From 'Mementoes of the Martyrs' : "...which provoked a Frenchman who was there to comment on the strange ways of the English, "those who are for the pope are hanged, those who are against him are burned:"                                               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.”                                                Brethren, Wake up!


HE The Chancellor at the Wardour organ keyboard

Last Saturday some two dozen members of the Order, Companions and guests gather at All Saints Chapel, Wardour Castle, where we were made very welcome by Lord and Lady Talbot of Malahide.

The day begin with Rosary, followed by Fr Gerard Deighan's first conference, on the subject of Temptation, based upon the text of Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac. Sung Mass of the feast of the day, St Joseph Calasanctius, and Sext followed, and then everyone repaired to the delightful setting of Pythouse Kitchen Garden for lunch, accompanied by the Order's wines from Magione.

The second conference was on the Sacrifice of the Mass, and based upon the same text as the morning conference, Fr Deighan developed the connection bewteen these two seemingly separate aspects of our Faith. Afterwards Lord Talbot gave a talk on the history of his Chapel.

Exposition and Benediction concluded the day, before we were invited to afternoon tea in her garden by Lady Talbot.

We are extremely grateful to our hosts, to Fr Deighan for coming from Dublin for our edification, and to those who organised this most fruitful day.

Some excellent photographs may be seen by clicking this link, or the picture above.


Beheading of St John by Sano di Pietro
Today is the feast of the Decollation of our Blessed Patron.

"Since the memory of blessed John the Baptist is not to be passed over cursorily, it is important that we should note who he was, and by whom, and for what cause, and how, and when he was slain. A just man is slain by adulterers, and the guilty passed sentence of death upon the judge. Further, the death of the Prophet was the reward of a dancing-girl. Lastly (which all the barbarians even would be likely to shudder at) the order to consummate the cruelty went forth amid feasting and conviviality; and from the banquet to the Prison, from the prison to the banquet, the obedient agents of this death-dealing and disgraceful act went to and fro. How great are the crimes confined in this single infamy!" (Homily of St Ambrose, Lesson iii from Matins.)

O God, of those that fought Thy fight,
Portion, and prize, and crown of light,
Break every bond of sin and shame
As now we praise Thy Martyr's name.

He recked not of the world's allure,
But sin and pomp of sin forswore:
Knew all their gall, and passed them by,
And reached the throne prepared on high.

Bravely the course of pain he ran,
And bare his torments as a man;
For love of Thee his blood outpoured,
And thus obtained the great reward.

With humble voice and suppliant word
We pray Thee therefore, holy Lord,
While we Thy Martyr's feast-day keep,
Forgive Thy loved and erring sheep.

Glory and praise for aye be done
To God the Father, and the Son,
And Holy Ghost, Who reign on high,
One God, to all eternity. Amen.
(Hymn for Vespers, St Peter of Verona 6th century, trans A McDougall)


To continue the pleasures of the holiday season, and remembering fondly our friends in the French Association of the Order who celebrate Saint John's Day in the Chapelle du Roi in the Palace of Versailles, we would encourage you to look at this splendid new 'virtual tour' of the Chapel, which merits several long minutes of your time.

The presentation, including panoramas and detailed photographs of the building, its collection and plate, among them items loaned by the Custodians of the Holy Land, having been donated to the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem by King Louis XIV in 1664, has been prepared by the Administrators of the Chateau de Versailles to celebrate the Tercentenary of the Royal Chapel of the Roi-Soleil.

Do not miss looking at the wonderful ceiling, painted by Antoine Coypel and Charles de la Fosse, and especially the vault over the Royal pew, painted with the Descent of the Holy Spirit.

The 'virtual tour' concludes with a short concert of sacred music composed for the Chapel, from Charpentier's Te Deum. Click on the photograph to begin.

Tomorrow is, of course, the Feast of Saint Louis IX, King of France.

O Saint Louis, priez pour nous.


It is with great pleasure that we learn that our friend James Bradley, who is now a deacon in the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, was privileged to be chosen by the Holy Father to function as deacon of the Gospel for the opening Mass of World Youth Day in Madrid last week. This is a great honour for England, and a great encouragement for our friends in the Ordinariate.

Photo courtesy Diocese of Arundel and Brighton
Readers of this blog will recall that the Reverend Mr Bradley was the photographer for the Meeting of the Professed of the Order in Merton College (click here) last year.

We wish him well in his continuing studies and forthcoming ordination to the Sacred Priesthood in the Ordinariate.

O Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for him.
Our Lady of Walsingham, pray for him.


We encourage our readers to look at this charming video of the Holy Father, in Madrid for World Youth Day.  Sadly the BBC does not permit the embedding of its clips. CLICK ON THE PICTURE.


The August day of Recollection will be given by The Very Reverend Gerard Deighan, of St. Kevin's Church, Dublin, on Saturday 27th August, at All Saints Chapel at Wardour Castle, through the kindness of the Lord Talbot of Malahide.

Many will recall that Fr Deighan was subdeacon at the Funeral Mass of the late Grand Prior in Edinburgh.

The programme for the day is as follows:
10.30am - Lauds

11am -  First Conference, followed by opportunity for Confession/recitation of the Rosary

12 noon - Missa Cantata (Feast of S Joseph Calasanctius.)


2.30pm - Second Conference

3.15pm - Vespers, Exposition and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament

There will be a brief talk about the church given by our host during the day.

Lunch is arranged at Pythouse Kitchen Garden, a local restaurant, (postcode SP3 6PA), at the cost of approximately £15 per head. It is absolutely imperative that anyone wishing to attend should email his intention to avoid complications and embarrassment. Please email:

The postcode for Wardour Castle is SP3 6RH. The 08.20am train from Waterloo will be met at Tisbury if you indicate by email that you so wish.

A additional levy of £10 per head will be taken to cover the costs of the day.

As ever, everyone is welcome, all members of BASMOM, other members of the Order, Companions and guests.


At this joyful time when the monks of Pluscarden Abbey celebrate the election of their new Abbot, Father Alselm Atkinson, to whom we extend out most sincere good wishes and prayers, and as the Church in Scotland celebrates the consecration and installation on the Feast of the Assumption of Abbot Hugh Gilbert, O.S.B., until now Abbot of Pluscarden, as the fifty-first and eleventh bishop of Aberdeen on 15th August 2011, it seems a good moment to air a short piece of historical footage, the consecration of Pluscarden Abbey on the 8th September, the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin, (Victory Day to the Order) in 1958.

The abbey, a ruin for 500 years, had been bought and given to the Benedictine Order by Lord Colum Crichton-Stuart, a noted Scottish Catholic layman, son of the 3rd Marquess of Bute, and therefore a cousin of our beloved and late Grand Prior, Fra' Fredrik Crichton-Stuart. The community was founded by Benedictine monks from Prinknash Abbey.

Fra' Freddy had a great and long-standing love of Pluscarden (he joined the Order of Malta when the restored Abbey was only five years old!) and made the great majority of his retreats there. Abbot Gilbert attended his funeral in Edinburgh.

Lovers of the Sacred Liturgy will be entranced by the simple beauty of the monastic vestments, and the grace and ease which attend these complex ceremonies, despite the fact that they were being undertaken in the setting of a ruin, and by people who had come together for the first time form many disparate places. Therein lies both the wonder and the benefit of our Catholic tradition. What we see here represents, in a way, Fra' Freddy's liturgical ideal, an unmannered and masculine religion; it shows the tradition from which he came, and the direction in which he had wished to lead the spiritual life of his Grand Priory.

We are indebted to Mr Martin Gardner, of A Wandering Oblate blog, for uploading this footage, and to the Abbot and community of Pluscarden for permitting it to be copied from their archive.


Due to the large number of people who are away on holiday, it has been decided that the Thursday evening Mass at Spanish Place will be cancelled for the next two weeks in August.  The 6pm Parish Mass is available to those members of the Order and Companions who might wish to attend.

The Masses will resume on Thursday 1st September.

Please note however, that the following week, 8th September, is the Nativity of Our Lady, the Victory Mass in the Order, and will be celebrated at the Conventual Church at 6.30.  There will consequently be no evening Mass at Spanish Place on that day.

Thereafter Masses will continue as normal at 6.45pm every week in the Lady Chapel at Spanish Place, followed by a reception in the Presbytery dining room.


"This day the spotless Virgin, who was defiled with no earthly sensuality, but trained to thoughts of heaven, returned not to dust, but, being herself a living heaven, took her place in the heavenly mansions. For from her the true life had flowed for all men, and how should she taste of death?" - from the Sermon of St John Damascene, taken from Matins of the feast.

Masses at St James's Spanish Place are celebrated at 7.15am, 11am (Tridentine), 12.30 and 6pm.

Our Lady Assumed into Heaven, pray for us.