The Carrying of the Cross, 2018

 

Once Pilate pronounced the sentence, Jesus was again stripped. This time the ragged mockery of a royal cloak (which had clotted to His wounds) was brutally removed and He was re-robed in His own garments and hastened away to take up His cross. Now, in those days, it was customary for there to be a delay between the sentencing and the execution.

“Since the advent of Tiberius to the imperial throne, criminals sentenced by the Roman senate were reprieved for ten days, and when the emperor had pronounced the sentence, even for thirty days.”  (Fr. Groenings,  “The Passion of Jesus and Its Hidden Meaning: A Scriptural commentary on the Passion”, TAN Books. Kindle Edition).

But the enemies of Christ could tolerate no delay, for they were afire to achieve their goal, the total destruction of the Son of Man and all He represented. In this, they are very like to the enemies of Christ in His Church today, who hasten in their mad rush to destroy faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and His beloved Church.

As was customary, Pilate had commanded that the notice of the crime be posted on the crucifix. in three languages, Latin, Greek and Hebrew.  Fr. Groenings shares some insights on the meaning of this notice,

“The confusion of languages at Babylon was the expression of God’s anger. The holy cross, the sign of reconciliation, was to restore the unity of tongues. In the unity of faith and of love the peoples of all tongues should be united in the worship of the Crucified One. The title read, “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.” Now we have it in clear terms from the judge himself that Christ was not executed on account of a crime, but because He was Jesus, that is, the Redeemer, and because He was King in the realm of truth.”

Today, we might fruitfully consider the application of the foregoing passage to the confusion of tongues resulting from the Conciliar changes, the abandonment of Latin, the fragmenting of the Faith, the confusion and disunity caused by Pope Francis, especially through “Amoris Laetitia”, his Ode to Sexual Sin.

Although the chief priests were indignant at the wording of the notice, Pilate was obdurate and thus unwittingly, he affirmed the innocence of Christ and the profound truth of the purpose of the crucifixion, that is, Christ died at the hands of the Chosen who rejected the salvation offered them by their loving Savior. And so do they today, the Synagogue of Satan which arrogantly believes they control the Church of our Savior.

Now, we know from Venerable Maria de Agreda and other prophecies that Our Lord had, even as a child, anticipated the moment that He would “be about His Father’s business” and had often enacted His crucifixion. and so He kissed His cross and took it upon His wounded shoulder. It was not forced upon Him, for He embraced it willingly.

As Our Lord carries His cross in this sad procession, we recall the prefigurings in the Old Law, Abel being led to the place where Cain would execute him with a wooden club, Isaac,  carrying on his shoulders the wood of his intended immolation, and even David going forth, staff in hand to slay Goliath.

It was the Roman custom to parade the convicted through the most populous streets on the way to their execution so that the people would fear their rulers and so did it come to pass with Our Savior, Who was made  to be the example of the fate reserved for those who challenge  the rulers of this world.

Each of the  three falls provided an opportunity for Our Lord’s enemies to gloat over Him, spit on Him and kick Him as He writhed in helpless pain, striving to arise beneath the heavy cross. These falls are caused by our own sins, and were endured by Our Savior, who wills to endure the same humiliation that we must undergo to make reparation as we too, arise from our falls into sin.  We must focus on His falls often,  and see His tender love for us, His willingness to suffer with us, beckoning us to repent of our sins, accept the humiliation that this occasions and arise with our cross and come, follow Him.

The greatest sorrow of this entire Via Dolorosa was when Our Lord, painfully arisen from His Fall, beheld His most beloved Mother, and their eyes locked in that most sorrowful gaze. An infinity of suffering and love and yes, even of triumph, passed between them.  For painful as it is, this crucifixion is the Divine means of redemption.  How can we then call ourselves Christians and yet spurn this cross?

Father Groenings tells us that Jesus left Jerusalem forever through the gate called “The Garden Gate” because it led through a beautiful garden at the foot of Golgotha, the Place of the Skull.  From this garden, Our Lord struggled upward, His back against Jerusalem and its inhabitants, which had obstinately rejected Him.  Thus, those who  sent Him away were now abandoned to their sins. Many a nation since then has likewise seen the Savior’s back, as He accepts their will, and abandons them in their pride to their eternal destruction.  And now, we see this happening even to the “Chief Priests” of His own Church and those who follow them, rejecting their Savior.

