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THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IS IN FOR A LONG PERIOD OF PERSECUTION

THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IS IN FOR A LONG PERIOD OF PERSECUTION

“FRANCE WILL SUFFER”

“I can no longer restrain my Son!” Our Lady had declared sadly to Estelle Faguette at Pellevoisin in 1876. The world continued to ignore its Mother’s warnings and to bring ever closer the great punishment that was to befall it.

THE DEVIL IS “EVERY DAY REDOUBLING HIS EFFORTS” 

Two years after the apparitions at Pellevoisin, the frail sixty-eight-year-old Cardinal Pecci became the new Pontiff, Pope Leo XIII. “It is not the tiara you are giving me, but death,” the Pope said to the Cardinals who elected him. It is true that the papal tiara has been a heavy burden in these days when the devil is “every day redoubling his efforts.” Nevertheless, Pope Leo XIII reigned for twenty-five years, until 1903. He thus became the first Pontiff of our twentieth century.

Pope Leo XIII earned the title “Pope of the Workingman” because of his great encyclical Rerum Novarum. Like Karl Marx, the Pontiff recognised the great abuse that had been brought about by the Industrial Revolution. But his solution, based on the teachings of Christ, was vastly different from the class warfare advocated by Marx. Employers who were making large profits were slow to follow the Pope’s plan of granting justice to the workingman. Some even denounced him as a socialist. Had Pope Leo XIII been heeded, Communism would not be the threat that it now is.

ITALY’S SECULAR GOVERNMENT’S SEIZURE OF THE VATICAN

As a protest against Italy’s unjust seizure of the Vatican, Pope Leo XIII followed the example of his predecessor and did not leave the Vatican during his entire reign. Relations improved slightly with some countries, but only slightly. Germany, under Chancellor Bismarck, engaged in a persecution of the Church. France, now in the firm grip of the anti-clericals, passed law after law to hamstring the Church.

SECULAR FRANCE PASSED LAW AFTER LAW TO HAMSTRING THE CHURCH 

When Estelle Faguette had an audience with Pope Leo XIII in 1900, she said, “Holy Father, the Blessed Virgin said that France will have to suffer.”

“Yes,” said the Pontiff sadly, “France will have to suffer.”

Fourteen years later, World War I broke out, and most of the battles were fought on French soil. This war was even more devastating than the one of 1870-1871 had been.

Cardinal Sarto was elected to succeed Pope Leo XIII. “Since I must suffer I will take the name of those who have suffered,” he said, “I will be called Pius.”

France caused Pope Pius X great anguish, as it had his predecessors. In 1904, the government declared that the concordat which had been in effect with the Holy See for a century was at an end. The Law of Separation was passed the following year. By this law, the government confiscated all possessions of the clergy as well as of charitable institutions. Religious congregations were disbanded. Many of the religious were forced to leave the country. Nuns were driven from their work in schools and hospitals. Churches were looted.

Many of the French people protested. The men sent to despoil the churches were often attacked by the infuriated peasants, and many of them had to have guards to protect them. Nevertheless, the sacrilegious work went on. “And France,” our Lady had said at Pellevoisin, “what have I not done for her? How many warnings and yet she refused to listen!

The misnamed liberalism which was scourging France spread to Spain and – this is interesting in the light of later developments – to Portugal. The king and his son were murdered. The next king was forced to abdicate. A republic was established. A Law of Separation, based on the one in France, was passed, and the Church was in for a long period of persecution.

“THE CHURCH WAS IN FOR A LONG PERIOD OF PERSECUTION”

In the dark days in which we are now living, the most encouraging signs we behold are increased devotion to Mary and increased devotion to her Son in the Eucharist. It is largely to Pope Pius X, “Pope of the Eucharist”, that we owe the latter. It was he who urged frequent Communion and permitted children to receive Communion as soon as they reached the age of reason.

In 1916, two years after the death of Pius X, an angel appeared to three children near Fatima in Portugal. They were aged nine, eight, and six. The angel placed a Host on the tongue of Lucia, the oldest. To Francisco and Jacinta, who had not made their first Communion, he presented a chalice, and they drank from it. The angel said: “Take the body and blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by ungrateful men. Make reparation for their crimes and console your God.” He seemed to be expressing at the same time displeasure with the state of the world and approval of the early Communion advocated by Pius X.

