Feast of St. Monica, August 28

August 27, 2014

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St. Monica 331-387
Patron of: Wayward Children, Abuse Victims, Adultery Victims, Alcoholics, Housewives, Married Women, Mothers, Patience.

Though she was greatly hurt and disappointed by her firstborn son, St. Monica never gave up the idea that he would change his way of living. After 17 years of what seemed like fruitless prayers, her son turned his life around, converted to her faith and became one of the world’s greatest philosophers and Catholic saints, St. Augustine of Hippo. We invoke St. Monica to help us when our own children disappoint us. She serves as a reminder that there are no lost causes in this world and that absolutely anyone can reform and change their life.

Born into a Berber tribe in North Africa, Monica was brought up a Christian. Her parents arranged her in marriage with a prominent pagan Roman citizen of Carthage by the name of Patricius. Monica had a hard time in her early married years as she had to put up with a cantankerous mother-in-law as well as a dissolute husband. There are some accounts which say that she turned to alcohol and was herself an alcoholic who recovered her sobriety through faith and prayer. She had three children who she raised as Christians. The eldest, Augustine, was the most brilliant and his parents had high hopes for his career. Both Patricius and Monica worked hard to get the best education for their son and it was the greatest sorrow of Monica’s life when Augustine turned out to live a lazy, pleasure-filled life. It hurt her even more when he threw out his Christian beliefs to embrace the Manichean heresy – a popular cult believing in the natural good and evil of every soul. In order to keep his blasphemous beliefs from misleading her younger children, Monica forbade Augustine to come back to their home. Inconsolable in her grief, Monica had a vision of a radiant being pointing to Augustine in a beam of light next to her, saying, “Your son is with you.” When she related this vision to Augustine he laughingly said it would all be true if she would only give up her religious piety. “He did not say that I was with you,” she answered him. “He said you were with me.”

When Augustine openly took a mistress and further humiliated his mother by having an illegitimate son, Monica turned to her Bishop for help. He advised her to pray and be patient saying, “It is not possible that the son of so many tears should perish.” After the death of his father, Augustine decided to move to Rome to increase his worldly success, Monica vowed to follow him. In his own great treatise “Confessions”, Augustine relates how as his mother spent the night in prayer before their voyage, he tricked her and slipped away on an earlier ship. Devastated, she traveled to Rome anyway. By the time she arrived Augustine, had already left that city for Milan. By the time Monica tracked him down, she was overjoyed to find that Augustine was no longer a Manichean. He had met Ambrose, the bishop of Milan and was studying with him. Eventually, after several more years, Monica lived to see Augustine baptized a Christian. While waiting for a ship at Ostia to take mother and son back to Africa, Monica told her son that she had accomplished everything that she had set out to do in this life and did not need to live any longer. She died in Ostia, never returning to her native land. It is interesting to note that there are many great saints from Africa, especially the earliest ones and they are rarely depicted as anything but European in visage.

Novena

Dear Saint Monica, once the sorrowing mother of a wayward son, be pleased to present our petition to the Lord God of heaven and earth. (Your intention here.) Look down upon our anxieties and needs, and intercede for us, as you did so fervently for Augustine, your firstborn.

We have full confidence that your prayers will gain favorable hearing in heaven. Mother of a sinner-turned saint; obtain for us patience, perseverance, and total trust in God’s perfect timing. In His appointed hour, in His merciful way, may He respond to your prayer and ours, which we offer through you.

Amen

Feast of St. Monica, August 28

August 19, 2014

St.Monica copySt. Monica 331 – 387

Feast Day: August 28

Patron of: Wayward Children

“Nothing is far from God.”

Though she was greatly hurt and disappointed by her firstborn son, St. Monica never gave up the idea that he would change his way of living. After 17 years of what seemed like fruitless prayers, her son turned his life around, converted to her faith and became one of the world’s greatest philosophers and Catholic saints, St. Augustine of Hippo. We invoke St. Monica to help us when our own children disappoint us. She serves as a reminder that there are no lost causes in this world and that absolutely anyone can reform and change their life.

