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I confess to Almighty God, to the blessed Mary ever Virgin, to blessed Michael the Archangel, to Blessed John the Baptist, to the holy apostles Peter and Paul, and to all the Saints, that I have sinned exceedingly, in thought word, and deed, through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault. Therefore I beseech blessed Virgin Mary ever Virgin, blessed Michael the Archangel, Blessed John the Baptist, the holy apostles Peter and Paul, and all the saints, to pray to the Lord our God for me.
May the Almighty God have mercy on me, forgive me my sins, and bring me to everlasting life. Amen.
May the Almighty and merciful Lord grant me pardon, absolution, and remission of all my sins. Amen.
This is a beautiful prayer. In it we can imagine that we are permitted to enter heaven. What do we see there? God, the Blessed Virgin, the thousands of angels, the apostles, all the saints, martyrs, confessors, doctors, and virgins. They cease singing God's praises, as we enter, and fix their eyes upon us. Our guardian angel conducts us before the great throne of God, and we kneel down in the presence of the whole court of heaven, to acknowledge our sins and faults, while all listen attentively. Touched by so sublime a sight and the thought of having offended God of so much glory, we begin our accusation of ourselves. We fix our eyes first upon God, and say: "I confess," accuse myself "to Almighty God." Then we look upon the rest of the blessed, and say: "to the blessed Virgin Mary ever Virgin," etc. Thus we call the whole court of heaven to witness of the fact that we "have sinned," not lightly, but "exceedingly," very greatly, and in three ways: "In thought," by thinking of sinful and forbidden; "in word," by lies, curses, slanders, etc; "in deed, by every bad action that we have committed; and each of us can say: I have done all this "through my fault," willingly and deliberately; and it was not a small fault, but an exceeding great fault, because God was helping me by His grace to overcome temptations and avoid bad thoughts, words, and actions, and I would not accept His help, but willingly did what was wrong. What am I to do, therefore? Will God pardon all these offenses if I alone ask Him, seeing that all the angels and saints know that I have thus offended Him? What shall I do? I will ask them to help me by their prayers, and beg God's pardon for me. He may gran their prayers, especially those of the Blessed Mother an of the saints, when He would not grant mine. "Therefore I beseech the Blessed Mary ever Virgin," etc, "to pray to the Lord our God for me."
When we kneel down to say the Confiteor, if we could imagine what I have described to take place, how well we should say it! With what attention, respect, and sorrow we should ask the prayers of the saints! When we say it in the presence of God, and of the whole court of heaven, though we are not in heaven and cannot see God. The angels and saints do hear us and will pray for us. When, therefore, your are saying the Confiteor, imagine that you see all I have described, and you will never say it badly.
Source: "The Baltimore Catechism," Imprimatur 1891
Narcissus was an old man when he was made Bishop of Jerusalem, but he was still an excellent Bishop. Everyone admired his virtues-everyone except the wicked. Three of these enemies of the Saint accused him of a terrible crime. One said: "May I die by fire if it is not true!" The second said: "May I be wasted away by leprosy if it is not true!" The third said: "May I be struck blind if it is not true." Yet no one believed there lie. The people had seen Narcissus' virtues crowned with miracles too many times to believe he could have committed such a terrible sin. Although no one believed the wicked story, St. Narcissus used it as an excuse to go off to live in the desert. His whole trust was in God, whom he has served so lovingly. And God saw to it that the story of those three men was shown to be absolutely false! Narcissus returned to be Bishop of Jerusalem, to the immense joy of his people. Although he was even older, he seemed to be more zealous than ever, too, for a few years. Then he became too old to carry on, and begged God to send him a Bishop to help out. Our Lord sent him another Saint, Alexander of Cappadocia. In great love and zeal, they ruled together, and Narcissus lived to be over one hundred sixteen years old.
God never abandons those who trust in Him. When He permits me to go through some trouble, I will not despair. I will pray, instead, and keep calm. He has ways to defend me.
Source; Saints for young People for Every Day of the Year.
Coloring Picture can be found below.
With the coming of Advent, only four weeks away, Holy Mother Church brings to our mind the end of the world as we prepare for the coming of Christ once again. We thought we would share a book a little at a time called, "Come The End." It is instructions for young people on the last things.
IN ALL THY WORKS remember thy last end, and thou shalt never sin" is the advice of Sacred Scripture (Ecclesiasticus 7, 40). This present book is written to help you remember your last end, and hence to help you live a better life. It is written mainly for you young people, teen-age boys and girls, young men and young women, who I am sure would welcome some simple thoughts on this important subject of the last things.
The things I say in this book are the age-old teachings of the Church. It is my aim to present these teachings in simple language which you can easily understand. Much has been written about this subject, but not much has been written specially for young people. This book is for you young people. Surely if you listen to the advice of Sacred Scripture and remember your last end, you will find it easier to keep out of sin and consequently be more sure of saving your souls. But just how can you remember your last end if you do not know very much about it? This little book will explain many things about the last things that you no doubt have often wondered about.
Do not be upset if all your doubts are not settled by reading this book. Many things about the life after death are shrouded in mystery and darkness. God wants us to rely on faith. He has seen fit to leave us in the dark about many things of the next life. God has, however, revealed some facts about the next world. These truths are both terrifying and consoling, and when thought about seriously help us to keep God's law. I want to pass on to you these truths, lest you forget your last end and run the risk of meeting death unprepared.
You older people will also find this book useful. Although written for the purpose of giving teen-agers and other young people clear and correct views on the last things, it will serve equally well for older readers who may wish to refresh their knowledge on the subject, or even at this late hour, to learn some of these truths for the first time.
In writing this book I relied heavily upon the Manuale Theologiae Dogmaticae of J. M. Herve as my guide and authority. I am in debted also to the Theologiae Dogmaticae Compendium of H . Hurter, S.J., to A Companion to Scripture Studies by John E. Steinmueller, to the text and notes of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine revision of the New Testament, to the Catechism of the Council of Trent, to A Companion to The Summa by Walter Farrell, O. P., and to various other works. The doctrine contained in this present book is, of course, to be found largely in the works of St. Thomas Aquinas, to whom we all owe acknowledgement and thanks.
