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Sunday, April 30, 2006
Beatification of Father Augustine Thevarparampil
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Father Augustine Thevarparampil (1891-1973) , known as the apostle of the untouchables, was born in Ramapuram, India on April 1, 1891. At the age of 33, on Dec. 17, 1921, he was ordained by the Servant of God Mar Tommaso Kurialacherry. He was commonly called "Kunjachan" which means "little priest". In 1923 he was sent as vice parish priest for the Church of St. Sebastian in Kadanad, but his poor health forced him to return to his former village in 1926.

During this time of illness, Father Augustine became aware of the miserable living conditions of the untouchables - the lowest caste of the Indian society forced to perform degrading works. Father Augustine devoted his life to evangelization and fighting for better treatment of the poor including the untouchables. He baptized over 6,000 people during his life.

Father Augustine rose at 4 AM each day, celebrated Holy Mass, and then he went out into the world for Christ. He helped resolve disputes, preached the Gospel, and cared for the sick. Father Augustine would particularly love to visit children. The children would flock to his side when he visited their village, and he would give them any sweets that he had on him.

Father Augustine lived modestly and entirely spiritually. He was a servant of God. His will begins: "I possess neither land nor money, and I owe no one anything. I want my funeral to be a very simple one."

On October 16, 1973, at age 82, Father Augustine, the priest that cared for the poorest of the poor, died. His tomb attracts thousands of pilgrims.

He was declared a Venerable by Pope John Paul ll back in June 2004. His canonization process, which began on August 11, 1987, continues now. A miraculously healing of a boy's clubfoot was attributed to his intercession leading to his beatification today. Cardinal Varkev Vithayathil presided in name of Pope Benedict XVI at the beatification of Father Augustine Thevarparampil.

Please say a prayer for his canonization and if you receive favors through Blessed Kunjachan's intercession, inform the following people so that he might be formally canonized. If you have information relevant to the canonization of Blessed Augustine, please contact:
The Vice-Postulator
Cause of Blessed Kunjachan
St. Augustine's Forane Church
Ramapuram Bazar P.O
PIN: 686576- Kerala, India

Ph: 04822-262481, 260323
E-mail: bvlpala@yahoo.com
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Novena for Vocations: Day Five
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Day Five of this novena for greater vocations to the priesthood is up at K's blog.

Image Source: Believed to be in the Public Domain
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The Da Vinci Protest
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Catholic Online has an article concerning the upcoming debut of the "DaVinci Code" as a movie. This movie, along with the book, promotes heresy including claims that Jesus had children with Mary Magdalene.

Someone might counter and say that the book is fiction, but apparently the author doesn't think so. The completely fabricated rituals and claims in this book are obviously believed by the author, Dan Brown.
When appearing on “The Today Show,” host Matt Lauer asked him, “How much of this is based on reality in terms of things that actually occurred?” Dan Brown responded: “Absolutely all of it. Obviously, there are - Robert Langdon is fictional, but all of the art, architecture, secret rituals, secret societies, all of that is historical fact.” (Source)
This book is an attack on Our Lord's Divinity and on His Catholic Church! We shall protest this heresy!
As the controversy around the upcoming Da Vinci Code movie grows, the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) and its America Needs Fatima campaign announced plans to hold 1,000 peaceful prayer vigils outside theaters nationwide beginning May 19.

“These public acts of reparation will literally blanket the country. From Alaska to Alabama, from California to Connecticut, dedicated volunteers are banding together for protest prayer vigils in front of movie theaters showing the blasphemous Da Vinci Code movie,” said America Needs Fatima director Robert Ritchie.
...

“Interest is overwhelming. The phones haven’t stopped ringing. Catholics are joining in droves. We have protest leaders of all ages who are very devoted people: priests, college students, parents, and grandparents,” Ritchie explained. “They’re motivated because they realize that if our culture doesn’t respect the rights of God, it won’t respect its own leaders and fellow citizens.”

Referring to the woman who according to tradition wiped Jesus’ face on the way to Calvary, the TFP spokesman said: "Veronica is a good example for us to follow. She saw Our Lord wounded and bleeding, carrying the Cross. Her love for Jesus moved her to take her veil and wipe His face. God inspired her. What she did was heroic. Alone, she faced the guards to console Jesus. Today we have the chance to console Our Lord at hundreds of movie theaters, where He will be mocked again by blasphemy.”

(Source: CatholicPRWire)
Join me in praying against the DaVinci Code. I pray that this book may not lead anyone from the faith of Jesus Christ. Please join me as the debut date of May 19, 2006, approaches.
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Gospel: April 30, 2006
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April 30, 2006
Third Sunday of Easter

Today's Sunday Gospel again centers on Jesus Christ, the Risen Lord
My children, I am writing this to you so that you may not commit sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one. He is expiation for our sins, and not for our sins only but for those of the whole world.The way we may be sure that we know him is to keep his commandments.Those who say, (I know him, but do not keep his commandments are liars, and the truth is not in them. But whoever keeps his word, the love of God is truly perfected in him. 1 Jn 2:1-5a

The Gospel today recounts the Lord's appearance to the apostles after His Resurrection. He appears in Glory to His disciples, the men that left Him as He was about to suffer. And what does God say to them? He says, “Peace be with you” (John 20:19, 21a). How truly remarkable! St. Faustina has said that God's greatest attribute is His mercy, and how truly right she is! He does not grow angry with them even though they left Him. He forgives them all including Peter, who denied Him three times. We are all sinners but God is mercy.

St. Catherine of Siena was told by God in one vision that we are most like God the Father when we forgive others because God forgave us while we were still enemies. The love of Christ shines through in this Gospel account and we remember the joy of the apostles must have experienced now after the Resurrection. Yet, we too are called to a Resurrection, though one different from the Resurrection of Our Lord. So, be prepared, love, and serve God. Remain free from all sin and seek God in Confession. Remember the words from the Second Reading: "The way we may be sure that we know Him is to keep His commandments."

Jesus said: "I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, although he be dead, shall live..." (John 11:25). If we follow the Lord we shall see life everlasting.
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Quotations from Mother Teresa and St. Pio
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Blessed Mother Teresa:

"I believe in person to person. Every person is Christ for me, and since there is only one Jesus, that person is the one person in the world at that moment."

Padre Pio:

"Do not abandon your soul to temptation, says the Holy Spirit, because the joy of the heart is the life of the soul, it is an inexhaustible treasure of sanctity; while sadness is the slow death of the soul and it is of no use to anyone."
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St. Clare of Assisi, Words of Inspiration: April 30, 2006
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"Praise and glory be to you, O loving Jesus Christ, for the most sacred wound in your side . . . and for your infinite mercy which you made known to us in the opening of your breast to the soldier Longinus, and so to us all. I pray you, O most gentle Jesus, having redeemed me by baptism from original sin, so now, by your Precious Blood, which is offered and received throughout the world, deliver me from all evils, past, present and to come."
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Saturday, April 29, 2006
St. Catherine of Siena
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Memorial (1969 Calendar): April 29
Double (1955 Calendar): April 29

St. Catherine was born on March 25, 1347, as the 23rd child of twenty-five children. Her twin, the 24th child, died at birth. St. Catherine was the daughter of Giacomo di Benincasa, a cloth-dyer, and, Lapa Piagenti, the daughter of a local poet.

At the young age of six, St. Catherine received a vision of Jesus coming to her and blessing her. At age seven, St. Catherine consecrated her virginity completely to Jesus Christ. She became a Dominican tertiary when she was only 16 years old. She lived and subjected herself to long periods of fasting where the only thing she consumed was the Holy Eucharist.

