Tag Archives: Faithful



St Pancras is a Roman martyr from the time of the Diocletian persecution.


God of mercy,
give your Church joy and confidence
through the prayers of Saint Pancras.
Keep us faithful to you
and steadfast in your service.
Through our Lord, Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.


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R. You stretch out your hand and save me, O Lord.

1. I thank you, Lord, with all my heart,
you have heard the word of my mouth.
Before the angels I will bless you.
I will adore before your holy temple. (R.)

2. I thank you for your faithfulness and love
which excel all we ever knew of you.
On the day I called, you answered;
you increased the strength of my soul. (R.)

3. You stretch out your hand and save me,
your hand will do all things for me.
Your love, O Lord, is eternal,
discard not the work of your hands. (R.)


Alleluia, alleluia!
Christ has risen and shone upon us
whom he redeemed with his blood.


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Our dear Redeemer,
relying on your promises,
because you are faithful, all-powerful, and merciful,
we hope,
through the merits of your passion,
for the forgiveness of our sins,
perseverance until death in your grace;
and at length we hope,
by your mercy,
to see and love you eternally in heaven.
– St Alphonsus Liguori


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“This month I would like to share a real-life story with you that has moved many people throughout Italy. It is the story of Tommy, a 12-year-old half-breed dog which, since the day of the death of Maria Lochi, his owner, has been going to church every day, at the same time, following the path he took for years when his owner was still alive.

Tommy enters the church, lies down in front of the altar, ‘participates’ in the Mass, and then leaves. He always stays at the same spot where the coffin was placed on the day of the funeral – the exact place where he last saw the creature who had loved him more than anybody else: Maria Lochi. Perhaps Tommy hopes to see Maria again or perhaps he can still feel her presence in that church and desires to keep her memory alive, thus proving that his love is forever and that it extends even beyond the grave. Fr Donato Panna, the parish priest, allows the dog to stay in church, showing sensitivity and compassion for the suffering of this animal which, though not human, was created by God and is loved by Him.

Now the little town of San Donaci near Brindisi in southern Italy, which probably never expressed that much solidarity to Maria, has decided to ‘adopt’ the dog, and Tommy has become the darling of the town.

The dog with his sad eyes has made headlines all over the world, but this story should also act as a kind of rebuke for us Christians – we are admiring a non-rational creature for doing what many rational human beings have stopped doing: attending Mass.

As Catholics we are all supposed to go to Sunday Mass to uphold a spiritual commitment that is simple, doable and transformative. I therefore invite those of you who may have lapsed a little to consider the following seven good reasons for going to church, though the list makes no claim to be exhaustive.

1. We go to Mass because we have been invited. Jesus Himself invites us to worship the Father in and with Him. Our participation in the liturgy of the Eucharist is an act of reverence toward Christ who reveals Himself in this most blessed sacrament.

2. We participate in Mass because we love the Lord. A famous passage from the ‘Confessions’ of St Augustine states, ‘You have made us for yourself, oh Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.’

3. We attend Mass because we are grateful to God for His love and everything He has given us. In fact, the word ‘eucharist’ refers to an act of thanksgiving to God.

4. We go to Mass to be transformed by the Holy Spirit. St Cyril of Jerusalem states that we ‘call upon God in His mercy to send His Holy Spirit upon the offerings before us, to transform the bread into the body of Christ and the wine into the blood of Christ. Whatever the Holy Spirit touches is sanctified and completely transformed.’ And St John Chrysostom notes, ‘As grace comes down upon the victim, the souls of all are thereby transformed.’

5. We attend Mass to be part of the Body of Christ. Through the Eucharist and with the aid of the Holy Spirit, we are united with Christ and with one another in Him.

6. We go to Mass to be refreshed and renewed. After the final blessing we take God into our daily lives at home, school and work. ‘Go in peace to love and serve the Lord,’ says the priest; we go to Mass not only to worship. We ourselves are sacrificed to the Father with Christ really present in the Eucharist so that we may be graced, transformed and prepared to go out and do Christ’s work, and to be His presence in the ordinary places of our lives.

7. We attend Mass in order to learn from Jesus how to love our neighbour. At Mass our souls are filled with Christ’s power and strength, and we are given the means to love one another as He commanded. The Christ we receive in Holy Communion is the same Christ who asks us to show true love to our neighbour, especially the poorest and most needy.

Obviously Tommy, our cute dog, does not know any of this, nor will he ever be able to understand it. He is content with much less than these seven reasons to attend Mass every day at the church of Santa Maria Assunta at San Donaci, Brindisi. For him love is more than enough.
– This article by Fr Mario was published in “Messenger of Saint Anthony”, issue April 2013. For subscriptions, please contact: Messenger of St Anthony, Basilica del Santo, via Orto Botanico 11, 35123 Padua, Italy.


