Sacred Heart of Jesus

FullSizeCard_1 2
“Behold the heart which has so much loved men that it has spared nothing, even exhausting and consuming itself in testimony of its love….”

Patron of: family peace, anything
Feast Day: June 8

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.

On December 27, 1673, a young Visitation nun in Burgundy, France, 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:

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.

St. Vincent Ferrer

Religious_Cards-00100web

 “Christ, master of humility, manifests his truth only to the humble and hides himself from the proud.”
Patron of: Builders, construction workers, brick makers, epilepsy, fields, headaches, inn keepers, lightning strikes, penance, plumbers, preachers, tile makers, reconciliation, roofers, vineyards
Feast Day: April 5
Symbols: Dominican habit, flame overhead, trumpets, banner

Born in Valencia, Spain to an English father and Spanish mother, Vincent Ferrer’s time on earth was spent during an extremely tumultuous period in history. The Black Death had ravaged Europe, decimating the population and the church was divided in a Great Schism, with three men claiming the papacy at one time. Because of his work in healing this rupture and his untiring labors in revitalizing the faithful, as well as his charismatic ability to convert thousands, he is the patron of builders and those in all of the construction trades.

With encouragement from his parents, Vincent realized his dream of becoming a Dominican friar at an early age. His intellectual gifts were immediately apparent and he soon became an expert on theology and scripture. His advice was much sought after by bishops and cardinals, and eventually, Vincent was summoned to Avignon to advise the schismatic pope Benedict XIII. In 1398 he suffered from a near fatal fever where he had a vision of Christ, Saint Dominic de Guzman (founder of the Dominicans), and Saint Francis of Assisi advising him to unite the world by evangelizing throughout it. Always a popular and skillful preacher, Vincent’s talents were said to have become supernatural after this vision. He left his political duties and took it upon himself to travel throughout Western Europe preaching about the Final Judgment, earning him the title “Angel of the Apocalypse.” Though he could only converse in his native Catalan, he was clearly understood by the tens of thousands who thronged to hear him preach. The Moslem-controlled city of Granada invited him to speak there resulting in 8,000 conversions. At a time when many were left reeling and faithless by the plague which had killed off one fourth of the population, Vincent Ferrer’s message of hope in the face of despair was wildly popular in cities and towns in England, France, Italy the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany and Spain. Throngs of religious pilgrims drawn from every level of society devoted themselves to a life of penance, following him wherever he went. Along with his spectacular success as an evangelist, he also had the ability to heal the sick and hours were put aside every day for his prayers and cures. Because many of his miracles took place where thousands could gather in fields, one of his patronages is the protection of fields. Because lightning was such a threat to crops, he is also invoked against lightning strikes.

Vincent Ferrer is credited with helping to heal the great schism in the church when he realized that his friend and benefactor Benedict XIII should relinquish his claims on the papacy when he refused to submit himself to a vote among cardinals. Vincent withdrew his support and recognition of him and Benedict XIII was deposed in favor of Gregory XII in Rome.

Prayer

O Saint Vincent Ferrer, our guardian, because God, our eternal Father, has blessed you with and inexhaustible fountain of grace and blessing, we beg you to hear our prayers and to assist us with your powerful intercession which is even more effective now that you are in heaven than it was when you were on earth. Full of confidence in your mercy and compassion, we kneel in prayer before you, and commend to your powerful intercession all our needs, those of our families, our friends, relatives, and especially (your request here).

Glorious Saint Vincent Ferrer, let not our hope and confidence in your protection be deceived. Intercede for us before the throne of God. Watch over our eternal welfare. If our trials and tribulations in this world multiply, may they serve to give us spiritual joy and happiness. If God will only grant us the grace of ever increasing patience to the end that we may save our souls. Amen.

Wednesday, Fourth week of Lent

IMG_0992Scripture Reading: Dan 4:24b     
With almsgiving, with mercy to the poor, for your faults and wrong-doing make amends.

V/ My sacrifice is a contrite spirit.
R/ A humbled, contrite heart you will not spurn, O God.

Glory Be  

Lord God, you crown the merits of the saints and pardon sinners when they repent.

Forgive us our sins, now that we come before you, humbly.

(We make our prayer) through our Lord.

Our Father

Thoughts for Thursday, first week of Lent

IMG_1203Let us pray to Christ the Lord, who gave us the new commandment to love one another. R/ Lord may your people grow in love.

In your bounty, Lord, give us the Spirit

who alone can teach us to think and do what is right,

so that we who without you cannot exist,

may live in loving obedience to your will.

(We make our prayer) through our Lord.

Lord,be the beginning and end of all that we do and say.

Prompt our actions with your grace, and complete them with your all-powerful help.

(We make our prayer) through our Lord.

 

St. Michael the Archangel, Feast date September 29

St.Michael
St. Michael the Archangel
Patron of: Policemen, Firemen, Grocers, Health, Knights, Mariners, Soldiers, Health, Holy Death, Physical Protection, Court Cases, Justice, Defense, Strength, Lawsuits.
Ever vigilant against evil, Michael the Archangel is most invoked for protection and justice. His novena is said by those in need of protection as well as those who are in need of justice.

