Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Pilgrimage to Chartres: 10 days to go...

Only 10 days to go before the start of the great Paris to Chartres pilgrimage, so please pray that it will be a great success and call down many graces from Heaven upon France, England, Europe and the world.

Entries are now closed but that need not stop visitors attending on the last day in the Cathedral square of Chartres to see the 15-20,000 pilgrims coming into the city on Whit Monday.

It is a beautiful and uplifting sight and a rare one in our day and age of secularism, scoffers and unbelievers

Please join us in union of prayer and we shall pray for you and for your intentions on this great march of faith.

Our Lady of Christendom, pray for us!

Monday, 28 April 2008

Rogation Days and "beating the bounds"

Rogation days are days set apart for solemn processions to invoke the mercy of God. The word comes from the Latin rogare “to say or ask” meaning, in this context, to pray to God for good things.

They come at this time because of the Gospel reading for the previous Sunday (the 5th Sunday after Easter, sometimes for that reason called Rogation Sunday) which includes the text from the Gospel of St John 16:24 “Ask and ye shall receive”.

The Rogation days are:

(1) St Mark’s Day on 25 April (the Major Rogation)
(2) The 3 days before the Ascension Day (the Minor Rogations)

The first Rogation, which includes the Greater Litanies, was originally a christianisation of the old Roman pagan feast day of Robigalia, on 25 April, a day to pray for good crops.

The minor Rogations, including the Lesser Litanies, were introduced in 470 by Bishop Mamertus of Vienne and then spread to the rest of the Roman Church. They became a preparation also for the Feast of the Ascension.

These days coincided also with the ceremony of the “Beating of the Bounds” during which a procession led by ministers and choir would proceed round the boundaries of the parish, partly to re-affirm the boundaries but also to pray for the protection of the parish over the forthcoming year. Choir boys and servers would carry canes to "beat" the boundaries at each stopping point.

Absurdly, the Rogation days are yet further ancient and beautiful ceremonies that were done away with by the liturgical wreckers after 1970. They have, of course, come back with the return of the traditional rites.

The ceremony of the Beating of the bounds can still be seen in the City of London and processions continue to go round the boundaries to the various churches of the City, often escorted by a marching group of one or more of the City TA Regiments.

What diabolical spirit came over the liturgical consilium of Archbishop Bugnini that he even thought to try and get rid of this beautiful, scriptural, ancient liturgical devotion? Yet further evidence, if it were still needed, that a dark and sinister spirit has, these 40 years past, been suffered by weak, vain and worldly prelates to invade parts of the Church.

"Beating the bounds"

"22 So also you now indeed have sorrow; but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice; and your joy no man shall take from you. 23 And in that day you shall not ask me any thing. Amen, amen I say to you: if you ask the Father any thing in my name, he will give it you. 24 Hitherto you have not asked any thing in my name. Ask, and you shall receive; that your joy may be full. 25 These things I have spoken to you in proverbs. The hour cometh, when I will no more speak to you in proverbs, but will show you plainly of the Father."
[John 16.22-25]

Peccatores, Te rogamus audi nos

We sinners, beseech Thee, hear us!


Saturday, 26 April 2008

Erasmus and titles: the treatise on letter writing

A correspondent comments on Erasmus' view of titles in his work Opus de conscribendis epistolis or, "Treatise on letter writing" and opines that he recognised clerical titles but objected to them.

Erasmus’ treatise on letter-writing was published in Basle in 1522 with 410 pages.

Ironically for a humanist, Erasmus argues against the central doctrines of radical humanist letter-writing styles.

In the fifth chapter Erasmus seems nevertheless to yield to rhetorical formalism himself, dividing epistolary prose into three types introduced by Aristotle, namely the deliberative, forensic and epideictic genres or suasorium, demonstrativum and judiciale as he calls them.

He adds as a fourth category, the familiar letter, which was the type of epistolography celebrated by the humanists who so imitated Cicero’s style, ironically, since Erasmus is a critic of the elaborate Ciceronian style of the time.

I shall be corrected if wrong but I think it is this part of the work that is being referred to by my correspondent:

Iam uero consuetudinem insulsissimam quidem illam, sed aliquot iam seculis mire receptam, unum hominem multitudinis numero compellandi, non tam dedocendi sunt iuuenes quam animandi, ut ausint contemnere, certe quoties cum his agitur, unde nihil sit periculi. Mea certe aetate iam haec ineptia magna ex parte obsoleuit, paulatim subolescentibus bonis literis. Quanquam supersunt et hodie non pauci uossissatores, qui quod pueri male didicerunt, non solum ipsi mordicus tenent, uerumetiam ab aliis exigunt. Inexpiabili contumeia se putant affici, si quis unum singulari numeto salutet; ac plane rem putant iniuriarum actione dignam, ac legibus uindicandam.
[Cap 4, pp.266-8]

"As for that absurd practice, curiously in vogue now for several centuries, of addressing a single person in the plural, young men should not so much be untaught this vice as encouraged to scorn it altogether, at least in dealing with those with whom there is no risk involved. In my lifetime, at least, this folly has now largely fallen into disuse with the gradual coming of age of sound learning. Yet even today a good many users of the vos form of address, who not only hang on tenaciously to what they wrongly learnt as boys but also require it of others are still with us. They consider it an unforgivable insult if someone greets them in the singular; indeed, they deem it deserving of an action for damages and punishable by law!"
[Translation from
Collected Works of Erasmus, 25-26, Toronto 1985, p.45]

This, of course, is more a reference to the excessive use of the plural address, more evident in European languages now than in English but then in use even in English by the use of "thou" (singular) and "you" (plural).

"You" being now universal in English and "thou" having died out, save in prayer and poetry, the issue is only live in other European countries where it is remains customary, Erasmus notwithstanding, to refer to familiars and servants as "thou" and others (whether or not noble) by the plural "you".

For example:

In German: "Du" and "Sie".
In French: "Tu" and "Vous".

Digressing slightly, some may know that the word "Thou" derives from the Anglo-Saxon equivalent of the German "Du", the hard "D" becoming a soft "Th" in Anglo-Saxon, written with the Anglo-Saxon letter resembling a "y".

"Sie" became "thee" and both "thou" and "thee" were later rendered "you" and "ye", as plurals, perhaps confusing the Anglo-Saxon letter for a "y" in the Greek sense.

"Die" became also "ye" and later "the" as in "Ye olde shoppe" (although one should not discount the effect of bad spelling in former times).

Even so, the plural was especially reserved for royal persons.

Use of the royal plural is not inappropriate and emphasizes the importance of the monarch at the apex of the Constitution.

It is true that Julius Caesar was addressed in the singular (as Erasmus points out) but then he was never emperor. Later Roman emperors were titled "Caesar Augustus" and addressed in the plural.

This was, in turn, as much a reflection of the Hebrew practice of addressing the great in the plural, most notably Almighty God, who, as you can see from one of the side-bar comments on this blog, was addressed in the plural as Elohim (when not addressed as Adonai).

In any event, I do not think that Erasmus objected to clerical and noble titles as such but more to their misuse.


Wednesday, 23 April 2008

St George for England!

Happy Feast of St George!

Today is the Feast of St George, Protector of the English Realm.

St George was born to a Christian family during the late third century. His father was from Cappadocia and served as an officer of the Roman army. His mother was from Lydda in Palestine.

