Nov 17, 2022, 3:40:19 AM11/17/22
The Great might of Christ's hand
"The faithful also have the help of Christ, and the devil is not able
to snatch them. Those who have an endless enjoyment of good things
remain in Christ's hand, no one thereafter snatching them away from
the bliss that is given to them. [No one can throw them] into
punishment or torments. For it is not possible that those who are in
Christ's hand should be snatched away to be punished because of the
great might Christ has. For 'the hand' in the divine Scripture
signifies 'the power'” It cannot be doubted therefore that the hand of
Christ is unconquerable and mighty to all things."
by Clement of Alexandria, 150-215 A.D.(excerpt from the COMMENTARY
ON THE GOSPEL OF JOHN 7.1)
• November 17th - SS. Roque and Comp., Jesuit Martyrs of Paraguay
Anglo-Saxon America has traditionally belittled the efforts of the
Spanish pioneers in the New World – more often than not out of
religious and political prejudice. One Hispanic frontier institution
that has survived such criticism is the “reduction.” This was a
religious-cultural plan carried out by missionaries among the American
Indians, with the backing of the kings of Spain. Intent upon teaching
the natives both the Catholic faith and skills of European
civilization, and meanwhile protecting them against enslavement and
oppression, the missionaries gathered these nomads into villages where
they learned to support and govern themselves. We in the United States
are most familiar with the Franciscan reductions or missions of
Even more notable were the Jesuit reductions in Paraguay (1609-1760).
A moving picture of the Paraguay reductions called “The Mission” was
screened a few years ago.
One of the early participants in this brilliant, if incomplete, social
experiment was the Jesuit priest Roque Gonzalez. He was himself born
in Asuncion, Paraguay, in 1576, the son of noble Spanish parents. An
impressively devout lad, Roque became a diocesan priest in 1599, and
at once began to carry the faith to the remote tribesmen of Paraguay.
After ten years he joined the Jesuits.
Being a Jesuit, Fr. Gonzalez was even more able to continue his
missionary explorations on behalf of the Indians. Some of his
fellow-Spaniards were angered by him, for he withstood their efforts
to exploit and enslave the natives. The Indians, on the other hand,
held Roque in deep paternal respect, and were even ready to accept him
as a reconciler. He founded among them several reduction villages, and
they began to learn there the acts of self-government and
If most of the Indians trusted Fr. Roque and his fellow missionaries,
the pagan Indian-medicine men did not. Now a medicine man named Nezu
began to organize opposition against Gonzalez. One day in 1628 when
the priest was busy installing a church bell in the new mission
village of Caaro, a slave named Maragua, who was a partisan of Nezu,
attacked him from behind, crushing his skull with a tomahawk. Next,
Maragua killed Fr. Alonso Rodriguez, and, on the following day, Fr.
Juan de Castillo was slain. These two were Fr. Roque’s Jesuit
companions assigned to Caaro. After Fr. Roque’s death, we are told,
his horse refused to eat or be ridden, and soon died beside the grave!
Paraguayan Catholics, in general, were appalled by these murders, and
from the outset considered the three Jesuits three martyrs. In fact,
within six months the Church authorities had launched inquiries
intended to promote the canonization of all three as “protomartyrs”
(first martyrs) of Latin America. If the trio were beatified only in
1934, it was because the original documents on the case were lost,
and a copy of them was found only a century ago.
They were finally canonized in 1988.
Almost a century before his beatification, Father Gonzalez came to
public notice in a singular way. In 1857 a Dr. and Mrs. T. L. Nichols
of Springfield, Ohio, a worthy and prominent Protestant couple, were
taking part in a spiritualistic seance. In connection with the seance,
a man appeared to Mrs. Nichols who called himself Gonzalez the martyr,
and who urged them to examine the religious teachings of the Jesuits.
They approached the Jesuits of St. Xavier College, Cincinnati, took
instruction, and joined the Church. Moving to England, they became
quite well known in British Catholic circles.
Saint Roque’s appearance in connection with a spiritualistic seance
says nothing about the practice of spiritualism. What it does
demonstrate is that God can communicate graces to mankind in many
–Father Robert F. McNamara
Let us abandon everything to the merciful providence of God.
--St. Albert the Great
"Fornication and all uncleanness and covetousness, let it not so much
as be named among you, as becometh saints or obscenity or foolish
talking or scurrility, which is to no purpose; but rather giving of
thanks. For know you this and understand: that no fornicator or
unclean or covetous person (which is a serving of idols) hath
inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God" (Eph. 5:3-5)
"Do you believe?" Matthew 9:27-31
Are there any blind-spots in your life that keep you from recognizing
God's power and mercy? When two blind men heard that Jesus was passing
their way, they followed him and begged for his mercy. The word mercy
literally means "sorrowful at heart". But mercy is something more than
compassion, or heartfelt sorrow at another person's misfortune.
Compassion empathizes with the sufferer. But mercy goes further; it
removes suffering. A merciful person shares in another person's
misfortune and suffering as if it were their own.