The Catholic Southern Front

Chapter 2 – Soldiery and War in the History of Salvation

The Old Testament clearly reveals that the Jewish Nation was forced to defend its territory and battled menacing neighbors understandably more often than it would have preferred. The battles and wars taking place between the Orthodox Jews and the gentiles resulted in victories attributed to the supernatural aid granted by the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Such battles elucidated in Scripture include the wars waged against the Philistines, the Ammonites, the Aramaeans, the Assyrians, and the sinful tribe of the Benjaminites, the Moabites, the Edomites, against Tyre, Sidon and Egypt, the Ethiopians, the Idumaeans and the enemies of the warrior Maccabees. The periods leading to the Egyptian exile and the Babylonian captivity by the Chaldaeans occurred as a result of the unfaithfulness, sin and disobedience on the part of the people in regard to their God. Nonetheless, these periods of exile ended with the plunder of Egypt and the destruction of the Egyptian army and later of the Babylonian Kingdom. Notwithstanding such victories, absolute destruction befell the Jewish Nation whenever God’s grace was absent by way of mankind’s sin. Such utter Jewish defeats occurred in 70 AD and 130 AD during the rebellions against their Roman over-lords. Therefore, it can safely be concluded that this nation’s success at conquering its foe was owed entirely to its God. As Psalm 147 clearly reveals: “The strength of the war horse means nothing to Him, it is not infantry that interests Him. Yahweh is interested only in those who fear Him, in those who rely on his love.” As the Messiah Jesus Christ preached the concept of love for neighbor and God, obedience to this instruction would have resulted in abundant peace. However, humanity being weak natured discovered that war and conflict were inevitable consequences of its sin. It is particularly important to note that the God of the Jews, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and later the God of the Christians, in particular the God of the Holy Roman Catholic Church, is not a ‘Warmonger.’ The Lord does not demand war, He is not Mars, He is a God of Peace, however, He is also a ‘Great Deliverer’ and will deliver His own from their persecutors and the persecuting nations by way of war if circumstances warrant this.

Throughout the past two thousand years during times absent of ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction,’ or WMDs, the concepts of the ‘Just War Theory’ and ‘penitential warfare,’ sufficiently explained the moral questions and obligations for taking up arms in defense of one’s religion, people and country, often many died as martyrs in the process. In this present age such chivalrous and romantic concepts are terribly outdated and unsuited for the complexity of the present condition of human civilization. It would also be an unwise matter to leave unturned the fact that modern man is subject to the same forces of good and evil which have closely governed mankind through every age since the beginning of time. Jesus Christ’s words still hold as ever before, the love of neighbor and God can still leave no place for sin and its dire consequences of war. Were the old fashioned Ten Commandments observed, war would not result by way of hatred between humanity’s races, the Almighty would not unleash any chastisements (Revelation 6-9). Pope John XXIII said: “For a Christian who believes in Jesus and his Gospel, war is an iniquity and a contradiction.”(1) Therefore, Christians are obliged to read CCC 2302 to 2317 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church for a better understanding on the subject matter of ‘Self-defense, Peace and War’ in the light of the Fifth Commandment ‘Thou shall not kill.’