St George followed his father into the army. It seems he was of equestrian, or knightly and thus noble, rank in Roman society and he appears to have pursued the cursus honorum beginning as a cavalryman or knight, a position reserved only for those of the knightly class. The better of the cavalry or knights went on to command as Decurion and later were selected as Tribunus militis or Military Tribune, an officer who was one of 5 staff officers in a legion.

The Roman Senate was selected from the ranks of the knights or equestrian class, especially those who had seen extensive military service in defence of Rome and its empire.

The Roman Senate

St George was stationed in Nicomedia as a member of the personal guard attached to Roman Emperor Diocletian and was promoted comes or Count, a title, meaning a “companion”, or sometimes a chamberlain, of the Emperor, an imperial appointment either civil or military (from this idea derived the Counts-Palatine or Paladins of Charlemagne).

Many titles have a military origin including those of imperator (later Emperor but originally the commander-in-chief of the army, lit., “giver of orders”), dux (later Duke or army commander), legatus (Legate – the commander of a legion, and of senatorial rank), tribunus (staff officer of equestrian class already mentioned), praefectus castrorum (Prefect of the Camp, the most veteran soldier in the Legion but non-equestrian), primus pilus (“first spear”, the most senior centurion and commander of the first cohort, non-equestrian but usually ennobled on retirement), pilus prior (first centurion of each cohort and often its commander), primi ordines (the 5 centurions of the first cohort), centurio (centurion – the commander of a “century” of 100 men) and optio (the second-in-command of a century but able to read and write, usually).

Julius Caesar, Roman general, senator and imperator

Each legion had 10 cohorts usually each of 6 centuries (sometimes divided into 3 maniples of 2 centuries each), plus 300 or more cavalry and assorted light infantry, light cavalry and auxiliaries (often of non-Roman origin) totalling about 6,600 men. A Legate is thus roughly equivalent to a brigadier-general, a Tribune to a captain, major or colonel, a pilus prior to a non-equestrian lieutenant colonel, risen from the ranks, and a centurion to a non-equestrian captain or major, risen from the ranks.

In 303 Diocletian issued an edict authorizing the systematic persecution of Christians across the Empire. George was ordered to participate in the persecution but instead confessed to being a Christian himself and criticized the imperial decision. An enraged Diocletian ordered his torture and execution.

After various tortures, including laceration on a wheel of swords, in which he was miraculously resuscitated three times, George was executed by decapitation before Nicomedia's city wall, on 23 April 303. A witness of his suffering convinced Empress Alexandra to become Christian as well and she joined St George in martyrdom.

George’s body was returned to Lydda for burial, where Christians soon came to honour him as a martyr.

The story of George and the Dragon is by no means necessarily impossible, since reptiles of various sorts were often called dragons in former times. Even today, the Komodo dragon is still so called.

Dragons of today:
Indonesian Komodo dragons, up to 10 feet in length and up to 365 lbs weight, poison-mouthed and potentially lethal, can be seen to this day

Ancient depictions of “fire-breathing” dragons have been misinterpreted. They were so depicted to indicate the poisonous breath and mouth of such animals. Since it is the case that the Komodo has precisely such a poisonous mouth, by virtue of the bacteria living therein, venom and its diet, the earlier depictions start to look remarkably scientific and not mythical at all. The deadliest bacteria in the Komodo dragon saliva appears to be a very deadly strain of Pasteurella multocida, from studies performed with lab mice.

Alternatively, the dragon might have been a crocodile or alligator which certainly can be found in North Africa near water.

This dragon was said to have made its nest at the spring providing water for a city in the Middle East. The citizens had to dislodge the dragon from its nest for a time, in order to collect water. To do so, and to distract the dragon, each day they had to offer the dragon at first a sheep, then a human sacrifice.

In their heathenism, they treated the dragon as an evil spirit that had to be placated. The victim was chosen by drawing lots. One ill-favoured day, the lot fell upon the daughter of the king who begged for her life but this partiality was rejected by the citizenry.

St George, who was in the country with his troops, scorned the heathen weakness of the citizenry and set out, warmly encouraged of course by the king, to rescue the princess. He did so, slaying the dragon in mortal combat. The grateful citizens abandoned heathenism and converted enthusiastically to the religion of St George, namely Christianity.

Ever after, the story was seen as the triumph of Christian truth over pagan superstition and the supernatural over corrupted nature. Inevitably, it became a great Christian allegory. However, the assumption that it must, therefore, be a fable and not true, is a false assumption. The Bible is full of allegory but that does not mean it is false.

A church built in Lydda during the reign of the Emperor Constantine I (306–337), was consecrated to St George and his cultus became one of the greatest in Christendom.

This church was destroyed in 1010 but was later rebuilt and dedicated to Saint George by the Western Crusaders who quickly came to embrace his cult. In 1191 the church was again destroyed by the Ayyubid Sultan, Sala’haddin (Saladin), during the 3rd Crusade.

By the fifth century the cult of George reached the Western Roman Empire and in 494, George was canonised as a saint by Pope Gelasius I. The cult was promoted much in England by King Alfred the Great.

An apparition of George is said to have heartened the Franks at the siege of Antioch, 1098, and made a similar appearance the following year at Jerusalem.

Chivalric military orders of St George Order were established in Aragon (1201), Genoa, Hungary, and by Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor.

The Byzantine emperors had a great devotion to St George and the Palaeologue emperors created an order to restore the Labarum Guard of the Emperor Constantine, being the 50 knights who guarded the Labarum, a standard emblazoned with the Chi-Rho symbol that Constantine had seen in the sky before his victory on the Milvian Bridge. They dedicated this Order to St George giving it the symbol of the Cross and the Chi-Rho surrounded by the initials IHSV standing for "In Hoc Signo Vinces" - "In this Sign shalt thou conquer". The Order was bequeathed to the Farnese family by the Palaeologues in exile who became its Grand Master. Here is the Collar of the Order with the Chi-Rho and St George slaying the Dragon.

The collar of the Constantinian Order of St George

Today the Order's Grand Master is HRH the Infante Don Carlos of Spain.

King Edward III put his Order of the Garter under the banner of St. George. In England the Synod of Oxford, 1222 declared St. George's Day a great feast day in the kingdom of England and, famously, his name was invoked by English kings in battle, not least King Henry V at Agincourt.

"St George for Merrie England"

His feast was raised to a Festum duplex at a church council in 1415, on the date that had become associated with his martyrdom, 23 April.

William Shakespeare was born and died on 23 April, St George's Day.

William Shakespeare, born and died on St George's Day

The Order of the Garter is still given in the name of “God, our Lady and St George” and features an image of St George slaying the Dragon. The hip decoration, at the bottom of the sash, is still called “the lesser George”.

The original Garter Star was always diamond-encrusted until, after the illegal seizure of the throne by the Protestant German Hanoverians, the diamonds were only retained for the sovereign and consort. The Garter blue of the sash was also darkened so as to distinguish it from the ancient colour which was associated with the Stuarts.

The diamond-encrusted Garter star

The Garter Star features, to this day, in a great many military symbols e.g. the rank stars of officers in the Household Cavalry and Division and in the Honourable Artillery Company. St George features in a great many other military symbols and traditions of the British armed forces and in British society generally.

St George’s Day is, indeed, a great day to be celebrated in the Kingdom of England and for Great Britain.

The Queen in the Garter procession as Sovereign of the Order.
The Garter is still conferred in the name of "God, our Lady and St George".

"Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
Or close the wall up with our English dead.
In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility:
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger;
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hard-favour'd rage;
Then lend the eye a terrible aspect;
Let pry through the portage of the head
Like the brass cannon; let the brow o'erwhelm it
As fearfully as doth a galled rock
O'erhang and jutty his confounded base,
Swill'd with the wild and wasteful ocean.
Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide,
Hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit
To his full height. On, on, you noblest English.
Whose blood is set from fathers of war-proof!
Fathers that, like so many Alexanders,
Have in these parts from morn till even fought
And sheathed their swords for lack of argument:
Dishonour not your mothers; now attest
That those whom you call'd fathers did beget you.
Be copy now to men of grosser blood,
And teach them how to war. And you, good yeoman,
Whose limbs were made in England, show us here
The mettle of your pasture; let us swear
That you are worth your breeding; which I doubt not;
For there is none of you so mean and base,
That hath not noble lustre in your eyes.
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start. The game's afoot:
Follow your spirit, and upon this charge

'God for Harry, England, and Saint George!'


Friday, 18 April 2008

Whatever happened to the good, old working man?

Well, what indeed?

He got rubbed out of history as being no longer desirable or fashionable to the modern world.

And who rubbed him out?

His supposed best "comrade", the Socialist Left - that's who!

The Left began by extolling the virtues of the ordinary, working man but all the while they were planning his extinction.

And whenever Marxists took control of the government they literally "rubbed out" millions of ordinary working men and their families by mass slaughter. So much for the great champions of the working class! In reality, Marxism has ever been the darling of the lazy, stupid, prostituted, ne'er-do-well or egoistic members of the middle and upper classes who wanted to pose as salon revolutionaries and champagne Bolsheviks for their chic, rich friends and to climb up the greasy pole by the cheat's quick route rather than by hard work.

But it has ever been the ordinary working man who has had to pay for these revolutionary poseurs and hypocrites - often with his very life.

Now that Marxism and its base and murderous materialism is discredited (despite decades of utter adulation and base grovelling from the media and academics of the free world!) has the working man been restored to his rightful place?


Seedy, hedonistic, self-worshipping, atheistic, anti-life Capitalism has swept in to replace the gross materialism of atheistic Marxism with another equally gross materialism. In each case their only god is self and material goods. In each of these loathsome creeds, one's neighbour is merely there to be exploited, used, cheated, defrauded or, if he gets in the way, terminated.

Each creed has one other thing in common. They have successfully abolished the good, old working man and replaced him with something entirely modern, entirely ugly and often grotesque and degraded.

Phoney, modern "working class" frauds include screaming, rock-ape billionaires like Bruce Springsteen. Working class? Who's he kidding!

The working man has often either been transmogrified into a caricature of himself, "sexed up" to look like some fatuous "pop" star, or forced into a job far more tedious, dreary and soul-destroying than any factory, coal-mine or ship-yard ever was. If that fails, he ends up in the Young Offenders' Institute or prison.

This is apparently called "progressive".

And, of course, if he is white, male and European, he is positively despised by the institutions of modern society whose political correctness has become a new form of neo-Fascism.

But when a war comes and the government needs someone to fight it, to whom do they go? Yep, the ordinary, working man, again. Old Tommy gets pushed to centre stage again. And when the war's over, he's forgotten again.

Or, if the government is New Labour, he doesn't even get remembered while he is actually fighting the war! Instead, he is forced to make do with out of date equipment, poor conditions and weapons and a black bag and a few quid for his wife and family back home, if he is killed!

Note well, ladies and gentlemen! Note well. This is a supposedly "Labour" government that is doing this to our boys at the front. "Labour"? Who are they kidding? They would not know a labouring man if he rose up before their very eyes and punched them on the nose!

Kipling, as ever, understood it well:


By Rudyard Kipling, 1892

I went into a public- 'ouse to get a pint o' beer,
The publican 'e up an sez, "We serve no red-coats here."
The girls behind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:

O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy go away";
But it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins," when the band begins to play-
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it's "Thank you Mr Atkins," when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
But when it comes to fighting', Lord! They'll shove me in the stalls!

For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy wait outside";
But it's "Special train for Atkins," when the trooper's on the tide-
The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
O it's "Special train for Atkins," when the trooper's on the tide.

Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.

Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy 'ow's yer soul?"
But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll-
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it's " Thin red line of 'eroes," when the drums begin to roll.

We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints,
Why single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;

While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy fall be'ind,"
But it's "Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind-
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
O it's "Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind.

You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.

For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck 'im out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country" when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
An' Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool - you bet that Tommy sees!

It was the Duke of Wellington who coined the popular nickname Thomas (or Tommy) Atkins, for the ordinary soldier. In the early 19th century, whilst Commander-in-Chief, he was asked to come up with a 'typical' soldier's name. Thinking back to his first campaign in the Low Countries in the 1790s he remembered a badly wounded, but stoical, soldier he had encountered - Sergeant Thomas Atkins - who had said in answer to an enquiry about his condition "All in a day's work, sir". So the name stuck as the sobriquet of the best sort of ordinary British soldier or "Tom".

Still, not all is black. There seems to be something of an interest abroad in restoring the old idea of training for a trade, instead of pretending that all young men and women must become University students. There is talk of widening the scope of opportunity for what used to be called apprenticeships to a trade.

A tradesmen these days can earn good money and can go into business on his own account. The self-employed tradesman is (or ought to be) the backbone of society and certainly was so during the Christian era in western society. He is the foundation of what Edmund Burke called his "little platoons" so essential for any successful and healthy society.

Indeed, in the Middle Ages a very well organised and structured system of Trade Guilds and Livery Companies existed which fulfilled a whole range of functions including:

  • Training apprentices and journeymen (from the French journee i.e. a day worker) for each trade
  • Regulating the standards of the trade to ensure that cheats, swindlers, crooks and thieves were weeded out and bad practices were not allowed
  • Determining the standards and criteria for the awarding of the rank of Master or Master Craftsman
  • Maintaining a provident fund for sick and disabled tradesmen of the Guild and their families
  • Maintaining a Guild chapel or church and chaplains to provide for the spiritual needs of members and their families and to pray for their dead
  • Maintaining funds for poor scholars and gifted sons of the poor to be trained for the sacred ministry
  • Maintaining a general fund for the poor and indigent and their families
  • Maintaining and regulating the government, customs, rules and traditions of the Guild
  • Electing senior members of the Guild to the municipal government of the City or Town

This system was attacked and undermined by the rapacious "new men" of the Reformation who, already rich, wished to become richer and so invented the beginnings of modern Capitalism that went on to deprive the working man of his rightful and Christian heritage.

Now, once again, Tommy Atkins is derided and abused by those who think they don't need him any more.

Come back, Tommy, your country needs you now more than ever.

"When the guns begin to shoot"
The supposedly bigoted, ignorant and racist "Tommy" rescues his Indian cavalry comrade whilst being shot at by rebel Egyptians during the Battle of Tel El-Kebir in 1882. Worthless Feminists and Socialist trendies now call our Tommy a DWEM - "dead white European male" and dismiss him out of hand. They would have no freedom to do so were it not for the very Tommy Atkins whom they so shamefully deride.


Thursday, 17 April 2008

Fire in Darkness: the 26th Whitsun Pilgrimage to Chartres, 9-13 May 2008

Chez Nous Soyez Reine! - In our hearth be Queen!

