The Immaculate Conception of Mary 2018

Today we are blessed to celebrate the great feastday of Our Lady, the feast  of her Immaculate Conception, the highlight of the Marian year and the time for us to renew our Consecrations. This year it is much more important than any previous year for us to continue on, earnestly living out each day our consecration to the Blessed Virgin as we prepare for the Rosary to the Interior, for the Purification of the Church on Feb 2, 2019. This year, significantly, February 2 falls on a First Saturday, thus emphasizing the importance of First Saturdays of Reparation.

To honor Our Lady on her great feastday, we offer this sermon by Archbishop Lefebvre on her Feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8,1972..

My dear friends, my dear brethren,

As the whole liturgy of today shows us, God, in His wisdom, had long ago prepared for us the most Blessed Virgin Mary. It was not just at the moment of her birth on earth that God decreed to exempt her from all sin, and to make her the Immaculate Conception but already in eternity, which preceded the creation of the world.

The epistle today recalls this fact, applying to the Most Holy Virgin the words of the eternal Wisdom; already the Holy Virgin was in the mind of God: “Iam concepta eram—I was already conceived”—yes, conceived in the mind of God, and thus already in the divine plan God was thinking of the Virgin Mary. Already He wished to fill her with all His graces, and to give her this extraordinary privilege of the Immaculate Conception, exempting her from all sin: “Tota pulchra es, Maria, et macula originalis non est in te—Thou art all fair, O Mary, and there is no stain of original sin in thee.”

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.
The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

So already in eternity, before the creation of the world, God was thinking of this admirable creature, the first of His creatures after our Lord Jesus Christ Himself. All during the course of history which preceded the birth of the Blessed Virgin, during the whole history of humanity, God was thinking of the Blessed Virgin. We see it during the entire history of the Old Testament—already, immediately after the sin of Adam and Eve, God said to Adam and Eve, “I will place an enmity between thee and the woman: She shall crush thy head.” So already the Virgin Mary had been foreseen by the Spirit of God and her preparation, the preparation for her Immaculate Conception, was becoming more and more precise the whole time.

The image of the Blessed Virgin Mary can also be found in the holy women of the Old Testament. Think of the account of Sarah, the wife of Tobias, on whose behalf an angel bound up the demon and cast him far into the desert. She is an image of the Blessed Virgin Mary, “before whom the devil must flee, and whom the devil fears.” The Virgin Mary was not under the empire of Satan for an instant, a single instant.

The story of Judith also illustrates the role of the most Holy Virgin Mary. She delivered the people of Israel from the hands of Holofernes. In cutting off the head of Holofernes Judith saved Israel, and in like manner the Blessed Virgin, by cutting off the head of the devil in a certain sense, saved the people of God.

Thus during the whole course of history God wished that we be reminded of the most Holy Virgin; the Blessed Virgin Mary was always present to God and in the plan of God and thus from her birth the Blessed Virgin Mary was exempt from all sin. At the moment of her birth she was filled with the Holy Ghost, and yet again even more so—if such be possible—at the moment when the Angel Gabriel came to announce that she would be the Mother of the Savior. Behold what the Angel said to the Blessed Virgin: “Thou art full of grace, overflowing with grace, and the Holy Ghost shall descend upon thee and overshadow thee.”

How could the Holy Ghost be present with the devil in the soul of the most Holy Virgin? There could be no stain in the soul of the Blessed Virgin Mary; already God had decided that. And from the beginning of the Blessed Virgin’s existence, we see that, in fact, the Blessed Virgin is wholly filled with the Holy Ghost. She is shown to us as a contemplative, and living in the presence of God, speaking little, reflecting on all the words which Our Lord said. At times she deemed it right to discreetly intervene, as at the marriage feast of Cana, and this was to teach us her whole gospel: “Do whatever He shall tell you.” This is the gospel of our Holy Virgin Mary.

Again, she was present at Calvary as the Mother of the Eternal Priest, at the offering of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for she also was crucified with Our Lord. If St. Paul could say, “Confixus sure cruci—I am nailed to the Cross with Christ,” how much more could the Blessed Virgin Mary say it!

