“Mondays with Mary” – Our Lady of America, Part II

Since last week’s blog post on Our Lady of America, Part I was very popular, with many people sharing it on social media, I felt the need to write a second part for this week’s “Mondays with Mary”, especially in light of the evil and horror we witnessed on Friday night.

I think that our country most certainly needs this devotion to Our Lady and I also think it can be accomplished as long as everyone that reads this post can share all the information pertaining to the apparitions that took place 60 years ago. Instead of re-writing on what needs to be done to get the statue into the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on a permanent basis, I suggest reading this link titled – “How to Practice the Devotion Through Its Image, Medal, Prayers, Promises and Visitations.

Although there is much you can do, most especially pray the devotion, two things that I have done over the past week, and I encourage all of you to do the same – sign the petition (for the Solemn Procession/Placement of the Statue of Our Lady of America in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception) and place an image of Our Lady of America in your homes. Below is the image now in my home at my front door.

Our Lady of America in my home #2

Ten years a petition was given to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to have the statue permanently placed in the National Shrine, and although some of the Bishops agreed, others did not. It’s now been a decade. As the lay faithful, we really need to increase our devotion to Our Lady under this title to show the Bishops we want her placed in the National Shrine for good. Please prayerfully consider reaching out to your Bishop and writing a letter to him regarding this devotion. Here is a link for a sample letter that you can write. I would suggest updating it since I believe this sample is a couple of years old.

To conclude this second post on Our Lady of America, here are 7 quotes from the messages Sister received in the 1950’s. I hope you have the time to read all the messages, as well as share the devotion of Our Lady of America with your family and friends.

On May 22, 1954, from Our Lord:

“The Voice of My Heart is the Voice of Mercy. If man will not listen, there is no more I can do, for he ties My hands.”

On July 11, 1954, from Our Lord:

“Woe to parents who set a bad example to their children! Terrible will be their judgment. I will demand a strict account of every soul entrusted to their care…Woe to parents who teach their children how to gain materially in this world and neglect to prepare them for the next!”

On September 25, 1956, from Our Lady,

“I am pleased, my child, with the love and honor my children in America give to me, especially through my glorious and unique privilege of the Immaculate Conception. I promise to reward their love by working through the power of my Son’s Heart and my Immaculate Heart miracles of grace among them. I do not promise miracles of the body, but of the soul.

On October 13, 1956, regarding the National Shrine, from Our Lady,

“This is my shrine, my daughter. I am very pleased with it. Tell my children I thank them. Let them finish it quickly and make it a place of pilgrimage. It will be a place of wonders. I promise this, I will bless all those who, either by prayers, labor, or material aid, help to erect this shrine.”

In January 1957, to the Bishops from Our Lady,

“Tell the Bishops of the United Stares, my loyal sons, of my desires and how I wish them to be carried out. Through him who is head over you, make known 10 the longings of my Immaculate Heart to establish the reign of my Divine Son in the hearts of men and thus save them from the scourge of heaven, both now and hereafter.”

On March 30, 1958, from St. Joseph as he promised to come,

“I am the protector of the Church and the home, as I was the protector of Christ and His Mother while I lived upon earth. Jesus and Mary desire that my pure heart, so long hidden and unknown, be now honored in a special way. Let my children honor my most pure heart in a special manner on the First 21 Wednesday of the month by reciting the Joyful Mysteries of the rosary in memory of my life with Jesus and Mary and the love I bore them, the sorrow I suffered with them. Let them receive Holy Communion in union with the love with which I received the Savior for the first time and each time I held Him in my arms.”

On December 20, 1959, from Our Lady and one of the last messages,

“Weep, then, dear child, weep with your Mother over the sins of men. Intercede with me before the throne of mercy, for sin is overwhelming the world and punishment is not far away.”

Please do all that you can to promote this devotion to Our Lady of America!

Our Lady of America…Pray for Us.

O Immaculate Virgin…Pray for Us.

