Saint Josaphat teaches us that all outside the one fold, schismatics, heretics, or infidels, are deadly enemies of Christ's Church; and that intimacy with them is most dangerous to our souls. 'The Apostles and their disciples had such a horror of heresy, that they would not speak one single word to those who had corrupted the truth.'--St. Irenaus.
'If any man come to you and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into the house, nor say to him, God speed you.'--2 John i. 10.
Among the conversions wrought by the martyrdom of S. Josaphat none is so wonderful as that of Meletius Smotricki. After long wavering he joined the schism, was consecrated archbishop by another systematical prelate, and, filled with fanatical hate, took part in the martyrdom of the Saint. After this he fled to the East; disgusted however with all he saw, he returned to Poland, and secretly made his submission to the Holy See. In an unguarded moment he was betrayed into signing a recantation; but he was speedily reconciled, and the penitential zeal of his remaining years testified to the sincerity of his conversion and his filial love of the Catholic Roman Church. He died A.D. 1633.
We pray that Pope Francis, Bishop Fellay,
Bishop Williamson, Bishop Faure, Bishop Aquinas,
Bishop de Galeretta, BishopTissier de Mallerais
heed the above words of St. Josaphat!
Bishop de Galarreta
Bishop Tissier de Mallerais
Stir up, O Lord, we beseech thee, in thy Church "the Spirit wherewith the blessed Josaphat thy Martyr and Pontiff was filled." Thus prays our Mother today; and the Gospel likewise points to her desire of obtaining pastors like to thee, O holy Bishop! The sacred text speaks of the false shepherd, who flees at first sight of the wolf; but the homily, which explains it in the Night Office, brands equally with the title of hireling the keeper who, though he does not flee, suffers the enemy unresisted to work havoc in the fold. May the divine Shepherd, whom thou didst imitate unto the end, even unto laying down thy life for the sheep, live again in all those whom he calls, like Peter, to exercise a greater love.
Apostle of unity, second the designs of the Sovereign Pontiff, calling back his scattered sheep to the one fold. The Guardian Angels of the Slavonic race applauded thy combats: thy blood ought to produce other heroes; the graces won by the shedding of that blood still uphold the admirable population of the humble and the poor of Ruthenia, in resisting the all-powerful schism; while, on the confines of that land of martyrs, hope springs up anew with the revival of the great Basilian Order, of which thou wast the glory. May these graces overflow upon the children of the persecutors; may the present state of peace be the prelude to a full development of the light, and lead them back, in their turn, to that Rome which holds for them the promises both of time and of eternity.
As Dom Guéranger declared:
When the shepherd turns into a wolf, the first duty of the flock is to defend itself .... The true children of Holy Church (in times of crisis...) are not the cowardly souls who, under the specious pretext of submission to the powers that be [i.e., those in charge], delay their opposition to the enemy in the hope of receiving instructions.....
The Liturgical Year, Vol. IV, Dom Guéranger; see the entry for the Feast of St. Cyril of Alexandria, February 9th.