Prayers for a novena to Blessed Francisco Marto and Blessed Jacinta Marto (feast is February 20th)

francisco-and-jacinta

Litany of Blessed Francisco Marto and Blessed Jacinta Marto

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.  Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

Bd Francisco, you loved seeing Our Blessed Mother, pray for us.
Bd Francisco, you found it beautiful seeing Our Lord in the light emanating from Our Blessed Mother, pray for us.
Bd Francisco, promised by Our Blessed Mother that you would go to heaven after praying many rosaries, pray for us.
Bd Francisco, you were motivated to console Jesus and make him happy, pray for us.
Bd Francisco, you preferred to pray behind the altar at the foot of the tabernacle so as to be hidden and close to Jesus, pray for us.
Bd Francisco, you received your ‘official’ First Holy Communion on your deathbed, pray for us.
Bd Francisco, on your deathbed, you asked pardon of your family for all your faults, pray for us.
Bd Francisco, you died from influenza, pray for us.

Bd Jacinta, you were a child who enjoyed dancing and singing, pray for us.
Bd Jacinta, you were often moved to tears when pondering the Passion of Jesus, pray for us.
Bd Jacinta, you were filled with horror at the vision of Hell, pray for us.
Bd Jacinta, your heart burned with love for the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, pray for us.
Bd Jacinta, you were motivated to profound acts of prayer, sacrifice, penance and mortification to prevent souls from going to Hell, pray for us.
Bd Jacinta, you were told by Our Blessed Mother that “war is a punishment for sin,” pray for us.
Bd Jacinta, you prayed much for the Holy Father, pray for us.
Bd Jacinta, your face remains incorrupt to this day as a sign of your sanctity, pray for us.

Bd Francisco and Bd Jacinta, children of a simple, country family, pray for us.
Bd Francisco and Bd Jacinta, raised in the Catholic faith by your parents, pray for us.
Bd Francisco and Bd Jacinta, to whom the Angel of Peace appeared three times in 1916, pray for us.
Bd Francisco and Bd Jacinta, you learned profound reverence in prayer from the Angel, pray for us.
Bd Francisco and Bd Jacinta, you often prayed the special prayers of pardon taught to you by the Angel, pray for us.
Bd Francisco and Bd Jacinta, you first learned from the Angel to make sacrifices in reparation for sinners, pray for us.
Bd Francisco and Bd Jacinta, you received the Precious Blood of Jesus from a chalice held by the Angel, pray for us.
Bd Francisco and Bd Jacinta, to whom Our Blessed Mother appeared six times in 1917, pray for us.
Bd Francisco and Bd Jacinta, you were supported by your parents, who believed from the beginning that Our Blessed Mother had truly appeared to you, pray for us.
Bd Francisco and Bd Jacinta, you developed a great desire to console Jesus and Mary, pray for us.
Bd Francisco and Bd Jacinta, you agreed to pray the Rosary daily at Our Blessed Mother’s request, pray for us.
Bd Francisco and Bd Jacinta, you became eager to suffer and make sacrifices in reparation for the sins of others, pray for us.
Bd Francisco and Bd Jacinta, taught by Our Blessed Mother to have an offering prayer accompany your sacrifices, pray for us.
Bd Francisco and Bd Jacinta, confident in the promise of Our Blessed Mother that the grace of God would be your comfort in times of suffering, pray for us.
Bd Francisco and Bd Jacinta, you were shown a vision of Hell and its sufferings by Our Blessed Mother, pray for us.
Bd Francisco and Bd Jacinta, so moved by the vision of Hell that no mortification or penance seemed too great to help save sinners, pray for us.
Bd Francisco and Bd Jacinta, you were kidnapped, imprisoned for three days, and threatened with death by the Freemason Administrator, pray for us.
Bd Francisco and Bd Jacinta, imprisoned among a group of thieves, pray for us.
Bd Francisco and Bd Jacinta, you offered your imprisonment and interrogation in reparation for sins and for the conversion of sinners, pray for us.
Bd Francisco and Bd Jacinta, your humble example caused your fellow prisoners to join you in praying the Rosary in jail, pray for us.
Bd Francisco and Bd Jacinta, told by Our Blessed Mother that “God is pleased with your sacrifices,” pray for us.
Bd Francisco and Bd Jacinta, to whom Jesus and St Joseph also appeared during the October apparition, pray for us.
Bd Francisco and Bd Jacinta, promised by Our Blessed Mother that she would escort each of you to heaven after your death, pray for us.
Bd Francisco and Bd Jacinta, messengers to the world of the need for devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.

Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.

Let us pray:

God of merciful love, you desire that all men strive for holiness, live in peace and join you in eternal Trinitarian communion.  You graced your servants, Bd Francisco and Bd Jacinta, with hearts willing to respond heroically to the challenging requests made of them by the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Fill us with the power of your Holy Spirit, and through their intercession, may we be courageous in employing the weapons of prayerful sacrifice, ongoing conversion, reparational intercession, and penitential mortification, fulfilling our role in the battle which will bring about the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, our Queen and Mother.  We ask this through our Lord, Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.  Amen.

You might want to pray each of the following prayers three times, as the children were taught to do by the Angel of Peace in 1916:

Pardon Prayer

My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, and I love you!  I beg pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope, and do not love you.

The Angel’s Prayer

O most Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, I adore you profoundly. I offer you the most precious Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges, and indifference by which He is offended. By the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg the conversion of poor sinners.

Consider offering a sacrifice of some sort each day in their honor, accompanied by this prayer which was taught to them by Our Blessed Mother during the July apparition:

Sacrifice Prayer

O Jesus, this is for love of You, for the conversion of poor sinners, and in reparation for the offenses committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and for the conversion of poor sinners.

If you have time for additional reflection, you may want to read St John Paul II’s homily at their beatification Mass.

A saint’s suggestions for praying the rosary

POPE PRAYS ROSARY AT POMPEII SANCTUARYIStJP2 issued his Apostolic Letter on the Rosary 13 years ago this month, It included these suggestions for praying the rosary:

  1. n. 19 …….I believe, however, that to bring out fully the Christological depth of the Rosary it would be suitable to make an addition to the traditional pattern which, while left to the freedom of individuals and communities, could broaden it to include the mysteries of Christ’s public ministry between his Baptism and his Passion.
  2. n. 29 Announcing each mystery, and perhaps even using a suitable icon to portray it, is as it were to open up a scenario on which to focus our attention.
  3. n. 30 …….In order to supply a Biblical foundation and greater depth to our meditation, it is helpful to follow the announcement of the mystery with the proclamation of a related Biblical passage, long or short, depending on the circumstances. No other words can ever match the efficacy of the inspired word. As we listen, we are certain that this is the word of God, spoken for today and spoken “for me”
  4. n. 30 ……In certain solemn communal celebrations, this word can be appropriately illustrated by a brief commentary.
  5. n. 31 …….After the announcement of the mystery and the proclamation of the word, it is fitting to pause and focus one’s attention for a suitable period of time on the mystery concerned, before moving into vocal prayer. A discovery of the importance of silence is one of the secrets of practicing contemplation and meditation. One drawback of a society dominated by technology and the mass media is the fact that silence becomes increasingly difficult to achieve. Just as moments of silence are recommended in the Liturgy, so too in the recitation of the Rosary it is fitting to pause briefly after listening to the word of God, while the mind focuses on the content of a particular mystery.
  6. n. 33 …….The center of gravity in the Hail Mary, the hinge as it were which joins its two parts, is the name of Jesus. Sometimes, in hurried recitation, this center of gravity can be overlooked, and with it the connection to the mystery of Christ being contemplated. Yet it is precisely the emphasis given to the name of Jesus and to his mystery that is the sign of a meaningful and fruitful recitation of the Rosary. Pope Paul VI drew attention, in his Apostolic Exhortation Marialis Cultus, to the custom in certain regions of highlighting the name of Christ by the addition of a clause referring to the mystery being contemplated.37 This is a praiseworthy custom, especially during public recitation
  7. n. 34 Trinitarian doxology is the goal of all Christian contemplation. For Christ is the way that leads us to the Father in the Spirit. If we travel this way to the end, we repeatedly encounter the mystery of the three divine Persons, to whom all praise, worship and thanksgiving are due. It is important that the Gloria, the high-point of contemplation, be given due prominence in the Rosary. In public recitation it could be sung, as a way of giving proper emphasis to the essentially Trinitarian structure of all Christian prayer.
  8. n. 35 …….In current practice, the Trinitarian doxology is followed by a brief concluding prayer which varies according to local custom. Without in any way diminishing the value of such invocations, it is worthwhile to note that the contemplation of the mysteries could better express their full spiritual fruitfulness if an effort were made to conclude each mystery with a prayer for the fruits specific to that particular mystery. In this way the Rosary would better express its connection with the Christian life.
  9. n. 37 ……. The Rosary is then ended with a prayer for the intentions of the Pope, as if to expand the vision of the one praying to embrace all the needs of the Church. It is precisely in order to encourage this ecclesial dimension of the Rosary that the Church has seen fit to grant indulgences to those who recite it with the required dispositions.
  10. n. 38 ……. Where might the “mysteries of light” be inserted? If we consider that the “glorious mysteries” are said on both Saturday and Sunday, and that Saturday has always had a special Marian flavour, the second weekly meditation on the “joyful mysteries”, mysteries in which Mary’s presence is especially pronounced, could be moved to Saturday. Thursday would then be free for meditating on the “mysteries of light”.

The Christian community and its young people

Recently, at a Sunday Mass, our pastor honored several young parishoners who had recently graduated from high-school and college.  It was a wonderful opportunity for recognition.  The graduates were affirmed by our pastor for their academic accomplishments, as well as for their participation in our parish.

In his Message for the 32nd World Day of Prayer for Vocations, St John Paul II offered the following pointed advice for youth:

It is in following Jesus that youth displays all the richness of its potentiality and acquires its full meaning.
It is in following Jesus that the young discover the sense of a life lived as a gift of self, and experience the beauty and truth of growing in love.
It is in following Jesus that they feel themselves called to communion with him as living members of a single body, which is the Church.
It is in following Jesus that it will be possible for them to understand the personal call to love: in matrimony, in the consecrated life, in the ordained ministry, in the mission ad gentes.

Having established that an ongoing encounter with the living Christ should be the highest priority for youth, JP2 also offered advice for the rest of us in the Church:

What is needed today is a Church which knows how to respond to the expectations of young people. Jesus wants to enter into dialogue with them and, through his Body which is the Church, to propose the possibility of a choice which will require a commitment of their lives. As Jesus with the disciples of Emmaus, so the Church must become today the traveling companion of young people, who are often marked by confusion, resistance and contradictions, in order to announce to them the ever-astonishing “news” of the risen Christ.

This is what is needed: a Church for young people, which will know how to speak to their heart and enkindle, comfort, and inspire enthusiasm in it with the joy of the Gospel and the strength of the Eucharist; a Church which will know how to invite and to welcome the person who seeks a purpose for which to commit his whole existence; a Church which is not afraid to require much, after having given much; which does not fear asking from young people the effort of a noble and authentic adventure, such as that of the following of the Gospel.

The entire message is well worth reading, and quite challenging.  Near the conclusion, JP2 offered this brief but magnificent prayer to Our Blessed Mother for young people:

O Virgin of Nazareth,
the “yes” spoken in youth marked your
existence and it grew as did your life itself.

O Mother of Jesus,
in your free and joyful “yes”
and in your active faith so many generations
and so many educators have found inspiration
and strength for welcoming the Word of God
and for fulfilling his will.

O Teacher of life,
teach young people to pronounce the “yes”
that gives meaning to existence
and brings them to discover the hidden “name” of God
in the heart of every person.

O Queen of the Apostles, give us wise educators,
who will know how to love young people and help them grow,
guiding them to the encounter with Truth which makes one free and happy.
Amen!

Guidance for the new year from Pope Francis

pope-francis-0101Pope Francis celebrated yesterday’s Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God with two homilies.  In the first, given at Vespers on the vigil of the feast (31-December-2013), he encouraged us to examine ourselves by reviewing how we lived during the calendar year which is about to end:

While the year 2013 comes to an end, we gather, as in a basket, the days, the weeks, the months that we have lived, to offer everything to the Lord. And we ask ourselves: how have we lived the time He has given us? Did we use it above all for ourselves, for our interests, or did we know how to spend it also for others? And God? How much time did we reserve to “be with Him,” in prayer, in silence?

We should develop the habit of examining ourselves in this manner frequently – even daily!  Notice that Pope Francis understands the primacy of the interior life (of which our Blessed Mother is the best example), which is the foundation upon which our life of service is built.  Our Lord prefers that we offer our actions to Him only if we are first striving to deepen our relationship with Him:

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? Did we not drive out demons in your name? Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?’ Then I will declare to them solemnly, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers.’  (Matthew 7:21-23)

The following day (01-January-2014) in his homily at Mass, Pope Francis highlighted two aspects of the holiness of our Blessed Mother which we should strive to emulate:

The Mother of the Redeemer goes before us and continually strengthens us in faith, in our vocation and in our mission. By her example of humility and openness to God’s will she helps us to transmit our faith in a joyful proclamation of the Gospel to all, without reservation.

If we include devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary in our own spiritual lives, grow in humility, and seek and embrace God’s will (versus our own will, preferences, etc.), we will be inspired to joyfully proclaim Jesus to others.