Category Archives: Our Lady

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

A Blessed Feast of the Immaculate Comception to you all! O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!

Damsel of the Faith

On this day, in 1854, Pope Bl. Pius IX defined the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception as an article of Faith to be believed by all Catholics in these words:

“In honor of the most Holy and Undivided Trinity, for the glory and ornament of the Virgin Mother of God, for the exaltation of the Catholic Faith and the spread of the Christian religion, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own, we pronounce and define, that the doctrine, which maintains that the most blessed Virgin Mary, in the first moment of her conception, was, by a singular grace and privilege of Almighty God, in regard of the merits of Christ Jesus, the Saviour of the human race, preserved free from the stain of original sin, has been revealed by God, and is, therefore, to be firmly and constantly believed by…

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Removed by the police for praying the rosary

 

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In Brussels Cathedral, in the midst of a celebration of the Portestant Revolt, these young Catholics prayed the rosary in reparation. The enemies of Our Lord and the the Church had these faithful young souls thrown out of the church. The fact that the revolutionary rebellion of Luther is extolled and celebrated is a great thorn in the side of Our Lord.  Millions of souls have been thrown from salvation due to the Protestant revolt. Those who know not Christ will be thrown to the pit of hell. Pray for the lost souls.

“We do not hesitate to affirm again publicly that We put great confidence in the Holy Rosary for the healing of evils which afflict our times. Not with force, not with arms, not with human power, but with Divine help obtained through the means of this prayer, strong like David with his sling, the Church undaunted shall be able to confront the infernal enemy, repeating to him the words of the young shepherd: ‘Thou comest to me with a sword, and a spear, and with a shield; but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of Hosts, the God of armies…and all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear, for this is his battle, and he will deliver you into our hands’ -I Kings 17, 45-47)” ~Pope Pius XII, “Ingruentium Malorum”, 1951 A.D.

Blessed are you, fellow soldiers, when they revile you and persecute you.

 

Our Lady of Lepanto – Arrayed in victory

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Today is the great Feast of Lepanto, where Our Lady, more glorious than an army in battle array gave victory to an army of God against the enemies of God and Church. Today millions of poles pray along the borders for their country and the world against the Islamic invasion, God bless them!

Taken from an article entitled “The Pope of the Rosary and the Victory of Lepanto” published in “De Vita Contemplativa” (Monthly magazine for monasteries), Year VII, Number 5, May 2013:

THE VICTORY OF LEPANTO, GAINED BY THE CHRISTIAN ARMY AGAINST THE INVADING FORCES OF THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE IS THE IMMORTAL VICTORY NOT ONLY OF CHRISTIANITY; BUT ALSO THE POWER OF PRAYER, SINCE POPE PIUS V, TOGETHER WITH ALL THE FAITHFUL, WAS PRAYING MANY ROSARIES AT THE SAME TIME.

“…During the whole of his pontificate, [Pope Pius V] ceased not to organise the Christian forces to overcome the Turkish power, which at that time had reached its greatest splendour. To such end, he called for prayers and penitential processions, which he personally took part in, notwithstanding his labours and pains caused by his sickness. ‘For many day – says the Cardinal of St Severina – the Holy Father abstained from every external occupation in order to attend to prayer alone.’ And God began to reward the zeal of His Vicar with miraculous facts. These prodigies happened so frequently, that Soliman, aware of the physical and moral cures wrought by the penances of the Holy Father, was heard to exclaim: ‘I fear more the prayers of this Pope than all the soldiers of the Emperor.’

Being thus assured in advance of heavenly assistance, St Pius took up wholeheartedly the organisation of the Crusade. In the final days of the year 1570 all seemed to be compromised, all lost; but then in the month of July 1571 the Holy Alliance was drawn up and on the horizon could be glimpsed the dawn of the great day of Lepanto.

This masterpiece of diplomacy was the work of one man who was not a politician but a Saint and who had never wished to be involved in politics. To bring peace between Venice and Spain was something which seemed impossible, seeing that Spain dominated almost all the rest of Italy and which tolerated, with gritted teeth, the Republic of the Adriatic which dominated the sea. But the Pope, by means of long and difficult labour, was able to do it, and thus on September 15th 1571, the Christian fleet, under the command of Don John of Austria and of the legate Mark Anthony Colonna, sailed from Messina to fight the Turkish fleet.

