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Friday, January 2, 2015

 The Infant of Prague

Infant Jesus of Prague given by Princess Polyxena von Lobkowicz to the Discalced Carmelites in 1628, in the Carmelite Church of Our Lady Victorious in Prague. Photo by JayarathinaInfant Jesus of Prague given by Princess Polyxena von Lobkowicz to the Discalced Carmelites in 1628, in the Carmelite Church of Our Lady Victorious in Prague. Photo by Jayarathina

Its earliest history can be traced back to Prague in the year 1628 when the small, 19-inch high, wooden and coated wax statue of the Infant Jesus was given by Princess Polyxena von Lobkowicz (1566–1642) to the Discalced Carmelites, to whom she had become greatly attached. The princess had received the statue as a wedding gift (1603) from her mother, Maria Maximiliana Manrique de Lara y Mendoza, wife of Vratislav of Pernstyn, Chancellor of the Czech Kingdom (1530-1582), who also had received the statue as a wedding gift (1555) and who had brought It from her homeland of Spain to Lobkowicz Palace in Bohemia. An old legend in the Lobkowicz family insists that Doña María had been given the statue by Saint Teresa of Avila herself.

In 1628, Princess Polyxena von Lobkowicz presented the statue to the Carmelite friars. Upon presenting the statue, the pious Princess Polyxena is said to have uttered a prophetic statement to the religious: “Venerable Fathers, I bring you my dearest possession. Honour this image and you shall never want”. The statue was placed in the oratory of the monastery of Our Lady of Victory, Prague, where special devotions to the Infant Jesus were offered twice a day. Upon hearing of the Carmelites’ devotions and needs, the Emperor Ferdinand II of the House of Habsburg sent along 2,000 florins and a monthly stipend for their support.

The Statue remains on display in the Church of Our Lady Victorious in Prague, where It attracts thousands of visitors each year. A copy of the Infant Jesus of Prague is on permanent display in the Lobkowicz Palace Museum.

The Infant had always been dressed in splendid gowns, decorated with precious jewels. The oldest extant gown was presented to the Infant Jesus by the Emperor Ferdinand III. In His collection the Infant Jesus has more than a hundred precious dresses and some of them can be seem in the Cathedral’s museum. The Infant Jesus is dressed in the royal dress with an ermine mantle only during coronation ceremonies.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

To Anonymous:
Thank you for your interest in times for Holy Mass.  I can publish times but I need to know where you are located.  If you are in the Milwaukee area and would be attending Our Lady of the Rosary in Waubeka, Mass will be on Jan 1 at 5:00 pm.  If you are elsewhere, please contact Bishop Giles at and ask about the different locations.  Thank you also for reading our humble little blog!  Blessed Christmas Season to you!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Nativity (10 pack)
Behold the dear Infant Jesus, and adore Him fervently. Contemplate
His poverty, and humility, in imitation of His most holy Mother and of
Saint Joseph. Repose near Him as sweetly as you can, He will not fail to love
your heart, void as you find it of tenderness and feeling. Nothing will be
wanting to you, since you will be in the presence of that holy Infant.
Abide there, and learn of Him how meek and humble He is, how simple
and amiable. See how lovingly He has written your name in the
depth of His Divine Heart, which beats on that couch of straw from the
impassioned zeal it has for our advancement, and heaves not one single sigh
unto His Father in which you have not a part, nor a single movement of His
spirit except for your happiness.
--Saint Francis de Sales

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
From “The St. Andrew Daily Missal” (1937)

