Saturday, April 30, 2011

He wanted to be a librarian.

Pope John Paul II asked him to continue as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (and the Holy Spirit chose him to succeed John Paul II as Pope). Some interesting footage of Blessed John Paul with Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger.

Habemus Papam! Beato Giovanni Paolo

Tomorrow, on Divine Mercy Sunday, we will celebrate the wonderful gift that God gave to the Church and the world.

On October 16, 1978, at 6:18 p.m. (Rome time), white smoke appeared from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel. Shortly thereafter, Pericle Cardinal Felici came out onto the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica and announced,
"Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum: Habemus papam! Emminentissimum ac reverendissimum dominum, dominum Carolum, sanctæ romanæ Ecclesiæ cardinalem Wojtyła, qui sibi nomen imposuit Ioannis Pauli."
Karol Cardinal Wojtyla, the 58-year-old Archbishop of Kraków, Poland, had been elected as the successor of St. Peter and Pope John Paul the First, who had died suddenly a few weeks before. As Pope, he took the name of John Paul the Second, but toward the end of his papacy, and since his death, he has been known by many to be Pope John Paul the Great.

When it was clear after the first day of voting that none of the Italian papabili would be able to achieve the necessary two-thirds plus one needed for election, the cardinal-electors began to think the unthinkable by looking beyond Italy for a new shepherd of the Church. Having impressed those in the know for years, the name of Cardinal Wojtyla was advanced overnight, and he began to receive votes during the fifth round in the morning. During lunch, having gained votes in the sixth round, a shocked Cardinal Wojtyla was visibly upset by the voting coalescing around him. Poland's Stefan Cardinal Wyszynski took him aside and reminded him that he had a duty accept if God called him. At the end of the second day of voting, in the eighth round, with the certain guidance of the Holy Spirit, Cardinal Wojtyla was elected.

Praised be Jesus Christ! Dear brothers and sisters, we are still all very saddened by the death of the very dear Pope John Paul I. And now the most eminent cardinals have called a new bishop of Rome. They called him from a far-away country...far, but always near in the communion of faith and the Christian tradition. I was afraid in receiving this nomination, but I did it in the spirit of obedience to Our Lord and with total trust in his Mother, the Most Holy Madonna. I don't know if I can express myself well in your – in our – Italian language. But if I make a mistake, you will correct me. And so I introduce myself to you all, to confess our common faith, our hope, our trust in the Mother of Christ and of the Church, and also to begin again on this path of history and of the Church with the help of God and with that of men.
--First Address of Pope John Paul II

John Paul II came from a far country - a country that had been ravaged by the Nazis and Communists, a country of martyrs, Christian martyrs, Jewish martyrs, who overcame their persecutors because of their faith in the Lord and the graces bestowed upon them by the Holy Spirit. Athletic, and fluent in Polish, Latin, Italian, English, French and German, having known much suffering in his life, the new Pope was not afraid to confront evil and proclaim the truth.
Brothers and sisters, do not be afraid to welcome Christ and accept his power. Help the Pope and all those who wish to serve Christ and with Christ's power to serve the human person and the whole of mankind. Do not be afraid. Open wide the doors for Christ. . . . Do not be afraid. Christ knows "what is in man." He alone knows it. So often today man does not know what is within him, in the depths of his mind and heart. So often he is uncertain about the meaning of his life on this earth. He is assailed by doubt, a doubt which turns into despair. We ask you therefore, we beg you with humility and trust, let Christ speak to man. He alone has words of life, yes, of eternal life.
--Pope John Paul II, Mass of Installation

Prayer for the Intercession of Blessed Pope John Paul II
O Blessed Trinity, We thank you for having graced the Church with Pope John Paul II and for allowing the tenderness of your Fatherly care, the glory of the cross of Christ, and the splendor of the Holy Spirit, to shine through him.

Trusting fully in Your infinite mercy and in the maternal intercession of Mary, he has given us a living image of Jesus the Good Shepherd, and has shown us that holiness is the necessary measure of ordinary Christian life and is the way of achieving eternal communion with you.

Grant us, by his intercession, and according to Your will, the graces we implore, hoping that he will soon be numbered among your saints. Amen.


Monday, April 18, 2011

Here Today . . . Gone Tomorrow

Having just returned from the Eternal City, home to many holy sites, I am off to that den of iniquity, Las Vegas, to help out with some family medical issues.

If I have the opportunity, though, I'll try to post some things from there.

