Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Moje oczy łzy wylewają
bezustannie dniem i nocą,
Bo wielki upadek dosięgnie
Dziewicę, Córę mego ludu,
klęska przeogromna.

And thou shalt speak this word to them:
Let my eyes shed down tears night and day,
and let them not cease,
because the virgin daughter of my people
is afflicted with a great affliction, with an exceeding grievous evil.
(Jeremias 14: 17)

The Mass which was said early that morning--scented with incense and fallen apples--was in commemoration of martyrs Ss. Hippolytus and Cassian. The former was dragged to death by horses and the latter pierced to the heart by his students' styluses. The Matins following (quoted above) spoke of the same, wretched pain that the world in its envy seems forever bound to inflict upon those whose stakes are beyond its corporal sphere. Having watched Richard Curtis's Green Party video (entitled 10:10, no pressure) where Leftists gleefully blow up human beings, including children, who dissent from their postmodern faith, it seems more and more likely that an era of martyrdom is upon us.

In that Friday morn
ing's brilliant sunshine, I was inwardly shivering under the sombre shadow of the the weeping prophet, when someone drew my attention to the church. 'Look at the birds on top of the roof!' I glanced up.

Out of Africa, where Eden has long been obscured from human vision, stood three emissaries of good cheer on the church's ridgepole. In Poland, the stork is seen as a sign of good Providence, and this common wisdom is well supported by science. For the stork, though it eats nearly anything, is especially fond of frogs. As many know, the frog is the first victim of any imbalance in the environment. Its sensitive form is easily wharped or extinguished by any sort of poison in
the water. Where frogs abound, the surroundings are the most pure. Where they abound, the storks come: the symbol of benevolence and fertility.

I sighed. Impending persecution or a new springtime? Sorta scriptura or popular tradition? Then I had to smile, for I had unconsciously slipped into amateurish soothsaying. It were better not to look for portents of the future at all.

Testing my feet, I decided that evening it would be time to get the blisters lanced and my digits wrapped. Scores of fellow sojourners were already walking about with their feet bound like those of a mummy's--the bandages either peeking above their boots or bulging through their sandals. One surely must have seen the same sight in the Middle Ages.

The whistle came, and we were off again. Our Marian cross, seated above fresh flowers and grasses bobbed on before us through the street and into the rocky paths of the fields. When the mist burned away and left is helpless before the sun, the noble gentlemen directing the traffic of our group often had to beg us to run. Yet no matter how parched the mouths, I found that many had the strength to sing one song, which progressed in magnificent steps as do The Twelve Days of Christmas, one layer falling upon another in a grand procession and in the end exploding like the blast of a trumpet:

A ty żaczku nauczony, któryś jest ze szkół wybrany powiedz co jest:
dwanaście, dwunastu Apostołów, trzynasty Pan Jezus,
jedenaście, jedenastu proroków,
dziesięć, dziesięć przykazan boskich,
dziewięć, dziewięć, chorów anielskich,
osiem, osiem miłości boskich,
siedem, siedem Sakramentów,
sześć, sześć grają lelyji przenajświętszej Maryi,
pięć, pięć ran cierpiał Pan,
cztery, cztery listy ewangelisty.
trzy, trzech patryjarchów,
dwa, dwie tablice Mojżeszowe,
jeden, jeden Syn Maryi co w Niebie Króluje jest na ziemi Pan.

You educated students, tell me what is:
twelve, twelve apostles, thirteenth is Our Lord Jesus.
eleven, eleven prophets,
ten, ten commandments,
nine, nine choirs of angels,
eight, eight beatitudes,
seven, seven Sacraments,
six, six lilies of the most holy Virgin Mary,
five, five wounds of the Lord,
four, four gospel letters,
three, three patriarchs,
two, two stone tablets of Moses,
one, one son of Mary who reigns over the heavens and the earth.

* * *
Later, we were told to take out our weapons. The first of our daily rosaries began, and I recalled that it was the thirteenth of August. Ninety-three years ago today, Our Lady was to appear to the the three little seers of Fatima. But the children did not come. The mayor of Vila Nova de Ourém had abducted them and through various means of pathetic bullying attempted to make the young shepherds deny what they had seen. Three simple children were threatened with all sorts of outlandishly brutal punishments (though those familiar with the Spanish Civil War know that the Socialists are more than capable of torturing the innocent faithful), and yet they refused to divulge any secrets or to deny the veracity of their visions.

Surely the Queen of Heaven knew the plight of her little ones and their forced captivity, yet she still went to Cova de Iria. There was thunder and lightning, the sound of her guard making its way to the holm oak. The world about it shimmered with an iridescent glow, and a soft cloud hovered above the tree. There was the Mother of God waiting, and the conniving of men had detained three of her servants from honouring her visit.

Six days later, Our Lady appeared to them in a field different from their appointed place. She assured them that miracle she promised would take place on the thirteenth of October would still occur, though it would be lessened due to their absence.

* * *
The Vega of Lyra hung perpetually faithful in the shadow of the Northern Cross that night. I could not take my eyes off her as I winced my way in mummified feet towards our encampment. I had been sitting amongst the old and the young, all with aching or weeping feet when the Appeal to Jasna Góra (Apel Jasnogórski) was sounded:

Maryjo, Królowo Polski,
Maryjo, Królowo Polski,
jestem przy Tobie, pamiętam,
jestem przy Tobie, pamiętam,

Mary, Queen of Poland,
Mary, Queen of Poland,
I am by your side, I remember,
I am by your side, I remember,
I am keeping watch.

I wondered what 'keeping watch' meant in that song. Against the ruffians who assaulted her image in the past or those of the present day? When I arrived in the farmyard, I saw that Gaweł, an intriguing fellow pilgrim with a Confederate flag pinned to his pack, had saved me some protein from the supper I had missed. I was introduced to a young man entered the seminary in the coming year and took a moment to contemplate the young priests in our group.

One seminarian had asked me earlier in the day about the Traditional Movement in America. I found myself obliged to report that aside from a brilliant remnant, which truly has no equal anywhere else in the world, there were few places in the States where one could find a pious Mass. 'But the hope,' I had said, 'is in the future. Our side is reproducing and the apostates within the Church are not.' This was certainly the truth in the case of religious vocations as well. Young men entering the religious life were more and more drawn to the virility and majesty of tradition.

It is strange to think how the anti-Church did its best to avoid the propogation of its kind within Holy Mother Church in every vein aside from ideology (which itself needs people to espouse it to remain alive).

Compline began and the swelling of each verse we sang smothered the unsavoury thoughts of Church politics as the earnest words of the tormented king rang in my ear: O Lord, the God of my salvation: I have cried in the day, and in the night before Thee. (Psalm 87: 2)


Jacobitess said...

Update on the 'six lilies' of Our Lady and what on earth that means! I asked everyone on the pilgrimage what that signified, and no one had a clue, however on the second pilgrimage, Father Grzegorz told me that they stood for the six joys of the Madonna. Now in English we have 7, and my Polish was not good enough to ask which one was not present in the Polish order. However, a party-pooper has recently told me that Father Grzegorz is mistaken about the meaning...but if you had met the priest, then like me, you would not countenance such a possibility :)

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Domine, spero quia mundum vicisti. Lord, I trust that Thou hast overcome the world. Panie, ufam, żeś pokonał świat.
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