St Josemaria Escriva and Pope Pius XII


The first words of affection and encouragement Father Escriva heard in Rome in 1946 were from Monsignor Giovanni Battista Montini, an intelligent, sensitive Italian from Brescia who, since the end of the Second World War, had been involved in the delicate task of renewing the Vatican’s diplomatic relations. Years later Montini was to become the head of the Church – Pope Paul VI.

As if he sensed that sooner or later Pope Pius XII and the founder of Opus Dei were going to have a continuous relationship, Monsignor Montini began to smooth the path for their first meeting with a human touch. One day when he was talking with Salvador Canals and two other members of the Work, he asked them for “a photograph of the founder so as to be able to show it to the Pope.” One of them, Julian Urbistondo, quickly put his hand into the inside pocket of his jacket and took out his wallet. After a rapid search he handed Montini a little photograph of the Father, a passport-type photograph with a serrated edge. For a split second he wondered if it was right for this particular photograph to reach the Holy Father’s hands, since it was getting a little yellow and had writing on the back. Monsignor Montini could not repress a surprised smile when he read the curious dedication that Father Escriva had written on the back: “Rascal! How are you treating your parents?”

Pope Pius XII had received Alvaro del Portillo twice, and also, separately, the law professors José Orlandis and Salvador Canals; as well as the scientist José Maria Albareda, whose intellectual capacity the Pope found amazing. Not only had Pope Pius XII met several members of the Work, but since 1943 he had prayed for its founder by name and had a copy of The Way among his books. It was time to prepare for the first audience of the Pope with Father Escriva, which took place on 16th July 1946.

In a private conversation, Father Escriva explained to the Pope what Opus Dei was and what it was not. After their conversation Pius XII asked the people concerned to resume the juridical studies which finally resulted in a new apostolic constitution, Provida Mater Ecclesia, opening the way for Secular Institutes to be established. As a Secular Institute, Opus Dei could have a definite canonical status within the Church. It was not a perfect formula because members of Opus Dei neither practised nor were intended to practise the “state of perfection” which the Secular Institutes take on. Even so, in some way, total self-dedication by lay people who did not change their state in life, job or place in the world, was given a formal blessing, which was something totally new at that stage.

When Pius XII also published the Decretum Laudis approving Opus Dei, barely three weeks later, Father Escriva had achieved recognition of the universal call to holiness which the Work promotes for men and women, priests and lay people alike, in one and the same vocation with no grades, no differences, no ranks and no hierarchy.

Father Escriva did not need to take any shortcuts or easy ways out. He prayed and got other people to pray; he studied and got others to study; he worked and got others to work. He knocked at the doors where he needed to be heard. He spent hours and hours in waiting-rooms. He always spoke with the strength and humility of one who was doing all he could to set up something which was not an ambition of his own but rather a task commissioned by God. The certainty that the Work was divine was clearly the key to his conviction. However, as would shortly be seen, the Constitution Provida Mater Ecclesia was not the right “clothing” for ordinary people walking through the world nel bel mezzo della strada, in the middle of the street. So, at every moment and every opportunity, with Aragonese clarity and tenacity, Father Escriva stated that he was in the dynamics of a waiting period: in a time of “giving way without giving up, intent on recovering any concessions later”.

“Opus Dei,” he would write years later, “has created many canonical and theological problems in the Church and has solved them — I say so with humility, for humility is truth. Once solved, the problems appeared simple; in particular, the fact there is only one class of members, which includes both clergy and laity.”

Pius XII perceived a splendid panorama: the personal holiness and personal apostolate which Opus Dei could spread all over the earth. He also noted Father Escriva’s spiritual stature, and the divine scope of his foundation, to which Pope Pius himself was to give definitive approval on 16th June 1950. A short while later the Pope said to Cardinal Norman Gilroy from Sydney, Australia that he had been profoundly impressed by a recent visit from Father Escriva. “He is a real saint, a man sent by God for our times” (é un vero santo, un uomo mandato da Dio per i nostri tempi). There was no inkling then of the bitter hours, the tremendous suffering which Father Escriva would have to endure under his pontificate, though none of it was the Pope’s doing. (…)

His negotiations at the Vatican offices continued unabated. It was a struggle in juridical logic, trying to bring down ancient canonical walls so as to open a way for the Work. It was not easy. The hinges of some doors had the rust of centuries on them. The formulas which had been obtained in 1941 and 1943, and the one now being prepared, which became official in 1947, were the best solutions possible and the most suitable – meaning the least unsuitable. Father Escriva wrote in October 1950: “However, there was no other option; either we accepted everything or we would have to carry on trying to go forward with no path to follow. In reality, we were the needle that pulled the thread through. Experience has confirmed that those institutions which sought approval as Secular Institutes after us, have found themselves at ease and joyfully accept the things which clash with our secularity, because such is their calling. One can see more clearly every day that, leaving the thread in place, the ‘needle’ has to leave the cloth which is now called Secular Institutes.” (…)

Father Escriva returned to Madrid on 31st August 1946. He brought with him two important documents: an Apostolic Brief, Cum Societatis, and an Apostolic Letter, Brevi Sane, praising the aims of the Work. He also brought a strange, very valuable personal present from the Pope: the complete relics of two young Christian martyrs, St. Mercuriana and St. Sinferus. By this gift, Pius XII showed his understanding of the similarity between the members of Opus Dei and those early Christians, exemplified in the fact that the call to holiness has no age limits, but is begun by the Holy Spirit at baptism; and that, as in every family and in every portion of God’s people, in the Work there are men and women: two bodies, separate and distinct, but animated by one and the same soul. (…)

In Rome, work on drawing up the constitution Provida Mater Ecclesia intensified. Many visitors came to the apartment in Città Leonina. They were mostly ecclesiastics who were working in the different dicasteries and Congregations of the Curia. Nevertheless, Father Escriva felt like a wound-up spring. Not a minute was being wasted, but Father Escriva still had a real inner sense of urgency: the Work could not travel at man’s speed but had to go “at God’s pace.” On 6th December he wrote to the members of the Work in Madrid: “Everything is going very well, but excessively slowly.”

