THE HEART OF MARY
LIFE AND TIMES OF THE HOLY FAMILY
EPILOGUE TO THE HEART OF MARY
But I would not like to close this Divine History leaving in the air any possible suspicion about the possibility of having been known this Divine History by the Catholic Church. The tragic circumstances surrounding the Birth and Infancy of the Catholic Church, and precisely because She were in a constant situation of death, clears any possibility of She heaving hiding the knowledge of this Divine History from the people of Christ.
Regarding the Silence of God, which obliged all His House, its continuity beyond the Resurrection was sealed in the New Testament on the day when the Apostle Paul, with the confirmation of all the Living Apostles, wrote that: “... the whole creation is anxiously awaiting the day of the glory of the freedom of the children of God...”. Let us remember those Origins.
In the 30’s of the century of Christ the first antichristian persecution began. After the Death of Jesus the obstinacy of his Disciples - on the subject of the Resurrection - pushed the Jews to sign a Final Solution of extermination of all Christians.
At first their judges remained convinced that by killing the dog they had stopped the sickness. It was to be expected that their sectarians would never come out of hiding, would return to Galilee and there the episode of the appearance of such an atypical problem would remain. But when, forty days after the Resurrection, the Twelve came out of hiding and began to preach the Gospel, the problem came back.
Confused for not having been able to disperse the flock once the shepherd was dead, hallucinated by the speed at which the news of the Resurrection was spreading throughout Judea, Samaria and Galilee, in the heat of that hatred for airing his crime in the eyes of the entire Empire, the Jews perfected their natural ability for espionage. And they took advantage of the mobility of the Apostles, without arousing among the faithful suspicion of any kind, to place their men among the early Christians.
Knowing the extent of the Movement, those spies surpassed in capacity for intrigue their own chiefs, or perhaps following the order of their princes, they began to spread the word, a terrible anti-Christian hoax, saying that the Apostles were preparing an open rebellion against Caesar. The consequence of that revolution would arouse against Jerusalem the wrath of Rome, final effect on which the Apostles would base the prophetic veracity of their Chief, especially speaking of his prophecy about the fate of Jerusalem, destined to be razed to the ground.
The people were stirred up; public opinion motivated by such exterminating lies, the people stooped down to pick up the first stone. So, after the brief period of tolerance in honor of the Memory of Jesus, once overcome the trauma of having passively resisted the Crucifixion of that young Prophet of Nazareth, the people, frightened by how far his Disciples wanted to take revenge against the Temple, approved the killings of Christians.
Thus, like exterminating angels going through the secret tunnels where that uprising against the Empire was supposedly planned, the Temple blessed the killing of all his disciples, small and big.
The impossibility of convincing those early Christians of the folly of believing in the Resurrection of a man, in the existence of Paradise, in the Incarnation of the Son of God, points in which the Early Christians believed blindly, claiming the existence of Heaven and Hell; because of such a simple faith: “God the only begotten Son became incarnate, became man, and crucified him. On the third day he rose again”, anyone who confessed to the Catholic doctrine par excellence have to be killed
The first historian of the History of Christianity, Mark, of Hebrew origin, and because he was Hebrew, did not want to portray with his pen the gravity of the first exterminating wave. The First Christians would overcome the ordeal.
From the point of view of Roman law, no imperial decree having been signed against religious freedom in general and against Christianity in particular, the public death of the young Saint Stephen could only embarrass the governor of the Jewish state before Caesar.
In the Gospels we see that Jesus had sympathizers within the Roman military. It is to be believed that this sympathy was still alive towards his Disciples. From where it must be implied that the change of Procurator for the Jewish question were influenced by the denunciations of those Roman citizens against the policy of transgression of the religious laws of the Empire by the elected of the Senate. Can it be believed that, counting on the Jewish complicity, Pilate was exposed to be judged and condemned by the Senate on the basis of having broken the law referred? From the facts of Pilate written by his biographers it can be said that this was so. Pilate was tried by the Senate and banished from Rome. Such a serious sentence could only be justified in the transgression of the accused against the laws of the Empire, especially concerning the matter of religious freedom.
