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


Friday, January 25, 2019

Monthly Messages from the Queen of Peace of Medjugorje: January 2019


Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us!

Our Lady's Monthly Message to the World on January 25th:
   "Dear children! Today, as a mother, I am calling you to conversion. This time is for you, little children, a time of silence and prayer. Therefore, in the warmth of your heart, may a grain of hope and faith grow and you, little children, will from day to day feel the need to pray more. Your life will become orderly and responsible. You will comprehend, little children, that you are passing here on earth and you will feel the need to be closer to God, and with love you will witness the experience of your encounter with God, which you will share with others. I am with you and am praying for you but I cannot without your 'yes'. Thank you for having responded to my call."

Our Lady's Special Message to Mirjana Dragicevic-Soldo on January 2nd:
   "Dear children, sadly, among you, my children, there is so much battle, hatred, personal interests and selfishness. My children, so easily you forget my Son, His words, His love. Faith is being extinguished in many souls, and hearts are being grasped by material things of the world. But my motherly heart knows that there are still those who believe and love, who are seeking how to draw all the closer to my Son, who are tirelessly seeking my Son - then, in this way, they are also seeking me. These are the humble and the meek with their pain and suffering which they carry in silence with their hopes and, above all, with their faith. These are the apostles of my love. My children, apostles of my love, I am teaching you that my Son is not only asking for continuous prayers, but also for works and feelings - that you believe, that you pray, that with your personal prayers you grow in faith, that you grow in love. To love each other is what He asks for - that is the way to eternal life. My children, do not forget that my Son brought the light to this world, and He brought it to those who wanted to see it and receive it. You be those, because this is the light of truth, peace and love. I am leading you in a motherly way to adore my Son; that you love my Son with me; that your thoughts, words and actions may be directed to My Son - that they may be in His name.  Then my heart will be fulfilled.  Thank you."

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Saint of the Month - January 2019: Saint Vincent Pallotti


St. Vincent Pallotti
Rome's Super Priest ~ Feast: January 22nd

Happy, Blessed New Year!  I am pleased to begin my 2019 lineup of featured monthly Saints with the life of St. Vincent Pallotti, who was an exceptional holy man – a rare treasure of a priest, whose example and intercession is much needed for today’s clergy. In fact, he was so good one of his childhood confessors was convinced that he never committed a sin; not even a venial one - WOW!

bodily relic from St. Vincent
in this ministry's custody.
St. Vincent was born on April 21, 1795, to a devout couple of noble lineage. He showed signs of piety even as a toddler, as exampled in an incident recorded of him at aged 4 – his mother once saw him kneel before a statue of Mary and innocently say to her, “Dear Mother, make me a good boy.”, which Our Lady must have been happy to grant. As years passed, Vincent grew in virtue and was affectionately nicknamed the “Santerello (little Saint)” by those who knew him. His charity was particularly evident to all as he had a habit of giving away food, and his own shoes and clothing, to those less fortunate. In addition, he possessed a mature spirit of self-mortification, which he exercised from his adolescence by sleeping on the floor with a large stone for a pillow, and also through the regular use of a scourging instrument. All this he did under the guidance of his spiritual director – a Fr. Fazzini – who wisely tempered his zeal and testified that Vincent was indeed “a saint from childhood.

Not surprisingly, at 16, Vincent decided to pursue a religious vocation. Initially, he had his heart set on joining the Capuchin Order, but his confessor recommended he become a secular priest, instead, because of his frail health. The young man obliged and took up his studies in a Roman seminary where he distinguished himself by his intelligence, solid orthodoxy… and, again, by his upright conduct. He was ordained in the Lateran Basilica on May 16, 1818.

After his ordination, the next 31 years of Fr. Vincent’s earthly life was a blur of pastoral care, social ministry, the practice of heroic virtue, and the reception of profound mystical graces.  In short, he was a super priest and for the sake of making a long story short, here’s a brief summary of his prolific ministry and accomplishments:

  He became reknowned as a preacher; speaking not only from the pulpit, he was a familiar sight and voice in the city's public squares... plus had a way of converting the most hardened sinners through his persistence and wit.

   Taught as a seminary professor and was the spiritual director to Roman seminarians for an extended period of time.

  +  Established charitable homes to take in abandoned infants and orphaned girls, and a school for the children of laborers and farmers.

  +  Authored prayer books and other devotional materials for the use and edification of the Faithful.

  +  Was a much sought after exorcist in his diocese.

  +  Was a trusted counselor and friend to people of all social classes, including other holy individuals and Saints of Rome such as the lay-mystics Bl. Anna Maria Taigi and Bl. Elisabetta Sanna; Ven. Bernardo Clausi, a member of the Minims (who predicted to the Saint the day of his untimely death); St. Gaspar Del Bafalo, founder of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood (who Fr. Vincent saw rise to heaven like a “radiant star” upon his death); Ven. Maria Luisa Maurizi, a Servite nun; Ven. Pauline Jaricot, the French lay-foundress of the Society of the Propagation of Faith; St. Vincent Maria Strambi, a Passionist; and Pope Pius IX (to whom St. Vincent predicted his future reign as Pope).

