Holy Father Francis’ First Words to Us

Standing on the Loggia of Blessings, looking out at the massive crowd in Saint Peter’s Square, Pope Francis speaks his first words to the people of Rome and to the world (text below):

Brothers and sisters good evening.

You all know that the duty of the Conclave was to give a bishop to Rome. It seems that my brother Cardinals have gone almost to the ends of the earth to get him… but here we are. I thank you for the welcome that has come from the diocesan community of Rome. Thank you.

First of all I would like to say a prayer pray for our Bishop Emeritus Benedict XVI. Let us all pray together for him, that the Lord will bless him and that our Lady will protect him.

Our Father…

Hail Mary…

Glory to the Father…

And now let us begin this journey, the Bishop and the people, this journey of the Church of Rome which presides in charity over all the Churches, a journey of brotherhood in love, of mutual trust. Let us always pray for one another. Let us pray for the whole world that there might be a great sense of brotherhood. My hope is that this journey of the Church that we begin today, together with the help of my Cardinal Vicar, may be fruitful for the evangelization of this beautiful city.

And now I would like to give the blessing. But first I want to ask you a favour. Before the Bishop blesses the people I ask that you would pray to the Lord to bless me – the prayer of the people for their Bishop. Let us say this prayer – your prayer for me – in silence.

[The Protodeacon announced that all those who received the blessing, either in person or by radio, television or by the new means of communication receive the plenary indulgence in the form established by the Church. He prayed that Almighty God protect and guard the Pope so that he may lead the Church for many years to come, and that he would grant peace to the Church throughout the world.]

[Immediately afterwards Pope Francis gave his first blessing Urbi et Orbi – To the City and to the World.]

I will now give my blessing to you and to the whole world, to all men and women of good will.

Brothers and sisters, I am leaving you. Thank you for your welcome. Pray for me and I will be with you again soon… We will see one another soon.

Tomorrow I want to go to pray to the Madonna, that she may protect Rome.

Good night and sleep well!

(via Vatican Radio)

Habemus Papam!

Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran stood at the Loggia looking out over the very large crowd at Saint Peter’s and declared to the world, “Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum! HABEMUS PAPAM!”

Eminentissimum ac reverendissimum Dominum, Dominum Giorgium Sanctæ Romanæ Ecclesiæ Cardinalem Bergoglium, Qui sibi nomen imposuit Franciscum!

3-13-13-Pope-Francis_full_380With the whole world, I offer the Lord praise and thanksgiving for the gift of  our new Roman Pontiff, to guide us through the rough seas of our times.

Thank you, Holy Father Francis for accepting this cross, for the love of God, and for the salvation of the whole world. May our dear Lord be your strength as you pick up the Cross and follow after Him, with Saint Peter to help you.

Let us pray:

O Lord, we are the millions of believers, humbly kneeling at Thy feet and begging Thee to preserve, defend and save the Sovereign Pontiff for many years. He is the Father of the great fellowship of souls and our Father as well. On this day, as on every other day, he is praying for us also, and is offering unto Thee with holy fervor the sacred Victim of love and peace.

Wherefore, O Lord, turn Thyself toward us with eyes of pity; for we are now, as it were, forgetful of ourselves, and are praying above all for him. Do Thou unite our prayers with his and receive them into the bosom of Thine infinite mercy, as a sweet savor of active and fruitful charity, whereby the children are united in the Church to their Father. All that he asks of Thee this day, we too ask it of Thee in unison with him.

Whether he weeps or rejoices, whether he hopes or offers himself as a victim of charity for his people, we desire to be united with him; nay more, we desire that the cry of our hearts should be made one with his. Of Thy great mercy grant, O Lord, that not one of us may befar from his mind and his heart in the hour that he prays and offers unto Thee the Sacrifice of Thy blessed Son. At the moment when our venerable High Priest, holding in His hands the very Body of Jesus Christ, shall say to the people over the Chalice of benediction yhese words: “The peace of the Lord be with you always,” grant, O Lord, that Thy sweet peace may come down upon our hearts and upon all the nations with new and manifest power. Amen.

