The Christmas Truce

A brief moment of sanity in a world going mad...





What a difference good catechesis makes

Were it not for the Jesuits and their written history called the Jesuit Relations, the known history of French Canada would be far different. 
The Jesuit's Relate:


AS Faith and Religion have sprung from the Cross, it is impossible to preach them well and to establish them properly otherwise than by the Cross. It has not failed us for over thirty years in which we have been working at this end of the world, to bring nations to JESUS CHRIST, and to erect a new Church to him. The waters have at times swallowed up some of our worthy Neophytes in shipwrecks; the tainted air has from time to time caused epidemics, which have carried off a portion of these peoples; wars have exterminated a number of villages, and wiped out entire Nations; the enemies of the Faith have killed and massacred, have burned and eaten the fathers and the children, — I mean, the Preachers of the Gospel, and those who had received it.

Such were these trials that, not without reason, this country has sometimes been called " the land of Crosses. " God has sent us this year some precious ones; may he be forever praised for it. I will allude only to one in passing, in order to speak of the consolation given us by some good Neophytes. On the 13th of June of this year, 1657, fire burst out in a pile of wood, without our being able to find out how it originated; we saw in a short time, at the residence of saint Joseph, our house and that of a good Christian savage all in flames; and, to crown our misfortune, the fire drove them so violently and so rapidly toward the Church, in which a good portion of these people have been born to JESUS CHRIST, that it was impossible to save it. The High Altar, enriched with gold and that beautiful coral red which so agreeably attracted the gaze of those good Neophytes, and inspired them with tender affection for their Aiamihimikiouap, — that is, their house of prayer, — was reduced to ashes in an instant.

That Church was dedicated to God under the name of St. Michael, in accordance with the desire of him who had contributed a good portion of the money wherewith to build it. It was the first that had been erected in the whole country for the new Christians. It might have been called the Mother of the entire Christianity of this new world, because the Montagnais and the Algonquins had become converted on this spot, and had inspired, in all the other Nations who have since received JESUS CHRIST, the desire of hearing his word after the example of their Countrymen. It was the asylum and refuge of the French of the neighborhood, who deplore the fire as much as our good Neophytes. One and all urge us to raise those ruins; but our arms are not strong enough, without greater help than they can give us, to retrieve so serious a loss by ourselves.

The worthy Neophyte, whose house and the whole of whose petty effects were destroyed by the flames, was asked whether that disaster had touched him deeply; he piously replied: " Had not Faith taught me that he who has made all is the Master of his works and wisely disposes of them as he pleases, that blow would have caused me sorrow. But why blame him, and be angry about a matter which belongs to him, since, in giving us the Faith, he promises us not the good things of the earth, but the blessings of heaven, which fire can never consume ? "

With these words we see the benefit of good catechetical teaching.

This is the replacement for the building that had been burned in 1657. This bulding was constucted in 1660 and is now a museum. Maison des Jesuits 




A life too short

This is a sad story of a brave young man.

He was born into a famous family and raised at a time when his father was reaching the zenith of his career. For the elder Louis Napoleon was a schemer, and was determined to regain the Imperial throne lost by his uncle Napoleon Bonaparte at Waterloo. During the election for President under the 2nd Republic in 1848 he won a surprising landslide victory. He was viewed by the monarchist right as the least bad candidate, by the proto-communist left as being vaguely progressive and the unpolitized rural French as the only name that they recognized. He saw the presidency as a mere stepping stone to the restoration of the baffled imperial throne.

The constitution of the 2nd Republic did not allow for the re-election of the president. Louis Napoleon claimed he needed more time to completely implement the changes he had begun. To counter Louis Napoleon the National Assembly enacted restrictions on universal male suffrage requiring a 3 year residency in order to vote. As many lower class French were itinerant this effectively removed their right to vote. Louis Napoleon broke with the assembly. As he toured the countryside he secured the support of the Army, and made populist speeches in an effort to present himself as the protector of universal male suffrage. Finally on the 2nd of December 1851, seized the French government and proclaimed himself Emperor Napoleon III. It was the 47th anniversary of crowning of his uncle as Emperor in 1804.

On the 30th of January 1853, Louis Napoleon married María Eugenia Ignacia Augustina de Palafox Portocarrero de Guzmán y Kirkpatrick, a 26 year old princess of an ancient Spanish line. 3 years later on 16 March 1856, she gave birth to a son, styled the Prince Imperial, and named Napoléon Eugène Louis Jean Joseph Bonaparte. He was called Lou-Lou by his mother.

Eugénie(1)his mother, was a staunch Catholic. This probably acted as a counter to the most progressive tendencies of her husband. She was a defender of the papacy and ultramontanism. It was through her persuasion that the Grotto in Lourdes was reopened so that water from the spring could be brought to heal the Prince.

The Franco-Prussian War erupted after perfidious action by Bismarck, in the famous Emms Telegram, in 1870, the result of which ended in defeat of France, the declaration of the 3rd Republic, the Paris Commune, and the capture of Louis-Napoleon. The young Prince Imperial after having accompanying his father at the front was smuggled into Belgium, from which he was sent to England via Hastings. He was joined in short by his mother, followed by his father after a 6 month term as a prisoner of war in Wilhelmshöhe, Prussia. The dream of a Napoleonic Empire was past.

Possibly in an effort to follow in the spirit of his great-uncle Napoleon I he entered the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich, as a "gentleman cadet" passing out 7th in January 1875. It is said that he acquited himself admirably forgoing any "princely" deferments.

In 1874, Lord Carnarvon, who had successfully brought about federation in Canada, thought that a similar scheme might work in South Africa. Sir Bartle Frere was sent to South Africa as high commissioner to bring it about. One of the obstacles to such a scheme was the presence of the independent states of the South African Republic and Zululand.

In 1877 Sir Theophilus Shepstone, led a small force into the Transvaal and persuaded the Boers to give up their independence. Shepstone thus became the administrator of the Transvaal. Although at one time a supporter of the Zulus, his position as administrator required Shepstone to see a border dispute between the Boer and Zulu from the opposite point of view.

A commission was appointed by the lieutenant-governor of Natal in February 1878 to report on the boundary question. The commission reported in July and found almost entirely in favour of the contention of the Zulu. Sir Henry Bartle Frere, then high commissioner, who thought the award "one-sided and unfair to the Boers," stipulated that on land being given to the Zulu, the Boers living therein should be compensated if they left or protected if they remained. Cetshwayo was perceived by the British to be in a "defiant mood" and permitted outrages by Zulu both on the Transvaal and Natal borders.

The pretext for the war had its origins in those border disputes between the Zulu leader, Cetshwayo, and the Boers in the Transvaal region. However, the British had been bent on a war with the Zulu since 1877. Following the commission enquiry on the border dispute which reported in favour of the Zulu nation in July 1878, Sir Henry Bartle Frere, delivered an ultimatum to Cetshwayo. The British considered themselves at War with the Zulus on 11 January 1879, because Cetshwayo failed to reply to the British.

Cetshwayo had an army of about 40,000 Zulus. They were divided in to groups not unlike military regiments. Each of these regiments was formed of men or women, and were either all all single or married to the members of a regiment of the opposite sex. Their marriage was signified for the men by the wearing of a ring of hear and mud in their hair. Their weapon was a short spear called an assegai. It was a stabbing weapon. In addition they carried an oval shield made from cow hide with the hair left on. The older the regiment the darker the shield. The Zulus remained bare foot and ran from their kraal to the site of an engagement, no matter how far.

