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Requiescat in Pace Joe Sc...
Forum: Appeals for Prayer
Last Post: Juan Diego
3 hours ago
» Replies: 0
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The Present Crisis of the...
Forum: Catholic Prophecy
Last Post: Elizabeth
4 hours ago
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» Views: 66
My Daily Bread - Book One...
Forum: Church Doctrine & Teaching
Last Post: Hildegard of Bingen
Yesterday, 05:07 PM
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Prayer for a Student
Forum: Prayers and Devotionals
Last Post: Hildegard of Bingen
Yesterday, 04:49 PM
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Prayer of Mothers for the...
Forum: Prayers and Devotionals
Last Post: Hildegard of Bingen
Yesterday, 04:47 PM
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Medal of St. Benedict
Forum: Prayers and Devotionals
Last Post: Hildegard of Bingen
Yesterday, 04:41 PM
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St. Bridget of Sweden, 12...
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Act of Consecration to Je...
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ST. Gertrude Prayers to t...
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Special Dedications
Forum: Prayers and Devotionals
Last Post: Hildegard of Bingen
Yesterday, 04:25 PM
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  Requiescat in Pace Joe Scheidler
Posted by: Juan Diego - 3 hours ago - Forum: Appeals for Prayer - No Replies

Over more than 45 years, Joe Scheidler
-"The Godfather of Pro-Life Activism"-
has saved thousands of lives.
Requiescat in Pace

Joe Scheidler
9/7/1927 - 1/18/2021
Founder of the Pro-Life Action League

A Note from Conor Gallagher, Publisher and CEO of TAN Books

TAN Books grieves the loss of a dear friend, Joseph Scheidler, author of Racketeer for Life: Fighting the Culture of Death from the Sidewalk to the Supreme Court
Joe was a man of the Beatitudes. His willingness to suffer joyfully is a reminder to us all. 

He was poor in spirit, approaching God like a beggar, begging for strength to continue his fight, begging for the lives of the unborn. 
He was meek, for he could have used his talents for financial success, but chose to serve the lowliest of the low – the unborn. 
Joe mourned for the sacrificed children, for their mothers, AND for the abortionist. 
He hungered and thirsted after justice, like a desolate man in the desert – and he shall have his fill. 
Joe showed mercy to countless young women walking down the sidewalk into the clinic – women who had been scorned by their families, abandoned, threatened, abused, cursed, raped. Joe, with his enormous, masculine body, mercifully leaned down to thousands of women and showed them the face of Jesus. Joe, you shall obtain mercy. 
He was clean of heart, with pure intentions. Joe was undefiled by the publicity he received. He met with the most influential people in the world, such as Justice Scalia, Francis Cardinal George, Ronald Regan, and Saint Pope John Paul II. But he only directed this spotlight to shine on the unborn.

Joe was a peacemaker, despite the allegations by Planned Parenthood and others to the contrary. They have claimed that Joe incited violence. But when asked whether he consorted with pro-life violent extremists, he had to answer yes . . . for he went to their prisons and preached non-violence to them.

And finally, if anyone suffered persecution for justice’s sake, it was Joe Scheidler. He had been in court for 30 years, facing false accusations, defamation, and financial hardship. Joe and his family have suffered persecution . . . and theirs will be the kingdom of heaven.

In short, Joe was a living, breathing, walking, fedora wearing example of the Beatitudes. Joe lived the Gospel in a way that so few of us ever will.
We at TAN Books pray for his departed soul, and ask his intercession for us upon his reception of the Eternal Reward.
—From Conor Gallagher, CEO of TAN Books

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  My Daily Bread - Book One - Chapter 1, 2
Posted by: Hildegard of Bingen - Yesterday, 05:07 PM - Forum: Church Doctrine & Teaching - No Replies


A Summary of the Spiritual Life
Simplified and Arranged
for Daily Reading,

Reflection and Prayer


Anthony J. Paone, S.J.


Book One:
The Way of Purification
After Conversion
Conquering Bad Habits
Self-Conquest Through Mortification

Book Two:
The Way of Imitation
Following Jesus in Daily Life
Virtues Leading Directly to God
Man's Relation With His Neighbor and With Himself
The Spiritual Combat

Book Three:
The Way of Union
Striving For Closer Union
Union Through the Holy Eucharist
Union Throughout the Day


The Way of Purification



Man's Purpose on Earth

CHRIST: MY CHILD, the highest goal of your life is union with Me in Heaven. Let your
intentions throughout the day be guided by this truth. In all things be sure to stay on the
path which leads to Heaven. Do not become too deeply interested in the passing desires and
brief enjoyments of this earthly life.

2. I have given you everything that you are and everything you have. All things come to
you from Me, the Supreme Good. Whatever comes, accept it, use it, enjoy it, as I wish and
as much as I wish.

3. If you think only of satisfying yourself, without considering My approval, your mind
becomes confused and your will becomes weak. Mistakes and sins will rob you of peace on
earth and of unending happiness in Heaven. In all things, therefore, keep your eyes on Me.

4. Happy are those who desire only what I want, trying steadily to do My Will. Such people
do not let themselves become completely absorbed by their daily activities. They
frequently offer their activities to Me. They see the brevity of human contentment on earth.

5. Examine your motives in your daily words and actions. Find out how you may please
Me more, and avoid everything which may draw you away from Me.

THINK: I was created for eternal happiness with God in Heaven. Everything else must take
second place in my life, because if I lose Heaven, I will be losing everything. The sure
guide to Heaven is God's holy Will. If I follow it in my daily life,
every moment on earth will be a sure step toward the perfect happiness which my heart

PRAY: My God and loving Father, grant me the wisdom to think, speak, and act each day
as You want me to. May I never be such a fool as to disagree with Your supreme goodness
and wisdom. Nothing on earth can bring me any lasting happiness. Therefore, let me never
sin for the sake of anything. I want to live for the perfect happiness for which You created
me. Amen.


The Purpose of Created Things

CHRIST: MY CHILD, if you directed your desires according to My Will, you would learn
many a holy lesson from the events of daily life. Nothing is so small and unimportant that it
does not, in some way, reflect my wisdom and goodness. When you have become as good
and unselfish as you should be, you will find it easy to understand the deeper meaning of
the events in your daily life. An unselfish heart sees much more than what appears on the

2. I created Heaven and earth for the service of man. I have even appointed angels to help
man. In fact, I Myself am continually serving and helping man. If he lives as I desire, he
shall one day share with Me the perfect happiness of Heaven.
3. What are you doing in return for My numberless favors? You should serve Me every
single day of your life. Yet, you fail to give Me unselfish service even for one single day. I
deserve all possible obedience, all possible honor and eternal praise. To Me you owe each
breath and second of life. Without My continued support, nothing could please nor help
you. All assistance and relief is the work of My hand.

If I ever wrote down a list of God's gifts to me, I would have to compose a book.
Everything and everybody, whatever I may mention, is a gift of God for a definite purpose.
All things, not just some things, are in my life for God's good reasons. In one way or
another, they are meant to help me earn the unending happiness and glory of Heaven. I
must reject any person or thing that leads me away from this goal by sin. All things are to
be used wisely, that is, to help me live a good and useful life. By an intelligent use and
control of life's daily needs and activities, I prove my sincere desire for God's eternal love
and friendship in Heaven.

My God, the good things that attract me on earth are only tiny reflections of Your perfect
attraction and goodness. Let them never turn my thoughts aside from You, the Perfect
Good. I hope to turn away from anybody or anything which draws me away from You. The
good things of earth will pass away all too soon, but You will remain forever. I choose You
now by a sincere daily battle against sin. Grant me the glorious favor of pleasing You on
earth and loving You in Heaven. Amen.

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  Prayer for a Student
Posted by: Hildegard of Bingen - Yesterday, 04:49 PM - Forum: Prayers and Devotionals - No Replies

[Image: infantprague.jpg]


To be recited during the school year

O Infant Jesus, eternal Wisdom made flesh, who shed Thy blessings so generously on all and most especially on schoolchildren and students who trust in Thee, please look kindly on me as I implore Thee to guide and assist me in my studies.

Thou, O God made Man, Lord of all learning, source of all understanding and memory, come and help me in my weakness. Enlighten my mind, give me a readily ability to acquire knowledge and truth and the capacity to remember all I learn. Be my light, strength and comfort in moments of special difficulty.

