Democracy be Hanged!

Mark has developed a new blog at Durandal. For those who are new to this blog Durandal is the name of the sword of Roland. Mark has witten 2 articles which may be found here.

It is important for me to clarify in this introductory piece what I mean by modern democracy. The Catholic Church permits various forms of government; provide they grant her freedom and are able to secure the spiritual and temporal common good of their citizens; for the form of government nations are to take was not passed down in the Deposit of Faith. This does not however mean that all forms are equal at all times and everywhere, and the Church gives a great deal of liberty when discussing the merits of different forms of government.[1] I will use that liberty to argue in favor of monarchism as the "the best of all governments”[2], but not here. I will save that for a future date. In this series I desire only to discuss the inherent inferiority and dangers of liberal modern democracy. more

Thanks a and a tip of the beret to Mark at Durandal.

Vivate Christus Rex.
de Brantigny

On the Value of Voting

On the Value of Voting-- By Chris Triolo
This article was written in response to a piece by John F. Triolo which I published on March 7 2008. This reply is written by his father Chris Triolo. The original article may be found here. I reserve the privedge of standing on this argument.

I am not as eloquent a writer as my son, the author of “On the value of not voting”. To be honest, many of the platitudes he attempted to debunk, I simply accepted at face value over the years. Nonetheless, I’vote now been forced to give it some thought and I will attempt to make the case for exercising one’s “obligation”, “civic duty”, “following the herd” or, more correctly, one’s right to vote.

The author set forth logical reasons why voting abstinence or non-participation should be considered an acceptable practice. I will attempt to be logical as well, but it is important to recognize that very few of the choices we make, from buying a house or car, to whom we choose as friends, to what we eat for lunch, are made solely on the basis of logic. Emotions can and should play an important role in the decisions we make and voting counts as one of those decisions. More


An Historic Mystery

Almost everyone knows about the lost colony of Roanoke Island, in North Carolina. For those who have never heard about The Lost Colony the story can be quickly told.

Roanoke Colony

English Colonists were left on Roanoke Island on the Outer Banks in present day North Carolina in 1587 in order to establish the first colony in America. The governor John White left the colony to return to England for supplies. During the absence of the governor war broke out between Spain and England culminating with the lost to Spain of the Armada. It was not until 1590 that the governor could return to Roanoke. Arriving there the governor found the colony was gone, not destroyed, but removed. The only clue was the name Croatan carved into a tree. John White, whose daughter, son-in-law and grandchild were among the colonists began a lifelong quest to find the colonists. Some historians say they perished, but clues and rumors persisted for decades that they did not, that they either were captured by or assimilated into the local native population.

North Carolina is visited from time to time by summers containing hurricanes, and years of drought. It has been shown through the rings in trees dating from that period that at the time the colonist were there that a severe drought besieged the area. Crops do not flourish even today during the recent drought, and a new colony not prepared or even aware that there was a drought would quickly run out of food. Although the sea was at hand, fish from the sea would not produce the necessary nutrients which the colonist could survive on let alone thrive by. It has been postulated that the colony was drawn to assimilate with the local Indian tribes, were captured by local natives, or moved their colony inland and were sold into slavery. I can think of no worse fate than to feel abandoned by ones country without hope of rescue.

The Mystery Deepens.

John Smith and other members of the Jamestown Colony sought information about the fate of the colonists in 1607 almost 20 years from the founding of Raonoke. One report indicated that the Lost Colonists took refuge with friendly Chesapeake Indians, but Chief Powhatan claimed his tribe had attacked the group and killed most of the colonists. Powhatan showed Smith certain artifacts he said had belonged to the colonists, including a musket barrel and a brass mortar. The Jamestown Colony received reports of some survivors of the Lost Colony and sent out search parties, but none were successful.

A historian has postulated that the colonist sought help from the Chowanoc tribe which was attacked by another tribe which is believed to be the Eno. (A river is located near Raleigh NC which that name). The Jamestown colony heard reports of English captives but being unable to rescue them the reports were suppressed. Some captives were sighted in North Carolina under the protection of an Eno branch tribe. These captives supposedly had escaped an attack by the Powhatan, included 4 men, 2 boys and a girl. For 400 hundred years it has been presumed that the girl was Virginia Dare. The Eno were eventually absorbed into the Sakori tribe, a portion of which survives today as the Halawa-Saponi tribe. These tribes decendents live in the area which I now live in.

