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Tuesday of the Twenty-fourth week in Ordinary Time


First Letter to the Corinthians 12:12-14.27-31a.
Brothers and sisters: As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ.
For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all given to drink of one Spirit.
Now the body is not a single part, but many.
Now you are Christ's body, and individually parts of it.
Some people God has designated in the church to be, first, apostles; second, prophets; third, teachers; then, mighty deeds; then, gifts of healing, assistance, administration, and varieties of tongues.
Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work mighty deeds?
Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret?
Strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts.

Psalms 100(99):
Sing joyfully to the Lord all you lands,
serve the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful song.

Know that the LORD is God;
he made us, his we are;
his people, the flock he tends.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
his courts with praise;
give thanks to him; bless his name. 

The LORD is good:
his kindness endures forever,
and his faithfulness, to all generations.

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 7:11-17.
Jesus journeyed to a city called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd accompanied him.
As he drew near to the gate of the city, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. A large crowd from the city was with her.
When the Lord saw her, he was moved with pity for her and said to her, "Do not weep."
He stepped forward and touched the coffin; at this the bearers halted, and he said, "Young man, I tell you, arise!"
The dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother.
Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, exclaiming, "A great prophet has arisen in our midst," and "God has visited his people."
This report about him spread through the whole of Judea and in all the surrounding region.








[The following is from Butler's Lives of the Saints]

 Josph  Desa was born the 17th of June, 1603, at Cupertino, a small village of the diocese of Nardo, between Brindsi and Otranto, six miles from the coast of the gulf of Tarento. His parents were poor, but virtuous. His mother brought him up in great sentiments of piety; but treated him with great severity, punishing him; frequently for the least fault, to inure him to an austere and penitential life. He was very attentive to the divine service, and in an age when, the love of pleasure is generally predominant, he wore a hair shirt, and mortified his body by divers austerities. He was bound apprentice to a shoemaker, which trade he applied himself to for some time.

    When he was seventeen years of age he presented himself to be received amongst the Conventual Franciscans, where he had two uncles of distinction in the Order. He was nevertheless refused because he had not made his studies. All he could obtain was to be received amongst the Capuchins in quality of lay-brother; but after eight months he was dismissed as unequal to the duties of the Order. Far from being discouraged he persisted in his  resolution of embracing a religious state. At length the Franciscans, moved with compassion, received him into their convent of Grotella, thus called from a subterraneous chapel dedicated to God under the invocation of the Blessed Virgin. This convent was situated near Cupertino. The saint having finished his novitiate with great fervour, he made his vows, and was received as lay-brother amongst the Oblates of the Third Order.

    Joseph begged to go through a second novitiate, after which he separated himself more than ever from the company of men, to unite himself more closely to God by prayer and contemplation. He looked upon himself as a great sinner, and imagined it was through mere charity that the religious habit was given him. His patience made him bear in silence and with joy the severest rebukes for faults which he had not committed: and, his obedience was such that he executed without delay the most difficult duties enjoined him. So many virtues rendered him the object of universal admiration. Being ordained priest in 1628, he celebrated his first mass with inexpressible sentiments of faith, of love, and respect.

    After having received the priesthood he passed five years without tasting bread or wine; during which time he lived only on herbs and dry fruits; and even the herbs that he ate on Fridays were so distasteful that only himself could use them. His fast in Lent was so rigorous that for seven years he took no nourishment but on Thursdays and Sundays, except the holy eucharist which he received every day. His countenance in the morning was extremely pale, but after the communion it became florid and lively. He had contracted such an habit of fasting, that his stomach could no longer bear any food. His desire of mortification made him invent different instruments of penance. During two years he suffered many interior trials which tormented him exceedingly; but to this storm a profound calm succeeded.

    A report being spread that he had frequent raptures, and that many miracles were wrought by him, the people followed him in crowds as he was travelling through the province of Bari. A certain vicar general was offended at it, and carried his complaints to the inquisitors of Naples. Joseph was ordered to appear; but the heads of his accusation being examined, he was declared innocent, and dismissed. He said mass at Naples in the Church of St. Gregory the Armenian, which  belonged to a monastery of religious. The holy sacrifice being finished, he fell into an ecstasy, as many eye-witnesses attested in the process of his canonization.Ή The inquisitors sent him to Rome to his general, who received him with harshness, and ordered him to retire to the convent of Assisium. Joseph was filled with joy at this news, on account of the great devotion he had to the holy founder of his Order. The guardian of Assisium treated him also with roughness. But his sanctity shone forth more and more ; and persons of the highest distinction expressed an ardent desire to see him. He arrived at Assisium in 1639, and remained there thirteen years. At first he suffered many trials both interior and exterior. His superior often called him hypocrite, and treated him with great rigour. On the other hand, God seemed: to have abandoned him; his religious exercises were accompanied with a spiritual dryness that afflicted him exceedingly; the impure phantoms which his imagination represented to him, joined to the most terrible temptations, cast him into so deep a melancholy, that he scarce dare lift up his eyes. His general being informed of his situation, called him to Rome, and having kept him there three weeks, he sent him back to his convent of Assisium.

    The saint, on his way to Rome, experienced a return of those heavenly consolations which had been withdrawn from him. At the name of God, of Jesus, or of Mary, he  was, as it were, out of himself. He would often cry out, " Vouchsafe, 0 my God, to fill and possess all my heart. Oh that my soul was freed from the chains of the body, and united to Jesus Christ ! Jesus, Jesus, draw me to yourself ; I am not able to live any longer on the earth." He was often heard to excite others to the love of God, and to say to them, "Love God; he in whom this love reigns, is rich although he does not perceive it."

(1) Ex Proms. Ord. Nerit. fol. 734, et Summ. p. 51, meet. 194, p. 103, sect. 227.

His raptures were as frequent as, extraordinary. He had many, even in public, to which a great number of persons of the first quality were eye-witnesses, and the truth of which they afterwards declared upon oath. Amongst those, John Frederick, Duke of Brunswick and Hanover, was one. This prince, who was a Lutheran, was so struck with what he had seen, that he abjured his former tenets and embraced the Catholic faith. Joseph had also a singular talent for converting the most obdurate sinners, and quieting the minds of such as laboured under any trouble. He used to say, to some scrupulous persons who came to consult him, "I neither like scruples nor melancholy ; let your intention be right, and fear not." He explained the most profound mysteries of our faith with the greatest clearness ; and this sublime knowledge he owed to the intimate communication he had with God in prayer.

    His miracles were not less remarkable than the other extraordinary favours he received from God. Many sick owed their recovery to his prayers. The saint falling sick of a fever at Osipo, the 10th of August, 1663, foretold that his last hour was near at hand. The day before his death he received the holy viaticum, and after it the extreme unction. He was heard often to repeat those aspirations of a heart inflamed with the love of God : " Oh that my soul was freed from the shackles of my body, to be reunited with Jesus Christ ! Praise and thanksgiving be to God ! The will of God be done. Jesus crucified, receive my heart, and kindle in it the fire of your holy love." He died the 18th of September, 1663, at - the age of sixty years and three months. His body was exposed in the church, and the whole town came to visit it with respect ; he was afterwards buried in the chapel of the Conception. The heroism of his virtues being proved, and the truth of his miracles attested, he was beatified by Benedict XIV. in 1753; and canonized by Clement XIII., in 1767.  Clement XIV. inserted his office in the Roman Breviary.




"On October 4, 1630, the town of Cupertino held a procession on the feast day of Saint Francis of Assisi. Legend holds that Joseph was assisting in the procession when he suddenly soared into the sky, where he remained hovering over the crowd. When he descended and realized what had happened, he became so embarrassed that he fled to his mother's house and hid. This was the first of many flights, which soon earned him the nickname, "The Flying Saint." "











September 17th

He was born at Monte Pulciano, in Tuscany, Italy.  He studied with the Jesuits and joined the Society of Jesus in 1560.  In 1570 he was ordained a priest at Louvain, Belgium.  He became a professor of theology in Belgium, but later on moved to Rome where he was a professor at the school called Collegium Romanum.    He was made a cardinal by Pope Clement VIII (r.1592-1605), and became the archbishop of Capua in 1602.  Robert became one of the Catholic Church's most ardent defenders of the faith against Protestant heresy.   He died in 1621. He was canonized a saint on June 29, 1930 by Pope Pius XI.  Proclaimed a Doctor of the Church on 17 September 1931.



Saint Robert Bellarmine

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Saint Robert Bellarmine, S.J.
Bishop, Confessor and Doctor of the Church
Born 4 October 1542
Montepulciano, Italy
Died 17 September 1621 (aged 78)
Rome, Italy
Venerated in Catholic Church
Beatified 13 May 1923, Rome by Pope Pius XI
Canonized 29 June 1930, Rome by Pope Pius XI
Major shrine Chiesa di Sant'Ignazio, Rome, Italy
Feast 17 September; 13 May (General Roman Calendar, 1932–1969)
Patronage Bellarmine University; Bellarmine Preparatory School; Fairfield University; Bellarmine College Preparatory; canonists; canon lawyers; catechists; Robert Barron (bishop); catechumens; Archdiocese of Cincinnati,
Bellarmine's coat of arms

Saint Robert Bellarmine, S.J. (Italian: Roberto Francesco Romolo Bellarmino; 4 October 1542 – 17 September 1621) was an Italian Jesuit and a Cardinal of the Catholic Church. He was one of the most important figures in the Counter-Reformation.

He was a professor of theology and later rector of the Roman College, and in 1602 became archbishop of Capua. Bellarmine supported the reform decrees of the Council of Trent.

He was canonized in 1930 and named a Doctor of the Church. Bellarmine is also widely remembered for his role in the Giordano Bruno affair and the Galileo affair.

Early life

Bellarmine was born at Montepulciano, the son of noble, albeit impoverished, parents, Vincenzo Bellarmino and his wife Cinzia Cervini, who was the sister of Pope Marcellus II.[1] As a boy he knew Virgil by heart and composed a number of poems in Italian and Latin. One of his hymns, on Mary Magdalene, is included in the Roman Breviary.

He entered the Roman novitiate in 1560, remaining in Rome three years. He then went to a Jesuit house at Mondovμ, in Piedmont, where he learned Greek. While at Mondovμ, he came to the attention of Francesco Adorno, the local Jesuit Provincial Superior, who sent him to the University of Padua.[2]


Bellarmine's systematic study of theology began at Padua in 1567 and 1568, where his teachers were adherents of Thomism. In 1569 he was sent to finish it at the University of Leuven in Flanders. There he was ordained, and obtained a reputation both as a professor and a preacher. He was the first Jesuit to teach at the university, where the subject of his course was the Summa Theologica of Thomas Aquinas. His residence in Leuven lasted seven years. In poor health, in 1576 he made a journey to Italy. Here he remained, commissioned by Pope Gregory XIII to lecture on polemical theology in the new Roman College, now known as the Pontifical Gregorian University. Later, he would promote the cause of the beatification of Aloysius Gonzaga, who had been a student at the college during Bellarmine's tenure.[1]

New duties after 1589

Until 1589, Bellarmine was occupied as professor of theology. After the murder in that year of Henry III of France, Pope Sixtus V sent Enrico Caetani as legate to Paris[3] to negotiate with the Catholic League of France, and chose Bellarmine to accompany him as theologian.[4] He was in the city during its siege by Henry of Navarre.

The next pope, Clement VIII, said of him, "the Church of God had not his equal in learning".[1] Bellarmine was made rector of the Roman College in 1592, examiner of bishops in 1598, and cardinal in 1599. Immediately after his appointment as Cardinal, Pope Clement made him a Cardinal Inquisitor, in which capacity he served as one of the judges at the trial of Giordano Bruno, and concurred in the decision which condemned Bruno to be burned at the stake as a heretic.[5]

Upon the death of Pope Sixtus V in 1590, the Count of Olivares wrote to King Philip III of Spain, "Bellarmine ... would not do for a Pope, for he is mindful only of the interests of the Church and is unresponsive to the reasons of princes."[6] In 1602 he was made archbishop of Capua. He had written against pluralism and non-residence of bishops within their dioceses. As bishop he put into effect the reforming decrees of the Council of Trent. He received some votes in the 1605 conclaves which elected Pope Leo XI, Pope Paul V, and in 1621 when Pope Gregory XV was elected. but his being a Jesuit stood against him in the judgment of many of the cardinals.[1]

The Galileo case

In 1616, on the orders of Paul V, Bellarmine summoned Galileo, notified him of a forthcoming decree of the Congregation of the Index condemning the Copernican doctrine of the mobility of the Earth and the immobility of the Sun, and ordered him to abandon it.[7] Galileo agreed to do so.[8]

When Galileo later complained of rumors to the effect that he had been forced to abjure and do penance, Bellarmine wrote out a certificate denying the rumors, stating that Galileo had merely been notified of the decree and informed that, as a consequence of it, the Copernican doctrine could not be "defended or held".[9] Cardinal Bellarmine believed such a demonstration could not be found because it would contradict the unanimous consent of the Fathers' scriptural exegesis, to which the Council of Trent, in 1546,[10] defined all Catholics must adhere. Moreover, there wasn't a scientific certainty in the Copernicanism and, in very truth, the reality showed the opposite: our own eyes can observe the sun moves, while there's no evident trace of the movement of the earth and of the immobility of the sun, except for some hypothetical "results" of these phenomena (as the tidal movement, studied by Galileo), which don't represent any logical necessity of them.[11]

Bellarmine wrote to heliocentrist Paolo Antonio Foscarini:[11]

the Council [of Trent] prohibits interpreting Scripture against the common consensus of the Holy Fathers; and if Your Paternity wants to read not only the Holy Fathers, but also the modern commentaries on Genesis, the Psalms, Ecclesiastes, and Joshua, you will find all agreeing in the literal interpretation that the sun is in heaven and turns around the earth with great speed, and that the earth is very far from heaven and sits motionless at the center of the world.


I say that if there were a true demonstration that the sun is at the center of the world and the earth in the third heaven, and that the sun does not circle the earth but the earth circles the sun, then one would have to proceed with great care in explaining the Scriptures that appear contrary, and say rather that we do not understand them than that what is demonstrated is false. But I will not believe that there is such a demonstration, until it is shown me. Nor is it the same to demonstrate that by assuming the sun to be at the center and the earth in heaven one can save the appearances, and to demonstrate that in truth the sun is at the center and the earth in heaven; for I believe the first demonstration may be available, but I have very great doubts about the second, and in case of doubt one must not abandon the Holy Scripture as interpreted by the Holy Fathers.

In 1633, nearly twelve years after Bellarmine's death, Galileo was again called before the Inquisition in this matter.

In his article on Bellarmine in the Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography, Ernan McMullin cites Pierre Duhem and Karl Popper as prominent adherents to an "often repeated" view that "in one respect, at least, Bellarmine had shown himself a better scientist than Galileo", insofar as he supposedly denied that a "strict proof" of the Earth's motion could be possible. McMullin himself emphatically rejects that view as untenable.[12]


In his old age he was bishop of Montepulciano for four years, after which he retired to the Jesuit college of St. Andrew in Rome, where he died on 17 September 1621, aged 78.


Bellarmine's books bear the stamp of their period; the effort for literary elegance (so-called "maraviglia") had given place to a desire to pile up as much material as possible, to embrace the whole field of human knowledge, and incorporate it into theology. His controversial works provoked many replies, and were studied for some decades after his death.[13] At Leuven he made extensive studies in the Church Fathers and scholastic theologians, which gave him the material for his book De scriptoribus ecclesiasticis (Rome, 1613). It was later revised and enlarged by Sirmond, Labbeus, and Casimir Oudin. Bellarmine wrote the preface to the new Sixto-Clementine Vulgate.[1]


Main article: Disputationes

From his research grew Disputationes de controversiis christianae fidei (also called Controversiae), first published at Ingolstadt in 1581–1593. This major work was the earliest attempt to systematize the various religious disputes between Catholics and Protestants. Bellarmine calmly and fairly reviewed the issues[6] and devoted eleven years to it while at the Roman College.