Again, she was also present at the moment of Pentecost, when the Apostles received the Holy Ghost—she who was already filled with the Holy Ghost, she did not need to receive Him again but through her mediation, the Apostles received Him.

Finally the Blessed Virgin Mary went up to heaven, not only in her soul but also in her body, and thus was this extraordinary life of hers completed; a life unique in the history of humanity, but foreseen by God from all eternity.

The influence of the Blessed Virgin Mary has not ceased. Even now in heaven, the Blessed Virgin Mary continues to be the Mother of the Mystical Body of Our Lord, the Mother of the Church, the Mother of our souls. She shows it, she proves it, she proves it in every one of us, but she also proves it in her apparitions. Is it not admirable to think that after the Sovereign Pontiff Pius IX proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception as a revealed truth, that the Blessed Virgin Mary was Immaculate from her Conception—already four years later on March 21, 1858, the Blessed Virgin herself said to little Bernadette, the little shepherdess, “I am the Immaculate Conception.”

Remember that Bernadette was incapable of understanding, she could not understand what these words meant, and she left the grotto on her way to her pastor’s house repeating these words which she did not understand, to make sure she would not forget them. The history of the life of Bernadette tells us that it was at that moment that the parish priest of Lourdes, Fr. Pomian, was truly convinced by the apparitions at Lourdes. He realized that the poor little shepherdess was incapable of inventing this herself, and that the dogma had been proclaimed four years before by the Sovereign Pontiff. Thus it was confirmed by the Blessed Virgin herself that she was the Immaculate Conception.

What lesson, then, must we draw from this history of the Blessed Virgin Mary and her Immaculate Conception? For all of us who have been baptized, we who in a certain sense have received more than others because of the offices we may occupy in Holy Church—all of us: If the Blessed Virgin Mary was Immaculate in her Conception it is because she was to be the Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ, because she had to carry within herself Our Lord, the Son of God, because she was charged with giving Him to the world, because she was to live in proximity with Him, to be His Mother.

We Christians, who receive Holy Communion, do we not receive the same Jesus Christ, the same Body, which was conceived by the Blessed Virgin Mary? We receive Him in us, in our bodies, in our souls. If it was decreed that the Blessed Virgin Mary was to be immaculate in her conception, so that she might receive the Body of Our Lord Jesus Christ, His soul, His divinity, must we not also be pure? Not that we can be immaculate in our conception, but may our souls be immaculate, by our prayers, by our dispositions, by our efforts, by the grace of God… to win this privilege that the Blessed Virgin had by the gift of Our Lord Jesus Christ, may we by our prayers and by the grace of God obtain the grace of having immaculate souls to receive Our Lord Jesus Christ.

We must! We must live without sin, we must struggle against anything that might tarnish our souls, so that it can be said of our souls: “Tota pulchra est, et macula non est in te—Thou art all fair, and there is no stain in thee.” Let there be no stain in our souls so that we may worthily receive Our Lord Jesus Christ.

And if that is true for Christians, true for the faithful, true for every person, every soul receiving Our Lord Jesus Christ, how much more, dear brethren, is it true of you—you who are destined in a singular way to consecrate yourselves to God, to offer yourselves to God, and particularly those who offer themselves to God in the priesthood, who, in this world, call down Our Lord Jesus Christ upon the altar and, like the Blessed Virgin, touch Him with their hands, and give Him to others; how much more must your souls be immaculate!

With what joy, therefore, do we receive today the oblations of those who desire to offer their lives, offer their souls, for the service of God, the service of the altar. Let us ask in a special way of the Blessed Virgin to transmit, in a certain degree, this privilege she had, the graces which are necessary to keep our souls immaculate.

She is the creature that was created, designed by God to destroy sin. Thus there is no creature more free of sin than the Blessed Virgin Mary.

