On the very last day of May we offer Our Lady both the ANEMONE flower which represents the beautiful virtue of UNION WITH JESUS and the full bouquet from the full month. It is appropriate that today's featured Gift of the Holy Ghost is KNOWLEDGE for in order to be in union with our Lord one needs to have a knowledge of Him. The Anemone is a woodplant whose beautiful flower is renowned. Also well known is the fact Our Lady constantly encourages us to come to her Divine Son and be united with Him through her. That is because He loves His Mother and His children so and is so pleased when we honor her as He honored her during His life on earth and after in Heaven where He, along with the Father and Holy Ghost crowned Mary as Queen of Heaven and earth. That is why today is so special for we take the entire bouquet offered throughout the month and offer them all to our Blessed Heavenly Queen with a bonanza of bouquets of flowers and the corresponding virtues that we have pledged to Our Lady to practice. Above and in this installment we provide a special graphic where Our Lady is surrounded by these beautiful flowers. This year, because the 31st falls during Pentecost Week, the Feast of the Queenship of Mary is transferred to Monday of the following week. Thus it will be on June 4th. For today's Holy Mass, see
On the thirtieth day of May, Ember Wednesday this year and the feast of the holy Martyr Pope St. Felix I (this year superseded by Pentecost Wednesday), the flower presented to Our Lady was the beautiful CAMELLIA with the corresponding Virtue being PERSEVERANCE which ties in so well this year with FORTITUDE, the gift of the Holy Ghost featured for Pentecost Wednesday. The magnificent Camellia, which is a greenhouse shrub, is relatively a new find from the tea plant. In fact, its Latin name was derived after the one who discovered it and who practiced perseverance: the Jesuit missionary Father Georg Josef Kamel, a missionary priest in Moravia. Perseverance also applies to the fact that there is but one more day left in this Month of May to honor Christ by showering His Blessed Mother with bouquets of flowers and virtues. For today's Holy Mass, see
On the twenty-ninth day of May, the feast of the holy Virgin Saint Mary Magdalen de Pazzi (which this year is superseded by Pentecost Tuesday), the flower presented to Our Lady is the ASTER with the corresponding Virtue being GOODNESS. The Aster is named for the Greek aster which means star and the blooming herbs of the Aster with the showy daisy-like flowers blooms in the Fall, shining amongst the changing foliage which is losing its leaves. Having the gift of Counsel, featured today for Pentecost Tuesday, allows one to exude Goodness which appropriately shines through when others lose their luster. Goodness is what the Blessed Mother cherishes so much in her Divine Son's children for Goodness is the foundation of a sincere heart and a pure soul. For today's Holy Mass, see
On the twenty-eighth day of May, the feast of the holy Bishop Saint Augustine of Canterbury (which this year is superseded by Pentecost Monday), the flower offered to Our Lady as Queen of the May is the HONEYSUCKLE with the corresponding Virtue of CONFIDENCE IN GOD. This confidence takes UNDERSTANDING which is the featured Fruit of the Holy Ghost today. The honeysuckle, a member of the columbine family is a sweet plant of long spurred flowers that resemble almost a trumpet like shape, trumpeting the Confidence in God. From the amazing floral display thus far in May, we can see the beauty He has created and this should spur on confidence in Him alone. Nothing, however is more beautiful to His beautiful Blessed Mother than a pure soul arrayed in grace. For today's Holy Mass, see
On the twenty-seventh day of May, this year the birthday of Holy Mother Church - the Solemnity of Pentecost when the Holy Ghost descended upon the Apostles, the flower offered to Our Lady as Queen of the May is the VERBENA with the corresponding Virtue of PRUDENCE. Bouquets of peachy-pink verbena, often grown in tropical and sub-tropical areas, are often mixed with the sacred boughs of laurel, olive or myrtle plants which are prized and intended to be cultivated just as the soul strives to manage itself by upholding all moral propriety and modesty, presenting itself before God as a victor over sin. So also on this day 1,974 years ago the appearance of the Sanctifier enabled the Apostles to go forth and mix with all nations to convert them as their Lord and Master Jesus Christ commanded them in St. Matthew 20: 28, St. Mark 16: 15-16 and St. John 21: 15-17. For today's Holy Mass, see
The First Class Solemnity of Pentecost
Doctors of the Church
Saint Bede the Venerable, whose feast would normally be celebrated this day is superseded by the Solemnity of Pentecost this year. St. Bede was the sixteenth Doctor in the chronological line of those elevated to the exalted status of Doctors of the Church. He was the illustrious ornament of the Anglo-Saxon Church and its first historian. Considered the Father of English History, he was the first to date events as in the "Year of Our Lord" - Anno Domini (A.D.) and would be appalled today to hear that the Modernist secularists want to do away with any reference to Christ whatsoever, all part of the anti-Catholic agenda to de-Christianize America thoroughly. That is the Masonic creed which Bede would never have stood for. This man was one of the few among saints to be termed "Venerable" and he was officially named a Doctor of the Church by Pope Leo XIII. Considered a Father of the Church, this man is one of the few among the saints who is called Venerable. He was the Benedictines' jewel this Holy Historian.
