Spiritual  Motherhood~The Nun and the Bishop 

Each of us owes gratitude for our lives and our vocations to the prayers and sacrifices of others.One of the leading gures of the German episcopacy of the 19th century,and among the founders of Catholic sociology, Bishop Ketteler owed his gratitude to a simple nun, the least and poorest lay sister of her convent.

in 1869, a German diocesan bishop was sitting  together with his guest, Bishop Ket-teler from Mainz. During the course of their conversation, the diocesan bishop brought up his guest’s extremely blessed apostolate.Bishop Ketteler explained to his host, “I owe thanks for everything that I have accom-plished with God’s help, to the prayer and sacrifice of someone I do not even know. I can only say that I know somebody has offered his or her whole life to our loving God for me,and I have this sacrafice to thank that I even became a priest.”

He continued, “Originally, I wasn’t plan-ning on becoming a priest. I had already finished my law degree and thought only about finding an important place in the world to begin acquiring honour, prestige and wealth.An extraordinary experience held me back and directed my life down a different path.

“One evening I was alone in my room, con-sidering my future plans of fame and fortune,when something happened which I cannot ex-plain. Was I awake or asleep? Did I really see it or was it just a dream? One thing I do know, it brought about a change in my life. I saw Jesus very clearly and distinctly standing over me in a radiant cloud, showing me his Sacred Heart.A nun was kneeling before him, her hands raised up in prayer. From his mouth, I heard the words, ‘She prays unremittingly for you!’“I distinctly saw the appearance of the sister, and her traits made such an impression on me that she has remained in my memory to this day. She seemed to be quite an ordi-nary lay sister. Her clothing was very poor and rough. Her hands were red and calloused from hard work. Whatever it was, a dream or not, it was extraordinary. It shook me to the depths of my being so that from that moment on, I decided to consecrate myself to God in the service of the priesthood.


“I withdrew to a monastery for a retreat,and I talked about everything with my confes-sor. Then, at the age of 30, I began studying theology. You know the rest of the story. So, if you think that I have done something admi-rable, now you know who really deserves the credit—a religious sister who prayed for me,maybe without even knowing who I was. I am convinced, I was prayed for and I will contin-ue to be prayed for in secret and that without these prayers, I could never have reached the goal that God has destined for me.”

“Do you have any idea of the wherea-bouts or the identity of who has prayed for you?” asked the diocesan bishop.

No, I can only ask God each day that, while she is still on earth, he bless and repay her a thousand-fold for what she has done for me.”
The next day, Bishop Ketteler visited a convent of sisters in a nearby city and cele-brated Holy Mass in their chapel. He was dis-tributing Holy Communion to the last row of sisters when one of them suddenly caught his eye. His face grew pale, and he stood there,motionless. Finally regaining his composure,he gave Holy Communion to the sister who was kneeling in recollection unaware of his hesitation. He then concluded the liturgy.

The bishop who had invited him the pre-vious day came and joined him at the convent for breakfast. When they had finished, Bishop Ketteler asked the Mother Superior to present to him all the sisters in the house. Before long she had gathered all the sisters together, and both bishops went to meet them. Bishop Ket-teler greeted them, but it was apparent that he did not find the one he was looking for.

He quietly asked the Mother Superior,

“Are all the sisters really here?”

She looked over the group of sisters and then said, “Your Excellency, I called them all,but, in fact, one of them is not here.”

“Why didn’t she come?”

“She works in the barn,” answered the superior, “and in such a commendable way that, in her enthusiasm, she sometimes for-gets other things.”

“I would like to see that sister,” requested the Bishop.


A little while later, the sister who had been summoned stepped into the room. Again bishop Ketteler turned pale, and after a few words to all the sisters, he asked if he could be alone with the sister who had just come in.

“Do you know me?” he asked her.

“I have never seen Your Excellency before.”

“Have you ever prayed for me or offered up a good deed for me?” he wanted to know.“I do not recall that I have ever heard of Your Excellency.”

The Bishop was silent for a few moments and then he asked, “Do you have a particular devotion that you like?”

“The devotion to the Sacred Heart of Je-sus,” was the response.

“You have, it seems, the most difficult task in the convent,” he continued.

“Oh no, Your Excellency” the sister coun-tered, “but I cannot lie, it is unpleasant for me.”

“And what do you do when you have such temptations against your work?”

“For things that cost me greatly, I grew ac-customed to facing them with joy and enthusi-asm out of love for God, and then I offer them up for one soul on earth. To whom God chooses to be gracious as a result, I have left completely up to him and I do not need to know who he chooses..I also offer up my time of Eucharistic adoration every evening from 8 to 9 for this intention.”

“Where did you get the idea to offer up all your merits for someone totally unknown to you?”

“I learned it while I was still out in the world,” she replied. “At school our teacher,the parish priest, taught us how we can pray and offer our merits for our relatives. Besides that, he said that we should pray much for those who are in danger of being lost. Sinceonly God knows who really needs prayer, it is best to put your merits at the disposition of the sacred Heart of Jesus trusting in his wisdom and omnipotence. That is what I have done,”she concluded, “and I always believed that God would find the right soul.”

“How old are you?” Ketteler asked.

“Thirty-three, Your Excellency,” she answered.

The Bishop paused a moment. Then he asked her, “When were you born?” The sister stated her day of birth. The Bishop gasped; her birth-day was the day of his conversion! Back then he saw her exactly as she was before him now. “And have you any idea whether your prayers and sacrifices have been successful?” he asked her further.

“No, Your Excellency.”

“Don’t you want to know?”

“Our dear God knows when something good happens, and that is enough,” was the simple answer.

The Bishop was shaken. “So continue this work in the name of the Lord,” he said. The sister knelt down immediately at his feet and asked for his blessing. The Bishop solemnly raised his hands and said with great emotion, “With the power entrusted to me as a bishop, I bless your soul, I bless your hands and their work, I bless your prayers sacrifices, your self-renunciation and your obedience. I bless especial-ly your final hour and ask God to assist you with all his consolation.”“Amen,” the sister answered calmly, then stood up and left.


The Bishop, profoundly moved, stepped over to the window inorder to compose himself. Some time later, he said good-bye to the  mother  Superior and returned to the apartment of his bishop friend. He confided to him, “Now I found the one I have to thank for my vocation.It is the lowest and poorest lay sister of that convent. I cannot thank God enough for his mercy because this sister has prayed for me for almost 20 years. On the day she first saw the light of the world, God worked my conversion accepting in advance her future prayers and works.

“What a lesson and a reminder for me! Should I become tempted to vanity by a certain amount of success or by my good works, then I can affirm in truth: You have the prayer and sacrifice  of a poor maid in a convent stall to thank. And when a small and lowly task appears of lit-tle value to me, then I will also remember the fact: what this maid does in humble obedience to God, making a sacrifice  by overcoming herself,is so valuable before the Lord Our God that her merits have given rise to a bishop for the Church.”

Saturday’s are dedicated to Mary

Every Saturday in the Catholic Church (provided there is no other feast of greater importance) is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. A priest may celebrate a special “votive” Mass on Saturday morning in honor of Our Lady.

Venerable Fulton Sheen, for example, insisted that priests celebrate Mass on Saturdays in honor of the Blessed Virgin, which he took very seriously.

Our Lady of Fatima requested that the faithful honor her on the First Saturday of each month.

But why Saturday?

Saturday is the day when creation was completed; therefore it is also celebrated as the day of the fulfillment of the plan of salvation, which found its realization through Mary. Sunday is the Lord’s Day, so it seemed appropriate to observe the preceding day as Mary’s day. In addition, as Genesis describes, God rested on the seventh day, Saturday. The seventh day, and the Jewish Sabbath, is Saturday; we rest on Sunday, because we celebrate the Resurrection as our Sabbath Day. In parallel, Jesus rested in the womb and then in the loving arms of Mary from birth until she held His lifeless body at the foot of the Cross; thus the God-head rested in Mary.

The Vatican’s Directory on Popular Piety supplements the above explanation and gives this account:

Saturdays stand out among those days dedicated to the Virgin Mary. These are designated as memorials of the Blessed Virgin Mary(218). This memorial derives from carolingian time (ninth century), but the reasons for having chosen Saturday for its observance are unknown. While many explanation have been advanced to explain this choice, none is completely satisfactory from the point of view of the history of popular piety.

