Sunday, January 31, 2016

Quote of the Day

 Do you want Our Lord
to give you many graces?
Visit Him often.
Do you want Him
to give you few graces?
Visit him seldom.
Visits to the Blessed Sacrament
are powerful and an indispensable
means of overcoming the attacks of the devil.
Make frequent visits to Jesus
 in the Blessed Sacrament
and the devil will be powerless against you.

St. John Bosco

St. John Bosco

The youngest of a poor farming family of Piedmont in northern Italy, John Melchior Bosco was born on August 16, 1815. He lost his father at the age of two, and his saintly “Mamma” Margarita brought up three sons in extreme poverty and want.

When he was nine, John had the first of a series of vivid dreams that left a profound impression upon him for the rest of his life. Standing in a field filled with fighting, cursing and blaspheming lads, he tried in vain to pacify them with arguments and fists. Then he saw a beautiful lady who said, “Softly, softly does it…if you wish to win them! Take your shepherd’s staff and lead them to pasture.” At this the boys were transformed into wild beasts and then into lambs.

Intelligent and talented, John Bosco received his first instruction from a priest who, perceiving his gifts, took him under his wing. Supported by his mother and facing many difficulties, he pursued the priesthood, and at twenty-two was ordained in the diocese of Turin.

Turin, a vast industrialized city of 117,000 inhabitants, had seen an influx of migrants from the country in search of work. Many young men, some as young as 11 and 12, lived in the streets, under bridges or in bleak public dormitories. Visiting prisons in the city, Don Bosco was heartsick at the condition of many of these youth who ended up behind bars. In 1842 he began to gather these social outcasts, befriend them and instruct them in the Catholic faith. By 1846 the numbers of this young flock had risen to 400. Despite the anti-clerical government’s opposition to new religious orders, Don Bosco went on to found the Oratory of Saint Francis de Sales, known as the Salesians, where boys learned the faith, Christian morality, academics and a trade.

A teacher, spiritual director, mystic and miracle worker, Don Bosco knew how to mingle the spiritual with the human so as to win these young souls. He was beloved of his students, guiding them out of darkness and hopelessness into light and hope.

At the time of Don Bosco’s death on January 31, 1888 the Salesians had 250 houses dispersed throughout the world.

The Holy Guardian Angels

An angel is a spiritual creature, superior to human beings, with a three-fold mission: to praise God, to act as His messengers, and to watch over mortals.
"What is man, that thou art mindful of him? ... For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor" (Psalm 8:4-5).
The name "angel" is from the Greek "angelos" meaning "one who is sent" or "messenger". Though purely spiritual, they can show themselves to men in human form as in the story of Tobias.
Passages in Scripture point to the existence of an angel specifically assigned to each human being to help, guide and protect him or her through the journey of life: “Behold I will send my angel, who shall go before thee, and keep thee in thy journey, and bring thee into the place that I have prepared. Take notice of him, and hear his voice” (Exodus 23:20)
And in the words of Our Lord Jesus Christ speaking of children: “See that you despise not one of these little ones: for I say to you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 18:10).
Guardian Angels are often visible to Catholic saints as in the life of St. Frances of Rome, St. Gemma Galgani and St. Pio of Pietrelcina. St. Gemma’s angel even delivered letters for her, and brought her coffee in bed when she was sick.
Like many other feasts, the feast of the Guardian Angels was celebrated on a local level before it was placed on the Roman calendar.
Pope Clement X officially established the feast of the Guardian Angels for the Universal Church on October 2.

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Saturday, January 30, 2016

Novena to Our Lady of Good Success

Hail Mary Most Holy, Beloved Daughter of God the Father , through the intercession of Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres, grant thy good success to this request (name request)...
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be... Saint Michael, pray for us.

Hail Mary Most Holy, Admirable Mother of God the Son , through the intercession of Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres, grant thy good success to this request (name request) ...
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be... Saint Gabriel, pray for us.

Hail Mary Most Holy, Most Faithful Spouse of the Holy Ghost, through the intercession of Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres, grant thy good success to this request (name request) ...
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be... Saint Raphael, pray for us.

Also Read:

Quote of the Day

We become what we love
and who we love shapes what we become.
If we love things, we become a thing.
If we love nothing, we become nothing.
Imitation is not a literal mimicking of Christ,
rather it means becoming the image of the beloved,
an image disclosed through transformation.
This means we are to become
vessels of God’s compassionate love for others.

St. Clare of Assisi

St. Hyacintha Mariscotti

Born of a noble, wealthy family at Vignanello in Italy, Hyacintha’s baptismal name was Clarice. In her early youth she was remarkable for her piety, but later became frivolous, vain and worldly despite being almost miraculously saved from death at the age of seventeen and being educated at the Franciscan Convent of St. Bernardine in Viterbo.

At twenty she had set her heart on marrying the Marquess Cassizucchi; the young nobleman married Clarice's younger sister instead. Despondent, Clarice joined the community at St. Bernardine and received the name, Hyacintha.

In the convent, far from giving up the luxuries of the world, she had her father furnish her apartment with every comfort, kept her own kitchen, wore a habit of the finest material, and received and paid visits outside the monastic enclosure.

For ten years she led a life of scandal to the spirit of her religious community but by a special protection of God retained a lively faith, remained pure, was regular at her devotions, and had a special tenderness for the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Falling ill at thirty-five, and exhorted by her confessor to change her ways, she was touched by grace and made a radical and total conversion embarking upon an astounding life of penance, prayer, corporal mortification and charity to the poor of all stations.

She founded two confraternities: one helped the poor, homeless and prisoners, the other assisted the elderly. She worked numerous miracles, had the gift of prophecy and discernment of the secret thoughts of others.

