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Tuesday 17 October 2017

Pope Pius XI. Click on "Read full post" for all recent and previous posts: Our Lord God and...

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Picture above is of La Salette.

October 7th: Feast of Our Lady of The Rosary

September 14th: Feast of The Exaltation of The Holy Cross.

September 15th: Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows

August 15th Feast Of The Assumption.

August 6th. Feast of The Transfiguration.

July 16th. Feast of Our Lady of Carmel.

23rd June: Feast of The Sacred Heart.

Devotion to Our Lord's Sacred Heart is one of the oldest devotions in the Church. It is a doctrinal devotion, grounded firmly in the great reality that is the Love of Our Lord God and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Our Lord's Love is symbolized by His Sacred Heart. As Fr Francis Larkin writes:

"We worship the person of Jesus Christ, considered
in His Heart and all that His Heart symbolizes"

Sunday 4th June: Feast of Pentecost.

May 16th, feast of St Simon Stock.

Feast Of The Martyrs Of England and Wales.

The Feast Day of the Martyrs of England and Wales.

4th May

For the feast day of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales let us consider how these great saints defended the Faith of their English and Welsh forefathers and who were not wrong that Roman Catholicism is the one true Faith and did all they could to support and ensure it; for themselves and for their children.
Following the landing of St Augustine and his galvanizing of the Catholics existing in pockets throughout the land, the Anglo-Saxon Kings and nobility set in place and ensured the whole structure and support of the Church and very specifically with its great monastic framework; the bedrock of the Christian caring society. Many of these nobility consecrated themselves to God. Princess Eanswythe, granddaughter of King Ethelbert and Queen Bertha founded the first religious community of women in this country; the great exhortation of these Benedictine nuns being:

"to return unceasing thanks to God
for the great gift of the faith
bestowed upon their country"1

England, the country that was so pivotal in the need to defend the Roman Catholic Church in the early sixteenth century succumbed to the reformation; the protest against the Church and the Faith of their ancestors instead. Or rather the King did and from which stemmed the great coercing of the people through force; fines and the threat of horrific punishment, into the protestant beliefs and ways emerging elsewhere in the European continent. These great and brave Martyrs resisted these changes:

EASTER and The Great Sacrifice by Our Lord God.

The Hypostatic union and God's love for mankind.

Only God Himself could save mankind from our sins; only the perfect sacrifice; His great sacrifice, could suffice for God's Justice.
The Hypostatic union is the term used to explain Our Lord God and Saviour taking on human flesh; to become man, without losing a single feature of the God Head; true God and true man.
Jesus Christ (God the Son) begotten of God the Father before all ages; God from God. He is of one substance with the Father, and one substance with the Holy Spirit; Consubstantial with God the Father and Consubstantial with God the Holy Spirit. Fully equal in all ways. It was through Him (God the Son) that all things were made. [Jn 1:1-14.] Taking on human flesh did not diminish His God Head in any way. The Hypostatic Union is described in the following way:

"A theological term used with reference to the Incarnation to express the revealed truth that in Christ one person subsists in Two natures, the Divine and the Human. Hypostasis means, literally, that which lies beneath as basis or foundation."( New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia on line: Hypostatic Union.)

Our Lord God suffered greatly in His Passion and Crucifixion.

Jesus has allowed Himself to be placed in this position in order to offer His life for the sins of mankind. He is the Saviour and He said:

"For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down and I have power to take it up again"[Jn 10:17-18]

Feast Of The Annunciation 25th March

UNITY means One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church.

The true and traditional teaching of the Catholic Church
as to what UNITY means is :

ONE, HOLY, CATHOLIC, APOSTOLIC CHURCH.
As we say in our sacred CREED. And we are called to
say what we mean! Our Lord founded one Church;
the Catholic Church.

Catholics, do not be involved in any other notions of Unity,
and which are false. And which only affirm those outside of
the Church to stay where they are.

And The Lex Orandi is the Lex Credendi; the way we worship
reflects what we believe.

And worship in common is forbidden by Divine Law.
And a sin against the Faith!