Prescinding from its historical origins, to-day the memorial rightly emphasizes certain values “to which contemporary spirituality is more sensitive: it is a remembrance of the maternal example and discipleship of the Blessed Virgin Mary who, strengthened by faith and hope, on that great Saturday on which Our Lord lay in the tomb, was the only one of the disciples to hold vigil in expectation of the Lord’s resurrection; it is a prelude and introduction to the celebration of Sunday, the weekly memorial of the Resurrection of Christ; it is a sign that the “Virgin Mary is continuously present and operative in the life of the Church.”

Popular piety is also sensitive to the Saturday memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The statutes of many religious communities and associations of the faithful prescribe that special devotion be paid to the Holy Mother of God on Saturdays, sometimes through specified pious exercises composed precisely for Saturdays.

Saturday is a great day to honor our Blessed Mother and if we are not able to go to morning Mass where it is offered, we can always pray a rosary or another Marian prayer to honor her.

She is our spiritual mother and deserves our love and devotion (as do all mothers) and so dedicating an entire day of the week to her is most fitting.

First Friday Devotion 

“I promise you, in the excessive mercy of my Heart that my all powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on the first Friday for nine consecutive months, the grace of final repentance; they shall not die in my disgrace nor without receiving the sacraments; my divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in that last moment.” — Our Lord to St. Margaret Mary

 

How to complete the First Friday’s Devotion:

Receive Holy Communion on each First Friday;

The nine Fridays must be consecutive;

They must be made in honor and in reparation to His Sacred Heart.

 

ACT OF REPARATION TO THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS

Sacred Heart of Jesus, animated with a desire to repair the outrages unceasingly offered to Thee, we prostrate before Thy throne of mercy, and in the name of all mankind, pledge our love and fidelity to Thee!

The more Thy mysteries are blasphemed, the more firmly we shall believe them, O Sacred Heart of Jesus!

The more impiety endeavors to extinguish our hopes of immortality, the more we shall trust in Thy Heart, sole hope of mankind!

The more hearts resist Thy Divine attractions, the more we shall love Thee, O infinitely amiable Heart of Jesus!

The more unbelief attacks Thy Divinity, the more humbly and profoundly we shall adore It, O Divine Heart of Jesus!

The more Thy holy laws are transgressed and ignored, the more we shall delight to observe them, O most holy Heart of Jesus!

The more Thy Sacraments are despised and abandoned, the more frequently we shall receive them with love and reverence, O most liberal Heart of Jesus!

The more the imitation of Thy virtues is neglected and forgotten, the more we shall endeavor to practice them, O Heart of Jesus, model of every virtue!

The more the devil labors to destroy souls, the more we shall be inflamed with desire to save them, O Heart of Jesus, zealous Lover of souls!

The more sin and impurity destroy the image of God in man, the more we shall try by purity of life to be a living temple of the Holy Spirit, O Heart of Jesus!

The more Thy Holy Church is despised, the more we shall endeavor to be her faithful children, O Sweet Heart of Jesus!

The more Thy Vicar on earth is persecuted, the more we will honor him as the infallible head of Thy Holy Church, show our fidelity and pray for him, O kingly Heart of Jesus!

O Sacred Heart, through Thy powerful grace, may we become Thy apostles in the midst of a corrupted world, and be Thy crown in the kingdom of heaven. Amen.

 

12 Promises of the Sacred Heart to St. Margaret Mary

1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.

2. I will give peace in their families.

3. I will console them in all their troubles.

4. I will be their refuge in life and especially in death.

5. I will abundantly bless all their undertakings.

6. Sinners shall find in my Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.

7. Tepid souls shall become fervent.

8. Fervent souls shall rise speedily to great perfection.

9. I will bless those places wherein the image of my Sacred Heart shall be exposed and venerated.

10. I will give to priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts.

11. Persons who propagate this devotion shall have their names eternally written in my Heart.

12. In the excess of the mercy of my heart, I promise you that my all powerful love will grant to all those who will receive Communion on the First Fridays, for nine consecutive months, the grace of final repentance: they will not die in my displeasure, nor without receiving the sacraments; and my Heart will be their secure refuge in that last hour.

Divine Mercy Devotion 

The message and devotion to Jesus as The Divine Mercy is based on the writings of Saint Faustina Kowalska, an uneducated Polish nun who, in obedience to her spiritual director, wrote a diary of about 600 pages recording the revelations she received about God’s mercy. Even before her death in 1938, the devotion to The Divine Mercy had begun to spread.The Divine Mercy Devotion involves a total commitment to God as Mercy. It is a decision to trust completely in Him, to accept His mercy with thanksgiving, and to be merciful as He is merciful.

No time in history is our world in need of Divine Mercy than at this very moment.Our world deserves Gods swift and unrelenting justice more now than at any other time in history.Never has evil been so prevelant nor hearts so cold and never has God been more hated,shown more disdain or been blasphemed or ridiculed more than our very day.And yet this good God comes with a message of divine mercy that is infinitely incomprehensible to our weak human understanding.Many Catholics even have a hard time accepting this devotion because it sounds too good to be true,it sounds too easy.However a look back at our catholic history will show us that Jesus and Mary have showered us relentlessly with spiritual gifts and weapons that seemed too good to be true.The love of our Good God for us as St Therese loved to refer to him is foolish and endless,his love for us will not stop.He longs to shower us with his love and mercy and what we give him in return is so little.When Jesus brought us the Divine Mercy Devotion he brought us an enormous treasure that we can’t even begin to comprehend!Listen to Jesus in his own words and really let these sink into your soul:

~I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. On that day all the divine floodgates through which grace flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet. Diary 699 (Note: confession does not have to be done on the Sunday itself. Beforehand is fine)


~Mankind will not have peace until it turns with trust to My Mercy. —St. Faustina’s Diary300
~Let all mankind recognize My unfathomable mercy. It is a sign for the end times; after it will come the day of justice. Diary 848


~He who refuses to pass through the door of My mercy must pass through the door of My justice... Diary 1146


~Souls perish in spite of My bitter Passion. I am giving them the last hope of salvation; that is, the Feast of My Mercy. If they will not adore My mercy, they will perish for all eternity. Diary965
~My Heart overflows with great mercy for souls, and especially for poor sinners. If only they could understand that I am the best of Fathers to them and that it is for them that the Blood and Water flowed from My Heart as from a fount overflowing with mercy. Diary 367


~These rays shield souls from the wrath of My Father. Happy is the one who will dwell in their shelter, for the just hand of God shall not lay hold of him. I desire that the first Sunday after Easter be the Feast of Mercy. Diary 299
~My daughter, write that the greater the misery of a soul, the greater its right to My mercy; [urge] all souls to trust in the unfathomable abyss of My mercy, because I want to save them all. Diary 1182

~The greater the sinner, the greater the right he has to My mercy. My mercy is confirmed in every work of My hands. He who trusts in My mercy will not perish, for all his affairs are Mine, and his enemies will be shattered at the base of My footstool. Diary 723
~[Let] the greatest sinners place their trust in My mercy. They have the right before others to trust in the abyss of My mercy. My daughter, write about My mercy towards tormented souls. Souls that make an appeal to My mercy delight Me. To such souls I grant even more graces than they ask. I cannot punish even the greatest sinner if he makes an appeal to My compassion, but on the contrary, I justify him in My unfathomable and inscrutable mercy. Diary 1146


~I want to grant a complete pardon to the souls that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion on the Feast of My mercy. Diary 1109
~I desire trust from My creatures. Encourage souls to place great trust in My fathomless mercy. Let the weak, sinful soul have no fear to approach Me, for even if it had more sins than there are grains of sand in the world, all would be drowned in the unmeasurable depths of My mercy. Diary 1059


~I demand the worship of My mercy through the solemn celebration of the Feast and through the veneration of the image which is painted. By means of this image I shall grant many graces to souls. It is to be a reminder of the demands of My mercy, because even the strongest faith is of no avail without works. Diary 742
~ Tell [all people], My daughter, that I am Love and Mercy itself. When a soul approaches Me with trust, I fill it with such an abundance of graces that it cannot contain them within itself, but radiates them to other souls. Jesus, Diary 1074


~I am offering people a vessel with which they are to keep coming for graces to the fountain of mercy. That vessel is this image with the signature: “Jesus, I trust in You.” Diary327
~I promise that the soul that will venerate this image will not perish. I also promise victory over [its] enemies already here on earth, especially at the hour of death. I Myself will defend it as My own glory. Jesus, Diary 48


~Souls who spread the honor of My mercy I shield through their entire lives as a tender mother her infant, and at the hour of death I will not be a Judge for them, but the Merciful Savior. At that last hour, a soul has nothing with which to defend itself except My mercy. Happy is the soul that during its lifetime immersed itself in the Fountain of Mercy, because justice will have no hold on it. Diary1075