Born into a Berber tribe in North Africa, Monica was brought up a Christian. Her parents arranged her in marriage with a prominent pagan Roman citizen of Carthage by the name of Patricius. Monica had a hard time in her early married years as she had to put up with a cantankerous mother-in-law as well as a dissolute husband. There are some accounts which say that she turned to alcohol and was herself an alcoholic who recovered her sobriety through faith and prayer. She had three children who she raised as Christians. The eldest, Augustine, was the most brilliant and his parents had high hopes for his career. Both Patricius and Monica worked hard to get the best education for their son and it was the greatest sorrow of Monica’s life when Augustine turned out to live a lazy, pleasure-filled life. It hurt her even more when he threw out his Christian beliefs to embrace the Manichean heresy – a popular cult believing in the natural good and evil of every soul. In order to keep his blasphemous beliefs from misleading her younger children, Monica forbade Augustine to come back to their home. Inconsolable in her grief, Monica had a vision of a radiant being pointing to Augustine in a beam of light next to her, saying, “Your son is with you.” When she related this vision to Augustine he laughingly said it would all be true if she would only give up her religious piety. “He did not say that I was with you,” she answered him. “He said you were with me.” When Augustine openly took a mistress and further humiliated his mother by having an illegitimate son, Monica turned to her Bishop for help. He advised her to pray and be patient saying, “It is not possible that the son of so many tears should perish.” After the death of his father, Augustine decided to move to Rome to increase his worldly success, Monica vowed to follow him. In his own great treatise “Confessions”, Augustine relates how as his mother spent the night in prayer before their voyage, he tricked her and slipped away on an earlier ship. Devastated, she traveled to Rome anyway. By the time she arrived Augustine, had already left that city for Milan. By the time Monica tracked him down, she was overjoyed to find that Augustine was no longer a Manichean. He had met Ambrose, the bishop of Milan and was studying with him. Eventually, after several more years, Monica lived to see Augustine baptized a Christian. While waiting for a ship at Ostia to take mother and son back to Africa, Monica told her son that she had accomplished everything that she had set out to do in this life and did not need to live any longer. She died in Ostia, never returning to her native land. It is interesting to note that there are many great saints from Africa, especially the earliest ones and they are rarely depicted as anything but European in visage. Explanation: Light from sky: Grace. Through prayer, Monica channeled grace to convert her son. Outstretched arms: pointing to Africa, her homeland. Palm tree: the shore of Ostia Antica, where Monica’s earthly life ended.

Novena Prayer to Saint Monica

Dear Saint Monica, once the sorrowing mother of a wayward son, be pleased to present our petition to the Lord God of heaven and earth. (Your intention here.) Look down upon our anxieties and needs, and intercede for us, as you did so fervently for Augustine, your firstborn. We have full confidence that your prayers will gain favorable hearing in heaven. Mother of a sinner-turned saint; obtain for us patience, perseverance, and total trust in God’s perfect timing. In His appointed hour, in His merciful way, may He respond to your prayer and ours, which we offer through you.

Amen

Saint Clare of Assisi Feast Day: August 11

August 11, 2014

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Abbess and Founder of the Poor Clares

Patron of: Television Workers

Quote: “Totally love Him, Who gave Himself totally for your love.”

Keywords: clarity, blindness, embroiderers, eye diseases, gilders, goldsmiths, laundry workers, telephones, telegraphs, television

Symbols: monstrance, lamp, lily

Together with her mentor and friend, Francis of Assisi, St. Clare shook the foundations of Medieval society by revolutionizing religious expression. Her given name, Chiara means clarity and we call on St. Clare whenever we need to shine a light on a situation or to find a way to communicate more clearly. She is also invoked to protect the blind and to help those with eye trouble.

Chiara Offreduccio, as the beautiful daughter of minor royalty was offered every worldly advantage available to one in her social class. When she heard St. Francis preach the Lenten service at her church in 1212, his simple message of living with complete trust in God inspired her to abandon going through with her arranged marriage in order to join the Franciscan movement. The first followers of Saint Francis were the wealthy sons of his town of Assisi. Their act of turning their backs on the material world to live at the mercy of the elements and on whatever alms they could beg was disturbing and controversial to both their families as well as to the church authorities. Attracted by the joyous way in which they comported themselves, as well as the enthusiasm they brought to religious worship, Clare was the first woman to join their order.

