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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Confirmations in Christchurch, New Zealand

On 18 October, His Lordship
Most Reverend Basil Meeking, D.D., 
Emeritus Bishop of Christchurch
administered the Holy Sacrament of Confirmation
to five young people of our 
Latin Mass Chaplaincy in the Diocese.
 
After the Confirmations, His Lordship celebrated Holy Mass.
  
...and distributed certificates to those to whom he had imparted the Sacrament!

Deo Gratias!
Thank you to Felicity Markholm for so kindly taking the photos!

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Signs, Seasons, Days and Years — 7

There is a Sarum Breviary located in the library of Wake Forest University, North Carolina. This breviary was published in 1555 and contains a calendar not unlike that which we might expect to find in a more modern Latin breviary. In this calendar are found the dates on which the sun enters each constellation of the Zodiac, just as in the Papa Stronsay Calendar.

This page from a Sarum Rite breviary printed in 1555 gives the date that the sun enters Aquarius: Sol in aquario.


The "Aberdeen breviary" was edited by the eminent and highly respected Bishop William Elphinstone and was printed in 1507.  At the appropriate place in every month can be seen the words “Sol in…” and then the name of the sign of the zodiac for that month — exactly as is found in the Papa Stronsay Calendar, which you can purchase at the bottom of this post.

The calendar page for March in the Aberdeen breviary.  It marks the date on which the sun enters the constellation of Aries: Sol in ariete. 


The Papa Stronsay calendar for 2015 also gives the date on which the sun enters each of the twelve constellations of the Zodiac, just like the old Aberdeen breviary and the Sarum Rite breviary shown above: Sol in Ariete.

Showing the sun entering the constellation of Aries, I think it is a good place to again remind ourselves of the words of Pope St Leo the Great:

"In the fifth century there was a controversy between Rome and Alexandria about what the latest possible date for Easter could be.  According to Alexandrian tradition, it was April 25.  Pope St. Leo the Great (440-461) criticized this very late date by pointing out that, according to the Bible, Easter should fall in the first month, and the first month did not mean April, but the time when the sun is passing through the first part of the Zodiac — the sign of Aries.  The constellation in the heavens seemed to speak, in advance and for all time, of the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world (Jn I:29), the one who sums up in himself all the sacrifices of the innocent and gives them their meaning.  The mysterious story of the ram, caught in the thicket and taking the place of Isaac as the sacrifice decreed by God himself, was now seen as the pre-history of Christ.  The fork of the tree in which the ram was hanging was seen as a replica of the sign of Aries, which in turn was the celestial foreshadowing of the crucified Christ." - Pope Benedict XVI, The Spirit of the Liturgy, p. 99-100

"And God said: Let there be lights made in the firmament of heaven, to divide the day and the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years." Gen. 1:14




You can order the Calendar right here and now:
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Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Signs, Seasons, Days and Years — 6

The Hunterian Psalter (or York Psalter) was produced in England sometime around A.D. 1170 and is now part of the collection of Glasgow University Library.  Besides very many deeply religious and devotional pieces of artistic decoration, the astronomical Zodiac sign for each month is also exquisitely illustrated in a roundel on every calendar page.

The Zodiac sign of Sagittarius in the Hunterian Psalter.  It is hard to dismiss the use of the Zodiac as untraditional in the Catholic Church when documents as far back as A.D. 1170 clearly show it being used to track the passing of time.

The illustration of the Zodiac sign of Gemini in the  Hunterian Psalter.

Keep watching this space for more great examples of the Catholic Church using the Zodiac constellations through the ages!

