Sunday, 27 January 2013
'Dies Gloriae'*, V: From Saint Angela Merici To Saint Jeanne de Lestonnac -- And Candlemas

Here at NER we don't just draw your attention to the latest violent outrage committed by the Mohammedans (and Heaven knows that there are enough of those every day to keep us occupied all our waking hours - you can find details at this site), we also try to point up various aspects of our cultures. We do that because one of the things that the Mohammedans always, erroneously and boringly, bang on about at great length is the lack of any real culture in our societies -- so much so that we now have many of our own people believing that that is, in fact, the case. The devil-worshippers do this in order to undermine, certainly, but they also do it because they cannot slough off their satanic, tiny little, highly restricted, belief-inspired view of the world and so cannot see (disregarding the fact that they don't want to see, anyway) the wealth of our cultural and spiritual lives and the poverty of theirs. This attack is often subtle and we must always counter-attack. We at NER do so by writing about as many of the facets of our cultures as we can, and as we are interested in and knowledgeable about.

On the splash page each month you can find links to a host of different articles by many different writers about all sorts of things connected to the peoples we all are and the lives we all lead. We hope that you find our articles entertaing, stimulating, occassionaly amusing, and informative and that they provide you with some ammunition to help you defend your ways of life against the incursions and encroachments of the demon-polluted Mohammedans. We hope the same, too, for all our posts at this our blog - The Iconoclast.

In this series of posts1 at The Iconoclast, and in many other posts2 here as well, I have set out to demonstrate just what one little aspect of our shared Judeo-Christian enlightenment heritage actually is and what it means -- that we are indissolubly linked to a past that contains some remarkable men and women who fought in their times this very fight that we find ourselves in today. I believe that we can draw inspiration from the examples of those people's lives and I have chosen to bring to your attention, day by day, just a few of them that I know about who are saints in the Christian tradition and religion. Of course, there were many, many other brave souls that I don't know anything about -- I can only write about the things of which I know. That said, I hope that you can all draw some inspiration, and, when necessary, some consolation, from my personal NER kalendar of saints.

However, protecting and defending our societies from the nauseating Mohammedan propaganda (and lies and doublespeak) takes place in many different ways. For example, it is necessary to transmit our culture to our young. It is also necessary to educate those in our societies who have fallen into the trap of thinking that our free, democratic, culturally and religiously rich societies contain nothing of worth. At the same time as we are undertaking those two things we also have to counter the efforts of some in our midst who actively pursue the destruction of our free democracies (usually, but not invariably, those on the political left) many of whom have wormed their way into very important positions in our political establishments.

Those of us who are Christian, or who engage with any belief system other than the devil-given Mohammedan cult, also have to spend time defending our beliefs. By that I do not mean that we have to defend ouselves against those who engage in the civilised debate that has always gone on in our free societies, but that we have to do so against the hysterical outbursts and violent intimidations of the Mohammedans. They wage violent, physical warfare against all other faiths wherever they can and whenever they think that they can get away with it3 (and see this site for just a few details).

One of the keys to defending ourselves is education. We have to provide a non-stop stream of information in every medium that we can (NER is part of that), and we have to educate our young. We cannot afford for one moment to leave the education of our young in the hands of people whom we don't trust and whose views we cannot respect. The state education systems in all our countries are deeply flawed and compromised by the willingness of those who manage them, and quite a number of those who teach in them, to surrender to the dominant, but false, politically left-wing meme. It corrupts our children's views of their societies and leaves them powerless to resist those who would deprive them of their cultures and their histories and, as the left really want to do, deprive them of their freedoms also.

So it's hardly surprising that my chosen saint for the twenty-seventh of January is Saint Angela Merici. She was born on the twenty-first of March in AD1474 at Desenzano on Lake Garda in Italy and died in the January of 1540 at Brescia in Italy. She was interred in the church of Saint Afra, which is also in Brescia.

In 1535 she gathered together a group of girl students and began what would become the Institute of Saint Ursula (the Ursuline Sisters). It was founded to teach children and it began by teaching them their religion and a little later the curriculum expanded to include secular topics. Her first schools were in the Italian cities of Desenazno and Brescia. She did this because she was horrified at the ignorance that she found amongst the young, not only of their religion but also of ordinary everyday things pertaining to life and living.

