Wednesday of Holy Week, April 1, 2015


J.M.J. Both Jesus the Suffering Servant and his Ever-Virgin Mother were known for Their absolute purity as displayed in Their unparalleled virginity, faultless chastity and perfect continence.

Thanks to Patricia for submitting these two excerpts about Our Blessed Lady's Virginity from Concerning Virginity by Saint Ambrose (337-397), Bishop and Doctor.


1. Book II, Chapter II, 7

She was a virgin not only in body but also in mind, who stained the sincerity of its disposition by no guile, who was humble in heart, grave in speech, prudent in mind, sparing of words, studious in reading, resting her hope not on uncertain riches, but on the prayer of the poor, intent on work, modest in discourse; wont to seek not man but God as the judge of her thoughts, to injure no one, to have goodwill towards all, to rise up before her elders, not to envy her equals, to avoid boastfulness, to follow reason, to love virtue. 


2. Book II, Chapter II, 9

Mary attended to everything as though she were warned by many, and fulfilled every obligation of virtue as though she were teaching rather than learning.


Mother inviolate, pray for us.

Saint Joseph, Guardian of virgins, pray for us.

Saint Ambrose, Defender of Our Lady's Perpetual Virginity, pray for us.

Tuesday of Holy Week, March 31, 2015


J.M.J. 


“Mary The Disciple”:
Meditations on
The Sorrowful Mysteries of
The Most Holy Rosary of
The Blessed Virgin Mary


Miss Emily Hoffmann, the Coordinatress of Parish Discipleship and Events in the Diocese of Sioux Falls, asked me to prepare these very brief Meditations for the inaugural diocesan “Discipleship Day” that was held on Saturday, March 28, 2015 in the Holiday Inn Sioux Falls—City Centre in Sioux Falls.


The First Sorrowful Mystery: Jesus is in Agony in the Garden


We honor Our Lady with many titles: Mother, Queen, Virgin, Daughter, Spouse, Patroness, Model, Pattern. We also venerate her as “Disciple”—the Disciple of the Crucified and Risen Lord.

Saint Augustine of Hippo wrote that Mary first conceived Jesus in her Heart before she conceived Him in her Virginal Womb.

As the Disciple, Our Lady, in her Immaculate Heart, was united to her Son, Jesus, the Suffering Servant, in His Passion. His Agony in the Garden was hers, too.
  

The Second Sorrowful Mystery: Jesus is Scourged at the Pillar


Jesus Christ, the Suffering Servant, offered His Precious Body for us as He was scourged. Our Lady knew that despite the unspeakable pain, He would never abandon His Beloved Father even unto His Death.

Mary, as the Disciple of Christ, was grateful for all that her Son did for her—and for us!

  
The Third Sorrowful Mystery: Jesus is Crowned with Thorns


O Sacred Head, surrounded!

The Sacred Head of Jesus was ravaged by the piercing, brutal nails that punctured without mercy. Our Lady mystically and mysteriously knew that her Divine Son was suffering intensely and secretly during those hours from after the Suffering Servant was arrested in the Garden until He was led away to Calvary.

Mary the Disciple was not scandalized by the Cross but saw it as the proof of Christ’s love for her and for her sons and daughters.


 The Fourth Sorrowful Mystery: Jesus Carries the Cross


The Fourth Sorrowful Mystery is closely connected with the Fourth Station of the Cross: The Suffering Servant encounters Mary the Disciple on the Via Dolorosa—the Way of Sorrows.

Many spiritual writers have concluded that while few—if any—words were exchanged by the Son and the Mother as They met, the glance of love and compassion between Them required no words.

Our Lady was with Our Lord all the way. She refused Him nothing before, and she would refuse Him nothing now!
  

The Fifth Sorrowful Mystery: Jesus is Crucified and
Dies on the Cross


Mary the Disciple stood at the foot of the Cross of Jesus the Suffering Servant! Although she was in the abyss of sorrows—she who is Our Lady of Sorrows—she still had her wits about her.

As Christ was hanging in torment, Our Lady cooperated in our reconciliation to our Father by lovingly consenting to the Death of Jesus.

The Offering of Jesus and Mary was more than sufficient to open the Gates of Heaven. Now, you and I can enter Paradise!

