40 Days of prayer against the Church of Darkness — Day 31

FromRome.Info Video, recorded tonight at Santa Maria Maggiore.



In the year of Our Lord 1820, God revealed to Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich that the Church of Rome would one day be attacked from within. That there would be two popes: one false and dark, who strove to found a new Religion which would be the home of every heretic and apostate: one true and aged, who would be paralyzed by inaction and silence.

To drive the Church of Darkness out of the Church of Rome, it was revealed to her that Our Lady asked the faithful to gather at Midnight in front of the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, here at Rome, and pray with arms outstretched, in the form of the Cross, for the space of at least 3 Our Fathers.

Prayers being said Tonight at Rome

In nomine Patri et Filii et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.

Pater noster qui es in coelis, sanctificetur nomen tuum;
adveniat regnum tuum, fiat voluntas tua, sicut in coelo et in terra.
Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie,
et dimitte nobis debita nostra, sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris.
et ne nos inducas in tentationem, sed libera nos a malo. Amen.

Padre nostro che sei nei cieli, sia santificato il tuo nome;
venga il tuo regno; sia fatta la tua volontà, come in cielo così in terra.
Dacci oggi il nostro pane quotidiano,
e rimetti a noi i nostri debiti come noi li rimettiamo ai nostri debitori,
e non ci indurre in tentazione, ma liberaci dal male». Amen. (3 volte)

Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name,
Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our Daily Bread,
And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us,
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen. (3 times)

Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto,
Sicut erat in principio, et nunc et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

NOTE: Since, Bl. Anna-Katerina Emmerich had this vision in 1820, before the invention of time zones, midnight here should be understood in solar time, which at Rome makes midnight occur at 12:22 AM, presently, and thus the hour of midnight would be 11:52 AM to 12:52 AM. Try to say your prayers in that hour.

This Novena is explained and announced here in English, and here in Italian, in each place the citations from Bl. Emmerich about these prayers are given.

See the article published yesterday at FromRome.Info, The Church of Light vs. the Church of Darkness for more about this Novena of Prayer.

PLEASE NOTE: That until From Rome Info Video Channel at Youtube gets 1000 subscribers, it will NOT be able to broadcast the Nightly Prayers Live. So let all who are devoted to Jesus Christ, Our Lady and Bl. Ann Catherine Emmerich know that they need to urge subscriptions to this channel, so that we can promote the fulfillment of Our Lady’s Request for Her Heavenly-Approved prayer solution to the present Crisis in the Church.

To put a Newspaper ad calling Catholics at Rome to this pray vigil, will cost 2000 euros. Help us spread the word by a generous contribution here below. Our Lady promised victory, let us mobilize everyone to the battle!

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Thank you for making FromRome.Info’s first month a success


by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

I write this editorial to thank each and every one of the readers of FromRome.Info for their interest and support in this new media initiative for Catholic News, Commentary and Information: the only one of its kind in communion with Pope Benedict XVI.

In this last month, FromRome.Info has had 120 thousand visits from 41 thousand visitors, with more than 1000 likes and 750 comments. During that time, FromRome.Info has published 210 articles, reports, editorials, videos and commentaries at FromRome.Info and an additional 59 videos at its new video channel, From Rome Info Video, on YouTube. The 210 articles represent nearly a third of all articles published at From Rome since its foundation in 2013.

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I want to particularly thank the most generous supporters and each of the writers who have offered to publish at FromRome.Info:  Attorney Frank Magill, Andrew J Baalman, Attorney Christopher P. Benischek, John Hanneman, and Austin Walsh. I wish to thank also, in particular, Lynn Colgan for her work as graphic designer and Andrew Baalman who is a tireless promoter. Finally, a heartfelt thanks to all my informants and sources, who wish to remain anonymous and yet keep feeding me the news no one else is reporting on.

A special thanks to all those bloggers who regularly share the published material from FromRome.Info, including Bishop Gracida (USA), Betta of Passaparola (Italy) and Yvette of Magazine La Voix de Dieu (Caméroun) and many others in Australia and beyond.

My hopes for FromRome.Info are to grow in into the pre-eminent Catholic source of news about the Church and the Vatican in the English speaking world: which is not controlled by the Vatican or any particular interests but serves Jesus Christ, the Eternal Truth Incarnate.

I ask, therefore, your continued help, and if anyone or more of you would be interested in investing, I ask you to contact me (leave message below), because incorporating this work is the necessary step for making it last and grow, so I can hire those needed to keep the news coming 24/7.

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Adrian Willaert: O Salutaris Hostia

Today we continue our perusal of the sacred repertoire of Adrian Willaert, with his O Salutaris Hostia, the Antiphon inspired by the poem by Saint Thomas Aquinas for the feast of Corpus Christi.

At 5 P.M., FromRome.Info brings you a selection of sacred music from Catholic composers throughout the ages, for your edification and to help us all realize how profoundly inimical the Aggiornamento has been to Catholic worship.


