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Friday, 7 February 2014

Two-thirds of The States Are under Snow...........

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/02/07/over-two-thirds-of-the-continental-usa-covered-with-snow/



I am thinking about lighting out for the territories..........................which are green!

Armenian Church To Canonize Victims of The Great Massacre


"Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?" - Hitler, 1939.

The Armenian Church was absolutely under attack by the Muslims. People use the euphemism of the "Ottoman Turks"-hey Muslims did this.  And, some still deny the "Great Crime" to this day.

1893–96 Armenian population in Ottoman Empire: 1,003,571 (Ottoman Turkish statistics)

1914 Armenian population in Ottoman Empire: 1,219,323 (Ottoman Turkish statistics)

1921 Armenian population in Turkey: 281,000 (US estimate) wiki statistics

In 1914, the Armenian Patriarch in Constantinople presented a list of the Armenian holy sites under his supervision. The list contained 2,549 religious places of which 200 were monasteries while 1,600 were churches. In 1974 UNESCO stated that after 1923, out of 913 Armenian historical monuments left in Eastern Turkey, 464 have vanished completely, 252 are in ruins, and 197 are in need of repair (in stable conditions).[199][200]    wiki again 

As of 2011, the governments of twenty-one countries, including RussiaFrance, as well as forty-three states of the United States of America, have recognized the events as 'genocide'.[2] Turkey and Azerbaijan deny the Armenian genocide.

It is shameful that in Great Britain, only Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have recognized this genocide. England has not. Ireland has not recognized this genocide, which is absolutely hypocritical of this state, and in America, 43 U.S. states have recognized the Armenian Genocide; as of May 2011 this includes every state in the Union with the exception of AlabamaMississippi,West VirginiaIndianaIowaWyoming, and South Dakota.[52] wiki again





http://www.indcatholicnews.com/news.php?viewStory=24106

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armenian_Genocide

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recognition_of_the_Armenian_Genocide

And check out this post of mine from January, 2013

http://supertradmum-etheldredasplace.blogspot.com/2013/01/check-out-this-article-in-economist.html


Thanks to wiki NYT article 1915

WOW-a recommendation from a Presbyterian

which is why practicing Catholics are significantly less likely to break up — but many refuse because they are cowards begging for the world’s approval. http://theaquilareport.com/ive-been-divorced-four-times-but-homosexuals-are-the-ones-destroying-marriage/?utm_source=rss

Thanks to Father Paul Nicolson for the heads-on twitter.

Does this possible legislation or executive order bother anyone but me?

http://www.stopthechoke.com/

Do not worry about ONE thing


The Roman Catholic Church will never, never, never change Her position on marriage, same-sex marriage, intercommunion, or the teachings on any other doctrine.

Christ protects His Church. Will there be schisms? Yes, and soon. In affect, many Catholics in America and Europe are already either schismatics or heretics. To apostasize is to affect your immortal soul. A Catholic who falls away is in mortal sin, period. Those people who have disobeyed the Church in serious matters and are receiving Communion are committing sacrilege.

We can pray. We can fast. And, we need to not be complacent about our own salvation. Pray the prayer of final perseverance I put on this blog earlier this week.

Be concerned about your own salvation as well as that of others.




Repost of my "witness"

Monday, 3 February 2014 from Guild of Blessed Titus Brandsma

What Is Hell?


In 1973 and in 1983, two books hit the best seller lists for a very odd reason. These two books dealt with the
 mystery of sin and evil.

The first one, Dr. Karl Menninger's famous Whatever Became of Sin? highlighted the problems with modern
 psychiatrists preoccupation with guilt and the setting aside of the age-old shared values which marked 
Western Civilization. Dr. Menninger clearly stated that immorality had become a question of what was legal, 
rather than what was right. He was the first major psychiatrist to reveal the growing relativism of moral standards in America. 

He wrote of conscience and love of neighbor. His book was popular, but then succumbed to the "you're ok, I'm ok" 
genre of subjective morality.

In 1983, M. Scott Peck wrote the startling book, People of the Lie. This psychiatrist explored the reality of evil, 
and even more fascinating, the fact that some people actually choose evil on purpose, rather than the good. 
Peck pointed to self-deceit, laziness or sloth, and narcissism as some of the roots of evil.

Both of these good men warned us of the coming age of evil, which, so many years later, we must admit we are 
witnessing. What I learned from these books helped me to avoid not only certain lies which we can all adopt 
under selfishness and other destructive behavior, but to make better choices in my life. 

The nature of evil is to dominate, to subjugate and to avoid detection. Being a Catholic and raised on the 
old Baltimore Catechism, I knew deep down inside that the main sources of sin were the capital sins-
"The chief sources of sin are seven: Pride, Covetousness, Lust, Anger, Gluttony, Envy, and Sloth; and 
they are commonly called capital sins." The CCC states this: "1780 The dignity of the human person implies 
and requires uprightness of moral conscience. Conscience includes the perception of the principles of morality 
(synderesis); their application in the given circumstances by practical discernment of reasons and goods; and 
finally judgment about concrete acts yet to be performed or already performed. The truth about the moral good, 
stated in the law of reason, is recognized practically and concretely by the prudent judgment of conscience. 
We call that man prudent who chooses in conformity with this judgment.

