O God, who through Saint Romuald renewed the manner of life of hermits in your Church, grant that, denying ourselves and following Christ, we may merit to reach the heavenly realms on high. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
St. Romuald was born in Ravenna of a noble family. Founder of the Camaldolese monks — one of the Italian branches of the Benedictines — in which the eremitical life is combined with life in community.
Every Catholic Should Know these facts about the Holy Mass and the Holy Eucharist.
1. When the Eucharistic is being celebrated, the Sanctuary is filled with countless angels who adore the divine victim immolated on the altar. ~St. John Chrysostom
2. The angels surround and help the priest when he is celebrating Mass. ~St. Augustine
3. If we really understood the Mass, we would die of joy. ~St. Jean Vianney
4. The celebration of Holy Mass is as valuable as the death of Jesus on the cross. ~St. Thomas Aquinas
The exhumed body of St. Padre Pio lies in a glass sepulchre in the crypt of the saint’s shrine in San Giovanni Rotondo, southern Italy
Before the death of Padre Pio he shared the story of his most painful and bloody wound with Fr. Wojtyla (St. Pope John Paul II)
Years after World War II, young Fr Karol Wojtyla who was futhering his education in Rome then, journeyed into rural Italy so that he could spend nearly a week in San Giovanni Rotondo and be in the company of Padre Pio. At that time, crowd have not begin to push around Padre Pio so much then, so the young Fr Wojtyla had the opportunity to speak at length with the Franciscan who called himself the ‘humble friar who prays’.
On February 11, 1858 a 14 year-old girl named Bernadette Soubirous witnessed the first of 18 visions of her blessed Virgin Mary at a grotto near Lourdes, France. The first apparition appeared when Bernadette was gathering wood with her sister and a friend. Bernadette heard a noise like a gust of wind and looked up toward the grotto. She described what she saw: “I saw a lady dressed in white. She wore a white dress, an equally white veil, a blue belt and a yellow rose on each foot.”
Upon seeing the Lady, who had a Rosary draped over her right arm, Bernadette began praying the Rosary. When the prayer ended the Lady suddenly vanished. On a subsequent visit to the grotto, the lady spoke. Bernadette asked the Lady to write down her name, and the Lady replied: “It is not necessary,” and then added, “I do not promise to make you happy in this world, but in the next. Would you be kind enough to come here for a fortnight?” In the weeks that followed, there were several more apparitions of the Lady at the grotto.
One of the Sisters ran to the relics, next to the tabernacle, and prayed, ‘Shepherds, save this child, who is a child like you!’”
The Brazilian parents of the boy whose miraculous healing led to Saturday’s canonization of two of the Fatima children spoke recently of what happened.
“On March 3, 2013, before 8:00 p.m., our son Lucas, who was playing with his little sister Eduarda, fell out of a window from a height of 20 feet. He was five years old,” related the boy’s father, Joao Batista.
During a press conference held in advance of the pope’s arrival, João and his wife Lucila Yurie spoke amidst tears at the Fatima Shrine . The two Fatima visionaries, Jacinta and Francisco, were canonized by Pope Francis on Saturday 13th May, the 100th anniversary of the apparitions at Fatima.
Pope Francis on Saturday officially declared Francisco and Jacinta Marto saints of the Catholic Church in front of hundreds of thousands of pilgrims at Fatima, Portugal – teaching us that even young children can become saints.
“For the honor of the Blessed Trinity, the exaltation of the Catholic faith and the increase of the Christian life, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and our own, after due deliberation and frequent prayer for divine assistance, and having sought the counsel of many of our brother Bishops, we declare and define Blessed Francisco Marto and Jacinta Marto to be saints,” Pope Francis exclaimed May 13 as the crowd roared with applause.
“We enroll them among the Saints, decreeing that they are to be venerated as such by the whole Church. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
Pope Francis presided over their canonization Mass during his two-day pilgrimage to Fatima, Portugal May 12-13 to take part in celebrations for the 100th anniversary of the appearance of Our Lady of Fatima.
Eternal Father, I thank you for the grace you gave to your servant, Edel Quinn, of striving to live always in the joy of your presence, for the radiant charity infused into her heart by your Holy Spirit and for the strength she drew from the Bread of Life to labour until death for the glory of Your name in loving dependence on Mary, Mother of the Church.
