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Read:  Remembering Our Lady of Sorrows

 

These prayers are to be recited each day after the Novena.

 

Hail Mary....

Hail Mary full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed are thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus. Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen

 

Prayer to our Sorrowful Mother for a particular grace

O, mother most holy and sorrowful, Queen of Martyrs, you who stood by your Son as He agonized on the cross; by the sufferings of your life, by that sword of pain that pierced your heart, by your perfect joy in heaven, look down on me kindly as I kneel before you, sympathizing with your sorrows and offering you my petition with childlike trust.
Dear Mother, since your Son refuses you nothing, ask of His Sacred Heart to mercifully grant what I ask, through the merits of His sacred passion, along with those of your sufferings at the foot of the cross.

Mother most merciful, to whom shall I go in my misery if not to you who pities us poor sinful exiles in this valley of tears? In our name, offer Jesus but one drop of His most precious blood, but one pang of His loving heart. Remind Him that you are our sweetness, our life and our hope, and your prayer will be heard. Amen

 

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

 

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First Day Second Day Third Day
Fourth Day Fifth Day Sixth Day
Seventh Day Eighth Day Ninth Day

 

First Day 

Prayer in honor of the First Sorrow of Mary:

The Prophecy of Simeon

Most Sorrowful Mother, grief filled was your heart when, on offering your divine Son at the temple, Holy Simeon foretold that a sword would pierce your soul. There and then you knew you would suffer with Jesus.

Queen of Martyrs, let me unite my heart to yours in this pain, and ask you the grace to keep the thought of my death in mind, so I may always avoid sin.

 

Hail Mary…
Prayer to our Sorrowful Mother for a particular grace 
Memorare

 


 

Second Day

Prayer in honor of the Second Sorrow of Mary:

The Flight into Egypt

Most sorrowful Mother, Your mother’s heart brimmed over with sorrow at the hate of Herod for your innocent Son. To save Him from the king’s jealousy, you had to flee with Him to Egypt.  Your heart also suffered at seeing the suffering of your holy spouse, Saint Joseph, at the prospect of taking the divine babe and you, his delicate spouse, into the wilderness and the unknown.

Queen of Martyrs let me unite my heart to yours in this sorrow, and obtain for me the grace to avoid those who wish me evil, above all evil to my soul.  Let me avoid temptations and never leave the difficult but royal road to heaven.

 

Hail Mary…
Prayer to our Sorrowful Mother for a particular grace 
Memorare

 


 

Third Day

Prayer in honor of the Third Sorrow of Mary:

The Loss of the child Jesus in the Temple

Most sorrowful Mother, grief, sorrow and anxiety filled your immaculate heart when you found you were separated from your Son on leaving Jerusalem.

For three days He remained lost to you and to your holy spouse. For three days you sought Him who was the light of your life. And for three days you failed to find Him.

Let me join you in this pain, O Queen of Martyrs, and obtain for me the grace to never lose Jesus through sin, but to stay united to Him by the help of His grace. If I have the misfortune of falling, may I never doubt His mercy and always return through the Sacrament of Confession, which He instituted.

 

Hail Mary…
Prayer to our Sorrowful Mother for a particular grace
Memorare

 


 

Fourth Day

 Prayer in honor of the Fourth Sorrow of Mary:

The Meeting of Mary and Jesus on the Way to Calvary

Most sorrowful Mother, who can fathom the grief of your heart when you saw your Son fall, wounded and bleeding under the crushing weight of the cross, on the way to Calvary?

Queen of Martyrs, let me unite my heart to yours in this sorrow, and obtain for me the grace to bear patiently whatever cross God may see fit to send me.

 

Hail Mary…
Prayer to our Sorrowful Mother for a particular grace
Memorare

  


 

Fifth Day

Prayer in honor of the Fifth Sorrow of Mary:

The Crucifixion and Death of Jesus

Most sorrowful Mother, standing by the cross of Jesus, your heart was one great knot. And yet, you did not sit, you did not even lean, but stood as you watched Him suffer for the sins of the whole world–for my sins. Like Abraham, you offered the sacrifice standing up, consciously and willingly. In your case, you offered it for me, and for every sinner. Still, unlike Abraham, you stood and watched Him die. In your case, your perfect Son was not spared.

