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Sunday, July 21, 2013

Prayers To Patron Saints For Those In need Or In Time Of Crises

PLEASE CONTINUE TO COPY AND PAST THESE PATRON ST. PRAYERS AND SEND THEM TO ANYONE WHO MAY BE IN NEED OR CRISES. IT IS IMPORTANT TO KEEP SAYING AND SPREADING THEIR NAMES SO THAT OTHERS MAY KNOW OF THEM AND PRAY FOR THEIR OWN SPECIAL INTENTIONS. THANK YOU!

These 4 Patron Saints are waiting to here from you, they have interceded on my behalf many times and have answered numerous prayers and requests. They can do the same for you in your time of need or crises.

Saint Joseph

O Glorious St. Joseph, thou who hast power to render possible even things which are considered impossible, come to our aid in our present trouble and distress. Take this important and difficult affair under thy particular protection, that it may end happily. 

(mention your request)

O dear St. Joseph, all our confidence is in thee. Let it not be said that we would invoke thee in vain; and since thou art so powerful with Jesus and Mary, show that thy goodness equals thy power. Amen. St. Joseph, friend of the Sacred Heart, pray for us.
________________________________________________________________________

Saint Anthony

Blessed be God in His Angels and in His Saints.
St. Anthony, gentlest of Saints, your love for God and charity for his creatures, made you worthy, when on earth, to possess miraculous powers. Miracles waited on your word, which you were ready to speak for those in trouble or anxiety. Encouraged by this thought, I ask you to obtain for me the favors that I seek 

(mention your request here)

The answer to my prayer may require a miracle, even so, you are the Saint of Miracles.
O gentle and loving St. Anthony, whose heart was full of sympathy, whisper my petition into the ears of the Infant Jesus, who loved to be held in your arms; and the gratitude of my heart will ever by yours.  Amen.

Prayer to Saint Anthony for lost Items

St. Anthony, perfect imitator of Jesus, who received from God the special power of        restoring lost things, grant that I may find (name your lost item) which has been lost. At least restore to me peace and tranquility of mind, the loss of which has afflicted me even more than my material loss. To this favor, I ask another of you: that I may always remain in possession of the true good that is God. Let me rather lose all things than lose God, my supreme good. Let me never suffer the loss of my greatest treasure, eternal life with God. Amen.
_________________________________________________________________________________

Saint Jude
O most holy apostle, Saint Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, the Church honors and invokes thee universally, as the patron of hopeless cases, and of things almost despaired of.
Pray for me, who am so miserable. Make use, I implore thee, of that particular privilege accorded to thee, to bring visible and speedy help where help was almost despaired of.
Come to mine assistance in this great need, that I may receive the consolation and succor of Heaven in all my necessities, tribulations, and sufferings, particularly...
(here make your request)
And that I may praise God with thee and all the elect throughout eternity. 
I promise thee, O blessed Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor, to always honor thee as my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to thee. Amen.
_________________________________________________________________________________

Saint Anne

Glorious St. Anne, filled with compassion for those who invoke you and with love for those who suffer, heavily laden with the weight of my troubles, I cast myself at your feet and humbly beg of you to take the present affair which I recommend to you under your special protection.

Vouchsafe to recommend it to your daughter, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and lay it before the throne of Jesus, so that He may bring it to a happy issue. Cease not to intercede for me until my request is granted.

(Here ask for favor you wish to obtain.)

Above all, obtain for me the grace of one day beholding my God face to face, and with You and Mary and all the saints, praising and blessing Him through all eternity. Amen.
(repeat three times)
Good St. Anne, mother of her who is our life, our sweetness and our hope, pray to her for us and obtain our request. 

________________________________________________________________________

Remember to always give thanks when requesting prayers or when prayers have been answered and to say the Patron Saints name aloud so others so may know of your good fortune so that they may invoke them for their own special intentions.




Wednesday, July 17, 2013

St. Peregrine, The Cancer Saint

St. Peregrine was born in 1260 at Forlì, Italy to an affluent family. He lived a comfortable life as a youth, and politically opposed the papacy.  After he experienced the forgiveness of St. Philip Benizi, he changed his life and joined the Servite order.  He was ordained a priest, and later returned to his home to establish a Servite community.  There he was widely known for his preaching, penances, and counsel in the confessional.  He was cured of cancer, after he received a vision of Christ on the cross reaching out His hand to touch his impaired limb.  He died in 1345 and was canonized in 1726.  He is the patron of cancer patients.

