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Category Archives: Prayers to Our Lady

E’EN HEAVEN ITSELF GOD SET ASIDE (HYMN)

E’EN HEAVEN ITSELF GOD SET ASIDE (HYMN)

E’en heaven itself God set aside

In Maiden Mother to abide,

To clothe himself in earthly clay,

Our Ransomer, for men to slay.

 

The Maiden  brought him forth to light

To save us from our sorry plight;

He bought us with his very Blood

On Cross ‘mid pain in cruel flood.

 

May joyful hope, – a welcome guest,

Drive terror forth from every breast:

Our tears and prayers the Son will heed

If Mother for us intercede.

 

The Son accepts the Mother’s prayer;

Where rest her wishes, his are there.

Then let us love her each and all

And in the strife upon her call.

 

Be glory to the Three-in-One

Who ‘riched the Virgin with the Son;

To God in heaven let earth upraise

Through age on age a hymn of praise.

Amen.

 

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

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OCTOBER – THE MONTH OF THE HOLY ROSARY

OCTOBER – THE MONTH OF THE HOLY ROSARY

Pope Clement XI firmly held to the opinion that  [ apart from the Victory of Lepanto ] other famous victories must be attributed to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin. In 1716, Charles VI, Emperor Elect of the Romans, won a tremendous triumph in the kingdom of Hungary over an overwhelming army of Turks, on the very day on which the feast of the dedication of the basilica of Our Lady of Snows was being celebrated. Indeed almost at the very moment of battle, the confraternity of the most holy Rosary was offering up public and solemn prayer in the Eternal City.

PUBLIC AND SOLEMN PRAYER IN THE ETERNAL CITY

An immense number of people took part in this demonstration. They poured forth with great devotion fervent prayers to God for the overthrow of the Turks. They implored the powerful intercession of the Virgin Mother of God for the help of Christians. In view of this victory, and also of the raising of the siege of the island of Corcyra which followed almost immediately, Clement made this decree. That the memory of these extraordinary favours may be perpetuated forever, that the faithful might be thankful forever, Clement extended the observance of the feast of the most holy Rosary to the universal Church. He ordered that it be continued to be celebrated under the rite of a double major.

HE BESOUGHT THE FAITHFUL ALL OVER THE WORLD TO RECITE THE ROSARY FREQUENTLY 

Benedict XIII decreed that all these things be written into the Roman Breviary. When the Church was experiencing one of the most turbulent periods in her history, when for a long time a veritable fury of hard pressing evils was raging, Leo XIII, in a series of Encyclical letters earnestly besought the faithful all over the world to recite the Rosary frequently, especially in the month of October. He raised the rank of the rite of the feast and added to the Litany of Loreto the invocation, “Queen of the most holy Rosary.” He granted as well a special office to be recited on the solemn feast by the Universal Church. Let us, therefore, ever honour the most holy Mother of God by the devotion very dear to her. May she who so many times has answered the prayers of Christ’s faithful in the recitation of the Rosary, who brought their earthly enemies to destruction and defeat, grant victory over the powers of hell to us also.

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

 

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THE VICTORY WAS AN ANSWER TO ALL THE PRAYERS

THE VICTORY WAS AN ANSWER TO ALL THE PRAYERS

From this holy devotion of the Rosary countless benefits have been showered the length and breadth of Christendom. Among these most certainly can be reckoned that famous victory which the Christian princes, aroused by the plea of Pope St Pius V, won over the vastly superior power of the Turks at Lepanto.

THE VICTORY OF LEPANTO 

As this victory was won on the very day on which the confraternities of the most holy Rosary throughout the world were offering up their rosaries, as they had been asked to do, there can be no doubt that this victory was an answer to their prayers.

PERPETUAL THANKSGIVING 

So convinced of this was Gregory XIII that he proclaimed that for so singular a blessing there should be offered everywhere on earth perpetual thanks to the blessed Virgin, under the title of the Rosary. He decreed also that in every church where an altar of the Rosary had been erected, its office should be celebrated in perpetuity under the rite of a double major. Other pontiffs also have granted almost innumerable indulgences to the recitation of the Rosary and to Rosary Confraternities.

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

 

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IRISH PRAYER TO OUR LADY

IRISH PRAYER TO OUR LADY

ANCIENT IRISH PRAYER TO OUR LADY 

This prayer, in the original tongue, is in constant use among Irish speakers, in the West of Ireland, and there is attached to it a tradition that the Blessed Virgin will graciously manifest herself at the hour of death to those who say it with devotion every day. 