Queen of Martyrs, let me join you in this sorrow, and obtain for me the grace to fight against temptation and sin at the cost of effort, suffering and even life. When my turn comes, grant me, Mother, by your Jesus’ death and your sacrifice, the grace to die in His holy Grace–the grace of a happy death.

 

Hail Mary…
Prayer to our Sorrowful Mother for a particular grace 
Memorare

 


 

Sixth Day

Prayer in honor of the Sixth Sorrow of Mary:

The Piercing of the Side of Jesus and His Descent from the Cross

Most Sorrowful Mother, when your Son’s body was lowered from the cross and laid in your arms, sorrow filled your heart.

Though now this sorrow had a note of relief, how painful it was for you to gaze on that body, formerly the seat of perfect life, health and beauty, gruesomely scarred, pale and lifeless.

Mother, Queen of Martyrs, let me join my heart to yours in this grief, and obtain for me to receive Jesus into my soul before I die, so I may join Him in heaven forever.

 

Hail Mary…
Prayer to our Sorrowful Mother for a particular grace 
Memorare

 


 

Seventh Day

Prayer in honor of the Seventh Sorrow of Mary:

The Burial of Jesus

Most sorrowful Virgin, sorrow again filled your heart when the sacred body of your Son was taken from your arms, and placed in a cold grave. Yet you did not doubt that He would rise again.

Queen of Martyrs, let me join you in your sorrow, and grant me your own deep, trusting faith in the word of your Son. Let me trust that even in suffering, even when all seems lost, with Jesus there is always a way out.

Obtain for me too, a sincere sorrow for all my sins, a burning love for my God, a tender devotion to you, so that one day, I may die in His grace and, with Him, rise to eternal life.

 

Hail Mary…
Prayer to our Sorrowful Mother for a particular grace 
Memorare

 


 

Eighth Day

Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, September 14

Sweet Mother of Sorrows, Providence wished that Saint Helena, like you the mother of a king, find the cross of your Son and lavish honors on this relic of relics.**

Grant, me Sorrowful Queen and Mother that, like Saint Helena, I always honor the symbol of our salvation, the cross. And like the Church, may I hold it high, display and wear it with gratitude and pride.

Above all, may I unite my sufferings to that of Jesus on the cross, and carry my crosses not in shame but in faith, love and patience as He did.

The Church teaches that suffering thus carried and united to His, is never in vain, but a powerful, redemptive prayer.

May I always believe it, so my life will always have meaning.

 

Hail Mary…
Prayer to our Sorrowful Mother for a particular grace 
Memorare

**(Saint Helena did this while on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in the year 326 A.D. To celebrate this fact, the Catholic Church established the feast of The Exaltation of the Holy Cross.) 


 

Ninth Day

Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Sorrows

O most holy Virgin, Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ: by the overwhelming grief you experienced when you witnessed the martyrdom, crucifixion, and death of your divine Son, look upon me kindly, and awaken in my heart a tender sympathy for Our Lord’s sufferings.

Grant me a sincere detestation of my sins, so that free from undue affection for the passing joys of earth, I may set my sights higher on the eternal joys of heaven.

May all my thoughts and all my actions be directed towards this one great goal. Honor, glory, and love to our divine Lord Jesus, and to the holy and immaculate Mother of God. Amen

 

Hail Mary…
Prayer to our Sorrowful Mother for a particular grace
Memorare

 


  

The Seven Sorrows of Our Lady

1.     The Prophecy of Simeon
2.     The Flight into Egypt
3.     The Loss of the child Jesus in the Temple
4.     The Meeting of Mary and Jesus on the Way to Calvary
5.     The Crucifixion and Death of Jesus
6.     The Piercing of the Side of Jesus and His Descent from the Cross
7.     The Burial of Jesus

 


  

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DAILY QUOTE for December 16, 2017

Although one is not bound to pray at all hours, one is bound...

