“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons and daughters of God” (Mt 5, 9). These are the words of Jesus from his sermon on the mount. They tell us something about ourselves, and they tell us something about God’s Kingdom. By our baptism, we are called to live in Christ’s peace, and this peace is at the heart of God’s Kingdom.
Before his passion and death, Jesus said to his disciples: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you.” . . . He told them to trust in God and to trust in him as he went away to prepare a place for them (see John 14, 1-3). After his resurrection, he appeared to his disciples saying “peace be with you.” The disciples were fearful and in hiding. They had abandoned Jesus in his moment of greatest need. Still, Jesus returned to them with love, understanding and compassion to give them his peace.
We are followers of Jesus. He calls us to trust him, and to trust that God the Father has a wonderful plan for us. Jesus gives us his peace – a peace that is beyond all understanding, a kind of peace that only he can give – so that we can become all that he has called us to be.
We are all members of his body: the hands, the feet, the voice and face of Jesus. We are called to share his peace – in the classroom, the schoolyard, in our communities, and in the world. Each time we forgive, share with, help, comfort and care for one another, the peace of Jesus and of God’s Kingdom becomes more real for everyone to see.
As we go out into the world, let us remember Jesus’ words “peace be with you” and carry them in our hearts. We ask the Holy Spirit for the courage to share Jesus’ gift of peace through acts of kindness, as a sign of his kingdom’s everlasting peace, where the Father has prepared a place for each of us, beloved sons and daughters of God.
~ A Reflection by Tony Consentino, RCCDSB
God our Father, your Son Jesus gave up His life to free us from the power of sin and death. He showed us that the greatest love is in giving up one’s life for others. Today we remember those who fought and died for our freedom. We ask you to bless and console them together with their families. Help us to understand the sacrifices they made in leaving their loved ones to face the horrors of war. May we never forget their generosity. May your Holy Spirit give us the courage to resist evil in all its forms and show us how to be peacemakers through prayer and action, lest we forget those who fought, suffered and died that we might have the freedom and peace we enjoy today. We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen!
~ A prayer for Remembrance Day by Tony Cosentino, RCCDSB
“A single poppy has the soul of a thousand heroes and the tears of a million loved ones ❤ Let us always remember them! Let us always pray for peace!
O my God, Trinity whom I adore, let me entirely forget myself that I may abide in You, still and peaceful as if my soul were already in eternity; let nothing disturb my peace nor separate me from You, O my unchanging God, but that each moment may take me further into the depths of Your mystery! Pacify my soul! Make it Your heaven, Your beloved home and place of Your repose; let me never leave You there alone, but may I be ever attentive, ever alert in my faith, ever adoring and all given up to Your creative action.
O my beloved Christ, crucified for love, would that I might be for You a spouse of Your heart! I would anoint You with glory, I would love You – even unto death! Yet I sense my frailty and ask You to adorn me with Yourself; identify my soul with all the movements of Your soul, submerge me, overwhelm me, substitute Yourself in me that my life may become but a reflection of Your life. Come into me as Adorer, Redeemer and Saviour.
O Eternal Word, Word of my God, would that I might spend my life listening to You, would that I might be fully receptive to learn all from You; in all darkness, all loneliness, all weakness, may I ever keep my eyes fixed on You and abide under Your great light; O my Beloved Star, fascinate me so that I may never be able to leave Your radiance.
O Consuming Fire, Spirit of Love, descend into my soul and make all in me as an incarnation of the Word, that I may be to Him a super-added humanity wherein He renews His mystery; and You O Father, bestow Yourself and bend down to Your little creature, seeing in her only Your beloved Son in whom You are well pleased.
O my `Three’, my All, my Beatitude, infinite Solitude, Immensity in whom I lose myself, I give myself to You as a prey to be consumed; enclose Yourself in me that I may be absorbed in You so as to contemplate in Your light the abyss of Your Splendour!
~ A prayer of Saint Elizabeth of The Trinity (1880-1906), O.C.D.
Today, November 8th is the Feast day of Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity, O.C.D., her very name means “house of God”. On August 2nd, 1901 St. Elizabeth enters Carmel., here is a portion of her postulant questionnaire:
What is your Ideal for sanctity? To live from love.
