Friday, June 30, 2006

BLESSED JUNÍPERO SERRA

When Father Junípero Serra founded California's first mission in 1769, he was 56 years old and asthmatic, with a chronic sore on his leg that troubled him for the rest of his life, and he suffered frequently from other illnesses, as well. He stood just 5 feet, 2 inches, and, as a journalist later wrote, "He certainly didn't look like the man who would one day be known as the Apostle of California." Yet he endured the hardships of the frontier and pressed forward with remarkable determination to fulfill his purpose: to convert the Native Americans of California to Christianity.

In pursuit of that goal, Father Serra walked thousands of miles between San Diego and Monterey and even Mexico City. He traveled the seas, also; and by the time he died August 28, 1784, in Carmel he had founded nine missions, introduced agriculture and irrigation techniques, and the Spanish language. He had battled governors, bureaucrats and military commanders to secure a system of laws to protect the California Indians from at least some of the injustices inflicted by the Spanish soldiers whose practices often were in conflict with Father Serra's.

Father Serra had been a philosophy professor and distinguished preacher at the Convent of San Francisco in Mallorca, the Spanish island where he was born in 1713. He was 36 years old when he reached the port of Vera Cruz, Mexico, on December 8, 1749, and walked to Mexico City. ( It was during that journey of 24 days that an insect bite caused the sore on his leg that sometimes became so painful he had difficulty walking. )

He spent 17 years in missionary work in the Sierra Gorda in the present area of North-Central Mexico. In 1767 he became president of the 14 missions in Baja California, originally founded by the Jesuits, then turned over to the Franciscans.

At that time, faced with the threat of Russian colonization from the north, Spain had committed itself to pushing northward into what is now the American state of California. Russian America (Alaska) was only 800 miles away. Spain feared that Russia would push south and gain a firm foothold in Alta California. The Spanish military launched an expedition into California in 1769 under the leadership of Gaspar de Portola. Father Serra set out with them to establish missions.

Serra's blessing of the site of Mission San Diego de Alcala on July 16, 1769, marked the beginning of the European settlement of California.

Between the years of 1796 and 1784, Father Serra made six voyages by sea totaling 5,400 miles. He traveled by land the distance between Monterey and San Francisco eight times, Monterey and San Antonio 11 times, His longest journey by land was from Monterey to Mexico City. In total, he traveled well over 5,500 miles by land.

Father Serra arrived at Monterey aboard the sailing ship San Antonio on June 1, 1770. He celebrated the first Mass on June 3, 1770, on the shore of Monterey Bay, where we now find the city of Monterey.

He returned to San Diego to work on the mission there, then founded Mission San Juan Capistrano in 1776, the year of the American Declaration of Independence.

When Father Serra died in 1784 he had established nine California missions and baptized 6,000 Indians, about 10 percent of the California Native American population. Those nine missions grew to 21. Today, more than 60 percent of the state's nearly 26 million people live in areas surrounding the missions, and El Camino Real, the road that Father Serra traveled on a tour of the missions shortly before this death, established a major artery running much of the length of the state.

He was beatified September 25, 1988 by Pope John Paul II.

"All my life I have wanted to be a missionary. I have wanted to carry the gospel message to those who have never heard of God and the kingdom he has prepared for them."-Bl. Junipero

Serran Prayer For Vocations
O God, Who wills not the death of a sinner, but rather that he be converted and live, grant we beseech You, through the intercession of the Blessed Mary, ever Virgin, Saint Joseph, her spouse, Blessed Junipero Sera and all the saints, an increase of laborers for your Church, fellow laborers with Christ to spend and consume themselves for souls, through the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever. Amen

The First Martyrs of Rome & the Unborn (Updated)


The holy men and women are also called the “Protomartyrs of Rome.” They were accused of burning Rome by Nero, who burned Rome to cover his own crimes. Some martyrs were burned as living torches at evening banquets, some crucified, others were fed to wild animals. These martyrs died before Sts. Peter and Paul, and are called “disciples of the Apostles. . . whom the Holy Roman church sent to their Lord before the Apostles’ death.”


As I write about the Christian martyrs, I can't help but reflect on the time I spent with my Community in prayer and thanksgiving for their sacrifice and their great faith while visiting the Coliseum in Italy this past February. I felt such a strong sense of their presence as I envisioned these innocent, defenseless victims being tossed into this huge arena to be devoured by the lions while thousands of pagan spectators entertained themselves, drinking and eating to excess, sitting back, laughing, and cheering.

In some ways this scenario is similar what is happening in our society today. We sit back on our recliners guiltlessly indulging ourselves in every imaginable way-- participating in ever form of sexual delight, consuming excessive quantities of food to appease every one of our 10,000 taste buds, purchasing whatever unnecessary trinket strikes our fancy, poisoning our minds and welcoming into our homes the violence and bloodshed, and pornography of the internet, movies, and TV.

How often do we get up off our derrières to do something about the evil in our world? It is just so much easier to sit back and continue in our self - indulgent habits, while the innocent martyrs of our day -- the unborn-- are being slaughtered, their remains being flushed down a sink, thrown in the garbage, or burned in an incinerator.

But, you ask, what can just one person do?

First, get up and speak up.
Speak the truth. In order to do this, you must know the truth. Educate yourself. Read as much as you can about the facts. Learn what the issues are and how to dialogue with those trapped in the culture of death. If you have never read a pro-life book before, start out with these: Why Can't We Love them Both by Dr. and Mrs. J.C. Willke, Guerilla Apologetics for Life Issues by Paul Nowak, Won By Love by Norma McCorvey.

Second, pray always and everywhere.
Novenas -- especially the Seven Sorrows Novena -- have been effective in closing abortion mills. Pray often before the Blessed Sacrament. Pray Fr. Frank Pavone's pro-life rosary or the Rachel Rosary.

Third, fast.
Some types of evil can be halted only by fasting. There are many ways to fast -- for example, cut back on eating one type of (unnecessary) food, eat unseasoned food, fast from TV or the Internet or from using your favorite cologne. Better yet, fast from a bad habit, or spend time cultivating a virture -- such as patience.

Fourth, volunteer your time to the pro-life movement. Pray or do sidewalk counseling at the abortion mill. It doesn't work out with your schedule? Offer to be a spiritual supporter. Volunteer at a crisis pregancy center. Get involved in the Respect Life group in your parish or diocese. If you want to do more, contact Fr. Frank Pavone -- he will find something for you to do.

Don't sit back and let the world continue to decay. Speak up for human life!

Quiz: Where Should You Spend Your Summer?

You Should Spend Your Summer at the Beach

You're a free spirit who is always thinking of new ways to have fun.
And you don't just love summer... you live for it.
So, you really should blow off your responsibilities and head to the beach!
See you at the beach, Julie!