With the advent of Jesus Christ, the Messiah and Savior of mankind, the soldiery were not forsaken nor deprived of proper moral instruction. On the contrary, during the times when Jesus Christ walked the Earth soldiers were instructed both previously and during his public mission. Luke 3:10-11 describes the crowd asking Saint John the Baptist, “What should we do?” he replied, “If any one has two tunics he must share with the one who has none, and the one with something to eat must do the same.” Later, “…Some soldiers asked him in their turn, ‘What about us? What must we do?’ He said to them, ‘No intimidation! No extortion! Be content with your pay!’” According to the ‘Just War Theory’ it would be argued first by Saint Augustine and later by Saint Thomas Aquinas, that the Baptist’s preaching essentially instructs all soldiery to be good men (and women) whilst employed in the armed forces. ‘Good’ meaning men and women with upright morals who defend the people who are just and who should be content with their pay. Therefore, Saint John the Baptist encourages the creation of the various national institutions of the armed forces and it is a fallacy the notion that the Lord does not desire the existence of such a functional organ of society. Professional soldiers are not in contradiction with any of the ‘Ten Commandments.’ The Roman Catholic Church does not interpret Our Lord’s words such as ‘turn the other cheek’ and ‘who fights with the sword dies by the sword,’ as discouraging the self-defense of one’s country and people, (please refer to Chapter 57, section on Saint Francis of Assisi). However, Saint John the Baptist indicates that which is essentially a sinful act committed by soldiery. Firstly, the principle to ‘de-Christianize’ the soldiery on the premise that guilt feelings would arise on shooting dead an enemy, is in direct opposition to John’s teachings. Similarly to ordinary civilians, combatants are in need of moral Christian instruction. In today’s world an act of war cannot be justified by the ancient ‘Just War Theory’ and ‘penitential warfare,’ as interpreted by the crusaders, for our age is not eleventh century Europe nor medieval Outreamer. As the argument might lead us to believe that soldiers are in truth trained to kill, it is necessary to point out that differing ways of military training would produce various sorts of combatant personnel. It is surely not hard to comprehend the consequences of depriving proper Christian moral instruction or depriving the Catholic Sacraments to such. Combatant personnel should be trained to protect the civillian and in so doing they would positively reflect the ethical and moral background of a Christian country. The outrageous behavior of certain soldiers who ‘smash the bars in every port,’ or who are trained by bullying and sodomy, in what is referred to as the ‘rule of the grandfather,’ is serious questionable behavior.

Reversing Saint John’s teaching can help us point out what was considered sinful in those early Christian days. It therefore follows that the use of the military forces for intimidation, extortion and material profit were deemed as ‘sinful acts’ by Saint John. This simple moral instruction is valid also for our day. Were this rationale further applied and extrapolated, it would seem that it is a particularly questionable practice to deploy the military for the take over and the unjustified aggression of a foreign country, to provoke a military coup in a democratically elected government and to exact unfair taxes and wealth by means of deploying military force. In our modern world are these acts perpetrated ? The act of deploying the military for the financial gain, the resource control or for strategic regional intimidation, does not constitute self-defense. However, due to the complexity of modern day warfare, the advanced technology of ICBM (Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles) makes the topic on the self defense of a country and its economic interests and survival, a tricky issue indeed.

It is Saint John the Baptist who lays down the precept that modern and fully equipped armed forces are essential and necessary for the defense of one’s people and for upholding the peace. The Baptist’s teachings lay the foundations to postulate that aggression, or a ‘pre-emptive strike,’ without the evidence needed demonstarting that one’s people are threatened, would therefore constitute a gross distortion of the protective role the armed forces should provide. The various departments of defense and the armed forces should protect the honest citizens and civilians who are not criminals. Therefore, super surveillance devices which constantly monitor civilians depriving them of their privacy, while treating them as ‘alias criminals,’ is definitely a direct attempt at harassing and intimidating any nation’s law abiding citizen.

The proliferation of nuclear warheads (and other kinds of WMDs), especially belonging to rogue states, must be limited. However due to the double standards abounding in the world; WMD proliferation continues unabated. The modern unified political theory supports the concept of proliferation of WMDs as a deterrent; the increase in worldwide unified industrial, governmental and monetary policies, are also thought to produce the elusive ‘Peace and Security’ which has been promised repeatedly by the world’s federalist and socialist politicians. The ancient ‘Pax Romana’ was doomed for failure, the pagan Roman Empire sufficiently proves that without the ‘hope’ Christ offers, this world can only offer but a false peace. When considering such hi-tech super-surveillance systems, the proliferation of new WMD technology and the use of depleted radioactive uranium in deep penetrating bombs, damaging the soil, crops and mutilating the genetic make-up of a population for ‘ever,’ doesn’t the popular rhetoric of ‘peace and security through mutual deterrents,’ become an absolute absurd notion just like the romantic idea of a ‘just war’? Apart from these matters, the future for the numerous diverse national and international military units seems bleak and by far ever more anti-Christian when considering that scientists this day are attempting to produce the ultimate soldier-marionette. By the means of implanted brain circuitry, which would override a soldier’s emotions such as fear and maybe also override the will, the intent is to develop a cyborg soldier, a robotic enhanced soldier or maybe also a genetically modified super-human soldier. How far can the absurd, the lust for dominion and control be furthered by the reprobate?

