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Friday, May 26, 2017

Daily Marian Prayer And Image



From The Glories Of Mary, by Saint Alphonsus de Liguori:

Most Holy, Immaculate Virgin and my Mother Mary! To thee who art the Mother of my Lord, the Queen of the world, the Advocate, the Hope, and the Refuge of sinners, I have recourse today, I who am the most miserable of all.

I render thee my most humble homage, O great Queen, and I thank thee for all the graces thou hast conferred on me until now, especially for having delivered me from Hell, which I have so often deserved.

I love thee, O most amiable Lady; and for the love which I bear thee, I promise to serve thee always and to do all in my power to make others love thee also. I place in thee all my hopes; I confide my salvation to thy care.

Accept me for thy servant and receive me under thy mantle, O Mother of Mercy. And since thou art so powerful with God, deliver me from all temptations; or rather, obtain for me the strength to triumph over them until death. Of thee I ask a perfect love for Jesus Christ.

Through thee I hope to die a good death. O my Mother, by the love which thou bearest to God, I beseech thee to help me at all times, but especially at the last moment of my life. Leave me not, I beseech thee, until thou seest me safe in Heaven, blessing thee and singing thy mercies for all eternity.
Amen. Thus, I hope. Thus, may it be.

Saint Phillip Neri, Confessor



A good life of Saint Philip from EWTN's website.

Saint Philip, please pray for us!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Daily Marian Prayer And Image

From The Glories Of Mary, by Saint Alphonsus de Liguori: Most Holy, Immaculate Virgin and my Mother Mary! To thee who art the Mother of my Lord, the Queen of the world, the Advocate, the Hope, and the Refuge of sinners, I have recourse today, I who am the most miserable of all. I render thee my most humble homage, O great Queen, and I thank thee for all the graces thou hast conferred on me until now, especially for having delivered me from Hell, which I have so often deserved. I love thee, O most amiable Lady; and for the love which I bear thee, I promise to serve thee always and to do all in my power to make others love thee also. I place in thee all my hopes; I confide my salvation to thy care. Accept me for thy servant and receive me under thy mantle, O Mother of Mercy. And since thou art so powerful with God, deliver me from all temptations; or rather, obtain for me the strength to triumph over them until death. Of thee I ask a perfect love for Jesus Christ. Through thee I hope to die a good death. O my Mother, by the love which thou bearest to God, I beseech thee to help me at all times, but especially at the last moment of my life. Leave me not, I beseech thee, until thou seest me safe in Heaven, blessing thee and singing thy mercies for all eternity. Amen. Thus, I hope. Thus, may it be.

Ascension Thursday


Happily, the Archdiocese of Boston adheres to the old rule, that the Ascension falls 40 days after Easter, on a Thursday. And even if it didn't, since I follow the 1962 Ordo (with some exceptions and additions) today would still be Ascension Thursday, a holy day of obligation.






Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Daily Marian Prayer And Image

From The Glories Of Mary, by Saint Alphonsus de Liguori: O beloved Mother of God, most amiable child Mary, O that, as thou didst present thyself in the temple, and with promptitude and without reserve, didst consecrate thyself to the glory and love of God, I could offer thee, this day, the first years of my life, to devote myself without reserve to thy service, my holy and most sweet Lady! But it is now too late to do this; for, unfortunate creature that I am, I have lost so many years in the service of the world and my own caprices, and have lived in almost entire forgetfulness of thee and of God: Woe to that time in which I did not love thee! ("Vae tempori illi, in quo non amavi te!") But it is better to begin late than not at all. Behold, O Mary, I this day present myself to thee, and I offer myself without reserve to thy service for the long or short time that I still have to live in this world; and in union with thee I renounce all creatures, and devote myself entirely to the love of my Creator. I consecrate my mind to thee, O Queen, that it may always think of the love that thou deservest, my tongue to praise thee, my heart to love thee. Do thou accept, O most holy Virgin, the offering which this miserable sinner now makes thee; accept it, I beseech thee, by the consolation that thy heart experienced when thou gavest thyself to God in the temple. But since I enter thy service late, it is reasonable that I should redouble my acts of homage and love, thereby to compensate for lost time. Do thou help my weakness with thy powerful intercession, O Mother of Mercy, by obtaining me perseverance from thy Jesus, and strength to be always faithful to thee until death; that thus always serving thee in life, I may praise thee in Paradise for all eternity. Amen.

