The Pope will award an indulgence if you follow from home! Here is the link (below) is the World Youth Day Liturgy so that you can!
The Pope will award an indulgence if you follow from home! Here is the link (below) is the World Youth Day Liturgy so that you can!
Send me your Guardian Angel:
“If you need me and cannot come to visit me, enter in a church, kneel at the Blessed
Sacrament, and send me your Guardian Angel.”
“Send the guardian angel. He doesn’t pay a train ticket and doesn’t consume shoes.”
Guardian Angel lifetime companion:
“My guardian Angel has been my faithful companion since my infancy.”
“When we die, our Guardian Angel will take our soul to heaven.”
“From cradle to grave our Guardian Angel never leaves us alone; not even when we
“Our Guardian Angel never leaves us, even when we are disgusting God with our
“Oh if all men could understand this great gift that God assigned to us; this celestial
“For whoever is alone there is his Guardian Angel.”
“What consolation when, at the moment of death, you will see this Angel,
who accompanied you through life and was so liberal in maternal care. “
Guardian Angel on duty:
“Our Guardian Angel is a great gift from the Providence to us.”
“The duty of the Guardian Angel is not only of spiritual guidance. He also prevents
bodily harm for us.”
“Our Guardian Angel prays constantly for us.”
“Let’s confide to Our Guardian Angel our pains and sorrows. He is like a friend, like
“The angels envy us for one thing only: they cannot suffer for God.”
“Your Guardian Angel prays for you; offers to God all the good works you
accomplish; your holy and pure desires.”
“When you seem to be alone here a friendly soul to whom you can unburden
yourself and in whom you can confide your sorrows.”
“Do not forget this invisible companion, always present to listen to you; always ready
to console you.”
“Invoke often this Guardian Angel, and repeat the beautiful prayer: ‘Oh Angel of
“May the desire to see this inseparable companion incite you to leave this body
“Often remember his presence; thank him; pray to him; Respect him; be in constant
fear of offending the purity of his gaze.”
“The mission of my Guardian Angel Includes explaining me other languages.”
It is said that when twelve years old he began to live as a hermit in the hollow trunk of an oak, and later to have become an itinerant preacher until he entered the Carmelite Order which had just come to England. According to the same tradition he went as a Carmelite to Rome, and from there to Mt. Carmel, where he spent several years. All that is historically certain is that in 1247 he was elected the sixth general of the Carmelites, as successor to Alan, at the first chapter held at Aylesford, England. Notwithstanding his great age he showed remarkable energy as general and did much for the benefit of the order, so that he is justly regarded as the most celebrated of its generals. During his occupancy of the office the order became widely spread in southern and western Europe, especially in England; above all, he was able to found houses in the university cities of that era, as in 1248 at Cambridge, in 1253 at Oxford, in 1260 at Paris and Bologna. This action was of the greatest importance both for the growth of the institution and for the training of its younger members. Simon was also able to gain at least the temporaryapprobation of Innocent IV for the altered rule of the order which had been adapted to European conditions. Nevertheless the order was greatly oppressed, and it was still struggling everywhere to secure admission, either to obtain the consent of thesecular clergy, or the toleration of other orders. In these difficulties, as Guilelmus de Sanvico (shortly after 1291) relates, themonks prayed to their patroness the Blessed Virgin. “And the Virgin Mary revealed to their prior that they were to apply fearlessly to Pope Innocent, for they would receive from him an effective remedy for these difficulties”. The prior followed the counsel of the Virgin, and the order received a Bull or letter of protection from Innocent IV against these molestations. It is an historical fact that Innocent IV issued this papal letter for the Carmelites under date of 13 January, 1252, at Perugia.