Our Lady of Guadalupe…Pray for Us.

Giving Thanks to the Police Officers that Serve our Communities

With the events that we as a country are enduring today with the news coming out of Dallas, Texas with police officers being targeted by cowardly and evil individuals who sought to harm them, I personally want to thank the men and women of our local police departments who serve our communities.

I have three cousins that are Phoenix Police Officers and I know many police officers at my parish from the departments of Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, Scottsdale, Pinal County, and other local municipals. We also have quite a few retired cops as well. There isn’t a day that doesn’t go by where I don’t think about the safety of our officers, especially when I see horrific news such as what we are witnessing today.

Please pray for the safety of all police officers, the families of those in Dallas that lost a loved one, and pray that the racial divide that has been promoted by our current leaders will come to an end. If our leaders words were stronger than what they have been, I believe some of this violence would have been extinguished.

TX_-_Dallas_Police

How often do you say thank you to the men and women in uniform? 

We need to give thanks for the work these brave men and women do on our streets everyday. To assist you in your prayers, here are some prayers for police officers. The Patron Saint for police officers in general is St. Michael the Archangel and local/municipal police offers it is St. Sebastian.

Let us pray…

Dear Lord Jesus Christ, we give you praise and thanksgiving for all the police officers in our communities and around the world who bravely serve to protect us from evil and harm. Be with them this day and protect them always as they continue their diligence on the streets. We ask Our Blessed Mother to always be their Mother ready to protect them. For those who have given their lives, we ask that their families are healed and protected from more harm. Amen.

St. Michael the Archangel…Pray for Us. 

St. Sebastian…Pray for Us. 

“Mondays with Mary” – Our Lady of America, Part I

Since today is Independence Day and the 240th anniversary of Our Declaration of Independence from England here in the United States of America, I thought it would be the perfect day to write about one of the Marian apparitions that has occurred on our nations soil – Our Lady of America.

Now some of you might be thinking to yourself that Our Lady of Guadalupe has been given this title, but that would be incorrect. Our Lady of America refers to the Blessed Virgin Mary in her patronage over the particular country of the United States of America and is distinctly different from Our Lady of Guadalupe, who is known by her title, “Empress of The Americas”, which refers to her patronage over all the nations that compose the Americas. Blessed Pope Pius XII declared the title in reference to Our Lady of Guadalupe in 1945.

In a 2007 letter to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, then Archbishop Raymond Burke of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, said the following at the conclusion of his letter regarding to the two patronages I mentioned above,

“As one deeply devoted to fostering the devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe in our nation, I have wondered about the relationship of the devotion to Our Lady of America to the devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe. Archbishop Leibold, in fact, raised the question with Sister Mary Ephrem. Sister Mary Ephrem responded that Our Lady of Guadalupe is Empress of all the Americas, whereas “Our Lady of America, The Immaculate Virgin,” is the patroness of our nation, the United States of America. The two devotions are, in fact, completely harmonious. As our late and most beloved Pope John Paul II reminded us, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of America and Star of the New Evangelization, draws all of the nations of America into unity in carrying out the new evangelization. Our Lady of America calls the people of our nation to the new evangelization through a renewed dedication to purity in love.”

On the night of September 25, 1956, Our Lady first appeared to Sr. Mary Ephrem, although she had mystical experiences since 1938. She didn’t think anything of them since she thought all religious had experiences such as these. Realizing that these experiences particularly focused around the Blessed Virgin Mary, which Sister was asked to circulate, she asked Monsignor Paul F. Leibold to be her spiritual director. Even as the Archbishop of Cincinnati he served her in this role until 1972, when he suddenly passed away do to aneurysm.

The Archbishop believed so heartedly that the messages to Sister from Our Lady were real; he authenticated her writings, gave them his Imprimatur as well as authenticated the design of the medal. During one of the apparitions, Our Lady asked Sister Mary to have a medal struck, which would bear the image of Our Lady of America on the front, and on the back, would be the symbol of the Christian Family and the Blessed Trinity.

