21 December 2016

Dec. 20, 1522- The Day the Knights Surrendered Rhodes

Today is the date in 1522 when the Knights accepted defeat and surrendered the island of Rhodes  http://gloriaromanorum.blogspot.com/2016/12/december-20-ad-1522-knights-of-saint.html?m=1

03 December 2016

Pray Rosary with the Incarcerated

If you have found yourself wanting to get involved with Prison Ministry but don't have an opportunity to actually visit a prison this might by for you.

From a Knight of the Order in Florida. 
"I would like to announce a Malta Prison Ministry initiative beginning January 2017, it's the "Prisoner Evening Rosary of Common Petition". As a Marian Order, we would like to encourage a more frequent use of the rosary. For our incarcerated brothers and sisters, it is a perfect time to teach them to pray the rosary, and offer their petitions to Our Lord, through Mary. It is a perfect opportunity to encourage the daily use of the rosary, and build habits that will last throughout their lifetime. The term "Common Petition" refers to the seven common petitions that prisoners will say each of the seven nights of the week at precisely 8:00 PM, EST. Everyone participating will be praying for the same specific petition, at the same exact time. Attached to this note are the petitions for each night.
Over time, this nightly event will unify all prisoners across the country, in one common prayer for the intention of the day. Over time, we hope to have thousands of rosaries being prayed at the same time, for the same intention, each evening at the same 8;00 PM hour, not adjusting for time zones. Naturally, prisoners are free to add intentions as they wish, but there will be one common intention for the whole country. Hopefully prisoners will invite additional prisoners to their common prayer circle and the spiritual voices will grow, all the while petitioning through Mary, and hopefully developing the habit of the daily rosary.
All the prisoners in Florida pray for the families of all the incarcerated; that the Blessed Mother will watch over these families and keep them from want, and that their children will be properly cared for.
All prisoners will ask Blessed Mother to intercede on behalf of all those who have been falsely accused. That the justice system will bring to light all the facts surrounding their arrest, and they may be treated with the justice they deserve.
All the prisoners will pray to the Blessed Mother to intercede for the poor of the world. That those who have, will enthusiastically share with those who have not. That God, through the intercession of the Blessed Mother, will shower the poorest of the poor with His grace and relieve their suffering.
All prisoners will pray for each other. That their case will receive the fair evaluation that is necessary to render fair judgment. For those that receive sentences, that God will inspire mercy from the judge.
Prisoners will pray to Our Lord in thanksgiving for His suffering and death on the cross. On this day Christ died for our sins, and that they ask the Lord for the strength not to sin against Him further. Prisoners will petition God for the forgiveness of everyone’s sins, and each prisoner personally resolve to renew his/her commitment to a better life.
Prisoners pray to the Blessed Mother for her help and protection against the evils and injustices of the world. That Blessed Mother will intercede with Our Lord on behalf of all nations to govern its people with justice and with true compassion for the least among their citizens.
Prisoners will celebrate the resurrection of Christ. That as difficult as the world might seem, Our Lord and Savior has risen and has promised to deliver all who seek Him out, as well as all those who are faithful to His commandments. Prisoners will pray that the evils of the world will not sway them from following the teachings of Christ, because they love God more than they love themselves.

27 November 2016

St. John the Baptist Church, Little Maplestead, England

St John the Baptist Church, Little Maplestead, England. The present church was built in the 14th century, renovated in the 1850's and is one of only four round churches still in use in England. It was built on a site originally given to the Order of of St John in 1185 and is still associated with the English, Venerable Order of St. John today. Every year members of the Venerable Order of St. John process to the Church on the first Sunday of June.

12 October 2016

MedSeas Tour of Rhodes and Crete

A fellow knight of the Order of Malta has put together a wonderful tour of the former sites of the Knights of St. John on Rhodes. He is a professional tour operator, MedSeas Catholic Journeys, who has taken groups to Malta, the Camino de Santiago in Spain and Portugal, and a Saints, Knights and Wine tour in Italy. This promises to be a spectacular trip and I hope you will consider joining us next September, 2017. Visit the MedSeas website for more information and a detailed itinerary.

Rhodes – The Island of Sun: Discover Rhodes, surrounded by clear blue waters, it’s a land of ancient temples, castles and fortresses, all part of the rich history dating back to the Neolithic era. We will experience its ravishing coastlines, dramatic mountain scapes, classic small villages and historic monuments especially sites linked to the Knights of St. John.