She has crushed the head of the serpent. Therefore with the Blessed Virgin there is no compromise, no compromise with sin, no compromise with error; she is completely true, completely holy. She cannot bear error, or sin, or vice. Let us then ask the Blessed Virgin that we ourselves have this horror of sin, this horror of vice—but love for sinners, because it was for sinners that she was created, to save sinners. May we have this immense desire, this flame which must consume us, the desire to save souls from sin, to snatch them from the clutches of the devil, the clutches of the world, and the scandals of it.

Therefore let us all ask today that our Society be a sign, a sign of truth, a sign of holiness, a sign of flight from sin, and all the scandals of the world, and a sign of the presence of the Virgin Mary. We will truly be children of the Church, children of Mary, on this condition. But if, unhappily, we also become like the people who are drawn by the world and who want compromises with things of the world, with error—then we will no longer be worthy children of Mary, worthy children of Our Lord.

That is what we ask, for all those who are present at this Holy Mass, for all those who are present here, and particularly for those who, in a moment, will pronounce their oblation and their engagements in the Society.

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Thank you for reading!

  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!

On the Eve of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception

The Divine Word has for His Mother a love infinitely greater than that which He bears to all His other creatures. Mary’s honour is infinitely dear to Him, because she is His Mother.

Now, correlate that absolute truth with the reality of the past nearly 100 years. What honour has the institutional Church shown to the Mother of God, who came to show us the way to return to God? To repeat, what honour has the Church shown to Mary? What Pope has obeyed her?  We offer the following to prepare us for tomorrow’s feast. In this horrible chastisement which is building, the remedy is Mary Immaculate. If we spurn her, there is no other.

The post below is long, and contains much that you already know, and Dom Gueranger’s language is that of the “triumphalist” faithful so despised by our current humble Pope and his church leaders. Dom Gueranger belongs to the past. We have progressed so far beyond that now, haven’t we? The following is from Dom Prosper Gueranger, Vol. 1, The Liturgical Year, available from www.archive.org.

The Immaculate Conception - Because God hates sin!
O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us now and at the hour of our death!
The Immaculate Conception of Mary

At length, on the distant horizon, rises, with a soft and radiant light, the aurora of the Sun which has been so long desired. The happy Mother of the Messias was to be born before the Messias Himself; and this is the day of the Conception of Mary. The earth already possesses a first pledge of the Divine mercy; the Son of Man is near at hand. Two true Israelites, Joachim and Anne, noble branches of the family of David, find their union, after a long barrenness, made fruitful by the Divine omnipotence. Glory be to God, Who has been mindful of His promises, and Who deigns to announce, from the high heavens, the end of the deluge of iniquity, by sending upon the earth the sweet white dove that bears the tidings of peace!

The Feast of the Blessed Virgin’s Immaculate Conception is the most solemn of all those which the Church celebrates during the holy time of Advent; and if the first part of the cycle had to offer us the commemoration of some one of the mysteries of Mary, there was none whose object could better harmonize with the spirit of the Church in this mystic season of expectation. Let us, then, celebrate this solemnity with joy; for the Conception of Mary tells us that the Birth of Jesus is not far off.

The intention of the Church in this Feast, is not only to celebrate the anniversary of the happy moment in which began, in the womb of the pious Anne, the life of the ever-glorious Virgin Mary; but also to honour the sublime privilege, by which Mary was preserved from the Original Stain, which, by a sovereign and universal decree, is contracted by all the children of Adam the very moment they are conceived in their mother’s womb.

The faith of the Catholic Church on the subject of the Conception of Mary is this: that at the very instant when God united the soul of Mary, which He had created, to the body which it was to animate, this ever-blessed soul did not only not contract the stain, which at that same instant defiles every human soul, but was filled with an immeasurable grace which rendered her, from that moment, the mirror of the sanctity of God Himself, as far as this is possible to a creature.

The Church with her infallible authority, declared by the lips of Pius IX, that this article of her faith had been revealed by God Himself. The Definition was received with enthusiasm by the whole of Christendom, and the eighth of December of the year 1854 was thus made one of the most memorable days of the Church’s history.

