The French Catholic Diaspora: St. Mary Magdalene’s Sainte-Baume of Purity

Royaume France VBBDuring my last visit to the Icon of Our Lady of the Sign, Ark of Mercy at the Church of St. Stanislaus Kostka in Chicago, I was forcefully struck interiorly by a realization.

As I pondered in Eucharistic Adoration over the past seven years wherein I inductively developed the themes and concepts for Le Royaume, an understanding overcame me that through all of this Ste. Thérèse had shared her heart with me. My love for the Kingdom of God, the Blessed Virgin Mary’s mystical Kingdom of Catholic France, and Ste. Jehanne d’Arc, all flowed from the heart of “my little mother, Queen, and saint” as expressed in a poem I wrote years ago:

St. Thérèse – My little mother, queen, and saint


My little mother, queen, and saint
A little flower I found one day
Thérèse, whose fragrance none can hide
Sweet, from above, where she abides

My little mother, queen, and saint
Whose petals hold the dew and rain
Of grace from God that falls up there
That makes its fields so pure and fair

My little mother, queen, and saint
Who lets me drink that I’ll not faint
Each time my lips are moist, refreshed
It seems that more of me is fetched

’till nothing’s left, is what I pray
But that which falls Thérèse’s way
And somehow changes beautifully
Me, that is, where I can see

I wish that I could run right now
All through those fields, I see, and how
I’d not come back, but stay to thank
My little mother, queen, and saint

Our Lady of the Sign

I relished the impression. I rejoiced in knowing that through grace Our Lord and our Lady had answered my prayers over the years. Ste. Thérèse was my “little mother,” and I wanted to have a union of hearts with her. She bore me spiritually on her Feast Day, October 1, 1984, when I was converted in an instant to the Faith. Now, after many years, many crosses, and much Hope, I knew that my prayers were bearing great fruit in this relationship between the two of us.

My mind pondered even more deeply my resulting relationships with both Ste. Thérèse and Ste. Jehanne as expressed in another of my poems:

Jeanne d’Arc, where I and Little Flower go


I know the heart of Saint Thérèse
Through whom I came to love and know
Jeanne d’Arc, herself, who’s always there
Where I and Little Flower go

I’d never make a claim so bold
To know another’s heart, I mean
Except, this time, I know it’s true
I know it’s real, if never seen

So much depends on point of view
And even on one’s heart’s desire
It must have been that way for me
The day Thérèse showed me Jeanne’s fire

I saw it like I’d never seen
A moment so sublime before
Thérèse’s heart was like a wind
That swept me to it, wanting more

In flames I went; I took Jeanne’s hand
Afraid, but knowing, glad, no cares
My other hand was clasped, you see
By Saint Thérèse, who joined us there

You mustn’t fear, nor worry so
This fire’s where God in Spirit says
That I may know, be glad, and sure
I know the heart of Saint Thérèse

I know; because before Thérèse
I’d never held her hand to know
Jeanne d’Arc, herself, who’s always there
Where I and Little Flower go

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I concluded that this is the pearl of great price that must be protected at all costs. It is the pearl that drives us to sell all we have in order to obtain it. It is the pearl that represents the Kingdom of God. We are commanded by Our Savior to pray for this Kingdom “on earth as it is in Heaven.”

The connection to all of this with Le Royaume’s royal foundress, St. Mary Magdalene, struck my interior even more forcefully and joyfully. We must keep our feet on the ground while we keep our heads and hearts in Heaven. We must dutifully live out our vocations in the world while “selling all we have” in order to obtain the pearl of great price.

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St. Mary Magdalene helps us by taking our hearts to her mystical cave of Sainte-Baume where the pearl in our hearts is protected in the Immaculate Heart of Mary. We live in the world as husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, bankers, carpenters, farmers, and nurses. Yet, our hearts are protected in mystical Sainte-Baume from the evils of the world through the loving attention and patronage of Mary Magdalene, who secures them in the Immaculate Heart of Mary the Mother of God.

