Heavenly Father, I thank you for loving me.
I thank you for sending your Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ to the world to save and to set me free.
I trust in your power and grace that sustain and restore me.
Loving Father, touch me now with your healing hands, for I believe that your will is for me to be well in mind, body, soul and spirit.
Cover me with the most precious blood of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ from the top of my head to the soles of my feet.
Cast anything that should not be in me.
Root out any unhealthy and abnormal cells.
Open any blocked arteries or veins and rebuild and replenish any damaged areas.
Remove all inflammation and cleanse any infection by the power of Jesus’ precious blood.
Let the fire of your healing love pass through my entire body to heal and make new any diseased areas so that my body will function the way you created it to function.
Touch also my mind and my emotion, even the deepest recesses of my heart.
Saturate my entire being with your presence, love, joy, and peace and draw me ever closer to you every moment of my life.
And Father, fill me with your Holy Spirit and empower me to do your works so that my life will bring glory and honor to your holy name.
I ask this in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Bible does not give an account of Mary’s birth. However, the apocryphal Protoevangelium of James fills in the gap. It reflects the development of Christian piety. According to this account, Anna and Joachim are infertile but pray for a child. They receive the promise of a child who will advance God’s plan of salvation for the world. Such a story, like many biblical counterparts, stresses the special presence of God in Mary’s life from the beginning.
Saint Augustine connects Mary’s birth with Jesus’ saving work. He tells the earth to rejoice and shine forth in the light of her birth. “She is the flower of the field from whom bloomed the precious lily of the valley. Through her birth the nature inherited from our first parents is changed.”(1)
On our fifth visit to Lourdes France, we were able to participate in the nightly rosary vigil. It starts at 9 pm and lasts for about an hour. Same feeling of peace and hope enveloped me as we sang to the hymns and recitation of the rosary. Chanted with various languages I may not know but still familiar and heartfelt. The procession is more than a ceremony that for devotees like us – is a time of prayer and peace.
I’d like to share the hymn – “Ave Maria de Lourdes” in French. As seen on a short clip I recorded below.
Ave, Ave, Ave Maria!
Ave, Ave, Ave Maria!
O Vierge Marie, le peuple Chrétien,
à Lourdes vous prie, chez vous il renvient.
Le fond de la roche s’éclaire à l’instant:
la dame s’approche, fait signe à l’enfant.
“Venez, je vous prie, ici, quinze fois,
avec vos amies entendre ma voix.”
Avec insistance la dame,
trois fois, a dit: “pénitence”
Chrétien, c’est pour toi!
“A cette fontaine venez et buvez;
dans l’eau pure et sainte
allez vous laver.”
“Je veux qu’ici même,
au pied de ces monts,
le peuple que j’aime
vienne en procession.”
O Most Holy Virgin Mary, Queen of the most holy Rosary,
you were pleased to appear to the children of Fatima and reveal a glorious message.
We implore you, inspire in our hearts a fervent love for the recitation of the Rosary.
By meditating on the mysteries of the redemption that are recalled therein, may we obtain the graces and virtues that we ask, through the merits of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Redeemer.
Cebu has their version of Our Lady of Guadalupe, when a town named Guadalupe was plagued with cholera and miraculously healed because of their strong devotion to Mary. Here’s the prayer sent out from the parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe de Cebu.
Prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe de Cebu
O Virgin of Guadalupe de Cebu, our Mother, look upon us now and turn to us your merciful eyes.
Without ceasing we sought refuge in you and without ceasing you have showed yourself truly as our Mother.
Years ago the bishop of Cebu sought refuge in you during the cholera pestilence and when your image was brought out in procession,
the pestilence ceased.
Now, once more, together with our bishops and priests,
we seek your protection from all dangers and evil we are facing today,
especially the forces that seek you undermine the integrity and dignity
of marriage and family.
O Mary, cover us and protect us.
O beloved patroness, keep far away from us all evil.
Once more, show yourself a Mother to us,
O gentle, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary of Guadalupe of Cebu
Queen and Principal Patroness of Cebu.
Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory be… (3x)
Our Lady of Guadalupe… pray for us
Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe
Our Lady of Guadalupe,
According to your message to a native Juan Diego
I venerate you as “the Virgin Mother of the true God
for whom we live,
the Creator of all the world, the Maker of heaven and earth.”
In spirit I kneel before your most holy image
which you miraculously imprinted upon the cloak
of the Indian Juan Diego,
and with the faith of the countless numbers of pilgrims
who visit your shrine, I beg you for this favor:
(mention your request)
To be a generous, self-sacrificing, faithful devotee all the days of my life.
