i) The Gravity of this Sin
Now acts of sexual immorality and acts of abortion are immoral. Since they are immoral, they are sinful, for to transgress against the moral law is to transgress against the giver of that law, who is God.147 Moreover acts of sexual immorality and acts of abortion are not merely sinful, but gravely sinful. Sexual sins, sins against purity, are all gravely sinful: grave ex toto genere suo, whether committed in the flesh or imagination, singly or in conjunction with another, whether they involve contraception, or adultery, or any other form of immorality. All abortion is gravely sinful.
Now, for a sin to be mortal, three conditions must together be met: Mortal sin is sin the object of which is grave matter, and which is committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent. This full knowledge encompasses both the nature and the sinful character of the act, so that unintentional ignorance or a temporary loss of the use of reason can diminish, or even remove, the culpability for a grave offence – although no-one is deemed to be ignorant of the principles of the natural law. As to the deliberate consent by contrast, it may be diminished or removed by fear or by the passions, by external pressures, by involuntary habits which have been retracted, or pathological disorders.
In relation to deliberate abortion in particular, it is not possible to appeal to unintentional ignorance, because deliberate abortion is ‘contrary to the Law of God which is written in every human heart, knowable by reason itself, and proclaimed by the Church’ (Evangelium Vitae 62). The same applies to the destruction of embryos in connection with experimentation and in vitro fertilization (Evangelium Vitae 63).
ii) The Offence against Reason
Now sin is an offence against reason and truth.
Clearly all sin offends against reason ultimately in that it runs counter to man’s ultimate good, namely his salvation. But it also offends against reason in terms of the benefit it purports to confer on the sinner. This may be seen in the area of our present consideration as follows: a person engages in immoral sexual relations in order to gain pleasure or happiness, telling himself he is ‘not harming anybody’, he seeks abortion in order to avoid pain or suffering, but pain and suffering are the inevitable outcome of both: to the extent that a party seeks pleasure in immoral sexuality he or she feels a sense of emptiness and degradation and is increasingly plagued by sexual desire; to the extent that he or she seeks love, he feels wounded and betrayed when the relationship collapses, and scornful to the other party in consequence. As to abortion, it is capable of bringing untold pain and suffering to the child (see especially chapter eight) and on occasion to the mother as well. This pain and suffering is not clearly less than the pain and suffering of proceeding with the pregnancy. Finally, if the wounds of immoral sexuality and abortion are not always patently manifest, they subsist deep within the psyche and the soul, where, until they are healed and absolved, they yield a constant dark and bitter harvest.
iii) The Offence against Truth
Sin is an offence against truth. In his letter to the Romans quoted above, St. Paul in I 18-23 identifies truth with God’s eternal power and divine nature which is revealed in His Creation and which obliges man to honour Him and to give Him thanks. St. Paul speaks of those who by their wickedness suppress the truth and who ‘became futile in their thinking and their senseless minds were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools.’ This darkening of the mind is clearly exemplified in the failure to see that the prime purpose of sexuality is procreation; in the area of sexuality and abortion it is exemplified in the failure to appreciate the dignity of the person (cf. chapters 2 and 12). In the area of abortion particularly it is exemplified in the failure to see that the unborn is a child, even with reliance on irrefutable photographic evidence or after participation in its violent and brutal destruction.
Meaning gives way to passion, or as Cardinal Ratzinger puts it in the ‘Ratzinger Report’ the objective reason yields to the subjective reason, namely to the libido of the individual. A person engages in sexual relations irrespective of the age or gender of the other party. Where there is a possibility of conception, there is typically a recourse to contraceptive measures; if these fail, abortion is adopted as a ‘back-up solution’, as Cardinal Ratzinger notes in ‘Human Life under Threat’.
iv) The Agency of the Devil
The next two features of sin are intimately connected with the devil, so we shall introduce them by briefly examining his role in sin. The devil in his hatred of God born of pride and envy, finding himself unable to attack God directly, assails His mystical body and that creature formed in his own image and likeness who is vulnerable to his attack, namely man. His purpose is the eternal death of man, which he attempts to achieve by leading man into sin. Through him sin had entered the world, and all subsequent sin is occasioned by him, his angels, and by man himself, largely in consequence of his fallen nature. Marks of the devil’s agency may be seen inter alia in the wide scale and systematic nature of a given form of sin, as can particularly clearly be seen in the areas under consideration in this book.
