Mary, Help of Christians and Australia Day

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                 Today is Australia Day,

on which we proudly celebrate the founding of our nation with the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788. It is a public holiday here.

Our Church Community celebrated with a Holy Hour, followed by the Mass for the day, with Australian hymns – which we are always so proud to sing and which are so befitting for the occasion.After Mass, we recited prayers for Australia and a consecration of ourselves and our land to the Immaculate Heart of Mary Help of Christians.

The words are especially relevant to all the remnant faithful in the church today, and also to our own dear country. (see words below). We processed outside to the grotto of Our Lady in the garden to sing our National Anthem. Note the last verse. Unfortunately this verse is never sung in public places.Then we gathered for  Morning Tea – belated breakfast for most of us.

The picture above is that of Mary, Help of Christians,

who is the Patroness of Australia. This statue is found  in the Chapel of the Sacred Heart, St. Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney. It was donated in the 19th century.  The Cathedral was dedicated in her honor by the Irish pioneer priest, Fr. John Therry who arrived in Sydney in 1820 and who planned and constructed the Cathedral.

Entrance Hymn:

We Stand for God

and for his glory;

The Lord Supreme and God of all;

Against his foes we raise his standard;

Around the Cross we hear his call.

Chorus:

Strengthen our faith, Redeemer;

Guard us when danger is nigh;

To thee we pledge our lives and service;

For God we live, for God we’ll die.

  1. We stand for God! Jesus our Master

has died to save with love untold;

His law divine and truth unchanging

In this our land their place must hold.

                        Chorus: af6-aussie-flag-75x160mm-ea

  1. We stand for God! In ages olden

He placed ‘the Cross’ our stars beside;

Oh may our land gracious and golden

Be faithful to the Crucified.

                        Chorus:

(J.P. O’Daly O.P.; Vs. 3 by John O”Brien 1878-1953)

 

 Recessional Hymn:  

Help of Christians guard this land

From assault or inward stain;

let it be what Christ has planned,

His new Eden where you reign.

Teach us that in Christ your Son

Lies the wisdom to be free;

For the Cross, which we would shun,

Is man’s Tree of Liberty.

 Should the powers of hell arise,

And our peace be trampled down,

In that night of blood and lies

Show us still your twelve-starred crown.

Take from us the coward heart,

Fleeting will, divided mind,

Give us sight to play our part,

Though the world around is blind.

Image of the risen life

Shining in eternity

Glimmer through our earthly strife,

Draw us to your victory

The third verse of our National Anthem: (Advance Australia  Fair)

With Christ our head and cornerstone,

We’ll build our nation’s might.

Whose Way and Truth and Light alone

Can guide our path aright.

Our lives a sacrifice of love

Reflect our Master’s care.

With faces turned to heaven above

Advance Australia Fair.

In joyful strains then let us sing,

Advance Australia Fair.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Five First Saturdays: Doing it properly!

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This post is by courtesy of a Crusader, who presented this talk on Saturday 6th August at his local church.

Image result for Our Lady of Fatima 5 first saturdays

Our Lady of Fatima’s requests:

At Fatima Our Blessed Mother outlined three requirements to obtain world peace and ward off the escalating disasters which would overwhelm mankind, and these include the utter destruction of several nations.

These three requests from heaven were:

  • the daily praying of the Holy Rosary,
  • the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and,
  • perhaps least known and its importance overlooked, the urgent need to make reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary with the Five First Saturdays.

Now, only the Pope in union with all the world’s bishops can make the consecration of Russia, naming this nation specifically. So far this has not taken place, but Jesus actually told Sister Lucy of Fatima, “It will happen but it will be late.”

There is nothing we can do about this particular request but pray for its fulfillment. However, we CAN make our contribution to obtaining world peace and mitigating the ongoing international turmoil by praying the Rosary every day, and making reparation for five identified blasphemies which offend God and cause sorrow to Our Mother’s Heart.

It was on December 10th, 1925, that the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to Sister Lucy in her convent cell and requested the Communion of Reparation of the Five First Saturdays:

“… announce in My name,” she said, “that I promise to assist at the moment of death, with the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the First Saturday of five consecutive months, shall confess, receive holy communion, recite five decades of the Rosary, and keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me.”

