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Tuesday, July 16, 2019

THE FIRST TRADITIONALISTS: From Nagasaki to the Vendée

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Michael Matt teams up with the Oken Rekishi Kenkyukai in Tokyo for a weekend conference on the principles of the French Revolution and how they impact our world still today, 230 years later.

Michael's talk (simultaneously translated into Japanese) answers the questions: what can Catholics today learn from the French Vendeans who resisted the French Revolution to become the original Traditional Catholics?

What can the remnant of Catholic believers around the world today learn from the "first responders" against the New World Order in the Vendee as well as from “Hidden Christians” of Japan who kept the faith for over 250 years — without the mass and without priests?

* This talk had to be presented in strict cooperation with the Japanese simultaneous translator, therefore sections of the talk are read, but the Japanese translations were edited out of the final video. The commplete text in English appears below. *

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Michael Matt’s Speech in Tokyo, Japan, on July 14th, 2018

Reverend Fathers, Good Sisters, Ladies and Gentlemen, Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

I am truly honored to be with you today. I publish a newspaper in America called The Remnant, and as the darkness of a neo-paganism covers the earth, I am increasingly gratified to see the emergence of a growing remnant of believers in the old Catholic Faith—literally all over the world.

I have travelled 6000 miles to be with you, faithful members of the Christian remnant, who know and understand what is at stake as the world rejects Christ, his kingship, his law.

We’re here today because we know the task that lies before us now—the task of survival…the task of keeping the old Faith, outliving the Revolution which began with Lucifer’s non serviam, was institutionalized by Martin Luther’s defiance of Christ’s vicar, and declared war on Christ Himself in France 230 years ago when our catholic forefathers in France, specifically in the Vendee, first declared war on the New World Order in its nascent stage.

Today we live in a post-Christian world—a world in which the very idea of Christianity is being systematically wiped from the face of the earth. A world in which the Church in her human element has declared war on her own traditions. A world in which persecution of all things truly Catholic is now imminent.

But persecution is not the end. Persecution offers proof the Revolution has failed. That a remnant has survived. That God in His Providence will see to it that the Cross will rise again from the ashes of the New World Order, just as it rose from the ashes of the old order of pagan Rome 2000 years ago.

The Vendeans are the forefathers of the modern Traditional Catholic Movement because their uprising was the first campaign against the anti-Catholic Enlightenment which sought to destroy the Mass, destroy the old Faith, eradicate the Social Kingship of Jesus Christ and banish God from the face of the earth.

The War that started in the Vendee 230 years ago is still raging today—it’s the same war in which every traditional Catholic in the world today finds himself engaged.

Our war—now and then—is not just liturgical. It is not just a battle for the restoration of the old Latin Mass.
Our war—like the war fought by the Vendeans—is the last Crusade, it is the last stand and its rallying cry is twofold:

Vive le Christ-Roi!

Instaurare omina in Christo

Armed with rosaries, the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the old Latin mass—the peasant army of the Vendee stood against the same Devils against which we stand today.

vendee 2

They lost their lives, but they kept the Faith and handed it down to the next generation and to the next, just as the Hidden Japanese Catholics of your country did when they stood with Christ even as their whole world turned against Him.  

The ‘Christian century’ here in Japan –1550 to1650 – is remembered for what?

For persecution and perseverance. For ‘Twenty-six martyrs’ crucified in Nagasaki in 1597. For the Japanese trail of tears in which Catholics in Nagasaki survived for 250 years without priests, without sacraments, without the Mass---keeping the faith through one of history’s most brutal persecutions and handed it down to Catholics who have gathered today in this room. Theirs is not the story of defeat, but rather triumph and victory over impossible odds.

26 japanese martyrs 226 Martyrs of Nagasaki

In 1549, St. Francis Xavier planted the seeds of the old faith here just as St. Louis de Montfort had planted them in the Vendee 150 years later.

Some 300,000 Catholic converts here in Japan by 1580—just 30 years after the first missionaries had arrived in the Land of the Rising Sun.

But by 1600, the Tokugawa shogunate and the leaders of Shintō and Buddhism who fueled the brutal persecution of Christians boasted that Catholicism had never really taken root in Japan—and never would.

But they were wrong.  They forgot about the remnant—a remnant of Catholics so devoted to Christ that when missionaries returned to Japan in the 1850s, they were amazed to discover the Kakure (hidden) Catholics—who had kept the faith alive in Japan for a quarter of a millennium----how history how to resist, how to stay Catholic in a world without priests, without the mass, and under persecution. This is the same lesson taught to us by the French Catholics in the Vendee.

And it is these Catholics— these forefathers of the Traditional Catholic movement—about whom I’d like to say a few words in my talk today.

