Friday, July 29, 2016

Pro Deo, Rege et Patria!

The real Queen of Ireland is not a man dressed up as a woman who goes around perpetrating puerile sexual innuendoes (which I presume is what all drag queens do; I haven't seen the documentary in question, and I won't). The real Queen of Ireland is our Blessed Mother, and a book of that title was written by Professor Helena Colcannon in 1938.

Not the Queen of Ireland.

The real deal.

I have just started reading it, and I was very moved by the following passage, which describe some of the banners carried into battle by the forces loyal to the Confederation of Kilkenny,. My previous post was about the Romance of the Faith; the following passage is an excellent example:

When our forefathers went to battle during those tragic but stirring years, they had Our Lady on their blue standards. Among the Wadding Papers, Cardinal Moran found a list of the christian symbols depicted on the flags of the Confederate troops. They all depict in a graphic and striking way what the Irish people were fighting for [translations from Latin via Google Translate]:

1. On white flags, flecked with blood drops, a Crucifix with this inscription: AEQUUM EST PRO CHRISTO MORI. ["It is right to die for Christ"]

2. On green flags, an image of the Saviour bearing His Cross with the inscription: PATIOR UT VINCAM. ["I suffer to triumph".]

3. On gold-coloured flags, the Resurrection of the Saviour with the inscription: EXSURGAT DEUS ET DISSIPENTUR INIMICI EJUS ["let God arise and let him enemies be scattered"]; or a globe surrounded by a dark cloud through which the sun begins to break and the inscription: POST NUBILE PHOEBUS. ["After clouds comes the sun".]

4. On red flags, the HOLY NAME with this epigraph; IN NOMINE JESU OMNE GENU FLECTETUR ["At the name of Jesus every knee should bend"]; or two arms emerging from a cloud, one bearing a Chalice with a Host above it, and the other a sword defending them, with the inscription: PRO DEO, REGE ET PATRIA ["For God, King and Country."].

5. On blue flags, an image of the Blessed Virgin, with the infant Jesus in her arms, treading the serpent under foot with the inscription: SOLVIT VINCULA DEUS ["God has broken our chains".].

6. On saffron coloured flags; an image of the Saviour liberating the patriarchs from Limbo with the inscription: VICTOR REDIT DE BARATHRO ["The Victor returns from the abyss".].

[The soldiers] had Mary's Rosary around their necks, and the invocations of Her Litany on their lips when they faced the foe. SANCTA MARIA was their battle cry at Benburb, and their Chaplain-General, the Franciscan Boetius MacEgan, intoned the Litany of Loreto for them when they charged the troops of Monroe. Their great General, Owen Roe O'Neill, himself a devout client of Our Lady, reminded them to put their trust in her in his allocution to them before the engagement.

In a week when a Catholic priest was martyred in Western Europe, and the very principle of Catholic education is under attack in Ireland, it is good to remember that Our Lady, Queen of Ireland, is the Lady of Victories (even when the immediate battle is lost). Our Lady of Victories, pray for us! 

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