first King of Hungary was born a pagan in 975, the son of the Hungarian
chieftain Géza. Together with his father, he was baptized in 985 by St.
Adalbert, the Archbishop of Prague, on which occasion he changed his
heathen name Vaik (Vojk) to Stephen.
In 995, he married Gisela, a
sister of Henry, the Duke of Bavaria, the future Emperor St. Henry II,
and in 997 he succeeded his father as chief of the Hungarian Magyars.
order to make Hungary a Christian nation and to establish himself more
firmly as ruler, Stephen sent the Abbot Astricus to Rome to petition
Pope Sylvester II for the royal dignity and the power to establish
episcopal sees. The pope acceded to his wishes and, in addition,
presented Stephen with a royal crown in recognition of his sovereignty.
new King of the Hungarians endeavored above all to establish his nation
on a sound moral foundation and to that end he suppressed blasphemy,
murder, adultery and other public crimes, and established a feudal
system throughout Hungary. To this day, King Stephen is universally
recognized as the architect of the independent realm of Hungary.
founded a monastery in Jerusalem and hospices for pilgrims at Rome,
Ravenna, and Constantinople. A close friend of St. Bruno, he also
corresponded with St. Odilo of Cluny. The last years of his life were
embittered by illness and family troubles. When late in 1031 his only
son, Emeric, lost his life on a bear hunt, his cherished hope of
transferring the reins of government into the hands of a pious Christian
prince were shattered.
During his lifetime a quarrel arose among
his various nephews concerning the right of succession, and some of
them even took part in a conspiracy against his life. He was buried
beside his son at Stuhlweissenburg, and both were canonized together in
1083. First Photo by: Andrzej
Second Photo by: Granada Turnier
"It was fitting that she, who had kept her virginity intact in childbirth, should keep her own body free from all corruption even after death. It was fitting that she, who had carried the Creator as a child at her breast, should dwell in the divine tabernacles. It was fitting that the spouse, whom the Father had taken to himself, should live in the divine mansions. It was fitting that she, who had seen her Son upon the cross and who had thereby received into her heart the sword of sorrow which she had escaped in the act of giving birth to him, should look upon him as he sits with the Father. It was fitting that God's Mother should possess what belongs to her Son, and that she should be honored by every creature as the Mother and as the handmaid of God."
Pope Pius XII—Definition of the Dogma of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
was fitting that she, who had kept her virginity intact in childbirth,
should keep her own body free from all corruption even after death. It
was fitting that she, who had carried the Creator as a child at her
breast, should dwell in the divine tabernacles. It was fitting that the
spouse, whom the Father had taken to himself, should live in the divine
mansions. It was fitting that she, who had seen her Son upon the cross
and who had thereby received into her heart the sword of sorrow which
she had escaped in the act of giving birth to him, should look upon him
as he sits with the Father. It was fitting that God's Mother should
possess what belongs to her Son, and that she should be honored by every
creature as the Mother and as the handmaid of God." "Thus
St. John Damascene, an outstanding herald of this traditional truth,
spoke out with powerful eloquence when he compared the bodily Assumption
of the loving Mother of God with her other prerogatives and privileges.
together the testimonies of the Christians of earlier days, St. Robert
Bellarmine exclaimed: 'And who, I ask, could believe that the ark of
holiness, the dwelling place of the Word of God, the temple of the Holy
Spirit, could be reduced to ruin? My soul is filled with horror at the
thought that this virginal flesh which had begotten God, had brought him
into the world, had nourished and carried him, could have been turned
into ashes ... '"
Quotes above are taken from Pope Pius XII’s Apostolic Constitution Munificentissimus Deus defining the Dogma of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Mary is the most perfect and most holy work of God, for as St. Bonaventure said, “God can create a greater and more perfect world, but He cannot exalt a creature to higher dignity than that to which He exalted Mary.”
Assumption was a beautiful favor God granted to His mother. It began
when Our Lady, very suavely died. Her passing is customarily called Our
Lady’s dormition because the grace with which she passed from
this life and the short elapse before her resurrection, made her death
seem more like a dream.After death, Our Lady resurrected, in imitation
of Our Lord Jesus Christ. God then assumed her, body and soul, into
Heaven, in the presence of the Apostles and many of the faithful.
Assumption was a true glorification of Our Lady before the eyes of men
and will remain so until the end of the world. Nevertheless, it was a
mere foreshadowing of the glory she received in Heaven.
fully from this mystery, we will make a “composition of place,”
according to the method of Saint Ignatius. Thus, we will imagine how the
Assumption took place. In this, we are free to reconstruct the event as
best conforms to our piety, because there are no detailed descriptions
we begin, imagining the Apostles, assembled before Our Lady’s body, on
their knees in prayer. The presence of all the princes of the Church
made the atmosphere ineffable, noble, sublime and recollected. Their
countenances mimicked those found in the paintings of Fra Angelico.
Fra Angelico’s artwork.
the Angels in Heaven were slowly gathering and filling the celestial
court. Their faces were also like those portrayed by Fra Angelico.
Empyrean Heaven was filled with the most diverse, yet nuanced, colors
that radiated in such a way, as to create a truly incomparable scene.
things could have happened this way, for if Our Lady was able to fill
the sky with such diverse colors during the miracle of the sun at
Fatima, why could she not have filled Heaven with colors on the day of
Her soul descended to earth and reunited with her
body, revivifying it. She then stood up, body and soul, as the respect
and recollection of all those around increased. The physical similarity
between her and Our Lord, as mother and Son, was more apparent than
usual. Also present, the Savior stood, transfigured, before her and
increasingly communicated Himself to her.
As a result, her majesty
and queenliness increased together with her motherly kindness.
Everything about her that was most intimate was supremely manifested at
Some Angels – perhaps the most splendid of Heaven –
approached and began to lift her upwards. As she slowly rose, the skies
were marvelously transformed, until little by little, they returned to
their normal state and the witnesses dispersed with a sensation similar
to what they had experienced when Our Lord ascended.
were filled with reverence and awe. The event had shown them that Our
Lady was greater than anything they had dared imagine. However, their
admiration was already transfixed by deep longings for their motherly
queen, who would no longer be with them.
