FBI monitors Traditionalist Catholics

A recent Fox News revealed that the FBI is attempting to monitor traditionalist Catholics who prefer the Latin Mass, calling them radical traditionalist Catholics (RTC, for short). The news is a reminder that the oppression of traditional Catholics who try to follow the teachings of the Church is about to get much worse.

This fact was documented in a memo circulated within the FBI and revealed by former FBI agent turned whistleblower Kyle Serafin. The memo stated that the FBI was concerned about the dangers of radical “extremist” traditionalist Catholics and “white nationalists” interacting online, according to the memo.

The USCCB condemns “extremism,” while saying the FBI memo targeting Catholics is “troubling and offensive.” Cardinal Timothy Dolan of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops responded to the FBI memo by saying, “Let me be clear: the USCCB roundly condemns anyone who espouses racism, and fully supports the work of law enforcement officials to keep our communities safe.” – CNA (Catholic News Agency)

According to LifeSite News, the FBI memo claims that “white nationalism” is something which traditionalist Catholics are likely to interact with. They do not provide any evidence for this claim, other than citing the Southern Poverty Law Center, a group well-known for its leftist propaganda. The problem is that placing those terms (“white nationalist” and “traditionalist Catholic”) in the same sentence has the potential to give the impression that traditionalist = racist. A third party, unfamiliar with the Church’s affairs, might believe the label applied by an authority figure, such as the FBI. In that case, who would be held accountable for the reporting? And if the FBI can justify its surveillance of traditional Latin Mass goers, who will it decide to monitor next?

Restrictions on Latin Mass Causing Divisions in the Church

The restrictions on the Mass that began on September 8, 2022, the celebration of the Virgin Mary’s birthday, were intended (so the Pope said) to unify Catholics more strongly.
Stronger unity is certainly important. The Bible tells us that we need to unite against the devil, using the analogy of the threefold cord (Ecclesiastes 4:12). However, why go to all the trouble of restricting the Latin Mass, when the majority of the faithful already celebrated the “Novus Ordo,” the Mass celebrated in the vernacular? Church members who preferred the Latin Mass were in the minority.

When Benedict XVI removed restrictions from the Latin Mass, it brought harmony, not conflict, between traditionalists and liberals. Benedict XVI made it clear that, regardless of Vatican II or the new Missal of 1969, the traditional Latin Mass had never, in fact, been repealed. Moreover, Benedict XVI explained that it was an important part of the Church’s heritage and provided spiritual nourishment to many.

Also, to restrict the Latin Mass in the name of “Unity” is to ignore the fact that the Latin Mass is not a Mass for people of a particular language, such as the Spanish Mass or the English Mass. People from all over the world, whatever their languages, can unite in attending the same Mass, as they did before Vatican II.

Because of the restrictions issued by the Vatican, our Bishop decided to cut down on the number of Latin Masses in his Diocese. The Latin Mass at my parish church was one of the ones that got cut. Many people in my church who had been attending that Mass decided to start attending Latin Mass at other churches. One woman said, “I’m tired of always wondering, What’s next? I don’t want to worry about Church politics all the time, so I will join the SSPX.” There was also a young couple who had to give up their Latin Mass wedding due to the restrictions. They were truly disappointed, saying that they were told that they were too late to book a traditional Latin wedding Mass. After their wedding, they, too, started attending Latin Mass at a church farther away. I knew a middle-aged woman who always spent time praying alone in front of the statue of Therese de Lisieux. On the last day of Latin Mass at our church, she was crying. “I feel betrayed by the Church,” she said. I have not seen her since then.

What is the Real Purpose of the Latin Mass Ban?