Now whereas man is made for life and happiness, sin leads, as we have recalled, to death and torment. This explains why sin is an offence against reason and truth, and why an agent wishing to seduce man into sin must first deceive him, that is by the lie of temptation, the object of which appears to be good, a ‘delight to the eyes,’ when in reality its fruit is death (Gen.3.6). The deceitfulness involved in the sins of adultery and abortion is then a further mark of the agency of the devil who is ‘the deceiver of the whole world’ (Revelation 12.9), who ‘does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies’ (St. John 8.44). So let us now consider in detail the deceit involved in adultery and abortion.
One general form of deceit is the pretence that these actions are not in fact sinful but simply morally indifferent. The former is commonly known not by its properly pejorative title of ‘fornication’ or ‘adultery’ but by such terms as ‘affairs’ and ‘cohabitation’. The latter is commonly known not by the title which most accurately describes it, namely pre-natal infanticide, but as ‘terminating a pregnancy’ or ‘losing a child’, as though this act of supreme violence and brutality, the subjection of a child at his or her most innocent, vulnerable, and defenceless to the most extreme pain and suffering, and subsequently to murder, could possibly be expressed in terms of bringing to a close a state of affairs or by a phrase denoting total passivity.
A second, and graver, form of deceit is the pretence that what is sinful is in fact morally good: so, benevolence in its negative aspect, the shallow indulgence examined above, masquerades as ‘love’ and ‘care’. A notable example of the former is the endowment of sexual immorality with the noble or sacred name of ‘love’ between ‘lovers’, despite the hedonism, abuse, degradation, and scorn with which it is characterised and despite the fact that in lacking commitment to God, spouse, and to children, it is singularly lacking both in giving and in fruitfulness, which are the two essential components of (rational) love149. A notable example of the latter is abortion which in the name of ‘care’ for the confused and traumatized pregnant woman, and in gleaming white hospitals symbolizing health and life, exposes her to extreme and sometimes fatal sufferings, pretension to youth, innocence, and constancy.
Another example is the term ‚boy/girl-friend’ with its consigns her child to destruction, and puts in danger the eternal salvation of all concerned.
Moreover sexual immorality and abortion are known as ‘love’ and ‘care’ not merely by given individuals, but are generally accepted as such by the majority of society. Pope John Paul II observes this in regard to abortion when he writes in Evangelium Vitae 58 that: ‘the acceptance of abortion in the popular mind, in behaviour, and even in law itself, is a telling sign of an extremely dangerous crisis of the moral sense which is becoming more and more incapable of distinguishing between good and evil even when the fundamental right to life is at stake.’ He goes on to quote Isaiah 5.20. ‘Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness.’
In most general anthropological terms it may be said of this second form of deceit that it characterizes periods of insurrection. In his account of stasis (faction) in book III 82.4 of the History of the Pelopponesian War, Thucydides states: ten eiothuian axiosin ton onomaton es ta erga antellaxan tei dikaiosei : they reversed the customary value of words to accord with deeds in conformity to their own moral judgments. He proceeds to show how they labelled good conduct as bad and bad conduct as good. What he says of stasis is equally true of apostasis.
Now as stated above, sin brings death and not just eternal death but death of the body as well, as is explained in the book of Genesis with regard to Original Sin at 2.17: ‘but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die’, and after the sin is committed at 3.19 in God’s words to Adam that he will ‘return to the ground, for out of it you were taken, you are dust, and to dust you shall return.’ This fourth feature of sin, which may perhaps be expressed more generally as its violatory and destructive quality is clearly manifest in sexual immorality and abortion and gives further evidence of the agency of the devil who ‘was a murderer from the beginning’ (St. John 8.44).
Abortion is violatory and destructive in that it constitutes the killing or the murder of an innocent human being, sexual immorality in that it so often culminates in this form of killing particularly through the widespread use of abortifacient ‘contraceptives’ (cf. chapter 7), and more generally in that it exerts a destructive influence on persons in their psychological and spiritual dimensions, for in failing to respect the inestimable worth of the person (cf. chapters 2 and 12) it abuses and maltreats the person, and in failing to respect man as made in the image and likeness of God it in fact amounts to the desecration of an icon (eikon: an image).
In these ways we can see the deceit and the destructive forces of the devil in combat against Truth and the creative love of God. In former times the devil’s agency, which to-day is largely covert, was more manifest in the analogous evils of ritual fornication and human sacrifice.
