In this weekend's editorial, we highlight why this weekend is so special from the saints who are honored to the newest saint to join the ranks on Divine Mercy Sunday Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska and Saint Joseph the following day. In addition we share our plans for May and the exciting things ahead for this special month of Mary as we explain our "May mode" the DailyCATHOLIC will be in for this month only. This weekend is also special because it marks the two and a half year mark the DailyCATHOLIC has been on-line and we officially went over ten million hits or visits on Thursday, April 27th. For this weekend's editorial While ten million is a staggering number of hits, the facts are that only in Heaven will we know how many souls we truly reached! , see CATHOLIC PewPOINT
Because it is the Easter Octave, the Feasts of four of these saints are superceded, but it doesn't mean we can't recognize these stalwart saints. We begin this Jubilee jam-packed weekend with the feast of Saint Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort, best known for founding the Company of Mary or the Montfort Missionaries and for the beautiful Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary and the exercises that accompany it. For more spirituality on this wonderful saint, we recommend EWTN's special page. Friday is also the feast of Saint Peter Chanel, priest, religious and missionary martyr. His profile can be found in our Weekend Liturgy along with all the other saints honored during this time. In addition to those two saints, Friday is also the feast of Blessed Gianna Beretta Molla who is also up for canonization soon and who was the ultimate mother in giving up her own life for the sake of her child. She is an excellent saint to pray to for expectant mothers and one to pray to for intercession to stop abortions. Her story can be found at Blessed Molla from our Top 100 Catholics of the Century feature. You can also find out more about her at www.gianna.org
Saturday is the feast of Saint Catherine of Siena, one of the first women Doctors of the Church whose perseverance proved fruitful in convincing the Popes to return the papacy to Rome and end the Avignon exile. Sunday, besides being the Second Sunday of Easter and Divine Mercy Sunday, is also the feast of Pope Saint Pius V, the 225th successor of Peter who is best known for enforcing the reforms approved at the Council of Trent, the issuing of the Roman missal, and for his great devotion to Mary through the Holy Rosary which he attributed to the victory at Lepanto when Don Juan of Austria led an understaffed fleet to victory over a superior Turkish armada. St. Pius V thus established the Feast of Our Lady of Victory which is today Our Lady of the Rosary celebrated on October 7th every year.
Sunday is, of course, very, very special this year for on Divine Mercy Sunday the Apostle of Divine Mercy, Sister Faustina, will be canonized by fellow Pole John Paul II who as Bishop Karol Wojtyla fought long and hard to spread devotion to Divine Mercy and to introduce and further the cause for this obedient Polish nun. This will truly be a day of great joy and fulfillment for not only His Holiness, but for all loyal Catholics devoted to Divine Mercy and dedicated to spreading the devotion. This includes the fledgling contemplative Institute of Divine Mercy which is a further fulfillment of what Jesus asked of Faustina in calling down Divine Mercy upon the world through lay apostolates, an active order and a contemplative one. The latter became a reality as a Church-recognized religious institute for women on May 23, 1995 when Bishop Charles Grahmann officially approved the Institute of Divine Mercy. On Sunday four of these women will be in attendance for the canonization of the saint whose diary they strictly follow and whose rule is based on what Our Lord imparted to Saint Faustina. For more on the Institute see www.DivineMercy.org
That brings us to Monday and the Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker, a glorious day that offsets "May Day" in Russia which, in years past, has been more a show of military might and the communist creed then the parading of the proletariat. With the collapse of communism, largely through the efforts of our current Holy Father and the prayers of so many in response to Our Lady's request at Fatima, the hammer and sickle has given way to the Rosary. And May is the month of the Rosary as we all know. May is also the month of Fatima and this year it will be even more special for the Pope will beatify two of the children from Fatima - Francisco and Jacinta Marto on the 83rd anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady at Fatima. In honor of their beatification we will begin on Tuesday a special column by Father Robert J. Fox, editor of the Immaculate Heart Messenger and the Fatima Family Apostolate. We'll detail more in our Tuesday issue.