Assumption was a true glorification of Our Lady before the eyes of men
and will remain so until the end of the world. Nevertheless, it was a
mere foreshadowing of the glory she received in Heaven.
in Heaven, Our Lady’s triumph was just beginning. The entire Church
Triumphant received her, especially Saint Joseph. Our Lord welcomed her
and the Holy Trinity crowned her as Queen of Heaven and Earth.
two aspects show the glorification of Our Lady before the Church
Triumphant and Militant. And what about the Church Suffering?
the souls in Purgatory were also inundated with graces. It is not too
audacious to suppose that the Queen of Heaven took most of them to
Heaven that day. Thus, there was exuberance throughout the entire
I believe something similar to this will be repeated at the onset of the Reign of Mary,1 prophesied by Saint Louis de Montfort, when we will see the world transformed and Our Lady’s glory shining on earth.
reign will begin with marvelous days of graces, the likes of which have
seldom, if ever, been seen before. Our Lady’s magnificence must be thus
projected before the eyes of men. To understand why, we need only think
of the tremendous celebrations men have prepared for victorious war
leaders throughout history.
For example: the enormous ticker tape
parade given for General MacArthur in 1951 and the tremendous feasts the
Romans prepared for victorious generals show that men understand that
the glory of a conqueror must be made manifest.
Since Our Lord is
infinitely more generous than men and Our Lady’s victory will be greater
than that of any conqueror, He will certainly usher in her triumph in
an immeasurably greater way than these celebrations. Her glory will
shine before men like it did during the Assumption.
entire Church Triumphant received her, especially Saint Joseph. Our
Lord welcomed her and the Holy Trinity crowned her as Queen of Heaven
We should meditate on this as we approach the Feast of Our Lady’s Assumption.
We should also consider which virtue we should ask of her on this holy
day. Certainly, everyone should ask for the virtue he most lacks.
However, this does not prevent us from asking Our Lady for a sense of
her glory and the understanding that everything in Creation represents
she is the highest created expression of God, we should struggle to
defend and strive to establish the highest possible expression of her
spirit on earth. This will make us true knights and crusaders of Our
Lady, struggling for her glory on earth. I believe this is the most
proper virtue for which to ask on the feast of Our Lady’s Assumption.
The preceding text was taken from an informal lecture Professor Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira gave on August 14, 1965. It has been translated and adapted for publication without his revision. – Ed.
great Marian saint spoke numerous times of a coming, worldwide rebirth
of the Church and Christian civilization, which he called the “Reign of
Mary.” Such a prediction fits perfectly with the promise Our Lady made
at Fatima, when she said: “Finally, my Immaculate Heart will Triumph!”
second son of pious parents, St. Maximilian Kolbe was born on January
8, 1894 at Zdunska Wola in Poland, which at that time was under Russian
occupation. In Baptism he received the name of Raymond.
and recollection marked his nature even as a child. One day, while
correcting him, his mother chided him saying, “Son, I don’t know what is
going to become of you!” This comment so impressed itself upon him that
Raymond turned to Our Lady in prayer asking her the same question. The
Virgin Mary appeared to him and presented him with two crowns, one of
white roses, the other of red ones. She asked him if he were willing to
accept either of them, explaining that the white one symbolized a life
of perfect chastity and the red that he would die a martyr. The boy
joyfully replied that he would accept both. For the rest of his life,
Raymond preserved a strong and tender devotion for the Blessed Virgin
who, time and time again, was to prove his unfailing intercessor and
constant protector. His confidence in Our Lady was total.
Kolbe enrolled in the Franciscan minor seminary at Lwów in 1907 where
he received the religious name of Maximilian. He professed his final
vows in 1914 in Rome, at which time he adopted the additional name of
Maria in honor of his devotion to the Blessed Virgin, whom he invoked
under the title of “the Immaculata.” Ordained in 1918, he returned to
Poland the following year with doctorates in theology and philosophy,
but seriously ill with tuberculosis. His lectures and conversations
during his year and a half in the sanatorium of Zakopane, where he was sent for his own recovery from the brink of death, became the catalyst of a number of conversions.
Maximilian was an avid defender of Holy Mother Church and of the Holy
Father. While still a seminarian in Rome, he organized the Militia of the Immaculata
– a spiritual army explicitly founded to combat Communism and
Freemasonry, which were taking hold in Russia and Europe, to work for
the conversion of sinners and the enemies of the Catholic Church through
the intercession of the Virgin Mary. He boldly launched into publishing
as a means of apostolate and was soon running one of the largest
publishing houses in the entire world that produced a daily newspaper, a
monthly magazine, a calendar, and books on various topics, all printed
in several languages. Radio was likewise utilized as a means of
evangelization and to speak out against the growing atrocities of the
In 1927 Maximilian Kolbe founded Niepokalanów, the
“City of the Immaculata” where he fulfilled the office of superior until
1930. The next six years he spent as a missionary in Japan where he
taught philosophy in the major seminary. There he also founded a second
“City of the Immaculata” which became one of the great missionary
centers in Japan. From 1936 until his death, he again served as superior
in Niepokalanów, Poland. By 1939 the religious community there
consisted of 762 friars and presented a considerable moral force in
Poland on the very eve of the Second World War.
Kolbe was arrested by the German Gestapo on February 17, 1941. He was
transferred to the Auschwitz concentration camp three months later. At
the end of July, when three prisoners disappeared, ten men were picked
to be starved to death in punishment and as a warning to anyone else who
attempted to escape. Kolbe volunteered to take the place of one of the
men who was a young husband and father.
While awaiting death,
Maximilian helped prepare the souls of the condemned men and encouraged
them by constant reminders that they would soon be in heaven. After two
weeks of starvation and dehydration, he was the only one left alive and
on August 14 the guards gave him a lethal injection of carbolic acid.
His emaciated body was cremated on the feast of the Assumption of Mary.
was elected pope in 230 and reigned until the year 235. The schism of
Hippolytus continued during his episcopate. Towards the end of his
pontificate there was a reconciliation between the schismatic party and
its leader with the Roman pontiff. After the condemnation of Origen at
Alexandria, a synod was held by Pontian in Rome, which concurred in the
decisions of the Alexandrian synod against Origen.
