Most great events seem to go unnoticed, or hardly noticed. Take for example the purification of Mary and presentation of Jesus in the temple according to the law of Moses, where Simeon, the just man of Jerusalem, was waiting for the Messiah, the consolation of Israel.
He had received an answer to his prayer that he would not see death until he beheld the ‘Promised One.’
He came to the temple, urged by the Spirit, when Joseph and Mary brought Jesus to the temple. Simeon also took Him in his arms and exclaimed: "Now Thou dost dismiss Thy servant, O Lord, according to Thy word in peace; for my eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou has prepared before the face of all peoples; a light to the revelation of the nations, and the glory of Thy people Israel.." How many people think of this historical event? They argue so much about religion, but few of them live their religion.
The difference between heroes and zeros is not in how they think or what they think, generally speaking, but what they do! Some of the greatest works have been accomplished by the simplest of souls whose strongest impulse to act was an equally simple truth and a genuine love for God. You can burn all the libraries in the world, and tell all the lies in the world - and very little will be changed. Each generation is born into a moral cesspool. The majority get used to the smell and adapt themselves to it; the smallest minority, repulsed by it, roll up their sleeves and plunge into it to clean it up. The former are the zeroes and the latter are the heroes.
We who have genuine heroes are the first to forget them as we follow the mob in its insipid and morbid hallowing of pseudo-heroes. In fact, these ‘heroes’ are usually the ones who have spent their lives creating the hell we live in!
Two unusual heroes come to mind because they left their mark on mankind, even though mankind ignores them. You see, that’s one of the hazards of being a hero: The people the hero gives his life to help are the ones who put him in his grave. This, as I have often said, is the reason why there are not many heroes in the world: few people have the courage to lay down their lives for their fellowmen. Mostly because, as Jesus of Nazareth already knew: Few people will even take advantage from the ultimate sacrifice. Heroes don’t need monuments and don’t really want them. They labor for a higher reward: a reward promised them by Jesus Christ.
Who are these two ‘unusual’ heroes so little known?
Well, chronologically, we might start with Blessed Sebastian of Aparicio, O.F.M. He was a Spaniard, born to poor farmers in the province of Galicia in 1502. He was a comely young man and wicked women often tried to trap him into sins of impurity. The crass elements of the crowd frequently ridiculed him for his piety and reserve. He was thirty-one when he emigrated to Puebla, Mexico. He contributed much to the public welfare through his work of manufacturing plows and wagons, building roads through the forests and mountains, and transporting grain and other products to the cities. He became very wealthy, but he lived like a poor man while he distributed his wealth to the needy. He became a Franciscan brother at Puebla at the age of 71. He died there in his 98th year on Feb.25,1600. His incorrupt body lies in glass tomb in a large chapel adjoining the Franciscan church. The main highway that to this day connects Zacatecas with Mexico City was first built by Blessed Sebastian. I wonder how many Mexican Catholics think of him?
Then there is another man who has not been proclaimed anything by anyone, although he certainly was a servant of God. It may be too early to say much about this man because there are just too many people, blinded by one passion or another, abusing his name. Like our Lord, he was the victim of bad publicity. And, as you know, the people who create bad publicity are not the most honorable people in the world. In fact, they are more often the kind of people you’d find swimming around in a cesspool.
That great man, small of physical stature but a genuine giant in spiritual stature is Archbishop Ngo Dinh Thuc.
His greatness lies in a most peculiar, but Christ-like Calvary: He was the only high-ranking ecclesiastic who stood up to the Vatican II Modernist Reformers and saved the Apostolic Succession by consecrating several bishops.
The worst critics of this great little Archbishop were - and still are - the pharisaic "Traditionalists" of whatever doctrinal exaggeration. They are united - like all heretics without distinction - in one thing alone: in their rejection of the true faith. Like every heretic, they have heaped the most vile and malicious calumnies upon Archbishop Ngo. Even those who have deceived him with their false piety and words of lying dedication, abuse his good name for their own self-aggrandizement.
Not only St. Paul suffered such abuses, but our Lord Himself was the victim of the same personalities. Why we even find them all around us today: Those who say "Lord, Lord" but whom the Lord knows not: All heretics and schismatics who range themselves like a turbulent storm against the tiny Bark of Peter - the few Roman Catholics that are left in the world with their Bishop to guide them.
The work of Archbishop Ngo - the labor of love for the Church for which he sacrificed his honor and his life - is continued in the genuine tradition and right order of the Church through the Franciscan Friars whose Motherhouse is located in Rochester, NY. It was here that the Archbishop established his residence at St. Bonaventure Seminary; it was from here that he was abducted and held against his will. He had been reduced to a virtual automaton by his captors, much like Cardinal Stepanic of Hungary who said just before being taken into captivity by the Communists: "Whatever I sign or whatever I may say, do not believe it because I will no longer be myself." What is extraordinarily strange is that the very people who perceive themselves as the only force against Communism (the John Birch Society) among alleged-Catholics are the most vicious in attacking the Archbishop. Likewise, when one of the Bishops exposed the Masonic mentality of that organization (based on an analysis of their ‘Blue Book,’ a similar attack was launched against him: That is, anyone who disagrees with them must be ‘mentally unstable.’ But, this strategy is exactly the one used by Communists and their fellow-travelers! It goes way back to the originators of such an insult to another human being: it goes back to the original Pharisees. There is no limit to the lengths evil men will go to impose their perverted wills upon others.
Archbishop Ngo Dinh Thuc died in captivity on Dec. 13, 1984, surrounded by Vietnamese turncoats. If ever anyone deserves the title ‘martyr’ - witness to the faith - in our day it would have to be Archbishop Ngo Dinh Thuc, the glory and honor of the true Church of Vietnam! He bravely denounced the false popes publicly, while cowards do so secretly.
Like his Master, Archbishop Ngo and those Bishops who remained loyal to him have become the sword dividing the true from the false: the true Roman Catholics from the charismatics, the false visionaries, the Modernists, the Traditionalists and all the rest who have made a business of crying "Lord, Lord."
God still gives us heroes. The trouble is: We refuse to recognize them; and gladly put them to death!
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