The knight in shinning armor gallops on his horse to rescue the captive in distress! Oh, Dear Reader, what lovely fairy tales and legends of old that marveled our imaginations! The Middle Ages were filled with tales of when chivalry was alive and well. Prince Charming beholds his beloved, and they go off to live happily ever after! King Arthur had his Camelot. The pageantry of these scenarios pales in comparison to what the supernatural world has in store.
Is chivalry lost? In any case, when some men were lowering a paraplegic through the roof towards Jesus below, Jesus looked up and “saw” their faith! They were bold and brave! Chivalry is a life-long battle between Good and evil. The purpose of chivalry is to rescue those in need whether it is in mind, body, and/or soul. By the reigns of sin, we are in captivity! Chivalry is accomplished in the spirit of honor, bravery, and perfect manners.
Since the Ascension of Jesus Christ, many Catholics known as Holy Martyrs have demonstrated this holy chivalry. There are two types of martyrs: red and white. Both types suffer tremendous physical and mental pain for the sake of the weak, lost, and outcasts. The outcome of their lives affirms the loving of the unlovable, the forgiving of the unforgivable, and the protecting of the unprotected.
Red Martyrdom occurs when a person sheds their blood for Christ. Throughout the history of the Church, there have been many of these brave hearts who died rather than forsake the Lord. Many of their names are very familiar and form a litany of courage and trust in God: Stephen, Peter, Polycarp, Lawrence, Joan, Thomas More, and Maximilian Kolbe just to name a few.
White Martyrdom occurs without blood and without the violent taking of life. White martyrdom is a total offering to God, a “dying” to the world and its allurements. A white martyr willingly gives up worldly concerns and makes his or her life a perpetual pilgrimage. A white martyr lives a life of heroic devotion for Jesus, eagerly uniting that devotion with Christ’s Holy Sufferings. Therese Martin and Francisco Forgione are outstanding models for white martrydom.
The last words of some red martyrs demonstrated this holy chivalry. Stephen, the deacon, while being stoned to death, “Forgive them, Lord, for they know not what the do.” A few years later, Peter asked that his cross be inverted so as not to imitate his mentor, Jesus Christ. In 168, Polycarp, “Please do not tarry.” In 258, St. Lawrence, “See, this side is well roasted; turn me over on the other side.”
In 1431, as soon as Joan of arc noticed that the fire had been lit, she urgently warned Brother Martin, “Good Brother Martin, I thank you for comforting me, but you must leave this place, now!” In 1535, Sir Thomas More, “See me safe up (onto the scaffold); for my coming down, let me shift myself.” In 1941, Maxmillan Kolbe, “Take me instead.”
Holy Chivalry loves the unlovable, protects the unprotected, and forgives the unforgivable sin. It is assisting the weakest humans with honor, it is facing potential destruction with bravery, and it is showing respect to the unkind with perfect manners. The Holy Crucifix is the banner of this Holy Valiance. The Mettle of Jesus Christ is the Paragon for this Holy Chivalry!
In His White Martyrdom, Jesus “suffered unto death” in the Garden of Gethsemane. Thereafter, one hundred and fifty soldiers surrounded Jesus as He was led to His Red Martyrdom! While His Immaculate Hands were bound, 23 soldiers trailed Him. Eighty-three of them executed an unjust justice. He received 150 blows to His Hallowed Head, 108 punches to His Angelic Abdomen, and 80 kicks to His Sacrosanct Shoulders as He lay on the ground. Twenty-four times, they pulled His Reverent Hair.
They spat 180 times in His Godly Face. Six thousand, six hundred, and sixty-six times, He was beaten on His Sanctified Body. He was plummeted 110 times on His Sublime Head. They pushed, pricked with thorns, and pulled His Saintly Beard 23 times. The crown of thorns caused 110 gauging wounds to His Uncorrupted Head. Of those, three were mortal!
Jesus received twenty-three other wound to His Divine Head. Flayed and dressed as a mocking-king, He received 1000 wounds to His Venerable Body. Then, 608 soldiers led Jesus, who carried a cumbersome tree, to Calvary. At last, they affixed Him to that lumbering cross by His Virtuous Hands and Feet using three huge blunted-nails to extract further pain, and then, a soldier stabbed Him clean through His Pure Side directly into His Sacred Heart. One thousand and eight individuals mocked Him. Jesus lost 28,430 drops of His Precious Blood!
Good Jesus took on the sins of the world literality! Gloriously, by dying, He destroyed our death, and by rising, He rescued our life! After the Resurrection, the wounds of His Innocent Body were vanquished; those wounds were the sins of our eviscerated flesh in the past, present, and future. The wounds of His Humble Head, too, were annihilated; those wounds were the sins of our hapless conscience in the past, present, and future. Only His Signature Wounds remained. The wounds of His Hands, Feet, and Side, piercing His Sacred Heart, are the only manmade manifestations in Heaven!
We are charged to continue the Holy Perseverance & Endurance of Jesus. In our thoughts, words and deed, we could offer to Our Eternal Father, the Sacred Body & Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world. For the sake of His Sorrowful Passion, we could beseech Our Heavenly Father, to have mercy on us and on the whole world!
Each and every time that we receive Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament, we could participate in the Holy Martyrdoms of Jesus. We could offer Our Almighty Father all our pains, work, joys, and sufferings of each day in union with those of Jesus while on Earth. The Holy Martyrs, both red & white, give up their lives for Jesus, Our Lord and Saviour.
Contrarily, Jesus suffered for all of us – sinners! We are woebegone sinners who cherish our sins. Not to be dismayed, after all, Jesus loves the unlovable, He forgives the unforgivable, and He protects the unprotected! He is the Chivalrous Saviour of the World! May the Most Precious Blood of Jesus save us! Prophet Isaiah echoes it best . . . upon Him was the chastisement that makes us whole; by His Stripes, we were healed.
In 2010, Catholics, killed in Baghdad at the Our Lady of Salvation Catholic Church, died for their faith. They are in the great line of holy martyrs. Dear Reader, when we go to Holy Mass, Jesus “sees” our faith. When we perform corporal and spiritual acts of mercy, Jesus “sees” our holy chivalry! Dear Reader, Let your Holy Chivalry never ceased to exist! Be Bold! Be Brave! Jesus is the Prince of Peace; His Majesty is everlasting!
Soul of Christ, sanctify us! Body of Christ, heal us! Blood of Christ, drench us! Water from the Side of Christ, wash us! Passion of Christ, strengthen us! His Way is wide and easy for those who love Him! At first and most critically, Jesus heals the paraplegic’s repugnant soul before He obliterates his unfitting physical body. The Holy Pomp and Circumstance of His Kingdom is Paradisiacal!
To this beginning and end, we understand the goodness in the phenomena of the Immaculate Conception. In the womb of Saint Anne, Mary is supernaturally conceived without the corruption of sin. What good son would not accomplish this holy chivalry, this rescue, for his mother! Dear Reader, The Holy Chivalry of Jesus is absolutely second to none! No human on Earth has ever suffered such an awful persecution, agony, anguish, distress, pain, torment, torture, mortification, self-sacrifice, self-immolation, and crucifixion! Prophet Isaiah echoes it best . . . to set captives free . . .
St. Elizabeth, Queen of Hungary, pray for us!
St. Matilda, help us!
Our Lady of Guadalupe, help us!
St. Anne & St. Joachim, pray for us!
Stay-tuned for “JOY” on Thursday, December 15.
Peace & JAMLY,