In 235 during
the reign of Maximinus the Thracian a persecution directed chiefly
against the heads of the Church began. One of its first victims was
Pontian, who with Hippolytus was banished to the unhealthy island of
Sardinia. To make the election of a new pope possible, Pope Pontian
resigned his holy office on September 28, 235. Consequently, Anteros was
elected in his stead but reigned for less than two months. Shortly
before this or soon afterwards Hippolytus, who had been banished with
Pontian, became reconciled to the Roman Church, and with this the schism
he had caused came to an end.
How much longer Pontian endured
the sufferings of exile and harsh treatment in the Sardinian mines is
unknown. According to old and no longer existing accounts, he died in
consequence of the privations and inhuman treatment he had to bear.
Fabian (236-50), successor to Pope Anteros, had the remains of Pontian
and Hippolytus brought to Rome at a later date and Pontian was buried in
the papal crypt of the Catacomb of Callixtus.
The reformation of the soul starts in self-knowledge and confidence in God. Our self-knowledge will let us know we have many things to correct and reform and that it cannot be done by our own efforts. Confidence in God will let us hope in Him, know that we can do all in Him, and that with His grace all things are possible and easy.
at Dijon in France in 1572, Jane was very pious and religious from a
very young age. In 1592 she married the Baron de Chantal, who inherited
many debts along with his title. Despite the early financial worries,
she and her husband were devoted to each other and to their four
children. She restored order in the household, which was on the brink of
ruin, and was generous with the little she had by allowing the poor to
visit her home for food. Often people who had just received food from
her would pretend to leave, go around the house and get back in line for
more. When asked why she let them get away with this, she replied,
"What if God turned me away when I came back to him again and again with
the same request?"
In 1601, the Baron was accidentally killed
while hunting. It was said he forgave the man who shot him before he
died. Left a widow with four young children at the age of twenty-eight,
Jane took a vow of chastity and begged God to send her a spiritual
guide. In a vision, God showed her the one He had intended for this very
purpose. During Lent in the year 1604, while visiting her father in
Dijon, the young widow recognized the orator preaching the sermon as the
mysterious director who had been shown to her, and placed herself under
his guidance. Francis de Sales was the Bishop of Geneva and later
co-founded the Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary with her.
Francis de Sales’ method of attaining perfection consisted in always
keeping one’s will united to the Divine will, in taking so to speak
one’s soul, heart, and longings into one’s hands and giving them into
God’s keeping, and in seeking always to do what is pleasing to Him.
Order of the Visitation was founded in 1610 for those women desirous of
seeking perfection but unable to subject themselves to the austere
practices of penance and mortification in force in all the religious
orders at the time.
Often sought after for spiritual counsel,
Mother de Chantal would frequently advise: "Should you fall even fifty
times a day, never on any account should that surprise or worry you,
instead, ever so gently set your heart back in the right direction and
practice the opposite virtue, all the while speaking words of love and
trust to Our Lord after you have committed a thousand faults, as much as
if you had committed only one. Once we have humbled ourselves for the
faults which God allows us to become aware of in ourselves; we must
forget them and go forward."
Jane Frances de Chantal died in 1641 at sixty-nine years of age and was canonized in 1767.
Once, during an enemy attack against Assisi, the fierce Saracens
invaded San Damiano, entered the confines of the monastery and even the
in terror, their voices trembling with fear, they cried out to their
Mother, Saint Clare. What happened next was recorded by the Franciscan
friar, Tommaso da Celano:
“Saint Clare, with a fearless heart,
commanded them to lead her, sick as she was, to the enemy, preceded by a
silver and ivory case in which the Body of the Saint of saints was kept
with great devotion.
prostrating herself before the Lord, she spoke tearfully to her Christ:
‘Behold, my Lord, is it possible You want to deliver into the hands of
pagans Your defenseless handmaids, whom I have taught out of love for
You? I pray You, Lord, protect these Your handmaids whom I cannot now
save by myself.’
Suddenly a voice like that of a child
resounded in her ears from the tabernacle: ‘I will always protect you!’
‘My Lord,’ she added, ‘if it is Your wish, protect also this city which
is sustained by Your love.’ Christ replied, ‘It will have to undergo
trials, but it will be defended by My protection.’
Then the virgin, raising a face bathed in
tears, comforted the sisters: ‘I assure you, daughters, that you will
suffer no evil; only have faith in Christ.’ Upon seeing the courage of
the sisters, the Saracens took flight and fled back over the walls they
had scaled, unnerved by the strength of she who prayed.
And Clare immediately admonished those
who heard the voice I spoke of above, telling them severely: ‘Take care
not to tell anyone about that voice while I am still alive, dearest
The miracles performed during her life by this first spiritual
daughter of St. Francis were indeed numerous. Her confidence in her
divine Spouse was total and unconditional. Having once renounced all
earthly possessions for love of Him, she tenaciously thwarted every
attempt – even by several well-meaning popes – to mitigate the absolute
poverty she and her religious sisters had so willingly embraced.
After St. Francis’ death in 1226 and until her own in 1253, Clare
continued to hold fast to the counsels St. Francis had given her and to
direct the order in the true spirit of its founder: total renunciation
of all earthly possessions and an unconquerable faith and confidence in
Lawrence, one of the deacons of the Roman Church, was one of the
victims of the persecution of Valerian in 258, like Pope Sixtus II and
many other members of the Roman clergy. At the beginning of the month of
August, in the year 258, the Roman emperor issued an edict, commanding
that all bishops, priests, and deacons should be put to death. This
imperial command was immediately carried out in the city of Rome. On the
6th Pope Sixtus II was apprehended in one of the catacombs, and
executed without delay. As he was led to execution, Lawrence followed
him. “Father, where are you going without your deacon?" he said. "I am
not leaving you, my son," answered the Pope, "in three days you will
follow me." Two other deacons, Felicissimus and Agapitus, were put to
death the same day. Three days later, on the 10th of August of that same
year, Lawrence, the last of the seven deacons, also suffered a martyr’s
Ambrose of Milan and the poet Prudentius, give particular details about
St. Lawrence’s death. Ambrose relates that when St. Lawrence was asked
to bring forth the treasures of the Church he hastily traveled
throughout the city, gathering the poor. On the third day, he brought
them to the prefect, who believed the Church had treasure hidden away,
and said, “These are the treasures of the Church." The disappointed
prefect angrily condemned Lawrence to death. The saint was stripped of
his clothing and tied on top of a gird-iron over a slow fire that
roasted his flesh little by little. Defiant in spite of his intense
suffering, the holy deacon audaciously commanded his executioners “Turn
me over. That side is cooked.” The holy audacity of this deacon-martyr
inspires noble souls until today.