As a redhead with fair skin I burn easily, too, so I'll take that five star hotel with a comfy chair, an extra-large umbrella, and a large glass of mineral water. I'll save the Beringer's White Zinfandel or the St. James Country White Wine for the evening.

The Holy Father's New Ride



Pope Benedict XVI received a brand new XC90 from Volvo, custom-tailored for his papal use. The Holy Father was presented with the keys for his brand-new SUV at a ceremony today at the Vatican. The V8 ride is dark blue with a light interior and Volvo officials say the car, like every Volvo XC90, is designed for safety with features like ROPS (RollOver Protection System).

It looks great - sleek, regal, and comfortable! The Vicar of Christ deserves the best and I'm happy for him.


Photo Source: Reuters

Thursday, June 29, 2006

GREAT NEWS: OPERATION RESCUE BUYS, CLOSES ABORTION MILL

Building will serve as OR Headquarters and Memorial to Pre-born

Wichita, KS - Jun 29, 2006 Operation Rescue announces that it has purchased the building that housed Central Women’s Services, an abortion mill located at located at 3013 E. Central in Wichita, Kansas. The sale of the building forced the mill to close. (
Click here for full story.)

The facility will be renovated and serve as Operation Rescue’s corporate headquarters, and will feature a memorial to the pre-born victims of abortion.

“This building is a testament to the redemptive power of Jesus Christ. If Jesus can redeem a building, He can redeem lives and heal hurting hearts,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “It is also an encouragement to the pro-life movement that, through God’s grace, we are winning the abortion battle one closed mill at a time.”The public and media will be invited to tour the facility in the next week at a time to be announced.


“We want the public to see and understand the filthy, decrepit conditions that existed at this abortion mill before renovations begin,” said Newman."

“We estimate that over 50,000 babies died at this facility over its 23 years of operation, and that is something we must come to terms with as a community. We pray that the memorial we establish there will help begin the healing process,” said Newman. “We have faith that George Tiller’s abortion mill is the next to close, and finally bring an end to abortion’s tragedy in Wichita.”

Full Story

Saints of the Day: Sts. Peter and Paul, Apostles



Peter - Patronage: Against frenzy; bakers; bridge builders; butchers; clock makers; cobblers; Exeter College Oxford; feet problems; fever; fishermen; foot problems; harvesters; locksmiths; longevity; masons; net makers; papacy; Popes; ship builders; shipwrights; shoemakers; stone masons; Universal Church; watch makers; Poznan, Poland; Rome; Diocese of Jackson, Mississippi; Diocese of Las Vegas, Nevada; diocese of Marquette, Michigan; Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island; Diocese of Scranton, Pennsylvania

Paul -- Patronage: Against snakes; authors; Cursillo movement; evangelists; hailstorms; hospital public relations; journalists; lay people; missionary bishops; musicians; poisonous snakes; public relations personnel; public relations work; publishers; reporters; rope braiders; rope makers; saddlemakers; saddlers; snake bites; tent makers; writers; Malta; Rome; Poznan, Poland; newspaper editorial staff Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Diocese of Covington, Kentucky; Diocese of Birmingham, Alabama; Diocese of Las Vegas, Nevada; Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island; Diocese of Worcester, Massachusetts;

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

SEN. BARACK OBAMA’S REMARKS ON RELIGION

June 28, 2006 Senator Barack Obama spoke before a Call to Renewal conference today imploring Democrats to reach out to people of faith. “Secularists are wrong when they ask believers to leave their religion at the door before entering the public square,” he said.

Catholic League president Bill Donohue commented as follows:

“There is much in Senator Obama’s address that the Catholic League welcomes. For too long, many Democrats have viewed religion as a purely personal matter, having no legitimate public role to play. But like all public officials, Obama must be judged not on what he says but on what he does. It is on this score that he fails.

“Obama is opposed to school vouchers (though he sent his kids to private schools) and he is opposed to posting the Ten Commandments in government buildings. And then there are moral issues which, while not religious, per se, are nonetheless of grave interest to people of faith. On this score, Obama fails as well.

“Obama is a big supporter of abortion-on-demand; he thinks it is okay to intentionally let a child die who survived an abortion (that’s the way he voted when he was a state lawmaker); he is a co-sponsor of legislation that allows for the intentional killing of embryos; he is opposed to a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as the union between a man and a woman; and he is against the Defense of Marriage Act (President Clinton signed it into law—it guarantees states the right to make their own choices regarding marriage).

“Until Senator Obama bridges the gap between his rhetoric and his record, many will remain skeptical of his professed beliefs. Indeed, he should have taken the opportunity today to remind the Call to Renewal folks that no one will take them seriously if they continue to refer to the budget as a moral document while jettisoning any interest in the moral propriety of abortion. But given his own record, such comments would have been difficult to make.”

As a former resident of IL, I can confidently say that Obama is one of the most anti-Christian, pro-abortionist Senators ever. He even beats Durbin -- he is culture of death all the way.

Related posts:

Third Debate Affirms First Two: Keyes Wins Again

Benedictine University invites pro-abortion Democratic senatorial candidate Barack Obama to address its student body

BARACK OBAMA SOMEONE IS WATCHING YOU

The Extinction of a Race

Protect the Sanctity of Marriage

A Pro-life Prayer for Statesmen, Politicians, Judges, and Lawyers

Ridiculous Remarks -- Funny Quotes


Conversing with Jesus


Today I am praying for...

my husband, Bill, who has been having health problems.

a young man, Joshua, suffering from severe jaw and head pain who currently does not have medical insurance.

Gloria, a mom of two, who is hospitalized and in a lot of pain.

the flood victims on the east coast.

an end to abortion and the closing of all abortion mills, especially Tiller's late- term abortion mill.

the upcoming election in November for Christian pro-lifers to be elected.

all those working in the pro-life movement.

a special intention.

Student struggles with abortion, options

In this article, Renae (not her real name), a Catholic college student in Indiana is having an abortion, although she knows it is morally wrong. I was disturbed by the deception put forth here. Here is my response to Renae.

Hmm... Renae, it sounds like you need a reality check. First, I wonder which option your baby would choose, abortion or adoption?

It's interesting to note that throughout this article your baby is continually referred to as a "fetus" and not as a "human being", or as "a separate life growing within your body". Your body is the receptacle of the "gift of life", not something that is to be mutiliated or penetrated with poison to kill the human life within you.

Second, why are you talking with Planned Parenthood -- the largest abortion provider in the world? They are not going to explore all the options with you in any depth nor will they inform you about the many life-threatening dangers of having an abortion with you-- such as post-traumatic abortion syndrome (which can lead to suicide), hemmoraging, stroke, etc.

