St.Padre Pio on Reverance in Church

“The Divine Master calls the church the house of prayer. In order to avoid irreverence and imperfections I exhort you in the Lord to:

Enter the church in silence and with great respect. Take the holy water and make the sign of the cross carefully and slowly. Before God in the Blessed Sacrament genuflect devoutly. At your pace, kneel down and render to Jesus the tribute of you presence. Confide to him all your needs, and those of others. Speak to him with filial abandonment. Be very composed when standing up, kneeling down, and sitting. Carry out every religious act with the greatest devotion. Be modest in your glance. Don’t turn you head here and there to see who enters and leaves. Don’t laugh. Don’t speak to anybody, except when requested for charity or other strict necessity. Say the words distinctly, observe the pauses, and never hurry. Behave in such a way that all the presents are edified by you. Don’t leave without asking Jesus for his blessing, and forgiveness for your shortcomings. Leave the church recollected and calm.”

Devotion to the Holy Wounds 

Importance of the Devotion to the Holy Wounds for our Times

Although devotion to the Holy Wounds has a long tradition in the Church and in the lives of the saints, never before has it been more important than now. Several mystics have stressed the urgency of this devotion for our times.
A 20th German Carmelite mystic, Sister Maria of the Crucified Love, was given the following revelations about the devotion to the Holy Wounds:
-“Where will you turn to, when in the coming time, the difficulties grow still greater? My Sacred wounds will be your surest refuge. Nowhere are you better protected.” 
-“Implore now the special graces that I have reserved for this age. They are incalculable treasures that my heart wishes to distribute, especially when you pray to Me for grace and mercy for the sake of my Holy Wounds and My Sacred, Precious Blood.” 
-“I desire devotion to My Sacred Wounds to be promoted in prayer and in writing. Time presses ever more urgently, and for mankind salvation through My Sacred Wounds is indispensable.” 
-“My Sacred Wounds are the remedy for the future. Pray, pray that people will accept this remedy, for there is nothing else that can save them.” 
(The above quotes taken from the revelations given to Sr. Maria of the Crucified Love, from the book “By His Wounds You Are Healed”. Wurzburg: 2003. Book can be purchased from JMJ Religious Books)
Next, from the prophecies of mystic Marie Julie-Jahenny, 

Our Lord asked us to remain devoted to His Precious Blood and not to forget the pious practice of offering all our prayers and works in union with the Divine merits and graces of His most Precious Blood.

Words of Our Lord “Never forget to renew persistently the offering of Precious Blood. You will be consoled, all you who honor My Precious Blood, nothing will happen to you.”

Those devoted to Our Lord’s Wounds will also be shielded from punishments like a ‘lightning rod’.  “The devotion to the Holy Wounds will be a lightning rod for the Christians who will have kept it.” (i.e. kept faithful to it.)
Next we have an entry from the Diary of Anneliese Michel, a victim soul who was possessed by the devil. This entry is dated October 15, 1975:

Lucifer: “The snotnose (ie- Anneliese) blurt out everything. Now she also receives suggestions from that One (Virgin Mary)…By her order (the Virgin Mary), the five holy wounds should be venerated in a special manner. The Holy Face should be venerated.” 

(LeBlanc, Lawrence, “Anneliese Michel: A True Story of a Case of Demonic Possession” ebook: Location, 737)
And more recently in an alleged message from the Virgin Mary on May 19. 2012 to Mario D’Ignazio in the apparitions of “Contrada di Santa Teresa” in Brindisi, Italy, the Virgin Mary reportedly said:

“I am here. Listen to me. I desire that you adore and immerse yourself in the Wounds of Jesus, making sacrifices for love. They are the remedy for the evil in this world. Call upon them so that they may heal the heart of man, a heart that forgot God, a heart incapable of loving and giving itself. Love is manifested in the donation of self. Pray the Chaplet of the Holy Wounds every day because it is very powerful. Teach it to your brothers so that they may practice it and this devotion may be made known. In the Wounds of My Son there are graces concealed from the Divine Clemency of the Father Most High.”

Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich

Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich’s visions of the Church and the Holy Wounds:

“…Again I saw St. Peter’s with its lofty cupola on whose top stood Michael shining with light. He wore a blood-red robe, a great banner in his hand. A desperate struggle was going on below – green and blue combatants against white, and over the latter, who seemed to be worsted, appeared a fiery blood red sword. None knew they fought. The church was all red like the angel, and I was told that it would be bathed in blood.” 
 “The longer the combat lasted, the paler grew the color of the Church, the more transparent it became. Then the angel descended and approached the white troops. I saw him several times in front of them. Their courage was wonderfully aroused; they knew not why or how, and how the angel struck right and left among the enemy who fled in all directions. Then the fiery sword over the victorious whites disappeared. During the engagement the enemy’s troops kept constantly deserting to the other side; once they went in great numbers. Numbers of saints hovered in the air over the combatants, pointing out what was to be done, making signs with the hand, etc., all different, but impelled by one spirit. When the angel had descended, I beheld above him a great shining cross in the heavens. ”
“On it hung the Savior from whose wounds shot brilliant rays over the whole earth. These glorious wounds were red like resplendent doorways, their center golden-yellow like the sun. He wore no crown of thorns, but from all the wounds of His head streamed rays. Those from His hands, feet, and side were fine as hair and shone with rainbow colors; sometimes they all united and fell upon villages, cities, and houses throughout the world. I saw them (the rays) here and there, far and near, falling upon the dying, and then souls entering by the colored rays into the Savior’s wounds.”
 “The rays from the side (of Jesus) spread over the Church like a mighty current lighting up every part of it; and I saw that the greater number of souls enter into the Lord by these glittering streams. I saw also a shining red heart floating in the air. From one side flowed a current of white light to the Wound of the sacred side, and from the other a second current fell upon the Church in many regions; its rays attracted numerous souls who, by the Heart and the current of light, entered into the side of Jesus. I was told that this is the Heart of Mary.” 
 “Besides these rays, I saw from all the wounds about thirty ladders let down to the earth, some of which, however, did not reach it. They were not all alike but narrow and broad, with large and small rounds, some standing alone, others together. Their color corresponded to the purification of the soul, first dark, then clearer, then gray, and, at last, brighter and brighter. I saw souls painfully climbing up. Some mounted quickly, as if helped from above, others pressed forward eagerly but slipped back upon the lower rounds, while others fell back entirely into the darkness. Their eager and painful efforts were quite pitiful. It seemed as if they who mounted easily as if helped by others, were in closer communication with the Church. I saw, too, many souls of those that fell on the battlefield taking the path leading into the body of the Lord.” 
 “Behind the cross, far back in the sky, I saw multitudes of pictures representing the preparation begun ages ago for the work of Redemption. But I cannot describe it. It looked like the stations of the way of Divine Grace from the Creation to the Redemption. I did not always stand in the same place. I moved around among the rays, I saw all. Ah, I saw inexpressible, indescribable things!”

“When the combat on earth was over, the church and the angel became bright and shining, and the latter disappeared; the cross also vanished and in its place stood a tall, resplendent lady extending over it her mantle of golden rays. There was a reconciliation going on inside, and acts of humility were being made. I saw Bishops and pastors approaching one another and exchanging books. The various sects recognized the Church by her miraculous victory and the pure light of revelation they had seen beaming upon her… When I saw this reunion, I felt that the kingdom of God was near. I felt so sensibly the approach of the kingdom of God that I was forced to run to meet it crying tears of joy.”

 ~Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich – December 30, 1819

Consecration of our children to the Holy Wounds

There has been a pious practice of consecrating one’s children or loved ones to each of the Holy Wounds. This has produced many saints such as St. Veronica Giuliani. Before Veronica’s mother, Benedetta Mancini, died, she consecrated each of her five children to each of the Five Holy Wounds of Jesus. Ursula (St. Veronica) was consecrated to the wound of Jesus’ side. Throughout her diary it is clear that St. Veronica had a great devotion to the Holy Wounds.
Father Giuseppe Tomaselli

Father Giuseppe Tomaselli, a 20th century Italian exorcist and spiritual director to special souls such as Natuzza Evolo, said in one of his tapes: “Jesus told a soul: ‘Kiss My Wounds often. Kiss them very often.’ The soul replied, ‘How many times in a day?’ Jesus answered, ‘Numberless times. Kiss them often because the Wounds of Jesus are springs of grace and mercy.”

Father Giuseppe also advised the following, “It is good that everyone wear a crucifix and kiss often during the day the Holy Wounds. The practice of those good mothers or good religious daughters in which they place a soul into the Wounds of Christ is praiseworthy. For example, a mother could say: ‘I have 5 children: I place each one of my five children in a specific Wound of Jesus. Those who, for example, have other sinners, can place one or more sinners into each Wound in order for the Wounds of Jesus to save many souls.” 

Lux, Cristiana. “Don Giuseppe Tomaselli: Grande Mistico, Grande Guaritore, Grande Esorcista” pp.16-17
Sister Mary Martha Chambon and Devotion to the Holy Wounds of Jesus Christ

Sister Mary Martha Chambon (1841- March 21, 1907), a nun of the Religious of the Visitation of Chambery, could be called the apostle of the Holy Wounds. Like St. Margaret Mary, a saint from the same religious order, whom Jesus entrusted with the Devotion to the Sacred Heart; Sister Mary Martha Chambon was entrusted with the Devotion to the Holy Wounds. 
One year on the Feast of the Visitation, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to her together with St. Margaret Mary and the Founders of the order to confirm her mission. The Blessed Virgin Mary told her: “Blessed Margaret Mary reproduced the Sacred Heart of my Son in order to give Him to the world…and you, my daughter are chosen to arrest the justice of God in making known the merits of the Passion and of the Holy Wounds of my unique and beloved son, Jesus.” 

Jesus, Himself, revealed to her the many advantages and graces that can be obtained through this devotion to His Holy Wounds:

“My daughter, each time you offer to My Father the merits of My divine Wounds, you gain an immense fortune.”
“Behold wherewith to pay all debts. Fear not to show My Wounds to souls. The way of My Wounds is an easy and simple way of going to heaven.”

“I will grant all that is asked of Me through devotion to the Holy Wounds. Those who will honor them will have a true knowledge of Jesus Christ.”

“There will be no death for the soul that expires in My Wounds, They give true life.”

Then, Jesus taught her these two aspirations:

“My Jesus, pardon and mercy through the merits of Thy Holy Wounds.” 

