Friday, April 10, 2020

Saint April 11 : St. Gemma Galgani - Patron of Students, Pharmacists, Tuberculosis patients, love and hope


St. Gemma Galgani
STIGMATIST

Feast Day:
April 11
Born:
12 March 1878 at Borgo Nuovo di Camigliano, Lucca, Tuscany, Italy
Died:
Holy Saturday, 11 April 1903 at Borgo Nuovo di Camigliano, Lucca, Italy
Canonized:
2 May 1940 by Pope Pius XII
Major Shrine:
Passionist Monastery in Lucca, Italy
Patron of:
Students, pharmacists, tuberculosis patients, love and hope

There is little to be said about her life. Born at Camigliano in Tuscany, she suffered from 'tuberculosis of the spine with aggravated curvature', and, though she considered herself cured by a vision of the young Saint Gabriel Possenti, she could not obtain a certificate of health enabling her to enter a convent, as she wished. She had many 'abnormal' experiences from June 1899 onwards, including the 'stigmata' in hands and feet, carefully examined by her confessor and biographer, the Passionist Fr Germano. These began to appear about 8 p.m. on a Thursday and lasted till 3 p.m. on the Friday. No pain preceded their apparition, but only a deep recollection. There was seen first a discoloration on the back and palm of each hand; then a 'rent in the flesh' under the skin which then split, and a deep laceration was observed, at least usually: the holes above and below corresponded and the perforations seemed complete, but it was hard to judge of this because they kept firing up with blood, partly flowing, partly congealing. Fr Germano measured the diameters and shapes of the wounds carefully, and noted that 'a few times' a sort of fleshy swelling, like a nail-head, about an inch across, covered the wounds in the hands (though not those in the feet): 'The deep wounds were the more usual state of Gemma's stigmata—I say, the more usual state'. He also says that directly the Friday ecstasy was over, 'the flow of blood from all < five> wounds ceased immediately; the raw flesh healed; the lacerated tissues healed too': at least by Sunday not a vestige remained of the deep 'cavities'; the new skin was smooth, though 'whitish marks' remained on it. Much more could be said about this saint, but this account suffices as occasion for explaining the principles governing the Church's approach to these and allied phenomena.
First, the Congregation of Rites, declaring that Gemma practiced the Christian virtues to a heroic degree, explicitly refrained from passing judgment on the preternatural character of the recorded phenomena; a matter (it adds) 'upon which no decision is ever made' (see <Acta Apostolicae Sedis> vol. xxiv [1932], p. 57, and Thurston: <Physical Phenomena of Mysticism>, ed. J. H. Crehan, chapter 11, especially pp. 52-54).
We must first register the alleged <facts> presented to us for observation, and then consider the evidence. Only then may we tentatively embark on <interpretation>. So we notice that before the time of St. Francis of Assisi there can be quoted only two or three instances of stigmatization of doubtful character: but since St. Francis, instances become almost innumerable up to the present day. We start by excluding those where self-inflicted wounds can even be suspected; for there have been instances of downright imposture, of misguided asceticism-conscious or possibly unconscious. This cannot apply to Gemma Galgani, since the gradual appearance and disappearance of her wounds was scrupulously <watched>. Again, all instances of complete stigmatization (save probably two) are found in women, and usually (though by no means always) in women who lead an enclosed and constantly meditative life; this suggests that the mind can influence the body-as it obviously can: a <thought> can make one blush, or turn pale. Further, an ecstatica's stigmata (or visions) not seldom correspond with some picture or effigy that she habitually sees: the marks of the scourging on Gemma are said to reproduce those on a crucifix she contemplated; Catherine Emmerich and others 'see' our Lord on a Y-shaped cross like one they were accustomed to; some will see Him crucified with three, others with four, nails; the wound of the lance may be on the right, or again on the left. We may therefore grant that <even if> a supernatural grace be granted to the soul, the mind, helped by the imagination, may proceed to interpret it to itself by means of such ideas or images as it possesses or prefers. But how far can the 'mind' influence the body? 'Dermatography'—marks on the skin, usually disappearing soon—can undoubtedly be induced by suggestion, whether it be self-suggestion or administered by another; but can suggestion cause lesions of the tissues, persisting and not becoming gangrenous? The word 'hysteria' should now be left aside—the ugly word 'pithiatism' may be replacing it—it merely means 'suggestibility'. Now there is no fault in being 'suggestible'; one person may lie abnormally open to the stimulus of anger, fear, sex or pity. If then we seek the nature of the stimulus lying behind the bodily manifestations observed in one who, on other grounds, is judged to be of exceptional holiness, we can prudently suppose that it is love for God, for Christ incarnate, or crucified, which so moves the entire 'subject'—body-mind—as to produce the exterior phenomena. The miracle would then lie in the intensity of the love for God granted to a human soul; the physical consequences of so super-human a love might be quite incalculable, by no means necessarily the stigmata, though possibly including them: indeed, disconcerting symptoms might well co-exist with those that might be expected, and should by no means be at once ascribed to diabolic influences. The description of all abnormal symptoms of the sort under discussion should be purely clinical, not rhetorical or pietistic.