On the 22nd of January 1879, British troops under the command of Lord Chelmsford numbering about 1,700 were overwhelmed by a force of Zulus numbering about 20,000 at Isandlwana, a massif which resembles a resting lion. About 1,000 Zulus were killed. The failure of the British to form square, it's traditional style of defence against native attack, either through lack of time or by disdain for the fighting qualities of the African, was the probable immediate cause of the defeat. The defeat was an embarrassing blow to Imperial British prestige. It was only the British victory at Rorke's Drift that mended at least somewhat British honour the heroic defense of the 2nd battalion of The South Wales Borderers (24th Foot). The additional British columns were likewise besieged, placing the British Colony in jeopardy. It was only Cetshwayo's order not to cross over into British territory saved the colony.

After the disaster at Isandlwana, Louis obtained permission from Queen Victoria and the Duke of Cambridge, Commander-in-Chief of the British army, to come out with the British reinforcements as a "special observer."(2) he was attached to the staff of Lord Chelmsford.(3) Louis accompanied Chelmsford on his march into Zululand.

Louis was keen to see action, but was warned to remain safe and to consider his politcal party and his mother the Empress. The Prince was attached to staff of Colonel Richard Harrison of the Royal Engineers, where it was felt he could be active but safe. Harrison was charged with the column's transport and for reconnaissance of the route on the way to Ulundi. While Harrison welcomed Louis, he was reminded by Chelmsford that the Prince must be accompanied by a strong escort.

Lieutenant Jahleel Brenton Carey a British subject from the channel island of Guernsey was placed in charge of the Prince. On the morning of 1 June 1879 a large scout was led into Zululand led by Lt Carey, and accompanied by Louis. Although he was junior to Carey the Prince took command. About noon the troop halted at a deserted kraal. No security was posted. While making sketches the party was surprised by a party of 40 Zulus who screamed in Zulu, "uSuthu" (Kill them)! The dismounted prince attempted to mount, but his frightened horse bolted away, as Louis held onto a saddle holster. As the holster strap broke, Louis fell under the horses hooves and his right arm was trampled. He bravely rose and drawing his sidearm, he attmpeted to flee to safety. The Zulus, whose mode of travel was running, quickly caught him. He was struck in the thigh by an assegai which he pulled out, firing at the Zulus. Struck in the shoulder by another assegai, and weakened by his wounds he was overwhelmed. When his body was recovered he had been stabbed at least 18 times. After his death the Zulu ritually disemboweled the Prince to preclude his spirit from seeking revenge upon his killers.

In addition to the Prince 2 other soldiers had been killed and 1 was missing. Lt Carey and 4 other soldiers were about 40 yards from the Prince but failed to fire or come to his aid. He led his men back to camp and was received warmly in his mess, for the last time. Because of the stature of the Prince, a court of inquiry was convened. Lt Carey seeking to absolve himself, placed the blame for the Prince's death on the Prince. As a result of the Court of inquiry, it was recommended he be tried by Court-Martial for 'Misbehaviour before the Enemy'. The Court-Martial concluded he was guilty and that he should be cashiered from the British Army. However, the members of the Court-Martial were not sworn in, and when the matter was sent to be ratified in London, this point was raised. The Assistant Judge Advocate General O'Dowd overturned the findings of the Court and Lieutenant Carey was allowed to go free. Carey returned to his regiment were he was treated with contempt by his fellow officers for not coming to the aid of the Prince. Carey made matters worse by besieging the Empress with excuses for the death of her only son, during her time of mourning. He died a captain, at the age of 36, believed from peritonitis, in Karachi, India 22 February 1883.

According to legend Louis appeared to his mother in a dream and told he were to find his body. She did in fact travel to South Africa where the princes body was recovered and returned to England where it was interred next to his father at Saint Michael's Abbey in Farnborough, Hampshire. Upon her death in 1920 she too was buried at Farnborough. The empress bequeathed her estate to a Catholic Girls School, Farnborough Hill which still exists.

Lord Wolseley described The Prince Imperial as "a plucky young man, and he died a soldier's death. What on earth could he have done better?".


(1) My mother is named Eugenie, her mother and grand-mother who was born during the reign of Napoelon II and Eugenie.
(2) La Route du Prince Impérial
(3) Part of his kit was his personal sword, the same sword that his great-uncle Napoleon I wore at Austerlitz
Morris, Donald R. (1965)
The Washing of The Spears. New York : Simon and Schuster; new ed. 1994 ISBN 0-306-80866-8.


Queen Victoria on Louis Napoleon

Elena Maria has posted this link about Queen Victoria's thoughts on her counterpart in France.  Now let me say for the record that I am not a great Napoleono-phile (?)  neither the First nor Second Empire.  It is the period in French history that France and England first learned to play together, which would have far reaching effects in the 20th century.

The most opinionated of English Queens shares her thoughts on Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte:

In reflecting on the character of the present Emperor Napoleon, and the impression I have conceived of it, the following thoughts present themselves to my mind: follow the link for more.

By the way, my mother, grandmother, and great grandmothers are all named Eugenie after the Wife and Empress of Louis-Napoleon. My mother called a halt to this practice in 1962 at the birth of my sister.



Healed by the Eucharist.

Here is the next in a series of thoughts  by a my guest writer and friend Tara.

Healed by the Eucharist.
by Tara K. E. Brelinsky

I struggle from time to time with depression. Sometimes there are triggers like lack of good sleep or hormonal shifts that stir-up those feelings of sadness and malaise. At other times it seems to strike me out of nowhere. Difficult to fully describe, it feels as though a phantom menace has leaped up behind me and laid a heavy weight upon my shoulders which I cannot shake off.

Visualization helps me, so when that overwhelming sadness engulfs me, I picture myself swimming in the ocean of my mind. At times, the waves of tears wash over my head and I feel like I am drowning, but than I remember that waves ebb and flow and I simply need to float for a while until I gain the strength back to swim.

Having been months since my last bout, depression was completely off of my radar when the kids and I enjoyed some vacation time with family. Then, a combination of triggers and circumstances left me vulnerable and the phantom seized the opportunity.

Mothering and teaching seven children, running a household and being a helpmate to my husband keeps me busy enough, but those every day tasks become torturous when I'm bearing what feels like a 300lb. weight on my back. So it was this passed Saturday, talking myself through the day. “Get up out of bed, take a shower, vacuum the family room, dust the furniture,” I instructed me; keeping myself focused and pushing through the desire sit down and weep.

In the early evening, we readied ourselves for Holy Mass as a family, all the while I was dragging my weighty anvil of unidentifiable sorrow and silently sniffling back the tears. Sliding in the pew between two of my little ones, I began to breathe a little easier knowing that I could at least find a little rest while in my Father's house.

Then the Lord began to speak to me, through the readings and the gospel, and I listened intently to all He had to say. The Word reminded me of Elijah, who prayed for death (1Kings 19:4-8) before lying down under the broom tree. An angel woke him twice and told Elijah, “Get up and eat, else the journey will be too long for you!” Yes, I understood Elijah, I'd prayed that prayer. I heard Jesus say He was the Bread of Life, Who had the power to raise me up. Transfixed by our priest's homily on the Eucharist, my lethargy seemed less important.

Approaching the Eucharistic minister, I could think of nothing else, nothing but Christ. I recognized that I, too, needed food for my journey. Eagerly, I dropped to my knees and received the Body and Blood of my Lord and my God, Jesus Christ. Walking to the chalice, I repeated, “Let there be more of You, less of me, more of You, less of me.” And I prayed for healing, again.

There weren't any claps of thunder nor lightning bolts, but my smothering malaise disappeared. Unaware initially, I simply enjoyed the fellowship that followed Mass and it was my husband who pointed out the transformation. On the way home, he noted the change in my mood and I became aware that my depressive feelings were lifted.

