Thursday, October 10, 2019
What difference does it make?
Recently, Pope Francis, was “pained to hear… a sarcastic comment about a pious [indigenous] man with feathers on his head who brought an offering” during Mass. In humble solidarity with the “pious man,” His Holiness asked: “Tell me: what’s the difference between having feathers on your head and the three-peaked hat worn by certain officials in our dicasteries?” The Supreme Pontiff was referring to the Catholic biretta. Apparently, to the Apostolic Lord of Rome, these types of things make no difference whatsoever.
But we ask ourselves, how come His Supreme Humbleness was “pained to hear” such comment, but did not feel the same pain when His Holiness Himself made some disparaging remarks about young “rigid” priests who wear Cassocks and the Roman hat (“saturno”)? How quickly His Holiness’ pain disappears when those who don’t agree with all that comes out of His Merciful Mouth are the ones who are viciously offended, vindictively attacked, and savagely persecuted by His Holiness Himself or His Holiness’ protégés!
How far is the reigning Pontiff from the example of Pope St. Gregory I when writing to Eulogius of Alexandria: “My honor is the honour of the Universal Church. My honor is the firm position of my brothers. I am really honoured when due honor is not denied to each of them.” Instead, Pope Francis has a preference for attacking, ridiculing, and disparaging whatever may bring visibility to anything that used to bring honor and respect to the Church of God, Her faithful ministers, and Her immemorial practices.
Our “Catholic sensibilities” are not supposed to be hurt by such things, the reasoning goes, or by horrible pagan-like/shamanic ceremonies at the Vatican in the presence of the Pope Himself! According to this logic, what difference does it make to see practices and ceremonies that predate the advent of Christianity performed with the consent and approval of the visible Head of the Catholic Church? It would seem that to His Holiness they are the same as the ceremonies of the Mass – the New Mass, that is, because WE KNOW how His Holiness feels about the Old Mass! WE KNOW that those old immemorial rites, practices, and ceremonies of the Roman Church do make a difference to His Humble Person! So much so, that His Holiness and His Holiness’ friends are willing to lie, persecute, slander, and stamp out anything reminiscent of the old Catholic days… Such “rigidly neopelagian promethean observances that cause deeply-rooted psychological problems” should have no place in the Church of God! Or so is their humble wish.
We could get the impression that, according to His Holiness, the way we feel about Holy Mass is the same way we should feel about ritualistic services to Pachamama (mother earth) with representations of Yacy, Ruda, and Guaracy – all pure and unadulterated pagan idolatry and immodesty .... this should make no difference at all, they say. Just as it would make no difference to His Holiness and minions if what had taken place had been the burning of incense –or, better yet, the killing of babies!– in honor of the ancient golden calf idolized by the Hebrews after the God of Israel freed them from the hands of Pharaoh.
At the (“fertility ritual”) ceremony that took place in the Vatican gardens on October 4th in honor of Pachamana, the Holy Father was given a black ring (tucum ring – anel de tucum), which has become very closely associated with the principles of Liberation Theology, which in the Pontificate of Pope Francis has reached levels of biblical importance. With regards to the ceremony, Cardinal Baldisseri said: “the purpose is to focus on this garden [the Amazon region] of immense wealth and natural resources… and a territory that’s threatened by the runaway ambitions of human beings rather than being taken care of.”
Honestly, that whole thing reminded us of another Garden (spoken of in the first book of the Sacred Scriptures) where those involved had the ambition to be like gods, and we all know that that led to negative consequences of unparalleled proportions. And here we are in 2019 with high ranking members of the Catholic Church (the Bishop in white included) tempting the same God with a similar ambition and behaving as if the Incarnation of the Son of God had never happened. How horrible is that! And then today we hear that the Holy Father’s friend, the “journalist” Eugenio Scalfari (a Leftist atheist), reports that the Holy Father told him that Christ was not God. We’re not sure about you, but that’s flirting directly with Sabellianism, Arianism, Modalism, Patripassianism, Subordinationism, Nestorianism, and a few other officially certified heresies… nothing new about the heresy, except that the One Who might possibly be dishing it out is none other than the Supreme Pontiff Himself!
