Sunday, June 18, 2017

Novena to Our Mother of Perpetual Help - Feast Day: June 27th (Begins 6/18)

Recite these prayers each day for 9 days...
Mother of Perpetual Help you comforted Jesus your Son as He faced His passion. We are now your children, called to follow Jesus in His suffering, death and rising to new life. Comfort us too and help us so to discover the power of His Spirit that we may build up His kingdom among us. When He comes again in glory, may we celebrate with joy the fullness of life with all God’s family for ever and ever. Amen.

Then Recite the following prayers...
Our Father... Hail Mary... Glory Be...


The novena to Our Mother of Perpetual Help can be made on nineconsecutive days, or on one day each week for nine weeks. It can be made in Church with others, at home with your family or by yourself.

Novena Prayer

Dear Mother of Perpetual Help from the cross Jesus gave you to us for our Mother. You are the kindest, the most loving of all mothers. Look tenderly on us your children as we now ask you to help us in all our needs especially this one… (Pause and state your petitions) While you were on earth, dear Mother you willingly shared in the sufferings of your Son. Strengthened by your faith and confidence in the fatherly love of God you accepted the mysterious designs of His Will.  We too have our crosses and trials. Sometimes they almost crush us to the ground. Dearest Mother, share with us your abundant faith and confidence in God. Make us aware that God never ceases to love us; that He answers all our prayers in the way that is best for us.  Strengthen our hearts to carry the cross in the footsteps of your Divine Son. Help us to realize that he who shares the cross of Christ will certainly share His resurrection.  Dearest Mother, as we worry about our own problems let us not forget the needs of others. You always love others so much; help us to do the same.  Dearest Mother, help us to avoid sin which separates us from our heavenly Father and from one another. Full of trust in you, we place ourselves under the mantle of your maternal protection and confidently hope for your powerful help.
Amen. 



About the Icon

This picture has been a revered icon of hope and inspiration. For three hundred years the picture hung over the main altar in the church of St. Matthew the Apostle in Rome. People came from miles around because of the miracles attributed to this sacred icon. In 1798, the picture was hidden by the monks who fled the city of Rome to avoid being captured by Napoleon's invading armies.

The picture resurfaced years later in an Augustinian monastery chapel.
Meanwhile the Redemptorists had built the new church of San Alfonso near the site of St. Matthew's... which had been destroyed by Napoleon's invasion force. The Redemptorists learned about the picture and requested that it be returned. Pope Pius IX agreed and on April 26, 1866, the original icon was placed above the high altar in the Church of San Alfonso. 



Note in this picture how Jesus, while safely cradled in his mother’s arms, looks anxiously at St. Gabriel the Archangel, who holds the cross and nails for His Crucifixion. (St. Michael the Archangel, at left, holds the lance, spear, and the vessel of vinegar and gall for our Lord's Passion as well.) The Blessed Mother looks at us solemnly, perhaps as if in contemplation of her beloved Son’s future Passion and death for our salvation!
Remember that when we pray this novena to our Lady of Perpetual Help, that we are not choosing to worship her over her Divine Son. She is "our Mother on the order of grace,” according to a Vatican II document, and all the graces Mary gives us come directly from our Lord. She is always ready to intercede with Him on our behalf, but never for anything contrary to His wishes.
As long as we approach her as we do Him, with sincerely humble and contrite hearts, we can count on her aid and guidance. Mary’s last spoken words in the Gospels concerned her Son when she said at the wedding feast at Cana “Do whatever he tells You” (John 2:5). If we persevere in our intentions to do Christ’s Will for us, we are doing hers as well.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

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 occurred 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 exceptionally 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 traveled 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. Cannonized May 13th 2017.

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.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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 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. 

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Our Lady of Fatima Novena - begins May 4th Through the 12th

The same verse is said once each day for the nine days.

Most Holy Virgin, who has deigned to come to Fatima to reveal to the three little shepherds the treasures of graces hidden in the recitation of the Rosary, inspire our hearts with a sincere love of this devotion, so that by meditating on the mysteries of our redemption that are recalled in it, we may gather the fruits and obtain the conversion of sinners, the conversion of Russia, and this favor that I so earnestly seek, (mention your request) which I ask of you in this novena, for the greater glory of God, for your own honor, and for the good of all souls. Amen.

(Say the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be three times each)

Monday, May 1, 2017

St. Joseph the Worker

St. Joseph has two feast days on the liturgical calendar. The first is March 19—Joseph, the Husband of Mary. The second is May 1—Joseph, the Worker.
“Saint Joseph is a man of great spirit. He is great in faith, not because he speaks his own words, but above all because he listens to the words of the Living God. He listens in silence. And his heart ceaselessly perseveres in the readiness to accept the Truth contained in the word of the Living God,” Pope John Paul II had once said.
There is very little about the life of Joseph in Scripture but still, we know that he was the chaste husband of Mary, the foster father of Jesus, a carpenter and  a man who was not wealthy. We also know that he came from the royal lineage of King David.
We can see from his actions in scripture that Joseph was a compassionate man, and obedient to the will of God. He also loved Mary and Jesus and wanted to protect and provide for them.
Since Joseph does not appear in Jesus' public life, at his death, or resurrection, many historians believe Joseph had probably died before Jesus entered public ministry.
Joseph is the patron of many things, including the universal Church, fathers, the dying and social justice.

