Recite the “Te Deum” for the Last Day of the Year For a Plenary Indulgence (video/audio included)

Te Deum, also sometimes called the Ambrosian Hymn because of its association with St. Ambrose, is a traditional hymn of joy and thanksgiving. First attributed to Sts. Ambrose, Augustine, or Hilary, it is now accredited to Nicetas, Bishop of Remesiana (4th century). It is used at the conclusion of the Office of the Readings for the Liturgy of the Hours on Sundays outside Lent, daily during the Octaves of Christmas and Easter, and on Solemnities and Feast Days. The petitions at the end were added at a later time and are optional. A partial indulgence is granted to the faithful who recite it in thanksgiving and a plenary indulgence is granted if the hymn is recited publicly on the last day of the year.

TE DEUM (English)

 

We praise you, O God:

we acclaim you as the Lord.

Everlasting Father,

all the world bows down before you.

All the angels sing your praise,

the host of heaven and all the angelic powers,

all the cherubim and seraphim

call out to you in unending song:

Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord God of angel hosts!

The heavens and the earth are filled

with your majesty and glory.

The glorious band of apostles

the noble company of prophets,

the white-robed army who shed their blood for Christ, all sing your praise.

And to the ends of the earth

your holy Church proclaims her faith in you:

Father, whose majesty is boundless,

your true and only Son, who is to be adored,

the Holy Spirit sent to be our Advocate.

 

You Christ, are the King of glory,

Son of the eternal Father.

When you took our nature to save mankind

you did not shrink from birth in the Virgin’s womb.

 

You overcame the power of death, opening the Father’s kingdom to all who believe in you.

 

Enthroned at God’s right hand in the glory of the Father, you will come in judgment according to your promise.

You redeemed your people by your precious blood.

Come, we implore you, to our aid.

Grant us with the Saints a place in eternal glory.

Lord, save your people and bless your inheritance.

Rule them and uphold them for ever and ever.

Day by day we praise you: we acclaim you now and to all eternity.

In your goodness, Lord, keep us free from sin.

Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy.

May your mercy always be with us, Lord, for we have hoped in you.

In you, Lord, we put our trust: we shall not be put to shame.

TE DEUM (Latin)

 

Te Deum laudamus:

te Dominum confitemur.

Te aeternum Patrem,

omnis terra veneratur.

Tibi omnes angeli,

tibi caeli et universae potestates:

tibi cherubim et seraphim

incessabili voce proclamant:

Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus,

Dominus Deus Sabaoth.

Pleni sunt caeli et terra

maiestatis gloriae tuae.

Te gloriosus

apostolorum chorus,

te prophetarum

laudabilis numerus,

te martyrum candidatus

laudat exercitus.

Te per orbem terrarum

sancta confitetur Ecclesia,

Patrem immensae maiestatis;

venerandum tuum verum

et unicum Filium;

Sanctum quoque

Paraclitum Spiritum.

To rex gloriae, Christe.

Tu Patris sempiternus es Filius.

Tu, ad liberandum suscepturus hominem,

non horruisti Virginis uterum.

Tu, devicto mortis aculeo,

aperuisti credentibus regna caelorum.

Tu ad dexteram Dei sedes, in gloria Patris.

Iudex crederis esse venturus.

Te ergo, quaesumus, tuis famulis subveni,

quos pretioso sanguine redemisti.

Aeterna fac cum sanctis tuis in gloria numerari.

Salvum fac populum tuum, Domine,

et benedic hereditati tuae.

Et rege eos, et extolle illos usque in aeternum.

Per singulos dies benedicimus te;

et laudamus nomen tuum in saeculum, et in saeculum saeculi.

Dignare, Domine, die isto sine peccato not custodire.

Miserere nostri, Domine, miserere nostri.

Fiat misericordia tua, Domine, super nos,

quemadmodum speravimus in te.

In te, Domine, speravi:

non confundar in aeternum.

Novena in Honor of Our Lord’s Epiphany (Beginning December 28)

Novena in Honor of Our Lord’s Epiphany

(Beginning December 28)

 

[At any time of the year, with any form of prayer approved by competent ecclesiastical authority.
i. 300 Days each day.
ii. Plenary on the Feast or during the Octave. I, II, IV.
(See Instructions, p. 1, 1910 Raccolta)]

 

℣. Incline unto my aid, O God.
℟. O Lord, make haste to help me.
℣. Glory be to the Father, etc.

Pater noster.

December 28

O holy Magi! you were living in continual expectation of the rising of the Star of Jacob, which would announce the birth of the true Sun of justice; obtain for us an increase of faith and charity, and the grace to live in continual hope of beholding one day the light of heavenly glory and eternal joy.

Glory be to the Father, etc.

December 29

O holy Magi! who at the first appearance of the wondrous star left your native country to go and seek the newborn King of the Jews; obtain for us the grace of corresponding with alacrity to every divine inspiration.

Glory be to the Father, etc.

December 30

O holy Magi! who regarded neither the severity of the season, nor the inconveniences of the journey that you might find the new-born Messias; obtain for us the grace not to allow ourselves to be discouraged by any of the difficulties which may meet us in the way of salvation.

Glory be to the Father, etc.

December 31

O holy Magi, who, when deserted by the star in the city of Jerusalem, sought humbly, and without human respect, from the rulers of the Church, the place where you might discover the object of your journey; obtain for us grace to have recourse in faith and humility, in all our doubts and perplexities to the counsel of our superiors, who hold the place of God on earth.

