Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary August 22

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“More than all the angels and all the saints has God ineffable freely endowed Mary with the fullness of the heavenly gifts that abound in the divine treasury; and she, preserving herself ever immaculately clean from the slightest taint of sin, attained a fullness of innocence and holiness so great as to be unthinkable apart from God Himself, a fullness that no one other than God will ever possess.” – Pope Pius IX

 

On the 11th of October in 1954, Pope Pius XII established the Feast of the Queenship of Mary to be celebrated throughout the world, and commanded that on that day each year, the world should renew its consecration to her. In the future, the Feast came to be celebrated on August 22nd, one week after the celebration of Her Assumption into Heaven.

Pope Pius XII wrote : “The purpose of the Feast is that all may recognize more clearly and venerate more devoutly the merciful and motherly sovereignty of Her who bore God in Her womb.”

 

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Prayer to Our Amiable Queen by Saint Alphonsus Liguori

O Mary, of all Creatures thou art the Noblest, the Purest, the Holiest, the most Sublime, the most Beautiful. Oh, that All Knew you, my Lady, and Loved thee as thou Deserveth! I too, though I am a Sinner, Love thee, my most Amiable Queen. And yet I Love thee too-Little. I Long, to Love thee with a Greater and more Tender Affection, and it is thou who must Obtain this Grace for me. To Love thee, is a Singular Mark of Predestination, a Grace that God Grants-to those who are Saved. Then too, my Mother, I realize my Great Obligation to Love thy Son; I see that He Deserves an Infinite Love. Since thou Desireth so-much to see Him Loved, Obtain this Grace for me, a Deep Love for Jesus Christ.

I have no Wish-for Earthly Goods, for Honors, for Riches. I ask for that, which thine Heart Desires far more, to Love my God alone. Is it likely that thou wilt not Help me in my Desire, which is so Pleasing-to thee? Ah no, for even now thou art Praying-for me. But I am Consoled in thinking that so many Souls in-Heaven, and Saintly People on Earth, Love thee for thy Goodness and Beauty. Above all, I Rejoice that God Himself Loves thee alone, more than He Loves all Men and Angels together.

Pray for me, Mary; Pray and never Cease-to Pray, until thou dost greet me in Heaven. There I shall Possess my God Forever. There too I shall Possess my Dearest Mother. So I Hope. So may it be.

Amen

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Our Lady of Knock – August 21st

On the evening of August 21st, 1879, at roughly 8 p.m.  at the Saint John the Baptist Church in Knock Ireland, there appeared in a blaze of light, the Blessed Mother, Saint Joseph and Saint John the Evangelist. The images appeared to float about two feet above the ground, hovering and occasionally moving towards the visionaries.

The Blessed Mother was clothed in white robes with a brilliant crown on Her head. Just below the rim of the crown, there was a full – bloom golden rose. She had her eyes and her hands lifted towards Heaven as she prayed. Saint Joseph was also wearing white robes. But he was facing towards the Blessed Virgin with an attitude of respect.

Saint John was on the Blessed Mother’s left side and was wearing vestments that resembled a bishop’s attire. He was wearing a mitre and holding an open book in his left hand, from which he appeared to be preaching. Behind them was a white altar with a cross and a lamb on top. There were adoring angels near the altar as well. The apparition was witnessed by fifteen people. Shortly after the apparition, miraculous healings were reported. Once word spread, the sight became a major pilgrimage destination.

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Pope Saint Pius X – August 21, 2017

Today we take a glimpse into the life of one of the Church’s most holy Popes, Saint Pope Pius X. He was a strong man that didn’t mince words when it came to defending the Faith that Christ had handed down. He was in all sense of the words, “A man of God.” As we remember him on this day, let us ask his intercession, that we may be bold, and not be afraid to defend the Truth at all costs and refuse to submit our hearts and minds to the plague of modernism that threatens to engulf our Holy Mother Church.

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“Who can fail to see that society is at the present time, more than in any past age, suffering from a terrible and deep-rooted malady which, developing every day and eating into its inmost being, is dragging it to destruction? You understand, Venerable Brethren, what this disease is—apostasy from God… When all this is considered there is good reason to fear lest this great perversity may be as it were a foretaste, and perhaps the beginning of those evils which are reserved for the last days; and that there may be already in the world the ‘Son of Perdition’ ‘Antichrist’ of whom the Apostle speaks.”

