Sunday, April 19, 2015


Let us all pray for the souls of the 30 Ethiopian Christians martyrs in Libya and their families. 

Let us pray for those who despise and persecute Christians for HIS NAME SAKE. 

"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)

from the skilled and holy hand of the iconographer Antoun Rezk
Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Los Angeles

and from the pen of T.S. Eliot
"Murder in the Cathedral"
writing of a different martyr in a different time
but speaking timeless truth
requiring only the changing of the name and the place

O father, father, gone from us, lost to us,
How shall we find you, from what far place
Do you look down on us? You now in Heaven,
Who shall now guide us, protect us, direct us?
After what journey through what further dread
Shall we recover your presence? when inherit
Your strength? The Church lies bereft,
Alone, desecrated, desolated, and the the heathen shall build on the ruins,
Their world without God. I see it. I see it.

No. For the Church is stronger for this action,
Triumphant in adversity. It is fortified
By persecution: supreme, so long as men will die for it.

Go, weak sad men, lost erring souls, homeless in earth or heaven.
Go where the sunset reddens the last grey rock
Of Brittany, or the Gates of Hercules.
Go venture shipwreck on the sullen coasts
Where blackamoors make captive Christian men;
Go to the northern seas confined with ice
Where the dead breath makes numb the hand, makes dull the brain;
Find an oasis in the desert sun,
Go seek alliance with the heathen Saracen,
To share his filthy rites, and try to snatch
Forgetfulness in his libidinous courts,
Oblivion in the fountain by the date-tree;
Or sit and bite your nails in Aquitaine.

In the small circle of pain within the skull
You still shall tramp and tread one endless round
Of thought, to justify your actions to yourselves.
Weaving a fiction which unravels as you weave,
Pacing forever in the hell of make-believe
Which never is belief: this is your fate on earth
And we must think no further of you. O my lord,
The glory of whose state is hidden from us,
Pray for us of your charity; now in the sight of God
Conjoined with all the saints and martyrs gone before you,
Remember us. Let our thanks ascend
To God, who has given us another Saint in Canterbury.

We praise Thee, O God, for Thy glory displayed in all the creatures of the earth,

In the snow, in the rain, in the wind, in the storm; in all of Thy creatures, both the hunters and the hunted.

For all things exist only as seen by Thee, only as known by Thee, all things exist

Only in Thy light, and Thy glory is declared even in that which denies Thee; the darkness declares the glory of light.

Those who deny Thee could not deny, if Thou didst not exist; and their denial is never complete, for if it were so, they would not exist.

They affirm Thee in living; all things affirm Thee in living; the bird in the air, both the hawk and the finch: the beast on the earth, both the wolf and the lamb; the worm in the soil and the worm in the belly.

Therefore, man, whom Thou hast made to be conscious of Thee, must consciously praise Thee, in thought and in word, and in deed.

Even with the hand to the broom, the back bent in laying the fire, the knee bent in cleaning the hearth, we, the scrubbers and sweepers of Canterbury,

The back bent under toil, the knee bent under sin, the hands to the face under fear, the head bent under grief,

Even in us the voices of seasons, the snuffle of winter, the song of spring, the drone of summer, the voices of beasts and of birds, praise Thee.

We thank Thee for the mercies of blood, for Thy redemption by blood. For the blood of Thy martyrs and saints

Shall enrich the earth, shall create holy places.

For wherever a saint has dwelt, wherever a martyr has given his blood for the blood of Christ,

There is holy ground, and the sanctity shall not depart from it

Though armies trample over it, though sightseers come with guide-books looking over it;

From where the western seas gnaw at the coast of Iona,

To the death in the desert, the prayer in forgotten places, by the broken imperial column,

From such ground springs that which forever renews the earth

Though it is forever denied.  Therefore, O God, we thank Thee

Who hast given such blessing in Canterbury.

Forgive us, O Lord, we acknowledge ourselves as the type of the common man,

Of the men and women who shut the door and sit by the fire;

Who fear the blessing of God, the loneliness of the night of God, the surrender required, the deprivation inflicted;

Who fear the injustice of men less than the justice of God;

Who fear the hand at the window, the fire in the thatch, the fist in the tavern, the push into the canal,

Less than we fear the love of God.

We acknowledge our trespass, our wickedness, our fault; we acknowledge

That the sin of the world is upon our heads; that the blood of the martyrs and the agony of the saints

Is upon our heads.

Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
Blessed Thomas, pray for us.

Holy Martyrs of Egypt and Ethiopia,
pray for us.


  1. Dear Father Juan Duzuhldorf,

    I don't know your identity. I am not on board with some of the language you have employed on your blog. I am not comfortable with some things that you have said or portrayed in regard to certain "Cardinals, bishops and priests.

    I am your opposite in regard to the Traditional Roman Mass.

    When I first discovered your blog, I knew for sure the following about you:

    You possessed tremendous intelligence. You possessed tremendous creativity, particularly in regard to humor.