In this apparition the Child Jesus accompanied the Blessed Virgin and pleaded for us to make reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Several weeks later, the following year, on February 15, the Child Jesus appeared again to Sister Lucy, repeating the plea that this special devotion be spread. When Lucy pointed out that many souls were already receiving Him in Holy Communion every First Saturday of each month in honour of Our Lady, this is what Jesus replied:  “It is true… many souls begin, but few persevere to the very end, and those who persevere do it to receive the graces promised. The souls who make the Five First Saturdays with fervour to make reparation to the Heart of your Heavenly Mother, will please Me more than those who make fifteen, but who are lukewarm and indifferent.”

Lucy responded, “My Jesus! Many souls find it difficult to confess on Saturday. Will You allow a confession within eight days to be valid? And the Lord answered, “Yes. It can be made later on, provided that the souls are in a state of grace when they receive Me on the First Saturday, and that they have the intention of making Reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.” If they forget this intention,They can form it at the next confession, taking advantage of their first opportunity to go to confession.”

The intentions

The five consecutive First Saturdays are to be made in reparation for:

  1. Blasphemies committed against Mary’s Immaculate conception, making a mockery of the fact she was conceived without sin as Adam and Eve both were.
  2. For blasphemies committed against Mary’s Perpetual Virginity – and even some Christians scoff at this fact and claim she gave birth to other children, while others ridicule the miraculous birth of Our Saviour which preserved Our Lady’s virginity.
  3. For blasphemies committed against Mary’s divine maternity and spiritual motherhood – the rejection of her divinely appointed position as Mother of God and Mother to all of humanity.
  4. For offenses committed by those who dishonour Mary’s images and statues, those who desecrate and insult them, or treat them with contempt as idolatry.
  5. For those who publicly seek to sow in the hearts of children indifference or scorn, or even teach hatred of Mary, belittling her extraordinary role in God’s salvation plan.

These are the five transgressions we are asked to make reparation for: areas of faith infringed by more and more public abuse as the sense of the sacred vanishes from our society – and even within the Church.

The requirements in a nutshell

Just to repeat, then: during each of the five First Saturdays:-

  1. We make the special intention of repairing for one of these five offences.
  2. We go to Confession
  3. We receive Holy Communion
  4. We pray five decades of the Holy Rosary
  5. We spend 15 minutes in Our Lady’s company meditating upon the mysteries of the Rosary –if you need help with this, you can obtain these beautiful little Meditation Manuals from the Fatima Centre in Canada.

Blessed Jacinta of Fatima told Sister Lucy, “Do not be afraid to tell everyone about devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary…. God has entrusted the peace of the world to her.”

Crusader Chris.

“My God, My God, why have You abandoned Me?”

At our prayer group on Thursday 4th  August, one of the readings was about the Crucifixion of Christ and the Crucifixion of the Mystical Body of Christ. This reading reminded Donna of something –  a revelation she was once given to understand.

She said  ” Do you know what? I want to share something. I don’t know if I’ve told you before…?: My God, my God! Why have you forsaken me?’ – that doesn’t mean what you think it means…Imagine if I was dying and in agony. If I said aloud “Our Father Who art in heaven…“- you would know what I meant.

It’s a prayer and you would assume that I was praying that prayer, even if I did not finish the words out loud. You might even finish praying it for me… Well that’s what Jesus was doing, just before He died, when He cried out those words. He wasn’t asking God a question.

He was praying a psalmand every Jew there, within earshot, would have known the words and would have known who He was quoting. They knew the end of it. It was a sign for them and for us.

You have to read the whole prayer to know what Jesus meant what He indicated or signified. It changes everything. It uses the words of the prophet Isaiah.  It’s in one of the psalms,” finished Donna.

I was thinking – “Which one? – There are 150 of them.” One of our other members immediately got a bible and opened it up and found it almost immediately! It was Psalm 22It is reproduced below. We know that the new Testament is the completion of the Covenant of the Old Testament.

