Launching the second video in our Thinking Through Catholic Truth series…
Launching the second video in our Thinking Through Catholic Truth series…
Our Lady of Lourdes, health of the sick, please pray for our friends and relatives who are suffering at this time; we remember especially Catholic Truth readers – Sean who is terminally ill, with only a short time to live according to doctors, Christina, Kay, Patricia, and all who have asked us to remember them in prayer. Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for them.
Feel free to add your own petitions for prayer on this thread, and, as with all Feast Day threads, post your favourite hymns, prayers, experiences, funny stories etc.
That light-hearted response to the threat to conquer Rome contrasts with the reaction here
The following extracts are taken from How the 1571 Battle of Lepanto saved Europe…
For those who know little history, today’s battle with the Islamic State in the Middle East may seem new and unprecedented. It is not.
In a.d. 622, Mohammed set out from Medina to conquer the whole Christian world for Allah by force of arms. Within a hundred years, his successors had occupied and pillaged every Christian capital of the Middle East, from Antioch through North Africa (home of Saint Augustine) and Spain. All that remained outside Allah’s reign was the northern arc from Southern France to Constantinople…
Even today, in the eyes of political Islamists, the expansion of Islam is far from finished. The dynamic obligation at the heart of their Islam is to conquer the world for Allah, and to incorporate it all into the great Islamic Umma. Only then will the world be at peace. Submission to Allah is the reason the world was created…
The Greatest Sea Battle in History: Lepanto, October 1571
For more than three years, Pope Pius V had labored mightily to sound alarms about the deadly Muslim buildup in the shipyards of Istanbul. The sultan had been stung by the surprising defeat of his overwhelming invasion force in Malta in 1565. The savagery of Muslim attacks on the coastal villages of Italy, Sicily, Dalmatia, and Greece was ratcheted upwards. Three or four Muslim galleys would offload hundreds of marines, who would sweep through a village, tie all its healthy men together for shipment out to become galley slaves, march away many of its women and young boys and girls for shipment to Eastern harems, and then gather all the elderly into the village church, where the helpless victims would be beheaded, and sometimes cut up into little pieces, to strike terror into other villages. The Muslims believed that future victims would lose heart and swiftly surrender when Muslim raiders arrived. Over three centuries, the number of European captives kidnapped from villages and beaches by these pirates climbed into the hundreds of thousands.
The reason for this kidnapping was that the naval appetite for fresh backs and muscles was insatiable. Most galley slaves lived little more than five years. They were chained to hard benches in the burning Mediterranean sun, slippery in their own excrement, urine, and intermittent vomiting, often never lying down to sleep. The dark vision that troubled the pope during the late 1560s was of even more horrible calamities to befall the whole Christian world, bit by bit. But unity in Europe was hard to find, and even more scarce was the will to fight for survival.
There is no point here in giving the whole narrative of the battle. Suffice it to say that in the center, the volleys from the galleasses out in front destroyed one Muslim vessel after another. ..
As news of the great victory of October 7 reached shore, church bells rang all over the cities and countryside of Europe. For months, Pius V had urged Catholics to say the daily rosary on behalf of the morale and good fortune of the Christian forces and, above all, for a successful outcome to the highly risky preemptive strike against the Turkish fleets. Thereafter, he declared that October 7 would be celebrated as the Feast of “Mary, Queen of Victory.” A later Pope added the title “Queen of the Most Holy Rosary” in honor of the laity’s favorite form of prayer. All over the Italian peninsula, great paintings were commissioned — whole galleries were dedicated — to honor the classic scenes of that epic battle. The air of Europe that October tasted of liberties preserved. The record of the celebrations lives on in glorious paintings by Titian, Tintoretto, and many others. Click here to read How the 1571 Battle of Lepanto saved Europe
It is a well established fact that Our Lady won the Battle of Lepanto for the Christian armies, and so maybe it’s time to redouble our prayers, take Our Lady at her word and trust totally in the power of the Rosary to defeat heresies, and time, too, for us to remember the words of the Fatima seer, Sister Lucia, that there is no problem, whether temporal or spiritual that cannot be overcome by the power of the Rosary. That’s quite a promise.
So we learn plenty about the power of the rosary; Is there anything else to learn from the Battle of Lepanto in the context of the contemporary threat from Islamist terrorism? Are we, for example, praying sufficiently for the conversion of Muslims?
