Saint John-Paul II wrote: "The fact that one can die for the faith shows that other demands of the faith can also be met."                                                 Cardinal Müller says, “For the real danger to today’s humanity is the greenhouse gases of sin and the global warming of unbelief and the decay of morality when no one knows and teaches the difference between good and evil.”                                                  St Catherine of Siena said, “We've had enough exhortations to be silent. Cry out with a thousand tongues - I see the world is rotten because of silence.”                                                  Chesterton said, “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.”

PRAYER REQUEST!

Of your charity, please pray these coming days for a young Companion of the Order of Malta who has cancer and is undergoing treatment.

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.
Our Lady of Philermo, pray for us.
St John the Baptist, pray for us.
Blessed Gerard, pray for us.
St Peregrine, Patron Saint of cancer sufferers, pray for us.

THE TRUTH SHALL MAKE YOU FREE!

Last Saturday saw the Mass for the feast of our holy founder, Blessed Gerard, which was held at St James's Spanish Place. The Choir of St James's, under the glorious direction of Iestyn Evans, sang Victoria's Missa O quam gloriosum est regnum, Hans Leo Hassler's Cantata Domino and Ave verum by Byrd. Dr Antony Conlon, chapel of the Grand Priory, preached the homily given below; the title of his talk is that given above this post. Dr Conlon addresses the problems in the Church today, and the necessary disposition of the Soul, if we are to achieve Salvation. The Mass was followed, as every year, by Veneration of the jaw-bone Relic.

Sometimes it is best to be blunt. The turnout of members of the Order at the Mass was pathetic; once a year we celebrate the sanctity of the man without whom there would be no Order of Malta, the man who gave us our twin charism of Tuitio Fidei et Obsequium Pauperum. He has a feast day conveniently situated outside the holiday periods. It is very disappointing that a large number, indeed the great majority, of knights and dames (some of whom will indeed have had genuine reasons), are somehow unable to be present, to support the work of the Order spiritually and collectively. It is equally unkind to our guests who make the effort to attend, and to the young Companions who come to serve the Mass and assist at the lunch reception.

The picture above shows Blessed Gerard receiving Godfrey de Bouillon, King of Jerusalem, painted by Antoine de Favray (1706-98), it hangs in the Fine Art Museum in Valetta.
While thinking over what I might preach about in my homily today I came across this text from Pope St Gregory the Great “A religious leader should be careful in deciding when to remain silent and be sure to say something useful when deciding to speak. In this way he will avoid saying things that would be better not said, or leaving unsaid things that ought to be said. For just as thoughtless remarks can lead people into error, so ill-advised silence can leave people in their error, when they could have been shown where they were wrong. Negligent religious leaders are often afraid to speak freely and say what needs to be said – for fear of losing favour with people. As Truth Himself says, they are certainly not guarding their flock with the care expected of a shepherd but are acting like hirelings, because hiding behind a wall of silence is like taking flight at the approach of the wolf.”  

There is both wisdom and warning in these words and those of us with the responsibility for the spiritual as well as the material welfare of others ought to ponder them well. In deciding when and how to speak one has always to make every effort to be in possession of the truth regarding the matter. Where questions of faith are concerned we are guided and supported by teaching of the Church. That comes to us in a variety of forms. The Holy Scriptures remind and record for us the revelation of God and its personification and presentation in Jesus our Lord. On the level of explanation and guidance the Catechism is a compendium of references regarding definitions and doctrines which regulate and record aspects of belief and behaviour defining and identifying a Catholic. It helps to simplify and render accessible the more extended statements and pronouncements of the magisterium of the Church. Whatever he or she may be led to believe to the contrary, a literate adult member of the faithful has no excuse for ignorance of the true position of the Church on any matter relating to faith and morals. Though one may plead personal weakness or inability to grasp the full implication of a subject, we may not take refuge in failure to discover exactly what the Catechism says about it. 

