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The White Eight-Pointed Cross

The Cross revealed to valiant Constantine
Was a sign and promise of his victory,
An image of Christ’s conquest dimly seen
As in a glass - both here and yet to be.

"Take up thy Cross and follow me," He said,
His face set sure toward Salem’s bailiwick.
To this same city Bless’d Gérard was led
By Christ to serve our lords the pilgrim sick.

Crusading Knights then joined this humble man
to guard all pilgrim souls from hostile harm.
For Glory of the Cross they fought to ban
The foe from Rhodes and Malta as God’s arm.

Let God’s praise be on their lips
And in their hand a two-edged sword.

The Glory of the Cross lies in its pow’r
To turn our souls to Christ, to join the fray,
Like He Transfigured was before His hour
On Hermon - then from other mount He’d say:

Blessèd are the poor in spirit,
Their’s is heaven’s kingdom.

"The Lord has given, He has taken back -
And Blessèd be His name," the words are Job’s.
Detachment from all wealth we ought not lack:
Requests for tunics met as well with robes.

Bless’d are those who mourn,
Theirs will comfort be.

So great was Jeremiah’s plaintive grief,
Yet God consoled according to His plan.
How great will be our comfort and relief
Who grieve, lamenting sins in world and man.

Blessèd are the meek,
Theirs will be the earth.

True meekness and divine humility
Did not deter the patient Bless’d Gérard
From pelting Christian knights courageously
with bread. So, meekness does not strength retard.

Bless’d are they who crave and thirst for right,
They will be fulfilled.

When Holy Mattathias, nobly just,
Refused to eat the impure meat by force,
The sense of rightness in his heart did thrust
His sons to deeds of greatness in God’s course.

Blessèd are the merciful,
Theirs will mercy be.

"When I was Hungry, naked, thirsty, sick,
You came to my relief," He’ll say to us
Whose mercy works were always chivalric
As those of Tobit, most gratuitous.

Blessèd are the pure in heart,
They will see their God.

With Joseph’s single-minded diligence,
Attending to the will of God and love,
We’ll see the hand of God in evidence,
As he forgave his brother’s sinful shove.

Bless’d are those who sue for peace,
They’ll be called the sons of God.

"I have not come to bring you peace at last,"
Christ said. "My kingdom brings a sword instead."
A peace that’s superficial, false, and fast,
That finds no source in peaceful souls, is dead.

Bless’d are those who suffer wrong for right,
Theirs will heaven's Kingdom be.

The prophet Daniel in the lion’s den
Did suffer persecution for no fault.
His patient hope and faith in God’s release
Have shown us how to suffer and exalt.

The Beatific road just shown to us
By Christ who is Himself the only Way
Has been the path already set for us
Baptismally - all Christians join the fray.

This ancient roadway leads to Calvary.
The Cross upon that hill’s for us a sign
And mantle we must wear for surety
Received in Sacramental rites divine.

Great many pilgrims on this road do stride
And have protectors on the Way they wend:
The Knights of Malta God to them supplied
As fellow travelers bounden to defend.

The glorious honor of this Knightly band
Subsists in the commitment of each Knight
To follow Christ the Way in every land
And wear His Cross and conquer by its might.


Published with the kind permission of the author, our member Herman A. Peterson

This page is part of the Brotherhood of Blessed Gérard - Newsletter No. 13

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This page was last updated on Tuesday, 15 January 2013 12:50:19