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 MĆ¼ller 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!

MONSIGNOR AUGUSTINE HOEY, Obl.OSB, RIP

Of your charity pray of the repose of the soul of Monsignor Augustine Hoey, who died this morning,  a couple of months short of his 102nd birthday, a great friend and spiritual father to many members of our Order.

Our Lady of Walsingham, pray for him
Saint Augustine of Canterbury, pray for him
Requiescat in pace

FEAST OF SS ELIZABETH AND ZACHARY, PARENTS OF OUR HOLY PATRON


The Virgin and Child, with Saints Elizabeth and Zachary,
and the Infant Baptist, by Andrea Mantegna, 1490
APERTUM est os ZachariƦ, et prophetavit, dicens : benedictus Deus Israel.

Benedictus + Dominus Deus Israel; quia visitavit et fecit redemptionem plebi suae
et erexit cornu salutis nobis, in domo David pueri sui,
sicut locutus est per os sanctorum, qui a saeculo sunt, prophetarum eius,
salutem ex inimicis nostris, et de manu omnium, qui oderunt nos;
ad faciendam misericordiam cum patribus nostris, et memorari testamenti sui sancti,
iusiurandum, quod iuravit ad Abraham patrem nostrum, daturum se nobis,
ut sine timore, de manu inimicorum liberati, serviamus illi
in sanctitate et iustitia coram ipso omnibus diebus nostris.
Et tu, puer, propheta Altissimi vocaberis: praeibis enim ante faciem Domini parare vias eius,
ad dandam scientiam salutis plebi eius in remissionem peccatorum eorum,
per viscera misericordiae Dei nostri, in quibus visitabit nos oriens ex alto,
illuminare his, qui in tenebris et in umbra mortis sedent, ad dirigendos pedes nostros in viam pacis.
Gloria Patri et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto.
Sicut erat in principio et nunc et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

A SPIRITUAL CALL TO ARMS

This is the text of the meditation preached by Father Joseph Hamilton at the Order's Walsingham Pilgrimage last week. We are very fortunate to have some Chaplains who understand the true nature of the Order, Fr Hamilton is most certainly one of them. He has been a friend of the Order in England since long before his vocation to the sacred priesthood, and joined the Order as a layman so has himself lived our vocation of knight; we are grateful to him for coming back to us to assist us in our journey to holiness.

+J.M.J+

As you all know at some point in the 11th century just before the Battle of Hastings the Mother of God chose to reveal herself in this place, as she has done again and again down through the history of the Church as a pledge of her maternal care for us, her children, entrusted to her by her Son as He hung dying upon His cross. Walsingham, like Lourdes, Loreto, Pompeii, Fatima and Knock is treasured by the Catholic faith as a place closely associated with the presence of the Queen of Heaven. But unlike these other apparition sites Walsingham is older, much older, so much so, that if you were to go to the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth in Israel, you will see Walsingham listed as the first Marian apparition site outside of the Holy Land.

Who needs Game of Thrones for an epic tale, when just a mile from here in the slipper chapel you can read in Latin ‘signum magmun apparuit in caelo mulier amicta sole’ - There appeared a great sign in the Heavens, a woman clothed with the sun, standing on the crescent moon and crowned with twelve stars – and there is even a dragon! A great red dragon who drags a third of the stars of the sky from the heavens with his tail, and attacks the woman - but God sends his holy angels to protect her and bear her away – that crowned figure vested with the sun is the same as Our Lady of Walsingham, and the same as Our Lady of Philermo under which title she is venerated by the Order of Malta.

STIGMATA OF ST FRANCIS - PRAYERS FOR THE POPE

Tomorrow, Sunday, is the feast of the Stigmata of Saint Francis.  Let us offer our prayers especially today for the Holy Father, who took the holy name of this beloved saint, for his intentions and for his papacy.


