"Holy Communion is the shortest and safest way to Heaven."   --Saint Pope Pius X



Pope Francis Prayer Intentions
Spiritual Direction for Today
Our Lady of Good Remedy Prayer

Prayers for the Day
Saint Peter of Alcantara
Prayer to Our Lady Untier of Knots
Litany of Saint Joseph
America's Sin of Abortion
Pray for Donald Trump
Blessings of the Rosary
Blessings of Daily Mass
Marian Prayers
Chaplet of Saint Michael
Purpose of this Web Site
Overcoming difficulties at Work/Home
Holy Water
Intercession of Two Great Popes
Prayer to the Precious Blood



Lent is the period of 40 days including weekdays and Saturdays from Ash Wednesday, February 14th through Easter Sunday April 1st.





1) To confess and turn away from all sin in our lives through Penance/Confession and Prayer.

2) To increase our love for God by attending Mass and receiving the Body of Christ.

3) To increase our love for our neighbor by forgiving our neighbor their faults and by doing good works to help our neighbor and the community.   This Lent ask God to give you the Grace  to forgive those who have  offended you the most.

4) Pray for the end of Abortion.  Say rosaries for the unborn.  Vote prolife. If your able,  pray outside local abortion clinics asking God to save the lives of the children that will be killed each week there and throughout the world.

5) ABSTINENCE is a penitential practice consisting of refraining from the consumption of meat and is to be observed by all Catholics who are 14 years of age and older.  Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and the Fridays during Lent are days of abstinence in which meat is not to be eaten.  Pastors and parents are encouraged to see that children who are not bound by the obligation to fast and abstain are led to appreciate an authentic sense of penance.  

FASTING AND ABSTINENCE:  In addition to abstinence, fasting is to be observed by all Catholics between the ages of 18-59 years (inclusive). There are two days for this:  Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. On days of fasting, one full meal is allowed.  Two smaller meals, sufficient to maintain strength, may be taken according to one's needs, but together they should not equal another full meal.  Eating between meals is not permitted, but liquids are allowed.  Note:  If a person is unable to observe the above regulations due to ill health or serious reasons, they are urged to practice other forms of self-denial that are suitable to their condition.

5) Watch the movie, "THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST," by Act


1) The Magnificent Prayers of Saint Bridget on the Passion of Christ.

2) The 14 Stations of the Cross by Saint Francis of Assisi.

3) The Prayers and Meditations of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

4) The Dolorous (sorrowful) Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ from the visions of Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich.

     Watch Mel Gibson's movie "The Passion of the Christ".





Saturday of the First week of Lent


Book of Deuteronomy 26:16-19.
Moses spoke to the people, saying: "This day the LORD, your God, commands you to observe these statutes and decrees. Be careful, then, to observe them with all your heart and with all your soul.
Today you are making this agreement with the LORD: he is to be your God and you are to walk in his ways and observe his statutes, commandments and decrees, and to hearken to his voice.
And today the LORD is making this agreement with you: you are to be a people peculiarly his own, as he promised you; and provided you keep all his commandments,
he will then raise you high in praise and renown and glory above all other nations he has made, and you will be a people sacred to the LORD, your God, as he promised."

Psalms 119(118):1-2.4-5.7-8.
Blessed are they whose way is blameless,
who walk in the law of the LORD.
Blessed are they who observe his decrees,
Who seek him with all their heart.

You have commanded that your precepts
be diligently kept.
Oh, that I might be firm in the ways
of keeping your statutes!

I will give you thanks with an upright heart,
when I have learned your just ordinances.
I will keep your statutes;
do not utterly forsake me.

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 5:43-48.
Jesus said to his disciples: "You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same?
And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same?
So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect."




SAINT Pretextatus, or Prix, Archbishop of Rouen, Martyr
February 24th

[Butler's Lives of the Saints]

HE was chosen archbishop of Rouen in 549, and in 557 assisted at the third council of Paris held to abolish incestuous marriages, and remove other crying abuses: also at the second council of Tours in 566. By his zeal in reproving Fredegonda for her injustices and cruelties, he had incurred her indignation. King Clotaire I. in 562, had left the French monarchy divided among his four sons. Charibert was king of Paris, Gontran of Orleans and Burgandy, Sigebert I. of Austrasia, and Chilperic I. of Soissons. Sigebert married Brunehault, younger daughter of Athanagilde, king of the Visigoths in Spain, and Chilperic her elder sister Galsvinda; but after her death he took to wife Fredegonda, who had been his mistress, and was strongly suspected to have contrived the death of the queen by poison. Hence Brunehault stirred up Sigebert against her and her husband. But Fredegonda contrived the assassination of King Sigebert in 575, and Chilperic secured Brunehault his wife, her three daughters, and her son Childebert. This latter soon made his escape, and fled to Metz, where he was received by his subjects, and crowned king of Austrasia. The city of Paris, after the death of Charibert in 566, by the agreement of the three surviving brothers, remained common to them all, till Chilperic seized it. He sent Meroveus, his son by his first wife, to reduce the country about Poitiers, which belonged to the young prince Childebert. But Meroveus, at Rouen, fell in love with his aunt Brunehault, then a prisoner in that city; and Bishop Prix, in order to prevent a grievous scandal, judging circumstances to be sufficiently cogent to require a dispensation, married them: for which he was accused of high treason by King Chilperic before a council at Paris, in 577, in the church of St. Peter, since called St. Genevieve. St. Gregory of Tours there warmly defended his innocence, and Prix confessed the marriages, but denied that he had been privy to the prince’s revolt; but was afterwards prevailed upon, through the insidious persuasion of certain emissaries of Chilperic, to plead guilty, and confess that out of affection he had been drawn in to favour the young prince, who was his godson. Whereupon he was condemned by the council, and banished by the king into a small island upon the coast of Lower Neustria, near Coutances. His sufferings he improved to the sanctification of his soul by penance and the exercise of all heroic Christian virtues. The rage and clamour with which his powerful enemies spread their slanders to beat down his reputation, staggered many of his friends: but St. Gregory of Tours never forsook him. Meroveus was assassinated near Terouanne, by an order of his step-mother Fredegonda, who was also suspected to have contrived the death of her husband Chilperic, who was murdered at Chelles, in 584. She had three years before procured Clovis, his younger son by a former wife, to be assassinated, so that the crown of Soissons devolved upon her own son Clotaire II.: but for his and her own protection, she had recourse to Gontran, the religious king of Orleans and Burgundy. By his order, Prix, after a banishment of six years, was restored with honour to his see; Ragnemond, the bishop of Paris, who had been a principal flatterer of Chilperic, in the persecution of this prelate, having assured this prince that the council had not deposed him, but only enjoined him penance. St. Prix assisted at the council of Macon, in 585, where he harangued several times, and exerted his zeal in framing many wise regulations for the reformation of discipline. He continued his pastoral labours in the care of his flock, and by just remonstrances often endeavoured to reclaim the wicked queen Fredegonda, who frequently resided at Rouen, and filled the kingdom with scandals, tyrannical oppressions, and murders. This Jezabel grew daily more and more hardened in iniquity, and by her secret order St. Prix was assassinated whilst he assisted at matins in his church in the midst of his clergy on Sunday the 25th of February. Happy should we be if under all afflictions, with this holy penitent, we considered that sin is the original fountain from whence all those waters of bitterness flow, and by labouring effectually to cut off this evil, convert its punishment into its remedy and a source of benedictions. St. Prix of Rouen is honoured in the Roman and Gallican Martyrologies. Those who with Chatelain, &c. place his death on the 14th of April, suppose him to have been murdered on Easter day; but the day of our Lord’s Resurrection in this passage of our historian, means no more than Sunday. See St. Gregory of Tours, Hist. Franc. l. 5. c. 10. 15. Fleury, l. 34. n. 52. Gallia Christiana Nova, t. 11. p. 11. and 638. Mons. Levesque de la Ravaliere in his Nouvelle Vie de S. Gregoire, Evêque de Tours, published in the Mémoires de l’Académie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres, An. 1760, t. 26. p. 609. 60. F. Daniel, Hist. de France, t. 1. p. 242.





Saint Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, Martyr

February 23

From his acts, written by the church of Smyrna in an excellent circular letter to the churches of Pontus, immediately after his martyrdom: a piece abridged by Eusebius, b. 4. c. 14. highly esteemed by the ancients. Joseph Scaliger, a supercilious critic, says that nothing in the whole course of church history so strongly affected him as the perusal of these acts, and those relating to the martyrs of Lyons: that he never read them but they gave him extraordinary emotions. Animad. in Chron. Eusebii. n. 2183, &c. They are certainly most valuable pieces of Christian antiquity. See Eusebius, St. Jerom, and St. Irenæus. Also Tillemont, T. 2. p. 327. Dom Ceillier, T. 1. Dom Marechal, Concordance des Pères Grecs et Latins, T. 1.  Butler's Lives of the Saints

A.D. 166.


ST. POLYCARP was one of the most illustrious of the apostolic fathers, who, being the immediate disciples of the apostles, received instructions from their mouths, and inherited of them the spirit of Christ, in a degree so much the more eminent, as they lived nearer the fountain head. He embraced Christianity very young, about the year 80; was a disciple of the apostles, in particular of St. John the Evangelist, and was constituted by him bishop of Smyrna, probably before his banishment to Patmos, in 96: so that he governed that important see seventy years. He seems to have been the angel or bishop of Smyrna, who was commended above all the bishops of Asia by Christ himself in the Apocalypse, 1 and the only one without a reproach. Our Saviour encouraged him under his poverty, tribulation, and persecutions, especially the calumnies of the Jews, called him rich in grace, and promised him the crown of life by martyrdom. This saint was respected by the faithful to a degree of veneration. He formed many holy disciples, among whom were St. Irenæus and Papias. When Florinus, who had often visited St. Polycarp, had broached certain heresies, St. Irenæus wrote to him as follows: 2 “These things were not taught you by the bishops who preceded us. I could tell you the place where the blessed Polycarp sat to preach the word of God. It is yet present to my mind with what gravity he every where came in and went out: what was the sanctity of his deportment, the majesty of his countenance and of his whole exterior, and what were his holy exhortations to the people. I seem to hear him now relate how he conversed with John and many others, who had seen Jesus Christ; the words he had heard from their mouths. I can protest before God, that if this holy bishop had heard of any error like yours, he would have immediately stopped his ears, and cried out, according to his custom: Good God! that I should be reserved to these times to hear such things! That very instant he would have fled out of the place in which he had heard such doctrine.” Saint Jerom 3 mentions, that St. Polycarp met at Rome the heretic Marcion in the streets, who resenting that the holy bishop did not take that notice of him which he expected, said to him: “Do not you know me, Polycarp?” “Yes,” answered the saint, “I know you to be the first-born of Satan.” He had learned this abhorrence of the authors of heresy, who knowingly and willingly adulterate the divine truths, from his master St. John, who fled out of the bath in which he saw Cerinthus. 4 St. Polycarp kissed with respect the chains of St. Ignatius, who passed by Smyrna on the road to his martyrdom, and who recommended to our saint the care and comfort of his distant church of Antioch; which he repeated to him in a letter from Troas, desiring him to write in his name to those churches of Asia to which he had not leisure to write himself. 5 St. Polycarp wrote a letter to the Philippians shortly after, which is highly commended by Saint Irenæus, St. Jerom, Eusebius, Photius and others, and is still extant. It is justly admired both for the excellent instructions it contains, and for the simplicity and perspicuity of the style; and was publicly read in the church in Asia, in Saint Jerom’s time. In it he calls a heretic, as above, the eldest son of Satan. About the year 158, he undertook a journey of charity to Rome, to confer with Pope Anicetus about certain points of discipline, especially about the time of keeping Easter; for the Asiatic churches kept it on the fourteenth day of the vernal equinoctial moon, as the Jews did, on whatever day of the week it fell; whereas Rome, Egypt, and all the West observed it on the Sunday following. It was agreed that both might follow their custom without breaking the bands of charity. St. Anicetus, to testify his respect, yielded to him the honour of celebrating the Eucharist in his own church. 6 We find no further particulars concerning our saint recorded before the acts of his martyrdom. 1

In the sixth year of Marcus Aurelius, and Lucius Verus, Statius Quadratus being proconsul of Asia, a violent persecution broke out in that country, in which the faithful gave heroic proofs of their courage and love of God, to the astonishment of the infidels. When they were torn to pieces with scourges till their very bowels were laid bare, amidst the moans and tears of the spectators, who were moved with pity at the sight of their torments, not one of them gave so much as a single groan: so little regard had they for their own flesh in the cause of God. No kinds of torture, no inventions of cruelty were forborne to force them to a conformity to the pagan worship of the times. Germanicus, who had been brought to Smyrna with eleven or twelve other Christians, signalized himself above the rest, and animated the most timorous to suffer. The proconsul in the amphitheatre called upon him with tenderness, entreating him to have some regard for his youth, and to value at least his life: but he, with a holy impatience, provoked the beasts to devour him, to leave this wicked world. One Quintus, a Phrygian, who had presented himself to the judge, yielded at the sight of the beasts let out upon him, and sacrificed. The authors of these acts justly condemn the presumption of those who offered themselves to suffer, 7 and say that the martyrdom of St. Polycarp was conformable to the gospel, because he exposed not himself to the temptation, but waited till the persecutors laid hands on him, as Christ our Lord taught us by his own example. The same venerable authors observe, that the martyrs by their patience and constancy demonstrated to all men, that, whilst their bodies were tormented, they were in spirit estranged from the flesh, and already in heaven; or rather that our Lord was present with them and assisted them; for the fire of the barbarous executioners seemed as if it had been a cooling refreshment to them. 8 The spectators, seeing the courage of Germanicus and his companions, and being fond of their impious bloody diversions, cried out: “Away with the impious; let Polycarp be sought for.” The holy man, though fearless, had been prevailed upon by his friends to withdraw and conceal himself in a neighbouring village, during the storm, spending most of his time in prayer. Three days before his martyrdom, he in a vision saw his pillow on fire; from which he understood by revelation, and foretold his companions, that he should be burnt alive. When the persecutors were in quest of him he changed his retreat, but was betrayed by a boy, who was threated with the rack unless he discovered him. Herod, the Irenarch, or keeper of the peace, whose office it was to prevent misdemeanors and apprehend malefactors, sent horesemen by night to beset his lodgings. The saint was above stairs in bed, but refused to make his escape, saying: “God’s will be done.” He went down, met them at the door, ordered them a handsome supper, and desired only some time for prayer before he went with them. This granted, he began his prayer standing, which he continued in that posture for two hours, recommending to God his own flock and the whole church with so much earnestness and devotion, that several of those who were come to seize him, repented they had undertaken the commission. They set him on an ass, and were conducting him towards the city, when he was met on the road by Herod and his father Nicetes, who took him into their chariot, and endeavoured to persuade him to a little compliance, saying: “What harm is there in saying Lord Cæsar, or even in sacrificing, to escape death?” By the word Lord was meant nothing less than a kind of deity or god-head. The bishop at first was silent, in imitation of our Saviour: but being pressed, he gave them this resolute answer: “I shall never do what you desire of me.” At these words, taking off the mask of friendship and compassion, they treated him with scorn and reproaches, and thrust him out of the chariot with such violence, that his leg was bruised by the fall. The holy man went forward cheerfully to the place where the people were assembled. Upon his entering it, a voice from heaven was heard by many, saying: “Polycarp, be courageous, and act manfully.” 9 He was led directly to the tribunal of the proconsul, who exhorted him to respect his own age, to swear by the genius of Cæsar, and to say: “Take away the impious,” meaning the Christians. The saint, turning towards the people in the pit, said, with a stern countenance: “Exterminate the wicked,” meaning by this expression either a wish that they might cease to be wicked by their conversion to the faith of Christ: or this was a prediction of the calamity which befel their city in 177, when Smyrna was overturned by an earthquake, as we read in Dion 10 and Aristides. 11 The proconsul repeated: “Swear by the genius of Cæsar, and I discharge you; blaspheme Christ.” Polycarp replied: “I have served him these fourscore and six years, and he never did me any harm, but much good; and how can I blaspheme my King and my Saviour? If you require of me to swear by the genius of Cæsar, as you call it, hear my free confession: I am a Christian; but if you desire to learn the Christian religion, appoint a time, and hear me.” The proconsul said: “Persuade the people.” The martyr replied: “I address my discourse to you; for we are taught to give due honour to princes as far as is consistent with religion. But the populace is an incompetent judge to justify myself before.” Indeed rage rendered them incapable of hearing him. 2

