Friday, October 07, 2011

Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary with Excerpts from Pope Leo XIII's Encyclicals on the Rosary

"Battle of Lepanto"

Picture source is clearly evident that this form of prayer is particularly pleasing to the Blessed Virgin, and that it is especially suitable as a means of defence for the Church and all Christians..." - Pope Leo XIII

Today we commemorate the triumphal victory in the Battle of Lepanto, thanks to the intercession of Our Lady of the Rosary.

Rosary Madonna Fresco detail

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Battle of Lepanto

On October 7, 1571, a great victory over the mighty Turkish fleet was won by Catholic naval forces primarily from Spain, Venice, and Genoa under the command of Don Juan of Austria. It was the last battle at sea between "oared" ships, which featured the most powerful navy in the world, a Moslem force with between 12,000 to 15,000 Christian slaves as rowers. The patchwork team of Catholic ships was powered by the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Knowing that the Christian forces were at a distinct material disadvantage, the holy pontiff, St. Pope Pius V called for all of Europe to pray the Rosary for victory. We know today that the victory was decisive, prevented the Islamic invasion of Europe, and evidenced the Hand of God working through Our Lady. At the hour of victory, St. Pope Pius V, who was hundreds of miles away at the Vatican, is said to have gotten up from a meeting, went over to a window, and exclaimed with supernatural radiance: "The Christian fleet is victorious!" and shed tears of thanksgiving to God.

"Legend of the Rosary of St. Dominic by Geergen tot Sin Jans

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Even before that time, prayers to the Rosary were instrumental in defeating heresies and other enemies of the Church.

"...who will not remember how great trouble and grief God's Holy Church suffered from the Albigensian heretics, who sprung from the sect of the later Manicheans, and who filled the South of France and other portions of the Latin world with their pernicious errors, and carrying everywhere the terror of their arms, strove far and wide to rule by massacre and ruin. Our merciful God, as you know, raised up against these most direful enemies a most holy man, the illustrious parent and founder of the Dominican Order. Great in the integrity of his doctrine, in his example of virtue, and by his apostolic labours, he proceeded undauntedly to attack the enemies of the Catholic Church, not by force of arms; but trusting wholly to that devotion which he was the first to institute under the name of the Holy Rosary, which was disseminated through the length and breadth of the earth by him and his pupils. Guided, in fact, by divine inspiration and grace, he foresaw that this devotion, like a most powerful warlike weapon, would be the means of putting the enemy to flight, and of confounding their audacity and mad impiety. Such was indeed its result. Thanks to this new method of prayer-when adopted and properly carried out as instituted by the Holy Father St. Dominic-piety, faith, and union began to return, and the projects and devices of the heretics to fall to pieces. Many wanderers also returned to the way of salvation, and the wrath of the impious was restrained by the arms of those Catholics who had determined to repel their violence..."
"The Celebration of the Rosary" by Albrecht Dürer

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Source: Pope Leo XIII's Supremi Apostolatus Officio

In his encyclical Supremi Apostolatus Officio, Pope Leo XIII also shared what his predecessors had to say about the Holy Rosary:

- Urban IV: "every day the Rosary obtained fresh boon for Christianity."
- Sixtus IV: "redounded to the honour of God and the Blessed Virgin, and was well suited to obviate impending dangers;"
- Leo X: "it was instituted to oppose pernicious heresiarchs and heresies;"
- Julius III: "the glory of the Church."
- St. Pius V: "with the spread of this devotion the meditations of the faithful have begun to be more inflamed, their prayers more fervent, and they have suddenly become different men; the darkness of heresy has been dissipated, and the light of Catholic faith has broken forth again."
- Gregory XIII: "the Rosary had been instituted by St. Dominic to appease the anger of God and to implore the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary."

"Institution of the Holy Rosary" by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

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Pope Leo XIII wrote another encyclical on the Rosary the year following the first one. In it he wrote:

"In as much as the enemies of Christianity are so stubborn in their aims, its defenders must be equally staunch, especially as the heavenly help and the benefits which are bestowed on us by God are the more usually the fruits of our perseverance..."

"...Care must be taken, therefore, that, in these times of mourning for the Church, the most holy devotion of the Rosary of Mary be assiduously and piously observed, the more so that this method of prayer being so arranged as to recall in turn all the mysteries of our salvation, is eminently fitted to foster the spirit of piety...."

