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Monthly Archives: May 2020

PENTECOST BIBLE READING (ACTS 2:1-11)

PENTECOST BIBLE READING (ACTS 2:1-11)

FIRST READING OF PENTECOST SUNDAY, YEAR A, MASS DURING THE DAY

When Pentecost day came round, the apostles had all met in one room, when suddenly they heard what sounded like a powerful wind from heaven, the noise of which filled the entire house in which they were sitting; and something appeared to them that seemed like tongues of fire; these separated and came to rest on the head of each of them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak foreign languages as the Spirit gave them the gift of speech.

Now there were devout men living in Jerusalem from every nation under heaven, and at this sound they all assembled, each one bewildered to hear these men speaking his own language. They were amazed and astonished. “Surely” they said “all these men speaking are Galileans? How does it happen that each of us hears them in his own native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; people from Mesopotamia, Judaea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Lybia around Cyrene; as well as visitors from Rome – Jews and proselytes alike – Cretans and Arabs; we hear them preaching in our own language about the marvels of God.”

V. The word of the Lord.

R. Thanks be to God.

 

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PRAYER TO ST JOSEPH

PRAYER TO ST JOSEPH

Glorious St Joseph, who wast chosen by Almighty God to be the foster-father of the Word made flesh, the comforter of His most holy Mother, the faithful co-operator among men in His greatest design, obtain for me to do in all things the Will of the Father, to cherish in my heart the mysteries accomplished in the person of the Son, and by the abundant graces of the Holy Ghost to persevere, pure of heart and chaste of body, in the service of God.

 
 

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TODAY’S GOSPEL READING (JOHN 14:15-21)

TODAY’S GOSPEL READING (JOHN 14:15-21)

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘If you love me you will keep my commandments.
I shall ask the Father,
and he will give you another Advocate
to be with you for ever,
that Spirit of truth
whom the world can never receive
since it neither sees nor knows him,
but you know him,
because he is with you, he is in you.
I will not leave you orphans;
I will come back to you.
In a short time the world will no longer see me;
but you will see me,
because I live and you will live.
On that day
you will understand that I am in my Father
and you in me and I in you.
Anybody who receives my commandments and keeps them
will be one who loves me;
and anybody who loves me will be loved by my Father,
and I shall love him and show myself to him.’

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

 

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PRAYER TO ST PASCHAL BAYLON

PRAYER TO ST PASCHAL BAYLON

O God, who endowed blessed Paschal, your confessor, with a wondrous love for the sacred mysteries of your body and blood, mercifully grant that we may be found worthy to share in the same spiritual abundance he received in this divine banquet. 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.

 
 

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LORD JESUS, FILL US WITH YOUR LOVE

LORD JESUS, FILL US WITH YOUR LOVE

Lord Jesus,

You came to serve, not to be served,

form within us Your generous spirit.

Fill us with Your love,

that we may love the Father

as You love Him.

Fill us with Your compassion,

that we may see our brothers and sisters

as You see them.

Fill us with Your courage,

that we may give our lives in service

to the Church as You gave Your life for us.

Fill us with that Spirit which will make us

preachers of Your Word,

friends of the poor

and the voice of the forgotten.

Transform us through Your Holy Spirit

so that we may transform the world

into Your Kingdom of justice and faith.

Amen.

– from a prayer card

 

 

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“I CHOOSE THE LITTLE ONES AND THE WEAK”

“I CHOOSE THE LITTLE ONES AND THE WEAK”

THE APPARITION OF PELLEVOISIN, 1876

Estelle Faguette, lady’s maid to the Countess Arthur de La Rouchefoucauld, became very ill in Paris in May, 1875. She was admitted to hospital there, and the doctors diagnosed her illness as an advanced case of consumption. She was also suffering from a tumour which she had had for ten years. The doctors said there was no hope for her. Estelle was thirty-two years old at the time.

THE DOCTORS SAID THERE WAS NO HOPE FOR HER

A short time later,  she was moved to a house owned by her employers in Pellevoisin in the diocese of Bourges.

In September, 1875, Estelle wrote a letter to the Blessed Virgin. A new shrine to Our Lady of Lourdes had been erected near Pellevoisin. She asked a friend to take her letter to the shrine and hide it in the stones at the feet of the Virgin’s statue.

For a long time she could not resign herself to the thought of dying. “It’s not fair,” she said to herself. “God can’t take me now. I’m the only support of my mother and father and little orphan niece. How would they get along without me?”