What is it about the Latin Mass that makes the FBI and the Vatican so suspicious of it?
The first possibility is that there are political reasons. The real agenda of the FBI, as one senses it in the background, is to eliminate any groups that might give people a different perspective on current politics. Many traditionalist Catholics do not blindly kowtow to the authorities of this world. They fear that, in some cases, by compromising and submitting to authority figures, they would be disobeying God. It is the traditional Catholics who stand with the conservative Christians of other denominations and question the “political correctness” determined by the authorities of this world. And Catholics, because they listen to the Pope, who is not under the thumb of the State, are people whose ideas it is difficult for the State to control completely; in short, conscientious Catholics are not the State’s lapdogs.

Recent survey results confirm that traditionalist Catholics are more likely to take positions contrary to modern political correctness. For example, the overwhelming majority of traditionalists oppose abortion and same-sex marriage. No doubt, then, that the real reason for restricting the Latin Mass is to oppress and persecute those who stand in the way of social “reformers.” If Latin-Mass-goers are labeled as, and treated as, extremists, it will make the society at large more likely to ignore them. (See the LifeSite News article for more information on the survey.)

Corruption and Depravity in the Church

Why (one might ask) are traditionalist Catholics, who are supposed to follow the Pope, complaining because the Pope restricts their Masses? One of the main reasons is that they recognize that these restrictions are more than just restrictions; they are part of the beginning of a battle between light and darkness. It is generally said that Latin is a language that the devil hates unbearably.
And the battle against the devil is endless, as many have warned us, including the Book of Revelation, the prophecies of the saints handed down by the Church, and the numerous apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary prophesying and warning us. All of these prophecies have one thing in common: they warn of the massive corruption in the Church when the end of the world approaches.

The corruption of the Church includes the secularization of the Church. As a recent example of secularization in the church: during the Corona pandemic, parish churches were closed to the faithful, even for Easter. It was the first time in the 2,000-year history of the Church that such a thing had ever happened. The Church was defeated by political and worldly pressures.

Another kind of corruption is the persecution of people who are doing good. A certain priest, who was doing a lot of good work for the pro-life cause, was laicized because he was considered too radical. On the other hand, the Vatican remains silent about priests who continually make statements contrary to Church doctrine, such as approving of homosexual relationships.

The most horrifying corruption is the worship of any deity other than God alone. The Vatican’s highly scandalous Pachamama affair, the recent participation of the Pope and Canadian Cardinals in American Indian pagan rituals, and numerous other such news stories, do not inspire confidence in outsiders that the Catholic Church is an organization whose leaders believe in Christ.

Corruption and depravity in the Church are far more dangerous that the corruption that sometimes takes place in ordinary business organizations. The reason is that the Church’s “business” is the salvation of souls. A corrupt businessman damages his own soul. A corrupt Church leader endangers the souls of everyone in his flock.
It is the Latin Mass that is the most effective weapon against these movements of darkness and the devil. In other words, the Church is now restricting a powerful weapon to fight the devil. Again, this restriction is slowly destroying the Church from within. Unless destruction is the goal, restrictions on the Mass, the treasure house of faith from the past, are pointless.

Are New Restrictions on the Way?

Now, there are rumors that Pope Francis is planning to impose new restrictions on the Latin Mass. The restrictions, as mentioned earlier, have caused traditionalists to move out of the parishes they had been in, and into parishes with Latin Masses. In the end, the division between those who prefer the Novus Ordo and those who prefer the traditional Latin Mass has not changed.

As a traditionalist, I would prefer that my fellow traditionalists stay in the parish church where they were. Every valid Mass brings us the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ. If the hidden purpose of limiting the Latin Mass is to “divide,” then it is clearly better to give up the Latin Mass and stay in the same place.

And my concern is not so much the restriction of the Mass itself, but rather the situation of the shepherds in the Church, those who are probably the first target of the devil: the priests. Given the aforementioned trends in the Church, one can imagine that priests who follow God’s teachings are struggling in ways that are not visible. I feel that we need to stay in the same place to encourage those who are involved in God’s work. There is a biblical story that says that if the thieves tie up a strong man, they can rob his house at will (Matthew 12:29). In order to avoid such a situation, I think it should be a priority for faithful traditionalists to stay at their posts, “wearing the armor of God” (Ephesians 6:11) and praying in their God-given places.