St. Gemma Galgani was beatified in 1933, and canonized in 1940. Text Source: EWTN
***
Prayer to St Gemma asking for her intercession
Oh holy Gemma, I am near you, help me to pray. You know what I and those near me need; look after my urgent needs and my spiritual and material wants. You take care of them! I confide in you and entrust all to your loving care. 
Offer up to Jesus that tender and constant care that you bore Him here on earth.
Oh holy Gemma, you who physically suffered all the pains of the Passion of Jesus, I beseech of you the grace to meditate on and live the Passion of Jesus, and the sufferings of Holy Mary. Pray that I will be able to walk in the path of humility, simplicity, love and sacrifice, fulfilling at all times and in all ways, the holy will of God. Let me live united with Jesus, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and you, for all eternity. Amen.
(taken from a St Gemma Holy Card) - Source: stgemmagalgani.com


Saint April 11 : St. Stanislaus : Patron of Poland, Soldiers in battle : Bishop and Martyr


St. Stanislaus
PATRON SAINT OF POLAND, BISHOP OF CRACOW, MARTYR
Feast: April 11



Information:

Feast Day:
April 11
Born:
26 July 1030 as Szczepanowski, Poland
Died:
murdered on 8 May 1079 in the chapel of Saint Michael in a suburb of Cracow, Poland
Canonized:
1253 by Pope Innocent IV at Assisi, Italy
Patron of:
Cracow, Plock, Poland, soldiers in battle

Bishop and martyr, born at Szczepanów (hence called Szczepanowski), in the Diocese of Cracow, 26 July, 1030; died at Cracow, 8 May, 1079; feast on May 7 in Roman Martyrology, but on 8 May in Cracow, which has a special feast of the translation of his relics on 27 September; patron of Poland and the city and Diocese of Cracow; invoked in battle. In pictures he is given the episcopal insignia and the sword. Larger paintings represent him in a court or kneeling before the altar and receiving the fatal blow. No contemporary biography of the saint is in existence. At the time of his canonization a life appeared written by a Dominican Vincent(?) (Acta SS.,May, II, 196) which contains much legendary matter. His parents, Belislaus and Bogna, pious and noble Catholics, gave him a religious education. He made his studies at Gnesen and Paris(?). After the death of his parents he distributed his ample inheritance among the poor. Lambert Zula, Bishop of Cracow, ordained him priest and made him pastor of Czembocz near Cracow, canon and preacher at the cathedral, and later, vicar-general. After the death of Lambert he was elected bishop, but accepted only on explicit command of Pope Alexander II. He worked with his wonted energy for his diocese, and inveighed against vices among high and low, regardless of consequences. Boleslaw II had become King of Poland. the renown he had gained by his successful wars he now sullied by atrocious cruelty and unbridled lust. Moreover the bishop had several serious disputes with the king about a piece of land belonging to the Church which was unjustly claimed by Boleslaw, and about some nobles, who had left their homes to ward off various evils threatening their families and who were in consequence cruelly treated by the king. Stanislaus spared neither tears nor prayers and admonitions to bring the king to lead a more Christian life. All being in vain, Boleslaw was excommunicated and the canons of the cathedral were instructed to discontinue the Divine Offices in case the king should attempt to enter. Stanislaus retired to the Chapel of St. Michael in a suburb of Cracow. The king was furious and followed the bishop with his guards, some of whom he sent to kill the saint. These dared not obey, so Boleslaw slew him during the Holy Sacrifice. The body was at first buried in the chapel, but in 1088 it was transferred to the cathedral by Bishop Lambert II. St. Stanislaus was canonized 1253 by Innocent IV at Assisi.
(Taken From Catholic Encyclopedia)

Way of the Cross from St. Peter's in the Vatican with Pope Francis and Full Prayers on Good Friday - Full Video


VaticanNews report:Way of the Cross: Meditations from a corrections facility
The Via Crucis, or Way of the Cross, meditations for Good Friday this year have been prepared by prisoners, volunteers, family members and others, associated with a corrections facility in Northern Italy.
By Francesca Merlo

Each meditation represents a life and a story. Each one is associated with the fourteen stations of this year’s Via Crucis, or Way of the Cross. The meditations have been written by people whose lives are in some way connected to the “Due Palazzi” correctional facility in Padua, Northern Italy. They were collected by the prison chaplain, Fr. Marco Pozza, and journalist, Tatiana Mario.

Lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus in Italy began on 8 March. Prison riots around the country followed when prisoners were told they could no longer receive visitors. Two days after the riots, Pope Francis offered Mass for prisoners: “I would like to pray for those who are in prison”, he said. “They are suffering, and we must be near to them in prayer, asking that the Lord might help them and console them in this difficult moment”.

First Station: Jesus is condemned to death
The author of the first meditation is serving a life sentence. “My crucifixion began as a child”, he says, explaining that his stutter made him an outcast. He says he feels more like Barabbas than Jesus. Sometimes he weeps. “After 29 years in prison I have not yet lost the ability to cry, to feel ashamed of my past, and the evil I have done”. In the “non-life” he lived previously, he “always sought something that was life”, he says. Today, strange as it may seem, “prison has become my salvation”, he adds.

If, for some, I am still Barabbas, that does not make me angry: I know in my heart that the Innocent One, condemned like me, came to find me in prison to teach me about life.

Second Station: Jesus takes up his Cross
The parents of a girl who was brutally murdered recount how theirs “was a life of sacrifices based on work and family”. They used to ask themselves: “Why has this evil overwhelmed us?”. They could find no peace. "At the moment when despair seems to take over, the Lord comes to meet us in different ways”, they say. “He gives us the grace to love each other like newlyweds, supporting each other, even with difficulty". Today, they continue to open their doors to all those in need.

