Georges de Nantes.
The Mystical Doctor of the Catholic Faith.
24. “A cathedral of light”
IN July 1993, our Father was offered a contract by the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In fact, we read in his Phalangist notebook, on July 4: “Yesterday, July 3, 1993, I found myself interiorly very troubled by a kind of deal that was proposed to me, therefore imposed by my only Master and Saviour. My Blessed Mother participating in it on both sides, on His and on mine: rather than martyrdom now, twenty-five years of life to bear fruit, but on condition that this already be a kind of bodily death, the realisation of which is to be drawn from the consecration formulated by Mother Mary of the Divine Heart.
“That is all there is to it! It is brief. I said yes.”
“On His side”: What in fact is there in the Sacred Heart of Jesus, together with the love of His Father? The love of Their Immaculate Conception, the sanctuary of Their Holy Spirit of Creative Love.
“On my side”: this love was already inflaming our Father’s heart. He, however, received a new flame, in Canada, on the following August 22, 1993, the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary: he was clothing our Brother Gabriel de Saint-Jean with the holy habit and, undoubtedly spurred on by the example of his patron saint, Brother Gabriel Mossier, he took the freedom to recite the Rosary in a more tender manner, changing the traditional formula from ‘Hail Mary’ to ‘I love You, Mary! Full of grace…’ Our brothers and sisters over there, along with our friends present at the ceremony, began to say the Rosary with this ‘I love You, Mary!’ which inflamed their hearts, and ours likewise. Just as many Aves as there were acts of love, like a child who covers his mother with a thousand kisses, in order to console Her for the numerous insults She receives from those who do not love Her.
What our Father would call “the most pious and most wonderful invention of my life”● did not, however, suit the Devil whose enmity towards the Immaculate is always on the alert, ready to bite Her heel. Immediately, powerful and terrible attacks commenced against our monasteries and against the Catholic Counter-Reformation, and reached a peak in 1996.
THE IMMACULATE SAVES US FROM THE ANTICHRISTIC GNOSIS.
“You divert our gaze from the seduction of the Serpent,” Father de Nantes had already written during the course of the Council. “Your secret, finally revealed, is that of a Creature forgetful of Herself and preserved for God alone, a Creature Whom God has magnificently exalted. Your lesson saves us from the mirages of Antichrist, who is the opposite of You in every way. You are the Spouse of the eternal Wedding Feast, whereas he seeks to reduce us to the slavery of the earthly City.”●
On October 7, 1993, Pope John Paul II signed a new encyclical under the appealing title of ‘Splendor Veritatis,’ which should rather have been termed ‘Erroris Horror,’ the horror of error,” our Father exclaimed. In fact, the Pope’s objective was to persuade the whole Church to adhere to his new ‘morality of Man,’ dialectically reconciling modern Liberty and the divine Truth of all time. “In order to triumph,” Father de Nantes wrote, “the Pope has this centrepiece which consists in these strange words: ‘Truth gives shape to freedom.’ He thinks these words are divine, and I consider them to be Satanic.” Our Father demonstrated it in two issues of the Catholic Counter-Reformation.● A great theological duel then got underway. It was decisive because the eternal life or the death of millions of souls depended on its outcome.
At the same time, our Father strove to build a mystical theology that might positively respond to the errors, omissions and pitfalls of this Satanic gnosis. He did so through the attractive, ‘enticing’ exposé of all the divine and human goods that the Catholic Faith and morality put at our disposal, so that souls may have divine nourishment in abundance and not collapse on the way.
DIVINE CIRCUMINCESSANT CHARITY.
This was the theme of the retreat that our Father preached in 1993,● in which he showed us that the infinite love that circulates unceasingly among the Three Divine Persons, flowing from the Father to the Son, and from Their common principle to the Holy Spirit, finds its ‘reservoir’ in the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Mother of every one of us, forever. In this Heart, so tenderly offered to our yearning, we have access through fraternal charity to the divine Life and we return to the Source of grace and glory “in the bosom of the Father in the unique filial Wisdom and spiritual Love.”●
Thus the mystical theology of our Father is admirably confirmed by the most touching revelation of the Virgin of Fatima’s message, the most encouraging also for little souls, when She promised Lucy on June 13, 1917: “My Immaculate Heart shall be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God.”
Our Father confided: “It seems to me that this autumn retreat which I preached in the autumn of my life is like a vintage of the best fruits of our vine. Should not I say: ‘My teaching is not Mine,’ with even more reason than Jesus saying it in homage to His Father. I did nothing more than plagiarise Holy Scripture and the infinite treasures of Tradition.”●
Our Father succeeded in making this teaching accessible to all and he dealt with the subject of Circumincessant Charity again in 1997 and 1998.
THE NARROW PATH.
Father de Nantes, anguished by the worsening of heresy, apostasy and immorality, and by the power of evil infiltrating the best protected families, did not hesitate to write:
“No soul, no family, no institution, no religious Order, however prestigious it may be, the Carmel, the Carthusians, the Franciscans or the Jesuits, will be able to subsist and acquire eternal life simply by blindly and comfortably obeying everything that comes from ecclesiastical authority, ‘loving the praise of men more than the praise of God’ (Jn 12:43). Thus the Catholic Counter-Reformation is the one door and the narrow path to Life, while conciliar, liberal or extremist reformism is the wide path and the door open to perdition [...].
