…"If My people who bear My name, humble themselves and pray and seek My presence and turn from their wicked ways, I Myself will hear from Heaven and forgive their sins…" (2 Chron. 7:14) – "You will see that in prayer you will find more knowledge, more light, more strength, more grace and virtue than you could ever achieve by reading many books, or by great studies. Never consider as wasted the time you spend in prayer. You will discover that in prayer God communicates to you the light, strength and grace you need…" (Sr Lucia dos Santos)
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O glorious St Mary Magdalene, model of those who truly desire to follow Our Lord Jesus Christ, obtain for me the graces that will enable me to pour out my soul as sweet perfume upon the feet of my Saviour. You who mourned at the foot of the Cross and rejoiced at the Resurrection, intercede for me, for those who I now name (mention names) and for all who worship in churches dedicated in your name and to the Great Glory of God. Amen.
Dear St Raphael, Angel of Happy Meetings, lead us by the hand toward those we are waiting for and those who are waiting for us. May all our movements, all their movements, be guided by thy light and transfigured by thy joy.
Angel guide of Tobias, lay the request we now address to thee at the feet of Him on whose unveiled face thou art privileged to gaze. (Mention your request.) Lonely and weary, deeply grieved by the separation and sorrows of earth, we feel the need of calling out to thee and of pleading for the protection of thy wings so that we may not be as strangers in the province of joy.
Remember the weak, thou who art strong, whose home lies beyond the region of thunder, in a land that is always peaceful, always serene and bright with the resplendent glory of God. Amen.
O Most Precious Blood of Eternal Life, the ransom and redemption of the whole universe, the drink and bath of our souls, thou Who art ever pleading our cause of men before the throne of God’s sovereign mercy; I adore thee most profoundly, and desire, as far as it is in my power, to compensate thee for the insults and affronts which thou art continually receiving at the hands of men, especially of those who rashly dare to blaspheme thee.
And who is there that will not bless this Blood of infinite value? Who is there that will not feel himself inflamed with love for Jesus Who shed it? What should I be if I had not been redeemed by this Divine Blood? What was it that drew thee forth from the veins of my Lord, even to the last drop? Ah! it was nought else but love.
O boundless love, that has given us this balsam of salvation! O Balsam beyond price, streaming forth from the well-spring of a boundless love, grant, oh, grant that every heart and tongue may praise, and magnify, and bless thee, now and for ever, even unto the day of eternity! Amen.
V. Thou hast redeemed me, O Lord, with thy Blood.
R. And thou hast made us a kingdom unto our God.
– From: St Anthony’s Treasury, Laverty & Sons, Leeds, 1916
Born at Petra, Island of Majorca, St Junipero entered the Franciscan Order in 1730. He was appointed lector of philosophy before his ordination to the priesthood. Later he joined the missionary college of San Fernando, Mexico (1749). While travelling on foot from Vera Cruz to the capital, he injured his leg in such a way that he suffered from it throughout his life, though he continued to make his journeys on foot whenever possible.
He was assigned to the Sierra Gorda Missions some thirty leagues north of Queretaro. He served there for nine years, part of the time as superior, and learned the language of the local native Americans (Pame).
Recalled to Mexico, he became famous as a most fervent and effective preacher of missions. His zeal frequently led him to employ extraordinary means in order to move the people. He would pound his breast with a stone while in the pulpit, scourge himself, or apply a lighted torch to his bare chest. Early in 1769, he founded the first of the twenty-one California missions.
He suffered intensely from his crippled leg, yet he would use no remedies. Besides extraordinary fortitude, his most conspicuous virtues were insatiable zeal, love of mortification, self-denial, and absolute confidence in God.
St Junipero died at Monterey, California, 28 August, 1784. (Excerpts from Catholic Encyclopedia, 1913)
The devotion of the holy Rosary is a summary of Christian faith in language and prayers inspired by the Bible. While praying the prayers in the order outlined below (which quickly becomes ‘second nature’), we meditate on Bible passages and events (mysteries). The Rosary is therefore, among many other things, a Gospel you can ‘read’ everywhere, without having to carry books, and on travels or whilst you walk or have to wait somewhere, as well as in the dark or if you are unable to see or read well. Wherever the Rosary is prayed, it brings countless blessings on the place, and on everyone else around as well as on the people in Communion with the Church worldwide living on earth now and those who lived on earth in the past who have passed on and for the future.
