and joke more than we talk, and I often think: If only all the people who are so afraid of the secrets could see us visionaries and how much we laugh! After all, if we who know the future don’t let fear darken our lives, then why should anyone else? All of which begs the rather obvious question, why would God send His Mother to earth with “warnings” – ten “secrets” – that are clearly nothing to worry about?

And again, comparing these alleged seers to the behaviour of the Fatima seer, Saint Jacinta (left) after the vision of Hell, when she was consumed with a zealous desire to make sacrifices to save souls from falling into Hell, we have to assume that whatever was revealed in the Medjugorje visions had nothing to do with the loss of souls – and what else could possibly be of any lasting consequence?

It is also, surely, significant that in all of the conversations between Our Lady and Mirjana there is no mention of the crisis in the Church, and, indeed, that the Lady appears to have no problem with the new vernacular Mass, instead of the official language of the Church – Latin: “After the rosary comes the international Mass. Although it’s celebrated in Croatian, pilgrims use headset radios to listen to live translations in their own languages… English, Italian, Polish, German, French, Spanish, Arabic, Korean and more, depending on the pilgrims in town at the time.” (p.317) Not only does Our Lady make no mention of the Mass controversy or the wider crisis in the Church, she speaks of this as being “a time of grace” (p.327).

Given that, as we’ve already noted, Our Lady is quoted as saying that “What I started in Fatima I will complete in Medjugorje…” it seems strange that she does not mention the signs that Russia has, indeed, spread her errors, which we see, firstly, in the spread of Communism across the world, Russia having been the first country to adopt it as a form of government in 1917 – the year of the Fatima apparitions; and in the rise of attacks on marriage and the family, and even human life itself. Indeed, Pope Francis is presiding over the scandal of Pontifical Academy for Life, now a tool of the United Nations which pushes the “human rights” agenda – contraception, sterilization, abortion, euthanasia etc., taking cover behind “climate emergency” euphemisms such as “sustainable growth”.

In 2017, Pope Francis’ new appointments raised eyebrows; a minority were Catholic clergy, while an Argentine rabbi, an Anglican priest and a number of non-Catholics, who were either members of other religions or nonbelievers, were included.  Importantly, the new statutes dropped a statement which, previously, Academy members had been required to sign, promising to defend life in accordance with Church teaching.

Now, since Our Lady, according to Sr Lucia of Fatima, had already warned of attacks on the family it seems very curious, to say the least, that she would fail to mention the unspeakable attacks on the family and human life, evident even at the time of the first Medjugorje visions, and now tragically aided and abetted by Pope Francis. Thus, her chosen “visionaries” were unprepared for the onslaught which, even at the time of the first visions (1980s) was well underway and this seems strange, not least because their vocation, it would transpire, was to marry and have children. It is puzzling that Our Lady would describe this period of our history as “a time of grace” when evils such as abortion are being promoted as good, and defending God’s moral law – e.g. by condemning LGBT+ “rights” – is a “hate crime”. A time of grace? Really? How so?

And, of course, the above, sadly, is only the tip of a very large iceberg in terms of the Francis pontificate. The Pope’s rebukes to those now pejoratively labelled “traditional” Catholics (as if any Catholic may reject Tradition and remain Catholic – it’s not possible) are frequently reported in this newsletter and widely discussed across the internet (see From the Blog… p.13). It is, therefore, difficult to comprehend Our Lady’s failures to warn against this pontificate, given the gravity of what is happening; her readiness to name-call a doctor a “doubting Judas”suggests it can’t be a “charity” issue. The vision at Medjugorje appears to be fairly outspoken when she converses with the “seers” compared to her silence in the Gospels and her sparing use of words at Lourdes and Fatima.