Apparently in response to the "May Day" celebrations for workers sponsored by
Communists,
Pius XII instituted the feast of St. Joseph the Worker in 1955. But the relationship between Joseph and the cause of workers has a longer history.
In a constantly necessary effort to keep Jesus from being removed from ordinary human life, the Church has from the beginning proudly emphasized that Jesus was a carpenter, obviously trained by Joseph in both the satisfactions and the drudgery of that vocation. Humanity is like God not only in thinking and loving, but also in creating. Whether we make a table or a cathedral, we are called to bear fruit with our hands and mind, ultimately for the building up of the Body of Christ.
"The Lord God then took the man and settled him in the garden of Eden, to cultivate and care for it" (Genesis 2:15). The Father created all and asked humanity to continue the work of creation. We find our dignity in our work, in raising a family, in participating in the life of the Father's creation. Joseph the Worker was able to help participate in the deepest mystery of creation. Pius XII emphasized this when he said, "The spirit flows to you and to all men from the heart of the God-man, Savior of the world, but certainly, no worker was ever more completely and profoundly penetrated by it than the foster father of Jesus, who lived with Him in closest intimacy and community of family life and work. Thus, if you wish to be close to Christ, we again today repeat, 'Go to Joseph'" (see Genesis 41:44).

In Brothers of Men, René Voillaume of the Little Brothers of Jesus, speaks about ordinary work and holiness: "Now this
holiness (of Jesus) became a reality in the most ordinary circumstances of life, those of word, of the family and the social life of a village, and this is an emphatic affirmation of the fact that the most obscure and humdrum human activities are entirely compatible with the perfection of the Son of God...in relation to this mystery, involves the conviction that the evangelical holiness proper to a child of God is possible in the ordinary circumstances of someone who is poor and obliged to work for his living."

As we honor St. Joseph today, let us not forget his other mighty roles; namely the most chaste spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the protector of the Holy Family, the Patron of the Universal Church, the foster father of Jesus our Lord, and our foster father as well!




Sunday, April 23, 2017

Divine Mercy Sunday


"I promise that the soul that will venerate this image will not perish,"
Jesus told Faustina, according to her diary, which has been studied and authenticated by the Church over several decades.
"I also promise victory over enemies already here on earth, especially at the hour of my death. I myself will defend it as My Own glory." (Diary of Faustina, 48)
Jesus is shown in most versions as raising his right hand in blessing, and pointing with his left hand on his chest from which flow forth two rays: one red and one white (translucent). The depictions often contains the message "Jesus, I trust in You!" (Polish: Jezu ufam Tobie). The rays streaming out have symbolic meaning: red for the blood of Jesus (which is the Life of Souls), and pale for the water (which justify souls) (from Diary - 299). The whole image is symbolic of charity, forgiveness and love of God, referred to as the "Fountain of Mercy". According to the diary of St Faustina, the image is based on her 1931 vision of Jesus.

On February 22, 1931, while staying in Plock, Sister Faustina received Jesus’ order to paint a picture according to the vision shown to her (cf. Diary 47). She tried to fulfill the command, but not knowing painting techniques, she was unable to do it by herself. Still, she did not give up the idea. She kept returning to it and sought help from other sisters and from her confessors. A few years later her superiors sent her to Vilnius (Wilno), where her confessor, Rev. Prof. Michael Sopocko, interested to see what the picture of a hitherto unknown theme would look like, asked the painter Eugene Kazimierowski to paint the picture according to Sister Faustina’s directions. This is the only image that was painted under her direction.

Kazimirowski painted the original image between January and June of 1934.
During this time St. Faustina had the artist change the face at least 10 times but was still not pleased with it. The picture was finished in June 1934 and hung in the corridor of the Bernardine Sisters’ convent near St. Michael’s Church in Vilnius, where Father Sopocko was rector. From April 26-28, 1935, during the celebrations concluding the Jubilee Year of the Redemption of the World, the image of The Divine Mercy was transferred to the Ostra Brama [“Eastern Gate” to the city of Vilnius] and placed in a high window so that it could be seen from far away. Here the image was seen for the first time by the public. By permission of Archbishop Romuald Jalbrzykowski, on April 4, 1937, the image was blessed and placed in the St. Michael’s Church in Vilnius.
In 1944, a committee of experts was formed, at the order of Archbishop Jalbrzykowski, to evaluate the image. The experts’ opinion was the the image of The Divine Mercy, painted by E. Kazimierowski was artistically executed and an important contribution to contemporary religious art. You will notice that the Image resembles the Shroud of Turin very closely.
In a decree dated August 3, 2002, the Apostolic Penitentiary announced that in order “to ensure that the faithful would observe this day (Divine Mercy Sunday) with intense devotion, the Supreme Pontiff himself established that this Sunday be enriched by a plenary indulgence…so that the faithful might receive in great abundance the gift of the consolation of the Holy Spirit.  In this way, they can foster a growing love for God and for their neighbor, and after they have obtained God’s pardon, they in turn might be persuaded to show a prompt pardon to their brothers and sisters.”

The plenary indulgence is granted (under the usual conditions of a sacramental Confession, Eucharistic Communion and a prayer for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff) to the faithful who, on Divine Mercy Sunday, in a spirit that is completely detached from the affection for a sin, even a venial sin, recite the Our Father and the Creed, and also adding a devout prayer (e.g. Merciful Jesus, I trust in you!).
Additional provisions are offered for those who are impeded from fulfilling these requirements, but who wish to acquire a plenary indulgence. 

While the readings and prayers for Mass on this day remain unchanged (they reflect perfectly on Our Lord’s Divine Mercy) the Holy See offers this reflection:

The full text of the decree of the Apostolic
Penitentiary may be found at: www.mercysunday.com.
The Gospel of the Second Sunday of Easter narrates the wonderful things Christ the Lord accomplished on the day of the Resurrection during His first public appearance: “On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’  When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side.  Then the disciples were glad to see the Lord.  Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you.  As the Father has sent Me, so even I send you,’ and then He breathed on them, and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.  If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained’” (Jn 20, 19-23).