Remember, O Immaculate Virgin,
the words you spoke to your devout client,
“I am a merciful Mother to you and to all your people
who love me and trust in me and invoke my help.
I listen to their lamentations and solace
all their sorrows and their sufferings.”
I beg you to be a merciful Mother to me,
because I sincerely love you and trust in you
and I invoke your help.
I entreat you, Our Lady of Guadalupe,
to grant my request, if this should be the Will of God,
in order that I may
bear witness to your love, your compassion. Your help and protection.
Do not forsake me in my needs. Amen
Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us.
Happy Feast day to Our Lady of Guadalupe!
In the Catholic calendar, September 23 is the feast day of Padre Pio.
Saint Pio of Pietrelcina is known for his miracles of healing and intercession. Born on May 25, 1887 and noted as a friar who was experiencing stigmata. His real name is Francesco Forgione and even as a young boy he already showed signs of extraordinary gifts of grace. He was able to see and talk to his guardian angel, and even with Jesus and the Virgin Mary. God endowed him with spiritual gifts including bilocation, prophecy, miracles, discernment of spirits, the ability to read hearts, the ability to speak in tongues (speak and understand different languages he had never studied), and other supernatural powers.
Padre Pio was a friar, mystic and now venerated as a saint of the Catholic Church who continues to perform miracles through his relics and one’s surrender to Jesus.
“In books we seek God, in prayer we find Him.
Prayer is the key which opens God’s heart”
I’m sharing with you his beautiful prayer
STAY WITH ME, LORD
Prayer of St. Pio of Pietrelcina after Holy Communion
Stay with me, Lord, for it is necessary to have You present so that I do not forget You. You know how easily I abandon You.
Stay with me, Lord, because I am weak and I need Your strength, that I may not fall so often.
Stay with me, Lord, for You are my life, and without You, I am without fervor.
Stay with me, Lord, for You are my light, and without You, I am in darkness.
Stay with me, Lord, to show me Your will.
Stay with me, Lord, so that I hear Your voice and follow You.
Stay with me, Lord, for I desire to love You very much, and always be in Your company.
Stay with me, Lord, if You wish me to be faithful to You.
Stay with me, Lord, for as poor as my soul is, I want it to be a place of consolation for You, a nest of love.
Stay with me, Jesus, for it is getting late and the day is coming to a close, and life passes; death, judgment, eternity approaches. It is necessary to renew my strength, so that I will not stop along the way and for that, I need You. It is getting late and death approaches, I fear the darkness, the temptations, the dryness, the cross, the sorrows. O how I need You, my Jesus, in this night of exile!
Stay with me tonight, Jesus, in life with all its dangers. I need You.
Let me recognize You as Your disciples did at the breaking of the bread, so that the Eucharistic Communion be the Light which disperses the darkness, the force which sustains me, the unique joy of my heart.
Stay with me, Lord, because at the hour of my death, I want to remain united to You, if not by communion, at least by grace and love.
Stay with me, Jesus, I do not ask for divine consolation, because I do not merit it, but the gift of Your Presence, oh yes, I ask this of You!
Stay with me, Lord, for it is You alone I look for, Your Love, Your Grace, Your Will, Your Heart, Your Spirit, because I love You and ask no other reward but to love You more and more.
With a firm love, I will love You with all my heart while on earth and continue to love You perfectly during all eternity. Amen.
This July 16 is the feast day of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. It is well known as the Lady of the brown scapular with Virgin Mary’s apparition to St. Simon Stock. I will be writing a pithy story of this apparition in my future post. For now, I’m sharing with you all the prayer to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. It is said to be derived from an antiphon, “Flos Carmeli” (the Flower of Mt. Carmel) and written by St. Simon Stock himself after she appeared to him last July 16 year 1251. This prayer is recited as a novena before the feast day of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel but can uttered in times of great need…
A prayer to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel
O most beautiful flower of Mount Carmel, fruitful vine, splendor of heaven, Blessed Mother of the Son of God, Immaculate Virgin, assist me in this… my necessity. O Star of the Sea, help me and show herein that you are my Mother.
O Holy Mary, Mother of God, Queen of Heaven and earth, I humbly beseech you from the bottom of my heart, to succor me in this… my necessity. There is none that can withstand your power. O show me herein that you are my Mother.
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee (pray 3 times)
Sweet Mother, I place this cause in your hands (pray 3 times)
Miracle Novena (9 days)
O Mother of Perpetual Help, behold me a miserable sinner at thy feet; I have recourse to thee and put my trust in thee.