Confident, O Merciful Father, that her life was pleasing to you, I beg you to grant me, through her intercession, the special favour I now implore ……….., and to make known by miracles the glory she enjoys in Heaven, so that she may be glorified also by your Church on earth, through Christ Our Lord, Amen
(With ecclesiastical approval)
Quote of the Day
As priests we are called to lead people to holiness: this is what we are called to do: it is at the heart of the Legion’s teaching and system, and is what we see first of all in Edel’s life.
She got it right. At the heart of her day was prayer, and at the heart of that was the Eucharist – Mass and Adoration.
Fr. John Hogan, Diocese of Meath
The children were given a horrifying vision, but were also shown a pathway to heaven.
The Catechism affirms the existence of hell, but describes a more severe punishment than being burned for eternity.
The teaching of the Catholic Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, ‘eternal fire.’ The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs (CCC 1035).
This explanation of the Catechism is enough reason to fear hell. We should fear the fact of spending eternity separated from the God who loves us so much.
In 1917, When Our Lady appeared to the three shepherd children at Fatima Portugal, she allowed them to see a vision that would scare any child (or adult). They saw before them a “vast sea of fire” and in it, many souls being tormented. Continue reading
– The relics will be displayed in 12 locations, including in California, Nebraska and New York
Incorrupt body of Saint Padre Pio
Relics of St Padre Pio, a Capuchin priest who bore the stigmata of Jesus, will be on public display in several US dioceses and archdioceses in May and again in the autumn.
The Saint Pio Foundation announced that the tour corresponds with the 130th anniversary of the Italian-born saint’s birth.
The tour will include 12 locations nationwide starting on May 6-8 at the Cathedral of Ss Peter and Paul in Philadelphia.
Hours that each site will be open for veneration and other events related to the tour were to be announced by each diocese.
Additional stops include:
— May 9 at St Paul Cathedral, Pittsburgh. Continue reading
THE DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY (FEAST OF DIVINE MERCY)
On the Second Sunday of Easter of the Jubilee Year 2000, at the Mass for the canonization of St. Faustina Kowalska, Pope John Paul II proclaimed to the world that “from now on throughout the Church” this Sunday will be called “Divine Mercy Sunday.” Our Lord insisted that it be celebrated on a specific day – the Sunday after Easter!
Our Lord revealed to St. Faustina His desire to literally flood us with His graces on that day. Just consider each of the promises and desires that He expressed about Mercy Sunday, which are recorded in the main passage of the Diary — passage 699 — about Mercy Sunday:
“On that day the very depths of My tender Mercy are open.
I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon these souls who approach the Fount of My mercy [the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist]. The soul that will go to Confession [beforehand] and receive Holy Communion [on that day] shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. On that day all the divine floodgates through which grace flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet. The Feast of Mercy emerged from My very depths of tenderness. It is My desire that it be solemnly celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter.”
In general, St. Faustina was constantly comforted by the thought — and sometimes given supernatural assurance — that we are not alone in our struggles for faith and love, but are surrounded (whether we know it or not) by a “great crowd of witnesses” (Heb 12:1).
When she was dangerously ill, a radiant seraph brought her Holy Communion for 13 days –
St. Faustina Writes:
“In the evening, the sister [Sister David] who was to look after me came and said:
‘Tomorrow you will not receive the Lord Jesus, Sister, because you are very tired; later on, we shall see.’
IF we separate familiarity from love, we deprive it of its delight and sweetness, and when Aristotle judged that there could be no friendship between God and men, it was because he considered the familiar communications which are inseparable from it, derogatory to the profound respect which they owe to the Divinity, and dangerous on account of the liberty which they might allow themselves, and which would be capable of drawing down His hatred and aversion and because this philosopher never knew the tenderness of God towards men, nor the mystery of the incarnation, by which He has made Himself like them.
The Christian religion, more enlightened in its sentiments, recognizes a perfect friendship between God and the just man by grace, and believes that God does not only honour by familiarity those souls who love Him tenderly, but that he bestows on them favours which we may call a delicious foretaste of the happiness prepared for them in Heaven.
Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, German Stigmatic and Victim Soul (1774-1824).