In 1366, St. Catherine received the most important vision of her life. She described it as a spiritually marriage with Christ where the Infant Child of Jesus presented her with a ring. She saw it on her hand each day of her life from that moment as a reminder of her union to serving the Lord. Following this, she began writing letters, begging for peace, and serving the sick and dying. She truly lived the life that Jesus calls each of us to live. St. Catherine was even a counselor to Pope Gregory XI and Pope Urban VI.

St. Catherine was also privileged to bear the sacred wounds of Our Lord - the Stigmata. She died on April 29, 1380, and she was canonized a saint by Pope Pius II in 1461.

Prayers:

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.

- By Saint Catherine of Siena

Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that we who commemorate the heavenly birthday of blessed Catherine, Thy Virgin, may rejoice in her yearly festival and profit by her example of great virtue. Through our Lord.

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal
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Novena for Vocations: Day Four
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Please pray the fourth day of this novena for greater vocations to the priesthood. It's posted at K's Blog.

Image Source: Believed to be in the Public Domain
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Status of the Catholic Church in Russia
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Zenit recently published a very enlightening article on the growth of the Catholic Church in Russia following the re-establishment of the Church there, which began on April 13, 1991.

Here is part of the article:

Q: How has the Catholic Church in Russia transformed itself after the re-establishment of its structure 15 years ago?

Archbishop Kondrusiewicz: Here I think it's necessary that I speak of statistics. At the end of the '30s of the last century, only two Catholic churches remained in Russia, along with two priests.

We grew a bit in 1991 as 10 parishes were registered "officially." To register, means to present oneself at the Russian Ministry of Justice to be able to have juridical status and status of a physical person.

Also working were seven priests, two of whom were older than 80; there were four chapels and two churches. That was all! There wasn't anything else!

At present, after 15 years, we now have an episcopal conference, not very large because there are only three bishops, four archdioceses, close to 225 parishes and around 25 organizations, such as the seminary; Caritas, which has developed very strongly in the different archdioceses; Radio Maria in St. Petersburg and Radio Don in Moscow, among others.

We also have more or less 270 priests and 250 nuns; in both cases the majority are foreigners, from 22 different countries.

Little by little we are forming priests and, for example, 10% of them are now of Russian origin.

As to the number of Catholics, there are about 600,000 in the territory of the Russian Federation, though some studies point out that they comprise 1% of the population, that is, just under 1.5 million Catholics. However, many are in diasporas or are still afraid to declare their faith, and they must be sought and gathered.

Continuing with the statistics, of the 225 parishes, close to 25% of them do not have their own church. They do not have a place to pray, so they must find an alternative site.

We also have a seminary in St. Petersburg, "Mary, Queen of the Apostles," where about 50 seminarians are studying. The first priest was ordained in 1999, eighty years after any Catholic priest had been ordained in Russia!

In the archdiocese of Moscow there are seven publishing houses that, over these 15 years, have published close to 600 different publications in Russian. So imagine, if every parish priest had at least one copy of each of them, he would have a library!

© Innovative Media, Inc.

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Words of Inspiration: April 29, 2006
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Our Lord died for us; He died for a reason not to be put on our wall or in a textbook but to be placed in our hearts to make us remember we are to be Eucharistic tabernacles to let the light of Christ to shine through us.

Source: Me
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A Morning Prayer
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I rise and pledge myself, Lord, that this day I shall do no evil deed, but offer every moment as a sacrifice to you. I blush when I remember my sinfulness; I shudder when to recall how I have betrayed you. Yet you know that now I want only to serve you. Make me this day your devoted servant.

~ St. Gregory of Nazianzus (329-389)
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Friday, April 28, 2006
Novena for Vocations: Day Three
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Please remember to say the third day of the Novena for Vocations which is available at K's blog.


Image Source: Believed to be in the Public Domain


Questions on Novenas:


Also, a commentor of this blog asked if Novenas can be said anytime in the year. I answer is yes. Some novenas have more preferred times for their usage like the nine-days leading up to a certain feast, but they can be prayed anytime of the year. For example, I can start a novena to St. Thomas Aquinas any day in the year, but it would be more popular to pray it for the nine-days before St. Thomas's feastday.

Also, some novenas involve chaplets, which are said on Rosary beads, but most do not require a rosary to say the prayers. Many novenas have different prayers for each of the nine-days, so you would need to use the Internet, get a prayerbook, or just print out to Novena to pray it later on.

I hope this helps for the person that asked. Let me know if you'd like to know more about Novenas.

Image Source: Believed to be in the Public Domain, Image of Fr. James Coyle, who was murdered in the Southern USA
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Papal Message to Academy of Social Sciences: "Children are Neglected in a Loveless Society"
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Pope Benedict XVI recently said that children are neglected in our loveless society.
It is children and young people who are often the first to experience the consequences of this eclipse of love and hope. Often, instead of feeling loved and cherished, they appear to be merely tolerated. In "an age of turbulence" they frequently lack adequate moral guidance from the adult world, to the serious detriment of their intellectual and spiritual development. Many children now grow up in a society which is forgetful of God and of the innate dignity of the human person made in God's image. In a world shaped by the accelerating processes of globalization, they are often exposed solely to materialistic visions of the universe, of life and human fulfillment.

Yet children and young people are by nature receptive, generous, idealistic and open to transcendence. They need above all else to be exposed to love and to develop in a healthy human ecology, where they can come to realize that they have not been cast into the world by chance, but through a gift that is part of God's loving plan. Parents, educators and community leaders, if they are to be faithful to their own calling, can never renounce their duty to set before children and young people the task of choosing a life project directed towards authentic happiness, one capable of distinguishing between truth and falsehood, good and evil, justice and injustice, the real world and the world of "virtual reality."
I pray that our society might value children and see to it that all children may have adequate education, health care, and food along with loving parents.
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Andrea Clark will live!
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Update: Plans have fell through with transporting her to Chicago, but there is good news. The hopsital has decided not to seek ending her treatment! (Read More)

I'm so thankful to read that Andrea Clark will be transfered from St. Luke's Epicospal Hospital in Texas to a Chicago facitility that will care for her. The ethics committee at St. Luke's Hospital voted to remove Andrea's ventilator, which would have resulted in her death.

Pro-life Blogs published a letter written by the sister of Andrea Clark following news of this success. Your prayers made the difference; God is merciful!

Melanie Childers wrote a thoughtful letter to you, all those who fought and prayed for the life of her sister, Andrea Clark:

My family has made the decision to move our sister to the hospital in Chicago. Thank God there is someone willing to take her. And, really, it is best to get her out of Texas, because of the futile care law here.

St. Luke's played hardball with us on this issue. We were told that we could make the decision today and they would pay the entire amount of $14 thousand to move her, but if we made the decision tomorrow, they would only pay half of it, and if it were the day after tomorrow, they would pay nothing.

As you know, I'm a Democrat, but one that is against abortion. I agree with the Republicans on that issue, at least. After this experience, though, I have to tell you: I am in absolute awe of the power that the right to life people generate. I, of course, first posted on Democratic Underground, and I have to give them some credit: they let my post stand against the rules about posting something like this under the wrong topic. They also let it stand, even though it had people's (my sister's and mine) personal numbers in it. And, of course, some people there forwarded it to other blogs. And everyone there was very supportive in their comments, as well.
But the pro-life people stepped forward and just absolutely ground St. Luke's into submission on this issue. You have, without a doubt, saved my sister's life. I want you to know that. Without the pro-life/right to life people stepping in from the very first of this fight for Andrea, we would have lost. I have never in my life seen such a centered, focused and energized group of people.

