Sunday, November 27, 2016
Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal

The Sacred Medal of Mary Immaculate is a Sacramental in honor of the Virgin Mary often called as simply the "Miraculous" Medal for the many miracles associated with those that wear it.

St. Catherine Laboure was born in 1806 on a farm in northern France. In 1829 she entered a convent of the Sisters of Charity, an order of nuns who primarily work as hospital nurses. One day as she and her sisters were in the chapel doing their evening meditation, she saw a vision of a beautiful Lady standing upon a globe, with rings with gemstones upon her fingers that shed a bright light down upon the globe, and she knew it was Our Lady. The Blessed Virgin told her “these rays symbolize the graces I shed upon those who ask for them. The gems from which rays do not fall are the graces for which souls forget to ask.” Catherine then saw written around her in letters of gold the words “O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.” Catherine was then told, “Have a Medal struck after this model. All who wear it will receive great graces; they should wear it around the neck. Graces will abound for persons who wear it with confidence.”

St. Catherine described the medal to her spiritual director and the first few were made under his direction, for she wished her own identity to remain secret. Although the Medal became instantly popular throughout the world, the identity of Sister Catherine was successfully hidden from the public for forty-six years, despite constant attempts to discover the visionary. Many miracles were soon reported by people who had worn the medal and recited the prayer, especially conversions and cures of those hopelessly sick, which led to its being named “The Miraculous Medal.” But during all this time, Catherine remained at her hospital, working as an obscure nurse. She died in 1876 and was canonized in 1947 by Pope Pius XII.

One of the most famous conversions due to the miraculous medal was that of Alphonse Ratisbonne, an anti-Catholic Jewish banker. He received a vision of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal. After his conversion, he became a priest and worked for the conversion of the Jewish people.

Another famous conversion occurred in 1942 when Claude Newman, a poor African American man from Mississippi was sent to prison for murder. One night during a quarrel with his cellmates, a Miraculous Medal was thrown down by someone, and Claude picked it up. That night, he awoke to a touch on the wrist, and saw a beautiful Lady standing near, who said “If you would like me to be your mother, and you would like to be my child, send for a priest of the Catholic Church.” He awoke the prison shouting for a priest, and asked to take religious instruction when one came. The priest was amazed, in the course of this instruction, to find that this illiterate young man had already been instructed in many things by some unknown person. Claude reminded the priest of a secret vow that he had made to Our Lady while lying in a ditch during the Second World War that remained unfulfilled. Claude amazed everyone who knew him by the change that had come over him, desiring death so that he could be united with God, and offering his death for the conversion of another prisoner who hated him. He asked for a party with the other prisoners to celebrate his own execution, and went to his death “beaming with happiness.”

You may request free, already blessed Miraculous Medals from St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary. Besides providing much of the above information, their website also reminds us:
"The two main effects of a sacramental are to cleanse venial (lesser) sins by disposing the heart to sorrow for sin, and to help in overcoming temptations. A sacramental is not a good luck charm, or some kind of get-into-heaven free card. Rather, it is a link between earth and heaven, a physical manifestation of the spiritual reality of God’s love for us, and for the intercession of His Mother. Like a locket that contains the picture of our mother, the Miraculous Medal reminds us of her, and helps us to call on her and speak to her when we are in trouble. And because God wants us to use physical sacramentals to remind ourselves of spiritual realities, he grants his grace in a special way to those who use them in this way."
November 27th is the Feast of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal in Some Places. The Catholic Encyclopedia states:
"On 23 July, 1894, Pope Leo XIII, after a careful examination of all the facts by the Sacred Congregation of Rites, instituted a feast, with a special Office and Mass, of the Manifestation of the Immaculate Virgin under the title of the Miraculous Medal, to be celebrated yearly on 27 November by the Priests of the Congregation of the Mission, under the rite of a double of the second class. For ordinaries and religious communities who may ask the privilege of celebrating the festival, its rank is to be that of a double major feast. A further decree, dated 7 September, 1894, permits any priest to say the Mass proper to the feast in any chapel attached to a house of the Sisters of Charity."
Traditional Propers:

Exodus 13:9
It shall be a sign in thy hand, and as a memorial before thine eyes, and that the law of the Lord be always in thy mouth. (Ps. 104: 1) O give thanks unto the Lord, and call upon His name: tell forth His deeds among the nations. v. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

COLLECT - O Lord Jesus Christ, Who hast willed that the most blessed Virgin Mary, Thy mother, sinless from the first moment of her conception, should be glorified by countless miracles: grant that we, who never cease from imploring her patronage, may attain in the end to eternal happiness. Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God,

Apocalypse 12: 1, 5, 14-16
A great sign appeared in Heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. And she brought forth a Man-Child, Who was to rule all nations with an iron rod: and her Son was taken up to God, and to His throne. And there were given to the woman two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the desert unto her place. And the serpent cast out of his mouth after the woman, water as it were a river: that he might cause her to be carried away by the river. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the river, which the dragon cast out of his mouth.

Ps. 104: 5, 27
Remember the marvelous works which He hath done: His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth. V. He placed in them the words of His signs: and of His wonders in the land. Alleluia, alleluia. V. (Ps. 18, 7) His going forth is from the topmost Heaven: nor is there any that can hide from His heat. Alleluia.

John 2: 1-11

At that time there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee: and the Mother of Jesus was there. And Jesus also was invited, and His disciples, to the marriage. And the wine failing, the Mother of Jesus saith to Him: "They have no wine." And Jesus saith to her: "Woman, what is that to Me or to thee? My hour is not yet come." His Mother saith to the waiters: "Whatsoever He shall say to you, do ye." Now there were set there six water-pots of stone, according to the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three measures apiece. Jesus saith to them: "Fill the waterpots with water." And they filled them up to the brim. And Jesus said to them: "Draw out now, and carry to the chief steward of the feast." And they carried it. And when the chief steward had tasted the water made wine, and knew not whence it was, but the waiters knew who had drawn the water: the chief steward calleth the bridegroom, and saith to him: "Every man at first setteth forth good wine: and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now." This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee and manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.

John 19: 27
Jesus said to the disciple, Behold thy Mother. And from that hour the disciple took her for his own.

SECRET -  Moved by the pleading of the blessed Virgin Mary, in answer to whose prayers Jesus Christ Thy Son wrought the first of His miracles: vouchsafe unto us, O Lord God, to minister in cleanness of heart unto the sacrament of the body and blood of the same Thy Son, so as to deserve to sit down to the everlasting banquet of eternity. Through the same Jesus Christ Thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God

PREFACE (Preface of the Blessed Virgin Mary) - It is truly meet and just, right and availing unto salvation, that we should at all times and in all places give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty and everlasting God. That on the Festival of the blessed Virgin Mary, we should praise, bless and proclaim Thee. For she conceived Thine only-begotten Son by the over-shadowing of the Holy Ghost; and losing not the glory of her virginity, gave forth to the world the everlasting light, Jesus Christ our Lord. Through whom the angels praise Thy majesty, the Dominions worship it, and the powers stand in awe. The Heavens and the heavenly Hosts, and the blessed Seraphim join together in celebrating their joy. With these we pray Thee join our voices also, while we say with lowly praise:

Ecclus. 36: 6, 7, 10
 Renew the signs, and work fresh marvels; glorify Thy hand and Thy right arm; hasten the time, and remember the end, and let them declare Thy wondrous works.