By the grace of Thy divine Heart may I do all my school tasks to the best of my ability and gain the utmost profit from them, so that I may get good marks and, most important of all, be moved up next year. To merit such favours, for my part, I promise to perform faithfully all my duties as a Christian and to love Thee more and more. O Sweet Infant Jesus, keep me always under Thy protecting mantle and be my guide, not only on the path of learning, but above all on the path to eternal salvation. Amen.

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  Prayer of Mothers for their Children
Posted by: Hildegard of Bingen - Yesterday, 04:47 PM - Forum: Prayers and Devotionals - No Replies


(Taken from Mother Love - A Manual for Christian Mothers by a Priest of the Capuchin Order (1888) - Offered by Angelus Press)

O Good God, we thank Thee, that Thou hast given us children, made them heirs of heaven by holy baptism, and entrusted to us their training.  Penetrate us with a sense of our responsibility; assist us in the care of their health,but especially in the preservation of their innocence and purity of heart.  Grant that we may teach them early to know and serve Thee, and to love Thee, with their whole heart.  Grant that we ourselves may carefully avoid all that we must forbid them, and may assiduously practice all that we should inculcate to them.  We commend them, O God, to Thy paternal care and to the guardianship of Thy holy angels.  Bless, O heavenly Father, our little efforts!  May our children's advancement in years be to thy honor, and may they persevere to the end!  Amen.
Most Holy Trinity, Thou hast created, redeemed, and sanctified my children.  O, permit not that they should be eternally lost!

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  Medal of St. Benedict
Posted by: Hildegard of Bingen - Yesterday, 04:41 PM - Forum: Prayers and Devotionals - No Replies

[Image: st-benedict-medals__59301.original.jpg]

The Medal of St. Benedict

There is indeed no medal which possesses such wonderful power and none so highly esteemed by the holy Church as the Medal of St. Benedict. Whosoever wears this medal with devotion, trusting to the life-giving power of the holy Cross and the merits of the holy Father St. Benedict, may expect the powerful protection of this great Patriarch in his spiritual and temporal needs.

Origin and Explanation of the Medal St. Benedict Medal

St. Benedict (born at Nursia, Italy, in 480) had a profound veneration for the holy Cross and for our Saviour Crucified. In virtue of the Sign of the Cross, he wrought many miracles and exercised great power over the spirits of darkness. In consequence of the great veneration held for St. Benedict, a medal was struck which may date back to the time of St. Benedict himself. In 1880, the Jubilee Medal was struck under
the supervision of the monks of Montecassino, Italy, to mark the 1400th anniverary of St. Benedict's birth.

One side of the Jubilee Medal represents St. Benedict holding the Cross in one hand and the Holy Rule in the other. Around the image of St. Benedict are these words in Latin: Eius in obitu nostro praesentia muniamur – "May his presence protect us in the hour of our death." St. Benedict has ever been the patron of the dying, because of the circumstances attending his own most glorious death, for he breathed forthhis soul while standing in prayer before the Most Blessed Sacrament. On a pedestal to the right of St. Benedict is the poisoned cup, shattered when he made the sign of the cross over it. On a pedestal to the left is a raven about to carry away a loaf of poisoned bread that a jealous enemy had sent to St. Benedict. Above the cup and the raven are the Latin words: Crux S-Patris Benedicti (initials on reverse side – see below).
Below St. Benedict we read: Ex S M Cassino MDCCCLXXX – "From the Holy Mount of Cassino - 1880".

St. Benedict Medal The reverse side of the Medal shows the image of the Cross at the top of which will be the word PAX (peace) or the monogram I H S (Jesus). Around the margin beginning at the right hand on top, we have the following letters: V.R.S.N.S.M.V.--S.M.Q.L.I.V.B. which form verses supposed to have originated with the holy Father Benedict himself: Vade Retro, Satana! Nunquam Suade Mihi Vana Sunt Mala Quae Libas Ipse Venena Bibas: "Begone, Satan! Suggest not vain things to me. Evil is the cup thou offerest; Drink thou thine own poison." In the angles of the cross are found these four letters: C.S.P.B.: Crux Sancti Patris Benedicti – "The Cross of the Holy Father Benedict." On the vertical bar of the cross itself are found the letters: C.S.S.M.L., and on the horizontal bar of the cross: N.D.S.M.D. They signify: Crux Sacra Sit Mihi Lux, Non Draco Sit Mihi Dux – "May the holy Cross be my light, Let not the dragon be my guide."

The medal can be worn around the neck, attached to the Scapular or the Rosary, or otherwise carried about one’s person. The devout wearing of such an object, together with the Church's powerful blessing and intercessory power, make it into an unspoken prayer which has been shown to be of great help in maintaining holy purity, bringing about conversions, protecting against inclement weather and contagious disease.

Often it is placed in fields, the foundations of houses and buildings, on the walls of barns and sheds or in one's home, car or place of business to call down God’s blessing and the protection of St. Benedict.

Power and Efficacy of the Medal

The Medal of St. Benedict is one of the Sacramentals of the Church, and as such it must be used. The value and power of the Medal must be ascribed to the merits of Christ Crucified, to the efficacious prayers of St. Benedict, to the blessing of the Church, and especially to the faith and holy disposition of the person using the Medal.

The following is a partial list of the many favors obtained through the devout use of the St. Benedict Medal.

The Medal is powerful in obtaining for sinners the grace of conversion, and of overcoming evil habits such as drunkenness
It obtains protection and aid for persons tormented by the evil spirit, and in temptations against holy purity.
It procures assistance in the hour of death.
It has often proved an efficacious remedy for bodily ills, a means of protection against contagious diseases and to destroy the effects of poison.
The Medal is a powerful means to destroy witchcraft and all other diabolical influences.
It secures for expectant mothers special assistance from heaven.
Frequently this Medal has been found to be a marvelous protection against fire, tempests and storms on land and sea.
Even domestic animals have been visibly aided by it when sick or injured.

Prayer to St. Benedict

O glorious St. Benedict, sublime model of all virtues, pure vessel of God’s grace! Behold me, humbly kneeling at thy feet. I implore thy loving heart to pray for me before the throne of God. To thee I have
recourse in all the dangers which daily surround me. Shield me against my enemies, inspire me to imitate thee in all things. May thy blessing be with me always, so that I may shun whatever God forbids
and avoid the
occasions of sin.

Graciously obtain for me from God those favors and graces of which I stand so much in need, in the trials, miseries and afflictions of life. Thy heart was always so full of love, compassion, and mercy towards
those who were afflicted or troubled in any way. Thou didst never dismiss without consolation and assistance any one who had recourse to thee. I therefore invoke thy powerful intercession, in the confident
hope that thou wilt hear my prayers and obtain for me the special grace and favor I so earnestly implore (mention it), if it be for the greater glory of God and the welfare of my soul.

Help me, O great St. Benedict, to live and die as a faithful child of God, to be ever submissive to His holy will, and to attain the eternal happiness of heaven. Amen.

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  St. Bridget of Sweden, 12 Year Prayers
Posted by: Hildegard of Bingen - Yesterday, 04:36 PM - Forum: Prayers and Devotionals - No Replies

Prayers: Honoring the 7 Times Jesus Spilled His Precious Blood for Us,
as Revealed by Our Lady to St. Bridget, and Approved by Pope Clement XII

Our Lord made these promises to anyone who recited/prayed these Prayers for 12 entire years**:

1. The soul who prays them will suffer no Purgatory.

2. The soul who prays them will be accepted among the Martyrs as though he had spilled his blood for his faith.

3. The soul who prays them can choose three others whom Jesus will then keep in a state of grace sufficient to become holy.

4. No one in the four successive generations of the soul who prays them will be lost.

5. The soul who prays them will be made conscious of his death one month in advance.

** If the soul praying these prayers dies before the entire 12 years of  prayers have been completed, the Lord will accept them as having been
prayed in their entirety, because the intention of the soul was to complete them as directed.

If a day or a few days are missed due to a valid reason, they can be made up for later, at the soul's earliest opportunity.