St. Lawrence is considered one of the most venerated martyrs of the Catholic Church since the fourth century.
Mendes da Silva, better known as the Blessed Amadeus of Portugal, was
born in 1420 in Campo Maior on the eastern side of the country. The
youngest son of twelve children, he was closely related to the Counts of
Vila Real and Viana do Alentejo, whose lands lay near the border of
Portugal and Spain. St. Beatriz da Silva, the foundress of the Order of
the Immaculate Conception, was one of his sisters, and a strong devotion
to this prerogative of Our Lady – centuries before it was defined as a
dogma – was a profound spiritual characteristic they both shared.
was married very young, but soon after entered the Hieronymite
monastery of Santa Maria de Guadalupe in Spain, where he spent about ten
years. Inspired by a vision of the Immaculate Conception of Mary Most
Holy to join the Franciscans, he sought admission to their friary in
Ubeda in Lombardy where he entered as a lay brother in 1452 and took the
name of Amadeus.
Initially not well received by his confreres,
some of whom took him for a religious fraud, he was widely persecuted
within the Order bearing all the humiliations inflicted upon him with
great patience. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1459 at the
insistence of his superiors. Amadeus subsequently became renowned
throughout the houses of the Order for his holiness and miracles.
1469, he founded the Friary of Notre Dame de la Paix under the
protection of the Archbishop of Milan. This friary soon became the
center of a Franciscan reform which eventually spread throughout Italy
and beyond. When the Minister General of the Franciscan Order, Francesco
della Rovere, was elected to the throne of Peter as Pope Sixtus IV, he
summoned Amadeus to Rome to be his confessor and counselor.
reform of the Franciscan Order begun by St. Amadeus led to his founding
of a distinct branch of the Friars Minor which was ultimately named
after him. Amadeus later returned to Milan, where he died in 1482.
What a weakness it is to love Jesus Christ only when He caresses us, and to be cold immediately once He afflicts us. This is not true love. Those who love thus love themselves too much to love God with all their heart.
was born in 1170 in Castile, Spain, to Felix Guzman and Joan of Aza (who
later became a blessed). He was sent to school in Palencia when he was
fourteen, and while he was still a student, was made Canon of the
Cathedral of Osma. He went on to complete his studies and was ordained a
priest, taking up his role at Osma.
Around the year 1204,
Dominic accompanied the bishop of Osma to Denmark. Their travels took
them through Languedoc, in southern France, where the Albigensian
heresy, the belief that the body is evil, was rampant. The host at an
inn where they stopped was an Albigensian. Dominic spent a whole night
in discussion with him and by morning he had converted the innkeeper.
That is when Dominic saw his true vocation in spreading and defending
the Catholic Faith.
With papal permission, Dominic spent nearly
ten years preaching in France with a small group of men living under the
rule of St. Augustine. Then, in the year 1216, his small group became a
community: the Order of Preachers. Dominic sent his followers far and
wide, establishing friaries in Spain, France and Italy.
Dominic became ill and died in 1221 at the age of fifty-two.
One may fall, one may not be always faithful; but Love, knowing how to draw profit from all, very quickly consumes whatever may displease Jesus, leaving nothing but profound and humble peace in the depths of the soul.
was born in 1480 in Vicenza, Italy to Caspar, the Count of Thiene and
Mary di Porto, both members of the nobility of Vicenza. He educated
himself in theology and Cannon Law, and in 1516, was ordained a priest.
He joined the Oratory of Divine Love in Rome, a group devoted to piety
and charity, shortly after his ordination. He returned to Vicenza in
1528 and joined a religious order similar to the Oratory of Divine Love,
but consisting only of men of the lowest stations of life. He sought
out the sick and poor and served them.
In 1524 Cajetan was part
of a group of holy men who strived to reform the Church, which was in
moral chaos at that time. He and three other men made their profession
in the presence of a papal delegate and named their congregation The
Theatine Clerks Regular.
Cajetan died in 1547, after a life of service to the Catholic Church and to the poor. He was canonized in 1671.
He led them up the mountain and showed them His kingship before His passion, and His power before His death, His glory before His disgrace, and His honor before His dishonor, so that, when He was arrested and crucified by the Jews, they might know that He was not crucified through weakness, but willingly by His good pleasure for the salvation of the world.
"And after six days Jesus took Peter and James, and John his
brother, and brought them up into a high mountain apart. And He was
transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun and his garments
became white as snow. And behold there appeared to them Moses and Elias
talking with Him. Peter said to Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be
Thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles, one for Thee, one for
Moses, and one for Elias. And as he was yet speaking, behold a bright
cloud overshadowed them. And lo, a voice out of the cloud, saying: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased: hear ye Him.
And the disciples hearing this, fell upon their faces, and were very
much afraid. And Jesus came and touched them and said to them, Arise,
and fear not. And they lifting up their eyes saw no one but only Jesus.
And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them saying, Tell
the vision to no man, until the Son of man is risen from the dead."
The feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord celebrates the
revelation of Christ's divinity on Mount Tabor in Galilee (Mark 9:1-8;
By drawing aside the veil that hid the splendor of His divine nature
from their physical sight, Our Lord desired to strengthen them
spiritually for the suffering of His upcoming Passion and Death.
Just as His humanity cloaked His divinity while He walked the earth,
so now in the Holy Eucharist, both His humanity and His divinity are
hidden from our earthly sight. Veiled under the appearance of bread and
wine is the same Lord and God that was transfigured before the
astonished gaze of Peter, James and John on the heights of Mount Tabor.
Maria Maggiore or St. Mary Major is the largest church in the world
honoring the Virgin Mary and was erected in the immediate aftermath of
the Council of Ephesus of 431, which proclaimed Mary Mother of God. Standing atop one of Rome’s seven hills, the Esquiline, it is also called Santa Maria ad Nives, or "at the snow."
