Sunday, June 26, 2016
Make an Act of Consecration to the Sacred Heart this June
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O Sacred Heart of Jesus, to Thee I consecrate and offer up my person and my life, my actions, trials, and sufferings, that my entire being may henceforth only be employed in loving, honoring and glorifying Thee. This is my irrevocable will, to belong entirely to Thee, and to do all for Thy love, renouncing with my whole heart all that can displease Thee.

I take Thee, O Sacred Heart, for the sole object of my love, the protection of my life, the pledge of my salvation, the remedy of my frailty and inconstancy, the reparation for all the defects of my life, and my secure refuge at the hour of my death. Be Thou, O Most Merciful Heart, my justification before God Thy Father, and screen me from His anger which I have so justly merited. I fear all from my own weakness and malice, but placing my entire confidence in Thee, O Heart of Love, I hope all from Thine infinite Goodness. Annihilate in me all that can displease or resist Thee. Imprint Thy pure love so deeply in my heart that I may never forget Thee or be separated from Thee.
I beseech Thee, through Thine infinite Goodness, grant that my name be engraved upon Thy Heart, for in this I place all my happiness and all my glory, to live and to die as one of Thy devoted servants.

Amen.


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Wednesday, June 22, 2016
St. Paulinus of Nola
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Double (1955 Calendar): June 22

St. Paulinus, whose feastday we celebrate today, was born in 354 to a wealthy Roman family in Gaul.  His father was the praetorian prefer of Gaul, and as such, his status helped ensure that Paulinus received a complete education.  St. Paulinus eventually became a lawyer and then the prefer of Rome.  He married a Spanish noblewoman and lived a life of luxury.

In 390, tragedy struck in the death of Paulinus' son.  Immediately following, he retreated from his earthly affairs and was baptized by St. Delphinus in Aquitaine.  Along with his wife, he gave away all of his earthly possessions to the poor and the Church.  Together, they lived a life of penance and sought true Christian perfection.

In 393 AD, St. Paulinus was ordained a priest by the Bishop of Barcelona, who nearly forced the duty on the saint.  After his ordination, he moved to an estate near the tomb of St. Nola in Naples.  Along with his wife (as this was back before the days of obligatory priestly celebacy), they established a community of monks and continued their austere life.  He went so far as to sell all of his estates in Gaul and divide the money to the poor.  He was not lacking in charitable works - helping to build hospitals, aqueducts, and basilicas.

In 409 AD, he was elected as Bishop of Nola, serving in that holy office until his death in 431.  He was a friend of Ss Augustine, Ambrose, Jerome, and the others of that era.  He was also a gifted poet and the author of more than 51 letters, 32 poems, and several pieces of prose.

Collect:

O God, You promised a hundredfold reward and eternal life to those who forsake the world for Your sake. May we walk in the footsteps of Your holy bishop Paulinus, despising the things of the earth and desiring only those of heaven; who lives and rules with God the Father . . .

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal
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Friday, June 10, 2016
Collegial Papacy Undermining Primacy of Pope
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Guest Article By David Martin

In the wake of all the turmoil and confusion that has plagued the papacy since Benedict XVI resigned in February 2013, a Vatican Archbishop has inadvertently shed light on the situation, saying there was already a plan in the works to expand the Petrine ministry to something new.

In a revealing speech at a May 20 book launch in Rome, Archbishop Georg Gänswein who serves as prefect of the Pontifical Household reflected on what he saw as a new development of the papacy, and offered comments on Benedict’s resignation. "Before and after his resignation, Pope Benedict has viewed his task as participation in the papal ministry," Gänswein said.

News media quoted the archbishop as saying that Benedict never abandoned the Petrine ministry, but has now "built a personal office with a collegial and synodal dimension, almost a communal ministry." Gänswein explained the reformed papacy, saying there are "not two popes but de facto an expanded ministry, with an active member and a contemplative member."