The 12 Year Prayers:

O Jesus, now I wish to pray the Lord's Prayer seven times in unity with the love with which You sanctified this prayer in Your Heart. Take it from my lips into Your Divine Heart. Improve and complete it so much that it brings as much honor and joy to the Trinity as You granted it on earth with this prayer. May these pour upon Your Holy Humanity in Glorification to Your Painful Wounds and the Precious Blood that You spilled from them.

First Prayer: The Circumcision
Pray 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary, then:

Eternal Father, through Mary's unblemished hands and the Divine Heart of Jesus, I offer You the first wounds, the first pains, and the first Bloodshed as atonement for my and all of humanity's sins of youth, as protection against the first mortal sin, especially among my relatives.

Second Prayer: The Suffering on the Mount of Olives
Pray 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary, then:

Eternal Father, through Mary's unblemished hands and the Divine Heart of Jesus, I offer You the terrifying suffering of Jesus' Heart on the Mount of Olives and every drop of His Bloody Sweat as atonement for my and all of humanity's sins of the heart, as protection against such sins and for the spreading of Divine and brotherly Love.

Third Prayer: The Flogging
Pray 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary, then:

Eternal Father, through Mary's unblemished hands and the Divine Heart of Jesus, I offer You the many thousands of Wounds, the gruesome Pains, and the Precious Blood of the Flogging as atonement for my and all of humanity's sins of the Flesh, as protection against such sins and the preservation of innocence, especially among my relatives.

Fourth Prayer: The Crowning of Thorns
Pray 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary, then:

Eternal Father, through Mary's unblemished hands and the Divine Heart of Jesus, I offer You the Wounds, the Pains, and the Precious Blood of Jesus' Holy Head from the Crowning with Thorns as atonement for my and all of humanity's sins of the Spirit, as protection against such sins and the spreading of Christ's kingdom here on earth.

Fifth Prayer: The Carrying of the Cross
Pray 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary, then:

Eternal Father, through Mary's unblemished hands and the Divine Heart of Jesus, I offer You the Sufferings on the way of the Cross, especially His Holy Wound on His Shoulder and its Precious Blood as atonement for my and all of humanity's rebellion against the Cross, every grumbling against Your Holy Arrangements and all other sins of the tongue, as protection against such sins and for true love of the Cross.

Sixth Prayer: The Crucifixion
Pray 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary, then:

Eternal Father, through Mary's unblemished hands and the Divine Heart of Jesus, I offer You Your Son on the Cross, His Nailing and Raising, His Wounds on the Hands and Feet and the three streams of His Precious Blood that poured forth from these for us, His extreme tortures of the Body and Soul, His precious Death and its non-bleeding Renewal in all Holy Masses on earth as atonement for all wounds against vows and regulations within the Orders, as reparation for my and all of the world's sins, for the sick and the dying, for all holy priests and laymen, for the Holy Father's intentions toward the restoration of Christian families, for the strengthening of Faith, for our country and unity among all nations in Christ and His Church, as well as for the Diaspora.

Seventh Prayer: The Piercing of Jesus' Side
Pray 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary, then:

Eternal Father, accept as worthy, for the needs of the Holy Church and as atonement for the sins of all Mankind, the Precious Blood and Water which poured forth from the Wound of Jesus' Divine Heart. Be gracious and merciful toward us. Blood of Christ, the last precious content of His Holy Heart, wash me of all my and others' guilt of sin! Water from the Side of Christ, wash me clean of all punishments for sin and extinguish the flames of Purgatory for me and for all the Poor Souls. Amen.

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  Act of Consecration to Jesus, the Incarnate Wisdom, by the Hands of Mary
Posted by: Hildegard of Bingen - Yesterday, 04:33 PM - Forum: Prayers and Devotionals - No Replies

Act of Consecration to Jesus, the Incarnate Wisdom, by the Hands of Mary

by St. Louis Grignon de Montfort

O Eternal and Incarnate Wisdom! O sweetest and most adorable Jesus! True God and True Man, only Son of the Eternal Father and of Mary, always Virgin! I adore Thee profoundly in the bosom and splendors of Thy Father during eternity, and I adore Thee also in the virginal bosom of Mary Thy most worthy Mother, in the time of Thy Incarnation.
I give Thee thanks that Thou hast annihilated Thyself, taking the form of a slave in order to rescue me from the cruel slavery of the devil. I praise and glorify Thee that Thou hast been pleased to submit Thyself to Mary, Thy Holy Mother, in all things, in order to make me Thy faithful slave through her.

But, alas! Ungrateful and unfaithful as I have been, I have not kept the promises which I made so solemnly to Thee in my Baptism. I have not fulfilled my obligations; I do not deserve to be called Thy child nor yet Thy slave; and as there is nothing in me which does not merit Thine anger and Thy repulse I dare not any more come by myself before Thy most holy and august Majesty. It is on this account that I have recourse to the intercession of Thy Most Holy Mother, whom Thou has given me for a mediatrix with Thee. It is through her that I hope to obtain of Thee contrition, the pardon of my sins, and the acquisition and preservation of Wisdom.

Hail then, Immaculate Mary, living Tabernacle of the Divinity, where the Eternal Wisdom willed to be hidden and to be adored by angels and by men! Hail, Queen of Heaven and earth, to whose empire everything is subject which is under God! Hail, O sure Refuge of sinners; whose mercy fails no one! Hear the desires which I have of the Divine Wisdom, and for that end, receive the vows and offerings which in my lowliness I present to Thee.

I (here say your own name), a faithless sinner, renew and ratify today in thy hands the vows of my Baptism: I renounce forever Satan, his pomps and works; and I give myself entirely to Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Wisdom, to carry my cross after Him all the days of my life and to be more faithful to Him than I have ever been before.

In the presence of all the heavenly court, I choose thee this day for my Mother and Mistress. I deliver and consecrate to thee, as thy slave, my body and soul, my goods, both interior and exterior, and even the value of all my good actions, past, present and future; leaving to thee the entire and full right of disposing of me and all that belongs to me, without exception, according to thy good pleasure, for the greater glory of God, in time and in eternity.

Receive, O benignant Virgin, this little offering of my slavery, in honor of, and in union with, that subjection which the Eternal Wisdom deigned to have to thy maternity, in homage to the power which both of Thee have over this poor sinner, and in thanksgiving for the privileges with which the Holy Trinity has favored thee. I declare that I wish henceforth, as thy true slave, to seek thy honor and to obey thee in all things.

O admirable Mother, present me to thy dear Son as His eternal slave, so that as He has redeemed me by thee, by thee He may receive me! O Mother of Mercy, grant that I may obtain the true Wisdom of God, and for that end receive me among those whom thou lovest and teachest, whom thou leadest, nourishest and protectest as thy children and thy slaves.

O faithful Virgin, make me in all things so perfect a disciple, imitator and slave of the Incarnate Wisdom, Jesus Christ thy Son, that I may attain, by thine intercession and thine example, to the fullness of His age on earth and of His glory in heaven.  Amen.

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  ST. Gertrude Prayers to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Posted by: Hildegard of Bingen - Yesterday, 04:30 PM - Forum: In Honor of Our Lord - No Replies


This prayer is thought to be originally prayed by St. Gertrude and adapted
by St. Alphonse Liguori; he is considered the author because of its final formulation.

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, living and life giving fountain of eternal life,
infinite treasury of the Divinity, and glowing furnace of love, Thou art
my refuge and my sanctuary. O adorable and glorious Savior,
consume my heart with that burning fire that ever inflames Thy Heart.

Pour down on my souls those graces that flow from Thy love. Let my
heart be so united with Thine, that our wills may be one, and mine
may in all things be conformed to Thine. May Thy will be the rule
of both my desires and my actions.


How great, O my Jesus, is the extent of Thine excessive charity! Thou hast prepared
for me, of Thy most precious Body and Blood, a divine banquet, where Thou
givest me Thyself without reserve. What hath urged Thee to this excess of love?
Nothing but Thine own most loving Heart.

O adorable Heart of my Jesus, furnace of Divine Love, receive my soul into the wound
of Thy most Sacred Passion, that in this school of charity I may learn to make
a return of love to that God Who hast given me such wonderful proofs of His love.

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  Special Dedications
Posted by: Hildegard of Bingen - Yesterday, 04:25 PM - Forum: Prayers and Devotionals - No Replies

Special Dedications

The church recommends the dedication of certain days to special purposes. (Taken from the Book Our Quest to Happiness.)

