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Monthly Archives: January 2016

SHE REFUSED TO SACRIFICE TO FALSE GODS – ST MARTINA

Through her works and example, some unbelievers embraced the faith

Martina, a Roman girl of illustrious family, lost her parents at a very early age and generously distributed her huge fortune among the poor.

In the reign of Emperor Alexander, she was ordered to sacrifice to the false gods and vigorously denounced this loathsome crime.

Because of this, she was tortured in different ways and finally condemned to the beasts in the amphitheatre.

St Martina received divine help

After escaping from them unharmed through divine help, she was thrown on a burning pyre, and again sustained no injury. Some of her torturers, amazed with the fresh wonder of the miracle, embraced the faith of Christ and won the palm of martyrdom. God performed many miracles through Martina’s prayers, which intensely annoyed the judge, who was angered by the virgin’s constancy and ordered her to be beheaded.

This happened in the reign of Pope St Urban I. In the reign of Pope Urban VIII, Martina’s body and the bodies of the Martyrs Concordius, Epiphanius, and their companions were discovered in the old church in her honour near the Mamertine Prison. Later, the church was handsomely restored and her body was solemnly reinterred amid the rejoicing of the whole city.

– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964

 

 

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AND TO ALL CHRISTIAN NATIONS GRANT REPOSE (HYMN)

Be thou, the guardian of thy native land,

And to all Christian nations grant repose

From din of arms, and every hostile band –

From all our borders drive away our foes.

 

On thee our hopes are built, as on a tower;

Receive the homage we now humbly pay,

The vows which Rome accomplishes this hour,

With pious rites, and canticles’ sweet lay.

 

Keep far from us all dangerous delight,

O God, who comfortest thy Martyrs’ pain;

One God in Persons Three, bestow thy light

Wherewith thou makest strong thy Martyrs slain. Amen.

 
 

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LET US ARM OURSELVES, FROM EARLY MORNING, WITH THE SHIELD OF PRAYER

Finally, brethren, be strengthened in the Lord, and in the might of his power. Put on the armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the deceits of the devil. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness. Therefore take unto you the armour of God (Ep6:10-13a)

See also:

“My Kingdom Is Not Of This World” – The Practice Of Daily Spiritual Combat For Christians Of Today 

Have you ever reflected on the following words of Scripture: Behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you like wheat?

The devil asks God’s permission to work to the detriment of souls, and God permits him… There is something terrible in this.

Now, do you know what happens? The devil remains the whole night seated beside your pillow, watching for your awakening like an impatient sower to cast seeds of wicked thoughts into our hearts.

Then he conceals himself in all creatures, and any of them can lead us to evil.

All worldly environment is like a plague-stricken city, in which every instant we run risk of contagion, if we proceed without caution.

What we see leads us to voluptuousness, or to jealousy, or to envy, or contempt of others… What we hear tempts us to vexation, to vanity, or to anger… What we feel tempts us to selfishness, to the desire of being esteemed, or to effeminacy; to idleness, or to revenge; or even to some sinful affection.

Prayer puts between us and mankind a pure and healthy atmosphere

Let us arm ourselves, from early morning, with the shield of prayer. God places it at our disposal – prayer, which puts between us and inanimate creatures something like a veil which has the power of rendering weaker the sensual rays which they pour forth around them, and transmitting to us only life-giving warmth.

Prayer, which puts between us and mankind that pure and healthy atmosphere that manifests to us their words and actions, with a heavenly sweetness like unto the perfume of a flower, and causes us to exclaim: It is good for us to be here!

Prayer, finally, which absorbs the wicked emanations of the heart, and dissipates them as the north wind does the noxious miasma, which springs up from the damp ground.

Are you at peace?

Are you at peace? asks a saint. If so, prayer will preserve you therein.

Are you tempted? Prayer will sustain you.

Have you fallen? Prayer will rise you up.

Have you lost courage? Prayer will restore you.

