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October 22, 2012

Memorial of Blessed John Paul II added to U.S.A Calendar! & JPII "The Spark from Poland"

Memorial of Blessed John Paul II Added To U.S. Liturgical Calendar 
US Bishops Receives Approval from Congregation for Divine Worship
WASHINGTON, D.C., OCT. 22, 2012 
(Zenit.org).- The Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship has approved insertion of the optional memorial of Blessed John Paul II in the proper calendar of the dioceses of the United States. It also has provided the proper liturgical texts for observance of the Memorial in the Mass and Divine Office.
The U.S. bishops last November voted overwhelmingly to request the addition of the popular pope, who reigned for 27 years, into the U.S. liturgical calendar.
The Office of Readings includes an excerpt from Pope John Paul's homily at his inauguration as pope in 1978, when he stressed "Do not be afraid, Open, I say open wide the doors for Christ." The message became one of the signature statements of his papacy.

The biographical piece in the Divine Office highlights the pope's pastoral visits around the world, his participation in the Second Vatican Council, and his zeal for families, young people and the sick. It also noted his promotion of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the new Code of Canon Law. ....Entire Zenit Article....

For the Liturgical prayers and readings for the Feast of Blessed John Paul II, go to http://www.usccb.org/about/leadership/holy-see/pope-john-paul-ii/memorial-of-blessed-john-paul-ii.cfm

Beatification  of Bl. John Paul II
 A Joyful Event for the Church 
and All Who Loved Him!

Bl.  John Paul II  the Fatima Pope was Beatified on May 1, 2011 which also was the first Sunday after Easter, Divine Mercy Sunday.  Benedict XVI explained that the date was chosen for the beatification because it was on the eve of Mercy Sunday that his earthly life ended. "Those who knew him, those who esteemed and loved him, cannot but rejoice with the Church for this event."  In St. Peter's basilica,the tomb for Bl. John Paul II is set in one of the altars, in the chapel of St. Sebastian where his mortal remains are reposed today. 

Pope John Paul II alluded at the consecration of the Shrine of Merciful Love in 1981  making note of  the "special task" assigned to him by God" in the present situation of man, the Church and the world."  He urged us "to implore God's mercy for humanity in this hour of history ... to beg for it at this difficult, critical phase of the history of the Church and of the world as we approach the end of the second millennium." (Rich in Mercy 15)
The "Spark from Poland" 
that will prepare the World 
for my Final Coming!

We are all worried about our country especially now when we face such a critical election with concerns for our economy and for the erosion of our  religious freedoms. St. Faustina  also worried and prayed for Poland: "Jesus, I beg You for my homeland; protect it against the assaults of its enemies" (Diary of St. Faustina, 119).  

Jesus responds to 
St. Faustina prayer:
"I bear a special love for Poland, and if she will be obedient to My will, I will exalt her in might and holiness. From her will come forth the spark that will prepare the world for My final coming" (Diary, 1732).   

At the time it seemed as though this prayer of hers had failed.  Poland was conquered, fractured by the Nazi regime and later she was swallowed up by Communism.  It seemed her prayer to Our Lord was not answered.  However, the beginning of  the answer to her prayer and Poland’s  deliverance from Communism began on October 16, 1978. Cardinal Karol Wojtyła, Archbishop of Kraków was elected Pope, taking the name John Paul II.  

This event had an electrifying  unifying effect  for Poland.  Even under Communist rule, Poland  was one of the most devoutly Catholic nations in Europe. The election of a Polish pope the spark from Poland? (Diary, 1732).  

It was the beginning of her political  freedom. God has honored Poland by lighting on her soil “the spark" giving us Bl. John Paul II  who  traversed the entire globe building up the kingdom of God so that it was preached in every land and nation!

Divine Mercy and the End Time

The exact timing is the Lord's But of that day and hour no one knows, not the angels of heaven, but the Father alone  Mat. 24:36   It seems that we have reached a certain critical phase of the end times that  had its beginnings with the Church.

It's  ironic that many of the most religious people of Christ's time  who were actively practicing their religion and  even though they awaited the promised Messiah  they were not able to recognize Him when He came. They even condemned him to death on the cross.  The Pharisees, devoted to their rules, and rituals that over the years, had become so important that their real meaning had been lost. They talked a lot of about God, but none of it had touched their hearts.  They were not living the way He wanted them to live.  “This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me" (Is 29:13).  