“By this, I obviously do not mean Catholic Counter-Reformation in the narrow sense of our Phalange, our Catholic Counter-Reformation League, our ‘chapel” and even less our ‘organisation’! I am not of the opinion that we should abandon the religious society, the parish, the diocese, still less the Roman Church in which we first received and committed ourselves to the Gospel because of disagreement on doctrinal or liturgical matters. No, but if we cannot persuade our father, our superior, our mother, our sisters, to return to the true faith, it is vital that we do not allow ourselves slip idly, unconsciously into the atmosphere of religious freedom and human rights, remembering that God’s grace is effective for those who ask for it, but that you must correspond to it in order to achieve your salvation through painful effort.
“Because the great truth for which we willingly assume the burden is that no person, no institution, no nation can please God, His Son Jesus Christ or the Virgin Mary, and thus be blessed in this world and saved in the other, if he participates in that system of intolerance and pertinacity in error which leads to apostasy. Whoever practises the cult of man, professes respect for his inalienable dignity and rights, imposes the unholy principle of Freedom on himself and on others, above all, Religious Freedom, has made shipwreck in the faith and insults God mortally. Each one of us, understanding what an insult to God there is in this idolatry of man and what a grotesque lie it constitutes, will be ready to shed his blood rather than embrace such folly. You can appreciate the importance of the work to which we have riveted ourselves, chained like galley slaves to their rowing bench, with you, as volunteer fellow bondmen.
“The other truth of which we are the voluntary heralds is also unbearable to the ears of our contemporaries, and yet it is the transcription of an obvious fact. It is that all the evils from which mankind suffers, at every level, in every country and in every field, – those evils that are now affecting you, and hurting and overwhelming you mortally! – find their primary cause in this contempt for God and this adulation of Man and his Freedom, under the infamous names of democracy, ecumenism, secularism and universal brotherhood. The salvation of our nation, the resolving of our social crises, the return to a minimum of order in our families, our schools, our hospitals, our courts, the reanimation of economic life that is moribund in some places and savage elsewhere, everything depends on the adoration of the one true God, Jesus Christ, and the burning of gigantic autos-da-fe in which all the ornaments and tatters of the standards and tawdry rags of the revolution, emancipation and democracy will disappear in the flames. ‘Liberty or death!’ shouted the followers of Robespierre and Danton. Here is the truth: Such Liberty is death!”●
René Bazin wrote about Father de Clorivière: “The only useful men in revolutions are those who concede nothing to them: all the others merely serve their interests.” Father de Nantes numbers among those whom the Revolution in the Church “did not deceive for a single moment, and one of those even rarer people who realised that it could not be outwitted: it had to be combated and overthrown.”●
Overthrow it? Yes, but with the help of the Immaculate.
ON PILGRINAGE TO FATIMA.
In May 1994, under the title: ‘The League will go on pilgrimage to Fatima, on October 13, 1996,’ Father de Nantes announced to his friends: “On May 13, the idea came to me – an idea I consented to with the same impulse as that wherewith it was inspired in my soul –, to promise the Immaculate Heart of our divine Mother to go on pilgrimage to Fatima on October 13, 1996, something which I alone of our Communities have not yet done, seeing myself prevented on account of my suspens a divinis [...]. Dead or alive, I shall go.”
Then, he wondered: “To be urged to go to Fatima, and at this distant date of 1996 – why? I do not know. Yet a sudden joy pervaded me on making this decision, which made me utter this strange prayer in a surge of thanksgiving and of total, definitive readiness.”
Surprising indeed, but so revealing of our Father’s mystical soul and of the Holy Spirit indwelling in him:
“In the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Through the Most Holy Immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of God.
From the beginning He was, He is, He is to come,
The Lord Jesus, our King,
For ever and ever. Amen!
Hosanna! Come Lord Jesus, Alleluia!
For the good pleasure, happiness and glory of our Father,
“I love You, O Mary, full of grace,
The Lord is with You.
I shall go, therefore, I shall go, and in the meanwhile
I shall live every moment as though already being on the way to Fatima.
And I shall fill your good servants and maidservants
And all those who love You with enthusiasm
For this idea of coming to Your feet, O dearest Mother, to Your knees,
Being disposed to carry out your orders, your requests, your desires
In filial submission as of now
And at the blessed hour of the midday Angelus of this October 13, 1996,
“This pilgrimage,” our Father added, “is a promise of spiritual treasures for those who from the outset, open their hearts to it, then of devotion and consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary at the end of this pilgrimage, for the conversion of the sinners we are but who no longer wish to be, and the salvation of the world through the indivisible reign of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary over the whole world.”