We see, too, how the evils of adultery and abortion constitute a two-fold attack of the devil on mankind: on the individual; on the family in opposing the two goods of marriage; and, since the family is the very cell of which society is comprised, on the whole of society as well (as has been shown in relation to contraception in the presentation of Humanae Vitae in chapter 5, divorce in chapter 4 part 1, and murder in chapter 8 part 1).
This attack is now being underpinned on the political level by the demands of the European Union, as ‘money-changer of dead bodies’150, for the corpses of our children, for our marriages, our Faith, and ultimately our souls. It is not hard to discern who is at work here, although atheism is a specifically human form of crassness.
This same attack draws its strength not least from an attack yet more fundamental and deadly: an attack against the Church herself and conducted within her bosom, particularly in her doctrine151 and liturgy152, so that man, obstructed from attaining the Truth and from adoring God, turns away from Him towards man, whose features he no longer recognizes (see chapter 12).
And so the fabric of civilization and Christendom is being steadily destroyed, so that people already talk of a ‘post-Christian age’ (as though anything could exist after Christ Who is ‘yesterday, to-day: and the same forever’153). And yet this is no triumph of the devil over God, but God’s punishment of man, with which man collaborates with his free will and the devil with his malice: for God will destroy all nations that have turned away from Him ‘like a potter’s vessel.’See the footnote on the Cult of Man at the beginning of this chapter. Under the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI signs of hope were being seen again, although at the time of writing many former certainties have ceased to be so.
Just like for Jesus’ Apostle Judas Iscariot, money is a terrible temptation for all of us. We all live under the illusion that if we just had a lot of money, we could buy happiness. If we just had more money, happiness awaits us around the corner.
‘Then one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, he that was about to betray him, said: Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?
Now he said this, not because he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and having the purse, carried the things that were put therein.’ John 12:4-6
St. Paul says it clearly too;
‘For they that will become rich, fall into temptation, and into the snare of the devil, and into many unprofitable and hurtful desires, which drown men into destruction and perdition. For the desire of money is the root of all evils; which some coveting have erred from the faith, and have entangled themselves in many sorrows.’ 1 Timothy 9-10.
There is nothing wrong with money. Jesus used this money that Judas Iscariot held in the purse for the food and thing that they needed for His ministry. Wealthy friends of Jesus help Him. It is the ‘desire for money’ where the problem comes from.
The US dollar bill should say; ‘In Money We trust’ instead of ‘In God We Trust. I say this because we all have a certain weakness to love and trust in money more than God.
There was a couple who owned a goose who laid a golden egg everyday. They felt if they killed the goose, they would find all the gold in her. When they did, they found that she was nothing else but a normal goose. Rather than appreciating the daily golden egg, they became greedy and tried to get rich all at once and lost everything.
Judas Iscariot was a friend and Apostle of Jesus and promised one of the 12 Thrones in heaven where he would rule one of the tribes of Israel forever. But he sold his friend Jesus and his birthright to heaven for 30 silver coins. We also are like Judas Iscariot who put our trust and hope for future pleasure in money.
Jesus is the goose that gives us our daily happiness, food and salvation. We put Him to death too to try to gain something transient. It did not work for Judas and it will never work for us either.
We need to be honest and look at our lives. In what way do I put making money above doing what Jesus asks? Do I work on Sundays for money? (You can work if you are a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, police, fireman or someone else that peoples lives depend on.
Money is good for living and doing good with. But happiness comes from God, family, friends and nature, not from money. Judas Iscariot sold his eternal happiness for a stinking 30 silver coins.
We are so blessed to be traditional Catholics and to know that God is who ‘Gives Us Our Daily Bread’. Thank you God for the food, housing, family and friends we have today.
On the feast of St. Gabriel, March 24th, the Real Estate agent called me to tell me someone had offered $55,000 for the 2 Acres that a generous family from Idaho had donated to me for the Order of Saint Pius V to spread the Latin Mass.
It has been a year and a half since I was, for the first time in my life up, in Prescott helping with St. Catherine’s 8th grade retreat. I had just arrived at the camp where the retreat was being held, when the secretary from St. Catherine called to tell me that someone wanted to donate land to the order in Prescott. I wondered; how in the world does someone know I am up here in Prescott. When I called, the husband told me that he knew me from St. Patricks in Ripon/Escalon and now lived in Idaho and wanted to help me.
