Purgatory, sign of God’s mercy

This November, more than ever before, I feel the cold breath of the winter of life; now it seems to cut to the very quick of me, as I reflect on so many dear friends and family who have died. For some time now, departed friends have outnumbered those who remain. Unlike Novus Ordo Catholics, who seem to  transform every funeral service into an impromptu canonization, I’m well aware that none of my loved ones rose straight up into heaven. And so we offer Masses for the salvation of their souls and for their release from purgatory. The very concept of purgatory, although an affront to the sensibilities of modern(ist) Catholics, is actually a reminder of the loving justice of God.

May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God rest in peace.
May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God rest in peace.

A favorite book on Purgatory is Father Schouppe’s classic, “Purgatory explained by the lives and legends of the Saints”,  from TAN. Fr. Schouppe has many good stories from the lives of the saints to illustrate various aspects of Purgatory, but the following struck a chord with me and so I’ll share with you, if you’d like.

From the Revelations of St. Gertrude, Father tells us that a young religious in St. Gertrude’s convent was much admired because of her great piety. After her death, St. Gertrude was fervently praying for the soul of the young nun when she was rapt in ecstasy and had a vision of the deceased sister standing before the throne of God, eyes downcast, she seemed to be ashamed. St. Gertrude then beseeched Our Lord, “Most Sweet Jesus, why does not Your infinite goodness invite Your spouse to approach You and enter into the joy of her Lord?”

At this, Our Lord smiled with tender love and beckoned to the reluctant soul to draw near Him, but she, troubled and trembling withdrew from Him. St. Gertrude then addressed her dear sister, “Do you retire when our Lord calls you? You that have desired Jesus during your whole life, withdraw now that He opens His arms to you?”

“Ah, my dear Mother, I am not worthy to appear before the Immaculate Lamb. I still have some stains which I contracted upon earth. To approach the Sun of Justice, one must be as pure as a ray of light. I have not yet that degree of purity which He requires of His saints. Know that, if the door of Heaven were to be opened to me, I should not dare to cross the threshold before being entirely purified from all stain.”
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St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, 2017

“He told me that this Heart was to be honored under the form of a heart of flesh, the picture of which He wished to be exposed and worn by me on my heart, in order to impress its love upon my heart, and fill it with all the gifts with which His Heart is full …”

Today, I have two posts in honor of a favorite saint, Margaret Mary Alacoque.  My other post is a brand new one, “From the Heart of St .Margaret Mary”. I hope you find it useful!

In honor of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque on this, her feast day, we present a few excerpts from a delightful collection of essays by the late Solange Strong Hertz. It is available in Kindle Edition, and titled: “The Thought of Their Heart, on Devotion to the Sacred Heart and the Holy Rosary.

"I will reveal My love to them more and more."
“I will reveal My love to them more and more.”

The Open Heart

by Solange Strong Hertz

The history of devotion to the Sacred Heart is in a very real sense a gradual revelation of the secret life of the Church. Its prologue, written in the heart of St. John as he reclined against the Lord’s breast at the Last Supper, broadcasts its first rhythms to the world, setting the tempo for the dramatic rending on Calvary. Veneration for the wound inflicted there seems to have been the initial form of the cult among the faithful. From this wound, the “door in the ark,” there gradually issued the proliferation of grace we now know as Sacred Heart devotion, ramifying and increasing through time, space and circumstance to fit all the needs and conditions of worshippers truly seeking intimacy with their Lord.
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St. Teresa of Avila, 2017

Today we honor St. Teresa of Avila, one of the greatest saints, yet, like St. Joseph, to whom she was devoted, one of the most approachable saints. Like all our greatest saints, ,we often find in her writings and life, wisdom to help us understand the challenges we face; though centuries pass, her words ring just as clear today, her wisdom fresh and appropriate as always.Plus, we close with a poem St. Teresa wrote that is quite lovely.

Lord, I am Thine, for I was born for Thee! Reveal what is it Thou dost ask of me.
Lord, I am Thine, for I was born for Thee!
Reveal what is it Thou dost ask of me.

 

In her work, The Way of Perfection, she discusses the ‘Our Father’, Our Lord’s own prayer. She especially recommends it as part of thanksgiving after Communion. In Chapter 35, St. Teresa remarks on the evils of the protestant attacks on the Blessed Sacrament and the Mass that were even then occurring.   As you read this, consider what her response would be to Pope Bergoglio’s enthronement of Luther in the Vatican in our times.   One portion of her commentary strikes us as most appropriate to these times in which we suffer with Christ the Passion of His Church. St. Teresa, remarking of the Lord’s Prayer,

“Let us rely on Our Lord’s command to us to pray to Him, and in fulfillment of our obedience to Him, let us beseech His Majesty, in the name of the good Jesus, … that He prevent Him from being so ill-treated. Since His Holy Son has given us this excellent way in which we can offer Him up frequently as a sacrifice, let’s make use of this precious gift so that it may stay the advance of such terrible evil and irreverence as is paid in many places to this Most Holy Sacrament.

For as those Lutherans seem to want to drive Him out of the world again: they destroy churches, cause the loss of many priests and abolish the sacraments. And there is something of this even among Christians, who sometimes go to church meaning to offend Him rather than to worship Him.”

She then goes on to importune the Heavenly Father to spare Our Lord the offenses He suffers against His Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, begging Him, although she is unworthy,

“Indeed, it may perhaps be for my sins, and because I have so greatly offended Thee, that so many evils come. What then can I do, my Creator, but present to Thee this most Holy Bread which, though Thou gavest it to us, I return to Thee, beseeching Thee, by the merits of Thy Son, to grant me this favor, which on so many counts, He has merited. Do Thou, Lord, calm this sea, and no longer allow this ship, which is Thy Church, to endure so great a tempest. Save us, my Lord, for we perish.” (Way of Perfection, p. 234-236).

It is as if she was anticipating the Angel of Fatima’s Prayer,  isn’t it?

Here in closing, is a poem of hers that recently came to our attention, thanks to Rorate Caeli:

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Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, Queen of Peace

“Recite the Rosary every day.”

Today is the Feast of the Holy Rosary, Our Lady’s gift to her children.  The Rosary is the second best gift that the Queen of Heaven has given to her children. The first best gift is of course, Our Savior Jesus Christ!

