29 August 2010

Feast of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist

And many happy returns of the day to you, John Peter. Um, two days late. Sorry. Again.

There's a big prost for you!

28 August 2010

Feast of St. Augustine

In the midst of the Church he opened his mouth: and the Lord filled him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding: He clothed him with a robe of glory.

Last night quite a spectacular rainbow appeared outside our windows. There was a full double arch, visible from where it appeared above the trees on the one side to where it disappeared beyond the roof tops on the other side. Thomas and Maria (indeed all of us) were quite fascinated. Check out Thomas's trick-riding on the rocking horse, too.

25 August 2010

Campion's Brag

Here is the open letter of St. Edmund Campion which he wrote at the beginning of his mission into Elizabethan England, and which so much impressed us (considering especially that he acted faithfully upon these words in living and dying) that we determined to name our son in his honor.

[Oh, and by the way, as for St. George, this essay at Roman Christendom says more and better than anything I could offer.]

To the Right Honourable, the Lords of Her Majestie's Privy Council:

Whereas I have come out of Germany and Bohemia, being sent by my superiors, and adventured myself into this noble realm, my dear country, for the glory of God and benefit of souls, I thought it like enough that, in this busy, watchful, and suspicious world, I should either sooner or later be intercepted and stopped of my course. Wherefore, providing for all events, and uncertain what may become of me, when God shall haply deliver my body into durance, I supposed it needful to put this in writing in a readiness, desiring your good lordships to give it your reading, for to know my cause. This doing, I trust I shall ease you of some labour. For that which otherwise you must have sought for by practice of wit, I do now lay into your hands by plain confession. And to the intent that the whole matter may be conceived in order, and so the better both understood and remembered, I make thereof these nine points or articles, directly, truly and resolutely opening my full enterprise and purpose.

i. I confess that I am (albeit unworthy) a priest of the Catholic Church, and through the great mercy of God vowed now these eight years into the religion of the Society of Jesus. Hereby I have taken upon me a special kind of warfare under the banner of obedience, and also resigned all my interest or possibility of wealth, honour, pleasure, and other worldly felicity.

ii. At the voice of our General, which is to me a warrant from heaven and oracle of Christ, I took my voyage from Prague to Rome (where our General Father is always resident) and from Rome to England, as I might and would have done joyously into any part of Christendom or Heathenesse, had I been thereto assigned.

iii. My charge is, of free cost to preach the Gospel, to minister the Sacraments, to instruct the simple, to reform sinners, to confute errors — in brief, to cry alarm spiritual against foul vice and proud ignorance, wherewith many of my dear countrymen are abused.

iv. I never had mind, and am strictly forbidden by our Father that sent me, to deal in any respect with matter of state or policy of this realm, as things which appertain not to my vocation, and from which I gladly restrain and sequester my thoughts.

v. I do ask, to the glory of God, with all humility, and under your correction, three sorts of indifferent and quiet audiences: the first, before your Honours, wherein I will discourse of religion, so far as it toucheth the common weal and your nobilities: the second, whereof I make more account, before the Doctors and Masters and chosen men of both universities, wherein I undertake to avow the faith of our Catholic Church by proofs innumerable — Scriptures, councils, Fathers, history, natural and moral reasons: the third, before the lawyers, spiritual and temporal, wherein I will justify the said faith by the common wisdom of the laws standing yet in force and practice.

vi. I would be loath to speak anything that might sound of any insolent brag or challenge, especially being now as a dead man to this world and willing to put my head under every man's foot, and to kiss the ground they tread upon. Yet I have such courage in avouching the majesty of Jesus my King, and such affiance in his gracious favour, and such assurance in my quarrel, and my evidence so impregnable, and because I know perfectly that no one Protestant, nor all the Protestants living, nor any sect of our adversaries (howsoever they face men down in pulpits, and overrule us in their kingdom of grammarians and unlearned ears) can maintain their doctrine in disputation. I am to sue most humbly and instantly for combat with all and every of them, and the most principal that may be found: protesting that in this trial the better furnished they come, the better welcome they shall be.

vii. And because it hath pleased God to enrich the Queen my Sovereign Lady with notable gifts of nature, learning, and princely education, I do verily trust that if her Highness would vouchsafe her royal person and good attention to such a conference as, in the second part of my fifth article I have motioned, or to a few sermons, which in her or your hearing I am to utter such manifest and fair light by good method and plain dealing may be cast upon these controversies, that possibly her zeal of truth and love of her people shall incline her noble Grace to disfavour some proceedings hurtful to the realm, and procure towards us oppressed more equity.

viii. Moreover I doubt not but you, her Highness' Council, being of such wisdom and discreet in cases most important, when you shall have heard these questions of religion opened faithfully, which many times by our adversaries are huddled up and confounded, will see upon what substantial grounds our Catholic Faith is builded, how feeble that side is which by sway of the time prevaileth against us, and so at last for your own souls, and for many thousand souls that depend upon your government, will discountenance error when it is bewrayed, and hearken to those who would spend the best blood in their bodies for your salvation.

Many innocent hands are lifted up to heaven for you daily by those English students, whose posterity shall never die, which beyond seas, gathering virtue and sufficient knowledge for the purpose, are determined never to give you over, but either to win you heaven, or to die upon your pikes.

And touching our Society, be it known to you that we have made a league — all the Jesuits in the world, whose succession and multitude must overreach all the practice of England — cheerfully to carry the cross you shall lay upon us, and never to despair your recovery, while we have a man left to enjoy your Tyburn, or to be racked with your torments, or consumed with your prisons.

