Belated Birthday, Queen Marie-Antoinette, 2 Nov

Queen Marie-Antoinette,
Born 2 Nov, 1755
Martyred and entered into Heaven 16 October, 1793

Maria Antonia Josefa Johanna von Habsburg-Lothringen

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O God through the intercession of your Son Our Lord, and the Sacred Heart
Grant peace to the this Martyred servant and Queen of France.



All Souls Day

The commemoration of all the faithful departed is celebrated by the Church on 2 November, or, if this be a Sunday or a solemnity, on 3 November. The Office of the Dead must be recited by the clergy and all the Masses are to be of Requiem, except one of the current feast, where this is of obligation.
The theological basis for the feast is the doctrine that the souls which, on departing from the body, are not perfectly cleansed from venial sins, or have not fully atoned for past transgressions, are debarred from the Beatific Vision, and that the faithful on earth can help them by prayers, almsdeeds and especially by the sacrifice of the Mass.

In the early days of Christianity the names of the departed brethren were entered in the diptychs. Later, in the sixth century, it was customary in Benedictine monasteries to hold a commemoration of the deceased members at Whitsuntide. In Spain there was such a day on Saturday before Sexagesima or before Pentecost, at the time of St. Isidore (d. 636). In Germany there existed (according to the testimony of Widukind, Abbot of Corvey, c. 980) a time-honoured ceremony of praying to the dead on 1 October. This was accepted and sanctified by the Church. St. Odilo of Cluny (d. 1048) ordered the commemoration of all the faithful departed to he held annually in the monasteries of his congregation. Thence it spread among the other congregations of the Benedictines and among the Carthusians.

Of the dioceses, Liège was the first to adopt it under Bishop Notger (d. 1008). It is then found in the martyrology of St. Protadius of Besançon (1053-66). Bishop Otricus (1120-25) introduced it into Milan for the 15 October. In Spain, Portugal, and Latin America, priests on this day say three Masses. A similar concession for the entire world was asked of Pope Leo XIII. He would not grant the favour but ordered a special Requiem on Sunday, 30 September, 1888.
In the Greek Rite this commemoration is held on the eve of Sexagesima Sunday, or on the eve of Pentecost.

Requiem Æternam

Réquiem ætérnam dona eis, Dómine,
et lux perpétua lúceat eis.
Requiéscant in pace. Amen.

Eternal Rest

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May they rest in peace. Amen.

All Saints Day

Solemnity celebrated on the first of November. It is instituted to honour all the saints, known and unknown, and, according to Urban IV, to supply any deficiencies in the faithful's celebration of saints' feasts during the year.
In the early days the Christians were accustomed to solemnize the anniversary of a martyr's death for Christ at the place of martyrdom. In the fourth century, neighbouring dioceses began to interchange feasts, to transfer relics, to divide them, and to join in a common feast; as is shown by the invitation of St. Basil of Caesarea (397) to the bishops of the province of Pontus. Frequently groups of martyrs suffered on the same day, which naturally led to a joint commemoration. In the persecution of Diocletian the number of martyrs became so great that a separate day could not be assigned to each. But the Church, feeling that every martyr should be venerated, appointed a common day for all. The first trace of this we find in Antioch on the Sunday after Pentecost. We also find mention of a common day in a sermon of St. Ephrem the Syrian (373), and in the 74th homily of St. John Chrysostom (407). At first only martyrs and St. John the Baptist were honoured by a special day. Other saints were added gradually, and increased in number when a regular process of canonization was established; still, as early as 411 there is in the Chaldean Calendar a "Commemoratio Confessorum" for the Friday after Easter. In the West Boniface IV, 13 May, 609, or 610, consecrated the Pantheon in Rome to the Blessed Virgin and all the martyrs, ordering an anniversary. Gregory III (731-741) consecrated a chapel in the Basilica of St. Peter to all the saints and fixed the anniversary for 1 November. A basilica of the Apostles already existed in Rome, and its dedication was annually remembered on 1 May. Gregory IV (827-844) extended the celebration on 1 November to the entire Church. The vigil seems to have been held as early as the feast itself. The octave was added by Sixtus IV (1471-84).

How shining and splendid are your gifts, O Lord
which you give us for our eternal well-being
Your glory shines radiantly in your saints, O God
In the honour and noble victory of the martyrs.
The white-robed company follow you,
bright with their abundant faith;
They scorned the wicked words of those with this world's power.
For you they sustained fierce beatings, chains, and torments,
they were drained by cruel punishments.
They bore their holy witness to you
who were grounded deep within their hearts;
they were sustained by patience and constancy.
Endowed with your everlasting grace,
may we rejoice forever
with the martyrs in our bright fatherland.
O Christ, in your goodness,
grant to us the gracious heavenly realms of eternal life.

