Is there a correlation between certain feast days in the Roman Catholic calendar and the dates of Muslim attacks on Western countries? A startling idea proposed in a post by Fourth World War.
Before considering his proposition, a short primer on the Roman Catholic Liturgical Year is in order.
The Church marks time by this ancient, teleological calendar. The Liturgical Year begins always on the First Sunday in Advent (right around the American feast of Thanksgiving). It moves through the periods of Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, Pentecost, and Ordinary Time (the longest season, taking up all of the summer and autumn). Properly considered by the early church as a spiral, the cycles within the year were meant to replace the Greek notion of time as circular with Hebrew idea that it was linear and historical. Christian theology laid out its claim that history was irrevocably changed by the irruption of Christ into human history. It fleshed out this idea over the centuries with the development of the Liturgical Year.
Within this framework are two divisions: the main one, the Proper of the Seasons and then the overlay, the Proper of the Saints. The former has to do with the fixed cycles mentioned above of Advent, Christmas, etc., all of which center around the earthly life of Christ and the stories in the Gospels. They follow in their unvarying and particular order — automatic to one who is raised to consider the year in this way — though the dates may vary.
Some feasts are moveable. Easter varies according to the Spring equinox and the date was set (after many ancient quarrels) in the Western Church as the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox. Christmas, on the other hand, never varies from its date (at least in the some countries) of December 25th.
Each cycle has its own color, rhythms and mood. Advent, for example, spans the four weeks before Christmas. “Advent” means coming and the color is purple (penitential), the mood one of expectation as the seasons of the year wind down and preparations are made for the coming of the Christ Child. The scriptural readings for this season are centered around the passages in the Gospels which cover the emerging of Christ into his short life of preaching. It is here you will find his Baptism by John. An old hymn of this season, “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” is plain chant dating back to the ninth century.
The proper of the Saints is a more detailed calendar, a filigree overlaid on the liturgical cycles. These are the “feast days” assigned to commemorate individual saints — Doctors of the Church for example, or martyrs or events of particular note in Church history. Thus each day of the year has the feast of a saint, sometimes more than one. In the liturgy (the church service) for that day, this person’s life will be celebrated and commemorated, much as we celebrate birthdays in our families and recall the memories we retain of our ancestors.
The liturgical calendar is old, its rudiments dating back to the earliest days of the Church. While saints’ feast days may vary in emphasis from country to country, throughout the Christian world the liturgical year does not change. In Sweden, St. Lucy’s Day is a major feast within the Christmas cycle. The Festival of Lights, on December 13th, marks the beginning of Christmas in Sweden (and to some extent in Sicily). Like many Catholic feast days, its origins pre-date the Christian era.
All of this is by way of introducing the rather startling correlation laid out in the aforementioned post in Fourth World War, to wit:
Dr. J. Michael Waller lists the dates of terrorist attacks and points out the timing of the “some of the most notorious terrorist bombings over the past four years…” Noting the dates of the more notorious of Muslim attacks against the West, he proceeds to assign them to feast days from the Proper of the Saints in the Liturgical Calendar. Three of these feast days he points to are commemorations particularly of Christian and Muslim conflicts from the past and the last one — the first London bombing — commemorates three English Catholic martyrs executed under Elizabeth I for refusing to renounce their Catholic faith.
Read his ideas and see what you think:
Beginning with 9/11, we have the feast day of Blessed* Louis of Thuringia, a 13th century German prince who died on the Sixth Crusade in 1227. *“Blessed” is a designation for a person who is a step below actual sainthood, thus it is a minor feast.
3/11 is even more interesting. It is the feast of St. Eulogius, bishop of Cordoba, Spain. The Muslim invaders executed the bishop for having helped a Christian convert from Islam to escape the authorities. This occurred on March 11th, 859.
7/7 is the commemoration of three English martyrs, also with the designation of “Blessed” who were killed by Elizabeth for their illegal Catholic activity in 1591. This is an unusual feast day in the Church since, as Dr. Waller points out, there are very few English Catholics commemorated on the Roman Catholic calendar.
7/21 honors another victory over the Muslims, this time by St. Lawrence of Brindisi, who defeated Turkish invaders in Hungary in 1601.
As Doctor Waller says,
|This could be a pattern. Or it could be nothing more than a coincidence. Any meaning remains to be seen.|
Finally he brings us up short with this historical date:
|Operation Enduring Freedom, the US response to the 9/11 attacks, began on October 7, 2001. That day is the anniversary of the Battle of Lepanto (1571), a huge naval engagement in the Mediterranean between the Christians, led by John of Austria, and the Muslim Ottomans led by Ali Pasha. In their first major defeat of the Ottomans, the Christians destroyed the Muslim fleet and prepared the way for more than a century of military successes in central Europe.|
For the Christians, these ruminations are most interesting. Atheists would have no problem dismissing them as “nothing more than a coincidence.” The Jungians among us would offer the suggestion that these are eruptions of the collective unconscious. The scientists and the cautious would maintain a “wait-and-see” attitude, keeping a record of the feast days which escape any violence, and those which end with death and mayhem.
But what would the Muslims say? It would appear they have two choices: to proclaim it was their intention all the time — while quickly finding a liturgical calendar, noting the feast days germane to their ongoing intention to “restore” the Caliphate to the whole world, and then using the appropriate saints’ days in aid of their subjugation of dar al Harb. Muslims’ other choice would be to join with the atheists and dismiss the whole thing as a coincidence and a Christian plot. Either way, it would seem they end up looking over their shoulder, wondering who is leading this whole thing, while chanting with somewhat less certainty, and even more defensiveness, Allahu Akbar.
Meanwhile, the other religions — Jewish, Hindu, etc., — might consider a look-see at their calendar of feast days and commemorations and see if there is a correlation with some, or any, Muslim defeats in the past with current Muslim attacks in their countries.
Time will tell. Or, having the whole thing brought to consciousness, the pattern may cease.
Dr. Waller notes the next feast day to watch:
|The next Muslim-related feast day on the Catholic Church calendar is September 24, honoring St. Pacificus, who prophesied the 1688 victory of Christian armies over the Turks in Belgrade.|
Would that Hobbes, late of Calvin and Hobbes, were here to offer his views on this mysterious synchronicity. Since he is no longer with us we will have to fall back on Shakespeare’s rumination in Hamlet, when he says: There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamed of in your philosophy.
There are indeed. The task is to sort out these things “in Heaven and Earth” and to know which tools to use to discern events and their meanings. There’s the crux of the matter: what meanings to assign to wild and wondrous happenings we encounter.
What do you think?
Hat tip: The High Post (alas, the permalink for the post doesn’t work; scroll down a bit).