In 1597 he wrote the Catechism (Dottrina cristiana) in two versions (short and full) which has been translated to 50 languages, becoming one of the greatest bestsellers and the official teaching of the Church in 17th-19th centuries.

Venetian Interdict

Main article: Venetian Interdict

Under Pope Paul V (reigned 1605–1621), a major conflict arose between Venice and the Papacy. Paolo Sarpi, as spokesman for the Republic of Venice, protested against the papal interdict, and reasserted the principles of the Council of Constance and of the Council of Basel, denying the pope's authority in secular matters. Bellarmine wrote three rejoinders to the Venetian theologians, and may have warned Sarpi of an impending murderous attack, when in September 1607, an unfrocked friar and brigand by the name of Rotilio Orlandini planned to kill Sarpi for the sum of 8,000 crowns.[14] Orlandini's plot was discovered, and when he and his accomplices crossed from Papal into Venetian territory, and they were arrested.[15]

Allegiance oath controversy and papal authority

For more details on this topic, see Oath of Allegiance of James I of England.

Bellarmine also became involved in controversy with King James I of England. From a point of principle for English Catholics, this debate drew in figures from much of Western Europe.[16] It raised the profile of both protagonists, King James as a champion of his own restricted Calvinist Protestantism, and Bellarmine for Tridentine Catholicism.[17]

Devotional works

During his retirement, he wrote several short books intended to help ordinary people in their spiritual life: De ascensione mentis in Deum per scalas rerum creatorum opusculum (The Mind's Ascent to God) (1614) which was translated into English as Jacob's Ladder (1638) without acknowledgement by Henry Isaacson,[18] The Art of Dying Well (1619) (in Latin, English translation under this title by Edward Coffin),[19] and The Seven Words on the Cross.

Canonization and final resting place

Bellarmine was canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1930; the following year he was declared a Doctor of the Church. His remains, in a cardinal's red robes, are displayed behind glass under a side altar in the Church of Saint Ignatius, the chapel of the Roman College, next to the body of his student, St. Aloysius Gonzaga, as he himself had wished. In the General Roman Calendar Saint Robert Bellarmine's feast day is on 17 September, the day of his death; but some continue to use pre-1969 calendars, in which for 37 years his feast day was on 13 May. The rank assigned to his feast has been "double" (1932–1959), "third-class feast" (1960–1968), and since the 1969 revision "memorial".


Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky is named after him, as are Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose, California and Bellarmine Preparatory School in Tacoma, Washington. Fairfield University and Seattle University both have a Bellarmine Hall dedicated to the saint. A Jesuit Sogang University in Seoul, Republic of Korea has a Bellarmino Dormitory, named after the saint's Italian name.

St. Robert Bellarmine, a church in the New Orleans suburb of Arabi, Louisiana, was destroyed shortly after its completion by Hurricane Betsy in 1965. The church was put completely underwater in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina and took on more water from Hurricane Rita less than a month later. The parish was permanently dissolved by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans immediately after Rita, and its territory was absorbed by Our Lady of Prompt Succor in neighboring Chalmette.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago has both a local territorial parish and a parochial school named in honor of Robert Bellarmine. The parish is located on the Northwest side of Chicago in the Jefferson Park neighborhood at 4646 N. Austin Ave., Chicago, IL 60630. St. Robert Bellarmine Parish was founded in 1930.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia has a St. Robert Bellarmine Parish based in Warrington, Pennsylvania. The parish was founded in 1968.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Mobile, Alabama has a St. Robert Bellarmine parish based in the town of Atmore in Escambia County, Alabama.

St. Robert Bellarmine Church in Bayside Hills, Queens County NY, of the Diocese of Brooklyn was the original site of Our Lady of the Roses Shrine where the alleged Marian apparitions to Veronica Lueken occurred. Veronica Lueken's apparitions were condemned as "contrary to the Faith of the Catholic Church" by Bishop Francis Mugavero of the Diocese of Brooklyn.[20]

There was also a secondary school in south west Glasgow, Scotland named St Robert Bellarmine, which was a feeder school of primary schools around the south west of the city. Shortened to Bellarmine Secondary, with Craigbank Secondary being the non-denominational school very close by, pupils would often clash due to the Catholic/Protestant divide prevalent at the time. Bellarmine secondary has now been demolished to make way for Silverburn Shopping Centre.


  • Smith, (2009).
  • Rule, William Harris (1853). "A Jesuit cardinal: Robert Bellarmine". Celebrated Jesuits. 2. London: John Mason. p. 20.
  • Miranda, Salvador. "Caetani, Enrico", The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church
  • Miranda. "Bellarmino S.J., Roberto", The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church
  • Blackwell (1991, pp. 47–48).
  • "Robert Cardinal Bellarmine (1542-1621)", The Galileo Project, Rice University
  • Blackwell (1991, p. 126).
    The Vatican archives contain an unsigned copy of a more strongly worded formal injunction purporting to have been served on Galileo shortly after Bellarmine's admonition, ordering him "not to hold, teach, or defend" the condemned doctrine "in any way whatever, either orally or in writing", and threatening him with imprisonment if he refused to obey.
    However, whether this injunction was ever properly served on Galileo is a subject of much scholarly disagreement.(Blackwell, 1991, p. 127–128)
  • Fantoli (2005, p.119). Some scholars have suggested that Galileo's agreement was only obtained after some initial resistance. Otherwise, the formal injunction purporting to have been served on him during his meeting with Bellarmine (see earlier footnote) would have been contrary to the Pope's instructions (Fantoli. 2005, pp.121, 124).
  • Blackwell (1991, p.127). Unlike the previously mentioned formal injunction (see earlier footnote), this milder restriction would have allowed Galileo to continue using and teaching the mathematical content of Copernicus's theory as a purely theoretical device for predicting the apparent motions of the planets. Maurice Finocchiaro's English translations of the purported formal injunction, the decree of the Congregation of the Index and Cardinal Bellarmine's certificate are available on-line.
  • "Fourth Session of the Council of Trent". 8 April 1546.
  • Bellarmine's 12 April 1615 letter to Galileo, translated in Galilei, Galileo; Maurice A Finocchiaro (2008). The essential Galileo. Indianapolis, Ind.: Hackett Pub. Co. pp. 146–148. Retrieved 2013-10-25.
  • McMullin (2008)
  • On Laymen or Secular People; On the Temporal Power of the Pope. Against William Barclay; and On the Primary Duty of the Supreme Pontiff, are included in Bellarmine, On Temporal and Spiritual Authority, Stefania Tutino, trans., Indianapolis, IN: Liberty Fund, 2012
  • The Cambridge Modern History, Volume 4: Fra Paolo Sarpi (Cambridge University Press 1906), p. 671
  • Robertson, Alexander (1893) Fra Paolo Sarpi: the Greatest of the Venetians, London: Sampson, Low, Marston & Co. pp. 114–117
  • W. B. Patterson, James VI and I and the Reunion of Christendom (1997), pp. 76-77.
  • Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Edward Coffin". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.




    This feast day recognizes the great suffering Our Blessed Mother endured when her Son Jesus was abused, persecuted and put to death.  Specifically the Catholic Church recognizes the Seven Sorrows that Our Blessed Mother had to endure.  They are:



      (St. Luke II, 34, 35)

      (St. Matthew II, 13-14)

      (St. Luke II, 43-45)




      (John 19: 38-42)




    Excerpt from the book The Glories of Mary, by Saint Alphonsus de Liguori,
    Doctor of the Catholic Church)




    Mary is the Queen of Martyrs, for her Martyrdom was longer and greater than that of all the Martyrs.

      Who can ever have a heart so hard that it will not melt on hearing the most lamentable event that once occurred in the world ? There was a noble and holy mother who had an only son. This son was the most amiable that can be imagined—innocent, virtuous. beautiful, who loved his mother most tenderly; so much so that he had never caused her the least displeasure, but had ever shown her all respect, obedience, and affection hence this mother had placed all her affections on earth in this son. Hear, then, what happened. This son, through envy, was falsely accused by his enemies; and though the judge knew, and himself confessed, that he was innocent, yet, that he might not offend his enemies, he condemned him to the ignominious death that they demanded. This poor mother had to suffer the grief of seeing that amiable and beloved son unjustly snatched from her in the flower of his age by a barbarous death; for, by dint of torments and drained of all his blood, he was made to die on an infamous gibbet in a public place of execution, and this before her own eyes. Devout souls, what say you ? Is not this event, and is not this unhappy mother, worthy of compassion ?

    * There are two feasts in honor of the Dolors of the Blessed Virgin, namely, the Friday of Passion week and the fifteenth of the month of September. The two points of this discourse, or those of the sermon that follows, joined to the Reflections on each of the seven dolors, may form a novena of meditations or of spiritual reading.—ED.


         You already understand of whom I speak. This son, so cruelly executed, was our loving Redeemer Jesus; and this mother was the Blessed Virgin Mary; who, for the love she bore us, was willing to see him sacrificed to divine justice by the barbarity of men. This great torment, then, which Mary endured for us--a torment that was more than a thousand deaths—deserves both our compassion and our gratitude. If we can make no other return for so much love, at least let us give a few moments this day to consider the greatness of the sufferings by which Mary became the Queen of martyrs; for the sufferings of her great martyrdom exceeded those of all the martyrs; being, in the first place, the longest in point of duration; and in the second place, the greatest in point of intensity.


         As Jesus is called the King of sorrows and the King of martyrs, because he suffered during his life more than all other martyrs; so also is Mary with reason called the Queen of martyrs, having merited this title by suffering the most cruel martyrdom possible after that of her son.  Hence with reason was she called by Richard of St. Laurence, "the Martyr of martyrs;"Ή and of her can the words of Isaias with all truth be said, He will crown thee with a crown of tribulation;²  that is to say, that that suffering itself, which exceeded the suffering of all the other martyrs united, was the crown by which she was shown to be the Queen of martyrs.  


         That Mary was a true martyr cannot be doubted, as Denis the Carthusian,Ή Pelbart,² Catharinus, and others prove; for it is an undoubted opinion that suffering sufficient to cause death is martyrdom, even though death does not ensue from it. St. John the Evangelist is revered as a martyr, though he did not die in the caldron of boiling oil, but  "came out more vigorous than he   went in." 3  St. Thomas says, "that to have the glory of martyrdom, it is sufficient to exercise obedience in its highest degree, that is to say, to be obedient unto death."4  "Mary was a martyr," says St. Bernard, "not by the sword of the executioner, but by bitter sorrow of heart."5 If her body was not wounded by the hand of the executioner, her blessed heart was transfixed by a sword of grief at the Passion of her Son, grief which was sufficient to cause her death not once, but a thousand times. From this we shall see that Mary was not only a real martyr, but that her martyrdom surpassed all others; for it was longer than that of all others, and her whole life may be said to have been a prolonged death.

         "The Passion of Jesus," as St. Bernard says, "began with his birth."6  So also did Mary, in all things like unto her Son, endure her martyrdom throughout her life. Amongst other significations of the name of Mary, as Blessed Albert the Great asserts, is that of "bitter sea." Hence to her is applicable the text of Jeremias: Great as the sea is thy destruction. 8  For as the sea is all bitter and salt, so also was the life of Mary always full of bitterness at the sight of the Passion of the Redeemer, which was ever present to her mind.


    "There can be no doubt, that, enlightened by the Holy Ghost in a far higher degree than all the prophets, she, far better than they, understood the predictions recorded by them in the sacred Scriptures concealing the Messias."Ή This is precisely what the angel revealed to St. Bridget, and he also added, "that the Blessed Virgin, even before she became his Mother, knowing how much the Incarnate Word was to suffer for the salvation of men, and compassionating this innocent Saviour, who was to be so cruelly put to death for crimes not his own, even then began her great martyrdom."2

         Her grief was immeasurably increased when she became the Mother of this Saviour; so that at the sad sight of the many torments that were to be endured by her poor Son, she indeed suffered a long martyrdom,³   a martyrdom which lasted her whole life. This was signified with great exactitude to St. Bridget 4  in a vision which she had in Rome, in the church of St. Mary Major, where the Blessed Virgin with St. Simeon, and an angel bearing a very long sword, reddened with blood, appeared to her, denoting thereby the long and bitter grief which transpierced the heart of Mary during her whole life. Whence the above-named Rupert supposes Mary thus speaking : "Redeemed souls, and my beloved children, do not pity me only for the hour in which I beheld my dear Jesus expiring before my eyes; for the sword of sorrow predicted by Simeon pierced my soul during the whole of my life when I was giving suck to my Son, when I was warming him in my arms, I already foresaw the bitter death that awaited him. Consider, then, what long and bitter sorrows I must have endured."5


         Wherefore Mary might well say, in the words of David, My life is wasted with grief, and my years in sighs.Ή My sorrow is continually before me.² "My whole life was spent in sorrow and in tears; for my sorrow, which was compassion for my beloved Son, never departed from before my eyes, as I always foresaw the sufferings and death which he was one day to endure." The divine Mother herself revealed to St. Bridget, that "even after the death and ascension of her son, whether she ate, or worked, the remembrance of his Passion was ever deeply impressed on her mind, and fresh in her tender heart." 3   Hence Tauler says, "that the most Blessed Virgin spent her whole life in continual sorrow;" 4  for her heart was always occupied with sadness and with suffering.
    Therefore time, which usually mitigates the sorrows of the afflicted, did not relieve Mary; nay, even it increased her sorrows; for, as Jesus, on the one hand, advanced in age, and always appeared more and more beautiful and  amiable; so also, on the other hand, the time of his death always drew nearer, and grief always increased in the heart of Mary, at the thought of having to lose him on earth.


    So that in the words addressed by the angel to St. Bridget: "As the rose grows tip amongst thorns, so the Mother of God advanced in years in the midst of suffering; and as the thorns increase with the growth of the rose, so also did the thorns of her sorrows increase in Mary, the chosen rose of the Lord, as she advanced in age; and so much the more deeply did they pierce her heart." Ή


         Having now considered the length of this sorrow in point of duration, let us pass to the second point—its greatness in point of intensity.

         Ah, Mary is not only Queen of martyrs because her martyrdom was longer than that of all others, but also because it was the greatest of all martyrdoms. Who, however, can measure its greatness? Jeremias seems unable to find any one with whom he can compare this Mother of sorrows, when he considers her great sufferings at the death of her Son. To what shall I compare thee? or to what shall I liken thee, 0 daughter of Jerusalem ? .. . for great as the sea is thy destruction : who shall heal thee? ² 


    Wherefore Cardinal Hugo, in a commentary on these words, says, "0 Blessed Virgin, as the sea in bitterness exceeds all other bitterness, so does thy grief exceed all other grief."Ή  Hence St. Anselm asserts, that "had not God by a special miracle preserved the life of Mary in each moment of her life, her grief was such that it would have caused her death."² St. Bernardine of Sienna goes so far as to say, "that the grief of Mary was so great that, were it divided amongst all men, it would suffice to cause their immediate death."³

         But let us consider the reasons for which Mary's martyrdom was greater than that of all martyrs.

