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 27, 2014

Holy Relic Visitation: Our Lady of Fatima Prayer Group, 12/27/2014


Tonight our Our Lady of Fatima Prayer Group celebrated its last meeting for 2014. Our spiritual family closed our year of prayer with thanksgiving for all God's blessings... and prayed with hope that 2015 will be a better year - filled with Peace, Hope, Joy, and Love - for ourselves and for the rest of our troubled world. It was also an evening of pleasant surprises, as we welcomed back members who we hadn't seen for quite a while.

Since our host recently acquired a 2nd Class Relic of our group's patron, Bl. Alexandrina Maria da Costa (d. 1955, left photo) - I revisited the life of this great, modern lay-mystic by again presenting her to our members as our Saint of the Month.  I emphasized to the people present that this Beata is truly an appropriate patroness for all of us since her life embodied sentiments that we, as a prayer group, should aspire to cultivate:

+++ Devotion to the Eucharist:  In the last thirteen years of her earthly life, Bl. Alexandrina lived solely on the Blessed Sacrament, taking no food or drink whatsoever. She lived miraculously sustained by our Savior's Flesh and Blood.  [Our Faith-Reminder: Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist... and although we do not live on just the Host alone like how Bl. Alexandrina did, we nonetheless receive the same life-giving grace from our Lord.]

+++ Devotion to Our Lady:  Bl. Alexandrina had a tender devotion to our Blessed Mother, who she frequently saw in visions... and was commissioned by Our Lord to promote the message of Fatima, as well as devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary; for her zealous efforts in doing so, she was nicknamed the "fourth seer of Fatima".  [Our Faith-Reminder: We have a loving mother and advocate in Mary, who wishes nothing more than to lead us into a deeper faith in her son, Jesus Christ.]

+++ Intercessory Prayer:  As a victim soul and stigmatic, Bl. Alexandrina's offered her prayers and sufferings for the entire world; interceding for the conversion of sinners and in reparation for sin.  [Our Faith-Reminder: We, too, are called by Christ to participate with him in the work of Redemption; through our prayers of intercession for others, we can help draw people back to the light of God.]

Our Rosary and prayer petitions that followed were offered with particular emotion tonight before our meeting concluded and we broke bread together (more specifically garlic bread and lasagna) for one last time in 2014.  The food, as always, was great... and our fellowship and catch-up sessions, even better!  I am already looking forward to January and our first prayer meeting of 2015.

The real reason for the Season: Unto to the world a Savior is born
~ Jesus Christ, the King of Peace!

From Our Lady of Fatima Prayer Group in Mililani, Hawaii, to the rest of the world:

Merry Christmas and a Blessed 2015!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Monthly Messages from the Queen of Peace of Medjugorje: December 2014


Merry Blessed Christmas!

Our Lady's Monthy Message to the World on December 25th:
  "Dear children! Also today, in my arms I am carrying my Son Jesus to you and I am asking from Him peace for you and peace among you. Pray to and adore my Son for His peace and joy to enter into your hearts. I am praying for you to be all the more open to prayer.  Thank you for having responded to my call." 

Our Lady's Special Message through Jakov Colo on December 25th:
  "Dear children! Today, on this day of grace, I desire for each of your hearts to become a little stable of Bethlehem in which the Savior of the world was born. I am your mother who loves you immeasurably and is concerned for each of you. Therefore, my children, abandon yourselves to the mother, so that she may place each of your hearts and lives before little Jesus; because only in this way, my children, your hearts will be witnesses of God's daily birth in you. Permit God to illuminate your lives with light and your hearts with joy, so that you may daily illuminate the way and be an example of true joy to others who live in darkness and are not open to God and His graces.  Thank you for having responded to my call."

