“Mondays with Mary” – Pope Saint John Paul II, Regina Caeli, and Easter Monday

Now that we have entered the Easter Season, the Marian antiphon that is proper to chant during this time is the Regina Caeli. The antiphon replaces the more common chanted Angelus, which is often heard throughout the rest of the year. Pilgrims traveling to Rome can gather to hear the weekly prayer and message given by the Holy Father. To learn more about the Regina Caeli and the Angelus, I would suggest reading the linked posts.

Madonna by Fra’ Filippo Lippi, O.Carm.

Since Regina Caeli means “Queen of Heaven” and today is Easter Monday, and on Mondays I focus on the Blessed Virgin Mary, I want to concentrate on some of the words from Pope Saint John Paul during from his Regina Caeli on the Easter Monday’s in his later Pontificate. As many of you know, he is big part of what I do for my full-time job and why I am so dedicated to my writing here and in other places.

The Polish Pope said…

“Today is Easter Monday, traditionally called “Monday of the Angel”, because angels appeared beside the women and the Apostles with a significant role in the extraordinary event of the Resurrection. It was precisely an angel who addressed the first message from the empty tomb to the women who had come to finish the burial arrangements for Jesus’ body. He says to them: “Do not be amazed; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen, he is not here” (Mk 16:6) …Let us invoke the Queen of angels and saints, that she may grant us, supported by our guardian angels, to be authentic witnesses to the Lord’s paschal mystery.”

“But there is a second teaching we can draw from the angel’s words. When he [the Angel] urges the women not to seek “the living among the dead”, he wants us to understand that Christ — the living God who shines with glory — can be better known by his disciples now than before his passion and death. Now he gives his disciples the Holy Spirit, who can guide them “into all the truth” (Jn 16:13). The Spirit, the first gift of the Risen One to believers (cf. Jn 20:22), helps them in their weakness, leading them to “know fully the mystery of Redemption and to preach the rule of faith in all truth” (Peter Damian, Carmina et preces, III)…Dear brothers and sisters, let us invoke the Queen of Heaven, who certainly did not fail to meet her risen Son and was able joyfully to continue her conversation with him. May Mary obtain for all the faithful the gift of a joyful and consistent witness, which will lead many others to meet and know the risen Lord, who lives always among us.”

“The proclamation ‘Christ my hope is arisen! ’(Sequence) continues to echo in today’s liturgy. In this way the spiritual joy of Easter is prolonged and expands in the Church and in the hearts of the faithful. Christ’s Resurrection is the most overwhelming event in human history. This event gave everyone new hope: from now on hope no longer means waiting for something to happen. It means being certain that something has happened because ‘the Lord is risen and reigns immortal!’…Let us entrust our heartfelt petition to Mary. “Queen of heaven, you who rejoice because the Son you were chosen to bear has risen…’”

Regina caeli, laetare, alleluia – Rejoice, Queen of heaven, alleluia!”

This is the prayer that replaces the Angelus, which we address to her throughout the Easter season. The joy of the Blessed Virgin contains in itself everything for which the Church rejoices: every good of grace and nature. Let us therefore call upon her with faith and devotion: Regina caeli laetare, alleluia!”

“On this holiday, known in Italy as “Monday of the Angel“, there is still a strong echo in the liturgy of the heavenly messenger’s words to the women who had gone to the tomb: “Go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead” (Mt 28: 7). We hear the invitation as though addressed to us, too, to “go quickly” and proclaim the Gospel to the people of our time. May Mary, whom we call upon today in the Regina Caeli prayer, help us in this demanding mission which belongs to all the baptized. May she support us especially in bearing faithful witness that Jesus is truly risen and that humanity’s hope is restored to life in him.”

“May Mary, a silent witness of the Death and Resurrection of her Son Jesus, help us to believe totally in this mystery of salvation which, received with deep faith, can change life. May she enable us to transmit it with joy, as consistent and courageous disciples of the risen Lord, to all those we come across.”

“Mary became a model for Christian communities “rejoicing” in the Passover of the Lord, a source of true joy to all believers. Indeed, the Risen Christ is the source of and ultimate reason for this spiritual joy that no shadow can dim. The liturgy of the Octave of Easter echoes it constantly: “Christ has risen as he promised”. This is also what we proclaim in the “Regina Caeli”, a prayer so dear to popular piety…May the Virgin Mary, silent witness of this mystery, strengthen us in our personal attachment to the One who died and rose for the salvation of every human being. May she be our teacher and guide in the faith; may she support us in moments of doubt and temptation; may she obtain for us that inner peace which no one can disturb, because it is rooted in the certainty that Christ is truly risen.”