Mary Mother of Mercy 

Mary Mother of all graces and Mother of Divine Mercy, Defend us from our enemies and receive us at the hour of our death. O Mary Mother of Mercy, Implore for us the Mercy of your Son! 
Our Lady also spoke to St. Faustina: “You have to speak to the world about His great mercy and prepare the world for the Second Coming of Him who will come, not as a merciful Savior, but as a just Judge.  Oh how terrible is that day! Determined is the day of justice, the day of divine wrath. The angels tremble before it. Speak to souls about this great mercy while it is still the time for granting mercy. (Diary 635).

The Words of the Our Lady to St Faustina are similar to the Fatima Message.  There is a sense urgency in them.  Like the message of Fatima, it is the same urgency of the Gospel, "The time is accomplished, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent, and believe the gospel.” Mark1:15

"If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated. In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me and she will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world."

Our Enemy is not the Evil Around us,
Our Real enemy is  the Sin Within us!

Are we not faced with a similar circumstances as we await the final coming of the Lord?  Paul writes in second Thessalonians: “The coming of the lawless one whose coming is according to the working of Satan, in all power, and signs, and lying wonders, And in all seduction of iniquity to them that perish; because they receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them a strong delusion, that they should believe a lie. In order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth but took pleasure in wickedness" 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12
      The Church's Final Trial                

 675Before  Christ's second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the "mystery of iniquity" in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh.” Read more: Catechism of the Catholic Church and the last days                                
Unceasingly the Church Implores
 God's  Mercy for Everyone!
April 30, 2000 View of  St. Peter's Square Institution of Feast of  Divine Mercy

Speak to the world about My mercy ... It is a sign for the end times. After it will come the Day of Justice. While there is still time, let them have recourse to the fountain of My mercy. (Diary 848)  Read more
Words of Blessed John Paul II: “At no time and in no historical period -- especially at a moment as critical as our own -- can the Church forget the prayer that is a cry for the mercy of God amid the many forms of evil which weigh upon humanity and threaten it. "The more the human conscience succumbs to secularization, loses its sense of the very meaning of the word "mercy," moves away from God, and distances itself from the mystery of mercy, the more the Church has the right and the duty to appeal to the God of mercy with loud cries!”  June 7, 1977  Divine Mercy Shrine in Lagiewniki, Poland .(Dives in Misericordia, n. 15).

John Paul II--You Live On! You Live On!

October 11, 2012

The Year of Faith--Togethor Let us seek the Face of Christ!

Pope inaugurates Year of Faith 
and invites all to rediscover 
the Second Vatican Council!

The Opening Mass of Year of Faith

If today the Church proposes a new Year of Faith and a new evangelization, it is not to honour an anniversary, but because there is more need of it, even more than there was fifty years ago! And the reply to be given to this need is the one desired by the Popes, by the Council Fathers and contained in its documents. Even the initiative to create a Pontifical Council for the promotion of the new evangelization, which I thank for its special effort for the Year of Faith, is to be understood in this context. Recent decades have seen the advance of a spiritual "desertification". In the Council’s time it was already possible from a few tragic pages of history to know what a life or a world without God looked like, but now we see it every day around us. This void has spread. But it is in starting from the experience of this desert, from this void, that we can again discover the joy of believing, its vital importance for us, men and women. In the desert we rediscover the value of what is essential for living; thus in today’s world there are innumerable signs, often expressed implicitly or negatively, of the thirst for God, for the ultimate meaning of life. 

"The “door of faith” (Acts 14:27) is always open for us, ushering us into the life of communion with God and offering entry into his Church. It is possible to cross that threshold when the word of God is proclaimed and the heart allows itself to be shaped by transforming grace. To enter through that door is to set out on a journey that lasts a lifetime. It begins with baptism (cf. Rom 6:4), through which we can address God as Father, and it ends with the passage through death to eternal life, fruit of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, whose will it was, by the gift of the Holy Spirit, to draw those who believe in him into his own glory (cf. Jn 17:22). To profess faith in the Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – is to believe in one God who is Love (cf. 1 Jn 4:8): the Father, who in the fullness of time sent his Son for our salvation; Jesus Christ, who in the mystery of his death and resurrection redeemed the world; the Holy Spirit, who leads the Church across the centuries as we await the Lord’s glorious return."  Porta Fidei,1

