Friday, June 8, 2007
Friday: Still a Day of Penance
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O Lord, Our God, have mercy on us sinners!

Today is Friday, the day in which we commemorate Our Lord's passion and death. It was our own sins that condemned our glorious Lord to death on Good Friday - death on a Cross. As Catholics, we are still bound to either abstain from meat or rather to do some act of penance each Friday in the entire year. It was on this day of the week that our glorious Redeemer died for us. Please, never forget this, especially at 3 o'clock, the hour that He died. At 3 o'clock attempt to pray the 3 o'clock Mercy Prayer. Please remember Our Lord's love and repent today.
Code of Canon Law:


Can. 1249 All Christ's faithful are obliged by divine law, each in his or her own way, to do penance. However, so that all may be joined together in a certain common practice of penance, days of penance are prescribed. On these days the faithful are in a special manner to devote themselves to prayer, to engage in works of piety and charity, and to deny themselves, by fulfilling their obligations more faithfully and especially by observing the fast and abstinence which the following canons prescribe.
Can. 1250 The days and times of penance for the universal Church are each Friday of the whole year and the season of Lent.
Can. 1251 Abstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays, unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday. Abstinence and fasting are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
Can. 1252 The law of abstinence binds those who have completed their fourteenth year. The law of fasting binds those who have attained their majority, until the beginning of their sixtieth year. Pastors of souls and parents are to ensure that even those who by reason of their age are not bound by the law of fasting and abstinence, are taught the true meaning of penance.
Can. 1253 The Episcopal Conference can determine more particular ways in which fasting and abstinence are to be observed. In place of abstinence or fasting it can substitute, in whole or in part, other forms of penance, especially works of charity and exercises of piety.
Today is also a great day to pray the Stations of the Cross. The Stations are a wonderful devotion that can be prayed in Church or at home. Nonetheless, the stations allow us to contemplate the true love of our Redeemer during His bitter Passion. Please join me in praying the Stations of the Cross. Remember, it was on this day that He gave up His life all for you.

Prayer to the Glorious Cross:

I adore You, O glorious Cross, which was adorned with the Heart and Body of my Savior Jesus Christ, stained and covered with blood. I adore You, O Holy Cross, out of love for Him, Jesus, who is my Savior and my God.

(Pope Pius IX declared that reciting this prayer five times on Friday will free five souls from Purgatory and 33 souls by reciting it on Good Friday. This prayer should be recited before a crucifix with a contrite heart and praying a few minutes for the Pope).

Prayer to Jesus Christ Crucified:

My good and dear Jesus, I kneel before you asking you most earnestly to engrave upon my heart a deep and lively faith, hope, and charity, with true repentance for my sins, and a firm resolve to make amends. As I reflect upon your five wounds, and dwell upon them with deep compassion and grief, I recall the words the prophet David spoke long ago concerning yourself: they have pierced my hands and my feet, they have numbered all my bones!
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Thursday, June 7, 2007
Strong defense of Pius XII by Cardinal Bertone
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I am pleased to see this news coming from the Vatican. Truthfully, most of Rome's 8,000 Jews hid in the Vatican during World War II. Pope Pius XII saved thousands Jewish lives, and he used the assets of the Vatican to ransom Jews from the Nazis. The Chief Rabbi of Rome even converted to Catholicism after the war! According to Pinchas E. Lapide in his book, Three Popes and the Jews, Pope Pius XII saved 860,000 Jews from Nazi death camps (214). For more information, see my post The Church & the Holocaust.

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone (bio - news) offered an extended defense of Pope Pius XII on Tuesday evening, June 5, at a conference announcing the publication of a new book on the life of the World War II Pontiff.

The Vatican Secretary of State charged that Pius XII has become the victim of a "black legend," which has "become so firmly established that even to scratch it is an arduous task."

Pope Pius XII has been "falsely portrayed as indulgent toward Nazism and insensitive to the fate of victims" of the Hitler regime, Cardinal Bertone said. That portrait endures, he added, in spite of "documentation and witnesses that have abundantly proven it is nonsense." In light of that evidence, he said, the continuing criticism of the wartime Pope has become "an attack on good sense and on rationality."