Modern theories and thought suggest that the money supply and funds at disposal would determine the final outcome of a war. Similarly, in antiquity the numerical superiority of an army suggested a likely victorious outcome. This popular view has recently been questioned following the filmatographic production of the legendry Battle of Thermopyle, where allegedly 300 Spartan Greeks delayed a Persian Army possibly consisting of 500,000 men. This book sets out to disprove both concepts and rather ridicule the fact that, neither limitless amounts of funds nor numerical superiority can produce a ‘Liturgical Victory.’ For when the God of Hosts is involved, nothing and no one can stand. The demise of Communist USSR was exteriorly brought about by its financial implosion, however many do indeed ignore the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, an act accomplished by the Roman Pontiff Pope John Paul II on March 25, 1984. Previous to World War II Herr Hitler postulated that 80,000,000 Germans couldn’t live any longer in the confines of German territory and needed the Russian heartland to survive. Apart from the territorial expanse, the Russian heartland was sought for the fact that it abounded in natural resources. The aggressive Third Reich, whose leader was consecrated to the ‘Prince of this world,’ intended to gain control and lay its hands on the Red Star’s resources. Misconceptions suggest that wars are fought due to the population necessities for land mass, space and water. It is a fact rather, that hatred between the various races of mankind and a consequence of our sins, causes the unleashing of the Apocalyptic war-horse, a direct chastisement from the part of the Almighty. The surest and quickest way for politicians to ensure true and everlasting peace would come about by protecting the Roman Catholic Church and ensuring its survival. For within this Church alone lie the keys which can unlock heaven and lock up hell (Matthew 16:15-19).

Luke 7:1-10 describes Jesus Christ having mercy for the Roman centurion’s servant: “When Jesus had finished saying all this in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. There a centurion’s servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die. The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant. When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, “This Man deserves to have you do this, because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue.” So Jesus went with them. He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to him: “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.” Within this centurion, the Lord discovered a certain quality of faith, which was absent elsewhere in the City of Caparnaum. The most unlikely of persons, a Roman centurion, in other words ‘a gentile’ an ambassador of the pagan Empire, the conquering force and the aggressor of the Jewish Nation. Nonetheless, this soldier was an exception; he was a friend of the Jews and helped erect a synagogue in Caparnaum. The Roman centurion must have been very astute and loved the peace or he could have recognized the redemptive qualities pertaining exclusively to Orthodox Judaism. However, on realizing that Jesus Christ had an authority unequaled by any power in this world, when the occasion arose he quickly turned to avail of the Lord’s Mercy. Had the Roman centurion considered that Caesar’s mercy could have healed his servant, he would have sought Caesar’s help in Rome, but he rather turned to Jesus Christ for Mercy. Shamefully for the Jewish Nation, this pagan and gentile man recognized the Messiah’s salvivic power. Jesus Christ Himself stated in Scripture (Matthew 11:23) “And you, Caparnaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths. If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day.” The Lord was amazed by the centurion’s faith. This centurion was the first known military serviceman to acknowledge and have faith in Jesus Christ. In later centuries many followed the centurion’s example, these were the Christian soldiery who were to become heroes of the early Church and the prime models of emulation for the future generations of Christian servicemen.

It is worth mentioning that amongst the sinful Roman soldiers who executed Pontius Pilate’s orders and delivered Jesus Christ to the bloodthirsty mob, was a certain centurion by the name of Longinus. During His agony and crucifixion, Jesus Christ prayed for the forgiveness of such a crime. The Lord uttered the prophetic words of King David’s Psalm 22: “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?” The Lord called for God in the day of trouble. Luke 23:44-47 explains that: “It was now about the sixth hour and, with the sun eclipsed, a darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. The veil of the Temple was torn right down the middle and when Jesus had cried out in a loud voice, he said, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit’. With these words He breathed his last.” Mark 15:39 says: “And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, heard his cry and saw how he died, he said, ‘Surely this man was the Son of God!’” In Luke’s gospel the centurion is mentioned of having given praise to God. Therefore, the centurion was initially an onlooker and later, a man of Faith who converted throughout the process of Christ’s crucifixion. Luke 23:48,49 continues: “And when all the people who had gathered for the spectacle saw what had happened, they went home beating their breasts. All his friends stood at a distance; so also did the women who had accompanied him from Galilee, and they saw all this happen.”

