Churches being vandalized – and an example of resilience and Hope.

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First, there was Notre Dame: Now, it seems there has been an avalanche of attacks against Churches, statues and anything Catholic or even remotely Christian. It is happening everywhere  but it is not being reported in the mainstream media.

Prophecies :

Our Lady of Akita (1973):

“…The Church and altars will be vandalized. …”

Book of Truth:

“For every act of defiance against My Church, My Father will punish the culprits. For every act of desecration they conduct within the Holy Temples of God, they will suffer greatly(3 Feb. 2014)

“Just as it will be in other Christian countries, your faith will be attacked, and every attempt will be made to wipe out all traces of Me, your Jesus. …The Christian faith will be banned, in time, along with other religions, which honour My Father. …I watch and protect you, as the time for the overturn of Christian Churches is close”. (23 Oct. 2012)

The beast is planning the destruction of humanity in two ways, at this point in time. In the first instance, he is destroying life through abortion, murder and war. In the second instance, he is attacking My Church on Earth so that all churches, which honour Me, Jesus Christ and My beloved Father, are destroyed. In these ways he will steal souls and prevent them from following the Truth and from inheriting My Kingdom.” (6 June 2-13)

“These people will destroy My Churches and few will be allowed to offer the daily Sacrifices. Yet, there will be those among them, which will remain standing because of the Grace of God. (20 January 2013 @ 5:50pm)

(Read the entire messages at: https://missionofsalvation.com/

Read blow a story of resilience and hope:

Restoration of Order at Queen of Peace after Fire Bombing

By Norman Fulkerson

Parishioners of Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Ocala, Florida, were met with a disturbing scene as they arrived for Mass on the morning of Saturday, July 11, 2020. Police cars blocked the entrance, and the parking lot was chock full of fire trucks with flashing lights. Their beloved church was the target for an act of arson that made headlines nationwide.

Naturally, their hearts were heavy. However, before the sun set, they could find solace with the efficiency of parish employees and the Catholic men who reestablished order. They were also left in awe at a truly miraculous occurrence.

Disorder Where Order Had Reigned

It all began at around 7:30 a.m. when a white minivan drove up to the front of the Church, made a sharp U-turn and then rammed through the right entrance doors. The driver then got out of the car and poured 10 gallons of gasoline in the vestibule as a lady parishioner looked on in shock.

The alleged arsonist Steven A. Shields (who was reported to have later confessed he committed the crime to police) then reentered his vehicle. As he backed his van out, he threw a flaming object which ignited the fuel and caused an explosion. Fr. Patrick O’Doherty, the pastor of Queen of Peace, witnessed the entire scene and immediately called 911. The quick response of heroic firefighters five minutes later prevented greater loss. Nevertheless, the vestibule was severely damaged and will need to be completely renovated. This event created disorder where order once reigned.

These are the bare facts that surrounded this criminal act. Some lessons can be learned from this event and the parish’s response that day.

Peace is the “Tranquility of Order”          

Many have pointed out the irony that such destruction should happen in a parish named  Queen of Peace. Such disorderly acts should not surprise us in a world that has long ceased to recognize God’s law.

Peace is not just the absence of violence but rather, as Saint Augustine eloquently explains, the “tranquility of order.” We should obey God’s law, not because it pleases us, but because they are true laws that ought to be observed. Society can then enjoy the real idea of peace that naturally comes from order. When Divine Law is consistently transgressed, disorder enters.

According to police reports, the suspect at Queen of Peace was deranged. At the writing of this article, there is no proof that he was linked with the lawlessness nationwide. However, his actions do reflect the unbridled passions and unbalance of a sector of society that has long denied God’s law.

Return-to-Order Moment

In times like these, order-loving Americans shine. They seem to come out of the woodwork when they are actually always in our midst. We just don’t recognize their contribution to the good functioning of civilized society.

The parishioners of Queen of Peace saw people step up to the plate immediately after the fire. The church’s employees went above and beyond their functions. Generous men came forward motivated only by their love for the Church, good order and charity toward their neighbors.

They immediately worked to board up the doors that were destroyed and make ready the church hall for the scheduled 4:00 p.m. Mass

Except for the canceled 8:30 a.m. Mass, parish life went on as if nothing ever happened. Those same men and others stood watch over all the weekend Masses for the comfort and safety of worshipers. This solicitude helped quell the psychological fear that such terrifying acts create in their victims.