Unknown author, 10th century


Isabella I, La Catolica

She was made famous in American history by sending Christopher Columbus to the New world in search of Japan. Her story is much more complex than as she is viewed, as just some adleminded Catholic bigoted Queen with nothing more to do on an afternoon other than send a mariner over the edge of the world or to enslave the American indians in a mad search for gold, for that story look to Jamestowne. She was a Coruler in the greatest Catholic Monarchy in the world at the time, and whose empire would be larger than that of 19th century Great Britain, and who brought millions of people to the true faith than those who were lost to the protestant heresy. What follows is her story...

Queen of Castile; born in the town of Madrigal de las Altas Torres, 22 April, 1451; died a little before noon, 26 November, 1504, in the castle of La Mota, which still stands at Medina del Campo (Valladolid).

She was the daughter of John II, King of Castile, by his second wife, Isabella of Portugal. Being only a little more than three years of age when her father died (1454), she was brought up carefully and piously by her mother, at Arévalo, until her thirteenth year. Her brother, King Henry IV, then took her, together with her other brother, Alfonso, to his court, on the pretext of completing her education, but in reality, as Flórez tells us, to prevent the two royal children from serving as a standard to which the discontented nobles might rally.

The Castilian nobles had been constantly increasing in power during the repeated long minorities through which the crown had passed, and had taken advantage of the weakness of kings like Henry II and John II. At this period they had reached the point of completely stripping the throne of its authority. They availed themselves of Henry IV's incredible imbecility and of the scandalous relations between Joan of Portugal, his second wife, and his favourite, Beltran de la Cueva. Defeated at Olmedo, and deprived of their leader, the Infante Alfonso, who died — by poison, as was believed — on 5 July, 1468, they sought to obtain the crown for the Infanta Isabella, rejecting the king's presumptive daughter, Joan, who was called "La Beltraneja" on the supposition that Don Beltran was her real father. On this occasion Isabella gave one of the earliest proofs of her great qualities, refusing the usurped crown offered to her, and declaring that never while her brother lived would she accept the title of queen. The king, on his part, committed the astounding folly of recognizing Isabella as his immediate heiress, to the exclusion of Joan. Historians have generally been willing to interpret this act of Henry IV as an implicit acknowledgment of his own dishonour. To be strictly just, however, it was not so, for even if Joan was his daughter in fact, as she was by juridical presumption, he might have yielded to the violence of the nobles, who sought to give the crown to Isabella immediately, and compromised with them by making her his heir, as he did in "the Inn of the Bulls" of Guisando (la Venta de los Toros), 19 September, 1468. For a year before this, Isabella had been living at Segovia, apart from the court, which resided at Toledo; after the conclusion of the pact she was at odds with her brother, the king on account of his plan for her marriage.

In 1460 Henry had already offered the hand of Isabella to Don Carlos, Prince of Viana, the eldest son of John II of Aragon, and heir, at the same time, to the Kingdom of Navarre. This Henry did in spite of the opposition of the King of Aragon, who wished to obtain the hand of Isabella (which carried with it the crown of Castile) for his younger son, Ferdinand. Negotiations were protracted until the unhappy death of the Prince of Viana. In 1465 an attempt was made to arrange the marriage between Isabella and Alfonso V of Portugal, but the princess had already chosen Ferdinand of Aragon for a husband and was therefore opposed to this alliance. For the same reason she subsequently refused to marry Don Pedro Girón, Master of Calatrava, a member of the powerful Pacheco family, whom the king sought to win over by this means. Other aspirants for Isabella'a hand were Richard, Duke of Gloucester, brother of Edward IV of England, and the Duke of Guienne, brother of Louis XI of France. The Cortes was assembled at Ocaña in 1469 to ratify the Pact of Guisando, when an embassy arrived from Portugal to renew the suit of Alfonso V for the hand of Isabella. When she declined this alliance, the king went so far as to threaten her with imprisonment in the Alcazar of Madrid, and although fear of the Infanta's partisans prevented him from carrying out this threat, he exacted of his sister a promise not to enter into any matrimonial negotiations during his absence in Andalusia, whither he was on the point of setting out. But Isabella, as soon as she was left alone, removed with the aid of the Archbishop of Toledo and the Admiral of Castile, Don Fadrique Enríquez, to Madrigal and thence to Valladolid, and from there sent Gutierre de Cárdenas and Alfonso de Palencia in search of Ferdinand, who had been proclaimed King of Sicily and heir of the Aragonese monarchy. Ferdinand, after a journey the story of which reads like a novel, for its perils and its dramatic interest, was married to Isabella in the palace of Juan de Vivero, in 1469.