From the early 1600s to the middle 1700s European colonists reported encounters with gray-eyed American Indians or with Welsh-speaking Indians who claimed descent from the colonists. In 1669 a Welsh churchman named Morgan Jones was taken captive by the Tuscarora. He feared for his life, but a visiting Doeg Indian war captain spoke to him in Welsh (!) and assured him that he would not be killed. The Doeg warrior ransomed Jones and his party and Jones remained with their tribe for months as a preacher. Some present-day American Indian tribes in North Carolina and South Carolina, among them the Coree and the Lumbee tribes, also claim partial descent from surviving Roanoke colonists. (For example Heather Locklear is a Lumbee).

The Dare Stones.

Excerpt, Saturday Evening Post, April 26, 1941:

WRIT ON ROCKE Has America's First Murder Mystery Been Solved?

"...Last fall thirty-four scholars, headed by Dr. Samuel E. Morison, of Harvard, president of the American Antiquarian Society, journeyed to Brenau and after two days' study pronounced that "the preponderance of evidence points to the authenticity of the stones."
The stone diary, if genuine, accounts for seventy-one of the colonists. The fate of the others is conjectural. I give you the painstakingly deciphered story of the seventy-one; and the even more exciting story of a modern archaeological paper chase."

From 1937 until 1941, the so-called "Dare Stones" were in the news. The 48 carved stones were allegedly found in northern Georgia and the Carolinas. The first bore an announcement of the death of Virginia Dare and her father, Ananias Dare, at the hands of "savages" in 1591. Later stones, brought in by various people, told a complicated tale of the fate of the Lost Colony. Later stones, each addressed to John White and signed with the name of Virginia's mother, Eleanor, called for revenge against the "savages" or gave her father the direction taken by the survivors. A stone dated 1592 indicated the survivors had reached a sanctuary in the Nachoochee Valley area and lived there in "primeval splendor." Another stone, dated 1598, indicated that Eleanor had married the "king" of the tribe, while another said she had borne the chief a daughter, the tribe was angry, and asked for White to send the infant girl to England. A stone dated 1599 announced Eleanor Dare's death and said she had left behind a daughter named Agnes.

Professor Haywood Pearce Jr. of Brenau College (now Brenau University) in Gainesville, Georgia, believed in the stones, and his views won over some well-known historians, according to contemporary press accounts. But a 1941 article by journalist Boyden Sparks in The Saturday Evening Post attacked the story, pointing to improbabilities in the stones' account and producing evidence that the "discoverers" were hoaxers. Pearce and the other scholars were not implicated in fraud, and no legal action was ever taken, but all of them renounced belief in the stones. Sparks theorized that the fakery was inspired by the 1937 publicity in North Carolina surrounding the 350th anniversary of the Lost Colony. Today, Brenau keeps the Dare Stones as a sort of 20th-century media curiosity, but generally does not display them or publicize their existence. The stones have a few supporters today, most notably Robert W. White, whose book A Witness For Eleanor Dare insists they were genuine and that criticism of them was false.

What has led the historical community to reach the conclusion that the stones might be frauds? Each of the stones is written in Elizabethan English, while this is correct, the strange thing is that the words 712 total, have words which never vary in the spelling. During this period there was no standard dictionary, and in letters the same word would and often were spelled differently, In addition 3 words, trale, primeval, reconnoitre, were anachronistic. According to the Oxford Dictionary, the earliest known use of “primeval” was in Urquhart’s Rabelais, 1653. This is sixty-six years after the colonists said farewell to Governor White. “ Reconnoitre,” according to the Oxford Dictionary, has not been found earlier than 1707 in English. In 1590 the word “trale” [trail] was used to denote the scent of a quarry rather than a pathway.

So what happened to the colony? In my opinion, gained from living the the heart of the "Indian Country" of central and eastern NC, is that they merged with the local indigenous population, most likely Tutelo for shelter, safety, and food, or captured by the Occaneechi nation, after being attacked by the Powhatan nation. It is a pity that life was so cheap in 1587. If it had been one of my daughters or grandaughters left on this side of the Atlantic I would have found them or perished in the attempt. ...And what of the Governor, White, almost no record exists before or after the colony, in fact the story of the Lost Colony is told by White in a letter sometime after his return to England. ...After that he too is gone from history. (1)


(1) In Roanoke: Solving the Mystery of the Lost Colony by Lee Miller she discusses the possiblity that the lost colonist were "seperatist" and they were never really lost as much as they were marooned. She sites several mysteries, some of them being, Why were the colonists dropped of ant the wrong place, at least 2 hundred miles south of where they should have?, Why were the colonists on territory claimed by Spain? Why did it take 3 years to go looking for them, and then only a cursory search conducted? Who were these people, Catholics fleeing England, or Seperatists fleeing England? Why are there no records of them? etc.