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December 16

 

Although one is not bound to pray at all hours,
one is bound throughout the day to keep oneself fit for prayer.

St. Thomas Aquinas


 BLASPHEMIES? Even at CHRISTMAS? NEVER!

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Adelaide of Italy

Adelaide was shut up in a castle on Lake Garda from which sh...

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St. Adelaide of Italy

Adelaide was the daughter of Rudolph II of Burgundy and Bertha of Swabia. In a political settlement between her father and Hugh of Provence when she was but a year old, she was promised in marriage to Hugh’s son, Lothair.

Fourteen years later the young princess married Lothair II, then nominal King of Italy. Supported by the Italian nobility, real power in the kingdom was held by Berengar of Ivrea. The couple had a daughter, Emma who later married Lothair of France.

Lothair II died under suspicious circumstances in 950 and was succeeded by Berengar who tried to cement his usurped power by forcing a marriage between the young widow and his own son, Adalbert, whom he had crowned as his co-ruler. At her refusal, Adelaide was shut up in a castle on Lake Garda from which she made her escape with the assistance of a priest who dug a subterranean passage.

Through an emissary, Adelaide appealed to Otto I of Germany for protection. He attacked and conquered Berangar and, on Christmas day in 951, married Adelaide who was twenty years his junior. They had four children. In 962, Otto was crowned emperor in Rome and Adelaide empress.

When her son, Otto II, succeeded his father in 973, Adelaide at first exercised a powerful influence at court. But when Otto married the Byzantine princess, Theophano, the latter turned her husband against his mother, and the dowager was alienated from court. She sought refuge with her brother, Conrad, King of Burgundy, who, eventually, reconciled them.

At Otto II’s death in 983, both Theophano and Adelaide were appointed regents for his infant son, however, Theophano once more drove the Dowager Empress from the royal court into exile. But upon her daughter-in-law’s death in 991, Adelaide was again restored to the regency for her eleven-year-old grandson. Her energy being at this time of life much reduced, she was assisted by Willigis, Archbishop of Mainz. When the young Emperor Otto III came of age in 995, she was free to dedicate herself to works of charity, especially the foundation and restoration of religious houses.

Queen Adelaide had been a friend of Sts. Majoulos and Odilo, abbots of the great monastery of Cluny, then the center of monastic and clerical reform. She retired to the convent of Selta, near Cologne, which she had founded around 991, and though never professed, spent her last days in prayer. She died on December 16, 999.

Second Photo by: Vitold Muratov

WEEKLY STORY

The Miracle

On July 31, 2002 the Holy Father canonized Juan Diego, a hum...

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The Miracle

On July 31, 2002 the Holy Father canonized Juan Diego, a humble Indian to whom the Mother of God appeared in Mexico in 1531 and on whose cloak she left her image as Our Lady of Guadalupe. With this canonization, the Church has placed one more seal on the authenticity of the apparitions that changed the course of the history of Mexico and gave all the Americas a great patroness. Alongside our invoking the intercession of the Virgin of Guadalupe, we may now also say, “Saint Juan Diego, pray for us.” We dedicate the following article to him.

 

"Eagle that speaks"

In the year 1474, a boy was born in Aztec Mexico in the village of Cuautitlan, about seven miles from the capital of the Empire, then known as Tenochtitlan, today Mexico City.

He was named, Quauhtlatoatzin, or “Eagle that speaks.” His origin was humble and poor, yet this boy had been chosen by God to convey one of the greatest messages ever delivered to any nation.

Despite having reached the first degree of civilization with its cities and writing system, Mexico’s religion was satanically barbarous. In the words of one historian: “Nowhere else in human history has Satan so formalized and institutionalized his worship with so many of his own actual titles and symbols.” This was the old Empire of Mexico worshiping the “Lord of the Dark” and the “Stone Serpent,” requiring a quota of, at least, 50,000 human sacrifices each year.

