Monday, October 23, 2017

For them that love Him

The eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
neither hath it entered into the heart of man,
what things God hath prepared for them that love Him.

St. Paul, I Cor. 2:9

St. John of Capistrano

Born in the Kingdom of Naples in 1386, John of Capistrano was a most talented youth. He studied law in Perugia, was appointed governor of the city in 1412 and married the daughter of a wealthy citizen.

Imprisoned during hostilities between Perugia and the Malatesta, he had a vision of St. Francis of Assisi inviting him to join his order and resolved to dedicate his life entirely to God. His marriage not being consummated, John obtained a dispensation and joined the Franciscans in Perugia. He was ordained a priest in 1420, and made extraordinary progress in his theological studies, while leading a life of extreme austerity. His master was St. Bernardine of Siena for whom he bore a deep veneration and affection.

Gifted with oratory, he preached extensively throughout the length and breadth of Italy attracting huge crowds wherever he went. He also helped St. Bernardine of Siena with reforms needed within the Franciscan Order. He was especially interested in helping the Franciscan nuns of St. Colette and with the Third Order Franciscans.

Frequently employed as ambassador by the Holy See, his missions on behalf of the Pope took him all over Europe. As Apostolic Nuncio to Austria, he helped Emperor Frederick III in his fight against the Hussite heresy and was appointed Inquisitor. He wrote many books, mainly combating the heresies of his day.

When Constantinople fell to the Turks, John of Capistrano preached a crusade in Hungary. At the age of seventy he personally led a wing of the army in the battle of Belgrade. Both his prayer and example were vital factors in the lifting of the siege. The infection spread by the decomposing bodies left unburied around the city ultimately took his life within a couple of months. He died peacefully at Villach on October 23, 1456.

He was beatified in 1694 and canonized in 1724.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

The Lady Who Snubbed the Rosary

In his book, The Secret of the Rosary, St. Louis de Montfort writes of a pious but self-willed lady who lived in Rome. She was so devout that she put many a religious to shame.
One day, hearing of the holiness of St. Dominic, great apostle of the Rosary, she decided to make her confession to him. For penance the saint told her to say a Rosary and advised her to make it’s recitation her daily practice.
“But, Father, “ she protested, “I already say so many prayers and practice so many exercises…I walk the Stations of Rome every day, I wear sack-cloth and a hair-shirt, I scourge myself several times a week, and often fast…”

St. Dominic insistently advised that she adopt the recitation of the Rosary, but she would not hear it. Moreover, she left the confessional horrified at the methods of this new spiritual director who wanted to impose on her a devotion for which she had no taste.
One day, when she was saying her prayers, she was shown a vision. In this vision she saw her soul appear before the Supreme Judge. She also saw St. Michael holding the scale of her life. On one side he placed all her prayers and penances, and on the other all her sins and imperfections. Down went the scale on the side of sins and imperfections, outweighing all her good works.
Wide eyed, the good lady cried out for mercy, and turned to Our Lady imploring her help. Our Lady then gently set down on the tray of her good works the only Rosary she had ever said, which was the one St. Dominic had imposed on her as a penance.
This one Rosary was so heavy that it outweighed all her sins as well as good works.
Our Lady then reproved her for having refused to follow the counsel of her son Dominic and for refusing to adopt the practice of the daily recitation of the Rosary.
When the lady came to, she rushed to St. Dominic and casting herself down at his feet, told him what had happened. She begged forgiveness for her unbelief, and promised to say the Rosary faithfully every day. By this means she grew in holiness, and finally attained the glory of eternal life.
Thus says St. Louis de Montfort, “You who are people of prayer, learn from this the power, the value and the importance of this devotion of the holy Rosary when it is said with meditation on the mysteries.”

God could not give more

God in His omnipotence
could not give more,
in His wisdom
He knew not how to give more,
in His riches
He had not more to give,
than the Eucharist.

St. Augustine of Hippo

St. Philip of Heraclea and Companions

Philip, the bishop of Heraclea in Thrace, became a martyr of Christ during the persecution of Diocletian. He was a diligent, courageous shepherd who confirmed the faith of his people, and when induced to flee the persecution, chose to remain.

Severus and Hermes were a priest and deacon who endured tribulation, prison and martyrdom with him. At first, Bassus, the governor, ordered the door of the church sealed, to which Philip retorted: “Do you imagine that God dwells within walls, and not rather in the hearts of men?” and continued to hold assembly outside. Finally the sacred vessels and books were confiscated, the sacred books burned publicly, and the roof of the church incinerated.

Under torture, Philip was invincible. Pointing to a large statue of Hercules, Bassus bid him to only touch it, but the martyr refused saying that graven images had value only to stone-carvers but were helpless to worshipers. Then the deacon Hermes was asked if he would offer sacrifice, he refused.

Bassus’ term as governor being up, another, Justin, a ruthless man, stepped in.

Under Justin, Philip was beaten till his flesh was pulp.

Imprisoned with Hermes and another, the priest Severus, Philip faced martyrdom alongside Hermes by fire. Buried up to their knees, the martyrs were burned. But when the flames died and the smoke cleared, although the martyrs were dead, their bodies were found whole. Justin ordered the bodies to be thrown into the river, but pious citizens fished them out with nets and gave them proper burial.

In prison, the priest Severus rejoicing on hearing of their victory,  begged God to think him not unworthy of following in the footsteps of his bishop and Hermes, and suffered martyrdom the next day.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

O sinner, be not discouraged

O sinner, be not discouraged,
but have recourse to Mary in all your necessities.
Call her to your assistance, for such is the divine Will
that she should help in every kind of necessity.