So sing the pilgrims at the end of a magnificent Solemn High sung Mass in the Cathedral of ND de Chartres after their great 117 kilometre, 2 1/2 day trek from ND de Paris to ND de Chartres.

And they practically lift the roof off the Cathedral, too!

It is an extraordinary sensation to be in a Cathedral of this size and antiquity with 20,000 other pilgrims, in and out, singing so enthusiastically to our Lady after a magnificent mass in the traditional rite.

You cannot even begin to understand it unless you have personally experienced it. There is simply nothing else quite like seeing 20,000 tired but exhilarated pilgrims walking into Chartres and its the Cathedral square as the reverberating sound of the massive Cathedral bell tolls out from its belfry to welcome the faithful to the West port.

However, here is a video clip which gives you a tiny flavour of it:

The pilgrims are singing the pilgrimage song Chez Nous and the chorus runs thus:

Chez nous soyez Reine, nous sommes à vous;
Régnez en souveraine, chez nous, chez nous !
Soyez la Madonne qu'on prie à genoux,
Qui sourit et pardonne chez nous, chez nous !

(In our hearths be Queen, we are thine;
Reign sovereign, in our hearths, in our homes!
Be the Madonna to whom we pray on bended knee,
Who smiles and forgives, in our hearths, in our homes!)

The Chartres pilgrimage is an ancient tradition in France which has been given new vigour by the association Notre-Dame de Chrétienté (Our Lady of Christendom) which has organised it for the last 25 years. It is a walk of prayer and penance to the glory of God and our Blessed Lady.

Encouraged by the Pope, and numerous bishops, 15-20,000 pilgrims (including 850 from outside France) take part in a three-day walk of 70 miles, making this the largest pilgrimage of its kind in Western Europe, both in the distance covered and in the number of pilgrims.

What happens?

It begins on the day before Pentecost when thousands of Catholics from many other
countries join their French brothers and sisters at dawn beneath the spires of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

Three days later it ends in the city of Chartres as the dust-covered pilgrims complete the challenging march and kiss the stones of the ancient Cathedral of Notre Dame de Chartres.

Much of what happens in between defies description.

The British Group over the last few years has contained several musicians, lawyers, doctors, army officers, students, civil servants, computer specialists, physiotherapists, teachers, builders, postmen, engineers, a retired famous footballer, the young and the old.....the pilgrimage is for everyone.

For three days, France can’t ignore this strange and wonderful pilgrim parade, flanked by countless priests in muddied cassocks and purple stoles. Throngs of scouts carry statues of our Lady on their shoulders; banners of the saints are raised high for all to see; pilgrims sing ancient hymns, renew broken vows, and celebrate mass in the ancient rite of their forefathers, saints and martyrs.

80% of the pilgrims are under 30.

These pilgrims see a Faith which is dynamic, solid and comprehensive; they see hope for the future in the enthusiastic unashamed desire to be truly zealous of their fellow young pilgrims; and they see charity alive and on fire. It is Christianity without compromise.

The Pilgrimage to Chartres is fire in the darkness that covers modern Europe.

Here is another clip that gives you a taste of the pilgrim spirit:

An underlying theme of the pilgrimage is the memory of the holy martyrs of the Vendee region of France and of Brittany, where, during the violence and terror of the French Revolution, the Catholics of these regions, lay and clerical, peasant and noble, stood firm for Faith against the most savage persecution.

These areas had been missionized by St Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort in the previous century and were thoroughly Catholic, devoted to the Sacred Heart, to our Lady and to the Pope. Unlike much of the rest of France, in these areas the clergy and nobility were faithful and devout and cared for their flocks, an equally devout peasantry. Indeed, it was the peasants themselves who rose up first against the depredations of the Revolution.

St Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort, whose statue (above) stands in St Peter's Basilica, was an heroically devout and holy young man, son of a notary, who dedicated his life to the missions and whose example and preaching in the West of France helped preserve its people from the corrosive spirit of the age that was leading the rest of France to religious indifference and bloody revolution. He was author of The Secret of the Rosary and True Devotion to Mary.

The Vendeans rose to protect the holy Catholic Religion and their right to attend its services, for the restoration of the Catholic monarchy of France, and refusing to be drafted into the revolutionary militia. Although they were massacred and their lands, homes and livestock burnt, these incredibly courageous Christians did not ever give up and eventually succeeded in all their aims once Bonaparte realised that it was the only way to pacify them and, after his fall, even the monarchy returned. Indeed, Boney had to send 2 Divisions to quell a yet further uprising in the Vendee and Brittany during the "Hundred Days" when they heard that Bonaparte had returned from exile. With those 2 Divisions Boney would almost certainly have won at Waterloo!

The symbol of the Vendee: the cross-surmounted Sacred Heart of Christ the King

The symbol of the Vendeans and the Breton "Chouans" (as they were called) was, and remains, the cross-surmounted symbol of the Sacred Heart, the devotion to the heart of Jesus, a devotion beloved of the Carthusians but revived in France by St Margaret-Mary Alacoque in the 17the Century after her visions of Christ in the Convent of the Visitation in Paray-le-Monial, and thereafter spread by the Jesuits, particularly her confessor, St Claude de la Colombiere SJ, partly in antidote against the coldness of the Jansenists.

There is even a new order of traditional nuns who wear it emblazoned on their habits - and they are wonderful!

How does it work?

The pilgrims walk in "chapters" (groups of 20 to 50 people), under the patronage of a saint and are led by a leader who, with the help of chaplains, organises the chapter hymns, meditations, rosary and prayers.

Each day, mass is celebrated in the most beautiful way, in accordance with the Motu Proprio of the Pope, Summorum Pontificum. Two masses in the “Cathedral of the Trees” in the open air, and the last in one of the most beautiful medieval Cathedrals in the world.

Each evening a tent city is created by the Scouts to house the many pilgrims. A hearty soup is served to all and a great bonfire and historical pageant is performed on Saturday night by some of the organisers and Scouts.

Sunday night is for our Lord, with all night adoration in the open air ensuring a night of prayer and silence.

Come and see...


“… the most important annual event happening anywhere in the world today”

Chartres 2008

9th to 13th May 2008.

For further information contact:

TELEPHONE: 01494 729 223
email: Chartres@duc-in-altum.co.uk

Our Lady of Christendom, pray for us!


Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Hats off to TTony!

TTony, the eloquent, learned and entertaining host of The Muniment Room, another excellent Catholic blog, has just taught me how to "embed" a Youtube video.


Thanks, TTony!

Here is his excellent blog which I warmly recommend to all readers:


Thanks, again, TTony!


Sunday, 13 April 2008

Dawkins STILL can't answer...

There are several videos on Youtube claiming foul play and faking in the "Dawkins Stumped" video.

What, in fact, do they prove?

Of those I have seen so far - nothing.

Indeed, the makers of the "Dawkins Stumped" video have clearly answered their critics and set out a complete timeline of the interview.

They also answer some representative critics and do so politely and fairly despite the fact that, like so many Dawkins fans, they are rude, aggressive, ranting and immature.

As to the attempts to debunk the original footage, for instance, here's one:


It begins by saying how wonderful Dawkins is and then claims to explain why he appeared to hesitate in the "Dawkins Deluded" video clip.

We wait with bated breath for all to be revealed.

An overlay appears in the left hand corner with someone - unknown, unspecified, unexplained and unidentified - who asks the same question, a little later than the original questioner.

This is supposed to expose a fraud?


