Prayers to the Archangels – Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael

Since today is the Feast of the Archangels – St. Michael, St. Gabriel, and the St. Raphael, I wanted to provide you with some prayers asking for their intercession. Although praying to all three is important, in our time and in all times of evil, we should invoke the powerful intercession of St. Michael. In my research for this blog post, I found numerous prayers, novenas, and Mass parts for each of the three archangels. Here is one prayer for each of them.

The Archangels

Want to know more about the Archangels? Check out my blog post “The Feast of the Archangels.”

Prayer to St. Michael to Protect the Church and her Members

O Glorious St. Michael, guardian and defender of the Church of Jesus Christ, come to the assistance of this Church, against which the powers of hell are unchained, guard with especial care her august head, and obtain that for him and for us the hour of triumph may speedily arrive. O glorious Archangel St. Michael, watch over us during life, defend us against the assaults of the demon, assist us especially at the hour of death; obtain for us a favorable judgment, and the happiness of beholding God face to face for endless ages. Amen.

Prayer to St. Gabriel the Archangel

O Blessed Archangel Gabriel, we beseech thee, do thou intercede for us at the throne of divine Mercy in our present necessities, that as you did announce to Mary the mystery of the Incarnation, so through your prayers and patronage in heaven we may obtain the benefits of the same, and sing the praise of God forever in the land of the living. Amen.

Prayer to St. Raphael the Archangel

O glorious Archangel, St. Raphael, great Prince of the heavenly court, illustrious for your gifts of wisdom and grace, guide of those who journey by land or sea, consoler of the afflicted, and refuge of sinners: I beg you to assist me in all my needs and in all the suffering of this life, as once you did help the young Tobias on his travels. And because you are the “Medicine of God,” I humbly pray to you to heal the many infirmities of my soul, and the ills which afflict my body, it if be for my greater good. I especially ask of you an angelic purity, which may fit me to be the temple of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Source:

St. Michael and the AngelsA Month with St. Michael and the Holy Angels. Compiled from Approved Sources. Tan Books and Publishing. 1983.

“Mondays with Mary” – 10 Quotes from St. Therese of Lisieux on the Blessed Virgin Mary

Since we celebrate the feast of the youngest Doctor of the Church, Saint Therese of Lisieux this Wednesday, October 1, I found it fitting to use some of her words about the Blessed Virgin Mary for today’s “Mondays with Mary.” Like last week’s post, which featured the words of St. Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio), it’s my hope that you will be able to share this blog post as well as these quotes with your family and friends on your social media sites.

Saint Therese3

It’s my intention over the next year to provide you quote’s from the Doctors of the Church on the Blessed Virgin Mary. So many of the saints, including the 35 Doctors, have written on the Mother of God over the centuries. As one who loves the saints, I find their words on our Queen Mother to be prolific. We must strive to have the relationship with Our Lady, as did the saints who came before us. It is through her maternal mediation that we come to know Jesus Christ more and more each day.

Writing about the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Little Flower, St. Therese, says…

1. “O, how I love the Blessed Virgin. If I were a priest how often would I speak of her. She is described as unapproachable, whereas she should be pointed to as a model. She is more of a Mother than a Queen.”

2. “I do not tremble when I see my weakness, for the treasures of a mother belong also to her child, and I am thy child, O dear Mother Mary.”

3. “My dear Mother Mary, I think that I am more happy than you. I have you as a Mother and your haven’t the Blessed Virgin to love as I have.”

4. “O Virgin Mary, change my heart into a beautiful pure corporal, to receive that white Host in which our sweet Lamb hides Himself.”

5. “In that first ‘fusion’ with Jesus (holy communion), it was my Heavenly Mother again who accompanied me to the altar for it was she herself who placed her Jesus into my soul.”

6. “With all my heart I consecrated myself to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and asked her to watch over me. She seemed to look lovingly on her Little Flower and to smile at her again.”

7. “What a joy to remember that she [Mary] is our Mother! Since she loves us and knows our weakness, what have we to fear?”