Back in the fifteenth century Saint Angela saw, and was concerned about, the dangers posed by the ignorance of the young about the fundamentals of the cultural and religious world in which they lived so she did something about it. Today we face a similar problem and we must do what we can about it. Saint Angela, who lived at a time when life was far more difficult than it is for us today, didn't give up and neither should we. Let us draw inspiration from her example.

For the twenty-eighth of January I'm going to continue the idea that education is important and ask you to memorialise with me Saint Agatha Lin Zao. She was born in 1817 at Ma-Tchang in China and she was a teacher at a Christian school. Saint Agatha was beheaded in Maokin (Maokou) in the province of Guizhou on January the twenty-eighth in 1858 because she refused to renounce her faith and to stop teaching. (Two other teachers were beheaded with her -- Saint Jerome Lu Tingmei and Saint Laurence Wang Bing -- and the three are collectively known as the Martyrs of Qingyanzhen, which is in Guizhou also, and they are memorialised on this day as well).

Once again we see a teacher (three of them in this case) who wouldn't give up and refused to be bullied or coerced into doing so -- even to the point of death. If she could do it in nineteenth century China then there is no reason why we shouldn't stand up to the educational bullies and the coercive left-wing bureaucrats who manage the education systems of our countries in order to demand proper education for our children. If it seems like a daunting task then just remember Saint Agatha Lin Zao and draw strength from her steadfastness.

Continuing with my theme of education and its crucial importance (if it isn't important then why do the leftists always try to seize control of it and the Mohammedans always try to get out of it by running their own educationally sub-standard schools?) I'm going to memorialise on the twenty-ninth of January The Blessed Bronislaw Markiewicz.

He was born on the thirteenth of July in AD1842 in Pruchnik near Jaroslaw in south-eastern Poland and he was the sixth of the eleven children of John Markiewicz and Marianna Gryziecka. His father was the mayor of Pruchnik and the family was a pious one. Notwithstanding that, he nearly lost his faith due to the anti-Christian and anti-Church atmosphere of his school. However, he went on to join the seminary at Przemysl in 1863. He was ordained in the archdiocese of Przemysl dei Latini on the fifteenth of September in 1867 and he became the parish priest at Harta and at the cathedral of Przemysl for six years. He studied at the University of Leopoli and the University of Cracow. He was Parish priest at Gac in 1875, parish priest at Blazowa in 1877 and taught pastoral theology at the seminary at Przemysl in 1882.
In November 1885 he joined the Salesians at their centre near Turin in Italy and made his final vows on the twenty-fifth of March in 1887. He contracted tuberculosis in 1889 and nearly died. He returned to Poland on the twenty-third March in 1892 where he served as parish priest at Miejsce Piastowe and began a concerted effort at youth ministry.

He started a trade school for poor and orphaned boys, and he soon had hundreds of children in his care. He founded the Society of Moderation and Work in 1898 to work with children and it was based on the spirituality of Saint John Bosco, which he much admired (the associated magazine Moderation and Work began publication on the sixteenth of July in 1898). He also opened an orphanage in Pawlikowice which soon had over four hundred residents. The endless work finally broke his health and at the age of sixty-nine he lost his battle with consumption and he was called home to G-d on this day in 1912.

From the very beginning of his priestly life, he was particularly sensitive towards the religious, moral, and material neglect of the children and young people around him, and to the misery of simple people. In his opinion the solution to these social problems depended upon the proper education of young people.

I can't help but concur with that view -- if we don't take charge of the education of our young then we will find that their heads are either left empty or filled with left-wing nonsense or Mohammedan evil. The Blessed Bronislaw Markiewicz knew that too, and he did something about it. If you are having to correct what has been indoctrinated into your children by state approved, left-leaning teaching materials or by Mohammedan apologists, then take heart from The Blessed Bronislaw's efforts. Thanks to his exertions all those years ago, and to the hard work of many other people throughout the years, there are still today a goodly number of unbiased teachers working in education. They can be difficult to find, but they are there. Once again we have a teacher in the person of the The Blessed Bronislaw who didn't think that the education of the young was somebody else's responsibility but knew that it was everybody's. He just got on with the job - so can we if we hold his example before us.