POST COMMUNION - O Lord God almighty, Who hast willed that all things should be given to us through the Immaculate Mother of Thy Son: grant that under the protection of this mighty Mother, we may escape all the dangers of these our times, and in the end may come to life everlasting. Through same Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God

Commonly Known as the “Miraculous Medal”

(Formerly reserved to the Congregation of the Missions)

(Approved by the Congregation of Sacred Rites, April 19, 1895)

The priest who is to bless the sacred medal of the Immaculate Conception, vested in surplice and white stole, says:

P: Our help is in the name of the Lord.

All: Who made heaven and earth.

P: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray: Almighty and merciful God, who by the many appearances on earth of the Immaculate Virgin Mary were pleased to work miracles again and again for the salvation of souls; kindly pour out your blessing on this medal, so that all who devoutly wear it and reverence it may experience the patronage of Mary Immaculate and obtain mercy from you; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

The priest sprinkles the medal with holy water, and presents it to the person, saying:

Take this holy medal; wear it with faith, and handle it with due devotion, so that the holy and immaculate Queen of heaven may protect and defend you. And as she is ever ready to renew her wondrous acts of kindness, may she obtain for you in her mercy whatever you humbly ask of God, so that both in life and in death you may rest happily in her motherly embrace.

All: Amen.

The priest continues:

Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Our Father (the rest inaudibly until:)

P: And lead us not into temptation.

All: But deliver us from evil.

P: Queen conceived without original sin.

All: Pray for us.

P: Lord, heed my prayer.

All: And let my cry be heard by you.

P: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray: Lord Jesus Christ, who willed that your Mother, the blessed Virgin Mary conceived without sin, should become illustrious through countless miracles; grant that we who ever seek her patronage may finally possess everlasting joys. We ask this of you who live and reign forever and ever.

All: Amen.

O Mary, conceived without sin, Pray for us who have recourse to you.

Daily Miraculous Medal Prayer of St. Maximilian Kolbe

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you, and for all who do not have recourse to you, especially the enemies of the Church and those recommended to you.

An Act of Consecration to Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal

O Virgin Mother of God, Mary Immaculate, we dedicate and consecrate ourselves to you under the title of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal. May this Medal be for each one of us a sure sign of your affection for us and a constant reminder of our duties toward you. Ever while wearing it, may we be blessed by your loving protection and preserved in the grace of your Son. O most powerful Virgin, Mother of our Savior, keep us close to you every moment of our lives. Obtain for us, your children, the grace of a happy death; so that, in union with you, we may enjoy the bliss of heaven forever.


More Information:
Thursday, November 24, 2016
Blessed Humbert of Romans: 5th Dominican Master

Continuing my articles on the Masters of the Dominican Order, we arrive at the 5th Dominican Master: Blessed Humbert of Romans.  Humbert governed the order from 1254 - 1263 AD.

To recap, the first four Masters of the Order of Preachers were:
  1. Our Holy Father St. Dominic
  2. Blessed Jordan of Saxony
  3. St. Raymond of Penafort 
  4. John of Wildeshausen 
Born in Romans-sur-lsere, France in 1190 AD, little is known with certainty of Blessed Humbert's early life.  Blessed Humbert studied canon law at the University of Paris.  On November 30, 1224, Blessed Humbert, known for his piety, joined the Dominican Order, although he had for some time considered following his brother into the Carthusian Order.

After entering the Order of Preachers, Blessed Humbert was appointed as a Lector of Theology at the Dominican Priory in Lyon in 1226, and in 1237 he became prior of that monastery.  Thereafter, in 1240, he was appointed as the Prior Provincial of Tuscany.  In 1244, he returned to France and served as Prior Provincial there succeeding Hugh of Saint-Cher.  Hugh left the position after he was made a Cardinal - the first Dominican Cardinal.

Then, in 1254, Blessed Humbert was elected as the Master General of the Order of Preachers.  His initial work was the re-organization of the Order's Liturgy.  He issued a new edition of the Order's Constitutions and he issued new Constitutions for all nuns.  Blessed Humbert also instituted the collection of information on both St. Dominic and St. Peter of Verona with the intention of using these materials to seek both of their canonizations.

In 1255, he adjudicated a dispute on the Constitution of the Carthusians, and he would in the next year become the godfather of one of the children of St. Louis IX of France.  Blessed Humbert further encouraged the missionary activities of his friars and he encouraged the schools in Spain to teach Oriental languages.

Under his period of rule, the Dominican Order flourished in Italy, Germany, Spain, France, and England. Humbert sent missionaries to the Greeks, Hungarians, Saracens, Armenians, Syrians, Ethiopians, and Tartars. He regulated the liturgy of the Divine Office, determined the suffrages of for the dead, commanded the history of the Order be recorded, and even issued minute decrees concerning the election of superiors, the reading of the Constitutions at meals, the transfer of friars from one house to another and other pertinent regulation.  On the reorgnization of the Liturgy, Fr. Joret writes:
At the Paris Chapter of 1256, Humbert issued to the Order his annual encyclical in which he announced the completion of the liturgical reform. A monumental volume, a masterpiece of Parisian book production in the middle of the thirteenth century, was composed to be the model to which all copies must conform. Deposited at first in the College of St. Jacques de Paris, the most important house of the Order, it is to-day in Rome amongst the general archives of the Friars Preachers. Finally, in 1267 Clement VII gave his approval to our liturgy. Since then it has undergone no important modification. When Pius V in 1570 imposed on the entire Church the breviary and Roman missal, he made an exception for the liturgies which were more than two hundred years old. The Dominican liturgy was one of these.
In 1263, largely on the account of his failing health, Blessed Humbert resigned his position as Master of the Order.  On July 14, 1277, the holy Dominican Master passed from this life to the next.  His feastday is July 14th.  May he soon be declared a saint!

The Dominican Order as it currently exists owes much to the leadership of Blessed Humbert.   One of the great hallmarks of the Dominican Order is its love and focus on studying.  Blessed Humbert was instrumental in the focus on studying as he said, 'Our Order is the first to have thus linked study to the religious life, prius habuit studium cum religione conjunction" (Humbert, Opera, t. II, p. 29). Speaking of the Blessed Virgin, Humbert said, "Our Preacher never cease praising her, blessing her and preaching her when they preach her Son" (Humbert de Romans, Opera, Vol. II, p. 71).

For your edification, please consider reading the "Treatise on Preaching" as written by Blessed Humbert.  The Text is available online by clicking here.
Feast of St. John of the Cross

“At the evening of life, we shall be judged on our love.” (St. John of the Cross)

Double (1954 Calendar): November 24

St. John of the Cross was born in 1542 in Spain near the city of Avila.  At the age of 21, he entered the Carmelite Order.  The young St. John felt drawn to the Carthusian Order but he was asked by St. Teresa of Avila to help her in the restoration of the primitive Carmelite Rule of Life.

After John established several monasteries of Discalced Carmelites, those opposed to the reform had him imprisoned at Toledo. During the nine months of his imprisonment, he wrote many of the poems and prose works that have made him one of the foremost authorities on mysticism in the West.

St. John asked God for suffering, and he received an abundance of both physical and spiritual torment right up to his death in 1591. May he pray for us now!

For a complete summary of his life, see my Book Review of Saint John of the Cross by Father Paschasius Heriz.


