Novena to Our Lady of Fatima, May 4 – 12

Our Lady’s Altar for the Novena at Santissima Trinita dei Pellegrini, Rome. On our Lady’s Feast, a heart will be presented to our Lady with the names of all those who wish to consecrate themselves to our Lady and her intentions. I will include in my intentions all those who pray this novena.

Day I. O Virgin Mother, who didst deign to appear in the solitude of the mountains of Fatima to the three little shepherds, teaching us thus, that we must also seek solitude in retreat and deal with God for the good of our souls; grant us the love for prayer and recollection, so that we can hear the voice of the Lord, and faithfully fulfill His most holy will.

My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You! I ask pardon of You for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love You.

Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I offer You the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifference with which He Himself is offended. And, through the infinite merits of His most Sacred Heart, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of You the conversion of poor sinners.
Hail Mary, etc.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

Day II. O Most Pure Virgin, who is adorned in the whiteness of snow, appearing to the simple and innocent little pastors, teaching in this way, how much we have to love the innocence of the body and the soul, which the Lord granted us in our Holy Baptism, make us to value this supernatural gift, that we may never scandalize our neighbor by word or action, but rather help innocent souls to preserve this divine treasure.

My God, etc.

Most Holy Trinity, etc.

Hail Mary, etc.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

Day III. O Mary, Mother of sinners, while appearing at Fatima you let us see a slight shadow of sadness in your heavenly appearance, a sign of the pain caused by the offenses we commit against your divine Son, grant us the grace of a perfect contrition in the resolve to confess our sins with sincerity in the holy tribunal of penance.

My God, etc.

Most Holy Trinity, etc.

Hail Mary, etc.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

Day IV. O Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, wearing a crown of beautiful candor, you so much insisted that we should recite the Holy Rosary to obtain the graces we need, infuse in us a great love of prayer, especially to your Rosary, a model of vocal and mental prayer, that we may not let a day pass without reciting it with due attention and devotion.

My God, etc.

Most Holy Trinity, etc.

Hail Mary, etc.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

Day V. O Queen of Peace and merciful Mother, while Europe was in the midst of the immense misfortune of the world war, you told Fatima’s little shepherds how to free ourselves from so much calamity with the recitation of the Rosary and with the practice of penance, grant us from God, who makes flourish among us faith and Christian virtues, public peace and prosperity for your honor and that of your divine Son.

My God, etc.

Most Holy Trinity, etc.

Hail Mary, etc.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

Day VI. O Refuge of poor sinners, you taught Fatima’s little shepherds to pray to God, so those unhappy sinners would not fall into hell, especially by the sins of the flesh, which lead the greatest number of souls into the flames of hell, as you told one of the little shepherds, grant us, along with a great horror of sin, especially that of impurity, compassion and zeal for the salvation of souls, who live in such great danger of eternal damnation.

My God, etc.

Most Holy Trinity, etc.

Hail Mary, etc.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

Day VII. O Health of the sick, of whom the little shepherds asked for the healing of the sick, you answered that you have given health to some and not to others, teaching us that illness at times is a precious gift from God and a means of salvation, grant us a conformity to the will of God in the difficulties of life, that we may not only not complain, but that we may bless the Lord who offers us a means of satisfying in this world the temporal punishments we deserve for our sins.

My God, etc.

Most Holy Trinity, etc.

Hail Mary, etc.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

Day VIII. O Most Holy Virgin, who manifested to the little shepherds the desire to rise at Fatima a shrine in honor of your Most Holy Rosary, give us a profound understanding of the mysteries of our Redemption, commemorated in the recitation of the Rosary, to live always in order to profit from its precious and most exquisite fruits, which the Most Holy Trinity has given to the human family.

My God, etc.

Most Holy Trinity, etc.

Hail Mary, etc.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

Day IX. O Sorrowful Virgin, you manifested at Fatima your Heart surrounded by thorns, seeking consolation and promising in return the graces of a good death, the conversion of Russia, and the final triumph of your Immaculate Heart. Following the desire of the Heart of Jesus, may we be faithful in paying you the tribute of repair and love you have asked for on the first Saturday of the month, that we may partake of the graces you promised.

My God, etc.

Most Holy Trinity, etc.

Hail Mary, etc.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

Happy Feast of Saint Paul of the Cross!