If you've read this far your probably thinking that I'm fixated on education. Well, yes, I am -- and I'm not going to make any apologies about that! Next to challenging, confronting and fighting those who seek only our destruction, education of our young is the single most important issue facing us -- it is one of the key weapons in the counter-jihad. So, it will come as no surprise that my next saint was also an educationalist.

The thirtieth of January is the feast day of Saint Mutien Marie Wiaux. He was the third of six children of a blacksmith whose family was noted for piety and he was born on the twentieth of March in 1841. His birth Christian name was Louis-Joseph. He attended a small country school, and then helped in his father‘s shop. He joined the Brothers of Christian Schools on the seventh of April in 1852 at the age of eleven, taking the name Mutien Marie, and began his novitiate in Namur in Belgium.

As a Christian Brother, he taught at several elementary schools near Brussels in Belgium. The only problem was that he was so easy on his students that his classes were known for getting out of hand. Consequently, he was re-assigned to music and art classes so he could work with small classes, and work individually with students. He soon became an excellent fine arts teacher, and the one-to-one work led many young people to see and follow his excellent example of a life. He was known within his community for being available to help with any need which arose, whether it was comforting a homesick student or going to the train station to meet a traveler unfamiliar with the city. He died on this day in 1917.

I've chosen to memorialise Saint Mutien Marie Wiaux not just because he was an educator but because he was also a mild and kind man -- saintly, if you will -- whose example inspired many, many young people into a good and holy life. It's not so much that he was a teacher, although he was a fine one, but that he is an example to children and to teachers alike. So, if you're a teacher and you haven't given in to the leftist's political indoctrination and the Mohammedan religious bullying then take heart from this saint because you are probably inspiring more children than you know -- and you have our support too.

In discussing Saint Mutien Marie Wiaux I have moved the accent away off the education of children and onto the teachers. I'm going to stay with the educators for my saint for the thirtieth of January and memorialise Saint Francis Xavier Bianchi. Personally, I am peculiarly drawn to this Saint Francis. I empathise with his suffering as his legs gave out, and I am saddened by his lonely death, separated from his brothers in Christ because of Jacobin (left-wing, as we would say today) anti-clerical political sentiments, after a lifetime of their company -- it moves me.
Born 1743 in Arpino in Italy he was also known as the apostle of Naples (Italy) and he studied there. He became a Barnabite4 at age 14 over the objections of his family and he was ordained in 1767. Noted for his continuous ministry to the poor and neglected, for his work to educate and prevent girls from turning to prostitution and for his personal austerities, he also served as the President of two colleges. One of the central tenets of the Barnabites is the importance of education and Saint Francis Xavier Bianchi nevered betrayed that principle especially in his support of his colleges and the girls he worked with.

His health was destroyed by overwork and late in life he lost the use of his legs, but he continued to work with those who he felt were worse off than himself and to extol the virtues of education. When the Barnabites were expelled from Naples, his health was so poor that he had to be left behind, and he died separated from his brothers on this day in 1815. Saint Francis Xavier Bianchi gave his life, quite literally, for the education and advancement of others. He gave everything - we can surely give a little for the cause we all believe in, and we can be inspired by his example.

For the first of february I want to draw your attention to one of those brave men who are often disregarded in their own lifetimes but, nevertheless, manage to make a difference. He is The Blessed Luigi Variara and he was born in Viarigi in Italy, on the fifteenth of January in 1875 and died on the first of February in 1923 in Cucuta in Colombia. He was an apostle to the lepers in Colombia and founder of the congregation of the Daughters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary who ran the homes he set up for lepers. He was born to Pietro Variara and Livia Bussa. When he was 12 years old he entered the Salesian Oratory in Turin, whilst the founder, Don Bosco, of the Salesian Congregation, was still alive. Luigi had the privilege of meeting this living saint on one occasion, and it was an encounter that changed his life. John Bosco looked into the eyes of the young boy, and this gaze was for Luigi a confirmation of his future Salesian vocation. John Bosco died a month later on the thirty-first of January, 1888.

In 1891, he entered the novitiate and shortly afterward he made his profession in the hands of the Blessed Michael Rua, Don Bosco's first successor. After his novitiate, Luigi did his study of philosophy at Valsalice and there he met Father Michele Unia, the Salesian apostle of lepers of Colombia, who had come to speak to the community about his mission. His talk won Luigi over, and in 1894 he left for Colombia with Father Unia when he returned. Here he dedicated himself to the lepers of Agua de Dios, sharing with them his passion for music and drama.