As believers truth demands our unconditional assent. Still, our faith as well as our confidence can be challenged in ways that may leave us shaken and disoriented. Assailed on all sides by information and communication on various levels we can’t always be sure either of the veracity or the source of the data. It can be very difficult at times to verify in every case the accuracy and reliability of accounts, attributed actions or statements, or reports. Not every communication we receive or text that we read reflects the reality of either the situation it describes or the reliability of the source from whence it came. At the same time, irrefutable evidence of wrongdoing and immorality can’t be ignored or dismissed. Current issues present a serious test of faith to all of us as well as a weapon of assault to the enemies of our religion. I freely admit to you that in recent times both my faith and my loyalty have been and are frequently tested by the onslaught of confusing reports, and allegation and counter-allegation accessible at the click of a mouse. There can be no doubt that the standards of integrity, decency and honesty that the faithful as well as the secular world are entitled to expect from all in positions of leadership in the Church have been proved recently to have been betrayed and in some cases abandoned altogether. It is a minority but it is sufficiently grave and high placed to represent a crisis of leadership. This puts us all in the front line of fire and for some this has led to complete disillusion while for others it has weakened their trust and lessened respect.  

It needs to be admitted that this not the first time that a situation of this magnitude of complexity and misconduct has overtaken us. The unmistakable difference between those epochs and our own is instant global communication. It’s true that 500 years ago the printing press assured the success of the revolt against doctrine and worship caused in part by lack of reform in the Church. The result of hostile news as well as evident misconduct in our own time is not difficult to discern. Today, even areas once considered among the most loyal and devout have succumbed to secularism and sometimes apostasy.  It behoves us – especially in our capacity as a fraternity of charity embracing loyal defence of the faith as well as care of those in need regardless of their origin or status not to retreat from the field of conflict even when it is at its most enervating. 

Above all, we have tried and tested spiritual resources to call upon and employ. We should seek to offer our worship, our works and our woes in union with our Blessed Lord and Saviour to ask for that recovery of integrity and humility whose neglect has led to the scale of impropriety now being witnessed. True reform comes about as a conversion of minds and hearts after guilt has been acknowledged, remorse demonstrated and appropriate penance done.  

As part of our daily routine of prayer we should begin again to recite the prayer to S Michael, not doubting its efficacy or the realisation that all the evils which seek to undermine and God’s work of salvation stem from Satan.  
May our union with Christ and His Holy Mother as well as the patronage of St John Baptist and our Holy Founder Blessed Gerard, keep us in one mind and aid us in our endeavours. Amen.
Our Lady of Philermo, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Blessed Gerard, pray for us.

COLLECTS FOR THE ROSARY MYSTERIES - GLORIOUS

We present here the last of the set of Rosary Prayers from the Manual of Prayers (see previous two posts).

THE GLORIOUS MYSTERIES 
For Wednesdays and Saturdays throughout the year, 
and the Sundays from Easter till Advent. 

I. THE RESURRECTION 
Let us contemplate in this mystery, how our Lord 
Jesus Christ triumphed gloriously over death, and 
rose again on the third day. 

Our Father. Hail Mary, ten times. 
Glory be to the Father. 

Let us pray. 
O GLORIOUS Virgin Mary, by that un- 
speakable joy which was thine at the resur- 
rection of thy Son, obtain of him, for us, that our 
hearts may never go astray after the false joys of 
this world, but may be ever employed in the pursuit 
of the true and solid joys of heaven. Amen. 

II. THE ASCENSION OF CHRIST INTO HEAVEN 
Let us contemplate in this mystery, how our Lord 
Jesus Christ, forty days after his resurrection, 
ascended into heaven, attended by angels, before 
the eyes of his holy Mother and of his holy apostles 
and disciples. 

Our Father. Hail Mary, ten times. 
Glory be to the Father. 

Let us pray. 
O MOTHER of God, comfort of the afflicted, 
as thy beloved Son, when he ascended into 
heaven, lifted up his hands and blessed his apostles, 
so lift up thy pure hands to him for us, that we 
may enjoy his blessing and thine also, both on earth 
and hereafter in heaven. Amen. 

