Prayers by Blessed Bartolo Longo

Prayers to and by Blessed Bartolo Longo

From his writings

The Rosary a Teacher of Life

The Rosary is a teacher of life, a teacher full of gentleness and love, where people beneath the gaze of Mary, almost without noticing, discover they are being slowly educated in preparation for the second life, that which is authentic life, for it is not destined to end in a very few years, but to go on unto eternity.

The Rosary and the Eucharist

The Rosary, therefore, in a gentle, subtle way leads one to the Eucharist, to the Most Blessed Sacrament: those who approach Jesus in thought, year to approach Him in reality; those who know Jesus cannot but love Him; indeed, those who truly love Jesus cannot forego possessing Him.

Prayer for the Canonization of Blessed Bartolo Longo

God, Father of mercy, we praise you for having sent into the history of mankind, the Blessed Bartolo Longo, ardent apostle of the Rosary and shining example of a layman deeply involved in the evangelical witnessing of faith and of charity.

We thank you for his extraordinary spiritual journey, his prophetic intuitions, his tireless endeavors on behalf of the poorest and the neglected, the devotion with which he served your Church and built the new city of love at Pompeii.

We beseech you, grant that Blessed Bartolo Longo soon be numbered among the Saints of the universal Church, so that everyone may follow him as a model of life and benefit by his intercession.  Amen.

Prayer to Blessed Bartolo Longo

O Blessed Bartolo Longo, you who loved Mary with the tenderness of a son and who spread devotion by the reciting of the Holy Rosary and through her intercession received superabundant grace to love and serve Christ through service to abandoned children, obtain for us the grace to live in the spirit of prayer united to God, to love him, as you did, through our brothers. You, who at the end of your earthly journey declared never having tired of praying for every pain, for every hardship, for every calamity, trusting in the omnipotence of God and in the intercession of His Divine Mother, continue to intercede for those who are called to continue your work of faith and love at Pompeii and for all the Rosarians of the world. Pray for us that we, after the earthly contemplation of the joyful and sorrowful Mysteries, can with you share the joy of the glorious Mysteries in heaven with Mary, Queen of the angels and of the Saints. Amen

Prayer of Blessed Bartolo Longo to Our Lady of the Rosary of Pompeii

O Virgin Mary,
Queen of the Blessed Rosary,
dispenser of graces in the Valley of Pompeii
and sweet Queen of my heart,
kindly accept the prayer
I address to you,
that your love
may spread in my heart
and in the hearts of
all those who honor you
by reciting the Blessed Rosary.
I long for the whole world
to come to know
the miracles and graces
you grant from your
Shrine of Pompeii,
and that the whole world
love you and experience
the power of your intercession,
the fruit of your bountiful graces.
Grant that all the sinners
of the world come
penitent to your feet
and once again find Jesus,
the source of peace and of true happiness;
and through your intercession
may I too meet Him at the end
of my life’s journey.
Amen.

Blessed Bartolo Longo’s Prayer to Our Lady of the Rosary

         O blessed rosary of Mary, sweet chain which unites us to God, bond of love which unites us to the angels, tower of salvation against the assaults of hell, safe port in our universal shipwreck, we will never abandon you. You will be our comfort in the hour of death; yours our final kiss as life ebbs away. And the last word from our lips will be your sweet name, O Queen of the Rosary of Pompeii, O dearest Mother, O Refuge of Sinners, O Sovereign Consoler of the Afflicted. May you be everywhere blessed, today and always, on earth and in heaven. Amen!

The Supplica

Prayed at Midday on May 8th

O August Queen of Victories, O Sovereign of Heaven and Earth, at whose name the heavens rejoice and the abyss trembles, O glorious Queen of the Rosary, we your devoted children, assembled in your temple of Pompeii, (on this solemn day), pour out the affection of our heart and with filial confidence expresse our miseries to you.
From the throne of clemency, where you are seated as Queen, turn, O Mary, your merciful gaze on us, on our families, on Italy, on Europe, on the world. Have compassion on the sorrows and cares which embitter our lives. See, O Mother, how many dangers of body and soul, how many calamities and afflictions press upon us.
O Mother, implore for us the mercy of your divine Son and conquer with clemency the heart of sinners. They are our brothers and your children who cause the heart of our sweet Jesus to bleed and who sadden your most sensitive heart. Show all that you are the Queen of Peace and of Pardon.
Hail Mary.

It is true that although we are your children we are the first to crucify Jesus by our sins and to pierce anew your heart. We confess that we are deserving of severe punishment, but remember that, on Golgotha, you received with the divine blood, the testament of the dying Savior, who declared you to be our Mother, the Mother of sinners.
You then, as our Mother, are our Advocate, our Hope. And we raise our suppliant hands to you with sighs crying “Mercy!” O good Mother, have pity on us, on our souls, on our families, our relatives, our friends, our deceased, especially our enemies, and on so many who call themselves Christian and yet offend the heart of your loving Son. Today we implore pity for the misguided nations throughout all Europe, throughout the world, so that they may return repentant to your heart.
Hail Mary.
Kindly deign to hear us. O Mary! Jesus has placed in your hands all the treasures of his graces and mercies. You are seated a crowned Queen at the right hand of your Son, resplendent with immortal glory above the choirs of angels. Your dominion extends throughout heaven and earth and all creatures are subject to you.
You are omnipotent by grace and therefore you can help us. Were you not willing to help us, since we are ungrateful children and undeserving of your protection, we would not know to whom to turn. Your motherly heart would not permit you see us, your children, lost. The Infant whom we see on your knees and the blessed rosary which we see in your hand, inspire confidence in us that we shall be heard. We confide fully in you, we abandon ourselves as helpless children into the arms of the most tender of mothers, and on this day, we expect from you the graces we so long for.
Hail Mary.
One last favour we now ask of you, O Queen, which you cannot refuse us (on this most solemn day): Grant to all of us your steadfast love and in a special manner your maternal blessing. We shall not leave you until you have blessed us. Bless, O Mary, at this moment, our Holy Father. To the ancient splendors of your crown, to the triumphs of your Rosary, whence you are called the Queen of Victories, add this one also, O Mother: grant the triumph of religion and peace to human society. Bless our bishops, priests and particularly all those who are zealous for the honor of your sanctuary. Bless finally all those who are associated with your temple of Pompeii and all those who cultivate and promote devotion to your Holy Rosary. 

O blessed Rosary of Mary, sweet chain which unites us to God, bond of love which unites us to the angels, tower of salvation against the assaults of hell, safe port in our universal shipwreck, we shall never abandon you. You will be our comfort in the hour of agony: to you the last kiss of our dying life. And the last word from our lips will be your sweet name, O Queen of the Rosary of Pompeii, O dearest Mother, O Refuge of Sinners, O Sovereign Consoler of the Afflicted. Be blessed everywhere, today and always, on earth and in Heaven. Amen.

Hail, Holy Queen.* 

Novena in Honor of the Annunciation to Our Lady (Beginning March 16)

Novena in Honor of the Annunciation to Our Lady

(Beginning March 16)

[i. 300 Days each day.
ii. Plenary on the Feast or during the Octave. I, II, IV.
(See Instructions, p. 1.)]

 

Veni Sancte Spiritus, reple tuorum corda fidelium, et tui amoris in eis ignem accende.
  Come, O Holy Ghost, fill the hearts of thy faithful and kindle in them the fire of thy love.
℣. Emitte Spiritum tuum, et creabuntur.
℣. Send forth thy spirit and they shall be created;
℟. Et removabis faciem terræ.
℟. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.
Oremus.
Let us pray.
Deus, qui corda fidelium Sancti Spiritus illustratione docuisti, da nobis in eodem Spiritu recta sapere et de ejus semper consolatione gaudere. Per Christum Dominum nostrum.
  O God, who has taught the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit; grant us by the same Spirit to relish what is right, and evermore to rejoice in his consolation. Through Christ our Lord.
℟. Amen.
℟. Amen.

March 16

I venerate and I admire thee, most holy Virgin Mary, as the humblest of all the creatures of God on the very day of thy Annunciation, when God Himself exalted thee to the most sublime dignity of His own Mother. O mighty Virgin, enable me, wretched sinner that I am, to know the depths of my own nothingness, and at once with all my heart to humble myself before all men. Ave Maria.

March 17

Mary, most holy Virgin, when thou wast saluted by Gabriel the Archangel, and the message from God was conveyed to thee, and thou wast exalted by God above all the Choirs of the Angels, then thou didst humbly say, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord.” Oh, obtain for me true humility and angelic purity, enabling me so to live on earth that I may ever be worthy of the blessing of God. Ave Maria.

March 18

O Virgin ever blessed, I rejoice with thee because solely by thy humble Fiat thou didst draw from the bosom of the Eternal Father the divine Word into thy own pure bosom. Draw then ever my heart to God; and with God draw grace into my heart, that I may ever bless thy Fiat, and cry with devotion, “O mighty Fiat! O efficacious Fiat! O Fiat to be venerated above all Fiats.” (St. Thomas of Villanova) Ave Maria.

March 19

O Virgin Mary, on the day of thy Annunciation thou wast found by Gabriel the Archangel quick and ready to do God’s will, when it pleased the most Holy Trinity to await thy consent in order to redeem the world. Enable me in every good and bad fortune to turn to God with resignation and say: Be it done unto me according to thy word. Ave Maria.

March 20

Most holy Mary, I well understand that thy obedience made the union between thy God and thee more intimate than shall ever again be possible for any other creature: “No creature could be in closer union with God.” (Bl. Albertus Magnus) I am confounded to see how sin has separated me from God. Help me then, kind Mother, truly to do penance for my sins, that thy own loving Jesus may yet once more live in me and I in Him. Ave Maria.

March 21

Most holy Mary, thou wast troubled by reason of thy modesty, when Gabriel the Archangel stood before thee in thy house; but I, when I come before thee, am troubled because of my great pride; wherefore do thou in thy incomparable humility, “which brought forth God for men, reopened Paradise, and set the captive souls free from hell beneath,” (S. Aug. Sermo de Sanct.) draw me, I pray thee, out of the deep pit of my sins, and enable me to save my soul. Ave Maria.

March 22

Most holy Virgin, though I have an unhallowed tongue, I have the boldness to salute thee all hours of the day: “Hail, hail Mary, full of grace.” I pray thee from my heart to replenish my soul with a little of that grace wherewith the Holy Spirit, when He overshadowed thee, filled thee to the full. Ave Maria.

March 23

Most holy Mary, “The Lord is with thee;” I know by faith that the great God who has been ever with thee from thy Conception, is, by His Incarnation in thy purest womb, made still more closely one with thee; make it thy care, I pray thee, that I may ever bee one in heart and soul with that same dear Lord Jesus, by means of His sanctifying grace. Ave Maria.

March 24

Most holy Mary, “Blessed art thou amongst women;” pour out upon my heart and soul thy heavenly blessing, as thou thyself wast ever blessed of God among all women; for I have this sure hope, that if, my dear Mother, thou wilt bless me while I live, then when I die I shall be blessed of God in the everlasting glory of Heaven. Ave Maria.