On the death of Henry IV, Isabella, who was then at Segovia, was proclaimed Queen of Castile. But La Beltraneja had been betrothed to Alfonso V of Portugal, and Henry, revoking the Pact of Guisando, had caused her to be proclaimed heiress of his dominions. The Archbishop of Toledo, the Marqués de Villena, the Master of Calatrava, and other nobles, who in her father's lifetime had denied La Beltraneja's legitimacy, now defended her claims. And thus was begun a war between Spain and Portugal which lasted five years, ending with the peace of 1479, when a double alliance was arranged. La Beltraneja, however, abandoned her claims, taking the veil in the monastery of Santa Clara of Coimbra (1480), and with that event the right of Isabella to the throne of Castile became unquestioned. Ferdinand had meanwhile succeeded to the throne of Aragon, and thus the definitive unity of the Spanish nation was accomplished in the two monarchs to whom a Spanish pope, Alexander VI, gave the title of "Catholic" which the Kings of Spain still bear. Isabella displayed her prudence and gentleness — qualities which she possessed in a degree seldom equalled — in the agreement she made with Ferdinand as to the government of their dominions: they were to hold equal authority, a principle expressed in the device or motto, "Tanto monta, monta tanto — Isabel como Fernando (As much as the one is worth so much is the other — Isabella as Fernando)".

The harmonious union of the peoples and the crowns being thus realized, it was necessary to reduce the power of the nobles, who had acquired a position almost independent of the crown and rendered good government difficult. Towards this object the Catholic sovereigns directed their efforts; among the means which they took should be mentioned chiefly: (1) the establishment of the Santa Hermandad (Holy Brotherhood), a kind of permanent military force, very completely organized, supported by the municipal councils, and intended for the protection of persons and property against the violence of the nobles; (2) an improved and properly ordered administration of justice with a wise organization of the tribunals, the establishment of the Chancery at Valladolid, and the promulgation of the royal edicts generally called "Edicts of Montalvo" after the jurisconsult who drew them up; (3) the abolition of the right of coining money, which certain individuals held, and the regulation of the currency laws so as to facilitate commerce; (4) the revocation of extravagant grants made to certain nobles during the reigns of the late monarchs, the demolition of their castles, which constituted a menace to public peace, and the vesting in the crown of the masterships of military orders. To preserve the purity of the Faith and religious unity, against the intrigues of the Jews, who were employing the influence of their wealth and their usurious dealings to pervert Christians, the Catholic sovereigns solicited of Pope Sixtus IV the establishment of the Inquisition.

Their government thus strengthened at home, the sovereigns proceeded to bring to a completion, by the conquest of Granada, the great work of reconquest which had been virtually at a standstill since the time of Alfonso XI. The taking of Zahara, of which the Moors possessed themselves by surprise, afforded an occasion for the war; which opened happily with the conquest of Alhama (March, 1482). The Christians were favoured by the internal troubles of Granada, which were due to the party of the Emir Muley Hassan and his son Boabdil, and, after the death of the former, to the supporters of his uncle Abdallah el Zagal. The sovereigns kept up the war in spite of the serious defeats sustained by them at Ajarquia and Loja, and possessed themselves successively of Coin, Guadix, Almería, Loja, Vélez, Malaga, and Baza. Isabella took a prominent part in this war; not only did she attend to the government of the kingdom, and provide for the support of the army while Ferdinand did battle at its head, but she repeatedly visited the camp to animate the troops by her presence. This was the case at the siege of Malaga, and at that of Baza, where the stern usages of war did not hinder the Moorish leader, Cid Hiaya, from displaying his chivalry towards the queen. She was in danger of being assassinated by a Mohammedan fanatic before the walls of Malaga, and of perishing in the conflagration of the besieging camp at Granada. In consequence of this conflagration the city of Santa Fe was built, to put an end to the vain hopes of the people of Granada, that the Catholic sovereigns would abandon their enterprise. Granada surrendered 2 January, 1492, and the territorial unity of the Spanish monarchy was established. To protect its normal unity, an edict was issued three months later (31 March) expelling from Spain the Jews (170,000 to 180,000 souls), whose cities had admitted the Mussulman invaders in the eighth century, and who constituted a perpetual danger to the independence and security of the nation.