This regarding the first wave of extermination of the Church founded by Jesus when he gave Peter the leadership of the Apostles.
And we continue.
Julius Caesar was succeeded in the Empire by his son Octavian Augustus. Augustus was succeeded by Tiberius. Under this Tiberius the imperial anti-Christian persecutions began; the death of the young Stephen took place in his days.
Tiberius, then, was succeeded by Caligula. In the days of this Caligula occurred the Conversion of Paul.
Caligula was succeeded by Claudius. During his reign was murdered James, the eldest of the sons of Thunder; the scandal of this new anti-Christian persecution reached the Senate, which responded to the Jewish fratricidal madness by decreeing the banishment of all Jews from the Imperial City. Foreseeing the events that would follow, the Apostles met in Universal Council, in Jerusalem, in the year 49.
Anyway, the ascent to the throne of the Claudians did not change things much in the matter of the Jewish war against the Christians. Moreover, taking advantage of the madness of the Claudians the Jews conceived to legalize the secret anti-Christian final solution that they were applying under Pontius Pilate. The first bloody wave apparently did not give them the desired result. Apparently while they were killing one, somewhere else ten others were being born. So they sent a certain Saul of Tarsus to buy the permission of the governor of Syria. The idea was to hunt down all the Christians and kill them as they were caught. Until not a single one was left.
Fortunately the courier never returned to his barracks. The death of James in the years immediately following the conversion of St. Paul tells us that, with or without the permission of the Romans, the Jews went ahead with their extermination plans.
The death of James reveals what we could call the second known anti-Christian persecution. Whose echoes by force had to reach Rome and possibly was in the background of the decision that, horrified by such fratricidal behavior, the Senate took: the immediate expulsion of all the Jews from Rome.
That senatorial decision can hardly, on pain of ridicule, be interpreted as a kind of understanding of the Christian theme on the part of the Romans. Indeed, the feeling of the apostles spoke to the contrary. So, gathered by Peter in Jerusalem to discuss in Council the issue of the future of Christianity, in the year 49, in the face of the danger that the future persecutions of the empire represented for the growth of the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth, the Apostles decided to organize and build a Universal Church in front of whose walls the waves of imperial anti-Christianity that was already breaking the horizon would crash.
From that year on, the apostles became the first bishops of the universal church; they would elect their successors, and their successors their successors, and so on. Peter’s headship would pass to his successor.
By the time Nero ascended the throne the apostolic and universal church was already born. Its growth over the centuries would depend exclusively on God. Its original architecture, however, would remain firm.
When, therefore, in the 60’s, Nero decreed the first imperial anti-Christian persecution, what would later be called the Catholic Church had been built on Rock, and was perfectly prepared to resist the downpours, the storms, the earthquakes. Aware, by prophets, of the imperial persecution that, obviously, would sweep through the Christian milieus of the imperial city, Peter and Paul did not move. They already knew the way. Now it was up to them to teach their own how to make that way.
Around that time the Jews rebelled against the empire. But not in response to the anti-Christian persecutions that, at last, the empire ordered. Taking advantage of the madness of the Claudians, a symptom of the coming and immediate fall of Rome, a certain Flavius Josephus, associated with other young independent rebels, launched themselves into the adventure in the belief that they were interpreting Maccabees Part Three.
They were in their suicidal madness when, mysteriously, they set fire to the Temple, disappearing in its flames, miraculously, all the official archives in which any researcher could have opened the records of the trial against Jesus, and found the birth records of all his relatives.
Historians never wanted to dwell on the mystery of that miracle by which Jesus, at the level of official documentation, was banished to the world of fables. They preferred to speak of bad luck, of chance, of chaos, of anything so long as they did not stir the waters. We, in view of the final solution of extermination that the Jews applied three times against the first Christians, cannot remain on the sidelines of the events.