Nor will they inform you of the psychological or emotional damage that can and often does occur -- such as recurring nightmares, post-traumatic stress syndrome, severe depression, drug addiction, eating disorders, etc. Nowhere is it mentioned that there are plenty of places you can go to get support (free food, clothing, shelter, counseling, financial assistance, and assistance with her education) if you would decide to have your baby and I'm sure Planned Parenthood isn't about to inform you of those and lose a paying customer. No, Planned Parenthood doesn't offer any of those -- they only want their blood money! (Oh, yes, there is an Indiana mandate mentioned, but who is there to see that Planned Parenthood is actually carrying it out, and in what maner do they present information to you? They are notorius for their deception.)

Third, what about STD's, Renae? Do you know about them? Is Planned Parenthood going to tell you the truth about them? Of course not, their job is to promote sex and more sex, so women can have babies for them to slaughter so they can make mega-bucks.

Fourth, what about your soul? How do you think you'll feel about yourself after you have the abortion? The truth is that many women who know it is wrong and do it anyway don't think about the consequences. Many end up feeling guilty because they know in their heart of hearts that abortion is a serious sin. This guilt can last for years afterwards and may never go away. What do you think will happen to your relationship with God after you have an abortion?

Have you seen your baby -- had an ultrasound done? No, Planned Parenthood does not do them. Why? Nearly all women who have ultrasounds are filled with joy when they see the life within them moving and breathing. They see a baby, not cells or a mass of tissue, but a living human being whose heart started beating when he or she was about 18 days old.

Renae, if you or anyone else reading this is considering abortion, get yourself to someone who can give you real help for your problems. Stay away from Planned Parenthood -- they will only do their best to talk you into aborting your child. Find a real crisis pregnancy clinic where you can learn about all of the options in order to make an informed decision based on the truth.

Here is a list of crisis pregnancy centers in Indiana where they can provide you with some real assistance. I pray that if you or someone you know is reading this, that you will contact them. A creditable crisis pregnancy center will give you support and assistance before, after, and during the pregnancy and will refer you to other agencies who can help with all your needs. PP will talk to you about getting an abortion, but that is it. Don't expect to get any help from them after the abortion when you're dealing with the pain.

U.S. House Republican Leadership Seeks Votes on Human Cloning Ban and Unborn Child Pain Bill

(www.ifrl.org) June 27, 2006 WASHINGTON, The Republican Leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives today unveiled the "American Values Agenda," a list of ten bills on which the House leadership will seek votes before the end of this year. The bill includes two major legislative priorities backed by the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC): the Human Cloning Prohibition Act (H.R. 1357), sponsored by Rep. Dave Weldon (R-Fl.) and Bart Stupak (D-Mi.), and the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act (H.R. 356), sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ).

NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson commented, "We commend the House Republican leadership for planning votes on a bill to ensure that women seeking abortions after the fourth month of pregnancy are informed about the unborn child's capacity to experience great pain, and on a bill to ban all human cloning."The Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act (H.R. 356, S. 51) was first introduced in 2004, and has not yet received a vote in either house of Congress. The Human Cloning Prohibition Act (H.R. 1357, S. 658) passed the House in 2001 and 2003, but has not been acted on by the Senate.

Best of the Blogosphere: Pro-life, Humor, Catholic Marriage

Today, The Curt Jester has a fascinating post on the Chapel of the Unborn.

Life Links at JivinJehoshaphat offers some promising information about adult stem cell research and autoimmune diseases.

Tito's Pic of the Day "John Kerry's Dog" provides some insight into Kerry's way of thinking as well as a good laugh.

Doxology offers some insights on Catholic marriage and annulment in the Land Down Under.

Pro-life Quote of the Day: St. Francis de Sales


"The procreation of children is the first and principal end of marriage. Hence, no one may ever lawfully depart from the due order that end requires."

~ St. Francis de Sales

Saint of the Day: St Irenaeus of Lyons, Bishop, Defender of the Faith and Martyr


St. Irenaeus was born about the year 125 in Asia Minor, probably at Smyrna. He was well educated and was influenced by men who knew the Apostles, especially St. Polycarp, who had been a pupil of St. John the evangelist. According to Gregory of Tours, Polycarp sent Irenaeus as a missionary to Gaul, where he was a priest under St. Pothinus at Lyons. Irenaeus was sent to Rome in 177 with a letter from his fellow Christians to Pope St. Eleutherius pleading for leniency to the Montanists in Phrygia. In Irenaeus' absence a violent persecution of Christians broke out at Lyons, claiming Pothinus as one of its martyrs. Irenaeus was named Bishop of Lyons on his return in 178. He was the first great Catholic theologian. Irenaeus wrote in Greek and two of his profound works survived in tact. His five-book treatise against the heresy of Gnosticism constitutes an invaluable source of information on Church Christ established from its beginnings to the end of the second century. His work also conveys the apostolic tradition in it and is a powerful testimony to the primacy of the Pope.

The date of the death of Irenaeus is usually given as about the year 203. According to a late and dubious tradition he suffered martyrdom under Septimius Severus.

"For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God."

~ St. Irenaeus

Prayer for Various Types of Christians

Father, give perfection to beginners,understanding to the little ones, and help to those who are running their course.Give sorrow to the negligent, fervor to the lukewarm,and a good consummation to the perfect.

~St Irenaeus of Lyons, Bishop, Defender of the Faith and Martyr

A Quiz for Independence Day: How American Are You?

You Are 83% American

You're as American as red meat and shooting ranges.
Tough and independent, you think big.
You love everything about the US, wrong or right.
And anyone who criticizes your home better not do it in front of you!

RELIGIOUS LEFT SEEKS TO SILENCE CHURCH’S VOICE

A coalition of religious leaders in Massachusetts who are pro-gay marriage has lashed out at Boston Archbishop Sean Cardinal O’Malley and other Catholic leaders for opposing same-sex unions. The coalition accuses the Catholic leaders of practicing “religious discrimination” and has requested that they stop campaigning for laws that protect the institution of marriage.

“We respect the Roman Catholic Church’s desire to speak in a public forum about this, but it has come to a point where the advocacy about same-sex marriage has come to impinge on our own religious practices, because not everyone believes same-sex marriage is wrong or sinful or against religious beliefs,” said the Rev. Tiffany Steinwert, a United Methodist minister who works with homosexuals. She added, “What happens when the Roman Catholic Church seeks to create public policy based on their religious beliefs is that they negate other religious beliefs that might be contrary to that.”

Catholic League president Bill Donohue responded as follows:

“It is important that the religious coalition stop practicing religious discrimination against Roman Catholics and stop campaigning for laws that weaken the institution of marriage. "

“We respect the religious coalition’s desire to speak in a public forum about this, but it has come to a point where the advocacy about same-sex marriage has come to impinge on our own religious practices, because not everyone believes that same-sex marriage is not wrong or sinful or against religious beliefs. What happens when the religious coalition seeks to create public policy based on their religious beliefs is that they negate other religious beliefs that might be contrary to that."

