Sermon for the Fifth Sunday after Easter – May 13, 2012 by Monsignor Perez
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
At that time Jesus saith to his disciples, “Amen, amen I say to you: if you ask the Father anything in my name, He will give it you ..” This is the promise of Our Lord. Later on He says, “The reason why the Father will give you these things that you ask for to you is that you are friends of the Father. He loves you because you have loved Me.” So, just as a backdrop to this, what we are talking about is, those who are within the Church mainly and pray while in the state of sanctifying grace have this direct promise of Our Lord to grant them in the measure that it is good for their souls and for the Church, what it is that they ask for. And it was occurring to me as I was preparing this sermon earlier in the week, there is no limit to this. There is no limit to what we can pray for. And, in fact, what we should pray for, because if you read the Our Father, which is the most perfect of prayers because Our Lord taught it to us, we must ask God for virtually for everything, including our daily bread, but the scope may go far beyond that.
I think sometimes the scope of our prayer might be a little small. And we need to have the confidence that this particular gospel gives us to go out there and really broaden that and pray for a lot of things that are necessary in the Church and in the world. You know, ninety-five years ago today Our Lady appeared at Fatima to the three shepherd children. Now, I know some of you are a little young to remember that at the time. However, what she said from the very beginning to those children is that people are not praying enough. She appeared in apparitions several months in a row. And what the constant theme was from the beginning was that people are going to hell, many, many people are going to hell for the mere reason that nobody is praying for them. For that reason alone, they are forgotten. People are into their own prayers. And think about it, a lot of time we pray for a lot of things. But I think most of them tend to be very centered on ourselves and our own lives and the families. You know, we pray for granny’s lumbago to go away, or something like that. Maybe some of us pray for granny to go away. But, in any case, it tends to be limited to the family and our scope. And Our Lord did not limit this.
So, first of all, how about broadening the scope for all those souls who have no one to pray for them. It doesn’t mean you have to know them. And, if you do know them, it doesn’t mean you have to like them. It just means you have to pray for all these people. And you go — and it’s natural, but, I’m just one person. Who am I that I can pray for all these people and actually keep someone from going to hell because of my prayers. Well, Our Lady said it and Our Lord confirms it in the words of today’s gospel. Your prayers are not useless and they are never in vain. So, first of all, broaden the scope. You know, we live in times when the political situation is terrible. And what does this come from? Well, I’ll tell you what it comes from because later on in the apparitions of Fatima, Our Lady said that her Son desires that Russia be consecrated to her Immaculate Heart. But she would come at a later time to ask for this consecration. It was not asked for in the original Fatima apparitions. But later on Our Lady visited Sister Lucy in the convent and then told her that her Son says that now is the time for the Pope and the bishops to consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart. And when this was done, Russia would convert and there would be peace in the world. If it were not done, Russia would spread her errors throughout the world, and entire nations would be destroyed.
That is what we are spiraling to at the moment. Look at the political situation around us. This is another thing that we have to commend to the promise of Our Lord in prayer, not only that our political situation gets cleaned up — you know, how frustrated do we feel about that, to tell you the truth. I was thinking, Well, we need to pray about this so what do we do? So I thought of all the politicians I can’t stand, which is all of the politicians (Father laughing), and I decided I think it would be a very pious thing to do to place them under the patronage of an angel and ask for his particular intersession. Now, never mind that it was the angel of death I was thinking of (Father laughing) but we have to at least broaden our scope of praying for something like this. However, our political situation is superficial. What is at the root of it? Russia will spread her errors throughout the world. The particular errors of Russia are atheistic Marxist socialism basically.
Look at this last week. France, eldest daughter of the Church, has voted itself back into atheistic communism just this week as we speak. The result of not consecrating Russia to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart has resulted in Red China and every communist and socialist place you can think of, including the president, who is illegitimately, I think, president of this country, because he wasn’t born here. But the man in the White House is a Marxist socialist. Look at the kind of government he is forcing upon us and the kind of anti-God and anti-Church tactics that he and his ilk are engaged in at the moment. This is the result of not consecrating Russia.
So, the reason why I am bringing up this particular thing, first of all, the encouragement that Our Lord gives us that we will get what we pray for and ask the Father for, but this week, this very week I was invited to be in Rome to speak at the Fatima conference, but you get tired of — I don’t know, maybe you don’t. Some people are still young enough they think travel is wonderful. You get tired of sitting on an airplane for eleven hours at a time and I don’t’ know if you have flown recently, but the seats are now this wide (Father demonstrating) so that an eight year old would just barely fit in them. So you can imagine what it does to me. But also the seat in front of you, usually the guy ahead decides to put it back with no warning, and it makes you jump, if not knock you unconscious when it comes back. So rather than sit like this and come out looking like Quasimodo after eleven hours of flying, I just said, I think I wills stay home with my parish this time.
