The latest battle – an end to pester power

St Nicholas, a gentle reminder of Christmases past

St Nicholas was born in Patara (Lycia) in about 270 and died c.343. He was bishop of Myra Asia Minor in what is now Turkey. His parents were said to be wealthy Christians and the young Nicholas was very religious from an early age. After his parents died of the plague he was taken in by his uncle who was the bishop of Myra.
                His cult is early and his reputation as a miracle worker very strong. His reputation spread widely from about the 6th century and became widely known in the West from about the 10th century. When the Muslims invaded Myra in 1078, his relics were translated by Italian sailors to Bari, Italy, where many Greeks had taken refuge. He is particularly venerated in Russia where his name is popular to this day and many Russians make a pilgrimage to Bari. Each year on his feast day there is a strange oily secretion emanating from his shrine.  This was noted before his translation and continued afterwards in Bari. This substance known as manna is said to have healing qualities .
                St Nicholas has a wide patronage, he is patron of children, sailors, unmarried girls, merchants, pawnbrokers, apothecaries, perfumers and perhaps surprisingly prostitutes. It is his patronage of children and prostitutes which we will look at here, for sadly they are linked.
                St Nicholas’s patronage of children is well known but he became the protector of children after his death, for on the eve of his feast there were celebrations in Myra when a band of Arab pirates raided the church and kidnapped a young boy to make him a slave.  He was made the servant of the local Emir but St Nicholas appeared and intervened and whisked the young boy away and home to his parents in Myra. He is known as the patron of prostitutes because of his help to a father of three girls who were being sold into prostitution by their father who had fallen on hard times and could not provide endorsements for his daughters. St Nicholas provided three bags of gold for the girls. This is where pawnbrokers gets the three balls that signify their trade.
                Catholics celebrate the feast of St. Nicholas on 6th December. The Orthodox celebrate it on 19th, and Protestants also honour him. Even the secular world seems to wish to claim him, with their assertions that Father Charismas is really a pre-Christian custom of rewarding good children and punishing bad ones, but despite these assertions I can’t find any hard evidence for this. However, Father is the title the English speaking world gives to a priest, and his red robes predate popular myth that it was all started by Coca-Cola in the 1930s. Santa Claus is obviously an abbreviation of St Nicholas. This actually came from the low countries’ version of St Nicholas (Sinterklaas) where he was depicted in art in a red chasuble.
                Where children should be looking to St Nicholas as a guide to lead them to Jesus this Advent tide, sadly the media of today give children celebrities. Often these celebrities are pop stars, or actors on programmes they see during primetime television, whose antics on the screen are little more than selling their bodies along with sexual lyrics and dialogues. St Nicholas is their saint as well for all can find redemption by turning to Jesus.
                Catholic parents, if you do not already do so, tell your children the true story of St Nicholas this Advent and Christmas.


Youthful purity versus the pop celebrity

St Philomena –a wonder worker with youthful virtue

Nothing is actually known about St Philomena, there are no historical records. She is the only saint to have become known by her intercession, from which there has been an endless flow of miracles. These powerful intercessions have continued during the last two centuries, so powerful that many Popes had a great devotion to the little miracle worker, particularly Pope Gregory XVI, Leo XII, Pius IX and Leo XIII. But let us go back to her discovery.
                In 1802 in the catacombs of St Priscilla the remains of a young woman were found. It was covered in stones and had symbols that indicated it was the body of a martyr named St Philomena. But why wait almost 1700 years before she became known? There were many factors which could give us good reasons why God waited until this point in time to reveal this particular saint. The Napoleonic wars were raging, the result of the French Revolution and in turn the result of the so called Enlightenment. Philosophers in France and Germany were putting man at the centre of the Universe and not God. In the 19th century materialism was becoming ever more prevalent and people were being led away from the Church.  After the discovery of her remains and the symbols which accompanied her she was catalogued and forgotten. However, In 1805 Canon Francis de Lucia of Mugnano, Italy, was in the Treasury of Relics in the Vatican and as he approached the relics of St Philomena he was struck with spiritual joy. He was allowed to erect a shrine to her in a chapel in Mugnano. There then followed miracles and cures and her fame spread throughout Italy and abroad.
                One of St Philomena’s strongest devotees was St John Vianney who gave her constant praise for the numbers of cures achieved at her intercession. Another was the Ven. Pauline Jaricot who was miraculously cured by the intercession of St Philomena and named her as Patroness of the Living Rosary.                       
                She is perhaps more than anything needed today. A youthful saint for today’s youth led astray by the media, the television and pop culture celebrities who believe that virtue is outmoded, and that childhood innocence must be destroyed. O glorious St Philomena, pray for today’s young people who are often given a poor start in life by the bad examples of rock and pop celebrities.


