"Holy Communion is the shortest and
safest way to Heaven." --Saint Pope Pius
ON THIS PAGE:
SAINT OF THE DAY
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
Blessings of the Rosary
Blessings of Daily Mass
Chaplet of Saint Michael
Purpose of this Web Site
Overcoming difficulties at Work/Home
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
[IMAGE ABOVE IS FROM A SCENE OF THE MOVIE: "THE
PASSION OF THE CHRIST."]
OBJECTIVES FOR LENT
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.
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
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
FASTING AND ABSTINENCE:
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
5) Watch the movie, "THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST," by Act
PRAYERS AND MEDITATIONS FOR LENT
The Magnificent Prayers of Saint Bridget on the
Passion of Christ.
The 14 Stations of the Cross by Saint Francis of Assisi.
The Prayers and Meditations of the Seven Sorrows of the
Blessed Virgin Mary.
The Dolorous (sorrowful) Passion of Our Lord Jesus
Christ from the visions of Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich.
Mel Gibson's movie "The Passion of the
MASS READINGS FOR TODAY
Saturday of the First week of
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
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."
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
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
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
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 FOR TODAY|
SAINT Pretextatus, or
Prix, Archbishop of Rouen, Martyr
[Butler's Lives of the
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.
PRAY THAT ABORTION BE OUTLAWED THROUGHOUT THE WORLD.
PLEASE MENTTION YOUR REQUEST [SAY YOUR PRAYER
Saint Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, Martyr
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
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.
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.
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
INTERCESSORY PRAYER; Saint Polycarp,
please pray for us today [say your prayer request.]
SAINT PETER DAMIAN.
DOCTOR OF THE
[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.
INTERCESSORY PRAYER: SAINT PETER DAMIAN, PLEASE PRAY FOR
US [STATE YOUR PRAYER.]
ALSO SEE FROM BUTLER'S LIVES OF THE
Saint Peter Damian
Peter was born in
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
canon law, first at Ravenna, then at
and finally at the University of
that, around the age of 25, he was already a famous teacher at
About 1035, however, he gave up his secular calling and, avoiding the
compromised luxury of
monasteries, entered the isolated
Fonte Avellana, near
novice and as monk, his fervor was remarkable but led him to such
extremes of self-mortification in
that his health was affected, and he developed severe insomnia.
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
for the monks of
Pietrapertosa. Soon after his return to Fonte Avellana he was
appointed economus (manager or housekeeper) of the house by the
who designated him as his successor. In 1043 he became prior of Fonte
Avellana, and remained so until his death in February 1072.
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
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.
Another innovation was that of the daily
to make up for the fatigue of the night office. During his tenure of the
cloister was built, silver
chalices and a silver
processional cross were purchased, and many books were added to the
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
Città di Castello and of
Extending the area of his activities, he entered into communication
Emperor Henry III. He was present in Rome when
Clement II crowned Henry III and his consort
Agnes, and he also attended a
held at the
in the first days of 1047, in which decrees were passed against
After this he returned to his hermitage. About 1050, during the
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
Peter often condemned
philosophy. He claimed that the first grammarian was the
Adam to decline deus in the plural. He argued that monks
should not have to study philosophy, because
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.
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
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
Peter also recognized that God can act outside time, as
Gregory of Rimini later argued.
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
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
but was finally forced to accept, and was consecrated
Cardinal Bishop of Ostia on 30 November 1057.
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
Benedict X, but force was on the side of the intruder and Damian
retired temporarily to Fonte Avallana.
About the end of the year 1059 Peter was sent as
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
In 1063 the pope held a synod at Rome, at which Peter Damian was
appointed legate to settle the dispute between the
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.
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
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
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
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.
Early in 1072 or 1073
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
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
During his concluding years he was not altogether in accord with the
political ideas of Hildebrand. He died the year before Hildebrand became
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).
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.
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
papal Bull, to signify his many legations.
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)
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
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
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.)
"St Peter Damian", The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 11. New
York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911; accessed 31 January 2015.
"St. Peter Damiani", CatholicNewsAgency.com; accessed 20 December
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,
americancatholic.org; accessed 20 December 2017.
The Growth of Mysticism, (1994), p. 125
Saints Francisco and Jacinta Marto
Francisco and Jacinta Marto
Photograph of Francisco and Jacinta
||11 June 1908 (Francisco)
11 March 1910 (Jacinta)
||4 April 1919 (aged 10)
20 February 1920 (aged 9)
Roman Catholic Church
||13 May 2000,
Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary,
Fátima, Portugal by
Pope John Paul II
||13 May 2017, Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary, Fátima,
||Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary,
- Bodily ills
- Portuguese children
- People ridiculed for their piety
- 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
Sanctuary of Fátima became a major centre of world
Christian pilgrimage. The two were solemnly
Pope Francis at the
Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima, in
Portugal on 13 May 2017, the first centennial of the first
Our Lady of Fátima.
The youngest children of Manuel and Olimpia Marto, Francisco and
Jacinta were typical of Portuguese village children of that time. They
but had a rich
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.
The Congregation for the Causes of Saints, in the report that confirmed
beatified, observed that she seemed to have "an insatiable hunger
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.
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.
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.
She also asked them to return to that spot on the thirteenth of each
month for the next six months.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Jacinta and Francisco are both buried at the
Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fátima.
Beatification and canonization
The cause for the siblings' canonization began in 1946.
Exhumed in 1935, Jacinta's face was found
Francisco's had decomposed. By 1951, when she was again exhumed for her
reburial in the Basilica, Jacinta had begun to decompose also.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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!")
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
The pope solemnly canonized the children on 13 May 2017 during the
centennial of the first apparition.