In fact, faking that overlay is far easier than faking an interview.

Then, we are told the original video is a fake by "creationists".

But how?

They don't say.

At the end they say go to another website and you'll see. Well, I don't know about others but when I tried, Google could not find it. I got a "404-Not Found" error.

So who, then, is the fake?

Note also, that they cut off the last of Dawkins' reply in which he asks for the interviewer to stop recording "so that I can just think".

That bit is cut out in the alleged expose.

In any event, Dawkins STILL cannot answer the question - an elementary one - still pauses, still looks stumped and when he is given time to come back and answer - he STILL can't!

Game, set and match, I think.

Sadly, this does appear to show an amazing dishonesty and fraud on the part of the Dawkins' supporters. They will do anything to defend him, it seems.

The original makers of the "Dawkins stumped" video set out a full timeline on their site at:


Whether one agrees with their creationism or not, they answer the critics fairly and provide a timeline of the interview with Dawkins.

Frankly, it is absurd for Dorky to be titled Professor of the Public Understanding of Science when the reality is that he is little more than a self-appointed publicist for ill-constructed, 3rd rate, atheist fairy tales.

If he knew a bit more science then he might be a bit more interesting. But, as it is, he's just tedious and unoriginal.

Dorky deluded: the sceptic at large, looking for answers and finding none...


Saturday, 12 April 2008

Dawkins simply CANNOT answer the question...

The question was:

"Can you give an example of a genetic mutation or an evolutionary process which can be seen to increase the information in the genome?"

And here is Dicky Dawkins totally stumped to such a degree that he has to ask for the camera to be turned off so he can "think":

What's up, Dick? Does the lens stop you thinking?

Basic question for a scientist, Dickie!

What an embarrassingly poor performance from the Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University!

He then proceeds to evade the question utterly and to talk about a "common misconception" regarding evolution - as if THAT answers the question.

Of course, it simply does not answer the question.

Dorky is stumped: "Can you just stop while I think?"

In fact, there IS an answer to the question but the embarrassing part for Dawkins is that HE could not answer it.

Another bloggist/Youtuber answers for him by pointing to Downs Syndrome.

However, that is not a very brilliant contribution, either. How many people think that evolution takes place by mutations such as Downs? Most people, not least those with Downs, regard it as a disease, not a stage in the genetic evolution of Man.

One is reminded of the graffiti seen on the wall of a University Biology Department which read:

"Mutate now...and avoid the rush!"

Will somebody please take Dorky Dawkins aside and explain to him that if he goes on making such a fool of himself, even his mother will disbelieve him?


Clerical titles: the real story is much more interesting...

It is now common, in the English speaking world, to address parish clergy as "Father".

Actually, this is a recent invention.

From some time after the Reformation until the 1820s, or thereabouts, parish clergy were addressed as "Mister", the title of a gentleman in civil society. This title originally comes, of course, from "Master" just as the titles "Mrs" and "Miss" come from "Mistress", the title of a lady of gentility. Those not of the nobility or gentry were called only by their first and/or surname e.g. John Smith.

In Medieval and Renaissance England, a secular priest was always titled "Sir" like a knight, thus "Sir John Smith". For examples of this, see Shakespeare's plays where the secular priests are called thus e.g. Sir Christopher Urswick in Richard III, especially Act IV, Scene V, and in other of his plays. Only religious or bishops are called by the title "Father" e.g. "Right Reverend Fathers" again in Richard III, and Friar Lawrence in Romeo and Juliet, who is greeted variously as "Father", "Friar", "Brother" and "my Ghostly Confessor".

Around the 1820s the use of the title "Father" even for secular clergy became more common in England, Ireland, America and the Anglophone world, having crept in over the penal times, by virtue of the difficulty in distinguishing between secular and religious clergy, since all were constantly in hiding or operating covertly and shared a similar life and persecuted status.

In Catholic countries on the continent of Europe, however, the distinction of titles continued and still continues today. Thus, the titles for a secular cleric, broadly equivalent to "Sir" or "Mr" are as follows:

France - Monsieur l'Abbé. For a Parish Priest, Monsieur le Curé.
Italy - Signor Don followed by the name (more like "Sir" in English). For a Parish Priest, Signor Don Parroco.
Spain - Señor Don followed by the name. For a Parish Priest, Señor Don Cura.
Austria/Germany - Hochwurden (literally "most worthy" but roughly equivalent to
"your Reverence"). For a Parish Priest, Herr Pfarrer (meaning "Lord Rector" or "Sir Rector").

Signor, Señor, Monsieur or Herr are all titles of gentility, gentry or nobility, meaning "Lord". So, in fact, is "Mister" or "Mr", which is the title by which a gentleman is addressed. An higher estate is that of Knight who was addressed "Sir" which is roughly equivalent to the Spanish and Italian title Don. The middle ranking title of "Esquire" is derived from the French Esquier, or "shield-bearer", meaning one who is entitled to a coat of arms, the sign of nobility. In German, the equivalent used to be Junker and in Dutch is still the title Jonkheer.

Monsieur is unusual in that all French nobility, high or low, were called by this short title, since it means "my Lord". Moreover, the French nobility were mildly encouraged, by an old royal tradition, to treat each other as equals and so all, whether dukes or small local sieurs, called each other Monsieur. There were, of course, variations and royalty began to be called Mon Seigneur, a title used by both kings and bishops. An older title was that of Mon Sire which is broadly the same as Monsieur. From it we get the title of address "Sire" sometimes used for royalty and some Prince-bishops.

Prince-Electors of the Empire, whether clerical or lay, were styled "your Eminence" just as cardinals were, and are, and as the Grand Master of the Order of Malta still is, although not a cleric.

It is readily apparent what the Italian title Monsignor means: it means, again, "my Lord".

There are broad equivalents in all other European countries, with many variations as befits the variety of culture that flourished under the Church reflecting the "glorious liberty of the Sons of God".
Clemens-August, Archbishop Baron von Droste zu Vischering, the saintly Archbishop of Cologne (and by ancient right a Prince-Elector of the Empire) who was persecuted and imprisoned by the Prussian Protestant government for his faith and loyalty to the See of St Peter. Note the scarlet of a Prince-Elector, similar to a cardinal (he was not a cardinal, having declined the offer by the Pope).

All clergy in Major Orders were termed "Lord" or "Sir" like their lay counterparts, the gentlemen, esquires, knights, barons and nobility of Christendom.

The modern, absurdly chummy manner of introducing oneself to a complete stranger with "Hello, Bob" or "It's Fred, here" is entirely foreign to Catholic culture and tradition. Of course, close friends, clerical and lay, called each other interchangeably by their first names but the modern idea of treating every person as if they were a close friend is an invasion of the privacy of individuals and disrespectful of the right of men and women to their privacy and to respect for their individual personhood.

The title "Father" is still - in theory - preserved in non-Anglophone Catholic countries for clerical members of religious orders, just as it used to be in Anglophone countries before about 1820.

In the Catholic Church permanent deacons (that is, deacons who are not preparing for ordination to priesthood) are styled "Reverend Mr" in correspondence, although it has also become customary to address them simply as "Deacon John Smith". In fact, in former times, and still in the Eastern churches, all deacons were styled "Father Deacon Smith". The idea that permanent deacons are somehow "different" from other deacons is simply fallacious. Permanent deacons of varying kinds have existed for a long time in various forms. The Holy Roman Emperor, since the time of Emperor Charles V was always, at his coronation, ordained a permanent deacon by the Pope. In earlier times he was ordained a subdeacon.