BREAKING: Call for International Inquest into Vatican Corruption

French Translation : Spanish Translation : Italian Translation

ROME – Feb. 28, 2020: A group of Catholics, today, has issued a call to convene an international investigation into Vatican Corruption by all the Bishops of the Catholic Church “on account of the manifest grave disorder in the organs of the Apostolic See”.

The effort is calling for a international inquest at which the evidence for each charge will be presented by a committee of legal scholars to an informal panel of jurors, who will be comprised of Bishops of the Catholic Church. The goal of the inquest will be to ask the Bishop jurors to judge whether the cases presented are actionable and whether it is now useful for the good of the Church that the College of Bishops meet to hear the cases.

The Press Release invites both legal scholars and Catholic Bishops to participate. All interested parties are to contact the chairman of the committee.

The group’s official press release (see below) cites the precedent of the Council of Constance, held at the beginning of the 15th Century, wherein 2 Popes resigned to end the Western Schism. Among the charges to be brought are whether the Renunciation of Pope Benedict XVI by means of the Declaratio of Feb. 11, 2013 separated him from the Office; whether the Conclave of 2013 was legitimate; and whether Jorge Mario Bergoglio has separated himself from the Church by pertinacious manifest heresy, apostasy and or schism. This last charge, regarding schism, appears directed at the so called Vatican Accord with China, which has betrayed 30 million Catholics to the predations of that regime.

All contacts about this matter are to be made through the Chairman of the Organizing Committee, Mr. Brian Murphy of God’s Plan for Life.

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Original at: http://godsplanforlife.org/pastoral/press_release.html

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Press Release of the Organizing Committee

February 28, 2020

In accord with the right of all the faithful in the Catholic Church, as expressed in Canon 212 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law, we cordially invite the Legal Scholars and Bishops of the Catholic Church to attend an Inquest on Corruption in the Vatican, so that there may be presented in canonical form a libellus of complaints about grave canonical irregularities in the functioning of the Apostolic See, for which, in accord with the teaching of Robert Bellarmine, when the See is impeded by a real positive doubt as to the legal claim to the title of the papacy by any claimant, it is the duty of the Bishops to intervene (Bellarmine, De Concilio, II, 19), as they did at the Holy Sacrosanct and Ecumenical Council of Constance.

We invite legal scholars to participate in a Committee of preparation for the International Inquest at which, we invite members of the College of Apostles, whether Cardinals, Archbishops, Bishops, or emeriti to participate.

The goal of the inquest is merely to give a public evaluation of the evidence and charges as to whether it would be suitable and useful for the College of Bishops to convene together to hear the cases and judge what is to be done to urge their correction and amendment.

The Committee does not propose, by this Inquest, that the Roman Pontiff be judged, since the first see can be judged by no one (canon 1404), but rather, in accord with the established precedent — that the College of Bishops has the right to judge the claim of any man to hold the office of the Roman Pontiff in cases of disputed elections, loss of office by heresy, and invalid renunciations — that the College of Bishops now act on account of the manifest grave disorder in the organs of the Apostolic See.

Date of Inquest: to be determined, in Second or Third Quarter of 2020
Location: to be determined

Organized by
the Committee for the International Inquest

Brian Murphy, PhD, Committee Chairman
and President of God’s Plan For Life, CA, USA

Br. Alexis Bugnolo, B.A. Cultural Anthropology,
President Ordo Militaris Inc., USA

Eric Mayoral, B.A., USA

Sean Hyland, B.A., Germany

Fr. Walter Covens, Martinique

Committee Contact: Brian Murphy


CREDITS: The Featured Image of the Vatican from the Via della Conciliazione is by FromRome.Info.

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen: the glory and vocation of the Celibate priesthood

By Joseph M. Hanneman

Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen could not recall a time in his life when he did not want to be a priest. At his First Communion, he prayed that one day he would be ordained to the priesthood. That day came in September 1919, when the 24-year-old son of Newton and Delia Sheen was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Peoria, Illinois, USA.

Sheen would become a towering figure in the Catholic Church in the 20th century, known to millions as a brilliant orator, a master teacher of the faith on television and radio, in many dozens of books, and from the pulpit. But for more than 60 years, Sheen was first, foremost and always a priest. His priesthood was more than a vocation, more than life’s work, and even beyond his identity. It was his essence, lifeblood; indeed his very nature. Or, as he often described it, Christ’s nature dwelling in him.

Sheen wrote and spoke often about the priesthood. He gave many retreats later in life to remind his brother priests who and what they truly are. Even more than 40 years after his death, Sheen’s teachings stand as a faithful sentinel against modernist wishes to “reform” the priesthood by dispatching with celibacy and even changing the all-male nature of the priesthood. It is easy to imagine him today before a podium and microphone, explaining in stirring tones and rich voice why Our Blessed Lord made the holy priesthood as He did. It’s easy because he gave those talks and wrote passionate words about his vocation and his life in persona Christi.

