On the edge of Buenos Aires is a nothing little street called Pasaje C, a shot of dried mud leading into a slum from what passes for a main road, the garbage-strewn Mariano Acosta. There is a church, the Immaculate Virgin, toward the end of the pasaje—Spanish for passage—where, on one occasion, the local priest and a number of frightened residents took refuge deep in the sanctuary when rival drug gangs opened fire. Beyond the church, Pasaje C branches into the rest of the parish: more rutted mud and cracked concrete form Pasajes A to K. Brick chips from the hasty construction of squatter housing coagulate along what ought to be sidewalks. The word asesino—murderer—is scrawled in spray-paint on the sooty wall of a burned-out house, which was torched just days before in retaliation for yet another shooting. Packs of dogs sprawl beneath wrecked cars. Children wander heedless of traffic, because nothing can gather speed on these jagged roads. But even Pasaje C can lead to Rome.
As Cardinal and Archbishop of Buenos Aires, a metropolis of some 13.5 million souls, Jorge Mario Bergoglio made room in his schedule every year for a pastoral visit to this place of squalor and sorrow. He would walk to the subway station nearest to the Metropolitan Cathedral, whose pillars and dome fit easily into the center of Argentine power. Traveling alone, he would transfer onto a graffiti-blasted tram to Mariano Acosta, reaching where the subways do not go. He finished the journey on foot, moving heavily in his bulky black orthopedic shoes along Pasaje C. On other days, there were other journeys to barrios throughout the city—so many in need of so much, but none too poor or too filthy for a visit from this itinerant prince of the church. Reza por mí, he asked almost everyone he met. Pray for me.
When, on March 13, Bergoglio inherited the throne of St. Peter—keeper of the keys to the kingdom of heaven—he made the same request of the world. Pray for me.
From the Web
This is a small little preview of the much-asked-about John Paul II Eucharistic Center here at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament and Our Lady of the Angels Monastery. To Catholics and believers of all faiths alike, the reason for the Shrine, while prominent, remains an inexhaustible mystery. At the center and heart of the chapel here is Christ, truly present in the Eucharist. The JPII center is a ‘small’ yet significant and innovative tribute to Jesus’ unfathomable gift to us – Himself in the Eucharist. Here, visitors to the Shrine can step into recreations of a Jewish home at Passover (a foreshadowing of the Eucharist) and a constructed synagogue like the one where Christ gave the discourse in John chapter 6.
On display are immense paintings depicting the price Christ paid to give us this memorial of His passion and death. Multi Media presentations including stunning reenactments of historical Eucharistic miracles as well as dynamic question and answer segments at various booths. Not least of all are tributes to Saints and martyrs who gave the ultimate confession of faith in Christ’s Real Presence – their own life. Your prayers and support for this great work are truly appreciated! Adoro te devote!
Here is a video by Anthony Khoury in Washington, Ill. who very earnestly prays the Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be and Oh My Jesus with the rest of his family as he calmly films a very powerful, fast moving tornado. He makes a comment before praying, “I hope nobody’s hurt.” Given the massive amount of destruction in this town and the very low number of fatalities, perhaps his prayers were answered. He and his family seemed much more concerned for others than for themselves. Great example, Anthony and family!
By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis admitted he wasn’t a pharmacist, but he didn’t hesitate being the spokesman for the heart-healthy benefits of 59 little pills strung together: the rosary.
“I want to recommend some medicine for all of you,” the pope said Nov. 17 at the end of his Sunday Angelus address. “It’s a spiritual medicine.”
Holding up a white medicine box with an anatomical drawing of the human heart on it, Pope Francis told some 80,000 people gathered for the midday prayer that the boxes contained a rosary.
“Don’t forget to take it,” he said. “It’s good for your heart, for your soul, for your whole life.” (more…)
As Fr. Angelo Geiger has blogged about on MaryVictrix, Pope Francis has a major devotion to Our Lady of Lujan, the Untier of Knots. Here is an article by Rocco Palmo on the Pope’s profound devotion to Our Lady as the Fatima statue enters into St. Peter’s Square yesterday for the Consecration of the World to the Blessed Virgin Mary where the Pope again focuses on Our Lady the great Untier. He then gives an update on the actual consecration held this morning with a complete transcript of the Pope’s homily to a hundred thousand people at the closing Mass. Folks, I think we have a marian Pope.