In addition, the decree requires that parish priests “should inform the faithful in the most suitable way of the Church’s salutary provision.  They should promptly and generously be willing to hear their confessions.  On Divine Mercy Sunday, after celebrating Mass they should lead the prayers that have been given above and they should also encourage the faithful to perform acts of mercy as often as they can.”
Jesus said that we either enter by the door of Mercy or by the door of Justice. With the way the world is ... JUSTICE can't be far off. This *could* be (I'm no prophet!) the last Divine Mercy Sunday we're afforded before that Day of Justice.
Divine Mercy Sunday is SUCH a BLESSING and OH SO IMPORTANT; yet daily, we have an opportunity to pray this special chaplet for the good of souls everywhere. My daily 3pms, generally begin around 2pm and include several prayers, petitions and meditations which include, during the 3pm hour of Divine Mercy, begging Jesus to empty purgatory into heaven. The 3 o'clock hour is most important because it is when Jesus died for us and He permits us this special grace and mercy DAILY if we but take the time to honor His precious gift.
When I tell folks they're in my daily 3pms. This is what it means, to be part of my prayers for the world and included in the Divine Mercy Chaplet for their spiritual and temporal needs.


I ask all to join me in my daily petition for the Church Suffering to be brought into heaven during this special hour by reciting this short prayer: "Eternal Father, please take all the pain and suffering of the souls in purgatory and unite it to the Perfect, Holy Passion of Jesus, His True Presence in the Eucharist and the benefits and graces of all Masses said this day and please empty purgatory into heaven daily during this special hour of Divine Mercy, especially those that have no one to pray for them; according to the promise of Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit" Amen.
The way the world is just getting worse and worse AND because we've recently ended the SPECIAL Jubilee Year of MERCY; I URGE you with all that is within me ... GO TO CONFESSION, PRAY FOR YOUR RELATIVES AND FRIENDS & THE WHOLE WORLD; THAT ALL BE SAVED AND NONE BE LOST! Do NOT be afraid of Confession, no matter how long it's been or what you've done! NOTHING is bigger than God's MERCY! The priest (the *man*) acts In persona Christi, that is in the place of Christ. Jesus uses the priest to act through (same as the Consecration at Mass) for YOUR benefit that your humble & contrite heart may hear the words of mercy and forgiveness.
Our Lord Speaks to St. Faustina:
“Daughter, when you go to confession, to this fountain of My mercy, the Blood and Water which came forth from My Heart always flow down upon your soul and ennobles it. Every time you go to Confession, immerse yourself entirely in My mercy, with great trust, so that I may pour the bounty of My grace upon your soul. When you approach the confessional, know this, that I Myself am waiting there for you. I am only hidden by the priest, but I Myself act in your soul. Here the misery of the soul meets the God of mercy. Tell souls that from this fount of mercy souls draw graces solely with the vessel of trust. If their trust is great, there is no limit to My generosity. The torrents of grace inundate humble souls.” (Diary #1602)
I GUARANTEE that when you leave the Confessional, you WILL FEEL the joyful grace and you'll be able to receive Holy Communion! To be reunited to Jesus in this intimate manner and to know and feel the powerful supernatural grace that the Sacraments impart to us through Holy Mother Church ... well you'll just have to experience it! But you won't be afraid of Confession any more :) 
SO DON'T PUT IT OFF!!!! PLEASE!!!! 
2 Corinthians 6:2 refers to Redemption in the last days: "For He says, "In the time of My favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you." I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation."
Just as Jesus said: "THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND."


More on Divine Mercy: click HERE.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Divine Mercy Novena starts Good Friday

The Feast of Divine Mercy Sunday is April 23rd

DIVINE MERCY NOVENA STARTS ON GOOD FRIDAY

Divine Mercy Novena Instructions from EWTN

The Feast of Divine Mercy on April 23 is one of the most important dates in the Church calendar. This focuses on God's unlimited mercy to everyone especially the greatest sinners.

Jesus revealed to Sister Faustina on numerous occasions that a feast be celebrated on the Sunday after Easter. The feast is a perennial invitation to the Christian world to face, with confidence in the divine benevolence the difficulties and trials that mankind will experience in the years to come. Jesus said: Whoever approaches the Fountain of Life on this day will be granted complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. (Diary 300)



God loves us-all of us- no matter how great our sins. He wants us to recognize that His mercy is greater than our sins, so that we will call upon Him with trust, receive His mercy and let it flow through us to others. The message of divine mercy could be summed up by the ABC:

A- Ask for His Mercy. God wants us to approach Him in prayer constantly, repenting of our sins and asking Him to pour His mercy out upon us and upon the whole world.

B- Be merciful. God wants us to receive His mercy and let it flow through others us to others. He wants us to extend love and forgiveness to others just as He does to us.

C- Completely trust in Jesus. God wants us to know that the graces of His mercy are dependent upon our trust. The more we trust in Jesus, the more we will receive.

HAPPY  EASTER

DIVINE MERCY – The "2nd Baptism" for anyone going to the Sacraments of Confession and Holy Eucharist

"The Graces of My Mercy are drawn by means of one vessel only, that is TRUST. The more a soul trusts the more it will receive.” "I desire the confidence of My People. Let not even the weak and very sinful fear to approach me: even if their sins be as numerous as all the sands of the earth all will be forgiven in the fathomless pit of My Mercy.” ~JESUS to St Faustina

POWERFUL BIBLE QUOTE ON JESUS' RESURRECTION:

“I am the resurrection and the life,” said Jesus. “He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.” ~John 11:25-26
God of mercy, You wash away our sins in water, You give us new birth in the Spirit, and redeem us in the Blood of Christ. As we celebrate Christ's resurrection increase our awareness of these blessings, and renew Your gift of life within us. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God,  for ever and ever. Amen.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Holy Thursday

This day, Maundy Thursday (also "Holy Thursday" or "Shire Thursday") commemorates Christ's Last Supper and the initiation of the Eucharist. Its name of "Maundy" comes from the Latin word mandatum, meaning "command." This stems from Christ's words in John 13:34, "A new commandment I give unto you." It is the first of the three days known as the "Triduum," and after the Vigil tonight, and until the Vigil of Easter, a more profoundly somber attitude prevails (most especially during the hours between Noon and 3:00 PM on Good Friday). Raucous amusements should be set aside...