 Jesus indicated that this aspiration should be repeated often near the sick as it is promised to bring solace to soul and body. The second prayer that Jesus taught her was:
“Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Wounds of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, to heal the wounds of our souls.” Jesus promised the conversion of the sinner who would make this offering.
The sisters in this convent arranged these two aspirations into the Chaplet of the Holy Wounds, also called the Chaplet of Mercy, in order to facilitate its recitation. These aspirations, which are indulgenced, can be said on any rosary or chaplet, or may be said as single invocations during work. The Chaplet of the Holy Wounds can be found at the end of this article.
Sister Martha Chambon had great zeal for souls, especially the dying. Jesus told her:

“You must offer the merits of the Holy Wounds for persons who die in the night or during the course of the day.” Jesus told her of this great gift He had given to her community: “Behold your treasure. The treasure of the Holy Wounds encloses crowns which you should take and give to others. One day these souls for whom you shall have obtained a holy death by your prayers, will turn towards you to thank you. All men shall appear before Me on the judgment day, and I shall then point out My privileged Spouses, who shall have purified the world by My Holy Wounds.”
Another practice of Saint Mary Martha was offering her actions in union with the Holy Wounds for the conversion of sinners and for the souls in purgatory. In this way, she obtained the release of many souls. The chaplet of the Holy Wounds is a very efficacious way of helping the poor souls. Jesus told her once: 

“My daughter, look at my Wounds, offer them for the souls in Purgatory. The sufferings of My Holy Passion, behold the great remedy for these souls; but its merits must be applied to them.”
The sisters in the convent of Sister Mary Martha in Chambery have received many letters of graces that have been obtained through the chaplet of the Holy Wounds and the intercession of Sister Mary Martha Chambon.

Sister Mary Martha Chambon in prayer

According to Sister Martha Chambon, one of the promises that Jesus attached to the recitation of the Chaplet of the Holy Wounds, also called the Chaplet of Mercy, was that:

“At each word that you pronounce of the Chaplet of Mercy I let a drop of My Blood fall on the soul of a sinner.” 

Sister Mary Martha was granted a vision in which she saw Jesus holding a cup full of His Precious Blood and how He placed a drop of His Blood in different souls, including the souls of her mother and father. This brought great consolation to Sister Mary Martha. Jesus then told her:

“The graces that I bestow in this manner are never lost.”
St. Andre Bessette, the wonder worker of Montreal, Canada had a great devotion to the Holy Wounds because he had read the life of Sister Mary Martha Chambon. He did his best to propagate this devotion. .He received this book from a nun who frequently came to visit him. He attached such great importance to this devotion that the next time this nun came to visit him, he asked her for 18 more copies of the book, “to convert 18 sinners.” 
That sister answered, “You surely do not mean that Brother Andre. I do not have them, and they are not to be found in Montreal.” 

“That does not matter,” he replied, “I must have them.” 

Then a miracle of Divine Providence happened. When that sister returned to her convent and went to the library, she found two dozen copies of that book carefully wrapped up. No one in the house could tell her where the books came from.
(Bergeron, Henri-Paul. “Brother Andre:The Wonder Worker of Mount Royal”, Montreal, Canada: St. Joseph Oratory, 1997. P.125.)
Jesus told Sister Mary of the Crucified Love: “To Sister Mary Martha Chambon, I entrusted the devotion to My Sacred Wounds and its promotion as a mission of atonement. Yes, I entrusted this task to her heart. She still bears it there today as a most profound duty of love, in the complete union with My Heart, in the betrothal of the Cross. Come to her with your intentions. Bring her with you in prayer and intercession. She has been permitted to be your advocate in the many difficulties and sufferings that can and may be healed through the merits of My Sacred Wounds. Yes, commit yourselves entirely, as she did, to the apostolate of My Sacred Wounds. Consecrate your entire life to this mission and follow the way of Love that Marie Martha walked as an example for you.” 
Currently, the beatification cause for Sister Mary Martha Chambon is underway.
(The above quotes from Sr. Chambon are taken from: Religious of the Visitation of Holy Mary of Chambery, “Sister Mary Martha Chambon”, Saint Louis, MO: Monastery of the Visitation, 1930, and also the aforementioned book, “By His Wounds You Are Healed”

Prayers of devotion to the Holy Wounds of Jesus

ROSARY OF THE HOLY WOUNDS

Revealed to Sister Mary Martha Chambon

To be recited on regular Rosary beads

On the Crucifix:

O Jesus Divine Redeemer, be merciful to us and to the whole world. Amen.

Strong God, Holy God, Immortal God, have mercy on us and on the whole world. Amen.

Grace and mercy, O my Jesus, during present dangers; cover us with Your Precious Blood. Amen.

Eternal Father, grant us mercy through the Blood of Jesus Christ, Your only Son; grant us mercy, we beseech You. Amen, Amen, Amen.

On the large beads: 

V. Eternal Father, I offer You the Wounds of our Lord Jesus Christ.

R. To heal the wounds of our souls.

On the small beads: 

V. My Jesus, pardon and mercy.

R. Through the merits of Your Holy Wounds.                    

Maria Graf-Suter

Prayers of Maria Graf-Suter (1906-1964):

IMPLORING THE WOUNDS OF JESUS FOR THE INTENTIONS OF THE CHURCH & THE WORLD

In union with the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I salute and adore the Holy Wound of Your right hand, oh Jesus, and I place in this Wound all the priests of Your Holy Church. Give them, every time they celebrate the Holy Sacrifice, the fire of Your Divine Love, so that they may be able to communicate it to the souls entrusted to them. Glory be… Amen.