There are no better "Spiritual Multipliers" than Jesus and Mary!

Monday of Holy Week, March 30, 2015


J.M.J. Many thanks to Lisle for sharing the following with us. What a great project.

Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.


Imagine what might happen if every Catholic in the world would pray a Rosary on the same day! We have an example in October of 1571, when Europe was saved from the invasion of the mighty Turkish fleet, by the praying of the Rosary by all Christians! 


So, on Good Friday April 3, 2015, let us all pray a Rosary for peace in the world and the return of moral values into our communities. If possible, please pray your Rosary between Noon and 3:00 PM.

Also, please e-mail this message to all Catholics on your address list, and ask them to pass it along to every Catholic on their lists. Let's unite in praying one of the most powerful prayers in existence, for these intentions, on one of the holiest days in our Church year.

God bless us all!
 

Forward it and help hasten the triumph of Mother Mary!
 

Palm Sunday, March 29, 2015


J.M.J. A blessed Palm Sunday to all.

Mary, Queen of Patriarchs, pray for us.

Courtesy of "Rome Reports":


http://www.romereports.com/pg160862-the-vatican-prepares-for-palm-sunday-mass-in-st-peter-s-square-en

Friday, March 27, 2015


J.M.J. Today is the last Friday before Good Friday. Lent is near its conclusion.

Here are a few questions for us:

1. Have we continued in our Lenten works of prayer, fasting and almsgiving?

2. Have we gone to Confession this Lent?

3. Have we taken the opportunities this Lent to make the Stations of the Cross, visit the Most Blessed Sacrament, read Sacred Scripture and pray the Most Holy Rosary?

It is not too late. 

May Holy Week find us fervent and watchful in prayer.

Virgin most venerable, pray for us.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015


J.M.J. The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, celebrated on March 25, could well be styled the "Feast of Vocations."

Why?

Because of Mary's example. She demonstrated a receptivity to the Almighty's invitation to become the Virgin-Mother of the Messiah. By extension, we can learn how to respond to God in our daily lives, especially as it pertains to our vocation, whatever it may be.

In Prayers and Devotions: 365 Daily Meditations (New York: Penguin Books, 1998), Saint John Paul II noted how important it is for us to accept and live our personal vocation:

"One must accept the call, one must listen, one must receive, one must measure one's strength, and answer 'Yes, yes.' Fear not, fear not because you have found grace, do not fear life, do not fear your maternity, do not fear your marriage, do not fear your priesthood, for you have found grace. This certainty, this consciousness, helps us as it helped Mary."

What Mary did at Nazareth can't be overestimated, and it surely mustn't be forgotten. She freely and joyfully cooperated with the Holy Spirit, thereby becoming a "living tabernacle" for the God-Man, Jesus Christ. Her willingness to bear fruit--the choicest Fruit imaginable--redounds for all ages to the glory of God and Our Blessed Lady's honor.

By cheerfully accepting the divine plan--no matter the sacrifice--means that we, too, will bear fruit in abundance. To bow humbly to the Lord's mighty but gentle hand brings happiness and holiness to us as it did to the Madonna two millennia ago.

Not only is the Annunciation about Mary's humility and openness to God and his designs, but it is also a tribute to the Son of God's willingness to become man. The Second Person of the Blessed Trinity--the Logos--became incarnate at the moment of Mary's "yes" so that we might achieve victory over sin and death.

The Annunciation is as much about Christ's acceptance of His Father's will as it is about Mary's fervent desire to submit to the ramifications inherent in the message brought by the Archangel Gabriel.

We benefit immeasurably from following the inspiring examples of Jesus and Mary. They make it possible for us to accept and live faithfully our personal vocation.

The Prince of Peace and His holy Mother demonstrate that unending union with God is the reward for those who embrace the Lord's will and carry it out to the best of their ability.

Undoubtedly, there are many obstacles that can be encountered in our modern age when we try to respond generously and faithfully to the divine call. We may be laughed at or ridiculed. No matter.

The One who calls is the One who preserves us and grants us the grace to answer Him and persevere in our vocation.