On the twenty-sixth day of May, the Vigil of Pentecost and last day of Paschaltide, the flower offered to Our Lady as Queen of the May is the PRIMROSE with the corresponding Virtue being LOVE OF LABOR. Interesting that the primrose would represent the love of work for it is the primrose path which represents sensual pleasure and is most often associated with the path to perdition. Conversely it is the narrow and straight path to Heaven which fosters a love of labor out of a sincere love for God and total humility. Perhaps the primrose, not actually a rose, is presented for it typifies the plentitude of multicolor flowers that are produced through tender loving care by the love of labor for it takes time and work to cultivate a garden of primroses. So also it takes time and work to cultivate virtue through prayer - ora et labora - but the result is more colorful and splendid to the soul and to Our Lord and Our Lady than any flower, no matter how beautiful the primrose bouquets can be. For today's Holy Mass, see
The Vigil of Pentecost
NOVENA TO THE HOLY GHOST
In anticipation of tomorrow's glorious feast of Pentecost, we complete today the Novena to the Holy Ghost with the Ninth and Final Day. Today the Fruits of the Holy Ghost are the focus. This novena is one of the oldest novenas since it was first made at the direction of Our Lord Himself when He sent His apostles back to Jerusalem to await the coming of the Holy Ghost on the first Pentecost. It is still the only novena officially prescribed by the Church. Addressed to the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, it is a powerful plea for the light and strength and love so sorely needed by every Christian. To encourage devotion to the Holy Spirit, Holy Mother Church has enriched this novena with and indulgence of ten years on any day of the novena with a plenary indulgence if one participates in at least five exercises and moreover go to confession, receive Holy Communion and pray for the proper intentions. Accompanying each day is the Act of Consecration to the Holy Ghost and the Prayer for the Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost. Today is the Ninth and Final Day of the Novena to the Holy Ghost
On the twenty-fifth day of May, this year the Double Feast of Pope Saint Gregory VII, who was the holy monk Hildebrand, the flower offered to Our Lady as Queen of the May was the DAFFODIL with the corresponding Virtue being DEVOTION TO MARY. The lovely yellow or white daffodil signals the fullness of Spring just as Our Lady's fulfillment of God's holy Will signaled the fullness of redemption through her Divine Son. Because She is the Living Tabernacle for the Son of God, it is only natural that we show her the very same respect Christ did and shower her with prayers of intercession and with spiritual daffodils in thanksgiving for what was the true "New Springtime" the Passion, Death and Resurrection of the One Who conquered sin and death for us. Another who died for Christ was the holy Pontiff Pope Saint Urban I who is commemorated this day. For today's Holy Mass, see
The Feast of Pope Saint Gregory VII
NOVENA TO THE HOLY GHOST
We continue today with the Eighth Day of the Novena to the Holy Ghost preceding the Feast of Pentecost. Today the Gift of Wisdom is the focus. Embodying all the other gifts, as charity embraces all the other virtues, Wisdom is the most perfect of the gifts. Of Wisdom it is written "all good things come to me with her, and innumerable riches through her hands." It is the gift of Wisdom that strengthens our faith, fortifies hope, perfects charity, and promotes the practice of virtue in the highest degree. Wisdom enlightens the mind to discern and relish things divine, in the appreciation of which earthly joys lose their savor, whilst the Cross of Christ yields a divine sweetness according to the words of the Savior: "Take up thy cross and follow me, for my yoke is sweet and my burden light." Accompanying each day is the Act of Consecration to the Holy Ghost and the Prayer for the Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost. Today is the Eighth Day of the Novena to the Holy Ghost
On the twenty-fourth day of May, the day we honor Mary, Help of Christians, the flower offered to Our Lady as Queen of the May is the RED POPPY with the corresponding Virtue being FERVOR. The hairy-herbed red poppy, though coveted for its opium by those who reject its beauty and look to use it for the means of mammon, emits a milky juice that has been used for authentic medicinal purposes to heal the body. But it is the fervor of its elixir spiritually that drives the virtue of fervor to heal the soul and therein lies the true beauty of the Red Poppy offered to Our Lady in Mary's May. What a wonderful flower to offer to the Blessed Mother in her month of May and seek her help as Auxilium Christianorum. For today's Holy Mass, see
Feria Day in the Week after the Ascension
NOVENA TO THE HOLY GHOST
