St. Catherine Of Siena, Reformer Of Catholic Church

St. Catherine of SienaSt-Catherine of Siena-circa_1746_by_Giovanni_Battista_Tiepolo (1)

From the Catholic Encyclopedia

Dominican Tertiary, born at Siena, 25 March, 1347; died at Rome, 29 April, 1380.

She was the youngest but one of a very large family. Her father, Giacomo di Benincasa, was a dyer; her mother, Lapa, the daughter of a local poet. They belonged to the lower middle-class faction of tradesmen and petty notaries, known as “the Party of the Twelve”, which between one revolution and another ruled the Republic of Siena from 1355 to 1368. From her earliest childhood Catherine began to see visions and to practise extreme austerities. At the age of seven she consecrated her virginity to Christ; in her sixteenth year she took the habit of the Dominican Tertiaries, and renewed the life of the anchorites of the desert in a little room in her father’s house. After three years of celestial visitations and familiar conversation with Christ, she underwent the mystical experience known as the “spiritual espousals”, probably during the carnival of 1366. She now rejoined her family, began to tend the sick, especially those afflicted with the most repulsive diseases, to serve the poor, and to labour for the conversion of sinners. Though always suffering terrible physical pain, living for long intervals on practically no food save the Blessed Sacrament, she was ever radiantly happy and full of practical wisdom no less than the highest spiritual insight. All her contemporaries bear witness to her extraordinary personal charm, which prevailed over the continual persecution to which she was subjected even by the friars of her own order and by her sisters in religion. She began to gather disciples round her, both men and women, who formed a wonderful spiritual fellowship, united to her by the bonds of mystical love. During the summer of 1370 she received a series of special manifestations of Divine mysteries, which culminated in a prolonged trance, a kind of mystical death, in which she had a vision of Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven, and heard a Divine command to leave her cell and enter the public life of the world. She began to dispatch letters to men and women in every condition of life, entered into correspondence with the princes and republics of Italy, was consulted by the papal legates about the affairs of the Church, and set herself to heal the wounds of her native land by staying the fury of civil war and the ravages of faction. She implored the pope, Gregory XI, to leave Avignon, to reform the clergy and the administration of the Papal States, and ardently threw herself into his design for a crusade, in the hopes of uniting the powers of Christendom against the infidels, and restoring peace to Italy by delivering her from the wandering companies of mercenary soldiers. While at Pisa, on the fourth Sunday of Lent, 1375, she received the Stigmata, although, at her special prayer, the marks did not appear outwardly in her body while she lived.

st-catherine-of-siena-252x300Mainly through the misgovernment of the papal officials, war broke out between Florence and the Holy See, and almost the whole of the Papal States rose in insurrection. Catherine had already been sent on a mission from the pope to secure the neutrality of Pisa and Lucca. In June, 1376, she went to Avignon as ambassador of the Florentines, to make their peace; but, either through the bad faith of the republic or through a misunderstanding caused by the frequent changes in its government, she was unsuccessful. Nevertheless she made such a profound impression upon the mind of the pope, that, in spite of the opposition of the French king and almost the whole of the Sacred College, he returned to Rome (17 January, 1377). Catherine spent the greater part of 1377 in effecting a wonderful spiritual revival in the country districts subject to the Republic of Siena, and it was at this time that she miraculously learned to write, though she still seems to have chiefly relied upon her secretaries for her correspondence. Early in 1378 she was sent by Pope Gregory to Florence, to make a fresh effort for peace. Unfortunately, through the factious conduct of her Florentine associates, she became involved in the internal politics of the city, and during a popular tumult (22 June) an attempt was made upon her life. She was bitterly disappointed at her escape, declaring that her sins had deprived her of the red rose of martyrdom. Nevertheless, during the disastrous revolution known as “the tumult of the Ciompi”, she still remained at Florence or in its territory until, at the beginning of August, news reached the city that peace had been signed between the republic and the new pope. Catherine then instantly returned to Siena, where she passed a few months of comparative quiet, dictating her “Dialogue”, the book of her meditations and revelations.