         In the first place, we must remember that the martyrs endured their torments, which were the effect of fire and other material agencies, in their bodies; Mary suffered hers in her soul, as St. Simeon foretold: And thy own soul a sword shall pierce.4  As if the holy old man had said: "0 most sacred Virgin, the bodies of other martyrs will be torn with iron, but thou wilt be transfixed, and martyred in thy soul by the Passion of thine own Son." Now, as the soul is more noble than the, body, so much greater were Mary's sufferings than those of all the martyrs, as Jesus Christ himself said to St. Catharine of Sienna: " Between the sufferings of the soul and those of the body there is no comparison." 5


    Whence the holy Abbot Arnold of Chartres says, "that whoever had been present on Mount Calvary, to witness the great sacrifice of the Immaculate Lamb, would there have beheld two great altars, the one in the body of Jesus, the other in the heart of Mary; for, on that mount, at the same time that the Son sacrificed his body by death, Mary sacrificed her soul by compassion." Ή

         Moreover, says St. Antoninus, ² while other martyrs suffered by sacrificing their own lives, the Blessed Virgin suffered by sacrificing her Son's life—a life that she loved far more than her own; so that she not only suffered in her soul all that her Son endured in his body, but moreover the sight of her Son's torments brought more grief to her heart than if she had endured them all in her own person. No one can doubt that Mary suffered in her heart all the outrages that she saw inflicted on her beloved Jesus. Any one can understand that the sufferings of children are also those of their mothers who witness them. St. Augustine, considering the anguish endured by the mother of the Machabees in witnessing the tortures of her sons, says, "she, seeing their, sufferings, suffered in each one; because she loved them all, she endured in her soul what they endured in their flesh." ³  Thus also did Mary suffer all those torments, scourges, thorns, nails, and the cross, which tortured the innocent flesh of Jesus; all entered at the same time into the heart of this Blessed Virgin, to complete her martyrdom. "He suffered in the flesh,  and she in the heart," writes the Blessed Amadeus. "So much so," says St. Laurence Justinian, "that the heart of Mary became, as it were, a mirror of the Passion of the Son, in which might be seen, faithfully reflected, the spitting, the blows and wounds, and all that Jesus suffered." 5


         St. Bonaventure also remarks that "those wounds which were scattered over the body of our Lord were all united in the single heart of Mary." Ή  Thus was our Blessed Lady, through the compassion of her loving heart for her Son, scourged, crowned with thorns, insulted, and nailed to the cross. Whence the same saint, considering Mary on Mount Calvary, present at the death of her Son, questions her in these words : "0 Lady, tell me where didst thou stand ? Was it only at the foot of the cross ? Ah, much more than this, thou wast on the cross itself, crucified with thy Son." ²  Richard of St. Laurence, on the words of the Redeemer, spoken by Isaias the prophet, I have trodden the wine press alone, and of the Gentiles there is not a man with me,³  says, "It is true, 0 Lord, that in the work of human redemption Thou didst suffer alone, and that there was not a man who sufficiently pitied Thee; but there was a woman with Thee, and she was Thine own Mother; she suffered in her heart all that Thou didst endure in Thy body".4

         But all this is saying too little of Mary's sorrows since, as I have already observed, she suffered more in witnessing the sufferings of her beloved Jesus than if she had herself endured all the outrages and death of her Son. Erasmus, speaking of parents in general, says, that "they are more cruelly tormented by their children's sufferings than by their own." 5



    This is not always true, but in Mary it evidently was so; for it is certain that she loved her Son and his life beyond all comparison more than herself or a thousand lives of her own. Therefore, Blessed Amadeus rightly affirms, that "the afflicted Mother, at the sorrowful sight of the torments of her beloved Jesus, suffered far more than she would have done had she herself endured his whole Passion."Ή The reason is evident, for, as St. Bernard says, "the soul is more where it loves than where it lives." ²  Our Lord himself had already said the same thing: where our treasure is, there also is our heart. ³ If Mary, then, by love, lived more in her Son than in herself, she must have endured far greater torments in the sufferings and death of her Son than she would have done, had the most cruel death in the world been inflicted upon her.

         Here we must reflect on another circumstance which rendered the martyrdom of  Mary beyond all comparison greater than the torments of all the martyrs: it is, that in the Passion of Jesus she suffered much, and she suffered, moreover, without the least alleviation.

         The martyrs suffered under the torments inflicted on them by tyrants; but the love of Jesus rendered their pains sweet and agreeable. A St. Vincent was tortured on a rack, torn with pincers, burnt with red-hot iron plates; but, as St. Augustine remarks, "it seemed as if it was one who suffered, and another who spoke." 4 The saint addressed the tyrant with such energy and contempt for his torments, that it seemed as if one Vincent suffered and another spoke; so greatly did God strengthen him with the sweetness of his love in the midst of all he endured.


    A St. Boniface had his body torn with iron hooks; sharp-pointed reeds were thrust between his nails and flesh; melted lead was poured into his mouth; and in the midst of all he could not tire saying, "I give Thee thanks, 0 Lord Jesus Christ."Ή A St. Mark and a St. Marcellinus were bound to a stake, their feet pierced with nails; and when the tyrant addressed them, saying,  "Wretches, see to what a state you are reduced; save yourselves from these torments," they answered: " Of what pains, of what torments dost thou speak ? We never enjoyed so luxurious a banquet as in the present moment, in which we joyfully suffer for the love of Jesus Christ." ² A St. Laurence suffered; but when roasting on the gridiron, "the interior flame of love," says St. Leo, "was more powerful in consoling his soul than the flame without in torturing his body." ³ Hence love rendered him so courageous that he mocked the tyrant, saying, "If thou desirest to feed on my flesh, a part is sufficiently roasted; turn it, and eat." 4 But how, in the midst of so many torments, in that prolonged death, could the saint thus rejoice? "Ah !" replies St. Augustine, inebriated with the wine of divine love, he felt neither torments nor death."5

           So that the more the holy martyrs loved Jesus, the less did they feel their torments and death; and the sight alone of the sufferings of a crucified God was sufficient to console them. But was our suffering Mother also consoled by love for her Son, and the sight of his torments?


    Ah, no; for this very Son who suffered was the whole cause of them, and the love she bore him was her only and most cruel executioner; for Mary's whole martyrdom consisted in beholding and pitying her innocent and beloved Son, who suffered so much. Hence, the greater was her love for him, the more bitter and inconsolable was her grief. Great as the sea is thy destruction who shall heal thee? Ή Ah, Queen of Heaven, love hath mitigated the sufferings of other martyrs, and healed their wounds; but who hath ever soothed thy bitter grief ? Who hath ever healed the too cruel wounds of thy heart ? "Who shall heal thee," since that very Son who could give thee consolation was, by his sufferings, the only cause of thine, and the love which thou didst bear him was the whole ingredient of thy martyrdom. So that, as other martyrs, as Diez remarks, are all represented with the instruments of their sufferings—a St. Paul with a sword, a St. Andrew with a cross, a St. Laurence with, a gridiron—Mary is represented with her dead Son in her arms; for Jesus himself, and he alone, was the instrument of her martyrdom, by reason of the love she bore him. Richard of St. Victor confirms in a few words all that I have now said: "In other martyrs, the greatness of their love soothed the pains of their martyrdom; but in the Blessed Virgin, the greater was her love, the greater were her sufferings, the more cruel was her martyrdom." ²

         It is certain that the more we love a thing, the greater is the pain we feel in losing it. We are more afflicted at the loss of a brother than at the loss of a beast of burden;  we are more grieved at the loss of a son than at the loss of a friend.


    Now, Cornelius a Lapide says, "that to understand the greatness of Mary's grief at the death of her Son, we must understand the greatness of the love she bore him."Ή  But who can ever measure that love ? Blessed Amadeus says, that "in the heart of Mary were united two kinds of love for her Jesus—supernatural love, by which she loved him as her God, and natural love, by which she loved him as her Son."²  So that these two loves became one; but so immense a love, that William of Paris even says that the Blessed Virgin "loved him as much as it was possible for a pure creature to love him."³  Hence Richard of St. Victor affirms that "as there was no love like her love, so there was no sorrow like her sorrow."4  And if the love of Mary towards her Son was immense, immense also must have been her grief in losing him by death. "Where there is the greatest love," says Blessed Albert the Great, "there also is the greatest grief."5

         Let us now imagine to ourselves the divine Mother standing near her Son expiring on the cross, and justly applying to herself the words of Jeremias, thus addressing us:  0 all ye that pass by the way, attend and see if there be any sorrow like to my sorrow. 6  0 you who spend your lives upon earth, and pity me not, stop a while to look at me, now that I behold this beloved Son dying before my eyes; and then see if, amongst all those who are afflicted and tormented, a sorrow is to be found like unto my sorrow.


    "No, 0 most suffering of all mothers," replies St. Bonaventure, "no more bitter grief than thine can be found; for no son more dear than thine can be found."Ή  Ah, "there never was a more amiable son in the world than Jesus," says Richard of St. Laurence; "nor has there ever been a mother who more tenderly loved her son than Mary! But since there never has been in the world a love like unto Mary's love, how can any sorrow be found like unto Mary's sorrow?" ²

         Therefore St. Ildephonsus did not hesitate to assert, "to say that Mary's sorrows were greater than all the torments of the martyrs united, was to say too little." ³ And St. Anselm adds, that "the most cruel tortures inflicted on the holy martyrs were trifling, or as nothing in comparison with the martyrdom of Mary."4  St. Basil of Seleucia also writes, "that as the sun exceeds all the other planets in splendor, so did Mary's sufferings exceed those of all the other martyrs."5  A learned author, Father Pinamonti,6 concludes with a beautiful sentiment. He says that so great was the sorrow of this tender Mother in the Passion of Jesus, that she alone could compassionate  adequately the death of a God made man.


         But here St. Bonaventure, addressing this Blessed Virgin, says, "And why, 0 Lady, didst thou also go to sacrifice thyself on Calvary ? Was not a crucified God sufficient to redeem us, that thou, his Mother, wouldst also go to be crucified with him?"Ή Indeed, the death of Jesus was more than enough to save the world, and an infinity of worlds; but this good Mother, for the love she bore us, wished also to help the cause of our salvation with the merits of her sufferings, which she offered for us on Calvary. Therefore, Blessed Albert the Great says, "that as we are under great obligations to Jesus for his Passion endured for our love, so also are we under great obligations to Mary for the martyrdom which she voluntarily suffered for our salvation in the death of her Son." ² I say voluntarily, since, as St. Agnes revealed to St. Bridget, "our compassionate and benign Mother was satisfied rather to endure any torment than that our souls should not be redeemed, and be left in their former state of perdition."³ And, indeed, we may say that Mary's only relief in the midst of her great sorrow in the Passion of her Son, was to see the lost world redeemed by his death, and men who were his enemies reconciled with God. "While grieving she rejoiced," says Simon of Cassia, "that a sacrifice was offered for the redemption of all, by which he who was angry was appeased."


         So great a love on the part of Mary deserves our gratitude, and that gratitude should be shown by at least meditating upon and pitying her in her sorrows. But she complained to St. Bridget that very few did so, and that the greater part of the world lived in forgetfulness of them: "I look around at all who are on earth; to see if by chance there are any who pity me, and meditate upon my sorrows; and I find that there are very few. Therefore, my daughter, though I am forgotten by many, at least do thou not forget me; consider my anguish, and imitate, as far as thou canst, my grief."Ή To understand how pleasing it is to the Blessed Virgin that we should remember her dolors, we need only know that, in the year 1239 she appeared to seven devout clients of hers (who were afterwards founders of the religious Order of the Servants of Mary), with a black garment in her hand, and desired them, if they wished to please her, often to meditate on her sorrows : for this purpose, and to remind them of her sorrows, she expressed her desire that in future they should wear that mourning dress. ² Jesus Christ himself revealed to the Blessed Veronica da Binasco, that he is, as it were, more pleased in seeing his Mother compassionated than himself; for thus he addressed her: "My daughter, tears shed for my Passion are dear to me; but as I loved my Mother Mary with an immense love; the meditation of the torments which she endured at my death is even more agreeable to me." ³


         Wherefore the graces promised by Jesus to those who are devoted to the dolors of Mary are very great. Pelbarte Ή relates that it was revealed to St. Elizabeth, that after the assumption of the Blessed Virgin into heaven, St. John the Evangelist desired to see her again. The favor was granted him; his dear Mother appeared to him, and with her Jesus Christ also appeared; the saint then heard Mary ask her Son to grant some special grace to all those who are devoted to her dolors. Jesus promised her four principal ones : 1st, that those who before death invoked the divine Mother in the name of her sorrows should obtain true repentance of all their sins;  2d, that he would protect all who have this devotion in their tribulations, and that he would protect them especially at the hour of death;  3d, that he would impress upon their minds the remembrance of his Passion, and that they should have their reward for it in heaven; 4th, that he would commit such devout clients to the hands of Mary, with the power to dispose of them in whatever manner she might please, and to obtain for them all the graces that she might desire. In proof of this, let us see, in the following example, how greatly devotion to the dolors of Mary aids in obtaining eternal salvation.


         In the revelations of St. Bridget ² we read that there was a rich man, as noble by birth as he was vile and sinful in his habits. He had given himself, by an express compact, as a slave to the devil; and for sixty successive years had served him, leading such a life as may.. be imagined, and never approached the sacraments. Now this prince was dying; and Jesus Christ, to show him mercy, commanded St. Bridget to tell her confessor to go and visit him and exhort him to confess his sins. The confessor went, and the sick man said that he did not require confession, as he had often approached the sacrament of penance. The priest went a second time; but this poor slave of hell persevered in his obstinate determination not to confess. Jesus again told the saint to desire the confessor to return. He did so; and on the third occasion told the sick man the revelation made to the saint, and that he had returned so many times because our Lord, who wished to show him mercy, had so ordered. On hearing this the dying man was touched, and began to weep:  "But how," he exclaimed, "can I be saved; I, who for sixty years have served the devil as his slave, and have my soul burdened with innumerable sins?"  "My son," answered the Father, encouraging him,  "doubt not; if you repent of them, on the part of God I promise you pardon." Then, gaining confidence, he said to the confessor, "Father, I looked upon myself, as lost, and already despaired of salvation; but now I feel a sorrow for my sins, which gives me confidence; and since God has not yet abandoned me, I will make my confession." In fact, he made his confession four times on that day, with the greatest marks of sorrow, and on the following morning received holy Communion. On the sixth day, contrite and resigned, he died. After his death, Jesus Christ again spoke to St. Bridget, and told her that that sinner was saved; that he was then in purgatory, and that he owed his salvation to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin his Mother; for the deceased, although he had led so wicked a life, had nevertheless always preserved devotion to the dolors, and whenever he thought of them pitied her.



         O my afflicted Mother! Queen of martyrs and of sorrows, thou didst so bitterly weep over thy Son, who died for my salvation; but what will thy tears avail me if I am lost? By the merits, then, of thy sorrows, obtain for me true contrition for my sins, and a real amendment of life, together with constant and tender compassion for the sufferings of Jesus and thy dolors. And if Jesus and thou, being so innocent, have suffered so much for love of me, obtain that at least I, who am deserving of hell, may suffer something for your love. "O Lady," will I say with St. Bonaventure, " if I have offended thee, in justice wound my heart; if I have served thee, I now ask wounds for my reward. It is shameful to me to see my Lord Jesus wounded, and thee wounded with him, and myself without a wound."Ή  In fine, 0 my Mother, by the grief that thou didst experience in seeing thy Son bow down his head and expire on the cross in the midst of so many torments, I beseech thee to obtain me a good death. Ah, cease not, 0 advocate of sinners, to assist my afflicted soul in the midst of the combat in which it will have to engage on its great passage from time to eternity. And as it is probable that I may then have lost my speech and strength to invoke thy name and that of  Jesus, who are all my hope, I do so now I invoke thy Son and thee to succor me in that last moment; and I say, Jesus and Mary, to you I commend my soul: Amen.





    CONSTANTINE was still wavering between Christianity and idolatry when a luminous cross appeared to him in the  heavens, bearing the inscription, "In this sign shalt thou conquer." He became a Christian, and triumphed over his enemies, who were at the same time, the enemies of the faith. A few years later, his saintly mother having found the cross on which our Saviour suffered, the feast of the " Exaltation" was established in the Church; but it was only at a later period still, namely, after the Emperor Heraclius had achieved three great and wondrous victories over Chosroes, King of Persia, who had possessed himself of the holy and precious relic, that this festival took a more general extension, and was invested with a higher character of solemnity. The feast of the "Finding" was thereupon instituted, in memory of the discovery made by St. Helena; and that of the "Exaltation" was reserved to celebrate the triumphs of Heraclius. The greatest power of the Catholic world was at that time centred in the Empire of the East, and was verging toward its ruin, when God put forth his hand to save it : the reestablishment of the Cross at Jerusalem was the sure pledge thereof. This great event occurred in 629.

    REFLECTION--Herein is found the accomplishment of the Saviour's word : "If I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all things to myself."




    (Make your prayer request and say the following Litany Prayer.)