Don’t Mess With Floridians

Ocalians are a unique brand of Floridian. They are fiercely patriotic, law-abiding citizens who are also keenly aware of their Second Amendment rights and are capable of exercising lawful self-defense. This might be seen in a seventy-something-year-old lady with sky blue eyes, or others like her with twinkles in their eyes and tight-lipped-determination on their faces. One never knows what they are capable of, but one can surmise that if their husbands are in trouble, they will be able to fill the breach.

While they are some of the most charming people you will ever want to meet, their friendliness should not be interpreted as a weakness. Queen of Peace parishioners, both men and women, were upbeat and confident after an event that might have made others cower. This is due largely to a pastor who is truly a man’s man and cares about his flock.

Such people as these draw down God’s blessings and the protection of His holy angels and glorious saints.

Smile of St. Therese of the Infant Jesus

These blessings could be seen in the miraculous preservation of the church’s relics displayed in the vestibule. Dominick Joseph Galatalo, a full-time member of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP), noted this wonder when he entered the damaged church.

He had just returned from a cross-country trip with other TFP members in a special campaign to pray for America’s return to order with Rosary rallies in every state capital. At the time of the incident, he was visiting family and thus helped his father, also called Dominick, to restore peace to this shattered parish.

Dominick Joseph was surprised to see amid the charred walls the framed pictures of two Carmelite daughters of the Prophet Elias; Saint Therese of the Infant Jesus and Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity. Each picture contained a first-class relic. Both were unscathed.

Dominick Joseph was astonished to see the document of authentication of the relic of Saint Elizabeth lying spotless atop a pile of ashes. This piece of paper was left perfectly intact and has now become a veritable relic itself because of the Divine protection from an otherwise all-consuming fire.

These two relics were not the only ones that were preserved. Many others were hanging on the wall, including a relic of America’s first canonized saint, Elizabeth Ann Seton. All were saved from the fire by the hand of Almighty God. These holy treasures were a few feet away from what seemed to be the “epicenter” of the fire.

The Rest of the Story

The story does not end there. The night before this fire occurred, Mr. Galatolo enjoyed a dinner with some of his employees at a nearby restaurant. He noticed a group of police officers and took the opportunity to give them all a Saint Michael’s medal for their protection. He then thanked them for their service and left the restaurant. He was surprised the following morning to find one of those officers on the crime scene. They exchanged greetings amidst the ruin and then went about their business.

On Sunday morning, Dominick Joseph saw another officer approach the charred entrance to Queen of Peace. He was not Catholic but wanted to see if everything was okay. He was the officer who arrested the arson suspect. Dominic Joseph apologized for not having a Saint Michael’s medal to give him.

“No problem,” the officer responded, “I always have one on my dashboard. It’s not on this squad car because I used my other car in a ‘pit maneuver’ to crash into the criminal’s car. It is being repaired.”

A Parable For a Nation in Turmoil

The fire at Queen of Peace in Ocala, Florida, is a shining example for those suffering nationwide from the lawlessness that has engulfed our great nation. Great, yes, because there are still Americans who love order and are willing to sacrifice themselves and their time to restore genuine peace to society. The act of wanton destruction might appear to be a crooked line, but Catholics know that God often uses such things to make the way straight for a marvelous return to order.

https://www.returntoorder.org/2020/07/restoration-of-order-at-queen-of-peace-after-fire-bombing/

 

Pilgrimage Part 7: Rome

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Rome: Wed 8th July

Today was a hectic day. Yesterday we travelled from San Giovanni Rotundo via car and then 3 hours by train. Needless to say it was a hot day (about 38°C). The train was an hour late arriving so we waited in the heat. More for us to offer up. This time, however, there was food that we could buy on the station platform.

Our poor driver was waiting at Rome for us for an hour, all dressed up in a suit. He must have been so hot. However we had a great time talking with him on the way to the hotel. It was so pleasant to be able to converse and he gave us a wonderful introduction to Rome- like a mini tour – explaining all the landmarks as we went. So you see, Jesus is good to us – with every downside there is an upside.

The next morning we were picked up for our tour by our official driver and our guide. His name was Vincenzo.

The Colosseum:

The Colosseum
The Colosseum

First stop was the Colosseum. This really put us in touch with our Christian roots, with the guide explaining the pagan society and the entertainment with gladiators, lions and Christians. He told us how St. Ignatius of Loyola died this way.