For true Church teaching on Unity see
the encyclical on Christian Unity by Pope Pius XI
Mortalium Animos

The Feast of The Epiphany: 6th January (Tridentine)

Christmas is a time to be reminded and to be mindful that Our Lord's birth took place in time and was an historical event. And that it took place in fulfilment of the scriptures. It was even foretold that Our Lord would be born in Bethlehem[Matt 2:6] [Mich 5:2.]

The three wise men were three kings from the East who had followed Our Lord's star [Matt 2:1-2] and who came from afar bearing gifts to present kneeling to Jesus; the King of Kings. [Matt 2:11].

Many a wise King in the earlier centuries recognized Our Lord Jesus to be the King of Kings. All leaders are reminded that Our Lord is King of Kings and ruler of rulers.

Christmas: Celebrations of the Birth of Our Lord God And Saviour.

8th December: Feast Of The Immaculate Conception.

Feast of Christ the King Sunday 30 October 2016 (Tridentine)

Feast of St Jude (Oct 28th) and events in England 2016

Feast of The Exaltation of The Cross 14th September

Our Lady of Dolours. Feast Day 15th September

Ramsgate, in the Isle of Thanet (Thanatos) and The awakening of Christendom in England.

Ramsgate-in-Thanet: First landing place of St Augustine: "ffor there he arryued fyrft."

Thanet (Thanatos) has its own little piece of unique history, almost as though this island, once known as Thanatos (the Isle of the Dead) was destined to be the Island of Mercy, with the landing of Saint Augustine and the awakening of Christendom taking place on its shores.
Ramsgate [Romansgate] -in -Thanet (the landing place of St Augustine) derives its name from the Romans who landed here under Julius Caesar in c55 BC. The precise landing place was the natural harbour at Ebbsfleet, next to Cliffsend, described as a little creek or bay where "veffels ufed to harbour." Four hundred years later, the Saxon Hengist landed in Thanatos and established the Royal House of Kent, it is his standard, the rearing white horse, that are displayed on the arms of the county.
Meanwhile, Thanet had been named, during much earlier times, as "Thanatos" Greek meaning 'death' or 'the dead,' the "Isle of Thanatos;" the "Island of the Death/the Dead." In the ancient writings of W. Caxton and his "dyfcrycyon of Englonde:"The Isle of "Thanatos" is recorded as having been blessed by Saint Augustine and being given the name Thanatos because of snakes being driven for the island; a factor that is atributed to a blessing given by St Augustine:

"Thanatos, that is, Tenet, is an Ylonde befydes Kente, and have the name
Thanatos, of deth of Serpentes, for ther ben none. And the crthe therof
fleeth Serpents yborn into other londes. There is a noble Corn lond and
fruytful. Hit is fuppofed that this Ilonde was haalowed and blyffed of St.
Auftyn, the fyrft Doctour of Englyfthe Men, ffor there he arryued fyrft."(W.Caxton)