SUFFRAGE OF SAINT FRANCIS
THIS MAN, despising the world, and triumphing over earthly things, laid up treasures in heaven by word and deed.
V. The Lord conducted him through the right ways.
R. And shows him the kingdom of God.
Let us pray :
O LORD Jesus Christ, who to inflame our hearts with the fire of your love when the world was becoming cold in spirit, renewed in the flesh of the most beloved Francis the sacred marks of your own Passion, graciously grant that by his merits and prayers we may steadfastly carry our cross and bring forth worthy fruits of penance. Who live and reign with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. 
PRAYER FOR THE HOLY FATHER
LET US PRAY for Francis our Pope; may the Lord preserve him, give him a long life, make him blessed upon the earth, and may the Lord not hand him over to the power of his enemies.
V. May your hand be upon your holy servant.
R. And upon your son whom you have anointed.
Let us pray :
O GOD, the Pastor and Ruler of all the faithful, look down, in your mercy, upon your servant, Francis, whom you have appointed to preside over your Church; and grant, we beseech you, that both by word and example, he may edify all those under his charge; so that, with the flock entrusted to him, he may arrive at length unto life everlasting. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Let us also ask the prayers for Pope Francis of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio), the most recent saint to have borne the holy stigmata of our Blessed Lord, and for our beloved Order and for the wellbeing of the whole Church.


Saint Francis of Assisi, pray for us and for the Holy Father.
Saint Pius of Pietrelcino, pray for us and for the Holy Father.

NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF WALSINGHAM

One of our confreres has proposed that we say a Novena to Our Lady of Walsingham, asking especially for Our Blessed Mother's intercession for the deliberations and reforms currently under way in our Order.  The Shrine at Walsingham has a full set of prayers, with devotions for every day, in preparation for the rededication of England as the Dowry of Mary in 2020, HERE. All readers of this blog are encouraged to join in this Novena. This Novena starts today, the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows (or of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary, depending on which calendar you follow), and finishes on the eve of the feast, which this year falls on Sunday 24th September.
The Walsingham shrine at Corpus Christi Maiden Lane.
Any other suitable prayers may be used, the follow simple suggestion is adapted from the Customary of the Ordinate of Our Lady of Walsingham, for those who do not have online access at the times they may wish to say the prayers.
MARY, great Mary, most blessed of all Marys, greatest among women, great Lady, great beyond all measure, I long to love you with all my heart, I want to praise you with my lips, I desire to venerate you in my understanding, I love to pray to you from my deepest being, I commit myself wholly to your protection. (from a prayer of S Anselm)
Responsory:
V. Blessed is the holy Virgin Mary, and most worthy of all praise*

through her has risen the Sun of Justice, Christ our God, by whom we are saved and redeemed.
V. Let us joyfully celebrate this feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary*
through her has risen the Sun of Justice, Christ our God, by whom we are saved and redeemed. 
Let us pray:

O LORD God, in the mystery of the incarnation Mary conceived Thy Son in her heart before she conceived Him in her womb: grant that, as we, Thy pilgrim people, rejoice in her patronage, we also may welcome Him into our hearts, and so, like her, be made a holy house fit for His eternal dwelling. Through Jesus Christ Our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be.  
Please pray also for the members of the Order in England who are in Walsingham on pilgrimage this weekend, and for those of Our Lords the Sick whom they serve.

Our Lady of Walsingham, pray for us.

INTERNATIONAL MILITARY ORDERS CONFERENCE

The 7th Military Orders Conference, founded by our late confrere Professor Jonathan Riley-Smith, took place last weekend at St John's Gate, Clerkenwell, site of the former English Priory.

We give below part of the text of the opening address by Fra' Ian Scott, 57th Grand Prior of England.
Model of the Grand Prior's regiment (see below)
Thank you Michael for inviting me this evening. Every time I come here I’m struck by the irony of being a guest in my own house.

The Order of Saint John of Jerusalem is generally thought to have been established around 1080 and the Grand Priory of England was established about 80 years later in 1140. Unfortunately, as Jonathan Riley-Smith pointed out to me, we were pipped to the post by the Venetians who established their Grand Priory a couple of years earlier – so we are the second oldest Grand Priory in the world.

After the reformation there were several gaps but Grand Priors were appointed right up to the beginning of the 19th century – sometimes with such old English names as Feretti, Geraldin, and Laparelli – no doubt the Scottish Laparellis! As you know, the Grand Priory was then re-established in 1993 with Fra’ Matthew Festing as the 55th Grand Prior and I am the 57th Grand Prior. 
A little known fact is that Henry Fitzjames, natural son of King James II was created Grand Prior of England by the bull of Grand Master Gregorio Caraffa in 1687 and was given the title Duke of Albemarle and Baron Romney by his father. He raised what was called the Grand Prior’s regiment, which saw service in the battles at Dublin in 1689, the Boyne in 1690, then at Limerick, Athlone and finally at Auchrin in 1691 which saw the defeat of the Jacobite army in Ireland. The regimental banner was a white flag with in the centre a picture of a burning city and beneath it the motto ‘The Fruits of Rebellion’. I sometime think that maybe this banner should be carried before me on ceremonial occasions.