O glorious Virgin, Mother of God, blessed among all nations, worthy of praise and the greatest of praise, intercede for me with thy beloved Son. O honoured Lady, Mother of the King of Angels and Archangels, assist and deliver me from every difficulty and danger.

O Blossom of the Patriarchs, the Virgins and the Angels, Hope of Glory, Beauty of Virgins, Admiration of the Angels and Archangels, remember me, and forsake me not, I beseech thee, at the terrible hour of my death. O Star of the Sea, Gate of Heaven, Temple of God, Palace of Jesus Christ, Harbour of Safety, Power of all Nations, Pearl of all Sweetness, Hope of the Faithful; O Queen who shelters the guilty, who surpasses in radiance the Virgins and the Angels, thy presence gives joy to all the hosts of Heaven.

Therefore, O Mother of Mercy, I place in the protection of thy holy hands my going out, my coming in, my sleeping, my waking, the sight of my eyes, the touch of my hands, the speech from my lips, the hearing of my ears, so that in everything I may be pleasing to thine own beloved Son. Amen.

– From: St Anthony’s Treasury, 1916

 

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SERMON FROM THE AQUEDUCT

SERMON FROM THE AQUEDUCT

The word was made flesh and now dwells among us. He dwells in our memory, he dwells in our thoughts. He comes down even to our imagination.

“How?” you ask. By lying in a manner, by nestling at his mother’s breast, preaching on the mountain, praying throughout the night, hanging on the Cross, growing pallid in death, free among the dead, triumphant in hell. He does it by rising on the third day, by showing the Apostles the print of the nails, the marks of his victory, and finally by ascending before their very eyes into the mysterious heights of the heaven. Of which of these can we not think truly, lovingly, piously, holily?

Of whichever one I think, I think of God; and he is my God through them all. I call it wisdom to meditate upon them, I judge it prudent to recall the memory of their sweetness. From such seeds the priestly rod put forth buds; Mary, drawing their nurture from celestial depths, brought forth the flowers. She who received the Word from the heart of the Father himself, was on a supernal plane, higher even than the angels.

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

 

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OUR LADY OF VICTORIES – PARIS, 1836

OUR LADY OF VICTORIES – PARIS, 1836

Catherine Laboure’s pastor in 1830 was Father Charles du Friche des Gennettes. Father des Gennettes’ parish included the area in which the mother house of the Daughters of Charity was located. Father probably did not know Sister Catherine because the community had its own spiritual adviser, Father Aladel. He was very familiar, however, with the story of our Lady’s appearances in the convent chapel and with the Miraculous Medal.

In 1832, Father des Gennettes was transferred to the Church of Our Lady of Victories. This church had been built in 1629 by King Louis XIII in thanksgiving for favours granted him by the Blessed Virgin. The parishioners, for a century and a half, were known for their devotion to the Blessed Virgin.

WITH THE FRENCH REVOLUTION, THE CHURCH FELL UPON EVIL DAYS

With the French Revolution, the church fell upon evil days. All sorts of outrages were performed in it by the revolutionaries. Afterwards, it was used by a schismatic sect, and after that it became a stock exchange. In 1809, it was restored to its original purpose, but there were few parishioners left.

Father des Gennettes found that scarcely anyone came to Mass or received the sacraments. Being a very apostolic man, he tried in every way he could think of to bring the people back to their faith. He met with nothing but indifference. At length, Father became discouraged. Perhaps another priest might be able to do better, he thought. He decided it was his duty to resign as a failure.

“CONSECRATE YOUR PARISH TO THE MOST HOLY AND IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY”

On Sunday, December 3,1836, Father des Gennettes began to say Mass in an almost empty church. He was seized by a frightful distraction, the conviction that he must resign. He could scarcely keep his mind on the Mass. When he reached the Canon, he cried out in distress.

At that moment he heard a calm distinct voice say very solemnly: “Consecrate your parish to the Most Holy and Immaculate Heart of Mary.”

After Mass, Father wondered whether he had really heard these words. He convinced himself that it had been his imagination and knelt to say his thanksgiving. Again he heard the words: “Consecrate your parish to the Most Holy and Immaculate Heart of Mary.”