In the meanwhile the Great Schism had broken out in the Church. From the outset Catherine enthusiastically adhered to the Roman claimant, Urban VI, who in November, 1378, summoned her to Rome. In the Eternal City she spent what remained of her life, working strenuously for the reformation of the Church, serving the destitute and afflicted, and dispatching eloquent letters in behalf of Urban to high and low in all directions. Her strength was rapidly being consumed; she besought her Divine Bridegroom to let her bear the punishment for all the sins of the world, and to receive the sacrifice of her body for the unity and renovation of the Church; at last it seemed to her that the Bark of Peter was laid upon her shoulders, and that it was crushing her to death with its weight. After a prolonged and mysterious agony of three months, endured by her with supreme exultation and delight, from Sexagesima Sunday until the Sunday before the Ascension, she died. Her last political work, accomplished practically from her death-bed, was the reconciliation of Pope Urban VI with the Roman Republic (1380).

Pompeo_Batoni_-_The_Ecstasy_of_St_Catherine_of_Siena_-_WGA01501Among Catherine’s principal followers were Fra Raimondo delle Vigne, of Capua (d. 1399), her confessor and biographer, afterwards General of the Dominicans, and Stefano di Corrado Maconi (d. 1424), who had been one of her secretaries, and became Prior General of the Carthusians. Raimondo’s book, the “Legend”, was finished in 1395. A second life of her, the “Supplement”, was written a few years later by another of her associates, Fra Tomaso Caffarini (d. 1434), who also composed the “Minor Legend”, which was translated into Italian by Stefano Maconi. Between 1411 and 1413 the depositions of the surviving witnesses of her life and work were collected at Venice, to form the famous “Process”. Catherine was canonized by Pius II in 1461. The emblems by which she is known in Christian art are the lily and book, the crown of thorns, or sometimes a heart–referring to the legend of her having changed hearts with Christ. Her principal feast is on the 30th of April, but it is popularly celebrated in Siena on the Sunday following. The feast of her Espousals is kept on the Thursday of the carnival.

The works of St. Catherine of Siena rank among the classics of the Italian language, written in the beautiful Tuscan vernacular of the fourteenth century. Notwithstanding the existence of many excellent manuscripts, the printed editions present the text in a frequently mutilated and most unsatisfactory condition. Her writings consist of

  • the “Dialogue”, or “Treatise on Divine Providence”;
  • a collection of nearly four hundred letters; and
  • a series of “Prayers”.

The “Dialogue” especially, which treats of the whole spiritual life of man in the form of a series of colloquies between the Eternal Father and the human soul (represented by Catherine herself), is the mystical counterpart in prose of Dante’s “Divina Commedia”.

A smaller work in the dialogue form, the “Treatise on Consummate Perfection”, is also ascribed to her, but is probably spurious. It is impossible in a few words to give an adequate conception of the manifold character and contents of the “Letters”, which are the most complete expression of Catherine’s many-sided personality. While those addressed to popes and sovereigns, rulers of republics and leaders of armies, are documents of priceless value to students of history, many of those written to private citizens, men and women in the cloister or in the world, are as fresh and illuminating, as wise and practical in their advice and guidance for the devout Catholic today as they were for those who sought her counsel while she lived. Others, again, lead the reader to mystical heights of contemplation, a rarefied atmosphere of sanctity in which only the few privileged spirits can hope to dwell. The key-note to Catherine’s teaching is that man, whether in the cloister or in the world, must ever abide in the cell of self-knowledge, which is the stable in which the traveller through time to eternity must be born again.

St. Catherine Of Siena April 30

Catharine, a virgin of Siena, born of devout parents, was granted the habit of St.
Dominic worn by the Sisters of Penance. Her abstinence was most strict, and her whole life was one of marvellous austerity.

St. Catherine of Siena Carlos DolciWhen she was staying at Pisa on the Lord’s Day, refreshed by the Bread of heaven and rapt in ecstasy, she saw the crucified Lord coming with a great light and, from the marks of his wounds, five rays coming down to the same places in her body. Aware of the mystery, she implored the Lord that the wounds would not be visible, and the colour of the rays immediately changed from that of blood to brightness, in the form of pure light touching her hands and feet and heart. But such was the pain she suffered, even though the signs of the bleeding wounds could not be seen, that she believed she would soon have died if God had not lessened it.

catherinesienaHer learning was infused, not acquired. She went to Pope Gregory XI at Avignon and shewed him that she knew by divine means of the vow he had made to return to the City, a vow known to God alone, and she was the cause of the Pope’s going to occupy in person his See at Rome. In about the thirty-third year of her age she went to her Bridegroom, and Pius II enrolled her among the holy Virgins.