In every one of her visits to Fatima, Portugal in 1917, the Blessed Virgin Mary insisted, “Recite the Rosary every day.” And in the first visit, “Say the Rosary every day to bring peace to the world and the end of the war.” We note that since World War II, the world has seen no period of peace, no end to the constant violence and bloodshed. And now, a full 100 years after Our Lady of the Rosary’s last visit to Fatima. the never-ending war has become so endemic that it is a constant terror attack, with no place safe from senseless brutal massacres.  There is no mystery in this spread of violent war – the answer is in the failure of the leaders of the Catholic Church to preach – and above all – to practice the Rosary.

Yet, from 1917 until 1965, in all those years after Fatima, after Our Lady of the Rosary asked this small favor, her Rosary, devoutly recited daily, what was the response of the Church? At Vatican II, among all the prolix documents prepared and disseminated, there was not a single injunction to pray the Rosary. In fact, the Rosary was not mentioned even one time. The Bishop of Coimbra, Portugal recalled that the Bishops who sought to add the text, “The Rosary with meditation on the Mysteries of the life of Christ and the Blessed Virgin” were voted down. Think about that!

But Pope John’s Council was only following the lead of Pope John himself, who showed an arrogant disdain of her will.  In a letter of 22 April, 1954, Roncalli wrote of Mary,

“Jesus dying said to John: Behold your Mother – this is sufficient for the faith and for the liturgy. The rest may be edifying (and it is mostly) and for many pious and devout souls, moving; but for many, many more, even if they are well-inclined towards the Catholic Church – it is irritating – and as we say these days – counter-productive”. (De Mattei, “The Second Vatican Council, an unwritten story”, page 294)

Never before had a pope so dared to slight Our Lady.  Pope John’s attitude is typical of today’s “enlightened’ intellects.. It is strange but true that quite often the very simplicity of the Rosary confounds the proud intellectual. He cannot grasp this simple devotion! So let us pray Our Lady’s Rosary for them, the proud leaders of the Church who refuse Our Lady’s Rosary, refuse to give her what she asks but instead  insist on “improving” her Rosary, adding what she never asked for, even replacing her beloved Aves with other prayers,  and combining it with other devotions which she never requested.

We will pray the Rosary for them all, for Cardinal Danneels the power behind the pope, who asserted that children in his care must be “educated” with pornography (The Danneels Effect); we pray for Pope Francis who asserts that Emma Bonino, the bloody abortionist is a “forgotten great” (The Gates of Hell),  We pray for all who drag the beautiful and true Faith into the mud of Satan’s Kingdom, the man-made “Utopia” of this New World Order.

With Our Mother’s Rosary, we will bring them all, each and every one of them, to the foot of the Cross where they shall come face to Sacred Face with the eternal Truth.  They will come to know the full truth of Our Savior’s dying words, “Behold your Mother”.

In these times, the Rosary is not optional. It is not simply a pious personal devotion. It is an essential instrument that must be used if we are to save our souls and those of others entrusted to us.  With her Rosary, Our Lady opens her pure heart to us, she nourishes us, her children with the purest milk of perfect unity with the life of Her Divine Son. The Aves slip by tenderly as the beating of His Sacred Heart. And this beat, this pulse becomes the beat of our own heart as we proceed throughout the day, offering our labors,  disappointments,  sufferings and small victories – offering all – to His Sacred Heart through her Immaculate Heart. From Rosary to Rosary, throughout our days and nights, we find our hearts ever more beating in harmony with Their Hearts.

A small prayer:

Through the graces of your Rosary, I beg you dearest Mother, grant me the graces needed to follow you perfectly and never be separated from you.  Although my soul is deeply stained with many sins and I am weak and faltering, I trust in your constant love for me and therefore beg you  make  me, day by day to resemble you. Since I am truly your child, I beg you, take me and make me your own.

You have all power to change hearts, take my heart then and transform it; make of me your little child.  Let others ask for what they will, I come to ask you Mother  for you to work your will in me,  As you, dearest Mother are humble, obtain for me the virtues of humility and a love for the contempt of others.  As you are so patient in trials and sorrows, obtain for me patience in adversity. You, so filled to overflowing with the purest love for God, dispense to me the gift of pure and holy love for God and for His sake, a generous love for my neighbor, especially to those opposed to me.

O holiest of all creatures, make me holy, make me pleasing to God! O Mother of Mercy! Intercede for me; obtain for me perseverance through all the trials before me, and lead me through this valley of tears, through death’s dark kingdom to the everlasting light and peace prepared for us, your children, with Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Saints forever in Heaven. Amen.

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.

One simple and effective way for us to minimize distractions when saying the Rosary is to prepare carefully for our first Rosary of the day. After morning offering/renewal of consecration, make a spiritual communion. It doesn’t take very long and it enables us to stay focused. After spiritual communion and thanksgiving, pray the Angel of Fatima’s Prayer, that is:

“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.”

For our earlier posts on the Rosary:

Our Lady of the Rosary, 2016

Our Lady of the Rosary, Our Lady of Victory

The Queen of Heaven’s Gift to Us

Our Lady of the Rosary

Pray the Rosary with confidence and joy!

  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!

© All Content Copyright 2013-2017 ReturntoFatima.org. All Rights Reserved.

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux

For St. Saint Thérèse of Lisieux on her feast day.

Nothing is small in the eyes of God. Do all that you do with love.

The following prayer of Oblation was found in the copy of the Gospels which she carried always close to her heart. We have included a few other of her personal prayers.  The citation for the source is at the end of the post.

AN ACT OF OBLATION AS A VICTIM OF DIVINE LOVE 

O my God, O Most Blessed Trinity, I desire to love Thee and to make Thee loved–to labour for the glory of Holy Church by saving souls here upon earth and by delivering those suffering in Purgatory. I desire to fulfill perfectly Thy Holy Will, and to reach the degree of glory Thou hast prepared for me in Thy Kingdom. In a word, I wish to be holy, but, knowing how helpless I am, I beseech Thee, my God, to be Thyself my holiness.

Since Thou hast loved me so much as to give me Thy Only-Begotten Son to be my Saviour and my Spouse, the infinite treasures of His merits are mine. Gladly do I offer them to Thee, and I beg of Thee to behold me only through the Eyes of Jesus, and in His Heart aflame with love. Moreover, I offer Thee all the merits of the Saints both of Heaven and of earth, together with their acts of love, and those of the holy Angels. Lastly, I offer Thee, O Blessed Trinity, the love and the merits of the Blessed Virgin, my dearest Mother–to her I commit this Oblation, praying her to present it to Thee.