Realizing that God knew all along that I would need to hear those words of empathy and encouragement this Saturday evening, astounds me. In truth, He speaks to me every day, but perhaps I'm not always a good listener. Perhaps, I will be allowed to bear this cross of suffering again some other day, but today He raised up and I am thankful so “I will praise Yahweh from my heart; let the humble hear and rejoice.” (Psalms 34:2)

Christ fed me His Living Bread, He healed me and strengthened me for the journey. For truly, He is the Living God!



The old (field) grey lady, the New York Times

It is no longer a mystery to me why The New York Times and other news media spread far and wide the myth of “Hitler’s Pope.” They eagerly embraced without question a Kremlin propaganda campaign to frame Pius XII as a scapegoat for silence in the face of the Holocaust. The Times had an opportunity during Hitler’s reign that the Pope never had – an opportunity to expose a horrible truth to the world. According to Susan E. Tifft and Alex S. Jones, other agendas – self-serving political agendas – controlled the news and buried that truth. If the Kremlin had its “Operation Seat 12″ to defame the Pope, “Operation Page 12″ seemed to be a parallel plan at The New York Times. It’s a moral legacy that cannot ever be erased as long as the Times and other news media scapegoat someone else for that silence. Fr Gordon Mcrea

Fr McRea has posted "Hitler’s Pope, Nazi Crimes, and The New York Times"  at his blog written from a prison cell.  it is worth reading if you haven't seen it elsewhere.  I find it wondersome that a news paper such as the New York Times who wouldnt blink an eye if Israel was destroyed decry a made up story about the Church and Pope Pius XII.


5000 years of scripture down the drain.

This being the last day of the month of November I thought I would write a short post on the way the election went. I occured to me that 50% to 48 % of the Catholic vote went to Barack Obama.  News reporters have said that this was indicative of a shift in religious views.  This shift has been in the works for along time, and it should not come as a big heart stopping suprise.

For about 100 years the Church has been under a direct attack by Satan.  His efforts are concentrated in making people believe he does not exist, no God, no satan. (Logic, If the Divine Person does not exist then a being made by Divine Person cannot exist. Right?)

In Pope St Pius X vision...During an audience for the general chapter of the Franciscan order in 1909, the Pontiff appeared to enter a trance. Those present remained motionless and silent. After a few moments, Pius opened his eyes, rose from his seat, and cried, "What I have seen is terrifying! Will I be the one, or will it be a successor? What is certain is that the Pope will leave ROME and, in leaving the Vatican, he will pass over the dead bodies of his priests!" He then cautioned the witnesses, "Do not tell anyone of this while I am alive."

Just before his death, Pius had another vision. "I have seen one of my successors, of the SAME NAME, who was fleeing over the dead bodies of his brethren. He will take refuge in some HIDING PLACE; but after a brief respite, he will die a cruel death.

Respect for God has disappeared from human hearts. They wish to efface even God's memory. This perversity is nothing less than the beginning of the last days of the world."

If there is no God then there is no Heaven.  With no heaven there is no need for a soul. We are reduced to being equal with all other beings. Babies in the womb therefore don't need to be born becuase they do not have the divine spark.

There is a different belief, that there is a God, who made us because he loves us and wants us to join him in Heaven.

The True Church has teached  a loving God since before Abraham.  This November the 6th, in the Year of the Lord 2012,  50% of Catholics laid 5000 years of Sacred Scripture aside, closed their Bibles and voted for satan. 



Sorry for not posting

Well it has been a busy month. Firstly I was transfered to a different case load which means that the inmates can get at me at all hours.  Secondly,  coupled with a new governor, the revamping of the transitioning and sentencing laws has made it an interessing few months. And, now for the Christmas holiday...  

Christmas in a prison is a time when the family are allowed to buy and have sent packages to the inmates.  The packages are sent via a special state approved vendor.  In the old days when I was an officer the familys could bring in a food package a day. Off duty officers would be assigned on their off days to inspect the food for weapons, drugs, pornography and other contraband.    In those days also inmate could get up to 1 shopping bag a day for the 10 days beforeand after the holidays.  They could keep these things in their lockers until February 28.

What were some of the things inmates would get?  A shopping bag of McDonald's hamburgers, with fries. Do you know how many that is?  Collard greens, and catfish.  Peanut butter in a plastic bag, but the bag had to be pierced, so it could not be reused for drugs.   Pies, cakes, and Honey buns.  Nuts and assorted candies. Crackers. etc.  Fruit was not allowed as the a syringe could inject alcohol.

OBTW, collards and catfish go bad after about 3 days,  and a McDonalds hamburger can last as long as a year.



Bloody Sunday 21 November 1920

Today is the anniversary of the so-called "Bloody Sunday" of 1920. It was a gruesome day in the middle of the Irish War of Independence, or the Anglo-Irish War, depending on one's terminology, in which thirty-one people lost their lives in a cycle of increasingly-unhinged violence. It was neither the first time, nor the last time, that such a thing would occur.

Since the end of the First World War, just over two years earlier, Ireland had slid inexorably into violence. Like most of Ireland's historical violence, it was presented as a conflict between two rival nations - Ireland and Britain - when, in fact, it bore all the hallmarks of a civil war. The failure of the republican Easter Rising of 1916 and the British administration's lethally incompetent, and cruel, repression of it had radicalised Irish nationalism and pushed many into the arms of the republican paramilitary movements. In the northern province of Ulster, Protestant hysteria at the proposed implementation of Home Rule for Ireland had led to widespread sectarian violence, particularly in rural areas, and there was little doubt in the British government's mind that any attempt to force the northern-most six counties to participate in any form of all-island independence would result in unparalleled civil unrest - if not a bloodbath.


My maternal grandfather, Charles Boyle at 18, emigrated from Ireland in 1926, (some say had to.)  In any event he left that conflict behind.  It was on his knee that I learned the stories of Ireland's heroes, I do not remember him ever mentioning Michael Collins, and Eamon de Valera only when passing gas.



Castle - David Macaulay

Some Priests Act Like Priests - Thank God!

Two thumbs up for Fr. Gary LeMoine from Assumption Church in Barnesville, MN. He apparently delayed the Sacrament of Confirmation for a 17-year-old boy who posted this photo on Facebook.  More may be seen here...




Queen Kristna Vasa, the Queen who renounced a throne to save her soul

"It is necessary to try to surpass one's self always; this occupation ought to last as long as life."

Queen of Sweden, child of Gustavus Adolphhus II of Sweden, born at Stockholm, 8 December, 1626; d. at Rome, 19 April, 1689. Her father was the famous soldier whose interposition in the Thirty Years' Was wrought so much harm to Catholicism. Maria Eleonora of Brandenburg, her mother, had hoped for a son, and was so disappointed at the birth of a daughter that she had little love for the child, who was left to the care of nurses. Gustavus Adolphus, however, was tenderly attached to his daughter; in 1630, when he sailed for Germany, he recommended Christina to the loyalty of his people and put his sister Catherine, who held her court at Stegeborg, in charge of the child's education.

Three years later, Maria Eleonora brought back the body of her husband, Gustavus Adolphus, to Sweden. For a while after this her love seemed to be transferred to the child, but this affectionate relation did not last long. In obedience to the command of her father, Christina was brought up like a boy, and received instruction in the various branches of learning from distinguished men, among whom was the learned Dr. Matthiæ, Bishop of Strengès. The princess was an indefatigable student, and a great reader of good books.

Feminine occupations and amusements had no attraction for her, and she was indifferent to dress and finery of all kinds. The mother wished rather to see he daughter lead a life of pleasure, and encouraged her in the enjoyment of wine and other stimulating drinks, so that the country was alarmed for the mortals of the heir to the throne, and Christina was sent again to her aunt. When the aunt died she was put under the care of the sister of the celebrated chancellor Axel Oxenstiern. In her new surroundings the great talents of Christina rapidly developed. She soon mastered several languages, gained a comprehensive knowledge of history and politics, and showed in particular a strong liking for theologico-political speculations. At the same time the masculine qualities of her character grew steadily more evident. Her favorite amusement was bear-hunting, and she could outride most men. At 18 (8 December, 1644) she was of age and entered on the duties of government with a strong hand. It was not, however, until two years later she was crowned, the ceremony taking place with great pomp at Stockholm.

