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Friday, March 25, 2022

March 25 : The central turning-point around which all time and space revolves

 March 25 :  
“The central turning-point around which all time and space revolves”

By Michael Hoffman


The Lily Crucifixion from the Llanbeblig Hours manuscript (circa 1390), courtesy of Eleanor Parker, the Clerk of Oxford

We often hear the term “medieval mind” employed as a calumny by the enthusiasts of modernist change-for-the-sake-of-change, and devotees of  scientism (as distinguished from science; note the difference). Some Protestants are also guilty of imagining that the “medieval mind” connotes a woeful ignorance of Holy Scripture and an inclination toward superstition, which may have been true in its fading years, but not at its height, and it is to that promontory that we draw your attention.

The Middle Ages was an epoch that spanned the 900s to the early 1400s and across those five centuries there was much that was altered (think of the degree to which America has changed in less than half that time, 1776 to 2022). The early medieval period was fiercely opposed to the Money Power as personified by the example of Saints Edward the Confessor, Francis of Assisi, Anthony of Padua, and the lay poet Dante Alighieri. The Bible was the central chart of spiritual navigation and daily life; the latter with an impact we can scarcely imagine today, in part because we have lost the sense of the pageantry of “the holy days,” wherein we awaken ourselves to a perennial reality.

All days are sacred, New Age believers will respond. But if that claim is anything more than psychobabble, we say, prove it. Are each of your days consecrated and set apart in all their twenty-four hours? The medieval mind being far less utopian understood that the charge in Genesis that Adam would earn his bread by the sweat of his brow, signified that much of our daily routine would be consumed with labor that is not always edifying. For this reason many civilizations set aside holy days as particular times. First, for calling to mind the event that hallowed the time, and then through contemplation and commemoration “slowing” time during the sacred period, to dwell within the memory that had marked it and thereby render it a lived experience.

What remains of our holy days now — reduced to Christmas and Resurrection Sunday (“Easter”) — has decayed, and as many have lamented, been “commercialized.” In some cases souls are so put upon during “the holidays” that the sacred period becomes more a source of depression than renewal and blessing.

The medieval calendar was chock-a-block with a plenitude of sacred times of the season, now forgotten. One of those was observed today, March 25, as “Lady Day” (the Feast of the Annunciation).

Eleanor Parker, an Oxford University medievalist, recounts Lady Day and its paradoxical counterpart, Good Friday, coming as it did in the midst of Lent, the cycle that re-lives the 40 days of Jesus in the desert, as well as His “Passion,” His arrest (Holy Thursday), execution (Good Friday), sojourn in Hades (Holy Saturday—which in Greek denotes the underworld of the grave, not “hell”)—and His Resurrection (“Easter”), on the First Day of the Week, henceforth forever The Lord’s Day.

Lady Day is not a rival or competition for the Lord’s Day, though much that is profound and blessed is lost when it is subsumed, as it was by the Reformation. In our day it has been eclipsed to the point of invisibility by a secularized Churchianity in which the Ecclesia has abandoned its mission as a militant counter-culture — a Sign of Jonas held aloft in the face of a mad age of murder and carnality cloaked in the Jim Dandy platitudes of humanism and “luhv.”

Eleanor Parker: “In patristic and medieval tradition, March 25 was considered to be the historical date of the Crucifixion.”

As noted, March 25 was also regarded as the date of the Annunciation, when the humble Israelite woman Mary responded to the Angel Gabriel’s offer to become the mother of the Lord of Creation. To which she responded, “Be it done unto me according to thy Word,” and with that fateful obedient assent, conceived the Christ child by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Parker continues, “The conjunction of the two dates (the Crucifixion and the Annunciation) was considered to be both deliberate and profoundly meaningful. The date of the feast of the Annunciation was chosen to match the supposed historical date of the Crucifixion…in order to underline the idea that Christ came into the world on the same day that he left it: his life formed a perfect circle. March 25 was both the first and the last day of his earthly life, the beginning and the completion of his work on earth. The idea goes back at least to the third century. Augustine explained it in this way:

“He is believed to have been conceived on the 25th of March, upon which day also he suffered; so the womb of the Virgin, in which he was conceived, where no one of mortals was begotten, corresponds to the new grave in which he was buried, wherein was never man laid, neither before him nor since.” (End quote from St. Augustine).