The Last Supper took place in "the upper room" of the house believed to have been owned by John Mark and his mother, Mary (Acts 12:12). This room, also the site of the Pentecost, is known as the "Coenaculum" or the "Cenacle" and is referred to as "Holy and glorious Sion, mother of all churches" in St. James' Liturgy. At the site of this place -- our first Christian church -- a basilica was built in the 4th century. It was destroyed by Muslims and later re-built by the Crusaders. Underneath the place is the tomb of David.

After the Supper, He went outside the Old City of Jerusalem, crossed the Kidron Valley, and came to the Garden of Gethsemani, a place whose name means "Olive Press," and where olives still grow today. There He suffered in three ineffable ways: He knew exactly what would befall Him physically and mentally -- every stroke, every thorn in the crown He would wear, every labored breath He would try to take while hanging on the Cross, the pain in each glance at His mother; He knew that He was taking on all the sins of the world -- all the sins that had ever been or ever will be committed; and, finally, He knew that, for some people, this Sacrifice would not be fruitful because they would reject Him. Here He was let down by His Apostles when they fell asleep instead of keeping watch, here is where He was further betrayed by Judas with a kiss, and where He was siezed by "a great multitude with swords and clubs, sent from the chief Priests and the ancients of the people" and taken before Caiphas, the high priest, where he was accused of blasphemy, beaten, spat upon, and prepared to be taken to Pontius Pilate tomorrow morning.


As for today's liturgies, in the morning, the local Bishop will offer a special Chrism Mass during which blesses the oils used in Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Orders, Unction, and the consecration of Altars and churches.

At the evening Mass, after the bells ring during the Gloria, they are rung no more until the Easter Vigil (a wooden clapper called a "crotalus" is used insead). Parents explain this to their children by saying that the all the bells fly to Rome after the Gloria of the Mass on Maundy Thursday to visit the Popes. Children are told that the bells sleep on the roof of St. Peter's Basilica, and, bringing Easter eggs with them, start their flight home at the Gloria at the Easter Vigil, when when they peal wildly. 

Then comes the Washing of the Feet after the homily, a rite performed by Christ upon His disciples to prepare them for the priesthood and the marriage banquet they will offer, and which is rooted in the Old Testament practice of foot-washing in preparation for the marital embrace (II Kings 11:8-11, Canticles 5:3) and in the ritual ablutions performed by the High Priest of the Old Covenant (contrast Leviticus 16:23-24 with John 13:3-5). The priest girds himself with a cloth and washes the feet of 12 men he's chosen to represent the Apostles for the ceremony.

The rest of the Mass after the Washing of the Feet has a special form, unlike all other Masses. After the Mass, the priest takes off his chasuble and vests in a white cope. He returns to the Altar, incenses the Sacred Hosts in the ciborium, and, preceded by the Crucifer and torchbearers, carries the Ciborium to the "Altar of Repose," also called the "Holy Sepulchre," where it will remain "entombed" until the Mass of the Presanctified on Good Friday.

Then there follows the Stripping of the Altars, during which everything is removed as Antiphons and Psalms are recited. All the glorious symbols of Christ's Presence are removed to give us the sense of His entering most fully into His Passion. Christ enters the Garden of Gethsemani; His arrest is imminent. Fortescue's "Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described" tells us: "From now till Saturday no lamps in the church are lit. No bells are rung. Holy Water should be removed from all stoups and thrown into the sacrarium. A small quantity is kept for blessing the fire on Holy Saturday or for a sick call." The joyful signs of His Presence won't return until Easter begins with the Easter Vigil Mass on Saturday evening.

Customs

As to customs, many families have a practice of visiting the tabernacles of three or seven nearby churches after the Mass on this day as a sort of "mini-pilgrimage" (any nearby Catholic churches will do). Some families visit the churches directly after the evening Mass; others go home and wake up in the middle of the night to make the visits (though since churches are rarely open all night these days, this would be hard to do). The spirit of the visits to the churches is keeping vigil in the Garden of Gethsemani while Jesus prayed before His arrest. Matthew 26:36 "Then Jesus came with them into a country place which is called Gethsemani; and he said to his disciples: Sit you here, till I go yonder and pray."

In Germany, Maundy Thursday is known as "Green Thursday" (Grundonnerstag), and the traditional foods are green vegetables and green salad, especially a spinach salad. In Latin countries, Jordan almonds ("confetti") are eaten today and also throughout Eastertide.


Back when Kings and Queens of England were Catholic, they, too, would wash the feet of 12 subjects, seeing the footwashing rite also as an example of service and humility. They would also give money to the poor on this day, a practice is said to have begun with St. Augustine of Canterbury in A.D. 597, and performed by Kings since Edward II. Now the footwashing isn't done (it was given up in the 18th c.), but a special coin called "Maundy Money" is minted and given to the selected elderly of a representative town. 

On this day, one may gain a plenary indulgence, under the usual conditions, by reciting the Tantum Ergo (Down in Adoration Falling).