I’m going to ask you to put yourselves back in time, to world so much bigger than ours seems today, to the bogs and marshes and lowlands of Western France as a Revolution against the Catholic altar and throne—the Church and the Kingship of Christ—was raging up north in the capital city of Paris.

The eldest daughter of the Church was being led to the guillotine. Priests and King, Nuns and Queen--beheaded. The entire Christian social order was being systematically eradicated from the heart of Christendom.

But there was a remnant left, selected out of grace, that in the face of that Demonic revolution, fought and died for the right and the honor to say these words: Voilà ma gloire, mon espérance et mon soutien, mon chant s'amour et de victoire : Je suis chrétien ! Je suis chrétien.

I am Christian! I am Christian.

They were called les Chouans, because of their battle cry, which imitated the call of the screech owl.

They screamed like screech owls as they raced onto battlefields where they were hopelessly outnumbered.

They too had been denied their priests, their Catholic way of life, their Mass, their sacrament.

They were being hunted down like animals.

They, too, took to the forests, held Mass in secret and waged guerilla warfare on ruthless oppressors-- Les Blues. The Republican trained soldiers—their own countryman who’d become their mortal enemies through the aegis of their apostasy.  

vendee 1

The Royal and Catholic Army of the Vendee was made up of Peasants and Nobles, fathers and sons, priests and tradesmen—the remnant of Catholic France. They fought with crude weapons; whatever they had on hand. And they fought like giants, ferocious in the defense of hearth and home, Mass and priest, altar and throne.

War between the Vendeans and the central government in Paris erupted in early 1793 and lasted until early 1795.

Even Napoleon Bonaparte was in admiration of the Vendeans. He refused a commission to fight against them and called the war in the Vendee Le Combat des Géants.  He noted that the Vendeans, had they not “gone home” after every successful campaign, were so formidable that they could have reached Paris and crushed the Revolution itself. But they always wanted to go home to their wives and children, to be left alone.

In his The French Genocide: The Vendee, Catholic author Reynald Secher notes that in 1789, the people of the Vendee region in western France “were not incited by their priests to riot and rebel.  In fact, they recognized a need for reforms in France.”

Common people there looked forward to relief from a taxation that had grown especially heavy during the support King Louis XVI had given to the American War of Independence. They looked forward also to relief from the forced work on roads and other projects.

But what they did not realize at first was that the Revolution was against the entire Catholic social order—including the Catholic Mass, the Papacy and the Kings and Queens of Christendom.

marie antionetteMarie Antoinette 

The Vendeans refused to go along with the Revolution and were denounced as enemies of the people.

The great defenders of liberty and equality and toleration turned against their own first, and what happened in the Vendee was the Enlightenment’s first genocide.

In the face of the banner of the Enlightenemnt, the Vendeans raise another banner—the banner of Christ the King. The banner of the Sacre Coeur, and for this the Vendeans were labeled as brigands who "must be exterminated."

Secher quotes one of the Revolutionaries as saying "We must crush the internal enemies of the Republic or perish along with it."

A call went out from Paris to "depopulate the Vendee." The Vendeans were spoken of as a race apart, and a call was made to "purge the soil of freedom of that cursed race."

"At least 307,257 people were massacred between 1792 and 1802," and more than 14 percent of the Vendeans were exterminated.

The revolutionary Turreau de la Linières took command of what are known in the Vendée as the douze colonnes infernales (the twelve columns of hell), which had specific orders both from his superiors and from himself to kill everyone and everything they saw.

 "Even if there should be patriots [that is, Republicans] in Vendée," Turreau said, "they must not be spared. We can make no distinction. The entire province must be a cemetery."

And so, it was. In the streets of Cholet by the end of 1793, wolves were about the only living things left, roaming freely and feeding on the piles of decomposing corpses.

A reign of terror from north to south scorched the Catholic earth, while the brotherhood of international Freemasonry—both in France and in the New World—stood by and applauded as their lodge brothers shouted out their orders in the Vendee:

  • "Not one is to be left alive in the Vendee."
  • "Women are reproductive furrows who must be ploughed under."
  • "Only wolves must be left to roam that land."
  • "Fire, blood, death are needed to preserve liberty."
  • "Their instruments of fanaticism and superstition must be smashed."

There were mass drownings of naked men, women, and children, often tied together in what were called "republican marriages"; the mass bayoneting of men, women and children; the smashing of babies' heads against walls; the slaughter of prisoners using cannons; the most grisly and disgusting tortures; the burning and pillaging of villages, towns and churches.

The practice of Robespierre's Committee of Public Safety of exterminating Catholics in the name of the Revolution left nearly a half million French Catholics dead in the Vendee.  