Obviously this was never Pope Benedict's idea of the papacy before his election, nor did he ever show signs of wanting to abdicate the Papal Throne. Credible reports in the past year in fact indicate that Benedict XVI was coerced into resigning, and it appears his persecutors pressured him into accepting this idea of an "expanded" papacy, which now provides him with a skillful means of smoothing over what otherwise could be a very humiliating situation when asked why he fled the cross.

The scenario was already foreshadowed in the Holy Father's inaugural speech of April 24, 2005, when he said: "Pray for me, that I may not flee for fear of the wolves." Apparently not enough prayers were offered for the Holy Father, because Benedict XVI did flee for fear of the wolves.

We know from Cardinal Danneels of Brussels that he was part of a radical "mafia" reformist group opposed to Benedict XVI. Danneels, known for his support of abortion, LGBT rights, gay-marriage, and pornography said in a taped interview last September that he and several cardinals were part of this "mafia" club which bore the name of St. Gallen. He said the group was calling for drastic changes in the Church, to make it "much more modern," and that the plan all along was to have Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio [Francis] head it. http://www.ncregister.com/blog/edward-pentin/cardinal-danneels-part-of-mafia-club-opposed-to-benedict-xvi/#ixzz4ArrcdGGE

This infamous clique which is documented in Austen Ivereigh's biography of Pope Francis, The Great Reformer, comprised the key members of the Vatican "gay-lobby" which held the reigns and created so much chaos at the October 2014-2015 Synods on the Family. According to some reports, lobby members threatened Pope Benedict with extortion prior to his resignation.

Benedict now denies this conspiracy, because it's too embarrassing to speak of and he feels it will scandalize the Church, but clearly there was this plan in the works to "expand" the papacy to communal dimensions. Unfortunately, Gänswein sidesteps the conspiratorial element of the plan by presenting it as Benedict's design, and this unfortunately maximizes its credibility before the Church.  

With a "two-headed" papacy established, it opens the door to a four-headed papacy, and then a collegial papacy where the enemies of the Church can collectively be "pope." What we are seeing is the plan of the Freemasons to undermine the Primacy of Peter, a thread that started at Vatican II. There is no such thing as an "expanded" or "collegial" papacy with a "synodal dimension." Such a thing has never existed in the 2000-year history of the Church, nor is there any "God of surprises" who will come along to start such a heresy.

There have been anti-popes of the past when more than one claimant contended over the Chair of Peter, yes, but there was never a mutual consensus to a collegial papacy. There can only be one human representative of the Petrine Office, because Christ has only one Vicar upon earth, not two. (Matthew 16:18)  What we have today is a "pope of surprises" who has opened the door to this ecclesial twilight zone, but if Francis be the pope, what is Benedict XVI? Consider Pope Benedict's answer.

"Here, allow me to go back once again to 19 April 2005. The real gravity of the decision was also due to the fact that from that moment on I was engaged always and forever by the Lord. Always – anyone who accepts the Petrine ministry no longer has any privacy. He belongs always and completely to everyone, to the whole Church. In a manner of speaking, the private dimension of his life is completely eliminated." ... "The 'always' is also a "forever" – there can no longer be a return to the private sphere. My decision to resign the active exercise of the ministry does not revoke this." (Pope Benedict XVI at the General Audience of February 27, 2013, on the eve of his resignation)

According to Benedict XVI, he is still pope. And whereas he assumes a "contemplative" and not "active" role in the Petrine ministry, he has not renounced his Petrine character, nor is that character diminished. He is still pope, wholly and entirely. Yet, there can only be one pope. So what is Francis? Has God through some mysterious decree deigned to momentarily sanction a two-headed pope in order to prevent the reign of an anti-pope?

In hindsight we can understand why lighting struck twice on the dome of St. Peter's Basilica just hours after Benedict XVI announced his resignation on February 10, 2013. Was God angry or what? Should the Lord be happy that His Palace on earth is being turned into a sodomite merry-go-round in the name of mercy? Benedict's resignation opened a can of toxic worms, so what can he do now to repair this?