Then say the Litany,

The Litany of Loreto

Indulgence of 7 years. Plenary, under the usual conditions, if recited devoutly every day for a month.
Kyrie, eleison. Lord, have mercy on us.
Christe, eleison. Christ, have mercy on us.
Kyrie, eleison. Lord, have mercy on us.
Christe, audi nos. Christ, hear us.
Christe, exaudi nos. Christ, graciously hear us.
Pater de cælis Deus, miserere nobis. God, the Father of heaven, have mercy on us.
Fili Redemptor mundi Deus, God, the Son, the Redeemer of the world,
Spiritus Sancte Deus, God, the Holy Spirit,
Sancta Trinitas, unus Deus, Holy Trinity, one God,
Sancta Maria, ora pro nobis. Holy Mary, pray for us.
Sancta Dei Genetrix, Holy Mother of God,
Sancta Virgo virginum, Holy Virgin of virgins,
Mater Christi, Mother of Christ,
Mater Ecclesiæ, Mother of the Church,
Mater Divinæ gratiæ, Mother of divine grace,
Mater purissima, Mother most pure,
Mater castissima, Mother most chaste,
Mater inviolata, Mother inviolate,
Mater intemerata, Mother undefiled,
Mater amabilis, Mother most amiable,
Mater admirabilis, Mother most admirable,
Mater boni Consilii, Mother of good counsel,
Mater Creatoris, Mother of our Creator,
Mater Salvatoris, Mother of our Savior,
Virgo prudentissima, Virgin most prudent,
Virgo veneranda, Virgin most venerable,
Virgo prædicanda, Virgin most renowned,
Virgo potens, Virgin most powerful,
Virgo clemens, Virgin most merciful,
Virgo fidelis, Virgin most faithful,
Speculum iustitiæ, Mirror of justice,
Sedes sapientiæ, Seat of wisdom,
Causa nostræ lætitiæ, Cause of our joy,
Vas spirituale, Spiritual vessel,
Vas honorabile, Vessel of honor,
Vas insigne devotionis, Singular vessel of devotion,
Rosa mystica, Mystical rose,
Turris Davidica, Tower of David,
Turris eburnea, Tower of ivory,
Domus aurea, House of gold,
Fœderis arca, Ark of the covenant,
Ianua cæli, Gate of heaven,
Stella matutina, Morning star,
Salus infirmorum, Health of the sick,
Refugium peccatorum, Refuge of sinners,
Consolatrix afflictorum, Comforter of the afflicted,
Auxilium Christianorum, Help of Christians,
Regina Angelorum, Queen of Angels,
Regina Patriarcharum, Queen of Patriarchs,
Regina Prophetarum, Queen of Prophets,
Regina Apostolorum, Queen of Apostles,
Regina Martyrum, Queen of Martyrs,
Regina Confessorum, Queen of Confessors,
Regina Virginum, Queen of Virgins,
Regina Sanctorum omnium, Queen of all Saints,
Regina sine labe originali concepta, Queen conceived without original sin,
Regina in cælo assumpta, Queen assumed into heaven,
Regina Sacratissimi Rosarii, Queen of the most holy Rosary,
Regina familiæ, Queen of the family,
Regina Pacis. Queen of Peace.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi,
parce nobis, Domine.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
spare us, O Lord.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi,
exaudi nos, Domine.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
graciously hear us, O Lord.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi,
miserere nobis.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us.
℣. Ora pro nobis, Sancta Dei Genitrix,
℟. Ut digni efficamur promissionibus Christi.
℣. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God,
℟. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Oremus.—Gratiam tuam, quæsumus, Domine, mentibus nostris infunde; ut qui, Angelo nuntiante, Christi Filii tui incarnationem cognovimus, per passionem eius et crucem, ad resurrectionis gloriam perducamur. Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum.
Amen.
Let us pray.—Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts, that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His passion and cross be brought to the glory of His resurrection, through the same Christ our Lord.
Amen.
℣. Divinum auxilium maneat semper nobiscum. ℣. May the divine assistance remain always with us.
℟. Amen. ℟. Amen.
℣. Et fidelium animæ per misericordiam Dei requiescant in pace. ℣. And may the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
℟. Amen. ℟. Amen.

and then:

℣. Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariæ.
℣. The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary.
℟. Et conceptit de Spiritu Sancto.
℟. And she conceived of the Holy Ghost.
Oremus.
Let us pray.
Deus, qui de beatæ Mariæ Virginis utero Verbum tuum, angelo nuntiante carnem suscipere voluisti: præsta supplicibus tuis, ut qui vere eam Genitricem Dei credimus, ejus apud te intercessionibus adjuvemur.
  O God, who by the message of an angel didst will that the divine Word should take flesh of the Blessed Virgin Mary; grant unto us thy suppliants that we, who believe her to be truly the Mother of God, may be helped by her intercession with Thee.
Deus omnium fidelium pastor et rector, famulum tuum N., quem pastorem ecclesiæ tuæ præesse voluisti, propituis respice; da ei quæsumus, verbe et exemplo, quibus præest, proficere, ut ad vitam una cum grege sibi credito perveniat sempiternam.
O God, the Shepherd and Ruler of all the faithful, graciously look down upon thy servant N., whom Thou hast chosen to be the Pastor of thy Church; and grant him, we beseech Thee, both by word and example, so to direct those over whom Thou hast placed him, that together with the flock entrusted to his care, he may attain eternal life.
Deus refugium nostrum et virtus, adesto piis ecclesiæ tuæ precibus, auctor ipse pietatis; et præsta, ut quod fideliter petimus efficaciter consequamur. Per Christum Dominum nostrum.
O God, our refuge and strength, who art the author of all holiness, listen to the pious prayers of thy Church, and grant that what we ask in faith we may effectually obtain, through Christ our Lord.
℟. Amen.
℟. Amen.

Novena in Honor of Our Lady’s Immaculate Conception (Beginning November 29)

Novena in Honor of Our Lady’s Immaculate Conception

(Beginning November 29)
from the 1910 Raccolta.

[At any time of the year, with any form of prayer approved by competent ecclesiastical authority.
i. 300 Days each day.
ii. Plenary on the Feast or during the Octave. I, II, IV.
(See Instructions, p. 1.)]

 

Veni Sancte Spiritus, reple tuorum corda didelium, et tui amoris in eis ignem accende.   Come, O Holy Ghost, fill the hearts of thy faithful and kindle in them the fire of thy love.
℣. Emitte Spiritum tuum, et creabuntur.
℣. Send forth thy spirit and they shall be created;
℟. Et removabis faciem terræ.
℟. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.
Oremus.
Let us pray.
Deus, qui corda fidelium Sancti Spiritus illustratione docuisti, da nobis in eodem Spiritu recta sapere et de ejus semper consolatione gaudere. Per Christum Dominum nostrum.   O God, who has taught the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit; grant us by the same Spirit to relish what is right, and evermore to rejoice in his consolation. Through Christ our Lord.
℟. Amen.
℟. Amen.

 

Preparatory Prayer to be said each day

Virgin most pure, conceived without sin, all fair and stainless in thy Conception; glorious Mary, full of grace, Mother of my God, Queen of Angels and of men, —I humbly venerate thee as Mother of my Savior, who, though He was God, taught me by his own veneration, reverence, and obedience to thee, the honour and homage that are due to thee. Vouchsafe, I pray thee, to accept this Novena which I dedicate to thee. Thou art the safe refuge of the penitent sinner; it is very fitting, then, that I should have recourse to thee. Thou art the Mother of Compassion; then wilt thou surely be moved with pity for my many miseries. Thou art my best hope after Jesus; thou canst not but accept the loving confidence that I have in thee. Make me worthy to be called thy son, that so I may dare to cry unto thee: Show thyself a mother.

Ave Maria nine times, and Gloria Patri once.

Prayer for the First Day, November 29

Behold me at thy sacred feet, O Immaculate Virgin. I rejoice with thee, because from all eternity thou wast elected to be the Mother the Eternal Word, and wast preserved stainless from the taint of original sin. I praise and bless the Most Holy Trinity, who poured out upon thy soul in thy Conception the treasure of that privilege. I humbly pray thee to obtain for me grace effectually to overcome the sad effects produced in my soul by original sin; make me wholly victorious over them, that I may never cease to love my God.

Then say or sing the Litany of the Blessed Virgin, No. 189, p. 168, or else,

℣. Tota pulchra est Maria.
℣. All fair art thou, O Mary.
℟. Tota pulchra est Maria.
℟. All fair art thou, O Mary.
℣. Et macula originalis non est in te. ℣. The original stain is not in thee.
℟. Et macula originalis non est in te. ℟. The original stain is not in thee.
℣. Tu gloria Jerusalem. ℣. Thou art the glory of Jerusalem.
℟. Tu lætitia Israel. ℟. Thou art the joy of Israel.
℣. Tu honorificentia populi nostri. ℣. Thou art the honour of our people.
℟. To advocato peccatorum. ℟. Thou art the advocate of sinners.
℣. O Maria. ℣. O Mary.
℟. O Maria.
℟. O Mary.
℣. Virgo prudentissima. ℣. Virgin most prudent.
℟. Mater clementissima. ℟. Mother most clement.
℣. Ora pro nobis. ℣. Pray for us.
℟. Intercede pro nobis ad Dominum Jesu Christum.
℟. Intercede for us with our Lord Jesus Christ.

After the Litany or Hymn as above, say,

℣. In Conceptione tua, Virgo, immaculata fuisiti. ℣. In thy conception, O Virgin, thou wast immaculate.
℟. Ora pro nobis Patrem, cujus Filium peperisti. ℟. Pray for us to the Father, whose Son was born of thee.
Oremus. Let us pray.
Deus, qui per Immaculatam Virginis Conceptionem dignum Filio tuo habitaculum præprarasti: quæsumus ut qui ex morte ejusdem Filii tui prævisa cam ab omni labe præservasti, nosquoque mundos ejus intercessionene ad te pervinire concedad. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen. O God, who through the Immaculate Conception of a Virgin didst prepare a worthy dwelling-place for thy Son, we beseech Thee, who by the death of that Son, forseen by Thee, didst preserve her from all stain of sin, to grant that by her intercession we also may be purified, and so may come to Thee. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Deus, omnium fidelium pastor et rector, famulum tuum N., quem pastorem ecclesiæ tuæ præesse voluisti, propitius recpice; da ei quæsumus, verbo et exemplo, quibus præest, proficere, ut ad vitam una cum gregre sibi credito preveniat sempiternam. O God, the Shepherd and Ruler of all the faithful, graciously look down upon thy servant N., whom Thou hast chosen to be the Pastor of thy Church; and grant him, we beseech Thee, both by word and example, so to direct those over whom Thou hast placed him, that together with the flock entrusted to his care, he may attain eternal life.
Deus, refuium nostrum et virtus, adesto piis ecclesiæ tuæ precibus, auctor ipse pietatis; et præsta, ut quod fideliter petimus efficaciter consequamur. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen. O God, our refuge and strength, who art the author of all holiness, listen to the pious prayers of thy Church, and grant that what we ask in faith we may effectually obtain, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

The same order is to be observed on the other days of the Novena, the prayer for the day alone being changed.

Prayer for the Second Day, November 30

Mary, unsullied lily of purity, I rejoice with thee, because from the first moment of thy Conception thou wast filled with grace, and hadst given unto thee the perfect use of reason. I thank and adore the ever blessed Trinity, who gave thee those high gifts. Behold me at thy feet overwhelmed with shame to see myself so poor in grace. O Thou who wast filled full of heavenly grace, grant me a portion of that same grace, and make me a partaker in the treasures of thy Immaculate Conception.