But in that spirit, what are they doing? This is a last-ditch effort to prompt through education, peer pressure, because the bishops are involved, and prayer, the consecration of Russia, which has never been done. And we don’t know why it has never been done. We can assume a few things. You know, the pressure of Russia on the Holy See not to do the consecration. This was a particular factor back in the time of Vatican II. There was the Vatican Moscow Agreement in which Pope John XXIII agreed not to discuss communism at the Second Vatican Council if the dictator of Russia would let certain of the heretical schismatic orthodox bishops from the Russian Orthodox Church attend the council. And, so, they sold out on that particular one and it was not discussed and neither was there any future condemnation of atheistic Marxist communism/ socialism, whatever you what to call it.
Likewise, there was some fear that something might happen to some of the Catholics in Russia if this were done, or whatever. But, you know what? Okay, those are all little pressures. When the Mother of God appears and says, “You tell the pope, and it’s now he and the bishops who are supposed to consecrate Russia to my Immaculate Heart,” you’d better darn do it. Can you imagine the hubris — and hubris isn’t a guy — hubris is excessive pride on the level of Satan’s own sin of pride. Can you imagine the hubris of a whole succession of popes who refuse to obey Our Lord’s command given through Our Lady at Fatima. What is going to come of that? Well, we already see it. Russia has and continues to spread its’ errors throughout the world, even to the effect and downfall of our own country, downfall of our own country. If that maniac gets a second term, he is evil. He’s not the — people have asked me, Is he the anti-Christ? He’s not the anti-Christ, I don’t believe. He is an anti-Christ, though, most certainly. If he gets his way, everybody out there that’s 70ish or older, you’d better not go in the hospital. You’d better not go in the hospital, because there are going to be instructions given to the medical system to let you die. And, in fact, to help you die in most cases. For those of you who are not with it with the medical system as it is, you know, a lot of nurses are given instructions to give you just a little bit too much morphine. And I’ve had nurses in the congregation come to me and say they know they have been instructed by the doctors to give what is an overdose, and they won’t do it, but there are others who will.
Well, that is just the beginning of it. You will have so-called assisted suicide, but that’s only if you go voluntarily. If you don’t they’ll do it anyway, and this is the kind of thing we are headed for. Go to Italy if you want to see socialized medicine really in action. Their hospitals look like the TB wards of the 20s and 30s here. A bunch of iron beds, no linens on the bed, no towel, no blankets. They leave you in the hallway on a stretcher until your family comes and takes care of you. And, there’s no treatment for days sometimes. We know this because one of our people fell and broke an ankle on our last trip over there. And she was left for three days in the hallway with no treatment, and then put into a room where she was absolutely neglected. They practically had to amputate her leg afterwards. This is part of the errors of Russia spreading throughout the world.
So, one thing, we don’t just pray, but we beg in one sense, and we pray with confidence in the same breath, that for the good of the world and the Church, the pope consecrate Russia with the bishops to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart. I can tell you it probably will not be this pope, because, remember however much grace we obtain from God by our prayers, a person always has the ability to say no. And this particular pope has too much invested in the thing. This was one of the main workers of Vatican II. He helped write the documents. He helped implement this heresy throughout the Church. And, then, later on as Cardinal Ratzinger, he was one of the main ones enforcing John Paul II’s claim that the consecration had already been done, so shut up and go away, when even Sister Lucy of Fatima said, “I don’t know what he is talking about. It hasn’t been done, it has never been done according to Our Lady and Our Lord’s wishes”. And that’s the situation that remains to this day.
If anybody goes to one of those parishes where they try to tell you that the consecration has been done, I just have one question. Where are the conversions. Where is the conversion of Russia. There are fewer, numerically — I don’t even mean percentage wise, numerically fewer Catholics in Russia now than there were a hundred years ago. That’s not the conversion of Russia, ergo, it has not been done. So we just broaden the scope of our prayers to pray for that, a future pope who will consecrate Russia to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart.