The Point of it All…

Mirjana shares what she has learned from the visions. “After experiencing Heaven for all thee years, I believe I can finally answer the question that burned inside my heart for so long – the same one that burns in every human heart – what’s the meaning of life?” Adding: “Many people expect a complex answer. My answer, however, is the shortest sentence in this book. Love… Jesus is love incarnate. The Blessed Mother leads us to love… On March 2, 2007, Our Lady appeared with particular conviction and gave me the following message: “Today I will speak to you about what you have forgotten: Dear children, my name is Love… the Great Love sends me.”  (P.333)

Does it seem likely, really, that God would send Our Lady to appear to a group of young people in 1981, and keep appearing to them over a period of many years up to and including the present time and say… well… nothing of any significance? At a time when cardinals and bishops are expressing deep concerns about the state of the Church with the faithful confused and distressed at the many scandals – not least the child abuse scandals – is it really likely that Our Lady would appear on a regular basis to lay Catholics and say not a word about any of this? An unkind interpretation of Mirjana’s book might lead some to conclude that Our Lady came to Medjugorje to set up the Mirjana Fan Club or, at best, to act as a personal spiritual director to the “seers”. There seems to be no real purpose in the apparitions. Even if we broke into Mirjana’s home to steal the scroll containing the alleged secrets, we’d be none the wiser: “I’ve kept the parchment in a secure place…I could even have it sitting on my living room table and you wouldn’t know what it is. When the time comes, those who need to read it will be able to.” (p.327).

Why do critics refuse to believe the truth of the Medjugorje apparitions?

Fatima is the most important event of our times. Its clear purpose was to save souls from falling into Hell. Satan isn’t about to let that put him on the back foot. He has to find a way of replacing and surpassing the Fatima Message and nobody can doubt that he’s had a great shot at it. Michael Davies (RIP) studied the Medjugorje phenomenon in depth and his findings are well worth considering…

My object in this study is simply to show that there is a case against the authenticity of the Medjugorje apparitions, a viewpoint which has been kept from most Catholics due to the vast publicity campaign in favour of authenticity conducted in the mainstream Catholic media (which derives considerable financial benefits from Medjugorje advertising). It is not without significance that the liberal Catholic journals, which have not shown the least interest in the Fatima message, are enthusiastic in their support of Medjugorje. I know that it was the view of the late Hamish Fraser [famous Scot, Communist convert] that Medjugorje was a means being utilized by Satan to subvert the message of Fatima.

Before providing documentation to prove the falsity of the alleged apparitions I will give just two examples of the degree of credibility which should be given to the self-styled “seers” of Medjugorje. The “seers” and their Franciscan manipulators have consistently maintained that during their “ecstasies” they are immobile and without communication with the outside world. A French journalist wished to test this claim, and while one “seer”, Vicka, purported to be in ecstasy, he made a stabbing movement towards her eyes with his fingers. Vicka gave a start and threw her head backwards. Fortunately, the entire incident was filmed. The girl left the room and returned a few minutes later with one of her charismatic mentors, an expelled Franciscan. She claimed that at the moment the journalist made the movement she was witnessing an apparition of the Virgin Mary with the Child Jesus in her arms, and the Child slipped. “I made a movement to stop Him from falling. That’s all.” (Ed: you can see this entire incident in the short video below…)

There could hardly be a more evident case of outright lying. It is inconceivable that during an apparition of Our Lady with the Child Jesus, the Child could possibly slip. If, per impossible, this did happen, it is stretching coincidence beyond the bounds of credibility to be asked to believe that it happened at the precise moment the journalist made the movement towards Vicka’s eyes, and, finally, if she had been speaking the truth she would have moved forwards towards the apparition and not backwards!

