For Our Lady of Mount Carmel, 2019

 

O Mary Immaculate, Beauty of Carmel, you offer us your scapular, the very garment of your grace. By it, grant us graces to be your true children and grow in humility, obedience, holiness and purity.

Immaculate Mother of God, Flower of Carmel, pray for us, pray for the Church!
Immaculate Mother of God, Flower of Carmel, pray for us, pray for the Church!

Today, 16 July, we honor Our Blessed Mother under her title, Our Lady of Mount Carmel. It is a title particularly pleasing to her, as she appeared at Fatima on 13 October, 1917 wearing the Carmelite habit and holding the Brown Scapular of Mount Carmel as if offering it to mankind. To her children, Mary’s suggestions are her commands and we would have expected that this apparition alone caused all devout Catholics worldwide to subsequently become enrolled in the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. There should have been a vast movement of priests preaching this devotion, with Pope and Bishops leading the way. However, we all know that nothing of the sort happened.

And yet the Scapular is an important sign of predestination. Our Lady revealed her desire that her children wear the scapular on this day in 1251 when she gave the first scapular to Saint Simon Stock. Her words to him:

“Accept this Scapular. It shall be a sign of salvation, a protection in danger and a pledge of peace. Whosoever dies clothed in this Scapular shall not suffer eternal fire.”

She again appeared to Saint Bernadette at Lourdes, robed in the Carmelite habit to emphasise the importance of wearing the scapular on the same date, July 16, in 1858. And of course, at her last visit to Fatima, October 13, 1917, she also wore the Carmelite habit and held out the brown Scapular. Thus, she has clearly expressed to us her preference for this especial devotion.

In his wonderful book, Divine Intimacy, Father Gabriel tells us,
“The Blessed Virgin is a Mother who clothes us with grace and takes our supernatural life under her protection, in order to bring it to its full flowering in eternal life….The Scapular, the little habit, that Our Lady of Mount Carmel offers us, is only the external symbol of her unceasing, maternal care: the symbol, but also the sign, the pledge of eternal salvation. ‘My beloved son’, Mary said to St. Simon Stock, ‘Take this scapular…whoever dies clothed in it will not suffer eternal fire’. The Blessed Virgin gives the assurance of the supreme grace of final perseverance to all who wear worthily her little habit.”(Divine Intimacy, p. 1146, published by TAN Books.)

In Isaiah 32, verses 16-18, we read, “And judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and justice shall sit in Carmel. And the work of justice shall be peace, and the service of justice quietness, and security for ever. And my people shall sit in the beauty of peace, and in the tabernacles of confidence, and in wealthy rest.” Now, by the “wealthy rest” is not meant the protestant gospel of prosperity, which makes a virtue of usurious materialism, but the spiritual wealth accruing from a firm commitment to the sanctification of our souls by following Christ in justice. Carmel signifies Garden and Mary’s Immaculate Heart is truly a Garden of virtues to which she welcomes her children, those who wear her habit, even the little habit of her Brown Scapular.

It was such a delight to discover that Carmel means garden in Hebrew, because I have always pictured interiorly the Annunciation as occurring in Mary’s garden in Nazareth. In my heart, I visit her there each day to begin my Rosary with her First Joyful Mystery. Of course, the Mysteries of the Rosary being so interlinked with significance, that first mystery always leads one to Our Lord’s Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, which is the First Sorrowful Mystery. And thus Mary’s sweet, obedient, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord”  is irrevocably linked to Our Lord’s obedience in, “Yet not My will, but Thine be done, Father.” And then of course, we note the Resurrection of Our Lord and His meeting with Magdalene, also in the Garden!

It is true that our humble obedience will inevitably lead us, especially in these days of the Passion of the Mystical Body of Christ, to our own Gethsemane, our own, “Not my will, but Thine be done, Father.” The scapular will, if worn in the right spirit, enable us to silence the tumult of the world, the flesh and the devil that stir us always to so much discontent and doubt. Wear Our Lady’s scapular and join her in her Garden and you will find rest for your soul and nourishment for the way of the cross we all must follow if we are to serve Our Lord in truth and in justice.

Prayer of St. Simon Stock

“O Mary, flower of Carmel, fruitful vine, splendor of heaven, who brought forth the Son of God yet remained a Virgin, Sweet and Immaculate Mother, grant the favors that your children ask, O Star of the Sea”.

It is easy to make your own Brown Scapular. Once you get the hang of it, you can then make them for others. The website, Scapular of Mount Carmel is a good site for inexpensive supplies and also information regarding the correct size and other specified requirements for the scapulars. I can vouch for the quality of their supplies; the woven brown wool is soft and very durable and the brown cord ribbon doesn’t roll up like that used on the scapulars sold elsewhere. They also have the ritual for enrolling in the Scapular of Mount Carmel that you can print out for your priest to use, if he is unfamiliar. 

If you should desire to spread this wonderful devotion, may I suggest a great help is The Fatima Center’s beautiful booklet, “Our Lady’s Garment, The Brown Scapular: a Sign of Salvation and Protection. 

Many saints have recommended the devotion of wearing Our Lady of Mount Carmel’s Brown Scapular and I cannot hope to improve on their words. My own testimony is simply that the practice of wearing Our Lady’s Scapular, her little habit, has gradually brought me to the realization that she is truly my Mother. I am flooded with gratitude even as I write these words, “my Mother!” As you wear her scapular, you are participating in a seemingly passive devotion, wearing her scapular, such a simple thing. Or is it? Try it for a while and you will find out what it means to be a child of the very Mother of Our Savior Himself.

With His dying words, Our Lord gave us His Mother and commanded her to be our Mother. The awesome responsibility and the incomprehensible graces attached to this will dawn on you as you wear her little habit and visit with her in her Rosary Garden daily.

May all who read this avail themselves of this modest devotion. Wear her Scapular, pray her Rosary and you will have a joyful part in the triumph of her Immaculate Heart!

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us now and at the hour of our death!