And what kind of Pope are we talking about? We have forgotten what a super pope really is. During our lifetimes — pretty much, yeah, there’s nobody that old here I don’t think — during our lifetime we have had a succession of awful popes, just doing nothing or doing anything but what a pope is supposed to do. And we have to keep this in mind. So what are we praying for? Well, this last week we had the feast of a great pope, and lest you be wondering what makes a pope great, I thought I would talk for a minute about him and his short reign, and what he did during that time. I thought of this, not coincidentally, I suppose, but providentially — you know, when I go out dressed in my cassock, to go shopping and this kind of thing, and, of course, people come up to me, Oh, you’re a Catholic priest. They don’t know where you are in the spectrum just by looking at you. You know, lay people aren’t all that with it as far as, Well, he’s in a cassock, therefore kind of thing. They just know I’m dressed like a priest. This guy comes up and says, “Oh, that John Paul II, what a pope”. So, I didn’t want to scandalize the guy, and I said, “Oh, yes, what a Pope”. (Father laughing) May we never see his like again. But, what I was actually thinking of was a line from Crocodile Dundee, where he comes into New York or something like that, and some guy tries to mug him and pulls out his little knife (Father demonstrating about an 8-inch knife), and he goes, “What’s that? And the guy says, a knife. And he says, that’s not a knife and he takes out this big two-foot long Bowie knife and he goes, “That’s a knife”, and the mugger runs away. Well, I was thinking, John Paul II, that’s not a pope. Pius V, that’s a pope. And I want to talk to you just a little bit about his life in a few minutes. I know I can’t do it with all the decency he deserves. But let me tell you what we are shooting for.
So, he was born in 1504 in Lombardy, in Italy. His original name was Michele Ghislieri, the name he kept, of course, until he was Pope and took another one. He died in 1572. He was elected Pope in 1566, which would have made him 62 years old at that time, and he reigned until 1572, which means 68, so a six-year reign. He was from a poor family but a noble family. And what a perfect combination of things it was that God’s providence put him in to make him qualify to become this future great saint and Pope. Why poor? Because he was poor and noble. The poverty because it gave him humility. The nobility because he had the blood and he had the background of nobility, a long and noble family, the Ghislieri family. But they didn’t have any money. And that was by God’s providence. You know, that happens a lot even in our own day.
When I lived overseas, I was invited at two different times to stay in castles of people that were nobility, but both times, two different families, they apologized because there were very few rooms left that you could actually stay in because the roof had caved in on the rest of them because they had no more money in the family to pay for them. So, I think that they were maybe being formed, as well, along the lines of Pius V.
Anyway, because he was from this poor and noble family, normally in his time, these people, they took up trades. They became blacksmiths or one of those kinds of trades, and they kept that throughout their life and that was their career. However, God had other plans for Michele, and he was taken under the wings of a very good branch of the Dominican Order, and they formed him, they educated him, and, at the age of 24 years old, he was ordained a priest for the Dominican Order.
Now, as a Dominican, he was elected many times during the next 16 years as prior of the various houses he was in. The priors were responsible for the day-to-day working and enforcing and discipline and, then, of course, he was a reformer at heart. He taught theology during those following 16 years. But, anyway, I say 16 years because after that he was made a bishop, given a diocese, but he was always to the core a reformer. He learned the true Dominican spirit of poverty and study. And he kept that and he enforced it in various parts of the Church that were under him at every stage of the game. And the stage of the game went very rapidly for him. He became a bishop, he was made a cardinal, and eventually he was put in charge of the inquisition. Now, whatever about Hollywooding the inquisition, it was a good thing, it was a good thing for the world, for the country, and for the people involved in it. It wasn’t like people in red robes tearing fingernails out and things like that, that they show in the movies. It was anything but that.
As I say, he was a reformer. And what do I mean? What had to be reformed? Well, a lot of this would come out later when he was elected Pope because, of course, he had more authority as Pope. But even as cardinal and bishop he was doing this. At the time, the 16th century and thereabouts, a lot of things had fallen into certain abuses in the Church. What do I mean by an abuse? Well, a little bit too much — you know, while there was immorality going on, the pope right before him was a Medici, and he was the one, he wanted to make his 15-year-old nephew a cardinal. There is a TV show series about this, I don’t know how accurate it is. It probably isn’t very accurate, but that part is accurate anyway. And they padded even the papacy with luxury. One pope said, “God has given us the papacy, now let us enjoy it”. And that was kind of the theme for the whole thing, but even monasteries and convents.
