Restoration of the Image of the Infant Child of the ICRSS

The Institute of Christ the King has a shrine in Chicago that was recently burned down to the ground last time, and miraculously the image of the Infant Child Jesus that is venerated therein survived the flames, although in an admittedly bad condition. 

I was overjoyed when I saw the photographs of the restored Holy Infant. A very marvellous work, it is a sculpture of Spanish origin during the 18th Century, and thus a distant relative of the Holy Infant of Prague and the Santo Niño de Cebú in the Philippines.

Here are some of the photos from their website:


Now, I say to my fellow Filipinos, that if they are to go to the US and going to pass by Chicago, make sure to actually try to venerate this image, and if possible, donate many clothes for the image made here in our country. Why? So that it be a sign of solidarity to these our fellow Catholic brothers and sisters who venerate the Santo Niño as fervent as we do. Also, it is an act of charity and devotion. 

SHAMELESS PLUG: The Pintakasi Blog

I have been inactive for many days already, only reprinting and re-running some old articles that I have “in stock”—so to speak. This is a very peculiar stage for me, that while I have lots of things in my mind to write about, I cannot express them fully here.

Anyhow, I would like to direct everyone to go to the Pintakasi 1521 blog that is ran by Mr. James Benedict Malabanan. 

The blog is a very good source and a repository of various devotions that are scattered around the Philippines. It is very neatly done and packaged into one, a sort of “one-stop place” in searching about Filipino devotional activities and titular images. 

You can visit the blog here.

A Perfect Reflection of Imperfectness: My Reflection on Modernist Architecture

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Factory? 60’s Community College? No, but LA’s new-ish cathedral!

We have seen and heard of it all: LA Taj Mahony, Cathedral of Christ the Light, etc… Why the decadence? Why the ugliness? One can point out that it is the fault of Vatican II and that wicked band of cardinals, priests, bishops and archbishops going about their way to destroy Catholic identity and I daresay even Catholicism herself. But Vatican II and the wicked members of the Hierarchy are not to be singularly blamed, but rather, they are they are the second to be blamed. Their ideology is the root cause of this, and that should be blamed. Modernism itself is the root cause of the ugliness one can see when stepping in a monstrosity such as the Los Angeles Cathedral of Mahony.

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Vestal virgins?

Would a Bugnini, a Weakland, a Mahony and a Martini even exist as they are now (and then) if Modernism simply did not caught their attention? Of course not! Bugnini might have been a second Gregory the Great, Weakland a second Philip Neri and Martini a second Charles Borromeo if Modernism had not existed.

But then again, if the ideology is the root cause, and like a plant that bears fruit and has roots, certainly seeds are placed before anything happens. Who placed that seed? Satan.

#WaybackWednesday: First Class Relics Stolen

My (English) transcript of the video report. It is not as slavishly accurate, but is close, really close enough to the original:

(News Anchor)

Even thieves no longer respect God’s church! In the Parish of the Holy Family in Quezon City, four (4) First-Class relics that are the remains or parts of the saints are stolen.

(Reporter)

Relics such as these are highly valued by Catholics. This relic is a remnant of the True Cross in which Christ Himself was crucified. It even has some blood stuck on it. This is a First Class relic. A First-Class relic is either a body part of a saint or an instrument of Christ’s passion.

