was a noble Roman lady, and after many
torments finished her triumph by the sword, about the year 275. Her
relics are preserved in the ancient church which bears her name in Rome,
and gives title to a cardinal. She is mentioned in the sacramentary of
St. Gregory, and in almost all western Martyrologies. The acts of her
martyrdom deserve no regard: St. Paul, in the last chapter of his
epistle to the Romans, salutes Aquila, a person of Pontus, of Jewish
extraction, and Priscilla, whom he and all churches thanked, because
they had exposed themselves for his sake. He mentions the church which
assembled in their house, which he attributes to no other among the
twenty-five Christians whom he saluted, and were then at Rome. This
agrees with the immemorial tradition at Rome, that St. Peter consecrated
an altar, and baptized there in an urn of stone, which is now kept in
the church of St. Prisca. Aquila and Priscilla are still honoured in
this church, as titular patrons with our saint, and a considerable part
of their relics lies under the altar. Aquila and Priscilla were tent
makers, and lived at Corinth, when they were banished from Rome under
Claudius: she who is called Priscilla in the Acts of the Apostles, the
Epistles to the Romans, and first to the Corinthians, is named Prisca in
the second to Timothy. See the Roman Martyrology on the 18th of January
and the 8th of July; also Chatelain, not. p. 333.
Saint Prisca, please pray for us [state your prayer.]
ANTONY, PATRIARCH OF MONKS
FEAST DAY: JANUARY 17TH
following teaching is from the Book:PICTORIAL LIVES OF THE SAINTS,
compiled from "Butler's Lives" and other approved sources, Benziger Brothers,
SAINT ANTONY was born in the year 251, in UpperEgypt. Hearing at Mass the words, "If thou wilt be perfect, go,
sell what thou hast, and give to the poor," he gave away all his vast
possessions. He then begged an aged hermit to teach him the spiritual life. He
also visited various solitaries, copying in himself the principal virtue of
each. To serve God more perfectly, Antony entered the desert and immured himself
in a ruin, building up the door so that none could enter. Here the devils
assaulted him most furiously, appearing as various monsters, and even wounding
him severely; but his courage never failed, and he overcame them all by
confidence in God and by the sign of the cross. One night, whilst Antony, was in
his solitude, many devils scourged him so terribly that he lay as if dead. A
friend found him thus, and believing him dead carried him home. But when Antony
came to himself he persuaded his friend to carry him, in spite of his wounds,
back to his solitude. Here, prostrate from weakness, he defied the devils,
saying, "I fear you not; you cannot separate me from the love of Christ." After
more vain assaults the devils fled, and Christ appeared to Antony in glory. His
only food was bread and water, which he never tasted before sunset, and
sometimes only once in two, three, or four days. He wore sackcloth and
sheepskin, and he often knelt in prayer from sunset to sunrise. Many souls
flocked to him for advice, and after twenty years of solitude he consented to
guide them in holiness--thus founding the first monastery. His numerous miracles
attracted such multitudes that he fled again into solitude, where he lived by
manual labor. He expired peacefully at a very advanced age. St. Athanasius, his
biographer, says that the mere knowledge of how St. Antony lived is a good guide
to virtue. He died in the year 356.
more violent were the assaults of temptation suffered by St. Antony, the more
firmly did he grasp his weapons, namely, mortification and prayer. Let us
imitate him in this if we wish to obtain victories like his.
INTERCESSORY PRAYER: Today let us call upon Saint
Antony to help us overcome all our spiritual difficulties and to help us ward
off the assaults of the demons (which never sleep).
ST. PAUL was born in Upper Egypt, about the
year 230, and became an orphan at the age of fifteen, being very rich and highly
educated. Fearing lest the tortures of a terrible persecution might endanger his
perseverance, he retired into a remote village. But his pagan brother-in-law
denounced him, and St. Paul, rather than remain where his faith was in
danger, entered the barren desert, trusting that God would supply his wants. And
his confidence was rewarded ; for in the spot to which Providence led him he
found the fruit of the palm-tree for food, and its leaves for clothing, and the
water of the spring for drink. His first de-sign was to return to the world when
the persecution was over, but tasting great delights in prayer and penance, he
remained the rest of his life, ninety years, in penance, prayer, and
contemplation. God revealed his existence to St. Antony, who sought him for
three days. Seeing a thirsty she-wolf run through an opening in the rocks,
Antony followed her to look for water, and found Paul. They knew each other at
once, and praised God together. When St. Antony visited him, a raven brought him
a loaf, and St. Paul said, " See how good God is ! For sixty years this bird has
brought me half a loaf every day ; now thou art come, Christ has doubled the
provision for His servants." Having passed the night in prayer, at dawn of day
Paul told Antony he was about to die, and asked to be buried in the cloak given
to Antony by St. Athanasias. Antony hastened to fetch it, and on his way back
saw Paul rise to heaven in glory. He found his dead body kneeling as if in
prayer, and two lions came and dug his grave. Paul died in his one hundred and
REFLECTION.—We shall never repent of having trusted in God for he cannot fail
those who lean on him ; nor shall we ever trust in ourselves without being
INTERCESSORY PRAYER: SAINT PAUL THE
HERMIT, PRAY FOR US TODAY [STATE YOUR PRAYER REQUEST.]
St. Felix of Nola, Priest and Confessor
IT is observed by the judicious Tillemont, with regard
to the life of this saint, that we might doubt of its wonderful circumstances,
were they not supported by the authority of a Paulinus; but that great miracles
ought to be received with the greater veneration, when authorized by
St. Felix was a native of Nola, a Roman colony in
Campania, fourteen miles from Naples, where his father Hermias, who was by birth
a Syrian, and had served in the army, had purchased an estate and settled
himself. He had two sons, Felix and Hermias, to whom at his death he left his
patrimony. The younger sought preferment in the world among the lovers of
vanity, by following the profession of arms, which at that time was the surest
road to riches and honours. Felix, to become in effect what his name in Latin
imported, that is happy, resolved to follow no other standard than that of the
King of kings, Jesus Christ. For this purpose, despising all earthly things,
lest the love of them might entangle his soul, he distributed the better part of
his substance among the poor, and was ordained Reader Exorcist, and, lastly,
priest, by Maximus, the holy bishop of Nola; who, charmed with his sanctity and
prudence, made him his principal support in those times of trouble, and designed
him for his successor. 1 In the year 250, the Emperor Decius raised a bloody
persecution against the church. Maximus, seeing himself principally aimed at,
retired into the desert, not through the fear of death, which he desired, but
rather not to tempt God by seeking it, and to preserve himself for the service
of his flock. The persecutors not finding him, seized on Felix, who in his
absence was very vigilant in the discharge of all his pastoral duties. The
governor caused him to be scourged; then loaded with bolts and chains about his
neck, hands, and legs, and cast into a dungeon, in which, as St. Prudentius
informs us, 2 the floor was spread all over with potsherds and pieces of broken
glass, so that there was no place free from them, on which the saint could
either stand or lie. One night an angel appearing in great glory, filled the
prison with a bright light, and bade St. Felix go and assist his bishop, who was
in great distress. The confessor seeing his chains fall off, and the doors open,
followed his guide, and was conducted by heaven to the place where Maximus lay,
almost perished with hunger and cold, speechless, and without sense: for,
through anxiety for his flock, and the hardships of his solitary retreat, he had
suffered more than a martyrdom. Felix, not being able to bring him to himself,
had recourse to prayer; and discovering thereupon a bunch of grapes within
reach, he squeezed some of the juice into his mouth, which had the desired
effect. The good bishop no sooner beheld his friend Felix, but he embraced him,
and begged to be conveyed back to his church. The saint taking him on his
shoulders, carried him to his episcopal house in the city, before day appeared,
where a pious ancient woman took care of him. 3
Felix, with the blessing of his pastor, repaired
secretly to his own lodgings, and there kept himself concealed, praying for the
church without ceasing, till peace was restored to it by the death of Decius, in
the year 251. He no sooner appeared again in public, but his zeal so exasperated
the pagans, that they came armed to apprehend him; but though they met him, they
knew him not; they even asked him where Felix was, a question he did not think
proper to give a direct answer to! The persecutors going a little further,
perceived their mistake, and returned; but the saint in the mean time had stept
a little out of the way, and crept through a hole in a ruinous old wall, which
was instantly closed up by spiders’ webs. His enemies never imagining any thing
could have lately passed where they saw so close a spiders’ web, after a
fruitless search elsewhere, returned in the evening without their prey. Felix
finding among the ruins, between two houses, an old well half dry, hid himself
in it for six months; and received during that time wherewithal to subsist by
means of a devout Christian woman. Peace being restored to the church by the
death of the emperor, the saint quitted his retreat, and was received in the
city as an angel sent from heaven.