And that brings us to our plans for May. We will be going in what we call the "May mode" for we will be abbreviating our issues during this special month for a very special reason. Through the grace of God and benefactors we, as a family, are able to go on a three week pilgrimage to Rome, Assisi, Siena, Lourdes, Lisieux and Rue de Bac. It will be a special healing pilgrimage for the entire family spiritually, physically and mentally. Our oldest son Kevin has long suffered from neurological diseases and we are taking him with us to Lourdes in prayerful hope that he will be healed through faith and the miraculous waters of Lourdes. Because we will be gone for three weeks from the weekend of May 5th through the weekend of May 26th, we are preparing abbreviated issues for that time with four a week, the weekend issue incorporating Thursday through Sunday. The May 11th weekend issue will be a special Fatima issue and the May 18th weekend issue will be a salute to the Holy Father on his 80th birthday. Some of our columnists will also be taking the time off and Fr. Fox's column will take the place - for those three weeks - of our daily feature Appreciation of the Precious Gift of our Faith. Because of logistics and the fact we're preparing the issues ahead of time, we will not be able to bring you the news, but will provide the links so you can check on the latest happenings from Rome and around the world.
Finally, speaking of the latest happenings, we are prayerful we will be able to share our pilgrimage, one we are calling the "Jubilee Journey of Joy for Jesus," with our readers each day. Through our contacts in England, who translate the Russian issues, they will be able to upload each issue daily and, provided we can access the internet in Europe, we will be able to write a daily diary of our journey in sharing the spirituality, hopefully complete with pictures sent as attachments. We are working out arrangements to make this a reality. We are really excited about this pilgrimage through Regina Tours and can feel the Holy Spirit truly at work. To amplify the Advocate's part in all this, we received a letter two days ago from the tour director that unfortunately the priest assigned to the tour could not make it and there was no way at such a short notice to secure another priest. They apologized profusely and assured us that they would make sure the tour leader on the trip would get us to a church every day. Well, that's fine and all, but if anyone knows us, they know we don't take "no" for an answer when God can make things happen. We called the operators and asked that, if we could secure a priest for the pilgrimage, would there still be land-air accommodations available for him? They said yes but the window was closing fast. That's the way we like it. Naturally, we checked first with our own spiritual director Father Al Svobodny, OMI, who accompanied us on our very first pilgrimage in 1990 to Medjugorje and who this editor has known since 1956. Unfortunately he couldn't clear his calendar since his superior Father Jim Deegan, OMI is leading a pilgrimage to the Holy Land during the same time. We then turned to our second choice, and by no means a lesser one. That was our pastor at St. Pius X parish in Dallas who retired in 1995 after over forty years as pastor of one of the most excellent parishes in the country at the time. Throughout his pastorship the school, one of the best anywhere, remained tuition-free, supported by the parish. This meant the students and faculty were totally Catholic and in loyalty to Rome. No liberal stuff in Monsignor Thomas Weinzapfel's parish! It was a model program that every Diocese would do well to emulate. Anyway, we were able to get in touch with him and, praise God, he will be able to accompany us as our chaplain for this "Jubilee Journey of Joy for Jesus."
That makes us all the more excited for we know our fellow travelers in the group will receive the full spirituality and fellowship of an excellent, obedient priest whose Texas humor should tickle the folks as well. On top of this good news it will be a special time for our family. We begin the pilgrimage on the weekend of May 5th, the first anniversary of Kevin's Confirmation. On May 10th this editor's bride Cyndi and yours truly will celebrate our 19th wedding anniversary and the tenth anniversary to the day of our conversion experience at Medjugorje and the seventh anniversary to the day of having our marriage blessed in the chapel of Saint Clement beneath St. Peter's in Rome. We will arrive in Rome the evening of the 9th and plan to have our marriage blessed anew in the same chapel before attending the Holy Father's Wednesday Audience. On the day the Pope heads for Fatima - May 12th - we will celebrate the 15th anniversary of our youngest son Kellin's Baptism. We will cap the month and the pilgrimage with Kellin's Confirmation two days after we return on May 26th.
