Disclaimer

NOTICE: I am a practicing Catholic, active and in good-standing with my local parish, who professes faith and loyalty to the Church and our Holy Father. This "little work" is purely a personal expression of that faith and loyalty, and not an officially recognized ministry in the Diocese of Honolulu. ~ Peter


Saturday, December 31, 2011

Holy Relic Visitation: Castle Hospital (Kailua), 12/31/2011


My friend, Letty, holding the reliquary of St. Therese the Little Flower

Today, after attending Saturday morning Mass at a neighboring parish, I was approached by an acquaintance of mine - a lady named Letty Query, who had attended one of my speaking presentations about the Saints & Holy Relics. Letty is a life-long devotee of St. Therese the Little Flower, and she informed me that her husband was very sick and staying in a nearby hospital. Knowing that I had a 1st Class Relic of her Patron Saint under my care, she asked me if I would be willing to bring the relic of St. Therese to the hospital to comfort her husband.

Sensing the heaviness in her heart, I willingly agreed and later went to meet her at the hospital with the blessed relic. The couple's two daughters were also present during the visit and it was a very moving experience to watch as the family placed the reliquary into their father’s weak hands, and fervently implored St. Therese to intercede for his recovery; the atmosphere seemed much lighter after the blessing was prayed.  

Incidentally, the other male patient in the hospital room and his wife were also both Catholics who were very familiar with St. Therese... and they also asked to be blessed with the relic, which we gladly did. Together, all of us in the room then prayed the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for the two sick men before I took leave of the families. It was the first-ever, official pilgrim visit to a hospital for my personal ministry... and definitely a great way to close-out 2011.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Testimony to the Power of Our Lady's Intercession...

Today was an extraordinary day of personal blessings for me. In fact, it was so out-of-the ordinary, I feel compelled to post this message as a public testimony of gratitude and love to the Blessed Virgin and the power of her maternal intercession... I received three great blessings from her generous hands, for which I am most grateful and humbled:

* The first grace that Our Lady granted was the recovery of a Holy Relic of St. Lucy of Syracuse (left) that I lost yesterday in our Honolulu Cathedral after I attended the noon Mass.  I accidentally forgot the relic on a bench in the church and it was recovered this morning - safe and sound - under truly remarkable circumstances in the Cathedral's sacristy. 

* The second grace that I received from Our Lady was an answer to a prayer - a peaceful resolution - to an urgent family matter that I had been commending to her intercession for the past couple of weeks.  The prayer was answered shortly after I reached my place of work, only minutes after having come from the Cathedral.  

* And finally, the third grace Our Lady granted me had to do with a little flower (left) I found on the floor of the Cathedral this morning.  When I was leaving the church to go to work, I found a single fragrant Pikake blossom ("Sampaguita" in Filipino) lying at my feet, which I picked up and took back with me to my office. At the end of the work day, while I was walking to my car, I held the flower to my nose to smell its sweet fragrance and noticed an uncanny image formed in the middle of the petals - incredibly, it clearly resembled Our Lady of Guadalupe who also happens to be the patroness and namesake of my personal ministry! I immediately used my cellphone to take the photo posted below to capture and preserve the unique moment.

    A photo of the Pikake blossom I found with an image of Our Lady in the center of the petals

So with all that I've experienced today, I sincerely and joyfully testify that... Jesus  is truly AWESOME and our Blessed Mother is indeed a powerful intercessor before the throne of her Divine Son. The maternal solicitude of Our Lady exceeds all expectations... so turn to her with Faith, Love, Humility, and Confidence during your times of need... and you will not be disappointed.  Ad Jesum per Mariam!

Another photo of the Pikake flower as it sits atop the hands of my Rosa Mystica statue

Monday, December 12, 2011

Saints & Holy Relics Speaking Presentation: Dumadag Residence, 12/12/2011


A stunning depiction of Our Lady of Guadalupe - painted by
Hawaii artist, Sheree Pokipala - stands watch over several Holy Relics
  
On Monday evening, 12/12, I was re-invited by the Dumadag Family from Kahalu'u to conduct another Saints & Holy Relics Presentation for several members of their Basic Christian Community (BCC) cell group who had missed the presentation I did for them back in March 2011.

 A closer view of the Holy Relics that were made available
during the presentation

As today is the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe - the special patroness of my ministry - I was excited to do this presentation as a feast day gift for our Blessed Mother. So for the public veneration of those who attended, I brought along the relics of 8 holy persons in addition to Our Lady's clothing relic: Bl. Alberto Marvelli, St. Bernadette Soubirous, St. Charles Houben, Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity, Bl. Pope John Paul II, Bl. Maria Stella & 10 Companion Martyrs of Nowogrodek, St. Paola Frassinetti, & St. Veronica Giuliani.