At first Christina devoted herself to the affairs of state with most laudable zeal. It was owing to her interventions that the peace negotiations at Münster and Osnabrück were more quickly concluded than expected. Christina strove to raise her people to a higher plane of civilization, to promote their welfare in every way, and to insure their prosperity. Without lowering the dignity suitable to her station she treated all her subjects with dignity and condescension. She drew to Sweden artists and scholars, among whom were the philosopher Descartes and Hugo Grotius, the expounder of international law; by the payment of large pensions she kept these men attached to her court. The praise with which these scholars repaid their royal patron was often immoderate. As time went on Christina gradually lost interest in the task of government and developed an intense desire for new and exciting pleasures, often for those of a most costly character. The health of the queen suffered from the changed method of her life, and it was with great difficulty that her French physician, Dr. Bourdelot, effected a cure. In the mean time the debts thus incurred, rose to a large amount.

The Swedish people wished the queen to marry and to give them an heir to the throne, but Christina was not willing to hear of this as she desired to preserve her personal independence. She was much more inclined to abdicate her position and to become a ruler in the realm of genius and learning. At the same time she showed a continually growing inclination to the Catholic Church, for she took no pleasure in the simple forms of Lutheran belief which was all-powerful in Sweden. It is not possible to prove positive whether Dr. Bourdelot or the Spanish ambassador, Pimentelli, influence Christina's change of religious views. It is certain however, that several members of the Society of Jesus, Fathers Macedo, Francken, Malines, and Casati, succeeded in removing her last doubts as to the truth of Catholicism. Christina perceived that she could not continue to reign in Sweden as a convert to Catholicism, and resigned her throne in favour of her cousin, Charles Gustavus of Pfalz-Zweibrücken, a member of the Wittelsbach family.

On 6 June, 1654, at Upsala, she transferred her authority to him with much ceremony, and in the following day started on her travels. She bade farewell to her mother at Nyköping, then hastened to Halmstad, where she dismissed her retinue, and went to Brussels by way of Hamburg and Antwerp. At Brussels she made private confession of her belief in Catholicism; her public entrance into the Church took place in the beginning of November 1655, in the parish church of Innsbruck.

It was from Innsbruck that the European Courts were officially informed of her change of faith. On 23 December, she reached the capital of Christendom, which was decorated in her honour. The Pope came personally to meet her, administered the sacrament of Confirmation, and added Alexandra to her name.

In Rome, Christina's home was in the Palazzo Farnese; and during her residence here she sought to satisfy her intellectual ambitions as well as the longings of her devout and loving heart. She visited the sacred places to pray, went as a ministering angel into the hovels of the poor, and devoted herself to the study of the collections of art and the libraries. She drew into the circle of her fascinations the leading families of the Eternal City, arranged concerts and plays, and knew how to delight everyone by her acuteness and learning. She was not willing, however, to drop rough Swedish customs, and allowed herself to display various peculiarities of dress and manner, so that many people avoided her.

In 1656 and 1657, Christina went to France, the first time with a retinue, the second time incognito. On the latter trip her conduct excited much displeasure as, among other eccentricities she dressed as a man. Much more severe censure was aroused by the trial, without proper legal forms, of an old servant, Monaldeschi, and his subsequent execution, although as sovereign she had the right to pronounce sentence of death, or at least believed herself entitled to this authority.

Returning to Rome she gradually fell under the displeasure of the pope, for like a true daughter of Gustavus Adolphus she at times defied foreign laws and customs in too arrogant a fashion. Christina suffered much annoyance from the failure to receive with regularity from Sweden the income to which she was entitled; sometimes no money came at all. Moreover a woman so active intellectually had not taste or time for keeping accounts. Dishonesty in the management of her money affairs naturally followed, and the disorder in her finances were not overcome until the Curia through Cardinal Azzolini provided her with a competent bookkeeper.

After the death of Charles Gustavus (1660) she returned to Sweden to have her rights again legally confirmed. A second visit home (1667) was not of long duration as, in the pettiest manner, difficulties were thrown in the way of her exercise of her religion.

After this for a time she lived in Hamburg, but she made her continued stay in that city, then very rigidly Lutheran, impossible by organizing festivities in honour of the newly-elected pope, which ended in tumult and bloodshed.

In 1668 she returned to Rome and never again left the Eternal City. Her new home was the Palazzo Riario, and she filled her residence with great collections of books and objects of art. Her palace became a centre both for the learned world and for artists and sculptors; to the latter, Christina gave both aid and generously paid commissions. Her forethought and care were not limited to her acquaintances and members of her household, the poor of Rome also found in her a charitable mother.

As she grew older she fulfilled her religious duties with increasing intelligence and zeal, and the approach of her death had no longer any terrors for her. Piously and bravely she prepared herself for the end; after arranging her worldly affairs she received the sacraments with humble devotion and died a true child of the Catholic Church. Against her express wishes the Pope had her body embalmed and brought to St. Peter's where it was buried under the high altar. Her ostentatious but not prepossessing monument is the work of Carlo Fontana.

Christina made Cardinal Azzolini her principal heir, while the papal See and various Catholic sovereigns also received legacies. Unfortunately, after the death of Azzolini much of her valuable art collection passed into the hands of strangers; the greater part of her very rich library, however, is in the Vatican. Pictures and plastic art of various kinds have preserved the knowledge of Christina's features. Although not beautiful, in her youth her appearance must have been interesting. In later years she grew too stout to retain any trace of good looks. Only the flashing piercing eyes give any evidence of the fiery spirit which the exterior concealed.

The character the northern sovereign remained very much the same through life. Receptive for everything good and great, she unfalteringly pursued her quest after knowledge of the truth and after many wanderings found it in the bosom of the Catholic Church. She had a tender, sympathetic heart, yet was subject at times to fits of temper, even cruelty. She was no saint, but was probably better than the members of her former confession pictured her. Any objective portrait of her will always bear out the judgment of Axel Oxenstiern, "After all she was the daughter of the Great Adolphus", both in her faults and in her virtues.


There Are Roses In My Soul


My husband can attest to the fact that I haven’t a single green  appendage, i.e. green thumb; however, I’ve planted rose bushes at every  house we’ve shared. Planting them was easy, but the rest I left to  nature. Typically, my minimal efforts had produced results to match. 

When we moved here four years ago, I again planted some new rose bushes just beside our front porch and relocated a resident climbing rose bush to the Marian garden. Last year, having purchased two apple trees, I felt compelled to try a little harder and so I rummaged through the shed and found a container of plant food. Food in hand, I circled my way around the yard sprinkling here and there our azaleas, apple trees, and my rose bushes.

I’m not really sure why I have this affinity for rose bushes, but just the thought of them brings three beloved people to mind. My mother had some roses planted just across the driveway from the side door (the door we actually used to go in and out as opposed to the front door that only strangers entered through). I think they were peach in color and I have a picture in my head that my mom took of my sister posing beside them. Then there is the story of St. Therese, the Little Flower, dropping roses to those who ask for her intercession. A grammar school teacher first taught me about her and my college roommate renewed my interest in this dear saint years later. In fact, I offered a novena to the little saint in those hours after our first child, Dimitri, was born when the details of his illness began to unfold. And, of course, roses always evince a connection to my Blessed Mother. Most of the time when I bring blooms in, I offer them to our Lady by placing the vase on our kitchen shrine.