During the course of Jesus’ revelations to Saint Faustina on the Divine Mercy He asked on numerous occasions that a feast day be dedicated to the Divine Mercy and that this feast be celebrated on the Sunday after Easter. The liturgical texts of that day, the 2nd Sunday of Easter, concern the institution of the Sacrament of Penance, the Tribunal of the Divine Mercy, and are thus already suited to the request of Our Lord. This Feast, which had already been granted to the nation of Poland and been celebrated within Vatican City, was granted to the Universal Church by Pope John Paul II on the occasion of the canonization of Sr. Faustina on 30 April 2000. In a decree dated 23 May 2000, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments stated that “throughout the world the Second Sunday of Easter will receive the name Divine Mercy Sunday, a perennial invitation to the Christian world to face, with confidence in divine benevolence, the difficulties and trials that mankind will experience in the years to come.” These papal acts represent the highest endorsement that the Church can give to a private revelation, an act of papal infallibility proclaiming the certain sanctity of the mystic, and the granting of a universal feast, as requested by Our Lord to St. Faustina.
Concerning the Feast of Mercy Jesus said:

Whoever approaches the Fountain of Life on this day will be granted complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. (Diary 300)

I want the image solemnly blessed on the first Sunday after Easter, and I want it to be venerated publicly so that every soul may know about it. (Diary 341)


This Feast emerged from the very depths of My mercy, and it is confirmed in the vast depths of my tender mercies. (Diary 420)

On one occasion, I heard these words: My daughter, tell the whole world about My Inconceivable mercy. I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment.*[our emphasis] On that day all the divine floodgates through which grace flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet. My mercy is so great that no mind, be it of man or of angel, will be able to fathom it throughout all eternity. Everything that exists has come forth from the very depths of My most tender mercy. Every soul in its relation to Me will contemplate My love and mercy throughout eternity. The Feast of Mercy emerged from My very depths of tenderness. It is My desire that it be solemnly celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter. Mankind will not have peace until it turns to the Fount of My Mercy. (Diary 699)

Yes, the first Sunday after Easter is the Feast of Mercy, but there must also be deeds of mercy, which are to arise out of love for Me. You are to show mercy to our neighbors always and everywhere. You must not shrink from this or try to absolve yourself from it. (Diary 742)

I want to grant complete pardon to the souls that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion on the Feast of My mercy. (Diary 1109)

As you can see the Lord’s desire for the Feast includes the solemn, public veneration of the Image of Divine Mercy by the Church, as well as personal acts of veneration and mercy. The great promise for the individual soul is that a devotional act of sacramental penance and Communion will obtain for that soul the plenitude of the divine mercy on the Feast.

(*The Cardinal of Krakow, Cardinal Macharski, whose diocese is the center of the spread of the devotion and the sponsor of the Cause of Sr. Faustina, has written that we should use Lent as preparation for the Feast and confess even before Holy Week! So, it is clear that the confessional requirement does not have to be met on the Feast itself. That would be an impossible burden for the clergy if it did. The Communion requirement is easily met that day, however, since it is a day of obligation, being Sunday. We would only need confession again, if received earlier in Lenten or Easter Season, if we were in the state of mortal sin on the Feast.)

Jesus  asked that the Feast of the Divine Mercy be preceded by a Novena to the Divine Mercy which would begin on Good Friday. He gave St. Faustina an intention to pray for on each day of the Novena, saving for the last day the most difficult intention of all, the lukewarm and indifferent of whom He said:”These souls cause Me more suffering than any others; it was from such souls that My soul felt the most revulsion in the Garden of Olives. It was on their account that I said: ‘My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass Me by.’ The last hope of salvation for them is to flee to My Mercy.”In her diary, St. Faustina wrote that Jesus told her:”On each day of the novena you will bring to My heart a different group of souls and you will immerse them in this ocean of My mercy … On each day you will beg My Father, on the strength of My passion, for the graces for these souls.

I will post the Novena prayers every morning starting on Good Friday so we can all pray it in union with all of the church.Remember the article what if this is your last Lent?Ask yourself what if this is my last Divine Mercy Sunday?As the great Mother Angelica would say:”Don’t miss the opportunity”!

Jesus we I trust in you!

 

The Pardon Crucifix~A forgotten sacramental and thorn in satan’s side 

The History of the Pardon Crucifix

“The Pardon Crucifix was introduced at the Marian Congress of Rome in 1904, with the support of his Eminence Cardinal Coullié, Archbishop of Lyon. It was through the discourse made to him by the Frs Lémann that the crucifix obtained general approval. The project of a union around this Pardon Crucifix was presented to His Holiness by the most Eminent Cardinal Vivès, president of the Congress.

“The historic and sacred inscription of the royalty of Jesus appears in inscription placed over the head of Christ [on this crucifix]. It is an irrefutable witness against the denials and audacity of impiety. There is preserved at Rome, in the Basilica of the Holy Cross of Jerusalem, the actual inscription of Golgotha recovered by St Helen. The written relic is not complete; there may have been a division, and also age has considerably reduced it. Two words, only two words shine forth, respected by time, Nazarenus Re, The Nazarene King. It is a prophecy written on wood: all royalties are passing, except that of the Nazarene.

“On the reverse of the cross, at the center, the Sacred Heart shines forth with two inscriptions recalling the tender mercy of the Saviour; one is a prayer of pardon, breathed forth in the agony of Calvary: Father, forgive them; the other is the prayer of love breathed forth against ingratitude, in the sanctuary of Paray-le-Monial: Behold this Heart which has thus loved men.

“Below, the figure of Our Lady surmounted by a star occupies the foot of the cross, which is truly the place of Mary. She stands there to say to every straying soul: ‘Do not forget the sorrows of your Mother’. She says, ‘I am the comforter’. Despair murmurs that it is too late; She says: ‘between late and too late there is an abyss, behold all the Blood of My Jesus, behold My motherly devotion for you’.”


The Pardon Crucifix comes with powerful graces and indulgences:


~ Whoever carries on his person the Pardon Crucifix, may thereby gain an indulgence.

~For devoutly kissing the Crucifix, an indulgence is gained.

~Whoever says one of the following invocations before this crucifix may gain each time an indulgence: “Our Father who art in heaven, forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” “I beg the Blessed Virgin Mary to pray to the Lord our God for me.”

~ Whoever, habitually devout to this Crucifix, will fulfill the necessary conditions of Confession and Holy Communion, may gain a Plenary Indulgence on the following feasts: On the feasts of the Five Wounds of our Lord, the Invention of the Holy Cross, the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, the Immaculate Conception, and the Seven Dolors of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

~Whoever at the moment of death, fortified with the Sacraments of the Church, or contrite of heart, in the supposition of being unable to receive them, will kiss this Crucifix and ask pardon of God for his sins, and pardon his neighbor, will gain a Plenary Indulgence.

To the faithful, who devoutly kiss this Crucifix and gain these precious indulgences, we recommend to have in view the following intentions: To testify love for Our Lord and the Blessed Virgin; gratitude towards our Holy Father, the Pope, to beg for the remission of one’s sins; the deliverance of the souls in Purgatory; the return of the nations to the Faith; forgiveness among Christians; reconciliation among members of the Catholic Church. By another Pontifical rescript of November 14 1905. His Holiness Pope Pius X, has declared that the Indulgence attached to the Pardon Crucifix are applicable to the souls in Purgatory.

The pardon crucifix is a powerful weapon for us to obtain indulgences not just for us for for all the souls in purgatory.If we assist them with our prayers and the indulgences gained by  venerating this crucifix they will assist us with their prayers.It is highly recommended to wear this crucifix around your neck as it will be a defense against all the devils snares and constantly remind us to invoke its protection and graces often.

To order a pardon crucifix:

Sisters of Carmel

Palm Sunday Sermon on the Evil Effects of Bad Habits~St.Alphonsus Liguori

 Go ye into the village that is over against you, and immediately you shall find an ass tied.” MATT. xxi. 2.