As previously noted, whenever the Theotokos comes around, the 266th Bishop of Rome simply loses himself and spiritually veers off to another place.
Yet again, that was clearly visible last night in the Square, as the Pope spontaneously rushed down to receive the original statue of Our Lady of Fatima, refusing to even approach his seat until she did….
To be sure, a very simple explanation underpins all this. For those who grasp it, no words are necessary… for those who can’t, nothing will ever suffice.
* * *
In his catechesis to the gathered throng, Francis wove his principal thread around the Marian devotion that, later in life, would become one of his favorites: Maria Knötenloserin – Mary, Untier (or Undoer) of Knots – the 17th century cult the now-Pope encountered during his brief exile in Germany in the late 1980s, introducing it to great effect at home on his return to Buenos Aires.
Over recent months, the Pope’s affinity for the German Madonna provided the title for Paul Vallely’s exquisite biography of Francis – the most authoritative tome on the pontiff to be published in English. Then again, given the author’s depth of research and contacts among Bergoglio’s own, perhaps the confluence is no accident.
With that as the backdrop, here’s Il Papa on La Mujer (emphases original):
I thought this was an interesting article about Monsignor Pope’s pilgrimage to Our Lady of Guadalupe because right now as I type the AirMaria Crew is also headed to Our Lady or Guadalupe’s Shrine, not in Mexico, but in La Crosse, Wisconsin. We will be filming the Marian Symposium there this Saturday, Oct 12.
Symposium Theme: The Year of Faith, the New Evangelization, and Our Lady
Below Article by Mons. Charles Pope
I am leading about twenty parishioners to Guadalupe Mexico for the next seven days. As I leave, the following thoughts go with me, some personal, some Ecclesial as well.
1. Elevation. Mexico city and its environs are at or near 5,000 feet. For this human being, the highest point in DC is my former parish (St Ann’s) at 410 feet! Surely, even with recent weight loss, I am in for some breathless climbs. Thus, I am expecting some humility lessons! I think I am strong, but the earth is bigger, and God is infinitely more glorious.
Thank you Lord, teach me humility through elevation and a few steep climbs. I left my asthma inhaler behind when I lost weight. One of the good bishops here in DC told me to bring it anyway, the air is thin. So, I bring it.
2. Evangelization – Our Lady’s appearance at Guadalupe to Juan Diego was a major break-through. Many attempts had been made by the Missionaries of that time toward the indigenous peoples of Mexico. But the results were discouraging. A combination of fear, rooted in the bloody human sacrifice of the Aztec religion, plus the counter-sign of Spanish Conquerors which made the Christian religion seem no less cruel,. All of this combined to make converts to the Catholic faith a rare thing.
Enter our Lady and the supply of the miraculous Tilma, and within ten years nine to ten million Mexicans became Catholic. That’s 3000 converts a day, a Pentecost every day for ten years!
Yes, Our Lady is Evangelizer in Chief, she’s a Momma on the move, the Mother of
WHEN Jesus was on the cross at Calvary, he turned to his youngest Apostle and asked him to look after his mother Mary, the Bible says. But the book remains largely silent about what happened to her after that.
It is believed, however, that John the Evangelist, as the Apostle came to be known, quietly spirited her away to what is modern-day Turkey.
High on a hill slope outside the town of Ephesus he built her a simple stone house where she stayed secretly. Those were dangerous times for Christians. The Romans held Ephesus and they were responsible for crucifying Jesus.
Centuries passed. Earthquakes rocked and wrecked Ephesus. The Romans, who persecuted the Christians, themselves became Christian and, subsequently, the people of the region became Muslim.
In the 19th century, the house was found based on the visions of an ailing nun, Anne Catherine Emmerich in Germany, and pilgrims began trekking there. There is a spring near the house and many believe the water has healing powers.
“People say, ‘Wow!’ when they walk in,” Father Walter Tonelotto enthused as we talked about the church he pastors, Our Lady of the Rosary of Pompeii Church in New York City.
That jaw-dropping response happens upon entering the beautiful shrine-like church, which celebrates by its name what the universal Church has for centuries: the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, which is Oct. 7.
The date is particularly memorable for this church because it was dedicated on the Oct. 7 feast day 85 years ago, in 1928.
Located between Sixth and Seventh Avenues in Greenwich Village, the church is a lovely testament to Our Lady and the immigrants who have long worshipped here.
