Catholic Tradition Newsletter A18: Good Shepherd Sunday, Mary Mother, Pope Saint Pius V

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This series on Mary as ‘Mother of the Church’ is a product of the Vatican II Church and is not accurate which will be fully explained by Father in the following issues.

Vol 12 Issue 18 ~ Editor: Rev. Fr. Courtney Edward Krier – May 4, 2019 ~ Saint Monica

1.      What is the Holy Eucharist
2.      Good Shepherd Sunday
3.      Pope Saint Pius V
4.      Family and Marriage
5.      Articles and notices

Dear Reader:

May begins the Month of Mary. It is the Tradition of the Church to place flowers before her, crown her statue with flowers and pray the Rosary. These external acts express our gratitude to her in accepting to be the Mother of Jesus Christ, willingness to have her Son die for us, and accepting us as her spiritual children in this vale of tears—this life’s struggle. Non-Catholics find our devotion to Mary unacceptable but it is only because they do not want to accept biblical teaching. Private interpretation of Scripture limits one to accept only what one wants and not the whole. Those who claim private interpretation are like children who love their parents when they are given toys and candy, but reject their parents when their parents impose chores and responsibilities. Love must be 100 percent or it is not love it is opportunism. Accepting Scripture must be 100 percent or it is not accepting Scripture, it is justification for one’s erroneous life—so they choose what they like and reject what they dislike. Even the Queen’s Eunuch was humble enough to say when asked if he understood Scripture: And how can I, unless some man shew me? (Acts 8:31) The Catholic Church accepts Scripture 100 percent (remember the Church is the one who gives us Scripture) and understands the fulness as she draws from how the Church has always interpreted the passages and calls her children to live it to the fulness. From the Woman in Genesis until the Woman in the Apocalypse, Sacred Scripture always reverences the Woman (Mary in type and reality): Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women(Luke 1:28); for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. Because he that is mighty, hath done great things to me. (Luke 1:48, 49) Accordingly, we call her blessed and reverence her and ask her to intercede with her divine Son for us as she did for the couple at Cana. (cf. John 2:1ff)

The series on the Holy Eucharist will be interrupted so honor may be given to Mary by presenting a thesis on her role as Mother to the faithful.

As always, enjoy the readings and commentaries provided for your benefit. —The Editor


Is Mary Mother of the Church?


Last year, on March 3, 2018, Jorge Bergoglio announced, through Robert Sarah, that on May 21 the Conciliar Church will memorialize Mary as Mother of the Church on May 21, 2018 (cf. It does not influence Roman Catholics who are faithful, but it brings up again issues of why Roman Catholics do not accept the Conciliar Church with its new theology and liturgy.

This article is not to be polemical, but rather to outline the Catholic Faith and how she holds fast to Tradition. Tradition provides both an understanding as also an importance upon certain aspects of Catholic Faith. First, let us look at whether Mary is Mother of the Church. Afterwards, the liturgical aspect of inserting the feast during the Octave of Pentecost will be reviewed as it cannot be ignored.

Is Mary Mother of the Faithful?

First, just as in any other teaching of the Church, one must go through Scripture, the Apostolic Fathers and Doctors of the Church, the Popes, and the Councils to consider something as held by the Church as part of her universal Faith. In Scripture the only direct source given is that of Mary beneath the Cross, when Christ saith to his mother: Woman, behold thy son. . . . he saith to the disciple [John]:Behold thy Mother (19:27). The Church has not failed to tell us that Christ gave Mary to His followers as a Mother—but that has always been considered an intercessory role. This corresponds with the recording of the events of the Wedding Feast of Cana: And the wine failing, the mother of Jesus saith to him: They have no wine; And Jesus saith to her: Woman, what is that to me and to thee? my hour is not yet come; His mother saith to the waiters: Whatsoever he shall say to you, do ye. (John 2:3-5) There are several indirect quotes that have been provided, by Fathers and Doctors of the Church as well as Saints and Theologians, such as brought forth her first born son(Luke 2:7—considered the Marian Evangelist) to infer that she brings forth other children through grace.

In explaining the title, Mother of men, Attwater presents this explanation that sources this verse of Luke:

Mary, then, is the mother not only of the Redeemer but also of the redeemed; as St. Augustine says, she is spiritually the mother of the members of that Head whose mother she is physically. When she brought forth Jesus Christ, she brought forth the New Adam, the head of restored mankind; in accepting her destiny as mother of the Savior she co-operated in bringing to birth the faithful members of the Church whose head He is, who together form His body in a mystical sense. Mary is mother of the whole Christ, of His natural body and of His mystical body. Those, too, who by baptism are made brothers of Christ are made sons of His Father by adoption; and as His Father becomes theirs, so does His mother become theirs also. “Mary is the mother of those who live by grace as Eve is the mother of those who die according to nature,” as St. Peter Chrysologus puts it in one sentence, echoing St. Ephraem: “Through Eve man was brought to his grave; through Mary, he was recalled to Heaven.” For many centuries now religious writers have seen in the crucified Lord’s words to John and Mary a most solemn confirmation of the truth of the Blessed Virgin’s spiritual motherhood of all men. Pope Pius XII writes in the encyclical letter Mystici Corporis: “Thus she, who was the mother of our Head according to the flesh, became by a new title of grief and glory [at the Passion] the spiritual mother of all His members. . . . And upon the mystical Body of Christ, born of the Savior’s pierced heart, she bestowed the same motherly care and fervent love with which she fostered and nurtured the suckling child Jesus.” (194-95)