In the old days of Faith, the Popes would have been the ones to clarify the correct teaching the faithful were to hold, but that does not seem to be the case these days. Pope Julius, in the times of St. Athanasius, during the Arian heresy, would have said: “Do you not know that this is the custom, that you should write first to Us and that what is right should be settled here?” Pope St. Agatho would have said: “The Apostolic [Roman] Church of Christ, by the grace of Almighty God will never be shown to have wandered from the path of Apostolic tradition, nor has it ever fallen into heretical novelties; but it was founded spotless at the time of the beginning of the Christian faith.” It might be safe to say, and I think you will agree, that Francis the Merciful would cut His Humble tongue out before saying anything like that! Instead, His Holiness would yell at us and at the top of His Apostolic lungs –oops, we forgot His Holiness only has one, though that does not prevent His Holiness from yelling at us anyway!– what’s the difference?
Well, to us, faithful Catholics, it does make a big difference... just as one “iota” made an essential difference in the 4th century with the Arian heresy. As Fr. Adrian Fortescue aptly said: “What, it is asked, can the difference between Homoüsios and Homoiüsios matter? Was it worth while to rend the whole Church for the sake of an iota? Undoubtedly to a person who cares nothing for any dogmatic belief, to whom the Christian faith means either nothing at all or a vague humanitarianism, the discussion will seem absurd… But to people who take historic Christianity seriously one may point out that the question at issue was the vital one of all. It was that of the Divinity of Christ.”
And Fr. Fortescue goes on to say that in combat, soldiers from two different sides whose nations have very similar flags “or [coats of] arms” would not waver in their allegiance to their nation because of such similarity or very slight differences. So, while for the Servant of the Servants of God an indigenous feathered hat might be the same as a biretta, to an actual faithful Catholic, there is a real difference between the two. Just as an actual Catholic will detect a clear difference between real inculturation and neo-paganization!
The Supreme Pontiff may go on and on with all this silly stuff about “pockets of rigidity” and “semi-schismatic ways” that lead to a bad end and to an “unhealthy view of the Gospel,” but the thing is that we somehow still have something called the Ten Commandments. And the first of these commandments still reads: “I am the Lord thy God, Who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt not have strange gods before Me.” Actual faithful Catholics, despite the criticisms and condemnations coming from Bishops, Cardinals, and the Holy Father Himself these days, still want to continue the ancient Catholic practice of worshiping the True God alone by preserving the purity and integrity of the Catholic Faith through absolute loyalty to the Church of Old Rome in Her unchanging dogmas and living traditions, particularly in the true Roman Mass.
The Holy Father also thinks that these rigid neo-palagians want “to change the Pope” by expressing open criticisms that create, according to His Holiness, “confusion” and “division” and “schism.” As Archbishop Lefebvre once said: “I don’t want to disobey the Pope, but he must not ask me to become Protestant,” except that now that would have to be changed to: “I don’t want to disobey the Pope, but he must not ask me to become Pagan.” That seems to be the difference between Paul VI and Pope Francis; the former wanted to protestantize things, but the latter is hellbent on paganizing everything! In response, we could say what Princess Pallavicini said in the 1970s when Paul VI’s Vatican tried to pressure her into not helping Archbishop Lefebvre: “I am a more than convinced Apostolic Roman Catholic … I owe nothing to anybody, I have no honours nor prebends to defend, and I thank God for everything. Within the limits that the Church allows, I may dissent, I may talk, I may act: I have to talk and I have to act: it would be cowardice not to. And allow me say, that in our home, also in this generation, there is no room for the cowardly.”