The second incident is documented in the 1990 statement by Mgr. Zanic (Ed: at that time, Bishop of Mostar). It concerns a Franciscan priest, Father Ivica Vego, who was dispensed from his vows and expelled from the Franciscan Order by a direct command of Pope John Paul II as a result of his immoral conduct, which involved the seduction of a nun, Sister Leopolda. When she became pregnant they both left the religious life and began to live together near Medjugorje where their child was born… But… he refused to accept his expulsion and continued to celebrate Mass, administer the Sacraments, and pass the time with his mistress. Why mention such a distasteful event? The reason is that the “seers” claimed that Our Lady appeared to them on thirteen occasions stating that Father Vego was innocent, that he was as entitled to celebrate Mass as any other priest, and that the bishop was harsh! Any reader with a true sense of being a Catholic, a sensus catholicus, will need to read no further to realize the full extent of the mendacity of the self-styled “seers”, a mendacity which cannot be excused simply on the grounds that they have been manipulated by their Franciscan mentors. What credibility can be given to those who claim that the Mother of God told them repeatedly that an immoral priest, expelled from his order on the instructions of the Holy Father himself, is innocent. and that the Bishop who had taken the only course open to him, was the guilty party! And how does a so-called reputable theologian, such as Father Rene Laurentin. who has made a fortune from books on Medjugorje react when confronted with such facts? Mgr. Zanic gives us the answer. He begged the Bishop not to publish details of the incident. Mgr. Zanic tells us that this has been Laurentin’s consistent position, to hide the truth and defend falsehood. Despite the fact that the truth about Ivica Vego can no longer be denied, his prayer book is still sold in Medjugorje and beyond in hundreds of thousands of copies! One might add, almost as an afterthought, that if Our Lady had truly appeared at Medjugorje on about 26,000 occasions by the end of 1993, a claim which in itself defies credibility, she did not bother to warn the Croatian people of the coming onslaught, which they would have to undergo from fanatically anti-Catholic Serbia. Michael Davies: Medjugorje: A Warning, The Remnant Press – possibly out of print but available to read in full online at http://www.catholictradition.org/Mary/medjugorje.htm

Why do so many Catholics believe in the Medjugorje apparitions ?

Tales of miracles convince many faithful that Medjugorje is true. However, Michael Davies has dug deeper in his study linked above, to uncover the facts: The majority of the pious public has naively fallen victim to the great propaganda, the talk of the apparitions and of healings… They are unaware that not even one miraculous healing has occurred that could have been verified by competent experts and institutions such as the “Bureau Medical de Lourdes”. No one knows of any healed from Hercegovina. Everyone knows that little Daniel, old Jozo Vasilj, Venka Brajcic and others cited in the first books about Medjugorje were not healed. (Michael Davies, Part 3 on the Fruits of Medjugorje)

Editor’s considered comment…

In view of all of the above, I regret having to disappoint my friend, but my belief that it is, in fact, the Devil, not Our Lady, who is appearing at Medjugorje, has been reinforced by reading Mirjana’s book. I will seek to have a copy of this edition/link to this blog discussion sent to Mirjana, as a courtesy. But before bringing this article to a conclusion, I think it is important to publish, below, a relatively recent statement from the Bishop of Mostar, reported in the local print media:

From Total Croatia News, 27/2/17…

The Bishop of Mostar-Duvno Ratko Perić issued a statement on Monday in which he claimed that Virgin Mary had never appeared in Međugorje, adding that alleged apparitions were more a form of manipulation from visionaries and priests who worked there, reports Jutarnji List on February 27, 2017.

“Considering everything that this diocesan chancery has so far researched and studied, including the first seven days of alleged apparitions, we can say: there have been no apparitions of Our Lady in Međugorje”, said Perić, whose bishopric includes Međugorje.

He pointed out that the Church had repeatedly investigated the phenomenon, starting from the early 1980s and ending with a commission which was established by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010, as well as with the positions of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 2016. “The position of the chancery of this diocese has been clear and decisive: there are no credible apparitions of the Virgin Mary”, said Bishop Perić. He denied the credibility of apparitions during the first days of the Međugorje phenomenon, saying that there were numerous contradictions in the statements of the alleged visionaries of Our Lady in Međugorje. “Once we transcribed audio tapes containing conversations between pastoral staff in the parish of Međugorje in the first week with the boys and girls who claimed that they had seen Virgin Mary, we can say with certainty that alleged apparitions are not credible. And, if Our Lady, Mother of Jesus, has not appeared – and [she] has not – then they are alleged visionaries, these are alleged messages and alleged secrets”, said the Bishop of Mostar.