Praising the Lord through song prior to the start of the presentation 

As with the past presentation, I along with the Sacred Relics were warmly welcomed by the Dumadags... and at the end of it, it appeared that all that was shared with the audience had been very well received. Several members of the family expressed interest in the individual holy persons that I had talked about and asked for their names so they could pray for their intercession in their respective homes.

I left the home grateful to Our Lady and the Saints for having planted seeds of faith in the hearts of the people. Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

First Saturday Parish Rosary at St. Anthony's Church, 12/3/2011


Our Lady's statue with a Holy Relic of St. Lucy, Virgin & Martyr

What a wonderful prayer meeting today's First Saturday Rosary turned out to be... we had more people than usual show up and again there were a few new faces in the pews. Prior to the Rosary being prayed, I shared about the life of a December Saint - St. Lucy, Virgin & Martyr - who's Holy Relic was present on the display altar along with Our Lady's clothing relic; the people present appreciated the account of the Martyr's life and were edified by her example of heroic virtue.

During the recitation of the Joyful Mysteries, which we offered for Peace, there was a powerful sense of calm that surrounded us, which left an impression on many of the people. A friend of mine who had offered to take photos of the event for me, later confided that he couldn't bring himself to take any pictures during the prayer because of the intense spiritual aura that was present in the chapel. He thought it would have been disrespectful of him to interrupt the deep, prayerful atmosphere with flashes from the camera; I completely understood.

The next Parish Rosary for Peace will be offered on Saturday, January 7th, 2012, at 4:30pm in the St. Anthony of Padua Church's Day Chapel. All are invited to participate so please consider praying with us in January. 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Pilgrim Virgin & Holy Relic Visitation: Koloi Residence, 12/2/2011


 Our Lady's pilgrim statue visits the Koloi residence in Enchanted Lakes, Kailua

This past Thanksgiving, I was approached by some dear friends of mine - members of the Koloi Family - and asked if I would be willing to "bless" their Enchanted Lakes (Kailua) home for them. I was aware that the family - who aren't regular church-goers - was going through a rough patch in their lives and I sensed that the request was a serious attempt to reach out for God's help. I explained to them that as a layperson, I wasn't in a position to bless their home, but what I could do was pray with them and put them in touch with a priest-friend of mine who could perhaps fulfill their request. 

Well, as things turned out, I was able to assist the Koloi's in scheduling a home blessing with Fr. Tom from nearby St. John Vianney Church, and the blessing took place early this morning; it was a beautiful and powerful event for the family. I was fortunate to be present at the blessing and I could tell that the man of the house - Bulla Koloi - was deeply touched and comforted by the benediction as a feeling of peace settled over the entire house.

To help prepare the family for today's solemn event, I offered them my Rosa Mystica statue and the Holy Relic of the Virgin Mary's veil (ex velo) for an overnight pilgrim visit in their home. I figured that if there was anybody who could help the family to open their hearts to God's love and blessing, none could do it better than Our Lady. So the Koloi Family gladly welcomed the statue into their home and we set up a makeshift altar in their dining room where we gathered to say a few prayers to the Blessed Mother. After we prayed, one could sense the heavy atmosphere already beginning to lift.

Later this morning, when I returned to the home to pick up the statue to prepare it for its next destination (St. Anthony's First Saturday Rosary for Peace)... the little girl pictured on the right - Jesselle - shared an interesting story with all of us. She related that when she was alone with the statue last night, she thought she saw it crying tears... but only from the right eye, which I thought was an odd thing to say if she was making up the story. No one else in the home reported anything unusual, but if indeed the child saw the statue cry, this would be the first time that someone had ever reported this particular type of phenomena in connection with the statue.

I left the Koloi home feeling very happy, knowing that seeds of faith had been planted by the Blessed Virgin in the hearts of the family members - Ad Jesum per Mariam!
       

