Sunday, May 29, 2016

Feast of Corpus Christi

The feast of the Corpus Christi celebrates the Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist. During the last 700 years, the Feast of the Corpus Christi has been celebrated throughout the world. The feast brings about great joy and celebrations. It was originally observed on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday. However, in 1970, it was changed to the following Sunday for the United States and most of the world.

History 
Imagine at the age of sixteen seeing a vision above you of a silver moon with a small section altered. After seeing the vision, it faded. This actually happened to a young teenager, Juliana, in the 12th century. She was from Beligian. Juliana tried to make the image stop coming back, but it wouldn’t.

Juliana decided to join the convent at Mont Cornillion. She had a deep devotion to the Blessed Sacrament; however, she never thought the images were related to it.  Then one day Juliana finally was told the meaning of the image. While deep in prayer, the Lord explained that the moon was the ritual year of the Church, and the altered area meant something was incomplete. The missing part was that there wasn’t a feast to celebrate the Blessed Sacrament.

God continued His explanation to Juliana by giving her three reasons why He wanted a feast day. The first reason was to strengthen the Catholic belief of the Eucharist. Secondly, it would encourage people to be virtuous and draw strength from the Sacrament. Lastly, it would be a compensation for abuse and sacrilegious acts against the Eucharist.
God informed Juliana that he wanted her to create this feast day. She immediately felt scared and overwhelmed. She pleaded with God not to give her this task, but He chooses her. For years, Juliana put off doing anything about it. Twenty years went by and she became the Superior of her order. Juliana constantly had the urge to speak about the feast, and finally did. She told Robert de Thorte, he was the Bishop of Liege. Thankfully, he believed her and discussed it with Jacques Pantaleon who served as Archdeacon in Liege. He later became Pope Urban IV. They liked the idea of the feast, and it was celebrated in 1246.

Juliana died in 1258, and the solemnity hadn’t reached the entire world. Later on, Juliana was named a saint. There was some controversy in the Church about the feast. Some people felt that the sacrifice daily was enough to celebrate the Blessed Sacrament. However, God wanted a feast day. A miracle occurred in 1263 at a town called Bolsena.
During his journey Rome, Father Peter of Prague, stopped in at Bolsena to serve Mass. He was a Godly man, but he never truly understood that Christ was present in the Blessed Sacrament. Blood began to seep from the Host as he was speaking the words of the Consecration over the tomb of St. Christina. The blood went down his arms and on the altar.
He was very confused, and he requested to leave Mass to see Pope Urban IV who was in a town close by called Orvieto. The Pope listened and did research about the situation. The Pope considered this a great miracle and created a papal bull starting the Feast of the Corpus Christi on September 8, 1264.

The Historical Origin of the Feast of
CORPUS CHRISTI

This Feast of the Sacred Body of Our Divine Lord is celebrated in the Latin Church on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday to solemnly commemorate the Institution of the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist. This great event is also commemorated on Maundy Thursday, mentioned as Natalia Calicis (Birth of the Chalice) in the Calendar of Polemius (448) for the 24th of March, the 25th of March being recognized in some places as the day of the Death of Christ. This day, however, occurs in Holy Week, a season of sadness, during which the minds of the faithful are expected to be occupied with thoughts of Our Lord's Passion. Moreover, so many other mysteries relative to the Passion are commemorated on this day that the principal event, the Institution of the Holy Eucharist, is deserving of a particular festival. This is mentioned as the chief reason for introducing the feast of Corpus Christi in the Papal Bull Transiturus.

The instrument in the hand of Divine Providence was St. Juliana of Mont Cornillon, in Belgium. She was born in 1203 at
Retinnes near Liège. Orphaned at an early age, she was educated by the Augustinian nuns of Mont Cornillon. In time she made her religious profession and later became Superior. Intrigues and persecutions of various kinds drove her from her own convent several times. She died on the fifth of April, 1258, at the House of the Cistercian nuns at Fosses, and was buried at Villiers.

From her early youth, Sr. Juliana had a great veneration for the Blessed Sacrament, and always longed for a special feast in Its honor. This holy desire was given further impetus by an authentic vision which she was shown of the Church, whose liturgical cycle appeared as an almost-full moon, yet having one dark void, signifying the absence of such a solemnity. She humbly submitted this revelation to Msgr. Robert de Thorete, then Bishop of Liège; to the learned Dominican Hugh, later Cardinal Legate in the Netherlands; and finally to Jacques Pantaléon, at that time Archdeacon of Liège, who afterwards was successively made the Bishop of Verdun, Patriarch of Jerusalem (after the First Crusade), and finally elected to the Papacy as Urban IV. Bishop Robert was favorably inclined to promote a greater devotion to our Eucharistic King. Since bishops had the right of ordering feasts for their respective jurisdictions, he called a synod in 1246, and ordered the celebration to be held in the following year; also, that a monk whose name was John should write the special Office for the occasion. The episcopal decree is still preserved in Binterim (Denkwürdigkeiten, V, 1, 276), together with parts of the Office. The pious Bishop did not live to see the fulfillment of his command, for he died on October 16, 1246. Nevertheless, the feast was celebrated for the first time by the obedient canons of the Cathedral of St. Martin at Liège.

Meanwhile, the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Jacques Pantaléon, was elected Pope on August 29, 1261. There was at that time in Liège a devout recluse in whom St. Juliana had inspired a fervent devotion of the Holy Eucharist, who spent her time in adoration of Our Divine Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. She besought the Bishop of Liège, Heinrich of Guelders, to request the Sovereign Pontiff to extend this beautiful celebration to the entire Catholic world. Pope Urban IV, who had long cherished a fervent devotion for the feast of Corpus Christi, granted the petition on September 8, 1264, by publishing the Bull Transiturus. Having extolled the love of Our Savior manifested in the Holy Eucharist, he ordered the annual celebration of Corpus Christi on the Thursday following Trinity Sunday, and at the same time granted many Indulgences to the faithful for the attendance at Mass and at the Office. This Office, composed at the request of the Pope by the Angelic Doctor St. Thomas Aquinas, is one of the most beautiful in the Roman Breviary, and has been admired not only for its wonderful devotion, but also for its literary excellence.