Immaculate-Conception-1650 Jose-Antolinez 
    Having decided from all eternity to make Mary Mother of the Incarnate
Word (Epistle), God willed that she should crush the head of the serpent
from the moment of her conception. He covered her “with a  mantle of
holiness” (Introit) and, “preserving her soul from all stain, He made
her a worthy dwelling place for His Son” (Collect). The feast of the
“Conception” of the Virgin was, from the eighth century, celebrated in
the East on December 9th, from the ninth century in Ireland and May 3rd,
and in the eleventh century in England on December 8th. The Benedictines
with St. Anselm, and the Franciscans with Duns Scotus (1308) favoured the
feast of the “Immaculate Conception,”
which in 1128 was kept in
Anglo-Saxon monasteries. In the fifteenth century Pope Sixtus IV, a
Franciscan, erected at the Vatican the Sistine Chapel in honour of the
Conception of the Virgin. And on December 8th, 1854, Pius IX officially
proclaimed this great dogma, making himself the mouthpiece of all the
Christian tradition summed up in the words of the Angel: “Hail Mary, full
of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou among women: (Gospel) “
Thou art all beautiful, O Mary, and the original stain is not in thee “
says in truth the alleluia verse. Like the dawn which announces the day,
Mary precedes the Sun of Justice which will soon illumine the world of
souls. Bringing to us her Son, it is she who first appears in the
liturgical cycle. Let us ask God “to heal us and to deliver us from all
our sins” (Secret, Postcommunion) in order that by the graces which
specially belong to the feast of the “Immaculate” we may become more
worthy of receiving Jesus in our hearts when He comes into them on December

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

On Protestant Proselytism in Rome (1900)
Apostolic Letter of His Holiness Pope Leo XIII, in which he laments and condemns the preaching and proselytism of Protestants in the city of Rome, Italy.

To M. Pietro Cardinal Respighi, our Vicar General,

Lord Cardinal,

Already, from the first moments of Our Pontificate, We had to indicate, as one of the most deplorable harm that is the change in the order of things in this capital of the Catholic world, the ardent proselytism of heresy and, consequently, the peril which the Faith of Our people was exposed to. And on this subject, We having put forward to Our Cardinal Vicar [1], We have on numerous occasions imparted exhortations, counsels and warnings to the faithful, to warn them against the multiple attempts that sects of all kinds, coming from foreign lands, would exercise here under the umbrella of public laws, in order to spread in the souls of the faithful the poison of denial and error.

However, if on the one hand, We are happy to recognize that Our word, assisted by uninterrupted attention, did not fail to yield good results, on the other hand, We are constrained to confess that — the boldness of the enemies of the Catholic religion having redoubled, thanks to the support that came to them from outside — the evil, far from diminishing, went on increasing, especially in these latter times. It is thus necessary, Lord Cardinal, to revisit this most unpleasant and important subject, which is so intimately linked to the duties and to the rights of Our apostolic ministry and to the loving and paternal love We feel towards Our people of Rome.

It is now well known to everyone by the evidence of the facts that the plan conceived by the heretical sects, multiform emanations of Protestantism, is to raise the standard of discord and religious rebellion in the peninsula [of Italy], but mostly in this noble city [of Rome] which God Himself, admirably ordaining the events, established as the center of this fecund and sublime unity, the object of which was the prayer addressed by our divine Savior to His heavenly Father (John 17:11,21), which was jealously guarded by the Popes, even unto the price of their life, despite the oppositions of men and the vicissitudes of time. After having destroyed in their respective homeland, by opposite and discordant systems, the venerable and ancient beliefs that were part of the sacred deposit of revelation; after having scattered the icy breath of doubt in the souls of their spectators, of division and incredulity — immense ruin that We deplore and of which We are touched by compassion in the bottom of Our heart, for We see in each of these creatures the sons of the same Father, redeemed by the same Blood — these sects have thus introduced themselves into the chosen vineyard of the Lord, with the objective to pursue their disastrous task. Not being able to count on the strength of truth, they reap the benefit, in order to extinguish or at least to reduce the Catholic faith in souls, in the young and helpless, the culturally inadequate, the distressed and the needy, simple people who are accessible to flatteries, to lures, and to seductions.