The "intense polemics" surrounding the Pope's attitude toward the Holocaust threaten to "reduce his entire pontificate to the question of his supposed silence," Cardinal Bertone said. He pointed out that Pius XII left an impressive record of accomplishments in other fields, including the dramatic progress in Biblical scholarship and in the status of women during the years of his pontificate, from 1939 to 1958.

The Secretary of State acknowledged that Pius XII had been "cautious" in his public statements denouncing the Nazi regime. But he argued that if the Pope had been more outspoken, the Nazi response might have entailed a stepped-up campaign of genocide. In practice, the cardinal observed, Pope Pius worked quietly to save thousands of Jews from the Holocaust.

Source: Catholic World News
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Montana Pharmacy Refuses to Sell Contraceptive
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From LifeNews:
The new owners of a pharmacy in Montana have decided to not sell birth control drugs in their store. The decision has angered abortion advocates and brings up questions about whether pharmacies and pharmacists should have the ability to opt out of dispensing drugs that may cause abortions or assisted suicides.
Snyder Pharmacy has been a staple of Great Falls for over four decades but when the Anderson and Depner families purchased the store from its longtime owner, the pro-life Catholic families made a policy change.

They decided not to stock or sell birth control drugs because they believe the pills cause abortions.Stuart Anderson, a pharmacist who co-owns the drug store, wrote about the policy in a letter to customers. "Snyder Drug has decided to no longer carry oral contraceptives," the letter said. "We will be happy to transfer your oral contraceptive prescription to another pharmacy of your choice in a timely manner."

The letter indicated that by the end of May Snyder would no longer stock any birth control drugs. A woman who received the letter complained to Planned Parenthood of Montana and it is launching a petition campaign against the drug store.

"Snyder’s decision is out of line with Montana values and out of line with mainstream America," Stacey Anderson, PPM's director of public affairs, claimed in an email to LifeNews.com. Anderson alleged that the families are lying about the abortifacient nature of the drug and said, "It is dangerous for women and a disservice to our community to spread false information about FDA-approved birth control that is used for both medical reasons and family planning purposes."

The families told the Billings Gazette they are surprised by some of the negative responses they've received. Other people have applauded the decision.

"We're flabbergasted at the attention we've gotten, including some comments by people who aren't our customers that are downright malicious," Kurt Depner said. "We're just a small business making the types of decisions that business owners make every day."

According to the newspaper, the Rev. Jay Peterson, administrator of the Catholic Church's Great Falls-Billings Diocese, applauded the couples "for acting on their moral convictions and standing up for their Catholic beliefs in the sanctity of human life."

ACTION: Send your comments to Snyder Drug, 2515 6th Ave N, Great Falls, MT 59401
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Wednesday, June 6, 2007
Novena of Confidence to the Sacred Heart
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In prepartion for the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart on June 15, the following Novena is prayed from June 6 - 14. Please join me today and pray this novena for each of the following days until June 15.

Novena:

O Lord, Jesus Christ, To Thy Most Sacred Heart I confide this intention...(mention your request) Only look upon me, then do what Thy Heart inspires. . . Let Thy Sacred Heart decide. . . I count on It. . . I trust in It. . . I throw myself on Its mercy. . . Lord Jesus! Thou wilt not fail me. Sacred Heart of Jesus, I trust in Thee. Sacred Heart of Jesus, I believe in Thy love for me. Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy Kingdom Come.

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, I have asked for many favors, but I earnestly implore this one. Take it, place it in Thy Sacred Heart. When the Eternal Father sees it covered with Thy Precious Blood, He will not refuse it. It will be no longer my prayer but Thine, O Jesus. O Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place my trust in Thee. Let me never be confounded. Amen.

(Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be)

Artist Source: Adolfo Simeone
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St. Norbert
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Optional Memorial (1969 Calendar): June 6
Double (1955 Calendar): June 6

Today the Holy Catholic Church remembers the life of St. Norbert (c. 1080 - June 6, 1134). Born at Xanten, Germany into nobility, St. Norbert served as an almoner for Emperor Henry V. Living a worldly life, St. Norbert decided to receive Holy Orders only as part of a career move. St. Nobert joined the joined the Benedictines at Siegburg and after a narrow escape from death, took his vows seriously and experienced an interior conversion.

Ordained a priest in 1115 AD, St. Norbert accepted the duty of preaching, particularly in France and Germany. St. Norbert founded a religious community of Augustinian canons at Premontre, France, who became known as the Norbertines or Premonstratensians. St. Norbert was also a friend of Blessed Godfrey of Cappenberg.

Elected Archbishop of Magdeburg in 1126, he reformed clergy in his area and used force when necessary. St. Norbert worked with St. Bernard and St. Hugh of Grenoble to heal the schism caused by the death of Pope Honorius II. St. Norbert also opposed heresy in Cambrai with the help of St. Waltmann. Because of his work, the Faith was spread to nearby pagan nations. St. Norbert died in 1134 AD at Magdeburg, Germany. His relics are in Prague. St. Norbert was canonized in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII.

Reading:

Norbert established a clergy dedicated to the ideals of the Gospel and the apostolic Church. They were chaste and poor. They wore the clothing and the symbols of the new man; that is to say, they wore "the religious habit and exhibited the dignity proper to the priesthood." Norbert asked them "to live according to the norms of the Scriptures with Christ as their model.

The priests lived in community, where they continued the work of the apostles.

When Norbert was appointed as archbishop, he urged his brothers to carry the faith to the lands of the Wends.

Faith was the outstanding virtue of Norbert's life, as charity had been the hallmark of Bernard of Clairvaux. Affable and charming, amiable to one and all, he was at ease in the company of the humble and the great alike. Finally, he was a most eloquent preacher; after long meditation he would preach the word of God and with his fiery eloquence purged vices, refined virtues and filled souls of good will with the warmth of wisdom.

Source: The Life of Saint Norbert

Prayer:

O God, Who didst make blessed Norbert, Thy Confessor and Bishop, an illustrious preacher of Thy word, and through him dist bestow new offspring on Thy Church: grant, we beseech Thee, that through his merits and prayers we may be ale to practice by Thine aid what he taught both by word and deed. Through our Lord.

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal
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Tuesday, June 5, 2007
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone on the Tridentine Mass
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I can only pray that this news from the Secretary of State for the Vatican is true. I sincerely hope that the motu propio will be released this month. From CNS:

A leading Vatican official said two important documents from Pope Benedict XVI -- a letter to Chinese Catholics and a decree liberalizing use of the Tridentine Mass -- were coming soon.

...

As for the document granting wider latitude for celebration of the Tridentine rite, Cardinal Bertone said that "one shouldn't have to wait long to see it published."

The cardinal said the pope was "personally interested in making this happen" and that the pontiff had prepared an accompanying letter explaining the move and expressing the hope for a serene reception by the church.
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St. Boniface
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Today is the feastday of St. Boniface, the Apostle of Germany, bishop and martyr. Please see my post from last year and join me in praying a special Litany to St. Boniface.
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Monday, June 4, 2007
Updating "To Those that Don't Believe"
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I am updating my article To Those that Don't Believe. I would like to include more information about other miracles and link to information about the miracles. I already have the Miracle of Lanciano, the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima, and the miracle at the spot of Jesus's Ascension mentioned in the article. What other miracles do you recommend I add to the list?
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Sunday, June 3, 2007
Trinity Sunday
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Today is the great celebration of Trinity Sunday. Last week we celebrated Pentecost, the descent of the Holy Spirit, and today we proclaim that the Lord God is One God present in three Divine Persons. Today is a great Solemnity.
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The Month of June Dedicated to the Sacred Heart
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"Let us remember that the Heart of Jesus has called us not only for our own sanctification, but also for that of other souls. He wants to be helped in the salvation of souls" (St. Padre Pio)

The Month of June is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Therefore, I recommend the following posts for the month of June. Some of my posts pertain especially to the Sacred Heart and some are recommend because of coming feastdays this month.

Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
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Pope Benedict XVI canonizes four holy people in June 2007
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Today Pope Benedict XVI will canonize four holy people and formally declare them to be saints in Heaven. Canonizations are always a joyous day for the Church! Those who shall be canonized include Fr. George Preca, Fr. Simon of Lipnica, Fr. Charles of St. Andrew, and Marie Eugenie of Jesus Milleret.


Fr. Charles of St. Andrew (1821 - 1893) was a Passionist from Ireland. Born in Holland, he spent most of his life ministering in the south Dublin suburb of Mount Argus. Consequently, he is frequently called Charles of Mount Argus. Born in 1821 in Holland, John Andrew Houben joined the Passionist order at the young age of 19. Fr. Charles of St. Andrew arrived in Mount Argus as it was being founded and he around Ireland raising funds to help build it. Fr. Charles ministered especially to the sick and dying. Because he did not master English well, he was not a formal preacher, but he reached the Faithful through the Sacrament of Confession, which he championed. As word of his healing powers spread, people from all of Ireland came to him. When his funeral occurred in 1893, thousands of people journeyed to Mount Argus, where the body of Fr. Charles lay in state for five days. His remains were moved to a shrine in the Church in 1949. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1988. Additional information on his life and his canonization miracle are available on the Vatican's website.

Fr. George Preca (1880 - 1962) was a diocesan priest and the Founder of the Society of Christian Doctrine, M.U.S.E.U.M. Born in Valletta, Malta, on Feb. 12, 1880, he was baptized on Feb. 17, 1880. When he was 17 years old, one of his Lyceum professors, Father Ercole Mompalao, told him: "Preca, when you grow up, people who revere God will befriend you and you them. You will find your good fortune through them and they through you." Afterwards, George Preca entered a seminary in Malta. George Preca said that after his spiritual director, Father Aloysius Galea, died on April 8, 1905, he appeared to him a few days afterwards saying, "God has chosen you to teach his people." A few days before his ordination, George Preca nearly died but was saved through the intercession of St. Joseph. Ordained a priest on December 22, 1906 by Bishop Pietro Pace, and he celebrated his first Solemn Mass at the St Cajetan Parish Church in Ħamrun on Christmas Day. Fr. George Preca soon founded the Society of Christian Doctrine, which consisted of a group of lay people leading an exemplary life, well formed in the principles of the Catholic faith and sent to teach the faith to the people. It became called M.U.S.E.U.M., Magister Utinam Sequatur Evangelium Universus Mundus. On July 26, 1962, George Preca left this earth and returned to God. More information on his life and the order he founded are available on the Vatican's website.

Fr. Simon of Lipnica (c. 1435 - c. 1482) was a 15th-century Polish Franciscan, who died during the Plague. Born in Lipnica Murowana, in the south of Poland, between the years 1435-1440, Simon of Lipnica was early inspired by the preaching of the Franciscan St. John of Capistrano. Around the year 1460, Simon of Lipnica was ordained a priest of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Like both St. Bernardino of Siena and St. John of Capistrano, spread devotion to the name of Jesus. In 1463, he became the preacher at the Cathedral of Wawel in Krakow. When the Plague broke out in Krakow from from July 1482 to 1483, Fr. Simon comforted and aided the sick and even administered the sacraments to the sick and dying, until Fr. Simon was infected. In an act of great humility, Fr. Simon asked to be buried under the threshold of the church so that all could trample on him. On July 18, 1482, the sixth day of his suffering, Fr. Simon of Lipnica died. Fr. Simon was beatified by Pope Innocent XI on Feb. 24, 1685. Again, additional information is available on the Vatican's website.