This is the same as which Maas had written in his article, The Blessed Virgin Mary:

The doctrine of Mary’s spiritual motherhood of men is contained in the fact that she is the antitype of Eve: Eve is our natural mother because she is the origin of our natural life; so Mary is our spiritual mother because she is the origin of our spiritual life. Again, Mary’s spiritual motherhood rests on the fact that Christ is our brother, being “the firstborn among many brethren” (Romans 8:29). She became our mother at the moment she consented to the Incarnation of the Word, the Head of the mystical body whose members we are; and she sealed her motherhood by consenting to the bloody sacrifice on the cross which is the source of our supernatural life. (CE)

In other words, Mary adopts mankind as her spiritual children because her Son died for them in order to give them salvation. She, in her love for her divine Son, seeks their salvation by distributing the graces and merits entrusted to her. This maternal love causes mankind to turn to her as a mother and seek those graces they need in order to obtain salvation. She is thereby called the Mother of the redeemed and, in the Litany of Loretto, Mother of Divine Grace. In explaining this title, Biskupek states:

Mary is the Mother of divine grace in the sense that her motherhood is a gift of grace that she received the highest possible degree of grace, that she co-operated with her divine Son in meriting grace and thus became in all truth the Mother of our spiritual life, the Mother of all living. (Our Lady’s Litany, 19)

In this sense she is a mother to mankind. One finds this spiritual motherhood being stated starting with Origen:

We may therefore make bold to say that the Gospels are the first fruits of all the Scriptures, but that of the Gospels that of John is the first fruits. No one can apprehend the meaning of it except he have lain on Jesus’ breast and received from Jesus Mary to be his mother also. Such an one must he become who is to be another John, and to have shown to him, like John, by Jesus Himself Jesus as He is. For if Mary, as those declare who with sound mind extol her, had no other son but Jesus, and yet Jesus says to His mother, Woman, behold your son, John 19:26 and not Behold you have this son also, then He virtually said to her, Lo, this is Jesus, whom you bore. Is it not the case that every one who is perfect lives himself no longer, Galatians 2:20 but Christ lives in him; and if Christ lives in him, then it is said of him to Mary, Behold your son Christ. (Praef in Joan,. I, 6)

Through the centuries the Church has always invoked Mary as Mother of God, only infrequently as Mother of the faithful. The more popular title was as Queen. Still, there are plenty of references in the writings of the doctors and theologians to recognize Mary was considered Mother of the faithful. Garrigou-Lagrange provides several references, which are repeated by most modern Mariologists:

The points of doctrine just outlined are found in the Church’s preaching from the 2nd century on. The references are the same as those given a short while ago in connection with the doctrine of the New Eve. St. Ephrem, in the 4th century, is a particularly eloquent witness. He calls Mary ‘Mother of life and of salvation, Mother of the living and of all men’ since she gave us the Savior and united herself to Him on Calvary (Opera S. Ephraem Syr., edit. Assemani t. II, syr. lat., pp. 324, 327; III. 607.).  Similar expressions are found in St. Germanus of Constantinople, (Sermo in Dorm. Deip., 2 and 5.)  St. Peter Chrysologus, (Serm. 140 and 142.) Eadmer, (De Exc. V. M., c. xl, 5.  St. Bernard, (Sermo de Aquaeductu. n. 4 sqq.) Richard of St Laurence, (De Laud. B. M. V., 1. VI, c. 1, n. 12; l. IV, c. 14, n. 1.)  St. Albert the Great (Mariale, q.29, n.3; qq. 42. 43.)  who calls Mary ‘Mater misericordiae, Mater regenerationis, totius humani generis mater spiritualis,’ and in St. Bonaventure (Serm. VI in Ass. B. M. V., and in I Sen., d.48, a.2, q.2, dub. 4.)

Only later did calling Mary Mother take root in Catholic devotion, perhaps as a result of the Salve Regina (Hail, Holy Queen) that was chanted in the monasteries since at least the twelfth century.  Saint Alphonsus Ligouri (+1787) takes the Salve Regina as the source to explain Mary as Mother:

But if Jesus is the Father of our souls, Mary is also their [sic] Mother; for she, by giving us Jesus, gave us true life; and afterwards, by offering the life of her Son on Mount Calvary for our salvation, she brought us forth to the life of grace. (Ligouri, 47.)

