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WHY SOMETIMES THE CHURCH MAY SAY “NO” TO A BAPTISM

“A priest may not, in fact, lawfully baptise a child unless he has a solidly founded hope that the baby will be raised properly as a Catholic.”

THE SACRAMENT OF BAPTISM IS PERFORMED BY WASHING WITH WATER BY WAY OF IMMERSION OR POURING, ACCORDING TO LOCAL CUSTOM.

“It is true that, according to our earliest biblical records (as in Acts 2, for example), perhaps only adults were baptised, though we can’t be sure of that. Soon afterward, however, infants were included as whole families were brought into Christian communities.

All Eastern and most Western churches consider infant baptism as having been the norm from the beginning of the Christian era.

The three main sources for correct Catholic practice of baptism are the Rite of Baptism, the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults and Canon Law.

Canon No. 854 says simply that baptism is to be conferred by immersion of the person into the water or pouring water over the person.

According to the baptism ritual (18.2), the sacrament is performed by washing with water by way of immersion or pouring, according to local custom.

The RCIA [Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults] is more explicit. If the individual is baptised by immersion, the whole body or the head only is immersed. If water is poured, it is poured three times over the bowed head (No. 226). Many prominent authors of sacramental theology have held that baptism of another major part of the body rather than the head (such as the breast or shoulders) is most probably valid, and the baptism would not need to be repeated.

All this notwithstanding, the Church’s principle is that in administering the sacraments the safest option should govern what we do. For baptism, this means that the head is immersed, or water is poured over it, as the baptism words are spoken.

Some priests do refuse baptism to an innocent child if they judge parents are not ‘Catholic’ enough. Others welcome infants with open arms, even if their parents are ‘fringe’ Catholics.

When Catholic parents (or a Catholic partner in an interfaith marriage) are seriously deficient in their Catholic practice, the priest is obliged to delay baptism until he can help the parents rethink their faith.

THE NEW TESTAMENT MAKES CLEAR THAT, FROM THE BEGINNING, BAPTISM WAS THE COMMON WAY TO BECOME A CHRISTIAN.

True, children should be baptised “within the first weeks” after birth (Canon 867). The law assumes, however, that parents are practising their faith, prepared to raise their children as faithful Catholic men and women. Thus, the same law requires that immediately after birth or before, the parents go to their parish priest to request the Sacrament of Baptism and to be properly prepared for it.

A priest may not, in fact, lawfully baptise a child unless he has a solidly founded hope that the baby will be raised properly as a Catholic. If evidence for this hope is lacking, he should delay the baptism and explain the reason to the parents (Canon 868).

The ritual for baptism emphasises the point. At least twice during the ceremony, Catholic parents profess adherence to the faith in which the child is being baptised and promise to give the example needed for the child to be raised in their faith. Normally, this promise cannot be made unless the Catholic parents themselves are faithful in their Catholic practice and are not simply bringing the child for baptism because of family tradition or a vague feeling that ‘it’s the right thing to do.’ In other words, the Church is concerned that parents not be placed in the position of making a profession of faith they do not honestly believe. But – and this is a crucial point – the story does not end there.

The parish priest is obliged to help parents who are not yet ready genuinely to profess their faith, to assist them in assuming responsibility for the religious education of their children and then to decide the right time for baptism…

It remains vital that Catholic parents desire in their own hearts that the baptism of their child will be what it was meant to be, an earnest recommitment of all their family to the faith they hope to share with their child.”
– This article by Father John was published in “The Catholic Universe”, issue Sunday 16th June, 2013. For subscriptions, please visit http://www.thecatholicuniverse.com (external link).

• If you are an ADULT who wishes to learn about the Catholic faith in order to “brush up” or to be initiated for the first time, please type “RCIA” into this blog’s search engine for information whether your baptism is recognised by the Catholic Church (if you were for example baptised Protestant), and info for those of you who would like to become Catholic without having been baptised previously.