Later Carmelite writers give more details of such a vision and revelation. Johannes Grossi wrote his “Viridarium” about 1430, and he relates that the Mother of God appeared to Simon Stock with the scapular of the order in her hand. This scapular she gave him with the words: “Hoc erit tibi et cunctis Carmelitis privilegium, in hoc habitu moriens salvabitur” (This shall be the privilege for you and for all the Carmelites, that anyone dying in this habit shall be saved). On account of this great privilege many distinguished Englishmen, such as King Edward II, Henry, Duke of Lancaster, and many others of the nobility secretly wore (clam portaverunt) the Carmelite scapular under their clothing and died with it on. In Grossi’s narrative, however, the scapular of the order must be taken to mean the habit of the Carmelites and not as the small Carmelite scapular. As was the custom in medieval times among the other orders, the Carmelites gave their habit or at least their scapular to their benefactors and friends of high rank, that these might have a share in the privilege apparently connected with their habit or scapular by the Blessed Virgin. It is possible that the Carmelites themselves at that period wore their scapular at night in a smaller form just as they did at a later date and at the present time: namely, in about the form of the scapular for the present third order. If this is so they could givelaymen their scapular in this form. At a later date, probably not until the sixteenth century, instead of the scapular of the order the small scapular was given as a token of the scapular brotherhood. Today the brotherhood regards this as its chief privilege, and one it owes to St. Simon Stock, that anyone who dies wearing the scapular is not eternally lost. In this way the chiefprivilege and entire history of the little Carmelite scapular is connected with the name of St. Simon Stock. There is no difficulty in granting that Grossi’s narrative, related above, and the Carmelite tradition are worthy of belief, even though they have not the full value of historical proof (see SCAPULAR). That Simon himself was distinguished by special veneration of and love for theVirgin is shown by the antiphonies “Flos Carmeli” and “Ave Stella Matutina”, which he wrote, and which have been adopted in thebreviary of the Calced Carmelites. Besides these antiphonies other works have been incorrectly attributed to him. The first biographical accounts of Simon belong to the year 1430, but these are not entirely reliable. However, he was not at this time publicly venerated as a saint; it was not until 1435 that his feast was put in the choral books of the monastery at Bordeaux. It was introduced before 1458 into Ireland and, probably at the same time, into England; by a decree of the General Chapter of 1564 its celebration was commanded for the entire order.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel
The Story of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
On July 16, 1251, Our Lady appeared to St. Simon Stock, the Father of the Carmelite Order, and presented him with the Scapular. St. Simon’s story began as an English hermit that lived in the hollow of a tree. He received the name “stock” because he lived in the hollowed trunk or stock of a tree. In time he would become a Carmelite and later the Father General of the order. He led the order during a time of great struggle. The Carmelites in the beginning were hermits on Mount Carmel, near Nazareth in the Holy Land. When they migrated to Europe, in this case England, some decided to no longer be hermits and instead became friars who would work among the people. St. Simon guided them through this state of transition. In the year 1251 a miraculous vision took place. St. Simon Stock, newly transplanted to England, prayed fervently to Our Lady for Her help. Then: To him appeared the Blessed Virgin with a multitude of angels, holding the Scapular of the order in her blessed hands …
Prayers to Our Lady of Mount Carmel
O Most Blessed and Immaculate Virgin, ornament and beauty of Mount Carmel, thou who beholdest with thy special kindness those who wear thy blessed Scapular, look lovingly upon me, and cover me with the mantle of thy motherly protection. Fortify my weakness with thy power, enlighten the darkness of my understanding with thy wisdom, increase Faith, Hope and Charity in me, adorn my soul with the graces and virtues that will make me pleasing to thee and thy divine Son. Assist me during my life, and console me at the hour of my death and present me to the most blessed Trinity as thy devoted servant, to praise and bless thee in heaven forever. Amen.
Matthew 10:34- 11:1
Jesus said to his Apostles:
“Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth.
I have come to bring not peace but the sword.
For I have come to set
a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
and one’s enemies will be those of his household.
“Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me,
and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;
and whoever does not take up his cross
and follow after me is not worthy of me.
Whoever finds his life will lose it,
and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
“Whoever receives you receives me,
and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.
Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet
will receive a prophet’s reward,
and whoever receives a righteous man
because he is righteous
will receive a righteous man’s reward.
And whoever gives only a cup of cold water
to one of these little ones to drink
because he is a disciple–
amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward.”