Anthony James Joes notes in Resisting Rebellion: The History and Politics of Counterinsurgency:

“The suppression of the Vendee resulted in ‘the total economic devastation of the region. Over ten thousand houses were burned down and four-fifths of the male population wiped out. The war reduced the permanent population of the Vendee by one-third.  More French died in the Vendee than in Napoleon’s Russian campaign. Indeed, in relation to the total population of the time, the number of Frenchmen, soldiers and civilians, killed as a result of the Revolution –before the Napoleonic wars began—represents a greater loss than France suffered during all of World War I.”

Freemasonry’s vile hatred for the Bride of Christ had never been placed on display as it was in the Vendee—the most Catholic region of the Eldest Daughter of the Church.

We cannot have any meaningful discussion of the French Revolution, the Catholic uprising in the Vendee without a word about the context. And the context is from top to bottom, beginning to end, inside and out—Freemasonry—the anti-Catholic, fraternal order which was condemned by thirteen different Popes from 1738 through 1978 because its ultimate aim was to de-Catholicize the world and destroy the natural order.

Pope Leo XIII called it a “foul plague” in his encyclical on Masonry, Humanum Genus

“Their ultimate purpose forces itself into view – namely, the utter overthrow of that whole religious and political order of the world which Christian teaching has produced, and the substitution of a new state of things in accordance with their ideas, of which the foundations and laws shall be drawn from mere ‘Naturalism’.”

And not only Catholic traditionalists but leading secular scholars recognize that Freemasonry was at the heart of the process of severing political society from its connection to the revealed religion—thus the universal campaign today against the Catholic Church.

The Enlightenment 230 years ago and the New World Order today have the same objective—eliminate the Bride of Christ from the face of the earth.

I have been to the Vendee many times. Twenty years ago, I published a book by Michael Davies called For Altar and Throne: The Rising in the Vendee. My US flag has the Sacre Coeur emblazoned on it and I carry it on pilgrimage to Chartres France every year; my office walls are lined with images of Monsieur Charette, Monsieur Henri, Cathelineau—the Saint of the Angou, Louis d'Elbée, etc.

vendee henri

Why? Because they are the forefathers of traditional Catholics.

They made the first stand against those who today would uncrown Christ in every hamlet, every city, every country, even every Catholic church in the world.  

The freemasons, communists, atheists, secularists—builders on and of the New World Order.

In 1993, the Vendée Memorial at Les Lucs opened its doors with Alexander Solzhenitsyn on hand.  It was attended by thousands of people, but was ignored by much of the mainstream media. Solzhenitsyn said in his address:

“We must live without lies for otherwise we are not free. ‘You gave us these dead as a legacy,’ the poet Pierre Emmanuel wrote, ‘we have become the fathers of our dead.’ In communist Georgia, we often had two portraits in government offices, side by side: Stalin and Robespierre. Blood brothers.”

The faces of the Revolution against Christ may change but the spirit is always the same—whether in France, Russia, Japan, China, America—it’s the same.

Any traditional Catholic who actually takes the time to read what happened between 1793 and 1796 in western France can’t help but discover the first traditional Catholics—opposing the very same enemies of Christ who today are destroying the family, the unborn, the Catholic Mass, the Catholic priesthood.

The tyrannical central government of the Revolution made the Catholic Church a state-run organization, banning priests who would not join the new Church and forbidding them to perform Catholic services and sacraments that were the lifeblood of the Vendeans.

I remember when they did the same thing inside the Catholic Church of Vatican II when I was a kid. They came in an destroyed our parish church. Threw out our parish pastor, introduced a New Mass and told us we were forbidden to have the old Mass.

The Vendeans had gone through it all only worse 200 years ago. They too were traditionalist Catholics devoted to their priests.

They too were outraged when their clergy were told they must take an oath of fidelity to the Revolution of Modern Enlightenment.

Five out of six of their priests refused, which meant a total loss of income.

The priests that took the oath were called Juring clergy, jurors or constitutional priests---what we might call Modernists.  

And the Revolution put juring priests into parishes in order to change the people in favor of the Revolution.

Faithful refused to assist at the Mass of a juring priest because this was considered an endorsement of the Revolution.

So Mass was held in secret, in the woods, in barns.

vendee 3 mass in woods

Local pilgrimages were made at night to meet non-juring priests in secret for weddings and baptisms, even funerals.

Sound familiar?  

Their heroes were the same as ours -- Jacque Catileneau the peddler – the Saint of the Anjou—who denounced the Revolution first, armed himself with his rosary, his pistol and sabre and a badge of the Sacred Heart made popular by St. Louis de Montfort:  “Never forget we are fighting for our Holy Religion. They attack us because they attack Christ and we are followers of Christ. When we make war against them we defend Him.”—Catileneau told his 500 men as the war in the Vendee began in earnest.  

Again, sound familiar?

Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre once said:

“The orders being given us clearly express that they are being given us in order to oblige us to submit without reserve to the Second Vatican Council, to the post-conciliar reforms, and to the prescriptions of the Holy See, that is to say, to the orientations and acts which are undermining our Faith and destroying the Church. It is impossible for us to do this. To collaborate in the destruction of the Church is to betray the Church and to betray Our Lord Jesus Christ.”

