In case you missed it—which you probably did, since the Christophobic guardians of our democracy in mainstream media ignored it—below is President and First Lady Trump’s Christmas greeting from the White House.
Now, let’s think about this for a moment before dismissing it as a lot of political theater.
First off, President Trump is not a Catholic, so there’s no pressing need for us to go over this thing with a fine-tooth theology comb to see how it jives with the Summa. Donald Trump has never been mistaken for a theologian, and likely never will be.
This is just a Christmas greeting from a man who’s never even had benefit of the Sacraments, and who at best has been hearing the leaders of the True Religion babble Modernist nonsense for most of his adult life. The thing is not Fulton Sheen, but it is the President of the United States acknowledging the "birth of Jesus Christ"-- an actual "event," in the words of the First Lady, "that took place over 2000 years ago":
This comes three years after Obama had officially turned Christmas trees into "Holiday Trees" and just days after Trump had again stood on the Ellipse on November 28, 2018 and told the world that Jesus is the Son of God:
For Christians all across our nation, around the world, this is a sacred season that begins 2,000 years ago when Jesus Christ was born. An angel declared to the shepherds tending their flocks, “Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is a born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” There in Bethlehem, Mary and Joseph held in their hands the son of God; the light of the world; and, through Him, the promise of eternal salvation.
The inevitable objection to this touching presidential greeting is as predictable as tomorrow’s sunrise: Trump doesn’t mean a word he’s saying! Perhaps. But how does one go about proving this? At best his critics can say it’s improbable, given his past, but even this requires a judgment against the man with which Sister Mary Carrol back in sixth grade catechism would certainly have taken issue.
So, Trump may not mean a word of this, but, then again, he may. We really can’t be sure. The Lefty lunatics surely think he means it. They’re out there smashing up Starbucks right now, convinced that Trump is a pro-life Christian. And I wonder what’s to be gained from any of us getting all worked up trying to prove them wrong.
Isn’t it more fun to just let the Left huff and puff over Baby Jesus being recognized in the White House as the Son of God? I honestly don’t know what motivates the traditional Catholic Never Trumpers. Even if Trump “doesn’t mean a word he says” in these addresses, what about the fact that he went ahead and said that he does? Would they prefer to see him say that he doesn't believe Jesus is the Son of God?
I'll settle for presidential lip service (if that's all it is) which warms Christian hearts and reminds the whole world Whose birthday we celebrate every year on December 25.
I'll settle for presidential lip service (if that's all it is) which enrages all the right people, too, i.e., the Christophobes, the Soros bearded ladies, the Clinton cuckoo’s nest—the whole gaggle of Leftist weirdos in that Star Wars barroom known as the Democratic Party.
The leader of the most powerful country on earth is acknowledging Jesus Christ as the Son of God. Doesn’t that count for anything?
It seems to me that it does, or at least it should. Even if Trump is just “playing the God card”, don’t Christians win when it suddenly becomes politically expedient for the POTUS to pay homage to Jesus Christ at Christmastime?
Remind me again: What are we whining about?
If this is all "just politics" and Trump thinks he needs the Baby Jesus's help to get himself reelected, shouldn't we still be thanking God for it?
And let's not forget the other pretty vital point here: The President of the United States just reverently spoke the Name of Jesus Christ to a worldwide audience. This is not insignificant, the Name itself having the power to alter the course of human history, move mountains, force even the demons in hell to genuflect at its every utterance.
“For which cause God also hath exalted him,” Paul tells us in Philippians, “and hath given him a name which is above all names: That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth: And that every tongue should confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father.”
More than anything else, this country--this whole world--is in desperate need of a reminder of Who Christ is and why all mankind must call upon His Name now, before we blow ourselves to hell.
Trump is not a Catholic. He does not understand the doctrine on the Kingship of Christ. But in his own way, he's buying time for the Catholic revival to get its act together while helping to wake the sleeping Christians.
Sounds rather like George Soros's wake-up-screaming nightmare in action.
Our ageing and embattled President well could be turning to Christ according to his limited and Protestant understanding of what that means. He’s not a fan of lawlessness; he knows that lawlessness and disorder become inevitable in a society that recognizes no God. America doesn’t work without God, and Trump obviously wants America to work.