Glory be to the Father, etc.

January 1

O holy Magi, who were gladdened by the reappearance of the star which led you to Bethlehem; obtain for us from God the grace, that, remaining always faithful to Him in afflictions, we may be consoled in time by His grace, and in eternity by His glory.

Glory be to the Father, etc.

January 2

O holy Magi, who, entering full of faith into the stable of Bethlehem, prostrated yourselves on the earth, to adore the new-born King of the Jews, though He was surrounded only by signs of poverty and weakness; obtain from the Lord for us a lively faith in the real presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, the true spirit of poverty, and a Christ-like charity for the poor and suffering.

Glory be to the Father, etc.

January 3

O holy Magi, who offered to Jesus Christ gold, incense, and myrrh, thereby recognizing Him to be at once King, God, and Man; obtain from the Lord for us the grace never to present ourselves before Him with empty hands; but that we may continually offer to Him the gold of charity; the incense of prayer, and the myrrh of penance and mortification.

Glory be to the Father, etc.

January 4

O holy Magi, who, when warned by an angel not to return to Herod, travelled back to your country by another road; obtain for us from the Lord the grace that, after having found Him by true repentance, we may avoid all danger of losing Him again.

Glory be to the Father, etc.

January 5

O holy Magi, who were the first among the Gentiles called to the knowledge of Jesus Christ, and who persevered in the faith till your deaths, obtain for us of the Lord the grace of living always in conformity to the baptismal promises and especially in accordance with our Religious Vows, leading ever a life of faith; that like you we may attain to the beatific vision of that God Who now is the object of our faith.

Glory be to the Father, etc.

Novena in Honor of the Infant Jesus (Beginning December 16)

Novena in Honor of the Infant Jesus

(Beginning December 16)
from the 1910 Raccolta.

 

[At any time of the year, with any form of prayer approved by competent ecclesiastical authority.
i. 300 Days each day.
ii. Plenary, on Christmas Day, or during the Novena or Octave. I, II, IV.
(See Instructions, p. 1.)]
—Pius VII, Mem., August 12, 1815; Pius VIII, July 9, 1830.

 

First Day

December 16

 

O Pastor autem qui regnaverunt Israel: Qui deducis velus ovem Joseph, ad nos dirigendum, et consolationem.
  O Shepherd that rulest Israel: Thou that leadest Joseph like a sheep, come to guide and comfort us.

O great Son of God! Thou has become man in order to make Thyself loved by men; but where is the love that men bear to Thee? Thou hast given Thy blood and Thy life to save our souls; and why are we so ungrateful that, instead of loving Thee, we despise with such ingratitude? Alas! I myself, Lord, have been one of those who more than others have thus ill-treated Thee. But Thy Passion is my hope. Oh, for the sake of that love that induced Thee to assume human flesh, and to die for me upon the cross, forgive me all the offenses I have committed against Thee. I love Thee, O Incarnate Word; I love Thee, O my God; I love Thee, O Infinite Goodness; and I repent of all the injuries I have done Thee. Would that I could die of sorrow for Thee! O my Jesus! grant me the gift of Thy love; let me not live any longer ungrateful for the affliction Thou hast borne me. I am determined to love Thee always. Give me holy perseverence. O Mary, Mother of God, and my Mother, obtain for me from thy Son the grace to love him always even unto death. Amen.

Then follows the Pater, the Ave, the Gloria, and the Concluding Prayer.

An important late Byzantine icon of the Nativity of Christ. Crete, 15th Century. 66.5 x 63cm.

Second Day

December 17

 

O Sapientia, quæ ex ore Altissimi prodiisti, attingens a fine usque ad finem, fortiter suaviterque disponens omnia: veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiæ.
  O Wisdom, Which camest out of the mouth of the Most High, reaching from end to end and ordering all things mightily and sweetly: come and teach us the way of prudence.

O dearest Infant! tell me what Thou camest on earth to do? Tell me whom Thou art seeking? Ah, I understand Thee now; Thou art come in order to die for me, to deliver me from hell. Thou art come to seek me, a lost sheep, in order that I may no more fly from Thee, but love Thee. Ah, my Jesus, my treasure, my life, my love, my all; if I do not love Thee, whom then shall I love? Where can I find a father, a friend, a spouse more amiable than Thou, and who has loved me more than Thou hast done? I am sorry to have been so many years in the world, and yet not to have loved Thee; yea, rather to have offended and despised Thee. Forgive me, O my beloved Redeemer; for I repent of having treated Thee thus; I am sorry for it with all my heart. Pardon me, and give me Thy grace, that I may never again separate myself from Thee, and that I may love Thee constantly during the years that remain to me in this life. My love, I give myself entirely to Thee; accept me, and do not reject me, though I deserve it. O Mary, thou art my advocate; thou dost obtain by thy prayers whatever thou wilt from thy Son; beg of him to forgive me, and to give me holy perseverance unto death. Amen.

Then follows the Pater, the Ave, the Gloria, and the Concluding Prayer.

Third Day

December 18

 

O Adonai, et Dux domus Israel, qui Moysi in igne flammæ rubi apparuisti, et ei in Sina legem dedisti: veni ad redimendum nos in brachio extento.
  O Adonai, and Leader of the house of Israel, Who didst appear to Moses in the flame of the burning bush, and didst give unto him the law on Sinai: come and with an outstretched arm redeem us.

