Third (3rd) Sunday in Lent 2023

The Samaritan Woman

"If you knew the gift of God and Who is saying to you, 'Give me a drink,' you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water."


"Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again; but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."

John 4:5-42


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Conversion Testimonial of Jewish/Atheist Harvard Marketing Professor to Catholicism



Fifth (5th) Sunday in Lent, 2021


John 12:20-3

"Now is the time of judgment on this world; now the ruler of this world (Satan) will be driven out.  And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.  Jesus said this indicating the kind of death he would die."


Fourth (4th) Sunday in Lent, 2021

John 9:1-41

 Jesus Heals the Blind Man

"One thing I do know, that though  I was blind, now I see" (John 9:25)

When we encounter the Lord, we see the light!

In Amazing Grace, the lyrics include:

"I once was blind, but now I see"

Artist:  James Joseph Jacques Tissot
1836 - 1902


Third (3rd) Sunday of Lent, 2021


John 4:5-42

Jesus meets 

the Samaritan Woman 

at the Well

"For when He asked the Samaritan woman for water to drink, He had already created the gift of faith within her and so ardently did he thirst for her faith, that he kindled in her the fire of divine love."  

Magnifat (Volume 22, Issue 13), March, 2021, page 107.


Second (2nd) Sunday of Lent, 2021


If God is for us, who can be against us?

Romans 8:31b-34


First (1st) Sunday of Lent, 2021

Genesis 9:8-15

Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, 

“As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark.  I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.”


God said, 

“This is the sign of the covenant that I make 
between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations:  I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.  When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh."


ASH WEDNESDAY, The First Day Of Lent


"We are dust and to dust we shall return"

Ashes that are placed on the forehead of Catholics (and other denominations that recognize Lent) remind us that we will one day die and that we must repent our sins.

When we receive ashes in the Church, the words we hear either remind us that we will turn to dust or urge us to turn away from sin.

So when Catholics publicly wear ashes on their foreheads, they have no intention to draw anyone's attention to our fasting or sacrifices.  Rather Catholics are reminding themselves of the crucial importance to turn away from sin and also of the fact that this life doesn't last forever.

We cannot live as though we will never die.

Ashes and Their Meaning

The Church has using ashes for hundreds of years as an outward sign to others of our grief, humility, mourning, penance, and morality.  

Ashes were imposed on early Christians as they prepared for their baptism.  

So when Catholics celebrate the Mass on Ash Wednesday and receivee the blessed ashes on our foreheads, we repeating a serious, pious act that Catholics have been practicing for over 1,500 years.

The act of ashes placed on foreheads is in the Bible many places.  Here is one statement in the Old Testament:  

"That day they fasted and wore sackcloth; they sprinkled ashes on their heads and tore their garments" (1 Mc 3:47).


Consecration to The Immaculate Heart of Mary

O Mary, Virgin most powerful and Mother of Mercy, Queen of Heaven and Refuge of Sinners, we consecrate ourselves to thy Immaculate Heart. 

We consecrate to thee our very being and our whole life: all that we have, all that we love, all that we are. 

To thee we give our bodies, our hearts, and our souls; to thee we give our homes, our families and our country. 

We desire that all that is in us and around us may belong to thee and may share in the benefits of thy motherly blessing. 

And, that this act of consecration may be truly fruitful and lasting, we renew this day at thy feet the promises of our Baptism and our First Holy Communion. 

We pledge ourselves to profess courageously and at all times the truths of our holy Faith, and to live as befits Catholics, who are submissive to all directions of the Pope and the bishops in communion with him. 

We pledge ourselves to keep the Commandments of God and His Church, in particular, to keep holy the Lord's Day. 

We pledge ourselves to make the consoling practices of the Christian religion, and above all, Holy Communion, an important part of our lives, in so far as we shall be able to do. 

Finally, we promise thee, 
O glorious Mother of God and loving Mother of men, 

to devote ourselves wholeheartedly to the spreading of devotion to thy Immaculate Heart, 

in order to hasten and assure, through the queenly rule of thy Immaculate Heart,
the coming of the kingdom of the Sacred Heart of thy adorable Son, 
in our own hearts and in those of all men, in our country, and in all the world, as in Heaven, so on earth. 



Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

 immaculate heart of mary

An Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
What is Mary's “Immaculate Heart?”
Why Should we Pray An Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Our Lord Wants us to Have a Devotion to the Immaculate Heart

“Jesus wants to use you to make me known and loved. He wishes to establish the devotion to my Immaculate Heart throughout the world. I promise salvation to whoever embraces it; these souls will be dear to God, like flowers put by me to adorn his throne.”

Mary’s Immaculate Heart is a loving heart indeed

An Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart

devotion to her Immaculate Heart includes both a devotion to her physical, virginal heart, but according to the Catholic Encyclopedia, it is also a devotion to her “interior life, her joys and sorrows, her virtues and hidden perfections, and, above all, her virginal love for her God, her maternal love for her Divine Son, and her motherly and compassionate love for her sinful and miserable children here.”