Prayer for the Third Day, December 1

Mary, mystic rose of purity, I rejoice with thee at the glorious triumph thou didst gain over the serpent by thy Immaculate Conception, in that thou wast conceived without original sin. I thank and praise with my whole heart the ever blessed Trinity, who granted thee that glorious privilege; and I pray thee to obtain for me courage to overcome every snare of the great enemy, and never to stain my soul with mortal sin. Be thou always mine aid, and enable me with thy protection to obtain the victory over all the enemies of man’s eternal welfare.

Prayer for the Fourth Day, December 2

Mary Immaculate Virgin, mirror of holy purity, I rejoice exceedingly to see how from thy Immaculate Conception there were infused into thy soul the most sublime and perfect virtues with all the gifts of the most Holy Spirit. I thank and praise the ever blessed Trinity who bestowed upon thee these high privileges, and I beseech thee, gracious Mother, obtain for me grace to practise every Christian virtue, and so to become worthy to receive the gifts and graces of the Holy Ghost.

Prayer for the Fifth Day, December 3

Mary, bright moon of purity, I congratulate thee in that the mystery of thy Immaculate Conception was the beginning of salvation to the human race, and was the joy of the whole world. I thank and bless the ever blessed Trinity who did so magnify and glorify thy person. I entreat thee to obtain for me the grace so to profit by the death and passion of thy dear Son, that his Precious Blood may not have been shed upon the Cross for me in vain, but that after a holy life I may be saved.

Prayer for the Sixth Day, December 4

Mary Immaculate, brilliant start of purity, I rejoice with thee, because thy Immaculate Conception brought exceeding joy to all the angels of Paradise. I thank and bless the ever blessed Trinity, who enriched thee with this privilege. Enable me also one day to take part in this heavenly joy, praising and blessing thee in the company of angels, world without end. Amen.

Prayer for Seventh Day, December 5

Mary, Immaculate, rising morn of purity, I rejoice with thee, and I am filled with admiration at beholding thee confirmed in grace and considered sinless from the first moment of thy Conception. I thank and praise the ever blessed Trinity, who elected thee alone from all mankind for this special privilege. Holiest Virgin, obtain for me so entire and lasting a hatred of sin, the worst of all evils, that I may rather die than ever again commit a mortal sin.

Prayer for the Eighth Day, December 6

Mary, Virgin, sun without stain, I congratulate thee and I rejoice with thee, because God gave thee in thy Conception a greater and more abundant grace than He gave to all his angels and his saints together, even when their merits were most exalted. I thank and admire the immense beneficence of the ever blessed Trinity, who hath dispensed to thee alone this privilege. Oh, enable me too to correspond with the grace of God, and never more to receive it in vain; change my heart, and help me to begin in earnest a new life.

Prayer for the Ninth Day, December 7

Immaculate Mary, living light of holiness, model of purity, Virgin and Mother, as soon as thou wast conceived, thou didst profoundly adore thy God, giving him thanks, because by means of thee the ancient curse was blotted out, and blessing was again come upon the sinful sons of Adam. Let this blessing kindle in my heart love towards God; and do thou inflame my heart still more and more, that I may ever love Him constantly on earth, and afterwards eternally enjoy Him in heaven, there to thank and praise Him more and more fervently for all the wondrous privileges conferred on thee, and to rejoice with thee for thy high crown of glory.

Novena in Honor of Our Lady’s Divine Maternity (Beginning October 2)

Novena in Honor of Our Lady’s Divine Maternity

(Beginning October 2)

[May be said in public or private.
i. 300 Days each day.
ii. Plenary, on the Feast or during the Octave. I, II, IV.
(See Instructions, p. I, 1910 Raccolta.)]
—Pius VII, Mem., August 12, 1815; Pius VIII, July 9, 1830.

From all eternity God thought of the Virgin of Nazareth as the future Mother of His Son. At the Annunciation, the Blessed Virgin Mary became the Mother of God. This is her most exalted title, the source of all Her other privileges. On Calvary Christ gave His Mother to all men to be their spiritual Mother, so that through Her they might come to God as through Her He came to them. Let us love her because she is our very own. How can we fail to love Her whom Jesus loved so tenderly?

“Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb and shalt bring forth a Son; and thou shalt call His name Jesus. He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Most High.” (Luke 1:31)

Let us celebrate the Motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary! Let us adore her Son, Christ the Lord! Glory be.

Blessed and worthy of veneration art Thou, O Virgin Mary, who, while remaining a Virgin, didst become the Mother of the Savior! When He who rules heaven and earth became man, He dwelt within Thy womb. Hail Mary.

O Virgin Mother of God, Thy Motherhood announced joy to the whole world, for from Thee arose the Sun of Justice, Christ our God. Thou gavest birth to Him who created Thee and still remainest a Virgin. Holy Mary, Virgin Mother of God, intercede for us! Hail Mary.

The Lord blessed Thee, O Daughter for from Thee we have received the Fruit of Life. Thou alone without am equal, hast pleased our Lord Jesus Christ. Despise not our prayers in our needs, and deliver us from all dangers, O holy Mother of God! Hail Mary.

Hymn

To Thee, sweet Mother of our God,
We raise our voice in suppliant prayer;
Preserve us from the devil’s wiles,
And let us rest beneath Thy care!

’Twas for a ruined nation’s sake
Which Adam’s guilt was made to share,
That God, our King, to Thee did give
A Mother’s dignity so fair.

With us of Adam’s fallen race,
O, may Thy favor e’er abide!
Through Thee our guilt has been effaced,
Avenging anger laid aside.

O Jesus, Son of Virgin mild,
Unending glory be to Thee!
Praise to the Father infinite,
and Holy Ghost eternally. Amen.

℣. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God,
℟. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us Pray.

O God, Who by the fruitful virginity of the Blessed Virgin Mary hast given to mankind the rewards of eternal salvation, grant, we beg Thee, that we may feel Her intercession for us, by whom we received the Author of Life, our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son. Who with Thee and the Holy Ghost, lives and reigns forever, unto ages of ages. Amen.

Novena to St. Anne (17 July – 25 July)

Novena to St. Anne

Say once a day for 9 days, especially beginning on 17 July and ending on 25 July, the eve of the Feast of St. Anne.


O glorious St. Anne, filled with compassion for those who invoke thee and with love for those who suffer, heavily laden with the weight of my troubles, I cast myself at thy feet and humbly beg of thee to take under thy special protection the present affair which I commend to thee.

{Mention your intentions here)

Be pleased to commend it to thy daughter, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and lay it before the throne of Jesus, so that He may bring it to a happy outcome. Cease not to intercede for me until my request is granted. Above all, obtain for me the grace of one day beholding my God face to face, and, with thee and Mary and all the Saints, of praising and blessing Him for all eternity. Amen.

Good St. Anne, mother of her who is our life, our sweetness and our hope, pray to her for us and obtain our request.

Good St. Anne, mother of her who is our life, our sweetness and our hope, pray to her for us and obtain our request.

Good St. Anne, mother of her who is our life, our sweetness and our hope, pray to her for us and obtain our request.

Good St. Anne, pray for us. Jesus, Mary, Anne.

Father:  Incline unto my aid, O God.
People:  O Lord, make haste to help me.
Let us pray.
ALMIGHTY GOD Father of mercies and Giver of all good gifts we kneel before Thee to honor Thee in Thy Saints and to seek their intercession in our many needs. We are truly sorry for all our sins and humbly ask Thy pardon.  Please grant our petitions and a full measure of the indulgences granted by Thy Vicar, the Pope and draw us ever nearer to Your Divine Heart.  Amen.

Prayer to Saint Anne, Mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary

WITH A HEART FULL of sincere and filial veneration, I prostrate myself before thee, O blessed Saint Anne. Thou art that beloved and privileged creature, who, because of thy extraordinary virtue and sanctity didst merit from God the high favor of giving life to her who is the Treasury of all graces, the Blessed among women, the Mother of the Word Incarnate, the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Ah: in consideration of so lofty a privilege, please, O most tender Saint, receive me into the number of thy truly devoted servants, for such I profess myself to be and desire to remain for the rest of my life. Shield me with thy efficacious patronage and obtain for me from God the power to imitate those virtues with which thou wert so plentifully adorned. Obtain for me a knowledge of my sins and sorrow for them, an ardent love for Jesus and Mary, and a faithful and constant observance of the duties of my state of life. Save me from every danger that confronts me in life, and assist me at the hour of death, that I may safely reach paradise, there to sing with thee, O most happy mother, the praises of the Word of God made Man in the womb of thy most pure daughter, the Virgin Mary. Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

NOVENA PRAYER TO ST. ANNE

To obtain some special favor

O GLORIOUS ST. ANNE, filled with compassion for those who invoke thee and with love for those who suffer, heavily laden with the weight of my troubles, I cast myself at thy feet and humbly beg of thee to take under thy special protection the present affair which I commend to you. (here mention silently your intentions). Please recommend it to thy daughter, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and lay it before the throne of Jesus, so that He may bring it to a happy outcome. Please continue to intercede for me until my request is granted.

Above all, obtain for me the grace of one day beholding my God face to face, and, with thee and Blessed Mary and all the Saints, of praising and blessing Him for all eternity. Amen.

Good St. Anne, mother of her who is our life, our sweetness and our hope, pray to her for us and obtain our requests. (three times)

Hail Mary…

Good St. Anne, pray for us.

Hymn to St. Anne

(tune: Immaculate Mary)

Hail Mother of Mary, O gracious Saint Anne,

God’s Marvelous Choice from the whole Race of Man. refrain.

[refrain]

O Good Saint Anne, St. Anne pray for us.

O Good Saint Anne, St. Anne pray for us.

Sweet Child of election deemed worthy to bear.

The Virgin of Virgins, Christ’s Mother most fair. Refrain

Look upon our sorrows, give ear to our plaint,

Behold our afflictions, O powerful Saint. refrain

 

Resistance Radio Episode 15: California Confession Law, Chicago Procession, Brazil Consecrated to the BVM, Iraq Christians, and the Abortion Laws

California confession bill amended, but still would require priests to violate seal

“I will go to jail before I will obey”
California State Constitution

Thousands March Behind “Broken Mary” Statue in Chicago

Brazilian president signs proclamation consecrating nation to Virgin Mary

Why Does the Pope Hate the Deputy Prime Minister of Italy? (Mainly because he’s winning)

Iraq’s Christians ‘close to extinction’

Mike Huckabee Claims LGBTQ Rights Are The ‘Greatest Threat’ To America’s Morality

Dark day’: Illinois lawmakers pass abortion bill far worse than New York’s

Obama-Appointed Judge Blocks Mississippi Law Banning Abortions When Baby’s Heart Starts Beating

Justice Clarence Thomas rips Planned Parenthood, abortion movement as racist

TOP 5 Alabama Abortion Lies Debunked! | Louder with Crowder

Democratic presidential hopeful: ‘Church is wrong on abortion, priests, LGBT’

These Are the States That Passed ‘Heartbeat Bills’

Abortion: Tennessee Lawmakers Advance Fetal Heartbeat Bill

South Carolina governor pledges to sign ‘heartbeat bill’ if legislation passes Senate next year

TRANSLATION OF THE HOLY HOUSE OF LORETO (10 December)

The Miracle of the Holy House of Loreto
by Lee Wells

THE MOST TREASURED and venerated Shrine of our Lady throughout the world is that of the Holy House of Nazareth in the Basilica at Loreto, Italy. And rightly so, for according to tradition, to testimonies of Popes and Saints this is where the “recreation”—–our redemption—–began. Over the past several centuries, people from all parts of the world have traveled to this shrine to pray and seek Our Lady’s help. Thousands of miracles attributed to Our Lady have been recorded at Loreto.