The special dedication of the days of the week are:

Sunday                  The Lord’s Day: dedicated to the remembrance of the Resurrection and of the Blessed Trinity

Monday                 Dedicated to Holy Ghost and Poor Souls

Tuesday                 Dedicated to the Holy Name and to the Holy Angels

Wednesday           Dedicated to St. Joseph

Thursday              Dedicated to the honor of the Holy Eucharist and Priesthood of Christ

Friday                   Dedicated to the Passion and Death of Our Lord and to the Honor of His Sacred Heart

Saturday              Dedicated to the Blessed Virgin in memory in her unshaken faith on that First Holy Saturday

Not only does the Church recommend certain dedications for the days of the week but she also encourages us to make certain
dedications of the months of the year as aids to devout living.

The dedications for the months are as follows:

January               The Holy Family

February            The Purification

March                 St. Joseph

May                    The Blessed Virgin

June                   The Precious Blood

September        The Holy Angels

October             The Holy Rosary

November        The Poor Souls

December        The Nativity

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  Novena to Our Sorrowful Mother
Posted by: Hildegard of Bingen - Yesterday, 04:23 PM - Forum: Marian Novenas - No Replies

Novena to Our Sorrowful Mother
Feast September 15th (start September 6th)

Our Sorrowful Mother

MOST BLESSED and afflicted Virgin, Queen of Martyrs, who didst stand generously beneath the cross, beholding the agony of thy dying Son; by the sword of sorrow which then pierced thy soul, by the sufferings of thy sorrowful life, by the unutterable joy which now more than repays thee for them; look down with a mother’s pity and tenderness, as I kneel before thee to compassionate thy sorrows, and to lay my petition with childlike confidence in thy wounded heart. I beg of thee, O my Mother, to plead continually for me with thy Son, since He can refuse thee nothing, and through the merits of His most sacred Passion and Death, together with thy own sufferings at the foot of the cross, so to touch His Sacred Heart, that I may obtain my request,

Here pause and name the favours which you are asking Our Sorrowful Mother to obtain for you through this Novena. (Let your secondary intention be to pray for the intentions of all the people making this Novena anywhere in the world. Thus a great mass prayer for all Novena intentions will arise to Our Blessed Mother.)

For to whom shall I fly in my wants and miseries, if not to thee, O Mother of mercy, who, having so deeply drunk the chalice of thy Son, canst most pity us poor exiles, still doomed to sigh in this vale of tears? Offer to Jesus but one drop of His Precious Blood, but one pang of His adorable Heart; remind Him that thou art our life, our sweetness, and our hope, and thou wilt obtain what I ask, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Hail Mary, Virgin Most Sorrowful, pray for us.
(Seven times)

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  Devotion of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Posted by: Hildegard of Bingen - Yesterday, 04:21 PM - Forum: In Honor of Our Lady - No Replies

The Devotion of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Reference: Extracts from The Glories of Mary by St. Alphonsus de Liguori

The Chaplet (Little Rosary) of the Seven Sorrows. (We have used it as a novena.)

Make an Act of Contrition


V. O God, come to my assistance.
R. O Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory be ...

The First Sorrow of Mary

St. Simeon’s Prophecy

In the Temple, St. Simeon had received the Divine Child in his arms and predicted that this Child would be a sign (of God) which shall
be contradicted by men. “Behold this Child is set … for a sign which shall be contradicted. And Thy own soul a sword shall pierce.” (Lk. 2:34-35).


The Blessed Virgin told St. Matilda that when St. Simeon pronounced these words “all Her joy was changed into sorrow.” For, as was revealed
to St. Teresa, although the Blessed Mother already knew that the life of Her Son would be sacrificed for the salvation of the world, She then
learned more distinctly and in greater detail what sufferings and what a cruel death awaited Him. She knew that He would be persecuted
and opposed in every way. He would be opposed in His teaching: instead of being believed, He would be called a blasphemer for
claiming to be the Son of God. The reprobate Caiphas was to say: “He hath blasphemed … He is guilty of death” (Mt. 26:65-66). He would
be opposed in His reputation: for though He was of noble, even of royal descent, He was despised as a peasant: “Is not this the carpenter’s
son?” (Mt. 13:55). “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary?” (Mk. 6:3). He was Wisdom itself, and was treated as ignorant: “How doth
this man know letters, having never learned?” (Jn. 7:15). As a false prophet: “And they blindfolded Him, and smote His face … saying:
Prophesy, who is it that struck Thee?” (Lk. 22:64). He was treated as a madman: “He is mad, why hear you Him?” (Jn. 10:20). As a drunkard,
a glutton, and a friend of sinners: “Behold a man that is a glutton, and a drinker of wine, a friend of publicans and sinners” (Lk. 7:34). As a
sorcerer: “By the prince of devils He casteth out devils” (Mt. 9:34). As a heretic and one possessed by the evil spirit: “Do not we say well that
Thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil?” (Jn. 8:48). In short, Jesus was considered so notoriously wicked that, as the Jews said to Pilate, no
trial was necessary to condemn Him. “If He were not a malefactor, we would not have delivered Him up to thee” (Jn. 18:30).

One Our Father … Seven Hail Mary’s ...

Verse: My Mother! share Thy grief with me, and let me bear Thee company to mourn Thy Jesus’ death with Thee.


V. O God, come to my assistance.
R. O Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory be ...

The Second Sorrow of Mary

The Flight of Jesus into Egypt

“Let us now consider the second sword of sorrow which wounded Mary, the flight of Her Infant Jesus into Egypt to escape the persecution
by Herod.”


Having heard that the long-awaited Messiah had been born, Herod foolishly feared that He would deprive him of his kingdom. Herod
waited to hear from the holy Magi where the young King was born, and planned to take His life. When he found he had been deceived,
he ordered all the infants in the neighborhood of Bethlehem to be put to death. It was at that time that the angel appeared in a dream to
St. Joseph and told him: “Arise, and take the Child and His Mother, and flee into Egypt”(Mt. 2:13). No sooner is Jesus born than He is
persecuted. Mary began to realize that Simeon’s prophecy regarding Her Son was beginning to be fulfilled. What anguish the realization
of the impending exile must have caused Mary. It is easy to imagine that Mary must have suffered on the journey. The distance to Egypt
was considerable: three hundred miles, requiring a journey of up to thirty days. The road was rough, unknown and little travelled. It was
winter time, so that they had to make their way through snow, rain and wind, over rough and dirty roads. Where could they have slept
on such a journey, especially on the two hundred miles of desert? They lived in Egypt seven years. They were strangers — unknown,
without money, and barely able to support themselves by the work of their hands. Landolph of Saxony has written (and let this be a
consolation to the poor) that Mary lived there in such poverty that there were times when She did not have even a crust of bread to
give Her Son when He was hungry. The thought of Jesus and Mary wandering as fugitives through a strange land teaches us that we
must also live as pilgrims here below, detached from the material things that the world offers, and which we must soon leave to enter
eternity. It also teaches us to embrace crosses, for we cannot live in this world without them. Let us make Mary happy by welcoming Her
Son into our hearts, the Son whom men still continue to persecute by their sins.

One Our Father … Seven Hail Mary’s … Verse …


V. O God, come to my assistance.
R. O Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory be ...

The Third Sorrow of Mary

The Loss of Jesus in the Temple

The third sorrow was one of the greatest that Mary had to endure in Her life, the loss of Her Son in the temple. Having lost Her Son
for three days, She was deprived of His most sweet presence.


What anxiety this broken-hearted Mother must have felt during those three days when She searched everywhere for Her Son, and
asked for Him as the spouse did in the Canticles: Have you seen him, whom my soul loveth? (Cant. 3:3). This third sorrow of Mary ought
to serve in the first place as a consolation to souls who are desolate, and who no longer enjoy, as they once enjoyed, the sweet presence of
the Lord. They may weep, but they should weep confidently, just as Mary wept over the loss of Her Son. But whoever wants to find Jesus
must look for Him as Mary did, not amid the pleasures and delights of the world, but amid crosses and mortifications. “We sought Thee
sorrowing,” Mary said to Her Son. Let us learn then from Mary, to seek Jesus. Moreover, we should look for no other good in this
world than Jesus. St. Augustine says that Job “had lost what God had given him, but not God Himself.” If Mary wept over the loss
of Her Son for three days, how much more should sinners weep who have lost sanctifying grace. To them God says: “You are not My
people, and I will not be yours” (Os. 1:9). For this is the effect of sin: it separates the soul from God. “Your iniquities have divided between
you and your God” (Isa. 59:2). Sinners may possess all the wealth in the world, but inasmuch as they have lost God, everything in this
world becomes a source of affliction to them, as Solomon confessed: “Behold all is vanity, and vexation of spirit” (Eccles. 1:14).