The commandment to perform acts of charity to us is a kind of salvation: we do not want to surrender to evil. God’s love is truly capable of renewing life because, before us, his Son Jesus underwent human suffering so as to experience true compassion.

Third Station: Jesus falls for the first time
“It was the first time I fell. But for me that fall was death”. The third meditation is written by a prisoner. He did not know about the evil growing inside him, he says. After a difficult life, one evening “like an avalanche…. anger killed my kindness… I took someone’s life”. After considering committing suicide in prison, he found people who gave him back the faith he had lost, he says.

My first fall was failing to realize that goodness exists in this world. My second, the murder, was really its consequence, for I was already dead inside.

Fourth Station: Jesus meets his Mother
The author of the fourth meditation is a mother whose son is in prison. She says she was not tempted “even for a second” to abandon her son in the face of his sentence. That day, she says, “the whole family went to prison with him”. She describes people “pointing fingers” like knives, and wounds that “grow with every passing day”. She has entrusted her only son to Mary and says she feels her closeness. “I confide my fears to Mary alone, because she herself felt them on her way to Calvary”.

In her heart she knew that her Son would not escape human evil, yet she did not abandon Him. She stood there sharing in His suffering, keeping Him company by her presence. I think of Jesus looking up, seeing those eyes so full of love, and not feeling alone. I would like to do the same.

Fifth Station: Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry the Cross
The author of the fifth meditation is a prisoner. He says he hopes to bring joy to someone someday. “Everyone knows a Simon of Cyrene”, he explains. It is the nickname of those who help others carry their cross up their own Mount Calvary. He describes his cellmate as another Simon of Cyrene: someone who lived on a bench, without a home or possessions.

His only wealth was a box of candies. He has a sweet tooth, but he insisted that I bring it to my wife the first time she visited me: she burst into tears at that unexpected and thoughtful gesture.

Sixth Station: Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
The catechist and author of the sixth meditation wipes away many tears, just like Veronica. “They flood uncontrollably from hearts that are broken”, he says. In the dark reality of prison, he describes meeting desperate souls, trying to understand why evil exists.  Finding an answer is hard, he says.  He asks how Jesus would wipe away their tears if He were in that position. How would Jesus ease the anguish of these men, he asks. So, he tries to do what he believes Jesus would do.

In the same way that Christ looks at our own weaknesses and limitations with eyes full of love. Everyone, including those in prison, has an opportunity each day to become a new person, thanks to Christ’s look which does not judge, but gives life and hope.

Seventh Station: Jesus falls for the second time
The prisoner responsible for the seventh meditation says he often walked past prisons, thinking to himself he would never “end up in there”. Then he was convicted of drug dealing, and found himself in what he calls the “cemetery of the living dead”. Now, he says, he did not know what he was doing.

I am trying to rebuild my life with the help of God. I owe it to my parents... I owe it above all to myself: the idea that evil can continue to guide my life is intolerable. This is what has become my way of the cross.

Eighth Station: Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem
The author of the eighth meditation describes how her whole life was shattered when her father was sentenced to life in prison. She has been travelling around Italy for twenty-eight years, following her father as he is moved from prison to prison. Deprived of her father’s love, and his presence on her wedding day, she has had to cope with her mother’s depression as well.

It’s true: there are parents who, out of love, learn to wait for their children to grow up. In my own case, for love, I wait for my Dad’s return. For people like us, hope is a duty.

Ninth Station: Jesus falls for the third time
The author of the ninth meditation recognizes the many times he has fallen. And the many times he has risen. Like Peter, he has sought and found a thousand excuses to justify his mistakes, he says.

It is true that my life was shattered into a thousand pieces, but the wonderful thing is that those pieces can still be put together. It is not easy, but it is the only thing that still makes sense here.

Tenth Station: Jesus is stripped of his garments
The author of the tenth meditation is a teacher. Just as Jesus was stripped of His garments, so he has seen many of his students “stripped of all dignity… and respect for themselves and others” in prison. They are helpless, frustrated by their weakness, often unable to understand the wrong they have done. Yet, at times they are like newborn babies who can still be taught, he says.

Even though I love this job, I sometimes struggle to find the strength to carry on. In so sensitive a service, we need to feel that we are not abandoned, in order to be able to support the many lives entrusted to us, lives that each day run the risk of ruin.

Eleventh Station: Jesus is nailed to the Cross
The author of the eleventh meditation is a priest who was falsely accused, and later acquitted. His own “Way of the Cross” lasted ten years, he says, during which he had to face suspicion, accusations and insults. Fortunately, he also encountered his own versions of Simon of Cyrene who helped him carry the weight of his cross. “Together with me, many of them prayed for the young man who accused me”, he says.

The day on which I was fully acquitted, I found myself happier than I had been ten years before: I experienced first-hand God working in my life. Hanging on the cross, I discovered the meaning of my priesthood.

Twelfth Station: Jesus dies on the Cross
The author of the twelfth meditation is a judge. No magistrate, he says, can “crucify a man… to the sentence he is serving”. True justice is only possible through mercy, he adds. Mercy helps you find the goodness that is never completely extinguished, despite all the wrongs committed. To do this, one must learn how to “recognize the person hidden behind the crime committed”, he says.