– From: Golden Grains, Eighth Edition, H.M. Gill and Son, Dublin, 1889

Jesus Christ’s Message Is Startling

“If The World Hates You, Know That It Has Hated Me Before You”

The Spiritual Benefits Of Fasting For Christians

 

 

 

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ABOUT ST THOMAS AQUINAS: “NO OTHER REWARD, LORD JESUS, BUT YOURSELF”

He became a religious against his mother’s wishes

Thomas Aquinas was born of a noble family and as a youth entered the Dominicans against the wishes of his mother and brothers. He was sent to Paris, but on the way abducted by his brothers to the castle of St John. There the pure young man drove away with a firebrand the woman whom his brothers had sent to seduce him.

His brothers abducted him and sent a woman to seduce him

At Paris he studied so deeply that when barely twenty-five, he publicly interpreted the philosophers and theologians with very great acclaim.

He always prayed before beginning to read or write

He always prayed before beginning to read or write, and once when he heard Christ crucified say, “Thomas, you have written well of me; what reward will you have?, he lovingly answered, “None other, Lord, than you yourself.”

Patron of all Catholic schools

He was well-read in every branch of learning. Urban IV summoned him to Rome and commanded him to compose the office for the feast of Corpus Christi, and Blessed Gregory X sent him to the Council of Lyons.

On the way Thomas fell sick at the monastery of Fossa Nuova, where he wrote a commentary on the Canticle of Canticles in spite of his sufferings. There he died at fifty on the Nones of March 1274. Leo XIII made him patron of all Catholic schools.

– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964

 

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“JESUS, YOU ARE MY FAMILY”: WHAT MY CRUCIFIX MEANS TO ME

We heard faintly from the lips of a dying religious a few stanzas which she murmured while her tearful eyes were fixed on the crucifix in her hand.

We give them, just as we found them in a book belonging to one of the pious sisters.

They were, without doubt, written for the cloister, but why not bring into families from time to time a little of the calm, peaceful, loving atmosphere of religious houses?

To My Crucifix

Come, let me hold thee to my heart, my hope divine/ Thou blessed sign of heavenly happiness/ Thou whom I hold in live ne’er to resign/ Since the vows I profess.

Yes, let me hold thee close; for art thou not my all?/ Art thou not my treasure till my last hour is near?/ Art thou not of the Spouse, whose image thou dost recall/ The tenderest souvenir?

On thee, on thee alone, my fervent hopes I base/ Than sceptres thou more precious dost appear/ And beyond the empire of the world I place/ My crucifix most dear.

For thou dost take the place of riches and of home/ All that I’ve left thou dost become for me/ My love, my only good, wherever I may roam/ My family ‘this thee.

Beyond the nails and tears naught wish I to possess/ What are the world’s most dazzling favours worth?/ One sigh breathed at thy feet for me doth more express/ than loud songs of mirth.

Thou ne’er wilt leave me when the last hour’s at hand/ My dying glance thy holy face will seek/ For the mute prayer thou sure wilt understand/ I am too weak to speak.

When this poor frame lies motionless and cold/ My rigid fingers still will clasp my all/ When friends have left, thou still thy watch wilt hold/ Beneath my funeral pall.

Ah! yes, come to my heart, thou holy, wondrous sign!/ Speak of my God, whose love is ever high/ May I love Him, and follow, suffer, ne’er repine/ To my last earthly sigh.

– From: Golden Grains, Eighth Edition, H.M. Gill and Son, Dublin, 1889

 

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READ ME OR RUE IT

Help, help, they suffer so much!

I. We can never understand too clearly that every alms, small or great, which we give to the poor we give to God.

He accepts it and rewards it as given to Himself. Therefore all we do for the Holy Souls God accepts as done to Himself. It is as if we relieved or released Him from Purgatory.

What a thought! How He will repay us!

II. As there is no hunger, no thirst, no poverty, no need, no pain, no suffering compared in the Church with what the Souls in Purgatory endure there is no alms more deserving, none more pleasing to God, none more meritorious for us than the alms, the prayers, the Masses we give to the Holy Souls.