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Saint of the Month: December 2011


Bl. Maria Vittoria Fornari-Strata
A Saintly Widow - Memorial: December 15th

Born in 1562, Bl. Maria Vittoria was one of those saintly individuals who experienced a “dual vocation” in her lifetime. Originally, she was a married aristocrat, who with her husband - Angelo Strata – were parents to five lovely children. According to her biographers, Maria Vittoria’s marriage was a happy one; she adored her husband and they doted on their large family, but things changed for the worse when her husband caught ill and died after eight years of being together. The young widow was initially devastated and knelt before an image of the Blessed Virgin to whom she was greatly devoted. She prayed for comfort and security, after which the image reportedly came to life, and Our Lady reassured her with the words:  

“My child Vittoria, be brave and confident, for it is my wish to take both the mother and
the children under my protection. I will care for your household. Live quietly and without worrying. All I ask is that you entrust yourself to me and henceforth devote yourself
to the love of God above all things.”

For the next sixteen years Maria Vittoria concentrated her efforts in raising her children and fulfilling Our Lady’s request that she sanctify herself. She made a private vow of chastity and exercised works of charity by nursing the abandoned sick, giving generously to the poor, and also assisting fallen women in rehabilitating their lives. Four of her children, through the grace of God, entered into religious life after being inspired by their mother’s pious example, and after the last child left home, Maria Vittoria’s “second vocation” began to unfold.

A rare relic of Bl. Maria Vittoria - a heart-shaped piece of fabric from
her clothing - that was gifted to this ministry by her congregation.

For a long while the devout young widow had dreamed of establishing a contemplative convent of nuns that was especially dedicated to the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin, and now that she no longer had any family obligations, she set about bringing her dream to fulfillment. Working with her bishop, Maria Vittoria obtained all necessary permission to found the convent, which she entered on March 13, 1604, along with several woman-companions who shared her spiritual ideals. As a way of further honoring the Mother of Christ, the newly formed convent adopted as its method of dress, white tunics with distinctive sky-blue scapulars and mantles, that are still worn today by the sisters of her congregation. It was because of their habits that they came to be called the “Blue Annonciades”.

Maria Vittoria, besides being the foundress, also served as the community’s first prioress but was later replaced by another sister, who for some vague reason, made it a point to humiliate the foundress by openly treating her with harshness. Madre Maria Vittoria responded to the ill-treatment with admirable patience and humility, and the Lord was pleased to favor her with mystical graces, which included many Visions and Ecstasies.

The body of Bl. Maria Vittoria, foundress of the Blue Annonciades

The saintly widow died in 1617 and was recognized as a Blessed by the Church in 1828. Her incorrupt remains are venerated in the motherhouse of her congregation in Genoa, Italy, where the penitential life practiced by her convents has been strictly maintained throughout the centuries.

A Reflection:
Many of our Blesseds and Saints shared one thing in common - in addition to loving God, they also had a great respect and a healthy devotion to Mother Mary.

A Short Prayer:
Dear Blessed Mother, we entrust ourselves to your powerful intercession, confident that you will lead us in the service of your Divine Son, Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Pilgrim Statue & Holy Relic Visitation, 11/20/2011: Rosary DVD Recording Session


Our Lady... praying for our parishioners.

In early 2011, a parishioner, inspired by our monthly rosary devotion, approached our parish's Religious Education Coordinator with a suggestion that we record the rosary prayer for distribution to our St. Anthony of Padua church community. A planning committee was formed shortly after to discuss and implement the possibility of creating a DVD, which would include a recorded prayer along with a slideshow of images gathered from our parish members. So for the past 10 months, I have been heavily involved with the committee members in planning the format of the DVD and gathering photos and illustrations submitted by parishioners and students of our parochial school. Today, the project completed a major milestone when it finished recording our praying parishioners for the audio portion of our planned Scriptural Rosary DVD.

This ministry's large Rosa Mystica Pilgrim Virgin statue and Our Lady's clothing relic were invited to be a part of today's recording session to be the focal points for our prayers, and to represent the Blessed Mother's maternal presence among us... since this project is ultimately dedicated to her honor. Our Lady's subtle presence was definitely felt as we all patiently worked together through minor obstacles during the recording session.


Photos of our parishioners - young & old - gathered in the parish school's library
during the recording session for our Scriptural Rosary DVD Project

When all is said and done, our hope is that the end product will be a quality DVD with the voices of our Kailua parishioners - young and old - praying the Scriptural Rosary together, while photos of our parish life move across the screen with illustrations provided by our elementary/intermediate school students. It will be a collaborative effort from all levels of our parish community, which we hope will be a blessing to the people who purchase it. All proceeds will go towards funding St. Anthony of Padua School's scholarship program to assist needy and deserving children.

