The State of the Faith in Mexico

When Pope Francis recently visited Mexico, the Church there rented gigantic stadiums and staged elaborate, choreographed productions. But is this the Mexican reality? Mexico‘s a big place, so it’s hard to generalize about 120 million people. REGINA’s commentators — all of whom are Mexican or who live in Mexico today — have observed the people … Read more

Hidden Jewel: The Latin Mass in Mexico

REGINA: The Latin Mass is almost unknown in most of Mexico. Why is this? Maria Albers: Unless you are/were educated in a Catholic institution or raised in a Catholic family with basic knowledge of the religion, you won’t learn much about religion from other sources. That, together with the lukewarm attitude towards the Faith, doesn’t … Read more

‘Imagine No Heaven’: Mexico Without Vocations

  ANTI-CATHOLIC POP ART: Mexico’s media and art elites have for over 200 years worked assiduously at discrediting the Church’s religious Orders, but until recent decades the country nevertheless had many vocations. This has suddenly ground to a halt nearly everywhere except one or two traditional states. What’s going on? Frank and Irene Denke: While I … Read more

Mexico’s Marriage Problem

Feminism among the elites plus widespread consumerism and materialism are taking their toll on Mexican marriages and families, as our correspondents report.  REGINA: Are young Mexicans marrying and having children?   Maria Albers: Sadly, as time passes, less and less people believe in the institution of marriage in Mexico, either not seeing the need to … Read more

Buying Happiness in Mexico

REGINA: As young Mexicans abandon the pueblos and move to the cities and across the US border in search of work, are they becoming more consumeristic?   Matthew Cullinan Hoffman: Based on my conversations with Mexicans and my personal impressions of the country, the answer is that yes, Mexicans are becoming more materialistic and consumeristic … Read more

Apostasy in Mexico

REGINA: Some Mexican immigrants to the United States are abandoning the Church in favor of evangelical sects; is this happening in Mexico too?   Maria Albers: That’s correct, and it has been happening in Mexico for a long time, except that (Catholic) Mexicans converting to Evangelical sects has accelerated in recent times with social media … Read more

Abortion on Demand in Mexico

REGINA: US-based NGO-led efforts to force legalized abortion on the Mexican population have been enthusiastically supported by the anti-Catholic government there — but what has been the effect on the people? Derik Castillo Guajardo: The law on abortion has been publicized in mass media, and clinics like Marie Stopes have been opening in the Capital. … Read more

The Testing of Bishop Juan de Zumárraga

by Dan Flaherty Photos by Beverly Stevens It wasn’t supposed to happen this way to Juan de Zumárraga. He had lived a relatively privileged life in the Spain of the 15th century. Born to a noble family in 1468, he came of age in the newly re-conquered Spain that Isabella and Ferdinand had liberated from … Read more

Mexico’s Lost Catholic History

REGINA: The Church in Mexico has an amazing history, but are Mexicans today aware of this? Are they taught about the early missionaries, the Cristeros Martyrs, how the Church formed the first universities in Mexico? Fr. Jonathan Romanoski:  In general the Masons, who since Benito Juárez have stolen the government of Mexico, usurping for themselves … Read more

Saint Alban, Protomartyr

June 22

Today is the feast day of Saint Alban.  Ora pro nobis.

St Alban was an Englishman, and a pagan by birth. During the persecution of Diocletian, he fortunately received into his house a holy ecclesiastic, who was flying from the persecutors. Alban was greatly edified by the saintly life of his guest, who was almost continually employed in prayer. Knowing him to be a Christian, our saint begged to be instructed in the religion.  The clergyman so forcibly showed him the extravagances of idolatry, and the truth of the doctrines of Jesus Christ, that Alban embraced the Christian faith.

It was discovered after some time that the ecclesiastic, after whom search was being made, lay concealed in Alban’s house.  The governor sent a party of soldiers to seize him.  But Alban, upon their approach, put on the habit of the clergyman, and enabled him to effect his escape.  Alban was accordingly arrested and brought before the governor. Seeing Alban, with whom he had been acquainted, in that strange dress, and judging that he had become a Christian, he threatened that if the saint would not abandon the faith, he would cause him to suffer all the torments.

The magistrate asked, “of what family and race are you?”

“How can it concern thee to know of what stock I am?” answered Alban.  If thou desirest to know what religion, I will tell thee-I am a Christian and am bound by Christian obligations.”

“I ask thy name, tell me immediately.”

“I am called Albanus by my parents,” he replied, “and I worship and adore the true and living God who created all things.” 

Then the governor said, If thou wilt enjoy eternal life, delay not to sacrifice to the great gods.”

Alban rejoined, “These sacrifices which are offered to devils are to no avail.  hell is the reward of those who offer them.

The governor then caused him to be cruelly scourged.  Alban suffered this torture, and many others that followed it, with such joy, that the governor, despairing of being able to change his resolve, condemned him to be beheaded.

Saint Alban proceeded to the place of execution, as though it were to a banquet.  Having arrived at the bank of the river, which should be crossed in order to reach the destined place, such a multitude had assembled, that it was considered impossible to pass the bridge before evening. Hereupon the saint, anxious to give his life for Jesus Christ, prayed to the Lord, and the waters, dividing themselves on either side, left a dry passage to the opposite bank. At the sight of this miracle the executioner was converted, and happily obtained the crown of martyrdom together with St Alban.

The whole legend as known to Bede was probably in existence in the first half of the sixth century (W. Meyer, “Legende des h. Albanus“, p. 21), and was used by Gildas before 547. The commonly received account of the martyrdom of St. Alban meets us as early as the pages of Bede “Ecclesiastical History” (Bk. I, chs. vii and xviii).  His feast is still kept as of old, on 22 June, and it is celebrated throughout England as a greater double. 

In art, St Alban is represented, sometimes in civil and sometimes in military dress, bearing the palm of martyrdom and a sword, or a cross and a sword.  

Image: Heraclius takes down St. Alban’s head from a 13th Century manuscript of The Life of St. Alban (5)



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