…  The close ties which were to unite the Son of God with Mary, and which would elicit from Him the tenderest love and the most filial reverence for her, had been present to the Divine thought from all eternity: and the conclusion forces itself upon us that therefore the Divine Word had for this His future Mother a love infinitely greater than that which He bore to all His other creatures. Mary’s honour was infinitely dear to Him, because she was to be His Mother, chosen to be so by His eternal and merciful decrees.

The Son’s love protected the Mother. She, indeed, in her sublime humility willingly submitted to whatever the rest of God’s creatures had brought on themselves, and obeyed every tittle of those laws which were never meant for her; but that humiliating barrier, which confronts every child of Adam at the first moment of his existence, and keeps him from light and grace until he shall have been regenerated by a new birth. Oh! this could not be permitted to stand in Mary’s way, her Son forbade it.

The eternal Father would not do less for the second Eve than He had done for the first, who was created, as was also the first Adam, in the state of original justice, which she afterwards forfeited by sin. The Son of God would not permit that the woman, from whom He was to take the nature of Man, should be deprived of that gift which He had given even to her who was the mother of sin. The Holy Ghost, Who was to overshadow Mary and produce Jesus within her by His Divine operation, would not permit that foul stain, in which we are all conceived, to rest, even for an instant, on this His Bride. 

Was it not this grand exemption which God Himself foretold, when the guilty pair, whose children we all are, appeared before Him in the garden of Eden? In the anathema which fell upon the serpent, there was included a promise of mercy to us. ‘I will put enmities,’ said the Lord, ‘between thee and the Woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head.’ (Gen. 3, 15) Thus was salvation promised the human race under the form of a victory over Satan; and this victory is to be gained by the Woman, and she will gain it for us also. … The human race is one day to be avenged not only by God made Man, but also by the Woman miraculously exempted from every stain of sin, in whom the primeval creation, which was in justice and holiness, (Eph. iv. 24) will thus reappear, just as though the Original Sin had never been committed. …

The second Eve is created; and from her own blood (which, with the exception of the element of sin, is the same as that which makes you to be the children of Adam), she is shortly to give you the God-Man, Who proceeds from her according to the flesh, as He proceeds from the Father according to the eternal generation.

And how can we do less than admire and love the incomparable purity of Mary in her Immaculate Conception, when we hear even God, Who thus prepared her to become His Mother, saying to her, in the Divine Canticle, these words of love: ‘Thou art all fair, O My love, and there is not a spot in thee! (Cant. 4, 7) It is the God of all holiness that here speaks; that eye, which sees all things, finds not a vestige, not a shadow of sin; therefore does He delight in her, and admire in her that gift of His Own condescending munificence. We cannot be surprised after this, that Gabriel, when he came down from Heaven to announce the Incarnation to her, should be full of admiration at the sight of that purity, whose beginning was so glorious and whose progress was immeasurable; and that this blessed spirit should bow down profoundly before this young Maid of Nazareth, and salute her with, ‘Hail, O full of grace!’ (Luke 1, 28) …

This truth of Mary’s Immaculate Conception, which was revealed to the Apostles by the Divine Son of Mary, inherited by the Church, taught by the holy fathers, believed by each generation of the Christian people with an ever increasing explicitness, was implied in the very notion of a Mother of God. To believe that Mary was Mother of God, was implicitly to believe that she, on whom this sublime dignity was conferred, had never been defiled with the slightest stain of sin, and that God had bestowed upon her an absolute exemption from sin. …

The Symbol of our faith has therefore received not a new truth, but a new light on a truth which was previously the object of the universal belief. On that great day of the definition, the infernal serpent was again crushed beneath the victorious foot of the Virgin Mother, and the Lord graciously gave us the strongest pledge of His mercy. He still loves this guilty earth, since He has deigned to enlighten it with one of the brightest rays of His Mother’s glory. How this earth of ours exulted! …”

Continue reading “On the Eve of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception”

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!

