Thursday, October 8, 2015

Psalm 51 by John Michael Talbot

St. John Bosco, St. Dominic Savio and A Dream of Heaven

Saint John Bosco had a vision of Heaven in the form of a dream, which he related to his boys during one of his famous “goodnight talks.”

In 1876, his recently-deceased disciple Saint Dominic Savio appeared to him in a dream. Saint John Bosco told his pupils:

As you know, dreams come in one’s sleep. So during the night hours of December 6, while I was in my room – whether reading or pacing back and forth or resting in my bed, I am not sure – I began dreaming.

Marvelous Garden
It suddenly seemed to me that I was standing on a small mound or hillock, on the rim of a broad plain so far-reaching that the eye could not compass its boundaries lost in vastness. All was blue, blue as the calmest sea, though what I saw was not water. It resembled a highly polished, sparkling sea of glass. Stretching out beneath, behind and on either side of me was an expanse of what looked like seashore.

Broad, imposing avenues divided the plain into grand gardens of indescribable beauty, each broken up by thickets, lawns, and flower beds of varied shapes and colors.

None of the plants we know could ever give you an idea of those flowers, although there was a resemblance of sorts. The very grass, the flowers, the trees, and the fruit – all were of singular and magnificent beauty. Leaves were of gold, trunks and boughs were of diamonds, and every tiny detail was in keeping with this wealth. The various kinds of plants were beyond counting.

Each species and each single plant sparkled with a brilliance of its own. Scattered throughout those gardens and spread over the entire plain I could see countless buildings whose architecture, magnificence, harmony, grandeur and size were so unique that one could say all the treasures of earth could not suffice to build a single one. If only my boys had one such house, I said to myself, how they would love it, how happy they would be, and how much they would enjoy being there! Thus ran my thoughts as I gazed upon the exterior of those buildings, but how much greater must their inner splendor have been!

An Enchanting Melody
As I stood there basking in the splendor of those gardens, I suddenly heard music most sweet – so delightful and enchanting a melody that I could never adequately describe it. … A hundred thousand instruments played, each with its own sound, uniquely different from all others, and every possible sound set the air alive with its resonant waves.

Blended with them were the songs of choristers.

In those gardens I looked upon a multitude of people enjoying themselves happily, some singing, others playing, but every note, had the effect of a thousand different instruments playing together. At one and the same time, if you can imagine such a thing, one could hear all the notes of the chromatic scale, from the deepest to the highest, yet all in perfect harmony. Ah yes, we have nothing on earth to compare with that symphony.

Deepest Pleasure
One could tell from the expression of those happy faces that the singers not only took the deepest pleasure in singing, but also received vast joy in listening to the others. The more they sang, the more pressing became their desire to sing. The more they listened the more vibrant became their yearning to hear more…

As I listened enthralled to that heavenly choir I saw an endless multitude of boys approaching me. Many I recognized as having been at the Oratory and in our other schools, but by far the majority of them were total strangers to me. Their endless ranks drew closer, headed by Dominic Savio, who was followed immediately by Father Alasonatti, Father Chiali, Father Guilitto and many other clerics and priests, each leading a squad of boys…

A Most Radiant Joy
Once that host of boys got some eight or ten paces from me, they halted. There was a flash of light far brighter than before, the music stopped, and a hushed silence fell over all. A most radiant joy encompassed all the boys and sparkled in their eyes, their countenances aglow with happiness. They looked and smiled at me very pleasantly, as though to speak, but no one said a word.

Dominic Savio stepped forward a pace or two, standing so close to me that, had I stretched out my hand, I would surely have touched him. He too was silent and gazed upon me with a smile…

At last Dominic Savio spoke. “Why do you stand there silent, as though you were almost devitalized?” he asked. “Aren’t you the one who once feared nothing, holding your ground against slander, persecution, hostility, hardships and dangers of all sorts? Where is courage? Say something!”

Loving Warmth
I forced myself to reply in a stammer, “I do not know what to say. Are you Dominic Savio?”