Tantum ergo sacramentum
Veneremur cernui
Et antiquum documentum
Novo cedat ritui
Praestet fides supplementum
Sensum defectui

Genitori, genitoque
Laus et jubilatio
Salus, honor, virtus quoque
Sit et benedictio
Procedenti ab utroque
Compar sit laudatio, amen
Read more at http://www.songlyrics.com/charlotte-church/tantum-ergo-lyrics/#T8jDJRG3zAvMKZqf.9
Tantum ergo sacramentum
Veneremur cernui
Et antiquum documentum
Novo cedat ritui
Praestet fides supplementum
Sensum defectui
 
 Genitori, genitoque
Laus et jubilatio
Salus, honor, virtus quoque
Sit et benedictio
Procedenti ab utroque
Compar sit laudatio, 
Amen

Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The fact of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary is related in Luke 1:26-38. The Evangelist tells us that in the sixth month after the conception of St. John the Baptist by Elizabeth, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to the Virgin Mary, at Nazareth, a small town in the mountains of Galilee. Mary was of the house of David, and was espoused (i.e. married) to Joseph, of the same royal family. She had, however, not yet entered the household of her spouse, but was still in her mother's house, working, perhaps, over her dowry. (Bardenhewer, Maria Verk., 69). And the angel having taken the figure and the form of man, came into the house and said to her: "Hail, full of grace (to whom is given grace, favored one), the Lord is with thee." Mary having heard the greeting words did not speak; she was troubled in spirit, since she knew not the angel, nor the cause of his coming, nor the meaning of the salutation.
And the angel continued and said: "Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God. Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father; and he shall reign in the house of Jacob forever. And of his kingdom there shall be no end." The Virgin understood that there was question of the coming Redeemer. But, why should she be elected from amongst women for the splendid dignity of being the mother of the Messiah, having vowed her virginity to God? (St. Augustine). Therefore, not doubting the word of God like Zachary, but filled with fear and astonishment, she said: "How shall this be done, because I know not man?" 

The angel to remove Mary's anxiety and to assure her that her virginity would be spared, answered: "The Holy Ghost shall descend upon thee and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God." In token of the truth of his word he made known to her the conception of St. John, the miraculous pregnancy of her relative now old and sterile: "And behold, thy cousin Elizabeth; she also has conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month with her that is called barren: because no word shall be impossible with God." Mary may not yet have fully understood the meaning of the heavenly message and how the maternity might be reconciled with her vow of virginity, but clinging to the first words of the angel and trusting to the Omnipotence of God she said: "Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done to me according to thy word." 

The Annunciation is the beginning of Jesus in His human nature. Through His mother He is a member of the human race. If the virginity of Mary before, during, and after the conception of her Divine Son was always considered part of the deposit of faith, this was done only on account of the historical facts and testimonials. The Incarnation of the Son of God did not in itself necessitate this exception from the laws of nature. Only reasons of expediency are given for it, chiefly, the end of the Incarnation. About to found a new generation of the children of God, The Redeemer does not arrive in the way of earthly generations: the power of the Holy Spirit enters the chaste womb of the Virgin, forming the humanity of Christ. Many holy fathers (Sts. Jerome, Cyril, Ephrem, Augustine) say that the consent of Mary was essential to the redemption. It was the will of God, St. Thomas says (Summa III:30), that the redemption of mankind should depend upon the consent of the Virgin Mary. This does not mean that God in His plans was bound by the will of a creature, and that man would not have been redeemed, if Mary had not consented. It only means that the consent of Mary was foreseen from all eternity, and therefore was received as essential into the design of God.
FIAT!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Feast of St. Joseph - the most forgotten Saint!

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St. Joseph, Patron of the Universal church is commemorated on On March 19. He is one of the most important Saints in the Catholic Church, second to the Blessed Mother. He was faithful, patient man, obedient to the demands of God and willingly accepted the hardships. St. Matthew calls him "a just man", illustrated by his loyalty in protecting and providing for his family. In 1870, Pius IX declared him patron and protector of the universal family of the Church.

St. Joseph was an ordinary manual laborer although descended from the royal house of David. In the designs of Providence he was destined to become the spouse of the Mother of God. His high privilege is expressed in a single phrase, "Foster-father of Jesus." He was given the great privilege of taking care of God's own Son, Jesus. He had to work very hard in his carpenter shop, but he did not mind. He was happy to work for his little family. He loved Jesus and Mary so much. He took Mary in the mystery of her motherhood and acted in obedient faith. He was humble and pure, gentle and wise. Jesus and Mary loved him and obeyed him because God had placed him as the head of their family.

About him Sacred Scripture has little more to say than that he was a just man-an expression which indicates how faithfully he fulfilled his high trust of protecting and guarding God's greatest treasures upon earth, Jesus and Mary. We place our confidence in his protection because he protected the Church family just as he protected the Holy Family. St. Joseph is a great saint.


 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 

The Happy Death of Saint Joseph In the Visions of Venerable Mary Agreda from The Mystical City of God
Already eight years saint Joseph had been exercised by his infirmities and
sufferings, and his noble soul been purified more and more each day in the crucible of affliction and of divine love. As the time passed his bodily strength gradually diminished and he approached the unavoidable end, in which the stipend of death is paid by all of us children of Adam (Heb. 9, 27). In like manner also increased the care and solicitude of his heavenly Spouse, our Queen, assisting and serving him with unbroken punctuality. Perceiving, in her exalted wisdom, that the day and hour for his departure from this cumbrous earth was very near, the loving Lady betook Herself to her blessed Son and said to Him: "Lord God Most High, Son of the eternal Father and Savior of the world, by thy divine light I see the hour approaching which thou hast decreed for the death of thy servant Joseph. I beseech Thee, by thy ancient mercies and by thy infinite bounty, to assist him in that hour by thy almighty power. Let his death be as precious in thy eyes, as the uprightness of his life was pleasing to Thee, so that he may depart in peace and in the hope of the eternal reward to be given to him on the day in which Thou shalt open the gates of heaven for all the faithful. Be mindful, my Son, of the humility and love of thy servant; of his exceeding great merits and virtues; of the fidelity and solicitude by which this just man has supported Thee and me, thy humble handmaid, in the sweat of his brow."