Our Ladys' Special Message to Mirjana Dragicevic-Soldo on December 2nd:
   "Dear children, Remember – for I am telling you – that love will win. I know that many of you are losing hope because around you, you see suffering, pain, jealousy, envy... but, I am your mother. I am in the Kingdom but am also here with you. My Son is sending me anew to help you. Therefore, do not lose hope; instead, follow me – because the victory of my heart is in the name of God. My beloved Son is thinking of you as he has always thought of you. Believe him and live him. He is the life of the world. My children, to live my Son means to live the Gospel. This is not easy. This means love, forgiveness and sacrifice. This purifies and it opens the Kingdom. Sincere prayer, which is not only words but is a prayer which the heart speaks, will help you. Likewise fasting (will help you), because it is still more of love, forgiveness and sacrifice. Therefore, do not lose hope but follow me. I am imploring you anew to pray for your shepherds so that they may always look to my Son who was the first Shepherd of the world and whose family was the entire world."

(For information concerning the important and miraculous events in Medjugorje, click here.)

Saturday, December 6, 2014

First Saturday Parish Rosary at St. Anthony of Padua Church, 12/6/2014


"Your Word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path."  ~ Psalms 119:105


Christmas is right around the corner so I wasn't surprised we only had 10 people in attendance at today's First Saturday Rosary; most people tend to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the Holiday Season - company parties, family get-togethers, and gift-shopping - and I completely get it.  I, too, had a family party to attend right after the rosary... and despite having a busy schedule, myself, I was determined not to break our parish's continuing 4-year long chain of monthly rosaries.

The lesson we reflected on today was courtesy of the life of Bl. Maria Angela Astorch (at right), who was the Saint of the Month for December's gathering. This particular Blessed was reported to have extensive knowledge and insight into Sacred Scriptures, which she diligently studied throughout her long life. She used God's Word to draw herself into a richer relationship with Him and it became the foundation of her remarkable mystical experiences.  So I used Bl. Maria Angela's example of personal Bible study, as encouragement for our participants to delve deeper into Scriptures; to discover the Lord's message for each of us in the pages of the Bible.

And complimenting our lesson was, of course, our meditations on the Joyful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary which we offered for much needed World Peace. It also seemed our Blessed Mother was extra-happy with our prayer this month because my Rosa Mystica statue looked unusually beautiful today (at left); its features softened and took on a dewy, life-like appearance with noticeably rosier cheeks.  I hadn't seen it looking like that in a long while and even our regular participants commented about it; we took it as a special blessing from Our Lady.

The next First Saturday Rosary for Peace will be prayed on January 3rd, 2015, beginning at 4:25 pm.  It'll be our first parish rosary to help spiritually jump start the new year with special prayers for peace and invocations for Our Lady's intercession.  All are welcomed to attend!

"The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the Word of 
our God endures forever."  ~ Isaiah 40:8

Monday, December 1, 2014

Saint of the Month - December 2014: Blessed Eugenia Ravasco


Blessed Eugenia Ravasco
An Apostle of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus & Mary ~ Memorial: December 30th


Madre Eugenia was born in Milan, Italy, on January 4, 1845; the third child out of six.  Her Mother died when she was only three, and because her father was frequently away due to his work, she was raised by one of her aunts. This proved to be providential as this particular relative was very devout and her pious example was a great influence on her little niece. Despite the anti-clerical times they were living in, Eugenia grew up in a loving Christian household that was deeply rooted in its Catholic Faith - a faith which the family was not afraid to openly practice.

A woman whose special charism was to
serve God through Christian education
In 1852, Eugenia was reunited with her father and siblings in Genoa.  After her father died just three years later, she came under the care of his brother, who also proved to be a responsible and conscientious Catholic. Her uncle's worthy example helped Eugenia to further strengthen her budding spirituality.

After her uncle died in 1862, Eugenia took charge of his large household. The home was generally peaceful until one of her brothers, Ambrose, became a subscriber of anti-clerical ideologies and began disrupting the family's pious home life. At about the same time, Eugenia's relatives also started pressuring her to marry, although deep in her heart, she believed herself called by the Lord to serve him in a special way.