He told us how each Good Friday, the popes throughout history would always say 4 Stations of the Cross there. Also, how there is a little altar in one of the arches in which a priest says Mass every day, for all those martyred. He also mentioned Pope Innocent VIII in the 15th Century who commemorated the passion of Christians in the Colosseum and Pope Clement X who dedicated the Colosseum to God. We said a little prayer for all those who had died.

St. John Lateran:

This churcP1010385h is actually the church (seat) of the Bishop of Rome. There is a depiction of the Last Supper and behind this picture are relics from the Last Supper table.The main altar is built within an apse which holds (at the top) the heads of Saints Peter and Paul. We prayed through these saints for the Church and its bishops, priests and cardinals and also the Church remnant. We presented our petitions so that they would pray for us. Reverently, we got our handkerchiefs out and touched the base of the apse which housed these precious relics.

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St Mary Major:

This church haP1010397s relics of the manger in which Jesus was laid.  It is in a silver frame and surrounded by glass. You can see the wooden slats through the glass.

There was a chapel dedicated to Our Lady of the Snows. The chapel has a painting which shows the pope (Liberius) drawing the line in the snow to outline where the chapel should be built. Our guide told us how the pope had dreamed of snow falling and that he was to build a basilica there. Our Lady gave him the sign. Snow fell on August 5th, 352 AD – in the middle of Summer!

Around the walls were 3 rows of paintings which depicted the prophets, and people of Old Testament such as Moses, Jacob and Joshua and God’s promise of a Saviour.

St John Lateran Church with frescoe

St. Paul (outside the Walls)

Here we saw the actual chains that bound St Paul in prison, as well as his bones which are in Inside Churchthe sarcophagus. Inside we saw a huge Paschal Candle stand from the 12th century.

The guide tells us that when Paul was beheaded, his head bounced 3 times and that where it bounced, 3 springs of water sprung up. (I hadn’t heard this before).

Goodbye Vincenzo.

This was where our English speaking guide left us. We were very grateful. He taught us and showed us so much about our Faith. We promised to pray for him.

The Catacombs: 8th July
This afternoon we did a tour of St. Sebastien catacombs. There was a church where we could pray and light candles before Our Lady for our Prayer Group intentions.

Prayers and Petitions Virgin and Child
Prayers and Petitions Virgin and Child

We had to wait for an English tour guide. It was very touching to see these places where the early Christians lived and gathered and prayed and were buried. It was moving to touch the walls that these early persecuted Christians had touched and to say a prayer for them.

Catacomb walls
Catacomb walls

There were many young children and babies who died. We could see the names and Christian symbols on their graves. St Sebastian was buried there and his place was marked but his body was later moved to the Church (at the catacombs site). His relics are part of the altar.

St Sebastien relics and altar
St Sebastien relics and altar

9th July: Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel

This morning 4 of us went on a pre-booked tour of the Vatican Museum/ Sistine chapel. We were split up among a number of guides – each with a smaller group of about 20.

At first he seemed ok. He was very animated and enthusiastic in his descriptions of objects and history of various things. He seemed to waste a lot of time talking about trivial things.

Tapestry of the AscensionThe huge tapestries were amazing. He proceeded to take us to see various objects in the Museum. A lot were pagan gods such as Apollo, Atlas etc. He pointed out how some of these provided the basis for certain paintings and carvings of holy things. I began to be not impressed.

We came to a reconstruction in miniature of the pantheon with all the various gods in each archway. He said in his usual jovial voice (and I don’t know if it’s true) that there was Mass held there every Sunday at a certain time. I called out “What? Here? In the Pantheon?” He said “yes”. There was no sign of any kind of altar – only a huge sort of shallow bowl.

Window view
View of Vatican gardens and Pope Benedict’s residence

By this time I was really mad and sad and couldn’t wait to get out of there. Finally, at the end of the tour – after a whole hour- we came to the Sistine Chapel- which is why we came.  He (the tour guide) didn’t enter the chapel. The chapel was big and the paintings beautiful. We stayed a while to ponder.

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When we returned to our hotel, we spoke to others in the group who had been 20 years previously. They said that the Vatican Museum had lots of beautiful, holy things but all we saw were the tapestries and a view of the Vatican gardens and Pope Benedict’s residence.
Our Hotel in Rome:

Once again, we felt so blessed. Our hotel rooms each had a holy picture on top of our beds and a Bible (but in Italian). And there was a chapel with an altar and the Blessed Sacrament present, where we could pray as a group, and attend Mass when there was a Mass being offered.

Picture in Rome hotel rooms
Picture in hotel room