The death of Pope Urban IV on October 2, 1264, shortly after the publication of the decree, somewhat impeded the spread of the new feast. But Pope Clement V again took the matter in hand, and at the General Council of Vienne (1311), took
measures to implement the feast of Corpus Christi. His new decree embodied that of Pope Urban IV, and his successor, Pope John XXII (of Sabbatine Privilege fame) also urged its observance. The Procession of the Blessed Sacrament, which was already held in some places, was endowed with rich indulgences by Popes Martin V and Eugene IV. The pious Bishops of the German Empire were the first to accomplish a uniform observance of the new feast (instituted at Köln in 1306, at Worms in 1315, and in Strasbourg in 1316). In England it was introduced from the continent between 1320 and 1325.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

How Saint Philip Neri Anticipated Pope Francis by 500 Years

Bringing the Church "outside" both figuratively and literally, the Apostle of Rome and his Oratorians seem perfectly suited to today's Franciscan task
For most Catholics, the narrative about Saint Philip Neri is a bit vague; he seems less well-known than the other vibrant
reformer saints of the sixteenth century. “Philip Neri?” People will say, “Oh, yeah, he was the cheerful saint, loved to laugh,” and usually that’s all they know.
It’s true that Philip was cheerful. Saint Teresa of Avila — born, like Philip, in 1515 — would have loved him because he was certainly not one of those “sad-faced saints” she dreaded. Rather, Philip Neri was that rare creature, “a man in full,” with all the paradoxes contained therein. He was a scholar; he was a prankster. He was a serious confessor but not “tightly wound.” He once walked into a party held in his honor with half of his beard shaved off, because he didn’t want to be seen as too special. He didn’t fall into the trap of believing his own hype. Read his maxims and sayings, (or watch this splendid film about him) and you understand that Philip Neri was a serious Christian, a serious reformer, a serious (Avila-level) mystic.

If he was all that, and humorous besides, why doesn’t he loom larger in our Catholic culture, right up there with Teresa, and Charles Borromeo, Francis Xavier and his good friend Ignatius of Loyola?

Well, possibly because of his humor. Just as humorous films are rarely honored with awards because “serious” artists find them frivolous, it’s possible that Philip Neri’s fun reputation makes him a “lightweight” in the minds of some. Not, however, in the highly serious mind of Bl. John Henry Newman, the first English-speaking Oratorian, who wrote prayers and litanies to Philip, nor in the minds of the US Special Forces who take him for their patron, explaining, “Philip Neri embodied the traits of the ideal Special Forces Soldier, Selfless, Superb Teacher, and Inspirational Leader.”

All true. At a time when many churchmen were dissolute or finding privilege in their priesthood, he was ministering to the sick and to people living in the filthy streets of Rome. He was also doing something else: he was urging them to come into the parish churches, not just to participate at Mass, or receive the sacraments, but to attend discussions and debates and musical concerts and to watch plays, or be read to from fine writers. And then, in good weather (or sometimes in the drizzle) he would invite the people in church and the people in the streets to take long walks with him, during which there would be talking and joking and singing, and church-visits, and Holy Mass or devotions, and then a meal shared, al fresco, under the trees, with everyone contributing what they had, like the first church pot-luck picnic. The Seven Churches of Rome Pilgrimage? Yeah, that was Philips doing. So was the Forty Hours Devotion. He was a Catholic Innovator.

Like Pope Francis, Philip Neri was accessible, pastoral, human, humane, humble, self-possessed, compassionate, firm; dead
serious when seriousness was required, but easygoing when it was not. But it is within the creation of his Oratory that he seems to have fully anticipated Francis by 500 years.

While long-admiring Philip I didn’t “get” Oratory — or what Francis meant when he talked about the Church “going outside” — until I participated in a discussion panel at the Oratory Church of Saint Boniface, in Brooklyn. There I found a Novus Ordo Mass prayed reverently and beautifully and I finally saw what it is that Philip created in the Oratory.

After Mass, while people partook of a plentiful “pot luck” breakfast, the Presence was reverently (and discreetly) reposed elsewhere and the Oratory became that place of talk and gathering and mind-meeting that Philip intended, and what Francis calls us to, today: a parish church that steps outside and brings people in, meeting for the simple sake of community and Christ, making everyone feel like they really do have a place in the church and in the pew, and then leaving room for the Holy Spirit to work things to God’s purposes, an idea in which Philip endorsed completely, saying “All of God’s purposes are to the good; although we may not always understand this we can trust in it.”

Within the Oratory, everyone is welcome; discussion is open and respectful and ever with a mind toward better knowing Christ. It is evangelism that speaks its mind and allows another mind to speak back, and — as Rumer Godden would say — “mind on mind kindles warmth.” When you step outside, you want to bring that warmth, that sense of brotherhood and charity, out into the streets with you.

Perhaps that’s why in England they are talking about “the unstoppable rise of the Oratorians” in the midst of this cold, polarized world.

A cheerful saint? Yes. A leader strong enough to inspire the manly men of the Special Forces Association? Check. A saint the whole Church could stand to know better, especially during this pontificate? Oh, indeed.

And when Father Roger Landry longs to call Philip the official “Patron of the New Evangelization”, we concur.
He is the patron of Aleteia’s English edition.
by: Elizabeth Scalia -
Editor-in-Chief of the English Edition of Aleteia
Elizabeth Scalia is Editor-in-Chief of the English Edition of Aleteia - See more at: http://aleteia.org/2016/05/26/how-saint-philip-neri-anticipated-pope-francis-by-500-years/#sthash.kAo7Xhew.dpuf
Elizabeth Scalia is Editor-in-Chief of the English Edition of Aleteia - See more at: http://aleteia.org/2016/05/26/how-saint-philip-neri-anticipated-pope-francis-by-500-years/#sthash.kAo7Xhew.dpuf
Elizabeth Scalia is Editor-in-Chief of the English Edition of Aleteia - See more at: http://aleteia.org/2016/05/26/how-saint-philip-neri-anticipated-pope-francis-by-500-years/#sthash.kAo7Xhew.dpuf
Elizabeth Scalia is Editor-in-Chief of the English Edition of Aleteia - See more at: http://aleteia.org/2016/05/26/how-saint-philip-neri-anticipated-pope-francis-by-500-years/#sthash.kAo7Xhew.dpuf
aswitzer

Elizabeth Scalia

Elizabeth Scalia is Editor-in-Chief of the English Edition of Aleteia
- See more at: http://aleteia.org/2016/05/26/how-saint-philip-neri-anticipated-pope-francis-by-500-years/#sthash.kAo7Xhew.dpuf
Elizabeth Scalia is Editor-in-Chief of the English Edition of Aleteia - See more at: http://aleteia.org/2016/05/26/how-saint-philip-neri-anticipated-pope-francis-by-500-years/#sthash.kAo7Xhew.dpuf
Saint Philip Neri, pray for us!
aswitzer

Elizabeth Scalia

Elizabeth Scalia is Editor-in-Chief of the English Edition of Aleteia
Saint Philip Neri, pray for us!

by: Elizabeth Scalia
Elizabeth Scalia is Editor-in-Chief of the English Edition of Aleteia

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Feast of the Most Holy Trinity




On the day of Pentecost the Holy Apostles received, as we have seen, the grace of the Holy Ghost. In accordance with the injunction of their Divine Master, they will soon start on their mission of teaching all nations, and baptizing them in the Name of the Holy Trinity. It was but right, then, that the solemnity which is intended to honor the mystery of One God in Three Divine Persons should immediately follow that of Pentecost, with which it has a mysterious connection. And yet, it was not until after many centuries that it was inserted in the cycle of the Liturgical Year, whose completion is the work of successive ages.