Soon after, St. Maximus dying, all were unanimous for
electing Felix bishop; but he persuaded the people to make choice of Quintus,
because the older priest of the two, having been ordained seven days before him.
Quintus, when bishop, always respected St. Felix as his father, and followed his
advice in every particular. The remainder of the saint’s estate having been
confiscated in the persecution, he was advised to lay claim to it, as others had
done, who thereby recovered what had been taken from them. His answer was, that
in poverty he should be the more secure of possessing Christ. 4 He could not
even be prevailed upon to accept what the rich offered him. He rented a little
spot of barren land, not exceeding three acres, which he tilled with his own
hands, in such manner as to receive his subsistence from it, and to have
something left for alms. Whatever was bestowed on him, he gave immediately to
the poor. If he had two coats, he was sure to give them the better; and often
exchanged his only one for the rags of some beggar. He died in a good old age,
on the fourteenth of January, on which day the Martyrology, under the name of
St. Jerom, and all others of later date mention him. Five churches have been
built at, or near the place, where he was first interred, which was without the
precincts of the city of Nola. His precious remains are at present kept in the
cathedral; but certain portions are at Rome, Benevento, and some other places.
Pope Damasus, in a pilgrimage which he made from Rome to Nola, to the shrine of
this saint, professes, in a short poem which he composed in acknowledgment, that
he was miraculously cured of a distemper through his intercession. St. Paulinus, a Roman senator in the fifth age,
forty-six years after the death of St. Damasus, came from Spain to Nola,
desirous of being porter in the church of St. Felix. He testifies, that crowds
of pilgrims came from Rome, from all other parts of Italy, and more distant
countries, to visit his sepulchre on his festival: he adds, that all brought
some present or other to his church, as wax candles to burn at his tomb,
precious ointments, costly ornaments, and such like; but that for his part, he
offered to him the homage of his tongue, and himself, though an unworthy victim.
5 He everywhere expresses his devotion to this saint in the warmest and
strongest terms, and believes that all the graces he received from heaven were
conferred on him through the intercession of St. Felix. To him he addressed
himself in all his necessities; by his prayers he begged grace in this life, and
glory after death. 6 He describes at large the holy pictures of the whole
history of the Old Testament, which were hung up in the church of St. Felix, and
which inflamed all who beheld them, and were as so many books that instructed
the ignorant. We may read with pleasure the pious sentiments the sight of each
gave St. Paulinus. 7 He relates a great number of miracles that were wrought at
his tomb, as of persons cured of various distempers and delivered from dangers
by his intercession, to several of which he was an eye-witness. He testifies,
that he himself had frequently experienced the most sensible effects of his
patronage, and, by having recourse to him, had been speedily succoured. 8 St.
Austin also has given an account of many miracles performed at his shrine. 9 It
was not formerly allowed to bury any corpse within the walls of cities. The
church of St. Felix, out of the walls of Nola, not being comprised under this
prohibition, many devout Christians sought to be buried in it, that their faith
and devotion might recommend them after death to the patronage of this holy
confessor, upon which head St. Paulinus consulted St. Austin. The holy doctor
answered him by his book, On the Care for the Dead: in which he shows, that the
faith and devotion of such persons would be available to them after death, as
the suffrages and good works of the living in behalf of the faithful departed
are profitable to the latter. See the poems of St. Paulinus on his life,
confirmed by other authentic ancient records, quoted by Tillemont, t. 4. p. 226.
and Ruinart, Acta Sincera, p. 256. Muratori, Anecd. Lat.
Note 1. St. Paulin. Carm. 19, 20. See Natali. 4. [back]
Note 2. De Cor. hymn. 5. [back]
Note 3. Paulin. Carm. 19. [back]
Note 4. Dives egebo Deo; nam Christum pauper habebo. Paulin. Carm. 20. Natali S.
Felicis 5. [back]
————————— Ego munere linguæ.
Nudus opum, famulor, de me mea debita solvens,
Meque ipsum pro me, vilis licet hostia, pendam.
Note 6. Nat. 1, 2, &c. [back]
Note 7. Nat. 9, 10. [back]
Note 8. St. Paulin. Ep. 28 and 36. Carm. 13. 18. 21, 22, 23. 29. &c. [back]
Note 9. St. August. Ep. 78. olim 137. and lib. De curâ pro mortuis, c. 16.
INTERCESSORY PRAYER: SAINT FELIX,
PLEASE PRAY FOR US [STATE YOUR PRAYER.]
ST. HILARY OF POITIERS
FEAST DAY: JANUARY 13TH
[The following is from the book:
PICTORIAL LIVES OF THE SAINTS, COMPILED FROM "BUTLER'S LIVES" AND OTHER
APPROVED SOURCES. BENZIGER BROTHERS, PRINTERS TO THE HOLY APOSTOLIC SEE.]
HILARY was a native of Poitiers, in Aquitaine.
Born and educated a pagan, it was not till near middle age that he embraced
Christianity, moved thereto mainly by the idea of God presented to him in the
Holy Scriptures. He soon converted his wife and daughter, and separated himself
rigidly from all un-Catholic company. In the beginning of his conversion, St.
Hilary would not eat with Jews, or heretics, nor salute them by the way. But
afterwards, for their sake, he relaxed this severity. He entered Holy Orders,
and in 353 was chosen bishop of his native city. Arianism, under the protection
of the Emperor Constantius, was just then in the height of its power, and St.
Hilary found himself called upon to support the orthodox cause in several Gallic
councils, in which Arian bishops formed an overwhelming majority. He was in
consequence accused to the emperor, who banished him to Phrygia. He spent his
three years and more of exile in composing his great works on the Trinity. In
359 he attended the Council of Seleucia, in which Arians, semi-Arians, and
Catholics contended for the mastery. With the deputies of the council he
proceeded to Constantinople, and there so dismayed the heads of the Arian party,
that they prevailed upon the emperor to let him return to Gaul. He traversed
Gaul, Italy, and Illyria, wherever he came discomfiting the heretics, and
procuring the triumph of orthodoxy. After seven or eight years of missionary
travel he returned to Poitiers, where he died in peace in 368.
REFLECTION.—Like St. Hilary, we, too, are
called to a lifelong contest with heretics; we shall succeed in proportion as we
combine hatred of heresy with compassion for its victims.
INTERCESSORY PRAYER: Today, ask Saint Hilary to pray
for the leaders of the Catholic Church, the Pope, the Cardinals and the Bishops.
From his ancient acts, much esteemed by
Baronius, and inserted by Ruinart in his authentic collection. St. Zeno
of Verona made use of them in his forty-ninth sermon on this martyr. See
Tillemont, T. 5. p. 557.
