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Thursday, September 22, 2016


"Let us ask God every day and in every prayer we ever say to make us love Him. Let us offer every good act we do that He may give us this, the greatest of all graces, His blessed love. In our morning prayers and evening prayers, in our Rosary, at Mass, in our Communions, let it be our first, our most earnest petition, that we may love God. Let us never say any prayer in which this is not our outstanding wish and intention." - Rev. Fr. Paul O'Sullivan. An Easy Way To Become A Saint, 1943

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

 In keeping with Father Bernard's excellent sermon on Sunday about the coming persecution, here is a story about some real martyrs.  May God grant all of us the grace to persevere no matter what may come our way!!

Les Martyrs du Viêt-Nam
From 1625 to 1886 between 130,000 and 300,000 Catholic men, women, and children died during the persecutions in Tonkin, Cochinchina and Annam in modern-day Vietnam. The tortures these individuals underwent were among the worst in the history of Christian martyrdom. The means included cutting off limbs joint by joint, ripping living bodies with red hot tongs, and use of drugs to enslave the minds of the victims. Christians at the time were branded on the face with the words ta dao (false religion) and families and villages which subscribed to Christianity were obliterated.
Among the 117 were 96 Vietnamese and 21 foreign missionaries. Of the Vietnamese group were 37 priests and 59 lay people, among whom were catechists and tertiaries. One of them was a woman, mother of six. Of the missionaries was 11 Spaniards; 6 bishops and 5 priests, all Dominicans, and 10 were French; 2 bishops and 8 priests from Société des Missions Etrangères in Paris. 76 were beheaded, 21 suffocated, 6 burnt alive, 5 mutilated and 9 died in prison as a result of torture.
The 117 martyrs were beatified in four groups, the first of them on 27 May 1900 (Pope Leo XIII), the second (all Dominicans) on 20 May 1906, a third on 2 May 1909 (both by Pope Pius X) and the last (including two Spanish bishops) on 29 April 1951 (Pope Pius XII).

Monday, September 19, 2016



At Pozzuoli in Campania, the holy martyrs Januarius, bishop of Benevento; Festus, his deacon, and Desiderius, a lector, together with Sosius, a deacon of the Church of Miseno; Proculus, deacon of Pozzuoli; Eutychius, and Acutius, who were bound and imprisoned and then beheaded during the reign of Diocletian. The body of St. Januarius was brought to Naples and buried in the church with due honours, where even now the blood of the blessed martyr is kept in a vial, and when placed close to his head is seen to become liquid and bubble up as if it were just taken from his veins.
In Palestine, the holy martyrs Peleus, Nilus, and Elias, bishops in Egypt, with many others of the clergy, who were consumed by fire for the sake of Christ during the persecution of Diocletian.
At Nocera, the birthday of the holy martyrs Felix and Constantia, who suffered under Nero.
Also, the holy martyrs Trophimus, Sabbatius, and Dorymedon, senator, under Emperor Probus. By command of the governor Atticus at Antioch, Sabbatius was scourged until he expired. Trophimus was sent to the governor Perennius at Synnada, where he and the senator Dorymedon completed their martyrdom by being beheaded after enduring many torments.
At Eleutheropolis in Palestine, St. Susanna, virgin and martyr. She was the daughter of Arthemius, a pagan priest, and of Martha, a Jewish woman, and after the death of her parents she was converted to the Christian faith. For this she was tortured in various ways, and cast in prison by the prefect Alexander, and there gave up her spirit while at prayer.
At Cordova in Spain, St. Pomposa, virgin and martyr. Because of her fearless witness to Christ she was beheaded in the Arab persecution, and thus obtained the palm of martyrdom.
At Canterbury, the holy bishop Theodore, who was sent to England by Pope Vitalian, and who was renowned for learning and holiness.
At Tours in France, St. Eustochius, bishop, a man of great virtue.
In the diocese of Langres, St. Sequanus, priest and confessor.
At Barcelona in Spain, blessed Mary de Cervellione, virgin, of the Order of Our Lady of Ransom. She is commonly called Mary of Help on account of the prompt assistance she renders to those who invoke her.
In the village of Druelle, in the diocese of Rodez in France, St. Marie Guillemette Emilie de Rodat, virgin, and foundress of the Congregation of Sisters of the Holy Family, which was established to teach poor and orphaned girls. Pius XII added her name to the number of holy virgins.
And elsewhere in divers places, many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.
R. Thanks be to God.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Mother of Mercy