Long gone are the days when Popes, like St. Leo the Great, would write to world leaders: “… the same Faith must be that of the people, of bishops, and also of kings, oh most glorious son and most clement Augustus!” Or Popes like Leo IX, writing to the heretic Michael Cerularius on the preservation of Church unity: “… Woe to those who break it! Woe to those who ‘with high-sounding and false words and with impious and sacrilegious hands cruelly try to rend the glorious robe of Christ, that has no stain nor spot.’” And, as the same Pope Leo IX wrote to the then ambitious Patriarch of Constantinople: “Let heresies and schisms cease. Let every one who glories in the Christian name cease from cursing and wounding the holy Apostolic Roman Church.” And this was, as it should always be, the case because it is the constant Catholic principle that there MUST NOT BE ANY COMPROMISE in matters of Faith and Morals. Unfortunately, and with utmost sadness and shame, it must be admitted that even faithful Catholics these days fall short of this essential Catholic principle…
Nevertheless, we’ll continue to pray for our Beloved Pope Francis, despite His Holiness’ love of deception, schism, division, confusion, heresy, scandal, perversion, etc., which will be to His Holiness’ eternal disgrace if no change takes place in His Humble and Merciful Heart before His Holiness meets the Supreme Judge of all. And we, faithful Catholics, must continue with our daily living as Catholics did in the old Catholic days, when Rome was unequivocally “the center and organ of unity,” when Rome’s guidance was “known, respected, and universally accepted.” This current trend of exchanging the teachings of Christ for communist ideas, corruption of morals, and pagan practices does not sit well with us … given that we keep in mind constantly what Galatians 6:7 tells us: “Be not deceived, God is not mocked.”
What an interesting Pontificate this is!
Wednesday, August 21, 2019
Introduction to "The Sacred Ceremonies of Low Mass"
By Rev. Felix Zualdi, CM
The august Sacrifice of the Mass comprises in itself all that is most sublime and sacred in our Holy Religion. All the sacrifices of the Old Testament were only shadows of that of the new, which, as St. Leo says, really offers to God what the Jewish sacrifices only promised. The offering should bear some proportion to the person to whom it is made; but since the ancient sacrifices were only weak and needy elements, they could in no way satisfy for man’s debts to God and hence another sacrifice was required. The old victims were insufficient, the Levitical priesthood was impotent in the sight of God, therefore it was necessary, as the Fathers of the Council of Trent express it, that by the ordination of God the Father of Mercies, another Priest, according to the order of Melchisedech, our Lord Jesus Christ, should arise, who would consummate and bring to perfection all who were to be sanctified. Although Our Lord fully consummated the sacrifice by offering Himself to God the Father, and by dying on the altar of the Cross for our redemption yet His priesthood was not to expire with His death, but was to continue visible in His Church to the end of ages, as He Himself promised at His Last Supper when, instituting the Eucharistic Sacrifice, He gave the same Divine authority to the Apostles and to their successors. Every Priest can, therefore, say to himself when ascending the altar: I am no longer a mere man of clay, a weak creature—being identified with Jesus Christ through the power and the infinite value of the Victim I am about to offer. With what a high degree of virtue ought such a dignity be accompanied!
There are four kinds of worship given to God in the Sacrifice of the Mass. The first is called Latreutic, which is due to Him and can be given to His Infinite Majesty alone, and which is rendered by the Sacred Victim along with the adoration of the faithful, of the Saints, and of the Angelic Hosts, who, according to the opinion of the Fathers, reverently surround the altar. The second form of worship is termed Eucharistic, by which man raises his voice in perfect thanksgiving to his most generous Benefactor. In it, the excess of the Divine Goodness invests us with the power of offering abundant satisfaction to Him; and the greatest advantage we derive from this benefit is, that we can thereby make an adequate return for what we have received from God. God delivers us from the abyss; we present to Him the Deliverer. He opens Heaven to us; we offer to Him the Heir. So much does the supreme goodness shine forth in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, that not only is our act of thanksgiving in keeping with the great benefits conferred upon us, but forms a return in some way suitable for the great love manifested in His conferring them upon us. We do this not merely once, as St. Gregory Nazianzen remarks, as when our Blessed Lord offered Himself in the Incarnation to His Eternal Father, but a thousand times, when we offer that Divine Son in the Mass, impassible and glorious as a worthy victim of thanksgiving.
The third act of worship is Propitiatory—to appease the anger of God, to satisfy the demands of His justice, and to obtain the pardon of our sins. Man should appease the Lord to whom he has been ungrateful, and avert His anger lest he might be cast off forever. All other creatures cried for vengeance against sinful man: Jesus Christ appeared and immolated Himself upon the Cross; peace came upon the world, man’s sins notwithstanding, and the unbloody Sacrifice of the Mass pours out on him the grace of repentance and reconciles him with Divine justice. The Sacrifice of Calvary supplied the treasures, that of the Mass distributes them. From the treasury, judge of the key; and if the Passion of Jesus Christ fits us for the benefits of Redemption, the Sacrifice of the Mass enables us to enjoy them, for St. Chrysostom says : “Tantum valet celebratio Missae quantum mors Christi in cruce,” and the Church herself moreover assures us of it in these words: “Quoties hujus hostiae commemoratio celebratur, opus nostrae Redemptionis exercetur.”