THE TIME of this saint’s martyrdom is not mentioned in his acts; some
place it under Valerian, others under Dioclesian; he seems to have
suffered in some city of Mauritania, probably the capital, Cæsarea. The
fury of the tyrants raged violently, and the devil had instigated his
soldiers to wage, like so many wolves, a bloody war against the servants
of Jesus. Upon the least suspicion they broke into houses, made rigorous
searches, and if they found a Christian, they treated him upon the spot
with the greatest cruelty, their impatience not suffering them to wait
the bringing him before a judge. Every day new sacrileges were
committed; the faithful were compelled to assist at superstitious
sacrifices, to lead victims crowned with flowers through the streets, to
burn incense before idols, and to celebrate the enthusiastic feasts of
Bacchus. Arcadius, seeing his city in great confusion, left his estate,
and withdrew to a solitary place in the neighbouring country, serving
Jesus Christ in watching, prayer, and other exercises of a penitential
life. His flight could not be long a secret; for his not appearing at
the public sacrifices made the governor send soldiers to his house, who
surrounded it, forced open the doors, and finding one of his relations
in it, who said all he could to justify his kinsman’s absence, they
seized him, and the governor ordered him to be kept in close custody
till Arcadius should be taken. The martyr, informed of his friend’s
danger, and burning with a desire to suffer for Christ, went into the
city, and presenting himself to the judge, said: “If on my account you
detain my innocent relation in chains, release him; I, Arcadius, am come
in person to give an account of myself, and to declare to you, that he
knew not where I was.” “I am willing,” answered the judge, “to pardon
not only him, but you also, on condition that you will sacrifice to the
gods.” Arcadius replied, “How can you propose to me such a thing? Do you
not know the Christians, or do you believe that the fear of death will
ever make me swerve from my duty? Jesus Christ is my life, and death is
my gain. Invent what torments you please; but know that nothing shall
make me a traitor to my God.” The governor, in a rage, paused to devise
some unheard-of torment for him. Iron hooks seemed too easy; neither
plummets of lead, nor cudgels could satisfy his fury; the very rack he
thought by much too gentle. At last imagining he had found a manner of
death suitable to his purpose, he said to the ministers of his cruelty,
“Take him, and let him see and desire death, without being able to
obtain it. Cut off his limbs joint by joint, and execute this so slowly,
that the wretch may know what it is to abandon the gods of his ancestors
for an unknown deity.” The executioners dragged Arcadius to the place,
where many other victims of Christ had already suffered: a place dear
and sweet to all who sigh after eternal life. Here the martyr lifts up
his eyes to heaven, and implores strength from above; then stretches out
his neck, expecting to have his head cut off; but the executioner bid
him hold out his hand, and joint after joint chopped off his fingers,
arms, and shoulders. Laying the saint afterwards on his back, he in the
same barbarous manner cut off his toes, feet, legs, and thighs. The holy
martyr held out his limbs and joints, one after another, with invincible
patience and courage, repeating these words, “Lord teach me thy wisdom:”
for the tyrants had forgot to cut out his tongue. After so many
martyrdoms, his body lay a mere trunk weltering in its own blood. The
executioners themselves as well as the multitude, were moved to tears
and admiration at this spectacle, and at such an heroic patience. But
Arcadius, with a joyful countenance, surveying his scattered limbs all
around him, and offering them to God, said, “Happy members, now dear to
me, as you at last truly belong to God, being all made a sacrifice to
him!” Then turning to the people, he said, “You who have been present at
this bloody tragedy, learn that all torments seem as nothing to one, who
has an everlasting crown before his eyes. Your gods are not gods;
renounce their worship. He alone for whom I suffer and die, is the true
God. He comforts and upholds me in the condition you see me. To die for
him is to live; to suffer for him is to enjoy the greatest delights.”
Discoursing in this manner to those about him, he expired on the 12th of
January, the pagans being struck with astonishment at such a miracle of
patience. The Christians gathered together his scattered limbs, and laid
them in one tomb. The Roman and other Martyrologies make honourable
mention of him on this day. 1
We belong to God by numberless essential titles of interest,
gratitude, and justice, and are bound to be altogether his, and every
moment to live to him alone, with all our powers and all our strength:
whatever it may cost us to make this sacrifice perfect and complete, if
we truly love him, we shall embrace it with joy and inexpressible
ardour. In these sentiments we ought, by frequent express acts, and by
the uninterrupted habitual disposition of our souls, to give all we are
and have to God, all the powers of our souls, all the senses and organs
of our bodies, all our actions, thoughts, and affections. This oblation
we may excellently comprise in any of the first petitions of our Lord’s
prayer: the following is a form of an oblation to our divine Redeemer
which St. Ignatius of Loyola drew up and used to repeat, “O sovereign
King, and absolute Lord of all things, though I am most unworthy to
serve you, nevertheless, relying on your grace and boundless mercy, I
offer myself up entirely to you, and subject whatever belongs to me to
your most holy will; and I protest in presence of your infinite
goodness, and in presence of the glorious Virgin, your mother, and your
whole heavenly court, that it is my most earnest desire, and unshaken
resolution, to follow and imitate you the nearest I am able, in bearing
all injuries and crosses with meekness and patience, and in labouring to
die to the world and myself in a perfect spirit of humility and poverty,
that I may be wholly yours, and you may reign in me in time and
INTERCESSORY PRAYER: SAINT ARCADIUS, PLEASE PRAY FOR US [STATE
YOUR PRAYER REQUEST.]
POPE FRANCIS PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR 2017
JANUARY Christian Unity.
That all Christians may be faithful to
the Lord’s teaching by striving with prayer and fraternal charity to
restore ecclesial communion and by collaborating to meet the challenges
THEODOSIUS was born in Cappadocia in 423. The
example of Abraham urged him to leave his country, and his desire to follow
Jesus Christ attracted him to the religious life. He placed himself under
Longinus, a very holy hermit, who sent him to govern a monastery near Bethlehem.
Unable to bring himself to command others, he fled to a cavern, where he
lived in penance and prayer. His great charity, however, forbade him to refuse
the charge of some disciples, who, few at first, became in time a vast number,
and Theodosius built a large monastery and three churches for them. He
became eventually Superior of the religious communities of Palestine. Theodosius
accommodated himself so carefully to the characters of his subjects, that his
reproofs were loved rather than dreaded. But once he was obliged to separate
from the communion of the others a religious guilty of a grave fault. Instead of
humbly accepting his sentence, the monk was arrogant enough to pretend to
excommunicate Theodosius in revenge. Theodosius thought not of indignation, nor
of his own position but meekly submitted to this false and unjust
excommunication. This so touched the heart of his disciple that he submitted at
once and acknowledged his fault. Theodosius never refused assistance to any in
poverty or affliction; on some days, the monks laid more than a hundred tables
for those in want. In times of famine Theodosius forbade the alms to be
diminished, and often miraculously multiplied the provisions. He also built five
hospitals, to which he lovingly served the sick, while by assiduous spiritual
reading he maintained himself in perfect recollection. He successfully opposed
the Eutychian heresy in Jerusalem, and for this was banished by the emperor. He
suffered a long and painful malady, and refused to pray to be cured, calling it
a salutary penance for his former successes. He died at the age of a hundred and
REFLECTION.—St. Theodosius, for the sake of
charity, sacrificed all he most prized—his home for the love of God, and his
solitude for the love of his neighbor. Can ours be true charity if it costs us
little or nothing?
INTERCESSORY PRAYER: SAINT THEODOSIUS, PLEASE PRAY FOR
US [STATE YOUR PRAYER REQUEST.]
ST. PETER OF SEBASTE, B. C.
[From the life of his sister St. Macrina, composed by their brother St. Gregory
of Nyssa; and from St. Gregory Naz. Or. 20. See also Theodoret, Hist. Eccl. lib.
iv. c. 30. Rufin. lib. ii. c. t, and the judicious compilation of Tillemont, in
his life of St. Gregory of Nyssa, art. 6, t. ix. p. 572.]
About the year 387.
THE family of which St. Peter descended, was very ancient and illustrious ; St.