Novena To St. Peregrine 

Glorious wonder-worker, St. Peregrine, you answered the divine call with a ready spirit, and forsook all the comforts of a life of ease and all the empty honors of the world to dedicate yourself to God in the Order of His holy Mother. 
You labored manfully for the salvation of souls. In union with Jesus crucified, you endured painful sufferings with such patience as to deserve to be healed miraculously of an incurable cancer in your leg by a touch of His divine hand. 
Obtain for me the grace to answer every call of God and to fulfill His will in all the events of life. Enkindle in my heart a consuming zeal for the salvation of all men. 
Deliver me from the infirmities that afflict my body (especially.....). 
Obtain for me also a perfect resignation to the sufferings it may please God to send me, so that, imitating our crucified Savior and His sorrowful Mother, I may merit eternal glory in heaven.

St. Peregrine, pray for me and for all who invoke your aid.


Prayer To St. Peregrine 

O great St. Peregrine, you have been called "The Mighty," "The Wonder-Worker," because of 
the numerous miracles which you have obtained from God for those who have had recourse to you. For so many years you bore in your own flesh this cancerous disease that destroys the very fiber of our being, and who had recourse to the source of all grace when the power of man could do no more. You were favored with the vision of Jesus coming down from His Cross to heal your affliction. Ask of God and Our Lady, the cure of the sick whom we entrust to you. (Pause here and silently recall the names of the sick for whom you are praying) Aided in this way by your powerful intercession, we shall sing to God, now and for all eternity, a song of gratitude for His great goodness and mercy. Amen.


Monday, April 22, 2013

A Fortress of Hope!

Building your fortress of hope in God's love will withstand anything that anyone can set in your way. With all the challenges in everyday life against you, it is good to know that you have the one equalizer to rise above it's non-stop torment. Building a fortress of hope in God's love guarantee's that you will be standing at the end of each and every day, you will still have daily challenges, but you will always have hope and God will give you the resources to meet those challenges you face. Be a fortress of hope to others, spread that hope daily to strengthen your foundation and make it even stronger. God and Jesus, we trust in your love and mercy.

Pray to The Sacred Heart of Jesus, The Divine Mercy, The 15 Prayers of St. Bridget and the Infant Jesus of Prague and say The Rosary and the Devotions To the Seven Sorrows of Mary daily. Find a Patron Saint like St. Jude, St. Anne, St. Anthony or St. Joseph, there are Patron Saints waiting to hear from you to intercede on your behalf  to God with your own special intentions.

Let God hear you ask for what you would like in your life, he already knows what you need, it may take awhile, but the answer will come. And be confident and humble in what you ask for. You have started to build your fortress of hope! It's that simple, you already have a smart phone, it's called your brain, send a mental text message to God and there are no data charges and it's hands free, you can mental text while driving!



Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The 9-Day Divine Mercy Novena & Chaplet


In 1933, God gave Sister Faustina a striking vision of His Mercy.


Sister tells us:


"I saw a great light, with God the Father in the midst of it.
Between this light and the earth I saw Jesus nailed to the Cross
and in such a way that God, wanting to look upon the earth, had to
look through Our Lord's wounds and I understood that God blessed
the earth for the sake of Jesus."

Of another vision on Sept. 13, 1935, she writes:
"I saw an Angel, the executor of God's wrath... about to strike
the earth...I began to beg God earnestly for the world with words
which I heard interiorly. As I prayed in this way, I saw the
Angel's helplessness, and he could not carry out the just
punishment...."

The following day an inner voice taught her to say this prayer on
ordinary rosary beads:

"First say one 'Our Father', 'Hail Mary', and 'I believe'. Then on
the large beads say the following words:

'Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity
of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement
for our sins and those of the whole world.'

On the smaller beads you are to say the following words:
'For the sake of His sorrowful Passion have mercy on us and on the
whole world.'

In conclusion you are to say these words three times:
'Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us
and on the whole world'.

Jesus said later to Sister Faustina:
"Say unceasingly this chaplet that I have taught you. Anyone who
says it will receive great Mercy at the hour of death. Priests
will recommend it to sinners as the last hope. Even the most
hardened sinner, if he recites this Chaplet even once, will
receive grace from My Infinite Mercy. I want the whole world to
know My Infinite Mercy. I want to give unimaginable graces to
those who trust in My Mercy...."