O God, who blessed the holy confessor and doctor John with a spirit of complete self-denial and a deep love of the cross, grant that we may always follow his example and thus attain to eternal glory. Though Our Lord . . .
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
Pope St. Eleuterus

Commemoration (1954 Calendar): May 26

Continuing my series of posts on the History of the Sovereign Pontiffs, I now pick up with the 13th Pope: St. Eleuterus. 

In the year 174, St. Eleuterus succeed Pope St. Soter as the Vicar of Christ after St. Soter suffered martyrdom.  Previously, he served as a Deacon under Pope St. Anicetus. Under his reign, the most notable occurrences included his declared opposition to Gnostics and the Montanists, the sending of Fugatius and Damjan to convert the Britons, and the abrogation of some Jewish dietary customs for Christians.

On St. Eleuterus, the New World Encyclopedia writes:
Eleuterus' most important contribution to church history seems to have been his manner of dealing the Montanism hereasy. At first disposed to tolerate the movement, he was eventually persuaded to condemn it, resulting in the Catholic Church's rejection of prophetic movements in general, as well as solidifying its doctrine that the true teaching authority of the Church resided with the bishops.

The Montanist movement, which originated in Asia Minor, made its way to Rome and Gaul in the second half of the second century, around the reign of Eleuterus. Its peculiar nature, affirming the continuation of Christian prophecy and urging a high standard a piety among its members, made it difficult for Christians to take a decisive stand against it.

According to Tertullian, who himself accepted Montanism in his later years, Eleuterus was at first favorably inclined to this movement, but in the end he rejected it. During the violent persecution of Christians by imperial authorities at Lyon in 177, local confessors wrote from their prison concerning the new movement to the Asiatic and Phrygian communities, and also to Eleuterus as the bishop of Rome. The bearer of the letter to Eleuterus was the presbyter Irenaeus, soon to become bishop of Lyon. It appears from statements of Eusebius concerning these letters that the Christians of Lyon, though opposed to the Montanist movement, advocated patience and pleaded for the preservation of ecclesiastical unity rather than the expulsion of the alleged heretics.

Exactly when the Roman Catholic Church took its definite stand against Montanism is not known with certainty. It would seem from Tertullian's account (adv. Praxeam, I) that a Roman bishop did send some conciliatory letters to the Montanists, but these letters, says Tertullian, were subsequently recalled. The bishop to whom he refers is probably Eleuterus, who long hesitated to anathematize Montanism but eventually declared against them.

Meanwhile, at Rome, the Gnostics and Marcionites continued to preach against the Catholic version of Christianity. The Liber Pontificalis ascribes to Pope Eleuterus a decree that no kind of food should be despised by Christians (Et hoc iterum firmavit ut nulla esca a Christianis repudiaretur, maxime fidelibus, quod Deus creavit, quæ tamen rationalis et humana est). Some believe the decree was directed against the Montanists, who often abstained from rich foods. It would also fit with the Church's position against those forms of Christian Gnosticism which practiced vegetarianism, as well as against Jewish Christians who refused to eat non-kosher foods, and even against otherwise orthodox Christians who adhered to the dictum of James in Acts 15:29: "You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals." Some scholars, however, suspect that the decree is anachronistic. In this theory, the writer of the Liber Pontificalis attributed Eleuterus a decree similar to one issued about the year 500.
It is worth remembering the error of Montanism that the Church has condemned:  "The fundamental flaw of Montanism, which it shared with Gnosticism as well as many other heretical movements, was its rejection of the notion of the clergy. Montanus taught 'the Priesthood of the People,' and this was a threat to the existing Church clergy. Much of the history of Christianity has been determined by this repetitive struggle between the clergy of the Church and those who would do away with it" (Early Christian History).  In fact, this same idea has caused the widespread errors of Protestantism in our world as these ideas reject our Divine Lord's establishment of an ordained priesthood.

St. Eleuterus served as the Vicar of Christ until his death in 189.  Pope Eleutherius died on 24 May and was buried on the Vatican Hill (in Vaticano) near the body of St. Peter. Later tradition has his body moved to the church of San Giovanni della Pigna, near the pantheon. In 1591, his remains were again moved to the church of Santa Susanna at the request of Camilla Peretti, the sister of Pope Sixtus V. His feast is celebrated on May 26th.

Like all of the Popes who preceded him, St. Eleuterus was martyred for the True Faith.  We should often call to mind the lives of all of these holy popes and pray for them to intercede for the Church today.  We should also not cease praying for their courage in the face of death and torture.


Look forgivingly on thy flock, Eternal Shepherd, and keep it in thy constant protection, by the intercession of blessed Eleutherius thy Martyr and Sovereign Pontiff, whom thou didst constitute Shepherd of the whole Church. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. R. Amen.
Sunday, November 20, 2016
St. Felix of Valois

Double (1954 Calendar): November 20

Today is the feast of St. Felix of Valois, not to be confused with several other saints by the name of Felix who are on the Universal Calendar of Saints. 

After renouncing life at the royal court in France, St. Felix lived as a hermit.  It was not until he was already advanced in age that he, along with St. John of Matha, founded the Trinitarians in the year 1200.  He lived as a recluse at Cerfroid, France, and received approval from Pope Innocent III for the Order of the Most Holy Trinity to ransoms captives from the Muslim Moors. Showing us that even those of us late in age can serve our Lord, he founded St. Mathburn Convent in Paris while in his seventies. He died in the peace of the Lord on November 4, 1212.

Traditional Matins Reading:

Felix, formerly called Hugh, was born in France, of the royal family of the Valois, and from his cradle gave promise of future sanctity and especially of charity towards the poor. While still an infant, he would distribute money to the needy with his own hand, as if he were grown up and had full use of reason. When somewhat older, he used to send them meat from the ta­ble, and would choose what was daintiest for poor little children. When a youth, he more than once stripped himself of his own garments to clothe the poor. He obtained the life of a condemned criminal from his uncle Theobald, Count of Champagne and Blois; foretelling that the man, hitherto an infamous murderer, would shortly become a saint; the truth of which prophecy was proved by the event.

Having spent his youth in the practice of virtue, he was induced by his love of heavenly contemplation to think of retiring into solitude. He determined, however, first to take Holy Orders, and thus cut off all possibility of succeeding to the crown, of which he had some expectations on account of the Salic Law. After being ordained priest, and celebrating his first Mass with the greatest devotion, he retired into the desert, where he lived in the severest abstinence, but enjoying an abundance of heavenly gifts and graces. There he was joined by John of Matha, a Parisian doctor, who had been inspired by God to seek him; and they lived together in a most holy manner for some years. God then sent an Angel, who bade them go to Rome and obtain a special rule of life from the Sovereign Pontiff. Pope Innocent III received, during solemn Mass, a revelation concerning the religious Order to be insti­tuted for the ransom of captives; and he himself clothed Felix and John in a white habit with a red and blue cross, such as was worn by the Angel who had appeared. Moreover the Pontiff determined that on account of the three colours of the habit, the new Order should bear the name of the most holy Trinity.