Please add to your petitions the founding of a monastery according to the 1775 Rule of Saint Paul of the Cross:

The offering of the Ancient Ritual of the Roman Rite at the tomb of Saint Paul of the Cross, April 28, 2016, Rome

Prayer to Saint Paul of the Cross seeking his holy intercession

O! glorious Saint Paul of the Cross, you were chosen by God to profess to all of humanity the bitter sufferings of His only-begotten Son, and to spread devotion to the Passion of Jesus throughout the world.

By your preaching and holy example Jesus converted thousands of sinners through you by bringing them to the foot of the Cross to repent of their sins, thereby obtaining for them His infinite forgiveness and mercy! May Jesus be blessed for His extraordinary grace that was so often made present in your life, and for the many miracles He worked through you for the conversion of souls!

O! blessed St Paul of the Cross, turning towards you now I ask that from your place with Jesus and Mary in heaven that you may look mercifully upon my poor soul and hear my prayers, and with all of your love humbly present them to Jesus for me (mention petitions).

Obtain for me also a great love of Jesus suffering, that by frequent meditation on His Passion I may take up my own cross and accept with holy resignation the sufferings that God has permitted in my life. Help me to suffer and to sacrifice in union with Jesus for the conversion of my poor soul, the souls of my loved ones, and for all of humanity. Help me to love Jesus and Mary with all of my heart, and intercede for me that I may, by the grace of God, die a holy death, and come at last to enjoy with you the blessed Presence of Jesus and Mary in Heaven for all of eternity.

One Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be….

I ask this in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord, AMEN +

May the Passion of Christ be ever in our hearts! St Paul of the Cross, pray for us!

See about his life here.


Resurrexit sicut dixit, Alleluia!

Bl. Fra Angelico, the Resurrection of Christ

Gospel of Easter Sunday

Mark 16:1-7
At that time, Mary Magdalen, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought sweet spices, that coming they might anoint Jesus. And very early in the morning, the first day of the week, they came to the sepulchre, the sun being now risen. And they said one to another: Who shall roll us back the stone from the door of the sepulchre? And looking, they saw the stone rolled back. For it was very great. And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed with a white robe, and they were astonished. Who saith to them, Be not affrighted; ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified: He is risen, He is not here; behold the place where they laid Him. But go, tell His disciples, and Peter, that He goeth before you into Galilee; there you shall see Him, as He told you.

The foot of Saint Mary Magdalene, the first to step into the tomb of the Risen Christ – at San Giovanni Battista dei Fiorentini, Roma

Notice how she who made reparation to Our Lord for the horrible tortures and death  that was to come by anointing His Sacred Head and bathing His Feet in tears, was to be the first to step into the Sacred Tomb and see that the Lord had Risen, as He said! Alleluia!

Be consoled by this contemplation; this is the Christian life, the Paschal mystery. Let the joy of this Easter season spur you on to a greater love of Christ, Risen with His Holy Wounds, resplendent in their Glory, signs of His Infinite Love for you! Remember the prayers and sacrifices you have made during this holy season of Lent, do not tarry to go and see that Our Lord has Risen. Do not tarry in the resolutions you have made: “I would rather die, than commit one sin!”

Jesus, Risen from the dead, resplendent in Glory, I love you!

Holy Saturday

…St. Augustine says, “Let us stand in wonder, rejoice, be glad, love, praise, and adore since it is by the death of our Redeemer, that we have been called from death to life, from exile to our own land, from mourning to joy.”

Martin von Furstein
Fourteenth Station by Martin von Feuerstein

For the increase of our faith, our hope and our charity:

With regard to faith the Psalm says (Ps. cxl. 10), I am alone until I pass from this world, that is, to the Father. When I shall have passed to the Father, then shall I be multiplied. Unless the grain of wheat falling into the ground and die, itself remaineth alone (John xii. 24).

As to the increase of hope St. Paul writes, He that spared not even his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how hath he not also, with him, given us all things? (Rom. viii. 32). God cannot deny us this, for to give us all things is less than to give His own Son to death for us. St. Bernard says, “Who is not carried away to hope and confidence in prayer, when he looks on the crucifix and sees how Our Lord hangs there, the head bent as though to kiss, the arms outstretched in an embrace, the hands pierced to give, the side opened to love, the feet nailed to remain with us.”