1781 Conscience enables one to assume responsibility for the acts performed. If man commits evil, the 
just judgment of conscience can remain within him as the witness to the universal truth of the good, at the 
same time as the evil of his particular choice. The verdict of the judgment of conscience remains a pledge 
of hope and mercy. In attesting to the fault committed, it calls to mind the forgiveness that must be asked, 
the good that must still be practiced, and the virtue that must be constantly cultivated with the grace of God:"

One learns as a Catholic moving into adulthood, that each one of us is responsible for seeing the root causes 
of sin in ourselves and asking God to purify us in order to be free of these "predominant faults".

That we are forgiven is a tremendous relief.

But, what of those who refuse forgiveness, or who have allowed the "truth about the moral good, stated in the 
law of reason" to be lost? Those who fall into mortal sin, the serious sin which causes death to the soul and destroys 
sanctifying grace in the soul, also fall into a darkness of the mind, a clouding of reason, one of the results, 
by the way, of Original Sin.

The two most common heresies in England are those of Pelagianism, which denies the need for grace for salvation, 
and that of universal salvation. These two heresies block the good discernment of those who deny that one can 
judge actions, and even intent, as intention without action can be a serious sin.

What serious sin does, as the two eminent psychiatrists above knew, is to divide the person into two-to allow 
a lie to separate a person from reality. The reality of immoral actions dictates guilt and demands a clear evaluation 
of how the soul, the psyche, reflects on the person and others. Ironically, in 2014, denial of guilt and denial of 
sin cause more mental illness and depression, as M. Scott Peck described. The unnaturalness of sin destroys the 
balance in the human of the interplay of the soul, which is the form of the body, and the mind.

Odd that two men who were not Catholic could come to the same conclusion medically as the Catholic Church 
morally; that free will in order to be free must be clear of sin, of deceit, or manipulation, and that to live in 
serious sin, in mortal sin, is mental suicide.

Dying in mortal sin is a reality to many people in our sad world. The real sadness is that they are already dead, 
spiritually, emotionally, psychologically.

When I was twenty-one and twenty-two for about a year and a half, I fell away from the Church by believing 
the lies of Marxism. I was an arrogant college student who was supposedly throwing off the constrictions of 
thought of my long line of Catholic forebearers. I doubted that Christ was God. I lived in an existential hell. 
To fall away from the Church is to fall into mortal sin. I became depressed.

Visiting a convent of sisters who had a retreat house, all friends of mine, and some former theology professors, 
I expressed that I was suicidal and going to kill myself. Sister Elizabeth said to me "You might as well, as you are 
dead already."  I was shocked into the reality that the form of my body, my soul, was indeed dead, so that the
 eternal death and separation from God was the logical result.

Thankfully, she suggested I repent, and go to confession and start over again, with Christ. I had to choose then 
and there either to follow Christ and His Church, or remain in the stubborn darkness of sin, doubt and "isms".

I chose life. The resulting immediate reconciliation to God and the Church not only filled me with joy and new 
purpose, but healed the darkness of doubt, depression, and separation. Indeed, after absolution, I heard the 
voice of Christ clearly, "Never doubt that I am God."  To this day, I have not.

Dying in mortal sin brings about the logical consequence of eternal death. People think that hell is only a
 punishment for sin, which it is. But, more than that, it is the choice of living away from God and His ways. 
Hell is merely the extension of the choices one makes on this earth. It is a mere continuation forever of 
self-hatred, hatred for God, and a rage against His Will.

Those who deny hell or that anyone is in hell do not understand sin or evil. They do not understand that we 
are all called to be one with God in love and peace forever, but that our own stupid choices, the preference of 
the lies of evil, lead us away from the loving God.

It is ironic that as one who stood on the edge of the abyss and looked into that eternal darkness, I can say 43 
years later, that one can either have heaven on earth or hell on earth, and that death just makes the situation 
permanent.

Pray for those who may be dying in mortal sin. God is always there to forgive and give life. But, death decides the 
fate of all of us. We live the fate forever into which we die.

Three re-post re-posts...

Is anyone listening?


Monday, 2 December 2013

It all started with a marriage once before......

Thomas Cromwell made all this possible: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dissolution_of_the_Monasteries
A list of the acts of Parliament leading up to the Age of Martyrs in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland
 can show us how "legal" rulings incrementally persecuted the Church.

Many readers make comments which indicate that they are not preparing for persecution. Daily decisions bring 
us to the end decision. Such a decision as to stand for Our Beloved Lord, Jesus Christ, does not happen automatically.

We are prepared for such. Those Catholics who support ssm and abortion are no different than those who sided 
with Henry, Elizabeth, and others against their former brothers and sisters in Christ.

Those Catholics who changed sides, left the Pope of Rome for the religious governance of Henry and Elizabeth, 
did so for many reasons. The two greatest were status (titles) and money (bribes even from the throne).

The so-called enemy of the realm held on to the Truth of Scripture and Tradition. Those who left the Church, the majority, took their own immortal souls into their own hands.

Thanks to Wiki for the short list. I have left on the links for your perusal.

Statute in Restraint of Appeals of 1533, forbidding all appeals to the Pope.