The third exterminating persecution had taken place a few years earlier. The first bishop of Jerusalem, chosen by the apostles personally, none other than James, son of Cleophas, the brother of the Mother of Jesus, with whom the Child was raised; that same James, cousin of Jesus, chosen for the bishopric of Jerusalem, came to fall into the nets of that third criminal wave.
The reason why Flavius Josephus and his independence associates attacked so high we will discover possibly in their failure to unite to their Maccabean war the Christians of Hebrew origin. The obstacle that the brother of the Lord - as the first bishop of Jerusalem was called - meant to the hope of the Judeo-Christian current - to unite Christians and Jews against the Empire - marked the beginning of the third wave, and explains why it aimed so high.
A few years earlier, St. Paul was arrested and sent to Rome because he was a Roman citizen. While there he was caught in the famous fire at the origin of the first imperial persecution.
Never have those first three Jewish anti-Christian waves been described with the force and impact they had. Either because the apostles limited themselves to preach the Gospel, or because during those following centuries the history was written by their enemies, and after some time no one wanted to dive into those tragic memories; for one thing or the other, or both, the truth is that the horror and the Crime against Humanity that the Jews, first, and then the Romans, committed has never been put on the table. The first killed them with stones, the second threw them to the lions as one who throws a piece of meat to the dogs. When and at what time in world history did a Church have such an origin? And if there was any other that had it, which of them passed the test of being the center of hatred of the whole world?
How many innocent creatures did Jews and Romans murder in the name of the eternity of their peoples? How many hundreds of thousands of innocents did the parents of the Jews who still mourn their dead under Nazi Germany murder?
Discussions aside, the loss of the imperial archives under the flames of the Neronian fire, coincidences of life, came to lend arguments to those who would later say that this Christ never existed, except in the imagination of its inventors. At least nowhere in the world, outside of the Gospels, could documents be found that spoke of the existence of this Jesus.
Flavius Josephus, who was one of the leaders of the independence rebellion, traitor to his own, a coward who withdrew from the war that began when he saw that his end was the destruction of his army; this Flavius Josephus took advantage of the circumstances of the legal vacuum left to rewrite the history of the Jewish people, from which, “for the love of truth”, erased from his facts any reference to the persecution of extermination that his people executed.
The man believed that the Church that Jesus Christ had raised would not resist the imperial anti-Christian impact. The man believed that the Church built by his disciples at the Council of Jerusalem would not withstand the shock and would collapse under the weight of the madness of the Caesars. Little did the man know that long before Nero ascended the throne the impact of his madness against the walls of the Catholic Church had already been calculated.
The image of the death of so many thousands of innocents sacrificed to Nero’s madness ended up scandalizing his generals. The struggle between them determined the end of the first anti-Christian attack, to the general joy of all survivors; and reopened a painful chapter for all when Domitian, who had succeeded Titus, successor of Vespasian, in revenge against the Jewish rebels, and believing that the House of David was to blame for the rebellion, threw hand of the relatives of Jesus and preyed on the house of Judas, another of the sons of Cleophas, the brother of the Mother of Christ. In whose death by betrayal is not difficult to discover the hand of the traitor, Flavius Josephus, perfectly aware of who was that Judas, successor in the bishopric of Jerusalem of Simon, the brother of the other James and murdered in his day the parents of this Flavius Josephus. The fact is that this Domitian reopened the anti-Christian persecutions, dying under his rule even members of his own family. Catholicism had already reached such an extreme of growth.
As a result of this second persecution, St. John was exiled. After the death of the last of the apostles the destiny of the Church born in Jerusalem, in 49, was left in the hands of God.
During all the II century the Christians were in the eye of the judges of the empire. Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus, Marcus Aurelius and Commodus persecuted them with no other excuse than the fact that they called themselves Christians. How many innocent people were killed under the patronage of Roman law?