This is Le Royaume’s interpretation of Mystical France which itself is a metaphor for Purity. St. Mary Magdelene helps us in her Sainte-Baume to maintain a pure heart, one capable of a relationship with our Heavenly sisters Jehanne and Thérèse and through them with Mary Immaculate and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ.

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The French Catholic Diaspora: Purity and Humility as the gateway to and guardian of the Mystical Kingdom of Catholic France

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Abandonment to Divine Providence in a dogmatic confession of Catholic faith through the Immaculate Heart of Mary is the hallmark of the French Catholic Diaspora. We entrust ourselves completely in mind, body, and soul through Mary to the authentic teachings and authority of the Holy Catholic Church, the mystical body and bride of Christ. We accept nothing less than the Cross of suffering in union with Jesus Christ as the only path leading us to Le Royaume, the mystical Kingdom of Catholic France that exists as a form in the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Le Royaume is our Heavenly homeland. This mystical Kingdom is our heritage through the royal line of St. Mary Magdalene to whom our Lord bequeathed the land which would become the Kingdom of France on earth and which is the dim mirror (I Corinthians 13:12) through which we perceive the Heavenly France toward which we journey in destiny with our heavenly sisters and patronesses, St. Joan of Arc and St. Thérèse of Lisieux, as royal heirs of St. Mary Magdalene.

This inheritance is of a substance we grasp only slowly and as like that dark mirror to which St. Paul refers.We know it only darkly and dimly now as this inheritance is purity, a purity that shines brilliantly and reveals in us our own vulgarity and sinful filth. This sinful filth is a barrier which will lead us to no other end than eternal damnation. We understand that in order to reach this Kingdom with St. Joan and St. Thérèse, we must be transformed and purified through the Cross of Christ’s suffering, for we have no way to obtain this purity on our own given our vile nature outside of Christ’s grace. To obtain this purity is to obtain the mystical Kingdom of Catholic France. This purity, this Kingdom of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the center of her Immaculate Heart, is only from God and cannot be known to us save through sanctifying grace, a grace we receive in its fullness only through our dogmatic confession of Catholic faith. Through this sanctifying grace resulting from our dogmatic confession and surrender of ourselves heart, mind, soul, and body through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, we seek to bring our inheritance in the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of mystical France, “on earth as it is in Heaven” for the glory of Jesus Christ our only Savior and for the reign of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

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To pass through Le Royaume’s gateway which is our own Calvary of suffering and death on the Cross with Christ, our saintly sisters Joan and Thérèse lead us to our own Sainte-Baume with the Magdalene where we lose all and become completely detached from the things of this earth. Though we live practically and dutifully with our feet solidly on the ground in our daily vocations, we are dead to this world with its Prince of Darkness, and our soul soars to mystical France, our homeland in the Kingdom of God.

We must, with the prayerful intercession and support of St. Mary Magdalene, die on the Cross in our own Sainte-Baume to all things belonging to the darkness of this world as we await the new Heavens and the new earth.

Purity and humility form the gateway to, and are the guardians of, Le Royaume by leading us to death on the Cross with Jesus Christ through the Immaculate Heart of Mary and in the sisterly care of St. Joan and St. Thérèse.

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The French Catholic Diaspora: The gift of St. Mary Magdalene’s self-abandonment to Divine Providence

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An outstanding trait among the French Catholic Diaspora is that of self-abandonment to Divine Providence. This trait is a spiritual gift of grace that comes to us through the royal line of St. Mary Magdalene, foundress of Le Royaume and she to whom Jesus Christ committed and entrusted all of Catholic France by leading her and her companions to the shores of what later would become the Blessed Virgin Mary’s Catholic France.