I salute and adore the Holy Wound of Your left hand, and I place in it all those who are in error and all the unbelievers, those poor souls that do not know you. For the love of these souls, please send, Jesus, workers to your vineyard, so that they may find their way to Your Sacred Heart. Glory be… Amen.

I salute and adore the Holy Wounds of Your feet, and place in them all the hardened sinners that choose to live in the world. I especially entrust to You those who will die today. Don’t permit, Jesus, that Your Precious Blood be lost to them. Glory be…Amen.

I salute and adore the Holy Wounds of Your Holy Head, and I place in these Holy Wounds the enemies of the Holy Church, those who are still striking you today and persecuting you in your Mystical Body. I beg you, Jesus, convert them and call them like you called Saul to make him St. Paul, so that soon there will be but one fold and one shepherd. Glory be…Amen.

I salute and adore the Holy Wound of Your Sacred Heart, and place in it, Jesus, my soul and all those for whom you want me to pray, especially those who suffer, who are afflicted, all who are persecuted and abandoned. Give them, O Sacred Heart of Jesus, Your Light and Your Grace. Fill them with Your Love and Your true Peace. Glory be… Amen.

Prayer of St. Veronica Giuliani:

‘My God, I ask you for souls. Let these Your Wounds be voices for me and say with me: O souls redeemed by the Blood of Christ, come to this source of love. I am calling you and these Holy Wounds speak for me, but all of you come.”

Prayers of Sister Mary of the Crucified Love:

Eternal Father, I offer You the bleeding and victorious Wounds of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and in them my own life, for Your glory and for every individual soul. Amen.
O Jesus, bless us with all the fruits and the effects of Your Holy Wounds; have mercy on us who seek refuge in You. Amen.

Saluting Our Lord’s Five Wounds

Glory be to Thee, most sweet, most gentle, most benign, most noble, most excellent effulgent and ever-peaceful Trinity for the roseate wounds of my only Love!

(After St. Gertrude the Great repeated this salutation 5,466 times, the Lord appeared to her bearing golden flowers on each Wound and said to her:

“Behold in what glory I now appear to you. I will appear in the same manner to you at your death, and will cover all the stains of your sins, and of those also who salute My Wounds with the same devotion.”

(St. Gertrude the Great, “The Life and Revelations of St. Gertrude”, Rockford,IL: Tan Books and Publishers, 2002, pg. 388)

~Excerpts from mysticsofthechurch.com~

Reverance In The House of God 

Every Catholic church is a sacred place. Each church is the very House of God because Jesus Christ is really present there in the Tabernacle. Today it appears many Catholics have forgotten this truth. 


What about you?…
Reverential Silence
What is your attitude, dear soul, as you enter the church? Today we often observe people sitting around chatting while they wait for Mass, just as though they were in a coffee shop waiting for their order. Is this correct? 

Let us listen to what Blessed Jacinta Marto of Fatima, who saw Our Lady, has to say about this matter. The following episode happened shortly before her death while she was staying in a Catholic orphanage run by religious sisters:

Jacinta spent every possible moment in the chapel kneeling, or when she could no longer kneel, she sat in the choir, her eyes riveted on the tabernacle. But in her ardent love for Jesus, she could not overlook the little discourtesies of visitors. “She saw some people who did not show proper reverence in the chapel,” the Superior mentioned, “and she said to me, ‘My dear Mother, don’t allow that. They must act before the Blessed Sacrament as it is proper. Everyone must be quiet in church; they must not speak. If these poor people knew what is waiting for them!’ I went downstairs to speak to the people who were misbehaving in the chapel, but I did not always have success. When I returned she said, ‘What happened?’ I told her they would not listen. ‘Patience”, she replied, her face showing her sorrow over the irreverences of the people, ‘Our Lady is pleased with you. Will you tell the Cardinal? Yes? Our Lady does not want us to talk in Church.'” 

Those are very strong words for a ten-year-old girl; yet they are to be expected since Our Lady Herself had taught her the grave necessity of proper reverence for Our Eucharistic Lord. 

And An Unpublished Manuscript on Purgatory confirms this testimony:
…those faults which attack Jesus directly, Jesus present in the Tabernacle, are punished with terrible severity in Purgatory. (p.37)

Attention Solely on Our Lord

To make your visit to Our Eucharistic Lord pleasing to Him, your attention must be centered completely on Him alone. 

St. Peter Julian Eymard, the 19th century “Apostle of the Eucharist,” instructs:
Watch a saint enter a church. He goes without concerning himself with those who are already there. He concentrates on Our Lord and forgets everything else. In the presence of the Pope we hardly give a thought to cardinals or bishops. And in heaven the saints do not idle away their time honoring one another; to God alone they give all honor and glory. Let us imitate them; Our Lord is the only one in church.
Remain quiet for a moment after you have come into church; silence is the greatest mark of respect, and the first disposition for prayer is respect. Most of our dryness and lack of devotion in prayer is due to our lack of respect for our Lord on entering the church; to our disrespectful posture. 

Examples of the Saints

The examples of the Saints can be beneficial. These three are given us by Fr. Stefano Manelli — once an altar boy for St. Padre Pio — in his book Jesus Our Eucharistic Love:
One day, after he [Bl. Contardo Ferrini] entered a church to visit Our Lord, he became so absorbed in adoration, with eyes fixed on the tabernacle, that he took no notice when someone robbed him of the mantle spread over his shoulders. “Not a bolt of lightning could distract her”, it was said of St. Mary Magdalene Postel, because she appeared so recollected and devout when adoring the Blessed Sacrament. On the other hand, once St. Catherine of Sienna happened to raise her eyes toward a person passing by. Because of this distraction of an instant the Saint was so afflicted that she wept for some time exclaiming, “I am a sinner! I am a sinner!” 