What is the quickest way to attain it? To make oneself as small as possible, to surrender oneself without reserve.
What saint do you love most? The disciple Jesus loved, who rested his head on Jesus’ breast.
Which part of the Rule speaks most directly to you? Silence.
What is the dominant trait of your character? Sensitiveness.
Your Favorite Virtue? Purity. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
The fault you most abhor? Egoism in general.
Give a basic definition of prayer. The union of one who is not with the One who Is.
What is your favorite book? The soul of Christ—it reveals to me all the secrets of the heavenly Father.
~ By Two Sisters in the Spirit, Ignatius Press
*For more information about the life of Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity, please check: carmelitesofboston.org/spirit-of-carmel/our-saints/saint-elizabeth-of-the-trinity/
O glorious guardian of my frame!
In heaven’s high courts thou shinest bright,
As some most pure and holy flame,
Before the Lord of endless light.
Yet for my sake thou com’st to earth,
To be my brother, Angel dear:
My friend and keeper from my birth,
By day and night to me most near.
Knowing how weak a child am I,
By thy strong hand thou guidest me;
The stones that in my pathway lie,
I see thee move them carefully.
Ever thy heavenly tones invite
My soul to look to God alone;
And ever grows thy face more bright,
When I more meek and kind have grown.
O thou who speedest through all space
More swiftly than the lightnings fly!
Go very often, in my place,
To those I love most tenderly.
With thy soft touch, oh! dry their tears;
Tell them the cross is sweet to bear;
Speak my name softly in their ears,
And Jesu’s name, supremely fair.
Through all my life, though brief it be,
I fain would succor souls from sin.
Dear Angel, sent from heaven to me,
Kindle thy zeal my heart within!
Naught but my holy poverty,
And daily cross to give have I;
O join them to thine ecstasy,
And offer them to God on high.
Thine are heaven’s glory and delight,
The riches of the King of kings;
The Host in our ciboriums bright
Is mine, and all the wealth pain brings.
So with the Cross, and with the Host,
And with thine aid, dear Angel Friend,
I wait in peace, on time’s dark coast,
Heaven’s happiness that knows no end.
~ A poem written by Saint Thérèse of Lisieux on February, 1897 (seven months before her death) From a translation by S.L. Emery, 1907.
May we always have our Holy Guardian Angel by our side guiding and protecting us! ❤ Wishing you all a very blessed Feast Day of the Holy Guardian Angels!
O most Blessed Virgin Mary, assumed into heaven, I beg you to purify my senses so that I may begin to enjoy God even while I am on earth.
The Blessed Virgin Mary’s Assumption shows us the route we must follow in our spiritual ascent: detachment from the earth, flight toward God, and union with God.
Our Lady was assumed body and soul into heaven because she was Immaculate; she was- all pure—free not only from every shadow of sin, but even from the slightest attachment to the things of earth, so that she “never had the form of any creature imprinted in her soul, nor was moved by such, but was invariably guided by the Holy Spirit” (J.C. AS III, 2,10).
The first requirement for attaining God is this total purity, the fruit of total detachment. The Blessed Virgin, who lived her earthly life in absolute detachment from every created thing, teaches us not to allow ourselves to be captivated by the fascination of creatures, but to live among them, occupying ourselves with them with much charity, but without ever letting our heart become attached to them, without ever seeking our satisfaction in them.
In her Assumption Mary speaks to us of flight toward heaven, toward God. It is not enough to purify our heart from sin and all attachment to creatures, we must at the same time direct it toward God, tending toward Him with all our strength. The Church has us pray in today’s Mass for the Feast of the Assumption, “O Lord, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary who was assumed into heaven, may our hearts, enkindled by the fire of Thy love, continually aspire toward Thee” (Secret). Our earthly life has value for eternal life insofar as it is a flight toward God, a continual seeking after Him, a continual adherence to His grace. When this flight fails, the supernatural value of our existence lessens.
Mary has been taken up to heaven because she is the Mother of God. This is the greatest of her privileges, the root of all the others and the reason for them; it speaks to us, in a very special way, of intimate union with God, as the fact of her Assumption speaks to us of the beatific union of heaven. Mary’s Assumption thus confirms us in this great and beautiful truth: we are created and called to union with God. Mary herself stretches out her maternal hand to guide us to the attainment of this high ideal. If we keep our eyes fixed on her, we shall advance more easily; she will be our guide, our strength, and our consolation in every trial and difficulty.