During the days of His life on earth her Divine Son, my sweet Spouse, spake these words: “If you ask the Father anything in My Name, He will give it you.” Therefore I am certain Thou wilt fulfill my longing. O my God, I know that the more Thou wishest to bestow, the more Thou dost make us desire. In my heart I feel boundless desires, and I confidently beseech Thee to take possession of my soul. I cannot receive Thee in Holy Communion as often as I should wish; but, O Lord, art Thou not all powerful?

Abide in me as Thou dost in the Tabernacle–never abandon Thy Little Victim. I long to console Thee for ungrateful sinners, and I implore Thee to take from me all liberty to sin. If through weakness I should chance to fall, may a glance from Thine Eyes straightway cleanse my soul, and consume all my imperfections–as fire transforms all things into itself. I thank Thee, O my God, for all the graces Thou hast granted me: especially for having purified me in the crucible of suffering.

Continue reading “Saint Thérèse of Lisieux”

A Novena of Rosaries for Our Lady of Victory

During this October, the month of Our Lady’s Holy Rosary, we honor her as Our Lady of Victory, for it is by this very Rosary that she will triumph over the enemies of the faith .

When the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to the shepherd children of Fatima, she identified herself as the Lady of the Rosary. As we know, everything she says is significant. In this case, by claiming the title of Our Lady of the Rosary,  the title of Our Lady of Victory was implied. For history is replete with her victories through her most Holy Rosary. (Here and here).

By the Rosary, She shall crush the head of satan!

We have explained in previous posts that the Feast of the Holy Rosary is celebrated on October 7th because of Our Lady’s Victory at the Battle of Lepanto where the murderous hordes of Mohammed were driven from Christendom on that day in 1571. Today, the Church is beset by enemies from within who are just as determined as the muslims of four centuries ago. We have all heard the old axiom, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Perhaps that is why our humble Pope is so indulgent with his friends, the musllims?

This month, it is good to dwell on Our Lady’s Rosary as the means by which she will be victorious in the ongoing battle with the forces of satan in the world and within the Church itself.

We know 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. To help illustrate this we recently posted a little known vision of St. John Bosco, which we share with you again:

“It was a dark night. Men could no longer tell which way to take in order to return to their homes. Suddenly there appeared in the heavens a very bright light that illuminated the steps of the travelers as though it were mid-day. At that moment there was seen a host of men and women, of young and old, of nuns, monks and priests with the Holy Father at the head. They were going out from the Vatican and were arranging themselves in line for a procession. “Then there came a furious storm which clouded that light somewhat and made it appear that light and darkness were engaged in battle. In the meantime, they arrived at a little square covered with dead and wounded, some of whom cried aloud and asked for help.

“Very many were dropping out of the line of procession. After having walked for a time that would correspond to two hundred risings of the sun (200 days) they all realized that they were no longer in Rome. Struck with fear they all ran to the Holy Father to defend him personally and to attend his wants. Instantly two angels were seen carrying a banner, going they presented it to the Holy Father and said: ‘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.”

The following Novena prayer is for a Novena of Rosaries, that is, nine days of praying the 15 decade, complete Rosary. For those unable to complete the entire Rosary each day, it can also be prayed as a 27 day novena, by saying one five-decade rosary daily, which makes a complete 15 decade rosary each 3 days. For that longer Novena it is good to mark each day on the calendar as it’s completed. There is another lovely tradition, which has worked many miracles, of praying yet another 27 day novena following the first, in thanksgiving for the favor requested. The willingness to pray with faith and gratitude for a favor perhaps not yet granted, is understood to be very pleasing to Our Lady. On a personal note, I have made use of this as a 54 day novena of Rosaries on several occasions and have been astounded at Our Lady’s generosity. She truly never fails us when we pray for the salvation of others with this novena of rosaries.

This Rosary Novena is very powerful, so please be sure to continue it, even though your prayers may be answered before the completion.

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.

One simple and effective way for us to minimize distractions when saying the Rosary is to prepare carefully for our first Rosary of the day. After morning offering/renewal of consecration, make a spiritual communion. It doesn’t take very long and it enables us to stay focused. After spiritual communion and thanksgiving, pray the Angel of Fatima’s Prayer, that is:

“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.”

After that, call to mind the particular Mystery, such as Joyful, Sorrowful or Glorious. It helps greatly if we have previously spent some time reading and thinking about these mysteries. If there is interest in it, perhaps we’ll offer a post on Rosary Meditations. Briefly however, in the Joyful Mysteries, we consider Mary’s humility and obedience. The Sorrowful Mysteries are about obedience and humility in action, that is, on the way of the Cross. Jesus has commanded us to Take up our crosses and follow Him. The Glorious Mysteries encourage us with the fruits of virtue and help instill in us an ever greater faith, hope and love for Our Lord and His Blessed Mother.

It is also helpful to consider the words of the Angelic Salutation (Hail Mary) itself.

“Hail Mary, full of Grace” is a statement of the Immaculate Conception. Mary was conceived immaculate from sin, in order to contribute the Body and Blood of Christ. Why is that concept is so difficult for protestants? Why would they want Our Lord Jesus Christ to spend the first nine months of His earthly existence in a sinful body? It must be because they do not understand that sin is the greatest evil in the world, more so than pain, or even death itself, because sin is seaparation from God, that is to say, death of one’s eternal soul. That is why each Hail Mary begins with the affirmation of the Blessed Virgin’s Immaculate Conception – it is an affirmation of the perfect justice and mercy of God.

“The Lord is with thee” reminds us that Mary is always with the Most Holy Trinity. She is the most favored Daughter of God the Father, the most beloved Mother of God the Son and the most glorious Spouse of God the Holy Ghost. So, whenever we are praying the Hail Mary, the Holy Trinity is right there, too.

“Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.” These are the words of Mary’s kinswoman, Elizabeth. (Luke 1, 42) The Church in her wisdom, added the sacred name of Jesus, by which name we are blessed each time we utter it respectfully. By these Biblical praises, we console Our Blessed Mother and Our Lord for the blasphemies against them. Jesus told Sister Lucia that the Immaculate Heart of His Mother is pierced with numerous thorns caused by ungrateful sinners. He called for us to make reparation. We must not be indifferent to His request.

“Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.” When praying this intercession, we refer back mentally to the Angel of Fatima’s  prayer above, which by Divine inspiration applies the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary to the salvation of sinners. Mary is truly the Mother of Mercy. The first revelation of Fatima was of the huge number of sinners falling constantly into Hell. We are commanded to pray and offer penance for them. This part of the Hail Mary supplies this need if it is coupled with a clear intention.

At the Doxology, as we pray, “Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost”,  we recall that Mary is always praying that prayer, so dear to her Heart, with us, as are all the choirs of Heaven. For she is Queen of Heaven, and beloved of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

Then follows the Fatima Decade Prayer, “O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need of Thy mercy.” Once again, we ask Jesus to apply that infinite merit to all poor sinners. In this we affirm our trust in His mercy for those who follow Him.

We have written on the Our Father in two previous posts, Meditations on the Our Father,  which can be found here and here.

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!

Recite the Rosary every day!

If you are concerned about the well-being of your loved ones, or for our Church in these days of apostasy and confusion, there is no better way to help than by praying the Holy Rosary. At Fatima, in response to Lucia’s question, “Who are you?” Our Lady replied, “I am the Lady of the Rosary.” Sister Lucia explains:

“The Most Holy Virgin in these last times in which we live has given a new efficacy to the recitation of the Holy Rosary. She has given this efficacy to such an extent that there is no problem, no matter how difficult it is, whether temporal or above all, spiritual, in the personal life of each one of us, of our families, of the families of the world, or of the religious communities, or even of the life of peoples and nations that cannot be solved by the Rosary. There is no problem I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot resolve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary.”

Frère Michel tells us that Sister Lucia often stressed that in every one of her six apparitions, Our Lady made sure to repeat the request, always in the same terms, with the same insistence: Recite the Rosary every day!”

“This shows how much this beautiful prayer, so traditional in the Church, is supremely pleasing to Her motherly heart. Far from being a completely secondary and optional devotion, the Virgin of Fatima came to reveal to us that the Rosary is the most ordinary condition to infallibly obtain all the graces that we ask of Her.

“Yes, She is the Mediatrix of all graces, by the good pleasure of Her Son. But this outpouring of favors which She holds in Her Heart, She can only release on each of our souls, our families, our countries and the world, in response to the humble and suppliant imploring of innumerable Rosaries. If, just as at Lourdes, She willed to appear at the Cova da Iria holding in Her hand this blessed instrument, guide of our prayers, it was to show us that it is the surest means, because it is the easiest and the humblest, of winning Her Heart and obtaining Her graces.

Frère Michel quotes Sister Lúcia:

“The Rosary is, for the great part of souls who are living in the world, as it were their daily spiritual bread. To deprive them of it, inciting them to neglect or ignore this prayer, is to snatch from their mouth the bread of grace.”

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 Jesus!

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!

© All Content Copyright 2013-2017 ReturntoFatima.org. All Rights Reserved.

The Fifth Visit: a Mysterious Cloud and a Rain of Flowers

One hundred years ago today …

By the time of Our Lady’s Fifth Visit to Fatima on September 13, 1917, nearly  30,000 people had gathered at the Cova da Iria. While waiting for noon to arrive, Lúcia led the Rosary for the crowd. At noon, a certain phenomenon announced the arrival of Our Lady to many in the crowd.

“In October I will perform a miracle so that all may believe.”

Again drawing from various sources, but especially from Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité we read:

Among the numerous testimonies describing the marvels which Our Lady wished to accompany Her coming, the most detailed is undoubtedly from Father John Quaresma, who later on became Vicar General of Leiria. He had come there incognito, in secular clothing with two other priests, Fathers Manuel do Carmo Gois and Manuel Pereira da Silva, in the same dress. All three surveyed the events from an elevation at the side of the Cova.  In 1932, Msgr. Quaresma, in a letter to his colleague Msgr. Carmo Gois, recalls the prodigious event of September 13 in all its details:

“On a beautiful September morning we left Leiria in a rickety carriage drawn by an old horse, for the spot where the much discussed apparitions were to take place. Father Gois found the high point of the vast amphitheatre from which we could observe events without approaching too nearly the place where the children were awaiting the apparition. At midday (solar time) there was complete silence. One only heard the murmur of prayers.

“Suddenly there were sounds of jubilation and voices praising the Blessed Virgin. Arms were raised pointing to something in the sky. “Look, don’t you see?” “Yes, yes, I do…!” There was much satisfaction on the part of those who did. There had not been a cloud in the deep blue sky and I too raised my eyes and scrutinized it in case I should be able to distinguish what the others, more fortunate than I, had already claimed to have seen. With great astonishment I saw, clearly and distinctly, a luminous globe, which moved from the east to the west, gliding slowly and majestically through space. My friends also looked and had the good fortune to enjoy the same unexpected and delightful vision. Suddenly the globe, with its extraordinary light, disappeared. Near us was a little girl dressed like Lúcia and more or less the same age. She continued to cry out happily: “I still see it! I still see it! Now it’s coming down!”

“It then began to approach the holm oak of the apparition. Then the sun’s brightness diminished, the atmosphere became golden yellow, like the other times. Some people even reported being able to distinguish the stars in the sky. Lúcia began to speak …

“What does Your Grace want of me?”

“Continue to say the Rosary in order to obtain the end of the war. In October, Our Lord will come, as well as Our Lady of Sorrows and Our Lady of Carmel. Saint Joseph will appear with the Child Jesus in order to bless the world.”

Then, regarding the penitential practice of wearing the coarse rope around their waists, Our Lady told Lúcia:

“God is satisfied with your sacrifices, but He does not want you to sleep with the rope. Wear it only during the day.”

The fourth Memoir adds:

“In October I will perform a miracle so that all may believe.”

Then Our Lady began to rise as usual, and disappeared.

AN AMAZING “RAIN OF FLOWERS”

During the time of the apparition the majority of the pilgrims had enjoyed a marvelous spectacle: they saw falling from Heaven a shower of white petals, or round, shining snowflakes which slowly descended and disappeared as they approached the ground. Here are a few testimonies:

“Very high up we saw little white forms like snow in the air, coming across from the east to the west. One could say they were doves, but we could clearly see that they were not birds. On the slope, to the west, stood Father Joaquim Ferreira Gonzalves das Neves, parish priest of Santa Catarina da Serra… I turned towards him and asked him if he saw something. He said no. I indicated the direction to him, and suddenly he declared that he saw also.”

It was an unheard of phenomenon, which the witnesses were not able to describe very well:  “One might think they were stars”, declared Manuel Gonzalves, from the hamlet of Montelo. Others spoke of a rain of white roses, which vanished at the approach of the ground.