On the morning of October 7th, the fleet was in the vicinity of the Gulf of Lepanto… [T]hey doubted not the victory and so great was the faith they had in the prayers of St Pius V, that when the wind, which had firstly been against them, changed direction, directing the smoke of the gunners towards the Turks, they took it as a prelude to the divine assistance and as a heralding sign of the fulfilment of the prediction of the Holy Father… Just before midday they prepared themselves for battle which lasted for several hours, until at last the Christian fleet was completely victorious.

It was almost five o’clock in the evening when the battle ended. On October 7th 1571, at the same hour, St Pius, who after the departure of the fleet had redoubled his penances and prayers, was examining with some of the Prelates the accounts of Bussotti, his treasurer. All of a sudden, almost as if by an irresistible impulse, he arose, went to the window and fixed his gaze towards the East as one in ecstasy. Then, returning to the Prelates, his eyes shining with a divine light, he said: ‘Let us do our business works no more – he said – but rather go to thank God. The Christian fleet has obtained the victory.’ He took leave of the Prelates and went immediately to the Chapel, where a Cardinal, having heard the happy news, found him immersed in tears of joy.

The Holy Father Pius V attributed the triumph of Lepanto to the intercession of the Virgin and wanted the invocation ‘Auxilium christianorum, ora pro nobis’ to be added to the Litany of Loreto, establishing a feast in honour of Our Lady of Victories on October 7th.”

 

Our Lady of Sorrows – the greatest Martyr

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On this the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows (my parish patroness), let us read on, reflect and compassionate the Heart of Our Most Holy Mother, pierced with a sword of sorrow at the bitter Passion and Death of Her only son. Today, Her heart continues to be pierced, watching the Passion of the Church.

~Damsel of the Faith

St. Bonaventure’s prayer to Our Lady of Sorrows:

O most holy Virgin, Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ: by the overwhelming grief you experienced when you witnessed the martyrdom, the crucifixion, and death of your divine Son, look upon me with eyes of compassion, and awaken in my heart a tender commiseration for those sufferings, as well as a sincere detestation of my sins, in order that being disengaged from all undue affection for the passing joys of this earth, I may sigh after the eternal Jerusalem, and that henceforward all my thoughts and all my actions may be directed towards this one most desirable object.

Honor, glory, and love to our divine Lord Jesus, and to the holy and immaculate Mother of God.

Amen.

A portion of a sermon by St. Alphonsus Liguori

But let us consider the reasons, for which Mary’s martyrdom was greater than that of all martyrs. In the first place, we must remember that the martyrs endured their torments, which were the effect of fire and other material agencies, in their bodies; Mary suffered hers in her soul, as Saint Simeon foretold: “And my own Soul, a sword shall pierce”. As if the holy old man had said: “O most Sacred Virgin, the bodies of other martyrs, will be torn with Iron, but thou wilt be transfixed, and martyred in thy soul, by the passion of thine own Son”. Now, as the soul is more noble than the Body, so much greater were Mary’s sufferings, than those of all of the martyrs, as Jesus Christ Himself said to Saint Catherine of Sienna: “Between the sufferings of the soul, and those of the body, there is no comparison”. Whence the Holy Abbot Arnold of Chartres says, “that whoever had been present on Mount Calvary, to witness the great sacrifice of the Immaculate Lamb, would there have beheld two great altars, the one in the Body of Jesus, the other in the heart of Mary; for, on that mount, at the same time that the Son sacrificed His body by death, Mary sacrificed her soul by compassion”

The grace of the Brown Scapular

 

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Those who die wearing the brown scapular as a faithful child of Mary shall not suffer eternal fire.

Taken from “The Litugical Year”:

