Saturday, September 5, 2015
September's First Saturday Devotion
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On Saturdays, Catholics traditionally have taken part in the "First Saturdays Devotion" which entails going to Mass and receiving Communion for the first Saturday of the month for 5 consecutive months in reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  This devotion is not to be confused with the First Friday's Devotion, which is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ.

On July 1, 1905, Pope Pius X approved and granted indulgences for the practice of the First Saturdays of twelve consecutive months in honor of the Immaculate Conception. The First Saturday Devotion did not originate as part of the apparitions of our Blessed Lady in Fatima, but the devotion did quickly spread further following our Lady's series of appearances to the three shepherd children in 1917.

Our Blessed Lady's words to Sr. Lucia at Fatima:

Look, my daughter, at my Heart encircled by these thorns with which men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, strive to console me, and so I announce: I promise to assist at the hour of death with the grace necessary for salvation all those who, with the intention of making reparation to me, will, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, go to confession, receive Holy Communion, say five decades of the beads, and keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary.
The First Saturday Devotion consists of offering the First Saturday of the month for five consecutive months in reparation for the many and grievous sins committed in our world. A further explanation of our Lady's request is below:
Read more on Devotions to the Blessed Virgin Mary on Saturdays.
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Tuesday, September 1, 2015
The Devil Publicly Honored in NYC: Sign a Petition of Protest
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https://www.americaneedsfatima.org/forms/E15128.html
On August 1, 2015, the image of a huge devil was projected on the East façade of the Empire State building in New York City. The projection was that of Kali, the Hindu Goddess of Death and Destruction with decapitated human head “beads” for its necklace.

This is totally unacceptable for a nation that calls itself Christian.  It is obvious that underground forces are making a huge effort to make the Devil common place in America and this IS what is at stake here.  Please help me protect the innocence of our children, please help me protect America from the demonic by signing the petition on the right.


Sign the petition in protest by clicking here.

Keep America Devil Free!  St. Michael Pray for us!

This is in sharp contract to the NYC display on Easter of 1956:

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Reparation for Insults to the Blessed Virgin Mary
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For the Feast of the Assumption of our Lady into Heaven, Texas Governor Greg Abbott posted on Facebook an image of the Virgin Mary with this comment:  “The Virgin Mary is exalted above the choirs of angels. Blessed is the Lord who has raised her up.”

His page was subsequently attacked by vile heretics who attacked him and blasphemed the most immaculate Virgin Mary. 

Some of the vile remarks included, “So you’re Catholic Mr. Abbott? So what? You worship idols; not something I’d be telling everyone,” whereas another seconded the comment, writing: “This is nothing more than idol worship.”

Such blasphemy and heresy must be countered with reparation.  Please join me in not only continuing to seek the conversion of all heretics to the True Catholic Faith but also, please join me in this prayer of reparation:

Words of the Prayer from Raccolta:

O Blessed Virgin, Mother of God, look down in mercy from Heaven, where thou art enthroned as Queen, upon me, a miserable sinner, thine unworthy servant. Although I know full well my own unworthiness, yet in order to atone for the offenses that are done to thee by impious and blasphemous tongues, from the depths of my heart I praise and extol thee as the purest, the fairest, the holiest creature of all God's handiwork. I bless thy Holy name, I praise thine exalted privilege of being truly Mother of God, ever Virgin, conceived without stain of sin, Co-Redemptrix of the human race. I bless the Eternal Father who chose thee in an especial way for His daughter; I bless the Word Incarnate who took upon Himself our nature in thy bosom and so made thee His Mother; I bless the Holy Spirit who took thee as His bride. All honor, praise and thanksgiving to the ever-blessed Trinity who predestined thee and loved thee so exceedingly from all eternity as to exalt thee above all creatures to the most sublime heights. O Virgin, holy and merciful, obtain for all who offend thee the grace of repentance, and graciously accept this poor act of homage from me thy servant, obtaining likewise for me from thy Divine Son the pardon and remission of all my sins. Amen.
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Friday, August 21, 2015
St. Jane Frances de Chantal, Foundress of the Order of the Visitation
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Double (1955 Calendar): August 21

August 21st is the Feast of St. Jane Frances de Chantal, the widow who founded the Order of the Visitation after the death of her husband.  Even when it seems that our lives are over in our old age and after disasters, God can use our situation to bring about a manifold of graces.
She was the second child of Benignus Fremiot, president of the French Parliament of Burgundy.  Her mother died while she was a child, but her father took the greatest care of her education.  At her confirmation the name of Frances was added to her baptismal name.  At the age of 20, she married the Baron de Chantal, of the family of Rabutin, an officer in the army of Henry IV.  Her wedded life was happy, but an unexpected blow put an end to it.  The baron was killed by accident while hunting, and he expired in eh arms of his disconsolate wife, who he left a widow at the age of 28 with one little son and three daughters.  She now gave herself entirely to God and to the exercises of religion.

In 1604 she first met St. Frances de Sales and soon placed herself under his direction.  By the advice of this holy Bishop she determined to abandon the world, having made satisfactory provision for her children, and her son being then 15 years of age.  She laid the foundation of her new "Order of the Visitation" at Annecy on Trinity Sunday in 1610, and the number of postulants soon increased.  For many years she suffered great interior trials with great resignation, while she labored to extend her Order and promote the glory of God.

St. Francis preceded her to the tomb in 1622, but she survived him nearly 20 years.  During the remainder of her life she continued to direct her Religious in the spirit with which St. Francis de Sales had imbued her.  In 1638 she went to Turin to found a convent.  Soon after, the Queen of France invited her to Paris.  She died at her convent at Moulins on December 13, 1641, at the age of 62.

Source: Father Hugo Hoever's "Live of the Saints
Prayer:

O Almighty and merciful God, who willed to add glory to Your Church through the new congregation founded by blessed Jane Frances, You inflamed this saint with such a love of Yourself that her wondrous strength of soul led her in the way of perfection during her whole life. May her merits and prayers bring us grace from heaven to overcome everything that hinders us, for we are conscious of our own frailty and trust solely in Your strength. Through our Lord . . .

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal
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Monday, August 17, 2015
May a Catholic Use the Waldensian Bible?
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Q: May a Catholic Use the Waldensian Bible?

A: No.  The Waldensian Bible is heretical and its use is explicitly prohibited by the Catholic Church.
They...[Princes of the Church]...condemn the detestable insolence and improbity of those who, consumed with the unbridled lust for freedom, are entirely devoted to impairing and destroying all rights of dominion while bringing servitude to the people under the slogan of liberty. Here surely belong the infamous and wild plans of the Waldensians, the Beghards, the Wycliffites, and other such sons of Belial, who were the sores and disgrace of the human race; they often received a richly deserved anathema from the Holy See. For no other reason do experienced deceivers devote their efforts, except so that they, along with Luther, might joyfully deem themselves "free of all." To attain this end more easily and quickly, they undertake with audacity any infamous plan whatever.
Miriam Vos - Encyclical of His Holiness POPE GREGORY XVI AUGUST 15, 1832
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Thursday, August 13, 2015
Our Lady Refuge of Sinners (Mass in Some Places)
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Today in some parts of the world, the Blessed Virgin Mary is honored with the title: Our Lady Refuge of Sinners.

Today in the pre-1955 Traditional Catholic Missal is the Mass in Some Places (pro aliquibus locis) of Our Lady Refuge of Sinners. 

The Refuge of Sinners Madonna is a painting by the Italian artist Luigi Crosio. It was painted in 1898 originally for the Kuenzil Brothers of Switzerland. In 1964 the Swiss province of the Schoenstatt Sisters purchased the original painting. It was then also called the Mother Thrice Admirable Madonna.