This relic contains some pieces of cloth that three saints once wore. This is called a Second-Class relic. This relics are greatly valued and cared for by the Holy Family Parish after a series of robberies happened on the parish church. This just November 6, four First Class relics that contained parts of the bodies of Saints Albert the Great, Gertrude, Martin de Porres, and Charles Borromeo are stolen from the parish. “If they did not take interest in the relic, they have taken interest in the reliquary, for how intricate or detailed the reliquary is, the greater is its price” This reliquaries are often sold on the Black Market. Oftentimes during Mass these reliquaries are often placed on the altar during Mass either on the Main Altar or at the smaller one used in daily Mass. These relics are often stored in a separate room after Mass. It is impossible that these relics be taken through the window since this room is located at the second floor. There is another room also used in the storing of relics; that however is always locked. “Those thieves probably know how to observe”. Even before November 6, this parish was robbed off of three heads of the statues of saints made of ivory. In a separate incident, even the alms collected for the dead are also stolen. These are never retrieved. The Holy Family school students and their parents as well as the teachers are also worried. Because of these incidents the church has now taken precautions. This church used to be open during office hours for those who wanted to go and to pray. But now due to these series of robberies the church is now often locked up. The parish church is now considering putting up CCTV cameras. “We used to think that the last place that a thief may stole valuables is the church. For the church is the House of the Lord. But times are getting different now, perhaps due to extreme necessity”. The parish has a message for those of ill-will: “Let us remember that if we are not caught in this world, we can still be judged in the next life, in the judgement seat. There is a CCTV in Heaven, 24/7”.

End of transcript.

A Thought On Fewer Filipino Catholic Mass Attendance

Those days are over folks….

Fewer Filipino Catholics attend Mass for this reason: That the beauty and the Catholicism that they are subconsciously expecting is not present. All that they can see in the Masses that they probably used to attend is a bare altar with no candles ON it, or a homily that, although quite amusing, presents few strong doctrinal points, or men and women dressed as if they are going to a beach resort, but the most common being music that strives to be secular (or to put it in a rather harsh way, trashy, wishy – washy hymns with little or no connection to the Mass or with little doctrinal value).

These things are never a problem in the Traditional Mass, for the rubrics of that Mass directs the priest and the faithful laymen in the nave to reverence for the wondrous sacrifice going on at the Altar. If the Novus Ordo has these same characteristics, then probably this Rite of Mass may direct the faithful to such reverence and beauty as is being shown at the Old Mass.

However, such is not the case. The Novus Ordo (or Nouvelle-Messe, as I like to refer to it for many reasons) is a Protestantized liturgy concocted by liberals after Vatican II in utmost secrecy and speed. In fact, the Eucharistic Prayer II of this same New Mass was concocted not in a Vatican office, but at a Roman trattoria.

The only way to solve this crisis of few Mass attendance is too keep the old car in the garage and bring out the limousine and use it exclusively. That is, abolish the Novus Ordo and restore the Old Mass to general and common use. How that thing can be achieved however, only the good Lord knows completely.

In the meantime, it is worthwhile that we make use of the sources among us, like the full revamp of the Novus Ordo in its externals, such as the utilizing of traditional elements like the so-called Benedictine arrangement, or the utilization of Gregorian Chant.

The most expedient, of course, is the use of the genuine article itself, and it is the use of the older Missal.

A Latin Mass Society for A School

I have been very much busy the past few weeks, and I am quite irritated to learn that the Latin Mass Society in which we are to found in our school is on the verge of collapse, even when it is only the foundation stone that has been laid yet. This sort of news that my friend broke to me early this afternoon brought me to a bit of depression, although I was determined to continue this society when I said that I will take over as manager (he was that manager but he became too busy for things of comparable frivolity, to my estimation at least).

Well, for now I will be occupied for the rest of the few months trying to have this society take hold for the senior high school, even if we were of a few numbers. But then again, eight members who work closely and actively is very much preferred than fifty and yet too idle. E pluribus unum, they say. 

So, what would be our activities for this year? Certainly our activities would not revolve on the Mass alone, although it has been very much the center of all the activities. We did not in any way named our group as a Latin Mass Society, although for all intents and purposes the Traditional Latin Mass and its celebration has been the center and the raisón-d’-étre of the group. 

Our activities include the club meeting every once a week, in which we discuss and educate fellow members upon the subject at hand, and that is the cause of Catholic Tradition. We will educate fellow members upon the very basic doctrines of the Church (if they do not know a certain teaching). We will have a question and answer form of discussions to facilitate the learning of members.

