The Head of the Church

Exactly 33 years to the day prior to the great Miracle of the Sun in Fatima, that is, on October 13, 1884, Pope Leo XIII had a remarkable vision.

When the aged Pontiff had finished celebrating Mass in his private Vatican Chapel, attended by a few Cardinals and members of the Vatican staff, he suddenly stopped at the foot of the altar. He stood there for about 10 minutes, as if in a trance, his face ashen white.

Then, going immediately from the Chapel to his office, he composed the prayer to St. Michael, with instructions it be said after all Low Masses everywhere.

When asked what had happened, he explained that, as he was about to leave the foot of the altar, he suddenly heard voices - two voices, one kind and gentle, the other guttural and harsh.

They seemed to come from near the tabernacle.

As he listened, he heard the following conversation:

The guttural voice, the voice of Satan in his pride, boasted to Our Lord: "I can destroy your Church."

The gentle voice of Our Lord: "You can? Then go ahead and do so."

Satan: "To do so, I need more time and more power."

Our Lord: "How much time? How much power?

Satan: "75 to 100 years, and a greater power over those who will give themselves over to my service."

Our Lord: "You have the time, you will have the power. Do with them what you will."

In 1886, Pope Leo XIII decreed that this prayer to St. Michael be said at the end of "low" Mass (not "high", or sung Masses) throughout the universal Church, along with the Salve Regina (Hail, Holy Queen); and the practice of the congregation praying these prayers at the end of Mass continued until about 1970, with the introduction of the new rite of the Mass.

I suppose, in his diabolical endeavour, that a very cunning ploy of the Devil would be to convince people outside of the Catholic Church and the majority of the Faithful to believe that the Pope, not the Lord Jesus Christ was the Supreme Head of the Catholic Church. Blessed Pope John Paul II, who will be canonized tomorrow, did not believe he was the Head of the Church but enjoyed as Successor of St Peter visible headship by virtue of the Apostolic power given by Christ to Peter, as the Vicar of Christ on Earth. Blessed Pope John Paul II did not believe he was the Church's Lord and Master but its chief servant. I must say that I find it fascinating that the vision of Pope Leo XIII suggests that the great battle in the Church against the Devil would take place 'around the tabernacle'.


One wonders who decided to remove the prayer to St. Michael!

After reading your post, I found my way to this article from the Tablet which makes for interesting reading:
Joe Potillor said…
Thank God Jesus is the Head of the Church
viterbo said…
As for the 'battle taking place around the tabernacle', I don't know how this slipped by me - did anyone else know this?:

"On April 1 [2014], Pope Francis signed a declaration to work on a new “Ecumenical English Missal”. One might wish this were an April Fool’s joke, but it is quite real.
The group designated to produce a Missal acceptable for use in both Catholic and Protestant worship consists of four people: Pope Francis and three Protestant “bishops” — two of whom are women." From Fatima Newsletter.
viterbo said…
p.s. re battle taking place around the tabernacle, buddha won that one at assisi in 1986, when the dalailama placed a buddhist statue on the tabernacle in the church of St. Francis.

in 1984 the pope said, 'I address a particular greeting to the members of the buddhist tradition as they prepare to celebrate the festivity of the coming of the lord buddha. May your rejoicing be complete and your joy fulfilled.' He then went into the temple and bowed to the buddhist patriarch who stood in front of a gigantic statue of buddha.

Christ is our Head and our King; which is why it's good for a Catholic to recognise acts of apostasy in leaders when they happen, lest we follow their abhorrent example.
viterbo said…
p.s. a re the first comment - by 'fatima newsletter' I meant the latest from the Fatima Network, Fr Gruner's apostolate saying very clearly that 1st of April signing was no joke.
Pastor in Valle said…
On October 15th 1984, exactly a hundred years after this vision, Pope John Paul II published the first relaxation of the putative interdiction on the Traditional Latin Mass. Presumably he signed it a couple of days earlier.
Uncanny, no?
Long-Skirts said…

“It is written, man cannot live by bread only,” (Matthew 4:4)

If I give bread alone
Then man is no more than a dog
Might as well be the first to come
To My banquet out of the fog.

If I give bread alone
Man’s want, only to relieve,
Then I am only a baker
Filling bellies, not souls to believe.

If I give bread alone
Being social reforming reform
Then I am not the Redeemer
Come to save souls through Me and conform.

If I give bread alone
Bring outer abundance instead
Only a cheap leader of people
Leaving their inner holiness dead.