Pope St. Pius X, E. Supremi Encyclical On the Restoration of All Things in Christ, n. 3, 5; October 4th, 1903.

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Saint Pope Pius X had some very special important things to say about the Blessed Mother and Her role in God’s plan of redemption.

Let the storm rage and the sky darken – not for that shall we be dismayed. If we trust as we should in Mary, we shall recognize in her, the Virgin Most Powerful “who with virginal foot did crush the head of the serpent.”– Saint Pope Pius X

God could have given us the Redeemer of the human race, and the Founder of the Faiths in another way than through the Virgin, but since Divine Providence has been pleased that we should have the Man-God through Mary, who conceived Him by the Holy Spirit and bore Him in her womb, it only remains for us to receive Christ from the hands of Mary.” – Saint Pope Pius X

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In a day and age when people are afraid to assert the Truth that God sent Jesus to save man from his sins, and the way He did this was to institute the Church for all generations…we need to find the courage to stand by these Truths and remember what Pope Pius X said about this….

“Now the way to reach Christ is not hard to find: it is the Church. Rightly does Chrysostom inculcate: “The Church is thy hope, the Church is thy salvation, the Church is thy refuge.” (Hom. de capto Euthropio, n. 6.) It was for this that Christ founded it, gaining it at the price of His blood, and made it the depository of His doctrine and His laws, bestowing upon it at the same time an inexhaustible treasury of graces for the sanctification and salvation of men. You see, then, Venerable Brethren, the duty that has been imposed alike upon Us and upon you of bringing back to the discipline of the Church human society, now estranged from the wisdom of Christ; the Church will then subject it to Christ, and Christ to God.”

 

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PRAYER TO ST. PIUS X

Glorious Pontiff, Saint Pius, devoted servant of our Lord and loving child of Mary, I invoke you as a Saint in Heaven. I give myself to you that you may always be my father, My protector, and my guide in the way of holiness and salvation. Aid me in observing the duties of my state of life. Obtain for me great purity of heart and a fervent Love of the interior life after your own example.

Pope of the  Blessed Sacrament, teach me to love Holy Mass And Holy Communion as the source of all grace and holiness, And to receive this Sacrament as often as I can. Gentle father of the poor, help me to imitate your charity Toward my fellow men in word and deed. Consoler of the suffering, help me to bear my daily cross patiently And with perfect resignation to the will of God. Loving Shepherd of the flock of Christ, obtain for me the grace Of being a true child of Holy Mother Church.

Saint Pius, beloved Holy Father, I humbly implore your powerful Intercession in obtaining from the Divine Heart of Jesus all the Graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare. I recommend to you in particular this favor ………………….(mention your request).

Great Pontiff, whom Holy Mother Church has raised to the honor Of our altars and urged me to invoke and imitate as a Saint, I have great confidence in your prayers. I earnestly trust that if it is God’s holy will, My petition will be granted through your intercession for Me at the throne of God.

Saint Pius, pray for me and for those, I love. I beg of you by your love Jesus and Mary, do not abandon us in our needs. May we experience the peace and joy of your holy death. Amen.

(In thanksgiving to God for the graces bestowed on Saint Pius X say:  Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be to the Father….3 times)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Saint Maximilian Kolbe -August 14, 2017

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Today we celebrate the life of Raymond Kolbe, or Saint Maximilian, who was born in Poland, in the year 1894, during the Russian occupation. His family was poor, but despite the forced oppression, they remained devoted to the Faith.  Both of his parents were lay members of the Third Order of Franciscans called Franciscan Tertiaries. His father enlisted in the Polish army and fought for Polish independence from Russia. When he left the military he ran a religious bookstore. He was captured and hung by the Russians, who claimed him to be a traitor. After his father died, his mother became a Benedictine nun.