“Yes I am. Don’t you know me anymore?”

“How come you are here?” I asked still bewildered.

Savio spoke affectionately. “I came to talk with you. We spoke together so often on earth! Do you not recall how much you loved me, or how many tokens of friendship you gave me and how kind you were to me? And did I not return the warmth of your love? How much trust I placed in you! So why are you tongue-tied? Why are you shaking? Come ask me a question or two!”

Abode of Happiness
Summoning my courage, I replied, “I am shaking because I don’t know where I am.”

“You are in the abode of happiness,” Savio answered, “where one experiences every joy, every delight.”

“Is this the reward of the just?”

“Not at all! Here we do not enjoy supernatural happiness but only a natural one, though greatly magnified.”

“Might I be allowed to see a little supernatural light?”

“No one can see it until he has come to see God as He is. The faintest ray of that light would instantly strike one dead, because the human senses are not sturdy enough to endure it.”

Here ends the narrative of Saint John Bosco’s dream.

The Rosary: Our Weapon Against the Approaching Evils

The following comes from the Catholic Gentleman:

We live in evil times. I hardly need elaborate the multitude of crises that fill the globe. Sadly, many are being swept away by this flood of evil and are succumbing to an overwhelming anxiety and discouragement. But no matter how tempting it is, we must not shrink back. We must pray and fast with a living faith and a firm confidence—and there is no better way to do this than by praying the Holy Rosary.
Through this prayer of immense power, countless miracles have been obtained and victories won. In fact, we celebrate the feast of the rosary on this day, because through it, a powerful military victory was obtained at the battle of Lepanto.
In these dark days, we must not be afraid. Like our forebears in faith, we must one again turn again to the rosary, calling on the Immaculate Virgin to come to our assistance and put our enemies to flight.
Here are 15 quotes from popes and saints to encourage you in praying this powerful prayer.
1. “The Rosary is the ‘weapon’ for these times.” -Saint Padre Pio
2. “Give me an army saying the Rosary and I will conquer the world.” – Blessed Pope Pius IX
3. “The greatest method of praying is to pray the Rosary.” – Saint Francis de Sales
4. “Some people are so foolish that they think they can go through life without the help of the Blessed Mother. Love the Madonna and pray the rosary, for her Rosary is the weapon against the evils of the world today. All graces given by God pass through the Blessed Mother.” -St. Padre Pio
5. “Go to the Madonna. Love her! Always say the Rosary. Say it well. Say it as often as you can! Be souls of prayer. Never tire of praying, it is what is essential. Prayer shakes the Heart of God, it obtains necessary graces!” -St. Padre Pio
6. “The holy Rosary is a powerful weapon. Use it with confidence and you’ll be amazed at the results.” -St. Josemaria Escriva
7. “Say the Holy Rosary. Blessed be that monotony of Hail Mary’s which purifies the monotony of your sins!” -St. Josemaria Escriva
8. “For those who use their intelligence and their study as a weapon, the Rosary is most effective. Because that apparently monotonous way of beseeching Our Lady as children do their Mother, can destroy every seed of vainglory and pride.” – St. Josemaria Escriva
9. “You always leave the Rosary for later, and you end up not saying it at all because you are sleepy. If there is no other time, say it in the street without letting anybody notice it. It will, moreover, help you to have presence of God.” – St. Josemaria Escriva
10. “The Rosary is a powerful weapon to put the demons to flight and to keep oneself from sin…If you desire peace in your hearts, in your homes, and in your country, assemble each evening to recite the Rosary. Let not even one day pass without saying it, no matter how burdened you may be with many cares and labors.” – Pope Pius XI
11. “The rosary is the book of the blind, where souls see and there enact the greatest drama of love the world has ever known; it is the book of the simple, which initiates them into mysteries and knowledge more satisfying than the education of other men; it is the book of the aged, whose eyes close upon the shadow of this world, and open on the substance of the next. The power of the rosary is beyond description.” – Archbishop Fulton Sheen
12. ““The Rosary is the most excellent form of prayer and the most efficacious means of attaining eternal life. It is the remedy for all our evils, the root of all our blessings. There is no more excellent way of praying.” Pope Leo XIII
13. “No one can live continually in sin and continue to say the Rosary: either they will give up sin or they will give up the Rosary” – Bishop Hugh Doyle
14. “The Most Holy Virgin in these last times in which we live has given a new efficacy to the recitation of the Rosary to such an extent that there is no problem, no matter how difficult it is, whether temporal or above all spiritual, in the personal life of each one of us, of our families…that cannot be solved by the Rosary. There is no problem, I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot resolve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary.” -Sister Lucia dos Santos of Fatima
15. “Here is an example to help you understand the efficacy of the Rosary. You remember the story of David who vanquished Goliath. What steps did the young Israelite take to overthrow the giant? He struck him in the middle of the forehead with a pebble from his sling. If we regard the Philistine as representing evil and all its powers: heresy, impurity, pride, we can consider the little stones from the sling capable of overthrowing the enemy as symbolizing the Aves of the Rosary.
“The ways of God are entirely different from our ways. To us it seems necessary to employ powerful means in order to produce great effects. This is not God’s method; quite the contrary. He likes to choose the weakest instruments that He may confound the strong: “God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong — Infirma mundi elegit ut confundat fortia” (1 Cor 1:27).
“Have you not often met poor old women who are most faithful to the pious recitation of the Rosary? You also must do all that you can to recite it with fervour. Get right down, at the feet of Jesus: it is a good thing to make oneself small in the presence of so great a God.” – Dom Columba Marmion, Christ, the Ideal of the Priest
If you practice no other devotion in the spiritual life, pray the rosary. Through it, you will obtain all that you need and will vanquish the enemies of your soul. Through it, you will find peace and joy in the trials of life. Conquer the devil—pray the rosary.