St. Basil the Great

St. Hilarion

Hilarion was born of pagan parents in the village of Tabatha, south of Gaza. He was converted to Christianity in Alexandria and baptized at fifteen.

Visiting St. Anthony of the Desert, he lived with him for two months, but finding the desert hermit’s cave only a little less populated than the city, because of the continuous flow of people seeking the saint’s help and guidance, he retired into the desert of Majuma, in Palestine.

For years he only ate fifteen figs a day, and for an occupation, he tilled the earth and made baskets. His first abode was a small hut woven of reeds. Later, he made himself a cell, one so small that it was more like a tomb. As the years passed, he found he needed more nourishment than figs alone provided and included a few vegetables and bread in his diet.

In 356 he was informed by revelation of the death of St. Anthony. He was sixty-five and was so afflicted by the number of people who crowded to him that he resolved to leave Palestine. From then on, he became a pilgrim of solitude, seeking to be left alone with God. But though silent, his miracles spoke loudly and people sought him out in whatever wilderness he fled to.

Finally, after trying several remote places, including Sicily, Hilarion wished to go into a country where not even his language was understood. And so his friend, St. Heyschius, took him to Dalmatia. But again miracles defeated the saint’s intent of living alone. Fleeing to Cyprus, his popularity followed him there, so traveling inland a dozen miles and climbing to an inaccessible but pleasant place, he at last found peace and quiet.

After a few years in this spot, he died at the age of eighty. Among those who visited him in his last illness, was St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis, who later wrote of him to St. Jerome. He was buried near Paphos, but St. Hesychius secretly removed his body to Hilarion’s old home of Majuma.

Friday, October 20, 2017

There is Hope for America

By John Horvat II
America Prays the Rosary In Massive Public Events
So many times, I look out at the general moral rottenness and grieve for the nation. I grieve because our decadence appears so overwhelming and it makes me fear the righteous justice of God who is deeply offended by the sins of men.
However, this October 14, I felt an immense hope for the country. This was because I knew that there were 21, 570 public square rosary rallies at locations nationwide. Where I had thought there was only iniquity, I found signs of the love of God and His Blessed Mother. Where I thought none dared speak, I found people praying in the public square.
The Public Square Rosary Rally campaign is a project of America Needs Fatima, an effort to win the hearts and souls of Americans for Our Lady and her Fatima message. In 2007, America Needs Fatima began asking Americans to pray for the conversion of the nation in the public square every year, on the Saturday closest to October 13. What started with 2,000 rallies has now flowered tenfold. The praying of the rosary in a conspicuous public place could be seen at 21,570 locations on October 14.
The rallies are held in October because it was the month of the “Miracle of the Sun” in Fatima in 1917. This year’s commemoration of the event was made more special by the fact that it marks the miracle’s one-hundred-year anniversary.

 
My Participation in This Historic Event
My impressions of hope for America were confirmed when I attended a public square rosary rally. It was not just any rosary rally or any public square. I had the great grace to be at America Needs Fatima’s flagship rally across from St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Fifth Avenue in New York City. A few hundred faithful gathered in front of the Rockefeller Center, praying in front of one of the nation’s most well-known locations. Passersby from all over the world witnessed the event—some in shock, others in awe.
I must admit that I did not see the conversion of America as a result of our public testimony. I saw many who were indifferent or opposed to our presence on Fifth Avenue. My exposure to the general public at this famous location only confirmed many of the reasons why I grieve for the nation. So many people seem intent not to think about God or Our Lady at all.
Our presence on Fifth Avenue mirrored those of hundreds of thousands of others who occupied public places from coast to coast. I am sure other participants also did not see immediate conversions as a result of their actions. However, millions did witness these scenes of prayerful petition to the Mother of God. I have no doubt it influenced those who were unfavorable, indifferent and sympathetic to our cause. Each took away something from seeing the public display of piety in the public square.

Those Who Disagreed or Who Were Indifferent
I noticed to my great sorrow that there were those who hated what we were doing on Fifth Avenue. These were people who do not grieve for the nation. They told us that they approve of abortion, same-sex “marriage” and other immoral acts that offend God. They did everything to discourage us from continuing, often with signs of rage.
However, I am inclined to think that our action did good even to those who raged against us. They were shocked to see that we were there on what they considered as “their” turf. We shook their certainties in what they believed. We broke in their minds the idea that everyone follows the ways of the world. They left the scene less convinced that they were right. Perhaps a seed was planted that might later bear fruit in times when they suffer and might look to God.
Perhaps the most tragic of the observers of the rallies were the indifferent ones. These looked upon the rallies as a nuisance. Those praying on the sidewalk forced them to change their path. The proceeding interrupted their jogging or cell phone conversation. Immersed in their own little world, these observers resisted our attempts to show that something exists besides themselves.
They pretended not to see the rallies. However, they did and took note in the back of their minds.



Those Who Were Sympathetic
The most touching support for the rallies were those who were sympathetic to its message. They read the rally banner that said: “As human efforts fail to solve America’s key problems, we turn to God, through His Holy Mother asking His urgent help.” They agreed with this message.
These were those who made the sign of the cross or joined the rallies on their own. These were Americans who also grieve for the state of the country. They have suffered from the brutal culture wars that have torn our land and families apart.
To these supporters, the rallies were a sign of great hope. Many would come up and say this is what the country needed. Others were visibly moved by the scene, perhaps because they recalled the Catholic faith of their youth. Some even shed a tear. For these, the rallies represented a ray of hope and joy.