Our Lady of America medal

During the apparitions, the Blessed Virgin pledged that if the United States did what was asked by her, the miracles in the country would be greater than those gifted at both Fatima and Lourdes. Because the Blessed Virgin Mary had a love for the children of America, Sister Mary said Our Lady called herself – Our Lady of America. She would often give affirmations in the apparitions regarding the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., and since so many had a devotion to Mary in America, the title confirms her response to those individuals.

Appearing again to Sr. Mary Ephrem, this time on October 13, 1956, she held in both hands a small replica of the finished Immaculate Conception shrine in Washington, D.C., which was referenced many times by Our Lady in the apparitions. She hoped that once it was built it would become a place for pilgrimages and a place to honor her under the title of “Our Lady of America, the Immaculate Virgin.” During the consecration of the United States to Our Lady, which happened in 1959 at the National Shrine, and then again on November 11, 2006, by Bishop David Ricken, the Blessed Mother was addressed as the “Immaculate Virgin.”

In the years of 1957 and 1958, Our Lady gave very strong warnings of the things that were growing and potentially coming to the United States of America. In the late summer of 1957, Our Lady said that although consecration to the Immaculate Heart had occurred, more needed to happen. All must seek after inner holiness and reform their lives. Those that cling to sin were unable to receive the treasure of grace that was awaiting them.

The Blessed Virgin promised that if her statue as Our Lady of America were given a place of honor in the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, she would then protect the country. If a picture or a statue of Our Lady of America were placed in the homes, she would then protect the family. Anyone that wore the medal with great faith and devotion would be protected from evil.

As many of you know, our country, and our world, the culture in which we live, has become very hostile to Christianity, but even more so, Catholicism. It attacks the family in ways we have never seen before in the history of the Church. It seems to me that we as a country must rededicate ourselves to Our Lady, not only through the apparitions of Fatima and Lourdes, but also to Our Lady of America.

So today, as we celebrate the 240th anniversary of our Independence, let us turn back towards Our Lady of America and recommit ourselves to learning more about her (much more than what’s in this article) and doing what she asked of us in the apparitions to Sr. Mary Ephrem.

To print up a high-resolution photo of Our Lady of America and place it in your home, as well as prayer cards and the message book, please visit this page. For the benefit of our families here in the USA, please do this as soon as possible!

Our Lady of America…Pray for our Country and for all of us 

Our Lady of America

Update: Here is the high resolution 8×10 picture of Our Lady of America in my home now. It cost me $15.07 at Walgreens – $3.99 for the print, $9.99 for the frame, plus the tax.

Our Lady of America in my home #1

Our Lady of America in my home #2

To continue reading more about this Marian apparition, check out “Mondays with Mary” – Our Lady of America, Part II.

Sources:

“The Story of Our Lady of America.” The Story of Our Lady of America. Langsenkamp Family Apostolate of Indianapolis Indiana, n.d. Web. 04 July 2016.

“Regarding Our Lady of America.” Regarding Our Lady of America. Eternal Word Television Network, n.d. Web. 04 July 2016.

Pope Benedict XVI: 65 Years as a Catholic Priest

Today is the 65th Anniversary to the Catholic Priesthood for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. After you read this very short blog post on him, offer up prayers for him – 1 Our Father, 3 Hail Mary’s, and 1 Glory Be. Pray for his health and pray for his prayers.

Pope Benedict XVI & Eucharist

For all my writings on Pope Benedict XVI, please click here.

Don’t forget to say those prayers!

Pope St. John Paul II on the Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist

Today in the both lungs of the Catholic Church, the East and the West, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist, or as it is titled in the East – Nativity of the Holy Glorious Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist John. St. John the Baptist is the son of Saints Zachariah and Elizabeth and the last great Old Testament prophet. He is the harbinger of Jesus Christ. It would be hard to imagine that a Christian would not know the story behind Saint John the Baptist, but in case you don’t, you can read a simple and short explanation of that here.