The Year of Faith and Vatican II

Benedict XVI, in Porta Fide also commented on the Year of Faith and the Second Vatican Council. "In some respects, my venerable predecessor saw this Year as a “consequence and a necessity of the post -conciliar period”  fully conscious of the grave difficulties of the time, especially with regard to the profession of the true faith and correct interpretation. It seemed to me that timing the launch of the Year of Faith to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council would provide a good opportunity to help people understand that the texts bequeathed by the Council Fathers, in the words of Blessed John Paul II, “have lost nothing of their value or brilliance. They need to be read correctly, to be widely known and taken to heart as important and normative texts of the Magisterium, within the Church's Tradition ... I feel more than ever in duty bound to point to the Council as the great grace bestowed on the Church in the twentieth century: there we find a sure compass by which to take our bearings in the century now beginning. I would also like to emphasize strongly what I had occasion to say concerning the Council a few months after my election as Successor of Peter:'if we interpret and implement it guided by a right hermeneutic, it can be and can become increasingly powerful for the ever necessary renewal of the Church.' " Porta Fidei,5
The Year of Faith
 Seeking the Face of Christ

Hear my voice when I call, Lord;
    be merciful to me and answer me.
 My heart says of you, “Seek his face!”
    Your face, Lord, I will seek. Psalm 27:7-8

Today is the first day of the Year of Faith, and also is the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council. . . (Vatican II) and the twentieth anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. During the Year of Faith, Catholics are asked to study and reflect on the documents of Vatican II and the Catechism of the Catholic Church so that they may deepen their knowledge of the faith.

The Year of Faith is a year of Grace concept which is inspired and based upon the Apostolic Letter ‘Novo Millenio Ineunte’ by the late Blessed Pope John Paul II—recalling the events in Rome during the Jubilee Year of 2000 and his challenge to the whole Church to “contemplate the face of Christ” and to “start afresh” from Christ.

Benedict XVI in his Apostolic letter, Porta Fidei elaborates on this theme: "During this time we will need to keep our gaze fixed upon Jesus Christ, the “pioneer and perfecter of our faith” (Heb 12:2): in him, all the anguish and all the longing of the human heart finds fulfillment. The joy of love, the answer to the drama of suffering and pain, the power of forgiveness in the face of an offense received and the victory of life over the emptiness of death: all this finds fulfillment in the mystery of his Incarnation, in his becoming man, in his sharing our human weakness so as to transform it by the power of his resurrection. In him who died and rose again for our salvation, the examples of faith that have marked these two thousand years of our salvation history are brought into the fullness of light." Porta Fidei,13

October 4, 2012

Plenary indulgence announced for the Year of Faith. Make sure you take part often in this act of mercy from the Church!

- The Holy See announced Oct. 5 that Pope Benedict XVI has granted a plenary indulgence for the Year of Faith, which will last from Oct. 11, 2012 to Nov. 24, 2013.

The decree announcing the indulgence was signed Sept. 14 by Cardinal Manuel de Castro, Major Penitentiary, and Bishop Kryzsztof Nykiel, Regent, of the Apostolic Penitentiary. The penitentiary is the part of the Roman Curia responsible for indulgences and governing the sacrament of confession.

One plenary indulgence per day may be gained by an individual, which they can use for themselves or apply to a soul in purgatory. The indulgence remits the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven.
During the Year of Faith, there are four means of gaining an indulgence.
Click for entire story
The Pope also requested the faithful for Prayer at the start of his pilgrimage to Loreto October 4th. The pope said he was following in the footsteps of Bl. John XXIII, who entrusted Vatican II to Our Lady at the Shrine of Loreto on October 4th, in 1962!

Benedict XVI's pilgrimage to Loreto marks the 50th anniversary of that journey and the opening of the Council. The Pope asked everyone in Wednesday's General Audience to join his prayers "entrusting to the Mother of God the main ecclesial events we are preparing to experience: the Year of Faith, and the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization."

Below are excerpts taken from his Homily given at the shrine....
Click for entire text of the Pope's Homily....