"And God said: Let there be lights made in the firmament of heaven, to divide the day and the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years." Gen. 1:14




You can order the Calendar right here and now:
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Saturday, September 27, 2014

Signs, Seasons, Days and Years — 5

Isabella Breviary was given to Queen Isabella I of Castile (Isabella the Catholic) as a gift on the occasion of the double marriage of her children.  It was composed in the late 1480s in Bruges in the Dominican style.  Here is an extract from the Wikipedia article on the Isabella Breviary:

A page from the calendar of the Isabella Breviary.  Note the Zodiac sign of Virgo in the top right of the page. 
“Besides the feast days, the calendar contains also the computistical entries necessary to determine the day of the week corresponding to a given calendar date. In the first column one can find the golden number and in the second the Dominical letter. In the third column the date is expressed in the according to the Roman calendar with kalendae, nonae and idus. Also the date on which the sun enters a zodiacal sign is indicated in the calendar.  In the heading for each month the number of days and lunar days is given and the length of day and night is indicated.”
Again notice the miniature illustration of the Zodiac sign of Sagittarius in the top left corner, as well as the indication of the date on which the sun enters the sign of Sagittarius: Sol in Sagittario.

As noted above, the highly Catholic Isabella Breviary notes the date on which the sun enters each constellation of the Zodiac, just as the Papa Stronsay calendar does. See the image of the 2015 Papa Stronsay Calendar below to witness over 500 years of Catholic tradition in action!

 In the Papa Stronsay Calendar, the date on which the sun enters each constellation of the Zodiac is marked: Sol in Sagittario.


Keep watching this space for more great examples of the Catholic Church using the Zodiac constellations through the ages!

"And God said: Let there be lights made in the firmament of heaven, to divide the day and the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years." Gen. 1:14




You can order the Calendar right here and now:
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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Signs, Seasons, Days and Years — 4

Ancient astronomers and keepers of time divided the annual course of the Sun across the 12 Zodiac constellations into 12, 30 degree segments. In a year, the Sun moves across the Zodiac to complete a 360 degree circuit. The Sun takes about a month to move from one Zodiac constellation to the next. A reason why a year is divided into 12 months. The Moon takes 29.5 days to complete a cycle from Full Moon to the next. Another reason why a month, on average, is 30 days.


The Zodiac therefore is not a superstitious method of predicting the future by looking at the stars, but rather a perfectly wonderful, God-given method of telling the time and calculating the date.  By looking at the image, you can see that you could just as easily say Pisces as you could March; after all, March is named after the Pagan god of war, Mars.

Keep watching this space for some great examples of the Catholic Church using the Zodiac constellations through the ages!

"And God said: Let there be lights made in the firmament of heaven, to divide the day and the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years." Gen. 1:14




You can order the Calendar right here and now:
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Sunday, September 21, 2014

Signs, Seasons, Days and Years — 3

During a moon-cycle, the Moon moves across the 12 Zodiac constellations. The first astronomers divided the monthly orbit of the Moon into 28 different sections called 'lunar mansions'. Each 'mansion' is approximately one day of the lunar cycle, or about 12.2 degrees of the Moon's 360 degree circuit. This 28 division of the Moon cycle can be divided into four phase periods of the Moon. How 7 days was determined to be a week, correlates with the 7 day moon phase division of 28.


This is important as is demonstrates that the constellations of the Zodiac are not the same thing as astrology.  They are simply part of the intricate calendar designed by God.  This is why, in keeping with the ancient tradition of the Church, the Papa Stronsay calendar tracks not only the sun's progress through the constellations of the Zodiac, but the lunar calendar as well! Order your Papa Stronsay Calendar below.

More to come, so watch this space!

"And God said: Let there be lights made in the firmament of heaven, to divide the day and the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years." Gen. 1:14





You can order the Calendar right here and now:
Quantity

Friday, September 19, 2014

The Queen's Message

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Portrait taken at Balmoral

Message from the Queen following the Scottish Referendum

After many months of discussion, debate, and careful thought, we now know the outcome of the Referendum, and it is a result that all of us throughout the United Kingdom will respect.

For many in Scotland and elsewhere today, there will be strong feelings and contrasting emotions – among family, friends and neighbours. That, of course, is the nature of the robust democratic tradition we enjoy in this country. But I have no doubt that these emotions will be tempered by an understanding of the feelings of others.