Explore Rhodes and Crete and the History of the Knights of St. John

Chapel of the Knights of St. John Rhodes
Come see the historical home of the Knights of St. John on the island of Rhodes with MedSeas Catholic Journeys, September 22-29, 2017. There will be an optional extension to visit Crete from September 29th-October 3rd.

Some highlights of the trip will include:

Old Town of Rhodes – Knights of St. John • Grand Masters Palace • Archeological Museum  •  Village of Lindos  •  Castle & Acropolis of Lindos • Village of Archangelos  •  Valley of the Butterflies  •  Embona Village  • Anastasia’s Winery  • Castle of Kritinia – Knights of St. John  •  Island of Symi  •  Panormitis Monastery  •  Church of Our Lady of Filerimos  • Ancient city of Kamiros …and more

07 October 2016

Reflection on Battle of Lepanto by Fr. Rutler

Weekly Column by Fr. Rutler for October 2, 2016

October 2, 2016

by Fr. George W. Rutler
Our faith is based, not on abstract speculation, but on historical events. Christ does not hover around us as a philosophical idea, for he “was made flesh and dwelt among us.” The Church’s feasts are acts of thanksgiving for actions of God that have affected the course of human existence. On October 7, the Church celebrates the victory of Christian naval vessels over those of the Ottoman Muslims who outnumbered the Christians by more than two to one, and whose ships were manned by upwards of fifteen thousand Christian galley slaves.

   The Battle of Lepanto in 1571 was the greatest naval engagement until the Battle of Jutland in World War I, but it is not commemorated just as a lesson in the art of maritime war. The core of the feast is that it saved Christian civilization. Compared to it, July 4 and Waterloo and Gettysburg and D-Day are ancillary struggles to preserve what would not exist at all, had it not been for 1571. Pope St. Pius V, by divine inspiration while praying the Rosary, announced in the Church of Santa Sabina that a triumph of the Cross had been won, at the very moment the battle was won in the Gulf of Patras in western Greece, though news of it would have taken many days to reach Rome by courier.

   We revere the “Star Spangled Banner” whose broad stripes and bright stars gallantly streamed in 1814, but quite more remarkable was the banner held by Gianandrea Doria, great-nephew of the Admiral Andrea Doria, at Lepanto. It bore the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The Lady had appeared in Mexico forty years earlier, but reproductions of the image had made it to old Europe, and King Philip of Spain had given one to the fleet. It has been preserved in the cathedral of Genoa. 

   Had the battle ended differently, Sultan Selim could have fulfilled his vow to conquer Rome, turning the basilica of Saint Peter into a mosque, despoiling and upending its bells so that they might be filled with oil and burned in honor of Allah, as had been done in 997 at the tomb of Saint James in Compostela.

   Is all this the dilettantish indulgence of the sort of people who watch the History Channel? We would not be here – nor would our holy religion, our universities, our science, our democracy, our enfranchised women, our justice, our social tolerance, and our entire moral fabric – were it not for Lepanto. The feast of its victory was instituted by Pope St. Pius V and, after the final defeat of the Ottomans in 1716 at TimiÈ™oara in present-day Romania, led by Prince Eugene of Savoy, Pope Clement XI made it a universal feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. Given the terrors of our present times, it would be well to pray the Rosary on October 7.      

02 October 2016

From Pastoral Guide of Pope St Gregory the Great

A word of advice to pastors, and even Popes. 

From the Pastoral Guide by Saint Gregory the Great, pope
(Lib. 2, 4: PL 77, 30-31)

Let the pastor be discreetly silent, and to the point when he speaks

A spiritual guide should be silent when discretion requires and speak when words are of service. Otherwise he may say what he should not or be silent when he should speak. Indiscreet speech may lead men into error and an imprudent silence may leave in error those who could have been taught. Pastors who lack foresight hesitate to say openly what is right because they fear losing the favor of men. As the voice of truth tells us, such leaders are not zealous pastors who protect their flocks, rather they are like mercenaries who flee by taking refuge in silence when the wolf appears.

The Lord reproaches them through the prophet: They are dumb dogs that cannot bark. On another occasion he complains: You did not advance against the foe or set up a wall in front of the house of Israel, so that you might stand fast in battle on the day of the Lord. To advance against the foe involves a bold resistance to the powers of this world in defense of the flock. To stand fast in battle on the day of the Lord means to oppose the wicked enemy out of love for what is right.

