St. Thomas More, by E.E. Reynolds, is a complete life of the saint based on primary source accounts, state papers and contemporary registers. Reynolds leaves no written source uncovered in drawing together for us the man who became one of the most famous men not only in England, but even in Europe, who gave his life for the rights of the Church over the tyranny of the state.
Reynolds traces More’s life and environs, as well as More’s writings and poetry, to bring out the man and the hour in which he lived. There are lengthy studies of Richard III, Utopia, and The Dialogues which More wrote against heretics. Lastly, he concludes with a penetrating legal analysis of the reasons which brought More to the Tower and to beheading.
Throughout there are many crucial and important direct quotes from letters, speeches and of course, the words of More related by early authorities in court and at his trial. Thereby we see the warm relationship between More and great scholars like Colet and Erasmus, as well as his close relationship with his daughter Margaret (Meg) and his great strides to provide her an education which she took up brilliantly. This makes More come to life as a real person, with wit and joy and above all passion, not the plaster saint of a second nocturn variety. There is a reason why More is one of the few and best known laymen to be canonized and remembered through the ages.
This will be an excellent companion to Reynold’s Life of St. John Fisher, which is also available from Mediatrix Press.
To the extent that St. John Fisher is remembered at all, he is remembered as the one Bishop that refused to pinch incense to Henry VIII. Yet, he was also a holy Bishop and an expert Theologian. Those familiar with the Mediatrix Press reprint of the Life of St. John Fisher by E.E. Reynolds, will know that St. John Fisher was a model for all Bishops. Yet his theological writings, which are mostly in Latin, had not been translated at all until the 1930’s. Fr. Hallet translated the shortest but no less important of St. John Fisher’s works, his defense of the priesthood against Martin Luther.
In these pages we see that it is Fisher, not Luther, who is the true witness to the gospel, defending the Catholic priesthood by the Scriptures, the Fathers and reason, while quoting Luther directly in his refutation.
While responding to Luther, Fisher lays out several Axioms and proves them one by one in order so that as the pages turn, it is abundantly clear that Fisher is following the Scripture completely, while Luther’s position is increasingly indefensible. It is no wonder that Fisher was the only opponent of Luther that that the latter did not and could not answer.
Given that it is the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, what better work could be published, to help dispel some of the confusion engendered by those who wish to celebrate Luther in ignorance of what the great heresiarch had actually taught. Anyone seeing this will immediately see that it is Fisher who is the witness to the Gospel.
In On Councils: Their Nature and Authority, St. Robert Bellarmine answers the attack of the early Protestant Reformers on by treating on all matters pertaining to Councils. Beginning with definitions and terms, Bellarmine explores in summary all the Councils approved in his day, as well as those only partially approved and those not approved at all. Then he examines their purpose and foundations in Scripture, the Fathers, and history. In the second book, Bellarmine examines the authority of Councils according to the same standard, proving especially that the Pope is above Councils and is the one to summon and confirm them. To prove his case he musters his considerable scholarship and answers not only the arguments of Luther and Calvin, but of each early Protestant to show that approved Councils do not contradict each other, and the Church does not put Councils above the Word of God.
Book I, CHAPTER IX
On the utility or even the necessity of celebrating Councils
Therefore, with all of this noted, we must explain in what things legitimate Councils consist, and these can be reduced to four: 1) the end; 2) efficiency; 3) matter and; 4) the form of Councils. Now let us begin with the end, which is the first of these reasons. It will be the first reason that must be briefly explained on account of which Councils are usually celebrated; then from those it will be determined whether a gathering of Councils is necessary or merely useful. Moreover, the particular reasons on account of which Councils are celebrated are usually numbered as six.
a) The first reason is a new heresy, i.e. something that had never been judged before, which is the very reason the first seven Councils were convened. The Church always so dealt with the danger of new heresies that she did not think it could be resisted otherwise than if all or certainly a great many leaders of the Churches, once their strength was joined as if it were made into a column of soldiers, would rush upon the enemies of the faith.
b) The second reason is schism among Roman Pontiffs; for a Council in the time of Pope Cornelius was celebrated for this very reason. Likewise, another in the time of Pope Damasus and again in the times of Symmachus, Innocent II and Alexander III, as well as Pisa and Constance in the times of Gregory XII and Benedict XIII, for there is no more powerful remedy than a Council as has so often been proved.
c) The third is resistance to a common enemy of the whole Church; in this manner Councils were convened by Urban II, Calixtus II, Eugene III, and other Popes, for war against the Saracens. Likewise, to depose an emperor, Gregory III celebrated Councils against Leo III the Iconoclast, as did Gregory VII against Henry IV, and Innocent IV against Frederick II.
d) The fourth reason is suspicion of heresy in the Roman Pontiff, if perhaps it might happen, or if he were an incorrigible tyrant; for then a general Council ought to be gathered either to depose the Pope if he should be found to be a heretic, or certainly to admonish him if he seemed incorrigible in morals. As it is related in the 8th Council, act. ult. can. 21, general Councils ought to impose judgment on controversies arising in regard to the Roman Pontiff—albeit not rashly. For this reason we read that the Council of Sinvessano in the case of St. Marcellinus, as well as Roman Councils in the cases of Pope Damasus, Sixtus III, and Symmachus, as well as Leo III and IV, none of whom were condemned by a Council; Marcellinus enjoined penance upon himself in the presence of the Council, and the rest purged themselves (See Platina and the volumes of Councils).
e) The fifth reason is doubt about the election of a Roman Pontiff. For if the cardinals could not or would not create a Pope, or certainly if they all died at the same time, or a true doubt should arise for another reason to whom an election of this sort would pertain, would look to a general Council to discern in regard to the election of a future Pope, although it does not seem to be realistic to expect this would ever happen.
f) The sixth reason is the general reformation of abuses and vices which crept into the Church; for even if the Pope alone can prescribe laws for the whole Church, nevertheless, it is by far more agreeable for matters to be done with the approval of a general Council when the Pope prescribes laws of this sort. Hence, we see nearly all general Councils published canons on reformation (See Juan Torquemada, lib. 3, cap. 9 &10).
“[The Casuistic method] was inefficacious in urging men to lead good lives, [and] tends to laxism. … But during this period there appeared a man, sent by God, to remedy the evils of casuistry. This man was St. Alphonsus Liguori, doctor of the Church, founder of the Redemptorists, renowned author of many works, ascetic and moral, highly praised by various popes. He is rather practical than speculative. As founder of aequiprobabilism, he cleansed casuistry from the defects of probabilism and laxism.”
Beatitude, c. II, p. 13.
St. Alphonsus Liguori’s Moral Theology has long been praised and held in the highest regard by the Church. Covering every moral question of his day, Bl. Pope Pius IX declared: “It happened, not without the most provident counsel of God almighty, that since the doctrine of the Jansenist innovators turned all eyes to themselves, enticing many to the sight of their error and leading them over to it, it was then that Alphonsus Maria Liguori stood up, the founder of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer and the Bishop of St. Agatha of the Goths, who, ‘fighting the good fight, opened his mouth in the midst of the Church’; and by his learned writings and labors eradicated this plague, roused from hell, and saw to it tear it out and so exterminate it from the field of the Lord. Not only did Alphonsus appoint these shares for himself, but focusing his mind on the glory of God and the spiritual salvation of men he wrote many books, related with holy erudition and piety, whose opinions were between those embraced by both more lax and rigid theologians, to fortify the safe path by which the confessors of Christ’s faithful could advance without dashing their foot upon a stone; whether to train and establish the clergy, or to confirm the truth of the Catholic faith and to defend against the heretics of every kind or name; or to assert the laws of this Apostolic See; or to rouse the souls of the faithful to piety.” [Apostolic Letter Honoring St. Alphonsus with the title of Doctor of the Church]
Mediatrix Press is pleased to bring you the first English Translation of this excellent work, once widely read but relegated to obscurity on account of the loss of Latin fluency in Western Society. Volume 1 embraces the first three Books of Alphonsus’ Moral Theology. Subsequent volumes will complete the full work. You can support this work by making a donation, which you can find on the Alphonsus Translation project page.
The Kindle will be coming soon!
All Soul’s Forget-me-not!
A Manual For Souls in Purgatory
The All Souls’ Forget-me-not is the book for all those devoted to the souls in Purgatory. “Why,” the author asks, “does this little prayer-book take its name from the simple flower, the Forget-me-not? Why do they remind one of those poor, forgotten and often neglected souls? The forget-me-not grows in marshy places, by the banks of rivers and streams. And is not Purgatory a dismal swamp wherein the tears of sorrow and desire are ever flowing? Who can count the myriads of souls lingering and suffering in Purgatory, since nothing with the smallest spot of impurity can enter heaven?
“Our faith tells us we can help these poor souls; the Church permits us to pray for them; our own heart tells us that we should and must contribute to their aid in every way that we can. On these grounds, therefore, we venture to publish this little prayer-book, which under the title ‘The Forget-me-not of the Souls in Purgatory,’ admonishes the living not to forget the dead.”
The All Souls’ Forget-me-not places at the disposal of all prayers and devotions sufficient to make offerings and reparations for the sake of the holy souls. It contains several different methods of assisting at Mass, as well as the Rosary, drawn up with special meditations for the faithful departed, stations of the Cross, numerous prayers and meditations for the saints, a small treatise on Purgatory which is largely drawn from St. Robert Bellarmine’s work, and the entirety of the Office and Mass for the dead according to the Traditional rites of the Church. This book is ideal for anyone that has participated in or joined a Purgatorial Society
The Mediatrix Press edition has been completely re-typeset from the original 1899 edition, and has a larger font than many prayer-books so as to be easier on the eyes.
If you are devoted to the soul’s in purgatory and wish to win as many soul’s for Christ as one can, this book gives a practical means for which you can pour out your devotion into the Sacred Heart for souls.
The Public Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ vol. 2
Rev. Alban Goodier, S.J.
Public Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ
Vols. 1 and 2 Set Discount
By popular demand, and thanks to a generous benefactor, Mediatrix Press is pleased to nearly have ready the second volume of The Public Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ
The second volume continues where the first left off in Our Lord’s life and continues the same original commentary and discussion all the way to passion week. The wonderful thing of Bishop Goodier’s narrative is that it does not make use of secondary sources or copious quotes, rather he simply quotes the Scriptures and organizes the teaching of the Gospels into the sequential occurrence of events. If you want to know more about our Lord and understand the places he is going to, what he is doing and why, this is the perfect work. The new edition includes wonderful depictions of events from Renaissance art. We also have it available in hardcover:
The Public Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ (Hardcover)
Bishop Alban Goodier, S.J.
The Public Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ
Vols 1 & 2
The Life of Pope Leo XIII
From an authentic memoir
by Bernard O’Reilly, D.D., L.D.
The Life of Pope Leo XIII, written by the learned American Fr. Bernard O’Reilly, was written while that Pope was alive, and based on a memoir furnished to him by the Holy See. Thus, this work is nearly autobiographical, being based on the Pope’s life as he wished it to be written.
Fr. O’Reilly, making copious use of the Pope’s Italian memoir, presents to us Giacchino Pecci, the future Leo XIII, in the midst of the dramatic and revolutionary changes affecting the Church in both Italy and all Europe in the 19th century. In all events, Pecci as priest, Bishop, Cardinal and later Pope, fought courageously for the Universal Church with prudence, humility and care, and above all defending his priests and the sacrament of Marriage against the innovations of the revolutionaries holding the seat of government throughout Europe.
If you are amiss over the radical changes coming over society today, and want to see where they came from, this is the book for you. More than just learning about Leo XIII, you learn about his time, the troubled days after the French Revolution where, being exported to Italy, it reeked havoc through the regime of “liberty” and freemasonry, assaulting Catholic education, introducing civil marriage, undermining faith and morals from every angle. In this book you see the future Leo XIII as Archbishop Pecci, fight the revolution head on in unwavering support for Pope Pius IX. You will see how wrong the liberal view is that holds Mazzini and Garibaldi as heroes, and, moreover, how tyrannical the new Italian regime became in its persecution of the Church. This book is a tour de force, filled with many writings from Pope Leo XIII from his time as an Archbishop and Cardinal that have not been seen by English language audiences since this book was first published.
Written in 1887, the book concludes with another 16 years left to Pope Leo’s papacy, yet it covers in remarkable detail the lesser known life of the “Light from the Heavens”.
The Mediatrix Press edition has completely reprinted and re typeset it form the original, adding our famous font effects from the renaissance. The work will be available in hardcover and kindle very soon! Order today!
Commentary for Benedictines Oblates on the Rule of St. Benedict
Our reprint of this excellent work has been completely re-typeset from the original; we have added drop caps and font effects to make a delightful reading experience. We have also increased the book dimensions so as to decrease the page numbers and make it easier to use.
The Commentary on the Rule takes into account the long history of commentary on St. Benedict’s rule and discusses this history at length in the introduction. Each chapter has a selection of the rule, following the divisions of dates on which sections of the rule are read in monasteries, then a commentary on that section, followed by an application. The commentary makes use of the very lengthy Monastic Tradition, works of the Church Fathers, Eastern Monasticism, the Scholastics and others, as well as commentary on text criticism in regards to the original Latin of the rule itself.