The archbishop of Mosul is dead

Bishop of Arbil: "A heavy Cross for our Church, ahead of Easter". The cause of death is still unknown.

Mosul (AsiaNews) - The Chaldean archbishop of Mosul is dead. Archbishop Faraj Rahho was kidnapped last February 29 after the Stations of the Cross. His kidnappers gave word of his death, indicating to the mediators where they could recover the body of the 67-year-old prelate. "It is a heavy Cross for our Church, ahead of Easter", Bishop Rabban of Arbil tells AsiaNews in response to the news. Leaders of the Chaldean Church, including Bishop Shlemon Warduni, brought the body to the hospital in Mosul to ascertain the causes, still unknown, of the archbishop's death. The funeral will be held tomorrow in the nearby city of Karamles. Archbishop Rahho will be buried near Fr Ragheed, his priest and secretary killed by a terrorist brigade on June 3, 2007, while leaving the church after celebrating Mass.

The archbishop had been very sick. He had suffered a heart attack a few years ago, and since then he had needed to take medication every day. The difficult negotiations for his release carried forward over the past 14 days of his kidnapping had immediately raised concern because of the total absence of direct contact with the hostage. The conditions posed by the kidnappers - sources in Mosul tell AsiaNews - in addition to an outrageous ransom on the order of millions of dollars, had also included the provision of weapons and the liberation of Arab prisoners held in Kurdish prisons.

The pope's expression of sorrow.

The news of Archbishop Rahho's death "profoundly wounds and saddens" the pope, says the director of the Vatican press office, Fr Federico Lombardi. Benedict XVI hopes that "this tragic event may renew once again and with greater force the efforts of all, and in particular of the international community, for the pacification of this greatly tormented country". Three times in recent days, the pope had launched an appeal for the liberation of the bishop. Numerous Muslim leaders had also spoken out for the prelate's release, both Sunnis and Shiites, in Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan, and also condemned the action as "contrary to Islam".

QED, the "Religion of Peace".

Morte d'Islam
de Brantigny


Николай Александрович Романов / Nikolay Aleksandrovich Romanov

Film is created by tashusik

песню исполняет Жанна Бичевская
The song is executed by Jeanne Bichevskaya

The Jewels of Marie-Antoinette

Elena-Maria Vidal has placed an article in her blog about the jewels of Marie-Antoinette. Marie has ofttimes been lambasted by the historically elite as having been a spendthrift. While this may have been true for the newly married Dauphine it was not true for La Reine. Marie-Antoinette was, as we are reminded by the contemporary sources, an Austrian Princess. It is not to the taste of Austrians to be overly ostentatious, they can be simple to the point of severity. In any event Marie-Antoinette attempted to alleviate the debts of her household by selling much of her jewelry, (as well as her silverware, and plates) in order to be less of a burden upon her people. It was to no avail, scurrilous pamphlets circulated, many of which were printed by her relatives who thought themselves better suited to be the sovereign than Louis XVI. Much has also been said of her extravagance in dresses, again not true, a fabrication to show how unfeeling she was towards her subjects. Yet, of Josephine Beauharnais, wife of the ci-disant "Emperor of the French" who really did buy a hundred dresses a year, thousands of francs worth of jewelry, who had affairs, (her husband was no better), nothing is even mentioned. My diatribe against the Ogre has made me stray from the article...

The Jewels of Marie-Antoinette

Historical novelist Catherine Delors provides some information about the fate of the French crown jewels, particularly a certain famous diamond. Madame Delors has thoroughly researched the French royal family and the Revolution; I look forward to reading her new novel. It is well-known that Marie-Antoinette had a fondness for diamonds, although she never even thought of purchasing Boehmer's necklace of the scandal; she preferred the money to be spent on ships for the French navy. The diamond necklace was not to her taste, anyway, which tended towards light, aerial creations. More...

Above is a portrait of Marie-Antoinette by Elziabeth Vigee-Le Brun. Enlarge it to see her jewelry. Click on the artist's name above and see a gallery of Marie-Antoinette. Elizabeth Vigee-Le Brun painted some 30 portraits of her from 1779 to 1783. The portraits reflect Marie-Antoinette at her apex. You won't see much of the purported jewelry. Now look at Josephine. Don't women who are painted wear their best things?