May this little book be of service to your soul. May it help you live a better life. And may we all meet in the next world as fellow citizens with the saints to enjoy our God, who has prepared such glorious things for those who love Him. Come, Lord Jesus!
WE ARE ALL interested in the next world. We ought to be. It concerns each one of us. It is moreover very mysterious. A dark cloud hangs over that region beyond the grave. There are many things in this present life that are baffling enough, but when we begin to ponder the life after death, we are thrice bewildered.
None of us can escape death. Each one of us will have to enter the mysterious world of the great beyond. Death and what follows must then be of vital and personal concern to each one of us.
Death is the entrance into the next world. Death is the separation of soul and body, the disintegration or coming apart of a human being in such a way that the visible part of man, the body, lies helpless and dead, while the spiritual part of man, the thinking, knowing, feeling, conscious soul passes on, still alive, into the shadows of life's night.
How often we have paid our respects to the departed! You probably have stood before a
casket and gazed thoughtfully on a face of death. A face that once was lit by a human smile, now wears a mask of death. Those features, once so supple and vibrant, are now cold and rigid as if carved from eternal rock. A face that once responded to our every word and emotion now lies there motionless and cold. If we touch the immobile features, a cold chill runs through our veins. We stand in the presence of death.
No one doubts the reality of death. It is a fact so certain as to convince one sceptical of almost everything else. A scoffer might reject a life after death, might even question the reality of this present life, but in the presence of death he can do little else but admit it .
It is Catholic doctrine that in death the human body and soul are separated. As long as both are united, the person lives. As soon as they are separated, the person is dead. The Moment of Death Priests and medical men rightly wonder at what precise moment the soul leaves the body. It is difficult to say. Motion is a pretty sure sign of life. Putrefaction or decay is a sure sign of death. But in between evident motion and putrefaction there may be quite a span of time in which actual and complete death is reasonably doubtful.
A person whose heart has ceased to beat and whose breath can no longer be discerned is apparently dead. There are the recognized signs of death: lack of pulse, no breath, dilation of the pupils, no reflex action when the eyeball is touched. The physician may pronounce him dead. No means at present known to science can revive him. He will before long be actually dead. But in the meantime the soul may still be lingering in the body. That is why a priest called to a Catholic seemingly dead will give conditional absolution and conditional Extreme Unction. If the person is not yet fully dead and if, before losing consciousness, he has been rightly disposed, the sacraments will aid him. If death has already taken place, the sacraments cannot touch the soul which is already far off in eternity, beyond the reach of the sacraments, which are for wayfarers on earth.
A priest might administer the sacraments conditionally to one apparently dead a half hour after he seemed to die, or even two hours after, if death was sudden. When one wastes away by sickness, actual death probably comes soon after apparent death. But when a man, say, in vigorous and robust condition is suddenly knocked down in an accident, the soul may linger on in his body for quite some time.
Death is an absolute thing. A person is either alive or dead. There is no such thing as being half-dead. However, we can think of a person dying by inches, so to speak. In much the same way as we think of life departing from an amputated arm or leg, so we can conceive of life as receding from the extremities of the body, while lingering still in its more vital parts.
Death is the most important event in the life of a Christian. For as we die, so we will remain forever. As long as body and soul are together we can always change one way or the other. We can fall into sin, or repent. We can get better or worse. Death, however, falls with a terrific finality. It fixes us forever in the condition of soul which we happen to be in at that all - important moment.
No wonder then that the Church has us say in the Hail Mary: "Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death." If we obtain Mary's help to live a good life now, we will have less reason to fear the hour of death; for as we live, so we shall die.
As long as we are alive and in the state of sanctifying grace, we gain merit by every good action that we perform, even by the ordinary daily actions of life that do not seem to be very important. But death stops all that. Merit ends at death. And as we have lived here on earth, so we will be rewarded. The time of work is over. The night has come in which no man can work. The separated soul leaves its companion, the body. It is immediately judged and assigned to its proper place. But just what can it do or move?
As a matter of fact, it can do all those things, because the soul is a spirit, and a spirit has understanding and will.
The body is, after all, a kind of burden. A spirit does very well without a body. God the Father has no body. Yet He is perfection itself. The Holy Spirit guides and sanctifies the Church without employing a body. The angels have no bodies. But we human beings do have bodies. Our bodies are meant to be united to our souls. And after the resurrection our bodies will be reunited with our souls. Man, since he is made up of body and soul, is incomplete without the body. But even so, the soul as a spirit can live without the body, as it actually does for the interval—who knows how long it will be? — between death and the final resurrection.
The Soul After Death
The separated soul knows what it learned when in the body; it knows also what God chooses to let it know after death. It can communicate with other separated souls in the same way as angels communicate with one another. The separated soul does not know everything. But it can know facts about people living on earth, either by speaking with other souls lately come from earth, or by speaking with angels, or even by listening to the voice of God.
The separated soul will never cease to be. Strictly speaking, God could annihilate a soul. He could make it cease to be, just as he once made it begin to be. But He does not. Once He has created a soul, He keeps it in existence forever. God Himself never had a beginning, and He will never have an end. We have had a beginning at some definite point in time; but once put in existence, we continue on without end.
Death which seems such a final thing to us is not final at all. It is but one episode in our complete life. In death, as in life and as in eternity, the soul lives on. Once in existence it stays in existence forever. Death then has reference to the body. It is the body that is left behind cold and helpless. The soul continues to live on. Even the body is destined for resurrection. Death, then, is the temporary separation of body and soul, while the soul maintains its undying life without the body for a time. All men will die. Death is a punishment for sin. It is the common lot of all men to die. According to God's original plan, man was to live here on earth for a time and was then to be taken alive into heaven. Freedom from death was one of the special gifts given to our first parents. By their sin they lost this privilege for themselves. Adam lost this privilege for all his descendants. Now we must die the death.
There are two interesting characters in the Bible who were taken to heaven alive, Enoch and Elias. Some of the Fathers of the Church hold that these two men will never die. Others, however, think that they will die at the end of the world. As for all the rest of us, we are certain that we shall all die. We cannot expect to be translated to paradise like Enoch, or to be taken up in a fiery chariot like Elias. It is certain that we will die.