– Pope Leo XIII


An Invitation by Cardinals to Pray

The Cardinals in Rome propose that today’s afternoon’s session be dedicated to prayer in Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome, and they invite the whole Universal Church to join them – wherever we may be – at 5:00pm Rome Time.

The structure of the Cardinals’ prayer will include the recitation of the Glorious Mysteries of the Holy Rosary, Solemn Vespers and the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament with a time of Adoration.

Vatican Radio will be video broadcasting live from Saint Peter’s.

EWTN will also be broadcasting live.

Bernini's Baldacchino
Credit: http://www.sacred-destinations.com/italy/rome-st-peters-basilica

When?  5pm Rome Time | 11am EST | 8am PST

Many of us in the States will be working at that hour, but that doesn’t mean we cannot unite our efforts for the sake of the Cardinals’ intentions for the Universal Church. 

What an opportunity to stand together and pray for the coming Conclave!

Commit to pray at that hour in some way. What way will you choose?

Miserere: A Penitential Prayer

Miserere, by Italian composer Gregorio Allegri (1582-1652), is a setting of Psalm 51: It is the best known of the seven Penitential Psalms; the others are Psalms 6, 32, 38, 102, 130, and 143. These prayers are essential to our prayer life, leading us to reflect on God’s mercy, and our need to turn back to Him and be welcomed like the Prodigal Child when he recognizes his need for His father.

Take a moment and reflect on the Miserere (Psalm 51):

Have mercy on me, God, in your kindness. *
In your compassion blot out my offense.
O wash me more and more from my guilt *
and cleanse me from my sin.

My offenses truly I know them; *
my sin is always before me.
Against you, you alone, have I sinned; *
what is evil in your sight I have done.

That you may be justified when you give sentence *
and be without reproach when you judge.
O see, in guilt I was born, *
a sinner was I conceived.

Indeed you love truth in the heart; *
then in the secret of my heart teach me wisdom.
O purify me, then I shall be clean; *
O wash me, I shall be whiter than snow.

Make me hear rejoicing and gladness, *
that the bones you have crushed may revive.
From my sins turn away your face *
and blot out all my guilt.

A pure heart create for me, O God, *
put a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from your presence, *
nor deprive me of your holy spirit.

Give me again the joy of your help; *
with a spirit of fervor sustain me,
that I may teach transgressors your ways *
and sinners may return to you.

O rescue me, God, my helper, *
and my tongue shall ring out your goodness.
O Lord, open my lips *
and my mouth shall declare your praise.

For in sacrifice you take no delight, *
burnt offering from me you would refuse,
my sacrifice, a contrite spirit. *
A humbled, contrite heart you will not spurn.

In your goodness, show favor to Zion: *
rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
Then you will be pleased with lawful sacrifice, *
holocausts offered on your altar.

The Return of the Prodigal Son by Rembrandt, 1669

Pope Benedict to Step Down

P. Benedict XVI, 2010My heart is heavy with the announcement by our beloved Pope Benedict XVI that he will resign as Pontiff on February 28. In his announcement spoken in Latin to a small gathering of Cardinals, he said:

Dear Brothers,
I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonizations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church. After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry. I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering. However, in today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me. For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is.
Dear Brothers, I thank you most sincerely for all the love and work with which you have supported me in my ministry and I ask pardon for all my defects. And now, let us entrust the Holy Church to the care of Our Supreme Pastor, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and implore his holy Mother Mary, so that she may assist the Cardinal Fathers with her maternal solicitude, in electing a new Supreme Pontiff. With regard to myself, I wish to also devotedly serve the Holy Church of God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer.
From the Vatican, 10 February 2013


As the conclave prepares to gather, let us begin our prayer for the election for the new pope:

PeterO Lord, with suppliant humility we entreat Thee, that in Thy boundless mercy Thou wouldst grant the most holy Roman Church a pontiff, who, by his zeal for us, may be pleasing to Thee, and by his good government may ever be honored by Thy people for the glory of Thy name. Through our Lord. (Collect)


This too is still an appropriate prayer for the Pope.