8. “There, too, I listen on my knees, great Queen of all the Angels! To that sweet canticle that flows in rapture from your soul; so do you teach me how to sing like heavenly, glad angels. And glorify my Jesus, Who alone can make me whole.”

9. “To ask something of the Blessed Virgin is not the same as to ask something of God.  She knows well what to do with all my little desires and it is for her to decide whether to ask for them or not.”

10. “Do not be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin too much. You can never love her enough. And Jesus will be very happy, because the Blessed Virgin is His Mother.”

Mary, Queen of Angels

Since today is the feast day of the Archangels – St. Michael, St. Gabriel, and St. Raphael, let us invoke a prayer through the intercession of the Queen of Angels –

“August Queen of Heaven! Sovereign Mistress of the angels! You who fro the beginning has received from God the power and mission to crush the head of Satan, we humbly beseech you to send your holy Legions, that, under your command and by their power, they my pursue the evil spirits, encounter them on every side, resist their bold attacks and drive them hence into the abyss of eternal woe. Amen.

The above quotes are from a compilation of poems, daily thoughts, and her autobiography.

“Mondays with Mary” – 10 Quotes from Padre Pio on the Blessed Virgin Mary

St. Padre PioWith the feast day of St. Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio) coming up this Tuesday, September 23, I found it fitting to provide you 10 quotes of his speaking about the Blessed Virgin Mary. Like many of the saints before him, Padre Pio had a great devotion to the Blessed Mother, particularly though the Holy Rosary. Padre Pio knew the importance Our Lady plays in the life of every Christian and knew the importance the Rosary plays in the hands of us Christians. For him, the Rosary is the weapon against Satan.

For us who face many trials these days in our world, St. Pio of Pietrelcina is one of the saints we must turn to for prayers and guidance. He faced his trials and sufferings head on through prayer, the Holy Eucharist, and the devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Always remember these words from him – “Pray, Hope, and Don’t Worry.”

It is my hope that you will share this blog post with your family and friends as well as use some of these quotes on your social media sites as a way to evangelize for Jesus Christ and His Blessed Mother through the divine inspired words of the great 20th century Franciscan saint, Padre Pio -

1. “Let us bind ourselves tightly to the Sorrowful Heart of our Heavenly Mother and reflect on its boundless grief and how precious is our soul.”

2. “May the Mother of Jesus and our Mother, always smile on your spirit, obtaining for it, from her Most Holy Son, every heavenly blessing.”

3. “Go and keep company with Jesus in His Passion, and with His Sorrowful Mother.”

4. “…It is enough for you to know that Mary is the Mother of Jesus…She loves us so much that she offered to God the Father His only natural Son to save His adopted sons…She is a great and inestimable treasure who encloses in herself an infinite treasure, the Son of God.”

5. “…If we do what we have always done, what our fathers did before us, we cannot go wrong. Satan wants to destroy this prayer, but in this he will never succeed. The Rosary is the prayer of those who triumph over everything and everyone. It was Our Lady who taught us this prayer, just as it was Jesus who taught us the Our Father.”

Our Lady of of Grace - San Giovanni Rotondo

Our Lady of of Grace – San Giovanni Rotondo

6. “Some people are so foolish that they think they can go through life
 without the help of the Blessed Mother.”

7. [When asked if the Blessed Virgin is present during the Holy Mass], “Yes, she places herself at a side, but I can see her, what a joy. She is always present. How can it be that the Mother of Jesus, present in Calvary at the foot of the Cross, who offered her Son as a victim for the salvation of our souls, not be present in the mystical Calvary of the altar?”

8. “Let us endeavor, like so many elect souls, to follow this blessed Mother, to walk always close to Her, not following any other path that leads to life, except the one trod by our Mother.”

9. “Always stay close to this Heavenly Mother, because she is the sea to be crossed to reach the shores of Eternal Splendor.”

10. “Love the Madonna and pray the Rosary, for her Rosary is the weapon against the evils of the world today. All graces given by God pass through the Blessed Mother.”