As a young boy, Raymond, was a mischievous, unruly young boy. Often providing his mother with the difficult task of trying to rear him. Around the time he made his First Communion, she asked him to pray to the Blessed Mother for help and guidance in getting his life on track. When Raymond prayed, the Blessed Mother appeared to him. He asked Her what was to become of him. She presented him with the two crowns She had been carrying in her hands. A red one, and a white one. She asked the young saint which of the crowns would he accept. She told him that the white one meant that he should persevere in purity and the red one meant that he should become a martyr. Raymond told her that he would accept both. The experience changed him forever and helped him turn away from the disobedience that he had been drawn to his entire young life.

In 1907, at the age of thirteen, he began his studies at the Franciscan seminary in Lwow, Poland. He excelled in mathematics and physics. For a couple of years, he wanted to abandon the priesthood so as to join the military, but eventually, he relented to the calling of the religious life and in 1910 he became a novice in the Conventual Franciscan Order at the age of 16. He took the name Maximilian, making his first vows on September 5th, 1911, and then making his final vows on November 1st, 1914.

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Shortly after professing his final vows, he developed chronic tuberculosis…eventually losing one of his lungs to the dreaded disease. And though he eventually recuperated, his health was always weakened due to this loss. Yet another saint, who after promising to dedicate their life to the Lord…was weakened by ill health….

During October of 1916, the Italian Freemasons were carrying out anti- Catholic demonstrations which prompted Friar Maximilian and six other Franciscans to head to Rome to form an association they called the Immaculata. The founding of this group coincided with the Bolshevik revolution that was going on in Russia and the Marian apparitions that were beginning in Fatima, Portugal.

In the 1920’s Father Maximilian returned to work in Poland as a Franciscan priest. working tirelessly to promote the Faith through use of newspapers and magazines. The publications grew so large that from a monastery which continued to grow as well, that it began to be referred to as the “City of the Immaculata.” Then in 1930 he moved to Japan and with the same zeal he’d had before, he was able to establish a Japanese Catholic press and another monastery by 1936.

Later that year he returned to Poland, and in 1939, when Germany invaded Poland, Father Kolbe was arrested. In 1940, he was freed just long enough to publish one last issue of the Knight of the Immaculata. In 1941, he was rearrested and set to Auschwitz.

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 In Auschwitz, it was customary that if a prisoner was caught trying to escape, that 10 other prisoners would be sentenced to death by starvation. In August of 1941, a prisoner was caught, and 10 of the prisoners were chosen to pay for his ‘crime’.  When Father Kolbe heard one of the men pleading to be spared because he had a wife and children, he was so moved that he offered his life in exchange for that of the man who was a husband and father.
Later, survivors of the camp told of how the starving prisoners could be heard singing hymns and praying, with Father Kolbe leading them. He administered to the prisoners and helped prepare them for their coming deaths. After two weeks, on the night before the Church’s feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the camp officials tired of the priest’s heroics and decided to hasten Fr. Kolbe’s death, injecting him with carbolic acid.

St. Maximilian Kolbe’s body was cremated by the camp officials on the feast of the Assumption. He had stated years earlier: “I would like to be reduced to ashes for the cause of the Immaculata, and may this dust be carried over the whole world, so that nothing would remain.”

 

PRAYER TO ST. MAXIMILIAN KOLBE

St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe, most faithful son of St. Francis, the beggar of Assisi, inflamed with love for God you journeyed through life practicing heroic virtues and performing true apostolic deeds.

Turn your gaze on us who honor you and have recourse to you.

Radiating with the light of the Immaculate Virgin, you brought countless souls to holiness and introduced them to various apostolic endeavors for the victory of good over evil and to thereby extend the Kingdom of God throughout the whole world.
Obtain for us the light and the strength we need to do good and to bring many souls to Christ.

Perfectly conformed and united with Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, you achieved such a high degree of love of neighbor that you were able to freely offer your life in exchange for a fellow prisoner in witness of true evangelical charity.

Beg the Lord on our behalf that, filled with the same fire of love, our faith and good example might also bring others to Christ and secure for us the reward of everlasting life, where we shall praise Him together with you in eternal glory. Amen.