 

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PRAYER FOR FINAL PERSEVERANCE

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.
Amen.
– St Alphonsus Liguori

 

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EASTER SUNDAY OF THE LORD’S RESURRECTION

(A) THE EASTER VIGIL

According to a most ancient tradition, this night is ‘one of vigil for the Lord’, and the Vigil celebrated during it, to commemorate that Holy night when the Lord rose from the dead, is regarded as the ‘mother of all Holy vigils’. For in that night the Church keeps vigil, waiting for the resurrection of the Lord, and celebrates the sacraments of Christian initiation.

THE MEANING OF THE NOCTURNAL CHARACTER OF THE EASTER VIGIL

‘The entire celebration of the Easter Vigil takes place at night. It should not begin before nightfall; it should end before daybreak on Sunday’. This rule is to be taken according to its strictest sense. Those abuses and practices which have crept in many places in violation of this ruling, whereby the Easter Vigil is celebrated at the time of day that is customary to celebrate anticipated Sunday Masses are reprehensible. Those reasons which have been advanced in some quarters for the anticipation of the Easter Vigil, such as lack of public order, are not put forward in connection with Christmas night, nor other gatherings of various kinds.

The Passover Vigil, in which the Hebrews kept watch for the Lord’s passover which was to free them from slavery to Pharaoh, is an annual commemoration. It prefigured the true Pasch of Christ that was to come, the night that is of true liberation, in which ‘destroying the bonds of death, Christ rose as victor from the depths’.

From the very outset the Church has celebrated that annual Pasch, which is the solemnity of solemnities, above all by means of a night vigil. For the resurrection of Christ is the foundation of our faith and hope, and through Baptism and Confirmation we are inserted into the paschal mystery of Christ, dying, buried, and raised with him, and with him we shall also reign. The full meaning of Vigil is a waiting for the coming of the Lord.

THE STRUCTURE OF THE EASTER VIGIL AND THE SIGNIFICANCE OF ITS DIFFERENT ELEMENTS AND PARTS

The order for the Easter Vigil is so arranged that after the service of light and the Easter proclamation (which is the first part of the Vigil), Holy Church meditates on the wonderful works which the Lord God wrought for his people from the earliest times (the second part or Liturgy of the Word), to the moment when, together with those new members reborn in Baptism (third part), she is called to the table prepared by the Lord for his Church, the commemoration of his death and resurrection, until he comes (fourth part). This Liturgical Order must not be changed by anyone on his own initiative.

The first part consists of symbolic acts and gestures, which require that they be performed in all their fullness and nobility, so that their meaning, as explained by the introductory words of the celebrant and the liturgical prayers, may be truly understood by the faithful.

In so far as possible, a suitable place should be prepared outside the church for the blessing of the new fire, whose flames should be such that they genuinely dispel the darkness and light up the night.

The paschal candle should be prepared in advance. For effective symbolism it must be made of wax, never be artificial, be renewed each year, be only one in number, and be of sufficiently large size so that it may evoke the truth that Christ is the light of the world. It is blessed with the signs and words prescribed in the Missal or by the Conference of Bishops.

The Procession in which the people enter the church should be led by the light of the paschal candle alone. Just as the children of Israel were guided by night by a pillar of fire, so similarly Christians follow the risen Christ. There is no reason why to each response ‘Thanks be to God’ there should not be added some acclamation in honour of Christ.

The light from the paschal candle should be gradually passed to the candles which it is fitting that all present should hold in their hands, the electric lighting being switched off.

The Deacon makes the Easter proclamation, which tells by means of a great poetic text the whole Easter mystery in the context of the economy of salvation. In case of necessity, where there is no deacon, and the celebrating priest is unable to sing it, a cantor may do so. Bishops’ Conferences may adapt this proclamation by inserting into it acclamations from the people.