Gregory Nazianzen tells us, that his pedigree was made up of a list of
celebrated heroes ; but their names are long since buried in oblivion, whilst
those of the saints which it gave to the church, and who despised the world and
its honours, are immortal in the records of the church, and are written in the
book of life ; for the light of faith, and the grace of the Almighty,
extinguishing in their breasts the sparks of worldly ambition, inspired them
with a most vehement ardour to attain the perfection of Christian virtue, and
changed their family into a house of saints ; three brothers were at the same
time eminently holy bishops—St. Basil, St. Gregory of Nyssa, and St. Peter of
Sebaste ; and their eldest sister, St. Macrina, was the spiritual mother of many
saints and excellent doctors. Their father and mother, St. Basil the elder, and
St. Ernelia, were banished for their faith in the reign of the emperor Galerius
Maximian, and fled into the deserts of Pontus; they are recorded together in the
Roman Martyrology, on the 30th of May : the grandmother of our pious and
fruitful family of saints, was the celebrated St. Macrina the Elder, who was
instructed in the science of salvation by St. Gregory Thaumaturgus. St. Peter of
Sebaste was the youngest of ten children, and lost his father in his cradle,
some think before he was born ; and his eldest sister, Macrina, took care of his
education, in which it was her only aim to instruct him in the maxims of
religion, and form him to perfect piety ; profane studies she thought of little
use to one who designed to make salvation the sole end of all his inquiries and
pursuits, nor did he ever make them any part of his employment, confining his
views to a monastic state. His mother had founded two monasteries, one for men,
the other for women ; the former she put under the direction of her son Basil,
the latter under that of her daughter Macrina. Peter, whose thoughts were wholly
bent on cultivating the seeds of piety that had been sown in him, retired into
the house governed by his brother, situated on the bank of the river Iris ; when
St. Basil was obliged to quit that post, in 362, he left the abbacy in the hands
of St. Peter, who discharged this office for several years with great prudence
and virtue. When the provinces of Pontus and Cappadocia were visited by a severe
famine, he gave a remarkable proof of his charity ; human prudence would have
advised him to be frugal in the relief of others, till his own family should be
secured against that calamity ; but Peter had studied the principles of
christian charity in another school, and liberally disposed of all that belonged
to his monastery, and whatever he could raise, to supply with necessaries the
numerous crowds that daily resorted to him, in that time of distress. Soon after
Saint Basil was made Bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia, in 370, he promoted his
brother Peter to the priesthood ; the holy abbot looked on the holy orders he
had received as a fresh engagement to perfection. His brother St. Basil died on
the I st of Jaauary, in 379, and his sister Macrina in November, the same year.
Eustathius, Bishop of Sebaste, in Armenia, a violent Arian, and a furious
persecutor of St. Basil, seems to have died soon after them ; for St. Peter was
consecrated Bishop of Sebaste, in 380, to root out the Arian heresy in that
diocese, where it had taken deep root ; the zeal of a saint was necessary, nor
can we doubt but God placed our saint in that dignity for this purpose. A letter
which St. Peter wrote, and which
is prefixed to St. Gregory of Nyssa's books against Eunomius, has entitled him
to a rank among the ecclesiastical writers, and is a standing proof, that though
he had confined himself to sacred studies, yet by good conversation and reading,
and by dint of genius, and an excellent understanding, he was inferior to none
but his incomparable brother Basil, and his colleague Nazianzen, in solid
eloquence. In 381, he attended the general council held at Constantinople, and
joined the other bishops in condemning the Macedonian heretics. Not only his
brother St. Gregory, but also Theodoret, and all antiquity, bare testimony to
his extraordinary sanctity, prudence, and zeal. His death happened in summer,
about the year 387, and his brother of Nyssa mentions, that his memory was
honoured at Sebaste (probably the very year after his death) by an anniversary
solemnity, with several martyrs of that city.' His name occurs in the Roman
Martyrology, on the 9th of January.
We admire to see a whole
family of saints. This prodigy of grace, under God, was owing to the example,
prayers, and exhortations of the elder St. Macrina, which had this wonderful
influence and effect ; from her they learned most heartily and deeply to imbibe
the true spirit of self-denial and humility, which all Christians confess to be
the fundamental maxim of the gospel ; but this they generally acknowledge in
speculation only, whereas it is in the heart that this foundation is to be laid.
We must entertain no attachment, says St. Gregory of Nyssa,2 to any thing,
especially where there is most danger of passion, by some sensual pleasure
annexed ; and we must begin by being upon our guard against sensuality in
eating, which is the most ancient enemy, and the father of vice : we must
observe in our whole life the most exact -rule of temperance, never making the pleasure of senses
our end, but only the necessity of the use we make of things, even those in
which a pleasure is taken. In another treatise he says,' he who despises the
world, must also renounce himself, so as never to follow his own will, but
purely to seek in all things the will of God; we are his in justice, his will
must be the law and rule of our whole life. This precept of dying to ourselves.
that Christ may live in us, and all our affections and actions governed by his
spirit, is excellently inculcated by St. Basil the Great.
(1) St. Gr. Nyss. ep. ad Flav t. ni. p.645. (2) St. Gr.
Nyss. de Virg. c 9.
INTERCESSORY PRAYER: SAINT PETER, PRAY FOR US [STATE YOUR PRAYER
Queen of Heaven and earth,
most Holy Virgin,
we venerate thee.
Thou art the beloved daughter
of the Most High God,
the chosen mother of the Incarnate Word,
the immaculate spouse of the Holy Spirit,
the sacred vessel of the Most Holy Trinity.
O Mother of the Divine Redeemer,
who under the title of
Our Lady of Good Remedy
comes to the aid of all
who call upon thee,
extend thy maternal protection to us.
We depend on thee,
as helpless and needy children
depend on a tender and caring mother.
Pray the Hail Mary...
O Lady of Good Remedy,
source of unfailing help,
grant that we may draw
from thy treasury of graces
in our time of need.
Touch the hearts of sinners,
that they may seek
reconciliation and forgiveness.
Bring comfort to
the afflicted and the lonely;
help the poor and the hopeless;
aid the sick and the suffering.
May they be healed in body
and strengthened in spirit
to endure their sufferings
with patient resignation
and Christian fortitude.
Pray the Hail Mary...
Dear Lady of Good Remedy,
source of unfailing help,
thy compassionate heart knows a remedy
for every affliction and misery
we encounter in life.
Help me with thy prayers and intercession
to find a remedy for my problems and needs,
(Mention your personal intention) On my part,
O loving Mother,
I pledge myself to a more intensely Christian lifestyle,
to a more careful observance of the laws of God,
to be more conscientious
in fulfilling the obligations of my state in life,
and to strive to be a source of healing
in this broken world of ours.
Dear Lady of Good Remedy,
be ever present to me,
and through thy intercession,
may I enjoy health of body and peace of mind,
and grow stronger in the faith
and in the love of thy Son, Jesus.
Pray the Hail Mary...V. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of Good Remedy,R. That we may deepen our dedication to thy Son, and make the world alive with His Spirit.
Wednesday of the Second week in Ordinary Time January
Letter to the Hebrews
king of Salem and priest of God Most High, met Abraham as he
returned from his defeat of the kings and blessed him." And
Abraham apportioned to him "a tenth of everything." His name
first means righteous king, and he was also "king of Salem,"
that is, king of peace. Without father, mother, or ancestry,
without beginning of days or end of life, thus made to resemble
the Son of God, he remains a priest forever. It is even more
obvious if another priest is raised up after the likeness of
Melchizedek, who has become so, not by a law expressed in a
commandment concerning physical descent but by the power of a
life that cannot be destroyed. For it is testified: "You are
a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek."
LORD said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand till I make your
enemies your footstool.” The scepter of your power the LORD
will stretch forth from Zion: “Rule in the midst of your
“Yours is princely power in the day of your
birth, in holy splendor; before the daystar, like the dew, I
have begotten you.” The LORD has sworn, and he will not
repent: “You are a priest forever, according to the order of
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ
according to Saint Mark 3:1-6.
entered the synagogue. There was a man there who had a withered
hand. They watched him closely to see if he would cure him
on the sabbath so that they might accuse him. He said to the
man with the withered hand, "Come up here before us." Then
he said to them, "Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather
than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?" But
they remained silent. Looking around at them with anger and
grieved at their hardness of heart, he said to the man, "Stretch
out your hand." He stretched it out and his hand was restored.
The Pharisees went out and immediately took counsel with the
Herodians against him to put him to death. ____________
O Jesus, eternal
Truth, our Life, I call upon You and I beg Your mercy for poor
sinners. O sweetest Heart of my Lord, full of pity and
unfathomable mercy, I plead with You for poor sinners. 0 Most
Sacred Heart, Fount of Mercy from which gush forth rays of
inconceivable graces upon the entire human race, I beg of
You light for poor sinners. O Jesus, be mindful of Your own
bitter Passion and do not permit the loss of souls redeemed at
so dear a price of Your most precious Blood.
when I consider the great price of Your Blood, I rejoice at its
immensity, for one drop alone would have been enough for the
salvation of all sinners. Although sin is an abyss of wickedness
and ingratitude, the price paid for us can never be equalled.