On June 1917, the Blessed Virgin said to Sr Lucia,

Not only should we say prayers meant to honor the Immaculate Heart like the Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart, we should also do our best to spread the devotion. To honor our Lady is to honor Christ himself.

“If you put all the love of the mothers into one heart it still would not equal the love of the Heart of Mary for her children.” – Saint Louis de Montfort

Our Lady loves us and wants nothing more than to lead us to Her Son. Her heart is full of love for us and full of sorrow for those who reject Her Son.

Pray the Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart and allow Her to lead us to Her Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

O Mary, Virgin most powerful and Mother of mercy, Queen of Heaven and Refuge of sinners, I consecrate myself to thine Immaculate Heart.

I consecrate to thee my very being and my whole life; all that I have, all that I love, all that I am. To thee I give my body, my heart and my soul; to thee I give my home, my family, my country.

I desire that all that is in me and around me may belong to thee, and may share in the benefits of thy motherly benediction. And that this act of consecration may be truly efficacious and lasting, I renew this day at thy feet the promises of my Baptism and my first Holy Communion. I pledge myself to profess courageously and at all times the truths of our holy Faith, and to live as befits a Catholic who is duly submissive to all the directions of the Pope and the Bishops in communion with him.

I pledge myself to keep the commandments of God and His Church, in particular to keep holy the Lord’s Day. I likewise pledge myself to make the consoling practices of the Christian religion, and above all, Holy Communion, an integral part of my life, in so far as I may be able so to do.

Finally, I promise thee, O glorious Mother of God and loving Mother of men, to devote myself whole-heartedly to the service of thy blessed cult, in order to hasten and assure, through the sovereignty of thine Immaculate Heart, the coming of the kingdom of the Sacred Heart of thine adorable Son, in my own heart and in those of all men, in our country and in all the world, as in Heaven, so on earth.


More on the Immaculate Heart of Mary


Praying the Rosary During Lent: The Sorrowful Mysteries

Hello dear friends in Christ,
As we increase our prayer time during Lent, we are called to focus on the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary. Here is a gentle reminder of what those mysteries focus on:
1. Jesus at Gethsemene: His agony in the garden.
2. The Scourging at the Pillar
3. The Crowning of Thorns
4. The Way of the Cross
5. The Death of Jesus on the Cross

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


The Promises of the Holy Rosary

The 15 promises of the Holy Rosary

1 Whoever shall faithfully serve me by the recitation of the Rosary, shall receive powerful graces.
2. I promise my special protection and the greatest graces to all those who shall recite the Rosary.
3. The Rosary shall be a powerful armor against hell, it will destroy vice, decrease sin, and defeat heresies
4. It will cause virtue and good works to flourish; it will obtain for souls the abundant mercy of God; it will withdraw the hearts of people from the love of the world and its vanities, and will lift them to the desire of eternal things. Oh, that souls would sanctify themselves by this means.
5. The soul which recommends itself to me by the recitation of the Rosary, shall not perish.
6. Whoever shall recite the Rosary devoutly, applying himself to the consideration of its Sacred Mysteries shall never be conquered by misfortune. God will not chastise him in His justice, he shall not perish by an unprovided death; if he be just, he shall remain in the grace of God, and become worthy of eternal life.
7. Whoever shall have a true devotion for the Rosary shall not die without the Sacraments of the Church.
8. Those who are faithful to recite the Rosary shall have during their life and at their death the light of God and the plentitude of His graces; at the moment of death they shall participate in the merits of the Saints in Paradise.
9. I shall deliver from purgatory those who have been devoted to the Rosary.
10. The faithful children of the Rosary shall merit a high degree of glory in Heaven.
11. You shall obtain all you ask of me by the recitation of the Rosary.
12. All those who propagate the Holy Rosary shall be aided by me in their necessities.
13. I have obtained from my Divine Son that all the advocates of the Rosary shall have for intercessors the entire celestial court during their life and at the hour of death
14. All who recite the Rosary are my children, and brothers and sisters of my only Son, Jesus Christ.
15. Devotion of my Rosary is a great sign of predestination.

Blessing of the Holy Rosary

1. Sinners are forgiven.
2. Souls that thirst are refreshed.
3. Those who are fettered have their bonds broken.
4. Those who weep find happiness
5. Those who are tempted find peace.
6. The poor find help.
7. Religious are reformed.
8. Those who are ignorant are instructed.
9. The living learn to overcome pride.
10. The dead (the Holy Souls) have their pains eased by suffrages.