Immaculate heart of Mary, Queen of the most Holy Rosary, flower of Carmel, be Queen of our hearts!

 

~ by evensong for love of the Immaculata, Beautiful Flower of Carmel.

The Second Visit, 1917

 

We offer our traditional post for June 13, a day early because we have a special post for you for tomorrow.

“Don’t lose heart. I will never forsake you. My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God.”

On the feast of St. Anthony, June 13, 1917, Francisco, Jacinta and Lúcia returned as they had promised the Lady. At this visit, Our Lady made three requests:

“I wish you to come here on the 13th of next month, to pray the Rosary each day, and to learn how to read. Later, I will tell you what I want.”

Lúcia then ventured to make a courageous request:  “I would like to ask you to take us to Heaven.”

“Yes, I will take Jacinta and Francisco soon. But you are to stay here some time longer. Jesus wishes to make use of you to make Me known and loved. He wants to establish in the world devotion to My Immaculate Heart. To whoever embraces this devotion I promise salvation; these souls shall be dear to God, as flowers placed by Me to adorn His throne.”

Lúcia:  “Am I to stay here alone?”

“No, My daughter. Do you suffer a great deal? Don’t lose heart. I will never forsake you. My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God.”

Lúcia then tells us,

“As Our Lady spoke these last words, She opened Her hands and for the second time, She communicated to us the rays of that immense light. We saw ourselves in this light, as it were, immersed in God. Jacinta and Francisco seemed to be in that part of the light which rose towards Heaven, and I in that which was poured out on the earth.

“In front of the palm of Our Lady’s right hand was a heart encircled by thorns which pierced it. We understood that this was the Immaculate Heart of Mary, outraged by the sins of humanity and seeking reparation.

Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité comments on this sublime vision:

” …  through the rays coming forth from the hands of Mary, they saw themselves submerged in God … and in the great light of God, it was given to them to contemplate the secret of Mary, to see Her pierced Heart. ‘In front of the palm of Our Lady’s right hand was a heart encircled by thorns which pierced it. We understood that this was the Immaculate Heart of Mary, outraged by the sins of humanity, and seeking reparation.’ ”  Continue reading “The Second Visit, 1917”

Return to Fatima, 2019

 

The most useful message we can offer during this reign of the enemies of Christ is to  return to the true message of Fatima. Now, when the Church is being assaulted by those within its highest ranks, even the vulgar man occupying the See of Peter,  it seems that those who are faithful to tradition and devoted to Our Lady of Fatima are less in unity than ever before.  

Today, we have a leadership void and the temptation arises for various persons to “step into the breach” as it were and set themselves up as leader. As you look around the web, everyone, it seems has become an instant expert, opining on canon law, Thomistic theology and deep questions about the practice of the faith. It can be confusing, even overwhelming to those of us simply trying to hold fast to the faith against such odds. My goal is  only to call readers to return to the message of Our Lady of the Rosary at Fatima, from the Angel’s message on through the six appearances of Our Lady to the shepherd children and on through the locutions Sister Lùcia received and to help my readers practice the devotions requested by Our Lady of Fatima.

Right now, there is a “fog of war”, or perhaps, a “diabolical disorientation” which makes us uncertain and dispirited. As I talk with readers from various countries, I have yet to hear anyone report that they are energized by this crisis. All of us are severely challenged right now. How to proceed? Return to the simple things, for that is why Our Mother gave us her Rosary. She stole my heart when she asked Sister Lùcia for us to simply spend some time with her. Imagine! The great Mother of Our Saviour asking for a bit of our time! We are so  blessed!

The rule in all this is always the rule of love.  motivated by devotion to the glory of God, the honor of the Immaculata and the salvation of souls. If you do not discern those qualities in a writer, it is best to look elsewhere. Today, more than ever satan deceives so many by vain curiosity, and by promoting devotions which detract from the true devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Included in those essential devotions is  devotion to Our Lady’s Miraculous Medal, which honors her Immaculate Conception and is a most potent sacramental.

The first resource and clearest summary is the three volumes by Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité, The Whole Truth About Fatima, (Vol 1, Vol 2, Vol 3) which are still available online through archive.org. That site is rapidly removing true Catholic classics.

Often today there is criticism of those who emphasise  “prayer and reparation” over the need for action. There should be a balance between them. To rush into action before obtaining a sound foundation in spiritual practice is to be defeated before starting. The true Message of Fatima is a call to the faithful to return to obedience and reparation. This obedience is required of each of us personally, and it requires humility, which is perhaps the most unpopular virtue today, even more disliked than purity.

Sin entered into the world through pride and disobedience. The Blessed Virgin Mary crushes the head of satan by her humble obedience to God’s will. In these latter days our loving  Father sends her, His most precious creature, to offer devotion to her Immaculate Heart as our secure path back to Him. It is from Mary, from her purity, humility and obedience, that we learn how best to understand what God wills for us in these confusing times.

Once we have that strong foundation under us, then we are able to discern the appropriate actions to take. But it can only lead to disaster if we jump into hastily taken actions without being spiritually prepared, for this is a spiritual combat first of all. It is pride that makes us want to seek out action before we have humbled ourselves by penance and mental prayer. . When we children of Mary are sufficient in numbers, we will have a leader, for Our Lady always provides for her own. Our first task is obedient devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, in the way she requested, that is Rosary, First Saturdays, make of everything a reparation, and so on as we have often discussed. If we sacrifice and pray for her requests to be obeyed, we shall see her will, and we will obtain all that we pray for and more.

Much of today’s confusion comes from a severe lack of trust in the most Blessed Virgin. Like a drowning man who refuses the life preserver in order to flail uselessly until his strength is gone, many souls are in great danger because they cannot trust Mary — Mary who offers such simple things as the Rosary —  for in this proud modern age we yearn to do “great things” for her. Paradoxically, the greatest things are often the smallest! And so, we kneel and pray, and trust her, and in that humility and obedience, especially that self-denial — yes, especially that! — there is much merit and we shall someday see how many souls are helped merely by spending a little time with her.