Therefore, let every soul trust in the Passion of the Lord, and
place its hope in His mercy, God will not deny His mercy to
anyone. Heaven and earth may change, but God's mercy will never
be exhausted (cf Mt 24,35). Oh, what immense joy burns in my
heart when I contemplate Your incomprehensible goodness, O
Jesus! I desire to bring all sinners to Your feet that they may
glorify Your mercy throughout endless ages.
SOURCE: a href="http://www.evangeliumtagfuertag.org/">
CONTAINING COUNSELS CONCERNING THE
PRACTICE OF VIRTUE.
PART III. CONTAINING COUNSELS CONCERNING THE
PRACTICE OF VIRTUE.
CHAPTER I. How to select
that which we should chiefly Practise. THE queen bee never takes wing
without being surrounded by all her Subjects; even so Love never enters
the heart but it is sure to bring all other virtues in its train;
marshalling and employing them as a captain his soldiers; yet,
nevertheless, Love does not set them all to work suddenly, or equally,
at all times and everywhere. The righteous man is "like a tree planted
by the water side, that will bring forth his fruit in due season;"1
inasmuch as Love, watering and refreshing the soul, causes it to bring
forth good works, each in season as required. There is an old proverb to
the effect that the sweetest music is unwelcome at a time of mourning;
and certain persons have made a great mistake when, seeking to cultivate
some special virtue, they attempt to obtrude it on all occasions, like
the ancient philosophers we read of, who were always laughing or
weeping. Worse still if they take upon themselves to censure those who
do not make a continual study of this their pet virtue.
Ps. i. 3.
(125) S. Paul
tells us to "rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that
weep;"1 and Charity is patient, kind, liberal, prudent,
indulgent. At the same time, there are virtues of universal account,
which must not only be called into occasional action, but ought to
spread their influence over everything. We do not very often come across
opportunities for exercising strength, magnanimity, or magnificence; but
gentleness, temperance, modesty, and humility, are graces which ought to
colour everything we do. There may be virtues of a more exalted mould,
but at all events these are the most continually called for in daily
life. Sugar is better than salt, but we use salt more generally and
oftener. Consequently, it is well to have a good and ready
stock in hand of those general virtues of which we stand in so perpetual
a need. In practising any virtue, it is well to choose
(126) that which is most according
to our duty, rather than most according to our taste. It was Saint
Paula's liking to practise bodily mortifications with a view to the
keener enjoyment of spiritual sweetness, but obedience to her superiors
was a higher duty; and therefore Saint Jerome acknowledges that she was
wrong in practising excessive abstinence contrary to the advice of
1 Rom. xii. 15.
the Apostles, whose mission it was to preach the Gospel, and feed
souls with the Bread of Life, judged well that it was not right
for them to hinder this holy work in order to minister to the material
wants of the poor, weighty as that work was also.1 Every
calling stands in special need of some special virtue; those required of
a prelate, a prince, or a soldier, are quite different; so are those
beseeming a wife or a widow, and although all should possess every
virtue, yet all are not called upon to exercise them equally, but each
should cultivate chiefly those which are important to the manner of life
to which he is called.
Among such virtues
as have no special adaptation to our own calling, choose the most
excellent, not the most showy. A comet generally looks larger than the
stars, and fills the eye more; but all the while comets are not nearly
so (127) important as the
stars, and only seem so large to us because they are nearer to us than
stars, and are of a grosser kind. So there are certain virtues which
touch us very sensibly and are very material, so to say, and therefore
ordinary people give them the preference. Thus the common run of men
ordinarily value temporal almsgiving more than spiritual; and think more
of fasting, exterior discipline and bodily mortification than of
meekness, cheerfulness, modesty, and other interior mortifications,
which nevertheless are far better. Do you then, my daughter, choose the
best virtues, not those which are most highly esteemed; the most
excellent, not the most visible; the truest, not the most conspicuous.
It is well for everybody to select some special virtue at which to aim,
not as neglecting any others, but as an object and pursuit to the mind.
Saint John, Bishop of Alexandria, saw a vision of a lovely maiden,
brighter than the sun, in shining garments, and wearing an olive crown,
who said to him, "I am the King's eldest daughter, and if thou wilt have
me for thy friend, I will bring thee to see His Face." Then he knew that
it was pity for the poor which God thus commended to him, and from that
time he gave himself so heartily to practise it, that he is universally
known as Saint John the Almoner.
1 Acts vi. 2.
(128) Eulogius Alexandrinus desired
to devote himself wholly to God, but he had not courage either to adopt
the solitary life, or to put himself under obedience, and therefore he
took a miserable beggar, seething in dirt and leprosy, to live with
him; and to do this more thoroughly, he vowed to honour and serve him as
a servant does his lord and master. After a while, both feeling greatly
tempted to part company, they referred to the great Saint Anthony, who
said, "Beware of separating, my sons, for you are both near your
end, and if the Angel find you not together, you will be in danger of
losing your crowns." Saint Louis counted it a privilege to visit the
hospitals, where he used to tend the sick with his own royal hands.
Saint Francis loved poverty above all things, and called her his
lady-love. Saint Dominic gave himself up to preaching, whence his Order
takes its name. 1 Saint Gregory the Great specially delighted
to receive pilgrims after the manner of faithful Abraham, and like him
entertained the King of Glory under a pilgrim's garb. Tobit devoted
himself to the charitable work of burying the dead. Saint Elizabeth,
albeit a mighty princess, loved above all things to humble herself. When
Saint Catherine of Genoa became a widow, she gave herself up to work in
1 The Preaching Friars.
Cassian relates how a certain devout maiden once besought
Saint Athanasius to help her in cultivating the grace of patience; and
he gave her a poor widow as companion, who was cross, irritable, and
altogether intolerable, and whose perpetual fretfulness gave the
pious lady abundant opportunity of practising gentleness and patience.
And so some of God's servants devote themselves to nursing the sick,
helping the poor, teaching little children in the faith, reclaiming the
fallen, building churches, and adorning the altar, making peace among
men. Therein they resemble embroidresses who work all manner of silks,
gold and silver on various grounds, so producing beautiful flowers. Just
so the pious souls who undertake some special devout practice use it as
the ground of their spiritual embroidery, and frame all manner of other
graces upon it, ordering their actions and affections better by means of
this their chief thread which runs through all.
"Upon Thy Right Hand did stand the Queen in a vesture of
gold wrought about with divers colours."1 When we
are beset by any particular vice, it is well as far as possible to make
the opposite (130) virtue our special aim, and
turn everything to that account; so doing, we shall overcome our enemy,
and meanwhile make progress in all virtue. Thus, if I am beset with
pride or anger, I must above all else strive to cultivate humility and
gentleness, and I must turn all my religious exercises,--prayer,
sacraments, prudence, constancy, moderation, to the same object. The
wild boar sharpens its tusks by grinding them against its other
teeth, which by the same process are sharpened and pointed; and so when
a good man endeavours to perfect himself in some virtue which he is
conscious of specially needing, he ought to give it edge and point
by the aid of other virtues, which will themselves be confirmed and
strengthened as he uses them with that object. It was so with Job, who,
while specially exercising the virtue of patience amid the numberless
temptations which beset him, was confirmed in all manner of
holiness and godly virtues.
1 Psalm 5. 13, 14. "En son
beau vestement de drap d'or recame, Et d'ouvrages divers a l'aiguile
And Saint Gregory Nazianzen says, that
sometimes a person has attained the height of goodness by one single act
of virtue, performed with the greatest perfection; instancing Rahab as
an example, who, having practised the virtue of hospitality very
excellently, reached a high point of glory. 1 Of course, any
such (131) action must needs be performed with a
very exceeding degree of fervour and charity.
Francis evidently alludes here to the mention made of Rahab by S. Paul.