After going through a period of enlightenment and intense discernment, the young maiden began catechizing and assisting poor young girls who were out on the streets. Eugenia wanted to ensure that these unfortunate girls did not end up following a godless path similar to what her own brother had ended up on due to their lack of Christian education; her goal, according to her own words, was to "form honest citizens in society and Saints in Heaven".

Other young women were attracted by Eugenia's charism and joined her in the work she did, which snowballed into a full-time ministry.  The courageous band of women opened schools and also reached out to the sick and the dying, and even to prisoners despite the scorn they received from anti-faith groups. But the little work persevered and quickly evolved into the Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, the congregation which the 23-year-old Eugenia officially established in December 1868 with the support of her bishop. The new congregation was recognized by the Church in the year 1909.

A 1st Class Relic of Bl. Eugenia in the
custody of my Guadalupe House ministry.
For the rest of her life Mother Eugenia served her congregation as its first Superior and traveled extensively to promote the work, which began in such humble and difficult circumstances. Under her capable leadership and tireless efforts, her Sisters spread outside of Italy to other countries such as Switzerland, Africa, Philippines, Argentina, Bolivia, Mexico, Chile, and Venezuela. The Sisters opened schools for the poor, as well as cooperated with existing schools and parishes in improving the lives of the communities in which they served.

This saintly woman's fruitful life of service ended with her death in 1900, nine years before her congregation received official Church recognition. However, Bl. Eugenia's legacy continues and her sanctity was confirmed, via her Beatification in April of 2003.  Please join me in praying for her speedy Canonization.

A Reflection:
We can help form badly needed future Saints in this world simply by being examples of Faith and other Virtues to our youth.

A Short Prayer:
Dear Bl. Eugenia, pray for us that we may be examples of goodness for all the young people who are close to us in our daily lives.  Amen.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Monthly Messages from the Queen of Peace of Medjugorje: November 2014


O Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us who have recourse to thee!

Our Lady's Monthly Message to the World on November 25th:
  "Dear children! In a special way, today I am calling you to prayer. Pray, little children, so that you may comprehend who you are and where you need to go. Be carriers of the good news and be people of hope. Be love for all those who are without love. Little children, you will be everything and will achieve everything only if you pray and are open to God's will - to God who desires to lead you towards eternal life. I am with you and intercede for you from day to day before my Son Jesus.  Thank you for having responded to my call."

Our Ladys' Special Message to Mirjana Dragicevic-Soldo on November 2nd:
  "Dear children, I am with you with the blessing of my Son, with you who love me and who strive to follow me. I also desire to be with you who do not accept me. To all of you I am opening my heart full of love and I am blessing you with my motherly hands. I am a mother who understands you. I lived your life and lived through your sufferings and joys. You who are living in pain understand my pain and suffering because of those of my children who do not permit the light of my Son to illuminate them; those of my children who are living in darkness. This is why I need you - you who have been illuminated by the light and have comprehended the truth. I am calling you to adore my Son so that your soul may grow and reach true spirituality. My apostles, it is then that you will be able to help me. To help me means to pray for those who have not come to know the love of my Son. In praying for them you are showing to my Son that you love Him and follow Him. My Son promised me that evil will never win, because you, the souls of the just, are here; you who strive to say your prayers with the heart; you who offer your pain and suffering to my Son; you who comprehend that life is only a blink; you who yearn for the Kingdom of Heaven. All of this makes you my apostles and leads you towards the victory of my heart. Therefore, my children, purify your hearts and adore my Son.  Thank you."

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Holy Relic Visitation: Our Lady of Fatima Prayer Group, 11/22/2014


"Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you?"

~ Words of St. Paul, 1 Corinthians 3:16


   
Hair relics from Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity (left) helped us to deeply connect with
her earthly life at tonight's gathering of Our Lady of Fatima Prayer Group.