Since its founding in 1892, this parish has served New York immigrants, always reminding them of the importance of the Rosary.
It was founded by a missionary from the Scalabrini Fathers, the order that has administered the parish for all these years. For decades, the parish was the anchor for Italian immigrants who settled in this section of the city, as well as their descendants.
The new arrivals were greeted with a touch of
How to Increase Little Ones’ Devotion to Our Lady
BY JOSEPH PRONECHEN, REGISTER CORRESPONDENT Sunday, Oct 06, 2013 6:08 AM Comment
During the month we dedicate to the holy Rosary, Oct. 17 marks the 96th anniversary of Our Lady’s appearances at Fatima, Portugal, to three children visionaries: Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco.
The Blessed Mother told the children to pray the Rosary daily for peace — and to tell others to pray, too. We honor Our Lady of the Rosary each Oct. 7.
On Oct. 13, 1917, the Miracle of the Sun took place, which Pope Francis will commemorate with Mass and praying the Rosary in Rome Oct. 12-13 this year. Then the Holy Father will consecrate the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in St. Peter’s Square before the original statue of Our Lady of Fatima from the shrine in Portugal.
In his short time as Holy Father, Francis has consecrated his papacy and World Youth Day 2013 to Our Lady of Fatima. He follows in the steps of Blessed John Paul II, who declared, “The message of Fatima is more important now than ever.”
Benedict XVI also affirmed the message during his visit to the shrine: “We would be mistaken to think that Fatima’s prophetic mission is complete.”
Two new initiatives follow the papal calls. One brings the story and inspiration of Fatima directly to children through a new book. The other has children answering Our Lady’s call to pray the Rosary.
“Francis is making it clear to the world that we need to live and spread this message,” says Michael La Corte, executive director of the Fatima Family Apostolate (FFA, FatimaFamily.org). The organization has published The Miracle of the Dancing Sun: Messages From Mary, with the goal of distributing it to Catholic schools and parish religious-education programs worldwide.
There is a beautiful tradition for this day (often right at 1200 noon). Once upon a time one could obtain this day a plenary indulgence by reciting the Supplication to the Madonna of Pompeii. The other day for this is 8 May.
With the changes to the concessions for indulgences, according to the Enchiridion Indulgentiarum, there is no longer any plenary indulgence for this prayer, notwithstanding anything you might see in some old book or on a website. For example, if you see something about Pope Leo XIII granting an indulgence, etc., that is null and void now.
However, the new Enchiridion says with concession #17, §3 that Marian prayers obtain a partial indulgence under the condition that the prayer is approved by competent authority and that it is recited with fervor in the state of grace (you don’t need confession and Communion within 8 days, nor must you recite the prayers for the Roman Pontiffs intentions for a partial indulgence). You can receive a partial indulgence, by maintaining this beautiful custom of the Supplication today.
For more about this, including the prayers, click HERE.
I included background on Bl. Bartolo Longo, a converted Satanic priest! John Paul II beatified Bartolo Longo in 1980. Some of his writings form the basis of the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary.
Whispers in the Loggia: “Francis, Teach Us to Remain Before the Cross… Teach Us To Be Instruments of Peace”Friday, October 4th, 2013
HOMILY OF POPE FRANCIS
MASS ON THE FEAST OF ST FRANCIS OF ASSISI
BASILICA OF ST FRANCIS
4 OCTOBER 2013
I give you thanks, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding, and revealed them to babes” (Mt 11:25).
Peace and all good to each and every one of you! With this Franciscan greeting I thank you for being here, in this Square so full of history and faith, to pray together.
Today, I too have come, like countless other pilgrims, to give thanks to the Father for all that he wished to reveal to one of the “little ones” mentioned in today’s Gospel: Francis, the son of a wealthy merchant of Assisi. His encounter with Jesus led him to strip himself of an easy and carefree life in order to espouse “Lady Poverty” and to live as a true son of our heavenly Father. This decision of Saint Francis was a radical way of imitating Christ: he clothed himself anew, putting on Christ, who, though he was rich, became poor in order to make us rich by his poverty (cf. 2 Cor 8:9). In all of Francis’ life, love for the poor and the imitation of Christ in his poverty were inseparably united, like the two sides of a coin.
What does Saint Francis’s witness tell us today? What does he have to say to us, not merely with words – that is easy enough – but by his life?