A MYSTERIOUS CLOUD

The Blessed Virgin wished to give the crowd gathered around the holm oak where She was appearing another sign of Her presence:

“A pleasant looking cloud formed around the rustic arch which dominated the little tree-stump. Rising up from the ground, it grew thicker and went up into the air until it was five or six metres high; then it disappeared like smoke that vanishes before the wind.

“A few moments later, similar curls of smoke were formed and disappeared in the same manner, and then a third time.”

“Everything happened as though some invisible thurifers were incensing the Vision liturgically. The three incensations together lasted the whole time of the apparition, that is from ten to fifteen minutes.”

In his letter approving devotion to Our Lady of Fatima, the Bishop of Leiria declared this phenomenon “humanly speaking inexplicable”.

THE LUMINOUS GLOBE GOES BACK UP TO HEAVEN

Not everything was over with yet. At the end of the Apparition, when the Blessed Virgin had finished transmitting Her message, Lúcia  exclaimed: “If you want to see Her, look over there! And she pointed with her finger towards the east. Then once again the luminous globe having an oval form could be seen, going up into the air and leaving the Cova da Iria in the direction of the east.

Here is the conclusion of Msgr. Quaresma’s account:

“After a few minutes, about the duration of the Apparitions, the child began to exclaim again, pointing to the sky: ‘Now it’s going up again!’ And she followed the globe with her eyes until it disappeared in the direction of the sun.”

“What do you think of that globe?” I asked my companion, who seemed enthusiastic at what he had seen. “That it was Our Lady”, he replied without hesitation. It was my undoubted conviction also. The children had contemplated the very Mother of God, while to us it had been given to see the means of transport which had brought Her from Heaven to the inhospitable waste of the Serra de Aire.

“I must emphasize that all those around us appeared to have seen the same thing, for one heard manifestations of joy and praise of Our Lady. But some saw nothing. Near us was a simple devout creature weeping bitterly because she had seen nothing.

“We felt remarkably happy. My companion went from group to group in the Cova and afterwards on the road, gathering information. Those he questioned were of all sorts and kinds and of different social standing, but one and all affirmed the reality of the phenomena which we ourselves had witnessed.”

THE MESSAGE OF THE SIGNS

Far from overwhelming the little seers with interminable discourses which they would not be able to remember, Our Lady showed an admirable pedagogy at Fatima. She contented Herself to humbly take up certain themes, all closely connected, and She repeated them from month to month, each time adding some new element. Thus on October 13, She repeats almost entirely, although in a different way, Her words of September 13. Thus it will be more fruitful to comment on Her last two messages at the same time…

Let us consider what constitutes the originality of this fifth apparition, that is the striking atmospheric signs which accompanied the coming of Our Lady and Her return to Heaven. To be sure, they were first and above all sensible proofs mercifully granted by Her, to convince still more the crowds of the faithful gathered in the Cova da Iria of the reality of Her presence. And in fact these signs would encourage innumerable pilgrims to return for the last rendezvous, to the point where there were almost twice as many, from 50,000 to 80,000!

But the miracles of Our Lord and the signs accomplished by Our Lady of Fatima are not only extraordinary facts which bear witness to their supernatural origin, they are also symbols rich in meaning, the sensible expressions of a mystery… Thus all the surprising marvels of September 13, which filled with joy all those who had the privilege of contemplating them were like a language, the discreet and veiled manifestation of the Immaculate Virgin who during this time appeared in brilliant light to Her three usual confidants. And first of all, this luminous globe which preceded the apparition…

THE IMMACULATE ONE CAME DOWN FROM HEAVEN

Yes, such was indeed the clearest conclusion spontaneously drawn by all those who had seen the mysterious luminous globe slowly and majestically gliding into space, going from east to west, to descend finally on the holm oak of the apparition, before going back into space, in the direction of the east. The sign was simple, and its meaning was obvious to all: “It was Our Lady who came!” exclaimed Father Gois. And Father Quaresma explained: “The little shepherds had seen the Mother of God Herself. To us it had been given to see the means of transport, if one may so express it,  which had brought Her from Heaven to the inhospitable waste of the Serra de Aire.”

Frère Michel takes pains in his account to make clear that an essential function of the apparition was to emphasise the reality of the Blessed Virgin’s glorified body appearing there. Not some mystical appearance of a symbolic representation of Mary, but she herself. We need to bear this in mind in order to counteract the all-pervasive effects of modernism, which seeks always to undermine the physical reality of Jesus’s real presence and Mary’s as well.

Despite the modernists, at Fatima as at Lourdes, much evidence allows us to affirm that Heaven visited the earth, the Virgin Mary descended in person in Her risen body to appear to the three shepherds, to transmit Her message to them, and comfort the innumerable crowds with Her invisible presence. Then She went back up to Heaven, resplendent with Light, always towards the east from whence She had come.

This last detail, very well attested by the seers, is still another symbolic trait rich in biblical reminiscences: Does it not remind us of the Spouse in the Canticle of Canticles? “Who is She that cometh forth as the dawn, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army in battle array?” (Canticles 6, 9)

THE IMMACULATE ONE, ARK OF THE NEW COVENANT

During all the apparitions since June 13, many witnesses had noticed a thin white cloud, very pleasant to look at, forming above the holm oak. It remained there for the whole duration of the apparition, before gently going up in the sky towards the east, before finally disappearing. In August, almost everybody could see it. The same phenomenon took place on September 13, but in an even more lavish manner, since the unusual cloud formed and then disappeared three times in a row, during the ten minutes Our Lady had spoken to the children.

This mysterious cloud which enveloped the apparition, as if to manifest its presence while concealing it at the same time, does it not remind us once again of the great biblical theophanies? Certainly, for from the giving of the law to Moses on Sinai to the Transfiguration of Jesus on Mount Tabor, the cloud always appears in sacred history as the symbol and sensible expression of the divine Presence. But how can we explain the fact that a creature, even the most sublime, the Blessed Virgin, could manifest Herself in the glorious aura of a specifically divine attribute?