Rogation Wednesday And the Vigil of the Ascension

One of the glories of Catholicism is its ability to incorporate so many varying interests in aspects of our Catholic Faith under the same general rubric. Some Catholics are devoted to the Rosary, others to the Sacred Heart. Some especially revere Our Lady of Mount Carmel, others Our Sorrowful Mother. Some love the devotion of the Five Sacred Wounds, while others cling just as doggedly to the devotion of the Fifteen Os of Saint Bridget. Some are clients of this saint, some of that.

The Church's manner of accommodating so many varying interests has been to foster guilds devoted to these aspects of Catholic piety. The creation of a group of people devoted to a particular aspect of the Faith allows like-minded folks to interact, but at the same time keeps them within the bounds of our Mother the Church. The Church, in the modern parlance, is a "Big Tent." So long as you adhere to the Magesterium in matters of faith and morals, and live within the Church and its teachings, no one is going to make a fuss if you prefer to pray to St. Michael as the escort of souls, or to St. Joseph as the patron of a happy death, or to the general patronage of Our Blessed Lady, when you pray for a happy and holy death.

Guilds for a particular devotion have a long history, and were present in England before the protestant rebellion. They thrived in the 19th century, and were still going strong before the post-Vatican II tidal wave nearly wrecked everything. I believe, though I don't have any evidence to support this at the moment, that they are making a quiet comeback today. Where the Church is healthy, you will still find active St. Vincent de Paul Societies, and busy Holy Name Societies. The Spanish Penitents i profiled during Holy Week are modern devotional guilds.

As I said, the devotional guilds were a part of Catholic life well before the 1500s. And of course, as the parish community processed on important feast days, like the Rogation Days, the guilds took part. The processed together as a group (and one can imagine that the parish priest had to diplomatically allot the guilds' respective places in the procession).

Each group had some sort of banner. Often these banners were ephemeral, like the felt things one sees in churches today. But sometimes they were crafted symbols of the guild.

I have only found one image of surviving guild banners for procession. They are from France, and probably do not predate the French Revolution.


But one can see a Catholic community dividing itself into its "little platoons" and processing behind the Crucifix and the parish priest in small groups as they perambulate the parish, asking blessing on the crops, praying the Litany of the Saints, and beating the bounds of the parish.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Rogation Tuesday

Since Rogationtide processions went on during all three days before Ascension Thursday, and there is a practical limit to how many times the congregation can chant the Litanies, and participate in the various prayers offered for newly-planted crops, something else needed to be added to occupy those in the procession. And that is the beating of the bounds.

As time went by, with parish and property lines often marked by natural features like a protuberant stone, those boundary lines often became blurred and shifted, either through natural events (a stream drying up or shifting) or human action (moving a stone to move the property line). A parish might want to exclude a home from its territory if the inhabitants were poor and shiftless and likely to become a charge on the charity of the parish. Or it might want to include more affluent homes on the edge of the boundary.

So, over time, means were devised to create a living memory of just where the boundary line was, regardless of the natural features mentioned in any grants or deeds. What was devised was this. During one or more of the Rogation Processions, the young boys of the parish were brought along and enjoined to memorize the exact line of the boundary. The boys would be beaten with narrow sticks to ensure their proper memorization, and to chastise them if their memory was faulty. Thus, the "Beating of the Bounds."


Today, when a "Beating of the Bounds" occurs, it tends to be in England, and to be a High Church Anglican thing. They have the old territorial parishes and the parish churches, since the protestant rebellion. English Catholics today, having less official status and being more scattered, take little interest in such local displays. Also today, it appears that New Age pagans like to attach themselves to Beating of the Bounds processions during Rogationtide, since it is a seasonal fancy-dress occasion. And they are joined by morris dancers, town criers, handbell guilds, and so on.