When a pastor has been afraid to assert what is right, has he not turned his back and fled by remaining silent? Whereas if he intervenes on behalf of the flock, he sets up a wall against the enemy in front of the house of Israel. Therefore, the Lord again says to his unfaithful people: Your prophets saw false and foolish visions and did not point out your wickedness, that you might repent of your sins. The name of prophet is sometimes given in the sacred writings to teachers who both declare the present to be fleeting and reveal what is to come. The word of God accuses them of seeing false visions because they are afraid to reproach men for their faults and thereby lull the evildoer with an empty promise of safety. Because they fear reproach, they keep silent and fail to point out the sinner’s wrongdoing.

The word of reproach is a key that unlocks a door, because reproach reveals a fault of which the evildoer is himself often unaware. That is why Paul says of the bishop: He must be able to encourage men in sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it. For the same reason God tells us through Malachi: The lips of the priest are to preserve knowledge, and men shall look to him for the law, for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts. Finally, that is also the reason why the Lord warns us through Isaiah: Cry out and be not still; raise your voice in a trumpet call.

Anyone ordained a priest undertakes the task of preaching, so that with a loud cry he may go on ahead of the terrible judge who follows. If, then, a priest does not know how to preach, what kind of cry can such a dumb herald utter? It was to bring this home that the Holy Spirit descended in the form of tongues on the first pastors, for he causes those whom he has filled, to speak out spontaneously.

20 September 2016

English Post - Knights Battle to Defend Rhodes

The English Post in the siege of Rhodes was named for the English knights who were responsible for defending that portion of the walls of the city. It was the scene of some of the heaviest fighting. Twice the knights lost it and twice they won it back. The tenaille is on the left and the main wall is further is visible in the background further behind it.  On the right of the wide dry ditch is the counterscarp that the attackers had to climb down before storming the city wall. The ditch is enfiladed by the Tower of St. John, its bulwark and lower wall providing vertically stacked fields of overlapping fire. The stone cannon balls seen in the ditch are remnants from the fighting. To experience first hand the history of the Knights of St. John please join us on a tour to the beautiful islands of Rhodes and Crete next September. For more information visit MedSeas Catholic Journeys.
Photo courtesy of Norbert Nagel.

Angelus Prayer for the Crusades

Most people know that the Angelus is recited at three particular times during the day; 6 am, 12 noon, and 6 pm and during the Easter Season, the Angelus is replaced by the Regina Caeli, a practice first instituted in 1743.

But how many know that the origins of the Angelus is with an 11th century custom of reciting three Hail Mary's during the evening bell which Pope Gregory IX (d 1241) ordered to be rung in order to remind people to pray for the Crusades. Later Pope Callistus III (1455-1458) commended the practice as a prayer for protection against the Turkish invasions of his time. By the sixteenth century the form of the prayer was standardized and it has been highly popular since the 17th century. 


09 August 2016

Kilteel Castle - Priory of the Knights of St. John in Ireland

In the village of Kilteel six miles north of Naas at the foot of the Wicklow mountains is Kilteel Castle.

It was built in the early thirteenth century by Maurice Fitzgerald for the Knights Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem. The site upon which the castle was built was once a monastic settlement.

It's most notable resident was Sir John Rawson who was the last Prior of the Kilmainham house of the Order before King Henry VIII dissolved the Order.

In 1511 he was appointed Prior of Kilmainham; this was a position of considerable political power, entitling him to sit both in the Irish House of Lords and on the Privy Council of Ireland. In 1517 he became Lord Treasurer of Ireland.

During the second siege of Rhodes in 1522 Sir John was the only knight from Ireland that responded to the Grand Master's request for knights to come to defend Rhodes. After the Siege, Rawson returned to Ireland where he continued to serve as Prior.

When Henry VIII decided to dissolve the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, and after lengthy negotiations Rawson in 1541 surrendered the Priory of Kilmainham in return for a payment of 500 marks and the title of Viscount Clontarf  and the lease of the castle was given to Thomas Alen and his wife.

In 1669 Col. Richard Talbot, Earl of Tyreconnell became the owner of Kilteel. He then sold the castle to Sir William Fownes of Kilkenny where it remained in his family until 1838 when it was sold to the Kennedys of Johnstown-Kennedy.

Today the castle is a designated National Monument. It consists of a tower house dated to the fifteenth century, another projecting towerhouse with a spiral stairs and two further rooms at the gate-way.