He announced it as a Crusade to be undertaken “in all wisdom against the Devil, the world and ourselves in the Name of the Immaculate Mother of God, Mediatrix and Auxiliatrix.” It is also “a personal call to take stock of the events through which we are passing [...]. In the next thirty months one world will disappear and another will be born: the world of Mary!” After having determined what was at stake, he insisted on the difficulties: “It is like embarking on a thirty-month non-stop deep-sea journey that has been resolved, signed, executed, knowing only that the ‘submarine will escape explosives, torpedoes and all manner of damage through the special protection of the Virgin Mary, and that the submariners and passengers will thus arrive safe and sound, by a pure grace of God.”
At the time, we could only be impressed by the gravity, the solemnity of the tone, and the extent of the preparations. Today, the inspired foreboding of the impending tragedy is apparent: in fact, 1996 would be a year fraught with dangers. It began with the Republican State registering the Communities of the Little Brothers and Little Sisters of the Sacred Heart on the list of ‘dangerous sects’ and culminated with the reclusion of our Father in a Church prison, after the threat of a media scandal was used as blackmail. The pilgrimage to Fatima did take place, but in his absence.
This shows the privileged place of his preparation in what will be for Father de Nantes the beginning of his ascent of Calvary. We were unaware of this at the time.
A EUCHARISTIC AND MARIAN HEART-TO-HEART.
This devotion, both new and old, was the distinctive characteristic of the retreat on the Mass that Father de Nantes preached in the Autumn 1994, presenting it to the simple and the mystics rather than to the learned and the powerful!● He led us further into this “mystery of faith,” explaining to us the importance of the offertory and the great miracle of transubstantiation.
Nothing and no one will be able to rend these three truths from our souls, which his teaching has inscribed in golden letters:
“1° It is Jesus Whom I see, eat and touch.
“2° It is Him in Person in His sacrifice.
“3° He applies Himself to me in Communion, His Body to my body, to “ ‘restore’ me, according to His promise.”●
In the following months and until January 1995, our Father continued to have us meditate on the ‘Eucharistic Heart of Jesus and Mary.’
Jesus and the Blessed Virgin have two concerns: to save us by Their sufferings and to remain among us to distribute Their benefits to us. The Eucharistic Heart of Jesus allows us to discover that in Him there is such a concern for our salvation, until the end of the world, that He comes back down on all the altars to reiterate His sacrifice, to distribute its fruits to us. This is what the Mass is all about [...] It is Jesus’ prayer to His Father so that He might grant us forgiveness.”●
INTERPRETIVE HISTORY OF HOLY FRANCE: THE GREAT WAR.
Throughout 1994, our Father undertook a study that is now an authoritative source of information on the “ ‘war of 1914,’ which was ill-prepared, so badly waged, narrowly won in 1918, and only by dint of the heroism of our soldiers and their best commanders; for a peace that was promptly compromised.”●
On November 11, 1994, Father de Nantes organised a French Remembrance Day● to honour the memory of our “War veterans.” It left “a deep impression on everyone; it was like a resurrection of these forgotten, unrecognised Christian heroes, and a belated revelation of this great hidden tragedy.”●
THE LOST THREAD … ORTHODROMY FOUND AGAIN.
In January 1995, our Father admitted to us – and this was recorded in the League●: “Stunned and dumbfounded… I lost the thread.” He? The priest who, for more than forty years had kept watch from the rampart, seeking “something good, or some good news that might revive our hope. I dared not say out loud that nothing could be seen to contradict this decadence, to slow down this collapsing of the world, nothing in any country, in any human institution, in any political project, in any new gnosis, other than American or oriental charlatanry. Nothing and no one! No father, no leader, no master, no saint.” He was thus obliged to observe: “The orthodromy that governs the world and in principle guides the Church’s straight and holy navigation through the millennia towards the desired haven of the eternal Kingdom is no longer sure, the Promises are faltering, the thread has been lost.”
It was then that, in this overwhelming anguish, at the sight of the collapse of the world, the tragic truth of the message of Fatima came to him, more relevant than ever: “We have to come back to this Message, the most considerable in all Christian history, proved by the Miracle of the sun, the greatest miracle in the whole history of the world since Christ’s Resurrection, vouched for by the most divine and merciful creature, the Blessed Virgin Mary.” Here, however, is the novelty: “Abandoning all human wisdom, all presumption and vain passion, we went on to embrace this supreme lesson concerning our salvation. Thereafter, we have only to prostrate ourselves before God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, submitting to His terrible judgements and hoping in His infinite mercy.”
Here we pick up the tread: the secret of divine orthodromy, in our times that are the last, passes through the words and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
THE GOSPEL OF OUR LADY.
First revelation: Hell on earth. Of course, we know, or rather we think we know: “You have seen Hell where the souls of poor sinner go.”
For the first time, our Father compared the vision that terrified the shepherds with the horrors of our world:
“I dared to see our present day society through the eyes of my Heavenly Mother. Everywhere, all around us, in this world of aggressive atheism and devastating secularism, we are constantly assailed with an obsessive propaganda against all virtues and in favour of all crimes. Those people who flaunt their wickedness, declared enemies of God and of His Church, are the ‘poor sinners’ that Our Lady gently pities, for they are tomorrow’s damned who, here today with us, are heading for Hell [...].
