Friday, May 30, 2008

Happy Feast Day St. Jehanne d'Arc!

Thank you for all your prayers on behalf of my poor soul. I anxiously await seeing you face to face. Pray that I make it, I entrust myself to your prayers. Amen+

Friday, May 23, 2008

Meditations on Heaven V

"By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible." Hebrews 11:24-27

Again we have an example of how we can avoid evil and perservere in goodness by keeping our mind, eyes, heart and soul on the prize - the prize of Heaven.

To my knowledge there was no other to whom God spoke face to face in the old Covenant. God loved Moses more than all the others - and did Moses have an easy, pain free, untroubled life?? Not hardly. He was tried and suffered continually from the burdens given him in leading the Jews out of Egypt. Despite all his afflictions, he kept his eyes on the reward - the reward of Heaven. Amen+

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Saint Winifred II

Notice the bloody line around her neck in most of them.
St. Winifred ~ Ora pro nobis!

Saint Winifred

St. Winefride/Winifred/Gwenfrewi
Born: Flintshire, Wales
Died: c. 660
Feast Day: November 3

I came across this amazing saint whom I had not heard of before. Go here or here for more of her story. Here's a short version of her life ~ and yes, I'm planning to add a visit to her "Holywell" on my must-do list before I die:

Saint Winefride (called in her native Welsh Gwenfrewi; in modern English Winifred and various variations) was the 7th century daughter of the Welsh nobleman, Tyfid ap Eiludd. She had her head severed from her body by an enraged suitor, Caradog. He was displeased because her religious devotion and a pledge to become a nun caused her to resist his advances.
In one version of this tale, her head rolled downhill, and, where it stopped, a healing spring appeared. These healing waters are now a shrine called
St Winefride's Well in Holywell, the Lourdes of Wales. Saint Winefride's head was subsequently rejoined to her body due to the efforts of her maternal uncle, Saint Beuno, and she was restored to life. She later became a nun and abbess at Gwytherin in Denbighshire, after Caradog, cursed by Beuno, melted into the ground. More elaborate versions of this tale relate many details of her life, including Winefride's pilgrimage to Rome.
In spite of the slim records for this period, there appears to be a historical basis for this personage. Winefride's brother Owain is known to have killed Caradog as revenge for a crime. She succeeded the Abbess, Saint Tenoi, who is believed to be her maternal grand-aunt.
After her death (c. 660) she was interred at her abbey. In 1138 relics were carried to Shrewsbury to form the basis of an elaborate shrine. (This event was woven into A Morbid Taste for Bones, the first of Ellis Peters' Brother Cadfael novels.) The shrine and well became major pilgrimage goals in the Late Middle Ages, but the shrine was destroyed by Henry VIII in 1540.
A well named after St Winifred is in the hamlet of Woolston near Oswestry in Shropshire. It is thought that on her way to Shrewsbury abbey Winifred's body was laid here overnight and a spring sprang up out of the ground. The water is supposed to have healing powers and be good at healing bruises, wounds and broken bones. The well is covered by a 15th century half-timbered cottage. The water flows through a series of stone troughs and into a large pond, which then flows into a stream. The cottage is in a quiet, peaceful setting in the middle of the countryside, and is maintained by the Landmark Trust.
There is also another place where her body was laid and a spring sprang up. Holywell farm midway between Tattenhall and Clutton, Cheshire. There is a spring in the garden of this non working farm which supplies two houses with their drinking water. The water is very tasty.
A Norman church dedicated to Saint Winifred can be found in the village of Branscombe, Devon. There is some archaeological evidence to suggest an earlier Saxon church may have occupied the site.
English poet
Gerard Manley Hopkins memorialized Saint Winefride in his unfinished drama, "St Winefred's Well."
In modern times, St Winefride has been unofficially adopted as the patron saint of unwanted advances, payrolls and payroll clerks.
Retrieved from ""

If anyone out there has ever visited St. Winifred's well, leave a comment and tell us about it!
St. Winefride ~ Pray for us!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

St. Michael the Archangel II


St. Michael ~ Defend us in battle!