The readings from sacred scripture constitute the second part of the Vigil. They give an account of the outstanding deeds of the history of salvation, which the faithful are helped to meditate calmly upon by the singing of the responsorial psalm, by a silent pause and by the celebrant’s prayer.

The restored Order for the Vigil has seven readings from the Old Testament chosen from the Law and the Prophets, which are everywhere in use according to the most ancient tradition of East and West, and two readings from the New Testament, namely from the Apostle and from the Gospel. Thus the Church, ‘beginning with Moses and all the Prophets’ explains Christ’s paschal mystery. Consequently, wherever this is possible, all the readings should be read so that the character of the Easter Vigil, which demands that it be somewhat prolonged, be respected at all costs.

Where, however, pastoral conditions require that the number of readings be reduced, there should be at least three readings from the Old Testament, taken from the Law and the Prophets; and the reading from Exodus chapter 14 with its canticle must never be omitted.

The typological import of the Old Testament texts is rooted in the New, and is made plain by the prayer pronounced by the celebrating priest after each reading; but it will also be helpful to introduce the people to the meaning of each reading by means of a brief introduction. This introduction may be given by the priest himself or by a deacon.

National or diocesan liturgical commissions will prepare aids for pastors.

Each reading is followed by the singing of a psalm, to which the people respond.

Melodies should be provided for these responses which are capable of promoting the people’s participartion and devotion.

Great care is to be taken that trivial songs do not take the place of the psalms.

After the readings from the Old Testament, the hymn ‘Gloria in excelsis’ is sung and the bells are rung in accordance with local custom; then the collect is recited, and the celebration moves on to the readings from the New Testament. There is read an exhortation from the Apostle on Baptism as insertion into Christ’s paschal mystery.

Then all stand and the priest intones the ‘Alleluia’ three times, each time raising the pitch. The people repeat after him. If it is necessary, the psalmist or cantor may sing the ‘Alleluia’, which the people then take up as an acclamation to be interjected between the verses of psalm 117, which is so often cited by the Apostles in their Easter preaching. Finally, the Resurrection of the Lord is proclaimed from the Gospel as the high point of the whole Liturgy of the Word. After the Gospel a homily is to be given, no matter how brief.

The third part of the Vigil is the baptismal liturgy. Christ’s passover and ours is now celebrated. This is given full expression in those churches which have a baptismal font, and more so when the Christian initiation of adults is held, or at least the Baptism of infants. Even if there are no candidates for Baptism, the blessing of Baptismal water should still take place in parish churches. If this blessing does not take place at the baptismal font but in the sanctuary, baptismal water should be carried afterwards to the baptistry there to be kept throughout the whole of paschal time. Where there are neither candidates for Baptism nor any need to bless the font, Baptism should be commemorated by blessing of water destined for sprinkling upon the people.

Next follows the renewal of baptismal promises, introduced by some words from the celebrating priest. The faithful reply to the questions put to them, standing and holding lighted candles in their hands. They are then sprinkled with water: in this way gestures and words recall to them the Baptism they have received. The celebrating priest sprinkles the people by passing through the main part of the church while all sing the antiphon ‘Vidi aquam’ or another suitable song of a baptismal character.

The celebration of the Eucharist forms the fourth part of the Vigil and marks its high point, for it is in the fullest sense the Easter Sacrament, that is to say the commemoration of the sacrifice of the Cross and the presence of the risen Christ, the completion of Christian initiation, and the foretaste of the eternal pasch.

Great care should be taken that this Eucharistic Liturgy is not celebrated in haste; indeed, all the rites and words must be given their full force – the General Intercessions in which for the first time the neophytes now as members of the faithful exercise their priesthood; the procession at the offertory in which the neophytes, if there are any, take part; the first, second or third Eucharistic Prayer, preferably sung, with their proper embolisms; and finally, Eucharistic Communion, as the moment of full participation in the mystery that is being celebrated. It is appropriate that at Communion there be sung psalm 117 with the antiphon ‘Pascha nostrum’, or psalm 33 with the antiphon ‘Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia’, or some other song of Easter exultation.

