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Saturday, July 30, 2011


It was slightly touch-and go with the weather, but yesterday evening Br. Paul Mary, F.SS.R. and Br. Xavier Maria, F.SS.R. arrived home to Papa Stronsay from Christchurch New Zealand. They are staying on Papa Stronsay for two months.

The brothers were picked-up from Glasgow airport and are seen here driving off the Stronsay ferry.

Welcome home!

A joyous homecoming after a long journey from the other side of the world!

On the way home, they collected the next issue of Catholic. Here it's being loaded onto the boat.

Br. Xavier Maria with Papa Stronsay in the background.

And Br. Paul Mary

First step back onto Papa Stronsay ground.

We flew the New Zealand flag for their return!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Coppersmith priests rev up for more disobedience - Zum zum zum!

This evil iniative began last month.
We pray for the Holy Father

the Church in Austria.

About 300 of Austria’s 4,200 priests
(a minority of 7.1%,
no doubt they are mostly old liberals from the 1960's era)
have pledged to take part in
Aufruf zum -zum zum!- Ungehorsam
(Call to Disobedience),

an initiative launched in June.

The Call to Disobedience manifesto cites
“the Roman refusal of a long-overdue Church reform
and the inaction of bishops.”

Dissenters who support the document pledge:

- to pray for Church reform at every liturgy, since “in the presence of God there is freedom of speech”
- not to deny the Holy Eucharist to “believers of good will,” including non-Catholic Christians and those who have remarried outside the Church
- to avoid offering Mass more than once on Sundays and holy days and to avoid making use of visiting priests--instead holding a “self-designed” Liturgy of the Word
- to describe such a Liturgy of the Word with the distribution of Holy Communion as a “priestless Eucharistic celebration”; “thus we fulfill the Sunday obligation in a time of priest shortage”
- to “ignore” canonical norms that restrict the preaching of the homily to clergy
- to oppose parish mergers, insisting instead that each parish have its own individual leader, “whether man or woman”
- to “use every opportunity to speak out openly in favor of the admission of the married and of women to the priesthood” ...
All so much foolish talk endangering the salvation of souls.

Our Lord said:
I came down from heaven,
not to do my own will,
but the will of him that sent me.
(Jn. 6:38)

Time on Earth is running out.
Eternity approaches.
Soon death will come,
judgment will follow
and then
Heaven or Hell for ever.

Alexander the coppersmith
hath done me much evil:
the Lord will reward him according to his works:
(2 Timothy 4:14)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Snow to sea level in New Zealand. Flights cancelled.

Snow down to sea level in Christchurch.
Br. Paul Mary, F.SS.R. and Br. Xavier Maria, F.SS.R.
were to have left Christchurch today
to return to Papa Stronsay for two months.
With flights cancelled
they will now come home a day or so later!

When they arrive back they may not be missing too much.

The great advantage of our Orkney climate
is that we can often have winter conditions even in the summer!

Today's is the worst snow since 1997.

Akaroa harbour near Christchurch.

Sheep in Lumsden, South Island.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

If you can help, use a safe charity.

"Cor Unum"
is the Holy Father's Charity.

Horn of Africa

Yesterday the Pontifical Council Cor Unum warned that
hundreds of thousands of people in the Horn of Africa
are at risk of dying due to a lack of basic necessities
caused by drought and violence.

This council, which oversees the Church's charity work,
noted Benedict XVI's appeal on Sunday.

"Around 10 million people are suffering, and hundreds of thousands of refugees risk dying because of a lack of basic necessities. Somalia and northern Kenya are the worst struck areas."

The drought is the worst the area has seen for 60 years.
The last official famine was in 1984-85,
when about 1 million people in Ethiopia and Sudan died.

South Somalia is controlled by Islamic fundamentalists
who until last week had banned aid agencies from the area.

The Pope appealing for the Horn of Africa last Sunday.

The Holy Father already sent a €50,000 ($70,000) donation
through Cor Unum
to the apostolic administrator of the Somali capital, Mogadishu.
The Apostolic Administrator Bishop Giorgio Bertin
is directly involved in bringing assistance to the people affected.

The Holy Father speaks.

We invite you to send donations to the Holy Father's Charity -
The Pontifical Council Cor Unum:
How to do it:
The bank details below are from the Cor Unum website:

Bank transfers in Euro (€) from outside Italy:

Pontifical Council "Cor Unum"
Account Number: 603035
Bank: Banco Posta, Poste Italiane S.p.A.
Bank Address: Viale Europa, 175; I-00144 Rome, Italy
BIC-SWIFT Code for Poste Italiane S.p.A: BPPIITRRXXX

(Please provide your name and address,
as well as where you wish the funds to be sent,
so that your gift can be properly acknowledged.)