“Already amongst us, Hell is presently pleasure-loving and insolent, insulting, persecuting, defying God in very many places and in multitudes of souls. Yet already the vision of Fatima shows us the atrocious, unspeakable chastisement, sorrows and despair, which is upon these ungodly people, with no light, no love and not the least relief. God is saddened as He looks at this already damned world, for which Christ did not pray.
“True, among them there are holy predestined souls, offering themselves as victims of love and mercy, praying, sacrificing, suffering and still saving certain lost souls by the ardour of their charity,” yet, our Father observed, “this is no cause for a victorious Crusade tomorrow.” Thus?
Second revelation: Purgatory here below. This revelation “concerns our temporal affairs. It is not yet Hell, but it is at least our earth changed into Purgatory! Suddenly we find extraordinary interest in it: the prophecy corroborates our own historical research.” Then, orthodromy, which is based on divine authority, reappears. On July 13, 1917, the Great War was in full swing. Our Lady took pity on the poor soldiers: “The war will end soon,” She foretold. Yes, but “unless there is a heroic, and therefore moral, national reaction,” another war will result from the ‘bad Treaty’ (Bainville.) “If people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out in the reign of Pius XI.”
Our Father experienced this: the bad peace of 1919 was followed by the return of anticlericalism, German rearmament, the invasion of Europe and another war worse than the first. This was coupled with a Bolshevik revolution that would spread its anti-colonialism, terrorism and truly cruel and satanic atheistic militancy throughout the world. “To prevent this,” the Blessed Virgin had said, “I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart and the Communion of Reparation on five First Saturdays.” The hierarchy turned a deaf ear to these words and the prophecy came true, inexorably: “The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated…”
Then, the prophecy fell silent. All had been said. “It is a dreadfully topical purgatory, the end of which even Heaven itself seems not to see.” Thus, how are topical events to be followed, our Father wondered? Gone were the days when from one lecture to the next delivered at the Mutualité Hall in Paris, he himself analysed current events (to know), announced their consequences (to foresee), in order to decide on a policy regarding them (to provide for), whether well or poorly received. This joy of the intellect and the pride to serve usefully his country, our Church have been taken from us. Everything is beyond our grasp: “A human race without God, without Christ, without Gospel revelation, with no spiritual understanding, no past, simply robotic and electronic, with no moral conscience.”
“This is precisely where the importance of our Second Secret lies. During these difficult moments, when the thread seems to have been lost, the Blessed Virgin does not expect us to speak, to decide or to act in this chaos of peoples and religions, but simply to have pity and to pray, to make reparation and to expiate to obtain Heaven’s grace which alone can give peace on earth and Heaven’s salvation in the end. Ignoring all the rest, we know the acts of devotion [the Reparatory Communion of the First Saturdays, the Rosary, the scapular, the consecration of Russia] which, in themselves, are so insignificant and so disproportionate to the immense affairs of this world! Yet, it is they that will prompt Heaven’s pardon and the salvation of everything and everyone. It is the good pleasure of our dearest Heavenly Father that established them, and our divine Mother Who brings them back to mind through Her messenger.”
This makes us “conscious, resolute, patient and persevering protagonists of the world’s salvation. Let unbelievers laugh! Let the world disregard us. It is our purgatory to suffer this contempt and these persecutions, but we look down from on high, from the throne of Mary our Queen, upon the current events in which the demons and the damned are bustling about for their perdition.” Thus, life here below regains its meaning, its orthodromy. In the mystical course of Father de Nantes and of his Phalange, this resolution was a turning point that, after the turmoil of 1996, perfected our absolute consecration to the Immaculate to Whom our Father would give way, as he would say, and as he would do.
But let us return to the secret, “veritable thread of the Virgin to enlighten our route in this world and lead us to temporal and eternal salvation.”
Third revelation: Mary’s Paradise. The Secret was still kept hidden in 1995, despite Sister Lucy’s objurgations that it should be revealed from 1960 on. Two of its sentences are certain: “In Portugal, the dogma of the faith will always be preserved,” and: “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph.”
During this unleashing of the forces of hell, a blessed land will remain inviolable: the domain of the Blessed Virgin, the land, the home, the family of Fatima, “an oasis of purity, freshness, joy and Marian devotion, which will be the showcase of Paradise in the midst of this world’s hell and purgatory, so that none of Mary’s children might go astray or get lost in these difficult years.” That is why it was necessary to go there on October 13, 1996!