"With respect to Italy, it is now most necessary to implore the intercession of the most powerful Virgin through the medium of the Rosary, since a misfortune, and not an imaginary one, is threatening-nay, rather is among us..."

He also clearly stated how the Church was to observe and commemorate the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary in his encyclical Superior Anno.

"...We therefore decree and make order that from the 1st of October to the 2nd of November following in all the parish churches [curialibus templis], in all public churches dedicated to the Mother of God, or in such as are appointed by the Ordinary, five decades at least of the Rosary be recited, together with the Litany..."
Please sure to read it in its entirety!

"...Now, to appease the might of an outraged God and to bring that health of soul so needed by those who are sorely afflicted, there is nothing better than devout and persevering prayer, provided it be joined with a love for and practice of Christian life. And both of these, the spirit of prayer and the practice of Christian life, are best attained through the devotion of the Rosary of Mary..."
- Pope Leo XIII's Magnae Dei Matris

"...For We are convinced that the Rosary, if devoutly used, is bound to benefit not only the individual but society at large..." 

The Holy Father also wrote a beautiful fourth encyclical on the Rosary entitled Laetitiae Sanctae or Sacred Joy.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

EWTN Live - 10-05-2011 - The Shrine of Christs Passion - Fr Joseph Mary ...

Highly recommended by my mom. She gives me the heads up for the shows to watch on EWTN. This one is a must see according to her.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Worldwide Children's Eucharistic Holy Hour

Friday, October, 7th - Broadcast Live on EWTN
10 am- EST 7am PACIFIC - ENCORES 4 pm EST 1 pm PACIFIC
Check your Local Listing

Thousands of Youngsters to Offer Mary a Golden Rose

ST. PAUL, Minnesota, SEPT. 27, 2011 ( Thousands of children will gather at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, [0.8327759197324415] D.C., next month to offer Our Lady a "Golden Rose" and to pray before the Holy Eucharist.

The youngsters will represent children from 140 nations who will participate Oct. 7 in the 9th annual Worldwide Children's Eucharistic Holy Hour, which will be broadcast live around the world on Eternal [0.5768261964735516] World Television Network (EWTN), and translated for Spanish-speaking countries.

The "Holy Hour unites children around the world before the Blessed Sacrament to console the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus and to pray for the families of the world, a mission entrusted to them by Blessed John Paul II in his Christmas Letter to the World's Children, in 1994, at the close of the International Year of the Family."

Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans will preside at the main event in the basilica, which is co-sponsored by Children of the Eucharist, the children's program of the World Apostolate of Fatima, and the Holy Childhood Association.

A growing number of dioceses, parishes and schools on every continent are participating in the event every year, according to Connie Schneider, founder and international chairwoman.

She added, "This global Holy Hour gathers our children before the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus to console him, as requested by the Angel of Peace at Fatima, and to pray for our own families and the families of the world."

St. Faustina and Blessed Seelos

Today we celebrate the feasts of a saint and hopefully, a soon to be canonized saint...both very humble yet great in the eyes of the Church.
Updated News: St. Faustina, Doctor of the Church?

Saint Faustina

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Blessed Francis X. Seelos C.S.s.R

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Photo of St. Faustina,  by Esther

On Sunday, April 30, 2000, Blessed John Paul II canonized his compatriot Sister Faustina Kowalska at St. Peter's Square in Rome.

St Faustina was born on August 25, 1905 and died at the age of Thirty-three, on October 5, 1938.
The following is an excerpt from Our Holy Father's homily that day:
...Today my joy is truly great in presenting the life and witness of Sr Faustina Kowalska to the whole Church as a gift of God for our time. By divine Providence, the life of this humble daughter of Poland was completely linked with the history of the 20th century, the century we have just left behind. In fact, it was between the First and Second World Wars that Christ entrusted his message of mercy to her. Those who remember, who were witnesses and participants in the events of those years and the horrible sufferings they caused for millions of people, know well how necessary was the message of mercy.