St. Pio of Pietrelcina…Pray for us.

Quick Lessons from the Catechism: Truth, Beauty and Sacred Art

In recent days, I have had the privilege to view some new sacred art recently created in Northern Italy. To say that this art is beautiful would be the understatement of the month. As a child and adolescent growing up in the Catholic Church, I was subjected to some grim churches and art. It was as if we were trying to destroy truth, beauty and sacred art and replace it with relativism, ghastly, and ugly modern art.

In a time when the fruits of the Second Vatican Council are coming to fruition, let us also reap the bountiful beauty of the Church’s sacred art and allow our parishes to be filled with art that reflects the Holy Trinity, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the Communion of Saints. Catholic Churches should represent the Heavenly Kingdom and not the lower levels of the Inferno.

Stain Glass Window in Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Cottonwood, AZ

Stain Glass Window in Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Cottonwood, AZ

So what does the Catechism of the Catholic Church teach on sacred art?

In paragraph 2513, it states: The fine arts, but above all sacred art, “of their nature are directed toward expressing in some way the infinite beauty of God in works made by human hands. Their dedication to the increase of God’s praise and of his glory is more complete, the more exclusively they are devoted to turning men’s minds devoutly toward God” (SC 122).

To read more on sacred art in the Catechism, please see paragraphs 2500-2503. I would also check out The Foundation for Sacred Arts and the June 23, 2014 article from Catholic News Agency.

Interior of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Jasper, IN.

Interior of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Jasper, IN.

“Mondays with Mary” – 7 Quotes by Pope St. John Paul II on Our Lady of Sorrows

Today in the Western lung of the Catholic Church, we celebrate a great Marian feast known as Our Lady of Sorrows. This traditional devotion, which helps us understand Mary’s role in the suffering of Our Lord Jesus Christ began in 1814 by Pope Pius VII, although many of the Church Fathers and other saints wrote on how Mary is united with Christ in his suffering and how we are to suffer with Christ as well. For a more complete understanding of this feast, please read my post on the topic from a previous “Mondays with Mary.”

Knowing my love and devotion for the Blessed Virgin Mary as well as Pope St. John Paul II, who also had a great devotion to the Our Lady, I provide you seven quotes from the great 20th century Pope and Saint focusing on Our Lady of Sorrows. These quotes come from letters, addresses, homilies, and papal audiences.

Blessed John Paul II

It’s my hope that you will share this blog post with your family and friends as well as take some of these quotes and use them on your social media sites.

1. “Together with Mary, let us seek to be sharers in this death which brought forth fruits of “new life” in the Resurrection: a death like this on the cross was infamous, and it was the death of her Son! But precisely there, at the foot of the cross, “where she stood, not without a divine plan,” did not Mary realize in a new way everything that she had already heard on the day of Annunciation?”

2. “Turn your eyes incessantly to the Blessed Virgin; she, who is the Mother of Sorrows and also the Mother of Consolation, can understand you completely and help you. Looking to her, praying to her, you will obtain that your tedium will become serenity, your anguish change into hope, and your grief into love. I accompany you with my blessing, which I willingly extend to all those who assist you.”

3. “‘When a woman is in travail, she has sorrow, because her hour has come; but when she is delivered of the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a child is born into the world’ (Jn. 16:21). The first part of Christ’s words refer to the “pangs of childbirth” which belong to the heritage of original sin; at the same time these words indicate the link that exists between the woman’s motherhood and the Paschal Mystery. For this mystery also includes the Mother’s sorrow at the foot of the cross – the Mother who through faith shares in her Son’s amazing “self-emptying”: ‘This is perhaps the deepest ‘kenosis’ of faith in human history.”

4. “The Exultet of Easter tells us that he is “the light which knows no decline,” “qui nescit occasum”! Seek the light of the soul. Through it, suffering united with that of our Lord and of the Virgin Mary at the foot of the cross opens the way to eternal life, for oneself and for others.”