We continue today with the Seventh Day of the Novena to the Holy Ghost preceding the Feast of Pentecost. Today the Gift of Counsel is the focus. The gift of Counsel endows the soul with supernatural prudence, enabling it to judge promptly and rightly what must be done, especially in difficult circumstances. Counsel applies the principles furnished by Knowledge and Understanding to the innumerable concrete cases that confront us in the course of our daily duty as parents, teachers, public servants, and Christian citizens. Counsel is supernatural common sense, a priceless treasure in the quest of salvation. "Above all things, pray to the Most High, that He may direct thy way in truth." Accompanying each day is the Act of Consecration to the Holy Ghost and the Prayer for the Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost. Today is Seventh Day of the Novena to the Holy Ghost
On the twenty-third day of May the flower offered to Our Lady as Queen of the May was the BLUEBELL with the corresponding Virtue being DESIRE FOR HEAVEN. The delicate bell-shaped flower which grows on many continents and belongs both to the hyacinth and columbine genus, is symbolic of the church bells that clarion souls to come to Holy Mass or to pray the Angelus. The reason for prayer is not for socializing, but for turning our attention to God and the purpose of desiring things not of this earth, but of Heaven. The Bluebell's delicate shell chimes quietly in a whispy wind reminding us of God's call to focus on our end goal - our Desire for Heaven, possible only through adherence to all Christ has taught and established in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church He founded. It is a magnificent flower to offer to Mary whose entire life was focused on a Desire for Heaven and bringing God's children to that same goal. For today's Holy Mass, see
Feria Day in the Week after the Ascension
NOVENA TO THE HOLY GHOST
We continue today with the Sixth Day of the Novena to the Holy Ghost preceding the Feast of Pentecost. Today the Gift of Understanding is the focus. Understanding, as a gift of the Holy Ghost, helps us to grasp the meaning of the truths of our holy religion. By faith we know them, but by Understanding we learn to appreciate and relish them. It enables us to penetrate the inner meaning of revealed truths and through them to be quickened to newness of life. Our faith ceases to be sterile and inactive, but inspires a mode of life that bears eloquent testimony to the faith that is in us; we begin to "walk worthy of God in all things pleasing, and increasing in the knowledge of God." Accompanying each day is the Act of Consecration to the Holy Ghost and the Prayer for the Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost. Today is Sixth Day of the Novena to the Holy Ghost
On the twenty-second day of May the flower offered to Our Lady as Queen of the May was the yellow BUTTERCUP with the corresponding Virtue being OBEDIENCE. We must always have obedience to God and we owe allegiance to man only when man's directive is in full harmony with the ordaining will of God. The Buttercup, with its five petals and small, humble appearance is a most fitting reminder of obedience for the 15 Mysteries of the Rosary are divided into three sets of five and begin with the Annunciation, which epitomizes obedience for Our Lady's fiat paved the way for the ultimate obedience to the Father with her Divine Son's Passion, Death and Resurrection so that salvation could be attained through the merits of Jesus Christ. What a wonderful flower to offer to the Blessed Mother in her month of May. For today's Holy Mass, see
Feria Day in the Week after the Ascension
NOVENA TO THE HOLY GHOST
We continue today with the Fifth Day of the Novena to the Holy Ghost preceding the Feast of Pentecost. Today the Gift of Knowledge is the focus. The gift of Knowledge enables the soul to evaluate created things at their true worth--in their relation to God. Knowledge unmasks the pretense of creatures, reveals their emptiness, and points out their only true purpose as instruments in the service of God. It shows us the loving care of God even in adversity, and directs us to glorify Him in every circumstance of life. Guided by its light, we put first things first, and prize the friendship of God beyond all else. "Knowledge is a fountain of life to him that possesseth it." Accompanying each day is the Act of Consecration to the Holy Ghost and the Prayer for the Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost. Today is Fifth Day of the Novena to the Holy Ghost
For the twenty-first day of May the flower offered to Our Lady as Queen of the May is the bluish PERIWINKLE with the corresponding Virtue being PURITY OF INTENTION. It has been said the best intentions often go awry. One reason they do is because they may not be based on God's will. Through purity of intention, it is based on doing the Divine Will in all things. One reason the Periwinkle plant is associated with this is because the periwinkle is a trailing evergreen herb with solitary blue or white flowers, often also referred to as myrtle in the U.S. The trail of good intentions, if followed in a straight line toward Heaven will stretch further toward God; those intentions which are not cultivated and cropped by living a virtuous life, will scatter every which way and gather cockle and thistles, thus becoming refuse to be cast into the eternal fires (cf. St. Matthew 7: 19). For today's Holy Mass, see
