Friday, February 5, 2016

First Saturday



The Five First Saturdays devotion is one of the principal points of the Fatima message. It centers on the urgent need for mankind to offer reparation and expiate for the many injuries that the Immaculate Heart of Mary suffers from the hands of both impious and indifferent men.




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History
During the third apparition on July 13, 1917, Our Lady revealed that she would come to ask for the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart and for the Communion of Reparation of the Five First Saturdays. Consequently, she asked for the devotion in 1925 and the consecration in 1929.
While staying at the House of the Dorothean Sister in Pontevedra, Portugal, Sister Lucia received a vision on December 10, 1925 where the Blessed Mother appeared alongside a Boy who stood over a luminous cloud. Our Lady rested one hand on the Boy’s shoulder while she held on the other hand a heart pierced with thorns around it.
Sister Lucia heard the Boy say, "Have pity on the Heart of your Most Holy Mother which is covered with thorns with which ingrate men pierce it at every moment with no one to make an act of reparation to pull them out."
Our Lady expressed her request in the following words,
"See, my daughter, My Heart surrounded with thorns with which ingrates pierce me at every moment with blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, make sure to console me and announce that all those who for five months, on the first Saturdays, go to confession, receive Communion, say five decades of the Rosary and keep me company for 15 minutes meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary, with the purpose of making reparation to Me, I promise to assist them at the hour of death with all the graces necessary for the salvation of their souls."
A few days afterward, Sister Lucia detailed this vision in a letter addressed to Monsignor Manuel Pereira Lopes, her confessor when she resided in the Asylum of Vilar in the city of Oporto, Portugal.


Why Five Saturdays?     
Sister Lucia’s confessor questioned her about the reason for the five Saturdays asking why not seven or nine. She answered him in a letter dated June 12, 1930. In it she related about a vision she had of Our Lord while staying in the convent chapel part of the night of the twenty-ninth to the thirtieth of the month of May, 1930. The reasons Our Lord gave were as follows:
The five first Saturdays correspond to the five kinds of offenses and blasphemies committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary. They are:
  a.    Blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception
  b.    Blasphemies against her virginity
  c.    Blasphemies against her divine maternity, at the same time the refusal to accept her as the Mother of all men
  d.    Instilling , indifference, scorn and even hatred towards this Immaculate Mother in the hearts of children
  e.    Direct insults against Her sacred images
Let us keep the above reasons firmly in our minds. Devotions have intentions attached to them and knowing them adds merit and weight to the practice.

Modifications to the Five First Saturdays Devotion to facilitate its observation
The original request of Our Lady asks one to confess and receive Communion on five consecutive first Saturdays; to say five decades of the Rosary; to meditate during 15 minutes on the mysteries of the Rosary for the purpose of making reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in reparation for the sins of men.
In subsequent private visions and apparitions however, Sister Lucia presented to Our Lord the difficulties that devotees encountered in fulfilling some conditions. With loving condescension and solicitude, Our Lord deigned to relax the rules to make this devotion easy to observe:
  • Confession may be done on other days other than the First Saturdays so long as one receives Our Lord worthily and has the intention of making reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
  • Even if one forgets to make the intention, it may be done on the next confession, taking advantage of the first occasion to go to confession.
  • Sister Lucia also clarified that it is not necessary to meditate on ALL mysteries of the Rosary on each First Saturdays. One or several suffice.
With much latitude granted by Our Lord Himself, there is no reason for the faithful to hesitate or delay this pious practice in the spirit of reparation which the Immaculate Heart of Mary urgently asks.