GOD DWELLS IN US.  This was the message - the reminder - we received tonight, as we reflected on the life of Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity, our featured Saint of the Month. God isn't distant in some far away dimension, where He watches over us, via a supernatural TV screen... or listens to our prayers using some sort of cosmic intercom, but rather God abides in our very souls - his living temples - when we are in his grace.  Just imagine - the Omnipotent Creator, who made the entire universe, living and breathing within us in union with every beat of our hearts and every breath we take.  It's enigmatic, yet at the same time deeply personal and very, very empowering... and Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity lived this truth with firm conviction.

Some of our pray group members in discussion &
reflection around the table where we pray.

So tonight, as I narrated the biography and legacy of Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity - a holy Carmelite nun - to our prayer group, we were filled with gladness by her life message and were encouraged by it to live more proactive and productive Christian lives, knowing that the Holy Trinity - our omnipotent God, himself - was working and spreading blessings through us.

"It seems to me that I have found my Heaven on earth, because my Heaven is you,
my God, and you are in my soul.  You in me, and I in you."

~ Words of Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity

So with that said, the night turned-out to be another meaningful and uplifting prayer meeting at the Gruber/Lee Home.  After all our prayers were offered and concluded, we enjoyed a mix of Filipino and other Asian dishes for our monthly potluck dinner... and spent the rest of our fellowship-time discussing current events and laughing over humorous family stories. Our Lord, who dwells within us, gifted us with abundant JOY this evening, among other blessings we certainly received.  Thanks and praises be to HIM!

   
On our menu this evening: Pancit (Filipino Noodles), Pork Guisantes (Pork & Peas),
Crab/Bacon Potato Salad, Asian-style Fried Chicken, & for dessert - Banana Lumpia!

"There, in the depths of my heart, in the Heaven of my soul,
I love to find Him, since He never leaves me."

~ Words of Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Saints & Holy Relics Visitation & Speaking Presentation: St. Anthony of Padua Church, 11/16/2014


Sunday School Students and their parents fill the Day Chapel of St. Anthony of Padua Church
to learn about the spiritual heroes of our Catholic Faith.

After conducting a Saints & Holy Relics presentation just yesterday, I was a little drained going into this second one. This presentation was requested by friends - Catechists for St. Anthony of Padua Parish - for their students and their parents, who were required to participate in some of the religious classes.  So I felt this presentation was going to be significant because the message and lives of the Saints/Blesseds I chose for the audience had to somehow touch entire families.  To add to my challenges, during the Mass that preceded the scheduled presentation, I suddenly came down with a bout of dizziness, nausea, and weakness throughout my body.  It was so mysterious, to say the least, but thankfully, it all began going away after I received Holy Communion… and through the grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ, I was able to proceed with this important presentation.

The display altar
My best estimate is that over 50 people attended today’s talk in the Kailua parish’s Day Chapel - a mix of parents and lots of children!  Among the saintly individuals who I shared about, and whose sacred relics were present, were St. Bernadette Soubirous, Blesseds Francisco & Jacinta Marto, and St. Pope John Paul II… but the brightest stars in today’s presentation were a holy married couple and their equally holy daughter.  They were the Blesseds Louis & Zelie Martin and the great St. Therese Martin of Lisieux (aka the “Little Flower”).

I used the lives of the Martin Family as an example for the audience of how completely normal families can successfully walk together on the narrow path to Sanctity.  I also emphasized that "church" actually begins at home in our families… and it also doesn’t take a break for a week after we leave Sunday Mass, but rather we should take the faith-lessons learned in church and apply them daily at home.  Despite the little obstacles I had leading up to this morning’s event, the presentation turned out to be spiritually fruitful.  People connected with the lives of the Saints/Blesseds and faith-seeds were definitely planted.

The Martin Family... a perfect example of a family rooted in Faith: Blesseds Zelie
& Louis Martin and their daughter, St. Therese the Little Flower.

