By Theodore Shoebat
There is now leaked information from ISIS on their plans to conquer Europe via Libya. Libya is right near Southern Europe, and ISIS is planning to use its close proximity to the West as a means to enter with ferries Italy, and ultimately conquer Rome.
From the anti-terrorism British think tank Quilliam, we learn that ISIS wants to use Europe’s leniency toward illegal immigration to enter Italy with ferries, etering into ports such as Italy’s southernmost island of Lampedusa, which is only less than 300 miles away from Libya.
A leaked statement from an ISIS propagandist says that Libya “has a long coast and looks upon the southern Crusader states, which can be reached with ease by even a rudimentary boat” and that if Italy’s weak prevention of illegal immigration “was even partially exploited and developed strategically, pandemonium could be wrought in the southern European states and it is even possible that there could be a closure of shipping lines and targeting of Crusader ships and tankers.”
In fact, Egyptian Ambassador to London Nasser Kamel made this very revealing statement:
Those boat people who go for immigration purposes and try to cross the Mediterranean … in the next few weeks, if we do not act together, they will be boats full of terrorists also.
The purpose of invading Italy has not just temporal goals, but spiritual ones as well. The ultimate goal is to invade Rome and destroy the Vatican. The Roman Catholic Church better become more zealous and Orthodox, as oppose to the weak and indifferent ways they are going about, with the support of homosexuality and other evils being flauntingly done by so many ecclesiastical leaders.
The Muslims, in the future, will try to invade and conquer Rome, but they will not succeed because God will be with Rome.
I would like to present a story so ignored and forgotten, to show people the types of leaders Rome once had, as a model for what the Church needs to have for leaders in our own time. It is the story of St. Pope Leo IV. It is a chapter of my upcoming book on Christian militancy which will be the most exhaustive study ever written on the subject.
THE SONG OF ROME
There was a rustic room, designed in the common fashion of the Mediterranean, simple in appearance and yet profound, in that it instilled in the spirit a want for reverence. From a nearby window one could behold the sun awakening from the crevice of the evening, and how it set ablaze the countless little clouds that crowned the sky, and its short rays stirred within the soul a sense of awe, illuminated the hills of a beautiful landscape, an array of farms and majestic villas, and an ancient temple surrounded by devilish statues, with its stone columns and lofty rooftop, in which the pagans worshipped what to them were gods, but in truth, devils.
Twilight’s silence abounded the crisp air; suddenly the pious chant of monks could be heard. The rhythm of their hymn brought harmony to disorder, peace to chaos, and abated what storms that rage within the soul. Whatever reverence one had by seeing the pagan temple, was disrupted by the chants. It was as though a cosmic war had ensued, between the chant and the paeans of the heathen; between the Cross and the idol, between liberation and bondage. Such a simple moment captured the epitome of a war that has lasted even to this very day, and will continue on till Kingdom come.
In the room there sat a man behind an old rugged desk; his face was aged and his hair grey; his eyes seemed as everlasting as the sky above him, and one could see in them a will as determined as the monks who chanted, and a mind enlightened as the horizon. He was writing on some old parchment, and if one just peered closely at the words he was composing, one could read:
To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. (Romans 1:7-8)
The man was St. Paul, and with his mind inspired by mighty Heaven, he planted the seeds of the Gospel into Rome, and from that infamous city those very seeds would grow into the tree of majestic Christendom. Its strong roots would burrow into the depths of the abyss, uproot the foundations of pagan temples, and cut them asunder. From Rome the light of truth inundated the nations, as the rays of the sun flooded the sky; from Rome the sword of Christ was unsheathed, and the blade wielded in the eternal war against the armies of hell.
To destroy the bastions of false religion was the aspiration of St. Paul, and it was the very mission of those forgotten monks who sung as good soldiers in the battlefield of salvation: it was the chant of Christendom, it was the song of Rome.
The sky was boundless, and absent of all clouds, and the entire earth was scorched by the sun in that land called Arabia. The lusciousness of nature was purged by the ruthless heat; the night owl and the jackal made their home on this desolate land. But they were not alone; for in a certain city, there the devil made his abode. The city was Mecca — the capital of pagandom — and on its center was the last remaining idol that survived the onslaught and victory that Christianity had over the heathen religion. It lied in the Kaaba, and was called the Baitullah, or the ‘house of Allah,’ that is, the house of Satan. From here all the forces of darkness would wield its blood-stained blade, to take revenge against the holy victories the sword of Christ won over the wiles of Lucifer.