Jesus told Sr Faustina: "Humanity will not find peace until it turns trustfully to divine mercy" (Diary, p. 132). Through the work of the Polish religious, this message has become linked for ever to the 20th century, the last of the second millennium and the bridge to the third. It is not a new message but can be considered a gift of special enlightenment that helps us to relive the Gospel of Easter more intensely, to offer it as a ray of light to the men and women of our time...

You can read the entire homily here.

Excerts from the Diary of St. Faustina
- "When I tried to run away from these interior inspirations, God said to me that on the day of judgment He would demand of me a great number of souls." - 52

- "O my Jesus, direct my mind, take possession of my whole being, enclose me in the depths of Your heart, and protect me against he assaults of the enemy. My only hope is in You..." - 76

- "Trials sent by God to a soul which is particularly loved by Him. Temptations and darkness; Satan." - 96

- "When the soul comes out victorious from...trials, even though it may stumble here and there, it fights on valiantly, humbly calling upon God, 'Save me, I am perishing!' And it is still able to fight on." - 98

- "To suffer without complaining, to bring comfort to others and to drown my own sufferings in the most Sacred Heart of Jesus!" - 224

- "The rules that I most often fail to obey: sometimes I break silence; disobedience to the sign of the bell; sometimes I meddle in other people's affairs. I will do my very best to improve.

I will avoid sisters who grumble, and if they cannot be avoided, I will at least keep silent before them, thus letting them know how sorry I am to hear such things.

I must take no heed of the opinion of others, but obey the evidence of my own conscience and take God to be the witness of all my actions. I must do everything and act in all matters now as I would like to do and act at the hour of my death. For this reason, in every action I must be mindful of God." - 226

- "I want to love You as no human soul has ever loved You before; and although I am utterly miserable and small, I have nevertheless cast the anchor of my trust deep down into the abyss of Your mercy, O my God and Creator!..." - 283

- "My happiest moments are when I am alone with my Lord. During these moments I experience the greatness of God and my own misery." - 289

Prayer to St. Faustina

Dear St. Faustina, I have come to know you as a friend. I ask you to plead to the Lord for me the prayer I ask of you. In times of doubt, dear friend, implore the Lord's Mercy as you did so often here on earth, that I may remember who I am, and to what His mercy has called me.

In times of fear, implore His Mercy that I may ever remember to trust, and trust again, in joy, and in the knowledge that God is preparing me for a beautiful mission.

Please pray dear St. Faustina, that I may never forget that the abyss between my Lord and I has been bridged by His tender mercy. He will continue to be faithful and heal me of anything which stands in the way of His Will. My life is in His Hands.

Thank you dear friend. Pray with me the prayer Our Lord taught you to spread throughout the world; Jesus, I trust in You! Remind all pilgrims of life that if our trust is great, there is no limit to Jesus' generosity.

Prayer Source

Blessed Francis S. Seelos, C.S.s.R. was born in Germany on January 11, 1819 and died on October 4, 1867 at the age of 48.

He was beatified on April 9, 2000 by Blessed John Paul II.
The following Decree for Obligatory/Optional Seelos Memorial in Dioceses of New Orleans Province is from the Seelos Center
In 2009, Most Reverend Alfred C. Hughes, Archbishop of New Orleans, received a decree from Archbishop Albert Malcolm Ranjith establishing the celebration of Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos as an obligatory memorial in the Archdiocese of New Orleans and an optional memorial in each of the dioceses of the New Orleans Province.




Prot. 2014/03/L


Instante Excellentissimo Domino Alfredo Hughes, Archiepiscopo Novae Aureliae, litteris die 29 ianuarii 2009 datis, vigore facultatum huic Congregationi a Summo Pontifice BENEDICTO XVI tributarum, libenter concedimus ut celebratio Beati Francisci X. Seelos, presbyteri, in Calendarium proprium Archidioecesis Novae Aureliae inscribi valeat, die 5 mensis octobris, gradu memoriae quotannis peragenda.

Contrariis quibusiibet minime obstantibus.

Ex aedibus Congregationis de Cultu Divino et Disciplina Sacramentorum, die 31 mensis martii 2009.