In our age of the New Evangelization, Saint John the Baptist is an example of one who preached with passion, strength, humility and courage. He was not afraid, even in the face of grave danger, to speak the truth and prepare the way for Jesus Christ. As John the Baptist preached, so must we also speak in the ways associated with our God-given gifts, the same dynamic message in our current culture – a culture that stays anything and everything is okay as long as it makes you feel good, a motto frequently professed by King Herod.

And as if St. John the Baptist wasn’t enough of an example for us, many of us remember that papacy of Pope St. John Paul II, who in the face of grave danger from the Nazis, and even more so, the Socialists, stood toe-to-toe with them and defeated them by preaching the Truth of Jesus Christ. Now a saint counted among the greats of the Catholic Church, John Paul II stands for us as the pope of the New Evangelization and an example of what it means to preach the Gospel message in a world hostile to Jesus Christ.

So with this all being said, I give you 7 quotes from Pope St. John Paul II’s Latin Rite Mass Homily given at Kyiv in the Ukraine on June 24, 2001 about Saint John the Baptist and his relations to Jesus Christ –

“His name is John” (Lk 1:63)…which in Hebrew means “God is benevolent”God is benevolent to human beings: he wants them to live; he wants them to be saved. God is benevolent to his people: he wants to make of them a blessing for all the nations of the earth. God is benevolent to humanity: he guides its pilgrim way towards the land where peace and justice reign. All this is contained in that name: John!”

“Look today to John the Baptist, an enduring model of fidelity to God and his Law. John prepared the way for Christ by the testimony of his word and his life. Imitate him with docile and trusting generosity.”

St. John the Baptist icon

“Saint John the Baptist is above all a model of faith. Following the example of the great Prophet Elijah, in order to listen more attentively to the word of the one Lord of his life, he leaves everything and withdraws to the desert, from which he would issue the resounding call to prepare the way of the Lord (cf. Mt 3:3 and parallels).”

“He is a model of humility, because to those who saw in him not only a Prophet, but the Messiah himself, he replied: “Who do you suppose that I am? I am not he. No, but after me one is coming, the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to untie” (Acts 13:25).”

“He is a model of uprightness and courage in defending the truth, for which he was prepared to pay in his person, even to the point of imprisonment and death.”

“You, dear young people, be brave and free! Do not let yourselves be taken in by the deceptive mirages of an easy happiness. Follow the way of Christ: he is demanding, certainly, but he alone can help you to savour the full meaning of life and enjoy peace of heart.”

“You, dear parents, prepare the way of the Lord before your children. Bring them up with love, and set a good example by living the principles you teach. And you, teachers and leaders of society, deepen your commitment to promoting the complete development of the human person, fostering in the young a deep sense of justice and of solidarity with the less fortunate.”

To conclude, let us always remember the words of Pope St. John Paul II – “Be Not Afraid.” Even in the face of our current culture, who sees Christianity, specifically Catholicism as a threat, we have these words, the actions and words of St. John the Baptist, the Cross of Jesus Christ, and the chivalrous witness of the great saints and martyrs of the Church who support us and intercede for us at all times.

Saint John the Baptist…Pray for Us.

Pope St. John Paul II…Pray for Us.

Fortnight for Freedom 2016: Witnesses to Freedom

As we enter the Fortnight For Freedom 2016: Witnesses to Freedom, which will last from today till July 4, we need to remember the sacrifices of other Catholics who have laid down their lives in defiance of tyrannical kingdoms and governments in the past. It is fitting, and obviously planned, by the United States Bishops to begin this fortnight in anticipation of the feast day of Saints John Fisher and Thomas More.

St. john fisher

From the early Christian martyrs to Saints Fisher and More to the Mexican Martyrs (see the film, For Greater Glory) to Saints Maximilian Kolbe and Edith Stein to the Catholics and Orthodox that are being killed for their Christian faith around the world today, especially in the Middle East and Africa, it is fitting that it is now our time to Stand Up for the great injustices that have been promulgated by the current presidential administration; an administration that has tyrannical, socialistic, and anti-Christian tendencies rooted in its very foundation. They are a great threat to this nation and people of good conscience.

