Resistance Podcast #198: Leo DuPont – Apostle of the Holy Face (War Against Communism) & The Greatest Miracle Worker the Church Has Ever Had

According to Pius IX, Ven Leon DuPont is the greatest miracle worker the Church has ever had. It is said that volumes could be published of the miracles that occurred in his room, and, somehow, he is not well known.

 

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St. Padre Pio was known to pass around Holy Face Medals saying “This is your entrance ticket to Heaven.”

The medal became famous for the miracles and spiritual favours associated with its use. In Our Blessed Mother’s own word, the medal is “a weapon for defense, a shield for courage, a token of love & mercy in these troubled days of lust, evil, loss of faith and hatred for God and for His Church.

Whoever wears this medal and, if possible, pays a weekly visit to the Blessed Sacrament on Tuesdays in a spirit of reparation to the Holy Face will be granted the gift of a strong Faith and the grace to fly to its defense conquering if need be all interior and exterior difficulties. Moreover, they will meet their death peacefully, under the loving gaze of my divine son.”

More on the Tuesday devotion here & to download your own print here

Books to Read

Chaplet of the Holy Face

Devotion to the Holy Face

Devotion to the Holy Face

“This salutary reparation to the Holy Face of Jesus is a divine work, destined to save modern society.” ~ Pope Pius XI

All those who honour my face in a spirit of reparation will by doing so perform the office of the pious Veronica. According to the care they take in making reparation to my Face, disfigured by blasphemers, so will I take care of their souls which have been disfigured by sin. My Face is the seal of the Divinity, which has the virtue of reproducing in souls the image of God.
Those who by words, prayers or writing defend My cause in this work of reparation I will defend before My Father, and will give them My Kingdom.
By offering My Face to My eternal Father, nothing will be refused, and the conversion of many sinners will be obtained.
By My Holy Face, they will work wonders, appease the anger of God and draw down mercy on sinners.
As in a Kingdom they can procure all that is desired with a coin stamped with the Kings effigy, so in the Kingdom of Heaven they will obtain all they desire with the precious coin of my Holy Face.
Those who on earth contemplate the wounds of My Face shall in Heaven behold it radiant with glory.
They will receive in their souls a bright and constant irradiation of My Divinity, that by their likeness to My Face they shall shine with particular splendor in Heaven.
I will defend them, I will preserve them and I assure them of Final Perseverance.

Devotion to the Holy Face was revealed by Jesus to Sr. Marie of St. Peter (1816-1848) a Carmelite nun of Tours in France.

The primary purpose of the devotion is to make reparation for sins against the first three commandments:
1) Denial of God,
2) Blasphemy,
3) and the profanation of Sundays and Holy Days.

The devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus, based on the life and writings of Sr. Marie of St. Peter, was eventually approved by Pope Leo XIII in 1885 who established the devotion as an Arch-confraternity for the whole world. In January 1849 Pope Pius IX had the relic of Veronica’s veil placed for public veneration in Rome. During this time, the Divine Face appeared distinctly, as if living, and was illuminated by a soft light. Reproductions of the veil were later printed, touched to the original and sent abroad for veneration.

The Holy Man of Tours – Leo Dupont

Leo Dupont heard of the reported visions of Jesus and Mary by the Carmelite nun Sister Marie of St Peter from 1844 to 1847. Based on this, Dupont started to burn a vigil lamp continuously before a picture of the Holy Face of Jesus based on the painted image on the Veil of Veronica. Dupont used that image because the existence of a clear image on the Shroud of Turin was not known to anyone at that time for the somewhat faded image of the face on the Shroud can not easily be seen with the naked eye and was only observed in May 1898 via the negative plate of Secondo Pia’s first photograph. In 1851 Dupont formed the “Archconfraternity of the Holy Face” in Tours. He prayed for and promoted the case for a devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus for around 30 years.

The Holy Man of Tours had more miracles than St. Vincent Ferrer, but you never heard of Leo. Here is a link of some of the Miracles of the Holy Face in the Home of Ven. Leo Dupont (1851-81). The miracles accumulated to such a point that Pope Pius IX stated that Leo Dupont was perhaps the greatest miracle worker in Church history!

Blessed Maria Pierina de Micheli & The Holy Face of Jesus Devotion & Medal

At the age of twelve, when she was in her Parish Church during the 3pm Good Friday service, she heard a Voice saying quite distinctly: “No one gives me a kiss of love on My Face to make amends for the Kiss of Judas.”

In her childlike simplicity, she believed that the voice was heard by everyone and was pained to see that only the wounds were kissed but not the face. In her heart exclaiming, “Have patience, dear Jesus, I will give you a kiss of love”, and when her turn came she lovingly and devoutly imprinted a kiss on His Face. Mother Maria Pierina de Micheli obtained permission from her spiritual Director and although she did not have any financial means to get medals of the Holy Face made. She obtained the permission of the photographer Bruner to take copies of the Holy Shroud as reproduced by him, and she received the permission to do so by the Archdiocese of Milan on the August 9, 1940. Since then the devotion and the medal have been spread worldwide with much enthusiasm, accompanied all the while by wonderful graces, conversions and cures as a testament and heavenly sign of God’s institution and approval of both.

This devotion to the Holy face of Jesus so inspired St Therese that she took the full title: ‘Sr. Therese of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face’.