Our Lady of Sorrows.Carlo Dolci

5. “‘Together with Mary, Mother of Christ who stood beneath the cross, we pause beside all the crosses of contemporary man and we ask all of you who suffer to support us. We ask precisely you who are weak to become a source of strength for the Church and humanity. In the terrible battle between the forces of good and evil revealed to our eyes by our modern world, may your sufferings in union with the cross of Christ be victorious.’”

6. “‘Standing by the cross of Jesus was hit mother’ (Jn. 19:25). The Virgin, with her mother’s grief, participated in a quite particular way in the Passion of Jesus, cooperating deeply with the salvation of mankind. Like Mary, each of us can and must unite with the suffering Jesus in order to become, with his own pain, an active part in the redemption of the world which he effected in the Paschal Mystery. With these wishes, may my comforting blessing, strengthened by Mary’s motherly help, accompany you and those who lovingly assist you in daily offering.”

7. “Today’s liturgy makes use of the ancient poetic text of the sequence which begins with the Latin words Stabat Mater:

‘By the cross of our salvation/Mary stood in desolation/While the Savior hung above/All her human powers failing,/Sorrow’s sword, at last prevailing,/ Stabs and breaks her heart of love…/Virgin Mary, full of sorrow,/From your love I ask to borrow/Love enough to share your pain./Make my heart to burn with fire,/Make Christ’s love my own desire,/Who for love of me was slain.’

The author of this sequence sought, in the most eloquent way humanly possible, to present the “compassionof the Mother at the foot of the cross. He was inspired by those words of Sacred Scripture about the sufferings of Mary which, though few and concise, are deeply moving.”

Our Lady of Sorrows…Pray for us. Pope St. John Paul II…Pray for us.

This blog post is dedicated to the Saint John Paul II Facebook Group, founded 2nd May, 2011. May we all through the power of the Cross and the intercession of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary and our beloved Pope St. John Paul II, pray for the many great sufferings occurring in the world today. 

Quick Lessons from the Catechism: The Sacrament of the Eucharist

This week at the parish I work at in Arizona, my Pastor and I began a five-week study on the Catholic Mass for the parents in our Family Faith Formation Program. Because of the large number of children that attend Religious Education, we divide the sessions into four different groups made up of 2 groups per night for two weeks. This means that each group meets every other week.

Knowing the importance of the Catholic Mass and wanting to teach our parents its significance, Fr. Will and I found a great series facilitated by Dr. Edward Sri of the Augustine Institute titled, A Biblical Walk through the Mass. Over the next 3 1/2 months, Fr. Will and I have cleared our calendars and committed to being present at each night with the parents. We will show the video and then take questions in order to help our families have a deeper and more complete understanding of the Catholic Mass. Please say a prayer for all involved.

With this being said, I found this week’s Quick Lessons from the Catechism the perfect opportunity to explain to you what the CCC teaches on the Sacrament of the Eucharist and the Catholic Mass. For a Catholic, the highest form of prayer and worship is the Catholic Mass. I would encourage you to experience the Catholic Liturgy in both the Western and the Eastern Rites.

The Catechism teaches us…

CCC 1406: Jesus said: “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; . . . he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life and . . . abides in me, and I in him” (Jn 6:51, 54, 56).

CCC 1407: The Eucharist is the heart and the summit of the Church’s life, for in it Christ associates his Church and all her members with his sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving offered once for all on the cross to his Father; by this sacrifice he pours out the graces of salvation on his Body which is the Church.

CCC 1408: The Eucharistic celebration always includes: the proclamation of the Word of God; thanksgiving to God the Father for all his benefits, above all the gift of his Son; the consecration of bread and wine; and participation in the liturgical banquet by receiving the Lord’s body and blood. These elements constitute one single act of worship.

CCC 1409: The Eucharist is the memorial of Christ’s Passover, that is, of the work of salvation accomplished by the life, death, and resurrection of Christ, a work made present by the liturgical action.