Our Savior answered: "My Mother, thy request is pleasing to me, and the merits of Joseph are acceptable in my eyes. I will now assist him and will assign him a place among the princes of my people (Ps. 115, 15), so high that he will be the admiration of the angels and will cause them and all men to break forth in highest praise. With none of the human born shall I do as with thy spouse." The great Lady gave thanks to her sweetest Son for this promise; and, for nine days and nights before the death of saint Joseph he uninterruptedlyenjoyed the company and attendance of Mary or her divine Son. By command of the Lord the holy angels, three times on each of the nine days, furnished celestial music, mixing their hymns of praise with the benedictions of the sick man. Moreover, their humble but most precious dwelling was filled with the sweetest fragrance and odors so wonderful that they comforted not only saint Joseph, but invigorated all the numerous persons who happened to come near the house.

One day before he died, being wholly inflamed with divine love on account of these blessings, he was wrapped in an ecstasy which lasted twenty-four hours.

The Lord himself supplied Joseph the strength he needed for this miracle. In this ecstasy he saw clearly the divine Essence, and, manifested therein, all that he had believed by faith the incomprehensible Divinity, the mystery of the Incarnation and Redemption, the militant Church with all its Sacraments and mysteries. The blessed Trinity commissioned and assigned him as the messenger of our Savior to the holy Patriarchs and Prophets of limbo; and commanded him to prepare them for their issuing forth from this bosom of Abraham to eternal rest and happiness. All this most holy Mary saw reflected in the soul of her divine Son together with all the other mysteries, just as they had been made known to her beloved spouse and She offered her sincerest thanks for all this to her Lord.

When saint Joseph issued from this ecstasy his face shone with wonderful splendor and his soul was transformed by his vision of the essence of God. He asked his blessed Spouse to give him her benediction; but She requested her divine Son to bless him in her stead, which He did. Then the great Queen of humility, falling on her knees, besought saint Joseph to bless Her, as being her husband and head. Not without divine impulse the man of God fulfilled this request for the consolation of his most prudent Spouse. She kissed the hand with which he blessed Her and asked him to salute the just ones of limbo in her name. The most humble Joseph, sealing his life with an act of self-abasement, asked pardon of his heavenly Spouse for all his deficiencies in her service and love and begged Her to grant him her assistance and intercession in this hour of passing away. The holy man also rendered humblest thanks to her Son for all the blessings of his life and especially for those received during this sickness. The last words which saint Joseph spoke to his Spouse were: "Blessed art Thou among all women and elect of all the creatures. Let angels and men praise Thee; let all the generations know, praise and exalt thy dignity; and may in Thee be known, adored and exalted the name of the Most High through all the coming ages; may He be eternally praised for having created Thee so pleasing in his eyes and in the sight of all the blessed spirits. I hope to enjoy thy sight in the heavenly fatherland."

Then this man of God, turning toward Christ, our Lord, in profoundest reverence, wished to kneel before Him. But the sweetest Jesus, coming near, received him in his arms, where, reclining his head upon them, Joseph said: "My highest Lord and God, Son of the eternal Father, Creator and Redeemer of the World, give thy blessing to thy servant and the works of thy hand; pardon, O most merciful King, the faults which I have committed in thy service and interactions. I extol and magnify Thee and render eternal and heartfelt thanks to Thee for having, in thy ineffable condescension, chosen me to be the spouse of thy true Mother; let thy greatness and glory be my thanksgiving for all eternity." The Redeemer of the world gave him his benediction, saying: "My father, rest in peace and in the grace of your eternal Father and Mine; and to the Prophets and Saints, who await thee in limbo, bring the joyful news of the approach of their redemption." At these words of Jesus, and reclining in his arms, the most fortunate saint Joseph expired and the Lord himself closed his eyes. At the same time the multitude of the angels, who attended upon their King and Queen, intoned hymns of praise in loud and harmonious voices. By command of the Lord they carried his most holy soul to the gathering-place of the Patriarchs and Prophets, where it was immediately recognized by all as clothed in the splendors of incomparable grace, as the putative father and the intimate friend of the Redeemer, worthy of highest veneration. Conformably to the will and mandate of the Lord, his arrival spread inutterable joy in this countless gathering of the saints by the announcement of their speedy rescue.

It is necessary to mention that the long sickness and sufferings which preceded the death of saint Joseph was not the sole cause and occasion of his passing away; for with all his infirmities he could have extended the term of his life, if to them he had not joined the fire of the intense love within his bosom. In order that his death might be more the triumph of his love than of the effects of original sin, the Lord suspended the special and miraculous assistance by which his natural forces were enabled to withstand the violence of his love during his lifetime. As soon as this divine assistance was withdrawn, nature was overcome by his love and the bonds and chains, by which this most holy soul was detained in its mortal body, were at once dissolved and the separation of the soul from the body in which death consists took place. Love was then the real cause of the death of saint Joseph, as I have said above. This was at the same time the greatest and most glorious of all his infirmities for in it death is but a sleep of the body and the beginning of real life.

The most fortunate of men, saint Joseph reached an age of sixty years and a few days. For at the age of thirty-three he espoused the blessed Virgin lived with Her a little longer than twenty-seven years as her husband. When saint Joseph died, She had completed the half of her forty-second year; for She was espoused to saint Joseph at the age of fourteen (as stated in the first part, book second, chapter twenty-second). The twenty-seven years of her married life completed her forty-first year, to which must be added the time from the eighth of September until the death of her blessed spouse. The Queen of heaven still remained in the same disposition of natural perfection as in her thirty-third year; for, as already stated in the thirteenth chapter of this book, She showed no signs of decline, or of more advanced age, or of weakness, but always in that same most perfect state of womanhood. She felt the natural sorrow due to the death of saint Joseph; for She loved him as her spouse, as a man pre-eminent in perfection and holiness, as her protector and benefactor.