After the talk, parents and children went up to the display altar to say prayers and venerate the relics, and several adults approached me and the Catechist Team to express their gratitude and interest about the information that was shared with them.  One mother commented that she was glad she attended because she had a devotion to the Little Flower, and was happy to learn about her blessed parents, too.  The woman further explained that she doesn’t have the means to make a visit to holy shrines in Europe but today she had the unique opportunity to pray not just in the physical presence of St. Therese, but also with the sacred remains of other Blesseds/Saints, as well… and she didn’t even have to leave Kailua!  The woman’s eyes watered up as she spoke and I understood the lady's sentiments.

Me, with the great team of CCD Teachers from
St. Anthony of Padua Church in Kailua.

Lastly, after each speaking presentation I conduct about our dear Saints, there is one particular question that I especially enjoy hearing from my audience... and that question is: "Where can I learn more about the lives of the Saints?"or "Where can I find good books about the lives of the Saints?"  Today I heard that question more than once, which indicated to me that people had paid attention and the "message" was going home with the families.  What a blessing - thank you, Jesus!


* * * * * * * * * * TESTIMONY * * * * * * * * * *

Peter, we want to thank you again for the awesome presentation!!! After your talk one of the parents came up to Kim and told her that "they really enjoyed it and learned so much". I bet more positive feedback will come at our next CCD Class... God bless you and keep you safe, Peter! Thank you again!

- Kim, Joanne, and Monica (the Catechists)


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Saints & Holy Relics Visitation & Speaking Presentation: Star of the Sea Church, 11/15/2014


Star of the Sea Church in Kahala, Honolulu

Earlier this week, I received a call from a woman who was referred to my ministry by someone who had attended one of my recent presentations.  As it turned out, she was the leader of the Third Order of Mary, a diocese-approved Association of the Faithful, based at Star of the Sea Church in nearby Kahala.  She asked if I would be willing to give a presentation, today, about Saints and Holy Relics to her group, despite the short notice she was giving me. Knowing that it was a dedicated devotee of the Blessed Virgin who was inquiring, there was no way I could decline the request.

So I found myself this morning in the midst of about 20 women who I did not know and with Fr. Frankie, the parish priest.  I must admit that I felt awkward at first and I'm sure they did, too... but as the presentation moved forward the mood quickly changed.  I started to feel a sense of warmth in the meeting room and a growing bond with these devout women; they were truly my spiritual sisters and I felt united to them by our shared love for Mary, our Heavenly Mama.

A photo of the Sacred Relics of several Marian Blesseds and Saints that
were displayed during my presentation at Star of the Sea Church.

I tailored the presentation to suit the nature of the group by featuring several Blesseds and Saints who had a strong Marian devotion; the line-up of holy persons included the following:  Bl. Bartolo Longo, St. Bernadette Soubirous, Bl. Euphrasia [Eluvathingal] of the Sacred Heart, Bl. Francisco & Bl. Jacinta Marto, Pope St. John Paul II, and St. Padre Pio.  The women welcomed the message of the Saints with enthusiasm and genuine interest... and each time I mentioned that a relic of a holy individual was present, I saw excitement light up on many of their faces.

At the end of the talk, all of them came forward to venerate the relics present, as well as my Fatima Pilgrim Virgin Statue.  Several of the ladies actually got teary-eyed as they prayed and expressed their devotion to Our Lady and the Saints.  I knew they were deeply touched and I was, too.  Judging by the reactions I witnessed, this presentation was another successful one.

Members of the Third Order of Mary before and after the presentation.
[click on each photo on this blog to view larger images]

My special thanks and prayers go out to the Third Order of Mary in Kahala... as well as to my behind the scenes team of "prayer warriors" who assist me by praying hard for each presentation.  And of course, above all things... glory and praises be to God Almighty for all the signal graces received today!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The International Fatima Pilgrim Virgin Statue comes to Hawaii!


  
The International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Fatima, as displayed for public veneration in
the church of St. John the Apostle & Evangelist in Mililani (Oahu), Hawaii.
[click on each photo on this blog to view larger images]

At this writing, Hawaii is being graced by the presence of the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima.  This is the world-renowned image, carved by the Portuguese sculptor, Jose Thedim, in 1947... and which miraculously wept human tears on several occasions, most notably in Las Vegas and in New Orleans (see the photo below).  In addition to the tears, other signs associated with the statue include changes to its facial expression and posture, the fragrance of roses, and healings.

