Wednesday, May 1, 2013

For the feast of St. Joseph...

Here is a thrilling little excerpt (no I won't explain where it fits, or what else it's connected to!) which I am posting to celebrate the feast day of St. Joseph the Worker, who is also the Terror of Demons.

Our enemies are powerful, and always at work to overwhelm us with their hate, but we have Allies who are more than a match for such Adversaries!

Please remember to pray for each other, and especially for our bishops and priests.
In Mobile a sleepy secretary trembled as he went to knock on the bedroom of the archbishop. He was surprised to find Archbishop Gary Martens awake, indeed, already dressed, and hurriedly he imparted the message from New York.

Unlike his brother bishop in Birmingham, the Archbishop of Mobile had no intention of delegating such a task. He had already made his plans for such a case, and he was glad he did. He had his secretary make a few phone calls, then he hurried to his private chapel. He vested quickly but very reverently, picked up a few items, and then went out to the driveway where his car and driver were waiting. A state police escort met them at the entrance, and they set off at high speed for the town where the huge fire was burning...

Hours had passed since the first alarm had rung, but the fire department was still fighting. The fire had spread rapidly through the large building and was pernicious in its vitality. The local police were shocked when the Archbishop arrived – mitered, vested, and crosier in hand – but they didn’t say a word to him, even when he ventured into the cordoned-off area. Nor did the fire officials – they were too busy. His driver (who, though a priest, was trembling with physical terror) held in one hand a bronze vessel of holy water and in the other a fat lighted candle; he followed the Archbishop who walked boldly to the main entrance of the building. There, with a quiet reverence and the dashing aplomb of the Old South, the Archbishop intoned from memory the formal prayers of exorcism.

Archbishop Martens had a strong, rich voice, and the Latin words echoed above the noise of the firemen and their equipment. Then he and his assistant processed around the entire building, heedless of the smoke and falling embers, sprinkling holy water as they chanted the penitential psalms.

Some on-lookers heard them and jeered, but these ran off when a fountain of embers burst out from an upper floor.

The air stank of something sinister – far worse than any common fire – yet the air was surprisingly calm, which had been the Fire Chief’s biggest worry: this was an older part of town, and even a mild wind could be disastrous.

The Archbishop and his assistant had completed three circles when they heard the Fire Chief calling his crews to evacute: the building had become unsafe, and gave every indication of collapsing. The priest gasped but the Archbishop merely put his hand on the priest’s shoulder and said, “We must take our stand here, my son; someone must hold the line against the forces of darkness. But... if you are not willing to remain with me, you may go.”

The priest gulped, and despite his terror he shook his head. “I won’t abandon you... or the battle.”

The Archbishop smiled. “Good. Then let us begin the psalms again...”

[PJF Ite Milites Audaces]