Upon receiving the confirmation of their rule from Pope Innocent, Felix returned to Cerfroid, in the diocese of Meaux, and enlarged the first convent of the Order, which he and his companion had built there shortly before. There he caused religious observance and the work of ransom to flourish; and he dili­gently propagated the Order by sending disciples into other provinces. In this place he was favoured with a remarkable grace by the blessed Virgin Mary. On the vigil of the Nativity of the Mother of God, while the brethren, God so disposing, remained asleep instead of rising at midnight for Matins, Felix who was watching according to his custom before the appointed hour, entered the church, and found the Blessed Virgin in the middle of the choir, clad in the habit and cross of the Order, and surrounded by Angels in the same attire. Felix joined them, and the Mother of God having intoned the Office, he sang the divine praises with them even to the end. Then, as if calling him from the choir of earth to that of heaven, an Angel informed him that his death was at hand. He exhorted his sons to love of the poor and of captives; and gave up his soul to God, full of days and of merits, in the year of our Lord 1212, in the pontificate of the said Innocent III.


O God, through a messenger from heaven You called the blessed confessor Felix to come out of the desert to labor for the ransom of captives. May his intercession free us from the slavery of our sins and bring us safely to our home in heaven. Through Our Lord . . .
Saturday, November 19, 2016
Our Lady Mother of Divine Providence (Saturday before the 3rd Sunday in November)

As part of the Traditional Missal, the Feast of Our Lady Mother of Divine Providence occurs on the Saturday before the 3rd Sunday in November. This Feastday is kept by various religious orders in the Church as it is one of the Masses Said in Some Places.  

Make an effort today to say 3 Our Fathers and 3 Hail Marys for the souls in Purgatory, since we are in the month dedicated to the Poor Souls.

The following is taken from Our Lady's Feastdays by Rev. Lawrence G. Lovasik, S.V.D:
1. Mary, Mother of God, the miracle of the Marriage feast of Cana shows that you are the Mother of Divine Providence. For the first time in the public life of Jesus you appeared in the exalted character of our Advocate, a character which would be yours as long as time would last. Filled with motherly compassion, you appealed to Jesus in behalf of your friends. With greatest confidence in the mercy and kindness of Your Son, you left Him free to give assistance or withhold it, as He saw fit.

Jesus rewarded your confidence and resignation by working His first miracle at your request. He wanted the strengthening of the faith of His disciples and the manifestation of His Divinity to depend upon your prayers. In this I see God's plan that in the Kingdom of Jesus all graces should go through your hands and Heart. As your prayer brought about His birth as the Sun of Justice, so also your request decided His rise and shining in His public life.

Mary, My Mother, how kindly you provided for the needs of this newly-married couple! This is but a reminder that you are equally interested in providing for all your children in all their needs of soul and body. Teach me to seek all things through your prayers, for your intercession is most powerful and Jesus can refuse you nothing. Help me to imitate your zeal in assisting my neighbor in his needs.

2. Mary, Mother of God, as the Mother of Divine Providence, you provide for us in our varied needs through your prayers in the presence of God. Your own extraordinary grace and merit, your own wondrous privileges give to your prayer an irresistible force and power. As the loving Mother of Jesus, the glorious daughter of the Father, the cherished Bride of the Holy Spirit, you can never meet with a refusal. Your slightest wish carries with it a powerful appeal. Yet more powerfully still than even your exalted merits does the Precious Blood render God merciful to the sinner, for all comes to us through the Passion and death of Christ, your Son.

But it has been the will of God, that from first to last, Jesus, as the Victim of atonement for our sins, should be presented to Him by you. It was so when you gave your consent to the divine plan of the Redemption. It was so when you renewed your consent at the birth of the Savior at Bethlehem, at His presentation in the temple at Jerusalem and finally at the foot of the cross on Calvary.

And now in Heaven, when the fruits of the Redemption are applied to our souls, and the graces won for us by the Passion of Jesus are distributed to the redeemed, being united to Him by a close and unbreakable bond, you still continue your part as Mediatrix in the work of our salvation, by offering to the Father the merits of Christ, uniting meanwhile your prayers, and, in a secondary sense, your merits, to the intercession of your Divine Son.

Mary, My Mother, as Mother of Divine Providence, remember your children in need of God's mercy and help. Plead for us in the presence of God and provide for us those graces and blessings especially which will enable us to serve God better and save our souls.

3. Mary, Mother of God, in the Kingdom of Heaven you are continually employed in deeds of kindness and mercy, therefore you are truly the Mother of Divine Providence. You are ever imploring favors for the just, as well as for sinners. Your eyes are the eyes of a good Mother, ever watchful to notice the need of your children, just as you looked out for the young couple at the marriage feast of Cana. Your Son will deny you nothing. God destined you to be a Mother of Mercy, a Refuge of Sinners and an Advocate of the Afflicted, and you fulfill these offices perfectly. You are so tender and compassionate, so watchful to relieve the needy, that it would seem you had no other desire, no other concern except this.

If you showed such compassion for the sufferings of others while on earth, and were so ready to relieve them, how much greater must your compassion be now that you are in heaven and understand so much better the difficulties your children meet with and the sufferings that afflict them? Though you are raised to the high dignity of Queen of Heaven, you have not forgotten man's wretched condition. You show your compassion toward all so that there is no one in this world who does not, if he seeks it, share in the kindness and mercy of your motherly Heart. You have become all things to all men; you have opened your Heart to all that all may receive of your generosity: the imprisoned, freedom, the sick, health, the afflicted, consolation; the sinner, pardon; and God, glory.

Mary, My Mother, your power as Mother of Divine Providence is indeed as great as your compassion and willingness to help. As you are powerful to obtain and provide, you are merciful to pardon. You can readily obtain for us whatever you will as you can listen to our woes. Then, through your compassion be pleased to send down to us, your poor servants, a rich abundance of your graces and blessing. Provide for our needs of soul and of body. May your title of Mother of Divine Providence ever give us confidence that you will never fail us, but will provide for all we need in this present life that we may attain eternal life.
Thursday, November 17, 2016
St. Gregory The Wonder Work (Thaumaturgus)

Simple (1954 Calendar): November 17

St Gregory Thaumaturgus, one of the Fathers of the Church, was converted to the faith by Origen about the year 232. He then returned to his native city of Neocaesarea in Asia Minor and was made its bishop. At that time there were only 17 Christians in the city, but Gregory's apostolic zeal was such that before his death there were only 17 non-Christians left. Gregory was aided in his apostolate by an extraordinary gift of miracles. A legend relates that he once caused the removal of a mountain from the spot where he wished to build a church. He died about the year 270.

Let us read the brief account of the great Thaumaturgus given in the holy liturgy:
Gregory, bishop of Neocaesarea in Pontus, was illustrious for his holiness and learning, but still more for his miracles, which were so startling and so numerous that he was called the Thaumaturgus; and, according to St Basil he was considered comparable to Moses, the prophets, and the apostles.

By his prayer he removed a mountain, which was an obstacle to the building of a church. He also dried up a lake which was a cause of dissension between brothers. The river Lycus, which was inundating and devastating the fields; he restrained by fixing in the bank his stick, which immediately grew into a green tree, and he served as a limit which the river henceforth never overpassed.

He frequently expelled the devils from idols and from men's bodies, and worked many other miracles, by means of which he led multitudes to the faith of Christ. He also foretold future events by the spirit of prophecy. When he was dying, he asked how many infidels remained in the city of NeocaeSarea; and on being informed that there were only seventeen, he gave thanks to God, and said: When I was made bishop, there were but seventeen believers. He wrote several works, by which, as well as by his miracles, he adorned the Church of God.