Image of mail and computers: E-mail Picture. Image: 5677401 (dreamstime.com)

The Legend of St. Valentine, Patron of Lovers

February 14 is the feast day of Saint Valentine, a day observed all over the world as a celebration of love and lovers. But who was St. Valentine, and how did he become the patron saint of lovers? 

The Origin of St. Valentine’s Day

The story of how February 14 became St. Valentine’s Day is pretty clear. However, the story of how St. Valentine’s Day became the day of love is not so clear.

In the Catholic Church, certain people who have lived exemplary or heroic lives as devout Christians are posthumously canonized as saints. Just as a living person is honored each year on his or her birthday, a saint is honored each year on a particular day, known as that saint’s feast day. A saint’s feast day is usually the day of his or her death. In the case of St. Valentine, he was martyred for his Christian faith, in Rome, during the reign of Emperor Claudius II (A.D. 268–270). His martyrdom is believed to have taken place on the 14th of February; therefore, that is his feast day. [2]

Who was St. Valentine?

There are several stories about a saint named Valentine. Maybe all of the stories are referring to the same person; or, maybe there were two or more different saints of the same name, and each story is about one of them. In the early days of Christianity, when there were many martyrs, it was customary for a new martyr to be honored on the same day as an older martyr of the same name. Therefore, we cannot rule out the possibility that several people named Valentine were martyred at different times, and all celebrated on the same day. In that case, the story of one St. Valentine could easily get confused with the story of another.

One of the most commonly told stories of St. Valentine states that he was a priest in 3rd-century Rome. The Roman Emperor, Claudius II, had (according to the story) strictly forbidden soldiers to marry. (Celibacy was considered superior for soldiers, and military service was mandatory for single men.) St. Valentine was reportedly put to death for performing Christian weddings for young soldiers in Rome. (Not only were the weddings illegal, but Christianity itself was, of course, banned in the Roman Empire at that time.) [1]

Historians’ Opinion

Historians doubt that the above story is true. For one thing, the ban on military weddings, instituted under the Emperor Augustus, had already been repealed by the time Claudius II was Emperor.

Also, Valentine is said to have been from Terni, Italy. Yet he was martyred in Rome. Are St. Valentine of Terni and St. Valentine of Rome two different people? Or are they the same person, who traveled from one city to the other? Nobody knows. Decide for yourself! [2]

All that is certain is that this is the day on which a person named Valentine was martyred for the love of God. The story of Valentine the priest, with his secret marriages for soldiers in love, and his martyrdom for it, is a very appropriate story for the day of love.

Collect for the Mass of St. Valentine

Grant, we beseech thee, Almighty God: that we who observe the heavenly birthday of blessed Valentine thy Martyr, may by his intercession be delivered from all evils that beset us. Through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord. Amen.

A Miracle of St. Valentine

Another story tells what happened to St. Valentine after he was arrested.

While in prison (so the story goes), Valentine befriended the jailer, named Asterius. Asterius asked him to read a book for his daughter Julia, who was blind. On the day of his execution, Valentine, who had become close to Julia, left her a letter. Julia, being blind, would normally not be able to read the letter. However, her eyes were miraculously healed, and she read the letter. It was signed “From your Valentine.”

Historians are doubtful of the above story, as well. It sounds suspiciously like something invented after the fact to “explain” the origin of Valentine’s Day cards.

On the other hand, there is a very old story that says simply that, in the days of Claudius II, a jailer named Asterius had a daughter who was blind. She was healed by a priest. Then Asterius and his daughter were baptized by the priest, and all three were martyred. They were martyred on February 14, on the Via Flaminia in Rome. Could the miracle-working priest’s name have been Valentine? It is impossible to know with certainty. [2]

Relics of St. Valentine

Relics (one or more of the bones of a saint) are an object of people’s faith, and there are a number of relics that are attributed to St. Valentine.