There is Hope for America
The people that participated in the rallies were the most impressive part of the effort. These were Catholics from all walks of life who bravely appeared in the public square to pray for the nation. There were bishops, priests, religious and laity. There were faithful Catholics from all ethnic groups. There were plenty of children. In a country so bitterly divided, everyone at the rallies was united in joy and enthusiasm.
There was a great variety of rallies with all sorts of creative variations. Some were simple affairs of five or ten friends and family assembled at a busy corner. Others were groups of twenty or fifty with songs, chairs or even refreshments. Others were huge affairs with hundreds of people, featuring speeches, musical programs and even theatrical presentations. They all came to call upon Our Lady to save the nation in this hour of great affliction.
For me, this was something that filled me with hope for America. Granted, those who came to rallies were not a majority of the nation. However, so often in biblical contexts, God does not ask for the majority before rescuing His Cause. He usually asks for a tiny but impassioned minority that is willing to serve as the leaven to raise up His people.
In this sense, the rosary rallies were a source of great hope for a nation in need of it. As the rosary banner stated, there are no human solutions to our present problems. We must look to Heaven. On October 14, there were 21,570 points of light. These bright rays of hope pierced and vanquished our vast moral darkness and were welcomed by Our Lady in Heaven.





John Horvat II is a scholar, researcher, educator, international speaker, and author of the book Return to Order, as well as the author of hundreds of published articles. He lives in Spring Grove, Pennsylvania where he is the vice president of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property.

When you feel so unworthy a sentiment rising within you...

Beginners in the service of God
sometimes lose confidence when they fall into any fault.
When you feel so unworthy a sentiment rising within you, you must lift your heart to God
and consider that all your faults, compared with divine goodness,
are less than a bit of tattered thread thrown into a sea of fire.
Suppose that the whole horizon, as far as you can see from this mountain, were a sea of fire;
if we cast into it a bit of tattered thread, it will disappear in an instant.
So, when you have committed a fault, humble yourself before God,
and cast your fault into the infinite ocean of charity
and at once it will be effaced from your soul; at the same time all distrust will disappear.

St. Paul of the Cross

St. Paul of the Cross

Paul Francis Danei was born on January 3, 1694, at Ovada, a small town in the then Republic of Genoa. He spent his youth at Castellazzo, in Lombardy, where his parents had taken up their residence when Paul was only ten years old. It was in Castellazzo, his father's native town, that Paul received his first inspirations concerning the work for which God had destined him. From his earliest years the crucifix was his book and the Crucified his model.

Paul received his early education from a priest who kept a school for boys, in Cremolino. He made great progress in both his studies and in the practice of virtue. His early attraction for Our Lord Crucified grew naturally into an ardent devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. At the age of fifteen he left school and returned to his home at Castellazzo, and from this time his life was full of trials. In early manhood he renounced the offer of an honorable marriage as well as a good inheritance left him by an uncle who was a priest. He kept for himself only the priest's Breviary.

Inflamed with a desire for God's glory he formed the idea of instituting a religious order in honor of the Passion. The Bishop of Alessandria, his director, clothed him in a black tunic bearing the emblem of Our Lord's Passion, and barefooted and bareheaded, he retired to a narrow cell where he drew up the Rules of a new congregation according to a plan made known to him in a vision. He was still a layman and had no companions to form a community but drew up the rules during a five day period in December, 1720. Writing in obedience to his confessor, Paul narrates how Our Lord inspired him with the design of founding the congregation, and how he wrote the Rules and Constitutions. "When I was writing," he says, "I went on as quickly as if somebody were dictating to me. I felt the words come from my heart".

In 1725, on a visit to Rome with his brother John Baptist, his constant companion and co-operator in the foundation of the institute, Paul received from Pope Benedict XIII permission to form a congregation according to these Rules. The two brothers were ordained by the same pope in the Vatican basilica on June 7, 1727. After serving for a time in the hospital of St. Gallicano they left Rome with permission of the Holy Father and went to Mount Argentaro, where they established the first house of the institute. They took up their abode in a small hermitage near the summit of the mount, to which was attached a chapel dedicated to St. Anthony. They were soon joined by three companions, one of whom was a priest.

At the first general chapter of the institute in April of 1747, Paul was elected, much against his wishes, as the first superior general; he was to hold the office until the day of his death. He became a model to his companions in all their endeavors. Sacred missions were instituted, new foundations and numerous conversions of sinners, seemingly hardened and hopeless, were made, “yet he never left off preaching the word of God, burning as he did with a wondrous desire for the salvation of souls" states the Brief of his Beatification of October 1, 1852. He was untiring in his apostolic labors and never, even to his last hour, remitted anything of his austere manner of life, finally succumbing to a severe illness, worn out as much by his austerities as by old age.

Constant personal union with the Cross and Passion of Our Lord was the prominent feature of St. Paul's sanctity. But devotion to the Passion did not stand alone, for he carried to a heroic degree all the other virtues of a Christian life. For fifty years he prayed for the conversion of England, and left the devotion as a legacy to his sons. The body of St. Paul lies in the Basilica of SS. John and Paul, Rome. He was canonized on June 29, 1867.