There is one thing that Pope Benedict can do to repair for the damage. He can disclose the Third Secret of Fatima in its entirety and admit openly, as he admitted privately in summer 2000, that the Secret was never released in June 2000. According to Fr. Ingo Dollinger, who was a personal acquaintance of the late St. Padre Pio, Cardinal Ratzinger [now Benedict XVI] told him in summer 2000 that the Third Secret mentioned "a bad council and a bad Mass."

The Vatican press office now denies this, but this only testifies to the truth of the Fatima Secret that the "father of liars" would reign in the Eternal City. The Blessed Virgin herself stated in her Secret at La Salette: "Rome will lose the Faith and become the seat of Antichrist." (1846)

It behooves Benedict XVI to release the Third Secret in full, for this will alert the Church Militant to what it's truly up against. It will serve as a spiritual call to arms, whereby remiss Catholics can finally take the golden calf of Vatican II by the horns, and reject without scruple the idol of change that has meddled in the Church's affairs since the late-sixties. The pope has push-button power to blow-up the conciliar idol. Let us pray that he use it.

https://cruxnow.com/vatican/2016/06/04/communal-papacy-may-baby-step-toward-democracy/

Image Source: Photo (c) Matthew Plese, 2016
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Thursday, June 9, 2016
Feast of The Eucharistic Heart of Jesus (Thursday after the Sacred Heart)
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On this date we celebrate the Feast of The Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, which occurs on the Thursday within the traditional Octave of the Sacred Heart.
On 9 November 1921, Pope Benedict XV instituted the feast of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus to be celebrated on the Thursday within the Octave of the Sacred Heart with a Proper Mass and Office. The feast continues to be celebrated in some places and by some communities, notably by the Redemptorists who maintain it in their Proper Calendar. In instituting the feast, Pope Benedict XV wrote:  

The chief reason of this feast is to commemorate the love of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the mystery of the Eucharist. By this means the Church wishes more and more to excite the faithful to approach this sacred mystery with confidence, and to inflame their hearts with that divine charity which consumed the Sacred Heart of Jesus when in His infinite love He instituted the Most Holy Eucharist, wherein the Divine Heart guards and loves them by living with them, as they live and abide in Him. For in the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist He offers and gives Himself to us as victim, companion, nourishment, viaticum, and pledge of our future glory.
Source: Catholicism Pure & Simple
“Your most loving Heart, O Jesus, dwells in this Sacrament burning with love for us. It is there continually performing thousands of good deeds towards us.” (St. John Eudes)

Prayer to the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus

Eucharistic Heart of Jesus,/gracious companion of our exile,/I adore Thee.

Eucharistic Heart of Jesus,/lonely Heart,/humiliated Heart,/abandoned Heart,/forgotten Heart,/despised Heart,/ outraged Heart,/Heart ignored by men,/Heart which loves our own hearts;/Heart pleading for our love,/Heart so patient in waiting for us,/Heart so eager  to listen to our prayers,/Heart so anxious for our requests,/Heart, unending source of new graces,/Heart so silent, yet desiring to speak to souls,/Heart, welcome refuge of the hidden life,/Heart, teacher of the secrets of union with God,/Heart of Him Who sleeps but watches always,/Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.

Jesus Victim,/I desire to comfort Thee;/I unite myself to Thee;/I offer myself in union with Thee.

I regard myself as nothing in Thy Presence./I long to forget myself in order to think only of Thee,/
to be despised and forgotten for love of Thee./I have no desire to be understood or loved by anyone but Thee.

I will keep silent in order to listen to Thee,/and I will abandon myself in order to lose myself in Thee.

Grant that I may thus satisfy Thy thirst for my salvation,/Thy burning thirst for my holiness,/and that once purified I may give Thee a sincere and pure love./I am anxious not to tire Thee further with waiting:/take me, I hand myself over to Thee./I give Thee all my actions,/my mind to be enlightened,/my heart to be directed,/my will to be stabilized,/my wretchedness to be relieved,/my soul and body to be nourished by Thee.

