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.