They are the Catholic Church's youngest saints who did not die as
martyrs, with Jacinta the youngest.
McNally, Terrence J. (2009).
What Every Catholic Should Know About Mary.
Retrieved 15 May 2017.
Melton, J. Gordon
"Fatima (Portugal)". The Encyclopedia of Religious Phenomena.
Visible Ink Press. pp. 107–109.
Retrieved 15 May 2017.
Sister Lúcia: Fatima in Lucia's Own Words,
Memoir 2, p. 94, online, accessed 21 June
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".
"BLESSED FRANCISCO AND JACINTA MARTO :: Catholic News
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
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
Madigan, Leo. 2003, The Children of Fatima, OSV Press
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."
Jacinta's exhumation photo at
Catholic Counter-Reformation, Page found 13 May 2010.
Archived 29 October 2007 at the
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
Francisco and Jacinta Marto,
pray for us today [say your prayer request.]
SAINTS Tyrannio, Bishop of Tyre, Zenobius, and
Other Martyrs in Phœnicia
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
SAINTS Tyrannio, Bishop of Tyre, Zenobius,
and Other Martyrs in Phœnicia, pray for us today [say your prayer
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
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
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.
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|
NEEDFUL COUNSELS CONCERNING SOME ORDINARY TEMPTATIONS.
Anxiety of Mind.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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:
Of Dryness and Spiritual Barrenness
PRAYER TO OUR LADY OF GOOD REMEDY FOR ABORTION TO BE OUTLAWED WORLD-WIDE
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.
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.
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).
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.
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 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
MORE ON ABORTION:
JOHN OF THE CROSS.
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."
PRAYER: Saint John of the Cross, please pray for [state your
information see the works of
St. John of
ST. PETER OF ALCANTARA.
FEAST DAY: OCTOBER 19TH
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.
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.
MORE ON SAINT PETER FROM BUTLER'S LIVES OF THE SAINTS
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.]
LADY OF THE ROSARY
FEAST DAY: OCTOBER 7TH
HAIL MARY, FULL OF GRACE,
IS WITH THEE,
BLESSED ART THOU AMONGST WOMEN,
AND BLESSED IS
THE FRUIT OF THY WOMB JESUS,
HOLY MARY, MOTHER OF GOD,
FOR US SINNERS
NOW AND AT THE HOUR OF OUR DEATH.
SEE SAINT LOUIS DE MONTFORT'S BOOK ON
THE SECRET OF THE ROSARY
THE VIRGIN MARY POURS OUT SPECIAL
GRACES FOR THOSE PEOPLE WHO SAY THE ROSARY!
SAINT PADRE PIO
PRAYED HIS ROSARY THROUGHOUT THE DAY AND WOULD SAY AT LEAST 15
DECADES OF THE ROSARY EACH DAY. THE MESSAGE HE WANTED TO LEAVE THE WORLD WITH BEFORE
HE DIED WAS FOR PEOPLE TO PRAY THE ROSARY.
Our Lady of the Rosary
Lady of Victory, Lady of the Rosary, Our Lady of the Most Holy
Our Lady of
Diocese of Malaga,
Rosario, Santa Fe,
Surigao del Norte,
Olías del Rey,
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
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
Dominican tradition, in 1214,
France attempting to convert the
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
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.
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.
On October 13,
Our Lady of Fatima
told the shepherd children, "I am the Lady of the Rosary".
during the civil war with the anti-clerical
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
THE HOLY GUARDIAN ANGELS.
FEAST DAY: OCTOBER 2ND
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
"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
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
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.
[MENTION YOUR PRAYER REQUEST]
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.
PRAYER TO SAINT JOSEPH
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!
BLESSED ANNE CATHERINE
FLIGHT INTO EGYPT
POPE FRANCIS PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR 2018|
THE POPE’S PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR
ENTRUSTED TO THE POPE’S WORLDWIDE
PRAYER NETWORK (APOSTLESHIP OF PRAYER)
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
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
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
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,
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,
(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 FOR DONALD TRUMP
SO THAT HE DOES GOD'S WILL IN THE WHITE HOUSE
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
AMERICA'S GREATEST SIN IS
AMERICAN WAR CASUALTIES
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.|
WORLD WAR I
WORLD WAR II
abortion was legalized in 1973
PRAY THAT ABORTION WOULD BE OUTLAWED THROUGHOUT THE WORLD
THE POWER AND THE BLESSINGS THAT COME FROM PRAYING THE ROSARY
THE FIFTEEN PROMISES OF MARY TO CHRISTIANS WHO RECITE THE ROSARY
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".
TRUE DEVOTION TO THE VIRGIN MARY, SAINT LOUIS de MONTFORT
THE VIRGIN MARY
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]
[STATE YOUR PRAYER REQUEST]
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.
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.
PURPOSE OF THIS WEB SITE
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.
|OVERCOMING DIFFICULTIES AT WORK OR AT HOME:|
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.
SAINT TERESA RECOMMENDS HOLY WATERFrom 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.
GRACE POURED OUT FROM HOLY WATER
"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
ORDER HOLY WATER BOTTLES: http://totallycatholic.com/subcat.php?cid=61&id=190
ALSO SEE: http://www.discountcatholicproducts.com/cath
SAINT JOHN XXIII
POPE JOHN XXIII SUMMARY ON WIKIPEDIA
PRAYER OF INTERCESSION TO
SAINT JOHN XXIII.
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.]
SAINT JOHN PAUL II
SEE: EWTN Biography on Pope John Paul II
PRAYER FOR THE INTERCESSION
OF SAINT 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,
[MENTION PRAYER REQUEST]
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: http://www.jesus-passion.com/catholic_groups_that_will_pray_for_you.htm