Every homage paid to God by the Church’s Liturgy has the Holy Trinity as its object. Time, as well as eternity, belongs to the Trinity. The Trinity is the scope of all religion. Every day, every hour, belongs to It. The feasts instituted in memory of the mysteries of our Redemption center in It. The feasts of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Saints are but so many means for leading us to the praise of God, Who is One in essence, and Three in Persons. The Preface for most Sunday Masses, in a very special way, gives us, each week, a most explicit expression of adoration and worship of this mystery, which is the foundation of all others, and the source of all grace.

This explains to us how it is that the Church was so long in instituting a special feast in honor of the Holy Trinity. The ordinary motive for the institution of feasts did not exist in this instance. A feast is the memorial of some fact which took place at a certain time, and of which it is well to perpetuate the memory and influence. How could this be applied to the mystery of the Trinity? From all eternity, before any created thing existed, God lives and reigns, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. If a feast in honor of that mystery were to be instituted, it could only be by fixing some one day in the year, whereon the faithful would assemble for offering a more than usually solemn tribute of worship to the mystery of Unity and Trinity in the one same Divine Nature.

The idea of such a feast was first conceived by some of those pious and recollected souls, who are favored from on high with a sort of presentiment of the things which the Holy Ghost will achieve, at a future period, in the Church. So far back as the eighth century, the learned monk Alcuin had the happy thought of composing a Mass in honor of the mystery of the Blessed Trinity. It would seem that he was prompted to this by the apostle of Northern Germany, Saint Boniface. That this composition is a beautiful one, no one will doubt who knows, from Alcuin’s writings, how full its author was of the spirit of the sacred liturgy; but, after all, it was only a votive Mass, a mere help to private devotion, which no one ever thought would lead to the institution of a feast. This Mass, however, became a great favorite, and was gradually circulated through the several Churches; for instance, it was approved of for Germany by the Council of Seligenstadt, held in 1022.

In the previous century, however, a feast properly so-called of the Holy Trinity had been introduced into one of the Churches of Belgium—the very same that was to have the honor, later on, of procuring to the Church’s calendar, one of the richest of its solemnities. Stephen, Bishop of Liege, solemnly instituted the Feast of the Holy Trinity for his Church, in 920, and had an entire Office composed in honor of the mystery. Riquier, Stephen’s successor in the See of Liege, kept up what his predecessor had begun.

The feast was gradually adopted. The Benedictine Order took it up from the very first. We find, for instance, in the early part of the 11th century, that Berno, the Abbot of Reichenau, was doing all he could to propagate it. At Cluny, also, the feast was established at the commencement of the same century, as we learn from the Ordinarium of that celebrated monastery, drawn up in 1091, in which we find mention of Holy Trinity Day as having been instituted long before.


In England it was the glorious Martyr, St. Thomas a Becket, who established the Feast of the Holy Trinity. He introduced it into his archdiocese of Canterbury in the year 1162, in memory of his having been consecrated Bishop on the First Sunday after Pentecost. Some Churches celebrated this feast, not on the First, but on the Last Sunday after Pentecost; some on both the First and Last Sundays.

It was evident, from all this, that the Apostolic See would finally give its sanction to a practice, whose universal adoption was being prompted by Christian instinct. Pope John XXII, who sat in the Chair of St. Peter as early as the year 1334, completed the work by a decree, wherein the Church of Rome accepted the Feast of the Holy Trinity, and extended its observance to all Churches.

As to the motive which induced the Church, led as She is in all things by the Holy Ghost, to fix one special day in the year for the offering of a solemn homage to the Blessed Trinity, whereas all our adorations, all our acts of thanksgiving, all our petitions, are ever being presented to It: such motive is to be found in the change which was being introduced, at that period, into the liturgical calendar. Up to about the year 1000, the Feasts of the Saints, marked on the general calendar and universally kept, were very few. From that time, they began to be more numerous; and it was evident that their number would go on increasing. The time would come, when the Sunday’s Office, which is specially consecrated to the Blessed Trinity, must make way for that of the Saints, as often as one of their Feasts occurred on a Sunday. As a sort of compensation for this celebration of the memory of God’s servants on the very day which was sacred to the Holy Trinity, it was considered right that once, at least, in the course of the year, a Sunday should be set apart for the exclusive and direct expression of the worship which the Church pays to our great God, Who has vouchsafed to reveal Himself to mankind in His ineffable Unity and in His eternal Trinity.

It was God’s good pleasure to make known to us His essence, in order to bring us into closer union with Himself, and to prepare us, in some way, for that Face-to-face vision of Himself which He intends to give us in eternity. But His revelation is gradual: He takes mankind from brightness unto brightness, fitting it for the full knowledge and adoration of Unity in Trinity and Trinity in Unity. During the period preceding the Incarnation of the Eternal Word, God seemed intent on inculcating the idea of His Unity, for polytheism was the infectious error of mankind; and every notion of there being a spiritual and sole cause of all things would have been effaced from the earth, had not the infinite goodness of God watched over its preservation.

Not that the Old Testament Books were altogether silent on the Three Divine Persons, Whose ineffable relations are eternal; only, the mysterious passages, which spoke of them, were not understood by the people at large; whereas, in the Christian Church, a child of seven will answer those who ask him, that in God, the Three Divine Persons have but one and the same Nature, but one and the same Divinity. When the Book of Genesis tells us that God spoke in the plural, and said: "Let Us make man to Our image and likeness" (Gen. 1: 26), the Jew bows down and believes, but he understands not the sacred text; the Christian, on the contrary, who has been enlightened by the complete revelation of God, sees under this expression, the Three Persons acting together in the formation of man. The light of Faith develops the great truth to him, and tells him that, within himself, there is a likeness to the Blessed Three in One. Power, understanding, and will, are three faculties within him, and yet he himself is but one being.

In the Books of Wisdom, Solomon speaks, in sublime language, of Him Who is Eternal Wisdom; he tells us— and he uses every variety of grand expression to tell us—of the Divine Essence of this Wisdom, and of His being a distinct Person in the Godhead; but how few among the people of Israel could see through the veil! Isaias heard the voice of the Seraphim, as they stood around God’s throne; he heard them singing in alternate choirs, and with a joy intense because eternal, this hymn: "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord!" (Is. 6: 3) But who will explain to men this triple Sanctus, of which the echo is heard here below, when we mortals give praise to our Creator? So again, in the Psalms, and the prophetic Books, a flash of light will break suddenly upon us; a brightness of some mysterious Three will dazzle us; but it passes away, and obscurity returns seemingly all the more palpable; we have but the sentiment of the Divine Unity deeply impressed on our inmost soul, and we adore the Incomprehensible, the Sovereign Being.