For some time, now, I have queried the claim (widely spread around these days, not least in the Blogosphere) that the Consecration of Russia has not been done because not enough of us are doing our bit by carrying out the Fatima requests to make the First Saturdays, pray the daily Rosary, wear the Brown Scapular etc. In my humble opinion, that doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t make sense to me that Our Lady would ask the Pope and Bishops to do this Consecration, in a precise manner, with no mention of any such conditions involving the rest of the faithful, and then, some years later, find the Fatima “experts” are blaming us for the failure of the Pope/Bishops to carry out the Consecration. At our recent Conference, Father Nicholas Mary C.SS.R mentioned this claim, and when I queried it, he promised to find the origin of it. Today, I received the following email from him providing the source. Father wrote:
Many sound authors quote Sr Lucia’s assertion that the consecration of Russia would take place “when a sufficient number are fulfilling the requests” of Our Lady of Fatima. There are also other passages from her writings and interviews where she says something similar. Nonetheless the origin of the precise quotation you questioned me about in public recently is as follows:
In 1946 Sr Lucia told John Haffert in an interview that “the Holy Father and all the Bishops will unite to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.” He then writes:
“‘And do you think the conversion of Russia and peace will follow?’ I asked, catching my breath. ‘Yes,’ she said deliberately. ‘Yes, that is what Our Lady promised.’ ‘But when, Sister,’ I asked, ‘when will it happen?’ ‘It will happen,’ she replied. ‘There might be much more suffering (we had been talking of the awful civil war in Spain), more nations may be afflicted, but it will happen when a sufficient number are fulfilling the requests.’” [John M. Haffert – Russia will be converted, Washington, New Jersey, 1956 (2nd ed.), AMI Press, p. 246]
Although John Haffert (of Blue Army fame) later went astray, at the time of the above writing, he was regarded as a reliable Fatima source, so this quotation surprised me. Still, I noted that Sr Lucia does not claim to be quoting Our Lady; arguably, then, it is possible that she was giving her own opinion. In any case, I sent the above text to a friend in the south of England, who is something of an expert on Marian apparitions in general and Fatima in particular. He replies:
It does seem difficult to refute [that quote]. But in 1929 at the Tuy vision, Our Lady said that the moment had come (emphasis mine) for the Pope & bishops to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart. I wouldn’t have thought it was entirely dependent on how many were living the Fatima message, because at that time, only 12 years after the initial events occurred, the full message wasn’t widely known then. As I understand it, the message of Fatima applies to all humanity – for the laity, religious and priests to live the Fatima message:- i.e. the daily rosary, brown scapular, consecration to the Immaculate Heart, First Saturdays etc, and for the Pope and the Bishops in union with him to do all those things as well, but in their case also to specifically consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The Fatima Network seems to say that there must be some co-operation from the laity in the Fatima message, obviously, but it doesn’t seem to make the consecration absolutely dependent on it. Source
Self-evidently, it can only be a good thing if more and more Catholics make the First Saturdays, pray the Rosary, wear the Brown Scapular and make sacrifices for sinners etc. That’s not the issue. The issue is, IS the fulfilment of those of Our Lady’s requests which apply to the faithful at large, a condition of the Pope’s/Bishops’ fulfilment of Our Lady’s request to them to consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart? I can’t see it. Can you?
Note: in the original post, submitted earlier today, I omitted Father Nicholas Mary’s name and mention of the Conference, but he has asked me to amend the post to make the context entirely clear: thus, I have restored that part of his email which states that I “questioned him in public”. Those bloggers/readers who attended the Conference and witnessed the exchange will recall that it was polite and respectful. Some may consider that I, as a mere laywoman, had no right “questioning” Father “in public”, but I did so merely to correct what I believe to be a misleading opinion about where responsibility for the Consecration of Russia, lies. If I am proven to be wrong, I will gladly apologise for questioning Father Nicholas Mary. I am always grateful for necessary correction myself, so feel free to speak your minds, one and all.
Our Conference, held to mark the 100th anniversary of the Fatima Apparitions, and to note, too, the 100th edition of the Catholic Truth Newsletter, was, by any standards, hugely successful.
The event began with the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary, Hymn Bring Flowers of the rarest and crowning of Our Lady’s beautiful statue – that privilege was given to the little 4 year old daughter of one of our readers, who was thrilled at having been chosen to do this. We had other young people helping out at the various stalls and being general dogsbodies. To each of them our heartfelt gratitude. Our thanks, too, to Chairman Paul who took us through the day calmly and efficiently.
The four speakers were all well received and feedback has been largely positive. Here’s a sample:
Very good speakers. I really enjoyed it. Look forward to another. Motherwell Diocese.
(Ed: there isn’t going to be another – that was our Grand Finale, but it’s great that it has been such a success, and we leave the world of conferences on a high!)
