Mary Victrix, Our Fortress and Defense

A blessed Feast of Our Lady of Victory.

On the Solemnity of St. Francis the seminarians and I went to the prayer vigil of the Holy Father in preparation for the synod, which has now begun.  Afterward, we moved into the new building that the Holy Father has provided us.  I can walk to the Angelicum in a half hour.

Here are a couple of photos of our new surroundings.  More to come.  Click on photos for larger view.  There is a bit of distortion due to my use of the pan setting.

The gate you are looking at is Porta Tiburtina, after which our street is named, otherwise know as Porta San Lorenzo.  The gate was constructed to commemorate a Roman victory.  But our victory is found in the Gate of Heaven.

I post my yearly tribute to Mary Victrix:

I cast myself before Thee, Thy bondsman and fool;
Thy patronage is freedom, Thy slavery my school.
I offer Thee my sword hilt and wait for Thy command
To serve among Thy servants who pledge to take a stand.
That I might die in battle, a victim of Thy love:
My wish, my prayer, my promise, thus written in my blood.

I saw the bark of Peter ride dark into the sun,
But darker still the marking of crescent, hoard and gun.
Her sails lay flat and mellow, Her men had pledged their troth,
Left hand on beaded psalter, the right to keep their oath.
The haughty fiend had counted on fear to win the day,
But Thine own breath has countered to turn the wind their way.

My Queen, to Thee be honor and praise through all Thy knights
Who toiled and bled and parted Thy martyrs robed in white.
All courtesy and prowess, all strength and gentleness,
Thy heart a pyx of virtue, Thy face all loveliness.
Then at the hour of judgment my colors Thou may see,
Thy Son upon His white steed, Thou pray to come for me.

 

Queen of the May

O Mary! we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May,
O Mary we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May.

Bring Flowers of the Rarest” is an extra-liturgical May crowning hymn that seems to be a rather sentimental nod to the ambiguity of modern May “devotion,” and perhaps (or perhaps not) an assault upon it.  It is a preconciliar hymn that I have often heard characterized as “schmaltzy” and inappropriate for the liturgy, though I have heard it many times used in traditional circles for Holy Mass.

What interests me here is its relation to the pagan or neopagan celebrations associated with May Day, the spring festival.  The “Queen of the May” or “May Queen” is a personification of Spring which is ritualized in May Day celebrations by the selection of a young girl dressed in white and crowned with flowers who leads the May Day parade. British folklore has it that of old the ritual ended with the blood sacrifice of the May Queen. Continue reading

Mary Victrix Rebooted

As you can see MaryVictrix has been modified. It may change a bit more over the next week, but nothing drastic.

You can always get back to the stream of blog posts by clicking “blog” in the man menu. The recent comments widget can be found in the blog stream for your convenience. Clicking on the header image or on the site title will take you back to the “showcase” page that has the featured article header, recent post links, et al.

Check out the new pages under the main menu Marian Chivalry, The Spirit of Lepanto and the Inversion of Chivalry.  They are relatively short (for my writing), and give a good summary of what Mary Victrix is about.

Merry Christmas.

Doomsday Announcement (Updated)

Update:  Didn’t happen.  Surprise, surprise.

I thought I would mark the end of the world as we know it with a reboot of Mary Victrix.

I will be changing the WordPress theme and modifying the site over the next few days.  It might look clunky and change back and forth a bit, but that should be over soon.

Check out the new pages under the main menu when they become available shortly: Marian Chivalry, The Spirit of Lepanto and the Inversion of Chivalry.

Let me take this opportunity to rebuke the spirit of paranoia and reaffirm hope in Our Lady.

Second Templar Secrets Video: Standing Fast

Part 1:  The Temple of the Order

Posted on AirMaria and found on this blog in the sidebar.

For the introduction, in case you missed it, you will also find it in the side bar, or follow this link.

Templar Secrets Video Series on Standing Fast

My introductory video is up on AirMaria as promised.  It also appears here on MaryVictrix in the side bar.  Look for the next episodes over the next few weeks.

Happy Feast of Mary Victrix

Lepanto New

The Feast of the Holy Rosary is a feast of prayer and recourse to the Blessed Mother. It is also a feast of the action of brave men who were men of prayer. That is why it is also the Feast of Our Lady of Victory.  On this day we pray for the Spirit of Lepanto.

In the current postcommunion oration for the Mass we find the closest thing in the current formulary to reference to Our Lady of Victory:

May we be helped we beseech Thee, O Lord, by the prayers of Thy most holy Mother, whose Rosary we celebrate; that we may draw strength from the Mysteries which we commemorate, and likewise obtain the fruit of the Sacraments which we have received: Who livest and reignest with the God Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever.  Amen.

We are to draw strength from the paschal mystery, the mystery of the sacrificial love of Christ for all men.  The mysteries of which the oration speaks are the death and resurrection of the Lord.  But the feast integrates into these mysteries the mystery of Our Lady’s victorious mediation, and the “strength” which we draw from our participation in the Mysteries of Christ through Her mediation.

On this occasion I have returned to vlogging my series Standing Fast which you will be able find each week in the side bar on the right.  (It should be up momentarily.) Well I guess the widget won’t fly yet, so here is the video:

Here is the link to The Soul of the Apostolate that I mention in the video. And a Google Books version here.

You will also be able to find it on AirMaria as a regular post in a larger format.  I have delayed my post today due to the learning curve with some new video software.  My apologies for not posting sooner on Our Lady’s feast day.