It was to these same three children that our Lady was later to appear.

MEN WERE ABOUT TO REAP THE TERRIBLE PUNISHMENT THAT WAS DUE TO THEM

The war clouds were gathering in the last part of the reign of Pope Pius X. Men were about to reap the terrible punishment that was due to them for having “horribly outraged” their God.

THE POPE TRIED TO AVERT THE LOOMING WORLD WAR

The Pontiff tried in every way possible to avert the war, but he saw that he was doomed to fail. He told his Secretary of State that a war would break out in 1914. Early in May, 1914, he said to a South American who was returning home, “How fortunate you are that you will not be here when war breaks out in a very short time.

When he heard that Archduke Ferdinand of Austria had been assassinated, he knew that the conflict had begun. “Oh, my poor children!” he cried. “This is the last affliction which the Lord is sending me! Willingly would I sacrifice my life to ward off this terrible scourge!”

Twice the Austrian ambassador asked Pope Pius to bless the armies of that country. He was told, “I bless peace.”

Austria declared war on Serbia. Russia joined the conflict on the side of Serbia. Germany came to the aid of Austria.

Pope Pius was stricken by what the physicians thought to be a minor illness, but he died on August 10, 1914. Those about him knew that he died of a broken heart.

Pope Pius was declared a Saint. He was beatified June 3, 1951, and was canonised May 29, 1954.

THE POPE WAS FORBIDDEN TO TAKE PART IN THE PEACE NEGOTIATIONS 

The new Pontiff, Benedict XV, strove valiantly to bring an end to the war. The leaders on both sides were convinced that they could win, however, and they were in no mood to stop fighting when victory seemed within their grasp. Never before had there been such destruction. This was the first war in which airplanes were used, and death rained from the skies. Ships were sunk; cities levelled. Women and children were victims along with the fighting men.

The Pope tried to arrange a truce on Christmas Day. Great Britain, Germany and Belgium seemed sympathetic, but France and Russia said no. Cannons continued to roar, and blood continued to flow on the birthday of the Prince of Peace.

When Italy entered the war, she made the Allies promise that the Pope would not be allowed to take part in the peace negotiations. She was afraid the matter of the Papal States might be brought up.

IT “APPEARS TO US AS THE SUICIDE OF CIVILISED EUROPE” 

The Pope’s efforts for peace went on constantly. On March 6, he said to his Vicar-General, Cardinal Pompili: “A father whose sons are engaged in a violent conflict is not at liberty to cease his pleadings for peace, even though they disregard his tears and exhortation… Therefore, we must again raise our voice against this war which appears to us as the suicide of civilised Europe.”

Far from diminishing, the war, like a giant conflagration, was spreading throughout the world. Portugal was engulfed in 1916, the United States in April, 1917. By this time almost every country in the world was involved.

EVENTS OF SINISTER IMPORTANCE 

In Russia, events of sinister and far-reaching importance were taking place. The war was going badly for that country which had been misruled for so many years by the czars. A revolution broke out in March 1917, and Czar Nicholas II abdicated.

An unstable provisional government was set up in Russia. It was not to last for long. Conditions were in a state of chaos, and the followers of Karl Marx thrive on that sort of thing. On April 16, Nicolai Lenin and Leon Trotsky, leaders of the Communists, arrived in Petrograd to make their plans for taking over the country.

In May, 1917, the month of our Lady, the world situation seemed hopeless. The war had been going on for almost three years, and no end was in sight… On May 5, 1917, when everything appeared darkest, Pope Benedict XV addressed a letter to his Cardinal Secretary of State in which he recounted his unsuccessful efforts to bring about peace. Then he said:

“Because all graces… are dispensed by the hands of the most holy Virgin, we wish the petitions of her most afflicted children to be directed with lively confidence, more than ever in this awful hour, to the great Mother of God.