Two days later Pius XII again received him in a private audience. On the 16th of the same month, in another letter to Madrid, Father Escriva pointed out: “Don’t you forget it was during the octave of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady when the Roman ‘solution’ began to take shape.” The founder had discovered that the Holy See was not just willing but anxious to grant the approval of Opus Dei as soon as possible. It was better to make the most of this opportunity, even though it was to be a stop-gap solution. So the negotiations continued. (…)

They soon began to look for a place which would serve as the permanent headquarters of Opus Dei. Monsignors Montini and Tardini suggested to Father Escriva that he should settle near the Holy See, should set up house, “a big house”, they said, in Rome. (…)

The advice given by Monsignors Montini and Tardini was well founded: it would be best to locate near the Holy See for several reasons. The canonical path had to be opened up. Opus Dei needed to be Romanised. This did not mean ‘Vaticanised’, it meant that its genuinely universal heart needed to be centred on Rome. Father Escriva wanted the Pope to feel his love as a good son at first hand, and to be able to count on the Work as an instrument of secular apostolate which “only wishes to serve the Church, not make use of it.”

Extracts from Pilar Urbano, El Hombre de Villa Tevere, Barcelona: Plaza y Janes, 1995, chapter 3.


About Gertrude

Sáncte Míchael Archángele, defénde nos in proélio, cóntra nequítiam et insídias diáboli ésto præsídium.
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58 Responses to St Josemaria Escriva and Pope Pius XII

  1. I would be most interested in knowing on what basis Gertrude can state that members of Opus Dei share “in one and the same vocation with no grades, no differences, no ranks and no hierarchy.”

    I would also be very grateful if she could cite a source for her statement that St. Josemaria Escriva wrote “years later” that in Opus Dei ”there is only one class of members, which includes both clergy and laity.”


  2. kathleen says:

    My daughter-in-law’s younger brother is studying for the priesthood in this Opus Dei centre in Rome.


  3. Toad says:

    Many people think Opus Dei is a weird, sinister, secret society which does what it likes clandestinely, and is answerable to nobody except itself.
    Exactly like a Catholic version of Roger’s dreaded Freemasons.

    Many people may be wrong.

    But that’s what they think. Thinks Toad.
    Is its image doing Catholicism more harm than good?


  4. Thank you for your response. I think Opus Dei in Germany, where I live, may be somewhat influenced with the Germanic obsession with hierarchy, and the “order” that it brings. Because of that, I was somewhat surprised by your description of the group. I respect and admire Opus Dei immensely, and as a “cooperator” I participate in many aspects of their life and many of their activities. All of the Opus Dei priests that I have met are truly remarkable men, highly intelligent and deeply spiritual. Your family is truly blessed to have one of its members studying for the priesthood at an Opus Dei center.


  5. I think Kathleen’s response is very good. I believe Opus Dei in Germany, where I live, may be somewhat influenced with the Germanic obsession with hierarchy, and the “order” that it brings. Because of that, I was somewhat surprised by Gertrude’s description of the group. I respect and admire Opus Dei immensely, and as a “cooperator” I participate in many aspects of their life and many of their activities. All of the Opus Dei priests that I have met are truly remarkable men, highly intelligent and deeply spiritual. Your family is truly blessed to have one of its members studying for the priesthood at an Opus Dei center.


  6. Yes, some people do think that Opus Dei is a “weird, sinister, secret” organization, but after twenty years of being loosely associated with the group as a “cooperator,” I can only say that in my experience it has none of those qualities. There are many people who think that the Catholic Church itself is a “weird, sinister, secret” organization. And that brings to mind the line from Matthew’s Gospel: “Blessed are you when people…falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great.”


  7. Roger says:

    Free Masonry as a worldy association couldn’t harm the Church. The Church’s Authority and Powers are spiritual. The Popes have expressly excommunicated Free Masonry and the fact that priests, bishops and cardinals are members means we have clean and dirty water in the same pipe. What makes the Church Holy is not man nor the institution but the Divine it is Christs mystical Body and He is True God and True Man.
    What is the Church? the Church militant (on Earth) , suffering (Purgatory) and in Heaven. If Christ says you can’t be a member of His mystical Body then these may look like priests, bishops and cardinals but they cannot be within the Church. Actually they are spiritually dead walking corpses.
    Nothing new here its what the Church has always taught and how it has alway behaved how it has dealt with heretics and schimatics and excommunicates.
    What is the Church? because in the past the likes of St Francis and St Dominic have saved the Church!! Man presumes but if the Institution nolonger serves God then it will like the Jews become a branch cut off. That is the danger today and the presence of Masons where they should not be represents the biggest threat to the existence of this planet. By the way this is the opinion of the Early Church.


  8. golden chersonnese says:

    You know, Robert, I actually heard representatives of a well regarded English University saying that they believed Dan Brown was spot on.