The proconsul then assuming a tone of severity, said: “I have wild beasts;” “Call for them,” replied the saint, “for we are unalterably resolved not to change from good to evil. It is only good to pass from evil to good.” The proconsul said: “If you contemn the beasts, I will cause you to be burnt to ashes.” Polycarp answered: “You threaten me with a fire which burns for a short time, and then goes out; but are yourself ignorant of the judgment to come, and of the fire of everlasting torments, which is prepared for the wicked. Why do you delay? Bring against me what you please.” Whilst he said this and many other things, he appeared in a transport of joy and confidence and his countenance shone with a certain heavenly grace, and pleasant cheerfulness, insomuch, that the proconsul himself was struck with admiration. However, he ordered a crier to make public proclamation three times in the middle of the Stadium (as was the Roman custom in capital cases): “Polycarp hath confessed himself a Christian.” 12 At this proclamation the whole multitude of Jews and Gentiles gave a great shout, the latter crying out: “This is the great teacher of Asia; the father of the Christians; the destroyer of our gods, who preaches to men not to sacrifice to or adore them.” They applied to Philip the Asiarch, 13 to let loose a lion upon Polycarp. He told them that it was not in his power, because those shows had been closed. Then they unanimously demanded, that he should be burnt alive. Their request was no sooner granted, but every one ran with all speed, to fetch wood from the baths and shops. The Jews were particularly active and busy on this occasion. The pile being prepared, Polycarp put off his garments, untied his girdle, and began to take off his shoes; an office he had not been accustomed to, the Christians having always striven who should do these things for him, regarding it as a happiness to be admitted to touch him. The wood and other combustibles were heaped all round him. The executioners would have nailed him to the stake; but he said to them: “Suffer me to be as I am. He who gives me grace to undergo this fire, will enable me to stand still without that precaution.” They therefore contented themselves with tying his hands behind his back, and in this posture looking up towards heaven, he prayed as follows: “O Almighty Lord God, Father of thy beloved and blessed Son Jesus Christ, by whom we have received the knowledge of thee, God of angels, powers, and every creature, and of all the race of the just that live in thy presence! I bless thee for having been pleased in thy goodness to bring me to this hour, that I may receive my portion in the number of thy martyrs, and partake of the chalice of thy Christ, for the resurrection to eternal life, in the incorruptibleness of the Holy Spirit. Amongst whom grant me to be received this day as a pleasing sacrifice, such a one as thou thyself hast prepared, that so thou mayest accomplish what thou, O true and faithful God! hast foreshown. Wherefore, for all things I praise, bless, and glorify thee, through the eternal high priest Jesus Christ thy beloved Son, with whom, to Thee and the Holy Ghost be glory now and for ever. Amen.” He had scarcely said Amen, when fire was set to the pile, which increased to a mighty flame. But behold a wonder, say the authors of these acts, seen by us reserved to attest it to others; the flames forming themselves into an arch, like the sails of a ship swelled with the wind, gently encircled the body of the martyr; which stood in the middle, resembling not roasted flesh, but purified gold or silver, appearing bright through the flames; and his body sending forth such a fragrancy, that we seemed to smell precious spices. The blind infidels were only exasperated to see that his body could not be consumed, and ordered a spearman to pierce him through, which he did, and such a quantity of blood issued out of his left side as to quench the fire. 14 The malice of the devil ended not here: he endeavoured to obstruct the relics of the martyr being carried off by the Christians; for many desired to do it, to show their respect to his body. Therefore, by the suggestion of Satan, Nicetes advised the proconsul not to bestow it on the Christians, lest, said he, abandoning the crucified man, they should adore Polycarp: the Jews suggested this, “Not knowing,” say the authors of the acts, “that we can never forsake Christ, nor adore any other, though we love the martyrs, as his disciples and imitators, for the great love they bore their king and master.” The centurion, seeing a contest raised by the Jews, placed the body in the middle, and burnt it to ashes. “We afterwards took up the bones,” say they, “more precious than the richest jewels or gold, and deposited them decently in a place at which may God grant us to assemble with joy, to celebrate the birth-day of the martyr.” Thus these disciples and eye-witnesses. It was at two o’clock in the afternoon, which the authors of the acts call the eighth hour, in the year 166, that St. Polycarp received his crown, according to Tillemont; but in 169, according to Basnage. 15 His tomb is still shown with great veneration at Smyrna, in a small chapel. St. Irenæus speaks of St. Polycarp as being of an uncommon age. 3

The epistle of St. Polycarp to the Philippians, which is the only one among those which he wrote that has been preserved, is, even in the dead letter, a standing proof of the apostolic spirit with which he was animated, and of that profound humility, perfect meekness, burning charity, and holy zeal, of which his life was so admirable an example. The beginning is an effusion of the spiritual joy and charity with which he was transported at the happiness of their conversion to God, and their fervour in divine love. His extreme abhorrence of heresy makes him immediately fall upon that of the Docætae, against which he arms the faithful, by clearly demonstrating that Christ was truly made man, died, and rose again: in which his terms admirably express his most humble and affectionate devotion to our divine Redeemer, under these great mysteries of love. Besides walking in truth, he takes notice, that to be raised with Christ in glory, we must also do his will, keep all his commandments, and love whatever he loves; refraining from all fraud, avarice, detraction, and rash judgment; repaying evil with good, forgiving and showing mercy to others that we ourselves may find mercy, “These things,” says he, “I write to you on justice, because you incited me; for neither I, nor any other like me, can attain to the wisdom of the blessed and glorious Paul, into whose epistles if you look, you may raise your spiritual fabric by strengthening faith, which is our mother, hope following, and charity towards God, Christ, and our neighbour preceding us. He who has charity is far from all sin.” The saint gives short instructions to every particular state, then adds: “Every one who hath not confessed that Jesus Christ is come to the flesh, is antichrist; 16 and who hath not confessed the suffering of the cross, is of the devil; and who hath drawn the oracles of the Lord to his passions, and hath said that there is no resurrection nor judgment, he is the oldest son of Satan.” He exhorts to watching always in prayer, lest we he led into temptation: to be constant in fasting, persevering, joyful in hope, and in the pledge of our justice, which is Christ Jesus, imitating his patience; for, by suffering for his name, we glorify him. To encourage them to suffer, he reminds them of those who had suffered before our eyes: Ignatius, Zozimus, and Rufus, and some of their own congregation, 17 “who are now,” says our saint, “in the place which is due to them with the Lord, with whom they also suffered.” 4

Note 1. Ch. ii. v. 9. [back]

Note 2. Eus. Hist. l. 5. c. 20. p. 188. [back]

Note 3. Cat. vir. illustr. c. 17. [back]

Note 4. See also 1 John ii. 18. 22. and 2 John 10. [back]

Note 5. St. Ignatius begins his letter to the faithful at Smyrna, by glorifying God for their great spiritual wisdom, saying, he knew them to be perfect in their unshaken faith, as men crucified with our Lord Jesus in flesh, and in spirit, and deeply grounded in charity by the blood of Christ. He then solidly confutes the Docætæ, heretics who imagined that Christ was not incarnate, and died only in appearance; whom he calls demoniacs. He adds: “I give you this caution, knowing that you hold the true faith, but that you may stand upon your guard against these wild beasts in human shape, whom you ought not to receive under your roof, nor even meet if possible; and be content only to pray for them that they may be converted, if it be possible; for it is very difficult; though it is the power of Jesus Christ our true life. If Jesus Christ did all this in appearance only, then I am only chained in imagination; and why have I delivered myself up to death, to fire, to the sword, to beasts? But who is near the sword is near God: he who is among beasts is with God. I suffer all things only in the name of Jesus Christ, that I may suffer with him, he giving me strength, who was made perfectly man. What does it avail me to be commended by any one, if he blaspheme our Lord, not confessing him to have flesh? The whole consists in faith and charity; nothing can take place before these. Now consider those who maintain a false opinion of the grace of Jesus Christ, how they also oppose charity; they take no care of the widow, or orphan, or him who is afflicted, or pining with hunger or thirst. They abstain from the Eucharist and prayer, (says he) because they confess not the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, which was crucified for our sins, and which the Father, by his goodness raised again. It is advisable for you to separate yourselves from them, and neither to speak to them in public or in private. Shun schisms and all discord, as the source of evils. Follow your bishop as Christ his Father, and the college of priests as the apostles; respect the deacons as the precept of God. Let no one do any thing that belongs to the church without the bishop. Let that Eucharist be regarded as lawful which is celebrated by the bishop or one commissioned by him. Wherever the bishop makes his appearance, there let the people be assembled, as wherever Christ Jesus is, there is the Catholic church. It is not lawful to baptize or celebrate the Agape without the bishop or his authority. What he approves of is acceptable to God. He who does any thing without the bishop’s knowledge, serves the devil.” The saint most affectionately thanks them for the kindness they had shown him and his followers; begs they will depute some person to his church in Syria, to congratulate with his flock for the peace which God had restored to them, adding that he was unworthy to be called a member of that church of which he was the last. He asks the succour of their prayers, that by them he might enjoy God. “Seeing,” says he, “that you are perfect, entertain perfect sentiments of virtue: for God is ready to bestow on you who desire to do well.” After the most tender salutations of many in particular, and of all in general, especially the virgins who were called widows, (i. e. the deaconesses, who were called widows, because they were often such, though these were virgins,) he closes his letter by praying for their advancement in all charity, grace, mercy, peace, and patience. Saint Ign. ep. ad Smyrnæos, p. 872. ed. Cotel.

The apostolic St. Ignatius writes as follows, in his letter to St. Polycarp: “Thy resolution in God, founded as it were upon an unshaken rock, I exceedingly commend, having been made worthy of thy holy face, which I pray I may enjoy in God. I conjure thee in the grace with which thou art enriched, to encrease the stock in thy course, and to exhort all that they may be saved. Have great care of unity and concord, than which nothing is better. Bear with all men that God may bear with thee: bear all men by charity, as thou dost apply thyself to prayer without interruption. Ask more perfect understanding than thou hast. Watch, seeing that the spirit which sleepeth not, dwelleth within thee. Speak to every one according to the grace which God giveth thee. Bear the weakness and distempers of all as a stout champion. Where the labour is greater, the gain is exceedingly great. If thou lovest the disciples who are good, thou deservest not thanks; strive rather to subdue the wicked by meekness. Every wound is not healed by the same plaster; assuage inflammations by lenitives. Be not intimidated by those who seem worthy of faith, yet teach things that are foreign. Stand firm, as an anvil which is beaten: it is the property of a true champion to be struck and to conquer. Let not the widows be neglected. Let religious assemblies be most frequent. Seek out every one in them by name. Despise not the slaves, neither suffer them to be puffed up; but to the glory of God let them serve with greater diligence that they may obtain of God a better liberty. Let them not desire that their liberty be purchased or procured for them by the congregation, lest they fall under the slavery of their own passions. Fly evil artifices; let them not be so much as named. Engage my sisters to love the Lord, and never entertain a thought of any man but their husbands. In like manner enjoin my brethren, in the name of Jesus Christ, to love their wives as Christ loveth his church. If any one be able to remain in a state of continency, in honour of our Lord’s flesh, let him be constantly humble: if he boast, or is puffed up, he is lost. Let all marriages be made by the authority of the bishop, that they may be made in the Lord, not by the passions of men. Let all things be done to the honour of God.” Then addressing himself to all the faithful at Smyrna, he writes: “Listen to your bishop, that God may also hearken to you. With joy I would lay down my life for those who are subject to the bishop, priests, and deacons. May my portion be with them in God. Let all things be in common among you; your labour, your warfare, your sufferings, your rest, and your watching, as becomes the dispensers, the assessors, and the servants of God. Please him in whose service you fight, and from whom you receive your salary. Let your baptism be always your weapons, faith your helmet, charity your spear, and patience your complete armour. Let your good works be the treasure which you lay up, that you may receive the fruit which is worthy. Bear with each other in all meekness, as God bears with you. I pray that I may always enjoy and rejoice in you. Because the church of Antioch by your prayers now enjoys peace, I am in mind secure in God; provided still that by suffering I may go to God, and be found in the resurrection your servant. You will do well, O Polycarp, most blessed in God, to hold an assembly, and choose a very dear person fit for despatch in a journey, who may be styled the divine messenger; him honour with a commission to go to Antioch, and there hear witness of the fervour of your charity. A christian lives not for himself alone, but belongs to God.” The holy martyr concludes by desiring St. Polycarp to write for him to the other churches of Asia, he being that moment called on board by his guards to sail from Troas to Naples. [back]

Note 6. St. Iren. b. 3. c. 3. Euseb. b. 5. c. 24. S. Hieron. c. 17. [back]

Note 7. N. 1. and 4. [back]

Note 8. [Greek]. Frigidus ipsis videbatur immanium carnificum ignis. n. 2. p. 1020. [back]

Note 9. Dr. Middleton pretends, that this voice was only heard by some few: but the acts in Ruinart say, by those that were present, [Greek]: Eusebius says, [Greek]: Rufinus plurimi, very many. A voice from heaven must certainly be sensibly discerned to be more than human, and manifest itself sufficiently, to be perceived that it could not come from the crowd. [back]

Note 10. L. 71. [back]

Note 11. Or. 20, 21, 22. 41. [back]

Note 12. The great council of Asia seems to have been held at that time at Smyrna, instead of Ephesus, which the Arundelian marbles show sometimes to have been done. [back]

Note 13. Or president of tie public games, chosen yearly by the common-council of Asia. [back]

Note 14. Dr. Middleton ridicules the mention of a dove issuing out of the wound of the side; but this is only found in some modern MSS. by the blunder of a transcriber: it is not in Eusebius, Rufinus, Nicephorus, or the Greek Menæa: though the two last would have magnified a prodigy if they had found the least authority for any. According to Le Moyne, (Proleg. ad varia. sacra.) Ceillier, &c. the true reading is [Greek], on the left side; which some transcriber blundered into [Greek], a dove. As to the foregoing miracle, that a wind should naturally divest the fire of its property of burning, and form it into an arch about the body, is a much more wonderful supposition of the doctor’s than any miracle. [back]

Note 15. St. Polycarp says himself, “That he had served Christ eighty-six years.” Basnage thinks he had been bishop so long, and was a hundred and twenty years old when he suffered: but it is far more probable that this is the term he had been a Christian, having been converted in his youth, and dying about one hundred years old or upwards, as Tillemont understands it. [back]

Note 16. 1 John iv. 3. [back]

Note 17. Some of the Philippians had seen St. Ignatius in chains, and perhaps at Rome. The primitive martyrs, Zozimus and Rufus, are commemorated in the Martyrologies on the 18th of December. [back]

INTERCESSORY PRAYER;  Saint Polycarp, please pray for us today [say your prayer request.]