In this process, it sometimes becomes possible to glimpse a horizon that can instill hope in that person and once his sentence has been served, to return to society and hope that people will welcome him back after having rejected him. For all of us, even those convicted of a crime, are children of the same human family.

Thirteenth Station: Jesus is taken down from the Cross
“Prisoners have always been my teachers”, writes the religious Brother, author of the thirteenth meditation. He has volunteered in prisons for sixty years. “We Christians often delude ourselves that we are better than others”, he says. In His life, Christ willingly chose to stand on the side of the least. “Passing by one cell after another, I see the death that lives within”, he says. But Christ tells him to keep going, to take them in His arms again. So he stops, and listens.

This is the only way I know to accept that person, and avert my gaze from the mistake he made. Only in this way will he be able to trust and regain the strength to surrender to God’s goodness, and see himself differently.

Fourteenth Station: Jesus is laid in the tomb
A corrections officer has written the concluding meditation for this year’s Way of the Cross. Every day he witnesses first-hand the suffering of those who live in prison. “A good person can become cruel, and a bad person can become better”, he says. It depends on that person. But prison changes you, he adds. Personally, he is committed to giving another chance to those who have chosen what is wrong.

I work hard to keep hope alive in people left to themselves, frightened at the thought of one day leaving and possibly being rejected yet again by society. In prison, I remind them that, with God, no sin will ever have the last word.
Full Text Source: Vatican News.va

Divine Mercy Novena Begins and Chaplet Instructions with Plenary Indulgence - Powerful #DivineMercy Prayers against Evil to Share!



The Divine Mercy Chaplet is a simple prayer that is most often said at 3pm in honor of Jesus' death on the cross. Pope Francis has granted a special plenary indulgence to all who recite this powerful prayer. Also, the Divine Mercy Novena officially begins today (instructions below)

Divine Mercy Chaplet Instructions: 

1. Begin with the Sign of the Cross, 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and The Apostles Creed.
2. Then on the Our Father Beads say the following:
Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

3. On the 10 Hail Mary Beads say the following:
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

(Repeat step 2 and 3 for all five decades).

4. Conclude with (three times):
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Then say: (optional)
O Blood and Water that gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fountain of mercy for us, I trust in You.

Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury
of compassion --- inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with
great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will,
which is Love and Mercy itself.

PRAY – DIVINE MERCY NOVENA
JESUS said: I will deny nothing to any soul whom you will bring to the fount of My mercy. On each day you will beg My Father, on the strength of My bitter Passion, for graces for these souls".
  NOVENA - Say for 9 days (can be said at anytime)
Day 1. Today, bring to Me all mankind,especially all sinners, and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. In this way you will console Me in the bitter grief into which the loss of souls plunges Me. 

Most Merciful Jesus, whose very nature it is to have compassion on us and to forgive us, do not look upon our sins but upon our trust which we place in Your infinite goodness. Receive us all into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart, and never let us escape from it. We beg this of You by Your love which unites You to the Father and the Holy Spirit.
Oh omnipotence of Divine Mercy,
Salvation of sinful people,
You are a sea of mercy and compassion;
You aid those who entreat You with humility.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon all mankind and especially upon poor sinners, all enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, show us Your mercy, that we may praise the omnipotence of Your mercy for ever and ever. Amen.
Day 2. Today bring to me the souls of priests and religious, and immerse them in My unfathomable mercy. It was they who gave Me the strength to endure My bitter Passion. Through them, as through channels, My mercy flows out upon mankind.

Most Merciful Jesus, from whom comes all that is good, increase Your grace in us, that we may perform worthy works of mercy; and that all who see them may glorify the Father of Mercy who is in heaven.

The fountain of God’s love
Dwells in pure hearts,
Bathed in the Sea of Mercy Radiant as stars,
bright as the dawn.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the company [of chosen ones] in Your vineyard — upon the souls of priests and religious; and endow them with the strength of Your blessing. For the love of the Heart of Your Son in which they are enfolded, impart to them Your power and light, that they may be able to guide others in the way of salvation and with one voice sing praise to Your boundless mercy for ages without end. Amen.
Day 3.Today bring to Me all devout and faithful souls, and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. These souls brought Me consolation on the Way of the Cross. They were that drop of consolation in the midst of an ocean of bitterness. 

Most Merciful Jesus, from the treasury of Your mercy You impart Your graces in great abundance to each and all. Receive us into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart and never let us escape from it. We beg this of You by that most wondrous love for the heavenly Father with which Your Heart burns so fiercely.

The miracles of mercy are impenetrable.
Neither the sinner nor just one will fathom them.
When You cast upon us an eye of pity,
You draw us all closer to Your love.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon faithful souls, as upon the inheritance of Your Son. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, grant them Your blessing and surround them with Your constant protection. Thus may they never fail in love or lose the treasure of the holy faith, but rather, with all the hosts of Angels and Saints, may they glorify your boundless mercy for endless ages. Amen.
 Day 4. Today bring to Me the unbelievers and those who do not yet know me. I was thinking also of them during My bitter Passion, and their future zeal comforted My Heart. Immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. 

Most compassionate Jesus, You are the Light of the whole world. Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of pagans who as yet do not know You. Let the rays of Your grace enlighten them that they, too, together with us, may extol Your wonderful mercy; and do not let them escape from the abode which is Your Most Compassionate Heart.