AFTER A LONG STRUGGLE WITH HERSELF, SHE WAS ABLE TO MAKE AN ACT OF COMPLETE RESIGNATION 

After a long struggle with herself, she was able to make an act of complete resignation. “My God,” she prayed, “in expiation of my sins, let me suffer. Behold, I am ready; strike as it shall please You; only give me courage, patience, and resignation to Your holy will. If groans escape from my lips, receive them as prayers from my heart to Yours.”

On February 10, 1876, the doctor said she had only a few hours to live. When told that she could keep nothing in her stomach, he said, “It is useless to torture her for the short time she has to live.”

SHE SEEMED TO BE IN HER LAST AGONY

She was still alive on Tuesday, February 15, although she was expected to die momentarily. That morning she told the priest that the Blessed Virgin had appeared to her during the night and that she would be either dead or cured by the following Saturday. The next day she told the priest that she had seen the Virgin again and that she would be cured Saturday. On Thursday morning she emphatically repeated the statement to the priest and to several other people.

On Friday night she seemed to be in her last agony. The priest wished to hear her confession, but she said she would wait until the next day when she would be well. He was very uneasy about this, but he left without hearing her confession.

“YOU HAVE EDIFIED US BY YOUR COURAGE AND RESIGNATION”

On Saturday morning she told the priest that she felt as if she had been cured but that she could not move her right arm. She had lost the use of it four or five days earlier. The priest gave her Holy Communion.

“MAKE THE SIGN OF THE CROSS WITH YOUR RIGHT HAND”

Then he said to her: “My poor Estelle, you have edified us by your courage and resignation. Be full of confidence now, and to prove to us that what you have said is not an illusion, make the Sign of the Cross with your right hand.”

Estelle raised the hand, and the seven or eight people present saw her make the Sign of the Cross without the least difficulty.

Later that day she got up, dressed herself, ate a meal, and talked happily with her friends. The consumption was gone. The tumour, which had grown larger during her illness, had disappeared completely. The doctors who had been attending her said the cure could not have come from natural causes.

Estelle lived for many years after that and never had a relapse. In fact, her health remained better than it had been before her illness.

“DO YOU NOT SEE THAT SHE WEARS MY LIVERY?”

The next day Estelle wrote her account of the five apparitions. On the night of the 14th, she says, she was trying to get some rest “when suddenly the demon appeared at the foot of my bed. He was horrible and at once began to make grimaces at me. Scarcely had I seen him when our Blessed Lady appeared on the other side at the corner of my bed. She wore a pure white woolen veil, which fell in three folds. I can never describe how beautiful she was. Her features were regular, her colour white and rose tint, rather pale. Her large gentle eyes reassured me somewhat but not completely.

“The demon, perceiving the Blessed Virgin, drew back, dragging the curtain and the iron rod of my bed. This increased my terror which became unendurable. I crouched down in bed. He did not speak but turned his back to me.

“The Blessed Virgin said to him sharply: ‘What brings you here? Do you not see that she wears my livery, and that of my Son?’ He disappeared gesticulating. Then she turned to me and said gently, ‘Fear nothing; you are my daughter.’ Then I remembered that from the age of fourteen I have been a child of Mary. I now felt less fear.

“HAVE COURAGE”

She said to me gently: ‘Have courage; be patient; my Son will allow himself to be prevailed upon. You will suffer five days longer in honour of the five wounds of my Son. On Saturday, you will be either dead or cured. If my Son restores you to life, I wish you to publish my glory.'”

Our Lady told Estelle the next night that she was to be cured on Saturday. “If my Son has allowed Himself to be prevailed upon, it is because of your resignation and your patience.” Then our Lady reproved Estelle for the faults she had committed during her past life. They had seemed to be very small faults when she committed them, but now she saw that any sin is big in the eyes of God.

“I would have longed to cry out for pardon, but could not; my grief overcame me… Oh, how sad I felt.”

The next night our Lady reassured Estelle. “By your resignation you have expiated your faults… I am all merciful… Your good works and fervent prayers have touched my mother’s heart. Among others that little letter you wrote to me in September. What moved me were the words: ‘See the sorrow of my parents. If I fail them they are on the eve of begging bread. Remember, then, what you suffered when your Son Jesus was stretched out upon the Cross.'”

The fourth appearance was very much like the first three.

