By the Greatness of the Beauty

March 20, 2018

For by the greatness of the beauty, and of the creature, 

the Creator of them may be seen, so as to be known thereby (Wisdom 13:5). 


Happy Spring 2018! God bless you & yours.

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Saint Patrick

March 17, 2018

The manifold virtues by which the early saints were distinguished shone forth in all their perfection in the life of St. Patrick. When not engaged in the work of the sacred ministry, his whole time was spent in prayer. Many times in the day he armed himself with the sign of the Cross. He never relaxed his penitential exercises. Clothed in a rough hair-shirt, he made the hard rock his bed. His disinterestedness is specially commemorated. Countless converts of high rank would cast their precious ornaments at his feet, but all were restored to them. He had not come to Erin in search of material wealth, but to enrich her with the priceless treasures of the Catholic Faith.

From time to time he withdrew from the spiritual duties of his apostolate to devote himself wholly to prayer and penance. One of his chosen places of solitude and retreat was the island of Lough Derg, which, to our own day, has continued to be a favourite resort of pilgrims, and it is known as St. Patrick’s Purgatory.

Another theatre of his miraculous power and piety and penitential austerities in the west of Ireland merits particular attention. In the far west of Connaught there is a range of tall mountains, which, arrayed in rugged majesty, bid defiance to the waves and storms of the Atlantic. At the head of this range arises a stately cone in solitary grandeur, about 4000 feet in height, facing Clew Bay, and casting its shadow over the adjoining districts of Aghagower and Westport. This mountain was known in pagan times as the Eagle Mountain, but ever since Ireland was enlightened with the light of Faith it is known as Croagh Patrick, i.e. St. Patrick’s mountain, and is honoured as the Holy Hill, the Mount Sinai, of Ireland.

St. Patrick, in obedience to his guardian angel, made this mountain his hallowed place of retreat. In imitation of the great Jewish legislator on Sinai, he spent forty days on its summit in fasting and prayer, and other penitential exercises. His only shelter from the fury of the elements, the wind and rain, the hail and snow, was a cave, or recess, in the solid rock; and the flagstone on which he rested his weary limbs at night is still pointed out. The whole purpose of his prayer was to obtain special blessings and mercy for the Irish race, whom he evangelized. The demons that made Ireland their battlefield mustered all their strength to tempt the saint and disturb him in his solitude, and turn him away, if possible, from his pious purpose. They gathered around the hill in the form of vast flocks of hideous birds of prey. So dense were their ranks that they seemed to cover the whole mountain, like a cloud, and they so filled the air that Patrick could see neither sky nor earth nor ocean. St. Patrick besought God to scatter the demons, but for a time it would seem as if his prayers and tears were in vain. At length he rang his sweet-sounding bell, symbol of his preaching of the Divine truths. Its sound was heard all over the valleys and hills of Erin, everywhere bringing peace and joy. The flocks of demons began to scatter. He flung his bell among them; they took to precipitate flight, and cast themselves into the ocean. So complete was the saint’s victory over them that, as the ancient narrative adds, “for seven years no evil thing was to be found in Ireland.”

The saint, however, would not, as yet, descend from the mountain. He had vanquished the demons, but he would now wrestle with God Himself, like Jacob of old, to secure the spiritual interests of his people. The angel had announced to him that, to reward his fidelity in prayer and penance, as many of his people would be gathered into heaven as would cover the land and sea as far as his vision could reach. Far more ample, however, were the aspirations of the saint, and he resolved to persevere in fasting and prayer until the fullest measure of his petition was granted. Again and again the angel came to comfort him, announcing new concessions; but all these would not suffice. He would not relinquish his post on the mountain, or relax his penance, until all were granted.

At length the message came that his prayers were heard:

  • many souls would be free from the pains of purgatory through his intercession;
  • whoever in the spirit of penance would recite his hymn before death would attain the heavenly reward;
  • barbarian hordes would never obtain sway in his Church;
  • seven years before the Judgement Day, the sea would spread over Ireland to save its people from the temptations and terrors of the Antichrist; and
  • greatest blessing of all, Patrick himself should be deputed to judge the whole Irish race on the last day.

Such were the extraordinary favors which St. Patrick, with his wrestling with the Most High, his unceasing prayers, his unconquerable love of heavenly things, and his unremitting penitential deeds, obtained for the people whom he evangelized.


The beautiful prayer of St. Patrick, popularly known as “St. Patrick’s Breast-Plate”, is supposed to have been composed by him in preparation for this victory over Paganism. The following is a literal translation from the old Irish text:

I bind to myself today

The strong virtue of the Invocation of the Trinity:

I believe the Trinity in the Unity

The Creator of the Universe.