“We charge you, then, Lord Cardinal, to communicate to all the bishops of the world our ardent desire that recourse be made to the Heart of Jesus, Throne of grace, and that to the Throne recourse be made through Mary… To Mary, then, who is the Mother of Mercy, and omnipotent by grace, let loving and devout appeal go up from every corner of the earth… Let it bear to her the anguished cry of mothers and wives, the wailing of little ones, the sighs of every generous heart, that her most tender and benign solicitude may be moved and the peace we ask be obtained for our agitated world.”

The Pope also directed that “Queen of Peace” be added to Mary’s titles in the Litany of Loreto.

Eight days later – as if in direct answer to the Pope’s appeal – the Mother of God appeared to the three shepherd children of Fatima.

(Next chapter – Fatima)

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

 

 
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Posted by on May 13, 2020 in Words of Wisdom

 

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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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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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LITANY OF LORETO

Lord, have mercy. – Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy. – Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy. – Lord, have mercy.

God our Father in heaven, – have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, – have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit,- have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, – have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, – PRAY FOR US. (Repeat after each line)

Holy Mother of God,
Most honoured of virgins,
Mother of Christ,
Mother of the Church,
Mother of Divine grace,
Mother most pure,
Mother of chaste love,
Mother and virgin,
Sinless Mother,
Dearest of mothers,
Model of motherhood,
Mother of good counsel,
Mother of our Creator,
Mother of our Saviour,

Virgin most wise,
Virgin rightly praised,
Virgin rightly renowned,
Virgin most powerful,
Virgin gentle in mercy,
Faithful virgin,
Mirror of justice,
Throne of wisdom,
Cause of our joy,
Shrine of the Spirit,
Glory of Israel,
Vessel of selfless devotion,
Mystical rose,
Tower of David,
Tower of ivory,
House of Gold,
Ark of the Covenant,
Gate of heaven,
Morning star,
Health of the sick,
Refuge of sinners,
Comfort of the troubled,
Help of Christians,

Queen of angels,
Queen of patriarchs and prophets,
Queen of apostles and martyrs,
Queen of confessors and virgins,
Queen of all saints,
Queen conceived in grace,
Queen raised up to glory,
Queen of the Rosary,
Queen of peace,

(Pause for spontaneous prayer)

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, – have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, – have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the. World, – have mercy on us.

Pray for us, holy Mother of God. – that we may become worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray:
Eternal God, let your people enjoy constant health in mind and body. Through the intercession of the Virgin Mary free us from the sorrows of this life and lead us to happiness in the life to come. Grant this through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

 

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PLANTING A MARY GARDEN – A GARDEN FOR THE SPIRIT

÷ THE PRAYER OF GARDENING ÷

PLANTING A MARY GARDEN AND WATCHING IT GROW IS A SOURCE OF CONTEMPLATION AND BEAUTY FOR THE WHOLE PARISH. YOU CAN ALSO TRY IT AT HOME OR IN PLANTERS ON THE BALCONY OF YOUR APPARTMENT, ADJUSTING THE CHOICE OF FLOWERS TO THE GEOGRAPHIC AREA YOU LIVE IN. TRADITIONALLY, ACCORDING TO MEDIEVAL HISTORIANS, MARIAN GARDENS WERE SMALL ENDEAVOURS. MARIAN GARDENS AND WINDOW BOXES CAN ALSO SUPPLY FLOWERS TO ADORN MARIAN SHRINES AND STATUES.

“As a child I was always encouraged to create a Marian altar in my room during the months of May and October…I thought it time to resurrect this custom on a slightly larger scale. It is the practice within many parishes to create an Easter garden, usually within the body of the church, in order to create a powerful visual image of the new life of the resurrection linked with the blossoms and buds of the burgeoning life of spring. This article aims to extend this liturgical centrepiece in what seems a natural progression, to the grounds of the church itself with the planting of a Mary garden.