For the true way to conquer satan, look to this Immaculate Heart,  think now, what makes it Immaculate? It is Immaculate  because in that most pure heart, she never made any room at all for sin, she is eternally “full of grace”!  Her Immaculate Heart alone among all creation has never had satan’s mark, sin. Therefore it alone has the fulness of grace and perfect obedience. Our Lord Himself gave her to us for our Mother as He was dying for love of us. She is our abiding evidence of His loving care for us. He is waiting until we learn to trust her to teach us, to lead us to Him. My task here is to remind that He is still waiting for us to discover the true message of Fatima,  to examine the facts as they were revealed, that is, in the order which they were revealed.

To begin with the first:

The Angel of Peace

We show our obedience by heeding the requests of the Angel of Peace and Our Lady of the Rosary. From the beginning, the Angel’s instruction was:

Pray, pray a great deal! The Hearts of Jesus and Mary have designs of mercy for you! Offer unceasingly to the Most High prayers and sacrifices!”

Lucia then asked the Angel how they were to sacrifice themselves. “Offer up everything within your power as a sacrifice to the Lord in an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended; and of supplication for the conversion of sinners….Above all, accept and bear with submission the sufferings that the Lord may send you.”

So, in our action plan, the first steps are to, “Offer unceasingly to the Most High prayers and sacrifices”, and to “accept and bear with submission the sufferings that the Lord may send” us.

Readers, no other action you may choose to take will be of any avail without obeying this command. We cannot allow ourselves to get distracted by other devotions or the search for ever more knowledge. Although the ongoing trainwreck of this papacy is certainly fascinating we must maintain our focus on obedience to Our Lady’s requests. That, in itself is a very good sacrifice!

The Angel’s Message, Part II

The Angel appeared again in the Fall of the year 1916. We reviewed that visit in a previous post. The message this time was an extraordinary vision of the Most Blessed Sacrament with which the Angel demonstrated to the children the importance of offering adoration and reparation to the Most Holy Trinity.

The vision, and the actions and words of the Angel make a stunning affirmation of the foundational doctrines of our faith:

  • The Angel affirms the doctrine of the Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost,
  • The Real presence of our Lord Jesus Christ, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the most Blessed Sacrament,
  • The absolute requirement for reparation to God for sacrileges, outrages and indifference which offend God,
  • The Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary are united; that is,  devotions to both Hearts is essential.
  • Lastly, the Angel affirms again that Jesus Christ is outraged by the ungratefulness of men towards His Precious, saving gift of His Body and Blood and we are called to make reparation for these crimes and console Him.

God willing, there will be two more summary  installments; the next on Our Lady of the Rosary’s six visits between May 13 and October 13, 1917, to be followed by a summary of the apparitions to Sister Maria Lúcia.  I hope they will provide a succinct, clear resource for you.

In closing, note please that the sequence is important. In short, the Angel’s visits set a context, warned of the problem: sacrilege,  and prepared for Our Lady’s message. Note also that the reparative devotion of the First Saturdays is essential to obtaining the necessary grace for a humbled, contrite pope and bishops to consecrate Russia to the Immaculata as Our Lady requires. 

Thank you for reading and for your prayers and encouragement. To those who have attempted to spread the message by sharing Return to Fatima with others, please do not feel disheartened. We must always give Our Good Lord thanks in all things!

God bless you all and Mary keep you close to her Immaculate Heart!

Pray the Rosary and confound satan and those who serve him!

. Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.

 

The Annunciation and the Incarnation, 2019

 

Today, we celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation, in which Our Lord introduces to us His Mother, and shows us her loveliness, her excellent virtues and her unique stature before the Holy Trinity. Thus, He shows us the model for our lives; “Here is My Mother”, He says, “see, we shall have the same Mother. She will teach you the virtues necessary to advance toward union with Me, so that we may rejoice together in heaven.”

Nestled within the feast of the Annunciation is the feast of the Incarnation of our Savior. The Annunciation carries within it the humility and obedience of Jesus and Mary, Who are our models for perfect, loving obedience, even unto death. And this obedience begins with the humble obedience of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it done unto me according to thy word.

“Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it done unto me according to thy word.”

In the Gospel of St Luke, the Holy Spirit reveals the unique importance of the Blessed Virgin Mary in God’s plan of Salvation for us. Let’s see what He tells us:

Luke, Chapter 1, 26-35. “And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. Who having heard, was troubled at his saying, and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said to her: “Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God.

Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a Son; and thou shalt call His name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most High; and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of David His father; and He shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever. And of His kingdom there shall be no end.” And Mary said to the angel: How shall this be done, because I know not man?” And the angel answering, said to her: “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”

 

In this Gospel, God Himself is introducing to us the delightful creature He loves above all others, this Mary whom He chose from all time to be the most pure and holy Mother of His Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. God used as His messenger the Angel Gabriel whose name means Power of God. By this name He emphasizes that all of this, the Annunciation, the Incarnation which began our salvation, all of this is by and through the power of God.

And what does God tell us about Mary? Gabriel salutes Mary most respectfully, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou among women”. You can search the Bible cover to cover and never find a more respectful message from any angelic messenger. This is because, as the Gospel tells us, Mary is truly filled with grace, exempt from even original sin, and full of God’s sanctifying grace.

Note that the very first words of Mary, recorded in this Gospel are, How shall this be done, because I know not man?”  Why these words? Could it be that God wishes to emphasize to us the importance of Mary’s generous sacrifice to live her life in the utmost chastity and purity, foregoing the honors and pleasures of children? At that time, Jewish women were honored to be mothers of many children and to forego children was a tremendous sacrifice. Unlike today, in those times to be a “barren woman” was a reproach. Thus we know that Mary’s generous and sacrificial heart was most pleasing to Our Father. Her words also exemplify her great prudence. Today, prudence is a virtue held in low esteem by most Catholic leaders, who feel compelled to burst forth with every banal thought that crosses their minds. This Blessed Virgin, in contrast, first assured that Gabriel understood that she was and always will be, a virgin consecrated to God alone.