"....When they say this Chaplet in the presence of the dying, I
will stand between My Father and the dying person not as the just
judge but as the Merciful Savior".



1. Begin with the Sign of the Cross, 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and The Apostles Creed.
2. Then on the Our Father Beads say the following:
Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

3. On the 10 Hail Mary Beads say the following:
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

(Repeat step 2 and 3 for all five decades).
4. Conclude with (three times):
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.


Read more:http://www.ewtn.com/devotionals/mercy/dmmap.htm#ixzz2POnJsiet


Jesus asked that the Feast of the Divine Mercy be preceded by a Novena to the Divine Mercy which would begin on Good Friday.  He gave St. Faustina an intention to pray for on each day of the Novena, saving for the last day the most difficult intention of all, the lukewarm and indifferent of whom He said:

"These souls cause Me more suffering than any others; it was from such souls that My soul felt the most revulsion in the Garden of Olives. It was on their account that I said: 'My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass Me by.' The last hope of salvation for them is to flee to My Mercy."
In her diary, St. Faustina wrote that Jesus told her:
"On each day of the novena you will bring to My heart a different group of souls and you will immerse them in this ocean of My mercy ... On each day you will beg My Father, on the strength of My passion, for the graces for these souls."

The different souls prayed for on each day of the novena are:

DAY 1 (Good Friday)  - All mankind, especially sinners
DAY  2 (Holy Saturday) - The souls of priests and religious
DAY 3 (Easter Sunday)  - All devout and faithful souls
DAY 4 (Easter Monday) - Those who do not believe in Jesus and those who do not yet know Him
DAY  5 (Easter Tuesday) - The souls of separated brethren
DAY  6 (Easter Wednesday) - The meek and humble souls and the souls of children
DAY  7 (Easter Thursday)- The souls who especially venerate and glorify Jesus' mercy
DAY  8 (Easter Friday) - The souls who are detained in purgatory; 
DAY  9 (Easter Saturday) - The souls who have become lukewarm.

During the Solemn Novena leading to Divine Mercy Sunday,
the Chaplet of Divine Mercy should be offered each day for the
day's intentions.



First Day

"Today bring to Me all mankind, especially all sinners,
and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. In this way you will console Me in the bitter grief into which the loss of souls plunges Me."
Most Merciful Jesus, whose very nature it is to have compassion on us and to forgive us, do not look upon our sins but upon our trust which we place in Your infinite goodness. Receive us all into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart, and never let us escape from It. We beg this of You by Your love which unites You to the Father and the Holy Spirit.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon all mankind and especially upon poor sinners, all enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion show us Your mercy, that we may praise the omnipotence of Your mercy for ever and ever. Amen.


Second Day

"Today bring to Me the Souls of Priests and Religious,

and immerse them in My unfathomable mercy. It was they who gave me strength to endure My bitter Passion. Through them as through channels My mercy flows out upon mankind."
Most Merciful Jesus, from whom comes all that is good, increase Your grace in men and women consecrated to Your service,* that they may perform worthy works of mercy; and that all who see them may glorify the Father of Mercy who is in heaven.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the company of chosen ones in Your vineyard -- upon the souls of priests and religious; and endow them with the strength of Your blessing. For the love of the Heart of Your Son in which they are enfolded, impart to them Your power and light, that they may be able to guide others in the way of salvation and with one voice sing praise to Your boundless mercy for ages without end. Amen.

* In the original text, Saint Faustina uses the pronoun "us" since she was offering this prayer as a consecrated religious sister. The wording adapted here is intended to make the prayer suitable for universal use. 

Third Day

"Today bring to Me all Devout and Faithful Souls,

and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. These souls brought me consolation on the Way of the Cross. They were a drop of consolation in the midst of an ocean of bitterness." 
Most Merciful Jesus, from the treasury of Your mercy, You impart Your graces in great abundance to each and all. Receive us into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart and never let us escape from It. We beg this grace of You by that most wondrous love for the heavenly Father with which Your Heart burns so fiercely.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon faithful souls, as upon the inheritance of Your Son. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, grant them Your blessing and surround them with Your constant protection. Thus may they never fail in love or lose the treasure of the holy faith, but rather, with all the hosts of Angels and Saints, may they glorify Your boundless mercy for endless ages. Amen.