When In Need, Traditional Catholicism Works

To return to Mexico City from Malinalco, I have to take a small collective van for an hour, then, a bus to the Metro in Mexico City, then two subways to get to where I have friends.  Everywhere you go you see the poverty, the struggle and the goodness of the Mexican people.IMG_3989

Visited with old friends who then took me to friends who were having prayer in their house.  The mother, (who died 5 years ago), started this prayer group over 20 years ago.  They meet Monday through Friday at 7 pm to read the Novus Ordo readings of the day, discuss what they mean and how they can put them into practice.  Most of the people who come every evening are old now.  They have a ‘Charismatic’ flare to the group, but do not speak in tongues or pray over people.  We could use more small prayer groups to help people to learn the Holy Bible and help each other out.IMG_3991

Every time I would visit Mexico City, I would offer mass for this prayer group in Spanish.  Now that I try to only offer the Holy Latin Mass, they do not understand.  I simply said I already offered the Latin Mass and that is what I have discovered is the most sacred form of offering the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass.  Since all they know is the Spanish New Mass, they do not understand me.IMG_3994

But things are changing.  The daughter of the family has been having very bad manifestation of the devil.  Every night the bed starts to shake, her two daughter are scared, as well as her husband.  She desperately wanted me to pray for her.

So, I exorcized salt, water, mixed them and blessed the water in the Latin Form.  Then I exorcized the St. Benedict medals and blessed them and the room with the Latin Form.  And I sprinkled Holy Water on them and the medals.  They were so happy.  The daughter had strange pains last night, but after putting the Holy Water on her, she felt fine.

She and her husband are desperate for help and are good friends.  This allowed me to explain the power of traditional Catholic Latin Mass, Holy Water and other prayers.  So, for us who have discovered and know the great power of the Holy Latin Mass and other Latin prayers, we can help desperate people love it too by helping them when they are having serious problems.

I also explained to my friend how I am not in favor of the Charismatic Catholicism because it opens them up to things they should not be experiencing and ‘God’ speaking to them.  I told her that the contemplative prayer in front of the Blessed Sacrament is the greatest way of praying outside of the Holy Latin Mass.

It was raining very hard in Mexico City when I woke up.  This storm caused a long delay before our plane could take off.  The pilot told us it was because of the bad weather and that there was going to be a lot of turbulence.  I do not like turbulence at all.  My nerves do not have faith, I do.  So while we were waiting for takeoff, I did my Exorcism Prayer, and the Breviary.  I put my life into the hands of God and especially asked St. Catherine of Siena, whose feast day it is, to take care of us.  By the time we finally took off, it was clear skies and there was absolutely no turbulence.

In making my plans to go to Mexico, I forgot St. Catherine’s feast day and did not plan being back in my parish for her feast day.  A few days ago I saw it in the Latin Missal.  So I changed my ticket from 4 pm to 7 am, to be able to be back in my parish in time to offer a Missa Cantata at 5:30 pm.  I called the head of the altar boys to have the 10 boys ready and the organist to get the choir ready.  So, thanks be to God, I will be back in the parish to offer a beautiful Latin Mass for St. Catherine.

We are so blessed to be traditional Catholics and to have the powerful Latin Mass and all the other powerful Latin prayers.

Traditional Catholicism Or Fear Of Curses

Many people here in Mexico, with whom I have talked, go to see witch doctors or ‘brujos’ when they feel that things are going bad or they are sick and the doctor can find nothing wrong with them.  They believe that an enemy has paid to have curses put on them and that is why this sickness or bad thing is happening to them.

Il Santo Sacrificio della Messa 09So they go to these ‘brujos’ and they always confirm their fears that someone has indeed done witchcraft against them and that they can help them.  But you have to pay money, and sometimes a lot of money.

I explain to them that God is more powerful than any curse.  I also explain that it is easy to imagine that so in so, who is mad or jealous of you, has cursed you.  Everyone has enemies.  So the ‘brujos’ know this and they conjure up reasons why they need to pay a lot of money to them to reverse the curses of these enemies.

Our problems usually come from our SINS.  The problems we suffer are the consequences  of our personal sins or those around us.  Going to these ‘brujos’ only makes things worse because now you have the devil working against you too.  All of these things work with the power of the devil even if these ‘brujos’ use Catholic prayers, candles and have saint pictures around.

Virgen de GuadalupeGod is our protector.  We are in His hands.  We put all our trust in Him, Mary and all the other angels and saints that are watching out for us.

I am leaving Malinalco for Mexico City.  I will spend one day their.  Again, last night a young women went to confession in the first time of her life.  I keep on talking about modesty and all the other things God asks us to do and obey.