The idea that the title "Father" was always used for priests, and only priests, is simply ahistorical. St Francis of Assisi was called "Father" by his brethren (and still is) although he was a deacon not a priest and St Benedict, likewise was called "Father" by his brethren (and still is), albeit he was not even in Major Orders. In the Middle Ages many abbots were not priests but were still called "Father" by their brethren.

The title "your Reverence" was also once much in use (and one can still occasionally hear it in Ireland).

The idea that the title or description "Reverend" is Anglican is another Anglophone fallacy resulting from poor education among Catholics.

It is used on the continent, also, e.g. Reverend pere is used in France to address clerical religious and occasionally even parish clergy; also Reverendissime Pere, or "Very Reverend Father" for an abbot or bishop.

ALL Anglican clerical titles are derived from the days when the Roman Catholic Church was the Church of England, the Ecclesia Anglicana.

Thus the title Rector means a Parish Priest and the title Vicar means a priest or cleric standing in for another cleric, often an absentee cleric, which often meant an absentee Parish Priest which is why many Anglican clergy are called Vicar. It comes from the Latin vicarius (meaning "in place of another") and is an entirely Roman Catholic title. Another example of its use is in the title "Vicar-General".

Titles like "Prebendary" are also originally Catholic and refer to "Canons Prebendary" (Canoni Prebendarii) of a Cathedral whose office attracted funds called "Prebends" (from another Latin word) which came from tithes and were to be used by the Canon for the spiritual and corporal works of mercy of the Church.

So next time you hear someone say of some traditional title "Oh, that's just Anglican!", you may correct the ill-informed person concerned and point out to them that it was, without question, Roman Catholic first.

The only thing that is peculiarly "Anglican" is their Protestant doctrine - that and nothing more. The rest is, and always was, Catholic in form, spirit and origin.


Sir Walter Scott: the non-Catholic who might have been..

Sir Walter Scott of Abbotsford came from the race of Scotts of Harden, one of many war-like families on the Borders of Scotland in the Middle Ages who made raids across the border with England.

He is collaterally related to the Montagu-Douglas-Scott, Dukes of Buccleuch, the Chief of Clan Scott. This, together with a time he spent with his grandfather at his home near Dryburgh Abbey, gave Scott his great interest in the ages of faith and the ancient history of Scotland.

He fairly lived and dreamed the romance of chivalry and the ages of faith, whilst all the time remaining a member of the Episcopal Church of Scotland. In the age he lived in, he could not contemplate the great sacrifice necessary for a Scotsman of his class and background to become a Catholic, even assuming that he really wanted to.

Nevertheless, although he tries to conceal it with the usual Georgian and Victorian prejudices against the Catholic Church, there is a constant, latent hint of sympathy and sneaking admiration for the towering strength and majesty of the Catholic Church and the fierce loyalty and courage it inspires in the best of its members. Once can feel Scott secretly admiring this. There is even a palpable but hidden yearning for it throughout all his novels and poems, albeit well-concealed.

The ruins of Dryburgh Abbey, Roxburghshire, where Scott played as a child and was later buried

Scott became a lawyer, a member of the Scottish Faculty of Advocates, and later Sheriff-Depute (a Judge) of Selkirk, and eventually, with the income from his writing, he was able to build Abbotsford, his Scottish baronial style home in the Borders, which stands to this day. His fame resulted in his being raised to the baronetcy by the King.

Scott had married, in December 1797, Mlle Margaret Charlotte Charpentier, a French royalist emigre whose family had escaped from the French revolutionary terror, one of those many, often aristocratic, French exiles who did so much to re-align British views of French Catholicism. She must surely have had some influence on Scott's views of the Catholic religion.

Abbotsford, the home of Sir Walter Scott, Bt

However, Scott later fell into enormous debt when the legal firm of which he had remained a sleeping partner became insolvent and he was made liable for its debts. He escaped bankruptcy by putting Abbotsford into trust with his creditors as beneficiaries and then proceeded to write his way out of debt which, astonishingly, he eventually succeeded in doing, albeit the last remaining debts were only finally cleared shortly after his death from his estate, the ever-increasing wealth of which was due to the continuing huge success of his writings.

Here is one of his many poems with a Catholic flavour:

The Bare-footed Friar

I’ll give thee, good fellow, a twelvemonth or twain,
To search Europe through, from Byzantium to Spain;
But ne’er shall you find, should you search till you tire,
So happy a man as the Barefooted Friar.

Your knight for his lady pricks forth in career,
And is brought home at even-song prick’d through with a spear;
I confess him in haste—for his lady desires
No comfort on earth save the Barefooted Friar’s.

Your monarch? —Pshaw! many a prince has been known
To barter his robes for our cowl and our gown,
But which of us e’er felt the idle desire
To exchange for a crown the grey hood of a Friar!

The Friar has walk’d out, and where’er he has gone,
The land and its fatness is mark’d for his own;
He can roam where he lists, he can stop when he tires,
For every man’s house is the Barefooted Friar’s.

He’s expected at noon, and no wight till he comes
May profane the great chair, or the porridge of plums
For the best of the cheer, and the seat by the fire,
Is the undenied right of the Barefooted Friar.

He’s expected at night, and the pasty’s made hot,
They broach the brown ale, and they fill the black pot,
And the goodwife would wish the goodman in the mire,
Ere he lack’d a soft pillow, the Barefooted Friar.

Long flourish the sandal, the cord, and the cope,
The dread of the devil and trust of the Pope;
For to gather life’s roses, unscathed by the briar,
Is granted alone to the Barefooted Friar.

It is typical Scott: he tilts, in good Protestant fashion, at the allegedly easy life of a mendicant friar, giving no credit whatever for the self-mortifications, strong discipline and nightly rising for prayer, which was then a part of the life of every good friar, but at the same time you sense that he knows he is both celebrating and short-changing the friar.

The tomb of Sir Walter Scott, Bt, in the ruins of Dryburgh Abbey, Roxburghshire

Scott completely revolutionised the attitude of the English and Lowland Scots to the Celtic Highland clans and even to the Middle Ages and, thus, indirectly to the Catholic Church. Of course Victorian Protestants still maintained their false claims against the Catholic Church but with greater softening of former rigour which must, in its way, have contributed to Catholic emancipation in these islands.

"I love"
Badge of Clan Scott, containing the crest and motto of the Chief


Sunday, 6 April 2008

Good Shepherd Sunday

Today is Good Shepherd Sunday.

Ego sum Pastor bonus, allelúja: et cognósco oves Meas, et cognóscunt Me Meæ. Allelúja, allelúja.

I am the good Shepherd, alleluia: and I know My sheep, and Mine know Me, alleluia, alleluia.

Today's Gospel is from John 10: 11-16:

In illo témpore: Dixit Jesus Pharisæis: "Ego sum Pastor bonus. Bonus pastor ánimam suam dat pro óvibus. Mercenárius autem et qui non est pastor, cujus non sunt oves própriæ, videt lupum veniéntem, et dimíttit oves, et fugit: et lupus rapit et dispérgit oves: mercenárius autem fugit, quia mercenárius est, et non pértinet ad eum de óvibus. Ego sum Pastor bonus: et cognósco oves meas, et cognóscunt me meæ. Sicut novit me Pater, et ego agnósco Patrem: et ánimam meam pono pro óvibus meis. Et alias oves hábeo, qum non sunt ex hoc ovíli: et illas opórtet me addúcere, et vocem meam áudient, et fiat unum ovíile, et unus pastor."

