Act of reparation to Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament

The following prayer, formerly indulgenced, was promulgated by Pope Pius VII in 1815 during a time of profound crisis for the West and for the Church. It would be especially appropriate for use during a Holy Hour, after receiving Holy Communion, or at any time that one hears of an outrage to the Most Holy Eucharist.

Jesus, my God, my Savior, true God and true Man, in that lowly homage with which the faith itself inspires me, with my whole heart I adore and love Thee in the most august Sacrament of the Altar, in reparation for all the acts of irreverence, profanation and sacrilege, which I myself may ever have been so unhappy as to have committed, as well as for all such like acts that ever have been done by others, or that may be done in ages yet to come. I adore Thee, my God, not indeed as Thou deservest, nor as much as I am bound to adore, but as far as I am able; and I would that I could adore Thee with all the perfection of which a reasonable creature is capable. Meantime I purpose now and ever to adore Thee, not only for those Catholics who adore and love Thee not, but also for the conversion of all bad Christians, and of all Heretics, Schismatics, Mohammedans, Jews and idolaters. Jesus, my God, mayest Thou be ever known, adored, loved and praised every moment, in the most holy and divine Sacrament. Amen.

Novena prayers in honor of St. Rita of Cascia

On Friday, May 22, the feast of St. Rita of Cascia is celebrated in the calendar of the Roman Catholic Church. Patroness of abused wives and troubled marriages, St. Rita patiently endured battering and insults throughout her marriage and spent the latter years of her widowhood as an Augustinian nun.

A visit on the patronal feast day to a parish church such as that of St. Rita of Cascia in Alexandria, accompanied by the recitation of one Our Father and the Creed, is enriched with a plenary indulgence. Note that all plenary indulgences require sacramental confession, Communion, prayer for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff, and the absence of any attachment to sin whether mortal or venial. Another commendable practice would be the recitation of the novena prayers at this link provided by the Shrine of St. Rita in Philadelphia on each of the nine days up to and including the feast day on May 22.

A prayer of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament

As troubled as our world is today, it can be easy to forget that the purpose of Christ’s Incarnation, Passion, Death and Resurrection was not that we be mired eternally in sin, death, and damnation, but to nourish us, to heal our wounded natures, and to help us achieve holiness. Even as we struggle, He is immeasurably pleased when, with sincere contrition for our sins and a firm purpose of amending our lives and relinquishing our wills to His, we implore Him and thank Him for His graces. Here is a prayer originally promulgated by Blessed Pope Pius IX in 1866 that is suitable for a Holy Hour or other visit to Our Lord in the Eucharist.

Dear Jesus, present in the Sacrament of the Altar, be for ever thanked and praised. Love, worthy of all celestial and terrestrial love! who, out of infinite love for me, ungrateful sinner, didst assume our human nature, didst shed Thy most precious Blood in the cruel scourging, and didst expire on a shameful cross for our eternal welfare! Now, illumined with lively faith, with the outpouring of my whole soul and the fervour of my heart, I humbly beseech Thee, through the infinite merits of Thy painful sufferings, give me strength and courage to destroy every evil passion which sways my heart, to bless Thee in my greatest afflictions, to glorify Thee by the exact fulfilment of all my duties, supremely to hate all sin, and thus to become a saint.

Adoration Society for 2015 Synod initiated by Catholic lay women

We commend to the attention of our readers the weblog of the Eucharistic Adoration Society for Synod on the Family 2015. An initiative founded by Catholic lay women Christine McCarthy and Diane Montagna, the Society promotes a worldwide Novena of Eucharistic Adoration in preparation for the October 2015 Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops.

As reported by Edward Pentin in the January 29, 2015, issue of the National Catholic Register, “Possibly not since the Second Vatican Council has the Church faced such a crucial gathering of prelates as the upcoming synod on the family. . . . [Society founders McCarthy and Montagna] are inviting clergy, religious and the faithful worldwide to take part in a Eucharistic adoration novena for the intentions of the Pope, the synod fathers and the Church.

“The novena,” Pentin reports, “is to take place on the first Thursday of each month, for nine consecutive months, beginning on Feb. 5. It will conclude on Oct. 1, the feast of [Society patroness] St. Thérèse of Lisieux, three days before the opening of the synod.”

A novena prayer in honor of St. Francis de Sales

On Thursday, January 29, the feast of St. Francis de Sales is celebrated in the traditional calendar of the Roman Catholic Church. A Franciscan monk and Oratorian during the turbulent decades immediately following the Protestant Reformation, St. Francis de Sales possessed a deep yet gentle spirituality that has formed countless souls and inspired the founding of many religious orders during and after his life on earth.

A visit on the patronal feast day to a parish church such as that of St. Francis de Sales in Benedict, Maryland, accompanied by the recitation of one Our Father and the Creed, is enriched with a plenary indulgence.  Note that all plenary indulgences require sacramental confession, Communion, prayer for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff, and the absence of any attachment to sin whether mortal or venial.