[Butler's Live of the Saints]

SAINT  PETER DAMIAN was born in 988, and lost both parents at an early age. His eldest brother, in whose hands he was left, treated him so cruelly that a younger brother, a priest, moved by his piteous state, sent him to the university of Parma, where he acquired great distinction. His studies were sanctified by vigils, fasts, and prayers, till at last, thinking that all this was only serving God by halves, he resolved to leave the world. He joined monks the of Font-Avellano, then in the greatest repute, and by his wisdom and sanctity rose to be Superior. He was employed on the most delicate and difficult missions, amongst others, the reform of ecclesiastical communities, which was effected by his zeal. Seven Popes in succession made him their constant adviser, and he was at last created Cardinal Bishop of Ostia. He withstood Henry IV. of Germany, and labored in defence of Alexander II. against the Antipope, whom he forced to yield and seek for pardon. He was charged, as Papal Legate, with the repression of simony; again was commissioned to settle discords amongst various bishops; and finally, in 1072, to adjust the affairs of the Church at Ravenna. He was laid low by a fever on his homeward journey, and died at Faenza, in a monastery of his order, on the eighth day of his sickness, whilst the monks chanted matins around him.

REFLECTION.—The Saints studied, not in order to be accounted learned, but to become perfect. This only is wisdom and true greatness, to account ourselves as ignorant, and to adhere in all things to the teachings and instincts of the Church.





Saint Peter Damian

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Saint Peter Damian
Peter Damian bust.JPG
Bishop, Confessor and Doctor of the Church
Born c. 1007
Died 22 February 1072 or 1073[1]
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Feast 21 February
earlier 23 February (General Roman Calendar, 1823-1969)
Attributes represented as a cardinal bearing a knotted rope in his hand; also as a pilgrim holding a papal Bull; Cardinal's hat, Benedictine monk's habit
Patronage traceurs, freerunners

Saint Peter Damian (Latin: Petrus Damianus; Italian: Pietro or Pier Damiani; c. 1007 – 21 or 22 February 1072 or 1073)[1] was a reforming Benedictine monk and cardinal in the circle of Pope Leo IX. Dante placed him in one of the highest circles of Paradiso as a great predecessor of Saint Francis of Assisi and he was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1828. His feast day is 21 February.



Early life

Peter was born in Ravenna around 1007, the youngest of a large noble, but poor family. Orphaned early, he was at first adopted by an elder brother, who ill-treated and under-fed him while employing him as a swineherd. After some years, another brother, Damianus, who was archpriest at Ravenna, had pity on him and took him away to be educated. Adding his brother's name to his own, Peter made such rapid progress in his studies of theology and canon law, first at Ravenna, then at Faenza, and finally at the University of Parma, that, around the age of 25, he was already a famous teacher at Parma and Ravenna.[2]

Religious life

Saint Peter Damian (far right), depicted with Saints Augustine, Anne, and Elizabeth

About 1035, however, he gave up his secular calling and, avoiding the compromised luxury of Cluniac monasteries, entered the isolated hermitage of Fonte Avellana, near Gubbio. Both as novice and as monk, his fervor was remarkable but led him to such extremes of self-mortification in penance that his health was affected, and he developed severe insomnia.[2]

On his recovery, he was appointed to lecture to his fellow monks. Then, at the request of Guy of Pomposa (Guido d'Arezzo) and other heads of neighboring monasteries, for two or three years he lectured to their brethren also, and (about 1042) wrote the life of St Romuald for the monks of Pietrapertosa. Soon after his return to Fonte Avellana he was appointed economus (manager or housekeeper) of the house by the prior, who designated him as his successor. In 1043 he became prior of Fonte Avellana, and remained so until his death in February 1072.[2]

Subject-hermitages were founded at San Severino, Gamogna, Acerreta, Murciana, San Salvatore, Sitria and Ocri. A zealot for monastic and clerical reform, he introduced a more-severe discipline, including the practice of flagellation ("the disciplina"), into the house, which, under his rule, quickly attained celebrity, and became a model for other foundations, even the great abbey of Monte Cassino. There was much opposition outside his own circle to such extreme forms of penitence, but Peter's persistent advocacy ensured its acceptance, to such an extent that he was obliged later to moderate the imprudent zeal of some of his own hermits.[3]

Another innovation was that of the daily siesta, to make up for the fatigue of the night office. During his tenure of the priorate a cloister was built, silver chalices and a silver processional cross were purchased, and many books were added to the library.[3]


Sancti Petri Damiani Opera Omnia (1743)

Although living in the seclusion of the cloister, Peter Damian closely watched the fortunes of the Church, and like his friend Hildebrand, the future Pope Gregory VII, he strove for reforms in a deplorable time. When Benedict IX resigned the pontificate into the hands of the archpriest John Gratian (Gregory VI) in 1045, Peter hailed the change with joy and wrote to the new pope, urging him to deal with the scandals of the church in Italy, singling out the wicked bishops of Pesaro, of Città di Castello and of Fano.[3]

Extending the area of his activities, he entered into communication with the Emperor Henry III. He was present in Rome when Clement II crowned Henry III and his consort Agnes, and he also attended a synod held at the Lateran in the first days of 1047, in which decrees were passed against simony.

After this he returned to his hermitage. About 1050, during the pontificate of Pope Leo IX, he wrote a scathing treatise on the vices of the clergy, including sexual abuse of minors and actions by church superiors to hide the crimes. Liber Gomorrhianus was openly addressed to the pope. Meanwhile, the question arose as to the validity of the ordinations of simoniacal clerics. Peter Damiani wrote (about 1053) a treatise, the Liber Gratissimus, in favor of their validity, a work which, though much combatted at the time, was potent in deciding the question in their favor before the end of the 12th century. Pope Benedict XVI described him as "one of the most significant figures of the 11th century ... a lover of solitude and at the same time a fearless man of the Church, committed personally to the task of reform."[4]


Peter often condemned philosophy. He claimed that the first grammarian was the Devil, who taught Adam to decline deus in the plural. He argued that monks should not have to study philosophy, because Jesus did not choose philosophers as disciples, and so philosophy is not necessary for salvation. But the idea (later attributed to Thomas Aquinas) that philosophy should serve theology as a servant serves her mistress originated with him.[5] However, this apparent animosity may reflect his view that logic is only concerned with the validity of argument, rather than the nature of reality. Similar views are found in Al-Ghazali and Wittgenstein.

Damian's tract De divina omnipotentia is frequently misunderstood. Damian's purpose is to defend the "doctrine of omnipotence", which he defines as the ability of God to do anything that is good, i.e., God cannot lie. Toivo J. Holopainen identifies De divina omnipotentia as "an interesting document related to the early developments of medieval discussion concerning modalities and divine omnipotence."[2] Peter also recognized that God can act outside time, as Gregory of Rimini later argued.[6]

Papal envoy and Cardinal

During his illness the pope died, and Frédéric, abbot of Monte Cassino, was elected pope as Stephen IX. In the autumn of 1057, Stephen IX determined to make Damian a cardinal. For a long time Damian resisted the offer, for he was more at ease as an itinerant hermit-preacher than a reformer from within the Curia, but was finally forced to accept, and was consecrated Cardinal Bishop of Ostia on 30 November 1057.[7]

In addition he was appointed administrator of the Diocese of Gubbio. The new cardinal was impressed with the great responsibilities of his office and wrote a stirring letter to his brother-cardinals, exhorting them to shine by their example before all. Four months later Pope Stephen died at Florence, and the Church was once more distracted by schism. Peter was vigorous in his opposition to the antipope Benedict X, but force was on the side of the intruder and Damian retired temporarily to Fonte Avallana.[citation needed]


About the end of the year 1059 Peter was sent as legate to Milan by Pope Nicholas II. So bad was the state of things at Milan, that benefices (a reward received in exchange for services rendered and as a retainer for future services) were openly bought and sold, and the clergy publicly married the women with whom they lived. The resistance of the clergy of Milan to the reform of Ariald the Deacon and Anselm, Bishop of Lucca rendered a contest so bitter that an appeal was made to the Holy See.

Nicholas II sent Damian and the Bishop of Lucca as his legates. The party of the irregular clerics took alarm and raised the cry that Rome had no authority over Milan. Peter boldly confronted the rioters in the cathedral, he proved to them the authority of the Holy See with such effect that all parties submitted to his decision.[4]

He exacted first a solemn oath from the archbishop and all his clergy that for the future no preferment should be paid for; then, imposing a penance on all who had been guilty, he reinstated in their benefices all who undertook to live in celibacy. This prudent decision was attacked by some of the rigorists at Rome, but was not reversed. Unfortunately, on the death of Nicholas II, the same disputes broke out; nor were they finally settled till after the martyrdom of St Ariald in 1066. Meanwhile, Peter was pleading in vain to be released from the cares of his office. Neither Nicholas II nor Hildebrand would consent to spare him.

Later career

He rendered valuable assistance to Pope Alexander II in his struggle with the antipope, Honorius II. In July 1061 the pope died and once more a schism ensued. Peter Damian used all his powers to persuade the antipope Cadalous to withdraw, but to no purpose. Finally Anno II, Archbishop of Cologne and acting regent in Germany, summoned a council at Augsburg at which a long argument by Peter Damian was read and greatly contributed to the decision in favor of Alexander II.[4]

In 1063 the pope held a synod at Rome, at which Peter Damian was appointed legate to settle the dispute between the Abbey of Cluny and the Bishop of Mâcon. He proceeded to France, summoned a council at Chalon-sur-Saône, proved the justice of the contentions of Cluny, settled other questions at issue in the Church of France, and returned in the autumn to Fonte Avellana.[citation needed]

While he was in France the antipope Cadalous had again become active in his attempts to gain Rome, and Peter Damian brought upon himself a sharp reproof from Alexander and Hildebrand for twice imprudently appealing to the royal power to judge the case anew. In 1067, the cardinal was sent to Florence to settle the dispute between the bishop and the monks of Vallombrosa, who accused the former of simony. His efforts, however, were not successful, largely because he misjudged the case and threw the weight of his authority on the side of the bishop. The matter was not settled until the following year by the pope in person.[citation needed]

Having served the papacy as legate to France and to Florence, he was allowed to resign his bishopric in 1067. After a period of retirement at Fonte Avellana, he proceeded in 1069 as papal legate to Germany, and persuaded the emperor Henry IV to give up his intention of divorcing his wife Bertha. He accomplished this task at a council in Frankfurt before returning to Fonte-Avellana.[citation needed]

Early in 1072 or 1073[1] he was sent to Ravenna to reconcile its inhabitants to the Holy See, they having been excommunicated for supporting their archbishop in his adhesion to the schism of Cadalous. On his return thence he was seized with fever near Faenza. He lay ill for a week at the monastery of Santa Maria degl'Angeli, now Santa Maria Vecchia. On the night preceding the feast of the Chair of St. Peter at Antioch, he ordered the office of the feast to be recited and at the end of the Lauds he died. He was at once buried in the monastery church, lest others should claim his relics.[citation needed]

During his concluding years he was not altogether in accord with the political ideas of Hildebrand. He died the year before Hildebrand became pope, as Gregory VII. "It removed from the scene the one man who could have restrained Gregory", Norman F. Cantor remarked (Civilization of the Middle Ages, p 251).


Peter Damian is a saint and was made a Doctor of the Church by Pope Leo XII in 1828 with a feast day which is now celebrated on 21 February (Ordinary calendar).[7] Although it was traditionally given as 23 February, this was using the Roman calendar which had 29 days in January. So in 1970, his feast was moved to 21 February, to align it with the ordinary calendar.

His body has been moved six times. Since 1898, Peter Damian has rested in a chapel dedicated to the saint in the cathedral of Faenza. No formal canonization ever took place, but his cult has existed since his death at Faenza, at Fonte-Avellana, at Monte Cassino, and at Cluny.[citation needed]

The saint is represented in art as a cardinal bearing a knotted rope (the disciplina) in his hand; also sometimes he is depicted as a pilgrim holding a papal Bull, to signify his many legations.[citation needed]


Vita Beati Romualdi

Peter Damian's voluminous writings, including treatises (67 survive), letters, sermons, prayers, hymns and liturgical texts (though, in a departure from many early medieval monks, no biblical commentaries)[8] reflect the spiritual conditions of Italy: the groundswell of intense personal piety that would overflow in the First Crusade at the end of the century, and his Latin abounds in denunciatory epithets.