Anna Katharina Emmerick (or Anne Catherine Emmerich in English) was born on September 8, 1774 at Flamske, Westphalia, West Germany, to a small farming family. Her parents, Bernard Emmerich and Anne Hiller, were poor peasants, but very devout and pious. Anne Catherine was baptized at the St. James Church at Coesfeld. As a child, she spent alot of her time as a maid and seamstress until her entrance into the Augustinian Order on November 13, 1803.
* The Holy Father has approved the second and final miracle needed to canonize blessed Francisco and Jacinta Marto
* Pope Francis will preside over their canonization himself while in Fatima May 12-13 for the centenary of the apparitions. Click here to see the schedule of his visit.
On Thursday Pope Francis approved the second and final miracle needed to canonize Blesseds Francisco and Jacinta Marto, two of the shepherd children who witnessed the Fatima Marian apparitions.
The Pope approved the miracle in a March 23 audience with Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, during which he advanced six other causes, approving one other miracle, two causes for martyrdom and three causes of heroic virtue.
Francisco and Jacinta are the youngest non-martyrs to be beatified in the history of the Church. Continue reading
The familiar intercourse that existed between Anne Catherine and her angel-guardian ever visible to her, is but a repetition of what all souls enjoy who have been raised to high contemplation. The gift of supernatural intuition is for man so weighty a burden, it is exposed to such risks in his possession, it exacts so great purity of soul that, for him to use it rightly, special assistance is necessary. He must follow a guide in the boundless spheres unveiled to the eye of contemplation.
She said once, speaking on this subject:
“I see the angels without aureolas (ie. “halos”). They appear to me, indeed, under a human form with faces and hair, but they are more delicate, more noble, more beautiful than men. They are immaterial, perfectly luminous and transparent, but in different degrees. Continue reading
St. Rose of Lima’s Encounter With The Devil.
If the angels loved and respected her, the devils on the other hand, had so great an aversion for her that there was nothing they did not attempt in order to make her feel the effects of their hatred and fury.
The devil attacked her once in her cell in the form of a giant. He tried for a long time to bite her, but was prevented by the power of God from tearing her in pieces. He seized her and dragged her furiously on the ground, till this chaste virgin entreated the protection of her Divine Spouse by these words of the royal prophet, “Lord, do not abandon to the tryannical fury of these hellish monsters those who hope in thee.” Then the enemy immediately fled.
Solemnity of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Grant, we pray, almighty God, that by Saint Joseph’s intercession your Church may constantly watch over the unfolding of the mysteries of human salvation, whose beginnings you entrusted to his faithful care. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
St. Joseph, the spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the foster-father of Jesus, was probably born in Bethlehem and probably died in Nazareth. His important mission in God’s plan of salvation was “to legally insert Jesus Christ into the line of David from whom, according to the prophets, the Messiah would be born, and to act as his father and guardian” (Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy). Most of our information about St. Joseph comes from the opening two chapters of St. Matthew’s Gospel. No words of his are recorded in the Gospels; he was the “silent” man. We find no devotion to St. Joseph in the early Church. It was the will of God that the Virgin Birth of Our Lord be first firmly impressed upon the minds of the faithful. He was later venerated by the great saints of the Middle Ages. Pius IX (1870) declared him patron and protector of the universal family of the Church.
This Solemnity normally falls on March 19 but has been transferred since it falls on a Sunday.
Historians remember St. Rose of Lima for her piety and chastity. Born in 1586 in Lima, Peru to Spanish colonists, and named Isabel Flores de Olivia, she was exceptionally beautiful.
Her beauty was so great that she was nicknamed “Rose,” a name that remains with her to this day. According to legend, a servant had a vision where her face turned into a rose. At her confirmation in 1597, she officially took the name of Rose.
From an early age, Rose wanted to become a nun. She often prayed and fasted in secret. She performed secret penances, some of which were painful and severe. She performed daily adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and took daily communion.
*Saint Patrick’s Breastplate also known as The Lorica of Saint Patrick or The Cry of the Deer.
St. Patrick’s Breastplate is a popular prayer attributed to one of Ireland’s most beloved patron saints. According to tradition, St. Patrick wrote it in 433 A.D. for divine protection before successfully converting the Irish King Leoghaire and his subjects from paganism to Christianity. (The term breastplate refers to a piece of armor worn in battle.)