O my sweet Infant! how is it possible that, knowing how much Thou hast suffered for me, I can have been so ungrateful to Thee, and offended Thee so often? But these tears which Thou sheddest, this poverty which Thou hast chosen for the love of me, make me hope for the pardon of all the offenses that I have committed against Thee. I repent, my Jesus, of having so often turned my back upon Thee; and I love Thee above all things, “my God and my All.” [“Deus meus, et omnia.”] My God, from this day forth Thou shalt be my only treasure and my only good. I will say to Thee, with St. Ignatius of Loyola, “Give me Thy love, give me Thy grace, and I am sufficiently rich.” I wish for, I desire nothing else. Thou alone art sufficient for me, my Jesus, my life, my love. Amen.

Then follows the Pater, the Ave, the Gloria, and the Concluding Prayer.

Fourth Day

December 19

 

O Radix Jesse, qui stas in signum populorum, super quem continebunt reges os suum, quem Gentes deprecabuntur: veni ad liberandum nos, jam noli tardare.
  O Root of Jesse, Which standest for an ensign of the people, before Whom kings shall keep silence, Whom the Gentiles shall beseech: come and deliver us, and tarry not.

O my sweet Savior! Thou hast embraced so much contempt for the love of me, and I have not been able to bear a word of insult without thinking immediately of revenging myself of it, —I who so often have deserved to be trodden underfoot by the devils in hell! I am ashamed of appearing before Thee, a proud sinner that I am. O Lord! do not drive me from Thy presence, as I deserve. Thou hast said that Thou couldst not despise a heart that repents and humbles itself: I repent of all the offenses I have committed against Thee. Forgive me, my Jesus; for I will not offend Thee any more. Thou hast suffered so many injuries for my sake, I will for Thy sake bear with all the injuries that may be offered me. I love Thee, my Jesus, despised for my sake; I love Thee, my Good, above every other good. Give me Thy help, that I may always love Thee, and suffer every insult for the love of Thee. O Mary! recommend me to thy Son; pray to Jesus for me. Amen.

Then follows the Pater, the Ave, the Gloria, and the Concluding Prayer.

Fifth Day

December 20

 

O Clavis David, et sceptrum domus Israel; qui aperis, et nemo claudit; claudis, et nemo aperit: veni, et educ victum de domo carceris, sedentem in tenebris, et umbra mortis.
  O Key of David, and Scepter of the house of Israel, that openest and no man shutteth, and shuttest and no man openeth: come and bring the prisoner forth from the prison-house, and him that sitteth in darkess and in the shadow of death.

O my sweet Love, have I then by my sins kept Thee in a state of affliction all Thy life long? Oh, tell me, then, what I can do, in order that Thou mayest forgive me; for I will leave nothing undone. I repent, O sovereign Good, of all the offenses I have committed against Thee; I repent, and love Thee more than myself. I feel a great desire to love Thee; it is Thou that givest me this desire; give me, therefore, strength to love Thee ardently. It is only just that I, who have offended Thee so much, should also love Thee much. Oh, remind me constantly of the love Thou hast borne me, in order that my soul may always burn with the love of Thee; that it may think of Thee alone, desire Thee alone, and strive to please Thee alone. O God of love, I, who once was the slave of hell, now give myself entirely to Thee. Accept me in Thy mercy, and bind me with Thy love, my Jesus, from this day forth. I will love Thee in life; and in loving Thee I will die. O Mary, my Mother and my hope, help me to love thy dear Jesus and mine; this favor alone I desire and hope from thee. Amen.

Then follows the Pater, the Ave, the Gloria, and the Concluding Prayer.

Sixth Day

December 21

 

O Oriens, splendor lucis æternæ, et sol justitiæ: veni, et illumina sedentes in tenebris, et umbra mortis.
  O Day-spring, Brithness of light eternal, and Sun of Justice, come and enlighten them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.

O my dear Redeemer, where should I be now, if Thou hadst not borne with me with so much patience, but hadst condemned me to death whilst I was yet in sin? Since, then, Thou hast hitherto waited for me, my Jesus, forgive me speedily, before death surprises me whilst I am guilty of so many offenses against Thee. I repent, O sovereign Good, of having thus despised Thee; I should like to die of sorrow for my sins. Thou canst not forsake a soul that seeks Thee; if I have hitherto neglected Thee, I will henceforth seek Thee and love Thee. Yes, O my God! I love Thee above all things; I love Thee more than myself. Help me, Lord, to love Thee always during the remainder of my life; I ask nothing more; I ask this, and I hope it of Thee. Mary, my hope, do thou pray for me; if thou prayest for me, I am sure of grace. Amen.

Then follows the Pater, the Ave, the Gloria, and the Concluding Prayer.

Seventh Day

December 22

 

O Rex Gentium, et desideratus earum, lapisque angularis, qui facis utraque unum: veni, et salva hominem, quem de limo formasti.
  O King of the Gentiles and the desire thereof, Thou cornerstone that makest both one, come and deliver mankind, whom Thou didst form out of clay.

