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One of the greatest concerns during Pius V's pontificate was the mounting threat of the Turkish terror that roamed the Mediterranean. Christians cowered at the thought of the infidel threat. There seemed no hope whatsoever as the enemy moved in for the kill. But Pius was dauntless in his resolve that God would not allow Rome to fall and he formed the holy league with Venice and Spain. Along with the Papal States these allies helped soundly defeat the Turks in the Gulf of Corinth at what is called the Battle of Lepanto on October 7, 1571. It was an upset of tremendous proportions and from that point on Saracen domination on the seas and on land diminished greatly. But credit was not given to the military prowess of the holy league as media spinmeisters might do today were they covering the event. Rather, due credit was given to God and His Holy Mother through devotion to the Holy Rosary. It was Pius who rallied his flock to pray like never before and to pray the Rosary faithfully for "the Blessed Mother would not let us down if we truly trusted and believed" he conveyed to the faithful. They responded, Heaven responded and the rest, as they say, is history for the Battle of Lepanto has gone down as one of the greatest victories in the history of the Church. Pius V was quick to give credit where credit is due and dedicate that day to the Blessed Virgin, proclaiming it as the feast of Our Lady of Victory which was changed a few years later by his successor Pope Gregory XIII to be universally observed as the feast of the Holy Rosary.
These "case histories" verify the importance of prayer and the inevitability of opposition to God's One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Never has this been more evident than in these waning years of the second millennium. We speak of this in our on-going megaseries on the Church today in today's issue and we remind all that prayer is more important than ever. It is also no coincidence the way the liturgy is scheduled as we wind up April with the feast of St. Pius V, the great advocate of the Rosary and devotee of Mary and turn it over the next day to Saint Joseph the Worker, patron of the Church and protectress of Mary for it is this gentle, fatherly saint who ushers in the Month of Mary, the month devoted to devotion to her Holy Rosary that is capped with the feast of the Visitation on May 31. This year, in an odd twist of Providence, Pentecost Sunday falls on this same date. Many anticipate this could be the most appropriate time when the Holy Father proclaims the Fifth Dogma, known by many as the "Final Dogma" - that of officially declaring as dogma that Mary is Advocate, Co-Redemptrix and Mediatrix of all graces. This is something that was accepted at the Council of Trent which closed three years before Pius V became Pope, but it was Pius who implemented and perpetuated the beautiful truths of the Tridentine decrees. Now it just a matter of our present Holy Father putting the final, undeniable and indelible mark on the final dogma. When he does the flagship Holy Mother Church will be that much closer to securing safe harbor between the two pillars, but there will be one last typhoon of trouble as the great schism will rise from the swirling seas in a final great battle reminiscent of Lepanto. We'd do well to prepare now by heeding the advice of St. Pius V, St. Francis de Sales, St. John Bosco, our own John Paul II, countless other saints living and dead, and Our Lady, who at Medjugorje and elsewhere, urges us to "Pray! Pray! Pray!" Spiritual Warfare demands it!
"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you."
Prayer was the key and is so today. That is why the Blessed Mother of God constantly asks for our prayers in all her apparitions and messages; that is why the Church her Divine Son Jesus founded asks all the flock and shepherds to pray in unison; that is why the Rosary has been called the most powerful weapon we have in our spiritual arsenal. Our Lady said at Akita, Japan and in Amsterdam when she appeared once again as Our Lady of All Nations that the clergy was in turmoil with cardinals fighting cardinals, bishops opposing bishops, and that the only salvation was through prayer and by employing the laity - the infantry of the Church militant. Her words were "The clergy are too few. Mobilize the Laity!" Just as Pius V mobilized the holy league made up of lay warriors willing to do whatever it took for victory against insurmountable odds, so also John Paul II, along with Heavenly help from the Two Hearts, is calling the Church Militant to mount their artillery of prayer as the only defense against the threatening schism.