Fatima: A City Clothed with the Sun


By Tonia Long

It was the afternoon of October 12th, the evening before the 100th Anniversary of the Miracle of the sun. Expectation hung in the air as the plaza at the Fatima shrine filled with pilgrims from around the world.
Our job: to arrange nearly 30,000 red and white roses on the esplanade as an offering to the Mother of God.
Knowing that each red rose represented the dedication and love of a Rosary Rally Captain, and each white rose represented the devotion and love of Rosary Rally Sponsors, we took special care in order to make a magnificent presentation. The presence of such a vast number of flowers could not help but draw the attention of many pilgrims who stopped to ask where the roses came from.

With great pleasure we explained the America Needs Fatima Rosary Rally Captain program and the number of Rallies being held in America on the 14th in honor of the Mother of God. Even with the inevitable language barrier that exists in a multi-national crowd, the smiles that followed our explanation showed they were pleased to know that devotion to Our Lady of Fatima is alive and well in the U.S.A.
About an hour later our first mission was accomplished and it was time to tackle our next objective: the delivery of three large plastic bins of hand-written prayer intentions to the feet of she who loves to answer the prayers of her children. In the long trek from the car to the Basilica, we were thankful for the prudent purchase of a small hand dolly which made carrying such precious cargo a little easier!
The time for the candlelight vigil ceremony was fast approaching, as evidenced by the number of pilgrims who continued to flood the plaza as the sun began to sink in the sky.
We hastily made our way back to the car to retrieve the America Needs Fatima name banner. Knowing that many of our friends and supporters would have liked to come to Fatima with us, we offered to have their names carried during the candlelight ceremony. No less than 16,352 devout Catholics took us up on the offer and their names were carried high above the candles that flickered like so many stars across the shrine. My friends and I prayed very specially for all those whose name we carried during the candlelight procession. It is truly a touching moment; to see so many thousands of candles, so much devotion to the Mother of God all in one place. After many hours, the ceremonies came to a close and it was well past midnight when we made our way wearily back to our lodging for the night.


The morning of October 13th dawned with a slight haze across the sky. Where was the sun? Never fear! It made a glorious appearance just as Holy Mass began! Once again we entered a plaza simply packed to the brim with devotees of Mother Mary. Of course, we were too far from the altar to see what was happening, but large screens were provided to the left and right of the altar so that even those at the back of the crowd could participate in the Mass. When the time arrived for receiving Holy Communion, hundreds of priests penetrated the crowd to bring the healing Body of Christ to all.
The sun shone brightly at its zenith. It was 12:00 noon and we were there to witness a new miracle—the Miracle of the Son, as with quiet reverence members of the Body of Christ, which numbered in the hundreds of thousands, received their Eucharistic Lord. 

Our strength renewed, we set about our final act of devotion on behalf of all our America Needs Fatima friends and supporters. Carrying two three-foot-tall red candles, we made our way to the votive sanctuary. These two candles represented the prayers of thousands of our dear friends who had returned their small candles to America Needs Fatima to be used to make the large candles we now carried. Evidently very large and very special, our candles once again attracted the attention of the other pilgrims. Many asked where they could purchase such beautiful candles! Saying a special prayer of thanksgiving for all those who made our pilgrimage possible, we lit the large red candles and placed them carefully among the others, their flames flickering in silent testimony to the love that burns in the hearts of so many Americans for Our Lady of Fatima.

One hundred years have passed since the Mother of God came to deliver to mankind her plan for peace: prayer, penance and conversion. Sadly, mankind continues tragically slow to respond to her call. With renewed confidence in her love for us, let us all multiply our efforts to make Our Mother and her Fatima message known and loved across America and around the world. It is up to each one of us, through our correspondence to grace and the Fatima message, to speed up the triumph of Mary’s Immaculate Heart over mankind as she predicted at Fatima.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

A heart steadfast and unconquered

Give us, O Lord, a steadfast heart,
which no unworthy affection may drag downwards;
give us an unconquered heart, which no tribulation can wear out;
give us an upright heart, which no unworthy purpose may tempt aside.
Bestow upon us also, O Lord our God,
understanding to know you, diligence to seek you, wisdom to find you,
and a faithfulness that may finally embrace you;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.


St. Thomas Aquinas

Sts. Jean de Brébeuf, Isaac Jogues and Companions

The first missionaries to North America arrived in 1608 in Acadia, Nova Scotia. They were the Jesuits Pierre Biard and Ennemond Massé, who began work among the Souriquois Indians. This phase of the work of preaching the Gospel was brought to a standstill in 1613 as a result of an English raid.

After things had settled down, the indefatigable Governor of New France, Samuel Champlain, continuously asked for missionaries from France. At his request, several Franciscans came in 1615. These labored heroically, but in need of additional help, appealed to the Jesuits. In 1625 three Jesuits landed in Quebec: Jean de  Brébeuf, Charles Lalemant and Ennemond Massé returning from France.

Others joined the missions including: Antoine Daniel, Isaac Jogues, Charles Garnier, Noël Chabanel, René Goupil, Jean de Lalande, and Gabriel Lalemant.

By the late 1640's, after years of heroic perseverance, oftentimes in appalling circumstances, the Jesuits were making a considerable number of conversions mostly among the Hurons. The Iroquois, deadly enemies of the Hurons, considered the missionaries targets, and indeed massacred the seven mentioned above and also Jean de Brébeuf. Some of them were tortured beyond belief before being tomahawked, beheaded or having their still-beating hearts wrenched from their chests. Having survived the first round of tortures, Fr. Isaac Jogues had returned to France maimed, but he chose to rejoin the missions and finally met his death by martyrdom like his companions.