Fervently believing in a life devoted to the precepts of the gospel, the Franciscans did not believe in personal property. When Clare escaped her family to join them on Palm Sunday, Francis himself cut off her long blond hair and handed her the simple woolen robe worn by his followers. He then left her in the local Benedictine convent as there were no facilities in his order for women. It was not long before her entire family attempted an intervention type rescue of the girl. Revealing her shorn hair to her horrified father made them realize that she would never return to their world. Her younger sister, as well as other wellborn young women from the town soon followed her. In 1215, Saint Francis installed Clare as the Abbess of the Order of Poor Ladies. True to the Rule of St. Francis, they accepted no dowries from their families as other religious orders did. When they were left inheritances, the money was distributed to the poor. Highly intelligent, and known for the efficacy of her prayers, popes, cardinals, royalty and St. Francis himself came to her for spiritual advice. Her own correspondence shows her to be a clever, happy person.

Devoted to the eucharist and frequently immersed in prayer, the stories of miraculous occurrences around Clare abound. The most famous is that while she was ill, her convent which was outside of the walls of Assisi was attacked by the Saracen mercenaries of Frederick II . As the invaders stormed the walls with ladders, Clare calmly held up a monstrance containing the host. A child’s voice emanated from inside the monstrance, “I will always guard and defend you.” A feeling of dread overtook the invaders and they ran away from the town.

Clare was named the patron saint of television writers and workers due to a vision she had while too ill to attend Christmas Eve mass. She was able to view and hear the entire mass on the wall of her room. She spent much time embroidering linens for use in mass, so she is the patron of embroiderers. Because that trade is hard on the eyes and because of her name, she is the patron of those with eye problems and the blind.

Explanation:

Monstrance: Devoted to the Eucharist, Clare protected her convent by holding up a monstrance, which holds the host. Sometimes in art, this monstrance is re-interpreted as a lamp. Since Chiara means clarity, it is Clare shining the light of clarity.

 

 

NOVENA TO SAINT CLARE

 

O Glorious St. Clare! God has given you the power of working miracles continually, and the favor of answering the prayers of those who invoke your assistance in misfortune, anxiety, and distress. We beseech you, obtain from Jesus through Mary His Blessed Mother, what we beg of you so fervently and hopefully, (mention your petition) if it be for the greater honor and glory of God and for the good of our souls.   Amen.

(Excerpted from the Novena App by Barbara Calamari and Sandra DiPasqua)

August Novena’s

August 8, 2014

Sanctus Alphonsus de Ligorio

St. Alphonsus Liguori

1696 – 1787
Feast Day: August 1

Doctor of the Church

Patron: Arthritis sufferers

Keywords: Confessors, Moral Theologians, Lawyers, Scruples

“Your God is ever beside you, indeed He is even within you.”

Symbols: chin in chest, writing pen, book, bishops’ hat and staff

So crippled with arthritis that he could not lift his head off of his chest, St. Alphonsus Liguori looked on his illness as a grace since it made him use his earthly time in the most productive manner possible. In chronic pain and expecting to die at any moment, he went on to publish over 60 books dealing with theological studies, as well as music and poetry. He is invoked by those suffering with arthritis for a cure as well as those seeking a way to live a productive life while stricken with illness.

Born into a noble but poor family near Naples in 1696, Alphonsus Liguori was the eldest of seven children. Though he was physically small with poor eyesight, he was incredibly intelligent and musically talented. Because of his poor eyesight he could not follow in his father’s military footsteps, but his intellectual brilliance made him the hope of his family, as he received his law degree at the early age of sixteen. He quickly became famous in the Neapolitan courts for never losing a case. A devout Catholic, he credited his success with his daily mass going. After eight years of constant triumph, Alphonsus was stunned to lose an extremely important and public case due to his own oversight regarding a signed document. Humiliated, he looked on this personal disaster as sign from God and fasted and prayed for three days. While doing charitable work in the Hospital for the Incurables, he had a vision commanding him to quit the world and give himself to God. His father was outraged when left the law for the priesthood.

