Oct.3 - First Saturday and "Mary's Day"!

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

On this First Saturday of October, we continue to ponder the wisdom God gave St. Louis de Montfort for the Church, in his “True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin”. In Chapter 1 - “Necessity of Devotion to our Lady”, he wrote:

  1. To Mary alone God gave the keys of the cellars of divine love and the ability to enter the most sublime and secret ways of perfection, and lead others along them. Mary alone gives to the unfortunate children of unfaithful Eve entry into that earthly paradise where they may walk pleasantly with God and be safely hidden from their enemies. There they can feed without fear of death on the delicious fruit of the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They can drink copiously the heavenly waters of that beauteous fountain which gushes forth in such abundance. As she is herself the earthly paradise, that virgin and blessed land from which sinful Adam and Eve were expelled she lets only those whom she chooses enter her domain in order to make them saints.

  2. All the rich among the people, to use an expression of the Holy Spirit as explained by St. Bernard, all the rich among the people will look pleadingly upon her countenance throughout all ages and particularly as the world draws to its end. This means that the greatest saints, those richest in grace and virtue will be the most assiduous in praying to the most Blessed Virgin, looking up to her as the perfect model to imitate and as a powerful helper to assist them.

For centuries, the Church has honored Mary especially on Saturdays, because of her Great Faith on Holy Saturday when she waited – believing Jesus’ would rise. Although disbelief and dishonor are still hurled at Jesus and Mary, They appeared to Sister Lucia in Spain in 1925:

“The most holy Virgin rested her hand on her (Lucia’s) shoulder, and as she did so, she showed her a heart encircled by thorns, which she (Mary) was holding in her other hand. At the same time, the Child (Jesus) said:

"Have compassion on the Heart of your most holy Mother, covered with thorns, with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment, and there is no one to make an act of reparation to remove them.”

Our Lady told her:

Look, my daughter, at my Heart, surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce me every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You at least try to console me and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, shall confess, receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary, and keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me.”

May Jesus continue to look with mercy on us and let us continue to heed His and Mary’s words. Jesus, we trust in You ! Mary, Mother of the Church pray for us.

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Somehow, we actually have a Marian procession at our Church today and I will seek to be there.

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From Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich: With the Angel’s salutation the Blessed Virgin was consecrated as the Church. With the words Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done to me according to your word’, the Word entered into her, saluted by the Church, by His maidservant. God was now in His Temple, Mary was now the Temple and the Ark of the New Covenant. Elizabeth’s greeting and the movement of John beneath his mother’s heart was the first act of worship of the community in the presence of this Holy Thing. When the Blessed Virgin uttered the Magnificat, the Church of the New Covenant, of the new Espousals, celebrated for the first time the fulfillment of the divine promises of the Old Covenant, of the old Espousals, and poured forth thanks with a Te Deum laudamus. Ah, who can express the wonder of seeing the devotion of the Church towards the Savior even before His Birth!

She is the Church/Temple/Ark/Eden who can lead others to perfection like St. Louis says here. Hail Mary, our Mother, pray for us!

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Sorry to say we had only a few at Mass this morning in our parish. A procession whoud have been lovely on this First Saturday. The pastor prays the Rosary after Mass with anyone who can stay after Mass but, to be perfectly honest it is difficult to keep up with the “pace” of the comgregation’s prayers together.

A procession with everyone praying their Rosary silently would be a great Witness. Some years ago, we did have a procession on the Feast of Corpus Christi, but the organizers didn’t give adequate guidelines, especially to the younger members of the parish – everyone should have had more reverence… Our former pastor carried the Blessed Sacrament in procession but the amount of talking in the background was an embarrassment.

Hopefully your parish procession today was a reverent one and can be repeated every First Saturday. Thanks for sharing that with us.

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Yes, Mary is, by God’s design, both our Mother and Model for the Church. God gave St. Louis de Montfort much grace and wisdom to share with the Catholic Church of his own time and for all time to come – to learn how beautiful Mary truly is! Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich also was given remarkable graces by God and we can learn from both saints, as we prayerfully ask God to help us grow in holiness.

St. Louis shares with the Church and all willing to learn how we can all grow closer to Jesus through Mary. It is really important that like ALL the Saints, we listen to God’s Word in the Scripture as Mary listened to Him in the Old Testament and continued to listen when Jesus was made Incarnate in her womb, by the power of the Holy Spirit and throughout His Life spent with her on this earth unto his Death, Resurrection and Ascention.

After Jesus ascended into heaven, The Father and Son sent the Holy Spirit to continue guiding the Church into ALL Truth (cf Jn 16:13). Mary, Queen of the Apostles and Queen of All Saints was in the Upper Room on Pentecost when the Spirit descended in tongues of Fire and the sound of Mighty wind.
She helped the disciples to learn as she learned to Listen and to Ponder God’s Word. Mary continues to do the same for every child born of water and the Spirit in Baptsim and becomes a member of the Body of Christ.

Thanks so much for your reply. Please let us pray for one another, for the Church and for all those in most need of God’s Mercy, that we may “hear with the ears of our hearts” God’s Word telling us to :

“Be holy because I am holy.” – 1Peter 1:16

By God’s Grace and through the intercession of Mary, may we DO the TRUTH God speaks in the depths of our hearts.