But the worship we render to God, as the Author of every good gift, is based upon our prayers, serving as we do a Lord who wishes us to pray to Him, uniting His own glory with our best interests. “Call upon Me,” He says, “in the day of trouble; I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me.” Prayer constitutes the fourth act of worship, called Impetratory, for the due rendering of which to God the Mass furnishes us with the best of all means of moving the Divine liberality in our favour. We are unworthy not only to be heard but even to ask, and consequently unworthy of receiving, from the very fact that we are obliged to ask. The Word of God prayed for us, and “was heard for His reverence.” In the Mass He prays to the Father continually for us, in the same manner as He did, bathed with tears and blood, on the Cross, and we through Him are heard. On the altar the word of Salvation is raised, the life-giving Host is laid, and there is worked the most sublime miracle, ravishing in ecstasy of wonder earth and heaven. The Son of God, the invisible High Priest, the Holy Pontiff, just, innocent, separated from sinners, higher than the heavens, and able to compassionate us in our infirmities, intercedes for us with unutterable groanings, and becomes our propitiation, our victim: and the Eternal Father, who promised to hear everyone invoking Him in the name of His Son, cannot refuse the Son Himself praying, and offering Himself for us. “O Father!” we may suppose Him to exclaim in the Mass, “O Father! wilt Thou not remember the sacrifice which I consummated on Calvary? Look down on the renewal of it, that Thou mayst bestow on My brethren the graces I gained by My death.”
Such is the excellence of the sacrifice of our altars. Would to Heaven that all the Priests going forth every day with joy to the mystic Calvary, animated with sublime sentiments of religion, and covered with the blood of Our Redeemer, would present themselves to the Father, uniting, as St. Gregory the Great remarks, by an interior and invisible sacrifice, their groans to those of the Victim who died for men, and showing themselves alive to their solemn office and to the wants of poor souls. Then would they, by the Mass, honour the majesty of God, thank Him for His benefits, appease His justice, and implore His mercy. And since of all our functions, the Mass is the most holy and the most divine, fulfilling, as it does, the four great ends already mentioned, it appears very clear that no study or diligence should be omitted by the Priest in order that such a sacrifice may be celebrated with the greatest possible interior purity and exterior devotion, as the Council of Trent directs, declaring that the terrible anathemas fulminated by the Prophet against those who perform negligently the functions prescribed for divine worship apply rigidly to the ministers who celebrate Mass with irreverence. In order then that the Priest may avoid so great a fault, and the divine malediction consequent on it, let us remind him in the Introduction to this work what he ought to do before celebrating, while celebrating, and after having celebrated. All may be reduced to these three points: 1st, Preparation; 2nd, Reverence and Exactness; 3rd, Thanksgiving.
1. The Preparation is remote and immediate; the remote consists in the pure and virtuous life, which should be led by the Priest, in order that he may celebrate worthily. Therefore, his acts, his words, his thoughts should breathe of purity, that he may be fit to celebrate with proper dispositions. If he who handled the sacred vessels of old should be pure, how much more so must the Priest be, who bears in his hands and in his breast the Incarnate Word of God? This purity of life consists, first, in preserving himself undefiled from every sin, not only mortal, as he is necessarily bound to—but also, to secure greater purity, every deliberate venial sin, and even from every affection to venial sin; and secondly, it consists in applying himself most diligently and constantly to the acquisition of every virtue. “Qui justus est, justificetur adhuc, et sanctus, sanctificetur adhuc” (Apoc. xxii. ii). For the immediate preparation, mental prayer is requisite. The venerable John of Avila prescribes an hour and a half; St. Alphonsus reduces the time of immediate preparation to half an hour, and even to a quarter; but he adds, indeed, a quarter of an hour is too little. The Passion of Jesus Christ should be the continual thought of the Priest. Having finished his meditation it is meet he should recollect himself for some time before proceeding to celebrate, and consider the great action he is about to perform. He should seriously ponder, says St. Augustine, these four thoughts: “Cui offeratur, a quo offeratur, quid offeratur, pro quibus offeratur.” On entering the sacristy, he should say with St. Bernard: “Worldly affections and solicitudes, wait here until I have celebrated Mass.” The Priest should likewise consider that he is about to call from heaven to earth the Word Incarnate, to sacrifice Him anew to the eternal Father, to be fed with His sacred flesh; he should in fine, reflect upon his most serious responsibility in becoming at the altar the mediator between God and man.