The answer is rich in mystical significance and is taught in the Gospel of St. Luke, by way of allusion but still quite clearly: through a series of hints that the exegetes have perfectly grasped, the Evangelist identifies the Virgin Mary with the Ark of the Covenant. This Ark, hidden under the Tent, was like a movable sanctuary, the place where Yahweh had fixed His residence, accompanying Israel in its wanderings; and the Cloud manifested His presence. As soon as the Ark was introduced, we read in the Book of Exodus, “the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.” (Ex. 40:34-35) After the building of the Temple by Solomon, the Ark was solemnly carried in by the priests to the Holy of Holies. And finally, it is by the Cloud that Yahweh manifests that He is taking possession of His Temple, and establishes His abode there.

Now the symbolism is clear: by manifesting Herself in the cloud in each of Her apparitions, did not Our Lady wish to signify to us one of the most sublime aspects of Her mystery? In these three clouds observed on September 13 and October 13, which also remind us of the triple incensation in the liturgy, the Immaculate Virgin shows us that She is the Abode and the Temple of God, the Sanctuary of the Holy Trinity, and the Ark of the New Covenant. In addition to Her message, it seems that at Fatima the Virgin Mary wished to teach us, in an incomparable synthesis, and in both a sensible and symbolic manner, all the highest perfections of Her personal vocation, already chanted for many centuries by the liturgy of the Church: “Ark of the Covenant, pray for us!”

THE  IMMACULATE  ONE,  DISPENSER  OF  A  SHOWER  OF  GRACES

As for the gracious shower of rose petals or snowflakes, the significance can be grasped immediately. The symbolism is so natural that the expression “a shower of graces” has become commonplace. For example, we need only recall the beautiful words of St. Therese of the Child Jesus who, planning to spend her Heaven doing good on earth, said to her sister: “You’ll see, it will be like a shower of roses.”

At Rue du Bac, Our Lady had declared to St. Catherine Laboure: “Come to the foot of this altar. Here, graces will be poured out on everybody who will ask for them with confidence.” Is it not the same pressing invitation that Our Lady wished to express at the Cova da Iria, by the eloquent symbol of a preternatural rain? Unquestionably yes. And as if to encourage the pilgrims to come en masse to this blessed place, where she showered Her graces profusely, she renewed the same prodigy of this mysterious rain on May 13, 1918, and one more time, on May 13, 1924: this time Bishop da Silva of Leiria was at the Cova da Iria and could bear witness to it himself.

BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO HAVE NOT SEEN AND HAVE BELIEVED!

And yet, Msgr. Quaresma writes, “some people saw nothing at all.” “It seems that the proportion of those who saw nothing was about a third of the total”, Canon Barthas’ remarks. Did Our Lady wish to try their faith? It seems likely. Far from favoring only the believers, or those who intensely desired to finally see tangible proofs of the supernatural character of the events, many of them did not notice any extraordinary phenomenon that day. The privation of this consolation was a hard trial for them! It remained for them to have blind confidence in the words of Our Lady, and to continue firmly hoping to be more fortunate on October 13; for She had promised since July 13, and repeated this promise to the seers on September 13: “In October, I will perform a miracle so that all may see and believe.”

Carefully note Our Lady’s choice of words, “So that all may believe.”!  Here is the Immaculate Mother of God affirming that Fatima is a message for all. That is, Fatima is not simply a private revelation that we may choose to ignore!

Please note: the above post quotes extensively from Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité, whose books can be downloaded for free from archive.org, here:

The Whole Truth About Fatima, Vol. 1

The Whole Truth About Fatima, Vol. 2

The Whole Truth About Fatima, Vol. 3

The three links to archive.org should give you nice, clean readable text, unlike other links given previously. I downloaded them as epub files for mac and as mobi files for Kindle and highly recommend their readability. The Kindle version has a very good linked table of contents. I hope they will prove useful to you.

And also from two excellent ebooks by KIC, which I highly recommend:

Fatima: The Signs and Secrets Kindle Edition

Fatima in Lucia’s Own Words: The Memoirs of Sister Lucia, the Last Fatima Visionary Kindle Edition

 

Dear readers, I have treasured this time with you, and the opportunity to provide useful information about Our Lady of Fatima’s message for her children today as we approach the culmination of the minor chastisement. We are working to place every bit of information we have at your disposal, in hopes that it will be helpful to all of you in times to come.

May Our Lady of the Rosary, the Immaculata, Queen of Heaven, be our refuge and bring us safely to heaven!

  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!

© All Content Copyright 2013-2017 ReturntoFatima.org. All Rights Reserved.

 

The Most Holy Name of Mary, Mother of God

Today we honor the Most Holy Name of Mary, the Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and by His infinite mercy, our Mother as well.  Our Lord has entrusted us to her Immaculate Heart. We honor her today and make reparation for those so unfortunate as to disdain her, especially those within the church.

St. Bernard of Clairveaux on the Holy Name of Mary

O man, whoever you are, if you realize that in the whirlwind of this world, far from walking on firm ground, you are driven hither and thither by storms and tempests, turn not your eyes from this bright Star, if you do not want to be swallowed up by the hurricane. If the winds of temptation are stirred up, if you encounter dangers and tribulations, look at the Star, and invoke Mary: “respice Stellam, voca Mariam”!

If you are shaken by waves of pride, ambition, criticism or jealousy, look at the Star and invoke Mary! If anger, avarice, or the seductions of the flesh stir up a storm in your soul, cast a glance towards Mary, “respice ad Mariam”. If troubled by the enormity of your crimes, confused by the weight of the sins on your conscience, you feel yourself slipping into the whirlpool of sadness and the abyss of despair, then think of Mary, “cogita Mariam”. In perils, in anguish, in perplexity, think of Mary, invoke Mary. Let Her name be constantly on your lips, let it never leave your heart…

In 1930, Our Lord explained to Sister Lúcia that the reason for Five First Saturdays of Reparation was there are five offenses to the Blessed Virgin; among these blasphemies against her are most prevalent today. In addition to our First Saturdays devotion, the Litany to the Holy Name of Mary is a good way to make reparation.

Prayer of Reparation for Blasphemy Against the Blessed Virgin Mary

Most glorious Virgin Mary, Mother of God and our Mother, turn thine eyes in pity upon us, miserable sinners; we are sorely afflicted by the many evils that surround us in this life, but especially do we feel our hearts break within us upon hearing the dreadful insults and blasphemies uttered against thee, O Virgin Immaculate.

O how these impious sayings offend the infinite Majesty of God and of His only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ! How they provoke His indignation and give us cause to fear the terrible effects of His vengeance! Would that the sacrifice of our lives might avail to put an end to such outrages and blasphemies! Were it so, how gladly we should make that sacrifice; for we desire, O most holy Mother, to love thee and to honor thee with all our hearts, since this is the will of God. And because we love thee, we will do all that is in our power to make thee honored and loved by all men.