 

Ah, dearest Infant, Thou dost weep; and well mayest Thou weep, in seeing Thyself so persecuted by those men whom Thou hast so much loved. Alas, my God, I also have persecuted Thee by my sins; but now I love Thee more than myself; and there is no sorrow that afflicts me more than the remembrance that I have despised Thee, my sovereign Good. Oh, forgive me, my Jesus, and permit me to carry Thee with me in my heart in all the journey of life that I have yet to make, and then to enter together with Thee into eternity. I have so often driven Thee from my soul by offending Thee; but now I love Thee above everything, and I repent above every other evil of having offended Thee. My beloved Lord, I will never leave Thee more; but do Thou give me strength to resist temptations; permit me not to separate myself any more from Thee; let me rather die than ever again lose Thy favor. O Mary, my hope, make me always live and die in the love of God. Amen.

Then follows the Pater, the Ave, the Gloria, and the Concluding Prayer.

Eighth Day

December 23

 

O Emmanuel, Rex et legifer noster, exspectatio Gentium, et Salvator earum: veni ad salvandum nos, Domine, Deus noster.
  O Emmanuel, our King and law-giver, the desire of the nations and the Savior thereof, come to save us, O Lord our God.

 

O Jesus, my Savior! When I consider how, for love of me, Thou didst spend thirty years of Thy life hidden and unknown in a poor workshop, how can I desire the pleasures and honors and riches of the world? Gladly do I renounce all these things, since I wish to be Thy companion on this earth, poor as Thou wast, mortified and humble as Thou wast, so that I may hope to be able one day to enjoy Thy companionship in heaven. What are all the treasures and kingdoms of this world? Thou, O Jesus, art my only treasure, my only Good! I keenly regret the many times in the past when I spurned Thy friendship in order to satisfy my foolish whims. I am sorry for them with all my heart. For the future I would rather lose my life a thousand times than lose Thy grace by sin. I wish never to offend Thee again, but always to love Thee. Help me to remain faithful to Thee until death. Amen.

Then follows the Pater, the Ave, the Gloria, and the Concluding Prayer.

Ninth Day

December 24

 

O Qui sedet super cherubim, tu, Deus exercituum, veni, ostende faciem tuam, et salvi crimus.
  O Thou that sitteth upon the cherubim, God of hosts, come, show Thy face, and we shall be saved.

 

O my adorable Infant! I should not have the boldness to prostrate myself at Thy feet, if I did not know that Thou Thyself invitest me to approach Thee. I am he who by my sins have caused Thee to shed so many tears in the stable of Bethlehem. But since Thou camest upon earth to forgive repentant sinners, forgive me also; for I repent with all my heart of having despised Thee, my Savior, my God, who art so good, and has loved me so much. Thou dost dispense great graces to so many souls during this sacred night; do Thou, therefore, console my soul also. The grace I desire is the grace to love Thee from this day forth with my whole heart. Oh, inflame me wholly with Thy holy love! I love Thee, my God, become a child for me. Oh, permit me not ever to cease from loving Thee. O Mary, my Mother, thou canst do all things by thy prayers; I ask Thee only this, to pray to Jesus for me. Amen.

Then follows the Pater, the Ave, the Gloria, and the Concluding Prayer.

Concluding Prayer

From the 1957 Raccolta.

(An indulgence of 7 years once on any day.
A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions at the close of the novena
(S. C. Ind., Sept. 23, 1846; S. P. Ap., Oct. 14, 1934.))

℣. The Word was made flesh;
℟. And dwelt amongst us.

Let us pray.

O God, Whose only-begotten Son
hath appeared in the substance of our flesh;
grant, we beseech Thee,
that through Him,
whom we acknowledge to have been outwardly like unto us,
we may deserve to be renewed in our inward selves.
Who liveth and reigneth with Thee for ever and ever. Amen.

Bad Popes in the History of the Church

Most of the people I have talked to (at conferences, emails, comments, etc) are very anxious about what is going on in Rome these days. In conversations I would ask them about the “Cadaver synod” and since they did not know about it I would explain it and then ask “how would the 24/7 news cycle or blogs react to that going on if it happened today?” Or if a Pope was so immoral that the Lateran would be called a ‘brothel’? Murders, buying the chair, etc? You hear of stories like the Jewish businessman that wanted to convert and told the priest, who was giving him instructions, I will get baptized when I return from Rome. The priest thought he lost this man because he would see the corruption and evil in Rome and not seek baptism. The man returns from his trip and asks for baptism. The priest was shocked and asked “Do you not go to Rome?” man responded, “yes”. “Did you not see the corruption and evil there?” the man said “yes”. The priest finally asks “and you still seek baptism and enter the Church?” the man responded, “Fr, remember I am a good businessman this Church has to be ran by God because if it was ran by man it would not last a fortnight.” This and other stories should give you hope and faith that the gates of hell is not going to prevail. It may prevail in countries in Africa, as countries where St Augustine and others resided are all now Muslim countries. It may prevail in North and South America.

In chapter V of Book III of St. Bellarmine’s work in his Controversies on the Word of God he writes, “honor is always due to the priesthood and the pontificate, even if by chance the person who sits on the chair is less than good.” Try not to fall into un-pious behavior of name calling and belittling bad bishops and bad popes. Christ the just judge will take care of that when they meet Him and if He said we would be judged on every idle word we say, I would guess that would go for typing as well. Personally, I do not want to have that thrown in my face come that terrifying day. Be sure to pray more for the priests, bishops, cardinals, and pope. If you have to then turn off the news and stop reading about it. It is good to know what is going on but not at the expense of your inner peace. You can still go to heaven under a bad pope and go to hell under a good pope. Recall that most of human history there was no internet and unless you lived in Rome, or nearby it, you may had no idea who the pope is, if he died (news traveled slower), definitely not everything he said everyday, etc. So there were many many many saints who lived under bad popes who did not know the evil things the pope was doing in Rome. Those saints did their duty of their state in life to the best of their ability, went to Mass and received the sacraments as much as they could, learned the faith, and loved God, His mother, and the saints. We can do that too.