Saint Louis Marie de Montfort (+ 1716) even earlier developed the role of Mary as Mother of the redeemed in his Treatise on True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Because of the Jansenist influence in France during his life his works were suppressed; but once it was rediscovered, formed a basis for several Marian movements since the nineteenth century. Concerning Mary as Mother of the faithful he writes:

God the Father wishes to have children by Mary till the consummation of the world; and He has said to her these words, In Jacob habita—”Dwell in Jacob,” (Ecclus. 24:13)—that is to say, Make your dwelling and residence in My predestinated children, figured by Jacob, and not in the reprobate children of the devil, figured by Esau.

Just as, in the natural and corporal generation of children, there is a father and a mother, so in the supernatural and spiritual generation there is a Father, who is God, and a Mother, who is Mary. All the true children of God, the predestinate, have God for their Father, and Mary for their Mother. He who has not Mary for his Mother, has not God for his Father.

This is the reason why the reprobate, such as heretics, schismatics, and others, who hate our Blessed Lady, or regard her with contempt and indifference, have not God for their Father, however much they boast of it, simply because they have not Mary for their Mother. For if they had her for their Mother, they would love and honour her as a true and good child naturally loves and honours the mother who has given him life.

The most infallible and indubitable sign by which we may distinguish a heretic, a man of bad doctrine, a reprobate, from one of the predestinate, is that the heretic and the reprobate have nothing but contempt and indifference for our Blessed Lady, endeavoring by their words and examples to diminish the worship and love of her openly or hiddenly, and sometimes under specious pretexts. Alas! God the Father has not told Mary to dwell in them, for they are Esaus.

God the Son wishes to form Himself, and, so to speak, to incarnate Himself, every day by His dear Mother in His members, and He has said to her, In Israel hæreditare,—”Take Israel for your inheritance.” It is as if He had said, God the Father has given Me for an inheritance all the nations of the earth, all the men good and bad, predestinate and reprobate. The one I will lead with a rod of gold, and the others with a rod of iron. Of one I will be the Father and the Advocate, the Just Punisher of others, and the Judge of all. But as for you, My dear Mother,—you shall have for your heritage and possession only the predestinate, figured by Israel; and, as their good Mother, you shall bring them forth and maintain them; and, as their sovereign, you shall conduct them, govern and defend them.

“This man and that man is born in her,” says the Holy Ghost,—Homo et homo natus est in ea (Ps. lxxxvi. 5). According to the explanation of some of the Fathers, the first man that is born in Mary is the Man-God, Jesus Christ; the second is a mere man, the child of God and Mary by adoption. If Jesus Christ the Head of men is born in her, the predestinate who are the members of that Head ought also to be born in her by a necessary consequence. One and the same mother does not bring forth into the world the head without the members, nor the members without the head; for this would be a monster of nature. So in like manner, in the order of grace, the Head and the members are born of one and the same Mother; and if a member of the mystical Body of Jesus Christ—that is to say, one of the predestinate—was born of any other mother than Mary, who has produced the Head, he would not be one of the predestinate, nor a member of Jesus Christ, but simply a monster in the order of grace. (De Montfort, 15-17)

Within Catholic prayers, devotions and her liturgy, the Church has universally recognized Mary as Mother of the faithful. As one author writes:

St. Bernard’s saying, ‘ God has willed we should have everything through Mary,’ is justified simply by the divine motherhood alone, since Mary gave us Christ who is the author of all grace. But the analogy of maternal love may allow us, perhaps, to penetrate somewhat further into meaning of this mystery. The Idea of the Mother (to follow the thought of Plato or Goethe) implies a concrete solicitude for which it is only the singular that has existence. It makes it impossible to think of a child’s trouble, of any day in the child’s life, in a vague, abstract, or ‘global’ fashion. A child’s day, with its rhythm of various needs, full of little surprises and catastrophes, becomes for the mother no temporal continuum but a series of little eternities. A child’s sorrow is made up of cries and sobs and struggles, each of which has it own shade of difference in the order of suffering. When we become freed from space-time limitations, from the social and the general, we shall have no more need of abstraction, and therefore no more need of words. These are our necessary limitations, compelling us to see everything in bulk. Even now, in proportion as we love, we correct this cloudy generalization. Stripped of mortality we shall see humanity as God sees it: a collection of individual destinies. And if that is true of us, much more is it true of a creature who has been made Mother of all men in the sphere of grace; and by the ambiguous word ‘ all ‘ we mean each individually. (Guitton, 138-39)

Therefore, one can present the words of Scripture, where John took her as his own to refer to those who accept Mary in her role as the New Eve, as the Mother of God, as the Virgin and mediatrix with her divine Son, of Whom she says, Whatsoever he shall say to you, do ye (cf. John 2:5).  Garrigou-Lagrange writes, if one may quote him again:

She is first of all Mother of the faithful, of those who believe in her Son and receive through Him the life of grace. But she is also Mother of all men, since she gave the world the Savior of all men and since she united herself to the oblation of her Son Who offered His precious blood for all. This is what has been affirmed by Popes Leo XIII, Benedict XV, and Pius XI. (Footnote: Leo XIII calls Mary mother not only of christians, but of the whole human race: enc. Octobri Mense, Sept. 22nd, 1891; ep. Amantissimae voluntatis, April 14th, 1895; enc. Adjutricem populi, Sept. 25th. 1895: Benedict XV calls her mother of all men: litt. ap. Inter sodalicia, March 22nd, 1918; for Pius XI cf. litt. ap. Explorata res, Feb. 2nd, 1923; enc. Rerum Ecclesiae, Feb. 21st. 1926.)

