It is moving to visit Rome, for its greatness ancient and modern. Of the ancient forum where Cicero spoke and Caesar triumphed, there remain only ruins scattered across an enclave around which swirls the modern city. Yet even the broken fragments are enough to call up Roman Virgil’s majestic lines:—
Tu regere imperio, populos, Romane, memento.
Hae tibi erunt artes, pacisque imponere morem,
Parcere subjectis, et debellare superbos.
Forget not, Roman, thy appointed way,
To hold and rule peoples beneath thy sway.
Here is thy skill, world order to impose,
On the proud, harsh war, but peace to conquered foes.
Virgil was no Christian, because he died 19 years before Our Lord was born. Yet every ancient Roman shared his sense of Rome’s great mission, to create a world order. Only little did those ancients know just what that world order would be.
Catholics know. Everywhere in Rome there are the relics, sanctuaries, churches and basilicas of the martyrs who, by redirecting their Roman virility towards dying for Christ, over the course of 250 years converted their city into the world centre of the one true religion, which it remains to this day. Mother Church has equally majestic lines to commemorate that change. For instance, from the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul –
O Roma felix! Quae duorum Principum
Es consecrata glorioso sanguine.
Horum cruore purpurata ceteras
Excellis orbis una pulchritudines.
O happy Rome! Both Princes of the Faith
Did consecrate thee with their glorious blood.
Raised above all fair cities of the earth
Art thou, the fairest by this crimson flood.
But where is the Roman virility to resist the anti-Christian New World Order which they are building today?