Proper Posture

Today, many think bodily posture is unimportant and thus they assume the most casual and relaxed posture in prayer. St. Peter Julian Eymard teaches otherwise:
You owe Our Lord exterior respect, which is the prayer of the body. Nothing helps so much the prayer of the soul…. He [Jesus Christ] gave us the example of exterior worship by praying on his knees; tradition tells us He prayed with arms outstretched in the form of a cross and lifted up to heaven. The Apostles have handed down to us this manner of praying; the priest uses it during the Holy Sacrifice….Our piety is agonizing because we lack this external respect. I know that we should not tremble with fear before God, nor be afraid to come into his presence; but, on the other hand, neither should we seem to be despising him.This same Saint goes on to say:
An austere posture helps us to pray better; but we refuse this help in order to satisfy our sensuality. We imagine we are tired; how often our imagination deceives us! … And even supposing that we are really tired, why are we so afraid of suffering, which gives wings to prayer? We should at least have even then, a becoming and grave posture. Let the lay people sit down if they are tired, but in a becoming manner; they should not slouch in their seats. Let them not take any position that would tend to weaken the soul’s energy and render it unfit for prayer. We religious, however, should remain on our knees; that is the correct position for an adorer. 

In our own times, Pope Benedict XVI — while still the Prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith — made it clear:

It may well be that kneeling is alien to modern culture — insofar as it is a culture, for this culture has turned away from the faith and no longer knows the One before whom kneeling is the right, indeed the intrinsically necessary gesture. The man who learns to believe learns also to kneel, and a faith or a liturgy no longer familiar with kneeling would be sick at the core. Where it has been lost, kneeling must be rediscovered, so that, in our prayer, we remain in fellowship with the apostles and martyrs, in fellowship with the whole cosmos,indeed in union with Jesus Christ Himself. 

Jesus’ Eucharistic Heart Suffers and wants to be Consoled
Blessed Dina Bélanger of Québec (d. 1929) understood well Our Lord’s plight in the Holy Eucharist because of the offenses of ungrateful men. She states in her autobiography: 

Jesus is seeking souls to console Him. His Eucharistic Heart is suffering. Oh! How it is suffering…! He desires souls that are totally abandoned to his Love; sensitive souls that not only refuse Him nothing, but seize eagerly upon every opportunity to give Him pleasure, who anticipate his desires and surround Him with attentions, small in themselves yet very great because of the love that prompts them; souls that offer Him all those trifles that his Goodness scatters through each moment of an entire day, those thousands of trivia that, fragrant with pure love, are like a brilliant bouquet of roses.Jesus is suffering… How few souls understand the complaint of his Heart in the tabernacle…! Some hear them; very few, alas, understand them!” 

How much disrespect and irreverence is shown to Our Lord in our times in his churches. The importance of reverential silence, of keeping one’s attention solely on Our Eucharistic Lord and of exterior, bodily respect has been almost completely forgotten. Be aware that Our Lord, always meek and humble, became severe with the moneychangers in the Temple. Why? They were desecrating the House of God. Scripture says: “The zeal of thy house hath eaten me up.” (Jn. 2:17) And again: “…if any man violate the Temple of God, him God shall destroy.” (1 Cor. 3:17)
Always take great care then to visit Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament often, and to do so with the greatest respect. His Eucharistic Heart is burning with desire to pour out graces lavishly on those who do. St. Alphonsus Liguori promises: “You may be sure that of all the moments of your life, the time you spend before the Divine Sacrament will be that which will give you more strength during life and more consolation at the hour of your death and during eternity.” 

When Receiving Holy Communion?

Many are aware that it was Pope St. Pius X who encouraged frequent and even daily Holy Communion. Few, it seems, are aware that along with this he also stated that “assiduous preparation should precede and suitable thanksgiving should follow Holy Communion.” The Minutes Following Holy Communion
The following excerpts from Fr. Manelli’s book on the Holy Eucharist (mentioned earlier) should draw your attention to the importance of taking great care to make good Communions:
“The minutes that follow Communion”, St. Mary Magdalene dé Pazzi said, “are the most precious we have in our lives. They are minutes best suited on our part for treating with God, and on his part for communicating His Love to us.” 

And Fr. Manelli cautions:
“How insensitive… for someone to receive Communion and leave the Church at once as soon as Mass is over, or as soon as he has received our Lord! We may remember the example of St. Philip Neri, who had two altar boys with lighted candles go to accompany a man who had left the church right after his Communion. What a beautiful lesson! For the sake of good manners, if for no other reason, when a person receives a guest he pauses to give his attention to him and takes interest in him. If this guest is Jesus then we will only have reason to be sorry that his bodily presence within us scarcely lasts fifteen minutes or a little more….
“…oh how we should watch ourselves here! For if it is true that of every Communion Jesus ‘gives us a hundredfold for the hospitality we show Him’, as St. Teresa of Jesus declares, then it is also true we must answer a hundredfold for neglecting this hospitality.” 

All these words should fill you with a holy fear, moving you to follow Fr. Manelli’s advice and: “…resolve to do everything possible so
that thanksgiving after Holy Communion lasts at least 15 minutes and nothing takes precedence over it. These minutes in which Jesus is physically present in our souls and within our bodies are heavenly minutes in no wise to be wasted.” 