She is not the Mother of all men in a general way, as may be affirmed of Eve in the natural order, but of each man in particular, for she intercedes for each and obtains for each all the graces he receives. Jesus says of Himself that He is the Good Shepherd who ‘calleth his own sheep by name’ (John x, 3). Something the same may be said of Mary who is the mother of each individual man.

However, Mary is not Mother of the faithful and of infidels, of the just and sinners, in exactly the same way. The distinctions which are made in regard to the members of Christ’s Mystical Body must be made here also. (Cf. IIIa, q.8, a.3.) Mary is Mother of infidels in that she is destined to engender them to grace, and in that she obtains for them the actual graces which dispose them for the faith and for justification. She is Mother of the faithful who are in the state of mortal sin, in that she watches over them by obtaining for them the graces necessary for acts of faith and hope, and for disposing themselves for justification. Of those who have died in the state of mortal sin, she is no longer the mother: she was their mother. She is fully the Mother of the just, since they have received sanctifying grace and charity through her. She cares for them with tender solicitude so that they may continue in grace and grow in charity. She is in an eminent way the Mother of the blessed who can no longer lose the life of grace. (Op. cit. 191-92).

(To be continued)


The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers

M. F. Toal


JOHN X. 11-I6

At that time: Jesus said to the Pharisees: I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd giveth his life for his sheep. But the hireling, and he that is not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf corning and leaveth the sheep, and flieth: and the wolf catcheth, and scattereth the sheep: and the hireling flieth, because he is a hireling: and he hath no care for the sheep.

I am the good shepherd; and I know mine, and mine know me. As the Father knoweth me, and I know the Father: and I lay down my life for my sheep. And other sheep I have, that are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd.


V. 11. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd giveth his life . . .

AUGUSTINE, Tr. 46 in John: The Lord has opened out two things, which He had already revealed but which were still somewhat obscure. In the first place we learn that He is the Door. Now He shows us that He is the Shepherd, when He says: I am the Good Shepherd.

Earlier he had said, entered in by the door. If then He is the Door, how does He enter in through Himself? Since He knows the Father through Himself, we know the Father through Him, so He enters the sheepfold through Himself, but we enter it through Him. We, because we preach Christ, enter in by the Door; but Christ preaches Himself: for light reveals itself as well as other things. If the rulers of the Church, who are sons, are shepherds, how is there but One Shepherd, unless they be the members of the One Shepherd?

(Tr. 47) And that he is a shepherd He gave to His members as a gift: for Peter also is a shepherd, and the other Apostles were shepherds; and so likewise are all worthy bishops. But none amongst us calls himself a door. This He reserved strictly to Himself He would not have added good (to Shepherd) unless there were also wicked shepherds. These are the thieves and robbers, or certainly, as more frequent, the hirelings.

GREGORY, Hom. 14 in Gosp: And He adds the character of that goodness we are to imitate, saying: The good shepherd giveth his life for his sheep. He has accomplished what He taught us: He has shown us what He commanded us to do. He laid down His own life for His sheep, that within our mystery He might change His Body and Blood into food, and nourish the sheep He had redeemed with the food of His own Flesh. He has shown us the way we must follow, despite fear of death. He has laid down the pattern to which we must conform ourselves. The first duty laid on us is to use our worldly goods in mercy for the needs of His sheep, and then, if necessary, give even our lives for them. He that will not give of his substance for his sheep, how shall he lay down his life for them?

AUGUSTINE, Tr. 47: Not Christ alone has done this. Yet if they did it who are His members, the Same Who is one with them has done this. For this He could do without them, but without Him they could not do it.

AUGUSTINE, Serm. 138, Contra Donat: What was Peter? What was Paul? What were the rest of the Apostles? What were the holy bishops and martyrs who followed close after them? They were all good shepherds; not alone because they shed their blood, but because they shed it for their sheep, and not in pride but in love. For some there are among the heretics who, because of their evil doings and their errors, have suffered some vexations, flatter themselves with claims of martyrdom, so that whitewashed as it were by this they more readily plunder: for they are wolves. But not all who submit their bodies to suffering, even to the flames, are to be held as having shed their blood for their sheep; rather they may have shed it against the salvation of their sheep, for as the Apostle says: If I should deliver my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing (I Cor. xiii. 3). And how can he have the faintest charity in him who, though shown to be at fault, has yet no love for that unity commending which the Lord chose to speak, not of many shepherds, but of One; saying, I am the good shepherd.