Although His enemies gloat in their seeming victory, we, for our part, abide with Mary and John at the foot of this Cross, beseeching our Savior to grant us the grace to be with Him always and never forsake Him. Like the disciples at Emmaus, let us say to Him, “Stay with us, because it is towards evening, and the day is now far spent.”

Yes, it is towards evening and the day is now far spent.  We must therefore, make firm our wills, for “the night comes when no man can work.” (John, 9,4)

Please, pray the Rosary and confound satan and those who serve him!

Please, Pray the Rosary and confound satan and those who serve him!
.  Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.

.  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!

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

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

The Feast Day of St. Joseph, 2018

 

Today we honor St. Joseph, the spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the foster father of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Now more than ever, when traditional Catholic families are under attack even from Pope Francis and the leaders of the Church who support him, we turn to St. Joseph, strong defender of the family.

St. Teresa of Avila, the great Carmelite reformer, mystic and doctor of the Church was especially devoted to St. Joseph. From her Autobiography we read of St. Joseph, “I know by long experience what blessings he can obtain for us from God. I have never known anyone who was truly devoted to him by particular services who did not advance greatly in virtue: for he helps in a special way those souls who commend themselves to him.”

At the last apparition of Fatima, on October 13, 1917, St. Joseph appeared holding the Child Jesus, who blessed the crowds. This was an emphatic indication of the importance of St. Joseph in these turbulent times.

St. Joseph, defender of the faith, defender of families, pray for us!

Venerable Maria de Agreda, in “The Mystical City of God”, recounts the special privileges which make St. Joseph a most powerful intercessor on behalf of his children.

  • Attaining purity and overcoming sensuality.
  • Escaping sin and returning to the faith.
  • Increasing love and devotion to his spouse, the Most Blessed Virgin Mary.
  • Securing the grace of a happy death and defending the soul against the devil’s wiles at that crucial time.
  • St. Joseph is the terror of demons and they flee at his name.
  • St. Joseph is a great intercessor for all our needs, especially helpful for our families and health.

Venerable Maria de Agreda quoted Our Lady’s words to her, “That which my spouse asks of the Lord in heaven is granted upon the earth and on his intercession depend many and extraordinary favors for men if they do not make themselves unworthy of receiving them.” Indeed, trusting in St. Joseph as the foster father of our family has brought us closer to living our consecrations to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. In speaking of St. Joseph, it is difficult to adequately express his tender love for us, his willingness to protect us, even from ourselves and obtain for us the graces we need to live our consecrations.

The following is an especially appropriate prayer to St. Joseph composed by Pope Leo XIII, called Ad te Beate Joseph. It seems especially appropriate in this time of crisis of the faith in the Church and in our families, who seem to be betrayed by the very Church which should defend and nourish them. It is said before Mass by those attending Chapels of the Society of St. Pius X and Bishop Fellay is especially devoted to St. Joseph.

Ad te Beate Joseph

To thee, O blessed Joseph, do we have recourse in our tribulation, and having implored the help of thy thrice holy Spouse, we confidently invoke thy patronage also. By that charity wherewith thou wast united to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God, and by that fatherly affection with which thou didst embrace the Child Jesus, we beseech thee and we humbly pray, that thou wouldst look graciously upon the inheritance which Jesus Christ hath purchased by His Blood, and assist us in our needs by thy power and strength.

Most watchful Guardian of the Holy Family, protect the chosen people of Jesus Christ; keep far from us, most loving father, all blight of error and corruption: mercifully assist us from heaven, most mighty defender, in this our conflict with the powers of darkness; and, even as of old thou didst rescue the Child Jesus from the supreme peril of His life, so now defend God’s Holy Church from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity; keep us one and all under thy continual protection, that we may be supported by thine example and thine assistance, may be enabled to lead a holy life, die a happy death and come at last to the possession of everlasting blessedness in heaven. Amen.
— A partial indulgence is attached to this prayer

Another favorite prayer of mine is this

Consecration to St. Joseph

Beloved St. Joseph, adopt me as thy child, take care of my salvation, watch over me day and night, preserve me from all occasion of sin, obtain for me purity of body and soul! Through thy intercession with Jesus grant me a spirit of sacrifice, of humility, self-denial, a burning love for Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament, and a sweet, tender love for Mary, my Mother. St. Joseph, be with me living, be with me dying and obtain for me a favorable judgement from Jesus, my merciful Savior. Amen

St. Joseph has brought me through so many perils to my faith and continues to protect even those of my children who are lapsed from the faith. He is a most compassionate and loving protector to all who turn to him.