“According to some calculations, 25 March was also considered to be the eighth day in the week which saw the creation of the world, as well as the date of certain events from the Old Testament which prefigured Christ’s death, including the sacrifice of Isaac and the crossing of the Red Sea. It is the single most significant date in salvation history, and for that reason has also made it into some fictional history too: those of you who are Tolkien fans will know that the final destruction of the Ring takes place on 25 March…

“(I)t’s the link between the Annunciation and the Crucifixion which has most fascinated theologians and artists over the centuries. Here's one beautiful passage from the Old English Martyrology, in its entry for March 25, explaining what was by the ninth century the common understanding of the date: ‘On the twenty-fifth day of the month Gabriel first came to St Mary with God’s message, and on that day St. Mary conceived in the city of Nazareth through the angel’s word and through the hearing of her ears, like trees when they blossom at the blowing of the wind…’

“At the Annunciation Mary becomes like the blossoming trees in spring, and like the tree which became Christ’s cross: she bears new life to the world. The parallel reflects the ancient tradition which links Mary with scriptural images of the tree or the vine, frequently used in the liturgy on feasts of the Virgin…She is the root of Jesse from which grows the rod…most honored among human beings and closest to Christ, as the tree of the cross is the most honored among creatures of the natural world.

“With Mary’s Ave from the angel at the Annunciation, began the work of redemption completed on Good Friday; and so, as many medieval writers note, her answer makes her the inverse of Eva, the means by which Eve’s sin is turned to good.

“…The traditional pairing of the Annunciation and the Crucifixion means that the two scenes are often depicted together in medieval art…The first example from England is probably the one found on the eighth-century Ruthwell Cross, where a depiction of the Crucifixion was added directly below the Annunciation scene…Some six hundred years later, artists were still finding new ways to explore this conjunction.

“Towards the end of the fourteenth century, the idea inspired the development of a distinctive and beautiful image found almost uniquely in English medieval art: the lily crucifix. This iconography combines the Annunciation and the Crucifixion by depicting Christ crucified on a lily amid an Annunciation scene. The lily is the symbol of Mary, of course, and is often referenced in depictions of the Annunciation and in poetry about the Virgin; this idea grafts that flower imagery into the tradition which links Mary to the root of Jesse and the tree of the cross. (T)here’s a gorgeous example of a lily crucifix from a Welsh manuscript, the Llanbeblig Hours, made at the end of the fourteenth century…”

Although the Annunciation and the Crucifixion are closely linked, they don't often occur on the same (calendar) day. Good Friday last occurred on March 25 in 2016. Counting from 2022, it will not occur again for 135 years, in 2157 A.D.
Good Friday fell on March 25 in 1608, when John Donne wrote a poem on the occasion: “Upon the Annunciation and Passion Falling upon One Day 1608,” from which we extract this excerpt:

“All this, and all between, this day hath shown,
The abridgement of Christ’s story, which makes one
(As in plain maps, the furthest west is east)
Of the Angel’s Ave and Consummatum est.”

Parker: “The overlapping cycles of the church's calendar offer many such conjunctions, which change every year as the fixed cycle intersects with the variable one…(W)ith the kind of approach Donne exemplifies here (these coincidences) can be read in meaningful…ways. Through such eyes, a meeting of feasts…is not exactly a coincidence, but perhaps one of those ‘occasional mercies’ of which Donne writes elsewhere: ‘such mercies as a regenerate man will call mercies, though a natural man would call them accidents…’

“(T)hese coincidental graces can be found, as beauty and meaning are produced by the changing juxtaposition of feasts and fasts, the fixed and the moveable seasons. Lent, Easter, Ascension Day, Whitsun (Pentecost) — all can at various times coincide with different fixed occasions, different stages in the seasons of spring and summer, and the experience of each can accordingly change from year to year. As the cycles intersect in different ways, familiar texts and images breathe new life into each other, and bring forth new and different fruit (to borrow the Old English Martyrology’s metaphor for Mary’s having conceived by the Holy Spirit). In such ways the interlocking wheels of the calendar give cosmic meaning to the cycle of our own days, months, and years.”

There has been much publicity for the “wonders of the Mayan Calendar” and comparatively little for the cosmic Christian calendar and its mysteries and wonders, a species of neglect and oversight which has stunted our vision and impoverished our walk on earth in this, the time of our lives.

“On the seventh day God ended his work (that is, on 24 March),…The eighth day…was 25 March. That day was marked out in God's providence. On that day the angels were created; on that day the archangel Gabriel was sent to St Mary…” And on March 25 Jesus died for the salvation of humanity.