    They also said Pope John Paul II was a Polish peasant.


  9. Roger says:

    The trouble is Pope John Paul II was described as a Globalist! What Father Malachy Martin was saying in 1990’s was that the Church wasn’t obeying the Papacy! The Power of the Papacy is in the Spiritual , In the world but not a part of the world! Thats what Our Lord said. Globalist smatters of the world, the flesh but I look for a sweet Christ on Earth that places the Spiritual before the worldly. The world sees works of Art, we see the visible representations of the hidden spiritual truths and personages. The Church like Our Lord is the visible image of the hidden spiritual domain of Heaven.
    To me this is the danger the loss of Holiness for Worldliness.
    My solution the Rosary and defending the timeless truths of the faith stubbonly if necessay!
    The last Great Dogma the Assumption of Our Lady!! You know the fathers of the Church believed that St Joseph was like St John the Baptist Holy from Birth and is also in Heaven in Body and Soul! Where are the Dogmas? Where are the Anathemas? The spiritual keys that lock and unlock?


  10. Toad says:

    For all Toad knows, Opus Dei might be an entirely splendid, “transparent,” organisation.
    Is the perception (including among some Catholics) that it operates “under cover,” and “unaccountably,” in an “elitist” fashion, a false one? Or does nobody outside it know?
    That would tell us something, in itself, I think.

    Robert John is clearly right in that many people regard the whole Catholic Church as a “sinister” ( cabal (Viz, the post, and my comment, on St. John Plessington.)
    Apparently, Opus Dei members are committed to lead lives of exemplary Catholicism. Why is it felt necessary to belong to a separate, discrete, entity in order to do this?

    In short, what is the point of Opud Dei?


  11. Roger says:

    Toad posit is good. The answer is vocation and the history of the Church is replete with the bizarre and unaccountable. Consider St Benedict Joseph Labre and his Life as a Pilgrim (tramp). St Simeon Stylites (living atop a pillar).
    Opus Dei is yet another example of living in the world but not part of it. The mistake is to think that somehow there is a cloning uniformity amongst men. Each soul and each angel is unique and different. The only question is for what purpose was that soul created? We shouldn’t be looking and judging our neighbour as the world looks and judges! Our Lord would say to you and Robert “I have other sheep, that are not of this fold..” In other words Opus Dei is His Work and that is all we need to know!
    Today more than ever there is a need to live and witness Our faith through Our Lives. If the Church loses its Salt? what will happen? Man cannot go back to the pre-messianic age because Our Lords Life, Death and Resurrection it changed Creation, opened Heaven and brought the Law of Grace into this world. Rejection of Christ leaves Man in a worse State than he was before!! This is why I say an Anti Christian generation is a threat to the planet!


  12. kathleen says:

    Like Robert, I too have been “loosely associated” with Opus Dei for some time, while not actually being a member myself, and I can assure Toad that there is nothing “sinister” nor “weird” about these fine, Catholic, hard-working people. I’ll give just below a few of their characteristics, that I have witnessed personally…

    They are faithful to the Magisterium, making sure that their schools and colleges teach the whole Truth of the Catholic Church.
    They reiterate from the pulpit and in all their teachings that a daily prayer routine, frequent Confession, daily attendance at Holy Mass (if possible) and the daily praying of the Rosary are all of extreme importance if one is to live the life of a good Christian.
    They place great importance to fulfillment of duty for everyone (whatever those “duties” might be), emphasising that this is the way we can all give glory to God within our daily routine. (‘The Little Way’ of St. Therese of Lisieux is a similar idea, I believe.)
    They have a deep love and reverence for Our Blessed Lady.
    They encourage men to be masculine, and women to be feminine, believing that this is why God created us Male and Female. None of the modern and perverse androgynous type of individual, that has no clearly defined sex, has any place in the Opus Dei mentality!

    Roger hits the nail on the head when he says: “Opus Dei is yet another example of living in the world but not part of it.”

    But I shall be honest and say that the only small reservation I have about Opus Dei is the great wealth and standing the majority of their members seem to have. I can’t help wondering why it attracts the wealthy far more than the poor. Anyway, that in itself is not a crime.


  13. Toad says:

    But shouldn’t Catholics perform all of the virtuous actions that you set out as a simple matter of course, Kathleen? What virtue is to be gained from membership of Opus Dei that other Catholics do not enjoy, or profess?
    What extra function (if any) does it serve?

    I was also going to ask if there were any Opus Dei dustmen, but you seem to have seen that coming.

    And is it deliberately secretive? Or not?


  14. Toad says:

    “Roger hits the nail on the head when he says: “Opus Dei is yet another example of living in the world but not part of it.””
    says Kathleen, who also describes a thought by Tielhard on another thread as, “utter nonsense.”
    Well, Kathleen… oh, never mind.


  15. kathleen says:

    I don’t think there’s anything “secretive” about Opus Dei, Toad. Perhaps (and I’m not sure about this) their finances might be a bit difficult to uncover ;-). But anyone can find out about the order, or join it if they promise to fulfill the simple rules. And yes, these “rules” are none other than what all Catholics can do anyway. Membership of a group however, helps some people along; doing things together with like-minded friends can be encouraging and enriching.
    Anyway, this talk of the Opus Dei secretiveness is a fallacy IMO.

    Cashing in on these fallacies made Dan Brown pretty rich though, eh?

    To your second comment, you are saying exactly what I was saying: this part of Teilhard’s quote that William gave said just that, and fine – nothing wrong with it…… It was the other phrases squeezed in there that were weird and obscure.