    Ernie Kovacs, Jonathan Winters, Tim Conway...Father Juan Duzuhldorf.

    But during a moment such as now, in response to something as horrific as genocide, you can be counted upon to compose a most beautiful, uplifting and comforting response.

    None of the "big name" Catholic priest/bloggers match you in that regard.

    Father, by the way, you often chide clergy who don (and laity who cherish) "extravagant" TLM-related vestments/accessories...or chide TLM-related ornateness.

    However, such as accompanies this thread, you often reproduce ornate religious images...things associated with Triumphalism.

    So-called "modest" imagery wouldn't have worked with this thread.

    The iconoclastic mentality that marks so many "renovated" Catholic parishes wouldn't work with this thread.

    Thank you for the beautiful icon in question that you attached to this thread.

    Thank you for having uplifted my mind and spirit tonight.

    Thank you for having recalled our brothers martyred by ISIL.

    Peace to you, Father Juan Duzuhldorf.

    Mark Thomas

    1. Guess you have only been around a short while, Mark--this isn't the first time.

  2. I'm surprised to have not heard a call for safe passage to and asylum in the US for these Christians in harms way.

  3. Christians are left to die. However, we bring in Moslems. Europe does the same.

    Mark Thomas

  4. Mark Thomas,
    Clearly, you are under the impression that you are very clever. Allow me to disabuse you: leaps of logic appear as an airtight argument only to the monomaniacal. The claim that silken busybodies fussing over protocol is in the same aesthetic category as edifying and comforting iconography is a lunatic stretch of sense, judgment, and good taste.
    After your majestic imprimatur of Fr. D's prayer for the martyrs, you can't help but stick your foot in the door long enough to squeeze out some hot air and tortured logic about how this is just another example of how only the smart set appreciates The Mass of All Time [1570].

  5. I didn't find much Catholic Blogosphere coverage at the time, but on October 20, 2014, Pope Francis convoked a Consistory of Cardinals and Patriarchs to discuss the horrific persecutions directed against Christians who live in the Middle East.

    The Consistory took place one day following the close of the Extraordinary Synod on the Family.

    I guess that people preferred to remain focused upon the above rather than shift attention to the plight of Christians in the Middle East.

    Here is one report upon the Consistory of Christians in the Middle East.

    Mark Thomas

  6. Mark Thomas,
    In Fr. D's previous post, you claimed that the Pope could help the plight of Christians persecuted by ISIS by calling for holy war. It would be very easy to ridicule the rich but lonely fantasy life you maintain. Instead, I urge you to think through why such a thing is not only undesirable but also impossible. Fantasy, like any rush, is a one note thrill. All it can do is invite you to play it over and over again. Fantasies are easily dispelled (presuming that's what you desire) by engaging their meager content with an honest, step-by-step comparison to reality and the authentic desires therein.

    1. WWZD,

      My combox policy is not to respond to verbal attacks. I yawn at such nonsense. I then move on.

      But genocide against Christians is of monumental importance. Therefore, rather than respond to the your various insults, I will respond to your initial sentence.

      Had you read carefully my previous post, I did not call upon Pope Francis to initiate a holy war.

      By the way, a holy war is part of Catholic tradition. Self-defense is right beyond question, according to the True Church.

      That said, I accept that any war, even a just war is, in a sense, a failure.

      Even when applied during a just situation, the use of force is, in a sense, sad and unfortunate.

      It is a shame that humans do not 100 percent of the time conduct themselves in civil fashion.

      But should it become necessary as a last resort, war...a holy unfortunate, but legitimate.

      Now, back to my supposed call for a holy war.

      I didn't call for a holy war. I stated that the Pope could...could...exhort Catholics to come to the aid of their brothers and sisters who face genocide.

      I even noted that a massive force of Catholics formed to halt the genocide in question could accomplish said task without the firing of a shot.

      Again, I did not call for a "holy war".

      As compared to my faith in the United Nations Organization, I most definitely would place greater hope in the formation of a Christian defense force, at the Pope's exhortation, to end the genocide in question.

      But I did not request a Papal call for a "holy war".

      Now, Pope Francis has called upon the "International Community" via the United Nations Organization to halt the genocide in question.

      Bishops, particularly within the Middle East, have called for military intervention to halt the genocide in question.

      Hmmm...I guess that you should attack them as well.

      Anyway, Pope Francis' appeals to the "International Community" have been met with inaction from the "International Community".

      His Holiness has complained several times that the world has offered only "silent complicity" to the genocide that has come to Middle Eastern Christians and additional religious minorities.

      The "International Community" via the United Nations Organization has not halted the genocide in question.

      Therefore, WWZD, do you have any suggestions as to how to end the genocide in question?

      Please note that I did not respond to your insults with insults. I responded like a man, and in thoughtful fashion, to your initial sentence.

      I am not interested in engaging people in back and forth insults and ridicule.

      If you are interested in this discussion and are able to respond thoughtfully to this post, then please do so. If not, then peace be with you and goodbye.

      Thank you.

      Mark Thomas