Letter #128, 2022, Wednesday, December 14: Vatican Fraud  

    Today is the Feast of St. John of the Cross (1542-1591).

    John of the Cross is most famous for his book The Dark Night of the Soul, a central work in the history of Christian mysticism… that is, in the writing about the search for God, and the finding of God.

    The Encyclopedia Brittanica writes (link):

    “John schematized the steps of mystical ascent—a self-communion that in quietude leads the individual from the inharmonious distractions of the world to the sublime peace of reunion between the soul and God.

    “John’s schematization combines a poetic sensitivity for the nuances of mystical experience with a theological and philosophical precision guided by his study of St. Thomas Aquinas.

    “By virtue of his intense poems — Cántico espiritual (“The Spiritual Canticle”), Noche oscura del alma (“The Dark Night of the Soul”), and Llama de amor viva (“The Living Flame of Love”) — he achieves preeminence in Spanish mystical literature, expressing the experience of the mystical union between the soul and Christ.

    “In (the poem) Noche oscura, perhaps his best-known work, he describes the process by which the soul sheds its attachment to everything and eventually passes through a personal experience of Christ’s Crucifixion to His glory. The lyric consists of eight stanzas ‘in which the soul sings of the fortunate adventure that it had in passing through the dark night of faith…to union with the Beloved.’”

    So, we should remember that the “dark night of the soul” in John of the Cross is not a night to fear, filled with emptiness, with suffering, but rather a night to rejoice in, because it is the night in which the soul seeks, and finally finds, God.    

    John of the Cross was a friend of the great Spanish mystic saint, St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582, link), who wrote The Interior Castle and The Way of Perfection.

    Fray Diego, one of Teresa’s former confessors, wrote that God had revealed to Teresa:

    “…a most beautiful crystal globe, made in the shape of a castle, and containing seven mansions, in the seventh and innermost of which was the King of Glory, in the greatest splendour, illumining and beautifying them all. The nearer one got to the centre, the stronger was the light; outside the palace limits everything was foul, dark and infested with toads, vipers and other venomous creatures.”

    So these two saints, friends, both emphasized the need for the soul to “shed its attachment to everything” and set out to ascend toward an encounter with God.

    Below is a brief report on a matter that has just been reported concerning the Vatican today. —RM

    Note: During this Advent season, as we draw closer to Christmas, we would like to note that these letters are free, but would benefit from your support. Please consider clicking on the button below and making a gift to help ensure that these letters continue…

    The following is the text of a Zenit story published today:

    Millionaire fraud at Vatican Museums unveiled (link)

    New York attorney Sarah Rose Speno came upon what she called a “high-tech heist of world class treasured art” when she sought to acquire licensing rights to artwork owned by the Vatican Museums.

    December 14, 2022


    Last month, Pope Francis privately met with Vatican Museums Vice Director Monsignor Paolo Nicolini.

    The meeting came days after The Daily Wire notified the Holy See of a months-long investigation that suggests that lucrative rights to priceless Vatican-owned art were being sold off by a third party.

    The investigation will be published by The Daily Wire on Wednesday, December 14, 2022 [today].

    New York attorney Sarah Rose Speno came upon what she called a “high-tech heist of world class treasured art” when she sought to acquire licensing rights to artwork owned by the Vatican Museums. Speno pursued licensing through Scripta Maneant, a company that represented they could license rights to Vatican artwork.

    Speno soon discovered that the company refused to provide evidence of Vatican approval for her proposal and Scripta Maneant had sold images to another immersive Vatican exhibit in Boston — both companies claiming collaboration with the Vatican.

    A portion of the $550,000 licensing fee requested by Scripta Maneant to Speno was, according to Scripta Maneant, going to be paid to the Vatican through Monsignor Nicolini, the Vice Director of the Vatican Museums.

    When Scripta Maneant requested an initial payment via cash wire of $82,500 before they would produce proof of Vatican approval, Speno became suspicious.

    After failing to produce evidence of their licensing rights, Scripta Maneant threatened to sue The Daily Wire to prevent publication of this information.

    The Vatican has not yet responded to The Daily Wire about the topic of discussion between Pope Francis and Monsignor Nicolini on November 7.

    [End Zenit article]

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