This schism is ready to explode and satan is fueling the fuse. The evil one hates to hear John Paul II's pronouncements of praise for Mary and her Divine Son and he shudders to think of this Polish Pope leading the Church into the next millennium. He hates to hear of talk of the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart and knows the consequences. He is in a serious state of self-denial for he knows his time is limited, but refuses to admit it. He will do anything he can to prevent the Holy Father from fulfilling this mission of leading the Church into the third millennium as well as this Pope, whose pontificate is dedicated to Our Lady through Totus Tuus and who many are expecting will declare the "Final Dogma" of Mary as Co-Redemptrix, Advocate and Mediatrix of all grace before Jubilee 2000. This is one of satan's greatest fears and so he is stirring up dissent among the faithful, preying on liberal fears and spreading the lies that such a declaration will do much damage to ecumenism and be a terrible divisive tool that will tear the Church apart. That is exactly what lucifer wants - to destroy the Church and he is clever. He thrives on turning one against another in distrust and the liberals and modernists, blinded by their own agendas, are buying into it, just as so many are buying into the heresy that Christ is not truly present in the Holy Eucharist but just a symbol. This is Protestant from the roots and needs to be chopped off there. The Catholic teaching, the infallible teaching has always been and ever will be that Jesus is present Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in the Blessed Eucharist confected from bread and wine at the Consecration during the Canon of the Mass. Yet so many liberal nuns, deacons and pastoral administrators are trying to take charge that they have believed this heresy and are either knowingly or unknowingly spreading it to the masses. No wonder the majority of faithful are confused, no wonder these nuns and deacons are confused. They have been taught this in the liberal scholastic circles and have accepted whatever their teachers told them at face value without questioning their sources because it is easier that way than knowing the true teachings of Holy Mother Church and challenging anything that diverts from the Dogmas, Doctrines and Traditions. So many of these teachers are of a liberal, radical bent that it is finally causing serious concern among bishops who are beginning to see the light, opting to send their candidates to schools who teach a more orthodox curriculum not just for the sake of the future of the Church, but, sadly, to avoid the confrontations with traditional, loyal Catholics who are besieging the bishops in many diocese about the aberrations that are going on right under their noses. Fortunately many bishops are hearing the message and even amending their own liberal ways, but there are still too many who cling to the modernist notion and the lie that John Paul II is taking the Church in the wrong direction. Blinded by their own agendas, they have forgotten that powerful weapon - the Rosary and the Holy Eucharist. In dioceses where the Bishops have intensified devotion to the Eucharist with adoration and encouraged recitation of the Rosary, vocations are beginning to flourish and the faithful are returning in droves. Not only that but donations and tithing is up. That has to wake up the bishops who too often put so much credence on the bottom line.
But the bottom line is really not how much money is accrued, but how many souls are saved. Like the times of Catherine and Pius V, God gives extra strength to the laity as we shall see in our next installment when we shall cite a few more examples of how the Laity mobilized to fend off threats against Holy Mother Church.
I ask you to renew the Way of the Cross in your hearts. I ask you to make this the hallmark of your Lent, as an outward sign of commitment, that each one may be joined to the Sacred Passion and my Son's Infinite Mercy.
I solemnly tell you that it is necessary to walk, to live the Way of the Cross for you have entered the time of great tribulation. The beast of hell is like a beast who appears slumbering but who lies in wait to strike. The beast will strike and no nation shall be spared. The evils of society which you perceive to be dead are sleeping beasts, ready to devour. Even as I speak to you, the evil one maneuvers his army into more intricate formations to snatch all of you from God. He, the evil one, weaves a complicated web of darkness. But he shall lose for the Triune Divinity's way is straight, smooth and simple. God's laws are not complicated, intricate. In your hearts these words ring Truth, and life then is one straightforward journey toward Celestial Light.
Put aside all trappings of satan's half-truths, his disguised schemes. Commit yourselves to Jesus, my Son, through my Immaculate Heart and pray for the unity of all people through the grace of the Holy Spirit.
Be vigilant, steadfast, strong. I remain with you. I bless you. Thank your for responding to my Call!
Yes, you gather in this My House to hear of My Mother's Messages. Do you realize this is My Will? Do you understand better that it is I, God, Who desires respect and honor for My Holy Mother? It is She, The Mother, who brings so many of My children to Me. Would you be here, in My presence, were it not for My Mother?
My little ones, I ask you to listen well to the words of My Mother, for they are My words and My Infinite Graces and Merits which She, the Eternal Virgin, dispenses. Yes, Eternal, for before time began She was known to the Trinity.
Dear little ones, the unity of My Church is about to begin. You will see the much- needed purification of My Church as the great schism is fulfilled. My little ones, listen well, for I, Jesus Christ, Son of God, tell you to gird yourselves with ardent faith, to wear always the armor of Christ which is Love, and to receive now the Sign of My Cross which all who are My children wear. Hear Me. Love Me. Obey Me. Pray and let My Mother guide you, for great shall be the signs of the Power and Victory of God in the universe.
Read Sacred Scripture and pray for the grace of the Holy Spirit. Rejoice, My children, as My Mother's Heart Triumphs. Help My Mother. Pray and receive the Sacraments.
I, Jesus Christ, bless you and remain with you. Will you remain with Me?
Saint Louis IX, King of France, ransoms his crusaders and himself in a deal with the Saracens at Daimetta, allowing the freed troops to go to the Holy Land.
Christopher Columbus receives his commission for exploration of the New World from Queen Isabella of Spain.
Birth of Franaois de Montmorency Laval who would go on to become the first Bishop of Canada.