CHRYSOSTOM, 59 in John: He then goes on to speak of His passion, making clear to them that this was to be suffered for the salvation of the world, and that He submitted to it of His own will. Then he points out to them the marks of the hireling, and those also of the true shepherd, when He says:

V. 12. But the hireling, and he that is not a shepherd . . .

GREGORY: There are some who because they love earthly privileges more than their flock rightly forfeit the name of shepherd. For he is to be called, not a shepherd, but a hireling who feeds his flock in the Lord from no love of them but for earthly gain. A hireling is one who holds indeed the place of a shepherd, but seeks not for the riches of souls. He desires only worldly favours, and takes delight in the dignities of his office.

AUGUSTINE, Serm. 187, par. 9: He is not seeking God in the Church; he is seeking something else. If he were seeking God he would be chaste; for the soul has God for its lawful spouse. But He who is seeking from God something that is other than God is not seeking God chastely.

GREGORY: Whether he is a shepherd or a hireling cannot be truly known unless a time of trial arise. For as a rule in times of peace both shepherd and hireling alike remain watching their flocks. It is only when the wolf comes that each one shows the purpose for which he has been standing guard over his flock.

AUGUSTINE, as above: The wolf is the devil, and those who follow after him. For of these was it said that outwardly they are dressed in sheep’s clothing, but that inwardly they are ravening wolves.

AUGUSTINE, Tr. 46 in John, par. 8: Behold, as a wolf seizes a sheep by the throat so the devil persuades one of the faithful to yield to adultery. And such a one must be excommunicated. But if he is excommunicated, he will be an enemy, he will lie in wait for you, he will injure when he can. You keep silent, you do not correct him. You have seen the wolf coming, and you have fled. You have stood fast in the body: you have fled in the soul. For our feelings are the movements of our soul. Gladness is the outpouring of the soul; sadness, the shrinking of the soul; great desire, a going forward of the soul; fear, the flight of the soul.

GREGORY: The wolf comes for the sheep likewise when some lawless person or robber oppresses any among the faithful, or those who are poor. But he who seemed to be a shepherd, and was not, abandons the sheep and flies. For fearing danger to himself from the wolf he does not dare to stand fast against his lawlessness. He flies, not by yielding ground, but by withholding his consolations. For against such things the hireling is not aroused by any feeling of zeal; for since he is concerned only with outward gains, he bears indifferently the inward losses of his flock. And so we have:

V. 13. And the hireling flieth, because he is a hireling . . .

The sole reason therefore why the hireling takes flight is because he is a hireling. It is as though He said: To stand fast amid the dangers that threaten the sheep is not to be looked for from one who while he pastures the sheep yet does not love them, but thinks only of worldly gain. And so he is fearful of withstanding dangers lest he lose what he loves.

AUGUSTINE, Tr. 46 in John: But if the Apostles were not hirelings, but shepherds, why did they fly when they suffered persecution? And the Lord saying: And when they shall persecute you in this city: flee into another (Mt. x. 23)? May the Lord fittingly answer this question? Let us knock; there is one Who openeth the door. AUGUSTINE ad Honoratus, Ep. 108: Let the servants of Christ, the ministers of His Word, and of His sacraments, flee from city to city whenever one of them is especially sought for by persecutors; but so that the Church is not abandoned by those who are not thus pursued. But when the danger is common to all, that is, to bishops and clergy and to the laity, let those who need the help of others be not abandoned by those whose help they need. Therefore, either let all pass over to a place of safety, or else let those who must of necessity remain be not abandoned by those through whom their need for the rites of the Church are to be fulfilled.

The ministers of the Church, therefore, must then fly, under pressure of persecution, from those places in which we dwell when there is either no people of Christ there to whom we must minister, or when the needed ministry can be fulfilled by others who have not the same reason for flight. But when the people remain, and the ministers take to flight, and their ministry is withdrawn, what then have we but that condemnable flight of hirelings who have no care for the sheep.

AUGUSTINE, Tr. 46: Among the good are numbered the door, the doorkeeper, the shepherd, and the sheep. Among the wicked, thieves and robbers, hirelings, and the wolf. AUGUSTINE, Serm. 137, 5: The shepherd must be loved, we must beware of the robber, and suffer the hireling. As long as he sees not the wolf, the thief, or the robber, so long is the hireling of use. But should he see them he flies.

AUGUSTINE, Tr. 47: Nor is he called a hireling unless he receives payment from the one who hires him. Sons patiently wait for the eternal inheritance of the Father. The hireling is impatient for the temporal wage of his hirer. Yet the divine glory of Christ is made known to men through the tongues of both the one and the other. He therefore docs injury, not when he tells good tidings, but when He does what is evil. Gather the grape cluster; beware of the thorn. For the clusters, growing up from the root of the vine, sometimes hang amid thorns. For many within the Church preach Christ, while pursuing earthly gain; and yet through them the voice of Christ is heard, and the sheep follow: not indeed the voice of the hireling, but the voice of the shepherd spoken through the hireling.

V. 14. I am the good shepherd; and I know mine, and mine know me.

CHRYSOSTOM, Hom. in John 60: Having pointed out the marks of the true shepherd the Lord indicates two kinds of plunderers: the one a thief, who kills and robs, the other who does not prevent such things. By the one He refers to certain seditious persons; by the other he reproves the teachers of the Jews, who care nothing for the flocks entrusted to them. But from both Christ has distinguished Himself: from those who come to plunder by saying: I am come that they may have life (verse 10); from those who make nothing of the robbery of the wolves, by this that He laid down His life for His sheep. And so summing up, as it were, He continues: I am the good shepherd.