Have a good Holy Week.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Novena to Our Lady of Lourdes

As noted below, during our trip (afternoon layover in Paris, two-plus days in Florence, day-trip to Pompeii, and about seven days in Rome), we prayed a novena for the intentions of several people*, most especially my mom's sister Marilyn, now residing in the House of the Lord, and my stepmother Rosemarie, battling this time a nasty lung infection after having already carried the Cross so many times and so far with prior ailments, and my dad, enduring this trial with her.

Given my affection for St. Bernadette, and inasmuch as health is so involved, physical and spiritual, I thought it appropriate to address our novena to Our Lady of Lourdes. Here is that novena (with litany), with the locations it was offered for that day

Novena to Our Lady of Lourdes

+ Oh ever immaculate Virgin, Mother of Mercy, Health of the Sick, Refuge of Sinners, Comfortess of the Afflicted, you know our wants, our troubles, our sufferings. Look upon us with mercy. When you appeared in the grotto at Massabielle, you made it a privileged sanctuary where you dispense your favors, and where many sufferers have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and corporal. We come, therefore, with unbounded confidence to implore your maternal intercession.

Our Lady of Lourdes, Mother of God, you had influence with your divine Son while upon earth. You have the same influence now in Heaven. Pray for us; obtain for us from your Divine Son our special requests for our loved ones if it be His divine will.

(specific prayer for that given day)

O Brilliant star of purity, Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes, glorious in your assumption, triumphant in your coronation, show unto us the mercy of the Mother of God, Virgin Mary, Queen and Mother, be our comfort, hope, strength, and consolation. Amen.

Our Lady of Lourdes, help of Christians; Pray for them
Our Lady of Lourdes, source of love; Pray for them
Our Lady of Lourdes, mother of the poor; Pray for them
Our Lady of Lourdes, mother of the handicapped; Pray for them
Our Lady of Lourdes, mother of orphans; Pray for them
Our Lady of Lourdes, mother of all children; Pray for them
Our Lady of Lourdes, mother of all nations; Pray for them
Our Lady of Lourdes, mother of the Church; Pray for them
Our Lady of Lourdes, friend of the lonely; Pray for them
Our Lady of Lourdes, comforter of those who mourn; Pray for them
Our Lady of Lourdes, shelter of the homeless; Pray for them
Our Lady of Lourdes, guide of travelers; Pray for them
Our Lady of Lourdes, strength of the weak; Pray for them
Our Lady of Lourdes, refuge of sinners; Pray for them
Our Lady of Lourdes, comforter of the suffering; Pray for them
Our Lady of Lourdes, help of the dying; Pray for them

Blessed Virgin Mary, who can worthily repay you with praise and thanks for having rescued a fallen world by your generous consent! Receive our gratitude, and by your prayers obtain the pardon of our sins. Take our prayers into the sanctuary of heaven and enable them to make our peace with God. Amen.

St. Joseph, pray for us
St. Bernadette, pray for us
St. Andre Bessette, pray for us +


DAY ONE (S. Maria Novella, Florence)
O Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes, virgin and mother, queen of heaven, chosen from all eternity to be the Mother of the Eternal Word and in virtue of this title preserved from original sin, we kneel before you as did little Bernadette at Lourdes and pray with childlike trust in you that as we contemplate your glorious appearance at Lourdes, you will look with mercy on our present petition and secure for us a favorable answer to the request for which we are making this novena.

DAY TWO (Santa Croce, Florence)
Be blessed, O most pure Virgin, for having vouchsafed to manifest yourself shining with light, sweetness and beauty, in the Grotto of Lourdes, saying to the child Saint Bernadette: "I am the Immaculate Conception!" O Mary Immaculate, inflame our hearts with one ray of the burning love of your pure heart Let them be consumed with love for Jesus and for you, in order that we may merit one day to enjoy your glorious eternity. O dispenser of His graces here below, take into your keeping and present to your Divine Son the petition for which we are making this novena.

DAY THREE (S. Maria Maggiore, Rome)
"You are all fair, O Mary, and there is in you no stain of original sin." O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee. O brilliant star of sanctity, as on that lovely day, upon a rough rock in Lourdes you spoke to the child Bernadette and a fountain broke from the plain earth and miracles happened and the great shrine of Lourdes began, so now I beseech you to hear our fervent prayer and do, we beseech you, grant us the petition we now so earnestly seek.

DAY FOUR (San Clemente, Rome)
O Immaculate Queen of Heaven, we your wayward, erring children, join our unworthy prayers of praise and thanksgiving to those of the angels and saints and your own-the One, Holy, and Undivided Trinity may be glorified in heaven and on earth. Our Lady of Lourdes, as you looked down with love and mercy upon Bernadette as she prayed her rosary in the grotto, look down now, we beseech you, with love and mercy upon us. From the abundance of graces granted you by your Divine Son, sweet Mother of God, give to each of us all that your motherly heart sees we need and at this moment look with special favor on the grace we seek in this novena.