The tradition and history of the Holy House goes back to Apostolic times. From the earliest days of Christianity, the little house and the grotto which formed one side of the Holy House have been a place of worship and pilgrimage. Shortly after the year 313, Constantine the Great had a large Basilica built over the Holy House of Nazareth. The Holy House and the grotto formed part of the crypt of the new church. About the year 1090, the Saracens invaded the Holy Land, plundering and destroying many of the shrines sacred to Christians. One of these was the Basilica in Nazareth, but the Holy House and grotto in the crypt were left intact.

When St. Francis of Assisi visited the Holy Land (1219-1220) he prayed at the Holy House. St. Louis IX, King of France, also visited and received Holy Communion in the shrine when he was leading a crusade to liberate the Holy Land from the Moslems. Another Basilica was built during the 12th century to protect the Holy House and offer ample room for pilgrims. This second Basilica was destroyed when the Moslems overpowered the crusaders in 1263. Again the Holy House escaped destruction and was left intact under the ruins of the Basilica. Finally, in 1291 the crusaders were completely driven out of the Holy Land and it was at this point in history that the Holy House disappeared from Palestine and made its appearance in what is now known as present day Croatia, where a most important shrine was erected, Our Lady of Trsat (Tersatto in Italian pronunciation).

Tradition tells us that on May 10, 1291, the Holy House of Nazareth was raised from its foundations in Nazareth and transported by Angels across the Mediterranean from Palestine to Dalmatia to the small town of Tersatto. The pastor of the Church of St. George, at Tersatto, Alexander Georgevich, was puzzled by the sudden presence of what looked like a tiny church and prayed for enlightenment. His prayers were answered when the Blessed Virgin appeared to him in sleep and told him that this was indeed the Holy House of Nazareth where the Annunciation took place and it was brought here through the power of God. To confirm what she was telling him, he would be restored to health. At that moment, Father Alexander was cured of an illness which he had suffered for many years.

With the Moslems taking over Albania in 1294 and the possibility of profanation, the House disappeared from Tersatto. According to some shepherds, it was seen on December 10, 1294, being borne aloft by Angels across the Adriatic sea and came to rest in a wooded area four miles from Recanati, Italy. The news spread fast and thousands came to examine the tiny house which resembled a church. The House became a place of pilgrimage and many miracles took place there. Bandits from the nearby wooded area began to plague the pilgrims, so the House was borne to a safer spot a short distance away. But the spot where the House was finally to rest was still not settled since the two brothers who owned the land were quarreling. The House was moved a third time to the site it now occupies. The brothers became reconciled as soon as the House settled in its final location. Incidentally, wherever it landed, the Holy House rested miraculously on the ground, without a foundation.

Once again miracles attended the presence of the House, and the townspeople sent a deputation of men to Tersatto and then to Nazareth to determine for certain the origin of the Holy House. Sixteen men, all reliable citizens, took with them measurements and full details of the House, and after several months arrived back with the report that in their opinion, the House had really come from Nazareth.

Over the centuries, many Pontiffs have testified to the authenticity of the Holy House and the miracles that have been attributed to it. The devotion and respect of the Pontiffs for the Holy House may be gathered from the numerous indulgences granted to those visiting the Holy House. The first were granted by Pope Benedict XII, then followed by Urban VI who granted certain indulgences for the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. These indulgences were confirmed by Popes Boniface IX and Martin V: An enumeration of the many popes over the centuries that have shown special interest and support of the authenticity of Loreto by their words and actions.

. . . Wherever there is a genuine shrine of Our Lady or miraculous image, you may be sure there will be many miracles. This is particularly true at the Holy House, where there have been so many they no longer are recorded. In fact, three popes were miraculously cured at the shrine of the Holy House of Loreto.

More than two thousand persons who have been canonized, beatified or made venerable by the Church have visited the Holy House. St. Therese of Lisieux made a momentous pilgrimage before entering the Carmelites, to which she alludes at length in her autobiography. St. Alphonsus Liguori, St. Frances Cabrini, Cardinal Newman, St. John Neumann, and St. Francis de Sales, to name but a few, have visited the Holy House.

St. Francis of Assisi in the early years of the 13th century established a monastery at Sirolo, north of Recanati. To a group of puzzled friars, Francis foretold that before the close of that century, a sanctuary would be built near there which would be more renowned than Rome or Jerusalem and that the faithful would come from all over the world to visit this Holy Sanctuary. This prophecy proved true when the Holy House of Loreto arrived on Dec. 10, 1294.

 

Our illustrious Pontiff Benedict XIV, speaking, in his beautiful work on the feasts of Mary, of this Holy House of Loreto, calls it ‘the dwelling in which the Divine Word assumed human flesh, and which was translated by the ministry of Angels.’ He then adds, that ‘its authenticity is proved as well by ancient monuments and unbroken tradition as by the testimony of Sovereign Pontiffs, the common consent of the faithful, and the continual miracles which are there worked even to the present day.’ In fact Tursellin, in his History of the House of Loreto, asserts that nearly all the Popes after Pius II, have spoken of its miraculous translation; and Sixtus V, in the year 1583, instituted an order under the auspices of our Blessed Lady of Loreto.

The Authenticity of the Holy House Verified
by Fr. Angelo Maria d’Anghiari

IT IS TRUE that the authenticity of the Holy House does not constitute a dogma of faith. However, it is considered a historical fact and as such has been recognized by the sovereign pontiffs over the centuries even as other miraculous events have been acknowledged by the Church. As such there is valid reason in such instances for Catholics to respect and accept these rulings of the Church. The Church has always been cautious in its pronouncements. Many years passed before the Church officially accepted Lourdes and Fatima as supernatural events worthy of credence by all Catholics.

The documents that speak most clearly of “the translation” which brought the Holy House to Loreto belong to a period postdating the event by over a century. The Loreto Shrine originated at the start of a very politically turbulent time for Rome, the century of the Avignon exile and the Western Schism—–events which absorbed all the papal attention.

The fact that there is no contemporary historians’ support for a tradition does not mean that it is unworthy of belief. Documents may perish but tradition remains. Every document could have been lost, destroyed or concealed in the archives, but that would not necessarily discredit the truth of tradition. So unless there is some undeniable challenge to Loreto’s venerable tradition, we as Catholics are free to accept that tradition as approved by the Holy See on the basis of reliable documentary evidence.

What is the basis for an intelligent acceptance of the Loreto tradition that the Holy House was transported by miraculous means from Nazareth, first to Tersatto in Dalmatia, and finally to Loreto, Italy? Ours would not be the only generation wondering about that story, as the recorded facts show. Actually what makes this tradition believable is the accumulation of facts: 1. Solid valid scientific facts. 2. Original source material. 3. Written documents of its history. 4. Accepted traditions. 5. Paintings, iconography, and monuments. 6. Moral grounds.

Valid Scientific Facts

Since ours is a time of hyper-scientific consciousness, let us begin with the archeological, chemical and general technical arguments with particular emphasis on the location of the Holy House. First, Archeological: History tells us that at least three commissions were sent to Palestine at different times—–1292, 1296, 1524—–to ascertain the true facts of the House. All confirmed the fact that the size of the foundation at Nazareth corresponded to the dimensions of the Holy House at Loreto. Chemical: A chemical analysis of the stones, the mortar, and other materials of the Holy House was made in 1871 at the suggestion of Cardinal Bartolini. It was made by Professor Ratti of the University of Rome. He analyzed four stones, two from Nazareth and two from Loreto, without knowing which was which. He found their composition to be identical. They were not of a composition common to the stones around Loreto, Italy. But the idea of the stones being carried from Palestine to Loreto really challenged the scientific mind. Here was something unprecedented in history. What was so important at Loreto in the 13th century, and what power could have implemented such an inconceivable miracle? Loreto at the time of the Translation was simply a nothing, neither as a town nor as a power, such as Venice, Pisa or Amalfi were at the end of the 13th century. Location: An investigation ordered by Benedict XV (1913-22) disclosed the following: The Holy House has no foundation and does not rest on virgin soil but stands partially on a public road, partially on an adjacent field and ditch. This unlikely spot showed that the House was not built there. General technical deduction: Although there are many technical aspects to be considered, two are striking: first, the style of the Holy House is like that used at Nazareth and not at all the type common to the area around Loreto in the 13th century. Secondly, the fact that the original door was on the long wall is confirmation that the Holy House was built as a home and not as a chapel.

Original Source Material

The strongest defense of the Loreto story is derived from logic, and is based on the principle that every effect must have a cause. The sudden appearance of the Loreto sanctuary at the end of the 13th century tells us that something extraordinary happened there at that time, and not before 1250. History mentions only the Translation tradition for this area. On a deserted hill that was largely wasteland, there grew first a hamlet, and then a village and finally a city. Now this city had to have some stimulus to emerge from nothing. And wasn’t this most likely because of the increasing number of pilgrims that came there? Apparently something of a rare value sustained interest. The history of Loreto does not speak of revelations or the apparition of images. It relates the story of the Translation of a very little chapel suddenly appearing there where no one had ever seen it before.

Written Documents and Historiography

Pilgrims who visited the Holy House prior to 1250, that is, at its original location in Nazareth, left reports and descriptions of it in their diaries and letters for seven centuries. They tell us that it was secure in the crypt of the basilica (built by Constantine) even after the initial Saracen destruction of the upper church. In 1291, the Crusaders were overwhelmed by the Moslems. From then on the few pilgrims permitted in the Holy Land speak only of the grotto that adjoined the House. But suddenly now a new history of the Holy House begins in Christian Europe at Loreto. In 1295 the people of Recanati, Italy built a solid wall with a strong foundation around the place of the miracles. It seems that its identification was not clear until a vision granted a local hermit in 1296. Almost immediately a commission of sixteen prominent Recanati citizens was sent to investigate the original site in Palestine. They returned with positive testimony. Within a generation pilgrims began to come in increasing numbers.

The earliest generally accepted historical documents date back to over a century after the remarkable event. They are the bull of Paul II of November 1, 1464, the first papal document to speak openly about the Translation, and the accounts of Teramano and Mantavano.

Teramano was governor of the Loreto sanctuary. He succeeded Andrew da Atri who lived at Loreto prior to the 14th century and had spoken with the children and grandchildren of those who lived there at the time of the Translation. Teramano published the first historical account of the Translation between 1460-70.

Mantavano found an anonymous small tablet telling the story of Loreto and reproduced it in 1480, since it was faded and worm-eaten. (In the 16th and 17th centuries large memorials in various languages were placed there by order of the popes.)

In 1322 the archives of the Recanati Commune were destroyed by fire and we can suppose that many documents connected with the sanctuary were contained in those archives. Angelita, secretary archivist of the Republic of Recanati, wrote in 1525: “Some trustworthy Illyrians brought a part of the ancient chronicles of Fiume (Tersatto) to Recanati. These contained an account of the first Translation from Nazareth, and were brought to Pope Leo.”

Other diligent investigators of the Loreto tradition are Raphael Riera, Horace Torsellini, St. Peter Canisius, Euscharius of the Bollandists, Luke Wadding, Peter Martorelli, Augustine Clamet, Trombelli, De Vogel, Monaldo Leopardi, Anthony Di Bergamo, Gaetano Moroni, Vuillaume, W. Garratt, Della Casa, Eschbach, F. Thomas, Ilario Rinieri, Faloci Puliganni.