But what remains most uncertain is the time of our death. Our Lord says that death will come like a thief in the night. The only wise way to live, then, is to be ready always to die. And as we live, so we shall die. As we die, so we shall remain forever. Holy Mary, Mother of God pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.
When we live in a pagan atmosphere, we tend to imitate the ways of pagans. We get paganistic in our own outlook. This is particularly true regarding the subject of death. People who have no correct view of death, who have no real faith in the reality of life after death, take the attitude that death is something gruesome, something to be ignored as long as possible. When it must be met, let it be met, but let us cloak its reality in a mantle of make-believe. So the pagans think, and so they act. We have to be on our guard lest we think as they think.
First of all, death, though a profoundly moving thing, is not properly gruesome. It is not something to run away from or even just ignore. Rather it is a beautiful and consoling subject on which to meditate. We ought to think often about death. Our concern is not to forget it , but to keep it continually in mind. If we forget about death, we will live for the present only, indulging in all the excesses to which human nature is prone. But if we are constantly mindful of death, we will live the present well so asto enjoy the future all the more. We ought by all means to cure ourselves of the "gruesome fear" attitude toward death, and develop the "wholesome-fear" attitude towards it.
The wild, neurotic fear of graveyards and ghosts is a state of mind unworthy of a stable personality, and especially unworthy of a good Christian who places his trust in God. A cringing superstitious fear of death is foolish. We should, however, fear death to the extent that we have reason to fear that, at the hour of death, we might not be found worthy of heaven.
Therefore, we will see to it that our lives become better and that our salvation is consequently rendered more secure. A fear that would make us run from death is bad. A fear that makes us keep God's law and that enables us to meet and face death with courage is good.
Attitudes Toward Death
The exaggerated grief of persons without faith, who without restraint wail at the supposedly utter and final loss of a dear one, is most un-Christian. Why be hysterical at the loss of one who is not lost at all, but safe in the arms of God? Why feel that we have lost one forever, when as a matter of fact the parting is but temporary? Excessive grief comes from lack of faith in the life after death.
Or consider the stoic, rational sort of pagan, who sees no need to be sad, when sadness cannot alter the fate of one who has ceased to be. Total lack of grief also bespeaks a pagan mind. Christian sorrow at the passing of a dear one lies between these two extremes. We are sad at the temporary loss of one we love. We are borne up by the faith that we will meet again. We remain bound together by mutual ties of love and affection. Our sorrow is tempered by joy; our joy is tinged with sorrow.
Often at a wedding the bride's mother cries. She is both glad and sad. She rejoices that her daughter is entering the happy state of matrimony. She is sad to lose her child. Death is
something like that. It is a partial loss, a partial gain.
Pagans cloak over the reality of death. They try to make it seem other than it really is. With a kind of irrational logic they act as if the person were only sleeping, whereas they believe he is dead with the finality of annihilation. They dress up a corpse in make-believe. In nice-sounding language they carefully avoid all mention of or reference to death. Yet they believe in no after-life. They speak of sleep, but they mean death.
By striking contrast, we Catholics speak of death, but we mean sleep. We are not nearly so concerned with covering up the fact of death. We openly admit that the person is dead, yet we firmly believe that the soul lives on and is destined to be reunited with the body. Every time we gaze on the face of a departed brother, we can borrow the words of our Lord to the effect that this person is not dead but sleeping, as once our Lord said of the girl in the gospel, "The girl is asleep, not dead" (Mark 5, 40).
The very word "cemetery" means a sleeping place or dormitory, as if the departed were merely resting for a night. The dawn of resurrection will dispel this night of death. Our dear departed are, in fact, merely resting until the resurrection. Quite aptly do we use the word cemetery to designate their resting place. It was, and still is, a practice of the Church to bury persons facing the East, where the sun rises. They are, as it were, in position to greet Christ the Orient, Christ the Rising Sun, when He breaks forth over the hills on resurrection morn. As the body of the deceased is laid in the earth, the canticle Benedictus is sung. The final words of that inspired poem speak of Christ rising from on high to shine upon those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.
How can we be prostrate with excessive grief, or yet be cold and unmoved, when we lovingly lay to rest our departed brother? For we tenderly await with him the splendor of Christ's coming when we will all be reunited in God's own home where shines perpetual light. "Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let the perpetual light shine upon him."
Source: Come The End, Imprimatur 1951
Richard was a Welshman who lived in the time of Queen Elizabeth I, ruler of England and Wales, too. Because most of the people in wales were Catholic, Blessed Richard absolutely refused. He was brought to a non-Catholic Church by force, but he upset the preacher's whole sermon by clanking his chains loudly! Furious, the officials put him in the stocks for eight hours, and many came to abuse and insult him.
More time in prison and periods of torture followed. The Queens men wanted him to give them names of other Catholics, but Richard would not. At his trial, men were payed to lie about him, as one of them admitted. The men on the jury were so dishonest that they asked the judge whom he wanted them to condemn! After Blessed Richard was sentenced to death, his wife and baby were brought into court. "Do not imitate your husband," the poor woman was told. In disgust, she bravely snapped, "If you want more blood, you can take my life with my husband's. If you give more money to your witnesses, they will surely find something to say against me, too!"
As blessed Richard was being cruelly martyred, he cried out in terrible agony: "Holy God, what is this?" One of the officials mockingly answered: "An execution for Her Majesty, the Queen." "Jesus, have mercy on me! exclaimed the martyr, and then he was beheaded. The beautiful religious poems Blessed Richard wrote in prison are sill in existence. In them, he begged his countrymen of Wales to be loyal to the Catholic Faith.
If today I suffer a little, I will not complain.
Source; Saints for Young People for Every Day of the Year
The Holy Bible tell us that a very kind and devout man named Tobias had become blind. But in his suffering, he remained as faithful to God as ever. One day, desiring to collect some money that a man owed him, he sent his son, Tobias, off on a long trip to this man's country. As the youth was about to leave, a handsome young man named Azarias offered to go with him as his guide. Young Tobias soon found out what a wonderful companion had had! Azarias saved him from a monstrous fish and brought him to the home of a relative whose daughter, Sara, Tobias married on the advice of Azarias.