The world had to wait for the fullness of time to be completed; and then, God would send into this world His only Son, begotten of Him from all eternity. This His most merciful purpose has been carried out, and the Word made Flesh hath dwelt among us (John 1: 14). By seeing His glory, the glory of the only-begotten Son of the Father, we have come to know that, in God, there is Father and Son. The Son, Who had been sent by the Father, ascended into Heaven, with the human Nature which He had united to Himself for all future eternity; and lo, the Father and the Son send into this world the Spirit Who proceeds from Them both. It was a new Gift, and it taught man that the Lord God was in Three Persons. The mystery of the Trinity has become to us, not only a dogma made known to our mind by revelation, but, moreover, a practical truth given to us by the unheard-of munificence of the Three Divine Persons: the Father, Who adopted us; the Son, Whose brethren and joint-heirs we are; and the Holy Ghost, Who governs us, and dwells within us.

Let us, then, begin this day, by giving glory to the one God in three Persons. For this end, Holy Mother Church in Her Office of Prime recites on this solemnity the magnificent Athanasian Creed. It gives us, in a summary of much majesty and precision, the doctrine of the Holy Doctor, St. Athanasius, regarding the mysteries of the Trinity and the Incarnation.

We give here an excerpt:
Whosoever would be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic Faith.
Which Faith, except everyone doth keep It entire and inviolate, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.
Now the Catholic Faith is this: that we worship One God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity;
Neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Substance.
For one is the Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost.
But the Godhead of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all One; the glory equal, the majesty coeternal…
So, the Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Ghost is God.
And yet They are not three Gods, but One God.
So, the Father is Lord, the Son is Lord, the Holy Ghost is Lord.
And yet They are not three Lords, but One Lord.
For, as we are compelled by the Christian truth to acknowledge each Person, by Himself, to be God and Lord; so we are forbidden, by the Catholic Religion, to say there are three Gods or three Lords.
The Father is made of no one, neither created nor begotten.
The Son is from the Father alone; not made, nor created, but begotten.
The Holy Ghost is from the Father and the Son; not made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding…
Furthermore it is necessary to everlasting salvation, that he also believe rightly of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Now the right Faith is, that we believe and confess that Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is both God and Man.
He is God, of the Substance of His Father, begotten before the world; and He is Man, of the substance of His Mother, born in the world…
At Whose coming, all men shall rise again with their bodies; and shall give an account of their own works.
And they that have done good, shall go into life everlasting; and they that have done evil into everlasting fire.
This is the Catholic Faith; which except every man believe faithfully and steadfastly, he cannot be saved.

Adoration, then, and love, be to Thee, O Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, O perfect Trinity, Who hast vouchsafed to reveal Thyself to mankind; O eternal and infinite Unity, Who hast delivered our forefathers from the yoke of their false gods! Glory be to Thee, as it was in the beginning, before any creature existed; as it is now, at this very time, while we are living in the hope of that true life, which consists of seeing Thee face to face; and as it shall forever be, in those everlasting ages, when a blissful eternity shall have united us in the bosom of Thine infinite majesty. Amen.


Sunday, May 15, 2016

Pentecost

The Acts of the Apostles recounts the story of the original Pentecost. Jews from all over were gathered in Jerusalem to celebrate the Jewish feast. On that Sunday, ten days after the Ascension of Our Lord, the Apostles and the Blessed Virgin Mary were gathered in the Upper Room, where they had seen Christ after His Resurrection:
"When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where the were sitting.  They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.  All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them." ~Acts 2:1-4

Christ promised His Apostles that He would send His Holy Spirit, on Pentecost, they were granted the gifts of the Spirit. They began to preach the Gospel in all the languages that the Jews who were gathered there spoke, and about 3,000 people were converted and baptized that day.

The Birthday of the Church

That is why Pentecost is often called "the birthday of the Church." On this day, with the descent of the Holy Spirit, Christ's mission is completed, and the New Covenant is inaugurated. It's interesting to note that St. Peter, the first pope, was already the leader and spokesman for the Apostles on Pentecost Sunday.
Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked, "Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, "What does this mean?"
But others sneered and said, "They are filled with new wine."
But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, "Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:
“In the last days it will be, God declares that I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. Even upon My slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out My Spirit; and they shall prophesy. And I will show portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and smoky mist. The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day. Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
In years past, Pentecost was celebrated with greater solemnity than it is today. In fact, the entire period between Easter and Pentecost Sunday was known as Pentecost (and it still is called Pentecost in the Eastern churches, both Catholic and Orthodox). During those 50 days, both fasting and kneeling were strictly forbidden, because this period was supposed to give us a foretaste of the life of Heaven. In more recent times, parishes celebrated the approach of Pentecost with the public recitation of the Novena to the Holy Ghost.
While most parishes no longer publicly recite this novena, many individual Catholics do.
You will always find this Novena on this blog when the time comes as long as I have breath.
Prayer to the Holy Spirit for a Favor

O Holy Spirit, You are the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity. You are the Spirit of truth, love and holiness, proceeding from the Father and the Son, and equal to Them in all things. I adore You and love You with all my heart. Teach me to know and to seek God, by Whom and for Whom I was created. Fill my heart with a holy fear and a great love for Him. Give me compunction and patience, and do not let me fall into sin.
Increase faith, hope, and charity in me and bring forth in me all the virtues proper to my state of life. Help me to grow in the four cardinal virtues, Your seven gifts, and Your twelve fruits.
Make me a faithful follower of Jesus, an obedient child of the Church, and a help to my neighbor. Give me the grace to keep the commandments and to receive the sacraments worthily. Raise me to holiness in the state of life to which You have called me, and lead me through a happy death to everlasting life. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Grant me also, O Holy Spirit, Giver of all good gifts, the special favor for which I ask [name the favor here], if it be for Your honor and glory and for my well being. Amen.
Glory Be, etc.
Holy Spirit, thank You for Your constant comings—sometimes when we pray for the coming, sometimes when we least expect it, You come. We need Your Spirit coming anew into our daily living. Come, great Spirit, Come! Amen.
Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me. Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me. Bend me, mold me, fill me, use me! Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me! 

Friday, May 13, 2016

Blessed Imelda Lambertini Feast Day May 13th

Blessed Imelda was born in Bologna, Italy about 1322, of the family of the Lambertini’s - a family name distinguished for both the nobility and piety of its members. For many ages, the Lambertini name held a certain distinction and notoriety. In fact, one of this illustrious line became the great Pope, Benedict XIV.