May the light of Your love
Enlighten the souls in darkness;
Grant that these souls will know You
And, together with us, praise Your mercy.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of pagans and of those who as yet do not know You, but who are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Draw them to the light of the Gospel. These souls do not know what great happiness it is to love You. Grant that they, too, may extol the generosity of Your mercy for endless ages. Amen.
Day 5. Today bring to Me the souls of heretics and schismatics, and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. During My bitter Passion they tore at My Body and Heart; that is, My Church. As they return to unity with the Church, My wounds heal, and in this way they alleviate My Passion. 

Most Merciful Jesus, Goodness Itself, You do not refuse light to those who seek it of You. Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of heretics and schismatics. Draw them by Your light into the unity of the Church, and do not let them escape from the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart; but bring it about that they, too, come to glorify the generosity of Your mercy.

Even for those who have torn the garment of your unity,
A fount of mercy flows from Your Heart.
The omnipotence of Your mercy, Oh God.
Can lead these souls also out of error.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of heretics and schismatics, who have squandered Your blessings and misused Your graces by obstinately persisting in their errors. Do not look upon their errors, but upon the love of Your own Son and upon His bitter Passion, which He underwent for their sake, since they, too, are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Bring it about that they also may glorify Your great mercy for endless ages. Amen.
Day 6. Today bring to me the meek and humble souls and the souls of little children, and immerse them in My mercy. These souls most closely resemble My Heart. They strengthened Me during My bitter agony. I saw them as earthly Angels, who would keep vigil at My altars. I pour out upon them whole torrents of grace. Only the humble soul is able to receive My grace. I favor humble souls with My confidence.

Most Merciful Jesus, You yourself have said, “Learn from Me for I am meek and humble of heart.” Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart all meek and humble souls and the souls of little children. These souls send all heaven into ecstasy and they are the heavenly Father’s favorites. They are a sweet-smelling bouquet before the throne of God; God himself takes delight in their fragrance. These souls have a permanent abode in Your Most Compassionate Heart, O Jesus, and they unceasingly sing out a hymn of love and mercy.

A truly gentle and humble soul
Already here on earth the air of paradise breathes,
And in the fragrance of her humble heart
The Creator Himself delights.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon meek souls, upon humble souls, and upon the souls of little children who are enfolded in the abode which is the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls bear the closest resemblance to Your Son. Their fragrance rises from the earth and reaches Your very throne. Father of mercy and of all goodness, I beg You by the love You bear these souls and by the delight You take in them: Bless the whole world, that all souls together may sing out the praises of Your mercy for endless ages. Amen.
Day 7. Today bring to me the souls who especially venerate and glorify My mercy, and immerse them in My mercy. These souls sorrowed most over My Passion and entered most deeply into My Spirit. They are living images of My Compassionate Heart. These souls will shine with a special brightness in the next life. Not one of them will go into the fire of hell. I shall particularly defend each one of them at the hour of death.

Most Merciful Jesus, whose Heart is Love Itself, receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who particularly extol and venerate the greatness of Your mercy. These souls are mighty with the very power of God Himself. In the midst of all afflictions and adversities they go forward, confident of Your mercy. These souls are united to Jesus and carry all mankind on their shoulders. These souls will not be judged severely, but Your mercy will embrace them as they depart from this life.

A soul who praises the goodness of her Lord
Is especially loved by Him.
She is always close to the living fountain
And draws graces from Mercy Divine.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls who glorify and venerate Your greatest attribute, that of Your fathomless mercy, and who are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls are a living Gospel; their hands are full of deeds of mercy, and their spirit, overflowing with joy, sings a canticle of mercy to You, O Most High! I beg You O God: Show them Your mercy according to the hope and trust they have placed in You. Let there be accomplished in them the promise of Jesus, who said to them, I Myself will defend as My own glory, during their lifetime, and especially at the hour of their death, those souls who will venerate My fathomless mercy.
Amen.
Day 8. Today bring to Me the souls who are in the prison of Purgatory, and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. Let the torrents of My Blood cool down their scorching flames. All these souls are greatly loved by Me. They are making retribution to My justice. It is in your power to bring them relief. Draw all the indulgences from the treasury of My Church and offer them on their behalf. Oh, if you only knew the torments they suffer, you would continually offer for them the alms of the spirit and pay off their debt to My justice. 

Most Merciful Jesus, You Yourself have said that You desire mercy; so I bring into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls in Purgatory, souls who are very dear to You, and yet, who must make retribution to Your justice. May the streams of Blood and Water which gushed forth from Your Heart put out the flames of the purifying fire, that in that place, too, the power of Your mercy may be praised.

From that terrible heat of the cleansing fire
Rises a plaint to Your mercy,
And they receive comfort, refreshment, relief
In the stream of mingled Blood and Water.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls suffering in Purgatory, who are enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. I beg You, by the sorrowful Passion of Jesus Your Son, and by all the bitterness with which His most sacred Soul was flooded: Manifest Your mercy to the souls who are under Your just scrutiny. Look upon them in no other way but only through the Wounds of Jesus, Your dearly beloved Son; for we firmly believe that there is no limit to Your goodness and compassion. Amen

Day 9. Today bring to Me souls who have become lukewarm, and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. These souls wound My Heart most painfully. My soul suffered the most dreadful loathing in the Garden of Olives because of lukewarm souls. They were the reason I cried out: “Father, take this cup away from Me, if it be Your will.” For them, the last hope of salvation is to flee to My mercy.