Sara was a holy young women who had begged God to give her a husband. Her prayer, too, was answered when young Tobias asked her to be his wife. In the meantime, Azarias went on to collect the money owed to Tobias. When he got back, he and the couple set of towards home. Young Tobias and Azarias went on ahead toward the end of the trip. What joy there was when young Tobias' worried parents saw him arriving! Next, Azarias told his friend to take the gall of the fish and apply it to his fathers eyes. He did so, and Tobias regained his sight! Meanwhile, Sara, the rich beautiful bride of young Tobias arrived with the servants, cattle, camels, and money which was her dowry. For a whole week everyone celebrated the wonderful happiness that had come to Tobias and his family.
The good man and his son were so grateful to the young man, Azarias, that they did not know how they would ever repay him. When they called him aside to ask him to accept half of all they owned, he revealed a tremendous secret to them: "I am the Angel Raphael," he declared, "one of the seven who stand before the Lord!" Tobias and his were filled with fear and fell to the ground. "Peace be with you, and fear not," Said the Archangel. "For when I was with you, I was there by the will of God." He told them that God was pleased with Tobias because he had prayed, done penance and helped so many people. So He had sent St. Raphael to bring him many blessings. "It is time that I return to God." Raphael concluded, and with that he was taken from their sight and they could see him no more.
To make sure that our prayers are heard by God, we should accompany them, as Tobias did, with little sacrifices and acts of charity toward our neighbor.
Source: Saints for Young People for Every Day of the Year
A coloring picture can be found below.
Hilarion was a pagan lad when he left his home in Palestine to school in Egypt. There he learned about the Christian Faith, and soon he was baptized. Hilarion was only about fifteen at this time, but before long, he was off on a visit to the famous St. Anthony in the desert. He wanted to be alone to serve Jesus, whom he had just come to love. Hilarion stayed two months with St. Anthony, but it was not quit enough there for him. Too many people came to St. Anthony for help, in his opinion. So he left and after giving everything he had to the poor, he went into the wilderness to live as a hermit.
Hilarion had to battle many temptations. At times it seemed to him as if none of his prayers were heard at all. Yet he did not let these temptations stop him from praying even harder.
After twenty years in the desert, the holy man worked his first miracle and soon many people began coming to his hut to beg his help. Many a men asked to let them stay with him to learn how to pray and do penance. In his great love of God and souls, the Saint did not refuse. But finally, when he was sixty five, he began going from one country to another trying to find peace and quit. The fame of his miracles of mercy always brought crowds of visitors, however. It was not until a few years before he died at eighty that this great lover of God could be alone with Him.
When I say my prayers I will avoid every willful distraction.
Source; Saints for Young People for Every Day of the Year
Luke was a pagan doctor, a kind man who came to know Our Lord from the great Apostle Paul. After he had become a Christian, he went everywhere with St. Paul and was a great help to him in spreading the Faith. In the Bible this holy convert is called: "Luke, the beloved physician."
St. Luke himself is the author of two books in the Bible: "The Holy Gospel according to St. Luke," and "The Acts of the Apostles." Although he did not know Jesus whole Our Lord was on this earth, he wanted to write about Him for other new converts like himself. So he talked to those who had known Jesus and he wrote down all that they had seen Our Lord do and heard Him say. It is believed that St. Luke learned from the Blessed Virgin Mary herself all about the Angel Gabriel's appearance to her, the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, the flight of the Holy Family into Egypt, and many other facts we read in his Gospel.
Luke also wrote the story of how the Apostles began teaching the message of Jesus after Our Lord went back to Heaven. It is in his book, "The Acts of the Apostles," that we learn how the Church began to grow and spread.
St. Luke is the patron saint of doctors and of painters, too, because it is believed that he painted a beautiful picture of our Blessed Mother.
In his Gospel St. Luke wrote especially of the mercy of God for repentant sinners. Today I will read in it the parable of the Lost Sheep.
Margaret Mary is the famous French nun to whom Our Lord showed his Sacred Heart. As a child, she had a horror of being naughty and she was a healthy, happy little girl who loved the nuns at school. But when she was eleven, she became very sick and it was four years before she was well again. Here father died, and an aunt and her husband had moved into their home. This aunt and her husband made Margaret Mary and her Mother suffer very much. Day after day, the young teenager would hide herself in the garden to cry and pray. What hurt her most was to see her mother being hurt. Yet Margaret Mary grew to love good times and a few years later, she was considering marriage. Her mother wanted her to marry and so did her relatives, especially when she brought beggar children in the garden to try and teach them! But Christ wanted her for his own. Margaret Mary hesitated a while, neither marrying or entering the Convent, but at last she generously gave herself to Jesus as His bride.
In the visitation convent she entered, she was of good example to everyone because of her charity and humility. Often she made others impatient since she was rather slow and clumsy, but she was dear to Jesus, and He began to appear to Sister Margaret Mary to show her to spread devotion to His Sacred Heart. It was a very hard thing to do, because people thought the good Sister really had not seen Our Lord at all. Some were very angry with her for trying to spread the new devotion, and all this brought great suffering to the Saint. Yet she still did her best to carry out Our Lord's wish, and today, this wonderful devotion to the Sacred Heart is practiced all over the world.
Our Lord made a great promise to St. Margaret Mary for those who are devoted to His Most Sacred Heart. Some of these promises are; "I will comfort them in all there afflictions. I will establish peace in their homes. I will bestow abundant blessings on all their undertakings. I will bless every place where a picture of My Heart shall be exposed and honored."
Source; Saints for Young People for Every Day of the Year
A coloring picture of Saint Margaret Mary and the Sacred Heart can be found below.
Sarah has put a new survey on her blog, please hop on over there and take it for us. You can find it here.