III. THE DESCENT OF THE HOLY GHOST 
ON THE APOSTLES 
Let us contemplate in this mystery, how our Lord 
Jesus Christ, being seated at the right hand of God, 
sent, as he had promised, the Holy Ghost upon his 
apostles, who had returned to Jerusalem, and had 
continued in prayer with the Blessed Virgin Mary, 
expecting the performance of his promise. 

Our Father. Hail Mary, ten times. 
Glory be to the Father. 

Let us pray. 
O SACRED Virgin, tabernacle of the Holy 
Ghost, we beseech thee, obtain by thy inter- 
cession, that this Comforter, whom thy beloved 
Son sent down upon his apostles, may teach us 
the true way to salvation, and make us walk in 
the paths of virtue and good works. Amen. 

IV. THE ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED 
VIRGIN MARY INTO HEAVEN 
Let us contemplate in this mystery, how the 
glorious Virgin, twelve years after the resurrection 
of her son, passed out of this world unto him, and, 
accompanied by the holy angels, was assumed body 
and soul into heaven. 

Our Father. Hail Mary, ten times. 
Glory be to the Father. 

Let us pray. 
MOST prudent Virgin, who entering the 
heavenly palace, didst fill the holy angels 
with joy, and man with hope, intercede for us at 
the hour of our death ; that we may be delivered 
from the illusions and temptations of the devil, and 
pass joyfully out of this temporal state into the 
happiness of eternal life. Amen. 

V. THE CORONATION OF THE BLESSED 
VIRGIN MARY IN HEAVEN, AND THE 
GLORY OF ALL THE SAINTS 
Let us contemplate in this mystery, how the glori- 
ous Virgin Mary, to the great jubilee and exultation 
of the whole court of heaven, was crowned by her 
Son with the brightest diadem of glory, and how 
all the saints rejoice with her in bliss. 

Our Father. Hail Mary, ten times. 
Glory be to the Father. 

Let us pray. 
O GLORIOUS Queen of heaven, accept this 
Rosary which we offer as a crown of roses 
at thy feet, and grant, gracious Lady, that our hearts 
may be inflamed with desire to see thee in thy 
glory, a desire so ardent that it may never die in 
us until it gives place to its happy fruition. Amen. 

SALVE REGINA 
HAIL, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, hail, 
our life, our sweetness, and our hope! To 
thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve ; 
to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and 
weeping in this vale of tears. Turn, then, most 
gracious advocate, thy eyes of mercy towards us ; 
and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed 
fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, 
O sweet Virgin Mary. 

V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God. 
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. 

Let us pray. 
O GOD, whose only-begotten Son, by his life, 
death, and resurrection, has purchased for us 
the rewards of eternal life; grant, we beseech thee, 
that, meditating upon these mysteries, in the most 
holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may 
both imitate what they contain, and obtain what 
they promise. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen. 

The painting at the top shows Pentecost by El Greco,
form the collection of the Prado.

COLLECTS FOR THE ROSARY MYSTERIES - DOLOROUS

We present here the second of the set of Rosary Prayers from the Manual of Prayers (see previous post)

THE DOLOROUS OR SORROWFUL MYSTERIES 
For Tuesdays and Fridays throughout the year, and the 
Sundays in Lent. 

I. THE PRAYER AND BLOODY SWEAT OF 
OUR BLESSED SAVIOUR IN THE GARDEN 
Let us contemplate in this mystery, how our Lord 
Jesus Christ was so afflicted for us in the Garden of 
Gethsemani, that his body was bathed in a sweat 
of blood, which ran down in great drops upon the 

Our Father. Hail Mary, ten times. 
Glory be to the Father. 

Let us pray. 
MOST holy Virgin, more than martyr, by 
that ardent prayer, which thy Son poured 
forth to his Father in the garden, intercede for us, 
that our passions may be reduced to the obedience 
of reason, and that we ourselves may always be 
subject to the will of God. Amen. 