Clergy, consecrated, married and single share in the cross of Christ; at times, they will be misunderstood by others for their receptivity to the Lord. But the Good Shepherd will always be present to nourish His brothers and sisters and help them to live their commitments lovingly and peacefully.

The "yes" of both the Son of God and the Handmaiden of the Lord--so simple yet so profound--speaks volumes. We can rejoice that we also are able to be open to God and His powerful plan for us just as the Lord of Glory and that humble Jewish Virgin were so long ago.

(Slightly edited from its original appearance in Catholic Twin Circle on Sunday, March 24, 1996, page 14. Used with permission.) 

Monday, March 23, 2015


J.M.J. Humanae Vitae, the July 25, 1968 Encyclical authored by Blessed Paul VI (1963-1978), offers to all persons a meditation on the mystery of life and love. This important teaching was reconfirmed dozens of times by Saint John Paul II (1978-2005). 

Following are only a few of the points made by Pope Paul VI in Humanae Vitae that can help us to better understand marriage and the family.

1) The Magisterium, or Teaching Authority of the Church, has every right to speak about procreation. Why? Because Jesus Christ bestowed upon Peter and the Apostles the divine authority to teach His commands and to interpret their meaning and application. This special authority extends not only to Sacred Scripture and the Apostolic Tradition but also to the Natural Law, which Saint Paul said can be known by everyone regardless of creed.

2) Husbands and wives are to share everything with each other. The love between spouses is faithful and exclusive until death. The "responsible exercise of parenthood" demands, in the words of Pope Paul VI, "that husband and wife recognize fully their own duties toward God, toward themselves, toward the family, and toward society, in a correct hierarchy of values."

3) The marital act is "noble and worthy" and has two dimensions--the unitive (love-giving) and the procreative (life-giving). The Church has constantly taught that each and every act of marital intercourse "must remain open to the transmission of life." God the Creator has established for all time the inseparable link between unity and procreation in the conjugal act.

4) The "totality" argument--that the marital act need not be open each and every time to the possibility of procreation but that married couples should be receptive at least some of the time during the totality of their marriage to the gift of children--must be rejected. It is immoral to do evil (for example, using contraception even for a time) so that a supposed good (for example, conceiving a child when a husband and wife are "ready") may result.

5) Direct, procured abortion is intrinsically evil, as are any actions that deliberately make procreation impossible. This includes the use of drugs and devices, such as Depo-Provera, Norplant, the Morning-after Pill and RU-486, which are clearly abortifacient. Many of these chemical abortions parade as contraceptives but actually prevent implantation of a conceived child.

6) Direct sterilization is intrinsically evil. To cure a disease, however, it is permissible for a man or a woman to undergo a medical treatment that will result in sterility, as long as the sterility is not directly intended.

7) For just motives, husband and wife may have marital intercourse during the wife's monthly infertile period--even though procreation may not result--since there are "natural rhythms immanent in the generative functions." The Church teaches that a vast difference exists between contraception and Natural Family Planning (NFP). The former advocates unlimited sexual activity between spouses, while the latter makes use of the infertile period only when serious reasons warrant.

Catholic couples may be assured that the Church does not shirk her sacred duty to give direction and counsel to them about their grave responsibility to bring forth new life into the world.

While one Christian denomination after another has granted "permission" for their members to use contraception, the Catholic Church stands virtually alone as the major force that refuses to countenance contraception. This fact in itself speaks loudly about the Church's insistence on obeying God's law no matter the subsequent scorn and outcry.

Almost five decades after Humanae Vitae, the truth about the gift of children has not changed. Married couples are summoned by the Creator Himself to cooperate in the conception and birth of His sons and daughters.

Blessed Paul VI was right. Saint John Paul II was right. The Church is right. To do the just and moral thing may be difficult, but God will not fail to reward those married couples who have--with His grace--hurdled the obstacles against procreation and generously accepted the treasure of human life.

Mary, Mother of God, pray for us!


(This article, which has been slightly edited, was originally published in the July 19-25, 1998 issue of Catholic Faith and Family on page sixteen. Used with permission.)  

Sunday, March 22, 2015


J.M.J. As young children, many of us learned that God freely created us for Himself and that He desires that we be genuinely happy here on earth and one day with Him in Paradise.