Benefits of the Holy Rosary

1. It gradually gives us a perfect knowledge of Jesus Christ.
2. It purifies our souls, washing away sin.
3. It gives us victory over all our enemies.
4. It makes it easy for us to practice virtue.
5. It sets us on fire with love of Our Lord.
6. It enriches us with graces and merits.
7. It supplies us with what is needed to pay all our debts to God and to our fellow men; and finally, it obtains all kinds of graces for us from Almighty God.


just sharing how God's plan is perfect in my life and how it played out in time and with patience and faith on my part!

Miracles DO Happen!

many of you who have read my blogs since it's beginning in 2008 know that i have not posted very much in the last year.  i've had good reasons, but mostly which i have God has been taking me through a test of faith through fire!  hot fire!

life has been my earthly hell . . . at work.

in april (just a few posts earlier) you can read how i continued to surrender everything and give it all up to God to take care of my life's matters and issues in His own way and in His own timing. . . and to give me the patience to wait and the knowledge to know His Divine Will for me.

if you care to read, here is how God has worked His miracles and how they have taken place in my tiny little human life:

in 1987, God allowed my marriage to end in Phoenix, Arizona . . . the devil slowly and steadily stole my husband's soul through alcoholism, drug addiction, sex addiction, and addiction to money, worldly things, and prestige when we lived (it began in St. Louis, MO, worsened in los angeles, california, and ended in Phoenix, Arizona).

God did not end my marriage . . . satan ended my marriage!

my Catholic and Christian Evangelical psychological counselors at Good Samaritan Counseling Center in Phoenix, pointed out to me in Holy Scripture where I am advised by Christ not to fight within family, but to let him go.  I was advised NOT to file for divorce due to my Catholic faith, but to not fight him if my ex-husband filed for divorce papers.

i surrendered and the divorce was filed and finalized in 1990.

God had a bigger, much better, more beautiful plan in store for me!

a good friend of mine said to me, "you've always talked about returning to graduate school . . . nothing is holding you back now".

the parish of St. Maria Goretti's Catholic Church gave me $500 to rent a truck u-haul and trailer to haul my little amount of stuff, my car, my two young children, a cat, and a bird back to the Midwest to return to my family of origin and to go to graduate school.

i met my husband whom i have now been married to for 20 years.  although not Catholic, (he's Methodist) we set our religious differences aside and he has been my strongest supporter given to me by God.  (BTW the only thing that he does not accept in Catholicism is papal infallibility and thus he will not convert -- like i said, we don't get into the differences in order to live in spiritual peace).

that was the first miracle.  this man raised my infant and toddler children as if they were his very own biological children when their 'real' father had completely abandoned them (to this day).  my husband had already raised his own two biological children from birth to their then ages of 17 and 22 …. and was willing to do it all over again with children that were not his own . . . all because of his love for me.  so what if he's Protestant?  he never once asked me to leave the Church or question my children's Catholicism as had been demanded by my previous Southern Baptist husband.

next miracle:  my husband said that he intended to move to South Carolina upon my completion of graduate school  . . . a state that I'd never stepped foot in or even seen other than reading about in the history books regarding the American Revolution, the Civil War and slavery.  all i knew about the current issues of South Carolina is that it was one of the worst and lowest-ranked states in the U.S. in education (like 48th out of 50!) and he was asking me to leave Iowa, one of the top 2 states in the Union in education.  Dear God!

but move to S.C. we did and more miracles awaited us in the Palmetto state:

my daughter was in 10th grade at the time of the move which is one of the worst times in a teenager's life to move.  she screamed and cried and dragged her feet all the way during the move and for a good 6 months afterward.  Lauren then met the love of her life within one year, dated him for 9 years including those 4 years of college when they attended in two separate states (she in SC and he in GA), engaged to each other for two years, and now married for 6 years.  she now thanks us for the move and knows that God has a reason for everything!

see the miracles happening?  she'd never have met her husband had God not allowed my first marriage to dissolve, had He not compelled me to return to graduate school in the Midwest, had He not brought my husband into our lives who wanted us and did take us to South Carolina to live!

next miracle:  because my children were in the TOP of their high school classes in South Carolina, and yet were smack in the UPPER-MIDDLE of their classes in Iowa, they were able to earn complete 4-year scholarships for EACH of their college educations.  this would never have happened n Iowa, where only the top 1% (genius) high school students with a 4.0-plus gpa (grade point average) are awarded scholarships, and where the majority of students in their (also my) high school was and is ranked #9 in the nation with 50% of students with 4.0 gpa's.  In South Carolina, my students were in the TOP compared to their peers where the high school drop out rate is 50% compared to less than 1% in Iowa!  God gave them a better chance for financial assistance in college in South Carolina that they never would have received in Iowa!  ONE MORE MIRACLE FROM GOD for trusting in him to move us to South Carolina.

