From the Rector
For the Johannite Church, and many Gnostic Churches, March, like November, has a significant amount of reflection on those who have passed but the ones we commemorate in March each have a direct connection to Gnostic or heterodox belief or accusations- the Martyrs of Montsegur, Grand Master Jacques de Molay, and Constant Chevillon.
The Montsegur Martyrs were Cathars, dualist Christians who placed a heavy focus on the Gospel of John, and the target and victims of the Albigensian Crusade, called by the See of Rome to eliminate what it saw as their heretical beliefs. At their last, the martyrs of Montsegur marched into the flames willingly, singing.
Some time ago, I wrote a reflection on the martyrdom of the Cathars, and as the years roll on, it seems to become increasingly relevant as views and discussions in the public sphere tend to bring more heat but less light. You can read it here in a reflection called the Fires of Montsegur.
You can also learn more about the Cathars through an excellent keynote lecture by noted author Stephen O'Shea, who spoke on them at Conclave 2018 in Portland, Oregon.
Grand Master Jacques de Molay should be well known to most readers of this newsletter and members of our church- as he forms an integral part of the mythos, lineage and legend of the Johannite Church as well as a significant place in secular and religious history- being the Grand Master of the Order of the Temple who was burned at the stake on March 18th, 1314, the ultimate result of the arrest, imprisonment and torture of the Knights of the Temple seven years prior. I offer some thoughts on the last years and moments of Jacques de Molay here in a reflection called 1314 which can be found here.
Constant Chevillon- Gnostic Bishop, Martinist Master and Masonic Grand Master, and who served as a Patriarch in the Gnostic movement, was gunned down by the Gestapo during the Second World War. Constant Chevillon was canonized by the Apostolic Johannite Church, together with many other Gnostic and Esoteric organizations as a part of the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of his martyrdom.
Each of these, collectively and individually, recall the persecution found in every age, when people fear what they do not understand. I encourage to take some time to learn more about these moments in history, and further to that, encourage you to reach out and learn from those whose views, social, political or religious, you may not understand. You may discover that you have much to learn from them
This Month at St. Joseph's
Join us this month as we commemorate the Cathars at 8pm on March 11th at the Unitarian Church (Room 4). Later on in the month, on March 25th at 745pm, we will be sitting down to break bread at Boston Pizza at North Hill, for some discussion and food.
I hope to see you there.
Ad Sacram Flammam,
+ Shaun Mar Iohannes