HE COULD DOUBT NO LONGER

He could doubt no longer. Taking up a pen, he composed the rules for a confraternity of our Lady. The Bishop approved the rules that same week.

The following Sunday, Father told the ten people at Mass about his project. He said there would be Vespers of our Lady that evening and that he would then give the full details of the Confraternity.

When Father des Gennettes entered the church that evening, he found it full for the first time in years. More than 400 people were there. The parish continued to flourish from then on. People began to come to Our Lady of Victories from other parts of Paris, and then from all France, and soon the fame of the shrine was worldwide. Today, about 90,000 thank offerings for cures line the walls.

TODAY, ABOUT 90,000 THANK OFFERINGS FOR CURES LINE THE WALLS

In 1838, Pope Gregory XVI made the Confraternity the Archconfraternity of the Holy and Immaculate Heart of Mary for the Conversion of Sinners. There are affiliated societies throughout the world.

In March 1855, an octave of thanksgiving was held at the shrine for the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. At the end of the octave, the statue of the Immaculate Heart was seen to move. This happened again. Pope Pius IX took this as a sign of approval for his act, and ordered the statue to be crowned, June 1, 1856.

“I WAS FILLED WITH PEACE AND JOY”

St Therese of the Child Jesus visited the shrine on November 4, 1887. “Having arrived in Paris,”  she wrote, “Papa took us to see the sights. For me there was only one – Our Lady of Victories. What I felt in her sanctuary, I cannot say. The graces she granted me resembled those of my First Communion. I was filled with peace and joy. It was there that my Mother, the Virgin Mary, told me distinctly that it was indeed she who cured me. With what fervour did I beg her always to keep me and to bring about my dreams., to enfold me ever beneath the shadow of the cloak of her Virginity. I besought her again to keep all occasions of sin away from me.”

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

 

 
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Posted by on September 27, 2019 in Devotions, Prayers to Our Lady

 

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OUR LADY OF WALSINGHAM – OUR LADY RETURNS TO ENGLAND

OUR LADY OF WALSINGHAM – OUR LADY RETURNS TO ENGLAND

OUR LADY OF WALSINGHAM, MEMORIAL: SEPTEMBER 24

MEDIEVAL BEGINNINGS

In the eleventh century, five years before the Norman Conquest, there lived in the little village of Walsingham, England, a pious widow, Richeldis de Faverches. One day, according to the ancient tradition, Richeldis had a vision in which the Blessed Virgin took her to Nazareth and showed her the Holy House of the Annunciation. It was here that the Angel Gabriel had announced to Mary that she was to be the Mother of God. In this house the Holy Family had lived until our Lord was ready to begin His public life. The vision was repeated three times. Each time, our Lady told Richeldis to note carefully the dimensions of the little house so she could build a replica of it on her estate of Walsingham.

Richeldis hastened to obey. Acting under her instruction, a group of workmen built a house similar to the one she had seen in her vision. After the house was constructed, Richeldis did not know where she should put it. Then she received what she considered a sign from heaven. A heavy fall of dew soaked the meadow where Richeldis had planned to put the house, but two small rectangles were left dry.

It was decided to erect a stone foundation on one of these rectangles. Try as they might, however, the workmen could not make the foundation fit the house. They worked all day and at night went home “all sorry and sad.” Richeldis spent the entire night praying that the difficulties might be solved and the shrine erected.

The next morning Richeldis and the workmen found that the house had been moved more than 200 feet to the other space and was on a stone foundation. Thus, says the legend, England received its most celebrated shrine.

WALSINGHAM AND LORETO

There is a great similarity between the story of Walsingham in England and that of Loreto in Italy. The Holy House of Loreto is said to be the very house in which our Lady lived, while the house at Walsingham was a replica of it. The house at Loreto was said to have been moved by the angels from Nazareth to various parts of Italy until it took up its present location. The house at Walsingham was moved 200 feet.

Of the two legends, that of Walsingham is the older. The date given for the foundation of Loreto is 1291, that for Walsingham is 1061. The first written record of the Loreto tradition dates from 1472; that of Walsingham from 1465. Walsingham therefore was not a copy of Loreto. For at least two centuries before Loreto was heard of, thousands of pilgrims were making their way to Walsingham, or New Nazareth as it was called. Whether or not these legends are true, there is no doubt of the sanctity of both shrines nor of the number of miracles and favours granted there.