This cherished truth, which is solidly based on Sacred Scripture and the Apostolic Tradition, can never change. The Lord wants us to be united with Him forever in Heaven.

But as often as we have heard this doctrine of our Catholic Faith, we admit that we sometimes live as though going to Heaven is not really our primary concern. Other more "pressing" matters (even those that are important and must be addressed, like family, relationships, school, work, etc.) cloud our vision.

"The Prayer of Heaven," which enjoys an imprimatur, is a brief but powerful invocation that is truly a meditation in itself. By reciting this prayer in which we beg for the favor to enter immediately into Paradise upon our death, we focus again on our everlasting destiny and the crucial need for God's abundant strength to arrive at our final goal.


My God, I adore You and I love You!

Through the hands of the Madonna, with Your grace and help I accept from You, O Lord, at the unexpected hour any kind of death as it will please You to send me, 
and I ask of You the grace not to have fear of death. 
 Please forgive all of my sins.

I accept my death in union with the Sacrifice that You, 
O Jesus, High and Eternal Priest, 
Yourself made on the Cross and that now You renew on many Altars. I intend to offer to You my death in the spirit of the Holy Masses which at that moment will be 
celebrated and I offer You 
Your infinite merits to pay for my sins 
and the penalty of Purgatory.

Saved by Your Blood, through Your merits and those 
of Your Mother I ask You the same mercy 
granted to the Good Thief, namely the 
grace to enter immediately with You 
into Paradise and to have immediately 
the perfect Beatific Vision of God. 

Amen.

I thank You, my Jesus!



When we die, if we go to Purgatory, then we will be magnificently blessed insofar as we died in the state of grace (that is, God's friendship) and have the golden opportunity to atone for our sins. Yet, our current and constant efforts should be geared towards attaining Christian perfection, which means being fully conformed to our Lord Jesus Christ! We wish to be admitted immediately into Heaven because the Most Blessed Trinity--our Living God--is present there in a most unique way.

How we love and pine for our beloved Lord! May we see Him face-to-face as soon as we have drawn our last breath.

Our Lady, Gate of Heaven, pray for us!

Saint Joseph, Patron of a Happy Death, pray for us! 

Saturday, March 21, 2015


J.M.J. The greatest title given by the Church to Our Blessed Mother and recognized by the Faithful everywhere is Mater Dei--The Mother of God. This extraordinary privilege of Mary's Divine Maternity is the foundation for all the other unparalleled honors that the Lord granted the Maiden of Nazareth.

The Almighty chose Mary among all women to be the Mother of Jesus Christ, Who is true God. She who is the Immaculate Mediatrix conceived Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit and brought Him forth while remaining a virgin.

When we reflect on this incredible mystery, we note that had Mary rejected God's generous invitation to be the Mother of the Savior, then any hope for our reconciliation with the benevolent Lord would have had to be realized in some other way. Therefore, Mary's reply was very significant.

But thanks be to God, Holy Mary said yes. Her unforgettable fiat helped to effect our long-anticipated Redemption. Jesus Christ came to the world through Our Blessed Lady's affirmative response. Her receptivity in becoming the Mother of Christ paved the way for our reunion with God.

Our union with Jesus Christ is foreshadowed by Mary's own union with Her Divine Son. Her surrender to Him is the pattern for our submission to Christ. The fully human Mary demonstrates that it is possible for us to live united to Jesus.

Despite our multi-faceted human weakness which we experience daily, we who have been baptized were endowed with Sanctifying Grace. This amazing gift makes us friends of God.

Our Blessed Mother, too, received Sanctifying Grace at the precise moment of Her Immaculate Conception. She was preserved from Original Sin--that audacious disobedience shown by Adam and Eve to the Creator Himself. Being steeped in Sanctifying Grace, Our Lady is truly the Lord's friend.

Although we cannot boast of having been preserved like Mary from the awful Sin of our first parents, the terrible situation of our bitter estrangement with God was rectified when we received the fruits of Christ's salvific Death on Calvary. When? At the instant the cleansing water was poured on us during the celebration of the Sacrament of Baptism.

Baptism effected our reunion with the Lord. It manifested in our souls the fruits won by the selfless Death of the Savior on the Cross. We left the church after our Baptism that day as friends of God. This treasured friendship is strengthened when we worthily receive the Sacraments, pray and perform acts of charity and mortification; however, this cherished friendship is notably wounded when we, sadly, commit venial sin; it is completely broken if we--God forbid--commit mortal sin.

The Second Vatican Ecumenical Council stated in its 21 November 1964 Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (Lumen Gentium): "Thus the Blessed Virgin advanced in Her pilgrimage of faith, and faithfully preserved in Her union with Her Son unto the Cross, where She stood, in keeping with the Divine Plan, enduring with Her only-begotten Son the intensity of His suffering, associated Herself with His Sacrifice in Her Mother's Heart, and lovingly consenting to the immolation of this Victim which was born of Her." (#58) Thus, the Woman who always did the sublime Will of God, thereby remaining in intimate friendship with Him, actually helped us to enjoy that same friendship by Her singular cooperation with Jesus on Calvary. Now, thanks to Jesus and Mary, we have the opportunity to be--and remain--authentic friends of the Living God! 

Friday, March 20, 2015


J.M.J. During the 1972-1973 academic year, I was a fifth-grade student at Sacred Heart Elementary School in Aberdeen, South Dakota. My teacher was Sister M. Vianney Mannie, P.B.V.M., a kind and serious religious who obviously loved her students.

As fifth-graders, we were to memorize various prayers. There was a large poster on which was written the names of each pupil and the titles of certain prayers. After a student recited a particular prayer in front of Sister Vianney, a notation was made on the chart that he had memorized the prayer.

More than thirty years later, I recall that our instructor heaped special praise on four prayers that, according to her, would make us saints. Sister Vianney maintained that by praying the Angelus and the Acts of Faith, Hope and Charity three times daily, we would, thanks to God's grace, one day find ourselves in Paradise.

The other students and I found this foursome more difficult to "learn by heart," owing to length and the concepts expressed. But Sister Vianney's urging was paramount in the struggle to advance.

I never forgot Sister Vianney's comforting words and good example or, for that matter, these four prayers, which are appropriate for any time. Traditionally, the Angelus, which is replaced by the Regina Caeli during the Easter Season, is recited at 6:00 a.m., 12:00 noon and 6:00 p.m. The Acts of Faith, Hope and Charity make excellent companions to the Angelus.

Adding these prayers to our spiritual exercises brings great fruit not only to us but also to the Universal Church.

The Angelus
V. The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary. 
R. And she conceived by the Holy Spirit. (Hail Mary, full of grace, . . . .)

V. Behold the handmaid of the Lord.
R. Be it done unto me according to thy word. (Hail Mary, full of grace, . . . .)

V. And the Word was made flesh.
R. And dwelt among us. (Hail Mary, full of grace, . . . .)

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

Let us pray. Pour forth, we beseech Thee O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts, that we to whom the Incarnation of Christ Thy Son was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

(Pope Francis, among others, adds three times the "Glory Be" and the Prayer for the Faithful Departed.

V. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord.
R. And let perpetual light shine upon them.

V. May they rest in peace.
R. Amen.

V. May their souls and all the souls of the Faithful Departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
R. Amen.)


Act of Faith
O my God, I firmly believe that Thou art one God in three Divine Persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. I believe that Thy Divine Son became man and died for our sins and that He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the Holy Catholic Church teaches because Thou hast revealed them, Who can neither deceive nor be deceived.

Act of Hope
O my God, relying on Thy infinite goodness and promises, I hope to obtain pardon of my sins, the help of Thy grace and Life Everlasting through the merits of Jesus Christ my Lord and Redeemer.

Act of Charity
O my God, I love Thee above all things with my whole heart and soul because Thou art all good and worthy of all my love. I love my neighbor as myself for the love of Thee. I forgive all who have injured me and ask pardon of all whom I have injured.

I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Sister M. Vianney for encouraging me to learn and recite these prayers. This Sister of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary was right: these four "gems" contribute to our progress on the road to salvation.  

Thursday, March 19, 2015


J.M.J. The Universal Church exults daily in the memory of Saint Joseph but especially today on March 19th--the Solemnity of Saint Joseph.

It is often said that we know little information about Joseph and his life from Sacred Scripture. That assertion is clearly true.