It is said that the Mother of God chose this location for a church
dedicated in her honor by a miraculous snow that fell upon this spot in
summer. Legend has it a rich and pious Roman senator and his wife
thought of donating their money and properties to the Church. That
night, in August of 358, Our Lady appeared in the dreams of the senator
and Pope Liberius asking them to build her a basilica in the exact place
where snow would fall that night. Since then, Our Lady has been
venerated in Italy as “Our Lady of the Snow.”
basilica is also home to a few remnants of the humble crib in which
Christ was laid at His birth. These pieces of the manger were carried to
Rome by Christians fleeing the Muslim conquest of the Holy Land in the
7th century. They are preserved in a silver reliquary resembling an
ordinary manger, upon which lies an image of the Infant Jesus. The Holy
Crib is the object of particular devotion and veneration during the
liturgical ceremonies of Christmas Eve and Midnight Mass. On Christmas
morning there is a procession in honor of the Holy Crib of the Infant
Jesus, which culminates in the exposition of the sacred relic on the
Another venerable treasure of Santa Maria Maggiore is
the icon of Our Lady under the invocation of "Salus Populi Romani,"
literally translated as "health (or salvation) of the Roman people."
According to tradition, this image of Mary embracing Jesus as a young
boy was the work of the evangelist St. Luke, who painted it on a
tabletop made by Our Lord himself in St. Joseph's carpentry shop. This
miraculous icon has been carried in processions around Rome on many
occasions. In 593 the newly-elected Pope St. Gregory the Great had the
icon carried in public procession through the streets of Rome praying
for an end to the Black Plague. Pope St. Pius V followed his example in
1571 to pray for victory during the Battle of Lepanto, as did Pope
Gregory XVI in 1837 to pray for the end of the cholera epidemic. Second Photo by: Fczarnowski
The Five First Saturdays devotion is one of the principal
points of the Fatima message. It centers on the urgent need for mankind
to offer reparation and expiate for the many injuries that the
Immaculate Heart of Mary suffers from the hands of both impious and
On the First Saturday during 5 Consecutive Months, the Devotion consists of:
1. Going to Confession, 2. Receiving the Sacrament of Holy Communion, 3. Saying five decades of the Rosary, 4. Meditating for 15 minutes on the mysteries of the Rosary.
All this offered in REPARATION for the sins of blasphemy and ingratitude committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
During the third apparition on July 13, 1917, Our Lady revealed that
she would come to ask for the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate
Heart and for the Communion of Reparation of the Five First Saturdays.
Consequently, she asked for the devotion in 1925 and the consecration in
While staying at the House of the Dorothean Sister in Pontevedra,
Portugal, Sister Lucia received a vision on December 10, 1925 where the
Blessed Mother appeared alongside a Boy who stood over a luminous cloud.
Our Lady rested one hand on the Boy’s shoulder while she held on the
other hand a heart pierced with thorns around it. Sister Lucia heard the Boy say,
"Have pity on the Heart of your Most Holy Mother which is covered with
thorns with which ingrate men pierce it at every moment with no one to
make an act of reparation to pull them out."
Our Lady expressed her request in the following words,
"See, my daughter, My Heart surrounded with thorns with which
ingrates pierce me at every moment with blasphemies and ingratitude.
You, at least, make sure to console me and announce that all those who
for five months, on the first Saturdays, go to confession, receive
Communion, say five decades of the Rosary and keep me company for 15
minutes meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary, with the purpose of
making reparation to Me, I promise to assist them at the hour of death
with all the graces necessary for the salvation of their souls."
A few days afterward, Sister Lucia detailed this vision in a letter
addressed to Monsignor Manuel Pereira Lopes, her confessor when she
resided in the Asylum of Vilar in the city of Oporto, Portugal.
Why Five Saturdays?
Sister Lucia’s confessor questioned her about the reason for the five
Saturdays asking why not seven or nine. She answered him in a letter
dated June 12, 1930. In it she related about a vision she had of Our
Lord while staying in the convent chapel part of the night of the
twenty-ninth to the thirtieth of the month of May, 1930. The reasons Our
Lord gave were as follows:
The five first Saturdays correspond to the five kinds of offenses and
blasphemies committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary. They are:
a. Blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception b. Blasphemies against her virginity c. Blasphemies against her divine maternity, at the same time the refusal to accept her as the Mother of all men d. Instilling , indifference, scorn and even hatred towards this Immaculate Mother in the hearts of children e. Direct insults against Her sacred images
Let us keep the above reasons firmly in our minds. Devotions have
intentions attached to them and knowing them adds merit and weight to
Modifications to the Five First Saturdays Devotion to facilitate its observation
The original request of Our Lady asks one to confess and receive
Communion on five consecutive first Saturdays; to say five decades of
the Rosary; to meditate during 15 minutes on the mysteries of the Rosary
for the purpose of making reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in
reparation for the sins of men.
In subsequent private visions and apparitions however, Sister Lucia
presented to Our Lord the difficulties that devotees encountered in
fulfilling some conditions. With loving condescension and solicitude,
Our Lord deigned to relax the rules to make this devotion easy to
Confession may be done on other days other than the First Saturdays
so long as one receives Our Lord worthily and has the intention of
making reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Even if one forgets to make the intention, it may be done on the
next confession, taking advantage of the first occasion to go to
Sister Lucia also clarified that it is not necessary to meditate on
ALL mysteries of the Rosary on each First Saturdays. One or several
With much latitude granted by Our Lord Himself, there is no reason
for the faithful to hesitate or delay this pious practice in the spirit
of reparation which the Immaculate Heart of Mary urgently asks.
This devotion is so necessary in our days
The culture of vice and sin remains unabated even as one reads this.
Abortion, blasphemy, drug abuse, pornography, divorce and bad marriages,
religious indifference, the advances of the homosexual agenda and
others are just some of society’s many plagues that cut deeply into the
Immaculate Heart of Mary.
We must console Our Lady amidst all these insults and injuries to her
and her Divine Son. She asks for reparation, she pleads for our
prayers, she hopes for our amendment of life. Let us listen to her
maternal pleas and atone for the ingratitude of men.