    Lord, have mercy.
    Lord, have mercy.
    Christ, have mercy.
    Christ, have mercy.
    Lord, have mercy.
    Lord, have mercy.
    Christ, hear us.
    Christ, graciously hear us.
    God the Father of Heaven,
    Have mercy on us.
    God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
    Have mercy on us.
    God the Holy Ghost, our Advocate,
    Have mercy on us.
    Holy Trinity, one God,
    Have mercy on us.
    Holy Cross where the Lamb of God was offered,
    Save us, O Holy Cross.
    Hope of Christians,
    Save us, O Holy Cross.
    Pledge of the resurrection of the dead,
    Save us, O Holy Cross.
    Shelter of persecuted innocence,
    Save us, O Holy Cross.
    Guide of the blind,
    Save us, O Holy Cross.
    Way of those who have gone astray,
    Save us, O Holy Cross.
    Staff of the lame,
    Save us, O Holy Cross.
    Consolation of the poor,
    Save us, O Holy Cross.
    Restraint of the powerful,
    Save us, O Holy Cross.
    Destruction of the proud,
    Save us, O Holy Cross.
    Refuge of sinners,
    Save us, O Holy Cross.
    Trophy of victory over Hell,
    Save us, O Holy Cross.
    Terror of demons,
    Save us, O Holy Cross.
    Mistress of youth,
    Save us, O Holy Cross.
    Succor of the distressed,
    Save us, O Holy Cross.
    Hope of the hopeless,
    Save us, O Holy Cross.
    Star of the mariner,
    Save us, O Holy Cross.
    Harbor of the wrecked,
    Save us, O Holy Cross.
    Rampart of the besieged,
    Save us, O Holy Cross.
    Father of orphans,
    Save us, O Holy Cross.
    Defense of widows,
    Save us, O Holy Cross.
    Counsel of the just,
    Save us, O Holy Cross.
    Judge of the wicked,
    Save us, O Holy Cross.
    Rest of the afflicted,
    Save us, O Holy Cross.
    Safeguard of childhood,
    Save us, O Holy Cross.
    Strength of manhood,
    Save us, O Holy Cross.
    Last hope of the aged,
    Save us, O Holy Cross.
    Light of those who sit in darkness,
    Save us, O Holy Cross.
    Splendor of kings,
    Save us, O Holy Cross.
    Civilizer of the world,
    Save us, O Holy Cross.
    Shield impenetrable,
    Save us, O Holy Cross.
    Wisdom of the foolish,
    Save us, O Holy Cross.
    Liberty of slaves,
    Save us, O Holy Cross.
    Knowledge of the ignorant,
    Save us, O Holy Cross.
    Sure rule of life,
    Save us, O Holy Cross.
    Heralded by prophets,
    Save us, O Holy Cross.
    Preached by apostles,
    Save us, O Holy Cross.
    Glory of martyrs,
    Save us, O Holy Cross.
    Study of hermits,
    Save us, O Holy Cross.
    Chastity of virgins,
    Save us, O Holy Cross.
    Joy of priests,
    Save us, O Holy Cross.
    Foundation of the Church,
    Save us, O Holy Cross.
    Salvation of the world,
    Save us, O Holy Cross.
    Destruction of idolatry,
    Save us, O Holy Cross.
    Stumbling block to the Jews,
    Save us, O Holy Cross.
    Condemnation of the ungodly,
    Save us, O Holy Cross.
    Support of the weak,
    Save us, O Holy Cross.
    Medicine of the sick,
    Save us, O Holy Cross.
    Health of the leprous,
    Save us, O Holy Cross.
    Strength of the paralytic,
    Save us, O Holy Cross.
    Bread of the hungry,
    Save us, O Holy Cross.
    Fountain of those who thirst, 
    Save us, O Holy Cross.
    Clothing of the naked,
    Save us, O Holy Cross.
    Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, 
    Spare us, O Lord.
    Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
    Hear us, O Lord. 
    Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, 
    Have mercy on us.
    Christ, hear us.
    Christ, graciously hear us.  
    Lord, have mercy.
    Christ, have mercy.
    Lord, have mercy.
    V.  We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee,
    R.  Because by Thy Holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world. 
    Behold the Cross of the Lord!
    Begone ye evil powers!
    The Lion of the tribe of Juda,
    the Root of David,
    has conquered!
    O God, Who for the redemption of the world, 
    wast pleased to be born in a stable 
    and to die upon a cross; 
    O Lord Jesus Christ, 
    by Thy holy sufferings,
    which we, Thy unworthy servants, 
    call to mind: by Thy Holy Cross, 
    and by Thy death, 
    deliver us from the pains of Hell, 
    and vouchsafe to conduct us whither 
    Thou didst conduct the good thief 
    who was crucified with Thee, 
    Who livest and reignest eternally in Heaven.
    R. Amen.
    Sweet the wood, 
    sweet the nails, 
    sweet the Burden which thou bearest, 
    for thou alone, 
    0 Holy Cross, 
    wast worthy to bear the King 
    and Lord of Heaven.
    R. Amen. 






    ST. JOHN was born at Antioch, in 344. In order to break with the world which admired and courted him, he in 374 retired  for six years to a neighboring mountain. Having thus acquired the art of Christian silence, he returned to Antioch, and there labored  as priest, until he was ordained Bishop of Constantinople in 398. The effect of his sermons was everywhere marvellous. He was very urgent that his people should frequent the Holy Sacrifice, and in  order to remove all excuse he abbreviated the long Liturgy until  then in use. St. Nilus relates that St. John Chrysostom was wont to see, when the priest began the holy sacrifice, "many of the blessed ones coming down from heaven in shining garmetns, and with bare feet, eyes intent, and bowed heads, in utter stillness and silence, assisting at the consummation of the tremendous  mystery." Beloved as he was in Constantinople, his denunciations  of vice made him numerous enemies. In 403 these procured his banishment; and although he was almost immediately recalled, it was not more than a reprieve. In 404 he was banished Cucusus  in the deserts of Taurus. In 407 he was wearing out, but his enemies were impatient. They hurried him off to Pytius on the Euxine, a rough journey of nigh 400 miles. He was assiduously exposed to every hardship, cold, wet, and semi-starvation, but nothing could overcome his cheerfulness and his consideration for others. On the journey his sickness increased, and he was warned that his end was nigh. Thereupon, exchanging his travel-stained clothes for white garments, he received Viaticum, and with his customary words, "Glory be to God for all things, amen," passed to Christ. 

    REFLECTION.—We should try to understand that the most productive work in the whole day, both for time and eternity, is that involved in hearing Mass. St. John Chrysostom felt this so keenly, that he allowed no consideration of venerable usage to interfere with the easiness of hearing Mass.

    INTERCESSORY PRAYER:  Saint John Chrysostom, please pray for (state your prayer request to Saint John).










    The honored name of the Virgin Mary, which is said to mean "star of the sea," is most fitting for the Virgin Mother. She may well be compared to a star; for, as a star beams forth its rays without any diminution of its own luster, so too the Virgin gave birth to a Son with no loss to her virginity. The departing rays do not lessen the star's brightness, nor Mary's Son her inviolate maidenhood. She is, therefore, that noble star risen from Jacob and raised by nature above this great and wide sea. She shines with merits, she enlightens with her example. You, all you who are cast about upon the sea of temporalities in storms and tempests more than you walk on solid land, do not turn your eyes away from the brightness of this star. Think of Mary, call upon Mary, so that you may experience for yourself how fittingly it was said, "And the Virgin's name was Mary." -- Pope Innocent XI ordered the feast of this most holy name, which had already been honored with a special rite in some parts of the Christian world, to be celebrated each year by the universal Church as a perpetual memorial of the great blessing of that signal victory won at Vienna in Austria over the cruel Turkish tyrant who had been grinding down the Christian people in 1683.

    (From Matins of the feast of the Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary)


    The Most Holy Name of Mary

            St. Bernard says and we say with him: "Look to the star of the sea, call upon Mary... in danger, in distress, in doubt, think of Mary, call upon Mary. May her name never be far from your lips, or far from your heart... If you follow her, you will not stray; if you pray to her, you will not despair; if you turn your thoughts to her, you will not err. If she holds you, you will not fall; if she protects you, you need not fear; if she is your guide, you will not tire; if she is gracious to you, you will surely reach your destination."
    (Pope Benedict XVI address at Heiligenkreuz Abbey, September 9, 2007)



    Ask the Blessed Virgin Mary to assist you with your special needs today. 


    Litany of the Holy Name of Mary
    For private use only.

    Lord, have mercy.
    Lord, have mercy.
    Christ, have mercy.
    Christ, have mercy.
    Lord, have mercy.
    Lord, have mercy.
    Son of Mary, hear us.
    Son of Mary, graciously hear us.

    Heavenly Father, of Whom Mary is the Daughter,
    Have mercy on us.
    Eternal Word, of Whom Mary is the Mother,
    Have mercy on us.
    Holy Spirit, of Whom Mary is the spouse,
    Have mercy on us.
    Divine Trinity, of Whom Mary is the Handmaid,
    Have mercy on us.
    Mary , Mother of the Living God, pray for us.
    Mary, daughter of the Light Eternal, pray for us.
    Mary, our light, etc.
    Mary, our sister,
    Mary, flower of Jesse,
    Mary , issue of kings,
    Mary, chief work of God,
    Mary, the beloved of God,
    Mary, Immaculate Virgin,
    Mary, all fair,
    Mary, light in darkness,
    Mary, our sure rest,
    Mary, house of God,
    Mary, sanctuary of the Lord,
    Mary, altar of the Divinity,
    Mary, Virgin Mother,
    Mary, embracing thy Infant God,
    Mary, reposing with Eternal Wisdom,
    Mary, ocean of bitterness,
    Mary, Star of the Sea,
    Mary, suffering with thine only Son,
    Mary, pierced with a sword of sorrow,
    Mary, torn with a cruel wound,
    Mary, sorrowful even to death ,
    Mary, bereft of all consolation,
    Mary, submissive to the law of God,
    Mary, standing by the Cross of Jesus,
    Mary, Our Lady,
    Mary, Our Queen,
    Mary, Queen of glory ,
    Mary, glory of the Church Triumphant,
    Mary, Blessed Queen,
    Mary, advocate of the Church Militant,
    Mary, Queen of Mercy,
    Mary, consoler of the Church Suffering,
    Mary, exalted above the Angels,
    Mary, crowned with twelve stars,
    Mary, fair as the moon,
    Mary, bright as the sun,
    Mary, distinguished above all,
    Mary, seated at the right hand of Jesus,
    Mary, our hope,
    Mary, our sweetness,
    Mary, glory of Jerusalem ,
    Mary, joy of Israel,
    Mary, honor of our people,
    Mary, Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception,
    Mary, Our Lady of the Assumption,
    Mary, Our Lady of Loreto,
    Mary, Our Lady of Lourdes,
    Mary, Our Lady of Fatima,
    Mary, Our Lady of Czestochowa,
    Mary, Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal,
    Mary, Our Lady of Mount Carmel,
    Mary, Our Lady of the Angels,
    Mary, Our Lady of Dolors,
    Mary, Our Lady of Mercy,
    Mary, Our Lady of the Rosary,
    Mary, Our Lady of Victory ,
    Mary, Our Lady of La Trappe,
    Mary, Our Lady of Divine Providence,
    Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
    Spare us, O Lord Jesus.
    Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
    Graciously hear us, O Lord Jesus.
    Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
    Have mercy on us, O Lord Jesus.
    Son of Mary , hear us.
    Son of Mary, graciously hear us.
    V. I will declare thy name unto my brethren.
    R. I will praise thee in the assembly of the faithful.

    Let Us Pray.

    O Almighty God, Who beholdest Thy servants earnestly desirous
    of placing themselves under the shadow of the name and protection
    of the Most Holy Virgin Mary, vouchsafe, we beseech Thee,
    that by her charitable intercession, we may be delivered from all
    evil on earth, and may arrive at everlasting joys in Heaven,
    through Jesus Christ Our Lord. R. Amen.







    THE birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary announced joy and the near approach of salvation to the lost world. Mary was brought forth in the world not like other children of Adam, infected with the loathsome contagion of sin, but pure, holy, beautiful, and glorious, adorned with all the most precious graces which became her who was chosen to be the Mother of God. She appeared indeed in the weak state of our mortality; but in the eyes of Heaven she already transcended the highest seraph in purity, brightness, and the richest ornaments of grace. If we celebrate the birthdays of the great ones of this earth, how ought we to rejoice in that of the Virgin Mary, presenting to God the best homage of our praises and thanksgiving for the great mercies He has shown in her, and imploring her mediation with her Son in our behalf ! Christ will not reject the supplications of His mother, whom He was pleased to obey whilst on earth. Her love, care, and tenderness for Him, the title and qualities which she bears, the charity and graces with which she is adorned, and the crown of glory with which she is honored, must incline Him readily to receive her recommendations and petitions.



    Hail, thou star of ocean!
    portal of the sky!
    Ever virgin Mother
    of the Lord Most High!

    Oh! by Gabriel's Ave,
    Uttered long ago
    Eva's name reversing,
    'Stablished peace below.

    Break the captives' fetters;
    Light on blindness pour,
    All our ills expelling,
    every bliss implore.

    Show thyself a Mother,
    Offer Him our sighs,
    Who for us incarnate
    Did not thee despise.

    Virgin of all virgins!
    To thy shelter take us;
    Gentlest of the gentle!
    Chase and gentle make us.

    Still as on we journey
    Help our weak endeavour;
    Till with thee and Jesus
    We rejoice forever.

    Through the highest heaven,
    To the Almighty Three,
    Father, Son and Spirit,
    One same glory be.




    The birth of the Virgin Mary to her mother Saint Anne






    What gladness throughout all nature! Birds are singing, lambs and kids are gamboling, and swarms of doves are fluttering with joy around the spot upon which once stood Anne's abode. I see only a wilderness there at the present day. But I had a vision of pilgrims in the far-off times who, girded and with long staves in their hands, wended their way through the country to Mount Carmel. On their head they wore a covering wound around like a turban. They too participated in the joy of nature. And when in their astonishment they asked the hermits that dwelt in the neighborhood the cause of this remarkable exultation, they received for answer, that such manifestations of gladness were customary. They were always observed upon the eve of the anniversary of Mary's birth around that spot where once stood Anne's house. The hermits told them of a holy man of the early times who had been the first to notice these wonders in nature. His account gave rise to the celebration of the feast of Mary's Nativity which soon became general throughout the Church. And now I too beheld how this came to pass.

        I saw a pious pilgrim, two hundred and fifty years after Mary's death, traversing the Holy Land, visiting and venerating all places connected with the actions of Jesus while on earth. He was supernaturally guided. Sometimes he tarried several days together in certain places in which he tasted extraordinary consolation. There he prayed and meditated, and there also he received revelations from On High. For several years he had, from the 7th to the 8th of September, noticed a great jubilation in nature and heard angelic voices singing in the air. He prayed earnestly to know the meaning of all this, and it was made known to him in a vision that that was the birthnight of the Blessed Virgin Mary. He was on his way to Mount Sinai when he had this vision. In it he was informed also of the existence of a chapel built in Mary's honor in a cave of the Prophet Elias. He was told to reveal this as well as the circumstance of Mary's birthnight, to the hermits on Mount Sinai.

        I saw him again when he arrived at the mount. Where the convent now stands there dwelt even at that early period, hermits scattered here and there. It was then as inaccessible from the valley as it is now. To reach the top of the mountain from that side, hoisting machines were used. I saw that in consequence of the pilgrim's communication, the 8th of September was here first celebrated in the year 250, and that later it was introduced into other parts of the Church.

        I saw hermits accompanying the pilgrim to the cave of Elias to visit the chapel that had been built therein to Mary's honor. But it was not easy to find, for the mountain was covered with gardens that still produced magnificent fruits, though long allowed to run wild, and there were numerous caves of hermits and Essenians. The pilgrim who had had the vision told them to send a Jew into the different caves, and that the one out of which he should be thrust would be the cave of Elias. He had been thus instructed in vision. I then saw them sending an old Jew into the caves; but, as often as he tried to enter a certain one that had a narrow entrance built up before it, he was repulsed. By this miracle the cave of Elias was recognized. On entering it they found another cave the entrance to which had been closed by masonry; this was the chapel in which the Prophet Elias had in prayer honored the future Mother of the Saviour. Many holy relics were still preserved in it, bones of the Prophets and Patriarchs, screens and vessels that had once been used in ceremonies of the Old Law. These latter were appropriated to the use of the Church.

