Does anyone think Spirtiuality/Magick/Mysticism/Occultism is very neglected in European swordsmanship (and HEMA in general)?With how Catholic it was?

Bullsherdog

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I just got a book by mail The Sicilian Blade by Vito Quattrochi.

Quattorchi's main specialization isn't martial arts but occultism. Specifically Catholic devotions. His most famous book is Benedicaria: Magical Catholicism which is basically about local Italian magick all revolving around the Roman Catholic framework.

Throughout his book on Sicilian knife fighting he frequently mentions prayer to Saint Michael. Even in his Benedicaria and other occult books, frequently he says to call Michael the Archangel not just for defense against demons, but even for physical protection (one of the prayers in the Benedicaria mentions something about praying to Michael to let the enemies knife miss stabbing at you).

So I think this is a very underlooked topic. I'm not a Roman Catholic but I was raised Anglican and one of my relatives specialized in the Anglo-Catholic tradition. So I'm quite familiar with basic Catholic stuff from his tutorship and in Catholicism many Saints are given patronages of not only war but even certain weapons like Sebastian bow and arrows and Maurice swords.

Without going into a ramble about Catholic theology, you seek a saint who is patron of a specific subject like say Raphael for healing and ask them in a prayer to intercede on your behalf (they pray to God asking for your request related to the subject). Hopefully God answers them. The stronger the Saint is a patronage of a subject, the more likely a response from God.

In addition being raised in an Anglican-Lutheran hybrid school of thought in my household, I read through lots of stuff about Protestant Reformation and plenty of stories about prayers to the Trinity for victory not only in battles during major conflicts like The Thirty Years Wars but prayer before and after duels, hanging biblical verses outside of barracks (and so I would assume same for fencing schools), holding the cross while resting, etc in the various stuff I was forced to read, watch, and so on as a child all the way to College Years. Nothing involving saints BTW since Lutheranism normally doesn't believe in intercession of the Saints.

I mean even ISIS are known to have an Imam quote Quranic verses not only before battle but even during training as well as play Adhan before and after training sessions. So if Iraqi swordsmen today are even using Islamic spirituality as part of their fencing traditions, why does HEMA and most Western fighting traditions seem to completely ignore this often very associated part of Asian martial arts?

I mean in a HEMA site they were even pointing out some Medieval and Renaissance schools have patron Saints and not only had prayers and candle devotions but blatantly used Christian symbols as part of their logos as well as Biblical verses in local languages!

If there's one reason that irks me so much about the lack of exploring occultism and mysticism in HEMA and western fighting traditions in general, its not the fact some local familial styles like Vito Quattrochi's family style is steeped with Christian tradition..............

Its the fact in a far away Eastern country in Asia called the Philippines often has devotions to Saint Michael as a common thing across their local arts' schools. Esp schools existing prior to "Eskrima" being created as an all-catch codification of Filipino martial arts, already predecessor styles Saint Michael statues commonly in whatever the Filipino equivalent of a dojo is called.

So why does HEMA as a whole and even Western fighting arts tend to neglect the religious and occultic aspects of European martial arts? Esp since intercessions of the Saints was so ubiquitous in Medieval and Renaissance society it permeated not just swordsmanship and unarmed martial arts but practically all across European society? I mean even illiterate peasant farmers knew about prayers to local Saints and how to light novena and the nobility saw it necessary to honor Mother Mary or else!

Bonus question-anyone who is Christians do you attempt to add back European mysiticism into your practise of HEMA esp Catholic devotions? Do any of you light novenas to Saint Michael the Archangel or read verses from a Calvinistic bible in between breaks at sparring sessions?
 

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I suspect it doesn't happen in a modern cosmopolitan and increasingly secular population because it isn't why people want to study HEMA. Most HEMA guys are people who just want to fight with swords with a smaller subset who love the academia of historical investigation. And it isn't just HEMA, the head of Pekiti-Tirsia Kali has an anting-anting (think magic charm) and an oracion that he keeps in a pounch around his neck. The vast vast majority of his western students have nothing and want nothing to do with the mysticism. It would be a gigantic turn-off to me if I came to a class and instead of fighting/wrestling started an investigation into some saint that I don't believe in. In general martial arts are culty enough without actually adding religion back into it directly.
 