Shameless Popery posted this prayer.

Vatican Radio Reports

Dolan: “Thank God for the gift of Pope Benedict”

The Pope’s Paper: “Benedict Leaves” (Rocco Palmo)

Papal Conclave Electors and Other Information (Dr. Edward Peters)

On Pope’s Resignation

Notes About the Upcoming Conclave (Fr. Zuhlsdorf)

God’s Miracles Begin with an Act of Faith

In the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 9:18-26, we find two examples where Jesus performed miracles following two small acts of faith.

The first, an official’s daughter had died. Yet, he kneels before Jesus seeking a miracle. “My daughter has just died. But come, lay your hand on her, and she will live.”

The second, a woman who suffered from hemorrhages for twelve years came up behind Jesus and touched the tassel on his cloak, saying to herself, “If only I can touch his cloak, I shall be cured.”

In both cases, Jesus assisted them, raising to life the official’s daughter and healing the woman of her long-term illness.

What can we learn about prayer in these two examples, and how can we put it into practice? Both of these in need, sought out Jesus (first step of prayer). Both of them had a petition, one spoken audibly, the other in her heart. Both of them acted, expecting results. Their words show their confidence:

The father: “…she will live.”

The woman: “…I shall be cured.”

Does our prayer follow the same pattern? There are no conditionals in their prayer. They demonstrate a boldness; a confidence that God will act in their favor. This is faith.

Today, let us practice in our prayer such bold confidence. Trusting that God knows what we need before we ask, yet how much He longs for us to come to Him with our whole heart, trusting in Him to act on our behalf.

An Act of Faith

O my God,
I firmly believe that you are one God in three divine Persons,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit;
I believe that your divine Son became man and died for our sins,
and that he shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe these and all the truths
that the holy Catholic Church teaches,
because you have revealed them,
who can neither deceive nor be deceived.

Abandonment to God’s Providence

My Lord and my God: into your hands I abandon the past and the present and the future, what is small and what is great, what amounts to little and what amounts to a lot, things temporal and things eternal. Amen.

–  Saint Josemaria Escriva

Urgent Prayer Request

All of us over at Ignitum Today have been praying fervently for fellow bloggers Andrew and Christina Pocta who have been going through a very difficult time. A few months after their wedding in October, they joyfully found out they were going to be new parents.

Their joy has taken a curveball; their little girl Maria Isabella was diagnosed with Spina Bifida.

Since then, Christina and Maria Isabella have gone through surgery to correct the problem, but now is the time when healing must take place, and to pray that Christina can carry the baby to term. The doctors say this is the most critical time (even more than the surgery itself!). Andrew and Christina are in even more need of our prayers for their little girl.

Please join me in continuing to pray for the Pocta family. Let us pray through the intercession of Saint Gianna Beretta Molla, who is quickly being referred to as the Patroness for the unborn, and whose sister Virginia is a Canossian Sister (my Institute):

God our Father we praise You and we bless you because in Saint Gianna Beretta Molla you have given us one who witnessed to the Gospel as a young women, as a wife, as a mother, and as a doctor. We thank you because through the gift of her life we can learn to welcome and honor every human person.

You, Lord Jesus, were for Gianna a splendid example. She learned to recognize you in the beauty of nature. As she was questioning her choice of vocation she went in search of you and the best way to serve you. Through her married love she became a sign of your love for the Church and for humanity.  Like you, the Good Samaritan, she cared for everyone who was sick, small or weak. Following your example, out of love she gave herself entirely, generating new life.

Holy Spirit, Source of every perfection, give us wisdom, intelligence, and courage so that, following the example of Saint Gianna and through her intercession, we may know how to place ourselves at the service of each person we meet in our personal, family and professional lives, and thus grow in love and holiness.


