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The Hero: St Athanisius

In this time of the coronavirus hysteria cowardice when so-called traditionalist Catholics such as Steve Skojec are campaigning to ban the Mass it is good to remember what a real hero looks like.

That hero is St. Athanasius.

I found comfort in a old 1919 book by F. A. Forbes titled "St. Athanasius." We in the rag-tag Catholic resistance have only one member of the Successors of the Apostoles that is the embodiment of Athanasius: Bishop René Gracida, but he is enough.

As I read this book it showed me that we have not come close to the persecution that the Catholic heroes of the Arian crisis endured. Through it all Athanasius had "peace" and "joy... for Christ."

So remember to always have peace and joy in Christ.

Now please read the following excerpts of our hero from "St. Athanasius":

"It was indeed the hour of darkness, and it seemed as if the powers of evil were let loose upon the world. The Arians, with the Emperor on their side, were carrying everything before them. Nearly all the Bishops who had upheld the Nicene faith were in exile or in prison."

"St. Anthony, over a hundred years old, was on his death-bed."

"... Fear not," replied the old man, "for this power is of the earth and cannot last. As for the sufferings of the Church, was it not so from the beginning, and will it not be so until the end?"

"... [A] new reign of terror began, in which all who refused to accept the Arian creed were treated as criminals. Men and women were seized and scourged; some were slain. Athanasius was denounced as a 'run-away, an evil-doers, a cheat and an impostor, deserving of death."

"... In the meantime, where was Athanasius? No one knew - or, at least, so it seemed. He had vanished into the darkness of the night. He was invisible, but his voice could not be silenced, and it was a voice that moved the world. Treatise after treatise in defence of the true faith; letter after letter... to the faithful, were carried far and wide by the hands of trusty messengers. The Arians had the Roman Emperor on their side, but the pen of Athanasius was more powerful than the armies."

"... Rumour said that Athanasius was in hiding in the Thebaid amongst the monk. The Arians searched the desert... The monks [of St. Anthony] themselves might of thrown some light on the matter, but they were silent men... even when questioned with a dagger at their throats."

"Silent, but faithful, their sentinels were everywhere, watching for the enemy's approach. Athanasius was always warned in time, and led by trusty guides to another and safer place. Sometimes it was only by a hair's breadth that he escaped, but for six years he eluded his enemies."

"... Tide and wind were against them; the monks had to land and tow the boat; progress was slow and the soldiers of Julian were not far off. Athanasius was absorbed in prayer, preparing for the martyr's death that, this time at least, seemed very near."

"... 'I have no fear,' answered Athanasius; 'for many long years I have suffered persecution, and never has it disturbed the peace of my soul, It is a joy to suffer, and the greatest of all joys is to give one's life for Christ.'"

"There was a silence, during which all gave themselves to prayer. As the Abbott Theodore besought God to save their Patriarch, it was suddenly made known to him by divine revelation that at that moment the Emperor Julian had met his end in battle... and that he had been succeeded by Jovian, a Christian and a Catholic. At once he told the good news to Athanasius, advising him to go without delay to see the new Emperor and ask to be restored to his see."

".... [After meeting  Emperor Jovian] Athanasius was back once more in the midst of his people."

"He had grown old, and his strength was failing, but his soul, still young and vigorous, was undaunted and heroic as ever..."

"His pen was still busy. One of his first acts on return to Alexandria was to write the life of St. Anthony, a last tribute of love and gratitude to the memory of his dear old friend."

"... In 366 Pope Liberius [who had excommunicated Athanasius] died, and was succeeded by Pope St. Damasus, a man of strong character and holy life. Two years later in a Council of the Church, it was decreed that no Bishop should be consecrated unless he held the creed of Nicaea. Athanasius was overwhelmed with joy on hearing this decision. The triumph of the cause for which he had fought so valiantly was now assured. His life was drawing to an end."

"... Scarcely was he dead when he was honoured as a Saint. Six year after his death, St. Nazianzen speaks of him in one breath with the patriarchs, prophets, and martyrs who had fought for the Faith and won the crown of glory.

St. Athanasius pray for Bishop Gracida, the resistance for Faith in this present time and the restoration of the Church.

Pray an Our Father now for the restoration of the Mass and the Church as well as the Triumph of the Kingdom of the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Comments

Fr. VF said…
In the 1980's, about 70,000 people were arrested while blocking the murder of babies. With very few exceptions, American cops removed the people who were preventing the murders.

All Catholic moral theologians have taught that one of the ways of making oneself an accomplice to a crime is to remove an obstacle that one knows is preventing the crime.

Only one--ONE--Catholic bishop instructed the police that removing people who were obstacles to abortions is to make oneself an accomplice to abortions. He gave the police in his diocese letters to give to their superiors, declaring that obedience to orders to carry out such arrests would be a crime, and a mortal sin, and therefore an impossibility for any cop--Catholic or not.

That bishop was René Gracida.

James Hickey, Cardinal Archbishop of Washington, was typical. Absolute silence, for years on end, as the police committed murder after murder under his nose. Learning at Hickey's feet how to be a bishop was Fr. William Lori.

John May, Archbishop of St. Louis, held multiple televised press conferences over a period of years, declaring that "the police have to enforce the law, no matter what it is." He condemned the rescuers on many occasions.

Most Americans still believe that American cops are fundamentally different from those terrible Germans who gave their government blind obedience.
Praypraypray said…
Thx very much, Fred & Fr VF. Most interesting!
I’ll pray for Bishop Gracida and for the the restoration of the Mass and the Church as well as the Triumph of the Kingdom of the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

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