Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Vatican Archbishop: Kennedy Funeral Critics Not Hurting Unity but Helping Church

By John-Henry Westen

WASHINGTON, September 29, 2009 ( - Archbishop Raymond Burke, head of the highest Vatican court, the Apostolic Signatura, has offered a public defense of those pro-life leaders who spoke out against the scandal of the grandiose funeral of Senator Ted Kennedy. "One of the ironies of the present situation is that the person who experiences scandal at the gravely sinful public actions of a fellow Catholic is accused of a lack of charity and of causing division within the unity of the Church," wrote Archbishop Burke.

In addition to this news service, public statements lamenting the scandal of the funeral - which according to some prominent leaders seemed almost a canonization - came from leaders of Human Life International, American Life League, C-Fam, Catholic World News, EWTN, Inside Catholic, Catholic Culture and many more.

While he was not mentioned by Archbishop Burke, the most public of the harsh criticisms came from a U.S.-born priest who is now living and operating in Canada as the head of Salt and Light Television network.  Fr. Rosica's remarks were emblematic of other criticisms and his status as a consultor to the Pontifical Council for Social Communications gave his remarks weight.
After pro-life leaders had expressed their scandal at the funeral, Fr. Thomas Rosica wrote: "Leading up to the Kennedy funeral last weekend, and in its aftermath, many so-called lovers of life and activists in the pro-life movement, as well as well-known colleagues in Catholic television broadcasting and media in North America, have revealed themselves to be not agents of life, but of division, destruction, hatred, vitriol, judgment and violence."

Burke however sees the matter quite differently. "In a society whose thinking is governed by the 'tyranny of relativism' and in which political correctness and human respect are the ultimate criteria of what is to be done and what is to be avoided, the notion of leading someone into moral error makes little sense," he said. "What causes wonderment in such a society is the fact that someone fails to observe political correctness and, thereby, seems to be disruptive of the so-called peace of society. Lying or failing to tell the truth, however, is never a sign of charity."

Archbishop Burke goes so far as to suggest that "The person who experiences scandal at public actions of Catholics, which are gravely contrary to the moral law, not only does not destroy unity but invites the Church to repair what is clearly a serious breach in Her life."

He added: "Were he not to experience scandal at the public support of attacks on human life and the family, his conscience would be uninformed or dulled about the most sacred realities."

Archbishop Burke also sees the hand of the devil at work in the Kennedy affair.  "One sees the hand of the Father of Lies at work in the disregard for the situation of scandal or in the ridicule and even censure of those who experience scandal," he said.

Burke's comments come in an article published September 26 in Crisis Magazine, which is an adapted version of remarks he made at an Inside Catholic event on September 18.

See the full article from Archbishop Burke

Disgusting, blasphemous "rosary" -- please offer reparation NOW!

Urgent reparation is necessary for this mockery of the Rosary by homosexual groups who have invented the “Relational Mysteries” and the "Queer Family Rosary."

What's next?

America Needs Fatima is urging all Catholics to make an act of reparation for this blasphemy sometime today.  Please say an extra Rosary of reparation, or do holy hour in front of the Blessed Sacrament, or offer some type of sacrifice.

According to Catholic News Agency:

Scrutiny of a group of protesters at Bishop Salvatore Cordileone’s visit to the Jesuit School of Theology at the Graduate Theological Union last week has put the spotlight on a variant of the Rosary designed by homosexual activists to contemplate what they call the “Relational Mysteries.”

The Bishop of Oakland's visit was intended to commemorate the merging of the Jesuit school with Santa Clara University.

The California Catholic Daily reports that the visit’s protesters, about twenty in number, included Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker, president of the Starr King (Unitarian Universalist) School of Ministry; Rev. Roland Stringfellow, the organizer of the GTU’s Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies; Rev. Sanna Reinholtzen, a Lutheran minister; and doctoral student Eugene McMullan, apparently a Catholic.

For the full story, please go here:

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Please join us in thanking the Blessed Mother for 4,000+ rosary rallies

    Yesterday, Monday, September 28th on the Feast Day of St. Wenceslaus we enlisted our 4,000th rally captain for the public square rosary!

    All day the volunteer office has been busy with the phones ringing.  The total quickly rose until the evening when 4,000 was reached.

    The 4,000th rally captain was entered by assistant manager Mr. Chris Pierce.  The rally captain was enlisted by longtime TFP supporter and member of America Needs Fatima, Mr. Sergio DePaz of Miami, FL.  Mr. DePaz among other dedicated volunteers throughout the country, has, with great dedication, signed up numerous rally captains in his area.  We just received them in the mail today.

    The 4,000th rally captain is Mrs. Isabel Ruiz of Miami, Florida.

    Let us thank Our Lady for granting this.  It is no small feat to enlist 4,000 public square rosary rally captains.  It would not have been possible without the volunteers who have traveled to a place where they have never been to before, to place themselves in the care of people whom they have never met before.  This testimony of their love for Our Lady has transmitted into ardent action on Her behalf.

    We also have to be thankful to those who designed and who maintain the web, the computer system, the phone system, the shipping department and the correspondence department. 

    Of course without Our Lady's grace none of this would be possible.  In prayer, let us continue to thank Her, but also thank Her by our deeds in either signing up to become a rally captain, or thank Her by persevering despite obstacles, and having the best public square rosary that we can.

    If you wish to offer Our Lady thanks by becoming a rally captain it is not too late.  You can do so by calling (866) 584 - 6012.

Prayer Request:

Today is the feast of St. Michael the Archangel but it is also the anniversary of the death of Navy Seal Michael Monsoor.


Some of you may recall that he jumped on a grenade and saved three other Seals on September 29, 2006.

One of those he saved put it best: "Mikey looked death in the face that day and said, 'you cannot take my brothers, I will go in their stead."

Please say a prayer for him.

"No greater love hath a man than to lay down his life for his friends."

May he rest in peace!

Monday, September 28, 2009

4,000 rosary rallies reached today -- join us in thanking Our Lady!

Today, we hit the 4,000 rosary rallies scheduled for Saturday, October 10 at noon local time.

Please join us in praying to Our Lady in thanksgiving for this accomplishment.

The Magnificat

My soul magnifies the Lord,
And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.
For He has regarded the low estate of His handmaiden,
For behold, henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name. And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with His arm:
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
and exalted those of low degree.
He has filled the hungry with good things;
and the rich He has sent empty away.
He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy;
As He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to His posterity forever.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen

If you would still like to join, call 866-584-6012.

Stories of how Our Lady helps rally captain and more...

by Sergio De Paz in Miami

This evening's visit with Our Lady's statue was extremely blessed. 


There were 5 families present.  Out of the five, three became Rosary Rally Captains and all agreed to distribute fliers around Miami Dade County.


Another amazing story from this morning [Saturday] was that the printer told me:

"Look.  It is almost 11:00 AM.  I am alone.  My employees won't be in till Monday.  I don't know where in the computer your flier was saved.  And you want 2,000 fliers.  No way.  Come back on Monday."

I took out a medal of Our Lady.  I didn't say a word, but started praying the Rosary.   The gentlemen kept on doing what he was doing to finish up and go home.

At a certain time the phone rang.  It was the employee in charge of the computers.   I overheard him asking about the PRAYING THE ROSARY FOR AMERICA flier file.  Then, he got up from his desk and sat in front of another computer.  He started it and clicked on certain keys and immediately the America Needs Fatima flier appeared.

"Sergio, he said.  You are lucky.  Here it is.  I can make you 100, OK?

"No, I need 2000 to distribute today.  By one o'clock."

He got them ready.  And Our Lady had me out of there, distributing fliers all over Miami.

Thank Our Lady!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Tennessee captain will hold rosary rally in front of the White House in Washington DC

One of our public square rosary rally captains is from Tennessee. 

Because of the horrible shape our country is in she believes the public square rosary campaign is essential for the conversion of America.

She is so convinced of the campaign's importance that she is going to fly to Washington, D.C. to hold her public square rosary right in front of the White House.

    This is one example of so many rally captains who understand how essential it is to hold public square rosaries.  They see the moral abyss that our country is running towards.  If reparation and conversion do not change America, then our moral decline will continue which will bring about our temporal decline as well.

    You may not be able to travel to Washington, D.C. to hold your public square rosary, but would you consider becoming a rally captain in your community?