At this time, we may not be called to shed our blood for the faith (red martyrs), but we are being called to stand up for our faith and face social persecution (white martyrdom).

Over the next couple of weeks, we will celebrate the lives of martyrs in the liturgical calendar. During this time, we must pray, study, catechize, and engage in public action. Religious Freedom is at the heart and center of not only the United States of America, but it’s also fundamental to every human being by means of the Natural Law. I urge you during this time to pray hard for the conversion of the hearts of those seek to destroy the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church has faced many tyrants in her past and every time has been victorious, for we have Jesus Christ and He has already conquered evil and death.

St. Thomas moreSt. Thomas More is the key figure for us when we think of one who stands up to tyranny and injustice. St. Thomas More was wrongfully committed of High Treason by the Kingdom of England for not agreeing to the marriage of King Henry VIII. Below are the last few lines of St. Thomas More from the play, A Man For All Seasons. I think we need to remember these words and try to live up to them for ourselves and fights we may have ahead. This is a play I first read in college and many of the lines have stuck with me over the years. It’s a beautiful depiction of St. Thomas More as servant to the king, but God’s servant first. Always remember, we are Americans, but Catholic first.

Norfolk: Prisoner at the bar, you have been found guilty of High Treason. The sentence of the Court –

More: My Lord! My lord, when I was practicing the law, the manner was to ask the prisoner before pronouncing sentence, if he had anything to say.

Norfolk: Have you anything to say?

More: Yes. To avoid this I have taken every path my winding wits would find. Now that the Court has determined to condemn me, God knoweth how, I will discharge my mind…concerning my indictment and the King ‘s title. The indictment is grounded in an Act of Parliament which is directly repugnant to the Law of God. The King in Parliament cannot bestow the Supremacy of the Church because it is a Spiritual Supremacy! And more to this the immunity of the Church is promised both in Magna Carta and the King’s own Coronation Oath!

Cromwell: Now we plainly see that you are malicious!

More: Not so, Master Secretary! I am the King’s true subject, and pray for him and all the realm…I do none harm, I say none harm, I think none harm. And if this be not enough to keep a man alive, in good faith I long not to live…I have, since I came into prison, been several times in such a case that I thought to die within the hour, and I thank Our Lord I was never sorry for it, but rather sorry when it passed. And therefore, my poor body is at the King’s pleasure. Would God my death might do him some good…Nevertheless, it is not for the Supremacy that you have sought my blood – but because I would not bend to the marriage!

*************************************************************************

More: My Master had easel and gall, not wine, given him to drink. Let me be going.

Margaret: Father! Father! Father, Father, Father, Father!

More: Have patience, Margaret, and trouble not thyself. Death comes for us all; even at our birth – even at our birth, death does not stand aside a little. And every day he looks towards us and muses somewhat to himself whether that day or the next he will draw nigh. It is the law of nature, and the will of God. You have long known the secrets of my heart.

The Death Scene from the film, A Man For All Seasons. 

My Fellow Catholics – Are You Hungry For More?

Wednesday night, June 15 at 9:00pm Eastern Time, 6:00pm here in Arizona, I will be on the Fiat Ministry Network for an interview with Al Smith on his show, Hungry for More.

The Fiat Ministry Network is a Catholic Internet Broadcasting TV Network which encourages us to to say “Yes” to Jesus Christ, just as the Blessed Virgin Mary said “Yes” when the Angel Gabriel came to her at the Annunciation announcing the coming of the Messiah.

Hungry-for-More-Episode-14-Tom-Perna-320x180

It’s my hope that many of you will be able to watch the show via the Internet. To watch the interview LIVE, just click on the Fiat Ministry Network above or bookmark it today.

And, please pray for me.