Whereas Eve, the first “Woman”, withdrew herself from her Creator in order to seek what she perceived to be her own good, Mary, the “Woman” of the New Testament, yielded herself totally to God, allowing Him to fill her with His life, thus she is “full of grace”. The virtues shown by these simple verses illustrate Mary’s perfect love of God, her total consecration to Him, her purity and her perseverance in keeping her vow.

Mary’s prudent question brought forth Gabriel’s reply, “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which will be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” Mary’s response was immediate, “Behold the Handmaid of the Lord; be it done unto me according to thy word.” With these words, the Most Blessed Virgin shows us humility and obedience, the two virtues so essential to combat the vices passed on to us of Eve’s pride and disobedience. In another post, I described these virtues as the “working virtues” because they are so necessary in our everyday struggle to live our lives in constant union with the Holy Family.

Sister Lucia of Fatima assures us that Jesus is the very best of Sons, and loves her and those who honor her. Today is an excellent time to renew our Total Consecration to Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. By the way, do you know who made the first consecration to Mary? Was it St. Louis de Montfort? St. Dominic? No.

. . . Think harder. . .

. . . Give up?

It was our Lord Jesus Christ Himself Who chose Mary for His Mother. From this humble virgin of Nazareth He took the flesh and blood of His mortal life, the very body and blood with which He wrought our salvation. The body of Christ scourged for our sins, pierced for our transgressions, the precious blood poured out for us on Calvary’s cross, He took from Mary. To her He entrusted His earthly life, living within her virginal womb, beneath her immaculate heart. Through her, He baptized and consecrated St. John the Baptist; through her He performed His first miracle.  And with His dying words, He entrusted us to her, commanding Her to be our Mother and us to be her children.

It is fitting that the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary begins with the beautiful Mystery of the Annunciation, for with it began our salvation. Mary’s generous “Yes!”, opened the portal through which Our Lord wrought our salvation. Thus, her obedience preceded His most perfect obedience. And so, the Annunciation and the Incarnation are inseparable, as are Jesus and Mary, those two hearts forever united!

Hymn at Matins
The Lord whom earth and sea and sky
With one adoring voice proclaim
Who rules them all in majesty
Enclosed Himself in Mary’s frame.

Lo! In a humble Virgin’s womb
O’ershadowed by almighty power
He whom the stars and sun and moon
Each serve in their appointed hour.

O Mother blest! To whom was given
Within your body to contain
The architect of earth and heaven
Whose hands the universe sustain.

To thee was sent an angel down,
In thee the Spirit was enshrined,
Of thee was born that mighty One,
The long desired of all mankind.

O Jesus! Born of Virgin bright
To Thee immortal glory be!
Praise to the Father Infinite,
And Holy Ghost eternally!
Amen.

Please, don’t forget your Consecration! See in sidebar.

Pray the Rosary and confound the devil and all those who serve him!

  Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.

~ by evensong for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the most Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, King.

Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin, give me strength against thine enemies.

© All Content Copyright 2013-2019 ReturntoFatima.org. All Rights Reserved.

Novena for the Annunciation, 2019

 

On March 25 we will honor Our Lady on her Feast of the Annunciation. For some years now, our readers have also been renewing our Total Consecrations to Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. To prepare, we offer this lovely Novena. If you start it tomorrow, March 16th, you will finish on March 24, the eve of the Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We post it today to give you time to diary it. We will be praying it for the repentance and re-conversion of those who have fallen from the faith and are in persistent sin, most especially for those in our families and those in the leadership of the Church.   May our Most Merciful Mother hear our supplications and offer them to her Son in the chalice of her Immaculate Heart.

Novena for the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

I greet you, ever-blessed Virgin, Mother of God, Throne of Grace, miracle of Almighty Power! I greet you, Sanctuary of the Most Holy Trinity and Queen of the Universe, Mother of Mercy and refuge of sinners!

Most loving Mother, attracted by your beauty and sweetness, and by your tender compassion, I confidently turn to you, miserable as I am, and beg of you to obtain for me from your dear Son the favor I request in this novena:

(mention your request).

Obtain for me also, Queen of Heaven, the most lively contrition for my many sins and the grace to imitate closely those virtues which you practiced so faithfully, especially humility, purity and obedience. Above all, I beg you to be my Mother and Protectress, to receive me into the number of your devoted children, and to guide me from your high throne of glory.

Do not reject my petitions, Mother of Mercy! Have pity on me, and do not abandon me during life or at the moment of my death. Amen.

To be prayed before the daily Rosary. A suggestion is to unite the prayers of this Novena with prayers for the Holy Father and the hierarchy that they repent, do penance and return to the faith. The Annunciation reminds us of the necessity of purity, humility and obedience, all those virtues which are mocked, despised or simply treated with scornful indifference by the church leaders today.

Thank you for reading. May God grant you all a blessed and fruitful Lent. 

  Our Lady of Fatima, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, crush satan’s head and drive him from the Church!

  Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.

  St. Joseph, protect our families, protect our priests!

  St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle!

  Pray the Rosary and confound the devil and those who serve him!

~ posted by evensong for love of the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, King.

Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin, give me strength against thine enemies!

© All Content Copyright 2013-2018 ReturntoFatima.org. All Rights Reserved.

Consecrating your Child to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

We’ve been asked for a prayer of Consecration of a Child to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. I updated our Family Consecration Page with it, as announced on our new Correspondence Page.

The following prayer comes from Angelus Press and is only $1.25 in a very nice, heirloom quality booklet.

Consecration of a Child to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Blessed Virgin Mary * Queen of Heaven and Earth, * to your Immaculate heart, * the channel of all graces, * we consecrate this child, * whom we have received from God’s goodness.