It is especially beneficial to pray to St. Joseph for our good Catholic priests – In fact, St. Joseph has never let me down when I have asked him to help a specific priest and I have recently had good reason to believe that priests, in particular are very dear to his heart.

For more on St. Joseph, we offer the following:

St. Joseph Too

Fatima, St. Joseph and the family

St. Joseph, Remedy for Error

  St. Joseph, foster Father to our Lord, be foster father to our family!

  St. Joseph, protector of the Church, protect our priests!

  St. Joseph, terror of demons, cast out satan from our homes, from our families, and from the Church!

  St. Joseph intercede for us now and at the hour of our death.

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

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

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

Purification and Presentation, 2018

Today, which is also a First Friday,  we offer a new post to commemorate one of the oldest feasts in the Church, the Purification of Mary and the Presentation of the infant Jesus in the Temple.

The feast of the Purification of Mary is also the feast of the Presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple, and both rites were observed in order to fulfill Mosaic Law; that is to say, this venerable old feast is all about obedience! The obedience of Mary, the most pure and perfect example of God’s creation humbly submitting to the ancient Mosaic Law of purification, and the Divine Infant, truly God as well as truly man, submitting in utmost humility to the Mosaic Law, consecrating God to God as it were.

As we consider the Blessed Virgin Mary and her Divine Child in the Temple, we note that it is in their actions, that is to say, in their choices, that we learn the essential truths of our faith and begin to grasp the significance of the choices we ourselves are required to make. For humility demands obedience, and wherever we see true obedience, there is humility in action.

It was a common sight in those days to see proud young fathers and mothers present their first born sons in the great Temple of Jerusalem. There was perhaps, little to distinguish the Holy Family as they brought in their infant Son, wending their way through the throng of devout Jews. However, in stark contrast to the other women  offering their sons, Mary’s consecration of Jesus under the Old Law was to be consummated on the altar of the Cross, the turning point in salvation history, fulfilling the Old Law and beginning the New Law. Thus, Mary’s offering was, on this day, nothing less than the obedient acceptance of the complete oblation of the Sacred Victim, her beloved Son.

For God so loved His creation that in order to save men from their sins, He spared not even His own beloved Son but delivered Him up to save us all, as St. Paul reminds us. God’s justice demanded that the Blessed Virgin Mary know in full every aspect of the sacrifice that was demanded of her innocent Son. This was, as St. Francis de Sales reminds us, so that “together with the sacrifice of the life of the Son, the heart of the mother might be sacrificed also. … although Mary, from the moment she was made mother of Jesus, gave her consent to His death, yet the Lord wished her on this day to make in the Temple a solemn sacrifice of herself, by offering solemnly her Son, and sacrificing to the divine justice His precious life.”

“This child is set for the fall, and for the resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted.”

As we consider the scene, we note Simeon’s great sorrow; for although  God had promised him that he should not die before seeing Christ the Saviour, he now realized the immense suffering which these two innocents would have to endure. Thus it was with an immeasurable sorrow that Simeon addressed the most Blessed Virgin Mary,  “And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed.”

At the moment when the priest Simeon mentioned the sword and the sign of contradiction, which were prophetical of the passion and death of the Lord, the Child bowed His head, signifying His acceptance of Simeon’s prophecy as the sentence of the eternal Father pronounced by His minister. All this the loving Mother noticed and understood. She felt the sorrow predicted by Simeon and was wounded by the sword, of which She had thus been warned. As in a mirror her spirit was made to see all the mysteries included in this prophecy; how her most holy Son was to be the stone of stumbling (1),  the perdition of the unbelievers, and the salvation of the faithful; the fall of the synagogue and the establishment of the Church among the heathens; She foresaw the triumph to be gained over the devils and over death, but also that a great price was to be paid for it, namely her Son’s frightful agony and death on the Cross. She foresaw the boundless opposition and contradiction, which the Lord Jesus was to sustain both personally and in His Church (2). At the same time she also saw the glory and excellence of the predestined souls.