For updates, you can read their blog, Cafe con Leche. God bless you!

Ash Wednesday – A Prayer

Sr Josie, Canossian Sister, distributes ashes during Ash Wednesday service.

Grant, O Lord, that we may begin with holy fasting
this campaign of Christian service,
so that, as we take up battle against spiritual evils,
we may be armed with weapons of self-restraint.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ,
your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God for ever and ever.


(collect – Ash Wednesday)

Helpful Lenten posts:

Father Zuhlsdorf breaks down this powerful prayer/collect for us here.

Fasting and Abstinence – Some gentle reminders and scripture passages for the season.

Join the conversation – what is your Lenten practice?

A Day of Penance and Prayer

“The Gospel of life is at the heart of Jesus’ message. Lovingly received day after day by the Church, it is to be preached with dauntless fidelity as “good news” to the people of every age and culture.”
– Bl. John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, 1

“The bishops of the United States have designated today as a day of penance for violations to the dignity of the human person committed through acts of abortion and of prayer for the full restoration of the legal guarantee of the right to life.”

In keeping with having today a Day of Prayer and Penance, what can we do?

– Go to Mass
– Peacefully praying outside of an abortion clinic
– Fasting
– Praying a rosary or chaplet for the unborn
– Praying for those who have been wounded by abortion
– Visiting and praying before the Blessed Sacrament
– Reading and reflecting on Pope John Paul II’s Evangelium Vitae in full
– Becoming involved with a pro-life group
– Write about, or share posts on the issues of life, and post it to your blog,
facebook and/or twitter

What are you doing today, to witness to the gift of life?

A New Year – A Patron Saint

I wrote on Twitter this morning:

Each Sister of my religious community receives a Patron Saint for the year, along with a mandate to pray for an intention of the Church and/or of our Religious Institute. This year’s line-up of Saints is pretty formidable (at the bottom of the post, there is a very helpful Saint Finder that can help you locate a Patron Saint for 2012)!

Sister Teresa received Blessed Cesar de Bus, Founder of the Priests and Sisters of Christian Doctrine, Patron of Catechists (our primary ministry).

“I was so beside myself and fired with such a longing to do something in imitation of him (St Charles Borromeo), that I would not give my eyes sleep or my days rest until I had given some beginning to this resolution of mine.”

Feast Day: April 15

Virtue of Piety.

Pray for our Ministries of Charity: Catechesis, Care of the Sick, Education, Formation of the Laity, and Spiritual Exercises.

Sister Elisa received Saint Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, Doctor of the Church and Founder of the Redemptorists, Patron of Vocations (God knows we need more workers in the vineyard!).

“It is necessary for you to pray diligently to God to make you know his will as to what state he wants you in. But take notice that to have this light, you must pray to him with indifference…if you entreat him with indifference and resolution to follow his will, God will make you know clearly what state is better for you.”

Feast Day: August 1

Virtue of Humility.

Pray for the increase of Holy Vocations to our Religious Institute.

Sister Felicity received Saint Teresa of Avila, Doctor of the Church and Refoundress of the Discalced Carmelites, Patron of Religious and of Headache Sufferers.

“Remember that you have only one soul; that you have only one death to die; that you have only one life, which is short and has to be lived by you alone; and there is only one Glory, which is eternal. If you do this, there will be many things about which you care nothing.”

Feast Day: October 15

Virtue of Fortitude.

Pray for renewal of the Canossian Religious Institute to its original fervor and Foundress Saint Magdalene of Canossa’s intention.

Sister Jenny received Saint Cajetan, Founder of the Theatines, and was known for his concern for the corruption of priests, and for the sick in hospitals. He is the Patron of the Unemployed.

“Do not receive Christ in the Blessed Sacrament so that you may use him as you judge best, but give yourself to him and let him receive you in this Sacrament, so that he himself, God your saviour, may do to you and through you whatever he wills.”

Feast Day: August 7

Virtue of Faith in Divine Providence.

Pray for the Protection of the Church against scandal and corruption.