The hallowed statue will be touring Hawaiian parishes from November 1st until November 21st, 2014.  Tonight it was present at St. John the Apostle & Evangelist Catholic Church in Mililani Town from 8:00pm to Midnight, where I had the joyful opportunity to venerate it and pray a Rosary in front of it.

I arrived at the Mililani parish at about 10:00pm and it wasn't crowded at all although there was a steady stream of people coming and going while I was at the church.  Right when I walked in I immediately sensed the peoples' devotion and love pouring out towards the Blessed Mother.  I was moved.

The statue, itself, was magnificent; almost life-like in appearance.  The presence of Our Lady emanating from the image was also quite tangible; just looking at it gave me goosebumps and the impression that I was in the presence of something that was touched by the hand of God.  I was awed.

For readers out there who have never heard of the Fatima Events, it all began on May 13, 1917, when the Blessed Virgin appeared to three shepherd children in the Portuguese hamlet of Fatima.  Our Lady went on to appear five more times in the consecutive months to deliver an urgent message for all mankind, which was primarily a call for sinners to convert;request for atonement of the sins of the world; and to pray the Rosary, especially for Peace.

The child-seers of Fatima (L to R): Lucia dos Santos and
her cousins, Blesseds Francisco & Jacinta Marto.

Adding credence to the apparitions was a great solar miracle that occurred on October 13, 1917, which was witnessed by 70,000+ pilgrims.  Furthermore, several predictions uttered by the Virgin - e.g. the end of World War I, the start of World War II, and the fall of Communist Russia - were all accurately fulfilled.  The apparitions were approved by the local Bishop in October 1930, and the International Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of Fatima was commissioned with the intent that it be a traveling  "ambassador" of the legacy and message of the Fatima apparitions.  The sacred image has since traveled extensively, but now mainly in the USA.

  
Local pilgrims gathered around the world-famous representation of Our Lady of Fatima.

As tired as I was from a long day, my distant drive to see the miracle statue was well worth it.  I offered my Rosary for family, friends, and also for the Poor Souls whose Feast was celebrated today.  I am going to sleep tonight very grateful to God and Our Lady for yet another special blessing in my life.

For Hawaii locals interested in seeing the Pilgrim Virgin Statue, please click here to access/download the tour schedule from the official website of the Honolulu Diocese.  May Our Lady of Fatima pray and intercede for our island home.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

First Saturday Parish Rosary at St. Anthony of Padua Church, 11/1/2014


The sacred relics of the Blessed Mother's veil... and those of four Saints and a Blessed
were venerated in our parish's Day Chapel during the First Saturday Rosary.

Happy Feast of All Saints!  Today's First Saturday Rosary gathering at St. Anthony of Padua Church was all about the Saints - five well-known and very loved Saints, spanning from the early years of Christianity to modern times, were represented in our Day Chapel by their respective relics: St. John Paul II (clothing relic), St. Peregrine Laziosi (bone relic), St. Philomena (clothing relic), St. Padre Pio Forgione (stigmata bandage relic), Bl. Mother Teresa of Calcutta (clothing relic)... and, of course... Our Lady, the Queen of All Saints (veil relic).

Prior to our Rosary Prayer beginning, I briefly introduced the prayer participants to the different Saints whose Holy Relics were present... and emphasized to them that, through the lives of the Saints/Blesseds, God invites us to:

    A)  Be HOLY; sanctity is attainable for all people regardless of age, race, or vocation.  (Hebrews 12:15)

    B)  Live with HOPE and JOY anticipating that, if we persevere in following in the footsteps of Christ, we can
          also look forward to enjoying Heaven with the Saints/Blesseds who have gone before us.  (James 1:12)

After our prayer ended, many of us walked over to the main church for the Saturday evening Vigil Mass.  As I participated - praying and singing along with the rest of the congregation - I tried to imagine what Heaven was like today; all its inhabitants must be feasting, singing, and rejoicing exceedingly while the Church on earth paid them special honor.  I wished I could be there to witness the major party that was going in Heaven.