O Almighty God, grant that our solemn celebration of the feast of Your confessor bishop Gregory may increase our devotion and bring us closer to our salvation. Through Our Lord . . .
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Bishop John Carroll's Prayer for our Country

We pray, Thee O Almighty and Eternal God! Who through Jesus Christ hast revealed Thy glory to all nations, to preserve the works of Thy mercy, that Thy Church, being spread through the whole world, may continue with unchanging faith in the confession of Thy Name.

We pray Thee, who alone art good and holy, to endow with heavenly knowledge, sincere zeal, and sanctity of life, our chief bishop, Pope N., the Vicar of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in the government of his Church; our own bishop, N., all other bishops, prelates, and pastors of the Church; and especially those who are appointed to exercise amongst us the functions of the holy ministry, and conduct Thy people into the ways of salvation.

We pray Thee O God of might, wisdom, and justice! Through whom authority is rightly administered, laws are enacted, and judgment decreed, assist with Thy Holy Spirit of counsel and fortitude the President of these United States, that his administration may be conducted in righteousness, and be eminently useful to Thy people over whom he presides; by encouraging due respect for virtue and religion; by a faithful execution of the laws in justice and mercy; and by restraining vice and immorality. Let the light of Thy divine wisdom direct the deliberations of Congress, and shine forth in all the proceedings and laws framed for our rule and government, so that they may tend to the preservation of peace, the promotion of national happiness, the increase of industry, sobriety, and useful knowledge; and may perpetuate to us the blessing of equal liberty.

We pray for his excellency, the governor of this state, for the members of the assembly, for all judges, magistrates, and other officers who are appointed to guard our political welfare, that they may be enabled, by Thy powerful protection, to discharge the duties of their respective stations with honesty and ability.

We recommend likewise, to Thy unbounded mercy, all our brethren and fellow citizens throughout the United States, that they may be blessed in the knowledge and sanctified in the observance of Thy most holy law; that they may be preserved in union, and in that peace which the world cannot give; and after enjoying the blessings of this life, be admitted to those which are eternal.

Finally, we pray to Thee, O Lord of mercy, to remember the souls of Thy servants departed who are gone before us with the sign of faith and repose in the sleep of peace; the souls of our parents, relatives, and friends; of those who, when living, were members of this congregation, and particularly of such as are lately deceased; of all benefactors who, by their donations or legacies to this Church, witnessed their zeal for the decency of divine worship and proved their claim to our grateful and charitable remembrance.

To these, O Lord, and to all that rest in Christ, grant, we beseech Thee, a place of refreshment, light, and everlasting peace, through the same Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior. Amen.

Prayer was composed by Bishop  John Carroll, the first Bishop in the United States. He convened the first diocesan Synod 14 years after the Declaration of Independence was signed, where 22 American priests met under their new bishop in 1791.  Download a PDF copy by clicking here.
Monday, November 14, 2016
Martin Luther Prefer Mohammed to the Pope?!

Louis Veuillot author of The Liberal Illusion and a friend of Pope Pius IX explains how Luther opened the way to Voltaire and Robespierre, one of the architects of the French Revolution.
In order to pervert man, it was sufficient to sever him from the divine element, i.e. to reduce it to its own power. Luther created a Christian who, in the presence of the Church, the depositary and interpreter of the divine Truth, proclaimed that his personal reason was queen.
“By proclaiming the right to free examination, by subjecting God’s reason to the sovereign reason of man, by giving each individual the faculty or, rather, by imposing the obligation to create his own religion within the limits of the Bible, Luther rejected the divine authority present on earth and, thereby, he gave rise to purely human religions.
“Luther strikes a blow at the root of the social state by shaking the stability of marriage, the basis of all Christian society. He strikes a blow at the root of the political state by removing powers and abolishing the hierarchy, which is the expansion of the Christian society. He strikes a blow at the root of the religious state by abolishing the exterior worship, which is the necessary expression of the interior worship and crown of the Christian society. This triple blow is struck in the name of liberty: for the liberty of the flesh (divorce), for the liberty of the soul, and for the pontificate of the princes and the rejection of the exterior worship. The Revolution offers us the regular and logical development of these three Protestant liberties. In the same way, as Luther had proclaimed the kings Pontiffs in the name of religious liberty, likewise, the Revolution proclaims the peoples king in the name of the political liberty of conscience.”
Luther used to say: “Mohammed rather than the Pope.” No wonder Veuillot lamented that Luther, investigated by the Inquisition and found guilty on multiple counts, was not also burnt at the stake by a pious prince eager to stifle the Protestant revolt. St. Teresa of Avila prayed much for the destruction of Protestantism throughout Christendom. Thus, through her prayers and the action of the Christian rulers, the Spanish Crown was spared the religious and civil wars which engulfed thousands of lives in 16th century Europe.

By her prayers and the intervention of the Blessed Virgin Mary, may the Church once again find leaders willing to speak out against the errors which originated with Martin Luther and work to bring those still ensnared by Protestant heresies into the bosom of the Catholic Church.

Source: SSPX
Sunday, November 13, 2016
How Should we Care for Body of the Deceased?

A fitting reflection during November, the Month Dedicated to Pray for the Souls of the Dead who are in Purgatory.  Remember, cremation (despite what modern men are saying) has always been prohibited for Catholics:

Image Source: Catholic Cravings

St. Augustine "On the Care of the Dead," (circa 422):
The care with which we bury the dead expresses our faith in the victory over everlasting death which Our Lord Jesus Christ has won in our human nature by His own Death and Resurrection. We bury the dead in the sure hope of the resurrection of the body, when their mortal bodies will share fully in the glory of the Risen Christ."
In the middle of the 11th century, St. Odilo, the abbot of Cluny (France), said that all Cluniac monasteries were to offer special prayers and sing the Office for the Dead on November 2, the day after the feast of All Saints. The custom spread from Cluny and was was adopted throughout the entire Roman Catholic Church. Now the entire Church celebrates November 2nd as All Soul's Day.

Yet this does not mean that the bodies of the departed are to be despised and flung aside, and above all those of just and faithful men, whose bodies have been used by their spirits as instruments and tools for doing all their good works. For just as the greater the affection one has for his parents, the more treasured are the father’s clothing and ring and all such things to those who survive him, in the same way the bodies themselves should not be neglected, since we wear them and are joined to them more closely than anything which we ourselves put on. For our bodies are not some ornament or aid which is added from outside, but belongs to the very nature of man.
Funerals with dutiful piety

So also in ancient times the funerals of just men were arranged with dutiful piety, and their funerals were celebrated, and burials provided for, and while they were still alive they gave instructions to their sons about their burial or even about moving their bodies to another place.

Tobias also was commended by the testimony of an angel for burying the dead, thus obtaining favor with God (Tobit 2:9). The Lord Himself also, when He was about to rise on the third day, both proclaimed, and commended for preaching the good work of the pious woman who poured a precious perfume over His limbs and did it for his burial. And the Gospel commemorated with praise those who took Christ’s body from the cross and carefully and with reverent honor saw it wrapped and laid in the tomb.

However these authorities in no way suggest that dead bodies can experience any feeling; but rather, they signify that the providence of God (Who is pleased with such acts of piety) is concerned also with the bodies of the dead, in order that our faith in the resurrection might be strengthened. From these we can also profitably learn that the reward for giving alms to those who are alive and have their senses must be great, if God does not overlook even those things which with duty and diligence we do for the lifeless bodies of men...