But the origins of the procession and the beating of the bounds are firmly Catholic. Perhaps someday, the vehicle of the Rogation Procession will be reunited to the Catholic practice that gave rise to it.

Daily Marian Prayer And Image

From The Glories Of Mary, by Saint Alphonsus de Liguori: O holy and heavenly Infant, Thou who art the destined Mother of my Redeemer and the great mediatress of miserable sinners, pity me. Behold at thy feet another ungrateful sinner who has recourse to thee and asks thy compassion. It is true, that for my ingratitude to God and to thee I deserve that God and thou should abandon me; but I have heard, and believe it to be so (knowing the greatness of thy mercy), that thou dost not refuse to help any one who recommends himself to thee with confidence. O most exalted creature in the world! since this is the case, and since there is no one but God above thee, so that compared with thee the greatest saints of heaven are little; O saint of saints, O Mary! abyss of charity, and full of grace, succor a miserable creature who by his own fault has lost the divine favor. I know that thou art so dear to God that he denies thee nothing. I know also that thy pleasure is to use thy greatness for the relief of miserable sinners. Then, show how great is the favor that thou enjoyest with God, by obtaining me a divine light and flame so powerful that I may be changed from a sinner into a saint; and detaching myself from every earthly affection, divine love may be enkindled in me. Do this, O Lady, for thou canst do it. Do it for the love of God, who has made thee so great, so powerful, and so compassionate. This is my hope. Amen.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Rogation Monday



From a University of Chicago site:


The Rogation Days are three (or four) days focused on agriculture and nature, where we pray for a good harvest, fruitful crops, good weather, and protection from flood, tornado, earthquake, and other natural disasters. Traditionally the Church offers these requests on the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday before the Feast of the Ascension, although some churches also add the Sunday before Ascension, before Rogation Monday. (The Catholic Church marks April 25 as the Major Rogation, and the days before Ascension as the Minor Rogation.)

Rogation comes from the Latin rogatio and French rogare, meaning "to ask." Fifth-century France was beset with a number of natural disasters, including floods, failing harvests, and an earthquake on Ascension (which always falls on a Thursday). In response to these calamities Mamertus, Bishop of Vienne, called for three days of prayer, fasting, and repentance, and this quickly became the custom for the three days preceding Ascension.

The observance of Rogation Days spread throughout Europe (In England, the days are also known as Gang-Days, Gang-Week, or Cross-Week.) Many churches led a procession around the town or parish boundaries on one of the Rogation Days, chanting a litany to the saints and offering prayers for a good year. This practice became known as "beating the bounds." George Herbert recommends this practice in A Country Parson (see chapter 25).

Many churches in farming communities continue to observe a traditional Rogation.Other churches are adapting the Rogation services to a technology-based society.

Read more about Rogation Days here, here, here, and here.


Daily Marian Prayer And Image

From The Glories Of Mary, by Saint Alphonsus de Liguori: O, my Immaculate Lady! I rejoice with thee on seeing thee enriched with so great purity. I thank, and, resolve always to thank, our common Creator for having preserved thee from every stain of sin; and I firmly believe this doctrine, and am prepared and swear even to lay down my life, should this be necessary, in defence of this thy so great and singular privilege of being conceived immaculate. I would that the whole world knew thee and acknowledged thee as being that beautiful "Dawn" which was always illumined with divine light; as that chosen "Ark" of salvation, free from the common shipwreck of sin; that perfect and immaculate "Dove" which thy divine Spouse declared thee to be; that "enclosed Garden" which was the delight of God; that "sealed Founain" whose waters were never troubled by an enemy; and finally, as that "white Lily," which thou art, and who, though born in the midst of the thorns of the children of Adam, all of whom are conceived in sin, and the enemies of God, wast alone conceived pure and spotless, and in all things the beloved of thy Creator. Permit me, then, to praise thee also as thy God himself has praised thee: Thou art all fair, and there is not a spot in thee ("Tota pulchra es, Amica mea, et macula non est in te"—Cant. iv. 7). O most pure Dove, all fair, all beautiful, always the friend of God. O how beautiful art thou, my beloved! How beautiful art thou! ("Quam pulchra es, amica mea, quam pulchra es!"—Ib. 1). Most sweet, most amiable, immaculate Mary, thou who art so beautiful in the eyes of thy Lord, disdain not to cast thy compassionate eyes on the wounds of my soul, loathsome as they are. Behold me, pity me, heal me. O beautiful loadstone of hearts, draw also my miserable heart to thyself. O thou, who from the first moment of thy life didst appear pure and beautiful before God, pity me, who not only was born in sin, but have again since baptism stained my soul with crimes. What grace will God ever refuse thee, who chose thee for his daughter, his Mother, and Spouse, and therefore preserved thee from every stain, and in his love preferred thee to all other creatures? I will say, in the words of St. Philip Neri, "Immaculate Virgin, thou hast to save me." Grant that I may always remember thee; and thou, do thou never forget me. The happy day, when I shall go to behold thy beauty in Paradise, seems a thousand years off; so much do I long to praise and love thee more than I can now do, my Mother, my Queen, my beloved, most beautiful, most sweet, most pure, Immaculate Mary. Amen.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Daily Marian Prayer And Image