Feria Day in the Week after the Ascension
NOVENA TO THE HOLY GHOST
We continue today with the Fourth Day of the Novena to the Holy Ghost preceding the Feast of Pentecost. Today the Gift of Fortitude is the focus. By the gift of Fortitude the soul is strengthened against natural fear, and supported to the end in the performance of duty. Fortitude imparts to the will an impulse and energy which move it to undertake without hesitancy the most arduous tasks, to face dangers, to trample under foot human respect, and to endure without complaint the slow martyrdom of even lifelong tribulation. "He that shall persevere unto the end, he shall be saved." Accompanying each day is the Act of Consecration to the Holy Ghost and the Prayer for the Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost. Today is Fourth Day of the Novena to the Holy Ghost
For the twentieth day of May, also the feast of Saint Bernardine of Siena, the flower offered to Our Lady for Queen of the May is the popular GERANIUM with the corresponding Virtue being ZEAL FOR SOULS. Consider that the colorful Geraniums number over 100 million plants grown and sold throughout the world every year. Each colorful, hardy perennial plant, while often different in color and even design, still belongs to the Geranium family. Now consider that in souls - 100 million souls a year being converted! Talk about Zeal for Souls! That is what we should all have and what pleases Blessed Mary so much. We should consider a person's soul much more beautiful in God's sight than a Geranium and tend to cultivating souls by nourishing them perennially with the Truths and Traditions of the One, True Church. For today's Holy Mass, see
Sunday after the Ascension
NOVENA TO THE HOLY GHOST
We continue today with the Third Day of the Novena to the Holy Ghost preceding the Feast of Pentecost. Today the Gift of Piety is the focus. The gift of Piety begets in our hearts a filial affection for God as our most loving Father. It inspires us to love and respect for His sake persons and things consecrated to Him, as well as those who are vested with His authority, His Blessed Mother and the Saints, the Church and its visible Head, our parents and superiors, our country and its rulers. He who is filled with the gift of Piety finds the practice of his religion, not a burdensome duty, but a delightful service. Where there is love, there is no labor. Accompanying each day is the Act of Consecration to the Holy Ghost and the Prayer for the Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost. Today is Third Day of the Novena to the Holy Ghost
For the nineteenth day of May, the feast of the holy 43rd Successor of Peter Pope Saint Peter Celestine, the flower offered to Our Lady for Queen of the May is the rugged HAWTHORN with the corresponding Virtue being MORTIFICATION. This is appropriate for mortification takes being able to withstand pain and pleasure. It was Pope Celestine who sent St. Patrick to Ireland and few embraced mortification as the Apostle of Ireland did. The red-fruited Hawthorn consisting of dense corymbs of pink-red flowers has stems and leaves which are densely covered with short wooly hairs and must bear up under cold and windy conditions. That is why it is found in evergreen country where conditions are rough for a lot of wind helps the weather-worn Hawthorn to bloom. So also mortification helps to toughen us in the face of temptation and the life of ease, allowing grace to blossom forth. For today's Holy Mass, see
Feast of Saint Peter Celestine
NOVENA TO THE HOLY GHOST
We continue today with the Second Day of the Novena to the Holy Ghost preceding the Feast of Pentecost. The Gift of Holy Fear of the Lord is the focus today. The gift of Holy Fear fills us with a sovereign respect for God, and makes us dread nothing so much as to offend Him by sin. It is a fear that arises, not from the thought of hell, but from sentiments of reverence and filial submission to our heavenly Father. It is the fear that is the beginning of wisdom, detaching us from the worldly pleasures that could in any way separate us from God. "They that fear the Lord will prepare their hearts, and in His sight will sanctify their souls." Accompanying each day is the Act of Consecration to the Holy Ghost and the Prayer for the Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost. Today is Second Day of the Novena to the Holy Ghost
Today on the eighteenth day of May, the Feast of the holy Martyr Saint Venantius, the flower is the delicate LAVENDER with the corresponding Virtue being MODESTY. This is appropriate for modesty is the cornerstone of chastity and purity. Nothing makes Our Lady happier than a pure heart and a pure heart begins with being pure in the flesh. What we wear governs how we think and where we place God in our lives. Like the Lavender, our souls are delicate and to be immodest in any way or not to practice custody of the eyes puts that delicateness in jeopardy. Our bodies are temples of the Holy Ghost and we must strive to adorn these temples with layers of clothing that are pleasing to our Almighty Creator, not man. For today's Holy Mass, see
