Novena for the Holy Souls in Purgatory

--

There shall not enter into it any thing defiled, or that worketh abomination or maketh a lie, but they that are written in the book of life of the Lamb.” – Revelation 21:27

This and many other Scripture passages indicate the existence of purgatory.  When one dies, they can go to one of three places: Heaven, purgatory, or hell.  One who dies in a perfect state of grace with no stain of sin goes to Heaven.  One who dies in a state of mortal sin is condemned to hell by his own choice.  One who is free from mortal sin, but in a state of venial sin, goes to purgatory.  Purgatory is where souls go to be cleansed before they enter Heaven.  These holy souls comprise the Church Suffering and rely on our prayers to see them through to Heaven.  Since we have no way of knowing who is in Heaven (beyond those the Church has beatified or canonized), we must assume that everyone is in purgatory.  Therefore, it is extremely important that we frequently pray for the dead, not just on All Souls Day.


Novena for the Holy Souls in Purgatory (Oct. 24 – Nov. 1)

(via Sensus Fidelium)  

October 24

Jesus my Savior, I have so often deserved to be cast into Hell; how great would be my suffering if I were now cast away and obliged to think that I myself had caused my damnation. I thank Thee for the patience with which Thou hast endured me. My God, I love Thee above all things and I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee because Thou art infinite goodness. I will rather die than offend Thee again. Grant me the grace of perseverance. Have pity on me and at the same time on those blessed souls suffering in Purgatory. Mary, Mother of God, come to their assistance with thy powerful intercession.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Prayer to Our Suffering Savior (below)

 

 

 

 

October 25

Woe to me, unhappy being, so many years have I already spent on earth and have earned naught but hell! I give Thee thanks, O Lord, for granting me time even now to atone for my sins. My good God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee. Send me Thy assistance, that I may apply the time yet remaining to me for Thy love and service; have compassion on me, and, at the same time, on the holy souls suffering in Purgatory. O Mary, Mother of God, come to their assistance with thy powerful intercession.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Prayer to Our Suffering Savior (below)

 

October 26

My God! because Thou art infinite goodness, I love Thee above all things, and repent with my whole heart of my offenses against Thee. Grant me the grace of holy perseverance. Have compassion on me, and, at the same, on the holy souls suffering in Purgatory. And thou, Mary, Mother of God, come to their assistance with thy powerful intercession.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Prayer to Our Suffering Savior (below)

 

October 27

My God! because Thou art infinite goodness, I am sorry with my whole heart for having offended Thee. I promise to die rather than ever offend Thee more. Give me holy perseverance; have pity on me, and have pity on those holy souls that burn in the cleansing fire and love Thee with all their hearts. O Mary, Mother of God, assist them by thy powerful prayers.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Prayer to Our Suffering Savior (below)

 

October 28

Woe to me, unhappy being, if Thou, O Lord, hadst cast me into hell; for from that dungeon of eternal pain there is no deliverance. I love Thee above all things, O infinite God and I am sincerely sorry for having offended Thee again. Grant me the grace of holy perseverance. Have compassion on me, and, at the same time, on the holy souls suffering in Purgatory. O Mary, Mother of God, come to their assistance with thy powerful intercession.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Prayer to Our Suffering Savior (below)

 

October 29

My Divine Redeemer, Thou didst die for me on the Cross, and hast so often united Thyself with me in Holy Communion, and I have repaid Thee only with ingratitude. Now, however, I love Thee above all things, O supreme God; and I am more grieved at my offences against Thee than at any other evil. I will rather die than offend Thee again. Grant me the grace of holy perseverance. Have compassion on me, and, at the same time, on the holy souls suffering in Purgatory. Mary, Mother of God, come to their aid with thy powerful intercession.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Prayer to Our Suffering Savior (below)

 

October 30

God, Father of Mercy, satisfy this, their ardent desire! Send them Thy holy Angel to announce to them that Thou, their Father, are now reconciled with them through the suffering and death of Jesus, and that the moment of their deliverance has arrived.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Prayer to Our Suffering Savior (below)

 

October 31

Oh my God! I also am one of these ungrateful beings, having received so much grace, and yet despised Thy love and deserved to be cast by Thee into hell. But Thy infinite goodness has spared me until now. Therefore, I now love Thee above all things, and I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee. I will rather die than ever offend Thee. Grant me the grace of holy perseverance. Have compassion on me and, at the same time, on the holy souls suffering in Purgatory. Mary, Mother of God, come to their aid with thy powerful intercession.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Prayer to Our Suffering Savior (below)

 

November 1

My God! How was it possible that I, for so many years, have borne tranquilly the separation from Thee and Thy holy grace! O infinite Goodness, how long-suffering hast Thou shown Thyself to me! Henceforth, I shall love Thee above all things. I am deeply sorry for having offended Thee; I promise rather to die than to again offend Thee. Grant me the grace of holy perseverance, and do not permit that I should ever again fall into sin. Have compassion on the holy souls in Purgatory. I pray Thee, moderate their sufferings; shorten the time of their misery; call them soon unto Thee in heaven, that they may behold Thee face to face, and forever love Thee. Mary, Mother of Mercy, come to their aid with thy powerful intercession, and pray for us also who are still in danger of eternal damnation.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Prayer to Our Suffering Savior (below)

 

Prayer to Our Suffering Savior for the Holy Souls in Purgatory

St. Alphonsus Liguori

O most sweet Jesus, through the bloody sweat which Thou didst suffer in the Garden of Gethsemane, have mercy on these Blessed Souls. Have mercy on them.

℟. Have mercy on them, O Lord.

O most sweet Jesus, through the pains which Thou didst suffer during Thy most cruel scourging, have mercy on them.

℟. Have mercy on them, O Lord.

O most sweet Jesus, through the pains which Thou didst suffer in Thy most painful crowning with thorns, have mercy on them.

℟. Have mercy on them, O Lord.

O most sweet Jesus, through the pains which Thou didst suffer in carrying Thy cross to Calvary, have mercy on them.

℟. Have mercy on them, O Lord.

O most sweet Jesus, through the pains which Thou didst suffer during Thy most cruel Crucifixion, have mercy on them.

℟. Have mercy on them, O Lord.

O most sweet Jesus, through the pains which Thou didst suffer in Thy most bitter agony on the Cross, have mercy on them.

℟. Have mercy on them, O Lord.

O most sweet Jesus, through the immense pain which Thou didst suffer in breathing forth Thy Blessed Soul, have mercy on them.

℟. Have mercy on them, O Lord.

(Recommend yourself to the Souls in Purgatory and mention your intentions here)

Blessed Souls, I have prayed for thee; I entreat thee, who are so dear to God, and who are secure of never losing Him, to pray for me a miserable sinner, who is in danger of being damned, and of losing God forever. Amen.

Novena to St. Michael

--

September 29th is the Feast of the Archangels: Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael.  However, in the 1962 Missal of Pope John XXIII – the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite – it is the feast of St. Michael.

St. Michael, whose name means, “who is like unto God,” led the heavenly armies against Satan and the fallen angels, casting them out of Heaven forever.  He is both the prince of angels and our defense against the devil.  As such, we should call upon him whenever we are attacked by the evil one through temptation or spiritual hardship.

 

Novena to St. Michael (Sept. 20 – 28)

(via Sensus Fidelium)

Prayer (to be said each day)


Saint Michael the Archangel, loyal champion of God and His Catholic people, I turn to thee with confidence and seek thy powerful intercession. For the love of God, Who hast made thee so glorious in grace and power, and for the love of the Mother of Jesus, the Queen of the Angels, be pleased to hear my prayer.

Thou knowest the value of my soul in the eyes of God. May no stain of evil ever disfigure its beauty. Help me to conquer the evil spirit who tempts me. I desire to imitate thy loyalty to God and Holy Mother Church and thy great love for God and men. And since thou art God’s messenger for the care of His people, I entrust to thee this special request:

(Mention your intentions here)

Saint Michael, since thou art, by the will of the Creator, the powerful intercessor of Christians, I have great confidence in thy prayers. I earnestly trust that if it is God’s holy will, my petition will be granted.

Pray for me, Saint Michael, and also for those I love. Protect us in all dangers of body and soul. Help us in our daily needs. Through thy powerful intercession, may we live a holy life, die a happy death and reach Heaven where we may praise and love God with thee forever. Amen.