Blessed John XXIII's 
Act of entrustment of 
Vatican Council II

"On October 4, 1962, Blessed John XXIII also came as a pilgrim to this Shrine to entrust to the Virgin Mary the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, due to begin a week later. On that occasion, with deep filial devotion to the Mother of God, he addressed her in these words: “Again today, and in the name of the entire episcopate, "I ask you, sweetest Mother, as Help of Bishops, to intercede for me as Bishop of Rome and for all the bishops of the world, to obtain for us the grace to enter the Council Hall of Saint Peter’s Basilica, as the Apostles and the first disciples of Jesus entered the Upper Room: with one heart, one heartbeat of love for Christ and for souls, with one purpose only, to live and to sacrifice ourselves for the salvation of individuals and peoples. Thus, by your maternal intercession, in the years and the centuries to come, may it be said that the grace of God prepared, accompanied and crowned the twenty-first Ecumenical Council, filling all the children of the holy Church with a new fervor, a new impulse to generosity, and a renewed firmness of purpose” (AAS 54 [1962], 727).

Benedict XVI continues:
"Fifty years later, having been called by divine Providence to succeed that unforgettable Pope to the See of Peter, I too have come on pilgrimage to entrust to the Mother of God two important ecclesial initiatives: the Year of Faith, which will begin in a week, on 11 October, on the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, and the Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which I have convened this October with the theme “The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith”.

 "We must return to God, so that man 
may return to being man" Pope Benedict XVI

This Shrine of Loretto, built around Mary's earthly home, preserves the memory of the moment when an angel of Lord came to Mary with     the great announcement of the Incarnation, and she gave her reply. This home is a physical, tangible witness to the greatest event in our history, the Incarnation; the Word became flesh and Mary, the handmaid of the Lord, is the privileged channel through which God came to dwell among us!"
Here at Loreto fifty years ago, Blessed John XXIII issued an invitation to contemplate this mystery, to “reflect on that union of heaven and earth, which is the purpose of the Incarnation and Redemption”, and he went on to affirm that the aim of the Council itself was to spread ever wider the beneficent impact of the Incarnation and Redemption on all spheres of life (cf. AAS 54 [1962], 724). This invitation resounds today with particular urgency. In the present crisis affecting not only the economy but also many sectors of society, the Incarnation of the Son of God speaks to us of how important man is to God, and God to man. Without God, man ultimately chooses selfishness over solidarity and love, material things over values, having over being. We must return to God, so that man may return to being man.

With God, even in difficult times or moments of crisis, there is always a horizon of hope: the Incarnation tells us that we are never alone, that God has come to humanity and that he accompanies us!
Dear brothers and sisters, on this pilgrimage in the footsteps of Blessed John XXIII – and which comes, providentially, on the day in which the Church remembers Saint Francis of Assisi, a veritable “living Gospel” – I wish to entrust to the Most Holy Mother of God all the difficulties affecting our world as it seeks serenity and peace, the problems of the many families who look anxiously to the future, the aspirations of young people at the start of their lives, the suffering of those awaiting signs or decisions of solidarity and love. I also wish to place in the hands of the Mother of God this special time of grace for the Church, now opening up before us. Mother of the “yes”, you who heard Jesus, speak to us of him; tell us of your journey, that we may follow him on the path of faith; help us to proclaim him, that each person may welcome him and become the dwelling place of God. Amen! Click for entire text of the Pope's Homily....


September 23, 2012

St. Pio & Fatima -Rare Film Footage of St. Pio!

St. Pio and the Message Fatima
The Pilgrim Virgin goes to San Giovanni Rotondo  

On July 27, 1959 Padre Pio announced the beginning of the novena "for the visit the Heavenly Mother wants to make" and he exhorted to prepare for it with Christian renewal. Every evening he reminded them of the joy, the good fortune, the "very special grace" of this visit and the obligation of a worthy welcome above all with the practice of some virtues During the morning of August 6, the Padre was able to go down to the church. He stopped in front of the statue of our Lady — but had to sit down because he was exhausted and he gave her a gold rosary. The statue was lowered before his face and he was able to kiss her. It was a most affectionate gesture. Between two and three in the afternoon of August 6 the helicopter carrying the statue of our Lady rose from the terrace of the Home for Relief of Suffering headed for Sicily. It did three turns over the crowd gathered on the square in front of the church and flew away. From a window Padre Pio watched the helicopter fly away with eyes filled with tears. To our Lady in flight Padre Pio lamented with a confidence that was all his own: "My Lady, my Mother, you came to Italy and I got sick, now you are going away and you leave me still ill." 

