Premier of The Blood & The Rose Documentary

The Blood & The RoseI was very priveledged to see the premier of a wonderful documentary called The Blood and The Rose at The Warner Theater in Washington, D.C.   This event was a benefit for Catholic Charities of the Washington Archdiocese and originally cost $75 a ticket–beyond my means to pay.  But God’s grace intervened with a Facebook message from Fr. Leo Patalinghug who was a speaker at the event:  Fr. Leo posted “I just got word that thanks to a generous donor, you can now buy tickets for tomorrow’s event in DC for The Blood & The Rose for $15.31 at the door! There are two reasons that price is significant: first, because 1531 is the year that the miracle of Our Lady of Guadalupe took place, and second, now you have no excuse to miss out on what’s going to be a powerful and great Spiritual event! So if you’re in DC, I hope to see you tomorrow at the Warner Theatre!” Wow!  what a blessing, and was very excited to attend with my parents.

MC Raymond Arroyo

MC: Raymond Arroyo

The documentary is a must see movie that tells the story of Saint Juan Diego and the miracle of Our Lady of Guadalupe.   The film maker, Tim Watkins, dedicated himself to this project for seven years in telling this important message of Our Lady of Guadalupe and the history and science behind The Tilma.  It is amazing to see how science can not explain the existence of the image nor how The Tilma has lasted so long other than a miracle.

Director Tim Watkins

Director Tim Watkins

The movie website says about the movie:  “On December 9, 1531, the Blessed Virgin Mary first appeared to Juan Diego, an ordinary man of extraordinary faith. Juan Diego humbly embraced the call to serve as a Messenger Eagle. Today this apparition is known as “the Virgin of Guadalupe.” The beautiful miracle of that day is chronicled in this story that begins with Mary’s faith filled yes. This eternal struggle of good versus evil is the battle for our souls.”

Fr. Leo Patalinghug

Fr. Leo Patalinghug

Fr. Leo Patalinghug is an expert himself in Marian Theology, as he studied this subject at the Pontifical College in Rome.  I love the message he brought that we all have a belly-button and this is the reminder of our own mothers feeding us, as well as the spiritual food from Mother Mary.  Fr. Leo points to the fact that Our Lady of Guadalupe is the Patroness of the Americas & The New Evangelization, and very important message to follow the example of Mary.  Fr. Leo has also written a new book, Spicing Up Married Life, for his own ministry–Grace Before Meals.  I was very happy to meet Fr. Leo after the show where he signed his new book for my parents–celebrating their upcoming 50th Wedding Anniversary (ironically Fr. Leo dedicated his book to his parent’s 50th too!)

Fr. Leo with Dave & Ellie Clem

Fr. Leo with Dave & Ellie Clem

Please take a look at the preview of the documentary on the movie website below, and it should be coming out on DVD very soon.  It is 90 minutes of time that will deepen your faith in Christ through Our Lady of Guadalupe.  Review:  Two Thumbs Up!

LINKS

Official Website for The Blood & The Rose

Grace Before Meals

Previous Blog about Fr. Leo and Mount St. Mary’s Seminary

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Public Rosary in 9,000+ American Towns

Our Lady of Fatima

Our Lady of Fatima

This past Saturday, October 13th, there was an event across America to pray the Rosary in public squares on the 95th Anniversary of Fatima.  In Central Virginia, we gathered in Fork Union and honored to have Fr. Gerald Francis Musuubire (Sts. Peter & Paul parish in Palmyra) leading us in prayer.  We had a lovely prayer service that included singing Immaculate Mary and then praying The Angelus, Glorious Mysteries (including Fatima prayer), Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel, Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Prayer of Total Consecration, Divine Praises, and closing singing O Sanctissima.   There were many travelers who passed by on State Route 15 during our one-hour service and hopefully we touched someone, and sure that all the prayers said by the many thousands will have an impact of love & faith & peace.  More details in the links below about Fatima and organizing this annual event.

Rosary Rally in Fork Union, Virginia

Rosary Rally in Fork Union, Virginia

Fr. Gerald Francis Musuubire

Fr. Gerald Francis Musuubire

 The Angelus Prayer

V. The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary;

R. And she conceived of the Holy Ghost

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.