Fr Nicholas Mary – most interesting talk. Learned so much! Ellen Ward – very strong speaker. Loved her account of Legion work and the priority of saving souls. Fr Mann, very informative and thought-provoking… Northampton Diocese (England)
The day was very interesting and learned a lot. I felt there was a strong message to take away with us and share with others; my only negative would be a lot of the talk would have been so off putting for people searching for Jesus (my own family being first). Surely God is love and wold bring people to his love and then they would learn the truth and turn away from sin. Ended up being very disturbed. Galloway Diocese
All in all, however, the day was a great success, with the Fatima and piety stalls doing great “business” and the new initiative, Crusaders of Mary, drawing much interest. Thanks to Joe and John who brought the Fatima Statue and beautiful banners over from County Cork for our use and for helping to make our Conference such a success. Thanks, too, to John Blyth from Edinburgh, whose piety stall was very busy – as is usual at our Conferences.
Our American blogger, Wurdesmythe, has given the thumbs up to the Conference, and is set to enjoy the rest of his stay with us, before returning home on Thursday. Chairman, Paul, called him up to the front of the hall at the start of the day to return his cheque/check in payment of his ticket, because, he said, we wanted to put to rest, once and for all, the myth of the “mean Scot” !
One last word…
Note: one of a group of women from the Diocese of Galloway, expressed concern in the Q & A sessions, because she (and I believe others in her group) act as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (EMHC) and she had been offended at remarks made by me about the “poisonous” effect of the novus ordo Mass and the diminution of belief in the Real Presence (or words to that effect). She said they had to act as EMHC because they had no priests. For your information and interest, visit the website of the Diocese of Galloway.
Perhaps we could use this thread to offer comments to help the Galloway group of EMHCs to come to a deeper realisation of how seriously wrong it is for lay people to handle the Blessed Sacrament: key question: is a shortage of priests really a good enough reason to allow this practice? And, perhaps some of those who attended might respond to the lady from Galloway who remarked that the “a lot of the talk would have been so off putting for people searching for Jesus…[because] God is love…”
This thread is to pay tribute to Our Lady in the special Month of her Holy Rosary. As ever, feel free to comment, post stories of any favours received through the Rosary that you know of personally, your favourite hymns – lyrics and videos – I couldn’t find the hymn O Queen of the Holy Rosary except in its American version, so if anyone can find the tune we sing in our neck of the woods on YouTube, please post it here. This is also the month of the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima (October 13th) so Fatima will, no doubt, feature large in this thread. Let’s pray especially this month for the Synod on the Family which will take place 4-25th… O Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, pray for us!
The first Islamic decapitation on western European soil since the times of the Battle of Vienna (1683) took place on June 26,2015, while the “champion” of the West, Barack Obama, was triumphantly celebrating the legalization of homosexual “marriages” imposed on all the States of the Union by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Exactly twenty years before, on June 21, 1995, the Islamic Mosque in Rome was officially inaugurated – the biggest in Europe, presented as a centre for ecumenical dialogue and religious peace. The only voice of protest heard in Italy at that time was the one of the Lepanto Cultural Centre, which promoted a Rosary of reparation in the church of St. Luigi Gonzaga, right next to the mosque, defining the construction of the Islamic centre in the heart of Rome as “a symbolic act of unspeakable gravity. Rome is the centre of the Catholic Faith: Islam at its very roots, denies the fundamental truths of our faith and intends to implant its dominion on the ruins that was once western Christian Civilization.”
During that same period, between 1992 and 1995, the ethnic and religious war was going on in Bosnia, the first “mediatic-war” of modern times, but also the most distorted by the media. The politically correct version of the conflict, presented the image of a prevalently Muslim government, but in actual fact – multicultural, besieged by radical nationalists, the Croatians and Serbians, determined to annihilate the Muslims in Bosnia. The truth ignored was that Bosnia was al-Qa’ida’s first global Jihad front and the first international event from which Islam gained enormous benefits.
John R. Schindler, an American analyst who spent almost a decade in the Balcan area, did a penetrating analysis on that war (Unholy Terror: Bosnia, Al-Qa’ida, and the Rise of Global Jihad, Zenith Press, St Paul, Minnesota 2007), which on many points coincided with those of Alexandre Del Valle, the geopolitical scholar, (Guerres contre l’Europe, Edition des Syrtes, Paris 2000). It was in Bosnia during the 1990s, that al-Qaeda, became the multinational of the Jihad under the leadership of Osama Bin Laden and his mujaheddin. Saudi Arabia, which had given thirty-five million dollars for the construction of the Mosque in Rome, spent hundreds in financing the fighters of Islamic guerilla warfare, encouraging young Muslims from all over the world to engage in the holy war in Europe. The first act of independent Bosnia, which remained mainly a Christian country, was its adhesion to the Organization of The Islamic Conference, that had assembled 57 Islamic countries, united in their aim of propagating the sharī’a all over the world.