 

 

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Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary – August 15th – Holy Day of Obligation

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Today the liturgy invites us to contemplate Mary, taken up body and soul into heaven. By a special privilege, she was enriched by divine grace from the moment of her conception, and Christ, who ascended to the right hand of the Father, opened the doors of his kingdom to her, first among human creatures. Now from heaven, where the Queen of the angels and saints is crowned, the Mother of God and of the Church is close to the Christian people before whom she shines as the “new and immaculate woman (who) mediated for the guilt of the first woman.”  – Pope St. John Paul II

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Prayer for the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Almighty and everlasting God,

You have taken up body and soul

into the heavenly glory the Immaculate Virgin Mary,

Mother of Your Son: Grant, we beseech You,

that, ever intent upon heavenly things,

we may be worthy to be partakers of her glory.

Through Jesus Christ Your Son, our Lord,

who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,

One God, forever and ever.

Amen.

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Memorial of Saint Clare of Assisi – August 11

 

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On August 11th, in the Holy Mother Church we celebrate the Memorial of Saint Clare of Assisi. Her story has the beginnings of nobility and wealth…a life of accommodation was laid before her, but as we shall soon discover, her heart and mind did not long for such things….Rather, her heart belonged to our Blessed Lord and she focused not on the things of this world, but rather, on the things of God and Heaven.

Clare was born in the year 1194 in Italy. Her parents were Favorino Siffi,the Count of Sasso- Rasso,  and his wife the countess,  Blessed Orolana. Clare’s mother was a very pious woman and made sure that when Clare was young,  that she taught her about  the Faith…planting a seed within her daughter that would grow into so much more. She was also taught to read and write and to spin yarn and do needlework as well. Clare grew into young woman of fine stature, and was quite beautiful, certain to have a very comfortable life ahead of her…but she was young and God was already pouring His grace into her soul and one night when she was 18 she went to hear St. Francis of Assisi speak….and his words…the message he spoke, was just enough to seal the deal, and shortly after, she sought him out and begged him to teach her how to live her life completely for God. Saint Francis agreed to do so, but for the time being she returned home with her parents.

The following year, her parents promised her hand to a wealthy young nobleman…which most girls would jump at the chance to marry…instead she gathered with her cousin and fled….seeking out the poverty St. Francis had to offer her instead.Upon their arrival , she had her beautiful hair cut short and traded her fancy dress for mere smocks that looked more like rags than clothing. With the help of Saint Francis she lived a life offering everything for God and giving everything she had to the poor. Often she would forgo meals and instead pass her food out to the needy.

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After joining with St. Francis’s group,  she resided at the Church of St. Damian, where the Lord provided for her a good number of like minded companions. Then with the guidance of  St. Francis she established a community of nuns, called the Poor Clares, acting as their superior. With zeal, she directed them for over forty years, leading them with her life serving as a beacon that her sisters could emulate. She even sought the approval of Pope Innocent IV, so that she and her community could live in absolute poverty, completely embracing the message of Saint Francis by living a life of total poverty.

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You may have noticed that many of the  images of Saint Clare depict her with a monstrance in her hands. This comes from an event that took place in 1244. The following account tells us what happened:

“In 1244, Emperor Frederick II, then at war with the Pope, was ravaging the valley of Spoleto, which was part of the patrimony of the Holy See. He employed many Saracens in his army, and a troop of these infidels came in a body to plunder Assisi. St. Damien’s church, standing outside the city walls, was one of the first objectives. While the marauders were scaling the convent walls, Clare, ill as she was, had herself carried out to the gate and there the Sacrament was set up in sight of the enemy. Prostrating herself before it, she prayed aloud: ‘Does it please Thee, O God, to deliver into the hands of these beasts the defenseless children whom I have nourished with Thy love? I beseech Thee, good Lord, protect these whom now I am not able to protect.’ Whereupon she heard a voice like the voice of a little child saying, ‘I will have them always in My care.’ She prayed again, for the city, and again the voice came, reassuring her. She then turned to the trembling nuns and said, ‘Have no fear, little daughters; trust in Jesus.’ At this, a sudden terror seized their assailants and they fled in haste.”

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As is typical with those that are granted spiritual graces…she suffered much physical pain for the last 27 years of her life, spending many of her days dealing with illness. But true to her good nature, she endured these sufferings with heroic patience and intense prayer. During this time, Popes, Cardinals and bishops would often visit her seeking her advice. St. Clare died on August 11, 1253. She was canonized two years later by Pope Alexander IV. Her incorrupt body rests in the Basilica of Saint Clare in Assisi.

