Bell Towers of Tradition

To be a faithful echo of the Holy Church: this desire that guided Dr. Plinio’s existence is expressed in the words he addresses to youths departing for the unpredictable fight for perseverance, after several days of blessed conviviality.

After these days of frequent contact, which first appeared as an arduous unknown to overcome, but throughout which your souls were illuminated with new lights, new harmonies, new truths and the fire of new resolutions, the moment of separation arrives. It is a cruel moment of tearing oneself away, not because of foolish sentimentality, or because of friendships that will become geographically distanced, but due to a great unknown that weighs in the balance of this separation: the mystery of perseverance.

The epic struggle for perseverance

You are going like sheep into the midst of wolves, to proclaim the truth and preach the good, by your example, your word and your abnegation, to fight a whole world that has given itself over to evil, error, extravagance and depravity. The shock will be immense, the trial will be harsh. It will assail you. The struggle that lies before you is an epic one.

Because of this, many of you at this moment are feeling an anguish that is gripping your heart. This anguish is not only yours, it is also ours, for we are concerned for you. And seeing your steps, which tomorrow will begin to lead you far away, along so many different paths, we ask: “My Lady, will they persevere?”

The answer that is born from the depths of this question formulated by anguish is not the answer of affliction, but the answer of confidence, of prayer already answered a thousand times.

Our Lady does not abandon those who isolate themselves and follow her paths without the close protection of the presence of those who dwell here. For those who leave on orders, on a mission, at her calling, her sapiential and immaculate gaze rests on each one at every moment of his existence, and this is more than anything we could do.

Her smile, grace and strength will protect you, will speak to you in the depths of your soul, will speak to you through the voice of a friend, a colleague, or through a good example that you receive. Therefore, go in good spirits, resolutely, and contemplating the beauty of your vocation.

What is the beauty of this vocation?

Bell towers in the midst of desolation

Imagine a city completely given over to disorder and chaos. A city from whose confusing noise can be heard cacophony of every kind. And the cacophony of this city roars with blasphemy and immorality.

Bell of Blessed Sacrament Church, Salvador (Brazil

Imagine, scattered throughout that city, the bells of hundreds of churches ringing out, imploring God for mercy and justice, begging the Most High to put an immediate stop to so many abominations, either by forgiveness or by force, in order to save souls that are being lost.

Imagine those bells tolling – rung by faithful hands – and whose tones ring out through the air, trying to subdue the blasphemous cacophony of the city. It is a din of voices, a clash of sounds, the sacral harmony of protesting bells that descend from on high, seeking to drown out the spurious noises that rise from the earth.

In the course of this struggle, the first fighters grow old and begin to die. Others do not die or grow old, but ring the bells with arms that begin to feel weary; discouragement attacks them. Others, in the end, are seduced by the voices from the earth below; they abandon the bells, fail in their mission and descend from the sacred towers of fidelity to the swamplands, to the streets full of immorality and blasphemy.

The bells that still ring are few, but amid the noise of the city they persevere. They persevere in every sense, they persevere in every manner and they persevere against all hope. They obstinately keep ringing!

Endowed with supernatural sonority, the bells find an echo

In the highest Heaven is Our Lady, Queen of the whole universe, who hears, judges and prays. The omnipotent supplicant, She accompanies earthly events step by step.

And in the midst of the general clamour, of the cries of anguish that come from sin, of the cries of revolt that rise from lust, selfishness and pride, Our Lady endows these bells with a supernatural sound. They then begin to find an echo.

Here and there, scattered throughout the rebellious city, one or another voice is impressed and says: “This uproar cannot go on! There is a bell inviting me to something other than this cacophony. I will give myself to the voice of that bell. Amid the confusion, I will seek it out, I will stand by it and there I will find a way forward for myself. Men, come and follow me!”

And from here and there, small nuclei spring up in the darkness and vastness of the catastrophe, gathering together, becoming acquainted, organizing themselves, uniting, and reaching the part of the city where a few bell towers still ring, and there they congregate and begin the battle of re-conquest.

They then set to work against disorder of all kind. They use the sword of the word which, according to St. Paul (cf. Heb 4:12), is so tremendous, so marvellous and so efficient that it achieves something far greater than millions of bodily destructions. This sword reaches that mysterious and profound region where everything is governed, where the destinies of history are decided, the region called by the Apostle to the Gentiles the junction between the soul and the spirit.

The bells begin to penetrate souls. They produce movements of indignation and of crystallization; they draw behind them, in protest against the madness, the chaos and the corruption, multitudes who previously did nothing. Some slept, others wept, a few prayed; no one acted. But, now united, they began to fight, to react. Our Lady thus assembles her first army.

At a certain moment, when the last bells are still ringing and still persevering, but their number is becoming so small that hardly anyone can hear them anymore in the midst of the general confusion, evil then tries to suffocate this army, tries to extinguish the sound of these last bells. At that moment, Our Lady, from the heights of Heaven, descends with her Angels. She intervenes, dispels the evil ones and establishes her glory.

An echo that prolongs the past and sounds the timbre of the future

When the glory of the Reign of the Blessed Virgin begins to shine among men, the same bell is ringing.

It is the bell of the beginning of the reaction. It carries the timbre of the bronze tones rung in past ages of glory and peace, as a most faithful echo of the voices of the past. It is the bell of Tradition which, at the dawn of the Reign of Mary, tolls the sound of every age, the sound of all the lessons of the Holy Roman Catholic Church, not only prolonging the past, but resonating with the timbre of the most radiant and beautiful future.