When “Eagle that speaks” was thirteen years old, a sacrifice of no less than 80,000 victims was offered to inaugurate the greatest of all pyramids. As he witnessed these horrors, maybe the young boy sent up a prayer for the accomplishment of an old Mexican prophecy that, one day, a God who hated human sacrifice would reach Mexico. Oddly enough, this prophecy even specified the year and the date on which this God would arrive.

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Sails on the horizon

The year by the Christian calendar was 1519; the day was a Good Friday. Montezuma II, then Emperor, a superstitious man, was on high alert because that was also the date in the Mexican prophecy.

If any Aztecs scanned the horizons of Mexico on that Good Friday morning, they saw eleven ships bearing great white sails marked by a black cross heading for their shore.

Commanded by the thirty-three-year-old Spaniard Hernan Cortes, the fleet anchored. Soon, at the captain’s orders, a cross was planted in the sand.

Hernan Cortes and his six hundred warriors were descendants of men who had battled Muslims for eight hundred years to free their beloved Spain from the dominion of Islam. It took all that bravery seething in their veins to tackle the monumental task that lay ahead of them: namely, to snatch fifteen million people from the darkness and oppression of a satanic regime and introduce them to the sweet yoke of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Sinking his ships in a gesture of unparalleled bravery so as to spare his men the temptation to flee, Cortes set his face and his small army to conquer Mexico for the Faith. The next year saw a series of battles of biblical proportions, terrible defeats, renewed attacks, great feats of diplomacy resulting in solid alliances with certain native tribes, and daring coups. The odds were those of one against ten thousand but, like Emperor Constantine of old, Cortes launched his mission under the banner of the cross, telling his men: “Brothers and companions, let us follow the sign of the Cross with true faith and in it we shall conquer.”

At the end, Montezuma was dead, Mexico City had been conquered, a new government was established and churches began to rise in place of the old pagan temples.

Twelve Apostles

By this time, “Eagle that speaks” was a man entering middle age. He was married to a good woman and worked at farming, weaving mats, making furniture and anything else that would support them. He had an innate sweetness and compliant nature and a very humble disposition coupled with a quiet dignity.

One day, a few barefooted men in brown habits entered his village. They were Franciscans, a few from a group of twelve sent by Emperor Charles V of Spain for the evangelization of Mexico. These brave and zealous men had arrived in 1521, only two years after Cortes.

“Eagle that speaks” attentively listened to all they had to say and was soon bowing his head before one of them to receive the redeeming waters of Baptism. He was Christened Juan Diego. Baptized alongside him were his wife and uncle, who received the Christian names of Maria Lucia and Juan Bernardino. Juan Diego and his family were among the first natives to accept the Catholic Faith in Mexico. It was the year 1525.

After baptism, Juan Diego and Maria Lucia often continued to walk to Mass and instructions to the new church in Tlatelolco near Mexico City, about fifteen miles from their village.

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Tepeyac Hill

On December 9, 1531, which was then the feast of the Immaculate Conception, Juan Diego again made his way among cactus plants and mesquite bushes to the Church at Tlatelolco near Mexico City as was his custom. He now covered the distance alone since his good wife had died two years before. He must have missed her sorely for he had moved to Tepotzotlan to be with his uncle.

Nearing Mexico City, Juan Diego always passed a hill called Tepeyac. Its summit had been the site of a former temple to the pagan “Mother God.”

This morning as he neared Tepeyac, he suddenly stopped, hearing ineffable music that seemed to come from the top of the hill. Juan strained his bewildered eyes as he looked upward in hopes of discovering the source of so delightful a melody. It was then that he saw a dazzling cloud, emblazoned by a brilliant rainbow. Suddenly the melody ceased altogether and he heard the sweetest of all feminine voices calling his name in his native Nahuatl: “Juantzin…”

The voice used the diminutive of his name and it is impossible to convey what that meant as far as affectionate expression. Maybe, in our English it would be something like: “My dear little John.”