The helicopter that flew the Pilgrim Virgin to St. Padre Pio in 1959
There is an unknown story behind the story told by the priest in the helicopter Msgr. Giovanni Strazzacappa who had founded the Blue Army in Italy. He stated that the pilot had suddenly swirled the machine around. In surprise, he asked what was happening. The pilot, himself surprised, said he just felt "compelled" to turn around. Then to the amazement of both, they saw St. Padre Pio come to the window with the help of his friars and cry out to Our Lady.  As long as he lived St. Pio repeated. "In that very instant I felt a sort of shudder in my bones which cured me immediately." His Spiritual Father confirmed it saying: "In a moment the Padre felt a mysterious force in his body and said to his confreres: 'I am healed Our Lady of Fatima has healed me!'." He was healthy and strong as never before in his life.

Padre Pio later wrote,” Thank the Virgin of Fatima for me. On the very day She left here, I felt well again. “ Three days later, he was celebrating Mass.   When St. Pio was told about an article that appeared in Foggia, which asked why Our Lady of Fatima had gone to San Giovanni Rotondo and not the shrine of Saint Michael at Monte Sant'Angelo, Padre Pio explained with enchanting simplicity: "Our Lady came here because she wanted to cure Padre Pio."
     St. Pio Spiritual Father 
to Blue Army Members
Not many people realize that St.. Padre Pio had provided a way that those after his death could still become his spiritual children? They could do so in just one way: they could make the Blue Army pledge (the basic requests of Our Lady: Morning Offering, Scapular and Rosary).    He did this in gratitude for the great favor he recieved through the Pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima,  St. Pio had accepted all who make and keep the Blue Army pledge as his spiritual children (for whom he will wait at the gates of Heaven "until all have entered").  Provided  of course, that they live the message of Our Lady and they remain good! St. Pio also sent a crucifix to the Bishop of Fatima (the Most Rev. John Venancio) who was the international spiritual head of the Blue Army at the time.  When asked one day whether it was a good thing to belong to the Blue Army, St. Pio answered: "Could you do anything better?"

Quotes of Padre Pio  on His Spiritual Children:

 'I love my Spiritual Children as much as my own soul and even more.'

 'Once I take a soul on, I also take on their entire family as my spiritual children.'

 'To my Spiritual Children, my prayers for you will never be lacking.'

 'If one of my spiritual children ever goes astray, I shall leave my flock and seek him out.' 

A Gruff but 
Dedicated Confessor
St. Pio's conformity to the Paschal Mystery of His Lord necessarily embraced a commitment to the ministry of reconciliation, its fruit. Toward that end he dedicated many hours of the day to hearing confessions, both in the mornings and the afternoon. Some days he spent up to fourteen hours in the confessional.  In accordance with the custom of the time he heard men's confessions and women's confessions separately - the men in the sacristy and the women in the confessional.
It was not possible to lie to him during a confession, for he saw what lay within people's  hearts. Often, when sinners lacked the courage to confess properly, St. Pio listed their sins during the confession. He also advised weekly confession. "Confession is the soul's bath. You must go at least once a week. I do not want souls to stay away from confession more than a week. Even a clean and unoccupied room gathers dust; return after a week and you will see that it needs dusting again!"

St. Pio  and Bl. Jacinta 
on Christian Modesty

Modesty in actions, words and dress was mentioned by  Bl. Jacinta of Fatima as well as St. Pio. While Jacinta was in the hospital during her last illness she was very saddened by the worldliness of the visitors, the women dressed in fashionable clothes, often with low-cut dresses.  "What is it all for?" she asked Mother Godinho (her guardian ).  

"If they only knew what eternity is." "the sins which bring most souls to hell are the sins of the flesh.  

 Certain fashions are going to be introduced which will offend Our Lord very much... the Church has no fashions; Our Lord is always the same..."  
Catholic Modesty.com-Bl. Jacinta

Padre Pio wouldn't tolerate low-necked dresses or short, tight skirts, and he forbade his spiritual daughters to wear transparent stockings. Each year his severity increased.  He stubbornly dismissed them from his confessional, even before they set foot inside, if he judged them to be improperly dressed.  On some mornings he drove away one after another, until he ended up hearing very few confessions.  His brothers observed these drastic purges with a certain uneasiness and decided to fasten a sign on the church door; "By Padre Pio's explicit wish, women must enter the confessional wearing skirts  AT LEAST 8 INCHES BELOW THE KNEE.  IT IS FORBIDDEN TO BORROW LONGER DRESSES IN CHURCH AND TO WEAR THEM TO CONFESSION."