When Jesus finished giving these commands to his Twelve disciples,
he went away from that place to teach and to preach in their towns
Reflection. Today’s gospel is a powerful one, mostly because I can relate fully to it. Many of us can. In particular, I am here to share my thoughts, however, because the hit close to home. In any family, large or small, there will be unbelievers, lost sheep, those that question the truth, and those that must see to believe. To quote Saint Augustine, “Unless you believe, you will not understand.” which of course is quite often confused with the scripture reading in Isaiah 7:9 which reads, “If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established. ” Both, make a great point however. If you are dealing with a non-believer, and particularly one in your immediate family, such as a wife, brother, father, sister, etc, it is hard for those that are lost to fathom the love that we have for Christ, and why He alone comes before all else. I have been asked often, do you love Christ more than your family; and without hesitation I have replied, “absolutely”. For one that does not know what it is liked to be saved by the grace of our Lord, to be loved by Christ, and to understand His purpose on Earth, and why we are saved, it is hard for the non-believer that questions the unknown, or better the un-seen, whom looks at things from an absolute, that being a scientific or proven method, without fully looking to, and embracing scripture for what it is- the truth. The un-denying literal truth that God came down as man, was sacrificed and tortured so that we, may have ever-lasting life. Death, as we know it, is just simply not the end all be all. For many this is hard to grasp. For a believer, such as myself, I try to explain to my loved ones that it is because of my family, that I love Christ even more. It is His grace that has given me my children, my wife, and my close family. It is His love, even through suffering that has given me the greatest of gifts in life, a wife, children, a job, a house, love, and happiness. It is in His sacrifice that I am eternally grateful. It is in His love for me, and all of His creation, that He shows forth his compassion and love. It is through travesty that I find His comfort. It is in His arms that evil cannot and will not triumph. We must always remember that the Earth is the Devil’s domain, that is, evil is present. But those that believe, will have life after so-called death, that is, death is just another obstacle of evil that we must over-come, for their is life everlasting in His kingdom. Jesus says “Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he will never see death.”, John 8:51.
In today’s scripture, our Lord speaks of the splinter that the believer will face with the non-believer. As the God-man, he truly understands the pitfalls of temptation, the grace of choice that He had given us, and the fact that most will need to see, to believe. He knew that His words, His truth would divide households, nations, and cause dissent. Being a Christian would not be easy, and it was He that knew this firsthand by His torture and eventual death on the Cross. But He also knew that through His resurrection, many would “see” and finally believe, and that those that did would go forth to teach His truth. It is hard for a Christian to teach to the unbeliever, but it is something that we must do. At the end of every Mass, we hear the words, “Go Forth and Teach the Gospel”. These are the things we must do as Christians. These are the prayers that we must say and do everyday, so that our loved ones may be saved. Some may never get there on Earth; some will have to see to believe, and purify their souls in purgatory to be in the presence of our ever-loving Lord. But, even if they do not do so during our Earthly lives, we must never give up the faith, we must never waiver, and we must never cease to pray, for His love is eternal, and His gifts are great. All you have to do is listen and then receive. God Bless! ~CJA
“God revealed his power more fully in our justification than in creating heaven and earth.”
“Our justification is such an enormous miracle that the sacred scripture compares it to the Resurrection.”
“Oh, if we could perceive even of a single instant the state to which God’s grace has raised us, to be nothing less than his own children, destined to reign with his son for all eternity.
St Peter’s Square
Saint Benedict of Norcia
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Today, I would like to speak about Benedict, the Founder of Western Monasticism and also the Patron of my Pontificate. I begin with words that St Gregory the Great wrote about St Benedict: “The man of God who shone on this earth among so many miracles was just as brilliant in the eloquent exposition of his teaching” (cf. Dialogues II, 36). The great Pope wrote these words in 592 A.D. The holy monk, who had died barely 50 years earlier, lived on in people’s memories and especially in the flourishing religious Order he had founded. St Benedict of Norcia, with his life and his work, had a fundamental influence on the development of European civilization and culture. The most important source on Benedict’s life is the second book of St Gregory the Great’s Dialogues. It is not a biography in the classical sense. In accordance with the ideas of his time, by giving the example of a real man – St Benedict, in this case – Gregory wished to illustrate the ascent to the peak of contemplation which can be achieved by those who abandon themselves to God. He therefore gives us a model for human life in the climb towards the summit of perfection. St Gregory the Great also tells in this book of the Dialogues of many miracles worked by the Saint, and here too he does not merely wish to recount something curious but rather to show how God, by admonishing, helping and even punishing, intervenes in the practical situations of man’s life. Gregory’s aim was to demonstrate that God is not a distant hypothesis placed at the origin of the world but is present in the life of man, of every man.