Frank Sheed wrote:

“In the criticisms uttered by many… there is a failure to see Christ as the whole point. So much in the daily running of the Church they find depressing – the sermons, they say, take no one deeper into the reality of God or man; this priest or that cares for nothing but money, the sick are neglected, the old are rejected; the hierarchy know nothing of the emotional or intellectual problems which are eating away at their people’s faith, the Curia is simply a bureaucracy, using every trick to hold on to its power; as for the pope…

“It all adds up to ‘the Institutional Church’, with so many wondering if their spiritual integrity will permit them to remain in it.

“But Institutional Israel, the Chosen People, as the Prophets show it, was even worse than the harshest critics think the Catholic Church, yet it never occurred to the holiest of the Jews to leave it. They knew that however evilly the administration behaved, Israel was still the people of God. So with the Church: an administration is necessary if the Church is to function, but Christ is the whole point of the functioning. We are not baptized into the hierarchy, we do not receive the cardinals sacramentally, we will not spend eternity in the beatific vision of the pope.

“St. John Fisher could say in a public sermon, ‘If the Pope will not reform the Curia, God will’: a couple of years later he laid his head on Henry VIII’s block for papal supremacy, followed to the same block by St Thomas More, who had spent his youth under the Borgia pope, Alexander VI, lived his early manhood under the Medici pope, Leo X, and died for papal supremacy under Clement VII, as time-serving a pope as Rome had had.

“Christ is the point. I myself admire the present Pope [he was writing of Paul VI]; but even if I criticized as harshly as some do, even if his successor proved to be as bad as some of those who have gone before, even if I sometimes find the Church (as I have to live in it) a pain in the neck, I should still say that nothing a pope could do or say would make me wish to leave the Church, though I might well wish that he would. Israel, through its best periods as through its worst, preserved the truth of God’s Oneness in a world swarming with gods – and the sense of God’s majesty in a world sick with its own pride. So with the Church. Under the worst administration – say as bad as John XII’s a thousand years ago – we could still learn Christ’s truth, still receive His life in the sacraments, still be in union with Him to the limit of our willingness.”

So stay close to Our Lady (remember the 1st Pope denied Christ and Judas, a bishop, betrayed Him), read good books by the saints, read the bible, get good catechism, say your rosaries, offer up penances, have fervent communions, and stay away from anything that doesn’t lead you to Christ.

What follows are some accounts of Popes not acting like they should have.

From the Britannica website

POPE ALEXANDER VI

Alexander VI, original Spanish name in full Rodrigo de Borja y Doms, Italian Rodrigo Borgia, (born 1431, Játiva, near Valencia [Spain]—died August 18, 1503, Rome), corrupt, worldly, and ambitious pope (1492–1503), whose neglect of the spiritual inheritance of the church contributed to the development of the Protestant Reformation. As vice chancellor of the Roman Catholic Church, Rodrigo amassed enormous wealth and, despite a severe rebuke from Pope Pius II, lived as a Renaissance prince. He patronized the arts and fathered a number of children for whom he provided livings, mainly in Spain. By a Roman noblewoman, Vannozza Catanei, he had four subsequently legitimized offspring—Juan, Cesare, Jofré, and Lucrezia—whose complicated careers troubled his pontificate.

In September 1493 Alexander created his teenaged son Cesare a cardinal, along with Alessandro Farnese (the brother of the papal favourite Giulia la Bella and the future pope Paul III). In the course of his pontificate Alexander appointed 47 cardinals to further his complicated dynastic, ecclesiastical, and political policies. His son Juan was made duke of Gandía (Spain) and was married to Maria Enriquez, the cousin of King Ferdinand IV of Castile; Jofré was married to Sancia, the granddaughter of the king of Naples; and Lucrezia was given first to Giovanni Sforza of Milan, and, when that marriage was annulled by papal decree on the grounds of impotence, she was married to Alfonso of Aragon. Upon his assassination Lucrezia received as a third husband Alfonso I d’Este, duke of Ferrara.

Tragedy struck the papal household on June 14, 1497, when Alexander’s favourite son, Juan, was murdered. Gravely afflicted, Alexander announced a reform program and called for measures to restrain the luxury of the papal court, reorganize the Apostolic Chancery, and repress simony and concubinage. Alexander had shown great forbearance in dealing with the Dominican friar Girolamo Savonarola, who usurped political control in Florence in 1494, condemned the evils of the papal court, and called for the pope’s deposition, and, even before the friar’s downfall in May 1498, theologians and men of affairs had expressed support for the papacy. Meanwhile, however, Alexander had returned to a policy of political intrigue.

As a patron of the arts, Alexander erected a centre for the University of Rome, restored the Castel Sant’Angelo, built the monumental mansion of the Apostolic Chancery, embellished the Vatican palaces, and persuaded Michelangelo to draw plans for the rebuilding of St. Peter’s Basilica. He proclaimed the year 1500 a Holy Year of Jubilee and authorized its celebration with great pomp. He also promoted the evangelization of the New World. (1)

POPE STEPHEN VI

Stephen VI (or VII), (born, Rome—died July/August 897, Rome), pope from May 896 to August 897.