Merci et remerci Elena-Maria.
de Brantigny


"...making the world safe for Democracy." Woodrow Wilson
In 1933 Adolph Hitler, or as Neville Chamberlain called him, Herr Hitler, was elected by more or less democratic means, and assumed complete power in after the aging president Von Hindenburg died. Once again, 70 years ago today, by less than a democratic means the German Reich made Catholic Austria part of the Greater Germany. The Nazis held a plebiscite within the following month, where they received 99.73% of the vote.

On the morning of 12 March, the 8th Army of the German Wehrmacht crossed the German-Austrian border. They did not face resistance by the Austrian Army—on the contrary, the German troops were greeted by cheering Austrians with Hitler salutes, Nazi flags and flowers. By this the NS invasion into Austria without one single shooting is also called "Blumenkrieg" (war of flowers). For the Wehrmacht this invasion was the first big test of its machinery. Although the invading forces were badly organized and coordination between the units was poor, it mattered little because no fighting took place. It did, however, serve as a warning to German commanders in future military operations, such as that against Czechoslovakia. More

The ballot text reads "Do you agree with the reunification of Austria with the German Reich that was enacted on 13 March 1938, and do you vote for the party of our leader Adolf Hitler?;" the large circle is labeled "Yes," the smaller "No."

de Brantigny


Le Curé D'Ars

On May 31, 1925, Pope Pius XI canonized Jean-Marie Baptiste Vianney, and proclaimed him to be the Patron Saint of Parish Priests worldwide. Years later, Pope John XXIII proclaimed him a role model for all priests to emulate. He is often referred to, even in English, as the "Curé D’ Ars" (the Pastor of Ars). His Feast Day is August 4th.

St. John Vianney was born in 1786 to poor farmers in Dardilly, a small farmer’s village north of Lyons, France. He worked as a shepherd until the age of 18 when he began training for the priesthood. He was a poor student, had difficulty learning Latin, and twice failed the examinations required before ordination. But his love and devotion to Jesus Christ saw him through. He was finally ordained at the age of 29, and was placed under the direction of Father Balley, a holy priest in a neighboring village, for further training. When Father Balley died in 1817, Father Vianney was named the Parish Priest of Ars.

He worked for twenty-five years in his parish. During his time there, he founded an orphanage for girls, and became internationally famous for his priestly and pastoral care. St. John was given many spiritual gifts, such as the power of healing and the ability to read the hearts of his penitents. It was this latter gift that caused his fame to spread throughout France, and created large crowds seeking his guidance. The frail Curé began hearing confessions at 1 o'clock in the morning, and it has been reported that he spent from 13 to 17 hours a day in the cramped confessional. Saint John Vianney died peacefully on August 4, 1859. When his body was exhumed due to impending beatification, it was found perfectly preserved. Later the Saint’s heart was removed and remains a venerated relic.

The Saint's body is laid in the Chapel of the Reliquary in a new basilica which is attached to the original Parish of Ars Church in Ars, France. A special chapel was erected to receive the miraculously incorrupt Heart of the Curé of Ars.

Once again I borrow from and redirect to Laudem Gloriae.

Le Curé D'Ars

St. Jean Marie Vianney’s life spanned a period of incredible turmoil, a time that saw no less than seven revolutions: born just before the Terror, he lived through the First Republic, the First Empire under Napoleon, the restoration of the House of Bourbon under Louis XVIII and Charles X, the July Monarchy that placed Louis Philippe d’Orléans on the throne, the Second Republic, and finally, the Second Empire under Napoleon III. Much of this political upheaval must have seemed very distant, however, to this priest in his country parish, whose days were spent confined within the walls of his confessional counseling and absolving the thousands who came to him.

The first official biography of the saint was written by Monsignor Trochu, published in France in 1925. I had the good fortune to read this inspiring work before our little pilgrimage to Ars. I translate portions below:

It was in the saddest days of 1794, a small distance from a suburb in Lyon called Dardilly. A troop of children amused themselves in a glen in Chante-Merle, a verdant crease between two hills. But how was it that children’s games could still exist in an epoch when all seemed to breathe sadness and grief? There had been formerly on the pathways of Dardilly calvaries built by pious forebears; destroyed on order of the revolutionary proconsul of Lyon, the famous Fouché, the crosses lay in the grass. The closed church was without a priest, without Mass, without the Eucharist; the tabernacle lamp no longer shone in the profaned sanctuary, the clock no longer rang… Yet the children were happy!more

Remercie Christine.

Vive Le Roy...
de Brantigny