It was into this lineage that Imelda was born. In baptism, she was called Magdalen. From her earliest years, she eagerly listened to the holy stories and religious instruction that her parents gave her. Both her parents were very pious. Her father was a rich, brave, and powerful nobleman, who filled several important posts and was remarkable for his charity to the poor, especially to the religious orders dependent upon alms. His wife, Castora, was worthy of him. She had a particular devotion to pray for the souls in Purgatory, and for their relief she made many charitable donations to monasteries and churches.

It was amidst these sentiments, that Magdalen grew. Giving herself to a life of devotion, she made a little oratory for herself, where she loved to recite the Psalms and other prayers. In everything she did, she tried to put the thought of the Child Jesus uppermost in her mind. How would Jesus, the Son of Mary, pray? How would He work? How would He do whatever His blessed Mother and dear St. Joseph wanted Him to do? These were the questions that occupied her thoughts, and she strove to imitate Jesus in all things. By this means she grew in wisdom and grace before God and men.

Some people tried to make her vain about her dress, or her beauty, or the riches of her family. Little Magdalen took no interest in such topics. The simpler her attire, the better she liked it. She thought, too, that by having fewer and plainer clothes she would have more to give to the poor. Her parents, being charitable and generous themselves, taught their little girl to make sacrifices, so she could give more to the poor and distressed. Her prettiest toys were joyfully carried to poor children, especially to the sick, with whom she loved to talk and visit. She would tell them the stories she had learned about Jesus: about Bethlehem, where He was born; Nazareth, where He worked in St. Joseph's carpenter shop; and Calvary where Our Savior died on a Cross to save us.

So by the time she was about nine years old, this devout little girl had a great wish to live in a religious house. This child had clear and fixed ideas about her future. She realized that nothing on earth can be compared to a happy eternity, and that the only important thing in this life is to save one's soul. She also understood how different the spirit of the world is from that of God. Her heart yearned for a safe haven where she might renounce the world and belong entirely to Jesus Christ. She therefore begged her parents to place her in some convent. Her parents willingly granted her desire, and asked the Dominican nuns at the convent of St. Mary Magdalen, in Valdepietra, near Bologna, to receive their daughter Magdalen.

Now in those days, it was a common thing to allow children who were preparing to become a Religious, or who had that desire in their hearts, to put on a habit that was similar to those worn by the nuns in the convent. And while the religious of Valdipietra received little Magdalen with joy, she seemed a little too young to wear the habit. They could not, however, resist her pleadings, and decided, notwithstanding her youth, to let her be clothed in the holy habit of the Dominicans.

Imagine the little girl’s satisfaction and joy when, in 1331, she found herself robed as a Spouse of Christ, and heard herself addressed as Sister Imelda. The religious habit did not bind for the future; and there could be no profession of vows until she was much older. But the Divine Lover of souls, Who had set His seal upon this beloved child, heard her heart's vows of love, and bound her to Himself by ties that were never to be broken. Imelda now belonged to Jesus.

We are told that Imelda was, at this time, remarkably tall for her age, fragile and delicate, and fair as an angel to behold. The young Saint threw herself heart and soul into the new life which had opened before her. This nine year old set herself to practice the austere Rule with loving fidelity, devoting herself to the exercise of prayer and penance. As her great love for Jesus grew and was purified by her sufferings, her fervor to obey the rules of their Order rendered her a model even to the oldest and most saintly of the Community. She erected a little Calvary in the most remote part of the garden, and there she loved to retire, in order to meditate undisturbed on the sufferings and death of her Divine Spouse.

But above all else, the devotion of her heart was to Jesus hidden in the Sacrament of His love. With every fiber of her being and all the ardor of her soul did she long for the happy day when Our Lord would unite her to Himself in Holy Communion. “Tell me,” she often said to her religious sisters, “how is it possible to receive Jesus into one's heart and not to die?”

This great and deep love for the Blessed Sacrament caused Imelda to burn with desire to be united to her Eucharistic Lord. When others knelt before the altar to receive Holy Communion, tears filled her eyes and rolled slowly down her cheeks. “When, oh when will He come also to me?" she murmured. The nuns knew of this longing in her heart. They knew, too, her purity and piety. Yet in that country, First Communion was only for those fourteen years or older, and they could do nothing to help Imelda. They encouraged her to persevere in her love and to pray while she waited. The little girl tried to bear the pain this caused her. At holy Mass, she thought of the sufferings of Jesus, and begged Him to help her to carry this heavy cross of being kept away from Him.

To some, it may have seemed that Jesus was ignoring the pleadings of this tender loving soul but, in reality, He was merely purifying her love and her soul by these sufferings which He permitted her to endure. God only sends us crosses if we can benefit by them; if we don’t waste them. By patiently offering up her sufferings to Our Lord and humbly accepting His Holy will, she was meriting a higher place forever in Heaven and therefore a tremendous increase in her eternal beatitude.

And in reality, Imelda’s heart was not the only one that burned, with ever increasing intensity, for union. As her soul became more increasingly beautiful to God, His Own desire to be one thing with her became increasingly more difficult to restrain. Finally, He could wait no longer.

It was May 12, 1333 and Imelda was around 11 years old. The two years which she had now spent in the religious life and the approach of the great feast of the Ascension only intensified her longing for the Blessed Sacrament. But while all the nuns approached the Holy Table, she alone knelt apart in a corner of the Choir, pouring forth her acts of fervent desire, and weeping bitterly because she was not allowed to share their happiness. And when Mass was over, and the priest had left the altar, the Community dispersed to discharge their various duties. Yet, in the dimly lit Choir, Imelda knelt on, absorbed in prayer.

Suddenly, the nuns smelt a heavenly fragrance filling the convent grounds. Following its aroma, they made their way back to the Choir, where a wondrous sight met their eyes. A radiant Host was suspended in the air above Imelda’s head. Her Heavenly Bridegroom had heard her prayer.

The astonished nuns immediately summoned the chaplain to the spot. He came in his sacred vestments, with the paten in his hand, and knelt in wondering adoration, awaiting some further manifestation of the Divine will. Then the Host gently descended upon the paten. The priest understood, and gave the Blessed Eucharist to the long-awaiting girl. The transport of love, joy, and gratitude was too great for the weak bodily frame; the happy child closed her eyes, and, in the kiss of the Lord, breathed forth her pure soul to go and make endless thanksgiving in Heaven.

She had died from love, and her happy soul was with Jesus for ever.

Imelda was beatified by Leo XlI., 1826, and Pope Pius X named her Protectress of First Holy Communicants. Confraternities in her honor have been established in several places. During the movement to have her canonized in 1900 (still incomplete as of yet), her body was exhumed. Imelda's body was found to be incorrupt; meaning that without any ointment or preservative, her body hasn't decayed at all since the 1300's. It still appears as though she were still alive, only sleeping. Blessed Imelda’s beautifully incorrupt body can still be seen in the Church of St. Sigismund (Sigismundo).