St. Francis de Sales tells us about Mary

Today, we offer some thoughts from Saint Francis de Sales on the Immaculata

Prayer for the Immaculate Conception
by Saint Francis de Sales

O Mary! Immaculate Lily of Purity, I rejoice with you that you have been filled with grace and have loved God more than the Seraphim from the first instant of your Immaculate Conception. May the most Holy Trinity be eternally thanked and adored for so many and such rare privileges bestowed upon you. I humble myself profoundly before you, seeing that I am so devoid of graces and poor in merits. O my most loving Mother, make me a partaker of the graces which you have received so abundantly, that I also may be able to love God ardently during life, and not be separated from Him in death. Amen. 

 

On the Immaculate Conception of Mary

The wonderful variety which is observable in the works of nature gives us a very high idea of the immeasurable riches of the Almighty Creator. And yet He manifests His power still more in the super natural order, and the wonderful diversity of the works of grace preaches more loudly the munificence of His mercy. God, in the excess of His goodness, did not merely grant a general redemption to men, sufficient for the salvation of each one, but He diversified and multiplied the super natural gifts which accompany this redemption with infinite liberality and wonderful variety. But His highest favors were lavished upon the most holy Virgin.

From all eternity the Heavenly Father had ordained in His love to form her heart to the perfection of charity, that she might love His Divine Son with the most perfect maternal love—as He had loved Him from all eternity with the most perfect paternal love. The Son of God cast His eyes upon this Virgin, and chose her for His Mother, and co-operator in the great work of the world’s redemption, a merciful Mother, a most powerful advocate of mankind—the most amiable, the most loving, and the most beloved of all creatures. It is the opinion of many theologians that our Lord sanctified St. John the Baptist in the womb of St. Elizabeth, by a ray of His light and grace, and gave him the use of reason together with the gift of faith, so that he knew his God, hidden in the immaculate womb of Mary, adored Him, and consecrated himself to His service.

If such a grace were granted by Our Lord to His precursor, who can doubt for a moment that He should have granted not only a similar, but a much greater privilege to her whom He Himself had chosen for His Mother, and that He should not only have sanctified her in the womb of her mother, St. Anne, but should have, moreover, raised her from the very first instant of her conception to a state of purity and sanctity? The adorable Redeemer of the human race, the eternal object of the love of His Heavenly Father, considered His Mother from that first moment, as a delicious garden which was to produce the fruit of eternal life, and He cultivated this garden in order that every kind of perfection should flourish therein.

He adorned her with the gold of charity and with a wondrous variety of virtues, that she might be able to sit at His side as a Queen—that is to say, occupy the first place amongst the elect, and, in this manner, enjoy the delights that are found at the right hand of the Eternal God. This Divine Mother was redeemed, therefore, in a manner becoming the dignity of the Son, for Whom she was created. Hence she was preserved from reprobation and from all danger of it, because she was enriched with the perfection of grace and with everything necessary for its preservation. Well is she compared to a beautiful aurora, or dawn, which, from its very beginning, went on increasing until it reached its perfect day.

O first-fruit of the Redemption! O masterpiece of the Redeemer! It is just, indeed, O my Divine Saviour, that as a Son full of love and devotion towards Thy Mother, in preventing her with the blessings of Heaven, Thou shouldest have preserved her, not only from sin like the Angels, but even from every danger of sinning, and shouldest, moreover, have removed from her path all that could hinder or even retard her in the exercise of Thy holy love. It was written in Thy eternal decrees that Thou wouldest at one day prefer her to all rational creatures who were dear to Thy Divine Heart, and that Thou wouldest call her the beloved object of Thy predilection, Thy dove, Thy spotless and beautiful one, perfect beyond compare.

A special privilege was reserved for Mary, worthy of a Son Who loved her with an infinite love, and Who, being infinitely good, wise and perfect, was to choose for Himself a Mother, and form her according to His own heart. He willed then that the grace of Redemption should be applied to her as a preservative remedy. Like the waters of the Jordan that, in the days of Josue, interrupted their course through respect for the Ark of the Covenant, so the stream of original corruption stayed its course at the feet of Mary, at the conception of this living tabernacle of the Eternal Covenant.

From the first instant of her conception, Mary knew her God, and loved Him sovereignly; from that moment she became impeccable, through the special assistance of the divine protection, and through the continual inflow of efficacious and preventing graces, to which she never offered the slightest resistance. God not only adorned her with the most abundant habitual grace, but He preserved it in her, keeping her always free from every evil inclination, every idle thought, and every feeling in the slightest degree contrary to the most perfect sanctity.