    Please call us at (866) 584 - 6012. 

Missouri Planned Parenthood Facility to Close

by Patrick B. Craine

KIRKSVILLE, Missouri, September 23, 2009 ( - American Life League's Stop Planned Parenthood Project (STOPP) is celebrating the closure of another Planned Parenthood (PP) facility, this time in Kirksville, Missouri.

Tri-Rivers Planned Parenthood has announced that it will be closing its facility, which has stood for 38 years, as of November 14, 2009.  They cite fewer clients and a lack of donations as reasons for the closure.

"According to our records this marks the 14th Planned Parenthood clinic to either close or announce its closing in 2009," stated STOPP national director Rita Diller in a press release Wednesday.  Pointing to the lack of donations and clients, she said, "It just goes to prove that when people find out the truth about Planned Parenthood, they stop contributing and quit going."

American Life League reported in March that the number of PP facilities in the United States had dropped from 855 in 2007 to 844 in 2008.  The number of local affiliates had dropped from 108 to 99.  At the same time, PP is increasing its facilities that offer medical abortions, through the use of drugs such as Mifepristone (RU-486) and Methotrexate.  These were up to 121 in 2008 from 108 in 2007.

Back to Top Back to Top

Friday, September 25, 2009

Almost hit 4,000 rosary rallies today

We are very close to our goal of 4,000 rally captains for the public square rosary.

    Now that it is getting close, Catholics are calling in from all over the country signing up to become rally captains.  The phones at our campaign headquarters have been ringing all day today.  Each call brings an enthusiastic response from our volunteers.  They are so happy to answer the phone with the words, "this is _______ with America Needs Fatima."

    Please keep calling so that we can reach our goal soon.

    I can only imagine the happiness and consolation that all of these rally captains are bringing to Our Lady.

    I hope very soon to announce that we have reached our goal of 4,000 rally captains. 

    Please call us at (866) 584 - 6012.

UN Official Oversteps Mandate to Back “Gay Pride” Event in Serbia

By Susan Yoshihara, Ph.D.
(NEW YORK – C-FAM) The head of the United Nations (UN) mission in Serbia recently promoted a highly controversial homosexual rights demonstration in Belgrade against public opposition and beyond his mandate to work “closely with national governments” to “advocate the interests and mandates of the UN.”
UN Resident Coordinator William Infante backed a “gay pride” parade scheduled for September 20th, an event that Serbs have rejected since the last time it was orchestrated in 2001. According to the Associated Press (AP), the organizers canceled the march rather than accept the government’s offer of an alternative route, which was a response to concerns about its ability to provide adequate security due to rising public opposition to the event.  
Read more

Irish Bishops say No Problem with Lisbon Treaty: Pro-Life/Democracy Groups Dismayed

By Hilary White

DUBLIN, September 22, 2009 ( - The Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference has issued a statement supporting the Lisbon Treaty and throwing in their lot with the "European project" for international unification. This project, however, has been blasted by pro-life and pro-democracy leaders as little less than an effort to establish a new totalitarian European superstate, and one that could easily lead to the demise of Ireland's pro-life laws.

Despite continued warnings from pro-life groups in Ireland and in Europe, a statement issued today by the bishops said the Treaty "does not undermine existing legal protections in Ireland for unborn children." The bishops further said, "Any material which misinforms voters is an interference with the exercise of a fundamental right and has no place in church buildings or grounds."

"The Lisbon Treaty is of the greatest importance, not only for us here in Ireland but also for the future shape of the European project."

The official position statement of the Irish bishops follows another statement last week by Bishop Noel Treanor, who said that the "guarantees" obtained by the Irish government from EU leaders would safeguard Irish constitutional protections for the right to life. But pro-life campaigners have warned that these are meaningless since they are not written into the terms of the Treaty itself.

Leading No campaign group Coir said that a Yes vote on the European Union's Lisbon Treaty, the replacement for the European Constitution that was defeated in 2005, could mean that "the Irish people will lose the right to decide on abortion and a whole range of social issues."

Coir and other pro-life groups have repeatedly warned that under the Lisbon Treaty Ireland and the few other remaining countries in the EU with legal protections for the unborn will be subject to the rulings of the European Court of Justice that could interpret the EU's Charter of Fundamental Rights to uphold a "right to abortion."

Coir spokeswoman Niamh Ui Bhriain said that current legal protections were not at issue, but that the Treaty will give the EU Courts the powers to decide on abortion "and a great many other social issues in the future."

Ui Bhriain said, "A reading of the treaty makes that very clear. A new and legally different EU is created in Articles 1 and 49, we all become citizens of that superstate in Article 9, and Article 6 then gives us, as citizens, a legally binding Charter of Rights. That's what gives the EU Court the right to decide our human rights law - including our laws on issues like abortion and euthanasia - in the future."

This position is held also by European pro-life groups who have pleaded with the Irish public, whose country is the last to still allow a public vote, to defeat the Lisbon treaty in next month's referendum. In a media release earlier this month, the Pro-life Movement of the Czech Republic made exactly the same warning about the powers of the European Court of Justice and the biases of the EU in favour of abortion.

This position is also held by the Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child (SPUC). Pat Buckley, SPUC's representative at the European Parliament and Council of Europe said today that the EU's Committee of Ministers are "being encouraged" to develop a European Convention "to achieve universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights by 2015." He called it another step in the "creeping agenda" at the EU to establish the notion of abortion as a "universal human right" that would be protected under the Charter of Fundamental Rights.

Buckley rubbished the "guarantees" obtained by the Irish government, saying they "are not binding in EU law, and they don't change one jot of the Treaty of Lisbon. It's the same Treaty that was rejected by the Irish people last year, and virtually the same document as the Constitution for Europe that was rejected by the French and Dutch people in 2005."

Declaration 17 of the Lisbon Treaty says that the EU would have primacy over the laws of member states: "The Conference recalls that, in accordance with well settled case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union, the Treaties and the law adopted by the Union on the basis of the Treaties have primacy over the law of Member States, under the conditions laid down by the said case law."

The No campaign on Lisbon, despite a huge outpouring of public funding in favor of the opposing Yes campaign, is beginning to pick up speed.

A Gael Poll on voting intentions for the Irish referendum suggests there has been a massive surge in support for the "no" campaign, with 59 per cent against the treaty and only 41 per cent prepared to vote "yes." Last year, the Gael Poll predicted a 54-46 percent margin for the No campaign, with the actual result of the vote being 53.4 percent No and 46.6 percent Yes.

The result of the latest Gael poll has gone largely unreported in the Irish or British mainstream media. The EU Referendum website notes that in general the coverage for this second Irish Referendum on the Lisbon treaty has been significantly played down since last year "by a media that is wholly in favour of the EU treaty." EU Referendum also notes that the date of the referendum, a few days before the Conservative party convention in October, "will set the EU issue on fire in the UK" and likely renew demands for a referendum in Britain.

Meanwhile, pro-democracy voices in Europe continue to warn of the danger of a "unified" Europe. In a speech last Sunday in Aix-en Provence, France, Vaclav Klaus, president of the Czech Republic, warned against the rise of a new form of tyranny in Europe. Brussels Journal news and commentary website quoted President Klaus wondering if some former Soviet countries such as his own were not risking falling into "another blind alley of regulated society, of unproductive welfare state, of brave new world of European social democratism and of empty and artificial Europeanism."

He said the path of the Czech Republic toward democracy began with the catchwords "deregulate, liberalize, privatize" but these were "gradually transformed" into "regulate, adjust to all kinds of standards of the most developed and richest countries, listen to the partial interests of the NGOs and follow them, get rid of your sovereignty and put it into the hands of international institutions and organizations."
"Europeism is - for me - an inconsistent, evidently heterogeneous, but in principle neosocialist doctrine, which characterizes the current thinking in Europe. It believes neither in freedom, nor in spontaneous evolution of human society," Klaus said.

Labour MP and former Minister Gisela Stuart blasted the Lisbon Treaty at Open Europe's Dublin meeting last week saying it has serious implications for democracy.

Stuart was a member of the European Convention which drafted the Treaty, and warned that "the nature of democracy is really at stake." She said the Irish second referendum is the last chance and there would be "no more treaties, no more referendums anywhere" on EU integration.