At that time Jesus said to the Pharisees: "I am the good Shepherd. The good Shepherd giveth his life for his sheep. But the hireling, and he that is not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming and leaveth the sheep and flieth: and the wolf catcheth and scattereth the sheep: and the hireling flieth, because he is a hireling, and he hath no care for the sheep. I am the good Shepherd: and I know Mine, and Mine know Me, as the Father knoweth Me, and I know the Father: and I lay down My life for My sheep. And other sheep I have that are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear My voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd."

Take note all pastors and bishops and be not hirelings but true shepherds.

We should also note that our Lord says He has sheepthat are "not of this fold" who shall hear His voice - perhaps better than those who are currently of His Flock - and they shall become part of the Flock, too.

This should teach us to be humble and not to presume or become complacent. Some who are not currently of the Flock may be judged better than us to sit amongst the saints in Heaven.

Let us pray for them, also, and remember that the Catholic Church is for all, including those who are not yet members. It is not a convenient little club only for cradle Catholics.

God chose the Israelites but all but a few later rejected Him and he transferred His favour to the Gentiles who converted to Him and loved Him better than many of His own chosen people.


The prayers of King James II

King James II, the last reigning Catholic King of England, Scotland, and Ireland, battled with self-sacrificing zeal during his short active reign (1685-1688) to restore his realms peacefully to unity and to free Catholics from persecution and oppression.

For this he was deposed by a treacherous conspiracy of faithless Whigs, claiming to be working for the good of the country but actually lining their own pockets.

James was brought up in the Church of England but he and his wife, Lady Anne Hyde, later converted to Roman Catholicism and ever after regarded it as the true religion, even though Anne Hyde was the daughter of the Earl of Clarendon, a leading light in the Church of England.

However, James was sensible to the dangers and in no way sought to impose his religion on the unwilling. He sought, instead, to free men from religious persecution and oppression, to succour the poor and to unite the country under the banner of freedom and prosperity.

The rich, bloated, Capitalist Whigs would have none of it. Anglicanism imposed on the nation suited them and allowed them to keep their ill-gotten gains and to continue to oppress the poor.

James was defeated by a conspiracy of highly-placed traitors, including John Churchill. He retreated to France where he lived, in the odour of sanctity, a devout Catholic life often visiting the Abbey of La Trappe, where some of his former officers were now Trappist monks.

These prayers below were composed especially for him, and written by hand into his own prayer-book. In to-day's Church, they are especially relevant for those who would remain loyal to orthodox Roman Catholic doctrine and practise in the face of bigoted hostility and an renewed and increasing persecution and oppression, by government and others, on the ground of religion.


ALMIGHTY and everlasting God! Who only workest great marvells, show the riches of Thy goodness to Thy desolate and persecuted Church, that now sits mourning in her own dust and ruins, torn by schism and stripped and spoiled by sacrilege.
And Thou, who after a long captivity didst bring back Thy people to rebuild their Temple, look upon us with the same eyes of mercy.
Restore to us once again the publick worship of Thy name, the reverent administration of Thy sacraments; raise up the King, that we may once more enter into Thy courts with praise and serve Thee with that reverence, that unity, and order, as may be acceptable in Thy sight, through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN.

O MOST powerful and ever blessed Lord God! Who art glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders; we most humbly beseech Thee to look compassionately on this persecuted part of Thy Church, now driven from Thy publick altars into corners and secret closets, that Thy protection may be over us, wherever we shall be scattered, and a remnant preserved amongst us by whom Thy name may be glorified, Thy sacraments administered, and the souls of Thy servants kept up in a corrupted and corrupting generation. So we that are Thy people and sheep of Thy pasture shall give Thee thanks for ever, and will always be showing forth Thy praise from generation to generation, through Jesus Christ, our only Saviour and Redeemer. AMEN.
[Source: Donald B. Aldrich, ed., The Golden Book of Prayer, Dodd, Mead, & Co., New York 1942, pp. 224-225.]


A Devout Recommendation

I adore and glorify Thee, O blessed Trinity, God Almighty, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; I offer myself to Thy divine Majesty, humbly beseeching Thee to take from me, and from all Thy Faithful, whatever displeaseth Thee, and give us that which is grateful in Thy Sight. Grant that we may here do what Thou commandest, and hereafter receive what Thou promisest.
To Thee, O Lord, I commend my Soul and Body, (my Wife and Children, my Father and Mother, my Brethren and Sisters) my Kinsfolk and Benefactors, my Friends and Familiars, all my nearest and dearest Relations, and all those for whom I am any ways bound to offer up my Prayers. To Thee I commend the Holy Catholic Church. To Thee I commend this Kingdom, [and our Gracious Sovereign]. Grant, O Lord, that all may know Thee, all may honour and reverence Thee, all may love Thee, and be loved by Thee. Reduce those that err, and bring then again into the Way; abolish Heresies, convert all to the true Faith, who as yet do not know Thee. Grant us, O Lord, Thy Grace, and keep us in Thy Peace; may Thy holy Will be done, and not ours: Comfort all those that lead their Lives in Sorrow, Misery, or Temptations, and mercifully relieve them in their Afflictions, Spiritual or Temporal. Lastly, I commend all to Thy holy Protection, that Thou wouldest vouchsafe to the Living Forgiveness of their sins, and to the Souls departed everlasting Rest. Amen.

The Litany of Intercession for England

Remember not, O Lord, our Offences, nor those of our Parents; neither take Thou Vengeance of our Sins.
Lord, have Mercy on us.
Christ, have Mercy on us.
Lord, have Mercy on us.
Jesus, receive our Prayers.
Lord Jesus, grant our Petitions,
O God the Father, Creator of the World, Have Mercy on England.
O God the Son, Redeemer of the World, Have Mercy on England.
O God the Holy Ghost, Protector of the World, Have Mercy on England.
O Sacred Trinity, three Persons and one God, Have Mercy on England.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for England (repeat).
Holy Mary, Queen of Angels, whose powerful Intercession destroys Heresies,
Holy Mary, Virgin of Virgins, whose eminent Sanctity our Lord hath honoured with so many Miracles,
St. Michael, Prince of the Church,
St. Gabriel, glorious messenger of our Saviour's Incarnation,
St. Raphael, faithful guide of those that have lost their Way,
Holy Angel, to whose pious custody this Province is committed,
All Holy Angels, and blessed Spirits, of Heaven, who celebrate with Joy the Conversion of Sinners,
St. John Baptist, Precursor of the Messiah, and great Example of Penance,
All ye holy Patriarchs and Prophets, Friends of God, and Advancers of his Truth,
St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles, and Supreme Pastor of Christ's Sheep,
St. Paul, Doctor of the Gentiles, who of a Persecutor became a Preacher,
St. Andrew, first Disciple of Christ, and constant Lover of the Cross,
All holy Apostles and Evangelists, chief Planters of the Christian Faith, and zealous Maintainers of Catholic Unity,
St. George, our principal Patron, whose Courage remained invincible in the midst of so many Torments,
St. Alban, our first Martyr, who, for the generous charity of harbouring a Priest, was put to Death,
St. Thomas of Canterbury, who, as a faithful Shepherd, laidst down thy Life in Defence of thy Flock,
All holy Martyrs of this Nation, who voluntarily lost your Lives here, to find them again in a joyful Eternity,
St. Gregory, most vigilant Bishop of the universal Church, whose pious Zeal sent Missionaries from Rome for the conversion of our Ancestors,
St. Augustine, peculiar Apostle of this Nation, by whom our Forefathers were reclaimed from Paganism and Infidelity,
St. Bede, most venerable Confessor, by whose religious Life, and learned Writings, the Catholic Faith was eminently propagated amongst us,
All holy Bishops and Confessors, by whose Wisdom and Sanctity this Island was once a flourishing Seminary of Religion,
St. Helen, most holy Queen, and happy Mother of the first Christian Emperor,
St. Ursula, most blessed Martyr, who died in the glorious Defence of Faith and Chastity,
St. Winifred, most admirable Virgin, even in this unbelieving Generation still miraculous,
All holy Saints of this Nation, who, amidst the innumerable Joys of Heaven, still retain a particular Charity for the Conversion of your country,
All holy Saints of all Places, who, tho' divided here in several Regions, were united in the same Faith, and now enjoy one common Felicity, Be merciful, O Lord, and spare us.
Be merciful, O Lord, and hear us.