The First Five Saturdays devotion stimulates the spirit of
reparation; it instills a tender love for the Holy Sacraments of
Confession and the Blessed Eucharist. It nurtures a holy affection for
the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Rosary. Above all, it is an
excellent means to maintain one in the state of grace while immersed in
the daily spiritual battles and prosaic existence in the neo-pagan world
that we live in.
Let us not delay in observing this devotion for it too gives us hope for eternal salvation.
REFERENCE: Solimeo, Luiz Sergio, Fatima, A Message More Urgent than Ever (Spring Grove, PA: The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property-TFP, 2008.)
Before beginning your work, my dear brethren, never fail to make the Sign of the Cross … Offer quite simply all your difficulties to God and renew from time to time this offering, for by that means you will have the happiness of drawing down the blessing of Heaven on yourself and on all you do.
Vianney was born in France in 1786, just three years before the
beginning of the French Revolution. He grew up assisting a local priest
offer the holy mass in secret, as religious persecution forced many of
the Vianneys and other Catholics into hiding.
At eighteen, John
realized his vocation to the priesthood. Two years later he began
studying in preparation for holy orders, but studying did not come
easily to him. Instead of becoming a priest, he was drafted into the
army in 1809. Soon after, he found himself an accidental deserter: he
was tricked by some fellow soldiers into abandoning his unit. He
immediately reported to the mayor of the commune, who advised him to
remain in hiding. John lived dangerously, often narrowly escaping
capture by concealing himself in hay bales. He returned home fourteen
months later when the king proclaimed an amnesty for all defectors.
1815, after much hardship in his studies, John was ordained a deacon,
then a priest. In 1818 he was given care of a dilapidated parish in a
remote part of France called Ars-en-Dombes. The 230 parishioners in Ars
had become lax in their faith, and John preached relentlessly to them
for twenty-five years about the importance of practicing modesty,
avoiding blasphemy, profanity and obscenity, and unlawful work on
Sunday. Not only did Ars become a model Christian town, but his
influence reached far beyond the confines of the country village.
remained at Ars for a total of forty-one years. The year before he
died, over 100,000 pilgrims visited Ars to see the holy man, who had
become known as the Cure of Ars. His three attempts to escape to live in
the quiet seclusion of a monastery failed, and he died at Ars in 1859.
was canonized in 1925 by Pius XI. Four years later, the same pope named
him patron saint of parish priests throughout the world. Second Photo by Herwig Reidlinger
“I promise you, in the excessive mercy of my Heart that my
all powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on
the first Friday for nine consecutive months, the grace of final
repentance; they shall not die in my disgrace nor without receiving the
sacraments; my divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in that last
moment.” — Our Lord to St. Margaret Mary
How to complete the First Friday’s Devotion:
Receive Holy Communion on each First Friday;
The nine Fridays must be consecutive;
They must be made in honor and in reparation to His Sacred Heart.
ACT OF REPARATION TO THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS
Sacred Heart of Jesus, animated with a desire to repair the outrages
unceasingly offered to Thee, we prostrate before Thy throne of mercy,
and in the name of all mankind, pledge our love and fidelity to Thee!
The more Thy mysteries are blasphemed, the more firmly we shall believe them, O Sacred Heart of Jesus!
The more impiety endeavors to extinguish our hopes of immortality, the more we shall trust in Thy Heart, sole hope of mankind!
The more hearts resist Thy Divine attractions, the more we shall love Thee, O infinitely amiable Heart of Jesus!
The more unbelief attacks Thy Divinity, the more humbly and profoundly we shall adore It, O Divine Heart of Jesus!
The more Thy holy laws are transgressed and ignored, the more we shall delight to observe them, O most holy Heart of Jesus!
The more Thy Sacraments are despised and abandoned, the more
frequently we shall receive them with love and reverence, O most liberal
Heart of Jesus!
The more the imitation of Thy virtues is neglected and forgotten, the
more we shall endeavor to practice them, O Heart of Jesus, model of
The more the devil labors to destroy souls, the more we shall be
inflamed with desire to save them, O Heart of Jesus, zealous Lover of
The more sin and impurity destroy the image of God in man, the more
we shall try by purity of life to be a living temple of the Holy Spirit,
O Heart of Jesus!
The more Thy Holy Church is despised, the more we shall endeavor to be her faithful children, O Sweet Heart of Jesus!
The more Thy Vicar on earth is persecuted, the more we will honor him
as the infallible head of Thy Holy Church, show our fidelity and pray
for him, O kingly Heart of Jesus!
O Sacred Heart, through Thy powerful grace, may we become Thy
apostles in the midst of a corrupted world, and be Thy crown in the
kingdom of heaven. Amen.
12 Promises of the Sacred Heart to St. Margaret Mary
1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.
2. I will give peace in their families.
3. I will console them in all their troubles.
4. I will be their refuge in life and especially in death.
5. I will abundantly bless all their undertakings.
6. Sinners shall find in my Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.
7. Tepid souls shall become fervent.
8. Fervent souls shall rise speedily to great perfection.
9. I will bless those places wherein the image of my Sacred Heart shall be exposed and venerated.
10. I will give to priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts.
11. Persons who propagate this devotion shall have their names eternally written in my Heart.
12. In the excess of the
mercy of my heart, I promise you that my all powerful love will grant
to all those who will receive Communion on the First Fridays, for nine
consecutive months, the grace of final repentance: they will not die in
my displeasure, nor without receiving the sacraments; and my Heart will
be their secure refuge in that last hour.
was born of English nobility. The son of Simon, the Earl of Huntingdon,
and Maud, the grand-niece of William the Conqueror, he was also the
grandson of Saint Waldef of Northumbria. As a child, Waltheof felt drawn
to churches and the religious life. Following his father's death, he,
and his mother and brother moved to Scotland where Maud married King
David I. As part of the royal court, he was educated and became a
spiritual student of St. Aelred.
Following his long-held
inclination to contemplation and desiring to dedicate himself entirely
to God, Waltheof left Scotland and traveled to Yorkshire to join the
Augustinian Canons at the monastery at Nostell. He was soon chosen as
prior, and led the monks in a more austere rule. Some time later,
Waltheof left Nostell for the more austere life of the Cistercian monks. Four
years after receiving the Cistercian habit, he was nominated as abbot
of Melrose, a newly established monastery. Then, in 1154, he was chosen
as the new Archbishop of St. Andrews, but in his humility, he begged St.
