Sunday, November 22, 2020

A Devotion to Defend Against ‘Revolutionary Men’

From Crisis:

Revolution. That’s exactly what they want. It’s no longer a question of contracting or expanding welfare programs but of class warfare. Debate over whether law enforcement agencies have positive value has replaced that over whether racism is a marginal or a widespread problem within them. Gone are the days when the Left supported the Defense of Marriage Act, content with legal tolerance of homosexual behavior. Promises to reduce abortion while keeping it “safe, legal, and rare” have been replaced by calls for “abortion on demand and without apology.” It’s a complete inversion of reality. Good is treated as evil, and evil as good.

If calls for revolution now provoke fairly limited concern, their gravity is severe enough for them to have been the subject of heavenly warnings as long ago as the 1840s, when the private revelations that made the devotion to the Holy Face known to the Servant of God Sister Mary of Saint Peter called attention to the threat posed by “revolutionary men,” including communists, whom she called by name—this, before The Communist Manifesto was published.

It’s probably fair to assume that even devout, orthodox Catholics tend not to be familiar with the Holy Face devotion. And this might not seem too unusual. Only a rare Catholic would be able to keep informed about all the devotions authorized by the Church or all saintly individuals whose claims to have received private revelations have been viewed favorably by ecclesial authorities without being granted “final” formal approval. In the case of the devotion to the Holy Face this lack of awareness is a bit more remarkable for two reasons. Firstly, Sister Mary of Saint Peter claimed to receive messages calling attention to the same danger later highlighted at the well-known and influential Marian apparitions at Fatima. Secondly, the life, writings and spirituality of Sister Mary of Saint Peter strongly influenced one of the most important members of her Discalced Carmelite order: Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, whose full religious name was Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face.

Those who want complete information about the devotion to the Holy Face and the full story of Sister Mary of Saint Peter’s life would do well to read The Golden Arrow, which includes her autobiography and the brief summaries she wrote of her revelations. Biographies of the devotion’s primary promoter, Venerable Leo Dupont, are quite useful and provide a useful example of sanctity in the law state. The best of these is Pierre Janvier’s The Life of Leon Papin-Dupont; it’s still in print and can easily be found online. It’s more thorough than Dorothy Scallan’s youth-oriented The Holy Man of Tours, a work that’s also marked by some literary embellishment. The most basic facts can, however, be briefly summarized. (Read more.)


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