WISHING to enter Jerusalem, to be there acknowledged as the promised Messiah sent by God for the salvation of the world, the Saviour said to his disciples: “Go to a certain village, and you will find an ass tied, and a colt with her; loose them, and bring them to me.” “The ass which was tied,” says St. Bonaventure, “denotes a sinner.” This exposition is conformable to the doctrine of the Wise Man, who says, that the wicked are bound by the chains of their own sins. “His own iniquities catch the wicked, and he is fast bound with the rope of his own sins.” (Prov. v. 22.) But, as Jesus Christ could not sit on the ass before she was loosed, so he cannot dwell in a soul bound with her own iniquities. If, then, brethren, there be among you a soul bound by any bad habit, let her attend to the admonition which the Lord addresses to her this morning. ”Loose the bond from off thy neck, captive daughter of Sion.” (Isa. Hi. 2.) Loose the bonds of your sins, which make you the slave of Satan. Loose the bonds before the habit of sin gains such power over you, as to render your conversion morally impossible, and thus to bring you to eternal perdition. This morning I will show, in three points, the evil effects of bad habits.

First Point. A bad habit blinds the understanding. 

Second Point. It hardens the heart.

Third Point. It diminishes our strength.
 


First Point. A bad habit blinds the understanding
.


1. Of those who live in the habit of sin, St. Augustine says: ”Ipsa consuetudo non sinit videre malum, quod faciunt.” The habit of sin blinds sinners, so that they no longer see the evil which they do, nor the ruin which they “bring upon themselves; hence they live in blindness, as if there was neither God, nor heaven, nor hell, nor eternity. ”Sins,” adds the saint, ”however enormous, when habitual, appear to be small, or not to be sins at all.” How then can the soul guard against them, when she is no longer sensible of their deformity, or the evil which they bring upon her?


2. St. Jerome says, that habitual sinners “are not even ashamed of their crimes.” Bad actions naturally produce a certain shame; but this feeling is destroyed by the habit of sin. St. Peter compares habitual sinners to swine wallowing in mire. ”The sow that was washed is returned to her wallowing in the mire.” (2 Pet. ii. “22.) The very mire of sin blinds them; and, therefore, instead of feeling sorrow and shame at their uncleanness, they revel and exult in it. ”A fool worketh mischief as it were for sport.” (Prov. x. 23.)”Who are glad when they have done evil.” (Prov. ii. 14.) Hence the saints continually seek light from God; for they know that, should he withdraw his light, they may become the greatest of sinners. How, then, do so many Christians, who know by faith that there is a hell, and a just God, who cannot but chastise the wicked, how, I say, do they continue to live in sin till death, and thus bring themselves to perdition?”Their own malice blinded them.” (Wis. ii, 21.) Sin blinds them, and thus they are lost.

 
3. Job says, that habitual sinners are full of iniquities. “His bones shall be filled with the vices of his youth.” (xx. 11.) Every sin produces darkness in the understanding. Hence, the more sins are multiplied by a bad habit, the greater the blindness they cause. The light of the sun cannot enter a vessel filled with clay; and a heart full of vices cannot admit the light of God, which would make visible to the soul the abyss into which she is running. Bereft of light, the habitual sinner goes on from sin to sin, without ever thinking of repentance. “The wicked walk round about,” (Ps. xi. 9.) Fallen into the dark pit of evil habits, he thinks only of sinning, he speaks only of sins, and no longer sees the evil of sin. In fine, he becomes like a brute devoid of reason, and seeks and desires only what pleases the senses. ”And man, when he was in honour, did not understand: he is compared to senseless beasts, and is become like to them. ” (Ps. xlviii. 13.) Hence the words of the Wise Man are fulfilled with regard to habitual sinners. “The wicked man when he comes into the depth of sin, contemneth.” (Prov. xviii. 3.) This passage St. Chrysostom applies to habitual sinners, who, shut up in a pit of darkness, despise sermons, calls of God, admonitions, censures, hell, and God, and become like the vulture that waits to be killed by the fowler, rather than abandon the corrupt carcass on which it feeds. 


4. Brethren, let us tremble, as David did when he said: ”Let not the tempests of water drown me, nor the deep swallow me up; and let not the pit shut her mouth upon me.” (Ps. Ixviii. 16.) Should a person fall into a pit, there is hope of deliverance as long as the mouth of the pit is not closed; but as soon as it is shut, he is lost. When a sinner falls into a bad habit, the mouth of the pit is gradually closed as his sins are multiplied; the moment the mouth of the pit is shut, he is abandoned by God. Dearly beloved sinners, if you have contracted a habit of any sin, endeavour instantly to go out of that pit of hell, before God shall deprive you entirely of his light, and abandon you; for, as soon as he abandons you by the total withdrawal of his light, all is over, and you are lost.

 

Second Point:A Bad Habit hardens the heart

 5. The habit of sin not only blinds the understanding, but also hardens the heart of the sinner. “His heart shall be as hard as a stone, and as firm as a smith‟s anvil.” (Job xli. 15.) By the habit of sin the heart becomes like a stone; and, as the anvil is hardened by repeated strokes of the hammer, so, instead of being softened by divine inspirations or by instructions, the soul of the habitual sinner is rendered more obdurate by sermons on the judgment of God, on the torments of the damned, and on the passion of Jesus Christ: “his heart shall be firm as a smith‟s anvil.” “Their heart,” says St. Augustine, “is hardened against the dew of grace, so as to produce no fruit.” Divine calls, remorses of conscience, terrors of Divine justice, are showers of divine grace; but when, instead of drawing fruit from these divine blessings, the habitual sinner continues to commit sin, he hardens his heart, and thus, according to St. Thomas of Villanova, he gives a sign of his certain damnation “Induratio damnationis
Second Point. A bad habit hardens the heart.indicium;” for, from the loss of God’s light, and the hardness of his heart, the sinner will, according to the terrible threat of the Holy Ghost, remain obstinate till death. ”A hard heart
shall fare evil at the end.” (Eccl. iii. 27.)

 
6. Of what use are confessions, when, in a short time after them, the sinner returns to the same vices? “He who strikes his breast,” says St. Augustine, ”and does not amend, confirms, but does not take away sins.” When you strike your breast in the tribunal of penance, but do not amend and remove the occasions of sin, you then, according to the saint, do not take away your sins, but you make them more firm and permanent; that is, you render yourself more obstinate in sin. “The wicked walk round about.” (Ps. xi. 9.) Such is the unhappy life of habitual sinners. They go round about from sin to sin; and if they abstain for a little, they immediately, at the first occasion of temptation, return to their former iniquities. St. Bernard regards as certain the damnation of such sinners: “Væ homini, qui sequitur hunc circuitum.” (Serm. xii. sup. Psalmos.) 


7. But some young persons may say: I will hereafter amend, and sincerely give myself to God. But, if a habit of sin takes possession of you, when will you amend? The Holy Ghost declares, that a young man who contracts an evil habit will not relinquish it even in his old age. “A young man, according to his way, even when he is old, he will not depart from it. ” (Prov. xxii. 6.) Habitual sinners have been known to yield, even at the hour of death, to the sins which they have been in the habit of committing. Father Recupito relates, that a person condemned to death, even while he was going to the place of execution, raised his eyes, saw a young female, and consented to a bad thought. We read in a work of Father Gisolfo, that a certain blasphemer, who had been likewise condemned to death, when thrown off the scaffold, broke out into a blasphemy, and died in that miserable state.

 
8. ”He hath mercy on whom he will, and whom he will he hardeneth.” (Rom. ix. 18.) God shows mercy for a certain time, and then he hardens the heart of the sinner. How does God harden the hearts of sinners? St. Augustine answers: ”Obduratio Dei est non misereri.” The Lord does not directly harden the hearts of habitual sinners; but, in punishment of their ingratitude for his benefits, he withdraws from them his graces, and thus their hearts are hardened, and become like a stone. ”God does not harden the heart by imparting malice, but by withholding mercy.” God does not render sinners obdurate by infusing the malice of obstinacy, but by not giving them the efficacious graces by which they would be converted. By the withdrawal of the suns heat from the earth, water is hardened into ice.
 

 9. St. Bernard teaches, that hardness or obstinacy of heart does not take place suddenly; but, by degrees the soul becomes insensible to the divine threats, and more obstinate by divine chastisements. “Paulatim in cordis dulitiam itur; cor durum non minis cedit, flagellis duratur.” In habitual sinners are verified the words of David, ”And thy rebuke, God of Jacob, they have slumbered.” (Ps. lxxv. 7.) Even earthquakes, thunders, and sudden deaths do not terrify an habitual sinner. Instead of awakening him to a sense of his miserable state, they rather bring on that deadly sleep in which he slumbers and is lost. 