Then again, endeavor to move beyond fear. Rather, motivated by your love for Jesus and by your desire to please Him, you will make this resolution and always give your Jesus these 15 minutes — and perhaps more. For as St. Alphonsus Liguori has said: “Alas! A quarter of an hour is too little.”

Certainly there can be times when real necessity may keep you from fully observing these 15 minutes, but be careful. St. Pio Pietralcina, on hearing a penitent confess omitting his thanksgiving because of “some ministry,” sternly remarked: “Let us see to it that our being unable is not just being unwilling. I always have to make my thanksgiving; otherwise I pay dearly.” 

How To Make Your Thanksgiving

You have seen the importance of making a lengthy thanksgiving after receiving Jesus Holy Communion, but what should transpire between Jesus and the soul in these treasured moments, and how should this time be spent? Fr. Manelli tells us:
The time of thanksgiving after Holy Communion is the most ideal time for an intimate exchange of love with Jesus. Let it be a love of total self- giving, thus returning Jesus’ love so whole-heartedly that there is no longer two of us but one, so to speak, in soul and body. Let it be a love that vivifies and unites — He in me and I in Him, so that we may be consumed in the unity and uniqueness of His love.
…In truth, in Eucharistic Communion rightly received, the soul realizes, in a heavenly virginal union, a nuptial love for the Spouse, Jesus…The Saints all agree that thanksgiving after Holy Communion should begin with silent adoration. St. Louis de Montfort suggests:
After Communion while you are interiorly recollected, introduce Jesus into the Heart of Mary. There give Him to his Mother. She will receive Him lovingly, will adore Him profoundly and will render to Him in spirit and in truth many honors which we cannot render Him because of our deep ignorance. … Keep yourself profoundly humbled in your heart, in the presence of Jesus in Mary.

And St. Peter Julian Eymard suggests:
Having received Jesus and enthroned Him in your heart, remain quiet for a moment, not praying in words, but resting in silent adoration; like Zacheus, like Magdalen, prostrate yourself in spirit with the most holy Virgin at the feet of Jesus; contemplate Him, filled with wonder at the sight of
His Love.
Proclaim Him King of your heart, Spouse of your soul, and hearken to his voice. … Say to Him: “Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth.”
Lay your heart at the feet of the heavenly King. … Offer your will… consecrate all your senses to His divine service.
Bind your intelligence to his throne that it may nevermore go astray; or rather, lay it beneath His feet that He may press forth therefrom all pride and vanity.
Do not disturb your soul so long as it is recollected, at peace in the presence of the Lord; in this gentle slumber on the Heart of Jesus, it receives grace which nourishes it, unites it most sweetly to its Beloved, and profits it more than any other spiritual exercise.
When this moment is passed, begin your thanksgiving. …” 

Remain in intimate union with Jesus for at least 15 minutes. Use formulated prayers, prayers from your heart, or remain in silence with your Divine Guest. Then, before leaving, recite the Magnificat in union with Mary. Tradition tells us that She repeated this prayer each time She received Our Lord.
Preparation Before Holy Communion
Besides making a lengthy and devout thanksgiving, proper preparation is necessary to insure that your soul has the best dispositions at the moment of reception. St. Peter Julian Eymard teaches us that the most important disposition for making a good Communion (after that of being in a state of Sanctifying Grace) is desire. Listen to his words:
The necessary and essential condition for Communion is the state of grace. Virtue and piety are advisable, but good will and an ardent desire may take their place. Unfortunately, people often go to Communion half- heartedly and with a very faint idea of what they are receiving. Therefore, that we may avoid this fault, let us consider, among the conditions suitable for Communion the one that is first and most important in securing to us the fruit of the Holy Eucharist; that is, desire….
This hunger for Communion God Himself must place in our hearts, else we should never wish to receive Him. …
Man lives by desire, seeking nothing, undertaking nothing of moment but what he has long desired. Well, a divine desire urges us to receive Communion, a desire so strong that it gives us courage to approach the Judge of heaven and earth without dying of fear. This hunger for God excuses our temerity. Surely, the poor unfortunate who takes a loaf of bread in order not to starve to death is not a thief; his need excuses him….
The true reason then, for receiving Communion is the hunger one feels for it. … If you are not growing spiritually, if you are not becoming stronger, you are not eating enough, or else you are eating without appetite. Arouse yourself, recognize your need at any rate, even if you cannot feel the hunger of love.

St. Francis de Sales gives this advice to the laity in making their preparation for Holy Communion:
Begin your preparation for Holy Communion on the evening before by many loving aspirations and transports and retire a little earlier so that you may rise earlier in the morning. If you awake during the night, immediately fill your heart and mouth with words redolent of love by which your soul will be perfumed to receive its Spouse. Since He is awake even while you sleep, He is prepared to bring you countless graces and favors if on your part you are ready to receive them. In the morning get up with great joy because of the Happiness you hope for.

Once in Church, before Holy Mass begins, continue your preparation with fervent Acts of Contrition, Humility, Faith, Hope, Love and Desire.