So you can see it will be a mighty busy and fruitful, grace-filled May. Please be patient with the abbreviated format and be assured we will return with the full scope of news, columns and features in June with the excellence you've come to expect in the DailyCATHOLIC, which this weekend celebrates a milestone...a milestone we could not have fathomed in our wildest dreams, only in our prayers. Since going on-line on All Saints Day with the first ever daily webzine/newspaper for Catholics anywhere in the world, we have reached 134 countries and had over 10,000,000 hits or visits. That's ten million and counting! What truly makes this all the more remarkable is the fact that, because we are a simple non-profit ministry living in the spirit of poverty, we have not spent one dime on advertising or promotion. We depend solely on donations from our readers to keep the DailyCATHOLIC on line. The numbers show the power of the Holy Spirit working through His finite instruments here at "DC central." While ten million is a staggering number of hits, the facts are that only in Heaven will we know how many souls we truly reached!
In her column this week, Sister Mary Lucy Astuto focuses fittingly on Divine Mercy in reminding us how important God's Infinite Mercy is in the overall picture of salvation and without it, we haven't got a prayer! She shares a few personal experiences she had on the subject and urges all to drink of the refreshing Font of Divine Mercy available to everyone. All they need to do is to ask and it will be granted as Jesus has promised For her column, We all need the Mercy of God see GETTING TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER
We are all sinners. We have all offended God. We all need God to forgive us. We need God's Mercy.
I was in Rome several years ago for the Beatification of Sister Faustina. To this Sister was assigned the mission to reveal the Mercy of God to the world in a special way. Though her writings were "forbidden" for a time, God used our present Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, to bring them before our eyes. I would encourage everyone to read the Diary of Sr. Faustina. It is easy reading and very consoling to the human spirit.
A few years ago, I went to Venezuela. Among my stops was to visit the incorrupt body of Mother Maria of St. Joseph, the Foundress of that Religious Community. Mother Maria had predicted before her death that her body would be incorrupt. When exhumed 25 years later, not only was her body intact, but the lilies in her hand, which had been buried with her, were as fresh as if they had just been picked.
Prior to my going to Venezuela, I had been mulling over the reality of my being saved only by the Mercy of God. It was a thought that had been constant with me and concerning which I had spent some time considering. As I was leaving the convent, one of the Sisters of that Community approached me quickly and said in Spanish, "You know, we will be saved only by the Mercy of God."
I was somewhat taken aback for I had not mentioned to this Sister or anyone in my group that I had been thinking a lot about that subject. I believe that in that Sister's comments, my considerations were confirmed by God.
We need to be grateful that our God is a Good God and a Merciful One. Every sin is an offense against God. No one can make up for our sins except Someone Who is equal to God. Jesus did that for us on Calvary. Our Lord's Passion, Death and Resurrection are the Works of His Divine Mercy.
We must not only be grateful to God for His Mercy, but make use of it, as well. Now is the time to make use of God's Mercy for we must not forget that God is infinitely Just, also. If at this moment God wielded His Justice on us, none of us could remain standing.
To each of you I wish the Mercy of God and a heartfelt appreciation of the Mercy of God. Lord, we do not know the day or the hour when we shall meet You Face to face, but I trust in Your Mercy and ask for it for myself and all of mankind.
God bless you, dear reader!
This weekend we bring you the eighth and ninth day of the Novena of Divine Mercy which concludes with DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY this weekend. This Novena was imparted to Blessed Faustina Kowalska and is intended for calling down God's Infinite Mercy on a sinful world at a time when it is badly in need of the Almighty's Mercy. For the two final days of the Novena and Chaplet of Divine Mercy, see DIVINE MERCY NOVENA
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls suffering in Purgatory, who are enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. I beg You, by the sorrowful Passion of Jesus. I beg You, by the sorrowful Passion of Jesus Your Son, and by all the bitterness with which His most sacred Soul was flooded: Manifest Your Mercy to the souls who are under Your just scrutiny. Look upon them in no other way but only through the Wounds of Jesus, Your dearly beloved Son; for we firmly believe that there is no limit to Your goodness and compassion. Amen.
