Wednesday, February 27, 2008

St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows

"Love Mary! She is loveable, faithful, constant. She will never let herself be outdone in love, but will ever remain supreme. If you are in danger, she will hasten to free you. If you are troubled, she will console you. If you are sick, she will bring you relief. If you are in need, she will help you. She does not look to see what kind of person you have been. She simply comes to a heart that wants to love her. She comes quickly and opens her merciful heart to you, embraces you and consoles and serves you. She will even be at hand to accompany you on the trip to eternity." - Saint Gabriel of the Sorrowful Mother

Born as the eleventh of thirteen children, Francis Possenti (1838-1862) was admired for his great charity and piety. When he was about 13 years old he became seriously ill, and promised that if he would be recovered he would enter the religious life. But he soon forgot his promise after he did recover. A few years later, he once again became ill and promised that he would enter the religious life if he was healed. He attributed his healing to the recently beatified Andrew Bobla SJ. This time he was applying to join the Jesuits. But for some reason, he did not join the Jesuits. In the past years, three of his siblings and his mother passed away tragically.

Not long after his sister passed away from cholera, Francis attended a procession in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary. As the ancient image of Our Lady passed by him, he felt an interior voice asking him what he was doing remaining in the world. Right after the procession, he listened to the advice of his spiritual director, and sought to enter the Passionist Congregation. But Francis' father was totally against the idea and refused to give him the permission to go. His father then sent other family members to discourage Francis, or reason with him. Their attempts did not move Francis and later his father became convinced that he was really called.

With his brother, Aloysius, who was a Dominican friar, Francis traveled to the novitiate of the Passionists. On the way they visited some of the same relatives that attempted to convince Francis to go home. Their attempts, however, were not so successful, and soon Francis arrived at the novitiate. September 9, 1856, only about five years later when he first promised to enter the religious life. Now his promise was fulfilled, and several days later he took the name Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows.

Prayer to Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows
Dear Saint, your very name recalls your particular devotion to Christ the Man of Sorrows and to Mary the Afflicted Mother. You died young as a Passionist religious but left to us all an example of a life of Christlike sacrifice. Intercede for our seminarians and young religious who are in desperate need of your patronage amid today's sensual and selfish world. Amen.

prayer from here

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Middle name meme

Thanks for tagging me, Mom! :-D


1. You have to post the rules before you give your answers.
2. You must list one fact about yourself beginning with each letter of your middle name. (If you don't have a middle name, use your maiden name or your mother's maiden name).
3. At the end of your blog post, you need to tag one person for each letter of your middle name. (Be sure to leave them a comment telling them they've been tagged.)

I was going to pick the shortest name, but I found out that both Charity and Therese have the same amount of letters.... But I've decided on doing Charity. :-)

Here it goes...

C- is for child of God! I like playing childlike and running around with all the little kids :-) I hope that I maintain my childlike faith too :-)

H- Have to attend two Masses tomorrow (Sunday), but I always do that almost every Sunday anyway.

A- Attending Mass makes my day even better.

R- reading a book that Archbishop Fulton Sheen wrote about St. Therese. :-)

I- I love to read and write about the saints. :-)

T- is for thoughts. Sometimes I get so lost in my thoughts that I don't really pay attention to what's going on... But I definetly try not to during Mass! :-)

Y- Yearning for and cherishing every moment or time that I have in front of the Blessed Sacrament.

I tag: Pueo, Kaila, Joey, Ms. Rubi, And anyone else who would like to play along! :-D

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Blesseds Jacinta & Francisco Marto

The two young visionaries saw Our Lady at Fatima. Although they both were told by Our Lady that they would go to Heaven at a young age, they spent whatever time they could to obey her gentle commands. Jacinta was very eager to suffer for sinners; she once tied a rope around her waist, never taking it off even when the pain made her cry. The three of them, including Lucia, gave away their lunches to the poor children when they tended the sheep.