Archangels Michael,Gabriel and Raphael~Messengers of God 


St. Michael

The name of the archangel Michael means, in Hebrew, who is like unto God? and he is also known as “the prince of the heavenly host.” He is usually pictured as a strong warrior, dressed in armor and wearing sandals. His name appears in Scripture four times, twice in the Book of Daniel, and once each in the Epistle of St. Jude and the Book of Revelation. From Revelation we learn of the battle in heaven, with St. Michael and his angels combatting Lucifer and the other fallen angels (or devils). We invoke St. Michael to help us in our fight against Satan; to rescue souls from Satan, especially at the hour of death; to be the champion of the Jews in the Old Testament and now Christians; and to bring souls to judgment.

This day is referred to as “Michaelmas” in many countries and is also one of the harvest feast days. In England this is one of the “quarter days”, which was marked by hiring servants, electing magistrates, and beginning of legal and university terms. This day also marks the opening of the deer and other large game hunting season. In some parts of Europe, especially Germany, Denmark, and Austria, a special wine called “Saint Michael’s Love” (Michelsminne) is drunk on this day. The foods for this day vary depending on nationality. In the British Isles, for example, goose was the traditional meal for Michaelmas, eaten for prosperity, France has waffles or Gaufres and the traditional fare in Scotland used to be St. Michael’s Bannock (Struan Micheil) — a large, scone-like cake. In Italy, gnocchi is the traditional fare.

St.Gabriel 

St. Gabriel’s name means “God is my strength”. Biblically he appears three times as a messenger. He had been sent to Daniel to explain a vision concerning the Messiah. He appeared to Zachary when he was offering incense in the Temple, to foretell the birth of his son, St. John the Baptist. St. Gabriel is most known as the angel chosen by God to be the messenger of the Annunciation, to announce to mankind the mystery of the Incarnation.

The angel’s salutation to our Lady, so simple and yet so full of meaning, Hail Mary, full of grace, has become the constant and familiar prayer of all Christian people.

St. Raphael

Our knowledge of the Archangel Raphael comes to us from the book of Tobit. His mission as wonderful healer and fellow traveller with the youthful Tobias has caused him to be invoked for journeys and at critical moments in life. Tradition also holds that Raphael is the angel that stirred the waters at the healing sheep pool in Bethesda. His name means “God has healed”.

Quotes on the Angels


1) “When Mass is being celebrated, the sanctuary is filled with countless angels who adore the Divine Victim immolated on the altar.” – St. John Chrysostom


2) “Beside each believer stands an Angel as protector and shepherd, leading him to life.” – St. Basil the Great


3) “Those closest to God in heaven, the seraphim, are called the fiery ones because more than the other angels they take their fervor and ardor from the intense fire of God.” – St. Robert Bellarmine


4) “When tempted, invoke your Angel. He is more eager to help you than you are to be helped! Ignore the devil and do not be afraid of him: He trembles and flees at the sight of your Guardian Angel.” – St. John Bosco


5) “How happy is that guardian angel who accompanies a soul to Holy Mass!” – St. John Vianney


6) “Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly.” – G. K. Chesterton


7) “If the Angels could envy, they would envy us for Holy Communion.” – Pope St. Pius X


8) “We should show our affection for the angels, for one day they will be our co-heirs just as here below they are our guardians and trustees appointed and set over us by the Father.” – St. Bernard of Clairvaux


9) “Make yourself familiar with the Angels, and behold them frequently in spirit. Without being seen, they are present with you.” – St. Francis de Sales


10) “I have great reverence for Saint Michael the Archangel; he had no example to follow in doing the will of God, and yet he fulfilled God’s will faithfully.” – St. Faustina Kowalska


11) “The powers of hell will assail the dying Christian; but his angel guardian will come to console him. His patrons, and St. Michael, who has been appointed by God to defend his faithful servants in their last combat with the devils, will come to his aid.” – St. Alphonsus Liguori


12) “It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.” – St. Augustine


13) “Ask your angel to console and assist you in your last moments.” – St. John Bosco


Powerful Prayer Invoking The Holy Angels


Bless the Lord, All you His Angels, You who are Mighty in strength And do His Will. 

Intercede for me At the throne of God, And by your unceasing watchfulness Protect me in every danger Of soul and body. Bless the Lord, All you His Angels, You who are Mighty in strength And do His Will. 

Intercede for me At the throne of God, And by your unceasing watchfulness Protect me in every danger Of soul and body. 

Obtain for me The grace of final perseverance, So that after this life I may be admitted To your glorious company And may sing with you The praises of God For all eternity. 

O all you holy Angels And Archangels, Thrones and Dominations, Principalities and Powers And Virtues of heaven, Cherubim and Seraphim And especially you, My dear Guardian Angel, Intercede for me And obtain for me The special favor I now ask 

(State your intention here…). 

Say 9 Our Father…

The Power of a Picture

“What is that?” Asked a curious voice as America Needs Fatima custodian Jose Ferraz stepped into the hotel elevator in Altamonte Springs, Florida. “This is the Pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima,” replied Mr. Ferraz, “I take Her to visit people in their homes to spread the Fatima message.” He then handed the woman, who was a maid at the hotel, America Needs Fatima’s most popular picture. “This is a picture of Her.” The woman gasped. “I know that picture! It inspired a conversion.” She then asked excitedly, “Do you have a minute to hear the story?” 

As Mr. Ferraz listened, he learned that the woman, Maria Vegra, had a 22-year old son who had recently passed away after three weeks in the hospital due to a fatal injury received in a car accident. While in the hospital, a priest would visit him every day to administer Holy Communion. The priest consistently offered the sacrament to the neighboring patient of Maria’s son, another young man who was also in critical condition. The young man would say, “No. I don’t believe in God.” But the priest continued to offer salvation. “Let me hear your confession and give you Holy Communion and Last Rights,” the priest said, “it will save your soul and get you to heaven.” Time after time, the young man stubbornly refused.