On the first Friday of Lent 1936, Mother Maria Pierina de Michelli (beatified 30th May 2010) reported a vision of Jesus. In further visions she was urged to make a medal bearing the Holy Face of Jesus. She was given permission to reproduce the face of the Holy Shroud of Turin and authorisation by the Curia to proceed in 1940 with the medal.

Click the Image to Order a Medal

One side has the image of the Holy Shroud of Turin and the words of Ps 66:2 “illumina Domine Vultum Tuum super nos” (may the light of your Face, O Lord, shine upon us).

On the other side the sacred host. The letters IHS and “Mane nobiscum Domine” (stay with us O Lord) Pope Pius XII approved the devotion and medal in 1958. She also reported Jesus’ desire of a special feast day on the Tuesday preceding Ash Wednesday each year (Shrove Tuesday), to be preceded by a 9 day novena of prayer.

The medal became famous for the miracles and spiritual favours associated with its use. In Our Blessed Mother’s own word, the medal is “a weapon for defense, a shield for courage, a token of love & mercy in these troubled days of lust, evil, loss of faith and hatred for God and for His Church.

Whoever wears this scapular (medal) and, if possible, pays a weekly visit to the Blessed Sacrament on Tuesdays in a spirit of reparation to the Holy Face will be granted the gift of a strong Faith and the grace to fly to its defence conquering if need be all interior and exterior difficulties. Moreover, they will meet their death peacefully, under the loving gaze of my divine son.” (from Biography of Blessed Pierina p33).

In 1958, Pope Pius XII declared the feast of the Holy Face of Jesus for all Roman Catholics to be the day before Ash Wednesday (Shrove Tuesday).

A visit to the Blessed Sacrament on a Tuesday in a spirit of reparation to the Holy Face bestows particular graces.

Jesus appeared to Blessed Mother Maria Pierina de Micheli covered with blood and very sadly said to her:
“Do you see how I suffer? Yet, very few understand me. Those who say they love me are very ungrateful! I have given my heart as the sensible object of my great love to men and I give My Face as the sensible object of my sorrow for all the sins of men. I wish that it be venerated by a special feast on Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday. I wish that the feast be preceded by a novena in which the faithful make reparation with me, joining together and sharing in my sorrow.”

In 1939 Jesus said again:

“I wish that My Holy Face be honored in a particular manner on Tuesdays”.

Our Lady said to Blessed Maria Pierina de Micheli

“A visit to the Blessed Sacrament every Tuesday in reparation for the outrages that the Holy Face of my Son Jesus received during His Passion and is still receiving in the Holy Eucharist every day,
– will be strengthened in the Faith, and will be made ready to defend it,
– will overcome all difficulties, internal and external
– and they will have a peaceful death under the loving gaze of my Divine Son”

Sr. Mary of St. Peter writes: “In the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, His adorable Face is more dazzling than the sun. He then once more promised me to imprint His Divine Likeness upon the souls of those who honour the features of His Face” (Autobiography p187)

St. Gaetana Catanoso (canonised by Pope Benedict XVI) said: “If we wish to adore the real Face of Jesus…, we can find it in the divine Eucharist, where with the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, the Face of Our Lord is hidden under the white veil of the Host”.

Prayers of the Holy Face
A Heaven- revealed Remedy to the Ills of our Times

Introductory Prayer

Dear Lord, through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary I (we) offer you these prayers in reparation for the sins which offend God the most in these modern times – the sins of blasphemy and the profanation of Sunday and Your Holy Days of Obligation.

Prayer to offer the Holy Face of Jesus to God the Father to appease his justice and draw down mercy upon us.

Almighty and Eternal Father, since it has pleased Our Divine Saviour to reveal to mankind in modern times the power residing in His Holy Face, we now avail ourselves of this treasure in our great need. Since our Savior Himself promised that by offering to you His Holy face disfigured in the passion we can procure the settlement of all the affairs of our household, and that nothing whatsoever will be refused to us, we now come before Your throne. Eternal Father, turn away Your angry gaze from our guilty people whose face has become unsightly in your eyes. Look instead upon the Face of Your Beloved Son; for this is the Face of Him in whom you are well pleased. We now offer You His Holy face covered with blood, sweat, dust, spittle and shame, in reparation for the worst crimes of our age, which are atheism, blasphemy and the desecration of Your holy days. We thus hope to appease Your anger justly provoked against us. The All-Merciful Advocate opens His mouth to plead our cause; listen to His cries, behold His tears, O God, and through the merits of His Holy Face, hearken to Him when he intercedes for us poor miserable sinners.

LITANY OF THE HOLY FACE OF JESUS

(composed by Sister Mary St. Peter)

I salute Thee, I adore Thee and I love Thee, O adorable Face of Jesus, my Beloved, noble Seal of the Divinity! outraged anew by blasphemers. I offer Thee, through the heart of Thy blessed Mother, the worship of all the Angels and Saints, most humbly beseeching Thee to repair and renew in me and in all men Thine Image disfigured by sin.