Our end product - a Scriptural Rosary DVD prayed by our parishioners
... coming soon!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

First Saturday Parish Rosary at St. Anthony's Church, 11/5/2011



This month's First Saturday Rosary for Peace was extra special because it also happened to be the Feast of Holy Relics... the rosary was dedicated to the dearly departed... and because of the feast, in addition to bringing the usual relic of the Blessed Mother's dress to the church, I also brought along a few relics from other holy persons to share and venerate with the rosary prayer participants: St. Gemma Galgani ("Ex Corpore"), Bl. Margaret of Castello ("Ex Ossibus"), St. Philomena ("Ex Indumentis"), and St. Padre Pio ("Ex Panno Stigmatibus").

Two views of the display altar with Our Lady's pilgrim statue, surrounded
by statues and the holy remains of a Blessed and a few Saints 

Again, I was happy to see a few new faces in the pews, including a co-worker of mine who drove in from quite a distance with her mother (a mini-pilgrimage!) to participate in our monthly Rosary for Peace.  After the prayer ended, a few people stayed behind to inquire about the Saints on the altar and to venerate their respective relics up close before heading over to the main church for the Saturday evening vigil Mass. The prayer event was made all the more meaningful with the Saints being physically present with us through their blessed remains.

My co-worker, Andrea, and her mother, Monique, (left) drove from neighboring
Mililani Town to participate in our parish's First Saturday Devotion 

Our next Monthly Parish Rosary will be held on Saturday, 12/3, at 4:30pm in our Day Chapel.  All are welcomed to join us as we heed Our Lady's urgent call to pray for World Peace.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Personal Encounter with Poor Souls...

 "And because he considered that they who had fallen asleep with godliness,
had great grace laid up for them. It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought
to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins."

 ~ 2 Maccabees, 12:45-46

With November 2nd being especially dedicated by the Church to the remembrance of our dearly departed, I’d like to share with the readers of this blog an unusual experience I had back in January of 2007. Let me first begin by stating that since my early twenties (am in my 40's now), I have had a devotion to the Holy Souls in Purgatory, and I pray regularly for their relief, as well as encourage my family and close friends to do so, too. By sharing my experience, I hope to inspire in my Catholic readers a stronger belief in the existence of the Poor Souls and emphasize their need for our prayers and sacrifices.

So going back to January, 2007… I had an experience that I still recall clearly to this day. Late one night, as I was lying in the dark on my bed and preparing to doze off, I was saying my usual evening prayers when I was startled by the appearance of softly glowing light above my bed. In the air, close to the ceiling, were three bluish-white globes of light, the size of medium bowling balls... slowly moving in no particular pattern or formation, but just in a graceful undulating motion and sometimes floating through each other. Wondering if there were any external light sources (car headlights or flashlights) that could’ve been forming the light anomalies, I glanced back and forth between the glowing orbs and the windows but there was nothing coming through my curtains except the faint light from distant street posts.

Instead of being completely frightened, I was actually a little intrigued by the entire spectacle and invoked the holy name of Jesus Christ for my protection and to cast out any unclean spirits in case the lights were evil in origin. The orbs did not go away after the prayer and I was assured that their origin was not diabolic in nature… so I then prayed again to the Lord, asking for the meaning of all that was occurring. Immediately, there came into my mind a clear and precise thought - almost an audible sentence in my mind - stating that these orbs were "souls from Purgatory" who were in need of prayers. So I offered several familiar prayers for the Poor Souls and watched as the spheres of light slowly began to dim before eventually disappearing. I continued saying a few more prayers on their behalf before finally falling into a peaceful sleep.

The next morning, I shared with several family members about the unusual experience that I had the night before. I could tell by their facial expressions that they were either not interested in listening to my story, or simply didn’t believe it. I dropped the subject and as a couple of weeks passed, I started to think that it had all been just a dream… I alternated between doubt and belief until something else happened in late February, 2007, that completely removed all my doubts...


A digital photo taken in my room (top) showing three unusual light formations 
... and below is a closer view of the orbs of bluish-white light circled in blue


... I had just completed some renovations to my bedroom and had taken a few digital photos to show to a friend, and while I was looking through the photos on my camera, I noticed something strange in one of them. The photo in question showed three bluish-white orbs - the size of bowling balls - floating in the middle of my room! I immediately recognized the orbs as similar to the ones I saw the month before except in the photo they weren’t as solid and as bright as I had seen them with my eyes.