Sorry this one is really short, but I'm running out of time on the computer. :-)

But before I end this post, I'd like to share a prayer that Our Lady taught the children of Fatima to say when offering a sacrifice:

O Jesus, it is for the love of Thee, for the conversion of sinners, the Holy Father, and in reparation for the wrongs done to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

The young visionaries often repeated this prayer and said that they always felt better about making the sacrifice after reciting this prayer. I don't know why, but it's really true, and it has especially helped me during this season of Lent. :-)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

St. Valentine

A happy Valentine's day to everyone! :-) There's not much about St. Valentine that I know, just that he was a priest, (maybe even a bishop) in Rome. He was favored by the people there and they often asked for his blessing. When the war broke out, the emperor commanded that just about every man, no matter what, would help and fight. Saddened by this emperor's command, he secretly married young people together. When the emperor found out about this, he threw into a rage and commanded that he be thrown into jail. So soldiers came and took him, even in the middle of a wedding. In jail he aided the future martyrs there. He also converted the jailer by restoring sight to the jailer's blind daughter. Because of that, the emperor ordered that he'd be beheaded. But before he was executed, it is said that he left a goodbye message for the jailer's daughter signed, "From your Valentine." He was a martyr in the end....but I don't think his story had to do much of anything what we do this day. Really strange....But some believe that Romans had some sort of custom this day...they had a drawing of names of girls and boys, who would take care of each other for a certain amount of time, including a year. They later used saint names, and St. Valentine's name happened to be one of them. Some others say that the birds began mating on St. Valentine's feastday. Then other traditions were added and performed on the eve and on the day by the English in 1477.

That's pretty much it that I know of St. Valentine. Hope everyone out there has a great day!! :-D

Monday, February 11, 2008

Our Lady of Lourdes

"I had gone down one day with two other girls to the bank of the river Gave when suddenly I heard a kind of rustling sound. I turned my head toward the field by the side of the river, but the trees seemed quite still and the noise was evidently not from them. Then I looked up and caught sight of the cave where I saw a lady wearing a lovely white dress with a bright belt. On top of each of her feet was a pale yellow rose, the same color as her rosary beads.

At this I rubbed my eyes, thinking I was seeing things, and I put my hands into the fold of my dress where my rosary was. I wanted to make the sign of the cross, but for the life of me I couldn't manage it, and my hand just fell down. Then the lady made the sign of the cross herself, and at the second attempt I managed to do the same, though my hands were trembling. Then I began to say the rosary while the lady let her beads clip through her fingers, without moving her lips. When I stopped saying the Hail Mary, she immediately vanished.

I asked my two companions if they had noticed anything, but they said no. Of course, they wanted to know what I was doing, and I told them that I had seen a lady wearing a nice white dress, though I didn't know who she was. I told them not to say anything about it, and they said I was silly to have anything to do with it. I said they were wrong, and I came back next Sunday, feeling myself drawn to the place....

The third time I went, the lady spoke to me and asked me to come every day for fifteen days. I said I would and then she said that she wanted me to tell the priests to build a chapel there. She also told me to drink from the stream. I went to the Gave, the only stream I could see. Then she made me realize she was not speaking of the Gave, and she indicated a little trickle of water close by. When I got to it I could only find a few drops, mostly mud. I cupped my hands to catch some liquid without success, and then I started to scrape the ground. I managed to find a few drops of water, but only at the fourth attempt was there sufficient for any kind of a drink. The lady then vanished and I went back home.

I went back each day for fifteen days, and each time, except one Monday and one Friday, the lady appeared and told me to look for a stream and wash in it and to see that the priests build a chapel there. I must also pray, she said, for the conversion of sinners. I asked her many times what she meant by that, but she only smiled. Finally, with outstretched arms and eyes looking up to heaven, she told me she was the Immaculate Conception.

During the fifteen days she told me three secrets, but I was not to speak about them to anyone, and so far I have not."
-from a letter by Saint Bernadette

Sunday, February 10, 2008

St. Scholastica

I know we don't really celebrate the saints' feastdays at Mass on Sundays but I couldn't help but share my favorite story about St. Scholastica. :-)

Scholastica, the sister of Saint Benedict (or twin sister), had been consecrated to God from her earliest years. She was accustomed to visiting her brother once a year. He would come down to meet her at a place on the monastery property, not far outside the gate.

One day she came as usual and her saintly brother went with some of his disciples; they spent the whole day praising God and talking of sacred things. As night fell they had supper together.

Their spiritual conversation went on and the hour grew late. The holy nun said to her brother, "Please do not leave me tonight; let us go on until morning talking about the delights of the spiritual life."

"Sister," he replied, "What are you saying? I simply cannot stay outside my cell."

When she heard her brother refuse her request, the holy woman joined her hands on the table, laid her head on them and began to pray. As she raised her head from the table, there were such brilliant flashes of lightning, such great peals of thunder and such a heavy downpour of rain that neither Benedict nor his brethren could stir across the threshold of the place where they had been seated. Sadly, he began to complain.

"May God forgive you, sister. What have you done?"