The era in which he was elected as the successor to Pope Boniface VI was torn by factions led by Roman aristocrats and by rulers of Naples, Benevento, Tuscany, and Spoleto (of whose ruling family Stephen was a member). Guy, duke of Spoleto, had been reluctantly crowned (891) Holy Roman emperor by Pope Stephen V (VI), and Guy’s son Lambert had been crowned co-emperor by Pope Formosus. Both of these preceding pontiffs had preferred the East Frankish king Arnulf, and in 896 Formosus abandoned the Spoletans and crowned Arnulf Holy Roman emperor, igniting a stormy conflict between the feuding factions. After Boniface’s two-week pontificate, Stephen, then bishop of Anagni, was elected pope, and the Spoletan party gained control of Rome.

Stephen was a partisan of Lambert, who induced him to conduct one of the grisliest events in papal history—the “Cadaver Synod” (or Synodus Horrenda). The Spoletans were so driven by hate for Formosus that they effected an unprecedented council (897) at which Formosus’ corpse was disinterred and arraigned for trial. Among the accusations against Formosus was that he had uncanonically transferred from the episcopal see of Porto to that of Rome (current church law forbade a bishop’s transferring from one see to another). The true purpose of the trial, however, was the appeasement and satisfaction of political enmity; the Spoletans charged that as leader of the rival faction Formosus had crowned an illegitimate descendant of Charlemagne after he had already crowned Lambert. Inevitably, Stephen’s party sought the destruction of the Formosan faction.

Stephen ordered the nine-month-old cadaver redressed in papal vestments and propped up in the papal throne. He then proceeded to annul Formosus’ pontificate and to declare his acts (including the holy orders he had conferred) void. Since Formosus had appointed Stephen bishop of Anagni, the annulment freed Stephen from charges of irregularity in his transferral from the see of Anagni to Rome.

Stephen concluded the trial by ordering that the corpse be dragged through the streets and dumped into the Tiber River.

In a few months an insurrection removed Stephen from office. Deprived of papal insignia, he was imprisoned and strangled, but his party found another leader in the murderous pope Sergius III. Twelve years of blood, intrigue, and terror followed.(2)

POPE SERGIUS III

Sergius III, (born, Rome [Italy]—died April 14, 911, Rome), pope from 904 to 911, during a scandalous period of pontifical history.

Of noble birth, Sergius was a deacon when made bishop of Caere by Pope Formosus, during whose pontificate powerful Roman factions developed that involved the influential Tusculani count Theophylactus. Later, Sergius became a supporter of Pope Stephen VI (VII), who exhumed Formosus’ corpse, subjected it to a posthumous trial (the “Cadaver Synod”), and nullified Formosus’ pontificate and acts. The ensuing intrigue became complex and malicious, casting a shadow over the papacy: from 896 (Formosus’ death) to 904 (Sergius’ consecration) there was a bloodstained succession of seven popes and one antipope, most of whom were concerned either to rehabilitate Formosus’ memory or to degrade it again.

Sergius was elected pope by Stephen’s party in 898, simultaneously with the opposing faction’s candidate, Pope John IX, who later abrogated Stephen’s acts by exonerating Formosus. Sergius attempted to seize the papacy but was expelled from Rome by his adversaries. The antipope Christopher drove Pope Leo V out of Rome in 903, and, in the following year, Sergius, with the military help of the Tusculani Alberic I of Spoleto, reappeared in Rome and deposed Christopher, who with Leo was apparently strangled by Sergius’ orders. Sergius, consecrated pope on Jan. 29, 904, allied himself with Theophylactus, who became virtual dictator of the papal administration and, through the pope’s help, expanded his territorial claims.

Sergius held a synod that reaffirmed the “Cadaver Synod”—which had formally deposed the exhumed body of Pope Formosus—by once again invalidating all of Formosus’ ordinations, thus causing the church grave disorders. He considered John, Pope Benedict IV, Leo, and Christopher all as antipopes. Sergius is reputed to have been the lover of Theophylactus’ daughter Marozia, and the father of her son, the future pope John XI. Sergius restored the Lateran Basilica, which had collapsed from an earthquake during the posthumous trial of Formosus. was buried in St. Peter’s.

Wikipedia cites – Much of Sergius’ pontificate has been maligned throughout history, principally through the reporting of his character and the state of Rome at the time by Liutprand of Cremona. His recounting of the period was remarkable for the rise of what 19th century papal historians saw as a “pornocracy”, or “rule of the harlots”, a reversal of the natural order as they saw it, according to Liber pontificalis and a later chronicler who was also biased against Sergius III. This “pornocracy” was an age with women in power: Theodora, whom Liutprand characterized as a “shameless whore… [who] exercised power on the Roman citizenry like a man”and her daughter Marozia, the mother of Pope John XI and reputed to be the mistress of Sergius III, largely upon a remark by Liutprand.

Caesar Baronius, writing in the 16th century, and basing himself on Liutprand, was particularly scathing, describing Sergius as: ”a wretch, worthy of the rope and of fire… flames could not have caused this execrable monster to suffer the punishments which he merited. It is impossible to believe that such a pope was a lawful one.”(3)

POPE JOHN XII

The younger Alberic, after the downfall of his mother, Marozia (932), was absolute ruler at Rome. Before his death he administered an oath (954) to the Roman nobles in St. Peter’s, that on the next vacancy of the papal chair his only son, Octavius, should be elected pope. After the death of the reigning pontiff, Agapetus II, Octavius, then eighteen years of age, was actually chosen his successor on 16 December, 955, and took the name of John. The temporal and spiritual authority in Rome were thus again united in one person — a coarse, immoral man, whose life was such that the Lateran was spoken of as a brothel, and the moral corruption in Rome became the subject of general odium. War and the chase were more congenial to this pope than church government.