Now, as we move forward, we should remember that despite the range of views that have been expressed, we have in common an enduring love of Scotland, which is one of the things that helps to unite us all. Knowing the people of Scotland as I do, I have no doubt that Scots, like others throughout the United Kingdom, are able to express strongly-held opinions before coming together again in a spirit of mutual respect and support, to work constructively for the future of Scotland and indeed all parts of this country.

My family and I will do all we can to help and support you in this important task.

ELIZABETH R.

Signs, Seasons, Days and Years — 2

The Papa Stronsay Calendar is out now to order, and it can be purchased at the bottom of this post.  In the promotional video, also found below, the sun's course through the constellations of the Zodiac is mentioned as being marked on the calendar.  The Zodiac is these days associated almost entirely with superstitious astrology, but the Zodiac is not astrology.


Timekeeping was devised by identifying and measuring the movement of the Sun and Moon across the Zodiac constellations.  A 360 degree system plots and times the course of the Sun in a year. The coordinate system can be easily divided by 60, 30 and 15.  A minute has 60 seconds. An hour 60 minutes. One day of 24 hours divided by 2 is 12.  The stars move towards the west one minute in distance, every minute, or one degree every four minutes.  The sun and stars move fifteen degrees in one hour.  Fifteen degrees multiplied by the four which it takes to complete one degree gives us sixty minutes.  Thus the very time which we daily read from our wrist-watch is determined by tracking the motion of the sun and stars across the sky.

More to come, so watch this space!

"And God said: Let there be lights made in the firmament of heaven, to divide the day and the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years." Gen. 1:14





You can order the Calendar right here and now:
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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Signs, Seasons, Days and Years — 1

There has recently been a question regarding the Papa Stronsay Calendar, which you can purchase at the bottom of this post.

The question regards the signs of the Zodiac which are marked on the calendar.  The Zodiac does not mean astrologyAstrology is a superstitious system of divining which is condemned by the church.  With the signs of the Zodiac we simply track the sun through the constellations of the Zodiac during the year.  The sun takes very nearly one month exactly to transit one constellation.  Thus it is simply marking the months.  Nothing whatever to do with predicting the future.


It is a venerable method of time-keeping and has been used by the Church since the beginning.

"In the fifth century there was a controversy between Rome and Alexandria about what the latest possible date for Easter could be.  According to Alexandrian tradition, it was April 25.  Pope St. Leo the Great (440-461) criticized this very late date by pointing out that, according to the Bible, Easter should fall in the first month, and the first month did not mean April, but the time when the sun is passing through the first part of the Zodiac — the sign of Aries.  The constellation in the heavens seemed to speak, in advance and for all time, of the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world (Jn I:29), the one who sums up in himself all the sacrifices of the innocent and gives them their meaning.  The mysterious story of the ram, caught in the thicket and taking the place of Isaac as the sacrifice decreed by God himself, was now seen as the pre-history of Christ.  The fork of the tree in which the ram was hanging was seen as a replica of the sign of Aries, which in turn was the celestial foreshadowing of the crucified Christ." - Pope Benedict XVI, The Spirit of the Liturgy, p. 99-100



Scholars show Pope Gregory XIII a chart of the Sun against the Zodiac to indicate the location of the Sun throughout a year.  This great pontiff was responsible for the reform of the calendar into form we have today.

The Zodiac is profoundly bound up with Catholicism.
More to come, so watch this space!

"And God said: Let there be lights made in the firmament of heaven, to divide the day and the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years." Gen. 1:14





You can order the Calendar right here and now:
Quantity

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Papa Stronsay Calendar - Better than Ever!

The Papa Stronsay Calendar for 2015 is out now!  Have a look at the video below to see what you're missing out on:


There really is so much packed into our calendar, that you won't need any other calendar for the whole year!

You can order the Calendar right here and now:
Quantity: 

If you have problems, you can use this link to do it directly from our online store.