We offer him  to You * that you may present him to your Divine Son, * that you may take him under your loving maternal protection, * that you may preserve him from dangers, * that you amy keep him from all sin, * that you may lead him to grow in piety * and in all virtue * so that he may always be worthy * to call himself your child.

May he grow daily in wisdom and grace, * may he go through life having you always as his refuge and Mother. * May all virtues shine in him * and may he never offend your maternal Heart.

May the Eternal Father always look upon him with delight * and see in him * a ray and reflection of your Immaculate Beauty. And as today he gladdens our home, * so may he one day gladden the Eternal Home * which we pray will be his. Amen.

*The asterisk between words is placed to denote brief pauses to help those reciting the prayer in unison.

Note: It is suggested that the Consecration of a Child be carefully prepared, keeping in mind the example of the Holy Family. St. Joseph and the Blessed Mother offered a sacrifice of two turtledoves; and so, perhaps you would like to offer a Holy Mass and an alms as you sacrifice. The consecration of a child is a formal recognition that you are, by this act, begging the Immaculata to accept your child as her own property in the faith that Our Lady will enfold your child(ren) in her maternal protection through life and death.

Bear in mind as well your own grave obligation to raise your child with a strong and tender love for and trust in Our Lady, and devotion for her Holy Rosary. The daily family Rosary is essential to success, for your child will thereby learn day by day, as you demonstrate your own devotion. As you meet the invariable spiritual challenges together, the child gradually becomes comfortable with the concept of working through problems with Our Lady’s help, through her Rosary.

Another useful adjunct to consecrating your child is the use of sacramentals like the miraculous medal (the Medal of the Immaculate Conception), the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and the use of ejaculations, especially the loving little prayer, “O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!” and “Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, I implore that I may ever love thee, more and more!”

But the very best way to help your child grow in devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is for them to observe your daily actions. It is our routine response to the events of our lives, our devotion to the Rosary, our living our own Consecrations that will help our children respond with devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. .All children watch their parents closely and the sincerity of your devotion, of the trust you have in Our Lady and your abiding love for her, this is what will mean the most to your child and bear the finest fruits.

One very good practice is to teach your child, preferably by your good example to live the following prayer, which was recommended by Our Lady of Fatima:

“O my Jesus, it is for love of Thee, for the conversion of sinners and in reparation for sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer this sacrifice to Thee.”

For those readers who have experience with consecrating their children, we would welcome your suggestions.

  Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.
  Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy kingdom come! Viva Cristo Rey!

~ by evensong for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, King.
Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thine enemies!

Consecration Prayer to Immaculate Mother of God

Here is the Consecration Prayer for those who may have forgotten to make theirs. I cannot stress enough the importance of making your Consecration! Readers have said, “I have not had ample time to prepare for my Consecration.” Do not let scruples be an obstacle. None of us ever feel  adequately prepared! But we must make a start, in any event. And our Blessed Mother will do the rest!

 

Act of Consecration to Jesus through Mary

O ETERNAL and incarnate Wisdom! O sweetest and most adorable Jesus! True God and true man, only Son of the Eternal Father, and of Mary, always virgin! I adore Thee profoundly in the bosom and splendors of Thy Father during eternity; and I adore Thee also in the virginal bosom of Mary, Thy most worthy Mother, in the time of Thine incarnation.

I give Thee thanks for that Thou hast annihilated Thyself, taking the form of a slave in order to rescue me from the cruel slavery of the devil. I praise and glorify Thee for that Thou hast been pleased to submit Thyself to Mary, Thy holy Mother, in all things, in order to make me Thy faithful slave through her. But, alas! Ungrateful and faithless as I have been, I have not kept the promises which I made so solemnly to Thee in my Baptism; I have not fulfilled my obligations; I do not deserve to be called Thy child, nor yet Thy slave; and as there is nothing in me which does not merit Thine anger and Thy repulse, I dare not come by myself before Thy most holy and august Majesty. It is on this account that I have recourse to the intercession of Thy most holy Mother, whom Thou hast given me for a mediatrix with Thee. It is through her that I hope to obtain of Thee contrition, the pardon of my sins, and the acquisition and preservation of wisdom.

Hail, then, O immaculate Mary, living tabernacle of the Divinity, where the Eternal Wisdom willed to be hidden and to be adored by angels and by men! Hail, O Queen of Heaven and earth, to whose empire everything is subject which is under God. Hail, O sure refuge of sinners, whose mercy fails no one. Hear the desires which I have of the Divine Wisdom; and for that end receive the vows and offerings which in my lowliness I present to thee.

I, ________________, a faithless sinner, renew and ratify today in thy hands the vows of my Baptism; I renounce forever Satan, his pomps and works; and I give myself entirely to Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Wisdom, to carry my cross after Him all the days of my life, and to be more faithful to Him than I have ever been before. In the presence of all the heavenly court I choose thee this day for my Mother and Mistress. I deliver and consecrate to thee, as thy slave, my body and soul, my goods, both interior and exterior, and even the value of all my good actions, past, present and future; leaving to thee the entire and full right of disposing of me, and all that belongs to me, without exception, according to thy good pleasure, for the greater glory of God in time and in eternity.

Receive, O benignant Virgin, this little offering of my slavery, in honor of, and in union with, that subjection which the Eternal Wisdom deigned to have to thy maternity; in homage to the power which both of you have over this poor sinner, and in thanksgiving for the privileges with which the Holy Trinity has favored thee. I declare that I wish henceforth, as thy true slave, to seek thy honor and to obey thee in all things.

O admirable Mother, present me to thy dear Son as His eternal slave, so that as He has redeemed me by thee, by thee He may also receive me! O Mother of mercy, grant me the grace to obtain the true Wisdom of God; and for that end receive me among those whom thou lovest, teachest, and protectest as thy children and thy slaves.

O faithful Virgin, make me in all things so perfect a disciple, imitator and slave of the Incarnate Wisdom, Jesus Christ thy Son, that I may attain, by thine intercession and by thine example, to the fullness of His age on earth and of His glory in Heaven. Amen. (St. Louis-Marie Grignon de Monfort, True Devotion to Mary, with Preparation for Total Consecration”, by Catholic Way, Kindle Edition).

† . † . †

To understand the importance of our Consecration, please consider: every ingrained sinful habit we have is actually a crack into our hearts which allows satan to slither in and break us down, little by little. Our Lady has no such flaw. She is the Immaculate Conception. As such, she is impervious to his deceits, and she is indeed powerful to protect her own.

If you knew you were going to have to be swimming in a sea of toxic ebola virus, HIV virus, and every other frightening biotoxin, you would grab any available protection. Yet the mortal sins being thrust at us from all directions today, especially those most seductive, the appeals to our pride, our self-love, envy, lust and greed – all these! They are fatal to our souls and threaten us with an eternity of damnation, and yet we blissfully ignore the generous gifts of of Our Lord to protect us!

And once you are consecrated, ask her frequently – at least several times a day, to help you live this consecration until you are able to live each day tucked closely into her Immaculate, loving, Mother’s heart!

Thank you for reading, I pray for you always.

† . Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.
† . Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy kingdom come! Viva Cristo Rey!
† . Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.
† . St. Joseph, protect us, protect our families, protect our priests.
† . St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

Please pray for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary!

~ by evensong for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, King.
Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thine enemies!

 

Rosary Novena for the Immaculate Conception

Looking forward to the great feastday of the Immaculata on December 8, we are mindful that the true victims in this scandalous predation of the faithful is Our Lord Jesus Christ, whose Church this is and His Mother, who is Mother of the Church. For Mary, in her Immaculate Heart, keeps all priests as her special children, and their betrayal of the faithful – also her dear children! – grieves her deeply. It is with this poignant realization that we go forward, preparing our souls for this feast day, the crown of the Marian year, when we will once again renew our Total Consecrations to her. Our Lord is suffering greatly now and so is Our Lady, let us renew our resolve to offer all for love of them! We must console them, offer reparation for this horrid flood of sins, beseech mercy for sinners. Each soul that is saved by our sacrifices and prayers is a defeat over satan and a victory for our Immaculate Queen and Mother!

Consider, if you will, beginning this Rosary Crusade Novena to be completed on the eve of the Immaculate Conception, that is to say, if we begin today, we shall complete the Novena on December 7. If at all possible, a full Rosary of all 15 decades each day would be the very best! And I will be praying with you, in fact, very many of our most loyal readers have already agreed to this!

Final, Resplendent Victory

Our Lady has already given us the keys to victory – her Rosary and devotion to her Immaculate Heart.  There has never been a better time to take up our Rosaries and join our Queen and Mother in her battle! Solange Hertz explained this best:

“Damaged perspective is quickly corrected by reference to the Mysteries of the Rosary, which contain the whole of human history in prophecy. For the Church there is no possibility of failure. Faithfully reproducing the life of her blessed Lord on earth as Mary did, she has left the Joyful Mysteries far behind and is already at grips with the Sorrowful ones. Approaching her own crucifixion, she is even now on the Way of the Cross which leads to the Resurrection. Like her divine Master, “who having joy set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame” (Heb.12:2), she keeps her gaze fixed on the Glorious Mysteries lying ahead.

Conformed to Him in all things, the Church can expect her torment to end like His, abruptly and without warning, leaving the world to marvel as did Pilate, who “wondered that he should already be dead” (Mk. 15:44). Suffering is not natural to man, who was created to share God’s own eternal happiness and glory. The Sacred Heart has promised, “I shall reign in spite of Satan and all opposition!” Revealing her own participation in that promise, His Mother has declared, “In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph.” In their one Heart is laid up one inevitable, final, resplendent victory.”  (Hertz, “The Thought of Their Heart”, Kindle Edition)

The evil within the heart of our Church can only be defeated by Our Lady of the Rosary, Victorious in Battle. Remember the prophetic  vision of St. John Bosco, in which the Pope returned to Rome, that is, repented, when the Angels brought him a banner of victory, saying,

‘Receive the banner of He Who fights and scatters the strongest armies of the world. Your enemies are dispersed. Your children with tears and sighs beg you to return.’ “Looking at the banner one could see written on one side, ‘Queen conceived without sin,’ and on the other side, ‘Help of Christians.’

In this, as in his prophecy of the Two Pillars, St. John Bosco affirms that Christ the King prefers to conquer through means of His Most Blessed Mother. The banner of Christ the King bears two of her titles: The first, “conceived without sin” is of course, the Immaculate Conception and the second title is also very informative, Mary Help of Christians, that is, Our Lady of Victory. That is her title for vanquishing the Muslims, which will be accomplished at her last (seventh) apparition at Fatima to end the Islamist war on Christians with the conversion of muslims to the true faith. It is obvious as well, that this Queen will also vanquish the heresies which have thrown the Church into such darkness and disarray. She has promised us, “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph.”

Rosary Novena Prayer

The following Novena prayer is for a Novena of Rosaries, that is, nine days of praying the 15 decade, complete Rosary. In numerous apparitions from Our Lady of Good Success, the Sacred Heart of Jesus and on up to Lourdes and Fatima, both Our Lord and Our Blessed Mother have asked for prayer and penance. One certain way to fulfill both requests (prayer and penance) is to make time in our busy day for the full rosary of fifteen decades. As St. Louis de Monfort tells us, “…nobody who perseveres in saying the Rosary will be damned, because (Mary) obtains for her servants the grace of true contrition for their sins and by means of this they obtain God’s forgiveness and mercy.” I would add that it is likely that no one will be lost for whom we earnestly pray our Rosaries. Our Lady will never fail her children!

Our Lady Of The Rosary Novena Prayer

Dearest Lady, Queen of the most Holy Rosary, from Calvary’s cross, thy dear Son entrusted us to thy care. Behold thy weak and sinful child in supplication at thy feet. I beg thee, accept this Holy Rosary, offered for the glory of God, in reparation for the offenses to thine Immaculate Heart and to the Sacred and Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, for the conversion of sinners and for the special intention: ____________.