One Our Father … Seven Hail Mary’s … Verse...


V. O God, come to my assistance.
R. O Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory be ...

The Fourth Sorrow of Mary

The Meeting of Mary and Jesus on the Way to Calvary

The greater Her love for Him, the greater Her grief at the sight of His sufferings, especially when She met Him on that dolorous way,
dragging His cross to the place of execution. This is the fourth sorrow on which we are to meditate.


“O sorrowful Mother,” exclaimed St. John, “Your Son has now been condemned to death; He has already set out on the road to Calvary,
carrying His own cross. Come, if You desire to see Him and say farewell to Him, as He passes through the streets.” Mary goes along
with St. John. While She waited for Her Son to come along, how much must She have heard said by the Pharisees (and their associates)
against Her beloved Son, and perhaps even mockery against Herself.  What a frightening picture as the nails, the hammers, the ropes and
all the fatal instruments that were to put an end to Her Son’s life were paraded by. But now the implements, the executioners, have all
passed by. Mary raised Her eyes, and saw, O God!, a young man all covered with blood and wounds from head to foot, a wreath of thorns
on His head, and carrying two heavy beams on His shoulders. She gazed at Him, but hardly recognized Him. The wounds, the bruises,
and the clotted blood gave Him the appearance of a leper, so that He could no longer be recognized. According to St. Bridget, Jesus wiped
away the clotted blood which prevented Him from seeing Mary. The Mother and the Son looked at each other. And Their looks became
as so many arrows to pierce those hearts which loved each other so tenderly. Even though the sight of Her dying Son was to cost Her such
bitter sorrow, Mary would not leave Him. The Mother also took up Her cross and followed Him, to be crucified along with Him. Let us
pity Her, and accompany Her and Her Son by patiently carrying the cross Our Lord imposes on us.

One Our Father … Seven Hail Mary’s … Verse...


V. O God, come to my assistance.
R. O Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory be ...

The Fifth Sorrow of Mary

The Crucifixion and Death of Jesus

“There stood by the cross of Jesus, His Mother” (Jn. 19:25). St. John did not feel it necessary to say more than these words with reference to the
martyrdom of Mary. Picture Her now at the foot of the cross beside Her dying Son, and then ask yourself if there can ever be sorrow like Her
sorrow. Remain for a while on Calvary and consider the fifth sword which transfixed the heart of Mary — the death of Jesus.


As soon as our agonized Redeemer had reached Mount Calvary, the executioners stripped Him of His clothes, and piercing His hands and
feet with nails, they fastened Him on the cross. They raised the cros and left Him to die. The executioners left Him, but not Mary. She came
up close to the cross to be near Him in death. “I did not leave Him,” She revealed to St. Bridget, “but stood nearer the cross.” Ah, true Mother,
most loving Mother, Whom not even the fear of death could separate Thee from Thy beloved Son. But, O God, what a spectacle of sorrow
must have confronted those who could see Jesus hanging in agony on the cross, and His Mother there at the foot of the cross suffering all
His torments with Him. All these sufferings of Jesus were also Mary’s sufferings. Saint Jerome says, “Every torture inflicted on the body of
Jesus, was a wound in the heart of His Mother.” “Anyone who had been present then on Mount Calvary, would have seen two altars on which
two great sacrifices were being offered: the one in the body of Jesus — the other in the heart of Mary.” (St. John Chrysostom)

One Our Father … Seven Hail Mary’s … Verse ...


V. O God, come to my assistance.
R. O Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory be ...

The Sixth Sorrow of Mary

The Piercing of the Side of Jesus, and His Descent from the Cross

We must now consider the sixth sorrow which weighed upon the heart of Our Blessed Lady. On this day, You will be wounded with another
sword of sorrow. A cruel lance will pierce the side of Your dead Son, and You will receive Him in Your arms after He has been taken down from
the cross.


It is enough to tell a mother that her son is dead to arouse in her heart all her love for the dead child. “One of the soldiers with a spear opened
His side, and immediately there came out blood and water” (Jn. 19:34).  “Christ,” says the devout Lanspergius, “shared this wound with His Mother.
He received the hurt; His Mother endured the pain.” Mary’s sufferings were so great that it was only through the miraculous intervention of
God that She did not die. When She suffered before, She at least had Her Son to pity Her; but now She had no Son to commiserate with Her.
Jesus was taken down from the cross, the afflicted Mother waiting with outstretched arms to take Her beloved Son. She embraced Him and then
sat down at the foot of the cross. Her Son died for men, men still continue to torture and crucify Him by their sins. Let us resolve not to torment our
sorrowful Mother any longer. And if we have saddened Her in the past by our sins, let us now do what She wants us to do.

One Our Father … Seven Hail Mary’s … Verse ...


V. O God, come to my assistance.
R. O Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory be ...

The Seventh Sorrow of Mary

The Burial of Jesus

Let us meditate now on Mary’s last sword of sorrow. She has witnessed the death of Her Son on the cross. She has embraced His
lifeless body for the last time. Now She has to leave Him in the tomb.


In order to grasp the meaning of this last sorrow more fully, let us return to Calvary and picture our afflicted Mother there, still holding
the lifeless body of Her Son clasped in Her arms. The disciples, afraid that Mary may die of grief, approach and take the body of Jesus
from Her arms to bury it. With reverence they lift Him from Her arms, embalm Him with aromatic herbs, and wrap Him in a shroud
they have already prepared. The mournful procession sets out for the tomb. The afflicted Mother follows Her Son to His last resting
place. When it was time to move the stone to close the entrance, the grief-stricken disciples approached Our Blessed Lady and said
to Her: “It is time now, O Lady, to close the tomb. Forgive us; look at Thy Son once more, and say goodbye to Him for the last time.”
Finally, they took the stone and sealed off the Sacred Body of Jesus in the sepulcher, that Body which is the greatest treasure there can
possibly be on earth or in Heaven. Mary left Her heart in the tomb of Jesus, because Jesus was Her whole treasure: “For where your treasure
is, there will your heart be also” (Lk. 12:34). After speaking Her last farewell to Her Son, She left and returned to Her home. Mary was so
desolate and so sad that, according to St. Bernard, She “moved many to tears.” In fact, wherever She passed, those who saw Her could not
help weeping with Her. St. Bernard also says that the holy disciples and women who accompanied Her “mourned even more for Her
than for their Lord.”

One Our Father ... Seven Hail Mary’s ... Verse ...

Hail, Holy Queen

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, Hail our life, our sweetness and our hope. To Thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To
Thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears. Turn then, Most gracious Advocate, Thine eyes of mercy
toward us, and after this our exile show unto us the blessed Fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary. V. Pray
for us, O Holy Mother of God. R. That we may be made worthy of the  promises of Christ.

Let us pray

O God, at whose Passion, according to the prophecy of Simeon, a sword of sorrow did pierce through the most sweet soul of the
glorious Virgin and Mother Mary; grant that we, who commemorate and reverence Her sorrows, may experience the blessed effect of Thy
Passion, who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.


Three Hail Mary’s in honor of the tears shed by Our Lady in Her Sorrows.

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  The Importance of the Family Rosary
Posted by: Hildegard of Bingen - Yesterday, 04:18 PM - Forum: Prayers and Devotionals - No Replies


This article is taken from the booklet "Our Glorious Faith and How To Lose It"
written by Fr. Hugh Thwaites, S.J. It contains different stories of how we can lose our faith but this paper will deal only with the Holy Rosary.
Fr. Thwaites' words on this subject are as follows:

Without delay now, I want to talk about my theme. It seems to me that a principal cause of the loss of faith is the dropping off in the practice of the family rosary.