We should pray for her to obtain for us that love which burned so brightly in her heart. She should especially be invoked by those who are preparing to receive Our Lord in Holy Communion. Though we may perhaps not die, as Imelda did, in that moment of joy when Jesus rests within our hearts, we should desire to live completely for our most dear Lord. May our hearts ever more glow with true love, and longing, to receive Jesus. May He may dwell within us always - never, never to be driven out by indifference or by sin.


PRAYER

O Lord Jesus Christ, who, wounding the Blessed Virgin Imelda with the fire of Thy love, and miraculously feeding her with the Immaculate Host, didst receive her into heaven, grant us, through her intercession, to approach the Holy Table with the same fervor of charity, that we may long to be with Thee, and deserve to be with Thee, who livest and reignest for ever and ever. Amen.


Our Lady of Fatima

First apparition of the Angel
In spring in 1916 Lucia Dos Santos age 9, and her cousins, Francisco and Jacinta Marto, ages 8 and 6 respectively, were at a meadow with their sheep in (hamlet of Fatima). It started raining, and they hid in a small cave to escape the rain. After the rain stopped and the sun came out, they stayed in the cave to eat their lunch, say the rosary and play a game of jacks. They had played but for a short while when, on the serene day, a strong wind blew that swayed the trees and a sudden white light enveloped them. In the middle of that light appeared a cloud in the form of a young man who said to them: "Fear not! I am the Angel of Peace. Pray with me!" The angel knelt on the ground and bowed very low. The children imitated the angel and repeated his words three times: "My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, and I love You. I beg pardon of You for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope, and do not love You." Then he rose and said: "Pray this way. The Hearts of Jesus and Mary are attentive to the voice of your supplications."

Second apparition of the Angel It occurred in summer, when the seers were playing near the well of Lucia's house. The Angel said to them: "What are you doing? Pray! Pray a great deal. The Hearts of Jesus and Mary have merciful designs on you. Offer prayers and sacrifices continually to the Most High." The children asked: "How must we sacrifice ourselves?" The angel said: "Make everything you do a sacrifice, and offer it as an act of reparation for the sins by which God is offended, and as a petition for the conversion of sinners. By this you will bring peace to your country. I'm its Guardian Angel, the Angel of Portugal. Above all accept and bear with submission all the suffering the Lord will send you." From that moment, they began to offer to the Lord everything that offended Him, without trying to find any other ways of mortification or penance other than passing hour after hour, bowed to the ground, repeating the prayer that the angel had taught them.


Third apparition of the Angel
It occured in autumn at Cabeco. The children started prayers when they saw the angel, which had in his hand a chalice over which hung a Host, from which fell in the chalice some drops of Blood. He knelt and repeated three times with the children: "Most Holy Trinity-Father, Son, and Holy Spirt-I adore thee profoundly. I offer thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles in the world, in reparation for all the outrages, sacrileges and indifferences whereby he is offended. And through the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of Thee the conversion of poor sinners." Then he rose, took the Host, and gave it to Lucia, while the contents of the chalice he gave to Jacinta and Francisco, and said: " Take the Body and the Blood of Jesus Christ horribly outraged by thankless men. Recover their sins and comfort your God."

Apparitions of Our Lady

First apparition of Our Lady
On Sunday May 13th 1917 the children were pasturing their flock as usual at the Cova da Iria, which was about a mile from their homes. They were playing when suddenly a bright shaft of light pierced the air. They described it as a flash of lightning. It was not really lightning, but rather the reflection of a light that approached little by little. Frightened by the flash, the children looked around at the sky that was clear and bright without the least spot of a cloud. No breeze stirred, the sun was strong, and there was no hint anywhere of a storm that might be responsible for a flash of lightning. The children, however, thought that they had better head home in case it might start raining. As they descended the hill. Another flash of lightning took them by surprise. Panicky with fear, they took a few steps and looked towards the right. There, standing over the foliage of a small holmoak, "a lady dressed all in white, more brilliant then the sun, shedding rays of light, clear and stronger than a crystal glass filled with the most sparkling water, pierced by the burning rays of the sun". The lady spoke to them and said: "Fear not! I will not harm you." "Where are you from?" the children asked. "I am from heaven" the beautiful lady replied, gently raising her hand towards the distant horizon. "What do you want of me?", Lucia asked. "I came to ask you to come here for six consecutive months, on the thirteenth day, at this same hour. I will tell you later who I am and what I want. And I shall return here again a seventh time." Lucia said : "Do you come from heaven...and will I go to heaven ?" " Yes, you'll go". "And Jacinta?" "As well" " And Francisco?" "Him too , but he will have to say many rosaries". In the end Our Lady asked : "Do you wish to offer yourselves to God, to endure all the suffering that He may please to send you, as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and to ask for the conversion of sinners?" "Yes, we do." said the children. "You will have to suffer a lot, but the grace of God will be your comfort. "Then she opened her hands with a loving gesture of a mother who offers her heart. From it an intense light departed that seemed to go through them. The vision vanished telling them : "Recite the rosary every day to obtain the peace for the world and the end of the war." And She disappeared. 

Second apparition of Our Lady
On June 13 1917, accompanied by about 50 people, the children were reciting the rosary, when there was again the lightning, and immediately after the Lady on the holmoak appeared like in May. "What do you want from me?" asked Lucy. "I wish you to come here the 13th of next month; that you say the Rosary every day, and that you learn to read. In succeding months I will tell you what else I want." "I would like to ask you to bring us to Heaven", said Lucy. "Yes, Giacinta and Francis will be among the few, but you must stay here for a long time. Jesus wants to help Himself of you to make Me known and loved. God wishes you to remain in the world for some time because He wants to use you to establish in the world a devotion to my Immaculate Heart. I promise salvation to those who embrace it, and their souls will be loved by God as flowers placed by myself to adorn His throne." Lucy asked: "Will I stay here alone"?, "Don't be discouraged , I will not abandon you ever. My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and through it will conduct you to God." Then She opened her hands and emanated her light on the children, Giacinta and Francis seemed to be in the light that went up toward the sky, Lucy in the light that spread on the earth. In front of the palm of the right hand of the Lady there was a heart surrounded by thorns that impaled it. They understood that it was the Immaculate Heart of Mary affronted from the sins of men, and She then asked for reparation. 
 