Knowing that “Fatima is to be found wherever there is a soul, a family, a parish, a convent, a nation that adheres to Heaven’s messages, which are a complete Catholic catechesis, and that fulfils Our Lady’s requests which, by Her grace, are the comprehensive practice of the unchanged true religion. There is plenty of room in this ‘new Jerusalem, come down out of Heaven from God, the holy city, perfect and prepared as a bride adorned for her husband’ on her wedding day (Ap 21:2-3). The Immaculate Heart of Mary is in fact a ‘refuge’ for all, “always willing to welcome the outcasts of this world,”● and it is in Her Holy City, ‘Mary’s City,’ that “the definitive victory of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus is being prepared, firstly in Rome, and via Rome, throughout the world.”●
Just one year before the great day of the pilgrimage, Father de Nantes further specified its supernatural meaning. As all three of our approaches made to Rome (1973, 1983 and 1993) revealing the tragedy of apostasy in the Roman Church, had served the glory of Jesus Christ through our abjection, so too, this lightning pilgrimage had to reflect a genuine concern for the Church: nothing human ought to be ambitioned, or coveted, not even spiritual satisfaction! It should be a veritable Crusade, “in this precise sense of a journey to this blessed place, inspired only by the thought that over there we shall find an absolutely sure rallying point for all faithful Catholics, with a view to reminding Heaven that we on earth do not forget what Heaven deigned to reveal to us and to ask us to do and to hope for, and also to remind the earth that Heaven’s warnings are still relevant today.”
For his part, our Father committed himself, as though he ought not and could not do anything on his own, to praying constantly for “the pilgrimage of my whole consecrated life, so that it may end at the feet of my Sovereign Lady, and serve for whatever She will ask of us, or realise in us, for the greatest mercy on the world and for the glory of Her Son Jesus Christ.”●
At the same time, in his preaching, he exhorted us to “invoke Mary more and more frequently and with increasing fervour.”●
To arouse our enthusiasm as Eucharistic Crusaders, Father de Nantes communicated to us the charm of ‘positive purity’ that ought to keep our Monasteries and our families safe from the corruption of a world become lustful precisely because it has abandoned the cult of the Holy Eucharist and the Blessed Virgin. Our Father demonstrated how true love is totally centred on Jesus and Mary, thus becoming self-forgetfulness, self-denial, sacrifice, and communion. His preaching, a fountain of purity and humility against Freud and AIDS, is traditional doctrine. What is new, however, is that it makes us love Love: to love truly Our Lord and Our Lady, in the spirit of Fatima, of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus and Father of Foucauld, and also Saint Francis de Sales, the “doctor of love.”
Thus, in August 1995, our Father was able to write: “The retreats, lectures and meditations, our ‘Logia’●, sessions and camps have furnished building stones, very diverse materials. We did not realise how well they had been preconceived to constitute one day a cathedral of light. Now we have reached the point where all this has to be fit together and cemented, to the glory of Mary, Our Lady of the Rosary, of Fatima, Whose message, like that of Paray-le-Monial, is a fundamental revelation of truth and of love.”●
In this cathedral of light, our Father erected, next to Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, a magnificent statue to Saint Francis of Sales, as well as to Saint Jane Frances de Chantal, by preaching to us on their extraordinary vocation.● in our 1995 retreat. He first endeavoured to penetrate the life of this great Counter-Reformation saint. Then, he revealed to us his secret: “the intimate union of souls that he experienced with Saint Jane de Chantal, in complete holiness and chastity – a union wherein God was the organiser and the minister. Thus, from their ‘one heart’ immediately poured forth, like a cascade, an inexhaustible love for their families, their friends, then for the foundation of the Visitation, and through it a love for all the poor, the sick and the humble. A mystical fruitfulness! [...] Yes, our Father succeeded in depicting Saint Francis de Sales for us: truly a ‘living image’ of the charity of the Heart of Jesus, a prophetic image, since his spiritual doctrine would be the antidote to Protestantism which would become Jansenism before finally sinking into rationalism.”●
The following year, our Father came back to Father de Foucauld●. He highlighted the trials and tribulations of his childhood, his slow progression towards conversion, thanks to the mediation of his pious cousin, Marie de Bondy, with whom he would experience a holy spiritual friendship. Our Father applied his relational metaphysics and his ‘positive purity’ in order to refute energetically all the modern theories that defile this supernatural affection! He also studied the colonial and missionary work of our Blessed Father, as well as the true causes of his death, which make him a martyr of the faith and Christendom. Through these lectures, our Father makes us penetrate the soul of Charles de Foucauld, with an incomparable certainty of interpretation, revealing in him a spiritual master and a great missionary!
A CATHOLIC AND MARIAN DOCTOR.
In that same autumn 1995, our Father undertook a series of lectures on metaphysics,● with the joy of discovering late in life the marvellous work of a brilliant Franciscan from the early 14th century: John Duns, surnamed Duns Scotus. He is little known and much maligned, although he was beatified by John Paul II on March 20, 1993.
Our Father highlighted the perfection of Duns Scotus’ judgement on the metaphysicians of his time when the universities passed, not without tumultuous protest, from the supremacy of the age-old and mystical vision of faith, to the dominance of Aristotelian and Thomist rational philosophy. Our saint resolved this conflict serenely, boldly and truthfully. Thus, following the ‘Catholic doctor,’ and in accordance with his “Franciscan ideal,” Father de Nantes intended “to find in our Sacred Scriptures and our Catholic dogmas, all the principles, the ideas and the vocabulary necessary for our living faith, for our modest familiarity with its Mysteries, and firstly with our God in the fullness of His Trinitarian Circumincession.”●
Unfortunately, our Father did not have the time to complete this study in which he was vitally interested. Dreadful trials would prevent him from doing so. Indeed, the infernal powers were going to do everything to overthrow our ‘cathedral of light,’ while he advised us to make the thirteen months that remained before October 13, 1996, a true and sincere ‘Eucharistic and Marian Crusade.’