Celibacy and masculinity are the very defining characteristics of the Catholic priesthood, Sheen said.


Alter Christus; Ambassadors of Christ

Sheen emphasized that priests were ambassadors of Jesus Christ and alter Christus, “other Christs,” who are “dispensers of the mysteries of God.” The role and essential characteristics of the priesthood come from Christ Himself, Sheen said; meaning to attempt to change or modify them would be to oppose God’s divine plan. Christ calls the priest, makes the priest and provides the grace for him to completely offer himself as priest and victim.

“This is the way he continues the priesthood of Our Blessed Lord,” Sheen said in his talk, “Holy Orders.”1 “Our Lord was not a priest because He was eternally begotten by the Father. Our Lord was a priest because He had a human nature, which He could offer up for our salvation. And so we too, continuing that priesthood, are something like Jacob’s Ladder — it reaches up to the heavens and yet at the same time it is placed on the earth. Therefore every priest is a kind of another Christ, having vertical relations to Christ and Heaven and horizontal relations to men on earth.”

What Sheen described across the many decades of his ministry is a beautiful, divinely appointed plan under which ordained men continue Christ’s saving work as his priests, and a woman, the Blessed Virgin Mary, represents the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ. “Mary at the foot of the Cross was the symbol of the Church,” he said. “Our Lord on the Cross was the New Adam. She was the New Eve.”2 Writing in his book The Priest Is Not His Own, Sheen continued: “The priest first gives up the earthly love of a woman, as Mary gave up the earthly love of a man. His ‘I have no knowledge of woman’ balances her ‘I have no knowledge of man’ ” (Luke 1:34).3

Total Gift of Self

In his many retreats for priests and bishops, Sheen often said that priestly celibacy is misunderstood as an undue burden; a cruel cross that is unfairly forced upon priests. Rather, celibacy is a gift from Christ to His priests. That gift comes with the supernatural grace to maintain and protect it. “For anyone to say that Christ was forced on us is just as false as to say that any gift such as celibacy is forced on us,” Sheen said. “It is not man’s gift to God, it is God’s gift to man.”4

Celibacy, Sheen said during one retreat, is a treasure the the Blessed Lord keeps in “pots of earthenware.” The earthenware pots “have received a gift. A gift: celibacy. That is the way Our Lord describes it, as a gift. That is the way the Vatican council describes it. Celibacy is a gift that is given to some men. He gave it to us. We did not offer celibacy, we received it. And as long as we remain close to Him, we will have it and keep it.”5  

Because it comes from God, celibacy is not an impossibility for priests, Sheen said. It is one of three so-called “impossibles” mentioned in the Gospels. One is the Virgin Birth. The second is poverty, shown by the rich man who went away sad because Christ called him to donate all of his possessions and follow Him. The third was celibacy, which Christ described when discussing the types of eunuchs.

In Sheen’s autobiography, Treasure in Clay, he quotes Christ: “ ‘There are eunuchs born that way from their mother’s womb. There are eunuchs made by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves that way.’ Then He spoke of celibates who do not marry ‘for the sake of the Kingdom of God,’ finally giving away the secret of how men could be celibate. He called it a gift. He said that celibacy is not for everyone. It is only for those who receive from Him this gift. It is ‘only for those to whom it is granted. Let anyone accept this who can.’ ”6

In his magnum opus Life of Christ, Sheen wrote that when Jesus recommended celibacy, the disciples objected to the severity of the teaching because they feared it would dissuade men from entering marriage. “His answer shows that they understood His meaning. Their error was in failing to realize to what sacrificial heights He would summon men for the sake of His Kingdom.”7

In his priest retreat, “Restoring the Vineyard,” Sheen asked, “Why was the Lord, why was He a celibate? And why does he ask us? He asks in order that we might be able to make a totally committed love without division and without compromise. Just to be totally His.”8

The gift of self by priests is manifested in part through being in service at all times, day and night. “There is no such thing as saying at the end of a day, ‘Well I’ve done my duty for the day.’ Rather, Our Lord said we have to call ourselves unprofitable servants. …Labor union rules are not sufficient for us. We belong to a different union, where love, not hours, is the standard. When we think of all Our Lord has done for us, we really can never do enough. The word ‘enough’ does not exist in love’s vocabulary.”9

The limits demanded by celibacy are among the distinguishing characteristics by which the priesthood can be identified, Sheen said. “How do you know the identity of Honolulu? How do you know the identity of the Philippines? How do we know the identity of the state of New York? How do we know the identity of a football field? By its boundaries. By its limits.”10


Fire or Diamonds?

