Blessed Catholic Saints and Angels

~~Witnesses of Faith pray for us ! ~~

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist the Forerunner

God our Father, Thou called John the Baptist to be the herald of Thy Son's birth and death. As he gave his life in witness to Truth and Justice, so may we strive to profess our Faith in Thy Gospel. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy only begotten Son, who lives and reigns with Thee and the Holy Ghost , one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The whole life of St. John the Forerunner, from its first days, was entirely dedicated to the One Who came after him.
As Saint John the Baptist was forerunner of Christ to the living, making straight the way of the Lord, so he was forerunner of Christ even to the dead, getting them ready for his coming on Holy Saturday. The mind and tongue of this great Saint and Martyr would not be stopped, even by death!
The Feast of the Beheading of the Baptist was one of earliest annual liturgical celebrations throughout the Christian world. According to ancient tradition John's body was buried at Sebaste, but Herodius had the head buried in a dung heap. Once again the seat of his learning and teaching was to be humiliated; once again, we are reminded just how precious, how powerful, how threatening can be the life of the mind and the tongue. John's head was, however, secretly recovered by his followers and hidden away, only to be rediscovered several times over the centuries, giving rise to various claims and counter-claims as to who held the principal relic

Let us faithfully pray :
O God, Thou raised up St. John the Baptist to prepare a perfect people for Christ.
Fill Thy people with the joy of possessing His Grace, and direct the minds of all the faithful in the way of Peace and Salvation.
Grant that as St. John was martyred for Truth and Justice, so we may energetically profess our Faith in Thee, and lead others to the Way, the Truth, and Eternal Life. Amen.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Blessed Feast of Saint John Vianney - parish priest of Ars, is certainly one of the noblest figures among the saints of the 19th century

Today is the feast day of the Curé of Ars, confessor, intercessor for the Clergy’s sanctification and model for those entrusted with the care of souls. He lived in the 19th century (1786-1859).
There is always a word to say about St. John Baptist Vianney because he was one of the greatest saints of the 19th century. His life presents so many different facets that one always can take new lessons from it. In the first decades of the 19th century, he was a poor seminarian.The site where he entered Ars. He told the boy: "You have showed me the way to Ars. I will show you the way to Heaven"The pulpit in the Church of Ars where the Cure delivered his famous sermons .
The Chapel of St. Philomena, to whom the Saint gave all the credit for the miracles he worked . The Bishop sent this dull priest to a tiny village in the south of France, the village of Ars. There he began his sacerdotal life, which would permeate all of Europe with its light, and, from there, spread throughout the world. He was canonized a saint by Pius XI in 1925 and proclaimed patron of parish priests.
What was it that distinguished this Saint? Even though he didn’t have any natural qualities to make him an exceptional priest, he became a magnificent priest, an extraordinary apostle, a confessor with rare discernment, and a preacher who exercised a profound influence over souls .
He was also a martyr of the confessionary. He used to spend hours and hours there hearing confessions and giving counsels.
Fighting with evil : This extraordinary Saint spent all his time in the church: at the pulpit, confessionary or altar. At night when he returned to his house, one might think he would at least get a deserved rest. But no, a new fight started, this time against the devil. For decades he fought a nightly battle with the devil – whom he called Grapin – in which the devil physically assaulted him and tormented him with deafening noises and insulting words. On the night before a person particularly dominated by the devil would come to confess to St. John Vianney, the devil would inflict stronger torments on the Saint. Once he set fire to the Curé’s bed. In response St. John Vianney used to increase his special penances, flagellations, and prayers to win the graces for his words to effect the needed conversions.
Performing miracles :Divine Providence, in order to further increase his apostolate, gave him the gift of the miracles. In fact he worked many miracles. But he did not attribute them to himself. In his church he built a shrine to St. Philomena, a virgin martyr that Paul VI removed from the list of the saints. St. John Vianney did not think the same way, and attributed all his miracles to her.
Saint John Vianney died peacefully on August 4, 1859. When his body was exhumed due to impending beatification, it was found perfectly preserved. Later the Saint’s heart was removed and remains a venerated relic. The Saint's body is laid in the Chapel of the Reliquary in a new basilica which is attached to the original Parish of Ars Church in Ars, France. A special chapel was erected to receive the miraculously incorrupt Heart of the Curé of Ars.

Several miracles have been attributed to Saint John Vianney ( read about here) .
Let us pray to St. John Baptist Vianney and ask him to heal the Catholic clergy from the negative influence of Vatican 2 . And let us ask him to give us the necessary discernment and strength of will to be free of any temptations of modern world , to fight against any evil manifestations and increase of faith .