Without fear, Juan Diego clambered up the 130-foot-high summit and found himself facing a lady of dazzling beauty. Her garments shone like the sun and the light streaming from her person transformed all nature around her into a play of color as if seen through a stained glass window. Even the smallest leaves looked like sparkling emeralds and turquoises and the tiniest branches as if dipped in gold.

The lady motioned for Juan Diego to approach and as he did so, she spoke:

“Listen, my dearest little son, Juan, where are you going?”

“My lady, my queen, my little girl,” answered the happy Indian, “I am going to your little house in Mexico-Tlatelolco, to follow the things of God that are taught to us by those who are the images of Our Lord, our priests.”

“Know for certain, my little son,” said the lady, “that I am the perfect ever-virgin Holy Mary, Mother of the one true God…. I am your merciful mother, yours and of all the people who live united in this land, and of all mankind, of all those who love me, of those who cry to me, of those who seek me and of those who trust in me. Here I will hear their weeping, their sorrow and will remedy and nurse all their troubles, their miseries, their suffering.”

Then she went on to ask Juan Diego to go to the Bishop of Mexico, Don Juan de Zumarraga, to ask him to build her a house on the hill. She finished by thanking him for his trouble and promising to reward him abundantly.

After some difficulty, Juan Diego saw Bishop Zumarraga who listened to him attentively but did not take him very seriously. The bishop dismissed him kindly, promising to think about all he had said and to see him again.

Knowing he had not convinced the prelate, Juan Diego returned to Tepeyac Hill and found the Mother of God waiting for him. At her feet, he told her all about the interview and begged her to send someone of more renown, of a higher station in life, one who would be more readily believed.

Our Lady replied affectionately: “Listen, my little son, I have many servants, many messengers… but it is most necessary that you go personally to plead, and that, through you, my will be realized… So, go and tell him once more, that it is I, the ever-virgin Holy Mary, I who am the Mother of God, who sends you.”

On the next day, a Sunday, Juan Diego returned to the bishop’s house. After much difficulty with the servants, he was received. Juan Diego again delivered his message. Bishop Zumarraga questioned him closely and finished by asking for a sign.

“Señor Governador,” answered Juan Diego, “think about what the sign you ask for will be, because then I will go to ask for it of the Queen of Heaven who sent me.”

Once Juan Diego left, Bishop Zumarraga had him followed. But near Tepeyac, his followers lost sight of him. Quite upset, they returned to the Bishop convinced that the Indian was only making up stories. So it was decided that when he returned he would be punished.

Meanwhile Juan Diego was with the Virgin explaining to her the bishop’s request for a sign.

“That’s fine, my little son, return here tomorrow so you may take to the bishop the sign which he asks. With this he will believe you and no longer doubt this and no longer suspect you. And know well, my little son, that I will reward you all the trouble and fatigue that you have undertaken for me. Go now. I will be waiting for you tomorrow.”

Juan evades the Virgin

But the next day, Juan Diego did not return. His uncle had sickened and was dying, so Juan spent all of Monday with him. On Tuesday, before dawn, the good Indian made his way to Mexico City to call a priest to give his uncle the last rites. Passing Tepeyac hill, he thought of skirting it so the Lady would not see him and stop him.

As he did so, however, he saw her coming down the hill to meet him.

“What’s wrong, my little son? Where are you going?”

Bending low, Juan Diego greeted her and wished her a good morning as he explained his uncle’s predicament.

“Listen, and place it deeply in your heart, my littlest son,” spoke the Queen of Heaven. “What frightens and worries you is nothing. Do not let it disturb you. Do not fear this sickness, or any other sickness, or any sharp and hurtful thing. Am I not here, your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and my protection? Am I not the source of your joy? Are you not in the hollow of my mantle, in the crossing of my arms? Do you need something more? Let nothing else worry you or disturb you; do not let your uncle’s illness upset you, because he will not die of it now. You may be certain that he is already well.”