We are so blessed to be traditional Catholics and to have God’s protection.

Fix Cars Or Fix People

I went to get some trees to plant in the soccer field behind the house here.  These trees give privacy, but more so, make a tall wall to keep the soccer ball from going into the neighbor’s yard, or over into the creek.  Some of the trees have died from some disease. The soccer field is small, but works very well for playing soccer with the local boys everyday.  The goal posts are made of PBC pipes and come apart easily.

IMG_7991As I was driving back the old mercedes and going over some speed bumps, the whole muffler came loose from its rubber supports and it began to drag on the road.  It was quite a way from any shop.  So I pulled over and went to a house and asked for a piece of wire.  They had to look hard to find a piece.  Thanks be to God, they found some and I wired up the muffler to the bumper and made it to the mechanic.  May God reward them.  How important is a small amount of wire when you really need it.  

The battery keeps running down, not charging right and the car is not starting.  So I carry an extra battery with me to jump start it.

The old chevy Cavalier is at the mechanics because the brake pedal is almost down to the floor.  I had the back pads replaced and a leaking cylinder replaced.  But now the breaks hardly work.  On go the problems with old cars in a third world town.Tiro de gracia al Padre ProBlessed Miguel Pro being shot in the head to put him out of his misery.

But I am writing this to say I that I am not going to put much attention to the cars breaking down, even though I need them.  I am going to continue to help people get a spiritual tune up and life overhaul.

The young man Baldamar’s parents wanted me to go to get them to come to the Latin Mass.  He is the one who was so violent.  So I drove over to their house to get them.  They did tie up his hands while in the car so that no surprises happened while we were driving, but he behaved perfect.  On the way back the mercedes started to heat up.  But we did make it.  Baldamar behaved perfect with great devotion during the Latin Mass and played soccer with his dad and the boys afterwards.  It just gave me so much joy to see him out free in the Latin Mass and behaving so well.

Rogelio, (who got cured from depression), also came with his wife to the Latin Mass.  He had to still to go to confession.  Right off, he asked to go to confession.  After taking Baldamar and his family back to their home, (without the car breaking down), I went and had dinner with Rogelio, his wife and 2 daughters.  We spoke about the greatness of God, true morals and how he loves that I wear the cassock so that it can give people hope in a difficult world.Vega recién ordenado

Many people came to the Latin Mass as well.  I have now idea how they are hearing about it.  Many had to stand outside.  Afterward I gave them exorcized Holy Water.  A single mother and her beautiful little girl came too and talked with me.  Her mother told me that the grandmother told her to abort the little girl.  She also decided to change her life and go to confession after many years.

This may seem boring to many of you, but for me, it is like seeing God work through simple things and saving souls, one at a time.  It is so wonderful to work for God as a traditional Catholic.  We are all so blessed to be traditional Catholics.  But we need to share our faith and knowledge with everyone we can and help them find TRUE Catholicism.

Traditional Catholic Respect For God In Holy Eucharist

A man asked if I could hear his confession and bring him Holy Communion since he is old and has a hard time walking.   I had two altar boys dress in Cassock and Surplice to accompany me with the paten and a bell as we walked through the streets of Malinalco on the way to Don Thomas’ house.  Many other people accompanied me too.  As we walked by people, I would explain to them that I was carrying Jesus/God to a sick person.  Before I gave Don Thomas Holy Communion.vatican-2-openedCartoon says; “Vatican II opened the Church, and all the people have exited.”

I hate to say it, but I was a bit conscientious about what people would think as I walk through town with altar boys wearing Cassocks and ringing a bell.  But I remind myself, and those who accompanied me, that we have God, who created heaven and earth, with us, and that He deserves respect and quiet as we carried Him to the sick man.

Jesus has become the ‘NO ONE’ and we have made ourselves ‘the important ones’ and because of this, we have forgotten who God is and His greatness.

We are so blessed to be traditional Catholics and to at least know that God is great, even if we tend to forget it and, at times, make ourselves too important.

Padre David UribePadre David Uribe Mexican Martyr for Christ The King.

Another traditional Catholic miracle.  After taking Jesus in Holy Communion to Don Thomas, I was walking to see another sick man, Jorge.  I ran into Rogelio, (who has been depressed since December when his dad was killed by a truck accident), walking up the hill.  He told me that after I prayed for him, he slept for a half hour and woke up with a complete sense of peace and well being.  I had prayed for him on Thursday and this was Sunday.  God never ceases to amaze me.  Thank you for praying for these sick people too.