For Mary kept all this in her Immaculate Heart, bearing within her soul such a profound sorrow that no human can ever fathom. The saints assure us that ever after, each glance at this divine, innocent and most lovable Son yielded the most intense pangs of sorrow. St. Francis de Sales explains further,

Thus, Mary not only offered her Son to death that day in the Temple, but was offering Him up at every moment of her life; for she revealed to St. Bridget that this grief which St. Simeon announced to her, never left her heart till she was assumed into heaven. Hence St. Anselm says: ‘Oh Lady, I cannot believe, that with such a sorrow thou would have been able to live one moment, if God Himself, who gives life, had not strengthened thee by His divine power.’ And St. Bernard affirms, speaking of the great sorrow that Mary endured on this day, that hence forth she suffered a living death, bearing a grief more cruel than death. She lived, dying at every moment, because grief for the death of her beloved Jesus was at every moment assailing her.

What lesson can we draw from this Mystery of the Presentation? If we are to be truly Mary’s children, living our consecrations to her, then we must accept with equanimity the sorrows and sufferings given to us; not only those we ourselves endure but also those we behold suffered by the Bride of Christ, that is, the Church. The Immaculate Virgin offered up her sufferings united with those of her Divine Son and Saviour. She was silent before Herod, and she was silent as Jesus stood before the Sanhedrin,  and before Pilate. This is not to say she was indifferent. Not at all. Indeed, Mary held all of this, every brutality and indignity suffered by her beloved Son was held in her Immaculate and Sorrowful Heart. We her children, can do no less, nor should we seek to do more. For as a loving child, in obedience to the Mother, models his behaviour on hers, we attend to all our Saviour’s sufferings, we do not turn away, but abide with Him in sorrowful love with Mary our Mother, offering all in reparation.

Now the above essay should not be construed as the encouragement of what Dr. Roberto de Mattei rightfully condemns as minimalism, that is the willful neglect of our duty to confront the errors in the Church. In her Message of Fatima, our most Blessed Mother has providentially given us the means for increasing sanctifying grace in our lives to nourish our souls and provide us with the spiritual weapons for this great battle for the Church, for souls, Now this battle requires that we confront the enemy at every  opportunity.  Dr. de Mattei reported on the case of a priest using his pulpit at Mass to scandalize the congregation by denying the Credo and the priest in another area that advised the faithful of their obligation to stand up and counter this public apostasy of the faith.  Have you considered what you would do in such a situation?

I must admit, on the three occasions when I observed offenses against the faith during a diocesan TLM, (all in the same diocese, but in different churches) I just got up and walked out. For a timid person, it was a bit of a stretch, but I did do my best to explain to others why I will no longer attend Mass there. The result was not exactly stellar,  just one family followed suit, but they are a beautiful family, five souls now attending a Society Chapel exclusively. And we never tire of working and praying for more!

One effective form of action is to become informed and then spread the word, about the anti-life agenda of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. I suggest Michael Hichborn’s post on the Lepanto Institute site, LINK. The amount of money being raked in by these corrupt wolves in shepherd’s clothing is astounding.  Speaking out on this to other Catholics whenever possible is not only a good way to serve the Truth, it is an opportunity for penance, as we all no doubt know!

Today, the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary continues to suffer as the current occupiers of the Vatican, filled with passionate intensity continue their war to eclipse the true Church, Christ’s Pure and Holy Bride, with the Luciferian Church of Man. So many souls are swept away in this maelstrom!

Please, renew your consecration this day! And don’t forget tomorrow is First Saturday of Reparation!

Footnotes

(1) In this phrase we note the terrible sorrow of Mary for all the chosen souls who turn from the truth and are lost forever. Many of whom are her own children who chose to disobey.

(2) Even as  those first “Chosen People”, the race of Jesus Christ and His most Blessed Mother, rejected His saving grace, so also the Church today rejects His grace. This is to complete the cycle. And even as Jerusalem was destroyed for its perfidious rejection, so also we shall see the parallel in our own day.

For our accustomed post on the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, see here.

The above post quotes and paraphrases articles by Saint Francis de Sales  (available on Kindle by Catholic Way) and Venerable Mother Maria de Agreda (Mystical City, Veritatis Splendor Pub.).  Both are on Kindle.