Canonized in 1930 by Pope Pius XI, the martyrs are, collectively, the secondary patrons of Canada. Sts. René Goupil, Isaac Jogues and Jean de Lalande are considered the first U.S. saints because they were martyred in upstate New York.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

No matter how burdened you may be

If you desire peace in your hearts,
in your homes, and in your country,
assemble each evening to recite the Rosary.
Let not even one day pass without saying it,
no matter how burdened you may be with many cares and labors.

Pope Pius XI

St. Luke the Evangelist

Luke was not a Jew but a Gentile, and thought to have been a Greco-Syrian, probably born in Antioch. Though one of the four Gospel writers – known as the Evangelists – he was not one of Christ's Twelve Apostles. Whether he converted to Christianity from Judaism or paganism is not certain.

He was a disciple and companion of the Apostle Paul who mentions that he was also a medical man, “Luke, the most dear physician” and he probably helped St. Paul with his much-tried health. Luke was certainly with the great apostle in his first two imprisonments in Rome.

According to tradition, the physician and Evangelist was also an artist and painted several pictures of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary. Among the most famous is the Salus Populi Romani enshrined in the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome.

Not only is the third Gospel, written in Koine Greek, attributed to Luke by the early fathers, but Biblical scholars are in wide agreement that he also wrote the Acts of the Apostles. While traditional Christian scholarship dates the writing of his Gospel to the 60’s, others place it in the last decades of the first century.

St. Luke is believed to have died a martyr though accounts of his death vary.

He is venerated as St. Luke the Evangelist and his symbol is the bull. He is patron saint of artists, physicians, surgeons, students, and butchers.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

America Prays the Rosary



21,570 Public Square Rosary Rallies took place here in America in commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun in Fatima, Portugal.  These Rosary Rallies all across America were a unanimous prayer to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for the conversion of America.

Instead of beginning our day in the rain-soaked fields of the Cova da Iria, just outside of the pastoral village of Fatima, we were situated in Fountain Square, an urban park in the heart of Cincinnati, surrounded by skyscrapers on all sides, each one peering down upon us, accompanied by acres upon acres of concrete and asphalt, instead of fields of grazing sheep. 
 Our event, like that of Fatima, commenced at 12:00 noon, but in an urban park rather than the fields of Portugal.  While we did not have a gathering of over 70,000 people like those who crowded into the pasture lands of Fatima, we did have well over 400 people who braved the interstate traffic with its ubiquitous orange traffic barrows and the crowded city streets of an urban setting, navigating through the confusing parking garages to make their way to the celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of the last public apparition at Fatima.   
 
New York City, Rosary Rally - October 14, 2017 - 100th Anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun

Hundreds of thousands of Catholics prayed the Rosary in public to beg God and the Blessed Mother to save America. In 21,570 public places from coast to coast, Catholics associated with America Needs Fatima held Public Square Rosary Rallies. 
 Rosary Rally in Austin, Texas. The October 14, 2017 National Rosary Rally was most likely the largest Rosary Rally ever to bless the land of the brave.
Castle Shannon, PA - Rosary Rallies varied in number from 5 to 500 participants and Our Blessed Mother of Fatima was honored in all of them.
 
 From Rosary Rally Captain Leorosie Nabor T. We held 2 rosary rallies in Cresson, PA.  One was held yesterday with our All Saints Catholic School children here in Cresson, PA and another one was held today at noon.  Thank you for giving us this opportunity to pray the rosary in public.  God bless you!
Jersey City, New Jersey
"As people turn away from God, we’re seeing new levels of sin and chaos. Plus, it is harder to find solutions to our nation's growing moral problems," remarked Francis Slobodnik, national coordinator of the 2017 Public Square Rosary Crusade. "World events are spiraling out of control. Society is splintering. We're suffering from the evil consequences of sexual immorality, abortion and same-sex 'marriage,'" Slobodnik said. "We must turn back to God and ask Our Lady for supernatural solutions. There is an urgent need for amendment of life and penance. If only we'd do what she requested at Fatima, people would get the courage and wisdom to turn things around in America."
Escondido, CA
In California alone, 3,304 America Needs Fatima members registered to hold a Public Square Rosary Rally.
Rancho Penasquitos, CA
Gorham, Maine
America Needs Fatima first launched the Rosary Rally campaign in 2007 with 2,100 Rosary Rallies. Eleven years later 21,570 covered our Nation with Rosaries.
Hazleton, PA
Rally Captain Jack Burnham reported on comments heard during his rally in Hazleton, PA.  "Thank you for all you do. We have to pray for our Faith. This strengthens my faith in our Lady and the Church". Another said, "This is very encouraging. It enlivens my hope for America."
Nashville, TN
Miami, FL
 From Rosary Rally Captain Sergio de Paz. Arrived at 9am knowing the USA Government FEMA was advertising an event there. They allowed me in when I mentioned I was going for another event, "Fatima Rosary Rally". Traffic was bumper to bumper getting jammed as people were not allowed to enter for anything. By 10am people started calling me, "Park is closed can't get in".  I started sending them to other Rallies like Coral Gables and another in Coral Way and 87 Ave, all close by. Then Our Lady Intervened. By 11:30am a group of about 12 people arrived. I am a Rosary Captain and we begged the police to let us in and they did, then some of the FEMA people stayed with us. After that, a nurse and another gentlemen drove by in the traffic jam, saw Our Lady, found a place to park and walked back to join us in the Rosary and they stayed late after we finished. 
CALM, CONFIDENCE, COURAGE!
Raritan, NJ
 
LAST BUT NOT LEAST...  21,570 Red Roses were delivered to the shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal. One Red Rose in honor of and for the intentions of each of the brave Rally Captains.



