What is the Marylike Crusade?
From the Marylike Modesty Handbook of the Purity Crusade of Mary Immaculate printed in June 1998, Initiated December 8, 1944, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception:
The Marylike Crusade is a movement to promote chastity and modesty through the imitation of Mary, our Queen and “Mother Most Chaste,” as the perfect model of those virtues.
WHEN & WHERE DID THE MARYLIKE CRUSADE ORIGINATE?
It was initiated by Reverend Bernard A. Kunkel (having passed on to his eternal reward), pastor of St. Cecilia’s Parish in Bartelso, Illinois, USA, on the feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8, 1944. It received the warm approval of the late Most Reverend Henry Althoff, Bishop of Belleville, Illinois, who also imparted to it his Episcopal Blessing.
Our Holy Father, Pope Pius XII, imparted on two different occasions his Apostolic Blessing to the Marylike Crusade, on July 14, 1954, and on May 11, 1955, “to the members, to their Directors and Moderators, to their families, and loved ones, and to all who further their laudable movement for modesty in dress and behavior.”
DOES THE MARYLIKE CRUSADE HAVE ANY OFFICIAL STATUS IN THE CHURCH?
Yes. It received an official status in the Belleville Diocese at the time of its incorporation in September 1955.
The incorporators of the Marylike Crusade were: His Excellency, the Most Reverend Albert R. Zuroweste, Bishop of Belleville, as President; the Right Reverend Monsignor Leonard A. Bauer, Vicar General, as Vice President; and Reverend Bernard A. Kunkel, as Spiritual Director. The headquarters were in Bartelso, Illinois. There were no branch offices, no representatives.
IS THERE ANY SPECIAL REASON FOR EMPHASIZING PURITY AND MODESTY?
Yes. Pope Pius XII has asserted, “Mainly through sins of impurity do the forces of darkness subjugate souls.”
This same message was given by Our Lady of Fatima in similar words; “The sins that lead most souls to hell are the sins of the flesh.”
Following a general breakdown of modesty, impurity has become the ruling passion of the world. It is like a spiritual cancer slowly eating away the spiritual life in souls. It has brought the world to the brink of another Sodom and Gomorra, this time on a worldwide scale. We are facing the threat of “The greatest catastrophe since the deluge.” (Pius XII)
DOES NOT A PURITY CRUSADE SEEM HOPELESS IN THIS AGE?
This is what the devil would like to have us believe. By our silence we would be letting the entire field of morality in his hands. Pope Pius XII points out the seriousness of the general world situation as well as the remedy: “The threat of this fearful crisis fills us with a great anguish, and so with confidence we have recourse to Mary our Queen.” (Oct. 11, 1954)
So also the Marylike Crusade does not rely mainly on natural means, but “with confidence turns to Mary Immaculate.” Under her banner, who foretold at Fatima: “In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph.”
The Marylike Crusade is assured of ultimate victory, for, the restoration of purity and modesty to a corrupt world is a prerequisite for Mary’s “triumph”.
Never may we allow ourselves to be disheartened in this “Battle of the Ages,” when the serpent dares to fling his final challenge openly and publicly against the Queenship of our Mother Most Chaste.”
Not only do we have Mary’s prediction in a private revelation, but God’s own promise in Scripture that “She shall crush thy head.”
Certainly, Mary Our Queen and Mother, will “crush the head” of the most insidious and poisonous serpent, the Demon of Impurity. But God wills that this triumph be accomplished, not by our indifference and lethargy, but by the cooperation of Mary’s children marching under her glorious banner.
DOES THE MARYLIKE CRUSADE ADVOCATE PUBLIC SEX INSTRUCTION AS A REMEDY?
Certainly not. This is condemned by Pope Pius XI in his encyclical, Christian Education of Youth (December 31, 1929).
Necessary information on the physical aspect of sex is primarily the responsibility of parents; only secondarily and in a limited degree, of teachers and superiors. But always with reverence and modesty. “It is of the highest importance,” Pius XI states, “that a good father, while discussing with his son a matter so delicate, should be well on his guard and not descend to details.”
WHAT IS TO BE THOUGHT OF THE INTRODUCTION OF IMMORAL AND OBSCENE BOOKS INTO SOME CATHOLIC SCHOOLS?
Persons who deliberately place immoral books into the hands of our youth make themselves responsible for the moral corruption of numerous youthful readers. “Woe to that man by whom the scandal cometh,” warns Jesus. (Matthew 18:7)
The Church has always held that the reading of immoral literature is a mortal sin. Canon law prohibits such reading. Popes and Councils have consistently condemned it. Only two of such condemnations are here adduced, and very briefly:
COUNCIL OF TRENT: – “Books which professedly deal with, narrate, or teach lewd and obscene things are absolutely forbidden…Those who possess them must be severely punished by their Bishops.”
HOLY OFFICE – May 3, 1927 – “Let no one make these excuses…” (The very excuses advanced by liberal educators are then listed and condemned.) “Persons who without due permission read a book that is undoubtedly salacious (lustful) commit a mortal sin.”
THEN, HOW DOES THE MARYLIKE CRUSADE PROPOSE TO DEAL WITH THIS DELICATE PROBLEM?
The Marylike Crusade is concerned with the moral aspect of this problem. It strives to point out the many spiritual pitfalls and snares laid by the Demon of Impurity to entrap especially our youth. It is not content with empty and futile denunciations which have so l ong been in vogue, but offers a positive approach to the problem of impurity.
IN WHAT DOES THE POSITIVE APPROACH CONSIST?
In accordance with the general plan of the Marylike Crusade, our Blessed Mother is presented as the “Virgin Most Pure” and “Mother Most Chaste,” as our ideal of purity and modesty, and our perfect model for imitation. Each Crusader strives first after the Marylike ideal in their own life. Only then can they hope to reap results in their efforts to reform family and social life. Prayer and Sacrifice form the basis of all crusading efforts.
WHY ARE CHASTITY AND MODESTY REPEATEDLY LINKED TOGETHER? DO THEY MEAN THE SAME THING?
Chastity means control of the sex instinct, or sex appetite in accordance with the sixth and ninth commandments. [Thou shall not commit adultery; thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s wife.] Modesty, on the other hand, is the safeguard of chastity. It is often compared to a wall protecting oneself and others against the frequent attacks made on chastity.
HOW DOES A PERSON PRACTICE MODESTY?
There is a personal and a social modesty. Personal modesty is concerned mostly with the exercising of a strict control over one’s own senses, especially the eyes, which are often called the windows of the soul.
Thus, a modest person will not unnecessarily permit his eyes to gaze on any person, picture, printed story, or other object which is apt to introduce bad or impure thoughts into his mind or bad pictures into his imagination. For these, when deliberately entertained, lead naturally to impure sensations and desires for impure acts. The same rule holds for the ears, which must be closed to immoral or suggestive songs, filthy talk, etc. Likewise, for the other senses of touch, taste and smell.
IS PERSONAL IMMODESTY A SIN?
Of course it is a sin, in spite of the wishful thinking of some persons who try to invent a sinless type of immodesty. The removal of the wall of mdoesty admits the enemy, impurity. The weakening of this wall invites him to enter. Personal immodesty has, by its nature, the capacity to be mortally sinful. It may be a venial sin if the immodesty is not serious, and is therefore not a serious threat to one’s purity in thought, desire, word or deed. (See appendix on sin at the end of this handbook.)
WHAT IS MEANT BY SOCIAL MODESTY?
Social modesty may be defined as a virtue which seeks to protect the chastity of other persons, or at least not to endanger it. It is ever careful to avoid anything that is calculated to excite bad thoughts and desires in others or to lead them to sinful actions.
Social modesty requires decent attire in the presence of others, even about the home; the avoidance of all undo familiarity, especially with the opposite sex, and suggestive looks, speech, gait, etc.; and in general a prudent reserve in one’s whole appearance and behavior.
IS SOCIAL IMMODESTY LIKEWISE SINFUL?
Again, there are some who try to excuse from sin if there is no bad intention connected with social immodesty. Thus, they see nothing wrong in wearing an immodest dress just to be in style. Yes, it is wrong, and it can be seriously sinful. For in this case, another commandment is involved, the law of charity.
Regardless of one’s intentions, there exists an obligation in conscience to avoid unnecessary temptations to others by such immodesty, be it in dress or otherwise.
IS IT A MORTAL OR A VENIAL SIN?
If one has the intention to tempt others to impurity by one’s immodesty, it is always a mortal sin, no matter how slight the immodesty may be. When this bad intention is not present, the same rule applies as for personal immodesty; serious immodesty, causing serious temptations to others, constitutes a mortal sin; not serious, a venial sin.
Social immodesty is classed under the sin of scandal. Not only is serious or grave scandal a mortal sin, but it is a very serious one. This is proven from the awful “woe” pronounced by Jesus against the givers of scandal, and this awful condemnation, “It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck and he were cast into the sea.” (Mark 9:41)
“How many young girls there are who do not see any wrongdoing in following certain shameless sstyles like so many sheep. They certainly would blush if they could guess the impression they make and the feelings they evoke in those who see them. Do they not see the harm resulting from excess in certain gymnastic exercises and sports not suitable for virtuous girls? What sins are committed or provoked by conversations which are too free, by immodest shows, by dangerous reading. How lax have consciences become, how pagan morals!” Pope Pius XII, July 17, 1954
SEE ALSO MarylikeCrusade.com