Beautiful Mary Holding Jesus

This is a 1950s work in the late medieval style by the King workshop of Norwich at Acle in Norfolk, England. This stained glass image of Our Lady holding the infant Jesus almost got me choked up it is so beautiful - the tender way which Jesus touches her, the regal flowing gown. I know its a bit crude in that medieval style, but stunning at the same time.
Regina Caeli - Ora pro nobis!

Meditations on Heaven IV

"Resurrection of the Flesh" by Luca Signorelli c. 1500

"For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame - who set their mind on earthly things. For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself." Php 3:18-21

When Jesus returns to earth, He will physically raise all the dead, giving them back the bodies they lost at death. These will be the same bodies people had in earthly life—but our resurrected bodies shall never die and, for the elect, shall be place in a glorified state - no more suffering, pain, thirst or hunger. They will be able to do the many amazing things Jesus could do with His glorified body such as walk through walls and disappear.

We must pray, pray and never cease to pray that we may, by God's great mercy, be counted among His elect. May we not be resurrected to eternal suffering and damnation. All souls will be reunited with the body they had on earth - to be taken into Heaven or Hell. Pray for the conversion of sinners and the salvation of souls. The thought of even one person lost forever is an unspeakable tragedy which can never be undone!

Monday, May 19, 2008

St. Agnes

St. Agnes in stained glass at Swanton Morley, Norfolk England. St. Agnes is my daughter's confirmation patron saint. I have entrusted my little one to her care and prayers and I'm counting on Agnes guiding her to Heaven. This is a beautiful depiction of her don't you think?

St. Agnes, ora pro filius meus. Amen+

Harrowing of Hell

"The Harrowing of Hell" by Luca Signorelli in Orvieto Spain, circa 1499.
"And fear ye not them that kill the body, and are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him that can destroy both soul and body in hell." Matthew 10:28

St. Michael the Archangel

This unique image of God's general is found in Bavaria, Germany at the warrior memorial at the St. Michael church in Neunkirchen am Brand.
St. Michael the Archangel - Ora Pro Nobis!

Meditations on Heaven III

Jesus Ascending into Heaven by William Pole
"If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory." Colossians 3:1-4
As we age, the body starts to give out on us. It can be depressing to see the sagging face in the mirror, to bear the aches, pains and fatigues of age. Enduring disease and illness is a difficult trial to say the least. All these sufferings can be borne with patience with God's help and grace if we ask Him. I am of the belief that physical, emotional and spiritual suffering, especially towards the end of life serve the purpose of turning the soul away from the earth to Heaven, from this life to the next.
We have heard said that no earthly attachments may enter Heaven - all must be purified. The Lord gives us these difficult trials as a mercy, a veritable balm for our worldliness. This suffering can also reduce the strong to childlike dependence, often breaking our pride and making us more amenable to God's grace. Let us pray often for the grace to bear our sufferings with patience. Pray not for deliverance from our burdens, but rather a stronger back with which to bear them. Amen+

Friday, May 16, 2008

Meditations on Heaven II

"By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God." Heb 11:8-10

Let us reflect for a bit on the faith of Abraham. He did as the Lord said - period. He picked up and left his homeland, everything he knew. Scripture does not record that he complained, resisted or suffered from an over attachment to worldly things. God spoke to him and he did as he was told. He was even willing to sacrifice his much loved and long awaited son as depicted above.