Fourth Day

"Today bring to Me those who do not believe in God and those who do not know Me, 

I was thinking also of them during My bitter Passion, and their future zeal comforted My Heart. Immerse them in the ocean of My mercy."  
Most compassionate Jesus, You are the Light of the whole world. Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who do not believe in God and of those who as yet do not know You. Let the rays of Your grace enlighten them that they, too, together with us, may extol Your wonderful mercy; and do not let them escape from the abode which is Your Most Compassionate Heart.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of those who do not believe in You, and of those who as yet do not know You, but who are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Draw them to the light of the Gospel. These souls do not know what great happiness it is to love You. Grant that they, too, may extol the generosity of Your mercy for endless ages. Amen.

*Our Lord's original words here were "the pagans." Since the pontificate of Pope John XXIII, the Church has seen fit to replace this term with clearer and more appropriate terminology.

Fifth Day

"Today bring to Me the Souls of those who have separated themselves from My Church*,

and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. During My bitter Passion they tore at My Body and Heart, that is, My Church. As they return to unity with the Church My wounds heal and in this way they alleviate My Passion."  
Most Merciful Jesus, Goodness Itself, You do not refuse light to those who seek it of You. Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who have separated themselves from Your Church. Draw them by Your light into the unity of the Church, and do not let them escape from the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart; but bring it about that they, too, come to glorify the generosity of Your mercy.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of those who have separated themselves from Your Son's Church, who have squandered Your blessings and misused Your graces by obstinately persisting in their errors. Do not look upon their errors, but upon the love of Your own Son and upon His bitter Passion, which He underwent for their sake, since they, too, are enclosed in His Most Compassionate Heart. Bring it about that they also may glorify Your great mercy for endless ages. Amen.

*Our Lord's original words here were "heretics and schismatics," since He spoke to Saint Faustina within the context of her times. As of the Second Vatican Council, Church authorities have seen fit not to use those designations in accordance with the explanation given in the Council's Decree on Ecumenism (n.3). Every pope since the Council has reaffirmed that usage. Saint Faustina herself, her heart always in harmony with the mind of the Church, most certainly would have agreed. When at one time, because of the decisions of her superiors and father confessor, she was not able to execute Our Lord's inspirations and orders, she declared: "I will follow Your will insofar as You will permit me to do so through Your representative. O my Jesus " I give priority to the voice of the Church over the voice with which You speak to me" (497). The Lord confirmed her action and praised her for it.

Sixth Day

Today bring to Me the Meek and Humble Souls and the Souls of  Little Children,

and immerse them in My mercy. These souls most closely resemble My Heart. They strengthened Me during My bitter agony. I saw them as earthly Angels, who will keep vigil at My altars. I pour out upon them whole torrents of grace. I favor humble souls with My confidence.    
Most Merciful Jesus, You yourself have said, "Learn from Me for I am meek and humble of heart." Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart all meek and humble souls and the souls of little children. These souls send all heaven into ecstasy and they are the heavenly Father's favorites. They are a sweet-smelling bouquet before the throne of God; God Himself takes delight in their fragrance. These souls have a permanent abode in Your Most Compassionate Heart, O Jesus, and they unceasingly sing out a hymn of love and mercy.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon meek souls, upon humble souls, and upon little children who are enfolded in the abode which is the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls bear the closest resemblance to Your Son. Their fragrance rises from the earth and reaches Your very throne. Father of mercy and of all goodness, I beg You by the love You bear these souls and by the delight You take in them: Bless the whole world, that all souls together may sing out the praises of Your mercy for endless ages. Amen.


Seventh Day

Today bring to Me the Souls who especially venerate and glorify My Mercy*,

and immerse them in My mercy. These souls sorrowed most over my Passion and entered most deeply into My spirit. They are living images of My Compassionate Heart. These souls will shine with a special brightness in the next life. Not one of them will go into the fire of hell. I shall particularly defend each one of them at the hour of death.
Most Merciful Jesus, whose Heart is Love Itself, receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who particularly extol and venerate the greatness of Your mercy. These souls are mighty with the very power of God Himself. In the midst of all afflictions and adversities they go forward, confident of Your mercy; and united to You, O Jesus, they carry all mankind on their shoulders. These souls will not be judged severely, but Your mercy will embrace them as they depart from this life.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls who glorify and venerate Your greatest attribute, that of Your fathomless mercy, and who are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls are a living Gospel; their hands are full of deeds of mercy, and their hearts, overflowing with joy, sing a canticle of mercy to You, O Most High! I beg You O God:

Show them Your mercy according to the hope and trust they have placed in You. Let there be accomplished in them the promise of Jesus, who said to them that during their life, but especially at the hour of death, the souls who will venerate this fathomless mercy of His, He, Himself, will defend as His glory. Amen.