I showed the photo to my family and friends and we again discussed the entire situation that happened on the January evening – this time they listened with more interest and we all concluded, that based on the circumstances, the orbs had to be some sort of sign indicating the presence of blessed spirits from Purgatory. To date, the strange balls of light have not reappeared in my bedroom… but that hasn't diminished my increased belief in Purgatorial Souls; I know that they are in need of our help. So I continue to pray and sprinkle holy water for them on an almost daily basis, knowing that there is immense spiritual value in these simple actions. Please kindly remember the Poor Souls in your prayers, as well.

"If, during life, we have been kind to the suffering souls in Purgatory,
God will see that help not be denied us after death."

 ~ Words of St. Paul of the Cross (d. 1775)


* * *  Two Popular Prayers for the Holy Souls in Purgatory  * * *

A Traditional Prayer for the Deceased:
Grant unto them, O Lord, eternal rest and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace.  Amen.

St. Gertrude's Prayer for the Holy Souls (as revealed to her by Our Lord):
Eternal Father, I offer Thee the most precious blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus Christ, in union with all the Masses being said throughout the world today for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the Universal Church, those in my own home, and within my family.  Amen.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Saint of the Month: November 2011


St. John Theophane Venard
Missionary & Martyr - Feast: November 6th

The Catholic Church is exceptionally rich when it comes to its history of heroic souls who died in witness to our faith in Jesus Christ and the Universal Church that he founded. Many of our martyrs not only died with remarkable courage, but also with a spirit of joy that astonished those who witnessed their deaths. One such martyr was the missionary-priest, St. John Theophane Venard. He was born on November 21, 1829, in the small French town of Saint-Loup-sur-Thouet, and was blessed to have been raised in a devout household from which two younger brothers also entered into the priesthood.

As a child Theophane read an account of the 1837 martyrdom in Vietnam of the French priest, St. John-Charles Cornay, and was so deeply inspired he exclaimed, “I want to go to Tonkin, too! I want to die a martyr, too!” So in his late-teens, he obtained permission from his father to enter the Minor Seminary in Montmorillon where he studied philosophy before completing the rest of his religious training in the Paris Seminary for Foreign Missions. He was ordained a Catholic priest on June 5, 1851, being only 22-years-old. In September, 1852, Fr. Venard’s goal of becoming a missionary was fulfilled when he was sent to a mission in Hong Kong, and later transferred to West Tonkin, Vietnam, in May of 1854.

When the young priest arrived in Vietnam, the Christian community was undergoing persecution by order of the local ruler, Minh-Menh. Recently enacted anti-Christian laws had forced the Church to go into hiding, with missionary-priests ministering to their flocks in secrecy under the cover of darkness in caves and remote forests. The hostile and extreme conditions, plus chronic illness, took a heavy toll on the health of Fr. Venard but he continued to labor zealously for the good of the young Church in Vietnam.

On November 30, 1860, at the height of a renewed Christian persecution, Fr. Venard was betrayed to government officials by a relative of one of his parishioners. During his short trial he was given repeated opportunities to renounce his faith in Jesus Christ, but he remained steadfast and was consequently sentenced to death. For several weeks prior to his execution, he was kept in a small ornate cage that left him with very little room to move. Sympathetic guards allowed Fr. Venard occasional breaks from his cage, while several of his parishioners secretly ministered to him. Given his situation, he also wrote a series of farewell letters to family and friends that expressed his commitment to the Faith, as well as the peace and joy he felt in being able to die a martyr’s death for the sake of Christ. In a particular letter to his bishop, he stated, “My heart is like a calm lake.”

  
Another photo of St. John Theophane Venard and a 1st Class (bone) Relic
of the Martyr in my ministry's custody

Fr. Venard was beheaded on February 2, 1861. Witnesses at his martyrdom reported that he walked to the execution site without any signs of fear and joyfully singing the Magnificat. The Church Canonized St. John Theophane Venard on June 19, 1988. Among his most ardent admirers was none other than St. Therese, the Little Flower, who was deeply inspired by Fr. Venard’s missionary zeal. In her writings can be found this reference to the martyred priest: “I have read the lives of many missionaries. One I've read is the life of Theophane Venard, which interested me and touched me more than I can say.”

A Reflection:
“We are all flowers planted on this earth, which God plucks in his own good time: some a little sooner, some a little later . . .”  ~ Words of St. John Theophane Venard

A Short Prayer:
Dear St. John Theophane, pray for us that we too may witness to the truth of our Faith with courage, and most importantly, with joy.

The Litany of the Saints



Today - November 1st - is the Feast of ALL Saints.  Thank you, Lord, for the gift of your Saints through whose lives we experience YOU... through their acts of Charity, their expressions of Hope, their Joy in service, their sowing of Peace, & their sharing of Love.  Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!