Heb. xi. 31.
SAINT AUGUSTINE says very admirably,
that beginners in devotion are wont to commit certain faults which,
while they are blameable according to the strict laws of perfection, are
yet praiseworthy by reason of the promise they hold forth of a future
excellent goodness, to which they actually tend. For instance, that
common shrinking fear which gives rise to an excessive scrupulosity in
the souls of some who are but just set free from a course of sin, is
commendable at that early stage, and is the almost certain forerunner of
future purity of conscience. But this same fear would be blameable in
those who are farther advanced, because love should reign in their
hearts, and love is sure to drive away all such servile fear by degrees.
In his early days, Saint Bernw very severe and harsh towards those whom
he directed, telling them, to begin with, that they must put aside the
body, and come to him with their minds only. In confession, he treated
all faults, (132) however
small, with extreme severity, and his poor apprentices in the study of
perfection were so urged onwards, that by dint of pressing he kept them
back, for they lost heart and breath when they found themselves thus
driven up so steep and high an ascent. Therein, my daughter, you can see
that, although it was his ardent zeal for the most perfect purity which
led that great Saint so to act, and although such zeal is a great
virtue, still it was a virtue which required checking. And so God
Himself checked it in a vision, by which He filled S. Bernard with so
gentle, tender, and loving a spirit, that he was altogether changed,
blaming himself heavily for having been so strict and so severe, and
becoming so kindly and indulgent, that he made himself all things to all
men in order to win all. S. Jerome tells us that his beloved daughter,
S. Paula, was not only extreme, but obstinate in practising bodily
mortifications, and refusing to yield to the advice given her upon that
head by her Bishop, S. Epiphanius; and furthermore, she gave way so
excessively to her grief at the death of those she loved as to peril her
own life. Whereupon S. Jerome says: "It will be said that I am accusing
this saintly woman rather than praising her, but I affirm before Jesus,
Whom she served, and Whom I seek to (133) serve,
that I am not saying what is untrue on one side or the other, but simply
describing her as one Christian another; that is to say, I am writing
her history, not her panegyric, and her faults are the virtues of
others." He means to say that the defects and faults of S. Paula would
have been looked upon as virtues in a less perfect soul; and indeed
there are actions which we must count as imperfections in the perfect,
which yet would be highly esteemed in the imperfect.
When at the end of
a sickness the invalid's legs swell, it is a good sign, indicating that
natural strength is returning, and throwing off foul humours; but it
would be a bad sign in one not avowedly sick, as showing that nature was
too feeble to disperse or absorb those humours. So, my child, we
must think well of those whom we see practising virtues, although
imperfectly, since the Saints have done the like; but as to ourselves we
must give heed to practise them, not only diligently, but discreetly,
and to this end we shall do well strictly to follow the Wise Man's
counsel, 1 and not trust in our own wisdom, but lean on those
whom God has given as our guides. And here I must say a few words
concerning certain things which some reckon as virtues, although they
are nothing of the sort--I (134)
mean ecstasies, trances, rhapsodies, extraordinary
transformations, and the like, which are dwelt on in some books, and
which promise to raise the soul to a purely intellectual contemplation,
an altogether supernatural mental altitude, and a life of pre-eminent
1 Ecclus. vi. 2, 32, 36.
But I would have you see, my child, that these perfections are not
virtues, they are rather rewards which God gives to virtues, or
perhaps, more correctly speaking, tokens of the joys of everlasting
life, occasionally granted to men in order to kindle in them a desire
for the fulness of joy which is only to be found in Paradise.
But we must not
aspire to such graces, which are in nowise necessary to us in order to
love and serve God, our only lawful ambition. Indeed, for the most part,
these graces are not to be acquired by labour or industry, and that
because they are rather passions than actions, which we may receive, but
cannot create. Moreover, our business only is to become good, devout
people, pious men and women; and all our efforts must be to that end. If
it should please God further to endow us with angelic perfection, we
should then be prepared to become good angels; but meanwhile let us
practise, in all simplicity, humility and devotion, those lowly virtues
to the attainment of which our Lord has bidden us labour,--I mean
patience, cheerfulness, self-mortification, (135)
humility, obedience, poverty, chastity, kindness to our neighbour,
forbearance towards his failings, diligence, and a holy fervour. Let us
willingly resign the higher eminences to lofty souls. We are not worthy
to take so high a rank in God's service; let us be content to be as
scullions, porters, insignificant attendants in His household, leaving
it to Him if He should hereafter see fit to call us to His own council
chamber. Of a truth, my child, the King of Glory does not reward His
servants according to the dignity of their office, but according to the
humility and love with which they have exercised it. While Saul was
seeking his father's asses, he found the kingdom of Israel: 1 Rebecca
watering Abraham's camels, became his son's wife: 2 Ruth gleaning after
Boaz' reapers, and lying down at his feet, was raised up to become
his bride. 3 Those who pretend to such great and extraordinary graces
are very liable to delusions and mistakes, so that sometimes it turns
out that people who aspire to be angels are not ordinarily good men,
and that their goodness lies more in high-flown words than in heart and
deed. But we must beware of despising or presumptuously condemning
anything. Only, while thanking God for the pre-eminence of others,
let us abide contentedly in our own lower but
(136) safer path,--a path of less distinction, but
more suitable to our lowliness, resting satisfied that if we walk
steadily and faithfully therein, God will lift us up to greater things.
To show us the mission granted to
the Virgin Mary by Her Son, an artist Johann Melchior Georg Schmittdner
painted Mary Undoer of Knots with great grace. Since 1700, his painting
has been venerated in the Church of St. Peter in Perlack, Augsburg,
Germany. It was originally inspired by a meditation of Saint Irenaeus
(Bishop of Lyon and martyred in 202) based on the parallel made by Saint
Paul between Adam and Christ. Saint Irenaeus, in turn, made a comparison
between Eve and Mary, saying:“Eve, by her disobedience, tied the knot of
disgrace for the human race; whereas Mary, by her obedience, undid it”.
what are these knots? There are the problems
and struggles we face for which we do not see any solution … knots of
discord in your family, lack of understanding between parents and
children, disrespect, violence, the knots of deep hurts between husband
and wife, the absence of peace and joy at home. There are also the knots
of anguish and despair of separated couples, the dissolution of the
family, the knots of a drug addict son or daughter, sick or separated
from home or God, knots of alcoholism, the practice of abortion,
depression, unemployment, fear, solitude…Ah, the knots of our life! How
they suffocate the soul, beat us down and betray the heart’s joy and
separate us from God.
Day after day, more and more
Christians kneel to pray to Her as soon as they meet the Mother of the
Fair Love. Many families have become reconciled! Many diseases
have been healed! Many spouses have returned to the Church! Many jobs
have been given! Many conversions have taken place! Many Catholics have
been on their knees praying and giving thanks for graces received from
our sweet Mother. For that reason, Mary Who undoes the knots, Who was
chosen by God to crush the evil with Her feet, comes to us to reveal
Herself. She comes to provide jobs, good health, to reconcile families,
because She wants to undo the knots of our sins which dominate our
lives, so that – as sons of the King – we can receive the promises
reserved for us from eternity. She comes with promises of victory,
peace, blessings and reconciliation.
Then, free from our knots – filled
with happiness, we can be a testimony of the Divine Power in this world,
like pieces of God’s heart or small bottles of perfume exhaling mercy
and love to our neighbor. Like ambassador of Jesus Christ and the Virgin
of the fair love, we can rescue those who cry without any consolation,
those who are lonely, tied with knots, who have no God, no Father nor
Mother of the Rising Sun,
Immaculate, our Advocate, Helper in moments of affliction, Mother of God
and made by Him our Mother, this is how Mary, Undoer of Knots is
presented. Above all, She comes as the Queen of Mercy, the one who knows
all about us, who has compassion for us and hurries to rescue us,
praying for each one of us to Her beloved Jesus.