Act of Supremacy, passed by Parliament in 1534

Act for the Dissolution of the Lesser Monasteries and Dissolution of Lesser Monasteries Act, 1535
which suppressed all the houses which did not agree to the marriage of Henry and Anne Boleyn.
  1. An act for the Dissolution of the lesser Monasteries at tudorplace.com.ar
  2. Act for the Dissolution of the Lesser Monasteries, full text at freeuk.net


Act of Supremacy 1558, making Elizabeth head of the church.

Act of Uniformity of 1559 which made it a crime not to attend Anglican services.

January 10, 1581, "recalling Her Majesty's subjects which under pretense of studies do live beyond the seas both contrary to the laws of God and of the realm, and against such as do receive or retain Jesuits and massing priests, sowers of sedition and of other treasonable attempts." 

By this proclamation the relatives of seminarists had to recall them, or lose all civil rights. It was illegal to send 
them any supplies. Jesuits and priests must be surrendered; anyone knowingly harboring them was guilty of 

From then on, it was illegal for a Catholic priest or seminarian to be in England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland. 
It was illegal for the family of these men to help them.

All these persecuting laws were legal in the land, according to Parliament or royal decree.

If readers cannot see the parallels coming, I cannot help them more than to point out the historical precedence. 
Some readers believe this will never happen. It has already started happening.

A couple had to close their bakery business and pay fines...

A young photographer had to pay fines....

A bed and breakfast couple had to pay fines and sell their house/business...

Teachers, who are faithful, are leaving the profession so as not to teach serious error...

An Anglican priest is being taken to court in the Hague for refusing to witness a ssm....

A new curriculum will make students learn ssm is ok......here, in America.....in England....

It was a false marriage which brought down the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church in England, and 
it looks as if false, same-sex so-called marriages will do the same. But, this time, England will not be the 
only country to persecute the real Church.



Tuesday, 30 April 2013

A Prediction Concerning Catholic Marriages



The new laws in Europe, and soon to be in Great Britain, concerning civil marriages for "gays" 
will not only affect teachers and registrars who may have to leave their jobs, but the very 
institution of Catholic marriage.
Catholics "marry" twice-one getting a civil marriage license, or registrar's "marriage" 
and the sacrament of Matrimony. The Church may be forced into a position wherein she no
longer can accept civil unions at all. Why?
To avoid any sham sacramental marriage, the Church may have to reject civil marriages across 
the board.
What this would mean for Catholic sacramental marriages could be a series of losses of marriage 
legal status, rights, tax breaks, allowances, etc.
I think Catholic marriages will be forced to go underground 0r without legal definition or legal protection. 
One of the possibilities, that once civil unions are legal, the Catholic Church will have to leave the 
business of accepting civil status and only accept sacramental status. In other words, the Church 
may be put in a position where she only recognizes sacramental marriages, which means, that 
Catholic married couples will be seen by the State as merely living in concubinage and therefore, 
without any civil or tax rights.
This has already happened here, in England under the persecutions, when Catholic marriages 
were not seen as valid by the State, as only Anglican ones were. I predict this will happen both in 
America and in England, as the only way the Church will be able to avoid gay marriages. That is, 
no civil involvement at all.
Therefore, Catholic married people will not be recognized by the State as married and will not 
benefit from marriage tax breaks, etc. If you do not think this is a possibility, I suggest a careful
reading of the history of marriage in England. Before 1836, everyone except Jews and Quakers 
had to get an Anglican license, that is, be married in the Anglican Church in order to be recognized.  
See the pattern? Parliament decides the process, not the churches. Also, after 1836, with the new registry 
laws, the license costs as much as 250 pound sterling in today's money, which would have been 
very difficult for some people, including Catholics. Here is a short quotation from a site here 
which is not exhaustive but interesting.

 The Ecclesiastical Courts Act 1855, the Matrimonial Causes Act 1857,  and the Ecclesiastical Courts 
Jurisdiction Act 1860 gradually moved marriage regulation into the hands of the State.







Tuesday, 26 February 2013

A Time-Machine Back to 1581: the Death of an Enlightenment Democratic Monarchy


In this day and age of relativism, camps of opinion arise like midges on a hike in Alaska. One brushes away 
one set of  "arguments", only to find dozens flying into one's face. The media frenzy over the events of the 
past three weeks is not going to subside. On the contrary, we Catholics are entering into a new era of 
Church-bashing which will not go away.

The days of toleration for differing religious opinions, or at least, Catholic teaching, is over.

I watched two days of the Parliament hearings of witnesses regarding the civil union or rather 
same-sex-marriage act. I usually do not watch television, but I was visiting a friend who wanted to 
watch this swarm of opinions based on sola fide, sola scriptura; each man and woman on the panel proved 
to be his or her own pope.

The Church of England witnesses, as they were called, had eloquent and keen questions and answers. 
So did Archbishop Peter Smith and his legal team. I was impressed by the firm and clear positions given by 
these two groups.

Not so other groups, like the Church of Wales representatives, who waffled.

What did astound me was the out and out rudeness of some of the questioners, all of them MPs,
 not to be named here. One can look at my blog for names. I merely want to point out the lack of respect
 towards those representatives of organized religion. At several places in the presentation of answers 
by Archbishop Peter Smith, some members laughed out loud in derision for the Catholic position on marriage,
 pre-marital sex, and our anti-contraception, anti-abortion positions.