~ A Meditation by Father Gabriel of St Mary Magdalen, O.C.D.
“O Immaculate Virgin, Mother of God and Mother of men, we believe with all the fervor of our faith in your triumphal Assumption, both body and soul, into heaven, where you are acclaimed as Queen by all the choirs of angels and all the legions of the saints. And we unite with them to praise and bless the Lord who has exalted you above all other pure creatures, and to offer you the tribute of our devotion and our love.” (Pius XII)
Wishing you all a very blessed Feast day of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary!
O Jesus, grant that I may penetrate the secrets hidden in Your divine Heart.
After we have contemplated the Eucharist, a gift crowning all the gifts of the love of Jesus for men, the Church invites us to give direct consideration to the love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the source and cause of all His gifts. We may call the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus the feast of His love for us. “Behold this Heart which has so loved men,” Jesus said to St. Margaret Mary; “Behold this Heart which has so loved men,” the Church repeats to us today, showing us that it is truly “in the Heart of Christ, wounded by our sins, that God has deigned to give us the infinite treasures of His love” (cf. Collect). Today’s liturgy inspired with this thought, reviews the immense benefits we owe to the love of Christ and sings a hymn in praise of His love. “Cogitationes cordis ejus,” chants the Introit of the Mass” “The thoughts of His Heart”—the Heart of Jesus—“are to all generations” to deliver them from death, to feed them in time of famine.” The Heart of Jesus is always in search of souls to save, to free from the snares of sin, to wash in His Blood, to feed with His Body. The Heart of Jesus is always living in the Eucharist to satisfy the hunger of all who long for Him, to welcome and console all those who, disillusioned by the vicissitudes of life, take refuge in Him, seeking peace and refreshment. Jesus Himself is our support on the hard road of life. “Take up My yoke upon you and learn of Me, because I am meek and humble of heart, and you shall find rest for your souls, Alleluia” It is impossible to eliminate sorrow from our life; yet if we live for Jesus we can suffer in peace and find in the Heart of Jesus repose for our weary soul.
~ A Meditation by Father Gabriel of St Mary Magdalen, O.C.D.
“O Jesus, now that I have been brought into Your most sweet Heart, and it is a great good to be here, I do not want to let myself be easily torn away from it. Oh! how good and pleasant it is to dwell in Your Heart! Your Heart, O good Jesus, is a rich treasure, it is the precious pearl which I have found in the secret of Your pierced Body, as in a furrowed field. Who could cast aside this pearl? Rather I will give all the pearls in the world, I will exchange for it all my thoughts and affections and I will purchase it for myself. I shall entrust all my cares to Your Heart, O good Jesus, and without fail it will support me. I have found Your Heart, O Lord, O most benign Jesus: the Heart of my King, my Brother, my Friend! Hidden in Your Heart, what is there that I shall not ask of You? I shall ask that Your Heart be mine also. If You, O Jesus, are my Head, can I not say that it is mine as well as Yours? Are not the eyes of my head also mine? Then the Heart of my spiritual Head is my Heart. What joy for me! You and I have but one heart. Having found this divine Heart which is Yours and mine, O most sweet Jesus, I beseech You, O my God: receive my prayers in that sanctuary where You are attentive to them and, even more, draw me entirely into Your Heart” ~ Saint Bonaventure
Wishing all of you a very blessed Feast of The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus ❤
O my Mother, most holy Virgin Mary, be always my model, my support, and my guide.
“And Mary, rising up in those days, went into the hill country with haste into a city of Juda.” These words are from today’s Gospel (Lk 1, 39-47). Mary, in the exquisite delicacy of her charity, has such a profound sense of the needs of others, that as soon as she hears of them, she acts spontaneously and decisively to bring help. Having learned from the Angel Gabriel that her cousin was about to become a mother, she goes immediately to offer her humble services.