Read related coverage:

Irish Catholic Bishop OK's Yes Vote for Lisbon

Czech Pro-Life Group Urges NO to Irish Lisbon Vote

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Support Lithuania in its Fight for the Family: Send Your Message Today!

Please click here to send your message of support to the Lithuanian Parliament Speaker for rejecting the homosexual agenda.


Nearly twenty years ago, a tiny Catholic nation was threatened by a huge confederation of “republics” which tried to take away its sovereignty and freedom.

The nation was Lithuania and the confederation was the Soviet Union. Soviet tanks entered the defenseless nation and tried to suppress it. With the moral support of millions in the West, the brave nation resisted.

Today, that same nation faces a similar threat. It is not the Soviet Union but the European Union that is trying to take away its sovereignty. The reason for the attack is its defense of Catholic morals.

Today, this nation needs moral support and the American TFP is joining efforts to show support for the tiny Baltic nation.

On September 17, the European Parliament voted 349 to 218 to condemn Lithuania for its "law on the protection of minors," a measure which prohibits the promotion of "homosexual, bisexual or polygamous relations" among children under 18. The domestic legislation of a sovereign member state of the Union is being called to task.

Lithuania's Parliament passed the child protection legislation in June. Fearing criticism from the Western European politicians and the homosexual lobby, the president vetoed it. In July, Lithuania's parliament overrode the veto and the law will take effect in March 2010.

In 1990, the TFPs around the world collected over five million signatures in support of Lithuanian freedom. Now the American TFP is asking its supporters to send a message of moral support to Speaker of the Lithuanian Parliament, The Honorable Irena Degutiene congratulating the Parliament for its moral courage.

The original proposal of condemnation would have initiated proceedings to suspend Lithuania pursuant to article 7 of the Treaty on European Union. However, more “moderate” members, including fellow Catholic members, voted for a slightly milder censure. The condemnation ramps up the pressure on all Catholic states to bend to the pressure of pro-homosexual political groups that are pushing for ever more radical reforms.

Please click here to send your message of support to the Lithuanian Parliament Speaker.

Many have taken the Lithuanian move as a sign of what is in store for Ireland if it votes to ratify the Lisbon Treaty. Irish conservatives have listened with great skepticism to assurances that Catholic morals would not be challenged in the new European Union after the treaty is signed. This example, so close to the referendum, is a chilling sign of the pressure all Catholics will face.

That is why it is important to send your message of support to Lithuania. Click here to do this right away!

Help these ladies reach the goal of 4,000 rally captains for Our Lady

Here is a photo of our latest volunteers. 


They are an extremely enthusiastic group.  Since they have arrived and joined the other dynamic volunteers, they arrive each morning full of joyous zeal for the public square rosary.  Some set concrete goals for themselves.  They want so very much to present Our Lady with 4,000 rally captains.

    From the left they are Mrs. Corrine Alstatt from San Bernardino, Ca, Mrs. Zeolita Cabrera from Bergen Field, NJ, Mrs. Loretta Russell from Fort Wayne, In and finally, from far away, Mrs. Helen Maslyk from Wasilla, Alaska.

    Time is running out.   If you have been thinking about become a public square rosary rally captain, now is the time to call.  Please help these good ladies reach their goals for Our Lady. 

Please call (866) 584 - 6012 today.

Beautiful letter from lady who hosted Fatima statue at her home

    We just received this correspondence from a hostess of the Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima.  Anne Marie lives in Buffalo, NY and she has been diagnosed with liver cancer.

    The schedule had been entirely filled, however there was a cancellation so we were able to accommodate her. 

    Despite her illness she was able to invite a good number of guests, so that they too could receive Our Lady's graces.

    She noted these comments:

    "John was very knowledgeable, polite and very sincere.  He did not rush anything.  I would welcome John and the statue of Our Blessed Mother any time.'

    She explained how there was a cancellation only two days ahead of time, but due to the circumstances the scheduler and the custodian fit her right in.  "It all came together beautifully."

    "The entire time was wonderful - the rosary was prayed devoutly, the statue was a beautiful reminder of Mother Mary... The people present at my home all were including me in their intentions.  I thank God for having Our Lady of Fatima come, for John and my guests."

    Please remember Anne Marie in your prayers.

    If you would like the honor of having a pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima brought to your home, please call (888) 460 - 7371.

Visit NEW Las Vegas Rosary Rally Website

   A member of America Needs Fatima and a Public Square Rosary Captain worked with some friends to develop this website to promote the public square rosary.

    They live in Las Vegas.  These dedicated rally captains right now have scheduled sixteen public square rosaries in the Las Vegas area.

    They take the public square rosary so serious that they have been planning for months.  They have contacted rally captains as well as participants, and even held meetings together.

    Besides all of that, they prepared this beautiful, well done website.

    I hope that you get the chance to look it over.  I also strongly encourage you to watch the brief but most informative video.  In this video you will see and hear from these devoted people why the public square rosary is so important, in their own words.

    I hope that after looking at the web page and after watching the video that, if you haven't already, that you sign up to become a public square rosary captain!

Spanish Pro-Lifers Prepare Massive Demonstration in Madrid

By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

MADRID, September 23, 2009 ( - The leader of Spain's opposition People's Party is encouraging members to attend a massive demonstration in favor of life in the nation's capital, following the approval of a new abortion legalization bill by Spain's Council of State.

The legislation will allow women to procure an abortion for any reason whatsoever during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy.  Under current Spanish law, abortions are permitted only under certain conditions, including a risk to the "psychological health" of the mother, an excuse that is used in almost all of the more than 100,000 abortions that occur each year in Spain.

The approval by the Council represents another step towards final approval of the legislation, which must be voted on by the national Congress and signed into law by the president before entering into effect.  As it nears approval, the bill has generated increasing opposition from the Spanish public, as indicated in recent opinion polls.

The demonstration, to be held on October 17th, is expected to bring a number comparable to the 500,000 who came to another demonstration on March 29th of this year. It is being organized by the pro-life activist group (Make Yourself Heard) and Derecho a Vivir (Right to Live), and has the support of dozens of civic organizations.

The leader of Spain's People's Party (PP), Mariano Rajoy, encouraged fellow party members to attend the October 17th rally, which has been dubbed "17-O", while declining to attend himself. However, he reiterated his intention to challenge the legislation in Spain's constitutional court should it pass.  His main objection, shared by a majority of Spaniards, is that the legislation will permit adolescents as young as 16 years old to obtain an abortion without their parents' consent.

The PP canceled its national convention scheduled for October 17th so that members could attend, after reportedly receiving thousands of emails requesting the date be changed.

Although PP spokesman Jaime Mayor Oreja has promised to attend, pro-life commentators are skeptical about the party's support.

A commentator for the pro-life organization HazteOir ("Make Yourself Heard"), stated in a recent opinion piece that "the current Spanish legislation regarding abortion is nothing grand: this alone has brought about the death of one million unborn children.  The PSOE [Spanish Socialist Worker's Party] put it into effect, the PP not only looked the other way but allowed free abortion through the celebrated third premise [fetal deformity] without the least concern."

"As a result of its erroneous political maneuvers, the PP is prepared, without abandoning its position in favor of the current abortion law, to once again deceive the citizenry who, poorly informed, will only receive the idea that the PP is supporting those who fight against abortion," complained the Traditionalist Carlist Communion (CTC), a Catholic political party.

Related Links:

March information (Derecho a Vivir)


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Rosary Rallies and Hope for the United States

    Is there hope for the United States?  Definitely, yes!


    Despite the sins of our nation, due to the overwhelming mercy of Our Lady, there is hope. Our Lady's desire to forgive is immeasurably great.

    History is full of examples of the blessings and protection of God when reparation is offered and true repentance occurs.

    Now let's see some examples of the mercies of God as a result of repentance.

    First, there were the chosen people at the time of Moses.  They became enslaved by the mighty Egyptians because of their infidelity to God.  A certain number prayed and beseeched God for deliverance.  Over time, God heard their sincere and profound prayers.  He commissioned Moses to act on His behalf and with great miracles He delivered His people.

    In the early Church the public prayers and apostolate of a tiny minority eventually caused the conversion of the entire and mighty Roman Empire.  At the time, who would have remotely imagined that so few could bring about the conversion of a seemingly invincible empire? 