 Third Point:A bad habit diminishes our strength

10.”He hath torn me with wound upon wound; he hath rushed in upon me like a giant.” (Job xvi. 15.) On this text St. Gregory reasons thus: A person assailed by an enemy, is rendered unable to defend himself by the first wound which he receives; but, should he receive a second and third, his strength will be so much exhausted, that death will be the consequence. It is so with sin: after the first and second wound which it inflicts on the soul, she shall still have some strength, but only through the divine grace. But, if she continue to indulge in vice, sin, becoming habitual, rushes upon her like a giant and leaves her without any power to resist it. St. Bernard compares the habitual sinner to a person who has fallen under a large stone, which he is unable to remove. A person in such a case will rise only with difficulty. “The man on whom the weight of a bad habit presses, rises with difficulty.” St. Gregory says: ”Lapis superpositus, cum consuetudine mens in peccato demoratur ut esti velit exsurgere, jam non possit quia moles desuper premit,” (Moral, lib. 26, c. xxiv.) 


11. St. Thomas of Villanova teaches, that a soul which is deprived of the grace of God, cannot long abstain from new sins. “Anima a gratia destituta diu evadere ulteriora peccata non potest.” (Conc. 4 in Dom. 4 quadrages.) In expounding the words of David, “O my God, make them like a wheel, and as a stubble before the wind,” (Ps. lxxxii. 14.) St. Gregory says, that the man who struggled for a time before he fell into the habit of sin, as soon as he contracts the habit, yields and yields again to every temptation, with as much facility as a straw is moved by the slightest blast of wind. Habitual sinners, according to St. Chrysostom, become so weak in resisting the attacks of the devil, that, dragged to sin by their evil habit, they are sometimes driven to sin against their inclination. ”Dura res est consuetudo, quæ nonnunquam nolentes committere cogit illicita,” Yes; because, as St. Augustine says, a bad habit in the course of time brings on a certain necessity of falling into sin. “Dum consuetudini non resistitur, facta est necessitas.”
 

 12. St. Bernardino of Sienna says, that evil habits are changed into one‟s nature. ”Usus veritur in natura.” Hence, as it is necessary for men to breathe, so it appears that it becomes necessary for habitual sinners to commit sins. They are thus made the slave of sin. I say, the slaves. In society there are servants, who serve for wages, and there are slaves, who serve by force, and without remuneration. Having sold themselves as slaves to the devil, habitual sinners are reduced to such a degree of slavery, that they sometimes sin without pleasure, and sometimes even without being in the occasion of sin. St. Bernardino compares them to the wings of a windmill, which continue to turn the mill even when there is no corn to be ground; that is, they continue to commit sin, at least by indulging bad thoughts, even when there is no occasion of sin presented to them. The unhappy beings, as St. Chrysostom says, having lost the divine aid, no longer do what they wish themselves, but what the devil wishes. “Homo perdito Dei auxilio, non quod vult agit, sed quod diabolus.” 


13. Listen to what happened in a city in Italy. A certain young man, who had contracted a vicious habit, though frequently called by God, and admonished by friends to amend his life, continued to live in sin. One day he saw his sister suddenly struck dead. He was terrified for a short time; but she was scarcely buried, when he forgot her death and returned to the vomit. In two months after he was confined to bed by a slow fever. He then, sent for a confessor, and made his confession. But after all this, on a certain day, he exclaimed: Alas! how late have I known the rigour of divine justice! And turning to his physician, he said: Do not torment me any longer by medicines; for my disease is incurable. I know for certain that it will bring me to the grave. And to his friends, who stood around, he said: As for the life of this body of mine there is no remedy, so for the life of my poor soul there is no hope. I expect eternal death. God has abandoned me; this I see in the hardness of my heart. Friends and religious came to encourage him to hope in the mercy of God; but his answer to all their exhortations was, God has abandoned me. The writer who relates this fact says, that, being alone with the young man, he said to him: Have courage; unite yourself with God; receive the viaticum. Friend, replied the young man, speak to a stone. The confession which I have made has been null for want of sorrow. I do not wish for a confessor, nor for the sacraments. Do not bring me the viaticum; for, should you bring it, I will do that which must excite horror. He then went away quite disconsolate; and returning to see the young man, learned from his relatives that he expired during the night without the aid of a priest, and that near his room frightful howlings were heard.
 

 14. Behold the end of habitual sinners! Brethren, if you have the misfortune of having contracted a habit of sin, make, as soon as possible, a general confession; for your past confessions can scarcely have been valid. Go forth instantly from the slavery of the devil. Attend to the advice of the Holy Ghost. “Give not thy ears to the cruel.” (Prov. v. 9.) Why will you serve the devil, your enemy, who is so cruel a master who makes you lead a life of misery here, to bring you to a life of still greater misery in hell for all eternity? “Lazarus, come forth. ”Go out of the pit of sin; give yourself immediately to God, who calls you, and is ready to receive you if you turn to him. Tremble! this may be for you the last call, to which if you do not correspond, you shall be lost.

What if this were your last Holy Week?


This week I read a great post written by a priest entitled “This could be our last Holy Week”.I personally was very moved by the priests sentiments and heart but was quite perplexed to read negative comments by others who accused the priest of being dramatic or negative.It really made me wonder if people had even read the article at all.We see and hear in our day and age  that people don’t want to think about or even talk about death and yet our whole life should be a preparation for death.If we don’t die a holy death than it would have been better for us if we had not been born.Recently I’ve been reading a lot from St.Alphonsus Liguori and St.Leonard of Port Maurice,two of the greatest missionaries and preachers to ever have lived.Only in heaven will we know how many countless souls are saved because of them and that didn’t end at their death,they continue to save hundreds of thousands of souls through the sermons they preached.Can you imagine the hate and venom they would receive from today’s Catholics?

The last Christmas I ever spent with my dad I got this strong desire in my head that I wanted to go all crazy on Christmas decorations and I did.I spent way too much money but my dads house looked very warm and drenched from wall to ceiling in Christmas.My dad and my brother asked me why I was going to all the trouble because it was going to be just the three of us for Christmas and I replied that I just wanted this Christmas to be special.That ended up being the last Christmas I would ever spend with my dad or my brother for that matter.He died right before the following Christmas and I couldn’t help but wonder if he knew that was going to be his last Christmas on earth what he would have changed or done differently?He was away from the church at that time but came back pretty much on his death bed praise God.

We are not promised a Holy Week next year so this year let’s really live this Holy Week like it’s our very last because it could be our last.Here are some beautiful tips from a traditional Latin Mass priest for living this Holy Week in a Holy manner.These are tips anyone can follow and apply this week whether you attend a traditional Latin Mass or a Novus Ordo.Have a blessed Holy Week!~Theresa T

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


The name says it all; “Holy Week”. This means that it is very important for us Catholics to keep this week holy. Many graces will be offered to us at this holy time of the year when we re-live the Triumph, Last Supper, Betrayal, Arrest, Trial, Passion, Death, Burial and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Palm Sunday. On this day we celebrate Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem to exclamations of “Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord”. The whole celebration begins by the reading the first Gospel about Jesus entering into Jerusalem.


Then comes the blessing of the Palms. Everyone receives a palm by 1) genuflecting, 2) kissing the priests hand and 3) kissing the Blessed Palm.  


Then we join in with the solemn procession with the blessed palms, out in public, to remind them and us of the kingly entrance our Messiah Jesus made to start His passion. This is followed by the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with the passion of Jesus being read, according to St. Matthew


On Holy Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, try to make the daily Latin mass. At these Masses, expect on Tuesday, the long reading of the passion according to St. Mark and on Wednesday, the long passions narratives of St. Luke. Bring you missal to read along in English, while the priest reads in Latin.

Holy Thursday….On the night before Jesus died, He celebrated the Last Supper, (The Jewish Passover Meal) with His disciples. It is night and His apostle Judas leaves to betray Jesus.

Then after singing the Psalms, Jesus left with them to the Garden of Gethsemani where He would pray and go through His agony to the point of sweating blood. It was here where His disciple and friend, Judas, brought the guards to arrest Him. He is betrayed by a kiss of a friend. From here He is brought before Caiphas, the high priest, scribes and ancients so that they could come up with some (false) evidence to have Him put to death. Here they spit in His face, buffeted Him and ridiculed Him.

Make every effort to go the the Mass of the Last Supper where the apostles have their feet washed and Jesus gives us His Body and Blood and the Passover Lamb in the New Covenant. The Mass ends with the procession of the Holy Eucharist to the Altar of Repose where we adore Jesus truly present in the Host. Try to at least watch one hour with Jesus in His agony.