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 ravished with joy, in the stable of Bethlehem, the Angels, the shepherds and the magi, have mercy on us,
O adorable Face which transpierced with a dart of love in the Temple, the saintly old man Simeon and the prophetess Anna, have mercy on us,
O adorable Face which filled with admiration the Doctors of the Law when Thou appeared in the Temple at the age of twelve years, have mercy on us,
O adorable Face which possesses beauty always ancient and always new, have mercy on us,
O adorable Face which is the masterpiece of the Holy Ghost, in which the Eternal Father is well pleased, have mercy on us,
O adorable Face which is the ineffable mirror of the divine perfections, have mercy on us,

O adorable Face of Jesus which was so mercifully bowed down on the Cross, on the day of Thy Passion, for the salvation of the world! Once more today in pity bend down towards us poor sinners. Cast upon us a glance of compassion and give us Thy peace.

O adorable Face which became brilliant like the sun and radiant with glory, on the Mountain of Tabor, have mercy on us,
O adorable Face which wept and was troubled at the tomb of Lazarus, have mercy on us,
O adorable Face which was rendered sad at the sight of Jerusalem, and shed tears on that ungrateful city, have mercy on us,
O adorable Face which was bowed down to the ground in the Garden of Olives, and covered with confusion for our sins, have mercy on us,
O adorable Face which was covered with the sweat of blood, have mercy on us,
O adorable Face which was struck by a vile servant, covered with a veil of shame, and profaned by the sacrilegious hands of Thine enemies, have mercy on us,
O adorable Face which by Its divine glance, wounded the heart of St. Peter with a dart of sorrow and love, have mercy on us, Be merciful to us, O my God!

Do not reject our prayers, when in the midst of our afflictions, we call upon Thy Holy Name and seek with love and confidence Thine adorable Face.

O adorable Face which was washed and anointed by Mary and the holy women and covered with a shroud, have mercy on us,
O adorable Face which was all resplendent with glory and beauty on the day of the Resurrection, have mercy on us,
O adorable Face which is hidden in the Eucharist, have mercy on us,
O adorable Face which will make sinners tremble, have mercy on us,
O adorable Face which will fill the just with joy for all eternity, have mercy on us,

O Lord, show us Thy Face, and we shall be saved!
O Lord, show us Thy Face, and we shall be saved!
O Lord, show us Thy Face, and we shall be saved!

O adorable Face which will appear at the end of time in the clouds with great power and great majesty, have mercy on us,
O adorable Face which merits all our reverence, our homage and our adoration, have mercy on us,

Prayer of St. Theresa of the Child Jesus to the Holy Face

O Jesus, who in Thy bitter Passion didst become “the most abject of men, a man of sorrows”, I venerate Thy Sacred Face whereon there once did shine the beauty and sweetness of the Godhead; but now it has become for me as if it were the face of a leper! Nevertheless, under those disfigured features, I recognize Thy infinite Love and I am consumed with the desire to love Thee and make Thee loved by all men.

The tears that thou hast shed so abundantly appear to me as so many precious pearls that I love to gather up, in order to purchase the souls of poor sinners by means of their infinite value. O Jesus, whose adorable Face ravishes my heart, I implore Thee to fix deep within me Thy divine Image, to set me on fire with Thy Love, and to make me worthy to contemplate in Heaven Thy glorious Face. Amen.

 Chaplet of Sister Marie of St Peter

The following Chaplet of Reparation contains prayers composed by Sister Marie of St Peter after Jesus asked her to battle in prayer against the “enemies of God”, especially communists.
(Even if you do not have the ‘chaplet’ of beads, you can still pray the prayers).

The Holy Face Chaplet beads consists of 33 beads made up of 5 sets of 6 beads each to make reparation for the sins of blasphemy against Our Lord’s Holy Face through His five senses and the last three beads in honour of the three years of our Lord’s public ministry on earth.

On the Crucifix say:

Eternal Father I offer You the cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ and all the other instruments of His Holy Passion, that You may put division in the camp of Your enemies; for as Your Beloved Son has said, “A kingdom divided against itself shall fall.”

On the next five beads say:

1) May God arise and let His enemies be scattered and let those who hate Him flee before His Face!
2) May the thrice Holy Name of God overthrow all their plans!
3) May the Holy Name of the Living God split them up by disagreements!
4) May the terrible Name of the God of Eternity stamp out all their godlessness!
5) Lord, I do not desire the death of the sinner, but that he be converted and live. “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”

On the medal say: the “Golden Arrow” prayer.

THE “GOLDEN ARROW” PRAYER

(Dictated by Our Lord to Sister Mary of St. Peter)

This “Golden Arrow” prayer was given to Sr. Mary of St. Peter to atone for the sins of blasphemy against God’s name. Just as sins of blasphemy were like a ‘poisoned arrow’ continually wounding God’s Heart, she saw in a vision that this “Golden Arrow” had the power to wound him “delightfully”.

Our Lord revealed to her the inseparable connection in honouring the unutterable name of God through the Golden Arrow prayer and in venerating the Holy Face of Jesus. She saw how its recitation caused torrents of graces to stream for the conversion of sinners.

It is the central prayer in the devotion to the Holy Face.

“May the most holy, most sacred, most adorable, most incomprehensible and unutterable Name of God be always 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.”

On the thirty three white beads say:

Arise, O Lord, and let Your enemies be scattered, and let those that hate You flee before Your Face.

On each of the six large beads say:

My Jesus, mercy” and one “Glory Be..”

On the medal at the end say:

Eternal Father, I offer You the Holy Face of Jesus, covered with blood, sweat, dust and spittle, in reparation for the crimes of communists, blasphemers, and for the profaners of the Holy Name and of the Holy Day of Sunday. (This exclamation is also recommended to be recited frequently throughout the day).