September 29

Feast of St. Michael

CHAPLET OF ST. MICHAEL

The Chaplet of St. Michael (or Rosary of the Angels) was given to a Portuguese Carmelite nun, Antónia d’Astónaco, in the 18th century.  St. Michael appeared to her in a vision and asked that she honor him with nine salutations for the nine Choirs of Angels.  Scripture reveals the nine Choirs of Angels to be: Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones, Dominations, Powers, Virtues, Principalities, Archangels and Angels (Isa. 6: 2; Gen. 3: 24; Col. 1: 16; Eph. 1: 21; Rom. 8: 38).  He promised that whoever practiced this devotion would have, when approaching Holy Communion, an escort of nine angels from the nine Choirs.  He also promised that he and the holy angels would assist those who recited the chaplet during their life.

In 1851, Pope St. Pius IX approved and indulgenced the Chaplet of St. Michael.  The indulgences are:

  1. An indulgence of seven years and seven quarantines every time the Chaplet is said.
  2. An indulgence of 100 days daily to any one who carries this Chaplet about him, or kisses the medal with the representation of the holy angels appended to the said Chaplet.
  3. A plenary indulgence once a month to every one who says daily this Chaplet, on any one day when, after Confession and Communion, he shall pray for the exaltation of our holy Mother the Church and the safety of the Sovereign Pontiff.
  4. A plenary indulgence, with the conditions above named, on:
     – The Feast of the Apparition of St. Michael, May 18
     –  The Dedication of St. Michael, September 29
     –  St. Gabriel the Archangel, March 18
     –  St. Raphael the Archangel, October 24
     – Holy Angel Guardians, October 2

The chaplet consists of nine Our Fathers followed by three Hail Marys.  These groups comprise the nine salutations for the nine Choirs of Angels.  A prayer is said before each salutation and four Our Fathers are said at the end.  It is recommended to kneel (if one is able) in front of a representation of St. Michael while praying this devotion.

V: O God, come to my assistance 
R. O Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory be…

FIRST SALUTATION

By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Seraphim, may the Lord make us worthy to burn with the fire of perfect charity. Amen. 

Our Father, Hail Mary x3

SECOND SALUTATION

By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Cherubim, may the Lord grant us the grace to leave the ways of sin and run in the paths of Christian perfection. 
Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary x3

THIRD SALUTATION

By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Thrones, may the Lord infuse into our hearts a true and sincere spirit of humility. 
Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary x3

FOURTH SALUTATION

By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Dominations, may the Lord give us grace to govern our senses and overcome any unruly passions. 
Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary x3

FIFTH SALUTATION

By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Virtues, may the Lord preserve us from evil and falling into temptation. 
Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary x3

SIXTH SALUTATION

By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Powers, may the Lord protect our souls against the snares and temptations of the devil. 
Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary x3

SEVENTH SALUTATION

By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Principalities, may God fill our souls with a true spirit of obedience. 
Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary x3

EIGHTH SALUTATION

By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Archangels, may the Lord give us perseverance in faith and in all good works in order that we may attain the glory of Heaven. 
Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary x3

NINTH SALUTATION

By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Angels, may the Lord grant us to be protected by them in this mortal life and conducted in the life to come to Heaven. 
Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary x3

In honor of St. Michael: Our Father …
In honor of St. Gabriel: Our Father …
In honor of St. Raphael: Our Father …
In honor of our Guardian Angel: Our Father …

ANTIPHON

O glorious prince St. Michael, chief and commander of the heavenly hosts, guardian of souls, vanquisher of rebel spirits, servant in the house of the Divine King and our admirable conductor, you who shine with excellence and superhuman virtue, deliver us from all evil, who turn to you with confidence and enable us by thy gracious protection to serve God more and more faithfully every day.

V. Pray for us, O glorious St. Michael, Prince of the Church of Jesus Christ,
R. That we may be made worthy of His promises.

PRAYER

Almighty and Everlasting God, Who, by a prodigy of goodness and a merciful desire for the salvation of all men, has appointed the most glorious Archangel St. Michael Prince of Thy Church, make us worthy, we ask Thee, to be delivered from all our enemies, that none of them may harass us at the hour of death, but that we may be conducted by him into Thy Presence. This we ask through the merits of Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.

 

Litany of St. Michael the Archangel

Lord, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us. Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.

[Repeat pray for us after each invocation]
Holy Mary, Queen of the Angels, pray for us
St. Michael, the Archangel,
Most glorious attendant of the Triune Divinity,
Standing at the right of the altar of Incense,
Ambassador of Paradise,
Glorious Prince of the Heavenly armies,
Leader of the Angelic hosts,
The standard-bearer of God’s armies,
Defender of Divine glory,
First defender of the Kingship of Christ,
Strength of God,
Invincible Prince and warrior,
Angel of Peace,
Guide of Christ,
Guardian of the Catholic Faith,
Champion of God’s people,
Guardian Angel of the Eucharist,
Defender of the Church,
Protector of the Sovereign Pontiff,
Angel of Catholic action,
Powerful intercessor of Christians,
Bravest defender of those who hope in God,
Guardian of our souls and bodies,
Healer of the sick,
Help of those in their agony,
Consoler of the Souls in Purgatory,
God’s messenger for the souls of the just,
Terror of the evil spirits,
Victorious in the battle against evil,
Guardian and Patron of the universal Church,
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us.
V. Pray for us, O glorious St. Michael,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

 

Prayer of St. Michael the Archangel

St. Michael the Archangel, 
defend us in battle. 
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. 
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, 
and do thou, 
O Prince of the heavenly hosts, 
by the power of God, 
thrust into hell Satan, 
and all the evil spirits, 
who prowl about the world 
seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Novena to Our Lady of Sorrows

--

September 6 – 14
(via Sensus Fidelium)

September 6

Devotion to the Seven Sorrows of Mary

Preparatory Prayer (to be said each day)

Bid me bear, O Mother blessed,
On my heart the wounds impressed
Suffered by the Crucified!

Meditation

From the dolorous way of Our Lord’s passion Holy Church selected fourteen incidents to place before us for consideration, which are called the Stations of the Cross. In the same manner the pious devotion of the faithful selected seven events in the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and gives itself to their religious contemplation. They are: (1) Simeon’s prophecy in the Temple; (2) the flight into Egypt with the divine Child; (3) the loss of the divine Child at Jerusalem; (4) Mary’s meeting with her Son bearing the cross; (5) Mary beneath the cross; (6) Mary receives the body of her Son from the cross; (7) the placing of Jesus’ body in the tomb.

Practice

“Forget not the sorrows of thy mother.” (Ecclus. vii. 29) According to this exhortation of Holy Scripture it is our duty to remember and meditate often on the sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We ought never to forget that our sins were the cause of the sufferings and death of Jesus, and therefore also of the sorrows of Mary.

Holy Church celebrates two feasts in honor of the sorrows of Mary; she approved of the Rosary and of many other devotions in honor of the Seven Dolors, and enriched them with numerous indulgences. Let us practice these devotions to enkindle in our hearts a true and ardent love for our sorrowful Mother.

Prayer of the Church

Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord Jesus Christ, that the most blessed Virgin Mary, Thy Mother, may intercede for us before the throne of Thy mercy, now and at the hour of our death, through whose most holy soul, in the hour of Thine own passion, the sword of sorrow passed. Through Thee, Jesus Christ, Savior of the world, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, for ever and ever. Amen.

Servite Rosary

Learn how to pray here

Ejaculation

Mother of Sorrows, queen of martyrs, pray for us!

Let us pray.

Vouchsafe, O Lord, that we may be helped by the merits of Thy most holy Mother’s spouse; that what of ourselves we can not obtain may be given us through his intercession. Who livest and reignest, world without end. Amen.


September 7

First Sorrow: The Prophecy of Simeon

Preparatory Prayer 

Bid me bear, O Mother blessed,
On my heart the wounds impressed
Suffered by the Crucified!

Meditation

Forty days after the birth of our divine Savior, Mary His Mother fulfilled the law of Moses by offering Him to His divine Father in the Temple. “And behold there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Ghost was in Him. And he received an answer from the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. And he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when His parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, he also took Him into his arms, and blessed God, and said: Now dost Thou dismiss Thy servant, O Lord, according to Thy word, in peace; because my eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples. A light to the revelation of the gentiles and the glory of Thy people Israel. And His father and mother were wondering at these things which were spoken concerning Him. And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His Mother: Behold this child is set for the fall and for the resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted; and thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that out of many hearts thoughts may be revealed.” (Luke ii. 25-35)

Practice

Mary was familiar with the predictions of the prophets and knew that ignominy, sorrow, and suffering would be her divine Son’s portion throughout His earthly career. But to have this secret of her anxious soul thus publicly and solemnly declared by Simeon, was a sharp thrust of that seven-edged sword which was to pierce her loving heart. In spirit she viewed that boundless, surging sea of trials, pain, and death on which her Son was to be tossed about, and was willing to be engulfed in its bitter waters. Her affliction would have scarcely been greater had the death sentence of her divine Son been pronounced then and there and put into execution. What a sorrow, what an affliction, what a trial for such a tender Mother! Well might she exclaim with the Royal Prophet: “My life is wasted with grief, and my years in sighs.” (Ps. xxx. 11) Let us often contemplate this sorrow, and excite our hearts to a tender compassion with the Mother of Sorrows.