“In the night between the 15th and 16th of July of the year 1251, the gracious Queen of Carmel confirmed to her sons by a mysterious sign the right of citizenship she had obtained for them in their newly adopted countries; as mistress and mother of the entire religious state she conferred upon them with her queenly hands the scapular hitherto the distinctive garb of the greatest and most ancient religious family of the West. On giving St. Simon Stock this badge, ennobled by contact with her sacred fingers, the Mother of God said to him: ‘Whosoever shall die in this habit shall not suffer eternal flames.’ But not against hell fire alone was the all-powerful intercession of the Blessed Mother to be felt by those who should wear her scapular. In 1316, when every holy soul was imploring heaven to put a period to that long and disastrous widowhood of the Church which followed on the death of Clement V, the Queen of Saints appeared to James d’Euse, whom the world was soon to hail as John XXII; she foretold to him his approaching elevation to the Sovereign Pontificate, and at the same time recommended him to publish the privilege she had obtained from her Divine Son for her children of Carmel – viz., a speedy deliverance from purgatory. ‘I, their Mother will graciously go down to them on the Saturday after their death, and all whom I find in purgatory I will deliver and will bring to the fountain of life eternal.’ These are the words of our Lady herself, quoted by John XXII in the Bull which he published for the purpose of making known the privilege, and which was called the Sabbatine Bull on account of the day chosen by the glorious benefactress for the exercise of her mercy. We are aware of the attempts made to nullify the authenticity of these heavenly concessions; but our extremely limited time will not allow us to follow up these worthless struggles in all their endless details. The attack of the chief assailant, the too famous Launoy, was condemned by the Apostolic See; and after, as well as before, these contradictions, the Roman Pontiffs confirmed, as much as need be, by their supreme authority, the substance and even the letter of the precious promises. The reader may find in special works the enumeration of the many indulgences with which the Popes have, time after time, enriched the Carmelite family, as if earth would vie with heaven in favoring it. The munificence of Mary, the pious gratitude of her sons for the hospitality given them by the West, and lastly, the authority of St. Peter’s successors, soon made these supernatural riches accessible to all Christians, by the institution of the Confraternity of the holy Scapular, the members whereof participate in the merits and privileges of the whole Carmelite Order. Who shall tell the graces, often miraculous, obtained through this humble garb? Who could count the faithful now enrolled in the holy militia?”

Nativity of Our Lady

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Here is a meditation for the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, by Fr. Francis Xavier Weinger, 1876. Happy Birthday to Our Lady, the pure, holy, spotless and Immaculate Mother of God!

“What an one, think ye, shall this child be?”–Luke i, 66.

When St. John, the precursor of our Lord, first saw the light of day, and when his father’s tongue was loosed, as he wrote the name of the child, people wondered and said: “What an one, think ye, shall this child be? For the hand of the Lord was with him.”

This child was to be the forerunner of our Lord, of Him who is to be the Saviour of the world, to prepare for Him a way by which to enter the hearts of the children of men. Had the neighbors, when they first saw the child, but known his high vocation, they would have had every reason to congratulate him, and to be glad over his birth. I shall apply this text: “What an one, think ye, shall this child be?” to the birth of the Blessed Virgin, the Mother of the Incarnate Son of God.

How many and how great reasons should have urged the people, who lived at the time of her birth, to congratulate the child, and to be glad. To them, however, these were not known. But we do know, and we, therefore, celebrate the memory of the happy occurrence of her nativity, as though this were the day on which our Blessed Lady first saw the light of day. It is in this spirit, as you are well aware, that the Church celebrates her feasts, and her prayer for today’s festivity confirms what I have just said. Be it then to her honor and to our consolation that I ask the question: what child is this that is born today? and what shall this child be? The answer to the two questions shall be the subject of my sermon.

And thou, Mother of God, obtain for us the grace to know thy Dignity and Power, and our hearts will be filled with festive joy! I speak in the holy name of Jesus, to the greater glory of God! The chief reason why a whole empire often rejoices at the birth of a child, is because this child is heir or heiress to the throne. Then it is, that days of jubilee are proclaimed throughout the land. Observe, then, the character of the child that is born today. This child is the future Queen of heaven and earth, the Ruler of the powers of Nature, the Mistress, not only of the visible world, but of those spacious realms of glory that loom up with dazzling brilliancy beyond the skies. Yea, more, she is Queen of the Angels, in the order of their choirs,–of Angels, of Archangels, of Dominations, Virtues, Powers, Thrones, Principalities, Seraphim, and Cherubim. All the Choirs of Angels are hovering around the cradle of this child, and pay homage to their Queen.

Yet, even now, at the first moment of her life, this child is full of grace, surpassing, by the splendor of her virtues, all the Choirs of Angels who may justly exclaim in their bewilderment of joy: “Who is she, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, the one chosen Mother of the Son of God?”Already in her mother’s womb she was endowed with the full use of reason, so that with every breath she could gain merits that surpassed those of the angels and saints, and these merits would go on increasing to the end of her life. What a glorious spectacle for the Angels to behold this child! and her name should be Mary, which signifies–the sea.