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Monday, August 6, 2012

Novena to the Feast of Saint Maximilian Kolbe

O St. Maximilian Kolbe, faithful follower of St. Francis of Assisi, inflamed by the love of God, thou dedicated thy life to the practice of virtue and to works of charity.
Look kindly upon us who devoutly confide the following petitions to thy intercession:
(here our specific requests).
Having consecrated thyself to the Immaculate Virgin Mary, thou founded the Militia of the Immaculata (MI) Movement so that the Blessed Virgin might lead countless souls to holiness by inspiring them to do good, avoid evil, and spread the Kingdom of God.
Obtain for us, through her, the grace of drawing many souls to Christ.
 In thy close conformity to Our Divine Savior, thou reached such an intense degree of charity that thou offered thy life to save that of a fellow prisoner.
Implore God that we, inflamed by such ardent charity, may, through our faith and good works, witness Christ's Love for the world and thus merit to join thee in the blessed vision of God. Amen

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Today starts Novena to Saint Philomena ( August 2 -10 ) Feast August 11

Novena to St. Philomena
O great St. Philomena, glorious Virgin and Martyr, wonder-worker of our age, I return most fervent thanks to God for the miraculous gifts bestowed on thee, and beseech thee to impart to me a share in the graces and blessings of which thou hast been the channel to so many souls.
Through the heroic fortitude with which thou didst confront the fury of tyrants and brave the frowns of the mighty rather than swerve from thy allegiance to the King of Heaven, obtain for me purity of body and soul, purity of heart and desire, purity of thought and affection.
Through thy patience under multiplied sufferings, obtain for me a submissive acceptance of all the afflictions it may please God to send me and as thou didst miraculously escape unhurt from the waters of the Tiber, into which thou wert cast by order of thy persecutor, so may I pass through the waters of tribulation without detriment to my soul.
In addition to these favors, obtain for me,O faithful spouse of Jesus, the particular intention I earnestly recommend to thee at this moment. O pure Virgin and holy Martyr, deign to cast a look of pity from Heaven on thy devoted servant, comfort me in affliction, assist me in danger, above all come to my aid in the hour of death.
Watch over the interests of the Church of God, pray for its exaltation and prosperity, the extension of the faith, for the perseverance of the just, the conversion of sinners, and the relief of the souls in purgatory, especially those dear to me.
O great Saint, whose triumph we celebrate on earth, intercede for me, that I may one day behold the crown of glory bestowed on thee in Heaven, and eternally bless Him who so liberally rewards for all eternity the sufferings endured for His love during this short life. Amen.
Oremus/ Let us pray
We beseech Thee, O Lord, to grant us the pardon of our sins by the intercession of Saint , virgin and martyr, who was always pleasing in Thy sight by her eminent chastity and by the profession of every virtue. Amen.
 Illustrious virgin and martyr, Saint Philomena, behold me prostrate before the throne whereupon it has pleased the Most Holy Trinity to place thee. Full of confidence in thy protection, I entreat thee to intercede for me with God, from the heights of Heaven deign to cast a glance upon thy humble client!
Spouse of Christ, sustain me in suffering, fortify me in temptation, protect me in the dangers surrounding me, obtain for me the graces necessary to me, and in particular (Here specify your petition).
 Above all, assist me at the hour of my death. Saint Philomena, powerful with God, pray for us. Amen.
O God, Most Holy Trinity, we thank Thee for the graces Thou didst bestow upon the Blessed Virgin Mary, and upon Thy handmaid Philomena, through whose intercession we implore Thy Mercy. Amen.

Blessed Feast of Saint Alphonsus de Liguori ( today August 2 )

Father Liguori is the Marian and Morality Doctor of the Church. No other doctor wrote more books or was more particular in his devotion to our Lord and his Blessed Mother. He lived to be the oldest doctor and his books cover many subjects including the Blessed Sacrament, and The Early Martyrs of the Church. Some of his significant theological writings are and listed in the Dogmatic Constitutions of the Catholic Church from the Councils. Before Liguori established the Redemptorist Order, that is a great pillar and mainstay of the church, he practiced law in Italy. It was his custom to attend the holy sacrifice of the mass before he went into the courts. He is best known for his moral theology, but he also wrote well in the field of spiritual and dogmatic theology. St.Alphonsus Liguori is a most distinguished, Catholic, doctor in matters of morality because of his absolute surrender to God in faith and his conscience. Moral philosophy focus is on ethics and the discipline dealing with good and bad and with moral duty and obligations. The Ten Commandments are not a wish list. Christ crystallized them for us by saying they are summed up in love for God and neighbor. We can not attain our victory over immorality unless we possess virtue. Virtue is moral excellence.
St. Alphonsus' writings on the Stations of the Cross and martyrs are most touching and redemptive. Christ's death, and the process that lead to it in the carrying of the cross, should move our conscience profoundly. It was constantly in his thoughts as they are in all sincere Christians. The stations according to some authors and historians actually got started by Jesus' mother, Mary. She wanted to keep the memory of her Son alive and she frequently traced his actual steps in Jerusalem. The closing down of the holy lands during a period in the church's history was another reason the church rejuvenated the Stations of the Cross locally. We do not have to wait for the Lenten season to think or make the stations. There are hardly any catholic churches in the world that do not display the journey that led to Christ's final agony and victory over sin and death. This is Jesus' heroic and dramatic struggle up Calvary. It is a cordial reminder of love bestowed by three mothers: God, our Divine Mother and Author of all creation and redemption, the Mother of God, the holy, Virgin Mary, and the Mother of our mystical life, the Church.
God's will can not be known and achieved without prayer, grace and God's favor.
We are often caught between what the law permits and what are God's laws.

Blessed Feast for everyone !