This wonderful text, though it is intended for Benedictine Oblates, is a worthy resource for anyone that would like to know more about the rule of St. Benedict. It is also available in hardcover.
Commentary For Benedictine Oblates on the Rule of St. Benedict
G. A. Simon
Sermons of the Curé d’Ars
For all the Sundays of the Year
St. John Vianney
Reprinted from the 1901 edition
Mediatrix Press is pleased to provide a reprint of the 1901 edition of St. John Vianney’s Sermons! These sermons cover all the Sundays of the Year and all the principal feasts, combined with a few of the greater saints. It is almost 400 pages and unabridged from the original (whereas other editions by the same title have only 200 pages).
We have also have taken a great deal of time to provide the layout with the beautiful effects that you have come to expect from Mediatrix Press:
- Easy to read layouts with large font;
- Beautiful dropcaps and floral effects
- Balanced margins that provides an easy reading experience
The difference between this edition and other editions of this in print is it has all 85 of the extent sermons of St. John Vianney, and several additional sermons distributed to cover all the Sundays of the Year as well as the principal feasts (as they were in 1901). There is a lot more here to find spiritual nourishment.
This wonderful work by the patron of parish priests should be in every home!
The Autobiography of St. Robert Bellarmine:
Along with A Guide to Composing Sermons
Sermons on the Annunciation
Translated by Ryan Grant
With a Foreword by Fr. Philip Wolfe, FSSP
The Autobiography of St. Robert Bellarmine
Along with: A Guide to Composing Sermons, Sermons on the Annunciation
by St. Robert Bellarmine, S.J.
Translated by Ryan Grant
Foreword by Fr. Philip Wolfe, FSSP
Bellarmine never set out to compose any writings, but always did so out of obedience. He wrote his autobiography for 2 of his brother Jesuits out of courtesy for their request to have an account of his life. Though he never intended it for any eyes but theirs, it was discovered and published in the 18th century, and became a great success. It is a brief and simple account of the life and travails of a great soul that loved Jesus Christ above all things.
During another chaotic time in the Church, St Philip Neri used to tell his directees that he didn’t care what they read, as long as the author’s name began with the letters ST. That advice is just as helpful today as it was then, and with his Bellarmine Project, Ryan Grant is making the writings of one such author, the great Doctor of the Church St Robert Bellarmine, available to the English speaking public. -Fr. Philip Wolfe, from the Foreword
WHILE N. [St. Robert refers to himself with the letter “N”] was still a boy, I think of five or six years, he used to speak publicly, and, on a footstool turned upside down, clothed with a string, he began to speak on the Lord’s passion. He had no subtle and lofty genius, but was accommodated to all things that he should be equally adept to take on all disciplines. In youth, he began to love poetry, and consumed a great part of the night in reading Vergil, with whom he has such familiarity that he used no word in his poems that was not Vergilian.
The first poem he wrote was on virginity, and the capital letters rendered it, Virginitas. When he was only a youth of 16, he wrote an eclogue on the death of Cardinal De Nobili, which was recited publicly. He wrote at the same time many poems in Latin and in Italian, and especially books which he did not bring to completion because they were obstacles which were strewn before him to prevent him from entering the Society of Jesus. He not only left these books, written in Vergilian style, unfinished but he even burned them because he was ashamed to have written on such matters.…Before he left Mondovì, or Mons Regalis, a humorous incident happened to him. He was a companion of Fr. Rector to visit the Dominicans. The Prior of the Dominicans invited the Rector to drink, and when he agreed, the Prior said about N., whom he did not know: “Well, your companion, this little brother here, will be glad of a drink.The next day, that Prior came to the college and found N. carrying out the duty of the porter at the gate, and asked him to call the preacher. N. responded that the preacher could not come, but he would faithfully relate what message his Paternity would entrust. “No,” said the Prior, “I cannot tell you what I want, but take me to the preacher, or call him to me.” “I already said,” N. replied, “The preacher will not come,” and when the Prior insisted, N. was compelled to say, “I am whom you seek, and I cannot come, because I am here.” Then the prior blushed to remember the impertinent joke of the previous day, and humbly begged forgiveness, and asked if N. would preach on Christmas, when he would publish a Papal Bull containing indulgences for almsgiving, made for the support of the general chapter of the Dominicans that was going to be held, which N. promised he would do, and did.