When she died at fifty-five, her habit had to be changed three times in succession, so many were her devotees snipping it for mementos.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Fatima Prayers of Reparation

  • O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those in the most need of Thy mercy.
  • My God, I believe, I adore, I trust and I love Thee! I beg pardon for all those that do not believe, do not adore, do not trust and do not love Thee.
  • O Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore Thee profoundly. I offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifferences by which He is offended. By the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary I beg the conversion of poor sinners.
  • Most Holy Trinity, I adore Thee! My God, my God, I love Thee in the Most Blessed Sacrament.
  • O Jesus, it is for the love of Thee, in reparation for the offences committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and for the conversion of poor sinners.

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Quote of the Day

 Let us not imagine that we obscure the glory of the Son
by the great praise we lavish on the Mother; for
the more she is honored,
the greater is the glory of her Son.
There can be no doubt that
whatever we say in praise of the Mother gives equal praise to the Son.

St. Bernard of Clairvaux

St. Gildas the Wise

St. Gildas is considered to be the first British historian quoted by the Venerable Bede and Alcuin.

Gildas was born in Scotland of a noble British family. He was educated in Wales under St. Illtud and was the companion of St. Samson and St. Peter of Leon.

He embraced the monastic state and went to Ireland where he was ordained. From Armagh in Ireland he went to North Britain where his teaching was confirmed by miracles. On returning to Ireland at the invitation of King Ainmire, he strengthened the faith of many and built monasteries and churches.

After a pilgrimage to Rome, his love of solitude led him to a hermetical life on the Island of Houat off the coast of Brittany. Discovering his place of retreat, the Bretons convinced him to establish a monastery at Rhuys, on the mainland from whence he wrote his famous rebuke to five petty British kings and also to the clergy accusing them of sloth and simony. His writings indicate a man of no small culture, scriptural knowledge and sanctity.

He died on January 29, the day his feast is celebrated.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Miracles Linked to the Rosary

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The Rosary and Saint Dominic Defeat Heresy
The Rosary—as spiritual weapon against evil—has a very long and precious history. In twelfth and thirteenth century France, a group of heretics known as the Albigensians was destroying the minds of the Catholic laity with its erroneous ideas. The Albigensians’ teachings encouraged suicide, many times by self-induced starvation, because they believed that the body was an intrinsic evil and that the soul must be liberated from matter at all costs. However, as history often shows, Providence raises up great Saints in times of dire crises. This time it was no different. Saint Dominic, born of noble lineage, received the Rosary from Our Lady in the year 1214. Our Lady gave Saint Dominic the Rosary as a weapon to combat the awful Albigensian heresy.
The Rosary as we know it today took some time to develop. After Saint Dominic died in the year 1221, the Rosary was almost immediately forgotten. However, in 1464 Our Lord, Our Lady, and Saint Dominic appeared to Blessed Alan de la Roche, a Dominican friar, after which he preached the Rosary until his death in 1475. This tremendous apostolate by Blessed Alan de la Roche, through the direct intercession of Our Lady, made the Rosary a widespread devotion. The fifteen mysteries as we know them came about through the many confraternities founded after Blessed Alan de la Roche’s preaching, and were formalized with Pope Saint Pius V’s encyclical, Consueverunt.

The Rosary and the Battle of Lepanto
The Battle of Lepanto was a crucial conflict between the Christians and the Ottoman Turks, one of the greatest naval battles of all time. The Christian lands around Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean were constantly getting sacked by Muslim pirates, and Imperial warships were ravaging the land. At this point in time, Pope Saint Pius V saw it appropriate to raise a Crusade against these heathen Muslims. After raising a Crusade, he asked every non-combatant across the whole Christian world to pray the Rosary.
Even after this call to arms, the Christian fleet at Lepanto was greatly outnumbered by the Ottoman Turks. The Crusaders got on their knees and began to pray the Rosary. Soon after, the Christians and the Muslims were immersed in a bloody battle. Thus it was that on October 7, 1571, the Christian fleet was blessed with a miraculous victory. Pope Saint Pius V immediately dedicated the victory to Our Lady, establishing October 7 as “The Feast of the Most Holy Rosary.

Holy Rosary Crusade of Reparation
After World War II, Austria was divided between four countries: America, France, the United Kingdom, and Russia. At the time, Russia was still communist. The section of Austria controlled by the communists was the richest, and included the city of Vienna. The Viennese were subject to the all the atrocities and tyrannies of communism. However, in 1946, Fr. Petrus Pavlicek, after making a pilgrimage to Mariazell, the principle Marian shrine in Austria, was told by an interior voice: “Do as I say and there will be peace.”
To obey this inspiration of Our Lady, Fr. Pevlicek founded the Holy Rosary Crusade of Reparation in 1947. This Crusade consisted of the Viennese faithful coming out of their homes in order to participate in a public Rosary procession in the streets of the city. The intentions of the Rosary were for the end of communism in their country and in the world. At first, the processions were miniscule, but in time they grew to staggering proportions. In 1955, after eight years spreading the word about the Crusade throughout Austria, the Rosary processions would reach sizes of half a million people, about 1/10 of the Austrian population. Finally, through the help of Our Lady, the Soviet forces pulled out of Austria in October of 1955, leaving the country for good.

The Rosary and the Fatima Message
Between May 13 and October 13, 1917, Our Lady appeared to three shepherd children, Jacinta, Lucia, and Francisco, at the Cova de Iria, near Fatima, Portugal. During six visits, Our Lady communicated to them a secret which had three parts. The first part was a vision of Hell. During this vision, Sister Lucia said numerous souls fell into Hell like “snowflakes.”
In the second part, Our Lady states that WWI would end, but “if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the Pontificate of Pius XI. To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays. If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church.”
As Our Lady predicted, World War II erupted and the errors of atheist Communism spread. Our Lady added that many will be martyred and nations will be annihilated, if people do not convert. Have people converted? The answer is no. Can Divine punishment be avoided? It depends on the world’s fidelity to Our Lady’s requests.
Lucia asked Our Lady during the apparitions, “Who are you and what do you want?” Our Lady responded, “I am the Lady of the Rosary, and I have come to warn the faithful to amend their lives and ask pardon for their sins. People must not continue to offend the Lord, Who is already so deeply offended. They must say the Rosary.”
Therefore, Our Lady gave us a solution: the recitation of the daily Rosary for the conversion of sinners. The Fatima message is a remedy for our culture immersed in sin. If it were not for Our Lady’s promise that “Finally, My Immaculate Heart will Triumph,” we would be much dismayed and disheartened. So let us heed her requests. Let us practice the First Saturday devotions. Let us pray the daily Rosary. By fulfilling these requests, we will be consoling the sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary and hasten the triumph of good over evil.