The Crusade of Prayer

St Philomena is one of the saints to be chosen by one of our members as a spiritual ‘battle buddy’, but what do we mean to have an intercessor aid? Prayer Crusaders engage in spiritual combat to counter the Cult of Celebrity. Let us know which saint you would like (or we can allocate you one that has not been taken). We will enrol you in the crusade and send you a prayer card.

‘The saints are our models of prayer. We also ask them to intercede before the Holy Trinity for us and for the whole world. Their intercession is their most exalted service to God’s Plan. In the communion of saints, throughout the history of the Church, there have developed different types of spirituality that teach us how to live and to practice the way of prayer.’ (364, Catechism of the Catholic Church – Compendium)


Pop-priestesses who sacrifice childhood innocence

Members of CUT have been commenting on our mention of Lady Gaga in our summer 2011 edition, yet even at Catholic schools young children dressing up as pop celebrities. Even as Lady Gaga. The children take turns in going up on stage and miming to the music of their respective pop star. Teachers and priests are very surprised at the antics of Lady Gaga and the other pop celebrities when we point to our paragraph in the Summer CUT Newsletter 2011 on Lady Gaga (see paragraph at bottom)
                When pop stars like Bob Dylan say openly in interviews that in order to get on in this industry (the pop/rock world) they needed to sell their soul to the Devil, do they mean it literally or is this just an expression, a jest? If it is just an expression then perhaps this is telling in its own right.
                Television soap operas like Coronation Street have degenerated into little more than homosexual porn with same-sex kissing for the titillation of adults and the corruption of children. How many more pro-same-sex attraction storylines will today’s children be subjected to before they grow up? How often do you see same-sex kissing in real life? Is this really Satan using humans like TV producers, actors and pop-stars that he has corrupted to corrupt youngsters and is this not really child abuse?


Pop celebrities – Power without responsibility

During the last half of the twentieth century and continuing into the new millennium one of the most powerful influences on youth has been rock and pop stars. This is very sad for by their example, living lives of dissipation and excess, they have proven themselves to be the least qualified to be leaders and teachers of the young. Many believe that with the TV they have created havoc for many youngsters. The songs were often banal, sometimes ‘clever’, but hardly ever had any Christian reference. It’s almost as if the last two thousand years never happened. Their songs were to drugs, sex, materialism and even paganism. The Rolling Stones wrote a hymn to Satan calling it Sympathy for the Devil in 1968. They had a number of hits like Jumping Jack Flash selling millions around the world. There music and images were brought into homes by the TV with shows like Top of the Pops. The Beatles at the height of their fame produced their influential Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band LP which had a picture of the Satanist Aleister Crowley among the celebrities on the album cover. Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin was a devotee of Crowley’s and even bought his Boleskine House on the shore of Loch Ness where he performed Crowley’s magical rituals.
                The three bands named above were possibility the biggest in the history of rock and pop music. Their influence was immense, sidelining Christian values with a heavy beat and a rife from their guitarists. They were heavily into drugs, the occult or eastern mysticism.
                As sixties pop turned to the rock of the 1970 Sadomasochism raised its ugly head with Alice Cooper (a man) whose stage act involved being hanged. When TV campaigner Mary Whitehouse complained she was ridiculed by the large majority of the youth of the day; led by rock bands like Deep Purple whose song Mary Long mocked her attempts to restore common decency along with Lord Longford.
                It no comfort to a Christian that many of the rock and pop stars died from their lifestyles with drugs and alcohol taking its toll of many leading stars
                Today the rock and pop industry continues its glittery round of dissipation with their own award ceremonies on MTV. These days it’s the turn of women stars to flout convention and cause scandal and lead young girls astray. The Madonna and Britney Spears kiss on stage at the MTV award ceremony reverberated around the world, more with admiration for their bravery than admonishment.
                Even where Christianity does exist in mainstream rock and pop it is so heavily diluted as to be dangerous leading many astray rather than affirming the faith. One would expect that a so called Christian band from Ireland, U2, would be able to withstand the onslaught of materialism and politically correct liberalism but no, for although three-quarters of them were baptised Catholic, U2 are more in tune with liberal Protestantism than the healthy disciplines of Catholicism. Constantly wearing their hearts on their sleeves they champion Amnesty International, now a leading supporter of abortion.

                One cannot write a piece on the pop world without mentioning the biggest star of today, Lady Gaga whose promotion for her latest CD Born that Way involves fetish laden and sexually explicit photos of herself. Power without responsibility – you bet yah.

The Communion of Saints versus the Cult of Celebrity

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