Archive for the ‘Superstitions’ Category

Still Trading on the Legend of Loreto

June 11, 2012

You may recall my friend, Dr. James White, mention the superstitious legend of Loreto a few times in the past (blog example, discussing Keating’s use of the legend). In this bizarre legend, angels lift up Mary’s house and transport it to Loreto, Italy. In the version at the link, they stop along the way in Trsat, Croatia.

Rome is still trading on these myths. For example, Vatican Information Service, 11 June 2012 reports:

Participants in the fifteenth World Seminar for Catholic Civil Aviation Chaplains and Chaplaincy Members were received this morning in audience by the Holy Father. Their patron, the Pope recalled, is Our Lady of Loreto who is also the patron saint of all air travellers, in accordance with the tradition that attributes to the angels the transportation of Mary’s house from Nazareth to Loreto, Italy.

So, note that this usage of falsehoods is not limited to lay apologist groups, but goes all the way to the top of the RCC. At least today’s bishop of Rome is careful to word the matter in a way that is not, itself, false. Yes, a tradition attributes what he says it attributes. On the other hand, it didn’t happen as the tradition alleges. But that doesn’t stop the pope from trading on the legend.


Machina, Ora Pro Nobis?

March 27, 2009

If this “worked,” which (of course) it doesn’t, it would be simony (link). It’s yet another example of life being stranger than fiction.


>Sightings of "Jesus" and "Mary"

March 18, 2009

>Todd Pruitt at 1517 has the video (link). It’s really amazing when someone manages to put all these together in one montage, and it shows the kind of superstition that crops up in religions that have lost sight of the invisible God, trading it for visible icons and images.


Rosary Power!

February 15, 2009

The superstitions associated with the Rosary are just tremendous, but a sincere belief in the power of the Rosary throughout Catholicism cannot be denied. I recall reading that the SSPX had prayed 1.7 Million rosaries (source – with critical Romanist commentary) from the time that they had come under Rome’s excommunication until the time the excommunication was lifted.

But I came across an even more interesting site “Rosaries for Life” (H.T. to Romanist Mark Shea for pointing this out) in which the goal is to fight abortion through praying Rosaries (link). The remarkable depth of the superstitious reverence for the rosary can really be seen most clearly from a sub-page of the site entitled “Rosary Power” (link).

I think we should be praying to God, asking that the massacre of the unborn be abated, but the Rosary is not the way to pray. It is saddening to see not only the depth of the superstition, but as well the depth of the sincerity of those who are drawn into these practices.


Newman Not Incorrupt (apparently)!

October 4, 2008

In what is undoubtedly a set-back of some sort for the movement to make former Cardinal Newman a saint, it is being reported that no significant physical remains of Newman were found in his coffin (link).

That will not, of course, stop the movement. I doubt they are looking for suggestions about how to justify classifying him as a “saint.” If so, however, you could rely on the obviously supernatural oxidization pattern on the brass plate of his tomb.



Although perhaps the hand in the second image should be point a bit more downward.

Democrats, however, will be glad to see that the upper left corner of the plate has taken on the silhouette of a donkey’s head, thereby symbolizing Cardinal Newman’s approval of Senator Biden’s bizarre rationalization of his own status as anti-life Romanist.

But seriously, folks – Cardinal Newman (one of the most celebrated “converts” from the Church of England) is not deserving of special attention. Even assuming, for the sake of the argument, that he was a believer, he was a sinner in need of a savior, just like every other person. There is no need, no use, and no value in trying to seek his intercession through prayer. Religious veneration of his remains or of images of him are idolatry – failure to give all religious veneration only to God.


Steve Ray – Wearing Rosary Keeps Away Demons?

August 29, 2008

On the May 8, 2008, edition of Catholic Answers Live, I was amazed to hear Steve Ray reference (seemingly approvingly) a book called, “The Secret of the Rosary,” for the idea that wearing a rosary “around your neck keeps the Devil away – it keeps the evil powers away, because they hate the rosary and they hate the crucifix … .” I can safely say that wearing a rosary has about equal efficacy in keeping demons away as does wearing a scapular or dousing oneself in “holy water.” In short, it has no power at all.

Meanwhile, enjoy the ecumenical flavor of that most lovely work:

The heretics, all of whom are children of the devil and clearly bear the sign of God’s reprobation, have a horror of the Hail Mary. They still say the Our Father but never the Hail Mary; they would rather wear a poisonous snake around their necks than wear a scapular or carry a rosary.

And truly, I would rather (as Louis de Montfort claims) have a king cobra round my neck than participate in the superstitious and anti-Christian tradition of the rosary or the scapula. I think the portion Steve Ray was referring to was this:

Blessed Alan relates that a man he knew had tried desperately all kinds of devotions to rid himself of the evil spirit which possessed him, but without success. Finally, he thought of wearing his rosary round his neck, which eased him considerably. He discovered that whenever he took it off the devil tormented him cruelly, so he resolved to wear it night and day. This drove the evil spirit away forever because he could not bear such a terrible chain. Blessed Alan also testifies that he delivered a great number of those who were possessed by putting a rosary around their necks.

This may be from an eighteenth century book, but make no mistake, these superstitious beliefs are alive today, as evidenced by Mr. Ray’s comment.


Superstition or Sacramental?

February 13, 2008

American Papist reports (link), you decide.

My own two cents: this is plainly superstition. The Giants’ victory had nothing to do with a scrap of metal in someone’s pocket. I doubt the American Papist would be willing to debate the topic of: “Resolved: that blessed medals are effective for winning football games.”

Nevertheless, we have amazing anecdotal evidence to support that resolution. The Giants were thought by the masses (hoi polloi) to be the underdogs, and yet they won. One could point out that the other team’s star player had been nursing an ankle injury in the week prior to the game, but that would just show lack of faith in the church. So don’t. Instead, believe that rubbing the medals and praying to whoever is depicted on them won the biggest sports game of the year.

I wonder if they work for Hockey too?


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