  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 2013-2018 ReturntoFatima.org. All Rights Reserved.

Non-Negotiable First Saturdays of Reparation

We have a most urgent need to obey Our Lady’s request for First Saturdays of Reparation at the present time.  Our readers are blessed to live their consecrations to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and so they already understand the importance of this.  Evensong wrote often on this urgent need,  but in view of the seriousness of the present situation we must stress yet again:

First Saturdays of Reparation are not negotiable.

Nor is it sufficient to exempt ourselves based on the fact that we made them years ago. Charity demands that we continue until Russia is at last consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in the way in which it was prescribed and reported by Sister Lucia of Fatima. These dire times came about because of an arrogant disobedience and will not be set right until the faithful return to humble obedience.  This means abandoning all those reasonable, common-sense activities we engage in in order to allow ourselves to be exempt from doing the humble, on-our-knees reparation demanded.  Reason is, of course, essential, but often the smoke of satan so disorients us that we fall into the trap of reasoning our way out of obeying.  There are myriad reasons why we cannot make our First Saturdays, but we must resolve to beg Our Lady to help us find the will and the means to make them.

This year, the Feast of Epiphany falls on the First Saturday of January, which should encourage us to begin anew our efforts to make these First Saturdays as obediently as possible, observing them with a devotion surpassing all our previous attempts.  Yes, I am a bit strident here, but it is as if I were telling you your hair is on fire – there is a need for stridency comparable to the urgency of the situation.

“And a great sign appeared in heaven … “

Return to Fatima contains many articles on the Apocalypse of St. John the Beloved Evangelist and the other prophecies both from the Old Testament and from approved Catholic sources.  But one we have not yet discussed sufficiently  is that of Venerable Mother Maria de Agreda in her “Mystical City of God” writings. In her Book 1, Chapter VIII through Chapter X. In this portion of her writings Mother Agreda explains her mystical understanding of Chapter 12 of the Apocalypse.

Evensong’s notes for this are very sketchy and  require more of my time to prepare for posting than I have right now, but I recommend reading Ven. Maria de Agreda prayerfully as we prepare for the penitential season to come. While there have been “apocalyptic times” in the Church before,  never has there been anything like to  this time.  It is my hope that by reading Chapters 8-10 in Book 1 we will gain a deeper appreciation of the need for First Saturdays.

But for now, we repeat this previous post:

Satan is engaged in a decisive battle with the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Church. In this battle, which Sister Lucia describes emphatically as final, “either we are for God, or we are for the devil, there is no other possibility.”

To arm us for this battle, God gives us two remedies, the Rosary and devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Sr. Lucia warns, “if you despise and repulse this ultimate means, we will not have any more forgiveness from Heaven, because we will have committed a sin which the Gospel calls the sin against the Holy Ghost.”

She who crushes the head of the serpent.

To be very clear, when Lucia said “We will not have any more forgiveness from Heaven”, that means there will be no mitigation, no easing, of the terrible Chastisement about to befall mankind. There are many, many prophesies about this, from the Apocalypse on down through the ages, But for now, our focus is Fatima. And in this, Our Lady of the Rosary could not be more clear:

“I will come to ask for the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart and the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays. If My requests are heeded, Russia will be converted and there will be peace. If not, she [Russia] will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions against the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated.”

The information for this devotion and the rest of the Fatima Message, can be found here, here and here.  Please consider that Our Lady requested First Saturdays of Reparation, not first days of the month nor any of the other post-Vatican II cheap imitations. She was pretty explicit about this. Why not do as she asked? Why do our churchmen unfailingly insist on giving Our Lady what she did not ask for, while utterly ignoring her simple requests? St. John of the Cross admonished us to  “Learn to love as God desires to be loved and abandon your own way of acting.” The conciliar church disregards that essential message at its peril.

In her liturgy, our magnificent faith affirms that the most Holy Virgin conquers all heresies in all the world. Ever since 1917, the tide of evil has been gathering force and will soon overwhelm us. Please God, we will turn in humility and obedience to our Blessed Mother before it is too late.

Please keep the First Saturdays of Reparation and the entire Fatima plan. Let the others do as they will, let them offer her the first days of the month instead of her requested First Saturdays, and offer the luminous mysteries instead of the Marian mysteries she has cherished over centuries, Let them all serve God “in their own way”. We will serve God in the way He decrees, as children of Mary, obedient to her will. We must not fail her now! Although we may feel alone in our efforts, we have her assurance that she will never leave us.