Let us prayO God, who in your mercy led Saint Clare to live with a love of poverty, grant, through her intercession, that, by following Christ in poverty of spirit, we may also merit to contemplate you one day in the heavenly Kingdom. Amen.

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Saint Dominic de Guzman – August 8th

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As we make our way through the hot days of August…longing for the cool days to return, we encounter on our journey of saints, Saint Dominic de Guzman. He was born in Spain in the year 1170. His mother, Blessed Joan of Aza, who was barren, made a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Saint Dominic of Silos, and when Dominic was born, she named him Dominic in honor of the saint.

When Blessed Joan was pregnant with Dominic, she had a vivid dream that her unborn baby was a dog that ran through the streets with a torch in its mouth…”setting the world of fire.”  Instead of fretting, she understood that this was a symbol that her son would set the world on fire for the Lord.  This story is made more interesting, in the fact that Saint Dominic started an Order, which was called the Dominican order, or Dominicanus, in Latin, which when translated as Domini canis or “Dog of the Lord.” A few days later when the infant Dominic was baptized, she saw a star shining from his chest, which led to him becoming a patron of astronomy. It is also a symbol that stuck with him, and many artists use it when they depict him in art.

With help from his uncle who was a priest, he studied theology and philosophy at the University of Palencia. In 1193, Dominic was ordained a priest. At the time the Albigensian heresy was making its way through France. They believed that a good spirit created the spiritual world and a bad spirit created the material world. It was such a dangerous heresy, that Saint Dominic devoted much of his time preaching against it. He even created the Order of Preachers or the Dominicans to combat it.

The Dominicans were a group of apostolic men who lived in common and professed poverty, obedience and chastity. They fervently celebrated the Holy Eucharist, studied assiduously and preached the Good News of Salvation.

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But no matter how he worked…no matter how much he preached, it seemed that the heresy was always one step ahead of the Dominicans, and Saint Dominic became discouraged. It was then that the Blessed Mother appeared to him She gave him the rosary and taught him how to pray with it. She told him that he should be praying the rosary daily, and that he should teach it to all who would listen. She told him that with the rosary as his weapon, true faith would win out. Even though the rosary was around before this time period, St. Dominic and the Dominicans are credited with spreading the devotion far throughout the lands.

Saint Dominic was a miracle worker who brought four people back from the dead. There is a legend that St. Dominic received a vision of a beggar who, like Dominic would do great things for the Faith. Dominic met the beggar the next day. He embraced him and said, “You are my companion and must walk with me. If we hold together, no earthly power can withstand us.” The beggar was none other than Saint Francis of Assisi.

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Saint Dominic continued to live and serve the Lord with great love charity. He died in Bologna on the 6th of August in 1221, he was 51. He was canonized by Pope Gregory IX in 1234.

Prayer in Honor of St. Dominic

My Lord Jesus Christ, who didst found Thy Church with Thy Most Precious Blood and, by the preaching of the Apostles, didst establish it, propagate it and extend it throughout the whole world; and after them didst send the holy Patriarch Dominic to adorn it, enlighten it and defend it by the splendor of his merits and doctrine; vouchsafe to hear the prayers incessantly offered by that apostolic man for the increase of the spiritual goods and the temporal welfare of the same Thy Church.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be.

Most merciful Redeemer, who didst choose Saint Dominic to labor with Thee in the saving of souls, and he, by his zeal and Thy grace, won over to the Church so many heretics who were separated from her, and so many sinners who had grieved her by their evil lives; O my God, do thou send new laborers always into Thy vineyard to work for Thy glory and to gather in the fruits of everlasting life.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be.

O good Jesus, who didst delight to see Saint Dominic kneeling every night before Thine altar, adoring Thee hidden in the Blessed Sacrament with lively faith and offering in turn groans, prayers and penances in behalf of the Church, at that time persecuted by her enemies and profaned by her own children; defend this Thy Spouse through the intercession of Saint Dominic from the insults and the plots of the infernal enemy of mankind.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be.

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