On 6 November a synod composed of fifty Italian and German bishops was convened in St. Peter’s; John was accused of sacrilege, simony, perjury, murder, adultery, and incest, and was summoned in writing to defend himself. Refusing to recognize the synod, John pronounced sentence of excommunication (ferendæ sententia) against all participators in the assembly, should they elect in his stead another pope. The emperor now came forward to accuse John of having broken the agreement ratified by oath, betrayed him, and called in Adalbert. With the imperial consent the synod deposed John on 4 December, and elected to replace him the protoscriniarius Leo, yet a layman. The latter received all the orders uncanonically without the proper intervals (interstitia), and was crowned pope as Leo VIII. This proceeding was aginst the canons of the Church, and the enthroning of Leo was almost universally regarded as invalid. Most of the imperial troops now departing from Rome, John’s adherents rose against the emperor, but were suppressed on 3 January, 964, with bloodshed. Nevertheless, at Leo’s request, Otto released the hundred hostages whom he had called for, and marched from Rome to meet Adalbert in the field. A new insurrection broke out in the city against the imperial party; Leo VIII fled, while John XII re-entered Rome, and took bloody vengeance on the leaders of the opposite party. Cardinal-Deacon John had his right hand struck off, Bishop Otgar of Speyer was scourged, a high palatine official lost nose and ears. On 26 February, 964, John held a synod in St. Peter’s in which the decrees of the synod of 6 November were repealed; Leo VIII and all who had elected him were excommunicated; his ordination was pronounced invalid; and Bishop Sico of Ostia, who had consecrated him, was deprived forever of his dignities. The emperor, left free to act after his defeat of Berengarius, was preparing to re-enter Rome, when the pope’s death changed the situation. John died on 14 May, 964, eight days after he had been, according to rumour, stricken by paralysis in the act of adultery. Luitprand relates that on that occasion the devil dealt him a blow on the temple in consequence of which he died. (4)

POPE BENEDICT IX

Benedict IX, original name Teofilatto, Latin Theophylactus, (died 1055/56, Grottaferrata, Papal States [Italy]), pope three times, from 1032 to 1044, from April to May 1045, and from 1047 to 1048. The last of the popes from the powerful Tusculani family, he was notorious for selling the papacy and then reclaiming the office twice (5).

The nephew of his two immediate predecessors, Benedict IX was a man of very different character to either of them. He was a disgrace to the Chair of Peter. Regarding it as a sort of heirloom, his father Alberic placed him upon it when a mere youth, not, however, apparently of only twelve years of age (according to Raoul Glaber, Hist., IV, 5, n. 17. Cf. V, 5, n. 26), but of about twenty (October, 1032). Of his pontifical acts little is known, except that he held two or three synods in Rome and granted a number of privileges to various churches and monasteries. He insisted that Bretislav, Duke of Bohemia, should found a monastery, for having carried off the body of St. Adalbert from Poland. In 1037 he went north to meet the Emperor Conrad and excommunicated Heribert, Archbishop of Milan, who was at emnity with him (Ann. Hildesheimenses, 1038). Taking advantage of the dissolute life he was leading, one of the factions in the city drove him from it (1044) amid the greatest disorder, and elected an antipope (Sylvester III) in the person of John, Bishop of Sabina (1045 -Ann. Romani, init. Victor, Dialogi, III, init.). Benedict, however, succeeded in expelling Sylvester the same year; but, as some say, that he might marry, he resigned his office into the hands of the Archpriest John Gratian for a large sum. John was then elected pope and became Gregory VI (May, 1045). Repenting of his bargain, Benedict endeavoured to depose Gregory. This resulted in the intervention of King Henry III. Benedict, Sylvester, and Gregory were deposed at the Council of Sutri (1046) and a German bishop (Suidger) became Pope Clement II. After his speedy demise, Benedict again seized Rome (November, 1047), but was driven from it to make way for a second German pope, Damasus II (November, 1048). Of the end of Benedict it is impossible to speak with certainty. Some authors suppose him to have been still alive when St. Leo IX died, and never to have ceased endeavouring to seize the papacy. But it is more probable that the truth lies with the tradition of the Abbey of Grottaferrata, first set down by Abbot Luke, who died about 1085, and corroborated by sepulchral and other monuments within its walls. Writing of Bartholomew, its fourth abbot (1065), Luke tells of the youthful pontiff turning from his sin and coming to Bartholomew for a remedy for his disorders. On the saint’s advice, Benedict definitely resigned the pontificate and died in penitence at Grottaferrata. [See “St. Benedict and Grottaferrata” (Rome, 1895), a work founded on the more important “De Sepulcro Benedicti IX”, by Dom Greg. Piacentini (Rome, 1747). (6)

St. Peter Damian, for one, called him a “demon from hell in the disguise of a priest.” In his third book of Dialogues, Pope Victor III wrote of Benedict IX as having a “life as a pope so vile, so foul, so execrable, that I shudder to think of it.”