Our Lady of Good Remedy

Today is the Feast of Our Lady of Good Remedy. It is a special devotion of the Trinitarians of St. John Matha.

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.

For more on this Feast of Our Lady please click here.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Salve Regina

Deacon Greg: Two popes, one mother and the rosary

The following comes from Deacon Greg:
In 2005, the monthly magazine 30 Days invited 20 cardinals from around the world to share their remembrances of the just-deceased Pope John Paul II.
Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio—now, of course, Pope Francis—wrote the following:
If I remember well it was 1985. One evening I went to recite the Holy Rosary that was being led by the Holy Father. He was in front of everybody, on his knees. The group was numerous; I saw the Holy Father from the back and, little by little, I got lost in prayer. I was not alone: I was praying in the middle of the people of God to which I and all those there belonged, led by our Pastor.
In the middle of the prayer I became distracted, looking at the figure of the Pope: his pity, his devotion was a witness. And the time drifted away, and I began to imagine the young priest, the seminarian, the poet, the worker, the child from Wadowice… in the same position in which knelt at that moment, reciting Ave Maria after Ave Maria. His witness struck me. I felt that this man, chosen to lead the Church, was following a path up to his Mother in the sky, a path set out on from his childhood. And I became aware of the density of the words of the Mother of Guadalupe to Saint Juan Diego: “Don’t be afraid, am I not perhaps your mother?”. I understood the presence of Mary in the life of the Pope.
That testimony did not get forgotten in an instant. From that time on I recite the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary every day.

Pray the Rosary, don't just say it!

Don't just say the Rosary, but pray it!