This calendar is richly woven with the history of our people. The 18-25 of March holy days were observed in early medieval England, partly due to the influence of  the early Anglo-Saxon historian, Venerable Bede, who lived circa 673-735. He penned a textbook on the subject which is worthy of study: The Reckoning of Time (Liverpool University Press [1999] translated by Faith Wallis).

Eleanor Parker: “25 March was…the central turning-point around which all time and space revolved….The exactness of this date might raise a smile, and it’s a way of thinking about time which is foreign to a modern secular mindset; the day derives its meaning not only from a historical event but also from its place in the interlocking cycles of lunar, solar, seasonal…calendars, which were all understood to be imbued with purpose by the divine Creator who was their source. The complexity of the calculations (much more intricate than I can attempt to describe here) is so impenetrable that you can understand why today people prefer to believe that the date of Easter was just ‘stolen’ from some equinox-loving pagans — a much more immediately accessible explanation, if unfortunately wrong!

“Scripture and science are in harmony here; every aspect of the natural world is filled with meaning, and reveals God's creative purpose. This is a view of the world which sees nothing — no date, no rule, no custom — as meaningless or random, for those who have the will to understand…

“It strikes me (once again) that however many people today, in their ignorance of all but the broadest stereotypes about the Middle Ages, stigmatize the medieval church as…rigid, and oppressive, it was in some ways immeasurably more humane and creative than its modern successors….it was able to articulate a belief that material considerations, convenience, and economic productivity are not the highest goods, and not the only standards by which life should be lived.”


Pope Francis chose today, March 25, to "Consecrate Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary." Coincidence?
This stunt is by the pontiff who certified Joe Biden, who supports legalization of abortion up to the ninth month of pregnancy (i.e. infanticide), as a "good Catholic." 

For Further Research

Eleanor Parker’s “Clerk of Oxford” blog entries for the following dates are profusely illustrated and contain additional valuable information

For March 25, 2017:


For March, 2016:

Eleanor Parker can be followed on Twitter:


Also cf. Benedictine Abbot Dom Guéranger’s multi-volume, The Liturgical Year

Rev. Alban Butler’s Lives of the Saints (caveat: editions after 1956 may be redacted)


Michael Hoffman is the author Usury in Christendom: The Mortal Sin that Was and Now is Not (2013) and the editor of Revisionist History® newsletter.


Thursday, March 10, 2022

Why is One War Crime Worth More than Another?

Why is One War Crime Worth More than Another?

By Michael Hoffman 

March 10, 2022 • www.RevisionistHistory.org 

In Memory of Herman Aihara and John Hvosda

We write these words in the midst of the type of microscopic examination of war crimes in Ukraine that we have often longed for in regard to the ongoing war crimes perpetrated in the Middle East—in Lebanon and Palestine —where the Israelis pulverized Beirut and Gaza into the dust with bombs, missiles, artillery shelling and even cluster bombs—and Yemen, where Israeli de facto ally Saudi Arabia has starved and bombed civilians in the hundreds of thousands.

None of these acts of mass murder have ever elicited from the newly minted humanitarians of the American media anything remotely comparable to the coverage of what the Russian military under Vladimir Putin has perpetrated in Ukraine.

For decades Soviet Russia's crimes against Ukraine, from the 1930s onward, were denied by the New York Times and minimized by Left-leaning media well into the 1980s. I first learned of this myopia from John Hvosda, my Ukrainian-American Professor of Political Science. Dr. Hvosda was himself relentlessly criticized while a graduate student at Syracuse University for his “Ukrainian nationalism.” What form did his sin take? His protest and remembrance of Soviet crimes against his homeland. In the 1960s Ukraine was not the darling of the western press that it is today. 

“They gave him a terrible time.” That was the view of another of my professors, the Palestinian political scientist Faiz Abu-Jaber, who, I learned, had been Dr. Hvosda's roommate at Syracuse. Hvosda was no Russophobe. He loved Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Russian anti-Communists in general. But he was infuriated by the Stalinist hangover that afflicted American university faculties in the 1960s and '70s, where studies of the extent of Soviet atrocities and the lessons to be learned from the evils of coercive collectivism, were derogated and obstructed. 

At Hobart College this writer crossed polemical swords in 1978 with Prof. Walter Ralls, who proudly displayed a large photograph of the Bolshevik homicidal maniac Vladimir Lenin on his office wall. The Jacobins were running amok in U.S. academia well before the dreary Age of Political Correctness we now inhabit.