We know that God, and therefore His most perfect creature the Immaculate Queen of the Rosary, is always consistent, and it is impossible for God to contradict Himself. We must therefore offer God, first of all, the devotion He Himself requested through the Blessed Virgin Mary. Please re-read the Message of Fatima, and share with others.

Our Lady of Fatima requests that the devotion of First Saturdays of Reparation consist of:

  • Confession (may be within 8 days either before or after).
  • Holy Communion
  • 5 Decade Rosary “o terzo”, Portuguese for one third of the Rosary. Precludes Luminous.
  • 15 minutes of visiting with Our Lady in reparation, while meditating on mysteries of her Rosary

Each of the above steps, that is, Confession, Communion, Rosary and meditation must be offered in a spirit of reparation, of course. Remember, let yourself be led by the Immaculata, do penance and pray the rosary, and we shall see that victory so long desired – The triumph of her Immaculate Heart!

Most Holy and Immaculate Queen of the Rosary, vouchsafe that I may serve thee, give me strength against thine enemies!

Please, Pray the Rosary and live your Consecration!

  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.

The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 2017

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Think too, that this is actually the first time that the Blessed Virgin meets Simeon and Anna, for it was Simeon who received her as she ascended the stairs and he brought her to Anna, who brought her up as her own. And so we see that this moment foreshadows the fateful moment when Our Lady brought her own Divine Son to the Temple, and handed Him to Simeon and Anna.

Tradition tells us that she danced on the steps, on her way to her life of consecration to the Lord. Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen tells us that this total consecration is a matter of detaching the affections, of seclusion from the world. Not always a material seclusion but it is absolutely essential that it be a matter of being “in the world, but not of the world”. He continues,

Corresponding to complete separation is oblation, total consecration. Mary gave herself wholly to God, unreservedly, forever.

“Lord, in the simplicity of my heart I offer myself to Thee this day as Thy servant forevermore, for Thy homage and for a sacrifice of perpetual praise.” (Imitation of Christ, IV, 9,1).

Mary gave herself wholly to God, allowing Him to exercise over her all His rights as Sovereign, Lord, and Master. She made no objections nor did she marvel that her immolation should reach such proportions; had she not offered herself without reserve? And when her offering was consummated she did nothing but repeat: “Fiat! Ecce ancilla Domini!”

Let us ask Mary, presented in the Temple, to take our poor offering into her immaculate hands, to purify and complete it by her offering, so pure, so perfect; to include it and hide it in hers, and being thus purified and renewed, may it be agreeable to God.

St. Alphonsus Liguori’s Prayer for the Presentation:

“O dearly Beloved of God, most amiable Child Mary, would that today I could offer to you the first years of my life and consecrate myself to your service, my blessed and sweet Lady, as you presented and consecrated yourself in the Temple for the honor and glory of God … but time has slipped away and so many years have been spent in serving the world and my own caprice, forgetful of you and of God. Woe to the time when I did not love you! But better late than never. Behold, O Mary, I present myself to you this day, offering myself entirely to your service for the number of days, be they few or many, that are left to me on earth. I renounce all creatures as you did and vow myself entirely to the love of my Creator.

“I consecrate to you  my Queen, my intellect that it may always think upon the love that you deserve, my tongue that it may praise you, my heart that it may love you. Accept Most Holy Virgin, the offering which this wretched sinner presents to you; accept it, I beg, by the consolation your heart felt when you gave yourself to God in the Temple. And if I am late in putting myself at your service, it is but fitting that I redeem the time lost by redoubling my devotions and my love for thee.

“O Mother of Mercy, help my weakness by your powerful intercession, and obtain for me from your Son Jesus, the strength to be faithful to you until death. Grant that after having served you in this life I may go to praise you eternally in Paradise. Amen.”

We must always understand that our turning from creatures does not at all mean that we love them less, but that by loving them through God, that is for love of Him, we love them much more beneficently than when we loved them for our own satisfaction. Our Lord taught us, in His Beatitudes, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.” (Matt. 5,3) As always, Mary leads the way, making her first vows at the age of three, she left all to become poor in spirit. We are her children after all!