Our Lady & the First Lady
The New World Ordernarians hate him precisely because Trump wants America to work as much as they need America to fail. For one-worlders like Pope Francis or George Soros, Donald Trump--despite his faults and failings--is a walking, talking, tweeting monkey wrench.
Certainly, he stands with those who very much want the President of the United States to stand with Christ. That's why they hate him over at Christophobic enclaves such as CNN. It's not the prospect of Trump's colluding with Russians that's got them pulling out their hair plugs and rending their onesie business suits. No, it's his open "collusion" with Christians, with us, with God-fearing Americans.
Nevertheless, some will listen to Trump's words and be quick to point out that since Trump used to run with liberals and progressives, we're being terribly naive to take seriously his nice words about Jesus Christ.
On the other hand, consider how President Trump must be reacting to the bizarre antics of his old cronies who've since morphed into Trump-hating, Melania-bashing, hydra-headed demons that will stop at nothing to destroy him and his entire family. Would it really be so unthinkable for their witch hunt to be pushing the man our way? He's got himself pinned down in one helluva storm, and Christian Americans have got an empty port.
The question should probably be: Why wouldn't Trump come our way!
Bottom line is this: Whatever you think of Donald Trump, at this moment he is hated by anti-Christians for siding with Christians---the basket of deplorables, the pro-lifers, the pro-family folks that elected him and for whom there is no place at the table of the New World Order.
If we don’t see an opportunity here, that’s on us. Every day, Donald Trump is forced to juxtapose the Godless with the Godly, the Christians with the anti-Christians, the faithless with the faithful…. And we’re incredulous when he suddenly decides to side with us over the hounds of hell that are screaming for his blood?
The followers of Jesus Christ are Trump’s best friends in the world right now, and he knows it. When he pays homage to Jesus Christ he's empowering and emboldening Christians--and the enemies of our God and country know it.
If anything, after having looked into the beady little red eyes of his political opponents -- legion in Hollywood, Media and Politics -- it would be surprising indeed if Trump didn’t say something to bring Christ back to the White House and God back to America... and mean every word of it.
Pray for President Trump. Pray for his conversion. Pray for his protection. Demons want him to fall for a reason. If he loses in 2020, Hell wins in 2020—and for all of us there’s going to be hell to pay for that.
So whatever we think of Donald Trump the man, it behooves us to pray that Donald Trump the president fares well in the next election. Looking at the demons lining up against him now, not only our freedoms but our lives may depend on it.
And in any case, regardless of motives (which we can never know), God bless President Trump for saying what must be said. Christian Americans will stand with him so long as he stands with them against those who hate Christ the King, Savior of the World, Who was indeed born in Bethlehem over two thousand years ago and Who still reigns over the world today--whether the anti-Christians want to asknowledge Him or not.
Merry Christmas, Mr. President.
Omaha attorney Brian Buescher was nominated by President Donald Trump to serve on the U.S. District Court in Nebraska, filling the post of Chief Judge Laurie Smith Camp, who announced that she is taking senior status effective Dec. 1.
Buescher has since come under hate-fire from the Left for his membership in the charitable organization known as the Knights of Columbus. His main critics are Democratic Senators Kamala Harris and Mazie Hirono, and this isn’t the first time one of Trump’s nominees has faced discrimination over religious views (remember Amy Barrett?)
In a series of questions sent to Buescher, Hirono asked whether his membership in the Knights of Columbus would prevent him from hearing cases “fairly and impartially” and, if confirmed, whether he would end his membership in the Roman Catholic charitable organization.
“The Knights of Columbus has taken a number of extreme positions,” Hirono said in the questionnaire. “For example, it was reportedly one of the top contributors to California’s Proposition 8 campaign to ban same-sex marriage.”