THE ‘STATIONS’ OF OUR CRUSADE, FROM LORETTO TO FATIMA.
At the end of an enthusiastic and magnificent commentary on the Pater,● Father de Nantes announced that after this first totally spiritual Crusade, a second one, would follow, under the guidance of Bishop Freppel.● It would consist “in a politics of a sacral nature with a view to the Catholic national revolution,” rejecting all secularism and spirit of compromission. This will bring about a prodigious resurrection of Christendom! For it is true that Fatima’s ‘inner joy’ can only be spread as a ‘world event.’ It took boldness and holy zeal to preach such a Crusade in France and the Church in 1995 instead of this being done by their vacillating authorities.
In order to involve us in this Crusade “with an ardent and generous heart,” our Father placed us under the leadership of Saint Didacus whose life resembled that of a perfect Crusader, according to the ancient motto: Pray – Receive Communion – Sacrifice yourself – Be an apostle.● We ought to find this strength of conversion and apostolate in the fidelity achieved all through these months of preparation: “With the simplicity of the Crusaders of old, or of the Papal Volunteers, the Zouaves of Charette and Sonis, we can prepare for this Pilgrimage as for the last and most splendid stage of our life: see Jerusalem and die! See Loreto, see Fatima, and die!”
The first two stations were in the chapel of our Maison Saint-Joseph under the gaze of our dearest Heavenly Father to meditate on the Pater Noster and to savour the Heavenly Bread, then in Our Lady of Loretto Whose Santa Casa transported by the Crusaders and protected from the infidels by the victory of Lepanto in 1571 is a compelling prophetic figure of the Capelhina of Fatima, “the treasure of the West today.” Then, our Father took us to a spiritual pilgrimage to Our Lady of Victories.●
In fact, on January 10, 1996, the ‘Guyard Report’ on ‘Sects in France’● was made public. A list of 172 movements that could “be described as sectarian,” in the strongest sense of the term and that presented a “dangerousness that gives cause for concern [sic]” had been drawn up. Among them, the “Community of the Little Brothers and Little Sisters of the Sacred Heart” (p. 25), which ranked among nine “pseudo-Catholic sects.” Our Community was thus exposed to public condemnation. Our execution was programmed.
“How can I express my anguish?
“I am a simple and unworthy priest, come as a suspect, denounced by the secular, republican State, more sectarian than any other, and concurrently (!) ‘disqualified’ by the postconciliar Church for exactly thirty years now, the founder of a confraternity of the Sacred Heart, which I have governed for thirty-eight years and have decided to take to Fatima together with seven hundred friends. I enter this Sanctuary to find in Mary Help of Christians and Mediatrix a twofold word and double assistance to reassure me for the past and to urge me forward along this pilgrim path, me, the declared guru of a detested sect, singled out as dangerous by Church and State combined.”
On January 18, 1996, our Father went on pilgrimage to Our Lady of Victories, in order to put himself and his works under the protection of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. There, he discovered Father des Genettes, “poorly thought of and harshly treated all his life, with the exception of one brief bright interval, recognised as far from perfect, even to this day, and unworthy of the altars! – a priest with extremist views and a character inclined to the most regrettable excess, and even to misplaced public outbursts!”
Now, what did this Father de Nantes of the nineteenth century do? After having heard a heavenly voice ordaining him to consecrate his parish to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, he did so on December 3, 1836. Immediately, Our Lady of Victories filled the world with Her miracles. Well! Here is what our Father decided: “I entrusted the affair to this pitiable Father des Genettes. He had an off-putting manner that earned him the nickname “Monsieur Rude Abord.” I have no further worries: he will obtain for us, who are more wretched than himself, from the Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima, the promised Victory and peace.”
In February, our station was at Our Lady of Pontmain, where our Father found in Father Guérin another support, he, who “made his parish worthy of Mary’s tenderness” and of receiving first Her message of hope: “Do pray My children God will answer you before very long, My Son allows Himself to be moved.” And the Germans fell back. Is it not also at Pontmain that there appeared, pinned on our heavenly Queen’s shoulders, two little bare, white crosses, which Father Barbedette said were prophetic? “This announces the Secret of Fatima. In times past, the Crusaders bore similar crosses pinned on like this. There we have the announcement of our Eucharistic and Marian Crusade. It will be victorious, for white is the colour of joy and victory.”●
Then, half way to Fatima, hidden in the rocks is the grotto of Massabielle, where Our Lady of Lourdes appeared in 1858, as though in exile, far from the new powers and from the new morals of financial, liberal and masonic Paris. There could be found the penitent and devout people of France, invincibly attached to their Queen, in union with the great and holy Pope Pius IX, rewarded for his proclamation in 1854 of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, and encouraged to denounce the liberal impiety that he would anathematise in 1864 with the Syllabus. For it was with Father Peyramale that our Father wanted to have his ‘station’: he too had a ‘off-putting manner,’ yet, what a heart!●
The last station revealed to us the whole truth about Our Lady of La Salette,● Reconciliatrix of sinners, Whose message prefigures “the reign of Mary, second Mediatrix of redeemed humanity. She came first to offer Her beautiful Realm as a gift to Her Lord and Son, Jesus Christ, to the honour of Their unique Heart, fountain of mercy and love for every creature.”● La Salette and Fatima shed light on each other through their two secrets. Both are kept hidden, but they can be fathomed in their tragic announcement of the apostasy of the ecclesiastical hierarchy: “Rome will lose the faith and will become the seat of Antichrist.” We cannot lose the Faith when we see that the Blessed Virgin has foreseen and foretold this apostasy.