next miracle:  i met numerous people to lead me and guide me through God to work at a Christian college (not Catholic) when we first moved to S.C. and I was finishing the last end of my Ph.D. (via e-mail, FAX, phone, and regular mail) that led me to meet a colleague on the faculty.  This friend eventually left this little Christian school and later contacted me to ask me to join the faculty of his place of employment, a public college in Greenwood, SC.  i chose to leave the Christian college due to the internal conflict I was feeling in regard to the differences between it's Baptist and my Catholic beliefs as well as a lack of any future).  turns out God wanted me to go through another hoop of fire while i worked in an incredibly unethical, horribly toxic, and dysfunctional institution.  God gave me a plan . . . strategize to do everything to earn tenure and then get the heck out of there!   i left 6 years ago after earning promotion and tenure.  but where is there any big miracle in this?  goes on every day!  well, the move to this small college moved my husband and i to a small town called Greenwood, SC.

again, you're saying, "so what?"

where's the miracle in this?  hang on, it's coming!

turns out that there is one kick-buns awesome regional health care system in this community that has world-renowned physicians moving to (for the great weather) for their careers.

OK so what, my health was just fine, right?

well it certainly was when we moved here in 2002.  but later, this year, my health totally gave out as a result of my year from hell at the university where i am currently employed and tenured.  God spoke to me through the physical screams of my body!

my back went out after intolerable pain for two years and the stress i endured on the job.  turns out i've had a cracked vertebrae since birth and two more that herniated in the last 4 years.  i couldn't even walk up a flight of stairs anymore without excruciating pain.  my legs went numb 3 days in a row while standing up giving lectures in class!

off to not one but two doctors.  never in my life have i ever felt compelled to ask for a second opinion.  the first one was in the big city of Greenville, SC.  disappointed with the rudeness of the spine center that my general practitioner had originally referred me to, i sought out a second opinion from a spine center in none other that this little city that we moved to for work . . . Greenwood, SC!

ultimate neurosurgeon diagnosis:  without a shadow of a doubt, unless i wanted to live in increasing pain by the year . . . surgery was necessary!

here's God's next miracle:  there are only 4 doctors in the ENTIRE United States that is knowledgeable and capable of the newest, state-of-the-art technology and procedure for neurosurgical spinal surgery . . . and one of these fab four doctors lives and practices right here in this regional health care system and small community (Carolina Neurosurgical and Spine Center).  Not knowing this at all at the time of setting my appointment for the 'second opinion', just take a guess at the doctor that i was assigned to!  you got it, one of the fab four in the country!  plus, the spine center itself is ranked one of the top 100 spine centers in the U.S. consistently for the last 6 years.


did the miracles end?  no way, God is much bigger than these miracles alone.  The God that I know and love has no bounds, no limits to those that He loves and takes care of!

God knew . . . HE KNEW the hell that I'd gone through throughout the last year at the university where i work.  i was being crucified not by Christ's horrible crucifixion, but it was the torture of God's choice and allowance.

during which God revealed to me the opportunity to validate myself by applying for AND landing a better position.   this position offered much more money and greater prestige and position . . . and i landed it!  i got the offer . . . and only to run into an empasse in the process of agreeing on the employment terms.  i knew that God had His reasons for this dead-end and i told him all along in my daily prayers that i would accept whatever He wanted for me despite what i thought would be best for me.

God has a plan i kept telling myself and i knew that the reason would be revealed to me:

those reasons came in february when after the 6 month interviewing process ended, my legs gave out in class 3 days in a row -- and i knew something was seriously wrong.

also the new position i was to begin on June 1st.

this would have simply been impossible because God knew my back was going to go out (my legs numbing was the symptom that compelled me to seek medical attention and advice).

God knew i was going to need neurosurgical surgery on July 6th and a 3-day hospitalization period.

God knew that i was going to need a minimum of 3 months leave of absence from work due to the level of seriousness of the recovery period from such a severe operation.

God blessed me in the previous 10 years of work with 20 weeks of earned sick leave (2 weeks are earned annually) to be able to legally and rightfully under my employment benefit plan to take one entire semester off with FULL PAY to recover physically, mentally, AND spiritually!

did the miracles end there?  are you kidding?

God knows that he brought me into this world as an Italian-American and that in my 57 years of life, it has been my never-ending wish to see my homeland across the Atlantic . . . Italy.  In his infinite wisdom and foresight, God inspired my parents 3 years ago to plan a trip in October, 2012 for two weeks in Italy to visit our relatives, several of the classic cities of Rome, Florence, and Venice and one week on the Amalfi coast.

my parents are taking me with them!

what a glorious way to recover and restore from surgical injuries and mental agony and stress from work!

and I am certain, without any question, that the miracles of my Heavenly Father will not end at this point or in Italy!  i am hoping and praying that my Catholic faith will be ever so more strengthened and inspired when i visit the Vatican, the seat of the Holy Roman Catholic church, and i walk on the stones on which St. Peter walked, and much, much more . . . .

blessings to each of you and praying for God's miracles to take place in your life!


simply sharing a beautiful image


simply feeling compelled to share this beautiful image found on Pinterest.  
unsure of the original photographer of this image, it's not mine,
but know that i think it is beautiful 
and inspirational to all catholics around the world.

blessings to all of you my dear readers and friends in Christ


God Loves Us Enough To Give Us Another New Year To Be Our BEST FOR HIM!