Bill Donahue is right -- these so-called religious leaders need to stop discriminating against Catholics and stop protecting and campaigning for what is evil. They have been impinging on the rights of the majority of Christians and Catholics for long enough now. Let's get with the program, people -- no matter how loud you yell you're not going to convert any of us to the perverse religion of homosexuality nor will we commit to the culture of death. Your lifestyles are sick, deviant, and dangerous, and you need help. If you choose to roll in the mud with the animals that is your choice, but even animals are smart enough to know better than to behave in an unnatural way.

Via Catholic League.

Related Articles:

Courage And Encourage -- New Outreaches

Answering the Tough Questions About Homosexuality - Part I

Answering the Tough Questions About Homosexuality - Part 2

Ford Makes Historic Move in Support of Groups Pushing Homosexual ...

NO SANCTIONS FOR CHURCH AGENCIES ON SAME-SEX ADOPTIONS

California Legislature Approves Homosexual Marriages

Why I Thank God I Couldn't be a Priest

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Warren Buffett Gives until it Hurts: Hurts Women, Hurts the Developing World and Kills Preborn Children

Warren Buffet

“Warren Buffett’s philanthropy aims at killing pre-born children not curing childhood disease, eliminating the poor not poverty, destroying the developing world not aiding in development,” states prominent Roman Catholic Priest.

FRONT ROYAL, Va, June 27 /
Christian Newswire/ -- The Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer, President of Human Life International responds to Warren Buffett’s announcement to donate billions of dollars to the pro-abortion Gates Foundation.

“Warren Buffett’s money has gone to fund the deadly abortion causing drug RU- 486, the production and distribution of portable suction abortion devices in the developing world, organizations that push abortion on developing countries, and among many other radical organizations Buffett’s foundation gave a grant to the Center for Reproductive Rights, an organization that fought bans on partial-birth abortion…

“Warren Buffett, who is not a Roman Catholic, has also donated money to the Anti-Catholic organization Catholics for a free Choice a group that seeks to undermine the Catholic Church’s teachings on the sanctity of human life.

“Warren Buffett’s philanthropy aims at killing pre-born children not curing childhood disease, eliminating the poor not poverty, and destroying the developing world not aiding development.

“The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have also given millions of dollars to organizations pushing abortion around the world. The merger of Gates and Buffett may spell doom for the families of the developing world.

“Warren Buffett will be known as the Dr. Mengele of philanthropy unless he repents and ceases using tax deductible donations to promote a culture of death and desolation…,” concluded the Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer.

Founded in 1981, Human Life International is the world’s largest pro-life, pro-family organization that is dedicated to defending life, faith and the family, with branches and affiliates around the world.

Spiritual Quote of the Day: St. Augustine


"Try to acquire those virtues which you think your brothers lack, and you will no longer see their defects because you yourself will not have the (virtues) yourself."

~ St. Augustine of Hippo

Quiz: How gullible are you? What kind of anti-Catholic novel would be most likely to reel you in?

You are most gullible when it comes to NEO-PAGAN NOVELS and books about goddess spirituality. Both argue that everything was so much better when people lived closer to nature, treated male and female as equal, and did not consider the desires of their bodies sinful. Then the Catholic Church came along and ruined absolutely everything. Ha! Even if the Catholic Church had never existed, these books would still get written--except they'd probably blame whites, or capitalism, or another easy target. Yet they still wouldn't be able to explain certain savageries of pre-Christian peoples. Wishful whining does not change either the historical record or the quality of second-rate writing. The authors of these books may love portraying themselves as the underdogs of history, but you don't have to throw money at them for it.

16 other people got this result!This quiz has been taken 74 times.21% of people had this result.

How gullible are you? What kind of anti-Catholic novel would be most likely to reel you in?

I can assure you that I am not into Sophia or any of those weird godesses that people invent. Nevertheless, it was fun taking this imaginative quiz.

Thanks, Enbrethiliel, for creating it! Thanks, Julie, for bringing it to my attention!

Pro-life Quote of the Day: St. John Vianney

Matrimony is a great Sacrament, as St. Paul says, but only in Christ and His holy Church. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loves His Church: wives, be subject to your husbands, in love and obedience, and care for one another. Bear with your imperfections.

~ St. John Vianney

TODAY IS A VERY SPECIAL DAY FOR US


Happy 14th Anniversary, Honey!

Happy Feast Day of Our Lady of Perpetual Help

The Message of the Icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help


The child Jesus has just seen the angels who have shown him the instruments of his passion. St. Michael the Archangel holds the lance and gall-sop. St. Gabriel the Archangel holds the Cross and the nails. Frightened by the sight, Jesus has run to his mother’s arms so quickly that he almost lost one of His tiny sandals. It dangles from his foot. Mary holds Him lovingly but her eyes look at us - pleading with us to avoid sin and love Her Son.

His hands are in hers to show that, as a child, Jesus placed Himself in Mary’s hands for protection and to remind us that He now has placed into Her hands all graces, to be given to those who turn to His mother and ask.

The star on Mary’s veil shows her to be the one who brought the light of Christ to the darkened world - the beacon that leads the way to Heaven.

The falling sandal symbolizes a soul clinging to Christ by one last thread--devotion to Mary.

The golden background is symbolic of Heaven and shines to show the heavenly joy Jesus and His mother can bring to tired human hearts.

Prayer to Our Lady of Perpetual Help


O Mother of Perpetual Help, grant that I may ever invoke thy most powerful name, which is the safeguard of the living and the salvation of the dying. O Purest Mary, O Sweetest Mary, let thy name henceforth be ever on my lips. Delay not, O Blessed Lady, to help me whenever I call on thee, for, in all my needs, in all my temptations I shall never cease to call on thee, ever repeating thy sacred name, Mary, Mary.


O what consolation, what sweetness, what confidence, what emotion fill my soul when I pronounce thy sacred name, or even only think of thee. I thank God for having given thee, for my good, so sweet, so powerful, so lovely a name. But I will not be content with merely pronouncing thy name: let my love for thee prompt me ever to hail thee, Mother of Perpetual Help.

Go here to learn more about this special feast day.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Conversing with Jesus


Today I am praying for...

health, safe travels and a successful Eucharistic Expedition for Fr. Antoine, David Marchinda, Matt Schmitz, Sharbel Dussault and one other man as they climb Mt. Rainier (Washington) this week.

healing for all those who have and continue to go through the very painful process of divorce.

pereseverance in prayer for all those making novenas at this time.


an outpouring of graces on those in the pro-life movement and for continued enthusiasm and energy in their labors for the Lord.

that all people will reverence and defend human life from natural conception to death.

the closing of all abortion mills, especially for Tiller's late-term abortion mill.

the Holy Father, all our cardinals, bishops, priests, and religious that they will be empowered by the Holy Spirit and strenghtened with an abundamce of special graces to carry out their duties according to God's will.


safe travel, rest and relaxation for all those on vacation.

a special intention.

If you have any prayer requests, please contact me and I would be happy to pray with you and for you. Thanks for praying with me for the intentions above. God reward you!

