In The Garden of Charlemagne

Medieval Horticulture, Part 2: In The Garden of Charlemagne.  A sequel to: Medieval Horticulture, Part 1: Monastic Herbalism

In 476 A.D. the Emperor Romulus Augustus was overthrown by the germanic hordes and any order that the Roman Empire had brought to Europe for centuries was finished. The fall of Rome in the west would cast the former territories of the Empire into centuries of ignorance and squalor, we are told, particularly the areas farthest from it. This is the accepted history, and it is an enormous oversimplification.

Landtag beraet ueber Klage des Freistaats gegen den Laenderfinanzausgleich
“Imperial Coronation of Charlemagne” by Friedrich Kaulbach, 1861

Just a few decades later, after all, one of the germanic tribes, the Franks, were unified under one king, named Clovis I. Unlike the other tribes, which were mainly Arian, the Franks were Catholic due to Clovis’ wife insistence and his conversion on Christmas Day in 508 A.D.. The germanic tribes would continue their chaotic rule over much of the former Empire in the west, for a time, but in 768 A.D. a man named Charles rose to lead the Franks and re-establish order. Charles would go on to conquer the other tribes, and became Holy Roman Emperor. Even during his life he was referred to as “Charles the Great” which translates in French, of course, to Charlemagne.

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The Crusades: Re-Thought Or Re-Written?

templarThe Crusades are like White Castle hamburgers. Either you love them or you hate them. Of course, given the secular, anti-Christian education most people are subjected to these days, the overwhelming majority of people hate them as “Eurocentric” imperialism.

However, on what basis were they bad?

First of all, what were the Crusades? They were wars in which the Crusade Indulgence was granted by the Pope.  While most people who hear the term think only of the Crusades to retake the Holy Land from the jihad, there were Crusades in other lands as well.  There were Crusades against the jihad in the Iberian Peninsula, normally referred to as the Reconquista. There was a Crusade preached against the Albigensian Cathari in Languedoc in the South of France. There were the Northern Crusades, including the Wendish, Livonian, Swedish, Danish, and Prussian Crusades, and a Crusade against the Bogomils in Bosnia.

However, since the average person with a modern, secular education only knows of the Eastern Crusades and, possibly, the Reconquista, I will be discussing only the Crusades against the jihad in this article.

It is important to remember that at the founding of Islam by Muhammad, the world looked like this:

All of the purple area (fitting, it being the Imperial color) was Christian. This was pre-Great Schism, so while all of the Empire was Christian, not all Christian lands were part of the Empire (an important point later).

Satan first appeared to Continue reading “The Crusades: Re-Thought Or Re-Written?”

Traditions: Monastic Herbalism

Some say the monastics of the Middle Ages merely kept good records of the classical era, preserved them, copied them, and made use of them. Others say they developed many skills and a great deal of information themselves through trial and error. What cannot be doubted, though, is that monks and nuns of medieval times had records, gardens and medicines for the practice of herbalism. Indeed, they were the practicing masters of it, particularly the Benedictines, and they held and built this treasure of knowledge for over a millennium, with some continuing to do so to this day.

 

herbs
Sage, rue and rosemary.

Ancient Rome used herbs as part of its medical system. Indeed, the Roman Army took seeds with them along the way so they could plant and use them when they dug in at a particular location. The system itself came mainly from Greek discoveries, particularly Hippocrates and his followers, and it is well recorded that the Hippocratic humeral system was used by Ancient Rome. This system held that an excess or deficiency of any of four bodily fluids in a person, called humours, had a direct effect on their health and attitude. Herbs were among the things that they thought could restore balance to the humours. While the system was flawed in its foundational assumptions, the trial and error involved in it led to discovering many herbs and plants that helped the body to heal itself.

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Why Latin?

oldmassIt is true that Jesus Christ probably did not speak much Latin.  For those arguing against the traditional language of the Church, this seems to be a significant point–a bomb they can drop to end the argument over whether Latin is needed at all these days.  But truth cannot be found in clichés or one-liners, truth takes a closer examination, truth requires looking to tradition.  Why not take the time to do that?

We’ve assembled some of the sources for you right here.  Read through it and click any portion you may find interesting.  But first a note about both ends of the history.

First, Jesus Christ clearly founded the Church in the Book of Acts, and He then sent his disciples to the “ends of the Earth.” In that age there was only place where all roads led, where a Church could be central and universal, and that was Rome. Peter and Paul were there, and these facts gave Latin all the credibility it needed to become and last as the lingua franca of the Latin Church for over a millennium.

At the other end of history, even the documents of Pope John XXIII and Vatican II call for Latin’s respect and preservation. Regardless, the modernists left the council crying for a level of unprecedented change that swept Latin right out the door with many other great traditions of the Church.  This treatment was not called for, as history reveals and tradition requires.


Pope Benedict XVI’s Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum expanding access to the Traditional Latin Mass (2007).


Pope Benedict XVI’s letter to the bishops accompanying the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum (2007).


The formation of the Fraternitas Sacerdotalis Sancti Petri (FSSP) as a traditionalist Catholic society for priests interested in promoting and protecting the Traditional Latin Mass, which broke off from the SSPX and is in communion with the Holy See, occurs (1988).


Bl. Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic Constitution Scripturarium Thesaurus promolgating the Nova Vulgata (1979).


The Nova Vulgata, or new Vulgate, the official modern version of St. Jerome’s Vulgate Bible, is published (1979).


The Ottaviani Intervention, a famous letter by Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani to Pope Paul VI stressing that the Traditional Latin Mass should not be replaced by the new mass (1969).


Vatican II’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy Sacrosanctum Concilium, is promolgated by Pope Paul VI, allowing for Mass in the vernacular instead of Latin when a territorial decree permits the exception, see p. 36. (1963). (Permission for the change was obtained by U.S. bishops in May of 1964.)


Bl. Pope John XXIII’s Apostolic Constitution Veterum Sapientia on the Promotion of the Study of Latin (1962).


Pope St. Pius X‘s Motu Propio Tra le Sollecitudini stresses the majesty and importance of Gregorian Chant as a part of the liturgy (1903).


Following the Council of Trent, Pope Clement VIII issues the Papal Bull Cum Sacrorum accompanying the issuance of the Clementine Vulgate (searchable text), the revision of St. Jerome’s Vulgate Bible, which stands until the 1979 revision (1592).


Pope St. Pius V‘s Apostolic Constitution Quo Primum is issued, implementing the decision of the Council of Trent to require the use of the historic Latin liturgy in perpetuity, and foregoing any other which did not have 200 years of consistent use by that date (1570).


Pope St. Gregory The Great formalizes the Mass in Latin and, tradition states, begins Gregorian Chant during his pontificate (c. 600).


St. Jerome writes a letter to Pope Damasus prefacing his translation of the Gospels into Latin (c. 377).


St. Irenaeus describes the “Church founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul” at Book 3 Chap. 3 Para. 2 of his work Against Heresies (c. 180).


St. Paul arrives in Rome, Acts 28:11, later martyred there (c. 64).


The saints, the sinners, more than likely your ancient ancestors knew the Mass in Latin, as Jesus no doubt knew would happen.  You do not need to speak it to attend the Traditional Latin Mass, but you do need to know that it is a part of you, your Church and your tradition.