“Archbishop Lefebvre wanted St. Mary’s to be a place of renaissance for the Catholic Faith in the United States.”
A beautiful must watch about the Immaculata project in St. Mary’s, Kansas.
“Archbishop Lefebvre wanted St. Mary’s to be a place of renaissance for the Catholic Faith in the United States.”
A beautiful must watch about the Immaculata project in St. Mary’s, Kansas.
An incredible story about the power & love of Mary for those who give her honor & devotion, even the most sinful:
The miracles tales compiled by the 12th century priest Gonzalo de Berceo were memorized and spoken aloud among the Castilian people. His work was very popular of medieval Spain.
There was a bad thief who would rather steal than go to church or build bridges. He knew how to maintain his house by theft, a bad habit that he took up and could not quit.
Among his other evil habits, he did have one good habit, which availed him in the end and gave him salvation. He believed in the Glorious Lady with all his heart. He always greeted Her, facing Her Majesty and saying “Ave Maria” and more of the prayer. He always bowed before Her image, and felt very great shame under Her gaze.
But, as he who walks in evil in evil must fall, this thief was caught with stolen goods. Since he had no way to defend himself, he was sentenced to be hanged on the gallows.
The constable took him to the crossroads where the gallows had been erected by the council. They covered his eyes with a well-tied cloth, and raised him from the ground as high as they could with a tightly drawn rope. Those who were nearby considered him dead.
But the Glorious Mother, who is accustomed to helping Her servants in trouble, wished to protect this condemned man. She remembered the service that he always rendered Her. As he was hanging, under his feet She placed Her precious hands and gave him relief. He did not feel burdened by anything at all and had never been more comfortable or more content.
Then, on the third day his relatives came, and with them his friends and acquaintances. They came grieving to take him down.
But the situation was better than they thought. They found him alive, happy and unharmed. He would not have been so comfortable had he been lying in a bath. He said that under his feet there was a certain footstool and that he would not feel any pain if he hung there a year.
When the ones who had hanged him heard this, they thought that the noose had been faulty and they regretted that they had not cut his throat. That entire band was of the same mind: They had been foiled by the bad noose, but they should now cut his throat with sickle or sword so that their town would not be shamed by a thief!
The most agile young men went to cut his throat with strong blades, long and sharp, but Holy Mary interposed Her hands and the gullet of his throat remained intact.
When they saw that they could do him no harm, that the Glorious Mother wished to protect him, they withdrew from the dispute and, until God willed otherwise, they let him live.
They allowed him to go his way in peace, for they did not wish to oppose Holy Mary. He bettered his ways and set aside his folly. Thus he completed his life and died when his time came.
Mother so compassionate, of such benevolence, Who has mercy on the good and the bad, we should bless Her with all our heart, for those who do so earn great riches. And she comes to the aid of all who call upon [Her.
To understand Our Lady’s direct role in our salvation, we must go back to the Garden of Eden. You have there a Paradise, you have a man and a woman, you have a tree, you have a bad angel.
You have a man and a woman without spiritual parents. Our Lady was conceived without Original Sin, and thus she was created in grace by an operation of the Holy Ghost. Our Lord as well had a Conception in the plenitude of grace. These two are the only ones in the history of the world, besides Adam and Eve, created in a state of original justice.
Adam came into the world without a father. Our Lord came into the world without a father.
Original Sin was committed by means of a tree and a woman. The woman was deceived by the devil and the fruit of the tree was death. Thus, it was fitting that Original Sin was defeated by means of a tree and a woman. Our Lady brought Our Lord into the world and led Him to the tree of the Cross. The first tree brought forth spiritual death; this tree brings forth physical death, but spiritual life. To this day, we cannot be saved without the Cross and Our Lady.
Eve, Mother of all the living, is the source of physical life for all, but also spiritual (and physical) death. Original Sin comes from Adam, but passes through the womb of Eve for any to receive it. As such, God gave Our Lady the role of being the physical mother of Our Lord and the spiritual mother of all who are born again in the life of grace. All who live that life must pass, as it were, through her womb.