Aelred to oppose the election and not oblige him to accept.
died in 1160 of old age. It has been said that he strove so greatly for
perfection, that his confessors often found him irksome.
The state of grace is nothing other than purity, and it gives heaven to those who clothe themselves in it. Holiness, therefore, is simply the state of grace purified, illuminated, beautified by the most perfect purity, exempt not only from mortal sin but also from the smallest faults. Purity will make saints of you! Everything lies in this.
was born on the island of Sardinia where his father died a martyr. His
mother took him and his sister to live in Rome where Eusebius eventually
joined the clergy and was ordained a lector. He was sent to Vercelli
and served the Church so well there that he was chosen as its bishop. He
is the first bishop of Vercelli whose name was recorded.
he was sent by Pope Liberius to persuade the Emperor Constantius to call
a council to settle Catholic-Arian disputes. When it was called at
Milan, Eusebius went reluctantly, sensing that the Arians would have
their way. He refused to go along with the condemnation of Saint
Athanasius, who’s refusal to tolerate Arian heresy was the cause of
many trials and persecutions. Eusebius insisted on Athanasius’ innocence
and reminded the emperor that secular force should not be used to
influence Church decisions. At first the emperor threatened to kill him,
but later sent him into exile in Palestine. There the Arians dragged
him through the streets and shut him up in a little room, releasing him
only after Eusebius undertook a four-day hunger strike. They soon
resumed their harassment.
His exile continued in Asia Minor and
Egypt, until the new emperor permitted him to return to his see in
Vercelli. He died in 371.
As soon as she [Mary] had the use of reason, that is, from the first moment of her immaculate conception in the womb of St. Anne, from that time she began with all her powers to love her God; and thus she continued to do, ever advancing more in perfection and love through her whole life. All her thoughts, her desires, her affections, were wholly given to God; not a word, not a motion, not a glance of the eye, not a breath of hers that was not for God and for His glory, never departing one step, nor separating herself for one moment from the divine love.
was born in 1696 near Naples, Italy, to a naval officer and his Spanish
wife. Educated at the University of Naples, Alphonsus received his
doctorate at the age of sixteen. By nineteen he was practicing law, but
he decided to give his life to God and left the practice to do
On December 21, 1726, Alphonsus was ordained a
priest. He spent six years doing apostolate throughout Naples, gathering
followers as he went. In 1732, he formed the Congregation of the Most
Holy Redeemer, a group comprised of priests and brothers who had
dedicated themselves to God and did missionary work in poor areas. By
1749 the congregation became officially approved by Pope Benedict XIV.
1762, Alphonsus became bishop of Naples, although he vigorously tried
to decline the honor. As bishop he immediately began to reform his
diocese. For thirteen years Alphonsus fed the poor, reorganized the
seminary and religious houses, taught theology, and wrote extensively.
His personal austerities were rigorous, while he daily endured the
severe pain from the rheumatism that was beginning to deform his body.
He spent several years having to drink from tubes because his head was
so bent forward.
In 1780, Alphonsus was tricked into signing a
submission for royal approval of his congregation. This submission
altered the original rule, and as a result Alphonsus was denied any
authority among the Redemptorists. Deposed
and excluded from his own congregation, Alphonsus suffered great
anguish. He died in 1787 at Nocera di Pagani near Naples. He was
beatified in 1816 and canonized in 1839. In 1871, Alphonsus was declared
a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius IX.
Do not let any occasion of gaining merit pass without taking care to draw some spiritual profit from it; as, for example, from a sharp word which someone may say to you; from an act of obedience imposed against your will; from an opportunity which may occur to humble yourself, or to practice charity, sweetness, and patience. All of these occasions are gain for you, and you should seek to procure them; and at the close of that day, when the greatest number of them have come to you, you should go to rest most cheerful and pleased …
de Loyola was born in 1491 in the Basque province of Guipuzcoa in
northern Spain. Of the noble family of Loyola, as a boy he was sent as a
page to serve the treasurer of the kingdom. There, he had access to
court and developed a taste for all its ways, including the ladies.
of a fiery temperament and handsome, Inigo, or Ignatius, harbored
dreams of romance and worldly conquests. He was addicted to gambling,
and wasn’t above sword play, once getting into serious trouble.
age thirty we find him a soldier defending the fortress of Pamplona
against the French. Hugely outnumbered, the Spanish commander wished to
surrender but Ignatius egged him to fight on. As the fight continued,
Ignatius’ leg was fractured by a canon shot. Honoring his courage, the
French allowed him to be treated at his castle of Loyola rather than in
After enduring an operation without anesthetics, it was
found that there was a bone protruding from under his knee. The thought
of not being able to wear the slimming leggings of the time was
unendurable, so he had doctors saw off the bone – without anesthetics.
Still, he always limped as one leg remained shorter than the other.
he asked for romance novels, but was given to read the only books in
the castle: a life of Christ and lives of the saints. As he begrudgingly
picked up the volumes, he began to notice that while his thoughts of
romance and fantasy left him restless and agitated, these books gave him
peace and a sense of true accomplishment and well-being. Slowly moved
by what he read, he made a powerful conversion.
his fineries and donning a poor habit, he ultimately came to the cave
of Manresa by a river where he stayed for ten months. Here, he had a
powerful revelation, an experience of God as He really is so that he now
looked at all of creation in a new light – an experience that allowed
Ignatius to find God in all things – one of the central characteristics
of Jesuit spirituality. It was in the seclusion of Manresa that ideas
for his famous Spiritual Exercises began to take shape.
a trip to the Holy Land, the holy wanderer decided to go back to school
to learn Latin with the goal of entering the priesthood. He ultimately
went to the University of Paris where he met several young men whom he
led in the Spiritual Exercises. Two of these men were Francis
Xavier, and Peter Faber. Once ordained, he and his group decided to
place themselves at the disposition of the Pope in Rome. They taught
catechism to children, worked in hospitals and instructed adults in the Spiritual Exercises.