BOOKS

 

The Forty Martyrs of Sebaste (10 March)

THE FORTY MARTYRS OF SEBASTE

March 10 – Honoring the Forty Holy Martyrs of Sebaste, Armenia (+320) – Their names are: Acacius, Aetius, Aglaius, Alexander, Angus, Athanasius, Candidus, Chudion, Claudius, Cyril, Cyrion, Dometian, Domnus, Ecdicius, Elias, Eunoicus, Eutyches, Eutychius, Flavius, Gaius, Gorgonius, Helianus, Herachus, Hesychius, John, Lysimachus, Meliton, Nicholas, Philoctemon, Priscus, Sacerdon, Severian, Sisinius, Smaragdus, Theodulus, Theophilus, VaIens, Valerius, Vivianus, and Xanthias.

The Breviary of St Pius V represents the martyrs praying as their sufferings began, “Forty we have entered into the stadium, let us receive forty crowns, o Lord, lest even one be lacking from this number. This number is held in honor. You adorned it with a fast of forty days; through it the divine Law entered into the world. Elijah, seeking God, obtained the vision of Him by a fast of forty days.”

Fr Alban Butler

Feast: March 10

From St. Basil’s Homily on their festival, Hom. 20, t. 1, p. 453, and three discourses of St. Gregory of Nyssa, t. 2, p. 203, t. 3, pp. 499, 504, followed by St. Ephrem. ed. Vatic. Gr. and Lat. t. 2, p. 341. St. Gaudentius, St. Chrysostom, quoted by Photius. See Tillemont, t. 5, p. 518. Ruinart, p. 523. Ceillier, t. 4, 162 Jos. Assemani in Cal. Univ. ad 11 Martii, t. 6, p. 172.

These holy martyrs suffered at Sebaste, in the Lesser Armenia, under the Emperor Licinius, in 320. They were of different countries, but enrolled in the same troop; all in the flower of their age, comely, brave, and robust, and were become considerable for their services. St. Gregory of Nyssa and Procopius say they were of the Thundering Legion, so famous under Marcus Aurelius for the miraculous rain and victory obtained by their prayers. This was the twelfth legion, and then quartered in Armenia. Lysias was duke or general of the forces, and Agricola the governor of the province. The latter having signified to the army the orders of the emperor Licinius for all to sacrifice, these forty went boldly up to him, and said they were Christians, and that no torments should make them ever abandon their holy religion. The judge first endeavoured to gain them by mild usage; as by representing to them the dishonour that would attend their refusal to do what was required, and by making them large promises of preferment and high favour with the emperor in case of compliance. Finding these methods of gentleness ineffectual, he had recourse to threats, and these the most terrifying, if they continued disobedient to the emperor’s order, but all in vain. To his promises they answered that he could give them nothing equal to what he would deprive them of; and to his threats, that his power only extended over their bodies which they had learned to despise when their souls were at stake. The governor, finding them all resolute, caused them to be torn with whips, and their sides to be rent with iron hooks; after which they were loaded with chains, and committed to jail.

After some days, Lysias, their general, coming from Caesarea to Sebaste, they were re-examined, and no less generously rejected the large promises made them than they despised the torments they were threatened with. The governor, highly offended at their courage, and that liberty of speech with which they accosted him, devised an extraordinary kind of death, which, being slow and severe, he hoped would shake their constancy. The cold in Armenia is very sharp, especially in March, and towards the end of winter, when the wind is north, as it then was, it being also at that time a severe frost. Under the walls of the town stood a pond, which was frozen so hard that it would bear walking upon with safety. The judge ordered the saints to be exposed quite naked on the ice;[1] and in order to tempt them the more powerfully to renounce their faith, a warm bath was prepared at a small distance from the frozen pond, for any of this company to go to who were disposed to purchase their temporal ease and safety on that condition. The martyrs, on hearing their sentence, ran joyfully to the place, and without waiting to be stripped, undressed themselves, encouraging one another in the same manner as is usual among soldiers in military expeditions attended with hardships and dangers, saying that one bad night would purchase them a happy eternity.[2] They also made this their joint prayer: “Lord, we are forty who arc engaged in this combat; grant that we may be forty crowned, and that not one be wanting to this sacred number.” The guards in the mean time ceased not to persuade them to sacrifice, that by so doing they might be allowed to pass to the warm bath. But though it is not easy to form a just idea of the bitter pain they must have undergone, of the whole number only one had the misfortune to be overcome; who, losing courage, went off from the pond to seek the relief in readiness for such as were disposed to renounce their faith; but as the devil usually deceives his adorers, the apostate no sooner entered the warm water but he expired. This misfortune afflicted the martyrs; but they were quickly comforted by seeing his place and their number miraculously filled up. A sentinel was warming himself near the bath, having been posted there to observe if any of the martyrs were inclined to submit. While he was attending, he had a vision of blessed spirits descending from heaven on the martyrs, and distributing, as from their king, rich presents and precious garments; St. Ephrem adds crowns to all these generous soldiers, one only excepted, who was their faint-hearted companion already mentioned. The guard, being struck with the celestial vision and the apostate’s desertion, was converted upon it; and by a particular motion of the Holy Ghost, threw off his clothes, and placed himself in his stead amongst the thirty-nine martyrs. Thus God heard their request, though in another manner than they imagined: “Which ought to make us adore the impenetrable secrets of his mercy and justice,” says St. Ephrem, “in this instance, no less than in the reprobation of Judas and the election of St. Matthias.”