Come, my dove, in the clefts of the rock (Cant. ii. 14). It is in the wounds of Christ the Church builds its nest and waits, for it is in the Passion of Our Lord that she places her hope of salvation, and thereby trusts to be protected from the craft of the falcon, that is, of the devil.

With regard to the increase of charity, Holy Scripture says, At noon he burneth the earth (Ecclus. xliii. 3), that is to say, in the fervour of His Passion He burns up all mankind with His love. So St. Bernard says, “The chalice thou didst drink, O good Jesus, maketh thee lovable above all things.” The work of our redemption easily, brushing aside all hindrances, calls out in return the whole of our love. This it is which more gently draws out our devotion, builds it up more straightly, guards it more closely, and fires it with greater ardour.*

Veiled Christ by Giuseppe Sanmartino – Naples, Italy

Remain by our Lord whose Body lies in the Sepulchre today. Resolve to return to Him the whole of your love. To look on the Crucifix, is to believe, to hope, and to love. Only languid souls are unaffected and unmoved to order their lives to the love of Christ. We wish to rise and reign with Christ in Heaven, He who sits at the right hand of the Father in Glory. In truth and in humility, we must, in this life, accompany our Lord in His Passion, look at our Lord as He hangs on the Cross, wait with our Lord at the tomb, and faithfully believe in His Glorious Resurrection and Ascension into Heaven!

*Parts taken from St. Thomas Aquinas’ “Meditations on Lent”

The cry of Christ

Today we walk with our Lord in His Passion. We watch, we try to remain close, we are sorrowful for the innumerable times we have strayed by our sins.

At the Holy Scourging, as Christ’s sacred Flesh is torn, He moans and groans, in the intimacy of his Heart He cries your name, and mine.

And so on the Cross, as He struggles to breathe, as He looks up to the Father, hear Him cry your name and hear Him say “I love you,” from the depth of His Heart about to be pierced. Remain there as He gives up His last breath. Tell Him you love Him. Promise to sin no more.

Altar Cross at the Cathedral of Omaha

Lamentations of Jeremiah sung by a former seminarian friend of mine and his family. We entered the FSSP together.

Good Friday

“And they came to a place called Golgotha, that is, the Place of the Skull. And they gave Him wine to drink mixed with gall; but when He had tasted it, He would not drink” (Mt. 27:34). “Then they crucified Him.” (Mk. 15: 24)

GUido Reni
Crucifixion by Guido Reni, 1619, Rome

The object behind the offering of the stupefying draught for those sentenced to undergo crucifixion was that it would produce a partial unconsciousness, so that the terrible agonies might not be so keenly felt. But it will be noted that our Lord would not accept anything that would lessen His sufferings. He did taste it so that the Scripture might be fulfilled, for David had said of the Messias, in prophecy: “And they gave Me gall for My food; and in My thirst they gave Me vinegar to drink” (Ps. 68:22). Scripture thus fulfilled, our Lord refused to do more than taste of it, since He did not seek to lessen in any way the bitterness of the cup which His Father had given Him to drink.

There is an important lesson for all of us in this incident in the Passion of our Lord and that lesson is that we are more Christlike when we accept the crosses and trials of this life as they come to us, seeing in them golden opportunities for making reparation for our own sins and the sins of the world, and at the same time, seeing all such crosses as sent to us by God for our spiritual benefit. As Christians we are not bound to seek suffering, but when it comes in the path of duty, let us meet it calmly, resolutely, and fearlessly.

“Then they crucified Him.” (Mk. 15:24) To the devout Christian every item of information he can gain concerning that dread scene at Calvary is of the utmost value. The horrible act of crucifixion itself was foreign to the Jewish people, for it was of Roman origin, and the sufferings it caused signifies the extreme anguish to which human sensibility can go. It was long and lingering in its operation. Apart from the agony inflicted by the nailing of the hands and feet, even greater suffering was inflicted by the constrained posture on the Cross. And there hung the Son of God, the Redeemer of the world, suspended between Heaven and earth for three long and agony-filled hours until the full debt for your sins and mine was paid. What a terrible thing sin must be, that its expiation required such a sacrifice! The hearts of all who dwell on the picture of Christ dying on the Cross must of necessity be stirred to beg for the grace to avoid ever committing a deliberate mortal sin again. How can we ever in the future be careless about sinning when we contemplate what our Lord suffered to save us from our sins! And what can we say of the wonderful love God must have for sinful man to cause Him to give His Son to endure such a death to save him!