Collect Prayer:

O Almighty and merciful God, Who in the Blessed Virgin Mary hast given sinners a refuge and a help, grant us, who are protected by her, the forgiveness of all our sins and the blessings of Thy mercy. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

TAKEN FROM THE GLORIES OF MARY, CHAPTER 3, PART 2
by St. Alphonsus Liguori
Redemptorist Fathers, 1931
with Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur
There are three sources for our knowledge of and devotion to Our Lady, Refuge of Sinners:

St. John Bosco was given a vision wherein it was revealed that Our Lady is the resort of sinners and also the Lady of the Blessed Eucharist.

St. Alphonsus Liguori had a tremendous devotion to the Mother of God and suffered from scruples. He is known as the Doctor  of the Church who has promoted devotion to Our Lady as the hope or refuge of sinners and in his book, the Glories of Mary, he has several pages devoted to her as that refuge; the pages are scattered throughout, almost as a running theme within the overall theme.

There are specific devotions and feast days associated with our Lady of Refuge and or Our Lady of Confidence. The first is known as Our Lady of Montserrat [Spain]. The other is closely associated with Montserrat and Our Lady of Guadalupe and is a main devotion in Mexico. We have obtained a copy of the most famous of all of the Refuge images, that of the artist, Joseph de Paez. The image there is not quite as dark as Our Lady of Montserrat. All images of Our Lady of Refuge have her wearing the same crown as Our Lady of Confidence and also Jesus in her arms with His crown also, again just like the image of Confidence. So Our Lady must want sinners to also have confidence in her. While our Lady appears differently depending on the culture of the time, she really looks just like herself; thus, there is some resemblance in all her appearances and it is as if she is showing us all as we need to see her yet being herself physically speaking. I do not think it is a coincidence that her image as Refuge and Confidence are so similar. This presentation will focus on what St. Alphonsus instructs us regarding confidence in Mary as the refuge of sinners.

People outside the Church cannot endure our calling Mary our hope. They say that God alone is our hope, and that he curses those who put their trust in creatures according to Jeremiah the prophet in chapter 17, verse 5. They argue that since mary is a creature, she cannot be our hope. Yet, despite of this, the Church recommends that all priests and religious raise their voices every day in the name of the faithful and call mary by the sweet name of "Our Hope."

St. Thomas Aquinas says that we can place our hope in a person in two ways-----as a a principle cause and as a mediate cause. Thus, those who expect something from a king put their trust in him as their sovereign, and in his ministers or his favorite intercessors. When the favor is granted, it really comes from the king, though the favorite is the intercessor or intermediary. hence the petitioners have a right to call this intermediary through whom they received the favor, their "hope."

The King of Heaven, being infinite Goodness, desires in the highest degree to enrich us with His graces. But because confidence is a necessary condition for being heard, and because He wants to increase our confidence, He has given us His own mother as our Mother and intercessor, and granted her all power to help us. Those who put their trust in creatures alone, apart from God, as sinners are tempted to do, and who do not hesitate to outrage the Divine Majesty, just to gain the friendship and patronage of another human being, are certainly cursed by god in the sense intended by Jeremiah.

But those who place their trust in Mary, who [being the Mother of God] is able to secure grace and eternal life for them, are truly blessed and acceptable to the heart of God. he desires to see this greatest of all His creatures honored, since she honored and loved Him in this world more than all human beings and Angels together.

St. Bernard expounds the reason behind this when he says: "See the designs of God-----designs which make it possible for Him to dispense His mercy more abundantly. For, desiring to save the whole human race, He has laid the full price of redemption in Mary's hands, letting her dispense it at her pleasure."

And who needs this special intercessor and Mediatrix of all graces more, than the sinner, especially one tempted by despair? Mary does not know how to refuse compassion, she does not let the comfortless go away uncomforted, and she will persuade her Son to pardon the penitent and grieving sinner.
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Tuesday, August 11, 2015
Feast of St. Philomena
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While forgotten all too often by the mainstream Catholic today, St. Philomena is a name that should be invoked far more commonly in our world.  St. Philomena was the beloved miracle worker of the Curé of Ars, St. John Vianney.  The patron saint of parish priests, St. John Vianney, gave all the credit to the intercession of St. Philomena. 

While Pope John XXIII removed her from the Missal, but this did nothing to stop the ever-growing devotion to “the Princess of Paradise.”  In fact, her Feast is still kept on August 11th for those attached to the Traditional Catholic Calendar of Saints.

The Cord of St. Philomena and the Medal of St. Philomena are two powerful devotions that are part of our Catholic heritage.  These devotions are fully approved by the Church and carry multiple indulgences.  For more information, see the website of Catholic Tradition.

An account of her life is quoted on the Traditional Latin Mass Propers website:
Little is known of her life, and the information was received by private revelation from her. Martyred at about age 14 in the early days of the Church.

In 1802 the remains of a young woman were found in the catacomb of Saint Priscilla on the Via Salaria. It was covered by stones, the symbols on which indicated that the body was a martyr named Saint Philomena. The bones were exhumed, cataloged, and effectively forgotten since there was so little known about the person.

In 1805 Canon Francis de Lucia of Mugnano, Italy was in the Treasury of the Rare Collection of Christian Antiquity (Treasury of Relics) in the Vatican. When he reached the relics of Saint Philomena he was suddenly struck with a spiritual joy, and requested that he be allowed to enshrine them in a chapel in Mugnano. After some disagreements, settled by the cure of Canon Francis following prayers to Philomena, he was allowed to translate the relics to Mugnano. Miracles began to be reported at the shrine including cures of cancer, healing of wounds, and the Miracle of Mugnano in which Venerable Pauline Jaricot was cured a severe heart ailment overnight. Philomena became the only person recognized as a Saint solely on the basis of miraculous intercession as nothing historical was known of her except her name and the evidence of her martyrdom.

Pope Leo XII granted permission for the erection of altars and churches in her honor. Pope Gregory XVI authorized her public veneration, and named her patroness of the Living Rosary. The cure of Pope Pius IX, while archbishop of Imola, was attributed to Philomena; in 1849, he named her patroness of the Children of Mary. Pope Leo XIII approved the Confraternity of Saint Philomena, and raised it to an Archconfraternity. Pope Pius X raised the Archconfraternity to a Universal Archconfraternity, and named Saint John Vianney its patron. Saint John Vianney himself called Philomena the New Light of the Church Militant, and had a strong and well-known devotion to her. Others with known devotion to her include Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Saint Euphrasia Pelletier, Saint Francis Xavier Cabrini, Saint John Nepomucene Neumann, Saint Madeline Sophie Barat, Saint Peter Chanel, Saint Peter Julian Eymard, Blessed Anna Maria Taigi, and Venerable Pauline Jaricot.

Addition Info:
In 1802, the bones of a female between the ages of 13 and 15 were discovered in the catacomb of St. Priscilia. An inscription near her tomb read "Peace be with thee, Philomena", along with drawings of 2 anchors, 3 arrows and a palm. Near her bones was discovered a small glass vial, containing the remains of blood. Because it was a popular custom of the early martyrs to leave symbols and signs such as these, it was easily determined that St. Philomena was a virgin and a martyr. Her popularity soon became widespread, with her most memorable devotees being St. John Vianney, St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, St. Peter Eymard, and St. Peter Chanel. After being miraculously cured, Ven. Pauline Jaricot insisted that Pope Gregory XVI begin an examination for the beatification of St. Philomena, who was to become known as the "wonder worker". After hundreds of other miraculous cures, she was beatified in 1837. St. Philomena, who the pope named as the Patroness of the Living Rosary and the Patroness of the Children of Mary, is the only person recognized as a saint solely on the basis of her powerful intercession, although pertinent revelations regarding her life have been recorded. Her relics are now preserved in Mugnano, Italy.
For more information, please consider the book St. Philomena: Powerful With God by Sr. Marie Helene Mohr S.C.

Prayer:

O God, who among the other marvels of Thy power, hast granted even to the weaker sex the victory of martyrdom, mercifully grant, that we who celebrate the heavenly birthday of blessed Philomena, Thy Virgin and Martyr, may by her example draw nearer to Thee. Through our Lord . . .