Bishop Perić also spoke about “ambiguous phenomena” connected with alleged apparitions, claiming that the “woman who appears” in Međugorje behaves quite differently from the true Mary, Mother of God, according to apparitions which the Church has so far recognized as authentic. “She often does not speak first, she has a strange laugh, she disappears after certain questions and then returns; she obeys the ‘visionaries’ and priests to come down from the hill to the church, although reluctantly. She is not sure how much time she will be visible, allows some of the visionaries to stand on her veil which is on the ground, allows others to touch her clothes and body. This really is not Our Lady from the Gospel”, said Bishop Ratko Perić.

Pope Francis recently appointed his special envoy to Međugorje, Bishop Henryk Hoser from Poland, who will study the pastoral issues. Hoser will visit Međugorje, but he will not launch a new investigation of the alleged apparitions of Our Lady, which supposedly began in 1981 and continue to this day. He is expected to collect information about the pastoral situation and the needs of the faithful who come to Međugorje from around the world. Local Bishop: There Were No Apparitions of Virgin Mary in Međugorje, Total Croatia News, 27/2/17

What should Catholics who are believers in Medjugorje do now, in order to please God?

The following advice from a priest expert in the matter of alleged private apparitions spells out the only legitimate path for any sincere Catholic to take, having been made aware of the truth about Medjugorje…

The simple fact is that most claimed revelations are false. It is extremely foolish, therefore, to devote oneself to propagating a disapproved or dubious message, which might actually come from the Father of Lies. If one day you see its falsity for yourself, you will regret it enormously, and be unable to undo the harm done to others. On the other hand, there are more than enough approved messages to spread, if you want to spread them. It is better to keep to what is countenanced by the Church, than to go it alone and risk being a dupe of the devil. (Father Peter Joseph, Apparitions True and False, Christian Order, October, 2004)  

 

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us! Immaculate Heart of Mary,  pray for us!

 

Comments invited…

 

1st May: Feast of St Joseph the Worker – in this, the beautiful Month of Mary…

And to mark the beginning of the Month of Mary – a beautiful rendering of “Ave Maria”…

Comment: 

This is a two-fold celebration.  So feel free to post your favourite prayers and hymns to both Our Lady at the beginning of her special Month of Mary, and St Joseph on his Feast under his title of “The Worker”  – as well as any edifying stories you’ve heard / read, or experiences/miracles of your own which you attribute to Our Lady and/or St Joseph’s intercession.  If you have any special intentions that you wish bloggers to remember in prayer during Our Lady’s month, or on this great Feast of St Joseph, feel free to let us know. We give great glory to God when we pay tribute to His saints, and especially His Mother and St Joseph.

Happy Feast of St Joseph the Worker, and a lovely Month of Mary to one and all!  

19/3: Feast of St Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church & of a Happy Death

The music video below is an instrumental only – the words to the hymn are posted for the benefit of those of us who love to sing this beautiful hymn in honour of the great Saint Joseph – but note, to sing the entire hymn, you’ll need to re-play the video half-way through…

Dear St. Joseph, pure and gentle,
Guardian of our Saviour child,
Treading with the virgin Mother
Egypts deserts rough and wild,

CHORUS
Hail St Joseph, spouse of Mary,
Blessed above all saints on high,
When the death-shades round us gather,
Teach, O teach us how to die (twice)

He who rested on Thy bosom,
Is by countless saints adored,
Prostrate angels in His presence,
Sing Hosannas to the Lord.

CHORUS
Hail St Joseph, spouse of Mary,
Blessed above all saints on high,
When the death-shades round us gather,
Teach, O teach us how to die (twice)

Now to thee no gift refusing,
Jesus stoops to hear thy prayer,
Then, dear saint from thy fair dwelling
Give to us a father’s care.

CHORUS
Hail St Joseph, spouse of Mary,
Blessed above all saints on high,
When the death-shades round us gather,
Teach, O teach us how to die (twice)

Dear St. Joseph, kind and loving,
stretch to us a helping hand,
Guide us through earth’s toils and sorrows,
Safely to the distant land.