Being made aware of this fact, before anything We suffer the need to confess, as We have done so on other occasions, just how exasperating is the condition imposed upon the head of the Catholic Church, forced to observe the free and progressive development of the heresy in this holy city, from which must shine forth on the world the light of truth and of good example, and which should be the respected See of the Vicar of Jesus Christ. As if this didn’t suffice, to corrupt the mind and heart of the people, from a torrent of unwholesome doctrines and depravations that spring forth with impunity on a daily basis, from professor’s chairs, from theaters, from newspapers, there had to be addedd to all these causes of perversion the insidious labor of heretical men which, fighting amongst themselves, are but of one accord to inveigh against the Supreme Pontifical Magisterium, the Catholic clergy, and the dogmas of our holy religion, of which they know not the meaning and much less appreciate its august beauty. 
From which it follows that the faithful, who, from all regions, even the most remote, flock in pilgrimage to Rome to find comfort to their piety and to their Faith, must remain profoundly saddened as they gaze down on the ground, soaked as it is by the blood of martyrs, invaded by sects of all kinds, whose sole worry is to tear away from the soul of the people this religion that was declared the religion of the state and that is the principal object of their love and worship.

You will thus easily understand, Lord Cardinal, how painful this sad state of affairs is to Our heart and how keen is Our desire to witness the appropriate remedies that will, if not entirely extricate the evil, at least severely diminish its gravity and its bitterness. This is why We were greatly comforted by the founding of a distinguished organization, to which We have Ourselves given the inspiration and impetus and which is called Preservation of the Faith, even more so by the satisfying results that it started to gain, thanks to the inextinguishable zeal of both those who lead it and are part of it.

It is Our wish, Lord Cardinal, counting on your usual and well-known activity, that this salutary work, so well adapted to the present needs, should sustain, reinforce, and propagate to the point of constituting an efficient and powerful defense against the aforementioned peril. First of all, a firm and constant support will have to be supplied by the parochial clergy of Rome; hard-working, zealous, and modest, upon whom the care and responsibility of souls is chiefly incumbent; vitality, strength, and expansion will be further added, thanks to the Catholic laity of this town, which are always ready to bring their intelligent and charitable contributions wherever the interests of religion and the material and moral well-being of their neighbor is at stake.

For everyone, may the principal worry be to strengthen the character of the Catholic people, inspiring noble and holy intentions, at the same time preventing carelessness in which, under the guise of innocent assemblies for young people, conferences for young girls, foreign-language courses, growth of culture, and subsidies to poor families, lies hidden a criminal purpose to insinuate in the minds and hearts the reprobate maxims of heresy.

May all the faithful be thoroughly imbued with this truth that nothing can be more precious to them than this treasure that is their Faith, for which their forefathers confronted without fear, not only miseries and deprivations, but also often violent persecutions and even death. Such a sense of strength cannot but be natural and profound in our population that knows all too well that, not only does the Catholic Church possess the divine seal that distinguishes it as the only true one, the only one which received the promises of life immortal, but has spread again at all times her incomparable blessings on Rome, on Italy, and on all the world, subduing the onslaught of barbarism with the justice of her laws and the meekness of her mores, spreading, as St. Leo the Great (Serm. I, in Natali SS. Petri et Pauli) said so well, the dominion of Christian peace well beyond the explored confines by the Roman eagles, salvaging literature, libraries, intellectual culture, monuments; inspiring all orders of science and art; coming to the aid of the weak, the poor, the oppressed, with the generosity of love and with magnanimity of sacrifice and of heroism.

It is why We nourish the confidence that none of the Romans, who are the most privileged sons of the Catholic Church, will ever want, for any human interest whatsoever, to separate himself from this most tender Mother that, after having given him birth in grace, never ceased to surround him by her most affectionate solicitudes: of which we are also equally persuaded that those generous Catholics who founded and propagated the aforementioned organization called Preservation of the Faith, will never give themselves to respite or rest as long as eternal salvation is in jeopardy, should it be so for one soul, showing thusly by the very fact, if the enemies of the religion are stronger by the quantity of riches, the former will vanquish by the fullness of their charity.

As a token of divine favor for bringing this grave task to a happy end, We grant with all our heart, Lord Cardinal, to the promoters of this pious endeavor and to all those who will favor it, the Apostolic Benediction.

Leo XIII, Pope.
From the Vatican, this 19th day of August, 1900.