For example, in the Basilica of Santa Maria Cosmedin in Rome, famous for the “Mouth of Truth,” there is a skull believed to be that of St. Valentine, decorated with flowers. Other relics believed to be his bones can be found in Glasgow Church in Scotland, at the Carmelite Church on Whitefriar Street in Dublin, Ireland, and in St. Anthony’s Church in Madrid, Spain. Some relics of St. Valentine of Terni (whether or not he is the same person as St. Valentine of Rome), are enshrined in the Basilica of St. Valentine in Terni, Italy.

The Basilica of Santa Maria Cosmedin in Italy is a very rare Melkite Byzantine Catholic church. The Melkites are an Eastern Rite branch of the Catholic Church, and their headquarters are in Damascus, Syria. In an interview with EWTN, in their video “The Life of St. Valentine,” a Catholic Melkite priest at the Basilica said that he prays before the relics of St. Valentine, asking for “intercession to live our lives and our faith with true and deep love.”

The Life of St. Valentine – A Saint Who Dedicated His Life to Evangelization and Love – YouTube

A very popular place for lovers is the Carmel Church in Dublin, Ireland. According to the official Whitefrair Street Church website, the relic in this Carmelite church is a small vessel stained with blood. This small vessel was sent by Pope Gregory XVI in 1836.

With all this, it is natural to assume that some of the relics are authentic and some are fakes. On the other hand, it is possible that all of the relics are genuine. As mentioned earlier, it was customary to celebrate martyrs of the same name on the same day. Whether the relics attributed to St. Valentine are from one person or from many people, they are all ancient, and are accepted by the Church as authentic. So, no matter whose bones they are, they are the bones of saints.

Symbols of St. Valentine’s Day

The items that symbolize Valentine the Martyr are the red rose and a small bird (and of course the palm branch of martyrdom). In symbols used in paintings, red is the color of blood and roses symbolize love. The little bird is associated with happy lovers. The symbol of the little bird on St. Valentine’s Day may also be related to the fact that in the Middle Ages, it was said that February 14 was the day when little birds mated. [2]

St. Valentine’s Day began as a day of love for God by a man who gave his life to Christ. The story of the priest who performed weddings may be legendary, but I am sure that such priests existed. I pray that we may have some of the deep and true love for Christ that the holy martyrs had.

Image of Saint Valentine’s skull: Saint Valentine – Wikipedia


1. The Story of Saint Valentine (learnreligions.com)

2. Valentino, il Santo senza Volto. Ecco perché (e come) lo si celebra (avvenire.it)

Candlemas: The Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary

What is Candlemas?

My favorite candle-lit celebration is Candlemas, celebrated on February 2.

It is the Feast of our Lord’s Presentation in the Temple, and of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The following is a summary of the description of this Mass from the Missal used by Mother T.

“The liturgy of this Feast consists of two parts: a procession and a Mass. The procession is accompanied by chanting, which is meant to remind us of the joyous Nativity as well as of penitence (repentance for sins committed). Each person in the procession holds a consecrated candle, which, like the Easter candle, is an image of Christ, the Light of Truth who appeared in the world at the time of His Nativity.”

–           Missal (published in 1949)

“Candlemas” at the Vatican Catholic News Service

It is called “Candlemas” because of the custom of holding lit candles. It falls 40 days after Christmas and celebrates two things. The first is the presentation of Jesus in the Temple, 40 days after his birth (Christmas Day), according to the Law of Moses. Jesus was the first child of Mary and Joseph, and according to the Law of Moses, all first-born males (whether animal or human) must be sacrificed to God, unless another sacrifice is made as a substitution.

The second is the celebration of Mary’s purification. Once again, according to the Law of Moses, a Jewish woman was considered unclean for a certain period of time after giving birth, and was forbidden to enter the Temple during that time. After this period of impurity, the woman and her husband would usually offer a lamb in the Temple. If they could not afford a lamb, they were allowed to offer a pair of doves instead. Then the woman would be officially declared no longer unclean. Mary and Joseph, who were poor, offered two doves.

What does this mean? Literally, it means that Jesus is an offering, destined to be sacrificed on the altar, just like a sheep. But, of course, a human baby could not be offered as such; human sacrifice is strictly forbidden by God. Therefore, Jesus was presented to the Jewish priests in the temple, and two doves were offered instead of him, as a substitute sacrifice. According to Church doctrine, such a ceremony was not actually necessary because Jesus and Mary are free from all sin. In Mother T’s Missal, it is stated (in summary), “The fact that the Blessed Virgin took part in the purification ceremony according to custom, and that Christ her Son was also offered in the Holy Temple, was a sign of her humility, and of her Son’s involvement in the project of salvation.”

The Celebration of Candlemas

In the Catholic Church, there are sacraments and sacramentals, which, in brief, are visible signs of God’s grace. Catholics can partake of God’s grace through the sacraments and sacramentals. Before the Mass of Candlemas begins, the priest blesses some candles, which are then distributed to the people. These blessed candles are sacramentals. That is, the blessed candle is a visible sign of God’s favor toward us.

At this time, I will not discuss the difference between a sacrament and a sacramental, but sacramentals include, for example, holy water, blessed salt, medallions, and rosaries. They are prescribed according to the traditional teachings of the Church. Thus, a favorite coffee cup or book cannot be made into a sacramental.

Simeon’s Song “Now Lettest thou thy servant depart in peace.”

Nunc Dimittis (with ‘Salva nos’), the Canticle of Simeon – Gregorian Chant
Petrus Josephus

Before the procession begins, we sing the canticle of Simeon, who was present on the day Jesus was consecrated in the temple.

This Simeon was a man who received a message from God that he would not die before he had seen the Messiah. He believed God, and waited for the Messiah until he was an old man. Simeon is often mistaken for the priest who performed the consecration of Jesus, but he was not a priest but an old man who continued to wait for the Messiah and visited the temple. When he met the Messiah, Simeon sang a song, or canticle, which can be found in Chapter 2 of the Gospel of Luke.

The Canticle of Simeon is sung every day in the evening prayer of the Divine Office, called Compline. Simeon’s prayer is sometimes thought to be “Now let me depart,” as opposed to “Now lettest thou me depart,” but the Bible does not say in which sense his words should be taken. I feel that the translation “Thou lettest thy servant go,” which sounds joyful and without the slightest doubt that the Messiah has come and that God has fulfilled His promise, is more fitting for Simeon.

Prayer of “repentance for sins” taken away

Next is the second part of the preparation for the procession. In Mother T.’s Missal, published in 1949, it is called the remembrance and repentance of sins, but in fact, this beautiful part of the liturgy is no longer included in the current form of the Candlemas procession. This is because, in the 1950s, the length of the liturgy was gradually shortened. Here is the penitential part that was cut:

Arise, O Lord, help us, and deliver us for Thy name’s sake.

We have heard, O God, with our ears: our fathers have declared to us.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son: and to the Holy Ghost.

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be: world without end. Amen.

Arise, O Lord, help us, and deliver us for Thy name’s sake. 

Candles to Light the Flame of Faith 

My local church held a candlelight procession this year, and even though it was a weekday, many people attended. In his sermon, the priest of my parish said, “Imagine how bright candlelight used to appear when there was no electricity.”

When I did not know the light of Jesus, I did not even realize that I was in darkness. Candlelight also symbolizes the light of Christ that illuminates the spirit. Today, we have electric lights 24 hours a day. However, the darkness of the spirit is getting darker and darker.

At the end of the Mass, the priest said, “Light the flame of faith.” Even a seemingly insignificant light can be a great help in pitch darkness. I hope that I can keep the flame of faith burning in my heart.