Pope Nicholas III landed a spot in Dante’s eighth circle of Hell.

Pope Clement V played countries against one another, instituted oppressively high taxes and openly gave land to his supporters and family. Dante also placed him in his Hell.

Pope Urban VI (1378-1389) complained that he did not hear enough screaming when cardinals who had conspired against him were tortured.

Of course you have Pope Liberius and Pope Honorius.

Though from the PapaStronsay blog we find this on Pope Liberius:
The reputation of Pope Liberius has been unjustly ruined among traditional Catholics. The holy Pope Liberius suffered exile for his fidelity to the Nicean Creed and for his defence of Saint Athanasius before the Emperor Constantius. There is nobody who really knows what happened to Pope Liberius in that Roman equilvalent of the recent Russian GULAG system. There is no proof that Pope Liberius signed any formula at all during his captivity; nor that he unjustly excommunicated St. Athanasius. Historians have only long-disputed uncertain opinions based on the varied interpretation of manuscripts and the fragments of St. Hilary. However, what we do know for certain is this: Liberius was one of the very few Popes to whom Our Lady appeared. That apparation, verified in the Roman Breviary on August 5, is a proof that the Mother of God held Pope Liberius in good repute. Our Lady of the Snows, through apparition and certain miracle, bestowed on Pope Liberius the great privilege of building the first temple in Her honour: the Liberian Basilica of St. Mary Major. (7)

To read on Honorius please visit New Advent here as he was the first and so far only Pope condemned by an Ecumenical Council. (p 87 Vicars of Christ Coulombe)

Pope Sixtus V issued a botched revision of the Latin Vulgate. The edition was so filled with errors, so riddled with omissions and deformities of the text, that it was hastily recalled after his death by embarrassed Roman cardinals (Pope Fiction, Patrick Madrid). Everything was ready and the only thing left was for Sixtus to promulgate the new version. Advanced copies had been bound and delivered to all the cardinals in Rome along with advanced copies of the bull officially publishing it. And then he died. August 27, 1590 he died after a brief illness and he was in excellent health and very active. As Madrid says, “it seems the Holy Spirit fulfilled, once again, Christ’s promise that He would guide the Church into all truth.” (p.251 “Pope Fiction, Patrick Madrid)

Pope John XXII was one of those Pontiffs who taught erroneous opinions privately. It had been the common belief of Catholics that the just see God immediately after their death, the beatific vision. He had advanced this to even the saints will not see God until after the Final Judgment. He gave sermons on this topic, and imprisoned a Dominican who disagreed with him. On his deathbed he renounced his own teaching and subscribed to the traditional view on the matter. In 1322, Our Lady appeared to John and we get the “Sabbatine Privilege” from this.

Pope Celestine III’s Error on the Indissolubility of Marriage which you can read about here


In the Liber Pontificalis, we find the following entry under Pope Marcellinus (296-304):

Marcellinus, by nationality a Roman, son of Projectus, occupied the see 8 years, 2 months and 25 days. He was bishop in the time of Diocletian and Maximian, from July I in the 6th consulship of Diocletian and the 2nd of Constantius [296 A.D.] until the year when Diocletian was consul for the 9th time and Maximian for the 8th [304 A.D.]. At that time was a great persecution, so that within 30 days 17,000 Christians of both sexes in divers provinces were crowned with martyrdom. For this reason Marcellinus himself was dragged to sacrifice, that he might offer incense, and he did it. And after a few days, inspired by penitence, he was beheaded by the same Diocletian and crowned with martyrdom for the faith of Christ in company with Claudius and Cyrinus and Antoninus.

Another manuscript of the Liber Pontificalis contains an addendum to this episode, relating the penance and restoration of Pope Marcellinus and his eventual martyrdom at a local synod at Sinuessa in Italy:

And after a few days a synod was held in the province of Campania in the city of Sessana [Sinuessa], where with his own lips he professed his penitence in the presence of 180 bishops. He wore a garment of haircloth and ashes upon his head and repented, saying that he had sinned. Then Diocletian was wroth and seized him and bid him sacrifice to images. But he cried out with tears, saying, ‘It repenteth me sorely for my former ignorance,’ and he began to utter blasphemy against Diocletian and the images of demons made with hands. So, inspired by penitence, he was beheaded.(8)

As for bishops remember that in England only 1 Bishop in ALL of England stood up to King Henry VIII, St John Fisher who had his head removed from the rest of his body for it. The very first thing that newly ordained bishops that Christ ordained did was run away. St. Alphonsus, in 1774, wrote about the election of a new pope, “All the human science and prudence that there is cannot extricate the church from the present state of relaxation and confusion in which every section finds itself; the all powerful arm of God is necessary. As regards the bishops, very few of them possess genuine zeal for souls Almost all religious communities are relaxed. As a result of the present state of general confusion, observance has collapsed and obedience is a thing of the past. The state of secular clergy is still worse.”(9)

May God Bless us and the Virgin Protect us

  1. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Alexander-VI
  2. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Stephen-VI-or-VII
  3. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Sergius-III
  4. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08426b.htm
  5. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Benedict-IX
  6. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02429a.htm
  7. http://www.papastronsay.com/resources/PopeLiberius/Rohrbacher.htm
  8. http://www.unamsanctamcatholicam.com/apologetics/94-contra-sedevacantism/520-apostasy-of-pope-marcellinus-sedevacantism.html
  9. Selected Writings of St Alphonsus, TAN