Saturday, November 03, 2012

San Martin de Porres

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This very humble Dominican lay brother has become well-loved not only in his native Peru, wh ere he is referred to as "Fray Martin" or Brother Martin,  but all over the world.  It is his virtues of humility, obedience, gentleness and compassion that won the hearts of those in his own order. Let us try to imitate San Martincito's virtues and use his exemplary life as a model for our own lives.

Martín de Porres,
seguidor fiel de Jesucristo,
haz que nos esforcemos en imitar tus ejemplos de unión con Dios por la oración,
de amor universal y de entrega sacrificada y gozosa al servicio de los necesitados,
especialmente de los que más sufren física o moralmente.
Confiamos en tu bondad y sensibilidad por los necesitados y te pedimos,
querido hermano nuestro, que presentes a tu amigo Jesucristo
nuestra petición de auxilio en nuestras necesidades.
Así sea.

Martin de Porres,
faithful follower of Jesus Christ,
let us strive to imitate your examples of union with God through prayer
of universal love and offer sacrifice and joyful service of those in need,
especially those who greatly suffer physically or morally.
We rely on your kindness and sensitivity for the needy and we ask
dear brother, that you present to your friend Jesus Christ
our petition of help in our needs.
 So be it.

"...Martin's charity toward the poor and homeless was legendary.  He cared for the sick and injured wherever he found them.  He had a special ministry to African slaves.  But he treated sick animals with the same devotion he extended to humans.  Innumerable legends describe his service and communion with creatures of every kind..."

'He was a man of great charity...who also assisted in the larger duty of spreading the Great Love of the world.'

- a contemporary witness"

Source:  Give us This Day

Friday, November 02, 2012

All Souls Day

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The following is from the Pieta prayer booklet:

"The Holy Souls in purgatory are incapable of helping themselves. They depend on the works of mercy by the living and the mercy of Jesus and Mary to shorten their time in purgatory.  Their souls are very dear to God's Heart. He is most generous to those who offer every good act, suffering prayers, or Holy Mass for these souls.  In gratitude they intercede for us.

(St. John Vianney once said:  'The good God will render us back the good we do for them (poor souls) a hundredfold.')

On August 16, 1969, in San Damiano, Italy, Our Lady asked that we pray very much for the poor souls and that if we pray these prayers, 'we'll deliver so many souls, so many souls!'

'Pray:  5 Apostle's Creed;
           1 Hail Holy Queen;
           1 Our Father
           1 Hail Mary
           1 Glory Be
           1 Requiem (Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them, and may they rest in peace.  Amen.)

Requiem Indulgenced by Pope Leo XIII, March 22, 1902

Prayer of St. Gertrude the Great

Our Lord showed St. Gertrude the Great that the following prayer would release a vast number of souls (NOTE:  I believe it is a 1000 souls) from purgatory each time it is said.

Eternal Father,
I offer Thee the most Precious Blood 
of Thy Divine Son, Jesus,
in union with the Masses said throughout
the world today, 
for all the Holy Souls in purgatory.  Amen

(The prayer was extended to include living sinners by adding..."for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal church, those in my own home and within my family.  Amen.")"

Don't forgot to visit a cemetery until November 8th for plenary indulgence when you pray for the Holy Souls and the usual conditions:  prayers for the Holy Father, Confession, Mass attendance and Holy Communion.  See yesterday's post for more information.

A kindness shown to a Holy Soul in purgatory will not be forgotten.  They will intercede for you.

Lastly, tomorrow is Saturday, our lady's day. I read somewhere and it could be church tradition too that Our Lady goes to Purgatory to personally escort many souls to heaven on her feast days.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

November Dedicated to the Holy Souls in Purgatory

This morning before the final blessing, the pastor of Sts. Peter and Paul Church prayed for all the names of our dear friends and family who have gone before us, listed in the Book of Life.  Father also blessed all the names with Holy Water as he prayed over them.

Thus commenced the month dedicated to praying for the Church Suffering.

Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord
and may Your perpetual light shine upon them.
May the souls of the faithfully departed
rest in peace.



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The following was written by Father Angelus O'Shaughnessy of The Archconfraternity of Christian Mothers.