Prayer to Mary, Undoer of Knots
Virgin Mary, Mother of fair love, Mother who
never refuses to come to the aid of a child in need, Mother whose
hands never cease to serve your beloved children because they are
moved by the divine love and immense mercy that exists in your
heart, cast your compassionate eyes upon me and see the snarl of
knots that exist in my life. You know very well how desperate I am,
my pain, and how I am bound by these knots. Mary, Mother to whom God
entrusted the undoing of the knots in the lives of his children, I
entrust into your hands the ribbon of my life. No one, not even the
Evil One himself, can take it away from your precious care. In your
hands there is no knot that cannot be undone. Powerful Mother, by
your grace and intercessory power with Your Son and My Liberator,
Jesus, take into your hands today this knot.
[Mention your request here]
I beg you to undo it for the glory of God,
once for all. You are my hope. O my Lady, you are the only
consolation God gives me, the fortification of my feeble strength,
the enrichment of my destitution, and, with Christ, the freedom from
my chains. Hear my plea. Keep me, guide me, protect me, o safe
JOSEPH, ASK GOD TO BLESS THE U.S. WITH A PROLIFE PRESIDENT AND
VICE-PRESIDENT] [SAINT JOSEPH, PLEASE PRAY FOR DONALD TRUMP,
THAT HE WOULD FOLLOW OUR LORD AND ALL HIS TEACHINGS.]
[MENTION YOUR PRAYER TO SAINT JOSEPH]
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us.Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.God the Father of heaven, have mercy on us.God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.Holy Mary, pray for us.St. Joseph, pray for us. Renowned offspring of David, pray for us. Light of Patriarchs, pray for us.Spouse of the Mother of God, pray for us.Chaste guardian of the Virgin, pray for us.Foster father of the Son of God, pray for us.Diligent protector of Christ, pray for us.Head of the Holy Family, pray for us.Joseph most just, pray for us.Joseph most chaste, pray for us.Joseph most prudent, pray for us.Joseph most strong, pray for us.Joseph, most obedient, pray for us.Joseph most faithful, pray for us.Mirror of patience, pray for us.Lover of poverty, pray for us.Model of artisans, pray for us.Glory of home life, pray for us.Guardian of virgins, pray for us.Pillar of families, pray for us.Solace of the wretched, pray for us.Hope of the sick, pray for us.Patron of the dying, pray for us.Terror of the demons, pray for us.Protector of Holy Church, pray for us.Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.V. He made him the lord of his household. R. And prince over all his possessions.Let us pray;O God, in Your ineffable providenceYou were pleased to choose Blessed Joseph to be the spouse of Your most holy Mother, grant, we beg You, that we may be worthy to have him for our intercessor in heaven whom on earth we venerate as our Protector; You who lives and reigns forever and ever.Amen.
Ben Carson was asked this
week about Obama’s support of Planned Parenthood. “You wonder if
he actually knows the history of Planned Parenthood and Margaret
Sanger, who was trying to eliminate black people,” Carson
replied. “That was
the whole purpose of it.” That is obviously political hyperbole.
But founder Margaret Sanger was a eugenicist, who
constantly talked about
the need to keep “inferior” types from breeding, even if she did
not specify the nature of their inferiority. “[We should] apply
a stern and rigid policy of sterilization and segregation to
that grade of population whose progeny is tainted, or whose
inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be transmitted
to offspring.” “The most merciful thing that the large family
does to one of its infant members is to kill it.”
SEE: BLACK GENOCIDE SITE:
"Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in America. 78% of
their clinics are in minority communities. Blacks make up 12% of the
population, but 35% of the abortions in America."
Each standard size cross-mark
represents 50,000 people killed. The smaller
cross-marks represent less than 50,000 deaths. The war
casualties represent all American combat-related deaths.
Statistics from 1982 World Almanac.
ON UNBORN CHILDREN
OVER 57,762,169 ...since
abortion was legalized in 1973
Pray hard for him. If you have time now
please say one Hail Mary and One Glory Be for him now.Donald Trump said he would nominate
a justice like Supreme Court Justice Scalia who recently passed.
Justice Scalia always voted against abortion and gay marriage.
Trump said he wanted Roe vs. Wade to be reversed and the
decision on abortion would go back to each individual state.
THE FIFTEEN PROMISES OF MARY TO CHRISTIANS WHO RECITE THE ROSARY
These promises were given by the
Blessed Mother to Saint Dominic and Blessed Alan.
Whoever shall faithfully serve me by the recitation of the rosary, shall
receive signal graces.
2. I promise my special protection and the greatest graces to all those
who shall recite the rosary.
3. The rosary shall be a powerful armour against hell, it will destroy
vice, decrease sin, and defeat heresies.
4. It will cause virtue and good works to flourish; it will obtain for
souls the abundant mercy of God; it will withdraw the hearts of men from
the love of the world and its vanities, and will lift them to the desire
of eternal things. Oh, that souls would sanctify themselves by this
5. The soul which recommends itself to me by the recitation of the
rosary, shall not perish.
6. Whoever shall recite the rosary devoutly, applying himself to the
consideration of its sacred mysteries shall never be conquered by
misfortune. God will not chastise him in His justice, he shall not
perish by an unprovided death; if he be just he shall remain in the
grace of God, and become worthy of eternal life.
7. Whoever shall have a true devotion for the rosary shall not die
without the sacraments of the Church.
8. Those who are faithful to recite the rosary shall have during their
life and at their death the light of God and the plentitude of His
graces; at the moment of death they shall participate in the merits of
the saints in paradise.
9. I shall deliver from purgatory those who have been devoted to the
10. The faithful children of the rosary shall merit a high degree of
glory in heaven.
11. You shall obtain all you ask of me by the recitation of the rosary.
12. All those who propagate the holy rosary shall be aided by me in
13. I have obtained from my Divine Son that all the advocates of the
rosary shall have for intercessors the entire celestial court during
their life and at the hour of death.
14. All who recite the rosary are my sons, and brothers of my only Son
15. Devotion of my rosary is a great sign of predestination.
Mass we hear with devotion, Our Lord sends a saint to comfort us at
death. (revelation of Christ to St. Gertrude the great).
Padre Pio, the stigmatic
priest, said, the world could exist more easily without the sun than
without the Mass.
The Cure'd' Ars, St. Jean
Vianney said, if we knew the value of the Mass we would die of joy.
A great doctor of the
Church, St. Anselm, declares that a single Mass offered for oneself
during life may be worth more than a thousand celebrated for the same
intention after death. St. Leonard of Port Maurice supports this
statement by saying that one Mass before death may be more profitable
than many after it.
"The Holy Mass would be
of greater profit if people had it offered in their lifetime, rather
than having it celebrated for the relief of their souls after death."
(Pope Benedict XV).
Once, St. Teresa was
overwhelmed with God's Goodness and asked Our Lord, "How can I thank
you?" Our Lord replied, "ATTEND ONE MASS".
Louis De Montfort stresses that people should give there hearts and
wills to Jesus through Mary and that by doing this a soul will be able
to soar toward God. See Saint Louis's book
True Devotion To Mary.Saint Louis
warns of the devil's great ability to deceive souls, including souls of
"Because the devils, who
are skillful thieves, wish to surprise us unawares, and to strip us.
They watch day and night for the favorable moment. For that
end they go round about us incessantly to devour us and to snatch
from us in one moment, all the graces and merits we have gained for
many years. Their malice, their experience, their
stratagems and their number ought to make us fear this misfortune
immensely, especially when we see how many persons fuller of grace
than we are, richer in virtues, better founded in experience and far
higher exalted in sanctity, have been surprised, robbed and
unhappily pillaged. Ah! How many cedars of Lebanon, how
many stars of the firmament, have we not seen fall miserably, and in
the twinkling of an eye lose all their height and their brightness!
Whence comes that sad and curious change? It was not for want
of grace, which is wanting to no man; but it was for want of
humility. They thought themselves capable of guarding their
own treasures. They trusted in themselves, relied upon
themselves. They thought their house secure enough, and their
coffers strong enough, to keep the precious treasure of grace.
It is because of that scarcely perceptible reliance upon themselves,
though all the while it seemed to them that they were relying only
on the grace of God, that the most just Lord permitted them to be
robbed by leaving them to themselves. Alas! If they had
but known the admirable devotion which I will unfold presently, they
would have confided their treasure to a Virgin powerful and
faithful, who would have kept it for them as if it had been her own
possession; nay, who would have even taken it as an obligation of
justice on herself to preserve it for them".