From Adam and Eve come the fallen human race. From Our Lord and Our Lady come the redeemed human race.
Beautiful consecration prayer:
To thee, O Immaculate Mother of God, do we have recourse in this supreme hour of mankind’s need, amidst such storms indeed as have never been known, shaking Mother Church to her very foundations. Thou, who standing by the foot of the Cross, didst once share so closely in the sufferings of thy Divine Son, with what compassion art thou not moved today for the suffering of His Mystical Body, the Church!
Whilst outside the Church, Communism has so spread its errors in all directions that the Church herself is infected by them, at the same time within her very bosom the virus of a false ecumenism poisons souls without number, either tearing them away or keeping them outside of the unity of the true Faith and the one and only Ark of Salvation.
Amidst so many ruins, so many betrayals, may it please Almighty God, following an ancient example, to prepare this priestly society of ours, a small band of rebuilders, who being truly aware of their own frailty turn today to thee, Virgin most powerful Help of Christians. For distrusting in our own strength, so little before the magnitude of the task entrusted to us, we wish to place ourselves under thy motherly and powerful protection, O Virgin who art terrible as an army arrayed in battle, to whom from the beginning it was promised Thou wouldst tread upon the head of the serpent.
Amidst those dangers hanging over our heads, we beg and beseech God, Who has deigned to call us to the service of His Church, that He deign to seal and confirm our calling through thee, O Ark of the Covenant!
And so, O Immaculate Virgin, before thy throne of grace today we prostrate ourselves, and desiring to increase thy praise and glory so that to the filial love of Christ thy Son towards thee, O most sweet Mother of ours, we may here and now add our humble contribution to thee, beneath the most special title of thy Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart.
We irrevocably consecrate our Priestly Society of St. Pius X with its priests, seminarians, and brothers, sisters, oblates and tertiaries, with all its spiritual family.
In order that thou should be now the Lady and Queen of our Society and fraternity, by a perpetual donation into thy hands, we offer and we entrust our possessions and our homes that they may truly belong to thee: our bodies and also our souls, indeed, our whole selves we hand over and consecrate, that thou mayest ever have us ready at thy command.
The souls also entrusted to us we hand over to thee, that thou mayest guard them beneath thy motherly care. Finally, our apostolate we commend to thee, and we relinquish it that it may be wholly thine, O Queen of Apostles! Thus, Our Society is now wholly thy domain!
Hold it so firmly, O Tower of David, that it may never turn from the right path. O Virgin most faithful, keep every member most unshakably attached to it. Guard our faith virginally intact, O Virgin most pure, thou Who has received the power to crush all heresies throughout the entire world.
Keep for the Church, O thou who art Full of Grace, her Sacrifice of the Mass according to the ancient and venerable Roman rite, sure conveyor of grace, and to it keep us most faithful. Cause to flourish within us, O Queen of all Saints, the holiness of the priesthood, of religion, of the family. Guard, O Mother of Divine Grace, our Society as a fruitful and ever-living branch of the Holy Roman Catholic Church.
Obtain for us the grace, O Mother of the Church, whereby we may from day to day become in the hands of God an instrument more docile and more apt for the saving of the greatest number of souls. That we may know that thou hast heard our prayers, O Virgin most Clement, send us those many workers whom the Divine Lord of the Harvest calls into His mission-fields.
Grant us, finally, O Mother of the Sovereign High Priest, the grace by which to work for the restoration of the Catholic priesthood and thereby for the splendor of the priestly soul of Christ, illuminated by Whose rays may persons and families and nations at length obtain the establishing of His Kingdom.
Relying on our title of the Apostles of Jesus and Mary, we promise thee, O Queen of Martyrs and Confessors, that we shall labor until our last breath for the restoring of all things in Christ, for the spreading of His Kingdom, and for the preparing of the glorious triumph of thy Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, O Mary. Amen.
