Thursday, July 24, 2014

St. Sharbel (Charbel) Makhlouf, Miracle-Worker



Today, July 24, is the feast day of Saint Sharbel (Charbel) Makhlouf, a Maronite Catholic monk from Lebanon. Sharbel is known for his great devotion to contemplative prayer and has been called "the hermit of Lebanon" and "the Wonder Worker of the East."

Saint Sharbel was born in 1828 in the small mountain village of Beqa-Kafra, Lebanon. His family was poor, but pious and had a great devotion to the Blessed Mother. As a child, Sharbel tended the sheep in the fields, where he built an outdoor shrine to Our Lady, spending hours in prayer. As he matured, he also spent time reading Scriptures and  Thomas a Kempis's “The Imitation of Christ,”which was was his favorite book.

At the age of twenty-three, he left his family to enter the Lebanese-Maronite Monastery, Notre-Dame de Mayfouk, later transferring to the Monastery of St. Maron monastery in Annaya. He received his religious habit and  took the name Sharbel in honor of a second-century martyr. Sharbel was ordained in 1859. The priest-monk lived and served in the monastery for 19 years, showing great devotion to the life of prayer, manual work, and contemplative silence.

He spent the last twenty-three years of his life in solitude at a hermitage near Annya. Saint Sharbel suffered a stroke on December 16th, 1898 while celebrating the Holy Liturgy. He was reciting the prayer, “Father of Truth, behold your Son, a sacrifice pleasing to you. Accept this offering of Him who died for me.” He fell to the floor holding the Holy Eucharist in his hands. He died on Christmas Eve, 1898.

Sharbel was known for his mortification, obedience, and chastity. He was gifted with  occasional levitations during prayer, and he had great devotion to the Most Blessed Sacrament. He celebrated Mass close to noon so as to devote the morning to preparation, and the rest of the day to thanksgiving. In all things, Sharbel maintained perfect serenity. His charity and kindness endeared him to all, both Christians and Muslims.His tomb has been a site for pilgrimages since his death. Numerous healings of the body, heart and mind have been obtained through his intercession. Hence, he is known as the Miracle-Worker.

He was beatified in 1965 by Pope Paul VI and canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1977.

When Sharbel was canonized, Bishop Francis Zayek, head of the U.S. Diocese of St. Maron, Bishop Zayek wrote: “St. Sharbel is called the second St. Anthony of the Desert, the Perfume of Lebanon, the first Confessor of the East to be raised to the Altars according to the actual procedure of the Catholic Church, the honor of our Aramaic Antiochian Church, and the model of spiritual values and renewal. Sharbel is like a Cedar of Lebanon standing in eternal prayer, on top of a mountain.”

A Prayer for the Intercession of St. Sharbel

O Merciful Father, through the Holy Spirit, you chose Saint Charbel as a voice crying in the wilderness. His monastic life is an example to Your Church. In the Scriptures he discovered Your Holiness as Word Made Flesh, and darkness gave way to light. In the Eucharist he encountered Your Divinity as Bread of Life, and the poverty of this world gave way to the treasures of Your Kingdom. In prayer he experienced Your Silence as Mystery Present, and loneliness gave way to communion. Through the Virgin Mother he embraced Your Son as Lover of Mankind, and hostility gave way to hospitality. We now beseech You, through his intercession, to change our hearts of stone to hearts of flesh, and to grant our special request …. We give praise to You, Your Only Begotten Son, and to Your Holy Spirit. Amen.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Pope John Paul II and Gianna Beretta, patron saints of the World Meeting of Families




A Pope and a family woman. They're the saints chosen as the patrons of the 8th World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia.

The first is St. John Paul II, canonized on April 27, and the founder of these events.

FR. SLAWOMIR ODER
Postulator, Sainthood cause of John Paul II
"He himself said he wanted to be remember, if the Church ever remembered him... he wanted to be remembered as the Pope of life and of family. He promoted a revaluation of the family as the place where a person develops humanely, and grows spiritually.”

St. Gianna Beretta was a pediatrician and mother of four, who passed away in 1962. During her fourth pregnancy, doctors discovered a tumor in her uterus. She decided to delay surgery to remove it until after the birth of her child, but by then it was too late.

Beretta is considered the patron saint of pregnant women. John Paul II canonized her on May 16, 1994.