He gave me the address and I put it in my GPS. It took me all over the country on dirt roads and through small creeks. Thank God I had my van. I finally came to a few houses when I found the property. I went over to the neighbor and asked if there was another way out of this place. He said: ‘There is a paved road just a little up the road. I was so happy.
Many times, in this difficult time of moving away for all my family and friends to Phoenix Az, and having no success so far in starting the order, this donation of land has been a sign of hope from God and Mary for me to go on.
I told the agent I would pray about the offer and get back to her. She said: ‘Call tomorrow’. Well I knew I would call tomorrow, because it was the Feast of the Annunciation and I knew God and Mary would do something good on that day. After I found out that the commission would be $7,000 I counter-offered at $67,000. The people accepted my counter-offer. Now we will see if it makes it through escrow. They are doing a septic tank test.
I really do not care if it does goes through or not. I just am very happy that God and Mary brought me some joy in the idea that this land will probably some day sell and help with my vocation to spread love and respect for the Latin Mass and the other Latin Sacraments. It will also help me to teach people about traditional Biblical morals. Besides this my vocation is to expose people to beautiful vestments, music, art, church architecture and altars.
I am sharing this with you all to have some good news. But I am also doing it to motivate you too to start sharing all your knowledge of Our Great Traditional Catholic Treasures that were almost lost for good after Vatican II.
We are so blessed to have discovered God’s TREASURES and to be able to enjoy them and share them with others.
The name says it all; “Holy Week”. This means that it is very important for us Catholics to keep this week holy. Many graces will be offered to us at this holy time of the year when we re-live the Triumph, Last Supper, Betrayal, Arrest, Trial, Passion, Death, Burial and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Palm Sunday. On this day we celebrate Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem to exclamations of “Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord”. The whole celebration begins by the reading the first Gospel about Jesus entering into Jerusalem.
Then we join in with the solemn procession with the blessed palms, out in public, to remind them and us of the kingly entrance our Messiah Jesus made to start His passion. This is followed by the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with the passion of Jesus being read, according to St. Matthew.
On Holy Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, try to make the daily Latin mass. At these Masses, expect on Tuesday, the long reading of the passion according to St. Mark and on Wednesday, the long passions narratives of St. Luke. Bring you missal to read along in English, while the priest reads in Latin. I have the four different Passion Narratives available for those who come to these Holy Masses. They are labeled (Palm Sunday, Holy Tuesday, Holy Wednesday and Good Friday) .
Holy Thursday. On the night before Jesus died, He celebrated the Last Supper, (The Jewish Passover Meal) with His disciples. It is night and His apostle Judas leaves to betray Jesus.
Then after singing the Psalms, Jesus left with them to the Garden of Gethsemani where He would pray and go through His agony to the point of sweating blood. It was here where His disciple and friend, Judas, brought the guards to arrest Him. He is betrayed by a kiss of a friend. From here He is brought before Caiphas, the high priest, scribes and ancients so that they could come up with some (false) evidence to have Him put to death. Here they spit in His face, buffeted Him and ridiculed Him.
Make every effort to go the the Mass of the Last Supper where the apostles have their feet washed and Jesus gives us His Body and Blood and the Passover Lamb in the New Covenant. The Mass ends with the procession of the Holy Eucharist to the Altar of Repose where we adore Jesus truly present in the Host. Try to at least watch one hour with Jesus in His agony.
Good Friday. Jesus is brought before Pontius Pilate to be condemned to death. Even though Pilate proclaimed Him innocent, he turned Him over to the guards to be scourged. He was then condemned to death by the Jewish leaders and the crowds by crucifixion. They said, “Let the blood of Him be on us and on our children”. He carried the cross to Calvary. After three hours of torture, He died on the cross. Then He was buried.
In union with Jesus Passion, we fast on Good Friday with two small meals and one regular besides abstaining from all meat. Plan ahead to not work or do anything from 12 pm till after the passion ceremony which begins at 3 pm. It is not the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. There you will re-live Jesus’ passion as the Gospel of St John is read. You will then, with great reverence, kiss the crucifix, asking Jesus to forgive you for crucifying Him by your sins. Then you can humbly receive Holy Communion if you are in the state of grace, that is having confessed any mortal sin in confession.