As for our Father, he humbly confessed that he identified with Maximin, at the moment when an episcopal thunderbolt was about to be discharged, forcing him into exile, as we shall see in our next chapter.
UNDER THE BANNER OF THE HOLY POPE JOHN PAUL I.
All these stations converge towards the reign of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the rampart against apostasy. All we needed was a holy pope, witnessing to the perpetual holiness of the Roman Church, even at the cost of his life, to be the patron of our pilgrimage and to guarantee its perfect Catholicity: it was John-Paul I, whose banner made by our sisters in cloth of gold was blessed by our Father the very morning of his departure for exile. The radiant face of this well-loved Pontiff seemed to promise us for the near future a great movement of fervour like that which had been awakened by his wonderful smile in the course of his very brief but exemplary pontificate. Did he not confide to his friend, Don Germano Pattaro:
“If I live, I shall return to Fatima in order to consecrate the world, and the peoples of Russia in particular, to the Blessed Virgin, in accordance with the indications She gave to Sister Lucy.”
He was assassinated. Sister Lucy was sequestered in Coimbra and our Father was exiled – for the same reason. In this sense, we were under good protection, therefore it was with courage that, repressing our intimate sorrows, we carried out our pilgrimage to Fatima, on the appointed day, in the absence of its initiator – kidnapped like the children of Fatima by the Tinsmith on August 13, 1917 – though in the spirit and with the resolutions with which he had imbued us. We performed all our devotions in the midst of the good Portuguese people, preceded by our banners. Cardinal Ratzinger saw them but he was obviously under orders to stifle interest for the Third Secret and for the divine pastoral approach dictated by the Immaculate Heart of Mary for the world of our time, an interest that the presence of Father de Nantes’ group might have revived.
It was a new revelation of hearts, a clear ‘judgement’ to anyone who knows how to read. Once our first Crusade carried out, we returned, the heart filled with strength, courage and trust to enter the Kingdom of Mary.
Catholic Counter-Reformation no. 261, October 1993, p. 2.
Letter to My Friends no. 179, August 15, 1964
cf. Catholic Counter-Reformation no. 262, November 1993 pp. 1-16 et n°264, p. 2-22.
‘Divine Circumincessant Charity’; cf. Catholic Counter-Reformation no. 263, December 1993, p. 11-23; no. 265, February 1994, p. 17-28; no. 267, May 1994, p. 3-15.
Mystical page no. 90, p. 472.
Catholic Counter-Reformation no. 265, February 1994, p. 28.
Letter to the Phalange no.46 of January 1, 1994.
René Bazin (1853-1932), born into a bourgeois family from Anjou, was a jurist and professor of criminal law at the Université Catholique de l’Ouest [Catholic University of the West] in Angers. He is better known, however, for his literary career as novelist, journalist, historian, and essayist. From his youth, he showed a keen interest in literature and poetry. From 1883 onwards, René Bazin published his first novels. His literary production is very rich and varied, including more than sixty works: novels, biographies, tales and accounts from youth, essays and short stories, travel chronicles and accounts of the First World War. Many of his works were huge successes, crowned by the literary awards of the Académie française. In 1903, he was elected to be a member of this prestigious literary institution.
A fervent Catholic, René Bazin lived according to his religious convictions. From 1915 to 1923, he was in charge of the Professional Corporation of Christian Publicists, also known as the Union of French Journalists. In 1917, he founded the Catholic Press Office.
René Bazin was a forerunner of Catholic and social Christian intellectuals. In his novels, most often set in the rural and peasant environment of western France, the writer describes with great accuracy and wealth of vocabulary, the social condition of workers. René Bazin strove to promote humane working conditions and respect for the individual in his writings. He emphasised nobility of heart and humility.
Pierre-Joseph Picot de Clorivière (1735-1820), was a French Jesuit priest and spiritual writer. Clorivière studied with the English Benedictines of Douai. He joined the Society of Jesus in 1756, and was a teacher at the Compiègne College when the Jesuits were expelled from France (1762). He continued his theological training at the English seminary in Liège (Belgium), where he was ordained a priest in 1763. He spent a few years in England, but returned in 1767 to Ghent (Belgium), where he was in charge of the formation of young French Jesuits in exile. He took his final vows in the Society of Jesus the day before it was suppressed by Clement XIV (August 15, 1773). Father Clorivière returned to Saint-Malo as a simple secular priest.
