Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Since 1467 it has been standing on its bottom edge
unsupported and without its back touching the wall.
The desk of St. Alphonsus
At the foot of the crucifix you can make out
the image of Our Lady of Good Counsel.
The Saint wrote all his works before Her image.
He invoked Her with the Hail Mary
before every new action
whenever the clock struck the next quarter of an hour.
A brief account
of the history of
Our Mother of Good Counsel
“About the twenty-first hour of the Italian day, or about four o’clock in the afternoon, according to our computation, the dense multitude assembled in the piazza of Santa Maria was astonished to hear, high in the clear atmosphere of their country, strains of celestial harmony. Never had they heard such sounds before. It seemed as if the portals of paradise were flung open, and that the choirs of angels were permitted to give mortals some knowledge of the joys of the blessed. With eyes upturned, in breathless attention, and ravished by such exquisite melody, they anxiously sought to find out whence the sounds came. Soon ... they beheld a beautiful white cloud, darting forth vivid rays of light in every direction, amidst the music of heaven and a splendour that obscured the sun. It gradually descended, and, to their amazement, finally rested on the furtherest portion on the unfinished wall of the chapel of St. Biagio.
Suddenly the bells of the high campanile, which stood before their eyes, began to peal, though they could see that no human hand touched them. And then, in unison, every church bell in the town began to answer in peals as festive. The crowd was spell-bound, ravished, and yet full of holy feeling. With eager haste they filled the enclosure; they pressed round the spot where the cloud remained. Gradually the rays of light ceased to dart, the cloud began to clear gently away, and then, to their astonishment, there remained disclosed a most beautiful object. It was the image of Our Lady, holding the Divine Child Jesus in Her arms, and She seemed to smile upon them and say: ‘Fear not; I am your mother, and you are and shall be my beloved children.’
“All who had come there, to their astonishment, saw the beautiful Image of Our Lady still suspended in the air, without any visible support whatever, and heard from those present of the miraculous circumstances that accompanied its coming. The princes of the house of Colonnna, the captains of their forces, the magnates of the town, the Augustinian Fathers, and the secular clergy, all flocked to admire the wonder. And throughout that night, on bended knees, an immense multitude remained in the presence of their blessed treasure, filled with most intense feelings of love and gratitude to God’s Virgin Mother of Good Counsel, who thus had honoured their land.” -(The Virgin Mother of Good Counsel, Mgr. George F. Dillon, D.D., Missionary Apostolic, Dublin, M.H. Gill & Son, 1885, Ch.5, p. 60)
When the two pilgrims who had lost their treasure heard of its arrival at Genazzano they hurried thither. They told the inhabitants of the 200 years that the image had been venerated in Scutari. They did not know where it had been before then.
Between 27 April and 14 August 1467 there were recorded 171 miracles before the image of Our Mother of Good Counsel.
Friday, April 17, 2009
We journey to Spain where we learn about the Saint of the Eucharist who has knocked on his tomb for centuries in answer to prayer, and we hear about Rev. Fr (and also Lord) Archibald Douglas and his marvellous, to the point of the miraculous, work for orphaned children. In the light of the recent media abuse of the Holy Father – which we speak about in the news – we hear from the children of Ireland who wrote to Pope Pius XII in 1954 about everything from their pet hens to the most moving sentiments. The letters are beautiful.
The news pages are packed with positive happenings in the Church and the world.
Entitled God’s Sparrows, the work was originally published in French in 1882 as the Auréole Séraphique — with the approbation of the highest Superiors of the Order — and the series was translated, slightly re-arranged and re-printed in 4 volumes, by the Franciscans of Taunton (Devon), England, in 1885, and prefaced by His Eminence, Cardinal Manning.
The Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer have, over the years, gained much from these books and it has been our long-standing desire to re-print them. We are very pleased that our first attempts coincide with this wonderful news from this vibrant young community of contemplative nuns who have come to the south-west of England more than century after our books were first translated by their fellow Franciscans in the same part of the world.