You used that energy and focus to do some good in this world and you didn't care whether you were fighting for a Democrat's life or a Republican's. Now, that's conviction.
There are not enough words in the English language to tell you how grateful I and my family are, for what you people have done. When we protested at St. Luke's last Saturday, the strangers that showed up were people that had had relatives killed at St. Luke's in much the same way that St. Luke's had planned to kill my sister. These people hadn't known any better, and they hadn't known that there was such a powerful group of individuals out there, devoted to this one cause, that might be able to help them.

Because of the people in the pro-life movement, a light has been shown on the truth, for all of Texans; indeed, for all of the world to see. May God bless you for your works. And, please, do not hesitate to ask myself or my family, for anything that you may ever need in order to continue your fight for these precious lives. We are here for you and your cause, as you were here for us in ours.

Melanie Childers
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What Catholics Don't Believe by Rev. Joseph Di Bruno
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Far too many people believe in lies about the Catholic Church and never fully understand the beauty of God's Church. If you are one of those people, I sincerely ask you to please read What Catholics Don't Believe by Rev. Joseph Di Bruno, D.D.

"There are not one hundred people in this world who dislike Catholicism, but there are millions who dislike what they mistakenly believe Catholicism to be." -Archbishop Fulton Sheen
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Take Action: Amnesty International plans to support abortion
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Amnesty International, the organization dedicated to curbing human rights abuses, wants to take a stance on abortion. They claim that abortion should become an international right and pro-life laws should be toppled. Read More

Please contact Amnesty International and ask them to not support a right to abortion.
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St. Teresa of Avila on the Eucharist
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"If we don't want to be fools and blind the intellect there's no reason for doubt. Receiving Communion is not like picturing with the imagination, as when we reflect upon the Lord on the cross or in other episodes of the Passion, when we picture within ourselves how things happened to Him in the past. In Communion the event is happening now, and it is entirely true. There's no reason to go looking for Him in some other place far away"

Image Source: Believed to be in the Public Domain
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Please Pray for the Repose of Megan's Soul
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I received this email:

Please pray to and for the soul of Megan L. Boever. I did not know her, but my sister-in-law did. She was 30 years old, and like St Gianna died a martyr's death for love of her unborn child. Megan had cancer while pregnant with her 4th child and gave up treatment so the baby could live. She's a powerful example that not everyone in the US is a participant or a passive onlooker in the "culture of death."

Eternal rest grant unto Megan, O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon her. May she rest in peace!
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Thursday, April 27, 2006
Words from St. Dominic Savio: April 27, 2006
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"Nothing seems tiresome or painful when you are working for a Master who pays well; who rewards even a cup of cold water given for love of Him."
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Pope Benedict XVI's visit to Poland
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Photo Source: REUTERS/Peter Andrews
 
Pope Benedict XVI will be visiting Poland from May 25-28, 2006, and I will try to post as often as I can as the Holy Father makes this journey to Poland. Poland's TVP public broadcaster has promised to ban all TV ads that contain any erotic or violent scenes during the Pope's visit. Pope Benedict XVI is calling this trip a journey of remembrance for his predecessor, Pope John Paul II.

The Holy Father's schedule:
May 25:
May 26:
May 27:
May 28:

To watch Pope Benedict XVI's visit to Poland, you can view the events on Poland's TVP public broadcaster. Although it's all in Polish, you can still see the papal events.

Information on the Holy Father's journey along with his speeches are available on the Vatican's website.

Poland Statistics (If you know of more recent ones please let me know):

Total Population: 36,684,000
Number of Catholics: 34,850,000; 95%!
Percentage that attend Sunday Mass: 53%
According to most sites, 75% of Poland Citizens are practicing Catholics
Number of parishes: 9,941
Number of priests: 26,911

Statistics Source: Institute of Statistics of the Catholic Church SAC
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Pope Raises Standards for Beatifications
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Pope Benedict XVI has called for raising the standards for beatifications, which comes after his predecessor canonized more saints than any previous pope. In his letter to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Pope Benedict XVI says a cause should not be opened unless there is "a proven reputation for holiness."

Source: CWNEWS

Image Source: Believed to be in the Public Domain
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Please Join Me in Praying for Andrea Clark
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UPDATE: The family has found a hospital in Illinois that will accept Andrea and offer her the opportunity to live. St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital has just notified the family that they are willing to pay the almost $17,000 to move Andrea to Illinois if they will move her today! Tomorrow they will only pay half of that and if they can't react a decision by tomorrow, St. Luke's will pay zero! (Read more)

Please call the hospital and ask them to pay for this. Andrea deserves the opportunity to live. Please act now!

Original Post: Right now in Houston, St. Luke's Hospital is preparing remove a woman from life support, even though her family wants her to continue to receive care. Texas law permits a self-appointed, ethics committee to forcibly remove care for patients. The family desperately wants care to remain, and now they have 10 days to find a hospital to care for the patient, Andrea Clark, before she will certainly die.

The patient underwent open-heart surgery in January and she developed bleeding in the brain. She requires a ventilator for breathing, and because Texas law permits ethics committees to deny care, this woman may die because she will be taken off of the ventilator.

If you can, please contact the hospital and ask them to reverse their decision. Andrea needs care and deserves to be taken care of. Please pray for her that the Lord might have mercy on her and guide her.

Andrea Clarke is at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital in Houston, TX. St. Luke's website can be used to contact them, as well as the general email address.

Prayer for the Dying:

Most merciful Jesus, lover of souls, I pray you by the agony of your most sacred heart, and by the sorrows of your Immaculate mother, to wash in your most Precious Blood the sinners of the world who are now in their agony, and who will die today. Heart of Jesus, once in agony, have mercy on the dying. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I give you my heart and my soul. Assist me in my last agony, and grant that I may breath forth my soul in peace with you. Amen.
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Novena for Vocations: Day Two
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Please join in the second day of the Novena for more vocations to the priesthood and religious life. It is available at Cirque de moi.


Image Source: Believed to be in the Public Domain
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Prayer to the Holy Cross
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I adore You, O glorious Cross, which was adorned with the Heart and Body of my Savior Jesus Christ, stained and covered with blood. I adore You, O Holy Cross, out of love for Him, Jesus, who is my Savior and my God.
(Pope Pius IX declared that reciting this prayer five times on Friday will free five souls from Purgatory and 33 souls by reciting it on Good Friday. This prayer should be recited before a crucifix with a contrite heart and praying a few minutes for the Pope).

Image Source: "Discovery of the True Cross," believed in to be in the Public Domain
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Prayer for Mary's Intercession by St. Francis of Assisi
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Holy Virgin Mary, there is no one like Thee born in the world among women, Daughter and Handmaid of the Most Highest King, the Heavenly Father, Mother of Our Most Holy Lord Jesus Christ, Spouse of the Holy Spirit:

Pray for us with St. Michael the Archangel and all the powers of Heaven and all the Saints before Thy Most Holy and Beloved Son, the Lord and Master.

Glory to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, ...

Image Source: Believed to be in the Public Domain
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Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Words of Inspiration: April 26, 2006
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“Behold, for you I have established a throne of mercy on earth—the tabernacle—and from this throne I desire to enter into your heart. You can come to me at any moment, at any time; I want to speak to you and desire to grant you grace.” “My Heart overflows with great mercy for souls, and especially for poor sinners. If only they could understand that I am the best of Fathers to them and that it is for them that the Blood and Water flowed from My Heart . . . For them I dwell in the tabernacle as King of Mercy. I desire to bestow grace upon souls”

(Words of Jesus to St. Maria Faustina)
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Georgetown University to Remove Pro-Abortion Links
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Earlier this year I posted a link to the Cardinal Newman Society's review of Catholic university websites, many of which posted links to abortion promoting places. I was outraged over this because a Catholic university must, first and foremost, stand up for Catholic values. That is why I am extremely pleased that Georgetown University is revising its website to remove links to groups that perform or encourage abortions.