This devotion is so necessary in our days
The culture of vice and sin remains unabated even as one reads this. Abortion, blasphemy, drug abuse, pornography, divorce and bad marriages, religious indifference, the advances of the homosexual agenda and others are just some of society’s many plagues that cut deeply into the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
We must console Our Lady amidst all these insults and injuries to her and her Divine Son. She asks for reparation, she pleads for our prayers, she hopes for our amendment of life. Let us listen to her maternal pleas and atone for the ingratitude of men.
The First Five Saturdays devotion stimulates the spirit of reparation; it instills a tender love for the Holy Sacraments of Confession and the Blessed Eucharist. It nurtures a holy affection for the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Rosary. Above all, it is an excellent means to maintain one in the state of grace while immersed in the daily spiritual battles and prosaic existence in the neo-pagan world that we live in.
Let us not delay in observing this devotion for it too gives us hope for eternal salvation.


REFERENCE:
Solimeo, Luiz Sergio, Fatima, A Message More Urgent than Ever 
(Spring Grove, PA: The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property-TFP, 2008.)
  
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The Nine First Fridays




“I promise you, in the excessive mercy of my Heart that my all powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on the first Friday for nine consecutive months, the grace of final repentance; they shall not die in my disgrace nor without receiving the sacraments; my divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in that last moment.”  Our Lord to St. Margaret Mary

Sacred Heart Devotional Set

How to complete the First Friday’s Devotion:

  1. Receive Holy Communion on each First Friday;
  2. The nine Fridays must be consecutive;
  3. They must be made in honor and in reparation to His Sacred Heart.

ACT OF REPARATION TO THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS
Sacred Heart of Jesus, animated with a desire to repair the outrages unceasingly offered to Thee, we prostrate before Thy throne of mercy, and in the name of all mankind, pledge our love and fidelity to Thee!
The more Thy mysteries are blasphemed, the more firmly we shall believe them, O Sacred Heart of Jesus!
The more impiety endeavors to extinguish our hopes of immortality, the more we shall trust in Thy Heart, sole hope of mankind!
The more hearts resist Thy Divine attractions, the more we shall love Thee, O infinitely amiable Heart of Jesus!
The more unbelief attacks Thy Divinity, the more humbly and profoundly we shall adore It, O Divine Heart of Jesus!
The more Thy holy laws are transgressed and ignored, the more we shall delight to observe them, O most holy Heart of Jesus!
The more Thy Sacraments are despised and abandoned, the more frequently we shall receive them with love and reverence, O most liberal Heart of Jesus!
The more the imitation of Thy virtues is neglected and forgotten, the more we shall endeavor to practice them, O Heart of Jesus, model of every virtue!
The more the devil labors to destroy souls, the more we shall be inflamed with desire to save them, O Heart of Jesus, zealous Lover of souls!
The more sin and impurity destroy the image of God in man, the more we shall try by purity of life to be a living temple of the Holy Spirit, O Heart of Jesus!
The more Thy Holy Church is despised, the more we shall endeavor to be her faithful children, O Sweet Heart of Jesus!
The more Thy Vicar on earth is persecuted, the more we will honor him as the infallible head of Thy Holy Church, show our fidelity and pray for him, O kingly Heart of Jesus!
O Sacred Heart, through Thy powerful grace, may we become Thy apostles in the midst of a corrupted world, and be Thy crown in the kingdom of heaven.  Amen.

12 Promises of the Sacred Heart to St. Margaret Mary
1.  I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.
2.  I will give peace in their families.
3.  I will console them in all their troubles.
4.  I will be their refuge in life and especially in death.
5.  I will abundantly bless all their undertakings.
6.  Sinners shall find in my Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.
7.  Tepid souls shall become fervent.
8.  Fervent souls shall rise speedily to great perfection.
9.  I will bless those places wherein the image of my Sacred Heart shall be exposed and venerated.
10. I will give to priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts.
11. Persons who propagate this devotion shall have their names eternally written in my Heart.
12. In the excess of the mercy of my heart, I promise you that my all powerful love will grant to all those who will receive Communion on the First Fridays, for nine consecutive months, the grace of final repentance: they will not die in my displeasure, nor without receiving the sacraments; and my Heart will be their secure refuge in that last hour.