CCC 1410: It is Christ himself, the eternal high priest of the New Covenant who, acting through the ministry of the priests, offers the Eucharistic sacrifice. And it is the same Christ, really present under the species of bread and wine, who is the offering of the Eucharistic sacrifice.

CCC 1411: Only validly ordained priests can preside at the Eucharist and consecrate the bread and the wine so that they become the Body and Blood of the Lord.

CCC 1412: The essential signs of the Eucharistic sacrament are wheat bread and grape wine, on which the blessing of the Holy Spirit is invoked and the priest pronounces the words of consecration spoken by Jesus during the Last Supper: “This is my body which will be given up for you. . . . This is the cup of my blood. . . .”

Jesus & Eucharist - EWTN

CCC 1413: By the consecration the transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ is brought about. Under the consecrated species of bread and wine Christ himself, living and glorious, is present in a true, real, and substantial manner: his Body and his Blood, with his soul and his divinity (cf. Council of Trent: DS 1640; 1651).

CCC 1414: As sacrifice, the Eucharist is also offered in reparation for the sins of the living and the dead and to obtain spiritual or temporal benefits from God.

CCC 1415: Anyone who desires to receive Christ in Eucharistic communion must be in the state of grace. Anyone aware of having sinned mortally must not receive communion without having received absolution in the sacrament of penance.

CCC 1416: Communion with the Body and Blood of Christ increases the communicant’s union with the Lord, forgives his venial sins, and preserves him from grave sins. Since receiving this sacrament strengthens the bonds of charity between the communicant and Christ, it also reinforces the unity of the Church as the Mystical Body of Christ.

CCC 1417: The Church warmly recommends that the faithful receive Holy Communion when they participate in the celebration of the Eucharist; she obliges them to do so at least once a year.

CCC 1418: Because Christ himself is present in the sacrament of the altar, he is to be honored with the worship of adoration. “To visit the Blessed Sacrament is . . . a proof of gratitude, an expression of love, and a duty of adoration toward Christ our Lord” (Paul VI, MF 66).

CCC 1419: Having passed from this world to the Father, Christ gives us in the Eucharist the pledge of glory with him. Participation in the Holy Sacrifice identifies us with his Heart, sustains our strength along the pilgrimage of this life, makes us long for eternal life, and unites us even now to the Church in heaven, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and all the saints.

For an even more extensive understanding of what the Catechism teaches on the Sacrament of all Sacraments, I would encourage you to read CCC 1322-1405.

The video below has been used in some of my other blog posts before focusing on the Holy Eucharist and the Priesthood, but it never gets old. If you need a video to fire you up about the Catholic Mass, this would be it. Please take the time to share this blog post and video with your family and friends on your social media sites.

Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar…Protect us and Keep us Safe. Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament…Pray for us. Amen.

“Mondays with Mary” – 12 Means of Honoring the Blessed Virgin Mary in Her Childhood

Today in the Catholic Church, we commemorate the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. A glorious day that focuses on the birth of the immaculate woman who would conceive and bear the Messiah, the Christ, the Word of God Incarnate – Jesus Christ. Although we study, reflect, and focus our attention mainly on Mary’s role in Salvation History from the moment of her fiat, her “Yes” to God, we must remember that the Blessed Virgin Mary was also a child.

The school of Mary’s childhood provides for us lessons in obedience, purity, innocence, humility, and simplicity. In her childhood, Mary displays the perfect ideal to all of humanity on how to be a child of God. In commemoration of this Marian feast, I draw upon the 17th century document from Saint John Eudes titled, The Wondrous Childhood of the Most Holy Mother of God.

St. John Eudes writes on this part of Mary’s immaculate life for two reasons: first, unlike Eve who was created as an adult, he praises the notion that Mary was born as a child and lived and grew in childhood. As a daughter of Adam, the blood that flows through her veins also flows through our veins. She is the highest creature of the human race. Mary is our sister in Christ as well as our Mother leading us closer to Jesus. Second, the kingdom of heaven belongs to the innocence of children – “theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” As Christians, we must hear the Gospel with joy and become like little children.