As to her body, we may believe it was endowed with singular perfections. St. Joachim and St. Anne received her from God through a particular, and we may say, even a miraculous grace, so that she was one of the most excellent works of the Holy Ghost, and breathed only sanctity and purity. This Queen loved, then, her virginal body, not only because it was docile, humble, pure and obedient to Divine Love, but still more because from it was formed the Body of her Saviour. Truly has this Holy Virgin been called elect as the sun, because as the sun shines resplendent above all the stars, through the excellence of its prerogatives, so there is no one amongst all the Saints who has obtained, or can ever obtain, graces superior to those bestowed upon Mary.

There are Saints who have received signal graces from our Lord, and these, compared with the rest of the world, are like queens crowned with charity, and occupy a distinguished position in the love of our Divine Saviour. But His most blessed Mother is the Queen of all Queens, for she is not only crowned with charity, but with the perfection of charity, and to use an expression of the Holy Spirit, Who says that the Son is the crown of the Father; her crown is in truth her Son; that is to say, the sovereign object of charity, the Eternal Love, forms her crown.

Spiritual Flowers

How lovely is the rose and yet it causes great sadness in my soul. It reminds me of my sin, on account of which the earth was condemned to produce thorns.—St. Basil.

Mary, conceived without sin, is compared to the incorruptible cedar, the scent of which puts serpents to flight.—St. Alphonsus Liguori.

How great will be our happiness in heaven, where we shall be able to contemplate Mary, to love her and be loved by her; for she alone forms a paradise of delights. Mary is truly, after God, all that is beautiful, sweet, glorious and amiable in that celestial realm; all is in Mary, all through Mary, all, in fine, is hers.—St. Bonaventure.

Nothing is of greater service to our soul, nor more sustains and strengthens it, than the frequent thought of Mary.—St. Teresa.

 

(Saint Francis de Sales. “The Saint Francis de Sales Collection” [16 Books] Catholic Way Publishing. Kindle Edition)

†  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.

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!

 

 

Our Lady of Guadalupe, clothed with the sun

Among the many unfinished posts in evensong’s archives, we found this one. Not sure why it was never posted, but we offer it today for the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe. For a much more complete exposition of the message of Guadalupe, we recommend Mariana Bartold’s “Guadalupe, Secrets of the Image”.

“Call me and my image the Perfect Virgin Mary, Holy Mother of God, the one who crushes the serpent.”

 

The Age of Apostasy began with the disobedience of the apostate priest’s  revolt which ripped through Christendom in the sixteenth century and left in its wake an orphan people, bereft of grace, endlessly prating about the dignity of man while assiduously destroying any sign of man’s true dignity which is to be found in the love of Our Lord Jesus Christ. (Apoc 1, 5)

In response to this monumental affront, He Who is love sent the world His love! That is to say, Our Lord granted to us His own most beloved  Mother. Even as the foul-mouthed Luther was delivering his scatological “sermons”, Our Lord sent the Blessed Virgin to her children in the New World to grant them the favor of her image, miraculously imprinted on Juan Diego’s cactus cloth tilma. This image displays Our Lady as the “Woman clothed with the Sun” of Apocalypse 12.  Thus, we see Our Lord counter the hateful disobedience of Luther  with loving obedience, to counter what is foul and ugly with what is pure and beautiful, and to counter deceit with Truth.

She who crushes the head of the serpent.

To this end, the magnificent work of the Mother of God began with her apparitions in Mexico in December, 1531, and followed in succession by her apparitions to Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres in the Conceptionist Convent in Quito, Ecuador in the early 17th century, the apparitions of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque of the Visitation Convent in Paray-le-Monial, France beginning  in December, 1673. These actions of the Divine Mercy were in turn followed by the apparitions at Rue du Bac, (1830) where Our Lady granted the Medal of the Immaculate Conception (Miraculous Medal) to her children through St. Catherine Laboure, a nun of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul.  Our Lady’s appearance to Saint Catherine Laboure was quickly followed by three more  more divine interventions;  La Salette, (September, 1851), Lourdes from February until March 25, 1858 and at Knock (August, 1879).