But because just before He had said that the sheep hear the voice of the shepherd, and follow him, so that no one may say: What then of those who do not believe in You? He goes on to add: And I know mine, and mine know me. This Paul also makes evident, saying: God hath not cast away his people, which he foreknew (Rom. xi. 2).

GREGORY: As if He openly declared: I love my sheep, and they loving Me follow Me. For he who loves not the truth is yet far from knowing it. THEOPHYLACTUS: From this you may seek out the difference between the shepherd and the hireling. For the hireling does not know the sheep: for he rarely visits them. But the shepherd knows his sheep, being ever concerned for them.


5: ST PIUS V, POPE (A.D. 1572)

MICHAEL GHISLIERI was born in 1504 at Bosco, in the diocese of Tortona, and received the Dominican habit at the age of fourteen in the priory of Voghera. After his ordination to the priesthood he was lector in theology and philosophy for sixteen years, and for a considerable time was employed as novice master and in governing houses of the order-everywhere endeavouring to maintain the spirit of the founder. In 1556 he was chosen bishop of Nepi and Sutri, and the following year was appointed inquisitor general, and also cardinal—in order, as he ruefully remarked, that irons should be riveted to his feet to prevent him from creeping back into the peace of the cloister. Pope Pius IV transferred him to the Piedmontese bishopric of Mondovi—a church reduced almost to ruin by the ravages of war. Within a short time of his accession the newly-appointed prelate had done much to restore calm and prosperity in his diocese, but he was soon recalled to Rome in connection with other business. Here, though his opinions were often at variance with those of Pius IV, he never shrank from openly stating his convictions.

In December 1565 Pius IV died, and Michael Ghislieri was chosen pope,  largely through the efforts of St. Charles Borromeo, who saw in him the reformer of whom the Church stood in need. He took the name of Pius V, and from the outset made it abundantly clear that he was determined to enforce the letter as well as the spirit of the recommendations of the Council of Trent. On the occasion of his coronation, the largesses usually scattered indiscriminately amongst the crowd were bestowed upon hospitals and the really poor, whilst the money which was wont to be spent in providing a banquet for the cardinals, ambassadors and other great persons was sent to the poorer convents of the city. One of his first injunctions was that all bishops should reside in their dioceses, and parish priests in the cures to which they had been appointed—severe penalties being imposed for disobedience. The new pope’s activities extended from a drastic purge of the Roman curia to the clearing of the papal states of brigands, from legislation against prostitution to the forbiddance of bull-fighting. In a time of famine, he imported from Sicily and France at his own expense large quantities of corn, a considerable proportion of which was distributed gratis to the poor or was sold under cost price. A determined opponent of nepotism, he kept his relatives at a distance, and although he was persuaded to follow tradition by making one of his nephews a cardinal, he gave him little influence or power. In the new Breviary which was published in 1568, certain saints’ days and some extravagant legends were omitted and lessons from the Holy Scriptures regained their proper place, whilst the Missal, issued two years later, was as much a restoration of ancient usage as a revision adapted to the needs of the time. To Pius the Church owed the best edition of St Thomas Aquinas which had yet appeared and the solemn recognition of St Thomas as a doctor of the Church. So severe were the penalties inflicted for every breach of order or morals that he was accused of wanting to turn Rome into a monastery. That he succeeded as well as he did was largely owing to the popular veneration for his personal holiness: even when he was ill and old he fasted throughout Advent as well as through Lent, and he prayed with such fervour that he was popularly supposed to obtain from God whatever he asked. In the hospitals, which he visited frequently, he loved to tend the sick with his own hands.

Reforms such as those enumerated might seem more than enough to engross the attention of any one man, but they were not even the main preoccupation of St Pius V. Throughout his pontificate two menacing shadows were ever before his eyes—the spread of Protestantism and the inroads of the Turks. To counteract these dangers he laboured untiringly; the Inquisition received fresh encouragement, and the learned Baius, whose writings were condemned, only saved himself by recantation. Nevertheless this pope’s success against Protestantism was not all effected by such drastic means, for he is said to have converted an Englishman simply by the dignity and holiness of his appearance. The catechism, too, which had been ordered by the Council of Trent was completed during his pontificate, and he at once ordered translations to be made into foreign tongues. Moreover, he made the catechetical instruction of the young a duty incumbent on all parish priests. Conservative in most of his views, he was notably ahead of his contemporaries in the importance he attached to adequate instruction as a preliminary to adult baptism.