From The Glories Of Mary, by Saint Alphonsus de Liguori:

O Mother of mercy, since thou art so compassionate, and hast so great a desire to render service to us poor creatures and to grant our requests, behold I, the most miserable of all men, have now recourse to thy compassion, in order that thou mayest grant me that which I ask. Others may ask what they please of thee,—bodily health, and earthly goods and advantages; but I come, O Lady, to ask thee for that which thou desired of me humility and love of contempt.

Thou wast so patient under the sufferings of this life; obtain for me patience in trials.

Thou wast all filled with the love of God; obtain for me the gift of his pure and holy love.

Thou wast all love towards thy neighbor; obtain for me charity towards all, and particularly towards those who are in any way my enemies. Thou wast entirely united to the divine will; obtain for me entire conformity to the will of God in whatever way he may be pleased to dispose of me.

Thou, in fine, art the most holy of all creatures; O Mary, make me a saint. Love for me is not wanting on thy part; thou canst do all, and thou hast the will to obtain me all. The only thing, then, that can prevent me from receiving thy graces is, either neglect on my part in having recourse to thee, or little confidence in thy intercession; but these two things thou must obtain for me. These two greatest graces I ask from thee; from thee I must obtain them; from thee I hope for them with the greatest confidence, O Mary, my Mother Mary, my hope, my love, my life, my refuge, my help, and my consolation. Amen.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Daily Marian Prayer And Image

From The Glories Of Mary, by Saint Alphonsus de Liguori: O Queen of heaven, Mother of holy love! since thou art the most amiable of creatures, the most beloved of God, and his greatest lover, be pleased to allow the most miserable sinner living in this world, who, having by thy means been delivered from hell, and without any merit on his part been so benefited by thee and who is filled with love for thee, to love thee. I would desire, were it in my power, to let all men who know thee not know how worthy thou art of love, that all might love and honor thee. I would desire to die for the love of thee, in defence of thy virginity, of thy dignity of Mother of God, of thy Immaculate Conception, should this be necessary, to uphold these thy great privileges. O my most beloved Mother, accept this my ardent desire, and never allow a servant of thine, who loves thee, to become the enemy of thy God, whom thou lovest so much. Alas! poor me, I was so for a time, when I offended my Lord. But then, O Mary, I loved thee but little, and strove but little to be beloved by thee. But now there is nothing that I so much desire, after the grace of God, as to love and be loved by thee. I am not discouraged on account of my past sins, for I know that thou, O most benign and gracious Lady, dost not disdain to love even the most wretched sinners who love thee; nay more, that thou never allowest thyself to be surpassed by any in love. Queen most worthy of love, I desire to love thee in heaven. There, at thy feet, I shall better know how worthy thou art of love, how much thou hast done to save me; and thus I shall love thee with greater love, and love thee eternally, without fear of ever ceasing to love thee. O Mary, I hope most certainly to be saved by thy means. Pray to Jesus for me. Nothing else is needed; thou hast to save me; thou art my hope. I will therefore always sing O Mary, my hope, thou hast to save me. Amen.

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