Since then, it has appeared clear that Islam has been moving along two strategic lines. The « sweet » line, aimed at the Islamisation of society through the network of mosques, which constitute centres of politcal and religious propaganda – but also military recruitment – like the one in Milan, in Viale Jenner, which served as the operative base for men, money and arms to arrive in Bosnia. The expression of this «Gramscian » expansion is the Muslim Brotherhood, founded by Hasan al-Banna in 1928, a movement, as Magdi Allam refers, that « promoted the Islamisation of society starting from the base, through the control of mosques, Islamic cultural centres, Koranic schools, charitable entities and financial institutes.» (Kamikaze made in Europe, Mondadori, Milano 2005, p. 22).
Alongside this “sweet” strategic line we find, not in opposition, the “Leninist” line of radical Islam which wants to achieve world supremacy through the instruments of war and terrorism. In recent years this hard line has seen the passage from al-Qa’ida to Isis, an Islamic State which extends from the Aleppo peripheries in Syria to those of Baghdad in Iraq, and has as its declared goal, the reconstruction of that universal Caliphate which as the foremost scholar of Islam, Bat Ye’Or, has made clear since the 1990s, is not the dream of the fundamentalists, but the objective of every true Muslim.
Islam’s diverse strategic lines are today converging into the very same global plan of conquest. During his act of establishing the Jihadist Caliphate, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi in a sermon from the Mosque in Mosul, July 4th 2014, called on all Muslims to join him: if they do so – he promised – Islam will arrive even in Rome and will dominate the world. In the video diffused by Isis the black flag of the Caliphate is seen waving on top of the Vatican, the Coliseum is in flames and a sea of blood is submerging it. Lastly, the statement from the Libyan caliphate: “we are south of Rome”, while Abu Muhammed al Adnani, spokesman for the Iraqi Islamic State and Greater Syria, states: “We will occupy your Rome, we will smash your crosses to pieces, we will reduce your women to slavery.”
The same objective has been proclaimed for more than ten years by the main exponent of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Imam, Yusuf al Qaradawi; in a fatwa promulgated on February 27th 2005, he declared that “in the end, Islam will rule and will be lord over the entire world. One of the signs of its victory is that Rome will be conquered, Europe will be occupied, Christians will be defeated and Muslims will increase and become a force that will control the entire European continent.”
Yusuf Qaradawi (who, after having led the Egyptian “Arab springtime” was condemned to death in absentia by the Supreme Court of Cairo, on June 16th of this year) is the President of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, their headquarters being in Dublin, and a point of theological reference to Islamic organizations with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. His ideas diffused through the satellite channel Al Jazeera, influence a large part of contemporary Islam. For the Muslim Brotherhood, as it is for ISIS, the final objective is not Paris or New York, but the city of Rome, center of the only religion, which Islam, since its very birth, has wanted to annihilate. The real enemy is not the United States or the State of Israel, which did not even exist when Islam arrived at the Gates of Vienna in 1683, but the Catholic Church and Christian civilization, to which Muhammad’s religion is a diabolical parody .
Yet, the words used by St. Pius V and Blessed Innocent XI to incite the Holy War that held back the conquering march of Islam at Lepanto and Vienna are not resounding in Rome today. Moreover, if Pope Francis shares the words of the English Prime Minister, David Cameron, according to whom the attacks of June 26th were not in the name of Islam – since Islam is a religion of peace – the battle, on a purely human level, we can say – is lost.
The West’s response to the actions and war proclamations of Islam would seem to be summed up in the hashtag LoveWins, with which the homosexualist lobby flooded Facebook and Twitter. The inversion of values that this message expresses is destined to turn what it asserts upside down: this is no victory, but slavery, the destiny of a world which repudiates its faith and turns the principles of the natural order upside down.
And yet nothing is irreversible in history. Another hashtag would be worth diffusion on the social network – a silent, but overpowering maxim: in hoc Signo vinces, the insignia impressed on Constantine’s banner at Saxa Rubra containing the history of future generations when men correspond to Divine Grace. Help from Heaven is never lacking when men of good will fight so that the Cross of Christ triumphs and reigns in souls and the whole of society. Are there still such men in the West? Source