Deeply worried about the ravages caused by the anti-religious spirit of the French Revolution, he received an inspiration of a new form of religious life that the political context of open religious persecution demanded. Thus, together with a few priests, he formed the Society of the Heart of Jesus and, with the collaboration of Adélaïde-Marie Champion de Cicé, he founded the Daughters of the Heart Of Mary in 1790. They “would be open to all kinds of people, of all ages, of all countries, of all conditions.” Neither foundation “would separate its members from the common faithful,” therefore they did not live in community nor wear a distinctive religious habit.
During the Terror (1792-1794) and the Directory (1795-1799) Father Clorivière lived in hiding in Paris, bringing the help of the sacraments and the Eucharist to groups of clandestine Christians. From 1802 to 1804 he travelled throughout France giving village missions and spiritual retreats. In 1804, Father Clorivière was arrested on suspicion of having participated in the plot known as “the infernal machine” against the first consul Napoleon. He was imprisoned several years in the Temple prison, where he spent his time there completing books of biblical commentary. While in prison, having learned in 1805 that Pius VI had approved the presence of the Jesuits in Russia, Father Clorivière obtained his affiliation to the Russian group. As soon as he was released from prison in 1809, he prepared the members of his institute to enter the Society of Jesus. Then, in 1814, when the Society of Jesus was officially universally restored, Father Clorivière was charged with the task of re-establishing the Jesuit Order in France: he was appointed superior and master of novices. By the end of that year, he was already at the head of 80 Jesuits. Several houses were opened or reopened. At the age of 81, physically very much diminished – he was almost blind – Father Clorivière asked to be relieved of his charge. He then withdrew to Montrouge. He remained much sought-after as a spiritual guide and continued to write on various theological and spiritual subjects. Father Clorivière died on January 9, 1820.
Pierre de Clorivière, contemporary and Judge of the Revolution [of 1789], Paris, 1926, p. 3.
Letter to the Phalange no. 47 and Contre-Réforme Catholique no. 267, May 1994, p. 1.
S124, Autumn Retreat, 1994, “Mysterium fidei”.
Contre-Réforme Catholique no. 305, September 1994, p. 31.
Sermon at Vespers, October 16, 1994.
Letter to the Phalange no. 46 of January 1, 1994.
Catholic Counter-Reformation no. 272, Special issue of December 1994, p. 1-20.
Catholic Counter-Reformation no. 272, Special issue of December 1994, p. 35
Catholic Counter-Reformation no. 273, January 1995, p. 23-26, the present pages quote very large extracts from this article.
Letter of Sister Lucy, of April 14, 1945, Fatima, Salvation of the World, p. 204. (in French only)
Catholic Counter-Reformation no. 274, February-March 1995, p. 31.
Catholic Counter-Reformation no. 276, May 1995, p. 1-2.
Catholic Counter-Reformation no. 276, May 1995, p. 3.
By ‘Logia,’ we mean the morning prayers, the homilies of the community Mass and the spiritual readings that our Father had recorded for our friends, to nourish their interior lives. The tapes were sent to those who had subscribed.
Letter to the Phalange no. 51 of august13, 1995.
S127, Autumn Retreat 1995, ‘Saint François de Sales and his Extraordinary Vocation”.
Catholic Counter-Reformation no. 279, October 1995, p. 20.
S128, September 1996 ‘Love following the example of our venerate Father de Foucauld’. Cf. nos. 291-294, 296, 300, 302, 304.
Catholic Counter-Reformation no. 280, p. 23-24; no. 281, p. 21-22; no. 282, p. 23-27; no. 283, p. 11-24.
Catholic Counter-Reformation no. 283, February-march 1996, p. 19.
Letter to the Phalange no. 52 of November 11, 1995.
Catholic Counter-Reformation no. 281, December 1995, p. 11-15. Cf. Bishop Freppel, by Brother Pascal of the Blessed Sacrament, in French only: Vol. I, Wisdom and Alacrity, 1827-1870; Vol. II, A Bishop Prepared to Fight, 1870-1880; Vol. III, God does not Command us to Win, but to Fight, 1880-1886; Vol IV, I Have Been Fighting Alone, 1887-1891; this volume will soon be published.
Letter to the Phalange nos. 53 and 54 of November 13, and December 10, 1995, in Catholic Counter-Reformation no. 281.
Letter to the Phalange no. 55, Catholic Counter-Reformation no. 282, January 1996, p. 1-4.
Contre-Réforme Catholique no. 286, June 1996, p. 1.
Letter to the Phalange no. 56, Catholic Counter-Reformation no. 283, February-March 1996, p. 1-4
Letter to the Phalange no. 57, Catholic Counter-Reformation no. 284, April 1996, p. 1-4
Letter to the Phalange no. 58, Catholic Counter-Reformation no. 287, July-August 1996, p. 1-30.
Letter to the Phalange no. 59, of September 21-22, 1996, partially published in Catholic Counter-Reformation no. 288, September 1996, p. 25.