Just as blessed Mary Magdalene retired from preaching the gospel on the southern shores of modern day France to her cave at La Sainte-Baume for the last thirty years of her life, we to whom Our Lord and Our Lady have bequeathed the inheritance of this lineage and who are the diaspora for the Blessed Virgin Mary’s Kingdom of Catholic France, obtain through St. Mary Magdalene’s intercession the grace of self-abandonment. Though we are not necessarily, nor even likely to be, called to a life of physical, material hermitage in a cave, we nevertheless carry this most precious ointment of grace in our souls. This ointment of self-abandonment is a sweet odor to God the Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit, as it is the total giving of ourself in love to God through the merits of St. Mary Magdalene and through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the Mother of God.

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Our abandonment to the Father through the Son in the love and confidence of the Holy Spirit excites our soul with a holy fire. As the benefactors of the overflow of St. Mary Magdalene’s abundance of graces received during her thirty years of solitude, we find ourselves walking gracefully with St. Joan of Arc and St. Thérèse of Lisieux on the Trail of the Dogmatic Creed through a breathtaking mountain pass leading to the mystical Kingdom of Catholic France. This edification is none other than the realization that our mother and the Mother of God, Mary most Holy, watches over us the way she cared for the couple at the wedding feast in Cana. Without even needing to ask, the couple found themselves under the empathetic and loving watch of Our Lady, who anticipated their needs and even brought Our Lord to yield His time (for it was not yet His time) to help them.

How blessed we are to receive this life giving grace of abandonment to Our Lord through the Immaculate Heart of Mary which is metaphorically the narrow, beautiful mountain pass leading us to freedom along the Trail of the Dogmatic Creed with St. Joan and St. Thérèse to the mystical Kingdom of Catholic France.

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The French Catholic Diaspora: The Mystical Kingdom of Catholic France

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The reason I am Catholic is simple. Only Catholicism will give me what I love and desire. Only Catholicism will fulfill my heart’s longing. Only Catholicism is capable of making me into the person that I know I am in the mind of God.

My work is nothing less than a journey with Ste. Jehanne d’Arc and Ste. Thérèse de l’Enfant Jésus along the Trail of the Dogmatic Creed of the Catholic Church. This Trail runs through the fields and meadows, over the hills and snow-capped mountains, and across the streams and rivers in the Immaculate Heart of Mary to the mystical Kingdom of Catholic France in the Heavenly Kingdom of God. I journey toward that Kingdom by striving to embody the prayer of the Our Father to bring His Will and Kingdom “on earth as it is in Heaven.”

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This is a pilgrim’s journey, and one that I do not mind walking alone; though, I enjoy the company of those who likewise are called to this Kingdom. I simply make my way and welcome those who wish to join. I work by a “gather or disperse” philosophy. Join me if you wish. Disperse if you wish. I am here to inform, not debate.

My Catholic spirituality is grounded in the sacraments, Eucharistic adoration, and True Devotion to Mary. I am influenced more specifically by the combined spirituality of Ste. Jehanne d’Arc and Ste. Thérèse de l’Enfant Jésus. I interpret Jehanne d’Arc through the spirituality of Thérèse, notably as represented through her plays and poetry about Jehanne.

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My ardent devotion to Ste. Jehanne d’Arc inspires me to seek her world view for my own. In order to do that I desire an authentic interpretation of the enigmatic saint. I believe Ste. Thérèse to be the most authentic interpreter of Ste. Jehanne’s soul.

My mission is to facilitate the coming of the Father’s Kingdom “on earth as it is in Heaven” by inspiring others to “seek first the Kingdom” through a repentant, dogmatic confession of Catholic faith and through exemplary Catholic ideals.

Ste. Jehanne d’Arc and Ste. Thérèse de l’Enfant Jésus are representative, in my humble view, of some of the highest and most noble of those ideals.

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The French Catholic Diaspora: The royal line of France through St. Mary Magdalene

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“Jesus Christ bequeathed his Mother to Jerusalem, St. Peter to Rome, St. John to Asia — to whom will he have bequeathed Mary Magdalene?