On a different subject, I should like to mention that my confrere and friend Michael Hodges, Chancellor of the British Association, is currently working on a book listing all the Commanderies of the Order of Malta in Great Britain and I am looking forward to seeing this important work when it is published next year.

Finally, I should like to say how pleased the Grand Priory and the British Association are to support the 7th International Conference and to wish you all an enjoyable and instructive time over the next few days.

Fra’ Ian Scott
Grand Prior  

DR CONLON'S HOMILY FOR THE VICTORY MASS

We are pleased to be able to reproduce here the homily preached at the Victory Mass last Friday, and express our gratitude to Dr Antony Conlon, Chaplain of the Grand Priory, for celebrating the Mass and for preaching.


In the long history of the progress of human ideas misunderstanding of interaction and integration of the spiritual and the physical has been a major problem. A major heresy known as dualism hindered the spread of Christianity from the beginning and has continued in various forms to afflict religious experience to this day. Dualism may be described as a radical scepticism and disapproval regarding all things physical and material. This would include obviously the visible and tangible creation, the body and all its attributes, human organisations and objects fabricated or designed by human effort. Essentially, matter is evil and only spiritual things are good. One extreme form of dualism denies outright any possibility of good coming from or being associated with the body and bodily or man-made institutions or things.

NATIVITY OF OUR LADY - "VICTORY MASS"

"Sprung from a royal race, Mary shines forth to the world; the help of whose prayers we devoutly implore with heart and mind." (Antiphon 3 of Lauds and Vespers, 1962)
The Icon of Our Lady of Philermo, as she would have appeared 
annually on this day in Malta, wearing the festal 'dress' given by
Grand Master Villiers de l'Isle-Adam (16th to 18th centuries)
Today, the Birthday of our blessed Mother, the Order celebrates the great naval victory of the lifting of the siege of Rhodes in 1565, won at her intercession, known as the Victory Mass. This is also recognised as the feast of Our Lady of Philermo, the precious icon which the Knights found on Rhodes, and which has been their most prized devotion ever since.

High Mass will be sung at the Church of St James, Spanish Place at 6pm.  the celebrant will be the Chaplain to the Grand Priory, Dr Antony Conlon.
The Grand Priory's copy of the icon.
In this troubled age for our world and for the Church, let us ask for Our Blessed Lady's prayers once again to bring peace, in the words of the collect of the Mass.
Let us pray.
Bestow upon your servants, we beseech you O Lord, the gift of heavenly grace, that, as the child-bearing of the Blessed Virgin stood for the beginning of our salvation, so may the solemn feast of her Nativity bring about an increase of peace. Through our Lord Jesus Christ your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen.
"Whoever you are who understand that in the floods of this age you are walking among squalls and storms rather than on land, do do not turn your eyes from the brightness of this star, if you do not wish to be overwhelmed by the squalls. If gales of temptations arise, if you run aground on rocks of tribulations, look upon this star, call upon Mary. If you are tossed around by waves of pride, or ambition, or depression, or envy, look upon the star, call upon Mary. If anger or greed or the lure of the flesh strike the poor little ship of your mind, look upon Mary. If you are thrown into confusion by a great mass of sins, or bewildered by a sense of disgust in your conscience, or terrified by a horror of judgement, and you begin to be sucked down by a whirlpool of grief or an abyss of desperation, think upon Mary. 

In dangers, in tight corners, in dubious matters, think upon Mary, call upon Mary. Let her not leave your lips, let her not leave your heart, and, so that you may win the help of her prayer, do not abandon the example of her way of life. As long as you follow her, you have not strayed from the path; as long as you call upon her, you are not without hope; as long as you think upon her, you are not lost; if she holds you fast you do not fall to the ground; as she protects you, you are without fear; with her as your guide, you are not wearied; with her favour, you reach your destination and thus experience within yourself how fittingly it was said: 'And the Virgin's name was Mary'." 
(From the Homilies in praise of the Virgin Mother of S Bernard the Abbot, taken form the Office of Readings for The Holy Name of Mary, Sept 12th. Hat/tip Fr John Hunwicke)