It is fitting that in the Communion of the Easter Vigil full expression be given to the symbolism of the Eucharist, namely by consuming the Eucharist under the species of both bread and wine. Local Ordinaries will consider the appropriateness of such a concession and its ramifications.

SOME PASTORAL CONSIDERATIONS

The Easter Vigil Liturgy should be celebrated in such a way as to offer to the Christian people the riches of the prayers and rites. It is therefore important that authenticity be respected, that the participation of the faithful be promoted, and that the celebration should not take place without servers, readers and choir exercising their role.

It would be desirable if on occasion provision were made for several communities to assemble in one church, wherever their proximity one to another or small numbers mean that a full and festive celebration could not otherwise take place.

The celebration of the Easter Vigil for special groups is not to be encouraged, since above all in this Vigil the faithful should come together as one and should experience a sense of ecclesial community.

Faithful who are absent from their parish on vacation should be urged to participate in the liturgical celebration in the place where they happen to be.

In announcements concerning the Easter Vigil care should be taken not to present it as the concluding period of Holy Saturday; rather it should be stressed that the Easter Vigil is celebrated ‘during Easter night’, and that it is one single act of worship. Pastors should be advised that in giving catechesis to the people they should be taught to participate in the Vigil in its entirety.

For a better celebration of the Easter Vigil, it is necessary that Pastors themselves have an ever deeper knowledge of both texts and rites, so as to give a proper mystagogical catechesis to the people.

(B) EASTER DAY

Mass is to be celebrated on Easter Day with great solemnity. It is appropriate that the penitential rite on this day take the form of a sprinkling with water blessed at the Vigil, during which the antiphon ‘Vidi aquam’, or some other song of baptismal character should be sung. The stoups at the entrance to the church should also be filled with the same water.

The tradition of celebrating baptismal Vespers on Easter Day with the singing of psalms during the procession to the font should be maintained where it is still in force, and as appropriate restored.

The paschal candle has its proper place either by the ambo or by the altar and should be lit at least in all the more solemn liturgical celebrations of the season until Pentecost Sunday, whether at Mass, or at Morning or Evening Prayer. After the Easter season the candle should be kept with honour in the baptistry, so that in the celebration of Baptism the candles of the baptised may be lit from it. In the celebration of Funerals the paschal candle should be placed near the coffin to indicate that the death of a Christian is his own passover. The paschal candle should not otherwise be lit nor placed in the sanctuary outside the Easter season.
– Given at Rome, at the Offices of the Congregation for Divine Worship, 16 January 1988

 

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PRAYER OF CONTRITION

Merciful Father, I am guilty of sin. I confess my sins before You and I am sorry for them. Your promises are just; therefore I trust that You will forgive me my sins and cleanse me from every stain of sin.

Jesus Himself is the propitiation for my sins and those of the whole world. I put my hope in His atonement. May my sins be forgiven through His Name, and in His Blood may my soul be made clean. Amen.

 

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AN ACT OF HOPE

O my God,
relying on Your almighty power
and infinite mercy and promises,
I hope to obtain pardon for my sins,
the help of Your grace,
and life everlasting,
through the merits of Jesus Christ,
my Lord and Redeemer.
Amen.

 

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NO FRIENDS? NO POPULARITY? REST ASSURED, FAME AND ACCLAIM IN THIS LIFE ARE WORTH NOTHING

This is a message received in 1955 by a privileged Hungarian soul, a nun, who in her humility and obedience to her spiritual director wishes to remain anonymous:

“My dear life offering children! The glory of a soul in the next life will increase in direct proportion to the amount of humiliation the soul suffers on earth, because the glory achieved in this life is always dubious and lasts only a short time, while the humiliation one accepts will make the soul cleaner, shinier, and will increase the light of everlasting glory.”