His works include:

  • His most famous work is De Divina Omnipotentia, a long letter in which he discusses God's power.
  • In the short treatise Dominus vobiscum (The Book of "The Lord be with You") (PL 145:231-252), he questions whether a hermit praying in solitude should use the plural; Damian concludes that the hermit should use the plural, since he is linked to the whole church by faith and fellowship.
  • His Life of Romauld and his treatise The Eremitical Order demonstrate his continuing commitment to solitude and severe asceticism as the ultimate form of Christian life.
  • He was especially devoted to the Virgin Mary, and wrote an Officium Beatae Virginis

See also


  • Howe, John (June 2010). "Did St. Peter Damian Die in 1073 ? A New Perspective on his Final Days". Analecta Bollandiana. 128 (1): 67–86.
  • Holopainen, Toivo J., "Peter Damian", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, (Winter 2012 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.)
  • Toke, Leslie. "St Peter Damian", The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 11. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911; accessed 31 January 2015.
  • "St. Peter Damiani",; accessed 20 December 2017.
  • PL 145, p. 603, 1867.
  • Jack Zupko, article 'Gregory of Rimini' in A Companion to Philosophy in the Middle Ages, ed. by Jorge J.E. Gracia & Timothy Noone, Blackwell, 2002.
  • Foley OFM, Leonard. "St. Peter Damian", Saint of the Day,; accessed 20 December 2017.
  • Bernard McGinn, The Growth of Mysticism, (1994), p. 125


    Saints Francisco and Jacinta Marto

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Francisco and Jacinta Marto
    ChildrensofFatima (croped).jpg
    Photograph of Francisco and Jacinta
    Born 11 June 1908 (Francisco)
    11 March 1910 (Jacinta)
    Aljustrel, Fátima, Ourém, Portugal
    Died 4 April 1919 (aged 10)
    Aljustrel, Fátima, Portugal (Francisco)
    20 February 1920 (aged 9)
    Lisbon, Portugal (Jacinta)
    Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
    Beatified 13 May 2000, Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary, Fátima, Portugal by Pope John Paul II
    Canonized 13 May 2017, Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary, Fátima, Portugal by Pope Francis
    Major shrine Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary, Fátima, Portugal
    Feast 20 February
    • Bodily ills
    • Portuguese children
    • Captives
    • People ridiculed for their piety
    • Prisoners
    • Sick people
    • Against sickness

    Saint Francisco de Jesus Marto (11 June 1908 – 4 April 1919), his sister Saint Jacinta de Jesus Marto (11 March 1910 – 20 February 1920) and their cousin Lúcia dos Santos (1907–2005) were children from Aljustrel, a small hamlet near Fátima, Portugal, who witnessed three apparitions of the Angel of Peace in 1916 and several apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Cova da Iria in 1917. The title Our Lady of Fátima was given to the Virgin Mary as a result, and the Sanctuary of Fátima became a major centre of world Christian pilgrimage. The two were solemnly canonized by Pope Francis at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima, in Portugal on 13 May 2017, the first centennial of the first Apparition of Our Lady of Fátima.




    Francisco Marto

    The youngest children of Manuel and Olimpia Marto, Francisco and Jacinta were typical of Portuguese village children of that time. They were illiterate[1][self-published source][2] but had a rich oral tradition.[citation needed]

    According to the memoirs of their cousin Sister Lúcia, Francisco had a placid disposition, was somewhat musically inclined, and liked to be by himself to think. Jacinta was affectionate if a bit spoiled. She had a sweet singing voice and a gift for dancing. Following their experiences, their fundamental personalities remained the same. Francisco preferred to pray alone, saying that this would "console Jesus for the sins of the world". Jacinta said she was deeply affected by a terrifying vision of Hell shown to the children at the third apparition, and deeply convinced of the need to save sinners through penance and sacrifice as the Virgin had told the children to do. All three children, but particularly Francisco and Jacinta, practised stringent self-mortifications to this end.[3] The Congregation for the Causes of Saints, in the report that confirmed Jacinta as beatified, observed that she seemed to have "an insatiable hunger for immolation."[4]


    The brother and sister, who tended to their families’ sheep with their cousin Lúcia in the fields of Fátima, Portugal, are said to have witnessed several apparitions of an angel in 1916. Lúcia later recorded the words of several prayers she said they learned from this angel.[2]

    Sister Lúcia wrote in her memoirs that she and her cousins saw the first apparition of Mary on 13 May 1917. At the time of the apparition, Francisco was 9 years old, and Jacinta was 7.[5]

    During the first apparition, Mary is said to have asked the three children to say the Rosary and to make sacrifices, offering them for the conversion of sinners.[6] She also asked them to return to that spot on the thirteenth of each month for the next six months.[7]

    Illness and death

    The siblings were victims of the great 1918 influenza epidemic that swept through Europe that year. In October 1918, Jacinta told Lucia that Mary had appeared to her and promised to take them to heaven soon.[6] Both lingered for many months, insisting on walking to church to make Eucharistic devotions and prostrating themselves to pray for hours, kneeling with their heads on the ground as they said the angel had instructed them to do.[5]

    From left to right: Jacinta Marto, Lúcia dos Santos and Francisco Marto, holding their rosaries in 1917

    Francisco declined hospital treatment on 3 April 1919, and died at home the next day. Jacinta was moved from one hospital to another in an attempt to save her life, which she insisted was futile. She developed purulent pleurisy and endured an operation in which two of her ribs were removed. Because of the condition of her heart, she could not be fully anesthetized, and suffered terrible pain, which she said would help to convert many sinners. On 19 February 1920, Jacinta asked the hospital chaplain who heard her confession to bring her Holy Communion and administer Extreme Unction because she was going to die "the next night". He told her that her condition was not that serious and that he would return the next day. The next day Jacinta was dead; she had died, as she had often said she would, alone.[8]

    In 1920, shortly before her death at age nine, Jacinta Marto reportedly discussed the Alliance of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary with a then 12-year-old Lúcia dos Santos and said:

    When you are to say this, don't go and hide. Tell everybody that God grants us graces through the Immaculate Heart of Mary; that people are to ask her for them; and that the Heart of Jesus wants the Immaculate Heart of Mary to be venerated at his side. Tell them also to pray to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for peace, since God entrusted it to her.[9]

    Jacinta and Francisco are both buried at the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fátima.[10]

    Beatification and canonization

    Jacinta and Francisco Marto's tombs in Fátima, Portugal

    The cause for the siblings' canonization began in 1946.[5] Exhumed in 1935, Jacinta's face was found incorrupt;[11][12] Francisco's had decomposed. By 1951, when she was again exhumed for her reburial in the Basilica, Jacinta had begun to decompose also.[13]

    In 1937 Pope Pius XI decided that causes for minors should not be accepted as they could not fully understand heroic virtue or practice it repeatedly, both of which are essential for canonization. For the next four decades, no sainthood processes for children were pursued. In 1979 the bishop of Leiria-Fátima asked all the world's bishops to write to the Pope, petitioning him to make an exception for Francisco, who had died at age 10, and Jacinta, who had died at age 9. More than 300 bishops sent letters to the Pope, writing that “the children were known, admired and attracted people to the way of sanctity. Favors were received through their intercession.” The bishops also said that the children's canonization was a pastoral necessity for the children and teenagers of the day.[14]

    In 1979 the Congregation for the Causes of Saints convened a general assembly. Cardinals, bishops, theologians and other experts debated whether it was possible for children to display heroic virtue. Eventually, they decided that, like the very few children who have a genius for music or mathematics, "in some supernatural way, some children could be spiritual prodigies." They were declared venerable by Pope John Paul II in 1989.[14]

    On 13 May 2000, they were declared "blessed" in a decree from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. Jacinta is the youngest non-martyred child ever to be beatified.[6]

    Canonization of Jacinta and Francisco Marto by Pope Francis, at the Sanctuary of Fátima on 13 May 2017

    In her biography of Jacinta Marto, Sister Lúcia said that Jacinta had told her of having had many personal visions outside of the Marian visitations; one involved a pope who prayed alone in a room while people outside shouted ugly things and threw rocks through the window. At another time, Jacinta said she saw a pope who had gathered a huge number of people together to pray to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.[citation needed]

    When Pope John Paul II arrived in Fátima for the first time, in 1982, he said that he had come "because, on this exact date last year in St. Peter's Square, in Rome, there was an attempt on the life of your Pope, which mysteriously coincided with the anniversary of the first vision at Fátima, that of 13 May 1917. The coincidence of these dates was so great that it seemed to be a special invitation for me to come here."[14]

    Sister Lúcia, when questioned about the Third Secret, said that the three of them had been very sad about the suffering of the Pope, and that Jacinta kept saying: Coitadinho do Santo Padre, tenho muita pena dos pecadores! ("Poor Holy Father, I feel a lot of pity for the sinners!")[citation needed]

    Another miracle was found to have been attributed to their intercession and the process that investigated the presumed miracle was validated on 8 February 2013. On 23 March 2017, it was announced that Pope Francis would canonize them while visiting Portugal on 12 and 13 May.[15] The pope solemnly canonized the children on 13 May 2017 during the centennial of the first apparition.[16] They are the Catholic Church's youngest saints who did not die as martyrs, with Jacinta the youngest.[17][18][19]


    See also


  • McNally, Terrence J. (2009). What Every Catholic Should Know About Mary. Xlibris. p. 161. ISBN 978-1-4415-1052-5. LCCN 2009901188. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
  • Melton, J. Gordon (2008). "Fatima (Portugal)". The Encyclopedia of Religious Phenomena. Canton, Maine: Visible Ink Press. pp. 107–109. ISBN 1-57859-209-7. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
  • Sister Lúcia: Fatima in Lucia's Own Words, Memoir 2, p. 94, online, accessed 21 June 2011.
  • Congregation for the Causes of Saints Decree regarding the Canonization of the Servant of God Jacinta Marto. 13 May 1989.
  • "Blessed Francisco and Jacinta Marto".
  • Foley O.F.M., Leonard. "Blesseds Jacinta and Francisco Marto", Saint of the Day, Lives, Lessons and Feast, (revised by Pat McCloskey O.F.M.), Franciscan Media
  • A detailed account of the lives, illnesses and deaths of both children is given in de Marchi, John, The True Story of Fatima, 1950 edition, entire text on line, found 19 October 2007.
  • Madigan, Leo. The children of Fatima: Blessed Francisco & Blessed Jacinta Marto 2003 OSV Press ISBN 1-931709-57-2 page 248
  • Madigan, Leo. 2003, The Children of Fatima, OSV Press ISBN 978-1-931709-57-6 page 271
  • "On September 12, 1935, the mortal remains of Jacinta, who died in 1920, were exhumed. Her face was found to be incorrupt." Solimeo, Luiz. Fatima: A Message More Urgent Than Ever. (2008) pg. 97. "Today, the remnants of both Francisco and Jacinta rest at the Basilica of Fátima." pg. 99.
  • Jacinta's exhumation photo at Catholic Counter-Reformation, Page found 13 May 2010. Archived 29 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  • Alipio da Silva Vicente, "Exhumation of Jacinta". Photograph taken May 1, 1951. Source: University of Dayton Marian Library & Research Institute Photo Collection.
  • Seyer, Loretta G., "Fatima Has High Hopes For Francisco and Jacinta", National Catholic Register, May 16, 1999
  • "Pope Francis will canonize two of the children who saw Our Lady of Fatima". 23 March 2017.
  • "The Latest: Pope ends Portugal visit, leaves for Rome".
  • "Pope canonizes children behind 'Three Secrets of Fatima'".
  • Minder, Raphael (13 May 2017). "In Portugal, Pope Proclaims Two Fátima Siblings Saints" – via
  • "Pope recognizes miracle attributed to Fatima visionaries".

    INTERCESSORY PRAYER: SAINTS Francisco and Jacinta Marto, pray for us today [say your prayer request.]




    SAINTS Tyrannio, Bishop of Tyre, Zenobius, and Other Martyrs in Phœnicia

    February 20

    From Eusebius, Hist. l. 8. c. 7. 13. 25. St. Jerom in Chron. Euseb.

    A.D. 304. 310.


    EUSEBIUS, the parent of church history, and an eye-witness of what he relates concerning these martyrs, gives the following account of them: “Several Christians of Egypt, whereof some had settled in Palestine, others at Tyre, gave astonishing proofs of their patience and constancy in the faith. After innumerable stripes and blows, which they cheerfully underwent, they were exposed to wild beasts such as leopards, wild bears, boars, and bulls. I myself was present, when these savage creatures, accustomed to human blood, being let out upon them, instead of devouring them, or tearing them to pieces, as it was natural to expect, stood off, refusing even to touch or approach them, at the same time that they fell foul on their keepers, and others that came in their way. 1 The soldiers of Christ were the only persons they refused, though these martyrs, pursuant to the order given them, tossed about their arms, which was thought a ready way to provoke the beasts, and stir them up against them. Sometimes, indeed they were perceived to rush towards them with their usual impetuosity, but, withheld by a divine power, they suddenly withdrew; and this many times, to the great admiration of all present. The first having done no execution, others were a second and a third time let out upon them, but in vain; the martyrs standing all the while unshaken, though many of them very young. Among them was a youth not yet twenty, who had his eyes lifted up to heaven, and his arms extended in the form of a cross, not in the least daunted, nor trembling nor shifting his place, while the bears and leopards, with their jaws wide open, threatening immediate death, seemed just ready to tear him to pieces; but, by a miracle, not being suffered to touch him, they speedily withdrew. Others were exposed to a furious bull, which had already gored and tossed into the air several infidels who had ventured too near, and left them half dead: only the martyrs he could not approach; he stopped, and stood scraping the dust with his feet, and though he seemed to endeavour it with his utmost might, butting with his horns on every side, and pawing the ground with his feet, being also urged on by red hot iron goads, it was all to no purpose. After repeated trials of this kind with other wild beasts, with as little success as the former, the saints were slain by the sword, and their bodies cast into the sea. Others who refused to sacrifice were beaten to death, or burned, or executed divers other ways.” This happened in the year 304, under Veturius, a Roman general, in the reign of Dioclesian. 1

    The church on this day commemorates the other holy martyrs, whose crown was deferred till 310. The principal of these was St. Tyrannic, bishop of Tyre, who had been present at the glorious triumph of the former, and encouraged them in their conflict. He had not the comfort to follow them till six years after; when, being conducted from Tyre to Antioch, with St. Zenobius, a holy priest and physician of Sidon, after many torments he was thrown into the sea, or rather into the river Orontes, upon which Antioch stands, at twelve miles distant from the sea. Zenobius expired on the rack, whilst his sides and body were furrowed and laid open with iron hooks and nails. St. Sylvanus, bishop of Emisa, in Phœnicia, was, some time after, under Maximinus, devoured by wild beasts in the midst of his own city, with two companions, after having governed that church forty years. Peleus and Nilus, two other Egyptian priests, in Palestine, were consumed by fire with some others. St. Sylvanus, bishop of Gaza, was condemned to the copper mines of Phœnon, near Petra, in Arabia, and afterwards beheaded there with thirty-nine others. 2

    St. Tyrannio is commemorated on the 20th of February, in the Roman Martyrology, with those who suffered under Veturius, at Tyre, in 304. St. Zenobius, the priest and physician of Sidon, who suffered with him at Antioch, on the 29th of October: St. Sylvanus of Emisa, to whom the Menology gives many companions, on the 6th of February: St. Sylvanus of Gaza, on the 29th of May. 3

    The love of Christ triumphed in the hearts of so many glorious martyrs, upon racks, in the midst of boiling furnaces, or flames, and in the claws or teeth of furious wild beasts. How many inflamed with his love have forsaken all things to follow him, despising honours, riches, pleasures, and the endearments of worldly friends, to take up their crosses, and walk with constancy in the narrow paths of a most austere penitential life! We also pretend to love him: but what effect has this love upon us? what fruit does it produce in our lives? If we examine our own hearts, we shall be obliged to confess that we have great reason to fear that we deceive ourselves. What pains do we take to rescue our souls from the slavery of the world, and the tyranny of self-love, to purge our affections of vice, or to undertake anything for the divine honour, and the sanctification of our souls? Let us earnestly entreat our most merciful Redeemer, by the power of this his holy love to triumph over all his enemies, which are our unruly passions, in our souls, and perfectly to subdue our stubborn hearts to its empire. Let it be our resolution, from this moment, to renounce the love of the world, and all self-love, to seek and obey him alone. 4

    Note 1. Rufinus adds, that these beasts killed several of the keepers and spectators. It is in this sense that some have translated this passage with Nicephorus. See Vales, in Annot. p. 165. But it seems improbable that the spectators, who were separated from the arena by iron rails, and seated on stone benches gradually ascending, ten or twenty men deep all round, should be killed or injured by the beasts, unless some were so rash as to venture within the rails with the keepers; which we see several do in the combats of wild beasts. This, therefore, we are to restrain to the keepers and those who kept them company. [back]


    INTERCESSORY PRAYER: SAINTS Tyrannio, Bishop of Tyre, Zenobius, and Other Martyrs in Phœnicia, pray for us today [say your prayer request.]