It was not without a special intervention of heaven that St. Joachim and St. Anna gave the child of grace this name. For as all the waters of the rivers flow into the sea, and the sea majestically flows over them all, so should every grace which God ever granted to Angels and Saints, and will ever grant them to the end of time, flow into the heart of Mary, and be inundated with the fullness of her grace. Yet, what do I say: this Child is pleasing in the sight of Angels. Rather let us consider, with what complacency the Blessed Trinity looks upon this Child. “This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased,” thus resounded the voice of the heavenly Father on Mount Tabor. And today the voice of that same Father is heard over the cradle of the Blessed Virgin: “This is My beloved daughter, in whom I am well pleased.” And the voice of the Son re-echoes: “This is My Mother, whom I have chosen from eternity, and in whom I am well pleased.” Beneath her heart I shall soon rest as God and man; shall first take substance from her. Her I shall afterwards embrace as My Mother, honor as my Mother, and glorify as My Mother. “This is My beloved spouse whom I have chosen from eternity, and in whom I am well pleased, My only spouse, immaculate.” Such are the words spoken by the Holy Ghost. And had a prophet been present at her birth, as at that of St. John, what might his prophecies have been? We know, for even then all that Scripture and tradition said of her dignity power, sanctity, and glory was fulfilled.

This child–such might have been the words of the Prophet–this child when scarcely three years of age shall consecrate herself, body and soul, to God in the temple. This child, as the virgin spouse of St. Joseph, shall receive the Angel’s salutation, and become the Mother of the Son of God. Being Mother to the Son of God, she shall nourish and nurse Him, live with Him for thirty years under the same roof, shall daily have His most holy example before her eyes; and, like Him, grow in age and wisdom and grace before God and men. She shall accompany Him on His apostolic journeys, hear His divine word, and witness all the wonders that He will work. She shall hear the cry of the people: “Blessed the womb that bore Thee, and the paps that gave thee suck.” And when the hour comes in which He will end the sacrifice of redemption on the cross, this child shall stand at the foot of the Cross, and there she shall hear the words of her dying Son: Woman, behold thy Son!

She shall remain on earth in the midst of the Apostles as their Queen, and as protectress of the Church, until saints of every rank shall have preceded her to heaven, and be ready to render her entry glorious. This child, when it shall have shone as the Mirror of Justice on earth, shall be taken, body and soul, glorified into Heaven Oh, what a day of triumph this shall be, when Christ shall embrace her as His Mother, lead her to her throne, where she remains seated forever, and enjoys the bliss and glory of her Divine Son. There she will entone that “Magnificat” which once on earth she sang in such rapturous tones of thanksgiving. There she will be our intercessor with Christ, recommending to Him each of her children, and showing herself the Mother of grace and of mercy, the refuge of sinners, the consoler of the afflicted, the restorer of the sick, our only hope after Christ our Lord.

The whole of Christendom, from its first beginning, and down through all succeeding ages, honored our Lady under all these titles. How many are the examples and witnesses that go to establish grounds for which the Church greets her with these titles, and that prove how accurately were fulfilled the words of the Queen of Prophets: “From henceforth all generations shall call me blessed! ”

Let us think especially of the many shrines erected in her honor throughout Christendom, and of the enthusiasm with which Catholics fifteen hundred years ago received the decree of the Council of Ephesus, declaring that Mary is the Mother of God, and is to be honored and praised and venerated as such. Coming to our own days, think of the ever-memorable year 1854, in which Pius IX published the declaration that Mary was conceived without stain, exempt from the defilement of original sin. Then it was that the “Te Deum” resounded over the length and breadth of the earth. Look at the many shrines in Europe, where faith has fructified for nineteen hundred years. There is scarcely a province in which Catholics do not assemble at some shrine, and where we do not see countless memorials kept to testify that Mary has proven herself to be the refuge of sinners, the restorer of the sick, the help of Christians. But still more impressive and still more consoling it is for us, her children, to glance into the sanctuary of our own hearts, to look back upon our life-long pilgrimage, and to see how often we ourselves have experienced our dear Mother’s help and protection.