We know already, it is France who received from the hands of God this part of the Testament of His Son… Tradition, history, the monuments tell it to us clearly, and Providence has taken care to give to their testimony an invincible clarity.  One cannot bring one’s feet down on the soil of Provence without encountering at each step the memory of St.  Mary Magdalene.

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It is there that St.  Mary Magdalene ended her pilgrimage; it is there that St.  Maximin buried her in an alabaster sepulchre, in memory of that other alabaster where the saint had twice enclosed the ointment with which she anointed the Savior; it is there that St.Maximin himself wanted his mortal remains to be deposited, beside those other remains so dear to his heart, to Jesus Christ, to the angels, and to mankind and where they came in quest of it — a veneration that will soon be twenty centuries old.

Bethany is no more, but Jesus Christ has given to Magdalene the house she lost, and the one and the other, the Master and the Disciple, the God who was loved and the woman who loved, live together at St. Maximin, as in other times they lived on the sides of the Mount of Olives.  Marseilles is the Jerusalem of this new Bethany, and France is the greater and more faithful Judea.

I say France; because it was she that inherited Provence, and with her St.  Magdalene.

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Here, perhaps, at the close of our work, one asks oneself why the divine Master of Souls has chosen as the one to love Him more than anyone else a poor sinner, and bequeathed her to us as the most moving example of holiness.  The reason is not difficult to discover:  innocence is a drop of water in the world, repentance is the ocean that envelops it and saves it. “

~ Life of Mary Magdalene by Henri Dominique Lacordaire, OP

“RoyaumeFrance is the spiritual inheritance of St. Mary Magdalene, whom we honor and with whom we unite ourselves in contemplative prayer through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. With her brother Lazarus, she first brought the contemplative spirit of the apostolic age to what would become France. Therefore, St. Mary Magdalene is the prototype of RoyaumeFrance’s contemplative spirit. We honor her as foundress and she through whose prayers and sacrifices the Lord and Our Lady surely blessed what was later to become the Virgin Mary’s Catholic France.”

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A subtle but profound relationship exists between the spiritual diaspora of the Kingdom of Catholic France and St. Mary Magdalene. As so eloquently described by Lacordaire above, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ bequeathed France’s future to her. It was she who brought the contemplative apostolic spirit as the seed to what would become France. France is a royal Kingdom that exists both in Heaven and on earth. Mary Magdalene, now as the spouse and bride of the King of Kings in Heaven (just as Ste. Thérèse and Ste. Jehanne d’Arc with all the Heavenly saints are spouses of Christ) blessed France with a royal inheritance.

We are that royal inheritance as the spiritual children of Ste. Jehanne and Ste. Thérèse’s Catholic France. As the spiritual diaspora of the Kingdom of Catholic France, we are, like Ste. Jehanne and Ste. Thérèse, of the royal line of St. Mary Magdalene, whose royalty was bestowed on her in grace through her repentant, dogmatic faith in Jesus Christ.

This is why we say in our Mission statement:

“RoyaumeFrance’s mission is to inspire a spiritual, worldwide Catholic Kingdom of souls who seek, grow, and persevere in sanctifying grace using a complementary threefold approach: 1) Seek the Kingdom through a repentant, dogmatic confession of Catholic faith grounded in the Sacraments, habitual Eucharistic adoration, and Total Consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary; 2) Love the Kingdom through the friendship and sisterly care of the co-patronesses of France, St. Joan of Arc and St. Thérèse of Lisieux; 3) Defend the Kingdom through the beautiful, ennobling counterrevolutionary pedagogy of Traditional French Catholicism.”

A repentant, dogmatic confession of Catholic faith through the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the sisterly care of Ste. Jehanne and Ste. Thérèse, imbued in the noble pedagogy of Traditional French Catholicism, is the foundation of RoyaumeFrance. St. Mary Magdalene is our royal inheritance and our foundress in this matter through the spiritual consequences of her repentant, dogmatic love for Jesus Christ and her historical role in founding Catholic France.