The capitalists are not far behind. In class, Prof. Hvosda would on occasion refer to Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev as “the butcher of the Ukraine.” Throughout the 1930s, as Joseph Stalin's executioner in that land, Khrushchev murdered tens of thousands of Ukrainians and shipped hundreds of thousands to concentration camps where they died of privation. In the March 9 Wall Street Journal, columnist Holman W. Jenkins Jr. displays grotesque amnesia in the course of informing us that this despicable mass murderer earned the well-deserved thanks of the world:

“Six decades ago, Khrushchev lived in the real world. He'd held many administrative jobs under Stalin and participated in the defense of Stalingrad. When he understood the depth of his Cuba miscalculation, he concentrated on avoiding nuclear war, earning the world's thanks…”

Administrative jobs? What happened to the years Khrushchev led Stalin's Murder Inc. operation in Ukraine? The slaughterhouse he erected appears now to be via col vento.

The horror over Putin, the 21st century's butcher of Ukraine, coupled with the warm praise showered on NATO butchers of Serbia like General Wesley Kanne Clark, leads one to believe the whole argument reeks of hypocrisy (to borrow a phrase from Murray Rothbard).

In 2022 the New World Order has been reborn as the defender of the Ukrainian people's human rights and aspirations, against the Russian behemoth. Does anyone believe this defense is sincere? That the U.S., British and German cryptocracies actually care about what happens to Ukraine and their expendable Ukrainian assets? How can their professed sympathy be honest and true when it is corrupted by a conspicuous selectivity?

On May 12, 1996 Madeleine Albright, the U.S. Secretary of State, informed Leslie Stahl of CBS News that the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children as the result of U.S. sanctions “was worth it.” These are the words of one of the honored ambassadors of 'Team Humanity” now showcasing their supposed humanitarian angst in the face of the carnage in Ukraine.

On Purim 2003, President George W. Bush, in an act of naked aggression, invaded the sovereign nation of Iraq. The Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal declared aggressive war to be “the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”

Key principals in that “supreme international crime,” former Vice-President Dick Cheney and former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, have lately been recipients of praise and laurels. Mr. Cheney was rapturously applauded in Congress on January 6, and Miss Rice is a regular guest on television news shows seeking “expert insight into the crimes of Russia.” The crimes of Cheney and Rice are studiously ignored by the "humanitarians."

Washington D.C. bureaucrats and the New York media have contempt for the piles of innocent bodies which Saudi and Israeli bombs and shelling have produced. The roots of that contempt run deep, derived from the seldom-discussed doctrine of the alleged "collective guilt" of civilians for the war crimes of the government that rules them.

It was upon the foundation of that odious postulation that the United States government unleashed unparalleled savagery upon the civilian populations of Germany and Japan during a Second World War that has been branded “The Good War,” an inferno that cremated 500,000 “collectively guilty” German civilians — fried to ashes by the air forces of Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt — those monsters of iniquity for whom post-war encomiums are circulated with monotonous regularity. When mass murderers are the subject of panegyrics, we know that their victims are less than zero on the scale of ersatz brotherhood ostentatiously exhibited by our virtue-signaling politicians.

Today, March 10, is the 77th anniversary of what may be the most unconscionable war crime perpetrated in modern history.

Anyone sincerely outraged by what is happening in Ukraine would also devote themselves to kindling the memory of the mass murder that took place in 1945.

Peruse the pages of your daily paper and the coverage of your television news and corporate media websites for March 10 and see how much (if any) time or space was accorded the mass slaughter of civilians, after the armed forces of the United States government turned the residential sections of Tokyo into a gargantuan human barbecue pit.

If “Never Again” are the watchwords in the noble campaign to prevent future holocausts, should not the incineration of Tokyo's civilian population be remembered on the date it occurred, and its lessons imparted to all the people, in our schools, Congress and the cathedrals of media?

Yes, that would be the case if the media pronouncements and communiqués pouring forth daily from Ukraine concerning Putin's victims, were indeed genuine and not a cynical show. But they are transparently just that—a tool of the information warfare the West wields as the hammer they are betting will help drive Putin from power, and install a regime in Moscow friendly to the agenda of the NATO assassins of Gaddafi in Libya and the thousands of Christian civilians NATO burned alive in Serbia; crimes committed with the enthusiastic approval of those now execrating Putin.

Six Hours in the Fires of Hell

  On March 10, 1945 hundreds of thousands of napalm explosives were dropped from three hundred B-29 Superfortress bombers on the residential sections of the city of Tokyo, intentionally setting afire 16 square miles of densely packed wooden dwellings mainly inhabited by women, children and men too old to fight. In a single morning at least 100,000 people were killed, and one million were made refugees.