What came to my mind was that I could have been in a time-machine, taken back to the interrogations of 
Edmund Campion, Ralph Sherwin, or Robert Southwell et al.

The entire meeting of this Parliament panel on both days was a sham. The smug hypocritical statements
 of the members of Parliament shone out like words of old transcripts in a history of Recusant trials.

Parliament determines moral and religious policy in Britain, not the churches.

Parliament in 2013 mirrors Parliament in 1581, or 1585 or 1681, this last the year of the martyrdom of 
St. Oliver Plunkett. I have seen his head in St. Peter's Church, Drogheda. His face is peaceful, but reveals pain.

We honour martyrs in the Catholic Church almost daily. We of this Guild honour Titus Brandsma, 
who was martyred and is a Blessed. But, do we really want martyrs in 2013? Do we feel uncomfortable 
watching Peter Smith being derided? Do we want our leaders to stand firm on the ancient teachings of the 
One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church?

I hope we feel proud and strengthened by the witness of Truth.

I hope we stand with our leaders.

I hope we can see clearly that the actions of Parliament will lead to the type of society created under
 Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, where those who kept the Faith were fined, suffered financial loss, ruin, 
disgrace, if not martyrdom. Catholics will not be able to be registrars or superintendents of registrars. 
Catholics may not be able to be teachers in some schools. The Catholic priests may be in a position of 
disobedience to certain laws after judicial decisions.

Parliament acts just as it has since the Protestant Revolt. Parliament was given powers over the 
private consciences of the people of Britain and it will take those powers and use those again and 
again and again. Five hundred years of practice makes this pattern of oppression all too easy. 
There are precedences. 

We are witnessing the death of the modern Enlightenment democracy as a philosophy of governance
We are witnessing the sliding back to a time when religions were not allowed to stand in the marketplace 
and speak Truth.

The powers that be have not changed their philosophies. They have renewed an older pattern of intolerance 
which is wedded to the very power of Parliament.

The Catholic Church has not changed Her Truths, Revelation and Tradition.

We are, again, Non-Conformists, and as in the past, consequences will follow strongly held beliefs.

I hope those who belong to the Guild of the martyr Titus Brandsma know how to stand firm in the storms 
that will blow across Great Britain. We have an excellent example. Brandsma upheld the bishops' decisions 
and the clarity of teaching that Catholicism and Nazism clashed. Catholicism will always clash with falsehood.

As Catholic journalists, we of this Guild can follow our patron to whatever consequences may follow.

I, for one, will write as long as I can for Christ and His Church.

Please read this....for the sake of your children

Battle of Lepanto
I highly recommend reading this article. Thanks to Spencer for the heads-up
A misquotation of Gramsci does not spoil this great article...
Here is a section and some quotations.
“Sabotaging Its Miserable House”
We could examine more of Cardinal Dolan’s assertions about Islamic values — “your defense of life, your desire for harmony and unity,” etc. — but it’s more important to consider his appearance at the mosque in the larger context of long-term Islamist strategy. The strategy is essentially the same as the one that Italian political theorist Antonio Gramsci recommended to communists in the 1930s — namely, the “long march through the institutions.” The Islamic version of the strategy was first outlined by Hasan al-Bana, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, and then developed by theorists such as Sayyid Qutb and Maulana Mawdudi. More recently, the strategy has been used to great effect by Prime Minister Recep Erdogan in gradually transforming secularist Turkey into an Islamist society. The strategy includes the West as well. A secret twenty-page document written in 1991 by a member of the Board of Directors of the Muslim Brotherhood in North America and later obtained by the FBI, sets forth the group’s mission as “a grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers.”
“From within…by their hands.” The author seems to have a good grasp of the Western penchant for cooperating in its own undoing. The long march through the institutions doesn’t need to take that much time when the institutions are throwing open the doors and putting out the welcome mat. One of the institutions that the Muslim Brotherhood aims to influence and manipulate is the Catholic Church. Representatives of Muslim Brotherhood-linked groups such as the Islamic Society of North America and the Islamic Circle of North America have already managed to get themselves appointed as the bishops’ main dialogue partners in the U.S. Moreover, numerous Catholic colleges seem also to have succumbed to the charms of Islam. Some of the Islamic studies courses served up to Catholic students and seminarians might as well have “Made in Saudi Arabia” stamped on the front. In addition, Catholic high schools can generally be counted on to present a whitewashed picture of Islam.

and this from the article...

Iranian lawmakers are now seeking to lower the age of marriage for girls to nine. Mohammad Ali Isfenani, chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee, called the current minimum age of thirteen “un-Islamic.”

and this....

A 2010 Pew Forum survey of public opinion found that eighty-four percent of Egyptians agree that apostates should be killed. A Pew survey of Pakistanis revealed that seventy-eight percent favor death for those who leave Islam.

and

...a 2012 poll conducted by Wenzel Strategies found that fifty-eight percent of Muslim-American citizens believe that criticism of Islam or Muhammad should not be allowed under the U.S. Constitution. Forty-six percent said that Americans who criticize or parody Islam should face criminal charges, while one in eight respondents felt that such crimes merit the death penalty. Another forty-two percent said that Christians do not have the right to evangelize Muslims.