The Vendeans were not fighting for the Mass they preferred or for their religious freedom. They were defending the Kingship of Christ. They were dying in defense of Him, His Altar, His Throne, His Kingdom.

François-Athanase Charette de la Contrie—known affectionately as “Monsieur Charette – after a string of brilliant victories which overcame the most woeful odds, Charette was named “King of the Vendee” and became the foremost enemy of the Republic. 

The Republic tried everything from bribes and treaties to outright deception in their efforts to subdue Charette.  They finally succeeded in picking off his scant army and arresting him. 

He specifically rejected the religious freedom General Hoche had offered him, arguing that to accept his freedom from the Devil would be an affront to God and the Kingship of Christ.

Instead he was killed by firing squad in 1796. He refused the blindfold and pointed to his chest, challenged the executioners: “Aim here! It is here you must strike the heart of a brave man!”

vendee Execution Charette detailExecution of Charette

He chose to die rather than compromise for his freedom.

Ladies and gentlemen, I can see we’re nearly out of time and there is so much more to the story of Traditional Catholicism’s foundation in the Vendee.  

In the short time we’ve had together today, I hope I’ve made the point that what we face today is the same evil that our French fathers faced then. That it’s not just the Traditional Latin Mass for which we fight, but for the Kingship of Christ and the Rights of God.

That the persecution we face today is no different than the persecution they faced in the Vendee 230 years ago. That we’re telling the story of the Vendeans today because they did not lose…because they knew what we must understand now--- that the moment Catholics demonstrate their willingness to die for an idea—for Christ, for the Church—that’s the moment we strike terror in the heart of the Revolution.

That’s when they have no answer. That’s when they do desperate things like fatten up the lions and sharpen up the giloteen and prepare to let the martyrs—the greatest missionaries in Christian history—loose on the pagan world.

There is no power on earth strong enough to withstand the witness of a single Christian martyr.

Matters of Faith Profession of Faith 01The Church was built on the blood of the early Christian martyrs

We have only a short time to prepare ourselves. The Uprising in the Vendee is our Uprising today. It’s our turn to impress history. It’s our story we make sure future generations will tell at conferences like this one—where they will say: The Traditional Catholics of the 21st century in America, in France, in Japan stood up to the demonic New World Order of their day and won their freedom—true freedom, to live and die as Soldiers of Jesus Christ.

They’ll say that we kept the idea alive; that the Revolution failed that Catholicism survived on our watch. And they’ll say that we did our duty before God and history in the face of the Revolution against Christ the King.

Yes, the Revolution is fully out of the closet now and it’s called the New World Order. Yes, it’s global.

But forces that sent the troops into the vendee are today worried about us. Why?

Because the Catholic Church will always rise again so long as the spark of faith is preserved. Because even in France, even after the genocide in the Vendee—no, because of it—St. John Vianney the Cure of Ars, St. Therese of Lisieux and some of the greatest French saints in history rose from the ashes of the Vendee—from the marshes and in the forests of Western France, where our forefathers in this fight for the Kingship of Christ taught their children to sing the song of the Vendee—a song we must teach our children today, and never forget:

Nous n’avons qu’un honneur au monde,
C’est l’honeur de Notre Seigneur,
Nous n’avons qu’une gloire au monde,
C’est la gloire de Notre Seigneur.

We Have Only one honor in the world
It is the honor of Our Lord
We have only one glory in the world
It is the glory of Our Lord.

Vive le Christ Roi!

Vive la Foi Catholique!

Long live Christ the King.

 Watch the "unabridged version" of Michael's talk below (Includes Japanese translation):

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Last modified on Tuesday, July 23, 2019
Michael J. Matt | Editor

Michael J. Matt has been an editor of The Remnant since 1990. Since 1994, he has been the newspaper's editor. A graduate of Christendom College, Michael Matt has written hundreds of articles on the state of the Church and the modern world. He is the host of The Remnant Underground and Remnant TV's The Remnant Forum. He's been U.S. Coordinator for Notre Dame de Chrétienté in Paris--the organization responsible for the Pentecost Pilgrimage to Chartres, France--since 2000.  Mr. Matt has led the U.S. contingent on the Pilgrimage to Chartres for the last 24 years. He is a lecturer for the Roman Forum's Summer Symposium in Gardone Riviera, Italy. He is the author of Christian Fables, Legends of Christmas and Gods of Wasteland (Fifty Years of Rock ‘n’ Roll) and regularly delivers addresses and conferences to Catholic groups about the Mass, home-schooling, and the culture question. Together with his wife, Carol Lynn and their seven children, Mr. Matt currently resides in St. Paul, Minnesota.


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