    After the decline of the Roman empire when pagan barbarian tribes overran Europe, who would have thought that missionaries from Ireland and other Saints and Martyrs would have brought about the conversion and taming of these ruthless peoples?  These tribes converted so thoroughly that the glorious Middle Ages became the fruit of their conversion.

    Handfuls of missionaries brought about the conversion of the pagan tribes of Central and South America, bringing an entire continent into the fold of the Church. 

    What do all of the above events have in common?  First of all a profound prayer for conversion and secondly, a public proclamation of the Faith.  Talk about public, Moses even confronted the Pharaoh!  The great martyrs, saints and missionaries publicly proclaimed the faith. 

    So, the public square rosary has the potential of bringing great mercies to the United States.  If enough of us seriously publicly proclaim our faith and pray for our nation's conversion Our Lady will hear us and will then act in marvelous ways.  We should not even be surprised if She acts with great miracles at a time of Her choosing.

   Despite everything, if a nation does not repent, Our Lady will protect those who offered Her consolation and reparation.

    Noah and the ark is an early example that comes to mind.  The people of Noah's time refused to repent; as a result, God sent the flood.  However, God did protect the good, small in number though they were.  Will not God protect rally captains and participants who offer Him reparation?

    During the time of Sodom and Gomorrah, God could not find enough people to offer reparation to Him.  Due to the lack of repentance God decided to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. As with Noah, God protected and saved those who were upright and who loved God and followed His commandments.

    If you have not yet signed up to become a rally captain it still is not too late.  If enough of us publicly stand for Our Lady I am confident that She will grant the graces for conversion that our country needs.  Let us give to Our Lady enough public square rosaries so that, as in times of old, conversions can take place and our nation can become one nation under God.

    Call (866) 584 - 6012.

Vienna Cardinal Forbids Famous Pro-Life Bishop to Attend Pro-Life Rally

By Hilary White
VIENNA, September 22, 2009 ( - When pro-life demonstrators in Vienna marched to City Hall earlier this month to protest the hosting by the mayor of a celebration for a notorious local abortion facility, one prominent member of Austria's pro-life world was not present.

Bishop Andreas Laun, an auxiliary of Salzburg, told marchers at a Mass prior to the event that he had been forbidden to attend the demonstration by the cardinal archbishop of Vienna, Christoph Schönborn. 
Bishop Laun is one of the recipients of the Von Galen Award, an honor given by Human Life International "to a Catholic prelate who has been a voice of conscience for his society." He said at the Mass that preceded the rally, "Cardinal Schönborn has told me on the phone that he does not want that I participate in the demonstration. I replied to him, 'This topic can hardly be discussed on the phone,' and [thought] that I will not be able to convince him. Since Schönborn is the archbishop of Vienna, I have to respect his decision according to canon law."

Bishop Laun said he respected the cardinal's decision and added, "There is a blessing on all legitimate forms of obedience in the Church." He had been scheduled by rally organizers to speak at the demonstration and to lead prayers outside City Hall.
While Schönborn sent a letter to the city's Mayor, Michael Häupl, protesting the party marking the 30th anniversary of the abortion facility, pro-life leaders in Austria have accused him of trying to limit the numbers attending the demonstration, according to coverage by local Gloria TV.

Dr. Tom Ward, president of the National Association of Catholic Families (NACF) and a friend of Bishop Laun, told, "I have very great respect for Bishop Laun who has been consistently pro-life.

"I would be surprised if such a gentle, strong and balanced bishop as Laun would be intemperate in his speech. And Bishop Laun is terribly long suffering and uncompromising in the Austrian hierarchy, for his witness to the truth about life and marriage."

The rally was organized by a coalition of European pro-life groups including Human Life International, Tradition Family and Property, Doctors for Life, the Austrian political party Die Christen, Youth for Life and the Centre for Bioethical Reform (Europe). Rally organizers said they were "shocked" to hear that Bishop Laun had been asked not to attend.

In an email to LSN, organizers noted that Cardinal Schönborn did not offer any reason for Bishop Laun's absence or send a replacement, "a fact which caused much perplexity among the demonstrators." The rally carried on with about 500 pro-life people and 300 pro-abortion counter-demonstrators separated by crowd control barriers and about one hundred police officers. Eyewitnesses reported that the pro-abortion demonstrators hurled insults and blasphemies as well as water-filled condoms and eggs at the pro-life demonstrators and their billboards.

View a video of Bishop Laun's comments click here.

Read related coverage:

Austrian Bishops Blast Vienna Mayor for Abortion Anniversary Party at City Hall
Hundreds of Pro-Life Demonstrators Converge on Vienna City Hall to Protest Abortion Party
Austrian Bishop Laun Says Mall Owner Excommunicated for Providing Space for Abortion Clinic
Cardinal Says Pope will Encourage Austria to be more Pro-Life on Upcoming Visit Pope Asks Bishops of Scandal-Riven Austrian Church for Fidelity to the Faith
Pope Benedict XVI Appoints New Bishop, Known for Doctrinal Orthodoxy, for Linz, Austria


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

200 attend TFP–ANF gathering in Northeast Kansas

Over 200 guests attended the annual 2009 TFP – America Needs Fatima Supporters picnic in northeast Kansas.

group photo

The event was populated by the very young to the elderly, however on this day everyone was young at heart.

The beautiful and crisp fall day began with an extremely informative audiovisual presentation by TFP member, Mr. Byron Whitcraft who traveled from our boys’ academy in Herndon, PA.

Mr. Byron


Mr. Whitcraft’s presentation was titled, “Two Societies, Two Spirits, You Make the Choice.” This presentation contrasted the Catholic spirit of the Middle Ages with the opposite one that is so characteristic of our contemporary society.

Mr. Whitcraft had many samples both from an ecclesiastical aspect as well as a temporal one. The images and ideas shown created a stark contrast between the glory of the past with the willful and energetic immersion into sin and chaos of today.

Once all of the guests arrived, a beautiful statue of Our Lady of Fatima was processed to Her place of honor to reign over the day.

This year the picnic was graced by friends from Louisiana. One of our supporters brought with him a full sized pig, which was barbecued whole, Cajun style.

buffet line

It was so delicious that not a morsel remained after the meal.

puppet show opening scene

The puppet show this year was a true story about an incident that occurred during the Protestant revolt in Switzerland during the 16th century, and how a little shepherd boy rescued a statue of Our Lady from the malicious destroyers.

There were treasure hunts, the piñata, a large model rocket launch and a long and relaxing hay ride.

When it became dark the highlight of the day was the candlelit outdoor rosary procession with the statue of Our Lady. It was incredible to hear the audible gasps of those in attendance when they saw the great honor paid to Our Lady as well as the sea of candles lit to illuminate the procession.

shadow show

The evening ended with a shadow show titled, “Michael.” “Michael” is a beautiful story of a U.S. Marine during the Korean War who was literally rescued by St. Michael the Archangel.

At the end, the guests departed tired but very happy to have participated in such a beautiful event.

Funeral Rites Should be Denied to Publicly Pro-Abort Catholics: Vatican Official

Says Catholics also "should have the courage to look truth in the eye and call things by their common names"

By Kathleen Gilbert

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 21, 2009 ( - In an address to's 14th Annual Partnership Dinner Friday evening, Archbishop Raymond Burke, Prefect of the Vatican's Apostolic Signatura, said that funeral rites should not be given to pro-abortion Catholic politicians. He also defended the duty of Catholics to speak in charity against the scandal caused by such figures.

The archbishop said that, while "we must speak the truth in charity," Catholics also "should have the courage to look truth in the eye and call things by their common names."

"It is not possible to be a practicing Catholic and to conduct oneself in this manner," he told the crowd of about 200 guests.

Burke hammered home his message of the need for fidelity to Church teaching on the part of Catholics in politics in his 50-minute speech. The archbishop, known for his unwavering and vocal defense of the Church's teachings on life and family issues, was given a standing ovation at the conclusion of his address.
In what appeared to be a reference to the Kennedy funeral scandal, Burke said that "neither Holy Communion nor funeral rites should be administered to" politicians who support abortion or same-sex "marriage."  "To deny these is not a judgment of the soul, but a recognition of the scandal and its effects," he said.
Burke said that when a politician is associated "with greatly sinful acts about fundamental questions like abortion and marriage, his repentance must also be public."

"Anyone who grasps the gravity of what he has done will understand the need to make it public," said Burke.

Sen. Ted Kennedy, a staunch abortion and same-sex "marriage" supporter, was laid to rest in a highly publicized and laudatory Catholic funeral ceremony in Boston on August 29.  Catholic pro-life leaders had pleaded with Cardinal Sean O'Malley not to allow the public ceremony, but the cardinal ultimately presided over the rites.  In turn, other leaders in the Catholic community, most notably Fr. Thomas Rosica, the CEO of Canada's Salt & Light television network, lambasted the pro-life response to the funeral as uncharitable.

About the pro-life leaders and activists who expressed concern about Kennedy's funeral, Rosica wrote on his blog, "many so-called lovers of life and activists in the pro-life movement, as well as well-known colleagues in Catholic television broadcasting and media in North America, have revealed themselves to be not agents of life, but of division, destruction, hatred, vitriol, judgment and violence."
Burke, however, defended those who spoke out against such scandal, pointing out that unity within the Church is ultimately based upon the truth.

"The Church's unity is founded on speaking the truth in love," he said.  "This does not destroy unity but helps to repair a breach in the life of the Church."

See related coverage:

Priest/Editor of Kennedy's Diocesan Paper: Scandal of Kennedy Funeral "Totally Avoidable"


Monday, September 21, 2009

Socialist Intervention in the Private Sector is Not True Health Care Reform

Is There a Right to Health Care and Must the State Provide it?

The great controversy over health care reform is centered on concerns of countless Americans that proposed legislative changes will move the country yet one more step down the road toward State intervention and socialism.

This concern is well founded. For decades, the State at all levels and branches has increasingly absorbed the functions of the private sphere. It has weakened the social fabric of the nation by usurping many rights and privileges of individuals, families and businesses with excessive regulation and bureaucratic red tape.

It has imposed similar burdens on those private associations which are the natural intermediate bodies between the individual and the State, such as institutions of the Catholic Church[1] and other religious bodies; health and educational institutions; trade and labor associations; and countless charitable groups.

Many Americans are now concerned that direct State intervention in health care will go yet farther and lead to the socialization of our economy.

Respecting the Principles of a Christian Social Order

There is no doubt that the State can act within the principle of authority which affirms the need for a moral force in society capable of efficaciously directing and encouraging the actions of all towards the common good of the social body.

However, there are two other pillars of a Christian social order that must be considered. First, the principle of solidarity, derived from the common nature of men, which leads them to show mutual concern and support for others. There is also the principle of subsidiarity— whereby what can be done by an individual or smaller group is not assigned to a larger group. This principle stems from the fact that man is not only a social being but also a rational, essentially free and responsible being. Thus, he is guaranteed the right to resolve his problems either by himself, through his family or other intermediate social bodies without being obliged to wait for solutions from public authority.

When the State intervenes unnecessarily in the life of its citizens, it invokes the principle of authority to suppress the principles of solidarity and subsidiarity. However, while the principle of authority is fundamental for the promotion of the common good, its role is to support and complement the principles of solidarity and subsidiarity, not to destroy them. Without balance and harmony among these three fundamental principles, society falls into disarray and easily slides towards totalitarianism, a regime that respects neither individual rights nor freedom.[2]

Undue State intervention in the private sphere (that is, individuals, families, businesses, religious and other associations) inexorably leads to socialism.

Socialism: A Utopian Ideology

Socialism is a utopian ideology that seeks to eliminate human selfishness by destroying individual freedom, private property and free enterprise. Socialists believe they can eliminate injustice by transferring responsibilities from individuals and families to the State. However, their efforts are tantamount to killing the patient to cure his illness.

            By suppressing individual responsibility, socialism actually creates the greatest possible injustice because it destroys true liberty, which is every man’s freedom to decide for himself all matters that lie within his competence, to follow the course shown by his own reason, and to keep within the laws of morality and the dictates of justice and charity.

            Socialism is anti-natural because it destroys man’s initiative—a fruit of his intellect and free will—which tends to manifest itself in everything he does. When the State replaces individual initiative, socialism’s totalitarian aspect enters with the inherent appearance of government and police repression that has been abundantly seen wherever it is implemented.

Is There a Right to Health Care?

According to natural law, man has the right to take care of his own health and physical integrity. However, this individual freedom does not mean that the State must provide for one’s health care at others’ expense.

Take property rights, for example. Every man has the right to acquire property. However, this natural freedom does not oblige the State to give him property. Likewise, the fact that every man has a right to take care of his health needs does not oblige the State to give him direct medical assistance at taxpayers’ expense. Under natural law, the State’s obligation is to further the common good and guarantee the rule of law so that no one is prevented from seeking the means to obtain treatment, just as no one is prevented from acquiring property.

Thus, in ordinary circumstances, the State is under no strict obligation to provide health care for citizens, though it must foster general conditions that are favorable to the health of all. The State has no right to intervene directly in health care except in a subsidiary way, as it has done for years, when private initiative (including the efforts of religious and charitable organizations) is unable to provide health care. However, it must do this in a way that never weakens, much less destroys, private initiative.

One might ask how the poor who cannot afford heath care should obtain it. In virtue of the principle of solidarity and above all of Christian charity, it behooves primarily society, through its members, particularly the most wealthy, be it individually, be it through charitable organizations, to come to the aid of those who are unable to provide by themselves for their health needs, as is amply done already through America’s own extensive charitable networks.[3]

Right to Health Care or to Procure it?

Most Rev. Joseph F. Naumann, Archbishop of Kansas City, Kansas, and Most Rev. Robert W. Finn, Bishop of Kansas City-St. Joseph (Missouri), have made some important distinctions that help clarify the debate.

Quoting from a document of the Catholic Medical Association, the two bishops remind the faithful that instead of speaking of the “Right to Health Care,” it is more appropriate to speak of the “Right to Acquire the Means of Procuring for One’s Self and One’s Family these goods and concomitantly, a duty to exercise virtue (diligence, thrift, charity) in every aspect of their acquisition and discharge.”[4]

The bishops go on to say that “the right of every individual to access health care does not necessarily suppose an obligation on the part of the government to provide it.…The teaching of the Universal Church has never been to suggest a government socialization of medical services. Rather, the Church has asserted the rights of every individual to have access to those things most necessary for sustaining and caring for human life, while at the same time insisting on the personal responsibility of each individual to care properly for his or her own health.” Existing safety nets “are not intended to create permanent dependency for individuals or families upon the State, but rather to provide them with the opportunity to regain control over their own lives and their own destiny.”[5]

State Centralization Obstructs Health Care

To centralize health care in the hands of the State also harms the speed and efficiency of the medical assistance being provided. It further destroys the natural and trusting relationships between physicians and other health providers with their patients. Everything tends to become impersonal and remote.

Centralization is not possible without creating a huge bureaucratic machine which will absorb hard-earned taxpayer dollars which should be applied to those purposes the State is directly responsible for.

Bishops Warn of Dangers

Several other Catholic bishops have emphasized this centralizing aspect of the health care debate. In this sense, Most Rev. R. Walker Nickless, Bishop of Sioux City, Iowa warns that health care should not be subject to "federal monopolization" and that "the proper role of government is to regulate the private sector in order to foster healthy competition and curtail abuses. Therefore any legislation that undermines the viability of the private sector is suspect."[6]

In the same line, Most Rev. Thomas G. Doran, Bishop of Rockford, Illinois, writes: "Our federal bureaucracy is a vast wasteland strewn with the carcasses of absurd federal programs which proved infinitely worse than the problems they were established to correct.” He continues: “Modern socialist governments like to control…the means to protect and extend life. Some have called the current efforts of our federal government ‘senioricide’ or ‘infanticide.’ That perhaps is too severe, but we as Catholics should take care that health care does not morph into life control."[7]

Most Rev. James V. Johnston, Bishop of Cape-Girardeau and Springfield, Missouri, writes: “One might legitimately ask if giving a large, inefficient, but powerful bureaucracy like the federal government control of health care is a wise move. For one, this runs counter to the well-known principle of subsidiarity, so prominent in Catholic social teaching.… Certainly, [the government] has a role to play, but that does not necessarily mean that it should be the sole provider of health care.…The essential element of the principle of subsidiarity is the protection of individual freedoms from unjust micromanagement and manipulation by the state.”[8]

Likewise, Most Rev. Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., Archbishop of Denver, writes: "[A] proper government role in solving the health-care crisis does not necessarily demand a national public plan, run or supervised by government authorities. Real health-care reform need not automatically translate into federal programming."[9]

In a letter to the clergy and faithful of his diocese, Most Rev. Samuel J. Aquila, Bishop of Fargo, North Dakota, cites the danger of thinking "the national government is the sole instrument of the common good."[10]

Abortion and Health Care Reform

Finally, the issue of abortion must be addressed since the nefarious practice is not health care but its contrary. Although proponents have insisted that the various Majority-supported bills will not favor abortion, this assertion does not withstand serious scrutiny. Amendments that would have clearly excluded abortion were rejected in committee. Further, there is every reason to believe that, in the future, the courts could rule that, constitutionally, abortion cannot be excluded from coverage.

