Monday, October 16, 2017

Death of Marie-Antoinette

Here also on the 16th of October, 1793 fell a once beauteous head- now whitened by sorrow not by age- and venerable for the angelic purity and patience, the royal courage and Christian submission with which it had exchanged the most brilliant crown of the world for a crown of thorns, and that again for the crown of martyrdom. Here died the QUEEN- one of the noblest and the purest, and yet, if human judgments be alone weighed, the most unfortunate of women- tried in almost every possible agony of affliction- except a guilty conscience- and in that exception finding the consolation for all. She arrived at this scene of her last and greatest triumph, jolted in a common cart, and ascended the scaffold amidst the vociferations of a crowd of furies, whom we hesitate to acknowledge as of her own sex. Never in that gorgeous palace, on which she now cast a last calm look, did she appear more glorious- never was she so really admirable as she was at that supreme moment of her earthly release. ~from History of the guillotine. Revised from the 'Quarterly review.' By John Wilson Croker
On reaching the scaffold she inadvertently trod on the executioner's foot. "Pardon me," she said, courteously. She knelt for an instant and uttered a half-audible prayer; then rising and glancing towards the towers of the Temple, "Adieu, once again, my children," she said. "I go to rejoin your father."--LAMARTINE (Quoted in Madame Campan's Memoirs)
I was a queen, and you took away my crown; a wife, and you killed my husband; a mother, and you deprived me of my children. My blood alone remains: take it, but do not make me suffer long.~ Marie-Antoinette
Last letter of Marie-Antoinette.
Her Forgiveness.
Madame Campan's account.
Transcript of her Trial. (Via Versailles and More)
The Mother.

Of Fatima, the King of France, and the Consecrations

In honor of the 100th Anniversary of the Dance of the Sun at Fatima on October 13, 1917, it is good to revisit a post by Fr. Richard Heilman on Roman Catholic Man:
On Sunday May 13th, 1917, the children were pasturing their flock as usual at the Cova da Iria, which was about a mile from their homes. They were playing when suddenly a bright shaft of light pierced the air. The lady spoke to them and said: “Fear not! I will not harm you.” “Where are you from?” the children asked. “I am from heaven” the beautiful lady replied, gently raising her hand towards the distant horizon. “What do you want of me?”, Lucia asked. ” I came to ask you to come here for six consecutive months, on the thirteenth day, at this same hour. I will tell you later who I am and what I want.”

It was Mary’s final appearance, on Oct. 13, 1917 (exactly 33 years, to the day, after Pope Leo XIII’s vision), that became the most famous. An estimated 70,000 people were in attendance at the site, anticipating the Virgin’s final visit and with many fully expecting that she would work a great miracle. As everyone gazed upward, and saw that a silvery disc had emerged from behind clouds, they experienced what is known [as] a ‘sun miracle.’ Not everyone reported the same thing; some present claimed they saw the sun dance around the heavens; others said the sun zoomed toward Earth in a zigzag motion that caused them to fear that it might collide with our planet (or, more likely, burn it up). Some people reported seeing brilliant colors spin out of the sun in a psychedelic, pinwheel pattern. The whole event took about 10 minutes.

With these apparitions at Fatima, God asked for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by the Pope in union with all of the bishops of the world. Our Lady of Fatima said that if the Consecration of Russia was done, Russia would be converted and there would be peace. However, if the Pope and the bishops did not obey the request, Our Lady said that Russia would spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church and of Holy Father, the martyrdom of the good and the annihilation of nations. I find it interesting that Our Lady appeared in Fatima with these warnings exactly 100 years before the 500th anniversary of the Protestant revolt (1517-2017).