Prayer Sources: 1945 Roman Catholic Daily Missal
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Monday, August 10, 2015
Sacramentals of the Assumption of our Lady: Herbs, Fruits, and Flowers
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This Saturday is August 15th which is the Holy Day of Obligation in honor of our Lady's Assumption into Heaven.  Be sure to put it on your calendar to attend Mass in honor of our Lady's Assumption that morning.

The Church prepares us for the Feast of our Lady's Assumption with the ancient penitential Vigil Mass on August 14th.  Thereafter, traditionally according to the pre-1955 Calendar, we will continue the celebration of our Lady's Assumption for a full eight days throughout the Octave, closing with the feast of Mary’s Immaculate Heart on August 22nd.

At this time of year there is a lesser known tradition that is certainly worth cultivating.  Did you know that there is an ancient blessing and a very powerful sacramental associated with the Assumption? Herbs, first fruits and flowers are traditionally blessed in Our Lady’s honor before the High Mass, “adding to their natural power, the grace of Thy new blessing… to ward off disease and adversity from men and beasts.”

And there are still more graces obtained “through the merits of the Blessed Virgin Mary whose Assumption we celebrate.” These blessed objects “wherever they are kept or carried, act as a protection against diabolical mockeries, cunnings and deceptions.”

So be sure to ask your priest if he will offer this Tradition blessing in Latin this Saturday in honor of our Lady's Assumption.

Taken from the Rituale Romanum:

17. BLESSING OF HERBS  on the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

{This blessing comes from Germany, and formulas for it are found as early as the tenth century. The blessing of herbs was reserved only to the feast of the Assumption. Herbs had not our restricted English meaning but included all kinds of cultivated and wild flowers, especially those which in some way had a symbolic relation to our Lady. The people brought herbs to church on her feast not only to secure for themselves another blessed object, but also to make of the occasion a harvest festival of thanksgiving to God for His great bounty manifested in the abundant fruits of the earth. The herbs were placed on the altar, and even beneath the altar-cloths, so that from this close contact with the Eucharist they might receive a special consecration, over and above the ordinary sacramental blessing of the Church.}

After the Asperges if it is a Sunday, otherwise immediately before Mass, the priest, standing before the altar and facing the people who hold the herbs and fruits in their hands, says in a clear voice:

P: Our help is in the name of the Lord. 
All: Who made heaven and earth.

Psalm 64


P: To you we owe our hymn of praise, O God, in Sion; to you must vows be fulfilled, you who hear prayers.
All: To you all flesh must come* because of wicked deeds.
P: We are overcome by our sins; * it is you who pardon them.
All: Happy the man you choose, * and bring to dwell in your courts.
P: May we be filled with the good things of your house, * the holy things of your temple.
All: With awe-inspiring deeds of justice you answer us, * O God our Savior,
P: The hope of all the ends of the earth * and of the distant seas.
All: You set the mountains in place by your power, * you who are girt with might;
P: You still the roaring of the seas, * the roaring of their waves and the tumult of the peoples.
All: And the dwellers at the earth's ends are in fear at your marvels; * the farthest east and west you make resound with joy.
P: You have visited the land and watered it; * greatly have you enriched it.
All: God's watercourses are filled; you have prepared the grain. * Thus have you prepared the land:
P: Drenching its furrows, * breaking up its clods,
All: Softening it with showers, * blessing its yield.
P: You have crowned the year with your bounty, * and your paths overflow with a rich harvest;
All: The untilled meadows overflow with it, * and rejoicing clothes the hills.
P: The fields are garmented with flocks and the valleys blanketed with grain. * They shout and sing for joy.
All: Glory be to the Father.
P: As it was in the beginning.
P: The Lord will be gracious.
All: And our land will bring forth its fruit.
P: You water the mountains from the clouds.
All: The earth is replenished from your rains.
P: Giving grass for cattle.
All: And plants for the benefit of man.
P: You bring wheat from the earth.
All: And wine to cheer man's heart.
P: Oil to make his face lustrous.
All: And bread to strengthen his heart.
P: He utters a command and heals their suffering.
All: And snatches them from distressing want.
P: Lord, heed my prayer.
All: And let my cry be heard by you.
P: The Lord be with you.
All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.


Almighty everlasting God, who by your word alone brought into being the heavens, earth, sea, things seen and things unseen, and garnished the earth with plants and trees for the use of man and beast; who appointed each species to bring forth fruit in its kind, not only for the food of living creatures, but for the healing of sick bodies as well; with mind and word we urgently call on you in your great kindness to bless + these various herbs and fruits, thus increasing their natural powers with the newly given grace of your blessing. May they keep away disease and adversity from men and beasts who use them in your name; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

Let us pray.


God, who through Moses, your servant, directed the children of Israel to carry their sheaves of new grain to the priests for a blessing, to pluck the finest fruits of the orchard, and to make merry before you, the Lord their God; hear our supplications, and shower blessings + in abundance upon us and upon these bundles of new grain, new herbs, and this assortment of produce which we gratefully present to you on this festival, blessing + them in your name. Grant that men, cattle, flocks, and beasts of burden find in them a remedy against sickness, pestilence, sores, injuries, spells, against the fangs of serpents or poisonous creatures. May these blessed objects be a protection against diabolical mockery, cunning, and deception wherever they are kept, carried, or otherwise used. Lastly, through the merits of the blessed Virgin Mary, whose Assumption we are celebrating, may we all, laden with the sheaves of good works, deserve to be taken up to heaven; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

Let us pray.


God, who on this day raised up to highest heaven the rod of Jesse, the Mother of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, that by her prayers and patronage you might communicate to our mortal nature the fruit of her womb, your very Son; we humbly implore you to help us use these fruits of the soil for our temporal and everlasting welfare, aided by the power of your Son and the prayers of His glorious Mother; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.


And may the blessing of almighty God, Father, Son, + and Holy Spirit, come upon these creatures and remain always.

All: Amen.


They are sprinkled with holy water and incensed.
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Thursday, August 6, 2015
The Will of the People Is Not the Supreme Law
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Blessed Pope Pius IX rejects the claim that the will of the people is the supreme law:
"And, since where religion has been removed from civil society, and the doctrine and authority of divine revelation repudiated, the genuine notion itself of justice and human right is darkened and lost, and the place of true justice and legitimate right is supplied by material force, thence it appears why it is that some, utterly neglecting and disregarding the surest principles of sound reason, dare to proclaim that "the people's will, manifested by what is called public opinion or in some other way, constitutes a supreme law, free from all divine and human control; and that in the political order accomplished facts, from the very circumstance that they are accomplished, have the force of right." But who does not see and clearly perceive that human society, when set loose from the bonds of religion and true justice, can have, in truth, no other end than the purpose of obtaining and amassing wealth, and that (society under such circumstances) follows no other law in its actions, except the unchastened desire of ministering to its own pleasure and interests?" (4).

Source: Quanta Cura
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First Friday Devotions for August
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Today is the First Friday of August. Because today is the first Friday of the Month, it is time for First Friday Devotions.  Remember that this month is also dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Beginning on December 27, 1673, through 1675, Our Lord appeared to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque asking her to receive Him in Holy Communion on the first Friday of every month and to meditate on His passion from 11:00 PM to 12:00 midnight each Thursday. He also revealed to her twelve promises for all who are devoted to His Sacred Heart; he asked for a Feast of the Sacred Heart to be instituted in the liturgical calendar of the Church. Our Lord appeared to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque with twelve promises for those devoted to His Most Sacred Heart.