The risk that abortion and euthanasia will somehow be included in the health care reform legislation is in itself grounds to oppose it. Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia, and numerous other prelates have gone on record to reiterate that this is a line the Church cannot cross.[11]

In light of the considerations above, the American TFP calls on the nation to redouble its vigilance and its peaceful and legal opposition to any health care reform that favors an increase in State interventionism in the private sector, abortion or other anti-natural initiative.

Socialism will not resolve the problems inside the American health care system. Indeed, it will destroy the present system at its very core and thus irreversibly ruin that which, despite its shortcomings, is universally recognized as one of the best systems in the world.

May Our Lady, Consoler of the Afflicted, help the nation’s elected officials to resist the temptation to implement any kind of socialism. Rather, let them be faithful to the mores and principles underpinning a truly Christian and just social order.

September 21, 2009

The American TFP

The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property—TFP

1358 Jefferson Road, Spring Grove, Penn. 17362

w Tel.: 1-888-317-5571 w w Email:

The Principle of Subsidiarity in the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church

Subsidiarity is among the most constant and characteristic directives of the Church's social doctrine and has been present since the first great social encyclical. It is impossible to promote the dignity of the person without showing concern for the family, groups, associations, local territorial realities; in short, for that aggregate of economic, social, cultural, sports-oriented, recreational, professional and political expressions to which people spontaneously give life and which make it possible for them to achieve effective social growth. This is the realm of civil society, understood as the sum of the relationships between individuals and intermediate social groupings, which are the first relationships to arise and which come about thanks to “the creative subjectivity of the citizen”. This network of relationships strengthens the social fabric and constitutes the basis of a true community of persons, making possible the recognition of higher forms of social activity.

The necessity of defending and promoting the original expressions of social life is emphasized by the Church in the Encyclical Quadragesimo Anno, in which the principle of subsidiarity is indicated as a most important principle of “social philosophy”. “Just as it is gravely wrong to take from individuals what they can accomplish by their own initiative and industry and give it to the community, so also it is an injustice and at the same time a grave evil and disturbance of right order to assign to a greater and higher association what lesser and subordinate organizations can do. For every social activity ought of its very nature to furnish help to the members of the body social, and never destroy and absorb them.” (Internal notes omitted)

(Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, nn. 185-186)

Pope Benedict XVI:

“We do not need a State which regulates and controls everything”

“The State which would provide everything, absorbing everything into itself, would ultimately become a mere bureaucracy incapable of guaranteeing the very thing which the suffering person − every person − needs: namely, loving personal concern. We do not need a State which regulates and controls everything, but a State which, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, generously acknowledges and supports initiatives arising from the different social forces and combines spontaneity with closeness to those in need. … In the end, the claim that just social structures would make works of charity superfluous masks a materialist conception of man: the mistaken notion that

man can live ‘by bread alone’ (Mt 4:4; cf. Dt 8:3) − a conviction that demeans man and ultimately disregards all that is specifically human.”

(Pope Benedict XVI, Encyclical Deus Caritas Est, Dec. 25, 2008, n. 28)

Pope Pius XI:

“No one can be at the same time a good Catholic and a true socialist”

“Society, therefore, as Socialism conceives it, can on the one hand neither exist nor be thought of without an obviously excessive use of force; on the other hand, it fosters a liberty no less false, since there is no place in it for true social authority, which rests not on temporal and material advantages but descends from God alone, the Creator and last end of all things.

“If Socialism, like all errors, contains some truth (which, moreover, the Supreme Pontiffs have never denied), it is based nevertheless on a theory of human society peculiar to itself and irreconcilable with true Christianity. Religious socialism, Christian socialism, are contradictory terms; no one can be at the same time a good Catholic and a true socialist.

(Pius XI, Encyclical Quadragesimo Anno, May 15, 1931, nn. 119-120)

[1] An estimated 25% of America’s hospitals are associated with the Catholic Church. One should also consider the thousands of Catholic schools and colleges, cemeteries, and untold charitable projects to help the poor.

[2] Cf. Baltasar Péres Argos, S.J., “Los Cuatro Pilares fundamentales del Ordem Social y Economico, Segun la Doctrina de la Iglesia,” Verbo, Mar.-Apr. 1991.

[3] The right to health care by those who cannot afford it is a right based in charity, not in strict justice. Now then, the rights based in charity “are rights latu sensu as they do not oblige with precision and are not enforceable (legally).” (Régis Jolivet, Traité de Philosophie [Paris: Emmanuel Vitte, 1949], Vol. 4, p. 153 – Our translation). Cf. Joseph Rickaby, S.J., Moral Philosophy: Ethics, Deontology and Natural Law (London: Longmans, Green & Co., Ltd., 1929), pp. 246-247; Michael D. Greaney, “Universal Health Care—Justice or Charity?” Social Justice Review, Sept.-Oct. 2003, p. 132.

[4] Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann and Bishop Robert W. Finn, Joint Pastoral Statement on Principles of Catholic Social Teaching and Health Care Reform, Aug. 22, 2009, (The bishops’ emphasis.)

[5] Ibid.

[6] Bishop R. Walker Nickless, Pastoral Message on the Assumption of Mary, Aug. 17, 2009,

[7] Bishop Thomas G. Doran, “Concerns to take to heart in health care and proposed reforms,” The Observer, Aug. 7, 2009 at

[8] Bishop James V. Johnston, “Skinning the ‘Health Care Cat,’” The Mirror, Sept. 4, 2009, at

[9] Archbishop Charles Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., “Health care, justice, and the course of our national debate,” Denver Catholic Register, Sept. 2, 2009, at

[10] Bishop Samuel Aquila, Letter of Aug. 28, 2009, at

[11] Cf. Aug. 11, 2009 letter from Cardinal Justin Rigali as Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Issues to the U.S. House of Representatives, at

Which is the real Saint Therese?

True Sanctity Lies in Strength of Soul and Not in Sentimental Softness, by Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira

The Church teaches that true and complete sanctity is the heroism of virtue.

The honor of the altars is not granted to weak, hypersensitive souls that flee from profound thoughts, from acute suffering, from the fight, in short, from the Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Mindful of the words of Her Divine Founder, “the kingdom of heaven belongs to the violent,” the Church canonizes only those who, in life, authentically fought the good fight, those who plucked out their own eye or cut off their own foot when it caused scandal, and sacrificed everything to follow only Our Lord Jesus Christ.

In reality, sanctification entails the greatest heroism, for it presupposes not only the firm and serious resolution to sacrifice life itself if need be to remain faithful to Jesus Christ, but even to live a prolonged existence on earth if God so desires, constantly renouncing everything most dear in order to adhere only to the divine will.

A certain iconography, unfortunately much in use, presents the saints quite differently: they appear soft, sentimental, with neither personality nor strength of character, incapable of serious , solid and coherent ideas; they seem to be souls guided only by their emotions and, therefore, totally unsuited for the great fights that always accompany earthly life.

The figure of Saint Theresa of the Child Jesus was especially deformed by bad iconography. Roses, smiles, inconsistent sentimentally, a soft life free of cares, a person with bones of rock candy and blood of honey – this is the idea they would like us to have of that great, that incomparable saint.

How all this differs from her true spirit – vast and profound like the firmament, shining and burning like the sun, yet so humble and so filial – which one finds upon reading her autobiography, The Story of a Soul.

Our two pictures represent, so to speak, two different and even opposite “Theresas.”