Jesus was reciting one of David’s psalms, which quoted Isaiah. If you read to the end, we find that it is a prayer of Hope, and Faith and Victory. It shows Jesus to be the Messiah, Who has perfectly fulfilled the prophecies made by Isaiah.

 Psalm 22

2. My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?

Why so far from my call for help,

from my cries of anguish?

3.My God, I call by day, but You do not answer;

by night, but I have no relief.

4.Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;

You are the glory of Israel.

5.In You our fathers trusted;

they trusted and You rescued them.

6.To You they cried out and they escaped;

in You they trusted and were not disappointed.

7. But I am a worm, not a man,

scorned by men, despised by the people.

8.All who see me mock me;

they curl their lips and jeer;

they shake their heads at me:

9.“He relied on the LORD—let Him deliver him;

if he loves him, let Him rescue him.”

10. For you drew me forth from the womb,

made me safe at my mother’s breasts.

11. Upon you I was thrust from the womb;

since my mother bore me you are my God.

12. Do not stay far from me,

for trouble is near,

and there is no one to help.

II

13. Many bulls surround me;

fierce bulls of Bashan encircle me.

14. They open their mouths against me,

lions that rend and roar.

15. Like water my life drains away;

all my bones are disjointed.

My heart has become like wax,

it melts away within me.

16. As dry as a potsherd is my throat;

my tongue cleaves to my palate;

you lay me in the dust of death

17. Dogs surround me;

a pack of evildoers closes in on me.

They have pierced my hands and my feet

18. I can count all my bones.

They stare at me and gloat;

19. they divide my garments among them;

for my clothing they cast lots.

20. But You, LORD, do not stay far off;

My strength, come quickly to help Me.

21. Deliver my soul from the sword,

my life from the grip of the dog.

22. Save me from the lion’s mouth,

my poor life from the horns of wild bulls.

III

23. Then I will proclaim your name to my brethren;

in the assembly I will praise you:

24. “You who fear the LORD, give praise!

All descendants of Jacob, give honor;

show reverence, all descendants of Israel!

25. For he has not spurned or disdained

the misery of this poor wretch,

Did not turn away from me,

but heard me when I cried out.

26. I will offer praise in the great assembly;

my vows I will fulfill before those who fear Him.

27. The poor * will eat their fill;

those who seek the LORD will offer praise.

May your hearts enjoy life forever!”

IV

28. All the ends of the earth

will remember and turn to the LORD;

All the families of nations

will bow low before Him.

29. For kingship belongs to the LORD,

the ruler over the nations.

30 * All who sleep in the earth

will bow low before God;

All who have gone down into the dust

will kneel in homage.

31.And I will live for the LORD;

my descendants will serve you.

32. The generation to come will be told of the Lord,

       that they may proclaim to a people yet unborn

       the deliverance You have brought.

 

Taken from: USCCB Bible. (http://www.usccb.org/bible/psalms/22)

A tribute to: The Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary

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This feast is celebrated on the 31st May to conclude May – a month dedicated to our Bl. Mother. Pope Pius XII instituted this feast. He hailed her as: “O most sweet Mother of Him who is King by right, by inheritance, and by conquest.”

He asked the special aqueen-of-heaven-robeid of the Queen of Heaven and earth for those who do not yet know Her divine Son, and for the persecuted members of the Church that they may never yield under unjust compulsion.

“Reign over the minds of men, that they may seek only what is true; over their wills, that they may follow only what is good; over their hearts, that they may love only what You yourself love.”

The prayers below are those of the Traditional Latin Mass for today. For those who attend the Novis Ordo Mass, : the Introit and Collect (sometimes referred to as the Prayer) are equivalent to the Entrance antiphon and Opening Prayer; the Lesson (or Epistle) is the (one and only) Reading; the Gradual is equivalent to the Responsorial Psalm. The Gospel and Offertory antiphon are self explanatory; the Secret is said after the offertory and before the Preface. The preface itself is a special one for feastdays of Our lady. The Communion and Post Communion are read towards the end of Mass.

The prayers are so beautiful,  I felt I had to share them.