By the terms used when Pius V re-issued the bull “In cena Domini” (1568), it was made clear that as pope he claimed a certain suzerainty over secular princes. For a long time he cherished hopes of winning to the faith Queen Elizabeth of England, but in 1570 he issued a bull of excommunication (“Regnans in excelsis“) against her, absolving her subjects from their allegiance and forbidding them to recognize her as their sovereign. This was undoubtedly an error of judgement due to imperfect knowledge of English feeling and of the conditions which obtained in that country. Its only result was to increase the difficulties of loyal English Catholics and to lend some appearance of justification to the accusation of treason so frequently brought against them; and to aggravate those controversies about oaths and tests which vexed and weakened their body from the Oath of Obedience in 1606 until Emancipation in 1829: the suspicion which the bull raised about the civil loyalty of Catholics has not quite disappeared even to-day. Several English martyrs died protesting their loyalty to the queen, and when in 1588 the Spanish Armada set out, with the encouragement of Pope Sixtus V, to (incidentally) enforce the sentence of Pius V by establishing Spanish dominion in England, English Catholics at home were in general no more anxious for its success than were their compatriots. All Europe, indeed, had gone a long way since St Gregory VII and Henry IV, Alexander III and Barbarossa, Innocent III and John of England, since Boniface VIII and “Unam sanctam”; it was nearer the time when a pope, Pius IX, would declare that: “Nowadays no one any longer thinks of the right of deposing princes that the Holy See formerly exercised—and the Supreme Pontiff thinks of it less than anyone.”

Pius V’s disappointment in England was compensated for in the following year when, aided politically and materially by the Holy See, Don John of Austria and Marcantonio Colonna broke the Turkish power in the Mediterranean. Their force, which comprised 20,000 soldiers, sailed from Corfu and came upon the Turks in the Gulf of Lepanto. There, in one of the world’s greatest maritime battles, the Ottoman fleet was completely defeated. From the moment the expedition started the pope had prayed for it almost unceasingly—often with uplifted hands like Moses on the mountain. He had also prescribed public devotions and private fasts and, at the very hour that the contest was raging, the procession of the rosary in the church of the Minerva was pouring forth petitions for victory. Meanwhile the pope himself was conversing on business with some of his cardinals; but on a sudden he turned from them abruptly, opened a window and remained standing for some time with his eyes fixed upon the sky. Then, closing the casement, he said, “This is not a moment in which to talk business: let us give thanks to God for the victory He has granted to the arms of the Christians”. To commemorate the great deliverance he afterwards inserted the words “Help of Christians” in the Litany of Our Lady and instituted the festival of the Holy Rosary. The victory was won on October 7, 1571. In the following year the pope was struck down by a painful disorder from which he had long suffered and which his austerities had aggravated: it carried him off on May 1, 1572, at the age of sixty-eight.

St Pius V was canonized in 1712, the last pope to be raised to the Church’s altars till the beatification of Pius X. The monastic austerity of Pius V’s earlier days was continued throughout his life,  his personal kindness and religious devotion were known to all, and his care for the poor and sick and unfortunate went beyond monetary aid to personal attention to them. There was another, a hard side to his character, and of this some historians have made more than enough. But under his rule, with the help and example of such men as St Philip Neri, Rome again became worthy of being the Apostolic City and chief see of the Church of Christ, and the effects of the Council of Trent began to be widely felt. We have an interesting tribute to the new atmosphere in Rome in a letter written in 1570 to his family in Spain by Dr Martin Azpilcueta, a near relative of St Francis Xavier. He was a much-travelled man, and he speaks in the very highest terms of the inhabitants, of their good behaviour and religious spirit. In no such tone did visitors write in the days of Leo X or Paul III. And the change was ultimately chiefly due to St Pius V. (Butler’s Lives of the Saints)


The Catholic Marriage Manual

Reverend George A. Kelly

Random House, New York 1958


Religion in

Your Home

Cana Conferences: One of the best ways to reappraise your life’s work is by regular attendance at Cana Conferences. These conferences are named, of course, for the wedding feast at which Our Lord performed his first miracle. They are now regularly conducted in about one hundred dioceses throughout the United States. They have helped hundreds of thousands of couples to gain new insights into the harmony and sanctity it is possible for them to achieve together.

Just as medical conventions are not intended for doctors who have lost all touch with scientific progress, Cana Conferences are not for “problem Catholics.” They have not been established to offset divorce, contraception or juvenile delinquency. If you grasp the opportunity to attend a Cana Conference in your community, you will find that it will make a happy marriage happier; or, if your marriage is Christian in name only, that it will stimulate you to make it Christian in fact. Couples of every description—mixed couples, invalidly married couples, non-Catholic couples-are invited to attend.

Conferences usually are organized by a few couples in the parish, working with a parish priest. They can be scheduled for any time; the most popular periods are Sunday afternoons and evenings during Advent and Lent. They are made as informal as possible and are usually held in a small hall where smoking is permitted and light refreshments are served.

At a typical conference, there are two talks by the priest-leader. He discusses common problems in marriage—perhaps difficulties that arise over in-laws, money matters, physical relations, and the bearing and caring for children. Your down-to-earth problems, with which you may have grappled for months, are considered in a realistic way. When they are analyzed and discussed against the background of the true, spiritual meaning of your marriage, their solutions often become clear.