Mark of good and human disposition

If this be true, then also providing a burial place for bodies at the memorials of saints is a mark of a good and human disposition towards the remains of one’s friends. For if there is a sanctity in providing burial, there must also be sanctity in paying attention to where the burial occurs. But while it is desirable that there be such solace for the survivors, by which means they can show their pious attitudes towards their beloved, I do not see what assistance this can be to the dead except in this way: that when remembering the place in which the bodies of those whom they love have been laid, they might with their prayers commend the departed to those same saints as if they were patrons undertaking to aid them before the Lord. Indeed they would still be able to do so, even if they were not able to be interred in such places...

Supplications for all the departed

But even if, due to the lack of opportunity, some necessity does not permit bodies to be interred, or to be interred in such places, one should still not neglect prayers for the souls of the dead. For in its general prayer the Church undertakes to make such supplications for all the departed in our Christian and Catholic fellowship, even without mentioning their names. Thus those who do not have parents or sons or any relatives or friends still have the one pious mother common to all Christians to perform these acts for them. But no matter how holy the places where lifeless bodies are laid, I think their souls will not profit in the least without such prayers for the dead and if they are not made with the right faith and piety.

Spirit of the departed aided

When therefore a Christian mother desired to have the body of her dead Christian son deposited in the basilica of a martyr because she believed that his soul would be aided by the merits of the martyr, the very believing of this was a type of supplication, and this would profit if anything would. And in that her thoughts return to this same tomb, and in her prayers she more and more prays for her son, the spirit of the departed is aided, not by where its dead body has been placed, but by the living affection of the mother which remembers that place. For at once the thought of who is being commended and to whom, does affect the pious mind of the one praying in a way that is not unprofitable.

Use the body in a way fitting to prayer

For also when men pray to God they use their bodies in a way that is fitting to prayer. So when they kneel, stretch out their hands, or even prostrate themselves on the ground, or whatever other visible actions they perform, they do this as if God will then know the invisible desire and intention of their heart, even though He does not need such actions to know what is in the human mind. Yet in so doing, a person rouses himself to pray and groan even more humbly and more fervently. I do not understand how it is that although these bodily motions cannot be made unless a mental activity comes first, yet when these are done in an outward and visible way, that inward invisible activity which caused them also increases.

The heart's affection grows

And so the heart’s affection which first caused them to be done itself grows because they are done. Yet truly if any man is held back, or even bound, so that he cannot do these actions with his limbs, one cannot conclude that his inner man is not praying, or that it has not in its most secret chamber thrown itself upon the ground in remorse before the eyes of God.

In the same way it does make a great difference where a person places the body of a departed one for whose spirit he prays to God, because both beforehand the affection chose a spot which was holy, and later, after the body is laid there, the mind’s recollection of that holy spot renews and increases the affection which came first; yet, even if he is unable to bury his beloved in the place which his pious mind desires, he should still in no way stop the required prayers and commending of that person.

For wherever the body of the departed may or may not lie, the spirit requires rest. For when the spirit leaves the body, along with it goes consciousness, by which one is able to ascertain the state one is in, whether good or bad. Nor does it look for assistance for its life from that flesh to which it did itself give life and then withdrew life when it departed, and will again give it back when it returns. For the spirit adds merit to the flesh (not vice versa) even in its resurrection, whether it comes alive for punishment or for glory.

Source: The above is taken from the website of the SSPX
Commemoration of All Dominican Souls

 Image Source:

On this day after having celebrated the Feast of All Dominican Saints, today we recall the Commemoration of All Dominican Souls.  Today is kept as an anniversary, not as a feast day.  It is listed with the obits of the deceased Masters of the Order.

Please join me this day in praying 3 Paters, 3 Aves, and 3 Requiem aeternams for the repose of all Dominican souls.  May they rest in peace and one day join St. Dominic and all the Dominican saints in the beatific vision. From "Liturgical Meditations for the Entire Year" by the Sisters of St. Dominic, Adrian, MI (B. Herder, 1960).  Via Breviarium S.O.P:
The magnanimous spirit of our Order inspires devotion to the holy souls in purgatory. Love for the Church suffering, deeply rooted in the soul of St. Dominic, has been preserved for centuries in the traditions, Constitutions, and liturgy of the Order of Preachers. Today throughout our Order the Mass and Office of the Dead will be offered for the souls of Dominican priests, brothers, and sisters, who are now awaiting their release from the pains of purgatory.

Our Dominican brothers and sisters are asking today for our prayers. The Office of the Dead is one contribution we can make to their needs, but it is very little compared with what we have within our means to give. Because it is the special suffrage assigned by our Constitutions, we owe it as a matter of justice. If we look forward to the careful performance of this duty today, we shall find it a joy to offer this and and many other acts of prayer and charity for the souls of our beloved departed. "O God, the giver of pardon and the author of human salvation, we beseech Thy clemency to admit the brothers and sisters of our the fellowship of eternal bliss" (Office of the Dead).

The souls in purgatory are making reparation for the temporal punishment due to their sins.  As some sins are more serious than others, the punishment for some is of longer duration.  Likewise some sins are of greater adherence in the soul than others, according as man is attached to them and more inclined to commit them.  Therefore the sins that adhere more strongly to the soul are purged more slowly (Summa Theologica, Supplement, Appendix II, a.8.).

From this teaching of St. Thomas we learn that we must never cease to pray for our departed brothers and sisters, because they may be detained for a long time in purgatory. Although they lived holy lives and served God faithfully, attachment to venial sins may be separating them from the beatific vision. Let us be generous in our prayers for them and honest in our examination of conscience lest attachment to sloth, criticism, and disobedience may become habitual in our lives and require a lengthy and painful purgatory."We offer to Thee, O Lord, sacrifice of praise and prayers; do Thou receive them in behalf of those souls whom we commemorate this day." (Offertory of the Mass for the Dead).
Let us Pray:

O God, Lord of mercies, give to the souls of your servants, whose anniversary we keep, the home of refreshment, the blessedness of peace and the brightness of light.  Through our Lord...
Friday, November 11, 2016
Virtual Tour: Cologne's Catholic Cathedral

Following a recent trip of a friend of mine, I have received these images of the Cathedral in Cologne, Germany.  Among these images are shots of the Relics of the Three Wisemen.  Please say a few Paters and Aves for the photographer.

Please note these photographs are copyrighted and if shared, they must include a link back to this post.

Petition: President-Elect Trump: The Unborn need you to keep your Pro-life Promises!

To: Donald J. Trump

Congratulations on winning the presidency! After eight years of the most pro-abortion presidency in U.S. history, I am thrilled that the highest office of the land will now be used to defend the right to life of all U.S. citizens - including the innocent unborn. As such, I encourage you to follow through on the pro-life promises that you made during the campaign without delay. I also want you to know that you will my have full my support for any and all pro-life initiatives that you take as president, particularly when the going gets tough and you face opposition.

In particular, I encourage you to sign the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, to defund Planned Parenthood, and - if and when the opportunity arises - to nominate staunchly pro-life Supreme Court justices.

I would also strongly encourage you to follow through on your pro-life convictions by: re-enacting the Mexico City Policy, thereby banning U.S. funding from paying for or supporting abortions overseas; repealing the oppressive HHS mandate; attending in person the annual March for Life in Washington D.C.; banning government funding of destructive research on human embryos; ensuring that judicial appointments at all levels of the court system are pro-life; and re-evaluating your personal support for abortion in the cases of rape and incest.