Estelle asked our Lady on the fifth if she should change her state in life. “One can be saved in every state,” was the answer. “Where you are, you can do a great deal of good, and you can publish my glory. What afflicts me most is the want of respect shown by some people to my divine Son in Holy Communion and the attitude taken for prayer, when at the same time the mind continues occupied with other things. I say this for people who pretend to be pious.”

After our Lady disappeared that night, Estelle was cured.

WHAT BEAUTY! WHAT SWEETNESS! 

On July 1, Estelle was kneeling in front of the fireplace when our Lady appeared for a sixth time. “What beauty! What sweetness! The ends of her cincture nearly reached the hem of her dress. She was all in white and remained standing… When I first saw her, she had her arms stretched out and from her hands there fell drops like rain. She looked at something fixedly, then taking one of the tassels of her cincture, she raised it to her breast on which she crossed her hands. She smiled, and, looking at me, said: ‘Be calm, my child; have patience; you will have sorrows, but I will be with you.'”

The following night, our Lady said that the Heart of her Son bears so much love for her “that He cannot refuse me any requests.” She also said, “I have come especially for the conversion of sinners.”

On July 3, our Lady returned, but her visit was short. She did not come again until September 9. “For a long time, the treasures of my Son have been open,” she said. “Let them pray.” Here Estelle said she was given to understand that Jesus had shown, through St Margaret Mary, the glory and the power of the devotion of His Most Sacred Heart.

The Blessed Mother raised a small piece of woolen cloth which she wore on her breast. Estelle saw a red heart on it.

(to be continued)

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

 

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PRAYER TO ST BRENDAN

PRAYER TO ST BRENDAN

Glorious St Brendan, who during thy mortal course here on earth placed all thy glory in the annihilation of thyself before Him, for whose glory, and at whose call you forsook all things, thy country as well as thy people and thy father’s house: Look down now from the bosom of that God Whom thou didst ardently love whilst in this land of danger and sorrow, and forget not the charge thou didst receive when I, thine unworthy client, was committed to thy care, and received thee as patron, protector and advocate with Him Who is so much outraged by my infidelity and imperfection. 

Animated with firm hope in that charity which consumed thee in the service of thy neighbour, I confidently look up to thee now, where charity is perfect, and implore thee to use thy powerful intercession with thy Creator to obtain for me that succour which I  so much need to run faithfully the course on which I have entered. 

O most compassionate father, behold the barrenness of this garden of my soul, notwithstanding the care the divine husbandman takes to render it fruitful. Let that charity and compassion for the miserable which consumed thee here be excited towards me, who groan under the slavery of my evil habits. 

Come then, O holy Saint Brendan, and enable me to do violence to my inclinations, and to pluck up those noxious weeds which disfigure the garden of my soul. Plant and nurture there, I beseech thee, those fragrant flowers which will render to the Heavenly Bridegroom such an odour of sweetness as will constrain Him to make His abode there. 

I most earnestly beseech thee to obtain for me in an especial manner the virtue of  (name it) together with the gift of final perseverance that I may for ever share with thee the reward promised to those who faithfully follow Christ. Amen.

– St Anthony’s Treasury, Laverty & Sons, Leeds,  1916

 
 

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ST PEDRO POVEDA, PRIEST AND MARTYR

ST PEDRO POVEDA, PRIEST AND MARTYR

ST PEDRO POVEDA, PRIEST AND MARTYR – MEMORIAL: JULY 28

Pedro Poveda was born in Linares, (Jaen), southern Spain, in 1874 and was ordained priest in Guadix (Granada) in 1897. It was there that he began apostolic work among the people of the cave district.

Later he was named Canon in the Basilica of Covadonga in the north. From there, in 1911 he founded The Teresian Association, which received pontifical approval in 1924. In Jaen, and later Madrid, he continued to be actively committed to the cause of education and to the disadvantaged in society. He died a martyr for his faith on 28 July, 1936. He was canonised in 2003.

PRAYER:

Lord our God, You gave Your priest Saint Pedro Poveda the gift of encouraging lay Christians in their call to make Christ present in the world, through education and culture; You gave him the grace of sealing his life with martyrdom. Through his intercession grant us the courage to announce the Gospel openly, bearing witness to it and confessing our faith. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

(with ecclesiastical permission)

– from a prayer card

 

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TODAY’S GOSPEL READING (JOHN 15:18-21)

TODAY’S GOSPEL READING (JOHN 15:18-21)

Jesus said to his disciples:
“If the world hates you,
remember that it hated me before you.
If you belonged to the world,
the world would love you as its own;
but because you do not belong to the world,
therefore the world hates you.
Remember the words I said to you:
A servant is not greater than his master.
If they persecuted me,
they will persecute you too;
if they kept my word,
they will keep yours as well.
But it will be on my account that they will do all this,
because they do not know the one who sent me.”