St. Francis used to say: “Brothers, let us begin; because up until now we have done nothing.” I don’t think Americans like to hear that kind of talk. They would rather translate it to something like this: “Brothers, you may have done pretty well up until now; but there is not a single one of you who could not do much, much better in the time that is left to you.” In the spiritual life we never stay just the same. We either go ahead and progress or we fall behind and regress.

Yes, we live in the present moment but with an eye to the future as the poet expressed it: “I was regretting the past and fearing the future when I heard the Lord’s voice: When you live in the past with its sins and sorrows, I am not there. My name is not: ‘I was’. When you live in the future with its fears and uncertainties, I am not there. My name is not ‘I will be’. When you live in the present moment, I am there. My name is ‘I am’!” The present moment is all that we have, an unrepeatable gift; and it is always a present from our God. It is our treasure.

What we do is important. How we do it is more important. Most important is why we do it. We can put a perfect equal sign between ourselves and our motivation, our intentions, our reasons for doing things; and on this do we realize and experience our reward. There is nothing more “me” than my motivations. We may pride ourselves on our “know-what” and our “know-how”; but the primary focus of our God is our “know-why.” Nothing pleases our Lord more than the heart that is pure, seeking to please Him, doing His Holy Will at all times.

Make your choices! Establish your priorities! Whatever smacks of sin and temptation, blast out of your life. Whatever is dangerous or a waste of time, eliminate! Use your time wisely and well. Make a promise: I will not waste a moment of my time the rest of my life. Yes, we must relax and recreate and sleep. We need diversion to stay healthy and mentally sound. But do everything in your life with God in mind, conscious of His Presence, recollected. Use those tiny aspirations like breathing to embrace Him: “Come Holy Spirit, come”! He will always be there with His light and His strength.

This is what it means to love God with our whole mind, heart and soul. This is impossible for us to achieve without the thought of Jesus Crucified because so much of our life is saturated with suffering: our own and that of others. We cannot make any sense out of our lives without the strength that comes from the Cross of Jesus Christ. He will be with us not necessarily to take the hurts away but to be with us in our suffering. Don’t trade what we want most for what we want now. Jesus Crucified is the only One worth living for and suffering for…and dying for. He is our all. He can still make us saints! - - if we cooperate with His grace.

Father Angelus M. Shaughnessy, O.F. M. Capuchin

Solemnity of All Saints

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We celebrate today the feast of all servants of God who reached their eternal goal.  They lived once in the "valley of tears" as we do.  With their help and God's grace we hope to fight the good fight on earth and to share their happiness in the life hereafter.

Source: St. Joseph's Sunday Missal

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

2 November indulgences coming up. Have a plan?

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Via Father Z

Mahalo Mary Jane!

During November Holy Church promotes prayers for the souls in purgatory. The souls in Purgatory are members of the Church just like we are but of the Church “Suffering”. We are members of the Church “Militant”, and we are like soldiers on the march through the world on the way with our Great Captain towards our heavenly home to join the members of the Church “Triumphant”. We can help the souls in Purgatory through our good works as assigned by the Church, who has the authority from Christ to apply to them the merits of His Passion and death, and the merits of the saints.
Here is how you can obtaining a Plenary Indulgence on 2 November 2, All Souls:
  • make a good confession within a week before or after All Souls
  • be free from all attachment to sin, even venial sin, for a plenary indulgence
  • visit a church to pray for the faithful departed
  • say one “Our Father” and the “Creed” during a visit to the church
  • say one “Our Father” and one “Hail Mary” for the Pope’s monthly intentions
  • receive Holy Communion, on the same day or soon after
To obtain a Plenary Indulgence from 1-8 November
  • make a good Confession within a week of before or after All Souls Day
  • be free from all attachment to sin, even venial sin, for a plenary indulgence
  • visit a cemetery and pray for the dead
  • say one “Our Father” and one “Hail Mary” for the monthly intentions set by the Pope
  • receive Holy Communion worthily on the same day or soon after
Several indulgences may be gained on the basis of a single confession but only one may be gained after a single good reception Communion and prayer for the Pope’s intentions.
If you are not correctly disposed or if you don’t fulfill the prescribed works and/or the three conditions the indulgence will be partial and not plenary.
Anyway, have a plan for gaining your indulgences for the poor souls.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Saintly Counsel on Humility for Blessed John XXIII