More recent scholarship suggests its author was anonymous. In any case, this prayer certainly reflects the spirit with which St. Patrick brought our faith to Ireland! St. Patrick’s Breastplate, also known as The Lorica of Saint Patrick was popular enough to inspire a hymn based on this text as well. (This prayer has also been called The Cry of the Deer.)
I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
of the Creator of creation.
Padre Pio, a well-known Catholic cleric, had close relationships with not only his guardian angel but other angels as well.
Padre Pio, born in 1887 of simple farm people in Pietrelcina, Italy, was a monk who had the stigmata, the marks of Christ’s crucifixion, etched in his hands, feet, and side, as did the founder of his order, St. Francis. Despite his own fragile health, he devoted his life to building homes for the sick, the handicapped, and the elderly.
Padre Pio had a particularly interesting relationship with angels. It is said that he “met” his own guardian angel as a youngster and occasionally received counsel from him; later, the two communicated in both prayerful and humorous dialogues.
Saint Gemma Galgani, a young mystic who died at the age of 25 in 1903, enjoyed the grace of the constant sight of her guardian angel.
Born in 1878 in Lucca, Italy, she was outstanding for her angelic purity, child-like simplicity, candor, and innocence, virtues that no doubt help account for the special privilege she received. Gemma’s confessor and biographer provides us with details of her familiarity with her guardian angel.
“Gemma,” he writes, “saw him with her eyes, touched him with her hand as if he were a being of this world, remained talking with him as one friend with another. ‘Jesus has not left me alone,’ she said. ‘He makes my guardian angel stay with me always….’
Venerable Antonietta Meo, Nennolina 1930 – 1937.
A very special little girl from Italy named Antonietta Meo, died of bone cancer at the very young age of six and a half in her home in the city of Rome on 3rd July, 1937. She was called by another name, just like the nick names or pet names our parents have for us. This name by which she was affectionately known was Nennolina.
Nennolina was from a fairly wealthy family and was very much loved by her parents and her sister Margherita. Her home life was happy and she was a very playful, joyful and quite a mischievous child.
At the age of three, she went to nursery school with religious sisters and she enjoyed it immensely. The sisters told her parents that she was an intelligent child who had a facility for learning. She got on very well with all her fellow school pupils and was very popular with them due to her kindness and her personality. She also had a great sense of humour and her teachers remarked on this fact.
Venerable Marthe Robin (1902-1981) -French Mystic, Stigmatic, Victim Soul and Foundress of the Foyer de Charite.
Source for this information is from the excellent book “Marthe Robin- The Cross and the Joy” by Rev Raymond Peyret, 1983, Alba House Publishers –Society of St Paul. Imprimatur R. Glas, Vicar General, Valence, availible from Alba House-St Pauls here.
Marthe Robin was born on March 13, 1902 in Chateauneuf de Galaure, France in a region known as “the Plain”. She was one of six children. Her father Joseph, was a good natured farmer, not very religious in that he only went to Mass on Easter and big Feast days, although towards the end of his life, due to Marthe’s extraordinary example and virtue, he had a deep conversion and “died a saint” according to a statement made by Marthe. Her mother, Amelie-Celeste Chosson, was a happy and gracious housewife and mother, and like her husband, was not initially devout in religious practice, however she too had a deep conversion towards the end of her life, once again presumably through the holy influence and example of Marthe.
For you, it will be suffering -First illness.
Beginning in May, 1918 at age 16, Marthe began experiencing painful headaches. On November 25th she collapsed in her kitchen and was unable to get up without assistance. The Doctor was sent for and it was thought that she had encephalitis. At times she would often cry out in pain. During this time she had her first vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary; her sister Alice who was in the bedroom with her, saw a great light that surrounded the room, but she herself did not see the Blessed Mother.
Offering herself to the Love and Will of God.
Imagine being able to sit at the feet of the apostles and hear their stories of life with Jesus from their own lips. Imagine walking with those who had walked with Jesus, seen him, and touched him. That was what Polycarp was able to do as a disciple of Saint John the Evangelist.
But being part of the second generation of Church leaders had challenges that the first generation could not teach about. What did you do when those eyewitnesses were gone? How do you carry on the correct teachings of Jesus? How do you answer new questions that never came up before?
With the apostles gone, heresies sprang up pretending to be true teaching, persecution was strong, and controversies arose over how to celebrate liturgy that Jesus never laid down rules for. Continue reading