O'Malley

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I just got a book by mail The Sicilian Blade by Vito Quattrochi.

Quattorchi's main specialization isn't martial arts but occultism. Specifically Catholic devotions. His most famous book is Benedicaria: Magical Catholicism which is basically about local Italian magick all revolving around the Roman Catholic framework.

Throughout his book on Sicilian knife fighting he frequently mentions prayer to Saint Michael. Even in his Benedicaria and other occult books, frequently he says to call Michael the Archangel not just for defense against demons, but even for physical protection (one of the prayers in the Benedicaria mentions something about praying to Michael to let the enemies knife miss stabbing at you).

So I think this is a very underlooked topic. I'm not a Roman Catholic but I was raised Anglican and one of my relatives specialized in the Anglo-Catholic tradition. So I'm quite familiar with basic Catholic stuff from his tutorship and in Catholicism many Saints are given patronages of not only war but even certain weapons like Sebastian bow and arrows and Maurice swords.

Without going into a ramble about Catholic theology, you seek a saint who is patron of a specific subject like say Raphael for healing and ask them in a prayer to intercede on your behalf (they pray to God asking for your request related to the subject). Hopefully God answers them. The stronger the Saint is a patronage of a subject, the more likely a response from God.

In addition being raised in an Anglican-Lutheran hybrid school of thought in my household, I read through lots of stuff about Protestant Reformation and plenty of stories about prayers to the Trinity for victory not only in battles during major conflicts like The Thirty Years Wars but prayer before and after duels, hanging biblical verses outside of barracks (and so I would assume same for fencing schools), holding the cross while resting, etc in the various stuff I was forced to read, watch, and so on as a child all the way to College Years. Nothing involving saints BTW since Lutheranism normally doesn't believe in intercession of the Saints.

I mean even ISIS are known to have an Imam quote Quranic verses not only before battle but even during training as well as play Adhan before and after training sessions. So if Iraqi swordsmen today are even using Islamic spirituality as part of their fencing traditions, why does HEMA and most Western fighting traditions seem to completely ignore this often very associated part of Asian martial arts?

I mean in a HEMA site they were even pointing out some Medieval and Renaissance schools have patron Saints and not only had prayers and candle devotions but blatantly used Christian symbols as part of their logos as well as Biblical verses in local languages!

If there's one reason that irks me so much about the lack of exploring occultism and mysticism in HEMA and western fighting traditions in general, its not the fact some local familial styles like Vito Quattrochi's family style is steeped with Christian tradition..............

Its the fact in a far away Eastern country in Asia called the Philippines often has devotions to Saint Michael as a common thing across their local arts' schools. Esp schools existing prior to "Eskrima" being created as an all-catch codification of Filipino martial arts, already predecessor styles Saint Michael statues commonly in whatever the Filipino equivalent of a dojo is called.

So why does HEMA as a whole and even Western fighting arts tend to neglect the religious and occultic aspects of European martial arts? Esp since intercessions of the Saints was so ubiquitous in Medieval and Renaissance society it permeated not just swordsmanship and unarmed martial arts but practically all across European society? I mean even illiterate peasant farmers knew about prayers to local Saints and how to light novena and the nobility saw it necessary to honor Mother Mary or else!

Bonus question-anyone who is Christians do you attempt to add back European mysiticism into your practise of HEMA esp Catholic devotions? Do any of you light novenas to Saint Michael the Archangel or read verses from a Calvinistic bible in between breaks at sparring sessions?
First, a few words on Vito Quattrocchi. What he writes seem more based on fictional representations (like "The Godfather") than reality. I've had the chance to skim through his book and it felt fishy. Can't comment on the validity of the technical instruction itself - I'm no knife fighter - but the overall way he wrote reminded me of Ashida Kim. I've also had suspicions about the "Sicilian" words he used in the book (e.g. "indraga mano"), which didn't sound like any variant of Sicilian I've ever heard. I've asked around - I'm based in Sicily - and only got puzzled expressions, including from old people who mainly speak dialect, and Google searches in Italian and Sicilian gave me nothing. Also, we found strange that he refers to himself as "Don Vito", "Don" is how others may have called you in rural Sicily decades ago (if you were something like the most important guy in the village). The fact that he writes on Catholic mysticism - a subject where it's easy to affabulate - and cheap mafia fiction further strengthens my impressions.

As for HEMA, again not an expert but my understanding is that HEMA is based on the reconstruction of historical techniques through research, so modern practitioners may just want to reproduce and understand the technical aspects without necessarily replicating the spiritual part. I don't think you have to be Catholic to practice HEMA.

Also, comparing with Asian martial arts is a bit fallacious, because Western and Asian MA evolved in radically different contexts. In certain Asian MA (e.g. Taiji or Aikido) you have to have some understanding of the spiritual aspects to do basic things such as standing in place.

The bit about ISIS is way oversimplistic but I currently don't have the time to discuss it.

If you want to add Christian mysticism to you own practice, there are actually treaties regarded as "classics" that would be more authentic than "pop-spirituality" by obscure authors. You can check out "The Cloud of the Unknowing" or St Ignatius's Spiritual Exercises.
 

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I am not sure if Jesus approves cutting, slicing, smashing, choping etc. other people.
Sure he does.

He said to them, But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you dont have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. It is written: And he was numbered with the transgressors; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.Luke 22:36-37
 

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Sure he does.

He said to them, But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you dont have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. It is written: And he was numbered with the transgressors; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.Luke 22:36-37
I am familiar with this passage (in spite of doing my best to drive all such religious teachings from my brain). Is this the only such passage, where Jesus accepts/endorses the possible need for violence in self defense? If so, it seems like a small platform to build a movement upon.

I believe there is one short passage in the Bible about serpents not biting the faithful, and the whole snake-handling Christian movement was built upon that. Pretty weak. Not how I would go about it.

But then again, very little about religion makes any sense to me. So I remain uninvolved.
 

elder999

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I am familiar with this passage (in spite of doing my best to drive all such religious teachings from my brain). Is this the only such passage, where Jesus accepts/endorses the possible need for violence in self defense? If so, it seems like a small platform to build a movement upon.

I believe there is one short passage in the Bible about serpents not biting the faithful, and the whole snake-handling Christian movement was built upon that. Pretty weak. Not how I would go about it.

But then again, very little about religion makes any sense to me. So I remain uninvolved.
Always remember, when they ask, "What would Jesus do?" to tell them that turning over tables and beating everyone in sight with a whip is always an option.

11The crowds replied, This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee. 12Then Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those selling doves. 13And He declared to them, It is written: My house will be called a house of prayer. But you are making it a den of robbers.胼
 

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Like politics, religious debate does not belong here on MartialTalk. This thread is on the edge of being locked. Please don't make us do that.

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Bill Mattocks

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I call upon St Vidicon of Cathode most days, it seems. Mostly for IT things, but the Imp of the Perverse is everywhere these days.

On a more serious note, many military people carry a St Christopher or St Michael medal, as do many cops. How people choose to express themselves can have a positive effect on performance, I've seen. Overcoming fear, settling nerves, becoming centered, these can be positive things. They are, like belief itself, personal in nature. I respect all, regardless of my own beliefs.
 

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"The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness. For he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you."

Jules, in Pulp Fiction......just before he kills guys..
 

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So why does HEMA as a whole and even Western fighting arts tend to neglect the religious and occultic aspects of European martial arts?
It's easy. People come in with their own religion. People bring their beliefs into the martial arts. If you don't believe in the "religious and occultic aspects of a European religious culture" then you aren't neglecting it. It's just not part of ones belief. I'm not sure if it's possible to neglect a belief that is not yours.








.
 
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Bullsherdog

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First, a few words on Vito Quattrocchi. What he writes seem more based on fictional representations (like "The Godfather") than reality. I've had the chance to skim through his book and it felt fishy. Can't comment on the validity of the technical instruction itself - I'm no knife fighter - but the overall way he wrote reminded me of Ashida Kim. I've also had suspicions about the "Sicilian" words he used in the book (e.g. "indraga mano"), which didn't sound like any variant of Sicilian I've ever heard. I've asked around - I'm based in Sicily - and only got puzzled expressions, including from old people who mainly speak dialect, and Google searches in Italian and Sicilian gave me nothing. Also, we found strange that he refers to himself as "Don Vito", "Don" is how others may have called you in rural Sicily decades ago (if you were something like the most important guy in the village). The fact that he writes on Catholic mysticism - a subject where it's easy to affabulate - and cheap mafia fiction further strengthens my impressions.