THE SEQUENCE OF THE PRAYERS
You use Rosary beads, if you haven’t got any yet, one can count on one’s ten fingers. The following might seem complicated, but once you want to pray the Rosary for the glory of God and for your own sanctification you will get heavenly assistance to learn the sequence and all the prayers within a relatively short time.
• The sign of the cross is made with the crucifix (“In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”) • Holding the crucifix, recite the Apostles’ Creed • On the 1st bead, say 1 Our Father. • On the next 3 beads, say one Hail Mary each (for faith, hope and charity) • On the next bead say 1 Glory be. • Before you reach the first decade (i.e. a set of a large Our Father bead plus 10 small Hail Mary beads) say the Fatima prayer. • Now announce the first mystery and visualise it while you pray 1 Our Father on the large bead and 10 times the Hail Mary, one Hail Mary for each bead. You might start with visualising an image depicting the mystery, and with more practice the scripture passages will accompany it in your mind, and the icons will come ‘to life’, revealing truths regarding those Bible readings hitherto unknown to you to your heart, mind and soul, which will profoundly deepen your relationship with God and how you live the Gospel inwardly which only God and you know, and outwardly in dealing with situations and fellow people. Mother Mary helps us with that by her company, prayers and love, because she does want no credit for herself, but her one and only constant concern is that people love her Son Jesus. • After the 10 Hail Mary pray 1 Glory be and 1 Fatima prayer. • Proceed with the next mystery in the same order. • After praying 5 mysteries, say the Hail Holy Queen.
THE WORDS OF THE PRAYERS
• THE APOSTLES’ CREED
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, Our Lord; Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell; on the third day He arose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.
• THE OUR FATHER (THE LORD’S PRAYER)
Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
• THE HAIL MARY
Hail, Mary, full of grace! The Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at at the hour of our death. Amen.
• THE GLORY BE
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be. World without end. Amen.
• THE FATIMA PRAYER
O my Jesus, forgive us our sins; save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of thy mercy.
• THE HAIL, HOLY QUEEN
Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of mercy, hail, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve! To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning, and weeping in this vale of tears! Turn then, most gracious advocate, your eyes of mercy towards us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus! O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!
THE MYSTERIES OF THE HOLY ROSARY
• THE JOYFUL MYSTERIES (Said on Mondays and Saturdays, and Sundays from Advent until Lent.)
THE ANNUNCIATION (Lk 1:26-38; Isa 7:10-15) Mary, you received with deep humility the news of the Angel Gabriel that you were to be the Mother of God’s Son; obtain for me a similar HUMILITY.
THE VISITATION (Lk 1:39-56) Mary, you showed true charity in visiting Elizabeth and remaining with her for three months before the birth of John the Baptist; obtain for me the grace to LOVE MY NEIGHBOUR.
THE BIRTH OF JESUS (Lk 2:1-14; Mt 2:1-12; Gal 4:1-7) Jesus, You accepted poverty when You were placed in the manger although You were our God; grant that I may have the SPIRIT OF POVERTY (detachment from worldly goods).
THE PRESENTATION IN THE TEMPLE (Lk 2:22-40) Mary, you obeyed the law of God in presenting the Child Jesus in the Temple; obtain for me the virtue of OBEDIENCE.
THE FINDING IN THE TEMPLE (Lk 2:42-52) Mary, you were sad at the loss of Jesus and joyous on finding Him surrounded by teachers in the Temple; obtain for me the virtue of PIETY.
• THE LUMINOUS MYSTERIES (Said on Thursdays except during Lent)
CHRIST’S BAPTISM IN THE JORDAN (Mt 3:13-17; Isa 42:1-2, 4-5) Jesus, at Your Baptism the Father called You His beloved Son and the Holy Spirit came upon You to invest You with Your mission; help me to KEEP MY BAPTISMAL PROMISES.