The leadership is the Church must address these things. But, I do not see one cardinal, bishop or priest being honest about Islam. Where are the leaders? Where are the Men of the West?

Worth Reading

http://te-deum.blogspot.com/2014/02/is-andrea-tornielli-objective-on.html

An old article going around twitter-worth re-reading Here goes-part six

http://www.womenofgrace.com/blog/?p=2476

Good Read!

Arrggh! Of course this was planned!

So what is the true purpose of Obamacare? Apparently according to White House spokesperson Jay Carney, it’s to destroy the foundation upon which America is built — a hearty work ethic — and usher in economic bondage to the central government.
I shall be a slave to no man and those of you who choose to be sadly threaten the American DNA, which until now, flowed with liberty and freedom for future generations. I will not live in Obama’s bizarro world. I will fight liberal progressive socialism and ensure our nation thrives with courage and liberty. Who will join me to say, “Molon Labe!”

Read more at http://allenbwest.com/2014/02/obamacare-may-ultimately-destroy-republicas-planned/#pkmMf74GWoWXdYQE.99

Please pray to this "blessed" for me to get back "home"

Tuesday, 28 May 2013


"The Last Plantagenet"

I posted something about this great saint last year. Margaret Pole remains one of the most interesting saints of the horrible purge of Henry VIII, and one of his most famous victims. She was obviously a saint before her martyrdom. One of her sons, Reginald, became Cardinal Pole, the last Catholic Archbishop of Canterbury.

I share these links with you this morning. May she intercede for all of us.

http://supertradmum-etheldredasplace.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/treasure-which-is-montacute-and-blessed.html

http://supertradmum-etheldredasplace.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/blessed-margaret-pole.html

Pray to her for me today, please, as I have yet another cross which is a physical ailment. God is good and I offer up all trials for someone to become a holy priest. And, if anyone wants to read her life, here is a link to a book on her, which I have not read, but would love to do so. I am praying and putting out feelers for the Tyburn-Walsingham connection-Adoration in the fields of the martyrs. Please continue to pray for that cause-the house of prayer in Walsingham.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012


A Manifesto and Blessed Margaret Pole



Blessed Margaret Pole is one of my role models. Check out my posts on her earlier this year.

and

I wrote this on Father Z's blog, but I wanted to make sure you all read it. This is what I have been trying to say for years and years. Get ready. Get a community. Create a community. Pray, reflect, act. 

People, from where I stand in Europe, there is little if any religion. People are materialistic in the Marxian sense, and only see the here and now as utopia. Cynicism and utilitarianism push the politics and economics. America will see the same, and when the fall of civilization comes, it will be worse in the States than here because the evil will be more organized. It is every man and woman for themselves.
The Pope was prophetic when he wrote those words. We shall see priests having to work as labourers, as the professional jobs will be closed to Catholics as they were under the Soviets. Look at English history. In the areas where there were strong Catholic families, there were underground Masses and catechesis. In places where there were no strong families, the Church died. We shall be hand ploughing fields or foraging for food waiting for the priest to come to our area.
Islam is a religion of the material. Even the afterlife is defined in material terms. Few of that religion understand the spiritual. They seek a perfection of a material kind. A material utopia will never last. Only the Catholic Church teaches consistently that the only utopia is in heaven. We have the Church which is the New Jerusalem, but not for here, not for now.
The Church Militant will be the Church suffering. Do not kid yourself. We shall endure, with grace, and maybe without regular sacraments, but the Church will endure, if only in scattered communities of those who are orthodox. I suggest creating communities now, and evangelizing daily in the way God granted you to do that. We must, as the time is short. The Pope gave us those words over 40 years ago. Some of us were listening. We may have been lulled into complacency for awhile, but now we are awake. We cannot afford to pretend anything else will happen. I see a world divided between the Marxists and Islam. We shall be persecuted by both. Even in France already, there is an unholy alliance between those two groups, as the Christians are hated by both. We have been given time.

Monday, 28 May 2012


Blessed Margaret Pole


Today, as I am in the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton, this is the memorial day of Blessed Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury. She was the last Plantagenet and is a martyr for the faith. She is one of my personal patrons. She was executed in 1541. Blessed Margaret, pray for us today and especially for my English friends and family.

Sunday, 3 June 2012


The Treasure Which Is Montacute and Blessed Margaret Pole



I have been visiting a friend I have known since 1991, which is a treat, as she is a very spiritual person and we can talk about God and the Holy Spirit working in our lives.


On Saturday, we went to Montacute, as we both have National Trust Memberships. This is, I think, the fourth time I have been there. Montacute is one of my favorite houses and set of gardens in England. I love this period of history. Out of all the treasures, the real beauty, for me, is the National Portrait Gallery's show of paintings. I love the Long Gallery, the longest in England, and have my "must sees" there. The must sees today included Blessed Margaret Pole, so my week began with her and ended with her. How is that for synchronicity? How blessed was I to start the week in Sussex where Blessed Margaret's Mass was celebrated in the Arundel and Brighton Diocese, and then to see her fantastic painting at Montacute? I did not even know her portrait was there until I visited this time. I wanted to see St. Thomas More's famous portrait, which I did , and I wanted to see Sir Walter Raleigh's and Bess Throckmorton's. I saw the two famous men, but Bess's portrait was not there. However, to see the Last Plantagenet was not an accident. I shall claim her, now, as a personal patron.