*The text leads one to conclude that in the first prayer directed to Jesus, Who is the Redeemer, it is "victim" souls and contemplatives that are being prayed for; those persons, that is, that voluntarily offered themselves to God for the salvation of their neighbor (see Col 1:24; 2 Cor 4:12). This explains their close union with the Savior and the extraordinary efficacy that their invisible activity has for others. In the second prayer, directed to the Father from whom comes "every worthwhile gift and every genuine benefit,"we recommend the "active" souls, who promote devotion to The Divine Mercy and exercise with it all the other works that lend themselves to the spiritual and material uplifting of their brethren.

Eighth Day

"Today bring to Me the Souls who are in the prison of Purgatory,
and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. Let the torrents of My Blood cool down their scorching flames. All these souls are greatly loved by Me. They are making retribution to My justice. It is in your power to bring them relief. Draw all the indulgences from the treasury of My Church and offer them on their behalf. Oh, if you only knew the torments they suffer, you would continually offer for them the alms of the spirit and pay off their debt to My justice."   
Most Merciful Jesus, You Yourself have said that You desire mercy; so I bring into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls in Purgatory, souls who are very dear to You, and yet, who must make retribution to Your justice. May the streams of Blood and Water which gushed forth from Your Heart put out the flames of Purgatory, that there, too, the power of Your mercy may be celebrated.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls suffering in Purgatory, who are enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. I beg You, by the sorrowful Passion of Jesus Your Son, and by all the bitterness with which His most sacred Soul was flooded: Manifest Your mercy to the souls who are under Your just scrutiny. Look upon them in no other way but only through the Wounds of Jesus, Your dearly beloved Son; for we firmly believe that there is no limit to Your goodness and compassion. Amen.


Ninth Day

"Today bring to Me the Souls who have become Lukewarm,
and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. These souls wound My Heart most painfully. My soul suffered the most dreadful loathing in the Garden of Olives because of lukewarm souls. They were the reason I cried out: 'Father, take this cup away from Me, if it be Your will.' For them, the last hope of salvation is to run to My mercy." 
Most compassionate Jesus, You are Compassion Itself. I bring lukewarm souls into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart. In this fire of Your pure love, let these tepid souls who, like corpses, filled You with such deep loathing, be once again set aflame. O Most Compassionate Jesus, exercise the omnipotence of Your mercy and draw them into the very ardor of Your love, and bestow upon them the gift of holy love, for nothing is beyond Your power.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon lukewarm souls who are nonetheless enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Father of Mercy, I beg You by the bitter Passion of Your Son and by His three-hour agony on the Cross: Let them, too, glorify the abyss of Your mercy. Amen. 





Sunday, March 31, 2013

Friday, March 29, 2013

The Fourteenth Station: The Burial of Jesus



   Station XIV
THE BURIAL OF JESUS


The evening shadows grew longer and the Parasceve was drawing rapidly to a close----so the men see haste must be made to bury Jesus. Joseph, John, and Nicodemus beg the Holy Mother to allow them to complete the embalming of the Sacred Body. They reverently lift the Sacred Body of Jesus from His Mother's knee, and carry it to the stone of anointing, which is still shown and venerated in the Church ot the Holy Sepulchre. There they prepared it for burial according to Jewish custom. They wrapped the Body of Jesus in fine linen cloths and bands, and placed spices and sweet-smelling herbs between it and the linen; sprinkled the linen itself with sweet perfumes----covered the Sacred Head with a napkin. See Mary herself performing this last duty. Oh, with what woe she gazes for the last time on the dead face of her beloved Son! The sun of her life has set with the covering of Jesus' face!

