Friday, October 23, 2020

Feast of Saint Pope John Paul II - October 22

Karol Wojtyla was born in 1920, in Poland. He loved to ski, hike, swim, and play soccer. He was an actor and he could speak 11 languages!

In 1939, the German army invaded Poland and tyrannically ruled that country for the next few years. After World War II, the Communists took over. Meanwhile, Karol studied secretly to become a priest, and he was soon ordained a bishop at the age of 38. He was elected as the first Polish pope ever, Pope John Paul II, in 1978. His first words were, “Be not afraid!”

Pope John Paul had a very deep love for the Mother of Jesus, and his motto was: “Totus Tuus,” which means, “I am all yours, Jesus and Mary!”

Pope John Paul II traveled to more countries and spoke to more people than any other pope in history. He helped to defeat Communism and worked very hard to promote a culture of life. After suffering for some years from a debilitating case of Parkinson’s disease, Pope John Paul II died on April 2nd, 2005—the eve of Divine Mercy Sunday. Pope Francis canonized him along with Pope John XXIII on Divine Mercy Sunday, 2014.

A Final Prayer:

“Abide in Me, and I in you… for apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:4-5)

I leave you now with this prayer: that the Lord Jesus will reveal Himself to each one of you, that He will give you the strength to go out and profess that you are Christian, that He will show you that He alone can fill your hearts.

Accept His freedom and embrace His truth, and be messengers of the certainty that you have been truly liberated through the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus.

This will be the new experience, the powerful experience, that will generate, through you, a more just society and a better world. God bless you and may the joy of Jesus be always with you!

~Pope John Paul II

Friday, October 2, 2020

Feast of the Guardian Angels!

The Holy Guardian Angels




The whole Church, and all her members, benefits from the mysterious and powerful help of the angels. From the beginning, we are surrounded by their ever-watchful care and prayer. As believers, we each have an angel to protect and shepherd us. At the moment of our birth, each of us is given a Guardian Angel to accompany us through life. In this way we already share here on earth in the blessed company of the angels.


Jesus once said: "See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father” (Matthew 18:10).


When King Herod threw Peter into prison, his fellow believers prayed for his safety. God heard their prayers, and He sent an angel to the prison. The angel removed Peter’s chains. At first Peter thought it was all a dream, but when the angel led him past the guards, outside the prison, and into freedom, he realized that God had sent an angel to deliver him.


Our Guardian Angels are always there to help us — they are our partners on the path to heaven. Let us call on our Guardian Angels to protect us and help us to follow Jesus and to live good lives.








Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Celebrate the Feast of Saint Padre Pio


Saint Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio)

Francesco Forgione was born in Pietrelcina, Italy, on May 25,1887, and named in honor of St. Francis of Assisi. The devout Francesco at an early age felt drawn to the priesthood, and became a Capuchin novice at the age of sixteen. Ordained a priest in 1910, he became known as Padre Pio.  During this time he suffered much, both physically and spiritually, all of which he accepted with praise and thanks to God, trusting that if God allowed it, God could use it for the good of others.

On September 20, 1918, while kneeling in front of a large crucifix, Padre Pio received the visible marks of the crucifixion, with wounds in his hands, feet, and side, making him the first priest to receive the stigmata in the history of the Church. On the day he died in 1968, at the age of 81, the wounds disappeared, a miracle Padre Pio had predicted 50 years earlier.

Padre Pio was blessed with many mystical gifts. The blood from the wounds of Jesus in his body carried a beautiful perfumed aroma. He had the gift of bilocation, or being in two places at the same time. He had the ability to read the hearts of the penitents who flocked to him during his long hours of hearing confessions. Padre Pio used the confessional to bring both sinners and devout souls closer to God; giving just the right word of counsel or encouragement to all. 

Thousands went to his monastery in San Giovanni Rotondo suffering from all sorts of illness, including cancer, tuberculosis, blindness, etc. Many received healing through his intercession. Padre Pio had a great love for Mother Mary, Saint Michael the Archangel, and his Guardian angel, and received much help from them. He also had a great love and prayed much for the Souls in Purgatory. 

In 1948, a young Polish priest heard about Padre Pio and visited him for Confession and spiritual direction. Though we do not what they shared, the young priest, Fr. Karol Wojtyla, was deeply moved by the encounter. Almost two decades later, in November 1962, now a bishop, Karol Wojtyla returned to Rome for the second Vatican Council. He sent a note asking Padre Pio to pray for his friend, Dr. Wanda Poltawska, a survivor of a Nazi concentration camp and mother of four, who had been diagnosed with a very serious and aggressive intestinal tumor. Padre Pio replied, “To this one, it is impossible to say no.” Padre Pio prayed all night for the woman. When Bishop Wojtyla called home two weeks later to hear how the operation went, he learned that the tumor had disappeared!

In May 1967, Dr. Poltawska herself was able to leave Communist Poland briefly for a trip to Italy. She journeyed to San Giovanni Rotondo, where she attended a Mass celebrated by Padre Pio. At the Mass, Poltawska could see Padre Pio’s own agony, the stains of blood from his wounds, the sweat running down his face. Afterward, she waited to greet him. He passed by her, walking slowly on his pierced feet. He stopped, then gazed at her, smiled, and said, “Now you are all right?” The doctor was stunned. She had never met Padre Pio, yet he recognized her. He had suffered for her, because he could not refuse the request of the young Polish Bishop. And, as Providence would have it, Dr. Poltawska was there, in Rome, on June 16, 2002, when her old friend, who had become the first Polish pope, John Paul II, canonized the gentle Padre as Saint Pio of Pietrelcina!

I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.  

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen.

–Galatians 6:17-18 

Submitted by guest blogger Bart Tesoriero

Friday, July 31, 2020

Feast of Saint Ignatius of Loyola

Patron of Soldiers, Educators and Retreatants



Saint Ignatius was born at Loyola, Spain, in the year 1491. After
being wounded in battle, he decided to serve Jesus as his King.
Ignatius went to study at the University of Paris, where several
young men joined him to serve Christ. They were known as the
“Companions of Jesus,” or the Jesuits. “The Companions,” said
Ignatius, “are ready to do any work or go anywhere in the world
for God’s greater glory.” They became famous teachers, and
continued to serve the poor. The Jesuits lived and taught as
soldiers of Christ. Pope Francis is the first Jesuit in history to become a pope.
Saint Ignatius suffered many trials, but he trusted in God, and
composed his famous “Spiritual Exercises.” Saint Ignatius died
on July 31, 1556.
Prayer of Saint Ignatius
Take O Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will.
All that I am and all that I possess, You have given to me.
I surrender it all to You; dispose of it according to Your will.
Give me only Your love and Your grace, that’s enough for me.
With these I will be rich enough, and will desire nothing more. Amen.

 “Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam”--“For the Greater Glory of God"
           -The Motto of Saint Ignatius





Friday, July 24, 2020

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