Promises for those devoted to the Sacred Heart:

1. "I will give them all the graces necessary in their state of life."
2. "I will establish peace in their homes."
3. "I will comfort them in their afflictions."
4. "I will be their secure refuge during life, and above all in death."
5. "I will bestow a large blessing upon all their undertakings."
6. "Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and the infinite ocean of mercy."
7. "Tepid souls shall grow fervent."
8. "Fervent souls shall quickly mount to high perfection."
9. "I will bless every place where a picture of My Heart shall be set up and honored."
10. "I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts."
11. "Those who shall promote this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be blotted out."
12. "I promise thee in the excessive mercy of My Heart that My all-powerful love will grant to all those who communicate on the First Friday in nine consecutive months, the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in My disgrace nor without receiving the Sacraments; My Divine heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment."

Prayer of Reparation:


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 of thee the conversion of poor sinners. Amen.


From the writings of St. Margaret Mary: 

"On Friday during Holy Communion, He said these words to His unworthy slave, if I mistake not: I promise you in the excessive mercy of my Heart that its all-powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on nine first Fridays of consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they will not die under my displeasure or without receiving their sacraments, my divine Heart making itself their assured refuge at the last moment."

With regard to this promise it may be remarked:

(1) that our Lord required Communion to be received on a particular day chosen by Him;

(2) that the nine Fridays must be consecutive;

(3) that they must be made in honor of His Sacred Heart, which means that those who make the nine Fridays must practice the devotion and must have a great love for our Lord;

(4) that our Lord does not say that those who make the nine Fridays will be dispensed from any of their obligations or from exercising the vigilance necessary to lead a good life and overcome temptation; rather He implicitly promises abundant graces to those who make the nine Fridays to help them to carry out these obligations and persevere to the end;

(5) that perseverance in receiving Holy Communion for nine consecutive First Fridays helps the faithful to acquire the habit of frequent Communion, which our Lord eagerly desires; and

(6) that the practice of the nine Fridays is very pleasing to our Lord since He promises such great reward, and that all Catholics should endeavor to make the nine Fridays.
 
Prayer Source: Enthronment of the Sacred Heart by Rev. Francis Larkin, SS.CC., St. Paul Editions, 1978

And for many other pious devotions to the Sacred Heart, read the section on the Sacred Heart in the Raccolta online.
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Wednesday, August 5, 2015
Saints: On the Immaculate Heart of Mary
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The month of August is dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  It is important for us to pray daily this month in reparation for sins to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.   How our world greatly needs prayers of reparation and conversion!  Let us heed the warning of our Lady of Fatima before it is too late.

“Jesus lives in her (Mary) soul and body...His Heart abides in Her heart, His Soul in Her soul ... His virtues, mysteries, and divine attributes are loving in Her heart..."

"Although the heart of Jesus is distinct from that of Mary, and infinitely surpasses it in excellence and holiness, nevertheless, God has so closely united these two hearts that we may say with truth, that they are but one heart." –Saint John Eudes

“A son of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is a man who is consumed with love and who sets on fire everything in his path. He is a man who unceasingly expends himself to light the fire of divine love in the world. Nothing stops him; he places his joy in privations, he undertakes all works for the glory of God; he embraces willingly every sacrifice, he is happy in the midst of calumnies; he exults in torments. He can think of but one thing — working, suffering, and seeking at all times the greater glory of God and the salvation of souls, to imitate Our Lord Jesus Christ.” -St. Anthony Mary Claret

“You do not know what a treasure the Holy Heart of Mary is. Jesus Christ has placed in it so great a fullness of grace and favors that they would be sufficient to satisfy not merely the whole world but a hundred thousand worlds and much more.” – Ven. Father Francis Liberman Immaculate Heart of Mary, Cause of Our Joy, pray for us!

DAILY OFFERING TO THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY

O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary,I offer you my prayers, works, joys, and suffering of this day in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world.I offer them for all the intentions of Your Sacred Heart: the salvation of souls, reparation for sins, the reunion of all Christians;I offer them for the intentions of our Bishops and of all Apostles of Prayer and in particular for those recommended by our Holy Father this month. 
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Saturday, August 1, 2015
Feasts of August 1st: St. Peter's Chains & the Holy Maccabees
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On August 1st the Church commemorates the Holy Maccabees.  
Seven brothers known as the Machabees were martyred together with their heroic mother during the second century B.C. They are the only martyrs of the Old Testament honored by a feast of universal observance in the Church
We can learn much from these saints who came just shortly before the advent of Christ.  In particular, we find their account in the Old Testament - in books the protestants chose to remove from the Canon of Sacred Scripture.  In these passages we find clear evidence for the need to pray for the dead.  Read more at Catholic Devotions for the Dead

For those wishing to study the life of the Maccabees further using Sacred Scripture, Catechism passages, authoritative writings of the Church, and traditional commentary, look into the CatechismClass.com lesson on the Holy Maccabees, which is available for only around $3.00.  Click here to learn more and preview that lesson.

On August 1st the Church commemorates the Holy Maccabees with this prayer:
O Lord, may the martyrdom of these brothers warm our hearts with joy, enliven our faith by an increase of virtue, and comfort us by the added number of intercessors we have in heaven. Through our Lord . . .
This date also marks the universal Feast of St. Peter's Chains. 

As excerpt from the Tridentine Mass propers for this day:
After King Herod Agrippa had put to death St. James the Greater ten years after Christ's crucifixion, he decided to placate the Jews still more by arresting Peter, Prince of the Apostles. The Acts tell us that while Peter was in prison, "prayer was being made to god for him by the Church without ceasing." Finally, one night, an angel awakened the prisoner. The chains fell from his hands, he followed the angel safely past the sentries, and the iron gate of the jail opened of its own accord. This miracle confirmed the divine promise: "If two of you shall agree on earth about anything at all for which they ask, it shall be done for them by My Father in heaven" (Matt. 18:19). It is these chains, now preserved in Rome, that are venerated today.
The holy chains of St. Peter are still preserved today for our veneration:

St. Peter's Chains (relic in San Pietro in Vincoli, Rome). Taken by User:Blorg, 2002-03-15.

COLLECT 

O God, You freed the blessed apostle Peter from his chains and sent him forth unharmed. Free us from the bonds of our sins and in Your mercy shield us from all harm. Through our Lord . . . 

Commemoration of SAINT PAUL:

Apostle St. Peter, one of the two apostles of Rome, is never celebrated without St. Paul, the other. Moreover, four links of St. Paul's chains are preserved with those of St. Peter.  

O God, You have instructed many nations through the preaching of the blessed Apostle Paul. Let the power of his intercession with You help us who venerate his memory this day.

Prayer Sources: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal
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Monday, July 20, 2015
Garcia Moreno by Fr. Augustine Berthe
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This message is to thank a reader named Carmen.  I don't have Carmen's email address so I am posting this here. 

For those unfamiliar, Garcia Moreno is arguably the greatest Catholic president in history (i.e. a leader of a democracy).
Dear Carmen, thank you for your kindness of sending me a copy of Garcia Moreno by Fr. Augustine Berthe which was on my Amazon wishlist. I have received the book and am really grateful for your thoughtfulness.  I hope to read this book soon, it is next on my reading list after I finish my current book on the Dominican Order.

May God bless you for your generosity.  I will remember you in my prayers whenever I pray for my benefactors.

I will post a review of this book here after I have read it.
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Thursday, July 16, 2015
What is the Old Catholic Church? Are they Roman Catholic?
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There is a group of individuals who call themselves "Old Catholics."  This group broke off of the Catholic Church before Vatican I and have mixed in protestant thought within what looks like a Traditional Catholic Mass. But they do not offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.  These individuals belong to a group that has been officially condemned as schismatic and heretical.  One such group is present in Chicago, IL.  Look up the "Old Catholic Church" and you will find they are located around the world.

Please visit the two following links in which Fr. Peter Carota devotes time to explain the history and errors of the Old Catholics:
 Photo of His Holiness Pope Pius IX

His Holiness Pope Pius IX has condemned the Old Catholic Movement as heretical and schismatic:

The serious and long-lasting plots and efforts which the new heretics who call themselves Old Catholics use daily in your country to deceive the faithful and to tear them away from their ancient faith, urge Us, as a duty of Our supreme apostolate, to zealously devote Our paternal care and attention to protecting the spiritual welfare of our children. We are aware, and We sorrowfully deplore the fact, that these schismatics and heretics who enjoy the favor of the civil authority exercise the ministry of their wicked sect in the region of the diocese of Basel as in other regions of your country while the religious freedom of Catholics remains publicly oppressed by schismatic laws.

Deceit Characteristic of Schism
2. Having violently occupied parishes and churches with apostate priests, they have not neglected any deception or cunning to lead the children of the Catholic Church into wretched schism. Because it has always been especially characteristic of heretics and schismatics to use lies and deception, these sons of darkness are to be reckoned among those the prophet spoke of: "Woe to you deserting children who have faith in the shadow of Egypt. You have rejected the word and have hoped in trickery and rebellion." They love to deceive the unwary and the innocent and to draw them into error by deception and hypocrisy. They repeatedly state openly that they do not in the least reject the Catholic Church and its visible head but rather that they are zealous for the purity of Catholic doctrine declaring that they are the heirs of the ancient faith and the only true Catholics. But in fact they refuse to acknowledge all the divine prerogatives of the vicar of Christ on earth and do not submit to His supreme magisterium.

Condemnation of Errors

3. In order to spread their teachings more widely, We know that some of them have been appointed to teach sacred theology in the University of Bern, hoping to be able in this way to gain new followers from the Catholic youth for their wicked faction. However, We have already reproved and condemned this deplorable sect which has produced from the old store of the heretics so many errors opposed to the principal tenets of the Catholic faith. This sect overthrows the foundations of the Catholic religion, shamelessly rejects the dogmatic definitions of the Ecumenical Vatican Council, and devotes itself to the ruin of souls in so many ways. We have decreed and declared in Our letter of 21 November 1873 that those unfortunate men who belong to, adhere to, and support that sect should be considered as schismatics and separated from communion with the Church.

4. We think it is Our duty to repeat this public declaration now and to request you to preserve the unity of faith among your faithful by every possible means in accordance with your eminent zeal and your renowned virtue. For you have given notable examples of this virtue in bearing tribulations for the cause of God. You should remind them to beware of these treacherous enemies of the flock of Christ and their poisoned foods. They should totally shun their religious celebrations, their buildings, and their chairs of pestilence which they have with impunity established to transmit the sacred teachings. They should shun their writings and all contact with them. They should not have any dealings or meetings with usurping priests and apostates from the faith who dare to exercise the duties of an ecclesiastical minister without possessing a legitimate mission or any jurisdiction. They should avoid them as strangers and thieves who come only to steal, slay, and destroy. For the Church's children should consider the proper action to preserve the most precious treasure of faith, without which it is impossible to please God, as well as action calculated to achieve the goal of faith, that is the salvation of their souls, by following the straight road of justice.

Anti-Catholic Marriage Laws

5. We recognize that apart from laws which injure the divine constitution and authority of the church, others have also been promulgated there by the civil authority which are totally opposed to the canonical prescriptions dealing with Christian marriage. These laws deeply oppose the authority and the jurisdiction of the Church. We are obliged to exhort you in the Lord to explain to your faithful by suitable instructions. Recall to their minds those truths which We have often stressed in Our apostolic letters or allocutions concerning this sacrament especially on 9 and 27 September 1852. We endeavored to give them a thorough appreciation of the sanctity and the power of marriage to enable them by pious conformity to the canonical laws in this matter, to avoid the evils which affect families and human society in consequence of contempt for the sanctity of marriage.

6. We are very confident in the Lord, beloved sons, pastors, and clerics, that you, who have been ordained not only for your own sanctification and salvation but also for that of others, in face of this huge conspiracy of the unholy and of so many dangerous allurements will prove yourselves a strong comfort and help to your bishops because of your demonstrated piety and zeal. Under their leadership, you will eagerly take up the task of diligently working for the cause of God, for the Church, and for the salvation of souls. You will strengthen the powers of the faithful who stand firm, assist the weakness of those who falter, and increase daily before God the merits which you have already attained by patience, constancy, and priestly fortitude. The labors which those who act as ambassadors of Christ must sustain are very heavy at this time. But our trust should be placed in Him who has conquered the world. He helps those who labor in His name and rewards them with a crown of unfading glory in heaven.

Obedience to Lawful Authority

7. Dearly beloved faithful children who live in Switzerland, We Speak to you with paternal affection in Our concern for your salvation. You know very well how precious is the gift of the Catholic faith which God has bestowed upon you. Never spare any care, any effort to faithfully preserve that gift. Preserve safe and sound the glory of the ancient religion which you received from your ancestors. Therefore, We urge you with the greatest enthusiasm to give support strongly and constantly to your legitimate shepherds who have received a legitimate mission from this Apostolic See. They watch over your souls since they will have to account to God for them. Listen obediently to their voices and keep in mind the words of eternal truth which Jesus spoke: "Whoever is not with me is against me; whoever does not gather with me scatters." Be obedient to His teaching. Love His easy yoke. Reject energetically those of whom Our Redeemer said: "Beware of the false prophets who come to you in sheep's clothing. On the inside however they are ravening wolves." Therefore strong in the faith, resist the ancient

enemy of the human face "until the right arm of Almighty God destroys all the weapons of the devil who is allowed a certain scope of action only in order to give Christ's faithful greater glory by his defeat . . . because where truth is the teacher, divine comfort is never lacking."[1]

Prayer for Quiet

8. We thought We should write these things to you because the duty of Our supreme ministry requires Us to deliver the universal flock of Christ from every danger of deception and to watch over its safety as well as the unity of the faith and of the Church. Therefore, since every good gift and every perfect gift comes down from above from the father of lights, We pray to Him from the bottom of Our heart that He strengthen your power in the struggle and defend you with His help and protection. May He look favorable on your country until when the errors and the counsels of the impious have been destroyed, it enjoys the tranquil peace of truth and justice. We do not neglect to implore the light from above for the wretched people who have gone astray. May they cease storing up wrath for themselves in the day of wrath and revelation of the just judgment of God. May they turn from the error of their ways while there is still time given to them for sincere repentance. Venerable brothers and dearly beloved children, join your fervent prayers of Ours to obtain mercy and find grace in suitable aid. Receive the apostolic blessing which We impart to you lovingly in the Lord from the bottom of Our heart. We grant it to each and every one of you as a pledge of our special love.

Given at Rome, at St. Peter's, on the 23rd day of March 1875, the twenty-ninth year of Our Pontificate.
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Devotion to the Holy Face: A Devotion Needed in our Times
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A few days ago I was contacted by a reader of this blog who shared with me information on the Holy Face Devotion.  As this devotion has fallen into such disuse since Vatican II.  Quoting from the email I received:
Per some of your articles, especially on Fatima, might you also know of the established Holy Face Confraternity? There is one near you in Clintontownship, MI at the Discalced Carmelite monastery. The Archconfraternity is in Tours, France.

This fully approved apostolate of the Church is one of its best kept secrets, and yet it was established by Our Lord to make reparation for blasphemy and combat the evils of communism, something which Our Lady of Fatima warned about, i.e. the "errors of Russia."

This work of reparation and devotion seems to be deemed pre-Vatican II and relegated to the 19th century, but if there was a century more in need of this work of reparation, it is the 21st century.

The following is taken directly from HolyFaceDevotion.com.  Please visit the site for more information and please help to spread awareness of this devotion.

Have you heard about the devotion of reparation to the Holy Face of Jesus? It is a devotion that was first heard of through a Carmelite Nun named Sister Mary of St. Peter in France, 1844, who stated Our Lord revealed this devotion to her at Mount Carmel. Sister Mary of St. Peter stated that Our Lord wanted this devotion to be spread throughout the world with the goal of making reparation for the sins which offend God.