In the first, there is nothing heroic; this is insignificant, superficial and perfumed Theresa imagined by romantic and sentimental iconography. The second is authentic Theresa, photographed on June 7, 1897, shortly before her death on September 30 of the same year.

Her countenance is marked by the deep peace earned by great and irrevocable renunciations. Her features have a definition, a strength and a harmony possessed only by souls with an iron logic. Her gaze bespeaks tremendous sufferings in the deepest recesses of the soul yet, at the same time, reveals the fire and courage of a heroic soul, determined to advance cost it may.

Contemplating this physiognomy, strong and profound as only the grace of God can make a human soul, one thinks of another Face: that of the Holy Shroud of Turin, which no man could have imagined and perhaps none dare describe. Between the Face of Our Dead Lord, which has a peace, a strength, a profundity and a sorrow that human words cannot express, and the face of Saint Theresa, there is an imponderable yet very real similarity.

And why should it be though surprising that the Holy Face impressed something of Itself on the face and the soul of one who in religious life called herself Theresa of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Miraculous Prayer Pills and Novena to Frei Galvao

He Always Held His Soul in His Hands: The Story of Saint Anthony of Saint Anne Galvão

by Michael Whitcraft

Last May 11, the first Brazilian-born saint, Anthony of Saint Anne Galvão was canonized in Campo de Marte, São Paulo, Brazil, with an estimated one million people in attendance. Saint Anthony has been venerated in Brazil for centuries.  However, the saint’s influence is spreading throughout the world.

The following story happened here in the United States.


Last October, a Catholic mother of four was ecstatic when she learned she was pregnant with her fifth child.  However, when she went to the doctor to get an ultrasonic first glimpse of the child, she received the dreaded news that there was no baby in her womb. Furthermore, hormonal tests seemed to indicate that she was no longer with child.

Devastated, she returned home. Her pro-life doctor was so certain of a miscarriage, he told her to come back in a week to schedule a D&C.

At home, she called her oldest brother and told him the sad news. Her brother had traveled many times to Brazil and knew the story of the then-Blessed Galvão. He knew that during the saint’s life, he had cured a woman who was dying in child birth by having her swallow a small piece of paper, on which he had written: “Post Partem Virgo, Inviolata Permansisti, Intercede Pro Nobis Sancta Dei Genetrix.” (It is a Latin phrase taken from the hour of Sext in the Little Office of Our Lady, meaning: “After giving birth, O Virgin, Thou remained inviolate, Intercede for us Holy Mother of God.”)

He told his sister the story, explaining that it had become customary for devotees to swallow similar parchments, when asking favors from the saint. In fact, the nuns of Saint Galvão’s convent still make little parchments with the same text printed on them, put them in capsules and distribute them to the faithful. (In fact, during 2006, 90,000 such pills were consumed each month. After the announcement of the saint’s canonization, that number increased to 140,000.)

She was little consoled, but decided to give it a try. Since she did not have time to order the “pills” from Brazil, she simply wrote the phrase on a small piece of paper and swallowed it.

The next week, when she went in for a final check up and to schedule the D&C, her doctor, being pro-life, decided to take another ultrasonic look. Happily he looked up at the mother and asked: “Do you believe in little miracles?”

“I believe in little miracles and big ones too,” she replied.

He said: “Good, because you have a perfectly healthy and full-size baby boy in your womb.”

Overcome with emotion, the mother returned home. A couple of weeks later, she learned that Father Galvão was due to be canonized shortly before her delivery date. Full of gratitude, the family celebrated the saint’s canonization and decided to name the child Anthony, in honor of the saint they believe saved him.

Such stories are common. The nuns at Saint Galvão’s convent keep a tally of the written testimonials of special graces received through the saint’s intercession. The numbers for the years 1930 to 1990 are as follows:

37,673 graces received
7,028 cures
2,702 safe births
332 kidney stones safely passed
123 conversions

Saint Galvão’s prodigious assistance from Heaven is not surprising to those familiar with his life.

The Story of a Saint
Anthony Galvão was born in 1739 in the village of Guaratinguetá. His father, also named Anthony, belonged to an illustrious Portuguese family and was well educated, as evidenced by his writings. He excelled in business, the military and public administration, leading him to serve well as the village mayor.

His mother, Doña Isabel Leite de Barros, came from Pindamonhangaba in São Paulo State, Brazil. She descended from aristocratic stock on both her paternal and maternal sides. Her great-great grandfather was a famous leader named Fernão Dias Paes Leme, known as the “Emerald Governor.”

Anthony was the forth of ten children. Three died in their infancy and the other six married and left many descendents.

However, Anthony always felt inclined to the religious life. At the young age of 13, he left the family home to pursue priestly studies at the Jesuit “Belém Seminary” in Bahia, where he remained for the next five years. While there, he received an excellent formation.

Shortly thereafter, he became a novice in the Franciscan monastery of Saint Bonaventure of Macacu, in the capital of Rio de Janeiro. In religious life, he adopted the name: Friar Anthony of Saint Anne Galvão, as a sign of his devotion to Our Lady and because Saint Anne was his family’s patroness.

Priestly Ordination and Slavery to Mary
He was ordained a priest in 1762, even before he had finished the regular courses of philosophy and theology. This showed the confidence his superiors placed in his virtues and cultural formation.

After ordination, he was sent to São Paulo, where he spent several years finishing his studies and graduated, with highest honors.

As he grew and matured, his devotion to Our Lady increased. In 1766, he consecrated himself as a slave of Mary. Although this devotion was systematized and developed by Saint Louis de Montfort, who had died fifty years earlier, his writings were not yet known.

Nevertheless, the same devotion had been practiced by Sister Agnes of Saint Paul, a Spanish Conceptionist nun, and had gained papal recognition a century before Saint Louis de Montfort.

Almost immediately, many famous historic figures began practicing slavery to Our Lady, such as: Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II and his wife, King Philip III and his wife Margarida, Austrian archduke Albert and his wife Elizabeth and, of course, Father Anthony Galvão.

Preacher, Confessor and Apostle
In 1768, he finished his obligatory studies and the provincial chapter of his order named him “preacher, confessor of the people and porter of Saint Francis’ Monastery in São Paulo.”

He extended his apostolate, by walking to all the cities surrounding São Paulo. Throughout the region he was known and admired for his virtues.

In 1770, he was named confessor of the Retreat House of Saint Theresa. While there, he met Sister Helen Mary of the Blessed Sacrament, who had spent many years living in austerity with the community.

During this time, she received visions from Our Lord, Who commanded her to found a new retreat house in São Paulo, where ladies would live as religious, without taking vows. She confided this to Father Anthony and asked his advice.

Balanced and prudent, he was slow to approve of the project. He carefully examined all the circumstances surrounding the supposed apparitions, analyzed Sister Helen’s psychology and recommended that she take much care, so as not to be fooled by the devil.

After much study and thought, he concluded that Sister Helen’s visions were authentic and therefore that the construction of the new house was the will of God. Since he was suspicious of his own judgment, he consulted other clerics who were well known for their wisdom and learning. Unanimously, they agreed with Father Galvão’s decision.

Foundation of the Retreat House Despite Difficulties
However, construction of a new retreat house seemed impossible. The impious Marquis of Pombal was then a highly influential minister of the Portuguese King Joseph I. He influenced the sovereign to prohibit the foundation of any new convents in all Portugal’s lands, which of course included Brazil.

Neither Sister Helen nor Father Anthony recoiled before these seemingly insuperable obstacles, but rather both busied themselves in the project, convinced that if it were truly God’s will, the retreat house would eventually become a reality.

Sister Helen wrote a letter to the Governor of São Paulo, Dom Luiz Antonio de Souza Botelho e Mourão, a noble and pious man. In it, she outlined her plans for the retreat house and asked for his support.

A month later, he responded and pledged all the construction costs. He saw the project as a means of honoring his family’s two special patrons, Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament and Our Lady of Delight.

Thus, his pledge was made on the conditions that: the retreat house would have perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Our Lady of Delight would be made the institution’s patroness and the “nuns” would pray for two intentions: the eternal salvation of he and his family and that he would always remain in the service of God, the King and those for whom he was responsible.