Let me ask the sinner: “Who has obtained for you the grace of conversion?” Oh, it is Mary! I cried to her for help. To her I owe this grace. And who, O grief-stricken soul! was it that consoled you when your father, mother, husband, or child were snatched away from you by death? You sought relief from Mary. She consoled you. And to whom do you acknowledge your thanks for the recovery from this or that sickness, for the rescue from this or that danger? You took refuge to Mary. She stood by you. Who is it that will be your consolation and hope on your deathbed? It is Mary, the Mother of a happy death.

And may she be such to us in truth. May she, by her assistance, complete, even unto the salvation of our souls, the work of grace begun in us, in order that we, who have presented our hearty congratulations at her cradle, may behold her throne of glory, and that when, through death, we shall be reborn unto life eternal, departing this world under her guidance and protection, we may forever share her happiness in heaven. Amen!

Through Mary, the Church will be restored

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Read here excerpts from a beautiful sermon given by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre on August 22, 1987, wherein he speaks of the Blessed Virgin Mary and her role in this crisis, namely to restore the Catholic Faith in the hearts and homes of the world.

~Damsel of the Faith

What else can She wish but to see Her Divine Son reign over the whole earth, over souls, over families, and over societies, as He reigns in heaven? This is why She comes down to earth, to beg us, every one of us: “It is necessary for Jesus to reign over you.” She wishes it, She desires it, and She gives us the means.

They often tell us: do not rend the Church, do not divide the Church, do not cause a schism; yet, my dear brothers and sisters, tell me: where is the unity of the Church? What causes the unity of the Church? Open all the theology books, open all the books by the saints, open all the books by the doctors and theologians: what causes the unity of the Church is the unity of faith. When someone no longer has the Catholic Faith, he separates himself from the Church. There you have it! And every person invested with authority in the Church since Our Lord founded it, every person who has some authority in the Church and particularly all the clergy, and particularly the bishops, and especially the Pope, all of them are at the service of this unity, they are at the service of this faith: “Go teach the Gospel,” not some other Gospel and not just any Gospel: “Go teach the Gospel.” Be at the service of this message that I have given you, but you must not change the message.

Well, then, we keep and cherish the whole faith; not for anything in the world would we want to remove one iota, the least bit of our faith; we want to keep it intact, absolutely intact. And it is because we want to keep this unity of faith that that those who are losing it persecute us.

Ask for the Grace of Fidelity

Let us make the resolution, here at the feet of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and let us ask her for the grace to keep the faith, to remain Catholics until the end of our days, to have this grace of final perseverance in the Catholic faith. Why did all the martyrs shed their blood? In order to keep the faith. If we must be martyrs, if we must be not martyrs by blood but martyrs in our souls, in our hearts, in our minds, well, then, we will be martyrs, and we will be the heirs of those who shed their blood so as not to deny their faith.

This is what we must promise the Most Blessed Virgin Mary and try to make everyone around us understand so that they might not lose the Faith… lest, in losing their faith, they lose their souls. These, my dear brothers and sisters, are the resolutions that we must make today: to pray, to sacrifice ourselves, to make the sacrifice of our life, to offer our life for the redemption of the world, for the salvation of souls, for the salvation of our souls, the salvation of the souls of our families, of the members of our family.

And Ask That the Church may Regain Her Splendor

And finally ask for the renewal of the Holy Catholic Church: that the Church might regain her splendor, that the Church might regain her unity in the faith, that the Church might regain her thousands and thousands of religious vocations as before, that once again novitiates might be filled, that seminaries might be filled so as to keep the Catholic Faith, so as to live the Catholic Faith! This is what we are striving to do, my dear brothers and sisters, together with those whom you see present here, these young priests, these young seminarians. As soon as people want to keep the faith, as soon as people want to keep the Sacrifice of the Mass and the true Eucharist, as soon as people are devoted body and soul to the Church, there are vocations, because we are in the truth. Let us ask the Most Blessed Virgin Mary to bless our seminaries, to bless our young priests so that they might be apostles; to bless our religious, the Sisters of the Society, all the sisters who devote themselves to Tradition, the Carmelites, the Dominicans, the Benedictines…all these nuns who want to keep the Catholic faith and want to spread it.

And may the Virgin Mary deign to bless us so that we might continue courageously, despite the trials, to serve the kingdom of Her Divine Son. Adveniat regnum tuum, may Thy kingdom come, yes, O Lord Jesus, may Thy reign extend over persons, over families and over societies, so that this reign may continue in eternity!