Lastly, my Patron Saint is Our Lady of Good Counsel, whose image is linked to a mystical appearance of a painting in the town of Genazzano, Italy on the Feast of Saint Luke (April 25). She is the Patron of those seeking clarity/enlightenment.

O Mary of Good Counsel, inflame the hearts of all who are devoted to you, so that all of them have shelter in you, O great Mother of God. O most worthy Lady, let everyone choose you as teacher and wise counselor of their souls, since you are, as Saint Augustine says, the counsel of the Apostles and counsel of all peoples. Amen.

Feast Day. April 26

Virtue of Prudence

Pray for the Provincial Council of North America and for the Institute’s General Council.

And so begins our New Year, flanked by our Patron Saints, along with our Institute’s protectors:

Saint Michael the Archangel, Pray for Us!

Saint Francis of Assisi, Pray for Us!

Saint Cajetan, Pray for Us!

Servant of God, Sister Fernanda Riva (FdCC) Pray for Us!

Servant of God, Sister Luigia Grassi (FdCC) Pray for Us!

Saint Josephine Bakhita (FdCC) Pray for Us!

Saint Magdalene of Canossa, Our Mother Foundress, Pray for Us!

Mary, Our Mother of Sorrows at the Foot of the Cross, Pray for Us!

Now, it’s your turn! Have you chosen a Patron Saint for 2012? If you need help, you might want to try Jennifer Fulwiler’s Saint Generator. Offer a prayer to the Lord, asking Him to provide you a Saint companion for this year. When you are ready, go here. Be prepared to be pleasantly surprised.

And, I would love to hear who your Patron for 2012 is, so report back in the comments, or send me a tweet!

Blessed New Year everyone! Let us start off right, and let the Lord and our Saints take every step with us!

Christmas Mass with the Pope

Note: Links fixed :)

With Christmas Eve upon us, perhaps you are one of many hoping to catch the Midnight Mass, live stream, from Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome?

Yes, you can join Pope Benedict on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (for His Urbi et Orbi Christmas Message). I will list the schedule, as posted by the Pontifical Council for Social Communications with the streaming services below it.

You can download the Program for the Midnight Mass in PDF, here (download by right-click, save link as).

Saturday, Midnight Mass at St Peter’s Basilica: Broadcasting LIVE begins at 10:00pm (Rome Time) (4pm EST).

Sunday, Christmas Message and Blessing “Urbi et Orbi” of Pope Benedict: Broadcasting LIVE at 12:00pm ROME Time (6am EST)

The live streaming service will be available on:



Vatican Website

Vatican Web Player

The Vatican Stations player can change the language easily to include translation, or turn it off, if you prefer to watch without commentary.

Note: The last three sites all require Microsoft Silverlight, which works in Chrome and Firefox just fine. Any mac users can let me know in the comments if a plugin is available (you might be helping a reader or two, too).

EWTN will rebroadcast the Christmas Eve Mass on Sunday at 8am EST and 6pm EST.

EWTN will rebroadcast the Urbi et Orbi Message and Blessing on Sunday at 10pm EST, and again Wednesday, December 28 at 9am EST, and Saturday, December 31 at 11pm EST.

Mary Prays

Mary prays. Twitter friend, @Prayersheart graciously allowed me to post her watercolor on my blog. I found myself invited by the image to pray a decade of my Rosary with Mary, she who is crowned with twelve stars (Rev 12:1).

As we wait for the coming Messiah, let us stop and spend a moment with Mary in prayer. She who draws us to her Son, and leads us to contemplate the redemptive mysteries of salvation that were accomplished on the Cross.

Mater Salvatoris, ora pro nobis!

Novena to the Beauty of Mary

November 29th we begin the novena for the preparation for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is one of my personal favorite novenas, in part because of the hymn, Tota Pulchra es, Maria, sung at the conclusion of each day’s novena prayer. I fell in love with the hymn when I was a postulant, and it has remained one of my favorite every since.