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When the future Pope John XXIII was experiencing continual failure to overcoming his faults (that is as a teenage seminarian), he resolved to follow the counsels of St. Alphonsus Rodriguez* regarding humility.
"...From now onwards my particular examination will concentrate on the acquiring of humility, according to the resolutions I made during this year's Spiritual Exercises (note:  St. Ignatius of Loyola's), which I have in writing  and according to the sound principles which Rodriguez** lays down on this subject.  'Lord, have mercy on me!'"
September 15th entry, Journal of a Soul

**Alphonsus Rodriguez, Ejercicio de perfeccion y virtudes cristianas, (Exercises of Perfection and Christian Virtues), Seville, 1609, vol. II, treatise III, 'On the virtue of humility."

 An online version of his writings can be found here.

*To learn more about St. Alphonsus Rodriguez whose feast day happens to be today, please visit Jean's blog Catholic Fire.

Monday, October 29, 2012


Brother John M. Samaha, S.M.

          The Year of Faith proclaimed by Pope Benedict XVI marks the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council and the 20th anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  From October 11, 2012, to November 24, 2013, we are invited to open the door of faith and re-value our U.S. Catholic origins and catechetical efforts.

          After the American Revolutionary War was settled in favor of the colonies and the new nation formed its independent government, John Carroll was appointed the first Bishop of Baltimore.   He was ordained bishop on August 15, 1790, and soon after named his cathedral church for Mary’s Assumption.    

          John Carroll, a native of Maryland, was ordained to the episcopacy on the feast of Mary’s Assumption in 1790 in St. Mary’s Chapel at Ludworth Castle in England.  This was the Weld family’s ancestral home.  The Weld family had been staunch Catholics for centuries before, during, and after the Protestant Reformation.  John Carroll of Maryland chose this historic setting, and Bishop Charles Walmsley was the ordaining prelate.

          The new diocese included the entire U.S.A., and Bishop John Carroll became shepherd for about 35,000 Catholics in a national population of four million.  Catholicism began to flourish in many areas.
For the next quarter-century the new bishop set the pattern for the growth of the Catholic Church in the United States.  He shaped a creative and dynamic role for Catholicism in a new type of country guided by a new form of government.

          When the new diocese was a year old, Bishop Carroll convened a synod, a formal meeting of his clergy.  The diocesan synod addressed the pastoral needs of the faithful and set pastoral policies.  Twenty priests gathered at the bishop’s house in Baltimore on November 7, 1791.   The first session of the diocesan synod dealt with policies for administering Baptism and Confirmation.  The following four sessions
developed guidelines for admitting children to First Holy Communion and Reconciliation, faculties for the priests of the diocese, Matrimony, and religious education.  This synod was acclaimed a success both at home and abroad.  Its organization and manner of governance influenced the provincial and plenary councils of the nineteenth century and beyond.  Already the seeds were being sown for the Baltimore Catechism.  Bishop Carroll’s commitment as an attentive, teacher, bishop, and shepherd was clearly evident.

          In the ensuing years Bishop John Carroll continued to promote the establishment of Catholic schools, the institution of religious congregations, and the creation of new parishes and dioceses.  He was effective in molding a healthy Church in his far-flung diocese, which included the original thirteen states, the Northwest Territory, and the vast Louisiana Purchase.  He is rightly credited with building a firm foundation on which the American Church would grow.

          When Pope Pius VII established in 1808 the dioceses of Boston and Bardstown, Baltimore became an archdiocese and John Carroll the first archbishop in the U.S.A.

          In 1815 Archbishop John Carroll died.  Catholicism had grown steadily.  The number of faithful increased fourfold, and the clergy doubled in number.  Carroll had established three seminaries, three colleges for men, and several academies for women.  He encouraged religious congregations to spread to the frontiers, and they flourished across the country.  Archbishop Carroll had guided the infant Church in the new republic with faith, wisdom, and kindness.

          This Year of Faith affords us a special opportunity to recall and appreciate our past history, and to review and renew our baptismal commitment to the present and future.  In celebrating this year the twentieth anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, let us value also the contribution of the Baltimore Catechism to our early religious education.