Another commendable practice would be the recitation of the Collect of the Mass of the Feast of St. Francis de Sales as a novena prayer on each of the nine days up to and including the feast day on January 29:

Deus, qui ad animarum salutem beatum Franciscum Confessorem tuum atque Pontificem omnibus omnia factum esse voluisti: concede propitius; ut caritatis tuae dulcedine perfusi, eius dirigentibus monitis, ac suffragantibus meritis, aeterna gaudia consequamur. Per Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum, Filium tuum: qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

O God, Who for the salvation of souls willed that blessed Francis, Thy Confessor and Bishop, should become all things to all men, mercifully grant that we, inspired by the sweetness of Thy love, guided by his teachings, and aided by his merits, may attain the joys of everlasting life. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

A prayer in honor of St. Raymond of Peñafort

On Friday, January 23, the feast of St. Raymond of Peñafort is celebrated in the traditional calendar of the Roman Catholic Church. St. Raymond, a Dominican friar in Catalonia during the 13th century, served as personal confessor to Pope St. Gregory IX and is the patron saint of lawyers.

A visit on the patronal feast day to a parish church such as that of St. Raymond of Peñafort in Springfield, accompanied by the recitation of one Our Father and the Creed, is enriched with a plenary indulgence.  Note that all plenary indulgences require sacramental confession, Communion, prayer for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff, and the absence of any attachment to sin whether mortal or venial.

Another commendable practice would be the recitation of the Collect of the Mass of the Feast of St. Raymond of Peñafort as a novena prayer on each of the nine days up to and including the feast day on January 23:

Deus, qui beatum Raymundum poenitentiæ sacramenti insígnem ministrum elegisti, et per maris undas mirabiliter traduxisti: concede; ut eius intercessione dignos poenitentiæ fructus facere, et ad æternæ salutis portum pervenire valeamus. Per Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum, Filium tuum: qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

O God, You Who chose blessed Raymond to be a renowned minister of the sacrament of Penance, and miraculously brought him through the waves of the sea, grant that by his intercession we may produce good results from our penitence and reach the heaven of eternal salvation. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

A novena prayer in honor of St. John the Evangelist

On Saturday, December 27, just two days after Christmas, the feast of St. John the Evangelist is celebrated in both the traditional and Novus Ordo calendars of the Roman Catholic Church. The author of the fourth Gospel is also venerated as one of Our Lord’s twelve Apostles, called the Beloved.

A visit on the patronal feast day to a parish church such as that of St. John the Beloved in McLean or St. John the Apostle in Leesburg, accompanied by the recitation of one Our Father and the Creed, is enriched with a plenary indulgence.  Note that all plenary indulgences require sacramental confession, Communion, prayer for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff, and the absence of any attachment to sin whether mortal or venial.

Another commendable practice would be the recitation of the following Prayer to St. John, Apostle and Evangelist — as originally promulgated by Pope Leo XIII — as a novena prayer on each of the nine days up to and including the feast day on December 27:

O glorious Apostle, who, on account of thy virginal purity, wast so beloved by Jesus as to deserve to lay thy head upon His divine breast, and to be left, in His place, as son to His most holy Mother: I beg thee to inflame me with a most ardent love toward Jesus and Mary. Obtain for me from our Lord that I, too, with a heart purified from earthly afflictions, may be made worthy to be ever united to Jesus as a faithful disciple, and to Mary as a devoted son, both here on earth and eternally in heaven. Amen.

A Thanksgiving prayer

From the Collect for the Votive Mass of Thanksgiving:

Deus, cujus misericordiae non est numerus, et bonitatis infinitus est thesaurus: piissimae majestati tuae pro collatis donis gratias agimus, tuam semper clementiam exorantes; ut, qui petentibus postulata concedis, eosdem non deserens, ad praemia futura disponas. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium tuum: Qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

O God of Whose mercies there is no number, and of Whose goodness the treasure is infinite: we render thanks to Thy most gracious Majesty for the gifts Thou hast bestowed upon us, always beseeching Thy clemency; that as Thou grantest the petitions of them that ask Thee, Thou wilt never forsake them, but wilt prepare them for the greater rewards that still await them. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son: Who with Thee liveth and reigneth in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

What’s wrong with the world? A meditation for the Maternity of Our Lady

Posed with the above question, the English journalist and Catholic convert and apologist G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936) is famously said to have replied, simply, “I am.”  And cannot each of us, his successors in faith, own up to a similar shortcoming?

Fortunately, as Christians, we can have recourse to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, before her Son, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and to the graces she is privileged to dispense if we will but ask for them.  In anticipation of the October 11 feast of the Maternity of Our Lady, the following prayer, promulgated in 1886 by Pope Leo XIII and formerly indulgenced, would be a worthy one to offer during a novena on each of the nine days beginning this Friday, October 3.