A meditation by Pope St. Pius X on Our Lady, the Exterminator of all heresies:
If it becomes children not to omit the imitation of any of the virtues of this most Blessed Mother, we yet wish that the faithful apply themselves by preference to the principal virtues which are, as it were, the nerves and joints of the Christian life – we mean faith, hope, and charity towards God and our neighbor. Of these virtues the life of Mary bears in all its phases the brilliant character; but they attained their highest degree of splendor at the time when she stood by her dying Son. Jesus is nailed to the cross, and the malediction is hurled against Him that “He made Himself the Son of God” (John xix., 7). But she unceasingly recognized and adored the divinity in Him. She bore His dead body to the tomb, but never for a moment doubted that He would rise again. Then the love of God with which she burned made her a partaker in the sufferings of Christ and the associate in His passion; with him moreover, as if forgetful of her own sorrow, she prayed for the pardon of the executioners although they in their hate cried out: “His blood be upon us and upon our children” (Matth. xxvii., 25).
During the Month of Mary, let us especially renew our fervant devotion to Her for it is only through Her intercession that we attain to eternal life.
How think otherwise? Could not God have given us, in another way than through the Virgin the Redeemer of the human race and the Founder of the Faith? But, since Divine Providence has been pleased that we should have the Man-God through Mary, who conceived Him by the Holy Ghost and bore Him in her breast, it only remains for us to receive Christ from the hands of Mary. Hence whenever the Scriptures speak prophetically of the grace which was to appear among us, the Redeemer of mankind is almost invariably presented to us as united with His mother. The Lamb that is to rule the world will be sent – but He will be sent from the rock of the desert; the flower will blossom, but it will blossom from the root of Jesse. Adam, the father of mankind, looked to Mary crushing the serpent’s head, and he dried the tears that the malediction had brought into his eyes. Noë thought of her when shut up in the ark of safety, and Abraham when prevented from the slaying of his son; Jacob at the sight of the ladder on which angels ascended and descended; Moses amazed at the sight of the bush which burned but was not consumed; David escorting the arc of God with dancing and psalmody; Elias as he looked at the little cloud that rose out of the sea. In fine, after Christ, we find in Mary the end of the law and the fulfillment of the figures and oracles.
And that through the Virgin, and through her more than through any other means, we have offered us a way of reaching the knowledge of Jesus Christ, cannot be doubted when it is remembered that with her alone of all others Jesus was for thirty years united, as a son is usually united with a mother, in the closest ties of intimacy and domestic life. Who could better than His Mother have an open knowledge of the admirable mysteries of the birth and childhood of Christ, and above all of the mystery of the Incarnation, which is the beginning and the foundation of faith? Mary not only preserved and meditated on the events of Bethlehem and the facts which took place in Jerusalem in the Temple of the Lord, but sharing as she did the thoughts and the secret wishes of Christ she may be said to have lived the very life of her Son. Hence nobody ever knew Christ so profoundly as she did, and nobody can ever be more competent as a guide and teacher of the knowledge of Christ.
Excellent article taken from onepeterfive.com on this the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Happy Feast!
Today is the feast day of our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas. She holds particular significance to the Catholic Church in America, as her appearance to St. Juan Diego on Tepeyac hill in Mexico was the first Marian apparition in the New World. She is dearly beloved by Mexican Catholics, and wherever there is a Mexican community, a statue or picture of her will be found. Another less well-known fact about Our Lady of Guadalupe is that she is connected to the Spanish Reconquista and their ultimate defeat of the centuries-long Islamic invasion of their homeland.
The story begins shortly after Jesus’ death with St. Luke. He was not only a gospel writer, but an artist and craftsman. He painted the first icons, and created the first statues of Jesus and Mary. One of these statues of the Blessed Virgin was eventually brought to Spain three centuries later by St. Leander and enshrined in a church in Spain’s Extremadura province, where it stayed for several additional centuries.
Tariq Ibn Ziyad and the armies of Islam invaded Spain in 711 AD. They embarked on a reign of terror which included not only the complete military conquest of the Iberian peninsula by 718, but the destruction and transformation of many churches into mosques, and the conversion at the point of a sword of many Catholics to Islam. Faithful Catholics — priests, religious, and laity alike — attempted to preserve their sacred places and objects as much as possible from Islam’s destruction. The Church where this ancient statue of Mary was located was destroyed and turned into a mosque along with everything in it.