Lord, have mercy on us [Lord, have mercy on us]
Christ, have mercy on us [Christ, have mercy on us]
Lord, 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 Ghost [have mercy on us]
Holy Trinity, One God [have mercy on us]


Holy Mary [pray for us]
Holy Mother of God [pray for us]
Holy Virgin of Virgins [pray for us]


St. Michael [pray for us]
St. Gabriel [pray for us]
St. Raphael [pray for us]
All you Holy Angels and Archangels [pray for us]
All you Holy Orders of Blessed Spirits [pray for us]
St. John the Baptist [pray for us]
St. Joseph [pray for us]
All you Holy Patriarchs and Prophets [pray for us]
St. Peter [pray for us]
St. Paul [pray for us]
St. Andrew [pray for us]
St. James [pray for us]
St. John [pray for us]
St. Thomas [pray for us]
St. James [pray for us]
St. Philip [pray for us]
St. Bartholomew [pray for us]
St. Matthew [pray for us]
St. Simon [pray for us]
St. Thaddeus [pray for us]
St. Matthias [pray for us]
St. Barnabas [pray for us]
St. Luke [pray for us]
St. Mark [pray for us]
All you Holy Apostles and Evangelists [pray for us]
All you Holy Disciples of Our Lord [pray for us]
All you Holy Innocents [pray for us]
St. Stephen [pray for us]
St. Lawrence [pray for us]
St. Vincent [pray for us]
SS. Fabian and Sebastian [pray for us]
SS. John and Paul [pray for us]
SS. Cosmas and Damian [pray for us]
SS. Gervase and Protase [pray for us]
All you Holy Martyrs [pray for us]
St. Sylvester [pray for us]
St. Gregory [pray for us]
St. Ambrose [pray for us]
St. Augustine [pray for us]
St. Jerome [pray for us]
St. Martin [pray for us]
St. Nicholas [pray for us]
All you Holy Bishops and Confessors [pray for us]
All you holy doctors [pray for us]
St. Anthony [pray for us]
St. Benedict [pray for us]
St. Bernard [pray for us]
St. Dominic [pray for us]
St. Francis [pray for us]
All you Holy Priests and Levites [pray for us]
All you Holy Monks and Hermits [pray for us]
St. Mary Magdalen [pray for us]
St. Agatha [pray for us]
St. Lucy [pray for us]
St. Agnes [pray for us]
St. Cecilia [pray for us]
St. Catherine [pray for us]
St. Anastasia [pray for us]
All you Holy Virgins and Widows [pray for us]
All you Holy Saints of God [pray for us]


From all evil [pray us, O Lord]
From all sin [pray us, O Lord]
From Thy wrath [pray us, O Lord]
From a sudden and unprovided death [pray us, O Lord]
From the deceits of the devil [pray us, O Lord]
From anger, and hatred, and all ill-will [pray us, O Lord]
From the spirit of fornication [pray us, O Lord]
From lightning and tempest [pray us, O Lord]
From the scourge of earthquakes [pray us, O Lord]
From plague, famine and war [pray us, O Lord]
From everlasting death [pray us, O Lord]


By the Mystery of Thy Holy Incarnation [pray us, O Lord]
By Thy coming [pray us, O Lord]
By Thy nativity [pray us, O Lord]
By Thy baptism and holy fasting [pray us, O Lord]
By Thy Cross and Passion [pray us, O Lord]
By Thy Death and burial [pray us, O Lord]
By Thy holy Resurrection [pray us, O Lord]
By Thine admirable Ascension [pray us, O Lord]
By the coming of the Holy Ghost, the Paraclete [pray us, O Lord]


On the Day of Judgment [deliver us, O Lord]

We sinners, we beseech Thee [hear us, O Lord]
That Thou wouldst spare us [hear us, O Lord]
That Thou wouldst pardon us [hear us, O Lord]
That Thou wouldst bring us to true penance [hear us, O Lord]
That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to govern and preserve Thy Holy Church [hear us, O Lord]
That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to preserve our Apostolic Prelate, and all ecclesiastical orders in holy religion [hear us, O Lord]
That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to humble the enemies of holy Church [hear us, O Lord]
That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to give peace and true concord to Christian kings and princes [hear us, O Lord]
That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to grant peace and unity to all Christian peoples [hear us, O Lord]
That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to bring back to the unity of the Church all who have strayed away, and lead to the light of the Gospel all unbelievers [hear us, O Lord]
That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to confirm and preserve us in Thy holy service [hear us, O Lord]
That Thou wouldst lift up our minds to heavenly desires [hear us, O Lord]
That Thou wouldst render eternal blessings to all our benefactors [hear us, O Lord]
That Thou wouldst deliver our souls, and the souls of our brethren, relatives, and benefactors from eternal damnation [hear us, O Lord]
That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to give and preserve the fruits of the earth [hear us, O Lord]
That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to grant eternal rest to all the faithful departed [hear us, O Lord]
That Thou wouldst vouchsafe graciously to hear us, Son of God [hear us, O Lord]


Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world [spare us, O Lord]
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world [graciously hear us, O Lord]
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world [have mercy on us]

Christ, hear us [Christ, graciously hear us]
Lord, have mercy on us [Lord, have mercy on us]
Christ, have mercy on us [Christ, have mercy on us]
Lord, have mercy on us [Lord, have mercy on us]


Amen

Friday, October 28, 2011

Healing our Family Trees...


"…Yet He [God] does not leave the guilty unpunished;
He punishes the children and their children for the sin of the
fathers to the 3rd and 4th generation."

~ Exodus 34:7


I recently read a few very intriguing articles about the concept of “generational curses”, which implied that the sins of our ancestors, especially the most serious sins, have a spiritual impact on the lives of their descendants. I'm not saying that every bad thing that ever happened to us was the effect of a curse, but perhaps in certain extraordinary circumstances, it may be plausible. In fact, the concept has gained popularity in recent years and many healing ministries (including Catholic ones) have been founded to help individuals and families.

I stress the fact that this subject matter is still debatable and that the Church has yet to officially rule on it, but proponents of generational healing - which include learned and respectable priests - cite the scriptural passage above as one of its scriptural foundations, and also testify to the positive results received by people who have sought healing of generational curses... and interestingly, the saintly mystic and stigmatist - Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich - had also alluded to this concept in a few of her recorded revelations. In fact, one of her most controversial visions relates how Noah (who built the Biblical Ark) had placed a curse on Ham, his youngest son, after the young man grievously offended him:

"I saw the curse pronounced by Noah upon Ham moving toward the latter
like a black cloud and obscuring him.  His skin lost its whiteness, he grew darker.
His sin was the sin of sacrilege, the sin of one who would forcibly enter the
Ark of the Covenant.  I saw a most corrupt race descend from Ham and
sink deeper and deeper in darkness..."

To give a few more examples… parents who involve themselves in occult practices (e.g. the use of ouija boards, witchcraft) may inadvertently attract demonic entities and other evil forces to themselves and their children. Less extreme, but still serious afflictions, may include addictions (alcohol/drugs), social issues (marital problems/phobias), and chronic illness that consistently occur in a “Family Tree”, resulting in conflict and other devastating effects.

A painting representing the cursing of Ham.
In the same line of thinking, but on the opposite spectrum, parents who live highly devout lives are said to pass on grace, blessing, and other spiritual gifts to their children and descendants. Again, citing the private revelations of Bl. Anne Catherine, the mystic attributed many of the signal graces bestowed on her and on her relatives to the positive spiritual influence transmitted through her family line by highly pious ancestors, including two saintly nuns, who like herself, were marked with the Sacred Stigmata.

As a remedy to generational curses/afflictions, the recommendations I’ve read about from subject matter experts have all been consistent: Prayer (especially the Mass), Penance (Confession), and the practice of Virtue are all effective in healing an afflicted Family Tree. For readers who may discern the need for generational healing in their families, I urge the diligent practice of the above spiritual regimen... and I share the prayer below, which I personally wrote and often pray for my own family. The prayer is strictly for private use only and may also be offered for the benefit of our dearly departed relatives, as it was written to also include the deceased.

Those familiar with the Divine Mercy devotion will notice elements of that devotion in the prayer, which I purposely intended because of my own faith in the healing power of Our Lord's Divine Mercy - hence, the title I gave to it. As the prayer has been a blessing and a comfort to me, may it also be a blessing to others who pray it with faith...  Jesus, we trust in you.


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Holy Relics Visitation, 10/15/2011: Rosary Prayer Rally



Today, I was invited by the Vargas family to participate in a Rosary prayer rally at their residence in Kailua, Oahu. The matriarch of the family - “Auntie Patty” - is a designated rally captain for “America Needs Fatima”, a national organization that promotes the Fatima Message.