Most Compassionate Jesus, You are Compassion Itself. I bring lukewarm souls into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart. In this fire of Your pure love let these tepid souls, who like corpses, filled You with such deep loathing, be once again set aflame. O Most Compassionate Jesus, exercise the omnipotence of Your mercy and draw them into the very ardor of Your love, and bestow upon them the gift of holy love, for nothing is beyond Your power.

Fire and ice cannot be joined,
Either the fire dies, or the ice melts.
But by Your mercy, O God,
You can make up for all that is lacking.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon lukewarm souls, who are nonetheless enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Father of Mercy, I beg You by the bitter Passion of Your Son and by His three-hour agony on the Cross: Let them, too, glorify the abyss of Your mercy. Amen.

Pope Francis LIVE on Good Friday - Liturgy of the Passion from the Vatican with Adoration - Full Video + Homily



Pope Francis LIVE streamed from the Vatican on Good Friday Liturgy of the Passion.
Full Text Homily. Also Full Video below:
On Good Friday, the Liturgy of the Passion with the Adoration of the Cross,
will take place in St. Peter's Basilica. The Crucifix of St. Marcellus will be covered. The Preacher of the Papal Household, Father Raniero Cantalamessa, will deliver a meditation, after which the Crucifix will be revealed. Adoration will follow, without the traditional kissing of the Cross.
Below please find the full text of his Sermon from Vatican News:
“I HAVE PLANS FOR YOUR WELFARE AND NOT FOR WOE”
Sermon for Good Friday 2020 in St. Peter’s Basilica