In addition, I will stand with you as you to take steps to defend religious freedom, which has been under continuous assault these past 8 years, by repealing the Johnson Amendment, and protecting the conscience rights of civil servants, teachers, businesses, and all others.

Finally, I pledge to pray for you, that you may be given the strength, conviction, and courage to fight for the right to life of the unborn and for religious freedom despite the strenuous opposition that you are likely to face in the coming months and years.

Click here to Sign
Thursday, November 10, 2016
John of Wildeshausen: 4th Dominican Master

Continuing my articles on the Masters of the Dominican Order, we arrive at the 4th Dominican Master: John of Wildeshausen, who like Blessed Jordan of Saxony, came from Saxony.  John governed the order from 1241 - 1252 AD.

To recap, the first three Masters of the Order of Preachers were:
  1. Our Holy Father St. Dominic
  2. Blessed Jordan of Saxony
  3. St. Raymond of Penafort 
After the resignation of St. Raymond of Penafort from the rank as Master of the Order to pursue parish work, John of  Wildeshausen shortly thereafter succeeded the saint.

John was born in Wildeshausen in modern-day Germany in 1180. At a young age, it was soon clear that John had an astute mind, so he went to Bologna to advance in his studies.  It was during this time that John forged a friendship with Emperor Frederick II of the Holy Roman Empire, who was then just a teenager.  John entered the imperial court but not long thereafter left and returned to Bologna.  It was here through Divine Providence that he came to know of the Order of Preachers.

In late 1220, John received the habit of the Order from the hands of St. Dominic himself.  Almost immediately after, John was sent out to preach throughout northern Italy, France, Germany, and Austria.  In much the same fashion as the Apostles, he preached the Gospel everywhere he went on foot and did not cease of spreading the truth of the universality of the Catholic Faith.

In 1233, after having preached a crusade to the Holy Land in southern Germany and then serving as Prior Provincial, John of Wildeshausen was named Bishop of Bosnia.  Yet, he did not leave his missionary zeal and would travel throughout his Diocese on foot preaching the Gospel.  He would journey with a small donkey who carried his books and vestments.  John never ceased of preaching or doing charity, and used the revenues of the diocese for the care of the poor and for their souls.  In 1237, he retired from the office and renounced his pension.  He return to his monastery in Strasbourg.

But the will of God was not for John to have completed his work.  From 1238 to 1240, John was able to carefully negotiate between Emperor Frederick and the Prior Provincial of Lombardy, without angering each side.

Then in 1240 when St. Raymond of Penyafort resigned the role of Master Generate, a General Chapter of the Order met in Paris on May 19, 1241.  It was then that John was chosen as the new Master General.  As Master General, he continued his preaching on foot throughout Europe while maintaining good relations with the Papal Curia.  Under his time as Master General, the Order completed a number of liturgical texts as well.  It was John that provided for the standardization of the Dominican Liturgy.

John of Wildeshausen passed from this world to the next on November 4, 1252. While not canonized, John was considered a saint during and after his life.  Documents were drawn up by his successor, Blessed Humbert of Romans, with the goal of seeking his canonization. His cause however did not advance and in the 16th century, in the course of the Protestant Revolution, the Priory Church of St. Bartholomew where he was entombed was seized by French Huguenots, and the interior was gutted by their vicious attacks against the Church of God.

Let us pray that at long last this holy man will be canonized a saint.  John of Wildeshausen, pray for us!
St. Andrew Avellino

Double (1954 Calendar): November 10

November 10th is the Feast of St. Andrew Avellino, the patron saint against Apoplexy.  The following is taken from Father Hugo Hoever's "Live of the Saints:
St. Andrew was born in the Kingdom of Naples, in 1520.  After a youth spent in virtue and good works, he received his doctorate in law and was ordained a priest.  His occupation for some time consisted in pleading causes in the ecclesiastical court.  Once a lie escaped him and he was so filled with remorse that he resolved to renounce his profession and give himself up to the care of souls.  After exercising the ministry for some time at Naples, he joined the Theatines, in 1556, and changed his name of Lancelot to that of Andrew.

Such was his desire for perfection that he bound himself by vow aways to combat his own will and to advance to the utmost of his power in Christian perfection.  He founded several convents of his Order, and God honored him with the gifts of prophecy and miracles. He practiced the greatest mortifications, and gave an admirable example of that Christian charity which consists in doing good to those who do harm to us.  All his spare moments he devoted to prayer and contemplation.  The souls committed to his care made great progress in perfection.  As superior of his Order, he laboured hard to promoted religious discipline, setting the example himself.

St. Andre enjoyed the friendship of St. Charles Borromeo, who loved to consult him on affairs of importance.  He was seized with an attack of apoplexy at the foot of the altar when about to being Mass, and having received the sacraments of the Church, he calmly expired at the venerable age of eighty-eight, in 1608.  

His final words were "Introibo ad altare Dei."  May we all possess St. Andrew's devotion to the truth and good works and persevere in grace as he did.  St. Andrew Avellino, pray for us!

Prayer to Saint Andrew Avelino Against Sudden Death
(This prayer can be said as a Novena for nine consecutive days)

I. O most glorious saint, whom God has made our protector against apoplexy, seeing that thou thyself didst die of that disease, we earnestly pray thee to preserve us from an evil so dangerous and so common. Pater, Ave, Gloria.

V. By the intercession of St Andrew, stricken with apoplexy.
R. From a sudden and unprovided death deliver us, O Lord.

II. O most glorious saint, if ever by the just judgment of God we should be stricken with apoplexy, we earnestly beseech thee to obtain for us time enough to receive the Last Sacraments and die in the grace of God. Pater, Ave, Gloria.

V. By the intercession of St Andrew, stricken with apoplexy.
R. From a sudden and unprovided death deliver us, O Lord.

III. O most glorious saint, who didst endure, before dying, a terrible agony, through the assaults of the devil, from which the Blessed Virgin and St. Michael delivered thee, we earnestly beseech thee to assist us in the tremendous moment of our death. Pater, Ave, Gloria.

V. By the intercession of St Andrew, stricken with apoplexy.
R. From a sudden and unprovided death deliver us, O Lord.

(Indulgence: 300 days)
Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Pope St. Soter

Continuing my series of posts on the History of the Sovereign Pontiffs, I pick up with the 12th Pope: St. Soter.  Of St. Soter, Fr. Alban Butler writes of him in his "The Lives of the Saints" (1866 Version):
ST. SOTER was raised to the papacy upon the death of St. Anicetus, in 173. By the sweetness of his discourses, he comforted all persons with the tenderness of a father, and assisted the indigent with liberal alms, especially those who suffered for the faith. He liberally extended his charities, according to the custom of his predecessors, to remote churches, particularly to that of Corinth, to which he addressed an excellent letter, as St. Dionysius of Corinth testifies in his letter of thanks, who adds that his letter was found worthy to be read for their edification on Sundays at their assemblies to celebrate the divine mysteries, together with the letter of St. Clement, pope. St. Soter vigorously opposed the heresy of Montanus, and governed the church to the year 177.
One of Saint Soter’s ordinances required all Christians except those in public penance to receive Communion on Holy Thursday. It would be good for us to reflect if we make an effort to go to Mass now on Holy Thursday - even if it is not presently a Holy Day of Obligation.