How does one dwell on earth and be so unattached to the world? I am no theologian, but I think one way is to keep the eyes of your soul continually upon Heaven. Do not think your reward shall be here on earth, but rather in Heaven. Let us walk humbly with our God, strive to accept everything that comes to us as a gift - every suffering, every loss, every anguish as if it is the greatest treasure and thank Him for it. He orders all things to our good. If we ask for our purification here on earth, we will need less in purgatory. Amen+

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Meditations on Heaven I

"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." (Romans 8:18)

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.”
Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."
John 14:1-6

"To the churches of Galatia: Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.+
Ga 1:3-5

During this time of tribulation on the earth, so much suffering and devastation. Let us not fear, but instead cling to the Lord. Heaven is our true home. We cannot enter into Heaven unless we die, therefore death is a gift. Let us pray for those who are dying, for those who have died. Let us pray for the grace to accept our own deaths. Amen+

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Joan of Arc

by Jules Bastien-LePage
In the background is St. Michael the Archangel and to his left is either St. Catherine of Alexandria or St. Margaret, who also appeared to her regularly.
St. Jeanne - Ora pro nobis!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Let us entrust ourselves to Mary's protection

Holy Cards For Your Inspiration: Under Mary's Mantle

Most holy Virgin and Queen of Martyrs, Mary, would that I could be in Heaven,
there to contemplate the honours rendered to thee
by the Most Holy Trinity and by the whole Heavenly Court!
But since I am still a pilgrim in this vale of tears,
receive from me, thy unworthy servant and a poor sinner,
the most sincere homage and the most perfect act of vassalage
a human creature can offer thee. In thy Immaculate Heart,
pierced with so many swords of sorrow, I place today my poor soul forever;
receive me as a partaker in thy dolors, and never suffer that I should depart from that Cross
on which thy only begotten Son expired for me. With thee, O Mary,
I will endure all the sufferings, contradictions, infirmities,
with which it will please thy Divine Son to visit me in this life.
All of them I offer to thee, in memory of the Dolors
which thou didst suffer during thy life, that every thought of my mind,
every beating of my heart may henceforward be an act of compassion to thy Sorrows,
and of complacency for the glory thou now enjoyest in Heaven.
Since then, O Dear Mother, I now compassionate thy Dolors, and rejoice in seeing thee glorified, do thou also have compassion on me, and reconcile me to thy Son Jesus,
that I may become thy true and loyal son (daughter);
come on my last day and assist me in my last agony,
even as thou wert present at the Agony of thy Divine Son Jesus
that from this painful exile I may go to Heaven, there to be made partaker of thy glory.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Mother of Sorrows VI ~ Final

Image - The Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order

A Religious Order Dedicated to the Sorrowful Mother

From the fact that Mary wished to have a religious Order in the Church which would have the veneration of her sorrows as its special object, we may infer how much Mary herself desires us to venerate her dolors. Devotion to the sorrows of Mary has been practiced in the Church at all times. This is proved by numerous passages from the writings of the holy fathers, by prayers, pictorial representations and touching hymns. But God desired that devotion to the sorrows of the Mother of His Son should remain an abiding practice among all the faithful. To accomplish His design, He called into existence an Order whose special object should be to practice and foster devotion to the sorrows of Mary.

The Mother of Sorrows entrusted the establishment of this Order to seven pious noblemen of Florence. In 1223, on Good.Friday, as these men were meditating together on the Passion of Our Lord and the sufferings of His Blessed Mother, Mary appeared to them in heavenly beauty, accompanied by hosts of Angels. Some of the Angels carried the instruments of Our Lord's Passion; others carried black garments in their hands. One of the Angels held a book, the rule of St. Augustine; another held in his right hand a scroll bearing the title of the new Order, "Servants of Mary," in letters of gold, and in his left hand, a palm. The Blessed Virgin invested her servants with the black garment ---- it was the black scapular.

While these Saintly men were enraptured at what they beheld, they heard these words from the lips of the Blessed Virgin: "I have come, my elect servants, to comfort you in reply to your earnest petitions. Behold this garment; wear it in future. The black color should continually remind you of the sorrows which I experienced on this day at the death of my Son. The palm which you behold announces to you the glory that awaits you in Heaven if you serve me faithfully on earth."