St. Gregory the Great said that Scripture “grows with its readers”, cum legentibus crescit.[1] It reveals meanings always new according to the questions people have in their hearts as they read it. And this year we read the account of the Passion with a question—rather with a cry—in our hearts that is rising up over the whole earth. We need to seek the answer that the word of God gives it.
The Gospel reading we have just listened to is the account of the objectively greatest evil committed on earth. We can look at it from two different angles: either from the front or from the back, that is, either from its causes or from its effects. If we stop at the historical causes of Christ’s death, we get confused and everyone will be tempted to say, as Pilate did, “I am innocent of this man’s blood” (Mt 27:24). The cross is better understood by its effects than by its causes. And what were the effects of Christ’s death? Being justified through faith in him, being reconciled and at peace with God, and being filled with the hope of eternal life! (see Rom 53:1-5).
But there is one effect that the current situation can help us to grasp in particular. The cross of Christ has changed the meaning of pain and human suffering—of every kind of suffering, physical and moral. It is no longer punishment, a curse. It was redeemed at its root when the Son of God took it upon himself. What is the surest proof that the drink someone offers you is not poisoned? It is if that person drinks from the same cup before you do. This is what God has done: on the cross he drank, in front of the whole world, the cup of pain down to its dregs. This is how he showed us it is not poisoned, but that there is a pearl at the bottom of it.
And not only the pain of those who have faith, but of every human pain. He died for all human beings: “And when I am lifted up from the earth,” he said, “I will draw everyone to myself” (Jn 12:32). Everyone, not just some! St. John Paul II wrote from his hospital bed after his attempted assassination, “To suffer means to become particularly susceptible, particularly open to the working of the salvific powers of Godoffered to humanity in Christ.”[2] Thanks to the cross of Christ, suffering has also become in its own way a kind of “universal sacrament of salvation” for the human race.
***
What light does all of this shed on the dramatic situation that humanity is going through now? Here too we need to look at the effects more than at the causes—not just the negative ones we hear about every day in heart-wrenching reports but also the positive ones that only a more careful observation can help us grasp.
The pandemic of Coronavirus has abruptly roused us from the greatest danger individuals and humanity have always been susceptible to: the delusion of omnipotence. A Jewish rabbi has written that we have the opportunity to celebrate a very special paschal exodus this year, that “from the exile of consciousness” [3]. It took merely the smallest and most formless element of nature, a virus, to remind us that we are mortal, that military power and technology are not sufficient to save us. As a psalm in the Bible says, “In his prime, man does not understand. / He is like the beasts—they perish” (Ps 49:21). How true that is!
While he was painting frescoes in St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, the artist James Thornhill became so excited at a certain point about his fresco that he stepped back to see it better and was unaware he was about to fall over the edge of the scaffolding. A horrified assistant understood that crying out to him would have only hastened the disaster. Without thinking twice, he dipped a brush in paint and hurled it at the middle of the fresco. The master, appalled, sprang forward. His work was damaged, but he was saved.
God does this with us sometimes: he disrupts our projects and our calm to save us from the abyss we don’t see. But we need to be careful not to be deceived. God is not the one who hurled the brush at the sparkling fresco of our technological society. God is our ally, not the ally of the virus! He himself says in the Bible, “I have . . . plans for your welfare and not for woe” (Jer 29:11). If these scourges were punishments of God, it would not be explained why they strike equally good and bad, and why the poor usually bear the worst consequences of them. Are they more sinners than others?
The one who cried one day for Lazarus' death cries today for the scourge that has fallen on humanity. Yes, God "suffers", like every father and every mother. When we will find out this one day, we will be ashamed of all the accusations we made against him in life. God participates in our pain to overcome it. "Being supremely good - wrote St. Augustine - God would not allow any evil in his works, unless in his omnipotence and goodness, he is able to bring forth good out of evil.”[4]
Did God the Father possibly desire the death of his Son in order to draw good out of it? No, he simply permitted human freedom to take its course, making it serve, however, his own purposes and not those of human beings. This is also the case for natural disasters like earthquakes and plagues. He does not bring them about. He has given nature a kind of freedom as well, qualitatively different of course than that of human beings, but still a form of freedom—freedom to evolve according to its own laws of development. He did not create a world as a programmed clock whose least little movement could be anticipated. It is what some call “chance” but the Bible calls instead “the wisdom of God.”
***
The other positive fruit of the present health crisis is the feeling of solidarity. When, in the memory of humanity, have the people of all nations ever felt themselves so united, so equal, so less in conflict than at this moment of pain? Never so much as now have we experienced the truth of the words of one of our great poets: “Peace, you peoples! Too deep is the mystery of the prostrate earth.”[5] We have forgotten about building walls. The virus knows no borders. In an instant it has broken down all the barriers and distinctions of race, nation, religion, wealth, and power. We should not revert to that prior time when this moment has passed. As the Holy Father has exhorted us, we should not waste this opportunity. Let us not allow so much pain, so many deaths, and so much heroic engagement on the part of health workers to have been in vain. Returning to the way things were is the “recession” we should fear the most.
They shall beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks;
One nation shall not raise the sword against another,
nor shall they train for war again. (Is 2:4)
This is the moment to put into practice something of the prophecy of Isaiah whose fulfillment humanity has long been waiting for. Let us say “Enough!” to the tragic race toward arms. Say it with all your might, you young people, because it is above all your destiny that is at stake. Let us devote the unlimited resources committed to weapons to the goals that we now realize are most necessary and urgent: health, hygiene, food, the fight against poverty, stewardship of creation. Let us leave to the next generation a world poorer in goods and money, if need be, but richer in its humanity.
***
The word of God tells us the first thing we should do at times like these is to cry out to God. He himself is the one who puts on people’s lips the words to cry out to him, at times harsh words of lament and almost of accusation: “Awake! Why do you sleep, O Lord? / Rise up! Do not reject us forever! . . . Rise up, help us! / Redeem us in your mercy” (Ps 44, 24, 27). “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” (Mk 4:38).  
Does God perhaps like to be petitioned so that he can grant his benefits? Can our prayer perhaps make God change his plans? No, but there are things that God has decided to grant us as the fruit both of his grace and of our prayer, almost as though sharing with his creatures the credit for the benefit received.[6] God is the one who prompts us to do it: “Seek and you will find,” Jesus said; “knock and the door will be opened to you” (Mt 7:7).
When the Israelites were bitten by poisonous serpents in the desert, God commanded Moses to lift up a serpent of bronze on a pole, and whoever looked at it would not die. Jesus appropriated this symbol to himself when he told Nicodemus, “Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life” (Jn 3:14-15). We too at this moment have been bitten by an invisible, poisonous “serpent.” Let us gaze upon the one who was “lifted up” for us on the cross. Let us adore him on behalf of ourselves and of the whole human race. The one who looks on him with faith does not die. And if that person dies, it will be to enter eternal life.
"After three days I will rise", Jesus had foretold (cf. Mt Mt 27:63). We too, after these days that we hope will be short, shall rise and come out of the tombs of our homes. Not however  to return to the former life like Lazarus, but to a new life, like Jesus. A more fraternal, more human, more Christian life!
______________________________
Translated from Italian by Marsha Daigle-Williamson, Ph.D.
[1] Moralia in Job, XX, 1.
[2] John Paul II, Salvifici doloris [On the Meaning of Human Suffering], n. 23.
[3] https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/coronavirus-a-spiritual-message-from-brooklyn (Yaakov Yitzhak Biderman).
[4] See St. Augustine, Enchiridion 11, 3; PL 40, 236.
[5] Giovanni Pascoli, “I due fanciulli” [“The Two Children”].
[6] See St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologicae, II-IIae, q. 83, a. 2.
Push Play button on Video in Progress:
Follow along in the Booklet provided by the Vatican: http://www.vatican.va/news_services/liturgy/libretti/2020/20200410-libretto-venerdi-passione.pdf   

Stations of the Cross explained a Powerful Prayer for Lent of Jesus' sufferings for Us - With Indulgences

The Stations of the Cross is a series of images showing the struggles of Jesus Christ from his condemnation to his crucifixion. They are especially prayed during Lent and Good Friday. There are usually 14 images that are hung in order around a church or along a path. People walk from image to image, and stop at each "station" saying prayers and possibly reading scripture passages. This prayer is often held by groups or individually. Other names for the Stations of the Cross are the Via Dolorosa or Way of Sorrows, or, The Way. In Jerusalem, the Via Dolorosa is the actual path that Jesus walked, and the stations are the actual places where the events occurred.  St. Francis of Assisi started the tradition of moving from station to station although it was practiced less formerly before. In Lent, and on Good Friday, this practice is very popular but it is also prayed during the year.The number of stations varied throughout history; Pope Clement XII extended to all churches the right to have the stations. Ultimately, the stations are an act of love towards Jesus to thank him for the great sacrifices he made for love of us and to atone for our sins.
Here is the most common list of Stations:
 1. Jesus is condemned to death
2. Jesus carries his cross
3. Jesus falls the first time
4. Jesus meets his mother
5. Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry the cross
6. Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
7. Jesus falls the second time
8. Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem
9. Jesus falls the third time
10. Jesus is stripped of his garments
11.Crucifixion: Jesus is nailed to the cross
12. Jesus dies on the cross
13. Jesus is taken down from the cross
14. Jesus is laid in the tomb.
15. Resurrection of Jesus is sometimes included as a fifteenth station.
Common prayers at each Station:
(while genuflecting)

P/ We adore thee O Christ and we praise thee.