V. Behold the handmaid of the Lord,

R. Be it done unto me according to Thy word.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.

V. And the Word was made flesh,

R. And dwelt among us.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.

V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God,

R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray

Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the Incarnation of Christ Thy Son has been made known by the message of an Angel, may, by His passion and cross, be brought to the glory of His resurrection. Through the same Christ our Lord.

Amen

LINKS

America Needs Fatima website

Previous Blog about Fatima with other links and videos

 

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5th Annual Catholic New Media Conference

CNMC 2012

I was honored to attend the 5th Annual Catholic New Media Conference this year in Arlington, Texas.  This year’s conference was the first time it was a combined effort with two other  conferences:  the 4th Annual Catholic Writers Guild and the 16th Annual Catholic Marketing Network Trade Show.  The CNMC this year offered informative and entertaining presentations for Catholic webmasters, bloggers, podcasters, and media producers.  It was awesome to see many good friends as well as meeting many new people all working for the good of the Catholic Faith on the new digital continent.

Immaculee Ilibagiza

Immaculee Ilibagiza

After some flight delays with ACME Airlines (flat tire & fuel spill), I arrived in Texas and was blessed to experience a very inspiring talk from Immaculee Ilibagiza.  She lived though the horrible genocide in Rwanda, Africa where three of her five family members were murdered in 1991.  Immaculee hid in a bathroom with seven other women for three months to survive the genocide of over one million people.  She said she believes she was saved by God in order to tell her story to the world.  Immaculee’s was raised in a family who had a very strong Catholic faith, and a devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Immaculee also said that the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared ten years before in Kibeho, Rwanda to warn the people of her country and urged them to pray the Rosary to avoid this tragedy.  Her documentary called If Only We Had Listened, is a must watch DVD (trailer below), and also available as a book .  Immaculee exudes the Holy Spirit and joy with her presentations, and she is an inspiration to me and many.  It was an honor to meet Immaculee and wish her all the best with her incredible ministry.

Jennifer Willits & Immaculee Ilibagiza

Jennifer Willits & Immaculee Ilibagiza

The 5th Annual CNMC started with great opening remarks by Fr. Roderick Vonhogen, who is the founder of  the Star Quest Production Network.  Fr. Roderick, from Holland, talked about how far Catholic New Media has come in the last seven years.  It is amazing to think that there was no You Tube, Facebook, Chrome, iPhone, Apps or Twitter seven years ago, and how far we have come in such a short time.  I am very thankful to the SQPN community and Fr. Roderick who inspired me through his podcasts to start my own blog, and now Catholic Web Services which have strengthened my faith ten-fold.

Fr. Roderick Vonhogen

Fr. Roderick Vonhogen

 

One of the great things about this conference was that it is centered around Christ offering daily Mass, Eucharistic Adoration, Confession, and prayer.  The focus is on the Triune God, and despite all this great technology, books, and personalities–we all united as apostles in service to the Catholic Church.  It was this faith-filled group of people that have inspired me to do great things in the upcoming Year of Faith.

Fr. Andrew Apostoli

Fr. Andrew Apostoli

The first day of the CNMC was Professional Learning Day with two concurrent sessions:  the Main Track and the Tech-Summit.  I was glad that a Virtual Ticket was offered this year, which offers recordings and links to all the presentations.  This allowed me to see a bit of all three conferences in the Arlington Convention Center, and a great reference afterward.  You can still purchase this option if you have not already done so.

CNMC Virtual Ticket

Cliff Ravenscraft is an expert on podcasting, and gave a great presentation on the art of good podcasting and how he made a career serving the church.  Cliff is a devout Christian, but not Catholic.  Cliff formed a good friendship with Fr. Roderick, and has been very helpful to the Catholic community of podcasters.  It was great to finally meet Cliff and admire his accomplishments in the profession of podcasting.

 

Cliff Ravenscraft

Cliff Ravenscraft

 

The Tech Summit was organized by Matt Warner and Jeff Geerling, who put together a bunch of great speakers for development of websites, Apps, and programming.  It was great to meet so many people working on the cutting-edge of technology in service to the church, including:  Josh Simmons, Dane Faulkner, Dr. Jim Coyle, Pat Padley, Rob Kaczmark, Brandon Vogt, and Bishop Christopher Coyne.  I will be writing more in the coming weeks in this blog and at Catholic Web Services about the things I learned and other links to share.