Sheen said the key is for priests to be so closely conformed to Christ as to take on His nature and imitate Him. “Celibacy is hardest when we fall out of love with Christ,” Sheen wrote. “Then it becomes a great burden. Once we priests put celibacy in the context of the Church and discuss its history, its sociology and the like, there is a groaning under the burden. Once we see it in relation to Christ, then it is less a problem and more a matter of love. Celibacy as an ecclesiastical law is hard. Celibacy as a question of discipleship is hard too, but bearable and joyful.”11

Sheen always implored priests to make a daily Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament, a practice he carried out every day of his priesthood (nearly 22,000 Holy Hours). Any priest who does this, he said, would not be lost. “I could draw a curve of my own life … my attitude toward celibacy would be seen always in direct relationship to my personal love of Christ. Once our passions cease to burn for Him, they begin to burn toward creatures. Celibacy is not the absence of passion; it is rather the intensity of a passion.”12

Sheen cited two men who gave up love of a woman for community ideals: Gandhi, who did so for the “untouchables” in India’s caste social system, and former United Nations Secretary Dag Hammarskjöld, who practiced celibacy for world peace. Unknowingly, Sheen wrote, these men were saying the same thing as St. Paul: “An unmarried man can devote himself to the Lord’s affairs. All he need worry about is pleasing the Lord. But a married man has to bother about the world’s affairs and devote himself to pleasing his wife. He’s torn in two ways” (1 Cor 7:32-34).13  

“If a man gives up freedom for a woman he loves, then it is also possible for a man to give up a woman for Christ,” Sheen wrote. “Love in the service of celibacy rises and falls with the love of Him. Once Christ becomes less regnant in human hearts, something has to take over to fill the vacuum.”14

Christ on the Cross and in the Eucharist are the touchstones on the question of celibacy, he said, underscoring the need for the daily Holy Hour. “The more we fall away from response to that gift, the less we want to look at a crucifix, the less we want to visit the Lord in His Sacrament. We become like the man who crosses the street when he sees a bill collector on the other side. The Cross, therefore, is where Heaven and hell meet. It is a hell when we see the part we have played in His Crucifixion by our infidelity. It is Heaven when we remain faithful, or when we fly again to His feet for pardon.”15

The sex drive can be transformed, Sheen said, with a focus on Christ’s presence dwelling in His priests. “Carbon may either become fire or it may become a diamond. The libido may be spent or it may be harbored. It may seek unity with another person without, but it may also seek unity with another person within, namely God. …So celibacy is not just the renouncing of the person outside but a concentration on the person inside. God is not out there. He is in us: ‘I will abide in you and you will abide in Me.’ Celibacy is a transformer which multiplies an energy within to concentrate entirely on Christ Who lives in the soul.”16

Priests are imitating Christ, carrying a cross to prolong His redemption, Sheen said. The more closely they follow Christ, all the easier to be His. “If I belong to the new humanity which was born originally of a Virgin, why should I not live in exclusivity for the Master? I never felt? I gave up love in taking the vow of celibacy; I just chose a higher love.”17

Priestly celibacy and marriage are both honorable vocations, but should not be compared like some competing ideals, Sheen said. “…It is like arguing about the relative perfection of the right leg over the left. Both want God, and the degree of possession does not depend upon the state of life, but on the degree of response to the grace that God gives. The celibate is working for the Kingdom of God by ‘begetting children in Christ’ in baptism; the married by having children through the profound unity of two in one flesh. God has two kinds of lovers — those who go directly to the ultimate, such as the celibate, and those who go mediately through marriage.”18

The begetting of children in Christ, Sheen wrote, is a higher form of generation that uses the energy that would otherwise serve the flesh and transforms it into chaste generation of the Spirit. “What a blessed life is ours. What a beautiful role celibacy plays when it facilitates a higher kind of generation, when it inspires the priest to imitate the Father in begetting The Word, to imitate the Christ who begot us in the Spirit as alter Christus.19

Priests must so closely conform themselves to Christ, Sheen said, that they are not mere followers or servants, but douloi — slaves. The Greek word doulos (δοῦλος) is used nearly 50 times in the New Testament to refer to Christ. “How then do we really become true liberators?” Sheen asked in one retreat for priests. “When do we begin to be effective at liberating souls from evil, having power over nature? Now here comes the paradox of Christianity. By being slaves. Slaves of Christ. That’s what we are. The douloi of the Good Lord.”20

That work, Sheen said, is to liberate people from evil, not to liberate them from morality, family life, the Church or the Commandments. “ ‘Thanks be to God, who continually leads us about, captives in his triumphal procession.’ That’s what we are. Captives in Christ’s triumphant procession. ‘And everywhere uses us to reveal and spread abroad the fragrance of the knowledge of Himself’ ” (2 Cor 2:14-15).