PRAISE THE LORD!

Praise the Lord for granting the following prayer requests:

Emily passed her state boards in nursing.

Bill and I had a wonderful time this past weekend celebrating our 14th wedding anniversary.

We will continue the celebration to a lesser degree on our true anniversary date, which is tomorrow, June 27th (despite other commitments). Thanks for your prayers!

Your Best Use of Prayer During the Next Few Months

Via Father Frank Pavone, Priests for Life:

Dear Friends,

There's one single way you can utilize the power of prayer in the coming weeks to move our nation closer to the abolition of abortion.My column today announces the Prayer Campaign for the 2006 Elections. It starts on the Fourth of July, and continues, as a double-novena, to Election Day, November 7.

Would you please sign up today at
www.PrayerCampaign.org, and get as many others as possible to sign up?

Also, please be sure to order "Voting with a Clear Conscience" if you haven't already. This pocket-size booklet outlines ten easy steps to guide Christians in their voting decisions. We want to distribute this far and wide. We just received them in print, so if you have already ordered it, it's on its way. This booklet is already receiving an enthusiastic welcome. It even contains a letter from expert attorneys attesting that it can be distributed by Churches without any danger to their tax-exempt status! Order today at
orders@priestsforlife.org. The booklet is $2, but the price goes down with larger quantities.

Let me also provide you with the upcoming schedules for our own TV shows and Radio programming:Defending Life (seen on EWTN every Friday at 10pm and Saturday at 2:30am Eastern Time).

June 30-July1 - Reflections on What Really Happened to Terri Schiavo. Guests: Bob and Mary Schindler, Terri's parents.

July 7-8 - What Are the Next Steps for the Pro-Life Movement? After the killing of Terri Schiavo, what must the pro-life movement do? Guests: Bob and Mary Schindler, Terri's parents.

Gospel of Life topics (seen on Sky Angel satellite, Angel One, every Monday at 3:30am, Tuesday at 2:00 am, Thursday at 8:30am and Saturday at 7:30pm -- all times Eastern).
www.skyangel.com

Week of June 25, 2006 - South Dakota's Abortion Ban. Guest: Mark Crutcher

Week of July 2, 2006 - Bible's Teaching on Political Responsibility - Part 1 Guest: Rev Rusty Thomas Life on the Line radio program. Go to
www.lifeontheline.com/listen/index.html for stations and airing times.

July 1-2: A Pro-Life Heritage. Fr. Frank, in a public address for a Day of Recollection (Christian's: Renewing the Earth) discusses the faith of our founding fathers and how we need to get back to their design for the American government.

Please tune in and spread the word! In fact, you can help us - and your whole parish -- by asking your pastor to place in the parish bulletin an announcement about our TV shows. Thanks in advance!

Blessings and prayers,
Fr. Frank Pavone
Prayer Campaign

Fr. Frank PavoneNational Director,
Priests for Life

Tuesday, November 7, 2006 is Election Day, and the decisions Christians make in that election will be just as decisive for the pro-life cause as were the decisions made in 2004. Momentum is on our side, and the People of Life will again bring about many pro-life victories. For that, we both work and pray.

That is why Priests for Life is again announcing a major Prayer Campaign (
www.PrayerCampaign.org) to prepare believers for the elections. This will take the form of a double novena of weeks - a total of 18 weeks of prayer. Appropriately, it starts on Tuesday, the Fourth of July, and concludes on Election Day, November 7.

The intentions for this Prayer Campaign are as follows:

1. That believers will be active citizens, will register to vote, and will cast their votes in the 2006 Elections.

2. That voters will base their choices on principle rather than on mere party loyalty or self-interest, keeping in mind that the first duty of government is the protection of human life.

3. That as a result of this year's elections, our nation may come closer to embracing a Culture of Life, in which the unborn and all the vulnerable are protected.

Participants sign up at PrayerCampaign.org and commit to saying the following prayer daily.

Please join us!

A Prayer for our National Elections

O God, we acknowledge you today as Lord, not only of individuals, but of nations and governments. We thank you for the privilege of being able to organize ourselves politically and of knowing that political loyalty does not have to mean disloyalty to you.


We thank you for your law, which our Founding Fathers acknowledged and recognized as higher than any human law. We thank you for the opportunity that this election year puts before us, to exercise our solemn duty not only to vote, but to influence countless others to vote, and to vote correctly.

Lord, we pray that your people may be awakened. Let them realize that while politics is not their salvation, their response to you requires that they be politically active.

Awaken your people to know that they are not called to be a sect fleeing the world but rather a community of faith renewing the world. Awaken them that the same hands lifted up to you in prayer are the hands that pull the lever in the voting booth; that the same eyes that read your Word Are the eyes that read the names on the ballot, and that they do not cease to be Christians when they enter the voting booth. Awaken your people to a commitment to justice, to the sanctity of marriage and the family, to the dignity of each individual human life, and to the truth that human rights begin when human lives begin, and not one moment later.

Lord, we rejoice today that we are citizens of your kingdom. May that make us all the more committed to being faithful citizens on earth. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Papal Nuncio Gives Communion to John Kerry - Likely Unintentional

WASHINGTON, June 26, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) - At the installation Mass of the new Archbishop of Washington, Donald W. Wuerl, Thursday, Archbishop Pietro Sambi, the representative of Pope Benedict XVI, was seen giving Holy Communion to pro-abortion Senator and former Presidential candidate John Kerry. The incident was reported by the Catholic News Service (CNS), the official news service of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.

CNS states: "During the Mass, Kerry, who supports keeping abortion legal, received Communion in the hand from Archbishop Pietro Sambi, apostolic nuncio to the United States and Pope Benedict XVI's representative to the U.S. bishops."

LifeSiteNews.com also spoke with the Communications Assistant of the Archdiocese of Washington about the matter. Mark Adkinson indicated that the incident was likely not intentional by indicating that Archbishop Sambi was administering Holy Communion on the side where the dignitaries were seated.

CNS also reported that Archbishop Wuerl shook hands with Senators Kerry and Ted Kennedy as he processed into the church. "During his entrance procession, the archbishop shook hands with Democratic Sens. Edward Kennedy and John Kerry of Massachusetts, seated side by side in the third row along the center aisle," reported CNS. [Entire Story]

Fidelis Urges White House Action


CHELSEA, MI — The national Catholic based advocacy group
Fidelis delivered an impassioned letter Friday to the White House urging President Bush to intervene in the 16-year long legal dispute over the Mt Soledad Veterans Memorial. The fifty-two year old veterans memorial outside San Diego has been under attack by an anti-Christian atheist because the memorial includes a 29-foot cross.

This week the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals refused to stay a lower court decision ordering the City of San Diego to pay $5,000 per day beginning August 1st if the cross is not removed. The decision is only the latest is a long series of judgments, public votes, and campaigns to protect the memorial from being permanently altered.