CHORUS
Hail St Joseph, spouse of Mary,
Blessed above all saints on high,
When the death-shades round us gather,
Teach, O teach us how to die (twice)

Comment: 

We really ought to pray very hard today, to seek St Joseph’s powerful intercession as Patron of the Universal Church at this time of unprecedented and worsening scandal, adversely affecting the Faith of many Catholics, preventing those who are poorly instructed as well as those outside the Church from seeing her beauty and realising her God-given mission as unique custodian and preacher of religious truth and guardian of the moral order. St Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church, pray for us! 

As with all devotional threads, post your favourite stories about St Joseph, prayers, novenas, miracles, hymns.  

The story goes that a visiting Bishop brought some strictly enclosed nuns a large tub of ice-cream to share.  When the Mother Prioress protested that it was Lent, the Bishop replied: “Well, we need these wee breaks in Lent!”  I think that is even more true today, so – Catholic Truth bloggers and readers – enjoy some ice-cream to mark the Feast of St Joseph, as we celebrate this wee break in Lent!  

A very happy Feast of St Joseph to all our bloggers and visitors to this site. 

14 January: Feast of St Mungo (Kentigern) Patron Saint of Glasgow… 

Mungo or Kentigern was born in 518. He was the son of Tannoch, a princess of Lothian, who has given her name to St Enoch’s Square in Glasgow, and to Tannochside near Uddingston. Tannoch’s father was a pagan and when she adopted Christianity she was expelled from her home. During her wanderings she was raped, and her father ordered that she be set adrift in an open boat at Aberlady in order that her pregnancy should not bring a slur on the family name. The boat was washed upon the shore at the Christian settlement of Culross and there the infant Kentigern was born. He was christened Kendyern, British for “Great Chief’. (The British form indicates that the ‘g’ should be soft. The hard ‘g’ perhaps arises from the fact that Jocelyn wrote in Latin).

But within the community he was often referred to by the pet name of Myncho, which has become Mungo, and means “little dear”. It is by this name that he is known as the patron saint of Glasgow. Having been ordained priest, Kentigern set out to restore the faith at Glasgow. He crossed the Forth at Alloa and set up his church on the Molendinar Burn, where Glasgow Cathedral now stands at the top of the High Street. He was greatly aided in his work of conversion by the local chieftain Rederich, whose fortress was Dumbarton, the fort of the Britons. Rederich brought over a Bishop from Ireland to consecrate the 25-year-old Kentigern first bishop of Glasgow.

Trouble from the pagans led to the flight of Rederich and Kentigern to the South. They stopped for a short time near Penrith and established a settlement at Crossfield. After a brief sojourn there, Kentigern travelled to Wales where he founded a monastery in the Vale of Ciwyd. Meanwhile Rederich and allies had defeated the pagans near Carlisle and Kentigern was able to return to Scotland in 573. He stopped at Hoddam, by Dumfries, and established missions throughout Galloway, which had been converted 150 years earlier by St Ninian.

After eight years Kentigern returned to Glasgow, where he died in January 603. In 1197, probably as a result of Jocelyn’s writings, a church was built over the tomb, and his church was the beginnings of the present Glasgow Cathedral. In Glasgow he was known better by his pet name of Mungo, but dedications to St Kentigern are common throughout the South of Scotland, in the North of England, and in Wales. Jocelyn’s account informs us that Kentigern met many other saints -St Serf at Culross, Saints David and Asaph in Wales, St Columba in Glasgow.

He also paid several visits to Rome, on the last of which the Pope gave Glasgow the title “Special Daughter of the Church”. St Kentigern was chosen as our patron firstly because of his connection with the old Kingdom of Lothian, his grandfather being Loth who ruled from the fort on Traprain Law near Haddington; and secondly because so many of the pupils here have Glasgow origins. 