St Augustine's blessing was given at this dawn of the awakening of Christendom in England, and which also brought with it the golden era of Anglo Saxon monastic Christendom. St Augustine galvanized the existing Roman Catholics existing in "pockets" or groups throughout England and who had arrived from Rome "the See of St Peter" with the very earliest Catholic missionaries and who had maintained the Faith throughout the continuous invasions and persecutions that had affected Britain in the earliest Christian centuries.
St Augustine and his forty missionaries landed at Ebbsfleet in 597,(the place of landing later became known as Saint Mildred's rock); the arrival of Saint Augustine is recorded at the site known as Saint Augustine's Cross, in between Cliffsend and Ebbsfleet; next to Pegwell Bay. It is also of course that Roman Catholicism was already known and practiced in England, this through the strong connections with Europe, and especially France, known since antiquity as: "the eldest daughter of the Church."
St Augustine was welcomed by King (Saint) Ethelbert, a great, great grandson of Hengist, and his French Catholic wife, Queen(Saint)Bertha. King Ethelbert is recorded as having converted to the faith immediately, and that he was baptized the following Whit Sunday. However, it is also said that he was already Catholic and that this had followed from a requirement of his marriage to Bertha, a French[Frankish] princess; she had brought a Bishop, Liudhard, with her on her marriage. Ethelbert had built a chapel for her.
This would account for the welcome that St Augustine received, and Pope Gregory is thought to have made his decision to send Augustine and the missionaries with King Ethelbert's receptiveness in mind. Ethelbert allowed the monks to preach and to settle in Canterbury. St Augustine was the first archbishop of Canterbury and within a few months of him landing, ten thousand Kentish men and women are recorded as having converted to the faith.
St Augustine was a Benedictine monk and he brought with him Benedictine Monasticism. No doubt King Ethelbert recognized the right ordering of life found in the monastic setting; life centres on God being foremost in a monk or a nuns life; the first commandment. The day is centred on this, with its balance of the Sacraments, prayers, devotions, work and study.
The monasteries finding great favour with the Anglo Saxon monarchs would also have derived from their being natural 'overseers' and helpers of a developing local community and which would invariably attach itself to the safety and tranquility of the monastic buildings and setting. Church schools and hospitals would be part of the developing setting as well as, of course, charitable almsgiving. Monasteries were required to give a minimum of one tenth of their income directly to the poor (a tithe)an almoner would carry out the distribution. The monastries might also be local employers for various people and trades. Great portions of land were given by the Anglo Saxon Kings to the developing Church.
Christendom, evolving during these early centuries of Christianity, sees the relevant laws and customs of a society accord with Catholic teaching and which, of course, reflect Our Lord's commandments and teachings. The Christian calendar, with its holy days, feast days and observances, structured society and were part of a whole framework of the faith which was both taught and caught in this environment; Christendom!
Crucial to Christendom is that rulers of a country; kings, queens, and governing authorities, ensure that it is maintained, and the Catholic people of a country would expect this of their rulers, and visa versa; rulers and their subjects "being one" in upholding the teachings of the Catholic Church. The authority of the Catholic Church comes, of course, from it being Our Lord's Church and Our Lord gave to His Church; the Ark of Salvation, the authority for bounding and loosing:

"Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my
church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against
it; and I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of
heaven; and whatever thou shalt bind on earth shall
be bound in heaven; and whatever thou shalt loose
on earth shall be loosed in heaven."[Mt16:18-19]

The Anglo Saxon nobility understood the faith; for them it was personal. They would have been taught and would have understood the faith first and foremost in the context of salvation; their own and others, and that the life and teachings of Jesus and His death, as shown clearly in the Gospels, were historical fact that took place in time those centuries earlier in fulfillment of that foretold in scripture.
The land given over to the Church by the Anglo Saxons automatically had the effect of giving the Church a natural authority and standing in society, and which the nobility intended; they would have wanted to protect the Church; the Ark of Salvation and Minister of Redemption.
A significant number of the Anglo Saxon nobilty consecrated themselves to God; and they showed a great devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. England also realised, during the Anglo Saxon era, its great title of "Mary's Dowry." England was also known as the "great land of the Saints."
A whole framework for the Faith developed, an example being that the Kings and nobility would ask that Masses be said for them and for their families in Chapels on land that they had given to the Church, and particularly for deceased family members. From this developed the use of Chantries, which saw landowners set aside a Chapel with priest(s) and with lands specifically for the saying of Masses for family members. Great devotion to the Blessed Virgin or to a particular saint might be associated with this. Income generated from the land would pay for the Chantry. The priests themselves, given over exclusively to the Chantry, were often teachers in for their local community, thus providing an education for poorer members of society.
An example of the strength of the faith amongst the English nobility is found in Saint Eanswythe of Folkestone, granddaughter of King Ethelbert and Queen Bertha, she founded the first community of Christian women in this country at Folkestone; her monastery being built by her Father, King Eadbald. Eanswythe's mother Emma, as with her grandmother, was a French Catholic princess. The great devotion of the Benedictine nuns was:

"to return unceasing thanks to God for
the great gift of the faith
bestowed upon their country"1