Sacred Heart Devotional Set

Also Read:

First Friday Devotion Confirmed at Death



by Andrea F. Phillips
Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away. Luke 21:33

My sister, Teresa, worked for many years for America Needs Fatima in Customer Service. In that position, she heard many a story of woe and wonder, pain and joy, sin and grace.
One such story was that of a lady who called ANF to order a devotional prayer card. In the course of the conversation, she mentioned she had left the Church.
“You are obviously back, though,” asked Teresa.
“Yes,” confirmed the lady, “because of the First Fridays devotion my mother instilled in my brother and I, and because of his tragic death…”
My sister was now sympathizing and curious.
So the lady went on to relate that when she and her brother were children, their mother had taught them the devotion of the Nine First Fridays, which Our Lord Himself revealed to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque in the seventeenth century.

Sacred Heart Devotional Set

Our Lord told the saint: "In the excess of the mercy of My Heart, I promise you that My all powerful love will grant to all those who will receive Communion* on the First Fridays, for nine consecutive months, the grace of final repentance: they will not die in my displeasure, nor will they die without receiving the sacraments; and My Heart will be their secure refuge in that last hour."
In the company of their pious mother, brother and sister indeed received Holy Communion for nine consecutive First Fridays in honor of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
As they grew, matured, and began to lead their own lives, they were both confused by the innovations in their Church. They watched as the tabernacle was de-centralized, beautiful statues removed, churches built that resembled more assembly halls than places of prayer. For a while, devotions such as that of the Nine First Fridays were also de-emphasized.
Eventually, not recognizing the Church of their youth, they left altogether, and their faith suffered.
Years later, the lady’s brother was driving down a highway when he collided with a freight truck. The truck was ditched, but those who rushed to the scene, were unaware that there was a car lodged somewhere under the massive frame…Inside, was the brother agonizing.
It so “happened” that on that stretch of road, there was a single house. In that house was a man who watched the whole scene. Running out to the spot of the accident, he convinced the rescue personnel that there was someone else, most likely fatally injured, under the wreckage.
On his directions, the rescuers managed to find the lady’s brother. He was badly wounded although still conscious.
And now the man who had assured them of the existence of another vehicle told the rescuers,
“I’m a Catholic Priest and I’d like to offer the dying man the Church’s assistance.”
And so the lady’s brother, on acknowledging that he was indeed a Catholic, received the last rites. His soul was cleansed, and he was rejoined to Holy Mother Church.
There, on that lonely highway, Our Lord, Who three centuries before, had pledge His word to Saint Margaret Mary, fulfilled His promise to a dying man, who, when a little boy, had received Holy Communion in honor of His Sacred Heart for nine consecutive first Fridays.
What were the “chances” of that?
His sister, on hearing the story, decided there was no “chance” at all. She was so moved by Our Lord’s fidelity to His own promise that, once more confirmed in the faith she had abandoned, also returned Home.


 *Provided we are aware of no mortal sin still unconfessed.

 Also Read:  The Sacred Heart, Bridge and Refuge

Sacred Heart Devotional Set

Quote of the Day

Belonging to the Church is a very great and very demanding thing.
We must think as the Church thinks, have the mind of the Church,
proceed as the Church wishes in all the circumstance of our lives.
This supposes a real Catholic sense,
an authentic and complete purity of customs, and
a profound and sincere piety.

In other words,
it supposes the sacrifice of an entire lifetime.

Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira

St. Agatha

Very little is known about St. Agatha, other than that she was martyred in Sicily during the persecution of Emperor Decius in 251. According to legend, Agatha dedicated her life to Our Lord at a young age and refused any man who wanted to marry her. Agatha was arrested after refusing the advances of Quintian, a powerful man of high rank, and was imprisoned in a brothel. Throughout the month she spent being tortured in the brothel, Agatha would pray, “Jesus Christ, Lord of all, you see my heart, you know my desires. Possess all that I am. I am your sheep: make me worthy to overcome the devil," and was preserved from being violated.