In Austria, after World War II, there was a complete collapse of vocations. One year, apparently, no one at all entered the seminaries. So the bishops held a synod, to find out how it could be that this had happened. The conclusion they reached was that the war had so disrupted family life that the centuries-old practice of the rosary in the home had stopped, and had just not started up again. This is my experience, too; when the rosary goes, the faith soon collapses.

I remember someone telling me of a friend of his, a great Catholic, the pillar of the parish, whose children had all lapsed, one after the other. They had all fallen away from the sacraments and from attending Mass. So I said to him, "I wouldn't mind betting that your friend had been brought up to recite the family rosary when he was a boy, and that his children haven't." The next time I saw him, he said that this was indeed true. His friend had recited the family rosary at home when he was a boy, and when he had got married and started his own family they all said the rosary. But then, one evening when they were about to start the rosary, one of the children switched on the television, and that was that. The custom of the family rosary was dropped, and in due course, they gave up the practice of the faith.

After this life, that one unrebuked action will be seen to have affected the eternity of many people. God sent His Mother to Fatima to tell us that we had to say the rosary every day. There were no other prayers She asked us to say. Accordingly, we should do what She asked.

A layman I met once who did not say his rosary told me that he read the breviary every day. That is fine. It is what priests have to do. It is the prayer of the Church. So in a way it is better than the rosary. But it is not what Our Lady asked for. She asked for the rosary. If a mother sends her child to the shop for a bottle of milk, and he comes back instead with ice cream, is she pleased? In a way, ice cream is better than milk, but it is not what she asked for.

In that most holy home at Nazareth, do you think that Our Lady had to ask for anything twice? If we want in any way to be like Jesus, we must do what His Mother asks. If we do not, can we expect things to go right? We cannot with impunity disobey the Mother of God. She knows better than we the dangers of this spiritual warfare.
She sees more clearly than we do the dangers that beset us. She warns us: You must say your rosary every day.

If the garage mechanic warns you that your car needs repairing or else it will break down, surely you would heed that warning. If the gas gauge warns you that you need more gas, do you do nothing about it? And if Our Lady comes to Fatima and tells us, not just once but six times, that we must say the rosary every day, do we disregard that warning? If we do, we have only ourselves to blame when we find that our children have lapsed from the faith.

I know that Fatima is only a private revelation, but nevertheless the Church has endorsed it, and that makes it rash for us to disregard it. If the Church informs us that Our Lady really did come to Fatima and tell us these things, then we must harken to her words. It really seems to me that those Catholics who do not take Fatima seriously and say the rosary every day in their homes are very akin to the Jews who laughed at Jeremiah. If God sends us His prophets and we do not take them seriously – well, we have the whole of the Old Testament to tell us what happens as a result.
But at Fatima, God sent us, not His prophets, but His Immaculate Mother.

So I think that the abandonment of the family rosary is a main reason why so many Catholics have lost the faith. It seems to me that the Church of the future is going to consist solely of those families who have been faithful to the rosary. But there will be vast numbers of people whose families used to be Catholic.

In my work of going round visiting homes, I have seen this conclusion borne out time and again. Homes can be transformed by starting the recitation of the daily rosary. I remember a woman telling me that she could not thank me enough for having nagged her into starting it; it had united her family as never before. And I remember another home where I called. There was a strange tension there: the children were silent and the wife seemed withdrawn, but the husband was willing to start the family rosary.

When I called back again a couple of months later, the atmosphere was quite different. The children were chatty and the wife was friendly, and the husband walked down the road with me afterwards and said how amazing it was that the home was so much happier.

One reason, I think, why the daily rosary makes for a happy home, is this. From what some possessed people have said, and from what some of the saints have said, it seems certain that demons fear the rosary. It makes their hair stand on end, so to speak.

Holy water certainly drives them out, but they come back again. The daily rosary drives them out and keeps them out. It is rather like living in an old house where there are mice everywhere. The only way to get rid of them is to bring cats. If you get a couple of cats, after a week or two there simply will not be any more mice.

Mice fear the very smell of cats. And in a home where the rosary is said every day, after a time the demons realize they are impotent in front of Our Lady, and go elsewhere.

This must be one reason why, as they say, "the family that prays together stays together." In that home, utterly free of evil spirits, there is an atmosphere one does not find outside. In a demon-infested city like London, where I live, such a home is an oasis of God's grace, and people find a comfort and peace there which they enjoy greatly. We human beings are not meant to live in the company of demons, but with God and with the angels and saints in heaven.

So, as I see it, in this effort we are making to keep the faith and pass it on, the practice of the rosary is absolutely indispensable. Whatever else a person may do, even though they go to Mass every day, they still need to say the rosary in their home. It is the medicine our Mother has told us to take, to keep our faith strong and healthy.

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  Encyclical on Devotion to the Rosary
Posted by: Hildegard of Bingen - Yesterday, 04:16 PM - Forum: In Honor of Our Lady - No Replies

Supremi Apostolatus Officio
On Devotion to the Rosary

Pope Leo XIII - 1883

To all the Patriarchs, Primates, Archbishops and Bishops of the Catholic World in the Grace and Communion of the Apostolic See.

Venerable Brethren, Health and the Apostolic Benediction.

The supreme Apostolic office which we discharge and the exceedingly difficult condition of these times, daily warn and almost compel Us to watch carefully over the integrity of the Church, the more that the calamities from which she suffers are greater. While, therefore, we endeavor in every way to preserve the rights of the Church and to obviate or repel present or contingent dangers, We constantly seek for help from Heaven — the sole means of effecting anything — that our labors and our care may obtain their wished for object. We deem that there could be no surer and more efficacious means to this end than by religion and piety to obtain the favor of the great Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, the guardian of our peace and the minister to us of heavenly grace, who is placed on the highest summit of power and glory in Heaven, in order that she may bestow the help of her patronage on men who through so many labors and dangers are striving to reach that eternal city. Now that the anniversary, therefore, of manifold and exceedingly great favors obtained by a Christian people through the devotion of the Rosary is at hand, We desire that that same devotion should be offered by the whole Catholic world with the greatest earnestness to the Blessed Virgin, that by her intercession her Divine Son may be appeased and softened in the evils which afflict us. And therefore We determined, Venerable Brethren, to despatch to you these letters in order that, informed of Our designs, your authority and zeal might excite the piety of your people to conform themselves to them.

2. It has always been the habit of Catholics in danger and in troublous times to fly for refuge to Mary, and to seek for peace in her maternal goodness; showing that the Catholic Church has always, and with justice, put all her hope and trust in the Mother of God. And truly the Immaculate Virgin, chosen to be the Mother of God and thereby associated with Him in the work of man’s salvation, has a favor and power with her Son greater than any human or angelic creature has ever obtained, or ever can gain. And, as it is her greatest pleasure to grant her help and comfort to those who seek her, it cannot be doubted that she would deign, and even be anxious, to receive the aspirations of the universal Church.

3. This devotion, so great and so confident, to the august Queen of Heaven, has never shone forth with such brilliancy as when the militant Church of God has seemed to be endangered by the violence of heresy spread abroad, or by an intolerable moral corruption, or by the attacks of powerful enemies. Ancient and modern history and the more sacred annals of the Church bear witness to public and private supplications addressed to the Mother of God, to the help she has granted in return, and to the peace and tranquillity which she had obtained from God. Hence her illustrious titles of helper, consoler, mighty in war, victorious, and peace-giver. And amongst these is specially to be commemorated that familiar title derived from the Rosary by which the signal benefits she has gained for the whole of Christendom have been solemnly perpetuated. There is none among you, venerable brethren, who will not remember how great trouble and grief God’s Holy Church suffered from the Albigensian heretics, who sprung from the sect of the later Manicheans, and who filled the South of France and other portions of the Latin world with their pernicious errors, and carrying everywhere the terror of their arms, strove far and wide to rule by massacre and ruin. Our merciful God, as you know, raised up against these most direful enemies a most holy man, the illustrious parent and founder of the Dominican Order. Great in the integrity of his doctrine, in his example of virtue, and by his apostolic labors, he proceeded undauntedly to attack the enemies of the Catholic Church, not by force of arms, but trusting wholly to that devotion which he was the first to institute under the name of the Holy Rosary, which was disseminated through the length and breadth of the earth by him and his pupils. Guided, in fact, by divine inspiration and grace, he foresaw that this devotion, like a most powerful warlike weapon, would be the means of putting the enemy to flight, and of confounding their audacity and mad impiety. Such was indeed its result. Thanks to this new method of prayer — when adopted and properly carried out as instituted by the Holy Father St. Dominic — piety, faith, and union began to return, and the projects and devices of the heretics to fall to pieces. Many wanderers also returned to the way of salvation, and the wrath of the impious was restrained by the arms of those Catholics who had determined to repel their violence.