But we can know something regarding this magnificent Saint. How? Not only by prayerfully meditating on the relevant passages in The Holy Bible but also by asking God Himself to teach us about this "just man" who is the Foster Father of Jesus, the chaste Husband of the Ever-Virgin Mary and the Patron of the Universal Church.

God wants to instruct us in the ways of Joseph's faith, perseverance, purity and loyalty.

The "Litany of Saint Joseph" is an excellent place to begin. The vivid titles convey so much meaning and truth. One of my favorite appellations from the Litany is "Terror of Demons."

Satan and his cohort of fallen angels had no success in seducing Joseph. He checked his temper, he refrained from idle speech and he was righteous in his dealings with his neighbors. Because Joseph was close to the compassionate Almighty, he was enabled to overcome the vicious onslaught of Lucifer and his vindictive companions.

Those who turn to Saint Joseph for his powerful intercession and good example do much to keep Satan and the other wholly corrupt devils at bay. In this sense, Joseph is the Terror of Demons because when the friends of Jesus avail themselves of his salutary influence, Saint Joseph is for them a sure protection against the oppressive wiles of the Prince of Darkness.

There are numerous prayers to Saint Joseph. What follows is the "Consecration to Saint Joseph."


O Blessed Saint Joseph!
I consecrate myself to thy honor, and give myself to thee, that thou mayest be always my father, my protector, and my guide to the way of salvation.
Obtain for me a great purity of heart and a fervent love of the interior life.
After thy example, may I perform all my actions for the greater glory of God, in union with the Divine Heart of Jesus, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary!
And do thou, O Blessed Joseph, pray for me, that I may experience the peace and joy of thy holy death. Amen.
Sweet Heart of Mary, be my salvation!
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I give you my heart and my soul.
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I love you: save souls!
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, assist me in my last agony.
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, may I breathe forth my soul in peace with you. 
Amen.


With Saint Joseph as our help, we may confidently approach the Risen Lord Jesus Christ through Blessed Mary and realize that our humble efforts--poor as they are--will please our merciful God.

Saint Joseph, Terror of Demons, pray for us! 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


J.M.J. Here is a marvelous quotation from Saint Louise de Marillac (1591-1660) that appeared in the March 17, 2015 e-mail newsletter of The Central Association of the Miraculous Medal.


As into a very precious vessel, 
more and more graces 
have been poured into Mary's soul, 
and she has never failed to make 
good use of them. 
Therefore, with every good reason, 
she should be honored by all creatures 
and served in a particular way by Christians, 
since she is the only pure creature 
who has ever found favor in the eyes of God. 
This makes her the astonishment of the heavenly court 
and admiration of all humanity.
  

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


J.M.J. Strength, vigor, faith, tenacity . . . these are only a few of the choice words that often are applied to Saint Patrick, Bishop (c. 385-461), whose Memorial is March 17.

Little is known with certainty about his early life. Patrick was born in Wales; his given name was "Maewyn." He regarded himself as a pagan until he was 16.

A group of Irish bandits raided his village and kidnapped Patrick. The young man was sold into slavery. But his horrendous captivity became a genuine blessing for him because during that difficult period he drew closer to Almighty God.

After six years, Patrick escaped from his slavery and made his way to Gaul, where he studied in the monastery for twelve years under the tutelage of Saint Germain, the Bishop of Auxerre. His training helped him to see that his divine calling was to convert pagans to the true faith: Christianity. And he wanted to return to Ireland to do precisely that.

But his Superiors had other plans. They sent Saint Palladius to the Emerald Isle to do missionary work. Two years later, Palladius was transferred to Scotland. Now, another missionary was urgently needed. So, Patrick was appointed the second Bishop of Ireland.

Immersed in the Lord's abundant grace, Patrick achieved much success in converting the pagans of Ireland. For that reason, the Celtic Druids did all they could to thwart his humble efforts. They arrested him on several occasions, but he sprung out of detention each time. Patrick was tireless in traveling across Ireland and establishing monasteries, schools and churches--all for the glory of God and the salvation of souls, including his own.

Patrick's incredible labors in his beloved Ireland lasted three decades. He eventually withdrew to County Down, where he died on March 17, 461.