2. Reverence and Exactness.—It is necessary in celebrating, to manifest all the reverence due to so great a sacrifice. This reverence means that due attention be paid to the words of the Mass, and that all the ceremonies prescribed by the Rubrics be exactly observed. As to the attention, the Priest sins by willful distractions while saying Mass; and these willful distractions, if occurring at the consecration of the sacred species, or during a notable portion of the Canon are, according to a large body of theologians, mortal sins. It is not considered possible that a Priest so acting could fulfil what is prescribed by the Rubric in these words: “Sacerdos maxime curare debet ut . . . distincte et apposite proferat . . . non admodum festinanter, ut advertere possit quae legit.” Exactness regards the fulfilment of the ceremonies enjoined by the Rubrics, in the celebration of the Divine Sacrifice. The Bull of St. Pius V., found in the beginning of the Missal, strictly commands that the Mass be celebrated according to the rite of the Missal, so that no willful omission, even though it be trivial, of what is prescribed for the actual celebration of Mass, whether in word or in action, can be excused from the guilt of, at least, venial sin. It is commonly held this does not apply to what we have said of the preparation for the sacrifice and thanksgiving after it. Words half pronounced, genuflections half formed, incomplete signs, and confused and hurried actions, may lead to grave sacrilege. There are some who hurry over the Mass in such a way that the interrogation might be put regarding them which Tertullian used for another purpose: “Sacrificat, an insultat?” Of such ministers it might be said they are not Priests but executioners, who insult the Passion of Jesus Christ; they are perfidious Jews, who, instead of pleading for pardon, bring upon their souls everlasting malediction. Add to this the scandal given by him who celebrates without devotion. The people respected our Divine Saviour in the beginning of His public life, but when they saw Him despised by the priests they lost all reverence for Him, and cried out for His death. The greater number of authors, including Benedict XIV., Clement IX., and other very learned Pontiffs, declare that the celebration of the Sacrifice of the Mass should not occupy more than half an hour, nor less than the third part of an hour. Such a space of time is prudently considered sufficient, both to secure a due and reverent celebration and to prevent weariness on the part of those assisting. Whoever fails herein merits reprehension; but he who gets through the Mass in a less space of time than a quarter of an hour is, as St. Alphonsus holds, guilty of mortal sin.
3. Fervour in Thanksgiving after Mass is a sure proof that the Priest has offered the Sacrifice with a heart animated with holy affections. If he has celebrated, with the fire of the love of God it will not be easily extinguished in him. Every benefit claims its acknowledgment. Now, let us consider what gratitude is due to God by the Priest who has been just permitted to say Mass! “Oh! what an abuse and what a shame,” cries out St. Alphonsus, “to behold so many Priests who, after having celebrated Holy Mass, after having received from God the honour of offering to Him in sacrifice His own Divine Son, and after having been fed with His most Sacred Body, with tongues still purpled with His most Precious Blood, having hurried over some short prayers coldly and inattentively, commence immediately to discourse of useless things or of worldly business; or else go forth carrying about the streets Jesus Christ, who is still reposing in their breasts under the sacramental species.” With such might we deal, as the Venerable John of Avila once did with a Priest who left the church immediately after having celebrated. He sent two clerics, bearing lighted torches, to attend him, and they, when asked by the Priest what they meant, replied: “We accompany the Blessed Sacrament which you carry in your breast.” Alas! How sad: and yet this is the fittest and most precious time to treat of our eternal salvation and to gain new treasures of grace. This is the propitious hour in which we should present to our Saviour devout offerings and thank Him for the privileges just conferred. After Communion, as St. Teresa says, let us not lose so good an opportunity of treating with God, since His Divine Majesty is not wont to reward sparingly him from whom He receives a hearty welcome.