Third apparition of Our Lady
On July 13 1917 they recited the rosary with the crowd, they saw the usual reflex of light and then the Lady on the holmoak. Lucy asked: "What do you want from me?" She answered: "That you come the 13th of the next month, that you continue to recite the Rosary every day to our Lady of the Rosary to obtain peace in the world and the end of the war, because only She will be able to aid you." Lucy said " I want to ask you to tell us who you are, and to make a miracle for the crowd to believe that you appear." She Answered: "you continue to come here. In october I will tell you who I am, that which I want, and I will do a miracle that all can see and believe. Sacrifice yourselves for sinners, and say often this prayer, especially during any sacrifice: "O my Jesus, I offer this for love of Thee, for the conversion of poor sinners, and in reparation for all the sins commited against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.". As she spoke these words, Our lady stretched out her hands, and bright rays came forth which seemed to penetrate into the earth. All at once the ground vanished, and the children saw Hell, frightened they lifted their eyes to the Lady who told them:"You have seen Hell, where the souls of poor sinners go. To save future souls God wishes to establish in the world the devotion to My Immaculate Heart. If people do what I tell you, many souls will be saved." Then She said:" If my requests are granted, Russia will be converted and there will be peace. If not, she will scatter her errors throughout the world, provoking wars and persecution of the Church. The good will be martyed, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, and various nations will be destroyed...But in the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, Russia will be converted, and a certain period of peace will be granted to the world". "Do you want to learn a prayer?" the vision asked, "Yes we do!" the children responded. "When you recite the Rosary, say at the end of each decade: Oh My Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of Your Mercy.

Fourth apparition of Our Lady
In August the children were prevented by the civil authorities to go to the meeting of the 13th in which had gathered an immense crowd. The children for two days were confined and threatened with many torments to make them deny, but they did not surrender, they were ready to offer their lives not to betray the promises made to the Lady. When they had been released on August 19, while they fed the flock in a place called Valinhos they saw the Lady above a holmoak. " What do you want from me?" Lucy asked. "I Want you to continue to go to the Cova da Iria on the 13th, that you continue to say the Rosary every day. I, in the last month will make the miracle that all will believe." Then with a sadder appearance told them: "Pray, pray a lot and offer sacrifices for the sinners. You know that many souls go the hell because there is none who pray for them."

Fifth apparition of Our Lady
On September 13th the children and about 30.000 persons accompanied them to the Cova da Iria and they there recited the Rosary, soon after appeared the Lady on the holmoak. "I Want you to come here on October 13 and that you continue to recite the Rosary to obtain the end of the war. In October the Lord, the sorrowful Lady, the Lady of Mt. Carmel, and St Joseph with the child Jesus, will also come to bless the world. God is glad of your sacrifices, He does not want you to sleep with the chord to the sides, use it only during the day.
Sixth and last apparition of Our Lady
On 13 October 1917 the children surrounded by a crowd of 70.000 persons under a torrential rain, Lucy asked again of the Lady:"What do you want from me?" she answered: "I am the Lady of the Rosary, I desire here a chapel in my honor to be built, that people continue to recite the Rosary every day. Will the war finish. The war is going to end, and the soldiers will soon return to their homes." Then Lucy asked: "may I ask you for cures and conversions, will you grant them?". "Some yes, others no. It is necessary that they ask pardon for their sins, that they don't offend God our Lord,and that he is already too much offended." "Do you Want anything else from me?" Lucy asked. "I do not want anything more." Then She opened her hands again and She launched a ray of light in the direction of the sun as Lucy shouted that they should look at the sun. At this point the promised sign happened, Lucy shouted to look at the sun, the rain stopped suddenly and there appeared an exceptionaly bright sun but not dazzling. The sun began to turn as if projecting in each direction bands of light of each color that lit and colored the clouds, the sky, the trees, and the crowd. It stayed for some moments then it went back to its normal position, it stayed still for a small while and then it happened again. Suddenly it looked as if it stood out from the sky to fall headlong on the crowd, that was looking terrorized, they fell to their knees and begged mercy. Meanwhile the children saw a Lady dressed like the white of the sun with a blue cope, St. Joseph with the Child Jesus that blessed the world.Then after this vision they saw The Lord bless the world, standing next to Our Lady of Sorrows. After these visions the Lady of Mt Carmel finished the miracle. The people then became aware that there clothes were completely dried.

One of the principal anti-clerical publications of the day was O Dia, a major Lisbon newspaper. On October 17th, O Dia reported the following: At one o'clock in the afternoon, midday by the sun, the rain stopped. The sky, pearly gray in color, illuminated the vast arid landscape with a strange light. The sun had a transparent gauzy veil so that eyes could easily be fixed upon it. The gray mother-of-pearl tone turned into a sheet of silver which broke up as the clouds were torn apart and the silver sun, enveloped in the same gauzy gray light, was seen to whirl and turn in the circle of broken clouds. A cry went up from every mouth and people fell on their knees on the muddy ground. The light turned a beautiful blue as if it had come through the stained-glass windows of a cathedral and spread itself over the people who knelt with outstretched hands. The blue faded slowly and then the light seemed to pass through yellow glass. Yellow stains fell against white handkerchiefs, against the dark skirts of women. They were reported on the trees, on the stones and on the serra. People wept and prayed with uncovered heads in the presence of the miracle they had awaited.
Francisco died on 4 April 1919 and Jacinta died on 20 Februrary 1920. Before she dies, little Jacinta revealed little-known but remarkable statements made by Our Lady. Here are just some of them:
More souls go to hell because of sins of the flesh than for any other reason. Certain fashions will be introduced that will offend Our Lord very much. Many marriages are not good; they do not please Our Lord and are not of God. Priests must be pure, very pure. They should not busy themselves with anything except what concerns the Church and souls. The disobedience of priests to their superiors and to the Holy Father is very displeasing to Our Lord. The Blessed Mother can no longer restrain the hand of her Divine Son from striking the world with just punishment for its many crimes.
Tell everybody that God gives graces through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. tell them to ask graces from her, and that the Heart of Jesus wishes to be venerated together with the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Lucy entered the Convent of the Sisters of St Dorothy to learn to read and write; then she entered in the convent of Coimbra.
On December 10, 1925, sister Lucy received an apparition by the Child Jesus and the Virgin Mary in her convent cell. The Holy Virgin shown her a Heart surrounded by thorns, Our Lady said to her:
"See, My daughter, My heart surrounded by thorns which ungrateful men pierce at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude... Say to all those who:
  • for five months, on the first Saturday, Confess,
  • receive Holy Communion,
  • recite the Rosary
  • and keep Me company for 15 minutes while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, in a spirit of reparation ... 