Father Unia died shortly thereafter, leaving Luigi and three other priests in charge of the leper colony. After his ordination in 1898, he exercised his duties as priest in the leper colony, and with responsibility for the parish, often spending four or five hours a day in the confessional. He also continued to teach music and drama, especially concerned for the moral health of the young people of Agua de Dios. From the first year of his priesthood, Luigi felt the need to open a leprosarium for young patients, a project that mirrored that of his predecessor, Fr. Unia. The scope of such a foundation was to educate these children in the faith, to teach them how to read and write and at least one skill in manual labour, so that they would be saved from a life of desolation and vice. In 1905 the "Michele Unia Youth Hostel" was opened.

He went on to work with the lepers for many years and he had huge success in his attempts to educate and train the children. It seems, however, that some in the heirarchy of his order didn't like his efforts and didn't want his foundations to flourish and they placed many obstacles in his way. Luigi, however, held firmly to God's will, and began to climb the Calvary of not being understood or accepted by those who should have been closest to him. He received, however, the consolation and relief of knowing that he was acting out of obedience, since Father Michael Rua, Don Bosco's first successor, stood behind him and encouraged him to continue with the foundations. For a considerable number of years those who were against him kept transferring him from place to place in an attempt to undermine his works. He continued, however, to keep in contact with Mother Lozano, cofoundress of the Institute. He assured her that there was "nothing to fear: if it is a work of God, it will last" -- and it did.

The Blessed Luigi Variara struggled successfully against many difficulties -- difficulties far greater than those we face today in our societies that have modern medical expertise. He believed that education is for everyone, even the lepers, and that it offers hope for the future. We can follow his example by making sure that even the most lowly and insignificant person in our societies has access to good sound education and, just like The Blessed Luigi, we must never get discouraged by the machinations of those in positions of power. Education, even of the lowliest, is vital if we are to emerge victorious from the battle we are now having to fight against the satanic Mohammedan hordes.

The second of February is, of course, Candlemas and you can find all the details about what it means and how we Christians celebrate it in my NER post here. Just like any other lucent day of the year there are many saints that can be commemorated on this particular one. I have chosen, as usual, just one, a saint whom I admire for many different reasons.

Her name was Saint Jeanne de Lestonnac5 and she was born in Bordeaux in France on the twenty-seventh of December in 1556. She died, aged eighty-four, on this day in 1640. At the age of 17 she married the Baron de Montferrand-Landiras and had 8 children, the first three died shortly after they were born. She was married for 24 years before her husband died. His death occurred at a painful time in her life when not only her husband but her father, her uncle and her eldest son also died.

After her husband died she entered the Cistercian Monastery in Toulouse. However, she became very ill and had to leave and she went to live in the La Mothe countryside. She saw all around her the results of ignorance and in 1607, at the age of 51, and with the approval of Pope Paul V, she established the religious order called The Company of Mary Our Lady to educate girls. Shortly thereafter the order established its first school for girls in Bordeaux. By the time she died in 1640 at the age of eighty-four, some thirty houses and schools existed in France.

Saint Jeanne de Lestonnac was a daughter, a wife and a mother, and she became a founder of an Institute that promoted education because her life experience clearly demonstrated to her the need for, and the importance of, education. What is more her Order was founded to educate girls -- contrast that with the devilish Mohammedan approach to female education and you can easily see just why I admire this Saint. Today her religious order has over 2,500 sisters and is found in seventeen countries throughout Europe, Africa and North and South America. Over four hundred years after its foundation it is still teaching girls and women.

Education -- one of the sure defences against encroachment by the demon-contaminated Mohammedans. If we own it then the leftists can't.

More next week -- if the good Lord sees fit.


* The Latin words, Dies Gloriae, in this title mean 'Days of Glory' and come from Saint Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologiae: Volume 30, The Gospel of Grace: q. 114 a. 8 co. 109-114: "[...] Prov. IV[:VIII], ["]iustorum semita quasi lux splendens procedit, et crescit usque ad perfectum diem["], [St. Jerome's Vulgate Latin Bible] qui est dies gloriae." ("...Proverbs 4:18: "But the path of the just, as a shining light, goeth forwards, and increaseth even to perfect day.," [Douay-Rheims Bible] which is the days of glory.")