By Decree of His Holiness Leo XIII
To thee, O blessed Joseph, do we have recourse in our tribulation, and, having implored the help of thy thrice-holy Spouse, we con- fidently invoke thy patronage also. By that charity wherewith thou wast united to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God, and by that fatherly affection with which thou didst embrace the Child Jesus, we beseech thee and we humbly pray, that thou wouldst look graciously upon the inheritance which Jesus Christ hath purchased by His Blood, and assist us in our needs by thy power and strength. Most watchful guardian of the holy Family, protect the chosen people of Jesus Christ; keep far from us, most loving father, all blight of error and corruption; mercifully assist us from heaven, most mighty defender, in this our conflict with the power of darkness; and, even as of old thou didst rescue the Christ Jesus from the supreme peril of His life, so now defend God's holy Church from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity; keep us one and all under thy continual protection, that we may be supported by thine example and thine assistance, may be enabled to lead a holy life, die a happy death and come at last to the possession of everlasting blessedness in heaven. Amen.
An indulgence of 3 years.
An indulgence of 7 years during the month of October, when said after the recitation of the Rosary. (The Raccolta. No. 438)
INSTRUCTION ON THE FESTIVAL OF THE HOLY ROSARY.
ST. DOMINIC preached for a long time with untiring zeal against the heresy of the Albigenses, but few returned to the Church; he, therefore, redoubled his prayers and penitential works, and with special devotion besought the Queen of Heaven to assist him in his labors for the salvation of souls. The Mother of Mercy then appeared to him and taught him the rosary. Strengthened by the high privilege shown him by the Mother of God, he everywhere announced and taught this devotion. In a short time over a hundred thousand heretics were brought back to the bosom of the holy Catholic Church, and the devotion spread rapidly over the whole Christian world. Fraternities were formed and the Supreme Pontiff permitted the Friar Preachers to celebrate the Festival of the Rosary; this was observed with great solemnity. On the 7th of October 1571, the Christians, under the special protection of Mary, the Queen of Heaven, gained a glorious victory over the Turks; the Festival of the Rosary being at that time celebrated at Rome and in the provinces by public processions, in order that by her intercession the Turks might be restrained in their oppressions.
This victory was justly considered as the effect of Mary's intercession, and the holy Pope Pius V. instituted on this day in gratitude a festival which was called "Mary of Victory". This was united by Pope Gregory XIII. with the Festival of the Rosary, and fixed for the first Sunday in October. Finally, on account of another victory gained by Mary's intercession over the Turks in 1715 at Belgrade, Pope Clement XL ordered it to be celebrated by the whole Church, "that the hearts of the faithful might be thereby incited to the greater veneration of the Blessed Virgin, and that the grateful remembrance of the help received from above might never pass away."
What is the rosary?
It is a form of prayer in which there is said the Apostles' Creed, the Glory be to the Father, and fifty times the Hail Mary, with an Our Father before each ten Hail Marys; each decade is followed by a meditation upon one of the mysteries of the redemption. This is the smaller and more common rosary. The larger consists of the Apostles' Creed, of fifteen decades , every decade of ten Hail Marys preceded by an Our Father, and of fifteen meditations on the mysteries of our redemption. It is called the Psalter, because it contains a hundred and fifty Hail Marys as David's psalter contains a hundred and fifty psalms. This prayer is called the rosary, because every Hail Mary is like a flower in the wreath crowning the heavenly Queen, whom the Church calls by the significant title of "Mystical Rose." Every rose has green leaves and sharp thorns besides the flower itself; in the rosary the thorns represent the sorrowful, the green leaves the joyful, and the flower the glorious mysteries of the redemption which are meditated upon while reciting the rosary. The holy Fathers also compare this devotion to a crown, of which they say: "Its twelve diamonds are the twelve articles of the Apostles' Creed, the fifteen Our Fathers so many brilliant golden stars, and one hundred and fifty Hail Marys the roses."
How many parts are there in the rosary"?
Three: the joyful, the sorrowful and the glorious.
I. The joyful' are the first five decades by which we meditate upon the mysteries of the Incarnation and the joy of Mary's heart in her divine Child. This rosary is usually said from Advent until Lent, during which time the Church commemorates the joyful coming of Christ.
II. The sorrowful has also five decades in which are especially represented for meditation the sorrowful mysteries of the passion of Christ. This rosary is .usually said during Lent, because the Church at that time places before us the sufferings of Jesus.
III. The glorious mysteries have likewise five decades, in which we meditate upon the glory of Christ and His blessed Mother. This rosary is said from Easter to Advent, because the Church then presents to us these mysteries for our veneration and meditation.
METHOD OF SAYING THE ROSARY OF OUR BLESSED LADY
THE method consists in raising corresponding affections in the heart during the recital of each decade, such as the devotion of each one may suggest; for example, in the first part, sentiments of joy for the coming of our Redeemer. In the second, of compassion for the sufferings of our Lord, and contrition for our sins, which were the occasion of them. In the third, of thanksgiving for the exaltation and the glory of our Saviour, and His Blessed Mother, hoping through the merits of His passion and her intercession to be made partakers of their glory.
THE JOYFUL MYSTERIES.
Assigned for Mondays and Thursdays throughout the Year, the Sundays in Advent, and after Epiphany till Lent.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, etc.
V. Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
R. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
V. Thou, O Lord, wilt open my lips.
R. And my tongue shall announce thy praise.
V. Incline unto my aid, O God.
R. O Lord, make haste to help me.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son. and to the Holy Ghost.
R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall
be, world without end. Amen.
Alleluia is said at all times, except from Septuagesima till Easter, during which period say: Praise be to thee, O Lord, King of eternal glory.
I. The Incarnation.
Let us contemplate in this mystery, how the angel Gabriel saluted our Blessed Lady with the title full of grace, and declared unto her the Incarnation of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Our Father, once. Hail Mary, ten times.
LET US PRAY!
O Holy Mary, Queen of virgins, through the most high mystery of the Incarnation of thy beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, by which our salvation was so happily begun: obtain for us, through thy intercession, light to be sensible of the greatness of the benefit He hath bestowed on us, in vouchsafing to become our Brother, and thee, (his own beloved Mother) to be our Mother also. Amen.
II. The Visitation.
Let us contemplate in this mystery, how the Blessed Virgin Mary, understanding- from the angel that her cousin, St. Elizabeth, had conceived, went with haste into the mountains of Judea to visit her, and remained with her three months. Our Father, once. Hail Mary, ten times.
