Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Ash Wednesday Explained - Receive Ashes in Church and begin Fasting for the 40 days of Lent!

Ash Wednesday a moveable feast that begins the liturgical season of Lent. It does not have a specific date but depends on when Easter is celebrated in 2020 it is on February 26. On Ash Wednesday Christians begin the period of the fast. Healthy people between the ages of 18 and 59 are required to fast or perform some act of penance on Ash Wednesday.
Penance during Lent can involve watching less TV or Internet, helping the poor, spending time with the sick, donating clothing, spending more time in prayer, attending Mass more often, going to Confession more often.
Abstinence from meat is required on Ash Wednesday and Fridays. On Ash Wednesday and Good Friday Catholics from ages 18-60 are required to Fast which means the consumption of 1 full meal and only 2 smaller meals. Ash Wednesday starts the commemoration of Jesus' 40 days in the desert. Lent is actually 46 days as the Sundays do not count for the fasting period. When people attend Church services on this day they are commonly blessed with ashes in the form of a cross on their foreheads. 

Is Ash Wednesday Mass a day of obligation to attend Mass and receive ashes? No, it is not required for the faithful to attend Mass nor receive ashes. However, it is very good to go to Mass on this day and all should try to go to Mass on Ash Wednesday. It is encouraged and visible sign to pray, do penance, and be humble. 
Where do the ashes come from?
The ashes are usually derived from the burning of the palms used on Palm Sunday. 

What do the Ashes on your forehead mean?
They are to remind people of their sins and call them to repentence. Usually a priest, deacon or lay person marks the person's forehead.

 The biblical verse is said:
Remember thou art dust and to dust thou shalt return.
Genesis 3: 19
Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel.
Mark 1 : 15
This marking is called a sacramental. Churches are decorated with purple during the season of Lent. Statues and crosses are covered with purple cloth. Lent ends with the celebration of Easter, when Jesus rose from the dead.
The Church encourages the faithful to go to Confession or Reconciliation on this day. 
Confession involves the telling of one's sins to a priest who then provides forgiveness according to the commission of Christ.
John 20:21-23:
He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.

There are many biblical roots to repentence for sin with ashes, here are a few sources:
Judith 7: 14
But the children of Israel, when they saw the multitude of them, prostrated themselves upon the ground, putting ashes upon their heads, praying with one accord, that the God of Israel would shew his mercy upon his people.

Jeremiah 6:26
Gird thee with sackcloth, O daughter of my people, and sprinkle thee with ashes: make thee mourning as for an only son, a bitter lamentation, because the destroyer shall suddenly come upon us.
Images shared from Google Images - Rules from the USCCB

Saint February 26 : St. Porphyrius : Bishop of Gaza in Palestine

St. Porphyrius

Feast Day:
February 26
347, Thessalonica, Greece
February 26, 420, Gaza, Palestine
Bishop of Gaza in Palestine, b. at Thessalonica about 347; d. at Gaza, 26 February, 420. After five years in the Egyptian desert of Scete he lived five years in a cave near the Jordan. In spite of his impaired health, he frequently visited the scene of the Resurrection. Here he met the Asiatic Mark, at a later date a deacon of his church and his biographer. To effect the sale of the property still owned by Porphyrius in his native city, Mark set out for Thessalonica and, upon his return, the proceeds were distributed among the monasteries of Egypt and among the necessitous in and around Jerusalem. In 392 Porphyrius was ordained to the priesthood, and the relic of the Holy Cross was intrusted to his care. In 395 he became Bishop of Gaza, a stronghold of paganism, with an insignificant Christian community. The attitude of the pagan population was hostile so that the bishop appealed to the emperor for protection and pleaded repeatedly for the destruction of pagan temples. He finally obtained an imperial rescript ordering the destruction of pagan sanctuaries at Gaza. A Christian church was erected on the site of the temple of Marnas. In 415 Porphyrius attended the Council of Diospolis. The "Vita S. Porphyrii" of Mark the Deacon, formerly known only in a Latin translation, was published in 1874 by M. Haupt in its original Greek text; a new edition was issued in 1895 by the Bonn Philological Society.

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)

Powerful Prayers to SHARE to the Holy Face of Jesus with Novena, Litany and Promises - Feast on Shrove Tuesday

The Holy Face Of Jesus Devotion honors the Face of Jesus especially on the image of the Shroud of Turin. It's feast day is celebrated on Shrove Tuesday or the day before Ash Wednesday. A Catholic Nun promoted this devotion after she received visions of Jesus saying:

"I firmly wish that my face reflecting the intimate pains

of my soul, the suffering and love of my heart, be more
honoured! Whoever gazes upon me already consoles me."
(Our Lord Jesus Christ to Sister Pierina)
This is an approved devotion and a Free Medal of the Holy Face can be obtained from the address below:
To Obtain of Free Medal with the Holy Face of Jesus 
Please send a self-addressed, double-stamped envelope to one of our addresses below:

Holy Face Association
P.O. Box 310, Station B, Montreal, Quebec  H3B 3J7

Holy Face Association
P.O. Box 821, Champlain, New York 12919-0821
Novena of the Holy Face
A Litany of the Holy Face in Reparation 

 This Litany was composed by Sister Mary of St. Peter, and approved by Mgr. Morlot, Archbishop of Tours, in 1847. His Holiness Pope Pius IX grants to all who recite, with a contrite heart, these prayers in honor of the Holy Face of Jesus Christ an indulgence of 100 days for each time; applicable to the souls in Purgatory.

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
Holy Virgin Mary, pray for us.