It is greatly recommended the above novena intentions and prayers be said together with the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.
Following is the formula for the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, prayed on the regular beads of the Rosary. It is most appropriate to pray it at 3 o'clock in the afternoon which is the "Hour of Great Mercy" as Jesus said to Blessed Faustina: At three o'clock, implore My Mercy, especially for sinners; and, if only for a brief moment, immerse yourself in My Passion, particularly in My abandonment at the moment of agony. This is the Hour of Great Mercy...In this hour I will refuse nothing to the soul that makes a request of Me in virtue of My Passion. (1320).
On each decade of the small beads, pray the following:
For the sake of His Sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
At the end of the Chaplet recite three times the following prayer:
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
Some conclude with the following prayer said three times also:
O Blood and Water which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as Font of Mercy for us, I trust in You!
It is recommended to offer each decade to the wounds of Christ, such as the first decade in reparation for the wound in HIs Right Hand; the second decade in reparation for the wound in His Left Hand, the third decade in reparation for the wounds in His Sacred Feet; the fourth decade in reparation for the wounds in His Head in which the Crown of Thorns crushed His Sacred Skull; and the fifth decade in reparation for the wound in His side in which Blood and Water gushed forth as a Font of Mercy for all generations.
The Novena to Divine Mercy, which Jesus asked Blessed Faustina to begin on Good Friday, 1937 is for nine days from Good Friday to Divine Mercy Sunday (the Sunday after Easter) which is the Feast of Divine Mercy. Jesus told her, By this Novena [of Chaplets and particular intention each day] I will grant every possible grace to souls. (796).
Saturday, April 29th, 2000
Most Merciful Jesus, You are Compassion Itself. I bring lukewarm souls into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart. In this fire of Your pure Love let these tepid souls, who, like corpses, filled You with such deep loathing, be once again set aflame. O Most Compassionate Jesus, exercise the
omnipotence of Your Mercy and draw them into the very ardor of Your Love, and bestow upon them the
gift of holy love, for nothing is beyond Your Power.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon lukewarm souls who are nonetheless enfolded in the Most
Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Father of Mercy, I beg You by the bitter Passion of Your Son and by His
three-hour agony on the Cross: Let them, too, glorify the abyss of Your Mercy Amen.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon lukewarm souls who are nonetheless enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Father of Mercy, I beg You by the bitter Passion of Your Son and by His three-hour agony on the Cross: Let them, too, glorify the abyss of Your Mercy Amen.
It is greatly recommended the above novena intentions and prayers be said together with the Chaplet of Divine Mercy above.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but the words of Bishop Fulton J. Sheen have been known to launch a thousand images in one's mind, one of the ways this late luminary did so much to evangelize the faith. Because of the urgency of the times and because few there are today who possess the wisdom, simplicity and insight than the late Archbishop who touched millions, we are bringing you daily gems from his writings. The good bishop makes it so simple that we have dubbed this daily series: "SIMPLY SHEEN".
"As the shadows of the sun are longest when its beams are lowest, so we are greatest when we make ourselves least. Pride slays thanksgiving. Our next greatest victory in making peace will be celebrated by a solemn national act of thanksgiving to God. How far away is it?"
NOTE: We respectfully recognize and accept the final authority regarding apparitions, locutions and prophecies presently being reported around the world rests with the Holy See of Rome and the Magisterium of Holy Mother Church to whose judjment we humbly and obediently submit.
"Dear children! Also today I call you to conversion. You are concerned too much about material things and little about spiritual ones. Open your hearts and start again to work more on your personal conversion. Decide everyday to dedicate time to God and to prayer until prayer becomes a joyful meeting with God for you. Only in this way will your life have meaning and with joy you will contemplate eternal life. Thank you for having responded to my call."
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