Please, dear Mother, place these poor prayers of mine in the chalice of thine Immaculate Heart and offer them to Jesus. Conscious of my own unworthiness, I trust in thine Immaculate Heart, the fountain of infinite mercy. Amen.

Consider also adding the Angel’s Eucharistic Reparation Prayer to your Rosary:

“Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, I adore Thee profoundly, and I offer Thee the Most Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of the same Son Jesus Christ present in the Tabernacles of the world, in reparation for all the sacrileges, outrages, and indifferences by which He Himself is offended. Through the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of Thee the conversion of poor sinners.”

 

Include Our Lady of Victory

To include Our Lady of Victory in our Novena

Litany of Our Lady of Victory

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven, Have mercy on us.
God, the Son, Redeemer of the World, Have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Ghost, Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, Have mercy on us.
Our Lady of Victory, Pray for us.
Triumphant Daughter of the Father, Pray for us.
Triumphant Mother of the Son, Pray for us.
Triumphant Spouse of the Holy Ghost, Pray for us.
Triumphant Choice of the Most Holy Trinity, Pray for us.
Triumphant in Thy Immaculate Conception, Pray for us.
Triumphant in Crushing the Head of the Serpent, Pray for us.
Triumphant Over All the Children of Adam, Pray for us.
Triumphant Over All Our Enemies, Pray for us.
Triumphant in the Embassy of the Angel Gabriel, Pray for us.
Triumphant in Thy Espousal to St. Joseph, Pray for us.
Triumphant at the Scene of Bethlehem, Pray for us.
Triumphant in Thy Flight Into Egypt, Pray for us.
Triumphant in Thy Exile, Pray for us.
Triumphant in Thy Humble Dwelling at Nazareth, Pray for us.
Triumphant in Finding Thy Divine Child in the Temple, Pray for us.
Triumphant in the Earthly Life of Our Lord, Pray for us.
Triumphant in His Passion and Death, Pray for us.
Triumphant in the Resurrection, Pray for us.
Triumphant in the Ascension, Pray for us.
Triumphant in the Descent of the Holy Ghost, Pray for us.
Triumphant in Thy Sorrows, Pray for us.
Triumphant in Thy Joys, Pray for us.
Triumphant in Thy Entrance into the Heavenly Jerusalem, Pray for us.
Triumphant in the Angels Who Remained Faithful, Pray for us.
Triumphant in the Felicity of the Blessed, Pray for us.
Triumphant in the Graces of the Just, Pray for us.
Triumphant in the Announcement of the Prophets, Pray for us.
Triumphant in the Desires of the Patriarchs, Pray for us.
Triumphant in the Zeal of the Apostles, Pray for us.
Triumphant in the Light of the Evangelists, Pray for us.
Triumphant in the Wisdom of the Doctors, Pray for us.
Triumphant in the Crowns of the Confessors, Pray for us.
Triumphant in the Purity of the Numerous Bands of Virgins, Pray for us.
Triumphant in the Triumph of the Martyrs, Pray for us.
Triumphant in Thy All-Powerful Intercession, Pray for us.
Triumphant under Thy Many Titles, Pray for us.
Triumphant at the Hour of Our Death, Pray for us.
Lamb of God, Who taketh away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who taketh away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who taketh away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us,  O Lord.

V. Pray for us, O Blessed Lady of Victory!
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let Us Pray:

O Victorious Lady! Thou who hath ever such powerful influence with Thy Divine Son, in conquering the hardest of hearts, intercede for those for whom we pray, that their hearts being softened by the rays of Divine Grace, they may return to the unity of the true Faith, through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

V.  Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thine enemies!
R.  Rejoice O Virgin Mary, for thou alone hast destroyed all heresies in all the world!

Remember,  it  has  been  given  to  Our  Lady  of  the  Rosary  to  crush  the  head  of  Satan, conquer  the  enemies  of  the  Church  and  destroy  all  heresies!

And so, take heart – The battle is far from over – Our Blessed Mother is always victorious!
Rejoice, O Virgin Mary for thou alone hast destroyed all heresies in all the world.

† Most Glorious Queen of Heaven, by thy holy Rosary, bind us to thee and lead us to victory!
† Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.
† Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done.
† St. Joseph, guardian of the Holy Family, protect our families, protect our priests.
† St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

~ by evensong for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thine enemies!

On the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

As we prepare for Our Lady’s great feast of the Immaculate Conception, we offer today some thoughts from Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange as an aid in our preparation.

The definition of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception made by Pius IX on December 8th, 1854, reads as follows: “We declare, announce, and define that the doctrine which states that the Blessed Virgin Mary was preserved, in the first instant of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of God Omnipotent and because of the merits of Jesus Christ the Saviour of the human race, free from all stain of original sin, is revealed by God and must therefore be believed firmly and with constancy by all the faithful” (Denz. 1641).

This definition contains three especially important points:

1st—It affirms that the Blessed Virgin was preserved from all stain of original sin from the first instant of her conception. The definition states also that the Immaculate Conception is a special privilege and an altogether singular grace, the work of divine omnipotence. Mary was not preserved free from every stain of original sin otherwise than by receiving sanctifying grace into her soul from the first instant of her conception. Thus she was conceived in that state of justice and holiness which is the effect of the divine friendship as opposed to the divine malediction, and in consequence she was withdrawn from the slavery of the devil and subjection to the law of concupiscence.

2nd—It is affirmed in the definition, as it was already affirmed in 1661 by Alexander VIII (Denz. 1100) that it was through the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the human race, that Mary was preserved from original sin.  According to the Bull Ineffabilis Deus, Mary was redeemed by the merits of her Son in a most perfect way, by a redemption which did not free her from a stain already contracted, but which preserved her from contracting one.  The liturgy had already made this point in the prayer proper to the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, which was approved by Sixtus IV (1476): “Thou hast preserved her (Mary) from all stain through the foreseen death of this same Son.” The Blessed Virgin was preserved from original sin by the future death of her Son, that is to say, by the merits of Christ dying for us on the Cross.

3rd—The definition proposes the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception as revealed, that is, as contained at least implicitly in the deposit of Revelation—in Scripture and Tradition, or in one at least of those two sources.

“I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.” (Gen. 3:15)

The pronoun we translate as “she” in “she shall crush thy head” is masculine in the Hebrew text, and stands for the posterity or seed of the woman; this is true also of the Septuagint and the Syraic versions. The Vulgate however has the feminine pronoun “ipsa,” referring the prophecy directly to the woman herself. However there is no essential difference of meaning between the two readings since the woman is to be associated with the victory of Him Who will be the great representative of her posterity in their conflict with Satan throughout the ages. The Christian tradition sees in that promise—it has been termed the protoevangelium—the first sketch of the Messiah and His victory over the spirit of evil. For Jesus is pre-eminently the posterity of the woman in conflict with the posterity of the serpent.

But if Jesus is termed the posterity of the woman,… it is because of His connection with Mary, in whose womb He took a stainless humanity. As Fr. F. X. le Bachelet says, “We do not find in Eve the principle of that enmity which God will put between the race of the woman and the race of the serpent; for Eve, like Adam, is herself fallen a victim to the serpent.

It is only between Mary, Mother of the Redeemer, that enmity ultimately exists. Hence the person of Mary is included, though in a veiled manner, in the protoevangelium, and the Vulgate reading “ipsa” (she) expresses something really implied in the sacred text, since the victory of the Redeemer is morally, but really, the victory of His Mother.” For that reason early Christianity never ceased to contrast Eve who shared in Adam’s sin by yielding to the serpent’s suggestion with Mary who shared in the redemptive work of Christ by believing the words of the angel on the morning of the Annunciation.

The promise of Genesis speaks of a victory that will be complete: “She shall crush thy head.” And since the victory over Satan will be complete, so also the victory over sin which makes the soul slave and the devil master. But as Pius IX teaches in the Bull Ineffabilis Deus, the victory over Satan would not be complete if Mary had not been preserved from original sin by the merits of her Son: “De ipso (serpente) plenissime triumphans, illius caput immaculato pede (Maria) contrivit.”

The Immaculate Conception is contained therefore in the promise of Genesis as the oak is contained in the acorn. A person who had never seen an oak could never guess the value of the acorn, nor its final stage of development. But we who have seen the oak know for what the acorn is destined, and that it does not yield an elm nor a poplar. The same law of evolution obtains in the order of progressive divine revelation. (Garrigou-Lagrange O.P., Reverend Reginald. “The Mother of the Saviour: And Our Interior Life” Catholic Way Publishing. Kindle Edition.). I cannot locate this book on the Catholic Way site. A paperback version is available from TAN.

  Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.
  O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!

Please pray for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary!

~ by evensong for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, King.
Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thine enemies!

 

 

The Presentation of Mary in the Temple

 

Today, we honor the Blessed Virgin Mary on the feast day of her Presentation in the Temple, when her parents, Joachim and Anne, who had consecrated her to the Lord God, brought her to the Temple of Jerusalem.

"Hearken O Daughter and consider, and incline thine ear, forget also thine own people, and thy father's house. And so shall the King desire thy beauty, for He is the Lord thy God."
“Hearken O Daughter and consider, and incline thine ear, forget also thine own people, and thy father’s house. And so shall the King desire thy beauty, for He is the Lord thy God.”

 

We don’t expect that Pope Francis will honor Our Lady on her feast day today, so it is up to us, her children to honor our Mother today.  Although modernists disparage this feast for what they perceive as a “lack of historicity”, for those who are consecrated to her Immaculate Heart, this beautiful feast teaches volumes about Mary’s devotion to the most Holy Trinity. According to Venerable Maria de Agreda,  this beautiful mystery is a lesson of the importance of humility. Thus, it is a worthwhile meditation for our preparation for observing our Total Consecration December 8.

The Hebrew Ark of the Covenant was but a foreshadowing of the true Ark which is the most Blessed Virgin Mary herself; she who was foreordained to bear our Lord Jesus Christ, Savior. As our Little Office proclaims, “Thou wast the Mother of Him Who made thee, and thou remainest a Virgin forever”. And so, Joachim and Anne brought the true Royal Ark of the Covenant to the Temple, but to all appearances they were merely ordinary pious Jews of their time  bringing yet another consecrated child to the Temple.

Mother Maria de Agreda tells us of Mary, that God  “ordained in her regard that she receive no honor or recognition at that time, so that she (would) be the shining example of humility, of retirement, of contempt and horror for the dreadful vanity of the world, of love for sufferings … and dishonors inflicted by creatures. All holiness is adverse and contrary to the applause, honors and estimation of the world.”

“In ascending the fifteen stairs the Child brought to fulfillment, that, which Jacob saw happening in sleep; for here too were angels ascending and descending: the ones accompanying, the others meeting their Queen as She hastened up; whereas at the top God was waiting in order to welcome Her as his Daughter and Spouse.” (Ven. Agreda, “The Mystical City of God”)

What a fruitful scene for our meditations!  Firstly, we note that the Temple is stated to have 15 steps – which leads us to consider the 15 decades of the  Rosary by which we approach the Living Temple of the Trinity, the Blessed Virgin Mary. Think now, of this – the bittersweet moment of leave-taking for Joachim and Anne, who had prayed for many years for God to send them a child, only to be called to surrender her at the tender age of three! Then think of the Blessed Virgin responding to Our Father’s call. Psalm 44 speaks to us of this moment of surrender,

“Hearken O Daughter and consider, and incline thine ear, forget also thine own people, and thy father’s house. And so shall the King desire thy beauty, for He is the Lord thy God.” (Psalm 44, 11,12) . 

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