While they were carrying on the war against Granada Christopher Columbus presented himself to the Catholic sovereigns, and to Queen Isabella fell the honour of appreciating the genius who had not been understood at Genoa, at Venice, or in Portugal. Protected first of all by the Spanish friars, he was presented to the queen by her confessor, Padre Hernando Talavera, and Cardinal Mendoza (el Cardenal de España); and with the means which the king and queen procured for him he fitted out the three famous caravels which placed America in communication with the Old World. Sailing, 3 August, 1492, from the port of Palos, he discovered on 12 October — the day on which the feast of Our Lady of the Pillar is observed in Spain — the first of the Bahama Islands.

Not only did Isabella the Catholic always show herself the protectress of Columbus, but she was also the protectess of the American aborigines against the ill-usage of the colonists and adventurers. In 1503, she organized the Secretariate of Indian Affairs, which was the origin of the Supreme Council of the Indies. Isabella was no less the patroness of the great Cisneros in the reformation of the monasteries of Spain, a work which he accomplished under the authority of Alexander VI given by the Brief of March, 1493, and which anticipated the reform afterwards executed throughout the whole Church. The good government of the Catholic sovereigns brought the prosperity of Spain to its apogee, and inaugurated that country's Golden Age. The manufacture of cloths and silks developed at Segovia, Medina, Granada, Valencia, and Toledo, as also that of glass and of steel weapons, of leather and silverware. Agriculture prospered, while navigation and commerce rose to an unprecedented height in consequence of the great discoveries of that epoch.

Queen Isabella by her example led the way in fostering the love of study, and in many respects her Court recalls that of Charlemagne. When she was already a grown woman she devoted herself to the study of Latin, and became an eager collector of books, of which she possessed a great number. Her Castilian has been ranked as a standard of the language by the Spanish Royal Academy. She was extremely solicitous for the education of her five children (Isabella, John, Joan, Maria, and Catherine), and in order to educate Prince John with ten other boys, she formed in her palace a school similar to the Palatine School of the Carlovingians. Her daughters, too, attained to a degree of education higher than was usual at that epoch, and they so combined with their learning the industries peculiarly appropriate to their sex, that Ferdinand the Catholic could imitate Charlemagne in using no article of clothing that had not been spun or sewn by his consort and his daughters. This example of the queen, a model of virtue, piety, and domestic economy, who mended one doublet for her husband the king as often as seven times, exercised a great moral influence on the nobility in discouraging inordinate luxury and vain pastimes. It also fostered learning not only in the universities and among the nobles, but also among women. Some of the latter distinguished themselves by their intellectual attainments — e.g. Beatriz Galinda, called la Latina, Lucia Medrano, and Francisca Nebrija, the Princess Joan and the Princess Catherine (who afterwards became Queen of England), Isabella Vergara, and others who reached great proficiency in philosophy, Latin, and mathematics, and became qualified to fill professional chairs in the universities of Alcalá and Salamanca.

Isabella the Catholic was extremely unhappy in her children. Prince John died in youth, full of the most brilliant promise; Catherine was eventually repudiated by her husband Henry VIII; Joan, heiress to the kingdom, lost her reason. Not the least notable trait in the life of Isabella was the making of that last will and testament, immortalized in Rosales's picture in the Madrid Museum. Her heart was filled with sympathy for the fate of the American Indians, she charged her successors to protect them and to regard them as they regarded their other subjects, and she pointed out Spain's mission in Africa — a mission which the Moroccan question has tardily enough brought to the world's knowledge.

Catholic Encyclopedia of 1917, due to the Knights of Cloumbus

Oath against Modernism

"Not to oppose error is to approve it; and not to defend truth is to suppress it; and indeed to neglect to confound evil men, when we can do it, is no less a sin than to encourage them." Pope St. Felix III

"He who goes about to take the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass from the Church plots no less a calamity than if he tried to snatch the sun from the universe." Saint John Fisher

Pope Saint Pius X issued this oath on September 1, 1910. It was mandated to be sworn to by all clergy, pastors, confessors, preachers, religious superiors, and professors in philosophical-theological seminaries.

I firmly embrace and accept each and every definition that has been set forth and declared by the unerring teaching authority of the Church, especially those principal truths which are directly opposed to the errors of this day.

