St.s Joachim and Anne First Century BC

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)

Sacred Heart of Jesus, Feast day June 27

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

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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

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.

Sharing Everyday Miracles

THANK YOU_EDAYTo be out of debt.

Family

My everyday miracle is my Beautiful Family that I am Blessed with.

My devotion to Jesus and The Blessed Mother help me to get thru everyday trials n tribulations.

The blessed virgin delivered a family member from addiction. Saved her life…

Good marriage.

I can say that Saint Peregrine must have had a hand in healing my dad from Stage IV cancer. My dad was diagnosed with stage IV throat cancer at the age of 48. We were told it was terminal and at 24 years old, I was prematurely mourning the loss of my father and best friend before he was even gone. It is 6 years later and he’s healed and still with us. Although he suffers from a multitude of other health problems, I can say it is a miracle that the cancer is gone.

I went into a church to say some prayers before going to work on the weekend. I had taken my lunch in a plastic ziplock bag with me. I placed the bag next to me on the pew and closed my eyes and knelt. I was think about two things— I wished I had an extra $20.00 to donate to St. Anthony’s bread and the other that I had judged a friend mother who had recently died to harshly and I was asking for forgiveness. When Iopened my eyes and sat back down on the pew I found a $20.00 bill and folded sheets of paper cliped to my plastic lunch bag (the sheets had forgivenesss prayers on them). That is my everyday miracle.

XIIII Station: Jesus is laid in the tomb

vcr200314Leader: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.
All: Because by your holy cross You have redeemed the world.

Jesus, your body is prepared for burial. Joseph gave you his own tomb. He laid your body there and rolled a large stone in front of it, then went home. What a sad day it has been for so many people.

As a child, sometimes I try to keep everything for myself. I find it hard to share my things with my brothers or sisters and with my friends.

As an adult, I can be selfish too. I can accumulate things and keep them for myself. I try to make sure I have what I want before I share what I have with anybody else.

Help me think of Joseph of Arimathea, who risked his own life as he accepted Jesus’ body for burial. Help me think of how Joseph loved Jesus so much that he gave him his own tomb.

My Jesus, beside Thy body in the tomb I, too, would lie dead; but if I live, let it be for Thee, so as one day to enjoy with Thee in heaven the fruits of Thy passion and Thy bitter death.

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.