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R. May your love be upon us, O Lord,
as we place all our hope in you.

1. Ring out your joy to the Lord, O you just;
for praise is fitting for loyal hearts.
Give thanks to the Lord upon the harp,
with a ten-stringed lute sing him songs. (R.)

2. For the word of the Lord is faithful
and all his works to be trusted.
The Lord loves justice and right
and fills the earth with his love. (R.)

3. The Lord looks on those who revere him,
on those who hope in his love,
to rescue their souls from death,
to keep them alive in famine. (R.)


Alleluia, alleluia!
Christ, having been raised from the dead,
will never die again.
Death has no power over him any more.


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O Mother of Perpetual Succour, and my own best beloved Mother, I thank you for all the blessings and graces you have obtained for me since my birth, and especially during all my temptations. And now, to so many former favours, vouchsafe, O Mary, to add that of admitting me, though most unworthy, into the number of your special clients, that with them I may prove to you my devotion of veneration and love.

You shall always be, next after God, my only hope, and the object most dear to my heart. In all my wants, in all my straits and temptations, I will always have recourse to you; you shall be my refuge and my consolation. I desire in all the combats, afflictions and weariness of life to have no other support but God and you. I would rather be one of your servants than have the whole world at my command; my ambition shall be to serve you, to bless you, to love you till my dying breath.

You who are the Mother of perseverance, obtain for me the grace to prefer to die than to have the misfortune of abandoning you. O Mary, I trust that have accepted and ratified this offering I make to you of all my life; it rests with you now to protect me against my inconstancy; this you will do, and then I shall have the happiness to go to meet you one day in heaven, never more to be separated from you. Jesus and Mary! to suffer for you, to die for you, to be all yours, such is my desire. O Mother of Perpetual Succour, grant that I remain faithful to you till my dying breath. Amen. ♥


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The Celebration of Easter is prolonged throughout the Easter season. The fifty days from Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sunday are celebrated as one feast day, the ‘great Sunday’.

The Sundays of this season are regarded as Sundays of Easter, and so termed, and they have precedence over all feasts of the Lord and over all solemnities. Solemnities that fall on one of these Sundays are anticipated on the Saturday. Celebrations in honour of the blessed Virgin Mary or the Saints, which fall during the week may not be transferred to one of these Sundays.

For adults who have received Christian initiation during the Easter Vigil the whole of this period is given over to mystagogical catechesis. Therefore, whenever there are neophytes the prescription of the Ordo initiationis Christianae adultorum should be observed. Intercession should be made in the Eucharistic Prayer for the newly baptised through the Easter octave in all places.

Throughout the Easter season the neophytes should be assigned their own special place among the faithful. All neophytes should endeavour to participate at Mass along with their godparents. In the homily and, according to local circumstances, in the General Intercessions mention should be made of them. Some celebration should be held to conclude the period of mystagogical catechesis on or about Pentecost Sunday, depending on local custom. It is also appropriate that children receive their first Communion on one or other of the Sundays of Easter.

During Easter time, pastors should instruct the faithful who have been already initiated into the Eucharist on the meaning of the Church’s precept concerning the reception of Holy Communion during this period. It is highly recommended that Communion be brought to the sick also, especially during the Easter octave.

Where there is the custom of blessing houses in celebration of the Resurrection, this blessing is to be imparted after the Solemnity of Easter, and not before, by the parish priest, or other priests or deacons delegated by him. This is an opportunity for exercising a pastoral ministry…

According to the differing circumstances of places and peoples, there are found a number of popular practices linked to celebrations of the Easter season, which in some instances attract greater numbers of the people than the sacred liturgy itself; these are not in any way to be undervalued, for they are often well adapted to the religious mentality of the faithful. Let Episcopal Conferences and local Ordinaries see to it that practices of this kind which seem to nourish popular piety be harmonized in the best way possible with the sacred Liturgy, be imbued more distinctly with the spirit of the Liturgy, be in some way derived from it, and lead the people to it.

This sacred period of fifty days concludes with Pentecost Sunday, when the gift of the Holy Spirit to the Apostles, the beginnings of the Church and the start of its mission to all tongues and peoples and nations are commemorated.

Encouragement should be given to the prolonged celebration of the Mass in the form of a Vigil, whose character is bot baptismal as in the Easter Vigil, but is one of urgent prayer, after the example of the Apostles and disciples, who persevered together in prayer with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, as they awaited the Holy Spirit. ‘It is proper to the Paschal festivity that the whole Church rejoices at the forgiveness of sins, which is not only for those who are reborn in Holy Baptism, but also for those who have long been numbered among the adopted children. By means of a more intensive pastoral care and a deeper spiritual effort, all who celebrate the Easter feasts will by the Lord’s grace experience their effect in their daily lives.
– Given at Rome, at the Offices of the Congregation for Divine Worship, 16 January 1988


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