This is wonderful news, and I ask you to please join me in praying for an end to abortion and for all of God's children to have a chance at life - the most basic of all principles.


Prayer:


Heavenly Father, in Your love for us, protect against the wickedness of the devil, those helpless little ones to whom You have given the gift of life.Touch with pity the hearts of those women pregnant in our world today who are not thinking of motherhood.Help them to see that the child they carry is made in Your image - as well as theirs - made for eternal life.Dispel their fear and selfishness and give them true womanly hearts to love their babies and give them birth and all the needed care that a mother can give.We ask this through Jesus Christ, Your Son, Our Lord, Who lives and reigns with You and Holy Spirit, One God, forever and ever. Amen.

Image Source: Use with Permission (Wikipedia)
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Novena for Vocations - Day One
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Please join me in a novena for Vocations to the Priesthood that K has started on her blog. I'm completely humbled and so grateful that she started this novena for me!

We need priests, and we all need to follow our vocations in life. Everyone is a sinner and in need of God's strength to fulfill their vocations. Please join me in this novena for more priests, religious brothers and sisters, and more dedicated lay people. We all are in need of God's mercy, so please join me in prayer.

Visit K's Blog for Day One

Image Source: Believed to be in the Public Domain
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Tuesday, April 25, 2006
St. Mark the Evangelist
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Feast (1969 Calendar): April 25
Double of the II Class (1955 Calendar): April 25

Today is the Feast of St. Mark the Evangelist, as well as the Greater Litanies (Major Rogation Day).  Of St. Mark, it may be said:
  • He is one of the four Gospel authors
  • He could have been the unnamed young man present at Jesus' arrest (Mk 14:51-52)
  • He was the son of a Christian woman in Jerusalem named Mary
  • He had a miraculous escape from prison
  • He was the cousin of St. Barnabas
  • He had a falling out with St. Paul (later reconciled when he visited St. Paul in prison)
  • ark's gospel was probably written in Rome around 60 AD
St. Mark is the patron saint of evangelists and we can learn so much from his example. We must also be evangelists and spread the Good News of Jesus Christ not only by our words but also by our actions. All of us are sinners and in need of God's mercy, but we all are able to answer our call in life and proclaim the Gospel.

All of us are called to serve Jesus Christ in our vocation. We don't have to go to the third world and proclaim the Gospel. We can simply live prayerfully while keeping God's commandments. By doing this, we can help convert many of those around us to the truth of the Catholic faith.

Prayer:

O God, Who didst exalt blessed Mark, Thine Evangelist, by the grace of preaching the Gospel, grant we beseech Thee, that we may ever profit by his teaching and be defended by his prayers. Through our Lord.

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal
Image Source: Martyrdom of St. Mark, In the Public Domain
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God or the Girl: First Episode
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Well this last Sunday when I got back from meeting the diocese about my own vocation to the priesthood, I watched the final episode of God or the Girl. I was overall very pleased with the series although I wish more of them would have entered the seminary. I'm extremely happy for Mike, who obviously loves his job, as well as Joe, who is serving God as a lay counselor.

I was actually somewhat disappointed in Dan. I hope he serves the Lord as a youth minister, but in my own opinion, he really needs to focus more of the group's time on studying the faith and the Bible. I think that his inability to defend the Church against the fundamentalist's accusations show this. I agree with Gerald's statement that Dan is under too much of an evangelical influence; he needs to just focus on quiet contemplation and prayer and apologetics above some other things.

However, I'm very happy for all of them to have made a decision. I'm was so happy for Steve when announced his decision to enter the seminary. It was so heartfelt and poignant as he stood before his parish and announced His decision. I wish him the best, and I ask all of you to join me in praying for Him and for greater vocations to the priesthood in general. Think about it, without the priesthood we would not have the Eucharist. For hundreds of years priests and Christians in general were murdered for their faith, and today we live in an age where we can worship without fear. Yet, only a small percentage of Catholics attend Mass! Hundreds of years ago, nearly all Catholics attended Mass and would even accept martyrdom for Jesus Christ.

This series has really helped us remember the importance of vocations, but it also brought to mind the need for lay Catholics committed completely to the faith. We must be the light shinning in the darkness for Christ; we must proclaim the Good News!

Prayer for Vocations:

Compassionate Heart of Jesus, graciously listen to our prayers. Give us generous hearts to respond to your call in our lives. Lift up courageous men and women willing to follow after your heart as priests, sisters, brothers, and deacons.

Help parents and teachers to share the faith and to encourage young people to explore religious vocations. Guide all people, Lord, in your ways of compassion, truth, and peace, that we may find happiness in fulfilling our vocation. Amen.
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Turn off TV week (April 24-30th)
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I'm very thankful for Dymphna's Well to post about this week to just abstain from television. Here are some statistics on her blog:

1) The average American home has the TV on for a total of 7 hours, 40 minutes per day.
2) The average American watches 4 hours of TV per day.
3) The average American child UNDER 6 spends a total of 2 hours per day watching some type of screen media.
4) The average parent spends 38.5 minutes per WEEK in meaningful conversation with their children.
5) 54% of 4-6 year olds say they would rather spend time watching TV than spend time with their fathers.
6) Between 1993 and 1996 the percentage of homicides covered by television news increased 721%. During the same period, actual homicides decreased by 20%.

Some television channels can be great including much of EWTN, but even when we watch those good programs, we can lose valuable family and prayer time. So, please join me this week in turning off the TV and spending more time in prayer.

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, I offer to you my life and time and ask you to bless me. Lord of mercy and goodness, I specifically offer to you my efforts to abstain from television this week. I offer them in reparation of my sins and those of the whole world. Bless me efforts Lord by your love made visible on the Cross so that my small works may serve You completely and amount to something. Amen
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Words of Inspiration: April 25, 2006
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Blessed Mother Teresa: "It is a kingly act to assist the fallen"

Padre Pio: "I would undergo death an infinite number of times rather than deliberately offend the Lord" (Letters I p 910).

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Words of Inspiration: April 25, 2006
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O God, Who didst exalt blessed Mark, Thine Evangelist, by the grace of preaching the Gospel, grant we beseech Thee, that we may ever profit by his teaching and be defended by his prayers. Through our Lord.

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal

Image Source: Martyrdom of St. Mark, In the Public Domain (Wikipedia)
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Monday, April 24, 2006
More Saint for the Year Results
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I was able to get several more results for the Saint for the Year Devotion, so I wanted to be sure to post them here:

John- St. Frances of Rome and St. Paula
Mary - St. Rose of Lima and Our Lady of Guadalupe
Stephanie- St. Mary of the Incarnation 06/02
Christine - St. Dunstan
Kalanna - Sts Philip the Apostle and James the Lesser

The response to this devotion has been incredible. I originally posted about this back in 2005, and I'm still getting requests. If you are interested in having a special patron saint chosen for you for this year, please see my original post. If you'd like to look at some of the results, see the results page.

Total # of Participants so far: 398

May the prayers and friendship of these friend's of God bring us closer to Our Lord!
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Words of Inspiration: April 24, 2006
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Blessed Mother Teresa: "If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one"

Padre Pio: "The devil has only one door through which to enter into our soul; the will. There are no secret doors. There is no sin, if it has not been committed willfully. When the will does not consent, there is no sin but human weakness."