This perspective of the “biographer” is also explained in light of the general context of his time: straddling the fifth and sixth centuries, “the world was overturned by a tremendous crisis of values and institutions caused by the collapse of the Roman Empire, the invasion of new peoples and the decay of morals”. But in this terrible situation, here, in this very city of Rome, Gregory presented St Benedict as a “luminous star” in order to point the way out of the “black night of history” (cf. John Paul II, 18 May 1979). In fact, the Saint’s work and particularly his Rule were to prove heralds of an authentic spiritual leaven which, in the course of the centuries, far beyond the boundaries of his country and time, changed the face of Europe following the fall of the political unity created by the Roman Empire, inspiring a new spiritual and cultural unity, that of the Christian faith shared by the peoples of the Continent. This is how the reality we call “Europe” came into being.
St Benedict was born around the year 480. As St Gregory said, he came “ex provincia Nursiae” – from the province of Norcia. His well-to-do parents sent him to study in Rome. However, he did not stay long in the Eternal City. As a fully plausible explanation, Gregory mentions that the young Benedict was put off by the dissolute lifestyle of many of his fellow students and did not wish to make the same mistakes. He wanted only to please God: “soli Deo placere desiderans” (II Dialogues, Prol. 1). Thus, even before he finished his studies, Benedict left Rome and withdrew to the solitude of the mountains east of Rome. After a short stay in the village of Enfide (today, Affile), where for a time he lived with a “religious community” of monks, he became a hermit in the neighbouring locality of Subiaco. He lived there completely alone for three years in a cave which has been the heart of a Benedictine Monastery called the “Sacro Speco” (Holy Grotto) since the early Middle Ages. The period in Subiaco, a time of solitude with God, was a time of maturation for Benedict. It was here that he bore and overcame the three fundamental temptations of every human being: the temptation of self-affirmation and the desire to put oneself at the centre, the temptation of sensuality and, lastly, the temptation of anger and revenge. In fact, Benedict was convinced that only after overcoming these temptations would he be able to say a useful word to others about their own situations of neediness. Thus, having tranquilized his soul, he could be in full control of the drive of his ego and thus create peace around him. Only then did he decide to found his first monasteries in the Valley of the Anio, near Subiaco.
In the year 529, Benedict left Subiaco and settled in Monte Cassino. Some have explained this move as an escape from the intrigues of an envious local cleric. However, this attempt at an explanation hardly proved convincing since the latter’s sudden death did not induce Benedict to return (II Dialogues, 8). In fact, this decision was called for because he had entered a new phase of inner maturity and monastic experience. According to Gregory the Great, Benedict’s exodus from the remote Valley of the Anio to Monte Cassio – a plateau dominating the vast surrounding plain which can be seen from afar – has a symbolic character: a hidden monastic life has its own raison d’être but a monastery also has its public purpose in the life of the Church and of society, and it must give visibility to the faith as a force of life. Indeed, when Benedict’s earthly life ended on 21 March 547, he bequeathed with his Rule and the Benedictine family he founded a heritage that bore fruit in the passing centuries and is still bearing fruit throughout the world.