As long as the Sacramental Species remain every act of virtue possesses greater value and merit, because of the strict union which then exists between the soul and Jesus Christ, as He Himself declared: “Qui manducat meam carnem et bibit meum sanguinem, in me manet et ego in illo.” Therefore acts performed at this time have the highest degree of efficacy and value, for, says St. Chrysostom; “Ipsa re nos in suum efficit corpus.” Jesus places Himself in the soul as on a throne, and He seems to say to her, as He formerly did to the man born blind, “Quid tibi vis faciam?” . . . Would it not then be most advisable that every Priest should entertain Himself with Jesus Christ for half an hour after Mass, says St. Alphonsus; or even for a quarter of an hour?
The first portion of the time of thanksgiving should be devoted by the Priest to the recital, more with his heart than with his lips, of the customary prayers proposed by the Church, which are found in all Missals and Breviaries. The second part should be spent in loving communion with Jesus, in sentiments of adoration, of thanksgiving, of oblation, and of supplication. The Priest should pray for himself and for the Church; he should pray for all the people in general, and in particular for those of his own diocese, of his country ; for his relatives; for the living and for the dead; for all the members of the Catholic Church; particularly for those under his own charge (parishioners, penitents, etc.); he should pray for all, that all may come to know, to love, and to serve God on earth, and so afterwards to glorify Him with the angels and saints in Heaven.
Thursday, August 8, 2019
“The reputation of sanctity which surrounds the name of M. Vianney makes all commendation superfluous. A common consent seems to have numbered him, even while living, among the servants of God… It would seem as if God were dealing with us now as He dealt with the world in the beginning of the Gospel.
To the corrupt intellectual refinement of Greece and Rome, He opposed the illiterate sanctity of the Apostles; to the spiritual miseries of this age He opposes the simplicity of a man who in learning hardly complied with the conditions required for Holy Orders, but, like the B. John Colombini and St. Francis of Assisi, drew the souls of men to him by the irresistible power of a supernatural life. It is a wholesome rebuke to the intellectual pride of this age, inflated by science, that God has chosen from the midst of the learned, as His instrument of surpassing works of grace upon the hearts of men, one of the least cultivated of the pastors of His Church.” ~Abbé Monnin
“You cannot begin to speak of St. John Mary Vianney without automatically calling to mind the picture of a priest who was outstanding in a unique way in voluntary affliction of his body; his only motives were the love of God and the desire for the salvation of the souls of his neighbors, and this led him to abstain almost completely from food and from sleep, to carry out the harshest kinds of penances, and to deny himself with great strength of soul. Of course, not all of the faithful are expected to adopt this kind of life; and yet divine providence has seen to it that there has never been a time when the Church did not have some pastors of souls of this kind who, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, did not hesitate for a moment to enter on this path, most of all because this way of life is particularly successful in bringing many men who have been drawn away by the allurement of error and vice back to the path of good living.” ~John XXIII
“In a word, the one great truth taught us by the whole history of the Curé of Ars is the all-sufficiency of supernatural sanctity. A soul inhabited by the Holy Ghost becomes His instrument and His organ in the salvation of men. To such a sanctity the smallness of natural gifts is no hindrance, and the greatest intellectual power without it does little in the order of grace; for souls are to be won to God, as God created and redeemed them – by love and by compassion; and it was this which shone forth with a surpassing splendor in all the life of this great servant of Jesus, and concealed even the wonderful gifts of discernment and supernatural power with which he was endowed.” ~Abbé Monnin
“The Spirit of God had been pleased to engrave on the heart of this holy priest all that he was to know and to teach to others; and it was the more deeply engraved, as that heart was the more pure, the more detached, and empty of the vain science of men; like a clean and polished block of marble, ready for the tool of the sculptor. The faith of the Curé of Ars was his whole science; his book was Our Lord Jesus Christ. He sought for wisdom nowhere but in Jesus Christ, in His death and in His cross. To him no other wisdom was true, no other wisdom useful.” ~Abbé Monnin
Tuesday, August 6, 2019
Thursday, February 7, 2019
ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEATH OF BL. POPE PIUS IX
Today marks the anniversary of the death of Bl. Pope Pius IX, who reigned as Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church for 32 years – from 1846 to 1878. It is very difficult to visit the Eternal City and not see a bust, a statue, a coat of arms, a painting or a portrait of this magnificent Pope who gloriously filled the Chair of Peter during extremely turbulent and violent times.