Make time today to go, in spirit, to Calvary’s hill and take your place beside the sinless Mary, the Virgin Mother of Christ, and beside the sinner Mary Magdalen. Your own selfish sinful heart will know what to say to Christ as He hangs on the Cross. Tell Him of how you thank Him for what He has done for you and beg of Him the special grace to know the vileness and tragedy of sin.

by Blessed Fra Angelico

The price has been paid. Christ died on the Cross. But men, forgetting the awful ransom paid by our Lord, go right on sinning. Hear our Lord say to Mother Marie Saint-Cecile of Rome: “I understand human frailty. I forgive readily, I forget indelicacies as soon as the soul returns to Me, but that does not prevent My Heart from feeling the wound.”


Promise our Lord today that never again will you wound His Sacred heart by sin. Make the slogan of St. Dominic Savio your motto: “Death rather than mortal sin.”


Maundy Thursday 

“And [they] led Him away to crucify Him. Now as they went out, they found a man of Cyrene named Simon; him they forced to take up His Cross.” (Mt. 27: 31-32)

simon helps jesus

In the beginning there was no one to help our Lord carry His cross. Weak from the loss of sleep and from the cruel scourging and the crowning with thorns, and still more from the insults of His enemies and the desertion of His friends, which caused Him untold anguish, yet He was forced to carry the heavy Cross. He did His very best until His nature gave way and thus He fell several times to the ground.

adolf lachman
Jesus Falls – by Adolf Lachman

We must never lose sight of the fact that while our Lord had to carry the Cross unaided, in reality it was not for Himself that He bore it, but for you and me. He endured unbelievable pain and endured the shame and the insults, for all of us, that He might free us from the burden of the curse of sin.

When St. John the Baptist encountered Christ at the outset of His public life, he said to his followers: “Behold the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world.” (Jn. 1:29) We must say the same words as we contemplate Christ Carrying His cross, for that is exactly what He did. No, it was not only the wood of the Cross that was so burdensome, rather it was the mountain of our sins. It was the loathsome weight of sin that caused our Savior to falter and fall on the Way of the Cross.

Altar of Saint John the Baptist – Cathedral of St. Paul – St. Paul, MN – St. John the Baptist is raising his hand to point to Our Lord and say “Ecce, Agnus Dei.” In the Cathedral, the statue is oriented to where St. John is raising his hand to point to Our Blessed Lord in the Tabernacle

Fearful that they would be deprived of the satisfaction of crucifying Him, the soldiers compelled a passer-by, Simon of Cyrene, to help our Lord. One can only imagine how much, at first, Simon must have resented this task, but picture Simon and Christ carrying the Cross together – Jesus in front carrying the heavier part and Simon coming behind with its lighter end is both sad and a consoling thought.

This is a true picture of every follower of Christ. We must all share the cross with Christ if we would reign with Him. Did our Lord not say; “He who does not take up his cross and follow Me, is not worthy of Me?” (Mt. 10:38)

There is great consolation in reversing the scene wherein Simon helps Jesus carry His Cross and contemplating it in a new light – that of Christ helping Simon carry the Cross. You see, once Simon was pressed into service by the soldiers, our Lord did not abandon him and leave him to struggle with the load alone. Indeed not. Christ, weak as He was, placed His bruised and torn shoulder under the heavier part.

Every cross we have to bear will find Christ’s shoulder beneath it, and, indeed, beneath the heavy end of it. There is no cross we are unable to bear with Jesus helping us. No load He shares will ever crush us, for we have His infallible word: “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Mt. 11:28)

Make acts of contrition for your sins that added to the weight of the Cross on the way to Calvary; thank Him for having taken away your sins; and thank Him for having always helped you carry your crosses thus far in life.


Christ refused that potion that His sufferings might not be lessened. But Christ gives us His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity as our food to strengthen us to bear our sufferings and to carry our crosses. In the Eucharist, the Stronger helps the weaker.

blessed angelico
The Apostles receiving Holy Communion – Bl. Fra Angelico – San Marco, Florence