“So that is what we are. The secret is out,” Sheen said. “Christ has won the battle; only the news has not yet leaked out. And we, we are slaves in Christ’s triumphal procession.”21

Priesthood and Nuptials

Sheen said the idea of women as priests comes from a fundamental misunderstanding not only of the priesthood, but God’s divine plan.

“Mary was not a priest. If her Divine Son wanted women to be priests, He would have made His own mother a priest. The woman is a symbol of the Church.”22  

The key to the all-male priesthood is found in Scripture’s many references to marriage nuptials, Sheen said. “Why in the divine, biblical order can they (women) not be priests? Is it because we want a monopoly on it? Certainly not. It is because the whole divine order is based on nuptials. Creation began with nuptials —the nuptials of man and woman in the Garden of Eden. Then there came the nuptials of Israel and God. In the prophet Hosea we read, ‘I, your Creator am your husband.’ See how the natural and the divine order are linked together?”23

In the Old Testament, God tells Hosea to marry a harlot. Despite her unfaithfulness to Hosea, God tells the husband to take her back. “She is the symbol of Israel,” Sheen said. “ ‘Israel is my bride.’ Unfaithful. Disloyal. Disobedient. But I will always love Israel.”

In the new order, Sheen said, we have not just the nuptials of man and woman, “but the nuptials of divinity and humanity in the Incarnation of Our Blessed Lord. Then on the Cross we have the nuptials of God-man and the New Israel, which is the Church. And out of this marriage, a bridegroom and bride on the Cross, the New Adam and the New Eve, there begins the new progeny. John the firstborn. Then it multiplies at Pentecost and it has been multiplying ever since. So nuptials becomes the foundation of the covenant order. God continues it.”24

Christ referred to the woman who touched the hem of his cloak and was healed “my daughter” (Matt 9:20). He called the apostles “my children.”

“There are other ways of begetting,” Sheen said in his talk, “Pots of Earthenware.” “The Word is the seed. The seed is The Word. And The Word gives the seed to the earth, The Word gives the seed to the Church. Every time we mount the pulpit, The Word is the seed. Man gives the seed. The woman receives the seed. She fecundates it, nourishes it, brings it to life, educates it, caresses it, loves it, so that in the new order we have Christ and His Bride, the Church.

“Now those who want women to become priests no longer want the bridegroom Christ to have a bride. Should not they be proud of the fact that they symbolize the bride, which is the Church? As we have to be proud of symbolizing Christ Himself, and the Church is the ecclesial Body of Christ.”25

After 60 years and nearly three months of priesthood, Sheen died while making his Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament, just one day after the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception in December 1979.

“We cannot live without love,” Sheen once said, “and if we’re in love with Him, oh he provides the means. We have all the joys of another kind of love, that love that leaves all other love a pain; the unpossessed that makes possession vain.”26


1 Sheen, Fulton J., 12:24 mark, “Lesson 35: Holy Orders,” The Sheen Catechism: Fulton Sheen Audio Library, FultonSheen.com and CatholicVault.com. Sheen’s audio talks are available in various other places on the internet.

2 Sheen, Fulton J., “Mary and the Mass,” Various Topics: Fulton Sheen Audio Library, FultonSheen.com and CatholicVault.com. Sheen’s audio talks are available in various other places on the internet.

3 Sheen, Fulton J., The Priest is Not His Own, (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2004), location 3885 of 3996, Kindle version, Amazon.com.

4 Sheen, Fulton J., Treasure in Clay: the Autobiography of Fulton J. Sheen, (New York: Image Books/Doubleday, 1980); Page 211, Kindle version at Amazon.com.

5 Sheen, Fulton J., “Pots of Earthenware,” Prayer, Suffering and the Spiritual Life: Fulton Sheen Audio Library, FultonSheen.com and CatholicVault.com. Sheen’s audio talks are available in various other places on the internet.

6 Sheen, Treasure in Clay, Page 212.

7 Sheen, Most. Rev. Fulton J., Ph.D., D.D., Life of Christ, (New York: Image Books/Doubleday, 2008); Page 194, Kindle edition at Amazon.com.

8 Sheen, Fulton J., “Restoring the Vineyard,” What a Priest Should Be: Fulton Sheen Audio Library, FultonSheen.com and CatholicVault.com. Sheen’s audio talks are available in various other places on the internet.

9 Sheen, “Lesson 35: Holy Orders.”

10 Sheen, Fulton J., “Holy Ambassadors — Other Jesuses,” Venerable Fulton J. Sheen: Priesthood, KeeptheFaith.org Saddle River, N.J.

11 Sheen, Treasure in Clay: the Autobiography of Fulton J. Sheen, Page 214.

12 Ibid.

13 Ibid., Page 217.

14 Ibid.

15 Ibid.

16 Ibid.

17 Ibid., Page 222.

18 Ibid., Page 210.

19 Sheen, The Priest is Not His Own, Location 792 of 3996.

20 Sheen, Archbishop Fulton J., Called and Chosen: the Never Changing Face of the Priesthood, audio CD collection, St. Joseph Communications, 2002.