LET US PRAY!
O Holy Virgin, most spotless Mirror of humility, by that exceeding charity which moved thee to visit thy holy cousin, St. Elizabeth, obtain for us, through thy intercession, that our hearts being visited by thy most holy Son, and freed from all sin, we may praise and give thanks for ever. Amen.
III. The Birth of our Saviour in Bethlehem.
Let us contemplate in this mystery, how the Blessed Virgin Mary, when the time of her delivery was come, brought forth our Redeemer Jesus Christ at midnight, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for Him inthe inns at Bethlehem. Our Father, once. Hail Mary, ten times.
LET US PRAY!
O most pure Mother of God, through thy virginal and most joyful delivery, whereby thou gavest the world thy only Son our Saviour; we beseech thee to obtain for us, through thy intercession, the grace to lead such pure and holy lives in this world, that we may become worthy to sing without ceasing, both day and night, the mercies of thy Son, and his benefits to us by thee. Amen.
IV. The Offering of our Blessed Lord in the Temple.
Let us contemplate in this mystery, how the Blessed Virgin Mary, on the day of her purification, presented the child Jesus in the Temple, where holy Simeon giving thanks to God, with great devotion received Him into his arms. Our Father, once. Hail Mary, ten times.
LET US PRAY!
O Holy 'Virgin, most admirable mistress and patroness of obedience, who didst present in the Temple the Lord of the Temple: obtain for us, of thy beloved Son, that with holy Simeon and devout Anna, we may praise and glorify Him for ever. Amen.
V. The Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple.
Let us contemplate in this mystery, how the Blessed Virgin Mary, after having lost, without any fault of hers, her beloved Son in Jerusalem, sought Him for the space of three days, and at length found Him the third day in the Temple, in the midst of the doctors, disputing with them, being of the age of twelve years. Our Father once. Hail Mary, ten times.
LET US PRAY!
Most Blessed Virgin, more than martyr in thy sufferings, and yet the comfort of such as are afflicted; by that unspeakable joy wherewith thy soul was ravished at finding thy beloved Son in the Temple, in the midst of the doctors, disputing with them: obtain of
Him that we may so seek Him, and find Him in the holy Catholic Church, as to be never more separated from Him. Amen.
Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope; to thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve; to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears: turn, then, most gracious advocate, thy eyes of mercy towards us, and after this our exile is ended, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus! O clement,O pious, O sweet Virgin Mary.
V. Pray for us, O holy mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
LET US PRAY!
O God, whose only-begotten Son, by His life, death and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life; grant, we beseech thee, that meditating upon these mysteries , in the most holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may both imitate what they contain, and obtain what they promise. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son, Who livest and reignest with Thee and the Holy Ghost, now and forever. Amen.
THE DOLOROUS OR SORROWFUL MYSTERIES.
For Tuesdays and Fridays throughout the Year , and the Sundays in Lent.
I. The Prayer and Bloody Sweat of our Blessed Saviour in the Garden.
Let us contemplate in this mystery, how our Lord Jesus was so afflicted for us in the Garden of Gethsemane, that His body was bathed in a bloody sweat, which ran trickling down in great drops to the ground. Our Father, once. Hail Mary, ten times.
LET US PRAY!
Most holy Virgin, more than martyr, by that ardent prayer which thy beloved Son poured forth unto His Father in the Garden, vouchsafe to intercede for us, that our passions being reduced to the obedience of reason, we may always, and in all things, conform and subject ourselves to the will of God. Amen.
II. The Scourging of our Blessed Lord at the Pillar.
Let us contemplate in this mystery, how our Lord Jesus Christ was most cruelly scourged in Pilate's house, the number of stripes they gave Him (as it was revealed to St. Bridget) being about five thousand. Our Father, once. Hail Mary, ten times.
LET US PRAY!
O Mother of God, overflowing fountain of patience, through those stripes thy only and most beloved Son vouchsafed to suffer for us: obtain of Him for us grace, that we may know how to mortify our rebellious senses, and cut off all occasions of sinning, with that sword of grief, and compassion which pierced thy most tender soul. Amen.
III. The Crowning of our Blessed Saviour "with Thorns.
Let us contemplate in this mystery, how those cruel ministers of Satan plaited a crown of sharp thorns, and most cruelly pressed it on the sacred head of our Lord Jesus Christ. Our Father, once. Hail Mary, ten times.
LET US PRAY!
O Mother of our eternal Prince and King of glory, by those sharp thorns, wherewith His most holy head was pierced, we beseech thee, that, through thy intercession, we may be delivered from all motions of pride, and in the day of judgment, from that confusion
which our sins deserve. Amen.
IV. Jesus carrying His Cross.
Let us contemplate in this mystery, how our Lord Jesus Christ being sentenced to die, bore, with the most amazing patience, the cross, which was laid upon Him for his greater torment and ignominy. Our Father, once. Hail Mary, ten times.
LET US PRAY!
O Holy Virgin, example of patience, by the most painful carrying of the cross in which thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ bore the heavy weight of our sins; obtain for us, of Him, through thy intercession, courage and strength to follow His steps , and bear our cross after Him unto the end of our lives. Amen.
V. The Crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Let us contemplate in this mystery, how our Lord Jesus Christ, being come to Mount Calvary, was stripped of His clothes, and His hands and feet most cruelly nailed to the cross in the presence of His most afflicted Mother. Our Father, once. Hail Mary, ten times,
LET US PRAY!
O Holy Mary, Mother of God, as the body of thy beloved Son was for us extended on the cross,so may our desires be daily more and more extended in His service, and our hearts wounded with compassion for His most bitter passion; and thou, O most Blessed Virgin, graciously vouchsafe, by thy powerful intercession, to help us to accomplish the work of our salvation. Amen.
The Salve Regina. Hail, holy Queen, with the verse and prayer as above.
THE GLORIOUS MYSTERIES.
For Wednesdays and Saturdays throughout the Year, and the Sundays from Easter until Advent.
I. The Resurrection.
Let us contemplate in this mystery, how our Lord Jesus Christ, triumphing gloriously over death, rose again the third day, immortal and impassible. Our Father, once. Hail Mary, ten times.