During the weeks of hospitalization and fruitless medical treatments, Maria had taken her son a picture of Our Lady of Fatima a friend had given her from an America Needs Fatima mailing.

She knew Our Lady’s watchful gaze would give her son peace in his last days. The day after she placed Our Lady’s picture at the foot of her son’s bed, she heard the voice of his stubborn neighbor: “please,” he said, “bring the picture closer to me. I want to look at the Lady.”

Surprised but willing, Maria placed the picture in the middle of the two suffering men.

After three days of letting the nearby picture of Our Lady touch his heart as he gazed into Her eyes, the suffering patient relented. “Please,” he called out, “bring me the priest. I want to receive the sacraments.”

A few days later, the young man died a Catholic. With a simple picture of Our Lady of Fatima, God touched a heart and saved a soul.

 By Catherine Ferdinand

The Devil’s Torment 

 

A hermit of Mount Olivet had in his cell
a holy image of Mary, and frequently offered up prayers before it. The devil could not endure such devotion to the holy Virgin, and tormented him continually with temptations against purity; and the poor old hermit finding himself still pursued by them, notwithstanding all his prayers and mortifications, said one day to the enemy: “What have I done to you, that you will not leave me in peace?” And the demon appeared to him and answered: “You torment
me more than I torment you;” and then he added: “Now come, and swear secrecy to me, and I will tell you what you must cease to do, if you wish me not to molest you any more.” The hermit took the oath, and then the devil said to him:
“I wish you never again to approach that image that you have in your cell.” The hermit was greatly perplexed, and went to take counsel of the Abbot Theodore, who told him that he was not bound by his oath, and that he must not cease to recommend himself to Mary before that image, as he had done before. The hermit obeyed, and the devil was put to shame and conquered.

Excerpt from “The Glories of Mary” by St.Alphonsus Liguori 

St.Januarius 


Little is known about the life of Januarius. He is believed to have been martyred in the Emperor Diocletian’s persecution of 305. Legend has it that Januarius and his companions were thrown to the bears in the amphitheater of Pozzuoli, but the animals failed to attack them. They were then beheaded, and Januarius’ blood ultimately brought to Naples.
“A dark mass that half fills a hermetically sealed four-inch glass container, and is preserved in a double reliquary in the Naples cathedral as the blood of St. Januarius, liquefies 18 times during the year…Various experiments have been applied, but the phenomenon eludes natural explanation….” [From the Catholic Encyclopedia]

How Mary Saved A Sinner Abandoned By All 


We read in the life of sister Catherine, an Augustinian nun, that in the place where that servant of God lived, there lived also a woman named Mary, who, in her youth, was a sinner, and obstinately persevered in her evil courses, even to extreme old age. For this she was banished by her fellow-citizens, forced to live in a cave beyond the limits of the place, and died in a state of loathsome corruption, abandoned by all, and without the sacraments; and on this account was buried in a field, like a beast. Now sister Catherine, who was accustomed to recommend very affectionately to God the souls of those who had departed this life, after learning the miserable death o/ this poor old woman, did not think of praying for her, as she and every one else believed her already among the damned. Four years having past, a soul from purgatory one day appeared to her, and said, “Sister Catherine, how unhappy is my fate! you commend to God the souls of all those who die, and for my soul alone you have had no pity.” “And who are you?” said the servant of God. “I am,” answered she, “that poor Mary who died in the cave.” “How! are you saved?” exclaimed sister Catherine. “Yes, I am saved,” she said, “by the mercy of the Virgin Mary.And how?’ “When I saw death drawing near, finding myself laden with sins, and abandoned by all, I turned to the mother of God and said to her, Lady, thou art the refuge of the abandoned,behold me at this hour deserted by all; thou art my only hope, thou alone canst help me; have pity on me. The holy Virgin obtained for me the grace of making an act of contrition; I died and am saved, and my queen has also obtained for me the grace that my pains should be abridged, and that I should, by suffering intensely for a short time, pass through that purification which otherwise would have lasted many years. A few masses only are needed to obtain my release from purgatory. I pray thee cause them to be offered for me, and I promise to pray God and Mary for thee.” Sister Catherine immediately caused those masses to be said for her, and that soul, after a few days, appeared to her again, more brilliant than the sun, and said to her, “I thank thee, sister Catherine: behold I am now going to paradise to sing the mercy of God and pray for thee.”

Source:”The Glories of Mary”

How Mary Saved A Missionary From Death By The Brown Scapular 


One day in 1944, a Carmelite missionary in the Holy Land was called to an internment camp to give the Last Rites. The Arab bus driver made the priest get off the bus four miles from the camp because the road was dangerously muddy. After two miles, the missionary found his feet sinking deeper and deeper into the mire. Trying to get solid footing, he slipped into a muddy pool. Sinking to his death in this desolate place, he thought of Our Lady and Her Scapular. He kissed his great Scapular — for he was wearing the full
habit — and looked toward the holy mountain of Carmel, the birthplace of devotion to God’s Mother. He cried out, “Holy Mother of Carmel! Help me! Save me!” A moment later, he found himself on solid ground. Later he said, “I know I was saved by the Blessed Virgin through Her Brown Scapular. My shoes were lost in the mud, and I was covered with it, but I walked the remaining two miles praising Mary.