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Sunday, April 23, 2006
Divine Mercy Sunday
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Today is Divine Mercy Sunday and also Low Sunday. Likewise, it is the Octave Day of Easter. Our Lord revealed special messages concerning His Divine and Endless Mercy to St. Faustina. He appeared to her between 1930 and 1938, and on Good Friday of 1937 He asked for a special a Novena to precede this Sunday. Today we especially thank God for the merciful institution of the Sacrament of Confession. The title of "Divine Mercy Sunday" began on May 23, 2000.

Our Lord said to St. Faustina:
"My daughter, tell the whole world about My inconceivable mercy. I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy. The soul that will go to confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. On that day all the divine floodgates through which graces flow are opened.
Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet. My mercy is so great that no mind, be it of man or of angel, will be able to fathom it throughout all eternity. Everything that exists has come forth from the very depths of My most tender mercy. Every soul in its relation to me will contemplate My love and mercy throughout eternity. The feast of Mercy emerged from My very depths of tenderness. It is My desire that it be solemnly celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter. Mankind will not have peace until it turns to the fount of My Mercy." (699)
Today is the day to turn to God again and live again the joy of Easter - Jesus Christ is Risen from the dead! For information on this day including the Chaplet and the Image of Divine Mercy, see Faustina.org

Concerning the image at the top of this post, Our Lord told St. Faustina: "I promise that the soul that will venerate this image will not perish. I also promise victory over its enemies already here on earth, especially at the hour of death. I Myself will defend it as My own glory." (48)

St. Faustina, ora pro nobis!
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Friday, April 21, 2006
Going on a Trip
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Today I'm leaving for a two-day trip, so I won't be able to blog until Sunday after I get back from my meeting with the diocese. Please keep me in your prayers during this rather busy time.

Also, please remember to pray the Divine Mercy Novena for Saturday, the final day of the novena. Here's a link to that day's prayers since I won't be able to post them.

God Bless and peace be with you all!
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Prayer Request for Jane
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I received this email:

I am asking prayers for my dear friend Jane. She just found out she has Acute Lukemia, and only has 3 to 5 months to live. At this time the family has not told her. Jane knows what she has is not curable,but does not know how short life will be. As I was talking to her today, she said she is not afraid to die, but she is not ready. Meaning may be there is something else she should do. I ask her, "If you were to die would you want to know, or to live life day by day?" Her answer was she wanted to live day to day and not know. She is a Catholic and says her Rosary everyday. So, please keep her and her family in your prayers.
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Divine Mercy Day 8
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"Today bring to Me the Souls who are in the prison of Purgatory, and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. Let the torrents of My Blood cool down their scorching flames. All these souls are greatly loved by Me. They are making retribution to My justice. It is in your power to bring them relief. Draw all the indulgences from the treasury of My Church and offer them on their behalf. Oh, if you only knew the torments they suffer, you would continually offer for them the alms of the spirit and pay off their debt to My justice."

Most Merciful Jesus, You Yourself have said that You desire mercy; so I bring into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls in Purgatory, souls who are very dear to You, and yet, who must make retribution to Your justice. May the streams of Blood and Water which gushed forth from Your Heart put out the flames of Purgatory, that there, too, the power of Your mercy may be celebrated.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls suffering in Purgatory, who are enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. I beg You, by the sorrowful Passion of Jesus Your Son, and by all the bitterness with which His most sacred Soul was flooded: Manifest Your mercy to the souls who are under Your just scrutiny. Look upon them in no other way but only through the Wounds of Jesus, Your dearly beloved Son; for we firmly believe that there is no limit to Your goodness and compassion. Amen.
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Thursday, April 20, 2006
Divine Mercy Day 7
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Today bring to Me the Souls who especially venerate and glorify My Mercy*, and immerse them in My mercy. These souls sorrowed most over my Passion and entered most deeply into My spirit. They are living images of My Compassionate Heart. These souls will shine with a special brightness in the next life. Not one of them will go into the fire of hell. I shall particularly defend each one of them at the hour of death.

Most Merciful Jesus, whose Heart is Love Itself, receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who particularly extol and venerate the greatness of Your mercy. These souls are mighty with the very power of God Himself. In the midst of all afflictions and adversities they go forward, confident of Your mercy; and united to You, O Jesus, they carry all mankind on their shoulders. These souls will not be judged severely, but Your mercy will embrace them as they depart from this life.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls who glorify and venerate Your greatest attribute, that of Your fathomless mercy, and who are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls are a living Gospel; their hands are full of deeds of mercy, and their hearts, overflowing with joy, sing a canticle of mercy to You, O Most High! I beg You O God:

Show them Your mercy according to the hope and trust they have placed in You. Let there be accomplished in them the promise of Jesus, who said to them that during their life, but especially at the hour of death, the souls who will venerate this fathomless mercy of His, He, Himself, will defend as His glory. Amen.

*The text leads one to conclude that in the first prayer directed to Jesus, Who is the Redeemer, it is "victim" souls and contemplatives that are being prayed for; those persons, that is, that voluntarily offered themselves to God for the salvation of their neighbor (see Col 1:24; 2 Cor 4:12). This explains their close union with the Savior and the extraordinary efficacy that their invisible activity has for others. In the second prayer, directed to the Father from whom comes "every worthwhile gift and every genuine benefit,"we recommend the "active" souls, who promote devotion to The Divine Mercy and exercise with it all the other works that lend themselves to the spiritual and material uplifting of their brethren. (Source)

Chaplet:

(To be said on regular Rosary)

1. Begin with the Sign of the Cross, one Our Father, one Hail Mary and The Apostles Creed.

2. Then on the Our Father Beads say the following: Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

3. On the 10 Hail Mary Beads say the following: For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

(Repeat step 2 and 3 for all five decades).

4. Conclude with (three times): Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
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Wednesday, April 19, 2006
One Year with Benedict XVI
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Last year on April 19, 2005, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected as the Roman Pontiff.

I look back to April and May 2005 and remember a very calm yet tired-looking man as our Pope. The burden of responsibility must have been intense, but after that, Benedict XVI has truly blessed the Church.



Here is a brief list of some of his work this past year:

This is an extremely shortened list of Pope Benedict XVI's great leadership. He has specifically asked us to pray for him this day, so I ask you to please say a prayer for his health and intentions. See St. Peter's Helper for more information from his speech today.

Image Source: Believed to be in the Public Domain
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Prayers for Healing
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Update: Thank you so much, everyone. She's already feeling better. Your prayers have worked!

Hello, everyone.

I would like to ask you all to please pray for my mother. She is beginning to get a sinus infection, and I'm sure we all know how horrible it is to go through those. Please pray to the Lord with me asking that He heal her quickly.

Mother Mary, pray for her! Amen.

Thank you!
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The Easter Octave
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"Alleluia, alleluia. Christ our Pasch is sacrified" (Alleluia, 1962 Missal)
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Divine Mercy Day 6
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"Today bring to Me The Meek and Humble Souls and the Souls of Little Children and immerse them in My mercy. These souls most closely resemble My Heart. They strengthened Me during My bitter agony. I saw them as earthly Angels who will keep vigil at My altars. I pour out upon them whole torrents of grace. Only the humble soul is capable of receiving My grace I favor humble souls with My confidence."

