Archive for February 8, 2018


February 8, 2018

I ended the last post about slavery with a brief reference to quantum physics  (thinking chiefly of  Light Entanglement)  and the interpenetration of the seen and unseen worlds, the co-existence of the material and the spiritual.

john's cross do you know 60

And, therefore,  of our spiritual and material duties:  To love God with our whole heart and mind and soul and to love our neighbor as ourselves.


Today, February 8th, is the day we are reminded to celebrate the life of St. John Matha, a man who lived those two Great Commandments.   He lived in the 13th century, that century which is designated by many as the “Greatest Century”  of Christendom, for all the advances in human understanding and achievements it had made.

John was a good young man,  caring of the poor, though not of the poor.   He was popular and trusted among his friends, and soon came to wonder if he ought to become a priest.    He became a priest in his thirties,  a little later than most. . . .

During his First Mass – an important milestone in the life of a priest –  he had a vision,  recorded by many artists:

john first mass gradient 6

Further above in the upper left-hand corner,  this artist  (de Miranda)  had shown the relevant portion of the vision –  a youth, probably an angel, wearing a red and blue cross and holding out his arms, crossed, with a hand on a Christian and a hand on a Moor.

(I didn’t show it because I wanted to accentuate the artist’s understanding that above any Mass, even today,  there is no line of separation between the spiritual realm and the material realm.   No dividing line.    The entire spiritual world pays attention to what we do and how (and if)  we worship.)

John, in his forties, after much studying,  consultation,  preparation,  growth in holiness,  and permissions obtained,    established a group of young men dedicated to the rescue of slaves from those Moorish lands I wrote about in the last post,  based upon the meaning he had gleaned from his first vision.

These men did their work  among the North African Islamic nations and were called Trinitarians.    They wore that red and blue cross on white robes.

john b r red blue cross St.  John of Matha

St. John  and the men collected alms from the Europeans, peasants and rich people alike.  He used those alms to purchase the freedom of slaves in Africa, after negotiating with  their Moorish captors:

john negotiating

They ransomed hundreds of thousands of slaves – an endless supply –

john's chr slaves woodcut

The work was hard and dangerous.  John walked among the slaves,  consoling them,  reminding them to be faithful to Christ,  encouraging them to be patient while he worked for their ransom.

One time,  sailing back to Europe with 110 former captives, the boat was attacked by  a small group of Moorish sailors.  The sails on   John’s boat were torn and shredded,  the rudder was damaged and unusable.   They were left to drift.

aerial med


Heaven saw and then answered their prayers.  The survivors offered their cloaks and blankets,  sewn together to make new sails –  and even though rudderless,  made it back safely to Europe.

From one of the accounts:

The saint, full of confidence in God, begged him to be their pilot, and hung up his companions’ cloaks for sails, and, with a crucifix in his hands kneeling on the deck, singing psalms, after a prosperous voyage, they all landed safe at Ostia, in Italy.

Their work continued for many centuries, inspiring another young man,  St. Peter Nolasco,  (also in this “greatest” 13th century)  to begin a group with a similar mission,  the Mercedarians.


These  groups exist today, somewhat, in this not-so-great century and as part of the New Version of the Church.   We don’t hear of their work among slaves today . . .

But perhaps . . .   their work can continue, at least in our prayers.




February 8, 2018

(Don’t let your history be taken away from you!)


Any idea what this kind of cross means?

Trinitarian Cross

. . . .   red and blue . . .  ?


 john boast people ref   If you read the news today, you’ll have heard of all the M os le m  “refugees”  fleeing    terrible conditions, risking their lives on rickety  boats, crossing the Mediterranean to find refuge.   The “news” articles regularly include admonitions (demands, really)  to Europeans to not reject these refugees  (few ever do) and to give them tax money and welfare aid,  giving preference to them over the Europeans (commonly done) .

If you read further,  you’ll see that the “refugee” camps where the boat people land are frequently places of crime, rape, revolt, and anger against the Europeans who are “rescuing” them.  (Not 100%, for those of you trained by marxist rhetoricians.  Of course not 100%)

The end point for these African “refugees’ of military age?     Often scenes like this:


Africans invading Spain (recently)  from out of a “refugee” landing point.

And elsewhere, one of thousands of photos:



But it wasn’t always like this.  To call these militant young Islamists “refugees” is to pervert the word itself.    They have a different purpose from the millions of refugees throughout the centuries who were rescued across the Mediterranean from actual slavery and torture in Moslem  lands.

Let’s call them Moors, as history does.

john slaves being taken to mors

(Christian boat people)

Over the centuries,  millions of Christians from Europe (some of your ancestors)  were kidnapped from their homes and brought to, well,  Moorish countries, especially in North Africa.

Just as Christians who live in Africa today are being kidnapped from their homes,  sold into slavery,  married into another kind of slavery,  and never heard from again,  these Christian captives were  also never heard from again.    You live if you gave up your Christian faith – lived for a while.

The problematic evil of slavery has existed even before written history began – and it exists today:

Slave Women

It’s a real tragedy from the entertainment-news media that the nations excoriated for the evils of slavery are those very nations   (the White, European and European-derived nations)   that have eliminated slavery,  and  long before our great-greatgrandparents even lived!

This simply diverts attention from the real problem of modern slavery.

I don’t mean to imply that only women are taken as slaves.

Little boys . . .  (not for working “in the fields”:

peeking between fingers

And young Christian  men:

peek boy slave 400 dollars

The accompanying article said he was being sold for $400.   (equivalent American.)

What do you care about this young husband and father?    About the little boys?  About the young women?       What should we care?   What can we do, anyway?

john's cross do you know 60   What does all this have to do with that red and blue cross?

Well, lots, actually.      And it has a lot to do with what you think about the separation of this life from the next;  of the material world from the spiritual world,  and the knowledge that there is no separation . . . .    Whether this knowledge comes from from the advances in quantum physics  or from religious writing,  or  the experience of Catholic teaching  —  the spiritual world pervades and co-exists with the seeable, material world.

And our duty to God is co-extistent with our duty to our fellow-man.

This post is not getting written as I thought it would, so I’m going to have to do a Part Two so it doesn’t get too long. . . .