 

  O Immaculate Queen of our hearts, make our hearts like unto thine!

  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.

 Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us!

  Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy Kingdom come! Viva Cristo Rey!

  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 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 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.

 

 

 

 

 

The Feast Day of St. Joseph, 2017

Today we honor St. Joseph, the spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the foster father of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Now more than ever, when traditional Catholic families are under attack even from Pope Francis and the leaders of the Church who support him, we turn to St. Joseph, strong defender of the family.

The Church liturgically honors St. Joseph tomorrow, since his feast falls on a Sunday, and so we post today, and will have another post honoring great St. Joseph tomorrow, as well.

St. Teresa of Avila, the great Carmelite reformer, mystic and doctor of the Church was especially devoted to St. Joseph. From her Autobiography we read of St. Joseph, “I know by long experience what blessings he can obtain for us from God. I have never known anyone who was truly devoted to him by particular services who did not advance greatly in virtue: for he helps in a special way those souls who commend themselves to him.”

At the last apparition of Fatima, on October 13, 1917, St. Joseph appeared holding the Child Jesus, who blessed the crowds. This was an emphatic indication of the importance of St. Joseph in these turbulent times.

St. Joseph, defender of the faith, defender of families, pray for us!

Venerable Maria de Agreda, in “The Mystical City of God”, recounts the special privileges which make St. Joseph a most powerful intercessor on behalf of his children.

  • Attaining purity and overcoming sensuality.
  • Escaping sin and returning to the faith.
  • Increasing love and devotion to his spouse, the Most Blessed Virgin Mary.
  • Securing the grace of a happy death and defending the soul against the devil’s wiles at that crucial time.
  • St. Joseph is the terror of demons and they flee at his name.
  • St. Joseph is a great intercessor for all our needs, especially helpful for our families and health.

Venerable Maria de Agreda quoted Our Lady’s words to her, “That which my spouse asks of the Lord in heaven is granted upon the earth and on his intercession depend many and extraordinary favors for men if they do not make themselves unworthy of receiving them.” Indeed, trusting in St. Joseph as the foster father of our family has brought us closer to living our consecrations to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. In speaking of St. Joseph, it is difficult to adequately express his tender love for us, his willingness to protect us, even from ourselves and obtain for us the graces we need to live our consecrations.

Continue reading “The Feast Day of St. Joseph, 2017”

The Presentation of the Child Mary in the Temple

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

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

Continue reading “The Presentation of the Child Mary in the Temple”

The Dawn of our Redemption

“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)

“Our chosen One shall be called MARY, and this name is to be powerful and magnificent.”

 

“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)

This is explained a bit more in the dialogues of Venerable Maria de Agreda, in her account of 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. Continue reading “The Dawn of our Redemption”

The Feast Day of St. Joseph, 2016

Throughout the Liturgical Year, the Holy Ghost spreads out His treasures before us in the lovely feast days in which we honor Our Dear Lord and His Mother and the myriad saints and martyrs that array our Church in splendor. It is fitting that we honor St. Joseph today, as we prepare for the Feast of the Annunciation.

As St. Luke reminds us, The Blessed Virgin was “espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David”.  So much hinged on St. Joseph’s humility and obedience! In the great trial which was set before him, of the Incarnation of Christ, St. Joseph steadfastly kept his eyes on God, to discern His will. Once God’s will was made known to him, he never failed to obey God, and to honor and protect the Blessed Virgin and the Christ Child. 

St. Teresa of Avila, the great Carmelite reformer, mystic and doctor of the Church was especially devoted to St. Joseph. From her Autobiography we read of St. Joseph, “I know by long experience what blessings he can obtain for us from God. I have never known anyone who was truly devoted to him by particular services who did not advance greatly in virtue: for he helps in a special way those souls who commend themselves to him.”

St. Joseph, defender of the faith, defender of families, pray for us!
St. Joseph, defender of the faith, defender of families, pray for us!

At the last apparition of Fatima, on October 13, 1917, St. Joseph appeared holding the Child Jesus, who blessed the crowds. This was an emphatic indication of the importance of St. Joseph in these turbulent times. 

Venerable Maria de Agreda, in “The Mystical City of God”, recounts the special privileges which make St. Joseph a most powerful intercessor on behalf of his children.

Continue reading “The Feast Day of St. Joseph, 2016”