There have been some questions regarding why we mark the suns transit through the signs of the Zodiac.  To understand why and how this is Catholic, click the "Signs of the Zodiac" label, or click here.
Remember that if you are already a subscriber to our Catholic Newspaper, you will automatically receive one copy of the calendar as part of that subscription.  Please also allow up to three weeks for delivery of your calendar.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Phase Two Completed

August, 2014, saw the completion of phase two
 of the work on the Oratory of Our Mother of Perpetual Succour,
 the chapel attached to our monastery in
 Christchurch, New Zealand.
The Oratory as it stood after phase one in March, 2013.
 The dome over the altar and beautiful arch window
 allowing light to stream in during the morning Mass is in place.
 Much of the sanctuary furnishing is in place along with the altar steps.
The Oratory on 31 August, 2014. 
The Gospel side of the sanctuary in March, 2013.
The Holy Baptism of little Ambrose Green on 31 August, 2014.
The Gospel side of the sanctuary has been transformed
 with a new door and window installed,
 new panelling fixed on the lower walls.
 To see the many young families that crowd into the
 Oratory every Sunday, injecting so much
 life and joy into the community is 
an hundred fold reward to all those 
who have contributed to the work.
2013
2014

In the wall of the Gospel side of the sanctuary
 an Ambry for the reservation of the Holy Oils
 has been installed. 
Two side altars have been installed
 in honour of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
 and the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The altar of the Sacred Heart is erected
 in memory of Mr Duncan Simon, R.I.P. 
while the altar of the Immaculate Heart
 is erected in memory 
of Mrs Nancye Price, R.I.P.

 
The Altar of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima in its own chapel. 
This altar is erected in memory of Mr Michael Hayes, R.I.P.
The shrine of St Joseph 
erected in memory of Rev. Fr Augustine Cummins, C.SS.R., R.I.P.
The first and last thought in entering the Oratory 
is Our Blessed Lady of Christchurch.
 The ceiling around her altar is coffered 
and embellished with fleur-de-lis.
 The newly refurbished 
Stations of the Cross line the walls. 
 The stars which adorn the ceiling remind us
 of our Heavenly home,
 wherein dwells the Father of Lights!  
Our thanks to all our many and dear friends in Christchurch
 who gave of their time and substance
 to make this beautiful work possible
 for the glory of God and His Holy Church -
 helping with painting, woodworking, building,
 purchasing materials,
 cooking and catering for the work days, etc.
  This chapel is a fitting tribute to you all. 

As Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer, 
it has been our privilege to make this humble effort
 for the rebuilding of the fair city of Christchurch,
 and provide a little sanctuary
 where souls may come to spend time
 with Our Heavenly Queen,
 and may enjoy some of the
 beauty of the traditional Rite.

Indeed we cannot repeat too often in our lives: 
Thanks be to God for all He has done
 and is doing for us.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

In His Great Goodness

God in His great goodness
 through the prayers of Our Lady and St Joseph
 has given Holland Farm in Stronsay
 into our possession. 

We give Him our humble thanks
 that such a great gift should be added
 to our monastery in Papa Stronsay. 

We also offer our loving thanksgiving to Our Lady, Most Holy Mary,
 who never ceases to watch over Her children's 
spiritual and financial necessities. 
Countless are the times that She has prayed for us
 and we have experienced so many miracles
 as a result of Her prayers. 

If all men and women would accept Holy Mary as their Mother
 how happy the world would be! 
She is always looking out for us and Her prayers to God
 in our behalf are always heard, even with miracles. 

This is the reason that through the centuries Her countless children
 have given Her so many loving titles such as:
Star of the Sea
Mother of Perpetual Succour
Flower of Carmel
Mother Most Loving
Refuge of Sinners
Mother of the Afflicted and so very many more.

Her titles are humble expressions of love from Her grateful children.

Today we too publicly offer our humble thanks to so loving a Mother. 

To God alone be all Glory!
Our Thanksgiving is offered  to Jesus through Mary.

Fr. Michael Mary, F.SS.R.
Rector Major

Holland Farm, Stronsay

Friday, August 22, 2014

Always a beautiful day!

22 August
Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Since our foundation in 1988, 
we have kept the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
as a red letter day.
+
On this day Fr. Anthony Mary made his first vows in 1989;
this is his Silver Jubilee.
Congratulations from us all Father!
Ad multos annos!