The preparation of the Body for burial was such as rich and respected men received. The preparations being completed, they proceed to inter the Body. It was already late, probably about five o'clock in the evening. The site where our Lord was to be buried was situated about fifty paces northwest of the place where the Cross stood. It was fortunate that the distance was so short, on account of the nearness of the Sabbath. The sepulchre was in a garden, and was hewn in the rocks and thus protected by nature against violation and profanation. It was quite new and unused, as befitted our Lord in regard to Whom everything must be pure and inviolate, as had been the womb of His Mother----to which the Holy Sepulchre is often compared. As a Joseph had once helped Mary to lay the Infant Saviour in the manger, so it is now a Joseph, too, who helps her to lay Him in the grave. Follow the little procession of mourners as they go down the hill, through the ravine, straight across to the garden, the three or four men bearing the Sacred Body of Jesus----His Mother, Magdalen, the Holy Women, and a few servants follow closely. When they reach the sepulchre our Blessed Lady spreads a white cloth in the tomb. Then the Body of Jesus is placed on the stone----there to remain until the hour of its joyful Resurrection.

Contemplate It as It lies there----disfigured by countless wounds and scars----apparently lifeless----yet nevertheless the joy of God and worthy of our highest adoration. Passive and cold and motionless----but soon to be radiant with the most dazzling beauty----dead but belonging to a Divine Person. From this we may learn (1) the glory of suffering, (2) the power of apparent helplessness when God is with us, (3) the beauty of passive obedience, (4) the true life of those who are dead to the world. Mark how, before closing the entrance to the tomb, all fall on their knees and adore the Sacred Body, shedding many tears----in spirit I can unite with all these loyal, devoted servants of our Lord, and adore, love, and thank my dear Master for all His goodness to me. Then they lead the Mother of God back to the Cenacle----leaving their hearts where their Treasure rests. In passing before the Cross our Blessed Lady prostrates, and is the first to adore the Sacred Sign of our Redemption. All who accompany her follow her example. Watch----and listen----as the Holy Mother and Jesus' devoted servants reach the Cenacle. Our Lady, before entering with John, Magdalen, and the Holy Women, thanks most tenderly the faithful friends of Jesus----she blesses them for the love with which they have rendered Him the last duties, and says with fullest confidence: "The God of our Fathers will not permit His Holy One to see corruption."

What was our Lord doing while thus apparently inactive in the silent tomb? He was beginning His work of triumph; announcing the glad tidings of salvation to the holy souls in Limbo, among whom soon appeared the penitent thief, in fulfillment of His promise, "This day shalt thou be in Paradise"; dethroning Satan and changing the kingdoms of this world into the Kingdom of God and of His Christ. So it is with us. When we seem useless and apparently doing nothing, we are often doing great things for God! Our tabernacles are so many tombs where the Body of Jesus is buried. What is my assiduity in visiting the Hidden God? What is my devotion, my respect in His Divine Presence? Are not our hearts so many tombs into which Jesus deigns to descend? Is mine a garden enclosed?----cultivated----adorned with flowers of virtue, especially purity, love, humility, desire? Is this garden of my soul silent from all din of earthly, worldly things and dedicated to Him alone? Is His Sacred Body embalmed by my love, and wrapped in the clean winding-sheet of purity of intention? If this be so, His Presence in my soul when I have received Him in Holy Communion will be the pledge of my glorious resurrection with Him. The rock signifies stability in good----"He ye steadfast and immovable."

COLLOQUY.----O Jesus, would that all might know and love Thee! Would that I never displeased Thee! Now, dearest Jesus, I begin. I must serve Thee with all my heart's love, with all my strength. Would that I possessed the hearts of all, that I might consecrate them to Thy love! Help me, dear Lord, to make some return for all Thy loving patience with me in the past. O Jesus, the life and delight of my soul! How unutterable is the love wherewith Thou hast loved me! Grant, Lord Jesus, that from this day I may begin to serve Thee in earnest----give of my best----give fearlessly----and from purest love. Grant that my life may bear much fruit of holiness, and so show forth the Divine power of Thy grace and love, and promote Thy greater glory.

O Mary, Mother of God, my Mother, for the love of thy Divine Son, keep me always close to thy pure heart----shield me from the devil, the world, and my own evil nature----that I may become thy true child and the devoted Spouse and Apostle of Jesus. O Mother, I have need of thee;  Mary, be propitious to me! 