Prayer of the Church

Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord Jesus Christ, that the most blessed Virgin Mary, Thy Mother, may intercede for us before the throne of Thy mercy, now and at the hour of our death, through whose most holy soul, in the hour of Thine own passion, the sword of sorrow passed. Through Thee, Jesus Christ, Savior of the world, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, for ever and ever. Amen.

Servite Rosary

Learn how to pray here

Ejaculation

Mother of Sorrows, queen of martyrs, pray for us!

Let us pray.

Vouchsafe, O Lord, that we may be helped by the merits of Thy most holy Mother’s spouse; that what of ourselves we cannot obtain may be given us through his intercession. Who livest and reignest, world without end. Amen.


September 8

Second Sorrow: The Flight into Egypt

Preparatory Prayer 

Bid me bear, O Mother blessed,
On my heart the wounds impressed
Suffered by the Crucified!

Meditation

For the second time the sword of sorrow pierced Mary’s heart when she was commanded to fly into Egypt with her divine Child. Without manifesting undue perplexity or discontent, she hastily gathered a few necessaries for the journey, while St. Joseph saddled the beast of burden. Then taking the infant Jesus into her arms and pressing Him to her throbbing heart, the holy pilgrims set forth into the cold, starry night, away to a foreign land, through the trackless desert, and into a heathen country. Arrived in Egypt, the experience of Bethlehem was renewed; no one gave them shelter.

Practice

During this second great sorrow, what was Mary’s behavior? She was content to fulfill the will of God; she did not ask for reasons, or complain of the fatigues of the journey, but preserved her peace of heart amid all the trials of this severe probation. She is poor, but her poverty does not render her unhappy or querulous. If God sends us trials, we ought not murmur or complain. Following the example of Mary, let us bear them submissively. If we suffer patiently with Mary on earth, we shall enjoy eternal bliss with her in heaven.

Prayer of the Church

Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord Jesus Christ, that the most blessed Virgin Mary, Thy Mother, may intercede for us before the throne of Thy mercy, now and at the hour of our death, through whose most holy soul, in the hour of Thine own passion, the sword of sorrow passed. Through Thee, Jesus Christ, Savior of the world, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, for ever and ever. Amen.

Servite Rosary

Learn how to pray here

Ejaculation

Mother of Sorrows, queen of martyrs, pray for us!

Let us pray.

Vouchsafe, O Lord, that we may be helped by the merits of Thy most holy Mother’s spouse; that what of ourselves we cannot obtain may be given us through his intercession. Who livest and reignest, world without end. Amen.


September 9

Third Sorrow: Loss of the Child Jesus for Three Days

Preparatory Prayer 

Bid me bear, O Mother blessed,
On my heart the wounds impressed
Suffered by the Crucified!

Meditation

Who can describe Mary’s sorrow when, returning from Jerusalem, she missed her divine Son? With St. Joseph she retraced her steps in anxious search of Him whom her soul loved. She went to all her relatives and acquaintances in Jerusalem, but heard no tidings of her lost Child. She passed three long days of anxiety in her search, and this constitutes her third sorrow. Of it, Origen writes: “On account of the ineffable love of Mary for her divine Son, she suffered more by His loss than the martyrs suffered amid the most cruel tortures.”

Practice

In meditating on this sorrow of Mary, we ought to remember how indifferent so many Christians are after having lost God by sin. They feel no compunction, no sorrow at having offended Him, and yet they can weep at the loss of a trifle; they shed copious tears when their will is crossed, or when they receive a deserved reprimand; but for the loss of their God they have not a tear. They have lost Him, perhaps years ago, and never make the least effort to find Him. Pray to the sorrowful Mother that she preserve you from such a deplorable fate!

Prayer of the Church

Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord Jesus Christ, that the most blessed Virgin Mary, Thy Mother, may intercede for us before the throne of Thy mercy, now and at the hour of our death, through whose most holy soul, in the hour of Thine own passion, the sword of sorrow passed. Through Thee, Jesus Christ, Savior of the world, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, for ever and ever. Amen.

Servite Rosary

Learn how to pray here

Ejaculation

Mother of Sorrows, queen of martyrs, pray for us!

Let us pray.

Vouchsafe, O Lord, that we may be helped by the merits of Thy most holy Mother’s spouse; that what of ourselves we cannot obtain may be given us through his intercession. Who livest and reignest, world without end. Amen.


September 10

Fourth Sorrow: Mary meets Jesus on His Way to Calvary

Preparatory Prayer 

Bid me bear, O Mother blessed,
On my heart the wounds impressed
Suffered by the Crucified!

Meditation

The time was at hand when mankind’s redemption was to be accomplished. Already the divine Victim of our sins is bearing the instrument of our salvation. Torn by the cruel scourging, crowned with thorns, and covered with blood He proceeds on His way to Calvary, and in this pitiful condition meets His blessed Mother. What a spectacle, what a sight for a Mother such as Mary! Anxious to look upon her, and with one fond glance to thank her for her heroic, unselfish love, He made an effort to change His bowed position beneath the cross, feebly raised His head, and directed toward her one loving glance of ineffable anguish, mingled with grateful recognition and humble resignation. Then the sad procession moves on, Mary following her divine Son on His way to death.

Practice

We, By our sins, placed into the hands of the Jews and executioners the weapons by which Jesus suffered, and thus we thrust the sword of sorrow into Mary’s heart. We repeat this, in a certain sense, as often as we commit a grievous sin, because we thereby number ourselves among those whom the Apostle describes as “crucifying again to themselves the Son of God, and making Him a mockery.” (Heb. vi. 6) Cardinal Hugo writes: “Sinners crucify, as far as is in them, Christ our Lord, because they repeat the cause of His crucifixion.” Doing this, we thrust anew the sword of sorrow into Mary’s heart. Let this consideration fill us with hatred for and fear of sin.

Prayer of the Church

Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord Jesus Christ, that the most blessed Virgin Mary, Thy Mother, may intercede for us before the throne of Thy mercy, now and at the hour of our death, through whose most holy soul, in the hour of Thine own passion, the sword of sorrow passed. Through Thee, Jesus Christ, Savior of the world, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, for ever and ever. Amen.

Servite Rosary

Learn how to pray here

Ejaculation

Mother of Sorrows, queen of martyrs, pray for us!

Let us pray.

Vouchsafe, O Lord, that we may be helped by the merits of Thy most holy Mother’s spouse; that what of ourselves we cannot obtain may be given us through his intercession. Who livest and reignest, world without end. Amen.


September 11

Fifth Sorrow: Crucifixion and Death of Jesus

Preparatory Prayer 

Bid me bear, O Mother blessed,
On my heart the wounds impressed
Suffered by the Crucified!

Meditation

At the crucifixion of Jesus the soul of Mary was plunged into a sea of sorrow when she stood three hours under the cross. Writhing in excruciating pain, the Son of God hung upon the tree of disgrace and infamy, yet Mary continued to stand at its foot, tearful, grieving, yet persevering, filled with anguish because she could do nothing to help Him. Another great sorrow befell the heart of Mary when she slowly withdrew her tearful gaze from the face of Jesus, and cast her weeping eyes upon the cold and indifferent world that lay in darkness around and about Calvary. And yet, “When Jesus therefore had seen His Mother and the disciple standing whom He loved, He saith to His Mother, Woman, behold Thy son. After that He saith to the disciple, Behold thy Mother.” (John xix. 26, 27)

Practice

These words, “Behold thy son, behold thy Mother,” contain and express the mystery of unbounded love, which Jesus has for all mankind, but more especially for the Church, which is appointed and authorized to lead men to salvation. O blessed, O happy bequest! It was not enough for the love of Jesus to have restored heaven to us by His atoning death; He wished also to give us His dearest Mother. And she has always shown herself as such. To each of us individually she was and is a kind and loving Mother. Give thanks to her, bless and praise her for having adopted you as her child, and strive to become worthy of so great a privilege.