The 8th World Meeting of Families will take place from September 22-27, 2015. Although it's not yet confirmed, Pope Francis is widely expected to attend the last part of the gathering.

St. Bridget of Sweden: Mystic and Visionary



On July 23, the Church celebrates the feast of St. Bridget (Birgitta) of Sweden, who was a widow and Third Order Franciscan (1303 – 1373). She is one of the most prominent women of the Christian Middle Ages.

St. Bridget is known for her astonishing revelations documented carefully by her confessors, filling several volumes. Their accounts of her visions of biblical scenes, especially the nativity and the crucifixion, have greatly inspired imagery in Christian art and her devotions have inspired popular piety. It was, however, for her practical works of charity, that e was canonized, and not for her private revelations – which had some very harsh things to say about popes.

Bridget was born in Finista in Sweden. From childhood, the Lord granted her special graces, visions and an extraordinary understanding of divine mysteries. At age seven, she had a vision of the Crucified Jesus in all the suffering and sorrow of his Passion, which enkindled within her a deep devotion for our Savior.

The daughter of a wealthy governor and judge, at age 13, Bridget married Ulf Gudmarsson, a prince, who was then eighteen; they lived happily together for twenty-eight years and had eight children, among them St. Catherine of Sweden. Bridget convinced her husband, by her own example, to live a life of piety and to strive for holiness.

At age 32, Bridget became the lady in waiting to Queen Blanche of Namur and King Magnus II of Sweden. She was known for her charitable acts, especially caring for the sick, but the royalty appeared more content to admire her piety rather than to follow her example.

After her youngest son died in 1340, she and her husband went on pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella. On the return trip, Ulf became quite ill, and they returned home soon afterwards. Upon their return, Ulf' entered the Cistercian monastery and died there at the age of 46. Bridget was a widow at age 41. She continued to live in the world, but became a member of the Third Order of St. Francis, spending much of her time in prayer and penance.

At this time, Bridget’s visions became more frequent and intense and she began to wonder if they were from the devil; however, God assured her that they were not, but that she was to become His bride and his mouthpiece.

It was His voice in her visions that dictated to her to found a new religious order, even specifying the details of the Rule for that order. She then founded The Order of the Most Holy Savior, or Bridgettines, which consisted of a double monastery for both men and women at Vadstena. King Magnus and his queen generously supported the monastery. Any surplus of money they received was given to the poor and used to provide books for study.

Through Bridget, Christ reprimanded the popes for not returning to Rome from Avignon; but even calling Clement VI (1342-52) “a destroyer of souls, worse than Lucifer, more unjust than Pilate, and more merciless than Judas” failed to change his mind. She also delivered several messages to Pope Innocent VI, Urban V, and Gregory XI.

Directed by God to go the Holy Land in 1371, Bridget set out on pilgrimage with her daughter, Catherine, two of her sons, and other pilgrims. Her son Charles died in Naples on the way there (after an affair with the notorious Queen Joanna), and they were nearly shipwrecked, but once they made it there, Bridget was blessed with extraordinary graces. In the Holy Land, she received detailed visions of episodes in the life of Jesus in the places where they were said to have occurred. She also admonished the people of Cyprus and Naples for their immoral ways, with little effect. She arrived back in Rome early already ill and died on July 23, 1373, at the age of seventy – one. Her remains were taken back to the monastery at Sweden. She was canonized in 1391 Pope Boniface IX.

Patronage: Bridget is the patron saint of Sweden and widows. She is the co-patroness of Europe, along with St. Catherine of Siena, and St. Teresa Benedicta (Edith Stein).

Prayer to St. Bridget

With hearts full of confidence, we turn to you, O Saint Bridget, in these times of darkness and unbelief, to invoke your powerful intercession on behalf of those who are separated from the true Church of Jesus Christ. Conscious of your deep knowledge of the cruel sufferings of our crucified Savior, we beseech you to obtain the gift of Faith for all those who are outside the one fold, so that all the scattered sheep may be return to the one true Shepherd, our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!

St. Bridget, fearless in the service of God, pray for us.

St. Bridget, patient in suffer­ing and humiliation, pray for us.

St. Bridget, marvelous in thy love towards Jesus and Mary, pray for us.

(Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be)
Prayers and Promises:

Fifteen Prayers and Twenty-One Promises to St. Bridget

Revelations: 

The Prophecies and Revelations of Saint Bridget of Sweden


Medieval Sourcebook: St. Bridget: Revelation to the Popes, 14th Century

Saint Bridget Quote:

"There is no sinner in the world, however much at enmity with God,who cannot recover God's grace by recourse to Mary, and by asking her assistance."

Caryll Houselander: God's Giving Hands




"To trust God means that we must know that whatever comes to us comes from his hands.  If we do not see that sorrow comes from his hand and cannot get the comfort of his love from it, it may be because we do not acknowledge our joys as his gifts. If we felt grateful for our food, for the sunlight, for our work, our homes, for those we love, if we were conscious that these were all given by God, we should have formed a clear enough idea of his love to know him; we should know him well enough to know, because we know him, that he does not want us to suffer, but allows it because there is good for us in it. To resist, to be bitter, to say it is no use, all increases the pain. To accept it gratefully from God eases the pain."

"Now, is there is a way in which a busy person could practice this growing trust without having to meditate all day long?  Yes, it is very simple.  Make a mental picture of two huge giving hands, God's hands, and every so often in the day or night, stop for a moment and think: 'At this moment, God is handing me all I have, my life-- 'and so on, mentioning all that you are conscious of.  It may be at some moments you will realize what a lot of obvious good God is giving you still; at other times it will help you to understand that the trials you suffer also come from his hands."

-- Caryll Houselander, (excepted from This War is the PassionThe Comforting of Christ,  NY: Sheed & Ward 1941).

St. Mary Magdalene: "Apostle to the Apostles"



On July 22, the Church celebrates the feast of St. Mary Magdalene, the patron of penitent sinners and contemplatives.  Her name is derived from her native town of Magdala in Galilee. She plays a vital role in the New Testament, as she was the first to announce Christ's resurrection from the dead.

Scriptures tell us that she was a follower of Christ, who was exorcised of seven demons, ministered to Christ and His disciples, stood at the foot of the Cross during Jesus’ Crucifixion, went to anoint the body of Jesus before daybreak on Easter morning, and witnessed the Risen Lord.

The Gospels all describe Mary Magdalene going to the tomb on Easter morning. When she saw that the tomb was empty, she stood outside, weeping. Jesus appeared to her and asked her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?” (Jn. 20:15)

She did not recognize him, however, and thought he was the gardener, until he said her name, “Mary!” (Jn. 20:16) Upon hearing this, Mary recognized him. She returned to the grieving disciples to announce to them the message of the Resurrection.

The Greek tradition holds that Mary Magdalen retired to Ephesus with the Blessed Virgin, and died there, her relics being transferred to Constantinople. The French tradition holds that she migrated to Marseilles with Lazarus and Martha, and retired to a hill, La Sainte-Baume, near the city, where she lived in seclusion for 30 years.

St. Mary Magdalene is called the "apostle to the Apostles". "Just as a woman had announced the words of death to the first man, so also a woman was the first to announce to the Apostles the words of life (St. Thomas Aquinas).

Prayer to St. Mary Magdalene

Saint Mary Magdalene,
woman of many sins, who by conversion
became the beloved of Jesus,
thank you for your witness
that Jesus forgives
through the miracle of love
You, who already possess eternal happiness
in His glorious presence,
please intercede for me, so that someday
I may share in the same everlasting joy.

More prayers to St. Mary Magdalene.


Monday, July 21, 2014

Fr. Barron on Intentional Discipleship


Sunday, July 20, 2014

St. Lawrence of Brindisi, Doctor of the Church



On July 21, we commemorate St. Lawrence of Brindisi, the first Capuchin Franciscan to be honored as a Doctor of the Church.
St. Lawrence was born at Brindisi, in the kingdom of Naples, Italy, on July 22, 1559 and named Caesar de Rossi. He took the name Lawrence when he became a Capuchin Franciscan at the age of 16. 

While still a deacon, St. Lawrence of Brindisi became known for his powerful preaching and after his ordination startled the whole of northern Italy with his amazing sermons. Because he could speak Hebrew, he worked for the conversion of the Jews living in Rome.

In 1596, he became a high-ranking superior in the order, and five years later was sent to Germany with Blessed Benedict of Urbino. They founded several priories throughout Europe. Lawrence also helped to raise an army to combat the Turks in Hungary, where he won a battle against them by leading the troops into battle with only a crucifix to protect himself.

In 1602, St. Lawrence became the master general of his order. He worked, preached and wrote to spread the Good News. He went on important peace missions to Munich, Germany, and Madrid, Spain. The rulers of those places listened to him and the missions were successful. But St. Lawrence became very ill. He had been tired out by the hard traveling and the strain of his tasks. He died on his birthday, July 22, in 1619. He was proclaimed a saint by Pope Leo XIII in 1881. He was honored as "Apostolic Doctor" by Pope John XXIII in 1959.

St. Lawrence, like his spiritual father St. Francis of Assisi, had an ardent devotion to the Immaculate Mother of God. He was the first to write on all aspects of theology that concern the Blessed Virgin.

In the practice of the religious virtues St. Lawrence equals the greatest saints. He had the gift of contemplation and often fell into ecstasy when he celebrated Holy Mass. He had a great devotion to the Rosary and the Office of the Blessed Virgin.

His written works include a commentary on Genesis, several treatises against Luther, and nine volumes of sermons.

Quotes

 "God called me to be a Franciscan for the conversion of sinners and heretics." 

"God is love, and all his operations proceed from love. Once he wills to manifest that goodness by sharing his love outside himself, then the Incarnation becomes the supreme manifestation of his goodness and love and glory. So, Christ was intended before all other creatures and for his own sake. For him all things were created and to him all things must be subject, and God loves all creatures in and because of Christ. Christ is the first-born of every creature, and the whole of humanity as well as the created world finds its foundation and meaning in him. Moreover, this would have been the case even if Adam had not sinned.

~ St. Lawrence of Brindisi

Litany of Saint Lawrence of Brindisi

Sunday Snippets: A Catholic Carnival




It's Sunday! It's time to share our posts and to answer the question of the week. You, too, can join in the fun at Catholic Carnival by linking up at Ryann's Place. 

Question of the week:  Were there any religious sisters in your parish when you were growing up?  Are there any now?  Which community (ies)?


When I was attending our parish parochial school, the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame (founded in Montreal in 1652 by St. Marguerite Bourgeoys) taught there and they continue to teach there today.  At that time, they wore full habits, with full length skirts (covering the ankles) and rosaries around their waists. You can view the older habit here. Today, they dress in modern, but conservative clothing -- shorter skirts, blouses, and blazers.

Here is a sampling of my blog posts for this past week:

Known as the "Lily of the Mohawks" and the “Geneviève of New France,” St. Kateri Tekakwitha's feast day was Monday. St. Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American saint in the United States.


Wednesday we celebrated the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. I also shared a message from St. John Paul II regarding the Scapular on that day.

The Novena to St. Anne started on Thursday, July 17th, so I shared the traditional version, as well as a shorter version of that novena.

On Thursday, we remembered the Blessed Carmelite martyrs of Compiègne  -- the sixteen Carmelites caught up in the French Revolution were guillotined at the Place du Trône Renversé (now called Place de la Nation), in Paris.

On Friday, we commemorated St. Camillus of Lellis, founder of an order dedicated to the care of the sick. He is the patron of the sick, hospitals, and nurses.

St. Macrina the Younger, whose brothers were the renowned teachers St. Basil and St. Gregory of Nyssa, was Saturday's saint of the day. She spent a good deal of her time helping her mother raise these two great men and served as their teacher.

On Sunday, Fr. James Kubicki reflects on Sunday's gospel, by sharing effective ways of dealing with temptation.

How should we deal with temptations?


Fr. James Kubicki reflects on today's gospel (Matthew 13: 24-30) and recommends ways for us to deal with temptations.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

St. Macrina the Younger


The saint of the day for July 19 is St. Macrina the Younger.

St. Macrina (330-380) was the eldest child in a family of saints. Her grandparents were martyrs. Her parents, Basil and Emmelia, are also recognized as saints. She was well educated by her mother and was able to read at an early age. Macrina, in turn, became the teacher of her younger brothers Basil, later bishop of Neocaesarea, and Gregory, later bishop of Nyssa, who themselves became two of the greatest teachers in the Universal Church.

At age 12, Macrina was engaged to be married, but when her fiancé died quite suddenly, she decided she would not marry despite subsequent offers. Instead, she dedicated her life to raising her brothers and assisting her mother with housework, cooking, and directing the servants. She also devoted a good part of her time to prayer. After her siblings had grown up, they called her Macrina the Great, as they had in their childhood, a sign of the high respect they had for her.

On the death of their father, Basil took her, with their mother, to a family estate in Pontus. Here, with their servants and other companions, they consecrated themselves to God and led a contemplative life. Macrina succeeded her mother in becoming the head of the double monastery of women and men founded by Basil.

Kissing an iron crucifix that held the relics of the Cross of the Savior, which she always had close to her, St. Macrina died peacefully in the year 379. She was buried beside her parents.

An English translation of the Life of Macrina by her younger brother St. Gregory of Nyssa, in the form of a letter to a mutual friend, is available online. St. Gregory tells us that Macrina "reached the highest summit of human virtue by true wisdom."

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Saint Camillus of Lellis



The saint of the day for July 18 is St. Camillus of Lellis, founder of an order dedicated to the care of the sick. He is the patron of the sick, hospitals, and nurses.

St. Camilus was born in Bacchianico, Italy in 1550 and died in Rome, Italy in 1614. His mother died while he was still a child and his father was an officer in both the Neapolitan and French royal armies, leaving him neglected. While still a youth, he became a soldier in the service of Venice and later of Naples, remaining there until 1574.

While Camillus referred to himself as a great sinner, his only vice seemed to be gambling. He gambled away everything he had and, to atone for actions, he went to work as a laborer on the new Capuchin buildings in Manfredonia. Here, after a moving appeal from the Friar, he completed his conversion and begged God for mercy, at the age of twenty-five.

Camillus entered the Capuchin novitiate three times, but a nagging leg injury, received while fighting the Turks, each time forced him to give it up. He went to Rome for medical treatment where Saint Philip Neri became his priest and confessor. He moved into San Giacomo Hospital for the incurable, and eventually became its administrator.

He decided to become a priest at the encouragement of St. Philip Neri, and was ordained at the age of 34. He established his Order, the Fathers of a Good Death, for the care of the sick. Camillus chose a red cross as the distinguishing badge for the members of his Order to wear upon their black cassocks, and he taught his volunteers that the hospital was a house of God, a garden where the voices of the sick were music from heaven. Once when he was discouraged, he heard the consoling words from the crucifix, “This is my work, not yours”.

Camillus was a strong and powerful man, about 6'6" tall, but suffered throughout his life from abscesses on his feet. In spite of this infirmity, he was active in organizing his Order.

After leading the movement throughout Italy, Camillus died on July 14, 1614. In 1742, Pope Benedict XIV proclaimed Camillus de Lellis blessed; in 1746 he canonized him, calling him the “Founder of a new school of charity”.

Quote: “Think well. Speak well. Do well. These three things, through the mercy of God, will make a man go to Heaven.”

~ Saint Camillus de Lellis

Prayer to Saint Camillus of Lellis

Most wonderful Saint, your compassion for the sick and the dying led you to found the Servants of the Sick. As the Patron of nurses and hospital workers, infuse in them your compassionate spirit. Make hospitals resemble the inn in Christ's Parable to which the Good Samaritan brought the wounded man saying: "Take care of him and I will repay you for it." Amen.


Short Novena Prayers to St. Anne



This novena prayer, although short is sufficient. It would be better of course to add, if time permits, three Hail Marys. This novena begins on July 17 and ends on July 26.

Prayer:

O Good St. Anne, mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary, you who are so powerful in heaven, heal us of all our bodily ills and pray for our soul's salvation. Good St. Anne, pray for us.

St. Joachim, spouse of St. Anne, and father of the Blessed Virgin, bring to your servants assistance and salvation.

Related:

Novena to St. Anne begins July 17

US Senate fails to curtail religious freedom



Thanks be to God! So very happy to share the good news:

In a procedural vote, the United States Senate decided not to consider the “Protect Women’s Health From Corporate Interference Act of 2014,” a bill that would curtail religious freedom in response to the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision.

Fifty-six senators-- four shy of the number necessary-- voted to consider the bill, while 43 opposed it.

“While the outcome of today’s vote is a relief, it is sobering to think that more than half the members of the US Senate, sworn to uphold the laws and Constitution of the United States, would vote for a bill whose purpose is to reduce the religious freedom of their fellow Americans,” said Jayd Henricks, director of government relations of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. “We need more respect for religious freedom in our nation, not less.”

Via Catholic World News.

The Blessed Carmelite Martyrs of Compiègne



On July 17, 1794, sixteen Carmelites caught up in the French Revolution were guillotined at the Place du Trône Renversé (now called Place de la Nation), in Paris.

When the revolution started in 1789, a group of twenty-one discalced Carmelites lived in a monastery in Compiegne France, founded in 1641. The monastery was ordered closed in 1790 by the Revolutionary gov­ernment, and the nuns were disbanded. Sixteen of the nuns were accused of living in a religious community in 1794. They were arrested on June 22 and imprisoned in a Visitation convent in Compiegne There they openly resumed their religious life.

For a full twenty months before their execution, the sisters came together in an act of consecration “whereby each member of the community would join with the others in offering herself daily to God, soul and body in holocaust to restore peace to France and to her Church.”

The nuns were not just mere victims of the Revolution overcome by circumstances. Each contemplated her martyrdom; each understood her offering. Each sought that “greater love” of giving herself for her fellow man in imitation of the Divine Lamb Who redeemed humanity.

On July 12, 1794, the Carmelites were arrested, taken to Paris, where they were placed on trial, accused of treason, and sentenced to death. Five days later, the sixteen Carmelites were led through Paris in an open cart to the town center to be guillotined. Their hair was cut and clothing ripped to expose their necks in preparation for the execution.

 Before their execution they knelt and chanted the "Veni Creator Spiritus", as at a religious profession, after which they all renewed aloud their baptismal and religious vows. They went to the guillotine singing the Salve Regina. Each nun, one by one, from the youngest to the oldest, made their way to the guillotine, pausing to kneel before the Prioress, asking "Permission to die Mother." To which the Mother Superior responded, "Go, my daughter."

The heads and the bodies of the sixteen martyrs were thrown into a common grave, with the bodies of the other 1298 victims of the Revolution. Thus, there was no way to obtain relics.

Shortly after the nuns offered their lives in exchange for peace, the bloodiest part of the French Revolution, the Reign of Terror, finally came to an end. They were beatified in 1906 by Pope St. Pius X. Their martyrdom was immortalized by the composer Francois Poulenc in his famous opera Dialogues des Carmelites.

Quotes:

“Courage, my sister, the yoke of a Carmelite is necessarily very light or very heavy in proportion as one’s courage bears it or one’s cowardice drags it.”  --St. Teresa of St. Augustine (Martyr of Compiegne)

“The secret of sweetening our sacrifices is to attend a little less to what costs us and a little more to what we value”  --St. Teresa of St. Augustine (Martyr of Compiegne)

“Love will always be victorious. When someone loves, he can do everything.” -- St. Teresa of St. Augustine (Martyr of Compiegne)

Prayer for the feast of July 17th 

 Lord God, you called Bl. Teresa of St. Augustine and her companions to go on in the strength of the Holy Spirit from the heights of Carmel to receive a martyr's crown. May our love too be so steadfast that it will bring us to the everlasting vision of your glory. 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.

 Prayer for obtaining graces through the intercession of the Blessed Carmelites of Compiègne 

Lord our God, You called the 16 blessed Carmelites of Compiègne to show you the greatest testimony of love through the offering of their blood that "peace may be returned to the Church and to the State." Remember the joyful and heroic fidelity with which they glorified you. May your goodness manifest their favor with you, in granting through their intercession the grace (the miracle) that we ask you in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen!

To learn more about these martyrs, Catholicism, and modern times, read the essay “The Mantle of Elijah: The Martyrs of Compiegne as Prophets of the Modern Age” by Terrye Newkirk, OCDS.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Novena to St. Anne begins July 17



Saint Anne’s feast day is on July 26th, so the St. Anne Novena is traditionally started on July 17th; however, you can pray it anytime. St. Anne (Hebrew, Hannah, grace; also spelled Ann, Anne, Anna) is the mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the grandmother of Jesus, and the wife of Joachim. She is mentioned in the Apocrypha, chiefly the Protoevangelium of James, which dates back to the second century. Devotion to St. Anne dates back to the sixth century in the Church of Constantinople and the eighth century in Rome.

St. Anne is the patron saint of the province of Quebec, where the well-known shrine of St. Anne de Beaupre, (the site of many miracles) is located. She is patroness: against poverty;  of broom makers; cabinetmakers; carpenters; childless couples; equestrians; grandmothers; grandparents; homemakers; housewives; lace makers; lace workers; lost articles; miners; mothers; old-clothes dealers; pregnancy; pregnant women; horse riders; seamstresses; stablemen; sterility; turners; women in labor and those who have difficulty conceiving.

Novena Prayers to St. Anne

Recite the prayer for the proper day.

St. Anne Novena, Day One

Great Saint Anne, engrave indelibly on my heart and in my mind the words that have reclaimed and sanctified so many sinners:

“What shall it profit a man to gain the whole world if he lose his own soul?” May this be the principle fruit of these prayers by which I will strive to honor you during this novena.

At your feet renew my resolution to invoke you daily, not only for the success of my temporal affairs and to be preserved from sickness and suffering, but above all, that I may be preserved from all sin, that I may gain eternal salvation and that I will receive the special grace of…

(State your intention here.)

O most powerful Saint Anne, do not let me lose my soul, but obtain for me the grace of heaven, there with you, your blessed spouse, and your glorious daughter, to sing the praise of the Most Holy and Adorable Trinity forever and ever.

Amen.

Pray for us, Saint Anne!

That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

St. Anne Novena, Day Two

Glorious Saint Anne, how can you be otherwise than overflowing with tenderness toward sinners like myself, since you are the grandmother of Him who shed His blood for us, and the mother of her whom the saints call advocate of sinners? To you, therefore, I address my prayers with confidence.

Vouchsafe to commend me to Jesus and Mary so that, at your request, I may be granted remission of my sins, perseverance, the love of God, charity for all mankind, and the special grace of…

(State your intention here.)

…for which I stand in need at the present time. O most powerful protectress, let me not lose my soul, but pray for me that through the merits of Jesus Christ and the intercession of Mary, I may have the great happiness of seeing them, of loving and praising them with you through all eternity.

Amen.

Pray for us, Saint Anne!

That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

St. Anne Novena, Day three

Beloved of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, mother of the Queen of Heaven, take us and all who are dear to us under your special care. Obtain for us the virtues you instilled in the heart of her who was destined to become Mother of God, and the graces with which you were endowed. O model of Christian womanhood, pray that we may imitate your example in our homes and families, listen to our petitions,

(State your intention here.)

Guardian of the infancy and childhood of the most Blessed Virgin Mary, obtain the graces necessary for all who enter the marriage state, that imitating your virtues they may sanctify their homes and lead the souls entrusted to their care to eternal glory. Amen.

Pray for us, Saint Anne!

That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

St. Anne Novena, Day Four

Glorious Saint Anne, I kneel in confidence at your feet, for you also have tasted the bitterness and sorrow of life. My need, the cause of my request, is…

(State your intention here.)

Good Saint Anne, you who did suffer much during the twenty years that preceded your glorious maternity, I beseech you, by all your sufferings and humiliations, to grant my prayer.

I pray to you, through your love for your glorious spouse Saint Joachim, through your love for your immaculate child, through the joy you did feel at the moment of her happy birth, not to refuse me. Bless me, bless my family and all who are dear to me, so that some day we may all be with you in the glory of heaven, for all eternity.

Amen.

Pray for us, Saint Anne!

That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

St. Anne Novena, Day Five

Great Saint Anne, how far I am from resembling you. I so easily give way to impatience and discouragement; and so easily give up praying when God does not at once answer my request. Prayer is the key to all heavenly treasures and I cannot pray, because my weak faith and lack of confidence fail me at the slightest delay. O my powerful protectress, come to my aid, listen to my petition…

(State your intention here.)

Make my confidence and fervor, supported by the promise of Jesus Christ, increase as the trial to which God in His goodness subjects me is prolonged, that I may obtain like you more than I can venture to ask for. In the future I will remember that I am made for heaven and not for earth; for eternity and not for time; that consequently I must ask, above all, the salvation of my soul which is assured to all who pray properly and who persevere in prayer.

Amen.

Pray for us, Saint Anne!

That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

St. Anne Novena, Day Six

Glorious Saint Anne, mother of the Mother of God, I beg your powerful intercession for the freedom from my sins and the assistance I need in my troubles…

(State your intention here.)

What can I not hope for if you deign to take me under your protection? The Most High has been pleased to grant the prayers of sinners, whenever you have been charitable enough to be their advocate.

Therefore, I beg you to help me in all spiritual and temporal dangers; to guide me in the true path of Christian perfection, and finally to obtain for me the grace of a happy death, so that I may contemplate your beloved Jesus and daughter Mary in your loving companionship throughout all eternity.

Amen.

Pray for us, Saint Anne!

That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

St. Anne Novena, Day Seven

O Good Saint Anne, so justly called the mother of the infirm, the cure for those who suffer from disease, look kindly upon the sick for whom I pray.

Alleviate their sufferings; cause them to sanctify their sufferings by patience and complete submission to the Divine Will; finally deign to obtain health for them and with it the firm resolution to honor Jesus, Mary, and yourself by the faithful performance of duties.

But, merciful Saint Anne, I ask you above all for the salvation of my soul, rather than bodily health, for I am convinced that this fleeting life is given us solely to assure us a better one. I cannot obtain that better life without the help of God’s graces. I earnestly beg them of you for the sick and for myself, especially the petition for which I am making in this novena…

(State your intention here.)

…through the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ, through the intercession of His Immaculate Mother, and through your efficacious and powerful mediation, I pray.

Amen.

Pray for us, Saint Anne!

That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

St. Anne Novena, Day Eight

Remember, O Saint Anne, you whose name signifies grace and mercy, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, and sought your intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto you, good, and kind mother; I take refuge at your feet, burdened with the weight of my sins. O holy mother of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, despise not my petition…

(State your intention here.)

…but hear me and grant my prayer.

Amen.

Pray for us, Saint Anne!

That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

St. Anne Novena, Day Nine

Most holy mother of the Virgin Mary, glorious Saint Anne, I, a miserable sinner, confiding in your kindness, choose you today as my special advocate. I offer all my interests to your care and maternal solicitude. O my very good mother and advocate, deign to accept me and to adopt me as your child.

O glorious Saint Anne, I beg you, by the passion of my most loving Jesus, the Son of Mary, your most holy daughter, to assist me in all the necessities both of my body and my soul. Venerable Mother, I beg you to obtain for me the favor I seek in this novena…

(State your intention here.)

…and the grace of leading a life perfectly conformable in all things to the Divine Will. I place my soul in your hands and in those of your kind daughter. I ask for your favor in order that, appearing under your patronage before the Supreme Judge, He may find me worthy of enjoying His Divine Presence in your holy companionship in Heaven.

Amen.

Pray for us, Saint Anne!

That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

St. John Paul II on Our Lady of Mount Carmel and the Scapular



"The sign of the Scapular points to an effective synthesis of Marian spirituality, which nourishes the devotion of believers and makes them sensitive to the Virgin Mother's loving presence in their lives. The Scapular is essentially a "habit". Those who receive it are associated more or less closely with the Order of Carmel and dedicate themselves to the service of Our Lady for the good of the whole Church Those who wear the Scapular are thus brought into the land of Carmel, so that they may "eat its fruits and its good things" (cf. Jer 2: 7), and experience the loving and motherly presence of Mary in their daily commitment to be clothed in Jesus Christ and to manifest him in their life for the good of the Church and the whole of humanity."

"Therefore two truths are evoked by the sign of the Scapular:  on the one hand, the constant protection of the Blessed Virgin, not only on life's journey, but also at the moment of passing into the fullness of eternal glory; on the other, the awareness that devotion to her cannot be limited to prayers and tributes in her honour on certain occasions, but must become a "habit", that is, a permanent orientation of one's own Christian conduct, woven of prayer and interior life, through frequent reception of the sacraments and the concrete practice of the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. In this way the Scapular becomes a sign of the "covenant" and reciprocal communion between Mary and the faithful:  indeed, it concretely translates the gift of his Mother, which Jesus gave on the Cross to John and, through him, to all of us, and the entrustment of the beloved Apostle and of us to her, who became our spiritual Mother."

~ St. John Paul II, excerpted from his Message to the Carmelite Family