Prayer to Our Lady, Mother of Divine Providence

O Immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of Divine Providence, take possession of my soul with all the fullness of thy favor and protection. Govern thou my life, and direct it along the way of virtue to the fulfillment of the divine will. Do thou obtain for me the pardon of my sins; be my refuge, my protection, my defense, my guide in the pilgrimage of this life; console me in afflictions, sustain me in dangers, and in the storms of adversity afford me the security of thy guardianship.

Obtain for me, O Mary, the renewal of my heart within me, so that it may become the holy dwelling place of thy divine Son Jesus; remove far from me, weak and miserable as I am, every kind of sin, negligence, sloth, timidity and human respect; entirely expel from me pride, vain glory, self-love, and all other earthly affections which hinder the efficacy of thy patronage. O sweetest Mother of Providence, turn thy maternal regard upon me, and if through frailty or malice I have provoked the menaces of the eternal Judge and embittered the most Sacred Heart of my loving Jesus, do thou throw over me the mantle of thy protection, and I shall be safe.

Thou art the watchful Mother, the Virgin of forgiveness, and my hope on earth; oh, grant that I may have thee for the Mother of Glory in Heaven.

Hail Mary . . . (3 times).

Although a specific indulgence no longer applies to the above prayer, a visit on the patronal feast day to a parish church such as that of St. Mary Mother of God in Chinatown, accompanied by the recitation of one Our Father and the Creed, is enriched with a plenary indulgence. Note that all plenary indulgences require sacramental confession, Communion, prayer for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff, and the absence of any attachment to sin whether mortal or venial.

For Dedication on Sept. 29, what better St. Michael novena prayer?

Monday, September 29, commemorates the Archangel Michael in both the traditional and Novus Ordo calendars of the Roman Catholic Church. In the traditional calendar, the observance is of the Dedication of St. Michael, in reference to a basilica bearing the Archangel’s name once located north of Rome, and is a feast of the first class.

A visit on the patronal feast day to a parish church such as that of St. Michael in Annandale, accompanied by the recitation of one Our Father and the Creed, is enriched with a plenary indulgence.  Note that all plenary indulgences require sacramental confession, Communion, prayer for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff, and the absence of any attachment to sin whether mortal or venial.

Another commendable practice would be the recitation of the following Prayer to St. Michael — as originally promulgated by Pope Leo XIII — as a novena prayer on each of the nine days up to and including the Feast of the Dedication:

O glorious Archangel St. Michael, Prince of the heavenly host, be our defense in the terrible warfare which we carry on against principalities and Powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, spirits of evil. Come to the aid of man, whom God created immortal, made in his own image and likeness, and redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of the devil.

Fight this day the battle of the Lord, together with the holy angels, as already thou hast fought the leader of the proud angels, Lucifer, and his apostate host, who were powerless to resist thee, nor was there place for them any longer in Heaven. That cruel, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil or Satan, who seduces the whole world, was cast into the abyss with his angels.

Behold, this primeval enemy and slayer of men has taken courage. Transformed into an angel of light, he wanders about with all the multitude of wicked spirits, invading the earth in order to blot out the name of God and of his Christ, to seize upon, slay and cast into eternal perdition souls destined for the crown of eternal glory.

This wicked dragon pours out, as a most impure flood, the venom of his malice on men of depraved mind and corrupt heart, the spirit of lying, of impiety, of blasphemy, and the pestilent breath of impurity, and of every vice and iniquity. These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on her most sacred possessions.

In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the most holy Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety, with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck, the sheep may be scattered.

Arise then, O invincible Prince, bring help against the attacks of the lost spirits to the people of God, and give them the victory. They venerate thee as their protector and patron; in thee holy Church glories as her defense against the malicious power of hell; to thee has God entrusted the souls of men to be established in heavenly beatitude.

Oh, pray to the God of peace that He may put Satan under our feet, so far conquered that he may no longer be able to hold men in captivity and harm the Church. Offer our prayers in the sight of the Most High, so that they may quickly conciliate the mercies of the Lord; and beating down the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, do thou again make him captive in the abyss, that he may no longer seduce the nations. Amen.

℣. Behold the Cross of the Lord; be scattered ye hostile powers.
℟. The Lion of the tribe of Juda has conquered, the root of David.
℣. Let Thy mercies be upon us, O Lord.
℟. As we have hoped in Thee.
℣. O Lord, hear my prayer.
℟. And let my cry come unto Thee.
Let us pray.
O God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon Thy Holy Name, and as suppliants we implore Thy clemency, that by the intercession of Mary, ever Virgin immaculate and our Mother, and of the glorious Archangel St. Michael, Thou wouldst deign to help us against Satan and all other unclean spirits, who wander about the world for the injury of the human race and the ruin of souls. Amen.