Devoting his work to those on the outskirts of society, he founded the Redemptorist Fathers, an order devoted to doing missionary work among the poor. Though gifted with the ability to argue the most finite facts of law or theology Alphonsus Liguori always preached in the simplest terms, writing many books and pamphlets in the vernacular of the common person. Because of his great popularity as a preacher, his religious order began to attract many young people. Living at a time of great political and religious upheaval and plagued with deteriorating health, Alphonsus Liguori never enjoyed much peace in his life. Instead, he welcomed these obstacles as an opportunity to perfect his soul.

Explanation of symbols:
Banner: declaring him Doctor of the Church because of the incredible range and amount of his writings.
Bishop hat and staff: he was a Bishop and leader of his order.
Crucifix: Total devotion to Christ and His teachings.

Novena to St. Alphonsus Liguori

Glorius Saint Alphonsus, loving fathr of the poor and sick, all your life you devoted yourself with a charity really heroic to lightening their spiritual and bodily miseries. Full of confidence in your tender pity for the sick, since you yourself have patiently borne the cross of illness, I come to you for help in my present need.

(Mention your request).

Loving father of the suffering, Saint Alphonsus, whom I invoke as the Arthritic Saint, since you suffered from the disease in your lifetime, look with compassion upon me in my suffering. Beg God to give me good health. If it is not God’s will to cure me, then give me strength to bear my cross patiently and to offer my sufferings in union with my crucified Savior and His Mother of Sorrows, for the glory of God and the salvation of souls, in reparation for my sins and those of others, for the needs of this troubled world, and for the souls in purgatory.

(Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary, one Glory Be.)

Saint Alphonsus, patron of the sick, pray for me. Amen

Please see novena app on iTunes if you want your novena’s wherever you go.

St.s Joachim and Anne First Century BC

July 17, 2014

St.Anne_Small_imagePatron of: Grandparents, Child Rearing, Childless People, Family Crisis, Mothers, Pregnancy.

Grandparents are the foundation of a family and we invoke Saints Joachim and Anne for strength in every sort of family crisis. As parents of the Virgin Mary and the grandparents of Jesus Christ, they offer a vast array of earthly experiences relatable to every human being. Infertility, late parenthood, an unmarried pregnant daughter, a grandson who was imprisoned and executed, are all parts of their life together which they accepted with grace and dignity.

Joachim and Anne are important as moral examples rather than truthful historical figures. According to legend, Joachim and Anne were married twenty years and still had not conceived a child. Living in Nazareth they were upstanding citizens, always tithing one third of their income to the temple. After many years, their barrenness was considered a form of divine judgment and eventually their contribution to the temple was refused and they were ostracized by their community. In shame, Joachim went off to live with his shepherds. There he was visited by an angel who told him, that Anne was pregnant with a child named Mary who was to be dedicated to the Lord. He was to return home and find his wife, who would be waiting at the golden gate, the entrance to the city. Doing as he was told, his joyful reunion with Anne at the golden gate has become a famous image in art history.

Novena:

Saints Joachim and Ann, grandparents of Jesus and parents of Mary, we seek your intercession. We beg you to direct all our actions to the greater glory of God and the salvation of souls. Strengthen us when we are tempted, console us during our trials, help us when we are in need, be with us in life and in death.

O divine savior, we thank you for having chosen saint Joachim and Ann to be the parents of our Blessed Mother Mary and so to be your beloved grandparents. We place ourselves under their patronage this day. We recommend to them our families, our children, and our grandchildren. Keep them from all spiritual and physical harm. Grant that they may ever grow in greater love of God and others.
Saints Joachim and Ann, we have many great needs. We beg you to intercede for us before the throne of your divine grandson. All of us here have our special intentions, our own special needs, and we pray that through your intercession our prayers may be granted. Amen.
(Mention your request here)

Feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Help

June 27, 2014

 

Feast Day: June 27

 Patronage: anything

 Keywords: refuge, protection, motherly comfort, icon

 Quote: “Why don’t you just ask?”