        The spot upon which the thorn-bush had stood was called in the language of that country: The Shadow of God. It was entered only barefoot. The Elias chapel was walled up with beautiful large stones through which ran flower-like veinings They were afterward employed for the erection of the church. In the vicinity is a mountain entirely of red sand on which nevertheless there is very beautiful fruit.

        I learned from St. Bridget that if pregnant women fast on the eve of Mary's birth and say fervently nine Hail Maries to honor the nine months she passed in Anne's womb; if they frequently repeat these prayers during their pregnancy, and especially on the eve of their delivery, receiving then the holy Sacraments devoutly, she will offer their prayer to God herself and bring them through even very critical circumstances to a happy delivery.

        I saw the Blessed Virgin on the eve of her nativity. She said to me: "Whoever says this evening" (Sept. 7th) "nine times the Hail Mary lovingly and devoutly to honor the nine months spent in my mother's womb as also my birth, and continues the same devotion for nine consecutive days, daily gives to the angels nine flowers for a bouquet. This bouquet they bear to heaven and offer to the Most Holy Trinity to obtain some favor for the one that prays."

        I was transported to a high place between heaven and earth. I saw the earth below me grey and sombre, and above me heaven where, among the choirs of angels and the orders of the blessed, was the Blessed Virgin before the throne of God. I saw prepared for her two thrones of honor, two buildings of honor, which finally became churches, yes, whole cities, and they were formed out of the prayers of earth. They were built entirely of flowers, leaves, garlands, the various species typical of the different value and characteristics of the prayers of individuals and of whole congregations. Angels and saints took them from the hands of those that offered them and bore them up to heaven.


        Several days previously, Anne informed Joachim that the time of her delivery was at hand. She sent messengers to her sister Maraha, at Sephoris, also to the widow Enue, Elizabeth's sister, in the valley of Zabulon, and to her sister Sobe's daughter Salome, the wife of Zebedee, of Bethsaida. The sons of Sobe and Zebedee, James the Greater and John, were not yet born. Anne sent for these three women to come to her. I saw them on their journey. Two of them were accompanied by their husbands who returned however when they had reached the neighborhood of Nazareth. Joachim had sent the men-servants off to the herds, and had otherwise disposed of the domestics not absolutely needed in the house. Mary Heli, Anne's eldest daughter, now the wife of Cleophas, took charge of the household affairs.

        On the evening before the birth of the child, Joachim himself went to his herds in the field nearest his home. I saw him with some of his servants who were related to him. He called them brothers, but they were only his brother's children. The pasture-grounds were beautifully divided off and hedged in. In the corners were huts wherein the servants were provided with food supplied from Anne's house. There was also a stone altar before which they prayed. Steps led down to it, and the space around it was neatly paved with triangular stones. Behind the altar was a wall with steps at the sides. The whole place was surrounded by trees.

        Joachim, after praying here awhile, selected the finest lambs, kids, and bullocks from his herds, and sent them by his servants to the Temple as offerings. He did not return to his home before night.

        I saw the three women approaching Anne's abode toward evening. When they arrived, they went straight to her apartment back of the fireplace. Anne embraced them, told them that her time drew near, and standing entoned with them a Psalm: " Praise God, the Lord. He has had pity on His people and has freed Israel. Truly, He has fulfilled the promise that He made to Adam in Paradise: The seed of the woman shall crush the serpent's head. "I do not remember all, verse for verse, but Anne rehearsed the different types of Mary, and said: "The germ that God gave to Abraham has ripened in me. The promise made to Sara and the blossom of Aaron's rod are fulfilled in me." During all this time, Anne was shining with light. The room was full of glory, and over Anne hovered Jacob's ladder. The women around her were amazed, entranced. I think they too saw the ladder.

        And now a slight refreshment was placed before the visitors. They ate and drank standing and toward midnight lay down to rest. But Anne remained up in prayer. After awhile, she went and roused the women. She felt that her time was near, and she desired them to pray with her. They all withdrew behind a curtain that concealed an oratory. Anne opened the doors of a little closet built in the wall. In it was a box containing sacred treasures, and on either side lights so contrived that they could be raised in their sockets at pleasure, and rested on upright supports. These lamps were now lighted. At the foot of the little altar was a cushioned stool. The box contained some of Sara's hair, which Anne held in great reverence; some of the bones of Joseph, which Moses had brought with him out of Egypt; something belonging to Tobias, relics of clothing, I think; and the little, white, shining, pear-shaped cup from which Abraham drank when he received the Blessing from the angel, and which was later on taken from the Ark of the Covenant and given to Joachim along with the Blessing. This Blessing was like wine and bread, like a sacrament, like a supernatural, invigorating food. Anne knelt before the shrine, one of the women on either side, and the third behind her. Again I heard them reciting a Psalm. I think that the burning bush on Horeb was mentioned in it. And now a supernatural light began to fill the chamber and to hover around Anne. The three women fell prostrate as if stunned. Around Anne the light took the exact form of the thorn-bush on Horeb, so that I could no longer see her. The flame streamed inward, and all at once I saw Anne receiving into her arms the shining child Mary. She wrapped it in her mantle, pressed it to her heart, laid it on the stool before the relics, and went on with her prayer.

        Then I heard the child crying, and I saw Anne drawing forth some linen from under the large veil that enveloped her. She swathed the child first in gray and then in red, leaving the breast, arms, and head bare and then the luminous thorn-bush vanished. The holy women arose and in glad surprise received the new-born child into their arms. They wept for joy. All entoned a hymn of praise while Anne held the child on high. I saw the chamber again filled with light and myriads of angels. They announced the child's name, singing: "On the twentieth day, this child shall be called Mary, "Then they sang Gloria and Alleluia. I heard all these words.

        Anne went to her chamber, and lay down upon her couch. The women bathed and swathed the child, and laid it by the mother. Next to the bed was a little portable basket-crib furnished with wooden pegs, by means of which it could be stuck into holes on the right or left, or at the foot of the bed as might be desired. One of the women went and called Joachim. He entered, knelt by Anne's couch, and his tears fell in torrents over the child. Then he took it up, held it aloft, and entoned a canticle of praise like unto that of Zachary. He spoke words expressive of his longing now to die, and he alluded to the germ given by God to Abraham and perfected in himself, also to the root of Jesse. I noticed, though not till afterward, that Mary Heli was not among the first to see the child. She must at this time have been for some years the mother of Mary Cleophas. Still she was not present at Mary's birth, because the Jewish custom does not permit the daughter to be with the mother at such a time.

        When Mary was born, I saw her at one and the same time before the Most Holy Trinity in heaven and on earth in Anne's arms. I saw the joy of the whole heavenly court. I saw all her gifts and graces in a supernatural way revealed to her. I often have such visions, but they are for me inexpressible, for others unintelligible, therefore am I silent with regard to them. Mary was also instructed in innumerable mysteries. As this vision ended, the child cried upon earth.

        I saw the news of Mary's birth announced also in limbo, and I beheld the transports of joy with which it was received by the Patriarchs, especially by Adam and Eve who rejoiced that the Promise made them in Paradise was now fulfilled. I saw also that the Patriarchs increased in grace, their abode became lighter and less constrained, and that they began to exercise a greater influence on earth. It was as if all their good works, all their penance, all the efforts of their life, all their desires and aspirations had at last brought forth fruit.

        All nature, animate and inanimate, men and beasts were stirred to joy, and I heard sweet singing. But sinners were filled with anguish and remorse. I saw, especially around Nazareth and in other parts of Palestine, many possessed souls who at the hour of Mary's birth became perfectly furious. They uttered horrible cries, and they were tossed and dashed about. The devils cried out of them : "We must withdraw ! We must go out!"

        My greatest delight was to see the old priest Simeon in the Temple on this night of Mary's birth. He was aroused by the fearful cries of the possessed confined in one of the streets on the Temple mountain. Simeon with others had charge of them. He went that night to the house in which they were, and asked the cause of those shrieks that roused every one from sleep. The possessed man nearest to the entrance cried out fiercely that he must get out. Simeon released him, and then the devil cried out: "I must go forth! We must go forth! A virgin is born, and there are upon earth so many angels who torment us. We must go forth, and never again shall we dare possess a human being!" Then I saw the poor creature horribly tossed to and fro by the devil who at last went out of him. Simeon was in prayer. I rejoiced greatly at seeing old Simeon then.

        I saw too Anna, the Prophetess, and another one of Mary's future teachers in the Temple aroused and instructed in vision upon the birth of the child. They told each other what had happened. I think they knew of Anne.

        In the country of the Three Holy Kings, certain prophetesses had visions of the birth of the Blessed Virgin. They told their priests that a Virgin was born, to welcome whom many spirits had come down upon earth, but that other spirits were troubled. The star-gazing Kings also saw pictures of it in their stars.

        In Egypt, on the night of the birth, an idol was hurled from its temple into the sea, and another fell from its place and was dashed to pieces.

        Next morning I saw a great crowd from the neighborhood around the house along with Anne's servants, male and female. The women in charge showed the child to them. Many of them were very much affected, and many wicked hearts were changed. They had gathered around the house because they had seen a light over it during the night and also because the birth of Anne's child was looked upon as a great blessing.

        Later on other relatives of Joachim from the valley of Zabulon arrived, also the servants from a distance. The child was shown to all, and a repast as prepared in the house.

        On the following days people flocked in numbers to see the child Mary. Her little cradle, which was in the form of a boat, was placed upon a raised pedestal, something like a sawing-jack, in the front apartment. The lower coverlet was red, the upper one white, and on them lay the child swathed up to the arm-pits in red and transparent white. She had tiny, golden curls.

        I saw also Mary Cleophas, the child of Mary Heli and Cleophas, the grandchild of Anne. She was then a little girl of only a few years. She was playing with the infant Mary and caressing her. She was a stout, healthy child. She wore a little white, sleeveless dress bordered with red from which hung tiny red balls, like apples. Around her little bare arms were twined rows of white stuff, maybe feathers or silk or, wool. The child Mary had also a little transparent scarf around her neck.



        I saw a great feast in Anne's house, all was gladness. The wicker partitions in the front part of the house had been taken away, and a large room was thus made ready. All around it ran a low table upon which stood plates, glasses, etc., but as yet no eatables. In the middle of the room was an altar covered with red and white, and a stand upon which scrolls were laid. A small basket-cradle stood on the altar. It was shaped like a shell, and woven in white and red; the coverlet was sky-blue. Priests from Nazareth were present in their sacred vestments, among them was one robed more magnificently than the rest. Many of the female guests, relatives of Anne, were also in their holiday garments. Among them were Anne's eldest daughter Mary Heli, espoused to Cleophas, Anne's sister from Sephoris, and others. Several of Joachim's relatives also were present. Anne was up, but she did not appear. She remained in her, chamber behind the fireplace. Enue, Elizabeth's sister, brought the infant Mary, swathed as described in red and transparent white, and gave her to Joachim. The priests approached the altar, the attendants bearing the chief-priest's train, and prayed from the scrolls. Joachim placed the child on the arms of the chief-priest, who held her aloft, prayed for awhile, and then laid her in the little cradle on the altar. Then he took a pair of scissors, furnished with a little box at the end for catching the clippings, (something like a pair of snuffers), and cut a little hair from both sides and from the middle of the child's head. The hair thus removed, he burned, upon a pan, of coals. Then he took a box of oil and anointed the five senses of the child. With his thumb, he pressed the ointment upon the ears, the eyes, the nose, the mouth, and the heart of the child. He wrote the name Mary on a scrap of parchment, and laid it on the child's breast. Then the little Mary was by Joachim given back to Enue, who took her to Anne. The women stood back during the ceremony, at the end of which other Psalms were sung. I saw then all kinds of table furniture, dishes, etc., that I had not before noticed. There were vessels on the table that were quite light, their covers pierced with holes. I think they were baskets into which flowers were put. On a side-table, I saw numbers of little white rods, as if of bone, also spoons. There were also bent tube's lying on it, but I know not for what use. I saw no more of the meal itself.






    [Mention your prayer request]

    Lord, have mercy,
    Lord, have mercy

    Christ, have mercy,
    Christ, have mercy

    Lord, have mercy,
    Lord, have mercy

    Holy Mary,
    pray for us.

    Holy Mother of God,
    pray for us.

    Most honored of virgins,
    pray for us.

    Chosen daughter of the Father,
    pray for us.

    Mother of Christ the King,
    pray for us.

    Glory of the Holy Spirit,
    pray for us.

    Virgin daughter of Zion,
    pray for us.

    Virgin poor and humble,
    pray for us.

    Virgin gentle and obedient,
    pray for us.

    Handmaid of the Lord,
    pray for us.

    Mother of the Lord,
    pray for us.

    Helper of the Redeemer,
    pray for us.

    Full of grace,
    pray for us.

    Fountain of beauty,
    pray for us.

    Model of virtue,
    pray for us.

    First fruit of the redemption,
    pray for us.

    Perfect disciple of Christ,
    pray for us.

    Untarnished image of the Church,
    pray for us.

    Woman transformed,
    pray for us.

    Woman clothed with the sun,
    pray for us.

    Woman crowned with stars,
    pray for us.

    Gentle Lady,
    pray for us.

    Gracious Lady,
    pray for us.

    Our Lady,
    pray for us.

    Joy of Israel,
    pray for us.

    Splendour of the Church,
    pray for us.

    Pride of the human race,
    pray for us.

    Advocate of grace,
    pray for us.

    Minister of holiness,
    pray for us.

    Champion of God's people,
    pray for us.

    Queen of love,
    pray for us.

    Queen of mercy,
    pray for us.

    Queen of peace,
    pray for us.

    Queen of angels,
    pray for us.

    Queen of patriarchs and prophets,
    pray for us.

    Queen of apostles and martyrs,
    pray for us.

    Queen of confessors and virgins,
    pray for us.

    Queen of all saints,
    pray for us.

    Queen conceived without original sin,
    pray for us.

    Queen assumed into heaven,
    pray for us.

    Queen of all the earth,
    pray for us.

    Queen of heaven,
    pray for us.

    Queen of the universe,
    pray for us.

    Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world,
    spare us, O Lord.

    Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world,
    hear us, O Lord.

    Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world
    have mercy on us.

    Father, you have given us the mother of your Son
    to be our Queen and Mother.
    With the support of her prayers
    may we come to share the glory of your children
    in the kingdom of heaven.
    We ask this through Christ our Lord.






    Lord, have mercy on us.
    Christ, have mercy on us.

    Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us.
    Christ, graciously hear us.

    God the Father of Heaven,
    Have mercy on us.

    God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
    Have mercy on us.

    God the Holy Spirit,
    Have mercy on us.

    Holy Trinity, One God,
    Have mercy on us.

    Holy Mary, spouse of St. Joseph,
    Pray for us.

    Saint Joseph, confirmed in grace,
    Pray for us.

    Saint Joseph, guardian of the Word Incarnate,
    Pray for us.

    Saint Joseph, favorite of the King of Heaven,
    Pray for us.

    Saint Joseph, ruler of the family of Jesus,
    Pray for us.

    Saint Joseph, spouse of the ever-blessed Virgin,
    Pray for us.

    Saint Joseph, foster father to the Son of God,
    Pray for us.

    Saint Joseph, example of humility and obedience,
    Pray for us.

    Saint Joseph, mirror of silence and resignation,
    Pray for us.

    Saint Joseph, patron of innocence and youth,
    Pray for us.

    Saint Joseph, exited with Christ into Egypt,
    Pray for us.

    Saint Joseph, intercessor for the afflicted,
    Pray for us.

    Saint Joseph, advocate of the humble,
    Pray for us.

    Saint Joseph, model of every virtue,
    Pray for us.

    Saint Joseph, honored among men,
    Pray for us.

    Saint Joseph, in whom is the union of all Christian perfections,
    Pray for us.

    Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
    Spare us, O Lord.

    Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
    Graciously hear us, O Lord.

    Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
    Have mercy on us.

    V. Pray for us, O holy Saint Joseph,
    R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

    Let Us Pray.

    Assist us, O Lord,
    we beseech Thee,
    by the merits of the spouse
    of Thy most holy Mother,
    that what our unworthiness cannot obtain,
    may be given us by his intercession with Thee,
    Who livest and reignest with God the Father
    in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
    one God, world without end.



    O Saint Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in thee all my interests and desires. O thou Saint Joseph, do assist me by thy powerful intercession, and obtain for me from thy divine Son all spiritual blessings, through Jesus Christ, Our Lord; so that, having engaged here below thy heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of fathers. O Saint Joseph, I never weary contemplating thee, and Jesus asleep in thy arms; I dare not approach while He reposes near thy heart. Press Him in my name and kiss His fine head for me, and ask Him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath. Saint Joseph, Patron of departing souls, pray for me.  Amen!








    "At the evening of life, you will be examined in love. Learn to love as God desires to be loved and abandon your own ways of acting."  ---Saint John of the Cross




    The father of St. John was discarded by his kindred for marrying a poor orphan, and the Saint, thus born and nurtured in poverty chose it also for his portion. Unable to learn a trade, he became the, servant of the poor in the hospital of Medina, while still pursuing his sacred studies. In 1563, being then twenty-one, he humbly offered himself as a lay-brother to the Carmelite friars, who, however, knowing his talents, had him ordained priest. He would now have exchanged to the severe Carthusian Order, had not St. Teresa, with the instinct of a Saint, persuaded him to remain and help her in the reform of his own Order. Thus he became the first prior of the Barefooted Carmelites. His reform, though approved by the general, was rejected by the elder friars, who condemned the Saint as a fugitive and apostate, and cast him into prison, whence he only escaped, after nine months' suffering, at the risk of his life. Twice again, before his death, he was shamefully persecuted by his brethren, and publicly disgraced. But his complete abandonment by creatures only deepened his interior peace and devout longing for heaven.

    Reflection. "Live in the world," said St. John, "as if God and your soul only were in it; so shall your heart be never made captive by any earthly thing."



    BOOK I



    BOOK I Wherein is described the nature of dark night and how necessary it is to pass through it to Divine union; and in particular this book describes the dark night of sense, and desire, and the evils which these work in the soul.
    CHAPTER I  Sets down the first stanza. Describes two different nights through which spiritual persons pass, according to the two parts of man, the lower and the higher. Expounds the stanza which follows.
    CHAPTER II  Explains the nature of this dark night through which the soul says that it has passed on the road to union.
    CHAPTER III Speaks of the first cause of this night, which is that of the privation of the desire in all things, and gives the reason for which it is called night.
    CHAPTER IV Wherein is declared how necessary it is for the soul truly to pass through this dark night of sense, which is mortification of desire, in order that it may journey to union with God.
    CHAPTER V Wherein the aforementioned subject is treated and continued, and it is shown by passages and figures from Holy Scripture how necessary it is for the soul to journey to God through this dark night of the mortification of desire in all things.
    CHAPTER VI Wherein are treated two serious evils caused in the soul by the desires, the one evil being privative and the other positive.
    CHAPTER VII Wherein is shown how the desires torment the soul. This is proved likewise by comparisons and quotations.
    CHAPTER VIII Wherein is shown how the desires darken and blind the soul.
    CHAPTER IX Wherein is described how the desires defile the soul. This is proved by comparisons and quotations from Holy Scripture.
    CHAPTER X Wherein is described how the desires weaken the soul in virtue and make it lukewarm.
    CHAPTER XI Wherein it is proved necessary that the soul that would attain to Divine union should be free from desires, however slight they be.
    CHAPTER XII Which treats of the answer to another question, explaining what the desires are that suffice to cause the evils aforementioned in the soul.
    CHAPTER XIII Wherein is described the manner and way which the soul must follow in order to enter this night of sense.
    CHAPTER XIV Wherein is expounded the second line of the stanza
    CHAPTER XV Wherein are expounded the remaining lines of the aforementioned stanza.


    Treats of how the soul may prepare itself in order to attain in a short time to Divine union. Gives very profitable counsels and instruction, both to beginners and to proficients, that they may know how to disencumber themselves of all that is temporal and not to encumber themselves with the spiritual, and to remain in complete detachment and liberty of spirit, as is necessary for Divine union.


    ALL the doctrine whereof I intend to treat in this Ascent of Mount Carmel is included in the following stanzas, and in them is also described the manner of ascending to the summit of the Mount, which is the high estate of perfection which we here call union of the soul with God. And because I must continually base upon them that which I shall say, I have desired to set them down here together, to the end that all the substance of that which is to be written may be seen and comprehended together; although it will be fitting to set down each stanza separately before expounding it, and likewise the lines of each stanza, according as the matter and the exposition require. The poem, then, runs as follows:[65]


    Wherein the soul sings of the happy chance which it had in passing through the dark night of faith, in detachment and purgation of itself, to union with the Beloved.

    1. On a dark night, Kindled[67] in love with yearnings -- oh, happy chance! -- I went forth without being observed, My house being now at rest.[68]

    2. In darkness and secure, By the secret ladder, disguised -- oh, happy chance! -- In darkness and in concealment, My house being now at rest.

    3. In the happy night, In secret, when none saw me, Nor I beheld aught, Without light or guide, save that which burned in my heart.

    4. This light guided me More surely than the light of noonday, To the place where he (well I knew who!) was awaiting me -- A place where none appeared.

    5. Oh, night that guided me, Oh, night more lovely than the dawn, Oh, night that joined Beloved with lover, Lover transformed in the Beloved!

    6. Upon my flowery breast, Kept wholly for himself alone, There he stayed sleeping, and I caressed him, And the fanning of the cedars made a breeze.

    7. The breeze blew from the turret As I parted his locks; With his gentle hand he wounded my neck And caused all my senses to be suspended.

    8. I remained, lost in oblivion;[69] My face I reclined on the Beloved. All ceased and I abandoned myself, Leaving my cares forgotten among the lilies.


    IN order to expound and describe this dark night, through which the soul passes in order to attain to the Divine light of the perfect union of the love of God, as far as is possible in this life, it would be necessary to have illumination of knowledge and experience other and far greater than mine; for this darkness and these trials, both spiritual and temporal, through which happy souls are wont to pass in order to be able to attain to this high estate of perfection, are so numerous and so profound that neither does human knowledge suffice for the understanding of them, nor experience for the description of them; for only he that passes this way can understand it, and even he cannot describe it.

    2. Therefore, in order to say a little about this dark night, I shall trust neither to experience nor to knowledge, since both may fail and deceive; but, while not omitting to make such use as I can of these two things, I shall avail myself, in all that, with the Divine favour, I have to say, or at the least, in that which is most important and dark to the understanding, of Divine Scripture; for, if we guide ourselves by this, we shall be unable to stray, since He Who speaks therein is the Holy Spirit. And if aught I stray, whether through my imperfect understanding of that which is said in it or of matters uncollected with it, it is not my intention to depart from the sound sense and doctrine of our Holy Mother the Catholic Church; for in such a case I submit and resign myself wholly, not only to her command, but to whatever better judgment she may pronounce concerning it.

    3. To this end I have been moved, not by any possibility that I see in myself of accomplishing so arduous a task, but by the confidence which I have in the Lord that He will help me to say something to relieve the great necessity which is experienced by many souls, who, when they set out upon the road of virtue, and Our Lord desires to bring them into this dark night that they may pass through it to Divine union, make no progress. At times this is because they have no desire to enter it or to allow themselves to be led into it; at other times, because they understand not themselves and lack competent and alert directors[70] who will guide them to the summit. And so it is sad to see many souls to whom God gives both aptitude and favour with which to make progress (and who, if they would take courage, could attain to this high estate), remaining in an elementary stage[71] of communion with God, for want of will, or knowledge, or because there is none who will lead them in the right path or teach them how to get away from these beginnings. And at length, although Our Lord grants them such favour as to make them to go onward without this hindrance or that, they arrive at their goal very much later, and with greater labour, yet with less merit, because they have not conformed themselves to God, and allowed themselves to be brought freely into the pure and sure road of union. For, although it is true that God is leading them, and that He can lead them without their own help, they will not allow themselves to be led; and thus they make less progress, because they resist Him Who is leading them, and they have less merit, because they apply not their will, and on this account they suffer more. For these are souls who, instead of committing themselves to God and making use of His help, rather hinder God by the indiscretion of their actions or by their resistance; like children who, when their mothers desire to carry them in their arms, start stamping and crying, and insist upon being allowed to walk, with the result that they can make no progress; and, if they advance at all, it is only at the pace of a child.

    4. Wherefore, to the end that all, whether beginners or proficients, may know how to commit themselves to God's guidance, when His Majesty desires to lead them onward, we shall give instruction and counsel, by His help, so that they may be able to understand His will, or, at the least, allow Him to lead them. For some confessors and spiritual fathers, having no light and experience concerning these roads, are wont to hinder and harm such souls rather than to help them on the road; they are like the builders of Babel, who, when told to furnish suitable material, gave and applied other very different material, because they understood not the language, and thus nothing was done. Wherefore, it is a difficult and troublesome thing at such seasons for a soul not to understand itself or to find none who understands it. For it will come to pass that God will lead the soul by a most lofty path of dark contemplation and aridity, wherein it seems to be lost, and, being thus full of darkness and trials, constraints and temptations, will meet one who will speak to it like Job's comforters, and say that it is suffering from melancholy, or low spirits, or a morbid disposition, or that it may have some hidden sin, and that it is for this reason that God has forsaken it. Such comforters are wont to declare immediately that that soul must have been very evil, since such things as these are befalling it.

    5. And there will likewise be those who tell the soul to retrace its steps, since it is finding no pleasure or consolation in the things of God as it did aforetime. And in this way they double the poor soul's trials; for it may well be that the greatest affliction which it is feeling is that of the knowledge of its own miseries, thinking that it sees itself, more clearly than daylight, to be full of evils and sins, for God gives it that light of knowledge in that night of contemplation, as we shall presently show. And, when the soul finds someone whose opinion agrees with its own, and who says that these things must be due to its own fault, its affliction and trouble increase infinitely and are wont to become more grievous than death. And, not content with this, such confessors, thinking that these things proceed from sin, make these souls go over their lives and cause them to make many general confessions, and crucify them afresh; not understanding that this may quite well not be the time for any of such things, and that their penitents should be left in the state of purgation which God gives them, and be comforted and encouraged to desire it until God be pleased to dispose otherwise; for until that time, no matter what the souls themselves may do and their confessors may say, there is no remedy for them.

    6. This, with the Divine favour, we shall consider hereafter, and also how the soul should conduct itself at such a time, and how the confessor must treat it, and what signs there will be whereby it may be known if this is the purgation of the soul; and, in such case, whether it be of sense or of spirit (which is the dark night whereof we speak), and how it may be known if it be melancholy or some other imperfection with respect to sense or to spirit. For there may be some souls who will think, or whose confessors will think, that God is leading them along this road of the dark night of spiritual purgation, whereas they may possibly be suffering only from some of the imperfections aforementioned. And, again, there are many souls who think that they have no aptitude for prayer, when they have very much; and there are others who think that they have much when they have hardly any.

     7. There are other souls who labour and weary themselves to a piteous extent, and yet go backward, seeking profit in that which is not profitable, but is rather a hindrance; and there are still others who, by remaining at rest and in quietness, continue to make great progress. There are others who are hindered and disturbed and make no progress, because of the very consolations and favours that God is granting them in order that they may make progress. And there are many other things on this road that befall those who follow it, both joys and afflictions and hopes and griefs: some proceeding from the spirit of perfection and others from imperfection. Of all these, with the Divine favour, we shall endeavour to say something, so that each soul who reads this may be able to see something of the road that he ought to follow, if he aspire to attain to the summit of this Mount.

    8. And, since this introduction relates to the dark night through which the soul must go to God, let not the reader marvel if it seem to him somewhat dark also. This, I believe, will be so at the beginning when he begins to read; but, as he passes on, he will find himself understanding the first part better, since one part will explain another. And then, if he read it a second time, I believe it will seem clearer to him and the instruction will appear sounder. And if any persons find themselves disagreeing with this instruction, it will be due to my ignorance and poor style; for in itself the matter is good and of the first importance. But I think that, even were it written in a more excellent and perfect manner than it is, only the minority would profit by it, for we shall not here set down things that are very moral and delectable[72] for all spiritual persons who desire to travel toward God by pleasant and delectable ways, but solid and substantial instruction, as well suited to one kind of person as to another, if they desire to pass to the detachment of spirit which is here treated.

    9. Nor is my principal intent to address all, but rather certain persons of our sacred Order of Mount Carmel of the primitive observance, both friars and nuns -- since they have desired me to do so -- to whom God is granting the favour of setting them on the road to this Mount; who, as they are already detached from the temporal things of this world, will better understand the instruction concerning detachment of spirit.









    O good Jesus, Word of the Eternal Father, 
    Convert me.
    O good Jesus, Son of Mary,
    Make me her child.
    O good Jesus, My Master,  
    Teach me. 
    O good Jesus, Prince of peace, 
    Give me peace.
    O good Jesus, my Refuge,
    Receive me.
    O good Jesus, my Pastor,
    Feed my soul.
    O good Jesus, Model of patience,  
    Comfort me. 
    O good Jesus, meek and humble of heart, 
    Make my heart like unto Thine.
    O good Jesus, my Redeemer, 
    Save me.
    O good Jesus, my God and my All,  
    Possess me. 
    O good Jesus, the true Way, 
    Direct me.
    O good Jesus, Eternal Truth,  
    Instruct me. 
    O good Jesus, Life of the blessed, 
    Make me live in Thee.
    O good Jesus, my Support,
    Strengthen me.
    O good Jesus, my Justice,
    Justify me.
    O good Jesus, my Mediator,
    Reconcile me to Thy Father.
    O good Jesus, Physician of my soul,
    Heal me.
    O good Jesus, my Judge,
    Absolve me.
    O good Jesus, my King,
    Govern me.
    O good Jesus, my Sanctification,  
    Sanctify me. 
    O good Jesus, Abyss of goodness, 
    Pardon me.
    O good Jesus, Living Bread from Heaven,  
    Satiate me. 
    O good Jesus, the Father of the prodigal, 
    Receive me.
    O good Jesus, Joy of my soul,  
    Refresh me. 
    O good Jesus, my Helper, 
    Assist me.
    O good Jesus, Magnet of love,  
    Attract me. 
    O good Jesus, my Protector, 
    Defend me.
    O good Jesus, my Hope,  
    Sustain me. 
    O good Jesus, Object of my love, 
    Make me love Thee.
    O good Jesus, Fountain of life,  
    Cleanse me. 
    O good Jesus, my Propitiation, 
    Purify me.
    O good Jesus, my Last End,
    Let me obtain Thee.
    O good Jesus, my Glory,
    Glorify me.
    V. Jesus, hear my prayer.
    R. Jesus, graciously hear me.
    Let Us Pray
    O Lord Jesus Christ, Who hast said,
    "Ask and you shall receive,
    seek and you shall find,
    knock and it shall be opened unto you,"
    mercifully attend to our supplications,
    and grant us the gift of Thy Divine charity,
    that we may ever love Thee with our whole hearts,
    and may never cease from praising Thee,
    Who livest and reignest world without end.
    R. Amen.