  16. Roger says:

    Opus Dei as the article points out had Papal approval. Lets not forget what this means with respect to the keys! So the work has the Authority and approval of the Church and hence of Heaven and this is part of the Faith with respect to Associations and Orders etc.. Don’t forget that this isn’t a license to Act contrary to the Faith in other words permission to become Masons or Muslims or heretics etc..
    The religious Orders also have there internal secrecy’s this includes third orders etc..
    Kathleen understands that at times there could be advantages , from a worldly perspective, for such a membership and in the Past as with the Templars this has been an issue.
    The Jesuits are far more secretive than Opus Dei because they have a separate line of Obedience other than the local Ordinaries (Bishops) , they to have evidence of wealth and considerable influence.
    There is nothing wrong with like minded companions and common piety and spiritual asperations with the intention of living Holy lives in the world but not part of it!


  17. Toad says:

    “I don’t think there’s anything “secretive” about Opus Dei, Toad. Perhaps (and I’m not sure about this) their finances might be a bit difficult to uncover 😉 .”

    Not unlike The Vatican, or Google, or the Mafia, or Just about any big, successful “Multi-National”, nowadays, eh, Kathleen?
    Nothing wrong with that. All open and “above board!” Nothing to hide! (Except, of course for the the money.)

    Dan Brown, clever fellow – made it all up, of course. Because he could.
    Titanium rosary beads for strangling people?
    Nonsense! (But funny, we must admit.)


  18. johnhenrycn says:

    Pleased to say have never read Brown. OTH, sad to say have never read Proust.


  19. johnhenrycn says:

    An edit button, even one that expires after 5 minutes or so, à la Catholic Herald, would be nice 😉


  20. Roger says:

    Dan Brown is of no interest to me personally. Look at the familiarity of Satan with Our Lord in the Gospels! look at the Temptation in the Desert (ask yourself where the evangelist found out about this!) look at that extrodinary moment when Our Lord told St Peter that Satan had asked to sift Peter! Peter went on to deny Our Lord. Father Malachy Martin’s books were an insight and commentary on the contemporary actual post conciliar Church and he had read the third secret of fatima. In the 1990’s he spoke of the state of the Church. A much better informant than Dan Brown!
    Toad go back to 1800’s and look for when Global finance got its foot into the Vatican followed by the Masonic conquest of the Papal lands. Look at Napoleon and the imprisoning of the Pope in the Vatican, look back to look forward. The sciences today have been unchallenged and yet their funding is actually more private that public monies. In fact to understand Capitalism and yes Socialism and Globalisation (Private) and International Finance look at Holland in 16th century! That Holland model was ported to London.
    The Church is the visible of the invisible eternal which is superior to the material. The world, the Flesh and the Devil is a truth


  21. Toad says:

    Tried to read both, JH.
    Failed both, dismally, for different reasons.

    Toad thinks you personally would be of great interest to Dan Brown, Roger.


  22. Roger says:

    Why look a fiction when fact is so much more interesting and even more so when we are glimpsing Eternity.
    Let me give you an example which isn’t even considered important. Fatima and the light in the sky that heralded World War II (Father Malachy Martin pointed out that Hitler saw that Light and interpreted it correctly!). Now consider Luke 21:25-28 and What St Ferrer (died 1419)said “..”There will be signs in the sun and in the moon and in the stars.” By study of Holy Scripture
    and by factual experience we know that when any great and heavy affliction is about to come on
    the world, often some warning sign is shown in the sky or in the upper air. And this happens by
    the mercy of God, so that people forewarned of impending tribulation by means of these signs,
    through prayer and good works, may obtain in the tribunal of mercy a reversal of the sentence
    passed against them by God the judge in the heavenly courts; or at least by penance and
    amendment of life, may prepare themselves against the impending affliction.”
    Who needs DAN Brown?


  23. Toad says:

    “Who needs Dan Brown?” Asks Roger. Nobody. Didn’t need to ask, really. Did we?

    “Fatima and the light in the sky that heralded World War II (Father Malachy Martin pointed out that Hitler saw that Light and interpreted it correctly!)”

    Are you suggesting, Roger, that Hitler saw a light in the sky in !917 and, as a result, started World War Two 22 years later? What took him so long?
    And how did Hitler know the light in the sky didn’t herald The Great Depression of 1929, or Bahram winning the Derby in 1935? Sounds like another self-fulfilling prophecy.
    And if Hitler did ‘interpret it correctly’, did it also tell him he’d come second in World War two?
    Pity, if not.
    That’s what comes of interpreting ‘lights in the sky,’ thinks Toad. Tricky business.
    Anyway, what has all this got to do with The Great Pyramid of Giza?


  24. Roger says:

    The Blog is about Opus Dei and we should see this is a Vocation to a road to Piety and spirituality. But signs and warnings brings usto Garabandal. Lets be absolutely clear IF Garabandal wasn’t the work of God then it should have been condemned outright in the 60’s and not permitted to have become Globally promoted.
    Many Bishops and priests have visited Garabandal, there have been many many interviews and reported mystical phenomenon.
    The Garabandal Warning may be the Illuminaion of Consiences was known to St Edmund Campion (16th English Martyr).
    I Repeat IF Garabandal was or is False it was the Duty to condemn this in 1960’s Instead we have a silent approval!!
    But we should ALL irrespective of Wanings etc.. Lead Good Catholic lives and Prayer and Penance (Selfless) has always been the Catholic Way! Nothng new here! Just realise that Science may have answers BUT something which has been expressly fortold months, eras, eons before AND comes to pass (Sun Miracle at Fatima, Virgin Birth) only a fool would ignore!


  25. Roger says:

    Toad Hitler personally saw the extrodinary Light in Night skies 1939 and correctly interpreted it (Father Malachy Martin confirmed this!) this just before entering Poland! Fatima was 1917 but the Prophecy of the Light before the WW II and Pius XI was given to Lucia (of Fatima!) The point is that St Ferrer specificially preached of what Catholics had known of signs in the sky etc.. in 15th century! Nothing new under the Sun!! Who needs Dan Brown??


  26. Roger says:

    Toad I am trying to find the references, not that it matters really. The Great Pyramid was known in ancient times as Enoch’s Pillar. There is more than sufficient material (modern) about its dimensions and proportions even its very specific location and Angle relative to Jerusalem. This at a time when Evolution wouuld have Us believe that Man was grunting in Caves!!
    I have said it before and will say it again behind modern science is private wealth and politics, these have a sway in what is researched and promoted! If you do not understand that then you are being naive!
    The Shroud is another challenge to science because it is a three dimensionsal rendition! One of my favourites is Our Lady Of Guadalupe what an image??
    All that really concerns me and interests me is this view into a real spiritual world Our Lords Kingdom and following His bloodly footsteps into this Eterenity of Love and Peace. Catholic Truths and the Royal Road that overcomes this world.


  27. kathleen says:

    “Who needs Dan Brown??”

    I quite agree Roger. Why sully one’s mind with such rubbish (and Dan Brown is notoriously anti-Catholic) when there is so much wonderful and enriching reading material out there, and not enough time in one life to read all one would like to.

    Just want to point out that it was January 1938, just before Hitler’s invasion of Austria and the annexation of Czechoslovakia, (Poland was later) when the extraordinary phenomena of the ‘lights in the sky’ occurred, not 1939. This was the real beginning of WWII, although it was officially declared the following year.

    I didn’t know that “Hitler saw that Light and interpreted it correctly!” Are you saying he knew about Sister Lucia’s revelations of Our Lady of Fatima? Hitler was an unbeliever though, wasn’t he? I find this fascinating, so please do explain.

    Btw, I am also a believer in Our Lady’s apparitions at Garabandal ever since I met a sweet little old lady (a devout Catholic) who was a witness to them, and who knew Conchita personally. I went there myself in 1996, and was further edified by meeting Jacinta, who just happened to be on a visit from the US to see her family at the same time. There is a special ‘feel’ of beauty and holiness at Garabandal. The filmed evidence of the ecstasies of the girls is also very convincing (IMO), and all the relayed messages from the Virgin Mary are in line with Catholic teaching… and so appropriate for our times!
    I do understand though that the Church must be extremely cautious and prudent when giving its blessing to sites of reported heavenly visions. Until the Warning and announced Miracle occur, nothing further will be said on the credibility of the seers’ claims.

    Seems we have drifted away from the topic of the article, as so often happens! 😉


  28. Frere Rabit says:

    Yes Toad, interpreting lights in the sky is a tricky business. As the Tour de France ended yesteday in the ten laps of the Champs-Élysées, the TV camera showed a lovely full orange moon in the sky over twilight Paris. One of the commentators, in an enthusiastic exclamation that will haunt his career forever, said “And look at that glorious sunset over Paris tonight…”


  29. Brother Burrito says:

    Kathleen, re Dan Brown,

    On the basis that in war it is wise to collect and use the discarded weapons of the enemy, for better purposes, may I speak in defence of Dan Brown?

    Though I doubt it was his original intention, I think his works have inspired countless religiously indifferent people to turn their gaze Rome-wards. The Da Vinci Code was a hopeless heap of hooey, for sure, and was effectively countered by many Catholic voices across the media.

    However, after previewing it, I watched the movie of “Angels and Demons” with my family a while back, and we all enjoyed it’s great action and eye-popping cinematics of Rome’s architecture and art.

    Wandering off the blog topic path is one of the joys of this place: Catholicism is like being in a vast seemingly wild garden with surprises at every turn!


  30. Brother Burrito says:


    Super 707!

    (That’s LOL upside down)


  31. Toad says:

    “Toad Hitler personally saw the extraordinary Light in Night skies 1939 and correctly interpreted it (Father Malachy Martin confirmed this!) this just before entering Poland!”

    It was a green light, then Roger?
    Did Father Malarkey believe God approved of Hitler invading Poland? Really?
    Whatever next?
    …Belgium, I suppose.


  32. Roger says:

    Hi Kathleen I am quoting Father Malachy Martin from one of the interviews he had in the 90’s . Hitler was at His retreat and saw this Light as did the Northern Hemisphere Father Martin quoted what Hitler said!
    The point being made is that if you pack the Universities with Atheists and Agnostics you will get guess what Science? The Douay Rheims translation was from top scholars in exile, their replacements were conducive to the Reformers! We look back to look forward and find in the Church the same Faith! None of this nonesense about Left and Right Traditionists and Modernists Catholic and Apostolic!!
    Yes over Garabandal! You take my point if false it should have been denounced in 60′!!! The trouble is the Warning means a nasty sequel!!! Who knows whether this will be Our experience of not? The Call to personal holiness and examination of conscience, the sacramental life in the Vocation heaven hs given Us.
    St Ferrer is important a Great Saint and Preacher and known as the Angel Of The Apocalypse the story of St Dominic and St Francis and the three lances!!! Thats fruitful!!


  33. Brother Burrito says:

    Roger, are you aware of C/2012 S1(Ison)? This dirty snowball will pass within 2 million miles of the Sun during this coming winter.

    Quite how our boffins can predict the trajectory of all its fragments after such a melting and outgassing, I am at a loss to say.


  34. Roger says:

    Hi Burrito. Yes I am aware of this comet. As you will be aware of the comet that destroyed Sodom and Gomarroh you will find from 1997 onwards quite a bit of discussion about this.
    Toad remarked on the Great Depression but we ae seeing a greater one which started in 2007 this Global financial crisis is reshaping ownership in our world with an increase in Private rather than Public. At the same time a progression of anti christian Laws the 60’s were especially a radical time of social change. The financial has led to economic crisis and inevitably foreign political change. Broadly we are seeing a Global anti christian spirit like something coming up from the Pits.
    The three spears equate to an reign of Anti Christ if you like anti christian laws and enactments (which we are seeing) globally. A Purification this time by Fire (Ferrer explains this) a form of Pugatory for mankind and then a New era.
    Is this a summary of Fatima? I say this because of the In the End statement. Our world was changed by Fire (Bomb on Hiroshima). Akita of course and Garbandal Warning a precursor to what? My pointis Opus Dei has sanctification and this should always be Our goal!


  35. Roger says:

    Toad there are great mysteries with Iniquity among these that of Judas and the Tempting Of Christ by Satan. The Our Father covers these and every word of that sublime Prayer should be savoured and mediated over! The world in 1930’s was using wars to resolve issues was it not? Since 9/11 the West has used similar arguments has it not? January 25, 1938 Lucia knew this was the sign fortold by Our Lady 13 July 1917 , Hitler invaded Austria (thanks Kathleen) a few weeks later.(Father Martin quoted Hitlers words when he saw that Red Light of Death!). The point is Our Fathers in the Faith (as commented by Ferrer) were aware of signs! Don’t forget the Magi and their sign!


  36. Roger says:

    “..In 1938 there was this peculiar display of lights, which we now know–at that time the scientists said, “Oh this was Aurora Borealis”–and of course we now know it wasn’t Aurura Borealis. And by the way, that night, that night in August of 1938, Hitler, Adolf Hitler himself was in the Wolf’s Lair at Berchtesgarden, he was there with his chief people, Goebbels and Göring and Himmler and their aides. And they watched this phenomenon of light, brilliant light and you know what Hitler said?
    He said, “Gentlemen, this means we now go to bloodshed.” ..”


  37. Toad says:

    “The Great Pyramid was known in ancient times as Enoch’s Pillar. There is more than sufficient material (modern) about its dimensions and proportions even its very specific location and Angle relative to Jerusalem. This at a time when Evolution would have Us believe that Man was grunting in Caves!!”

    Of course ‘evolution’ would have us believe no such thing, Roger. If you were to find an ‘evolutionist’ idiotic enough to suggest that – some 4,600 years ago – all men were grunting (not yet able to speak?) and living in caves, all you’d need to ask the dolt would be, “How come such primitive men were intelligent enough to build the Great Pyramid, then?”

    …And no doubt some men were living in caves in those days.
    Some still are, in fact. Even in Spain.
    Humans are reckoned to have existed for about half a million years. I see no reason not to accept that as fact. It is open to revision, of course. Could be a bit more more, could be a bit less.

    (Why wasn’t the Great Pyramid known as ‘Enoch’s Pyramid?’ It is clearly not a pillar.)


  38. Toad says:

    “…and you know what Hitler said?
    He said, “Gentlemen, this means we now go to bloodshed.” ..”

    Pity he didn’t say, “Gentlemen, this means we should call the whole World War thing off.”
    (Which was probably what the Red Light really meant.)


  39. Roger says:

    Toad I have merely quoted from others over Enoch’s Pillar . I suspect that Pyramid is of recent origin! Evolution is killed off by the existence of living souls (Homer clearly didn’t believe in Evolution) and supernatural beings. Evolution is completely nonsensical with Possession for instance. I mentioned Sodom and this should have rung bells because of Abraham was of the linage of Sem (Noah’s Son!) you know the Flood so beloved by modern science!
    Enoch (Henoch) knew Adam and is expressly mentioned in the New Testament as NOT dying
    Jude 1:14
    Now of these Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying: Behold, the Lord cometh with thousands of his saints,
    Genesis 5
    [21] And Henoch lived sixty-five years, and begot Mathusala.
    [22] And Henoch walked with God: and lived after he begot Mathusala, three hundred years, and begot sons and daughters.
    [23] And all the days of Henoch were three hundred and sixty-five years.
    [24] And he walked with God, and was seen no more: because God took him.


  40. Roger says:

    So here is the problem that Enoch (Henoch) was taken by God before Flood!! See the problem is when was the Great Pyramid built and by who? The Ancients called in Enochs Pilar ascribing its building to him! Then of course there are those water errosion marks on the base of the Sphinx?? Notice the longevity of the Patriachs as well all of which flies in the face of modern theories doesn’t it?


  41. Brother Burrito says:

    Natural selection has been replaced by Supernatural election, and the rat race by great Grace.


  42. Roger says:

    We look back to look forward. Looking back because it is the Faith of Our fathers of the Patriachs and Our Lord. Also the Ancient World from Egypt to Greece nothing on Evolution.But Man is nontheless to change from the Fallen State where His Flesh rules Him to a spiritualised Being nolonger subject to the rule of the Flesh. The Rat Race as such is the sting of the Flesh with the physical senses demanding obedience! See All, Have All! But the Law of Love is the Law of Selfless (Not I may add denying the Faith!!) its of True Priorities an we see this in the Saints! I am aware of family traints, we all know of these, nationality, health etc.. But equally the denigration that comes with inbreeding something ever stockman knows!
    Man is moving in two directions either a slave of His appetites (the World[Fallen World], the Flesh and the Devil) OR Spiritual and this road is the way to regaining Paradise. Ever generation has to make this decision For Our Lord or some wishy washy patronising worldy compromise of the Faith! Opus Dei is a recognised Path towards Strengthening the Faith, there are others also approved by the Church third order membership for instance. Our Duty is the Vocation that Heaven gives us to fulfil but Selflessly!


  43. Roger says:

    You all might like Michael H Brown description of that 1938 Light!
    But please in the context of St Ferrer and the Church with respect to these signs! The Warning? well I would say when this comes fear what must follow!


  44. Toad says:

    “….it was learned that the Virgin had made a prediction. “When you see a night illuminated by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that He is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, and persecution of the Church and of the Holy Father,” “

    Taken from Roger’s link above, This is not the action of a loving God. In Toad’s opinion. The idea that God ‘used’ the Second World War to ‘punish’ us all is perverse, to say the least.
    On one hand we are told that wars are entirely our fault because we are sinful.
    Nothing to do with God.
    Wars make God sad.
    And now…

    Interpreting lights in the sky, and signs, and portents, and prophecies, and miraculous messages from The Beyond, and the scared dimensions of pyramids, and God knows what all else – is not to be recommended.
    For mere mortals. We are likely to get them all wrong. Thinks Toad.


  45. Roger says:

    Toad the first point is to remember that with the Ancient world and indeed universally the existence of God(s) and the Natural Law , the soul/spirit that is Man and its survival aftre Death all of this was known!
    Homer is an example, one of many examples. The common recognition of the Zodiac again is common and you will find that its is commonly interpreted. St Pauls argument in Athens was that the Unknown God was the Real God!
    Common to the Ancients was perversity and appeasing the God(s) St Augustine deals with this pointing out that these God(s) were demonic!
    The Bible is a complex interlocking work written over eon’s and yet forming one complete whole that cannot be divided!
    The comes Our Lord himself God made Man and His purpose? well to bring Us into His Kingdom for Eternity because this is a Fallen world. He gave us as a Divine Doctor the sacraments as medicine for Our Souls. He is love and He came into His Creation to redeem it!
    God is not a tyrant forcing Us to Love Him! We have Free Will and in this we choose Our Eternity.
    If men chooses the fruits of Hell (the deadly sins) then he can’t complain at the suffering that results can he?
    If you choose Heaven then look at the Saints and the fruits in their Lives.
    Stop whinging because these signs are a blessing a reality check from Love!


  46. Toad says:



  47. Toad says:

    It is good to see Roger bring Homer into it.
    In one episode, his wife, Marje, asks him, “Homer, how could you do such a terrible thing?”
    “I swear to God, Marge I never thought you’d find out!” he replies.

    A lesson for each and every one of us, surely?


  48. Roger says:

    Mention was made about the comet ISON. Duponts excellent book on Catholic Prophecy mentions what is known as the Great Comet and as already commented Sodom and Gomorrah’s destruction has been identified with a Comet.
    We do not know times etc.. But what concerns me is Fatima and the evidence of the wholesale worldly attack on the Papacy and the Church which we can see from 1800’s onwards. The Vatican is a recent concept because for centuries the Pope ruled Christendom. World Wars replaced local conflicts and the breathtaking developments in the taking of Life both military and through social programs such as the Pill and Abortion. See these through Heavens eyes as Catholics should be doing. Understand that science is denying the soul/spirituality and yet Culture itself is always evidence of Spirituality!
    My Faith tells me that Heaven will not standby and see Creation destroyed by the Free Will of Man! My Faith tells me also what is required of me as a sibling of the Father, the prayer and penance and reparation that as a loving child I must make to a abused and derided Heavenly Father.
    man is temting God!


  49. Roger says:

    Mankind is tempting God by deliberately floating His laws even the Natural Laws and replacing these with Human Rights! This is a general Apostacy (what more evidence is required?) Divorce has been implemented now by EVERY country in the world. Cameron is saying that he intends to press for the world wide gay marriage! So we are seeing witnessing a global Apostacy and the shepherds are silent!


  50. Frere Rabit says:

    Keep going at this speed and volume, Roger, and you wil end up as the Catholic rival to David Icke, or maybe have your own train crash..

    Meanwhile, let us pray for the victims of the Santiago train disaster. El pais have now posted a security camera video showing the speed of the train (190 kph around a tight bend with an 80 kph limit). Santiago de Compostela, intercede for the victims and comfort their loved ones.


  51. Toad says:

    It s a train we both know pretty well, my wife and I.
    Naturally, the barman is known to us by name, “Alfredo.”
    We are hoping he, at least, is OK.
    Your prayers won’t hurt.