O Mother of Mercy have pity on me. I hear thee called by all the refuge and the hope of sinners, be then my refuge and my hope.
Help me for the love of Jesus Christ; stretch forth thy hand to me, who recommend and dedicate myself to thee as thy perpetual servant.
I bless and thank God for having in His mercy given to me this confidence in thee, the pledge as I believe of my eternal salvation. Alas! Too often in past times have miserably fallen, because I had not recourse to thee! I know that with thy help I shall conquer. I know that thou will help me if I recommend myself to thee; but I fear lest in the occasions of falling I should cease to call upon thee and so should lose my soul.
This, then, is the grace I seek from thee; and I implore thee, as far as I know how and can, to obtain it from me; namely (mention your request)
In the assaults of hell always to have recourse to thee and to say thee: O Mary help me; Mother of Perpetual Help, suffer me not to lose my God.
(Say 3 Hail Mary’s to obtain the special favors you seek)
Holy Mary, succor the miserable, help the faint hearted, cheer those that weep, pray for the people be the advocate of the clergy, intercede for all devout woman; let all feel thine aid who implore thy perpetual help.
V. Thou hast been for us, Our Lady of refuge.
R. A helper in needs and tribulation.
LET US PRAY
Oh Lord Jesus Christ, who has given us Thy most Blessed Mother, whose wondrous image we venerate, to be our Mother, ever ready to succor us, grant we beseech thee, that we, who earnestly implore her maternal aid, may deserve to enjoy perpetually the fruit of Thy eternal Redemption; who live and reigns, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit; world without end. Amen.
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help or sought thine intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me.
Say this complete novena for 9 consecutive days with the faith of receiving the good grace of a miracle & promise to acknowledge this novena when your prayer petitions are answered. You can do so by posting in the comment section below. God bless.
The icon of Our Mother Perpetual Help is one of the most well known and loved images of Mama Mary. The original icon is enshrined in the Redemptorist Church of St. Alphonsus in Rome which I was fortunate to visit last 2009. This June 27, 2016 will be it’s 150th Jubilee.
History can be traced back to year 1495, when this ancient image was enshrined in a church on the island of Crete in the Mediterranean sea. When the island was threatened by invaders, the icon was carried off, perhaps stolen, by a merchant who took it with him to Rome. This man upon arriving in Rome became severely ill. Before his death, he begged his friend to bring it to one of the churches in Rome so it can be publicly venerated. Upon his death however, the friend’s wife kept the painting in their home for several months. One night, the Lady appeared to the man in a dream & warned him not to keep the picture. Twice she appeared to him, and twice he disregarded the warning. The third time, She warned her that if he still disobeys he would die a miserable death. So the man tried to convince his wife to give up the painting, but she refused. Our Lady appeared to him for the last time and told him of his impending death, within a short time, he became sick and died.
Our Lady appeared to the man’s 6 year old daughter, telling her to tell her mother, “Holy Mother of Perpetual Help commands you to take her out of the house.” The mother, who saw the same vision, was terrified and was about to give the icon but her neighbor convinced her that she should not pay attention to just a dream. That night the neighbor became ill, realizing her fault, she made a solemn promise to the Lady and then was immediately cured. Again, the Lady manifested herself to the young girl, asked her to tell her mother to place her image in a church between St. Mary Major’s and St. John Lateran’s. That same day, March 27, 1499, the icon was delivered with a solemn procession to the church of St. Matthew the apostle. It was a quaint church and even before the image entered it’s walls, a paralyzed man was healed after the icon passed by his house.
For 300 years, this humble church where the miraculous icon was placed became a famous pilgrimage in Rome. But came the Napoleonic armies and overrun Italy, General Massena ordered the destruction of St. Matthew’s and other churches in Rome. The icon was saved by the Augustinian Order who was taking care of that church and hid it for the next 68 years.
The church of St. Alphonsus was built near the site of St. Matthew’s by the Redemptorist Order. In 1866, Pope Pius IX ordered that the icon be given to Redemptorists and place it where the Lady has chosen it to be, in St. Alphonsus’ church. He also encouraged – Mary under the title of – Our Lady of Perpetual Help (OLPH) make known to the world. They have successfully done this, that’s why there are many shrines of Our Mother of Perpetual Help throughout the world, and became shrines of great devotion and prayers.
One of the icons is located in Redemptorist church in Baclaran, where my devotion to Mama Mary has started. Every Wednesday there’s novena masses hourly, and prayers of devotees like myself has been heard many times and even to this day I continue to trust on the Perpetual Help from Our Mother…