Feast of Saint Venantius, Martyr
NOVENA TO THE HOLY GHOST
Today begins the Novena to the Holy Ghost preceding the Feast of Pentecost. It is one of the oldest novenas since it was first made at the direction of Our Lord Himself when He sent His apostles back to Jerusalem to await the coming of the Holy Ghost on the first Pentecost. It is still the only novena officially prescribed by the Church. Addressed to the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, it is a powerful plea for the light and strength and love so sorely needed by every Christian. To encourage devotion to the Holy Spirit, Holy Mother Church has enriched this novena with and indulgence of ten years on any day of the novena with a plenary indulgence if one participates in at least five exercises and moreover go to confession, receive Holy Communion and pray for the proper intentions. Accompanying each day is the Act of Consecration to the Holy Ghost and the Prayer for the Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost. Today is First Day of the Novena to the Holy Ghost
On this seventeenth day of May, the First Class Solemnity of the Ascension of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ into Heaven of which we meditate daily over in the Second Glorious Mystery, the Virtue is FIDELITY IN LITTLE THINGS with the corresponding Flower being the beautiful LILAC. It is the little buds that group together in fidelity to the greater good God intended to emit the spring fragrance that is so pleasing to the olfactory senses. So also each Hail Mary grouped together becomes a powerful bouquet and one of the flowers giving the strongest scent is the Lilac. These beautiful purplish flowers grow in colder climes, meaning they go dormant - retreat, if you will, so that toughened in the rough weather they can blossom ever more magnificently. So also with us. The more trials we face, the more we grow in grace and the more we will be faithful in little things, just as the holy Saint Therese of Lisieux practiced every day of her life. For today's Holy Mass on this Holy Day of Obligation, see
Solemnity of the Ascension of our Lord
For the sixteenth day of the month, the flower is the LILY OF THE VALLEY with the corresponding Virtue being PUNCTUALITY. The purity of the Lily of the Valley can be equated with the parable of the Five Virgins who were punctual and had their lamps lit when the Master came; whereas the other five foolish virgins were not punctual and because they were not, missed out on eternal bliss. That is why punctuality in all things is a virtue so that we will always live in the state of sanctifying grace and like the snow-white Lily of the Valley be ready when God decides to take us out of this Valley of Tears. Today is the final Rogation Day and the feast of Saint Ubaldus, Bishop and Confessor, and Saint Brendan, the holy Abbot of Ireland. They were punctual in doing all God asked of them. For today's Holy Mass, see
Rogation Wednesday and Vigil of the Ascension
For the fifteenth day of May, the flower offered to our Blessed Mother is the whispy MIMOSA with the corresponding Virtue being GENEROSITY. God loves a generous heart and one who loves God and seeks to do His holy Will at all times cannot help but being generous in all things, illustrated in the stamen of the Mimosa flower, fanning out in ray-like fashion to receive the graces God grants to those who are open to them and practice the cardinal virtues as well as the various virtues illustrated in this, Mary's special month for she is the Queen of the May. It is only natural that everyone would want to be generous to the Queen for that brings great favor from the King Who is, of course, her divine Son Jesus Christ, to Whom we owe all allegiance, all fidelity, all our love and generosity. For today's Holy Mass, see
Feast of St. John Baptist de la Salle and Rogation Tuesday
For the fourteenth day of May, the first day of Rogation, the flower offered to our Blessed Mother is the PASSION FLOWER with the corresponding Virtue being SACRIFICE. The greatest Sacrifice was the Passion of our Lord which was the greatest Sacrifice that resulted in the blossoming of souls through salvation for all who followed Christ's teachings? Let us remember also the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass - the same Sacrifice as that of the cross, for the Victim is one and the same, namely, Christ our Lord, Who offered Himself, once only, a bloody Sacrifice on the altar of the cross. The bloody and unbloody victim are not two, but one victim only, Whose Sacrifice is daily renewed in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass when the bread and wine are confected into the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist. This continual Sacrifice is carried on in obedience to the command of our Lord: "Do this for a commemoration of Me." There is no bouquet more pleasing to His Blessed Mother than worthily assisting at Holy Mass where our souls should open wide like the Passion Flower to embrace our crosses sent so lovingly by the Almighty. Today's saint Saint Boniface gave his very life as a martyr. No greater love can one have. Carrying our cross daily is what Sacrifice is all about so that grace will flower forth, so abundant in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. For today's Holy Mass, see
For the thirteenth of May the flower is the LAUREL blossom with the corresponding Virtue being LOVE OF DUTY. What a perfect day for this for it was the love of duty to the Church and Christ's Vicar on earth that prompted St. Robert Bellarmine to become a Jesuit priest, Bishop and then Cardinal and a great contributor to the Council of Trent and receive the highest dignity of Doctor of the Church in utilizing all his God-given talents for the greater honor and glory of God and His Holy Church. Likewise, Our Lady appeared near the Cova 90 years ago on this day in a copse of trees where Laurel blossoms might be found and her message was to remind her children of our duty to pray and to obey her Divine Son. She instilled in the Fatima children and from them out to all mankind the importance of the Virtue of Love of Duty. On this Mother's Day we should have a love of duty to listen to our Heavenly Mother to do God's holy Will. We have a duty to spread and live all Our Lady imparted and which was officially approved as worthy of belief by Holy Mother Church. For today's Holy Mass, see
Fifth Sunday after Easter
Doctors of the Church
Though his feast is superseded by the Sunday Liturgy this year, it is the feast of the holy Doctor and Cardinal Saint Robert Bellarmine. This Italian saint was born on the feast of the founder of the Franciscans, but trained as a Jesuit and came through with flying colors in God's eyes in upholding the ideals of the Society as its founders had established. He was an extremely sharp polemist who was not afraid to take on the most vitrolic Protestant theologians and, because this master apologist never wavered from Catholic truth, he always won out in perpetuating the Counter Reformation of Trent. His fame, humility and sense of the sensus Catholicus won back countless souls who had wavered during the Reformation. But his wisdom was not employed only on the sheep, but the shepherds as well - the chief shepherds - for he was Theologian and Spiritual Counselor to no less than five Popes. He was the noted Theologian to the Roman Pontiffs.
On the twelfth of May the flower offered to Our Lady is the tube-like HEATH-FLOWER with the corresponding Virtue being RECOLLECTION. The Heath-Flower comes from the Greek genus Epacris - meaning "upon the hill" where it grows. Many believe they sprouted on Calvary but this has not been proven in such climes and it would be appropriate for the Virtue of Recollection is centered on the Sacrifice of Christ upon Golgotha where His Blessed Mother stood faithfully to the end. So also are we able to stand with her through recollection of the Mysteries of the Cross. Appropriately, though the votive Mass of the BVM on Saturday supersedes today's feast of Saints Nereus, Achilleus and Domitilla, the Introit would normally focus on keeping our eyes on Christ as the Introit illustrates: Ecce oculi - "Behold the eyes of the Lord are on them that fear Him, hoping in His mercy." As the Heath-flower hangs down like a religious' habit, so to speak, - such as a monk in a monastery - to remind one to put on the garments of God in humility and recollect, so also practicing the Virtue of Recollection prompts one to look within the soul and seek in all humility to think of spiritual rather than temporal things. For today's Holy Mass, see
Blessed Virgin Mary on Saturday
On the eleventh day of May the flower is the beautiful PINK ROSE with the corresponding Virtue being PRAYER. How appropriate that outside of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the most efficacious prayer is Mary's Holy Rosary. The pink rose so magnificently expresses Our Lady's true femininity and divine motherhood. Her Rosary which she herself bestowed to St. Dominic is a spiritual bouquet of roses we can offer daily to Heaven, a spiritual bouquet built upon the ancient prayers of the Psalter - 150 decades for the 150 Psalms of David the Prophet. For the Double of the Second Class Feast today, see
Feast of Saints Phillip and James, Apostles
Today is the tenth day of May and SWEETNESS is the designated Virtue with the corresponding flower for Mary's bouquet being the delicate JASMINE. On this Feast of Saint Antoninius it is appropriate that the Jasmine, a fragrant white or yellow flower, employed to flavor tea or in perfume, is the flower of the day since St. Antoninius, as the Archbishop of Firenze, sought to extinguish the noxious fumes of the false Renaissance with the love of truth and encouraging his flock to study and do penance whereby the sweetness of the fragrance of truth emanated through in souls being saved. Truly pure Sweetness! And it was the sweetness of their love for our Lord that garnered eternal salvation for the martyrs Saints Gordian and Epimachus who are also commemorated this day.
Feast of Saint Antoninus, Bishop and Confessor
For the ninth day of May the flower is the majestic MIGNONETTE with the corresponding Virtue being the PRACTICE OF HIDDEN VIRTUES. Appropriately it is the Feast Day of Saint Gregory Nazianzen, the holy Bishop and Doctor of the Church who was a vaunted defender of the Faith against the Arian heresy and practiced the Hidden Virtues in winning souls to the True Faith while traversing the rocky regions of Constantinople near the Mediterranean where the Mignonette blooms forth abundantly with its spikelike clusters of greenish or yellowish white flowers. The Mignonette emits an intense spicy fragrance, at first hidden from the nose's senses until closer to it, just as practicing Hidden Virtues may not be evident to all until they are exposed to the virtuous life of the person for "By their fruits you shall know them" (Matthew 7: 20).
Feast of Saint Gregory Nazianzen
Doctors of the Church
Today's Doctor of the Church Saint Gregory Nazianzen, the fifth in a chronological list of the holy scholars of the Church, was another from the 4th century who also faced the intense persecutions and calumnies of the Arian bishops. Son of two saints - Saint Gregory Nazianzen the Elder and Saint Nonna - and the sibling of two others - Saint Caesarius and Saint Gorgonna - this Doctor of the Church teamed with another Doctor of the Church - Saint Basil - to uphold true teaching in combating the heresies of his time. The holy bishop St. Gregory Nazianzen is considered the Church's Theologian. This Cappadocian shepherd also nurtured a young protege who would turn out pretty well himself, one Saint Jerome. St. Gregory is often called the Administrator of Theology
For the eighth day of May and the Double Major Feast of the Apparition of Saint Michael the Archangel the virtue is FAITH and the greatest warrior in Heaven for defending the Faith is the noble winged general. The flower symbolized is the IRIS which blooms in the Spring and we must spring forward with faith to uphold and spread the True Faith, being irises who bloom where they are planted. Just as the iris is so functional to the eye, we must be on our watch against the wiles and snared of the devil. Count on St. Michael the Archangel - Quis ut Deus - He who is like God - to be our defense against satan who seeks the ruin of souls. For today's feast see Feast of the Apparition of Saint Michael the Archangel
On the seventh day of May, is the Feast of Saint Stanislaus Kostka, Bishop and Martyr. The virtue is ATTACHMENT TO GOD and is represented by the BINDWEED which is truly not a weed, but a flower that is stately just as St. Stanislaus remained attached to God despite the pressure of his fellow Poles and even the King. He had only one King: Christ the King, ever remaining the loyal subject and attached always to God. It is most appropriate that this also falls this year on the Third Sunday after Easter which shouts joyously Jubilate Deo - "Shout with joy to God" - for if one has a fervent attachment to God and seeks to do His divine Will, one will always be joyful no matter what slings and arrows life and the devil fires at a soul. For today's feast see Feast of Saint Stanislaus, Bishop and Martyr
On the sixth day of May, the Feast of Saint John Before the Latin Gate was devoted to the virtue of HUMILITY and represented by the VIOLET. This is so appropriate considering the great humility of the beloved disciple who took Mary as his Mother at her Divine Son Jesus' dying request on the cross, to look after her and care for her. Humility is something so lacking in so many of us and so necessary for sanctity. The beloved disciple John possessed this virtue throughout his life and in his inspired words of Sacred Scripture. It was this humility which prompted God to choose him as Mary's protectress and also preserved him from the boiling oil and afforded him, through the Mercy of God, to be exiled to the Isle of Patmos where he received the final account of the final days in the Book of the Apocalypse and was the only Apostle not to die a martyr.
For today's feast see Fourth Sunday after Easter and feast of Saint John before the Latin Gate
On the fifth day of Mary's Month of May, the feast of the holy Sovereign Pontiff Pope Saint Pius V the flower contributing to the bouquet offered to the Blessed Mother is the MARGUERITE which represents SIMPLICITY so perfect for this holy saintly Shepherd who, through his infallible decree Quo Primum, sought to make worship so simple with the infrangible Mass of all Ages - the Apostolic Latin Holy Sacrifice of the Mass set in stone by the dogmatic Council of Trent and codified by this holy Pope for all posterity. How simple can it be? This is the way it is as St. Pius laid out in following the infallible tenets of Trent, and all one needs do is follow those rules and rubrics. Simple! But it is the devil who complicates things and therein we can see his complicity in Vatican II and how Our Lady has wept so at so many who who have apostacized from her divine Son's Church.
For today's feast see Feast of Pope Saint Pius V - FIRST SATURDAY
On the fourth day of Mary's Month of May, the feast of Saint Monica the bouquet offered were the delicate, colorful PANSIES which represent the virtue of THOUGHTS OF HEAVEN. Few exemplified this virtue better than Saint Monica who spent every hour of her day praying and sacrificing for the conversion of her son Augustine. She constantly had thoughts of Heaven in her mind, heart and soul, praying so wholeheartedly for the spiritual welfare of her son who had gone astray. The pansies of persistence paid off as we know and Monica lived to see her son become a religious. All she had prayed for came true. So also with us if we offer Our Lady our pansies of heavenly thoughts, she will intercede before her divine Son and answer our prayers.
For today's feast see Feast of Saint Monica - FIRST FRIDAY
On the third day of Mary's Month of May, the MYOSOTIS was presented to represent THANKSGIVING. This bluebell-like flower is most appropriate for some say it was the only thing that bloomed on Calvary after the Crucifixion of our Lord and Savior and therefore most appropriate for today's Feast of the Finding of the True Cross by Saint Helena. If we should offer thanksgiving for anything, it is for the ultimate Sacrifice of the Cross in which we are saved and which is re-enacted daily in an unbloody manner the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. On this day in the United States which has been set aside as "National Prayer Day", let us remember that one day is way too insufficient and that every day we must pray as if everything depends on God and work with devotion, as St. Helena and all the saints did, for the Social Kingship of Christ as if it depends on us.
For today's feast see Feast of the Finding of the True Holy Cross
The second day of May, the Feast of the holy Bishop and Doctor of the Church who rallied the few faithful to stand against the Arians. Saint Athanasius was as a pure rose in a garden of thorns and today the ROSE is presented to Our Lady to represent LOVE OF GOD. No one loves God more than His Blessed Mother Mary who humbly became the Living Tabernacle of the Holy of Holies. Mary is associated with the rose because it is one of the most beautiful flowers of all and her special prayer - the Rosary - is a bouquet of spiritual roses that we can offer, especially during her month in saying as many as our state of life permits, each day that she might to take them to the Holy Trinity in intercession for us as her Heavenly Mother who loves us so much.
For today's feast see Feast of Saint Athanasius
Doctors of the Church
The second day of Mary's Month of May is the Feast of the first man honored as a Doctor of the Church. That would be Saint Athanasius, the holy Bishop who withstood the brunt of the greatest apostasy in the Church until this present day when The Great Apostasy has arrived. It is in looking to this holy Doctor that we can take great hope and courage to stay the course and fight for the Faith as he did sixteen centuries ago. It was this stauch defender of Catholic truth, this Alexandrian Bishop who persisted against the Arian heresies through numerous popes. He was banished by emperors and the Arians four times. But in the end the True Faith won out, thanks to the persevereance of men like Saint Athanasius, Apostle of Tradition
On the First Day of Mary's Month of May we begin with the Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker, Universal Patron of the Church. Mary's earthly spouse was the LILY and the designated virtue: PURITY. No flower is more significant in identifying the Foster Father of Jesus and chase Protector of Mary than the holy Joseph whose feast we celebrate and who is the symbol of purity, most always depicted by the pure Lily. In some traditional chapels this feast is celebrated on the Third Wednesday after Easter and the Feast of Saints Philip and James is celebrated on this day. Either way, we take a special day other than March 19 to celebrate this glorious saint who protected the Son of God and His Mother.
For today's feast see First Class Feast of Saint Joseph, Universal Patron of the Church
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