In union with Jesus Passion, we fast on Good Friday with two small meals and one regular besides abstaining from all meat. Plan ahead to not work or do anything from 12 pm till after the passion ceremony which begins at 3 pm. It is not the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. There you will re-live Jesus’ passion as the Gospel of St John is read. You will then, with great reverence, kiss the crucifix, asking Jesus to forgive you for crucifying Him by your sins. Then you can humbly receive Holy Communion if you are in the state of grace, that is having confessed any mortal sin in confession.


Holy Saturday. This day we keep by morning the death of Jesus as if we were really present at His tomb. We do the least activities possible, (only what is necessary to celebrate the Joyful Easter the next day). Try to avoid stores and superficial activities. For those who can, go to the Easter Vigil Solemn High Latin Mass that evening. It is one of the most beautiful masses of the whole year. It is very long with the 1) Blessing of the New Fire, 2) Blessing of the Paschal Candle, 3) Procession and singing of the Exultet, 4) Listening to the 5 Lessons from the Prophets, 5) Praying the Litanies, 6) Blessing the Baptismal Water, 7) Renewal of you Baptismal Promises, 8) First Solemn Mass of Easter.


Jesus   was tortured to death and was in the tomb from Friday afternoon till early Sunday morning when He rose from the dead. This is the day to rejoice and be glad. Dress in you very best for Jesus. Go early to Holy Latin Mass if you did not go to the Vigil mass the night before. And if you did, go to mass again. Reflect on the great Victory Jesus won for us over the devil, death and enslavement to sin. We are free children of God.

Spend time this day visiting and sharing a meal with friends and family. Especially invite those who are alone and have no one to celebrate this great feast with. Try to take some time to go and meditate, pray and talk with Jesus Resurrected in the Blessed Sacrament.

The greatest miracle that has ever to happen in the history of Mankind, is Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. This happened after all the Jews, soldiers and the disciples witnessed him dead dead dead on the cross and in the grave from Friday till Sunday Morning. This is why we are followers of Jesus. He is God who died and Rose again.


In this HOLY WEEK, let us make every effort to leave the world, television, Facebook, computer, shopping and talking to enter into God’s holy time. This week is the time to spend a lot of time everyday at church. We are so blessed to be traditional Catholics and know that Jesus suffered, died and rose to forgive our sins and give us a new life in Him.

Heaven Opened by the Practice of the Three Hail Marys 


One of the greatest means of salvation and one of the surest signs of predestination, is unquestionably, the devotion to the Most Blessed Virgin. All the holy doctors of the Church are unanimous in saying with St. Alphonsus of Liguori: “A devout servant of Mary shall never perish.” The chief thing is to persevere faithfully until death in this devotion.

Numerous examples show how agreeable the three Hail Marys Devotion is to the Divine Mother and what special graces it draws, during life and at the hour of death, on those who never omit it for a single day.

“The first Hail Mary will be in honor of God the Father, Whose omnipotence raised my soul so high above every other creature that after God I have the greatest power in heaven and on earth. In the hour of your death I will use that power of God the Father to keep any hostile power far from you.

“The second Hail Mary will be said in honor of the Son of God Who communicated His inscrutable wisdom to me. In the hour of your death I will fill your soul with the light of that wisdom so that all the darkness of ignorance and error will be dispelled.

“The third Hail Mary will be in honor of God the Holy Ghost Who filled my soul with the sweetness of His love and tenderness and mercy. In your last hour I will then change the bitterness of death into divine sweetness and delight.”

Our Blessed Mother also revealed to St. Gertrude the Great: “To any soul who faithfully prays the Three Hail Marys, I will appear at the hour of death in a splendor so extraordinary that it will fill the soul with heavenly consolation.”

St. Leonard of Port Maurice, the celebrated missionary, had the Three Hail Marys recited morning and evening in honor of Mary Immaculate, to obtain the grace of avoiding all mortal sins during the day or night; moreover he promised in a special manner eternal salvation to all those who proved constantly faithful to this practice. He gave this devotion of Three Hail Marys as a penance in the confessional, especially for those who were struggling with sins of impurity.

Practice: Recite morning and evening, three Hail Marys in honor of the three great privileges bestowed upon Our Blessed Mother by the most Blessed Trinity with this invocation at the end: for the morning: “O my Mother preserve me from mortal sin during this day.” For the evening: “O my Mother preserve me from mortal sin during this night.”

(Pope St. Pius X gave his Apostolic Blessing to this practice and the devotion was raised to an Archconfraternity by Pope Benedict XV.)

One of the first to say the three Hail Mary’s and to recommend them to others was the illustrious St. Anthony of Padua. His special aim in this practice was to honor the spotless Virginity of Mary and to preserve a perfect purity of mind, heart and body in the midst of the dangers of the world. Many, like him, have felt its salutary efforts.
After the example of those two great Franciscan Saints, St. Alphonsus of Liguori adopted this pious practice and gave it his most ardent and powerful support. He counseled its use and even imposed it as a penance on those who had not adopted this good habit.

The holy Doctor exhorts, in particular, parents and confessors to watch carefully that children be faithful in reciting each day their three Hail Mary’s, morning and evening. Or rather, like St. Leonard of Port-Maurice, he earnestly recommends it to all, “to the devout and to sinners, to the young and old.”

Even persons consecrated to God will derive from this practice much precious and salutary fruit. Numerous examples may show how agreeable the three Hail Mary’s are to the Divine Mother and what special graces they draw, during life and at the hour of death, on those who never omit them for a single day.

This practice has been revealed to St. Melchtilde (13th Century) with the promise of a good death, if she was faithful to it, every day.

It is written, also, in St. Gertrude’s revelations: “While this Saint sang the Hail Mary, at the matins of the Annunciation, she suddenly saw spring out from the Heart of the Father and the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, three bright flames which penetrated the Heart of the Holy Virgin.” Then she heard the following words: “After the Power of the Father, the Wisdom of the Son and the merciful Tenderness of the Holy Spirit, nothing approaches the Power, the Wisdom and the merciful Tenderness of Mary.”

His Holiness Benedict XV has raised the Confraternity of the Three Hail Mary’s to an Archconfraternity by according it precious indulgences with the power to aggregate to itself all Confraternities of the same kind, and to communicate them its own indulgences.

Practice: Recite, morning and evening, three Hail Mary’s in honor of the three great privileges, with this invocation at the end: for the morning: “O my Mother, preserve me from mortal sin during this day,” for the evening: “O my Mother, preserve me from mortal sin during this night.”

(Indulgences of 200 days granted by Leo XIII, 300 days for the members of the Archconfraternity of the Three Hail Mary’s by Benedict XV, and Apostolic Benediction by Pius X.)

ACT OF CONSECRATION TO OUR LADY OF THE BLESSED TRINITY


With all my heart I praise Thee, Most Holy Virgin above all angels and saints in Paradise, Daughter of the Eternal Father, and I consecrate to Thee my soul with all its faculties.

Hail Mary…*

With all my heart I praise Thee, Most Holy Virgin above all angels and saints in Paradise, beloved Mother of the Son of God. I consecrate to Thee my body with all its senses.

Hail Mary…*

With all my heart I praise Thee, Most Holy Virgin above all angels and saints in Paradise, beloved Spouse of the Holy Ghost, I consecrate to Thee my heart, with all its affections and beseech Thee to obtain for me from the Most Holy Trinity all the graces necessary for salvation.

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 the hour of our death. Amen

Imprimatur: February 7, 1963

†FRANCIS CARDINAL SPELLMAN

Archbishop of New York

Amazing Facts about the Passion of Jesus Christ 


There were 72 thorns in the Crown of the Passion; this number has liturgical significance – it symbolizes the 72 disciples of Jesus and the 72 books of the Bible; moreover, Our Lady was 72 when she entered eternity. The Crown of Thorns is celebrated on the First Friday of Lent.

The Cross of Jesus was fifteen feet high and eight feet wide; the length of the way to Calvary was one-half mile.

St. Veronica, who wiped Jesus’ face with her veil was the same woman in Matthew 9:20 who was healed from twelve years of hemorrhaging.

March 25, the date of the Crucifixion is the same date as the Annunciation. And this is the date on which Abraham was asked to sacrifice Isaac. March 25 is also the date of the Passover of the Jews through the Red Sea.

God arranged it so that instead of the Cross, when raised, faced east, it faced west, thus Jesus turned His back to Jerusalem and instead faced the Gentiles and Rome when He die, where love of Him would not die.

The hill on which Jesus was crucified is the same hill under which Adam is buried. Noah brought the body of Adam with him, at the time of the flood and it was later laid to rest under the hill of Calvary. Jesus died at 3 in the afternoon, the same hour in which Adam sinned by partaking of the forbidden fruit.