The holy founders did as Mary bade them. Their spiritual sons have likewise propagated the devotion to the sorrows of Mary with great zeal. Even persons who are not members of the Order may participate in the merits and good works of its members by being invested with the black scapular of the Order. This scapular is usually included in the so-called fivefold scapular. Many graces and benefits may be gained by devoutly wearing this scapular, but those who wear it must also venerate the sorrows of Mary.

Eternal Father, we offer Thee the Blood, the Passion, and the Death of Jesus Christ, the sorrows of Mary most holy, and of St. Joseph, in satisfaction for our sins, in aid of the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for the needs of holy Mother Church, and for the conversion of sinners. Virgin most sorrowful, pray for us!

The Black Scapular can be obtained here, and here. Buy it, wear it.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Mother of Sorrows V

Image: Crucifixion (fragment) Church at Walburg, Lower Rhine

Special Lovers of Mary Sorrowful

Many Saints have cherished a special love for Mary as the Mother of Sorrows. Saint Ignatius Loyola constantly wore an image of the Sorrowful Mother on his bosom, and venerated her with tender devotion.

Blessed Henry Susso, who cherished a most tender compassion for the Dolorous Mother and meditated often on her sorrows, received wonderful revelations from her own lips. Mary said, among other things: "Consider that all the grief ever endured by a human heart would be as a drop of water to the vast ocean compared to the fathomless grief and anguish that my maternal heart endured at the foot of the Cross!"

Saint Alphonsus Liguori made the sorrows of Mary the subject of his daily meditations and his deepest compassion. When he conducted a mission he usually placed a picture of the Sorrowful Mother beside the pulpit, so that the faithful, by gazing upon it, might devoutly reflect on Mary's sufferings and be encouraged to confide in her merciful intercession. During his sermons he often invoked the Mother of Sorrows and exhorted sinners to turn to her to obtain the grace of sincere conversion. Among his writings are several treatises on the sorrows of Mary.

The Saintly Pope Pius IX nourished a deep devotion to the bitter sufferings of our Savior and those of His Sorrowful Mother. The frequent remembrance of Our Lord and His Mother in their sorrows and sufferings seemed to him an efficacious means of converting sinners, affording them a lasting incentive to contrition, penance and amendment. Therefore [in 1847] he approved a new "Hail Mary" composed in honor of the Dolorous Mother. The prayer is as follows:

"Hail Mary, full of sorrows, the Crucified is with thee; thou art pitiable amongst women, and pitiable is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus! Hail Mary, Mother of the Crucified, implore for us, the crucifiers of thy Son, tears of contrition, now and at the hour of our death. Amen."

(Source: About Devotion to our Mother of Sorrows. Nihil Obstat: Gulielmus J. Blacet, J.C.L. Censor Librorum Imprimatur + Joannes P. Cody, S.T.D. Episcopus Kansanopolitana-Sti. Josephi March 10, 1951)

Friday, May 2, 2008

Mother of Sorrows IV

"Man of Sorrows" by Geertgen tot Sint Jans

Mary's Sorrows Merit Our Grateful Veneration

The sufferings of Mary at the death of her Divine Son rent her heart. Our Lord therefore said to St. Mechtilde: "Greet the heart of My Mother as the most patient of hearts; for it was pierced by thousands of swords, both during My Passion and Death, and afterwards when she remembered these dreadful torments."

For fifteen years after the death of her beloved Son, until her own happy departure, the Passion of Our Lord was renewed over and over again in the heart of the Blessed Virgin. It was revealed to Mary of Agreda that after the ascension of her Son, Mary suffered inexpressibly every Friday, as do certain privileged souls who are favored with the stigmata. All these sufferings Mary endured for love of us.

(Source: About Devotion to Our Mother of Sorrows. Nihil Obstat: Gulielmus J. Blacet, J.C.L. Censor Librorum Imprimatur + Joannes P. Cody, S.T.D. Episcopus Kansanopolitana-Sti. Josephi March 10, 1951)

Thursday, May 1, 2008