After each Mass, many parishioners stop to say a prayer and/or light a
candle at the shrine-reliquary of our Patron, St. Anthony of Padua

Personally, I have been helped countless times through the intercession of Our Lady and such Saints, as St. Anthony of Padua and St. Gemma Galgani (my Patron Saints); St. Joseph; and St. Philomena... so today's Feast holds special meaning for me.  It was with deep gratitude that I thanked our Lord, in an extra-special way, for his abundant blessings manifested through the lives and good works of Our Lady and the Saints.  Click here to learn more about the lives of various Saints/Blesseds and allow yourselves to be inspired.  Grace and benediction will follow!  

The next First Saturday Rosary at St. Anthony of Padua Church will be prayed on December 6th.  Join us as we pray for World Peace in the spiritual company of the Blessed Virgin Mary and a featured Saint/Relic of the Month. 

"Love God, serve God; everything is in that." 

~ St. Clare of Assisi

Saint of the Month: November 2014


Blessed Grimoaldo Santamaria
Youthful Disciple of the Passion ~ Memorial: November 18th

Fernando Santamaria was born on May 4, 1883 in Pontecorvo, Italy; the oldest child of five siblings born to a middle class family.  From a very early age, he stood out from other children through his love of prayer and his attraction to spiritual matters.  He was highly regarded by his townsmen for his religious example and his gentle, personable demeanor.  It was also during his childhood, that the Lord confirmed his favor with Fernando through a miracle witnessed by his family.

It’s recorded that on one occasion, while the boy was absorbed in prayer, Fernando was suddenly surrounded by a radiance then levitated about a foot off the ground!  Following this remarkable event, it wasn’t a surprise to his family when the 15-year-old Fernando left home to enter the Passionist Congregation in their novitiate at Paliano.  There, he took the religious name of Bro. Grimoaldo of the Purification of the Virgin Mary in honor of the Blessed Mother to whom he was deeply devoted. 

The young novice rapidly progressed in sanctity by conscientiously doing all things - big and small - as perfectly as he could for the love of God.  He was professed a member of the Passionists in March 1900, at the age of 17. Grimoaldo then went on to train for the priesthood in the Passionist Seminary at Ceccano, but it wasn’t God’s will that he become a priest.  In 1902, the seminarian contracted acute meningitis, which quickly undermined the normally healthy young man.  Although every effort was being made to save him, Grimoaldo announced that he would die from the illness on November 18th of the same year.  Sadly, his prediction proved to be true - Grimoaldo was only 19-years-old when entered into his Eternal Reward.

Given his reputation for heroic virtue, the Passionists promoted Grimoaldo’s Cause for Sainthood with the enthusiastic support of his religious brethren and his family members.  After authenticating a miraculous cure attributed to his intercession, the Church proclaimed him Blessed on January 29, 1995.  

A Reflection:
True devotion to Mary leads to JESUS CHRIST.

A Short Prayer:
Dearest Blessed Mother, in the same way by which you led Bl. Grimoaldo Santamaria, lead us, too, on the surest and quickest path to your Divine Son, Jesus Christ.   Amen.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Saints & Holy Relics Visitation & Speaking Presentation: St. Anthony of Padua School, 10/28/2014

The students of St. Anthony of Padua School coming together in their gathering hall to
learn about the Saints and the Holy Rosary.

This morning I had the privilege and the joy of sharing about the Saints and the Holy Rosary with the students and teachers of St. Anthony of Padua School in Kailua.  I have to confess that a few days prior, I was filled with much anxiety due to a mental block about how I was going to structure the two presentations I committed myself to.  My apprehension was so bad, I was tempted to cancel the presentation... but then I seemed to sense the Lord's "voice" speaking to my spirit and He rebuked me for my lack of faith, and for wanting to turn my back on the children.