Harris, in her questions to the nominee, called the Knights of Columbus “an all-male society” and asked the Nebraska lawyer if he was aware that the group was anti-abortion and anti-gay marriage when he joined. The California senator also referenced Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson’s statement that abortion amounted to “the killing of the innocent on a massive scale” and asked Buescher if he agreed with the statement. (Read Buescher’s responses HERE)
REMNANT COMMENT: Have these people lost their minds completely? This Senator Hirono character reminds me of something right out of Oceania's Ministry of Truth. Someone disagreeing with her may or may not be permitted to speak in the days to come. And if that someone happens to be a man well, obviously, forget about it:
It's hardly surprising that someone as unhinged as this woman appears to be would also have big problems with the Knights of Columbus—Father Michael J. McGivney's 140-year-old Catholic fraternal benefit society with its 15,900 councils and 1.9 million members throughout the United States, Canada, the Philippines, Mexico, Poland, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Panama, the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands, Cuba, Guatemala, Guam, Saipan, Lithuania, Ukraine, and South Korea.
The anti-Christians are becoming bold indeed!
I remember when a Catholic had to be a "radical traditionalist" before he could be branded a member of a hate group. These days even membership in the mild-mannered and rather politically correct KofC with their funny hats and dull swords will evidently suffice.
Never mind that over the past century the Knights of Columbus have forged international charitable partnerships with Special Olympics, the Global Wheelchair Mission and Habitat for Humanity, along with their own Food for Families and Coats for Kids projects and other local charities all over the country.
Never mind that since the very beginning, the Knights could be reliably counted on to be as flag-waving patriotic as any of their WASP counterparts.
Never mind that in 2017 the Knights of Columbus's charitable donations topped a whopping $185,652,980.
Never mind that the Knights volunteered more than 75 million hours of community service in the same calendar year.
Never mind all that! According to Hirono and Harris, haters have to hate, and judges linked to the Knights of Columbus must be judged unfit to judge.
How such bald-faced religious discrimination in America can be legal is anyone’s guess. But there you have it.
We've gone back to the future, to the Know Nothing movement of the late 19th century, where any affiliation with the Catholic Church is subject to discrimination and even disqualification from public service, which, by the way, is exactly what Pope Pius X predicted in Vehementer Nos would happen once Modernists of every stripe had succeeded in getting the traditional Catholic Church out of the way. Way back in 1906 he warned against those who would bar Catholics from positions of influence in public life in order to keep the law of God out of politics.
Well, here we are. They’re expelling Christ from public life by seeking to bar faithful Catholics from public office. (Nancy is exempt from all this, obviously, "faithful" being the operative word).
According to the ladies, Catholics need not apply.
(Senator Harris, Knights of Columbus, Senator Hirono)
(Hitler, Kolbe, Goebbels)
But where have we seen this kind of totalitarian intolerance before? Oh, that's right -- Nazi Germany, where the goose-steppers set up those fun little camps for “political prisoners” who disagreed with the fellows in charge. The Soviets did the same thing, of course. Atheists are funny like that.
But in Germany, yes, little out-of-the-way places like Dachau became all the rage. Nicknamed the 'largest monastery in the world" (because of the high number of Catholic priests consigned to live and die there), Dachau--the very first concentration camp--was erected just outside of Munich in 1933 as sort of State-sponsored” public housing" for Catholic priests and others in the 'basket of deplorables' of those days.
And these priests were arrested by folks who, not unlike Harris and Hirono, just didn't like what Catholics had to say. They were the prototype of what Orwell would christen the Thought Police in his dystopian novel a few years later.
To avoid the Nazi Thought Police, Pope Pius XI had to have his encyclical Mit brennender Sorge, "With burning concern" On the Church and the German Reich smuggled into Germany to be read by every priest from the pulpit on Palm Sunday of 1937. Why? Because Catholic popes and priests were refusing to hold their tongues then as Harris and Hirono think the Knights of Columbus need to hold theirs today. It's the same old anti-Catholic story, just different characters.
According to Guillaume Zeller’s “The Priest Barracks: Dachau, 1938-1945” (Ignatius Press), there were three designated “priests’ barracks” in Dachau: numbers 26, 28 and 30. In all, 2,579 priests, monks and seminarians were imprisoned there between 1938 and 1945. Of this number, 1,034 died there.
Here's some actual footage of those imprisoned Catholic priests in Dachau:
In his July 2017 Catholic Herald article “The Harrowing Untold Story of the Priests in Dachau,” Francis Phillips highlights a few vignettes that inadvertently speak to the power of the Traditional Latin Mass to keep hope alive even in Nazi Hell:
Not to be able to celebrate Mass was a huge deprivation for the imprisoned priests. As one of their number, Fr Bedrich Hoffmann, relates, “What it means for a priest to live without Mass and without Communion can only be understood by another priest.” On admission, they were divested of their cassocks, bibles, missals, holy medals and rosaries, stripped and shaved and given old clothes with a red triangle sewn on them – the sign for “political” detainees.