Most Merciful Jesus, You Yourself have said, "Learn from Me for I am meek and humble of heart." Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart all meek and humble souls and the souls of little children. These souls send all heaven into ecstasy, and they are the heavenly Father's favorites. They are a sweet-smelling bouquet before the throne of God; God Himself takes delight in their fragrance. These souls have a permanent abode in Your Most Compassionate Heart, O Jesus, and they unceasingly sing out a hymn of love and mercy.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon meek souls, upon humble souls and upon little children, who are enfolded in the abode of the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls bear the closest resemblance to Your Son. Their fragrance rises from the earth and reaches Your very throne. Father of mercy and of all goodness, I beg You by the love You bear these souls and by the delight you take in them: Bless the whole world, that all souls together may sing out the praises of Your mercy for endless ages. Amen.

Chaplet:

(To be said on regular Rosary)

1. Begin with the Sign of the Cross, one Our Father, one Hail Mary and The Apostles Creed.

2. Then on the Our Father Beads say the following: Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

3. On the 10 Hail Mary Beads say the following: For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

(Repeat step 2 and 3 for all five decades).

4. Conclude with (three times): Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
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Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Memorial of St. Apollonius the Apologetic
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Thanks to John from the St. Blogs Parish Hall for reminding me that today the Church remembers my patron saint for 2006. As most of you know, I received this saint through the Saint for the Year drawing, where individuals have a name randomly picked from them out of a container of 1,500 names. I am unable to fulfill more requests now because the kind person doing the drawing of the names is not available, but I would gladly relay the name to her if you would like a saint. It may take a few weeks though. I apologize.

Anyway, today the Church remembers St. Apollonius the Apologetic. He lived in 185, and lived the faith until his death. He was a Roman Senator, who was charged as a servant by one of his slaves. Now, the law at that time dictated that any slave that brings a charge against his master must be executed, so the slave was immediately executed.

Sextus Tigidius Perennis demanded that Apollonius renounce the faith, but Apollonius refused. In one of early Christianity most eloquent and brillant defenses of the faith, Apollonius revealed himself as a true servant of God. Apollonius, however, was condemned and beheaded - faithfully serving God to the very end.

Because he was my patron saint, I knew that God had revealed him to me for a reason. I had never heard of him and made sure to research him. And, it's only April but when I look back on this year, I've really tried to become more eloquent at defending the Catholic faith like Apollonius. I've set up websites and talked with numerous people in person and online. While I doubt any of them rushed out to convert, I hope and pray I left a mark on them that God will use to bring them to the Church. I'm very thankful for having St. Apollonius as my patron.

St. Apollonius the Apologetic, pray for me!
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Contact Villanova University
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I ask you to please contact Villanova's Board of Trustees and ask them to approve the Maternal Bond Memorial. An image of this memorial is to the left, and pro-lifers are hoping to have this memorial placed at Villanova University. The University initially appeared to approve, but they are worried it would offend non-Catholics so they postponed the decision.

First, this is a private Catholic University! This University should be supporting and working to uphold Catholic values. That is what is most important. As I posted on in the past, many "Catholic" universities are Catholic only in name (list). I hope Villanova doesn't become one of those. Wikipedia lists Villanova's landmarks and they include numerous Catholic ones. What's the difference if the landmark supports the unborn?

That is why I am asking you to email the Board of Trustees Chairperson, Villanova's President and President-elect. Please respectfully ask them to approve of the decision to install this memorial.

Board of Trustees Chair John G. Drosdick JGDrosdick@SunocoInc.com
President Rev. Edmund J. Dobbin edmund.dobbin@villanova.edu
Incoming President Rev. Peter M. Donohue, Peter.Donohue@villanova.edu

Source: Abortion Pundit
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Words of Inspiration: April 18, 2006
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"I therefore exhort you again to be trustful. A soul who trust in her Lord and places all her hope in Him has nothing to fear. The enemy of our salvation is always around us to snatch from our hearts the anchor that is to lead us to salvation, by which I mean trust in God our Father. Let us keep a very firm hold on this anchor and not relinquish it for a single moment. Otherwise all would be lost" (Letters II p 410).

Image Source: Believed to be in the Public Domain
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Divine Mercy Day 5
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"Today bring to Me the Souls of those who have separated themselves from My Church*, and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. During My bitter Passion they tore at My Body and Heart, that is, My Church. As they return to unity with the Church My wounds heal and in this way they alleviate My Passion."

Most Merciful Jesus, Goodness Itself, You do not refuse light to those who seek it of You. Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who have separated themselves from Your Church. Draw them by Your light into the unity of the Church, and do not let them escape from the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart; but bring it about that they, too, come to glorify the generosity of Your mercy.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of those who have separated themselves from Your Son's Church, who have squandered Your blessings and misused Your graces by obstinately persisting in their errors. Do not look upon their errors, but upon the love of Your own Son and upon His bitter Passion, which He underwent for their sake, since they, too, are enclosed in His Most Compassionate Heart. Bring it about that they also may glorify Your great mercy for endless ages. Amen.

*Our Lord's original words here were "heretics and schismatics," since He spoke to Saint Faustina within the context of her times. As of the Second Vatican Council, Church authorities have seen fit not to use those designations in accordance with the explanation given in the Council's Decree on Ecumenism (n.3). Every pope since the Council has reaffirmed that usage. Saint Faustina herself, her heart always in harmony with the mind of the Church, most certainly would have agreed. When at one time, because of the decisions of her superiors and father confessor, she was not able to execute Our Lord's inspirations and orders, she declared: "I will follow Your will insofar as You will permit me to do so through Your representative. O my Jesus " I give priority to the voice of the Church over the voice with which You speak to me" (497). The Lord confirmed her action and praised her for it (Source)

Chaplet:

(To be said on regular Rosary)

1. Begin with the Sign of the Cross, one Our Father, one Hail Mary and The Apostles Creed.

2. Then on the Our Father Beads say the following: Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

3. On the 10 Hail Mary Beads say the following: For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

(Repeat step 2 and 3 for all five decades).

4. Conclude with (three times): Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

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Monday, April 17, 2006
God or the Girl: 2nd Day
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I was awaiting anxiously to watch this night's episode, and I think Mike made the right decision. After watching yesterday's episodes I knew he seemed to be called to the married life, and that is an important vocation too. I wish him the best, but I do hope and pray that he and others like him will serve the Lord as a deacon. Deacons of course can get married, so I think that would be excellent for him.

Second, I was so frustrated when Dan encountered the fundamentalist. Of course he said the classic examples of "If Mary was sinless why would she need a Savior as she said?" or "Isn't there only mediator between God and man."

And, I was practically jumping up and down: "But God saved many before her conception! She still needed a Savior" and "But, in Confession the mediator is Jesus not a man!"

This special A&E series has one made we want the priesthood more. The Church is perceived very badly by many people in our world, and too many people fall into the misinterpretations of other denominations. I've really tried to post this on my Apologetics Website, and this is one reason I am called to serve as a priest. I feel as if the Lord has asked me: "Will you give up everything you have and follow Me?" I answered, "Yes".

What tears me apart is seeing people leave the Church or not practice their faith. My vision is for us all to be under the Catholic Church with Christ as the head, but I know that this won't happen. But that doesn't mean we can't get as close to that as possible. This is the point of my blog and everything I do online - to honor Jesus Christ and bring others to Him.

And he said to them: The harvest indeed is great, but the labourers are few. Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he send labourers into his harvest. 3 Go: Behold I send you as lambs among wolves. Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes; and salute no man by the way. Into whatsoever house you enter, first say: Peace be to this house (Luke 10: 2 - 5)

Here I am, Lord. I come to do your will!

Thanks again for all of your prayers, and please keep them coming doing this special Octave for Easter.
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Remember the Example of St. Joseph
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"Saint Joseph adored our Lord in a spirit of compassion. By faith he saw and joined the self-immolation of Christ on Calvary and on the altar. To perfect his love Jesus gave him a preview of the Passion, for a love that does not suffer is a childlike love. You will never equal Joseph in compassionate love, but unite with him in adoring the Sacred Victim on the altar; let your faith be food and light for your adoration. Have faith and you will see, for faith is the eye of a pure soul."