I bind to myself today

The virtue of the Incarnation of Christ with His Baptism,

The virtue of His crucifixion with His burial,

The virtue of His Resurrection with His Ascension,

The virtue of His coming on the Judgement Day.

I bind to myself today

The virtue of the love of seraphim,

In the obedience of angels,

In the hope of resurrection unto reward,

In prayers of Patriarchs,

In predictions of Prophets,

In preaching of Apostles,

In faith of Confessors,

In purity of holy Virgins,

In deeds of righteous men.

I bind to myself today

The power of Heaven,

The light of the sun,

The brightness of the moon,

The splendour of fire,

The flashing of lightning,

The swiftness of wind,

The depth of sea,

The stability of earth,

The compactness of rocks.

I bind to myself today

God’s Power to guide me,

God’s Might to uphold me,

God’s Wisdom to teach me,

God’s Eye to watch over me,

God’s Ear to hear me,

God’s Word to give me speech,

God’s Hand to guide me,

God’s Way to lie before me,

God’s Shield to shelter me,

God’s Host to secure me,

Against the snares of demons,

Against the seductions of vices,

Against the lusts of nature,

Against everyone who meditates injury to me,

Whether far or near,

Whether few or with many.

I invoke today all these virtues

Against every hostile merciless power

Which may assail my body and my soul,

Against the incantations of false prophets,

Against the black laws of heathenism,

Against the false laws of heresy,

Against the deceits of idolatry,

Against the spells of women, and smiths, and druids,

Against every knowledge that binds the soul of man.

Christ, protect me today

Against every poison, against burning,

Against drowning, against death-wound,

That I may receive abundant reward.

Christ with me, Christ before me,

Christ behind me, Christ within me,

Christ beneath me, Christ above me,

Christ at my right, Christ at my left,

Christ in the fort,

Christ in the chariot seat,

Christ in the poop [deck],

Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,

Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks to me,

Christ in every eye that sees me,

Christ in every ear that hears me.

I bind to myself today

The strong virtue of an invocation of the Trinity,

I believe the Trinity in the Unity

The Creator of the Universe.

Moran, Patrick Francis Cardinal. “St. Patrick,” The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 11 (New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911) <>.

See for a beautiful icon of Saint Patrick.

Saint Patrick, Apostle of Ireland, pray for us!



Originally posted 3/17/2018

Stop Abortion Now!

March 17, 2018

Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law:

You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish.75

God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and men must carry it out in a manner worthy of themselves. Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes.76

75. Didache 2,2:ÆCh 248,148; cf. Ep. Bárnabae 19,5:PG 2 777; Ad D 5,6:PG 2,1173; Tertullian, Apol. 19:PL 1,319-320.

76. GS 51 § 3.

Pope St. John Paul II, Catechism of the Catholic Church §2271

What are you doing to stop abortion?


Originally posted 3/14/2018

Dionysius the Carthusian

March 12, 2018

As Blessed Dionysius is one of the patrons of this blog, it is necessary to include a little information about him on March 12, the day he entered Heavenly bliss in 1471. I do not have a beautiful novena prayer, litany, or prayer for his canonization, but let this suffice for today:

The immense literary activity of Denys had never been detrimental to his spirit of prayer. On the contrary he always found in study a powerful help to contemplation; the more he knew, the more he loved. While still a novice he had ecstasies which lasted two or three hours, and later on they lasted sometimes seven hours and more. Indeed, towards the end of his life he could not hear the singing of “Veni Sancte Spiritus” or some verses of the Psalms, nor converse on certain devotional subjects without being lifted off the ground in a rapture of Divine love. Hence posterity has surnamed him “Doctor ecstaticus”. During his ecstasies many things were revealed to him which he made known only when it could profit others, and the same may be said of what he learnt from the souls in purgatory, who appeared to him very frequently, seeking relief through his powerful intercession. Loving souls as he did, it is no wonder that he should have become odious to the great hater of souls. His humility responded to his learning, and his mortification, especially with regard to food and sleep, far excelled what the generality of men can attain to. It is true that in point of physical austerities, virtue was assisted by a strong constitution, for he was a man of athletic build and had, as he said, “an iron head and a brazen stomach”.