If we consider the difficulty of traveling in those days, when the poor, such as Mary, had to go on foot over difficult roads, or at best, by means of some rude conveyance, and also the fact that Mary remained three months with Elizabeth, we can readily understand that she had to face many hardships in performing this act of charity. However, she was in no way disturbed: charity urged her, making her wholly forgetful of herself, for as St. Paul says: “Charity seeketh not her own” (1 Cor 13,5). How many times, perhaps, have you omitted and act of kindness, not to spare yourself a hard journey, but only to avoid a little trouble. Think how uncharitable you are and how slow to help others. look at Mary, and see how much you can learn from her!
Charity makes Mary forget not only her hardships but also her own dignity, which was greater than that given to any other creature. Elizabeth is advanced in years, but Mary is the Mother of God; Elizabeth is about to give birth to a man, but Mary will give birth to the Son of God. Nevertheless, before her cousin as before the Angel, Mary continues to look upon herself as the humble handmaid of the Lord, and nothing more. Precisely because she considers herself a handmaid, she comports herself as such, even in respect to her neighbor. In your case, perhaps, although you know how to humble yourself before God and recognize your lack of perfection in the secrecy of your heart, it displeases you to appear imperfect before your neighbor, and you quickly resent being treated as such. Are you not anxious to have your dignity, education, and ability recognized, as well as the more or less honorable offices or charges which have been entrusted to you? Your dignity is a mere nothing, and yet you are so jealous of it. Mary’s dignity approaches the infinite, yet she considers herself and behaves as if she were the least of all creatures.
~ A Meditation by Father Gabriel of St Mary Magdalen, O.C.D.
O Mary, how great is your humility when you hasten to serve others! If it is true that he who humbles himself will be exalted, who will be more exalted than you who have humbled yourself so much?
“When Elizabeth caught sight of you she was astonished and exclaimed: ‘Whence is this to me that the Mother of my Lord should come to me? But I am still more astonished to see that you, as well as your Son, came not to be served, but to serve… It was for this purpose that you went to Elizabeth, you the Queen, to the servant, the Mother of God to the mother of the Precursor, you who would give birth to the Son of God, to her who would bring forth a mere man.
“But your profound humility in no way lessened your magnanimity; the greatness of your soul was not opposed to your humility. You, so small in your own eyes, were so magnanimous in your faith, in your hope in the Most High, that you never doubted His promises, and firmly believed that you would become the Mother of the Son of God.
“Humility did not make you fainthearted; magnanimity did not make you proud, but these two virtues were perfectly combined in you!
“O Mary, you cannot give me a share in your great privileges as Mother of God; these belong to you alone! But you want me to share in your virtues, giving me examples of them in yourself. If, then, sincere humility, magnanimous faith, and delicate, sympathetic charity are lacking in me, how can I excuse myself? O Mary, O Mother of mercy, you who are full of grace, nourish us, your poor little ones, with your virtues!” (cf. St. Bernard).
“I return thanks to You, O God, one and true Trinity, one sovereign divinity, holy and indivisible unity. (RB).”
From Advent until today, the Church has had us consider the magnificent manifestations of God’s mercy toward men: the Incarnation, the Redemption, Pentecost. Now she directs our attention to the source of these gifts, the most Holy Trinity, from whom everything proceeds. Spontaneously, there rises to our lips the hymn of gratitude expressed in the Introit of the Mass: “Blessed be the Holy Trinity and undivided Unity; we will give glory to Him, because He has shown His mercy to us”: the mercy of God the Father, “who so loved the world that He gave it His only-begotten Son” (cf. Jn 3,16); the mercy of God the Son, who to redeem us became incarnate and died on the Cross; the mercy of the Holy Spirit, who deigned to come down into our hearts to communicate to us the charity of God and to make us participate in the divine life. The Church has very fittingly included in the Office for today the beautiful antiphon inspired by St. Paul: “Caritas Pater est, gratia Filius, communication Spiritus Sanctus, O beata Trinitas!”; the Father is charity, the Son is grace and the Holy Spirit is communication: applying this, the charity of the Father and the grace of the Son are communicated to us by the Holy Spirit, who diffuses them in our heart. The marvelous work of the Trinity in our souls could not be better synthesized. Today’s Office and Mass form a veritable paean of praise and gratitude to the Blessed Trinity; they are a prolonged Gloria Patri and Te Deum. These two hymns—one a succinct epitome, and the other a majestic alternation of praises—are truly hymns for today, intended to awaken in our hearts a deep echo of praise, thanksgiving, and adoration.