Several legends exist regarding Saint Patrick. One is that he raised some people from the dead. Another is that when he gave a sermon from the top of a mound, all the snakes in Ireland fled. (Some insist that since there were no snakes native to Ireland, this "driving away the snakes" may have been a reference to the "driving away of Satan" from the hearts of the heathens.)

One belief associated with Saint Patrick is that he used the three-leafed shamrock to explain the mystery of the Most Blessed Trinity: One God in Three Divine Person--the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. In one shamrock, you have the unity of the Godhead, but given the three leafs, you also have the distinctness of each Divine Person. Patrick never wearied of presenting the Faith.

The Church is all the better for the heroic witness of Saint Patrick. His love for Jesus in the Most Holy Eucharist and his devotion towards the Ever-Virgin Mary, the Queen of Ireland, still looms large centuries after his passing from this earth. May we imitate his service to Christ, His Mother Mary and the Church.

Saint Patrick, pray for us! 

Monday, March 16, 2015


J.M.J. 


THE SEVEN SORROWS OF 
THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY:

1. The Prophecy of Simeon (Saint Luke 2:34-35)
2. The Flight into Egypt (Saint Matthew 2:14)
3. The Loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple (Saint Luke 2:43-45)
4. The Meeting of Jesus and Mary on the Way of the Cross
5. The Crucifixion and Death of Jesus (Saint John 19:16-30)
6. The Descent of the Body of Jesus from the Cross (Saint Luke 23:53)
7. The Burial of Jesus (Saint Mark 15:46)


Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the Fruit of thy Womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.”


THE SEVEN PROMISES AND GRACES ACCRUING TO THOSE WHO PRACTICE THIS DEVOTION OF
HONORING AND CONSOLING OUR BLESSED LADY
FOR HER TEARS AND SORROWS
BY RECITING DAILY ONE “HAIL MARY”
WHILE MEDITATING ON EACH SORROW,
AS RELATED BY SAINT BRIDGET OF SWEDEN
(CIRCA 1303-1373):

1. “I will grant peace to their families.”

2. “They will be enlightened by the Divine Mysteries.”

3. “I will console them in their pains and I will accompany them in their work.”

4. “I will give them as much as they ask for as long as it does not oppose the Adorable Will of my Divine Son or the sanctification of their Souls.”

5. “I will defend them in the spiritual battles with the Infernal Enemy and I will protect them at every instant in their lives.”

6. “I will visibly help them at the moment of their death; they will see the Face of their Mother.”

7. “I have obtained (this Grace) from my Divine Son, that those who propagate this devotion to my Tears and Dolors, will be taken directly from this earthly life to Eternal Happiness since all their sins will be forgiven and my Son and I will be their Eternal Consolation and Joy.”

Sunday, March 15, 2015


J.M.J. 

O most loving Jesus, meek Lamb of God, 
I, a miserable sinner, 
salute and worship the most sacred Wound 
of Thy Shoulder 

on Which Thou didst bear Thy heavy Cross, 
which so 
tore Thy Flesh and laid bare 
Thy bones as to inflict on Thee 
an anguish greater than any other wound 
of Thy most blessed Body. 
I adore Thee, O Jesus most sorrowful; 
I praise and glorify Thee, 
and give Thee thanks for this 
most sacred and painful 
Wound, beseeching Thee by that exceeding pain, 
and by 
the crushing burden of Thy heavy Cross, 
to be merciful to me, 
a sinner, and to forgive me 
all my mortal and venial sins, and 
to lead me on toward Heaven 
along the Way of the Cross. 
Amen.



It is related in the annals of Clairvaux that St. Bernard asked our Lord which was His greatest unrecorded suffering, and our Lord answered: "I had on My Shoulder, while I bore My Cross on the Way of Sorrows, a grievous wound, which was more painful than the others, and which is not recorded by men. Honor this Wound with thy devotion, and I will grant thee whatsoever thou dost ask through its virtue and merit. And in regard to all those who shall venerate this Wound, I will remit to them all their venial sins, and will no longer remember their mortal sins."



Imprimatur
THOMAS D. BEAVEN 
Bishop of Springfield 

Mary, Co-Redemptrix of the human race, pray for us.