In a candid assessment by the the United States Strategic Bombing Survey, U.S. officials stated, “probably more persons lost their lives by fire at Tokyo in a six-hour period than at any time in the history of man.” 

Testimony of First Lieutenant Richard Gross, 874th Bomb Squadron, 498th Bomb Group, U.S. Army Air Force: “I was a navigator. At the time, you just didn”t think about those things. We had a job to do and we did it. We were burning houses, but we didn”t think about the people.”

Testimony of Second Lieutenant Jim Marich, 869th Bomb Squadron, 497th Bomb Group, U.S. Army Air Force: “You could smell, I”m sorry to say, burning flesh in the airplane…We safely went on with the mission and went on with lesser-known missions. But by then, the Japanese fighter response was practically nil.”

Testimony of Technical Sergeant Ed Lawson, 882nd Bomb Squadron, 500th Bomb Group, U.S. Army Air Force: “My job was to stand by the open bomb-bay doors and throw chaff out — these long strips of aluminum foil to confuse Japanese radar. Can you imagine standing in front of an open bomb-bay door and smelling a city burn up? It was terrifying. At low altitude like that, I didn”t wear an oxygen mask. All I can say is that the smell was nauseating. I”ve never smelled anything like it since, and I don't want to…When we did the firebombings, we were killing civilians.”

Firebombs dropped by the United States in  a total of sixty cities  killed hundreds of thousands of Japanese people prior to the atomic bombs that wiped out Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and spread carcinogenic radioactive sickness among the population. 

Our Japanese-American teacher, Herman Aihara of Oroville, California, became a pioneering specialist in lessening the severity of radioactive cancers through the use of traditional Japanese medicinal foods such as miso and sea vegetables, and the avoidance of a diet high in protein, as well as sugars and sweeteners of all types, all of which he believed contribute to the growth of cancer tumors. 

Herman was a lover, not a hater, and while he deeply mourned the loss of civilian life in his native land, he was a proponent of gratitude to America for its Constitution and the opportunities afforded to immigrants like him. He understood that there were more questions than answers in this life and that it behooved human beings to maintain humility in the face of that reality.

If they had known each other I surmise that Sensei Aihara and Dr. Hvosda would have been friends, and I like to think they would have asked the same questions which this writer is asking of the media, Congress, and the Biden White House:

Why do you employ accusations of mass murder as a weapon to distract from the mass murders you commit with impunity? 

Are the people of Japan, Palestine, Serbia and Iraq lesser humans than Ukrainians, Israelis or Americans?

If perpetual reporting of Putin's bloody aggression were to inspire revulsion and remembrance for all of the war crimes against humanity of recent history, then the repetition of the themes and talking points we see on television and online would represent a commendable cultivation of human conscience.

At present however, the 24/7 atrocity reports constitute not much more than a tool of a retrograde Orwellian jingoism, the chant of the Neanderthal: “Our crimes good, your crimes bad!”

How tragic is the refusal of the American political class to learn the lessons of their previous quagmire forays in utopian, “nation-building” and war —in Vietnam, Iraq and during twenty futile years in Afghanistan. Defiance of this memory is a  self-willed dementia which mocks America's righteous trumpeting of lofty claims to morality in comparison with the Russians. 

We observe the pompous parade of passionate concern for Ukraine while in Palestine and Yemen the routine murders of civilians perpetrated by the Israeli and Saudi governments is a reality of daily life. Unlike this year's Ukrainians, these victims are expendable and the atrocities committed against them are diminished to the level of the infinitesimal, down to a business-as-usual that scarcely attracts our attention.

America's “staunch Israeli ally in the Middle East” is guilty of war crimes funded by U.S. taxpayers, while the Saudi onslaught in Yemen has been enriched by oil revenue and American banking. This double standard leads us to ask, in the midst of the wall-to-wall Ukrainian coverage, why the sufferings of one people are more deserving of our attention and remonstration in this vale of tears than that of the Palestinians or the Yemenis?

Who decides where our indignation will be focused? 

Who determines what we will protest and detest, and what we will overlook and forget? 

Why is one war crime worth more than another?

 Historian Michael Hoffman is a former reporter for the New York bureau of the Associated Press and the editor of the periodical Revisionist History®. He is the the author of ten books, including Secret Societies and Psychological Warfare; Usury in Christendom, and his latest, Twilight Language.


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