When a man named Leo Dupont took this devotion and started practicing it privately in his home nearby, repeated first class miracles started occurring, which lasted for a period of over 30 years! This immediately became the talk of France, and attracted the attention of the Catholic Church, who investigated and publicly recognized the miracles as authentic. These miracles attest to the authenticity of the revelations from Our Lord to Sister Mary of St. Peter.

In 1885, to bring attention to the importance of this devotion, Pope Leo XIII established this special devotion as an Archconfraternity; and contrary to custom, He immediately established it for the ENTIRE WORLD. Note that numerous indulgences have been granted from several Popes, including Pope Pius IX and Pope Leo XIII, to those devoted to Devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus. Here are copies of the actual papal briefs by Pope Leo XIII in 1885:

First Papal Brief (December 16, 1884)
Second Papal Brief (April 22nd, 1885)
Third Papal Brief (October 1, 1885)
Indulgences Granted by Pope Leo XIII

Note that Saint Therese of Lisieux was also very dedicated to this devotion, which prompted to take the name, "Therese of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face". This devotion was universally practiced before World War I but unfortunately, has since become scarcely known. This website has been created in an attempt to revive this important devotion.
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Monday, July 13, 2015
98th Anniversary of the Secret of Fatima
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Today marks the 98th Anniversary of when Our Lady of the Rosary, appearing at Fatima, revealed the Secret of Fatima to Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco. The Secret consisted of three parts. In the First Part, she revealed hell, and how many souls go there because no one prays for them. In the Second Part, she revealed her desire to have Russia consecrated to her Immaculate Heart and that if this was not done, there would be worse wars, Russia would spread her errors across the world, and various nations would be annihilated. 

The Third Part of the Secret consists of two parts, a vision (which all; three children saw) and words of the Virgin Mary (which Francisco did not hear, but they were permitted to share with him). This Third Secret was supposed to be revealed in 1960 by the Pope, but he chose not to do so. Half of the Third Secret, the Vision portion, was finally revealed in 2000. However, to this day, the Words of the Virgin - which constitute a terrible message of warning for mankind and especially for the Church - have still not been revealed.

For more information on Fatima and the apparitions there, please click here for my prior article on the topic.

At Fatima, the Ever-Virgin and Blessed Mother of God requested that we pray the Rosary every day (at least five decades), that all Catholics practice the First Saturday devotion, and that the Holy Father consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart.

Sadly, few Catholics are responding to her request faithfully and Russia remains unconsecrated. She promised our world and the pope would suffer much if we were disobedient, but that there would be peace if (when) this was done. Let us do our part, being faithful to Our Lady's request and doing our best to promote the Message of Fatima.

Please consider purchasing from the St. Vincent Ferrer Foundation of the Message of Our Lady of Fatima by Fr. Rodriguez and a seven CD class on Our Lady of Fatima. I also recommend William Thomas Walsh's classic book, Our Lady of Fatima, written in 1954 after he personally interviewed Sr. Lucia.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

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Friday, July 10, 2015
Seven Holy Brothers
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Semidouble (1955 Calendar): July 10

Taken from the Roman Martyrology's July 10th entry, in part it states:
At Rome, the martyrdom of the seven holy brothers, sons of the saintly martyr Felicitas. They are Januarius, Felix, Philip, Sylvanus, Alexander, Vitalis, and Martial. They died in the time of Emperor Antoninus, under Publius, prefect of the city. Januarius, after being scourged with rods and detained in prison, died from the blows inflicted with leaded whips. Felix and Philip were scourged to death. Sylvanus was thrown headlong from a great height. Alexander, Vitalis, and Martial were beheaded.
The Seven Holy Brothers whose traditional feast is celebrated today serve as an awe inspiring example for us living in a world that has revolted against God and His Divine Laws.  How many of us would be willing to publicly set aside our Faith rather than face a brutal and torturous death?
Junius the Prefect was unsuccessful in winning them from their determination by promises and threats, and so they were afflicted with various tortures. Protected by Angels, they persevered in their holy resolution, and they were finally beheaded at the tenth milestone on the Aurelian Way. Their bodies were buried by the matron Plautilla on her estate outside the City and later laid in the Basilica of Constantine near the baptistery. 1960 Roman Breviary
It is common for us to view the martyrs in a very lofty sense.  We see in them great examples of men and women who declare, "I will not deny God.  And for this I am willing to die."  But the choices that a martyr are forced to make are excruciatingly difficult.  Would we do the same?

In the persecution of the early 20th century in Mexico, the atheistic government murdered many Catholics - including small children.  The children were told to publicly deny Jesus and live.  They were even told, "You don't have to believe it.  Just say the words.  They are only words.  They don't matter.  Just say what we want you to say and then you can live." But they knew that words are more than a mere repetition of sounds.  They mean something when they are said.  So they suffered cruel deaths - sometimes their feet were cut open by a knife and they had to walk for miles while bleeding and in horrible pain until they died.  Would we have the Faith of these children to refuse to say words against Christ and His Church?

Have we considered St. Maria Goretti's example more completely in light of this?  How many people today would welcome and even enjoy the possibility of having fornication with others?  How many would willingly do this.  And yet St. Maria Goretti refused to consent to these same acts - and for that she was repeatedly stabbed until she died.  Do we have that Faith?

Or do we have the courage to stand like St. Thomas More did against the government when it attacks the Faith and the family?  Do we have the courage to defend Holy Matrimony and refuse to accept the civil divorces of our friends and family?  St. Thomas More, one of the highest ranking members in the government, willingly lost all of his eternal possessions, honors, and even his life rather than accepting a divorce.  Would we fight for this?  Would we be willing to fight against the abuses of annulments today or the attacks that the liberal government wages on the Truths of the Faith?  Would we willingly die for this and leave behind our friends and family like St. Thomas More left behind his lovely daughter, Margaret?

The martyrs we celebrate today, the sons of St. Felicity, gave up all that they had for the Faith.  And all the martyrs show us extraordinary courage.  It is not easy.  We may think that if liberal Catholics are ok with offering a bowl of incense to a pagan statue in a Hindu temple then it is acceptable. We may think it's not worth fighting over - much less perishing over.

But the First Commandment is clear, as is the greatest Commandment: "You shall love the Lord thy God with thy whole mind and strength."  And the only way to do this is to reject all false, non-Catholic religions, and cleave to revealed Catholic Truth.  It is not easy.  In the midst of the suffering it is not always clear if we do the right thing.  But with a firmness we must pray for the courage to hold fast to the end - to the last drop of our blood - and if we do this, we will win the crown of Martyrdom and earn an inheritance in Heaven that will not perish and far outshines any earthly honor.  We must refuse to enter non-Catholic places of worship.  We must refuse to pray with heretics, schismatics, or pagans.  We must refuse to participate in non-Catholic weddings or funerals.  It is not easy to remain faithful to the First Commandment today because so few people in the Church today are willing to do this.  We hear scandals of bishops praying with protestants or asking for their blessings!  We are right to be scandalized.  But we should pray in these instances for us to have the courage to persevere.  And for those who do sin - let us pray for their conversions and make satisfaction for their sins to Almighty God who demands justice.

May the Seven Holy Brothers pray for us and our leaders in the Church and in the secular governments.  May all of of have the courage to live as martyrs.  Kyrie eleison!

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Collectible Catholic Books for Sale: Round 9
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I'm pleased to be offering the following older/collectible Catholic books for sale.  The price for each one is $18 which includes shipping and handling (unless the price is otherwise noted below).

If you are interested in any of these, please contact me at acatholiclife[at]gmail[dot]com.