Fr. Anthony Mary as a novice (left), at tea on his clothing day
Monastery of the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary
Isle of Sheppey, Kent, England
22 August, 1988.
+
Brother Nicodemus Mary made his first vows in 1993;
this is his 21st anniversary.
Congratulations Brother!

Brother Nicodemus Mary with Novice Brother Edmund
2 February, 2014.
+
Brother Seelos Maria was born on this Feast in 1991;
this is his 23rd birthday.
Happy Birthday Brother!

Brother Seelos Maria with his family on his clothing day
2 August, 2011.
+
For the perpetually professed
today is the second anniversary of our Public Profession 
of 
Religious Vows
as members of the newly erected
Congregation of the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer.
Thanks be to God and to Mary!
After the Public Religious Profession
with His Lordship
the Right Reverend Dom Hugh Gilbert, O.S.B.
Bishop of Aberdeen
22 August, 2012. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Ready to die for the love of Jesus.


MANCHESTER, England (CNS) -- A group of 11 sick, disabled and elderly Iraqi Christians --including an 80-year-old woman with breast cancer -- defied terrorists who ordered them to convert to Islam or be beheaded, saying they preferred death to giving up their faith.

The united resistance prompted the Islamic State extremists to drop their demands and order the Christians to immediately leave their village of Karamless after first robbing them of their possessions, according to one of the survivors.

Sahar Mansour, a refugee from Mosul, told Catholic News Service in an Aug. 18 email that the group turned up at Ankawa refugee camp, where she is living, after they were released by the Islamist fighters. They had remained behind in Karamless because they were too weak to flee when the town was overrun by Islamic State militants the night of Aug. 6-7.

Mansour said she met the 80-year-old woman with cancer, who gave her name as Ghazala, in Ankawa Aug. 18 and heard her account of their escape.

"When the people of Karamless fled from the village they (the elderly) were alone," Mansour said. "She (Ghazala) told me when they woke up in (the) morning they were surprised when they saw nobody in the village."

Instead they were "afraid and terrified," she continued, when they met masked fighters from the Islamic State, who ordered them to go home and remain indoors.

Mansour said Ghazala told her that on Aug. 16, the terrorists assembled the group "and told them either to convert or to be killed by sword."

"Ghazala told me that all the people told the terrorists that 'we prefer to be killed rather than convert,"' Mansour said. She said Ghazala added that members of the group scolded the terrorists for ignoring Islamic sacred texts that forbade forced conversions of non-Muslims.

Mansour said the elderly told the militants that the Islamic State had nothing to gain from the conversion of a group of sick, disabled and elderly people.

"When ISIS heard that they told the people to leave Karamless immediately, without taking anything, to leave with only with the clothes they were wearing," she said.

"ISIS took all their money from all of them and their gold," Mansour said, adding that one person had the courage to ask the terrorists to return some of their money so they could buy food for their journey to the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq.

The group of five men and six women later arrived at the Kalak checkpoint, the gateway to Kurdish-controlled territory, in two cars.

There, they were allowed to contact relatives already in refugee camps, who were taken to meet them, Mansour said.

Ghazala was reunited with her brother, and she is receiving medical treatment for her cancer.

Source

Saturday, August 16, 2014

1500 Christians and Yazidi forced into "sexual slavery"

Fr. Peter of the Angels ransoms Jesus.
The Miraculous Statue of the Most Holy Redeemer
was ransomed along with slaves from the Moslems in the 1600's. 
Let us pray to the Ransomed Jesus, our Most Holy Redeemer,
for the 1,500 souls taken as slaves in recent days.

13 August 2014 – Two senior United Nations officials today condemned in the strongest terms the “barbaric acts” of sexual violence and “savage rapes” the armed group Islamic State (IS) has perpetrated on minorities in areas under its control.

In a joint statement from Baghdad, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence (SRSG) in Conflict, Zainab Hawa Bangura and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq, Nickolay Mladenov urged the immediate protection of civilians.