    Saint Barbatus, or Barbas, Bishop of Benevento, Confessor

    From his two authentic lives in Bollandus, t. 3. Febr. p. 139. See Ughelli, Italia Sacra, t. 8. p. 13.

    Butler's Lives of the Saints

    February 19th

    A.D. 682.


    ST. BARBATUS was born in the territory of Benevento, in Italy, towards the end of the pontificate of St. Gregory the Great, in the beginning of the seventh century. His parents gave him a Christian education, and Barbatus in his youth laid the foundation of that eminent sanctity, which recommends him to our veneration. Devout meditation on the holy scriptures was his chief entertainment; and the innocence, simplicity, and purity of his manners, and extraordinary progress in all virtues, qualified him for the service of the altar, to which he was assumed by taking holy orders as soon as the canons of the church would allow it. He was immediately employed by his bishop in preaching, for which he had an extraordinary talent; and, after some time, made curate of St. Basil’s, in Morcona, a town near Benevento. His parishioners were steeled in their irregularities, and averse from whatever looked like establishing order and discipline amongst them. As they desired only to slumber on in their sins, they could not bear the remonstrances of their pastor, who endeavoured to awake them to a sense of their miseries, and to sincere repentance: they treated him as a disturber of their peace, and persecuted him with the utmost violence. Finding their malice conquered by his patience and humility, and his character shining still more bright, they had recourse to slanders, in which, such was their virulence and success, that he was obliged to withdraw his charitable endeavours amongst them. By these fiery trials, God purified his heart from all earthly attachments, and perfectly crucified it to the world. Barbatus returned to Benevento, where he was received with joy by those who were acquainted with his innocence and sanctity. The seed of Christianity had been first sown at Benevento by St. Potin, who is said to have been sent thither by St. Peter, and is looked upon as the first bishop of this see. We have no names of his successors till St. Januarius, by whom this church was exceedingly increased, and who was honoured with the crown of martyrdom in 305. Totila, the Goth, laid the city of Benevento in ruins, in 545. The Lombards having possessed themselves of that country, repaired it, and King Autharis gave it to Zotion, a general among those invaders, with the title of a duchy, about the year 598, and his successors governed it, as sovereign dukes, for several ages. These Lombards were at that time chiefly Arians; but among them there remained many idolaters, and several at Benevento had embraced the Catholic faith, even before the death of St. Gregory the Great, with their duke Arichis, a warm friend of that holy pope. But when St. Barbatus entered upon his ministry in that city, the Christians themselves retained many idolatrous superstitions, which even their duke, or prince Romuald, authorized by his example, though son of Grimoald, king of the Lombards, who had edified all Italy by his conversion. They expressed a religious veneration to a golden viper, and prostrated themselves before it: they paid also a superstitious honour to a tree, on which they hung the skin of a wild beast, and these ceremonies were closed by public games, in which the skin served for a mark at which bowmen shot arrows over their shoulder. St. Barbatus preached zealously against these abuses, and laboured long to no purpose: yet desisted not, but joined his exhortations with fervent prayer and rigorous fasting, for the conversion of this unhappy people. At length he roused their attention by foretelling the distress of their city, and the calamities which it was to suffer from the army of the emperor Constans, who, landing soon after in Italy, laid siege to Benevento. In their extreme distress, and still more grievous alarms and fears, they listened to the holy preacher, and, entering into themselves, renounced their errors and idolatrous practices. Hereupon, St. Barbatus gave them the comfortable assurance that the siege should be raised, and the emperor worsted: which happened as he had foretold. Upon their repentance, the saint with his own hand cut down the tree, which was the object of their superstition, and afterwards melted down the golden viper which they adored, of which he made a chalice for the use of the altar. Ildebrand, bishop of Benevento, dying during the siege, after the public tranquillity was restored, St. Barbatus was consecrated bishop on the 10th of March, 663; for this see was only raised to the archiepiscopal dignity by Pope John XIII. about the year 965. Barbatus, being invested with the episcopal character, pursued and completed the good work which he had so happily begun, and destroyed every trace or the least remain of superstition in the prince’s closet, and in the whole state. In the year 680 he assisted in a council held by Pope Agatho at Rome, and the year following in the sixth general council held at Constantinople against the Monothelites. He did not long survive this great assembly, for he died on the 29th of February, 682, being about seventy years old, almost nineteen of which he had spent in the episcopal chair. He is named in the Roman Martyrology, and honoured at Benevento among the chief patrons of that city. 1

    Many sinners are moved by alarming sensible dangers or calamities to enter into themselves, on whom the terrors of the divine judgment make very little impression. The reason can only be a supine neglect of serious reflection, and a habit of considering them only transiently, and as at a distance; for it is impossible for any one who believes these great truths, if he takes a serious review of them, and has them present to his mind, to remain insensible: transient glances effect not a change of heart. Amongst the pretended conversions which sickness daily produces, very few bear the character of sincerity, as appears by those who, after their recovery, live on in their former lukewarmness and disorders. 1 St. Austin, in a sermon which he made upon the news, that Rome had been sacked by the barbarians, relates, 2 that not long before, at Constantinople, upon the appearance of an unusual meteor, and a rumour of a pretended prediction that the city would be destroyed by fire from heaven, the inhabitants were seized with a panic fear, all began to do penance like Ninive, and fled, with the emperor at their head, to a great distance from the city. After the term appointed for its pretended destruction was elapsed, they sent scouts to the city which they had left quite empty, and, hearing that it was still standing, returned to it, and with their fears forgot their repentance and all their good resolutions. To prevent the danger of penitents imposing upon themselves by superficial conversions, St. Barbatus took all necessary precautions to improve their first dispositions to a sincere and perfect change of heart, and to cut off and remove all dangerous occasions of temptations. 2

    Note 1.

    The devil was sick, the devil a monk would be;

    The devil was well, the devil no monk was he.


    Note 2. S. Aug. Serm. de Excidio Urbis, c. 6. t. 6. p. 627. ed Ben. [back]

    INTERCESSORY PRAYER:  Saint Barbatus, please intercede with God today for us [say your prayer.]



    "At the evening of life, you will be examined in love. Learn to love as God desires to be loved and abandon your own ways of acting."  ---Saint John of the Cross



    PART IV.



    Anxiety of Mind.

    ANXIETY of mind is not so much an abstract temptation, as the source whence various temptations arise. Sadness, when defined, is the mental grief we feel because of our involuntary ailments;--whether the evil be exterior, such as poverty, sickness or contempt; or interior, such as ignorance, dryness, depression or temptation. Directly that the soul is conscious of some such trouble, it is downcast, and so trouble sets in. Then we at once begin to try to get rid of it, and find means to shake it off; and so far rightly enough, for it is natural (316) to us all to desire good, and shun that which we hold to be evil. If any one strives to be delivered from his troubles out of love of God, he will strive patiently, gently, humbly and calmly, looking for deliverance rather to God's Goodness and Providence than to his own industry or efforts; but if self-love is the prevailing object he will grow hot and eager in seeking relief, as though all depended more upon himself than upon God. I do not say that the person thinks so, but he acts eagerly as though he did think it. Then if he does not find what he wants at once, he becomes exceedingly impatient and troubled, which does not mend matters, but on the contrary makes them worse, and so he gets into an unreasonable state of anxiety and distress, till he begins to fancy that there is no cure for his trouble. Thus you see how a disturbance, which was right at the outset, begets anxiety, and anxiety goes on into an excessive distress, which is exceedingly dangerous. This unresting anxiety is the greatest evil which can happen to the soul, sin only excepted. Just as internal commotions and seditions ruin a commonwealth, and make it incapable of resisting its foreign enemies, so if our heart be disturbed and anxious, it loses power to retain such graces as it has, as well as strength to resist (317) the temptations of the Evil One, who is all the more ready to fish (according to an old proverb) in troubled waters. Anxiety arises from an unregulated desire to be delivered from any pressing evil, or to obtain some hoped-for good. Nevertheless nothing tends so greatly to enchance the one or retard the other as over-eagerness and anxiety. Birds that are captured in nets and snares become inextricably entangled therein, because they flutter and struggle so much. Therefore, whensoever you urgently desire to be delivered from any evil, or to attain some good thing, strive above all else to keep a calm, restful spirit,--steady your judgment and will, and then go quietly and easily after your object, taking all fitting means to attain thereto. By easily I do not mean carelessly, but without eagerness, disquietude or anxiety; otherwise, so far from bringing about what you wish, you will hinder it, and add more and more to your perplexities. "My soul is alway in my hand, yet do I not forget Thy Law," (a) David says. Examine yourself often, at least night and morning, as to whether your soul is "in your hand;" or whether it has been wrested thence by any passionate or anxious emotion. See whether your soul is fully under control, or whether it has not in anywise escaped (318) from beneath your hand, to plunge into some unruly love, hate, envy, lust, fear, vexation or joy. And if it has so strayed, before all else seek it out, and quietly bring it back to the Presence of God, once more placing all your hopes and affections under the direction of His Holy Will. Just as one who fears to lose some precious possession holds it tight in his hand, so, like King David, we ought to be able to say, "My soul is alway in my hand, and therefore I have not forgotten Thy Law." Do not allow any wishes to disturb your mind under the pretext of their being trifling and unimportant; for if they gain the day, greater and weightier matters will find your heart more accessible to disturbance. When you are conscious that you are growing anxious, commend yourself to God, and resolve stedfastly not to take any steps whatever to obtain the result you desire, until your disturbed state of mind is altogether quieted;--unless indeed it should be necessary to do something without delay, in which case you must restrain the rush of inclination, moderating it, as far as possible, so as to act rather from reason than impulse. If you can lay your anxiety before your spiritual guide, or at least before some trusty and devout friend, you may be sure that you will find great solace. The heart finds relief in telling its (319) troubles to another, just as the body when suffering from persistent fever finds relief from bleeding. It is the best of remedies, and therefore it was that S. Louis counselled his son, "If thou hast any uneasiness lying heavy on thy heart, tell it forthwith to thy confessor, or to some other pious person, and the comfort he will give will enable thee to bear it easily."

    a. Ps. cxix. 109.



    Of Sadness and Sorrow.

    S. PAUL says that "godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of, but the sorrow of the world worketh death." (a) So we see that sorrow may be good or bad according to the several results it produces in us. And indeed there are more bad than good results arising from it, for the only good ones are mercy and repentance; whereas there are six evil results, namely, anguish, sloth, indignation, jealousy, envy and impatience. The Wise Man says that "sorrow hath killed many, and there is no profit therein," (b) and that because for the two good (320) streams which flow from the spring of sadness, there are these six which are downright evil. The Enemy makes use of sadness to try good men with his temptations:--just as he tries to make bad men merry in their sin, so he seeks to make the good sorrowful amid their works of piety; and while making sin attractive so as to draw men to it, he strives to turn them from holiness by making it disagreeable. The Evil One delights in sadness and melancholy, because they are his own characteristics. He will be in sadness and sorrow through all Eternity, and he would fain have all others the same. The "sorrow of the world" disturbs the heart, plunges it into anxiety, stirs up unreasonable fears, disgusts it with prayer, overwhelms and stupefies the brain, deprives the soul of wisdom, judgment, resolution and courage, weakening all its powers; in a word, it is like a hard winter, blasting all the earth's beauty, and numbing all animal life; for it deprives the soul of sweetness and power in every faculty. Should you, my daughter, ever be attacked by this evil spirit of sadness, make use of the following remedies. "Is any among you afflicted?" says S. James, "let him pray." (c) Prayer is a sovereign remedy, it lifts the mind to God, Who is our only Joy and Consolation. But when (321) you pray let your words and affections, whether interior or exterior, all tend to love and trust in God. "O God of Mercy, most Loving Lord, Sweet Saviour, Lord of my heart, my Joy, my Hope, my Beloved, my Bridegroom." Vigorously resist all tendencies to melancholy, and although all you do may seem to be done coldly, wearily and indifferently, do not give in. The Enemy strives to make us languid in doing good by depression, but when he sees that we do not cease our efforts to work, and that those efforts become all the more earnest by reason of their being made in resistance to him, he leaves off troubling us. Make use of hymns and spiritual songs; they have often frustrated the Evil One in his operations, as was the case when the evil spirit which possessed Saul was driven forth by music and psalmody. It is well also to occupy yourself in external works, and that with as much variety as may lead us to divert the mind from the subject which oppresses it, and to cheer and kindle it, for depression generally makes us dry and cold. Use external acts of fervour, even though they are tasteless at the time; embrace your crucifix, clasp it to your breast, kiss the Feet and Hands of your Dear Lord, raise hands and eyes to Heaven, and cry out to God in loving, trustful ejaculations: "My Beloved is mine, and I am (322) His. (d) A bundle of myrrh is my Well-beloved, He shall lie within my breast. Mine eyes long sore for Thy Word, O when wilt Thou comfort me! (e) O Jesus, be Thou my Saviour, and my soul shall live. Who shall separate me from the Love of Christ?" (f) etc. Moderate bodily discipline is useful in resisting depression, because it rouses the mind from dwelling on itself; and frequent Communion is specially valuable; the Bread of Life strengthens the heart and gladdens the spirits. Lay bare all the feelings, thoughts and longings which are the result of your depression to your confessor or director, in all humility and faithfulness; seek the society of spiritually-minded people, and frequent such as far as possible while you are suffering. And, finally, resign yourself into God's Hands, endeavouring to bear this harassing depression patiently, as a just punishment for past idle mirth. Above all, never doubt but that, after He has tried you sufficiently, God will deliver you from the trial.


    a. 2 Cor. vii. 10.
    b. "Multos enim occidit tristitia, et non est utilitas in illa." Ecclus. xxx. 25.
    c. S. James v. 13.
    d. Cant. ii. 16.
    e. Ps. cxix. 82.
    f. Rom. viii 35.



    Of Spiritual and Sensible Consolations, and how to receive them.