4. The efficacy and power of this devotion was also wondrously exhibited in the sixteenth century, when the vast forces of the Turks threatened to impose on nearly the whole of Europe the yoke of superstition and barbarism. At that time the Supreme Pontiff, St. Pius V., after rousing the sentiment of a common defense among all the Christian princes, strove, above all, with the greatest zeal, to obtain for Christendom the favor of the most powerful Mother of God. So noble an example offered to heaven and earth in those times rallied around him all the minds and hearts of the age. And thus Christ’s faithful warriors, prepared to sacrifice their life and blood for the salvation of their faith and their country, proceeded undauntedly to meet their foe near the Gulf of Corinth, while those who were unable to take part formed a pious band of supplicants, who called on Mary, and unitedly saluted her again and again in the words of the Rosary, imploring her to grant the victory to their companions engaged in battle. Our Sovereign Lady did grant her aid; for in the naval battle by the Echinades Islands, the Christian fleet gained a magnificent victory, with no great loss to itself, in which the enemy were routed with great slaughter. And it was to preserve the memory of this great boon thus granted, that the same Most Holy Pontiff desired that a feast in honor of Our Lady of Victories should celebrate the anniversary of so memorable a struggle, the feast which Gregory XIII. dedicated under the title of “The Holy Rosary.” Similarly, important successes were in the last century gained over the Turks at Temeswar, in Pannonia, and at Corfu; and in both cases these engagements coincided with feasts of the Blessed Virgin and with the conclusion of public devotions of the Rosary. And this led our predecessor, Clement XI., in his gratitude, to decree that the Blessed Mother of God should every year be especially honored in her Rosary by the whole Church.

5. Since, therefore, it is clearly evident that this form of prayer is particularly pleasing to the Blessed Virgin, and that it is especially suitable as a means of defense for the Church and all Christians, it is in no way wonderful that several others of Our Predecessors have made it their aim to favor and increase its spread by their high recommendations. Thus Urban IV. testified that “every day the Rosary obtained fresh boon for Christianity.” Sixtus IV. declared that this method of prayer “redounded to the honor of God and the Blessed Virgin, and was well suited to obviate impending dangers;” Leo X. that “it was instituted to oppose pernicious heresiarchs and heresies;” while Julius III. called it “the glory of the Church.” So also St. Pius V., that “with the spread of this devotion the meditations of the faithful have begun to be more inflamed, their prayers more fervent, and they have suddenly become different men; the darkness of heresy has been dissipated, and the light of Catholic faith has broken forth again.” Lastly Gregory XIII. in his turn pronounced that “the Rosary had been instituted by St. Dominic to appease the anger of God and to implore the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary.”

6. Moved by these thoughts and by the examples of Our Predecessors, We have deemed it most opportune for similar reasons to institute solemn prayers and to endeavor by adopting those addressed to the Blessed Virgin in the recital of the Rosary to obtain from her son Jesus Christ a similar aid against present dangers. You have before your eyes, Venerable Brethren, the trials to which the Church is daily exposed; Christian piety, public morality, nay, even faith itself, the supreme good and beginning of all the other virtues, all are daily menaced with the greatest perils.

7. Nor are you only spectators of the difficulty of the situation, but your charity, like Ours, is keenly wounded; for it is one of the most painful and grievous sights to see so many souls, redeemed by the blood of Christ, snatched from salvation by the whirlwind of an age of error, precipitated into the abyss of eternal death. Our need of divine help is as great today as when the great Dominic introduced the use of the Rosary of Mary as a balm for the wounds of his contemporaries.

8. That great saint indeed, divinely enlightened, perceived that no remedy would be more adapted to the evils of his time than that men should return to Christ, who “is the way, the truth, and the life,” by frequent meditation on the salvation obtained for Us by Him, and should seek the intercession with God of that Virgin, to whom it is given to destroy all heresies. He therefore so composed the Rosary as to recall the mysteries of our salvation in succession, and the subject of meditation is mingled and, as it were, interlaced with the Angelic salutation and with the prayer addressed to God, the Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ. We, who seek a remedy for similar evils, do not doubt therefore that the prayer introduced by that most blessed man with so much advantage to the Catholic world, will have the greatest effect in removing the calamities of our times also. Not only do We earnestly exhort all Christians to give themselves to the recital of the pious devotion of the Rosary publicly, or privately in their own house and family, and that unceasingly, but we also desire that the whole of the month of October in this year should be consecrated to the Holy Queen of the Rosary. We decree and order that in the whole Catholic world, during this year, the devotion of the Rosary shall be solemnly celebrated by special and splendid services. From the first day of next October, therefore, until the second day of the November following, in every parish and, if the ecclesiastical authority deem it opportune and of use, in every chapel dedicated to the Blessed Virgin — let five decades of the Rosary be recited with the addition of the Litany of Loreto. We desire that the people should frequent these pious exercises; and We will that either Mass shall be said at the altar, or that the Blessed Sacrament shall be exposed to the adoration of the faithful, Benediction being afterwards given with the Sacred Host to the pious congregation. We highly approve of the confraternities of the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin going in procession, following ancient custom, through the town, as a public demonstration of their devotion. And in those places where this is not possible, let it be replaced by more assiduous visits to the churches, and let the fervor of piety display itself by a still greater diligence in the exercise of the Christian virtues.

9. In favor of those who shall do as We have above laid down, We are pleased to open the heavenly treasure-house of the Church that they may find therein at once encouragements and rewards for their piety. We therefore grant to all those who, in the prescribed space of time, shall have taken part in the public recital of the Rosary and the Litanies, and shall have prayed for Our intention, seven years and seven times forty days of indulgence, obtainable each time. We will that those also shall share in these favors who are hindered by a lawful cause from joining in these public prayers of which We have spoken, provided that they shall have practiced those devotions in private and shall have prayed to God for Our intention. We remit all punishment and penalties for sins committed, in the form of a Pontifical indulgence, to all who, in the prescribed time, either publicly in the churches or privately at home (when hindered from the former by lawful cause) shall have at least twice practiced these pious exercises; and who shall have, after due confession, approached the holy table. We further grant a plenary indulgence to those who, either on the feast of the Blessed Virgin of the Rosary or within its octave, after having similarly purified their souls by a salutary confession, shall have approached the table of Christ and prayed in some church according to Our intention to God and the Blessed Virgin for the necessities of the Church.

10. And you, Venerable Brethren, — the more you have at heart the honor of Mary, and the welfare of human society, the more diligently apply yourselves to nourish the piety of the people towards the great Virgin, and to increase their confidence in her. We believe it to be part of the designs of Providence that, in these times of trial for the Church, the ancient devotion to the august Virgin should live and flourish amid the greatest part of the Christian world. May now the Christian nations, excited by Our exhortations, and inflamed by your appeals, seek the protection of Mary with an ardor growing greater day by day; let them cling more and more to the practice of the Rosary, to that devotion which our ancestors were in the habit of practicing, not only as an ever-ready remedy for their misfortunes, but as a whole badge of Christian piety. The heavenly Patroness of the human race will receive with joy these prayers and supplications, and will easily obtain that the good shall grow in virtue, and that the erring should return to salvation and repent; and that God who is the avenger of crime, moved to mercy and pity may deliver Christendom and civil society from all dangers, and restore to them peace so much desired.

11. Encouraged by this hope, We beseech God Himself, with the most earnest desire of Our heart, through her in whom he has placed the fullness of all good, to grant you. Venerable Brethren, every gift of heavenly blessing. As an augury and pledge of which, We lovingly impart to you, to your clergy, and to the people entrusted to your care, the Apostolic Benediction.

Given in Rome, at St. Peter’s, the 1st of September, 1883, in the sixth year of Our Pontificate.