The Blessed Mother consistently accompanied her Son unto his death and removal from the Cross; this was portrayed in the cinematographic production, ‘The Passion,’ (Director Mel Gibson, Icon Productions, USA, 2004.) The Lord gave her to the disciple, “Dear woman here is your son,” and “Here is your mother”(John 19:26,27). Soldiers crucified the Lord, cast lots for his clothing and pierced his side. Surely none of these soldiers were Christian before the crucifixion. The Roman soldier Longinus pierced Christ’s side, out of which gushed forth the vivifying graces of Mercy. Following his action Longinus himself immediately converted to the Faith. John 19:31-37 reveals: “It was Preparation Day, and to prevent the bodies from remaining on the cross during the Sabbath, since that Sabbath was a day of special solemnity, the Jews asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken away. Consequently the soldiers came and broke the leg of the first man who had been crucified with him and then of the other. When they came to Jesus, they found He was already dead, and so instead of breaking his legs one of the soldiers pierced his side with a lance; and immediately there came out blood and water. This is the evidence of one who saw it, trustworthy evidence, and he knows he speaks the truth, and he gives it so that you may believe as well. Because all this happened to fulfill the words of scripture: Not one bone of his will be broken; and again, in another place scripture says: They will look on the one whom they have pierced.”

Throughout salvation history Christian martyrs would frequently offer their suffering and martyrdom for the conversion of their executioner. Following his piercing the Lord, Longinus’ conversion to Christianity was ‘immediate.’ The Polish nun Saint Sister Faustina Kowalska belonging to the Order of Our Lady of Mercy in Krakowia Poland, affirmed that the Lord’s Divine Mercy is infinite and that even the hardest of sinners can obtain God’s Mercy. Saint Longinus’ action was prophesied by Zechariah 12:10, “They will look on the one whom they have pierced.” Longinus the Roman Centurion who was the first military martyr for the Faith was in later years tortured and beheaded. Saint Longinus’s executioner was in turn himself converted to the Faith. The spear which Longinus utilized for piercing the sacred body and heart of Jesus Christ, was discovered during the First Crusade. This spear is today securely placed within a pillar surrounding the Pontifical Altar of Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome, Italy.

Scripture reveals that the first persons to witness the Resurrection of Our Lord and therefore, the fulfillment of Our Lord’s Redemption, were the Blessed Virgin and Mary of Magdala. The Roman soldiers who were placed at the Holy Sepulcher under the orders of Pontius Pilate and the ‘synagogue of satan’ (Revelation 2:9, Revelation 3:9), also witnessed the Lord’s Resurrection. Matthew 27: 62-66 and 28:1-8 recount the events: “Next day, that is, when Preparation Day was over, the chief priests and the Pharisees went in a body to Pilate and said to him, ‘Your Excellency, we recall that this impostor said, while he was still alive, “After three days I shall rise again.” Therefore give the order to have the sepulcher kept secure until the third day, for fear his disciples come and steal him away and tell the people, “He has risen from the dead”. This last piece of fraud would be worse than what went before.’ ‘You may have your guard’ said Pilate to them. ‘Go and make all as secure as you know how.’ So they went and made the sepulcher secure, putting seals on the stone and mounting a guard. After the Sabbath, and towards dawn on the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala and the other Mary went to visit the sepulcher. And all at once there was a violent earthquake, for the angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled away the stone and sat on it. His face was like lightning, his robe white as snow. The guards were so shaken, so frightened of him that they were like dead men. But the angel spoke and he said to the women, ‘There is no need for you to be afraid. I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said he would. Come and see the place where he lay, then go quickly and tell the disciples, “He has risen from the dead and now he is going before you to Galilee; it is there you will see him”. Now I have told you.’ Filled with awe and great joy the women came quickly away from the tomb and ran to tell the disciples.” By His own will, Jesus Christ laid down His life, only to take it back (John 10:17,18). His Resurrection was the fulfillment of the ancient prophecies and He conquered death and the vastness of mankind’s sin and ingratitude. Saint Anthony’s favorite Biblical verses proclaim the Savior’s victory: “…the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, has conquered” (Genesis 49:8-10, Revelation 5:5).