Bank transfers in other currencies from outside Italy:

(US Dollar USD, Australian Dollar AUD,
Canadian Dollar CAD, British Pound GBP,
Swiss Franc CHF, Japanese Yen JPY):

Pontifical Council "Cor Unum"
Account Number: 603035
Bank: Banco Posta, Poste Italiane S.p.A.
Bank Address: Viale Europa, 175; I-00144 Rome, Italy
BIC-SWIFT Code for Banca Popolare di Sondrio: POSOIT22XXX

(Please provide your name and address,
as well as where you wish the funds to be sent,
so that your gift can be properly acknowledged.)

Donations in any currency can also be made to:

Pontifical Council "Cor Unum"
Account Number: 101010
Bank: Banca di Roma
IBAN Code: IT93 J 03002 05008 000000 101010

(Please provide your name and address,
as well as where you wish the funds to be sent,
so that your gift can be properly acknowledged.)

In the UK
donations large and small to relieve the famine
through the Holy Father's charity "Cor Unun"
may be sent to the Apostolic Nuncio
at the following address:

Most Reverend Archbishop Antonio Mennini
Apostolic Nunciature
54 Parkside
London, SW19 5NE

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Solemnity of the Most Holy Redeemer

Today being the third Sunday of July, we celebrated the feast of the Solemnity of the Most Holy Redeemer. Below are some of the photographs from the Sung Mass at Our Lady's chapel on Stronsay.

We were happy to have two visitors from Paris, Mr Henri Adam de Villiers and his father, who made a short visit to Papa Stronsay and joined us for Holy Mass today.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Funeral of the Son of a Blessed

Today we pray for the soul of

Franz Joseph
Robert Maria Anton Karl Max Heinrich Sixtus Xavier
Felix Renatus Ludwig Gaetan Pius Ignatius

Archduke Otto of Austria

the last Crown Prince of the Austro-Hungarian Empire,

the son of

His Imperial and Apostolic Majesty

Blessed Karl I of Austria

who was laid to rest with his wife
in the tomb of the Emperors
in Vienna on Saturday, 16 July.

His heart will be buried at the
Pannonhalma Archabbey
in Hungary on Sunday, 17 July.
After the Imperial Family's exile to Madeira in 1921 and the death of Blessed Charles, Archduke Otto was brought up by his mother the Empress Zita, herself a most extraordinary woman.
In this short clip (unfortunately only in French)
Archdukes Rudolph and Otto
speak of the influence of their wonderful mother.

The Archduke's wedding in Nancy, France.

Archduke Otto died peacefully in his sleep on
4 July, 2011, in Bavaria.
His remains were first transferred to Munich
for the first Requiem,
followed by a journey to the pilgrimage shrine of Mariazell
where he was laid in state
besides the remains of his wife Regina
who died in 2010.
After being translated to Vienna and the Requiem
the funeral procession conducted the
Archduke to his final resting place.

Finally the Archduke is laid to rest in the
Crypt of the Emperors in the Vienna's Capuchin Church.
The ancient ceremony of admittance is followed as the
hearse arrives at the doors of the church (as shown below).
The deceased Imperial personage is twice announced for admittance
using all his titles of nobility
to which the Capuchin within replies - "We do not know him".
Only on the third request when the deceased is announced as:
"Otto, a mortal, sinful human being!"
are the doors be open and the hearse admitted.

Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon him.
May he rest in peace.

Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine,
et lux perpetua luceat ei.

Requiescat in pace.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Cardinal King Henry IX.

The anniversary
our Cardinal King Henry IX and I.

The Arms of the Cardinal Duke of York.

On 13 July, 1807,
the soul of
Henry Benedict Mary Clement Thomas Francis Xavier Stuart
entered eternity.
He was a Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church.

The Arms of the Stuart Kings.

He was King Henry IX of England, France and Ireland;
King Henry I of Scotland.
He is buried in St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City.

I think that the life of this exiled
King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland,
the last of the Royal House of Stuart,
is most fitting.

The long procession of the Royal Stuarts concludes,
not in a hellish death struggle against the usurper,

but rather with the holy life long sacrifice
of the youngest member of the dynasty,
offered to God.
Henry Stuart
as Prince, heir to the thrones
and legitimate king,

lays down his life in the service of the King of kings
as the Priest-King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland,
Defender of the Faith.

The King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland,
and the Defender of the Faith,
as priest and victim
daily offered the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
for nearly 59 full years.
He was Prince of the Holy Roman Church for 60 years.

"...our every sacrifice was made for God,
for the Faith,
and for that unshaken loyalty we have ever displayed
towards the Primacy of Peter and the Holy See."

(Henry Cardinal called Duke of York, 4 Nov. 1792.)

A brief sketch of his life:

The Duke of York.

He was born in Rome on 6 March 1725,
the second son of exiled
King James III of England and VIII of Scotland.
On the same day he was baptised by Pope Benedict XIII,
shortly after, as the king's second son,
he was created Duke of York.

In 1745 he went to France to help his brother,
H.R.H. Prince Charles, Prince of Wales,
(better known as
Bonnie Prince Charlie),

to prepare the Jacobite campaign in Scotland.

In June 1747 Pope Benedict XIV announced his intention
to enroll Prince Henry, Duke of York,
in the Sacred College of Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church.

30 June 1747
the Duke of York was tonsured
by Pope Benedict XIV.

In the consistory of 3 July 1747,
the Duke of York was created

1 September 1748, in his 24th year of age,
he was ordained a Priest
and thereafter
daily offered the Sacred Victim
on the altar.

15 May - 6 July 1758,
aged 33 years,
he participated in the conclave to elect
Pope Clement XIII.

2 October, 1758,
the Cardinal Prince was appointed
Titular Archbishop of Corinthus
and consecrated bishop on 19 November 1758,
by Pope Clement XIII.

The following year he was appointed
Cardinal-Priest of S. Maria in Trastevere;
his Arms (above) can still be seen
in that ancient basilica's Lady chapel.

The Cardinal Duke of York.

On 13 July 1761,
46 years to the day before he would leave this world,
he was raised yet higher in the Church
when he was appointed
Archbishop (Personal Title) of Frascati.

On 1 January, 1766
his father King James III of England
and VIII of Scotland died.
The King's eldest son became
King Charles III.

The Cardinal Duke of York became the heir apparent.

15 February - 19 May 1769, aged 43,
he participated in the conclave that elected
Pope Clement XIV.

5 October 1775 - 15 February 1775 aged 49,
he participated in the conclave to elect
Pope Pius VI.

30 January, 1788 H.M. King Charles III,
Bonnie Prince Charlie,
his brother, died.

30 January, 1788,
the Cardinal-Prince, Duke of York,
succeeded to all of his British rights as
King Henry IX of England, France and Ireland;
King Henry I of Scotland;
Defender of the Faith.

(He now used the title
"Cardinal called Duke of York"
in order to indicate that this was no longer his real title.
He changed his arms from those of a second son,
with a crescent in the middle,
to the undifferenced Royal Arms.)

1 December 1799 - 14 March 1800, aged 74,
he participated in the conclave
that elected
Pope Pius VII.

26 September 1803
he was appointed Cardinal-Bishop of Ostia
and Dean of the College of Cardinals
which office he held until his death.

REQUIEM aeternam dona ei, Domine,
et lux perpetua luceat ei.
Requiescat in pace. Amen.

Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon him.
May he rest in peace. Amen.

And may the souls of all the faithful departed
rest in peace. Amen.

The tomb of the exiled Stuart Kings
St. Peter's Basilica, Rome.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


In some periods of history,
the hatred of one man for another because of
some injury he had received

has been pushed to extremes.

A village of vendetta towers built in Vathia Mani, Greece.
Those with a price on their heads
could take refuge in the higher part of the tower
until the danger had passed.
Charity had obviously grown cold in this village.

Today's saint is easy to pass by.
He has a rather different sounding name
to the English speaker
and is not well known.
he is one of the most touching examples of
to be found in the lives of the saints.

Born into the noble Visdomini family in 993,
John Gualbert had no more thought of following
a life of austerity and humility than
did his noble Florentine friends and companions.

Raised to be a soldier, he spent his time in worldly amusements.
Indeed, so far from intending to follow
the precepts of Our Lord,
his one over-riding ambition was
to avenge the murder of his elder brother,

To him this was a matter of justice and,
more importantly,
a matter of honour.

It happened that one Good Friday
as he was riding through a narrow pass
on his way to Florence, John came face to face
with the man he had been seeking.

The man was alone and there was no means of escape.
John drew his sword and moved forward,
but at his approach the cornered
fell to his knees and then prostrated
himself on the ground in the form of a cross
and implored him,
for the sake of Our Lord's Holy Passion, to spare his life.

St John said to his enemy,
"I cannot refuse what you ask in Christ's name.
I grant you your life, and I give you my friendship.
Pray that God may forgive me my sin."

Grace had triumphed.

A humble and changed man,
he entered the Church of St Miniato,
which was near; and whilst he prayed,
the figure of Our Crucified Lord,
before which he was kneeling,
bowed its head toward him to ratify the pardon.

St John went to the monastery
of San Miniato del Monte
in Florence
where he asked the abbot
for permission to be admitted.
But the abbot delayed,
fearing the anger and resentment of
the noble convert's parents.

To demonstrate the seriousness of his call,
St John shaved his head himself
and put on a habit that he had borrowed.

He would become the founder of the Vallombrosian

branch of the Benedictines.

One grace offered to us by God,
can be the first link
of a long chain
of graces
that will lead us to Heaven.

Whatever that grace may be, don't miss it.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A Morning with the Afternoon Club

This morning we enjoyed the pleasure of the company
of two groups of friends who braved the waters
(and a little boat)
to pay us a visit on Papa Stronsay.
The members of the Sanday Afternoon Club
were on their second excursion to our Monastery Island
and were delighted to see the progress made in the monastery
and Our Lady's Gardens (where they are pictured above),
since their last visit.
They were also able to enjoy its fruits
in the form of rasberries, strawberries and loganberries.

The island of Sanday (in the distance)
over the water as seen from Papa Stronsay.
Haste ye back!

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