21 Ibid.

22 Sheen, “Mary and the Mass,” 08:52 mark.

23 Sheen, “Pots of Earthenware.”

24 Ibid.

25 Ibid.

26 Sheen, “Restoring the Vineyard.”


CREDITS:  The image of Sheen at his desk is a photo from October, 1956 and in the public domain. — Sheen in front of the bookshelf, is a photo from 1952, in the public domain, being now the property of the U.S. Library of Congress.

On the Expulsion of Jews from Western European Catholic Monarchies

Undoing Historical Revisionism

Expulsions of European Jewry, 1290-1492

by Austin Walsh

Part I: Seditious Sojourners in the Kingdom of England

If the Jewish Virtual Library (JVL) is to be believed, it seems as if one day, the Catholic Monarchs of England, France and Spain, during respective centuries, decreed spontaneously that Jews were no longer welcome in the Kingdom, necessitating imprisonment, asset stripping and deportation. In reality, such a decree is a very complicated legal and logistical step which no head of state would take lightly: how are debts to be settled? Where and when are the Jews to go, and how? What is to be done with abandoned property? Not even a mentally impaired monarch would undertake such a step without both grave underlying causes, and serious consideration. However, the only cause cited by the JVL is anti-semitism. Peculiarly, no Jewish behaviors are ever mentioned. Thus goes Jewish historiography on expulsions from Catholic Kingdoms, with the unjustifiable a priori presumption that only irrational Jew-hate explains the cause, like some pandemic virus coursing through the air from one Christian to the next, targeting and persecuting innocent and unsuspecting denizens of the synagogue. Such cartoonish and false history is fodder for simpletons, or those who read only comic books; but such is what most Catholics today believe about their own ancestors, and sadly also about themselves.

Historical lessons are often reducible to the same principles which govern interpersonal relations; that is, at times the events of centuries past are more easily understood by drawing analogies with the manners in which people do (or do not) get along. Let us consider first such an analogy. A man is sacked by his employer and then complains to his friends, “they didn’t appreciate me,” he groans. “All the credit that I deserved always went to others,” is followed by the inevitable “there’s something wrong with that place.” All of which seems reasonable except to the friends of the man in question, who are subject to the man’s repetitious complaints far too often, because in reality he loses every job he takes within a short period of time. Sooner or later, a true friend will challenge the man by telling him that when one has been fired from one hundred jobs, maybe the problem lies not with one’s employers, but with the person getting fired all the time.

To history now can be linked this lesson in which reality itself seems to beggar life’s participants to stop simply blaming everyone else and examine oneself.  Question: Is there any people on earth who have known banishment or expulsion in excess of one hundred times? Answer: the Jews have known expulsion in excess of one hundred instances.  Why were Jews banished so many times? To ask this question is to enter the minefield of historiography, but let’s begin with a sample of what the JVL says:

  1. On July 18, 1290, shortly after money lending was made heretical and illegal in England, Edward I expelled the Jews from England, making England the first European country to do so.
  2. {France} Phillip IV the Fair ascended to power in 1285. In 1305, he imprisoned all the Jews and seized everything they owned except the clothing on their backs. He expelled 100,000 Jews from France and allowed them to travel with only one day’s provisions
  3. …the date 1492 has been almost as important in Jewish history as in American history. On July 30 of that year, the entire Jewish community, some 200,000 people, were expelled from Spain.

Bribery, Fraud & Usury

The first stop of Catholic history’s counter-narrative is England of the late thirteenth century, ruled by the House of Plantagenet, and is related to us by French author Hervé Ryssen via his concisely written History of Antisemitism (see PDF at Cognitive Gateway’s Gateway Reader Page.)

Plantagenet King Henry III (1227-1272) showed great kindness to Jews. Of Henry, Ryssen writes:

Henry, the son of King John and Isabelle of Angouleme, favoured the immigration of Jews and protected them against the common people. (21)

In fact, so favorable was King Henry’s treatment of England’s Jews that late in his reign (1263-64) a revolt of the Barons took place:

The Jews were accused of serving as the tools of royal oppression, and the communities of London, Cambridge, Canterbury and Lincoln were convulsed by riots. At Worcester, Simon de Montfort expelled all the Jews from their lands after declaring all outstanding debts to them null and void. At London, in 1264, more than 500 Jews were massacred; their houses pillaged and their synagogues destroyed. (2)

courtNow if Henry were an oppressive monarch, and the Jews his tools, then his death ought to have ended the problem. Edward succeeded him, and in 1275 issued The Statutum de judaismo, which included prohibitions against usury. (3) Now the Jews were wont to lend money to landed nobility at low interest rates of five percent or less, in exchange for the nobles’ pledge of physical protection. Once obtained, Jews would then lend to peasants at a compound interest rate of up to forty percent. Unsophisticated peasantry often found themselves ruined by such financial predation, but the Jews having the barons’ guardianship, would persist in their usurious practices until the peasants were forced to take matters into their own hands. Hence the wise prohibitions in Edward’s statute were intended to keep matters from spiraling out of control, and thus afforded a reasonable protection for both Jew and gentile.  But England’s Jews kept pushing the envelope in a manner devoid of any sense of proportion or reason. Ryssen relates:

but some Jews attempted to evade its prohibitions. Better luck next time: 293 of them were hanged at London for violating the royal interdict. It was soon discovered that counterfeit money was circulating in England and that the country’s silver pennies were often clipped. (4)

Coin clipping in this case involved shaving, then collecting silver from the circumference of the penny, and repeating ad infinitum. In so doing Jews literally robbed the kingdom of the purchasing power of its money.

St William of Norwich

Ritual Murder “In contempt of the passion of our Lord”

With documented activity in Europe since at least 600 A.D., human trafficking has been a Jewish operation targeting primarily Christians. The events of Holy Week’s Spy Wednesday (22 March) of 1144 in England’s Norwich, would cause the mother of a boy named William to discover this fact the hard way.  Earlier that week William’s mother Elvira was offered a large sum of money to release her son into the custody of a man claiming to be the cook for the local archdeacon, so as to make William his apprentice. In actuality a Jew of Norwich by the name Eleazar, the man brought William to his home. An eyewitness recounts

This was Eleazar’s Christian servant, who, the following morning, had by chance, witnessed, with horror – through the crack of a door left inadvertently open – the cruel ceremony of the child’s crucifixion and atrocious martyrdom, with the participation, carried out with religious zeal, of local Jews, “in contempt of the passion of our Lord”. Thomas kept the date of the crucial event clearly in mind. It was the Wednesday following Palm Sunday, 22 March of the year 1144.

To throw off suspicion, the Jews decided to transport the body from the opposite side of the city to Thorpe’s Wood, which extended to within a short distance from the last house. During the trip on horseback with the cumbersome sack, however, despite their efforts at caution, they crossed the path of a respected and wealthy merchant of the locality on his way to church, accompanied by a servant; the merchant had no difficulty realizing the significance of what was taking place before his eyes…Young William’s body was finally hidden by the Jews among the bushes of Thorpe. (5)

Taken from the book Blood Passover, the Jews of Europe and Ritual Murder, this history was written by Ariel Toaff, son of Rome’s Chief Rabbi, and history professor at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University (not a likely suspect for antisemitism). Subject to a firestorm by American Jewry’s ADL for translating the original Hebrew into English, Toaff abandoned the copyright in 2014. (A full and free PDF download of the English translation of this book is available via the following link to Cognitive Gateway’s Gateway Reader Page.)

As grisly as are the facts of this case, Our Adorable Savior does not permit young William’s story to end here, but ordained that he become the venerable martyr and Saint William of Norwich

The scene now became the inevitable scene of miraculous happenings. Beams of celestial light illuminated the boy’s resting place late at night, causing townspeople to discover the body, which was then buried where it was found. A few days afterwards, the cleric, Godwin Sturt, who, informed of the murder, requested, and was granted, permission to have the body exhumed. He then recognized his nephew William as the tragic victim. A short time afterwards, during a diocesan synod, Godwin got up to accuse the Jews of the crime. Thomas of Monmouth agreed with him and accused them of the horrible ritual of crucifixion of a Christian boy as the principal event of a Passover ceremony intended to mock the passion of Jesus Christ, a sort of crude and bloody Passover counter-ritual. (6)

Authentic converts from Judaism prove themselves praiseworthy sons of Holy Mother Church. History gives us Nicholas Donin and Johannes Pfefferkorn as examples of exemplary converts who helped alert the Church to the threat posed to it by the synagogue. Add to these witnesses the name Theobald of Cambridge, an authentic convert who became a monk, and gave testimony in William’s case.

The convert revealed that the Jews believed that, to bring redemption closer, and with it, their return to the Promised Land, they sacrificed a Christian child every year “in contempt of Christ”. To carry out this providential plan, the representatives of the Jewish communities, headed by their local rabbis, were said to meet every year in council in Narbonne, in the south of France, to draw lots as to the name of the locality where the ritual crucifixion was to occur from time to time. In 1144, the choice fell by lot to the city of Norwich, and the entire Jewish community was said to have adhered to that choice. (7)