A Shrewd Governor
Attaining Portuguese approval for the project was the next challenge the governor faced. The way he conducted himself, demonstrated the flexibility and shrewdness for which Brazilians are known. He drafted the proposal and sent it to Portugal in a package full of other governmental documents, hoping it would be overlooked.

His hopes were realized when the response came with no mention of the retreat house. Unknowingly, the government in Lisbon had given tacit approval for the project.

Even before governmental permission had been secured, however, the community had been informally established. Sister Helen came to be called Mother Helen Mary of the Holy Ghost and eight young ladies lived a conventual life with her on the site of the future retreat house.

One year later, Mother Helen died in the odor of sanctity. It was a great blow for the aborning community.

The Retreat House Is Closed
Losing their foundress was by no means the least of the “nuns’” problems, but neither was it the worst. In June, Governor Luiz’s administration came to an end and a wicked man named Martim Lopes de Saldanha replaced him. Governor Saldanha despised the new community.

One of his first acts as governor was to persuade the bishop to order its closure. The weak bishop conceded to his wishes and ordered Father Galvão to board up the building. Everything seemed lost.

Father Galvão, always obedient to his superiors, celebrated Mass for the “nuns” on June 29, 1775 and after giving them Holy Communion, told them the sad news with calm and resignation. His attitude, in face of the apparent ruin of his life’s work, justifies the epitaph that describes him on his tombstone, which reads: “He always held his soul in his hands.”

Heroic Resistance
Nevertheless, true obedience does not mean one must be a drone. Perhaps it was the formation Father Galvão had given the “nuns” that taught them this lesson. They analyzed the Bishop’s order and, seeing that it only commanded them to close the house, but not disband, all but three secretly continued to live as religious behind the boarded windows and doors.

Doing so required heroic confidence. They had no food or water on the premises and could not ask help from anyone outside their walls lest their presence be betrayed, which would almost certainly provoke the bishop to disband them.

They lived in this desperate situation for over a month. During this time, Providence provided for them in a spectacular manner that is described in the convent’s chronicles:

The amount of work was tremendous. They endured hunger and miseries, maintaining the absolute resolve to remain…They ate without flour or salt, abandoning themselves entirely to Providence. After some time, even their benefactors from the city gave up hope that they were there, since all the doors were shut and the convent showed no signs of life.

However, God, Whose Providence especially protects those who serve Him with constancy, manifested His love, sustaining them with His grace and working miracles, two of which are described below.

The first was when the “nuns,” having spent several days without water, resolved to implore God’s mercy. They met in the choir and began to pray, fervently. Immediately, the sky clouded over and began to thunder. A torrential rain began and continued until all the vessels they had in the house were filled. Shortly afterwards, the rain stopped.

The other miracle involved a strawberry patch that was within the walls. The “nuns” ate all the tender leaves and shoots that grew, since they had no other food. Nevertheless, the patch grew so much and produced such an amount of fruit that the “nuns” were not able to eat it all…many strawberries were left out to rot.

Our Lord did not leave them in this state of desperation for long. In less than two months, the bishop lifted the ban on the retreat house and the community again began to prosper.

Providential Help: The Viceroy’s Support
The retreat house, which became know as the “Convent of Light,” was not destined to suffer persecution for the whole of Father Galvão’s life. The Portuguese viceroy, who had jurisdiction over São Paulo’s governor, was favorable to the convent. When he heard of its closing by Gov. Martim, he immediately sent a letter, reprimanding the politician.

While this eased the pressure against the retreat house, it hardly assuaged the persecution the governor waged against Father Galvão. Shortly thereafter, the minister unjustly condemned a soldier to death. Saint Anthony pointed out the injustice and united his voice to many others in protest. The proud governor condemned Father Galvão to exile and ordered him to leave immediately for Rio de Janeiro.

As always, Father Anthony held his soul in his hands and immediately prepared for departure, without a word of complaint. However, before he left the city, the citizens of São Paulo rose up to defend him.

They threateningly circled the governmental palace and obliged Gov. Martim to rescind Father Anthony’s sentence. When he did so, the saint calmly unpacked and continued his ministry in São Paulo. In 1782, Governor Martim left office and the public authorities never again persecuted the Convent of Light.

Saint Anthony, the Miracle Worker
No report on Saint Galvão’s life would be complete without narrating some of the many miracles he performed. These marvels were often subtle. For example: on a trip he made through the Brazilian countryside, he arranged to stay the night with a couple he had befriended.

This couple was having marital problems and argued incessantly. When time for bed arrived, the couple directed the saint to his room, but when he approached it he stopped and refused to enter. Pointing to the master bedroom, he said: “I must sleep in that room.”

Taken aback, the couple agreed, all went to sleep and the next morning, Saint Galvão moved on to another city. Much to the couple’s delight, from that day on they never argued again.

Other wonders were less subtle. As is often the case with founders, he was gifted with discernment of the thoughts and souls of others. Once, going to procure donations for the convent, he traveled to the house of a well-known rich man in another city. A drifter, who knew of the saint, but was not yet convinced of his virtue, saw him approach the house and thought silently to himself: “Father Galvão just arrived and already he is going to adulate the rich.”

Immediately, Saint Anthony turned around and said: “My brother, do not rash judge me. I am not going to adulate the rich, but merely ask this man for a donation for my convent.”

The astonished transient left, no longer doubting the priest’s sanctity.

In addition, Saint Anthony was known to levitate during prayer and bi-locate to bring the sacraments to the dying.

Architect, Engineer, Superintendent and Manual Worker
After the persecutions of the Convent of Light ceased, Saint Anthony dedicated himself to finishing construction on the convent and its chapel and spiritually forming the community.

He wrote the “nuns” a rule of life that they continued to use until 1929, when they received official Vatican approval and joined the Conceptionist order.

The construction work was another matter. All in all, Saint Anthony dedicated 48 years to building the chapel and convent. During that time, he served as architect, engineer, superintendent and manual laborer.

Saint Anthony died in 1822, before the completion of the church’s tower. While suffering in his final illness, he designed the tower and wrote its architectural plans on the wall of his sickroom.

He was buried in the beautiful chapel of the Convent of Light that he had spent his life constructing. During life, he maintained strict poverty for himself and his “nuns.” However, he spared no expense in building the House of God. He constructed the Church of the finest materials and richly decorated it.

The magnificent complex still stands today, where pilgrims visit the shrine and beg favors while venerating the saint’s remains.

This article is a summary of an article published in the monthly Brazilian magazine Catolicismo by Armando Alexandre dos Santos. It was translated, edited and summarized by Michael Whitcraft, who also added several sections and facts. All this was done without the author’s revision. All facts herein contained come from this Catolicismo article and the book, Frei Galvão, Bandeirante de Cristo (Portuguese), written in 1954 by Maristela.

Some Facts about the "Pills" and the Novena

These tiny pills, made out of rice paper, bear words that read, in Latin, “Post partum Virgo, inviolata permansisti, Dei Genitrix, intercede pro nobis” (After birth, the Virgin remained intact, Mother of God, intercede on our behalf) and are associated with numerous miraculous healings as well as the intercession of Friar Galvao. They are the prime devotional example of Friar Galvao's significant reputation as a healing saint, and for that reason they deserve some study and background.

[The pills are] assembled in five locations around Sao Paulo state, including by women in Galvao's hometown of Guaratingueta, who gather every afternoon in a room above the local cathedral. The pills also are made by cloistered nuns at the Convent of Light in Sao Paulo, where Galvao died in 1832 at age 83.

Believers swallow three seed-sized pills over nine days, during which they recite the prayer printed on the paper.

The monk started the tradition of the pills in the late 18th century when he wrote his famous prayer on three pieces of paper in Sao Paulo and asked a woman who was having a difficult pregnancy to eat them. She reportedly went on to give birth to a healthy child. Demand for the pills surged.Things get even more interesting because both of the two documented cases of miraculous healings that were used in Galvao's canonization process involved the consumption of the his pills.

Prayer to the Holy Trinity:

Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, I adore, praise and thank Thee for the benefits which Thou hast done for me. I beseech Thee, for all that thy Servant Friar Antonio de Santanna Galvão suffered and accomplished, that Thou increase my faith, hope and charity and deign grant me the grace that I ardently desire. Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be.
Say the Prayer to the Holy Trinity for nine days. Take three pills during the novena: one on the first day, another on the fifth day, and another on the last day of the novena.