(St. Peter Julian Eymard)


Image Source: Believed to be in the Public Domain
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Divine Mercy Day 4
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"Today bring to Me those who do not believe in God and those who do not know Me, I was thinking also of them during My bitter Passion, and their future zeal comforted My Heart. Immerse them in the ocean of My mercy."

Most compassionate Jesus, You are the Light of the whole world. Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who do not believe in God and of those who as yet do not know You. Let the rays of Your grace enlighten them that they, too, together with us, may extol Your wonderful mercy; and do not let them escape from the abode which is Your Most Compassionate Heart.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of those who do not believe in You, and of those who as yet do not know You, but who are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Draw them to the light of the Gospel. These souls do not know what great happiness it is to love You. Grant that they, too, may extol the generosity of Your mercy for endless ages. Amen.

*Our Lord's original words here were "the pagans." Since the pontificate of Pope John XXIII, the Church has seen fit to replace this term with clearer and more appropriate terminology.

Chaplet:

(To be said on regular Rosary)

1. Begin with the Sign of the Cross, one Our Father, one Hail Mary and The Apostles Creed.

2. Then on the Our Father Beads say the following: Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

3. On the 10 Hail Mary Beads say the following: For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

(Repeat step 2 and 3 for all five decades).

4. Conclude with (three times): Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
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Sunday, April 16, 2006
God or the Girl: Update on my own vocation
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The blogsphere has been filled with news on the recent A&E production: "God or the Girl". Since I am also contemplating the priesthood, I was really interested in seeing the show. And, after seeing the first episode I'm really hoping that some of them will answer the call we need priests so much. That is why I want to follow Our Lord. I'm finding it a very interesting show, but I'm really interested in how it will all turn out.

Next Sunday is Divine Mercy Sunday, and I will be meeting with my diocese's vocations director concerning the priesthood. This is really important to get the process started. Please keep me in your prayers during this time.

Thank you all!
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Easter 2006: Urbi et Orbi
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As we celebrate the joy of Easter Sunday, Pope Benedict XVI is also celebrating his 79th birthday. Let us please pray one Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be for his health and intentions.

I had to share this beautiful image of the baptismal font that Pope Benedict XVI was baptized from in 1927.

Photo Source


Pope Benedict XVI has gave his traditional Urbi et Orbi address after the Easter Sunday Mass attended by thousands.

Pope Benedict XVI arrives at St. Peter's Basilica to celebrate Easter Sunday Mass (Source)

Here is part of his Urbi et Orbi address:

May the risen Lord grant that the strength of his life, peace and freedom be experienced everywhere. Today the words with which the Angel reassured the frightened hearts of the women on Easter morning are addressed to all: "Do not be afraid! ... He is not here; he is risen" (Matthew 28:5-6). Jesus is risen, and he gives us peace; he himself is peace. For this reason the Church repeats insistently: "Christ is risen -- 'Christós anésti.'"

Let the people of the third millennium not be afraid to open their hearts to him. His Gospel totally quenches the thirst for peace and happiness that is found in every human heart. Christ is now alive and he walks with us. What an immense mystery of love! "Christus resurrexit, quia Deus caritas est!" Alleluia!

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© Copyright 2006 -- Libreria Editrice Vaticana [adapted]

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Divine Mercy Day 3
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"Today bring to Me All Devout and Faithful Souls and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. These souls brought Me consolation on the Way of the Cross. They were that drop of consolation in the midst of an ocean of bitterness."

Most Merciful Jesus, from the treasury of Your mercy, You impart Your graces in the great abundance to each and all. Receive us into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart and never let us escape from It. We beg this of You by that most wondrous love for the heavenly Father with which Your Heart burns so fiercely.

Eternal Father, turn Your Merciful gaze upon faithful souls, as upon the inheritance of Your Son. For the sake of His Sorrowful Passion, grant them Your blessing and surround them with Your constant protection. Thus may they never fail in love or lose the treasure of the holy faith, but rather, with all the hosts of Angels and Saints, may they glorify Your boundless mercy for endless ages. Amen.

Chaplet:

(To be said on regular Rosary)

1. Begin with the Sign of the Cross, one Our Father, one Hail Mary and The Apostles Creed.

2. Then on the Our Father Beads say the following: Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

3. On the 10 Hail Mary Beads say the following: For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

(Repeat step 2 and 3 for all five decades).

4. Conclude with (three times): Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
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Regina Coeli
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During this Easter season from Easter Sunday until Pentecost, the Angelus is replaced with the Regina Coeli (Queen of Heaven):

V. Queen of Heaven, rejoice, alleluia:
R. For he whom you merited to bear, alleluia,

V. Has risen, as he said, alleluia.
R. Pray for us to God, alleluia.

V. Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia.
R. Because the Lord is truly risen, alleluia.

Let us pray. O God, who by the Resurrection of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, granted joy to the whole world: grant, we beg you, that through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, his Mother, we may lay hold of the joys of eternal life. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen. (Roman Breviary)

Prayer Source: Enchiridion of Indulgences , June 29, 1968

A partial indulgence is obtained through the saying of this prayer, but if one does not know the words to this prayer, they may still receive it if they just pray 5 Hail Marys.

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Saturday, April 15, 2006
Jesus Christ is Risen, Alleluia!
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It was on this night that Our Savior, lying in tomb because of our sins, rose again and broke the firm chains of sin and death forever. Christ defeated satan and the powers of darkness at the Cross, and this night, He rose again as victor over death. By rising, we proclaim that He "restored our life". Jesus Christ is Risen from the dead! And, now we too may one day hope to rise again in splendor with a new Heaven and a new Earth with Christ as the Light of the World.

But, in our world we still see people living in the darkness of sin. They embrace hared, bigotry, indecency, and other attacks on God's laws. We, my brothers and sister, must be mirrors of Christ's light. We must bring this light into others' hearts. Do nothing other than observe the Commandments of Christ and His Church so as to bring others into His light. This is the most important thing we can do. For in baptism we were buried in Christ so that after our death we might hope to share in the Resurrection. Tonight I had the privilege to see around 14 people enter the Catholic faith. It was a beautiful sight. We must continue to pray that others will enter the fullness of the truth.

Gospel:

And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalen, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought sweet spices, that coming, they might anoint Jesus. And very early in the morning, the first day of the week, they come to the sepulchre, the sun being now risen. And they said one to another: Who shall roll us back the stone from the door of the sepulchre? And looking, they saw the stone rolled back. For it was very great. And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed with a white robe: and they were astonished. Who saith to them: Be not affrighted; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified: he is risen, he is not here, behold the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee; there you shall see him, as he told you. (Mk 16:1-7)

Around the world today the love of Christ was proclaimed. The Holy Father celebrated his first Easter Vigil as Pope.
"The pope, wearing gold and white vestments, had borne a paschal candle through the darkened basilica, which was bathed in bright light when he reached the altar, and the pilgrims lit each other's candles to symbolize the light of Christ replacing the darkness of sin and death" (Source: Yahoo News)
This ceremony was broadcast by 62 television stations in 42 countries.

In the celebrations tonight thousands of people entered our faith of Jesus Christ included many fellow bloggers. Please welcome them. I just read about a married lutheran minister that also just entered the Church as a Catholic priest. President Arroyo of the Philippines, a Catholic, has also promised to stop executing prisoners as part of her Easter message. How wonderful! Jesus Christ's light is shinning in the world and we must continue to bring this light. We must be carries of His light as we were reminded tonight.