Every First Friday, we would gather to the chapel, where our chaplain would celebrate for us a Mass that would coincide with the Novus Ordo that would be celebrated in the Cathedral (for the school’s Masses are celebrated in the cathedral, in which the school is attached to). In cases of our chaplain celebrating the First Friday Mass in the Cathedral, we will still have him celebrate the Old Mass, so that it would have exposure to the wider student body. We would not merely be celebrating the Old Mass in the Cathedral whenever our chaplain would be celebrating Mass we would also, as much as possible, have the Old Mass celebrated at all solemnities, and have activities like exhibits and processions around the campus be held with the assistance of the Student Catholic Action, in which we declare our mutual solidarity and friendship. 

During the month of October, we would actively participate in this month dedicated to the Holy Rosary, in which there would be a Rosary Procession around the campus, with an image of Our Lady of the Rosary carried on the rear of the procession. Preceding this would be a Sung Mass, and three days before there would be held a Triduum, in which there would be a recitation of the Rosary, a Low Mass and some prayers. 

I got a lot of things in my mind as I write this, and to write all the more about sipuggested activities for the club would sometimes seem to me as if this would be a sign of futility of planning these, as I am accustomed to foiling my own plans, even if it were for a good cause such as this one. So I must stop, but before I do, I would exhort everyone to pray for the success of our club. 

A Dress of Mourning of Our Lady

Readers of this blog may well be aware of the story behind my image of Our Lady of the Rosary, and my custom of changing her clothes every once in a while, in such a way that sometimes I have been disparaged by ignoramuses as “playing with dolls”. In all sobriquets that they may attach to the image I am taking care of, “doll” is perhaps the worst, and irreverent. But, I suppose one must forgive their ignorance and educate them a bit about the subject matter, if their hearts and minds are open enough for a thoughtful consideration with regards to a topic that one may discuss with them.

My grandmother has been searching for fabric in our drawers one day, when she stumbled upon good quality black lace (two separate pieces, in fact) and I myself then coveted it for my Virgin’s use, with the passive permission of hers of course. The lace is something that I do not commonly see, for I am accustomed to curtain-quality type of lace. This one is not, for one of them is a crocheted type of lace, the other seems to me that it is needle lace, my favorite!

I then tried them to function as my Virgin’s mantle, and it somehow did its purpose of being such.

My rationale for having the Virgin wear black is due to a number of reasons. One is the violence in France due to the Nice Attacks, and other sorts of fracas happening in the Middle East and in Germany. But the most reasonable and grave is the recent martyrdom of Fr. Jacques Hamel, a priest beheaded during Mass by Muslim terrorists.

The Virgin wears black, not in mourning for a loss of a child (no, she just got reunited with her child, that Father Jacques) but for the sins of Islam and the sins of the world. Also, she wears black as a form of sympathy for the victims and the crying families, for she knew  too the feeling of losing a love one. She lost her Son, who meant the entire world for her, on that cross, knowing however and hoping for His Resurrection, and I suppose Our Lady would love to convey that as well to her children. That to her loyal children who prayed her rosary and wore her scapular, that there would be eternal life.

Miracles of La Naval III: The Queen Steps on Mud [Part 2]

 

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On the 7th of October, 1613, Don Juan de Silva, Governor General of the Philippines, had ordered two galleons and some minor escorting boats to carry some reinforcements to the Spanish garrisons at Ternate. In one of the galleons – the Guadalupe – Francisco López formed part of the crew.

Somehow everyone on board this ship had manage to dodge Francisco’s company. Was he not an utterly immoral man? True, he had one redeeming feature: strangely enough, he daily prayed the Rosary. And yet….