II. THE SCOURGING OF OUR BLESSED 
LORD AT THE PILLAR 
Let us contemplate in this mystery, how our Lord 
Jesus Christ, before being delivered up by Pilate to 
the fury of the Jews, was cruelly scourged at a pillar. 

Our Father. Hail Mary, ten times . 
Glory be to the Father. 

Let us pray. 
O MOTHER of God, overflowing fountain 
of patience, through those stripes which 
thy Son endured for us ; obtain of him the grace 
that we may know how to mortify our rebellious 
senses, and avoid all occasions of sin. Amen. 

III. THE CROWNING OF OUR BLESSED 
SAVIOUR WITH THORNS 
Let us contemplate in this mystery, how cruel 
ministers of Satan plaited a crown of sharp thorns, 
and pressed it on the sacred head of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Our Father. Hail Mary, ten times. 
Glory be to the Father. 

Let us pray. 
O MOTHER of our eternal Prince and King 
of Glory, by those sharp thorns, wherewith 
his most holy head was pierced, we beseech thee 
that we may be delivered, through thy intercession, 
from all motions of pride, and, in the day of 
judgement, from that confusion which our sins deserve. Amen. 

IV. JESUS CARRYING HIS CROSS 
Let us contemplate in this mystery, how our Lord 
Jesus Christ, being sentenced to die, patiently bore 
the cross which was laid upon his shoulders for his 
greater torment and ignominy. 

Our Father. Hail Mary, ten times. 
Glory be to the Father. 

Let us pray. 
O HOLY Virgin, example of patience, by the 
painful carrying of the cross, in which thy 
Son our Lord Jesus Christ bore the heavy weight 
of our sins, obtain for us, through thy intercession, 
courage and strength to follow his steps and to 
bear our cross after him, to the end of our lives. Amen. 

V. THE CRUCIFIXION AND DEATH OF OUR LORD 
Let us contemplate in this mystery, how our Lord 
Jesus Christ, being come to Mount Calvary, was 
stripped of his clothes, and his hands and feet were 
nailed to the cross, on which he died in the 
presence of his afflicted Mother. 

Our Father. Hail Mary, ten times. 
Glory be to the Father. 

Let us pray. 
O HOLY Mary, Mother of God, as the body 
of thy beloved Son was extended for us on 
the cross, so may we desire to be daily more and 
more generous in his service, and may our hearts be 
wounded with compassion for his bitter sufferings; 
and thou, O Blessed Virgin, graciously help us, 
by thy powerful intercession, to accomplish the 
work of our salvation. Amen. 

SALVE REGINA 
HAIL, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, hail, our 
life, our sweetness, and our hope ! To thee do 
we cry, poor banished children of Eve ; to thee do we 
send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale 
of tears. Turn, then, most gracious advocate,thy 
eyes of mercy towards us ; and after this our exile, 
show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. 
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary. 

V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God. 
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. 

Let us pray. 
O GOD, whose only-begotten Son, by his life, 
death, and resurrection, has purchased for us 
the rewards of eternal life ; grant, we beseech thee, 
that, meditating upon these mysteries, in the most 
holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may 
both imitate what they contain, and obtain what 
they promise. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen. 

The painting at the top shows the Madonna giving the Rosary to St Dominic, 
by Lorenzo Lotto of 1539, in the church of San Nicolo, Cingoli, Italy 

COLLECTS FOR THE ROSARY MYSTERIES - JOYFUL

Encouraged by the popular response of the Hymn for the Holy Rosary posted on the feast-day, HERE, we offer below, today and on the two succeeding days, the traditional liturgical prayers for the Mysteries of the Holy Rosary, so rarely found published in modern books. These were much loved by our confrère Pope Saint John XXIII, who recited the rosary daily, kneeling, with great humility. By complete coincidence today is the celebration of the feast of this saintly Pope.

The meditations and prayers allow us to focus more clearly on the content of each mystery.  There is no right and wrong way to pray the Rosary, and these prayers may not suit everyone, not would one be expected to use them reguarly. Other methods, such as the traditional intentions and fruits of each mystery, which are much more widely available, are of great value, as is the German practice of troping the Hail Mary in the middle with a Christological description of the mystery, which used regularly may be found very effective; this too is available in modern publications. Highly commended by some spiritual directors are sets of pictures of each mystery which allow the mind to imagine the scene free from the harness of words, both the great Mgr Augustine Hoey and our late chaplain Canon MacDonald recommended this practice. Perhaps the most important thing is to do whatever suits one’s character, and to avoid sticking to a method which turns over time into simple repetition. The prayers should free the mind, not chain it.

These texts, then, are taken from “The Manual of Prayers: Authorized by the Hierarchy of England and Wales for Congregational Use”, published by Burnes, Oates and Washbourne, 1953, with an Inprimatur by Bernard Cardinal Griffin.  They are given here without alteration, they may therefore be freely used in public, even in any church before the Blessed Sacrament exposed, without any further permissions.

THE JOYFUL MYSTERIES 
Usually recited on Mondays and Thursdays throughout 
the year, and the Sundays from Advent to Quinquagesima. 

I. THE ANNUNCIATION 
Let us contemplate in this mystery, how the angel 
Gabriel saluted our Blessed Lady with the title, “full 
of grace,” and declared to her the incarnation of our 
Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

Our Father. Hail Mary, ten times. 
Glory be to the Father. 

Let us pray. 
O HOLY Mary, Queen of virgins, through 
the mystery of the incarnation of thy beloved 
Son our Lord Jesus Christ, by which our salvation 
was so happily begun ; obtain for us, through thy 
intercession, light to be aware of the greatness 
of the benefit which he has bestowed on us, in 
becoming our brother, and in making thee, his 
Mother, our Mother also. Amen. 

II. THE VISITATION 
Let us contemplate in this mystery, how the 
Blessed Virgin Mary, understanding from the 
angel that her cousin St Elizabeth had conceived, 
went with haste into the mountains of Judea to 
visit her, and remained with her three months. 

Our Father, Hail Mary, ten times. 
Glory be to the Father. 

Let us pray. 
O HOLY Virgin, spotless mirror of humility, 
by that charity which moved thee to visit thy 
holy cousin, obtain for us, through thy inter- 
cession, that our hearts being visited by thy holy 
Son and freed from all sin, we may praise and give 
thanks for ever. Amen. 

III. THE BIRTH OF OUR SAVIOUR 
JESUS CHRIST IN BETHLEHEM 
Let us contemplate in this mystery, how the 
Blessed Virgin Mary, when the time of her de- 
livery was come, brought forth our Redeemer 
Jesus Christ at Bethlehem, and laid him in a manger, 
because there was no room for him in the inn. 

Our Father. Hail Mary, ten times. 
Glory be to the Father. 

Let us pray. 
MOST pure Mother of God, through thy 
virginal and joyful delivery, whereby thou 
gavest unto the world thy only Son our Saviour ; 
we beseech thee, obtain for us, through thy inter- 
cession, the grace to lead such pure and holy lives 
that we may become worthy to sing without 
ceasing the mercies of thy Son and his benefits to 
us through thee. Amen. 

IV. THE PRESENTATION OF OUR BLESSED 
LORD IN THE TEMPLE 
Let us contemplate in this mystery, how the 
Blessed Virgin Mary, on the day of her purifica- 
tion, presented the child Jesus in the Temple, 
where holy Simeon, devoutly giving thanks to 
God, received him into his arms. 

Our Father. Hail Mary, ten times. 
Glory be to the Father. 

Let us pray. 
O HOLY Virgin, admirable pattern of obedi- 
ence, who didst present in the temple the 
Lord of the temple; obtain for us, of thy beloved 
Son, that with Simeon and Anna we may praise 
and glorify him for ever. Amen. 

V. THE FINDING OF THE CHILD JESUS 
IN THE TEMPLE 
Let us contemplate in this mystery, how the 
Blessed Virgin Mary, after having lost her beloved 
Son in Jerusalem, and sought him for the space of 
three days, found him at last, on the third day, 
discoursing with the doctors in the temple. 

Our Father. Hail Mary, ten times. 
Glory be to the Father. 

Let us pray. 
BLESSED Virgin, more than martyr in thy 
sufferings, and the comfort of such as are 
afflicted; by that unspeakable joy wherewith thy 
soul was ravished at finding thy Son in the temple, 
obtain of him that we may seek him, and find him 
in the holy Catholic Church, and be never more 
separated from him. Amen. 

SALVE REGINA 
HAIL, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, hail, 
our life, our sweetness, and our hope! To 
thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve ; 
to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and 
weeping in this vale of tears. Turn, then, most 
gracious advocate, thy eyes of mercy towards us; 
and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed 
fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, 
O sweet Virgin Mary. 

V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God. 
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. 

Let us pray. 
O GOD, whose only-begotten Son, by his life, 
death, and resurrection, has purchased for us 
the rewards of eternal life ; grant, we beseech thee, 
that, meditating upon these mysteries, in the most 
holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may 
both imitate what they contain, and obtain what 
they promise. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen. 

The painting at the top shows the Madonna of the Rosary by Caravaggio, 
in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna 

VICTORY FOR COMMON SENSE

The Truth has finally been allowed to shine through in the unseemly battle between the Powers of Darkness and those who ask the simple right to state the eternal Truth without hindrance. We may hope that this ruling of the United Kingdom Supreme Court will colour future judgements where political ideologies strive to exclude God from our society.

This country has a bad history on religious intolerance, as the Martyrs testify, and we should guard, in an age in which many of us were brought up to believe was civilised and tolerant, against the constant attempts to undermine justice. Those naive days are past.

The work in our own Order of Tuitio Fidei, so often close to being under threat, as the young seem to be so much more aware that those who precede them, will be greatly assisted by this ruling. Deo Gratias!


Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy upon us.
Our Lady of Philermo, pray for us.
Blessed Gerard, pray for us.

NEXT SATURDAY BLESSED GERARD AND ROSARY CRUSADE

OUR HOLY FOUNDER'S FEAST
Next Saturday, 13th October, is the feast of our holy Founder, Blessed Gerard. A solemn sung Mass will be celebrated by the Chaplain of the Grand Priory, Dr Antony Conlon, at the Church of St James Spanish Place, W1U 3QY, at 11.30 am. 

Mass will be followed by a buffet lunch in the Social Centre in the crypt. A contribution of £20 will be asked to cover the cost of food and wine. Please email Caroline de la Force ,basmom(AT)btconnect.com, substituting @ in the usual way, if you are planning to stay for lunch. 

ROSARY CRUSADE OF REPARATION
At 1.45pm the Rosary Crusade of Reparation leaves Westminster Cathedral, SW1P 1QW, to walk to the Brompton Oratory for solemn Benediction of the Most August Sacrament. 

While historically the reparation is for sins against the Blessed Sacrament committed in this country since the Reformation, this year more than ever it is important to attend in reparation for the vile sins committed also against Our Lord’s Sacred Body in the Church. Only by prayer and fasting will reparation truly be made, and this procession of thousands is a wonderful witness both to the world and the Church. Please be ready vested to form up in the procession by 1.45pm at the latest. 

Would Knights and Dames please inform Caroline de la Force (as above) if they are planning to attend the Procession. Choir-dress will be worn for both the Mass and the Rosary Crusade, it has been very firmly requested that everyone should robe for the latter, to make clear the formal participation and witness of the Order of Malta at a time when our public witness is so very important. Indeed if we are not prepared to make this kind of public witness we might do well to question our entire disposition towards to the Order.