Now let us turn to the 12 Means of Honoring the Blessed Virgin Mary in Her Childhood. These twelve means, a unique devotion to the Mother of our Redeemer will provide a multitude of blessings for those who make use of them.

1st Means: “Exhort all Christians to this devotion, in preaching, in teaching catechism and in familiar conversation. I conjure all preachers, all catechists, all priests and religious, by the ardent zeal of Our Savior has for the honor of His most worthy Mother, to lose no opportunity, especially upon feasts of the Blessed Virgin, of making very particular mention of this devotion” [Excerpt due to length].

2nd Means: “Endeavor to imprint in the hearts of children, especially little girls, a true devotion to the amiable little Mary. I exhort particularly fathers and mothers, teachers and all religious who apply themselves to the instruction of children, to persuade their charges to dedicate and consecrate their childhood and their whole life, to the honor of this gracious Child” [Excerpt due to length].

3rd Means: “Furnish clothing every year for one or more little girls in honor of the holy Child Mary, or, if you have the means, educate and provide for them, assuring yourself that whatever you do for these poor children in honor of the Child Mary, will be as agreeable to her as if you had done it to herself.

4th Means: “Fast or abstain on the vigils of the Immaculate Conception, the Nativity, and the Presentation, which are the principal feasts of Mary’s holy infancy.”

Sts. joachim and anne with Heavenly Daughter Mary

5th Means: “Consecrate to the honor of the lovely infancy of Mary the month beginning September eighth, and during this time perform all your actions in her honor. I shall repeat here the practice recommended by the sacred Virgin to St. Mechtilde, which is, to say during the octave of the Nativity the Hail Mary as many times as the blessed Babe remained days in the womb of her mother. She declared to St. Gertrude that those who would practice this devotion, would participate in heaven, in a very special manner, in the joys she had in this world, and will have eternally in heaven. By reciting, every day during the octave, thirty-five Hail Mary’s, you will make up the exact number of days the blessed Infant passed in the womb of St. Ann.”

6th Means: “During the above time dedicated to the holy infancy of the Mother of God, say daily the Litany of the holy Childhood.”

7th Means: “As the twenty-fifth of each month is dedicated to the honor of the adorable Child Jesus, the eighth of each month is dedicated to the amiable Child Mary. Do something on this day in her honor; communicate, give alms, say her Litany, or perform some act of piety or devotion. When a solemn feast falls on the eighth of the month, these practices should be deferred to some other day.”

8th Means: “There is a little chaplet in honor of the Divine Infant Jesus, composed of three Our Fathers followed by twelve Hail Mary’s. This chaplet may be said at the same time in honor of the holy Infant Mary.”

9th Means: Either say Holy Mass or have it said in honor of the sacred infancy of the Mother of the Savior, to thank the most Holy Trinity for all the graces bestowed upon this marvelous Child, and through her upon all the human race. For this purpose the Mass of the Immaculate Conception, or of the Nativity, the Holy Name of Mary, or the Presentation should be selected.”

10th Means: Have special devotion to St. Joachim and St. Ann, for they have given us our estimable Child. Honor them particularly on the days on which the Church celebrates their memory, and still more on the feasts of the infancy of their blessed daughter. Have also a great devotion to St. Gabriel, the Angel whom God appointed as Mary’s guardian.”

11th Means: “Have a strong and earnest will to imitate this blessed Child in all the holy virtues she practiced, for in this, above all, consists true devotion. “The sovereign and perfect devotion is to imitate what we honor,” says St. Augustine.

12th Means: Mediate upon the mysteries, the prerogatives and the virtues of the holy childhood of Mary. This is a means that renders imitation of our Model pleasant, easy and useful.

As we enter the octave of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we ask Mary to help us be like children before the throne of God. Let us offer these days in honor of Her Childhood and the Childhood of Our Lord Jesus Christ. O Holy Mother of God…Pray for Us.