I promise to assist them at the hour of death with all the graces necessary for the salvation of their souls."
As Our Lady said at the apparition of 13 July 1917, "I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia". She did this on 13 June 1929, when She appeared to Lucy in the Chapel of Dorotheas, in the town of Tuy. Lucy said: "I had sought and obtained permission from my superiors and confessor to make a Holy Hour from eleven o'clock until midnight, every Thursday to Friday night. Being alone one night, I knelt near the altar rails in the middle of the chapel and, prostrate, I prayed the prayers of the Angel. Feeling tired, I then stood up and continued to say the prayers with my arms in the form of a cross. The only light was that of the sanctuary lamp. Suddenly the whole chapel was illumined by a supernatural light, and above the altar appeared a cross of light, reaching to the ceiling. In a brighter light on the upper part of the cross, could be seen the face of a man and his body as far as the waist; upon his breast was a dove of light; nailed to the cross was the body of another man. A little below the waist, I could see a chalice and a large host suspended in the air, on to which drops of blood were falling from the face of Jesus Crucified and from the wound in His side. These drops ran down on to the host and fell into the challice. Beneath the right arm of the cross was Our Lady and in her hand was her Immaculate Heart. (it was Our Lady of Fatima, with her Immaculate Heart in her left hand, without sword or roses, but with a crown of thorns and flames). Under the left arm of the cross, large letters, -as if of crystal clear water which ran down upon the altar, formed these words: "Grace and Mercy". I understood that it was the Mystery of the Most Holy Trinity which was shown to me, and I received lights about this mystery which I am not permitted to reveal. Our Lady then said to me: "The moment has come in which God asks the Holy Father, in union with all the Bishops of the world, to make the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, promising to save it by this means. There are so many souls whom the justice of God condemns for sins committed against me, that I have come to ask reparation: sacrifice yourself for this intention and pray."
Pope Pius XI did not make the consecration which Our Lady had asked Lucia to make known. Pius XII in his turn, did not consecrate Russia in the original form, he consecrated the whole world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary with a particular mention of Russia. Pope Pius XII did something similar in 1942, and later consecrated the Russian people in 1952.
On 13 May 1982, one year after an assassination attempt in St Peter's Square on 13 May 1981 (the anniversary of the first apparition), Pope John Paul II travelled to Fatima, where he met Sr Lucia. He believed he owed his survival to the direct intervention of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The Holy Father requested that the statue of Our Lady from Fatima's Capelinha be sent to Rome, and then in collegial union with the Bishops of the Church, he specifically consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on 25 March 1984 (the feast of the Annunciation).


Again the Holy Father later requested that the statue of Our Lady from Fatima's Capelinha be sent to
Rome, and then in collegial union with all the Bishops of the Church for the Jubilee, he specifically consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on 8 October 2000.






Sr Lucia, the last surviving witness of the three children to whom the Virgin Mary appeared at Fatima, Portugal, died at the age of 97. Sr Maria Lucia of the Immaculate Heart, March 22, 1907 – February 13, 2005, as Lucia de Jesus dos Santos, died of old age at the Carmelite convent of St. Teresa of Coimbra in central Portugal, at 5:25 pm local time.

Pope John Paul II beatified Francisco and Jacinta Marto on may 13th 2000 in a celebration attended by more than 700,000 people. Their cause for canonisation is currently under consideration.

Sr Lucia wrote two books, one entitled Memories and another entitled Calls of the Message of Fatima. 

 THE MESSAGE  OF FATIMA on the Vatican site.

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This was done in 2011 ... but LET'S DO IT AGAIN!! 
Special Rosary on May 13th, the Day that Our Lady First Appeared at Fatima
Catholics around the world are planning to pray a special Rosary on Thursday, May 13th to honor Our Lady of Fatima and to beg her to intervene in the world, to stop the growing spiral of sin, revolution and violence.
The driving force behind the Worldwide Fatima Rosary on May 13th is the thought that Our Lady will be pleased to see one million people praying the Rosary all together on May 13th, which is the very day She pleaded: “Pray the Rosary every day to obtain peace for the world!”
In fact, most Catholics are quite familiar with the goodness of the Blessed Mother, and how easily She is touched by the prayers of Her children, and how She intervenes on behalf of Catholics by public prayer, especially by the praying of Her Rosary.
Two signal example so this are the great naval battle at Lepanto where Catholic forces defeated a larger Turkish fleet in 1571, and the unexpected and miraculous liberation in 1955 of Austria from the unjust post-war Soviet Communism occupation.
If Our Lady has worked such wonders in the past, She can and will help us now to solve the growing problems of the world – if we do what She asked for at Fatima!
Everyone can be a vital part of this worldwide Fatima rosary by praying the Rosary, and inviting others to pray the Rosary also.
If someone is not familiar with the Fatima message and the power of the Rosary, now is a good time to educate them about why we are saying the Rosary on May 13th, the day Our Lady appeared to the three shepherd children at Fatima in 1917.
They can be told that we are:
  • echoing what She asked for at that apparition…
  • offering sufferings and reparations for the sins against Our Lord, as acts of supplication and for the conversion of sinners
  • praying the Rosary to obtain peace for the world
They can also be told that world events will only get worse, and there will be no peace until we pray the Rosary and stop offending God. Simple!
Ultimately, we pray this Worldwide Fatima Rosary on May 13th with absolute and unshakable faith in Our Lady’s promise to defeat satan: “Finally, My Immaculate Heart will triumph!”

May we all live to see it.

I believe we will all see something by the end of 2017. 

Novena to St. Rita 5/13-5/21


Say the following prayer once a day for 9 days, beginning on May 13 and ending on May 21, the eve of the Feast of St. Rita. St. Rita is the patron saint against: abuse, infertility, loneliness, sickness, and hopeless and impossible causes.

O holy protectress of those who art in greatest need, thou who shineth as a star of hope in the midst of darkness, blessed Saint Rita, bright mirror of God's grace, in patience and fortitude thou art a model of all the states in life. I unite my will with the Will of God through the merits of my Savior Jesus Christ, and in particular through His patient wearing of the crown of thorns, which with tender devotion thou didst daily contemplate. Through the merits of the holy Virgin Mary and thine own graces and virtues, I ask thee to obtain my earnest petition, provided it be for the greater glory of God and my own sanctification. Guide and purify my intention, O holy protectress and advocate, so that I may obtain the pardon of all my sins and the grace to persevere daily, as thou didst in walking with courage, generosity, and fidelity down the path of life. (Mention your intentions here)
Saint Rita, advocate of the impossible, pray for us.
Saint Rita, advocate of the helpless, pray for us.
Recite the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be three times.



Prayer for Saint Rita's Intercession
(Patroness of Impossible Causes)

O glorious St. Rita, your pleadings before the divine Crucifix have been known to grant favors that many would call the impossible. Lovely St. Rita, so humble, so pure, so devoted in your love for thy crucified Jesus, speak on my behalf for my petition which seems so impossible from my humbled position. (Here mention your request ). Be propitious, O glorious St. Rita, to my petition, showing thy power with God on behalf of thy supplicant. Be lavish to me, as thou has been in so many wonderful cases for the greater glory of God. I promise, dear St. Rita, if my petition is granted, to glorify thee, by making known thy favor, to bless and sing thy praises forever. Relying then upon thy merits and power before the Sacred Heart of Jesus I pray. Amen.