The unleashed fury of a monsoon typhoon off Mindoro wrought havoc upon the fleet, sinking all the vessels but one. Only a fraction of the crew managed to reach the shore safely. A few men had saved themselves by swimming ashore, Francisco among them and some other Spaniards, but the rest were recently converted natives – soon took to the hills. They were pursued by the Spanish officers, but overpowering these, the former made good their escape. Of those left behind, it seems Francisco alone was spared death, if seriously wounded.

So, the poor Francisco lay on the flooded ground, unable to move; all his bones being broken and his whole body crushed to a pulp; the brute rain washing away the blood as fast as he shed it. And what with the cold, the rain, the exhaustion, and the loss of blood; he knew he must die in an instant.

And straightaway he fell to dwelling, not on the salvation of his soul, but on the things of earth his sense had enjoyed and would never enjoy again: thinking with anguish of food and drink and warm women, and of his home in Málaga… And was it not a monstrous injustice (thought Francisco) that, while the sun shone in those places and men ate and drank and were merry, he should be dying here in the mud, wracked by pain and cold, his bones broken and no part of his flesh un-bruised? And he begun to pity himself, lamenting himself as the most ill-used creature on earth…

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Francisco feeling he was near his end, called on the Virgin of the Rosary. He felt he had been faithful to her in his fashion, saying her beads daily and saluting her at the angelic hours. She had always seemed near and clear to him; he had known her all his life. He had only to call on her and she would surely come and save him, thought Francisco – whereupon he began praying her name aloud.

Straightaway he was shaken to the bone by a terrific blast of lightning. The earth reeled and his senses blurred. Through stunned eyes he saw towering above him a woman robed in sunlight and crowned with the stars. But her face blazed with so fearful an anger she seemed the wrath of the storm made manifest. Seven swords plunged their cold steel in her heart but her left hand clutched a sword of fire. Silent she gazed at him, stern and beautiful – and he shook and sweated and shut his eyes against her, whimpering that he knew her not, that he had never known her, that it was not on her he had called. When he dared to look again She was gone and the rain had ceased but the night was gathering fast all about him and the chilly wind whistled through the ruins of his bones.

And now did fear grip him in earnest: despair enhanced his torments. He was lost. He could almost hear the devils chuckling. So, he had known the Virgin all his life? But she had appeared before him and it seemed he did not know her after all and he realized how vast the mysteries were he had taken so lightly. He had felt too safe, too sure. He had dared to take Heaven for granted! And meanwhile, he had followed his appetites wherever they had led him. And they had led him far indeed; they had lost him utterly…

Here at the ends of the earth, alone under the skies, he had been stripped naked to the bone and cracked open to the marrow,that the act of dying, at least, he might do honestly: knowing himself evil; knowing himself doomed to hell; and knowing the judgment just.

A great weariness possessed him. If he was damned, then damned he was! He felt no bitterness, only a desire to die quickly and perish in hell. And so exhausted was he in flesh and spirit he was sure he would die instantly if he but held his breath. But though he held it, though he relaxed his will, though he surrendered himself completely to dying – he could not die. Something seemed to stop him, to hold him back.

He was not alone. The night was alive with presences. And with the clairvoyance of the dying, he knew what they were: people out in the world were praying for him. The night hummed with their voices, he could almost see their lips moving. Girls in school, old women by the wayside, priests at the altar, farmers in the field, and families gathered round the hearth – were praying, were praying for him, and for all sinners, now, and at the hour of their death.

From the towns and cities of Spain, from Europe and from Africa, from the new worlds in the West and from the old worlds in the East – came the voices:  clamoring and imploring God to forgive him his trespasses as they forgave those who trespassed against them.

And the poor Francisco, though desiring intensely to die, found himself unable to do so, for the whole world seemed to have gathered around him, in choir upon choir of soft voices; determined to prevent him from dying.

