Today is the principle feast of the Knights of Lepanto and MaryVictix.com, so happy Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, Our Lady of Victories to one and all.
I have been doing a lot of reading of St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe’s writings lately. These writings are the basis of our order’s spirituality and of the work we do. I have been reflecting a great deal on the original inspiration for my own vocation and on the essential characteristics of our work.
When the Knights of Lepanto was founded, I remember being concerned about the absence of men from the life of the Church in general and from the MIM specifically, and I wanted to do something about it. A masculine approach to spirituality, that is, prayer translated into action, seemed to be the order of the day. And indeed it was.
But more important than any of this is the precise vision that St. Maximilian Kolbe had in the earlier part of the twentieth century in the face of the threats of Freemasonry, communistic atheism, religious indifferentism and Modernism. He also was convinced of the need for heroes, but he knew that the specific kind of heroism that was needed, namely Christian heroism, could only be based on the full imitation of Christ. This has as its foundation in the knowledge and love of Mary. Yes, Christ the King has shown us the way by becoming the Child of Mary.
In an article St. Maximilian wrote in 1922 for the magazine he published in Poland he speaks about the similarities and differences between a natural genius and a saint. In the story of Lepanto, St. Pius V was both a natural genius and a saint. Don John of Austria, may not have been a saint, but he was chosen by his godfather the pope, not only because of his genius, but because he was a truly honorable man. We certainly need the heroism of holiness more than we need the talents of geniuses.
Holiness is heroism. It is the consecration of one’s natural talents to the service of God, but it is also fundamentally an interior disposition of soul by which one humbles himself before God and strives to do all that the King of Kings will for us. One of the most important things He wills for us is that we should imitate Him in his love and respect for His Queen Mother. We should be heroic in our consecration to the Immaculate. We should pray for this grace everyday.
I also found an article that St. Maximilian wrote for October, the month of the Rosary, in which he speaks about the way in which our Commandress, the Immaculate, will overcome the “hidden force” of Freemasonry through us, but only if we are truly converted and submit ourselves to Her rule. The Masons have their “hidden hand” which they use to their advantage. And sometimes we tend to act as if our thoughts and actions are also hidden, and known to us alone, but in reality both the hidden schemes of the enemies of God and our own sins are known fully to God and Our Lady. Both we and the enemies of the Church are loved by the Immaculate as Her children. We are at war, as the Church was at Lepanto, but our victory will be found, not only in our own triumph over sin and our enemies, but in the conversion of our enemies and in their eventual service of the Immaculate.
In another article, St. Maximilian outlines some the schemes being carried out by the Masons in his own time and then says the following:
Behold the deliberations of the Masons, enemies of morality, enemies of the Immaculate!
Can we, the Knights of the Immaculate, observe all these things with indifference?
No! Enough with the reactionary paganism with which Masonry is infecting the schools, art, theatre, cinema, and literature! We desire God! The Immaculate must be recognized, and as soon as possible, as our Queen, Queen of the Poland and the world!
But how are we to fight in order to obtain victory?
- By having confidence in the Immaculate without limits.
- By entrusting to Her all initiatives, difficulties, temptations.
- By giving Her thanks for the good results.
- By always remembering that by ourselves we can do nothing, while with Her help we can do everything.
- By trying, not only to recite every day the short ejaculation of the Militia: “O Mary . . .,” but also to endure, to suffer something for love of Her.
- Everyone should consider their own surroundings, relatives, acquaintances, co-workers, and the places to which one travels now and then as the land of one’s own mission, in order to conquer these persons for the Immaculate; and to do this, may they make use of all of their personal knowledge and ability .
- We should hold well in mind that the Immaculate generously rewards even the smallest devotion shown to Her. Thus, may those, among whom we spread Her reign, do at least some small thing for Her and She will never forget it.
- May the Miraculous Medal be the bullet in the hand of the Knight of the Immaculate and the Holy Rosary his sword.
The Immaculate must be recognized as Queen of each and every single person in Poland and throughout the world, and as soon as possible: behold our marching orders, for which it is worth living, working, suffering, and dying.
Notice that St. Maximilian, the great apostle, publisher and organizational genius, does not emphasize activity, but conversion, holiness and most of all, the living of the consecration.
All of the Knights of Lepanto and all the readers of MaryVictrix must remember this. We must leave no stone unturned in our efforts to defend the Church and the innocent and to oppose the enemies of truth and righteousness, but none of these efforts will be fruitful unless we conquer ourselves first and lay our crowns at the feet of the Immaculate.
This is our task, or as the saint says, “our marching orders.” Get to it soldiers: no compromises, no rest, no excuses.