Today marks the 100th anniversary of the declaration of war by Austria-Hungary on Serbia, that marked the formal beginning of the war that would at last destroy the remnants of Christendom. Rorate has two worthy pieces on the event here and here.
St. Pius X was the reigning pontiff, but he would die before a month passed. Neither did Franz Josef survive the war; he died in 1916. Neither man lived to see the conclusion to this suicide of the West. There is some irony here, as it was Franz Josef who exercised the jus exclusivae to block Leo XIII's Secretary of State from election to the papacy, thus ending in the selection of the great St. Pius X. The Pope, perhaps with some prescience, barred the future exercise of jus exclusivae by any secular power.
St. Pius was the fierce opponent of modernism, which sought to undermine the Church and the Western order from within. The election of Pius was immediately seen as a blow to anti-clerical societies. For a time, he held the enemies of civilization at bay. But they would at last become ascendant. The War was a necessary vehicle to their success.
World War I would see the destruction of the old order and the Church's vigilance against the heresy of modernism. We know what followed.
We are the orphans of great ancestors.
Only Divine intervention, it seems, can stop the carnage that continues to our ruin, even to this day. Our Lady of Fatima was sent by her Son during that war, with a message of warning, which if heeded, is a message of hope. So far, we have not heeded her. Our victory will begin when we do.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!