The days, months and years following the Messiah’s death and resurrection, were filled with courageous preaching and evangelization. Christianity spread like wild fire, a religion open to all who were prepared to humble themselves before the Savior. Surprisingly, the Jewish desire that God should liberate their people from the pagan Imperialistic Roman yoke, [the word ‘yoke’ itself means to march one’s defeated army beneath a Roman arch made of spears in a sign of total submission –(2)], was in the unfolding centuries occurring through the action of the Christians, who ceaselessly labored for the conversion of the pagan gentiles. The Jewish Kabal (Rev 2:9, Rev 2:24, Rev 3:9) had rejected Jesus Christ (Acts 4:11), on the premise that the pledged Messiah would be a political might and a force capable of challenging pagan Rome. Whether they recognized this force and might in Barabbas is doubtful. Certain Jews of the day, stumbled to understand their own history, whereby the Lord God had unfailingly delivered them from their oppressors through what is today referred to as ‘Liturgical Victories.’ In simple words the ‘Liturgical Victory’ consists in turning to God in the ‘day of trouble,’ repenting of one’s sins by forms of adequate sacrifice, trusting in His deliverance and strength, which overshadows any other form of power manifest in the visible and invisible worlds and finally, singing words of praise to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. King David perfectly accomplished the above, with astonishing results and his Psalms and prayers are for our benefit, beautifully represented in the Holy Bible. Spectacularly, the Son of God also turned to God in His day of trouble (Psalm 22) and as we know, conquered both the ‘principalities and powers of the air’ and death itself by way of His Resurrection.

              With the spreading of Christianity grew the savage opposition; Christians perished in waves of intense and cruel persecutions. Citizens of the Roman Empire were martyred for their Christian confession and for their refusal to pay homage and sacrifice to the pagan gods of the Caesars. As the Caesars compared themselves with their divinities and assumed the title of ‘living gods,’ they demanded the total and the complete submission of their subjects, who were forced to honor their overlords as divinities. As the pagan Roman Caesars reasoned that if the Galilean referred to Himself as ‘the Son of God,’ why shouldn’t they the powerful Roman Caesars, not be referred to as gods? The apparition of Our Lady and Child (Our Lady of Aracoeli) in Rome to Octavian Augustus 62 BC- 14 AD, convinced the earthly monarch to prostrate himself before the apparition and refuse the title of man-god which he was about to receive from the Roman people. He knew then who was truly the God-Man. Paganism is a repeat of Satan’s lie to the first parents, Adam and Eve: “You will not die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:4-5). If this maxim can be called the maxim of the fall of mankind, the maxim is plentifully obvious in the ancient Roman Caesars’ convictions that they themselves were divinities and comparable to the gods.

            On the other hand the humble Christians, the children of the ‘New Adam’ (Jesus Christ) reserved such honor solely to the Son of God. Martyrdom was the honorable manner of bearing witness to the Faith. Amongst the Empire’s citizens and soldiery, great martyrs arose. The early era of Christian persecution can be divided into ten periods, which are here represented: Nero (64 AD), Domitian (c.90-96), Trajan (98-117), Hadrian (117-138), Marcus Aurelius (161-181), Septimus Severus (202-211), Maximus the Thracian (235-251), Decius (249-251), Valerian (257-260), Diocletian/Galerius/Licinius (303-313). During Emperor Diocletan’s reign alone many tens of thousands of Christian civilians were martyred. Amongst these martyred saints are included; Saint Agnes, the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus, Galerius’ own wife, Saint Empress Prisca (Alexandra) and her daughter Saint Princess Valeria, Emperor Diocletian’s nephew (Catholic Pope Saint Caius, 283-296) and Saint Catherine of Alexandria. As regards to military martyrs, these were also numerous. The following are amongst the known and venerated by the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox, here mentioned by name; Saint George the Roman Tribune, Saints Fidelis, Exantus and Carpophorus (martyred in Italy in the vicinity of Lake Como), Saints Emeterius and Chelidonius, Saint Callistratus (a soldier from Chalcedon) and Saint Christopher (or Saint Menas?) Saint Maximilian of Tebessa, who died after refusing to accept the Roman seal on his neck and refused to serve Roman military service, was advised to follow the example of the Christian soldiers in Constantius’ army (Constantine’s father). He replied that each soldier knows what is best for himself and Maximilian knew that receiving the seal of Caesar was not for him, for he had Christ’s seal of baptism. He was martyred, pierced with arrows and spears. The list of military martyrs continues; Saint Theodore the General and Saint Theodore the Recruit, General Placidus or Saint Eustache, Saint Acathius the Roman Centurion, Saint Florian the Conscript, Saint Victor the Moor (martyred in Rome), Saint Andrew the General, Saint Luxurius, Saints Camerinus and Cisellus, Saint Demetrius, Saint Sebastian (the commander of a company of the Praetorian Guard for the Roman Emperor Diocletian), was first martyred pierced with arrows and later beaten with rods. Other military martyrs include; Saints Sergius and Bacchus, Saint Procopius, Saint Mercurius, the soldier Protoleone and Anatol (the Supreme Commander of the army of Emperor Diocletan), Saint Typasius, in earlier periods the forty martyrs of Sebaste, (who were under the command of Marcus Aurelius) and an entire Roman Legion comprising of six thousand and six hundred men, collectively referred to as the Theban Legion. They were first decimated and later entirely exterminated on orders of Emperor Maximian (285-305 AD). The Theban Legion hailing from Thebes, Egypt, were notorious for their ‘fanatical’ Christianity, or rather their adamant belief in Christ as opposed to the Roman gods. They were commanded by Maurice of Aguanum and were martyred in Switzerland, in the city referred to as St Moritz or Saint Maurice en Valais. Other less ancient Military Saints include Saint Julian (not a martyr) and Saint Joan of Arc.