The nature of gardening forces a connection with the mud and rain, the stones and the weeds, the spade and the soil and the very activity of cleaning and planting can be part of the prayer of the garden itself. Therefore, the connection with God is not only achieved in the summative achievement of the garden, but also in its formative creation. This enterprise might also provide an opportunity to link parishioners from different aspects and ages of parish life, with silver haired, green-fingered members of the community working alongside members of your First Eucharist or Confirmation groups. Within such collaborations seeds of friendship may be planted which allow the parish garden to flourish in a multitude of ways…”

SOME OF THE FLOWERS ASSOCIATED WITH OUR LADY

• “LILIES – (Easter or Madonna lilies and lilies-of-the-valley): white colour and sweet fragrance symbolise Mary’s purity, humility, loving obedience to God’s will.

• IRIS – (old-fashioned names were ‘flag’ or ‘sword lily’): the deep-blue colour symbolises Mary’s fidelity, and the blade-shaped foliage denotes the sorrows that ‘pierce her heart’.

• GLADIOLUS – (the name comes from the Latin word for sword): sword-shaped leaves also symbolise ‘piercing sorrows’.

• BABY’S BREATH – symbolises innocence and purity; also the breath and power of the Holy Spirit.

• IVY – evergreen stands for eternity, faithfulness.

• VIOLETS – delicacy, colour, sweet scent and heart-shaped leaves refer to Mary’s constancy, humility and innocence.

• BLUE COLUMBINE – (from the Latin word for dove, ‘columba’): a circle of petals thought to resemble doves and is a symbol of fidelity.

• MARIGOLD – (calendula; ‘English’ or ‘pot marigold’ and common garden or ‘French marigold’): named in honour of Mary (‘Mary’s gold’), symbolises her simplicity, domesticity and also, sometimes denoted Mary’s sorrows.

• CARNATIONS – pink or red colour symbolises love, life. The colour and spicy fragrance can also refer to the crucifixion, ‘love unto death’.

• ROSE – regarded as the ‘queen of flowers’, and often symbolises Mary, the Queen of Heaven. Also an almost universal symbol of perfect love, its colour, perfection of form, and fragrance, as well as its thorns signifies Mary’s role in salvation history as the Mother of God the Saviour who was crowned with thorns and shed His blood on the Cross for love of mankind. The rose, arising from a thorny bush, also signifies Mary, the Mystical Rose, ‘our fallen Nature’s solitary boast’, who alone of the human race was conceived without sin. It also may contain a parallel with the fiery thorn bush from which God SPOKE to Moses: Mary, immaculately conceived, was the means through which God BECAME Man, the Word made flesh.”

WEBSITES FOR MORE INFORMATION:

http://www.springfieldop.org (external link): “This is the site of the Dominican sisters in Springfield, Illinois and its focus on ‘Gardening as Prayer’ provides a perfect starting point for the spiritual gardener. ‘In the prayer of gardening we come to know that deep within the soul is an inner garden of great importance. There we discover what it means to be more truly human and to relate to one another and all creation in love.’ The idea of starting off any gardening with this thoughtful reflection places a different hue on the enterprise itself, reminding us all that we are the flowers and fruits of the Ultimate Creator. The site also contains links to other types of prayer such as the contemplative Prayer Walk and Praying the Rosary. There’s not a lot to read, but what is there is intuitive and serene…”

http://www.fisheaters.com (external link): “This well presented site offers an exhaustive list of plants, shrubs and herbs for the Mary Garden. Although it does not have pictures of each plant, it does suggest other plants that can be used to mark the liturgical year and help it to come to life…”

http://campus.udayton.edu (external link): “This site is a comprehensive guide to all things associated with the Mary garden. It is text heavy, which is a shame when we are talking about such visual joys as plants and gardens, however if you negotiate you will find all sorts of interesting bits. I particularly liked the ‘My Garden Prays’ section which details prayers inspired by particular plants and ends with the invocation of the Rev. James J. Galvin, CSSR: ‘Gardens should pray! Gardens should remind children of their Mother. Gardens should be holy places that keep minds fresh and unsullied as Madonna lilies. Gardens should chime with names that ring like the Litany of Loreto. And gardens, if they are truly Mary Gardens, will naturally lead to Christ.'”
– The above are excerpts of an article by Maureen Glackin entitled, “Getting Resourced: The Mary Garden – a garden for the spirit”, published in The Pastoral Review, May/June 2010, Vol. 6, Issue 3

 
 

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