08 August 2016

Knights at the Watch Tower Send Warning of the Invasion of Rhodes

Watch towers have sent out the alert!  Invasion has started.  Cavalry scouting the coast for the landing area.  40,000 troops are disembarking...where are we?  Journeys of Faith, Culture & History...September 2017. Check out the new MedSeas website for more info


Mandraki Harbor Rhodes

The Mandraki was the military harbour and was guarded by a tower built between 1464 and 1467 by the Grand Master Zacosta. After the first Turkish siege of Rhodes in 1480 and the successful defense by the Knights of St. John, the Grand Master d'Aubusson added a bastion around the tower transforming it into a guard fortress on the sea.

Knights at the Watch Tower Send Warning of the Invasion of Rhodes

Watch towers have sent out the alert!  Invasion has started.  Cavalry scouting the coast for the landing area.  40,000 troops are disembarking...where are we?  Journeys of Faith, Culture & History...September 2017. Check out the new MedSeas website for more info


05 August 2016

Knights Hospitaller Commandery of Bubicon, Switzerland

According to the inscription in the mural painting of the benefactors in the chapel, Count Diethelm V. of Toggenburg bequeaths the commandery of Bubikon to the Knights Hospitaller in Jerusalem circa 1192.

In 1215 there was a dispute over the land donated to the commandery between the noble families of Rapperswil and Toggenburg comes to an end with the joint re-foundation of the commandery by both families, captured by the painting of the benefactors.

In 1428 the revenues of the Commandery are transferred to the Grand Priory of Germany which was at that time headquartered in Heitersheim. 

Knights of Malta Commandery of Bubikon around 1750. It was sold to a private citizen in 1789. More historical detail can be found at the Ritterhaus Bubikon website. 

In 1938 plans for renovation of the property began and continued until 2011 when it was finally completed. In 1960 the first phase was complete and the property was placed under protection of the Swiss government.

04 August 2016

Two Knights of St John with Rabies Cured by the Blessed Virgin

From the Cantina CSM 275 of the Cantigas de Santa Maria of Alfonso X
Two Hospitaller friars of the convent of Moura [Spain] were stricken with rabies. They raged and clutched one at another and anyone else they could grab.
   To subdue them the people tied them securely with a very strong rope. Then, hoping that the Virgin would cure them, they took them to Terena.
   They lead them with difficulty, for they were snapping like dogs. They took them across the Guadiana River and entered Portugal.
   As the first friar reached the top of the hill, he looked around and saw Terena, nestling in the valley up ahead. He asked to be released and said that he could see the Virgin and was sure that he had cured her of rabies.
   He asked for a drink of water. The other friar said the very same thing when he saw the church. He also felt himself cured of rabies and they gave him a drink of spring water.
   After they had finished drinking, they set off at once for Terena to fulfil their pilgrimage. They each offered the Virgin gifts and lit long candles, which they placed before the Virgin’s altar.

29 July 2016

Entrance to Grandmaster's Palace Rhodes

A picture of the entrance to the Grandmaster's Palace of the medieval city of Rhodes which once was the home of the Knights of St. John. The Knights withdrew from the city then under siege by the Turks. They were prepared to battle to the death of the last knight but in order to spare the lives of the citizens living there they agreed to surrender. The Knights went from there to Crete before settling in their new home on Malta.

05 April 2016

Female Religious in the Order of St John

An interesting article about the role of women religious in the Hospitaller Houses of the Order of St John during the Middle Ages. 


29 March 2016

14 March 2016

Good Friday Procession at Iglesia de la Veracruz

Following our tradition, the offices of Good Friday and the procession of the holy funeral will be held, as every year, the next day, March 25 at 18:30 hours at the Iglesia de la Veracruz.

10 February 2016

Iglesia de la Vera Cruz of the SMOM in Segovia, Spain

The Iglesia de la Vera Cruz or Church of the Holy Cross in Segovia, Spain was originally built by the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher in the 13th century. It was passed to the Order of St. John of Jerusalem on September 23, 1531 and now remains in it's possession.

Story on the Order of Malta from France

A nice, quasi-vintage video on the Order of Malta with some historic footage from 1999 and the anniversary of the founding of the Order which took place on Malta, including a glimpse of the late Fra Freddie. There is also some footage from inside the Magistral Palace with the late Grand Master Fra Andrew Bertie. It also highlights some of the work of the Order in France. Although it is in French the video is still interesting to watch.


This blog and the opinions are all my own and in no way imply the endorsement from any organization. Nor does a recommendation of another blog or web site imply my agreement or endorsement of everything found on their site.