~ By Father Gabriel of Saint Mary Magdalen, O.C.D. ~ Divine Intimacy
O eternal Trinity, You are a deep sea in which the more I seek the more I find, and the more I find, the more I seek to know You. You fill us insatiably, because the soul, before the abyss which You are, is always famished; and hungering for You, O eternal Trinity, it desires to behold truth in Your light. As the thirsty hart pants after the fount of living water, so does my soul long to leave this gloomy body and see You as your are, in truth.
O unfathomable depth! O Deity eternal! O deep ocean! What more could You give me than to give me Yourself? You are an ever-burning Fire; You consume and are not consumed. By Your fire, You consume every trace of self-love in the soul. You are a Fire which drives away all coldness and illumines minds with its light, and with this light You have made me know Your truth. Truly this light is a sea which feeds the soul until it is all immersed in You. O peaceful Sea, eternal Trinity! The water of this sea is never turbid; it never causes fear, but gives knowledge of the truth. This water is transparent and discloses hidden things; and a living faith gives such abundance of light that the soul almost attains to certitude in what it believes.
You are the supreme and infinite Good, good above all good; good which is joyful, incomprehensible, inestimable; beauty exceeding all other beauty; wisdom surpassing all wisdom, because You are Wisdom itself. Food of angels, giving Yourself with fire of love to men! You are the garment which covers our nakedness; You feed us, hungry as we are, with Your sweetness, because You are all sweetness with no bitterness. Clothe me, O eternal Trinity, clothe me with Yourself, so that I may pass this mortal life in true obedience and in the light of the most holy faith with which You have inebriated my soul.
~ By Saint Catherine of Siena
Wishing all of you a very blessed Feast of The Most Holy Trinity! ❤
Flos Carmeli(Flower of Carmel) is one of the most beautiful prayers ever written to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
“The Flos Carmeli is a Carmelite hymn and prayer. Flos Carmeli is Latin for “Flower of Carmel” and was first used as the sequence for the Feast of Saint Simon Stock (May 16). Beginning in 1663 it became the sequence for the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (July 16). It is said to have been written by St. Simon Stock himself (c1165-1265). The prayer is taken from the first two stanzas of the sequence.”
“Oral tradition tells of St. Simon Stock praying with a passionate intensity to Our Lady of Mount Carmel during a time of great distress and hardship for the Order. With fervor and faith, he prayed for the first time the Flos Carmeli prayer which he wrote. And Our Lady answered that prayer. Thus, for seven centuries the Flos Carmeli continues to be prayed to the Blessed Mother with the firm faith that she will answer its request with her powerful help and intercession.” *
* Copied from the Website of the Carmelite Sisters, OCD.
The prayer below is from the first two verses of the longer sequence. I love this prayer very much and we also sing it (the hymn version) together with our Lay Carmelite community at our monthly meetings.
Flos Carmeli Prayer
O beautiful Flower of Carmel, most fruitful vine, Splendor of Heaven, holy and singular, who brought the Son of God, still ever remaining a Pure Virgin, assist me in this necessity. O Star of the Sea, help and protect me! Show me that thou art my Mother.
O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee!
Mother and Beauty of Carmel, Pray for us! Virgin, Flower of Carmel, Pray for us! Patroness of all who wear the Scapular, Pray for us! Hope of all who die wearing the Scapular, Pray for us! St. Joseph, Friend of the Sacred Heart, Pray for us! St. Joseph, Chaste Spouse of Mary, Pray for us! St. Joseph, Our Patron, Pray for us! O sweet Heart of Mary, Be our salvation! Amen!
St. Simon Stock, pray for us!
Mother of Mount Carmel, I kiss your Holy Scapular and thank you for this precious gift. Help and guide me always. I place my confidence in your intercession. Never has it been known, dearest Lady and Mother, that anyone who fled to your protection was left unaided. Amen!
How many centuries of love and prayer brought the Rosary to us in this simple, childlike form we have it today? The hand of God must have slowly fashioned it, as he himself let the beads of years slip to the earth, one by one, each containing within itself his loving care, his providence, his mercy, his justice and his infinite charity, each gift of his loving-kindness to us.