Throughout the second book of his Dialogues, Gregory shows us how St Benedict’s life was steeped in an atmosphere of prayer, the foundation of his existence. Without prayer there is no experience of God. Yet Benedict’s spirituality was not an interiority removed from reality. In the anxiety and confusion of his day, he lived under God’s gaze and in this very way never lost sight of the duties of daily life and of man with his practical needs. Seeing God, he understood the reality of man and his mission. In his Rule he describes monastic life as “a school for the service of the Lord” (Prol. 45) and advises his monks, “let nothing be preferred to the Work of God” [that is, the Divine Office or the Liturgy of the Hours] (43, 3). However, Benedict states that in the first place prayer is an act of listening (Prol. 9-11), which must then be expressed in action. “The Lord is waiting every day for us to respond to his holy admonitions by our deeds” (Prol. 35). Thus, the monk’s life becomes a fruitful symbiosis between action and contemplation, “so that God may be glorified in all things” (57, 9). In contrast with a facile and egocentric self-fulfilment, today often exalted, the first and indispensable commitment of a disciple of St Benedict is the sincere search for God (58, 7) on the path mapped out by the humble and obedient Christ (5, 13), whose love he must put before all else (4, 21; 72, 11), and in this way, in the service of the other, he becomes a man of service and peace. In the exercise of obedience practised by faith inspired by love (5, 2), the monk achieves humility (5, 1), to which the Rule dedicates an entire chapter (7). In this way, man conforms ever more to Christ and attains true self-fulfilment as a creature in the image and likeness of God.
The obedience of the disciple must correspond with the wisdom of the Abbot who, in the monastery, “is believed to hold the place of Christ” (2, 2; 63, 13). The figure of the Abbot, which is described above all in Chapter II of the Rule with a profile of spiritual beauty and demanding commitment, can be considered a self-portrait of Benedict, since, as St Gregory the Great wrote, “the holy man could not teach otherwise than as he himself lived” (cf.Dialogues II, 36). The Abbot must be at the same time a tender father and a strict teacher (cf. 2, 24), a true educator. Inflexible against vices, he is nevertheless called above all to imitate the tenderness of the Good Shepherd (27, 8), to “serve rather than to rule” (64, 8) in order “to show them all what is good and holy by his deeds more than by his words” and “illustrate the divine precepts by his example” (2, 12). To be able to decide responsibly, the Abbot must also be a person who listens to “the brethren’s views” (3, 2), because “the Lord often reveals to the youngest what is best” (3, 3). This provision makes a Rule written almost 15 centuries ago surprisingly modern! A man with public responsibility even in small circles must always be a man who can listen and learn from what he hears.
Benedict describes the Rule he wrote as “minimal, just an initial outline” (cf. 73, 8); in fact, however, he offers useful guidelines not only for monks but for all who seek guidance on their journey toward God. For its moderation, humanity and sober discernment between the essential and the secondary in spiritual life, his Rule has retained its illuminating power even to today. By proclaiming St Benedict Patron of Europe on 24 October 1964, Paul VI intended to recognize the marvellous work the Saint achieved with his Rule for the formation of the civilization and culture of Europe. Having recently emerged from a century that was deeply wounded by two World Wars and the collapse of the great ideologies, now revealed as tragic utopias, Europe today is in search of its own identity. Of course, in order to create new and lasting unity, political, economic and juridical instruments are important, but it is also necessary to awaken an ethical and spiritual renewal which draws on the Christian roots of the Continent, otherwise a new Europe cannot be built. Without this vital sap, man is exposed to the danger of succumbing to the ancient temptation of seeking to redeem himself by himself – a utopia which in different ways, in 20th-century Europe, as Pope John Paul II pointed out, has caused “a regression without precedent in the tormented history of humanity” (Address to the Pontifical Council for Culture, 12 January 1990). Today, in seeking true progress, let us also listen to the Rule of St Benedict as a guiding light on our journey. The great monk is still a true master at whose school we can learn to become proficient in true humanism.
To special groups
I am happy to greet the English-speaking visitors present at today’s Audience, including the pilgrims from the Archdiocese of Manila, and the many groups from England and the United States. May your lives, after the example of St Benedict, be lived in humility, prayer, obedience to God and faithful service to your neighbour. May the Lord bless you and your families!
Lastly, I greet the young people, the sick and the newly-weds, exhorting each one to live this Easter Season intensely, witnessing to the joy that the dead and Risen Christ gives to those who entrust themselves to him.
© Copyright 2008 – Libreria Editrice Vaticana
Dear brothers and sisters!
First of all I want to share with you the joy of having encountered, yesterday and today, a special Year of Faith pilgrimage: that of seminarians & novices. Please pray for them, that their love for Christ might mature more and more in their lives and that they might become true missionaries of God’s Kingdom.