In the morning the judge ordered both those that were dead with the cold, and those that were still alive, to be laid on carriages, and cast into a fire. When the rest were thrown into a waggon to be carried to the pile, the youngest of them (whom the acts call Melito) was found alive; and the executioners, hoping he would change his resolution when he came to himself, left him behind. His mother, a woman of mean condition, and a widow, but rich in faith and worthy to have a son a martyr, observing this false compassion, reproached the executioners; and when she came up to her son, whom she found quite frozen, not able to stir, and scarce breathing, he looked on her with languishing eyes, and made a little sign with his weak hand to comfort her. She exhorted him to persevere to the end, and, fortified by the Holy Ghost, took him up, and put him with her own hands into the waggon with the rest of the martyrs, not only without shedding a tear, but with a countenance full of joy, saying courageously: “Go, go, son, proceed to the end of this happy journey with thy companions, that thou mayest not be the last of them that shall present themselves before God.” Nothing can be more inflamed or more pathetic than the discourse which St. Ephrem puts into her mouth, by which he expresses her contempt of life and all earthly things, and her ardent love and desire of eternal life. This holy father earnestly entreats her to conjure this whole troop of martyrs to join in imploring the divine mercy in favour of his sinful soul.[3] Their bodies were burned, and their ashes thrown into the river; but the Christians secretly carried off or purchased part of them with money. Some of these precious relics were kept in Caesarea, and St. Basil says of them: “Like bulwarks, they are our protection against the inroads of enemies.”[4] He adds that every one implored their succour, and that they raised up those that had fallen, strengthened the weak, and invigorated the fervour of the saints. SS Basil and Emmelia, the holy parents of St. Basil the Great, St. Gregory of Nyssa, St. Peter of Sebaste, and St. Macrina, procured a great share of these relics.[5] St. Emmelia put some of them in the church she built near Anneses, the village where they resided. The solemnity with which they were received was extraordinary, and they were honoured by miracles, as St. Gregory relates. One of these was a miraculous cure wrought on a lame soldier, the truth of which he attests from his own knowledge, both of the fact and the person who published it everywhere. He adds: “I buried the bodies of my parents by the relics of these holy martyrs, that in the resurrection they may rise with the encouragers of their faith; for I know they have great power with God, of which I have seen clear proofs and undoubted testimonies.” St. Gaudentius, bishop of Brescia, writes in his sermon on these martyrs: “God gave me a share of these venerable relics, and granted me to found this church in their honor.”[6] He says, that the two nieces of St. Basil, both abbesses, gave them to him as he passed by Caesarea, in a journey to Jerusalem; which venerable treasure they had received from their uncle. Portions of their relics were also carried to Constantinople, and there honored with great veneration, as Sozomen[7] and Procopius[8] have recorded at large, with an account of several visions and miracles, which attended the veneration paid to them in that city.

Though we are not all called to the trial of martyrdom, we are all bound daily to fight, and to conquer too. By multiplied victories which we gain over our passions and spiritual enemies, by the exercise of meekness, patience, humility, purity, and all other virtues, we shall render our triumph complete, and attain to the crown of bliss. But are we not confounded at our sloth in our spiritual warfare when we look on the conflicts of the martyrs? “The eloquence of the greatest orators, and the wisdom of the philosophers were struck dumb: the very tyrants and judges stood amazed and were not able to find words to express their admiration, when they beheld the faith, the cheerfulness and constancy of the holy martyrs in their sufferings. But what excuse shall we allege in the tremendous judgment, who, without meeting with such cruel persecution and torments, are so remiss and slothful in maintaining the spiritual life of our souls, and the charity of God! What shall we do in that terrible day when the holy martyrs, placed near the throne of God, with great confidence shall display their glorious scars, the proofs of their fidelity? What shall we then show? shall we produce our love for God? true faith? a disengagement of our affections from earthly things? souls freed from the tyranny of the passions? retirement and peace of mind? meekness? alms-deeds and compassion? holy and pure prayer? sincere compunction? watching and tears? Happy shall he be whom these works shall attend. He shall then be the companion of the martyrs, and shall appear with the same confidence before Christ and his angels. We beseech you, O most holy martyrs, who cheerfully suffered torments and death for his love, and are now more familiarly united to him, that you intercede with God for us slothful and wretched sinners, that he bestow on us the grace of Christ, by which we may be enlightened and enabled to love him.”[9]

Endnotes

1- The acts, and the greater part of the writers of their lives, suppose they were to stand in the very water. But this is a circumstance which Tillemont, Baillie, Ruinart, Ceillier, and others correct from St. Basil and St. Gregory of Nyssa.
2- St. Gregory of Nyssa says that they endured three days and three nights this lingering death, which carried off their limbs one after another.
3- St. Ephrem, Or. in 40 Mart. t. 2, Op. Gr. and Lat. 54, ed. Nov. Vatic. an. 1743.
4- 2 St. Basil,, Or. 20, p. 459.
5- St. Greg. Nyss. Or. 3, de 40 Mart. t. 2, pp. 212, 213.
6- S. Gaud. Brix. Serm. 17, de 40 Mart.
7- L. 9, c. 1, 2.
8- L. 1, de aedific, Justinian, c. 7.
9- S. Ephrem Homil. in SS. Martyres, Op. Gr. and Lat. ed. Vat. an. 1743, t. 2, p. 341.
(Taken from Vol. III of “The Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs and Other Principal Saints” by the Rev. Alban Butler, the 1864 edition published by D. & J. Sadlier, & Company)

