Disclaimer

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

~ Peter, Ministry & Blog Administrator


Saturday, April 7, 2012

First Saturday Parish Rosary at St. Anthony's Church, 4/7/2012


The Day Chapel of St. Anthony of Padua Church in Kailua;
decorated for Lenten observances and for our monthly Rosary for Peace 

On this afternoon of Holy Saturday, I along with several prayer participants, had the joy of offering our monthly Rosary for Peace in the physical presence of Our Lord. Our parish's portable Tabernacle was present in the Day Chapel and the Holy Eucharist was conserved within it as we offered prayers for world peace and for the conversion of sinners. What a great privilege to be able to pray the Holy Rosary in this special manner!

Our Lady's statue flanked by
smaller statues and Holy Relics
Also present for the public veneration of the Faithful was my familiar Rosa Mystica pilgrim statue flanked by the 1st Class Relics of St. Gemma Galgani, whose incredible life I shared with the prayer participants... and a small sliver of wood from the True Cross of Jesus, whose Sacred Passion and Death we just commemorated yesterday during Good Friday observances.

Two new faces were also seen among the regular participants in the pews, which is always a welcomed sight... and as always, it was a very meaningful and Holy Spirit-filled prayer gathering. Our parish's next First Saturday Rosary for Peace will be prayed on May 5th at 4:30pm.

In honor of the Month of Mary, the Blessed Mother's veil-relic - Ex Velo Beatae Mariae Virginis - will again be displayed during the Rosary Prayer.  All are welcomed to participate.

Participants who drove all the way from Pearl City & Kapolei
coming forward after the Rosary to venerate the True Cross relic

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Stations of the Cross: Following the Path of Love


"Few souls contemplate My Passion with true feeling;
to the souls that meditate My Passion very devotedly,
I grant them a greater number of graces."

- Jesus to St. Faustina Kowalska

In the Middle Ages, it was a common practice for devout Christians to identify themselves with Christ's Passion by making the long and sometimes perilous journey to the Holy Land, in order to walk the hallowed footsteps of the Lord’s final hours. Pilgrims prayerfully followed a set route through the streets of Jerusalem known as the 'Via Dolorosa' (Way of Sorrows) or the 'Via Crusis' (Way of the Cross), which is the traditional path Jesus was led through as he painfully carried his Holy Cross from Pilate's Palace to the hill of Golgotha.

After the Turks captured Jerusalem in 1291, Christian pilgrimages to these hallowed sites ceased for many years.  To compensate, the Franciscan Friars who were the former custodians of many of the shrines in the Holy Land, established "replica" Via Dolorosas throughout Europe as alternatives pilgrimages.  The concept caught on and it wasn't long after that parish churches adopted and modified the devotion, which then evolved into the 14 standard tableau-like versions seen in every Catholic church today, with grander outdoor setups being found at major pilgrimage sites, such as Lourdes and Medjugorje.

Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us
Interestingly, the visionary and stigmatic, Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich, offered another explanation of the origin of the Stations of the Cross devotion. According to her private revelations, the tradition was originated by none other than the Holy Virgin, herself... who after the death of her Divine Son, caused a set of crosses to be erected on a hillside near her now-famous house at Ephesus.  According to Bl. Anne Catherine, Our Lady would often ascend the hill to pray with her entourage of pious women, stopping at each cross to meditate on a particular stage of Our Lord's Passion.  Her companions preserved and passed down the devotion to other Christians, which eventually became the stations used presently by the Church.

Regardless which story you prefer to believe, the purpose of the Stations of the Cross is to provide us with visual references of what Jesus endured at the original site of the Via Dolorosa so we can better spiritually empathize with his sufferings and death. Although the devotion is practiced throughout the year, it takes on special significance during Lent when we commemorate the Lord’s Passion in a special way.  To pray the devotion, one simply needs to recite the prayer below at each station:

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,
because by your Holy Cross, you have redeemed
 the world.

After briefly reflecting on the events of a particular station, the Our Father, a Hail Mary, and a Glory Be are prayed before proceeding to the next station. Repeat the set of prayers after each successive station.  If prayed in a church, it’s also customary to move from one station to the next. Below is a list of the 14 Stations of the Cross along with reflections and optional petitions that I personally wrote and pray for my own private devotion... but readers can always use their own impressions as reflections, or use other reflections/prayers readily available, via several websites.


Opening Prayer:

  O Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, through this pious exercise of the Stations of the Cross, allow me to spiritually accompany you along the path of your suffering in mystical union with our most Holy Mother, Mary; consoling both you and Our Lady; making atonement for my many sins and the sins of the world, which caused your hearts such terrible pain and sorrow.

  Please forgive my transgressions and have mercy on me, now, and at the hour of my death.  Amen.


1st Station: Jesus is condemned

   We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,
because by your Holy Cross, you have redeemed
the world.  Amen.

Petition:

  Jesus, like you, help me to forgive those who misjudge, hurt, and offend me; to completely let go of any unresolved resentments or trauma that may still haunt me today.

Note:  Pray an Our Father, a Hail Mary, and a Glory Be at each station (omit, if doing the "quick" version).


2nd Station: Jesus takes up His Cross

   We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you...

Petition:

  Jesus, help me to bear my personal crosses - big and small - with patience, resignation, and unwavering confidence in your Divine Will for me.


3rd Station: Jesus falls the 1st time

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you...

Petition:

  Jesus, grant me and all other sinners true contrition for our sins and firm repentance, and the grace to completely turn away from sin and near-occassions of sin.


4th Station: Jesus meets His Mother

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you...