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

 

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FATIMA: REVELATIONS TO LUCIA, 1925 – 1929

FATIMA: REVELATIONS TO LUCIA, 1925 – 1929

THE HEART ENCIRCLED WITH THORNS

“You must remain longer here below,” our Lady said to Lucia. “Jesus will use you to make me better known and better loved.”

So Lucia had remained on this earth long after her two cousins had been taken.

In January, 1918, the Holy See re-established the diocese of Leiria, after a lapse of sixty years. Fatima is part of this diocese. The Reverend Joseph Correia da Silva was named Bishop and took possession of his diocese August 5, 1920.

The new Bishop considered it one of his most important duties to investigate the complete story of the Fatima apparitions. He interviewed Lucia on June 13, 1921. He told her that he thought it would be best if she entered a convent school. The purpose of this was to take Lucia away from the devout people and curiosity seekers who were constantly around her and to give her a chance to forget the apparitions should they prove to be imaginary. The Bishop also wished to determine whether the many cures and conversions which were taking place at the Cova were induced by hysteria caused by her presence there. He wished to see whether the cures and conversions would continue to take place in her absence.

THE SISTERS OF ST DOROTHY 

“You must not tell anyone when or where you are going,” the Bishop said.

“Yes, Bishop.”

“You must not tell a soul at school who you are.”

“Yes, Bishop.”

“And you must not utter a word about Fatima.”

“Yes, Bishop.” Lucia would do whatever she was commanded.

It was not easy to leave her home and her mother, but she offered the sacrifice to save souls from hell. She entered a school conducted by the Sisters of St Dorothy. She was given a new name, Maria das Dores, and only the superior knew who she was.

When she completed the course of studies, she asked whether she might be admitted to the order. She entered the convent in 1925, became a novice on November 2, 1926, and two years later made her vows as a lay Sister. On October 3, 1934, she made her perpetual vows. She was known in the order as Sister Dores. This word means sorrows and is not a proper name in English. The nearest thing to it is Dolores.

THE FIRST SATURDAYS

On December 10, 1925, our Lady came back, as she had said she would, to request Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays. Lucia was praying in her cell at the convent when our Lady appeared, together with the Child Jesus elevated on a cloud of light. Our Lady rested one hand on Lucia’s shoulder. In the other, she held a heart surrounded with sharp thorns. The Child Jesus spoke first:

“Have pity on the Heart of your Most Holy Mother. It is covered with the thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment, and there is no one to remove them with an act of reparation.”

Then our Lady said:

“My daughter, look at my heart encircled with the thorns with which ungrateful men pierce at it every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. Do you at least try to console me and announce in my name that I promise to assist at the hour of death with the graces necessary for salvation all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, go to Confession and receive Holy Communion, recite the Rosary and keep me company for a quarter of an hour while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary with the intention of making reparation.”

The request for the First Saturday devotion was repeated 1926 and 1927.

In 1927 our Lord spoke to Lucia from the tabernacle, while she was praying in the convent chapel in Tuy, Spain. He gave her permission to reveal two parts of the July apparition which had been kept secret until that time. These were the vision of hell and the long message beginning, “You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish throughout the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart…” This was the message which said that if people did not stop offending God another worse war would begin in the reign of Pius XI. It was also the message in which our Lady said, “If my requests are granted, Russia will be converted and there will be peace. If not, she shall spread her errors throughout the world, promoting wars and persecutions of the Church…”

“WORTHY OF BELIEF” 

For some reason, the authorities did not allow this message to be known to the world until 1942.

The third part of the July message has not yet been revealed. Acting on instructions from heaven, Lucia has written it down and the Bishop of Leiria has placed it in his archives.

In 1929, our Lady came to ask the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart. In the July apparition she had said she would come back to make this request. She asked that the consecration be made by the Holy Father in unison with all the bishops of the world.

Three years passed and nothing was done. Lucia again wrote to the Bishop. She quoted our Lord as saying, “The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, but it will be late.”

On October 13, 1930, the thirteenth anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun, the Bishop of Leiria published a pastoral letter in which he said that the apparitions of Fatima were worthy of belief. The investigation had been under way since 1922.

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

 

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