He was martyred on April 22, 170, under the emperor Marcus Aurelius and is buried on the Appian Way in the cemetery of Callixtus. His feastday is April 22.  For more information on St. Soter and St Caius who is also celebrated on April 22nd, see my post on his feast day.

May all the Holy Popes pray for us!
Commemoration of the Four Crowned Martyrs

 The Four Crowned Saints, Nanni di Banco, Orsanmichele, Florence, ca. 1415.

Commemoration (1954 Calendar): November 8

Besides the traditional Octave Day of All Saints, November 8th is the Commemoration of the Four Crowned Martyrs.  According to the Golden Legend, the names of these four saints were not known at the time of their death “but were learned through the Lord’s revelation after many years had passed." They were called the "Four Crowned Martyrs" because their names were unknown ("crown" referring to the crown of martyrdom).

This group of saints includes actually two groups.  The First group of Ss. Severus, Severian, Carpophorus, and Victorinus.  According to the Passion of St. Sebastian, the four saints were soldiers who refused to sacrifice to Aesculapius, and therefore were killed by order of Emperor Diocletian, two years after the death of the five sculptors [mentioned next]. The bodies of the martyrs were buried in the cemetery of Santi Marcellino e Pietro on the fourth mile of the via Labicana by Pope Miltiades and St. Sebastian (whose skull is preserved in the church).

The second group is composed of the five sculptors: Ss. Claudius, Castorius, Symphorian, Nicostratus, and Simplicius.  The second group was killed in Pannonia. They refused to fashion a pagan statue for Emperor Diocletian or to offer sacrifice to the Roman gods. The Emperor ordered them to be placed alive in lead coffins and thrown into the sea in about 287. Simplicius was killed with them. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia:
[T]he Acts of these martyrs, written by a revenue officer named Porphyrius probably in the fourth century, relates of the five sculptors that, although they raised no objections to executing such profane images as Victoria, Cupid, and the Chariot of the Sun, they refused to make a statue of Æsculapius for a heathen temple. For this they were condemned to death as Christians. They were put into leaden caskets and drowned in the River Save. This happened towards the end of 305.
Regardless of their exact names, let us pray for the intercession of these martyrs and all who died for the Faith.  May they - and all the saints on this Octave Day - intercede for us and our world, which is so in need of God.  Kyrie Eleison!


O Almighty God, we pay honor to the bravery of Your glorious martyrs in bearing witness to You. Grant that we may feel the power of their intercession with You. Through Our Lord . . .
Saturday, November 5, 2016
Relics on Display at St. John Cantius

In honor of today's Feast of the Sacred Relics, here are some photos from St. John Cantius during this time of year.  On All Saints Day over 1,000 relics were put on display for veneration. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016
All Souls Day

Double (1954 Calendar): November 2

[In years when November 2nd falls on a Sunday, the Commemoration of the Faithful Departed (i.e. All Souls Day) is moved to November 3rd]

Today is the day after the All Saints Day and is hence the day we observe the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls Day). This feast, dating back to the 11th Century in the Universal Church, is a time to remember all of the faithful (i.e., baptized) departed and pray that they are now in Heaven. God certainly is Love and He is mercy. The only thing we can do is trust in Him and pray for our loved ones.

In 998 AD, St. Odilo, the abbot of Cluny in France, said that all Cluniac monasteries were to offer special prayers and sing the Office for the Dead on November 2, the day after the feast of All Saints. The custom spread from Cluny and was adopted throughout the entire Roman Catholic Church. Now the entire Church observes November 2nd as All Soul's Day. This is the basis for the Dia De Los Muertos observed in Mexico.

Priests typically, Sunday and Christmas aside, may only say Mass once a day. Howver, during the First World War, Pope Benedict XV on August 10, 1915, allowed all priests everywhere to say three Masses on All Souls' Day. The two extra Masses were in no way to benefit the priest himself: one was to be offered for all the faithful departed, the other for the Pope's intentions, which at that time were presumed to be for all the victims of that war. The permission remains. So today, find a Traditional Latin Mass parish and attend all 3 Masses offered this day for the Souls.

It has and always will be a pious and holy practice to pray for the repose of the souls who have passed on to the next life.  However, in the past few decades, the occurrence of prayers said for the souls in purgatory and their blessed repose has fallen into such disuse that such a lack of charity for their souls is an atrocity.  For generations, Catholics would pray for the souls of the faithful who have gone before them in the sleep of death and hope in the future resurrection.

It is a traditional and pious practice with references not only in the Magisterium of the Church but also through the Holy Scriptures.  As stated in the holy book of Maccabees: "It is a holy and a wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins." (2 Maccabees 12:46).  In 230 A.D., Tertullian writes, "The widow who does not pray for her dead husband has as good as divorced him."

Courtesy of Bridegroom Press:

Grant #29.1.1

For the Souls in Purgatory

Plenary Indulgence 
A plenary indulgence, applicable only to the souls in purgatory, is granted each and every day from Nov 1 to Nov 8, who devoutly visit a cemetery and there pray, if only mentally, for the departed.

Grant #29.1.2

All Souls’ Day – Plenary Indulgence 
A plenary indulgence is granted the faithful who, on All Souls’ Day (or according to the judgment of the bishop, on the Sunday preceding or following it, or on the solemnity of All Saints), devoutly visits a church or an oratory and recites an Our Father and the Creed. This is known as the “Toties Quoties” Indulgence.


Requirements for obtaining a plenary indulgence:

  •  Do the work while in a state of grace,
  •  Receive Sacramental confession within 20 days of the work (several plenary indulgences may be earned per reception),
  •  Receive Eucharistic communion (one plenary indulgence may be earned per reception),
  •  Pray for the pope’s intentions (Our Father and Hail Mary, or other appropriate prayer, is sufficient),
  •  Have no attachment to sin (even venial) – i.e., it is sufficient that the Christian makes an act of the will to love God and despise sin.
Requirements for a partial indulgence: The work must be done while in a state of grace and with the general intention of earning an indulgence.


  • Only baptized persons in a state of grace who generally intend to do so may earn indulgences.
  • Indulgences cannot be applied to the living, but only to the one doing the work or to the dead.
  • Only one plenary indulgence per day can be earned (except for prayer at the hour of one’s own death).
  • Several partial indulgences can be earned during the same day.
  • If only part of a work with plenary indulgence attached is completed, a partial indulgence still obtains.
  • If the penance assigned in confession has indulgences attached, the one work can satisfy both penance and indulgence.
  • Confessors may commute the work or the conditions if the penitent cannot perform them due to legitimate obstacles.
  • In groups, indulgenced prayer must be recited by at least one member while the others at least mentally follow the prayer.
  • If speech/hearing impairments make recitation impossible, mental expression or reading of the prayer is sufficient.
  • For an indulgence attached to a particular day requiring a church visit, the day begins at noon the day before and ends at midnight.

See more indulgences for the faithful departed by clicking here. Note, on years when All Souls is transferred to November 3rd, the “Toties Quoties” is also transferred.

Copyright Notice: Unless otherwise stated, all items are copyrighted under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. If you quote from this blog, cite a link to the post on this blog in your article.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links on this blog are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. As an Amazon Associate, for instance, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases made by those who click on the Amazon affiliate links included on this website. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”