Pope Francis: Family saves us from loneliness

 Family rescues us from indifference and loneliness and teaches us the essentials of life, Pope Francis said – adding that as the family of God, the Church has the same role and must evaluate how to live this out. 
“Like Saint Peter, the Church is called to be a fisher of men, and so too needs a new type of net. Families are this net,” the Pope told pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square for his Oct. 7 general audience.
Families, he said, “free us from the sea of loneliness and indifference, so that we can all experience the freedom of being children of God.”
Pope Francis made his comments in his first general audience after the Oct. 4 launch of the Synod of Bishops, which is meeting for three weeks to discuss the theme “The vocation and mission of the family in the Church and in the contemporary world.”
After recently concluding a series of catechesis on the family as a lead-in to this year’s synod gathering, Pope Francis explained that he would start a new catechesis on the “indissoluble” relationship between the Church and the family, with the good of all humanity in mind.
Read the rest here.

Our Lady of the Rosary: Freedom and Joy

The following comes from the Catholic Exchange:
The almost imperceptible lapping of the tide against the hull of the flagship, the stillness of the night, the breathing of the slaves slumped over their oars, and the spirited but hushed murmurs of the small assembly betrayed the fury of the battle that was just hours away. Tension and quiet. The young captain general, Don John of Austria, had mustered his admirals to his stateroom to review once more the order of battle. To the man each one had greater seafaring and war-fighting experience than he.
Among them was Spain’s greatest sea captain, Don Alvaro de Bazan, the Marquis of Santa Cruz. Also Venice’s greatest—Sebastian Veniero. At 74, Veniero had three times the years on his back as Don John of Austria.
Also among Don John’s admirals was a Genovese naval commander with an impeccable pedigree. Gianandrea Doria was the nephew of none other than Andrea Doria, who a generation before had served Emperor Charles V as imperial admiral. The elder Doria’s prowess under fire, to say nothing of his guile in politics, had made him one of the most powerful men in Italy. His nephew, heir to the Doria legacy, was, alas, more ship owner than sailor.
Gianandrea opened his palm, raised his eyebrow, and offered, “There is still time, your Grace, to avoid a pitched battle.” In the breast of the natural son of Charles V, however, beat the heart of a lion. He caught and held Doria’s gaze for a moment before looking each of his other admirals in the eye.
“Gentlemen,” said Don John in a low voice. “The time for counsel has passed. Now is the time for war.”
The outcome of the following day’s battle in the Bay of Lepanto we celebrate to this day: October 7, Feast of the Holy Rosary. The fleet of the Holy League sank or captured all but 13 of some 300 Turkish vessels, and Western Europe was saved from Islamic conquest. The sides were evenly matched and well led, but to each of his warriors Don John had issued a weapon more powerful than anything in the Turkish arsenal: a Rosary.
The men of the Holy League prepared for war by falling to their knees on the decks of their galleys and praying the Rosary. Back in Rome, and up and down the Italian peninsula, at the behest of Pius V, the churches were filled with the faithful praying their beads. In Heaven, the Blessed Mother inclined her ear toward her children and then, with her Immaculate Heart aflame brought down the full might of Heaven on the forces of darkness threatening to overshadow Christendom: “They fling great shadows foe-ward making Cross and Castle dark,” as Chesterton put it in his magnificent ballad celebrating the day.
Well known is this story, and many inspirations can we draw from it, among them is the intersection of freedom and joy.