However, as the result of intense diplomatic pressure from the Vatican, the situation changed at the end of 1940, when a chapel was permitted to be set up in Block 26. The first Mass at Dachau was celebrated on 21 January 1941. The tabernacle had been made secretly in the carpenter’s workshop; the altar and candlesticks had been salvaged from camp materials; and parishioners who had managed to stay in touch with their imprisoned priests, sent vestments, prayer books, Stations of the Cross, holy pictures and two monstrances.
The SS officials who ran the camp naturally placed many restrictions on the liturgical services. Lay prisoners were forbidden to attend – though Communion was secretly distributed to Catholics in other barracks at the risk of severe punishments, and sometimes other prisoners secretly attended Mass or hovered near the chapel window in order hear as much of the liturgy as possible.
One of them, Joseph Rovan, wrote later in his recollections of Dachau: “The priest was saying the same Latin words that all his confreres, at the same hour, were repeating in their morning Masses throughout the world. No longer could I recall the world of the concentration camp. Each one, for a precious moment, was restored to his original, fragile and indestructible dignity…On the way out, in the pale light of the early morning, one felt capable of facing a little better the hunger and the fear.”
Another prison, Marcel Dejean, echoes this: “…We rediscovered the idea of Love in the midst of suffering, hunger, egoism, hatred or indifference and also a palpable sense of calm: the beauty of the altar…in the midst of our filth and poverty, tranquility, recollection and solitude in the midst of constant overcrowding…The SS were no longer anything but a sad nothingness beside the splendid, immortal reality of Christ.”
Here in 2018, we're not quite there yet but, given the way things are going, it may go that way if Trump loses in 2020 and the democrats get their chance to take revenge on all the Christians who voted for him in 2016. In that case, our little Knights of Columbus witch-hunt may be remembered as an early sign of the burgeoning Christophobia that eventually went on a rampage in America.
And with Pope Francis at the helm, you can forget about another Mit brennender Sorge moment.
Our best political hope may be the man the New World Order loves to hate. So be careful what you pray for, Never Trumpers.
The Democrats--out there hunting down Knights of Columbus--are obviously getting pretty desperate. Who's next on the Radical Traditionalist Hate Map -- Net Ministries?
Looks like Pope Francis’ Mr. Fix-it is going to be Chi-Town’s next hero… Do you believe it? From Patch.com:
CHICAGO, IL — The Catholic archbishop of Chicago, who was hand-picked by the pope to help organize an upcoming Vatican summit on clergy sex abuse, will have a leading role in the church's effort to seek reforms, including the response to new allegations from the Illinois attorney general.
Cardinal Blase Cupich expressed regret for "our failures to address the scourge of clerical sexual abuse" in a statement responding to the attorney general's report, which said the church failed to disclose the names of at least 500 clergy accused of sexually abusing children.
REMNANT COMMENT: So, I wonder what Cardinal Cupich is going to do to the bad guys this time. Hand out more awards?
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This article from the New York Times is about to become a trending topic on Google:
The Catholic Church in Illinois withheld the names of at least 500 priests accused of sexual abuse of minors, the state’s attorney general said Wednesday in a scathing report that accused the church of failing victims by neglecting to investigate their allegations. The preliminary report by Attorney General Lisa Madigan concludes that the Catholic dioceses in Illinois are incapable of investigating themselves and “will not resolve the clergy sexual abuse crisis on their own.”
The Boy Scouts of America is considering filing for bankruptcy protection in order to negotiate with those who have sued in recent years. From FoxBusiness:
The organization is facing a shrinking membership and escalating legal costs related to lawsuits over how it handled allegations of sex abuse.
The Boy Scouts have been at the center of sexual-abuse scandals in the past, and the organization is facing a number of lawsuits that allege inappropriate conduct by employees or volunteers in incidents dating back as far as the 1960s.