Regina Caeli…Pray for Us.

Pope Saint John Paul II…Pray for Us.

HAPPY EASTER…CHRIST IS RISEN!!

Resurrection of Christ and Women at the Tomb – Fra Angelico

When the sabbath was over,
Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, and Salome
bought spices so that they might go and anoint him.
Very early when the sun had risen,
on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb.
They were saying to one another,
“Who will roll back the stone for us
from the entrance to the tomb?”
When they looked up,
they saw that the stone had been rolled back;
it was very large.
On entering the tomb they saw a young man
sitting on the right side, clothed in a white robe,
and they were utterly amazed.
He said to them, “Do not be amazed!
You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified.
He has been raised; he is not here.
Behold the place where they laid him.
But go and tell his disciples and Peter,
‘He is going before you to Galilee;
there you will see him, as he told you” (Mk. 16:1-7). [Gospel Reading from The Resurrection of the Lord at The Easter Vigil].

To all of my followers and readers through WordPress, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media and Catholic websites, I wish you a very Blessed, Joyful, and Happy Easter Season! Thank you for your support and your prayers.

Please continue to pray for my fiancee and I as we approach our Nuptials in just about 5 months. We are excited and still have lots to do.

Christ has Risen, indeed! Alleluia!

HAPPY EASTER!

God raised up Jesus on the third day and granted that he be seen, not by all, but only by such witnesses as had been chosen beforehand by God — by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commissioned us to preach to the people and to bear witness that he is the one set apart by God as judge of the living and the dead. To him all the prophets testify, saying that everyone who believes in him has forgiveness of sins through his name. – Acts of the Apostles 10:40-43 (From today’s Morning Prayer Reading)

To all of my followers/readers through WordPress, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media and Catholic sites, I wish you a very Blessed and Joyful Easter Season! Thank you for your support and your prayers.

Christ has Risen, indeed! Alleluia!

“Mondays with Mary” – The Easter Homily of Melito of Sardis

Melito of Sardis is considered an early church apologist. The word, apology, comes from the Greek term, apologia, which means, “to defend.” He gave a defense of Christianity sometime around the year 170 AD to the Roman emperor, Marcus Aurelius. The only reason we know this document exists is because of the writings of Eusebius of Caesarea and the document, Paschal Chronicle.

Melito of Sardis was the bishop of Sardis, which was in Asia Minor at the time. It appears that he was in the middle of the controversy surrounding the celebration of Easter between the Eastern and Western Churches. In recent years, one of his complete Easter homilies was found, which mentions the importance of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Incarnation of Christ.

The content of this Easter homily has essentially a Christological dimension, which most homilies on Easter should contain. When he composed this homily he did so in the style of an Easter Proclamation. The homily, which you can read below, has three distinct points focusing on the saving work of Jesus Christ –

  1. The Incarnation
  2. Passion-Death
  3. Glorification

Mother of Jesus Christ

Melito focuses on the mystery of Mary’s maternity in the section on the Incarnation and the Nativity of Jesus Christ. An essential element of the mystery of the Incarnation and Jesus’ birth relies heavily on the Virginity of Mary. In the homily below, Melito names her the “fair ewe”, which connects beautifully and poetically to the Gospel of John (1:29) where Jesus is called the “Lamb of God.”

He it is, who came from heaven to earth for the same of suffering man; he clothed himself in man’s flesh in the womb of a Virgin from he came forth as man and took upon himself the sufferings of him who suffered, by means of a body capable of suffering, and destroyed the sufferings of the flesh and slew death-dealing death by his spirit which cannot lie….

It is he who became incarnate in a Virgin, who was hung upon the wood, who was buried in the earth, who was raised from among the dead, who was lifted up to the heights of heaven. He is the mute lamb, he is the slain lamb, he is born of Mary, the fair ewe, he is taken from the flock and delivered over to immolation and slain in the evening and buried in the night; who was broken on the wood, was not captured in the earth, he rose from the dead, and raised man from the depths of the tomb….

He it is who made heaven and earth, who formed man in the beginning, who was announced by the law and the prophets, who became incarnate in a Virgin, who was hung upon the wood, who in the earth was buried, who rose from the dead and ascended into the heights of the heavens.

As we begin the 50 days of Easter, let us keep in mind the importance of Jesus’ Passion and Death, which leads us to the Resurrection and eventually his Ascension into Heaven. Allow Mary’s maternity, which conceived and bore Jesus, to envelop us and always through her intercession lead us closer to Him.

Source:

Gambero, Luigi, Mary and The Fathers of the Church, Ignatius Press. 1999.

CHRIST IS RISEN! HE IS RISEN INDEED! HAPPY EASTER! ALLELUIA!