So feeling ashamed of myself, I put aside my worries and just forged through it.  After much prayer, last night and this morning my planned presentation suddenly began taking shape after a week of no direction.  It felt like a dark cloud that had been hovering over me had finally lifted and I saw the light.  

Pictured above are the Saints and holy children whose lives were featured
at today's presentation.

Now I regret having even considered cancelling because I believe most of the children got something worthwhile out of the presentations.  I spoke about several Saints to the kids - St. Damien of Molokai, St. Anthony of Padua, and St. Dominic de Guzman - but then I also shared heavily about modern-day holy children whose lives are being investigated for possible Sainthood.  These youngsters included: Ven. Galileo Nicolini, the Servant of God Alexia Gonzales y Barros, and the Fatima Seers, Blesseds Francisco and Jacinta Marto.  I wanted the students to have a firm grasp of the fact that they, too, could lead exceptionally good lives, as exemplified by the ordinary (yet holy) lives of the youngsters I shared with them.

Students gathering around the display altar to view the clothing-relics of the
Fatima Seers... along with pieces of clothing from Ven. Galileo Nicolini and the
Servant of God, Alexia Gonzales y Barros.

Additionally, the students seemed to really enjoy the Boys Team vs. Girls Team Puzzle Assembly Contest we held at the beginning of the presentation... and there was also a lot of positive feedback from both students and teachers about the relic-display that included four pieces of clothing relics from the holy children I mentioned above.  The kids were thoroughly captivated by the notion that they could actually view genuine mementos of these future Saints in their school's gathering hall; it made the lives of the holy children more real for the students.

video
The students cheer on the Girls Team, who are striving to beat
the Boys Team during a friendly puzzle-assembly contest.

My special thanks go out to the teachers and students of St. Anthony of Padua School... and also to my supportive circle of prayer warriors who generously lend their prayers and advice for the spiritual success of each presentation my ministry conducts.  Our prayers were definitely answered again.  Thanks be to Jesus, our Blessed Mother, and the Saints!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Holy Relic Visitation: Our Lady of Fatima Prayer Group, 10/25/2014


Our Saint of the Month for the October meeting of Our Lady of Fatima Prayer Group was the illustrious St. Gerard Majella (d. 1755), the Patron Saint of Expectant Mothers. It was appropriate, as we had recently received glad tidings from our host, Dre', that she and her hubby are expecting a new bundle of joy!   Our prayer group was very happy for the couple, as this coming child is truly an answer to a prayer that we've been offering together for several months now.

Members of our group, talking story and catching up,
before the start of the October prayer meeting.

... so the story of how St. Gerard came to be celebrated as the intercessor for mothers-to-be (his handkerchief once miraculously saved a woman's life during a difficult delivery) was of particular interest to the group... and at the same time, we also gleaned other life lessons while discussing his biography among us.

For example, Gerard was once falsely accused of having impregnated a woman in his small town, but after a period of time, the Saint was vindicated when the woman finally confessed the truth.  The Saint not only showed admirable patience during his ordeal, but he also forgave the poor woman and all the others who mistreated him because they believed the slander.  The story made us all reflect on how many times we were wronged by others... and then reacted in a less than Christian manner. May St. Gerard, inspire us to be more confident in the Lord's plan for us, and to be more patient and forgiving of others.

   
A relic from the bones of St. Gerard Majella watches over a sonogram image of the newest
member of our prayer group... and some of the dishes we enjoyed after our prayer.

The Rosary and other prayers proceeded with an "aura" of heavenly presence - perhaps a little more tangible than perceived in the past - that left us elated when the prayers ended.  Several of us remarked on how extra-wonderful this month's meeting was... and then our fellowship dinner was, again, comprised of a variety of savory ethnic dishes - pork adobo, teriyaki chicken, chinese noodles, etc. - and topped off by Dre's awesome bread pudding.

Thanks be to God, for His gift of Life and generous provisions from His Bounty.