Rosary Saves Man’s Life on September 11
A man from New York who had fallen away from the Catholic Church and not gone to confession in years was met at a TFP Fatima presentation given by America Needs Fatima Custodian, Jose Ferraz.
After the visit, the New Yorker took home a Rosary and Rosary Guide and started praying it and going to the sacraments again. Months later, on September 11, 2001, he was in the World Trade Center at the very moment when the terrorist attack took place.
Seeing the fireball and smoke from the crash, the man fled his office and tried running down the stairs to safety. However, he met a big obstacle. The fire doors had locked and he was trapped in the stairwell, listening to the screams of burning people who were still inside the building, unable to escape death. It was awful—horrific. Any attempt to pry open the fire doors with bare hands would be futile.
With Our Lady’s help, instead of panicking, he felt calm. He grabbed his Rosary and started praying to the Blessed Mother for help. And within minutes, firemen reached his floor, broke down the fire doors and set him free. He ran downstairs to safety, his prayers answered thanks to the power of the Most Holy Rosary.

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Quote of the Day

In the realm of evil thoughts 
none induces to sin 
as much as do thoughts 

that concern the pleasure of the flesh. 

St. Thomas Aquinas

St. Thomas Aquinas

Thomas Aquinas was born about 1225 in the castle of Rocca Secca, into the noble lineage of the family of Aquino. His father, Landulf, was a knight and his mother, Theodora, a countess.

At age five Thomas was sent to the Benedictines of Monte Cassino as an oblate and remained until thirteen. He was studious, meditative and devoted to prayer, and frequently asked the question, “What is God?”

Around 1236, the Abbot convinced Thomas’ father that such a talented lad should go to Naples to study, and there he shone academically. In Naples Thomas came under the influence of the Dominican Order of Preachers, and at nineteen was received into the Order.

His family was indignant because he had chosen a mendicant order. At Theodora’s orders two of his soldier-brothers imprisoned him in a castle. They even introduced a temptress into Thomas’ chamber whom he drove away with a brand snatched from the fire. Falling to his knees he begged God for the virtue of integrity of mind and body.  Falling asleep, he dreamt of two angels who girded him with a white girdle saying, “receive the girdle of perpetual virginity”, and he was never tempted by the flesh again – for which he is called “The Angelic Doctor”. He spent the two years of his captivity praying, studying and writing.

Finally his mother relented. Returning to the Dominicans they found that he had made so much progress on his own, that he was soon ordained. Sent to study in Cologne under St. Albert Magnus, his great size and silence earned him the encomium of “the Dumb Ox” but hearing his brilliant defense of a difficult thesis, St. Albert responded, "We call this young man a dumb ox, but his bellowing in doctrine will one day resound throughout the world."

Thomas received his doctorate in Theology in Paris, and went on to teach, preach, and write extensively. Between 1259 and 1268 he was in Italy as Preacher General teaching in the school of selected scholars attached to the Papal court. About 1266 he began writing the most famous of all his works, The Summa Theologiae.

In 1269 he was back in Paris, where he was a friend and counselor of King St. Louis IX. In 1272 he was recalled to Italy. On the feast of St. Nicholas the following year he received a revelation that caused him to leave his great Summa unfinished saying, “…all that I have written seems like so much straw after the things that have been revealed to me.”

Becoming ill, Thomas died on March 7, 1274 at fifty years of age. He was canonized in 1323 and declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope St. Pius V in 1567.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

In the Earthquakes of Life, Hold onto Mary

In the beautiful city of Lima, Peru, close to the impressive Plaza de Armas, or Arms Square, is the Church of the Holy Rosary, more commonly called “of the Dominicans”.
In this Church, as you walk toward the main altar, on the left, there is a life-size statue of the Blessed Mother that will halt your steps. Maybe the first thing that will “grab” you is her beauty, then the joyful expression of her face.
She seems to say, I’m here–what are you worried about?
And then you’d pass on unless a friend held your arm and whispered,
“Stay. There is even more to this statue. She spoke to a saint once…Actually, to three saints!”
Then you’d take another look, possibly kneel and certainly pray. And then, leading the friend aside, you’d whisper back, “What did she say?!”

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St John MasiasAnd you’d hear this marvelous story:
Once, Saint John Masias who lived in Peru at the same time as St. Rose of Lima and St. Martin de Porres, was praying before this statue, called Our Lady of the Rosary, donated by Emperor Charles V, and beloved of Peruvians for her many miracles.
As he prayed, he felt rumblings…
Now, earthquakes are common in Peru, so John Masias probably stood still, hands folded, eyes wide, trying to gage the intensity of this rumble.
And then, as the reverberations continued, he stood up and turned to run when he heard the sweetest voice coming from the statue,
“Brother John, Brother John, where are you going?”
He stopped short and managed to answer,
“My Lady, like everybody else, I’m running from your Son’s severity…”
“Come back and don’t worry, am I not here?”
So he did. And after that, Brother John always affirmed that there was no better spot in all of Lima to weather an earthquake than by the statue of the Lady of the Rosary.

To this day, if an earthquake occurs during Mass, or when devotions are being held in this church, the faithful are asked not to leave. And never has it been known that anyone was ever harmed who stayed with the Statue of Our Lady of the Rosary in her church of the Dominicans.