Jeff Geerling on App Development

Jeff Geerling on App Development (FlockNote & Open Source Catholic)

Jeff Cavins came to speak about some new books and resources he has to share for the upcoming Year of Faith which begins October 11th, marking the 50th Anniversary of Vatican II.  Jeff was previously Protestant Minister, and converted to the Catholic Faith in 1991.  Jeff went on to start one of the most popular Catholic Bible study programs called the Great Adventure Bible Study Program, which was recently revised and we are offering at my parish this Fall.  Jeff spoke about a new book for the Year of Faith called Walking Toward Eternity:  Making Choices for Today.  It is really a journal and DVD to help you “walk the walk” of Jesus Christ, and looks like a great resource to help on this journey toward God.  Jeff reported that his wife told him this has made more positive changes in his life than anything he has done previously.  Jeff was very enthusiastic about this new project, and his enthusiasm was contagious with the crowd who were excited to receive a signed copy of this book.

Jeff Cavins

Jeff Cavins

One of the real treats of the conference was the World Premier presentation of the movie Restless Heart.  This movie is an accurate portrayal of the book, Confessions of St. Augustine.  The acting and filming of this movie is top-notch in the art of movie making, and I highly recommend you see this film.  Better yet, Ignatius Press is offering a proposition to bring this film to your community as a fundraising possibility.  Check the links below for details.  Following is the trailer to Restless Heart:

Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC, gave a great speech at the opening breakfast on Thursday about his new book coming out about the Holy Trinity.  He gave a wonderful talk about the Holy Trinity. I can not do it justice in this blog, but urge you to get his book when it comes on the market this Fall called, The ‘One Thing’ Is Three.  Fr. Michael is also working on a project to bring the framed image of the Divine Mercy into every Catholic household during the Year of Faith.  I will be writing details about this in a future blog post.

Fr. Michael Gaitley

Fr. Michael Gaitley

At the CNMC on Thursday, there were many great speakers who were filled with the Holy Spirit and filled with great ideas and stories they shared with us all.  Super presentation by Elizabeth “The Achoress” Scalia on the New Media and New Evangelization.  I love to follow her Twitter feed and writings at Patheos which have been very informative with my ministry.

Elizabeth Scalia

Elizabeth Scalia

Rob Kaczmark gave a fantastic and entertaining presentation about the Catholic Presence on You Tube.  He really wants to urge Catholic Media producers to make high-quality productions, which require time, money, and talent.  Rob showed us many examples of good, bad, and funny videos.  Rob runs Spirit Juice Studios which have made some great videos which are impacting young people.  Rob passed out a copy of Zombies vs. Jesus which is the video below:

Brandon Vogt gave one of the best presentations during the CNMC entitled How Mormons, Protestants, and Atheists Can Teach Us How To Evangelize On-Line.  Brandon showed great examples of the use of media by these groups and lessons we can take from their success.

Brandon Vogt

Brandon Vogt

Bishop Christopher Coyne is one of the most active bishops on-line, and realizes the power of the internet and its ability to be used for good in service to the church.  We were all honored to have the Bishop of Indianapolis at the CNMC, and shared his wisdom about in his presentation Being Bearers of the Good News within a Digital Culture.  Following is a video from Catholic TV interviewing Bishop Coyne and others at the CNMC:

Thursday evening ended with dinner sponsored by Ignatius Press.  Country Western singer Collin Raye talked about his daughter who had passed away at the age of ten from a neurological disorder, and is writing a book to come out soon about this tragedy that has deepened his faith.  Collin also performed songs for the crowd including some from his recent inspirational album.  There was also a presentation about a new initiative from The Vatican called Aleteia, a new website to help aggregate Catholic New Media which launches officially on September 20th–more details soon in a future blog post.  Watch video below for a teaser:

Collin Raye

Collin Raye

The final day on Friday was the International Bloggers Summit.  It was so great to meet so many Catholic bloggers including:  Lisa Jones & Shelly Kelly, Dorian Speed, Sarah Reinhard, and Jennifer Fulwiler.  Great ideas and bits of wisdom and inspiration from so many fellow bloggers–God Bless you All!!!

Jennifer Fulwiler

Jennifer Fulwiler

 

The Catholic Marketing Network show was like going to the biggest and best Catholic Book Store in the world.  It had just about every Catholic publishing house and manufacturer of Catholic goods anywhere–I felt like a kid in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.  I was amazed at the large hall with so many booths of goods, with many free goodies for those in attendance.