Fidelis President Joseph Cella stated: “This historic memorial is endangered because of the actions of a single anti-Christian atheist who has spent over 16 years in an attempt to destroy the cross. Will the crosses at Arlington National Cemetery be next? If we don’t take a stand and demand the respect due our veterans here, then we will have lost one of America’s greatest and most honorable traditions.”

Cella continued, “We understand that the President may be considering options available to him to protect the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial. In our letter sent today, we respectfully asked the President to consider ordering Secretary of the Interior Kempthorne to take possession of the Mt. Soledad Memorial under the federal government’s power of eminent domain.”

The letter explained: “Such action would immediately moot all pending legal threats to the cross, and forever protect the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial, in its entirety, as it was originally designed and constructed. Furthermore, such bold action on your part would send a resounding message across this country, affirming once again that America will always honor its veterans in ways consistent with our traditions and with the respect due to them for their service.”As a part of its letter, Fidelis announced that they have gathered thousands of signatures in support of the memorial. The signatures will also be delivered to the White House.

PHILIPPINES PRESIDENT BANS CAPITAL PUNISHMENT, MEETS WITH POPE


Pope Benedict and Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo shake hands during an official meeting at the Vatican June 26, 2006. Arroyo, seeking to shore up support from powerful Roman Catholic bishops, signed a law on June 24 abolishing the death penalty before her visit to the Vatican. REUTERS/Max Rossi (VATICAN)

MANILA, June 26 (CNA) - The president of the Philippines, on Saturday, signed a law abolishing the death penalty and called on all Filipinos to "celebrate life in the most meaningful way." She also thanked the Catholic Church for “being a beacon of grace and discernment” and for leading the campaign against the death penalty, prior to meeting with the Pope on Sunday.


President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo attempted to allay fears, of many, that the abolition of capital punishment, "opens the floodgates," of crime. She vowed that she would not relent in battling terrorists and criminals, reported the Philippine Star.

"We shall continue to devote the increasing weight of our resources to the prevention and control of serious crimes, rather than take the lives of those who commit them," Arroyo was quoted as saying.


"We have taken a strong hand against the threats to the law and the republic, but at the same time we yield to the high moral imperatives, dictated by God, to walk away from capital punishment," said the president, who is a devout Catholic. [More]

POPE URGES RECOVERY OF TRADITIONAL SACRED MUSIC

June 26 (CWNews.com) - Pope Benedict XVI has called for preservation of the Church's heritage of sacred music.

Genuine renewal in Catholic music "cannot be achieved except by following the great traditions of the past, of Gregorian chants and sacred polyphony," said the Holy Father, speaking after a June 25 concert at the Vatican. This musical tradition, he said, is "a priceless spiritual, artistic, and cultural heritage."


The Pope spoke at the conclusion a concert that emphasized 16th- and 17th-century sacred music, held in the Sistine Chapel and presented by the Domenico Bartolucci Foundation, directed by Msgr. Domenico Bartolucci. The Pope saluted that foundation, especially for its commitment to promoting the "Roman School" of polyphony-- which, the Pontiff noted, "has always been characterized by its focus on the pure voice, without instrumental accompaniment."

Msgr. Domenico Bartolucci was named director of the Sistine Chapel choir by Pope Pius XII in 1956, and served in that role until his retirement in 1997. Although he was over 80 years old at the time of his replacement, the appointment of a new choir director (Msgr. Giuseppe Liberto) by Pope John Paul II (bio - news) was widely interpreted as a sign of the Pope's decision to de-emphasize the music of the "Roman School" at papal ceremonies. At the time, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was openly saddened by Msgr. Bartolucci's departure.

I love the traditional music of the Church, especially the Gregorian Chant. Fortunately, I have belonged to parishes where traditional music has always been a part of the liturgy.

CONSERVATIVE GROUP DEMANDS OUSTER OF MARYLAND GOVERNOR

Robert Ehrlich, Governor of Maryland


A Virginia-based conservative group is demanding the resignation of Maryland's Governor Robert Ehrlich, who fired a Catholic member of a public transportation board for making public comments about his opposition to homosexuality.

"It is a disgrace that anyone would be fired for stating their religious beliefs in a public forum not connected with their job capacity," said Eugene Delgaudio, the president of Public Advocate. "The pro-family citizens of Maryland should not have to be represented by an anti-Christian bigot.”

Delgaudio was referring to the governor's dismissal of Robert Smith, a member of the Metro transportation board, who had said on a local cable-television show that he opposed the idea that "government should proffer a special place of entitlement within the laws of the United States for persons of sexual deviancy."


“This is sure to have a chilling effect on freedom of speech rights of Maryland government officials," the Public Advocate statement noted.

Via Catholic World News.

Pro-life Quote of the Day: St. Augustine


"Even with a lawful wife, the marriage act is unlawful and shameful if the conception of offspring is prevented. That is what Onan, the son of Juda, did, and on that account God put him to death."

~ St. Augustine of Hippo

Saint of the Day: JOSEMARÍA ESCRIVÁ DE BALAGUER, FOUNDER OF OPUS DEI



Highlights Of His Life

January 9, 1902. Born to José Escrivá and María Dolores Albás, in Barbastro, Spain, the second of six children.

January 13, 1902. Josemaría was baptized.

1910-1913. His three younger sisters died, a year later his family suffered financial ruin, and in 1915 the Escrivás moved to Logroño, where their father found work.

Winter 1917-18. After seeing footprints in the snow left by a discalced (shoeless) Carmelite, Josemaría decided to become a priest.

1924. His father died leaving him to support his family while studying.

March 28, 1925. Ordained to the priesthood in Saragossa.

April 1927. Moved to Madrid to study for his doctorate in civil law.


October 2, 1928. On retreat in Madrid, he "saw" the mission entrusted to him—to open a new path to holiness through sanctification of work in the midst of the world. This was the beginning of Opus Dei.

February 14, 1930. He opened Opus Dei to women.

1934. The first edition of The Way was published.

1936-39. He was forced into hiding by religious persecution during Spanish Civil War.

February 14, 1943. He founded the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross, which he united to Opus Dei.

1946. Moved to Rome. Obtained doctorate in theology from Lateran University.

1948. Married men and women admitted to full membership in Opus Dei.

June 16, 1950. Opus Dei was approved by the Holy See. (It was erected to a personal Prelature 28 November 1982, after his death.)

June 26, 1975. Josemaría yielded up his soul to God. His body was laid to rest in the Church of Our Lady of Peace at Viale Bruno Buozzi 75, Rome.

February 19, 1981. Introduction of the Cause for Canonization of Josemaría Escrivá.

April 9, 1990. Decree on the Heroic Virtues of the Servant of God Josemaría Escrivá approved by Pope John Paul, thereby declaring him Venerable.