Totus Tuus: Marian Consecration

The following comes from OSV:
Pope John Paul II’s motto was “Totus Tuus,” the result of a deep, enduring devotion to Mary that grew strong when he was a young man, after reading the writings of St. Louis de Montfort, an 18th-century French priest. He then performed a 33-day consecration to Jesus through Mary. This devotion carried through his ministry as a priest, bishop and pope.
“At first, it had seemed to me that I should distance myself a bit from the Marian devotion of my childhood, in order to focus more on Christ,” wrote Pope John Paul II in “Crossing the Threshold of Hope.” “Yet thanks to the writings of Saint Louis of Montfort, I came to understand that true devotion to the Mother of God is actually Christocentric, indeed, it is very profoundly rooted in the Mystery of the Blessed Trinity, and the mysteries of the Incarnation and Redemption.”
Pope John Paul spread devotion to Mary throughout his pontificate through general audiences, homilies, pastoral letters and encyclicals.
In his encyclical dedicated entirely to Mary, Redemptoris Mater (“On the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Life of the Pilgrim Church”), John Paul declared a Marian Year, performed a scriptural exegesis on Mary, explained her role in the life of Christians and the Church, encouraged devotion to Our Lady and praised the fruits of Marian consecration. (You can read about it here.)
Our Sunday Visitor’s “Totus Tuus: A Consecration to Jesus Through Mary with Blessed John Paul II” is a fresh look at Marian consecration. It takes the themes and structures of Louis de Montfort and incorporates the teachings and insights of John Paul.
After 33 days of preparation, consecration typically takes place on a Marian feast. Another option is the feast of St. Louis de Montfort, which is April 28.  What is consecration?
Consecration is an act of surrender — an “entrustment” to Mary, as John Paul II put it. Its purpose is to deepen relationship with God through Mary, who was given to the Church as spiritual mother by Jesus Christ on the cross. Mary guides, directs and nurtures her children. Her only desire is lead them to her Son.
As outlined by St. Louis de Montfort, consecration is Christocentric, Trinitarian, rooted in the mysteries of the Incarnation and redemption, includes baptismal renewal and is a total gift of self.

How does it work?

The “Totus Tuus” consecration spans the typical 33 days (symbolic of Christ’s 33 years here on earth). It is broken into four sections with different themes: a preliminary 12-day-period to immerse oneself in the fundamentals of Christian life, a week on the knowledge of self, a week on the knowledge of Mary and then a week on the knowledge of Jesus.
Each day includes an act of penance, a prayer to the Holy Spirit, a way to form your desire, contemplation with Scripture or a reflection from John Paul II or St. Louis de Montfort, resolutions, closing prayer and journaling. It takes at least 15 minutes.

An excerpt from ‘Totus Tuus’

This reflection is from the first day of consecration:
From Blessed John Paul II:“When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman” (Gal 4:4). The fullness of time coincides with the mystery of the Incarnation of the Word, of the Son who is of one being with the Father, and with the mystery of the Redemption of the world. In this passage, Saint Paul emphasizes that the Son of God was born of woman, born under the Law, and came into the world in order to redeem all who were under the Law, so that they might receive adoption as sons and daughters.

And he adds: “Because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying ‘Abba! Father!’” His conclusion is truly comforting: “So through God you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son then an heir” (Gal 4:6-7). Paul’s presentation of the mystery of the Incarnation contains the revelation of the mystery of the Trinity and the continuation of the Son’s mission in the mission of the Holy Spirit.

The Incarnation of the Son of God, his conception and birth, is the prerequisite for the sending of the Holy Spirit. This text of Saint Paul thus allows the fullness of the mystery of the Redemptive Incarnation to shine forth (NMI, 1).

[Mary] is the way that leads to Christ: indeed, she who “at the message of the angel received the Word of God in her heart and in her body” (LG, 53) shows us how to receive into our lives the Son come down from heaven, teaching us to make Jesus the center and the supreme “law” of our existence. (Gen. Aud., January 10, 1996)

  • Return to the words and phrases to which you are most drawn by the Lord. Ponder them reflectively.
  • Pray from your heart, conversing with the Father, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and/or Mary.
  • Pause and receive from God in silent prayer.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Armenian Chant: Lord Have Mercy

The following comes from Aleteia:

A young Armenian woman spontaneously sings a prayer called “Lord Have Mercy” in the Church of the Holy Cross in Lake Van on Akdamar Island, Eastern Turkey. Oblivious to others, she is focused on an icon as she lifts her voice in heartfelt prayer. This church was a medieval cathedral and belonged to the Armenians before the Armenian genocide by the Turks in 1915.

Now abandoned, the church remained unused through many decades after that, but after discovering it was to be demolished in 1951, a writer and journalist named Yaşar Kemal used his contacts he help stop the destruction. The site became a tourist attraction and in 2005, the structure was closed to visitors to undergo heavy restoration. It is now a Turkish museum. But for some, like this woman, it remains a very sacred space.