Catholic Marketing Network Trade Show

Catholic Marketing Network Trade Show

 

Sculpture made of sackcloth and ash

Sculpture made of sackcloth and ash

 

Sanitary Auto Holy Water Dispenser

Sanitary Auto Holy Water Dispenser

 

Beautiful Catholic Icons & Art for Sale

Beautiful Catholic Icons & Art for Sale

The Catholic New Media Conference was the official launch of a new ministry called Catholic Web Services.  Our ministry is to support an online community of Catholic webmasters, developers, social network gurus, and content creators who are willing to share their knowledge of web development and new media to improve parish, school, and Catholic organization websites. Membership to Catholic Web Services will always be free.   We hope you will join our community, and we also launched a contest for a Kindle–check our website for details.

Catholic Web Services

I want to thank the crew of SQPN, The CMN, and Catholic Writers Guild for hosting such a great conference.  A special thanks to Steve Nelson who works so hard for SQPN to put this together every year.  I am looking forward to next year and have many more blogs to write in the coming weeks, as there is too much to write for this one blog about my experiences and exciting things to report–stay tuned.

Maria Johnson, Dr. Paul Camarata, Capt. Jeff Nielsen, Pat Gohn, Steve Nelson, and Pat Padley (back)

Maria Johnson, Dr. Paul Camarata, Capt. Jeff Nielsen, Pat Gohn, Steve Nelson, and Pat Padley (back)

 

Mass with celebrant Bishop Christopher Coyne

Mass with celebrant Bishop Christopher Coyne

LINKS

Catholic New Media Conference

Immaculee Ilibagiza

Our Lady of Kibeho

Jeff & Emily Cavins

Podcast Answer Man

Restless Heart (Ignatius Press)

OTHER BLOGS ABOUT CNMC 2012:

Word On Fire Blog

Jeff Geerling’s Blog, Life is a Prayer

 Seasons Of Grace (about aleteia)

21st Century Pilgrim Blog (Rise of the Digital Missionary)

Digital Strategy and Why You Need One (Pat Padley)

 

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Our Lady of Fatima & Mother’s Day

Today we honor our mothers, and it is a blessing it coincides with the feast of Our Lady of Fatima.  Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers and especially Our Blessed Mother Mary. Today is May 13th, and it marks 95 years since the apparition of Mary in Fatima, Portugal to three young children–Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta.  Mary appeared to the children the 13th of every month for six consecutive months starting on May 13, 1917.  Mary gave an important message to follow a prayerful and holy life through living the gospel and praying the rosary. I am adding links at the bottom which detail the message of Fatima, with resources.  Today, the site of the apparitions has become one of the most visited Marian Shrines in the world, and I pray that I can make a pilgrimage there one day.  It is fascinating that the bullet that was fired at Pope John Paul II is now in the crown of the Mary statue in Fatima.  Pope John Paul II attributed the saving of his life to Mary.  Following is a short trailer for a new DVD from The World Apostolate of Fatima:

Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta

Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fr. Andrew Apostoli spoke on EWTN’s Bookmark in more detail about the message of Fatima.

Fatima Shrine

Fatima Shrine

There are two fantastic movies made about Fatima that I would like to recommend.  The first is The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima (1952), which is considered a classic film about Fatima.  The second, The 13th Day (2009), is a beautifully filmed modern version of the story and well worth watching.  Both movies do a great job in telling the message of Fatima and making it a more meaningful event in history that we should all be mindful of and honor through our thoughts, actions, and prayers in daily life.  There is also a follow-up movie to The 13th Day called Finding Fatima which researches and interviews some of the 70,000 people who witnessed the miracle of the sun.

Clip from Our Lady of Fatima (1952):

 

Clip from The 13th Day (2009):

 

It is interesting that Mary chose to appear in a town called Fatima.  Mary is also thought of highly in the Muslim faith.  Fatima was the name of Mohammed’s daughter, and it is speculated that Mary might also be trying to reach the Muslim faith with her message.  A vision of world peace can only be met if all faiths unite in peace.

 

LINKS

EWTN’s Webpage for Fatima

The World Apostolate of Fatima, USA

America Needs Fatima (Public Square Rosary Rallies)

The Fatima Network

The 13th Day Movie (2009-Ignatius Press)

Fatima for Today

Mary, Mother of God

Pilgrims to Fatima

Rome Reports video — Fatima 95 years later:

 

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Our Lady of Guadalupe

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Our Lady of Guadalupe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today, December 12th, is the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  My parish, Church of the Incarnation, has a large Hispanic community that comes together to celebrate the entire day honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe.  It begins at 2am with a procession for 7 miles through Charlottesville to the parish where there is prayer, music, and celebration all day ending with an evening Mass.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Pilgrimage

Our Lady of Guadalupe Pilgrimage

 

Church of the Incarnation

Church of the Incarnation

Our Sunday Visitor offers a good history of Our Lady of Guadalupe:

The information about the Lady of Guadalupe is based on a sixteenth-century work written in Nahuatl, the Aztec language, by the Indian scholar Antonio Valeriano.

On Saturday, December 9, 1531, a poor Aztec named Juan Diego was on his way to Mass when he neared a hill not far from a former temple once dedi- cated to the virgin mother of Aztec gods. Suddenly, he heard the most beautiful music and smelled a sweet aroma that made him wonder if he was dream- ing. But then, he spied a beautiful lady with a dark complexion who asked him where he was going. When he told her he was going to Mass, she smiled and said:

“Know for certain, my son, the smallest one, that I am the perfect and ever virgin holy Mary, mother of the true God, through whom one lives, the creator of mankind, the one who owns what is Near and Beyond, the owner of heaven and earth. I ardently desire that here they build me my sacred little house, a Teocalli, where I will show him, I will exalt him and make him manifest. Where I will offer him to all the people with all my love, my compassionate gaze, my help, and my salvation, because I am truly your merciful mother, yours and mother of all who live united in this land, and of all mankind, of all those who love me, of those who cry to me, of those who search for me, of those who have confidence in me. There I will listen to their cry, to their sadness, so as to curb all their different pains, their miseries and sorrow, to remedy and alleviate their sufferings.”

Juan Diego was then charged with taking this message to his bishop.  Although impressed with Juan’s humility and sincerity, the bishop hesitated to trust his word. He asked Juan to visit with him on another day when, he promised, he would take the heavenly Lady’s message into consideration.

The next day, Juan Diego arrived at the bishop’s place of residence and requested an audience. Once again, the bishop questioned him but did not believe what he was told and asked for a sign from the heavenly Lady.

When Juan surprised the bishop by confidently asking him what type of sign he would like, the bishop didn’t answer, only dismissed him and sent some trusted aides to follow and observe him. Juan went directly to Tepeyac Hill, where he met Our Lady and commu- nicated the bishop’s demand. She listened, then asked Juan to return the next morning, December 12.

The next day, instead of meeting with Our Lady, Juan went to find a priest to administer the last rites to his dying uncle. Even on this alternate route, how- ever, Our Lady appeared to him and asked where he was going. Ashamed, Juan explained. Our Lady responded, “Listen and let it penetrate your heart, my dear son. Do not be troubled or weighed down with grief. Do not fear any illness or vexation, anxiety or pain. Am I not here who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection . . . is there anything else you need?” Juan Diego’s uncle recovered from his illness at that very moment.

Our Lady then told Juan to go to the top of the hill, where he would find a variety of flowers blooming in the frozen ground.  The would be the sign the bishop requested.

Juan obeyed, gathered the blooms and arranged them in his tilma, after which Our Lady instructed him to reveal the content only to the bishop.  When he arrived at the bishop’s residence, authorities first met Juan with sus- picion and demanded to know the contents of his tilma. But when the bishop heard the commotion, he welcomed Juan. At this welcome, Juan knew the time was right to show the bish- op the sign he had requested. So he opened his cloak, the flowers cascaded to the ground and the bishop and others in the room gazed in awe and fell to their knees in veneration. Amazed, Juan Diego looked to his tilma and realized that the image of Our Lady was miraculously imprinted there. In light of this clear sign, the humbled bishop begged for Juan Diego’s forgiveness and invited him to be his honored guest at his residence.

Our Lady of Guadalupe may be the most recognized apparition of the Blessed Virgin in the world. Twenty-five popes have honored her, and millions of pilgrims have come to ask her intercession and to recognize her as mother, protectress, and guardian. In 1999, Pope John Paul II declared December 12 a holy day for the entire American continent and placed all young children, especially the unborn, under her care.

LINKS:

Our Lady of Guadalupe–Patroness of the Americas (website)

The Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico (where Holy Tilma is visited)

Saint Juan Diego (SQPN Saints)

Mary, Mother of God (Catholic Online)

 Church of the Incarnation, Charlottesville, Virginia

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Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary

Our Lady of the Rosary

Our Lady of the Rosary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.  Pope St. Pius V established this feast in 1573. The purpose was to thank God for the victory of Christians over the Turks at Lepanto—a victory attributed to the praying of the rosary. Clement XI extended the feast to the universal Church in 1716.

The development of the rosary has a long history. First, a practice developed of praying 150 Our Fathers in imitation of the 150 Psalms. Then there was a parallel practice of praying 150 Hail Marys. Soon a mystery of Jesus’ life was attached to each Hail Mary. Though Mary’s giving the rosary to St. Dominic is recognized as a legend, the development of this prayer form owes much to the followers of St. Dominic. One of them, Alan de la Roche, was known as “the apostle of the rosary.” He founded the first Confraternity of the Rosary in the 15th century. In the 16th century the rosary was developed to its present form—with the 15 mysteries (joyful, sorrowful and glorious). In 2002, Pope John Paul II added the Mysteries of Light (Luminous Mysteries) to this devotion.

There is also a wonderful App for the iPhone, Itouch, and iPad that is helpful in leaning and praying the Rosary that I wrote about in a previous blog–iRosary.

Our Lady of Las Lajas

Our Lady of Las Lajas

My friend, Father Jay Finelli, who has a wonderful podcast called iPadre, turned me onto a new series of prayer regarding the Rosary.  It is a 33-Day Total Consecration, that was first started by Saint Louis-Marie Grognion de Montfort.  Today marks the end of my 33-Day Consecration and found it to be a spirtually enlightening excercise that has strengthened my faith.  A 33-Day Total Consecration always ends on a Marian feast day. You can learn more about the 33-Day Total Consecration and get a FREE prayer book through the My Consecration Apostolate at My Consecration.org.

Saint Louis-Marie de Montfort

Saint Louis-Marie de Montfort

Saint Louis-Marie de Montfort studied in Paris and was ordained in 1700, and loved the writings of the church fathers and saints and found a true devotion to the Mary and praying The Rosary.  Under Mary’s inspiration, he founded the Congregation of the Daughters of Divine Wisdom, a religious institute of women devoted to the care of the poor. During this work, he began his apostolate of preaching the Rosary and authentic Marian devotion. In Rome Pope Clement XI conferred on him the title and authority of Missionary Apostolic, which enabled him to continue his apostolate after returning to France. A member of the Third Order of Saint Dominic, Saint Louis was one of the greatest apostles of the Rosary in his day, and by means his miraculously inspiring book, The Secret of the Rosary, he is still so today; the most common manner of reciting theRosary is the method that originated with Saint Louis’s preaching.

His greatest contribution  is the Total Consecration to the Blessed Virgin. He propagated this in his day by preaching and after his own death by his other famous book True Devotion to Mary. Consecration to Mary is for Saint Louis the perfect manner of renewing one’s baptismal promises. His spirituality has been espoused by millions, especially Pope John Paul II, who has consecrated not only himself but every place he has visited as pope.  The cause for his declaration as a Doctor of the Church is now being pursued.

In praying this 33-Day Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary, I discovered another prayer to Mary that has become a favorite that I want to share called:

Ave Maris Stella

Hail thou star of ocean

Portal of the sky,

Ever virgin Mother,

Of the Lord Most High.

 

O! by Gabriel’s Ave,

Uttered long ago,

Eva’s name reversing,

Established peace below.

 

Break the captives’ fetters,

Light on blindness pour,

All our ills expelling,

Every bliss implore.

 

Show thyself a Mother,

Offer Him our sighs,

Who for us incarnate

Did not thee despise.

 

Virgin of all virgins

To thy shelter take us,

Gentlest of the gentle

Chaste and gentle make us.

 

Still, as on we journey,

Help our weak endeavor,

Till with thee and Jesus

We rejoice forever.

 

Through the highest heaven,

To the almighty Three

Father, Son, and Spirit,

One same glory be. Amen.

LINKS

Mary, Mother of God (Catholic Online)

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