At Rianjo, Spain in August 1931, Our Lord communicated to Sister Lucy His dissatisfaction with the Pope’s and the Catholic bishops’ failure to obey His command to consecrate Russia. He said:
Make it known to My ministers, given that they follow the example of the King of France in delaying the execution of My requests, they will follow him into misfortune. It is never too late to have recourse to Jesus and Mary.
In another text Lucy wrote that Our Lord complained to her:
They did not wish to heed My request! Like the King of France they will repent of it, and they will do it, but it will be late. Russia will have already spread its errors in the world, provoking wars and persecutions against the Church. The Holy Father will have much to suffer.
 The reference by Jesus to the King of France’’s disobedience and punishment is as follows:
On June 17, 1689 the Sacred Heart of Jesus manifested to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque His command to the King of France that the King was to consecrate France to the Sacred Heart. For 100 years to the day the Kings of France delayed, and did not obey. So on June 17, 1789 the King of France was stripped of his legislative authority by the upstart Third Estate, and four years later the soldiers of the French Revolution executed the King of France as if he were a criminal. In 1793 France sent its King, Louis XVI, to the guillotine. He and his predecessors had failed to obey Our Lord’s request that France be consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and thus misfortune had befallen both the King and his country. (Read more.)
Now it must be noted that Louis XVI, with the consent and guidance of his confessor, the Eudist priest Fr. Hebert, made a Vow to the Sacred Heart in the spring of 1791 when he and his family were under house arrest at the Tuileries Palace in Paris. To quote from the Vow:
O Jesus-Christ! divine Redeemer of all our iniquities, it is in Your Adorable Heart that I want to deposit the overflowing of my afflicted heart. I call upon the help of the tender Heart of Mary, my majestic protector and my mother, and the assistance of Saint Louis, my most famous patron and of my ancestor. O adorable Heart, by the so pure hands of my powerful intercessors, receive with kindness the wishes that confidence inspires in me and that I offer to You like the humble expression of my feelings. If, by an effect of the infinite kindness of God, I recover my freedom, my crown and my royal power, I promise solemnly:
1. To revoke as soon as possible all the laws which will be indicated to me, either by the Pope, or by a Council, or by the four Bishops chosen among most enlightened and most virtuous of my kingdom, with the purity and the integrity of the faith, the discipline and the spiritual jurisdiction of Holy Catholic, Apostolic Church, Roman, and in particular to revoke the Civil Constitution of the Clergy. (Read more.)
The King was killed before he could fulfill his Vow. There are more details in my biography of Louis's wife, Marie-Antoinette.

Meanwhile, Cardinal Burke has called for Russia to be consecrated in the manner requested by Our Lady of Fatima:
“It is evident that the consecration (of Russia) was not carried out in the manner requested by Our Lady,” said Vatican Cardinal Raymond Burke in his keynote address marking the highlight and conclusion of the Fatima Centennial Summit held over the weekend.

“I do not doubt for a moment the intention of Pope St. John Paul II to carry out the consecration on March 25, 1984,” said Cardinal Burke. He noted that Sister Lucia stated that “Our Lady had accepted it.”

He continued nonetheless, “Recognizing the necessity of a total conversion from atheistic materialism and communism to Christ, the call of Our Lady of Fatima to consecrate Russia to Her Immaculate Heart in accord with Her explicit instruction remains urgent.”

The former head of the Vatican’s highest court reissued his call, first made at the Rome Life Forum in May, for the faithful to pray and work for the consecration of Russia according to Our Lady’s specific instruction. He quoted the end of the famous secret to the children where Our Lady Herself predicted: “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she shall be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.” With some 700 attendees, the conference was the largest Fatima centennial celebration in North America. To a standing ovation both before and after he spoke, Cardinal Burke delved deeply into the message of Our Lady of Fatima, her predictions and the consequences of failing to heed her warnings to the world. The Cardinal drew a direct line from the famous Third Secret of Fatima’s dire predictions for the massacre of priests, religious and the death of the Pope to the current crisis in the Church.

“The teaching of the Faith in its integrity and with courage is the heart of the office of the Church’s pastors: the Roman Pontiff, the Bishops in communion with the See of Peter, and their principal co-workers, the priests,” he said. “For that reason, the Third Secret is directed, with particular force, to those who exercise the pastoral office in the Church. Their failure to teach the faith, in fidelity to the Church’s constant teaching and practice, whether through a superficial, confused or even worldly approach, and their silence endangers mortally, in the deepest spiritual sense, the very souls for whom they have been consecrated to care spiritually.”

Cardinal Burke, who has suffered publicly for his defense of the faith, urged the faithful, “Let us not fail to embrace whatever suffering comes from our faithful witness to Him Who is the true Treasure of our hearts.”

“Let us not give way to discouragement but rather remember that the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary assumed into glory, never ceases to beat with love for us, the children Her Divine Son gave to Her as He was dying on the cross,” he said. (Read more.)

Music for the Last Queen

From NPR News in Milwaukee:
 Ensemble founder and harpsichordist Jory Vinikour says the language of the program is not accidental. "Although I think many Americans imagine Marie Antoinette as only being extraordinary, frivolous, or associating her with the phrase, 'Let them eat cake'...(She) was very very cultivated, and upon her arrival to the French court in 1770 she immediately became very passionate about music," he explains.

