Tuesday, May 31, 2022
St. Petronilla

Photo © Jörgens.Mi/Wikipedia, Licence: CC-BY-SA 3.0, Source: Wikimedia Commons

On this final day of May, when we celebrate the Queenship of Mary (which in 1954 took the place of the Feast of St. Angela Merici which was then transferred to June 1), we recall in the Sacred Liturgy a commemoration of St. Petronilla. She was a disciple of St. Peter who died in 60 AD.

The following is taken from The Liturgical Year by Abbot Gueranger:

In the eighth century, the holy Pope Paul I had the body of Petronilla taken from the cemetery of Domitilla, on the Ardeatine Way. Her relics were found in a marble sarcophagus, the lid of which was adorned, at each corner, with a dolphin. The Pope had them enshrined in a little church, which he built near the south side of the Vatican Basilica. This church was destroyed in the sixteenth century, in consequence of the alterations needed for the building of the new Basilica of St Peter; and the relics of St Petronilla were translated to one of its altars on the west side. It was but just that she should await her glorious resurrection under the shadow of the great Apostle who had initiated her in the faith, and prepared her for her eternal nuptials with the Lamb.

Thy triumph, O Petronilla, is one of our Easter joys. We lovingly venerate thy blessed memory. Thou didst disdain the pleasures and honours of the world, and thy virginal name is one of the first on the list of the Church of Rome, which was thy mother. Aid her now by thy prayers. Protect those who seek thine intercession, and teach us how to celebrate, with holy enthusiasm, the solemnities that are soon to gladden us.


Hear us, O God, our Savior: and as we rejoice in the feast of blessed Petronilla, Thy Virgin: so we may learn a filial devotion to Thee. Through our Lord . . .

Sunday, May 29, 2022
Lament for the fall of Constantinople

Chant for the Fall of Constantinople, the holy city, to the heathens on May 29th, 1453. Psalm 78 is chanted:

O God, the heathen are come into thine inheritance; thy holy temple have they defiled; they have laid Jerusalem on heaps. The dead bodies of thy servants have they given to be meat unto the fowls of the heaven, the flesh of thy saints unto the beasts of the earth. Their blood have they shed like water round about Jerusalem; and there was none to bury them. We are become a reproach to our neighbours, a scorn and derision to them that are round about us. 

How long, LORD? wilt thou be angry for ever? shall thy jealousy burn like fire? Pour out thy wrath upon the heathen that have not known thee, and upon the kingdoms that have not called upon thy name. For they have devoured Jacob, and laid waste his dwelling place. O remember not against us former iniquities: let thy tender mercies speedily prevent us: for we are brought very low. 

Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name: and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for thy name's sake. Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is their God? let him be known among the heathen in our sight by the revenging of the blood of thy servants which is shed. Let the sighing of the prisoner come before thee; according to the greatness of thy power preserve thou those that are appointed to die; And render unto our neighbours sevenfold into their bosom their reproach, wherewith they have reproached thee, O Lord. So we thy people and sheep of thy pasture will give thee thanks for ever: we will shew forth thy praise to all generations.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022
Virtual Tour: Shrine of All Saints in Morton Grove, IL

The Shrine of All Saints is a true treasure in Chicago known to far too few Catholics. The Shrine is located within St. Martha Catholic Church in Morton Grove. St. Martha's main church was originally built as a multi-purpose auditorium and gymnasium for the parish school. But despite this architectural sore spot, the shrine is a treasure. 

Unassuming from the outside, inside you will find the 2nd largest collection of relics in the United States! There are over 3,000 relics housed here for public veneration. Some of the relics housed in this shrine were rescued from closed convents in France and saved from relegation to museums and private homes. Others were rescued from estate sales in Italy where families would sell off the relics of their closed private chapels since few families - if any - still have personal chaplains. It should be noted that while it is a sin to sell relics, there is no sin in buying them to rescue them. 

Some of the many relics housed in this shrine are the following:

  • The Finger bone of st. Martha of Bethany
  • A piece of hair of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary from before Her Assumption
  • A piece of the Holy Shroud of Turin
  • A relic of St. Anne, mother of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary
  • Part of the finger of the right hand of St. Hildegard of Bingen
  • A piece of the veil of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary
  • A piece of the staff of St. Joseph
  • The cranium of St. Fructuosus, Bishop of Tarragona, who was martyred in 259 AD
  • A lock of hair of St. Therese of Lisieux which still has the scent of roses on it!
  • Relic of St. Gregory Barbarigo
  • Part of the cranium of St. Barbara of Nicomedia
  • The right heel bone of St. Polycarp
  • A Finger from the right hand of St. Ignatius of Antioch
  • A reliquary containing a piece of the True Cross on which Our Lord died
  • A relic of St. Lorenzo Ruiz, the first Filipino saint
  • Two bones of St. Nicholas of Myra, which were scientifically tested and verified to come from the same period in which St. Nicholas died
  • The left humerus of St. Benedict of Nursia, the founder of Western Monasticism
  • A large bone of St. Erasmus, Bishop of Formiae, who was martyred in 303 AD
  • Part of the jaw and two teeth of St. Christina, Virgin and Martyr
  • The left fibula of St. Peter the Apostle
  • Other relics from the apostles: St. Jude, St. Simon the Zealot, St. Bartholomew, St. Philip, St. James the Lesser, St. Andrew, St. Matthias, and St. John the Evangelist
  • A bone of St. Felicitas of Rome, who witnessed the martyrdom of her seven sons before her own
  • The skull and fibula of St. Remaclus
  • Relics of the Martyrs of Vietnam
  • A large collection of relics of the Cristero Martyrs
  • A breviary and other items owned by St. John Vianney
  • Relics of St. Philomena, on display near the relics of St. John Vianney, which is appropriate considering his great devotion to her
  • Part of the dress worn by St. Edith Stein when she was received the Carmelite Habit
  • Calendar Reliquaries from the Cathedral of Ravenna as well as another from a Belgian monastery on the German border. These calendars contain one relic for each day in the year
  • The incorrupt tongue of St. John Nepomucene
  • Two large bones of St. Stephen the First Martyr, which show the cracks he sustained in them when he gave his life for Christ
It is not possible to list every saint whose relics are here. This is a truly wonderful place to pray and thank God for the miracles wrought through his saints. The shrine also has on display the oldest known depiction in the world of the Dormition of our Lady on a bronze medallion that was made between 500 - 550 AD. It was excavated in Madaba, Jordan in 2001 by Dr. Reem Hajjal. 

The Shrine is currently led by Fr. Dennis O'Neill, who has grown it to its present state over the years. It is available to tour by appointment only but if you are able to visit, you will surely find it an occasion of many graces.

Photos from my recent visit are as follows. Click on any for higher resolution:


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