I dedicate all that I am for You in 2012, Lord God!


Feast of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary

Feast of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary

The feast of the Holy Rosary was established by Saint Pius V on the anniversary of the naval victory won by the Christian fleet at Lepanto, October 7, 1571. The victory was attributed to the help of the holy Mother of God whose aid was invoked through praying the Rosary.

The celebration of this day invites all to mediate upon the mysteries of Christ, following the example of the Blessed Virgin Mary who was so singularly associated with the incarnation, passion and glorious resurrection of the Son of God. From the Christian Prayer(Liturgy of the Hours)


Lord, fill our hearts with your love,
and as you revealed to us by an angel the coming of your Son as man,
so lead us through his suffering and death to the glory of his resurrection,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

First Reading: Acts of the Apostles 1:12-14
Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day's journey away; and when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James. All these with one accord devoted themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.

Gospel Reading: Luke 1:26-38
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!" But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end." And Mary said to the angel, "How shall this be, since I have no husband?" And the angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.

And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible." And Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.

Pontifical Shrine of Pompeii
Sunday, October 19, 2008

Venerable Brothers in the Episcopate and in the Priesthood,
Dear men and women religious,
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Before entering the Shrine to recite the Holy Rosary with you, I paused briefly before the tomb of Bl. Bartolo Longo and, praying, I asked myself: "Where did this great apostle of Mary find the energy and perseverance he needed to bring such an impressive work, now known across the world, to completion? Was it not in the Rosary, which he accepted as a true gift from Our Lady's Heart?" Yes, that truly was how it happened! The experience of the Saints bears witness to it: this popular Marian prayer is a precious spiritual means to grow in intimacy with Jesus, and to learn at the school of the Blessed Virgin always to fulfil the divine will. It is contemplation of the mysteries of Christ in spiritual union with Mary as the Servant of God Paul VI stressed in his Apostolic Exhortation Marialis cultus (n. 46) and as my venerable Predecessor John Paul II abundantly illustrated in his Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae that today I once again present in spirit to the Community of Pompeii and to each one of you. You who live and work here in Pompeii, especially you, dear priests, men and women religious and lay people involved in this unique portion of the Church, are all called to make Bl. Bartolo Longo's charism your own and to become, to the extent and in the way that God grants to each one, authentic apostles of the Rosary.

To be apostles of the Rosary, however, it is necessary to experience personally the beauty and depth of this prayer which is simple and accessible to everyone. It is first of all necessary to let the Blessed Virgin take one by the hand to contemplate the Face of Christ: a joyful, luminous, sorrowful and glorious Face. Those who, like Mary and with her, cherish and ponder the mysteries of Jesus assiduously, increasingly assimilate his sentiments and are conformed to him. In this regard, I would like to quote a beautiful thought of Bl. Bartolo Longo: "Just as two friends, frequently in each other's company, tend to develop similar habits", he wrote, "so too, by holding familiar converse with Jesus and the Blessed Virgin, by meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary and by living the same life in Holy Communion, we can become, to the extent of our lowliness, similar to them and can learn from these supreme models a life of humility, poverty, hiddenness, patience and perfection" (I Quindici Sabati del Santissimo Rosario, 27th edition, Pompeii, 1916, p. 27: cited in Rosarium Virginis Mariae, n. 15).

The Rosary is a school of contemplation and silence. At first glance, it could seem a prayer that accumulates words, therefore difficult to reconcile with the silence that is rightly recommended for meditation and contemplation. In fact, this cadent repetition of the Hail Mary does not disturb inner silence but indeed both demands and nourishes it. Similarly to what happens for the Psalms when one prays the Liturgy of the Hours, the silence surfaces through the words and sentences, not as emptiness, but rather as the presence of an ultimate meaning that transcends the words themselves and through them speaks to the heart. Thus, in reciting the Hail Mary, we must be careful that our voices do not "cover" the voice of God who always speaks through the silence like the "still small voice" of a gentle breeze (1 Kgs 19: 12). Then how important it is to foster this silence full of God, both in one's personal recitation and in its recitation with the community! Even when the Rosary is prayed, as today, by great assemblies, and as you do in this Shrine every day, it must be perceived as a contemplative prayer. And this cannot happen without an atmosphere of inner silence.

I would like to add a further reflection concerning the Word of God in the Rosary, particularly appropriate in this period in which the Synod of Bishops is taking place on the theme: "The Word of God in the life and mission of the Church". If Christian contemplation cannot leave the Word of God out of consideration, if it is to be a contemplative prayer, the Rosary must always emerge from the silence of the heart as a response to the Word, after the model of Mary's prayer. Seen clearly, the Rosary is completely interwoven with scriptural elements. First of all there is the enunciation of the mystery, preferably made, as it has been today, with words taken from the Bible. The Our Father follows; by giving the prayer a "vertical" orientation, the soul of who recites the rosary is opened to the correct filial attitude in accordance with the Lord's invitation: "When you pray say: Father..." (Lk 11: 2). The first part of the Hail Mary, also taken from the Gospel, lets us listen again each time to the words that God addressed to the Virgin through the Angel and to the words of her cousin Elizabeth's blessing. The second part of the Hail Mary resounds like the answer of children who, in addressing supplications to their Mother, do nothing other than express their own adherence to the saving plan revealed by God. Thus the thought of those who pray remains ever anchored to Scripture and to the mysteries presented in it.

Lastly, remembering that today we are celebrating World Mission Sunday, I wish to recall the apostolic dimension of the Rosary, a dimension that Blessed Bartolo Longo lived intensely, drawing inspiration from it to carry out on this earth so many charitable initiatives and works of human and social promotion. Furthermore, he wanted this Shrine to be open to the whole world as a centre of outreach of the prayer of the Rosary and as a place of intercession for peace among peoples. Dear friends, I would like to reinforce both of these aims: the apostolate of charity and prayer for peace, and I wish to confirm and entrust them once again to your spiritual and pastoral commitment. Following the example and with the support of the venerable Founder, never tire of working with enthusiasm in this part of the Lord's vineyard for which Our Lady has shown a special fondness.

Dear brothers and sisters, the time has come to take my leave of you and of this beautiful Shrine. I thank you for your warm welcome and especially for your prayers. I thank the Archbishop Prelate and Pontifical Delegate, his collaborators and those who worked to prepare my Visit in the best possible way. I must leave you, but my heart remains close to this region and to this community. I entrust you all to the Blessed Virgin of the Holy Rosary and I cordially impart the Apostolic Blessing to each one.

© Copyright 2008 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Pope John Paul II asks us to pray the Rosary
(October 16, 2002), Pope John Paul II issued Rosarium Virginis Mariae - Apostolic Letter on Rosary of the Virgin Mary. He declared October 2002 ­ October 2003 The Year of the Rosary, and added Mysteries of Light that focus on events of Christ's ministry.

On September 30, 2001, after the morning Mass opening the Synod of Bishops, Pope John Paul II asked people to pray the Rosary. Here is his message:

"October is the month in which Mary Most Holy, Queen of the Holy Rosary, is venerated. Within the current international context, I invite all -- individuals, families, communities -- to pray this Marian prayer, possibly every day, for peace, so that the world can be preserved from the wicked scourge of terrorism.

"The terrible tragedy of September 11th will be remembered as a dark day in the history of humanity. In the face of this, the Church tries to be faithful to her prophetic charism and remind all men about their duty to build a future of peace for the human family. Certainly, peace is not separated from justice, but it must be nourished by mercy and love.

"We cannot forget that Jews, Christians and Muslims adore God as the only God. The three religions, therefore, have the vocation of unity and peace. May God allow the Church's faithful to be agents of peace, in the front line of the search for justice and the prohibition of violence.

"May the Virgin Mary, Queen of Peace, intercede for all humanity, so that hate and death never have the last word!"

On September 29, 2002, Pope John Paul II ask that we pray the Rosary for Peace:

Castel Gandolfo
Sunday, 29 June 2002

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
1. We are already on the threshold of the month of October, which, with the liturgical memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary, inspires us to rediscover this traditional prayer, so simple yet so profound.

The Rosary is a way of contemplating the face of Christ seeing him - we may say - with the eyes of Mary. For this reason, it is a prayer that drawing upon the core of the Gospel is in full accord with the inspiration of the Second Vatican Council and very much in keeping with the direction I gave in the Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio ineunte: the Church has to launch out "into the deep" in the new millennium beginning with the contemplation of the face of Christ.

Therefore, I wish to suggest the recitation of the Rosary to individuals, families and Christian communities. To give force to this invitation, I am preparing a document which will help to rediscover the beauty and depth of this prayer.

2. I wish once again to entrust the great cause of peace to the praying of the Rosary. We are facing an international situation that is full of tensions, at times threatening to explode. In some parts of the world, where the confrontation is harsher - I think particularly of the suffering land of Christ - we can realize that, even though they are necessary, political efforts are worth little if one remains exacerbated in his mind and no one cares to demonstrate a new disposition of heart in the hope of reviving the struggle and effort of dialogue.

Who but God alone can infuse such sentiments? It is more necessary than ever that from every part of the earth prayer for peace be made to Him. In this perspective, the Rosary turns out to be the form of prayer most needed. It builds peace because, while it appeals to the grace of God, it sows in the one praying it the seed of good from which we can expect the fruit of justice and solidarity for personal and community life.

I am thinking of nations and also of families. How much peace would flow into family relationships if the family would begin again to pray the Rosary.

John Paul II greeted the pilgrims in French, English, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish and Italian.
To the English-speaking

3. I extend a warm greeting to the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors, and invite you to make the month of October a time of special attention to the recitation of the Rosary, the great prayer of intercession to Mary. Upon you and your families I invoke the joy and peace of the Lord.

4. The prayer we are about to pray begins by recalling the annunciation of the Archangel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary. In fact, today is the feast of the holy Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. May these powerful ministers of God obtain for us the grace to correspond always with generous love to his will.

Dear Friends, this is the last Angelus of the vacation period. With affection, I greet once again the townsfolk of Castel Gandolfo: Goodbye until next year. Next Sunday, 6 October, God willing, we shall be in St Peter's Square.


I Am Pondering The Lord's Beatitudes

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall possess the land.
Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice, for they shall have their fill.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.
Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.*

*Please Lord, fulfill Your promises to those who are faithful to You.  
Help me sustain my trust and faith in you in this unjust situation that I am in.
I beg you, Lord, to lead me and guide me to where you want me to go to fulfill your wishes and Will.
In Jesus' name, I pray.


Let Us All Remember to Defend The Catholic Faith

And here's one fine new resource that will help us in defending Her:


Resolving To Live My Faith More in 2011


I have finally fallen apart at the seams.  No need to go into all of the details, but things have just got to change and there's no time than the present (which happens to be January, 2011) to begin again.

I know that I cannot live a second of my life without God and know that I need to pray more fervently and constantly for the intimacy with Him that I seek and need.  It just seems to me that as things worsen around the world, in this country, in my family with my father failing more each day, and my work environment stress increasing each day with the sad state budget problems, that it is just as true now as it has always been:  I cannot live without God's love, Providence, forgiveness, and protection in every beating moment of my life.

For this I re-committ myself to Him now and forever.

Blessings in this new year.

2011 image above source: Ramakanta Sahoo


The One True Faith : Mary and the Eucharist


A Great Catholic Quote!

"When I was born, my mother laid me on a bed of straw, and I desire no better pallet when I die, asking only to be in the state of grace and worthy of salvation."

-- Anton Slomsek, Austrian Bishop.

July ~ ~ Catholics Honor the Precious Blood of Jesus

The Chaplet of the Precious Blood

This devotion focuses on seven mysteries on which to meditate on the seven main sheddings of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus. It is broken down into into 7 groups that contain 33 beads which honor our Lord's 33 years of life here on earth.

The Our Father is said five times after each mystery except the last, when it is said three times. When finished, 33 Our Fathers are said honoring Christ's life.  While praying this devotion, you are asked to meditate on each of the seven bloodsheddings of Jesus.

Mystery 1

Jesus shed His Blood in the Circumcision.
Let us ask for chastity of soul and body.

Say the Our Father... 5 times.

Say the following prayer:

"Incline unto my aid, O God. O Lord, make haste to help me."

Say the Glory Be... 1 time.

Say the following prayer:

V. "We beseech You, Lord, help Your servants."
R. "Whom You have redeemed with Your Precious Blood."

Mystery 2

Jesus shed His Blood whilst praying in the Garden of Olives.
Let us ask for the spirit of prayer.

Say the Our Father... 5 times.

Say the following prayer:

"Incline unto my aid, O God. O Lord, make haste to help me."

Say the Glory Be... 1 time.

Say the following prayer:

V. "We beseech You, Lord, help Your servants."
R. "Whom You have redeemed with Your Precious Blood."

Mystery 3

Jesus shed His Blood in the scourging.
Let us ask for the grace of mortification.

Say the Our Father... 5 times.

Say the following prayer:

"Incline unto my aid, O God. O Lord, make haste to help me."

Say the Glory Be... 1 time.

Say the following prayer:

V. "We beseech You, Lord, help Your servants."
R. "Whom You have redeemed with Your Precious Blood."

Mystery 4

Jesus shed His Blood in the crowning with thorns.
Let us ask for contempt of worldly honors.

Say the Our Father... 5 times.

Say the following prayer:

"Incline unto my aid, O God. O Lord, make haste to help me."

Say the Glory Be... 1 time.

Say the following prayer:

V. "We beseech You, Lord, help Your servants."
R. "Whom You have redeemed with Your Precious Blood."

Mystery 5

Jesus shed His Blood while carrying His cross.
Let us ask for patience.

Say the Our Father... 5 times.

Say the following prayer:

"Incline unto my aid, O God. O Lord, make haste to help me."

Say the Glory Be... 1 time.

Say the following prayer:

V. "We beseech You, Lord, help Your servants."
R. "Whom You have redeemed with Your Precious Blood."

Mystery 6

Jesus shed His Blood in the crucifixion.
Let us ask for contrition for our sins.

Say the Our Father... 5 times.

Say the following prayer:

"Incline unto my aid, O God. O Lord, make haste to help me."

Say the Glory Be... 1 time.

Say the following prayer:

V. "We beseech You, Lord, help Your servants."
R. "Whom You have redeemed with Your Precious Blood."

Mystery 7

Jesus shed His Blood and water when His side was pierced.
Let us ask for the grace of perseverance.

Say the Our Father... 3 times.

Say the following prayer:

"Incline unto my aid, O God. O Lord, make haste to help me."

Say the Glory Be... 1 time.

Say the following prayer:

V. "We beseech You, Lord, help Your servants."
R. "Whom You have redeemed with Your Precious Blood."

Conclude this devotion with this final prayer:

Eternal Father,
I offer Thee the most Precious Blood of Jesus Christ
in satisfaction for my sins,
for the needs of Holy Church
and for the relief of the souls in purgatory.


Our Lady of Perpetual Help ~ ~ June 27th


Today Catholics honor Our Lady of Perpetual Help (Succour).  The original images of her are painted in the Byzantine style and illustrates our Blessed Mother of God holding her Divine Child, Jesus.  The Archangels Michael and Gabriel are presenting Jesus, Our Lord with the instruments of His Passion.  In Greek, are the names Mother of God, Jesus Christ, Archangel Michael, and Archangel Gabriel.
Prayer to Our Lady of Perpetual Help
Mother of Perpetual Help, you have been blessed and favored by God.
You became not only the Mother of the Redeemer but the Mother of the redeemed as well.
We come to you today as your loving children.
Watch over us and take care of us.
As you held the child Jesus in your loving arms, so take us in your arms.
Be a mother ready at every moment to help us.
For God who is mighty has done great things for you, and His mercy is from age to age on those who love Him.
Our greatest fear is that in time of temptation, we may fail to call out to you, and become lost children. Intercede for us, dear Mother, in obtaining pardon for our sins, love for Jesus, final perseverance, and the grace always to call upon you, Mother of Perpetual Help

~ ~ From the Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help
The Message of the Icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help
The child Jesus has just seen the angels who have shown him the instruments of his passion. St. Michael the Archangel holds the lance and gall-sop. St. Gabriel the Archangel holds the Cross and the nails. Frightened by the sight, Jesus has run to his mother’s arms so quickly that he almost lost one of His tiny sandals. It dangles from his foot. Mary holds Him lovingly but her eyes look at us - pleading with us to avoid sin and love Her Son.  His hands are in hers to show that, as a child, Jesus placed Himself in Mary’s hands for protection and to remind us that He now has placed into Her hands all graces, to be given to those who turn to His mother and ask.  The star on Mary’s veil shows her to be the one who brought the light of Christ to the darkened world - the beacon that leads the way to Heaven.  The falling sandal symbolizes a soul clinging to Christ by one last thread--devotion to Mary.  The golden background is symbolic of Heaven and shines to show the heavenly joy Jesus and His mother can bring to tired human hearts.
Front of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Scottsdale, Arizona

When I lived in Scottsdale, Arizona in the late '80s, I was so fortunate to be able to send my daughter to Kindergarten at this wonderful Catholic school.  She had the most incredible education with a Catholic foundation.  Sadly, I could not send her to OLPH after her first year enrolled as my husband left me and abandoned my two children.  Without the funds and far too much pride to take charity from the Church, my daughter left the halls of OLPH to attend first grade in public school where both of my children completed their pre-university years.  Both my daughter and I were heart-broken over the move to a different school, but the Lord and Our Lady continued to help and take care of us and her little brother. We never once felt alone or abandoned.  We always felt safe and protected and watched over.  I feel the same today!  Our beautiful Catholic faith, the Holy Trinity, the Blessed Mother, and all of the angels and saints were (and are) with us each and every day that we were a broken family.  The Lord sent me a most loving man who raised my children as if they were his own.  Never lose the faith my friends!

Prayer to Our Lady of Perpetual Help

O Mother of Perpetual Help,
grant that I may ever invoke thy most powerful name,
which is the safeguard of the living and the salvation of the dying.
O Purest Mary, O Sweetest Mary, let thy name henceforth be ever on my lips.
Delay not, O Blessed Lady, to help me whenever I call on thee,
for, in all my needs, in all my temptations I shall never cease to call on thee,
ever repeating thy sacred name, Mary, Mary.

O what consolation, what sweetness,
what confidence, what emotion fill my soul
when I pronounce thy sacred name, or even only think of thee.
I thank God for having given thee, for my good,
so sweet, so powerful, so lovely a name.
But I will not be content with merely pronouncing thy name:
let my love for thee prompt me ever to hail thee,
Mother of Perpetual Help.