Antoinette studied several instruments such as the harpsichord, fortepiano, and harp, as well as sang and composed music. "A real music lover would know that under her reign, certain composers who remain famous today, like Gluck, were much supported by her," he says. Which is why, Vinikour says, his colleague Philippe LeRoy, co-founder and director of programming for Great Lakes Baroque, wanted to explore the great composers of this period. (Read more.)

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Ode to Autumn

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness!
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines...
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease....

"Ode to Autumn" by John Keats

Artwork by Ilya Ostroukov Share

The Abortion Business in Kenya

From Life News:
Nairobi News Nation reports abortion activists with Marie Stopes International visited the Archbishop Boniface Lele Secondary School Mang’elu in Kitui, Kenya on Wednesday, supposedly to give a presentation to school girls about health awareness. But, unbeknownst to parents or school administrators, the abortion business also allegedly gave long-lasting birth control to dozens of teenage students. A spokeswoman for Marie Stopes refused to discuss the claims.

According to the report, about a dozen girls between ages 14 and 17 received Norplant, a rod inserted under the skin that releases hormones to prevent pregnancy. The birth control device is supposed to last up to five years. “We are shocked that this was allowed to happen,” said Munanie Muusya, whose daughter received a Norplant. “What those people did will encourage our girls to carelessly engage in unprotected sex and that they can easily contract sexually transmitted diseases.”

Many are calling for a thorough investigation of the pro-abortion group and the school, including Sen. Enoch Wambua who represents the area. “Exposing children to contraceptive treatment of whatever nature without the consent of their parents is unacceptable,” Wambua said.
Kenyan Catholic leaders also said they are investigating the Catholic-sponsored school. “The Catholic strong stand against contraceptives is widely known,” Kitui Catholic Diocese Secretary for Education Father Julius Muthamba told the news outlet. “It’s sad that this happened inside a school that we sponsor, but more fundamentally the negative effect in spoiling the girls’ morally.” (Read more.)

Helping Boys Become Responsible Men

From Homeschool Your Boys:
1. Allow him to compete – Most boys like to compete.  This can be used to your advantage when you’re trying to get him to do his schoolwork.  Unfortunately, most children nowadays are being taught that everyone deserves a trophy… which doesn’t teach them the value of trying to do their best.  Give your son opportunities to compete against others.  Team sports, field days, contests, science fairs… any sort of competition in an area of his choice.  Even competition with siblings can be positive for boys.   Give your son a chance to compete and watch him push himself to excel!

2. Being responsible – Put your son in charge of certain tasks around the house.  Boys benefit from having to complete chores around the house.

3. Exploring their passions – Encourage them to at least give things a try.  If our boys never try anything new, they won’t find out what they’re really passionate about.  My oldest son has decided he’s interested in film directing and editing – so I found a film camp for him to participate in.  I also talked with a family member, who does videography on the side, and have asked him if he can take my son under his wing and show him the ropes from time to time. (Read more.)

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Fall Gardening Tips and Chores

From Garden Design Magazine:
Replace tired-looking summer annuals with mums, ornamental kale and grasses. Arrange pumpkins and gourds around the yard and home, and decorate lamp posts and arbors with dried cornstalks. Cut branches of cotoneaster and beautyberry to adorn your dining room table for festive harvest dinners, or stick the branches into year-round outdoor containers for extra seasonal color. Get more ideas for dressing up the fall garden. (Read more.)

Open Your Eyes

From Dr. Anhony Esolen:
Who stands up for the poor against those who ravage the family? Name for me one impoverished or oppressed people in the history of the world who rose to prosperity or who threw off the yoke of their oppressors while living in sexual license and remaining content with the ensuing family chaos. Name one. The Irish were brutalized by the English for three centuries, yet they did not lose the family, and they prevailed. Had my Italian grandfathers been indifferent to the morals of their children, I would not now be writing these words, because only a strong family headed by a good father can channel the energies of a young man with a rebellious streak who is stronger than his mother and smarter than his teachers. No, it is easier to blame a social specter, like an all-pervading racism or the fog of “privilege,” than to reckon with the uncomfortable facts of common observation, biology, and history, and the testimony of every human culture, from stone knives to the microchip. (Read more.)