Prayer of the Church

Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord Jesus Christ, that the most blessed Virgin Mary, Thy Mother, may intercede for us before the throne of Thy mercy, now and at the hour of our death, through whose most holy soul, in the hour of Thine own passion, the sword of sorrow passed. Through Thee, Jesus Christ, Savior of the world, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, for ever and ever. Amen.

Servite Rosary

Learn how to pray here

Ejaculation

Mother of Sorrows, queen of martyrs, pray for us!

Let us pray.

Vouchsafe, O Lord, that we may be helped by the merits of Thy most holy Mother’s spouse; that what of ourselves we cannot obtain may be given us through his intercession. Who livest and reignest, world without end. Amen.


September 12

Sixth Sorrow: The Body of Jesus Being Taken from the Cross

Preparatory Prayer 

Bid me bear, O Mother blessed,
On my heart the wounds impressed
Suffered by the Crucified!

Meditation

Who can describe the sorrow and anguish of Mary’s heart when the body of Jesus was taken from the cross, when her tearful eyes fell upon His disfigured features! The pure and holy and beauteous form of her Son was a mass of clotted blood and unsightly wounds; and yet, disfigured as it was, there shone in His countenance a clear, calm expression of divine majesty. Now Mary views the wounds of that sacred body; she looks at the gap made in His side by the cruel spear, and can almost see the Sacred Heart of Jesus, all bruised and broken for love of man. Before her vision passes in detail His life and her own. Memory presents to her mind every day and hour of their quiet, happy life at Nazareth. Is it to be wondered, then, that at this bitter moment her sorrow was so great that, as St. Anselm observes, she should have died had she not been sustained by a miracle of divine omnipotence?

Practice

Ought not the contemplation of the sorrows of our blessed Mother confirm us in patience, in resignation to the will of God in our trials and sufferings? If the Son of God said of Himself: “Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and so to enter into His glory?” (Luke xxiv. 26); if the most pure and holy Mother of God, despite her great prerogatives and merits, had to suffer a sorrow so ineffable, do not murmur if the word of Christ is addressed also to you: “And he that taketh not up his cross and followeth Me, is not worthy of Me.” (Matt. x. 38)

Prayer of the Church

Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord Jesus Christ, that the most blessed Virgin Mary, Thy Mother, may intercede for us before the throne of Thy mercy, now and at the hour of our death, through whose most holy soul, in the hour of Thine own passion, the sword of sorrow passed. Through Thee, Jesus Christ, Savior of the world, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, for ever and ever. Amen.

Servite Rosary

Learn how to pray here

Ejaculation

Mother of Sorrows, queen of martyrs, pray for us!

Let us pray.

Vouchsafe, O Lord, that we may be helped by the merits of Thy most holy Mother’s spouse; that what of ourselves we cannot obtain may be given us through his intercession. Who livest and reignest, world without end. Amen.


September 13

Seventh Sorrow: The Burial of Jesus

Preparatory Prayer 

Bid me bear, O Mother blessed,
On my heart the wounds impressed
Suffered by the Crucified!

Meditation

The sacrifice for the redemption of the world was accomplished. “And Joseph, taking the body, wrapt it up in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own new monument, which he had hewed out in a rock. And he rolled a great stone to the door of the monument, and went his way.” (Matt. xxvii. 59) Mary also took part in the burial of her beloved Son, though the evangelists do not mention her name amongst those who were present on that mournful occasion. Never, most assuredly, was human soul visited by such woe and desolation, as that which overwhelmed hers as she cast a last glance on the precious remains of her dead Son.

Practice

Let us learn of the sorrowful Mother at the tomb of her divine Son submission to God’s holy will in all things, but especially when He takes from us one of our dear ones. Again, the contemplation of the sufferings of Mary should fortify us in patience, whenever God is pleased to visit us with a light and small cross of affliction, or even with a sorrow that causes our heart to bleed. It should inspire us with a filial confidence in Mary, who thus suffered for us and gave her divine Son for our salvation. We can and ought to prove our love for her, not by sentimental feelings of affection, but by a sincere hatred of sin and great fervor in the service of her divine Son.

Prayer of the Church

Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord Jesus Christ, that the most blessed Virgin Mary, Thy Mother, may intercede for us before the throne of Thy mercy, now and at the hour of our death, through whose most holy soul, in the hour of Thine own passion, the sword of sorrow passed. Through Thee, Jesus Christ, Savior of the world, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, for ever and ever. Amen.

Servite Rosary

Learn how to pray here

Ejaculation

Mother of Sorrows, queen of martyrs, pray for us!

Let us pray.

Vouchsafe, O Lord, that we may be helped by the merits of Thy most holy Mother’s spouse; that what of ourselves we cannot obtain may be given us through his intercession. Who livest and reignest, world without end. Amen.


September 14

Reasons Why Mary Had to Suffer

Preparatory Prayer 

Bid me bear, O Mother blessed,
On my heart the wounds impressed
Suffered by the Crucified!

Meditation

The reasons why God permitted Mary to suffer so much may be briefly stated as follows: He did so from His love for Mary and from His love for us. He did so from His love for Mary, because by suffering she merited greater glory in heaven. As Mother of the Crucified she persevered beneath the cross, and now she thrones in heaven as the glorious Mother of the risen Redeemer. Because she shared in His suffering, she now shares His glory. Again, God permitted Mary to suffer because He loved us. If she had not experienced such bitter sorrow, we would not have recourse to her, for whosoever has not suffered himself can not have sympathy with the sufferings of others. Mary knows the pangs of sorrow by experience, and therefore knows also how to console and help us.

Practice

Because she herself drained the most bitter cup of sorrow, Mary is always willing to help those who invoke her aid. But above all she is inclined to help repentant sinners, because she knows how great the price of their redemption was, paid by the blood of her divine Son. She is able to help us, because, after God, she is most powerful; she is most willing to help us, because she loves us, whom God so has loved “as to give His only-begotten Son.” (John iii. 16) Let us, therefore, have recourse to her in all our needs, and we shall experience the power of her help in life and death.

Prayer of the Church

Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord Jesus Christ, that the most blessed Virgin Mary, Thy Mother, may intercede for us before the throne of Thy mercy, now and at the hour of our death, through whose most holy soul, in the hour of Thine own passion, the sword of sorrow passed. Through Thee, Jesus Christ, Savior of the world, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, for ever and ever. Amen.

Servite Rosary

Learn how to pray here

Ejaculation

Mother of Sorrows, queen of martyrs, pray for us!

Let us pray.

Vouchsafe, O Lord, that we may be helped by the merits of Thy most holy Mother’s spouse; that what of ourselves we cannot obtain may be given us through his intercession. Who livest and reignest, world without end. Amen.


September 15

Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows

Litany of Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows

Lord, have mercy on us, (Christ, have mercy on us.)
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us, (Christ, graciously hear us.)

God the Father of Heaven, (have mercy on us.)
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, (have mercy on us.)
God the Holy Ghost, (have mercy on us.)
Holy Trinity, One God, (have mercy on us.)

Holy Mary, (* pray for us)
Holy Mother of God, (*)
Holy Virgin of virgins, (*)
Mother crucified, (*)
Sorrowful Mother, (*)
Tearful Mother, (*)
Afflicted Mother, (*)
Forsaken Mother, (*)
Desolate Mother, (*)
Mother bereft of thy Child, (*)
Mother transfixed with the sword, (*)
Mother overwhelmed with grief, (*)
Mother filled with anguish, (*)
Mother crucified in heart, (*)
Mother most sad, (*)
Fountain of tears, (*)
Vial of suffering, (*)
Mirror of patience, (*)
Rock of constancy, (*)
Anchor of confidence, (*)
Refuge of the forsaken, (*)
Shield of the oppressed, (*)
Subduer of the unbelieving, (*)
Comfort of the afflicted, (*)
Medicine of the sick, (*)
Strength of the weak, (*)
Harbour of the wretched, (*)
Calmer of the tempests, (*)
Resource of mourners, (*)
Terror of the treacherous, (*)
Treasure of the faithful, (*)
Eye of the Prophets, (*)
Staff of Apostles, (*)
Crown of Martyrs, (*)
Light of Confessors, (*)
Pearl of Virgins, (*)
Consolation of Widows, (*)
Joy of all Saints, (*)

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, (spare us, O Jesus!)
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, (graciously hear us, O Jesus!)
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, (have mercy on us, O Jesus!)

Look down upon us, deliver us, and save us from all trouble, in the power of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Imprint, O Lady! Thy wounds upon my heart, that I may read therein sorrow and love – sorrow to endure every sorrow for Thee; love to despise every love for Thine. Amen.

How to Pray the Servite Rosary

--

The Servite Rosary owes its origin to the Servite Order founded by the Seven Holy Founders in 1233. From the beginning, they dedicated their lives to Our Lady of Sorrows.

The Servite Rosary is comprised of 7 decades in memory of Mary’s 7 sorrows. It is customary to begin with an Act of Contrition, to call to mind the role our sins had in Mary’s sufferings. At the beginning of each group, the sorrow is announced, followed by an Our Father and seven Hail Marys. At the end of the rosary, we say 3 Hail Marys in honor of Our Lady’s tears.

 

St. Bridget of Sweden received visions wherein the Blessed Mother gave 7 promises to those who meditate on her seven sorrows:

  • “I will grant peace to their families.”
  • “They will be enlightened about the divine Mysteries.”
  • “I will console them in their pains and will accompany them in their work.”
  • “I will give them as much as they ask for as long as it does not oppose the adorable will of my divine Son or the 
  • sanctification of their souls.”
  • “I will defend them in their spiritual battles with the infernal enemy and I will protect them at every instant of their lives.”
  • “I will visibly help them at the moment of their death– they will see the face of their mother.”
  • “I have obtained this grace from my divine Son, that those who propagate this devotion to my tears and dolors
     will be taken directly from this earthly life to eternal happiness, since all their sins will be forgiven and my Son will be their eternal consolation and joy.”

 

Act of Contrition

O my God, I am sorry and beg pardon for all my sins, and detest them above things, because they deserve Thy dreadful punishments, because they have crucified my loving Savior Jesus Christ, and most of all because they offend Thine infinite goodness; and I firmly resolve, by the help of Thy grace, never to offend Thee again, and carefully to avoid the occasions of sin. Amen.

V: Incline, unto my aid, O God.
R: O Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory Be…Alleluia

For the Seven Sorrows of Mary:

Our Father, Hail Mary x7

Verse: Holy Mother, this impart,
Deeply print within my heart,
All the wounds my Savior bore.

 

Ending Prayers

Hail, Holy Queen

Three Hail Marys in Honor of Mary’s Tears:

O Mother of Sorrows, by the tears thou shed, grant that I may weep for my sins: Hail Mary…

O Mother of Sorrows, by the tears thou shed, soften the hardened hearts of sinners: Hail Mary…

O Mother of Sorrows, by the tears thou shed, allow me to make reparation for my sins: Hail Mary…

Our Lady of the Rosary

--

The month of October is dedicated to the Holy Rosary.  If you’re wondering why, it’s important to note that Catholics celebrate the memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary on October 7th.  We’ll discuss why we celebrate this feast on this day, but first, it’s important to understand what the rosary is.

 

A HISTORY OF THE ROSARY

While many credit St. Dominic, founder of the Dominican Order, with the invention of the rosary, there are earlier variations of the prayer.  In early Christian tradition, monks would pray the Our Father 150 times using a string of beads.  The laity adopted and adapted this practice, usually saying 50 Our Fathers instead 150.

The Hail Mary prayer, which was constructed over the course of a thousand years, is the rosary’s main prayer.  In the late 6th century, Pope St. Gregory the Great asked the people to pray an earlier version of the Hail Mary on the 4th Sunday of Advent.  The laity applied the same form of repetition to this prayer as they did to the Our Father.  When the final version of the Hail Mary was approved at the Council of Trent in 1568, this form was used in the rosary.

During his time in France, St. Dominic encountered the Albigensians – a group of people who rejected the Incarnation and the sacraments.  He received a vision from the Blessed Mother, asking that the rosary be said to combat the heresy.  Thus, St. Dominic preached the use of the rosary we know today.  Because of his devotion, this form is often referred to as the “Dominican rosary.”

In 1917, the Blessed Mother appeared to three children in Fatima, Portugal.  In one of the apparitions, she introduced the Fatima Prayer and asked that it be added to the end of each decade. 

The rosary has been referred to as a powerful weapon against the devil, one of the most cherished Catholic prayers, and the prayer of the saints.  It is a prayer that inspires us physically, mentally, and spiritually.  Physically, because we focus our hands and voices on the prayers.  Mentally, because we meditate on the mysteries of Christ and the truths revealed by Him.  Spiritually, because we grow in holiness when we say the rosary piously.  

 

BATTLE OF LEPANTO

The 16th century was a difficult time for the Catholic Church.  The religious upheaval promulgated by the Protestant Reformation weakened the Church significantly.  The Ottoman Empire, which was the seat of Islamic power, saw the perfect opportunity to conquer the Mediterranean.  Perhaps the only person concerned about this threat was Pope St. Pius V.  He assembled a fleet of Christian territories including Spain, the Papal States, and Venice.  Together, they were known as The Holy League, commanded by Juan D’Austria, one of Spain’s best military minds.  After the Ottomans laid siege to Cyprus, a Venetian territory, The Holy League decided to strike.  Outnumbered, but not outgunned, the Catholic armada met the Turks in battle on the morning of October 7th.  Both sides suffered heavy losses, but The Holy League emerged victorious.  The turning point of the battle occurred when 12,000 Christian slaves, who had been forced to row the Turks’ ships, revolted against their captors.  The Turks suffered a great defeat and though the Ottoman Empire survived beyond the Battle of Lepanto, it marked a huge victory for the Christian resistance to Muslim conquest.

 

OUR LADY OF VICTORY

They say wars are not won on the battlefield.  This could not be more true for the Battle of Lepanto.  After assembling The Holy League, Pope St. Pius V ordered Rome’s churches to be opened day and night for prayer.  He petitioned the faithful to pray the rosary and ask for the Blessed Mother’s intercession.  When word of victory reached the pope, he credited it to the Blessed Mother and declared October 7th the Feast of Our Lady of Victory.  The name was later changed to Our Lady of the Rosary. 

Some refer to the Battle of Lepanto as the Day Our Lady Saved Christendom.  Indeed, it is because of the rosary that she interceded.  Pope Pius IX said, “Among all the devotions approved by the Church none has been so favored by so many miracles as the devotion of the Most Holy Rosary.”

 

HOW TO CELEBRATE THE MONTH OF THE HOLY ROSARY

Now is the perfect time to commit to saying the rosary daily.  Here are some other ideas:

  1. Make rosaries with your children and have them blessed.
  2. Invite a Pilgrim Virgin statue into your home.  For more information on this, please call the Parish Office.
  3. Attend Mass on October 7th, the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, and on October 13th, the day of Mary’s final visit to Fatima.
  4. Share this devotion with others!

Divine Mercy: Understanding God’s Message

--

Ciao. My name is Crystal and I am the Religious Education Director at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Denver. I want to share with you something that is very near and dear to my heart: Divine Mercy.

I had never heard of Divine Mercy until a few years ago when my mother-in-law was visiting from Italy. She gave me a pamphlet about Saint Maria Faustina and her visions of hell. This pamphlet was in Italian so I had to ask my husband to translate it for me. As he was reading, I was mesmerized and set out to learn more about this nun and her writings. I didn’t know where to begin and, as often times happens to me, God showed me the way. About the same time, a couple of books had been donated to the Religious Education program and, among those donated books, was a copy of Saint Faustina’s Diary. I took the diary home and began to read. I could not put it down. I read it from cover to cover and bought my own copy and just about everything else I could get my hands on about Saint Faustina and Divine Mercy. As you can imagine, I have quite a collection. In the pages of that diary, I found the limitless love and mercy God has for each of us, especially those most unworthy of His mercy. Now, I already know God is merciful and that His love is limitless. After all, His only Son died on the cross for all of us, but there is something about the words Jesus instructed Saint Faustina to write that is awe-inspiring. I fell in love with Divine Mercy.

 

A Brief History

Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska was born in Poland in August 1905 to a poor family. She had only a third grade education when she became a nun. Mother Superior of the convent where she lived said, “She [Saint Faustina] was no one special with no discernible qualities.” In fact, the other nuns living with her often ridiculed her and labeled her as lazy. No one knew that Jesus had chosen Saint Faustina to be His secretary and that He would appear to her and instruct her to keep a diary that would bring His Divine Mercy to a very troubled world. Saint Faustina recorded her mission in that diary, wrote down all of our Lord’s wishes, and described the encounters between her soul and Him. Consumed by tuberculosis and innumerable sufferings, which she offered for poor sinners, Saint Faustina died in Cracow at the age of 33 on October 5, 1938.

Even before her death, devotion to Divine Mercy began to spread and became a refuge for those caught up in World War II. In 1941, a priest brought Divine Mercy to the United States; but, as was foretold in Saint Faustina’s diary in 1959, the Church banned devotion to Divine Mercy. Twenty years later however, the ban was lifted thanks in large part to the Archbishop of Cracow, Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, who later became Saint Pope John Paul II, also known as the Divine Mercy Pope. Saint Pope John Paul II would canonize Saint Faustina on April 30, 2000. That day just happened to be the second Sunday of Easter. He announced that the second Sunday of Easter would be celebrated as Divine Mercy Sunday throughout the universal church. Divine Mercy is now celebrated on the Sunday after Easter as our Lord requested.

Receiving Graces

I believe that our Lord, in His great mercy, is giving us yet another opportunity to reconcile with Him. Divine Mercy Sunday is that opportunity. Jesus promises that those of us who participate on that day will receive great graces and forgiveness of sins. To prepare ourselves for Divine Mercy we must do the following:

  1. Repent for all our sins and make a good Confession before that Sunday. Review your sins and express true sorrow for those sins, hatred of those sins, and a firm resolution not to sin again. A great way to accomplish this is to review the Ten Commandments. Remember, actual sin is the sin we ourselves commit. There are two kinds of actual sin, venial and mortal. Venial sins are those sins that we sometimes commit without thought. An example would be a white lie. A mortal sin is very serious and should be confessed immediately. A mortal sin involves the knowledge that one is about to commit a serious sin, one has sufficient understanding of what is about to happen, and one has the freedom of will and acts of one’s own accord. Next, we go into the confessional or face-to-face with a priest and confess those sins we have committed. Another thing to remember is that Jesus is present during Confession. Once sins have been confessed and an act of contrition is made, the priest will grant absolution (forgiveness) and give penance. Penance is an act which we do after leaving the confessional to show God we are truly sorry for our sins and that we will make every effort not to sin again.
     
  2. Receive Holy Communion on Divine Mercy Sunday. This must be a worthy Communion, meaning a good Confession has taken place prior to receiving Jesus. It is also accompanied by complete trust in Divine Mercy.
     
  3. Venerate the image of the Divine Mercy. Our Lord appeared to Saint Faustina in a vision clothed in a white garment with His right hand raised in blessing. His left hand was touching His garment near His heart, from which two large rays came forth, one red and the other white. Our Lord said to Faustina, “Paint an image according to the pattern you see here with the signature: Jesus, I trust in you. I promise the soul that will venerate this image will not perish” (Diary 47, 48). Saint Faustina then asked what the two rays meant. Jesus replied, “The white beam represents the water that cleanses and purifies the soul, the red, the blood that gives new life to souls” (Diary 299).  To venerate simply means to perform some act or make some gesture of deep religious respect toward the object because of the person it represents – in this case, our most merciful Savior.
     
  4. Be merciful to others through actions, words, and prayers. Our Lord’s promise to us on the feast of Divine Mercy is that He will grant complete forgiveness of sin and punishment. His exact words are, “The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion will obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment” (Diary 699).

 

The Chaplet of Divine Mercy

Jesus also requested that we pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet, which can be prayed on regular rosary beads. This is a powerful chaplet! Saint Faustina once had a vision of an angel sent by God to punish a certain city. She began to pray for mercy, but her prayers were powerless. Suddenly, she saw the Holy Trinity and felt the power of Jesus’ grace within her. At the same time, she found herself pleading with God for mercy with words she heard internally: “Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and the Blood, Soul and Divinity of your dearly beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world. For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.” (Diary 474-476). As she continued to pray this prayer, the angel became powerless and could not carry out the deserved punishment. In fact, Jesus asks us to pray this chaplet and meditate on His passion at 3:00pm each day. Jesus said, “This is the hour of great mercy, in this hour I will refuse nothing to the soul that makes a request on Me in virtue of My Passion” (Diary 1320).

 

 

Conclusion

All that is required of us to obtain God’s great mercy is to want it, to ask for it, and above all, to trust in His Divine Mercy. Jesus waits for us! We should not ever be afraid to approach Jesus and ask for His mercy. No matter what we’ve done, He is willing to forgive us if only we ask for it with a pure heart. Many parishes are celebrating Divine Mercy Sunday with the recitation of the Chaplet, Mass, and Confession. Here at Our Lady of Mount Carmel, we will sing the Chaplet at 6:30am on Sunday April 28th followed by our 7:00am Mass. It is my hope that all will take advantage of God’s love and mercy by attending a celebration. I ask God to bless you and keep you always in His constant care and protection. Thank you.

– Crystal Peccia, DRE

The Three Pillars of Lent

--

Lent is a time for spiritual reflection and growth.  After Jesus was baptized, he retreated to the desert for 40 days.  He spent this time fasting and praying, all while being tempted by Satan.  Lent is a period of unity with Jesus and His time in the desert.  Just as Jesus prepared for His upcoming ministry and eventual crucifixion, so also do we prepare for Easter, one of the most important feasts in the Church.

The three pillars of Lent are: fasting, prayer, and almsgiving.  During His time in the desert, Satan tempted Jesus three times.  Each temptation is related to one of the three Lenten pillars.  The first temptation took aim at humanity’s most basic need – food.  Fasting for 40 days assuredly left Jesus weak with hunger.  Satan said, “If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread” (Matthew 4:3).  Jesus, however, could not be phased by Satan’s silver tongue and replied, “It is written, that Man liveth not by bread alone, but by every word of God” (Matthew 4:4).  Satan’s attempted assault on Jesus’ bodily senses had failed.  

Fasting and abstinence from meat help us understand Jesus’ words.  During Lent, Jesus calls us to resist earthly temptations and instead, seek the spiritual food provided by God and live by it.

For the second temptation, Satan tried to weaken Jesus’ spirit.  He took Jesus to the pinnacle of the temple and said, “If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down, for it is written: That he hath given his angels charge over thee, and in their hands shall they bear thee up, lest perhaps thou dash thy foot against a stone” (Matthew 4:6).  Jesus did, in fact, have the protection of the angels and if He willed it, they would have saved Him.  But Jesus simply responded with a quote from Deuteronomy: “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God” (6:16).  Jesus would not willingly put Himself in danger and then call upon the Lord to save Him.  Such a thing would compromise His relationship with God.

Satan tempts us in the same way every day.  He leads us to a near occasion of sin and encourages us to commit that sin.  When we do, we often expect God to save us from the consequences.  Someone can cheat on his/her spouse for years and then expect God to save his/her marriage.  Basically, instead of jumping and asking God to rescue us, don’t jump.  Avoiding the near occasion of sin is difficult, but through prayer, we strengthen our resolve and in effect, our relationship with God.  Prayer should be the central focus of Lent because without it, Lent only becomes a test of willpower. 

The last temptation involved earthly glory and riches.  Satan gave Jesus a vision of all the world’s kingdoms and said to Him, “All these will I give thee, if falling down thou wilt adore me” (Matthew 4:9).  Again, Jesus resisted.  He was to be the King of Kings, but only by dying on the Cross.  Satan offered an easy way out.  But Jesus remained humble and replied, “Begone, Satan: for it is written, The Lord thy God shalt thou adore, and him only shalt thou serve” (Matthew 4:10).

Often times, we compromise our relationship with God in pursuit of earthly pleasures and achievements.  The lure of power and prestige is difficult to ignore, but it is written, “The meek shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:4).  At the end of it all, what do we really want?  Eternal life with God in Heaven or a fleeting earthly life of glory and riches?  Almsgiving refers to an act of charity, which can come in the form of time, talent, or treasure.  Acts of charity produce humility and with humility, we can resist damaging our relationship with God at the expense of earthly pleasures just as Jesus did.

In recognizing and practicing these three pillars, we can have a fruitful Lent and become better Catholics at the end of it.

 

A GUIDE TO OUR EVENTS DURING LENT

We invite you to join us for these special Lenten events:

 

Soup and Stations Fridays during Lent: 12pm in the Church

On Fridays during Lent, we remember Jesus’ walk to Golgotha with mediation. We provide a soup lunch in the Parish Office, followed by the Stations of the Cross and Benediction in the Church.

 

Via Matris Wednesdays: After the 8am Mass

The Via Matris or “The Way of the Mother” is similar to the Stations of the Cross. Instead, we meditate on the Seven Sorrows of Mary. This is a Servite tradition that has been practiced for centuries.

 

St. Joseph’s Table March 21, 2020: 4pm – 7pm in the Parish Hall and March 22, 2020: 12pm – 2pm in the Parish Hall

Around St. Joseph’s Feast Day, we honor Saint Joseph with a modest Lenten meal. It is a traditional Italian celebration of food, thanksgiving, and sharing. All monetary donations received are given to the poor.
 

La Desolata April 3, 2020: 7pm in the Church

We commemorate the Seven Sorrows of Mary with music and meditations. The choir sings the Oratorio, composed exclusively for us by Jesuit Father A.S. Dimichino. This is a beautiful tradition among the order that staffs our parish – The Order of the Servants of Mary, otherwise known as the Servite friars.
 

Lenten Penance Service April 4, 2020: 3:15pm in the Church

Lent is a time of reflection and repentance for sin, making it the perfect time to reconcile with God and heal your soul. A penance service offers additional meditations and a communal feeling.

 

Daily Mass M-F, 1st and 2nd Saturdays of the month: 8am

Attending Mass is one of the best ways to transform our souls and heal our wounds. Receiving Christ in the Eucharist not only gives us strength to overcome sin, but it also helps us through the day. During the penitential season of Lent, Daily Mass is the perfect way to strengthen our relationship with God.

Our Lady of Sorrows

--

 

September 15th is the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. The Servites introduced this feast in order to intensify devotion to Our Lady’s Sorrows. 

This feast is dedicated to the spiritual martyrdom of Mary, Mother of God, and her compassion with the sufferings of her Divine Son, Jesus. In her suffering as co-redeemer, she reminds us of the tremendous evil of sin and shows us the way of true repentance.

 

HISTORY & SIGNFICANCE

Five years after the Seven Holy Founders created the Servite Order, they chose the Sorrowful Mother standing at the foot of the Cross as their main devotion.  St. Alphonsus Ligouri explains why in his book, The Glories of Mary: Our Lady appeared to seven of her servants “with a black garment in her hand, and told them that if they wished to please her, they should often meditate upon her dolors (sorrows).”  These seven became the founder of Servants of Mary, the Servites.

There were several devotions to Mary’s Sorrows, though under various titles.  In 1668, The Holy See granted the Servites a feast in honor of Our Lady of Sorrows to be celebrated on September 15th after the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (Sept. 14th) – an obvious connection.  It wasn’t until 1817 when Pope Pius VII — suffering grievously in exile, but finally liberated by Mary’s intercession — extended the feast to the universal Church.

The Servites also created two of the most well-known devotions to Our Lady of Sorrows: the Rosary of the Seven Sorrows and the Black Scapular of the Seven Dolors of Mary.  The Rosary of the Seven Sorrows, also called the Servite Rosary or Seven Dolor Rosary, consists of seven groups of seven beads separated by a medal depicting Mary’s Seven Sorrows.  There are also three beads and a medal that precede the first meditation.  These beads represent Mary’s tears.  For information on how to pray the Servite Rosary, click here

The Black Scapular of the Seven Dolors of Mary originated from a vision of the Blessed Mother herself.  The following is an excerpt from the Catholic Information Network:

 

“We wear the scapular to indicate that we place ourselves under the special protection of the Blessed Virgin. We can tell to what army or nation a soldier belongs by the uniform he wears; so we can consider the scapular as the particular uniform of those who desire to serve the Blessed Virgin in some special manner. This wearing of the brown scapular is therefore a mark of special devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. As it was first introduced among people by the Carmelite Fathers, or priests of the Order of Mount Carmel, this Scapular is called the Scapular of Mount Carmel. We have also a red scapular in honor of Our Lord’s Passion; a white one in honor of the Holy Trinity; a blue one in honor of the Immaculate Conception; and a black one in honor of the seven dolors of sorrows of the Blessed Virgin. When all these are joined together (not in one piece, but at the top only) and worn as one, they are called the five scapulars.”

 

Thus, both the Black and Brown Scapular are important to the Servite Order.

Another devotion instituted by Servites is the Via Matris, the Way of the Mother.  Much like the Via Crucis (Way of the Cross), the Via Matris allows the faithful to take a spiritual pilgrimage by contemplating Our Lady’s Seven Sorrows.  Here at Mt. Carmel, we pray the Via Matris Wednesdays during Lent.

 

HER SORROWS

As Mary stood at the foot of the Cross on which Jesus hung, the sword of sorrow pierced her soul as Simeon had foretold. The Seven Sorrows of Mary are:

  1. The Prophecy of Simeon (Luke 2:25-35)
  2. The Flight into Egypt (Matthew 2:13-15)
  3. Loss of the Child Jesus for Three Days (Luke 2:41-50)
  4. Mary Meets Jesus on His Way to Calvary (Luke 23:27-31; John 19:17)
  5. Crucifixion and Death of Jesus (John 19:25-30)
  6. The Body of Jesus Being Taken from the Cross (Psalm 130; Luke 23:50-54; John 19:31-37)
  7. The Burial of Jesus (Isaiah 53:8; Luke 23:50-56; John 19:38-42; Mark 15:40-47)

 

NOVENA

The Novena to Our Lady of Sorrows begins 9 days prior to September 15th.  We call to mind the sorrows that our Blessed Mother endured during her life. We live in a valley of tears, until we reach our heavenly homeland, and so we ask our Lady to intercede for us.

She suffered greatly and can console us in our sufferings, obtaining for us grace from God. 

 

Intro Prayer (to be said each day)
O sorrowful Mother, I turn to you in total trust. You suffered the sharpest pains in life, watching your Son die upon the Cross, and yet you remained by Him to the end.

Look with favor upon me, a poor sinner, and obtain for me from your Son all the graces I need to endure the sufferings God allows me to face.

 

 

 

 

 

Daily Novena Prayers
Day 1:

On the Cross her Son was dying.
Mary stood beneath Him crying,
Sharing in His saving cross.
As He hangs, her soul is grieving,
and a sword her heart is cleaving
and she weeps the bitter loss.

O Mother of Sorrows, through thy First Sorrow, the Prophecy of Holy Simeon, intercede for me with the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and grant me the favor I implore (mention request here).

 

Day 2:

O, the sad, afflicted Mother
of the Son beyond all others:
only Son of God most high.
Full of grief, her heart is aching;
watching Him, her body, quaking,
trembles as her offspring dies.

O Mother of Sorrows, through thy Second Sorrow, the Flight into Egypt, intercede for me with the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and grant me the favor I implore (mention request here).

Day 3:

Who would see Christ’s mother crying
at the bitter crucifying
without tears of sympathy?
Who could see her depth of feeling —
thoughts of many hearts revealing —
and not share her agony?

O Mother of Sorrows, through thy Third Sorrow, the Loss of the Child Jesus, intercede for me with the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and grant me the favor I implore (mention request here).

Day 4:

Pardon for our sins entreating,
She saw Him endure the beating.
All our guilt on Him was cast.
She stood by in contemplation
When her Son, in desolation
Breathed His spirit forth at last.

O Mother of Sorrows, through thy Fourth Sorrow, meeting thy Jesus on His Way to Calvary, intercede for me with the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and grant me the favor I implore (mention request here).

Day 5:

Font of love, O Blessed Mother,
lend me tears to mourn my Brother.
Never let my ardor dim.
Let my heart be burning freely,
Christ my God be pleased to see me
all on fire with love for Him.

O Mother of Sorrows, through thy Fifth Sorrow, standing beneath thy dying Son on Mt. Calvary, the Flight into Egypt, intercede for me with the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and grant me the favor I implore (mention request here).

Day 6:

This I ask, O Holy Mary,
that His wounds I too may carry:
fix them deeply in my heart.
Mine the burden He was bearing;
let me in His pain be sharing;
of His suffering take a part.

O Mother of Sorrows, through thy Sixth Sorrow, thy Jesus is laid in thy Arms, intercede for me with the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and grant me the favor I implore (mention request here).

Day 7:

Let me join in your lamenting,
through my life weep unrelenting
tears for Jesus Crucified.
Let me stand and share your weeping,
all the day death’s vigil keeping,
glad to stand close by your side.

O Mother of Sorrows, through thy Seventh Sorrow, the Burial of thy Jesus, intercede for me with the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and grant me the favor I implore (mention request here).

Day 8:

Queen of all the virgin choir,
judge me not when I aspire
your pure tears to emulate.
Let me share in Christ’s affliction —
death by bitter crucifixion —
and His wounds commemorate.

We give God thanks for the exaltation of His holy Cross, and ask dear Mother of Sorrows that you pray for us (mention request here).

Day 9:

Let me taste the pains He offered,
drunk with love for Him who suffered.
May His wounds become my own.
On the day of Christ’s returning
may my heart be lit and burning.
Virgin, aid me at His throne.

May His Cross be interceding
and His death my vict’ry pleading.
May He hold me in His grace.
When my flesh by death is taken,
may my soul to glory waken
and in heaven take a place. Amen.

Blessed Mother, on this last day of our novena to you we entrust ourselves to your heart, pierced with love for your Divine Son (mention request here).

 

Concluding Prayer for each day
The Memorare
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help or sought your intercession, was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto you, O Virgin of Virgins, my Mother. To you do I come, before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in your clemency, hear and answer me. Amen.

Understanding the Sacrament of Confession

--

What is it?

It is one of the Seven Sacraments of the Catholic Church in which sins are forgiven. It involves three elements: confession, penance, and reconciliation. In confession, the penitent makes a verbal admission of his/her sins. Afterwards, the priest absolves the penitent’s sins and asks him/her to perform an act of reparation or penance for the sin committed. Finally, the penitent is reconciled with God and the church.

Why is Confession important?

It’s no exaggeration to say that we are all sinners. At it’s core, sin damages our relationship with God, with others, and with ourselves. With a good confession, this damage can be repaired by God’s infinite love and forgiveness. Not only that, but through this Sacrament, we receive the grace to resist sin and we learn humility by having to confess our mistakes to another person. In addition, confession better prepares us to receive the Holy Eucharist! 

Where did this Sacrament come from?

The origin of Confession can be traced back to the New Testament. In Matthew 3:2, John the Baptist shouts, “Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand!” Jesus Christ continued to spread this message by forgiving the sins of people He encountered. Recall the woman who was caught in the act of adultery (John 8). After saving her from being stoned, Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, [and] from now on do not sin any more” (John 8:11). Even after Jesus’ Resurrection, He told the Apostles to preach repentance for the forgiveness of sins in His name to all the nations (Luke 24:47).

How do I make a good Confession?

A good Confession is humble, sincere, and complete. In order to be humble, we must be willing to accuse ourselves of sin with deep sorrow for hurting our Lord (perfect contrition). To be sincere, we must tell all of our sins honestly without exaggerating or excusing them. To be complete, we must confess all of our sins, including the number of times we committed each one.

How should I prepare for Confession?

Before entering the confessional, it’s a good idea to prayerfully examine your conscience. Some review their behavior by the Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes, or by the Seven Deadly Sins. However, we shouldn’t only focus on how we broke God’s “rules,” but also on how we have damaged our relationship with God and others and how we hurt ourselves. The Internet has many excellent resources for examining one’s conscience. Here is a great one to help you get started:

Examination of Conscience

There are also some great resources available on our Parish App.  Click here to download the app.

Why do I have to confess my sins to a priest?

It’s true that only God has the power to forgive sins; however, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit upon His apostles, giving them God’s power to forgive sins. He told them that whatever sins they forgive are forgiven and whatever sins they retain are retained (Jn 20:21-23; Mk 2:7). Since the apostles were unable to read minds, the only way they would know which to forgive and which to retain is if people told them their sins. Jesus thus established the essential structure of the sacrament of confession. Just as He uses priests to give us His Body and Blood at Mass so He uses them to give us His mercy in Penance.

How often should I go to Confession?

As Catholics, we have a duty to receive this Sacrament at least once a year. If you have committed a mortal sin, it is important that you get to Confession right away! Once a month is recommended to grow in holiness.

When can I go to Confession?

Anytime! We offer Confession every Saturday from 3:30pm – 4:00pm or by appointment. During Advent and Lent, we offer penance services as well.  You may also call the Parish Office at 303-455-0447 to schedule an appointment.

Why Bazaar Season is So Important

--

For many of us, summer is bazaar season.  Catholic churches across the Denver metro area and beyond host 3-day feasts with food, games, and rides.  Coloradans consider our bazaar in particular a yearly celebration of Italian-American culture.  Italians built our parish back in the late 1800s in an area of north Denver formerly known as Little Italy.  We are proud of our Italian heritage and it shows during our annual Bazaar.  

The Italian colors are everywhere, from our posters to our booths wherein we peddle a host of Italian goods – salamis, cheese, bowls, and more.  Above the din of the crowd, you’ll hear our musician singing, “Volare,” and “That’s Amore,” taking us back to the glory days of Italian-American crooners.  Symbols of Italy are everywhere, but nothing is as prominent as the food.  In true Italian-American style, there is enough to feed an army and then some .  We serve sausage sandwiches, pizza frittas, meatball subs, gelato, pizza, etc.  The list goes on.  

image

Our typical Bazaar crowd

There’s no doubt that our Bazaar is completely and undeniably Italian.  However, does anyone ever wonder why we have a Bazaar?  Is it to celebrate our Italian heritage?  Is it to raise funds for the church?  Is it simply a summer tradition?  The answer is yes to all, but that only answers what our Bazaar is.  The real, more important question is why do we celebrate every year around the 16th of July?  What is so special about this particular day, that we would plan our biggest church event around it?  

The answer to that lies in what we are.  First and foremost, we are a Catholic church, whose mission is proclaim and live the Gospel.  July 16th is the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, our namesake and patroness.  Back in the 13th century, the Blessed Virgin appeared to St. Simon Stock, holding the baby Jesus in one arm and the brown scapular in the other.  St. Simon Stock had been a member of the Carmelite Order and was living with a group of hermits on Mount Carmel.  At the time, the Carmelites faced persecution and oppression from its fellow clergy and they turned to the Blessed Mother for help.  She appeared to him on July 16, 1251, the day that would eventually become her feast day.  Our Lady gave St. Simon Stock the Brown Scapular with the following promise, “This shall be to thee and to all Carmelites a privilege, that whosoever dies clothed in this shall never suffer eternal fire.”  Since then, the Brown Scapular has been one of the most popular and celebrated of Roman Catholic devotions.

image

Our Lady giving St. Simon Stock the Brown Scapular

Fast forward to 1904.  Our church was just rebuilt after being destroyed by a fire and was ready to be dedicated.  Mother Cabrini advised Bishop Matz to invite the Servites, an Italian-American order based in Chicago, to tend the new parish.  The Servites, more formally known as the Order of the Servants of Mary, are known for their staunch devotion to the Blessed Mother.  Thus, the order proved to be a perfect match for our parish.  It’s a blessing that the Servites continue to staff our parish 112 years later.

Although the community has come to know our annual Bazaar as an Italian summer fest, it’s important to remember the why.  Our Bazaar is a celebration of our patron’s feast day – the Lady of Carmel.  In fact, on the 3rd day of the Bazaar, we honor our mother, Mary, with a procession through the streets of north Denver in which we carry her statue and recite the rosary, much like churches in Italy do.  Back in the early days of our parish, masses of people participated in the procession.  It was not only an impressive testament to our faith, but a shining example of the verse, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 18: 20).  Unfortunately, the purpose of the Bazaar has since been forgotten and the procession hasn’t been what it once was.  Only a few faithful remain who remember the reason for the Bazaar.

image

The Procession circa 1922

Therefore, I urge every parishioner, every Catholic, every person who loves and attends our Annual Bazaar to understand why we do it.  It is not simply an Italian feast, a church fundraiser, or a summer tradition.  It is a tribute to the Blessed Mother, our patron and treasured intercessor.  It is done in thanksgiving to her for the Brown Scapular and to pray for her intercession.  

I challenge you all to think about this every time you attend a church Bazaar.  Nearly every Catholic church in the Denver metro area and across Colorado hosts their Bazaar around their patron’s feast day.  Take the time to learn about our patrons.  There is a reason parishes were named after someone/something important in the Catholic faith.  For us, it is because Italians hold a special devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel.  Our church is rooted in the Catholic faith and from that stems our Italian culture.    

Lastly, I invite you all to join us for our Procession.  It is a beautiful custom that is still practiced in Italy today.  It is imperative that we continue this tradition to revive our faith and to preserve our vibrant heritage.

Our Annual Bazaar is July 13th-15th.  July 13th from 6pm to 10pm, July 14th from 5pm to 10pm, and July 15th from 4pm-9pm.  We will have a special Mass to honor Our Lady of Mount Carmel on July 15th at 2pm.  The Procession will follow.  Because of this special Mass, there will NOT be a 9am or 11am Mass on Sunday.

Like us on Facebook for updates:

facebook.com/olmcdenver

Add us on Instagram for live updates and a behind-the-scenes look at special events:

@olmcdenver

Read more about Our Lady of Mount Carmel and the Servite Order:

http://www.servite.org/