"Popular Sermons on the Catechism," Vol I-III, Bamberg and Thurston, 400+ pp each volume.  $45/set

"Faith of Our Fathers," John Cardinal Gibbons, 1914

"Faith of Our Fathers," Cardinal Gibbons, 1900, limited autographed edition. $40

"Christ or Chaos," Scott, SJ, 267 pp., 1924

"Catholic Doctrine," Byrne, 402 pp., 1892

"Exposition of Christian Doctrine," Pt II, by "a Professor" 620 pp., 1919

"Two Arguments for Catholicism," Eymieu, 203 pp., 1927

"The Ministry of Catechising," Bp. Dupanloup, 612 pp., 1868, $12

"Theory and Practice of the Catechism," Gatterer et al, 389 pp., 1914

"The Catholic's Ready Answer," Hill, SJ, 476 pp. 1915, Benziger publ.
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Tuesday, July 7, 2015
8th Anniversary of Summorum Pontificum
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Today the Church observes the 8th anniversary of the publishing of Summorum Pontificum, the long-awaited motu proprio of Pope Benedict XVI replacing all former "indults" and declaring that the Tridentine Latin Mass was never abrogated and all priests had the right to offer this Mass at any time, in public or private, without any "permission" from a bishop.

Called the Mass of the Ages, the Most Beautiful Thing This Side of Heaven, the Mass of Blessed John XXIII, the Tridentine Latin Mass, and most recently, the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, this Mass truly is one of the most beautiful forms of worship for the Catholic Church. Below are links concerning the Tridentine Mass. On July 7, 2007, the motu proprio by Pope Benedict XVI, Summorum Pontificum, was issued and thereby allowed a wider usage of the Sacraments according to the 1962 Missal.

After years of waiting, finally on July 7, 2007, the motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum, allowing a wider usage of the Sacraments according to the 1962 Missal was published. Pope Benedict has an official letter to the Bishops on the topic of this motu proprio.

Visit the Vatican's website for the Latin text of the actual motu proprio. In essence, the document affirmed that the Tridentine Mass – the way that the Mass was celebrated for centuries leading up to the 2nd Vatican Council – was never abrogated and such can and should still be said. The text of the document can be found under the Catechism References in today’s lesson.

Quoting from the text, pay particular attention to the following line by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI: "It is, therefore, permissible to celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass following the typical edition of the Roman Missal promulgated by John XXIII in 1962 and never abrogated, as an extraordinary form of the Liturgy of the Church"

Every action of the priest in the Tridentine Mass – unlike in the Novus Ordo – is regulated by established laws.  The single greatest source of these rules in the English language is The Celebration of Mass: A Study of the Rubrics of the Roman Missal available for purchase online.  The Tridentine Mass truly made it possible for Catholics to attend a uniform Mass anywhere in the world.  If you were in Rome, China, America, etc you would truly have seen and heard Mass in the same manner, which unfortunately is not the case today.

One common complaint against the Traditional Latin Mass is that the priest faces “away” from the people.  In all actuality, this is incorrect.  The priest faces in the same direction “with” the people.  It is the priest who stands before the people as He faces our Lord – truly present before Him in the tabernacle.  This is the ancient way of saying Mass and has been done for centuries.

The priest faces “ad orientem” meaning that he faces Eastward, which is theologically important because that is the direction from which the Sun rises.  Jesus Christ, the Sun that never sets, will one day come again from the East.  The ad orientem orientation is opposed to that called versus populum, in which the celebrating priest faces the people.  In 7th century England, Catholic churches were built so that on the very feast day of the saint in whose honor they were named, Mass could be offered on an altar while directly facing the rising sun (Andrew Louth, "The Body in Western Catholic Christianity," in Religion and the Body, ed. by Sarah Coakley, Cambridge, 2007 p 120). 

On 13 January 2008, Pope Benedict XVI publicly celebrated Mass in the Sistine Chapel ad orientem.  He celebrated Mass facing the altar in the Sistine Chapel annually for the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.

“... When a general leads his troops into battle does he face them? When a representative of the people approaches the Ruler on their behalf does he face them? When a priest is going to the Lord on behalf of his people should he face them? When the priest is acting as the intermediary between the people and God he faces the Altar. When he is dispensing the gifts of God, or speaking to the people, he faces the people” (Fr. Joseph Santos of the Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island).

David Martin is the author ofVatican II: A Historic Turning Point.  He appeared in a Guest Column on the Remnant Newspaper on the important topic of "Turning the Altars Away from Facing God".  We quote below from his piece. 

In contemplating the spiritual blight of these last times, due consideration must be given to the liturgical reform of Vatican II since this was the hub that set into motion a new order of liturgical chaos that has all but extinguished the Faith and bedimmed the planet.

Christ gave us His Church that it might be a light to the nations signified by the Latin word, Lumen Gentium. The light of tradition emanating from the old Latin Mass is that Lumen Gentium wherewith to attract the world to Christ, but by removing this after the Council the church lapsed into a spiritual eclipse that has since scattered the flock and left the world in the dark, fulfilling the prophesy of Our Lady at La Salette: "The Church will be in eclipse, the world will be in dismay." (1846)

That is to say, the political and sociological debacle of our time is really a crisis of Faith, which means the solution to the crisis rests on the shoulders of the Catholic hierarchy. If the Church were in good shape as in former times, it would again be a powerful beacon to dispel the darkness and illuminate the nations, but as it stands the agents of darkness are having a field day and are overshadowing the Faith because the light of True Faith is merely flickering today because poor liturgical practice.

The very crux of the problem has been the practice of having the priest say Mass facing the people (versus populum), since it has brought about a shift of focus where the emphasis today is on the community instead of on God. According to Monsignor Klaus Gamber whom Cardinal Ratzinger [The future Pope Benedict XVI] proclaimed as a prophet for our time, the turning around of the altars after Vatican II was the most destructive of the post-conciliar reforms, citing that "there is no basis for it in liturgical history, nor theology, nor sociologically." He points out that "changes in the traditional liturgy also mean a change of faith itself" and goes on to say..
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Thursday, July 2, 2015
What Does "Son of God" Mean? How is Jesus the "Son of God"?
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There is a pernicious error present in our world amongst those outside of the Church, who claim that Jesus Christ is the "Son of God" and that means He is not God Himself.  This blasphemous error attacks the very core of what we profess: belief in the Holy Trinity. 

Is Jesus Christ truly and really God?  Yes, He is.  But is He also the "Son of God"?  Yes, He is.  Then what do we mean when we say He is the Son of God if He is God?  Let's explore this now so as to refute those who are in error.

The Catholic Encyclopedia entry on "Son of God" serves as a good basis:
The title "son of God" is frequent in the Old Testament. The word "son" was employed among the Semites to signify not only filiation, but other close connexion or intimate relationship...The title "son of God" was applied in the Old Testament to persons having any special relationship with God. Angels, just and pious men, the descendants of Seth, were called "sons of God" (Job 1:6; 2:1; Psalm 89:7; Wisdom 2:13; etc.). In a similar manner it was given to Israelites (Deuteronomy 14:50); and of Israel, as a nation, we read: "And thou shalt say to him: Thus saith the Lord: Israel is my son, my firstborn. I have said to thee: Let my son go, that he may serve me" (Exodus 4:22 sq.).

The title "the Son of God" is frequently applied to Jesus Christ in the Gospels and Epistles. In the latter it is everywhere employed as a short formula for expressing His Divinity (Sanday); and this usage throws light on the meaning to be attached to it in many passages of the Gospels. The angel announced: "He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most High... the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God" (Luke 1:32, 35). Nathaniel, at his first meeting, called Him the Son of God (John 1:49). The devils called Him by the same name, the Jews ironically, and the Apostles after He quelled the storm. In all these cases its meaning was equivalent to the Messias, at least. But much more is implied in the confession of St. Peter, the testimony of the Father, and the words of Jesus Christ.
And so we see the title "Son of God" is not meant to refer to filiation in that Jesus is the Son of a Father and not equal to the Father in the way that I might be called the son of my earthly father.  Rather, His title of "Son of God" is rather meant to express His Divinity and show His inseparable connection with His Heavenly Father, the 1st Person of the Blessed Trinity.