The handsomely bound English edition seems to have been printed privately, and judging by the library classifications, i.e. one set only in the possession of Oxford University, National Library of Scotland, Cambridge University — in the ‘rare books’ department, and the British Library, (neither Cambridge nor the British Library will allow the books off their premises), they have all but disappeared from circulation.
Coincidentally and not without significance, the re-printing of these books by us in this year of Our Lord 2009, coincides with the 8th centenary of the events surrounding the founding of this great and holy Order of St Francis, whose rich spiritual tradition is so needed in the world today.
May these beautiful lives, profusely illustrated for the first time, edify you the reader, and serve to inspire others to offer themselves generously to the Renaissance of the Monastic Life, so willed and supported, as in our own case, by our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI.
Happy reading to you all!
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Incensing of the Members of the
Mystical Body of Christ
When words, chant, incense,
all run their course and fall short;
when there is still more needed,
when the mystery is utterly ineffable;
mortal man goes on,
by ringing out
"...Scimus Christum surrexisse
a mortuis vere:
Tu nobis Victor Rex,
Miserere. Amen. Alleluia.
...We know that Christ indeed has risen from the grave;
Hail Thou King of Victory,
Have mercy Lord, and save. Amen. Alleluia! "
Saturday, April 11, 2009
The Canon of the Mass
The Sanctus bells were replaced
with the sound of the clapper
as the last vestiges of joy
give way to the sorrow of the night;
Judas has gone forth from the Upper Room.
Amicus meus ocsuli me tradidit signo:
My friend has betrayed me with a kiss for a signal:
'Whomever I kiss, that is he; lay hold of Him.'
That was the evil sign he gave,
committing murder with a kiss.
The unhappy man
threw away the money that was paid for blood,
and finally hanged himself with a halter.
It were better for that man if he had not been born.
[Holy Thursday Matins, Lesson iv, Response]
The Altar of Repose
The strong wind, the light and the night,
the solemn procession and chant
all harmonised together
opening to us the mystery of the
Agony of God
Whose company we kept.
Una hora non potuisti vigilare mecum...
"Could you not watch one hour with Me,
After exhorting one another to die for Me?
Or do you not see Judas?
He is not sleeping,
but is hurrying to betray me.
Why do you sleep?
Rise and pray,
that you may not enter into temptation.
[Holy Thursday Matins, Lesson viii Response]
Lord shall we strike with the sword?
Monday, April 06, 2009
In the tone of the prophecy the priest chants the Lesson from the prophet Isaiah: [Is. 50:5-10]
Dóminus Deus auxiliátor meus, ideo non sum confusús:
ideo pósui fáciem meam, ut petram duríssimam, et scio,
quóniam non confundar.
The Lord God is my helper. Therefore I am not confounded;
therefore have I set my face as a most hard rock,
and I know that I shall not be confounded.
Incensum istud a te benedictum ~ May this incense, blessed by Thee
ascendat ad Te, Domine: ~ ascend before Thee, O Lord,
et descendat super nos misericordia Tua. ~ and may Thy mercy descend upon us.
May my prayer be directed O Lord, as incense in Thy sight, the lifting up of my hands as an evening sacrifice. Set a watch O Lord before my mouth: and a door round my lips: that my heart may not incline to evil words: to make excuses in sins.
O Sweetest Lord Jesus Christ, I implore Thee, pierce the very marrow of my soul with the delightful, health-giving dart of Thy love, with true, tranquil, holy, apostolic charity, so that my whole soul may ever languish and faint for love of Thee and for desire of Thee alone. –St. Bonaventure
Thursday, April 02, 2009
He was a successful, powerful and exemplary Missionary Bishop.
Soon he would be arrested and for 11 years he would suffer a martyrdom of prisons and hard labour in the GULAG system of the Soviet Union.Fearing his death in the GULAG he was released from prison camps less than 3 years before his death. He lived his last years in the room of a house belonging to a Catholic married priest and his family. In the photograph above he stands with the two children who had accepted him as their 'grandfather'. In this house he secretly ordained many priests.