Juan Diego, greatly comforted at these words, begged her, instead, to send him to the bishop with her sign. Then the Blessed Virgin told him to go to the top of the hill and gather the flowers he would find there.

Astonished at the beauty of the blooms miraculously growing in that spot, he gathered them all and returned to where the Lady awaited him. With feminine touch, she arranged them with her own hands inside his tilma, a cloak he wore to shield him from the cold, and bade him go to the bishop again.

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The miracle

The servants at the gates of the bishop’s residence would not listen to the poor Indian’s entreaties to see Don Zumarraga. Juan Diego, having no other recourse, waited patiently for a long time. Seeing him standing there holding something in his tilma, the doorkeeper and servants became curious and began to harass him so that he let them have a peek.

Great was their amazement at the sight of the exquisite flowers, their perfume, and the fact that this was not at all the season for these blooms. Three times they tried to grab a few out of Juan Diego’s tilma but, as they attempted to do so, the flowers became as if painted on the cloth, thus evading their grasp.

The servants then ran to tell the bishop what they had seen. Hearing this, Don Zumarraga realized that here was the sign he had requested and had Juan Diego brought in immediately.

As soon as he entered the bishop’s chamber, Juan Diego prostrated himself in his presence and related to him all that had happened and how he had found these beautiful flowers blooming out of season on top of the hill at the Lady’s command.

The humble Indian then held out his tilma and just as the flowers cascaded to the floor, before all present, O marvel, there appeared on the cloth an image of the Blessed Virgin Mary just as Juan Diego had seen her.

Weeping and falling to his knees, Don Zumarraga, asked the Mother of God’s forgiveness for not having immediately carried out her will.

Then, untying the tilma from around Juan Diego’s neck, Bishop Zumarraga had the miraculous icon placed in his private chapel. 

Guadalupenos

As Juan Diego returned home, he found his uncle cured and ecstatic with joy because the Lady of Tepeyac had also appeared to him. On delivering him of his illness, she had also revealed her name: “Coatlaxopeuh,” or “she who crushes the serpent.” It soon was to be understood as Guadalupe.

Meanwhile, as Bishop Zumarraga prayed fervently before the miraculous image of the resplendent Virgin of Guadalupe, his heart overflowed with gratitude as he remembered a prayer of some time before.

Two of the first Spanish governors appointed to Mexico were cruel to the Indians. Other Spaniards in authority also had more heart for gold than the welfare of the natives. He, Zumarraga, eventually had these men ousted but, meanwhile, the Indians threatened to revolt. The Indians also felt that they had lost their identity on accepting the religion of the Spaniards. Before, despite the horrors of paganism, they were Aztecs. But now, what were they?

In his affliction, Bishop Zumarraga had asked for a sign of the Mother of God that she would protect the new colony. He had asked for Castillian roses not native to Mexico. And Castillian roses were the very flowers that had cascaded onto the floor as Juan Diego opened his tilma! And then the Mystical Rose herself had left her wondrous portrait.

Our Lady, by appearing to an Indian in the turquoise robes of Aztec royalty with their own brown features, had sent the whole of Mexico the message: “I am your Queen, your Mother and you are my very own.” The natives now had a place and a name: the place was the very heart of God’s own Mother and the name, Guadalupenos.

A chapel was soon built on Tepeyac Hill, to be followed by a great basilica. Former Aztec Indians began to flock there by the thousands with the result that in seventeen years the number of baptisms had catapulted from two hundred thousand to nine million.

Juan Diego spent the rest of his life by his beloved Virgin. He died in 1548 venerated by his people for his untiring service and solid virtue. To this day the greatest blessing of Mexican parents on their children is: “May God make you like Juan Diego.”

By A. F. Phillips

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On July 31, 2002 the Holy Father canonized Juan Diego, a humble Indian to whom the Mother of God appeared in Mexico in 1531 

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