A twentieth Century Crusader
King Henry's gallant defence of the true Catholic and Apostolic Faith to refute Luther's doctrines gained him a Papal Title: Fidei Defensor, Defender of the Faith.
It is an undeniable historical fact that the English Defender of the Faith did not remain in the Faith of the Church he once defended so valiantly.
Nevertheless, his no less valiant Lord Chancellor, Sir Thomas More, the celebrated Bishop of Rochester, John Fisher, and over 50 valorous English Martyrs, honoured the title and paid with their lives for their fidelity to the Apostolic teaching, gaining for themselves the glorious crown of martyrdom.
In many ways, History repeats itself.
In the 20th Century, more Catholics died for the Faith than in all the nineteen previous centuries combined. In the Soviet Union, China, The Middle East, Africa, Asia, nearly everywhere, hundreds of thousands of loyal sons and daughters of the Church imitated the fidelity to Jesus Christ lived by Saints Thomas More and John Fisher. These brave martyrs joined the ranks of the early Christians who died out of love of, and fidelity to, our Divine Redeemer.
But there is also another kind of martyrdom that may be seen at times as more painful to endure than the sudden death for Christ: It is the tireless, lifelong work of a missionary, a confessor, a preacher or a layman whose life is dedicated to serve God Our Lord and His Church.
True Defenders of the Faith, they suffer with the Church,
at times alone, often misunderstood, and frequently let down by those who
ought to give them support. However, they remain steadfastly faithful to God
and themselves, unceasingly striving to promote the Kingdom of Christ and
dedicate their entire lives to its triumph.
Plínio Corrêa de Oliveira
A fervent devotee of the Blessed Virgin Mary, ardent adorer of the Blessed Sacrament and unquestionably faithful to the See of Peter, from his youth on he dedicated his life to the propagation of the Faith and Social Teaching of the Catholic Church, the defence of her unsullied orthodoxy, the combat against her enemies, both within and without.
As a faithful disciple of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, Plínio Corrêa de Oliveira had this in common with Sir Thomas More: both were great Catholic intellectuals and writers. They were pious men, but above all laymen who indefatigably worked to encourage everyone to follow the Divine Master's footsteps in the Church He founded, not fearing to displease those who opposed the supreme rule of the Magisterium.
Accordingly, like Sir Thomas, Plínio Correa de Oliveira was at different times admired, applauded, opposed, calumniated, and betrayed.
His intellectual life has been portrayed in a best-seller,
The ‘Crusader of the 20th Century', authored by the renowned Italian
University Professor Roberto de Mattei and published in Rome in 1996.
He went to his eternal reward in 1995. His saga lives on in the hearts and minds of lay Catholics who were fortunate enough to benefit from his teaching, guidance and paternal affection.
Saint Gabriel Communications International is proud to derive its inspiration, encouragement and enthusiasm to fight the good combat from the great Crusader of the 20th Century.