The expense is reckoned, the enterprise is begun; it is of God; it cannot be withstood. So the faith was planted: So it must be restored.

ix. If these my offers be refused, and my endeavours can take no place, and I, having run thousands of miles to do you good, shall be rewarded with rigour. I have no more to say but to recommend your case and mine to Almighty God, the Searcher of Hearts, who send us his grace, and see us at accord before the day of payment, to the end we may at last be friends in heaven, when all injuries shall be forgotten.

24 August 2010

Edmund's Baptism

All the necessary paperwork came together this time without much difficulty, Deo gratias, and little Edmund was baptized on the eighth day with the traditional Latin rites of Baptism. The Baptism was administered by an excellent young priest of the Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) at the Kapuzinerkirche in Vienna, the final resting place of the Imperial family (excepting Bl. Karl I, whose body remains in Madeira, where he died in exile).

The Baptism, the blessing of the mother, the consecration to our Lady, and the low Mass for St. Bartholomew's Day were all done at our Lady's altar.

The Exsufflation

"Depart from him, unclean spirit, and give place to the Holy Ghost, the Consoler."

The Imposition of Salt

"Edmund George, receive the salt, which is a symbol of wisdom.
May it bring you God's favor for life everlasting."


The Exorcism

"I exorcise you, unclean spirit, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Come forth, depart from this servant of God, Edmund George, for He commands you, accursed and damned spirit, He Who walked upon the sea and extended His right hand to Peter as he was sinking. Therefore, accursed devil, acknowledge your condemnation and pay homage to the true and living God; pay homage to Jesus Christ, His Son, and to the Holy Ghost, and depart from this servant of God, Edmund George, for Jesus Christ, our Lord and God, has called him to His holy grace and blessing, and to the font of Baptism.


Edmunde Georgii,
ego te baptizo
in nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti.

22 August 2010

Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Let us come with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and may find grace in seasonable aid.

Today is the Octave-Day of the Assumption of our Lady and the feast of her Immaculate Heart. Yet another patronal feast day for Maria, who never tires of having so many name days. Here she is with her newest little brother, whom she loves to hold.

Oh, and by the way, he and his mother are happily home from the hospital as of last Thursday. The baptism, if we can scrape together all the necessary paperwork in time, is scheduled for this coming Tuesday (the 8th day).

17 August 2010

Edmund George

This morning around 4:10 little Edmund made his first appearance in this world. He weighed in at about 4kg, and he and his mother are doing very well. Maria and Thomas got to see him this afternoon after the rest of us had slept for a little while.
The patrons whom we have chosen for the little guy are St. Edmund Campion and St. George the Dragonslayer. St. Edmund, known as "The Pope's Champion", was an outstandingly brilliant and heroic Jesuit priest martyred for his Catholic faith in 16th century England under the bloody Protestant Queen Elizabeth. His feast day is kept on December 1, the anniversary of his death; he is also one of the Forty Martyrs of England & Wales who are jointly honored on October 25. Little more needs to be said of St. George than that he killed a dragon and is the patron of Christian knights and especially crusaders. You can't get much better than that. He also seems to have been a Roman soldier and a martyr, although little more of him is known than that. His feast is kept, with much sword fighting and dragon cake, on April 23; and he is also honored together with the rest of the Fourteen Holy Helpers on August 8.

15 August 2010

Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

A great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.

"By the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory."

~Ven. Pope Pius XII, Munificentissimus Deus (1950)

08 August 2010


We joined the Summer course group again on Sunday, first for Mass in Vienna at the magnificent Peterskirche and then for lunch at Stift Klosterneuburg followed by a tour. The abbey was founded in 1114 by St. Leopold III, one of the Margraves of Austria of the house of Babenberg. He is also one of the patron saints of Austria (and his feast day happens to be on November 15). The abbey is one of the oldest and largest wine makers in Austria (and is featured in The Bad Catholics' Guide to Wine, Whiskey, and Song).

There happened to be a falconry demonstration that afternoon in front of the abbey.

After the falcon, an eagle.

The highlight of the tour of the abbey is the Verdun altar, a magnificent piece of work dating from 1181. It is a fascinating work of biblical typology: the top row contains images of events before the Law was given; the bottom row contains images of events after the giving of the Law but before Christ; and the middle row contains images from the life of Christ. Types and antitypes are then arranged vertically.

05 August 2010

Rust & Mörbisch

The participants in a two week Summer course held here at the ITI were taken on a little excursion to Rust & Mörbisch, a couple of little towns on the near shore of the Neusiedlersee.

Rust is famous for its wines (as is much of the Neusiedlersee region), but also for its storks. Just about every house and building has at least one of these big nests on its roof, with a stork or two keeping watch. They were so motionless that we thought at first that they couldn't be real, but Maria spotted some movement and we were convinced. We walked about for a bit and then had dinner before heading down the lake to Mörbisch.

Every Summer in Mörbisch a floating stage is erected on the edge of the lake for the performing of various Operettas etc. I forget already the name of the one which we saw. We lasted not more than 30 or 40 minutes with the children. They didn't make a scene, gratefully, but we could tell that Thomas was getting pretty restless and so we got out of there before he did.

01 August 2010

Hello Again

And welcome to August. John and Maria arrived safely back from Michigan on Tuesday, and we've been settling back into our daily routines. The first of the new dormitories finally opened up just this past Friday, and John got right to work with some of the other students moving the first few pieces of furniture in. The second building should be finshed up sometime in the next week or two, and then the last two buildings are scheduled to be completed in September.