1) For the other posts in this series click on the following links: (i) 'Dies Gloriae'*: From The Feast Of The Circumcision To The Epiphany (Dies Gloriae I), (ii) 'Dies Gloriae'* II: From Saint Raymond To Saint Benedict Biscop, (iii) 'Dies Gloriae'* III: From Saint Gumesindus To Saint Macarius The Great, (iv) 'Dies Gloriae'* IV: From Saint Euthymius The Great To The Blessed Michaël Kozal,

2) You can find my posts at NER about some of the various other ways in which we use the splendour of the days at: (i) On the Hours and the fightback against Mohammedan incursions in the workplace , (ii) on Advent , (iii) on Ash Wednesday , (iv) on Shrovetide , (v) on St. Valentine and his day , (vi) on the Golden Prayer to the Immaculate Heart of Mary , (vii) on Candlemas , (viii) on one aspect of the Epiphany , (ix) on St. Priscilla - 16th. January , (x) on Twefth Night and the Epiphany , (xi) on St. Thomas Beckett and the Sts. Trophimus - 29th. December , (xii) on St. Gelasius - 21st. November , (xiii) on St. Gregory of Palamas and hesychasm (meditation) 14th. November , (xiv) on the Venerable Bede and music (especially Christmas Carols) , (xv) on St. Justus - 10th. November , (xvi) on St. Efflam - 7th. November , (xvi) on St.Leonard of Noblac - 6th. November , (xvii) on bonfires and saints , (xviii) here on Christmas Carols , (xix) and here , (xx) and here , (xxi) and here , (xxii) and here , (xxiii) and here , (xxiv) and here , (xxv) and here , (xxvi) and here , (xxvii) and here , (xxviii) and here , (xxix) on Bright Week (Holy Week) , (xxx) on St. Nicholas Owen - 22nd. March , (xxxi) on resolutions and Twelfth Night , (xxxii) on the Archbishop of Glasgow's Great Curse , (xxxiii) on Martinmas (Martlemas) , (xxxiv) on lighting the Guy Fawkes bonfire from the Sanctuary flame , (xxxv) on a Bonfire Night and a Martlemas scurrilous rhyme , (xxxvi) here on windows in churches and letting the light of God out , (xxxvii) and here , (xxxviii) on God being an Englishman , (xxxix) on Christianophobia; and added to those posts are my short stories at NER that indirectly address the same thing and they can be found at: (a) An Advent Tale, Or, Christmas Miracles Do Happen , (b) Holy Water, Or, There Is An Eastertide In The Affairs Of Men , (c) If Quires Of Angels Did Rejoice , (d) I Call The Living - I Mourn The Dead - I Break The Lightning .

3) One of the most interesting pieces of knowledge that one can deduce from the bare facts in the recent Pew Research Center's reports is that Christians, who make up a third of the world's population, are also the most persecuted group of people on Earth and that Mohammedans are the people usually doing the persecuting (not just of Christians, I must add, but also of all other religions, and that, obviously, gives the lie to the perpetual Mohammedan claims about worldwide so-called 'Islamophobia'). You can find the three full reports here at the Pew Center's site , from where each report can be read and downloaded so that you, the readers, can judge for yourselves.

4) This Congregation, the Barnabites, or Clerics Regular of Saint Paul (Clerici Regulares Sancti Pauli), got its popular name 'Barnabite' through its association with the church of St. Barnabas in Milan, which came into its possession shortly after the foundation of the order. The famous engraver, antiquarian, numismatist and archaeologist Father Felice Caronni (1747 - 1815) was a Barnabite.

5) Sainte Jeanne's mother was the sister of the founder of modern scepticism, the philosopher, writer, statesman and wit, Michel de Montaigne. Jeanne grew up in a time when the conflict between the Protestant reformists and the defenders of the Catholic faith was at its height. This was evident in her family. While her mother was an enthuasiatic Calvinist, her father and her uncle Montaigne adhered to the Catholic tradition.
Posted on 01/27/2013 8:16 PM by John M. Joyce
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