You would have Me begin with security
Yes, bread, there always must be,
Lo, bread gets its power to nourish
“Not by bread alone.” but from Me.
Once while complaining at dinner in the Bronx to a Jesuit professor-priest emeritus from Fordham Univ., after having witnessed the Jesuit president of the Univ. offer the most irreverent Mass I have ever been to, he said, “Well, there is a ‘joke’ that goes like this: What are the two things that DO NOT CHANGE during a Mass celebrated by a Jesuit?….The Bread and the Wine…”

I almost died.
P├ętrus said…

That IS an April Fools Joke.

Here is the link to the source :

Click on the link to the translation of the name of the document.

If Fr. Gruner has been taken in by this then I think it reflects very poorly on him.

Fr John said…
Fr Gruner is suspended and has no faculties. He went AWIL from his diocese and refuses to return despite being commanded to by his bishop and the Vatican. To all intent and purposes he is not a priest any longer. He should not be wearing clerical dress, saying mass or celebrating any sacraments, and undertaking any pastoral work.
Fr John said…
I think your conclusion that the Blessed Sacrament (in the tabernacle) is the supreme spiritual head of the Church is overly simplistic, theologically flawed and therefore incorrect. The spiritual head of the church is God not Christ. The Blessed Sacrament cf doctrine on the real presence is Christ (not God). As you know from the doctrine on the Trinity - Christ alone is not the fullness of God only one aspect of the complete Trinity. You appear to under appreciate the presence and role of God the Father and the Holy Spirit in reigning over the Church.
Anonymous said…
Petrus, give Fr. Gruner a break ...with all the confusion from Rome and this particular Pope it could have been true anyway - I don't trust most of what comes out of Rome nowadays - sorry to say so... which reflects "very poorly" on "them that's holding the fort" (so to speak... ...

I have listened to Fr. Gruner many times and think he is a good and lovely priest...

The Bones said…
Jesus Christ is God the Son. God the Son, Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church.

Jesus Christ is truly present in the Blessed Sacrament - as present as He is in Heaven at the right hand of the Father, for someone cannot be 'a little bit present'.

I think you might be a heretic, Fr John, since you have said, "The Blessed Sacrament cf doctrine on the real presence is Christ (not God)".

Memo to Fr John: Christ is Lord and God. See St Thomas: 'My Lord and my God!'

The Bones said…
Pastor in Valle

That is uncanny.
Anonymous said…
You are very confused in the most basic of the Faith. Our Lord Jesus Christ is God. When we pray to Our Lord and Saviour, we are praying to God (not a third, or any other part of God). The Holy Trinity is one Lord, not three.
Anonymous said…
Mr England, I think you ought not to publish comments from persons presenting themselves as priests, unless you have been given the necessary information to verify that they are priests. I know other Catholic blogs that insist on this. In general, one ought not to publish comments by "priests" that are not in keeping with the Deposit of Faith and which tend to lead people away from the Truth, and bring priests into disrepute.
Anonymous said…
Transubstantiation does not mean that Christ is locally present in the host. It's a common misunderstanding. There is a change in substance, not in the accidents, and place (locality) is an accident. That is orthodoxy, shame an Anglican has to remind you. He he.
viterbo said…
Father Gruner was never suspended, according to:

but who am I to judgoe?

put Fr Fox and Fr Gruner in a line up only one, the one who is still alive, is Faithful to Our Lady.
viterbo said…
p.s. 'scuse me Lawrence - I had the impression that no one, for the most, bothered with my 'comments' save yaself that nothing obscene was included. That said, my 'what's that' knowledge had led me to:

also 'False Friends of Fatima' - don't believe that Sister Lucy became an apostate in the 90s. I've tried to find the web address for the Fatima Network April that I received on the 26th of April 2014 but I can't find it. no doubt it'll come up somewhere.
The Bones said…

Jesus, God and Man is truly present, in the Tabernacle, in very particle of every consecrated Host, Body, Soul, Humanity, Divinity and the vast majority of Anglicans DO NOT believe that, because the vast majority simply do not believe in even the divinity of Christ.

Sorry to have to inform you, but Jesus Christ is truly present in every Tabernacle in every Church, until the End of Time.

That is our glorious Faith.

Sorry to have to remind you of that, as a Catholic.

You will, sadly, never find Jesus present in an Anglican Church.