During his pontificate, he drew the line of demarcation between the Church of God and the world of Satan, between what was Catholic and what was anti-Catholic. Immediately after his election in 1846, Pius IX became Rome’s chief object of attraction. He became the most popular and esteemed Pope, especially during the long years of suffering, for which the very prophetically apt title of “CRUX DE CRUCE” was chosen for him.
“So far as ceremonial was concerned, nothing could be more gorgeous than the services at St. Peter’s as conducted by Pope Pius IX. For such duties no one could be better fitted; for he was handsome, kindly, and dignified, with a beautiful, singing voice… At the close of the service, the Pope, being borne on his throne by Roman nobles, surrounded by Cardinals and Princes, and wearing the triple crown, gave his blessing to the city and to the world. There must have been over ten thousands of us in the piazza to receive it, and no one could have performed his part more perfectly.”
~ Andrew Dickson White
His works of charity were well-known during his lifetime. His person (and his pontificate) added to the glory of Rome – that seat of the universal empire that conquered and transformed much of the known world in all aspects. Rome was made even greater and more glorious when Pius reigned in Rome. The Eternal City, baptized in the blood of the martyrs and made stronger through persecution, became more celebrated under the reign of Pope Pius IX, the father of Christendom.
“I have seen many pious priests in the performance of their sacred functions; but never before did I behold a countenance more intensely expressive of piety, or so illumined with the heavenly brightness which outwardly manifests the working of the spirit within. It seemed as if it were suffused with a light from above. Heart, and mind, and soul appeared to be absorbed, as they really were, in the sacred ceremonies in which he assisted; and not for a second's space did his attention wander from his devotions. He communed as truly with his God in the midst of that splendid crowd, and with hundreds of eager eyes riveted upon him, as if he were kneeling in his private chamber, and asking for another day of strength to meet the difficulties of his exalted but perilous position.”
“There have been great and illustrious pontificates in the history of the Church, pontificates that stand prominently forth by the personal holiness of the Pope and the great works he accomplished for the Church of God, or the great sufferings he underwent in her defense. These pontificates mark distinct epochs in ecclesiastical history; and with them posterity will range the remarkable reign of Pius IX.
The length of years during which Divine Providence has sustained him in his eminent position; the personal sanctity which breathes forth in all his actions; the zeal with which he has met the spirit of an unbelieving age, that seeks to destroy alike the organization and the faith of the Church; the defining of an article of faith called for by the piety of a world, the convoking of a general council, the heroism and serenity displayed amid the vicissitudes and misfortunes that have chequered his career; exile, spoliation, imprisonment; a great heart afflicted by the sight of the evils visited on those who adhered to him and to the cause of God; all these conspire to invest Pius IX and his pontificate with a halo peculiarly his own.”
~The Life of Pius IX
“To the Clergy and People of Rome:
The majesty of the omnipotent God has recalled to himself the sovereign pontiff Pius IX, of blessed memory, according to the sad news just imparted to us by the most eminent Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church, to whom it belongs to make known to the public the death of the Roman pontiffs.
At such an announcement, the Catholic people in every part of the world, devoted to the great and apostolic virtues of the immortal pontiff and his sovereign magnanimity, will weep. But, above all, are we most supremely sorrowful; we, O Romans! Since today has unhappily terminated the most extraordinary and glorious pontificate which God has ever conceded to his vicars upon earth.
His life as pontiff and as sovereign was a series of widespread benefits as well in the spiritual as in the temporal order, diffused over all the churches and nations, and in a most particular manner upon his Rome, where at every step monuments of the munificence of the lamented pontiff and father are met with.
In accordance with the sacred canons, in all the cities and important places solemn obsequies and suffrages for the soul of the departed pontiff should be made until the Holy Apostolic See be provided with a new head, and prayers should be made to the Divine Majesty for the speedy election of a successor to the deceased, whom we can never sufficiently lament.”
Given from our residence, the 7th of February, 1878.
R. Card. Monaco, Vicar
Placido can. Petacci, Secretary