Petition:

  Jesus, convert those who especially disrespect and insult our Blessed Mother.  I make reparation for the offenses directed at Our Lady, that wound her Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart.


5th Station: Simon helps Jesus with the Cross

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you...

Petition:

  Jesus, help me to recognize your presence in the people around me, especially in those who are suffering; to reach out in loving service to those in need for love of You and love of neighbor.


6th Station: Veronica wipes the Holy Face

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you...

Petition:

  Jesus, in spiritual union with this most compassionate act of St. Veronica, allow me through this prayer to render reparation to your Holy Face, disfigured by my sins.  Imprint your divine countenance upon my soul so as to make it pleasing to our Heavenly Father.


7th Station: Jesus falls the 2nd time

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you...

Petition:

  Jesus, help me to progress in my personal journey of spiritual conversion... and if I should fall, do not abandon me - rather, lift me up, that I may continue to walk with you.


8th Station: Jesus consoles the women
of Jerusalem

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you...

Petition:

  Jesus, grant me the gift of Counsel; to speak appropriate words of Truth, Wisdom, and Comfort to those you place along my path seeking guidance and consolation.


9th Station: Jesus falls the 3rd time

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you...

Petition:

  Jesus, I ask you for the gift of Fortitude in leading a truly Christian life.  Strengthen me in my daily battle with the devil and his minions; aid me in overcoming the temptations and snares they place along the narrow path to Salvation.


10th Station: Jesus is stripped of
His garments

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you...

Petition:

  Jesus, help me to shed, like soiled and unseemly garments, my pride and selfish tendencies; clothe me, instead, with the heavenly robes of Humility and Charity.


11th Station: Jesus is crucified

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you...

Petition:

  Jesus, wash away the stains of my sins with your Precious Blood, which flowed abundantly from your Holy Wounds... and, by the same Blood, break all diabolic attachments that keep me bound and enslaved to evil.


12th Station: Jesus dies on the Cross

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you...

Petition:

  Jesus, when my time comes, grant me perseverance and heavenly comfort in my final hours; the grace of a peaceful and holy death under your loving gaze... and in the blessed company of Our Lady, all the Holy Angels and Saints.


13th Station: Jesus is taken down
from the Cross

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you...

Petition:

  Jesus, grant all who are dying this day the grace to be sincerely sorry for their sins and inspire them to ask for your pardon with confidence, so as to be reconciled with you before they pass into eternity; snatch sinners from the devil's grasp.


14th Station: Jesus is laid in the tomb

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you...

Petition:

  Jesus, grant the Holy Souls in Purgatory eternal rest and peace, beginning with my family, friends, and those unfortunate souls who have no one to pray for them.

+ + + + +

Closing Prayer:

  Jesus, thank you for suffering and dying on the Holy Cross for me.  I resolve, with the help of your grace, to never offend you again and to do penance for my wrongdoings.

  By your Sorrowful Passion and the infinite merits of your Holy Wounds and your Precious Blood, have mercy on me and on the whole world; forgive and remit all just punishments due to me, personally, in this life and in the life everlasting.

  I love you; I thank you; I praise you... and I trust you, Jesus.  Through your Holy Name, I pray.  Amen.


"Next to the Mass, the Way of the Cross is the most beneficial of all
devotions for the Holy Souls in Purgatory."

- Revelation of a Poor Soul
from Purgatory to a privileged nun

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Saint of the Month - April 2012: Blessed Pierina Morosini

Bl. Pierina Morosini
Another Maria Goretti ~ Memorial: April 6th

Blessed Pierina Morosini was born on January 7th, 1931, in Albino, Italy; one of eight children born into a poor family. From an early age she aspired to become a nun, but postponed her religious vocation to help her parents in raising her younger siblings. So the meantime she strengthened her spiritual life with daily Mass and diligent prayers, and moved by her deep love of God, she made a private vow of virginity with her confessor’s permission.

While attending to her duties at home, Pierina also found time to serve her parish as a catechist and she organized charitable collections for the poor and in support of local seminarians. In 1947, she attended the Beatification of Maria Goretti, the young Martyr of Purity who is now a Saint of the Church. Pierina was so impressed by the young martyr’s sacrifice that she told her companions, “It would be a great happiness for me to die like Maria Goretti.” To which her friends responded with, “If you die as she did, we promise to come to your Beatification.” It was a promise made in jest that later turned out to be highly prophetic.

As the pressing financial needs of the Morosini family grew, it became necessary for Pierina to seek employment in a nearby textile factory. Her supreme personal test of faith came on April 4th, 1957, while she was walking home from work. She was assaulted by a would-be rapist, and in her determination to preserve her virtue, she fought back and was severely beaten by her assailant. She was found by one of her brothers who came looking for her after she failed to arrive home. He asked her about the attacker, but Pierina could only point to her head, disfigured by deep wounds; next to her was the apparent attack weapon - a large bloody stone. The innocent victim slipped into unconsciousness and lingered for two days before dying from her injuries; Pierina never identified her killer.

A shrine-memorial at the site of Pierina's attack
When news broke of Pierina’s tragic death, her neighbors immediately acclaimed her a “new” Maria Goretti; another virginal soul who had sacrificed her life to preserve her innocence. The community already had deep respect for Pierina because of her sincere piety, and now their admiration for her increased and the place of her attack (right photo) quickly became a pilgrimage destination after miraculous cures and other graces were reported by those who prayed at the site.

Growing popular devotion prompted the Church to open her Cause for Canonization, which reached the Beatification stage in October 1987. As seeming confirmation of her holiness, Pierina’s body was unearthed – mysteriously incorrupt – during the ritual examination of her relics; they are now venerated in the parish Church of Albino.