And first of all, I profess that God, the origin and end of all things, can be known with certainty by the natural light of reason from the created world (see Rom. 1:90), that is, from the visible works of creation, as a cause from its effects, and that, therefore, his existence can also be demonstrated:

Secondly, I accept and acknowledge the external proofs of revelation, that is, divine acts and especially miracles and prophecies as the surest signs of the divine origin of the Christian religion and I hold that these same proofs are well adapted to the understanding of all eras and all men, even of this time.

Thirdly, I believe with equally firm faith that the Church, the guardian and teacher of the revealed word, was personally instituted by the real and historical Christ when he lived among us, and that the Church was built upon Peter, the prince of the apostolic hierarchy, and his successors for the duration of time.

Fourthly, I sincerely hold that the doctrine of faith was handed down to us from the apostles through the orthodox Fathers in exactly the same meaning and always in the same purport. Therefore, I entirely reject the heretical misrepresentation that dogmas evolve and change from one meaning to another different from the one which the Church held previously. I also condemn every error according to which, in place of the divine deposit which has been given to the spouse of Christ to be carefully guarded by her, there is put a philosophical figment or product of a human conscience that has gradually been developed by human effort and will continue to develop indefinitely.

Fifthly, I hold with certainty and sincerely confess that faith is not a blind sentiment of religion welling up from the depths of the subconscious under the impulse of the heart and the motion of a will trained to morality; but faith is a genuine assent of the intellect to truth received by hearing from an external source. By this assent, because of the authority of the supremely truthful God, we believe to be true that which has been revealed and attested to by a personal God, our Creator and Lord.

Furthermore, with due reverence, I submit and adhere with my whole heart to the condemnations, declarations, and all the prescripts contained in the encyclical Pascendi and in the decree Lamentabili, especially those concerning what is known as the history of dogmas. I also reject the error of those who say that the faith held by the Church can contradict history, and that Catholic dogmas, in the sense in which they are now understood, are irreconcilable with a more realistic view of the origins of the Christian religion. I also condemn and reject the opinion of those who say that a well-educated Christian assumes a dual personality–that of a believer and at the same time of a historian, as if it were permissible for a historian to hold things that contradict the faith of the believer, or to establish premises which, provided there be no direct denial of dogmas, would lead to the conclusion that dogmas are either false or doubtful. Likewise, I reject that method of judging and interpreting Sacred Scripture which, departing from the tradition of the Church, the analogy of faith, and the norms of the Apostolic See, embraces the misrepresentations of the rationalists and with no prudence or restraint adopts textual criticism as the one and supreme norm.

Furthermore, I reject the opinion of those who hold that a professor lecturing or writing on a historico-theological subject should first put aside any preconceived opinion about the supernatural origin of Catholic tradition or about the divine promise of help to preserve all revealed truth forever; and that they should then interpret the writings of each of the Fathers solely by scientific principles, excluding all sacred authority, and with the same liberty of judgment that is common in the investigation of all ordinary historical documents.

Finally, I declare that I am completely opposed to the error of the modernists who hold that there is nothing divine in sacred tradition; or what is far worse, say that there is, but in a pantheistic sense, with the result that there would remain nothing but this plain simple fact–one to be put on a par with the ordinary facts of history–the fact, namely, that a group of men by their own labor, skill, and talent have continued through subsequent ages a school begun by Christ and his apostles. I firmly hold, then, and shall hold to my dying breath the belief of the Fathers in the charism of truth, which certainly is, was, and always will be in the succession of the episcopacy from the apostles. The purpose of this is, then, not that dogma may be tailored according to what seems better and more suited to the culture of each age; rather, that the absolute and immutable truth preached by the apostles from the beginning may never be believed to be different, may never be understood in any other way.

I promise that I shall keep all these articles faithfully, entirely, and sincerely, and guard them inviolate, in no way deviating from them in teaching or in any way in word or in writing. Thus I promise, this I swear, so help me God.

Given at St. Peter's in the year of the Lord's Incarnation, 1910, on the 1st of September of the Seventh year of Our Pontificate.

[In response to someone who begged him (Saint Pius X) to "go soft" on the Modernists, He retorted]: "Kindness is for fools! They want them to be treated with oil, soap, and caresses but they ought to be beaten with fists! In a duel you don't count or measure the blows, you strike as you can! War is not made with charity, it is a struggle a duel. If Our Lord were not terrible he would not have given an example in this too. See how he treated the Philistines, the sowers of error, the wolves in sheep's clothing, the traitors in the temple. He scourged them with whips!"