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The French Catholic Diaspora: We are the spiritual diaspora of the Kingdom of Catholic France. (Ste. Jehanne et Ste. Thérèse)

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We are the spiritual diaspora of the Kingdom of Catholic France.

That declaration is the natural extension of our devotion to Traditional French Catholicism and the Renaissance of Catholic France. It is such a natural extension based on the model for the mystical Kingdom of Catholic France given to us by Ste. Jehanne d’Arc.

“In the language of images Jeanne has thus (with her banner) depicted the Church in heaven as pure adoration of God, the Church on earth as the reception of God in the womb of the Virgin Mary, and sinful humanity, gathered in this Church around the cross along with the priests and soldiers, redeemed and repentant. Yet it is the same Church that is on earth and in heaven.”

– (The Spiritual Way of St. Jeanne d’Arc by George Tavard)

Ste. Jehanne saw the Kingdom of France through this very lens which revealed a mystical relationship between heaven and earth.

“Gentle dauphin, I am Joan the Maid, and the King of Heaven commands  that through me you be anointed and crowned in the city of Reims as a lieutenant of the King of Heaven, who is King of France.”

– (Joan of Arc, Her Story by Régine Pernoud)

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Clearly, Jehanne’s spiritual vision of France was bound to her mystical understanding of the Church as one Body existing both in heaven and earth. She saw France in the same light. Jesus Christ is King of France. Charles VII was to be his lieutenant and the steward of the Kingdom.

France, according to Jehanne d’Arc, is one body existing both in Heaven and on earth.

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In the future, and from her place in Heaven, Jehanne would see France, the modern day version of which she herself created through the power of the Holy Spirit and the authority of Jesus Christ, officially recognize the Virgin Mary as her Queen through the consecration of the Kingdom to Mary by King Louis XIII and Queen Anne in 1638. This was another act that demonstrated dramatically the mystical relationship between France and Heaven. The Fleur-de-Lys remains close to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. To love Mary is to love the Kingdom of Catholic France and to love the Kingdom of Catholic France is to love Mary.

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This is what we mean when we say that we see the Kingdom of Heaven bathed in the beautiful, mystical light of the combined spirituality of Ste. Jehanne d’Arc and Ste. Thérèse de l’Enfant Jésus. We see a particular Kingdom in Heaven where there are many Kingdoms, or, “rooms in the Father’s house.” We see the mystical Kingdom of Catholic France through the eyes, heart, mind, and soul of Ste. Jehanne and Ste. Thérèse. By this we are saying that it is through Immaculate Mary, who holds the Fleur-de Lys close to her heart, and from her through the hearts of Jehanne and Thérèse that Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit pours His graces into our hearts, creating Himself in us and espousing our own souls as part of His mystical Body, the Church. He does this through these beautiful saints and through their beautiful spiritual light that reflects the Kingdom of Catholic France. This is what we mean when we also say:

“To Jesus through Mary in the friendship and sisterly care of Sts. Joan and Thérèse!”

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We are not necessarily part of the temporal Kingdom of France. We are from all corners of the earth. However, we form a spiritual community from around the world that is, in fact, part of the mystical Kingdom of France in Heaven. In the “real” world, which is that world eternal in Heaven, as opposed to this passing, transitory world, we are the children of this Kingdom where we joyfully make up our part of the beautiful landscape in the total Kingdom of Heaven. Let us begin our journey toward that Kingdom while we are on earth.

“Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.”

Our vision:

“RoyaumeFrance’s Vision is the Blessed Virgin Mary’s Kingdom of Catholic France on earth as it is in Heaven, bathed in the mystically beautiful light of the combined spirituality of Sts. Joan of Arc and Thérèse of Lisieux. This Kingdom is not limited to the earthly boundaries of France but is a spiritual, worldwide society of sanctified souls living out their repentant, dogmatic confession of Catholic faith through total consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and in evangelical devotion to Traditional French Catholicism.”

We are the spiritual diaspora of the Kingdom of Catholic France.

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