During the last two years of his life he suffered intensely and with heroic patience from paralysis, stone, and other infirmities. He had been a monk for forty-eight years when he died at the age of sixty-nine. Upon his remains being disinterred one hundred and thirty-seven years after, day for day (12 March, 1608), his skull emitted a sweet perfume and the fingers he had most used in writing, i.e. the thumb and forefinger of the right hand, were found in a perfect state of preservation. Although the cause of his beatification has never yet been introduced, St. Francis de Sales, St. Alphonsus Liguori, and other writers of note style him “Blessed”; his life is in the “Acta Sanctorum” of the Bollandists (12 March), and his name is to be found in many martyrologies. An accurate edition of all his works still extant, which will comprise forty-one quarto volumes, is now being issued by the Carthusian Press at Tournai, Belgium.

Edmund Gurdon, “Denys the Carthusian,” The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 4 (New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908) <>.

D. A. Mougel mentions the following martyrologies: “Molanus, Natales Sanct. Belgii, XII Martii; Raissius, Auctarium ad Natal., id.; Miræus, Fasti Belgici; Canisius, Martyrol. German.; Balinghem, Calend. Marian.; Ferrarius, Catal. gen. Sanct.; Du Saussay, Martyr. Gallic.; Willot, Martyr. Gallo-Belge; Bolland., Acta Sanct.; etc.” [Denys le Chartreux, 1402-1471. Sa vie, son rôle, une nouvelle édition de ses ouvrages (Montreuil-sur-Mer : Imprimerie de la Chartreuse de N.-D. des Prés, 1896), 73 <>].

For the Opera Omnia of Blessed Dionysius, see and

“For the greater glory of God, the spread of [his] devotion, and the consolation of those who trust in [Dionysius],” call on him for favors and pray for his canonization (cf. Fr. Lawrence Lovasik, Treasury of Novenas, Novena Prayer to Saint Rita of Cascia, 254).

More details to follow, God willing.

Bienheureux Denys, priez pour nous!

Image: Porträt eines Kartäusers (Portrait of a Carthusian) by Petrus Christ (1446) via Wikimedia Commons

Bloody and Unbloody Sacrifice

March 11, 2018

Christ shall never more offer Himself in sacrifice, in that violent, painful, and bloody manner, nor can there be any occasion for it: since by that one sacrifice upon the cross, He has furnished the full ransom, redemption, and remedy for all the sins of the world. But this hinders not that He may offer himself daily in the sacred mysteries in an unbloody manner, for the daily application of that one sacrifice of redemption to our souls.

Bishop Richard Challoner, note on Hebrews 9:25 (

Image credit: ?

Originally published 3/11/2018


St. Dominic: Champion of Truth and Enemy of Heresy

March 6, 2018

St. Dominic during his whole career was the champion of truth, and, as such, the determined enemy of heresy. To deny this would be to rob him of one of his chief glories; but to regard the assertion of this fact as equivalent to an admission of his want of humanity, argues a certain confusion of ideas, and the loss in some degree of the sense of what is meant by religious truth. This result has no doubt been produced in many minds by the spread among us of modern liberal ideas, and we need to be reminded that so far from the hatred of heresy being opposed to true charity, it is a necessary part of that love of souls which flows from the love of God. The Saint who “studied only in the book of charity,” who was “the lover of souls,” because he was “the friend of Jesus Christ,” who is invoked as “the most kind Father, Dominic,” distinguished even among the saints for his “matchless serenity,” and for the tender love that flowed from him as from “a well-spring of sweetness,” hated heresy out of the very fulness of his love for souls; and the word VERITAS, which has become the motto of his Order, was in his eyes but another form of the yet sweeter word CHARITAS. This truth, dimmed though it may have become in our own age and country, is the real key to the character of St. Dominic, and of all other Saints in whom this enmity to that which opposes the truth is an integral portion of their love of God ; a Divine instinct, marking their allegiance to His Supreme Sovereignty, and one which can alone explain both their heroic labours in defence of the faith, and the tears they wept over souls perishing in error.

Augusta Theodosia Drane, The History of St. Dominic, Founder of the Friars Preachers (New York: 15 East 16th Street, 1891), ix-x ( – the image is from the same book


I beg you, brethren, to help me become a worthy son of St. Dominic.


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Go! Renew the Church

March 3, 2018

Ite! Ecclesiam Renovare.

Bring people to the Mass of All Time – the Traditional Latin Mass! Pray the Rosary every day. Get enrolled in the Brown Scapular and have Catholic friends do the same. Give the Miraculous Medal and a good Examination of Conscience to everyone you can!

Quote via Mother Mary Francis, P.C.C., Forth and Abroad (Ignatius Press, 1997), 139


Originally posted 1/1/2018