I also prayed for a woman who has lost her memory after being in a coma for months, a boy Rodrigo, who has convulsions and Jorge who was also in the hospital a long time and now cannot walk at all.

Traditional Catholic Confession Gives Health

The young lady Itzel, who was so sick the other day, has improved so much that she was able to go to Holy Mass today.  Everyday since we prayed for her, she has gotten better and better.  Thanks to the power of Confession, conversion and Holy Water.

IMG_3944This little boy liked wearing my Cappello Romano.  IMG_3927His mother’s brother is who committed suicide two years ago when he was only 14 years old.  His mom is a single mother who will be going into the Mexican army soon.  Too bad.IMG_3931Here is a miniature Mexican dragon.  No it is only a Chameleon. 

IMG_3919This is the man who passed out or died and entered into a terrible darkness where he saw red and black people.   Every time he would tell me about this he would cry.   He had never gone to confession in his life.  He was an orphan since 6 years old.  He is getting better, but is very sick still from the sin of drinking too much.   His penance was to tell everyone that Hell exist.

We are so blessed to be able to traditional Catholics and to receive so many blessings from these powerful instruments God gave to His Church to heal us, forgive us and save us.

Traditional Catholic Cassock and Holy Water Works

IMG_3829Offering The Holy Sacrifice Of The Mass In My Small Chapel Here In Mexico

A mother came to beg me to go see her son who is very violent and has to be tied up and locked in a small room.  She showed me a video of one of his very violent episodes.  He has been this way for 5 years.  His grandmother believes in Curandero and Limpios.

Virgen de GuadalupeMany Mexicans go to these ‘Curers’ who use prayers to saints and do ‘cleanings’ by rubbing a egg over the body of the sick person.  They usually tell the people that someone has done witchcraft against them and that they need to pay them to counter act the problem.  They can charge up to thousands of dollars, light a candle and say that they will take care of everything.  I explained to them how evil it is to go to Brujos or Curanderos for Limpios.

Fusilamiento de ToralMartyr For Christ The King And Our Lady Of Guadalupe

The parents of the young man, (Baldamar 23 years old), had to sell their two lands and nothing has helped.  Baldamar may be schizophrenic, but who knows.  I asked if he had been into bad things and they said no.  But the father was a drunkard for many years.  And Baldamar was very close to his grandmother who believes in these Limpios.

10 of us squeezed into the old Chevy Cavalier and drove a 1/2 an hour to go to pray for him.  I was scared, from everything the mother had told me and from all the years of experience I have from when I helped the mentally ill while running St. Francis Catholic Kitchen in Santa Cruz California.

Before we went to Baldamar’s house, I blessed the neighbors house and land after they agreed to close their store on Sunday and to obey God’s Laws of Love.

When we reached Baldamar’s parents tiny house, he was locked in a small room.  The father was afraid to let him out of the room because he could get violent or run away.  I went up to him and he began talking to me very calmly.  His father said he had been very agitated all day long.  He came out of his room and as we talked, he was as peaceful as a lamb.  He even went to confession with me.

Miguel de la MoraIt just shows the power of the traditional Cassock and exorcized Holy Water.  As soon as I approached him, he knew I was a priest and reacted to that.  (I have photos which I will put on the blog when they arrive via Mexican Cyber Space in the form of snail-emails).

I asked the dad to ask for forgiveness from his wife and son for having been a drunkard for so many years.  I had Baldamar’s parents ask God and him to forgive them for having taken him to Curanderos.  Baldamar then asked them for forgiveness for having been so violent.  Then they all hugged each other and forgave each other.

Baldamar even said he wanted to be a priest.  I told him to first get well, then anything is possible for God.  I also told him to look at his small cell that he is locked in to be like a monk’s cell where he can pray and do penance.  (The parents are still afraid to let him free from their past experience).

Today I went to bless a house where there are strange things happening.  But the son is living with his girlfriend there and I said I could not bless the house until they are going to live according to God’s Loving Laws.  They are going to discuss it and I will go back.  The son just got out of prison.  He is a tough guy with a lot of tattoos, but he listened and said it would be hard at first to give up sin, but eventually it would get easier.  While we were still there talking, a family tracked me down to go see Sophia who is dying.  Off we went.

May God help us to keep on helping others by God’s saving power and traditional Catholic sacramentals.