"We are gravely concerned by continued reports of acts of violence, including sexual violence against women and teenage girls and boys belonging to Iraqi minorities ...
“Atrocious accounts of abduction and detention of Yazidi, Christian, as well as Turkomen and Shabak women, girls and boys, and reports of savage rapes, are reaching us in an alarming manner," Ms. Bangura and Mr. Mladenov stated, pointing out that some 1,500 Yazidi and Christian persons may have been forced into sexual slavery.

The officials condemned, in the strongest terms, the explicit targeting of women and children and the barbaric acts IS has perpetrated on minorities. Acts of sexual violence are grave human rights violations that can be considered as war crimes and crimes against humanity, they warned.

Mr. Mladenov called on regional Governments and the wider international community for the immediate release of the women and girls held in captivity and to support the Government of Iraq’s efforts to protect its citizens. He pledged that his Office would closely monitor the situation to ensure accountability and advocate for support to the survivors of the “barbaric acts.”


Thursday, August 07, 2014

While world leaders and newspapers keep guilty silence.

We are helpless to come to the assistance of our brethren in Iraq except by our prayers.
Of your charity read this letter from the Patriarch and carry them in your hearts to God.


They carry the Holy Cross and follow the Lamb to slaughter; 
Agnus redemit oves ~ the Lamb redeems the sheep;
the innocent Eastern Christians die 
for their guilty Western brethren;
with our rosaries let us wait beside them in their passion;
to pray for their perseverance.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

To all who have faith in Jesus Christ



Open Letter of His Excellency Youhanna Boutros (John Peter) Moshe, 
Syriac Catholic Archeparch of Mosul and Qaraqosh


Sunday, July 27, 2014

To All Priests, to all Monks and Nuns, to all Deacons, and to all those who have faith in Jesus Christ:

May the peace and love of God come upon you, your homes, and your families, and upon all those who have come to protect you, and to all those who have come to you for protection!

"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
The Gospel according to Saint John, 16:33

With these words, Jesus strengthened the determination of his Apostles, who asked for the perseverance that would confirm their victory for good, and the defeat of evil.

The line of lies is a short one. And evil -- regardless of its gaining strength, regardless of the fact that it lasts for long time -- does not prevail. Our appeal to you, dearly beloved, is so that your determination will not be weakened, and that you will not be frightened by the false propaganda and the rumors that have no other goals than to take away your dignity and make you abandon your homes and churches.

Therefore, be patient and persevere, because one who is patient wins in the end. And know that the responsibility of those who spread the rumour about the crime is not smaller than the responsibility of those who commit the crime themselves.

The Archbishop's letter.

No one can stop those who wish to emigrate, because emigration has its own causes, and one who considers emigration evaluates one's own situation and takes one's own decisions. But why leave a country that is ours, and whose land we have inherited from our own fathers? We have not taken it by force or by invasion, and an inheritance is [something] precious and respected, even it is small.

Have some faith, first in God, then in our Mother the Virgin Mary, who with her kindness protects our villages that have not fallen in the hands of the enemy, and will not fall, by the grace of God. So much so that there are people who are convinced that their fate is linked to our own, who have allowed the coming together of our fates, and who have come exclusively to protect us, who have sacrificed their blood and their rest to protect us. We should be taking up arms and standing at their side to repel the enemy and keep evil away from us, rather than thinking about fleeing and losing. In this event, we could not be proud and have trust in ourselves.

And we are the children of forefathers who were not afraid of death, and who were not terrorized by persecution, because they wanted to preserve their religions and their values, both social and moral, and to protect their sacred places, and their monasteries, and their churches.

Well then, be not afraid, and preserve your heritage and your land. Stand strong in your faith as you are in love and in hope, and bring to each one the faith of [being able to] face the challenges, filled with courage against the obstacles on the path of your life.

May God, the keeper of peace and security, be with you. "For whoever is not against us is for us," (Mk 9:40); Jesus Christ said, "if God be for us, who can be against us?" (Rm 8:31), as the Apostle Paul confirms.
(Source)

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