July 6, 1991. Pope John Paul affirmed by decree the miraculous nature of a cure attributed to the intercession of the Venerable Servant of God Josemaría Escrivá.

May 17, 1992. Pope John Paul II beatified the Venerable Servant of God, declaring him Blessed Josemaría.

December 20, 2001. A second miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed Josemaría affirmed by decree.

October 6, 2002. Josemaría Escrivá is canonized and declared a Saint.

His complete biography via the Vatican can be found here. His website also provides a wealth of biographical information.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Conversing with Jesus


Jesus tells us in today's readings not to be afraid, but to have faith when the storms in our lives approach. Today I am praying for...

all of us will look beyond the storms of our lives and gaze upon the face of the One who loves us, trusting completely in the power of His love for us, which fills our hearts with peace.

Heidi and her reunion with her biological mother.

that God's will be done regarding a great job opportunity for Eli in Colorado.


for my brother, Michael, a single father, and his teenage son, and their special needs at this time.

a lifetime of blessings for Nicole & Keith, as they are joined together as one in the Lord.

prayers of protection and God's providence for my relationship with a young man with whom M. is discerning marriage.

those stuck in lives of sin, that they may be given the grace and accept the grace of conversion to live in God, especially our family members.

that all people will reverence and defend human life from natural conception to death.

that legislators will labor to protect the weak, the innocent, the poor, the unborn, the marginalized, and those in most need.

the closing of all abortion mills, especially George Tiller's late term abortion mill.

the grace to live this week as instruments of Christ, seeking only to do His will, leading holy lives.

a special intention.

If you have any prayer requests, please contact me and I would be happy to pray with you and for you. Thanks for praying with me for the intentions above. God reward you!

Weekend Humor: A Public Service Message for Women to Better Understand Men

I'm overdue for some humor here, so here's one from my inbox, emailed to me by a man. Thanks, Larry! Enjoy!

A Public Service Message for Women to Better Understand Men

Because I'm a man, when I lock my keys in the car, I will fiddle with a coat hanger long after hypothermia has set in. Calling AAA is not an option. I will win.

Because I'm a man, when the car isn't running very well, I will pop the hood and stare at the engine as if I know what I'm looking at. If another man shows up, one of us will say to the other, "I used to be able to fix these things, but now with all these computers and everything, I wouldn't know where to start." We will then drink a couple of beers, as a form of communion.

Because I'm a man, when I catch a cold, I need someone to bring me soup and take care of me while I lie in bed and moan. You're a woman. You never get as sick as I do, so for you, this is no problem.

Because I'm a man, I can be relied upon to purchase basic groceries at the store, like milk or bread. I cannot be expected to find exotic items like "cumin" or "tofu." For all I know, these are the same thing.

Because I'm a man, when one of our appliances stops working, I will insist on taking it apart, despite evidence that this will just cost me twice as much once the repair person gets here and has to put it back together.

Because I'm a man, I must hold the television remote control in my hand while I watch TV. If the thing has been misplaced, I may miss a whole show looking for it...though one time I was able to survive by holding a calculator...(applies primarily to engineers)

Because I'm a man, I do not want to visit your mother, or have your mother come visit us, or talk to her when she calls, or think about her any more than I have to. Whatever you got her for Mother's Day is okay; I don't need to see it. And don't forget to pick up something for my mother, too.

Because I'm a man, you don't have to ask me if I liked the movie. Chances are, if you're crying at the end of it, I didn't...and if you are feeling amorous afterwards...then I will certainly at least remember the name and recommend it to others.

Because I'm a man, I think what you're wearing is fine. I thought what you were wearing five minutes ago was fine, too. Either pair of shoes is fine. With the belt or without it, looks fine. Your hair is fine. You look fine. Can we just go now?

Because I'm a man, and this is, after all, the year 2006, I will share equally in the housework. You just do the laundry, the cooking, the cleaning, the vacuuming, and the dishes, and I'll do the rest...... like wandering around in the garden with a beer wondering what to do.

This has been a public service message for women to better understand men.

Nicole Kidman Marries Keith Urban



Aren't they a cute couple? You can find more photos and a video here. Fox News offers a few more details here.

Nicole Kidman prepares to wed Keith Urban Down Under

Nicole Kidman is soon to be a "June Bride" and I can't wait to see this couple exchange vows. It's uplifting to see this high profile celebrity couple getting married in the Catholic Church.

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) - Sydney was abuzz Sunday as Oscar-winning actress
Nicole Kidman prepared to tie the knot with country music crooner Keith Urban.

Helicopters buzzed overhead at the gothic-style chapel on cliffs overlooking the beach, where the two were expected to wed in a star-studded dusk ceremony, and a crowd of well-wishers and media gathered outside the gates.

A woman dressed in a costume like the one Kidman wore in the campy 2001 film "Moulin Rouge'' and waved a sign that read "Aussie-wood.''

Black-suited guards took up posts around the church compound, which was surrounded by a high wire fence and barricades.

Elsewhere in town, cafes offered Kidman specials for breakfast and newspapers featured photographs of a beaming Kidman posing with her mother on the eve of the event. A huge banner, strung up at the Catholic school opposite the church, said, "To Nicole & Keith, congratulations from the boys at St. Pauls.''

Kidman and Urban have kept the details largely secret. Local media have widely predicted a traditional Roman Catholic ceremony at the sandstone church overlooking Sydney's iconic Manly beach.

Among about 230 some guests tipped to attend the black-tie event are longtime friends Naomi Watts, Russell Crowe and Hugh Jackman - all fellow Hollywood stars with Australian ties.

Kidman was born in Hawaii but raised in Australia, and Urban was born in New Zealand but raised in Australia's rural Queensland state.

Latest reports Sunday suggested the couple recently signed a prenuptial agreement which allegedly includes an escape clause for Kidman should Urban revert to excessive drug or alcohol abuse. Details of the alleged agreement could not be confirmed.

Urban, who won a Grammy this year for best male country vocalist, has publicly acknowledged his former cocaine addiction, but now reportedly refrains from alcohol and drugs.

The priest expected to marry the couple, Father Paul Coleman, said Kidman and Urban were "totally focused on their commitment.''

"It's the priority in their lives,'' The Sunday Telegraph newspaper quoted him as saying. "It is an uplifting occasion for the community _ to see people of this profile making this commitment in Australia.''
[More]

Related Posts:
Nicole Kidman's Spiritual Journey

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Abortion Trigger Laws in the United States


Several states have enacted trigger laws to end abortion. Some are meant to ban abortion in the state should Roe v. Wade be overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court, others are intended to launch a challenge to that law. Mike Mears, CWA’s Director of State Legislative Relations, has more on these laws and other news.Click here to listen.

Via CWA.

Pro-life Message of the Day: Pope John Paul the Great


Working for the Culture of Life

By virtue of our sharing in Christ's royal mission, our support and promotion of human life must be accomplished through the service of charity, which finds expression in personal witness, various forms of volunteer work, social activity and political commitment. This is a particularly pressing need at the present time, when the "culture of death" so forcefully opposes the "culture of life" and often seems to have the upper hand. But even before that it is a need which springs from "faith working through love" (Gal. 5:6). As the letter of James admonishes us: "What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but has not works? Can his faith save him? If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them, 'go in peace, be warmed and filled,' without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead" (2:14-17)

~ Pope John Paul the Great, Evangelium Vitae

Solemnity of the Birth of St. John the Baptist


The Birth of St. John the Baptist
1540's
Oil on canvas, 181 x 266 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg

Today is the Solemnity of the Birth of St. John the Baptist.

Patron: Baptism; bird dealers; converts; convulsions; convulsive children; cutters; epilepsy; epileptics; farriers; hail; hailstorms; Knights Hospitaller; Knights of Malta; lambs; Maltese Knights; lovers; monastic life; motorways; printers, spasms; tailors; Genoa, Italy; Quebec; Sassano, Italy; Diocese of Savannah, Georgia; Diocese of Charleston, South Carolina; Diocese of Dodge City, Kansas; Diocese of Paterson, New Jersey; Diocese of Portland, Maine.

Traditional Feast of The Immaculate Heart of Mary


Today is the traditional date for the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (it is celebrated on the Saturday following the Second Sunday after Pentecost). This year the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is suppressed for the Solemnity of the Birth of St. John the Baptist (June 24). Nevertheless, today is still a wonderful day to celebrate Our Mother's love for her Son and her love for us - her other children. It was also on this feast day 14 years ago that Bill and I exchanged vows in the sacrament of Holy Matrimony, which makes this feast very memorable for me.


Throughout the history of this devotion different titles have been used for the Immaculate Heart of Our Blessed Mother such as "the Maternal Heart of Mary" and also the "Sacred Heart of Mary." Sacred means holy, it does not mean divine. St. John Eudes (d. 1680) wrote of "the Admirable Heart of Mary."

In St. Luke (2:51) we read of Our Lady pondering all these things—about Her Son Jesus—in her Heart. Also from St. Luke (2:35) we see that Simeon at the Presentation prophesied that Our Lady’s Soul would be pierced with sorrow. This is depicted by showing a sword piercing the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

The early theologians of our Faith, the Fathers of the Church, such as St. John Chrysostom (d. 407) and St. Epiphanus (d. 403) referred to Our Lady’s Heart. St. John Damascene (d. 749) explained that the Immaculate Heart of Mary "lives solely on the contemplation and the love of God." In the Middle Ages St. Bernard (d. 1153) wrote that at Calvary, "as Jesus died in Body so Mary died in Heart."

St. Thomas a Becket (d. 1170), the English Martyr, had a special devotion to the joys of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Our Blessed Mother appeared to him and promised to help those who also have this devotion, especially at the hour of death.

St. Gertrude the Great (d. 1302), the German mystic, was granted a vision of three rays of light coming from the Most Holy Trinity and entering the Immaculate Heart of Mary and then returning to God with great speed, to the Source from which they came. The rays represented Power, Wisdom and the Gifts bestowed upon Mary by the Most Holy Trinity.

St. Bridget of Sweden (d. 1373) was told by Our Blessed Lord, "the Heart of my Mother was like mine. Therefore I can affirm that we worked together for the salvation of the world. I, by the sufferings endured by My Body, She by the sorrows and love of Her Heart." And Our Lady told St. Bridget, "When my Son suffered, I felt as though my Heart endured the sufferings also. When my Son was scourged and torn with whips, my Heart was scourged and whipped with Him. His Heart was my Heart. My Beloved and I redeemed the world as with one Heart."

St. Bernadine of Siena (d. 1444), the Italian Franciscan, is especially known for his devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. He wrote that the Immaculate Heart of Mary was "a fiery furnace of Holy Love."

St. John Eudes, a great Apostle of Devotion to the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, prayed to both the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary by saying "AVE COR," or Hail Heart in the singular, to show the unity of these Two Hearts.

St. Margaret Mary (d. 1690), the great Apostle of devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, explained that "the most efficacious way to have devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is through the Immaculate Heart of Mary." And St. Margaret Mary’s spiritual director, St. Claude de la Colombiere stated: "I turn to Mary and ask her to obtain for me the grace to imitate Our Lord’s Heart. I saw how perfectly her Heart copied His."

St. Louis de Montfort (d. 1716), the great Apostle of devotion to Our Lady, tells us, "If you put all the love of all the mothers into one heart it still would not equal the love of the Heart of Mary for her children."

The Venerable Father Francis Liberman (d. 1852), a Jewish convert wrote: "You do not know what a treasure the Holy Heart of Mary is. Jesus Christ has placed in it so great a fullness of grace and favors that they would be sufficient to satisfy not merely the whole world but a hundred thousand worlds and much more."

At Fatima, Our Blessed Mother revealed her Immaculate Heart to the three shepherd children. We saw then that Our Mother’s Heart was surrounded by thorns—the thorns of sin. We were then asked to make reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by prayer and sacrifices—to console her Motherly Heart—to remove those thorns. Also at Fatima Our Lady requested that Russia be consecrated to her Immaculate Heart saying, "In the end My Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me and she will be converted and a period of peace will be granted to the world."

She also told them: "Jesus wishes to establish devotion to my Immaculate Heart in the world. I promise salvation to those who embrace it. Tell everybody that God grants graces through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and that they must ask them from her. Tell them that the Heart of Jesus wishes that by His side should be venerated the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Tell them to ask peace through the Immaculate Heart of Mary; God has placed it in her hands."

For more information on the history and devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary via a video, go here.

~ Excerpted in part from the Monks of Adoration.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

PRAYER TO THE SACRED HEART


Devotion to the Sacred Heart was the characteristic note of the piety of Saint Gertrude the Great (1256-1302), Benedictine nun and renowned mystic. She was, in fact, the first great exponent of devotion to the Sacred Heart. In our efforts to honor the Heart of Jesus we have this prayer as a model for our own:

Hail! O Sacred Heart of Jesus, living and quickening source of eternal life, infinite treasure of the Divinity, and burning furnace of divine love. Thou art my refuge and my sanctuary, 0 my amiable Savior. Consume my heart with that burning fire with which Thine is ever inflamed. Pour down on my soul those graces which flow from Thy love, and let my heart be so united with Thine, that our wills may be one, and mine in all things be conformed to Thine. May Thy divine will be equally the standard and rule of all my desires and of all my actions. Amen.

~Saint Gertrude

For information on the Sacred Heart Devotion, go here.

In this interview with ZENIT, Father Massimo Taggi, national director of the Apostleship of Prayer in Italy, talks about devotion to the Sacred Heart as an effective means to counteract secularization.


Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, truly present in the Holy Eucharist, I place my trust in you.