I have seen the gardens in several seasons, including winter. Today, the yellow irises were glorious and the famous hedge cut to strange Tudor and Jacobean shapes. Some houses are more peaceful and pleasing than others. Montacute leads my list of peaceful houses and restful gardens, and I highly recommend going soon, as the roses, except for the White Rugosas, have not yet bloomed. My only sligh t disappointment was that there were no sheep in the wilderness area, a first for me there. I wonder, are there no more sheep at Montacute?


Another highlight was the millefleurs tapestry of the 15th century. I cannot help but re-print here an entire article on this outstanding example of the thousand flowers genre of tapestries. I think Blessed Margaret is happy knowing her portrait is in such good company, even though she was definitely not appreciated by the reigning Monarch when she was alive.



The Montacute Tapestry
History, heraldry and horticulture
Apollo, June 1993
One of the rarest treasures of the National Trust is a millefleurs tapestry of a French knight on horseback at Montacute House in Somerset. The tapestry has nothing to do with Montacute, having arrived there recently and by chance, but the knight was involved in a turning point of European history, and the tapestry made at the end of his life in 1481 celebrates his triumphs in fifteenth century war and politics.
The knight has been identified as Jean de Daillon, Seigneur du Lude and Governor of the Dauphine, by the coat of arms in the top left hand of the tapestry - 'Quarterly, in the first and last azure, a cross engrailed argent; in the second and third, gules fretty or, a canton argent charged with a crescent sable; and as an inshield, gules, six escutcheons or.' Jean de Daillon's parents were of noble extraction, the crosses of Daillon he inherited from his father and quartered them with the crescents of his mother's family, but they were not eminent and no text explains why, as a child, Jean came to be a playmate of the dauphin - the future Louis XI. They understood one another well. If Jean of necessity outdid Louis in charm, and Louis was the master of intrigue, they shared the same self-interest. In his letters to Daillon the King repeated what must have been a childhood catchphrase, part affectionate, part cynical, 'Take care of Maitre Jean and I'll take care of Maitre Louis'.
Both men spent their youth as knights at arms. In the 1440's they were in the south suppressing the rebellions of Jean IV d'Armagnac and the Swiss. Daillon's first lordship, however, was gained not by war but by his marriage in 1434 to Renee de Fontaines, which made him Seigneur de Fontaines. In 1445 he became Chamberlain to the dauphin and Captain of Roussillon in the Dauphine. At this point Louis began to feel that his father Charles VII did not appreciate him sufficiently and he grew impatient to be king. Daillon joined his intrigues and was banished from court in 1446. It was around this time that he appropriated the lands and insignia of an ancient Angevin family called Mathefelon. Although the family was not extinct, La Cropte (including Melsay and Leval) fell into Daillon's hands and their arms - six gold escutcheons on a red ground - were added as an inshield to Jean de Daillon's arms. Their first appearance in this form was on the seal of a document dated 1451, and this is how they appear in the Montecute tapestry. In 1457 Daillon, who already had a part of the lands of Lude on the upper Loire, seized the rest from Guy de Carne and became Seigneur du Lude, his chief title from then on. Two years later he married Marie de Laval (the date of his first wife's death is not known) with whom he had two sons, Jacques, who inherited Lude, and Francois who inherited La Cropte, and three daughters Jeanne, Louis and Fran├žoise. Daillon was back at the court of CharlesVII at this time, having left the dauphin in 1452 and made his peace with the king. He was made Captain of a hundred lances and took part in the battle of Castillon which finally drove the English from France and put an end to Henry VI's lingering claims to the French throne. With the restoration of peace Daillon was reorganising the army.
Meanwhile Louis was living in Flanders under the protection of Duke Philip the Good of Burgundy, both men waiting for Charles VII to die. When he finally did so in 1461, Louis XI was crowned at Rheims and entered Paris in triumph with Philip of Burgundy at his side. But Jean de Daillon took no part in these festivities and had to wait until 1466 before he and Louis XI were reconciled. He then returned to his natural position as Louis' confidant, and earned from him the nickname 'Maitre Jean des habilites.' He managed to achieve a happy balance between the king's interests and his own aggrandisement. Comines described him as 'Monseigneur du Lude who got on so well with the king on all occasions and who so loved doing well for himself.' He was Baillif of Cotentin from 1470-3, Governor of Perche and Alencon, and then Governor of the Dauphine from 1474. That year he also acted as Louis' ambassador to negotiate the Treaty of Perpignan with the king of Aragon (which re-stored Rousillon to neutral status after its occupation by French and Spanish armies). The following year at the opposite end of France he served as ambassador to the Flemish Count of St. Pol, to try and fix this powerful noble's vacillating loyalties away from Burgundy and onto the French side.
Louis XI's aim was to restore his war-battered kingdom and to outwit his rivals by intrigue whenever possible rather than force. The degree of his success can be measured by the term 'universal spider' always applied to him by the Burgundian chroniclers. The turning point for Burgandy and France was the 1475 Settlement of Puligny. Charles the Bold remained embroiled on his eastern frontiers and was killed fighting the Swiss at Nancy in January 1477, leaving his vast possessions in the hands of his young daughter Mary. Comines has described in vivid terms the delirious joy with which Louis XI received the news, and the messengers who brought it were led by none other than Jean Daillon himself, 'who knew the king could be generous to those who brought good tidings.'