III. It is very possible that some of our own nearest and dearest ones are still suffering the excruciating pains of Purgatory and calling us piteously for help and relief.

Is it not dreadful that we are so hardened as not to think more about them, that we are so cruel as to deliberately forget them!

For the dear Christ’s sake let us do all, but all, we can for them.

Approval of His Eminence the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon

We approve and recommend with all our heart the beautiful little book “Read Me or Rue It” by E.R.M. Although small it is destined to do great good among Catholics, many of whom are incredibly ignorant of the great doctrine of Purgatory. As a consequence they do little or nothing to avoid it themselves and little to help the poor souls who are suffering there so intensely, waiting for the Masses and prayers which should be offered for them. It is our earnest desire that every Catholic should read this little book and spread it about as widely as possible. 4/6/1936 (signed by His Eminence the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon)

“READ ME OR RUE IT”

Foreword

This title is somewhat startling, yet, dear Reader, if you peruse the little book you will see for yourself how well deserved it is.

The book tells us how to save ourselves and how to save others from untold suffering.

Some books are good and may be read with great profit. Others are better and should be read without fail.

There are, however, books of such sterling worth by reason of the counsels they suggest, the conviction they carry with them, the urge to action they give us that it would be sheer folly not to read them.

“Read Me or Rue It” belongs to this class.

It is for your best interest, dear friend, to read it and re-read it, to ponder well and deeply on its contents. You will never regret it, rather great and poignant will be your regret if you fail to study its few but pregnant pages.

 

Index

[The little book can be read by navigating via the “next chapter” link at the bottom of each chapter to “turn the page”. Please click here to begin reading Chapter I. In addition, you can find the chapters listed below as arranged in the booklet]

I. “Have Pity On Me, At Least You, My Friends!”

II. Purgatory: The Soul Craves With All Intensity For God

III. Deliberately Not To Think Of Purgatory Is Asking For A Long Purgatory

IV. Case Studies: The Atheist Author-To-Be

V. “I Neglected To Offer Suffrages For The Souls In Purgatory”

VI. How Long Do Souls Remain In Purgatory?

VII. …Until We Shall Have Paid The Last Farthing

VIII. Worldly Attachment: “Many Around Us Live In Hunger And Misery While We Spent Lavishly And Needlessly On Ourselves”

IX. Who Can Have More Claim On Us?

X. Why Pray For The Souls In Purgatory?

XI. The Holy Souls Will Repay Us A Thousand Times Over

XII. How We Can Help The Holy Souls In Purgatory

XIII. What The Holy Souls Do For Those Who Help Them

XIV. Further Examples Of The Most Amazing Help Afforded By The Holy Souls

XV. The Holy Souls Are Second To None In Generosity

 

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THE HOLY SOULS ARE SECOND TO NONE IN GENEROSITY

Previous chapter

The more we give, the more we get

A business man in Boston joined the Association of the Holy Souls and gave a large sum of money annually that prayers and Masses might be said for them.

The Director of the Association was surprised at the gentleman’s generosity for he knew that he was not a rich man. He asked kindly one day if the alms he so generously gave was his own offering, or donations gathered from others.

“What I offer, dear Father,” he said “is my own offering. Be not alarmed. I am not a very rich man and you may think that I give more than I am able to do. It is not so, for far from losing by my charity the Holy Souls see to it that I gain considerably more than I give. They are second to none in generosity.”

 

The Printer of Cologne

The celebrated printer of Cologne, William Freyssen, gives us the following account of how his wife and child were restored to health by the Holy Souls.

William Freyssen got the order to print a little work on Purgatory. Correcting the proofs his attention was caught by the facts narrated in the book. He learned for the first time what wonders the Holy Souls can work for their friends.

Just at that time his son fell grievously ill and soon the case became desperate. Remembering what he had read about the power of the Holy Souls, Freyssen at once promised to spread, at his own expense, a hundred copies of the book which his firm was printing. To make the promise more solemn he went to the Church and there made his vow. At once a sense of peace and confidence filled his soul.

On his return home, the boy, who had been unable to swallow a drop of water, asked for food. Next day he was out of danger and soon completely cured.

He was completely cured

At once Freyssen ordered the books on Purgatory to be distributed, feeling sure that it was the best way to obtain help for the suffering souls, by interesting a hundred people in them. No one who knows what they suffer can refuse to pray for them.

A new sorrow

Time passed, and a new sorrow fell to the share of the printer. This time his dear wife was stricken down and, despite every care, grew daily worse. She lost the use of her mind and was almost completely paralysed, so that the doctor gave up all hope.

The husband, bethinking him, of what the Holy Souls had done for his boy, again ran to the Church and promised to distribute 200 of the books on Purgatory, begging in exchange the urgent succour of the Holy Souls.

A complete recovery

Wonderful to relate, the mental aberration ceased, his wife’s mind became normal, she recovered the use of her limbs, and of her tongue. In a short time she was perfectly restored to health.

The Cure of Cancer

D. Joana de Menezes thus tells of her cure.

She was suffering severely from a cancerous growth in the leg and was plunged into grief.

Remembering what she had heard of the power of the Souls in Purgatory she resolved to place her confidence in them and had nine Masses offered for them. She promised, moreover, to publish her cure if it were granted.

Gradually the swelling went down and the tumour and cancer disappeared.

An escape from Brigands

Father Louis Mamaci, zealous Missionary, had great devotion to the Souls in Purgatory. He found himself obliged to set out on a dangerous journey but confidently asked the Holy Souls to protect him in the dangers that he was likely to meet with. His road lay through a vast desert which he knew to be infested by brigands.

Whilst plodding along, saying the Rosary for the Holy Souls…

Whilst plodding along, saying the Rosary for the Holy Souls, what was not his surprise, on looking round, to find himself surrounded as by a bodyguard of blessed spirits. Soon he discovered the reason. He had fallen into an ambuscade of brigands but the Holy Souls at once surrounded him and drove off the miscreants who sought his life. The Holy Souls did not abandon him until he was well out of danger.

A return to life

The Prior of Cirfontaines gives us his story.

A young man of my parish fell dangerously ill with a typhoid fever. His parents were overcome with grief and asked me to recommend him to the prayers of the members of the Association of the Holy Souls.

It was Saturday. The boy was at death’s door. The doctors had recourse to every remedy. All in vain. They were in despair.

I was the only one who had hope

I was the only one who had hope. I knew the power of the Holy Souls, for I had already seen what they could do.

On Sunday I begged the Associates of the Holy Souls to pray fervently for our sick friend.

On Monday the danger passed. The boy was cured.

 

Read and Wake Up

In my long life, writes a priest, I have noticed with amazement how few Catholics give generously to the poor and needy, notwithstanding what Our Blessed Lord commands them to do.

I have also remarked that some Catholics are, indeed, very generous and good. Some care for the poor, others look after the sick. Lepers, consumptives, cancer patients, the mentally deficient, all have their friends. Some prefer to help the young, the hearts of others go out to the old. All the various classes of the poor and needy find champions though, generous as they should be.

The strangest thing of all

The strangest thing of all is that I have never met one man or woman who has dedicated himself entirely, wholeheartedly to the greatest of all charities, to the greatest of all the needy – viz the Holy Souls of Purgatory.

There may be a few who do so but in my long and very varied experience I never met any.

Alas! the words of this good priest are only too true.

We appeal to those who have not as yet dedicated themselves to any particular form of charity to dedicate all their energies to the Holy Souls. Let them do what they can personally and also induce others to help.

The best way is to spread about hundreds of copies of this little book [or print off the text and spread the word] and so make hundreds of friends for the Holy Souls. Who can read it and refuse to help them?

 

– From: Read Me or Rue It , by E.D.M., approved of His Eminence the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon 4/6/1936, printed by Kerryman, Co Kerry, Ireland

 

 

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