The other reason I love this Novena, is what it tells of our own redemption. Each day of the novena reveals a part of the mystery God’s redemptive mercy. Enjoy the hymn, scrolling down to each day’s reflection, as together we unfold the importance of the Immaculate Conception in God’s salvific plan.

May Mary, conceived without original sin, pray for us!

Tota pulchra es, Maria,
et macula originalis non est in te.
Tu gloria Jerusalem,
tu laetitia Israel,
tu honorificentia populi nostri.
Tu advocata peccatorum,

O Maria! O Maria!

Virgo prudentissima,
Mater clementissima,
ora pro nobis,
intercede pro nobis
ad Dominum Jesum Christum.

(there is a video link at the bottom of the page for those wanting to hear this hymn sung).

Thou art all-lovely, O Mary,
and in thee there is no stain of original sin.
Thou art the glory of Jerusalem,
Thou art the joy of Israel,
Thou art the honour of our people.
Thou art the advocate of sinners,

O Mary! O Mary!

Virgin most prudent,
Mother most clement,
pray for us,
intercede for us
to our Lord Jesus Christ.

1.  DAY ONE: Tota pulchra es Maria! You are all-beautiful Mary!

The feast of the Immaculate Conception, inserted in the liturgical time of Advent, invites us to look at Mary, the model with which the Church prepares herself to live the mystery of the Incarnation of the Word.

Mary, who is born free from original sin in order to receive in herself the Word of God, is always ready to help us to free our hearts from every stain of sin and make us worthy to receive her Son, Jesus.

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you. (Tota pulchra)

2.  DAY TWO: Et macula originalis non est in te. And the stain of original sin is not in you…

Mary is the mirror of what each one of us would have been without sin and she is the gift of God to sinful humanity so that in Christ it may re-acquire its lost innocence.

The Blessed Virgin invites us today to ask the Holy Spirit for a new heart so that we may receive Jesus in the Holy Eucharist with the same sentiments that Mary, his Mother, had, receiving Jesus, the Word made Flesh.

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you. (Tota Pulchra)

3.  DAY THREE: Tu gloria Jerusalem. You are the glory of Jerusalem.

In Mary shines forth the glory of God: the Father pours the fullness of his grace into her, the Holy Spirit overshadows her and makes her mother, the Word takes flesh in her virginal womb and from the cross gives her as Mother and glory of the Church.

Mary is the Mother of our life and today she wishes to share with us her very glory by means of a clearer awareness of the Trinity dwelling in us and wanting to reveal itself to us.

O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you. (Tota Pulchra)

4.  DAY FOUR: Tu laetitia Israel … You are the joy of Israel

Mary is the channel of joy. No creature has been filled with joy as Mary. The source of every joy is the Word, her Son: “Now I proclaim to you a great joy…a Savior is born to you, Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). After the Angel’s announcement, Mary explodes in a hymn of joy which is the highest and most ineffable: “My spirit rejoices in God my Savior” (Luke 1:47).

Today, with Mary, let us celebrate the joy that overflows when Christ enters into our life. To be converted is to progress in joy (GD 5)

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you (Tota Pulchra)

5.  DAY FIVE: tu honorificentia populi nostri … You are the honor of our people

The mission of Mary towards the people of God is a supernatural reality which is active and fruitful. As Mother, she has the task, through the course of the centuries, to reproduce in us the spiritual features of her Son.

Let us look at Mary today as the Mother of our faith, our hope, our love, and beg her to obtain for us from the Father, the giver of every gift, these virtues that are so necessary for our personal holiness.

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you (Tota Pulchra)

6.  DAY SIX: Tu advocata peccatorum … You plead for us, sinners

The inaccessible God made himself accessible through Mary. The New Woman is next to Christ, the new Man. Through Christ, the plan of God for the salvation of all mankind has been accomplished in her. (MC 57).

Mary, now in glory next to her Son, is our advocate. Here on earth she is a powerful aid for those on their way towards heaven.