  +  Founded the Society of the Catholic Apostolate (aka, the “Pallottines”) in 1835 with its aim being the propagation and reawakening of the Faith throughout the world; and laid down the foundation of the Pallottine Sisters in 1838 to educate and train abandoned young girls in domestic skills.

If the above weren’t enough, from about his 12th year of ministry, our Saint’s reputation for being a wonder-worker also began circulating among the locals.  His reported miraculous abilities are listed below:

  *  Bilocation (one example of this occurred while Fr. Vincent was in a church hearing confessions, but was also witnessed at the very same time ministering at the bedside of a dying woman of ill-repute, who in her contrition, had urgently asked for a priest to hear her confession.)

  *  Healing (he was credited with healing dozens of seriously sick or dying individuals through his prayer or priestly blessing… or through the application of his “little Madonna”.)

  *  Prophecy (he sometimes “knew” what transpired in distant places and accurately predicted future events, including the election of two certain Cardinals to the office of Pope. He also had a mysterious way of anticipating the urgent needs of others and would be guided to show up at the right place, at the right time, to offer his priestly assistance.)

The Saint and his "little Madonna"
All of Rome was witness and beneficiary to Vincent's untiring enthusiasm for saving souls “for the infinite glory of God”, which was his personal motto. Yet, despite his miracles and good works, he was not above controversy. He suffered calumny from a few detractors and, sadly, they were mostly other members of the clergy; jealousy over his successes, popularity, and rumored charismatic gifts was the likely motive, but he always repaid malice with good.

Apart from the critics, the Saint was generally highly esteemed, which pained him worse than being maltreated. Out of sincere humility, he referred to himself as being “nothing” or a “sinner”, and he did whatever he could to deflect the admiration shown him. One example of his aversion to being reverenced is cited in the amusing anecdote of how he carried a small silver icon of the Blessed Virgin – his “little Madonna” - that was fastened to his wrist with a chain. Whenever people took his hand to kiss it, he would quickly substitute the icon to be kissed in place of his hand. Thus, in this clever manner, he redirected attention away from himself and encouraged veneration of Our Lady, to whom he had a lifelong filial devotion.

Fr. Vincent’s blessed death occurred on January 22, 1850; he was only 54-years-old at the time of his passing. The cause of his death was attributed to complications from pleurisy (a form of lung infection), which he contracted after giving his cape away to a beggar on a cold winter’s night. As he lay on his deathbed, his brethren encouraged him to pray for a healing, but the Saint replied, “Please, please, let me go… to wherever God wills!” and he peacefully expired soon after. Upon hearing the news, his spiritual daughter, Bl. Elisabetta Sanna, was overcome with tears but was consoled soon after by a vision of St. Vincent with our Lord. Rays of light were streaming from the wounds of Christ unto the priest, bathing him in radiance; a joyful confirmation to the Beata that her mentor was enjoying glory in Heaven.

A wax mask cast of St. Vincent Pallotti's face and hands immediately after he died in 1850.  
It captures his true features and shows the serenity with which he met his death.

Although he was considered a Saint in his lifetime, it wasn’t until January 1963 that the Church officially confirmed Fr. Vincent Pallotti’s sanctity through canonization. His body, which was exhumed and discovered incorrupt in 1906, now rests in the Church of San Salvatore, Rome, for all to visit and venerate in a glass-sided urn. Let us all invoke this Saint’s much-needed prayer and intercession for today’s priests… that they, too, may be holy, zealous, and fruitful in their own respective ministries.

St. Vincent Pallotti, pray for us;
pray for our priests!

The shrine of St. Vincent Pallotti with his incorrupt body, as venerated in the
Pallotine Church in Rome, Italy.


* * *  U P D A T E :  1 / 2 7 / 2 0 1 9  * * *

Just had to add this latest example of "spiritual serendipity" to this article.  Since posting this Saint of the Month blog at the beginning of 2019, I've found myself frequently reflecting on the life of St. Vincent.  The truth is - prior to posting about him, I was familiar with his life but without much details... so after researching his bio to feature him for the January Saint of the Month, I have to admit - I was blown away by his sanctity and spiritual accomplishments!  So maybe it's why after his January 22nd Feast Day he was popping into my head on and off, which would then prompt me to offer a short prayer for the Church, particularly for priests.

So imagine my surprise, when after walking out of Mass on Sunday, 1/27, I was "inspired" to photograph the spectacular morning sky... then later spotted a clear image of a face among the clouds that uncannily resembles who else?  St. Vincent Pallotti (check out the distinctive nose)!  Maybe, just maybe... it's small affirmation that he's praying and interceding for our Church, too; praying for our priests to be Saints like him.

Thank you, St. Vincent - keep praying with us and for us!