CHRIST’S SELF-MANIFESTATION AT CANA (Jn 2:1-11) Mary, the first among believers in Christ, upon your intercession your Son changed water into wine and brought the disciples to faith; help me to DO WHATEVER JESUS SAYS.
CHRIST’S PROCLAMATION OF THE KINGDOM (Mk 1:14-15; Mt 5:1-12) Jesus, You preached the Kingdom of God with its call to forgiveness, inaugurating the ministry of mercy; help me to SEEK FORGIVENESS FOR MY SINS.
THE TRANSFIGURATION OF OUR LORD (Mt 17:1-8; Mk 9:2-8; Lk 9:28-36) Jesus, the glory of the Godhead shone forth from Your face as the Father commanded the Apostles to be transfigured by the Spirit; help me to BE A NEW PERSON IN YOU.
CHRIST’S INSTITUTION OF THE EUCHARIST (LAST SUPPER) (Mt 26:26-30; 1 Cor 11:23-25) Jesus, at the Last Supper, You offered Your Body and Blood as food under the signs of bread and wine and testified Your love for humanity; help me to attain ACTIVE PARTICIPATION AT MASS.
• THE FIVE SORROWFUL MYSTERIES (Said on Tuesdays and Fridays throughout the year, and daily from Ash Wednesday until Easter Sunday)
THE AGONY IN THE GARDEN (Mt 26:36-40) Jesus, in the Garden of Gethsemane, You suffered a bitter agony because of our sins; grant me TRUE CONTRITION (being really sorry for my sins for love of You, and being earnestly resolved not to commit those sins again).
THE SCOURGING AT THE PILLAR (Mt 27:26) Jesus, You endured a cruel scourging and Your flesh was torn by heavy blows; help me to have the virtue of PURITY.
THE CROWNING WITH THORNS (Mt 27:27-31) Jesus, You patiently endured the pain from the crown of sharp thorns that was forced upon Your head; grant me the strength to have MORAL COURAGE.
THE CARRYING OF THE CROSS (Mt 27:32) Jesus, You willingly carried Your Cross for love of Your Father and all people; grant me the virtue of PATIENCE.
THE CRUCIFIXION (Mt 27:33-35; Jn 19:31-37) Jesus, for love of me You endured three hours of torture on the Cross and gave up Your Spirit; grant me the grace of FINAL PERSEVERANCE (being faithful to You during life and at the hour of physical death.)
• THE FIVE GLORIOUS MYSTERIES (Said on Wednesdays except during Lent, and on Sundays from Easter until Advent)
THE RESURRECTION (Mk 16:1-7; Jn 20:19-31) Jesus, You rose from the dead in triumph and remained for forty days with Your disciples, instructing and encouraging them; increase my FAITH.
THE ASCENSION (Mk 16:14-20; Acts 1:1-11) Jesus, in the presence of Mary and the disciples You ascended to heaven to sit at the Father’s right hand; increase in me the virtue of HOPE.
THE DESCENT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT (Jn 14:23-31; Acts 2:w-11) Jesus, as You promised, You sent the Holy Spirit upon Mary and the disciples under the form of tongues of fire; increase my LOVE FOR GOD AND HIS CHURCH.
THE ASSUMPTION (Lk 1:41-50; Ps 45; Gen 3:15) Mary, by the power of God you were assumed into heaven and united with your Divine Son; help me to have TRUE DEVOTION to you.
THE CROWNING OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN (Rev 12:1; Jud 13:18-20; 15:9-10) Mary, you were crowned Queen of heaven by your Divine Son to the great joy of all the Saints; obtain for me ETERNAL HAPPINESS.
• PRAYER AFTER THE ROSARY
O God, Whose only-begotten Son, by His Life, Death, and Resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life: grant, we beseech You, that meditating upon these mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise, through the same Christ our Lord.
The time came for Elizabeth to have her child, and she gave birth to a son; and when her neighbours and relations heard that the Lord had shown her so great a kindness, they shared her joy. Now on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; they were going to call him Zechariah after his father, but his mother spoke up. “No,” she said, “he is to be called John.” They said to her, “But no one in your family has that name,” and made signs to his father to find out what he wanted him called. The father asked for a writing-tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” And they were all astonished.