Today let us pray to Mary, especially for those who have been called to our Father’s House.

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you (Tota Pulchra)

7.  DAY SEVEN: Virgo prudentissima … Virgin most prudent

Mary knows the way to go to God. She is the teacher of prudence: she makes an unconditional offering of her life to the Father saying to him: “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord, let it be done to me as you have said” (Luke 1:38).

Mary’s “yes” is for each one of us a safe path to follow, with her sentiments, because in obedience to the Father’s will, we become like Mary, “mothers” of Christ, the Savior of the world.

Today, our unconditional “yes” will be lived in union with the “yes” of Mary.

O Mary, conceived without sin; pray for us who have recourse to you (Tota Pulchra)

note: A post on the availability to God through our yes. And Three Reasons for Mary, and the consequences of her “yes”.

8.  DAY EIGHT: Mater clementissima … Mother most clement

The clemency of God shines forth in Mary. She continues to remind her Son: “They have no wine”. She is the intuitive woman who sees and provides everything for our eternal salvation. She is the Mother of indulgence, goodness and love. She takes the hand of those who hold out their hand to her and she walks with us, day by day, towards our ultimate goal, our Father’s House and our eternal happiness.

Today, let us put our hand in Mary’s and entrust ourselves completely to her, even in the most difficult and painful moments.

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you (Tota Pulchra)

9.  DAY NINE: Intercede pro nobis ad Dominum Jesum Christum … Intercede for us with Our Lord Jesus Christ 

The privileges of Mary: Immaculate, Virgin, Mother of Christ, Mother of the Church, Mediatrix and Assumed into Heaven, are all derived from and converge in the person of the Word made flesh. The Father wanted her like this, so that she could become the Mother of his Only Son and, only as a consequence, the Mother of all humanity. Mary gives us Jesus. Mary is the way to Jesus. Mary is the Mother who conceives and makes Jesus grow in us to perfect stature.

Today, let us repeat in us the interior attitudes of Mary. Let us live in her Mother’s heart and allow ourselves to be led by her, just as Jesus did when he lived in her womb.

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you (Tota Pulchra)

St Albertus Magnus, Ora Pro Nobis

St Albert, from Angelicum - Rome*

Saint Albert the Great is the patron of this blog for 2011, and, being his feast day deserves special mention. I’ve never known much of St Albert, but am a huge fan of one of his students, St Thomas Aquinas. Last January I decided to choose a saint for the year to be patron of this blog, and that choice came down to St Albert.

After reading some of his writings, I found a friend in him. The quote in the sidebar under his picture is close to my personal spirituality, and that of the Foundress of the Canossian Sisters, to which I belong. Saint Magdalene of Canossa would say, “Charity in humility; humility in Charity,” to describe how we – Daughters of Charity, Servants of the poor – are to conduct ourselves. Thus, we are called to imitate the ‘greatest Charity’ – that displayed on the Cross by Jesus. It is by this way of living charity, we are called to make “Jesus known and loved.”

Today, I leave you with another quote of Saint Albert the Great:

O Lord Jesus Christ, Who seekest those who stray and receivest them when returning, make me approach to Thee through the frequent hearing of They Word, lest I sin against my neighbor by the blindness of human judgement, through the austerity of false justice, through comparing his inferior status, through too much trust in my merits or through ignorance of the Divine Judgement. Guide me to search diligently each corner of my conscience lest the flesh dominate the spirit.

Source of the Prayer

Here, St Albert gives us an excellent prayer to begin any examination of conscience, a most wonderful way to end each day. It is a fresh reminder that we must let our conscience speak to us, and call us back to truth, ‘lest the flesh dominate the spirit’.

Thank you, Saint Albert, for interceding for this blog, and for all who stumble upon it.

St Abertus Magnus, ora pro nobis. Ut digni efficiamur promissionibus Christi. Amen.

Here’s a fine post on St Albert posted by Rachel Anne Thérèse. Enjoy!

For more on Saint Albert, at New Advent

* Photo by Lawrence OP