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.

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Like a 2×4 to the head

Every now and then I read an example of holiness so extreme, so radical that it stops me in my tracks.  This quote did just that.  At first, I gave it a “WOW!!!”  After pondering it a minute, I was tempted to believe that the man’s behavior was too sensational to be true.  But then I remembered the power of the Holy Spirit.  Quickly I changed direction and began to question myself about my own love for the Lord.  I came to the realization that my love for God could be so much stronger.  My daily thoughts, words and deeds easily reveal how little of the heart and character of Jesus I have acquired.  I don’t yet even love my neighbor as I love myself, yet alone love others as Jesus loves me.  I surely don’t hate sin and selfishness (especially my own!) with the same intensity that Jesus does.  So I come away from reading that quote realizing how intensely I need to step up my response to the saving love of my Lord.  My Baptism into the death and resurrection of Jesus requires that I strive to become a saint, to live a life of heroic virtue.  I won’t be able to do it without a generous outpouring of grace from our Lord, to which I will need to add my cooperation, my own hard work.  Praise the Lord for His mercy!!

Lam 2-19

Holiness requires conversion

Here’s a recent talk by Fr Dave Pivonka TOR which I found very appropriate for my Lenten reflection this year:

He discusses what holiness is, and why conversion is necessary to attain it. His blend of humor with sobriety makes him easy to listen to.

For me, the section of his talk concerning the necessity of our conversion from fear to trust is priceless. My novena prayers to St Joseph over the past days have included the Litany to St Joseph. The version I used included the acclamation “Joseph, most valiant…” Other versions use the word “strong” in place of “valiant.” However, I think the term “valiant” very much expresses what Fr Dave means when he talks about our freedom from fear and our trust being noticeable to others.

More on Conversion

In the General Audience teaching which Pope Francis gave on Ash Wednesday, he pointed out that:

Lent is to be lived as a time of conversion, of personal and communal renewal through drawing close to God and confident adherence to the Gospel.

Looking ahead to the Easter Triduum, the memorial of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of the Lord, he notes:

Lent prepares us for this moment that is so important, for this “intense” time, a turning point which can foster a change in each one of us, conversion. We all have need to become better, to change for the better. Lent helps us and thus [allows us] to come out of our weary habits and lazy addiction to the evil that deceives us.

He advises that reflection on Christ’s redemptive work will help me to change my heart:

The awareness of the wonders that the Lord has done for our salvation disposes our mind and our heart to an attitude of gratitude to God, for all that He has given us, for all that he fulfills for His people and the whole of humanity. Our conversion begins here: it is our grateful answer to the stupendous mystery of the love of God. When we see this love that God has for us, we feel the need to come closer to him: this is conversion.

To enhance my reflection on what Jesus has done for me, I’ve been ruminating on these sections of the Catechism:  nn. 51-53, and 599-618.

This is how I see it:  If I do not live as a faithful intentional missionary disciple of Jesus – completely ‘sold out’ for Christ, willing to lay down every aspect of my life for Him – I am at great risk of experiencing eternal death – separation from God for all eternity.  My selfishness-based sin deserves that eternal death.  The sacrificial self-giving love of Jesus has saved me from eternal death, due to the mercy of Our Father.  My own extreme faith in, love for, and service to Jesus is the only appropriate response.

This needs to be the goal of my conversion.

Conversion

Pope Francis’ homily on Ash Wednesday directs our attention to the primary purpose of Lent:  Conversion.

“Rend your hearts and not your garments” (Joel 2:13).

With these penetrating words of the prophet Joel, the liturgy introduces us today into Lent, indicating the characteristic of this time of grace to be the conversion of heart.

Lent is all about changing – changing for the better, increasing our ability to love as God loves.  Each day during Lent (and beyond!), I should be examining my life for evidence of ongoing conversion.

Prior to presenting his thoughts on the Lenten disciplines of prayer, fasting and almsgiving, he reminds us that

…without noticing it we exclude God from our horizon

and challenges us

Lent calls us to “rouse ourselves,” to remind ourselves that we are creatures, that we are not God.

Even as a Christian, my impulse to run my life, to direct my life, to control my life, is strong and ever-present.  Though I do many ‘spiritual’ things, so very often, in reality, in practical life, I am negligent about considering God’s will or God’s plan for my life.

Indeed, I am not God, and I need to stop living as if I am God.  I need to begin each day – and live throughout each day – with God as my focus, having communion with God as my goal, maintaining a deep desire to live in personal relationship with Him.  Pope Francis summarizes it this way:

Why do we have to return to God? Because there are things that are not well in us, in society, in the Church and we are in need of changing, of turning, of being converted!

If I myself am not gradually converting – becoming better, being sanctified, growing in holiness, increasing in self-giving love – then how can I expect to make a positive difference in the world around me?