Marie Eugenie of Jesus Milleret also called Anne Marie Eugenie (1817 - 1898) was born to a non-believing, rich family in France after the defeat of Napoleon. Her liberal father was even a follower of Voltaire. Voltaire hated the Church and, according to one famous story, died without the Sacrament of Last Rites because his friends beat the priest in order to stop him from entering the house of the dying Voltaire. Anne Marie Eugenie went to Mass on feastdays but did not truly follow the Church until the mystical experience of her First Communion. By the age of 15, her parents had separated and her father's banks had failed. Anne Marie Eugenie journeyed with her mother to France, but her mother soon died on cholera only a few hours after receiving the illness. Anne Marie Eugenie was alone. At this time, Anne met Father Combalot, who recognized that he had found the person who was designated to be the foundress of the congregation he had dreamed of for a long time. Fr. Combalot soon convinced her that only by education could she evangelize minds, make families truly Christian, and thus transform the society of her time. At the age of 22, Marie Eugenie founded Religious of the Assumption, a group of nuns dedicated to consecrate their whole life to extending the Kingdom of Christ in themselves and in the world. She once said, "All is from Jesus Christ, all belongs to Jesus Christ, all must be for Jesus Christ." On March 10, 1898, Anne Marie Eugenie died peacefully. More information is available on the Vatican's website. Her organization still remains but, unfortunately, after examining the website of the Religious of the Assumption, it seems that the organization is sliding towards modernism by not requiring nuns to wear the habit. How disappointing.
On January 3, 2007, Pope Benedict XVI canonized these four holy people and declared them to be saints. Let us pray the Te Deum in thanksgiving and pray for their intercession!
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Friday, June 1, 2007
Pro-abortion speaker at Spalding University
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I encourage readers to send a simple email to the Archdiocese of Louisville and express your concerns.
The Archdiocese of Louisville, Kentucky has no objection to the appearance of pro-abortion Rep. John Yarmuth as commencement speaker at a local Catholic university. Yarmuth will give the address and receive an honorary doctorate from Spalding University, a nominally Catholic school, despite his position as a board member of Planned Parenthood.

Archdiocesan spokesman Cecelia Price was quoted by the Courier Journal saying that the archdiocese had no difficulty with Yarmuth’s appearance and that it was the “right” of the university to invite him.

To contact Dr. Jo Ann Rooney President of Spalding University:
Mailing Address: 851 South Fourth Street, Louisville KY 40203
Phone: 502-585-9911 or 800-896-8941
Fax: 502-585-7158
Email: jrooney@spalding.edu

To contact Archbishop Thomas Kelly of Louisville:
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1073, Louisville, Ky. 40201-1073
Phone: (502) 585-3291
Fax: (502) 585-2466
E-mail: chancery@archlou.org
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A Crucifix vs. Risen Christ
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Unfortunately, some sanctuaries in Catholic chapels and churches are replacing the image of Jesus Crucified with those of a Risen Christ. This is wrong from both a traditional and historical perspective. We must never forget that only through the Crucifixion is there a Resurrection. 

Should an image of the Risen Christ replace a Crucifix? No.

From the 2002 General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) approved for the United States: "117. ... Also on or close to the altar, there is to be a cross with a figure of Christ crucified." 

 The Code of Canon Law, canon 846 requires the liturgical books to be faithfully followed. Therefore, an image of the Risen Christ should never replace the Crucifix. Not until the past few generations would parishes even begin to think of doing such an action. Let us pray for an end to modernism.
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First Friday Devotion
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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.

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."

Pro-life Action:

MarchTogether.com has a monthly Call for Life in which pro-lifers are urged to call their elected officials and voice their support for the dignity of life. Today, being the first Friday, is this month's Call for Life.

For more information on the First Friday Devotion, please see The Miracle of the Rosary Mission. Please remember to pray for the unborn today and make an act of reparation to Our Lord. Remember, it was on Friday that Our Lord died and all Fridays in the year are days of penance (Canon 1250 - 1253)

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. Amen.
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Thursday, May 31, 2007
May 31 in the Liturgical Calendar
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According to the 1969 Calendar, today is the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In the Traditional Catholic Calendar like the one from 1955, May 31 is the Feast of the Queenship of Mary, a Double of the II Class. In both cases, a Marian feastday ends the Month of May, a month dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. If you have forgotten to practice extra Marian devotions during May, today please try to pray the Angelus, Rosary, and/or a Marian Prayer for the Month of May.
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