It grew slowly with the infant Church. How many chanted it throughout Christendom in the days when Christians sought first the kingdom of heaven, knowing that all the rest would be added to them!
When did it become a string of beads? Our Lady must have liked the simplicity that made it available to all—children, youth, and all the ages of men and women, both the learned and unlearned. “The Psalter of Mary” it was called: three times fifty Hail Marys said by anyone in the place of the one hundred and fifty psalms of the Office, in the days when many could not read. And tradition has it that she blessed it and gave it to St. Dominic to give to others. It is a heavenly lasso, perhaps, to entice her wayward children back into her motherly arms!
It is part of so many recent apparitions, in which she has so emphatically told the world, through the lips of children, to pray the Rosary. How slender a thread to hold our disintegrating world up! And yet how strong. It consists of a short string of a crucifix, one large bead, three smaller ones, and then another large one. This short string is attached to a circlet of beads: five decades, or sets of one large bead and ten smaller ones.
How childishly simple beads , made of anything and everything, strung in orderly rows, beginning with the cross. It is her Son’s cross, which she never can or will forget. On the crucifix, we recite the Apostles’ Creed: “I believe in God, the Father Almighty…” Then on the first large bead, the first Our Father: “Our Father, who art in heaven…”—her Father and ours. The Father who chose her to be the mother of his Son. The Father who is so pleased with her. The Father who made her immaculate, a vessel of predilection. Then on the three small beads three Hail Marys, Gabriel’s angelic salutation, “Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you…” which forever resounds in her ears. The last large bead for the Glory Be, “Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit…” She must love that so, she who is Our Lady of the Trinity! And then the measured, evenly recurring Our Father, ten Hail Marys, and Glory Be said for each decade.
While reciting each decade we meditate on a particular mystery, or event in her life, as she leads us through the whole of her life, so full of mysteries. Joyful, Sorrowful, and Glorious Mysteries—deep as the seas of eternity. Simple as the smile of a child. Leading us to the very heart of God, through her who gave him his human heart.
Rosaries are held by millions of hands: the chubby ones of babies, the smooth, beautiful, strong and manly hands of youth, the capable and gentle hands of women and men, the gnarled and work-worn hands of old, the transparent and weak hands of the sick. Sinners and saints hold them, and, letting them pass through their fingers, bead by bead, enter an unspeakably beautiful symphony of love, woven of two prayers—the Hail Mary, given us by an angel; and the Our Father, revealed by the Son of God. They are music that lead us on to heights uncharted and unknown, to where God dwells.
A promise of salvation and peace! As we pray, we will remember her promise that she will hold our disintegrating world together and will help us restore ourselves and it, to her Son.
Our life Is a Rosary
Much has been written and will yet be written about the Rosary, that simple, profound, almost unfathomable prayer to the gracious Mother of God, which takes her children again and again on the pilgrimage of her life and her Son’s, until, through it, their lives and God’s become one.
Still, there is another “rosary” that many of us miss completely. It is the one that opens up right at our feet, day by day, hour by hour, on the road all of us must travel, the road to God. It is a strange rosary. Its mysteries embrace the life of Christ and his mother, in the Mystical Body of his Church. It is the rosary of our own life.
~ A Meditation by Catherine de Hueck Doherty
Today, May 13th we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima. On this day in 1917, our Lady made her first appearance to three shepherd children, Jacinta (age 7), Francisco (age 9), and Lucia (age 10), at Fatima in Portugal. She appeared to them once a month from May to October. The lives of the three children were entirely transformed by the heavenly apparitions. In each of the apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima, she insisted on praying the Rosary. “Pray the Rosary every day to obtain peace for the world.” Lucia often repeated and emphasized what Our Lady has recommended to her.
In the final apparition on October 13th, 1917, Our Lady silently held out the scapular (the brown scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel). Lucia had said that the Blessed Mother wants everyone to wear it: “The Scapular and the Rosary are inseparable.”