Our Lady is waiting, to intervene at that precise juncture when all seems lost and She wishes all to be saved. This is the very moment before us.

Everyday life shows it to us, in our contact not only with those close to us, but also with those far away: from here, there and elsewhere, in the midst of generalized chaos, we see people coming together.

The impossible is happening: auditoriums like this one are filled, and they are filled with young people whom the Revolution has been preparing for centuries to become its victims.

How can we explain this fact, except by a supernatural action, by a special grace of Our Lady, by a unique mission in today’s revolted world?

“Grace will not fail you!”

In your states, in your cities, in your countries, you will be the tolling bells of Tradition. Around you, in the ambiences you frequent, the galvanizing force of this call from Our Lady will be felt.

The charge of the devil will not be lacking. The opposition of the spirit of darkness, which has been expressed in murmurings, the slanders used against you in every way, will multiply. The day will come when that will not be enough; they will want your flesh, your blood and your life.

But you are the bell tower that tolls in the dark and in the cacophony, tolls in the midst of all the confusion, ringing out the sound of Tradition, the sound of the Catholic past, and raising this sound into the first days of the Reign of Mary.

In this beautiful mission, given to each one of you individually, to the least among you, to the most tried among you, to the most tempted among you, in this mission – which at the moment knocks at the door of your souls to convince and enkindle you – even if the Heavens must open and the Angels come down in visible form to preserve your fidelity, in this mission, grace will not fail you!

Be valiant, be faithful echoes of Tradition, and you will return here in the near future, singing joyfully of the victories Our Lady has won for you.

There is a Psalm that says: “Euntes ibant et flebant, mittentes semina sua. Venientes autem venient cum exsultatione, portantes manípulos suos” (126:6). They went in sadness and uncertainty, before dawn, in the dark, weeping, but they sowed.

And behold, they return in joy, bringing to the tranquillity of their home, to the splendour of their family life, the instruments and the fruits of the labour with which they filled the day in the fulfilment of their duty.

You go now, and in our souls there is weeping. But you carry the seeds you have received in this meeting. And you will return – by God’s grace – with joy, bringing the instruments of your labour, the lessons you have received and the friends you have won for the Catholic Cause.

A life guided by the doctrine of the Holy Church

A word has been said about you. A word must now be said about me.

Dr. Plinio in the year 1970

So many times has my name been spoken this evening, so many times has it been generously mentioned, that I would be failing in justice if I did not say something about myself.

You have read my words, you have heard me speak on various occasions and you hear me speak even now. You will never hear from me the following phrase: “I have elaborated a doctrine, I have constructed a thought, I have founded a school, I have done this, I have done that.”

Everything I have accomplished in my life, I make a point of presenting – out of a duty of justice, in the joy, enthusiasm, recognition and exultant gratitude of my soul – as being the doctrine of the Holy Roman Catholic Church.

For if there is anything good in me, it is only the result of the fact that Our Lady has granted me the grace – for which I have no words to thank Her, and I hope I can spend all eternity thanking Her – of having been baptized, of being a child of the Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church.

The doctrine I teach is an exposition of the doctrine of the Church. Read my books, listen to my recorded lectures: you will never learn anything else from me.

“I am an echo of the great bell which is the Catholic Church”

You will say that there is much observation of reality, that there is much sagacity in the way we discern things, that there is originality in the way we solve problems. And I will tell you that it is true. But you will hear me repeat a hundred times that I owe these predicates to the fact of being imbued with Catholic doctrine.

I am not, I do not pretend to be anything but a bell, and less than a bell. I am an echo of the great bell that is the Roman Catholic Church. I wish to prolong her teaching, not as a minister, not as a teacher, but as a faithful disciple, filled with joy at the glory of being a disciple. I want to prolong this teaching which is silent in so many chairs, in so many pulpits, in so many confessionals.

Bell tower of Mater Boni Consilii Chapel, Mariporã (Brazil)

We are the echo that in the midst of the battle prolongs the voice of the bell, that carries it far and makes it heard everywhere; faithful even when – oh, sorrow! –the bell is silent, because the echo continues when the bell is silent. Faithful even when the bell begins to ring wildly, betraying its vocation as a bell. This is the fidelity of the echo, which dies the moment it stops echoing.

My desire in life is only to repeat what I have heard from the Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Indefectible confidence in Our Lady

This fidelity which I have maintained to this day, and which Our Lady – I hope – will grant me until the end of my days, to what do I owe it?

Allow me a moment to make a confidence to you.

Around 1920, there was a boy in São Paulo, born into a Catholic family, who had an image of Our Lady in his room, towards which he showed an inexplicable attachment.

At a certain moment, this boy went through a very hard trial. At that moment he went to pray before a statue of Our Lady Help of Christians.

This little boy, raising his eyes to the statue of Our Lady – without having a vision or revelation, without having anything beyond the ordinary ways of grace – this little boy understood, however, that She was the Mother of Mercy, and that with Her, all his difficulties would be resolved.

From then on, he acquired a trust in Mary that never left him throughout his life. The Virgin smiled at him continually, and this boy made it his duty to speak of Her and to serve Her as long as he lived.

This boy, who owes everything to Our Lady and who now makes a grateful precept of veneration to Her, showing that there is nothing in himself, and that She is the Mediatrix of all graces, that to Her we must attribute all that we have, this boy, you see him at this moment. It is he who has been speaking to you. 

Taken, with adaptations
for the written language, from:
São Paulo, 15/1/1970



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