            In spite of the full view of their broken bodies those early Christian martyrs, be they citizens or soldiers, had crossed the threshold of hope by receiving Christ in their lives, without which it would not have been possible to take that great leap of martyrdom. In the Biblical Book of Revelation 7:14 it is revealed, that the martyrs of Christ have overcome their enemies and washed their souls in the blood of the sacrificial lamb. And thereof have become one with Him and are victorious in Christ.

            Saint Typasius was a soldier who lived during Emperor Diocletian’s and Maximian’s reign. In this period the Roman Empire was invaded and challenged on all its borders. Diocletian and Maximian embarked on suppressing the challengers. If they were to fight bravely against the challengers of Rome, their soldiers were rewarded with gold and pledges of further wealth. Typasius received the apparition of Saint Gabriel, who indicated that the following day he should refuse the Roman gold offered by Maximian. The morrow dawned, as instructed by Saint Gabriel, Typasius refused to accept Maximian’s gold and explained to the annoyed Caesar, that he was a soldier of Christ and pleded that if Maximian were to release this soldier (himself) for him to be able to serve Christ, in forty days all the opposition on every border of the Roman Empire would be subdued. The pagan was incredulous, Maximian held Typasius in chains for forty days and as Typasius had predicted, all opposition from one end to the other of the Empire was quelled. Typasius was discharged with honor. However, both Diocletian and Maximian did not regard the favor bestowed upon them by the Christian God for long and after a short interval re-commenced their favorite pastime, the Christian persecutions. It wasn’t long before the Empire’s borders were once again threatened and all soldiers were recalled for military duties. Typasius himself was once again recalled and after his opposition, was this time round martyred for the Faith. Following his sacrifice the executioners mysteriously died at the scene. Their bowels were said to have burst. Both Emperor Diocletian and Maximian, could not wear the crown and the purple for great anxieties overcame them. Emperor and Co-Regent retired, an unheard of occurrence for those days, for an Emperor was such for life and did not easily relinquish power. Roman Emperors stepped down from their positions either through a defeat in wars or when by way of their assassination, were ‘relieved of their duties.’ Soon as a plot of treachery against Emperor Constantine was foiled, Maximian was executed, hung in his own prison cell.

            By far the most venerated military martyr, important for the Catholic Church, Anglican and Orthodox, is Saint George the Roman Tribune. In the 300s, Emperor Constantine considered this military saint and martyr, as the undisputed ‘Champion of Christendom.’ In 550, George was considered to be ‘Our Lady’s Knight.’ He inspired many future generations of Christian military servicemen and defenders of the Faith. Their sacrifice alongside the sacrifice of thousands others was necessary and essential. They paved the way for the appearance of Constantine the Great, the Victorious Emperor and for his troops who bore Christ’s monogram upon their shields and standards (or ‘labarum’). Truly, the pagan Roman Empire was to be conquered by Christ. The Jewish dream was accomplished through the action of their Priestly King and Messiah.