(+ Albertus Malcolmus Ranjith)

Archiepiscopus a Secretis

Seelos' Top 10 Practical Guide to Holiness

1. Go to Mass with deepest devotion.

2. Spend a half hour to reflect upon your main failing & make resolutions to avoid it.

3. Do daily spiritual reading for at least 15 minutes, if a half hour is not possible.

4. Say the rosary every day.

5. Also daily, if at all possible, visit the Blessed Sacrament; and toward evening, meditate on the Passion of Christ for a half hour.

6. Conclude the day with evening prayer & an examination of conscience over all the faults & sins of the day.

7. Every month make a review of the month in confession.

8. Choose a special patron every month & imitate that patron in some special virtue.

9. Precede every great feast with a novena, that is, nine days of devotion.

10. Try to begin & end every activity with a “Hail Mary.”

Thirteen Bon Mots of Blessed Francis X. Seelos, C.Ss.R.

Selected from Fr. Michael Curley’s Cheerful Ascetic
By Joseph W Oppitz, C.SS.R.

Someday, I will become a second Francis Xavier.

Dear Mother, how I thank you for having taught us children a great devotion to the Mother of God. Such an inheritance from parents is worth more than gold or silver.

Today we will have no writing. The Blessed Mother has appeared to me and told me to become a missionary.

I was John Neumann’s subject, but was more like a son who needed help. In every respect, he was a remarkable father to me.

Baltimore is one of the loveliest and most beautiful cities in all of North America.

If these riots continue, I may even have the privilege of becoming a martyr — a wonderful way to go to heaven.

According to people I am a thorough saint. In reality, I am a thorough scoundrel.

If the Church should ever decide to celebrate the feast of a rude rascal, [Secretary of War] Stanton would easily qualify — even with an octave.

I love the work of the missions more than all other labors; it is a complete apostolic employment in the Lord's vineyard.

If the Americans were as expert in spiritual matters as they are in business affairs, all of them would be saints.

I have made the rounds of all the houses in the province. Only New Orleans yet remains. I have come here to pass the rest of my days and find a lasting resting place at Saint Mary's. I feel I have traveled enough. I shall never leave New Orleans.

So the doctor says I am to die! Oh, what pleasant news! How thankful I am! And to you, doctor, how much I have to return thanks for your kindness and attention to me!

I never thought it was so sweet to die in the Congregation. I now begin to know what happiness it is to live and die a Redemptorist. Oh, let us love our vocation and strive to persevere in it! Then everything will be all right with us.

Thirteen "bon mots" or simple sayings of Fr. Seelos, taken from an article published in Spiritus Patris--some about the spiritual life, some just comments about current affairs — all showing the simple humanity of our beloved Father Seelos.


Bountiful God,
in Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos,
you have given your people
a model for those who labor joyfully
in your earthly kingdom.
May his smile dwell on those who find life burdensome.
In him, our eyes continually behold
the gentleness of Jesus Christ,
our Redeemer.

- by Byron Miller, C.Ss.R. Director of the Father Seelos Center.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Mother Angelica Live Classics - 09-27-2011 - Angels - Mother Angelica

A Lesson About Being a Mary or a Martha

Jesus, Mary and Martha

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Jesus entered a village
where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him.
She had a sister named Mary
who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak.
Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said,
"Lord, do you not care
that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving?
Tell her to help me."
The Lord said to her in reply,
"Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.
There is need of only one thing.
Mary has chosen the better part
and it will not be taken from her."

Luke: 10:38-42 Source

Father S. gave a homily on the above Gospel reading. Martha was very excited about Jesus coming over for dinner. She went in a frenzy of preparation to make sure that the meal would be perfect for their special guest. Even after Jesus arrived, she was still busy trying to make sure everything was perfectly prepared. Her sister, on the other hand listened to their very special guest. She gave him her undivided attention. 

Father S. brought it closer to home when he asked if perhaps we housewives and homemakers do the same thing when we invite priests over for dinner.  Are we so busy preparing the meal, that we ignore our invited guest? Do we leave the priest alone while we are busy in the kitchen?  Do we instead rely on our family members...husband and keep the priest company? Father went on to say that a priest can have a meal anywhere. It really wasn't the meal that brought him to our home. It was the company. It was a chance to talk with all the members of the family or household.  Father then finished this painful homily by saying that it may have been the only time our visitor came over to our home....and I was thinking to myself...and we blew it!