So the next time you hear someone erroneous claim that Jesus Christ is not God since He is the "Son of God," all you need to do is refute the errors using Scripture as your guide.  Remember, the errors of Arianism which claim that Jesus is not God are still very much around yet to this day.  For good measure, be sure you understand the basic Theology of the Holy Trinity.
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Tuesday, June 30, 2015
The Year of Mercy: What is Mercy?
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With the announcement of a Year of Mercy by Pope Francis, we should start by asking ourselves "what is mercy?"  And let us follow up that question with another: "what does mercy require of me?"  Far too many think mercy is a nothing more than a complacency with sin in practice: "God loves me.  I am forgiven.  I can go and not feel bad about my sins."

On the contrary, true mercy is found in prayer and penance.  It is found in our spiritual works of mercy: admonishing sinners to repent, go to Confession, and reunite themselves with the Sacraments.  True mercy is not a "feel good ideal" similar to how the protestants view salvation.  True mercy is inseparable from Catholic notions of penance.

Bishop Fellay in his Letter of May 2015 provided a reflection on True Mercy.  The following an except from that document:
What exactly is [mercy] about? In itself mercy is a word that is dear to the heart of every Catholic, because it designates the most touching manifestation of God’s love for us. In past centuries the apparitions of the Sacred Heart were nothing but a more intense revelation of this mercy of God toward mankind. The same must be said about devotion to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Nevertheless true mercy, which implies this initial, extremely touching movement of God toward the sinner and His misery, continues in a moment of the creature’s conversion to God: “God desires not the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live” (cf. Ezek 33:11). Hence the Gospels insist on the duty of conversion, renunciation and penance.  Our Lord went so far as to say: “Unless you do penance, you shall all perish” (cf. Lk 13:5).

This call to conversion is the heart of the Gospel, which we find in St. John the Baptist as well as in St. Peter. When sinners, touched by preaching, ask what they must do, they hear only this recommendation: “be converted and do penance.” The Blessed Virgin in her apparitions in recent centuries, both in La Salette and in Lourdes or Fatima, says nothing different: “prayer and penance”.

Now the new preachers of a new mercy insist so much on the first step taken by God toward human beings who are lost because of sin, ignorance and misery that they too often omit this second movement, which must come from the creature: repentance, conversion, the rejection of sin. Ultimately, the new mercy is nothing but complacency about sin. God loves you... no matter what.
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Commemoration of St. Paul
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Each year on June 30th, the day after the Feast of Ss. Peter and Paul, the Church liturgically commemorates St. Paul. 

As stated by the great Liturgist Dom Gueranger:
On the twenty-ninth of June, in the year 67, whilst Peter, having crossed the Tiber by the triumphal bridge, was drawing nigh to the cross prepared for him on the Vatican plain, another martyrdom was being consummated on the left bank of the same river. Paul, as he was led along the Ostian Way, was also followed by a group of the faithful who mingled with the escort of the condemned.
His sentence was that he should be beheaded at the Salvian waters. A two miles' march brought the soldiers to a path leading eastwards, by which they led their prisoner to the place fixed upon for his martyrdom. Paul fell on his knees, addressing his last prayer to God; then having bandaged his eyes, he awaited the death-stroke. A soldier brandished his sword, and the apostle's head, as it was severed from the trunk, made three bounds along the ground; three fountains immediately sprang up on these several spots.
Such is the local tradition; and to this day three fountains are to be seen on the site of his martyrdom, over each of which an altar is raised.
 COLLECT PRAYER

O God, You have instructed many nations through the preaching of the blessed apostle Paul. Let the power of his intercession with You help us who venerate his memory this day. Through our Lord...

COMMEMORATION OF SAINT PETER 

O God, You have entrusted the keys of the kingdom of heaven to Your blessed apostle Peter and have given him the power of bishop to bind or to loose. May his intercession free us from the slavery of sin; who lives and rules with God the Father . . .
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Sunday, June 28, 2015
Faces of Christ: Catholic Art Website
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I receive regular updates from the Catholic Artists Society.  Today I received an update worth sharing:
Our latest update: We are now taking donations at the www.Faces-of-Christ.com website or www.Catholic-Artists-Conference.com. With your support now we can make the 100 piece collection U.S. tour of the Faces of Christ from Europe happen in 2016-2017. The conference is a fund raiser and the kick-off to the U.S. tour coming to major cities in the U.S. After Omaha. There will be much media about the subjects discussed at the conference including coverage by EWTN.

We are taking ads in the program to be distributed widely at each tour venue. In addition to Chicago, Washington DC, Denver, Dallas, Pittsburgh, we are looking for venues in San Francisco, New York, Dayton, Hartford, and Philadelphia. Our success depends upon YOU, God Bless.
Please consider supporting the work of this organization to produce and make available truly good (good, true, & beautiful) Catholic art.

One of the beautiful images from the www.Faces-of-Christ.com website is visible at the top of this page.
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Thursday, June 25, 2015
Video: The Traditional Dominican Foundation of Belgium
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As I mentioned previously, I am in the processing of becoming a Third Order Dominican.  The specific community that I will be attached is located in Belgium.

In this video, Fr. Albert, who I know personally, shares some wonderful insight into the spirituality of the Dominican Order.  I share this for those of you who may benefit from knowing more about the mission of St. Dominic's order.

St. Dominic, pray for us!
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To Form Future Priests: The New Seminary Project of the SSPX
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The seminary is all about forming priests. We're a priestly society, we take care of faithful, we take care of parishes, but we need priests to do that.

Of all the projects that we could possibly do in the Society, this new seminary is the most important project.

The formation of the seminarians, which is the formation of the priests, is the formation of the officers of the Church. When you support the formation of the seminarians, you support the building of the Church.

It's fitting, perfectly fitting, that we do all we can, all our best, to build seminaries, and to form vocations, to form future priests, the future of the Church.
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Wednesday, June 24, 2015
10 Ways to Fight Sins Against Purity
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  1. Constant prayer. Hence the admonition of the wise King; As I knew that I could not otherwise be continent, except God gave it, I went to the Lord and besought him. (Wisd. 8:21)
  2. Mortification of the flesh by fasting and abstinence. Jesus says these impure spirits can in no other way be cast out but by prayer and fasting. (Matt. 17:20)
  3. The frequent meditation on the four last things, and on the bitter sufferings of our Lord; for there is, says St. Augustine, no means more powerful and effective against the heat of lust than reflection on the ignominious death of the Redeemer.
  4. The quiet consideration of the temporal and eternal evils which follow from this vice, as already described.
  5. The love and veneration of the Blessed Virgin who is the mother of beautiful love, the refuge of all sinners, of whom St. Bernard says: "No one has ever invoked her in his necessity without being heard."
  6. The careful mortification of the eyes. The pious Job made a covenant with his eyes, that. he would not so much as look upon a virgin. (Job 31:1)
  7. The avoidance of evil occasions, especially intercourse with persons of the other sex. "Remember," says St. Jerome, "that a woman drove out the inhabitants of paradise, and that you are not holier than David, stronger than Samson, wiser than Solomon, who all fell by evil intercourse."
  8. The avoidance of idleness: for idleness, says the proverb, is the beginning of all evil.
  9. The immediate banishing of all bad thoughts by often pronouncing the names of Jesus and Mary, which, as St. Alphonsus Ligouri says, have the special power of driving away impure thoughts.
  10. The frequent use of the holy Sacraments of Penance and of the Altar. This last remedy in particular is a certain cure if we make known to our confessor our weaknesses, and use the remedies he prescribes. The Scripture says that frequent Communion is the seed from which virgins spring, and the table which God has prepared against all temptations that annoy us.
 Source: Fr. Goffine's The Church's Year
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