From the Dangers most justly threatening our Sins, Deliver England, O Lord.
From the Spirit of Pride, Rebellion, and Apostacy, Deliver England, O Lord.
From the Spirit of Hypocrisy, Prophaneness, and Sacrilege, Deliver England, O Lord.
From Schism, Heresy, and all Blindness of Heart, Deliver England, O Lord.
From Gluttony, Drunkenness, and the false Liberty of an undisciplin'd Life, Deliver England, O Lord.

We Sinners beseech Thee hear us.

That it will please Thee to hasten the Conversion of this, our miserable country, and re-unite them to the ancient Faith and Communion of Thy Church,
We Sinners beseech Thee hear us. (repeat)
That it would please Thee particularly to have Mercy on our Kinsfolks, Friends, and Benefactors, and open their Eyes to see the Beauty of Thy Truth, and embrace it,
That it would please Thee to incline the Hearts of all the Magistrates rightly to understand our Religion, and impartially consider our Sufferings; and how hardly soever they may deal with us, make us till with exact Fidelity to perform our Duties toward them,
That it would please Thee to comfort and strengthen Thy Servants who suffer for the Catholic Faith, and not permit the weakest of us, by any Temptation whatsoever, to fall away from Thee and Thy Truth,
That it would please Thee to assist with Thy special Grace those good Pastors who venture their Lives for their Flock, and daily augment in them the Fire of Thy Love, and the Zeal of gaining Souls,
That it would please Thee to preserve the Catholics of this Land from all Sin and Scandal, and to adorn our Lives with solid Piety, that our Enemy, seeing our good Works, may glorify Thee our heavenly Father,
That it would please Thee to grant us the grace of improving the Restraints and temporal Disadvantages we fall under, into an Occasion of Retiredness and Christian Severity; supplying our Want of public Assemblies by a greater diligence in private Devotions,
That it may please Thee to govern us by Thy good Spirit, that we may accept such Ease and Liberty, as Thou vouchsafest to bestow on us, with Gratitude, use it with Modesty, and give others to understand by our Behaviour, that nothing is pleasing to us, but so far as it tends to Thy Honour and our Neighbour's Good,
That it would please Thee to illuminate the Hearts of all Schismatics, who live out of the Church, seriously to apprehend the danger of their State, and the great Importance of eternal Salvation,
That it would please Thee to look mercifully down from Heaven on the Tears of the Afflicted, and the Blood of so many Martyrs, who have spent their Lives and suffered Death to convert us to Thee, Son of God, we beseech Thee to hear us.

O Lamb of God, that takest away the Sins of the World, Spare us, O Lord.
O Lamb of God, that takest away the Sins of the World, Hear us, O Lord.
O Lamb of God that takest away the Sins of the World, Have Mercy on us.
Lord have Mercy on us.
Christ, have Mercy on us.
Lord have Mercy on us.

Our Father, etc.
V.: And lead us not into Temptation.
R.: But deliver us from Evil. Amen.
V.: O Lord, hear our Prayers.
R.: And let our Supplications come unto Thee.

Let us Pray.

Almighty and everlasting God, whose Judgements are righteous, and Counsels unsearchable, who visitest the Iniquities of the Parents upon the Children, to the third and fourth generation, and yet at length rememberest Mercy: Forgive, we beseech Thee, the Sins of our Forefathers, and turn away Thy Wrath from their Posterity; deliver the Ignorant from being seduced by false Teachers, and the Learned from being abused by their Passions, and the whole Nation from the Spirit of Contradiction, Licentiousness, and Discord; that instead of many Divisions and Changes in Religion, under which they labour, they may again be restored to that Unity of Mind, Steadiness of Faith, and Tranquillity of Conscience, which is no where to be sought but in the Communion of Thy Church, nor possible to be found but by the Conduct of Thy Grace.
O eternal God, who in this great Deluge of Heresy, which wholly overflows, and almost covers the Face of this Land, hast vouchsafed to select a small Number for Thyself, and save them in Thy Holy Ark from the common Inundation; we praise and glorify Thy infinite Goodness, by which alone we enjoy the Comfort of a firm and settled Belief, free from the Inconstancy of those, who, having no Support but their own Fancies, float up and down awhile, and sink at last into the Gulf of Infidelity; make us sensible, O Lord, of these Thy unspeakable blessings, that as we know Thee by a sure Faith, we may love Thee with a perfect Charity; and fixing all our hopes on the joys of a future Life, patiently suffer what Thou permittest here, and still press on to what Thou promisest hereafter, thro' Jesus Christ our Lord, and only Saviour. Amen.

A Prayer to be Said Every Day in the Time of Persecution

O My Lord Jesus Christ, true God and true Man, who sufferedst an ignominious Death on the Cross for my Redemption; I humbly offer up to Thee my Soul, my Body, my Life, my Goods, and all my Fortunes, to be wholly disposed of according to Thy most blessed Will; and if it be Thy holy Pleasure that I should lose my Life or Fortunes for the profession of Thy holy Name and the Catholick Religion, Lord, I humbly and freely submit thereunto, beseeching Thee of Thy infinite Goodness and Mercy, and by the Merits of Thy bitter Death and Passion, that Thou wilt please to forgive me my Sins; give me Strength and Patience to overcome all Temptations and Adversities; pardon all my Enemies and Persecutors, and all the Injuries they have done me in Thought, Word, or Deed, and make us all Partakers of Thy heavenly Kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour, who, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth one God, World without End. Amen.

Prayer for the King

V.: O Lord, save [name] our King.
R.: And hear us in the Day that we shall call upon Thee.

Let us pray.

We beseech Thee, Almighty God, that Thy Servant [name], our King, who, thro' Thy Mercy, hath the Government of this Realm committed to him, may likewise receive the Increase of all Virtues, wherewith being adorned, he may avoid the Enormity of Sin, and being rendered acceptable in Thy Sight, come at length to Thee, who art the Way, the Truth, and the Life: Who livest and reignest with God the Father, in the Unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, World without End. Amen.
[Taken from A Manual of Prayers and Other Christian Devotions: Fitted For All Persons and Occasions, dated 1755, probably printed at Preston.]

Aymez Loyauté

("Love loyalty" - the motto of the Stuarts)