LET US PRAY!
O glorious Virgin Mary, by that unspeakable joy thou receivedst in the resurrection of thine only Son, we beseech thee obtain of Him for us, that our hearts may never go astray after the false joys of this world, but may be ever and wholly employed in the pursuit of the only true and solid joys of heaven. Amen.
II. The Ascension.
Let us contemplate in this mystery, how our Lord Jesus Christ, forty days after His resurrection, ascended into heaven, attended by angels, in the sight and to the great admiration of His most holy mother, and His holy apostles and disciples. Our Father, once. Hail Mary, ten times.
LET US PRAY!
O Mother of God, comfortress of the afflicted, as thy beloved Son, when He ascended into heaven, lifted up His hands and blessed his apostles, so vouchsafe, most holy Mother, to lift up thy pure hands to Him for us, that we may enjoy the benefit of His blessing, and thine also on earth, and hereafter in heaven. Amen.
III. The Descent of the Holy Ghost on the Apostles.
Let us contemplate in this mystery, how our Lord Jesus Christ, being seated on the right hand of God, sent, as He had promised, the Holy Ghost upon his apostles, who, after He was ascended, returning to Jerusalem, continued inprayer and supplication with the Blessed Virgin Mary, expecting the performance of His promise. Our Father, once. Hail Mary, ten times.
LET US PRAY!
O sacred Virgin, tabernacle of the Holy Ghost, we beseech thee, obtain by thine intercession, that this most sweet Comforter whom thy beloved Son sent down upon his apostles, filling them thereby with spiritual joy, may teach us in this world, the true way
of salvation and make us walk in the path of virtue and good works. Amen.
IV. The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven.
Let us contemplate in this mystery, how the glorious Virgin, twelve years after the resurrection of her Son, passed out of this world unto Him, and was by Him assumed into heaven, accompanied by the holy angels. Our Father, once. Hail Mary, ten times.
LET US PRAY!
O most prudent Virgin, who entering the heavenly palace didst fill the holy angels with joy, and man with hope, vouchsafe to intercede for us at the hour of our death, that being delivered from the illusions and temptations of the devil, we may joyfully and securely pass out of this temporal state, to enjoy the happiness of eternal life. Amen.
V. The Coronation of the most Blessed Virgin Mary in Heaven.
Let us contemplate in this mystery, how the glorious Virgin Mary was, to the great jubilee and exultation of the whole court of heaven, and the special glory of all the saints, crowned by her Son with the brightest diadem of glory. Our Father, once. Hail Mary, ten times.
LET US PRAY!
O glorious Queen of all the heavenly citizens, we beseech thee, accept this Rosary, which as a crown of roses we offer at thy feet: and grant, most gracious Lady, that, by thy intercession, our souls may be inflamed with so ardent a desire of seeing thee so gloriously crowned, that it may never die in us, until it shall be changed into the happy fruition of thy blessed sight. Amen.
The Salve Regina. Hail, holy Queen, and the Litany of The Blessed Virgin.
Are unbelievers, and those who call themselves enlightened Catholics, right when they look with contempt upon the rosary?
Certainly not, for they despise that which they neither understand nor practice; for whoever considers the arrangement and significance of this most venerable prayer, must esteem it most highly and practice it for the good of his soul. Without taking into consideration that the greatest saints said this prayer daily, as for example St. Francis de Sales, St. Alphonsus Liguori and others, it is a confession of our holy Roman Catholic faith, a repeated adoration of the most holy Trinity, and an authorized veneration of the Blessed Virgin, whom the Holy Ghost has pronounced blessed. It is at the same time a grateful recollection and meditation upon the most profound and sacred mysteries of our holy religion, and especially of our redemption through the incarnation, sufferings, and death of our Lord. And in regard to the frequent repetition of the Our Father and Hail Mary, do not the angels and saints before the throne of the most holy Trinity repeat
continually: "Holy, Holy, Holy!" Can the heart filled with the true, sincere love of God and of Mary repeat their praises often enough? Do wo not daily, even often during the day, partake of the same bread without it losing its relish or becoming distasteful to us?
How acceptable to God is this holy rosary this beautiful garland of fragrant, heavenly flowers of prayer and meditation and what powerful effect it produces before the throne of His omnipotence and mercy! This God manifested at its introduction, as He has always since in a marvellous manner, especially upon occasions of great and particular hardships and cares; and on this account the
Church exhorts the faithful to its diligent practice, attaching many indulgences which she grants to all those who say the Rosary devoutly in the state of grace.* Do not; therefore, my dear Christian, permit yourself to be misled by those who not only do not perform this devotion, but even despise it, and in their proud self-conceit often pay no attention to the most important regulations of the Church. To them are applicable the words of Christ: I confess to Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them to little ones. (Matt. xi. 25.) Practice this devotion all the more zealously in the spirit and sense of our holy Church, and you will perceive the benefit that will accrue to your soul therefrom.
We should let nothing prevent us from saying the rosary and never be ashamed to carry our rosary with us, always as a sign that we love and honor Jesus and Mary. For the rosary has justly become a badge of the true follower of Jesus and Mary, of the real Catholic; and who is ashamed of being a Catholic!
PRAYER OF THE CHURCH. O God, whose only begotten Son, by His life, death and resurrection, hath purchased for us the rewards of eternal salvation: grant, we beseech Thee, that meditating upon these mysteries in the most holy Rosary of the blessed Virgin Mary, we may both imitate what they contain, and arrive at what they promise. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son, Who livest and reignest with Thee and the Holy Ghost, now and forever. Amen.
LESSON. (Ecclus. xxiv. 14 16.) FROM the beginning and before the world, was I created, and unto the world to come I shall not cease to be, and in the holy dwelling-place I have ministered before him. And so was I established in Sion, and in the holy city likewise I rested, and my power was in Jerusalem. And I took root in an honorable people, and in the portion of my God his inheritance, and my abode is in the full assembly of saints.
* As by Pope Alexander IV. in the year 1291, Sixtus V. in 1474, and Pius V. an indulgence of five years and forty days.