Richeldis died, and her son, before going off on one of the Crusades, put the house, which had by then become a shrine, under the protection of the Canons of St Augustine. This was a religious order which has since become extinct. The canons built a large church around the house, and they erected many other buildings. There was also a hospice for sick pilgrims. The roads to the great shrine were marked by wayside crosses. There were also a number of wayside chapels at which the pilgrims stopped to pray. Among the thousands who made the pilgrimage to Walsingham were many kings and queens of England. Nobles vied with each other in making generous donations to the shrine. Such was the love Englishmen had for our Blessed Mother in medieval times.

New Nazareth became known throughout all Christian Europe. Because of it, England was called “the Holy Land, Our Lady’s Dowry.”

KING HENRY VIII 

King Henry VIII at first had great devotion to the Blessed Virgin. He made a pilgrimage to Walsingham, walking the last mile barefooted in the snow. He also made many generous donations to the shrine. When he broke with Rome in order to take a new wife, he had the buildings razed. So the shrine was destroyed after being in existence almost 500 years. An anonymous sixteenth-century author wrote this Lament Over Walsingham:

Bitter bitter Oh to behold the grass to grow

Where the walls of Walsingham so stately did show;

Such were the works of Walsingham while she did stand:

Such are the wrecks as now do show of that holy land.

Level level with the ground the towers do lie

Which their golden glittering tops pierced once the sky…

Weep weep O Walsingham whose days and nights

Blessings turned to blasphemies holy deeds to dispites,

Sin is where Our Lady sat Heaven turned to Hell,

Satan sits where our Lord did sway, Walsingham O farewell.

As England became more firmly Protestant the memory of Walsingham faded from the minds of most men, but not all. Among those who cherished the tradition of Walsingham there was a saying: “When England goes back to Walsingham, our Lady will come back to England.” That day, however, seemed very remote.

THE REVIVAL 

In the nineteenth century there was a reawakened interest in medieval times. Men began digging in the ruins of old churches and abbeys. England was rediscovering its Catholic past. Along with this came the Oxford Movement and its numerous conversions of prominent Anglicans to the Roman Catholic Church. Outstanding among these converts was John Henry Newman, later Cardinal Newman.

Excavations were made on the site of the old shrine. Remains were found which tallied with ancient descriptions. A pilgrim’s badge was unearthed. Catholics began to yearn for a return to Walsingham, but such a return seemed impossible. All the land that had once belonged to the shrine now belonged to non-Catholics. There was, in fact, not a single Catholic resident in the village of Walsingham.

It was decided to build a shrine to Our Lady of Walsingham at the parish church of King’s Lynn, some miles away. A statue blessed by Pope Leo XIII was enshrined in the new sanctuary on August 19, 1897.

Most of the wayside shrines had been destroyed, but one of the most important ones was still standing. This was St Catherine’s Chapel, which had popularly been known as the Slipper Chapel. This was the last chapel on the way to Walsingham. Here pilgrims stopped to remove their shoes or slippers in order to walk the last Holy Mile in their bare feet.

The Slipper Chapel was built in the middle of the fourteenth century and is a gem of Gothic architecture. It is built in such a way that the sun rises behind the east window on the feast of St Catherine, according to the old-style calendar. The chapel is small, measuring only 28 feet 6 inches by 12 feet 5 inches.

After the destruction of the shrine proper, the Slipper Chapel was no longer needed. For a time it was used as a forge, then as a poorhouse, and finally as a barn in which cows were kept.

About 1894 this chapel was discovered by an Anglican woman, Miss Charlotte Boys. She wished to purchase it and to restore it. While negotiations were going on, she received the gift if faith. She completed the purchase and employed a noted architect to do the work of restoration. In 1897, the day after the inauguration of the shrine at King’s Lynn, Walsingham had its first official pilgrimage since the Reformation. The Slipper Chapel, the entrance to the Holy Land of Walsingham, was reopened and in Catholic hands after a lapse of three and a half centuries.

The Slipper Chapel was made a shrine in 1934. From that time pilgrimages have been made from every part of England. Many people travel on foot from London, 117 miles away. In 1938, the fourth centenary of the desecration of Walsingham, Cardinal Hinsley led the gigantic pilgrimage of Catholic youth to the Slipper Chapel…

Little by little, England is returning to Walsingham.

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

 

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2019 in Devotions, Prayers to Our Lady

 

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