I perceive a certain difference in the graces given to this great Patriarch and

those vouchsafed to other saints; for many saints were endowed with graces and gifts that are intended not for the increase of their own sanctity, but for the advance of the service of the Most High in other souls; they were, so to say, gifts and graces freely given and not dependent upon the holiness of the receiver. But in our blessed Patriarch all the divine favors were productive of personal virtue perfection; for the mysterious purpose, toward which they tended and helped along, was closely connected with the holiness of his own life. The more angelic and holy he grew to be, so much the more worthy was he to be the spouse of most holy Mary, the depository and treasure-house of heavenly sacraments. He was to be a miracle of holiness, as he really was. This marvelous holiness commenced with the formation of his body in the womb of his Mother. In this the providence of God himself interfered, regulating the composition of the four radical humors of his body with extreme nicety of proportion and securing for him that evenly tempered disposition which made his body a blessed earth fit for the abode of an exquisite soul and well-balanced mind (Wisdom 8, 19). He was sanctified in the womb of his mother seven months after his conception, and the leaven of sin was destroyed in him for the whole course of life, never having felt any impure or disorderly movement. Although he did not receive the use of his reason together with this first sanctification, which consisted principally in justification from original sin, yet his mother at the time felt a wonderful joy of the Holy Ghost. Without understanding entirely the mystery she elicited great acts of virtue and believed that her Son, or whomever she bore in her womb, would be wonderful in the sight of God and men.

The holy child Joseph was born most beautiful and perfect of body and caused in his parents and in his relations an extraordinary delight, something like that caused by the birth of saint John the Baptist, though the cause of it was more hidden. The Lord hastened the use of his reason, perfecting it in his third year, endowing it with infused science and augmenting his soul with new graces and virtues. From that time the child began to know God by faith, and also by natural reasoning and science, as the cause and Author of all things. He eagerly listened and understood profoundly all that was taught him in regard to God and his works. At this premature age he already practiced the highest kinds of prayer and contemplation and eagerly engaged in the exercise of the virtues proper to his youth ; so that, at the time when others come to the use of reason, at the age of seven years or more, saint Joseph was a perfect man in the use of it and in holiness. He was of a kind disposition, loving, affable, sincere, showing inclinations not only holy but angelic, growing in virtue and perfection and advancing toward his espousal with most holy Mary by an altogether irreproachable life.


For the confirmation and increase of his good qualities was then added the intercession of the blessed Lady; for as soon as She was informed that the Lord wished Her to enter the married state with him, She earnestly besought the Lord to sanctify saint Joseph and inspire him with most chaste thoughts and desires in conformity with her own. The Lord listened to her and permitted Her to see what great effects his right hand wrought in the mind and spirit of the patriarch saint Joseph. They were so copious, that they cannot be described in human words. He infused into his soul the most perfect habits of all the virtues and gifts. He balanced anew all his faculties and filled him with grace, confirming it in an admirable manner. In the virtue and perfection of chastity the holy spouse was elevated higher than the seraphim; for the purity, which they possessed without body, saint Joseph possessed in his earthly body and in mortal flesh; never did an image of the impurities of the animal and sensible nature engage, even for one moment, any of his faculties. This freedom from all such imaginations and his angelic simplicity fitted him for the companionship and presence of the most Pure among all creatures, and without this excellence he would not have been worthy of so great a dignity and rare excellence.

Also in the other virtues he was wonderfully distinguished, especially in charity; for he dwelt at the fountainhead of that living water, which flows on to eternal life (John 4, 14); he was in close proximity to that sphere of fire and was consumed without resistance. The best that can be said of the charity of our saint is what I have already said in the preceding chapter namely, that his love of God was really the cause of his mortal sickness and of his death. The manner of his death was a privilege of his singular love, for his sweet sighs of love surpassed and finally put an end to those of his sickness, being far more powerful. As the objects of his love, Christ and his Mother, were present with him always and as both of Them were more closely bound to him than to any of the woman-born, his most pure and faithful heart was unavoidably consumed by the loving effects of such a close union. Blessed be the Author of such great wonders and blessed be the most fortunate of mortals, saint Joseph, who so worthily corresponded to their love. He deserves to be known and extolled by all the generations of men and all nations since the Lord has wrought such things with no other man and to none has He shown such love.

The divine visions and revelations vouchsafed to saint Joseph, I have particularly

mentioned in the course of this history (Vol. II 422, 423, 471); but there were many more than can be described, and the greatest of them was his having known the mysteries of the relation between Christ and his Mother and his having lived in their company for so many years as the putative father of the Lord and as the true spouse of the Queen of heaven. But I have been informed concerning certain other privileges conferred upon saint Joseph by the Most High on account of his great holiness, which are especially important to those who ask his intercession in a proper manner. In virtue of these special privileges the intercession of saint Joseph is most powerful: first, for attaining the virtue of purity and overcoming the sensual inclinations of the flesh; secondly, for procuring powerful help to escape sin and return to the friendship of God; thirdly, for increasing the love and devotion to most holy Mary; fourthly, for securing the grace of a happy death and protection against the demons in that hour; fifthly, for inspiring the demons with terror at the mere mention of his name by his clients; sixthly, for gaining health of body and assistance in all kinds of difficulties; seventhly, for securing issue of children in families. These and many other favors God confers upon those who properly and with good disposition seek the intercession of the spouse of our Queen, saint Joseph. I beseech all the faithful children of the Church to be very devout to him and they will experience these favors in reality, if they dispose themselves as they should in order to receive and merit them.