    Lord, have mercy on us 
    Christ, have mercy on us 
    Lord, have mercy on us 
    Christ, hear us 
    Christ, graciously hear us 
    God, the Father of heaven, have mercy on us 
    God, the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us 
    God, the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us 
    Holy Mary,  pray for us 
    St. Joseph, pray for us 
    Blessed offspring of David, pray for us 
    Light of patriarchs, pray for us 
    Spouse of the mother of God, pray for us 
    Chaste custodian of the Blessed Virgin, pray for us 
    Guardian of the Son of God, pray for us 
    Defender of Christ, pray for us 
    Head of the Holy Family, pray for us 
    O Joseph, most just, pray for us 
    O Joseph, most chaste, pray for us 
    O Joseph, most prudent, pray for us 
    O Joseph, most forceful, pray for us 
    O Joseph, most obedient, pray for us 
    O Joseph, most faithful, pray for us 
    Mirror of patience, pray for us 
    Lover of poverty, pray for us 
    Model of laborers, pray for us 
    Patriarch of the home, pray for us 
    Protector of virgins, pray for us 
    Strength of the family, pray for us 
    Comforter of the afflicted, pray for us 
    Hope of the sick, pray for us 
    Patron of the dying, pray for us 
    Terror of demons, pray for us 
    Protector of the church, pray for us 
    Lamb of God, you who take away the sins of the world, forgive us O Lord 
    Lamb of God, you who take away the sins of the world,  hear us O Lord 
    Lamb of God, you who take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us. 
    Let us pray 
    Lord Jesus, through the merits of the devoted spouse 
    of your most holy Mother, help us, we beseech thee, 
    that what of ourselves we cannot obtain, 
    may be granted through the intercession 
    of the Most Holy Patriarch, Saint Joseph. 
    You who reign with God, the Father, 
    in the unity of the Holy Spirit now and forever.



















    O Great Mary,
    pray for us.

    O Mary, greatest of Maries,
    pray for us.

    O Greatest of women,
    pray for us.

    O Queen of angels,
    pray for us.

    O Mistress of the heavens,
    pray for us.

    O Woman full and replete with the grace of the Holy Spirit,
    pray for us.

    O Blessed and most blessed,
    pray for us.

    O Mother of Eternal Glory,
    pray for us.

    O Mother of the heavenly and earthly Church,
    pray for us.

    O Mother of Love and Indulgence,
    pray for us.

    O Mother of the Golden Heights,
    pray for us.

    O Honor of the sky,
    pray for us.

    O Sign of tranquillity,
    pray for us.

    O Gate of Heaven,
    pray for us.

    O Golden Vessel,
    pray for us.

    O Couch of Love and Mercy,
    pray for us.

    O Temple of Divinity,
    pray for us.

    O Beauty of virgins,
    pray for us.

    O Mistress of the tribes,
    pray for us.

    O Fountain of gardens,
    pray for us.

    O Cleansing of sins,
    pray for us.

    O Purifying of souls,
    pray for us.

    O Mother of orphans,
    pray for us.

    O Breast of infants,
    pray for us.

    O Solace of the wretched,
    pray for us.

    O Star of the sea,
    pray for us.

    O Handmaid of the Lord,
    pray for us.

    O Mother of Christ,
    pray for us.

    O Resort of the Lord,
    pray for us.

    O Graceful like the dove,
    pray for us.

    O Serene like the moon,
    pray for us.

    O Resplendent like the sun,
    pray for us.

    O Cancelling Eve's disgrace,
    pray for us.

    O Regeneration of life,
    pray for us.

    O Beauty of women,
    pray for us.

    O Leader of virgins,
    pray for us.

    O Garden Enclosed,
    pray for us.

    O Fountain sealed up,
    pray for us.

    O Mother of God,
    pray for us.

    O Perpetual Virgin,
    pray for us.

    O Holy Virgin,
    pray for us.

    O Prudent Virgin,
    pray for us.

    O Serene Virgin,
    pray for us.

    O Chaste Virgin,
    pray for us.

    O Temple of the Living God,
    pray for us.

    O Royal Throne of the Eternal King,
    pray for us.

    O Sanctuary of the Holy Spirit,
    pray for us.

    O Virgin of the Root of Jesse,
    pray for us.

    O Cedar of Mount Lebanon,
    pray for us.

    O Cypress of Mount Sion,
    pray for us.

    O Crimson Rose of the Land of Jacob,
    pray for us.

    O Blooming like the palm tree,
    pray for us.

    O Fruitful like the olive tree,
    pray for us.

    O Glorious Son-bearer,
    pray for us.

    O Light of Nazareth,
    pray for us.

    O Glory of Jerusalem,
    pray for us.

    O Beauty of the world,
    pray for us.

    O Noblest-Born of the Christian flock,
    pray for us.

    O Queen of Life,
    pray for us.

    O Ladder of Heaven,
    pray for us.








    Over 800 years ago Christians were being captured and sold into slavery by the thousands, and nobody knew what to do about it. Then, in the year 1198, a man had an idea. St. John of Matha founded the Trinitarians to go to the slave markets, buy the Christian slaves and set them free. To carry out this plan, the Trinitarians needed large amounts of money. So, they placed their fund-raising efforts under the patronage of Mary. They were so successful at that, over the centuries, the Trinitarians were able to free thousands and thousands of people and to return them safely home. In gratitude for her miraculous assistance, St. John of Matha honored Mary with the title of "Our Lady of Good Remedy." Devotion to Mary under this ancient title is widely known in Europe and Latin America, and the Church celebrates her feast day on October 8. Our Lady of Good Remedy is often depicted as the Virgin Mary handing a bag of money to St. John of Matha. When in need - for whatever reason, but especially where you have had difficulty obtaining help - invoke the aid of Our Lady of Good Remedy, and you will surely experience the power of her intercession.


    (We ask the Virgin Mary to bring end to all abortion.)

    O QUEEN OF HEAVEN AND EARTH, Most Holy Virgin, we venerate thee. Thou art the beloved Daughter of the Most High God, the chosen Mother of the Incarnate Word, the Immaculate Spouse of the Holy Spirit, the Sacred Vessel of the Most Holy Trinity. O Mother of the Divine Redeemer, who under the title of Our Lady of Good Remedy comes to the aid of all who call upon thee, extend thy maternal protection to us. We depend on thee, Dear Mother, as helpless and needy children depend on a tender and caring mother.

    Hail, Mary....

    O LADY OF GOOD REMEDY, source of unfailing help, grant that we may draw from thy treasury of graces in our time of need.
    Touch the hearts of sinners, that they may seek reconciliation and forgiveness. Bring comfort to the afflicted and the lonely; help the poor and the hopeless; aid the sick and the suffering. May they be healed in body and strengthened in spirit to endure their sufferings with patient resignation and Christian fortitude.

    Hail, Mary....

    DEAR LADY OF GOOD REMEDY, source of unfailing help, thy compassionate heart knows a remedy for every affliction and misery we encounter in life. Help me with thy prayers and intercession to find a remedy for my problems and needs, especially for... (Indicate your special intentions here).
    On my part, O loving Mother, I pledge myself to a more intensely Christian lifestyle, to a more careful observance of the laws of God, to be more conscientious in fulfilling the obligations of my state in life, and to strive to be a source of healing in this broken world of ours.
    Dear Lady of Good Remedy, be ever present to me, and through thy intercession, may I enjoy health of body and peace of mind, and grow stronger in the faith and in the love of thy Son, Jesus.

    Hail, Mary.....

    V. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of Good Remedy,
    R. That we may deepen our dedication to thy Son, and make the world alive with His Spirit.





















    JohnCrossImage.jpg (9797 bytes)


    December 14th

    The father of St. John was discarded by his kindred for marrying a poor orphan, and the Saint, thus born and nurtured in poverty chose it also for his portion. Unable to learn a trade, he became the, servant of the poor in the hospital of Medina, while still pursuing his sacred studies. In 1563, being then twenty-one, he humbly offered himself as a lay-brother to the Carmelite friars, who, however, knowing his talents, had him ordained priest. He would now have exchanged to the severe Carthusian Order, had not St. Teresa, with the instinct of a Saint, persuaded him to remain and help her in the reform of his own Order. Thus he became the first prior of the Barefooted Carmelites. His reform, though approved by the general, was rejected by the elder friars, who condemned the Saint as a fugitive and apostate, and cast him into prison, whence he only escaped, after nine months' suffering, at the risk of his life. Twice again, before his death, he was shamefully persecuted by his brethren, and publicly disgraced. But his complete abandonment by creatures only deepened his interior peace and devout longing for heaven.

    Reflection. "Live in the world," said St. John, "as if God and your soul only were in it; so shall your heart be never made captive by any earthly thing."

    INTERCESSORY PRAYER:  Saint John of the Cross, please pray for [state your prayer request.]

    For more information see the works of St. John of the Cross.







    PETER, while still a youth, left his home at Alcantara in Spain, and entered a convent of Discalced Franciscans. He rose quickly to high posts in the Order, but his thirst for penance was still unappeased, and in 1539, being then forty years old, he founded the first convent of the "Strict Observance." The cells of the friars resembled graves rather than dwelling-places. That of St. Peter himself was four feet and a half in length, so that he could never lie down ; he ate but once in three days; his sackcloth habit and a cloak were his only garments, and he never covered his head or feet. In the bitter winter he would open the door and window of his cell that, by closing them again, he might experience some sensation of warmth. Amongst those whom he trained to perfection was St. Teresa. He read her soul, approved of her spirit of prayer, and strengthened her to carry out her reforms. St. Peter died, with great joy, kneeling in prayer, October 18th, 1562, at the age of sixty-three.

    REFLECTION.-If men do not go about barefoot now, nor under-go sharp penances, as St. Peter did, there are many ways of trampling on the world; and our Lord teaches them when He finds the necessary courage.



    INTERCESSORY PRAYER:  Saint Teresa of Avila said concerning Saint Peter of Alcantara that, "The Lord once told me that no one should ask Him for anything in his name and not be heard."

    Saint Peter of Alcantara, please pray for us today [state your prayer request.]








                                                 THE SECRET OF THE ROSARY











    Our Lady of the Rosary
    Nuestra Seρora del Santisimo Rosario by Damiαn Domingo
    Our Lady of Victory, Lady of the Rosary, Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary
    Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
    Major shrine Our Lady of Victory Basilica,
    Basilica of Notre-Dame-des-Victoires, Paris
    Feast October 7
    Attributes Blessed Virgin Mary, Infant Jesus, crown, rosary
    Patronage Rosary, Roman Catholic Diocese of Malaga, Toledo, Rosario, Santa Fe, Melilla, Trujillo, Cαceres, Colombia, Manizales, Puyo, Pastaza, North Carolina, Bohol, Guatemala, Surigao del Norte, Manila, Quezon City, West Virginia, Seseρa, Ontνgola, Olνas del Rey, Montearagσn, Toledo, Lagartera, Huerta de Valdecarαbanos, Brenes


    Our Lady of the Rosary

    Our Lady of the Rosary, also known as Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary, is a title of the Blessed Virgin Mary in relation to the Rosary. The Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary is on October 7, the anniversary of the decisive victory of the combined Christian fleet in 1571 at the Battle of Lepanto, defeating an Ottoman fleet off western Greece. It was formerly sometimes known as the Feast of Our Lady of Victory.

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    According to Dominican tradition, in 1214, St. Dominic was in Prouille, France attempting to convert the Albigensians back to the Catholic faith. The young priest had little success until one day he received a vision of the Blessed Virgin, who gave him the Rosary as a tool against heretics.[1] While Mary's giving the rosary to St. Dominic is generally acknowledged as a legend, the development of this prayer form owes much to the followers of St. Dominic, including the 15th century priest and teacher, Alanus de Rupe.[2]

    On December 3, 1836, Fr. Charles Elιonor des Genettes had an interior locution directing him to dedicate the parish of Our Lady of Victory to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.[3]

    On October 13, 1917, Our Lady of Fatima told the shepherd children, "I am the Lady of the Rosary".[4]

    In 1987, during the civil war with the anti-clerical Sandinista government in Nicaragua, sacristan Bernardo Martinez reported seeing an apparition of Our Lady who urged him to pray the rosary and work for peace. One of the appearances was in the parish church of Our Lady of Victories near Cuapa.





    GOD does not abandon to mere chance any of His handiworks; by His providence He is everywhere present; not a hair falls from the head of a sparrow to the ground without His knowledge. Not content, however, with yielding such familiar help in all things, not content with affording that existence which He communicates and perpetuates through every living being, He has charged His angels with the ministry of watching and safeguarding every one of His creatures that behold not His face. Kingdoms have their angels assigned to them, and men have their angels; these latter it is whom religion designates as the Holy Guardian Angels, Our Lord says in the Gospel, "Beware lest ye scandalize any of these little ones, for their angels in heaven see the face of my Father." The existence of Guardian Angels is, hence, a dogma of the Christian faith : this being so, what ought not our respect be for that sure and holy intelligence that is ever present at our side; and how great should our solicitude be, lest, by any act of ours, we offend those eyes which are ever bent upon us in all our ways !

    REFLECTION.-Ah! let us not give occasion, in the language of Holy Scripture, to the angels of peace to weep bitterly.

    INTERCESSORY PRAYER:  Today, thank your guardian angel for his work in which he always strives to keep us close to Jesus.  Ask you guardian angel to guide your steps in the upcoming days, weeks, months and years.











    Evangelization: Religious Minorities in Asia

    That Christians, and other religious minorities in Asian countries, may be able to practise their faith in full freedom.



    Universal: Say “No” to Corruption

    That those who have material, political or spiritual power may resist any lure of corruption.



    Evangelization: Formation in Spiritual Discernment

    That the Church may appreciate the urgency of formation in spiritual discernment, both on the personal and communitarian levels.



    Universal: For Those who have Responsibility in Economic Matters

    That economists may have the courage to reject any economy of exclusion and know how to open new paths.



    Evangelization: The Mission of the Laity

    That the lay faithful may fulfil their specific mission, by responding with creativity to the challenges that face the world today.



    Universal: Social Networks

    That social networks may work towards that inclusiveness which respects others for their differences.



    Evangelization: Priests and their Pastoral Ministry

    That priests, who experience fatigue and loneliness in their pastoral work, may find help and comfort in their intimacy with the Lord and in their friendship with their brother priests.



    Universal: The treasure of Families

    That any far-reaching decisions of economists and politicians may protect the family as one of the treasures of humanity.



    Universal: Young People in Africa

    That young people in Africa may have access to education and work in their own countries.



    Evangelization: The Mission of Religious

    That consecrated religious men and women may bestir themselves, and be present among the

    poor, the marginalized, and those who have no voice.



    Universal: In the Service of Peace

    That the language of love and dialogue may always prevail over the language of conflict.



    Evangelization: In the Service of the Transmission of Faith

    That people, who are involved in the service and transmission of faith, may find, in their

    dialogue with culture, a language suited to the conditions of the present time.


    Vatican, 13 February 2017









    Queen of Heaven and earth,
    most Holy Virgin,
    we venerate thee.
    Thou art the beloved daughter
    of the Most High God,
    the chosen mother of the
    Incarnate Word,
    the immaculate spouse of
    the Holy Spirit,
    the sacred vessel of the
     Most Holy Trinity.
    O Mother of the Divine Redeemer,
    who under the title of
    Our Lady of Good Remedy
    comes to the aid of all
    who call upon thee,
    extend thy maternal protection to us.
    We depend on thee,
    dear Mother,
    as helpless and needy children
    depend on a tender and caring mother.

    Pray the Hail Mary...

    O Lady of Good Remedy,
    source of unfailing help,
    grant that we may draw
    from thy treasury of graces
    in our time of need.
    Touch the hearts of sinners,
    that they may seek
    reconciliation and forgiveness.
    Bring comfort to
    the afflicted and the lonely;
    help the poor and the hopeless;
    aid the sick and the suffering.
    May they be healed in body
    and strengthened in spirit
    to endure their sufferings
    with patient resignation
    and Christian fortitude.

    Pray the Hail Mary...

    Dear Lady of Good Remedy,
    source of unfailing help,
    thy compassionate heart knows a remedy
    for every affliction and misery
    we encounter in life.
    Help me with thy prayers and intercession
    to find a remedy for my problems and needs,
    especially for...

    (Mention your personal intention)

    On my part,
    O loving Mother,
    I pledge myself to a more intensely Christian lifestyle,
    to a more careful observance of the laws of God,
    to be more conscientious
    in fulfilling the obligations of my state in life,
    and to strive to be a source of healing
    in this broken world of ours.

    Dear Lady of Good Remedy,
    be ever present to me,
    and through thy intercession,
    may I enjoy health of body and peace of mind,
    and grow stronger in the faith
    and in the love of thy Son, Jesus.