Let my prayer be set forth as incense before thee; The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. – Psalm 141: 2

How to Deal with Past Sins

The following comes from Word on Fire:

How do we look back on past sins not as sins committed, but as sins confessed and forgiven? Fr. Damian Ference explains today using Peter as an example, showing how although he knew he was a great sinner, he also knew that Jesus loved him completely, as he was – a sinner.

We all know that Peter was the first pope. What we often forget is that Peter was also a terrible sinner. I can think of at least five times in the Gospels where Peter messed up, but the time that he denied Jesus was the absolute worst.

Saint Matthew tells us that it was a maid that first approached Peter in the courtyard – a maid, by the way, should not be able to intimidate a man that the Lord called “The Rock.” The maid recognized Peter as a friend of Jesus, but Peter denied knowing him. Second, another girl – not a woman, but a girl – saw Peter and said, “This man was with Jesus the Nazarene.” Again, Peter denied it. The third time St. Matthew tells us that it was a bystander who recognized Peter as a friend of Jesus by his speech. And once more, Peter denied knowing Jesus.

That’s about as bad as it gets. Just when your best friend needs you most, you deny even knowing him. And it’s not as if those questioning him were all that intimidating – a maid, a girl, and a random bystander – three people who wouldn’t seem to be much of a threat to a future pope. And Peter knew it. Saint Matthew tells us that upon the cock’s crow, “Peter went out and began to weep bitterly.” If I was him, I probably would have puked too.

Earlier that night Peter promised Jesus that his faith would never be shaken, but there it was, a crumbled mess. And there he was, the one that Jesus had handpicked to be the fearless leader of the apostles, off in the corner weeping like a baby. How pathetic.

Of course we know that there is more to the story. After Jesus suffers, dies, and rises from the dead he has another encounter with Peter. This time it’s on the beach where St. John tells us that Jesus invites the disciples to breakfast. It’s also the place where Jesus asks Peter if he loves him – three times. Three times Peter responds that he loves Jesus, and in doing so, Peter experiences Jesus’ love, forgiveness, healing and mercy. Jesus makes all things new, and in that moment, he makes Peter new too.

But a question remains. How in the world can Peter ever forget that terrible moment in the courtyard when he committed the worst of sins by denying that he even knew Jesus? Surely if we know about his terrible and cowardly act two thousand years later, people also knew well about it back then. And I’m sure that some even reminded him of it from time to time, saying, “Come on man, you’re the coward who denied even knowing Jesus, and now you’re telling me that I should believe in him? Please.” How in the world did Peter ever forget his terrible sin and move forward?

Here’s the truth: Peter never forgot the fact that he denied Jesus. That cowardly act was something that he could never take back. What’s done is done once it’s done. Peter couldn’t go back in time and make things right again. So what happened? How did Peter do it? How did the worst coward turn into one of the most courageous men in Christianity, eventually requesting to be crucified upside down because he thought himself unworthy to die in the same manner as his Lord Jesus?

What happened to Peter was that although he knew he was a great sinner, he also knew that Jesus loved him completely, as he was – a sinner. To paraphrase St. John Vianney, Peter knew that his sins were but a grain of sand in the ocean of God’s great mercy. It was the merciful love of Jesus that recreated Peter and that made him new. Peter couldn’t do anything about his sins other than confess them, but Jesus could. And he did. Peter denied Jesus three times, so in his love, Jesus offered Peter and opportunity to tell Jesus that he loved him – three times. And with that Peter was forgiven and made new. From that point on, whenever Peter thought back about the time he denied Jesus, he didn’t think about it as sin committed, but sin confessed and forgiven. 

Read the rest here.

Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary Day 33

Monday, October 5, 2015

Bl. Francis Xavier Seelos

Today is the Feast of Blessed Francis X. Seelos!  The following comes from the American Catholic:

Born in southern Bavaria, he studied philosophy and theology in Munich. On hearing about the work of the Redemptorists among German-speaking Catholics in the United States, he came to this country in 1843. Ordained at the end of 1844, he was assigned for six years to St. Philomena’s Parish in Pittsburgh as an assistant to St. John Neumann. The next three years Father Seelos was superior in the same community and began his service as novice master. 

Several years in parish ministry in Maryland followed, along with responsibility for training Redemptorist students. During the Civil War, he went to Washington, D.C., and appealed to President Lincoln that those students not be drafted for military service. 

For several years he preached in English and in German throughout the Midwest and in the Middle Atlantic states. Assigned to St. Mary of the Assumption Church community in New Orleans, he served his Redemptorist confreres and parishioners with great zeal. In 1867 he died of yellow fever, having contracted that disease while visiting the sick. He was beatified in 2000.


Father Seelos worked in many different places but always with the same zeal: to help people know God’s saving love and compassion. He preached about the works of mercy and then engaged in them, even risking his own health.

“To the abandoned and the lost he preached the message of Jesus Christ, ‘the source of eternal salvation’ (Hebrews 5:9), and in the hours spent in the confessional he convinced many to return to God. Today, Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos invites the members of the Church to deepen their union with Christ in the sacraments of penance and the Eucharist” (John Paul II, beatification homily).

St. Faustina's Prayer for the Church and Priests

O my Jesus, I beg Thee on behalf of the whole Church: Grant [her] love and the light of Thy Spirit, and give power to the words of priests so that hardened hearts might be brought to repentance and return to You, O Lord. Lord, give us holy priests; Thou Thyself maintain them in holiness. O Divine and Great High Priest, may the power of Thy mercy accompany them everywhere and protect them from the devil's traps and snares which are continually being set for the souls of priests. May the power of Thy mercy, O Lord, shatter and bring to naught all that might tarnish the sanctity of priests, for Thou canst do all things (1052). 

Jesus, my most beloved, I beg Thee for the triumph of the Church, for blessings on the Holy Father, and on all the clergy; for the grace of conversion for impenitent sinners. And I ask Thee for a special blessing and for light, O Jesus, for the priests before whom I will make my confessions throughout my lifetime. 

Ocean of Mercy

Saint of the Day: Faustina Kowalska

Today we remember St. Faustina Kowalska! She is the saint of Divine Mercy! 
The following comes from the Catholic Online site:

Saint Faustina was born Helena Kowalska in a small village west of Lodz, Poland on August 25, 1905. She was the third of ten children. When she was almost twenty, she entered the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy. You can learn more about here at thePatron Saints Index.
The following comes from EWTN: On October 5, 1938, a young religious by the name Sister Faustina (Helen Kowalska) died in a convent of the Congregation of Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Cracow, Poland. She came from a very poor family that had struggled hard on their little farm during the terrible years of WWI. Sister had had only three years of very simple education. Hers were the humblest of tasks in the convent, usually in the kitchen or the vegetable garden, or as a porter.

On February 22, 1931, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ appeared to this simple nun, bringing with Him a wonderful message of Mercy for all mankind. Saint Faustina tells us in her diary under this date:

"In the evening, when I was in my cell, I became aware of the Lord
Jesus clothed in a white garment. One hand was raised in blessing,
the other was touching the garment at the breast. From the opening
of the garment at the breast there came forth two large rays, one
red and the other pale. In silence I gazed intently at the Lord;
my soul was overwhelmed with fear, but also with great joy. After
a while Jesus said to me, 'paint an image according to the pattern
you see, with the inscription: Jesus, I trust in You."

Some time later, Our Lord again spoke to her:

"The pale ray stands for the Water which makes souls righteous;
the red ray stands for the Blood which is the life of souls. These
two rays issued forth from the depths of My most tender Mercy at
that time when My agonizing Heart was opened by a lance on the
Cross....Fortunate is the one who will dwell in their shelter, for
the just hand of God shall not lay hold of him."

Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary Day 32