In the meantime do thou, our merciful Mother, comforter of the afflicted, accept this our act of reparation which we offer thee for ourselves and for all our families, as well as for all who impiously blaspheme thee, not knowing what they say. Do thou obtain for them from Almighty God the grace of conversion, and thus render more manifest and more glorious thy kindness, thy power and thy great mercy. May they join with us in proclaiming thee blessed among women, the Immaculate Virgin and most compassionate Mother of God. Amen.

The Name of Mary at the Hour of Death

O Mary, my tender Mother, imprint thy Name, with that of Jesus, upon the inmost recesses of my heart. Obtain for me of God, in my last hour, to utter thy blessed Name and that of thy Son, with lively faith and ardent love, in order that by the virtue of these holy Names, the enemies of my salvation may be put to flight, and I may resign my soul into the hands of my Heavenly Father. Amen.

Continue reading “The Most Holy Name of Mary, Mother of God”

The Dawn of Our Redemption 2017

Ed Note: As of 5 pm, September 9, 2017, Hurricane Irma has confounded all the weather experts and is now gathering strength in the very warm waters off the island of Cuba. Even if we discount the hyperbole and sensationalism of the weather news industry,  this is a hugely significant storm with the potential for much harm. Please continue to pray both for those who suffered such losses from Hurricane Harvey in Texas and those who are awaiting the chastisement of Hurricane Irma in Florida. 

For those in the projected path, please consider enthroning the images of the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts in your home, and consecrating your family and yourself.  If you do not have an image of the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts, there are many good sites for them, to download and print.  It has been given to Our Lady to defeat satan and his minions, consecrate yourself to her and trust her. She never forsakes her children!

“The birth of Mary is the dawn of our redemption.”

“The Mother proclaims the Son, making it known that He is about to come, that the divine promises, made so many centuries before, are to be fulfilled. The birth of Mary is the dawn of our redemption. Her appearance projects a new light over all the human race: a light of innocence, of purity, of grace, a resplendent presage of the great light which will inundate the world when Christ, “Lux mundi”, the Light of the World”  appears. Mary, preserved from sin in anticipation of Christ’s merits, not only announces that the Redemption is at hand, but she bears the first fruits of it within herself; she is the first one redeemed by her divine Son. (Divine Intimacy)

We hail thee, bright Morn; who, forerunner of the Heavenly Sun of Justice, didst bring the first light to earth. Ave Maria!

 

“From the beginning and before all ages God selected and prepared for His only Son the Mother from whom, having taken flesh, He would be born in the blessed fullness of time; He loved her by herself more than all creatures, and with such a love as to find His delight in a singular way in her.” (“Ineffabilis Deus”, Pope Pius IX)

In the dialogues of Venerable Maria de Agreda,  we learn a bit more about the nativity and naming of the Blessed Virgin Mary:

I saw a great and mysterious sign in heaven; I saw a Woman, a most beautiful Lady and Queen, crowned with the stars, clothed with the sun, and the moon was at her feet (Apoc. 12, 1). The holy angels spoke to me: ‘This is that blessed Woman, whom Saint John saw in the Apocalypse, and in whom are enclosed, deposited and sealed up the wonderful mysteries of the Redemption. So much has the most high and powerful God favored this Creature, that we, His angelic spirits, are full of astonishment.’

After describing briefly the birth of Our Lady, she tells us that “The guardian angels of the sweet Child with others in great multitudes showed their veneration and worship to Mary as She rested in the arms of her mother: they joined in heavenly music.”

Mother Maria de Agreda then describes how the Eternal Father sent His angels to bear the holy infant Mary up to heaven: The holy princes, … receiving the child Mary from the arms of her holy mother Anne, bore the true Ark of the Covenant heavenward with incomparable songs of great joy. … At this time, His Majesty wished to give a name to the Child Queen and impose it first in Heaven. He thereby made known to the angels that the Three Divine persons had decreed and formed the sweet names of Jesus and Mary for the Son and Mother from the beginning, before all ages and that Their delight was in these precious names.

The   angels heard a voice from the throne speaking in the person of the Father: “Our chosen One shall be called MARY, and this name is to be powerful and magnificent. Those that shall invoke it with devout affection shall receive most abundant graces; those that shall honor it and pronounce it with reverence shall be consoled and vivified, and will find in it the remedy of their evils, the treasures for their enrichment, the light which shall guide them to heaven. It shall be terrible against the power of hell, it shall crush the head of the serpent and it shall win glorious victories over the princes of hell.”

The Lord commanded the angelic spirits to announce this glorious name to saint Anne, so that what was decreed in heaven might be executed on earth. … The holy angels honored and acknowledged most holy Mary as the future Mother of the Word and as their Queen and Mistress enthroned at the right hand of her Son; they showed their veneration of her holy name, prostrating themselves as it proceeded from the throne in the voice of the eternal Father, especially those, who had it written on the devises over their breast. All of them gave forth canticles of praise for these great and hidden mysteries. …

On the eighth day after the birth of the great Queen multitudes of most beautiful angels in splendid array descended from on high bearing an escutcheon on which the name of MARY was engraved and shone forth in great brilliancy. Appearing to the blessed mother Anne, they told her that the name of her daughter was to be MARY, which name they had brought from heaven, and which divine Providence had selected and now ordained to be given to their child by Joachim and herself. … The more than happy father accepted the name with joy and devout affection… Thus was the divine Princess named by the holy Trinity: in heaven, on the day of her nativity, and on earth, after eight days.

“Look now on her who most resembles Christ”

If we could only look on the scene, see Mary as she must have looked!

When we think on  this, the thought that  comes to mind is that expressed by Dante in Canto 32, 85-87, Paradiso, St. Bernard says of Mary,

“Riguarda omai ne la faccia che a Cristo
piu si somiglia, che la sua chiarezza
sola ti puo disporre a veder Cristo.

“Look now on her who most resembles Christ,
for only the great glory of her shining
can purify your eyes to look on Christ.”

In these few words, there is much distilled and concentrated wisdom about Our Lady! Indeed, our Savior, having no human Father, took all His physical aspect from the Blessed Virgin.  Dante refers to “the glory of her shining”  which recalls to us both Our Lady’s appearance at Fatima and  the Woman Clothed with the Sun”  of the Apocalypse. Think on this, it is most profitable!