Jean de Daillon did benefit from this turn of events, both personally when the confiscated lands of the Duke of Nemours (Conde, La Ferte-Milon, Luzarches and Domfront) came into his hands, and as a lieutenant of the king as he pursued his campaign against the Flemish border towns. Arras, after much privation, fell in May 1477 and Jean de Daillon Became Lieutenant du Roi for the city and made out of it '20,000 crowns and 2 martens skins.' In nearby Tournai, which had been the independent fief of its archbishop, another intimate of Louis XI led in the troops and Cardinal Archbishop Clugny fled to Bruges. Daillon confided to Comines that he hoped to become Governor of Flanders 'and be made of gold.' This did not happen. Although France annexed Picardy and Artois, Flanders and the Low Countries remained fiercely loyal to the Burgundian connection, and when the Duchess Mary married Archduke Maximillian of Austria in August 1477 their freedom from France was guaranteed.
It was at this point that the tapestry was commissioned as a gift from the city of Tounai to Jean de Daillon in repayment for 'certain kindnesses' (one hopes this was not a euphemism for extortion). The first official entry in the archives of Tournai is dated 1 April 1481:
To William Desreumaulx, tapestry weaver, who had agreed with Monsieur du Lude, Governor of the Dauphine, to make a tapestry of verdure for a room, the said tapestry being a gift and present made to the said gentleman by the city, in recognition of divers past favours and acts of friendship he has made to the aforesaid city…. on the price of which agreement, it has been ordered to be paid to the said William to advance and expedite the work of the said tapestry the sum of 70 livres.
It is likely that the original commission for the tapestry was made some years before the date of this entry in the archives. In 1479 Jean de Daillon left Artois to become Governor of Tours and the work may have slowed down considerably with his departure. But certainly the tapestry was sufficiently advanced in February 1480 to be taken as a model by the magistrates and merchants of Tournai, who then wished to offer to Monseigner du Baudricourt 'a verdure tapestry with silk as good and valuable as that which Monseigneur du Lude has had made in this town.'
A further payment to William Desreumaulx refers to the tapestry given to the Lord of Lude 'which he has had made in several and divers pieces measuring no less than 457 square ells', and Jerome de Callonnne was sent as inspector for the magistrates to 'the workers who made the tapestry in several different workshops, where he had to ensure that the materials used I in its making were of the right quality, and received payment for his great pains.' All of which indicates that the Montacute tapestry was originally one of a series. Jean de Daillon never received the tapestry which sanctified his fierce and acquisitive life in art form. He died in Roussillon in 1481, and in December 1482 the Tournai archives recorded receipt of letters from his widow, asking that the tapestry be handed over to Pasquier Grenier on behalf of herself and her children. Delivery was finally made in April 1483 when the Bishop of Sens, brother of the widow, made a visit to Tournai which proved rather expensive for the magistrates, and took possession of the tapestry for his sister.
What of the other dramatis personae involved in its making? William Desreumaulx was one of the leading master craftsmen of Tournai, but Pasquier Grenier was a great merchant entrepreneur who first flourished when Philip the Good was Duke of Burgundy. He was based in Tournai and probably contributed greatly to its rise to pre-eminence among the Flemish tapestry towns in the second half of the fifteenth century. Commissions for tapestries from the court and other wealthy patrons were entrusted to him. He could employ the artist designers and distribute the work among ateliers specialising in the style required and offering the best terms. In 1459 he delivered a series of the Life of Alexander the Great, and in 1461 the Passion of Christ. The story of Esther and Le Chevalier de Cygne both followed in 1462. In 1472 he was responsible for the Trojan War series bought by the by the city of Bruges for Duke Charles the Bold. Pasquier Grenier was also a wine merchant, well acquainted with the trade routes of northern Europe and the workings of the great ports of Bruges and Antwerp. He could organise the necessary supplies of wool, silk, gold and silver and could wait - because of his own capital and banking credit - for deferred payment. This procedure had already been established in the golden days of Arras under Duke Philip the Bold (d. 1404) when Hughes Walois and Jean Cosset joined the commerce in wine and tapestry. Each year for twenty years Cosset provided one or several tapestries which he contracted from different workshops. He even set up an atelier at the Duke's fairy-tale palace of Hesdin in Picardy to make a series, 'Douze pairs de France', in situ. The Italian connection was at Bruges in the hands of patron/entrepreneurs such as Giovanni Arnolfini and Tommaso Portinari. As for the English connection, since 1393 when Richard II and his uncles of York, Lancaster and Gloucester all received tapestries from Philip the Bold, the Dukes of Burgundy had wooed the English with tapestries. When the ducal line died out and the French wars were over, Henry VII decided to buy his own tapestries. In September 1486 he gave his protection to 'Paschal and Jean Grenier merchants of Tournai in France' and allowed them to import into England 'cloths of Aras, tapysserie werk and carpets'. In March 1488 he told the Bishop of Exeter, Guardian of the Privy Seal, that he had bought from Jean Grenier '2 alter clothes and 11 pieces of cloth of Arras of the history of Troy', expected at the port of Sandwich, and asked the Bishop to ensure that Grenier had to pay no customs duties.