Agatha was removed from the brothel and again advanced upon by her captor. Again, she refused him, saying she was dedicated to God alone. Her captor then sent her to prison, and had her tortured repeatedly. He refused her any medical care, but God comforted her in the form of a vision of St. Peter. Agatha was tortured yet again, and this time her body was grossly mutilated. She died with this prayer on her lips: "Lord, my Creator, you have always protected me from the cradle; you have taken me from the love of the world and given me patience to suffer.”

About a year after her death, Agatha was attributed with calming an erupting volcano, and is revered as a protector against fires. Because of the way her body was mutilated before her death, she is also known as the patroness of breast cancer patients.

Photos by: Hermetiker

Thursday, February 4, 2016

5 Reasons Why We Need the Blessed Mother


 by Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira.
 The Virgin Mary Book Banner


1)  Although we receive the necessary graces for our salvation, we still need special graces to persevere. This is because the process of the decadence of a soul generally follows a pattern. First, one commits acts of ingratitude that cause a retraction of grace. This causes the person in the state of grace to deteriorate slowly and stand in need of exceptional graces. When graces dwindle, one goes from one abuse to the next, until eventually falling into mortal sin.

2)  Devotion to Our Lady is crucial in obtaining the necessary graces to save the soul from this process.  We need an intercessor who supplements this gap with requests for additional graces, so that we might have sufficient graces for our salvation.

3)  Our Lady obtains for us the graces necessary to attain salvation.  The mere fact that we are devoted to her makes us pleasing to God Who is thus predisposed to answer our requests. However, human nature is so weak that we often abuse grace to such an extent that it is difficult to find those who practice sufficient fidelity to save themselves without Our Lady's intervention.
One might ask if this means that Our Lady is not the Mediatrix of all graces, but only of extraordinary graces. No, she also obtains the minimum of essential graces for us. However, our malice serves to demonstrate that we cannot persevere in the spiritual life without her full support.
Imagine a friend who is in a "state of grace," so to speak, in relation to you. In other words, he is a friend who depends completely on your kindness, and generally acts correctly toward you. However, although this friend does not commit grave faults against you, he nevertheless constantly commits small faults such as lack of courtesy, respect or affection. Of course, to the degree that he insists upon doing this, you gradually withdraw your friendship from him.
If he commits a grave fault, it is understandable that you severe your relationship with him.
This is a bit like the image of a sinner who, without losing the state of grace, almost inevitably, falls into mortal sin at a certain moment. To prevent this fall, the intercession of Our Lady is greatly needed. It is not only greatly needed, but indispensable since after a mortal sin, a person has no claim to obtain forgiveness.
Even if he were to repent, it is doubtful that God would give Heaven to a person in this state of soul without subjecting him to grave trials as a punishment for his attitude.

4)  Some people suppose that death comes as an accident, a disaster outside the ways of Providence, and that God has nothing to do with death.
Man walks along the ways of the spiritual life as he so pleases, and then all of a sudden death comes and interrupts God's plans and the development of his soul. In fact, it is nothing like this at all. No hair drops from our head without God allowing it. Everything is proportional to the orientation of our spiritual life.
In fact, the moment of our death is perfectly chosen with regard to our sins and merits. Without an intercessor with the merits of Our Lady, it would be impossible to remain in the state of grace.
Imagine that a friend commits several small faults toward you, but nothing atrocious. All of a sudden he shows up asking you for a gift. Would you be ready and willing to give it? Depending on the situation, you might refuse any request on his part.

5)  Our spiritual life is not a plateau next to an abyss. It is an inclined ramp, in the middle of which is a line that separates the state of grace from mortal sin. When someone is on the upper part of this ramp, he can go down without falling into mortal sin.
When a person on the upper part of the ramp commits an infidelity, God normally diminishes His graces; and with the dwindling of grace a person can fall into such a state of destitution as to be reduced to strictly indispensable grace.
When one says that venial sin leads to mortal sin, it does not mean that man lacks the sufficient grace not to fall, but that he all too often does not correspond to grace and thus falls.  Human nature has a very strong penchant to abuse grace.
However, in each concrete case, man has the will to react.  Man can only obtain all the necessary and opportune graces not to fall however, if he has recourse to Our Lady.  And that is why we need Our Lady.
 