Eucharistic Heart of my Saviour,/Whose Blood is the life of my soul,/may I myself cease to live and Thou alone live in me. Amen.

(Indulgence 500 days. Brief, February 6, 1899, Leo XIII; Sacred Penitentiary Apostolic, November 8, 1934. Today the 500 days has been replaced by a partial indulgence, which no longer has a specific  time associated with the indulgence).
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Sunday, June 5, 2016
Pilgrimage to Rome: Part VII: Final Part
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In this, the final installment highlighting my recent pilgrimage to Rome, I share some final sites: Florence Italy (so not in Rome), the Vatican Museum, and Castle de San Angelo.

Santa Maria in Portico

This church contains the body of St. John Leonardi.  Pray for us!



Castle d San Angelo

Castle d San Angelo, formerly known as Hadrian's Mausoleum, was built to house the remains of Emperor Hadrian.  The fortress was used as a safeplace during Christian times for the Pope and this is also the site of a famous apparition by St. Michael the Archangel.





Florence

While this series of posts is on my recent trip to Rome, I could not pass up the chance to take a high speed train from Rome's Termini station up to Florence.  Florence is so far the most beautiful city I have ever been to, and I would highly encourage everyone to visit this city in their lifetime.  It is truly a masterpiece. 

These photos are of the Institute of Christ the King's Church in Florence.  Photos taken on Holy Saturday:


 These photos are of the Cathedral (Duomo) as well as the Baptistry:



These photos are of the sacred objects in the Duomo's musuem, which has one of the greatest collections of religious artifacts in the world.  This is a MUST see.




A view of the ceiling in the baptistry:


The Duomo as seen from climbing up the bell tower






You can see over a hundred other photos from Florence in my Flickr album by clicking here.

The Vatican Museum

And the grand finale - the Vatican Musuem.  There is no greater museum in the world.  If I were to post all of the images that I had, I would be unable to do.  This is just a small piece of the Vatican Museum. 







You may see many more photos of the Vatican Museum by clicking here.

Conclusion

Thank you for everyone who prayed for me to have a safe and prayerful journey.  I prayed for all of you while visiting these holy sites and I look forward to again returning to this truly amazing city - the center of the Church and of the world.  Thank you immensely for your support and interest in my journey.  I hope to continue visiting more holy sites and sharing them with all of you.
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Friday, June 3, 2016
Feast of the Sacred Heart & First Friday
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Today is the First Friday of June. Because today is the first Friday of the Month, many Catholic parishes will have special Masses today for the First Friday Devotion.  But even more important, today is the Feast of the Sacred Heart.  There is a two-fold reason to honor our Lord's Sacred Heart today!
"With foresight, the divine heart of Christ merited and ordered all the favors which we have received, disposing them for each of us in particular. How our hearts would be inflamed with love for so many favors! Consider that they were destined for us by the will of the Father, to be borne in the heart of the Savior, Who earned them for us by His sufferings, above all by His passion." - St. Francis de Sales

Beginning on December 27, 1673, through 1675, Our Lord appeared to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque asking her to receive Him in Holy Communion on the first Friday of every month and to meditate on His passion from 11:00 PM to 12:00 midnight each Thursday. He also revealed to her twelve promises for all who are devoted to His Sacred Heart; he asked for a Feast of the Sacred Heart to be instituted in the liturgical calendar of the Church. Our Lord appeared to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque with twelve promises for those devoted to His Most Sacred Heart.