1. His first and most essential witness is this: that being a Christian means having a living relationship with the person of Jesus; it means putting on Christ, being conformed to him.
Where did Francis’s journey to Christ begin? It began with the gaze of the crucified Jesus. With letting Jesus look at us at the very moment that he gives his life for us and draws us to himself. Francis experienced this in a special way in the Church of San Damiano, as he prayed before the cross which I too will have an opportunity to venerate. On that cross, Jesus is depicted not as dead, but alive! Blood is flowing from his wounded hands, feet and side, but that blood speaks of life. Jesus’ eyes are not closed but open, wide open: he looks at us in a way that touches our hearts. The cross does not speak to us about defeat and failure; paradoxically, it speaks to us about a death which is life, a death which gives life, for it speaks to us of love, the love of God incarnate, a love which does not die, but triumphs over evil and death. When we let the crucified Jesus gaze upon us, we are re-created, we become “a new creation”. Everything else starts with this: the experience of transforming grace, the experience of being loved for no merits of our own, in spite of our being sinners. That is why Saint Francis could say with Saint Paul: “Far be it for me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Gal 6:14).
We turn to you, Francis, and we ask you: Teach us to remain before the cross, to let the crucified Christ gaze upon us, to let ourselves be forgiven, and recreated by his love.
Well, folks, greetings from the calm before what could just end up being the defining day of this pontificate…
…after the last almost seven months, that’s saying something, no?
Before 8am local (2am ET) tomorrow, what was unthinkable not all that long ago will be realized as the first Pope called Francis begins a daylong pilgrimage in Assisi, to the Poverello’s home on his feast – the place where, eight centuries after him, the spirit of the most beloved of saints isn’t merely still felt, but remains the Umbrian town’s ethereal, pervading element.
As no less than six speeches are planned – all of them looking to be drawn from the template of Francesco di Bernardone and his radical embrace of “Lady Poverty” for the sake of witnessing to the Gospel – the more sensitive among us might want to brace yourselves. Whatever the case, let’s all just breathe, pray and take it easy while easy can last.
For now, as ever, look to your right sidebar for the running updates – more here once the words are sufficient… even as these have stood the test of the ages:
Most High, glorious God,
enlighten the darkness of my heart
and give me true faith,
certain hope and perfect charity, sense and knowledge,
that I may carry out, Lord,
Your holy and true command.
This article is a bit old but I thought it spoke so eloquently of Our Lady and a call for peace in a troubled land that we could do well to reflect on it.
IN THE shimmering air of an arid mountainside, a graceful animal can suddenly speak with a human voice of succour; and a beast that seems to offer its own flesh to a hungry traveller turns out instead to be a provider of water, which is even more desperately needed. That, at any rate, is the story of what happened to the eastern Roman Emperor Justinian as he was marching across Syria with a thirsty army. Spying a lovely gazelle in the distance, he chased the animal until it led him to a cool, refreshing spring. Before he could slay the animal, it transformed into an (more…)
September 26, 2013. (Romereports.com)(-ONLY VIDEO-) During his visit to Barcelona, Benedict XVI consecrated the city’s famous ‘Sagrada Familia.’ Even though Masses are celebrated in the basilica, construction work is still going on. But now there’s a way for visitors to see how Gaudi’s masterpiece will look when it’s all completed.
With just a simple click, this video gives people an inside look at just how the basilica will look. If everything goes as planned, the construction project will be completed in the year 2026, so 154 years after Gaudi began working on it.
The basilica’s exterior is full of symbolism. There’s a tower for every evangelist and one for every apostle. Above the rest, there are two other towers. One that represents the Virgin Mary and the other, standing at more than 550 feet, represents Jesus.
The Pope gave a strong message on unity in the Church at the General audience on Wednesday.
What I like most about this video is the size of the audience! This is on a Wednesday, middle of the week and middle of the workday and St Peter’s Square is packed! The unity of this diverse crowd is a great backdrop for the Pope’s message. It also ties in with his homily in Calgari at Our Lady of Bonaria where he says that Our lady will teach us to look out for each other. Here he calls on Christians to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ who are being persecuted for their faith.
There were two videos on Rome Reports on the event. The first is shorter and focuses on the pope and the large audience. The second is longer and includes a reading of the entire message in English by a prelate and an address of welcome to the many English speaking pilgrims in attendance from around the world.