In this city lived Muhammad, and one day he was asked by his followers: ‘Which cities will we conquer?’ To this question, Muhammad replied: “You will invade the Arabian Peninsula and Allah will grant it to you. Then you will invade Persia and Allah will grant it to you. Then, you will invade Rome and Allah will grant it to you.” (Quoted from a hadith narrated by Nafi’, the son of ‘Utbah)
It was August 23rd, the year 846, and on the roaring shores of Italy a multitude of ships could be seen landing. Armies of soldiers from North Africa departed their vessels, and with them a great many horses. These were the Muslims, and they were here to fulfill what Muhammad foretold to them; they were here to do the will of their father, the devil, and retake the land that St. Paul and St. Peter took, and bring it back to the fold of pagandom.
The earth upon which Rome stood was consecrated by the martyrdoms of these very Apostles; it was here that St. Paul was beheaded; here that St. Peter was crucified upside down, never feeling worthy to be executed like his Lord. Their blood sanctified the city; their blood conquered the city, and now the slaves of heathendom came to reconquer what was brought to the flock of the Mighty Shepherd. The fury of the godless cried out to the highest skies, and made war upon Heaven; the flames of insatiable violence fanned at the sight of a city blessed by crowned martyrs, touched by unconquered saints. To this do we ask with David: “Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?” (Psalm 2:1)
They rode on their horses, and with sacrljgeous cries to Allah and Muhammad, charged toward that ancient city, and broke right into Rome. Ah, how the pagans plunged into a frenzy as soon as their eyes spotted the relics, the churches, and the tombs of holy men. The devils within them agitated their spirits, and so the Muslims, obeying their anger, foamed at the mouth in dripping rage.
When they say the tomb of St. Peter, they sacked his sepulcher and stripped away the silver altar that lied over it, desecrated every altar they could find, and overran Saint Peter’s Basilica in the name of Allah and for their hatred of the Gospel. Why should we be surprised at this? We should never forget what significance Rome has in the story of Christendom. It was Peter who preached to the first church in Rome, and as he quenched souls of the earliest Christians with watering of the word, St. Mark stood by him, recording everything he that pertained to the life of Christ. From his hearing of St. Peter in Rome, Mark produced his Gospel that still blesses us today with eternal truths.
It is in Mark’s Gospel where we read that beautiful story in which the Jews ask Christ: “Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” and to which Christ declares: “I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.” (Mark 14:61-62)
And it was now, in this invasion of Rome, where the people who rejected the Christ were invading the city, to destroy the teachings of the Crucified One, and replace it with the blasphemous doctrine that states that Jesus is not the Son of God. They pillaged and plundered; and the numbers slaughtered were as the great as cried of agony that reached to the empyrean. Pope Sergius II, following the commission to be a good shepherd, called a holy war against the heathen invaders. King Lothair I, a righteous ruler of Christendom, declared war on the Muslims and aspired to defend Rome and the Church of St. Peter. In a letter he expressed his woes over the now tormented city:
No one doubts that it is because our sins and iniquities deserve it that so great an ill has befallen Christ’s church and even the very Roman church which is the head of christendom has fallen into the hands of infidels and throughout all the borders of our realm and that of our brothers the people of the pagans has prevailed. Therefore we have firmly judged it necessary that with offended by us and that by making fitting satisfaction we may endeavor to placate the divine justice, so that we can have him placated whom we realize to be angry.
Lothair had an army of mighty men, conditioned for hardship and eager to fight, march against the Muslims and vanquish them. The battle was swift and deadly, and it was so fierce that the Muslims fled the great city, and stayed in the nearby land of Gaeta where they made their position on a very well fortified mountain.
A large army of Franks saw the Muslim forces and, avid and fervent for justice, commenced a sharp attack on the enemy. The Muslims were prepared; they, with great prowess, overtook the Christians, slew their standard bearer, and slaughtered the rest of them.
King Louis II, Lothair’s son, tried to complete the battle from where his father failed, but he too was faced with terrifying opposition. The crescent shaped scimitars of pagandom clashed against the cross shaped swords of Christendom, and many rivers of blood flowed from the torrential nebulous of gore, severed flesh, mutilated bodies, and bone chilling screams. King Louis fled to Rome, his spirit cut in two, his will broken, his morale crushed by the despair of defeat. After they spilt the blood of so many selfless warriors, the Muslims were determined to take the entire city of Gaeta.
But, right on the shores of land, they were met with numerous ships from Naples and Amalfi, headed by the dauntless Caesarius, who so efficiently defended the city that the heathens made a run for it. Although they were now defeated, this did not stop the heretics as they treaded the land of Christian Italy, hungry for saintly blood. Like hyenas, they preyed upon the church of St. Andrew and consumed it with flames.
They then set their sights on the church of St. Apollinares, seeking to burn down the sacred edifice. The monks within the church knew that the Muslims were coming for their doom. They were filled with terror and knew that by themselves they were helpless. They expected death, but still within their consternated souls there was still some hope. As the savages preyed upon them, they prayed to the Lord and sought out his mercy.
The abbot of the monastery, Bassacius, suddenly had a vision: his predecessor, Apollinaris, told him to have the monks have masses and to conduct litanies. The monk obeyed; they did their masses and made their petitions before God; they, like good penitents, walked barefoot and put ashes on their heads. They cried out to the Almighty, and waited on Him, clinging onto the Lord and depending on no one else. As the Muslims were approaching, all of a sudden a raging storm came down upon the, and the land flooded with raging waters. The pagans could not get any nearer, for fear of being caught in the relentless waves. The slaves of Allah had no choice: they made a truce with Caesarius, and departed from the blessed land.
Although the savage enemy was now gone, they did not leave the land unconquered; for the armies of agony now vanquished the hearts of the people, and drops of sorrow tainted their beings, and covered the city as moist dew overspreads the green grass of a humid morning. The Church of Rome was first headed by St. Peter who exclaimed with inspired mind: “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:16)
This was the declaration of faith, upon which the Church still stands, and it was this declaration which the Muslims sought to destroy when they desired the city in which Peter lied buried. But let us never forget the words of our Lord after Peter declared his holy words: “That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18) And so, with the storm of pagan fury looming, surely this was an attack from the realm of the diabolical, a declaration of war, not just against humankind, but against Heaven itself.
As one viewed the old metropolis, one could see a little monastery. Its appearance was modest, and yet through its simplicity it did not fail to pull one into a sense of divine mystery. It lied at a close distance from the ruins of the Colosseum, as though it were making a declaration of victory: ‘Here once stood the pride of pagandom, and now it lies dead and only in decayed remains for all the world to remember your defeat at the war of the Cross; and here lies the Church — simple and humble, fierce and just — enduring forever, and always withstanding the onslaught of hades.’
The monastery was called the Quattuor Coronatti, or The Four Crowned Martyrs; it was dedicated to four Christians who were executed by the emperor Diocletian for refusing to make a sacrifice to the demon, Aesculapius. The names of these four martyrs were unknown, and till this day they remain anonymous, as so many heroes of old, who fought and died for the Faith, remain without praise and with names not remembered.
Inside the monastery the walls were decorated with frescos bearing the icons of holy men, martyrs, and angels. An aged man sat down in a rugged room, perfect for the monastic.
The room was without noise, and he took refuge in the silence; his was spirit stilled through prayer, his mind contemplative, his heart heavy with sorrow, not for himself, but for others. He may have looked at the angels, and wondered to himself how many angels were now looked upon the city from above.
Suddenly, the door abruptly opened, and a multitude of enraged people rushed up and eagerly seized him. They did not yell curses or insults, but instead, they sung hymns and exalted him. They brought him to the Lateran palace, let him go so that he could stand, and kissed his feet with pious reverence. The Pope, Sergius II, was now dead, and they all wanted him to take the pontificate. It did not matter if he refused, the people wanted him to be their bishop, and so he ascended the pontificate, and took the name Leo IV.
In this day, after the city had suffered such a great attack, one could see throughout the populace the hearts of the people melted in the glowing flames of contrition; the desires of the flesh no longer seized them, but their passions now shifted from sin to sainthood. The people wanted to honor God, to perpetuate Orthodoxy and preserve Christendom, and they understood that the only way to do this was not through some superficial secular war, where victory is won and vice embraced, but a religious war — a holy war. They did not ask a king, but a pope to lead them into a battle. Surely was this a nation carrying its cross, surely was this a crusade.
Leo prayed earnestly to God for justice, and requested from Him due punishment upon those Muslims who had just pillaged and ransacked the holy churches of Rome. The Muslims who pillaged the city were now leaving Italy. They entered their ships and sailed off with their bellies satisfied and their flesh gratified. In time, they were so close to their country in North Africa that they could see the mountains of their land ever so clearly, and they cheered with joy.
Then suddenly another boat appeared amongst theirs; it was not one of their own, and on its deck were two men. One was dressed like a priest and the other like a monk. The pirates were dumbfounded at this, not having the slightest idea of who these men were. The two mysterious men asked them: “Where have you come from and where are you going to?” The Muslims replied: “We come back from Peter in Rome, where we have laid waste his entire shrine and despoiled the people and the region. We have defeated the Franks and burnt down Benedict’s cells. But tell us who you are.”
“You will soon see who we are”
The rise of roaring waves struck at their ears, they looked up and saw high waves from a rushing storm. The mighty waters broke right through their ships and smashed all of them; the ocean swallowed them up, and their bodies plunged into the boundless abyss, as the waves of the Red Sea crushed the Egyptians.
After the savages drowned in the waves and received the deaths they justly deserved, Leo dedicated his time to the Basilica of St. Peter, to restore what the heretics had stolen. He embellished the sanctuary with the ornaments fitting for such a holy place; and he arrayed the church with ten veils, and on each was embroidered the image of a lion. The meaning of his name, Leo, is lion, and this is what Christendom needed at so forlorn a time. “The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.” (Proverbs 28:1) The wicked were on their way, and the mighty lion was patiently awaiting for the hyenas to arrive.
He approached the tomb of St. Peter and encompassed its altar with golden panels on which were engraved depictions of the Holy Cross, Jesus Christ and His Resurrection. They were placed together, as if to say: From noble suffering, springs liberation. The Christians of Rome had just underwent a most harsh violence, and all hoped to resurrect from the tomb of despair.
Pope Leo IV had the city’s walls repaired; fifteen towers were built or renewed, and an iron chain was drawn across the Tiber river to hinder any enemy naval ships from sailing into Rome. The devil never gave up in taking the city for his rule; he inspired the minds of the Muslims, and reminded them of what great treasured lied in Rome, and how many riches they would acquire if they conquered the metropolis.
They entered their ships and praised the demon they called god, and sailed into the nation of Italy. The savages soon arrived to the shores of a place called Totarum close to the island of Sardinia, and there they lingered about waiting, like wolves, for the right moment to make their attack. After some time they resumed their journey, and eventually arrived at the Port of Rome.
From a distance the local Christians saw the barbarians arrived, and they were so filled with fear. The news spread throughout, that the Muslims were here, but not everyone reacted with fear. Divine Providence stirred the hearts of the mighty men of Naples, of Amalfi and Gaeta, and they all offered themselves up as warriors for a holy cause: a war against the forces of evil.
The armies of God gathered together, entered their ships and sailed to Rome where they informed the Pope of their arrival. Leo received the elite of their number, amongst them the valiant Caesarius, with a hospitable reception in the Lateran palace, and asked them as to what they desired. They replied that they desired for nothing else but to warn him of the invasion to come, and to assemble their fighting men and “to win a victory with the Lord’s help over the pagans.”
The Christian fighters ascended their praises on high, thanking Almighty God for sending them such a shepherd to strengthen them. Leo simply followed the command our Lord gave to his predecessor, St. Peter: “strengthen thy brethren.” (Luke 22:32) And now a successor of St. Peter, Leo, was obeying the orders of his Eternal General, and gave strength to the warriors to protect the city in which (in the words of Tertullian) “Peter endures a passion like his Lord’s!” (Tertullian, On the Prescription Against Heretics, ch. 36)
When Christ told St. Peter, “Put your sword into the sheath” (John 18:11), but he never discarded the sword, only sheathed it within the Church for a time when it must be properly used. Now was that time, and Leo was rightfully unsheathing it.
Is it not profound that the first gentile to enter the doors of the Church was a warrior? His name was Cornelius, and he was no effeminate, but a centurion of the Italian division. Through him, the gentile world was opened to the embraces of the Church; through him, the warriors of Europe took up their crosses and became the strong arm of Christendom.
A warrior named Cornelius stood before St. Peter to receive his intercession, and now a multitude of Cornelius’ successors stood before the successor of St. Peter, also awaiting his intercession, to pray and ask God for the salvation of the city. They all gathered together at the church of St. Aurea, and there the priest stood before his warriors; he chanted the beautiful hymns of monks — the music that agitated the devils who so possessed the Muslims who were now on their way. He prostrated on his knees, and like the prophets of Israel declared:
O God, whose right hand raised up St. Peter the apostle lest he sinks when walking on the water, and delivered from the depths of the sea his fellow-apostles Paul when three times shipwrecked, graciously hear us and grant that, by the merits of them both, the limbs of these thy faithful contending against the enemies of the holy church, may be fortified by thy almighty right hand and gain strength; that by their gaining triumph thy holy name may be seen glorious among all races; through [our Lord Jesus Christ]
As Melchizedek “brought out bread and wine” (Genesis 14:18) before the warrior Abraham, he took bread and wine and consecrated it, and gave the Lord’s body to the mouths of valorous fighters, ready to give their lives after their holy supper, as Christ gave His after the Last Supper.
On the waves of the shore could be seen a great number of colossal ships. The sound of the clamoring waters was heard alongside the noise of people speaking Arabic. It was the next day, and the Muslim ships were on the beach of Ostia, a suburb of Rome. Though the sun had already arisen, it seemed as though dawn did not flee, and nor did it hast on that day that seemed endless, when it brought forth its hopeful light. The tremulous waves of the heathen torrent were on the horizon, wanting to clash into that rock, upon which, Christ said, “I will build My church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18)
Here the warriors stood, to defend that city consecrated by the blood of Peter and Paul, who fought a good warfare and endured for Jesus Christ, enduring the axe and the gibbet in the battlefield of the spirit. And now these men of valor, carrying their crosses as their two Apostles had done, were prepared to receive the blows of the enemy, and to strike with all fortitude in the spirit of zeal. The Muslim armies were still in their ships and as they thought of gain and plunder, an array of other ships manned by Christian warriors from Naples suddenly appeared in their presence and launched an attack upon them.
The Italian Christians shot forth their missiles and struck the enemy; Muslims lied down wounded, but still none tasted death. The Muslims made their maddening prayer to Allah and advanced for a naval attack. The clash continued. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a gust of mighty winds stirred the air, and a ruthless tempest smashed right into their midst. So overpowering were these winds that the seas arose and waves cried as they scattered about the helpless ships.
The vessels ascended up as the lofty waves carriied them, and descended ever so low as the waters dropped under the force of the screaming storm. While the Christians were in disarray, the Muslim ships were devastated in the broom of destruction that tore them apart. So miraculous was this sight, that the Christian onlookers could sing with Moses:
And with the blast of Your nostrils The waters were gathered together; The floods stood upright like a heap; The depths congealed in the heart of the sea. (Exodus 15:8)
The enemy was now utterly defenseless, and the time to attack was now. The Muslims who had not been consumed by the thundering seas made their way to some nearby Italian islands. On these isles the Christians met their enemy, and with their swords — shaped like crosses — they made a great slaughter of those who held swords in the shape of crescents. The survivors were seized and taken to Rome where many of them were hung. The rest were taught Christianity and made to repair what damages their people brought to the churches.
Victory had been won; the crowning city of Christendom was saved by God through the arm of zealous men. After some time, Pope Leo IV went to the gate of the city that overlooks St. Peregrinus, and with fervent heart and impenetrable spirit, he cried out:
O God, who didst confer on thy apostle Peter the keys of the kingdom of heaven and didst grant him the pontificate of binding and loosing, grant that by the help of his intercession we may be delivered from the bonds of our sins; and cause that this city which we have newly founded with thy assistance may ever remain safe from thy wrath and have new and manifold triumphs over the enemy on whose account it has been constructed; through [our Lord Jesus Christ].
The Muslims tried to invade Rome seven times, and seven times did they fail. Never will they ever succeed in breaking the Cross of this eternal city; never will the crescent vanquish the holy emblem of our warfare. The successors of Cornelius the Italian repulsed the pagan invader, and his successors still live on today, destined to fight in the Final Crusade against the Antichrist, and fulfill the prophecy that says: “the galleys and the Romans shall come upon him” (Daniel 11:30). Soon the Muslims will try again to take Rome, but never will they conquer the Christians of this city, “beloved of God, called to be saints” (Romans 1:7). (This entire rendition of the Battle of Ostia is based on the Liber Pontificalis, 104-105, trans. Raymond Davis (see also his commentary); Gibbon, Decline and Fall, vol. v, ch. lii, pp. 973-75; Mosheim’s Church History, The Ninth Century, part i, ch. ii, p. 209)
This is just one of the many theological discourses that I have written on Christian militancy from the upcoming book, which will be the most extensive study every written on Christian warfare. But before the book comes out, make sure that you do something to save our Christian brethren in Pakistan from Islamic persecution.