At that instant his power of speech returned and he spoke and praised God. All their neighbours were filled with awe and the whole affair was talked about through the hill country of Judaea. All those who heard of it treasured it in their hearts. “What will this child turn out to be?” they wondered. And indeed the hand of the Lord was with him.
V. The Gospel of the Lord. R. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.
THE PRAYER OF THE HEAVENLY COURT (as revealed to St Lutgarde, whose memorial is on the 16th of June)
O, all-holy and all-merciful Redeemer, Source of all graces, and our most kind Jesus! Out of incomprehensible love for us poor children of Eve, hast thou left thy seat on the right hand of thy Heavenly Father, and willed to clothe thyself with our helplessness and poverty. Nay, the more surely to win us to love thee in return, thou hast made thyself helpless and poor beyond us all. No possible trouble, no possible toil, hast thou spared thyself in order to save us from the wicked enemy, and make us the children of thy Father in Heaven. Bitterly do I grieve that up till now, I, a valueless and wretched worm of earth, have so little understood the excess of thy Love, and have given thee such poor thanks for all the hardships, pains and martyrdom thou hast bourne for me. And therefore do I now offer up to thee this my unworthy prayer, in honour of thy most life and sufferings and death, and of every year and day and hour thou didst spend on earth for the salvation of lost and sinful men. And I offer thee too, from the inmost depths of my heart, all the myriad acts of praise and love and gratitude of the nine Choirs of holy Angels, and indeed of all creatures from the first moment of their creation until now, and all the acts made by the Most Blessed Virgin Mary with the greatest possible love and devotion since her Immaculate Conception to this very day, together with those she will not cease to make through all the instants of Eternity.
And I offer thee these acts that I may thank thee perfectly for all thou hast done for me:
For thy choice from all Eternity of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary to be the Mother of God;
For her Immaculate Conception, and her preservation from every spot of original sin, in which all other mortals are conceived and born;
For the most pure nativity of thy Immaculate Mother, which shed a light over the whole world and caused joy in Heaven;
For thine own wonderful Conception by the power of the Holy Ghost in the virgin womb of thy chosen Mother which was announced by the Archangel Gabriel;
For the first journey thou didst take, hidden in the most pure womb of thy Holy Mother, a journey over the hills to thy cousin Elizabeth and her child John – John who, even as thou didst, then lay hidden;
For thy holy Nativity, when thou didst come into the world in the greatest poverty and wast born in a stable amid senseless beasts, without even a pillow on which to lay thy Sacred Head, or clothes wherewith to warm and protect thy tender limbs;
For the great honour thou didst vouchsafe to receive from the Adoration of the Three Wise Men and from their costly symbolic gifts – gold, and frankincense, and myrrh;
For thy first blood-shedding at the Circumcision, which thou didst suffer for our sakes and out of humble obedience to the Law of Moses;
For thy most holy Presentation in the Temple at Jerusalem by thy Blessed Mother, in accordance with the Law of Moses;
For the bitter persecution which began even with thy tenderest years, and which drove thee into the godless land of Egypt and kept thee there for a long space of time;
For thy most dear Mother’s anxious search for thee, and then her joyful finding of thee amid the doctors in the Temple, after she had sought thee for three days with bitter grief and pain;
For the submission thou didst show to Mary and Joseph at Nazareth rendering them all manner of humble, filial services;
For all thy teaching and preaching, for thy hard and dangerous journeys, and especially for all the fatigue and toil thou didst undergo for our salvation;
For thy most holy fast of forty days, and thy constant, fervent prayers in the desert;
For thy great and glorious miracles, worked to convince the stubborn people;
For thine agonized prayer and bloody sweat in the Garden of Gethsemane, when shuddering and sorrowful unto death, thou wert yet perfectly resigned to thy Father’s Will;
For the false kiss with which the faithless Judas betrayed thee and delivered thee into the hands of wicked men;
For the painful bands and cruel cords of thine infamous captors, and for their grievous dragging and pulling of thee over stones and through water and briars;
For the many false accusations devised and brought against thy most holy Person before Annas and Caiaphas, Pilate and Herod;