Fr. Davide Pagliarani, Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X, was interviewed recently by Josef Bruckmoser in the Salzburger Nachrichten, a German-language newspaper out of Salzburg, Austria. Excerpts from this extremely candid interview appear below:
Francis has also made concessions. What more are you waiting for?
We are waiting for what every Catholic asks of the Church at baptism: Faith. Divine Revelation has now ended and it is the duty of the Pope to transmit faithfully the Deposit of Faith. The Pope must therefore put an end to the terrible crisis that has shaken the Church for the last 50 years. This crisis was triggered by a new conception of the faith, centred on the subjective experience of each individual: it is thought that each individual is solely responsible for his faith and can freely opt for any religion, without distinction between error and truth. But this contradicts objective divine law.
To what extent can the Society of Saint Pius X in turn show itself conciliatory towards the Pope?
The Priestly Society of Saint Pius X is deeply attached to the Successor of Peter, even when it opposes the errors of the Second Vatican Council. However, we are deeply distraught by a fundamental characteristic of the current pontificate: a completely new application of the concept of mercy. It is reduced to a panacea for all sins, without pushing for a true conversion, the transformation of the soul by grace, mortification and prayer. In his post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris lætitia, the Pope gives all Christians, the possibility to decide case by case, according to their personal conscience, the questions of morality in marriage. This totally contradicts the necessary and clear orientation given by God’s law.
We see here an echo of Luther’s spirituality: a Christianity without the need for moral renewal, a subjectivism that no longer recognises any universally valid truth. This has caused deep confusion among the faithful and the clergy. Every man is in search of truth. But for this he needs the direction of the priest, just as a pupil needs the direction of a teacher. Read the Rest HERE
REMNANT COMMENT: This is welcome news indeed. It's no secret that a number of traditional Catholics (the present writer included) had become somewhat apprehensive in recent years over the possibility that our friends in the Society of St. Pius X might be cajoled by the Vatican into agreeing to a premature “peace accord,” if you will, that might (we feared) inadvertently neutralize the largest fraternity of traditional Catholic priests in the world.
That such a peace accord was even a possibility has as much to do with a Vatican hell-bent on controlling its own opposition as it does with the FACT that the SSPX is not in schism and certainly not ‘outside the Church.’
For loyal priests the longing for an armistice--to come down out of the hills into the embrace of Mother Rome --is more keenly felt than we laymen can imagine. Since the SSPX priests are not in schism, this temporary irregular canonical standing is devastating-- something their know-it-all critics, ever eager to condemn them as "schismatics, seem unwilling to even consider.
Since the days of the late, great Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, the Society has been faced with a dilemma: How to faithfully preserve the old Faith handed down to them while remaining in the good graces of a Vatican at war with Holy Tradition. At the very least, we can all admit this is a significant dilemma, and one which was brought on not by a spirit of rebellion in the SSPX, but rather by revolution in the Church herself.
And as we see it, critics of the SSPX are arguing apples and oranges when they point to the Fraternity of St. Peter, for example, and insist: “They are preserving Tradition and retaining proper canonical standing. So why can't the SSPX?”
The problem here is that nobody really knows how the FSSP would have fared to this point were it not for the SSPX applying pressure on the Vatican to 'give Tradition a chance'. The motu proprio Ecclesia Dei leaves little doubt that the FSSP was being established as an alternative to the SSPX “schism”. So without the SSPX, as far as the Vatican is concerned, there would be no need for the FSSP.
So this argument doesn't seem to hold water. And the case against a Vatican/SSPX accord has everything to do with protecting the FSSP against Vatican aggression, as well. After all, once the SSPX is "regularized" would the Vatican's beneficence continue to shine on the FSSP? Perhaps we should ask the FFI what they think about that.
The good news is that regardless of initial intent, the Vatican plan backfired. Tradition has only been gaining ground since 1988, thanks to the one-two punch provided by the SSPX on the one hand and the so-called Ecclesia Dei communities on the other.
For the life of me, therefore, I can’t imagine why anyone would want to upset the apple cart at this point, especially since it has been advancing Tradition all along despite the best efforts of the Vatican to crush it.
Providence at work? Yes, I think so.
So, the above interview offers welcome indication that the new Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X will continue in the spirit of the founder to preserve the old Faith by forming and training new priests according to Tradition, while keeping open the lines of communication with the Vatican until God intervenes on behalf of His Church by restoring sanity to the Vatican.