The Thirteenth: Jesus Is Taken Down From the Cross



Station XIII
THE DEPOSITION FROM THE CROSS

Crucifixion does not of itself cause death speedily, but the sufferers perish slowly by the gradual loss of strength. For this reason the Romans were accustomed either to burn crucified criminals on the cross, to kill them with a lance, cast them to wild beasts, or sometimes leave them to die of hunger. According to Jewish law, the executed criminal whose body had been hung on the gibbet to increase his disgrace had to be taken down and buried before evening. The Jews now took their stand upon this law, and asked Pilate to send soldiers to go and break the legs of the crucified with clubs, kill them, and take them down from the gibbets. They urged as a reason for this that the following day was the Sabbath, and the great Sabbath, too: the Parasceve, or day of preparation, was already nearing its close, and it was high time to act. Other reasons were probably their evil consciences, the terror with which the dreadful natural phenomena and other occurrences had inspired them, and the fear of the people. They wanted to end the matter and consign it to oblivion. So Pilate sent soldiers to do as the Jews wished.

Hear St. John as he tells us: "The soldiers came, and they broke the legs of the first, and of the other that was crucified with Him." See the soldiers rapidly mounting the hill of Calvary----bringing clubs to break the legs, ladders to bring down the bodies, spades and shovels to open the common graves for criminals. Magdalen and John and the Holy Women, who have had peace till now on Calvary, are thrown into great consternation. St. Bonaventure represents them placing themselves at the side of Holy Mary to protect the Sacred Body from outrage. Mary Magdalen, Mary of Cleophas, and Salome, the mother of James and John, had ministered to our Lord all through His public life; they had openly declared themselves His disciples; they had kept their faith in Him in trial and persecution----even the horror of Calvary they had braved to be near Him to the end. The executioners approach the crosses to consummate the punishment of the three whom they had crucified----armed with clubs they speedily fracture the limbs of the thieves. It was a fearful sound for the Immaculate Mother to hear----the dull crashing of the flesh and bone, the agonizing cries of the miserable sufferers. But words will not tell the anguish with which Mary saw them approach the body of Jesus----earth held nothing half so sacred. Dead as it was, it was joined to the Divinity, and therefore entitled to the fullest honours of Divine worship; unspeakable was Mary's love for the body of her Son----her Son Who was God as well. She spoke not----her voice broke not the silence----but the silence of her prayer was loud in Heaven. The rude men saw that Jesus was dead and desisted from their purpose----"You shall not break a bone of Him," it was written. These things were done that the Scriptures might be fulfilled.

    VIEW ST. LONGINUS

Two things have from the beginning been decreed: (1) That no bone shall be broken, but (2) that our Lord's side shall be opened, and that water and Blood shall come out from the wound. Out of this water and this Blood His helpmate----His Holy Church, His Bride----is built up . . . Seizing his lance, and riding quickly up to the mound on which the Cross was planted, Longinus, the soldier, stopped just between the cross of the good thief and that of our Lord, and taking his lance in both hands thrust it so completely into the right side of Jesus that the point went through the heart and appeared on the left side. 0 wonderful efficacy and power of the Blood of Jesus! When he drew his lance out of the wound a quantity of blood and water rushed with it. This produced effects somewhat similar to the vivifying waters of Baptism---- grace and salvation at once entered his soul; he leaps from his horse, throws himself upon his knees, striking his breast and confessing loudly before all his belief in the Divinity of Jesus.

St. Bernard addresses the pierced Heart of Jesus as "the home of love, the throne of the Blessed Trinity, the ark of wide-reaching charity." St. Laurence Justinian says: "Through an excess of love, Jesus opened His side in order to give us His Heart."

As evening came on, it grew quieter and quieter around the Cross of Jesus. See the soldiers occupied in dragging the bodies of the dead thieves down the hill to the common burial-place. See the Immaculate Mother----her eyes fixed on Jesus. Oh, with what unutterable pain Mary contemplates this Holy Body hanging on the Cross----now robbed of all form and beauty, even of Its soul----torn and shattered, borne down by Its own dead weight on the Cross. She could not take Him down, and had no grave for Him. Any request from her might result in grosser execration. The Holy Mother feared every moment that the soldiers would come back and drag away her dear Son's Body also to the burial-place of criminals. It was considered a disgrace among the Jews not to be buried in their own family sepulchre. The Mother of Jesus had always been poor----poor in Bethlehem, poor in Egypt, poor in Nazareth----but never had she felt her poverty so bitterly as here in the sight of her Jesus' dead Body.