 Symbols: lance, sponge, cross, nails, unfastened sandal

 

An icon is a visual prayer and this image of Mary comforting her young son in a moment of fear,  brings consolation to anyone who meditates on it. On either side of Mary are the two Archangels, Michael holding the lance and spear and Gabriel holding nails and  the cross Jesus will be crucified on. The child Jesus has been so frightened at the sight of these instruments of his future torment that he has run to his mother in tremendous haste, loosening his sandal. Though she is well aware that this suffering is in his future, Mary has such faith in his ultimate redemption that she calmly holds and reassures her son. If God himself can go to Mary for refuge, than anyone should be able to approach her. Her ultimate belief and faith extends to every one of us, no matter how harshly we may judge ourselves.  Our Lady of Perpetual help is said to never refuse a request for help, great or trivial. Despite their reticence to invoke her aid, many have reported hearing Mary’s calm voice saying, “Why don’t you just ask?”

 Copies of this miraculous icon can be found in tens of millions of homes all over the world. Though its age is unknown, it first made its appearance in the fifteenth century when it was brought to Rome by a wealthy merchant from Crete. His family eventually donated it to the Church of Saint Matthew in Rome. When that church was destroyed in the Napoleonic invasion of 1789, it was hidden by a priest. Sixty-four years later, its discovery so moved the Redemptorist Fathers who were building a new church on that site. Because of its great visual power, they made it their mission to disseminate this image all over the world. The original icon can be found today hanging in the Church of Saint Alphonse Liguori in Rome.

 Meaning:

 Lance and sponge: Held by St. Michael the Archangel instruments of torture in the crucifixion

 Crucifix: Held by St. Gabriel the Archangel, cross of crucifixion

 Unfastened sandal: Jesus was so frightened his sandal came off

 

Novena to Our Lady Of Perpetual Help

.

 See at Your feet, O Mother of Perpetual Help, a poor sinner who has recourse to you

and confides in you.

O Mother of Mercy, have pity on me! I hear you called the refuge and the hope of sinners;

be my refuge and my hope. 

Help me, for the love of Jesus Christ; stretch forth your hand to a poor fallen creature

recommends myself  to you, and I devote myself  to your service forever.

I bless and thank Almighty God, who in His mercy had given me this confidence in you,

which I hold to be a pledge of my eternal salvation.

 

Mary, tender Mother, help me. Mother of Perpetual Help, never allow me to lose my God.

 

 

Recite the following prayers 3 times each…

 

Our Father…

Hail Mary…

Glory Be…

 

 

Sacred Heart of Jesus, Feast day June 27

June 6, 2014

FullSizeCard_1 2Sacred Heart of Jesus Seventeenth Century AD
Patron of: Family Peace.
The iconography of the Sacred Heart speaks to us on such a basic level that its image can be found everywhere in everyday life, from tattoos on bikers to stained glass windows in cathedrals. Traditionally, many Catholic homes display the Sacred Heart of Jesus to insure domestic peace and a loving atmosphere. This ancient concept depicting Christ’s heart in flames was first meditated on in privacy by the 4th century hermits in the desert and taken up by mystics in religious communities in the 11th and 12th centuries; it did not become a popular devotion until the 17th century. In Burgundy, France, on December 27, 1673, a young Visitation nun named Margaret Mary Alacoque was praying in the convent chapel when she heard a strong inner voice identifying itself as Jesus Christ. In later visits the voice requested that she begin a devotion to an image of Christ’s heart in flames, bleeding and encircled by thorns. The flames were for His ardent love for mankind, the thorns were to remind us of His sacrifice on the cross and the blood was because He was God made man. There is no indication that Margaret Mary Alacoque had ever seen this image before. Indeed, she was puzzled by it and greatly mistrusted herself as being qualified to relay any spiritual messages no matter who they purportedly came from. When she reported her communications to her Mother Superior she was scoffed at as delusional and forbidden to perform any of the devotions she was instructed to carry out. It was only after her Confessor, Claude de La Columbiere heard her describe her visions that she was taken seriously. Unlike the Mother Superior or Margaret Mary, he was well aware of the private devotions of Bernard of Clairvaux and Mechtilde of Helfta, religious mystics who lived centuries before, inspired by same image. La Columbiere did much to publicize devotion to the Sacred Heart based on the messages Christ gave to Margaret Mary. According to her, Christ was greatly troubled by the indifference and sacrilege He was being treated with by the average person. As a reward for contemplating this image He promised:

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.
Since there is no way to physically depict the soul, it is thought that the image of the Sacred Heart comes closest. The heart is the seat of love in the body and the wounded heart represents Christ’s sacrifice at the crucifixion as well as His ongoing pain at the state of mankind.

Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
O Lord, Jesus Christ, to your most Sacred Heart I confide this intention. Only look upon me, then do what your love inspires. Let your Sacred Heart decide. I count on you. I trust in you. I throw myself on your mercy. Lord Jesus, you will not fail me. (Mention your request.)

Sacred Heart of Jesus I trust in you. Sacred Heart of Jesus I believe in your love for me. Sacred Heart of Jesus, your kingdom come. Sacred Heart of Jesus, I have asked you for many favors, but I earnestly implore this one. Take it, place it in your open heart. When the Eternal Father looks upon it, he will see it covered with your Precious Blood. It will no longer be my prayer, but yours, Jesus. Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you. Let me not be disappointed. Amen.

Novena for June: St.Aloysius, June 21

June 6, 2014

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St. Aloysius Gonzaga 1568-1591
Patron of: AIDS Patients, AIDS Caregivers, Youth, Vocations.
A duke from the legendary Gonzaga family of Mantua, Aloysius Gonzaga was born to inherit great wealth and to rule alongside the best families of Europe. While still a teenager he defied his powerful father, renouncing his birth rite in order to become a Jesuit novice. Weak in physical health but living a strong interior life, he knew he would not live long. He happily accepted his destiny and put himself into the hands of the Virgin Mary. Despite his fragile constitution, he insisted on caring for plague victims during a particularly virulent outbreak quickly decimating the city of Rome. He fell ill and lingered for months fully knowing his fate. Because his life was cut short at such an early age, and because he understood both the caregiver and patient side of serious illness, he is invoked by those with AIDS as well as those who tend sufferers of that disease. His novena is written by himself, commending his future to the Virgin Mary who he had a strong devotion to.

Though his father wanted him to be a great soldier, Aloysius Gonzaga was always a pious youth. He obediently served as a page in the Florentine court of Lorenzo de Medici and in the more auspicious Spanish noble court. Still, political ambition held no interest for him and he was appalled by the corruption and licentious behavior of the nobility. While in Spain he read a book about Jesuit missionaries in India and decided to join them for foreign missionary work. His father did everything in his power to prevent his son from giving up all his earthly privileges. When it appeared that Aloysius could not be persuaded away from the religious life, his family implored him to at least accept a higher office in the Italian church. Instead, he insisted on his birth rite being transferred to his younger brother and entered the Jesuit house of Sant’ Andrea in Rome as a lowly novice.

The Jesuits found Aloysius too extreme in his devotions and forced him to eat better, mix with his fellows more, and to distract himself with physical recreation. As the plague swept Rome in 1591, the Jesuits opened their own hospital, forbidding Aloysius from working there due to his fragile physical disposition. As many of his brethren were felled by the illness, Aloysius threw himself into the role of caregiver with all his capabilities. No chore was considered too humble for him to do. He himself fell in March of that year and was given the last rites. He surprised everyone by recovering from that bout. Three months later, he was bedridden with a low grade fever. Though his condition seemed routine, he announced his impending death. Once again he was given the last rites and died during the prayers for the departing.

Because of Aloysius Gonzaga’s personal inner strength at such a young age, he is called upon by teenagers at times of peer pressure. Since he knew exactly wanted to be as a teenager, he is also called upon by the young to help recognize an occupation or state of life.