Due to time constraints and family obligations, I will not be posting anything on the site for a time. This includes the chapter books and the children's Sunday sermons. However, my daughter Sarah will still be taking orders for her saint costumes. Please keep us in your prayers.
God bless you and yours,
The Willson Family
Moms, have you ever let your children fill out their own planners? We tried it this year, and is it ever great! I keep the basic planner with our goals and then let my children fill in their own planners each day as they do their work. That way if something should come up or things don't go as planned, which as we all know happens from time to time in our daily life, the children's planners are filled with only the work that has been completed. No crossing things out and moving them to another day.
It isn't too late to give the wonderful Crusaders for Christ and Maidens for Mary children's planners a try. They are having a fantastic special on them over at All the Saints and Peter and Paul's bookstore. You can also enter a give-a-way to win a copy at Sanctus Simplicitus. Hop on over there and give them a try. I promise you won't be sorry.
There are even stickers for the children to use for special feast days and fast days. All children love stickers!
My Talk today, dear boys and girls, is going to be about angels in general and guardian angels in particular.
Now, we know that there are angels. Holy Church teaches that there are; and we believe everything that the Catholic Church believes and teaches. And we know they were created by God, because God made all things. We know that they were created before Adam and Eve were made, and we know that they are more excellent than men. They know many things that we don't know and can do many things that we can't do. But they cannot tell the future and they cannot read the secrets of the human heart and they cannot work miracles, unless God tells them or lets them do these things in His name, and they cannot make something out of nothing. God alone can do that. We know, too, that angels are pure spirits without a body. Of course, they are always represented with a human body and wings. That is just to help us think of them and to remind us of how good they are to us and how ready they are quickly to do what God wants them to do. They fly to do His bidding. In this way also we should all be like the angels. The next thing is the number of angels. Who can say how many there are? Well, in the Prophecy of Daniel, in the Holy Bible, we read, "Thousands of thousands ministered to Him, and ten thousand times a hundred thousand stood before Him." Ten thousand times a hundred thousand is 1,000,000,000 (one billion). So we know at least that the number is exceedingly large.
Once I asked a little girl this question, "Who made the devil?" She answered, "He made himself." She surely was a bright girl. Yes; all the angels were created good. They were to merit Heaven and the sight of God by obeying a certain command that He gave them. Many think that the mystery of the Incarnation was revealed to them and they were asked to adore the Babe at Bethlehem. But some, about one-third of them, in fact, were too proud to adore a little Babe, even though He was God as well as man. The leader of these rebellious angels was Lucifer. By disobeying they made themselves devils. They were at once cast into everlasting fire; like lightning they fell from Heaven into hell. We must always look out for the devil. "Be sober and watch," says St. Peter, "because your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about, seeking whom he may devour." But we need not be a bit afraid of him if we remain near God, if we make good use of prayer and the Sacraments, the two mighty and unfailing weapons that Holy Church gives us to fight the devil with.
But I'm not going to say another word about the bad angels. It's good angels that I like to think of. They are not strangers to us: they are our friends, full of beautiful charity, ministering to us. As you know, Holy Church teaches that angels are appointed to guard men. They are called guardian angels. Yes; from birth to death each one of us has a guardian angle. With his powerful protection he watches over us day and night. When we do good he rejoices and is happy; when we sin he turns away is sorrow and in shame.
Our guardian angels like to watch over us. When they think of the second Person of the Blessed Trinity becoming Man, a little Babe, for us men and for out salvation, they are urged to do simply everything for us-for us who are destined to be their companions forever in Heaven. Oh, my boys and girls, there never was a more loving and careful guardian in the world than the guardian angel.
Do you know why God has given us guardian angels? I know. He has given them in order to show us how much He loves us and how much He has our welfare and salvation at heart. He has appointed angels to watch over us in order to exemplify the communion of saints: how all angels and men should form one supreme Lord of all. In thus giving us guardian angels God shows how very much He really thinks of us, since even the angels are employed in protecting us.
And do you know how the guardian angels show their loving care for us? They do so in many ways. They pray for us and they offer our prayers to God. They exhort us to do good, whispering to our hearts, always urging us to do the right and to avoid the wrong. They protect us in many ways against many dangers of soul and body. We don't know all the ways; but almost everybody can tell numerous accidents and can say, "My guardian angel must have helped me then. My guardian angel saved me that time." And now, my young friends, I'll tell you what you must do to pay those faithful guardians back. You must always be respectful, recollected, and full of confidence, because an angel of God is ever at your side.
You must always be as good as gold: your angels are always present, you know. Whatever you are, in what ever out-of-the-way place you may be, remember that you are never alone. Always show due reverence for your angel companion. He is watching! And remember, too, that if the good angels, who are sure of their own salvation, are so much concerned about ours, we ourselves ought likewise to be always thinking of how we can best save our souls.
Now, here's something that the guardian angels teach each on of us. They teach us to be the guardian angels of others. How do they do that? Why, if the angels, who are so much higher than we, burn with zeal for our salvation, then, surely, we ought to be very good to each other, give each other only good example, try in every way to help each other gain Heaven.
That's all I'm going to say in this little chat. Be sure to do what I want you to do: always think of the Beautiful guardian angel at your side. Pray to him often. Ask his help. Each morning and evening at least be sure to say this little prayer to him:
Angel of God, my Guardian dear,
Too whom God's, love, commits me here,
Ever this day, be at my side,
to light, to guard, to rule, and guide.
Source: Talks to Boys and Girls, Imprimatur 1931
TO MY GUARDIAN ANGEL
The Angel: My dear little child, i come from heaven. The good God sent me to guard you. I shall be with you always, I shall watch over you, and I shall show you the right path. Would you like that?
The Child: O my dear Angel, I wish to be thy friend. Remain by me to watch over me. Tell me what I am to do to please thee. I will listen to thy wise counsels. I will follow thee everywhere, for I know that thou lovest me. Never leave me, dear Angel.
A printable file and a coloring picture of a boy with his angel and a girl with hers.
May you all have a blessed feast of the Guardian Angels and may they watch over and keep you and yours always.
Holy Mother Church
dedicates the month of December to the Nativity of Our Lord
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