WORDS OF THE QUEEN. (The Virgin Mary speaks to Sister Mary of Agreda, Spain.) My daughter, although thou hast described my spouse, saint Joseph, as the most noble among the princes and saints of the heavenly Jerusalem; yet neither canst thou properly manifest his eminent sanctity, nor can any of the mortals know it fully before they arrive at the vision of the Divinity. Then all of them will be filled with wonder and praise as the Lord will make them capable of understanding this sacrament. On the last day, when all men shall be judged, the damned will bitterly bewail their sins, which prevented them from appreciating this powerful means of their salvation, and availing themselves, as they easily could have, of this intercessor to gain the friendship of the just Judge. The whole human race has much undervalued the privileges and prerogatives conceded to my blessed spouse and they know not what his intercession with God is able to do. I assure thee, my dearest, that he is one of the greatly favored personages in the divine presence and has immense power to stay the arms of divine vengeance.

I desire that thou be very thankful to the divine condescension for vouchsafing thee so much light and knowledge regarding this mystery, and also for the favor which I am doing thee therein. From now on, during the rest of thy mortal life, see that thou advance in devotion and in hearty love toward my spouse, and that thou bless the Lord for thus having favored him with such high privileges and for having rejoiced me so much in the knowledge of all his excellences. In all thy necessities thou must avail thyself of his intercession. Thou shouldst induce many to venerate him and see that thy own religious distinguish themselves in their devotion. That which my spouse asks of the Lord in heaven is granted upon the earth and on his intercession depend many and extraordinary favors for men, if they do not make themselves unworthy of receiving them. All these privileges were to be a reward for the amiable perfection of this wonderful saint and for his great virtues; for divine clemency is favorably drawn forth by them and looks upon saint Joseph with generous liberality, ready to shower down its marvelous mercies upon all those who avail themselves of his intercession.

Prayers through intercession of St. Joseph:

Prayer for a Holy Death
O Christ, let me confess Your Name with my last breath. In Your great mercy receive me and do not disappoint me in my hope. Open the gates of life for me, and let the prince of darkness have no power over me. Protect me by Your kindness, shield me with Your might, and lead me by Your right Hand to the place of refreshment, the tabernacle You have prepared for Your servants and for those who revere You. Amen.

Prayer To St. Joseph for Protection
Gracious St. Joseph, protect me and my family from all evil as you did the Holy Family. Kindly keep us ever united in the love of Christ, ever fervent in imitation of the virtue of our Blessed Lady, your sinless spouse, and always faithful in devotion to you. Amen. 


Prayer to Saint Joseph to Know One's Vocation
O Great Saint Joseph, you were completely obedient to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Obtain for me the grace to know the state of life that God in his providence has chosen for me. Since my happiness on earth, and perhaps even my final happiness in heaven, depends on this choice, let me not be deceived in making it.

Obtain for me the light to know God's Will, to carry it out faithfully, and to choose the vocation which will lead me to a happy eternity. Amen.

Prayer To St. Joseph
Blessed Joseph, husband of Mary, be with us this day.
You protected and cherished the Virgin;
loving the Child Jesus as your son,
you rescued Him from danger of death.
Defend the Church, the household of God,
purchased by the blood of Christ.

Guardian of the Holy Family,
be with us in our trials.
May your prayers obtain for us
the strength to flee from error
and wrestle with the powers of corruption
so that in life we may grow in holiness
and in death rejoice in the crown of victory.
Amen.
(A partial indulgence.)


Prayer to St. Joseph as Consoler of the Afflicted

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you.

O Saint Joseph, my patron and my advocate, to you do I have recourse that you may obtain for me that grace for which I humbly pray. It may well be that the disappointments and the bitterness in my life may be the just punishment for my sins. But even If I should have to recognize my own guilt, need I lose hope in obtaining the help of the Lord? ‘Oh no,’ would be the answer of your devoted client, Saint Theresa, ‘indeed, nor all you poor sinners. No matter how great your needs, turn to the powerful help of Saint Joseph. Go to Saint Joseph with sincere confidence and rest assured that your pleas will be heard.

Following the teaching of Saint Theresa, therefore, I present myself before your glorious throne, 0 Holy Saint Joseph and beg for your powerful intercession in my present tribulations.

Bring my petitions before the throne of God, that by your power and mercy I may obtain that which of myself I would not be worthy to receive. And grant that having obtained the favorable answer to my petition, I may return to your altar and there fulfill my devotion of praise end thanksgiving for your Intercession.

Remember O most merciful foster father of the Lord Jesus, that no one who has ever had recourse to you was left unaided. Countless are the graces and favors which you have obtained in answer to the prayers addressed to you. The sick, the oppressed, those who suffer injustice, the betrayed, the abandoned, in short, all who have had recourse to your protection were aided in their afflictions. O Holy Saint Joseph, do not leave me to be the only one to be deprived of your help. Show yourself kindly and generously even to me, so that my prayers of thanksgiving for your mercy may rebound for the greater glory of God.


O Saint Joseph, head of the Holy Family, I venerate you from the profoundest depth of my heart. To the afflicted who have appealed to you before me, you have granted comfort and peace. Console even my own poor afflicted soul. You know all my needs, Saint Joseph, even before I set them before you in prayers. O powerful Saint Joseph, you know how important this petition is for me. I place all my hope in your intercession.
Grant me the answer to the favor for which I so desperately pray and I pledge myself to spread your devotion everywhere and to support, within the limits of my abilities, those charities which, in your name, aid the afflicted and the dying throughout the world.

Saint Joseph, consoler of the afflicted, have mercy on my sorrow. Amen.

"Imagine poor St. Joseph. He had to live with two perfect People." ~ Fr. Benedict J. Groeschel C.F.R. (rest in peace)