You are now probably curious what else did this beautiful statue say to the other two holy contemporaries of St. John Masias.
St Rose of Lima
To St. Rose of Lima, who came one day to this same statue to ask her Blessed Mother which name she should go by, whether her official baptismal name of Isabel, or the nick name of Rose, she heard the same sweet voice that had regaled Masia’s ears:
Rose of Holy Mary”.
At another time it was the Infant Jesus who from His mother’s arms said to her, “Rose of my heart, I want you for my spouse.” To which the young saint fainted. It is no small thing to have God propose, you know.

St Martin de PorresAnd St. Martin de Porres the great miracle worker of Lima, came regularly to converse with the Blessed Lady, who one day, because the visit was so extended, ordered an angel to go ring the bell of St. Martin’s convent, which was the saint’s chore.

So, you see, dear reader, stay by Mary, stay with her Rosary, and there is no telling what she will do for you not only in the daily occurrences of life, but especially when life rumbles.

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 By Andrea F. PhillipsReferences: Revista Catolicismo, Nossa Senhora do Rosario, Padroeira de Lima, Peru by Valdis Grinstein.
Photo Attribution:   Saint John Masias-Kordas : St Rose of Lima-Seges : St Martin de Porres-Barcex

Quote of the Day

Pray with great confidence,
with confidence based
upon the goodness
 and infinite generosity of God
and upon the promises of Jesus Christ.
God is a spring of living water
which flows unceasingly
 into the hearts of those who pray.

St. Louis de Montfort

St. Angela Merici

Angela de Merici was born in Desenzano, on the southwestern shore of beautiful Lake Garda, in northern Italy. Left an orphan at the age of ten with an older sister and a brother, they were taken in by an uncle living in the neighboring town of Salò.

Angela was much distressed when her sister suddenly died without the assistance of the last sacraments. At this time she had a vision, the first of many in her life, which set her mind at rest as to her sister’s salvation. In gratitude, she made a special consecration of herself to God, joined the Third Order of St. Francis and began to lead a life of great austerity.

After her uncle died when she was twenty, Angela moved back to Desenzano. Convinced of the need to instruct young girls in the Faith, she converted her home into a school. In a vision, she was shown that she would found a congregation for the instruction of young girls. Angela talked with fellow Franciscan tertiaries and friends who began to help her. Though petite in stature, Angela had looks, charm and leadership. Her school thrived and she was approached about starting a similar school in the larger city of Brescia where she came in contact with leading families whom she influenced with her great ideals.

In 1525 on a pilgrimage to Rome, Pope Clement VII, who had heard of her holiness, suggested she found a congregation of nursing sisters in Rome. But Angela who felt called elsewhere and shunned publicity, declined and returned to Brescia.

On November 25, 1535, with twelve other virgins, Angela Merici laid the foundations for her order for the teaching of young women, the first congregation of its kind in the Church. She placed her order under the protection of St. Ursula the patroness of medieval universities and popularly venerated as a leader of women. To this day her followers are known as the Ursulines.

Angela died only five years after establishing the Ursulines, and was canonized in 1807 by Pope Pius VII.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

2016 March for Life... In the Snow!

By Antonio Fragelli

March for Life – What Happened in Washington, D.C. January 22, 2016
As if to test the will of Pro-lifers, a major blizzard was headed for our nation’s capitol. The weather forecast was quite accurate on January 22nd. It predicted that snow would begin around 1:00 pm and it did. I was there.
It was a terrible storm in the making and anywhere from 2-3 feet of snow was expected. Many who came knew that they most likely would get stuck on their way back home; but they came nonetheless. The tragedy of abortion, the murder of 50 million human lives, far outweighed the risk of getting stuck in the snow. A gigantic blizzard and a declaration of emergency by the mayor of Washington was not enough to stop the marchers on Capitol Hill this past Friday.
As it happened, due to the impending blizzard the numbers were much less than in previous years, but much, much more than just a few hundred as reported by some of the leftist media. As you know, the media will use any chance they get to belittle the voice of truth -- you can count on it. Why must they always lie? The answer is simple. Prevaricating against the truth is a moral issue, but if you are okay with killing a human being, if you have already accepted the blatant lie that a child in the womb is not a human life, the remaining moral issues become much less of an issue...
As for the truth, a close estimate of Pro-lifers who were able to make it was around 40 to 50 thousand. The pictures make a plain testimony to the amazing 2016 March for Life in Washington, D.C. Talking to participants while waiting for the March to begin, it became clear that many more would have been there if it were not for bus companies cancelling out.

America Needs Fatima and the American TFP were privileged to be there in full force. Banners, standards and a remarkable music band all showed up to offer reparation. One of the banners carried by two ANF members displayed 9,299 names of ANF members and supporters who could not be present, but wanted to be there in spirit. As we marched towards Capitol Hill, the snow-covered band members were a sight to be seen. To play trumpets, trombones and fifes in 28-degree weather under snow is something to be commended.
The marchers began to assemble near the Washington Monument at the rally around 10:00 am. Different speakers addressed the crowd as other groups kept coming in from a variety of far away places. The challenge began within these first three hours, braving the below-freezing temperatures. The snow began to fall just as the March commenced, around 1:00.
But the real beauty of the event was that, in spite of the inclement weather, the fighting spirit of the thousands of marchers remained undaunted. The March was considerably longer in distance this time, which gave all the feeling that they were on a pilgrimage, offering up their sacrifices for the end of abortion.

For those privileged to have been there, the “take away” was a sense of determination and a renewal of our resolution that we are here to stay. Furthermore, a great percentage of marchers were young people, many of who were not even born when Roe v. Wade was decided. This means the 43-year-old March for Life has a very long life ahead of it.
The abortion tragedy in America is a macabre illustration of the state of our modern culture. The fact that the sin of abortion has been around so many years, staining our nation with its murderess blood, is something that requires a public act of reparation to the Creator, and this is for many the higher reason for joining in the March for Life, no matter how foul the weather.
If thousands of Americans side with sin and against God, the fact that many thousands more align with Him and every year present this great act of reparation called the March for Life is something that speaks of hope for our troubled nation. We offer it to God and we proclaim that no matter how many times we have to do it, we will always be there. We will not make a pact with evil, and we will not commit the sin of indifference.

Quote of the Day

External devotions are useless
if we do not cleanse our souls from sin.

St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori

Sts. Timothy and Titus

Timothy and Titus were two of St. Paul’s favorite and most trusted disciples.

Timothy had a Greek father and a Jewish mother named Eunice. His grandmother, Lois, was the first to become Christian in the family. Timothy was a convert of St. Paul around the year 47 and later joined his apostolic work. He is the recipient of St. Paul’s Epistles to Timothy in the Gospel. He was with the great Apostle when the church of Corinth was founded and worked with him for fifteen years.

St. Paul sent Timothy on difficult missions, often to face disturbances at churches he had just established, and was installed by Paul as his representative to the church of Ephesus.

Timothy was relatively young for the work he was doing as we read in Tim. 4:12, “Let no one have contempt for your youth,” and that he suffered with his health when we read in Tim. 5:23 “Stop drinking only water, but have a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.”

Timothy was with St. Paul in Rome during his house arrest, and at some point was in prison himself. Around the age of eighty he tried to halt a pagan procession and was beaten and stoned to death.

Titus was Greek and a convert from paganism; he is mentioned in several of the Pauline epistles. He is seen as a peacemaker, administrator and great friend of the Apostle Paul. When St. Paul was having trouble with the community at Corinth, Titus was the bearer of his severe letter and with tact, firmness and charity succeeded in smoothing things out, which gave St. Paul great joy.

St. Paul charged Titus with the administration of the Christian community in the Isle of Crete and instructed him to organize the faithful, correct abuses and appoint presbyter-bishops. There is no record of his death.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Why Doesn't God Answer My Prayer?

Question:  I pray and pray, but I feel as if God is not listening. We always had a good, peaceful family life, but these last years have been tough. We don’t seem to be getting along and our finances have taken a turn for the worse.
I am so anxious about this situation that, not having anyone to turn to, I turned to God.
But God seems to remain deaf to me. Why is that? In addition, what do I say to certain people, agnostics and atheists, who laugh at prayer, saying it is nonsensical and only a figment of the imagination with no real value?

Answer:  God is faithful to His promises, and God promised to answer our prayers. “And I tell you, ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (Luke 11:9–10).
If God promises to answer our prayers, He will do so infallibly. But in prayer there are two sides: he who asks and He Who gives.
Our part is to ask. How must we ask?

Saint Alphonsus Liguori, a Doctor of the Church, teaches in his book Prayer, the Great Means of Salvation that prayer must be persevering and humble.
So many times we hear people saying: “Oh, I used to ask God for this and that and the other, but He never gave it to me. Now, ten years later, how glad I am that He didn’t!”
One thing is certain: God will not fail to answer a humble and perseverance prayer. Whether He chooses to grant what we ask immediately or make us wait, we must trust that He, regardless of appearances, is doing us good. What we think is good and what He thinks is good may be two different things: “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor your ways My ways” (Isa. 55:8), but here is where we must abandon ourselves to His beneficent will. Our part is to be patient, calm and, above all, faithful, because this is the time for testing and later will come the time for full enjoyment.

Answering Atheists and Agnostics
As for atheists and agnostics, their skepticism proceeds from the fact that they, respectively, deny God’s existence or deny men’s capacity to know God.
In this case, we can only express our regret over their ignorance of this Supreme Being, our omnipotent Creator and loving Savior.
We may direct them to a few sources that may help in their search for the truth of His existence. Atheism and agnosticism can only be sustained in ignorance or ill will because the evidence of God’s existence is overwhelming.
Moreover, God will not hide Himself from those who seek Him sincerely and unconditionally.
Another consideration pertaining to non-believers is this: If God were to grant us absolutely everything we ask at a moment’s notice, such people might start believing purely out of self-interest.
They would look at God as a wand-wielding wizard. And God Our Lord is infinitely more than that. He wants us to know, love, and serve Him for Himself so that He can treat us as children and heirs and grant us unending happiness in Heaven.
"My impression is that the Rosary is of the greatest value not only according to the words of Our Lady of Fatima, but according to the effects of the Rosary one sees throughout history. My impression is that Our Lady wanted to give ordinary people, who might not know how to pray, this simple method of getting closer to God."  Sister Lucia, one of the seers of Fatima.

Quote of the Day

We put off our conversion
again and again, but
who says we will still have the time and strength for it then?

St. John Vianney

Conversion of St. Paul

Saul, later Paul, was a Jew of the tribe of Benjamin. Being born at Tarsus in Cilicia, he was by privilege a Roman Citizen. As a young man he studied the Law of Moses in Jerusalem under Gamaliel, a learned and noble Pharisee, and became a scrupulous observer of the law.

Later, sincerely persuaded that the followers of Jesus opposed God’s true law, he became a zealous persecutor of the first Christians. He took part in the murder of St. Stephen, deacon and first martyr of the Catholic Church.

In the fury of his zeal, he next applied to the high priest for a commission to travel to Damascus, then a Christian center, to arrest all followers of Jesus.

He was nearing the end of his trip on the road to Damascus with a contingent of armed men, when, about noon, they were surrounded by a brilliant light. Saul was struck to the ground, and though all saw the light he alone heard a clear voice, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?” Saul answered, “Who are You, Lord?” and the voice rejoined, “Jesus of Nazareth Whom you persecute. It is hard for you to kick against the goad.”

Then Christ Our Lord instructed him to arise and proceed to Damascus where he would learn what was expected of him. On arising Saul found that he was blind, and was led into the town to the house of a man called Judas.

In Damascus, Christ appeared to Ananias, a virtuous man, and bid him go to Saul. Ananias trembled at the name of the well-known persecutor but obeyed. Finding Saul, the holy man laid his hands upon him and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on your journey, sent me that you may receive your sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.” Immediately something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes and he could see.

Saul arose, was baptized, and ate. He stayed for a while with the disciples of Damascus and began to preach in the synagogues that Christ Jesus was the Son of God to the astonishment of all who knew his previous persuasion.

Saul, who became Paul, was the great apostle of the Gentiles, preaching far and wide to the pagan world. He was martyred in Rome about the year 67.

March for Life in Little Rock, Arkansas January 17, 2016

Sunday, January 24, 2016

2016 - 100 Years Since the Apparitions of the Angel of Portugal

With each of the apparitions of the Angel of Portugal to the three shepherd children of Fatima, the Angel left them with a prayer or offering to God.

Apparition 1:     Click here for a printable Prayer Card
"Once he drew near us, he said: 'Fear not. I am the Angel of Peace. Pray with me.' "Kneeling down, he bowed until his forehead touched the ground. Led by a supernatural inspiration, we imitated him, and repeated the words we heard him say: 'My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, and I love Thee. I beg Thee forgiveness for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope, and do not love Thee.'
After he had repeated this twice, he rose and said: 'Pray thus. The Hearts of Jesus and Mary are attentive to the voice of your supplications.' Then he disappeared.”
Click here to read about the First Apparition 

Apparition 2:
“'How must we sacrifice?' I asked the Angel.
'Offer God a sacrifice of anything you can as an act of reparation for the sins with which He is offended and as a supplication for the conversion of sinners. Draw peace upon your country by doing this. I am its guardian angel – the Angel of Portugal. Above all, accept and endure with submission whatever suffering the Lord sends you.' Then he disappeared.
The angel's words were impressed upon our souls like a light that made us understand Who God is, how much He loves us and wishes to be loved, the value of sacrifice and how sacrifice pleases God, and how He converts sinners because of it."
Click here to read about the Second Apparition

Apparition 3:     Click here for a printable Prayer Card
“The Angel prostrated himself beside us and said the following prayer three times:
'Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, I adore Thee profoundly and offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the earth, in reparation for the insults, sacrileges, and indifference with which He is offended. And through the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart and of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg Thee for the conversion of poor sinners.'
After this, rising up, he again took the chalice and the Host in his hand; he gave the Host to me and the contents of the chalice to Jacinta and Francisco to drink, saying: 'Take and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, who is horribly insulted by ungrateful men. Make reparation for their crimes and console your God.'
He again prostrated himself on the ground and repeated with us the same prayer three more times. 'Most Holy Trinity....' Then he disappeared.”
Click here to read about the Third Apparition

Quote of the Day

Do not lose your inner peace
for anything whatsoever,
not even if your whole world seems upset.
If you find that you have wandered away from
the shelter of God,
lead your heart back to Him quietly and simply.

St. Francis de Sales

St. Francis de Sales

Francis de Sales was born in the Duchy of Savoy, in present-day France, in the Château de Sales. His father was Francis, Lord of Boisy, Sales and Novel and his mother Frances de Sionnz, the daughter of a prominent magistrate.

Born prematurely, Francis was delicate but slowly strengthened, though his health was never robust.

Being the oldest son of six, his father destined him for a secular career, despite Francis’ early leanings to the religious life. He attended the Jesuit college of Clermont in Paris where he excelled in rhetoric, philosophy and theology. During this period, Francis suffered a terrible temptation to despair of being saved. He was miraculously delivered before an image of Our Lady and there and then made a vow of chastity.

At twenty-four he received his law degree in Padua. With a brilliant career ahead of him, and a noble prospect of marriage, Francis declared his intention of following an ecclesiastical career. A sharp struggle ensued between him and his father who only relented in his opposition when Bishop Granier of Geneva offered Francis the post of Provost of the Chapter of Geneva in the patronage of the Pope.

Francis was ordained in 1593. The next year he volunteered to evangelize the region of Le Chablais, recently returned to the Duchy of Savoy from Calvinist Geneva and on which the Genevans had imposed their creed. With enormous tact, charity and zeal the young provost confuted the preachers sent to debate him, converted several prominent Calvinists and at great personal risk and traveling extensively brought back to the Church tens of thousands of the people of Chablais.

He was consecrated Bishop of Geneva in 1602, ruling his diocese from Annecy in France where he immediately established regular catechetical lessons for young and old. He himself taught the children of  whom he was beloved. He visited the parishes throughout his rugged diocese, made provisions for the clergy, reformed religious orders, and preached incessantly, everywhere known for his kindness and patient zeal. Those who flocked to hear the holy bishop said, “Never have such holy, apostolic sermons been preached.”

With St. Jeanne Frances de Chantal he founded the Order of the Visitation for girls and widows who had not the health or inclination for the austerities of the great orders.

In the midst of all his activities he found time to write numerous letters and works, among the most famous being his Introduction to the Devout Life.

Francis de Sales died in 1622 at age fifty-six and crowds thronged to venerate him. He was canonized in 1665 and proclaimed a Doctor of the Church by Blessed Pope Pius IX in 1877.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

America Needs Fatima - Best Clips of March for Life in the Snow 2016

Marvels of the Rosary

Eighth Rose from the Secret of the Rosary by Saint Louis de Montfort

Rosary Guide Booklet

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It would hardly be possible for me to put into words how much Our Lady thinks of the Holy Rosary and of how she vastly prefers it to all other devotions. Neither can I sufficiently express how highly she rewards those who work to preach the devotion, to establish it and spread it, nor on the other hand how firmly she punishes those who work against it.

All during life, Saint Dominic had nothing more at heart than to praise Our Lady, to preach her greatness and to inspire everybody to honor her by saying Her Rosary. As a reward he received countless graces from her; exercising her great power as Queen of Heaven she crowned his labors with many miracles and prodigies. Almighty God always granted him what he asked through Our Lady. The greatest honor of all was that she helped him crush the Albigensian heresy and made him the founder and patriarch of a great religious order.

As for Blessed Alan de la Roche who restored the devotion to the Rosary, he received many privileges from Our Lady; she graciously appeared to him several times to teach him how to work out his salvation, to become a good priest and perfect religious, and how to pattern himself on Our Lord.
He used to be horribly tempted and persecuted by devils, and then deep sadness would fall upon him and sometimes he used to be near to despair - but Our Lady always comforted him by her sweet presence which banished the clouds of darkness from his soul.
She taught him how to say the Rosary, explaining its value and the fruits to be gained by it and gave him a great and glorious privilege: the honor of being called her new spouse. As a token of her chaste love for him she placed a ring upon his finger and necklace made of her own hair about his neck and gave him a Rosary.
Father Triteme, Cathagena and Martin of Navarre and others as well have spoken of him in terms of the highest praise. Blessed Alan died at Zunolle in Flanders September 8th, 1475, after having brought over one hundred thousand people into the Confraternity.

Our Lady and the RosaryBlessed Thomas of Saint John was well known for his sermons on the Most Holy Rosary, and the devil, jealous of the success he had with souls, tortured him so much that he fell ill and was sick so long that the doctors gave him up. One night when he really thought that he was dying, the devil appeared to him in the most horrible form imaginable. There was a picture of Our Lady near his bed; he looked at it and cried with all his heart and soul and strength: "Help me, save me, my sweet, sweet Mother!" No sooner had he said this than the picture seemed to come alive and Our Lady put out her hand, took him by the arm and said:
"Do not be afraid, Thomas my son, here I am and I am going to save you: get up now and go on preaching my Rosary as you used to do. I promise to shield you from your enemies."
When Our Lady said this the devil fled and Blessed Thomas got up, finding that he was in perfect health. He then thanked the Blessed Mother with tears of joy. He resumed his Rosary apostolate and his sermons were marvelously successful.

Our Lady blesses not only those who preach her Rosary, but she highly rewards all those who get others to say it by their example.

Alphonsus, King of Leon and Galicia, very much wanted all his servants to honor the Blessed Virgin by saying the Rosary. So he used to hang a large rosary on his belt and always wore it, but unfortunately never said it himself. Nevertheless his wearing it encouraged his courtiers to say the Rosary very devoutly.
One day the King fell seriously ill and when he was given up for dead he found himself, in a vision, before the judgment seat of Our Lord. Many devils were there accusing him of all the sins he had committed and Our Lord as Sovereign Judge was just about to condemn him to hell when Our Lady appeared to intercede for him.
She called for a pair of scales and had his sins placed in one of the balances whereas she put the rosary that he had always worn on the other scale, together with all the Rosaries that had been said because of his example. It was found that the Rosaries weighed more than his sins.
Looking at him with great kindness Our Lady said: "As a reward for this little honor that you paid me in wearing my Rosary, I have obtained a great grace for you from my Son. Your life will be spared for a few more years. See that you spend these years wisely, and do penance."
When the King regained consciousness he cried out: "Blessed be the Rosary of the Most Holy Virgin Mary, by which I have been delivered from eternal damnation!"
After he had recovered his health he spent the rest of his life in spreading devotion to the Holy Rosary and said it faithfully every day.

People who love the Blessed Virgin ought to follow the example of King Alphonsus and that of the saints whom I have mentioned so that they too may win other souls for the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary. They will then receive great graces on earth and eternal life later on. "They that explain me shall have life everlasting life."

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Quote of the Day

God does not wish to see us in affliction, but
it is we who draw down sufferings upon ourselves, and
by our sins enkindle the flames in which we are to burn.
God punishes us,
because we oblige Him to do so.

St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori

St. Vincent of Zaragoza

St. Vincent was a native of Huesca, Spain, but lived in Zaragoza.

He was ordained a deacon by his friend, Saint Valerius of Zaragoza.

In 303 the Roman emperor published edicts against the clergy and in 304 against the laity. Vincent and his bishop were imprisoned in Valencia, and though they were subjected to hunger and torture, they thrived.

Speaking for Valerius who had a speech impediment, Vincent angered Dacian, the governor, by his outspoken and fearless manner. Dacian exiled Valerius but subjected Vincent to the gridiron. Seeing the deacon unmoved, the governor had the torturers beaten.

Finally Dacian suggested a compromise. He suggested that Vincent at least give up the Sacred Scriptures to be burned according to the emperor’s edict. On the saint’s refusal, Dacian lost control and had him thrown in jail where the holy deacon converted the jailer.

In despair, the governor wept but, strangely enough, ordered the martyr to be given some rest. But Vincent had earned his eternal rest. As soon as he was laid on a bed, he gave up his faithful soul to God.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

In Your Time of Need, Turn to the Rosary for Help

More than ever, Catholics need to grab on to the Rosary and to pray with all our might.  Because we are faced with situations in our private lives and in the Church that are very serious and confusing.
Let us take comfort in the fact that, for centuries, Catholics have turned to the Rosary to overcome problems big and small.
It has won battles, fought off heresies and wrought countless miracles. A multitude of saints and popes have endorsed it. Pope Pius IX declares, "Among all the devotions approved by the Church,  none has been so favored by so many miracles as the Rosary devotion." 

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The Rosary’s efficacy proven in history
We need only to recall how Pope Pius V convoked the Christian world to pray the Rosary to ask God for victory in the crusade against the Ottoman Turks which culminated in a famous sea battle at Lepanto in 1571. And when the Turkish fleet were repulsed and vanquished, the elated pontiff established the Feast of the Most Holy Rosary on October 7 in thanksgiving to the Mother of God.
There is also the story of eight German Jesuits who lived just a kilometer away from ground zero when the A-bomb exploded in Hiroshima, Japan in August 1945. They attributed their miraculous survival to observing the message of Fatima by praying the Rosary daily.[1]
And how can one explain the sudden pullout of the Russians from Austria in 1948? A striking quandary to military experts and historians, but not to men of faith who know that 70,000 Austrians under the leadership of Father Petrus Pavlicek prayed daily rosaries to drive the militant forces of atheistic Marxism from their country.[2]

Never out of fashion
Nihil sub sole novum.( Ecclesiastes 1:10.) There is nothing new under the sun as the famous line goes. What more can be added to the glories of the Rosary?
This most revered of Catholic devotions never goes out of vogue. As one website reveals, personal testimonies show the power and relevance of the Rosary in our days. From something trivial as passing a driving test to escaping a horrendous vehicular accident unscathed, people keep having recourse to the Rosary.

Baghdad horror
A survivor’s gripping account gives yet again another convincing testimony of the power of the Rosary. A 25 year-old female student who lost her brother and her mother in the terrorists attack in the Chaldean Catholic Church in Baghdad on October 31, 2010 relates[3],

“Next to my brother, there was also a woman who was bleeding profusely.  She asked the terrorist: ‘Kill me, please, do not let me suffer any more.’ He answered her: "No, suffer; that way you will experience hell on earth and after your death."  And he repeated: "You are infidels, Allah ou akbar!"   And I, then, prayed the rosary, with my head bent down towards the floor.  A terrorist came and asked me: "What are you praying?  What do you venerate?  Do you venerate Christ?"  And then, some grenades exploded and we truly had the impression that the church was going to collapse on us.  I myself absolutely did not think that I would survive.  I prayed as if I was about to die.  It is Our Mother who saved us.”

Needed more than ever in our times
Amid that horrific bedlam and terrible carnage, the student courageously hung on to her rosary and prayed even as the Islamic terrorist accosted her. By the grace of God, she was spared from death.
That was chaos on a smaller scale. On a grander scale we find ourselves amid the turmoil and moral corruption of our times, mankind continues to flaunt the sins of abortion, homosexuality, pornography, drug abuse and many more grave offenses against God with wanton abandon.
Our Lady gave her maternal warnings at Fatima. And like a true mother, she also gave the solution. She asked for the daily recitation of the Rosary and requested the establishment of the devotion to Her Immaculate Heart as well as the Five First Saturday devotion. Sadly her maternal warnings remain largely unheeded.

Message of Hope
Our Lady also assured us that “In the end, my immaculate Heart will triumph.” But at a time when all seems lost humanly speaking, when events turn for the worst, we must not give in to the temptation that her promises are empty. We must confide in her and reject that temptation with all our hearts and minds.
We do have a powerful weapon in the Rosary. Let us cling to it and ask our heavenly Mother to intercede for us and intervene for the greater glory of God. Historical antecedents show how the Rosary gave victory to those who prayed it assiduously with faith. Let us expect no less during our tumultuous times. Let us pray the Rosary daily and look forward to a glorious Catholic Civilization in the Reign of Mary as St. Louis Grignion de Montfort prophesied.

"Give me an army saying the Rosary and I will conquer the world." Pope Pius IX


[1] Donal Anthony Foley, “The Priests Who Survived The Atomic Bomb,” [back to text]
[2] Charles E. Schaffer, “Expelled By The Rosary,” [back to text]
[3]Iraq: A survivor of the attack in Baghdad tells her story, DICI – Documentation Information Catholiques Internationales, [back to text]

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Quote of the Day

All the strength of Satan’s reign
is due to
the easy-going weakness of Catholics.

Pope St. Pius X

St. Wulfstan of Worcester

Wulfstan (Wulstan) was a native of Warwickshire, England.  After his priestly ordination, he became a novice at the monastery of Worcester where he edified all by the innocence and sanctity of his life. He was assiduous at prayer, often watching all night in church.

The first task assigned to him at the monastery was the instruction of children, then treasurer and eventually - though against his fierce resistance - he was made prior. In 1062, he was elected Bishop of Worcester.

Wulfstan was a powerful preacher, often moving his audience to tears.

To his vigorous action is particularly attributed the suppression of the heinous practice among the citizens of Bristol of kidnapping men into slavery and shipping them over to Ireland. St. Patrick who became the great apostle and patron of the Irish was such a slave in his youth.

After the Norman conquest of England, William the Conqueror was initially uncertain about Wulfstan. But acknowledging his capacity and uprightness, Wulfstan was the only bishop William retained at his post under the new rule.

For the next thirty years Wulfstan rebuilt his cathedral, cared for the poor and put forth great effort in alleviating the harsh decrees of the Normans upon the vanquished Saxons. Whenever the English complained of the oppression of the Normans, Wulfstan told them: “This is a scourge of God for our sins, which we must bear with patience.”

The saintly bishop died on January 19 at eighty-seven years of age after washing the feet of a dozen poor men, a humble ritual he performed daily. He was canonized in 1203.

Monday, January 18, 2016

The Sheer Power of Mary's Name

Our Lady of Fatima StatueAt the name of Mary, the angels rejoice and the demons scramble.
Thomas a Kempis, author of the famous Imitation of Christ, affirms that:
“The devils fear the queen of heaven so much that by just hearing her name pronounced they fly from the person who utters it like from a burning fire”.
St. Ambrose compares her name to a sweet ointment, because whenever pronounced, it is a healing balm to our sinful souls.
“The name of Mary heals sinners, rejoices hearts and inflames them with God’s love”, says St. Alphonsus Liguori in his Glories of Mary.
Our Blessed Lady revealed to St. Bridget that there is not on earth a sinner, no matter how far he may be from God’s love who, on invoking her name with the resolution to repent, does not cause the devil to flee from him or her. No matter how imprisoned a sinner may be in the devil’s grip, as soon as the latter hears this sinner pronounce the sweet name of Mary, he is obliged to release him or her.
Our Lady also revealed to St. Bridget that in the same way as the devils fly from a person invoking her name, so do the angels approach pious souls that pronounce her name with devotion.
So, fellow sinners, this Lent let us invoke this “air-clearing” sweet and powerful name of Mary often! We and our loved ones will be the better, the freer and the happier for it!

Taken from The Glories of Mary by Saint Alphonsus Liguori

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