First Published in ‘The Catholic Voice’, Ireland, November 2015
The Launch of Legio Sanctae Familiae
As I write this article, I have just come from the Catholic Voice / Institute of Christ the King Conference on the Family and Marriage in Limerick, where I gave a talk in the morning. One of the purposes of my talk was to launch a new organisation for families called ‘Legio Sanctae Familiae’ or ‘The Legion of the Holy Family’. The purpose of this new legion is to raise an army of families who will defend their Lord and King, Jesus Christ, and who will bear witness to the truth about Catholic married life primarily through the witness of their own lives and through helping and supporting other families in understanding and trying to live authentic Catholic lives. I propose, over the next few articles, to expand a little bit on my talk as I had to limit it to twenty five minutes and anyone who knows me will tell you that I could have spoken for more than five hours on this topic.
Here is the first part of my talk.
We are at war
“And there was a great battle in heaven, Michael and his angels fought with the dragon, and the dragon fought and his angels: And they prevailed not, neither was their place found any more in heaven. And that great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, who is called the devil and satan, who seduceth the whole world; and he was cast unto the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him….And the dragon was angry against the woman: and went to make war with the rest of her seed, who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” (Apocalypse 12: 7-10, 17)
The Ancient Enemy still Attacks Catholics
The ancient enemy has arisen once again to new and greater heights. I stand before you as an unlikely military general. I seek to raise and army to fight for the Kingdom of Christ. An army of families, a legion of families, under the headship of the Holy Family. We will be called ‘Then Legion of the Holy Family’, and it is my proposal today to begin recruiting for this Legion. Our Legion will be headed as all Godly armies are, by men. Fathers who as head of their families, will lead this army for God and for the protection and defense of the family. To protect our wives. To protect our children. To protect our children’s families. To come to the aid of our fallen comrades in this war of wars.
Catholic Families Will Save the World
The title for this talk came from my practice of occasionally meditating on the traditional liturgy of the day, through reading Dom Prosper Guerangers fifteen volume treatise ‘The Liturgical Year’ which is available to download free from the internet. October 14th is the Feast of Pope St Callixtus who was Pope for five years from 218 until his martyrdom in 223. Dom Gueranger quotes from a study of this pope wherein we find the following.
“The Christian faith, hitherto embraced only by individuals, had then become the faith of families; and fathers made profession of it in their own and their children’s name. These families already formed almost the majority in every town; the religion of Christ was on the eve of becoming the public religion of the nation and the empire.”
When families became Catholic, the Nation became Catholic
So, it was when families, the fundamental building block of the Church and of society, embraced the faith that it became the faith of the nation and of the empire, and so it is today. Our nation is no longer Catholic because families have abandoned the practice of the faith.
Catholic families will save the world. But they must first become authentically Catholic through a study of what the church teaches on marriage and family, and through trying their best to live out that teaching.
Church is Independent of the State
Another interesting point from the life of Pope Callixtus we find in this book is the following “Now, far from compromising the least of God’s rights in coming to terms with Caesar, thou didst, at that very time, oppose the latter, asserting, as no other had yet done, the absolute independence of the Church with regard to marriage, which Christ had withdrawn from the jurisdiction of the civil power.”
The Church Defends Marriage
Here we have an example of the Church defending marriage from the State, as far back as the year 223. Do not let anyone tell you that there is confusion in the Church regarding marriage. There is no confusion. The Church has been doing marriage for over two thousand years and her teaching is crystal clear. Of course there are those who are confused and there are those who are trying to cause confusion by muddying the waters of Church teaching but be at peace, and as Cardinal Burke recently said, ‘stay faithful’. But in order to stay faithful you must know the faith. To know the Catholic faith is to know Jesus Christ.
You can find out more about ‘The Legion of the Holy Family’ on my website www.truedevotions.ie
or by contacting me directly. By phone on 085 1208779, or by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Private Association of the Faithful
It is hoped in time to establish the Legion of the Holy Family as a private association of the faithful but for now I am looking for people to contact me with ideas they may have as to what is needed most in the battle to restore the faith of ordinary families. I am looking to hear from people from all walks of life and from all types of family situations as the needs for each family differ. I am particularly interested in hearing from husbands and wives who have come through major difficulties in their marriage so that others can learn from those experiences and also in order to try to develop resources for families in difficulties. I look forward to hearing from you.
In my next article I want to look at the first three chapters of the book of Genesis to see how these very first chapters of the bible explain God’s plan for married life and also point out to us the difficulties of married life.
© John Lacken 2015
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Author: John Lacken
Founder: Legio Sanctae Familiae – The Legion of the Holy Family