(After each of the following phrases, say "have mercy on us")

O adorable Face, which was adored with profound respect by Mary and Joseph when they saw Thee for the first time, have mercy on us.
O adorable Face, which in the Stable of Bethlehem didst ravish with joy the angels, the shepherds and the Magi,
O adorable Face, which in the Temple didst transpierce with a dart of love the saintly old man Simeon and the prophetess Anna,
O adorable Face, which was bathed in tears in Thy holy infancy,
O adorable Face, which, when Thou didst appear in the Temple at twelve years of age, didst fill with admiration the Doctors of the law,
O adorable Face, white with purity and ruddy with charity,
O adorable Face, more beautiful than the sun, more lovely than the moon, more brilliant than the stars,
O adorable Face, fresher than the roses of spring,
O adorable Face, more precious than gold, silver, and diamonds
O adorable Face, whose charms are so ravishing, and whose grace is so attractive,
O adorable Face, whose every feature is characterized by nobility,
O adorable Face, contemplated by angels,
O adorable Face, sweet delectation of the Saints,
O adorable Face, masterpiece of the Holy Ghost, in which the Eternal Father is well pleased.
O adorable Face, delight of Mary and Joseph,
O adorable Face, ineffable mirror of the Divine perfections,
O adorable Face, whose beauty is always ancient and always new,
O adorable Face, which appeasest the wrath of God,
O adorable Face, which makest the devils tremble,
O adorable Face, treasure of graces and of blessings,
O adorable Face, exposed in the desert to the inclemencies of the weather,
O adorable Face, scorched with the heat of the sun and bathed with sweat in Thy journeys, O adorable Face, whose expression is all divine,
O adorable Face, whose modesty and sweetness attracted both the just and sinners,
O adorable Face, which gavest a holy kiss to the little children, after having blessed them,
O adorable Face, troubled and weeping at the tomb of Lazarus,
O adorable Face, brilliant as the sun, and radiant with glory on the Mountain of Tabor,
O adorable Face, sorrowful at the sight of Jerusalem, and shedding tears on that ungrateful city,
O adorable Face, bowed down to the earth, in the Garden of Olives, and covered with confusion for our sins,
O adorable Face, bathed in a bloody sweat,
O adorable Face, kissed by the traitor Judas,
O adorable Face, whose sanctity and majesty smote the soldiers with fear and cast them to the ground,
O adorable Face, struck by a vile servant, shamefully blindfolded, and profaned by the sacrilegious hands of Thine enemies,
O adorable Face, defiled with spittle, and bruised by innumerable buffets and blows,
O adorable Face, whose Divine look wounded the heart of Peter, with a dart of sorrow and love,
O adorable Face, humbled for us at the tribunals of Jerusalem,
O adorable Face, which didst preserve Thy serenity when Pilate pronounced the fatal sentence,
O adorable Face, covered with sweat and blood, and falling in the mire under the heavy weight of the Cross,
O adorable Face, worthy of all our respect, veneration and worship,
O adorable Face, wiped with a veil by a pious woman on the road to Calvary,
O adorable Face, raised on the instrument of most shameful punishment,
O adorable Face, whose brow was covered with Thorns,
O adorable Face, whose eyes were filled with tears of blood,
O adorable Face, into whose mouth was poured gall and vinegar,
O adorable Face, whose hair and beard were plucked out by the executioners,
O adorable Face, which was made like to that of a leper,
O adorable Face, whose incomparable beauty was obscured under the dreadful cloud of the sins of the world,
O adorable Face, covered with the sad shades of death,
O adorable Face, washed and anointed by Mary and the holy women and wrapped in a shroud,
O adorable Face, inclosed in the sepulchre,
O adorable Face, all resplendent with glory and beauty on the day of the Resurrection, O adorable Face, all dazzling with light at the moment of Thy Ascension,
O adorable Face, hidden in the Eucharist,
O adorable Face, which will appear at the end of time, in the clouds, with great power and great majesty,
O adorable Face, which wilt cause sinners to tremble,
O adorable Face, which wilt fill the just with joy for all eternity,
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

Found in the Manual of the Archconfraternity of the Holy Face (1887), pg 150.
The Golden Arrow(as dictated by Our Lord to Sister Marie of St. Peter)

May the most holy, most sacred, most adorable, most incomprehensible and ineffable Name of God be forever praised, blessed, loved, adored and glorified in Heaven, on Earth, and under the Earth by all the creatures of God and by the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. Amen.

Eternal Father, I offer Thee the adorable Face of Thy Beloved Son for the honour and glory of Thy Name, for the conversion of sinners and the salvation of the dying. Amen.
Promises of our Lord Jesus Christ
to those
Devoted to His Holy Face 

  1. I will grant them contrition so perfect that their very sins shall be changed, in My Sight, into jewels of precious gold.

  2. None of these persons shall ever be separated from Me.

  3. In offering My Face to My Father, they will appease His anger, and they will purchase, as with celestial coin, pardon for poor sinners.

  4. I will open My mouth to plead with My Father to grant all the petitions that they will present to Me.

  5. I will illuminate them with My Light. I will consume them with My Love, and I will render them fruitful of good works.

  6. They will, as the pious Veronica, wipe My Adorable Face outraged by sin, and I will imprint My Divine Features in these souls.

  7. At their death, I will renew in them the image of God effaced by sin.

  8. By resemblance to My Face, they will shine more than many others in eternal life and the brilliancy of My Face will fill them with joy.

This novena prayer may be said at any time, but especially on the Feast of the Holy Face on Shrove Tuesday .