For the most painful treatment meted out to thee when thou was ignominously drawn from one unjust Judge to another;
For the hard and worse than blasphemous blow thou didst receive on thy most Holy Face from a servant of the High Priest;
For the copious and most painful bloodshedding when every part of thy most holy Body was torn by the rods and scourges of the executioners;
For thy nakedness, and the bitter shame thou didst experience when most of thy garments were torn from thee and thou wert thus bound to the pillar before all the crowd;
For the jeering, scoffing, and mock genuflections by which godless people ridiculed thee to thy holy Face;
For the sharp pressure on thy sacred Head of the crown of thorns, which caused thy Precious Blood to flow down over thy Face;
For thy piteous appearance before Pilate, who by his exclamation “Behold the man” tried to move the people to compassion;
For the sentence pronounced on thee by Pilate, for the manner in which thou wast led forth to die, and for the heavy weight of the Cross;
For thy dolorous meeting with thy sorrow-stricken Mother and the other holy women who had followed thee on the Path to Calvary and shed tears of pity over thee;
For the painful removal of most of thy clothing to the renewal of thy wounds, and for the merciless nailing to the wood of the Cross,as also for all the priceless words spoken on the Cross, and the final surrender of thy Spirit;
For thy glorious Resurrection on the third day after thy sufferings, when thou didst appear to thy Mother, thy Disciples and Apostles, and after that to many others;
For thy wonderful Ascension into Heaven and glorious return to thy Heavenly Father, when thine earthly pilgrimage was ended and thou hadst triumphed victoriously over the world and Satan;
For the wonderful fiery Descent of the Holy Ghost on thy Disciples and Apostles and thy most beloved Mother on the holy Day of Pentecost;
For the lordly triumph thou didst celebrate when thou didst assume thy beloved Mother, body and soul, into Heaven;
For thy festival of joy, in which were associated the Father and the Holy Ghost, at the exaltation of thy most glorious Mother over all the Choirs of Angels, and at her Coronation as the Queen of Heaven; For all these, and more especially for every beat of thy Heart and every act of love, for all thy thought and desires, for all the silent and the uttered prayers which thou didst offer on earth, and still dost offer in the thou didst offer while on earth, and still dost offer in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar – for all these I tender thee a thousand thanks, and ask thee most humbly that thou wouldst grant to me and to all who have commended themselves to my prayers, or for whom I ought to pray, perfect contrition for our sins and a firm determination never to offend thy Divine Majesty, together with the grace of final perseverance. Grant that I and all men may enjoy thy grace here, and after this toilsome life is over may be received into the company of thine elect, and be united with them to the Source of Eternal Joy – which is none but thou thyself, O dearest Lord. And may we be permitted to gaze at last on thy most holy Face, Who with the Father and the Holy Ghost livest and reignest, God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Dearest Jesus, all thy creatures are more worthy of thy grace Than the vile and wretched sinner who now kneels before thy Face. Yet one claim I have upon thee, which thou never wilt deny: In the bounds of thy creation, no one needs thee more than I!
Other souls have been more faithful, and have served thee better far, Many spotless hearts more fitting for thy gracious Presence are, Many lips devout a greeting far more fervent can supply, But, dear Master, well thou knowest: no one needs thee more than I.
Many loving hands have carried richer offerings to thy Shrine, Many generous hearts have loved thee with a purer love than mine; These thy chosen ones approach thee, as the doves to covert fly, I am utterly unworthy, but none need thee more than I!
Sins unnumbered, unatoned for, have made havoc in my soul, And against me stands, as witness, the Recording Angel’s roll; All untilled has been my vineyard, and its soil is hard and dry, O my God, my only refuge, no one needs thee more than I!
For without thee I am helpless, fast in sin’s strong fetters caught. Blinded by my evil passions, swayed by impulses untaught: I could do no good unaided, it were worse than vain to try; Come thyself to me, sweet Jesus! no one needs thee more than I!
Thou didst leave thy Father’s bosom, to reclaim and save the lost, Thou didst take upon thee freely our redemption’s awful cost, Thou thyself hast called me to thee, thou wilt hearken to my cry, In the bounds of thy creation, no one needs thee more than I!
– St Anthony’s Treasury, Laverty & Sons, Leeds, 1916