And how could he ever have thought himself alone, wondered Francisco. He thought that he had set himself against the world, against the human community of which he was part but had always rejoiced to play the outlaw and outside of which he now desired to place himself eternally, by dying unrepentant, by dying in despair – the last gesture of utter egoism.
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And the world labored to save him now as it had labored to save him all his life. Monks were rising in the cold night to worship – because he had worshiped so little. They respected silence – because he had babbled so much. They enslaved their flesh – because he had been enslaved by his. Nuns went hungry (to atone for his greed) and were chaste (to atone for his lust) and humiliated themselves (to atone for his pride). For such is human solidarity that where any of us lack others may supply and the virtue of a single member nourishes the entire body.

And remembering how he had never done anyone good but rather had corrupted many of his infection, he marveled that the world should still care to save him, that its prayers should be clamorous about him, soaring in the night to the stars and to the very skies, knocking at Heaven itself on his behalf until he quaked to think how precious was a human soul and how shamefully he had wasted his own, and how full the world was of lovers, of God’s lovers.His heart ached with love for them; his heart ached and glowed so warmly with love, contrition flamed a flower in it and, crying out in a loud voice, he prayed God to have mercy on him and to forgive him his sins.

In that instant the voices vanished, and looking down the still shore were ragged palms leaned wearily on each other, their long boles black against the moonlit sky and the shattered glass of the sea, he saw coming towards him a woman with a child. His heart leapt. He knew her at once: he had known her all his life. How many times had he sought solace at her shrine in Manila! Up the shore she hurried, he robes trailing in the mud and radiating the moonlight. And now she had arrived at his side; now she was kneeling down in the mud; and now the two holy faces were bending over him, warm and fragrant and luminous. But what poignant sorrow was in those lovely faces! What a world of grief! And knowing himself the cause, he burned with shame, he ached with anguish.

Miracles of La Naval III: The Queen Steps on Mud [Part 1]

Catholic Aesthetics & Then Some

vandyckThere lived in Manila in the year 1613 a certain DoñaAna de Vera, one of the principal ladies of the country at that time and a woman of great piety. This Doña Ana and her son, who was an official in the Noble Ciudad, were from Madrid. At the Court and Villa they had enjoyed the patronage of Don Juan de Silva, in whose retinue – on de Silva‘s appointment as Governor-General – they had come to the Philippines.

Señor Vera had tried to dissuade his mother from coming along – she was fifty and rather fragile of health – but DoñaAna had mockingly feared he would degenerate into a savage in 3 days if she were not there to keep house for him. So, across two oceans and half the world she had come, one of the many spirited women who, hard on…

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St. Augustine’s Prayer to Our Lady

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O Blessed Virgin Mary,
who can worthily repay thee
thy just dues of praise and thanksgiving,
thou who by the wondrous assent
of thy will didst rescue a fallen world?
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What songs of praise can our weak
human nature recite in thy honor,
since it is by thy intervention alone
that it has found the way to restoration.
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Accept, then, such poor thanks as we have
here to offer,
though they be unequal to thy merits;
and receiving our vows,
obtain by thy prayers
the remission of our offenses.
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Carry our prayers within the sanctuary
of the heavenly audience,
and bring forth from it
the antidote of our reconciliation.
May the sins we bring
before Almighty God through thee,
become pardonable through thee;
may what we ask for with sure confidence,
through thee be granted.
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Take our offering, grant us our requests,
obtain pardon for what we fear,
for thou art the sole hope of sinners.
Through thee we hope
for the remission of our sins,
and in thee, O blessed Lady,
is our hope of reward.
Holy Mary, succor the miserable,
help the fainthearted,
comfort the sorrowful,
pray for thy people,
plead for the clergy,
intercede for all women consecrated to God;
may all who keep thy holy commemoration
feel now thy help and protection.
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Be thou ever ready to assist us when we pray,
and bring back to us the answers to our prayers.
Make it thy continual care to pray
for the people of God, thou who,
blessed by God, didst merit
to bear the Redeemer of the world,
who liveth and reigneth in a world without end.
Amen.