Fr John said…
Barbara and Viterbo...
According to Fr Gruner, he's not suspended but according to the Vatican he is... funny that, isn't it? The Vatican has also issued an official clarification about his status more than once. He was suspended long before Francis was pope. I think it was under Ratzinger when he was CDF head but you can look it up on google. I wonder why so many commentators on this blog follow schismatic priests?

I think Lorenzo is correct actually, you may want to consult with a theologian Laurence - unless you're too proud to admit the possibility that you might be wrong!
M. Prodigal said…
Upon baptism we become members of the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ who is the Head of this Body.

Christ is indeed present physically--Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in every consecrated Host. The Anglicans do not have a true priesthood to offer the Holy Sacrifice or to confect the Holy Eucharist and thus no Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

Martyrs died to defend the Eucharist; they would not have done that for a piece of bread.
The Bones said…
Fr John

Are you denying the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist?

If Jesus Christ, God and Man, is present in every particle of every consecrated Host.

And in every Tabernacle the Lord Jesus is reserved.

Then Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church is truly present in every Catholic Church.

I'll wait for someone who isn't a heretic to correct me.
Fr John said…
I completely uphold the doctrine of the real presence and Christ's body, blood, soul and divinity in the sacred species - otherwise I wouldn't be a Catholic priest.

M.Prodigal - the doctrine does not insist that Christ is physically present in the Eucharist. That is a misunderstanding on your part and actually a heresy condemned by the church.
The Bones said…
Fr John

Sorry, Fr John.

What is the difference between Jesus Christ being 'truly present in the sacred species' and 'physically present in the sacred species'?
Anonymous said…
See Mystici Corporis.
Anonymous said…
Dear Fr. John,

Well I don't know about him being schismatic but Father Gruner speaks like a real priest - and I like that - a lot. Seems a humble unprententious man to me - who loves Our Lady of Fatima a lot - as I do.

Is there a law against listening to him?

Fr John said…
Thank you for your apology which I will assume is genuine.

The difference is that Christ's real presence in the sacred species is a mystery beyond human comprehension, the process of which we cannot fully understand or explain in human words. To claim that the bread and wine PHYSICALLY become Christ's body and blood is to insist that they literally become human flesh and blood. Note that the doctrine says REAL PRESENCE ie body, blood, soul and divinity. It deliberately does not say physical presence. It is a frequent misunderstanding, most often by those of a 'traditional' bent.
Fr John said…
Yes we shouldn't listen to a schismatic priest since he has no faculties to preach.
The Bones said…
Fr John

You did not provide any link backing up your claim that Christ is certainly not physically present in the Eucharist.

It is truly the Body and Blood, the Soul and Divinity.

Yes, it retains the accidents of bread and wine, yes it tastes like bread and wine, all senses say it is bread and wine, but Holy Church has consistently taught it is CHANGED into the BODY, Blood, soul and divinity of the Lord.

How, I ask you, can this not be literal. The Church has indeed always taught it is literal, not metaphysical.

Have you never heard of the various Eucharistic Miracles that inform us of what the Eucharist IS?

I don't know whether you are the Fr John that has been plaguing other bloggers, but I think you have something of a problem as a Catholic if you do not believe what the Church teaches. It would account for what appears to be your hatred of the Faithful Catholics who defend the Church for the sake of Christ, the Bridegroom, the Victim on the Altar!
Anonymous said…
Mysterium Fidei, Paul VI, 3 September 1965.
Fr John said…
Hi Laurence,
Eucharistic miracles are a completely separate and unrelated phenomenon to the real presence. The bread and wine remain bread and wine in physical terms although they change substantially (ie in substance). The change is sacramental. If the Eucharistic species were placed under a microscope, it would still be seen to be bread and wine (outwardly).

It is rather concerning that someone who considers themselves an authentic well-informed catholic would misunderstand one of the central doctrines of the church. I should not need to provide documentary evidence about this as there is plenty of information freely available.
Ever mindful said…
Whether you use a microscope,or electron will LOOK like bread and wine, but it is IN FACT His Body and Blood...TRUELY,REALLY...

Why.....because He Himself said This is my Body

There is nothing in Mysterium Fidei that would contradict that
Ever mindful said…
Instead of talking of "substance " and " accidents", it is easier to talk of " substance" and " appearance"


The substance is now His real Body and Blood, though the appearance is bread and wine...they are saying the appearance is restricted to a place...but surely where the consecrated bread, now in substance His Body, though in appearance looking like bread...wherever this Consecrated Eucharist is...He is, though macroscopically and microscopically looking(appearing) like bread He is substantially are in His Presence...and for practical purposes He is REALLY there