How to console a suffering soul

In order to console a soul in its sufferings,
point out to it all the good it can still do.

St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina

St. Ignatius of Antioch

Ignatius, born in Syria, converted to Christianity at a young age, and was thought to be a disciple of St. John the Evangelist. He is one of the five Apostolic Church Fathers, who were instructed personally by Christ’s apostles.

An early tradition has it that he was the child that Our Lord took up in his arms, as recorded by St Mark: “And taking a child, he set him in the midst of them. Whom when he had embraced, he saith to them: Whosoever shall receive one such child as this in my name, receiveth me (9:35-36).

Consecrated bishop by the Apostles, he succeeded St. Peter and Evodius as the third Bishop of Antioch about the year 69.

An ideal pastor and true soldier of Christ, Ignatius comforted and strengthened his flock when the persecution of Domitian broke out. He was arrested during the persecution of Trajan, and shipped aboard a vessel bound for Rome. Along the route his ship made several stops, which afforded the saint opportunity of confirming the faith of various churches. He wrote several letters to these communities which have been preserved, and deal with early Catholic theology. St. Ignatius was the first to use the Greek word “katholikos”, “universal” in reference to the Church founded by Christ.

At Smyrna, he had the joy of meeting his former disciple and dear friend, St. Polycarp. His route to martyrdom was a sort of triumphant march, with Christian communities flocking to meet him everywhere, hailing and encouraging him on his way.
He was martyred in Rome on the last day of the public games, December 20 in the year 107. Condemned to be devoured by lions in the public arena, his prayer before his death was: “I am God's wheat, and I am to be ground by the teeth of wild beasts, so that I may become the pure bread of Christ. Indeed the lions devoured all of his body leaving only the large bones.

Today, these relics of St. Ignatius rest in the Church of San Clemente in Rome.

Monday, October 16, 2017

The Three Streams of the Sacred Heart

From this Divine Heart three streams flow endlessly.
The first is the stream of mercy for sinners; it pours into their hearts
sentiments of contrition and repentance.
The second is the stream of charity which helps all in need and especially aids
those seeking perfection to find the means of surmounting their difficulties.
From the third stream flow love and light for the benefit of His friends
who have attained perfection; these He wishes to unite to Himself
so that they may share His knowledge and commandments
and, in their individual ways, devote themselves wholly to advancing His glory.

St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

Margaret Mary was born in the small Burgundian town of L’Hautecour in France, the fifth of seven children of Claude Alacoque, a notary, and his wife, Philliberte Lamyn.

Her father died when she was eight and she was sent to school with the Poor Clares. She was immediately attracted to their way of life and so exemplary was her piety that she was allowed to make her First Communion at the age of nine – an unusual privilege at the time.

Struck by a very painful rheumatic illness, which confined her to bed until the age of fifteen, the young girl returned to L’Hautecour only to find her family home occupied by several relatives who proceeded to treat her mother and herself almost like servants.

By the age of twenty, she was being pressured by these relatives to marry. Strengthened and supported by a vision of Our Lord, she refused.

Margaret did not receive Confirmation until she was twenty-two, but once she was fortified by the sacrament, she bravely confronted and decisively overcame her family's remaining opposition to her religious vocation, and entered the Monastery of the Visitation at Paray-le-Monial in 1671.

Deeply devoted to the Passion of Our Lord and to the Holy Eucharist, Margaret felt sensibly the presence of Our Lord. On December 27, 1673, while praying before the Blessed Sacrament exposed in the convent chapel, she felt Our Lord inviting her to step into the place taken by St. John the Beloved at the Last Supper near His Heart.

This first communication was followed by several others during a period of eighteen months in which Our Lord Jesus revealed and expanded to her the devotion to His Most Sacred Heart in which He wished His Heart to be honored under the form of a heart of flesh. He also asked for the Communion of Reparation on the nine First Fridays of the month, and an hour vigil on Thursdays.

Margaret Mary suffered misunderstanding and persecution from within her religious community as she attempted to reveal Our Lord’s wishes. Falling ill under the strain, her superior promised to heed her if she was healed, both of which came to pass.

Further supported by the spiritual guidance of the Jesuit, St. Claude de la Colombière, who while visiting Paray-le-Monial recognized both Margaret’s sanctity and her message, the new devotion began to gradually spread throughout France and the world.

Margaret Mary Alacoque died in October of 1690 and was canonized in 1920.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Let nothing disturb you

 Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you.
All things are passing;
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things.
He who possesses God lacks nothing;

God alone suffices.

St. Teresa of Avila

St. Teresa of Avila

Teresa was born in the medieval fortified town of Avila in Spain on March 28, 1515. At seven she and her brother Rodrigo, impressed by the lives of the saints, ran away from home, hoping to die as martyrs. They were overtaken on the road out of Avila by an uncle and returned home where they contented themselves with playing at being "hermits" in their garden instead.

Beautiful, intelligent, and of a lively and assertive temperament, Teresa was given to prayer and seeking God’s will for her. At the age of twenty, having overcome her good father’s reluctance to be parted from her, she entered the Carmelite Convent of the Incarnation in Avila, and was professed as a religious a year later.

Becoming ill, she suffered much for several years and was once almost given up for dead. Seeking God in the practice of virtue and solitude, she began to develop her famous doctrine on prayer and divine contemplation.

Yet her convent, much given to social encounters, and worldliness, for a while distracted her. Coming to herself, she quit the society of outsiders, and seeking only to fulfill her religious duties and grow in prayer, greatly advanced in the spiritual life. She began to be favored with rare divine communications, which she obediently submitted to the guidance of her confessors.