[1] A reference made to the Pontifical Letters addressed to the Cardinal Vicar, on June 26, 1878 and March 25, 1879.
Source: “Lettre de S.S. Léon XIII sur le prosélytisme protestant à Rome”, August 19, 1900. [“Letter of His Holiness Leo XIII on Protestant Proselytism in Rome.”] Taken from Lettres Apostoliques de S.S. Léon XIII: Encycliques, Brefs, etc., Book VI (Paris: Maison de la Bonne Presse, n.d.), pp. 142-145. Translation into English by Novus Ordo Watch.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

6 Interesting Catholic Thanksgiving Facts You Need to Know

When you’re sitting down for that wonderful feast on Thursday, here are 6 interesting Catholic Thanksgiving Facts you can share with your family. Print them out and read them aloud over some pumpkin (or pecan) pie!
The history books will tell you that the first Thanksgiving was celebrated by the Protestant pilgrims of Massachusetts in 1621. Not so. There was the Catholic Thanksgiving of 1565 in Florida and another Catholic Thanksgiving of 1589 in Texas.
First Catholic Thanksgiving
  1. The first American Thanksgiving was actually celebrated on September 8 (feast of the birth of the Blessed Virgin) in 1565 in St. Augustine, Florida. The Native Americans and Spanish settlers held a feast and the Holy Mass was offered. This was 56 years before the Puritan pilgrims of Massachusetts.Don Pedro Menendez came ashore amid the sounding of trumpets, artillery salutes and the firing of cannons to claim the land for King Philip II and Spain. The ship chaplain Fr. Francisco Lopez de Mendoza Grajales chanted the Te Deum and presented a crucifix that Menendez ceremoniously kissed. Then the 500 soldiers, 200 sailors and 100 families and artisans, along with the Timucuan Indians celebrated the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in gratitude to God.
  2. The second American Thanksgiving happened on April 30, 1598, when Spanish explorer Don Juan de Oñate requested the friars to say a Mass of Thanksgiving, after which he formally proclaimed “La Toma”, claiming the land north of the Rio Grande for the King of Spain. The men feasted on duck, goose, and fish from the river. The actors among them dressed and presented a play. All this took place twenty-three years before the Pilgrims set sail from England on the Mayflower.
  3. The Puritan pilgrims were violently anti-Catholic. They left England because they thought that the Church of England was too Catholic. These Puritans were strict Calvinists. The pilgrims also opposed celebrating Christmas, dancing, musical instruments in church, and even hymns as papistical.
  4. Squanto, the beloved hero of Thanksgiving at Plymouth Rock, was Catholic! (Here’s my full article on the Catholicism of Squanto.) Squanto had been enslaved by the English but he was freed by Spanish Franciscans. Squanto thus received baptism and became a Catholic. So it was a baptized Catholic Native American who orchestrated what became known as Thanksgiving.
    Squanto Catholic Thanksgiving
    Catholic Squanto teaches the lame English Puritans how to play limbo.
    “How low can you go?!”
  5. So while Thanksgiving may celebrate the Calvinist Separatists who fled England, Catholics might remember the same unjust laws that granted the crown of martyrdom to Thomas More, John Fisher, Edmund Campion, et al. are the same injustices that led the Pilgrims to Plymouth.
  6. And let everyone remember that “Thanksgiving” in Greek is Eucharistia. Thus, the Body and Blood of Christ is the true “Thanksgiving Meal”.
And don’t forget to raise your wine glass and recite the wonderful limerick of Hilaire Belloc:
“Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine,
There’s always laughter and good red wine.
At least I’ve always found it so.
Benedicamus Domino!”
― Hilaire Belloc

Thursday, October 23, 2014

 This is Saint Augustine's insight

 “In the first place, silence is a great means of acquiring the spirit of prayer, and of disposing the soul to converse continually with God.  We rarely find a spiritual soul that speaks much.  All souls of prayer are lovers of silence that is called the guardian of innocence, the shield against temptations, and the fountain of prayer.  For by silence devotion is preserved, and in silence good thoughts spring up in the soul.”

St. Alphonsus (c. 1755)