    Devotion to the sorrows of Mary should be practiced especially by souls
who wish to rid themselves of sinful habits. This devotion nourishes the
spirit of compunction, affords great consolation, strengthens confidence in
God's mercy, draws down the special protection of the Blessed Mother in the
hour of temptation, and preserves the converted sinner from relapsing into

    The Mother of God once said to her faithful servant St. Bridget: "No
matter how numerous a person's sins may be, if he turns to me with a
sincere purpose of amendment I am prepared forthwith to  receive him
graciously, for I do not regard the number of sins he has committed, but
look only upon the dispositions with which he comes to me; for I feel no
aversion in healing his wounds, because I am called and am in truth the
Mother of Mercy."

    "Poor abandoned sinners," exclaims St. Alphonsus Liguori, "do not
despair! Raise your eyes to Mary and be comforted, trusting in the clemency
of this good Mother. For she will rescue you from the shipwreck you have
suffered and conduct you to the haven of salvation."

    The Mother of Sorrows likewise lends her gracious assistance in
bringing back to the True Fold those who, unhappily, have been separated
from the household of the Faith.

    The great apostleship of prayer which was organized in England for the
conversion of that country invoked Mary as the Mother of Sorrows. The
fruits of that society were formerly so great that annually ten thousand or
more Protestants returned to the True Fold. Anyone who will but try this
devotion will experience that the Blessed Virgin will not leave a single
Hail Mary unrewarded.

    Those who implore her aid in virtue of her sufferings may confidently
expect her assistance. It seems that this devotion is destined by Heaven to
avert God's punishment from sinful mankind, or at least to mitigate it.

Thursday, September 8, 2016


The Consoler of the Suffering Souls

    Dominica Clara of the Holy Cross, who died in the reputation of
sanctity in 1897, was often favored with apparitions of the souls in
Purgatory. One of these souls told the servant of God that she (the soul)
owed her salvation solely to her devotion to the sorrows of Mary. Her life
had been so wicked that without a special grace from God she could not
possibly have been saved, but Mary leaves nothing unrewarded that is done
in her honor.

    During life this person had felt a tender compassion for the Mother of
Sorrows, and whenever she beheld an image representing the Dolorous Mother,
she prayed the Hail Mary seven times in her honor. She admitted, however,
that often she had practiced this devotion more from custom than from
interior devotion; for her pious mother had implanted it so deeply in her
heart that, despite her wayward life, she had always remained faithful to
it. As a reward for this slight veneration, the Mother of God showed
special maternal solicitude for her at the hour of death, recalling to her
mind the image of her Seven Sorrows in so vivid a manner that in her last
moments the penitent was seized with most profound contrition for her
sinful life. For this reason she obtained the remission of all her sins.

    According to the information imparted by this soul, the sorrow she felt
for her sins, through the intercession of the Mother of Sorrows, was so
great that it expiated not only her sins but also a great part of the
temporal punishment due to them. In addition to this incomparably great
grace, the soul, while in Purgatory, was consoled by frequent visits of the
Mother of God, each of which mitigated her sufferings. Her torments ceased
entirely during the time the Blessed Virgin was personally present.

    Thousands and thousands of souls, she asserted, who had not committed
one twentieth as much evil as she, were eternally lost. "Ah," she
exclaimed, "how lively are my sentiments of gratitude when I consider what
our dear Heavenly Mother did for me in the last moments of my life! Had it
not been for Mary, I too should have shared the fate of the reprobates. For
all eternity shall my tongue proclaim the love, the goodness, the
solicitude of this sweet Virgin; unceasingly shall my voice glorify her
with canticles of praise and thanksgiving."

    Dominica Clara of the Holy Cross writes further that many who are
especially devoted to the Sorrowful Mother are scarcely detained in
Purgatory at all, and are deprived only for a short time of the vision of

Tuesday, September 6, 2016


"Once as St Teresa of Avila was traveling to one of her convents she was knocked off her donkey and fell into the mud, injuring her leg.
"Lord," she said, "You couldn't have picked a worse time for this to happen. Why would You let this happen?"
A voice from heaven replied, "That is how I treat My friends."
She answered, "If this is the way You treat Your friends, it's no wonder why You have so few!"

Tuesday, August 30, 2016


“Cheerfulness strengthens the heart and makes us persevere in a good life. Therefore, the servant of God ought always to be in good spirits.” - St. Philip Neri