And Saint Domneva, another granddaughter of King Ethelbert and Queen Bertha, had founded a monastery at Minster near Ramsgate, her daughter, Saint Mildred, the Island's patron saint, became its second Abbess. She guided her community for thirty years and was known as a woman of Wisdom and of peace. It was during this time that the grant of lands given by King's Ethelbert to the Church had increased to include one half of Thanet! This means that at one time one half of Thanet was monastic land.
There was, of course, a strong spiritual life in the monastic communities, which were also centres of learning. Thanet also provides an example of some material prosperity; the natural harbour at Ebbsfleet, being a refuge for ships, meant that from here, grain from the "good soil" of Thanet could be transported to London. Charters from this period show that the monastery at Minster both built and owned ships.
Minster, the mother house of the Island's monastic community, was also, at this time, the island's capital. The mother house, standing on what is today the site of Saint Mary's parish church, was consecrated to the Blessed Virgin Mary by Saint Theodore in 670AD and by this time the Thanet community was itself involved in supporting missionary activity overseas.
The missionary activity had continued at home too, for example, Saint Ethelburga, daughter of King Ethelbert and Queen Bertha, had, together with her husband, Edwin, whom she converted to Christianity, converted his Kingdom of Northumbria. Later in life, Ethelburga is found fleeing back to Kent, escaping from persecuting armies. She built a monastery at Lyminge, her birthplace.
Thanet is a good example of monastic Christendom, in place throughout England for more than nine hundred years. Thanet prospered under its Anglo Saxon monastic heritage, as indeed did England itself. Interesting that at the time of the introduction of printing presses almost all new books were devotiuonal books, and which is always given as a great measure of how much the English loved their Catholic Faith. The suppression of the monasteries, under Henry VIII, brought about the changes to the religious landscape, and to life.

1. OSB (Order of St Benedict) CTS (Catholic Truth Society)1915

Below, Saint Mildred of Thanet, Feast Day July 13th. And a very old part of Minster Abbey.

Below, St Augustine's Cross near Cliffsend, commemorating his landing place nearby.

Saint Augustine's cross is in between Cliffsend and Ebbsfleet (next to St Augustine's Golf club) on the way to Minster; it is also close to the new road that links up to the Thanet Way.
Erected in 1886, the monument is a great commemorative landmark and very grateful we should be that it is there. Those who have seen it, however, will not help noticing that it has its own peculiarity in that the landing date of St Augustine, and his forty missionaries, is given as AD 596, I am not sure why this is since all historical records and accounts give it as AD 597.
The commemorative writing on the monument, given in both Latin and English, documents the great landing, it is difficult to decipher in the above photo, but the monument is well worth a visit for those who have not yet been.

Below: St Augustine's Abbey, and (since March 2012) Shrine, Ramsgate.

St Augustine's Abbey; Catholic Church and, since March 2012, designated by the Archdiocese of Southwark as the national shrine of St Augustine; a place of pilgrimage.
The Abbey was built by the architect, Augustus Welby Pugin (1812-1852). He built the Abbey using his own money whilst living next door in the Grange which has recently been restored by The Landmark Trust (the picture above, below right (courtesy of The Ramsgate Society) is of the Grange, with the Abbey/Shrine next door.
Pugin oversaw the project until his death, it was completed by his son, Peter Paul Pugiin. The Abbey is full of the most impressive and elaborate architecture (for a virtual tour see link below). Pugin had converted to Catholicism in1835 and bequeathed the Abbey as a gift to the Catholic Church. Pugin and members of his family are buried in the Abbey: The Pugin society state how:

"Pugin taught that architecture, society, morality and Faith are all
interconnected, a new concept at the time for an architect. At
Ramsgate his aim was to create with his buildings and way of life
the caring society ...of the middle ages. The church bears witness
to his ideals, commitment and artistry." (The Pugin society.)

Pugin wrote:

"My whole soul is devoted to building this church here."

The Abbey/Shrine is at the bottom of Grange Road at the end of the Westcliff going towards Ramsgate harbour.

Below, early maps of Thanet (Thanatos).

And (below) a later map; the Wantsum Channel has clearly silted up.

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