If you did not attend the Vigil, I at least ask you to listen to the beautiful Easter Proclamation:



And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world. (Matthew 28:18-20).

May all who sleep in Christ rise again to eternal life. Amen.

Let us make Easter, the holiest day in the year, and the Octave that follows, some of the holiest days of our lives. Our entire observance of Lent was for this day - to honor the Risen King! Come, let us worship Him!

More wonderful information from Fish Eaters

Image Sources: Believed to be in the Public Domain
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Easter Proclamation
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In just a few hours I will attend the Vigil Mass of Easter and see several people received into the Church. If you are not attending the a Vigil Mass, I encourage you to listen to the Easter Proclamation over the computer. I love this prayer - it is so beautiful when we proclaim the triumphant Resurrection of Our Savior.

Please keep praying for everyone that will enter the Church tonight.
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The Coming Easter Vigil
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It was on this night that He passed from death to life!

Tonight at the Easter Vigil, thousand will enter the Catholic Church as we recall the Resurrection of Our Crucified Savior. By this action, He freed us all from the certainty of hell so that we might enter Heaven. The rest is up to how we live our own lives.

Tonight please keep Lise in your prayers as she was just reconciled with the Church after leaving for many years. She needs your prayers. Please also keep these people in your prayers because they will enter the Church this year: New Catholics for 2006.
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Divine Mercy Day 2
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Our Lord said to St. Faustina: "Today bring to Me the Souls of Priests and Religious and immerse them in My unfathomable mercy. It was they who gave Me strength to endure My bitter Passion. Through them as through channels My mercy flows out upon mankind."

Most Merciful Jesus, from whom comes all that is good, increase Your grace in men and women consecrated to Your service, that they may perform worthy works of mercy, and that all who see them may glorify the Father of Mercy who is in heaven.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the company of chosen ones in Your vineyard - upon the souls of priests and religious; and endow them with the strength of Your blessing. For the love of the Heart of Your Son in which they are enfolded, impart to them Your power and light, that they may be able to guide others in the way of salvation, and with one voice sing praise to Your boundless mercy for ages without end. Amen.

Chaplet:

(To be said on regular Rosary)

1. Begin with the Sign of the Cross, one Our Father, one Hail Mary and The Apostles Creed.

2. Then on the Our Father Beads say the following: Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

3. On the 10 Hail Mary Beads say the following: For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

(Repeat step 2 and 3 for all five decades).

4. Conclude with (three times): Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
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Holy Saturday
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Today we should continue to live mildly and humbly as we recall Our Savior's descent to the dead to free many. It is not required to fast today, but I would highly encourage some form of penance as we await for the Resurrection of the Lord at the Easter Vigil.
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Important Prayer Request for Fr. Jim McKenna
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I received this request for prayers in my inbox:

"I solemnly ask for the gift of your prayers for the spiritual repose of my husband's sister, Gladys, who expired in her sleep on Holy Thursday morning after just having celebrated her 95th birthday. She experienced a joyful Christian life with rare illness and kept her mental faculties right up until the end. She was driving and tending to all her own needs until her death. She died unexpectedly, but in a very peaceful manner.

"I also ask for your continued prayers for Father Jim McKenna, who is now hospitalized and not doing so well. The radiation damaged his eyesight and hisbrain is swelling.

"Many thanks and Happy Easter to all.

"Bernadette"

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Friday, April 14, 2006
Tonight's Service for Good Friday: 2006
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The service tonight commemorating the Passion and Death of our Lord was extremely poignant. Just a few hours before it started, I was asked to serve as the lector for the lengthly readings. I also remembered to genuflect to the Crucifix because the Eucharist is not present today in the Church (GIRM 274). I read the readings and I think it went well. I also was honored to assist in the distribution of Holy Communion. My favorite part of Mass followed the petitions when the Cross was carried to the altar and the priest who stop on say, "This is the wood of the Cross, on which hung the Savior of the world." I can't get those words out of my head - God died on a tree for me!

And since I was seated on the sanctuary by the altar, I was able to look out and see a beautiful moment. When everyone came forth for the veneration of the Cross, all kissed the feet on the Crucifix. There were many elderly people there. But, there were also middle-aged and teenagers there. Every last one of them, even the small children, approached the crucifix and tenderly kissed Jesus's feet in remembrance for His love. I had to gaze out in the congregation, and I just thought about the death of Jesus. For each one of them individually, Jesus Christ died, every last one of them. Today we remembered that God died on the Cross. And God died for everyone of those people - the saint and the sinner. Nails pierced His Body in the ultimate expression of love. For Jesus Christ was the same God of the Old Testament that saved His people and brought them from salvary, and on this day His own people did not know Him.

"A plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful, who in the solemn liturgical action of Good Friday devoutly assist at the adoration of the Cross and kiss it" (Source)

We began the service in silence and ended it the same. It was as if I had gone to a funeral of my closest friend - who gave up His life for me.

Pope Benedict XVI presided at his first Good Friday service today as the Vicar of Christ, the Pope. Read his speech that he gave at the end of the Stations of the Cross.
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Good Friday
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"And it was the third hour, and they crucified Him... And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole earth until the ninth hour" (Mark 15:25, 33)

Brothers and Sisters in Christ!

The hour has come when we remember how Our Master, after having instituted the Sacrament of Love - the Eucharist -, was betrayed and handed over to sinners to be whipped, beaten, and crucified. The entire life of Our Savior existed for this moment - the moment when His death redeemed the entire Human race.

In love unutterable for us, in torments, He died.

Today has always been, and still remains, a day of mandatory Fasting and Abstinence (Canon 1251). Also worth noting, upon entering our pews today, we are to genuflect to the Crucifix not the tabernacle because the Eucharist is not present today in any Tabernacle in the world (Source: GIRM 274).

Remember His love for you especially between 9 AM and 3 PM, the time of His agony. Between 12 Noon and 3 PM specifically pray because that is the time when He hung on the cross. Pray! Join me in the Litany of the Passion and the Sorrowful mysteries of the Rosary. Pray the Stations of the Cross today at your parish or at home around 3 PM. Likewise, meditate on Our Lady of Sorrows today as well.

Concerning the Stations of the Cross, there are many cities in the United States taking part in processions and acting out Jesus's journey to Calvary to die.

Please join me now in praying a Good Friday Hymn also. And attend Good Friday Service tonight. There is no Mass anywhere in the world on Good Friday, but there is a service to commemorate Jesus's Sacrifice on the Cross. And there is a plenary indulgence available:

"A plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful, who in the solemn liturgical action of Good Friday devoutly assist at the adoration of the Cross and kiss it" (Source)

The Good Friday Prayer:

"O, my Lord Jesus, I hereby beg of Thee, by the merits of Thy Precious Blood, by Thy Divine Heart, and by the intercession of Thy Most Holy Death to assist me in this pressing necessity."

(To be said 33 times for each intention. It must be said between the hours of 12 noon and 3 PM on Good Friday)


Priests prostrate themselves at foot of alter on Good Friday; March 1953, Poughkeepsie, NY

Another Good Friday Prayer:
I adore you, O glorious Cross, which was adorned with the Heart and Body of my Savior Jesus Christ, stained and covered with Blood. I adore you, O Holy Cross, out of love for Him, Jesus, who is my Savior and my God.

(Pope Pius IX declared that by reciting this above prayer 5 times on Friday, we release 5 souls from Purgatory and we release 33 souls from Purgatory by reciting it on Good Friday. This prayer should be recited before a Crucifix, with a contrite heart and praying a few moments for the Pope.)
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