The Seven last words of Christ from the Cross are in truth joyful, not only sorrowful, if we meditate upon them, for they brought us salvation. There are Seven Angels before the throne of God, Seven gifts of the Holy Ghost, Seven Sacraments;

Every instrument and item connected with the Passion of Our Lord are lovingly preserved to this day by Holy Mother Church:

The Crown of Thorns in Notre Dame, Paris; the sponge used to wipe Jesus’ mouth is in St. John Lateran, Rome; Longinus’ spear is maintained in the Vatican itself; The holy Robe of Christ is preserved at Treves, France. Relics of the Cross, which were found under the Hill of Golgotha or Calvary by Saint Helena in 326 are mostly preserved in the Church of the Holy Cross and in St. Peter’s, Rome. Small fragments, carefully maintained in sealed reliquaries are in various churches and shrines throughout the world. The inscription which humg over Our Lord’s Head is in the Church of the Holy Cross, Rome.

Jesus rose from the dead on March 27 and ascended into Heaven on May 5, the month of Our Lady. In the liturgical year, the Church has set the date of Easter Sunday thus:

The earliest Easter can occur is March 22, the Feast of St. Catherine of Sweden and the latest is April 25, the Feast of St. Mark. There are exactly 33 days in the cycle of Easter, a mystical number. The last time Easter occurred on March 22 was in 1818 and it will not reoccur on this date until 2085.

The Green Scapular~Its Origin,Promises and Miracles 

“AVE COR MARIAE”

“HAIL TO THE HEART OF MARY”!


The Green Scapular, called by Our Lady, “The Badge of the Immaculate Heart of Mary,” was given to the world by the Blessed Virgin Mary through a series of apparitions to Sister Justine Bisqueyburu, a Daughter of Charity, in the early 1840’s in Paris, France. On the Feast of the Nativity of Mary, Sept. 8th, 1840, the Mother of God appeared holding in her right hand her Immaculate Heart, mounted by flames and holding in her other hand a scapular.
The scapular consisted of a simple piece of green cloth, rectangular in shape, hanging from a green string. On one side was an image of Our Lady dressed in a long white gown, which reached to her bare feet. Over this, she wore a light blue mantle. However, she wore no veil. Instead, her hair hung loosely about her; and in her hands, she held her Heart from the top of which gushed abundant flames. Her bearing was enhanced by a majestic beauty, all heavenly. On the other side of the scapular was pictured her Immaculate Heart, all ablaze and transparent as crystal, with rays pouring out that appeared more dazzling than the sun. This Heart, pierced with a sword, was encircled by an inscription in the form of an oval and topped by a golden Cross. The inscription read:
“Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us, now and at the hour of our death.”


At the same time an interior voice revealed to Sister Justine that God desired to establish among mankind a more tender and confident appreciation and love of His Most Beloved Mother by means of devotion to her through the title of her Immaculate Heart. When invoked under this title and through this holy image, Our Lady would obtain great favors from her Divine Son, especially in the areas of physical health, peace of mind and spiritual conversion. She who is the Refuge of Sinners would particularly obtain the conversion of those who had fallen away from the True Faith, and those poor sinners who had no faith. Mary wanted copies of the scapular made as soon as possible and distributed with great confidence.
Unfortunately, there were many delays. Many were caused by the normal and even healthy skepticism of Sister’s superiors and the Church authorities. It takes the discernment of the Church to determine if these apparitions are from Heaven, hell or personal delusion.
Sister Justine suffered much during this time. Finally, after a thorough investigation and careful discernment, the local Bishop approved the apparitions and was ready to permit the spread of this new sacramental. Our Lady, however, had never been clear about certain aspects of this new devotion. Questions needed to be answered. What circumstances were necessary to make the scapular effective? Was there a special blessing for it? Was there a ceremony for enrolling persons in its use? Were there any obligations for those who used it? Was the scapular for use only by certain groups of people or in certain situations?
To resolve these difficulties it was decided that Sister Justine would ask Our Lady herself what God’s Holy Will was in these matters. Our Blessed Mother replied during an apparition on September 8, 1846 – exactly six years after her initial request for this “Badge of the Immaculate Heart”.Our Lady replied: This scapular is not like others (it is not the clothing-habit of a confraternity) but merely two holy pictures on a single piece of material. Therefore, no special formula is required to bless it or enroll someone in its use. It suffices that it be blessed by a priest and worn by the one whom we desire to benefit by Our Lady’s intercession. If, on the other hand, the person is unable or even unwilling to wear it or carry it, it may even be slipped, unknown to him, into his clothes, bed, room, or possessions etc.
There is only one prayer that needs to be said, at least once a day: “Immaculate heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.” If the person who is the intended beneficiary of the scapular’s use does not say it, then someone else can say it in his place. The Green Scapular may be used anywhere, for anyone. The greatest graces are attached to its use, but these graces are more or less great in proportion to the degree of confidence of the person praying. This was the meaning of the different kinds of rays that fell from the Mother of God’s hands at the last apparition.

Has the Green Scapular devotion been very effective?

Favors obtained by invoking Our Lady under this title have been truly remarkable. There have been miracles of health, peace and conversion. At a major national medical center in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., two people were cured of fatal diseases, just a few days from death! Others were on the verge of suicide. Through the Green Scapular devotion, they were given the wisdom to understand why they were so miserable, and the strength to make the changes necessary to bring happiness and hope into their lives. Most importantly, there were truly wonderful graces bringing people in various circumstances to reconcile themselves to Jesus in the fullness of His Truth and grace. Family and friends, who had fallen away from the Catholic Faith, and even those who never had faith, came to embrace the Sacraments (sometimes after being away a lifetime). People involved in dangerous relationships saw their bad companions change for the better or leave the relationship. Work environments witnessed an increase of purity in speech, modesty in dress and charity in behavior.


The Testimony of Father Robert A. Macdonald, C.Ss.R. (1961)



“Let me tell you the story of how I discovered the Green Scapular. This is my only way of trying to spread a true and tender love of Her Immaculate Heart and of paying my debt to Her. Some years ago, before penicillin was in use, I was lying in a hospital very ill with pneumonia. I began to hemorrhage and the doctors decided to operate as a last resource. Then a little nun came into my room.Father, have you great faith in the Mother of God, especially in Her Immaculate Heart? If so, you can be cured.How, Sister?Through the Green Scapular.”
“What is that?Four years ago, Father, I was operated on for cancer. I was so filled with it, that they just closed me up and sent me away to die. Then I prayed to Our Lady of the Green Scapular; I grew tired of waiting to die and came back to work. I am cured, Father. Do you want me to give you a Scapular?Please, Sister.With that, she put one over my head. A feeling of tremendous confidence poured into me and the bleeding stopped. Two days later, in the X-ray room, they asked me when the hemorrhage had ceased. When I replied that it was a matter of a couple of days, they expressed great surprise.

You have a wound that is six months healed and there is no other mark.Today even the scars are gone. No wonder I speak of an unpayable debt to Her Immaculate Heart. Since then I have done everything possible to foster this devotion. To my great joy and amazement, those to whom I have spoken of the Green Scapular have become more zealous than I. Never have I seen the equal of the faith and confidence of these new apostles of Mary.
During May, I asked the rector of St. Patrick’s, Toronto, for permission to speak of it at the Wednesday devotions. I had a thousand Green Scapulars on hand, but no one thought that more than thirty would be asked for. The thousand were gone the first morning. The room where we distributed them was so jammed that I feared someone would be injured. The rest of the day, I was besieged on all sides for more. Foolishly, I showed the one I had for myself and it was quickly snatched from my hand!
  

Testimony of Rev. Leo Steinbach


When I first came in contact with this devotion, I read an explanation which seemed to give the impression that it was intended only for lax Christians. I thought it might be useless for me since I had very little contact with Christians, be they good, bad or indifferent. My contacts were mostly with Buddhists and Shintoists whom I was trying to christianize. However I put a few scapulars in my pocket and decided to try one out. That very day I went to a nearby hospital where I discovered a non-Christian woman patient who had been unconscious for 10 days previously. The doctor explained to me that she would very probably die within three days without regaining consciousness. He and a nurse escorted me to the room. I addressed the sick woman but she gave no indication whatsoever that she understood a word I was saying. Thereupon I took a green scapular from my pocket, applied it to her forehead and repeated the invocation, “Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.”