    THE order of God's Providence maintains a perpetual vicissitude in the material being of this world; day is continually turning to night, spring to summer, summer to autumn, autumn to winter, winter to spring; no two days are ever exactly alike. Some are foggy, rainy, some dry or windy; and this endless variety greatly enhances the beauty of the universe. And even so precisely is it with man (who, as ancient writers have said, is a miniature of the world), for he is never long in any one condition, and his life on earth flows by like the mighty waters, heaving and tossing with an endless variety of motion; one while raising him on high with hope, another plunging him low in fear; now turning him to the right with rejoicing, then driving him to the left with sorrows; and no single day, no, not even one hour, is entirely the same as any other of his life. All this is a very weighty warning, and teaches us to aim at an abiding and unchangeable evenness of mind amid so great an uncertainty of events; and, while all around is changing, we (324) must seek to remain immoveable, ever looking to, reaching after and desiring our God. Let the ship take what tack you will, let her course be eastward or westward, northern or southern, let any wind whatsoever fill her sails, but meanwhile her compass will never cease to point to its one unchanging lodestar. Let all around us be overthrown, nay more, all within us; I mean let our soul be sad or glad, in bitterness or joy, at peace or troubled, dry and parched, or soft and fruitful, let the sun scorch, or the dew refresh it; but all the while the magnet of our heart and mind, our superior will, which is our moral compass, must continually point to the Love of God our Creator, our Saviour, our only Sovereign Good. "Whether we live, we live unto the Lord, or whether we die, we die unto the Lord; whether we live therefore or die, we are the Lord's. Who shall separate us from the Love of Christ?" (a) Nay, verily, nothing can ever separate us from that Love;--neither tribulation nor distress, neither death nor life, neither present suffering nor fear of ills to come; neither the deceits of evil spirits nor the heights of satisfaction, nor the depths of sorrow; neither tenderness nor desolation, shall be able to separate us from that Holy Love, whose foundation is in Christ Jesus. Such a fixed resolution never to forsake God, (325) or let go of His Precious Love, serves as ballast to our souls, and will keep them stedfast amid the endless changes and chances of this our natural life. For just as bees, when overtaken by a gust of wind, carry little pebbles to weight themselves, (b) in order that they may resist the storm, and not be driven at its will,--so the soul, which has firmly grasped the Unchanging Love of God, will abide unshaken amid the changes and vicissitudes of consolations and afflictions,--whether spiritual or temporal, external or internal. But let us come to some special detail, beyond this general doctrine.

    1. I would say, then, that devotion does not consist in conscious sweetness and tender consolations, which move one to sighs and tears, and bring about a kind of agreeable, acceptable sense of self-satisfaction. No, my child, this is not one and the same as devotion, for you will find many persons who do experience these consolations, yet who, nevertheless, are evilminded, and consequently are devoid of all true Love of God, still more of all true devotion. When Saul was in pursuit of David, who fled from him into the wilderness of En-gedi, he entered into a cave alone, wherein David and his (326) followers were hidden; and David could easily have killed him, but he not only spared Saul's life, he would not even frighten him; but, letting him depart quietly, hastened after the King, to affirm his innocence, and tell him how he had been at the mercy of his injured servant. Thereupon Saul testified to the softening of his heart by tender words, calling David his son, and exalting his generosity; lifting up his voice, he wept, and, foretelling David's future greatness, besought him to deal kindly with Saul's "seed after him." (c) What more could Saul have done? Yet for all this he had not changed his real mind, and continued to persecute David as bitterly as before. Just so there are many people who, while contemplating the Goodness of God, or the Passion of His Dear Son, feel an emotion which leads to sighs, tears, and very lively prayers and thanksgivings, so that it might fairly be supposed that their hearts were kindled by a true devotion;--but when put to the test, all this proves but as the passing showers of a hot summer, which splash down in large drops, but do not penetrate the soil, or make it to bring forth anything better than mushrooms. In like manner these tears and emotions do not really touch an evil heart, but are altogether fruitless; --inasmuch as in spite of them all those poor (327) people would not renounce one farthing of illgotten gain, or one unholy affection; they would not suffer the slightest worldly inconvenience for the Sake of the Saviour over Whom they wept. So that their pious emotions may fairly be likened to spiritual fungi,--as not merely falling short of real devotion, but often being so many snares of the Enemy, who beguiles souls with these trivial consolations, so as to make them stop short, and rest satisfied therewith, instead of seeking after true solid devotion, which consists in a firm, resolute, ready, active will, prepared to do whatsoever is acceptable to God. A little child, who sees the surgeon bleed his mother, will cry when he sees the lancet touch her; but let that mother for whom he weeps ask for his apple or a sugar-plum which he has in his hand, and he will on no account part with it; and too much of our seeming devotion is of this kind. We weep feelingly at the spear piercing the Crucified Saviour's Side, and we do well,-- but why cannot we give Him the apple we hold, for which He asks, heartily? I mean our heart, the only love-apple which that Dear Saviour craves of us. Why cannot we resign the numberless trifling attachments, indulgences, and self-complacencies of which He fain would deprive us, only we will not let Him do so; because they are the sugar-plums, sweeter to our (328) taste than His Heavenly Grace? Surely this is but as the fondness of children;--demonstrative, but weak, capricious, unpractical. Devotion does not consist in such exterior displays of a tenderness which may be purely the result of a naturally impressionable, plastic character; or which may be the seductive action of the Enemy, or an excitable imagination stirred up by him.

    2. Nevertheless these tender warm emotions are sometimes good and useful, for they kindle the spiritual appetite, cheer the mind, and infuse a holy gladness into the devout life, which embellishes all we do even externally. It was such a taste for holy things that made David cry out, "O how sweet are Thy words unto my throat, yea, sweeter than honey unto my mouth." (d) And assuredly the tiniest little comfort received through devotion is worth far more than the most abundant delights of this world. The milk of the Heavenly Bridegroom, in other words His spiritual favours, are sweeter to the soul than the costliest wine of the pleasures of this world, and to those who have tasted thereof all else seems but as gall and wormwood. There is a certain herb which, if chewed, imparts so great a sweetness that they who keep it in their mouth cannot hunger or thirst; even so those to whom God gives His Heavenly manna of (329) interior sweetness and consolation, cannot either desire or even accept worldly consolations with any real zest or satisfaction. It is as a little foretaste of eternal blessedness which God gives to those who seek it; it is as the sugar-plum with which He attracts His little ones; as a cordial offered to strengthen their heart; as the first-fruits of their future reward. The legend tells us that Alexander the Great discovered Arabia Felix by means of the perfumes carried by the winds across the ocean upon which he sailed, reviving his courage and that of his comrades. And so the blessings and sweetnesses, which are wafted to us as we sail across the stormy sea of this mortal life, are a foretaste of the bliss of that Ever-blessed Heavenly Home to which we look and long.

    3. But, perhaps you will say, if there are sensible consolations which are undoubtedly good and come from God, and at the same time others which are unprofitable, perilous, even harmful, because they proceed from mere natural causes, or even from the Enemy himself, how am I to know one from the other, or distinguish what is most profitable even among those which are good? It is a general rule, with respect to the feelings and affections, that their test is in their fruits. Our hearts are as trees, of which the affections and passions are their branches, (330) and deeds and acts their fruits. That is, a good heart, of which the affections are good, and those are good affections which result in good and holy actions. If our spiritual tenderness and sweetness and consolation make us more humble,--patient, forbearing, charitable and kindly towards our neighbours,--more earnest in mortifying our own evil inclinations and lusts, more diligent in our duties, more docile and submissive to those who have a claim to our obedience, more simple in our whole manner of life,--then doubtless, my daughter, they come from God. But if this sweetness and tenderness is sweet only to ourselves, if we are fanciful, bitter, punctilious, impatient, obstinate, proud, presumptuous, harsh towards our neighbour, while reckoning ourselves as half-made saints, indocile to correction or guidance, then we may be assured our consolations are spurious and hurtful. A good tree will bring forth none save good fruit.

    4. If we are favoured with any such sweetness, we must humble ourselves deeply before God, and beware of being led to cry out "How good I am!" No indeed, such gifts do not make us any better, for, as I have already said, devotion does not consist in such things; rather let us say, "How good God is to those who hope in Him, and to the souls that seek Him!" If a man has sugar in his mouth, he cannot call his (331) mouth sweet, but the sugar; and so although our spiritual sweetness is admirable, and God Who imparts it is all good, it by no means follows that he who receives it is good. Let us count ourselves but as little children, having need of milk, and believe that these sugar-plums are only given us because we are still feeble and delicate, needing bribes and wiles to lead us on to the Love of God. But, as a general rule, we shall do well to receive all such graces and favours humbly, making much of them, not for their own importance, but rather because it is God's Hand which fills our hearts with them, as a mother coaxes her child with one sugar-plum after another. If the child were wise, he would prize the loving caresses of his mother, more than the material sugar-plum, however sweet. So while it is a great thing to have spiritual sweetnesses, the sweetest of all is to know that it is the loving parental Hand of God which feeds us, heart, mind and soul, with them. And, having received them humbly, let us be diligent in using them according to the intention of the Giver. Why do you suppose God gives us such sweetness? To make us kinder one to another, and more loving towards Him. A mother gives her child a sweetmeat to win a kiss; be it ours reverently to kiss the Saviour Who gives us these good things. And by kissing Him, I mean obeying Him, (332) keeping His Commandments, doing His Will, heeding His wishes, in a word, embracing Him tenderly, obediently, and faithfully. So the day on which we have enjoyed some special spiritual consolation should be marked by extra diligence and humility. And from time to time it is well to renounce all such, realising to ourselves that although we accept and cherish them humbly, because they come from God, and kindle His Love in our hearts, still they are not our main object, but God and His Holy Love;--that we seek less the consolation than the Consoler, less His tangible sweetness than our sweet Saviour, less external pleasure than Him Who is the Delight of Heaven and earth; and with such a mind we should resolve to abide stedfast in God's Holy Love, even if our whole life were to be utterly devoid of all sweetness; as ready to abide on Mount Calvary as on Mount Tabor; to cry out, "It is good for us to be here," whether with our Lord on the Cross or in glory. Lastly, I advise you to take counsel with your director concerning any unusual flow of consolations or emotions, so that he may guide you in their wise usage; for it is written, "Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee." (e)

    a. Rom. xiv. 8, and viii. 35.
    b. This notion seems to have arisen from the habits of the solitary mason bee, which early writers did not distinguish from other bees.
    c. 1. Sam. xxiv.
    d. Ps. cxix. 103.
    e. Prov. xxv. 16.



    TO GO TO NEXT CHAPTER SEE:  XIV. Of Dryness and Spiritual Barrenness





    Over 800 years ago Christians were being captured and sold into slavery by the thousands, and nobody knew what to do about it. Then, in the year 1198, a man had an idea. St. John of Matha founded the Trinitarians to go to the slave markets, buy the Christian slaves and set them free. To carry out this plan, the Trinitarians needed large amounts of money. So, they placed their fund-raising efforts under the patronage of Mary. They were so successful at that, over the centuries, the Trinitarians were able to free thousands and thousands of people and to return them safely home. In gratitude for her miraculous assistance, St. John of Matha honored Mary with the title of "Our Lady of Good Remedy." Devotion to Mary under this ancient title is widely known in Europe and Latin America, and the Church celebrates her feast day on October 8. Our Lady of Good Remedy is often depicted as the Virgin Mary handing a bag of money to St. John of Matha. When in need - for whatever reason, but especially where you have had difficulty obtaining help - invoke the aid of Our Lady of Good Remedy, and you will surely experience the power of her intercession.


    (We ask the Virgin Mary to bring end to all abortion.)

    O QUEEN OF HEAVEN AND EARTH, Most Holy Virgin, we venerate thee. Thou art the beloved Daughter of the Most High God, the chosen Mother of the Incarnate Word, the Immaculate Spouse of the Holy Spirit, the Sacred Vessel of the Most Holy Trinity. O Mother of the Divine Redeemer, who under the title of Our Lady of Good Remedy comes to the aid of all who call upon thee, extend thy maternal protection to us. We depend on thee, Dear Mother, as helpless and needy children depend on a tender and caring mother.

    Hail, Mary....

    O LADY OF GOOD REMEDY, source of unfailing help, grant that we may draw from thy treasury of graces in our time of need.
    Touch the hearts of sinners, that they may seek reconciliation and forgiveness. Bring comfort to the afflicted and the lonely; help the poor and the hopeless; aid the sick and the suffering. May they be healed in body and strengthened in spirit to endure their sufferings with patient resignation and Christian fortitude.

    Hail, Mary....

    DEAR LADY OF GOOD REMEDY, source of unfailing help, thy compassionate heart knows a remedy for every affliction and misery we encounter in life. Help me with thy prayers and intercession to find a remedy for my problems and needs, especially for... (Indicate your special intentions here).
    On my part, O loving Mother, I pledge myself to a more intensely Christian lifestyle, to a more careful observance of the laws of God, to be more conscientious in fulfilling the obligations of my state in life, and to strive to be a source of healing in this broken world of ours.
    Dear Lady of Good Remedy, be ever present to me, and through thy intercession, may I enjoy health of body and peace of mind, and grow stronger in the faith and in the love of thy Son, Jesus.

    Hail, Mary.....

    V. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of Good Remedy,
    R. That we may deepen our dedication to thy Son, and make the world alive with His Spirit.





















    JohnCrossImage.jpg (9797 bytes)


    December 14th

    The father of St. John was discarded by his kindred for marrying a poor orphan, and the Saint, thus born and nurtured in poverty chose it also for his portion. Unable to learn a trade, he became the, servant of the poor in the hospital of Medina, while still pursuing his sacred studies. In 1563, being then twenty-one, he humbly offered himself as a lay-brother to the Carmelite friars, who, however, knowing his talents, had him ordained priest. He would now have exchanged to the severe Carthusian Order, had not St. Teresa, with the instinct of a Saint, persuaded him to remain and help her in the reform of his own Order. Thus he became the first prior of the Barefooted Carmelites. His reform, though approved by the general, was rejected by the elder friars, who condemned the Saint as a fugitive and apostate, and cast him into prison, whence he only escaped, after nine months' suffering, at the risk of his life. Twice again, before his death, he was shamefully persecuted by his brethren, and publicly disgraced. But his complete abandonment by creatures only deepened his interior peace and devout longing for heaven.

    Reflection. "Live in the world," said St. John, "as if God and your soul only were in it; so shall your heart be never made captive by any earthly thing."

    INTERCESSORY PRAYER:  Saint John of the Cross, please pray for [state your prayer request.]

    For more information see the works of St. John of the Cross.







    PETER, while still a youth, left his home at Alcantara in Spain, and entered a convent of Discalced Franciscans. He rose quickly to high posts in the Order, but his thirst for penance was still unappeased, and in 1539, being then forty years old, he founded the first convent of the "Strict Observance." The cells of the friars resembled graves rather than dwelling-places. That of St. Peter himself was four feet and a half in length, so that he could never lie down ; he ate but once in three days; his sackcloth habit and a cloak were his only garments, and he never covered his head or feet. In the bitter winter he would open the door and window of his cell that, by closing them again, he might experience some sensation of warmth. Amongst those whom he trained to perfection was St. Teresa. He read her soul, approved of her spirit of prayer, and strengthened her to carry out her reforms. St. Peter died, with great joy, kneeling in prayer, October 18th, 1562, at the age of sixty-three.

    REFLECTION.-If men do not go about barefoot now, nor under-go sharp penances, as St. Peter did, there are many ways of trampling on the world; and our Lord teaches them when He finds the necessary courage.



    INTERCESSORY PRAYER:  Saint Teresa of Avila said concerning Saint Peter of Alcantara that, "The Lord once told me that no one should ask Him for anything in his name and not be heard."

    Saint Peter of Alcantara, please pray for us today [state your prayer request.]








                                                 THE SECRET OF THE ROSARY











    Our Lady of the Rosary
    Nuestra Señora del Santisimo Rosario by Damián Domingo
    Our Lady of Victory, Lady of the Rosary, Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary
    Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
    Major shrine Our Lady of Victory Basilica,
    Basilica of Notre-Dame-des-Victoires, Paris
    Feast October 7
    Attributes Blessed Virgin Mary, Infant Jesus, crown, rosary
    Patronage Rosary, Roman Catholic Diocese of Malaga, Toledo, Rosario, Santa Fe, Melilla, Trujillo, Cáceres, Colombia, Manizales, Puyo, Pastaza, North Carolina, Bohol, Guatemala, Surigao del Norte, Manila, Quezon City, West Virginia, Seseña, Ontígola, Olías del Rey, Montearagón, Toledo, Lagartera, Huerta de Valdecarábanos, Brenes


    Our Lady of the Rosary

    Our Lady of the Rosary, also known as Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary, is a title of the Blessed Virgin Mary in relation to the Rosary. The Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary is on October 7, the anniversary of the decisive victory of the combined Christian fleet in 1571 at the Battle of Lepanto, defeating an Ottoman fleet off western Greece. It was formerly sometimes known as the Feast of Our Lady of Victory.

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    According to Dominican tradition, in 1214, St. Dominic was in Prouille, France attempting to convert the Albigensians back to the Catholic faith. The young priest had little success until one day he received a vision of the Blessed Virgin, who gave him the Rosary as a tool against heretics.[1] While Mary's giving the rosary to St. Dominic is generally acknowledged as a legend, the development of this prayer form owes much to the followers of St. Dominic, including the 15th century priest and teacher, Alanus de Rupe.[2]

    On December 3, 1836, Fr. Charles Eléonor des Genettes had an interior locution directing him to dedicate the parish of Our Lady of Victory to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.[3]

    On October 13, 1917, Our Lady of Fatima told the shepherd children, "I am the Lady of the Rosary".[4]

    In 1987, during the civil war with the anti-clerical Sandinista government in Nicaragua, sacristan Bernardo Martinez reported seeing an apparition of Our Lady who urged him to pray the rosary and work for peace. One of the appearances was in the parish church of Our Lady of Victories near Cuapa.





    GOD does not abandon to mere chance any of His handiworks; by His providence He is everywhere present; not a hair falls from the head of a sparrow to the ground without His knowledge. Not content, however, with yielding such familiar help in all things, not content with affording that existence which He communicates and perpetuates through every living being, He has charged His angels with the ministry of watching and safeguarding every one of His creatures that behold not His face. Kingdoms have their angels assigned to them, and men have their angels; these latter it is whom religion designates as the Holy Guardian Angels, Our Lord says in the Gospel, "Beware lest ye scandalize any of these little ones, for their angels in heaven see the face of my Father." The existence of Guardian Angels is, hence, a dogma of the Christian faith : this being so, what ought not our respect be for that sure and holy intelligence that is ever present at our side; and how great should our solicitude be, lest, by any act of ours, we offend those eyes which are ever bent upon us in all our ways !

    REFLECTION.-Ah! let us not give occasion, in the language of Holy Scripture, to the angels of peace to weep bitterly.

    INTERCESSORY PRAYER:  Today, thank your guardian angel for his work in which he always strives to keep us close to Jesus.  Ask you guardian angel to guide your steps in the upcoming days, weeks, months and years.




    Spouse of the Blessed Virgin and Patron of the Universal Church.

    ST. JOSEPH was by birth of the royal family of David, but was living in humble obscurity as a carpenter when God raised him to the highest sanctity, and fitted him to be the spouse of His Virgin Mother, and foster-father and guardian of the Incarnate Word. Joseph, says the Holy Scripture, was a just man; he was innocent and pure, as became the husband of Mary; he was gentle and tender, as one worthy to be named the father of Jesus; he was prudent and a lover of silence, as became the master of the holy house; above all, he was faithful and obedient to divine calls. His conversation was with angels rather than with men. When he learned that Mary bore within her womb the Lord of heaven, he feared to take her as his wife; but an angel bade him fear not, and all doubts vanished. When Herod sought the life of the divine Infant, an angel told Joseph in a dream to fly with the Child and His Mother into Egypt. Joseph at once arose and obeyed. This sudden and unexpected flight must have exposed Joseph to many inconveniences and sufferings in so long a journey with a little babe and a tender virgin, the greater part of the way being through deserts and among strangers; yet he alleges no excuses; nor inquires at what time they were to return. St. Chrysostom observes that God treats thus all His servants, sending them frequent trials to clear their hearts from the rust of self-love, but intermixing seasons of consolation. "Joseph," says he, "is anxious on seeing the Virgin with child; an angel removes that fear. He rejoices at the Child's birth, but a great fear succeeds: the furious king seeks to destroy the Child, and the whole city is in an uproar to take away His life. This is followed by another joy, the adoration of the Magi; a new sorrow then arises: he is ordered to fly into a foreign unknown country, without help or acquaintance." It is the opinion of the Fathers that upon their entering Egypt, at the presence of the child Jesus, all the oracles of that superstitious country were struck dumb, and the statues of their gods trembled and in many places fell to the ground. The Fathers also attribute to this holy visit the spiritual benediction poured on that country, which made it for many ages most fruitful in Saints. After the death of King Herod, of which St. Joseph was informed in another vision, God ordered him to return with the Child and His Mother into the land of Israel, which our Saint readily obeyed. But when he arrived in Judea, hearing that Archelaus had succeeded Herod in that part of the country, and apprehensive that he might be infected with his father's vices, he feared on that account to settle there, as he would otherwise probably have done for the education of the Child; and therefore, being directed by God in another vision, he retired into the dominions of Herod Antipas, in Galilee, to his former habitation in Nazareth. St. Joseph, being a strict observer of the Mosaic law, in conformity to its direction annually repaired to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. Our Saviour, now int the twelfth year of His age, accompanied His parents thither. Having performed the usual ceremonies of the feast,they were returning with many of their neighbors and acquaintance towards Galilee; and never doubting but that Jesus was with some of the company, they travelled on for a whole day's journey before they discovered that He was not with them. But when night came on and they could hear no tidings of Him among their kindred and acquaintance, they, in the deepest affliction, returned with the utmost speed to Jerusalem. After an anxious search of three days they found Him in the Temple, discoursing with the learned doctors of the law, and asking them such questions as raised the admiration of all that heard Him, and made them astonished at the ripeness of His understanding; nor were His parents less surprised on this occasion. When His Mother told Him with what grief and earnestness they had sought Him, and asked, "Son, why hast Thou thus dealt with us? Behold Thy Father and I sought Thee in great affliction of mind," she received for answer, "How is it that you sought Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father's business?" But though thus staying in the Temple unknown to His parents, in all other things He was obedient to them, returning with them to Nazareth, and there living in all dutiful subjection to them. As no further mention is made of St. Joseph, he must have died before the marriage of Cana and the beginning of our divine Saviour's ministry. We cannot doubt that he had the happiness of Jesus and Mary attending at his death, praying by him, assisting and comforting him in his last moments; whence he is particularly invoked for the great grace of a happy death and the spiritual presence of Jesus in that hour.

     Reflection.  -St. Joseph, the shadow of the Eternal Father upon earth, the protector of Jesus in His home at Nazareth, and a lover of all children for the sake of the Holy Child, should be the chosen guardian and pattern of every true Christian family.


    Lord, have mercy on us.
    Christ, have mercy on us.

    Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us.
    Christ, graciously hear us.

    God the Father of Heaven,
    Have mercy on us.

    God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
    Have mercy on us.

    God the Holy Spirit,
    Have mercy on us.

    Holy Trinity, One God,
    Have mercy on us.

    Holy Mary, spouse of St. Joseph,
    Pray for us.

    Saint Joseph, confirmed in grace,
    Pray for us.

    Saint Joseph, guardian of the Word Incarnate,
    Pray for us.

    Saint Joseph, favorite of the King of Heaven,
    Pray for us.

    Saint Joseph, ruler of the family of Jesus,
    Pray for us.

    Saint Joseph, spouse of the ever-blessed Virgin,
    Pray for us.

    Saint Joseph, foster father to the Son of God,
    Pray for us.

    Saint Joseph, example of humility and obedience,
    Pray for us.

    Saint Joseph, mirror of silence and resignation,
    Pray for us.

    Saint Joseph, patron of innocence and youth,
    Pray for us.

    Saint Joseph, exited with Christ into Egypt,
    Pray for us.

    Saint Joseph, intercessor for the afflicted,
    Pray for us.

    Saint Joseph, advocate of the humble,
    Pray for us.

    Saint Joseph, model of every virtue,
    Pray for us.

    Saint Joseph, honored among men,
    Pray for us.

    Saint Joseph, in whom is the union of all Christian perfections,
    Pray for us.

    Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
    Spare us, O Lord.

    Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
    Graciously hear us, O Lord.

    Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
    Have mercy on us.

    V. Pray for us, O holy Saint Joseph,
    R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

    Let Us Pray.

    Assist us, O Lord,
    we beseech Thee,
    by the merits of the spouse
    of Thy most holy Mother,
    that what our unworthiness cannot obtain,
    may be given us by his intercession with Thee,
    Who livest and reignest with God the Father
    in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
    one God, world without end.



    O Saint Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in thee all my interests and desires. O thou Saint Joseph, do assist me by thy powerful intercession, and obtain for me from thy divine Son all spiritual blessings, through Jesus Christ, Our Lord; so that, having engaged here below thy heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of fathers. O Saint Joseph, I never weary contemplating thee, and Jesus asleep in thy arms; I dare not approach while He reposes near thy heart. Press Him in my name and kiss His fine head for me, and ask Him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath. Saint Joseph, Patron of departing souls, pray for me.  Amen!













    Evangelization: Religious Minorities in Asia

    That Christians, and other religious minorities in Asian countries, may be able to practise their faith in full freedom.



    Universal: Say “No” to Corruption

    That those who have material, political or spiritual power may resist any lure of corruption.



    Evangelization: Formation in Spiritual Discernment

    That the Church may appreciate the urgency of formation in spiritual discernment, both on the personal and communitarian levels.



    Universal: For Those who have Responsibility in Economic Matters

    That economists may have the courage to reject any economy of exclusion and know how to open new paths.



    Evangelization: The Mission of the Laity

    That the lay faithful may fulfil their specific mission, by responding with creativity to the challenges that face the world today.



    Universal: Social Networks

    That social networks may work towards that inclusiveness which respects others for their differences.



    Evangelization: Priests and their Pastoral Ministry

    That priests, who experience fatigue and loneliness in their pastoral work, may find help and comfort in their intimacy with the Lord and in their friendship with their brother priests.



    Universal: The treasure of Families

    That any far-reaching decisions of economists and politicians may protect the family as one of the treasures of humanity.



    Universal: Young People in Africa

    That young people in Africa may have access to education and work in their own countries.



    Evangelization: The Mission of Religious

    That consecrated religious men and women may bestir themselves, and be present among the

    poor, the marginalized, and those who have no voice.



    Universal: In the Service of Peace

    That the language of love and dialogue may always prevail over the language of conflict.



    Evangelization: In the Service of the Transmission of Faith

    That people, who are involved in the service and transmission of faith, may find, in their

    dialogue with culture, a language suited to the conditions of the present time.


    Vatican, 13 February 2017









    Queen of Heaven and earth,
    most Holy Virgin,
    we venerate thee.
    Thou art the beloved daughter
    of the Most High God,
    the chosen mother of the
    Incarnate Word,
    the immaculate spouse of
    the Holy Spirit,
    the sacred vessel of the
     Most Holy Trinity.
    O Mother of the Divine Redeemer,
    who under the title of
    Our Lady of Good Remedy
    comes to the aid of all
    who call upon thee,
    extend thy maternal protection to us.
    We depend on thee,
    dear Mother,
    as helpless and needy children
    depend on a tender and caring mother.

    Pray the Hail Mary...

    O Lady of Good Remedy,
    source of unfailing help,
    grant that we may draw
    from thy treasury of graces
    in our time of need.
    Touch the hearts of sinners,
    that they may seek
    reconciliation and forgiveness.
    Bring comfort to
    the afflicted and the lonely;
    help the poor and the hopeless;
    aid the sick and the suffering.
    May they be healed in body
    and strengthened in spirit
    to endure their sufferings
    with patient resignation
    and Christian fortitude.

    Pray the Hail Mary...

    Dear Lady of Good Remedy,
    source of unfailing help,
    thy compassionate heart knows a remedy
    for every affliction and misery
    we encounter in life.
    Help me with thy prayers and intercession
    to find a remedy for my problems and needs,
    especially for...

    (Mention your personal intention)

    On my part,
    O loving Mother,
    I pledge myself to a more intensely Christian lifestyle,
    to a more careful observance of the laws of God,
    to be more conscientious
    in fulfilling the obligations of my state in life,
    and to strive to be a source of healing
    in this broken world of ours.

    Dear Lady of Good Remedy,
    be ever present to me,
    and through thy intercession,
    may I enjoy health of body and peace of mind,
    and grow stronger in the faith
    and in the love of thy Son, Jesus.

    Pray the Hail Mary...

    V. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of Good Remedy,
    R. That we may deepen our dedication to thy Son,
    and make the world alive with His Spirit.




    Unfailing Novena To The Virgin Mary Untier of Knots

    Prayer to Mary, Undoer of Knots

    Virgin Mary, Mother of fair love, Mother who never refuses to come to the aid of a child in need, Mother whose hands never cease to serve your beloved children because they are moved by the divine love and immense mercy that exists in your heart, cast your compassionate eyes upon me and see the snarl of knots that exist in my life. You know very well how desperate I am, my pain, and how I am bound by these knots. Mary, Mother to whom God entrusted the undoing of the knots in the lives of his children, I entrust into your hands the ribbon of my life. No one, not even the Evil One himself, can take it away from your precious care. In your hands there is no knot that cannot be undone. Powerful Mother, by your grace and intercessory power with Your Son and My Liberator, Jesus, take into your hands today this knot.

    [Mention your request here]

    I beg you to undo it for the glory of God, once for all. You are my hope. O my Lady, you are the only consolation God gives me, the fortification of my feeble strength, the enrichment of my destitution, and, with Christ, the freedom from my chains. Hear my plea. Keep me, guide me, protect me, o safe refuge!

    Mary, Undoer of Knots, pray for me.







    Pray hard for him.  If you have time now please say one Hail Mary and One Glory Be for him now. Pray that he would do God's will while working as President for our country.  That he would protect the unborn, help the poor and keep peace throughout this world.





    Each standard size cross-mark  represents 50,000 people killed.  The smaller cross-marks represent less than 50,000 deaths.   The war casualties represent all American combat-related deaths.  Statistics from 1982 World Almanac.
    REVOLUTIONARY WAR                    25,324    
    CIVIL WAR                                          496,332    †††††††††
    WORLD WAR I                                   116,708    ††
    WORLD WAR II                                  407,316    ††††††††
    KOREAN WAR                                     54,246  
    VIETNAM WAR                                     58,655        

     WAR ON UNBORN CHILDREN      OVER  59,440,015  
    ...since abortion was legalized in 1973

    †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††






    These promises were given by the Blessed Mother to Saint Dominic and Blessed Alan.

     1. Whoever shall faithfully serve me by the recitation of the rosary, shall receive signal graces.

    2. I promise my special protection and the greatest graces to all those who shall recite the rosary.

    3. The rosary shall be a powerful armour against hell, it will destroy vice, decrease sin, and defeat heresies.

    4. It will cause virtue and good works to flourish; it will obtain for souls the abundant mercy of God; it will withdraw the hearts of men from the love of the world and its vanities, and will lift them to the desire of eternal things. Oh, that souls would sanctify themselves by this means.

    5. The soul which recommends itself to me by the recitation of the rosary, shall not perish.

    6. Whoever shall recite the rosary devoutly, applying himself to the consideration of its sacred mysteries shall never be conquered by misfortune. God will not chastise him in His justice, he shall not perish by an unprovided death; if he be just he shall remain in the grace of God, and become worthy of eternal life.

    7. Whoever shall have a true devotion for the rosary shall not die without the sacraments of the Church.

    8. Those who are faithful to recite the rosary shall have during their life and at their death the light of God and the plentitude of His graces; at the moment of death they shall participate in the merits of the saints in paradise.

    9. I shall deliver from purgatory those who have been devoted to the rosary.

    10. The faithful children of the rosary shall merit a high degree of glory in heaven.

    11. You shall obtain all you ask of me by the recitation of the rosary.

    12. All those who propagate the holy rosary shall be aided by me in their necessities.

    13. I have obtained from my Divine Son that all the advocates of the rosary shall have for intercessors the entire celestial court during their life and at the hour of death.

    14. All who recite the rosary are my sons, and brothers of my only Son Jesus Christ.

    15. Devotion of my rosary is a great sign of predestination.


    THE SECRET OF THE ROSARY(by Saint Louis De Montfort)


    Graces Derived from Going to Mass
    (Note:  Assisting at Mass simply means attending Mass.  By attending a Mass Catholics are actually assisting in Mass.) 

    THE FOLLOWING IS FROM THE PIETA PRAYER BOOKLET, Published in U.S.A. by  MLOR Corporation, 1186 Burlington Drive, Hickory Corners, MI  49060-9330:

    1. The Mass is Calvary continued.

    2. Every Mass is worth as much as the sacrifice of our Lord's life, sufferings and death.

    3. Holy Mass is the most powerful atonement for your sins.

    4. At the hour of death the Masses you have heard will be your greatest consolation.

    5. Every Mass will go with you to judgment and plead for pardon.

    6. At Mass you can diminish more or less temporal punishment due to your sins, according to your fervor.

    7. Assisting devoutly at Holy Mass you render to the sacred humanity of Our Lord the greatest homage.

    8. He supplies for many of your negligences and omissions.

    9. He forgives the venial sins which you have not confessed.  The power of Satan over you is diminished.

    10. You afford the souls in Purgatory the greatest possible relief.

    11. One Mass heard during life will be of more benefit to you than many heard for you after your death.

    12. You are preserved from dangers and misfortunes which otherwise might have befallen you.  You shorten your Purgatory.

    13. Every Mass wins for you a higher degree of glory in Heaven.

    14. You receive the priest's blessing which Our Lord ratifies in Heaven.

    15. You kneel amidst a multitude of holy angels, who are present at the adorable Sacrifice with reverential awe.

    16. You are blessed in your temporal goods and affairs.

    In eternity, we shall fully realize that it was certainly worthwhile to have assisted at Holy Mass daily.  PRAY FOR PRIESTS THAT THEY MAY OFFER THE MASS WITH HOLY LOVE AND REVERENCE.



    "WHY Should I Go To Mass Every Day?"

    "The Mass is the most perfect form of prayer!"

    For each Mass we hear with devotion, Our Lord sends a saint to comfort us at death.  (revelation of Christ to St. Gertrude the great).

    Padre Pio, the stigmatic priest, said, the world could exist more easily without the sun than without the Mass.

    The Cure'd' Ars, St. Jean Vianney said, if we knew the value of the Mass we would die of joy.

    A great doctor of the Church, St. Anselm, declares that a single Mass offered for oneself during life may be worth more than a thousand celebrated for the same intention after death.  St. Leonard of Port Maurice supports this statement by saying that one Mass before death may be more profitable than  many after it.

    "The Holy Mass would be of greater profit if people had it offered in their lifetime, rather than having it celebrated for the relief of their souls after death."  (Pope Benedict XV).

    Once, St. Teresa was overwhelmed with God's Goodness and asked Our Lord, "How can I thank you?"  Our Lord replied, "ATTEND ONE MASS".




     Saint Louis De Montfort stresses that people should give there hearts and wills to Jesus through Mary and that by doing this a soul will be able to soar toward God.  See Saint Louis's book True Devotion To Mary. Saint Louis warns of the devil's great ability to deceive souls, including souls of saints:

    "Because the devils, who are skillful thieves, wish to surprise us unawares, and to strip us.  They watch day and night for the favorable moment.  For that end they go round about us incessantly to devour us and to snatch from us in one moment, all the graces and merits we have gained for many years.   Their malice, their experience, their stratagems and their number ought to make us fear this misfortune immensely, especially when we see how many persons fuller of grace than we are, richer in virtues, better founded in experience and far higher exalted in sanctity, have been surprised, robbed and unhappily pillaged.  Ah!  How many cedars of Lebanon, how many stars of the firmament, have we not seen fall miserably, and in the twinkling of an eye lose all their height and their brightness!  Whence comes that sad and curious change?  It was not for want of grace, which is wanting to no man; but it was for want of humility.  They thought themselves capable of guarding their own treasures.  They trusted in themselves, relied upon themselves.  They thought their house secure enough, and their coffers strong enough, to keep the precious treasure of grace.  It is because of that scarcely perceptible reliance upon themselves, though all the while it seemed to them that they were relying only on the grace of God, that the most just Lord permitted them to be robbed by leaving them to themselves.  Alas!  If they had but known the admirable devotion which I will unfold presently, they would have confided their treasure to a Virgin powerful and faithful, who would have kept it for them as if it had been her own possession; nay, who would have even taken it as an obligation of justice on herself to preserve it for them".



    Holy Mary, my Queen and sovereign Lady, I give you myself, trusting in your fidelity and your protection. I surrender myself entirely to your motherly tenderness, my body, my soul, all that I am, all that I possess,  for the whole of this day, my life,  and especially at the hour of my death. I entrust to you once more all my hopes, all my consolations, all my anxieties, all my troubles, my life, my dying breath, so that by your prayers and merits, I may have, in all I do, one only goal, your good pleasure and the holy will of your Son.  Amen!



    The Chaplet of St. Michael

    One day, Saint Michael the Archangel appeared to Antonia d'Astonac, a most devout Servant of God and told her that he wished to be honoured by nine salutations corresponding to the nine Choirs of Angels, which should consist of one Our Father and three Hail Marys in honour of each of the Angelic Choirs.

    Promises of St. Michael

    "Whoever would practice this devotion in his honour would have, when approaching the Holy Table, an escort of nine angels chosen from each of the nine Choirs. In addition, for the daily recital of these nine salutations, he promised his continual assistance and that all the holy angels during life, and after death deliverance from Purgatory for themselves and all their relations."




    The Chaplet of St. Michael

    O God, come to my assistance. O Lord, make haste to help me. Glory be to the Father, etc.

    [Say one Our Father and three Hail Marys after each of the following nine salutations in honor of the nine Choirs of Angels]



    1. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Seraphim may the Lord make us worthy to burn with the fire of perfect charity.

    2. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Cherubim may the Lord grant us the grace to leave the ways of sin and run in the paths of Christian perfection.

    3. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Thrones may the Lord infuse into our hearts a true and sincere spirit of humility.

    4. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Dominations may the Lord give us grace to govern our senses and overcome any unruly passions.

    5. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Virtues may the Lord preserve us from evil and falling into temptation. Amen.

    6. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Powers may the Lord protect our souls against the snares and temptations of the devil.

    7. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Principalities may God fill our souls with a true spirit of obedience. Amen.

    8. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Archangels may the Lord give us perseverance in faith and in all good works in order that we may attain the glory of Heaven.

    9. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Angels may the Lord grant us to be protected by them in this mortal life and conducted in the life to come to Heaven.

    Say one Our Father in honor of each of the following leading Angels: St. Michael, St. Gabriel, St. Raphael and our Guardian Angel.


    Concluding prayers:

    O glorious prince St. Michael, chief and commander of the heavenly hosts, guardian of souls, vanquisher of rebel spirits, servant in the house of the Divine King and our admirable conductor, you who shine with excellence and superhuman virtue deliver us from all evil, who turn to you with confidence and enable us by your gracious protection to serve God more and more faithfully every day.

    Pray for us, O glorious St. Michael, Prince of the Church of Jesus Christ, that we may be made worthy of His promises.

    Almighty and Everlasting God, Who, by a prodigy of goodness and a merciful desire for the salvation of all men, has appointed the most glorious Archangel St. Michael Prince of Your Church, make us worthy, we ask You, to be delivered from all our enemies, that none of them may harass us at the hour of death, but that we may be conducted by him into Your Presence.This we ask through the merits of Jesus Christ Our Lord.    Amen.




    Welcome to this Catholic Spiritual Direction Web Site.   It is the intention of this site to lead people to a closer relationship with God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit through the promotion of prayer and Christian teaching which will enable Christians to adhere to the straight and narrow path Jesus speaks of in the Gospels. Included in these web pages are the Douay-Rheims Bible and the works of Saint John of the Cross, Thomas a Kempis and Saint Louis de Montfort, Saint Teresa of Avila, and the works of other saints of the Catholic faith, all of whose teachings on spiritual direction have been followed by priests, ministers, clergymen, Popes and Saints. These teachings adhere to the teachings of the Catholic Church. This site is dedicated to Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich (Biography) (1774-1824) Mystic, Stigmatist, Prophet, and Great Visionary, a saintly Augustinian nun from Flamske, Germany. Her highly descriptive visions of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, The Sorrowful Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, are presented here. In time more works from the Saints of the Catholic Church will be added to these pages.



    When difficulties come to us at work or at home it important to pray your way through these difficulties.  At work, it could be trouble with a supervisor or a co-worker, with the result that misery is brought into our lives.  Or at home a wife or a husband, or a child or a relative may be causing you trouble.  It is important to pray your way through these difficulties.  The different forms of prayers listed above, the Rosary, the Chaplet of Saint Michael, the Divine Mercy Chaplet and the Holy Mass, can move God to assist us with the things the bother us the most during our lives.  Try these prayers, they work. 

     And sometimes, it takes the prayers of others to help change the current situations that are going on in our lives.   On the following web page, there are several prayer groups that will pray for yours needs; this a great tool against our daily problems and against the assaults of demons.  Sometimes it takes the prayers of many people to change things.



    From the Autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila , Chapter 31. 1562 A.D.

    "From long experience I have learned that there is nothing like holy water to put devils to flight and prevent them from coming back again. They also flee from the Cross, but return; so holy water must have great virtue. For my own part, whenever I take it, my soul feels a particular and most notable consolation. In fact, it is quite usual for me to be conscious of a refreshment which I cannot possibly describe, resembling an inward joy which comforts my whole soul. This is not fancy, or something which has happened to me only once it has happened again and again and I have observed it most attentively. It is let us say, as if someone very hot and thirsty were to drink from a jug of cold water: he would feel the refreshment throughout his body. I often reflect on the great importance of everything ordained by the Church and it makes me very happy to find that those words of the Church are so powerful that they impart their power to the water and make it so very different from water which has not been blessed."

    The Catholic Church around the world uses Holy Water in every church to make the church a fortress against the demons which assault men and women.  The Holy Water is usually situated near every entrance to the church for people to use to anoint themselves with the Sign of the Cross.  When an individual puts on Holy Water any demons present will flee.  Catholics should put Holy Water in containers and place them in their homes and their offices; by doing so they make their homes and offices fortresses against the demons which are always lurking about.  Catholics should also consider carrying the Holy Water in small containers in their pockets to ward off demonic attacks during each day.



    "because they include a movement of reverence for God and Divine things; and in this way a bishop's blessing, the sprinkling of holy water, any sacramental anointing, a prayer said in a dedicated church, and anything else of the kind, conduce to the remission of venial sins."  Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica









    Saint John XXIII, you spent your life deeply immersed in the truths of the Catholic Faith.  You led us by your great example of sacrifice and love as you successively led millions to love Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Holy Church. 

    We now ask for your intercession for those who are troubled and in need:

      Saint John XXIII, please pray for the Holy Catholic Church and for the following prayer request:
    [state your prayer request.]



    SEE:  EWTN  Biography on Pope John Paul II


    O Blessed Trinity, we thank you
    for having graced the Church with
    Saint John Paul II and for allowing
    the tenderness of your fatherly care,
    the glory of the Cross of Christ
    and the splendor of the Spirit of love
    to shine through him.

    Trusting fully in your infinite mercy
    and in the maternal intercession of Mary,
    he has given us a living image of
    Jesus the Good Shepherd.
    He has shown us that holiness
    is the necessary measure of ordinary
    Christian life and is the way of
    achieving eternal communion with you.
    Grant us, by his intercession,


    and according to your will,
    the graces we implore,
    through Christ our Lord. Amen.


    Prayer of Saint Catherine of Siena
    for Physical and Spiritual Healing

    PRECIOUS BLOOD, ocean of divine mercy:
    Flow upon us!
    Precious Blood, most pure offering:
    Procure us every grace!
    Precious Blood, hope and refuge of sinners:
    Atone for us!
    Precious Blood, delight of holy souls:
    Draw us! Amen.


    Are you sick or do you know someone who is ill.  Say the  prayer above for them everyday.  Also, there is greater power of prayer when many people are praying for the sick.  Ask many fellow Catholics to join in prayer with you for the sick.  You can send prayer requests to Catholic Groups that will join you in prayer at: