Wednesday, June 30, 2010

FRIDAY, APRIL 13, 1962:

A new Sacramental Communion given by St. Michael to Conchita in ecstasy at the Pines, on the Feast of St. Hermenegild, a Martyr of the Eucharist honored as the "Clovis" of Spain . . .
[Excerpted from 'Garabandal' Book, page 130]

{clovis: noun
king of the Franks who unified Gaul and established his capital at Paris and founded the Frankish monarchy; his name was rendered as Gallic 'Louis' (466-511)}
Hermenegild, who lived around the year 550, son of King Leovigild of Visigothic Spain, lived in a milieu very similar to ours. The world he knew was infested with the wicked and subtle heresy of Arianism as today we live in a world which has abandoned God and given itself over to the subtleties and vices of Modernism and Liberalism. Many of the stratagems, deceits, confusion and denials of the True Faith were as present in his time as they are in our own. The consequences of the operation of such factors were as disastrous for the poor souls that he knew as they are for our own friends, family, acquaintances and ourselves. Always present was the need to stand firm against the baleful clamour of the outside world in order to save his own soul and the anxious state that any good soul endures when he sees loved ones led astray on the broad road to Hell. Hermenegild did not begin his earthly pilgrimage as a Catholic. For many years he lived outside of the Church, the only Ark of Salvation, while he practiced the heretical rites of Arianism. His zealous Catholic wife, Indegundis, brought about a profound change in the future martyr. He renounced Arianism and in so doing brought upon his head the kingly anger of his wrathful father who called upon him to surrender all the authority and privileges which the prince enjoyed with his brother Reccared. Unfortunate as it is to mention, the newly converted royal did not meekly lay down the material advantages which being the heir to Arian Visigothic Spain had procured for him and he took up arms against his father and brother. By God's Good Providence Heremenegild was successively beaten in battle, betrayed to his enemies and stripped of all the earthly power and pleasure that he had hoped to enjoy along with the spiritual advantages which his conversion had brought him. Hard was that lesson which Our Lord taught him for did Our Saviour Himself not say "You cannot serve both God and Mammon"?
Hermenegild was reduced in rank and exercise and this would have been the extent of the royal anger had it not been for Leovigild's second wife who prevailed upon him to have his son imprisoned. In the confines of the dungeon to which he was condemned in 586, Hermenegild learnt the true value of his Faith. Not only did the prisoner accept his fate with a submission totally in contrast with his previous warlike manner but he even imposed upon himself further sufferings such as fasting and wearing a hairshirt. Thus little by little the former prince rose above the petty considerations of his earthly state as the state of his own sanctity rose ever higher. Finally there arrived the hour of temptation, of deliverance and of martyrdom. His father sent to him an Arian Bishop to deliver to him Holy Communion, validly consecrated, but from the hands of an Arian heretic, adding that if his son received Holy Communion thus, he would be raised to all his former privileges. The pounding of the noisy world of men reached Hermenegild but faintly now and he rejected with scorn the apostolic emissary of his father. Enraged Leovigild had him instantly executed. The fruits of Hermenegild's heroic suffering and death were destined to flower under his brother Reccared who brought all of Visigothic Spain back into the bosom of Holy Mother Church when he ascended the throne of his deceased father.

No doubt dear friends of Garabandal, that Our Lady is teaching us to persevere and be strong in the Faith, even in our private lives. How many times are we not tempted to render lip service only to the True Faith and to Tradition and not to expose our unmortified flesh to the ridicule of human respect, in our families, our jobs, and even in our church! Not even in the darkness of his living tomb where the public gaze did not fall would Hermenegild forsake his God who he knew saw all things and always and to whom he would have to render a most exacting account. Are we, dear faithful in Christ, equally willing to say to the secular world and all its errors: "Get thee behind me, Satan" or is our faith a chest of cloaks which we change in accordance with the seasons? Saint Hermenegild pray for us that we may each of us meet the temptations of apostasy with that heroic firmness with which you merited the crown of martyrdom and life eternal.
Deacon John