Prayer

Commending Oneself to Mary by Saint Aloysius Gonzaga
O holy Mary, my Mistress, into thy blessed trust and special blessing, into the bosom of thy tender mercy, this day, every day of my life and at the hour of my death, I commend my soul and body; to thee I entrust all my hopes and consolations, all my trials and miseries, my life and the end of my life, that through thy most holy intercession and thy merits, all my actions may be ordered and disposed according to thy will and that of thy divine Son. Amen.

 

Novena for June: St. Anthony, June 13

June 6, 2014

St. Antonius a PaduasmallSt. Anthony, June 13

Wonder and miracles are infused with every story of Saint Anthony. Though he has been dead for almost 800 years, he is still the most popular saint in the world and his statue is found in every Catholic Church. Saint Anthony is best known as the patron saint of lost articles but he is invoked for help in all life situations. In his own day he was called the “Wonder Worker’ and credited with the ability to stop the rain, raise the dead and reattach severed limbs. He was such a charismatic preacher that when a crowd of heretics in Rimini refused to listen to his preaching, the fish raised themselves out of the water to hear him.

Born Fernando de Bulhes in Lisbon, Portugal, he disappointed his noble family by rejecting his luxurious life and joining the Augustinian religious order. A scholar by nature, he read every book in the monastery, devoting his time to contemplative prayer. Eventually, he befriended a group of itinerant Franciscan monks and became fascinated with this new religious order. Much impressed by their dedication to simplicity, poverty and their belief in returning to the original words of Christ, he joined their ranks, changing his name to Anthony in honor of Saint Anthony of the Desert, the patron of their little church. Returning home from a failed missionary venture in Morocco, his ship was blown off course and he wound up in Messina, Sicily. A group of Franciscan friars insisted he go north with them for a great gathering of all Franciscans, with their founder Francis of Assisi. Anthony remained in Italy and discovered his great gift of preaching when a superior ordered him to speak at an ordination, telling him to say whatever the holy spirit had infused into him. He astonished his audience, not only by his skills as an orator but by the depth of his knowledge. He was sent throughout northern Italy and southern France on evangelical preaching missions which gathered crowds in the tens of thousands. His popularity among the people increased as he used his position to get real changes enacted for their protection. While based in Padua, he observed the crushing power of debt upon the common people. At Anthony’s insistence, the local municipality enacted a law protecting those who could not pay their debts that is still enforced today.

Anthony exhausted himself preaching out in fields and in piazzas as there was not cathedral large enough to hold all who came to hear him. At the age of thirty six, his health began to fail him and a local Count donated a woodland retreat for his recovery. One morning the Count heard the sounds of a baby giggling and he looked out to see Anthony surrounded in light, playing with the baby Jesus. That Christ would choose to appear to one of his saints in such a vulnerable state is a testament to the loving and kind nature of Saint Anthony. Because he is depicted holding a baby, women having trouble conceiving invoke his aid. Being of Portuguese descent, Anthony’s feast day is very auspicious for marriages in Portugal and Brazil and in those cultures, he is known to assist women seeking a husband.

According to legend, Saint Anthony earned the title patron saint of lost articles when a novice borrowed his psalter and failed to return it. Saint Anthony prayed to get it back and the novice was visited by terrifying visions that sent him running back to Anthony with the book. In iconography, Anthony always holds the baby Jesus and a lily for purity. Many times the returned book of the gospels is included.

Patron of: Lisbon, Portugal, Padua, amputees, barren women, domestic animals, draftees, oppressed people, orphans, paupers, the poor, pregnant women, prisoners, sailors

Novena

Holy Saint Anthony, gentle and powerful in your help, Your love for God and charity for His creatures, made you worthy when on earth, to possess miraculous powers. Miracles waited on your word, which you were always ready to request for those in trouble or anxiety. Encouraged by this thought, I implore you to obtain for me (mention your request here). The answer to my prayer may require a miracle. Even so, you are the saint of miracles. Gentle and loving Saint Anthony, whose heart is ever full of human sympathy, take my petition to the Infant Savior for whom you have such a great love, and the gratitude of my heart will be ever yours. Amen

It is customary to donate to Saint Anthony’s Bread, a charity started in Saint Anthony’s lifetime, in gratitude to answered novena prayers.