The preceding text is adapted from a lecture given by Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira. It has been translated and edited for publication without his revision. –Ed.


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The Cookie Jar Elections of 2016


Cookie_Jar_Politics
“like cookies that must be substantial, instantly gratifying and abundant.”

The issues now being debated in the 2016 elections are framed as if the country revolved around a great big cookie jar. The benefits and promises candidates offer are like cookies that must be substantial, instantly gratifying and abundant.
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All the problems the nation faces seem to be reduced to who has access to the cookie jar. Ideally, everyone agrees that people should be entitled to as many cookies as they can get. However, the truth of the matter is that there are often not enough cookies to go around.
Thus, how cookies are distributed is up for debate. For some, those on the top always seem to take the best cookies, while the more disadvantaged must reach down for the crumbs. For others, expanding cookie production is the solution for everyone getting a fair share. There are yet those who question the right of illegal newcomers (or unborn babies) to have a hand in the cookie jar. Candidates in electoral debates seem to center only on what can be done to correct cookie injustice and bring America back to cookie greatness once again.
The cookie, of course, represents our American way of life whereby we enjoy the fruits of our vibrant economic system with its great dynamo of production.
This system has long churned out material comfort and a surface happiness. Thus, for some time now, candidates have framed the debate around filling the cookie jar so that all will be well with America again. The election is about who can better deliver the goods, in this case, the cookies.


The problem is that the system is no longer churning out material comfort and happiness. The goods aren’t being delivered. The nation is divided, the economy is stalled and nothing seems to put things back on track.
This impasse points to an even more serious problem that most people dare not address: Perhaps life is not one big cookie jar …
Let it be said that there is nothing wrong with enjoying cookies. But a person who just eats cookies becomes fat and sick. Cookies require restraint and discipline since they are the reward for a balanced diet not the main course. As every child knows, one cannot talk about cookies without first dealing with the meat and potatoes.
And that is what is missing in the present political debates. The meat and potatoes. Even when conservatives enter into the meat and potatoes moral issues, it is often as an appetizer for the cookie main course. The right issues are not really being addressed.
Everyone likes to talk about taxes and jobs for middle class American families, for example, but candidates should really be looking at the utter devastation of the family. It is time for candidates to admit that the sexual revolution is ruining the nation. It is tearing society and even the economy apart. It is eroding the faith of countless Americans. The real issue is the restoration of the family. America was only great when families were strong.
There is debate about freedom, rights and entitlements. Candidates should be talking against the frenetic intemperance of the present times, where everyone wants everything instantly, effortlessly and without restraint. What needs to be addressed is the lack of self-restraint that lies at the root of the destructive practices of abortion, drugs and pornography that are ruining the moral fiber of the country. What has happened to the sense of right and wrong? It is time to abandon the present moral relativism and call a spade a spade. America was only great when she feared God and followed His commandments.
Finally, the candidates spend so much time talking about restoring material prosperity to RTO-Audiobook-AD-medium-resthe nation. Candidates should be talking about not only material, but also and above all spiritual matters. There needs to be a return to what Russell Kirk referred to as the “permanent things,” those norms of courage, duty, courtesy, justice, and charity that owe their existence and authority to a power higher than government officials, which is a transcendent God. Perhaps it is time to ask to look beyond self-interest and embrace great causes. America was only great when she had honor and fought for all those permanent things that really matter.
There will undoubtedly be those who smirk and claim that such a meat and potatoes program will hardly attract those reveling in a cookie culture. However, issues like these need to be raised to find a way out of the present disorder. Moreover, in this time of crisis, so many Americans want to see these issues raised. They long for a return to order.
As things get worse, more and more people are soul-searching, looking for order, honor and authenticity that they sense once existed and might yet return. What are needed are candidates who dare to defy our culture and say “Enough!” Until this happens, we will have cookie-cutter candidates who sugarcoat the issues and reduce the debate to a cookie jar.
As seen on cnsnews.com