Inspired to reform the Carmelites, amid opposition and persecution – including from the Inquisition – Teresa went on to found the Discalced Carmelites with the support of St. Peter of Alcantara. Her first convent, dedicated to St. Joseph, was founded in Avila in 1562. Later, with the help of St. John of the Cross, she also undertook the reform of the male branch of the Order.

Once she started the great reform to return the Order to its original spirit of poverty, prayer and total enclosure, Teresa’s life was one of continuous foundations, which cost her much labor and suffering. It was during this period of the foundations that she wrote her treatises: The Way of Perfection, The Foundations, and The Interior Castle.

Teresa died in Alba de Tormes in October of 1582. She was canonized forty years later, was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1970, and is universally revered as the Doctor of Prayer.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Why the Fatima Chastisement and Triumph Await Us

Why the Fatima Chastisement and Triumph Await Us

This year we commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima, Portugal. The occasion is a time for reflection upon a world and Church in disarray. As a result, many sense that a dark future awaits us.
The reason for this foreboding is that the message and requests of Our Lady have mostly gone unheeded. Our Lady warned of dire consequences for the world if men did not repent and stop sinning against God’s law.
What Happened at Fatima
For those unfamiliar with the Fatima apparitions, the account of the event is simple. Our Lady appeared to three shepherd children tending their sheep near the village of Fatima. She asked them to come back for five consecutive months, on the thirteenth day, during which she would reveal to them an urgent message for our times.
In the course of the apparitions, she continually asked for prayer, penance, and amendment of life. She predicted future events that would happen should men not convert. She also asked for the consecration of Russia to Her Immaculate Heart and the practice of the First Saturday devotion—in which the faithful are asked to confess, go to communion, say five decades of the Rosary, and keep Our Lady company by meditating for fifteen minutes on the mysteries of the rosary on the first Saturday of five consecutive months.
On the day of the final apparition, Our Lady worked the most witnessed miracle in modern history as 70,000 people—including anti-Catholic reporters—saw the sun whirl in the sky on that cold and rainy day.
An Impressive Record: More Urgent Than Ever
In the one hundred years since these apparitions, everything has happened exactly as Our Lady said it would. The Fatima record is impressive in predicting both the past as well as the present.
However, there are those who say the message is all behind us now. It’s over. It has been a hundred years, and thus the message is outdated and need no longer be observed.
Nothing could be further from the truth. The Fatima Message is more urgent than ever. Here is why.
No Conversion
Our Lady herself urgently called for the conversion of sinners back in 1917. She warned repeatedly that should her request not be heeded and men not convert, the world would suffer a great chastisement, including the annihilation of some nations.
Looking at the state of the world one hundred years later, no one can affirm that the world has improved. The weakening of Faith is evident everywhere. The Church is in a shattered state of crisis. Society is coming apart because of abortion, the destruction of marriage and the collapse of morals. The world is full of social and political crises and military threats ready to explode at any moment.
It is obvious that men have not converted. There is no doubt that Our Lady’s requests have not been heeded. And given the present state of world affairs, it is unlikely that men will do this in the near future.
Therefore, Fatima is more urgent than ever because it foresees a chastisement for a world that has lost all sense of order. The message says what so many avoid saying: The present crisis is a moral crisis and, therefore, calls for a moral solution.
What Is Needed: A Change of Heart
A society without morals sets itself on the road to ruin. Many already sense this. They see the world and its institutions are coming apart. That within the family itself, there is much strife and discord.  The horrific crimes of terrorism show that no place is safe from the evil in men’s hearts.
Either we see a change of hearts, or this world is lost. And that is the great beauty of the Fatima message. Fatima is not only a message for those who heeded Our Lady’s requests. It speaks to those who did not heed them and come to repent.
Fatima proposes a genuine change of heart. The message asks the faithful to have recourse to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, as a means to bring about a grand return to order in times of trial and chastisement. This recourse is the core of the unheeded Message.
Recourse to the Immaculate Heart of Mary means confiding all our concerns, trials and problems to her heart. Further, it means making our hearts like her Immaculate Heart. In other words, avoiding all sin and imitating her great virtue. Our Lady told the seers at Fatima that those souls who embrace the devotion to her Immaculate Heart would find in it “salvation,” a “refuge,” and that her Heart would be “a road that will lead [them] to God.”
That is why Fatima is not over. We are on the cusp of a great chastisement. We need direction and strength. We need hope. And the message has it. Those who confide in the Immaculate Heart of Mary during the coming storm can expect to see the fulfillment of her last prediction: “Finally, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.”
In this centennial year, we should resolve to make Fatima our compass. It is not over. The best part, her triumph, is yet to come.

We cannot enter heaven without...

We cannot enter a house without first speaking to the porter.
Similarly, we cannot enter heaven
without calling upon the aid of the Blessed Virgin Mary
who is the Portress of Heaven.

St. John Vianney

Pope St. Callistus I

The name of St. Callistus was made famous by the Roman cemetery along the Apian Way that he beautified while he was its papal-appointed superintendent. Today, it still bears his name though he is not buried there but in the Church of Santa Maria in Trastevere. The cemetery of St. Callistus is fittingly revered for having many relics of the Christian martyrs buried within its precincts.

Roman by birth, Callistus was the slave of a Christian member of Caesar's household. He later became assistant to Pope St. Zephyrinus and then succeeded him in 218 or 219, reigning for about five years. Although the time in which he reigned was mostly peaceful for Christians under Alexander Severus whose mother was a Christian, there are historical indications that he suffered martyrdom in the year 223.