    Pray the Hail Mary...

    V. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of Good Remedy,
    R. That we may deepen our dedication to thy Son,
    and make the world alive with His Spirit.




    Unfailing Novena To The Virgin Mary Untier of Knots

    Prayer to Mary, Undoer of Knots

    Virgin Mary, Mother of fair love, Mother who never refuses to come to the aid of a child in need, Mother whose hands never cease to serve your beloved children because they are moved by the divine love and immense mercy that exists in your heart, cast your compassionate eyes upon me and see the snarl of knots that exist in my life. You know very well how desperate I am, my pain, and how I am bound by these knots. Mary, Mother to whom God entrusted the undoing of the knots in the lives of his children, I entrust into your hands the ribbon of my life. No one, not even the Evil One himself, can take it away from your precious care. In your hands there is no knot that cannot be undone. Powerful Mother, by your grace and intercessory power with Your Son and My Liberator, Jesus, take into your hands today this knot.

    [Mention your request here]

    I beg you to undo it for the glory of God, once for all. You are my hope. O my Lady, you are the only consolation God gives me, the fortification of my feeble strength, the enrichment of my destitution, and, with Christ, the freedom from my chains. Hear my plea. Keep me, guide me, protect me, o safe refuge!

    Mary, Undoer of Knots, pray for me.







    Pray hard for him.  If you have time now please say one Hail Mary and One Glory Be for him now. Pray that he would do God's will while working as President for our country.  That he would protect the unborn, help the poor and keep peace throughout this world.





    Each standard size cross-mark  represents 50,000 people killed.  The smaller cross-marks represent less than 50,000 deaths.   The war casualties represent all American combat-related deaths.  Statistics from 1982 World Almanac.
    REVOLUTIONARY WAR                    25,324    †
    CIVIL WAR                                          496,332    ††††††††††
    WORLD WAR I                                   116,708    †††
    WORLD WAR II                                  407,316    †††††††††
    KOREAN WAR                                     54,246   ††
    VIETNAM WAR                                     58,655   ††     

     WAR ON UNBORN CHILDREN      OVER  59,440,015  
    ...since abortion was legalized in 1973

    †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††









    These promises were given by the Blessed Mother to Saint Dominic and Blessed Alan.

     1. Whoever shall faithfully serve me by the recitation of the rosary, shall receive signal graces.

    2. I promise my special protection and the greatest graces to all those who shall recite the rosary.

    3. The rosary shall be a powerful armour against hell, it will destroy vice, decrease sin, and defeat heresies.

    4. It will cause virtue and good works to flourish; it will obtain for souls the abundant mercy of God; it will withdraw the hearts of men from the love of the world and its vanities, and will lift them to the desire of eternal things. Oh, that souls would sanctify themselves by this means.

    5. The soul which recommends itself to me by the recitation of the rosary, shall not perish.

    6. Whoever shall recite the rosary devoutly, applying himself to the consideration of its sacred mysteries shall never be conquered by misfortune. God will not chastise him in His justice, he shall not perish by an unprovided death; if he be just he shall remain in the grace of God, and become worthy of eternal life.

    7. Whoever shall have a true devotion for the rosary shall not die without the sacraments of the Church.

    8. Those who are faithful to recite the rosary shall have during their life and at their death the light of God and the plentitude of His graces; at the moment of death they shall participate in the merits of the saints in paradise.

    9. I shall deliver from purgatory those who have been devoted to the rosary.

    10. The faithful children of the rosary shall merit a high degree of glory in heaven.

    11. You shall obtain all you ask of me by the recitation of the rosary.

    12. All those who propagate the holy rosary shall be aided by me in their necessities.

    13. I have obtained from my Divine Son that all the advocates of the rosary shall have for intercessors the entire celestial court during their life and at the hour of death.

    14. All who recite the rosary are my sons, and brothers of my only Son Jesus Christ.

    15. Devotion of my rosary is a great sign of predestination.


    THE SECRET OF THE ROSARY(by Saint Louis De Montfort)


    Graces Derived from Going to Mass
    (Note:  Assisting at Mass simply means attending Mass.  By attending a Mass Catholics are actually assisting in Mass.) 

    THE FOLLOWING IS FROM THE PIETA PRAYER BOOKLET, Published in U.S.A. by  MLOR Corporation, 1186 Burlington Drive, Hickory Corners, MI  49060-9330:

    1. The Mass is Calvary continued.

    2. Every Mass is worth as much as the sacrifice of our Lord's life, sufferings and death.

    3. Holy Mass is the most powerful atonement for your sins.

    4. At the hour of death the Masses you have heard will be your greatest consolation.

    5. Every Mass will go with you to judgment and plead for pardon.

    6. At Mass you can diminish more or less temporal punishment due to your sins, according to your fervor.

    7. Assisting devoutly at Holy Mass you render to the sacred humanity of Our Lord the greatest homage.

    8. He supplies for many of your negligences and omissions.

    9. He forgives the venial sins which you have not confessed.  The power of Satan over you is diminished.

    10. You afford the souls in Purgatory the greatest possible relief.

    11. One Mass heard during life will be of more benefit to you than many heard for you after your death.

    12. You are preserved from dangers and misfortunes which otherwise might have befallen you.  You shorten your Purgatory.

    13. Every Mass wins for you a higher degree of glory in Heaven.

    14. You receive the priest's blessing which Our Lord ratifies in Heaven.

    15. You kneel amidst a multitude of holy angels, who are present at the adorable Sacrifice with reverential awe.

    16. You are blessed in your temporal goods and affairs.

    In eternity, we shall fully realize that it was certainly worthwhile to have assisted at Holy Mass daily.  PRAY FOR PRIESTS THAT THEY MAY OFFER THE MASS WITH HOLY LOVE AND REVERENCE.



    "WHY Should I Go To Mass Every Day?"

    "The Mass is the most perfect form of prayer!"

    For each Mass we hear with devotion, Our Lord sends a saint to comfort us at death.  (revelation of Christ to St. Gertrude the great).

    Padre Pio, the stigmatic priest, said, the world could exist more easily without the sun than without the Mass.

    The Cure'd' Ars, St. Jean Vianney said, if we knew the value of the Mass we would die of joy.

    A great doctor of the Church, St. Anselm, declares that a single Mass offered for oneself during life may be worth more than a thousand celebrated for the same intention after death.  St. Leonard of Port Maurice supports this statement by saying that one Mass before death may be more profitable than  many after it.

    "The Holy Mass would be of greater profit if people had it offered in their lifetime, rather than having it celebrated for the relief of their souls after death."  (Pope Benedict XV).

    Once, St. Teresa was overwhelmed with God's Goodness and asked Our Lord, "How can I thank you?"  Our Lord replied, "ATTEND ONE MASS".




     Saint Louis De Montfort stresses that people should give there hearts and wills to Jesus through Mary and that by doing this a soul will be able to soar toward God.  See Saint Louis's book True Devotion To Mary. Saint Louis warns of the devil's great ability to deceive souls, including souls of saints:

    "Because the devils, who are skillful thieves, wish to surprise us unawares, and to strip us.  They watch day and night for the favorable moment.  For that end they go round about us incessantly to devour us and to snatch from us in one moment, all the graces and merits we have gained for many years.   Their malice, their experience, their stratagems and their number ought to make us fear this misfortune immensely, especially when we see how many persons fuller of grace than we are, richer in virtues, better founded in experience and far higher exalted in sanctity, have been surprised, robbed and unhappily pillaged.  Ah!  How many cedars of Lebanon, how many stars of the firmament, have we not seen fall miserably, and in the twinkling of an eye lose all their height and their brightness!  Whence comes that sad and curious change?  It was not for want of grace, which is wanting to no man; but it was for want of humility.  They thought themselves capable of guarding their own treasures.  They trusted in themselves, relied upon themselves.  They thought their house secure enough, and their coffers strong enough, to keep the precious treasure of grace.  It is because of that scarcely perceptible reliance upon themselves, though all the while it seemed to them that they were relying only on the grace of God, that the most just Lord permitted them to be robbed by leaving them to themselves.  Alas!  If they had but known the admirable devotion which I will unfold presently, they would have confided their treasure to a Virgin powerful and faithful, who would have kept it for them as if it had been her own possession; nay, who would have even taken it as an obligation of justice on herself to preserve it for them".



    Holy Mary, my Queen and sovereign Lady, I give you myself, trusting in your fidelity and your protection. I surrender myself entirely to your motherly tenderness, my body, my soul, all that I am, all that I possess,  for the whole of this day, my life,  and especially at the hour of my death. I entrust to you once more all my hopes, all my consolations, all my anxieties, all my troubles, my life, my dying breath, so that by your prayers and merits, I may have, in all I do, one only goal, your good pleasure and the holy will of your Son.  Amen!



    The Chaplet of St. Michael

    One day, Saint Michael the Archangel appeared to Antonia d'Astonac, a most devout Servant of God and told her that he wished to be honoured by nine salutations corresponding to the nine Choirs of Angels, which should consist of one Our Father and three Hail Marys in honour of each of the Angelic Choirs.

    Promises of St. Michael

    "Whoever would practice this devotion in his honour would have, when approaching the Holy Table, an escort of nine angels chosen from each of the nine Choirs. In addition, for the daily recital of these nine salutations, he promised his continual assistance and that all the holy angels during life, and after death deliverance from Purgatory for themselves and all their relations."




    The Chaplet of St. Michael

    O God, come to my assistance. O Lord, make haste to help me. Glory be to the Father, etc.

    [Say one Our Father and three Hail Marys after each of the following nine salutations in honor of the nine Choirs of Angels]



    1. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Seraphim may the Lord make us worthy to burn with the fire of perfect charity.

    2. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Cherubim may the Lord grant us the grace to leave the ways of sin and run in the paths of Christian perfection.

    3. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Thrones may the Lord infuse into our hearts a true and sincere spirit of humility.

    4. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Dominations may the Lord give us grace to govern our senses and overcome any unruly passions.

    5. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Virtues may the Lord preserve us from evil and falling into temptation. Amen.

    6. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Powers may the Lord protect our souls against the snares and temptations of the devil.

    7. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Principalities may God fill our souls with a true spirit of obedience. Amen.

    8. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Archangels may the Lord give us perseverance in faith and in all good works in order that we may attain the glory of Heaven.

    9. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Angels may the Lord grant us to be protected by them in this mortal life and conducted in the life to come to Heaven.

    Say one Our Father in honor of each of the following leading Angels: St. Michael, St. Gabriel, St. Raphael and our Guardian Angel.


    Concluding prayers:

    O glorious prince St. Michael, chief and commander of the heavenly hosts, guardian of souls, vanquisher of rebel spirits, servant in the house of the Divine King and our admirable conductor, you who shine with excellence and superhuman virtue deliver us from all evil, who turn to you with confidence and enable us by your gracious protection to serve God more and more faithfully every day.

    Pray for us, O glorious St. Michael, Prince of the Church of Jesus Christ, that we may be made worthy of His promises.

    Almighty and Everlasting God, Who, by a prodigy of goodness and a merciful desire for the salvation of all men, has appointed the most glorious Archangel St. Michael Prince of Your Church, make us worthy, we ask You, to be delivered from all our enemies, that none of them may harass us at the hour of death, but that we may be conducted by him into Your Presence.This we ask through the merits of Jesus Christ Our Lord.    Amen.




    Welcome to this Catholic Spiritual Direction Web Site.   It is the intention of this site to lead people to a closer relationship with God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit through the promotion of prayer and Christian teaching which will enable Christians to adhere to the straight and narrow path Jesus speaks of in the Gospels. Included in these web pages are the Douay-Rheims Bible and the works of Saint John of the Cross, Thomas a Kempis and Saint Louis de Montfort, Saint Teresa of Avila, and the works of other saints of the Catholic faith, all of whose teachings on spiritual direction have been followed by priests, ministers, clergymen, Popes and Saints. These teachings adhere to the teachings of the Catholic Church. This site is dedicated to Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich (Biography) (1774-1824) Mystic, Stigmatist, Prophet, and Great Visionary, a saintly Augustinian nun from Flamske, Germany. Her highly descriptive visions of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, The Sorrowful Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, are presented here. In time more works from the Saints of the Catholic Church will be added to these pages.



    When difficulties come to us at work or at home it important to pray your way through these difficulties.  At work, it could be trouble with a supervisor or a co-worker, with the result that misery is brought into our lives.  Or at home a wife or a husband, or a child or a relative may be causing you trouble.  It is important to pray your way through these difficulties.  The different forms of prayers listed above, the Rosary, the Chaplet of Saint Michael, the Divine Mercy Chaplet and the Holy Mass, can move God to assist us with the things the bother us the most during our lives.  Try these prayers, they work. 

     And sometimes, it takes the prayers of others to help change the current situations that are going on in our lives.   On the following web page, there are several prayer groups that will pray for yours needs; this a great tool against our daily problems and against the assaults of demons.  Sometimes it takes the prayers of many people to change things.



    From the Autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila , Chapter 31. 1562 A.D.

    "From long experience I have learned that there is nothing like holy water to put devils to flight and prevent them from coming back again. They also flee from the Cross, but return; so holy water must have great virtue. For my own part, whenever I take it, my soul feels a particular and most notable consolation. In fact, it is quite usual for me to be conscious of a refreshment which I cannot possibly describe, resembling an inward joy which comforts my whole soul. This is not fancy, or something which has happened to me only once it has happened again and again and I have observed it most attentively. It is let us say, as if someone very hot and thirsty were to drink from a jug of cold water: he would feel the refreshment throughout his body. I often reflect on the great importance of everything ordained by the Church and it makes me very happy to find that those words of the Church are so powerful that they impart their power to the water and make it so very different from water which has not been blessed."

    The Catholic Church around the world uses Holy Water in every church to make the church a fortress against the demons which assault men and women.  The Holy Water is usually situated near every entrance to the church for people to use to anoint themselves with the Sign of the Cross.  When an individual puts on Holy Water any demons present will flee.  Catholics should put Holy Water in containers and place them in their homes and their offices; by doing so they make their homes and offices fortresses against the demons which are always lurking about.  Catholics should also consider carrying the Holy Water in small containers in their pockets to ward off demonic attacks during each day.



    "because they include a movement of reverence for God and Divine things; and in this way a bishop's blessing, the sprinkling of holy water, any sacramental anointing, a prayer said in a dedicated church, and anything else of the kind, conduce to the remission of venial sins."  Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica









    Saint John XXIII, you spent your life deeply immersed in the truths of the Catholic Faith.  You led us by your great example of sacrifice and love as you successively led millions to love Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Holy Church. 

    We now ask for your intercession for those who are troubled and in need:

      Saint John XXIII, please pray for the Holy Catholic Church and for the following prayer request:
    [state your prayer request.]



    SEE:  EWTN  Biography on Pope John Paul II


    O Blessed Trinity, we thank you
    for having graced the Church with
    Saint John Paul II and for allowing
    the tenderness of your fatherly care,
    the glory of the Cross of Christ
    and the splendor of the Spirit of love
    to shine through him.

    Trusting fully in your infinite mercy
    and in the maternal intercession of Mary,
    he has given us a living image of
    Jesus the Good Shepherd.
    He has shown us that holiness
    is the necessary measure of ordinary
    Christian life and is the way of
    achieving eternal communion with you.
    Grant us, by his intercession,


    and according to your will,
    the graces we implore,
    through Christ our Lord. Amen.


    Prayer of Saint Catherine of Siena
    for Physical and Spiritual Healing

    PRECIOUS BLOOD, ocean of divine mercy:
    Flow upon us!
    Precious Blood, most pure offering:
    Procure us every grace!
    Precious Blood, hope and refuge of sinners:
    Atone for us!
    Precious Blood, delight of holy souls:
    Draw us! Amen.


    Are you sick or do you know someone who is ill.  Say the  prayer above for them everyday.  Also, there is greater power of prayer when many people are praying for the sick.  Ask many fellow Catholics to join in prayer with you for the sick.  You can send prayer requests to Catholic Groups that will join you in prayer at: