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Monthly Archives: October 2019

SS. SIMON AND JUDE, APOSTLES

SS. SIMON AND JUDE, APOSTLES

SS. SIMON AND JUDE, APOSTLES – FEAST: OCTOBER 28

Simon was a Chananite, sometimes called Zelotes. Thaddeus (who in the Gospel is called Jude the brother of James) was the author of one of the catholic epistles. Simon went through Egypt preaching the Gospel, Thaddeus did the same in Mesopotamia. Afterwards they met in Persia, where they raised countless children to Christ. Together in those far-reaching countries by their teaching and their miracles, they spread the faith. Finally by a glorious martyrdom they paid together their testimony of honour to the most holy name of Jesus.

PRAYER:

O God, who have given us a way of coming to know your name through your blessed Apostles, Simon and Jude, grant us to honour their everlasting glory by becoming more holy and to become more holy by honouring it. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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

 

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TODAY’S GOSPEL READING (LUKE 18:9-14)

TODAY’S GOSPEL READING (LUKE 18:9-14)

Jesus spoke the following parable to some people who prided themselves on being virtuous and despised everyone else.

“Two men went up to the Temple to pray, one a Pharisee, the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood there and said this prayer to himself, ‘I thank you, God, that I am not grasping, unjust, adulterous like the rest of mankind, and particularly that I am not like this tax collector here. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes on all I get.’

The tax collector stood some distance away, not daring even to raise his eyes to heaven; but he beat his breast and said, ‘God, be merciful on me, a sinner.’

This man, I tell you, went home again at rights with God; the other did not. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the man who humbles himself will be exalted.”

V. The Gospel of the Lord.
R. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

 
 

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YOU HAVE HERE NO LASTING HOME

YOU HAVE HERE NO LASTING HOME

YOU ARE A STRANGER AND A PILGRIM WHEREVER YOU MAY BE

You have here no lasting home. You are a stranger and a pilgrim wherever you may be, and you shall have no rest until you are wholly united with Christ.

Why do you look about here when this is not the place of your repose? Dwell rather upon heaven and give but a passing glance to all earthly things. They all pass away, and you together with them. Take care, then, that you do not cling to them lest you be entrapped and perish. Fix your mind on the Most High, and pray unceasingly to Christ.

GIVE BUT A PASSING GLANCE TO EARTHLY THINGS

If you do not know how to meditate on heavenly things, direct your thoughts to Christ’s passion and willingly behold His sacred wounds. If you turn devoutly to the wounds and precious stigmata of Christ, you will find great comfort in suffering, you will mind but little the scorn of men, and you will easily bear their slanderous talk.

CHRIST WAS LEFT BY FRIENDS, HE HAD ENEMIES AND DEFAMERS 

When Christ was in the world, He was despised by men; in the hour of need He was forsaken by acquaintances and left by friends in the depths of scorn. He was willing to suffer and to be despised; do you dare to complain of anything? He had enemies and defamers; do you want everyone to be your friend, your benefactor? How can your patience be rewarded if no adversity test it? How can you be a friend of Christ if you are not willing to suffer any hardship? Suffer with Christ and for Christ if you wish to reign with Him.

SPIRITUAL PEACE

Had you but once entered into perfect communion with Jesus or tasted a little of His ardent love, you would care nothing at all for your own comfort or discomfort but would rejoice in the reproach you suffer; for love of Him makes a man despise himself.

A man who is a lover of Jesus and of truth, a truly interior man who is free from uncontrolled affections, can turn to God at will and rise above himself to enjoy spiritual peace.

– From: Thomas a Kempis; The Imitation of Christ (15th century)

 

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INTERCESSION IS THE CHARACTERISTIC OF CHRISTIAN WORSHIP

INTERCESSION IS THE CHARACTERISTIC OF CHRISTIAN WORSHIP

Every one knows, who has any knowledge of the Gospel, that Prayer is one of its special ordinances; but not every one, perhaps, has noticed what kind of prayer its inspired teachers most carefully enjoin… Yet it is observable, that though prayer for self is the first and plainest of Christian duties, the Apostles especially insist on another kind of prayer; prayer for others, for ourselves with others, for the Church, and the world, that it may be brought into the Church. Intercession is the characteristic of Christian worship.

– St John Henry Newman; In prayer we show our love for others and their needs. P. S. III, 350

 

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SS. MARCELLINUS, PETER AND ERASMUS THE BISHOP – PRAYER

SS. MARCELLINUS, PETER AND ERASMUS THE BISHOP – PRAYER

SS. MARCELLINUS, PETER AND ERASMUS THE BISHOP, MARTYRS – MEMORIAL: JUNE 2

O God, who gladden us each year by the feast of your holy Martyrs, Marcellinus, Peter and Erasmus, graciously grant that, as we rejoice in their merits, we may be inspired by their example. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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

 
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Posted by on October 27, 2019 in Prayers to the Saints

 

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TODAY’S GOSPEL READING (LUKE 13:1-9)

TODAY’S GOSPEL READING (LUKE 13:1-9)

Some people arrived and told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with that of their sacrifices. At this he said to them, “Do you suppose these Galileans who suffered like that were greater sinners than any other Galileans? They were not, I tell you. No; but unless you repent you will perish as they did. Or those eighteen on whom the tower at Siloam fell and killed them? Do you suppose that they were more guilty than all the other people living in Jerusalem? They were not, I tell you. No; but unless you repent you will all perish as they did.”

He told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came looking for fruit on it but found none. He said to the man who looked after the vineyard, ‘Look here, for three years now I have been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and finding none. Cut it down: why should it be taking up the ground?’ ‘Sir,’ the man replied ‘leave it one more year and give me time to dig round it and manure it: it may bear fruit next year; if not, then you can cut it down.’”

V. The Gospel of the Lord.
R. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

 
 

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WHY DID THE VIRGIN MARY APPEAR AT KNOCK?

WHY DID THE VIRGIN MARY APPEAR AT KNOCK?

A meditation on Knock will ultimately lead us to the Lamb of God, who for us was slain on Calvary, and by whose Precious Blood our souls that have been defiled by sin are washed white as snow. (Rev. Patrick O’Carroll) 

Pilgrimages to Knock began soon after the apparition and have continued ever since. About 250.000 pilgrims go there every year. This is a remarkable number in view of the fact that Knock has no train or bus service and that the shrine has not been formally approved by the Holy See. During World War II, 10.000 Masses were offered in honour of Our Lady of Knock for the intention of keeping Ireland at peace. Many of the people credit Our Lady of Knock with keeping Ireland out of the war just as the Portuguese people give credit to Our Lady of Fatima for keeping their country at peace.

WHAT DID THE APPARITION MEAN? 

What did the apparition mean? At Paris, La Salette, Lourdes, and Fatima, our Lady spoke. We have her own words on record. At Knock, she said nothing. Yet we can be certain that she did not appear without an important purpose.

IN IRELAND, THE PEOPLE HAD CLUNG TO THE CATHOLIC FAITH DESPITE OF BITTER PERSECUTION

In most of Europe – in most of the [Western] world, for that matter – people had turned away from God. Even in such supposedly Catholic countries as Spain, France, Italy and Portugal, men were worshipping reason and science instead of God. But in Ireland, the people had clung to their faith despite three and a half centuries of bitter persecution. They had retained their love for the Mass during all the years that the Mass had been officially outlawed. They had never faltered in their devotion to the Blessed Mother, a devotion that had been brought to them by St Patrick himself. Every night, in thousands of miserable huts all over the island, families had knelt on the dirt floors to say the Rosary together.

SHE COMFORTED THEM IN THEIR AFFLICTIONS

It seems likely that Mary appeared in Ireland to reward the people for their devotion and to comfort them in their afflictions. Many authorities on Knock point out that Mary was wearing a crown. Thus, they say, she represented herself as Queen of Heaven, Queen of Ireland, Mediatrix of All Graces.

“The mission of Mary to Knock was not one of rebuke or complaint against our people, as was the case at La Salette and Lourdes, against the prevailing vices and abuses that were shaking the very foundations of the faith in France in those days,” says the Very Rev. Jarlath Royanne, O. Cist. “Neither was it a call to do penance on those occasions. No, Mary’s mission to her faithful Irish people that day was rather one of compassion and comfort, with an implied admonition, no doubt, of dangers ahead, and the imperative need of prayer.”

ON THE EVE OF THE OCTAVE OF THE FEAST OF THE ASSUMPTION

Every early account of the apparition points out that it occurred on the eve of the octave of the feast of the Assumption. Did Mary intend to establish this connection between Knock and Fatima? At any rate, the coincidence is interesting. It reminds us that Mary, Our Queen, has an Immaculate Heart filled with an almost infinite love for us.

ST JOSEPH’S APPEARANCE 

The two saints who appeared with Mary were the two people – next to our Lord Himself – who were most closely associated with her while she was in this world. St Joseph cared for her before Jesus was born, and he watched over her and Jesus for some years after that. As head of the Holy Family, he is the model husband and father. He is also the Patron of the Universal Church. In the apparition he was looking at her in a reverential manner. It seems likely that he represented all families and also the Universal Church in paying homage to the Queen of Heaven.

ST JOHN THE EVANGELIST 

St John was Mary’s guardian after our Lord’s death. He stood with her beneath the cross while Jesus was giving His life for the world. It was to him that our Lord almost with His dying breath said, “Behold thy mother.” St John represented all of us that day.

So St John, by his presence, reminds us that Mary is our spiritual mother. But he does more than that. He was garbed as a bishop and was reading from a Mass book. He stood next to the altar on which was the sacrificial lamb. St John was our Lady’s priest. After the Resurrection he celebrated Mass for her, renewing the sacrifice of Calvary, bringing her Son down upon the altar. It is also interesting to note that in the Apocalypse, St John refers to our Lord as a lamb twenty-seven times.

A FULLER APPRECIATION OF THE HOLY MASS

“A meditation on Knock,” says Rev. Patrick O’Carroll, C.S.Sp., “will ultimately lead us to the Lamb of God, who for us was slain on Calvary, and by whose Precious Blood our souls that have been defiled by sin are washed white as snow. Our attention is above all turned to the same Lamb of God that is mystically immolated on every altar, when the Holy Mass is celebrated. Knock, then, calls for a fuller appreciation of the Mass.”

Virtually all authorities agree on this, that the Mass is the central feature of Knock. Our Lady herself seems to bear this out. Most of the cures there have occurred during Mass. At Lourdes, the Blessed Sacrament is emphasized; at Knock, the Mass.

– From: “The Woman Shall Conquer” by Don Sharkey, Prow Books/Franciscan Marytown Press, Libertyville, IL, 1954

 

 
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Posted by on October 26, 2019 in Devotions

 

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IS THERE A CURE FOR ME AT KNOCK, IRELAND?

IS THERE A CURE FOR ME AT KNOCK, IRELAND?

MEDICAL AND OTHER CURES AT KNOCK 

Cures began taking place at Knock soon after the apparition, and Archdeacon Cavanagh kept a record of them. Here is his first account of the first recorded cure:

DELIA GORDON OF CLAREMORRIS

“On the 31st August 1879 (ten days after the apparition), a girl aged twelve years was cured while attending Mass at Knock. Her parents, Mr. and Mrs. P. J. Gordon of Claremorris, attested that Delia had suffered intensely all her life from deafness and violent pains in her left ear. Several times a week they had to get up in the night to try to relieve the awful pain by various remedies. They took her on a pilgrimage to Knock. While attending Mass there, the pain attacked Delia so badly that she began to cry, and Mrs. Gordon had to bring her outside where they knelt in prayer before the place where the apparition was seen. Mrs. Gordon picked out a piece of cement from the gable, made the Sign of the Cross over it and placed it in the afflicted ear. Almost immediately the pain completely disappeared never to return and no trace of deafness remained. Her general health improved rapidly and in a very short time she became the picture of health and strength.”

THOUSANDS OF CURES

There were thousands of such cures, but they were not scientifically investigated until 1936. In that year the Medical Bureau was established. This Bureau is modelled after the one at Lourdes. Now the world is offered scientific proof of the cures that take place at Knock. Doctors who have no religion at all have admitted that the Bureau is run in an impartial manner and that every case is investigated carefully.

– From: “The Woman Shall Conquer” by Don Sharkey, Prow Books/Franciscan Marytown Press, Libertyville, IL, 1954

 

 
 

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“I MAKE THIS STATEMENT ON MY DEATHBED, KNOWING I AM ABOUT TO GO BEFORE GOD”

“I MAKE THIS STATEMENT ON MY DEATHBED, KNOWING I AM ABOUT TO GO BEFORE GOD”

MANY REMARKABLE CURES TAKE PLACE AT THE SHRINE OF OUR LADY OF KNOCK, COUNTY MAYO, IRELAND 

The Church has not yet pronounced upon the apparition at Knock. The facts… are from purely human testimony. The testimony seems most convincing. The fact that the Knock devotion is still growing after a century is a fair indication that it is not based on a delusion. So is the fact that many remarkable cures have taken place at the shrine and are still taking place.

THE TESTIMONY IS TRUSTWORTHY AND SATISFACTORY 

Within seven weeks of the apparition, the Archbishop of Tuam, the Most Reverend John MacHale, appointed a commission of three priests to investigate. They questioned the witnesses separately and found that their stories agreed in practically all details. The witnesses ranged in age from six-year-old John Curry to seventy-five-year-old Bridget Trench, the lady who had tried to kiss the feet of the Virgin. All were known to be of good character and not the kind who would manufacture such a story. The commission reported that “the testimony of all, taken as a whole, was trustworthy and satisfactory.”

ANOTHER COMMISSION WAS APPOINTED TO INVESTIGATE 

Despite this favourable report, the Archbishop decided to wait. In 1936, Archbishop Gilmartin appointed another commission. Evidence was taken from the two surviving witnesses as well as from persons claiming to have been cured at the shrine. A full statement was forwarded to Rome, but as yet there has been no formal sanction of the shrine.

A FORMAL STATEMENT 

One of the witnesses who lived long enough to testify before both commissions was Mrs. O’Connell, the former Mary Beirne. She was always ready to talk to any visitors and was interviewed numerous times through the years. She talked to newspaper correspondents, archbishops, bishops, and ordinary pilgrims. All were impressed by her candour and her sincerity. In 1936, in a sworn statement, she confirmed her story of 1879. She was grievously ill at the time. After her statement was read to her, she made this addition: “I make this statement on my deathbed, knowing I am about to go before God.” She died six weeks later, on October 19, 1936.

EVERY POSSIBLE NATURAL EXPLANATION HAS BEEN INVESTIGATED 

Every possible natural explanation of the figures has been investigated. It was thought that perhaps someone had projected them with a magic lantern. A commission tried this out but could find no possible way of projecting the images into the air. It will be remembered that they stood out a short distance from the gable.

Newspaper correspondents from England also tried out the magic-lantern idea. They were fair enough to admit that “in the situation a magic lantern was not possible.”

It was suggested that the figures might have been the work of an artist who used phosphorescent paint. When the vision was first seen, however, it was still daylight, and phosphorus would not have been visible.

A story that gained wide circulation was that one of the witnesses was addicted to drink. This was proved to be false. It would not have explained anything anyway. There were fifteen witnesses to the apparition, and no one has suggested that all fifteen were under the influence of alcohol.

… There were thousands of cures at Knock, but they were not scientifically investigated until 1936, when the Medical Bureau was established.

– From: “The Woman Shall Conquer” by Don Sharkey, Prow Books/Franciscan Marytown Press, Libertyville, IL, 1954

 
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Posted by on October 26, 2019 in Words of Wisdom

 

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FAITHFUL THROUGH CENTURIES OF PERSECUTIONS

FAITHFUL THROUGH CENTURIES OF PERSECUTIONS

OUR LADY OF KNOCK (1879) CAME TO A COUNTRY WHICH HAD REMAINED FAITHFUL THROUGH CENTURIES OF PERSECUTIONS

Mary came to a country which had remained faithful through centuries of trials and persecutions. Ireland was poverty stricken, with most of its people living in almost unbelievable squalor. The Catholic Emancipation Act of 1829 had officially ended three centuries of persecution of the Church. During that time thousands of persons had been put to death for their religion.

THE PERSECUTION HAD TAKEN A MORE INSIDIOUS FORM

After 1829, the persecution simply took a more insidious form. Catholics were no longer slaughtered, but they were offered bribes of food and money to abandon their religion and to send their children to non-Catholic schools. It must have been difficult for a man to refuse such a bribe in the famine years when he saw the thin emaciated faces of his wife and children, but the vast majority of people preferred starvation to renouncing their faith.

THE MAJORITY OF PEOPLE PREFERRED STARVATION TO RENOUNCING THE FAITH 

The year 1847 was one of the worst in Ireland’s history. That was the year of the dread potato famine, when thousands died of starvation and thousands of others were forced to leave the country. When it was over, the population of Ireland was half of what it had been, and even today it is much smaller than it was before 1847. There were failures of the potato crop again in 1877, 1878, and 1879.

Typhus fever struck down many of those who escaped death by starvation. At the Cross graveyard in the north of Mayo there were from five to fifteen funerals a day. Because the people were so poor and because so many died, most of them had to be buried without coffins.

Famine, fever, abject poverty, cruel persecution – surely a nation could bear no more. It seemed that the Irish race was destined to be wiped out. Just when conditions were at their worst, Mary appeared at Knock.

– From: “The Woman Shall Conquer” by Don Sharkey, Prow Books/Franciscan Marytown Press, Libertyville, IL, 1954

 

 

 

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