This Sunday’s Gospel (Lk 10:1-12.17-20) speaks to us precisely of this: of the fact that Jesus is not an isolated missionary, does not want to fulfill his mission alone, but involves his disciples. Today we see that, in addition to the Twelve Apostles, He calls seventy-two others, and sends them into the villages, two by two, to announce that the Kingdom of God is near. This is very beautiful! Jesus does not want to act alone, He has come to bring to the world the love of God and wants to spread that love with a style of communion and fraternity. For this reason, he forms immediately a community of disciples, which is a missionary community. Iright from the start, He trains them for the mission, to go [on the mission].
Beware, however: the purpose is not to socialize, to spend time together – no, the purpose is to proclaim the Kingdom of God, and this is urgent! There is no time to waste in small talk, no need to wait for the consent of all – there is need only of going out and proclaiming. The peace of Christ is to be brought to everyone, and if some do not receive it, then you go on. To the sick is to be brought healing, because God wants to heal man from all evil. How many missionaries do this! They sow life, health, comfort to the peripheries of the world.
These seventy-two disciples, whom Jesus sent ahead of him, who are they? Whom do they represent? If the Twelve are the Apostles, and therefore also represent the Bishops, their successors, these may represent seventy-two other ordained ministers – priests and deacons – but in a wider sense we can think of other ministries in the Church, catechists and lay faithful who engage in parish missions, those who work with the sick, with the various forms of discomfort and alienation, but always as missionaries of the Gospel, with the urgency of the Kingdom that is at hand.
The Gospel says that those seventy-two returned from their mission full of joy, because they had experienced the power of the Name of Christ against evil. Jesus confirms this: to these disciples He gives the strength to defeat the evil one. He adds, though: “Do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven. (Luke 10:20)” We should not boast as if we were the protagonists: the protagonist is the Lord [and] His grace. Our joy is only this: [in] being His disciples, His friends. May Our Lady help us to be good servants of the Gospel.
After the Angelus, Pope Francis returned to discuss his Encyclical On the Light of Faith
Dear brothers and sisters,
As you know, two days ago was published the Encyclical Letter on the subject of faith, entitled Lumen fidei, “The light of faith”. For the Year of Faith, Pope Benedict XVI had started this Encyclical, which follows on from those on charity and hope. I picked up this project and I have finished it. I offer it with joy to the whole People of God: in fact, especially today, we need to go to the essentials of the Christian faith, to deepen it, and to measure current issues by it. But I think that this encyclical, at least in some parts, can also be useful to those who are searching for God and for the meaning of life. I put it in the hands of Mary, the perfect icon of faith, that it may bring in the fruits that the Lord wants.
I address my cordial greeting to all of you, dear faithful of Rome and pilgrims. I greet in particular the youth of the Diocese of Rome who are preparing to leave for Rio de Janeiro for World Youth Day. Dear young people, I too am preparing! Let us walk together towards this great celebration of faith! May Our Lady accompany us.
I greet the Franciscan Sisters and the Rosminian Angeline Sisters, who are holding their General Chapters, and the leaders of the Community of Sant’Egidio come from different countries for the training course. To all, a happy Sunday!
Please see link for the Holy Father’s Lumen Fedei, English translation. Reflection to follow soon! ~CJA
Devoutly Catholic will be offline, starting tomorrow for some much needed family time and will return next Monday.. As the 4th of July of America takes place, I ask that all of us take a good look at freedom- true freedom. The United States was built upon freedom, its first Amendment being that of religious freedom. For no one is free without freedom of religion. As Christians it is our most sacred right. I ask that this 4th of July, regardless if you are American or not, to pray. Pray for America, as our religious freedom is being attacked currently right now by the current Administration. The legalization of infantcide/abortion, and the destruction of traditional marriage are not things that should be decided by the government, but should be kept as basic, in-alienable rights of the Church. We must pray that these things right their ways. Lastly, we should pray for all other nations, particularly in the Middle East, that all Christians may have the freedom to worship, and that as Christians we respect the rights of others to worship freely, but at the same time lead them to the truth, and the light of that truth in Jesus Christ. Please pray for me, as I will be praying for you.
God Bless!- CJA