Everything, that is, except the statue.
It was said that a few Catholics took the statue and hid it in an iron casket in the banks of the nearby Guadiana River, also known as the Wolf River, or in Latin, lupe. However, none could verify the story. The Extremadura province was a hotbed of fighting for centuries between Catholics and Muslims, and when the Muslims controlled the area, they kept the name given by the Spanish but referred to the local river as a wadi, or oasis. Hence, the river and the surrounding area came to be known as wadi lupe, orGuadalupe.
The statue’s story drifted away into history and legend for six centuries. The Extramadura province was re-Christianized during this time, but the statue remained lost. One day around 1326, a shepherd named Gil Cordero from the nearby city of Caceres had a vision of the Blessed Mother while tending to his cattle along the banks of the Guadalupe river. She told him about the statue and where to find it. He went and told the local bishop, who sent a team of priests to dig in the location told to him, where they found her in tact, just as she had said. The rediscovery of the lost statue along with the miracles that accompanied it enlivened the local Catholic community, and a new Church and monastery were constructed at the location.
At the same time, the Muslim Marinid Empire in Morocco was planning to attempt a major invasion of Spain as had been done in previous centuries to re-invigorate the Andalusian Caliphate and overturn the long, hard-won victories of the Spanish Catholics. Such had already been done twice by Muslims in the past, first with the Almoravids in 1084 and then with the Almohads in 1146. However, this time the Spanish were aware and ready. Portuguese King Alfonso IV and Castilian King Alfonso XI united and in 1340 made pilgrimage to the new Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, entrusting the battle to her. They and the Catholic armies met the forces of Islam at the Salado River in Seville, where after a fierce battle they routed the Muslims and drove them back into Morocco. The Battle of Rio Salado marks the final attempt by Muslims at a massive land invasion of Spain. It would only be a matter of time before the Muslim Kingdom of Granada would fall a century and a half later in 1492. However, the thanks given to Our Lady of Guadalupe for the victory she brought the Catholics was not forgotten.
The reason Bishop Juan de Zumarraga, Mexico’s first bishop and recipient of the tilma of St. Juan Diego gave Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico this same title was not a mere coincidence. He began his ecclesiastical life as a Franciscan monk in the monastery at Guadalupe in Extremadura, so he was quite familiar with her story. In the image given on Tepeyac hill, Mary came in a form that is literally taken from the pages of scripture:
And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars… (Revelation 12:1)
Yet if one looks at the feet of the image of Our Lady imprinted on the tilma, one sees that she is standing upon the crescent moon, which is the symbol of Islam – a symbol that has been carried historically on the flags of many Muslim armies throughout history. To a man like Zumarraga, this would have carried great significance.
Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico bears a resemblance to another statue, Our Lady of the Almudeña. The latter’s story was that her statue was originally brought to Spain by St. James and was housed in a Church in Madrid for centuries until the Islamic conquests. The church was desecrated and turned into a mosque, but faithful Catholics hid the statue under a local granary. Nearly four centuries later when Madrid was reconquered in 1085, the statue was discovered by locals. The mosque was destroyed, the church rebuilt, and the statue restored to its rightful place. Notice that as with Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico, Our Lady of the Almudeña is likewise standing on the crescent moon of Islam:
Our lady of Guadalupe is the Patroness of the Americas and the Mexican people. However, her very name and image are inseparable from her roots as the woman who exterminated the Islamic serpent beneath her feet in Spain. In Mexico, millions of converts were won for the faith in just a few years, the vicious Aztec plumed serpent-god Quetzalcoatl defeated by the beautiful lady from the heavens. Like those of Islam before it, the cruel excesses of the Aztec religion were no match for the loving power of Our Lady.
That the moon beneath our Lady’s feet has at times taken the shape of the crescent serves as a reminder of her intercessions against Islam, whether at Lepanto, for the Spanish people in conquered Spain, or in this age of Islamic expansion. It continues to serve as a source of hope to those who seek her intercession.
Catholics would be wise to seek her prayerful inspiration when conversing and contending with Muslims today, just as did the Spanish Catholics of ages past.
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