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  February 22nd - St. Peter's Chair at Antioch and St. Margaret of Cortona
Posted by: Elizabeth - Yesterday, 03:52 PM - Forum: February - No Replies

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Saint Peter’s Chair at Antioch
(ca. 36-43)

That Saint Peter, before he went to Rome, founded the see of Antioch is attested by many Saints of the earliest times, including Saint Ignatius of Antioch and Saint Clement, Pope. It was just that the Prince of the Apostles should take under his particular care and surveillance this city, which was then the capital of the East, and where the faith so early took such deep roots as to give birth there to the name of Christians. There his voice could be heard by representatives of the three largest nations of antiquity — the Hebrews, the Greeks and the Latins. Saint Chrysostom says that Saint Peter was there for a long period; Saint Gregory the Great, that he was seven years Bishop of Antioch. He did not reside there at all times, but governed its apostolic activity with the wisdom his mandate assured.

If as tradition affirms, he was twenty-five years in Rome, the date of his establishment at Antioch must be within three years after Our Saviour's Ascension, for he would have gone to Rome in the second year of Claudius. He no doubt left Jerusalem when the persecution which followed Saint Steven's martyrdom broke out (Acts 8:1), and remained in Antioch until he escaped miraculously from prison and from the hands of Herod Agrippa, while in Jerusalem in 43 at the time of the Passover. (Acts 12) Knowing he would be pursued to Antioch, his well-known center of activity, he went to Rome.

In the first ages it was customary, especially in the East, for every Christian to observe the anniversary of his Baptism. On that day each one renewed his baptismal vows and gave thanks to God for his heavenly adoption. That memorable day they regarded as their spiritual birthday. The bishops similarly kept the anniversary of their consecration, as appears from four sermons of Saint Leo the Great on the anniversary of his accession to the pontifical dignity. These commemorations were frequently continued by the people after their bishops' decease, out of respect for their memory. The feast of the Chair of Saint Peter was instituted from very early times. Saint Leo says we should celebrate the Chair of Saint Peter with no less joy than the day of his martyrdom, for as in the latter he was exalted to a throne of glory in heaven, by the former he was installed Head of the Church on earth.

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Saint Margaret of Cortona
Franciscan tertiary, penitent

It is not strange that the world feels drawn to the Augustines and Magdalenes of every age. The world knows its guilt and is ashamed. With the lives of such saints placed warmly and tactfully before us, it is impossible to abandon hope. From the tumbleweed of sin many saints have grown.

Margaret was born at Laviano, in Tuscany, Italy, about 1247, of poor farm people. Her mother died when she was only seven years old, and two years later her father married again. His new wife was a strong, masterful woman, who had little sympathy for her pleasure-loving stepdaughter. Margaret had always yearned for love and it was always denied her at home. It is not hard to understand, then, how the pretty young girl fell prey to the prospect of love and luxury offered her by a rich young cavalier (whose name she never divulged) from a neighboring village. She went away with him one night and lived with him as his mistress for the next nine years, during which time she gave birth to a son. During all those years Margaret remained faithful to her lover, even though she was an object of scorn to the townspeople, who regarded her as a depraved woman.

The sudden and brutal murder of her lover brought Margaret to the realization of God's grace. Ashamed and horrified by her own behavior, she went immediately to her father's house to beg forgiveness. Although he was willing to accept her, her stepmother for a second time turned Margaret away from the love she needed so badly.

She had heard of the Friars Minor (Franciscans) and of their reputation for gentleness and patience with sinners. By this time, utterly depressed, she traveled to Cortona, where she begged admittance into the Third Order as a penitent. For the first three years of her conversion she was guided in the spiritual life by Fra Giunta Bevegnati, her confessor. It is to him we are indebted for the story of her life.

Margaret began to earn her living by nursing the ladies of the city, but soon gave it up in order to devote herself to caring for the sick poor, depending on alms for her existence. She persuaded the leading citizen of Cortona to aid her in starting the hospital of Our Lady of Mercy, staffed by Franciscans tertiaries whom Margaret formed into a congregation called Poverelle. She also founded the Confraternity of Our Lady of Mercy, which was pledged to support the hospital and to search out and assist the poor. Her son was sent to school at Arezzo, and he later became a Franciscan friar.

As Margaret continued to advance in holiness, Christ became the dominating feature in her life. She was favored with visions in which Christ spoke to her and addressed her as the third light granted to the Order of my beloved Francis, that is, exceeded in glory only by Saint Francis and Saint Clare. Margaret was also favored with visions of her guardian angel.

The people of Cortona had observed the holiness of Margaret's life, and they sought her payers in 1279, when Charles of Anjou, king of Sicily, threatened to invade Tuscany. After fervent prayer it was revealed to her that an armistice had been arranged and peace would follow.

Toward the latter part of her life our Lord said to her: Show now that thou art converted; cry out and call others to repentance. Margaret was obedient to the call and saw that she must lead a more active life. She carried on this new mission successfully, drawing many lapsed Catholics back to the Church, and she was called on many times to perform miraculous cures.
The day and hour of her death were revealed to her, and she died at the age of fifty in 1297. Her fame is mostly confined to Tuscany, where the people of Cortona refer to their patron as the lily of the valley.

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  February 21st - Blessed Brother Didace Pelletier and St. Severianus
Posted by: Elizabeth - Yesterday, 03:48 PM - Forum: February - No Replies

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Blessed Brother Didace Pelletier

Brother Didace was the first child born at Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, or at least the first child whose baptismal certificate is inscribed in the parish register; he was also the first Canadian-born Lay Brother of the first missionaries in New France, the Recollets (French Franciscans), and the first Canadian who left a reputation of sanctity on Canadian soil after his death. Such are the titles of Blessed Brother Didace, originally Claude Pelletier.

Blessed Brother Didace was born on June 28, 1657; his parents were Georges Pelletier and Catherine Vanier, from Dieppe, France. His life was not eventful exteriorly, and can be summarized in a few words. As a little boy, he was sent to the apprentices' school established by Bishop de Laval at Saint Joachim, not far from Sainte Anne de Beaupré. There he learned the carpenter's trade, in which he excelled. After a childhood and youth spent in labor, piety and love of innocence, he entered the Recollets at Quebec City in the autumn of 1678, at the age of twenty-one. He was clothed with the Franciscan habit in 1679, and received the name Didace in honor of a Spanish Saint, the patron of Lay Brothers; he made his religious vows one year later, in 1680.

Brother Didace lived at Our Lady of the Angels mission in Quebec City for another three or four years. Because of his talent as a carpenter, he had a large part in the construction work which the Recollets of that time were undertaking. He was sent to Ile Percé and Ile Bonaventure in the Gaspesie, or eastern shore of the peninsula (1683-1689), to Plaisance, in Newfoundland (1689-1692), to Montreal (1692-1696), and finally to Three Rivers, Quebec (1696-1699). It was in this last city, while doing carpentry work at the Recollets' church, that he contracted a fatal case of pleurisy.

Brother Didace was rushed to the Ursulines' hospital; there he requested the last Sacraments, despite the opinion of a doctor who declared him in no immediate danger. After participating in the prayers for the dying, he expired on the evening of February 21, 1699, a Saturday. He was forty-one years old; his last twenty years had been spent with the Recollets.

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Saint Severianus
Bishop and Martyr
(† 452)

During the reign of Marcian and Saint Pulcheria in the Eastern Empire, the ecumenical Council of Chalcedon, which condemned the Eutychian heresy of oriental origin, was approved by Saint Euthymius, an abbot of great authority in Palestine, and by most of the monks of that country. But an ignorant Eutychian monk by the name of Theodosius, a man of tyrannical temper, unjustly usurped the see of Jerusalem, forcing its bishop to withdraw. He was acting under the protection of the Empress Eudoxia, widow of Theodosius the Younger, who was living in that city. He perverted many of the monks, and in a cruel persecution which he raised, filled Jerusalem with blood; then, at the head of a band of soldiers, he wrought havoc all over the land. Many Christians, however, had the courage to stand their ground against his persecution.

No one resisted him with greater zeal and resolution than Saint Severianus, the courageous bishop of Scythopolis, and his reward was the crown of martyrdom, for the furious soldiers seized him, dragged him out of the city and massacred him, towards the end of the year 452 or in the beginning of the year 453.

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