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


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Holy Relic Visitation: Our Lady of Fatima Prayer Group, 1/26/2013

 
 The Saint we honored tonight - St. Genoveva Torres Morales - was represented by
her 2nd Class Relic.  We were encouraged by her heroic faith in overcoming her physical
disability (she only had one leg) to found a charitable congregation.

Tonight's prayer meeting at the Gruber Residence was the first for 2013 and I'm certain that it's a precursor of abundant blessings to come for the rest of this year's meetings; again, it was uplifting and inspirational. 
 
A few of our regular members were sidetracked by work or other obligations so were unable to attend, but for the rest of us who participated, we had the joy of adding a new friend to our prayer circle tonight... and welcomed back a couple of old time members who we hadn't seen during the holiday months.
 
As always, the Rosary Prayer was offered for various intentions - general and personal - and tonight, with a heavy heart, I specifically offered my personal prayers for the protection of the unborn in conjunction with several pro-life events that were taking place nationwide over the weekend.  I couldn't help but feel sadness at the thought of how much the pure hearts of our Lord and our Blessed Mother are deeply grieved at the lost of so many innocent lives; we hoped to console them with our humble prayers.

The tasty dishes we enjoyed tonight were from various ethnic backgrounds: Chinese, Filipino,
and even baked fish inspired by the spicy flavors of the exotic Seychelles Islands
 
Our customary potluck dinner followed our prayer time, which lightened our hearts and filled us with gratitude for all the delicious dishes that were served by our gracious host or brought by other participants. We even celebrated a birthday tonight and sang "Happy Birthday" to a 73-year-old participant we affectionately call "Auntie Feliza". Chocolate Chantilly cake topped off our night of Christian fellowship and prayer. Thanks and praises be to God Almighty!


UPDATE (1/29/2013):  Our host and prayer leader, Dre', asked me today to share a beautiful testimony to our Blessed Mother involving our friend - Wyatt - who attended the prayer meeting for the first time this past Saturday.

After the meeting ended and others had left, Wyatt stayed behind to socialize with Dre' and her mother. During their conversation, he stopped and commented on a strong scent of flowers - Puakenikeni ("Sampaguita", in Filipino) - that he suddenly became aware of. The two women, trying as hard as they could, could not detect the fragrance that Wyatt was referring to... but he insisted that he could smell the distinct floral scent, although Dre' confirmed that there were no Puakenikeni bushes on the property.

The ladies then surmised that the fragrance was a little sign from our Blessed Mother, herself, to thank Wyatt for his attendance at the prayer meeting. What really makes this testimony all the more remarkable is the fact that Wyatt is a Pentacostal and not a Catholic... but it just goes to show what a truly loving mother we have in Our Lady, who welcomes and accepts all peoples without prejudice, as her spiritual children through Christ!
 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Monthly Messages from the Queen of Peace of Medjugorje: January 2013

 
 
Our Lady's Monthly Message on January 25th:
"Dear children! Also today I call you to prayer. May your prayer be as strong as a living stone, until with your lives you become witnesses. Witness the beauty of your faith. I am with you and intercede before my Son for each of you. Thank you for having responded to my call."
 
Our Lady's Special Message to Mirjana on January 2nd:
"Dear children, with much love and patience I strive to make your hearts like unto mine. I strive, by my example, to teach you humility, wisdom and love because I need you; I cannot do without you my children. According to God's will I am choosing you, by His strength I am strengthening you. Therefore, my children, do not be afraid to open your hearts to me. I will give them to my Son and in return, He will give you the gift of Divine peace. You will carry it to all those whom you meet, you will witness God's love with your life and you will give the gift of my Son through yourselves. Through reconciliation, fasting and prayer, I will lead you. Immeasurable is my love. Do not be afraid. My children, pray for the shepherds. May your lips be shut to every judgment, because do not forget that my Son has chosen them and only He has the right to judge. Thank you."
 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

First Saturday Parish Rosary at St. Anthony's Church, 1/5/2013

 
The weather was terrible yesterday; rain... cold... and high winds.  I wasn't expecting to see many people at our First Saturday Rosary for Peace, but to my surprise, there was actually quite a number of regulars who attended, plus a new face among them.  Some of the people who came were people who drove from neighboring parishes, which we welcome, as their added prayers and blessings are always very much appreciated.
 
... so yesterday, before the Holy Rosary started, I introduced a Saint - St. Bernardo of Corleone and his relic - to the prayer participants.  I figured that his faith-example of having been a person who went from a wayward life to one of lofty holiness, through a conversion experience, was a perfect message to start off the new year; our opportunity to let the past go and start a new journey with the Lord in our lives.  Judging by the approving smiles on peoples' faces, I think they really enjoyed learning about St. Bernardo's life.