Sometimes when Padre Pio refused to absolve his penitents and closed the small confessional door in their faces, the people would reproach him asking why he acted this way.  "Don't you know," he asked, "what pain it costs me to shut the door on anyone?  The Lord has forced me to do so.  I do not call anyone, nor do I refuse anyone either.  There is someone else who calls and refuses them.  I am His useless tool. 

The Canonization of Padre Pio gives us the opportunity to reflect on the severity of the Saint who put this poster on the door of his church: 

 "The Church is the house of God.  It is forbidden for men to enter with bare arms or in shorts.  It is forbidden for women to enter in trousers, without a veil on their head, in short clothing, low necklines, sleeveless or immodest dresses." Excerpts from:  Catholic Modesty.com St Pio

St. Pio and the Rosary
 Our Lady of Fatima asked especially for the prayer of the Rosary. And who could count the hours Padre Pio spent in prayer for the conversion and salvation of sinners? And who more than he held the rosary in his hand, night and day, filling all the free moments of the day with the most devout recital of the Rosary? And with how much loving insistence did he not recommend the Rosary to everyone as a means of salvation! 

"Love our Lady, make others love her. Always say your Rosary and say it well. Satan always tries to destroy  this prayer, but he will never succeed. It is the prayer of her who triumphs over everything and everyone."

One day one of his penitents said to him: "Padre, today they say the Rosary is out of date, that it is no longer in fashion. It is no longer said in many churches." He replied: "Let us do what our fathers did and all will be well with us." "But Satan rules the world."  St.  Pio replied: "Because they make him rule; can a spirit rule by itself if it is not united to the human will? We could not have been born in a more depraved world. The one who prays a lot saves himself. The one who prays little is in danger. The one who does not pray loses his soul."

"From these stories let us make a holy resolution to grow always in the devotion to the Immaculate Heart and with a generous reply to the message of Fatima, reciting fervently the Rosary every day, praying and offering our sufferings for the conversion of sinners, receiving Communion on the first Saturdays of the month in the hope that the consoling words will come true for us: "I promise salvation to all those who practice devotion to my Immaculate Heart. These souls will be most dear to God, and like flowers I will place them before his throne."  Like this we can even look to the future of the Church and humanity with serenity, trustful in the prophetic word of Mary who in her third apparition of 13 July 1917 announced: "In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph."   
from Padre Pio and the Immaculate Heart of Mary 
by Most Rev. Paola Carta, Bishop Emeritus of Foggia

Padre Pio - Rare Film Footage  

Uploaded by on Dec 27, 2010  

Filmed at Our Lady of Grace Capuchin Friary which is located in the Gargano Mountains at San Giovanni Rotondo. At times there is an atmosphere of playfulness redolent of the Fioretti of St Francis. At the end, they are obviously teasing him about the camera and he hits the cameraman with his cincture. We see him in the refectory and in the Church, and there are scenes of his brothers dealing with the massive postbag which he generated. Starting at 4'23" there is some footage of Padre Pio as celebrant at Tridentine Latin Mass.

A Prayer for Trust and Confidence 
in God's Mercy
 by St. Pio of Pietrelcina
 O Lord, we ask for a boundless confidence and trust in Your divine mercy, and the courage to accept the crosses and sufferings which bring immense goodness to our souls and that of Your Church. Help us to love You  with a pure and contrite heart, and to humble ourselves beneath Your cross, as we climb the mountain of holiness,  carrying our cross that leads to heavenly glory.
May we receive You with great faith and love in Holy Communion, and allow You to act in us as You desire for your greater glory. O Jesus, most adorable Heart  and eternal fountain of Divine Love, may our prayer find favor before the Divine Majesty of Your heavenly Father.

A Blessing Prayer 
 by Saint Pio of Pietrelcina

May Jesus comfort you
     in all your afflictions.
     May He sustain you in dangers,
     watch over you always with His grace,
     and indicate the safe path
     that leads to eternal salvation.
     And may He render you always
     dearer to His Divine Heart
     and always more worthy of Paradise.