Accepted Tradition

Any deception in the Loreto story would have easily been detected especially by officials since the 13th century was an age of travel and communication. It should be noted that the accepted tradition of a translation that took place both at Tersatto and at Loreto affirms the fact that there was a translation of some kind. How could two traditions, rooted in such different and distant places exist unless they were based on reality? Furthermore, the threefold transference in Italy confirms the basic fact of movement. Traditions say that the Holy House was set down first at a plain called Banderuola, then on the Antici property in Recanati, and finally on the top of Loreto hill. How could so detailed and specific tradition arise and endure unless it was based on fact?

Related to that is the fact that a tradition exists in still more nearby localities, giving further evidence of a translation. At Tersatto tradition tells of both the arrival and departure of the Holy House to the Italian Marche region, of its coming to Italy; in Umbria of its passage and in some places in Toscano of a great passage. This has given rise to the custom of getting up on the night between the 9th and 10th of December when about 3 a.m. bells are rung, fires are lighted and litanies are said. The tradition is too widespread and too generally accepted to allow for doubt.

Paintings and Monuments

On some walls of the Holy House there are two layers of pictures, one over the other. Scientific investigation revealed that the Saints represented there were almost all oriental, confirming the Eastern origin of the House. In the Marche and Umbria regions there are several representations of the Translation in painting as well as in sculpture of the 15th and 16th centuries. According to the authority of competent persons, some go back to about 50 years after the Translation.

The Moral Arguments

The authenticity of Loreto argued from moral grounds includes the miracles, which Paul II stated in his bull of 1464 were almost without number, so much so that the custodians could not keep records of them all. These were not only physical but great moral conversions as well. Added to this is the fact that over 60 Saints and holy persons, who were led by the Spirit of God, were ‘at home’ in Loreto. Could they have been so readily deceived?

The sanctuary has had the continuous and full support of papal authority. With the papal support Loreto was changed from an insignificant village to the status of a city and they have honored it with many artistic and spiritual gifts by notable artists. At least 15 popes have made pilgrimages to Loreto, the latest being Pope John Paul II. Such has never occurred in any other sanctuary. Hundreds of papal documents grant privileges, exemptions, authorization to receive benefits, etc. Already in 1310, Clement V made concessions to German pilgrims.

Upon receiving Angelita’s history of Loreto, Clement VII (1524- 34) sent a commission of 3 prelates to Tersatto and Palestine to check the facts. Benedict XIV (1748-58) defended the authenticity of the Holy House in his decree concerning the canonization of the Saints. The popes of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries have shown devotion similar to their predecessors. Benedict XV reestablished the Feast, December 10, as compulsory for Italy and optional for the rest of the world. His decree speaks again of the shrine’s authenticity.

It was the former Vatican historian and archivist Pius XI who in his unique way summarized the whole question of the tradition of the Translation of the Holy House: “As far as the authenticity of the Holy House is concerned, there are many good reasons for acknowledging it—–but no valid reason for denying it.”

The above chapter was originally printed in IMMACULATA Magazine and is excerpted from a 60 page booklet of the same title by Ft: Angelo Maria d’Anghiari, translated by Cecilia Nachich.

 

The Saints and Loreto
by Frank Hanley

LORETO enshrines the original home of the holiest persons who walked the earth: the God-Man Jesus Christ, His mother Mary, and the virginal father, St. Joseph. Therefore, it should not be surprising that this sanctuary should attract Saints. There is a marble plaque in the basilica on which are carved the names of thirty-nine saints and twenty-two other holy persons who came on pilgrimage to Loreto. In 1846, there were one hundred and sixty names. One hundred and fifty years later that number must have easily doubled.

Among the more famous and well-known saints are SS. Ignatius Loyola, Francis Xavier, John Berchmans, Stanislaus Kostka, Francis Borgia, Charles Borromeo, Francis of Paula, Francis de Sales, Bernardine of Siena, John of Capistrano, Lawrence of Brindisi, Philip Neri, Camillus de Lellis, Louis Guanella, Robert Bellarmine, Gabriel Possenti, Clement Hofbauer, Brigit of Sweden, Madaleine Sophie Barat, Alphonsus Liguori, Louis Grignon de Montfort, Aloysius Gonzaga, John Bosco and Therese of Lisieux (see side bar, LINK BELOW). Blessed Anthony Grassi came to the shrine fifty times. The Holy Spirit obviously is the archenemy of the devil, the father of lies. The favored friends of the Holy Spirit, the Saints, in whom he took up His abode in a very special way, loved the truth and were rarely taken in by the father of lies. So when we see a vast array of these intimate friends of God visiting the Holy House of Loreto to pay their homage and pray at the very place where the Word was made flesh, we cannot help but be further impressed at its authenticity. No other Marian shrine in the world can boast of such an array of Saints and holy souls visiting its sacred precincts.

If one were to single out a Saint who was particularly attached to Loreto, it would seem that the pilgrim saint, Benedict Joseph Labre, would have first place. After finding out that his vocation was to be a rather exceptional one—–literally a pilgrim beggar—–Benedict left his home in France in 1770 for Rome at age twenty-two. On this first journey, he stopped on his way at Loreto and Assisi. He stayed in Rome for nine months visiting all the holy places, but was back in Loreto in September of the following year. In June 1772, he was back again at Loreto. He then extended his pilgrimages to all the famous shrines in Europe. At the end of 1776, he settled down in Rome, leaving only to make an occasional pilgrimage to his favorite shrine, the Holy House. He continued this each year until his death in 1783 at the age of 35.

The people of Loreto came to know him well. He was that beggar who lived on the charity of others, refusing to take any more than necessary to fill his immediate needs. When compassionate friends offered him a room closer to the shrine, he turned it down when he found it contained a bed. Surely the poverty and utter detachment of the Holy Family of Nazareth was reflected in a most outstanding way in this Saint who spent many long vigils of prayer in the Holy House.

Newman’s Acceptance of Loreto

If the Holy Spirit cannot err in the testimony of a vast number of Saints, neither can He in the testimony of the approbation and honors paid the Shrine by Rome. This was the line of reasoning used by the learned English convert of the last century, Cardinal Newman. The moving enthusiasm with which he expressed his devotion to the Mother of God and the Catholic Church is beautifully recorded in these words written in 1848 and 1884:

“I went to Loreto with a simple faith, believing what I still believe, even more so after having seen. Now I no longer have any doubts. If you ask me why I believe it, it is because everyone believes it in Rome—–cautious and skeptical as they are in many other things. I believe it as I believe that there is a planet called Neptune, or that chloroform destroys the sense of pain. I have no prior difficulties on this point.”

“The reason we passed through Bologna was that we had gone to Loreto. We went there to ask for the Virgin’s blessing. I have always been under her shadow, if I may so express myself. My college was dedicated to Mary, as well as my church; and when I went to Littlemore, there, by my previous arrangement, our Blessed Lady was waiting for me. Nor has she done little for me in that poor house, which I always think of with emotion.”

It was thought that St. Maximilian Kolbe never visited Loreto. Our Lady, however, always manages to bring to what was her home while on earth those who revere and venerate her in a special way. It comes as no surprise, then, to learn from the Mass register of the Basilica that he participated in a Mass along with thirty priests from Yugoslavia on  July 13,1919. The following day, the feast of the Franciscan theologian St. Bonaventure, he celebrated Mass within the Holy house itself. And so another name, a modem day Saint, has been added to the list of Saints and holy persons who have visited the shrine of Loreto. Undoubtedly there will be many more as time goes on, paying their respects and drawing inspiration from the holiest House in this world.

The Popes and Loreto

THE VOICES OF THE SUPREME PONTIFFS have been in one accord in the praise of Loreto. In the long history of Loreto, there has not been a single negative position taken by a Vicar of Christ. On the contrary, each century has its share of expression of papal approval and encouragement.

14th Century: Less than twenty years after the Holy House appeared in Italy in 1310, Clement V made some concessions in his Bull to German pilgrims who made vows at Loreto. Ten years later, John XXII confirmed certain rights of the canons to the tithes of the sanctuary. Urban V expressed a desire to visit Loreto on his official return to Rome from Avignon. He sent an image of the Madonna of Loreto to Tersatto. Gregory XI spoke of the miracles and granted further indulgences, as did his successors Urban VI and Boniface IX.

15th Century: Pope St. Martin V granted many privileges to those who visit the Holy House and these were confirmed by Popes Sixtus I and Leo X. In 1471, Pope Paul II, who was miraculously cured himself, said: “It is . . . the house of the glorious Virgin herself and her image, which was placed there by the wonderful mercy of God and where countless miracles are wrought by the power of the Mother of God.” When the future Pope Paul II was on his way to Rome, he took sick in Ancona, was brought to the Holy House where he prayed for deliverance from his sickness. He was not only cured, he was told by our Blessed Mother that he would be elected the new pope. His was the first Bull to speak openly of the miraculous Translation. As pope, he granted a Holy Year in honor of our Lady at the beginning of the construction of the present basilica.

16th Century: Julius II presented Loreto with the cannonball which threatened his life at Mirandola and issued a Bull granting the sanctuary further indulgences. Leo X had the new basilica decorated with precious sculpture. Clement VII sent a commission to Tersatto and Palestine to investigate the Loreto tradition. St. Pius V had an Agnus Dei imprinted with the inscription, “This is truly the house of the flower that was Nazareth.” Gregory XIII had four memorial tablets engraved with the Loreto story. Sixtus V proclaimed Loreto a city. Clement VIII allowed the Province of Piceno to celebrate the feast of the Translation. Urban VIII had other tablets installed and extended the liturgical celebration to the surrounding Marche district. Clement IX inserted the Translation history into the Roman Martyrology. Innocent XII approved the divine office of the Translation for the Marche. Benedict XIII extended the liturgical feast to all Italy and founded the Roman Congregation of Loreto which functioned until the reform of Pius X.

18th Century: Benedict XIV defended the tradition in his book on the canonization of the Saints.

19th Century: Pius VII restored the statue of our Lady to Loreto taken by Napoleon to France. Pius IX’s miraculous cure at the Loreto Shrine is related below. His successor, Pope Leo XIII, in celebrating the sixth hundredth anniversary of the Translation of the Holy House granted further indulgences.

20th Century: Pius X followed suit in 1906 and 1914. Benedict XV restored to Italy the celebration of the Translation omitted in the liturgical reform of his predecessor. It was he who proclaimed the Virgin of Loreto chief Patroness of Aviators. Pius XI presented a new statue to the sanctuary after the disastrous fire of 1922. He is quoted as saying that he had fought more than one battle for Loreto. Pius XII allowed Masses to be celebrated there for 24 hours on March 25th. John XXIII was the first pope to visit Loreto since the loss of the Papal States in 1870. He came one week before convening the Second Vatican Council and revealed the purpose of his trip: “We have come here to invoke you [Mary] as the first Star of the Council, as the propitious light on our way which winds faithfully towards the great ecumenical assembly of universal expectation.” The following words of his summarize the importance of Loreto: “Here is the wonderful synthesis of all the shrines of the world.”

While Archbishop of Milan, Paul VI visited Loreto and blessed the sick pilgrims. Less than a year after Pope John Paul’s election to the Papacy on September 8, 1979, just prior to his first visit to the United Nations, he went on pilgrimage to Loreto which he spoke of as the “first Marian shrine of Italy.” There he entrusted this important mission to her care. During the 15th year of his Pontificate, on August 15,1993, to commemorate the seventh centenary of Loreto, the Pope sent an apostolic letter to his Excellency, Archbishop Pasquale Macchi, papal delegate for the shrine. In conclusion, in all, 50 popes have issued Bulls and Briefs testifying to the authenticity of the Holy House. And as if to show her special love for the Vicars of her Son, the Holy Fathers, the Virgin of Loreto has miraculously cured three of them—–Popes Paul II, Pius II and Pius IX.

The Loreto Pope Who Was Miraculously Cured

Pope Pius IX, who was beatified along with Pope John XXIII during the year 2000, had a special devotion to Our Lady of Loreto and with good reason. As a youth in Piceno, Italy he went annually with his mother to Loreto. When he was small he fell into a stream, after which he was frequently tortured with fatigue and fever. The doctors were unable to pinpoint the cause. He was a bright student but his future became clouded with epilepsy seizures. Upon leaving the seminary, he visited his close friend, Pope Pius VII, who comforted him with this wisdom: “God is mysterious. He throws down to raise up. He throws into the gutter the ones He wants to lift to the stars. Above the wildest storms gleams the Star of the Sea. Renounce yourself and place yourself in the hands of the Madonna. Call out to her ‘save me!’ The Virgin of Nazareth is your future.” The young man went to Loreto with this prayer on his lips: “Mother, behold your child—–sick, miserable, useless. I am the shame of my family and disgust to myself. I dedicate myself to you—–save me. Immaculata, make me clean!”

He was cured and with the Pope’s approval he returned to the seminary and became a priest, then archbishop of Spoleto, and eventually Cardinal of Imola. The conclave of 1846 elevated him to the papacy and he assumed the name of Pius IX. In 1854, he proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, thus officially inaugurating the Marian Era. During Vatican Council I he promulgated the definition of Papal Infallibility. As Pope he visited this his favorite shrine seven times.

Loreto: Sanctuary of the Incarnation
Msgr. Vincenzo Faraoni

THE SANCTUARY of Loreto has always been regarded as the greatest Sanctuary of the Christian West. Practically all the Supreme Pontiffs from the year 1330 to John Paul II have considered it so. As such it has been venerated by thousands upon thousands of the faithful coming from every land who come to kiss the walls of what was at one time the Holy House of Nazareth.

This Sanctuary, the glory and pride of Italy, is truly a part of the Holy Land. It is the first temple of the living God on earth, the sanctuary of sanctuaries, the temporal paradise on earth. “Hic Verbum caro factum est” (Here the Word was made flesh.) The thrill that pervades the pilgrim who reads these words is not a simple emotion but an indefinable and irresistible attraction towards the heights of the Infinite.

In coming to the Loreto Basilica for the first time, no one thinks of the imposing lines of the basilica, of the cupola of Sangallo, of the marble structure that surrounds the Holy House [see images listed on the directory page, loreto.htm]; no one recalls the beautiful facade, the beautiful fountains, the welcoming double Loggia of the apostolic palace that encloses the square of Roman serenity. The apses of the chapels rise as gigantic bulwarks crowned by a passage for sentinels dominating the hills and the sea. Are enemy armies coming by land? Are pirates still threatening from the sea? No. The formidable towers of the apses defend and hide the rectangular structure of sculptured marble that portrays prophets and Angels, the biblical world and the classical world, foretelling the Incarnation. And this jewel of art in turn protects and conceals the poor room recalling to mind the great mystery of Mary. “Hic Verbum caro factum est.”

These bare and naked walls heard the “yes” of Mary, that mysterious assent which opened Paradise to misfortunate humanity, stained and wounded by Original and actual sin. It saw the flourishing infancy and adolescence of Jesus, the serene work of Joseph, the sweet and gentle relations of the Holy Family. That humble and unknown girl from a humble and unknown land was greeted as “full of grace.” Here, she heard the eternal God ask her consent to fulfill the greatest mystery of all time—–the Incarnation of the Word. God had chosen her alone because of her humble virginity and her virginal humility to be the “light of the East”—–so sang the Prophets—–from which the Redeemer would appear in the world. And the Word of God was made flesh through her liberating words: “Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum.” (Be it done to me according to Thy Word.”) At the creation of the universe, the “fiat” of the omnipotent God was enough. For the redemption of mankind, God asked the “fiat” of this little Virgin, His favored and Immaculate One, so that the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity could be made man, through the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit, in the womb of the Blessed Virgin. It was in this Holy House of Loreto, transplanted miraculously from Nazareth, that the eternal Word was made flesh. Indeed, as Pope Pius XI expressed it, this shrine “holds the first place among all the churches dedicated to the Mother of God.” Thus, we are children of two “fiats”: created by the first, redeemed by the second and therefore sons of God and sons of the Virgin. From the “fiat” of God, our human nature was created, from the “fiat” of Nazareth, grace was restored. Here then was accomplished the greatest event in history for Christ is indeed the center of the universe, of history, of theology, of all life. Vito Fornari writes: “The universe inasmuch as it is a mystery knows and explains everything, because everything is a sign of Christ—–or yearning for Christ; He is the reason and truth of everything. He is the ultimate purpose for the entire planetary system as well as for the atom, for the human species as well as for a blade of grass or a flower.” History shows everything in the continuous advancing of the ship of Christ: “from the lake of Tiberias to the Mediterranean Sea, to the ocean; from the ocean to the infinite heavens without distinction of worlds or succession of time.” And French poet Peguy adds: “The incarnation, this eternal adventure of God, of the Word, is the only interesting story.” Full of emotion we therefore enter the Holy House and with the faith of love and the love of faith let us kiss those burnished walls, brighter and clearer than the sun.

Loreto: An Art Treasure House

WHEN THE HOLY Father, Pope John Paul II speaks continuously of the great need of Christianizing our culture, particularly the art and literature, such a need is no more apparent than in the furor created recently over the blasphemous, pagan “art” exhibit that took place in late 1999 in Brooklyn, New York. Art has as one of its objects to lift up the spirit, not to degrade, much less poke fun at the sacred. Over the centuries, Catholic Italy, inspired by such faith, has ever been the center of great art and artists, and the art has been predominantly of a religious nature. The subject of that art is for the most part the Madonna. It is when faith is alive that one will find the greatest masterpieces that men of superior talents have produced.

There is probably no church in Christendom that has such wide and diverse masterpieces as are found in the basilica of Loreto. Artists, popes, and national ethnic groups have vied with each other over the centuries, in holy competition, to produce paintings, tapestries, sculpture and architecture that has made Loreto a treasure house of masterpieces by many famous masters.

It was in the second half of the 15th century that construction of the present great pilgrimage church was undertaken with its cruciform plan and gothic line. The basilica is crowned by the impressive dome of Giuliano da Sangallo, whose work in Florence inspired Michaelangelo. Bramante, who gave St. Peter’s in the Vatican its monumental clarity, produced a design for the facade and a four-sided portico facing the church, but little was carried out at the time. Just ten years after the building of the church was begun, two great painters were called to Loreto, Melozzo da Forli and Luca Signorelli, who undertook the fresco decoration of the sacristies of SS. Mark and John.

Starting in 1518, and following a design by Bramante, Andrea Sansovino carried out the marble screen which encases the Holy House; it is adorned with reliefs showing scenes from the life of Mary. The elaboration of this richly ornamented marble work continued up to the last decades of the 19th century. Famous sculptors such as Raffaello da Montelupo, Nicolo Triholo and Francesco da Sangallo contributed.

The three bronze doors in the facade were also made at the end of the 19th century—–the side ones by local artists and the central one by Antonio Lombardo and his sons. During the 16th century oil paintings and frescoes were painted for the altars by such masters as Lorenzo Lotto, Geralomo Muziano, Pellegrino Tibaldi, Federico Zuccari, Cristoforo Pomarancio and Simon Vouet. Pomarancio also carried out the decoration of the vault of the Treasury. The fountain in the square was the accomplishment of Maderno.

Between 1750 and 1754, Luigi Vanvitelli built the elegant campanile. During the last quarter of the 18th century, nearly all the altars were renovated and large mosaics were substituted for the painted altarpieces. The latter were removed to the Apostolic Palace which also contains a group of other notable paintings as well as a series of nine tapestries woven in Brussels by Henry Mattens between 1620 and 1624. These follow the famous Raphael drawings for the Sistine Chapel paintings.

The interior of the basilica contains the following chapels—–each an artistic masterpiece in its own right. The Massilla chapel is named after the Recanati family who had it decorated in the 16th century with works by Calcagni and Vergelli. The Holy Rosary chapel was restored in 1943 by Steffanina, who also did .the chapel of St. Francis of Paula. The chapel of SS. Emidio and Charles Borromeo was redecorated to commemorate the pilgrimage there of St. Louis Grignon de Montfort. The chapel of the Immaculate Conception depicts the patrons of the young women’s Catholic Action. The Mexican chapel depicts the story of Guadalupe, donated by its nationals. The Swiss chapel was decorated between 1936-38 and depicts scenes from the life of Mary and of the Swiss Blesseds and Saints. The elaborate chapel of St. Joseph, the gift of the Spaniards, depicts the life of the virginal foster Father of Jesus.

The frescoes of the Chapel of the Dukes of Urbino were done by Brandano and Zuecari. The chapel holds The Annunciation by Barocci. The Polish chapel was done between 1912-39 and depicts national heroes and Saints devoted to Mary. The largest and richest chapel in frescoes is the German chapel done by Seitz between 1892-1902. Its walls are dedicated to the Virgin Mother of God and the Sorrowful Co-Redemptrix; the ceiling depicts her glorious coronation. The Slavonic chapel tells the story of the missionary brothers SS. Cyril and Methodius. The French chapel presents the visit to Nazareth of St. Louis, King of France, while leading a crusade in the Holy Land.

The chapel of the Crucified is a gift of the Italian people and is decorated with various symbols of the Passion. The large crucifix is a sculpture in wood by the 17th century Franciscan, Innocent of Patralia. It portrays the three phases of Christ on the Cross: living, dying, and the dead Savior. The chapel of St. Therese of Lisieux depicts her pilgrimage to Loreto on November 13, 1887. The chapel of the Holy Name of Jesus has decorations by Bellini. The chapel of St. Michael is decorated with Passionist Saints. The chapel of St. Francis depicts the Capuchin Saints of the Marches. The chapel donated by the Catholics of India has scenes from the life of St. Francis Xavier.

The latest and last chapel to be decorated is that of the Assumption, or the American chapel. The donations to decorate this chapel came through the initiative of the Blue Army of Our Lady of Fatima in the United States. The Assumption is portrayed on the ceiling and the wall murals depict the proclamation of the dogma of the Assumption and the American adventure in space. For that reason it is referred to as the aviation chapel. The stained glass window centers on 14 Saints of the Americas and a branch motif unites them with the ogive of the Trinity, Fount of all Holiness. The artist Giuseppe Steffanina chose the theme, “I am the Vine and you the Branches” for this masterpiece.

Thus good art from every land, especially Italy, extending over the last five centuries in chapels of many nations sings once more the prophetic words of St. Elizabeth addressed to Mary: “Behold all generations will call you blessed.”

Our Lady of Loreto and Lone Eagle

On May 21, 1927, Charles Lindbergh completed a nonstop solo transatlantic flight from New York to Paris in 33 hours and 32 minutes. During the time when he was isolated from the rest of the world, he tells us in his memoirs, he prayed. He prayed throughout the voyage and the more his anxiety increased the more he prayed. The New York Times wrote of him: “The more one thinks of the behavior of Lindbergh in Paris, so much the more one arrives at the conclusion that God had a great part in the success of the aviator.”

Probably the confidence which sustained the young American aviator throughout his flight was due to a small image of Our Lady of Loreto, proclaimed 7 years previously by Pope Benedict XV, as Patroness of air travelers. Lindbergh had brought the medal on board his plane “The Spirit of St. Louis” before his departure. It was a gift from Father Hussman, pastor of St. Enrico’s in St. Louis. Lindbergh accepted the medal with joy and promised to return it as soon as he arrived at his destination, but Father Hussman preferred to leave the blessed medal with the young man known as the Lone Eagle.

The medal was the first to travel across the Atlantic by air and the medal literally saved the young pilot’s life. He tells us in his memoirs that he had the medal hung in the cabin of his plane and it was the gentle tapping of this medal against the wall of the cabin which awoke him when he fell asleep.

The Litany of Loreto

Some of Our Lady’s most well-known titles are preserved in the Litany of Loreto, which was approved by Pope Sixtus V in 1587, but could have originated as early as the end of the 12th Century. This collection of Marian titles is interesting in a number of ways. It enshrines both Old and New Testament imagery to form an expansive verbal tapestry, offering a panoramic view of the Blessed Mother’s place in salvation history . So, She is invoked there not only as “Holy Mother of God” and “Mother of the Church,” but also as “Seat of Wisdom,” “Ark of the Covenant,” and “Tower of David.” The divisions between the “Testaments” melt away in this Litany, and the plan of God for our Redemption seems to flow across the centuries uninterruptedly, with logic and thoroughness. The womb of the Mother of God, the first of all Tabernacles, is superimposed over its “type” [i.e., foreshadowing], the Ark of the Covenant, and all the proper connections come to light.

The structure of the Litany makes these connections evident. The invocations are layered in a deliberate way. We begin with Mary’s maternal titles: “Mother of Christ, ” “Mother Most Pure,” “Mother of Good Counsel,” etc. Since it is Our Lady’s Divine Motherhood that forms the basis of ALL Her glories and privileges, it is both right and informative to invoke this Maternity at the start of the Litany. By doing so, the Incarnation is planted as the bedrock, the very reason for our veneration of the Lady who presented the God-Man to us, clothed in visible flesh.

From the maternal titles, the Litany moves on to the titles praising Our Lady’s virginity: “Virgin Most Prudent,” “Virgin Most Renowned,” “Virgin Most Powerful,” etc. Again, this is the logical progression. The fact of the Divine Motherhood points inescapably to a virginal Motherhood, to a purity that must accompany the conception and birth of He Whom the Angel Gabriel would describe as “the Son of the Most High.” And, moreover, this virginal purity must be abiding, “perpetual,” otherwise there is no consistency to God’s actions. If Our Lady’s purity were not an abiding one, then we would have God carefully planning the Virginal Conception and Birth of His Son from the beginning of time, only to have this honored, Divinely-bestowed purity discarded at the first opportunity. If this were the case, why have a virginal conception in the first place? Some might answer, “To prove the Divinity of Jesus.” If this were the only reason, then why would God have placed St. Joseph on the scene, as a shield for Mary’s honor and actual foster-father to His Son? When addressing the crowds who gathered to hear Him speak, Our Lord didn’t tell them to consider His Virgin Birth, but to look at His works, if they wished to understand that He had come from God.

No, the virginity of Mary was more than a mere required condition for the birth of Her Son. It was substantial; it was part of who and what She was and is. So, the Litany of Loreto offers high praise to this virginity on the heels of its praise to the Divine Maternity, which was its foundation. Then, after these praises of Mary’s motherhood and virginity, the Litany praises the roles bestowed on Mary as a result of this Virginal Maternity. Again, it’s a clearly stated doctrinal progression. After we recognize and praise Mary’s motherhood and virginity, we proclaim just what this twin office entitles Her to do on our behalf. Here, the Litany invokes Her under titles such as “Seat of Wisdom,” “Gate of Heaven,” “Refuge of Sinners,” while not ignoring some allusions to Her mystery and beauty [again, the results of Her Virginal Motherhood]: “Cause of our Joy,” “Mystical Rose,” “Morning Star,” etc.

How can mankind be stingy in praise of God’s Mother when He has honored her more highly than we can ever dream of? A nd yet, we try. The development of the Litany of Loreto is a concrete example of just how strongly the desire to love and praise Mary is set into our hearts by the Holy Ghost. Over the years, new titles have been added to this Litany, as history proves again and again the love of this Great Lady for Her children. One notable example is the title, “Queen of the Most Holy Rosary,” which was added to the Litany by Pope Leo XIII and can trace its origin back to the “Feast of the Holy Rosary,” instituted to commemorate the famous victory over the Turkish fleet at Lepanto on October 7, 1571. 3

The words of Pope Leo, recorded in His Apostolic Letter, Salutaris ille [December 24, 1883], are an eloquent testimony to the need of Christians to recognize Our Lord’s bounty and honor it accordingly:

” . . . the Rosary was instituted chiefly to implore the protection of the Mother of God against the enemies of the Catholic Church, and, as everyone knows, it has often been most effectual in delivering the Church from calamities.

“To the honor, therefore, of Mary, the august Mother of God, for a perpetual remembrance of the prayer for Her protection offered among all nations to Her most pure heart throughout the month of October; as an enduring testimony of the unbounded trust which We put in Our loving Mother, and in order that We may day by day, more and more obtain Her favorable aid, We will and decree that in the Litany of Loreto, after the invocation, ‘Queen conceived without Original Sin,’ shall be added the suffrage, ‘Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, pray for us’!”

We can really see in this Letter how concrete is the reason for honoring Our Lady and recognizing Her glorious titles. Contrary to the anti-Catholic view, we don’t honor the Mother of God because our psyches harbor a vestigial desire to worship the pagan goddesses and earth-mothers of the dim past, or because it’s a “colorful” thing to do, a sort of “verbal incense.” The Pope’s strong, clear words remind us that this veneration is grounded in cold, hard experience. It may be extravagant at times, or poetic, but that’s because it has to be. No other approach would suit the subject. We tailor our praise around the reality of what we are praising. In doing so, we don’t create random titles for Our Lady. Instead, using our God-given intellects, we recognize the truths which are reflected in them, and seek to express these truths. It’s what both scientists and poets have been doing for countless centuries and it’s as practical as any human endeavor can be.

Act of Consecration to Our Lady of Loreto
O Immaculate Virgin Mary, we come to thee with confidence: welcome this day our humble prayer and our act of consecration.

O Mother, thou didst carry thy Divine Saviour in thy most pure womb: receive our homage of faith and filial love as we come in spirit into thy Holy House. It is, by the presence of the Holy Family, the holy home par excellence. And it is our wish that every Christian family be inspired by it.

From Jesus, all children learn to obey and to work. From thee, O Mary, all women learn humility and the spirit of sacrifice. From Joseph, who didst live for Jesus and for thee, all men learn to believe in God, to live in and for you, all men learn to believe in God, to live in the family and in society with fidelity and honesty. O Mary, we pray for our Pope and for the Universal Church, for our country and for all the nations of the world, for the suffering souls for all sinners. And we all wish to consecrate ourselves to thee.

Spiritually present in the Holy House, where thou didst conceive by the Holy Spirit, we want to repeat with lively faith the words of the Archangel Gabriel: “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee!” We want to invoke thee still, saying: “Hail Mary, Mother of Jesus and Mother of the Church!”

We turn to thee O Mary. Receive our consecration to thine Immaculate heart. Totally thine, we wish to confirm by this act of love our unlimited love for Jesus, thy Son, and our hope in thee, our Mother. And thou, O Queen and Mother of Mercy, grant to thy children an abundance of heavenly blessings. Amen.

 

Feast of the Miraculous Medal (27 November)

From: MIRACULOUS MEDAL: ITS Origin, History, Circulation, Results by Rev Aladbel

When Sister Catherine was favored with these apparitions of the Blessed Virgin she related by word of mouth to her Director, what she had seen and heard, and he, though apparently attaching little importance to her communications, carefully took note of them. The Sister never thought of writing them, she judged herself incapable of doing so, and, moreover, in her opinion, it would have been contrary to humility.

In 1856, when events had confirmed the truth of her predictions, M. Aladel told her to commit to writing all she could recollect of the supernatural visitations of 1830. She obeyed, despite her repugnance, and sketched an account of her vision of St. Vincent’s heart, which we have already read, and that of the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin.

In obedience, she again wrote in 1876, an account of these same apparitions.

Finally, another copy, not dated, was found among her papers after death.

These three narrations accord perfectly in the main, yet differ sufficiently in detail to prove that one was not copied from the other.

To these manuscripts, in which no change has been made, except a correction of faults in style and orthography, are we indebted for the following account of the apparitions.

It is to be regretted that M. Aladel’s notes should have been almost entirely destroyed; no doubt they contained very interesting details, but what portion of them remains, is of little importance.

Before quoting Sister Catherine’s own narration, we must remark, that the first vision, having little reference to anything but the Sister herself and St. Vincent’s two Communities, M. Aladel did not deem it advisable to have published; also, that although the account of the vision of the medal in the first editions of the notice, seems to differ notably from that related by the Sister, we will see later how these discrepancies can be explained, and that in the main the two versions are identical.

FIRST APPARITION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN
To Sister Catherine Labouré, Daughter of Charity. After a picture painted from instructions given by Sister Catherine.

Sister Catherine, already favored with celestial visions, ardently desired, with all the simplicity of her nature, to see the Blessed Virgin. To obtain this grace, she invoked her good Angel, St. Vincent, and the Blessed Virgin herself.

On the 18th of July, 1830, eve of the Feast of St. Vincent de Paul, the Directress of the Seminary gave an instruction on devotion to the Saints and the Blessed Virgin; this but inflamed our Sister’s pious desire. Fully imbued with the thought, she retired for the night, recommending herself to her blessed Father, St. Vincent, and confidently believing that her prayers would be answered.

About half-past eleven o’clock, she hears her name, “Sister Labouré,” distinctly called three times; suddenly awaking, she opens her curtain on the side whence the voice proceeds, and what does she perceive? A little child of ravishing beauty, four or five years of age, dressed in white and enveloped in the radiant light beaming from his fair hair and noble person. “Come,” said he, in a melodious voice, “come to the chapel, the Blessed Virgin awaits you.” But, thought Sister Catherine (she slept in a large dormitory), the others will hear me, I shall be discovered. “Have no fears,” said the child, answering her thought, “it is half-past eleven, everybody is asleep, I will accompany you.”

At these words, no longer able to resist the invitation of her amiable guide, Sister Catherine dresses hastily and follows the child, who walks always at her left, illuming the places through which he passes; and everywhere along their path, to the Sister’s great astonishment, does she find the lamps lighted. Her surprise redoubles, on seeing the door open at the child’s touch, and on finding the altar resplendent with lights, “reminding her,” she said, “of the midnight Mass.”

The child conducts her into the sanctuary; here she kneels, whilst her celestial guide remains standing a little behind at her left.

The moments of waiting seem long to Sister Catherine; at last, about midnight, the child says to her: “Behold the Blessed Virgin, behold her!” At that instant, she distinctly hears on the right hand side of the chapel, a slight noise, like the rustling of a silk robe; a most beautiful lady enters the sanctuary, and takes her seat in the place ordinarily occupied by the Director of the Community, on the left side of the sanctuary. The seat, the attitude, the costume (a white robe of a golden tinge and a blue veil), strongly resemble the representation of St. Anne in the picture adorning the sanctuary. Yet it is not the same countenance, and Sister Catherine is struggling interiorly against doubt. Can this indeed be the Blessed Virgin? she asks herself. Suddenly, the little child, assuming the voice of a man, speaks aloud, and in severe words asks her if the Queen of Heaven may not appear to a poor mortal under whatever form she pleases.

Her doubts all vanish, and following only the impulses of her heart, the Sister throws herself at the Blessed Virgin’s feet, familiarly placing her hands upon the Blessed Virgin’s knees, like a child beside its mother.

“At this moment,” said she, “I felt the sweetest emotion of my life, it would be impossible for me to express it. The Blessed Virgin told me how I must act in all my trials; and pointing with her left hand to the foot of the altar, she told me it was there I must come and lay open my heart, adding that it was there I would receive all needful consolation. Then she also said to me: ‘My child, I am going to charge you with a mission; you will suffer many trials on account of it, but you will surmount them, knowing that you endure them for the glory of the good God. You will be contradicted, but you will be sustained by grace, do not fear; with simplicity and confidence, tell all that passes within you to him who is charged with the care of your soul. You will see certain things, you will be inspired in your prayers, give an account to him.’

“I then asked the Blessed Virgin for an explanation of what she had already shown me. She answered: ‘My child, the times are very disastrous, great trials are about to come upon France, the throne will be overturned, the entire world will be in confusion by reason of miseries of every kind.’ (The Blessed Virgin looked very sad in saying this.) ‘But come to the foot of this altar, here graces will be shed upon all—upon all who ask for them with confidence and fervor.

“‘At a certain time the danger will be great indeed, it will seem as if all were lost, but do not fear, I shall be with you; you will acknowledge my visit, the protection of God and that of St. Vincent upon the two Communities. Have confidence, do not be discouraged, you are in my especial keeping.

“‘There will be victims in other Communities.’ (Tears were in the Blessed Virgin’s eyes as she said this.) ‘Among the clergy of Paris there will be victims, Mgr. the Archbishop will die.’ (At these words her tears flowed anew.) ‘My child, the cross will be despised, it will be trampled under foot, our Lord’s side will be opened anew, the streets will flow with blood, the entire world will be in tribulation.'” (Here the Blessed Virgin could no longer speak, grief was depicted in her countenance.) At these words Sister Catherine thought, when will this take place? And an interior light distinctly indicated to her in forty years.

Another version, also written by her own hand, says forty years, then ten, after which, peace. In connexion with this M. Aladel said to her:

“Will you and I see the accomplishment of all these things?” “If we do not, others will,” replied the simple daughter.

The Blessed Virgin also entrusted her with several communications for her Director concerning the Daughters of Charity, and told her that he would one day be clothed with the necessary authority for putting them in execution. After this, she said again: “But great troubles will come, the danger will be imminent, yet do not fear, St. Vincent will watch over you, and the protection of God is always here in a particular manner.” (The Blessed Virgin still looked very sad.) “I will be with you myself, I will always keep my eye upon you, and I will enrich you with many graces.” The Sister adds: “Graces will be bestowed, particularly upon all who ask for them, but they must pray, they must pray.——

“I could not tell,” continues the Sister, “how long I remained with the Blessed Virgin; all I can say is that, after talking with me a long time, she disappeared like a shadow that vanishes.”

On arising from her knees, Sister Catherine perceived the child just where she had left him, to throw herself at the Blessed Virgin’s feet. He said: “She has gone,” and, all resplendent with light as before, he stationed himself anew at her left hand, and conducted her back to the dormitory by the same paths as they had come.

“I believe,” continues the narration, “that this child was my Guardian Angel, because I had fervently implored him to procure me the favor of seeing the Blessed Virgin…. Returned to my bed, I heard the clock strike two, and I went to sleep no more.”


What has just been recounted was only a part of Sister Catherine’s mission, or rather a preparation for a future mission to be given her as a pledge of the Immaculate Mary’s tenderness for the human race.

In the month of November of this same year, 1830, Sister Catherine communicates to M. Aladel a new vision; but it is no longer that of an afflicted Mother weeping over the evils menacing her children, or the martyrdom of her dearest friends. This vision recalls the rainbow appearing in a sky still black with storms, or the star shining through the tempest to inspire the mariner with confidence—it is the Virgin Queen, bearing the promise of benediction, salvation and peace.

M. Aladel relates this to the Promoter of the diocese, and we find it inserted in the verbal process of the investigation, dated February 16, 1836, as follows:

“At half-past five in the evening, whilst the Sisters were in the chapel taking their meditation, the Blessed Virgin appeared to a young Sister as if in an oval picture; she was standing on a globe, only one-half of which was visible; she was clothed in a white robe and a mantle of shining blue, having her hands covered, as it were, with diamonds, whence emanated luminous rays falling upon the earth, but more abundantly upon one portion of it.

“A voice seemed to say: ‘These rays are symbolic of the graces Mary obtains for men, and the point upon which they fall most abundantly is France.’ Around the picture, written in golden letters, were these words: ‘O Mary! conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!’ This prayer, traced in a semi-circle, began at the Blessed Virgin’s right hand, and, passing over her head, terminated at her left hand. The reverse of the picture bore the letter M surmounted by a cross, having a bar at its base, and beneath the monogram of Mary, were the hearts of Jesus and Mary, the first surrounded with a crown of thorns, the other transpierced with a sword. Then she seemed to hear these words: ‘A medal must be struck upon this model; those who wear it indulgenced, and repeat this prayer with devotion, will be, in an especial manner, under the protection of the Mother of God.’ At that instant, the vision disappeared.”

According to the testimony of Sister Catherine’s Director, this apparition appeared several times in the course of a few months, always in the chapel of the Mother House of the Daughters of Charity, either during Mass or some of the religious exercises. M. Aladel adds that he was not certain as to their number, but he knows they were repeated thrice, at least, the Sister having mentioned it three different times.

Here is the account written by the Sister’s own hand:

“The 27th of November, 1830, which was a Saturday and eve of the first Sunday in Advent, whilst making my meditation in profound silence, at half-past five in the evening, I seemed to hear on the right hand side of the sanctuary something like the rustling of a silk dress, and, glancing in that direction, I perceived the Blessed Virgin standing near St. Joseph’s picture; her height was medium, and her countenance so beautiful that it would be impossible for me to describe it. She was standing, clothed in a robe the color of auroral light, the style that is usually called à la vierge—that is, high neck and plain sleeves. Her head was covered with a white veil, which descended on each side to her feet. Her hair was smooth on the forehead, and above was a coif ornamented with a little lace and fitting close to the head. Her face was only partially covered, and her feet rested upon a globe, or rather a hemisphere (at least, I saw but half a globe). Her hands were raised about as high as her waist, and she held in a graceful attitude another globe (a figure of the universe). Her eyes were lifted up to Heaven, and her countenance was radiant as she offered the globe to Our Lord.

SECOND APPARITION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN
To Sister Catherine Labouré.

“Suddenly, her fingers were filled with rings and most beautiful precious stones; the rays gleaming forth and reflected on all sides, enveloped her in such dazzling light that I could see neither her feet nor her robe. The stones were of different sizes, and the rays emanating from them were more or less brilliant in proportion to the size.

“I could not express what I felt, nor what I learned, in these few moments.

“Whilst occupied contemplating this vision, the Blessed Virgin cast her eyes upon me, and a voice said in the depths of my heart: ‘The globe that you see represents the entire world, and particularly France, and each person in particular.’“I would not know how to express the beauty and brilliancy of these rays. And the Blessed Virgin added: ‘Behold the symbol of the graces I shed upon those who ask me for them,’ thus making me understand how generous she is to all who implore her intercession…. How many favors she grants to those who ask. At this moment I was not myself, I was in raptures! There now formed around the Blessed Virgin a frame slightly oval, upon which appeared, in golden letters, these words: ‘O Mary! conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!’

“Then I heard a voice which said: ‘Have a medal struck upon this model, persons who wear it indulgenced, will receive great graces, especially if they wear it around the neck; graces will be abundantly bestowed upon those who have confidence.’

“Suddenly,” says the Sister, “the picture seemed to turn,” and she saw the reverse, such as has already been described in the previous account of the investigation.

Sister Catherine’s notes do not mention the twelve stars surrounding the monogram of Mary and the two hearts. Yet they are always represented on the medal. It is morally certain that she communicated this detail, by word of mouth, at the time she related the apparitions.

Other notes in Sister Catherine’s own hand-writing complete the account. She adds, that some of these precious stones did not emit rays, and when she expressed her astonishment at this, she was told that they were a figure of the graces we neglect to ask of Mary. On a hasty perusal, our Sister’s account of the vision appears to differ from M. Aladel’s. We were struck with this, and had to study these interesting and authentic documents attentively, in order to decide whether the visions differed essentially or were really the same.

 

SECOND APPARITION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN
To Sister Catherine Labouré.

According to M. Aladel’s testimony in the investigation, the apparitions relative to the medal were always similar, and Sister Catherine, before her death, confirmed this assertion. As we have just learned from our Sister’s own words, the Blessed Virgin always appeared with the terrestrial globe under her feet, and at the same time in her virginal hands, pressing it and warming it, as it were, against her maternal heart, and offering it to her Divine Son in her quality of Advocate and Mother, with an ineffable expression of supplication and love.

This is what the Sister saw. Was it all? No, after the first act of sublime intercession, after this most efficacious prayer of our divine Mediatrix, her hands are suddenly filled with graces, under the figure of rings and precious stones, which emit such brilliant rays that all else is invisible, Mary is enveloped in them, and her hands are bent beneath the weight of these treasures. Her eyes are cast upon the humble Sister whose ravished glances can scarcely support this celestial effulgence. At the same time, an oval frame is formed around the vision, and a voice directs the Sister to have a medal struck according to the medal presented. The medal is a faithful reproduction of this picture, at the moment the symbolical part disappears in the sheaves of light.

Sister Catherine being asked if she still saw the globe in the Blessed Virgin’s hands, when the luminous sheaves issued from them, answered no, there remained nothing but the rays of light; and that when the Blessed Virgin spoke of the globe, she meant that under [62]her feet, there being no longer any question of the first. Hence, we may conclude, that Sister Catherine’s description of the apparition and M. Aladel’s agree perfectly. The small globe which the Blessed Virgin holds in her hands, and the large one on which she stands, are both inundated with the same dazzling rays, or enriched with the same graces. The august Mary seems to indicate by the small globe merely a figure of the world, imperfectly represented beneath her feet, thus reminding us that she is the all merciful Queen of the human race.

There is yet another variation in the description of the two apparitions. M. Aladel, in conformity with the popular belief, that white and blue combined constitute the Blessed Virgin’s livery, as emblems of purity, celestial purity, gives the mantle an azure tint. Sister Catherine expresses the same idea several times in her notes, saying: “White signifies innocence, and blue is the livery of Mary.” However, the blue mantle is not mentioned in the notice of the apparition, Sister Catherine speaks only of the robe and veil of auroral light.

When questioned as to a more definite description of this color, she replied that it was a deep white, tinted with the mild, beautiful radiance of dawn, thus wishing, no doubt, to give some idea of the celestial hue of the robe and veil. It is this hue that tortures the artist, for he feels his pencil powerless to depict the beauties of another sphere.

We can understand from the above, how M. Aladel could have mistaken some details furnished by Sister Catherine, or have confounded the apparition of the medal with the visions of July 18th and 19th, in which the Blessed Virgin’s apparel was white and blue.

However, the accessories of the mantle and its indescribable hue, in no wise affect the reality of the apparition.