Holy Saturday. This day we keep by morning the death of Jesus as if we were really present at His tomb. We do the least activities possible, (only what is necessary to celebrate the Joyful Easter the next day). Try to avoid stores and superficial activities. For those who can, go to the Easter Vigil Solemn High Latin Mass that evening. It is one of the most beautiful masses of the whole year. It is very long with the 1) Blessing of the New Fire, 2) Blessing of the Paschal Candle, 3) Procession and singing of the Exultet, 4) Listening to the 5 Lessons from the Prophets, 5) Praying the Litanies, 6) Blessing the Baptismal Water, 7) Renewal of you Baptismal Promises, 8) First Solemn Mass of Easter.
Easter. Jesus was tortured to death and was in the tomb from Friday afternoon till early Sunday morning when He rose from the dead. This is the day to rejoice and be glad. Dress in you very best for Jesus. Go early to Holy Latin Mass if you did not go to the Vigil mass the night before. And if you did, go to mass again. Reflect on the great Victory Jesus won for us over the devil, death and enslavement to sin. We are free children of God.
Spend time this day visiting and sharing a meal with friends and family. Especially invite those who are alone and have no one to celebrate this great feast with. Try to take some time to go and meditate, pray and talk with Jesus Resurrected in the Blessed Sacrament.
The greatest miracle that has ever to happen in the history of Mankind, is Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. This happened after all the Jews, soldiers and the disciples witnessed him dead dead dead on the cross and in the grave from Friday till Sunday Morning. This is why we are followers of Jesus. He is God who died and Rose again.
In this HOLY WEEK, let us make every effort to leave the world, television, Facebook, computer, shopping and talking to enter into God’s holy time. This week is the time to spend a lot of time everyday at church. We are so blessed to be traditional Catholics and know that Jesus suffered, died and rose to forgive our sins and give us a new life in Him.
St. John Capistrano was the Franciscan Friar who in 1455 preached the crusade that saved Catholic Europe from the muslims. Pope Callixtus III begged St. John to organized this crusade against the muslims who were advancing toward Rome and Vienna under the direction of Mohammed II.
St. John had a vision that assured victory in the Name of Jesus and the cross. Remember that the Roman Emperor Constantine also had the vision to conquer ‘IN HOC SIGNO VINCES’, in this sign (of the cross) you win.
At the age of 70, St. John enrolled 70,000 crusades, mostly peasants. When the crusade was actually in operation, St. John accompanied the famous Hunyady throughout the campaign. After some days of battle, the peasant crusaders left the Belgrade bastion to fight hand to hand with the muslims. St. John decided to lead them into battle carrying high the Crucifix.
He is famous for his saying; “The Lord who made the beginning, will take care of the finish”. Chroniclers wrote that the muslims were “paralyzed by some inexplicable fear” 40,000 of the muslims perished that day in battle, while hardly any of the crusaders died.
On July 22, 1456, the muslims retreated and Belgrade and Europe were saved. St. John Capistrano is also called “The Soldier Saint”.
To celebrate the victory at Belgrade, Pope Collixtus III asked for Catholic churches all over Europe to ring their bells at 12 noon. To this very day, this custom is still practiced in many parts of the world.
At that time the chief priests thought to kill Lazarus also: Because many of the Jews, by reason of him, went away and believed in Jesus. And on the next day, a great multitude that was come to the festival day, when they had heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, Took branches of palm trees and went forth to meet Him and cried Hosanna. Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord, the king of Israel. And Jesus found a young ass and sat upon it, as it is written: Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold thy King cometh, sitting on an ass’ colt. These things His disciples did not know at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written of Him and that they had done these things to Him. The multitude therefore gave testimony, which was with Him, when He called Lazarus out of the grave and raised him from the dead. For which reason also the people came to meet Him, because they heard that he had done this miracle. The Pharisees therefore said among themselves: Do you see that we prevail nothing? Behold, the whole world is gone after Him. Now there were certain Gentiles among them, who came up to adore on the festival day. These therefore came to Philip, who was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired Him, saying: Sir, we would see Jesus. Philip cometh and telleth Andrew. Again Andrew and Philip told Jesus. But Jesus answered them, saying: The hour is come that the Son of man should be glorified. Amen, amen, I say to you, unless the grain of wheat falling into the ground die, itself remaineth alone. But if it die it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it and he that hateth his life in this world keepeth it unto life eternal. If any man minister to Me, let him follow Me: and where I am, there also shall My minister be. If any man minister to Me, him will My Father honor. Now is My soul troubled. And what shall I say? Father, save Me from this hour. But for this cause I came unto this hour. Father, glorify Thy name.” A voice therefore came from Heaven:”I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.” The multitude therefore that stood and heard said that it thundered. Others said: An angel spoke to Him. Jesus answered and said: “This voice came not because of Me, but for your sakes. Now is the judgment of the world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to Myself.”Now this he said, signifying what death He should die. The multitude answered Him: We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth for ever. And how sayest Thou: The Son of man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of man? Jesus therefore said to them: “Yet a little while, the light is among you. Walk whilst you have the light, and the darkness overtake you not. And he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither be goeth. Whilst you have the light, believe in the light, that you may be the children of light.” These things Jesus spoke: and He went away and hid Himself from them.