Prayers to San Gaetano

May 22, 2014

ac7088ea9ac06ecdef2a23665d29561a

Patron of Job Seekers

Introductory prayer for every day:Omnipotent and everlasting God, You wanted San Cayetano to trust in your Providence and despise earthly things and You enriched him with abundant spiritual goods, grant that those who implore the graces of your Divine Providence are aided in their necessities by San Cayetano’Äôs intercession. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

FIRST DAY
Glorious San Cayetano, you appreciated the healthful practice of prayer so much that your life was a continuous prayer, and to this beneficial exercise you dedicated particularly up to eight hours daily; grant us that we should be totally convinced that everything is reached by means of prayer and nothing can be gained without it and that all our prayers will be alive, faithful, reverently attentive, deeply humble, confident and perseveringly inexhaustible. Amen.
(Conclude with the final prayer).

SECOND DAY
Glorious Protector San Cayetano, whose love for Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament made you raise beautiful temples to Him, adorning them with magnificence, and exhorting the faithful to receive frequently the Holy Eucharist, teach us reverence to the Holy Sacrament and to receive It modestly to merit eternal life. Amen.
(Conclude with the final prayer).

THIRD DAY
My Glorious protector San Cayetano, whose singular devotion to Mary made you deserve her protection, particularly in the hour of your death when she sweetly said “Cayetano, come with me, my son is calling you”, intercede with this kind Mother whom we invoke during all the moments of our lives and this way She will attend to us now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
(Conclude with the final prayer).

FOURTH DAY
My Glorious protector San Cayetano, staunch defender of the Faith against all attacks of heresy, discoverer of what was ailing the Church, grant that we appreciate the inestimable gift of faith, without which it is impossible to please God, and swiftly reject with firmness all errors. Amen.
(Conclude with the final prayer).

FIFTH DAY
O Glorious Saint, you took so much to heart the virtue of hope that you rejected what the world had to offer and gave all your trust to God’s Providence to sustain your communities. Grant that we might live with the unshakable hope that God, through the merits of His Divine Son, will give us Eternal Life together with the means of obtaining it, and that temporary earthly goods will never serve as an obstacle to us in gaining it. Amen.
(Conclude with the final prayer).

SIXTH DAY
San Cayetano my protector, I can see your chest bursting with the love of others and your heart coming out to save the poor and to fight sin. I beseech you, grant that we love God and our neighbour with all our hearts.
(Conclude with the final prayer).

SEVENTH DAY
O my Glorious Saint whose deepest humility made you give up all your worldly benefices from your priesthood, grant that God will not cease to look upon us because of our pride but that we will deserve His mercies through our sincere humility.
(Conclude with the final prayer).

EIGHTH DAY
My dearest San Cayetano, you who were patient and suffered all your life especially during the sacking of Rome when the foreign soldiers tortured you, grant us the patience to undergo the adversities of this life thus gaining our glorious crown in Heaven.
(Conclude with the final prayer).

NINTH DAY
My Glorious Protector San Cayetano whose perfect chastity made you deserving Mary giving you Her Son Jesus to hold, grant that we will not stain our souls with sin and will guard our purity with Christian mortification.
(Conclude with the final prayer).

Final Prayer:
(In order to gain this grace and others that we wished to obtain by intercession of San Cayetano, we now say three ‘Our Father’ to the Blessed Trinity. Then this final prayer composed by San Cayetano himself is said):
“Look down, O Lord, from Your sanctuary, from Your dwelling in heaven on high, and behold this sacred Victim which our great High Priest, Your Holy Son our Lord Jesus Christ, offers up to You for the sins of His brethren and be appeased despite the multitude of our transgressions. Behold, the voice of the Blood of Jesus, our Brother, cries to You from the cross. Give ear, O Lord. Be appeased, O Lord. Hearken and do not delay for Your own sake, O my God; for Your Name is invoked upon this city and upon Your people and deal with us according to Your mercy. Amen.
That You would defend, pacify, keep, preserve, and bless this city, we beseech You, hear us.”

 


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