St. Francis De Sales (1567-1622): Papal Infallibility and Papal Error



“Under the ancient law, the High Priest [of Israel] did not wear the Rational except when he was vested in the pontifical robes and was entering before the Lord. Thus we do not say that the Pope cannot err in his private opinions, as did John XXII; or be altogether a heretic as perhaps Honorius was. Now when he is explicitly a heretic, he falls ipso facto from his dignity and out of the Church, and the Church must either deprive him or, as some say, declare him deprived, of his Apostolic See, and must say as St. Peter did: let another take his bishopric [as was said of Judas Iscariot, Apostle of Jesus Christ]. When he errs in his private opinions he must be instructed, advised, convinced; as happened with John XXII, who was so far from dying obstinate or from determining anything during his life concerning his opinion, that he died whilst he was making the examination which is necessary for determining in a matter of faith, as his successors delcared in the Extravagantes which begins Benedictus Deus. But when he is clothed with the pontifical garments, I mean when he teaches the whole Church as Shepherd, in general matters of faith and morals, then there is nothing but doctrine and truth.
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Filioque – Council of Toledo 675 AD

St. Augustine of Hippo

“We particularly profess that the Father is not born, not created, but is unborn. For he, from whom the Son was born and the Holy Spirit proceeded, has origin from no one. He is, therefore, the source and origin of the whole divinity; he is the Father of his own essence and he begot the Son of his indescribably substance in an indescribable way….We also believe that the Holy Spirit, the third person in the Trinity, is God, one and equal with God the Father and the Son, of one substance and of one nature, not, however, begotten nor created but proceeding from both, and that He is the Spirit of both. Of this Holy Spirit, we also believe that He is neither unbegotten nor begotten, for if we called Him unbegotten we would assert two Fathers, or if begotten, we would appear to preach two Sons. Yet He is called the Spirit not of the Father alone, nor of the Son alone, but of both Father and Son. For He does not proceed from the Father to the Son, nor from the Son to sanctify creatures, but He is shown to have proceeded from both at once, because He is known as the love or the sanctity of both. Hence we believe that the Holy Spirit is sent by both, as the Son is sent by the Father. But He is not less than the Father and the Son, in the way in which the Son, on account of the body which He has assumed, testifies that He is less than the Father and the Holy Spirit.” (THE ELEVENTH COUNCIL OF TOLEDO 675 AD)

Full text –

St. Ildephonsus (A.D. 667), Archbishop of Hispana Toledo – Consecration To The Virgin Mary – A spiritual predecessor to St. Louis De Montfort

St. Ildesphonsus was born into a royal Visiogothic family,  is famous for having written De perpetua virginitate Mariae contra tres infideles (The Perpetual Virginity of Mary Against the Heretics), and became a huge proponent of Spanish mariology. From his early youth, Ildelephonsus pursued the monastic life. Later he became Archbishop of Toledo in A.D. 657 after having been abbot of the Agli monastery and deacon of the holy Church. He participated as a signatory of the 8th and 9th Councils of Toledo. Of interest here is his last chapter in De perpetua wherein he writes on consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary. In this portion, “Ildephonsus pronounces a genuine act of self-giving or consecration to the Blessed Virgin, in which he closely connects fidelity to God with fidelity to Mary, service to God with service to the Mother of God, obedience to God with obedience to Mary. He calls her ‘cooperatrix’ in her own redemption” (Mary In The Middle Ages, Gambero – page 31) . Who would have thought that in the 7th century, a well-respected and equally venerated Saint (by both Eastern Orthodox & Roman Catholics) would have such a view as akin to St. Louis De Montfort. Our beloved Saint writes:

“And now I come to you, only Virgin Mother of God; I come into your presence, only masterwork of the Incarnation of my God; I prostrate myself before you, the only one found to be the Mother of my Lord; I beg you, only one found to be the handmaid of your Son, that you might obtain the removal of the guilt of my sin, that you might command me to be cleansed from the iniquity of my actions, that you might make me to love the glory of your power, that you might show unto me the manifold sweetness of your Son, that you might give me to speak and defend the truthfulness of faith in your Son, that you might grant me even to cling to God and you, to serve your Son and you, to wait upon your Lord and you – to wait upon him as my Maker and upon you as the Mother of my Maker; upon him as the Lord of Might, upon you as the Mother of God; upon him as my Redeemer, upon you as the work of my redemption.el_greco_-_st_ildefonso_-_wga10576

For what he wrought in redeeming me, he formed in the reality of your person. To become my Redeemer, he became your Son. To become the price of my redemption, his Incarnation took place from your flesh. From your flesh He took a body that would be wounded, that he might heal my wounds. He drew forth a mortal body from your mortal body, that he might take away my death. He took from you a body that he assumed without sin, in which he would erase my sins. He humbled himself and assumed my nature from your real body. He was my forerunner, bringing my nature into his kingdom to dwell amid the glory of the Father’s throne, establishing it higher than the angels. 

Therefore, I am your servant, because your Son is my Lord. Therefore, you are my mistress, because you are the handmaid of my Lord, because you, my mistress, became the mother of my Lord. Therefore I have become you servant, because you have become the mother of my Maker. I pray you, I pray you,  O holy Virgin, that I might possess Jesus from that same Spirit by whom you gave birth to Jesus. Through that Spirit, through whom your flesh conceived Jesus, may my soul accept Jesus. By that Spirit, by whom you were able to know and give birth to Jesus, may I be granted to know Jesus. In the Spirit, you professed yourself, to be the handmaid of the Lord, desiring that it be done to you according to the angel’s word; in that same Spirit , may I, a lowly man, speak lofty things of Jesus. In the Spirit, you adore Jesus as your Lord and look upon him as your Son; in that same Spirit may I love Jesus. May I show reverence to Jesus; just as he, though he was God, was submissive to his parents”

(Patrologia Latina 96, 105B-106B)