The above painting was created by Tony Stafki and is available in various kinds of prints.  Tony sent my some information about the painting:

  • The battle formation of the ships just before the main clash.
  • The Catholic ships form a cross and the Muslim ships form a cresent.
  • The standard of the Holy Cross which was blessed by Pope Pius V can be seen on Don Juan of Austria’s ship which is leading the charge
  • Papal ships (St. Peter’s keys)
  • The miracle of the wind: just before the armies met the wind completely switched in favor of the Catholic ships.
  • Devils can be seen amongst the Muslim ships (they were summoned from hell by the Muslim leader).  The devils have peacock feathers as swords, a manifestation of their pride.
  • Our Lady of Victory with a sword in one hand ready to crush the devils and the other hand outstretched to the Muslim souls.
  • St. Michael leading the Angels
  • There are small white lights by the oars on the Muslim ships representing the souls of the Catholic prisoners.

The image of Our Lady with the sword reminds me of this:

The King looked up, and what he saw
Was a great light like death,
For Our Lady stood on the standards rent,
As lonely and as innocent
As when between white walls she went
And the lilies of Nazareth.

One instant in a still light
He saw Our Lady then,
Her dress was soft as western sky,
And she was a queen most womanly—
But she was a queen of men.

Over the iron forest
He saw Our Lady stand,
Her eyes were sad withouten art,
And seven swords were in her heart—
But one was in her hand.

I have always been a little put off that the image of Our Lady of Victory does not have a sword:

OLVictoryPrint

Nor images of our Lady at Lepanto, such as this:

Maria-Rosa-Lepanto

Hats off to Tony.

Maria!

Name of MaryToday is the feast of the Holy Name of Mary and commemorates the victory of the Christian forces over the Ottoman Empire at Vienna on September 12, 1683.  Many believe that the 9/11 hijackers chose that date because of this historical event.  The Battle of Vienna began on September 11 and ended on September 12.

The following is a reflection on the Name of Mary that I wrote some years ago:

The Holy Name of Mary is invoked for the same reason as that of Jesus.  In a unique way Mary shares in the royal dignity and power of Jesus Christ.  The Name of Mary like the Name of Jesus is a proclamation of the presence of God and His kingdom.  Other reasons for the power and sweetness of the Name of Mary flow from this one.

St. Paul says:  That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth: and that every tongue should confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father (Phil. 2:10-11).  These words are written in the context of St. Paul’s exhortation that we should have that mind be in us, which was also in Christ Jesus (v.5).  He goes onto talk about the humility and obedience of Christ, His self-emptying in the form a slave, His death upon the cross by which He merits a name which is above all names (v. 9).

Jesus humbles Himself and becomes obedient, in the first place, by emptying Himself into the womb of Mary (cf., v. 7).  If He is exalted through humility, it is first of all because he becomes the child of Mary.  Likewise His obedience unto death is accomplished in the company of Mary, the Sorrowful Mother who stands with Him co-crucified through the sword of sorrow that opens Her Immaculate Heart (v. 8).

Mary is therefore exalted with Christ in humility and sacrificial obedience.  Every knee must bend, and all hell trembles at the sound of Her Name.  Through Her Name, we invoke the power of God.

St. Maximilian says:

Try to take refuge with Mary as a little child with its best-beloved Mother.  ‘Invoke’ her Holy Name with the heart in the difficulties of life, in darkness and weakness of spirit and you will soon be convinced what Mary can do – and Who her Son Jesus Christ is.

Here the Saint shows how the name of Mary reveals Her union with Her Son, and how by invoking Her presence with Her Name we force the darkness to flee, how Her power is invincible.

So then we greet each other with “Ave Maria” in order to invoke the presence of the Immaculate in the midst of those who gather in Her Name.  We also recognize Her presence in those who in Her name greet us.  We bless each other in Her Name, beseeching Her to bestow peace upon all who hear the sweet sound of “Mary.”  St. Maximilian says:  “O what peace the holy name of Mary gives.”

At the Annunciation the angel Gabriel greeted Mary with the words Ave, gratia plena, Hail, full of grace, as though Full of Grace were Her name.  And indeed it is.  It is the name God gave to Mary.  She is the one who is already filled with God’s grace, even before the presence of Jesus in Her womb.  In a real sense Mary becomes the Mother of Jesus, precisely because She is full of grace.  In the Angelic Salutation we shorten, and you might say, sweeten the greeting to Ave Maria, Hail Mary.  Thereby, like St. Gabriel, we acknowledge Her holiness and invoke it and Her motherly presence upon all we meet.

MaryVictrix Desktops 2009

MV Desktop 2009 Head Pic

Some time ago I designed a desktop wallpaper for MaryVictrix.  Here is a new one for 2009.  The Theme is “vigilance” and is based on our Encampment Night Watch.

The whole idea of the Night Watch is to teach the boys the importance of having a keen mind and heart.  We need to be aware of the situation at hand all the time, the dangers to one’s soul and those of others and to be vigilant in the service of God and neighbor.

The fire represents the light of faith and ardor of charity, gifts which we must treasure and protect for the love of God and out of a sense of our own welfare.  More than that, we need to realize that each of us is responsible for the salvation of others and be at the ready to protect and defend the common good.

There are many shadowy aspects of life and into each of them we need to bring the light.  Catholic manliness is a light on the hill top.  We should be a source of hope and healing for all in need.

The rendering has the light of hope embedded in the shadows.  See if you can find those places.

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MV Desktop 2009 1683 x 1052 Mac
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