The first of our fifteen charter recipients of the Tower of Trent Trophy and enshrined in the Hall of Honor, going alphabetically was a wiry, small frail man whose courage was taller and fuller than the mighty rain forests of his beloved Brazil. The love in his veins for Jesus and His Blessed Mother and the one True Faith of Tradition stretched further and flowed freer than the Amazon tributaries of his land. His exclamation of the True Faith shone over his country as majestically as the towering statue of Christ high above Sao Paulo. This Lion of Brazil was the determined, loyal field marshal of the epic battle against Fideicide as he rallied and maintained the last Traditional Diocese in the world, all in a humble corner of South America. He was Dom Antonio de Castro Mayer, Bishop of Campos, Brazil who was called home on the Feast of Saint Mark, the Evangelist representing the Lion - April 25, 1991 at the age of 87.
Born in 1904, Dom Antonio was from Campinhas in Sao Paulo. He studied theology at the Gregorian University in Rome, where he obtained a doctorate. Before becoming Bishop, as a priest of the Sao Paulo diocese, he successively and successfully filled the posts of Professor in the Provincial Seminary of Sao Paulo, was Canon of the Cathedral, Parish Priest of the parish of Saint Joseph of Belem in the eastern section of Sao Paulo, and finally that of Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Sao Paulo. He was, at the same time, General Counsellor of Catholic Action for the Archdiocese and, in that function, he wholeheartedly supported Catholic lay organizations in their efforts to check Communist infiltration.
In 1948 he was appointed and consecrated Coadjutor Bishop of Campos, assuming the direction of the diocese one year later. In the 1950's Bishop de Castro Mayer published a lengthy and timely "Pastoral Letter on Problems of the Modern Apostolate," in which he attacked Modernism, whose ravages he already had foreseen. During the 1960's Bishop de Castro Mayer fought against the Communists on the home front and against the Modernists in Rome.
In 1964, Brazil was barely kept from falling into the Communist bloc -this due to devotion to Our Lady of Fatima and the regular recitation of the Rosary by large multitudes of the people. But the Brazilian episcopate was divided on the question of the socialist land reforms, which were the beginning of Communism. Many of them approved this reform but Bishop de Castro Mayer, along with Archbishop Sigaud, led the minority of bishops who opposed it, thus playing a central role in the defeat of Communism in Brazil.
In Rome he was again associated with Archbishop Sigaud in the formation of the Coetus lnternationalis Patrum, an organization of traditional bishops to counter the Modernists' attempts to take over the Council. This organization founded by Archbishop Lefebvre and presided over by Archbishop Sigaud, amongst other things, had a petition signed by over 450 bishops asking for the condemnation of Communism. It was Bishop de Castro Mayer who presented this petition to the Council, although to no avail.
for Pope John XXIII had authorized the signing of the nefarious Pact of Metz outside of Paris just prior to the opening of the Council, thus effectively silencing anti-communism from the official Church; the first act of open defiance against Our Lady and her warnings at Fatima.
Bishop de Castro Mayer was especially outstanding for his refusal to accept the post-conciliar changes in the liturgy. Until his forced retirement in 1981 the traditional Latin Mass was celebrated throughout his diocese, along with all the other traditional Catholic practices and devotions -and he was to continue this battle even when Pope John Paul II replaced him with Bishop Navarro. The majority of the priests in the Diocese of Campos (336 of them!) resisted the Modernist orientations of the new bishop and remained faithful. Dom Antonio was thus able to maintain a completely traditional "diocese" within a diocese, with around 40,000 faithful, which he organized in parallel chapels to protect the faithful from the enemies within.
His association with Archbishop Lefebvre strengthened further in 1983 when they wrote a joint Open Letter to the Pope in which they publicly exposed the proliferation of errors within the post-conciliar Church that all of their private efforts had until then done nothing to stop. His understanding of the gravity of the crisis of faith in the Church was so profound that he was to be found at Archbishop Lefebvre's side on the occasion of the episcopal consecrations of 1988. His so crucial presence was, as he himself explained, "to accomplish my duty: to make a public Profession of Faith."
Soon after this historic event he began to lose his physical strength and eventually died of respiratory failure on April 25, 1991 (exactly one month after Archbishop Lefebvre). He was buried on the following day, at 4:00 p.m., in a chapel crypt of Our Lady of Carmel in Campos.
This noble, heroic prelate was lionized in Dr. David Allen White's magnificent book Mouth of the Lion which chronicles his life and struggles and triumphs for upholding the True Faith in Brazil when all else was crumbling about him. Well should those priests today of Campos look to his courage when more freedoms which were guaranteed in perpetuity by Pope Saint Pius V are compromised and deprived by the Modernists who have brought about the Revolution and allowed the errors of Russia to spread throughout the world. May we all pray for this loyal Son of Christ and Our Lady and seek his intercession in these times of struggle and confusion that the Mystical Bride will be restored to her deserved beauty and we shall see the freedom and exaltation of Holy Mother Church and the fruits of his work bear a harvest of graces. We honor with a Crimson Cross Tower of Trent Trophy and declare this day Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer Day in all of Christendom.