You don’t agree? Fine. This isn’t a hill any of us needs to die on. But at least consider the facts: Since 1988, the Society of St. Pius X has not succumbed to the temptation many predicted would be their downfall: They never set up the petite eglise; never crowned their own pope; never declared the See of Peter vacant; and continued to pray for the reigning pontiff (and the local Novus Ordo bishop) at every Mass in every SSPX chapel in the world.
Schismatics do not behave in this way.
For over a quarter of a century, when the leaders of the SSPX were called to Rome they dutifully complied, thus putting their critics on notice that they would not stop communication with the Vatican, not even with Pope Francis at the helm—the worst pope in history.
Schismatics do not behave in this way.
The SSPX took every opportunity to demonstrate that they are subject to the Roman Pontiff, even if they cannot in conscience obey certain directives which undermine Tradition and the holy Faith. And it was Pope Francis himself, let us not forget, who approved the SSPX Sacraments two years ago--something he simply could not do were the SSPX truly in schism.
So even Modernist Rome evidently does not consider the SSPX in schism, despite their canonical irregularity.
Simple justice demands we point out that the Fraternity of St. Peter has also failed to fulfill the dire predictions of 1988---that the FSSP priests would become bi-ritual, that they would sell out, that they would embrace Vatican II and the New Mass. Anyone who has any familiarity at all with the militant young priests of the FSSP knows this prediction never came to fruition.
Bottom line: The Traditionalist revival continues throughout the world, proving that God's ways are mysterious and that He does indeed write straight with crooked lines.
What are we laymen to do in the meantime? Be part of the unifying solution...not the problem. Resolve not to be polarized by this any longer. Unite and strengthen the Catholic restoration movement by supporting all the enclaves of holy Tradition throughout the world, no matter which order of priests serves them. And if you cannot bring yourself to do that, then at least let's have a moratorium on making condemnations of those good priests with whom we disagree, but only on strategy and not on doctrine.
We don't have the luxury of time to quibble over this anymore. Pope Francis has changed everything, and it’s time to move on. The Vatican is losing the Faith (as Our Lady herself predicted at La Salette), and for those trying to survive this crisis preserving the old Faith, the old Mass, the old doctrine must trump everything else.
The days of the circular firing squad are over.
I realize not a few friends and allies will still disagree, arguing that it would be better for the SSPX to "regularize" and thus strengthen Tradition in the mainstream. I do not disagree on principle, but neither can I bring myself to believe for one moment that now is the time to take such a huge risk. With a Vatican hell-bent on destroying Tradition someone must hold ground which the Modernists cannot control. And at least for the moment, that's the SSPX.
So let's thank God for the 600-plus priests of the Society of St. Pius X who sacrifice everything—even "legitimacy" in the eyes of their many critics—to hold that ground and to devote their lives to the restoration of all things in Christ.
And in a Church racked by scandal in the priesthood, let's be grateful for the thousands of good and holy priests in the Fraternity of St. Peter, Institute of Christ the King, and diocesan parishes that are planting the seeds of Catholic revival all over the potter’s field where the Novus Ordo went to die.
In the end, thanks to all of these good and holy priests, Catholic Tradition rises from the ashes…and that’s what matters.
Cardinal George Pell, Australian native and Vatican ﬁnance chief, left Rome in the summer of 2017 to stand trial in Melbourne. He is the highest Vatican ofﬁcial yet to be tried for sex abuse.
Though Cardinal Pell has consistently professed innocence, he was reportedly found guilty on Wednesday, December 12, of molesting two choirboys in the late 1990s.
Remnant TV's CATHOLIC SAINTS AND HOLY DAYS...
St. Lucy, Virgin and Martyr
Patroness of the Blind
St. Lucy was born in the ancient Greek city Syracuse on the island of Sicily around the year 283. Her father was a wealthy nobleman of Roman origin, who died when she was five years old, leaving Lucy and her mother without a protective guardian. At an early age she secretly made a vow of virginity, and she hoped to distribute her dowry to the poor. Her mother however, not knowing of Lucy's secret vow, feared for her future. She arranged Lucy's marriage to a young man from a wealthy pagan family.