Saturday, December 17, 2011

Octave of the Immaculate Conception

(by Father Francis Xavier Weninger, 1876)

"Thou art terrible as an army set in array."--Cant. vi.

The Holy Ghost assures us that the life of man is a warfare. It began at the fall of our first parents, and rested upon all of Adam's descendants, excepting her, whose Immaculate Conception. Yes, it is a severe struggle which we have to maintain against the powers of darkness; against lucifer and his allies, the fallen angels; against the world and the flesh, which, enrolled under the standard of the fallen prince of angels, and swayed by his influence and direction, oppose us as the enemies of our salvation.

The name of the Church upon earth, whose children we are, reminds us of this. We call it the "Church militant," and this it really is. But for this very reason is she destined to be for all eternity the "Church triumphant." If one day we desire to join her in the cry of victory, then must we also, like faithful children, combat and triumph with her. It is certain that we have a powerful enemy in lucifer and his allies; still we have no reason to be discouraged on this account, since Christ, the victor over death and hell, has provided us with so many weapons with which, assisted by His grace, we can ably defend ourselves. He appointed His own mother, Mary, to be, in particular, the guardian of His Church and of His children.

Let us draw near to her. Assisted by her, we will most assuredly conquer. I say Mary is the terror of hell, the well-ordered army arrayed against the enemies of our salvation. Why? To this I will give the answer today. O Mary, we unite our prayers with those of the Church on this day, and fly to thee for aid and protection. Defended by thee, no temptation can harm us! I speak in the holy name of Jesus, to the greater honor of God! I called Mary the terror of hell. In her conception she crushed the head of satan. Protected by her we will be stronger than all the powers of satan.

The promise which was given in paradise by the Redeemer, points to Mary, the mother of the Saviour, as the strong woman who was to crush the head of satan. And the same is verified by the various types which Scripture presents to us in the heroines of the Old Testament. Deborah and Judith were types or figures of the Blessed Virgin; and the Church refers the words of the Canticle, which speaks of a well-ordered army and the Ark of the Covenant, to Mary.

At the foot of the cross we behold Mary, the strong tower before which hung the armor of the mighty. I, therefore, justly call Mary the terror of hell. We will better understand these types by considering the reasons which cause a general to fear his adversary.

The first is the very person of an opponent, who, by his dignity, his character, and his talents, exercises an unbounded influence over the army intrusted to his command, so that his subjects, urged on by the consciousness of victory, obey his every word without hesitation. How terrible is Mary in this respect, as opposed to satan. It is true, lucifer and all the fallen angels were' gifted with incomparably higher talents than we; but this, their former natural glory, disappears when we remember the grandeur of Mary. She is the mother of the Jesus, whom the eternal Father has so exalted that in His name, and in acknowledgment of His power, every knee in heaven and on earth shall bend.

Next to Christ, seated on a throne of glory, is His mother Mary, who reigns as queen of heaven and earth, surrounded with such glory and magnificence as to cause all the former splendor of satan to vanish. In connection with this honor and glory, Mary, as mother of Jesus, also enjoys a power which gives her the right to say with Christ: "To me is given all power in heaven and on earth,"--a power which likewise justifies her in saying with her Son: "No one is able to wrest my sheep from me," as long as they have recourse to me, their mother and queen. Jesus, my Son, has shared His power with me. I can oppose hell with His words. And if I would ask Him to send me even a legion of angels to fight against thee, lucifer, and thy hosts, He would grant my request at once.

Not only is Mary in herself a power so terrible to hell, but how many other powers are prepared, awaiting only her command to fight against hell! A general and his soldiers are filled with still greater dismay when they perceive the approaching commander to be at the head of a mighty army, valiant, experienced in warfare, and in every respect superior to their own. Mary is the queen of angels, of whom each one has baffled and triumphed over lucifer.

Let us call to mind the arrogance of Sennacherib who, relying on the strength of his armies, contemned God, and, as it were, challenged Him to combat. The following day 185,000 corpses were strewn around Jerusalem. In one night they were slain by one single angel whom God had sent, and Jerusalem was delivered. I make the application and say: All the angels look up to Mary as their queen, and they are prepared to fight against hell at any moment, when there is question of the salvation of a soul who implores the protection of the mother of God.

Thus it occurred at one time that a number of evil spirits besieged the death-bed of a woman who, in her agony, called upon Mary. Mary summoned Michael, the Archangel. He, accompanied by numerous angels, advanced towards the dying person, and the evil spirits fled in dismay. So also St. Francis Jerome, dying, cast a glance on an image of the Blessed Virgin, and sighed: "O Mary, thou who hast ever been my refuge, protect me in this hour!" And lo! his countenance became radiant, and, bowing to the image of the Virgin, he said joyfully: "Now all is right--Magnificat"; and his spirit was eleased.

Just as a person is terrified and draws back when a flash of lightning has struck something near him, so also satan retreats, when, in temptation, we call upon Mary. This is affirmed by Thomas a Kempis. A general is filled with dread if he is aware that the commander who opposes him possesses more strategic talents than he, and is thereby better fitted to command. lucifer knows full well that he has such an opponent in Mary, the queen of the cherubim, the seat of heavenly wisdom, the wisest of virgins. And when a general knows that his opponent has often fought, and has always been victorious, this knowledge especially strikes terror into his soul. But count the victories of Mary.

St. Bernard could in truth address the Blessed Virgin thus: "O Mary, it is unheard of, that any one has fled to thy protection or sought thy mediation without obtaining relief." And does not the Church refer these words also to Mary: "Whoever seeks me will find life, and obtain salvation from the Lord?" And the holy Fathers unanimously declare that the veneration of the Blessed Virgin is a sure pledge of perseverance in the hour of death. It is indeed a highly consoling thought expressed by the spiritual writers, that no one for whom Mary has once offered her prayers to God will be lost. Mary obtains for those souls the grace of conversion and of perseverance to the end; that is, if we earnestly desire to do all that Mary requires of us. And what these requirements are, can be inferred from the words she addressed to the waiters in the dining-hall at Canaan: "Do all that He bids you to do; "that is to say, if we have but the sincere good-will to follow Christ in the manner in which the Church teaches us, then we may expect every thing from the Blessed Virgin, even if the bringing about of our conversion required a miracle.

It is especially the devotion to Mary in her Immaculate Conception, which proves a powerful weapon in our strife against hell. If you are severely tempted, say one Ave every night and morning, in honor of the Immaculate Conception. Call on the Blessed Virgin in the hour of temptation, and you will be victorious. When confidence fills the warrior's breast, then may it be said that victory is assured. And we certainly will not lack this feeling of confidence if we place ourselves under the victorious banner of Mary, for she is the mother of the children of God, and the mother of sweet hope.

May the Blessed Virgin so dispose our hearts in fighting for God, and for the salvation of our immortal souls, that with her we may conquer and be crowned! Amen!

Powered by ScribeFire.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, December 12, 2011

Double of the Second Class Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe - White Vestments ( Salve, sancta parens )

God of power and mercy,
Thou blessed the Americas at Tepeyac
with the presence of the Virgin Mary of Guadalupe.
May her prayers help all men and women
to accept each other as brothers and sisters.
Through Thy Justice present in our hearts
may Thy Peace reign in the world.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son,
who lives and reigns with Thee
and the Holy Ghost, one God,
for ever and ever.Amen.

One of the most beautiful series of apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary - Queen Heaven - occurred on the American continent on a December day of 1531, only ten years after the Spanish conquest. Mesoamerica, the New World, 1521: The capital city of the Aztec empire falls under the Spanish forces. Less than 20 years later, 9 million of the inhabitants of the land, who professed for centuries a polytheistic and human sacrificing religion, are converted to Christianity. What happened in those times that produced such an incredible and historically unprecedented conversion?
In 1531 a "Lady from Heaven" appeared to a poor Indian at Tepeyac, a hill northwest of Mexico City; she identified herself as the Mother of the True God, instructed him to have the bishop build a temple on the site and left an image of herself imprinted miraculously on his tilma, a poor quality cactus-cloth, which should have deteriorated in 20 years but shows no sign of decay 469 years later and still defies all scientific explanations of its origin. A fervent Christian Indian in his fifties, Juan Diego, a widower, was on his way to Mass in Mexico City from his home eight miles distant, a practice he and his wife had followed since their conversion, in honor of Our Lady on Her day, Saturday. He had to pass near the hill of Tepeyac, and was struck there by the joyous song of birds, rising up in the most melodious of concerts; he stopped to listen. Looking up to the hilltop, he perceived a brilliant cloud, surrounded by a light brighter than a fiery sun, and a gentle voice called him by name, saying, "Juan, come." His first fear was transformed into a sweet happiness by this voice, and he mounted the slope. There he beheld the One he had intended to honor by hearing Her Mass. She was surrounded by a radiance so brilliant it sent out rays that seemed to transform the very rocks into scintillating jewels.

"Where are you going, My child?" She asked him. "To Saint James to hear the Mass sung by the minister of the Most High in honor of the Mother of the Saviour." "That is good, My son; your devotion is agreeable to Me, as is also the humility of your heart. Know then that I am that Virgin Mother of God, Author of Life and Protector of the weak. I desire that a temple be built here, where I will show Myself to be your tender Mother, the Mother of your fellow citizens and of all who invoke My name with confidence. Go to the bishop and tell him faithfully all you have seen and heard."

Juan continued on his way, and the bishop, Monsignor Juan de Zumarraga, a Franciscan of great piety and enlightened prudence, heard him kindly and asked questions, but sent him home without any promises. Juan was disappointed, but on his way past the hill, he once again found the Lady, who seemed to be waiting for him as though to console him. He excused himself for the failure of his mission, but She only repeated Her desire to have a temple built at this site, and told him to return again to the bishop. This he did on the following day, begging the bishop to accomplish the desires of the Virgin. Monsignor said to him: “If it is the Most Holy Virgin who sends you, She must prove it; if She wants a church, She must give me a sign of Her will.” On his way home, Juan Diego found Her again, waiting, and She said to him, “Come back tomorrow and I will give you a certain mark of the truthfulness of your words.”

The next day Juan was desolate to find his uncle, with whom he lived, fallen grievously sick; the old gentleman was clearly on the brink of death. Juan had to go and find a priest in the city. As he was passing the hill, Our Lady again appeared to him, saying, “Do not be anxious, Diego, because of your uncle’s illness. Don’t you know that I am your Mother and that you are under My protection? At this moment your uncle is cured.” “Then please give me the sign you told me of,” replied Juan. Mary told him to come up to the hilltop and cut the flowers he would find there, place them under his cloak, and bring them to Her. “I will tell you then what to do next.” Juan found the most beautiful of roses and lilies, and chose the most fragrant ones for Mary. She made a bouquet of them and placed it in a fold of his cloak or tilma — a large square of coarse cloth resembling burlap. “Take these lilies and roses on My behalf to the bishop,” She said. “This is the certain sign of My will. Let there be no delay in raising here a temple in My honor.” With joy Juan continued on to the city and the bishop’s residence, where he had to wait nearly all day in the antechamber. Other visitors noted the fragrance of his flowers, and went so far as to open his mantle to see what he was carefully holding in it, but found only flowers pictured on the cloth. When finally he was admitted to the presence of the prelate, he opened his cloak and the fresh flowers fell on the floor. That was not the only sign; on his cloak there was imprinted a beautiful image of the Virgin. It remains today still visible in the Cathedral of Mexico City, conserved under glass and in its original state, having undergone no degeneration in 471 years.

Juan found his uncle entirely cured that evening; he heard him relate that Our Lady had cured him, and had said to him also: "May a sanctuary be raised for Me under the name of Our Lady of Guadalupe." The bishop lost no time in having a small church built at the hill of Tepeyac, and Juan Diego himself dwelt near there to answer the inquiries of the pilgrims who came in great numbers. In effect, nearly all of the land became Catholic in a few years’ time, having learned to love the gentle Lady who like God their Father showed Herself to be the ever-watchful friend of the poor. In 1737 the pestilence ceased immediately in Mexico city after the inhabitants made a vow to proclaim Our Lady of Guadalupe the principal Patroness of New Spain. In 1910 She was proclaimed by Pope Saint Pius X "Celestial Patroness of all Latin America." Recent studies of the image of Our Lady on the tilma have discovered in one of Her eyes the portrait of the obedient one Juan Diego and the bishop who did not oppose Our Lady's request. The result: Over 9 million conversions. She came to stop human sacrifice by the Aztec nation. She entreats all her children to stop the abominable human sacrifice of abortion. Our Lady of Guadalupe, Our Lady of the Americas, is Our Lady of the Unborn

Powered by ScribeFire.
Enhanced by Zemanta

The Amazing and Miraculous Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe - Part 2

The Amazing and Miraculous Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Short Litany, or Antiphon and Oration, of the Immaculate Conception ( indulgence 500 days )

V. Tota Pulchra es, Maria.                V. Thou art all fair, O Mary.
R. Tota pulchra es, Maria.                 R. Thou art all fair, O Mary.
V. Et Macula originalis non est in te.  V. The original stain is not in thee.
R. Et Macula originalis non est in te.   R. The original stain is not in thee.
V. Tu gloria Jerusalem                       V. Thou art the glory of Jerusalem.
R. Tu laetitia Israel.                           R. Thou art the glory of Jerusalem.
V. Tu honorificentia populi nostri.       V. Thou art the honor of our people.
R. Tu advocata peccatorum.              R. Thou art the advocate of sinners.
V. O Maria.                                      V. O Mary!
R. O Maria.                                      R. O Mary!
V. Virgo prudentissima.                     V. Virgin most prudent
R. Mater clementissima.                    R. Mother most tender.
V. Ora pro nobis.                              V. Pray for us.
R. Intercede pro nobis ad Dominum Jesum Christum.
R. Intercede for us with Our Lord Jesus Christ.
V. In Conceptione tua, Virgo, immaculata fuiste.
V. In thy Conception, holy Virgin, thou was immaculate.
R. Ora pro nobis Patrem, cujus Filium Peperisti.
R. Pray for us to the Father, Whose Son was born of thee.

Oremus. Deus, qui per Immaculatum Virginis Conceptionem dignum Filio tuo habitaculum praeparasti: Quaesumus, ut qui ex morte ejusdem Filii tui praevisa eam ab omni labe praeservasti, nos quoque mundos ejus intercessione ad te perveniere concedas. Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum. R. Amen

Let us pray. O God, Who through the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin didst prepare a worthy dwelling place for Thy Divine Son: grant that as in view of the death of that Son, Thou didst preserve her form all stain of sin, so Thou wouldst vouchsafe unto us that, cleansed by her intercession, we too may arrive at Thy eternal glory. Through Christ Our Lord. R. Amen

(Indulgence 500 days for the Litany, 300 days for the vesicle "In Conceptione" and three years for the prayer.)

Prayer in Honor of the Immaculate Conception

Dear, Blessed Lady! by many titles art thou known and loved; but as Virgin Mother of Jesus Christ Incarnate none is greater, holier, more beautifully commemorative of thy ineffable prerogatives than the one of thy Immaculate conception.
It is the prayer of Thine own pure lips, and as such obtains for us special favors and graces.
Thus prostrate before thee, O purest of Virgins, we offer thee our profoundest homage, and hail thee as our queen conceived without sin!
Cast us not from thee, O tenderest Mother, but open to us the inexhaustible fountain of Divine graces, and be the holy refuge of our sin-burdened souls. Amen

Litany of Our Lady of Loretto

Lord, have Mercy on us.
Christ, have Mercy on us.
Lord, have Mercy on us. Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven, have Mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have Mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost, have Mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have Mercy on us.
Holy Mary, pray for us.
Holy Mother of God, pray for us.
Holy Virgin of virgins, pray for us.
Mother of Christ, pray for us.
Mother of divine grace, pray for us.
Mother most pure, pray for us.
Mother most chaste, pray for us.
Mother inviolate, pray for us.
Mother undefiled, pray for us.
Mother most amiable, pray for us.
Mother most admirable, pray for us.
Mother of good counsel, pray for us.
Mother of our Creator, pray for us.
Mother of our Savior, pray for us.
Mother of the Church, pray for us.
Mother of families, pray for us.
Virgin most prudent, pray for us.
Virgin most venerable, pray for us.
Virgin most renowned, pray for us.
Virgin most powerful, pray for us.
Virgin most merciful, pray for us.
Virgin most faithful, pray for us.
Mirror of justice, pray for us.
Seat of wisdom, pray for us.
Cause of our joy, pray for us.
Spiritual vessel, pray for us.
Vessel of honor, pray for us.
Singular vessel of devotion, pray for us.
Mystical rose, pray for us.
Tower of David, pray for us.
Tower of ivory, pray for us.
House of gold, pray for us.
Ark of the covenant, pray for us.
Gate of heaven, pray for us.
Morning star, pray for us.
Health of the sick, pray for us.
Refuge of sinners, pray for us.
Comforter of the afflicted, pray for us.
Help of Christians, pray for us.
Queen of Angels, pray for us.
Queen of Patriarchs, pray for us.
Queen of Prophets, pray for us.
Queen of Apostles, pray for us.
Queen of Martyrs, pray for us.
Queen of Confessors, pray for us.
Queen of Virgins, pray for us.
Queen of all Saints, pray for us.
Queen conceived without original sin, pray for us.
Queen assumed into heaven, pray for us.
Queen of the most holy Rosary, pray for us.
Queen of Peace, pray for us.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have Mercy on us.

Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray. Grant unto us, Thy servants, we beseech Thee, O Lord God, at all times to enjoy health of soul and body, and by the glorious intercession of Blessed Mary, ever Virgin, when freed from the sorrows of this present life, to enter into that joy which has no end. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

"Oh Mary, Immaculate Virgin, for the sake of your blessed house, which we the angels moved to the pleasant hills of Loreto, turn your benevolent eyes toward us.

For the holy wall within which you were born and lived as a child, with prayers and the most sublime love; for the fortunate walls that listened to the greetings of the angel who called you: "Blessed among all women" and which remind us of the incarnation of the word in your purest bosom; for your blessed house, where you lived with Jesus and Joseph, and which became during the centuries the fervently longed-for destination of the saints, who considered themselves lucky to kiss fervently your sacred walls, bestow upon us the graces which we humbly ask, and the fortune of coming to Heaven after the exile, to repeat to you the greetings of the angel: Hail Mary."

Feast of The Translation of the Holy House of Loreto

The Holy House of Loreto is the same house of Nazareth that the Archangel Gabriel visited in the Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is there where the Word became Flesh and dwelt among us. The Holy Family also lived there in its return from Egypt and where Jesus spent 30 of his 33 years next to the Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph.

The Holy House was soon turned into a place of gathering for the celebration of the Holy Mass of the early Christians. We can imagine with what love and veneration they took care of this Holy Place.
Today the Holy House is located inside the Basilica which was built for the House in Loreto, Italy. Inside the house of Loreto the small statue of the Virgin of Loreto is venerated.
The Holy House of Nazareth had two parts: one was a small grotto and the second part was a small brick structure that extended from the entrance of the grotto. The brick structure did not have but three walls, since one side touched the wall of the grotto.
How did the house of Nazareth arrive in Loreto, Italy? There are various traditions. One of them speaks of angels who transported the house by air. There are documents, however, that seem to indicate that the one responsible was a merchant named NicĂ©foro Angelo of the 13th century. Perhaps his last name inspired the idea of the move by the angels. In any case, such an extraordinary task undoubtedly had the protection and guide from Heaven. The angel had already said to the Virgin Mary in that same house, “For nothing is impossible for God.”

Attempt to destroy the Holy House
The House of Loreto is Sacred in virtue of who lived in it. Many consider the Holy House of Loreto as one of the most sacred places in the world and God did not want this house to be profaned or destroyed, but preserved for forever.

The devil, men, and the world usually go against everything God wants and with this blessed house it was the same. In 1291, the Sarracenes were conquering Holy Land. They wanted to erase the entire history of Christianity and the best way for them was by destroying all of the sacred places. They thought that by eliminating all of the visible signs of Christianity they would extinguish their love and devotion.

They went in search of each place that was venerated for its association with the life of Christ. When they arrived at the proximity of Nazareth, the Holy House did not have human defense. It was well-known because Christians from the time of the Apostles held it with great reverence and celebrated Holy Mass there. The enemies said, “Never again will Christians celebrate the Annunciation here.”

The Basilica built over the Holy House had already been destroyed twice before. The first time was in 1090 a.d. Nonetheless, the house remained intact. The Crusaders rebuilt the Basilica, but in 1263 it was destroyed again. Once again the Crusaders tried to protect the Holy House, but this time, they were not able to rebuild the Basilica and the Holy House was left unprotected.

The Tradition of the Angelic Move
According to this tradition, in 1291 when the Crusaders lost control over the Holy Land, our Lord decided to send angels to protect his Holy House and gave them the order to move the house to a secure place.
“Take the Holy House to a secure place, far away from the hatred of my enemies of this land where I was born. Raise it above to the air where no one can reach it. May no one see it.”

On May 12th of 1291, the angels moved the house to a small town named Tersatto in Croatia. Very early in the morning the neighbors discovered it and they were astonished to see this House without a foundation and they could not explain how it arrived there. They entered and saw an altar of rock. On the altar there was a cedar statue of the Virgin Mary who had the child Jesus in her arms. The Child Jesus had his two fingers of his right hand extended as if he was giving a blessing. With his left hand he held a golden sphere that represented the world. Both were dressed with robes and had golden crowns.

Some days later, the Virgin Mary appeared to a priest of that place and explained to him where the house came from. She said, “You should know that the house that was recently brought to your land is the same house in which I was born and grew up. Here, in the Annunciation of the Archangel Gabriel, I conceived the Creator of all things. Here, the Word became flesh. The altar that was moved with the house was consecrated by Peter, the Prince of the Apostles. This house has come from Nazareth to your land by the power of God for whom nothing is impossible. Now, so that you can give a testimony of this, be healed. Your unexpected and sudden healing will confirm the truth that I have declared to you today.”

The priest who had been sick for a long time was healed immediately and announced to the people the miracle that had occured. Pilgrimages to the Holy House began. The residents of this small town built over the Holy House a simple building to protect it from the elements of nature.

The joy of the Croatians, however, lasted a very short time. After the three years and seven months that the house was in this town, on the night of December 10 of 1294, the house disappeared from Tersatto to never return again.

A devoted resident of Tersatto built a small church on the place where the house had been. It was a replica of the Holy House and he put the following inscription, “The Holy House of the Virgin Mary came from Nazareth on May 10, 1291 and stayed here until December 10, 1294.

The Croatian people continued to venerate our Blessed Mother in the replica of the Holy House. Their devotion was so great that Pope Urban V sent the people of Tersatto an image of Our Blessed Mother in 1367. This image is believed to have been sculpted by Saint Luke.

The Holy House is taken to Italy

On December 10 of 1294, some shepherds of the region of Loreto in Italy reported to have seen a house flying over the ocean, held by angels. There was an angel dressed with a red cape (Saint Michael) who directed the others and the Virgin Mary with the Child Jesus were seated on the House. The angels lowered the house on the place named Banderuola.

Many arrived to visit this holy house, but there were also some who went to mug the pilgrims. For this reason, people stopped going and the house was again moved by the angels to a hill in the middle of a farm. The Holy House would not remain there for much longer. The farm belonged to two brothers who began to discuss who was the owner of the house. For a third time the house was moved to another hill and they placed it in the middle of the path. This is the place that it has occupied for 700 years.
The residents of Recanati and Loreto truly did not know the story of the Holy House; they only knew of the miracles that took place there. Two years later, the Virgin Mary appeared to a hermit named Paul and she told him the origin and the history of the Holy House:

“It was kept in the city of Nazareth until with the permission of God those who honored this house were thrown out by the enemies. Since it was no longer honored and it was in danger of being profaned, my Son wanted to transfer it from Nazareth to Yugoslavia and from there to your land.”
Paul then told this story to the townspeople and they began a process to verify the authenticity of the house. They first went to Tersatto and later to Nazareth.

Investigations From the Experts
The experts assigned to this project went to Tersatto. There they verified that the walls were of a reddish color and close to 16 inches wide. They also discovered that the replica measured exactly the same as the Loreto house. The house measured 31 ¼ feet long by 13 feet 4 inches wide by 28 feet high. It had only one door of 7feet tall and 4 1/2 feet wide. It also had a window. All of the descriptions, including those of the interior elements and the statues agreed. In Nazareth they discovered that it truly was the house of the Virign Mary. The measurements of its foundatin were exactly the same as those of Loreto and the model built in Tersatto.

After six months they returned to Loreto and declared the authenticity of the Holy House. Years later, they found coins underneath the house that were not only from the area of Nazareth but also from the time during which the house was in Nazareth. The stones and the soil used to fill the house were identical to the ones used in Nazareth during that time and civilation. The house does not have a foundation since it stayed in Nazareth.

A Sacred Place
The Holy House is considered one of the most sacred places in the world. Before the Holy House was transferred, Saint Francis of Assisi had profetized that one day Loreto would be called the most sacred place in the world and, for this reason, a house should be built there.

Many saints, blesseds, and Popes have visited the house. Amongst them: Saint Francis of Sales made his vows of celibacy in the Holy House; Saint Therese of Lisieux – before she went to ask the Pope for permission to enter the Carmel at the age of 15, she visited the Holy House; Saint Maximilian Kolbe – in his return to the city of the Immaculata, shortly before being taken to the concentration camp; and many other saints.
Many pilgrims go each year to visit the Holy House, the place where the Holy Family lived and received the graces God wanted to grant them. It is a tradition to pray on one’s knees the Holy Rosary around the House. It is a penetiantial rosary asking the powerful intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Processions with candles of the Blessed Sacrament form part of the celebrations in the Basilica of the Holy House of Loreto.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Immaculate Conception Novena - Day 7-

Invocation to be Said Every Day of the Novena:

Thou art all fair, O Mary,
The Original Stain is not in thee.
Thou art the glory of Jerusalem,
Thou, the joy of Israel,
Thou, the great honor of our people
Thou, the advocate of sinners.
O Mary,O Mary,
Virgin most prudent,
Mother most merciful,
Pray for us,
Intercede for us with our Lord Jesus Christ.Amen

Day 7:

Most holy Virgin, who, being predestined to become the Mother of God, wast preserved by a singular privilege from Original Sin and filled with grace, confirmed in grace and enriched with all the gifts of the Holy Ghost, do thou accept, we pray, the homage of our most lively admiration and of our most profound veneration, the expression of our intense and reverent affection.

Beholding in thee a relic of the earthly paradise that was lost to man, purer and more spotless than the snowy splendor of mountain tops bathed in light, in that magnificent act of treading upon the proud head of the infernal serpent, the Heavens exulted, earth was filled with joy, and Hell trembled with fear. With thee came the bright dawn of man's redemption from sin, and when the children of men, having for centuries anxiously scanned the horizon in expectation of a fairer day, raised their heads, they discovered thee on high like a radiant vision of paradise and saluted thee with a cry of holy enthusiasm: "Thou art all fair, O Mary, and in thee there is no Original Stain."

At our feet, O Mary, the muddy torrent of lust did not halt, as it did before thine, that torrent that still flows across the world and threatens continually to submerge our souls also. We bear about within us and perceive around us countless deadly incentives that cease not to urge us on to savor the foul pleasures of sensual passion. O good Mother, enfold us under thy mantle, protect us from the snares of the infernal enemy, renew in us our love of the angelic virtue, and grant that, by ever keeping vivid in our hearts the reflections of thy heavenly brightness, we may be able one day to sing to thee a hymn of love and glory in the world to come.
(The Raccolta)

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.Amen

Hail Mary

Immaculate Conception Novena - Day 6-

Invocation to be Said Every Day of the Novena:

Thou art all fair, O Mary,
The Original Stain is not in thee.
Thou art the glory of Jerusalem,
Thou, the joy of Israel,
Thou, the great honor of our people
Thou, the advocate of sinners.
O Mary,O Mary,
Virgin most prudent,
Mother most merciful,
Pray for us,
Intercede for us with our Lord Jesus Christ.Amen

Day 6

O God, Who by the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin didst make ready a fitting habitation for Thy Son, we beseech Thee that Thou who didst keep her clean from all stain by the precious death of the same Thy Son, foreseen by Thee, mayest grant unto us in like manner to be made clean through her intercession and so attain unto Thee. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen (Roman Missal).
The Raccolta

By thine Immaculate Conception, O Mary, make my body pure and my spirit holy.Amen
Hail Mary.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Our Lady of Guadalupe Novena ~ Second Day ~

Our Lady of Guadalupe,
According to your message in Mexico
I venerate you as "the Virgin Mother
Of the true God for whom we live,
The Creator of all the world,
Maker of heaven and earth."
In spirit I kneel before your most holy Image
Which you miraculously imprinted
Upon the cloak of the Indian Juan Diego,
And with the faith
Of the countless numbers of pilgrims
Who visit your shrine,
I beg you for this favor:
To be a generous, self-sacrificing,
Faithful Marian Catechist all the days of my life.

Remember, O Immaculate Virgin,
The words you spoke to your devout client,
"I am a merciful Mother to you
And to all your people
Who love me and trust in me And invoke my help.
I listen to their lamentations and solace
All their sorrows and their sufferings."
I beg you to be a merciful Mother to me,
Because I sincerely love you and trust in you
And invoke your help.
I entreat you, Our Lady of Guadalupe,
To grant my request,
If this should be the Will of God,
In order that I may
"Bear witness to your love, your compassion,
Your help and protection."
Do not forsake me in my needs. Amen.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us.

Day 2

O Mary, conceived without sin,
I come to your throne of grace
to share the fervent devotion
of your faithful Mexican children
who call to you under the glorious Aztec title of Guadalupe.
Obtain for me a lively faith to do your Son’s holy will always:
May His will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
(our prayer petition here..)

Our Father..Hail Mary..Glory Be

Immaculate Conception Novena ~ Fourth Day ~

Invocation to be Said Every Day of the Novena:

Thou art all fair, O Mary,
The Original Stain is not in thee.
Thou art the glory of Jerusalem,
Thou, the joy of Israel,
Thou, the great honor of our people
Thou, the advocate of sinners.
O Mary, O Mary,
Virgin most prudent,
Mother most merciful,
Pray for us,
Intercede for us with our Lord Jesus Christ.Amen

Day 4:

O pure and immaculate and likewise blessed Virgin, who art the sinless Mother of thy Son, the mighty Lord of the universe, thou who art forever Immaculate and altogether holy, the hope of the hopeless and sinful, we sing thy praises.
We bless thee, as full of every grace, thou who didst bear the God-Man: we all bow low before thee; we invoke thee and implore thine aid.
Rescue us, O holy and forever Virgin Mary , from every necessity that presses upon us and from all the temptations of the devil.
Be our intercessor and advocate at the hour of death and judgment; deliver us from the fire that is not extinguished and from the outer darkness; make us worthy of the glory of thy Son, O dearest and most clement Virgin Mother.

Thou indeed art our only hope most sure and sacred in God's sight, to whom be honor and glory, majesty and dominion for ever and ever world without end. Amen
(St. Ephrem the Syrian)

In thy Conception, O Virgin Mary, thou wast immaculate; pray for us to the Father whose Son Jesus, after He was conceived by the Holy Ghost, thou didst bring forth into the world. Amen

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Novena to Our Lady Of Guadalupe ~ Day 1 ~

Our Lady of Guadalupe,
According to your message in Mexico
I venerate you as "the Virgin Mother
Of the true God for whom we live,
The Creator of all the world,
Maker of Heaven and earth."
In spirit I kneel before your most holy Image
Which you miraculously imprinted
Upon the cloak of the Indian Juan Diego,
And with the faith
Of the countless numbers of pilgrims
Who visit your shrine,
I beg you for this favor:
To be a generous, self-sacrificing,
Faithful Marian Catechist all the days of my life.

Remember, O Immaculate Virgin,
The words you spoke to your devout client,
"I am a merciful Mother to you
And to all your people
Who love me and trust in me And invoke my help.
I listen to their lamentations and solace
All their sorrows and their sufferings."
I beg you to be a merciful Mother to me,
Because I sincerely love you and trust in you
And invoke your help.
I entreat you, Our Lady of Guadalupe,
To grant my request,
If this should be the Will of God,
In order that I may
"Bear witness to your love, your compassion,
Your help and protection."
Do not forsake me in my needs. Amen.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us. Hail Mary ..(3 times)

First Day

Dearest Lady of Guadalupe,
Fruitful Mother of holiness,
Teach me your ways
Of gentleness and strength.
Hear my humble prayer
Offered with heartfelt confidence
To beg this petition (here our prayer intention).

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory.

Introduction to Novena to our Lady of Guadalupe

Most welcome in praying a Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe.

At the time Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to Juan Diego in Mexico in 1531, the Aztec culture of death was killing 20% of Mexican children. Her miraculous presence crushed the head of death in the Aztec culture, saving thousands from a violent sacrificial death. It was through the conversion of hearts–9 million in ten years–that this miracle occurred! Today, 25% of our children are sacrificed through the violence of abortion. The Aztecs participated in human sacrifice because they lived in constant fear and despair, always anticipating the wrath of gods who would devour them. The fear that forced the Aztecs into human sacrifice is similar to the fears that drive so many today to abortion: fear that children will devour our rights, freedom, wealth, time, autonomy or fear that originates from utter despair and hopelessness.

Yet, through the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe we have HOPE! Her appearance and miraculous image led to the conversion of millions, defeating the Aztec culture of death, and our intercession to her today will bring new hope to our world through conversion, defeating the culture of death that we now face. Our Lady of Guadalupe told Juan Diego, “I am the ever-virgin Mary, Mother of the true God who gives life and maintains its existence.” Our Lady of Guadalupe, “the Star of the New Evangelization”, will transform hearts, converting our culture to new life and hope through our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Immaculate Conception Novena ~ Third Day ~

Invocation to be said Every Day of the Novena:

Thou art all fair, O Mary,
The Original Stain is not in thee.
Thou art the glory of Jerusalem,
Thou, the joy of Israel,
Thou, the great honor of our people

Day 3:

Immaculate Mother of God, Queen of Heaven, Mother of mercy, Advocate and Refuge of sinners, behold, I, enlightened and inspired by the graces obtained for me abundantly from the Divine treasury through thy maternal affection, resolve this day and always to place my heart in thy hands to be consecrated to Jesus.

To thee, therefore, most Blessed Virgin, in the presence of the nine choirs of Angels and all the Saints, I now give it. Do thou, in my name, consecrate it to Jesus; and out of the filial confidence which I hereby make profession of, I am certain that now and always thou wilt do all thou canst to bring it to pass that my heart may ever wholly belong to Jesus, and may imitate perfectly the example of the Saints, and in particular that of Saint Joseph, thy most pure Spouse. Amen.
(Bl. Vincent Pallotti - prayer from The Raccolta )

Blessed be the holy and Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God Thou, the advocate of sinners.
O Mary, O Mary, Virgin most prudent, Mother most merciful,
Pray for us, intercede for us with our Lord Jesus Christ.Amen

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Immaculate Conception Novena ~ Second Day ~

Invocation to be Said Every Day of the Novena:

Thou art all fair, O Mary,
The Original Stain is not in thee.
Thou art the glory of Jerusalem,
Thou, the joy of Israel,
Thou, the great honor of our people
Thou, the advocate of sinners.
O Mary, O Mary,
Virgin most prudent,
Mother most merciful,
Pray for us,
Intercede for us with our Lord Jesus Christ.Amen

Day 2:

O Virgin Immaculate, Mother of God and my Mother, from thy sublime height turn upon me thine eyes of pity.
Filled with confidence in thy goodness and knowing full well thy power, I beseech thee to extend to me thine assistance in the journey of life, which is so full of dangers for my soul.
And in order that I may never be the slave of the devil through sin, but may ever live with my heart humble and pure, I entrust myself wholly to thee.
I consecrate my heart to thee for ever, my only desire being to love thy Divine Son Jesus.
Mary, none of thy devout servants has ever perished; may I too be saved. Amen.
(The Raccolta )

O Mary, thou didst enter the world without stain; 
do thou obtain for me from God, 
that I may leave it without sin.Amen

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Immaculate Conception Novena ~ Day 1 ~

This novena may be made any time but it is especially good to honor the Mother of God in her Divine privilege by making the Novena between November 29-December 7, the eve of the Feast.
Invocation to be Said Every Day of the Novena:

Thou art all fair, O Mary,
The Original Stain is not in thee.
Thou art the glory of Jerusalem,
Thou, the joy of Israel,
Thou, the great honor of our people
Thou, the advocate of sinners.
O Mary, O Mary,
Virgin most prudent,
Mother most merciful,
Pray for us,
Intercede for us with our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen
( The Raccolta )
Day 1:

O Virgin Immaculate, who wast pleasing in the Lord's sight and didst become His Mother,
look graciously upon the wretched who implore thy mighty patronage.
The wicked serpent, against whom the primal curse was hurled,
continues none the less to wage war
and to lay snares for the unhappy children of Eve.
Ah, do thou, our blessed Mother, our Queen and Advocate,
who from the first instant of thy Immaculate Conception
didst crush the head of our enemy,
receive the prayers that we unite single-heartedly to thine
and conjure thee to offer at the throne of God,
that we may never fall into the snares that are laid for us,
in such wise that we may all come to the haven of salvation;
and in the midst of so many dangers may Holy Church
and the fellowship of Christians everywhere sing once more
the hymn of deliverance, victory and peace. Amen.

To thee, O Holy Virgin Mother Mary, who wast never touched by any spot of Original or actual sin, I commend and entrust the purity of my heart.

Hail Mary. Amen

Monday, November 21, 2011

Preface to the Feast of Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

It is truly meet and just, right and availing unto salvation, that we should at all times and in all places give thanks unto Thee, O Holy Lord, Father Almighty and everlasting God. That on the Festival of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we should praise, bless and proclaim Thee.
For she conceived Thine only-begotten Son by the over-shadowing of the Holy Ghost; and losing Not the glory of her virginity, gave forth to the world the everlasting Light, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Through whom the Angels praise Thy majesty, the Dominions worship it, and the powers stand in awe.
The Heavens and the heavenly Hosts, and the blessed Seraphim join together in celebrating their joy. With these we pray Thee join our voices also, while we say with lowly praise:
Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Sabaoth;
heaven and earth are full of thy glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord
Hosanna in the highest

Friday, November 18, 2011

Novena of the Miraculous Medal

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

Come, O Holy Spirit,
fill the hearts of Your faithful,
and kindle in them the fire of Your love.
Send forth Your Spirit,
and they shall be created.
And You shall renew the face of the earth.
O God, who did instruct the hearts
of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit,
grant us in the same Spirit
to be truly wise
and ever to rejoice in His consolation,
through Jesus Christ Our Lord.

O Mary, conceived without sin,
pray for us who have recourse to Thee.

O Mary, conceived without sin,
pray for us who have recourse to Thee.

O Mary, conceived without sin,
pray for us who have recourse to Thee.

O Lord Jesus Christ,
who has vouchsafed to glorify
by numberless miracles the Blessed Virgin Mary,
Immaculate from the first moment of her conception,
grant that all who
devoutly implore her protection on earth,
may eternally enjoy Your presence in Heaven,
who, with the Father and Holy Spirit,
live and reign, God,
for ever and ever.

O Lord Jesus Christ,
who for the accomplishment of Your greatest works,
have chosen the weak things of the world,
that no flesh may glory in Your sight;
and who for a better
and more widely diffused belief
in the Immaculate Conception of Your Mother,
have wished that the Miraculous Medal
be manifested to Saint Catherine Labouré,
grant, we beseech You,
that filled with like humility,
we may glorify this mystery by word and work.

Remember, O most compassionate Virgin Mary,
that never was it known
that anyone who fled to Thy protection,
implored Thy assistance,
or sought Thy intercession was left unaided.
Inspired with this confidence,
we fly unto Thee,
O Virgin of Virgins, our Mother;
to Thee we come;
before Thee we kneel sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word Incarnate,
despise not our petitions,
but in Thy clemency hear and answer them.

Novena Prayer

O Immaculate Virgin Mary,
Mother of Our Lord Jesus and our Mother,
penetrated with the most lively confidence
in Thy all-powerful and never-failing intercession,
manifested so often through the Miraculous Medal,
we Thy loving and trustful children
implore Thee to obtain for us the graces
and favours we ask during this novena,
if they be beneficial to our immortal souls,
and the souls for whom we pray.
(our prayer intention here)
Thou know, O Mary,
how often our souls have been
the sanctuaries of Thy Son who hates iniquity.
Obtain for us then a deep hatred of sin
and that purity of heart which will attach us to God alone
so that our every thought, word and deed
may tend to His greater glory.

Obtain for us also a spirit of prayer and self-denial
that we may recover by penance
what we have lost by sin
and at length attain to that blessed abode
where Thou are the Queen of angels and of men

An Act of Consecration to Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal

O Virgin Mother of God,
Mary Immaculate,
we dedicate and consecrate ourselves to Thee
under the title of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal.
May this Medal be for each one of us
a sure sign of Thy affection for us
and a constant reminder of our duties toward Thee.
Ever while wearing it,
may be blessed by Thy loving protection
and preserved in the grace of Thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ .
O most powerful Virgin,
Mother of our Saviour,
keep us close to Thee every moment of our lives.
Obtain for us, Thy children,
the grace of a happy death;
so that, in union with Thee,
we may enjoy the bliss of Heaven forever.

O Mary, conceived without sin,
pray for us who have recourse to Thee.

O Mary, conceived without sin,
pray for us who have recourse to Thee.

O Mary, conceived without sin,
pray for us who have recourse to Thee.

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost , Amen

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Our Lady of Sorrows Novena ( Day 1 )

Novena in honour of Our Lady of Sorrows begins today and continues until the Feast Day on 15 September.

First Day of the Novena

Prayer in honour of the First Sorrow of Mary
Most sorrowful Virgin,
sorrow filled your Immaculate Heart when,
on offering your divine Son in the temple,
Holy Simeon told you that a sword would pierce your soul,
and you knew then that you would be asked to suffer with Jesus.
I wish to join with you in this sorrow,
and I ask you, O Queen of Martyrs, to obtain for me
the grace that I may always remember my death, which will help to keep me form all sin.
Hail Mary..

The two prayers which follow are recited each day of the Novena
Prayer intention to Our Sorrowful Mother
O most holy and afflicted Virgin, Queen of Martyrs, who stood on Mount Calvary when your Son was in agony: by the sword of sorrow which pierced your heart, by the sufferings of your whole life on earth, by your unspeakable joy in Heaven; look down with maternal pity and tenderness as I kneel before you to sympathise with your sorrows, and to place my petition, with childlike confidence, in your wounded heart.
I beg of you, dear Mother, to plead for me with your divine Son, since he can refuse you nothing, and, through the merits of his most sacred Passion and Death, together with your own suffering at the foot of his Cross, so to move his Sacred Heart that I may obtain this request..
To whom shall I go in my need and misery, if not to you, O Mother most merciful, you who pity us poor exiles still sighing in this valley of tears? Offer to Jesus for us but one drop of his most precious blood, but one pang of his loving heart; remind him that you are our life, our sweetness and our hope, and your prayer on my behalf will be heard. Amen.

The Memorare
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help or sought your intercession, was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto you, O Virgin of Virgins, my Mother. To you do I come, before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in your clemency, hear and answer me. Amen.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Novena in honour of Blessed Virgin Mary 's Nativity ( September 8 )

Novena prayer composed by Saint Anselm

Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O sacred Virgin; give me strength against thine enemies,
and against the enemy of the whole human race.
Give me strength humbly to pray to thee.
Give me strength to praise thee in prayer with all my powers,
through the merits of thy most sacred nativity,
which for the entire Christian world was a birth of joy, the hope and solace of its life.

When thou wast born, O most holy Virgin, then was the world made light.

Happy is thy stock, holy thy root, and blessed thy fruit, for thou alone as a virgin,
filled with the Holy Spirit, didst merit to conceive thy God,
as a virgin to bear Thy God, as a virgin to bring Him forth, and after His birth to remain a virgin.

Have mercy therefore upon me a sinner, and give me aid, O Lady, so that just as thy nativity,
glorious from the seed of Abraham, sprung from the tribe of Juda, illustrious from the stock of David,
didst announce joy to the entire world, so may it fill me with true joy and cleanse me from every sin.
(here our prayer intention)

Pray for me, O Virgin most prudent, that the gladsome joys of thy most helpful nativity may put a cloak over all my sins.

O holy Mother of God, flowering as the lily, pray to thy sweet Son for me, a wretched sinner. Amen.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Novena for the Assumption into Heaven of the Blessed Virgin Mary ( August 15 )

For those of you who may wish to begin a novena today for the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on August 15
Day 4

This wonderful summer feast is one of the oldest in Church history. The Feast of the Assumption, honouring Our Lady, was first celbrated in Palestine in the year 529. It was such a strong tradition in the Church, needing no confirmation, that it wasn't until November 1 1950 that Pope Pius XII declared the Assumption of Mary to be a dogma of the faith. From her place in heaven, she still watches over us, as she watched over Jesus as he grew. As our mother, she is always our refuge, our comfort and our hope. Through the communion of Saints, of which she is the Queen, we share the joy and glory of her Assumption.
Before Novena , we can pray a Prayer of Consecration :

Father, send your Holy Spirit, so that each one of us might become an instrument of your peace,
From hunger and war, deliver us! 

From nuclear war, from incalculable self destruction, from every kind of war, deliver us!
From the sins against the life of man from its very beginning, deliver us!
From discouragement, from hatred and from the degradation of the dignity of the children of God, deliver us!
From every kind of injustice in the life of society, both national and international, deliver us!
From the readiness to trample on the Commandments of God, deliver us!
From the attempt to extinguish the very truth of God in human hearts, deliver us!
From the loss of consciousness of good and evil, deliver us!
From the sins against the Holy Spirit, deliver us!

Now let us faithfully pray Novena before the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary, Mother of God

Mary, Queen Assumed into Heaven, I rejoice that after years of heroic martyrdom on earth, you have at last been taken to the throne prepared for you in heaven by the Holy Trinity.
Lift my heart with you in the glory of your Assumption above the dreadful touch of sin and impurity.
Teach me how small Earth becomes when viewed from Heaven.
Make me realize that death is the triumphant Gate through which I shall pass to your Son, and that someday my body shall rejoin my soul in the unending bliss of Heaven.
From this Earth, over which I tread as a pilgrim, I look to you for help and I humbly ask for this prayer request :
(here our prayer intention ).
When my hour of death has come, lead me safely to the presence of Jesus to enjoy the vision of my God for all eternity together with you. Amen

Mother of Christ and Mother of all peoples, we ask for your protection and your intercession.
Pray to your Son for us, to send the Holy Spirit in abundance, the Spirit of Truth who is the source of Life. Welcome the Spirit for us and with us as you did on the feast of Pentecost with the first disciples.

Mother you know and share our sufferings and hopes.
Today we entrust the whole world to you.
We pray for you to accompany us on our path.
Like John the Apostle, we wish to accept you into our homes, to learn from you how to resemble Jesus.
We entrust all our people to you, starting with those who are the weakest and who suffer the most: the unborn children, those whose life is menaced, those born in poverty, the young people searching for a sense to their life, the refugees, the unemployed, those tried by sickness, the families who are divided, elderly persons deprived of assistance and all those who are alone and without hope.
May the infinite saving power of Redemption rise up once more in the history of the world, the power of the Merciful Love of the Father!
May the Holy Spirit transform consciences!
May He heal our memories and purify our hearts. May the Lord always reign among us, He who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen

Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, August 5, 2011

Feast of Our Lady of Snows ( Dedication of the Church of Our Lady-of-the-Snows )

The Catholic Church celebrates today the annual feast of the dedication of a very remarkable church at Rome, called St. Mary Ad Nives--" St. Mary of the Snow," or " St. Mary Major."
Origin of this church is as follows: In the middle of the fourth century, at the time of Pope Liberius, there resided at Rome a nobleman named John. Although rich in temporal goods, he was still wealthier in those which are not of this world, and his wife was his equal in birth, riches and virtue. They had been married many years without having been blessed with children, although they had often prayed to God for them. At last, they resigned themselves to the will of Providence, and resolved to employ all their wealth in honor of the Blessed Virgin, and make her heir to it, as they had always entertained great devotion for her. They were, as yet, uncertain as to the manner in which they should carry out their intention. They both sought refuge in prayer and alms, begging the Blessed Virgin to teach them how they might best appropriate their possessions to her honor.

Mary, the Divine Mother, deigned to make her wishes known to them. Appearing to them both in the night, she told them to go, on the following day, which was the fifth of this month, to the Aesquiline mount, in Rome, and to build a church in her honor on the spot which they would find covered with snow. This, she added, would be more agreeable to her than anything else they could do. When they awoke next morning and told each other their dream or rather their vision, they were filled with inexpressible joy, and immediately repaired to Pope Liberius to hear his opinion on the subject. As the Pope had had the same vision the same night, there was no longer reason to doubt the truth of the revelation. Assembling the clergy and people without delay, the Pontiff formed a procession to go to the appointed spot.

When they arrived there, they saw, in truth, a place large enough for a church, covered with snow. All were greatly surprised at this, which they could not but consider a miracle, since it was in the midst of summer, on the fifth of August, when neither in Rome nor within many miles of it, any snow could naturally have fallen. The pious couple drew from this fact the greatest comfort, as it was an indication that the Almighty and the Blessed Virgin were pleased with their intention. Therefore, hesitating no longer, they forthwith made all the necessary preparations for building a magnificent church. The building was begun and very soon completed. All that was needed for its erection, as well as for its maintenance, was joyfully furnished. Pope Liberius most solemnly consecrated the new church; and all the faithful went to it to venerate the Queen of Heaven.
At first, this church was called the Basilica, signifying a palace, or the Liberian Basilica, on account of its royal magnificence. It was also called St. Mary ad Nives, for the reason mentioned above. Today it is known as the St. Mary Major, or the Great, as it is the greatest of all the churches of Rome built in honor of the Blessed Virgin, on account of its origin, magnificence and rich endowment. It is also called St. Mary ad Praesepe--St. Mary of the Manger--because in one of its chapels, the crib or manger, in which the new-born Saviour was placed by His virgin mother, is kept.

Pope Gregory the Great, in 509, formed and led the great precession, celebrated in the annals of the church, to implore God, through the intercession of Mary, to avert the dreadful pestilence which ravaged Rome. Its fury somewhat abated, but as it was still in the city, the Pope, in the following year, formed a second precession, headed by the picture of the Blessed Virgin painted by St. Luke, which is kept in the church of St. Mary ad Nives. During the procession, the pestilence left all those houses by which the picture passed, until, at last, when the faithful dispersed, the whole city was free from the terrible scourge.

Another miraculous event occurred during the procession, which must not be omitted. Angels were heard singing: "Rejoice, O Queen of Heaven, Alleluia. He whom thou didst deserve to bear, Alleluia! is risen as He said, Alleluia!" The holy Pope, prostrating himself with all the people, finished the angels' hymn of praise with the words: "Pray for us to God, Alleluia!" When the procession had reached the Mausoleum, or tomb of the Emperor Adrian, the Pope saw upon its summit an angel sheathing his sword, as a sign that the wrath of the Almighty was appeased by the intercession of Mary, and that the pestilence which had so long ravaged the city, would disappear. The rejoicing of the people, and the devotion which was from that time shown to the miraculous picture of the Blessed Virgin, cannot be worthily described.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The month of August is dedicated to The Immaculate Heart of Mary

In the midst of the second world war Pope Pius XII put the whole world under the special protection of our Savior's Mother by consecrating it to her Immaculate Heart, and in 1944 he decreed that in the future the whole Church should celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This is not a new devotion. In the seventeenth century, St. John Eudes preached it together with that of the Sacred Heart; in the nineteenth century, Pius VII and Pius IX allowed several churches to celebrate a feast of the Pure Heart of Mary. Pius XII instituted today's feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary for the whole Church, so as to obtain by her intercession "peace among nations, freedom for the Church, the conversion of sinners, the love of purity and the practice of virtue" (Decree of May 4, 1944).

Oremus . Let us pray
Heart of Mary ever Virgin, you are full of grace.
You are the dearest daughter of the heavenly Father,
the tabernacle of the Word made Flesh,
and the beloved home of the Holy Spirit.
You are the wonder and delight of angels,
of saints, and of men.
I offer you my deepest reverence.
With great love and thanksgiving I consecrate myself,
body and soul, to you this day,
and will never take back my word.

You are the marvel of God's creation;
a Virgin's heart, yet a Mother's too,
with a mother's love of Jesus and of men.
Dear Mother, fashion in my heart a child's true love of you.
Fill me with your own bright virtues:
simplicity and innocence,
meekness and courage,
and unfailing devotedness
to Jesus Christ.

Since I belong to you then, holy Mother,
save me from my enemies,
from the world, from Satan, from myself.
Keep me always in your sinless Heart
to make my poor heart more and more
like your Heart and the Heart of Jesus.

Dear, merciful Mother,
look with a mother's love and pity on the poor,
sinful, suffering children of the whole human family.
Our Holy Father Pius XII has consecrated them to your Immaculate Heart.
Do not turn them away.
Remember the cruel pain your heart
suffered for their salvation with Jesus Christ on Calvary.
Save them by His precious Blood.
Draw them out of the darkness and despair
of their sin and misery into the light, peace,
and holiness of the Church.

Then with the angels and saints,
may they join us in singing the everlasting Magnificat of praise,
gratitude, and love to your tender
and Immaculate Heart,
and to the adorable and merciful Heart of Jesus.Amen.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Brown Scapular: A Silent Devotion ( part 2 )

The Virgin Mary giving the Scapular to Saint S...Image via Wikipedia( I'm sharing a great article about the Brown Scapular of our Lady of Mount Carmel , written by Father Kieran Kavanaugh, OCD)

Yoke of Christ

If we look for the earliest references to the scapular, we find them in the Carmelite constitutions of 1281 in which it was prescribed that all Carmelite friars should wear their tunics and scapulars to bed under penalty of a serious fault. It was also prescribed that the white mantle be made insuch a way that the scapular would not be hidden.

But the reason for these prescriptions was not a Marian one. At the time, the scapular was seen as signifying the "yoke of Christ." This yoke of Christ in turn pointed to obedience. And that explains the strictness of the legislation. Taking off the scapular was like taking off the yoke of Christ,or rebelling against authority.

Only gradually did the scapular take on a Marian tone and grow until it reached such a point that it became identified with Carmelite piety toward Our Lady. In fact the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel began to be called the scapular feast.

Devotion to Mary expressed by wearing the brown scapular seems to be resilient and resists the attempts made in various periods of history to diminish its value. The faithful keep coming back to it.

From the official teaching of the Church, we can gather that the scapular of Carmel is one of the most highly recommended Marian devotions. This is true through the centuries, and into our own times with popes Paul VI and JohnPaul II.


One of the early Carmelites in his enthusiasm went so far as to call the scapular a "sacrament." Actually the category into which the scapular fits is that of a sacramental.

Sacramentals are sacred signs.  The scapular is what is called a conventional sign. In the case of a conventional sign, the meaning is assigned to the object from outside. Thus a wedding ring is a sign or pledge of mutual love and enduring fidelity between two spouses. In this kind of sign, which is a conventional sign,there has to be an intervention from outside that establishes the connection between the object and what it represents. In the case of sacramentals, it is the Church that determines the connection.

Sacramentals also signify effects obtained through the intercession of theChurch, especially spiritual graces. The sacramentals -- as holy pictures or icons, statues, medals, holy water, blessed palm and the scapular -- are means that dispose one to receive the chief effect of the sacraments themselves, and this is closer union with Jesus.

St. Teresa of Avila for example speaks in her life about holy water and the power she experienced that this sacramental has against the devil. She mentions as well how this power comes not through the object in itself but through the prayer through the prayer of the Church.

Along with the sacraments, sacramentals sanctify almost every aspect of human life with divine grace. The passion, death, and resurrection of Christ is the source of the power of the sacramentals as it is of the sacraments themselves.

Such everyday things as water and words, oil and anointing, cloth and beeswax, paintings and songs are ingredients of the sacraments and sacramentals. The Son of God became the Son of Mary. What could be more down-to-earth, more human, indeed more unpretentious, plain, and simple?

Church position

With regard to the scapular as a conventional and sacred sign, the Church has intervened at various times in history to clarify its meaning, defendit, and confirm the privileges.

From these Church documents there emerges with sufficient clarity the nature and meaning of the Carmelite scapular.

1. The scapular is a Marian habit or garment. It is both a sign and pledge.A sign of belonging to Mary; a pledge of her motherly protection, not only in this life but after death.

2. As a sign, it is a conventional sign signifying three elements strictly joined: first, belonging to a religious family particularly devoted to Mary,especially dear to Mary, the Carmelite Order; second, consecration to Mary,devotion to and trust in her Immaculate Heart; third an incitement to become like Mary by imitating her virtues, above all her humility, chastity, and spirit of prayer.

This is the Church's officially established connection between the sign and that which is signified by the sign.

No mention is made of the vision of St. Simon Stock or of that of Pope JohnXXII ( 22 - not the red 23 ) in relation to the Sabbatine privilege, which promises that one will be released from Purgatory on the first Saturday after death.

Nonetheless, the Carmelites have also been authorized to freely preach to the faithful that they can piously believe in the powerful intercession, merits, and suffrages of the Blessed Virgin, that she will help them even after their death, especially on Saturday, which is the day of the week particularly dedicated to Mary, if they have died in the grace of God and devoutly worn the scapular. But no mention is made of the "first" Saturday after their death.

If some day an historian were to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that there are no grounds to the Marian apparition to St. Simon Stock or the scapular promise, the scapular devotion would still maintain its value. The Church's esteem of it as a sacramental, her appreciation of its meaning and of the good that has come about through its pious use on the part of the faithful is all that is needed.

Gospel message

St. John of the Cross teaches that we ought not waste a lot of time and energy trying to discern whether or not a vision is authentic, but that we accept and follow it only insofar as the message is in accord with the Gospels and with what has already been revealed in Jesus Christ. Faith requires us to live with complete trust in God and in darkness with respect to seeing God or his saints.

The scapular as a sign is rich in meaning. I think that after we consider the official interpretations of the scapular, we can discover in it our own personal meaning. I like to think of it as a sign of Mary's quiet presence, for the scapular is a silent devotion.

There are no prayers to be said. It reminds us of the contemplative aspect of our Christian life. Contemplation is what our saints wrote so much about.Contemplation is an ever-deepening silence in loving presence to God. It is in this silence that God best speaks to us.

Mary is the Church's greatest contemplative. In her silence she heard those extraordinary words spoken to her by the Lord -- "Blessed are you among women." And so Elizabeth could add: "Blessed are you who believed."
Enhanced by Zemanta

Brown Scapular: A Silent Devotion ( part1 )

Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Saints (Simon Sto...Image via Wikipedia( I'm sharing a great article about the Brown Scapular of our Lady of Mount Carmel , written by Father Kieran Kavanaugh, OCD) 

During the Crusades in 12th century, a group of Westerners took up the lifeof hermits by the well of St. Elijah on Mt. Carmel. They built a chapel in honor of the Mother of Jesus, conscious that they were living in the area made holy by Jesus and his Mother (Nazareth is less than 20 miles away).

When Saracens toppled the Latin kingdom of the Crusaders, the hermits of Carmel had to flee the holy mountain and return to the West -- to Cypress ,Sicily, France, England, Ireland and other countries. They brought with them little more than their title of "Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel."

In Europe they were entering a hostile world cluttered with many new religious families. The arrival of strangers from Mount Carmel was inauspicious, they were frowned upon. Internally, they were divided as towhether they should cling to their background as hermits or adapt to a newstatus of begging friars.

According to tradition, as an important fact in the midst of these difficulties, Our Lady of Mount Carmel appeared to the prior general, St.Simon Stock, at Aylesford, England. According to tradition, Our Ladyappeared on July 16, 1251.

The Blessed Virgin promised St. Simon Stock, oppressed with worries, that whoever would wear the Carmelite habit devoutly would receive the gift offinal perseverance. The habit was taken to mean the scapular in particular.

The scapular was a broad band of cloth over the shoulders, falling below the knees toward the feet front and back as an apron, worn still as part of the religious habit by a number of orders of monks and friars. As it was gradually adapted for use by the laity, it became two small panels of brown cloth joined by strings and worn over the shoulders as a familiar Marian sacramental.

From the 16th century until the Second Vatican Council the scapular received warm welcome from the faithful and enjoyed a singular approval by the Church magisterium. Part of the reason for this esteem was undoubtedly the constant stream of wonderful graces, spiritual and temporal, that were poured out on individuals through its devout use.

But another reason for its popularity was its strict connection with the last things, with the salvation of our soul, which takes priority over all our other duties here below.


After the Second Council, the scapular devotion suffered the same "crisis of rejection" that so many other practices and teachings within the Catholic Church.

First, it was said that St. Simon Stock never even existed. As a consequence, his feast day, which had been celebrated on May 16, the date of his death, was expunged from the liturgical calendar.

Second, if he never existed, then we must do away with the feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and the scapular devotion. The effort was then made by a liturgical committee to expunge Our Lady of Mount Carmel from the liturgical calendar, but the Latin American bishops protested so vehemently that the feast was kept; however, on condition that nothing be mentioned about the scapular.

One of the internationally renowned Mariologists of our order, Father Nilo Geagea from Lebanon then set about doing a very thorough research into the whole history of devotion to Mary in our order.

The result of his years of study is a huge wonderfully researched and documented volume published by the Teresian Historical Institute in 1988; soit is a fairly recent study. The title of the book is "Maria Madre e Decorodel Carmelo."

Through painstaking demonstration, Father Nilo shows how even the most intransigent critic could not put into reasonable doubt the historical existence of St. Simon Stock. St. Simon Stock's feast day was, in fact,restored by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments in 1979.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Blessed Feast of our Lady of Mount Carmel

O God, Who hast honored the Order of the most blessed Mary, ever a virgin, Thy Mother, with the special title of Carmel, graciously grant that we, who this day celebrate her commemoration with solemn service, may, being protected by her maternal care, be worthy to attain to everlasting joys. Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God,
Forever and ever.Amen

The Story of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

On July 16, 1251, Our Lady appeared to St. Simon Stock, the Father of the Carmelite Order, and presented him with the Scapular. St. Simon's story began as an English hermit that lived in the hollow of a tree. He received the name "stock" because he lived in the hollowed trunk or stock of a tree. In time he would become a Carmelite and later the Father General of the order. He led the order during a time of great struggle.
The Carmelites in the beginning were hermits on Mount Carmel, near Nazareth in the Holy Land. When they migrated to Europe, in this case England, some decided to no longer be hermits and instead became friars who would work among the people. St. Simon guided them through this state of transition.
In the year 1251 a miraculous vision took place. St. Simon Stock, newly transplanted to England, prayed fervently to Our Lady for Her help. Then: To him appeared the Blessed Virgin with a multitude of angels, holding the Scapular of the order in her blessed hands.

Mary's Promise to Those Who Wear the Scapular

Our Lady gave St. Simon a scapular for the Carmelites with the following promise, saying : 
Receive, My beloved son, this habit of thy order: this shall be to thee and to all Carmelites a privilege, that whosoever dies clothed in this shall never suffer eternal fire .... It shall be a sign of salvation, a protection in danger, and a pledge of peace.

Another important aspect of wearing the Scapular is the Sabbatine Privilege. This concerns a promise made by Our Lady to Pope John XXII ( 22 not the red 23 ). In a papal letter he issued, he recounted a vision that he had had. He stated that the Blessed Virgin had said to him in this vision, concerning those who wear the Brown Scapular: "I, the Mother of Grace, shall descend on the Saturday after their death and whomsoever I shall find in Purgatory, I shall free, so that I may lead them to the holy mountain of life everlasting."

Let us pray :
Flos Carmeli

This is the prayer of St. Simon Stock, to whom the Scapular devotion with its promise was given. It has for seven centuries been called a prayer to the Blessed Mother which has never been known to fail in obtaining her powerful help.

O beautiful Flower of Carmel, most fruitful Vine,
Splendor of Heaven, holy and singular,
who brought forth the Son of God, still ever remaining
a Pure Virgin, assist me in this necessity.
(here we present our prayer intention)
O Star of the Sea, help and protect me!
Show me that thou art my Mother.

O Mary, Conceived without sin,
Pray for us who have recourse to thee!

Mother and Ornament of Carmel, Pray for us!
Virgin, Flower of Carmel, Pray for us!
Patroness of all who wear the Scapular, Pray for us!
Hope of all who die wearing the Scapular, Pray for us!
St. Joseph, Friend of the Sacred Heart, Pray for us!
St. Joseph, Chaste Spouse of Mary, Pray for us!
St. Joseph, Our Patron, Pray for us!
O sweet Heart of Mary, be my Salvation!

another Prayer to Our Lady of Mount Carmel

O Most Blessed and Immaculate Virgin, ornament and beauty of Mount Carmel, thou who beholdest with thy special kindness those who wear thy blessed Scapular, look lovingly upon me, and cover me with the mantle of thy motherly protection. 
Fortify my weakness with thy power, enlighten the darkness of my understanding with thy wisdom, increase Faith, Hope and Charity in me, adorn my soul with the graces and virtues that will make me pleasing to thee and thy divine Son. 
Assist me during my life, and console me at the hour of my death and present me to the most blessed Trinity as thy devoted servant, to praise and bless thee in heaven forever. Amen

Eternal Father, I offer You the most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus Christ , in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the Universal Church, for those in my own home and in my family. Amen

Follow by Email


O Mary, Queen and Mother of Carmel, I come today to consecrate myself to thee, for my whole life is but a small return for the many graces and blessings that have come from God to me through thy immaculate hands.

Since thou look with special kindness on those who wear thy Scapular, I implore thee to strengthen my weakness with thy power, to enlighten the darkness of my mind with thy wisdom, and to increase in me Faith, Hope and Charity that I may repay each day my debt of humble homage to thee.

May thy Holy Scapular bring me thy special protection in my daily struggle to be faithful to thy Divine Son and to thee. May it separate me from all that is sinful in life and remind me constantly of my duty to imitate thy virtues.

From now on, I shall strive to live in God's Presence, and offer all to Jesus through thee. Dearest Holy Mother, support me by thy never-failing love and lead me to paradise through the merits of Christ and thy own intercession. Amen.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin

Blog Archive