O Most Holy and Blessed Trinity, through the intercession
of Holy Mary, whose soul was pierced through by a sword
of sorrow at the sight of the passion of her Divine Son, we
ask your help in making a perfect Novena of reparation with
Jesus, united with all His sorrows, love and total abandon-
We now implore all the Angels and Saints to intercede
for us as we pray this Holy Novena to the Most Holy Face
of Jesus and for the glory of the most Holy Trinity, Father,
Son and Holy Spirit. Amen. (Start novena)


"All those who, attracted by my love, and venerating my
countenance, shall receive, by virtue of my humanity, a
brilliant and vivid impression of my divinity. This splendour
shall enlighten the depths of their souls, so that in eternal
glory the celestial court shall marvel at the marked likeness
of their features with my divine countenance." (Our Lord
Jesus Christ to St. Gertrude)


(Console Holy Face and recite Daily Preparatory Prayer).(p. 1)
Psalm 51,3-4.
Have mercy on me, O God in your goodness,
in your great tenderness wipe away my faults:
wash me clean of my guilt, purify me from my sin.
O most Holy Face of Jesus, look with tenderness on us
who are sinners. You are a merciful God, full of love and
compassion. Keep us pure of heart, so that we may see Thee
always. Mary, our Mother, intercede for us; Saint Joseph.
pray for us.
Through the merits of your precious blood and your Holy
Face, O Jesus, grant us our petition.................. Pardon
and mercy.
Prayer to Our Almighty Father
Almighty Father, come into our hearts, and so fill us with
your love that forsaking all evil desires, we may embrace
you, our only good. Show us, O Lord our God, what you
are to us. Say to our souls, I am your salvation, speak so
that we may hear. Our hearts are before you; open our ears;
let us hasten after your voice. Hide not your Face from us,
we beseech you, O Lord. Open our hearts so that you may
enter in. Repair the ruined mansions, that you may dwell
therein. Hear us, O Heavenly Father, for the sake of your
only Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with
you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
(St. Augustine)
Pray one (1) Our Father, three (3) Hail Mary's, one (1)
Glory Be.
O Bleeding Face, O Face Divine, be every adoration Thine.
(Three times)


(Console Holy Face and recite Daily Preparatory Prayer), (p. 1)
Psalm 51,5-6a.
My offences truly I know them;
My sin is always before me.
Against you, you alone, have I sinned;
What is evil in your sight I have done.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, we are truly sorry that we have
hurt you so much by constantly doing what is wrong; and
for all the good works we have failed to do. Immaculate
Heart of Mary, Saint Joseph, intercede for us, help us to
console the Most Holy Face of Jesus. Pray that we may share
in the tremendous love Thou hast for one another, and for
the most Holy and Blessed Trinity. Amen.
Through the merits of your precious blood and your Holy
Face, O Jesus, grant us our petition.................. Pardon
and mercy.
Prayer to the Holy Spirit
Come, Holy Spirit, Sanctifier, all powerful God of love,
Thou who didst fill the Virgin Mary with grace, Thou who
didst wonderfully transform the hearts of the apostles. Thou
who didst endow all Thy martyrs with a miraculous heroism,
come and sanctify us, illumine our minds, strengthen our
wills, purify our consciences, rectify our judgments, set our
hearts on fire and preserve us from the misfortune of resisting
Thine inspirations. We consecrate to Thee our understanding,
our heart and our will, our whole being for time and for
eternity. May our understanding be always submissive to
Thy heavenly inspirations and to the teachings of Thy Holy
Catholic Church, of which Thou art the infallible guide; may
our heart he ever inflamed with love of God and neighbour,
may our will be ever conformed to the divine will, and may
our whole life be a faithful imitation of the life and virtues
of our Lord and Saviour. Jesus Christ, to whom with the
Father and Thee be honour and glory forever. Amen.
Pray one (1) Our Father, three (3) Hail Mary's, one (1)
Glory Be.
O Bleeding Face, O Face Divine, be every adoration Thine.
(Three times)


(Console Holy Face and recite Daily Preparatory Prayer).(p. 1)
Psalm 51,6b-7.
You are just when you pass sentence on me,
blameless when you give judgment.
You know I was born guilty,
a sinner from the moment of conception.
Prayer of Pope Pius IX
O Jesus! Cast upon us a look of mercy: turn your Face
towards each of us as you did to Veronica; not that we may
see it with our bodily eyes, for this we do not deserve, but
turn it towards our hearts, so that, remembering you, we
may ever draw from this fountain of strength the vigour neces-
sary to sustain the combats of life. Amen. Mary, our Mother,
and Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Through the merits of your precious blood and your Holy
Face, O Jesus, grant us our petition.................. Pardon
and mercy.
Prayer of Saint Francis
All highest, glorious God, cast your light into the darkness
of our hearts, give us true faith, firm hope, perfect charity
and profound humility, so that with wisdom, courage and
perception, O Lord, we may do what is truly your holy will.
To the Angels and Saints
We salute you, through the Holy Face and Sacred Heart
of Jesus, O all you Holy Angels and Saints of God. We
rejoice in your glory, and we give thanks to our Lord for
all the benefits which He has showered upon you; we praise
Him, and glorify Him, and for an increase of your joy and
honour, we offer Him the most Holy Face and gentle Heart
of Jesus. Pray that we may become formed according to the
heart of God. Amen.
Pray (1) Our Father, three (3) Hail Mary's, one (1) Glory
O Bleeding Face, O Face Divine, be every adoration Thine.
(Three times)