St Padre Pio remember us from your eternal glory as you promised!  Do not forget us your spiritual sons and daughters in our hours of trial. Defend us from the snares of the enemy seeking our ruin. Continue your prayers for us that after passing through the darkness and trials of this life, we may arrive safely at the heavenly gates and enter with you the joy of beholding our God face to face for all eternity. Amen 

Beloved St. Pio, Ora pro nobis!

August 19, 2012

Fatima Apparitions in August---"I say to you: unless you shall do penance, you shall all likewise perish." Luke 13:3

Fr. John DeMarchi

The most widely cited descriptions of the events reported at Fatima are taken from the writings of Fr. John John De Marchi, an Italian Catholic priest and researcher.  Fr. De Marchi spent seven years in Fátima, from 1943 to 1950, conducting original research and interviewing the principals at undisturbed length. He later helped build the Consolata Seminary in Fatima and his last years were devoted to meeting pilgrims that he met from all over the world during his years he spent in his mission work for Ethopia.

He wrote many books on Fatima most notable The True Story of Fatima.
 The Following details on the apparition of Our Lady at Vihinos on August 19th are taken from his writings and the Memoirs of Sr. Lucia; Fatima in Lucia's own Words

The Apparitions of Our Lady 
at Fatima in August

The 13th day of August had dawned and everyone  wanted to see and question the children, to recommend their petitions to them, so that we could transmit them to the most Holy Virgin… In the midst of all this commotion, an order came from the Administrator, telling them to go to their aunt's house, where the administrator  was waiting… When they arrived, he interrogated them there,wand made fresh attempts to force them to reveal the secret and to promise that we would not go back to the Cova da Iria… Finally in desperation he had the children arrested and taken to jail.  
Meanwhile, in the Cova at noon on the 13th the characteristic external signs of the Apparition appeared for the benefit of the crowd, the greatest crowd to that time. After they ceased the crowd dispersed, as yet unaware of the trickery of the government taking the children.

While in prison, Jacinta wept bitterly, for she was so homesick for her mother and all the family. Francisco tried to cheer her saying, "Even if we never see our mother again, let's be patient! We can offer it for the conversion of sinners. The worst thing would be if Our Lady never came back again! That is what hurts me most. But I offer this as well for sinners…" The children where once again heroic in their convictions not to betray the secrets that were given to them by the Lady.  The administrator tried bribes, threats of death and locking them in a cell with other "criminals" in order to get them to recant their story. It was to no avail. Despite their ages, their belief in the Lady and their courage was unshakeable.

© Original Drawing for Speramus-We Hope
Their cell mates visibly moved at the childrens plight offered to pray the rosary with them as the pinned a medal of Our Lady to the prison wall.

The children were returned to the doorsteps of the parish rectory on the 15th of August. On Sunday the 19th of August. They were with the sheep in a place called Valinhos. It  was located on the side of the same hillock opposite Aljustrel where the angel  had appeared twice to them in 1916.  Valinhos was  a little farther north and closer to thier home. Around 4pm they felt something supernatural approaching them in the breeze that enveloped them. Moments later, they saw Our Lady.

 August 19 
the Apparition at Valinhos

The Shrine built where Our Lady appeared August 19th.
"What do you want of me?" Lucia asked again

"I want you to continue going to the Cova da Iria on the 13th, and to continue praying the Rosary every day. In the last month, I will perform a miracle so that all may believe."
"What do you want done with the money that the people leave in the Cova da Iria?"

I want you to have two ardors [litters to carry statues] made, for the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. I want you and Jacinta to carry one of them with two other girls. You will both dress in white. And then I want Francisco, with three boys helping him, to carry the other one. The boys, too, will be dressed in white. What is left over will help towards the construction of a chapel that is to be built"

I would like to ask you to cure some sick persons," Lucia continued.
Some I will cure during the year." our Lady replied

Then, looking very sad, she  Lady said: "Pray, pray very much, and make sacrifices for sinners; for many souls go to Hell, because there are none to sacrifice themselves and to pray for them."

Having said that she departed as she had on the other occasions rising slowly towards the East.


"Sacrifice for sinners and repeat many times, especially when you make a sacrifice: O my Jesus, this is out of love for you, for the conversion of sinners and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary!"  