Henry VII's Trojan War tapestries were a copy of those commissioned in 1472 by the city of Bruges for Charles the Bold, which were also organised by Pasquier Grenier and woven in Tounai. The surviving examples show interesting stylistic links with the Montacute tapestry. The richly decorated caparison of Jean de Daillon's horse is very like those of the Greek and Trojan warriors, including the unusual leather cabochon behind the rider on the horse's back. The standard which Daillon carries with it's appropriate ravening wolf and long fluttering pennants corresponds in style to the standards of the Greek warriors - their favoured animal was a lion. Even the monogrammed pennants also appeared in the tapestry of the Fall of Troy, now lost.
Fifteenth-century tapestries often contained a monogram, and very few can be easily identified as the initials of the patron. In the Montacute tapestry the 'J' which appears on the pennants and the horse's caparison could well stand for Jean but the 'E' is unlikely to be simply the second letter of his name, any more than it would be in modern initials. Nor does it correspond with either of his wives' initials. After the fall of Constantinople in 1453, Philip the Good adopted the mysterious monogram EE, which was variously explained as the initials of a lady love, of which he had many, or a secret motto. Possibly it stands for Eques Ecclesiae, in reference to his unfulfilled longing to be a crusader - and by the same token the Montacute initials could be Jean Eques, enhancing the whole atmosphere of the tapestry which, did one not know otherwise, is that of 'a verray parfit gentil knight'.
No similar tapestries of a knight on horseback survive, and it is impossible to estimate how many there may once have been. In the inventory of Henry VIII's possessions at Hampton Court is listed 'One odde pece of Tapistrie having on it a man pictured in harneys (armour) on horseback'. And his other collections included two pieces 'having a man armed on horseback with a border of bells at the top' (bells feature in other early sixteenth-century tapestries attributed to Tournai and in the Montacute tapestry they adorn the horse). Pierre de Rohan, Marechal de Gie, had a series of tapestries in his chateau at Verger in one of which he appeared like Daillon, in armour on a superbly decorated horse. The inexplicable initials on the standard and the horse are two 'F's facing one another. The background is not a millefleurs, but is decorated with his insignia - a pilgrim's staff and cockle shell.
Armorial tapestries had been in vogue since the beginning of the fifteenth century. The early ones were sometimes simply saddlebags or bedcovers. In Brussels so many knights had ordered armorial tapestries and then proved unable to pay for them that the ateliers were selling them off, until in 1411 an injunction forbade them to do so without the consent of the owners. When the great chancellor of the Dukes of Burgundy, Nicholas Rolin (d. 1462), had his armorial tapestry made the background was covered with the keys of Rolin and the castles of his wife Guigone de Salins, while the centre contained the Lamb of God with the symbols of the Crucifixion. The first known armorial tapestry to feature a millefleurs background was commissioned by Philip the Good from Jehan le Haze of Brussels (an important tapissier like William Desreumaulx of Tournai) and paid for in 1466: 'For 8 pieces of verdure tapestry worked in gold, silver and silk and fine woollen thread; and in the centre of each of the said pieces are the arms and crested helm with wreath and lambrequins of the said seigneur, and in the corner of each the device of monseigneur and four pairs of EE coupled'. Another superb armorial millefleurs that still survives contained the arms of John Dynham (who contrived to serve every English king from Henry VI to Henry VII). It has the order of the garter surrounding his arms and since he received this in 1487 or '88 the tapestry may have been made mark the honour.
Although it has its precursors, the tapestry of Jean de Daillon is now unique in combining a millefleurs background with a knight on horseback complete with arms, monogram and insignia. Millefleurs or verdue tapestries were very popular and many survive. They are distinguished by the flower-scattered back-ground which obviates normal perspective and proportions. The style continued into the early sixteenth century and survived alongside more apparently sophisticated tapestries where people move realistically through landscapes and buildings.
Millefleurs tapestries vary greatly, from highly stylised flowers repeated in strips to exquisitely individual and botanically identifiable plants. In Brussels in 1476 a dispute between weavers and artists resulted in a transaction whereby weavers established their right to design 'trees, boats, animals and grasses for their verdures', but were obliged to employ professional artists for the rest of the design. No doubt similar rules applied in the other tapestry weaving centres, and rendered possible a degree of mass production in popular lines such as armorial millefleurs. Philip the Good's millefleurs at Berne has the pattern repeated twice, but the flowers are finely observed and recognizable. There is no repetition of the pattern in Jean de Daillon's tapestry, and all but a few of the flowers identifiable. The background teems with heavy-headed poppies and trumpetty daffodils, scillas, wallflowers and thistles, while a few plants appear only once or twice, such as the honeysuckle under the horse's reins, and the fritillary behind its tail.
Jean de Daillon as he appears in the chronicles of France was a man of some charm and great greed, but in such a tapestry he can be nothing less than a figure of high romance.



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