The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima is built on the spot where three children saw a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The Chapel of the Apparitions is at the very heart of the Basilica and the exact location of the apparitions is marked by a marble pillar which holds the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Our Lady of Fatima
O Most holy Virgin Mary, Queen of the most holy Rosary, you were pleased to appear to the children of Fatima and reveal a glorious message. We implore you, inspire in our hearts a fervent love for the recitation of the Rosary. By meditating on the mysteries of the redemption that are recalled therein may we obtain the graces and virtues that we ask, through the merits of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Redeemer. Amen!
Wishing all of you a very happy Feast day of Our Lady of Fatima and a very blessed Mother’s Day! ❤
How did Mary become the Rosa Mystica, the choice, delicate, perfect flower of God’s spiritual creation? It was by being born, nurtured, and sheltered in the mystical garden or Paradise of God. Scripture makes use of the figure of a garden when it would speak of heaven and its blessed inhabitants. A garden is a spot of ground set apart for trees and plants, all good, all various, for things that are sweet to the taste, or fragrant in scent, or beautiful to look upon, or useful for nourishment. According in its spiritual sense it means the home of blessed spirits and holy souls dwelling there together, souls with both the flowers and the fruits upon them, which by the careful husbandry of God they have come to bear, flowers and fruits of grace, flowers more beautiful an more fragrant than those of any garden, fruits more delicious and exquisite than can be matured by earthly husbandman.
All that God has made speaks of its Maker; the mountains speak of his eternity, the sun of his immensity, and the winds of his almightiness. In like manner flowers and fruits speak of his sanctity, his love, and his providence; and such as are flowers and fruits, they are found in a garden, therefore a garden has also excellences which speak of God, because it is their home. For instance, it would be out of place if we found beautiful flowers on the mountain crag, or rich fruit in the sandy desert. As then by flowers and fruits are meant, in a mystical sense, the gifts and graces of the Holy Ghost, so by a garden is meant mystically a place of spiritual repose, stillness, peace, refreshment, and delight.
Our first parents were placed in “a garden of pleasure” shaded by trees, “fair to behold and pleasant to eat of,” with the Tree of Life in the midst and a river to water the ground. Thus our Lord, speaking from the cross to the penitent robber, calls the blessed place, the heaven to which he was taking him, “paradise,” or a garden of pleasure. Therefore, St. John, in the Book of Revelation, speaks of heaven, the place of God, as a garden or paradise in which was the Tree of Life giving forth its fruits every month.
Such was the garden in which the Mystical Rose, the Immaculate Mary, was sheltered and nursed to be the mother of the All Holy God, from her birth to her spousal to St. Joseph, a term of thirteen years. For three years of it she was in the arms of her holy mother, St. Anne, and then for ten years she lived in the Temple of God. In those blessed gardens, as they may be called, she lived by herself, continually visited by the dew of God’s grace, and growing up a more and more heavenly flower, till at the end of that period she was suitable for the inhabitation in her of the Most Holy. This was the outcome of the Immaculate Conception. Excepting her, the fairest rose in the paradise of God has had upon it blight and has had the risk of canker-worm and locust. All but Mary; she from the first was perfect in her sweetness and her beautifulness, and at length when the angel Gabriel came to her he found her “full of grace,” which had, from her good use of it, accumulated in her from the first moment of her being.
Mary is the most beautiful flower that ever was seen in the spiritual world. It is by the power of God’s grace that from this barren and desolate earth there have ever sprung up at all flowers of holiness and glory. And Mary is the queen of them. She is the queen of spiritual flowers; and therefore she is called the rose, for the rose is fitly called of all flowers the most beautiful.
~ A Meditation by John Henry Newman
THERE is no rose of such virtue As is the rose that bear Jesu: Alleluia.
For in this rose contained was Heaven and earth in little space: Res Miranda.
By that rose we may well see There be one God in Persons Three: Pares forma.
The angels sang, the shepherds too: Gloria in Excelsis Deo: Gaudeamus.
Leave we all this worldly mirth And follow we this joyful birth: Transeamus.
~ A Poem by an unknown Medieval Author
Res Miranda, thing to be marvelled at. Pares forma, equal in nature. Gaudeamus, let us rejoice. Transeamus, let us go hence.
A Prayer Mystical Rose, Immaculate Virgin, Mother of Mercy, I venerate thee that I might honor thy Divine Son and thereby win His mercy. I ask for thy help in the clemency of thy Maternal Heart in all confidence that I will be heard.