They are a good source of meditation.

 

INTROIT
Let us all rejoice in the Lord as we celebrate the feast in honour of our Queen, the Blessed Virgin, upon which the angels rejoice and praise the Son of God. 
Ps. 44:2. 
My heart overflows with good tidings; I sing my song to the king. 
V
. Glory be . . .

COLLECT
O Lord, bestow peace in this life and glory in the life to come upon all who celebrate the feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Queen. Through our Lord . . .

LESSON Eccli. 24:5, 7, 9-11, 30-31
I came out of the mouth of the Most High, the firstborn before all creatures; I The_Epistledwelt in the highest places, and my throne is in a pillar of a cloud. I have stood in all the earth and in every people, and in every nation I have had the chief rule; and by my power I have trodden under my feet the hearts of all the high and low. He who hearkens to me, shall not be confounded, and they who work by me, shall not sin; they who explain me shall have life everlasting.

GRADUAL Apoc. 19:16; Ps. 44:10
Upon His cloak and upon His thigh He has written the name: King of kings and Lord of lords.
V. The queen stands at His right hand, clad in robes of gold from Ophir.

Alleluia, alleluia! V.
Hail, O Queen of mercy. Shield us from our enemy, and receive us at the hour of death. Alleluia!

GOSPEL Luke 1:26-33
At that time, And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David: and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel being come in, said unto her: “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.” Who having heard, was troubled at his saying and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said to her: “Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God. Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb and shalt bring forth a son: and thou shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father: and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever. And of his kingdom there shall be no end.”

OFFERTORY ANTIPHON
Mary has come forth from a royal race and is crowned with glory. We earnestly plead with heart and soul for the assistance of Her prayers.

SECRET
O Lord, receive the gifts of Your jubilant Church and let them assist us toward salvation through the merits of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Queen. Through our Lord . . .
 
COMMUNION ANTIPHON
O Ever-Virgin Mary, the most royal Queen of the world who gave birth to Christ the Lord, the Savior of all men, obtain peace and salvation for us.

POSTCOMMUNION
We have celebrated the Sacred Mysteries with joy, O Lord, on this feast of Holy Mary, our Queen. May the Sacrifice that we have jubilantly offered in Mary’s honor bring us to our eternal salvation through Her intercession. Through our Lord . . . 

The hymns we sang at Mass today were:

Chorus:

On this Day, O Beautiful Mother
On this day we give thee our love.
Near thee Madonna, fondly we hover,
Trusting thy gentle care to prove.

1. On this day we ask to share, 
Dearest Mother thy sweet care;
Aid us ere our feet astray, 
Wander from thy guiding way.  Chorus

2.Queen of angels, deign to hear
Lisping children’s humble pray’r;
Young hearts gain, O Virgin pure,
Sweetly to thy self allure.  Chorus


O Sanctissima, O Piissima,
Dulcis Virgo Maria,
Chorus: Mater amata, intemerata
Ora, ora pro nobis.

Tota pulchra es, O Maria,
Et macula non est in te. Chorus
Hail Queen of heaven
the ocean star, Guide of the wand’rer here below; Thrown on life’s surge, we claim thy care; Save us from peril and from woe. Mother of Christ, star of the sea, pray for the wanderer, pray for me. O gentle, chaste and spotless maid, We sinners make our prayers through thee; Remind thy Son that he has paid The price of our iniquity. Virgin most pure, star of the sea, Pray for the sinner, pray for me. Sojourners in this vale of tears, To thee, blest advocate, we cry; Pity our sorrows, calm our fears, And soothe with hope our misery. Refuge in grief, star of the sea, Pray for the mourner, pray for me. And while to Him who reigns above, In Godhead One, in Persons Three, The Source of life, of grace, of love, Homage we pay on bended knee. Do thou, bright Queen, star of the sea, Pray for thy children, pray for me. (John Lingard 1771-1851)

 

 

 

Our Lady Help of Christians: Feast day 24th May

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OL Help of ChrLet us not forget our dearest Mother on this day. She has been ignored this month (May) and on many other feastdays… ( the Assumption, Immaculate Conception,…etc). We desperately need her now!