September of 1540, this first nucleus was approved by Pope Paul III, as
the order of The Company of Jesus, an institution that was to be
instrumental in countering the protestant reform of Martin Luther. They
were also active in the missions, and later became unparalleled academic
instructors of young men, as well as performing countless other
services in the Church.
Since his early conversion days, because
of indiscreet, severe penances, St. Ignatius had developed stomach
troubles that plagued him for the rest of his life. In the summer of
1556 his complaint grew worse, and his health ailing, he felt the end
approaching. Still, those around him were not unduly alarmed. But
shortly after midnight on July 31, the former soldier presented arms at
the heavenly court.
Chrysologus was born in Imola, Italy in 406 and died there in 450. He
was baptized, educated and ordained a deacon by Cornelius, Bishop of
Imola, and was consecrated Bishop of Ravenna in 433. He shared the
confidence of Pope Leo the Great and enjoyed the patronage of Empress
Of his homilies, 176 survive, as well as others
known to have been written by him under different names. Many of these
are brief and concise explanations of the Bible. Others are beautiful
discourses on the Incarnation, the Apostles’ Creed, the Blessed Virgin
Mary, St. John the Baptist, as well as talks countering the heresy of
Arius and Eutyches. Photo by: Fcosampieri
It was the thief’s last prayer, perhaps even his first. He knocked once, sought once, asked once, dared everything, and found everything. When even the disciples were doubting, and only one was present at the Cross, the thief owned and acknowledged Him as Savior.
named in the Gospels of St. Luke and St. John, was the sister of
Lazarus, the friend of Jesus whom the Lord resurrected. She was also the
sister of Mary Magdalen, the repentant sinner whom the Lord converted
from a life of sin. They lived in Bethany, thought to be the town
al-Eizariya, two miles from Jerusalem.The Gospels speak of Martha as a
dutiful housekeeper, serving the Lord hospitably when He visited:"but
Martha was busy about much serving…" (Luke 10:40) Complaining that her
sister Mary was listening to Him instead of helping, Our Lord sweetly
rebuked : "Martha, Martha, thou art careful, and art troubled about many
things: But one thing is necessary. Mary hath chosen the best part,
which shall not be taken away her" (Luke 10:41-42) - words the Master
which established the priority of prayer for all time.When her brother,
Lazarus, fell ill, she sent for the Lord, but He delayed and when He
arrived, Lazarus had been four days in the tomb. She complained to Jesus
about His delay, but He assured her: "I am the resurrection and the
life: he that believeth in me, although he be dead, shall live." (John
11:25) And he proceeded to call Lazarus forth the tomb before a crowd of
astonished witnesses.After the martyrdom of St. James in Jerusalem, as
persecution intensified, tradition says that Lazarus and his two
sisters, along with others, were placed in a boat and set out to sea.
This boat landed on the southern shore of France. While Lazarus and
Martha went on to evangelize Provence, a fact recorded in French
history, Mary retired to a cave in a mountain, to do penance for the
rest of her life.Martha is said to have died about the year 84. Her tomb
is located in the crypt of the Collegiate Church of Tarrascon, France.
Beginning in 1874,
an infestation of the worst kind plagued the plains of eastern South Dakota. The
grasshoppers tormented the cattle and horses and ate the leaves off vegetables,
the wood of pitchforks, rakes, and hoes. They flew in swarms thick enough to
choke a man.
Fighting the swarms of grasshoppers was beginning to look
like an effort in futility when Father Pierre Boucher decided to appeal to God
to help save the crops. The pastor led a pilgrimage on an 11-mile trek from
field to field. In each field, a giant cross was erected to ward off the
grasshoppers, and the people prayed for Divine intervention to stop the
horrible plague. Miraculously, their prayers were answered. The grasshoppers
disappeared the very same day.
O precious Blood of Jesus, infinite price paid for the redemption of
sinful mankind. O Divine Blood, drink and laver of our souls, standing
between us and the Father pleading mercy.
With all my heart I adore You, sweet Lord, and offer reparation for
the insults, outrages and ingratitude, which You continuously receive
from human beings, especially those who dare blaspheme the Divine Blood
You shed for us.
Bless this Blood of Infinite value. Bless the fire of Jesus’ Love who
shed it to the last drop for us. Where would I be if not for this
Divine Blood that redeemed me? Indeed, Lord, I have drawn if from You to
the last drop. What love! Thank You for this saving balm!
May every heart, every tongue, now and forever, praise and thank this
priceless balm, this saving Blood, this fountain of crimson Mercy
welling up from the fountain of infinite Love. Amen.
Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ:
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.
Blood of Christ, only-begotten Son of the eternal Father, save us.
Blood of Christ, Incarnate Word or God, save us.
Blood of Christ, of the New and Eternal Testament, save us.
Blood of Christ, falling upon the earth in Agony, save us.
Blood of Christ, shed profusely in the Scourging, save us.
Blood of Christ, flowing forth in the Crowning with Thorns, save us.
Blood of Christ, poured out on the Cross, save us.
Blood of Christ, price of our salvation, save us.
Blood of Christ, without which there is no forgiveness, save us.
Blood of Christ, Eucharistic drink and refreshment of souls, save us.
Blood of Christ, stream of mercy, save us.
Blood of Christ, victor over demons, save us.
Blood of Christ, courage of Martyrs, save us.
Blood of Christ, strength of Confessors, save us.
Blood of Christ, bringing forth Virgins, save us.
Blood of Christ, help of those in peril, save us.
Blood of Christ, relief of the burdened, save us.
Blood of Christ, solace in sorrow, save us.
Blood of Christ, hope of the penitent, save us.
Blood of Christ, consolation of the dying, save us.
Blood of Christ, peace and tenderness of hearts, save us.
Blood of Christ, pledge of eternal life, save us.
Blood of Christ, freeing souls from purgatory, save us.
Blood of Christ, most worthy of all glory and honor, save us.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us, O Lord.
V. You have redeemed us, O Lord, in Your Blood.
R. And made us a kingdom for our God.
Let us Pray:
V. Almighty and eternal
God, You have appointed Your only-begotten Son the Redeemer of the world
and willed to be appeased by his blood. Grant, we beg, that we may
worthily adore this price of our salvation and through its power be
safeguarded from the evils of the present life so that we may rejoice in
its fruits forever in heaven. Through the same Christ our Lord.