© Original Drawing for Speramus-We Hope

The vision of hell in July by now had thoroughly absorbed the children with  Mary's plea for prayer and penance. They did everything they could to answer it. They prayed for hours while lying prostrate on the ground and went as long as they could without drinking, in the burning heat of the Portuguese summer. They also went without food, as a sacrifice for sinners, to save them from hell, the vision of which had so profoundly effected them. They even knotted some pieces of old rope around their waists as a form of mortification, not removing them day or night. 

In September Our Lady had to tell them that God did not want them to wear the rope at night.The rope was worn around the waist and It was one of the most painful mortifications the children offered for the conversion of sinners. Also, they did not eat snacks and abstained from drinking water. But the greatest sacrifices were the sacrifices the mission of Our Lady demanded: the humiliations, curiosity, annoyance of the people, unending visits, questions, persecutions, ridicule, and even prison. 

Photo taken after the July apparition the Children had seen a vision of Hell!

May these Blessed Children from Heaven intercede for us who have  sinned  much to obtain for us a part of their spirit of penance. Our eternity depends on it!  " I say to you: but unless you shall do penance, you shall all likewise perish."   Luke 13:3

Francisco the Contemplative


 The Apparition at Valinhos was a  joy for Francisco. He had been tormented by the fear that she would never return because they missed their appointed time with Our Lady on the 13th. Lucia said in her writings that Francisco told her: "Most likely, she, (Our Lady) didn't appear on the 13th, so as to avoid going to the Administrator's house, maybe because he is such a bad man."

July 23, 2012

Adeamus ad Thronum Gratciae-Our Lady Mother of Divine Grace

Mater Divinae Gratiae
Mother of Divine Grace  

This Carmelite Feast Day, on July 23, concludes the octave of the Solemnity of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. We honor Mary as Our Lady, Mother of Divine Grace since she is the Mother of the Son of God, the Author of all Grace.

Holy Mary, Virgin
Mother of Divine Grace

 Adeamus ad Thronum Gratciae

    "Let us proceed to and approach the throne of grace" 
 (Hebrews 4)

'The Blessed Virgin Mary was eternally predestined, in the context of the Incarnation of the divine Word, to be the Mother of God. As decreed by divine Providence, she served on earth as the loving Mother of the divine Redeemer, His associate, uniquely generous, and the Lord's humble servant. She conceived, bore, and nourished Christ; presented Him to the Father in the Temple; and was united with Him in His suffering as He died on the cross. In a completely unparalleled way she cooperated, by her obedience, faith, hope and burning charity, with our Savior's work of restoring supernatural life to souls. For this reason she is Mother to us all in the order of grace'  (Lumen Gentium, the Constitution on the Church, 61).

Prayer to Our Lady Mother of Grace
by Rev. Lawrence G. Lovasik, S.V.D.

Mary, Mother of God, I believe that divine grace is absolutely necessary for the performing of any act that is meritorious for eternal life. I am grateful to your divine Son for this priceless gift of God, for by His Passion and death He not only reinstated us in the friendship of His heavenly Father, but also purchased for us all the graces we stand in need of to attain eternal life.   

I also believe that grace is a free gift of God, and I have no claim to it except as a member of His holy Church, which is the mystical body of Christ. Whoever abides in this Church will bring forth much salutary fruit; whereas they who willingly separate themselves from it must wither away spiritually. How strongly Jesus reminded me of this: "As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it remain on the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches" (John 15, 4).

Help me to be deeply grateful for God's generosity toward me. I have been especially blessed as a Catholic, for God has given me graces which He has not given to everyone else. The Catholic Church the Gospels, the sacraments, the Mother of Divine Grace as my advocate—these are among the special blessings with which I am favored. I know that much will be required from those to whom much is given. Help me to make good use of the graces given me by God. May my faith influence my conduct. May the instructions I receive increase the love of God in me and strengthen my determination to serve Him with greater zeal. May I derive all the beneficial results the holy sacraments are to produce in my soul.

Mary, My Mother, I realize that I have not always corresponded faithfully with these graces. I will not be discouraged, but rather go with confidence to you, the throne of grace. Even though my past sinfulness may have made me unworthy to appear before God, I trust that you will appeal to God in my behalf as the Mother of Divine Grace. Through your prayers you will obtain forgiveness for my past negligence. You will obtain for me grace to be faithful to God during the rest of my life.

Above all, I beg of you to secure for me in the our of death the grace of final perseverance: that triumphant grace which crowns the measure of God's rifts here below and which is followed by the possession of God in heaven.....For  Prayer