This spring those rose bushes decided to reward my little efforts in so many more ways than I understood at first. Each in turn, the tall, thorny, green stalks began to produce tiny buds that erupted into beautiful flowers of yellow and then red. The timing of this was something of a gift in and of itself. I began to spy the changes during the weeks surrounding the loss of my husband’s job and the loss of our dear expected baby, who was still cradled in my womb. That is when my  secret, daily ritual started. Waking up each morning, I would walk through the house opening windows and doors before stepping out onto the front porch which I’d cross in order to peer over the railing to see what those bushes had in store for me that day. Simple and perhaps a bit silly, but those bushes filled me with an inexplicable hope and peace. The dilemma for me then was in deciding whether I wanted to cut those blooms and carry them inside to enjoy or allow them to remain on the stem, where their beauty might last a bit longer.

At the end of April when the roses first made their appearance, we had the privilege of being godparents to our friends' son. In thanksgiving for this blessing and that of our expected little one, I carried those  first blooms to Our Lady of Czestochowa and placed them at her shrine in St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. It was an easy offering on my behalf. Although I admit, I was humbled measuring my tiny bouquet against the two matching arrangements that decorated the table. To the eye, my gift looked unimpressive, but I knew that I hadn’t retained a single blossom for myself. My satisfaction was derived in knowing that I gave everything I had.

During the next few weeks, our personal trials increased and so did my daily ritual. Then, one particular Thursday came. We’d discovered the baby’s death some days before, but I was still clinging to the hope of a miracle. Knowing that Lazarus had been raised and so too had Jarius’ daughter been woken from her eternal slumber, I was praying that death would not win again. Since my husband was home, we had the rare opportunity of attending Thursday morning Mass as a family. As we rushed around preparing nine people to leave by 7:30am, I’d not had time for my peaceful ritual. But, the thought washed over me that I needed bring today’s blooms to my Mother. I headed out to quickly clip and plant today’s bounty into a vase for transport when I was overcome by sadness and then anger. There they were in all their splendor, five roses. Five, I counted them again, five. In an instant, without a moment’s hesitation, I realized there was one bloom for each of our five heavenly children. One for Dimitri, one for Mary, one for Simeon, one for Philomena and now one for Matthew, too, how could this be? “No, no,” I wanted to scream, “You can’t have five from us. You have four  already, you don’t need this fifth soul.” I wanted to pretend it didn’t mean anything, but I knew better. I wanted to leave those roses home because surely Our Lady didn’t need those stupid flowers anyway, but I knew better. So, holding fast to my unspoken anger and searing sorrow, I grabbed the scissors and I cut all five of those opened roses.  Hurriedly, I stuck them into a vase as the family waited in the van. It was an internal tug-of-war for me, but I knew I had to give them all, so silently I did.

At the same time the roses were busy in the front yard, the climbers in the Marian garden were also joining in. The whole Marian garden was filled with the colors of red roses, orange Day Lilies and white Easter Lilies. During the time we were waiting for Matthew’s delivery, I remember thinking at least the garden was ready for his arrival. It brought me some solace to consider this tiny family graveyard would be well decorated when it came time for his funeral. Perhaps, even more fitting that after we laid Matthew’s hand-sized coffin in the ground, the  blooms died, too and roses stopped appearing.

My memory is rather cloudy nowadays, so time seems to slip passed me and I cannot remember the exact sequence of days and weeks, but you might imagine my surprise and delight when beloved friends brought us a new rose bush in memory of Matthew. They had no idea of my rituals. And it wasn’t until days later when I asked my little ones to prepare a spot in the front yard, that I read the tag. This bush was a John Paul II commemorative rose bush, and we all know whom he had great devotion to.  So, sometime in June we were gifted with this new plant that was nothing more, seemingly, than a stick with roots in a pot. I was thrilled to have a tangible, continuing sign of Matthew’s brief, earthly life and I figured that if I was lucky, or more rightly blessed, we might see Matthew’s roses in a year or two. Perhaps, I’m just garden-ignorant (okay, I am, there is no perhaps about it) but I didn’t understand when Greg told me that the bush was growing not even a month later. Finally, I saw those first tiny red leaves for myself, but still I didn’t believe.

When Greg mentioned that buds were appearing, I simply ignored what he was telling me.

In truth, I liked the idea of a bare stick jutting out of the ground. I wanted it to remain bare and to hide its growth from sight for a year or two. I wanted that rose bush to mirror the way I felt, ugly and unproductive. Time was necessary, lots of time, for that bush to bloom and for me to start the process of healing, but God had other plans again. He often does. Without my consent, that stump grew its leaves and then it had the temerity to produce a single white blossom. Unwilling to relinquish my denial, I allowed that pure, white flower to turn brown without much more than a fleeting glance from me. The bush, however, isn’t dependent on my will to make it grow or not, so it continues to defy me.

The course, of these many trials I have wrestled with what I perceived as an inability to pray and a test of my faith. In the weakest moments, I’ve cried out, “My God, why have you abandoned me?” Listening for the answer, I’ve heard nothing. Having given those five roses to Mother, I’ve felt unable to give her anything more or even to ask for her intercession. Adoration and Mass have brought me comfort and temporary peace, but inside an emptiness has remained. A small prayer formed from this loneliness, in which I simply say, “Here I am Lord, I am empty. I have nothing left to offer, but I am Your's. Fill up my emptiness with Yourself.” A recent gospel reading ended with the command, “Whoever has ears ought to hear” which might also include whoever has eyes ought to see. Today I realized that I have been watching God’s love bloom in my yard and in my empty places. He did not need my conscious consent.  He was not dependent on me to feed Him. My soul is a rose bush planted in His Divine Marian garden and He has fed me with His word, nurtured me with His love and caused my heart to bloom with hope. He used my  afinity for these simple creations of His to teach me. Like the parables He used to explain the kingdom to His disciples, so are the rose bushes He is using to help me to understand.

There is one tiny white rose in bloom right now on Matthew’s bush  and another bud due to burst. The bushes that began my ritual have decided their rest is over and they, too, are ripe with buds. I’m not sure that my time of mourning has fully ended, but I understand that my roots are planted deeply in faith. And God’s love has the power to transform my ugly emptiness into something beautiful and fruitful.



British Government regulates a Churches Communion

Government regulates church communion

Says faith community cannot limit observance to members

A  government agency that oversees charities in the United Kingdom has decided that a local Christian congregation cannot be registered because it does not open its communion services to just any outsider.

The decision by the U.K.’s Charity Commission is being reported by The Christian Institute, which has been working on the case of the Plymouth Brethren assembly in Devon for seven years.

Without registration, the group would be subject to a number of government restrictions that do not apply to charity organizations.

The decision “would have a huge impact on the group’s tax relief and would also have other implications,” said the institute in a report.

The report said the congregation’s elders testified to a select committee of Parliament last week.

The government has determined the group cannot be registered because it has decided that its communion services are for members only.

"During the evidence a letter from the commission’s head of legal services emerged claiming that churches cannot be assumed to be acting for the public good,” the report said.

The institute said it is working on the case because of the need to protect religious liberty for all church groups.

A statement released by the government agency said, “The application [from the church] was not accepted on the basis that we were unable to conclude that the organization is established for the advancement of religion for public benefit within the relevant law.”

The institute said Conservative Member of Parliament Charlie Elphicke speculated whether the government agency was “actively trying to suppress religion in the U.K., particularly the Christian religion.”

According to a report from the Telegraph of London, the faith group is planning to take the battle to the European Court of Human Rights if needed.

The report said the commission letter was uncovered as part of a select committee’s investigation of the Charity Commission.

This does not mean ths church can not operate, it just would nt qualify as a Charity and would be subject to government restrictions.



The Marks of True Love

by Tara K. E. Brelinsky

Childhood sweethearts, my husband and I married for the first time at Sts.  Peter and Paul Russian Orthodox Church. After the beautiful, two hour long Liturgy complete with crowns and chanting, my mother remarked there was no doubt we had indeed been united by this sacrament. Unlike some modern weddings which focus on flowery arrangements, self-appointed roles  and individually crafted vows, ours followed tradition with its focus on the sacramental and not so much the selves. Of course, at 21 and 23 we'd have a lot to learn about life and marriage in the years to come.

Having married outside of the Catholic Church, our pre-cana consisted only of a few short meetings with the priest, who was to marry us. I remember only his encouraging me to convert and little else. We missed the boat, so to speak, on so many crucial lessons, but thankfully God always has a back-up plan.

Totally unaware of the Churches' teachings, we contracepted early on until the time when we deemed ourselves ready to welcome another family member.  What joy it seemed then to ask God to create a new life on our terms, in  our time.

However, after the death of our firstborn we began to realize that life was far more fragile than we'd considered and our well-crafted life plans disappeared with his heartbeat. We desperately wanted more children and so I suppose our hearts were ready soil for God to plant a different kind of seed.

Browsing through a bookstore's discount bin at the mall, I happened upon a thick book that grabbed my attention. Fertility awareness was the topic, and seeing as our attempts to conceive had taken much time and effort the first time around, it seemed the perfect read. I gobbled up that book and eagerly applied the newly found knowledge about my basal body temperature, mucus and cervical changes.

Fast forward six years and many changes later, my husband converted to the Catholic faith and we married for the second time in a little chapel at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. In truth, standing there  surrounded by a few friends and flanked by a toddler and a baby, we had our marriage, which was already considered valid by the Catholic Church,

While our “first” marriage had united us together in that permanent bond of marriage, endowing us with the gifts to live out that vocation, I believe that “second” marriage made us evermore conscious of our need to rely on Divine Providence and our responsibility to actively grow together in our faith. Like too many other young people, after our wedding
ceremony we had created all too many excuses for sleeping in on Sundays and relegated Christ to Easter and Christmas those first few years.

Thankfully, once our family size increased, so too did our knowledge of the necessity for faith, but still missing were those hard truths.  Though my eyes had been opened to the beauty of my fertility, unfortunately that initial method of fertility awareness was void of theological truth and thus allowed for contraceptive behaviors and devices during the fertile phase of the cycle. It also didn't challenge us to include God in our family planning, though at the time we felt an internal stirring to openness. Thankfully, our Lord is patient and so He nurtured that sapling and in time He would redirect its growth.

By the time we were celebrating our tenth anniversary, we'd been blessed with one son through adoption, two more birth sons, and our first daughter had entered the world. By all accounts our cup was overflowing, but in reality we were standing on the precipice of divorce, contemplating the looming pit of broken vows and broken dreams.

Well-meaning friends and family worried about our children and about divorced parents trying to raise them apart, so they encouraged us to protect ourselves. Protect ourselves, especially, against the possibility of anymore conceptions. Really, with four children already, many people couldn't understand why we'd ever want more. Their advice seemed
reasonable, so we took it and reverted back to contracepting during the fertile time.

We chose to work through our trial with a Christian therapist, who instructed us in reading the Bible. Little did this faithful, Protestant therapist know, not only was he helping to heal our broken hearts, but he was leading us deeper into our Catholic faith. For the first time, we began reading God's Word separately and together. A deeper and more intimate relationship developed between the three of us (Christ, my husband and me) and we developed a thirst for more.

Truthfully, I knew something wasn't right in our contracepting, but I couldn't quite figure out what that “something” was. When I'd contracepted in our early years, I struggled with a myriad of physical and psychological symptoms as a result of the synthetic hormones.  Contracepting without hormones, I still felt unsatisfied mentally, physically and spiritually.

A couple at our parish introduced us to The Mary Foundation, a fantastic organization that gave away free audio tapes (now CDs). For two people still emerging from the “modern theological” desert, hungry and parched, these tapes were our manna and rain. After listening to “The Mass Explained,” we ordered a box full of all their titles. My husband listened during commutes to work and I listened while cleaning the house and pushing kids on the swing.

Then, one day my husband came home and handed me a tape. Entitled “The Key to Happy Families,” he wouldn't divulge the contents, but simply instructed me to listen. Perplexed by his secrecy and intrigued by his command, I readily hit the play button. By the time the tape reel had run its course, my head was spinning.

The Pill is an abortifacient, so we could have aborted our own children?  conntracepting is a mortal sin? A pope wrote a whole encyclical on this subject and prophesied abortion on demand, increased divorced rates,   infidelity in marriages, and more. The Catholic Church actually has a teaching on this subject?

As a cradle Catholic, why had I not heard this before? And what was I going to do now?

From that day forward, my husband and I agreed, we could not contracept again, not with our bodies, not with our minds, not with our hearts. A dramatic turning point for me, I was working through my pain and was now more confused than ever.

Alone in my bedroom, on my knees, I gave it all over to the Blessed Mother. I told her of my fears, my desires, my weakness and I asked her specifically to align my heart to God's Will. Pledging my fertility to Jesus through her hands, I surrendered in a way I never had before. For the first time, I recognized and accepted my smallness. I promised to allow Jesus to have total control over my fertility, so long as Our Lady would wrap me in her mantle of comfort and protection.

I didn't hear any voices, I didn't see any heavenly lights, but I knew  that she heard me, that she'd swaddled me in her motherly embrace. Of course, it was still a process, learning to completely surrender and  trust. A process that we are still working through ten more years later and one that I think we will be trying to perfect for the rest of our lives.

This passed June, we celebrated our 20th anniversary in the company of our  7 children. Certainly, our married life has not been without further crosses. We've endured the losses of five more children, we've revisited old weaknesses, we've faced the judgment of others, but, contrary to the world's idea of love and freedom, we've discovered that surrender,
forgiveness and self-sacrifice are the source and summit of true love.

At 41 and 43, we recognize that our marriage includes a third partner,   God. He was there on our wedding day and He has been there every day since, even when we relegated Him to the back seat. Through His Word and His sacrifice on the cross, He taught us the meaning of love and He showed us how to manifest that love toward one another.

Freely, faithfully and fully, we give ourselves, our whole selves, to one another and to Christ, inside of our bedroom and out. Today I understand, with a new perspective, my mother's comment on our wedding day. Truly, the three of us were united by the Sacrament of Marriage.

Thanks to my guest writer, Tara, housewife, mother, homeschooler, and natural family planning, whose family is an inspiration to the faithful.

I will be posting Tara over the next momth. please look for her here.


Chant à Sainte Jeanne d'Arc

Vice President Biden Misstates and Distorts Catholic Social Doctrine for Political Convenience

Brethren, Peace and Good to all of you.

This, according to Catholic World News:

In a new campaign advertisement, Vice President Joe Biden emphasized that he is a practicing Catholic and said that President Barack Obama’s healthcare initiatives have advanced Catholic social teaching.

“As a practicing Catholic like many of you, I was raised in a household where there was absolutely no distinction between the values my mom and dad drilled into us and what I learned from the nuns and priests who educated me,” said Biden. “We call it Catholic social doctrine: ‘Whatever you do to the least of these, you do for me.’”

Commentary. Apparently, Mr. Biden ignores, or chooses to ignore what the Catholic Social Doctrine teaches about abortion. All he had to do was to open the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church and find these:

155. The teachings of Pope John XXIII,[314] the Second Vatican Council,[315] and Pope Paul VI [316] have given abundant indication of the concept of human rights as articulated by the Magisterium. Pope John Paul II has drawn up a list of them in the Encyclical Centesimus Annus:“the right to life, an integral part of which is the right of the child to develop in the mother's womb from the moment of conception; the right to live in a united family and in a moral environment conducive to the growth of the child's personality; the right to develop one's intelligence andfreedom in seeking and knowing the truth; the right to share in the work which makes wise use of the earth's material resources, and to derive from that work the means to support oneself and one's dependents; and the right freely to establish a family, to have and to rear children through the responsible exercise of one's sexuality. In a certain sense, the source and synthesis of these rights is religious freedom, understood as the right to live in the truth of one's faith and in conformity with one's transcendent dignity as a person”[317].

The first right presented in this list is the right to life, from conception to its natural end,[318] which is the condition for the exercise of all other rights and, in particular, implies the illicitness of every form of procured abortion and of euthanasia.[319] Emphasis is given to the paramount value of the right to religious freedom: “all men are to be immune from coercion on the part of individuals or of social groups and of any human power, in such wise that no one is to be forced to act in a manner contrary to his own beliefs, whether privately or publicly, whether alone or in association with others, within due limits”.[320] The respect of this right is an indicative sign of “man's authentic progress in any regime, in any society, system or milieu”[321].

233. Concerning the “methods” for practising responsible procreation, the first to be rejected as morally illicit are sterilization and abortion[521]. The latter in particular is a horrendous crime and constitutes a particularly serious moral disorder[522]; far from being a right, it is a sad phenomenon that contributes seriously to spreading a mentality against life, representing a dangerous threat to a just and democratic social coexistence[523].

570. When — concerning areas or realities that involve fundamental ethical duties — legislative or political choices contrary to Christian principles and values are proposed or made, the Magisterium teaches that “a well-formed Christian conscience does not permit one to vote for a political programme or an individual law which contradicts the fundamental contents of faith and morals”[1191]. In cases where it is not possible to avoid the implementation of such political programmes or to block or abrogate such laws, the Magisterium teaches that a parliamentary representative, whose personal absolute opposition to these programmes or laws is clear and known to all, may legitimately support proposals aimed at limiting the damage caused by such programmes or laws and at diminishing their negative effects on the level of culture and public morality. In this regard, a typical example of such a case would be a law permitting abortion[1192]. The representative's vote, in any case, cannot be interpreted as support of an unjust law but only as a contribution to reducing the negative consequences of a legislative provision, the responsibility for which lies entirely with those who have brought it into being.

Faced with the many situations involving fundamental and indispensable moral duties, it must be remembered that Christian witness is to be considered a fundamental obligation that can even lead to the sacrificing of one's life, to martyrdom in the name of love and human dignity[1193]. The history of the past twenty centuries, as well as that of the last century, is filled with martyrs for Christian truth, witnesses to the faith, hope and love founded on the Gospel. Martyrdom is the witness of one who has been personally conformed to Jesus crucified, expressed in the supreme form of shedding one's blood according to the teaching of the Gospel: if “a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies ... it bears much fruit” (Jn 12:24).

Vice President Biden engages in many a wordgame. For example, during the Vice Presidential debates, Mr. Biden stated:

My religion defines who I am, and I've been a practicing Catholic my whole life. And has particularly informed my social doctrine. The Catholic social doctrine talks about taking care of those who -- who can't take care of themselves, people who need help. With regard to -- with regard to abortion, I accept my church's position on abortion as a -- what we call a (inaudible) doctrine. Life begins at conception in the church's judgment. I accept it in my personal life. But I refuse to impose it on equally devout Christians and Muslims and Jews, and I just refuse to impose that on others, unlike my friend here, the -- the congressman…

Logically, Mr. Biden should be equally reluctant to impose views contained in the Catholic Social Doctrine, in view of the fact that he would be imposing such views upon others. That he doesn’t do so shows that he only accepts the Church’s teaching when it aligns with his party’s platform and rejects the Church’s teaching when it doesn’t.

Vice President Biden’s position is dishonest, and logically untenable. Keep this in mind when you exercise your Catholic conscience and the ballot box next Tuesday.

Read more: http://vivificat1.blogspot.com/2012/10/vice-president-biden-misstates-and.html#ixzz2B5VUcFWh

Thanks to Vivificate



Claire Ferchaud

"...I come, not to bring terror among you; I am the God of love, the God who forgives and wants to save you all..."

There is very little written about Clair Ferchaud outside of France, perhaps it is because she was a woman who went against  the worldview of a woman should be.  I did not know of Clair until I was into my early 50's although she did not die until 1972.  Which makes her a contemporary if not from my generation.  Clair was born in 1901on May 5, the feast of St. Hilary of Arles, in in the little village of Loublande, in the province of Vendée.  The Vendée whose people had shed so much blood in  the cause of Holy Mother  Church.

,,My grace will work with great power on sinners who without contrition, Kneel before the picture of My Broken Heart, so that they will arise converted."

She attended the school of the Sacred Heart as a child and received visions of Jesus, His mother Mary and Saint Joan of Arc, (although she had not yet been canonised). As with her messenger Joan the would call her and meet with her. In 1916 during that "anneé terrible" she was called by Jesus to a vision of His Sacred Heart slashed and torn by the "Sins of mankind" and a deeper wound by the sin of Atheism.  Atheism which had been planted by the revolution of 1789, watered by the blood of the dead of the Commune of 1871, pruned by the anti-clerical law of 1905, which legally separated Church and State. (1)

,,I will forgive their sins, even before the absolution, to those who with a true love kiss the picture of My Broken Heart."

Born on May 5 in 1896, she was hurriedly dressed in a white gown and taken to the local church where she was Baptised Claire-Yvonne-Marie-Louis. She was born in Saint-Laurent-sur-Sèvre, in the small village of Loublande, in the Vendéen hedged farmland called the Bocage. She attended the school of the Sacred Heart and during her childhood, she was subject to apparitions. Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary and Saint Joan of Arc appeared to her and asked her to deliver for them messages.  She confides in the parish priest of Loublande, the Abbot Audebert. Then Jesus entrusts to her a mission: to contact President Poincaré regarding her conversion with Jesus, being the placing of the Sacred Heart on French flags, which will insure the final victory of the armies of France against the Germans.

,,My glance will touch the hearts of the indifferent and will inflame them with favor so that they will practice goodness."

In accordance with the wishes of Our Saviour, she writes this missive, and her letter is sent to the President Poincaré January 16 1917. He ignores it. By the intervention and help of a prominent royalist representative, the small mystic is received on March 21 at the Elysée palace where she arrives to deliver this message: "The President was to ask the Bishops to consecrate France to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and to ask the parliament to place the 'Sacred Heart' image on the white portion of the French flag... President Poincaré seemed to consent to her suggestions, but strangely once again nothing in fact is done. Clair sends to President Poincaré a second letter on the 1st of May, again he does nothing. On May 7, she then sends the letter of warning to 14 generals of the army, asking "that the picture of the Sacred Heart, signs hope and of good day, shine officially on our national colors". Only one complies , and that Division of the Army saves Paris from the advancing German Army in the 2nd Battle of the Marne. The Sacred Heart will be invoked during this conflict by faithful millions of, but never will be placed on the standards.

,,An only act of love with the plea for forgiveness towards this picture will he enough for Me to open heaven to the soul which in the last hour must appear before Me."

Clair withdraws to her home to accomplish the other mission that God inspired in her: to found a congregation to repair the insult done to the Sacred Heart, "in substitution to the refusal by the France to recognize officially God for master". She will take the name of Sister Claire of Crucified Jesus. The community will receive the blessing of Pope Pius XII!

,,When some refuse to believe in the truths of religion, one can put the picture of My Broken Heart in their room (dwelling) without their knowledge. It will bring through the wonder of graces sudden and supernatural conversions."

During 1918, there thousands of pilgrims invade the town of Loublande simply to be near Clair and the Sacred Heart. The height of these pilgrimages occurred on June 7 1918 with a procession of torches which 10,000 pilgrims participate! ...But the peace signed in 1918, as had announced by Claire Ferchaud, would not be "final". A greater holocaust is yet to come. Clair asks for and is granted a perpetual Mass for France, which was approved by Mgr Humbrecht, the bishop of Poitiers, on June 11, 1918.

The picture of the " Sacred Heart of Jesus broken for our sins", which was painted under the directions of Claire Ferchaud (a reproduction which is exposed in the chapel of the house of the Sacred Heart of Loublande) is seen widely in Royalist and Catholic places of the faith.

Today the Royalists of France are represent on their color the sacred heart, sometimes as the Chouans and sometimes as it was requested By Christ through Clair Ferchaud.

But until France and the world consecrate their countries individually peace will not come nor wil the enemies of the church be crushed.

I respectfully call upon S.A.R. Louis Alphonse, as legitmate heir of the Crown of France to Publically Consecrate France to the Sacred Heart.


(1) In the Affaire Des Fiches in France in 1904–1905, it was discovered that the anticlerical War Minister under Émile Combes, General Louis André, was determining promotions based on the French Masonic Grand Orient's huge card index on public officials, detailing which were Catholic and who attended Mass, with a view to preventing their promotions

On 7 May 1917, she then addressed a letter of warning to 14 generals of the French armies, calling for ‘the image of the Sacred Heart, sign of hope and salvation’, to be inserted onto ‘our national colors’. Fifteen copies of this letter were written and sent to the following generals:

Hubert Lyautey, Minister of War in the previous Government of Aristide Briand;

Philippe Pétain, General in chief of all Armies;

Joseph Alfred Micheler, Commandant of the 1st Army;

Adolphe Guillaumat, Commandant of the 2nd Army;

Georges Louis Humbert, Commandant of the 3rd Army;

Henri Joseph Eugène Gouraud, Commandant of the 4th Army;

Fénelon François Germain Passaga, Commandant of the 5th Army;

Paul Maistre, Commandant of the 6th Army;

Antoine Baucheron de Boissoudy, Commandant of the 7th Army;

Augustin Gérard, Commandant of the 8th Army;

Denis Auguste Duchêne, Commandant of the 10th Army;

And also to Generals: Jacques de Castelnau, Robert Georges Nivelle, Marie Émile Fayolle, and Ferdinand Foch.

It is known today, from two sources which attested to the fact (that of the curé of Bonbon, the abbé Paul Noyer and that of Father Perroy on November 17, 1918), that only General Foch, (Commanding the 20th Corps in Nancy and later the Supreme Commander of Allied Forces) ‘consecrated’ the armed forces of the French and their Allies ‘to the Sacred Heart’ on 16 July 1918, during a private ceremony.

The Sacred Heart was, in fact, invoked during this conflict by millions of faithful Catholics, but was never placed on the Flag. In fact, the image of the Sacred Heart, was broadcast very widely. Millions of copies were distributed. It was commonly found in the trenches, to the point that a circular from the Minister of War of 6 August 1917 (countersigned by Philippe Pétain later the president of unoccupied France in 1940) prohibited its exhibition.

The Corps of Marechal Foch, soon after placing the Sacred Heart on the 20th corps flag were instumental in the repulse of the Germans at the battle of 2nd Marne. Roert Nivelle troops mutinied in 1917.


Medieval Sourcebook, Arabs, Franks, and the Battle of Tours, 732

Three accounts. The following opinion was expressed about the Franks by the emir who conquered Spain, and who---had he not been recalled---might have commanded at Tours. It shows what the Arab leaders thought of the men of the North up to the moment of their great disillusionment by "The Hammer." The following opinion was expressed about the Franks by the emir who conquered Spain, and who---had he not been recalled---might have commanded at Tours. It shows what the Arab leaders thought of the men of the North up to the moment of their great disillusionment by "The Hammer." (Davis Introduction)

From an Arabian Chronicler Musa being returned to Damascus, the Caliph Abd-el Melek asked of him about his conquests, saying "Now tell me about these Franks---what is their nature?" "They," replied Musa, "are a folk right numerous, and full of might: brave and impetuous in the attack, but cowardly and craven in event of defeat." "And how has passed the war betwixt them and thyself? Favorably or the reverse?" "The reverse? No, by Allah and the prophet!" spoke Musa. "Never has a company from my army been beaten. And never have the Moslems hesitated to follow me when I have led them; though they were twoscore to fourscore."

Isidore of Beja's Chronicle The defeat of the Saracen invaders of Frankish lands at Tours (more properly Poitiers) in 732 A.D. was a turning point in history. It is not likely the Muslims, if victorious, would have penetrated, at least at once, far into the north, but they would surely have seized South Gaul, and thence readily have crushed the weak Christian powers of Italy. It is very unfortunate that we do not possess scientific accounts of Charles Martel's great victory, instead of the interesting but insufficient stories of the old Christian chroniclers. Then Abderrahman, [the Muslim emir] seeing the land filled with the multitude of his army, crossed the Pyrenees, and traversed the defiles [in the mountains] and the plains, so that he penetrated ravaging and slaying clear into the lands of the Franks. He gave battle to Duke Eudes (of Aquitaine) beyond the Garonne and the Dordogne, and put him to flight---so utterly [was he beaten] that God alone knew the number of the slain and wounded. Whereupon Abderrahman set in pursuit of Eudes; he destroyed palaces, burned churches, and imagined he could pillage the basilica of St. Martin of Tours.

It is then that he found himself face to face with the lord of Austrasia, Charles, a mighty warrior from his youth, and trained in all the occasions of arms. For almost seven days the two armies watched one another, waiting anxiously the moment for joining the struggle. Finally they made ready for combat. And in the shock of the battle the men of the North seemed like North a sea that cannot be moved. Firmly they stood, one close to another, forming as it were a bulwark of ice; and with great blows of their swords they hewed down the Arabs. Drawn up in a band around their chief, the people of the Austrasians carried all before them. Their tireless hands drove their swords down to the breasts [of the foe].

At last night sundered the combatants. The Franks with misgivings lowered their blades, and beholding the numberless tents of the Arabs, prepared themselves for another battle the next day. Very early, when they issued from their retreat, the men of Europe saw the Arab tents ranged still in order, in the same place where they had set up their camp. Unaware that they were utterly empty, and fearful lest within the phalanxes of the Saracens were drawn up for combat, they sent out spies to ascertain the facts. These spies discovered that all the squadrons of the "Ishmaelites" had vanished. In fact, during the night they had fled with the greatest silence, seeking with all speed their home land. The Europeans, uncertain and fearful, lest they were merely hidden in order to come back [to fall upon them] by ambushments, sent scouting parties everywhere, but to their great amazement found nothing. Then without troubling to pursue the fugitives, they contented themselves with sharing the spoils and returned right gladly to their own country.

Chronicle of St. Denis The Muslims planned to go to Tours to destroy the Church of St. Martin, the city, and the whole country. Then came against them the glorious Prince Charles, at the head of his whole force. He drew up his host, and he fought as fiercely as the hungry wolf falls upon the stag. By the grace of Our Lord, he wrought a great slaughter upon the enemies of Christian faith, so that---as history bears witness---he slew in that battle 300,000 men, likewise their king by name Abderrahman. Then was he [Charles] first called "Martel," for as a hammer of iron, of steel, and of every other metal, even so he dashed: and smote in the battle all his enemies. And what was the greatest marvel of all, he only lost in that battle 1500 men. The tents and harness [of the enemy] were taken; and whatever else they possessed became a prey to him and his followers. Eudes, Duke of Aquitaine, being now reconciled with Prince Charles Martel, later slew as many of the Saracens as he could find who had escaped from the battle.