But what did characterize with more property this second century, was the appearance of enlightened people who, taking advantage of the vacuum left by the disappearance of the Apostles, tried to fill a certain Marcion, a certain Cerdon, a certain Valentinus, a certain Montano and a certain Tacian the Syrian, among others. With these characters the attack against the Universal Church Building arose from within, being the doctrinal Unity itself the one that would be threatened by the fanaticism and lust for power of the aforementioned.
Marcion took his insolence to the point of rejecting the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and John and all the epistles other than those of Paul.
Cerdon brought his schizophrenia to the point of denouncing in God two totally different persons, one of the Old Testament and the other of the New.
Valentinus surpassed the two previous ones by writing his own gospel and subjecting Christian doctrine to the school of the magi, it is said, in reproach for not having been accepted as successor of Peter.
However, Montano will surpass Valentinus by identifying himself with the Holy Spirit.
Tacian the Syrian, not to be less than his associates, rejected Paul and his Acts and forbade marriage.
Curiously, and in spite of the obvious pathology, which from the Christian point of view their doctrines represented, there were people who follow them.
So after the disappearance of the Twelve, the Universal Church built by them, but founded by Jesus, had to deal with a pack of madmen threatening to break the Unity so necessary to resist the downpours, storms and earthquakes.
Against such enlightened ones God awakened his spirit of intelligence in brilliant minds of the time. A Narcissus, a Theophilus, an Apollinaris, a Meliton, a Dionysius of Corinth, and, among them shining with his fabulous light, an Irenaeus of Lyons.
The third century saw the rise to power of the dynasty of the Severi. Its members maintained the anti-Christian persecutions. In those times was born the man who was to bring about the definitive fusion between classical philosophy and Christian thought. We speak of Origen.
The anarchy that resulted from the assassination of the last of the Severi seems to have somewhat relaxed the situation of Christianity. But in 250 the emperor Decius reopened the chapter. That he maintained during one year. He died in combat and his successor reopened it again. Until he was defeated by another Roman general, who in turn was defeated by Valerian, the following in the list of the emperors exterminators of Christians.
Curiously the son of the same Valerian, Gallienus, was the one who signed the peace with the Catholic Church on behalf of all Christians. Peace that his successors Claudius II and Aurelian would respect.
The ascension to the throne of Diocletian, the bête noire of the time, provoked the bloodiest massacre in written memory after that of Nero himself. A slaughter that, beyond forecasts and calculations, would become the prelude to the rise to the throne of Constantine the Great.
Given the immensity and fragility of the empire, Diocletian associated to power his colleague Maximian, in the first instance, and later Constantius Chlorus, father of the future Constantine.
At the beginning of the fourth century, then, such was the situation of the empire and of the Christians within its structure. In 305 Diocletian abdicated. The following year, when his father died, Constantine was pronounced Caesar. So was Galerius as successor of Diocletian, and Maximinus Daia after Galerius. These last two intensified the persecutions in a terrible way. Moved by zeal for his mother, the no less famous St. Helena, Constantine leapt to the defense of Christianity. First he confronted Maxentius and defeated him in the famous legendary battle where the Sign of the Cross appeared to him on October 12, 312. Then he confronted his associates until he finished them off and rose as sole Caesar.
With him came the victory of the Church founded by Jesus Christ and exposed to the winds, the storms, the earthquakes of politics and the movements of nations.
In that year and forever the indestructibility of the Universal, or Catholic, Church was demonstrated.
This is a brief summary of the facts against which the Mother Church was confronted in her first days of life. It was her Divine Husband who announced that She would pass through those trials so that His Wisdom might be exposed to the eyes of all who from the future would see the birth and growth of His House.
The Seal with which the Covenant was signed between the Lord Jesus and His Church was not carved in stone, but in the hearts, and it was not written with ink, but with blood. Not because He was leaving Her, but He was leaving Her so that the Law might be fulfilled: “Thou shalt ardently seek thy husband, who shall rule over thee”.
About the time only the Eternal Father knew when, but whatever time passed She was born to give offspring to her Lord, according to the Law: “He will be called everlasting Father”.