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Saint Francis of Assisi considered the Rosary an urgent duty

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Saint Francis, “the lover of Christ,” strove to live as close as possible to the evangelical life in imitation of Jesus, Son of the Virgin Mary. He recommended to his brothers to keep the Church of St Mary of the Angels, known as “the Porziuncola,” as the Mother House of the Order. Every day, the friars felt that it was their urgent duty to recite the Rosary.

Saint Francis composed prayers to Mary, the protectress of the Franciscan Order, such as this one:

Hail, holy Lady, most holy Queen,

Mary, Mother of God, ever Virgin.

You were chosen by the Most High Father in Heaven,

consecrated by Him, with His most Holy Beloved Son and the Holy Spirit, the Comforter.

On you descended and still remains all the fullness of grace and every good.

Hail, His Palace.

Hail His Tabernacle.

Hail His Robe.

Hail His Handmaid.

Hail, His Mother.

The Marie de Nazareth editorial team

Read more on mariedenazareth.com:

St Francis of Assisi (1182-1226), Saint Clare of Assisi (d. 1253)

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of our death.
Amen.

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I wonder if St. Francis ever read the Akathist to Our Lady. Some lines in that prayer look like they’re from the Akathist.

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Through the prayers of our holy fathers, O Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us. Amen. O Heavenly King
O Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth, Who art everywhere present and fillest all things, Treasury of good things and Giver of Life, come and dwell in us, and cleanse us of all impurity, and save our souls, O Good One.
Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us. (Thrice)
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen

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.O Most Holy Trinity, have mercy on us. O Lord, blot out our sins; O Master, pardon our iniquities; O Holy One, visit and heal our infirmities, for Thy name’s sake.
Lord, have mercy. *(Thrice)*Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

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Our Father, Who art in the heavens, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
Lord, have mercy. (Twelve times)
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
O Come, let us worship God, our King.
O Come, let us worship and fall down before Christ, our King and God.
O Come, let us worship and fall down before Christ himself, our King and God.

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Dear Brother,

Thanks so much for this post which I’m reading and replying to on the Feast f St. Francis of Assisi. How I have long loved this Saint – I may have emtioned more than once as a child of about 11 years old I read a book entitled “Princess Poverty” about Francis and Clare and they became perhaps my first “Saint-friends”! Both Francis and Clare like all the Saints, loved Jesus through and with Mary.

The words of St. Francis’ prayer which you quoted praise Mary as all of us need to do:

Hail, holy Lady, most holy Queen,

Mary, Mother of God, ever Virgin.

You were chosen by the Most High Father in Heaven,

consecrated by Him, with His most Holy Beloved Son and the Holy Spirit, the Comforter.

On you descended and still remains all the fullness of grace and every good.

Hail, His Palace.

Hail His Tabernacle.

Hail His Robe.

Hail His Handmaid.

Hail, His Mother.

Thanks for the beautiful picture and quote!

Thanks for your reply, Margaret_Ann,

The info I found on the internet concerning the Akathist to our Lady stated:

THE AKATHIST HYMN is one of the most well-loved services of devotion in the Orthodox Church. Although there is some debate concerning the particulars of its authorship, many scholars agree with the pious tradition which states that the Akathist was composed in the imperial city of Constantinople, “the city of the Virgin,” by St. Romanos the Melodist, who reposed in the year 556. The Akathist Hymn has proved so popular that many other hymns have been written following its format, particularly in the Russian Orthodox Church. These include Akathists to Our Lord Jesus Christ, to the Cross, to various saints, etc…

Some of the lines in the prayer of St. Francis may resemble the “style” of the Akathist Hymn, in praising Our Lady but I’ve not read anywhere that St. Francis read the Hymn,

Dear cannotdecide,

Thanks for your “heart” indicating your Love for Our Lady, and your love for Jesus through Mary, as the Saints help us to undrstand by the witness of their own lives and by their writings as well, St. Louis de Montfort and St. Francis of Assisi both had such a tender love for our Mother it is good to read their words and to thank God for the wisdom He gave to each one of them to share with his Church.

If you have never read “True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin” by St. Louis de Montfort, I hope you will. St. Louis de Montfort was a poor and holy priest who was given such gifts by God for His Church that his work has continued to draw souls to Jesus through Mary for centuries. As I see by your profile you are discerning priesthood, pray to St. Louis de Montfort and ask him to pray with you to Jesus through Mary, for help you discern God’s Will for you.

PS - If you click on the title, it will take you to the online version of the book.

And the Byzantine Eastern Catholic Churches!

October 1 (14 on the Julian calendar) is the Feast of the Protection of the Mother of God, St. Ananias (who enlightened St. Paul), and St. Romanos the Melodist (560 is the date in the link):

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Thanks again, Margaret_Ann,

Yes, the Byzantine Eastern Catholic Churches also. I didn’t have time to do more on the internet, my time was limited but I was hoping that short excerpt might help some of our readers understand what the word “Akathist” meant and some sense of where it orginated historically. I’ve been to a few Eastern Catholic liturgies in the past and was greatly impressed by the beauty and reverence.

Having read the biography of St. Francis and perhaps one or two other books on his life I didn’t remember any mention of his reading the Akathist. But who knows? Maybe he did read it. :slight_smile:

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