Mary, my Queen and sovereign Lady, I give you myself, trusting in your
fidelity and your protection. I surrender myself entirely to your
motherly tenderness, my body, my soul, all that I am, all that I
possess, for the whole of this day, my life, and especially
at the hour of my death. I entrust to you once more all my hopes, all my
consolations, all my anxieties, all my troubles, my life, my dying
breath, so that by your prayers and merits, I may have, in all I do, one
only goal, your good pleasure and the holy will of your Son. Amen!
One day, Saint Michael the
Archangel appeared to Antonia d'Astonac, a most devout Servant of God
and told her that he wished to be honoured by nine salutations
corresponding to the nine Choirs of Angels, which should consist of one
Our Father and three Hail Marys in honour of each of the Angelic Choirs.
Promises of St. Michael
"Whoever would practice this
devotion in his honour would have, when approaching the Holy Table, an
escort of nine angels chosen from each of the nine Choirs. In addition,
for the daily recital of these nine salutations, he promised his
continual assistance and that all the holy angels during life, and after
death deliverance from Purgatory for themselves and all their
The Chaplet of St. Michael
O God, come to my assistance. O
Lord, make haste to help me. Glory be to the Father, etc.
[Say one Our Father and three Hail
Marys after each of the following nine salutations in honor of the nine
Choirs of Angels]
[STATE YOUR PRAYER REQUEST]
1. By the intercession of St.
Michael and the celestial Choir of Seraphim may the Lord make us worthy
to burn with the fire of perfect charity.
2. By the intercession of St.
Michael and the celestial Choir of Cherubim may the Lord grant us the
grace to leave the ways of sin and run in the paths of Christian
3. By the intercession of St.
Michael and the celestial Choir of Thrones may the Lord infuse into our
hearts a true and sincere spirit of humility.
4. By the intercession of St.
Michael and the celestial Choir of Dominations may the Lord give us
grace to govern our senses and overcome any unruly passions.
5. By the intercession of St.
Michael and the celestial Choir of Virtues may the Lord preserve us from
evil and falling into temptation. Amen.
6. By the intercession of St.
Michael and the celestial Choir of Powers may the Lord protect our souls
against the snares and temptations of the devil.
7. By the intercession of St.
Michael and the celestial Choir of Principalities may God fill our souls
with a true spirit of obedience. Amen.
8. By the intercession of St.
Michael and the celestial Choir of Archangels may the Lord give us
perseverance in faith and in all good works in order that we may attain
the glory of Heaven.
9. By the intercession of St.
Michael and the celestial Choir of Angels may the Lord grant us to be
protected by them in this mortal life and conducted in the life to come
Say one Our Father in honor of each
of the following leading Angels: St. Michael, St. Gabriel, St. Raphael
and our Guardian Angel.
O glorious prince St. Michael,
chief and commander of the heavenly hosts, guardian of souls, vanquisher
of rebel spirits, servant in the house of the Divine King and our
admirable conductor, you who shine with excellence and superhuman virtue
deliver us from all evil, who turn to you with confidence and enable us
by your gracious protection to serve God more and more faithfully every
Pray for us, O glorious St.
Michael, Prince of the Church of Jesus Christ, that we may be made
worthy of His promises.
Almighty and Everlasting God, Who,
by a prodigy of goodness and a merciful desire for the salvation of all
men, has appointed the most glorious Archangel St. Michael Prince of
Your Church, make us worthy, we ask You, to be delivered from all our
enemies, that none of them may harass us at the hour of death, but that
we may be conducted by him into Your Presence.This we ask through the
merits of Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.
Welcome to this Catholic Spiritual Direction Web
Site. It is the intention of this site to lead people to a
closer relationship with God the Father, God the Son and God the
Holy Spirit through the promotion of prayer and Christian teaching which
will enable Christians to adhere to the straight and narrow path Jesus
speaks of in the Gospels. Included in these web pages are the
Douay-Rheims Bible and the works of Saint John of the Cross, Thomas à
Kempis and Saint Louis de Montfort, and the works of other saints of the
Catholic faith, all of whose teachings on spiritual direction have been
followed by priests, ministers, clergymen, Popes and Saints. These
teachings adhere to the teachings of the Catholic Church. This site is
dedicated to Blessed Anne Catherine
Mystic, Stigmatist, Prophet, and Great
Visionary, a saintly Augustinian nun from Flamske, Germany. Her highly
descriptive visions of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ,The Sorrowful Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ,are presented here. In time more works from the
Saints of the Catholic Church will be added to these pages.
When difficulties come to us at work or at home it
important to pray your way through these difficulties. At work, it
could be trouble with a supervisor or a co-worker, with the result that
misery is brought into our lives. Or at home a wife or a husband, or a
child or a relative may be causing you trouble. It is important to pray
your way through these difficulties. The different forms of prayers
listed above, the Rosary, the Chaplet of Saint Michael, the Divine Mercy
Chaplet and the Holy Mass, can move God to assist us with the things the
bother us the most during our lives. Try these prayers, they work.
And sometimes, it takes the prayers of others to help change the
current situations that are going on in our lives. On the following
web page, there are several prayer groups that will pray for yours
needs; this a great tool against our daily problems and against the
assaults of demons. Sometimes it takes the prayers of many people to
From the Autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila , Chapter 31. 1562 A.D.
"From long experience I have learned that there is
nothing like holy water to put devils to flight and prevent them from
coming back again. They also flee from the Cross, but return; so holy
water must have great virtue. For my own part, whenever I take it, my
soul feels a particular and most notable consolation. In fact, it is
quite usual for me to be conscious of a refreshment which I cannot
possibly describe, resembling an inward joy which comforts my whole
soul. This is not fancy, or something which has happened to me only once
it has happened again and again and I have observed it most attentively.
It is let us say, as if someone very hot and thirsty were to drink from
a jug of cold water: he would feel the refreshment throughout his body.
I often reflect on the great importance of everything ordained by the
Church and it makes me very happy to find that those words of the Church
are so powerful that they impart their power to the water and make it so
very different from water which has not been blessed."
The Catholic Church around the world
uses Holy Water in every church to make the church a fortress against
the demons which assault men and women. The Holy Water is usually
situated near every entrance to the church for people to use to anoint
themselves with the Sign of the Cross. When an individual puts on
Holy Water any demons present will flee. Catholics should put Holy
Water in containers and place them in their homes and their offices; by
doing so they make their homes and offices fortresses against the demons
which are always lurking about. Catholics should also consider
carrying the Holy Water in small containers in their pockets to ward off
demonic attacks during each day.
Saint John XXIII, you spent
deeply immersed in the truths of the
Catholic Faith. You led us by your great
example of sacrifice and love as you
successively led millions to love Our
Lord Jesus Christ and His Holy Church.
We now ask for your
those who are troubled and in need:
Saint John XXIII, please pray for the
Holy Catholic Church and for the
following prayer request: [state your prayer request.]
Trinity, we thank you
for having graced the Church with
Saint John Paul II and for allowing
the tenderness of your fatherly care,
the glory of the Cross of Christ
and the splendor of the Spirit of love
to shine through him.
fully in your infinite mercy
and in the maternal intercession of Mary,
he has given us a living image of
Jesus the Good Shepherd.
He has shown us that holiness
is the necessary measure of ordinary
Christian life and is the way of
achieving eternal communion with you.
Grant us, by his intercession,
and according to your will,
the graces we implore,
through Christ our Lord. Amen.
PRECIOUS BLOOD, ocean of divine mercy: Flow upon us! Precious Blood, most pure
Procure us every grace!
Precious Blood, hope and refuge of sinners: Atone for us! Precious Blood, delight of
sick or do you know someone who is ill. Say the
prayer above for them everyday. Also, there is greater
power of prayer when many people are praying for the sick.
Ask many fellow Catholics to join in prayer with you for the
sick. You can send prayer requests to Catholic Groups that
will join you in prayer at: