It is true, my brethren, this is a strange time, a strange place, for beginning our work. A strange place for Saints and Angels to pitch their tabernacles in, this metropolis; strange—I will not say for thee, my Mother Mary, to be found in; for no part of the Catholic inheritance is foreign to thee, and thou art everywhere, where the Church is found, Porta manes et Stella maris, the constant object of her devotion, and the universal advocate of her children,—not strange to thee, but strange enough to him, my own Saint and Master, Philip Neri. Yes, dear Father, it is strange for thee, to pass from the bright, calm cities of the South to this scene of godless toil and self-trusting adventure; strange for thee to be seen hurrying to and fro across our crowded streets, in thy grave, black cassock, and thy white collar, instead of moving at thy own pace amid the open ways or vacant spaces of the great City, in which, according to God's guidance of thee in thy youth, thou didst for life and death fix thy habitation. Yes, it is all very strange to the world; but no new thing to her, the Bride of the Lamb, whose very being and primary gifts are stranger in the eyes of unbelief, than any details, as to {241} place of abode and method of proceeding, in which they are manifested. It is no new thing in her, who came in the beginning as a wanderer upon earth, whose condition is a perpetual warfare, and whose empire is an incessant conquest.

In such a time as this did the prince of the Apostles, the first Pope, advance towards the heathen city, where, under a Divine guidance, he was to fix his seat. He toiled along the stately road which led him straight onwards to the capital of the world. 

 Discourses Addressed to Mixed Congregations 12 The prospects of the Catholic Missioner

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