As for HEMA, again not an expert but my understanding is that HEMA is based on the reconstruction of historical techniques through research, so modern practitioners may just want to reproduce and understand the technical aspects without necessarily replicating the spiritual part. I don't think you have to be Catholic to practice HEMA.

Also, comparing with Asian martial arts is a bit fallacious, because Western and Asian MA evolved in radically different contexts. In certain Asian MA (e.g. Taiji or Aikido) you have to have some understanding of the spiritual aspects to do basic things such as standing in place.

The bit about ISIS is way oversimplistic but I currently don't have the time to discuss it.

If you want to add Christian mysticism to you own practice, there are actually treaties regarded as "classics" that would be more authentic than "pop-spirituality" by obscure authors. You can check out "The Cloud of the Unknowing" or St Ignatius's Spiritual Exercises.
Except Quatrocchi's stuff are not ramblings he mad up but basic stuff so common in non-American Catholicism (esp back in conservative parts of the Church such as Italy and Latin America). Have you seen how much Michael the Archangel is invoked upon by Hispanic police in crime filled ghettos and war zones across Latin America? And Saint Sebastien medals are so commonly bought by kids doing athletics in Italy? How Joan of Arc is the face of French nationalistic movements esp conservatives?

The simple fact you think they are cultic stuff made up shows precisely what I mean when HEMA practitioners are ignorant of Medieval lifestyle.

For example you mention needing to understand Shinto beliefs to understand basic concepts like standing stances? Well have you ever seen even the very liberal and poorly indoctrinated American soldiers bringing rosary just before a battle stars?

Vito did not make this stuff up, the Vatican is so full of traditions like candle prayers for healing and protection from the Blessed Mary. But it seems so many people into European swordsmanship are so ignorant of these stuff, even something as barebones as keeping a rosary in pockets during battle.

It's easy. People come in with their own religion. People bring their beliefs into the martial arts. If you don't believe in the "religious and occultic aspects of a European religious culture" then you aren't neglecting it. It's just not part of ones belief. I'm not sure if it's possible to neglect a belief that is not yours.








.

A fair number of Eastern schools though has transcendental Meditation and other stuff as part of their curriculum. In India sword schools have statues of various local Gods. Hell even Islamic terrorists like Al Qaeda carry the Quran around and has a special Imam recite verses during training including in knife and even sword drills. There's a video of an ISIS guy beheading a prisoner of War and the Imam reciting scripture.


So one has to wonder why practitioners of Historical WMAs esp in English speaking countries are so ignorant of this fact.

Well in fact Latin America has lots of these traditions in their sports, police, and military traditions and Italy still sells medals for various stuf including fencing.

I mean is it not bizarre that a country so far away in Asia called the Philippines has so much of the Sainthood involved in their national martial arts like Eskrima????!!!!!!!!
 

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So one has to wonder why practitioners of Historical WMAs esp in English speaking countries are so ignorant of this fact.
Perspective is probably causing it. There's a lot of systems that take a "whole body, whole mind" approach to fitness in general. Western Countries especially the U.S. tend to want to extract bits and pieces that they think are good and then dump the rest. 80's and 90's weight lifting has evidence of this. Body building by isolating the muscles and instead of body building as a whole body effort.

Other cultures are more in tune with with how things work in harmony. Weight loss diet fads are the best examples of trying to achieve something outside of harmony. First it was no sugar, then no fats, then no calories, then no carbs and now many dietitians are gaining a better understanding of how these things work together to make us healthier.
 

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Other cultures are more in tune with with how things work in harmony. Weight loss diet fads are the best examples of trying to achieve something outside of harmony. First it was no sugar, then no fats, then no calories, then no carbs and now many dietitians are gaining a better understanding of how these things work together to make us healthier.
Diets are easy. If it says "eliminate xxxxx from your diet" it's stupid.
 