The meaning of Glasgow’s coat of arms (pictured above)

Here is the bird that never flew
Here is the tree that never grew
Here is the bell that never rang
Here is the fish that never swam

The Glasgow coat of arms relate to the life and legend of St Mungo. The arms include ‘the tree that never grew’ relating to St Mungo tending a fire in St Serf’s monastery but he fell asleep and some lads who were envious of Mungo’s favoured position with St Serf put out the fire while he slept. When Mungo woke he broke off branches from a frozen hazel tree and by praying over them and lit the fire again, the hazel branches were transformed in to a fully grown tree. The ‘bird that never flew’ is about a robin that had been tamed by St Serf and it had been accidently killed. Mungo prayed over the robin and brought it back to life. The ‘fish that never swam’ is about a ring which a King gave to his wife Langoureth who gave it to her lover a knight who wore it and when the King noticed this took it from him when he was sleeping and threw it in the River Clyde. The King then demanded to see the ring from Langeoreth and she confessed this to Mungo who sent a monk to fish the river and found the lost ring. The bell is attributed to a bell that was reputedly given to Mungo by the Pope.  The motto “Let Glasgow Flourish” is an abbreviation of a statement taken from a sermon given by the saint: “Let Glasgow flourish by the preaching of Thy Word and the praising of Thy Name.” 

St Enoch

Mungo’s mother Thenew is  also known as St Enoch. It is believed St Enoch’s Square in Glasgow City Centre is the site of her burial ground.

For your interest…

For your information…

There is Mass in the SSPX church of St Andrew, Renfrew Street, Glasgow, at 6.30pm on Monday, 14 January, to mark the Feast. 

Happy Feast Day everyone!  

Comments invited… 

27 November: The Story of St Catherine Laboure & The Miraculous Medal… 

Mother and Child
The sound of the evening Angelus bells floated across the fields and vineyards of Burgundy. It was the second day of the month of May in the year of Our Lord 1806. In the little village of Fain-les-Moutiers a child of destiny was coming into the world, a tiny instrument of God, who would one day be the confidante of the Queen of Heaven to usher in the age of Mary. Her name was Catherine Labouré, the ninth child of a family of eleven.

The following day, the Feast of the Finding of the True Cross, the small child was baptized. All her life she was to have a deep devotion to the Cross of Our Lord. It would not be long before she was to feel the weight of sacrifice with the death of her mother at the age of nine.

Early one morning shortly after her mother’s death, a family servant came silently upon the little one standing on her tiptoes, stretching upwards, impelled by love, until she reached the statue of the Blessed Virgin. As she held the statue in her arms and leaned her head against the Madonna, the servant heard the child say: “Now, dear Blessed Mother, now you will be my Mother!”

Catherine received her First Holy Communion at the age of eleven on January 25th, 1818. From that day on, she rose at four o’clock each morning and walked several miles to assist at Mass and to pray for grace and strength before the start of her day’s work. Her only desire now was to give herself without reserve to her dear Lord. Never was the thought of Him far from her mind.

By this time Catherine’s elder sister, Marie Louise, had left to join the Daughters of Charity, and the little girl who had always been obedient now had to direct and supervise the homestead. She looked after everything: she made the bread, cooked and did the housework, carried daily meals to the workmen in the fields and cared well for the animals.

A Daughter of Charity
Once, when she was in the village church, she saw a vision of an old priest saying Mass. After Mass the priest turned and beckoned to her with his finger, but she drew backwards, keeping her eyes on him. The vision moved to a sickroom where she saw the same priest, who said: “My child, it is a good deed to look after the sick; you run away from me now, but one day you will be glad to come to me. God has designs for you. Do not forget it!” At that time, of course, she did not understand the significance of the vision.

As is the European custom, Catherine’s father invited various suitors to seek her hand in marriage and always her reply was: “I shall never marry; I have promised my life to Jesus Christ.” She prayed, worked, and served the family well until she was twenty-two, when she asked her father’s permission to become a Daughter of Charity. He flatly refused, and to distract her, sent her to Paris to work in a coffee shop run by her brother Charles. During the entire year spent there, she maintained her resolve to become the bride of Christ.

Her aunt, Jeanne Gontard, came to Catherine’s aid and enrolled her in the finishing school she directed at Chatillon. Since Catherine was a country girl, she was miserable at this fashionable school. One day, while visiting the hospital of the Daughters of Charity, she noted a priest’s picture on the wall. She asked the nun who he might be, and was told: “Our Holy Founder, Saint Vincent de Paul.” This was the same priest Catherine had seen in the vision. Later, after much persuasion from her Aunt Jeanne, her father granted permission for Catherine to enter the convent.