Following the Maccabean wars, Constantine’s victory against the pagan Roman Caesar, was the first well-known military occasion were ‘Divine Intervention’ was the victorious factor. The most important and singular victory for early Christianity, occurring at the Milvian Bridge in Rome, supplied plentiful evidence that God’s own were still being assisted and defended. The political Edict of Milan (313) allowing religious tolerance and the free practice of religion throughout the Roman Empire, followed Constantine’s victory. The Edict of Milan closed that dark pagan chapter ending the ‘open season’ or the public persecutions which Christians faced on a daily basis. This freedom allowed them to achieve high posts in every public sector including the government positions, at par with the other pagan and Jewish Roman citizens. A political relationship between Church and State was forming and the future generations further developed this model of civilization. Following the Edict at Milan, came the ‘Council of Nicea’ (325) and after this Church-State meeting, a new phenomenon occurred in world history, military victories attributed to ‘Divine Intervention’ were occurring by the invocations, intercession and direct apparitions of a ‘Woman’ who can be safely identified with the person of Our Lady, the Mother of the Messiah.

During a military campaign in the year 367, Our Lady assisted Saint Basil against Emperor Julian the Apostate, in what could well have been her first known intervention at protecting the Christians during a military conflict. Julian the Apostate intended to reintroduce Christian persecution and rebuild the Jewish temple in Jerusalem. Soon after Saint Basil’s victory, the ‘Council of Constantinople’ (381) and the ‘Council of Ephesus’ (431) took place. The ‘Declaration of Chalcedon’ in 451 proclaimed Our Lady as ‘Theotokos’ or the ‘Mother of God.’ The proto-gospel of Genesis 3:15, the ‘City of God’ as Saint Augustine would later describe, was ever more manifest. What was hidden in the Old Testament was being revealed in the New. The late Pontiff, Pope John Paul II, clearly identifies the ‘Woman’ with ‘Our Lady’: “She who as the one ‘Full of Grace’ was brought into the Mystery of Christ in order to be His Mother and thus the Holy Mother of God… remains in that mystery as ‘the Woman’ spoken of by the Book of Genesis (3:15) at the beginning…”(3)

The struggle for humanity is not on the battlefield, it occurs in the hearts, minds and souls of mankind. However, just to make matters clear and straightforward, the ‘enmity’ and the ‘war’ between the forces of good and evil, between God and Lucifer during the past two thousand years since the Lord’s Resurrection, became physically ever more manifest by the apparitions of Our Lady and other saints, on the battlefield during human war conflict. As mentioned earlier, ‘Divine Intervention’ during wartime was not a new phenomenon, it occurred numerous times within the Old Testament. Now, the ‘Woman’ of Genesis 3:15 was a physical and tangible human figure wrapped in the form of the Blessed Virgin. Although within this text many saints, in particular Saint John the Baptist, Saint George and Saint James of Compostella, are mentioned, our attention should be drawn to the intercessory and prodigious work of the ‘Woman’ spoken about in Genesis 3:15. For a better understanding of the Blessed Virgin’s work, it is wise to focus primarily on the military victories, the intercession and protection Our Lady granted to the Christians, in response to their prayers. Such occasions have frequently occurred throughout the 2000 years of the Christian mission. In modern times, Our Lady’s most important influence came about through her apparitions at Fatima, Portugal and the Consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart, performed by the late Polish Pontiff Pope John Paul II in 1984. Not only does she miraculously deliver the faithful in times of war, but also counteracts the profane philosophies and beliefs spawned by secret fraternal societies who echo the archaic rebellion and lie, Lucifer’s maxim of Genesis 3:4-5. The philosophies foment wars and persecutions against the ‘Woman’s offspring.’ Interestingly, certain military historical ‘coincidences’ occurring on the eve, day or morrow of Our Lady’s Feasts have occurred time and again. To elucidate further, modern day ‘coincidences’ would be the truce which recently took place on August 14, 2006 between the Israeli troops and the Lebanese government, coinciding with the Feast of ‘Our Lady’s Assumption,’ (August 15) and the lifting of the embargo by the Israeli Government on Lebanon on September 7, eve of ‘Our Lady’s Nativity’ (September 8). Our Lady is truly the ‘Queen of Peace’ and the ‘Mother of all Nations.’

 

“See the Assyrians, boasting in their army,

glorying in their horses and their riders,

exulting in the strength of their infantry.

Trust as they may in shield and spear,

in bow and sling,

in you they have not recognized

the Lord, the shatterer of war;

yours alone the title of Lord.

….

Break their pride

By a woman’s hand.

‘Your strength does not lie in numbers,

nor your might in violent men;

since you are the God of the humble,

the help of the oppressed,

the support of the weak,

the refuge of the forsaken,

the savior of the despairing.”

(Judith 9:7-16)

 

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