Promises for those devoted to the Sacred Heart:

1. "I will give them all the graces necessary in their state of life."
2. "I will establish peace in their homes."
3. "I will comfort them in their afflictions."
4. "I will be their secure refuge during life, and above all in death."
5. "I will bestow a large blessing upon all their undertakings."
6. "Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and the infinite ocean of mercy."
7. "Tepid souls shall grow fervent."
8. "Fervent souls shall quickly mount to high perfection."
9. "I will bless every place where a picture of My Heart shall be set up and honored."
10. "I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts."
11. "Those who shall promote this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be blotted out."
12. "I promise thee in the excessive mercy of My Heart that My all-powerful love will grant to all those who communicate on the First Friday in nine consecutive months, the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in My disgrace nor without receiving the Sacraments; My Divine heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment."

Prayer of Reparation:

O Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore thee profoundly. I offer thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifferences by which He is offended. By the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of thee the conversion of poor sinners.
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Monday, May 30, 2016
Parents Must be Devoted to the Eucharist & the Mass
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Archbishop Lefebvre comments on the importance of the parents' devotion to the Holy Eucharist for the education of the children.

Image Source: A personal photo taken by me in Rome, Italy
People who are in the path of marriage have to have a great devotion to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and to the Holy Eucharist. That is where they are going to draw the graces to fulfill their mission the way God wills, particularly in what concerns the education of their children.

Something painful for Catholic parents today is to feel very often that the Christian education of their children is slippling through their hands because of the scandals of the world. Those who ought to be protecting the family and helping parents to educate their children in a Christian manner are those who, on the contrary, are scandalazing them, leading them toward sin, turning them away from our Lord Jesus Christ. What a sorrow, what tragic situations in families today! How many letters we receive from weeping parents, begging the seminary to pray for their children, for a son, for a daughter, who has completely turned away from God, who has completely abandoned all practice of religion, who is living an immoral life! And those are children from profoundly Christian families, profoundly Catholic families.

So today more than ever we have to remember that the graces of the Christian education of children come above all from the parents' own devotion to the Holy Eucharist. That is where their children in turn are going to have to draw all of the graces they will need in order to resist the scandals of the world.
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Sunday, May 29, 2016
Pilgrimage to Rome: Part VI
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During the Sacred Triduum, I attended Mass at Most Holy Trinity of the Pilgrims (Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini), the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter's Church in Rome.  Here are some of the photos from there.  Most incredibly, they prayed the Old Rite for Holy Saturday that included all 12 readings and the use of the hastam, the three-pronged candle.  This is very rare indeed.






Also, especially rewarding was my visit to Santa Maria Minerva, the Dominican Church in Rome that houses the relic of St. Catherine of Siena, the patroness of the Order.  Her body is preserved right under the high altar (although her skull is said to be in Siena).  The Church also has the bodies of several Popes as well as Blessed Fra Angelico.  Outside of the Church (which is spectacular on the inside but lacking in much outward glory) is the Elephant Obelisk.  This was one of my favorite stops on my journey.






Next, here is the Church of St. Peter's Chains.  Besides containing the precious chains that St. Peter was imprisoned with, it contains Michelangelo's breathtaking statue of Moses. 




And the final basilica in this installment is the Church of St. Prassede.  This small church located near St. Mary Major contains the Pillar to which our Blessed Lord was tied and scourged.  Kyrie eleison!



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Friday, May 27, 2016
Reception into the Third Order of Saint Dominic
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It is with great joy that I can announce that I am now a tertiary in the Third Order of Penance of St. Dominic.  On the Feast of Corpus Christi I was received into the Order, after a year of postulancy, by Fr. Albert, OP who is presently living in Belgium as part of the Steffeshausen Dominicans.  He is a Dominican attached to the Society of St. Pius X.  You may view a short video on Fr. Albert and the Dominicans by clicking here.

I have taken the name in religion of John, in honor of St. John the Apostle.  I pray for the intercession of St. John and St. Dominic and my Confirmation saint, St. Thomas Aquinas, that I may follow well the this rule of life.

The following is the Ceremonial for Reception and Profession in the Third Order of Penance of Saint Dominic according to the Traditional Observation of the Order, as practiced before Vatican II.

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