According to the Book of Revelations, Michael was the angel who rose to God’s defense when Lucifer, God’s favorite and most beautiful angel decided that he was God’s equal. Leading a band of renegade angels he made an attempt to take over the throne of heaven. One outraged angel shouted, “Who is like God?” (mi-cha-el) and struck down Lucifer and his group, casting them into hell for their vanity. This angel took the name Michael as a reminder of his loyalty. A popular figure to the ancient Jews, early, Christians and Muslims, he is closely tied to the history of mankind and serves as its guardian.

Michael’s role in the world is firmly mandated: 1) He is to fight against Lucifer, no matter where he might be. 2) He is to rescue the souls of the faithful from the power of evil, especially at the time of death. 3) He is the champion of God and the protector of the Church. 4) He brings souls to justice, weighing the souls of the dead and deciding on who gets into heaven and who gets into hell.

Since Michael was the one who threw Lucifer into hell, Lucifer and the denizens of hell have no power over him. Catholics believe that Michael and the Virgin Mary are the only beings besides Jesus who can go into hell and release souls who are suffering there. Because of their actions in the great battle of heaven, it is Lucifer’s fate to reside in the lowest netherworld and it is Michael’s to dwell nearest to heaven. His shrines are the most ancient and natural in Christendom and tend to be on high, inaccessible cliffs that only a celestial being could reach. The Gargano caves in Apulia, Italy are said to be the first earthly dwelling place for the archangel. They have been an immensely popular pilgrimage site since the year 490 AD.

Saint Michael the Archangel is considered the most powerful of all angels. Christians in the East see him as a great healer, crediting him with the creation of many healing springs. In the sixth century, as Rome was being devastated by a plague, Pope Gregory I saw the archangel hovering over the tomb of the Emperor Hadrian, brandishing his sword. He interpreted this to mean that Rome was under the archangel’s protection and the plague would soon cease. A church was built over the tomb still bearing the title Castel San Angelo in honor of Michael.

Immensely popular throughout the world, Michael is always shown brandishing a sword while standing on the neck of the devil (sometimes interpreted as a giant serpent). In many images he holds the scales that will weigh the souls of the dead, because of this he is the patron saint of greengrocers who use these scales.

Prayer:

Saint Michael the Archangel, loyal champion of God and his people, I turn to you with confidence and seek your powerful intercession. For the love of God, who made you so glorious in grace and power, and for the love of the Mother of Jesus, the Queen of the Angels, be pleased to hear my prayer. You know the value of my soul in the eyes of God. May no stain of evil ever disfigure its beauty. Help me to conquer the evil spirit who tempts me. I desire to imitate your loyalty to God and Holy Mother Church and your great love for God and men. And since you are God’s messenger for the care of his people, I entrust to you this special request (your request here).

Saint Michael, since you are, by the will of the Creator, the powerful intercessor of Christians, I have great confidence in your prayers. I earnestly trust that if it is God’s holy will, my petition will be granted.

Pray for me, Saint Michael, and also for those I love. Protect us in all dangers of body and soul. Help us in our daily needs. Through your powerful intercession, may we live a holy life, die a happy death, and reach heaven, where we may praise and love God with you forever. Amen.

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

VII Station: Jesus falls the second time

stazione7Leader: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.
All: Because by your holy cross You have redeemed the world.

This is the second time you have fallen on the road. As the cross grows heavier and heavier it becomes more difficult to get up. But you continue to struggle and try until you’re up and walking again. You don’t give up.

As a child, sometimes things get me down. Others seem to find things easier to do or to learn. Each time I fail, I find it harder to keep trying.

As an adult, sometimes I think I should know more than I do. I become impatient with myself and find it hard to believe in myself when I fail. It is easy to despair over small things, and sometimes I do.

Help me when things seem difficult for me. Even when it’s hard, help me get up and keep trying as you did. Help me do my best without comparing myself with others.

My Jesus, often have I sinned and often, by sin, beaten Thee to the ground beneath the cross. Help me to use the efficacious means of grace that I may never fall again.

Our Father…. Hail Mary…. Glory be to the Father….

Leader: Jesus Christ Crucified.
All: Have Mercy on Us.
Leader: May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, Rest in peace.
All: Amen.

Day 2: Meditations on The Stations Of The Cross Station 2 Jesus Is Given His Cross To Carry

Image

Station 2 Jesus Is Given His Cross To Carry

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and praise Thee:

R. Because by Thy holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world!

O MY Jesus! I can not be Thy friend and follower if I refuse to carry the cross, a dearly beloved cross! I embrace thee, I kiss thee, I joyfully accept thee from the hands of my God. Far be it from me to glory in anything, save in the cross of my Redeemer. “By it the world shall be crucified to me and I to the world, that I may be Thine, O Jesus, forever.

Our Father, etc.; Hail Mary, etc.
V. Lord Jesus, crucified:
R. Have mercy on us!