Every year, on the Saturday following October 13th, America Needs Fatima organizes hundreds of Rosary prayer rallies throughout the United States with the intent of drawing down God’s blessings upon our troubled country. The Vargas residence is one of about three homes in Kailua that annually participates with the nation-wide rosary rally campaign.

The makeshift devotional altar in the Vargas home... and a closer view of the Holy Relics
of Bl. Francisco and Bl. Jacinta that were displayed for public veneration

In addition to welcoming me into their lovely home, the holy relics (1st and 2nd Class) in my personal custody of the Fatima visionaries - Blesseds Francisco and Jacinta Marto - were also welcomed by Auntie Patty and her family. A makeshift altar was set-up in their living room on which the relics were displayed for the participants to see and venerate after the end of the prayers. The presence of the child-seers through their relics was definitely a special addition to this event, which commemorated Our Lady's urgent message that they delivered and lived so worthily.

My sincere Aloha to the Vargas Ohana for their warmth and hospitality!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Five First Saturdays Devotion: Reparation to the Sorrowful & Immaculate Heart of Mary


Today, October 13th, devotees of the Blessed Mother commemorated her sixth and final apparition at Fatima, Portugal in 1917.  This day also recalls the stupendous miracle of the "dancing sun" that was promised by Our Lady as confirmation of her Fatima appearances.  Over 70,000 witnesses were privileged to be at this historic event, and the fact that Our Lady's public apparitions ended on that memorable day did not necessarily mean that it was the end of the message that she delivered at Fatima. There was one more important component to the message that was yet to come - reparation to the Sorrowful & Immaculate Heart of Mary.


The flyer above shares the special promise that Our Lady made to us through Sr. Lucia dos Santos, the last surviving seer of Fatima... and also serves as an invitation, especially to Catholics living in the windward area of Oahu, Hawaii, to join us at St. Anthony's Church in Kailua for at least five first Saturdays for our monthly Rosary for Peace prayer-event.

If you're wondering why the number five is significant to the Virgin's request, well, the reason is simple - it was later revealed to Sr. Lucia that this devotion was intended by the Lord to make atonement for five specific offences that grieve his Blessed Mother the most:

     *  Blasphemies against her Immaculate Conception
     *  Blasphemies against her Perpetual Virginity
     *  Blasphemies against her Divine Maternity of God and all mankind
     *  Blasphemies that instill in children indifference, contempt, or hate against her
     *  Blasphemies against her holy images

Of course, if you're not able to come to Kailua, the devotion can be practiced at any parish church... but we sincerely look forward to having you participate with us as we strive to fulfill Our Lady of Fatima's call to Prayer, Peace, and Reparation while also venerating Mary in a special way through the presence of her sacred relics.

The Five First Saturdays offer us an immeasurable blessing at virtually no cost to us, except for a little time... so why delay in claiming the Blessed Mother's promise for yourself? Mark your calendars and start the devotion on the next upcoming first Saturday.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Speaking Presentation & Pilgrim Visitation, 10/7/2011: St. Anthony of Padua School, Kailua



Today, on the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, I was invited by the faculty of St. Anthony of Padua School in my Kailua parish, to speak to their student body about the significance of the Blessed Mother and the Holy Rosary. So this morning, I conducted three separate presentations to students of different age groups... sharing with them about the Church's devotion to Mary, the origin and significance of the Rosary Devotion, as well as introducing the children to the lives and relics of a few "Rosary Saints": St. Bernadette of Lourdes, Bl. Bartolo Longo, and Blesseds Francisco and Jacinta Marto of Fatima.

  
The much younger students - Kindergarten through 2nd Graders - were
well-behaved and displayed interest in the pictures I showed them in my slideshow

The presentations were tailored to the suit the different age groups, but all three appeared to have been well-received by the students and teachers. I was most surprised by the enthusiasm shown by the Kindergartent to 2nd Grade students who were very engaged and responsive to my questions.  The look of awe on all the children's faces when they viewed my pilgrim statue and the holy relics up close was also priceless. 

  
The second group of students - 3rd to 5th Graders - also displayed interest in the
presentation and Our Lady's statue and the Holy Relics received well-earned attention

It was later shared with me by one of the teachers that another teacher had reported seeing a glow - an "aura" - around the Blessed Mother's pilgrim statue. Perhaps it was a small confirmation from Our Lady that she was present in a special way with the precious little children.  Ave Maria!

The lives of a few "Rosary Saints" were also shared with students of various ages,
and after the talk, they were invited to view their respective relics up close