Now, another great reformer of the age was St. Teresa of Avila, just to give you another example of that. The sisters of her order had taken to — some of them were noble and they had hired servants inside the convents. They were wearing pearls and stuff over their habits and earrings and different kinds that were obviously inconsistent with the life of poverty and being good sisters. So, St. Teresa went around reforming convents, to the point where they actually barricaded the doors and flooded the moats when she was coming to reform a convent, because they absolutely dreaded being reformed by St. Teresa of Avila. But, finally, she conquered and order was restored, as it was with our good Dominican saint, future Pius V.
It was in 1566 that he was elected Pope and he cried, he begged the college of cardinals, “Please, I am not worthy, please, please, please”. They literally forced the papacy on him. And, mind you, these were cardinals who knew they needed to be reformed themselves, which was kind of an interesting twist. A lot of these cardinals were living the kind of life that wasn’t the pure priestly cardinal life that Christ meant it to be from the beginning. But, finally, they got him to accept and the whole world rejoiced.
He started out by giving away the papal treasury to everybody who needed it. The immediate poor, but also those who were being oppressed in countries that were borderline being controlled by the Muslims kind of thing, or under Muslim control. He funded the Christians of Hungary was one of his priorities. And he also funded the campaigns against the Muslims who were trying to overcome Europe at the time. But one of his other big deals was, he was a cardinal during the Council of Trent. Now, for those of you who aren’t too aware of the Council of Trent, the Council of Trent was probably the greatest Council in the history of the Church. It’s phenomenal, a divinely inspired council. This happened when Michele Ghislieri, Pius V, was a cardinal. There was a lot of politicking going on, the emperors and the kings didn’t want to release the bishops to be able to go to the Council. But it opened in 1545 and there were 34 people present, 34 bishops and cardinals present for the opening of the Council. Gradually more came on, but what they accomplished was amazing.
Well, as it happens, Pope St. Pius V, who was cardinal during the Council, was elected the Pope right at the end of the Council, and was responsible for enforcing the will of the Council in the Church. And, let me tell you, we are still benefiting from this. How? This is why he is one of our special saints and we have to put ourselves under his patronage as I will say in a minute. The book on the altar that we use, the Missal. The book we use for the other sacraments, the book we use for blessings and everything, every liturgical book that we, traditional Catholics, use, still has his name on it, has his signature in it, because he gave us all those books.
The Missal that we use on the altar, he didn’t write it, he codified it. Meaning what they did is they distilled down a typical book for using the Mass as it had been used in Rome, as the standard for the whole Church. And they made it as pure as they could to the original liturgies that were brought to Rome by St. Peter and St. Paul. And, then, he went beyond just putting out the book. He said, this Mass — the way we say it, the way somebody else doesn’t say it down the street — but the way we say it here, that Mass — this Missal — could never be changed forever. He said this was binding, his words were in perpetuity, no one could ever add new rites or ceremonies to this Missal, and that the essentials of it had to be left alone for eternity. Of course, we know what became of that.
But the point is that his name literally is on every book that we use in the giving of the sacraments and sacramentals to this day. Such is his influence.
And his influence goes beyond that. What color did Pius IV wear when he was Pope? Red. The Dominican habit is white and he was such a great Pope and so admired, that from then on popes wore white in imitation of the Dominican habit. And even though the pope wears white now, he has kind of forgotten about most of the other stuff that Pius V did. But that is one of the lasting influences to this day.
He wrote great documents. He wrote one called in “Coena Domini“ where he delineated the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church that says the pope is above civil rulers. Can you imagine Pope Benedict landing in Washington, D.C., and saying to these guys, By the way, I’m your boss and you’d better listen to me. No, it’s like, Oh, let’s just get along as one big happy family, me and Barrack and Lenin and people like that. So, he was great in that sense, too.
But the largest preoccupation of his pontificate, besides the will of the Council of Trent which was phenomenal , was the struggle against the Protestants who were new — at the time of his pontificate, they were about 60 years old since Luther, and what they call the hereditary enemies of the Church, the Muslims, hereditary enemies of the Church. These were his main focuses, or foci of his pontificate. He supported Catholics in various countries — Oh, he was the one who finally got the guts to excommunicate Queen Elizabeth, I. He excommunicated her, he communicated and even sent letters to Mary Stewart, the one who Elizabeth had her head cut off because she was Catholic eventually, but he stood up for right no matter what it was.