Resurrection Icon

CHRIST IS RISEN!

HE IS RISEN INDEED!

PRAISE BE JESUS CHRIST NOW AND FOREVER! 

AMEN! ALLELUIA! 

I would like to wish all of my readers, Facebook followers, Twitter followers, and those in the different Catholic Facebook groups I am a member of, a very blessed and sacred Easter Season. Don’t forget, just like Christmas, the Catholic Church celebrates Easter for days and weeks, not just one day. Thank you for reading my posts and helping the promotion of the one truth faith of Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church.

It’s not easier in our world today to be a Catholic. Don’t be fearful to let the world know that you are a Catholic…Profess it boldly and Be Not Afraid!

To the 23 adults in our RCIA/Adult Confirmation process that received Sacraments last night at the Easter Vigil – allow the light of Christ to shine in you today and everyday. Congratulations and Welcome to the Family!

“Mondays with Mary” – The Regina Caeli

During the Easter Season, which runs from Holy Saturday to the Sunday following Pentecost (Trinity Sunday), the Regina Caeli is one of the four seasonal antiphons that should be chanted or recited to the Blessed Virgin Mary after night prayer, also known as vespers or compline, in the Liturgy of the Hours. It is also the prayer that should be chanted or recited in place of the Angelus during the same season.

The authorship of the Regina Caeli is not fully known, although there are a couple different traditions that surround the prayer. Some believe that Pope St. Gregory the Great had a part in the composition of the prayer. In the late 6th century, a great plague hit the city of Rome. In order to combat this epidemic, St. Gregory the Great asked that a procession of prayer be organized. Beginning at the church of Ara Coeli (now the Basilica of Santa Maria in Ara coeli), the Holy Father, along with his clergy, began the prayerful procession through the streets of Rome, which would conclude at St. Peter’s Basilica. As he walked the streets, he carried what is said to be the traditional icon that was written by St. Luke the Evangelist of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Virgin_salus_populi_romani - St. Luke Icon

As Gregory approached St. Peter’s, he and his clergy walked by the Castle of Hadrian. It was there he heard the most beautiful angelic voices singing. The amazed Pope replied, “Ora pro nobis Deum. Alleluia!” Instantly an angel appeared and quickly wiped out the drastic disease that plagued Rome. To bring honor to this supernatural event, Pope St. Gregory the Great changed Hadrian’s Castle to the Castel of Sant’Angelo (Castle of the Holy Angel). The words were also written on the roof of the Church of Ara Coeli.

Some claim the writing of the Regina Caeli is given to Pope Gregory V, who is said to have written the prayer in the late 10th century, however there isn’t much evidence to support this claim. The stronger of the two traditions most definitely is with Pope St. Gregory the Great, who is attributed to writing part of the prayer. The actual prayer itself is believed to have been composed between the ninth and twelfth centuries. According to Franciscan heritages, it was being recited in the late twelfth century and early thirteenth century. It was later added to a variety of chant manuscripts.

In the year 1742, Pope Benedict XIV professed that the Regina Caeli was to be prayed in place of the Angelus during the Easter Season when the bells were rung.

It’s a beautiful and simple request to the Blessed Virgin as our Queen who can intercede and pray for us. Because Jesus Christ has risen, she is a rejoicing with joy. The Season of Lent has concluded and it’s time to sing with Our Lady, pray with her, and know that we now have been given life over death through the Resurrection.

English:

Queen of Heave, rejoice, alleluia.The Son whom you merited to bear, alleluia, has risen as he said, alleluia. Pray for us to God, alleluia. Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia! For the Lord has truly risen, alleluia!

Latin:

Regina caeli, laetare, alleluia, quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia, resurrexit sicut dixi, alleluia, ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia. Gaude et laetare, Virgo Maria, alleluia. Quia surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia.

Sources:

“Marian Antiphons.” Marian Antiphons. University of Dayton, n.d. Web. 13 Apr. 2015.

“Regina Caeli.” Regina Caeli. Treasury of Latin Prayers, n.d. Web. 13 Apr. 2015.

HE IS RISEN!

Slide1

HE IS RISEN!

PRAISE BE JESUS CHRIST NOW AND FOREVER! 

AMEN! ALLELUIA! 

I would like to wish all of my readers, Facebook followers, and Twitter followers a very blessed and sacred Easter Season. Don’t forget, just like Christmas, the Catholic Church celebrates Easter for days and weeks, not just one day. Thank you for reading my posts and helping the promotion of the one truth faith of Jesus Christ.

Don’t be fearful to let the world know that you are a Catholic Christian…Profess it boldly and Be Not Afraid!