Bl. Noël Pinot

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Bl. Noël Pinot

Priest and Martyr
(† 1794)

Noël Pinot was born at Angers in 1747. He was a priest and excelled in ministering to the sick. In 1788, he was made pastor at a parish in Louroux Beconnais, which he revitalized spiritually through his piety and preaching. In the wake of the French Revolution then in progress, priests were required to take an oath that went against the principles of the government of the Church. Father Pinot refused to take it and was sentenced to be deprived of his parish for two years. Nonetheless, he continued to carry out his ministry in secret. Later, the holy priest even took clandestine possession of his parish and continued his pastoral work, managing to avoid capture for his defiance of the Revolutionary edict. However, one day while fully vested for Holy Mass, Father Pinot was captured and dragged through the streets to the jeers of hostile spectators and soldiers. He remained in jail for twelve days and was given the death sentence for refusing to take the oath. The holy priest went to the guillotine still vested for Holy Mass and uttering the words of Holy Mass: “I will go to the altar of God, to God who gives joy to my youth.” He joined his sacrifice to that of his Master on February 21, 1794, and was beatified in 1926. Confronted with a choice of taking a false oath or facing death, Blessed Noël Pinot placed his trust in Christ and his redemptive sacrifice rather than in the leaders of the French Revolution. His action cries out for us to obey God rather than human beings.

Condemnation of the Sin of Sodomy by St. Peter Damian

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Condemnation of the Sin of Sodomy
from Liber Gomorrhianus by St. Peter Damian

The vice of sodomy “surpasses the enormity of all others,” because: “Without fail, it brings death to the body and destruction to the soul. It pollutes the flesh, extinguishes the light of the mind, expels the Holy Spirit from the temple of the human heart, and gives entrance to the devil, the stimulator of lust: It leads to error, totally removes truth from the deluded mind . . . It opens up Hell and closes the gates of Paradise . . . It is this vice that violates temperance, slays modesty, strangles chastity, and slaughters virginity . . . It defiles all things, sullies all things, pollutes all things . . .

“This vice excludes a man from the assembled choir of the Church . . . it separates the soul from God to associate it with demons: This utterly diseased queen of Sodom renders him who obeys the laws of her tyranny infamous to men and odious to God . . . She strips her knights of the armor of virtue, exposing them to be pierced by the spears of every vice. . .

She humiliates her slave in the church and condemns him in court; she defiles him in secret and dishonors him in public; she gnaws at his conscience like a worm and consumes his flesh like fire . . . this unfortunate man [he] is deprived of all moral sense, his memory fails, and the mind’s vision is darkened.

Unmindful of God, he also forgets his own identity. This disease erodes the foundation of faith, saps the vitality of hope, dissolves the bond of love. It makes way with justice, demolishes fortitude, removes temperance, and blunts the edge of prudence.

Regarding this vice among clerics

“For God’s sake, why do you damnable sodomites pursue the heights of ecclesiastical dignity with such fiery ambition?” . . . . “lest by your prayers you more sharply provoke Him Whom your wicked life so obviously offends.”

St. Peter Damian

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St. Peter Damian, Cardinal and Bishop

In the latter part of the tenth century was born, at Ravenna, in Italy, St. Peter Damian. Left an orphan at an early age, his elder brother took him into his house, where he was treated, not like one so nearly related, but as the lowest servant. The poor boy had neither enough to eat nor decent clothes to wear, and at last he was compelled by his brother to attend to the swine. He, however, complained to no one of treatment so heartless, but obeyed his brother in all things. When in the fields, he occupied most of his time in praying.

One day he found a piece of money, without knowing to whom it belonged. He had a strong desire to buy with it something to eat, or better clothes, but he overcame these wishes, and, instead of so doing, he had a Mass said for his departed parents. This pious deed was soon richly rewarded, for when another brother, who had been long away from Ravenna, returned and saw how cruelly Peter was treated, he took pity on him, gave him food and clothes, and sent him to a school, that he might not grow up ignorant. The unusual talent with which nature had endowed him, his untiring diligence, combined with true piety, made Peter progress so rapidly in all his studies that from a pupil he soon rose to be an excellent teacher, and made himself honored and respected by every one. This, by degrees, influenced his mind in such a manner that he began to be less fervent in his devotional exercises.  Continue reading