After the second talk, there is a half-hour break for simple refreshments. During this time, you have a chance to talk with couples like yourself. The third session usually consists of a question-and-answer period; without identifying yourself, you can submit written questions about problems or questions which you want clarified. These are discussed by the priest in a friendly, relaxed way. Discussion by other members of the conference is always invited. The typical conference ends with a renewal of the marriage vows and benediction.

Among couples attending Cana Conferences, you will surely find many with problems similar to your own. These conferences are attended by newlyweds; by men and women who have celebrated their golden wedding anniversaries; by couples with unpaid milk bills, jobs that seem to have no future, cranky landlords, and in-laws who do not understand them. You will meet couples striving to overcome weaknesses similar to your own, who lack patience with their children, who have forgotten the importance of saying a kind word to their mates, who have fallen before materialistic pressures and perhaps have allowed themselves to forget the true reasons why they live. You will also meet those couples who, hand in hand, are leading lives of true sanctity. Regardless of your background as you attend a Cana Conference, you will find that this is a unique way to gain a new feeling of reverence, respect and enthusiasm for your vocation.

The Christian Family Movement: Many couples who have attended Cana Conferences have recognized the tremendous potentialities that exist when they work together with other couples throughout the community, state and nation. Members of the Christian Family Movement in any parish are true leaders who demonstrate the many ways in which it is possible to introduce Christian concepts into activities of daily life.

C.F.M. was formed in Chicago in February 1943. Today twenty thousand couples in ten different countries and one hundred dioceses of the United States use the C.F.M. technique.

The basic unit of C.F.M. is parochial: a small group of couples from the same parish meets every two weeks with a parish priest. The discussion is an attempt to know Christ. Couples study how He reacted to various situations to find out how they should react to similar situations today.

The C.F.M. strives in its actions to create a Christian climate throughout the nation. Monsignor Reynold Hillenbrand of Chicago has described members of the Christian Family Movement as follows:

“We are the hands of Christ in the most noble sense; where we work, Christ works. We are the feet of Christ in the most noble sense; wherever we go, Christ goes. We are the lips of Christ; whenever we speak, we speak for Christ. We are the heart of Christ; wherever we are, the love of Christ is alive.”

Until recent years there had been no way for a married couple to identify as a couple with their parish. The C.F.M., as the most popular married couples’ organization in the American Church, is a response by lay people to the demands of their own conscience. Amid a sea of secularism they have found that they must band together to protect Christian family traditions. The C.F.M. thus becomes a powerful force for bringing the American culture back to Christ.

By associating yourself with this movement, you will achieve the true purpose of marriage-salvation for yourselves and the re-consecration of families everywhere with Christian ideals. In 1948, the American hierarchy summed up the duties of your vocation in this way:

“It is not enough to profess the Christian truths of the stability and sanctity of the marriage bond and to keep in mind the purpose of marriage. The Christian must make his home holy. It remained for modern history to record the first experiment in secularizing the home: an experiment which is at the root of so many of our greatest social evils. The Christian home must realize the Christian ideal. The whole atmosphere of the home must be impregnated with genuine Christian living. The domestic virtues must be practiced, and family prayer made a daily exercise. It is in the home that the children learn their responsibility to God and in this responsibility their duty to others. The home is the child’s first school, in which he is taught to make the vision of Christian truth the inspiration of all living.”

(To be continued)


Father Krier will be in Pahrump, Nevada, on May 9 and Eureka on May 14. He will be in Touzim, Czech Republic, June 7-10.


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Ginger Snaps <>Fri, May 3, 2:48 PM (2 days ago)

GREGORY, Hom. 14 in Gosp: And He adds the character of that goodness we are to imitate, saying: The good shepherd giveth his life for his sheep. He has accomplished what He taught us: He has shown us what He commanded us to do. He laid down His own life for His sheep, that within our mystery He might change His Body and Blood into food, and nourish the sheep He had redeemed with the food of His own Flesh. He has shown us the way we must follow, despite fear of death. He has laid down the pattern to which we must conform ourselves. The first duty laid on us is to use our worldly goods in mercy for the needs of His sheep, and then, if necessary, give even our lives for them. He that will not give of his substance for his sheep, how shall he lay down his life for them?

AUGUSTINE, Tr. 47: Not Christ alone has done this. Yet if they did it who are His members, the Same Who is one with them has done this. For this He could do without them, but without Him they could not do it.

AUGUSTINE, Serm. 138, Contra Donat: What was Peter? What was Paul? What were the rest of the Apostles? What were the holy bishops and martyrs who followed close after them? They were all good shepherds; not alone because they shed their blood, but because they shed it for their sheep, and not in pride but in love. For some there are among the heretics who, because of their evil doings and their errors, have suffered some vexations, flatter themselves with claims of martyrdom, so that whitewashed as it were by this they more readily plunder: for they are wolves. But not all who submit their bodies to suffering, even…

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JOSEPH SARACENOSat, May 4, 1:08 PM (17 hours ago)
to me

O.K. but add this:

This series on Mary as Mother of the Church is a product of the Vatican II Church and is not accurate which will be fully explained by Father in the following issues.

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