And what happened? The woman immediately regained consciousness, joined her hands and very devoutly asked God to forgive her sins. I was amazed. The doctor and the nurse both non-Christians were also flabbergasted. I immediately instructed and baptized the dying patient that same day much to her joy. She remained perfectly conscious for three days more during which time she very devoutly received Holy Viaticum. She breathed her last while praying to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

News of this double miracle spread rapidly. People kept asking me for green scapulars and since I only had a couple dozen which I had received from an army chaplain and since I had no means of replenishing my supply, I started to lend my remaining scapulars with a proviso that they be returned after three days. I did this in order to help as many people as possible. Meanwhile a Catholic newspaper reporter helped me procure the necessary materials and we began making them. During the past 25 years we have made and distributed many tens of thousands to people living all over Japan. We have also sent quite a number to the United States, Brazil, Paraguay, Korea and Indonesia. A Catholic magazine here in Japan published an explanation of the green scapular about a year ago and we have been receiving requests daily ever since. On one single day we received 140 letters and we try to fulfill each request promptly. We never charge for them nor do we ask for postage. However we have never been in debt. Grateful people send us donations which cover the cost of materials and postage.

It is edifying to read the letters of gratitude. Many people report spiritual blessings and there have been miraculous cures too of almost every type of human ailment including blindness, deafness, cancer, tuberculosis, high blood pressure, rheumatism, arthritis etc. Luke-warm Catholics and non-Catholics seem to receive more favors than good practicing Catholics.

An 80-year-old non-Christian lady said she would like to visit the church in her vicinity but she was unable to walk because of arthritis. Every winter both her ankles and wrists were swollen and very painful. She was given a green scapular which she applied daily but since she could not remember the prayer she merely asked the Mother of Christ for help. Within a few days she was completely cured. After a brief instruction and Baptism, she attended mass daily and always received Holy Communion. She kept up this habit for two years until she was called to her reward. During this interval she converted her aged friend who lived just across the street from her home and she had the happiness of being her godmother. Her good husband, a staunch Shintoist, also treasured his green scapular but no one could induce him to become a Christian. However, just three days before he died, he had a change of heart. He died very happily after receiving the sacraments.

The owner of a fleet of 60 taxis in Kyoto asked his pastor to bless his vehicles on New Year’s Day, whereupon he presented each of his drivers a new green scapular. He encouraged them, although they are non-Christians, to recite the prayer at least once a day. During the year there were just a few bent fenders but there were no accidents that caused a personal injury. The Blessed Mother is never invoked in vain. Her prayers are powerful. Japanese “kamikaze” drivers moving at a high speed in all kinds of weather, day and night, are very grateful to their Protectress.

Testimony of a religious sister and Green Scapular Devotee


With this in mind, when I heard of the great need in which two souls found themselves, I had recourse to the intercession of the Immaculate Heart. It concerned a young man, just married. About a month into his marriage, he fell ill with pneumonia from which he recovered, more or less, though only for a short time. Two or three months later, he caught a viral infection in the brain, which did not leave him much hope of survival, and his state became increasingly fragile. It is not difficult to imagine the consternation and the pain of his young wife, who had not known, until then, that the real cause of his condition was AIDS, and that it was possible that she was infected with it.

Since the man’s condition was already very bad, a priest was brought to him who, as is usual, offered him the Sacraments of Confession and Extreme Unction – the Sacrament of the Sick. Knowing his culpability, he refused them although he was still capable of confessing his sins.

Shortly afterwards he lost the use of speech. His exterior comportment manifested clearly the state of his soul, filling his family and all who saw him with deep pain. Expressions of panic, terror and despair passed across his face, a true interior martyrdom at seeing himself face to face with death and with a conscience soiled by the double sin of what he had done to infect himself with this frightful illness, and the crime of not having warned his spouse, living with her the normal life of a married man whilst putting her life at risk as well.

It was then, when I had learned of all this, that I had recourse to the intercession of our gentle Mother and her Immaculate Heart, making greater use of prayer and using the GREEN SCAPULAR, known also as the SCAPULAR OF THE IMMACULATE HEART. I have complete confidence in this miraculous scapular because, besides having been given to us by the Blessed Virgin herself, it works miracles through the intercession of the Immaculate Heart which, as we know, is the devotion DESIRED BY GOD for our times.

Even though I did not doubt its efficacy, I nonetheless asked for it to be applied as quickly as possible to the sick man.

Since there was a delay in doing this, I wrote to the young wife insisting strongly that it be placed by him as soon as possible, adding, “don’t be surprised if you see miracles” since I had already asked for them from Our Lady, saying to her, “I know that you always hear me, my gentle Mother, and I do not doubt your intercession, but permit that this time I ask you for a miracle that may be shown to others. I know that the GREEN SCAPULAR does not fail if it is used with confidence in the humble instruments of salvation given to us by your maternal Heart. For this, for the glory of God and your Immaculate Heart, and for the salvation of many souls, grant me this miracle of conversion, so that I may be of use to him and that poor souls may be encouraged to be confident. If you so wish, pay a visit to this poor son of yours, but in such a way that the others realize what is happening and that you are there.”

Shortly afterwards, I had some news.

The sick man became very ill, having vomited and been in great agitation. The priest was again called in, who this time placed the GREEN SCAPULAR on him and gave him Extreme Unction – the Sacrament of the Sick. With this, the man fell peacefully asleep. During the night, he woke up. He seemed very happy, his eyes were luminous and fixed on a precise point in the room, he seemed to be speaking with someone since he answered questions (something he had not been able to do for some time), sometimes, he smiled or wept with great emotion. His mother and sisters (people very far from God) who were present realized that something supernatural was taking place, even though they could see nothing, and they too wept with emotion.

After all this, the state of the sick man, particularly the state of his soul, changed completely. There was no longer the former terror or panic visible in his face, but rather a great peace and happiness. His health, even though not entirely restored, was much better. The attitude of his mother and sisters was completely different; now they prayed willingly, made sure his scapulars were well arranged, etc. When his wife learned of what had happened, she was entirely convinced that Our Lady had come to visit him. 

Later on, she asked the sick man: Did Our Lady come to see you?

Yes, he replied with an expression of happiness.

Are you going to get better?

No, he added, but also with an expression of tranquility. He wanted to say what Our Lady had said to him, but he could no longer speak. Just from time to time he could be heard saying things like, “be strong”, “the grace of God”, etc.

My letter finally reached the woman the day following all these events (I had told no-one of my prayer to Our Lady), and she was able to tell me afterwards: “You told me I must not be surprised if I see miracles with the Green Scapular. I believe the miracle has already taken place, not so much in his body as in his soul.” Let us pray that, after a good preparation, his soul goes and unites itself with God and contemplates for all eternity she who granted him the great grace of conversion and peace of soul. Immaculate Virgin, may this account be for the greater glory of God and your glory; and by confidence in the marvellous intercession through the GREEN SCAPULAR, may many souls be saved.

Interested in joining Our Lady’s mission and saving souls through the Green Scapular?Join the Society of the Green Scapular today!

The Society’s members are asked to spread awareness and use of the Green Scapular. There are no quotas. There is no pressure to get others to join. As each member prays for, and obtains, favors from the Immaculate Heart of Mary, their fervor to be more active apostles of this extraordinary gift from Heaven will grow with their confidence. The following summarizes what members are asked:

1. Learn about the Green Scapular.

2. Give Green Scapulars to those in need of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

3. Teach others about the Green Scapular and Our Lady’s Society of the Green Scapular. Encourage them to use the Scapular, give it to others, and consider joining the Society.

4. When you Pray for your own Green Scapular intentions, also include those of all the other members and of Mary’s Immaculate Heart.

5. Grow in Personal Holiness. satan told St. John Vianney that if there were just a few more souls like St. John at that time, hell would lose its grip on the world! The Church and the world are in desperate need of real Saints – and Jesus and Mary want to help you become the Saint that you were created to be!

St. Catherine of Siena said: “If you are what God created you to be you will set the whole world on fire!”

At Fatima, Our Lady promised: “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph.” The goal then, of this society – The Society of Her Immaculate Heart – is to assist the hastening of the day of the complete victory of Mary’s Immaculate Heart when She will crush the head of satan – the ancient enemy of God and humanity – and then reign triumphant with Her Son Jesus Christ.

To enroll oneself in the Green Scapular Society:

Send a request specifying the name, address, phone number, and email of each person to be enrolled. Families may be enrolled under a single address, but specify each name. A welcome packet will be sent explaining the Society and its benefits in detail. People should only be enrolled as members with their knowledge and consent.

SOCIETY OF THE GREEN SCAPULAR

P.O. Box 2284

Front Royal, VA 22630

contact@greenscapular.com

To purchase green scapulars:

Sisters of Carmel

The Catholic Company