The rest of the First Saturday Rosary devotion was uplifting, as well... but the big highlight for me actually happened after the prayers ended. To make a long story short, a husband and wife shared with me and a few others that back in October 2012, after that month's rosary meeting, they came up to the display altar to view the relic of Bl. Isidore de Loor that was present. The husband - "Joe D." - shared at the time he had cancer and I recall allowing him to hold the reliquary of Bl. Isidore in his hands, while a small group of us prayed with him to the Blessed for help.

  
St. Bernardo of Corleone, the penitent Capuchin Saint & Bl. Isidore de Loor, Passionist
 
Joe D. further testified that he felt a "shock" when he first touched the reliquary, and when he returned home later in the evening, he noticed that a large burn-like sore (I thought it was one of those reddish birthmarks) he had in his left palm was gone. His doctor had been treating the sore for about a year with no success, but it had suddenly and inexplicably healed within a couple of hours!  The man held out his hand to show us the pale skin on it.

The wife enthusiastically called it a "miracle" and she attributed it to the intercession of Bl. Isidore, which I have no doubt was the case... but I'm not 100% certain if the Blessed was also involved with the second part of the testimony - which had to do with the couple adding the good news that Joe is now in remission.  Nonetheless, what a powerful testimony to the intercession of the Saints and the spiritual efficacy of their sacred remains!
 
I left the church last night feeling completely awed at the goodness of our Lord and happy that I had witnessed and participated in something miraculous in our very own Day Chapel. It's feedback such as these that keep me grateful and encouraged about my efforts in spreading knowledge and devotion about our Blessed Mother and the Saints; my faith was confirmed.  All praises be to God Almighty!

The next First Saturday Rosary for Peace will be prayed on February 2nd, beginning at 4:25pm.  All are welcomed to participate.
 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Saint of the Month: January 2013


Blessed Laura Vicuna
Pure Lily of Argentina ~ Memorial: January 22nd

Laura Vicuna was born in Santiago, Chile in April of 1891. Her father was a soldier who was killed during the Chilean Civil War when Laura was but a toddler. In search of security for herself and her two young daughters, Mercedes (Laura’s mother) packed up her small family and relocated to Las Lajas, Argentina. There, Mercedes met a wealthy rancher named Manuel Mora who took her in as his mistress. The relationship proved to be a stormy one as Senor Mora was an abusive alcoholic… but Mercedes tolerated him because he provided well for her family and also paid the girls’ tuition at a local boarding school run by Salesian nuns.

At the school, Laura was extremely happy and distinguished herself by her model behavior and profound spirituality, which greatly impressed the nuns. At the age of ten, she asked for permission to join the Salesians but was advised to wait because of her young age.

While her school life was blissful, her visits home were just the opposite. Laura strongly disapproved of her mother’s illicit relationship with Mora, and to make matters worse, he also began making indecent advances towards Laura.  When Mercedes found out, she ended her relationship with Mora and moved the family to a cottage in a nearby town.  Meanwhile, at the school, Laura suddenly came down with a mysterious illness that required her to return home.  One evening, as she lay in bed, Mora - in a drunken rage - barged into the home and demanded that Mercedes return to him with ‘his’ family.

Laura protested that if Mora was allowed to stay, she was leaving, and ran out the door. Mora went after her, but in her weakened state, he easily caught up with Laura and began savagely beating and kicking her.  Laura’s cries for help attracted the neighbors, who came rushing to her aid, but the rancher managed to escape.

Mercedes carried her battered daughter into the house after which Laura disclosed a secret that she had been keeping from her mother.  Laura revealed that she had repeatedly prayed to God for Mercedes’ conversion, and had even offered her life - she had a premonition that God had accepted her sacrifice. Mercedes wept with remorse and promised her daughter that she would turn her life around. Laura passed away eight days later at the age of 12; the year was 1903.  True to her word, Mercedes immediately went to confession and lived the rest of her days in a devout Christian manner.

Laura Vicuna was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1988.  During the ceremony, the Pope proclaimed Blessed Laura as a “Martyr of Purity“, and extolled her life as an example for all young people living today to follow.

A Reflection:
We can sometimes learn surprising and valuable life-lessons by listening to our children.  As Sacred Scriptures state in Isaiah 11:6, "And a little child shall lead them."

A Short Prayer:
Dear Bl. Laura, pray for the young people of the world that the Holy Spirit may fill them with virtue and upright values that will ensure their Eternal Salvation.  Amen.