Prayer to Mary, Star of the Sea

“When I feel myself tossed about in the sea of this world amidst storms and tempests, I fix my eyes on thee, O Mary, shining star, lest I be swallowed up by the waves. When winds of temptation arise, when I dash against the reefs of tribulations, I raise my eyes to thee and call upon thee, O Mary, Star of the Sea. When I am agitated by the billows of pride, ambition, slander or jealousy, I look to thee and invoke thee, O Mary. When anger or avarice or the seductions of the flesh rock the fragile barque of my soul, may I always look to thee, O Mary. And if I am troubled in conscience by the enormity of my sins, and frightened at the severity of judgment, and if I should feel myself engulfed in sadness or drawn into the abyss of despair, again, I raise my eyes to thee, calling always to thee, O Mary, Mother of Mercy.

“In dangers, in difficulties and in doubts, may I always turn to thee, O Mary! May thy name, O Virgin Mary, be always on my lips and never leave my heart, that I may always obtain thy assistance. Following thee, O Mary, I shall not go astray; thinking of thee, I shall not err; with thy support, I shall not fail; with thy protection, I shall not fear; relying on thee, I shall not weary. Look upon me with mercy; with confidence in thee, I shall surely reach the port.” (after St. Bernard)

Purest, dearest heart of Mary, thou art the dawn of our redemption, bearing the true Sun, our Redeemer; be thou with us in the darkness and storms that beset us!

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!

Remember, Pray the Rosary with confidence and joy!

  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!

© All Content Copyright 2013-2017 ReturntoFatima.org. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

Novena for the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Today, we begin to prepare for the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin with this Novena from  the Raccolta as part of our preparations for renewing our Consecrations  to the   Immaculate Heart of Mary on her birthday, September 8.

 

Novena for the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

We hail thee, bright Morn; who, forerunner of the Heavenly Sun of Justice, didst bring the first light to earth. Ave Maria!

 

Day One:

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful, and kindle in them the fire of Thy love.
V. Send forth Thy Spirit, and they shall be created.
R. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.
Let us pray.
O God, who hast taught the hearts of Thy faithful people by the light of the Holy Spirit; grant us in the same Spirit to relish what is right, and evermore to rejoice in His holy comfort. Through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.

Most holy Mary, Elect One, predestined from all eternity by the Most Holy Trinity to be Mother of the only-begotten Son of the Eternal Father, foretold by the Prophets, expected by the Patriarchs, desired by all nations, Sanctuary and living Temple of the Holy Ghost, Sun without stain, conceived free from original sin, Mistress of Heaven and of Earth, Queen of angels:- humbly prostrate at thy feet we give thee our homage, rejoicing that the year has brought round again the memory of thy most happy Nativity; and we pray thee with all our hearts to vouchsafe in thy goodness now to come down again and be reborn spiritually in our souls, that, led captive by thy loveliness and sweetness, they may ever live united to thy most sweet and loving heart.

Daily Prayer:
So now whilst we say nine angelic salutations, we will direct our thoughts to the nine months which thou didst pass enclosed in thy mother’s womb; celebrating at the same time thy descent from the royal house of David, and how thou didst come forth to the light of heaven with high honor from the womb of holy Anna, thy most happy mother.
Ave Maria Nine Times.

Closing Prayer
O most lovely Infant, who by thy holy birth hast comforted the world, made glad the heavens, struck terror into hell, brought help to the fallen, consolation to the sad, salvation to the weak, joy to all men living; we entreat thee, with the most fervent love and gratitude, to be spiritually reborn in our souls by means of thy most holy love; renew our spirits to thy service, rekindle in our hearts the fire of charity, bid all the virtues blossom there, that so we may find more and more favor in thy gracious eyes. Mary! be thou our Mary, and may we feel the saving power of thy sweetest name; may it ever be our comfort to call on that name in all our troubles; may it be our hope in dangers, our shield in temptation, and our last utterance in death.  Amen.
Let the name of Mary be honey in the mouth, melody in the ear, joy in the heart. Amen.
V. Thy Nativity, O Virgin Mother of God.
R. Hath brought joy to the whole world.
Let us pray.
Grant to us Thy servants, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the gift of heavenly grace; that to all those for whom the delivery of the Blessed Virgin was the beginning of salvation, this her votive festival may give increase of peace. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Day Two:

Prayers: Come Holy Spirit and Most Holy Mary:
We hail thee, heavenly Babe, white Dove of purity; who in spite of the serpent wast conceived free from original sin.
Ave Maria Nine Times.
Closing Prayer as above.

Day Three:

Come Holy Spirit and Most Holy Mary:
We hail thee, bright Morn; who, forerunner of the Heavenly Sun of Justice, didst bring the first light to earth.
Ave Maria Nine Times.
Closing Prayer as above.

Day Four:

Come Holy Spirit and Most Holy Mary:
We hail thee, Elect; who, like the untarnished Sun, didst burst forth in the dark night of sin.
Ave Maria Nine Times.
Closing Prayer as above.

Day Five:

Come Holy Spirit and Most Holy Mary:
We hail thee, beauteous Moon; who didst shed light upon a world wrapt in the darkness of idolatry.
Ave Maria Nine Times.
Closing Prayer as above.

Day Six:

Come Holy Spirit and Most Holy Mary:
We hail thee, dread Warrior-Queen; who, in thyself a host, didst put to flight all hell.
Ave Maria Nine Times.
Closing Prayer as above.

Day Seven:

Come Holy Spirit and Most Holy Mary:
We hail thee, fair Soul of Mary; who from eternity wast possessed by God and God alone.
Ave Maria Nine Times.
Closing Prayer as above.

Day Eight:

Come Holy Spirit and Most Holy Mary:
We hail thee, dear Child, and we humbly venerate thy most holy infant body, the sacred swaddling-clothes wherewith they bound thee, the sacred crib wherein they laid thee, and we bless the hour and the day when thou wast born.
Ave Maria Nine Times.
Closing Prayer as above.

Day Nine:

Come Holy Spirit and Most Holy Mary:
We hail thee, much-loved Infant, adorned with every virtue immeasurably above all saints, and therefore worthy Mother of the Savior of the world; who, having been made fruitful by the Holy Spirit, didst bring forth the Word Incarnate.
Ave Maria Nine Times.
Closing Prayer as above.

Remember, Pray the Rosary with confidence and joy!

  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!

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