BE ALSO HUMBLE AS AN INPIRATION AND EXAMPLE TO OTHERS:

“My soul-fishers, be alert! Watch that pride may not enter into your work. Only the glory of God should be before your eyes. This is how you can save a fellow man from eternal damnation. If any small measure of pride or ego enters the soul of the soul-fisher, then the conversion will not take root. Thus the smallest harmful effect will dry it out, because it has no life-giving source, and thus the converted soul will fall back into the previous state. My soul-fishers, the responsibility is tremendous.

Watch, therefore, and be alert when you start this apostolic work, be careful! The soul you want to convert should not feel that you want to convince him or her for your own sake, but only for God’s. A sudden conversion is like a flickering light, it suddenly bursts forth, but soon dies out. The patient sacrifice without fanfare can convert a soul. If a soul was converted by seeing selfless love, the conversion will sink its roots deep into the soil of God so that the greatest storm would not be able to tear it out.”

BECOME A SOUL-FISHER: THE LIFE OFFERING

To offer your entire life, the following life offering must be done with a humble heart, firm resolution and clear intent. All prayer, good deeds, suffering, and work done with pure intention has great merit, if it is offered together with the merits, the sufferings, and the Blood of Jesus Christ. It is recommended to do this life offering as soon as you feel ready, and to renew it from time to time.

THE TEXT OF THE LIFE-OFFERING (1955)

My dear Jesus, before the Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Holy Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, hereby I offer my whole life to the intention of your Holy Heart and to the Holy Heart of Mary. Together with my life I place at your disposal all the Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices, and the sufferings of my entire life for the adoration and supplication of the Holy Trinity, for unity in our Holy Mother Church, for the Holy Father and the priests, for good priestly vocations, and for all the souls until the end of the world. O my Jesus, please accept my life sacrifice and my offerings and give me your grace that I may persevere obediently until my death. Amen.

PROMISES:

The five promises of Our Heavenly Mother to those who offer
their lives to her:

1) Their names will be written in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, inflamed by love.

2) Their life offerings, together with infinite merits of Jesus, can save many souls from damnation. All souls who will live until the end of the world will benefit from their life offerings.

3) None of their family members will go to hell, even if it seems otherwise, because they will receive in the depths of their souls the graces of sincere contrition before the soul departs from their bodies.

4) On the day they offer their lives, their loved ones suffering in Purgatory will be released.

5) I will be with them in the hour of their deaths. They will not know Purgatory. I will carry their souls straight to the presence of the Glorious Trinity, where they will live with Me in a special place created by God and will rejoice forever.
– From: “A Call to be a Quiet Modern Apostle”

 
 

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THE FIFTEEN PRAYERS OF ST BRIDGET

THE SECRET OF HAPPINESS: THE FIFTEEN PRAYERS ON OUR LORD’S PASSION REVEALED TO ST BRIDGET OF SWEDEN

“I have tasted the bitterness of life, pain, sickness, poverty and desolation have overwhelmed me. Every night I recited these prayers with love, and my life has been miraculously transformed and God, ever faithful, has inundated my soul with joy, well-being, richness and consolation. What Jesus has done for me, a miserable sinner, He will do for you, my beloved brethren. Recite these prayers every day.”

FIRST PRAYER:

OUR FATHER, HAIL MARY

O Jesus Christ! Eternal sweetness to those who love thee, joy surpassing all joy and all desire. Salvation and Hope of all sinners, who hast proved that thou hast no greater desire than to be amongst men, even assuming human nature during the course of time for love of men: recall all the suffering that thou hast endured from the first moment of thy conception, and especially during thy Passion, as it was decreed and ordained from all eternity in the Divine Plan.
Remember, O Lord, that during the Last Supper with thy disciples, having washed their feet, thou gavest them thy Most Precious Body and Blood, and while at the same time thou didst sweetly console them, thou didst foretell them thy coming Passion.
Remember the sadness and bitterness which thou didst experience in thy Soul as thou thyself bore witness, saying: “My soul is sorrowful even unto death.”
Remember all the fear, anguish and pain that thou didst suffer in thy delicate Body before the torment of the crucifixion, when, after having prayed three separate times, bathed in a sweat of blood, thou wast betrayed by Judas, thy disciple, arrested by the people of a nation thou hadst chosen and elevated, accused by false witnesses, unjustly judged by three judges – all this in the flower of thy youth and during the solemn Paschal season.
Remember that thou wast despoiled of thy garments and clothed with garments of derision; that thy face and eyes were veiled, that thou wast buffeted, crowned with thorns, a reed placed in thy hands, that thou wast fastened to a column and crushed with blows and overwhelmed with affronts and outrages.
In memory of all these pains and sufferings which thou didst endure before thy Passion on the Cross, grant that before I die, I may make with true contrition, a sincere and entire confession, make worthy satisfaction and be granted the remission of all my sins. Amen.

SECOND PRAYER:

OUR FATHER, HAIL MARY

O Jesus! True liberty of angels, Paradise of delights, remember the horror and sadness which thou didst endure when thy enemies, like furious lions, surrounded thee, and by thousands of insults, spits, blows, lacerations, and other unheard of cruelties, tormented thee at will.
Through these torments and insulting words, I beg of thee, O my Saviour, to deliver me from all enemies, both visible and invisible, and under thy protection, may I attain the perfection of eternal salvation. Amen.

THIRD PRAYER:

OUR FATHER, HAIL MARY

O Jesus! Creator of heaven and earth whom nothing can encompass or limit, thou, who dost enfold and hold all under thy loving power: remember the very bitter pain which thou didst suffer when the people nailed thy Sacred Hands and Feet to the Cross by blow after blow with big blunt nails, and, not finding thee in a pitiable enough state to satisfy their rage, they enlarged thy Wounds, and added pain to pain, and with indescribable cruelty stretched thy Body on the Cross, and dislocated thy bones by pulling them on all sides – I beg of thee, O Jesus, by the memory of this most holy and most loving suffering of the Cross, to grant me the grace to fear thee and love thee. Amen.

FOURTH PRAYER:

OUR FATHER, HAIL MARY

O Jesus! Heavenly physician, raised aloft on the Cross in order that through thy Wounds ours may be healed: remember the bruises which thou didst suffer and the weakness of all thy Members which were distended to such a degree that never was there pain like unto thine. From the crown of thy Head to the soles of thy Feet there was not one spot on thy Body that was not in torment and yet, forgetting all thy sufferings, thou didst not cease to pray to thy Heavenly Father for thy enemies, saying: “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.”
Through this great mercy, and in memory of this suffering, grant that the remembrance of thy Most Bitter Passion may effect in us a perfect contrition and the remission of all our sins. Amen.

FIFTH PRAYER:

OUR FATHER, HAIL MARY

O Jesus! Mirror of eternal splendour, remember the sadness which thou experienced, when, contemplating in the light of thy Divinity the predestination of those who would be saved by the merits of thy Sacred Passion; thou didst see at the same time the great multitude of reprobates who would be damned for their sins, and thou didst complain bitterly of those hopeless, lost and unfortunate sinners.
Through this abyss of compassion and pity, and especially through the goodness which thou displayed to the good thief when thou saidst to him: “This day thou shalt be with me in Paradise” – I beg of thee, O Sweet Jesus, that at the hour of my death, thou wilt show me mercy. Amen.

SIXTH PRAYER:

OUR FATHER, HAIL MARY

O Jesus! King most loving and most desirable, remember the grief which thou didst suffer, when naked and like a common criminal, thou wast raised and fastened to the Cross, when all thy relatives and friends abandoned thee, except thy Beloved Mother who remained close to thee during thy agony and whom thou didst entrust to thy faithful disciple when thou saidst to Mary: “Woman, behold thy Son!” and to St John: “Behold thy Mother!”
I beg of thee, O my Saviour, by the sword of sorrow which pierced the soul of thy holy Mother, to have compassion on me in all my afflictions and tribulations, both corporal and spiritual, and to assist me in all my trials, and especially at the hour of my death. Amen.

SEVENTH PRAYER:

OUR FATHER, HAIL MARY

O Jesus! Inexhaustible Fountain of compassion, who by a profound gesture of love, said from the Cross: “I thirst!” suffered from the thirst for the salvation of the human race. I beg of thee, O my Saviour, to inflame in our hearts the desire to tend toward perfection in all our acts, and to extinguish in us the concupiscence of the flesh and the ardour of worldly desires. Amen.

EIGHTH PRAYER:

OUR FATHER, HAIL MARY

O Jesus! sweetness of hearts, delight of the spirit, by the bitterness of the gall and vinegar which thou didst taste on the Cross for love of us, grant us the grace to receive worthily thy Precious Body and Blood during our life and at the hour of our death, that it may serve us as a remedy of consolation for our souls. Amen.

NINTH PRAYER:

OUR FATHER, HAIL MARY

O Jesus! Royal virtue, joy of the mind, recall the pain that thou didst endure when, plunged in the ocean of bitterness at the approach of death, insulted, outraged by the people, thou didst cry out in a loud voice that thou wast abandoned by the Father, saying: “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
Through this anguish, I beg of thee, O my Saviour, not to abandon me in the terrors and pains of my death. Amen.

TENTH PRAYER:

OUR FATHER, HAIL MARY

O Jesus! Who art the beginning and end of all things, life and virtue, remember that for our sakes thou wast plunged in an abyss of suffering from the soles of thy Feet to the crown of thy Head – in consideration of the enormity of thy Wounds, teach me to keep, through pure love, thy Commandments, whose way is wide and easy for those who love thee. Amen.

ELEVENTH PRAYER:

OUR FATHER, HAIL MARY

O Jesus! Deep abyss of mercy, I beg of thee, in memory of thy Wounds which penetrated to the very marrow of thy Bones and to the depths of thy being, to draw me, a miserable sinner, overwhelmed by my offences, away from sin and to hide me from thy face justly irritated against me. Hide me in thy wounds, until thy anger and indignation shall have passed away. Amen.

TWELFTH PRAYER:

OUR FATHER, HAIL MARY

O Jesus! Mirror of truth, symbol of unity, link of charity, remember the multitude of wounds with which thou wast afflicted from head to foot, torn and reddened by the spilling of thy adorable Blood. O great and universal pain, which thou didst suffer in thy flesh for love of us! Sweetest Jesus! what is there that thou couldst have done for us which thou hast not done?
May the fruit of thy sufferings be renewed in my soul by the faithful remembrance of thy Passion. May thy love increase in my heart each day, until I see thee in eternity. Thou who art the treasure of every real good and every joy, which I beg thee to grant me, O Sweetest Jesus, in heaven. Amen.

THIRTEENTH PRAYER:

OUR FATHER, HAIL MARY

O Jesus! Strong Lion, Immortal and Invincible King, remember the pain which thou didst endure when all thy strength, both moral and physical, wast entirely exhausted, thou didst bow thy head, saying: “All is consummated!”
Through this anguish and grief I beg of thee, Lord Jesus, to have mercy on me at the hour of my death, when my mind will be greatly troubled and my soul will be in anguish. Amen.

FOURTEENTH PRAYER:

OUR FATHER, HAIL MARY

O Jesus! Only Son of the Father, Splendour and Figure of His Substance, remember the simple and humble recommendation thou didst make of thy Soul to thy Eternal Father, saying: “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit”, and when thy Body, all torn, and thy Heart broken, and the Bowels of thy mercy open to redeem us thou didst Expire. By this Precious Death, I beg thee, O King of Saints, comfort me and give me help to resist the devil, the flesh and the world, so that, being dead to the world, I may live for thee alone. I beg of thee at the hour of my death to receive me, a pilgrim and an exile returning to thee. Amen.

FIFTEENTH PRAYER:

OUR FATHER, HAIL MARY

O Jesus! True and fruitful Vine! Remember the outpouring of Blood which thou didst so generously shed. From thy side, pierced with a lance by a soldier, blood and water issued forth, and finally, like a bundle of myrrh, thy delicate Flesh was destroyed, the very Substance of thy Body withered, and the marrow of thy Bones dried up.
Through this bitter Passion and through the outpouring of thy Precious Blood, I beg of thee, O Sweet Jesus, to pierce my heart, so that my tears of Penitence and love may be my bread night and day. May I be converted entirely to thee, may my heart be thy perpetual resting place, may my conversion be pleasing to thee, and may the end of my life be so praiseworthy that I may merit Heaven and there, with thy saints, praise thee forever. Amen.

THE MAGNIFICENT PROMISES FOR RECITING THE FIFTEEN PRAYERS:

As St Bridget has been desirous for a long time to know the number of blows Our Lord received during His Passion, He once appeared to her and said, “I received 5480 blows on my Body. If you wish to honour them in some way, say 15 Our Fathers and 15 Hail Marys with the following Prayers. When the year is up, you will have honoured each one of my wounds.”
These are the promises to anyone who recites these Prayers for a whole year:
1. I will deliver fifteen souls of his lineage from Purgatory.
2. Fifteen souls of his lineage will be confirmed and preserved in grace.
3. Fifteen sinners of his lineage will be converted.
4. Whoever recites these Prayers will obtain the first degree of perfection.
5. Fifteen days before his death I will give him my Precious Body in order that he may escape eternal starvation; I will give him my Precious Blood to drink lest he thirst eternally.
6. Fifteen days before his death he will conceive a deep contrition for his sins and perfect knowledge of them.
7. I will place before him my Victorious Cross for his help and defence against the attacks of his enemies.
8. Before his death I will come with my dearest and beloved Mother.
9. I will graciously receive his soul, and will lead it into eternal joy.
10. And having lead it there, I will give him a special draught from the fountain of my Deity.
11. Let it be known that whoever may have been living in a state of mortal sin for thirty years, but who will recite devoutly, or have the intention to recite these prayers, the Lord will forgive him his sins.
12. I will defend him against evil temptations.
13. I will preserve and guard his five senses.
14. I will preserve him from a sudden death.
15. His soul will be delivered from eternal death.
16. He will obtain all he asks from God and the Blessed Virgin.
17. If he has lived all his life doing his own will and he is to die the next day, his life will be prolonged.
18. Every time one recites these Prayers, he will gain 100 days indulgences.
19. He will be assured of being joined to the supreme Choir of Angels.
20. Whoever teaches these Prayers to another, will have continual joy and merit which will last throughout eternity.
21. That where these Prayers are being said or may be said in the future, God will be present there with his grace.

– Must one recite the Prayers every day without interruption to obtain the privileges?
– One should miss saying them as few times as possible, but if for a serious reason one is obliged to miss them, one doesn’t lose the privileges attached to them, as long as one recites 5480 Prayers during the year. One must say them with devotion and concentrate on the words one pronounces.

These Prayers can serve as the Way of the Cross.

600 YEARS ST BRIDGET OF SWEDEN:

On the occasion of the 600th anniversary of Brigitta Birgersdotter (Bridget in English) Lutheran bishops from the Swedish State Church met to pray together with the Holy Father in the Church of St Peter in Rome. The king and queen of Sweden also took part in this prayer meeting. Pope Bonifaz IX had Brigitta Birgersdotter canonised in the year 1391. She was born in 1303.

 

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