Note the party of men passing through the judgment-gate bringing ladders and many other things. They are hastening rapidly towards Calvary. Our Blessed Mother, sick at heart, asks John anxiously: "Who are coming?" At last, when they are near enough, John whispers to the Blessed Mother that she has nothing to fear. They are friends. Joseph of Arimathea was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews----Nicodemus likewise. But lo! Jesus in His Death has made all things new. Joseph and Nicodemus are not afraid now. The Passion of Christ has strengthened them. Scarcely had Jesus breathed His last sigh than the efficacy of His Blood inspires them with a courage they had not known before. They are determined to honour the Body of Jesus whom they recognize as the Messias. At once Joseph goes to the Praetorium and boldly asks Pilate for the Body of Jesus. A glorious testimony to the innocence, sanctity, kingship, Divinity of Jesus, all of which have been well proved by the miracles of His life and death.

See with what ardour and reverence they approach the Sacred Body of Jesus. They salute the Mother of Sorrows, but neither can speak, their hearts are full of emotion and deepest sympathy for the Mother and Son. The beloved disciple joins them----all prostrate and adore Jesus on the Cross. Then the ladders are placed against the Cross and they begin the most sacred of duties.

Note how lovingly and reverently they touch the Sacred Body. First, the crown of thorns is removed----kissing it reverently they give it to the Immaculate Mother, who stretches out her hands to receive it, and she, too, kisses it and presses it to her heart. With the tenderest care the nails are drawn out, and passed one after another to the heroic Mother. See how gently and with what reverent love Joseph and Nicodemus wind linen bands around the limbs and then lower the Sacred Body to the ground. John holds the Adorable Head, Joseph and Nicodemus support the Body, and Mary Magdalen----always at her chosen place----takes the Sacred Feet of the Divine Master. No priest can treat the Blessed Sacrament with more care and reverence than these holy men of high degree treated the Body of Jesus. How dear they must be to us for their love of our Lord, and His Holy Mother, and for the generosity with which they give not only their property, Nicodemus his wealth and Joseph his sepulchre, but also themselves, the personal service of their hands; and lastly, for their courage.

It is not without significance that we are told that Joseph went "boldly" to Pilate. It really needed courage to do this, seeing the fanatical hatred borne by the Chief Priests and Rulers to Jesus, and the victory they had gained over Him. Joseph's and Nicodemus' sympathy for the fate of the Crucified----their intervention for Him----and the public burial they gave Him----might well be regarded as a demonstration of opposition, and might have the worst consequences for themselves. But they care nothing for all this. They came to know Jesus, they love Him, and everything must be done to serve and honour Him----Love is proved by deeds! These noble-minded men and their act is the first victory of the Death of Jesus, and a fruit of our Lord's gentleness and patience. "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth"----by being crucified----shall draw all to Myself." He did not take it amiss that they kept the fact of their discipleship secret for a time. Jesus waited patiently, and now His patience has borne fruit. And this is all the more wonderful----seeing that they were the only ones of all the disciples and Apostles, except St. John, who openly declared themselves for Jesus and espoused His cause.

As soon as the Sacred Body is lowered, going a few steps they place the "World's Treasure" in the winding-sheet that our Lady has spread on her knees. Then all prostrate and adore. I also will kneel and adore, fixing my eyes alternately on the Sacred Body of Jesus and on Mary. Contemplate lovingly, and mark how all who surround the Sacred Body of Jesus preserve a religious silence! How the Blessed Mother's heart speaks to her Beloved Son as she gazes on His bleeding face, His glazed eyes, His mangled body, His pierced hands and feet, His opened side. She speaks to the Eternal Father, the Holy Angels, the faithful friends of her adorable Son, she looks over the whole human race for whose redemption Jesus has suffered and died. She prays for all----for me!

What were the Holy Mother's thoughts as she gazed into the five Wounds and sees the Sacred Body covered with gaping wounds and bruises, battered out of all shape by the cruelty of man! O Mother of Sorrows, great as an ocean is thy sorrow! What must be thy hatred of sin, when thou seest what it has wrought in the Divine beauty of thy spotless Son! What a mixture of agonizing compassion and mournful sorrow, of hope and consolation, gratitude and triumphant joy, fills her holy soul while she looks on the dead Body of her Son. The day on which Jesus died is indeed well called Good Friday. It is the day when Jesus consummated His victory over death.