Saint Francis of Assisi

"Fear God, love God, convert yourself from bad to good."
_ Saint Francis, from Jorgensen, Life of St. Francis

"As He revealed Himself to the holy apostles in true flesh, so He reveals Himself to us now in sacred bread.  And as they saw only His flesh by an insight of their flesh, yet believed that He was God as they contemplated Him with their spiritual eyes, let us, as we see bread and wine with our bodily eyes, see and firmly believe that they are His most holy Body and Blood living and true.
- Saint Francis, admonition I

Most High, all-powerful, good Lord,
Yours are the praises, the glory, and the honor, and
all blessing.
To You alone, Most High, do they belong,
and no human is worthy to mention Your name...
Praise and bless my Lord and give Him thanks
and serve Him with great humility.

- Saint Francis, The Testament

"The Stigmata of St. Francis" by Giotto

God is Love

"With our whole heart,
our whole soul,
our whole mind,
with our whole strength and fortitude
with our whole understanding
with all our powers
with every effort,
every affection,
every feeling,
every desire and wish
let us all love the Lord God
Who has given and gives to each of us
our whole body, our whole soul, and our whole life...

let us desire nothing else,
let us want nothing else,
let nothing else please us and cause us delight
except our Creator, Redeemer and savior,
the only true God,
Who is the fullness of good,
all good, every good, the true and supreme good,
Who alone is good,
merciful, gentle, delightful, and sweet,
Who alone is holy,
just, true, holy, and upright,
Who alone is kind, innocent, clean,...
Wherever we are,
in every place,
at ever hour,
at every time of the day,
every day and continually,
let all of us truly and humbly believe,
hold in our heart and love,
honor, adore, serve,
praise and bless,
glorify and exalt,
magnify and give thanks
to the Most High and Supreme Eternal God
Trinity and Unity,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
Creator of all,
Savior of all
Who believe and hope in Him...

- Saint Francis, The Earlier Rule

"Hail, O Lady!
Holy Queen,
Hail, His Palace!
Hail, His Tabernacle!
Hail, His Dwelling!
Hail, H is Robe!
Hail, His Servant!
Hail, His Mother!
- Saint Francis, Payer to the Blessed Mother

St. Clare and St. Francis by Simone Martin
"I, Brother Francis, wish to follow after the life and poverty of our highest Lord, Jesus Christ, and of his most holy mother, and I will hold out in this to the last."
- St. Francis
St. Francis and St. Louis of Toulouse by Simone Martin

"Someone who is truly poor in spirit hates himself and loves those who strike him on the cheek."
- Saint Francis, Admonition XIV

"I feel that I am the greatest sinner that ever existed." 
- St. Francis

Quotation Source:  To Live as Francis Lived by Foley, Weigel and Normile.

Monday, October 03, 2011

The Month of October: Dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary

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Meditation on the Rosary
"Prayer is the raising of the mind and heart to God. We should PRAY the Rosary rather than say it. Counting prayers on beads was in vogue before St. Dominic's time. When Mary gave the Rosary to him,t he new thing added was meditation on the mysteries. This method of teaching the mysteries of religion produces in souls the life of Christ.

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Contemplation of the Christian ideal is to be followed by action, or Christian living. Jesus and Mary want you to join them each day to SHARE THEIR JOYS, SORROWS, and GLORIES.

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First of all it is necessary to UNDERSTAND the mysteries and to have a clear picture of them in mind...

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Here is a suggestion. Put yourself in the place of Jesus or Mary and live the mysteries with them. Be either on actor or a sympathetic spectator. For example, in the scene of the Annunciation imagine that you are present and listening to Mary and the Angel talking together. Or imagine that you are the Angel Gabriel sent by God to announce to the Blessed Virgin that she is to be the Mother of His Son. Then silently receive her message and bear it back to God.

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Or again, at the third joyful mystery imagine that you are one of the shepherds adoring the newborn Babe in the stable of Bethlehem. At the third sorrow mystery feel that you are one of the soldiers forcing the crown of thorns into the Head of Christ by your many sins.

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A sincere effort to meditate, even if the effort fails, suffices to gain the indulgences...

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A little practice will lead to satisfactory meditation. Much practice may lead to high contemplation.

Source: Booklet: The Rosary Crusade, by a Dominican Father