(Console Holy Face and recite Daily Preparatory Prayer).(p. 1)
Psalm 51,8-9.
Indeed you love truth in the heart;
then in the secret of my heart teach me Wisdom.
O purify me, then I shall be clean;
O wash me. I shall be whiter than snow.
O Lord Jesus, who has said, learn of me for I am meek
and gentle of heart, and who did manifest upon Thy Holy
Face the sentiments of Thy divine heart, grant that we may
love to come frequently and meditate upon Thy divine fea-
tures. We may read there Thy gentleness and Thy humility,
and learn how to form our hearts in the practice of these two
virtues which Thou desires to see shine in Thy servants.
Mary our Mother and Saint Joseph help us.
Through the merits of Thy precious blood and your Holy
Face, O Jesus, grant us our petition.................. Pardon
and mercy.
Prayer in Honour of the Dolours of the Blessed Virgin
O Most Holy and afflicted Virgin, Queen of Martyrs! Who
stood beneath the cross, witnessing the agony of your dying
Son, look down with a mother's tenderness and pity on us
as we kneel before you to venerate your Dolours and place
our requests, with filial confidence, in the sanctuary of your
wounded heart. Present them on our behalf to Jesus, through
the merits of His most sacred Passion and Death, together
with your sufferings at the foot of the cross, and through the
united efficacy of both, obtain the favour which we humbly
ask. To whom shall we go in our wants and miseries if not
to you. O Mother of Mercy, who having so deeply drunk of
the chalice of your Son, graciously alleviate the sufferings
of those who still sigh in this land of exile. Amen.
Prayer to the Souls in Purgatory
My Jesus, by the sorrows you suffered in your agony in
the garden, in your scourging and crowning with thorns, in
the way to Calvary, in your crucifixion and death, have
mercy on the souls in Purgatory, and especially on those that
are most forsaken. Deliver them from the dire torments they
endure. Call them and admit them to your most sweet embrace
in Paradise. Amen.
Pray one (1) Our Father, three (3) Hail Mary's, one (1)
Glory Be.
O Bleeding Face, O Face Divine, be every adoration Thine.
(Three times)


(Console Holy Face and recite Daily Preparatory Prayer).(p. 1)
Psalm 51,10-11.
Make me hear rejoicing and gladness,
that the bones you have crushed may revive.
From my sins turn away your Face,
and blot out all my guilt.
Holy Face of Jesus, Sacred Countenance of God, how
great is your patience with humankind, how infinite your
forgiveness. We are sinners, yet you love us. This gives us
courage. For the glory of your Holy Face and of the Blessed
Trinity, hear and answer us. Mary our Mother, intercede for
us, Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Through the merits of your precious blood and your Holy
Face, O Jesus, grant us our petition.................. Pardon
and mercy.
Prayer to Saint Joseph
Dear Saint Joseph! Adopt us as thy children, take charge
of our salvation; watch over us day and night; preserve us
from occasions of sin; obtain for us purity of body and soul,
and the spirit of prayer, through thy intercession with Jesus,
grant us a spirit of sacrifice, of humility and self-denial;
obtain for us a burning love for Jesus in the Blessed Sacra-
ment, and a sweet, tender love for Mary, our Mother.
Saint Joseph, be with us in life, be with us in death and
obtain for us a favourable judgment from Jesus, our merciful
Saviour. Amen.
Pray one (1) Our Father, three (3) Hail Mary's, one (1)
Glory Be.
O Bleeding Face, O Face Divine, be every adoration Thine.
(Three times)


(Console Holy Face and recite Daily Preparatory Prayer).(p. 1)
Psalm 51,12-13.
A pure heart create for us O God,
put a steadfast spirit within us.
Do not cast us away from your presence
nor deprive us of your Holy Spirit.
May our hearts be cleansed, O Lord, by the inpouring of
the Holy Spirit, and may He render them fruitful by watering
them with His heavenly dew. Mary, the most chaste spouse
of the Holy Spirit, intercede for us, Saint Joseph pray for us.
Through the merits of your precious blood and your Holy
Face, O Jesus, grant us our petition.................. Pardon
and mercy.
Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel
O Victorious Prince, most humble guardian of the Church
of God and of faithful souls, who with such charity and zeal
took part in so many conflicts and gained such great victories
over the enemy, for the conservation and protection of the
honour and glory we all owe to God, as well as for the promo-
tion of our salvation; come, we pray Thee, to our assistance.
for we are continually besieged with such great perils by our
enemies, the flesh, the world and the devil, and as Thou
wast a leader for the people of God through the desert, so
also be our faithful leader, and companion through the desert
of this world, until Thou conduct us safely into the happy
land of the living, in that blessed fatherland from which we
are all exiles. Amen. (St. Aloysius)
Pray one (1) Our Father, three (3) Hail Mary's, one (1)
Glory Be.
O Bleeding Face, O Face Divine, be every adoration Thine.
(Three times)