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[...]

the Vatican is so full of traditions like candle prayers for healing and protection from the Blessed Mary. But it seems so many people into European swordsmanship are so ignorant of these stuff, even something as barebones as keeping a rosary in pockets during battle.

[...]

So one has to wonder why practitioners of Historical WMAs esp in English speaking countries are so ignorant of this fact.
Again, your assumption is wrong. You assume that "practitioners of Historical WMAs esp in English speaking countries are [...] ignorant of this fact." My experience is that, in general, they are not unaware. In fact, most are quite aware of religiously based ritual links. Most are aware that a Cruciform style sword was, in fact, often used as a stand-in for an actual crucifix for religious observances. Most are aware of a late-era portion of the Knighting ritual which involved the prospect spending the night in fasting and prayer. Most are aware of the religious based iconography that knights would use, particularly those who Crusaded, and the funerary statuary that set a Crusader apart upon his death. Most are aware of the religious based rituals often involved before a duel. Most are quite aware that there are religious and mystical links and ritual in the past of "HEMA" and "WMA." Many choose not to participate in those elements for various reasons but that is not the same as now knowing about it.

Your assumption is the same as pointing out that the vast majority of people in "English speaking countries" do not actually attend any faith-based institutions ("church") and then mistakenly equate that to not knowing about faith-based attendance and traditions.

It's just wrong.
 

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Getting back to the original question, the reason that HEMA practitioners don't incorporate medieval religious or occult practices into their training, is because we are studying a martial art, not attempting to recreate the mindset and beliefs of a medieval warrior. Studying swordplay doesn't mean we have to believe in the divine right of kings and swear to use our sword in service of our feudal lord. It doesn't mean that we have to apply medieval medicine if we are injured in training. It doesn't mean we have to hold medieval attitudes towards gender roles and social status. And it doesn't mean we have to adopt the religious or occult beliefs held by some of the swordsmen of the period we are studying. Even those modern practitioners who are Catholic or believe in occult practices very probably have significant differences in their practices from someone living in the Middle Ages.

There are certain Christians who feel the need to visibly incorporate their faith into every activity they take part in - thus "Christian Karate" and the like. That being the case, I wouldn't be surprised if there exists a "Christian HEMA" group somewhere. If so, it's statistically likely to be some modern Evangelical protestant branch, since they're the ones who tend to go for that sort of thing.
 

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Except Quatrocchi's stuff are not ramblings he mad up but basic stuff so common in non-American Catholicism (esp back in conservative parts of the Church such as Italy and Latin America). Have you seen how much Michael the Archangel is invoked upon by Hispanic police in crime filled ghettos and war zones across Latin America? And Saint Sebastien medals are so commonly bought by kids doing athletics in Italy? How Joan of Arc is the face of French nationalistic movements esp conservatives?

The simple fact you think they are cultic stuff made up shows precisely what I mean when HEMA practitioners are ignorant of Medieval lifestyle.

For example you mention needing to understand Shinto beliefs to understand basic concepts like standing stances? Well have you ever seen even the very liberal and poorly indoctrinated American soldiers bringing rosary just before a battle stars?

Vito did not make this stuff up, the Vatican is so full of traditions like candle prayers for healing and protection from the Blessed Mary. But it seems so many people into European swordsmanship are so ignorant of these stuff, even something as barebones as keeping a rosary in pockets during battle.



A fair number of Eastern schools though has transcendental Meditation and other stuff as part of their curriculum. In India sword schools have statues of various local Gods. Hell even Islamic terrorists like Al Qaeda carry the Quran around and has a special Imam recite verses during training including in knife and even sword drills. There's a video of an ISIS guy beheading a prisoner of War and the Imam reciting scripture.


So one has to wonder why practitioners of Historical WMAs esp in English speaking countries are so ignorant of this fact.

Well in fact Latin America has lots of these traditions in their sports, police, and military traditions and Italy still sells medals for various stuf including fencing.

I mean is it not bizarre that a country so far away in Asia called the Philippines has so much of the Sainthood involved in their national martial arts like Eskrima????!!!!!!!!

I can't talk about Latin America, but I can categorically assert that the things you cite are absolutely not "basic common stuff" in Italy. For context, I was raised as a Roman Catholic and did my entire religious education in the Italian Church. Neither me nor my wife (nor our relatives and friends, including the elderly) have seen such things in our lives. I have also searched the internet in English and Italian and haven't found anything on these "common" things. What are your sources?

On Quattrocchi, I have had a look at the free excerpt from his book on Amazon and in a couple of pages he managed to make mistakes in the Italian words for "mommy", "your" and "is". This -and his bibliography- tells me that he writes primarily on a culture whose language he does not speak. One can like him as an author of fiction but he is unreliable when it comes to factual information.

My advice would be to do some proper reading on the topic because you seem to base your understanding on hearsay or imagination, including on ISIS and French politics.
 
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Bullsherdog

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I can't talk about Latin America, but I can categorically assert that the things you cite are absolutely not "basic common stuff" in Italy. For context, I was raised as a Roman Catholic and did my entire religious education in the Italian Church. Neither me nor my wife (nor our relatives and friends, including the elderly) have seen such things in our lives. I have also searched the internet in English and Italian and haven't found anything on these "common" things. What are your sources?

On Quattrocchi, I have had a look at the free excerpt from his book on Amazon and in a couple of pages he managed to make mistakes in the Italian words for "mommy", "your" and "is". This -and his bibliography- tells me that he writes primarily on a culture whose language he does not speak. One can like him as an author of fiction but he is unreliable when it comes to factual information.

My advice would be to do some proper reading on the topic because you seem to base your understanding on hearsay or imagination, including on ISIS and French politics.
Guess what? None of the stuff I say s heresy at all......

Because you are assuming am a typical Atheist Anglo Saxon. I'm actually Polish and believe me hen my people before me who lived in Europe before my American generation VISITED ITALY frequently as part of Polish traditiion often by tran or car or even by horse. At least a few relatives of mine of mine walked all the way to the Vatican by foot before the Soviet takeover of Poland screwed the religious demographs.

This isn't limited to pre World Wars. Ever heard of Anneliese Michel? Part of non-English Europe is far more conservative than mny people n the Anglo Saxon countries assume as seen by her and how the demons that stalked her s believed by some to have originated by Italy.

And you totally miss the point about Quattrochi. A lot of his traditions may have gotten Amercanized but they are very real in Italy (well at least the still more religious areas like Sardinia). Just because you weren't raised in old school Catholicism doesn't mean he's wrong. The fact you aren't aware at all of stuff like Novenas and blessed objects or protection against unfortunate unlucky situations PERFECT EXAMPLE of how English speaking HEMA practitoners don't really understand the subject at all.


I mean do you even know about the various Saint festivals across Italy esp in the South in places like Corsica and Sardnia? Or the use of scapular for protection? Your posts just signifies a perfect example of how much North Americn Catholicism is so watered down. Pretty much everything Quattorchi rites minus a few practises (that are probably family traditions or localized stuff in vilalges in Sicily) are nothing cultish and out o the norm. They are BASIC CATHOLIC PRACTISES. I hope you don't actually mean you never called upon the Intercession of Saint Archangel Michael in your life? Or placed Mary statues cross the house to form a protective space against Satanic forces? None of this stuff which Quattrochi has a bit in his book (and many more including using Holy Water to bless and empower objects) is underground and occultist at all, hell they aren't unique to Catholicism but are also found in Orthodox Christianity and other Churches including modern High Church Anglican, Coptic, Ethiopian Tewahedo, and hell bunch of other Churches with Apostolic Successions. Quottrochi dd not make anything up, he simply compiled practises so common in Sicily an part of his family line into few books (and almost all of them aren't really anything special, they are basic Catholic sacraments).

You don't even need to bring grammars and other errors up because if you did some googling bout something as basic s Mary as the Theotokos, you'd know that the Eastern Orthodox calls upon Mary's prayers to exorcise a person of a demon and for protection in dangerous situation (something not only in Vito's books but s one of the most barebones basic practices so ubiquitous n Catholicism).


The fact you don't realize how so common candles done to honor Mary is so common not just in Italy but in my ancestor country Poland and cross Portugal and Spain just shows how much you don't know about Catholicism at all. Sure atheism and lax religious practises has been on the rise n Europe. But there are still entire towns and villages in Southern Europe that does common Catholic practises like hanging Rosary on the bed stand for protection while sleeping at night and confession to priests out of paranoia of punishment from God.


Poland may not have been as religiously fanatic as before Hitler's conquest of the nation......... But I can confirm both in my local Polish Americans community and back at home in Poland from relatives living there that local Saints are still so revered esp in conservative parts of the country.



I am pretty sure you weren't raised in a traditional Catholic background because so much stuff in the Benedicaria book and other stuff by Vito like Benedictine Medals as a lucky Talismans against dangers including physical ones like mugging are just barebones practises that anyone who was even forced to attend Church by superstitious parents of a Catholic culture would know about.

It looks like this you who needs to do some basic research on the subjects mentioned because you don't understand anything at all. You are relying a lot on not just hearsay but through secular Anglo Saxon lenses. Honestly all the stuff in the Benedicaria book like prayers to Archangel Raphael and Marian Medals, all this is stuff the Polish immigrant community teaches to children as early as 13 (often even younger since many expat Poles are pretty conservative by American standards).

I mean Vito's mentioning of sacred oil for tranquility and to imbue yourself with God's graces....... Hope you do't mean to tell me you never received it from a priest at your whole life?

True ISIS has a lot of news spinning but it is Islamic traditions.......... So a lot of sketchy stuff... But ever heard of the Cross of Lorraine? You already are wrong on the French stuff because you don't seem aware of the Cross of Lorraine. I don't need to bring up relatives in Europe, the Cross of Lorraine shows flaws n your post.

Again, your assumption is wrong. You assume that "practitioners of Historical WMAs esp in English speaking countries are [...] ignorant of this fact." My experience is that, in general, they are not unaware. In fact, most are quite aware of religiously based ritual links. Most are aware that a Cruciform style sword was, in fact, often used as a stand-in for an actual crucifix for religious observances. Most are aware of a late-era portion of the Knighting ritual which involved the prospect spending the night in fasting and prayer. Most are aware of the religious based iconography that knights would use, particularly those who Crusaded, and the funerary statuary that set a Crusader apart upon his death. Most are aware of the religious based rituals often involved before a duel. Most are quite aware that there are religious and mystical links and ritual in the past of "HEMA" and "WMA." Many choose not to participate in those elements for various reasons but that is not the same as now knowing about it.

Your assumption is the same as pointing out that the vast majority of people in "English speaking countries" do not actually attend any faith-based institutions ("church") and then mistakenly equate that to not knowing about faith-based attendance and traditions.

It's just wrong.

To an extent many HEMA schools do completely reject even no-religious elements (well this is already a sketchy topc to begn with because of the blurred lines n Medieval Europe).

True avoiding asking for the intercession of Mary in schools I can understand.. But artwork of Mary is basically standard in historical Europe even among the religious lax. Enough that so many non-religious institutions in Medieval and Renaissance Europe like restaurants, banks (to the point even Jewish banks were enforced in public busness areas to have Christian symbols n their workplaces) hell even illegal brothels and weapon smth had paintngs and statues of Mary lying around.


Considering how much dojos of Eastern styles still include Eastern calligraphy and have statues of mythic oriental warrior figures (like OnI) even if they don't practise Buddhism or Shinto, etc, I don't understand why Western schools don't dress up training center with awesome non-religous intent aethestcs like paintings of a woman in blue dress and white head cover with blue eyes and brown hair n the min training hall. Or statues of cool Angels swinging a sword? I mean a lot of those Medieval Artwork look pretty cool even if you remove the religious connotations of an Archangel Raphael wall Mosaic. Michael statues even if you are atheist are so made with sophistication that they give up a very masculine and militaristic vibe! Which makes it bizarre why most schools never set up a statue of an Angel with a sword and shield at the entrance of the training center. Because even devoid of religious associations Angels in plate armor wielding Swords and shields are so wickedly cool looking.
 
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