C/Becuase by thy Holy cross thou hast redeemed the world.

And, when moving from station to station:

All: Holy Mother, pierce me thorugh, in my heart each wound renew, of my saviour crucified.

Indulgences are: 
  • A plenary indulgence every time the devotion is completed.
  • An additional plenary indulgence if one receives Holy Communion on the day.
  • Also an additional plenary indulgence if one performs the devotion ten times and receives Holy Communion within a month after so doing.
  • A partial indulgence of ten years for every Station made if one was not able to finish the Stations.
    The conditions for gaining them are
    • Walking from Station to Station when making the Way of the Cross privately; when making it publicly, it suffices for the priest with the altar boys to do so. Meditate at each Station on the sufferings of our Lord.

    • These two conditions are essential. No oral prayers are prescribed; yet they are profitable.
    • A plenary indulgence* is granted to the faithful for making the Stations of the Cross under the normal conditions: one is free from all attachment from sin


  • one receives the Sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist (7 days before or after)
  • one prays for the intentions of the Pope (1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and 1 Glory Be) 
  • Hauntingly Beautiful - Just days before the Fire - Last Hymn Sung in Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris - "Stabat Mater"


    KTO Television captured the video (below) of this last hymn sung in the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, France, just before it burned down. Here the choir sings the "Stabat Mater" about Our Lady standing at the foot of the Cross watching Jesus die. Music by Jean-Charles Gandrille. Full lyrics below in Latin with English translation:
    1. Stabat Mater dolorosa iuxta crucem lacrimosa dum pendebat Filius
    The grieving Mother stood weeping beside the cross where her Son was hanging

    2. Cuius animam gementem contristatam et dolentem pertransivit gladius
    Through her weeping soul, compassionate and grieving, a sword passed.

    3. O quam tristis et afflicta fuit illa benedicta Mater Unigeniti
    O how sad and afflicted was that blessed Mother of the Only-begotten!

    4. Quae moerebat et dolebat et tremebat cum videbat nati poenas incliti
    Who mourned and grieved and trembled looking at the torment of her glorious Child

    5. Quis est homo qui non fleret Matri Christi si videret in tanto supplicio?
    Who is the person who would not weep seeing the Mother of Christ in such agony?

    6. Quis non posset contristari Matrem Christi contemplari dolentum cum filio?
    Who would not be able to feel compassion on beholding Christ’s Mother suffering with her Son?

    7. Pro peccatis suae gentis vidit Iesum in tormentis et flagellis subditum
    For the sins of his people she saw Jesus in torment and subjected to the scourge.

    8. Vidit suum dulcem natum moriendo desolatum dum emisit spiritum
    She saw her sweet offspring dying, forsaken, while He gave up his spirit

    9. Eia Mater, fons amoris, me sentire vim doloris fac ut tecum lugeam
    O Mother, fountain of love, make me feel the power of sorrow, that I may grieve with you

    10. Fac ut ardeat cor meum in amando Christum Deum ut sibi complaceam
    Grant that my heart may burn in the love of Christ my Lord, that I may greatly please Him

    11. Sancta Mater, istud agas, crucifixi fige plagas cordi meo valide
    Holy Mother, grant that the wounds of the Crucified drive deep into my heart.

    12. Tui nati vulnerati tam dignati pro me pati poenas mecum divide
    That of your wounded Son, who so deigned to suffer for me, I may share the pain

    13. Fac me vere tecum flere crucifixo condolere donec ego vixero
    Let me sincerely weep with you, bemoan the Crucified, for as long as I live

    14. Iuxta crucem tecum stare et me tibi sociare in planctu desidero
    To stand beside the cross with you, and gladly share the weeping, this I desire

    15. Virgo virginum praeclara mihi iam non sis amara fac me tecum plangere
    Chosen Virgin of virgins, be not bitter with me, let me weep with thee

    16. Fac ut portem Christi mortem passionis fac consortem et plagas recolere
    Grant that I may bear the death of Christ, share his Passion, and commemorate His wounds

    17. Fac me plagis vulnerari fac me cruce inebriari et cruore filii
    Let me be wounded with his wounds, let me be inebriated by the cross and your Son’s blood

    18. Flammis ne urar succensus, per te, Virgo, sim defensus in die iudicii
    Lest I burn, set afire by flames, Virgin, may I be defended by you, on the day of judgement

    19. Christe cum sit hinc exire da per matrem me venire ad palmam vicoriae
    Christ, when it is time to pass away, grant that through your Mother I may come to the palm of victory

    20. Quando corpus morietur fac ut animae donetur paradisi gloria. Amen
    When my body dies, grant that to my soul is given the glory of paradise. Amen
    ********************************
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