The phrase to bring redemption closer warrants additional explanation. According to the Babylonian Talmud, redemption for the Jews means the arrival of Moshiach, or Jews’ version of messiah. The Talmudic messiah is an earthly ruler who will undertake the universal conquest and slaughter of the vast majority of gentiles, sparing only a fractional remainder for enslavement.  Redemption for Jews has nearly the opposite meaning of that for Catholics, whose understanding of the Redemption is rooted in the salvific act by Our Lord on Calvary. To Jews, the total destruction of all Christian society will bring about the arrival of Moshiach. To Catholics, this Moshiach is anti-Christ. Thus, the motive behind these heinous, outrageous and totally unprovoked murders was to bring the so-called messiah, or anti-Christ into the world. Unfortunately, additional ritual murder cases fit the same evidence pattern and motive as those above:

the accusation of ritual murder or the crucifixion of Christian boys spread from Norwich throughout England: from Gloucester in 1169, to Bury St. Edmunds in 1183, to Winchester in 1192, from Norwich – again – in 1235, to London in 1244, and, finally, to Lincoln in 1255, where the martyr was sainted.As we shall see, there are reports of an anomalous case of plural ritual murder again at Bristol at the end of the 13th century. (8)

In 1255 another notorious case erupted:

The body of an eight-year old child, Hugh, in the bottom of a well owned by Copino, a local Jew, at Lincoln in the summer of 1255. …The victim had been abducted by Jews, tortured and crucified, exactly as in little William’s case. (9)

And by the close of the thirteenth century, a serial case emerged, indicating a situation gone completely out of control.

The case of Adam, considered the victim of a ritual homicide occurring at Bristol at the end of the 13th century, provides us with a true and proper serial killer, the Jew Samuel, who, “in the days of King Henry, father of the other King Henry”, is said to have killed three Christian children in one year. Thereafter, with the collaboration of his wife and son, he is said to have gone on to kidnap another child, named Adam, who, tortured, mutilated (perhaps subjected to circumcision) and crucified, is said finally to have been skewered on a spit like a lamb and roasted over a flame. Samuel’s wife and son are said to have repented, expressing the intention to bathe in the baptismal waters, but at this point the perfidious and criminal Jew is said to have killed them both as well. (10)

The most important evidentiary item in a murder case is the body of the victim. Each of the well-documented cases above was made manifest by the discovery of a previously abducted, murdered and mutilated child. In many cases the wounds inflicted were puncture marks at physiological locations likely to bleed profusely. In many cases the body was pale, indicating heavy blood-letting before death. Many bore marks of crucifixion, and slashed throats were not unheard of. In the cases of Saints William and Hugh, the miracles documented owing to these Saints’ intercession provide us with the certainty of ratification by the Holy Ghost: ritual murder of Christian children by Jews is a historical fact.

The Expulsion of the Jews from England

Thus with usury, counterfeiting and coin-clipping already rampant, and instances of ritual murder also on the rise, King Edward I of England expelled Jews from his kingdom on July 18, in the year of Our Lord 1290. Ryssen relates the events:

They were granted the right to convert their property into liquid cash by the month of November; after this time, those found on the territory would be hanged. But first, they were to return to their owners all pledges and collateral in hock to them from Christians. King Edward nevertheless prohibited his officers from mistreating them upon their departure and from extorting money from them in the ports of embarkation. Finally, on 9 October; 16,511 Jews left England. Any goods which they had been unable to sell were confiscated by the King. (11)

From the welcoming stance of Henry III, to the protective prohibitions taken by Edward I, the historical record reveals monarchs taking great pains to obey the Church’s teaching that no one in the kingdom possesses the right to harm the Jew. By contrast, decades of Jewish behavior proved both disruptive, subversive, and a growing threat to the Kingdom itself. Worth noting are the explicit orders of the King who did the banishing: the expelled Jews were to suffer no harm to their persons or their property. If antisemitism were the motive all along, why would such royal policies have been decreed? Edward’s expulsion of Jews in 1290 was not only measured and reasonable, but an act of defense of the realm.

This concludes Part I of the Series.



1 Ryssen, Hervé. History of Antisemitism (C. W. Port, Trans.). (Washington, DC: The Barnes Review, 2016), p. 157.

2 Loc. cit.

3 Ibid.

4 Ibid.

5 Toaff, Ariel. Blood Passover, The Jews of Europe and Ritual Murder (G. M. Lucchese & P. Gianetti, Trans.). (Italy: Gian Marco Lucchese and Pietro Gianetti, 2016), p. 167.

6 Op. cit., p. 168.

7 Ibid.

8 Toaff., op. cit., p. 170.

9 Op. cit., p. 171.

10 Op. cit. p. 171-172.

11 Ryssen, op. cit. p. 160.

CREDITS: The Featured Image is Valentin de Boulogne’s, Our Lord driving the Jewish Money Changers out of the Temple, which is in the public domain. — The first image in the text, is from the Codex Maneses, c. 800 A.D., and depicts a Jewish moneylender at the court of a Catholic prince. It is in the public domain. — The second image is of an engraving c. 1478, showing the Martyrdom of St. William of Norwich.

FromRome.Info wishes to thank Mr. Walsh for his research and contribution of this series.