Even his enemies attest to his having ruled with equanimity, at times contravening the customs of the era in favor of wisdom and mercy.

Friday, October 13, 2017

21,570 Rosary Rallies to Blanket America on October 14th



HANOVER, Penn., Oct. 9, 2017 — Hundreds of thousands of Catholics prepare to pray the Rosary in public and beg God and the Blessed Mother to save America. In 21,570 public places from coast to coast, lay Catholics associated with America Needs Fatima will hold Public Square Rosary Rallies.
The rallies refocus people on the urgency of the Blessed Mother's call to conversion given 100 years ago at Fatima, Portugal, and beg God to save America from unimaginable new levels of sin and chaos in society.
A map listing the rally locations by state can be found here!
"As people turn away from God, we’re seeing new levels of sin and chaos. Plus, it is harder to find solutions to our nation's growing moral problems," remarked Francis Slobodnik, national coordinator of the 2017 Public Square Rosary Crusade.
"World events are spiraling out of control. Society is splintering. We're suffering from the evil consequences of sexual immorality, abortion and same-sex 'marriage,'" Slobodnik said. "We must turn back to God and ask Our Lady for supernatural solutions. There is an urgent need for amendment of life and penance. If only we'd do what she requested at Fatima, people would get the courage and wisdom to turn things around in America."



In 21,570 locations, rally captains are gearing up for the 2017 Public Square Rosary Crusade on October 14, from 12:00 noon to 1:00 PM local time. This is the Saturday closest to October 13th the anniversary of the Fatima miracle of the sun.
"The concept of doing a Rosary Rally in a public place is catching on," Slobodnik added. "In South Africa there will be 683 rallies and in Canada 533 rallies, plus there will be hundreds of sister rallies in other nations such as Poland, Ireland, Belgium, Australia and Cuba that we know of."
"The Holy Rosary is powerful. It is the solution for our problems," said Mr. Slobodnik. "The thought of 21,570 Public Square Rosary Rallies taking place all across America gives hope. I just know the Blessed Mother will be touched by the rallies and work wonders on that day, just like the miracle of the sun 100 years ago. She cannot refuse the fervent prayers of her suffering children, who beg for help!"
The national prayer event is sponsored by The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) and its America Needs Fatima campaign.
Contact: Robert E. Ritchie, America Needs Fatima, 717-309-1990, reritchie@gmail.com





100 Years Ago Today - The Sixth Fatima Apparition



As on the other occasions, the seers, Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta, first saw a bright light, and then they saw Our Lady over the holm oak.



Lucia:
What does Your Grace wish of me?
Our Lady: I wish to tell you that I want a chapel built here in my honor. I am the Lady of the Rosary. Continue to pray the rosary every day. The war is going to end, and the soldiers will soon return to their homes.
Lucia: I have many things to ask you: if you would cure some sick persons, and if you would convert some sinners...
Our Lady: Some yes, others no. They must amend their lives and ask forgiveness for their sins.
Becoming sadder, she added, “Let them offend Our Lord no more for He is already much offended.”
Then, opening her hands, Our Lady shone the light issuing from them onto the sun, and as she rose, her own radiance continued to be cast onto the sun.
At that moment, Lucia cried, "Look at the sun!"
Once Our Lady had disappeared in the expanse of the firmament, three scenes followed in succession, symbolizing first the joyful mysteries of the rosary, then the sorrowful mysteries, and, finally, the glorious mysteries. Lucia alone saw the three scenes; Francisco and Jacinta saw only the first.
The first scene: Saint Joseph appeared beside the sun with the Child Jesus and Our Lady of the Rosary. It was the Holy Family. The Virgin was dressed in white with a blue mantle. Saint Joseph was also dressed in white, and the Child Jesus in light red. Saint Joseph blessed the crowd, making the Sign of the Cross three times. The Child Jesus did the same.
The second scene: A vision of Our Lady of Sorrows, without the sword in her breast, and of Our Lord overwhelmed with sorrow on the way to Calvary.
Our Lord made the Sign of the Cross to bless the people.
Lucia could only see the upper part of Our Lord's body.
The third scene: Finally, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, crowned queen of heaven and earth, appeared in a glorious vision holding the Child Jesus near her heart.
While these scenes took place, the great throng of 70,000 spectators witnessed the miracle of the sun.
It had rained all during the apparition. At the end of the conversation between Our Lady and Lucia – when the Blessed Virgin rose and Lucia shouted, "Look at the sun!" – the clouds parted, revealing the sun as an immense silver disk shining with an intensity never before seen – though not blinding.
This lasted only an instant. Then the immense disk began to "dance."
The sun spun rapidly like a gigantic circle of fire. Then it stopped momentarily, only to begin spinning vertiginously again. Its rim became scarlet; whirling, it scattered red flames across the sky.
Their light was reflected on the ground, on the trees, on the bushes, and on the faces and clothing of the people, which took on brilliant hues and changing colors.
After performing this bizarre pattern three times, the globe of fire seemed to tremble, shake, and then plunge in a zigzag toward the terrified crowd.
All this lasted about ten minutes. Finally, the sun zigzagged back to its original place and once again became still and brilliant, shining with its normal brightness. The cycle of the apparitions had ended.
Many people noticed that their clothes, soaking wet from the rain, had suddenly dried.
The miracle of the sun was also seen by numerous witnesses up to twenty-five miles away from the place of the apparition.


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