(Console Holy Face and recite Daily Preparatory Prayer).(p.l)
Psalm 51,14-15.
Give me again the joy of your help,
with a spirit of fervour sustain me,
that I may teach transgressors your ways
and sinners may return to you.
Lord Jesus! After contemplating Thy features, disfigured
by grief, after meditating upon Thy passion with compunction
and love, how can our hearts fail to be inflamed with a holy
hatred of sin, which even now outrages Thy Adorable Face!
Lord, suffer us not to be content with mere compassion, but
give us grace so closely to follow Thee in this Calvary, so
that the approbrium destined for Thee may fall on us, 0
Jesus, that thus we may have a share, small though it may
be, in expiation of sin. Amen. Mary, our Mother, intercede
for us. Saint Joseph pray for us.
Through the merits of your precious blood and your Holy
Face, O Jesus, grant us our petition.................. Pardon
and mercy.
Prayer in Honour of Mary
Hail Mary, Daughter of God the Father! Hail Mary, Mother
of God the Son! Hail Mary, Spouse of the Holy Spirit! Hail
Mary, Temple of the Most Holy Trinity! Hail Mary, our
mistress, our wealth, our mystic rose. Queen of our hearts,
our Mother, our life, our sweetness and our dearest hope!
We are all Thine, and all we have is Thine. O Virgin blessed
above all things, may Thy soul be in us to magnify the Lord;
may Thy spirit be in us to rejoice in God. Place Thyself, 0
faithful Virgin, as a seal upon our hearts, that in Thee and
through Thee we may be found faithful to God. Grant, most
gracious Virgin, that we may be numbered among those
whom Thou art pleased to love, to teach and to guide, to
favour and to protect as Thy children. Grant that with the help
of Thy love, we may despise all earthly consolation and cling
to heavenly things, until through the Holy Spirit, Thy faithful
spouse, and through Thee, His faithful spouse, Jesus Christ,
Thy Son, be formed within us for the glory of the Father.
Amen. (St. Grignon de Montfort)
Pray one (1) Our Father, three (3) Hail Mary's, one (1)
Glory Be.
O Bleeding Face, O Face Divine, be every adoration Thine.
(Three times)


(Console Holy Face and recite Daily Preparatory Prayer).(p. 1)
Psalm 51,16-17.
O rescue me, God my helper,
and my tongue shall ring out your goodness.
O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth shall declare your praise.
Most merciful Face of Jesus, who in this vale of tears was
so moved by our misfortunes to call yourself the healer of
the sick, and the good Shepherd of the souls gone astray,
allow not Satan to draw us away from you, but keep us
always under your loving protection, together with all souls
who endeavour to console you. Mary, our Mother, intercede
for us. Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Through the merits of your precious blood and your Holy
Face, O Jesus, grant us our petition.................. Pardon
and mercy.
Prayer to Saint Peter
O glorious Saint Peter, who in return for thy lively and
generous faith, thy profound and sincere humility and thy
burning love, was honoured by Jesus Christ with singular
privileges, and in particular, with the leadership of the other
apostles and the primacy of the whole church, of which thou
was made the foundation stone, do thou obtain for us the
grace of a lively faith, that shall not fear to profess itself
openly in its entirety and in all of its manifestations, even
to the shedding of blood, if occasion should demand it, and
to the sacrifice of life itself in preference to surrender. Obtain
for us likewise a sincere loyalty to our Holy Mother the
Church. Grant that we may ever remain most closely and
sincerely united to the Holy Father, who is the heir of thy
faith and of thy authority, the one true visible head of the
Catholic Church. Grant, moreover, that we may follow, in
all humility and meekness, the Church's teaching and coun-
sels and may be obedient to all her precepts, in order to be
able here on earth to enjoy a peace that is sure and undis-
turbed, and to attain one day in heaven to everlasting happi-
ness. Amen.
Pray one (1) Our Father, three (3) Hail Mary's, one (1)
Glory Be.
O Bleeding Face, O Face Divine, be every adoration Thine.
(Three times)


(Console Holy Face and recite Daily Preparatory Prayer).(p.l)
Psalm 51,18-21.
For in sacrifice you take no delight,
burnt offering from me you would refuse,
my sacrifice a contrite spirit.
A humbled, contrite heart you will not spurn.
In your goodness, show favour to Zion;
rebuild the walls of Jerusalem
Then you will be pleased with lawful sacrifice,
holocausts offered on your altar.
Sacred Face of our Lord and our God, what words can
we do to express our gratitude? How can we speak of our
joy? That you have deigned to hear us, that you have chosen
to answer us in our hour of need. We say this because we
know that our prayers will be granted. We know that you,
in your loving kindness, listened to our pleading hearts, and
will give, out of your fullness, the answer to our problems.
Mary, our Mother, thank you for your intercession on our
behalf. Saint Joseph, thank you for your prayers.
Through the merits of your precious blood and your Holy
Face, O Jesus, grant us our petition.................. Pardon
and mercy.
Prayer to the Holy Trinity
Most Holy Trinity, Godhead indivisible, Father, Son and
Holy Spirit, our first beginning and our last end. Since you
have made us after your own image and likeness, grant that
all the thoughts of our minds, all the words of our tongues,
all the affections of our hearts and all our actions may be
always conformed to your most Holy Will, so that after
having seen you here on earth in appearances and in a dark
manner by the means of faith, we may come at last to con-
template you face to face, in the perfect possession of you
forever in paradise. Amen.
Pray one (1) Our Father, three (3) Hail Mary's, one (1)
Glory Be.
O Bleeding Face, O Face Divine, be every adoration Thine.
(Three times)
Recite Act of Consecration on the following page.

Act of Consecration

O Lord Jesus, we believe most firmly in You, we love
You. You are the Eternal Son of God and the Son Incarnate
of the Blessed Virgin Mary. You are the Lord and Absolute
Ruler of all creation. We acknowledge You, therefore, as
the Universal Sovereign of all creatures. You are the Lord
and Supreme Ruler of all mankind, and we, in acknowledging
this Your dominion, consecrate ourselves to You now and
forever. Loving Jesus, we place our family under the protec-
tion of Your Holy Face, and of Your Virgin Mother, Mary
most sorrowful. We promise to be faithful to You for the
rest of our lives and to observe with fidelity Your Holy
Commandments. We will never deny before men, You and
Your Divine rights over us and all mankind. Grant us the
grace to never sin again; nevertheless, should we fail, 0
Divine Saviour, have mercy on us and restore us to Your
grace. Radiate Your Divine Countenance upon us and bless
us now and forever. Embrace us at the hour of death in Your
Kingdom for all eternity, through the intercession of Your
Blessed Mother, of all Your Saints who behold You in
Heaven, and the just who glorify You on earth. O Jesus, be
mindful of us forever and never forsake us; protect our family.
O Mother of Sorrows, by the eternal glory which you enjoy
in Heaven, through the merits of your bitter anguish in the
Sacred Passion of your Beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,
obtain for us the grace that the Precious Blood shed by Jesus
for the redemption of our souls, be not shed for us in vain.
We love you, O Mary. Embrace us and bless us, O Mother.
Protect us in life and in death. Amen.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy
Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.

What is Mardi Gras or Shrove (Pancake) Tuesday? All you Need to Know with a Recipe!

 "Mardi Gras" is french for fat tuesday. This refers to the day before Ash Wednesday when the 40 days of Lent officially begins. "Mardi Gras", "Carnival" and "Shrove Tuesday" all involve celebrations of eating, drinking, dancing, etc. before the fasting of Lent.  Some celebrate the "Carnival" by joining in parades with elaborate costumes, festive music, dancing, and other activities. 

Princess Kate Middleton: on Shrove Tuesday (Image source: Google)
The english word 'Shrove' refers to confessing of sins for Lent. In parts of Europe the "Shrove Tuesday" is celebrated by flipping pancakes. 
"Carnival" means farewell to meat.
There are many cities world-wide that have historic and magnificent celebrations on this day. The most famous include cities famous for Mardi Gras celebrations Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Trinidad and Tobago, New Orleans (Louisiana), Quebec City (Canada).
Historical roots in Jewish Tradition
The Jews also celebrate the re-dedication of the Temple with Hanukkah. When the re-dedication occurred there was a lighting of the lamps with pure oil that lasted for 8 days. To commemorate this the Jews eat latkes (potato pancakes), made with lots of oil. 
8oz all purpose/plain flour
Pinch salt
2 eggs
2½ cups milk
2 tsp melted butter plus melted butter for cooking
Makes 12 pancakes
Sieve the flour into a large baking bowl, add the salt. Make a well in the center of the flour and add the eggs and beat well until smooth and lump free.
Add half the milk and the 2 tsp of butter, beat well. Add the remaining milk and stir.
Leave the batter to rest for 15 minutes.
Lightly grease a pancake pan or frying pan with a little melted butter, heat until very hot and add a ladle of batter to evenly and thinly coat the base of the pan. Cook until set and lightly golden. Flip over (if you are really brave try tossing the pancake in the air, great fun) and cook on the other side for approx 30 seconds.
Remove the pancake from the pan, place on a sheet of kitchen paper and keep warm. Continue as above until all the batter is used up.
(RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.irishcentral.com/roots/Celebrate-Fat-Tuesday-or-Shrove-Tuesday-with-this-delicious-Irish-pancake-recipe-139804393.html#ixzz1n4N5C1tP)

Some traditions over the centuries have led to excessive indulgences during this day. Let us keep sober and remember the roots of the Lenten fast when Jesus spent 40 days in the desert. In the Gospels we find the story which is the reason for the fast; when Jesus "was in the desert forty days and forty nights, and was tempted by Satan; and he was with beasts, and the angels ministered to him." (Mark 1:13)

Pope Francis explains "the road against the spirit of the world is only one: Humility. Serving others, choosing the last place, not climbing ".



The biggest is who serves, not who has the most titles

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

You cannot live the Gospel by making compromises, otherwise you end up with the spirit of the world, which points to the dominion of others and is "enemy of God"; but you have to choose the path of service. The Pope's reflection, in the homily of Tuesday 25 February, at Mass at Casa Santa Marta, started from the passage from the Gospel (Mk 9, 30-37) in which Jesus tells the Twelve that if one wants to be the first he is called to make himself last and servant of all.

Jesus knew that along the way the disciples had argued among themselves about who was the greatest "by ambition". This quarrel by saying "I must go on, I must go up," explained the Pope, is the spirit of the world. But even the first reading of the liturgy of the day (Jas 4, 1-10) follows this aspect, when the apostle James recalls that love for the world is an enemy of God. "This anxiety of worldliness - observed the Pope - this anxiety to be more important than others and to say: “No! I deserve this, the other does not deserve it. " This is worldliness, this - he continued - is the spirit of the world and who breathes this spirit breathes the enmity of God. " «Jesus, in another passage, says to the disciples:" Either you are with me or you are against me. " There are no compromises in the gospel. And when one wants to live the Gospel by making compromises - he commented - in the end he finds himself with the worldly spirit, which always tries to make compromises to climb more, to dominate, to be bigger ».

So many wars and many quarrels come precisely from worldly desires, from passions, the Pope highlighted, still referring to the words of St. James. It is true «today the whole world is sown by wars. But the wars that are between us? Like the one that was among the apostles: who is the most important? "Asked Francis. «“ Look at the career I have done: I can't go back now! ”. This is the spirit of the world and this is not Christian. "No! It's my turn! I have to earn more to have more money and more power. " This is the spirit of the world ", stressed the Pontiff. «And then, the wickedness of the chatter: the gossip. Where is he from? From envy. The great envious - Francis reiterated - is the devil, we know it, the Bible says so. From envy. Evil enters the world through the devil's envy. Envy is a worm that pushes you to destroy, to speak out, to destroy the other. "

In the dialogue of the disciples there were all these passions and for this, said Francis, Jesus reproaches them and urges them to become servants of all and to take the last place: "Who is the most important in the Church? - he asked - The Pope, the bishops, the monsignors, the cardinals, the parish priests of the most beautiful parishes, the presidents of the lay associations? No! The greatest in the Church is the one who makes himself servant of all, the one who serves all, not who has more titles. And to make this clear, he took a child, placed him in their midst and, embracing him with tenderness - because Jesus spoke with tenderness, he had so much - he said to them: "Whoever welcomes a child, welcomes me", that is, who welcomes the humblest , the most servant. This is the road ", said Francis, stressing again that" the road against the spirit of the world is only one: humility. Serving others, choosing the last place, not climbing ".

We must not therefore "negotiate with the spirit of the world", we must not say: "I am entitled to this place, because you look at the career I have done". Indeed, worldliness, the Pope concluded, "is an enemy of God". Instead, we must listen to this word "so wise" and encouraging that Jesus says in the Gospel: "If one wants to be the first be the last of all, and the servant of all".
* from: www.obsatoreromano.va

L'Osservatore Romano, ed. daily, Year CLX, n. 46, 26/02/2020

L'Arche releases Letter and New Video about Founder's Abuse of Women "... to all of you, we ask forgiveness."

February 22, 2020

Dear friends,

Last June, we informed you of our decision to initiate an inquiry for which we‘commissioned an external agency to conduct a thorough and independent investigation that will allow us to better understand our history,  to  improve  our  work  in  preventing  abuse  and  thus  to  improve  our  own  current  policies  and practices’. This included answering questions about ‘the environment surrounding Father Thomas [at the time  he  abused  adult  women  without  disabilities  in  L’Arche],  including  the  role  of  Jean  Vanier  in  this environment.

 ’. The  decision  to  launch  this  work  and  to  share  its  conclusions  with  you  has  been  approved  by  the International Leadership Team and the Stewardship Board of L'Arche International. This work continues the  effort  begun  in  2014  by  our  predecessors,  Patrick  Fontaine  and  Eileen  Glass,  when  testimonies involving Father Thomas reached them.

It is with great sorrow that we come to share with you the results of this inquiry and our own research.

The timing of this work, specifically coming so close to Jean’s death, was simply a coincidence.
(The Newly released Video below from L'Arche has English Subtitles)

Because  this  work  implicates  Jean  Vanier  and  calls  into  question  some  of  our  assumptions  about  the origins of L'Arche, the conclusions we are reporting to you today are challenging and will upset many of us. Mindful of the courage of those who shared their testimonies, and aware of the values that inspire L'Arche, we share these conclusions with you.

After a careful examination of the documentary sources to which L’Arche International had access and of  the  testimonies  brought  to  the  attention  of  the  investigators,  today  we  can  affirm  the  following points:

• As early as the 1950s, and contrary to what he  told us, Jean Vanier, was aware of many of the
significant reasons for the 1956 canonical trial and the condemnation by the Catholic Church of
Father Thomas Philippe because of his theories that were described as " false mysticism" and of
the sexual practices that derived from these theories.
Father Thomas Philippe was the person that Jean described as his spiritual father and, Jean said,
the  person  who  called  him  to  found  L'Arche.  In  2015,  twenty-two  years  after  his  death,  the
Federation learned that Father Thomas had abused adult women, without disabilities, while he
was in L'Arche, Trosly  (France) and exercising his ministry as a priest. On many occasions  Jean
had  asserted  his  ignorance  of  this  abuse  and  he  never  disclosed  the  reality  of  his  close
relationship to Father Thomas during the 1950s.

• Indeed,  Jean  Vanier  who  was  still  a  young  man  at  that  time,  was  in  a  close  and  trusting
relationship with Father Thomas Philippe, and would have shared some of the sexual practices
initiated  by  Father  Philippe,  with  women  who  described  themselves  as  consenting  by  various
consistent sources of evidence to which we have had access.

• In  1956 Father Thomas  Philippe was condemned  by  the Church and was  banned  from  further
contact with a small group that included Jean Vanier. Despite this, Father Thomas Philippe, Jean
and  several  women  remained  connected  until  the  founding  of  L’Arche  in  1964.    Some  of  the members  of  this group were in  our  community in Trosly at  the very  beginning  of  L'Arche and
participated  in  L’Arche  for  many  years  without  ever  revealing  the  nature  of  their  original

• In addition,  the inquiry  received  credible and  consistent  testimonies  covering  the  period  from
1970  to  2005  from  six  adult  women without  disabilities  that  were  not  related  to  the  above
group.  The women each report that Jean Vanier initiated sexual behaviours with them, usually
in the context of spiritual accompaniment.  Some of these women have been deeply wounded
by these experiences. Jean Vanier asked each of the women to keep the nature of these events
secret.  They had no prior knowledge of each other’s experiences, but  these women  reported
similar  facts  associated  with  highly  unusual  spiritual  or  mystical  explanations  used  to  justify
these sexual behaviours.

These actions are indicative of a deep psychological and spiritual hold Jean Vanier had on these
women and reveal his own adoption of some of Father Thomas Philippe’s deviant theories and
practices which he continued over a very long period of time.
We  are  shocked  by  these  discoveries  and  unreservedly  condemn  these  actions,  which  are  in  total contradiction  with  the  values  Jean  claimed  and  are  incompatible  with  the  basic  rules  of  respect  and integrity of persons, and contrary to the fundamental principles on which L’Arche is based.

For  many  of  us,  Jean  was  one  of  the  people  we  loved  and  respected  the  most.  Jean  inspired  and comforted many people around the world, both inside and outside L'Arche, we are thinking in particular of  the  members  of  Faith  and  Light,  and  we  are  aware  of  the  deep  confusion  and  pain  that  this information will cause. While the considerable good he did throughout his life is not in question, we will nevertheless  have  to mourn  a  certain  image  we may  have  had  of  Jean  and  of  the  origins  of  L’Arche.

Whatever Jean Vanier understood or believed about these relationships or the different perceptions the women who provided testimony had of them, the inquiry has established that some of the women were deeply harmed by these events and experienced long-term negative impacts.

Jean  hid  part  of  his  identity  and  his  silence,  for  whatever  reason,  allowed  unacceptable  practices  to persist  and  gave  us  a  distorted  view  of  our  founding  history. We  want  to emphasize  that there  is  no evidence that Jean Vanier may have engaged in similar behaviour with people with disabilities. It will take more time and work, with help from outside L'Arche, to try and understand this part of our history and the roots of such behaviours. It is also possible that additional information will come to us and add to our understanding of these events.  We will continue this research and keep you informed of our ongoing efforts and the findings.

As  planned  at  the  outset  of  this  work,  we  will  also  undertake  a  thorough  evaluation  of  our  current measures to prevent abuse and protect persons with and without disabilities, including the way in which reports, past or  recent, have been handled in our  federation. Furthermore, in addition  to  the existing reporting procedures already in place in our communities or countries, L'Arche International has set up a centralized reporting procedure to which all our members can have access in a secure and confidential environment. A  task  force, composed in part of people  from outside L'Arche, is in charge of collecting this information and determining what to do with it.

We  will  continue  to  develop  and  implement  our  safeguarding  policies  and  procedures  so  that  they become  an  integral  part  of  our  community  life  and  contribute  to  the  safety  and  growth  of  all  our members. In  the weeks and months  to  come, we will  be asking  our leaders  to  organize  spaces  for  dialogue and support  so  that any and all members with  or without  disabilities will  have  the  opportunity  to express their feelings, thoughts and questions.  For those that wish you can also find a summary of our work on the  website.  The  summary  report,  which  sets  out  the  main  findings,  has  been  developed  from  the historical  research  and  the  more  detailed  confidential  inquiry  report  that  we  have  shared  with  the International Leadership Team and the International Stewardship Board. Although  the  results  of  our  research  and  this  investigation  affect  us  deeply,  both  individually  and collectively,  we  have  a  duty  to  those  who  have  been  hurt  by  these  events  and  a  duty  to  ourselves;

L’Arche will not have a future if we are not able to look at our past with clear eyes. What we learn today is a huge blow and a cause of great confusion but what we lose in certainty, we hope to gain in terms of maturity, and to step into the future of L'Arche with greater justice, insight and freedom.

We want to pay tribute to the women who gave us their testimony. As leaders in L'Arche, our job is not to protect ourselves against painful truths, but to be faithful to the principles that guide us and to affirm "the unique value of each person” 1

. We  recognize  the courage and  suffering of  these women, and of
those who may  remain silent. We also want  to express our gratitude  to  the women who, a  few years ago,  broke  the  silence  about  Father  Thomas  Philippe and  thus  helped  others  to  speak  out  about  the undue burden of shame and pain.  Because these events took place in the context of L'Arche and some were brought about by our founder; to all of you, we ask forgiveness.

If the words of those who testified bring to light a troubled part of our history, their efforts give L'Arche a chance to continue on its journey, to become more aware of our history, and, ultimately, better able to  face  the  challenges  of  our  time.  We  understand  - that  this  was  also  their  intention,  and  we  are grateful for it.

To all of you, members of L'Arche around  the world, we  reiterate our  strong bonds of  friendship, our concern for each other and our confidence in our collective ability to get through this ordeal. It is with trust  in  God  and  the  support  of  our  friends,  that  we  continue  to  strive,  in  our  communities,  our neighbourhoods, our cities and our countries, “to work together, [people with and without disabilities], towards  a  more  humane  society “

.  It  is  our  hope  that  the  work  we have  just  shared  with  you  will contribute to this.

Stephan Posner                         Stacy Cates-Carney

International Leader                   Vice-International Leader

 1 *Identity and Mission Statement. March 2007
Source: https://www.larche.org/documents/10181/2539004/Letter-Federation_International-Leaders_2020-02-22_EN.pdf/

Bishops of Nigeria Announce Protest against National Insecurity and to Wear Black Clothing on Ash Wednesday in Honor of those Killed

AFRICA/NIGERIA - Catholics To Protest National Insecurity In Black Attire on Ash Wednesday Monday, 24 February
Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - Catholics across Nigeria will don black attires on Ash Wednesday 26 February 2020, as a sign of mourning and solidarity with the victims of kidnapping and other violent crimes in the country. This is what Secretary General of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN) Fr. Zacharia Nyantiso Samjumi, announced to the press,
"I have been directed by the Administrative Board of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) to communicate to you that in the face of the current security situation, the Church needs to speak out in word and action against the level of insecurity in the country", Fr. Samjumi. In a follow-up message to Parish Priests, the Board directed, "On Sunday 1st of March, there shall be no evening Mass in our City Parishes. That evening, we shall have a peaceful prayer protest against the incessant killings and insecurity in our country".
In their Ash Wednesday message published on February 21, Catholic Bishops in the country invited the universal Church and all Christians to join them in prayers for the "dead brothers and sisters and for peace and security in Nigeria".
"We are sad. We are in sorrow and grief. But we are confident that the light of Christ, which shines in our hearts, will brighten the dark corners of our Nigerian society", said the Bishops. "The level of insecurity in Nigeria today is such that whether at home or on the road, most Nigerians, in all the parts of the country, live in fear", denounces the message that adds "the repeated barbaric executions of Christians by the Boko Haram insurgents and the incessant cases of kidnapping for ransom linked to the same group and other terrorists have traumatized many citizens". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 24/2/2020) - Naij News spot - Google Images