Sermon by St. Basil the Great

Bounteous benevolence, unsquandered grace, ready help for Christian, a church of martyrs, an army of trophy-bearers, a chorus of those giving praise.  How much effort would you expand in order to find one who would importune the Lord on your behalf? They were forty, sending up a unanimous prayer.  Where there are two or three gathered together in the name of the Lord, there He is in the midst of them. But where there are forty, who doubts the presence of God? The one who is in trouble takes refuge in the forty, the one who rejoices hastens to them – the former to find release from difficulties, the latter to protect his prosperity.  Here a pious woman is found praying for her children, begging for the return of her husband who is away, for his safety because he is sick.  Let your petitions be with the martyrs.  Let boys imitate those of their own age; let fathers pray to be fathers of such children; let mothers learn the story of a good mother.

Oh holy chorus! O hallowed battalion, O unbroken fighting order! O common guards of the human race! Good companions in time of anxiety, helpers in prayers, most powerful ambassadors, stars of the world, flowers of the churches.  The earth does not hide you; instead, heaven accepts you.  The gates of paradise have opened for you.  The sight is worthy of the army of angels, worthy of patriarchs, prophets, the just. Men in the very flower of youth, despising life, loving the Lord above parents, above children.  Having the vitality of their age, they looked down on the temporary life in order to glorify God with their limbs.  Becoming a spectacle for the world and for angels and for human beings, they raised the fallen, they strengthened the ambivalent, they doubled the desire of the pious.  All of them raised the one trophy on behalf of piety and were crowned with the one crown of justice too, in Christ Jesus our Lord, to whom be the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

 

Fr. Francis Xavier Weninger, 1877

In the time of Constantine the Great, the city of Sebaste was witness of a magnificent spectacle of Christian heroism, in the forty soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the Faith of Christ. Licinius, to whom Constantine had entrusted the government of a portion of the empire, was at first very friendly to the Christians, but afterwards played the part of a cruel tyrant towards them. He issued an edict to all the prefects to force the Christians to adore the pagan gods, and, in case of their refusal, to condemn them to death. Agricola, Governor of Armenia, published the imperial mandate and summoned the Christians before, him. The first to answer this summons were forty brave soldiers of the garrison of Sebaste. They openly proclaimed themselves followers of Christ and ready to suffer tortures, and even death, rather than deny their faith. Lysias, their general, endeavored by praising their former bravery, by promising them imperial favors and rewards, and finally by threatening them with an ignominious death, to turn them from their holy purpose of remaining disciples of the Crucified. The Christian heroes, however, fearlessly declared, that in a case where the honor of the King of kings and their own eternal welfare were at stake, they disregarded promises and threats, and scorned the favor or displeasure of the Emperor.

The Governor, provoked to anger, ordered the holy confessors to be bound with chains and cast into dungeons. He called them again and again before his tribunal, but, finding them always firm in their faith, inflicted cruel tortures on them and sent them back, to prison. During their confinement, they exhorted each other to perseverance with these words: “We have borne so many hardships, so often exposed our lives in the service of an earthly sovereign, and in defence of our country: shall we do less for the King of Heaven and in behalf of our own souls?” In this manner they encouraged each other, and begged of the Lord that He would strengthen them in their impending martyrdom. They employed a portion of their time in singing the Divine Praises. Our Saviour did not fail to assist and console His servants. In a vision, He addressed them in these terms: “The beginning is good, but he only who perseveres to the end will be saved.” Shortly after this, sentence was pronounced on the forty martyrs, and immediately carried out.

They were first struck on the mouth with stones, and at nightfall conducted, in the middle of winter, to a frozen lake. They were condemned to sit there, naked, until death should put an end to their sufferings. There was also a hot bath in readiness, at a neighboring house, for those who should chance to go over to the service of the idols.

As soon as the Christian soldiers reached the lake, they took off their clothes and went out on the ice. Here they continued their praises of God, earnestly asking for the Divine assistance. “We are forty going on the ice,” said they, “grant, O merciful Lord, that forty also may be crowned, and that none lose his crown. It is a favored number, which Thou hast ennobled by Thy holy fast. Elias sought and found God by a fast of forty, days.” Near the martyrs were stationed the guards to watch that no one should escape. Some hours had already passed; the heroes still persevered in glorifying God by their chants, and continued to offer supplications to the throne of the Most High: the guards, however, had fallen asleep: the prison-keeper alone was watching. He suddenly beheld the martyrs environed by a shining light, and angels descending from heaven with magnificent crowns in their hands, which they placed on the heads of the soldiers. He remarked, however, that only thirty-nine were crowned. He said to himself: “There are forty Christians on the lake; where is the crown of the other one?” The mystery was soon solved. One of the number, unable to endure the cold any longer, had crawled to the bath, and by this act, denied his faith.

But God did not suffer this inconstancy to go unpunished, for the wretch died soon after entering the bath, losing his life and precipitating himself into the flames of hell; thus, by seeking to escape short sufferings, he also forfeited the heavenly reward due to perseverance. The thirty-nine were much grieved at this desertion, but they were gladdened by seeing the prison-keeper himself filling up their number again. For, reflecting on what he had just witnessed, he concluded that the faith of the Christians must be the only true one. Awaking the guards, he related to them his vision, and cried out, in a loud voice: “I also am a Christian, and will live and die with the Christians.” He stripped off his garments, and, joining the martyrs on the, lake, begged them to petition the Lord to bestow a similar crown on him. Their prayer was heard, for an angel came down from heaven with the crown.

At the break of day, everything that had occurred in the night was reported to the Governor. He immediately ordered the forty martyrs to be drawn out of the lake, their limbs to be broken with clubs, and the bodies to be thrown into the fire. The icy water had deprived all of life, with the exception of one, who, being younger, was possessed of greater power of endurance. The name of this one was Melitho. His mother, seeing him still alive, said to him: “Persevere only a little longer, my child; Jesus is standing at the gate of heaven, hastening to your assistance.” In the mean while, the bodies of the other confessors had been thrown into a cart and were carried to the burning pile. The mother, perceiving that her son was left behind, in the hope of bringing him over to the worship of the idols, took him on her shoulders, in order to place him on the cart or on the pile. Whilst carrying him, she encouraged and exhorted him to persevere by considerations on the shortness of life and the eternity of the reward. The courageous youth, whilst listening to the words of his mother, gave up the ghost. The pious mother, however, completed her task, and laid the corpse with those of the other martyrs, that he might be united, even in death, with his companions. Saint Basil, Saint Gregory of Nyssa, and many other holy fathers, delivered sermons, full of instruction and unction, on these holy martyrs.

 

Pope Benedict XV “We Need to Be Distrustful of Socialist Propaganda”

EPISTOLA
SOLITI NOS
DEL PAPA BENEDETTO XV
AL R. P. LUIGI MARIA MARELLI,
VESCOVO DI BERGAMO
SULLA NECESSITÀ DI DIFFIDARE
DELLA PROPAGANDA DEI SOCIALISTI

The original document (in Italian) is here

ON THE NEED BE AWARE
OF THE SOCIALIST PROPAGANDA

 

Venerable Brother,
health and Apostolic Blessing
 .

Since we are used to considering with particular satisfaction our Bergamaschi, who distinguish themselves in an exemplary way for their Christian life, with real displeasure we have learned some negative voices relating to certain popular motions that would have happened there. In truth, it is no wonder that the ” enemy», Having long envied the fertility of this field of the Lord, and carefully spying on the opportune moment to devastate it, took advantage of the crisis of these unfortunate times to sow the weeds on such fruitful soil. But since the bad seed, once it has taken root, can choke the good wheat over time, we value our strict duty – since the Lord has entrusted to us the care of the whole mystical field – to work with all our strength because it does not have to develop. We therefore address you, Venerable Brother, with this letter, not because we doubt your zeal, of which you have already given valid testimony in this regard, but because we consider it appropriate to exhort the beloved children, your medium, to remain faithful to your duty;

First of all we want everyone to know that We warmly approve what you have done, Venerable Brother, when, after the war, when everyone returned to the usual jobs, meeting new needs, with the collaboration of the Diocesan Council, you have set up a special Labor Office to cater to the needs of the various categories of workers. Really excellent and very useful institution if its functioning is regulated according to the dictates of religion; otherwise we know unfortunately which and how many disorders it can cause to society. It is therefore necessary that the managers of this Office, which has such close connection with the common good, always have before their eyes and scrupulously observe the principles of social science inculcated by the Holy See in the memorable Encyclical “ Rerum Novarum or Of the new things» And in other documents. Remember especially these fundamental points: in this short mortal life, subject to all evils, no one is given to be truly happy, since true, perfect, eternal happiness awaits us only in heaven, as a reward to those who have lived well ; up there, therefore, whatever we do, it must strive for all our actions; therefore, rather than being jealous of our rights, we must be considerate of fulfilling our duties; on the other hand, we are allowed to improve our condition in this mortal life and obtain greater well-being, but for the common good, nothing is more beneficial than harmony and harmony among all social classes: it is the maximum advocate of this Christian charity. So see how the workers’ interests would hurt those who, having plans to improve the conditions, they only lent themselves to help him in the purchase of these fallen goods, and not only neglected to temper his aspirations with the reference to Christian duties, but they endeavored to incite him more and more against the rich with that ceremony of language that is usually used by our opponents to excite the crowds to the social revolution. To remedy such a serious danger, it will be your care, Venerable Brother, to make present, as you already do, to those who dedicate themselves to patronizing the cause of the workers they do, being careful not to use the intemperance of language proper to the “socialists” , they must explain an action and propaganda all pervaded by a Christian spirit; without this they will be very harmful, certainly not beneficial. However, we hope that everyone will want to be obsequious; and if someone refuses to obey, you will certainly remove him from the assignment.

Moreover, it is natural that this Christian elevation of the humble should be more widely shared by those who have been provided with greater means by Providence. So those who are higher in social position or culture, do not refuse to help the worker with the council, with authority and with the word, especially promoting those works that have been providentially instituted to his advantage. Those who are then supplied with makeshift goods do not want to regulate their interests with the proletariat according to strict law, but rather according to fairness. Indeed we warmly urge them to use even greater indulgence in this, by making the widest and most liberal concessions they can. Here what the Apostle says to Timothy:To the rich of this world … he recommends being ready to give, to be generous “[ 1 ]. In this way they will gain the soul of the poor, who had antagonized them by considering them too attached to money.

Therefore the less well-off and those in a lower position are well penetrated by this truth, that the distinction of the social classes comes from nature, and therefore itself from the will of God, since ” He himself made the little and the great ” [ 2 ]; and this is wonderfully beneficial to the good of individuals and society. They are therefore persuaded that however much they can improve their condition with their own activity and with the help of the good, it will still remain to them, as to all the others, not a little to suffer. Therefore, if they wish to operate as wise men, they will not endeavor to pursue unworkable utopias, and will bear the inevitable evils of this life in peace and fortitude, awaiting immortal goods.

Therefore we pray and beg the Bergamaschi, for their singular piety and devotion to this Apostolic See, not to be fooled by the flattery of those who with fallacious promises strive to wrest their faith from their hearts to encourage them to brutal violence and upheavals . The cause of justice and truth is not defended with violence or disorder, since these are weapons that first of all hurt those who use them.

It is therefore the duty of priests and especially of parish priests to vigorously oppose these extremely dangerous enemies of the Catholic faith and of society, fighting them together and compact under your guidance, Venerable Brother. Nobody must believe that this is extraneous to the sacred ministry, being an economic question, while it is precisely for this reason that the risk for the eternal salvation of souls is looming. They consider it one of their duties to devote themselves as much as possible to science and social action with study and hard work, and to help those who worthily work in our organizations together by any means. At the same time, they should try to teach their faithful attentively the norms of Christian life, warning them against the pitfalls of the ” socialists “.», Also promoting economic improvement, always remembering what the Church recommends:« Let us go through temporal goods, so as not to lose the eternal ones ».

In the meantime, we will not cease to invoke upon you all the gifts of divine goodness in favor of which and as a testimony of Our benevolence, we impart with great affection the Apostolic Blessing to you, Venerable Brother, to the clergy and to your people.

Given in Rome, at St. Peter’s, on 11 March 1920, in the sixth year of our pontificate.

Pope Benedict. 15

 

1 ] I Tim ., VI, 17, 18.

2 ] Sap ., VI, 8.

Here is a solid write-up by TFP on this here

 

Prayer of St. Francis de Sales to St. Joseph

Prayer of St. Francis de Sales to St. Joseph:

Glorious St Joseph, spouse of Mary, grant us thy paternal protection, we beseech thee by the heart of Jesus Christ. O thou, whose power extends to all our necessities and can render possible for us the most impossible things, open thy fatherly eyes to the needs of thy children.

In the trouble and distress which afflicts us, we confidently have recourse to thee. Deign to take under your charitable charge this important and difficult matter, cause of our worries. Make its happy outcome be for God’s glory and for the good of His devoted servants. Amen.

Charlotte diocese proclaims ‘Year of St. Joseph’ for 2020

(From the Year of St Joseph website). Bishop Peter Joseph Jugis announced that the Diocese of Charlotte will celebrate 2020 as the “Year of St. Joseph” to commemorate the 150th anniversary of St. Joseph being solemnly declared Patron of the Catholic Church by Pope Pius IX in his decree Quemadmodum Deus. Throughout the year we want to honor St. Joseph as the guardian and protector of the Church and her faithful with heartfelt prayer and devotion, encouraging all to take his virtuous life as our model for fulfilling our personal vocation to holiness.

Go online to www.YearofStJoseph.org for details.

Here is Bishop Jugis’ sermon for 1 January, 2020

This link has posters/paintings of St Joseph that you can buy and put in your home here

Here are a few must have books on St. Joseph.  We all should (especially if you are a male) have a devotion to St. Joseph. (Click the photo covers for the links to purchase)

Here are a few sermons by various priests on St Joseph

Link: Prayers & Devotions to St Joseph (including the Blessing of his cord)

Prayer to Saint Andrew Avelino Against Sudden Death

Prayer to Saint Andrew Avelino Against Sudden Death

(This prayer can be said as a Novena for nine consecutive days)

I. O most glorious saint, whom God has made our protector against apoplexy, seeing that thou thyself didst die of that disease, we earnestly pray thee to preserve us from an evil so dangerous and so common. Pater, Ave, Gloria.

V. By the intercession of St Andrew, stricken with apoplexy.
R. From a sudden and unprovided death deliver us, O Lord.

II. O most glorious saint, if ever by the just judgment of God we should be stricken with apoplexy, we earnestly beseech thee to obtain for us time enough to receive the Last Sacraments and die in the grace of God. Pater, Ave, Gloria.

V. By the intercession of St Andrew, stricken with apoplexy.
R. From a sudden and unprovided death deliver us, O Lord.

III. O most glorious saint, who didst endure, before dying, a terrible agony, through the assaults of the devil, from which the Blessed Virgin and St. Michael delivered thee, we earnestly beseech thee to assist us in the tremendous moment of our death. Pater, Ave, Gloria.

V. By the intercession of St Andrew, stricken with apoplexy.
R. From a sudden and unprovided death deliver us, O Lord.

Thoughts on the Recent Poll on the Belief in the Real Presence