In January of 1830 Catherine entered the hospice of the Daughters of Charity at Chatillon-sur-Seine. This was just after the Reign of Terror in France, where sacrileges were committed in the name of freedom. Licentious women danced on the main altar of Notre Dame. Even the body of St. Genevieve, the Patroness of France, was desecrated. Saint Vincent de Paul’s body had been hidden, but four days after Catherine’s entry into the Mother House, his remains were transferred back to his own church with joyous processions and ceremonies.

Shortly after her entrance, God was pleased to grant Catherine several extraordinary visions. On three consecutive days she beheld the heart of Saint Vincent each time under a different aspect. At other times she beheld Our Divine Lord during Mass, when He would appear as He was described in the liturgy of the day.   

First Apparition
In 1830 Catherine was blessed with the apparitions of Mary Immaculate to which we owe the Miraculous Medal. The first apparition came on the eve of the feast of St. Vincent, July 19. The mother superior had given each of the novices a piece of cloth from the holy founder’s surplice. Because of her extreme love, Catherine split her piece down the middle, swallowing half and placing the rest in her prayer book. She earnestly prayed to St. Vincent that she might, with her own eyes, see the Mother of God.

That night, a beautiful child awoke her from her sleep, saying: “Sister Labouré, come to the chapel; the Blessed Virgin is waiting for you.” When Catherine went to the chapel, she found it ablaze with lights as if prepared for Midnight Mass. Quietly, she knelt at the Communion rail, and suddenly heard the rustle of a silk dress. The Blessed Virgin, in a blaze of glory, sat in a chair like that of Saint Anne’s.


Catherine rose, then went over and knelt, resting her hands in the Virgin’s lap, and felt the Virgin’s arms around her, as she said: “God wishes to charge you with a mission. You will be contradicted, but do not fear; you will have the grace. Tell your spiritual director all that passes within you. Times are evil in France and in the world.”

A pained expression crossed the Virgin’s face. “Come to the foot of the altar. Graces will be shed on all, great and little, especially upon those who seek them. Another community of sisters will join the Rue du Bac community. The community will become large; you will have the protection of God and Saint Vincent; I will always have my eyes upon you.” (This prediction was fulfilled when, in 1849, Fr. Etienne received Saint Elizabeth Seton’s sisters of Emmitsburg, MD, into the Paris community. Mother Seton’s sisters became the foundation stone of the Sisters of Charity in the United States.)

Then, like a fading shadow, Our Lady was gone.

The Second Apparition
Four months passed until Our Lady returned to Rue du Bac. Here are Catherine’s own words describing the apparition:

“On the 27th of November, 1830 … while making my meditation in profound silence … I seemed to hear on the right hand side of the sanctuary something like the rustling of a silk dress. Glancing in that direction, I perceived the Blessed Virgin standing near St. Joseph’s picture. Her height was medium and Her countenance, indescribably beautiful. She was dressed in a robe the colour of the dawn, high-necked, with plain sleeves. Her head was covered with a white veil, which floated over Her shoulders down to her feet. Her feet rested upon a globe, or rather one half of a globe, for that was all that could be seen. Her hands which were on a level with Her waist, held in an easy manner another globe, a figure of the world. Her eyes were raised to Heaven, and Her countenance beamed with light as She offered the globe to Our Lord.  

“As I was busy contemplating Her, the Blessed Virgin fixed Her eyes upon me, and a voice said in the depths of my heart: ‘ This globe which you see represents the whole world, especially France, and each person in particular.’

“There now formed around the Blessed Virgin a frame rather oval in shape on which were written in letters of gold these words: ‘ O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee.’ Then a voice said to me: ‘ Have a medal struck upon this model. All those who wear it, when it is blessed, will receive great graces especially if they wear it round the neck. Those who repeat this prayer with devotion will be in a special manner under the protection of the Mother of God. Graces will be abundantly bestowed upon those who have confidence.’