"Well, she answered, "I asked you and you would not listen; so I asked my God and he did listen. So now go off, if you can, leave me and return to your monastery."

So it came about that they stayed awake the whole night, engrossed in their conversation about the spiritual life.

Three days later, Benedict was in his cell. Looking up to the sky, he saw his sister's soul leave her body in the form of a dove, and fly up to the secret places of heaven. Rejoicing in her great glory, he thanked almighty God with hymns and words of praise. He then sent his brethren to bring her body to the monastery and lay it in the tomb he had prepared for himself.

-from Dialogues by Pope Saint Gregory the Great


Friday, February 8, 2008

St. Josaphine Bakhita of Sudan

"Seeing the sun, the moon and the stars, I said to myself, 'Who could be the Master of these beautiful things?' I felt a great desire to see him, to know him and to pay him homage..... If I were to meet the slave-traders who kidnapped me and even those who tortured me, I would kneel and kiss their hands, for if that did not happen, I would not be a Christian and Religious today…" -St. Bakhita of Sudan

Beatified on the 17th of May, 1992, by Pope John Paul II and
canonized on the 1st of October, 2000, by Pope John Paul II at Saint Peter's Basilica, Rome, Italy

O Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we thank you for the gifts of humility and charity which you bestowed on Saint Josephine Bakhita Deign to glorify her for her singular virtues and grant the prayers of those who invoke her, Amen

Thursday, February 7, 2008

A meme for Lent

Mahalo to Aunty Esther for tagging me! :-)

1. What’s been your best Lenten-effort-idea ever?

It was the same as Cy's and Aunty Esther's, but for a long time I haven't been reading any fictional books that I would read for my own pleasure.....So that idea isn't so hard now. :-) I guess mine would be to read more saint biographies, and more books like the Imitation of Christ, if I can find any.....and finish them before they get overdue! :-)

2. And your worst?

Assigning extra homework for myself.

3. What Lenten advice would you share?

Well, this is only what I think.....Lent isn't a time be gloomy. Sincere, yes, but not gloomy. Like in the Gospel for today it says, "Take up thy cross..." I once read in the Imitation of Christ (I forget where though) that the more you complain about your cross the more it weighs you down. But if you carry it with acceptance, gratefulness, and for the love of Jesus, the more it wouldn't be so hard. I don't think those were the exact words in the book though....

4. And what will feature this year?

If I can and if I remember, I am going to try help out in Church after blowing out the candles, bringing items we used during Mass into the sacristy....That's one of the main ones, but most of them are a secret ;-)

I tag anyone who would like to do this :-)

Friday, February 1, 2008

St. Brigid of Ireland

"I would like the angels of Heaven to be among us. I would like an abundance of peace. I would like full vessels of charity. I would like rich treasures of mercy. I would like cheerfulness to preside over all. I would like Jesus to be present. I would like the three Marys of illustrious renown to be with us. I would like the friends of Heaven to be gathered around us from all parts. I would like myself to be a rent payer to the Lord; that I should suffer distress, that he would bestow a good blessing upon me. I would like a great lake of beer for the King of Kings. I would like to be watching Heaven's family drinking it through all eternity." -Saint Brigid

Daughter of a pagan king, Brigid (453-523) became a slave in her father's household. And her Christian mother was sold as a slave to another pagan in a farm. Brigid always wished to please God, and often forgot that she was her father's slave, and acted as his daughter. She always gave away food to the hungry, and gave away her father's possesions, never forgetting the time when she once heard St. Patrick preach. She even once gave away her father's jeweled sword to a leper, and when her father protested against all her charitable acts, she answered, "Christ dwelt in every creature."

It wasn't long after that before he was finally tired with her deeds of giving away his posessions to the poor. Brigid's father reported to the king, who was also a Christian, about what she was doing. The king ended the conversation saying, "Her merit before God is greater than ours." Brigid's father then decided to solve the problem by freeing her.

Sometime later, Brigid asked her father if she could visit her mother. Although her father said no, she went anyway, having stubborness like her father. There at the farm she would help her mother in her duties assisting in the dairy. So she left her father, bringing only what she really needed, her generosity. Once she got there she started to give the butter, milk, and cream "to God" to the poor people who arrived daily. God rewarded her by keeping the dairy stocked with butter and milk. Her mother and her master were amazed! In gratitude, the owner of Brigid's mother decided to free her. Later, he was converted to Christianity.

pic and quote from here, and the info came from the book, Fifty-Seven Saints, by Eillen Hefferman FSP