DAY FIVE (San Paolo fuori le Mura, Rome)
O Mary Immaculate, Mother of God and our mother, from the heights of your dignity look down mercifully upon us while we, full of confidence in your unbounded goodness and confident that your Divine Son will look favorably upon any request you make of Him in our behalf, we beseech you to come to our aid and secure for us the favor we seek in this novena.

DAY SIX (Chapel of Residenza Madri Pie, Rome)
O glorious Mother of God, so powerful under your special title of Our Lady of Lourdes, to you we raise our hearts and hands to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the gracious Heart of Jesus all the helps and graces necessary for our spiritual and temporal welfare and for the special favor we so earnestly seek in this novena.

O Lady of Bernadette, with the stars of heaven in your hair and the roses of earth at your feet, look with compassion upon us today as you did so long ago on Bernadette in the Grotto of Lourdes.

DAY SEVEN (S. Agostino, Rome)
O Almighty God, who by the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary did prepare a worthy dwelling place for your Son, we humbly beseech you that as we contemplate the apparition of Our Lady in the Grotto of Lourdes, we may be blessed with health of mind and body. O most gracious Mother Mary, beloved Mother of Our Lord and Redeemer, look with favor upon us as you did that day on Bernadette and intercede with him for us that the favor we now so earnestly seek may be granted to us.

DAY EIGHT (Residenza Madri Pie, Rome)
O Immaculate Mother of God, from heaven itself you came to appear to the little Bernadette in the rough Grotto of Lourdes! And as Bernadette knelt at your feet and the miraculous spring burst forth and as multitudes have knelt ever since before your shrine, O Mother of God, we kneel before you today to ask that in your mercy you plead with your Divine Son to grant the special favor we seek in this novena.

DAY NINE (St. Peter's Tomb, Basilica di San Pietro, Vatican)
O glorious Mother of God, to you we raise our hearts and hands to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the benign Heart of Jesus all the graces necessary for our spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly for the grace of a happy death. O Mother of our Divine Lord, as we conclude this novena for the special favor we seek at this time.

We feel animated with confidence that your prayers in our behalf will be graciously heard. O Mother of My Lord, through the love you bear to Jesus Christ and for the glory of His Name, hear our prayers and obtain our petitions.


*List of persons specifically prayed for by name:
Marilyn, Jamie, Brian, Jon, Melissa and their families
Rosemarie and Alan
Margie and Emerson
Departed loved ones -
-Edward and Doris
-Neil, and their families
Rita, Dave, Stephen and their families
Dorothy and Gerald
Barb and Fred and their families
Karen and Stephen, Maureen and Andy, Kevin and Greta, Ann and Sam, Colleen and Mike, Tim and AnnMarie, and Melinda, and their families
Paul and Eva and their families
Fr. Cregan, Fr. Killian, Fr. Cramer, Msgr. Mahler, and their families
Susan, Richard, Sherry, Ernestine, and others and their families
My students, young and adult, and their families
Tuyen and Jody
Sharlene and their families
Daniel, Maxwell, Maureen, Shafica, Sherry, Tim, Gwen, and Lynn and their families
The Holy Father, all the bishops, priests, and religious, Sr. Jean Marian
Seminarians and others in religious formation
The President and other civic leaders
and Mark

Monday, April 11, 2011

Some More of Our Visit with the Pope.

Here's a little video of some of the introductions of English speaking groups at the General Audience of 6 April 2011.

His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI
Summary of Catechesis on St. Therese of Lisieux
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Our catechesis today deals with Saint Theresa of Lisieux, the young Carmelite nun whose teaching of the “little way” of holiness has been so influential in our time. Born and raised in a devout French family, Theresa received permission to enter the Carmel of Lisieux at the tender age of fifteen. Her name in religion – Sister Theresa of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face – expresses the heart of her spirituality, centred on the contemplation of God’s love revealed in the mysteries of the Incarnation and Redemption. In imitation of Christ, Theresa sought to be little in all things and to seek the salvation of the world. Taken ill in her twenty-third year, she endured great physical suffering in union with the crucified Lord; she also experienced a painful testing of faith which she offered for the salvation of those who deny God. By striving to embody God’s love in the smallest things of life, Theresa found her vocation to be “love in the heart of the Church”. May her example and prayers help us to follow “the little way of trust and love” in spiritual childhood, abandoning ourselves completely to the love of God and the good of souls.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Back from Rome

The Pope and my mom together (her hands anyway).