But, as I said, he was particularly concerned about the Muslims because they were going to overrun Europe. Can you imagine if in the 1600s the Muslims overran all of Europe. Okay. Now, there are a few Asians here. It wouldn’t have gotten you guys so bad until later probably. But most of us have some European. We would not have known Catholicism. How do we know this? Look at Spain. They overcame the Iberian Peninsula, Spain and Portugal. It took them 700 years to get the Muslims out of there and to make it a Catholic country again, 700 years. Can you imagine the influence on us and our faith if they had won. So, one of the things he did is he was a very big supporter of the Knights of Malta, but when he was elected Pope one day in 1571, there was a very great event — see, this was a critical battle that we know now as the Battle of Lepanto near Cypress. And he did several things. He paid to arm the Christian fleet, he got the different countries to fight together, Spain and Austria principally, but others as well, different Christian countries, and he called a rosary crusade. Remember, he was a Dominican and what’s the Dominican’s big thing? The rosary. He also would do two sessions a day on his knees in front of the Blessed Sacrament besides praying the rosary which he did constantly.
May I just juxtapose that with something else going on now? Pope Benedict had an interview about what the papal day is like, and he was asked, Did he pray the rosary? And he said, Well, not usually, but when I need a little distraction from the other things of the office, I’ll pray a decade sometimes, I’ll say a decade. Now, go back to Pius V. I don’t know how many rosaries a day, but he did say the rosary and a lot, we have from history, and twice a day he would spend a considerable amount of time on his knees before the Blessed Sacrament.
What was the result of this? The result is, on the day of the battle, the decisive Battle of Lepanto, which was many hundreds of miles from Rome, he at one point broke with the cardinals and went to the window and opened it up and looked up to the sky and said, “Forget about business for today. We need to give thanks to God for the victory he has given to the Christians”, because he had a miraculous vision of the victory of the Battle of Lepanto, and it was a slaughter. The hopelessly outnumbered Christian army and fleet, Christian Navy, wiped out the Muslim fleet and gave them a blow that it took many, many years for them to recover from. And he saw that miraculously.
After this, because it was October 7, 1571, he instituted the Feast of the Holy Rosary and he also, because he credited Our Lady with the victory, he added Our Lady Help of Christians to the Litany of Loretto, which directly concerns us here.
One little thing or two, if you like trivia. I do. I’m a font of worthless information sometimes. But one of them is that we all know Hispanic families, Mexicans, and things like that. And we know that sometimes one of the boys will be named Jesus, will be named J – e – s – u – s, the real thing. And I know when you don’t know much about it, the tendency may be to say, Well, that’s a little cheeky. I mean, we don’t do that. They just out and out named their kids Jesus? What’s going on here? Well, what is going on is that Pope St. Pius V, because of the Spanish involvement in the Battle of Lepanto and giving so many men and so many lives to that, he gave them the privilege, and to their descendants who brought it to the New World, the privilege of naming their children directly after Jesus, which the other nations did not have.
Secondly, one of the other main players in the battle was Don Juan. I think it was the Don Juan actually. And apparently he was pretty good, too. He was the illegitimate son of the Holy Roman Emperor in Austria. And he was a great general of the war. Because this involvement from Austria and many troops and everything and many ships, the Austrians celebrated, and one way they celebrated was by making a pastry. That’s the Austrian way of celebrating. That’s okay — (Father Laughing) I could get into this. They made a pastry — the symbol of Islam is what? — the crescent moon. They made crescent pastry which we call the croissant which is a crescent in French, to this day. That’s where that comes from. So go eat lots of them in celebration of the victory over the Muslims. And eat a few more in celebration of any future victories that we might have on them. They would probably bomb bakeries if they knew what we were doing.
Anyway, so those are the trivial items. The point is, he was a great reformer, he got in office and he got to the point, as they say, hit the ground running and he didn’t stop until the end of his pontificate. This is what I am talking about. Now, that’s a pope, and that’s the kind we need in the very near future, because if we don’t get a pope like that, we are going to be many, many years in darkness, if we can extrapolate from the way that things are going.
My dear faithful, let’s broaden the horizon of our prayers, let us ask God confidently as His friends, as those who love His Son, that we get a pope like Pope Pius V in the near future, and also that the pope, if it be that one, that he will waste no time in consecrating Russia with all the bishops in the world to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart. It’s the only hope we have left, but the gospel gives us the hope that what we ask for we will get, so we have to ask for it. After today, just add it to your prayers, but in every rosary and every good work you do, you tell God that what we are asking for is among other things that we pray for the people who have no one to pray for them, we pray for a pope who will be like Pius V, and who will eventually consecrate Russia to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart.
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.