A Recent Trip To Gower Crystalizes How To Define Martyr Through The Lens Of The Different Types Of Martyrdom

Before I define martyr, I'd like to share my recent pilgrimage with you. This pilgrimage was undertaken when my great aunt passed away.

Donate In Aunt Jane's Name

My dear aunt was a loyal monthly donor and she really believed in our company. Help us cover the monthly business expenses by carrying on her legacy by donating in her name.

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I grew close to her in recent years and she was a living martyr to me as she patiently suffered from cancer, chemotherapy and finally, sepsis.

She was a loyal supporter of our film projects and was one of our few monthly donors. 

Please pray for the repose of her soul. Her name was Alice "Jane" Pearson. She was especially close to Our Lady of Fatima and Sts. Jacinta and Fransisco.

The Industrious Family just returned from a cross country trip from Idaho to Texas for her funeral.

A Pilgrimage To Gower, Missouri To Visit Sr. Wilhelmina's Incorrupt Body

Sr. Wilhelmina

On our trip we swung over to Missouri to visit some friends as well as make a short pilgrimage to see the incorrupt body of Sr. Wilhelmina at the Abbey of Ephesus in Gower. 

After that, we headed south and stopped in St. Marys, Kansas for a few hours to see The Immaculata church. There we met up with a celebrity in our household, Mr. James Fitzhenry, author of Pelayo King of Asturias and El Cid, God's Own Champion.

The Immaculata has one of the largest collections of relics in one place. Their reliquary has over 1,300 first and second class relics which include 2 whole skulls. 

We came across another martyr while on our trip...we were excited to learn that St. Emerentiana's relic is inside the high altar at this church. If you remember, St. Emerentiana was the foster sister of St. Agnes and appears in FABIOLA.

Ode to st CeciliaOde to Saint Cecilia - A vital road-trip companion!

We then continued down to Texas. My aunt's requiem was in Tyler, and we were very excited to meet Mother Miriam at the funeral. 

Despite the sad occasion that sparked the trip, it was a great family adventure. We drove 4,155 miles through 11 states in 9 days.

We seized the opportunity to see the middle part of the United States, visited the shrine of a potential saint and caught up with family and friends.

We were told that the children of the family we visited in Missouri kept asking, "Is Pelayo here yet?" I guess our family has a celebrity of its own. 

There Is A Need To Define The Role Martyrs Played In Salvation History Because Martyrs Have Been Stressed Less And Less In Modern Times

"The results have greatly affected Catholic life. How many Catholics today are familiar with St. Telesphorus, the Forty Martyrs of Sebaste, St. Anicetus, Ss. Cletus and Marcellinus, the Seven Holy Brothers, St. Thelca, St. Placid, St. Ursula, or even St. Barbara? These saints gave a powerful and memorable witness to our holy Faith. They provide powerful inspiration for us in these turbulent times and are models we should all strive to emulate. Yet, all these and more were removed from the liturgical calendar."

 - Matthew Plese, The Fatima Center

Define Martyr

While at the Abbey of Ephesus, I found this statue of St. Tarcisius. This character also appears in FABIOLA and I hope that we are all familiar with this martyr's story.

We have an old book called, The Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints. Its pages are filled with martyrs as a martyr's feast day is celebrated almost everyday.

Recently, the importance of knowing the stories of the lives of these men and women, boys and girls occurred to me. Their valor and bravery in the face of such utter pain should never be forgotten. 

It is interesting to note that in 1969, many of their feast days were removed from the calendar and replaced with others such as St. Gianna Beretta Molia, St. Faustina and Mother Teresa. There is a stress on the lives of St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Padre Pio and St. Mary Mackillop.

Don't get me wrong, I have a special devotion to these saints and there is nothing wrong with honoring them, I simply ask, why the imbalance?

Why have the martyrs been removed in the new calendar? These saints inspired "modern" martyrs such as St. Margaret Clithrow, St. Thomas More, St. Edmond Campion, the Carmelite nuns of Compienge, the martyrs of the Vendee, St. Maximillian Kolbe and countless others.

It is my hope that FABIOLA will bring the lives and stories of Sts. Sebastian, Agnes, Tarcisius, Pancratius and Emerentiana to life so that their legacy and example may never be forgotten in these turbulent times. We are the first generation who do not know our early Church martyrs. 

Fabiola Quote

The Short Film About Saint Cyprian Of Antioch, The Sorcerer Turned Martyr, And The Woman Who Converted Him

To Define Martyr Both Kinds Must Be Discussed: The Catholic Way To Define Martyr Of Blood And White Martyr

While my aunt was not a true martyr but only suffered with Christlike patience, maybe Sr. Wilhelmina deserved the title of a "white martyr".

I define martyr as "a witness", as the early Church martyrs gave witness to the Faith which was sealed by their blood. It is usually referred to someone who has been executed or murdered for the Faith.

A "white martyr" is someone who suffers in an unbloody way for the Faith. They usually die a natural death after a lifetime of  fighting for and witnessing to the Faith.

Sister was a staunch traditional Catholic who famously defended the wearing of her ancient Benedictine habit. (This habit is, of course, not worn by the modern nuns today and seeing a nun in a habit is as rare as seeing a martyr's name on a calendar.)

Her persecutors were, sadly, those of St. Joan of Arc's: the modern Church. God demonstrated His approval and appreciation by miraculously preserving Sr. Wilhelmina's highly susceptible habit from decay after being buried for 4 years.

Maybe another white martyr that has been overlooked in recent years is Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. We are currently reading Apologia Pro: Marcel Lefebvre by Michael Davies. The archbishop's admirable long-suffering through the injustices he faced was truly amazing.

Maybe the consecrations were a wrong move, though I believe that we owe the current existence of the Latin Mass to this archbishop. Basically, his chief "crime" was that he did not trust the Vatican - a crime that many of us would plead guilty today. I believe that his life is a perfect example of how Catholics describe martyr, the white variety.

I don't pick sides when it comes to which religious order has more "communion points". I love the Old Mass. Whoever is saying it, I'll be there.

St. Joan of Arc is a prime example of how even the excommunicated can be raised to the altar of sainthood. Time will only tell. Why not open his casket?


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