“At the same instant, the oval frame seemed to turn around. Then I saw on the back of it the letter ‘M’, surmounted by a cross, with a crossbar beneath it, and under the monogram of the name of Mary, the Holy Hearts of Jesus and of His Mother; the first surrounded by a crown of thorns and the second trans-pierced by a sword. I was anxious to know what words must be placed on the reverse side of the medal and after many prayers, one day in meditation I seemed to hear a voice which said to me: ‘ The ‘M’ with the Cross and the two Hearts tell enough.’ “

“All who wear this medal will receive great graces . . .”

The Miraculous Medal
The Mother of God instructed Catherine that she was to go to her spiritual director, Father Aladel, about the apparitions. At first he did not believe Catherine, but, after two years, approached the Bishop of Paris with the story of the events that had taken place at Rue du Bac. Our Blessed Mother had chosen well Her time for the apparitions as the Bishop at that period was an ardent devotee of the Immaculate Conception. He said that the Medal was in complete conformity with the Church’s doctrine on the role of Our Lady and had no objections to having the medals struck at once. The Bishop even asked to be sent some of the first.

Immediately upon receiving them, he put one in his pocket and went to visit Monseigneur de Pradt, former chaplain to Napoleon and unlawful Archbishop of Mechlin who had accepted his office from the hands of the Emperor and now lay dying, defiant and unreconciled to the Church. The sick man refused to abjure his errors and the Bishop of Paris withdrew in defeat. He had not left the house when the dying man suddenly called him back, made his peace with the Church and gently passed away in the arms of the Archbishop, who was filled with a holy joy.

The original order of 20,000 medals proved to be but a small start. The new medals began to pour from the presses in streams inundating France and the rest of the world beyond. By the time of St. Catherine’s death in 1876, over a billion medals had been distributed in many lands. This sacramental from Heaven was at first called simply the Medal of the Immaculate Conception, but began to be known as the Miraculous Medal due to the unprecedented number of miracles, conversions, cures, and acts of protection attributed to Our Lady’s intercession for those who wore it.

In 1841, the most remarkable miracle occured – the conversion of Alphonse Ratisbonne, a wealthy Jewish banker and lawyer and also a blasphemer and hater of Catholicism. M. de Bussieres, gave him a medal, daring him to wear it and say a Memorare. After considerable persuasion he agreed to do so. Not long after, Alphonse accompanied M. de Bussieres to the Church of Sant’Andrea delle Frate to make funeral arrangements for a dear friend. There Alphonse saw a vision of Mary as on the Miraculous Medal. He was converted instantly and immediately begged for Baptism.

Alphonse Ratisbonne later went on to become a priest, taking the name of Father Alphonse Marie. Working for thirty years in the Holy Land, he established several institutions. Out of reverence and gratitude to Our Savior, he built the expiatory sanctuary of the Ecce Homo on the spot where Pilate displayed Jesus to the Jews. So great was the love he had for his people, that he dedicated the remainder of his life, as did his brother, Father Theodore, to work for the conversion of their immortal souls. Among the converts of these two priest brothers were a total of twenty eight members of their own family.

Conclusion
On the last day of 1876, St. Catherine passed to her eternal reward. For the forty-six years from the year of the apparitions until her death, only she and her confessor knew who it was to whom the famous Miraculous Medal was revealed, despite many pressures she received to reveal the secret. The years passed by, Catherine performed daily her mundane and very ordinary tasks of sewing and door keeping, unknown to the world around her, which was buzzing with the miraculous effects of the medal. Because of this humility, she is often called the Saint of Silence. When her body was exhumed for beatification 57 years after her death in 1933, it was found as fresh as the day it was buried. Her incorrupt body can still be seen today at the Mother House of the Daughters of Charity in The Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, 140 Rue du Bac in Paris.   Source

Comment: 

Share your stories about the miraculous medal, answers to prayers and favourite devotions, novenas etc.  

And a very happy Feast of the Miraculous Medal to one and all…