From the 1914 Catholic Encyclopedia
Born at Capistrano, in the Diocese of Sulmona, Italy, 1385; died 23 October, 1456. His father had come to Naples in the train of Louis of Anjou, hence is supposed to have been of French blood, though some say he was of German origin. His father dying early, John owed his education to his mother. She had him at first instructed at home and then sent him to study law at Perugia, where he achieved great success under the eminent legist, Pietro de Ubaldis. In 1412 he was appointed governor of Perugia by Ladislaus, King of Naples, who then held that city of the Holy See. As governor he set himself against civic corruption and bribery. War broke out in 1416 between Perugia and the Malatesta. John was sent as ambassador to propose peace to the Malatesta, who however cast him into prison. It was during this imprisonment that he began to think more seriously about his soul. He decided eventually to give up the world and become a Franciscan Friar, owing to a dream he had in which he saw St. Francis and was warned by the saint to enter the Franciscan Order. John had married a wealthy lady of Perugia immediately before the war broke out, but as the marriage was not consummated he obtained a dispensation to enter religion, which he did 4 October, 1416.
After he had taken his vows he came under the influence of St. Bernardine of Siena, who taught him theology: he had as his fellow-student St. James of the Marches. He accompanied St. Bernardine on his preaching tours in order to study his methods, and in 1420, whilst still in deacon’s orders, was himself permitted to preach. But his apostolic life began in 1425, after he had received the priesthood. From this time until his death he laboured ceaselessly for the salvation of souls. He traversed the whole of Italy; and so great were the crowds who came to listen to him that he often had to preach in the public squares. At the time of his preaching all business stopped. At Brescia on one occasion he preached to a crowd of one hundred and twenty-six thousand people, who had come from all the neighbouring provinces. On another occasion during a mission, over two thousand sick people were brought to him that he might sign them with the sign of the Cross, so great was his fame as a healer of the sick. Like St. Bernardine of Siena he greatly propagated devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus, and, together with that saint, was accused of heresy because of this devotion. While he was thus carrying on his apostolic work, he was actively engaged in assisting St. Bernardine in the reform of the Franciscan Order. In 1429 John, together with other Observant friars, was cited to Rome on the charge of heresy, and he was chosen by his companions to defend their cause; the friars were acquitted by the commission of cardinals.
After this, Pope Martin V conceived the idea of uniting the Conventual Friars Minor and the Observants, and a general chapter of both bodies of Franciscans was convoked at Assisi in 1430. A union was effected, but it did not last long. The following year the Observants held a chapter at Bologna, at which John was the moving spirit. According to Gonzaga, John was about this time appointed commissary general of the Observants, but his name does not appear among the commissaries and vicars in Holzapfel’s list (Manuale Hist. Ord. FF. Min., 624-5) before 1443. But it was owing to him that St. Bernardine was appointed vicar-general in 1438. Shortly after this, whilst visiting France he met St. Colette, the reformer of the Second Franciscan Order or Poor Clares, with whose efforts he entirely sympathized. He was frequently employed on embassies by the Holy See. In 1439 he was sent as legate to Milan and Burgundy, to oppose the claims of the antipope Felix V; in 1446 he was on a mission to the King of France; in 1451 he went at the request of the emperor as Apostolic nuncio to Austria. During the period of his nunciature John visited all parts of the empire, preaching and combatting the heresy of the Hussites; he also visited Poland at the request of Casimir IV. In 1454 he was summoned to the Diet at Frankfort, to assist that assembly in its deliberation concerning a crusade against the Turks for the relief of Hungary: and here, too, he was the leading spirit. When the crusade was actually in operation John accompanied the famous Hunyady throughout the campaign: he was present at the battle of Belgrade, and led the left wing of the Christian army against the Turks. He was beatified in 1694, and canonized in 1724. He wrote many books, chiefly against the heresies of his day.