  52. johnhenrycn says:

    Lac-Mégantic, Québec – 05 July 2013:

    “The Musi-Café in Lac-Mégantic was always the sort of place where people liked to gather on a summer night. The music was good, the food hit the spot, and the taps ran 25 brands of draft beer.
    The place was at its capacity of around 180 for dinner, but started to quiet down later in the evening. “It was a beautiful evening, but the place wasn’t completely packed,” Yannick Gagné, the club’s owner, said later. He went home shortly after midnight. There were perhaps 50 people still inside and another 30 on the patio. When he got home, Gagné emailed his pregnant wife, 23-year old Lisandra Arencibia Tamayo, telling her she should stop collecting the cover charge at the door and join him at their home less than 700 m from the Musi-Café. Tamayo arrived, fell asleep on the couch—and minutes later, they heard an explosion.

    That fireball was only the first of many as a pretty summer night turned to hell. A 72-car train with five locomotives had rolled downhill, unattended, from Nantes, the next town up the road. Each of the tanker cars held tens of thousands of litres of light crude oil. By the time the train rolled into Lac-Mégantic with nobody aboard it was moving far faster than regulation speed. When the track drew a gentle leftward curve in the centre of the little town of 6,000, only the lead locomotive negotiated the turn. The rest of the train buckled, jumped the tracks, then burst into flames. The titanic explosions would continue for hours. Fire crews would take more than two days to extinguish the last flames. Long before the fire was out, the centre of Lac-Mégantic was a charred dead zone stretching across blocks. At press time, 24 deaths were confirmed, but about 40 more were missing, known to have been near the train when it derailed, and do not appear to have survived.”

    The death toll in Lac-Mégantic is now over 40, with others still missing and presumed dead. Two horrible train disasters in July, 2013.


  53. johnhenrycn says:

    Roger: 23 July @ 00:23
    “…that night in August of 1938, Hitler, Adolf Hitler himself was in the Wolf’s Lair at Berchtesgarden…”

    I didn’t know Wolf’s Lair had ever been moved from Rastenburg to Berchtesgaden. Thanks for the update. And the Aurora Borealis you refer to occurred on 25 January 1938. Mere quibbles? Not unless you don’t mind being compared to David Icke, as someone else suggests above that you’re in danger of.


  54. Roger says:

    John Henrycn and Frere Rabit you should pass your corrections and personal judgements onto Father Malachy Martin and those whose facts I have reported. Similarly I suggest Lucia of Fatima. Obviously I wasn’t born and didn’t witness this!
    Doesn’t change one iota what St Ferrer quoted re the fathers and signs! Does it! It also ties in with the Sun and Fatima (later witnessed years later by Pius XII).
    Our Lord of course confirmed Noah and the Flood
    Matthew 24
    [38] For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, even till that day in which Noe entered into the ark,
    Our Lord expressly spoke of disaisters!
    Luke 13
    [4] Or those eighteen upon whom the tower fell in Siloe, and slew them: think you, that they also were debtors above all the men that dwelt in Jerusalem?
    This question of disiasters? Well among many reasons is often human choice, someone neglecting their duties or cutting corners to save money! Thn blaming God?


  55. Roger says:

    Much is written about disaisters etc. and very conveniently God is blamed and Our Lord expressly mentioned the tower in Siloe. But start thinking because decisions made by HUMANS with designs and plans as well as calculated risks ALL come under Free Will. The Titanic is an example of human misjudgements is it not?
    Wars especially the First World War was without question human misjudgement. The Russian Revolution was De facto financially under written by Wall Street and Switzerland. Bush grandfather funded Hitler. But All of this is well documented and proven.
    Modern Science is the beneficiary of these Wars including off course Space Exploration. I say todays problems have been caused by yesterday’s science! Man created the problems and then blamed God!


  56. johnhenrycn says:

    Sorry for rattling your chain like that (^), Roger. Henceforth, I will try to mind my Ps and Qs 😉


  57. Roger says:

    Not my chain John the trouble is the world is awash with sensationalists. Your contributions are excellent and thought provoking! My experience in 1975 with a Garabandal kissed object shook me! The need to get back to the almost childlike basics of the Faith in a cynical world.
    Father Malachy Martin in 90’s was making this distinction between the Institution and the Church and we do not tend to do this because we assume that everything goes on as normal!
    The History of the Church is far from moribund. Great schisms and Dogmas , Councils, Crusades etc.. So we must not take the Faith for granted or blur with worldly modern thinking.
    Its good to Look back to Go forward and ground ourselves in solid Piety to carry Our Cross in Our Day. The growth of Globalisation and clear Anti Christian Laws should make Us look back and draw strength from the Giants in the Faith who have gone before us! My prayers for these poor souls and these dreadful railway accidents.


  58. Roger says:

    As a last word here (not mine but those of the Saints) Opus Dei if it has merit is about Purity!

    “We must be pure. I do not speak merely of the purity of the senses. We must observe great purity in our will, in our intentions, in all our actions.”
    — Saint Peter Julian Eymard

    “Those whose hearts are pure are the temples of the Holy Spirit.”
    — Saint Lucy

    “We must practice modesty, not only in our looks, but also in our whole deportment, and particularly in our dress, our walk, our conversation, and all similar actions.”
    — Saint Alphonsus Liguori

    “In the realm of evil thoughts none induces to sin as much as do thoughts that concern the pleasure of the flesh.”
    — Saint Thomas Aquinas

    “In temptations against chastity, the spiritual masters advise us, not so much to contend with the bad thought, as to turn the mind to some spiritual, or, at least, indifferent object. It is useful to combat other bad thoughts face to face, but not thoughts of impurity.”
    — Saint Alphonsus Liguori

    “Lust indulged became habit, and habit unresisted became necessity.”
    — Saint Augustine

    “More souls go to hell because of sins of the flesh than for any other reason.”
    — Our Lady of Fatima


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