The invocation Auxilium Christianorum (Help of Christians ) originated in the sixteenth century. In 1576 two  litanies were published that were used at Lorreto.  One of these (“Aliae litaniae B.M.V.”) is identical with the litany of Loreto, and was  approved by Clement VIII in 1601. It is now used throughout the entire Church.

According to the Roman Breviary, Pius V inserted the invocation in the Litany  of Loreto after the battle of Lepanto. It is possible that the warriors returning from the Battle of Lepanto (on 7th Oct. 1571, visited the sanctuary of Loreto, and saluted the Holy Virgin there for the first time with this new title.

The history of the feastday dates back to the 1800’s.

Napoleon Bonaparte had jailed Pius VI who died in jail. When Pope Pius VII was elected he too was jailed by Bonaparte, who kept him prisoner  The Holy Father vowed to God that if he were restored to the Roman See, he would institute a special feast in honour of Mary. The military eventually forced Bonaparte to release the Pope and on 24 May 1814, Pius VII returned in triumph to Rome. Twelve months later the Pope decreed that the feast of Mary Help of Christians be kept on 24 May.

OL H of Ch AUstThe feast day of Mary Help of Christians has been celebrated in Australia since 1844. The infant church in Australia had a special reason for turning to Mary. No priests were sent to the colony in its early days and Mass was not allowed except for one brief year until 1820. It was largely the Rosary in those early days that kept the faith alive. Catholic Australia remained faithful to Mary and was the first nation to choose her under the title Help of Christians, as principal Patroness.

St Mary's cathedral DSydney

When Australia became the first country to have Mary Help of Christians as Patroness, it became the first country to have a mother-cathedral under the same title.

Let us ask our dear Mother – the Help of all Christians – who with the help of that most powerful weapon, the Holy Rosary, saved Europe from the enemy at Lepanto in 1571; in Vienna in 1683; in 1716 in Peterwardsein in Hungary; in 1955 in Austria against the communists; in 1966 in Brazil and in 1975 in Portugal where communist rule was averted.

We turn to her now under her most powerful titles, amongst them being – Mother of Salvation, Our Lady Help of Christians, and Our Lady Queen of the Rosary to lead us in this battle against the enemy which confronts the whole world .

 

Sources:  http://www.catholic.org/encyclopedia/view.php?id=8851 and

     https://www.sydneycatholic.org/news/latest_news/2012/2012523_1553.shtml

Meditation on the Cross

This is a beautiful meditation on the Cross from “America Needs Fatima”

The story is of a Spanish knight, leaving his castle, his wife and child behind in order to lead his men to fight the Moors.He is captured and enslaved.

He does not know if his family knows of his whereabouts, in order to raise ransom money to free him. A life-sized Crucifix hangs above the town, for the pure purpose of being blasphemed and spat upon. He vows that if he is freed, he will return for the Cross. After 10 years, when it seems that he can be freed, he has a huge decision to make  – to choose between the Cross and his family!

“The weight of the Cross” is a beautiful meditation on the Cross.

Read the full story here:

https://americaneedsfatima.org/Family-Series/the-weight-of-the-holy-cross.html

Prayer before a Crucifix

BEHOLD, O kind and most sweet Jesus,

I cast myself upon my knees in Thy sight,

and with the most fervent desire of my soul,

pray and beseech  Thee that Thou wouldst impress upon my heart,

the lively sentiments of Faith, Hope and Charity,

with true repentance for my sins and a firm desire of amendment:

whilst with deep affection and grief of soul I ponder within myself

and mentally contemplate Thy five most precious Wounds,

having before mine eyes the words which of old,

the prophet David spoke in prophecy of Thee, O good Jesus:

They have pierced My hands and My feet, they have numbered all My bones [Psalm 21, 17, 18].

Say Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be for the Catholic Church and the intentions of the Holy Father.

A plenary indulgence, under the usual conditions, may be gained by those who shall say this prayer with devotion before an image of our crucified Redeemer.

A partial indulgence may also be gained for each devout recitation.