The sequence of the interventions reveals a significant development. By Our Lady’s appearance at Guadalupe in the image of the Immaculata, clothed with the Sun, “she who crushes the serpent’s head”, the challenge of Lucifer’s Luther was met by God’s Virgin Mother. This intervention countered Luther’s attack on souls with the Virgin’s offering of salvation to whole nations who had never known the true God. By it, many millions of souls were saved and a message of obedient trust in Mary was given for her children. In her image, we are led to consider the end times, specifically Apocalypse 12. In both images she stands on the new moon and this is significant for several reasons, but most relevant for the present time is its indication that she will come again to conquer the sect that has so persecuted Christians for centuries; and that this will usher in a period of peace.

The apparitions of Our Lady of Good Success in the next century gave us a comforting prophecy for our times, the times of an almost total corruption of society which is the beginning of the “Good Success” of the victory of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. But that sign was not widely known in those days, for it was meant for these days. Then came Our Lord Himself in the 17th century, Who promised us great graces for honoring Him in the image of His most Sacred Heart.  Although this devotion was declined by the Kings of France, Our Lord’s command  remains in force and when at last it is obeyed we shall see great progress in the restoration.  The Sacred Heart of Jesus is united with the Immaculate Heart of His Mother and so the following century saw an increase in Marian apparitions  which emphasized the Immaculate Conception and called the faithful to pray for sinners, to repent and offer penance.

When Our Lady’s message to Melanie and Maximin was silenced by the powerful sect of satan both within and without the Church, she eloquently appeared in a silent tableau at Knock, Ireland to express the suppressed message. Her sorrowful tears at La Salette replaced by a cold, driving rain. La Salette’s  warning of the apostasy of the Church  enforced by the apocalyptic apparition occurring outside the church of a priest who refused to recognise it.  The altar at Knock was stripped bare, but the Sacrificial Lamb gives voice to the now suppressed Sacrifice.

In between those visits, Our Lady intervened at Lourdes to offer us another sign of her mercy. There, she confirms that she is the Immaculate Conception, and requests penance after granting the faithful a miraculous spring of healing waters. See the progression: growing emphasis on devotion to her Immaculate Conception, coupled with signs of grace such as the Miraculous Medal and the Holy Water of Lourdes. She nourishes us and defends us while she urges us to preserve the faith.

The divine interventions of the 19th century were capped by the Queen of apparitions, that of Fatima, Portugal in 1917, the year which saw the resurgence of the great red dragon in direct contradiction to the most Blessed Virgin and this bloody battle is quickly ascending to its terrifying climax. For the House of God has been almost thoroughly eclipsed by the one world church of man. Lucifer is enthroned in the Vatican and Luther appears to have supplanted the Blessed Virgin at the foot of the Cross.  For the Church is crucified today; it is the Passiontide of the Bride of Christ. During Our Lord’s Passion, it appeared that the foulness of the sinful world has covered His visage as now, the foulness of the ancient enemy appears to obscure the beauty of the Church. We shall soon see her true splendor!

Note that Our Lady of Guadalupe is the Immaculate Conception. In this sign, she shall crush the serpent’s head. It is good to honor her today, preferably with the Mass, but also, very urgently, to pray all 15 decades of her Rosary, for the intentions of her Immaculate Heart. And we treasure in our hearts always her words to Saint Juan Diego,

Hear me and understand well, my little son, that nothing should frighten or grieve you. Let not your heart be disturbed. Do not fear that sickness, nor any other sickness or anguish. Am I not here, who is your Mother? Are you not under my protection? Am I not your health? Are you not happily within my fold? What else do you wish? Do not grieve nor be disturbed by anything.”

†  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 Precious Blood of Jesus, save us, save our priests.
  Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy Kingdom come – Viva Cristo Rey!
†  St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.
†  Remember, pray the rosary and confound satan.

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

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